->''"I always thought you were like a... well, slave's the wrong word, but... really? Mother ''pays'' you?"''
-->--'''Sterling Archer''' to Woodhouse, ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}''

Many servants are deeply attached to the person (or family) they work for. The old retainer is indeed often elderly, and his service has often been long, but the essential trait is his loyalty and propriety. He identifies his interests with those of his employer, regards himself as slighted by any injuries to them, and strives mightily to keep things going properly.

Sometimes an Old Retainer will have served several generations of an old and respected family (or his own family may have done so for even longer), perhaps one of [[BlueBlood noble]] or even RoyalBlood. An ImpoverishedPatrician frequently has one working for him even after the rest of the staff have been let go.

Children who live in a family with an Old Retainer usually regard him as a member of the family, even if his manner is [[CrustyCaretaker rather rough]]. Indeed, if the [[ParentalAbandonment parents are absent]], the LonelyRichKid may be more attached to [[ParentalSubstitute the servant]] than to their father or mother. If the parent has vanished, this is the natural person to be asked to TellMeAboutMyFather.

If the employer doesn't live up to the standards he expects (particularly in [[GoodOldWays keeping up traditions]]), this isn't a person afraid to SpeakTruthToPower -- expect chilly criticism, uttered WithAllDueRespect. (May function as the GreekChorus) Unlikely for him to leave, though. His authority in this matter may be assisted by his having worked for the family while the employer was a child. And he may do what he deems proper behind the employer's back. Female examples who do this are likely to be SilkHidingSteel.

Deep personal affection is likely, but the Old Retainer won't infringe on propriety to display it, though gestures such as YourFavorite are likely. Not, however, FirstNameBasis. Even the children are likely to be addressed as "Master Jack" and "Miss Jill," since one must keep up the proprieties; however, once the child has grown, the servant may continue with "Master Jack" and "Miss Jill" in an interesting mix of TheyCallMeMisterTibbs and FirstNameBasis. An heir who tries to insist on DontCallMeSir will find the atmosphere arctic.

Common in such feudal societies as FeudalFuture, where, indeed, [[LegacyOfService his family may have worked for the employer's for generations]].

SisterTrope of TheJeeves, BattleButler, CrustyCaretaker, CreepyHousekeeper, MatronChaperone.


* Higson, the (very) elderly looking and slightly deaf butler (played by [[{{Theatre/Oliver}} Ron Moody]]) of Lord Brassick, who is otherwise very skint, in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzh1A9lORUE this 2013 ad]] for Aviva car insurance.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/Acca13TerritoryInspectionDept'': Abend to the Dowa royal family, and [[spoiler: Nino's father]] to Abend's family. This continues after [[spoiler: they leave Dowa district to watch over Princess Schnee and her family, after she fakes her death]].
* Baaya, the Fujiwara family's maid in ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi''. Having watched Hazuki's mom grow up, she's been able to help mother and daughter work things out.
* The Itoshiki family butler in ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei''. Has shown to have taken the place of parents to force the protagonist get married, via a bizarre tradition where anyone who makes eye-contact in the premesis of the family mansion during a specific night is [[AccidentalMarriage instantly married with who they made eyecontact with]].
* [[Anime/{{Madlax}} The Bakers have served the Burtons for centuries!]]
* The old Usagi appears in one scene in ''[[Anime/{{K}} K: Return of Kings]]'', but in the [[AllThereInTheManual manga and novels]], there is a lot of heartwarming backstory about how he was this to the Gold King. He also comforts [[spoiler: the Silver King, the Gold King's oldest friend, after the Gold King dies, and helps the Silver King accomplish what he needs to do - and encourages him to return to his friends even when he [[BodySurf isn't quite as they remember him]].]]
* Mori, to Honey, in ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub''. Other characters comment that the Morinozuka family has served the Haninozuka family for generations, and even invoke the trope directly by envisioning the pair in a classic "young master and devoted retainer" scene.
* The old man Coco, a Beastman created to serve Nia in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann.''
* Walter Dornez, the Hellsing family retainer in ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' is one of these to the point in which he introduces himself as the family's retainer.
* Raymond Bishop from ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'', who pretty much raised George de Sand (he mentions having taken care of him as a toddler).
* Genji Ronoue from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' is so loyal to [[MadwomanInTheAttic Kinzo]] that he has no problem dying for the sake of reviving Kinzo's [[{{Necromantic}} dead mistress]]. [[spoiler:He is actually helping Kinzo's child to commit the murders; Kinzo himself has been dead for more than a year.]]
* Ohatsu and Katou from ''Manga/SakuraGari'' are pretty tragic versions of the trope, as they're first-rate witnesses of all the tragedies surrounding the Saiki clan. [[spoiler: Sakurako's tragic suicide [[DespairEventHorizon throws Katou over the edge]], as he was ''her'' caretaker and servant much more than the family butler... so he stabs Souma few afterwards. And Ohatsu doesn't have it much easier, as she did know about Sakurako's mom abusing Souma but couldn't denounce her because of what it'd do to the family, and ''that'' left her an emotional wreck.]]
** And in regards to Katou, [[spoiler: he actually was ''Sakurako's father'', since he was involved with Sakurako's mom when young. No wonder he's '''pissed''' when the kid commits suicide.]]
* In ''LightNovel/SaiunkokuMonogatari'', Shi Seiran to protagonist Kou Shuurei and her father Kou Shouka. He is more of a family than anything else.
* Hanaoka from ''Manga/SangatsuNoLion'' has been Nikaidou's butler since the latter was a child. He's loyal and always concerned and attentive to Nikaidou's well-being.
* ''Anime/PrettyCure'':
** In ''Anime/YesPrettyCure5'', Karen's butler is the closest person who lives in her family's mansion, since Karen's parents are always absent.
** In ''Anime/DokiDokiPrettyCure'', Alice's butler Sebastian is one of her most important people, he's a SecretKeeper regarding the Pretty Cures, and he's highly respected by the family and the other servants.
* Tsuyuko from ''Manga/GourmetGirlGraffiti'' isn't really that old, but she acts like one. She is loyal to the Shiina household and ''really'' emotionally attached towards the teenage daughter.
* Tanaka in ''Manga/BlackButler''.
* The ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' manga has [[NoNameGiven an unnamed]] middle-aged woman who works as the head maid of the Sohma household, and was Akito's caretaker after [[spoiler: her father Akira died of illness and her mother Ren began openly abusing her.]] She's pretty much the only woman that Akito gets along with.

* In some variants of Literature/{{Child Ballad|s}} 5, ''[[http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch005.htm Gil Breton,]]'' Billie Blin, the family [[TheFairFolk household sprite]], advises Gil Breton that his bride is pregnant. [[spoiler: Though not that he himself is the father.]]
* In Literature/{{Child Ballad|s}} 6 ''Literature/WilliesLady'', the family household sprite Belly Blind advises Willie how to defeat his mother -- a "[[WickedWitch rank witch]]" -- in her attempt to [[DeathByChildbirth kill his wife in childbed]].
* In some variants of Literature/{{Child Ballad|s}} 53 ''Literature/YoungBeichan'', the family household sprite Belly Blin warns Isobel that her lover is about to marry another woman. (Yes, there ''is'' a certain pattern to those names.)

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Pneumann (from Creator/AlanMoore's ''ComicBook/TomStrong'' comic) was built by Tom's father, and helped raise Tom from infancy. Now he helps the Strong family fight crime and perform acts of derring-do.
** Particularly impressive in the Robots of Doom where [[spoiler: Pneuman essentially shrugs off a 70-year old robotic lobotimization because his "first loyalty will always be to you."]]
* Alfred Pennyworth of the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' mythos was the friend of Thomas and Martha Wayne before they got murdered in their DeathByOriginStory.
** He continues to refer to Bruce and Dick as "Master Bruce" and "Master Dick" mostly as a term of affection; he still sees them as his boys, rather than grown men.
* Comicbook/{{Superman}}'s Kryptonian robot servant Kelex, inherited from Jor-El by way of the Phantom Zone, tends the Fortress of Solitude and worries in a detached way about the master. Until Steel's niece reprograms him with a hip-hop attitude...
* Skink from ''ComicBook/{{Scion}}'', though he's not old, fits this trope as he has served the Heron royal family for many years, especially Ethan, whom he has always been closest to. Skink also has elements of TheIgor (looks-wise, anyway) and BattleButler.
* [[IronMan Tony Stark's]] butler Jarvis, especially when he is put in charge of maintaining [[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers Mansion]]. He opts to remain in Tony's service, even after being severely injured in a vicious attack by the Masters of Evil.
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange has Wong, his manservant, associate, and most trusted friend. They have been a pair since Strange first set up shop in New York, and Strange acknowledges Wong as ''his'' master in matters of physical combat.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In Creator/TheBrothersGrimm's ''[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/6faithfuljohn.html Faithful John,]]'' the dying king orders Faithful John to prevent his son from going into a certain room. When this fails and the new king falls in love with a portrait he sees there, Faithful John accompanies him, and when he learns of perils, protects the king and his bride at the price of looking like a madman. Finally, to avoid execution, he explains, and is turned to stone.
* In Creator/JosephJacobs's "Literature/{{Tattercoats}}", Tattercoats is ignored by her grandfather and abused by all the servants, except for one faithful nurse, who looks after her all the time she is growing up.
* In ''Literature/TheBlackThiefAndTheKnightOfTheGlen'', it is an old servant woman who tells the knight that [[spoiler:the thief's last tale is true, and furthermore that the knight is the baby he saved during it]].

* [[Fanfic/UndocumentedFeatures For every Dessler, there is a Dragonaar]].

* Hobson in ''Film/{{Arthur}}''. In fact, when [[spoiler:Hobson dies, Arthur says his father died]].
* The Disney movie ''Film/{{Candleshoe}}'' features a butler that has served an old woman for years. When she starts to fall on hard times, he fires her gardener--then dresses up as him and takes care of the garden as well, in his stead. When most of her old friends die or move away, he creates another fictional character to dress up as and be her friend. Later on in the movie, it's revealed she's known all along it was him, but allowed him to continue pretending for her so they would both be happy.
* ''Film/{{Fearless 2006}}'': The personal servant Huo Yuanjia had as a child is still there to tend for the abandoned family estate when Huo comes back after years of self-imposed exile.
* Clifton, faithful valet to down-on-his-luck movie star George Valentin in ''Film/TheArtist''. [[spoiler: He remains steadfast to Valentin even after being hired by Peppy Miller.]]
* ''Film/JamesBond''
** Kincade from ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', who looks after Bond's estate even if no member of his family lives there anymoe.
** Desmond Llewelyn's Q was a meta-example, as the sole element that made the transition from the UsefulNotes/ColdWar-era Film/JamesBond films to the Creator/PierceBrosnan films of the 90s.
** Lois Maxwell's Moneypenny is another meta-example. She played Moneypenny all the way from ''Film/DrNo'' to ''Film/AViewToAKill'', the last film in Creator/RogerMoore's run.
%% * Singh in ''Film/TheWolfman2010''.
* Aunt Katherine's butler Henry in ''Film/AfterTheThinMan''. After almost falling over due to the weight of Nick Charles's coat, he and Nick do a variation on the old WalkThisWay gag:
-->'''Henry:''' Walk this way. ''(shuffles off)''\\
'''Nick:''' Well, I'll try.. ''(does so)''

* OlderThanFeudalism: Odysseus's old nurse in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
** This is probably the Trope originator for the ''Old Nurse'' subtrope of this trope.
** Phoenix to Achilles in ''Literature/TheIliad'' is the male version.
* Nan Ho in David Wingrove's ''Literature/ChungKuo'' series. He was the Master of the Inner Chambers to the T'ang of City Europe, and continues to be so to his son Li Yuan. He is even tasked with choosing three wives for Li Yuan, who accepts his choices without question.
* Susan in Creator/LMMontgomery's ''Anne's House of Dreams'', ''[[Literature/AnneOfGreenGables Anne of Ingleside]]'', ''Rainbow Valley'', ''Rilla of Ingleside''
* Judy in Creator/LMMontgomery's ''Pat of Silver Bush'', who is basically Susan with an Irish accent.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''First & Only'', in the flashbacks, Gaunt is [[ParentalSubstitute close]] to his father's cook, Oric, who would watch the arriving spaceships with him, humoring his statements that his father was coming on one, and point out the constellations. (A mustered-out Jantine veteran, ironically enough in view of his later conflicts with the Jantine Patricians.)
* Literature/HarryPotter: House elves. Most of whom regard freedom as disgrace and strongly prefer to serve BlueBlood families. Kreacher strongly exemplifies the "upholding of standards" against the disloyal son whom he goes out of his way to antagonize and [[spoiler: manages to betray to his death in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix Order of the Phoenix]]'' and later his halfblood heir, Harry; it is when Harry, Ron, and Hermione set out to do what he needed to do for Master Regulus in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'' that his loyalty is won over. (Also note the "Master Regulus" to refer to a son of the house who was an adult at the time]].
* Mervyn Bunter is this to Literature/LordPeterWimsey. The two made a pact during WWI, and Bunter has been Wimsey's valet since that war ended in 1918. Wimsey tries to encourage a more egalitarian relationship with Bunter, especially during and after WWII; this leads to a DontCallMeSir moment in ''The Attenbury Emeralds'' [[spoiler: after Wimsey inherits the Dukedom of Denver]] which is only resolved by Bunter returning to using the title he's used for years instead of Wimsey's new one. Bunter also discourages his son Peter (PB) from believing himself equal to his schoolmate Bredon Wimsey, despite Wimsey's and Harriet's efforts to the contrary.
* Despite already being a man of advancing age - and a battle-scarred veteran with hundreds of battles behind him - by the start of David Eddings' ''Literature/TheElenium'', Sparhawk still keeps his old Squire/Manservant, Kurik, around. When one of his companions suggests it might be time to retire the old fellow so he can spend some more time with his family, Sparhawk admits that he can't even imagine it - they've been together so long, he feels as much a part of him as his sword and armor. He also states that he would've had Kurik knighted ages ago ([[BattleButler He regularly tosses the rest of the knights around on the practice-field]]), but Kurik is oldfashioned and maintains that a commoner can't become a knight. Sadly, [[spoiler: Kurik dies in the last book, and for the sequel series his son Khalad -- who is quite a bit like Kurik but obviously isn't an ''old'' retainer -- has to step up.]]
** Kurik also has quite a few prejudices against knights, most prominently that they always place HonorBeforeReason, have no common sense, and in general couldn't find their own arses with both hands and a map if he wasn't there to tell them where to start looking.
*** Also, at the peak of her time as Duchess of Erat, [[Literature/TheBelgariad Polgara]] had a family of servants for several generations.
* For possibly the '''Oldest''' OldRetainer ever we have Jenkins, the robotic butler in Creator/CliffordSimak's novel, ''City''.
* NDR-113, better known as Andrew, serves several generations of the Martin family before gaining emancipation in Creator/IsaacAsimov's story, "The Bicentennial Man" (expanded to novel-length as ''The Positronic Man'' by Asimov and Creator/RobertSilverberg, and adapted to film as ''Film/BicentennialMan'', starring Creator/RobinWilliams).
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** Willikins, the Ramkin/Vimes family butler. Although in later appearances he seems to have been retconned to about the same age as Vimes, making him more believable as a BattleButler.
** [[TheIgor Igor]] in Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum''. He doesn't mind working for vampires, but is so offended by innovations that he revives [[GoodOldWays the old master to deal with the next generations]].
*** Actually, Igor was willing to tolerate it up to a point, but when Count Magpyr started his VillainousBreakdown Igor decided it was time to bring back the old count.
** Albert probably counts. He's two thousand years old (or at least, has been ''around'' for two thousand years, but has been sixty for most of them), but that's nothing compared to the age of [[TheGrimReaper his employer]]. And much as he may sometimes appear resentful or suspicious of his position, he is ultimately loyal.
* Butler of ''Literature/ArtemisFowl''. The Butlers have worked for the Fowls for generations, and Butler also has a strong personal loyalty to Artemis.
** Although Butler DOES refer to Artemis by his first name, for the most part. He uses the more formal "sir" or "master" one or two times per book.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Madam Corte, the Countess Persephone's [[MatronChaperone cantankerous chaperone]], is this. Naturally, Duke Nobel has a few of them himself. His steward is so old that ''he is blind''.
* Lini in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' has been a nursemaid for the royal family of Andor for at least two generations and [[spoiler: soon to be a third]]. Even though her charges are all grown up, she still plays a parent/advisor role to them. They, for the most part, respect her opinions and it's not uncommon for one of them to think or say out loud "Lini always said..." .
* In ''Literature/TheSecretGarden'', Ben Weatherstaff, the gardener. His mistress Lillias had asked him to take care of her roses; after her DeathByChildbirth, his master had locked up the garden, but he climbed the wall to do it.
* Probably the one of the more famous example of this trope is Hoke from the play ''Theatre/DrivingMissDaisy'', who becomes one to the titled Miss Daisy. Also, Aedelia from the same play.
* Paul Atreides in ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' has not one, but three Old Retainers--Gurney Halleck, Duncan Idaho, and Thufir Hawat. Then again, this is for good reason, since his ascent to the head of House Atreides happens rather early.
** Miles Teg and Patrin.
* In Mary Stewart's ''Literature/TheMerlinTrilogy'' series, a character called Ulfin is rescued from effective slavery as a boy by King Uther. He repays this with absolute loyalty and rises to be Uther's most trusted servant, going on to a similar position with King Arthur after Uther dies. He's also the ''only person'' who actually seems to mourn Uther's death.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/HorusHeresy novel ''The Flight of the Eisenstein'', Garro has a housecarl, Kaleb, as his equerry, claiming him according to [[GoodOldWays an old tradition]] allowed after he failed to qualify as a SpaceMarine himself.. Some fellow Death Guard Space Marines [[NiceToTheWaiter sneer]] at that [[GoodIsOldFashioned as a tradition that makes no sense]], smacking of sentiment. [[spoiler:When the sneering marines are going to firebomb the betrayed loyalist marines on the planet, Garro's efforts to stop them do not end in his own death only because of Kaleb's HeroicSacrifice and death.]]
* In Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip's ''Literature/TheBellAtSealeyHead'', Lady Eglatyne's cook is distraught as the lady is dying. She can find another place, but she had served Lady Eglatyne since she was a little girl.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' ''Literature/BloodAngels'' novels, Fenn, having failed to qualify as a SpaceMarine, has worked for Caceus so long and so well that he has received longevity treatments.
* Good old Gabriel Betteredge from Wilkie Collins' ''Literature/TheMoonstone''.
* Sergeant Hoong is a faithful OldRetainer of Literature/JudgeDee 's family. Though he watched the Judge grow up he gave up trying to understand how his mind worked long, long ago.
* Kostas Matsugae, from the ''Literature/PrinceRoger'' series, has been assigned to generally look after Prince Roger for most of Roger's life, and it's implied -- and then later outright stated -- that Kostas is a father-figure to Roger (who never knew his father, growing up, [[spoiler: and is not terribly impressed when he finally does meet the man]]). Kostas actually does mention how proud he is of Roger, once the prince starts pulling his head out of his arse and taking on the responsibilities he needs to. So when [[spoiler: Kostas is killed by a damncroc]], Roger's HeroicBSOD is only natural - as is the depression he sinks into, for some time afterwards.
* Variation in ''Literature/OneHundredYearsOfSolitude''. [[YamatoNadeshiko Santa Sofi­a de La Piedad]] is actually the mother of three of the Buendias (Remedios The Beauty and thwe twins Aureliano Segundo and Jose Arcadio Segundo), but she's always treated and seen as a maid. Even more, Santa Sofia not only doesn't mind it, but she ''likes'' such a treatment since it lets her help the family from the shadows, which is her speciality.
* John and Elisa Barrymore from [[SherlockHolmes Hound of the Baskervilles]]. John's family, on his account, have served the Baskervilles for generations. OTOH, they've got a secret of their own: [[spoiler: Elisa's younger brother is a SerialKiller that's on the loose, so they're morally obligated to cover up for him (he doesn't really want to, but she's very adamant into doing it, [[TearJerker and cries bitterly when Selden bites it]].)]]
* Creator/SandyMitchell's Literature/CiaphasCain has Jurgen. Not only is he unfailingly loyal, he has very strict notion on what is improper for a commissar to do because it is his aide's job, and even Cain can not sway him from them.
** When Jurgen is apparently killed in the first novel, Cain goes into shock.
* Arguably, Mac from the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series. He is one of the few people in the galaxy who can make her give in to something, although unlike many other examples he didn't come into her service until she was an adult.
** This attitude seems to be standard for stewards in the RMN.
* Creator/AnneMcCaffrey likes for her {{Spoiled Brat}}s to have Old Retainers.
** Kylara of [[Literature/DragonridersOfPern Pern]] is doted on by old Rannelly.
** Earless Tapha in ''[[Literature/AcornaSeries Acorna]]'' is looked after by Aminah.
* [[SassyBlackWoman Mammy]], the house slave from Literature/GoneWithTheWind, loyally stays with the main character even after [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar emancipation]].
* In ''Literature/DeadWest'', Thomas and his family for the [=MacArkill=]s. They were once, in fact, slaves with a pretty good relationship with their masters, as they were explicitly bought after Thomas' father made an Oath to Niall's grandfather that his family will continue to serve the [=MacArkill=]s, no matter what. Since that, Thomas and his family has been freed, but they still consider themselves slaves. It sounds quite impossible, as they get paid, educated, and evidently considered more like family members by their masters. Niall gets quite worked up when somebody tries to assault Thomas, and (with Gervas) delivers a swift CurbStompBattle to the hapless idiots. Cedric orders the photographer at Niall's wedding to take a photograph of "the family" first. It is quite heartwarming, when he gets his baby brother and sister-in-law, Gervas, and the servants together for this photograph. Thomas explicitly states that he loves his young master as much as his own sons.
* Subverted in Kazuo Ishiguro's ''Literature/TheRemainsOfTheDay'' (and the film adaptation by James Ivory): Mr. Stevens very much sees himself as the OldRetainer of Darlington House, but his dedication comes at the price of painful self-denial, and his blind obedience results in accommodating his master's prejudices. The story is ultimately AnAesop on the dangers of loyalty taken too far.
* Mr. Amos (among others) in ''Literature/ConradsFate''. Subverted at the end, when it turns out that [[spoiler:he is actually the [[ImpoverishedPatrician Count himself]] gone undercover to maintain the family fortunes]].
* Grigory Vasilievich in ''Literature/TheBrothersKaramazov'' initially was a serf on the Karamazov estate who acted as his house servant, but even after the serfs were emancipated and his wife suggested the possibility of using their savings to start a shop in the city, he proudly declared that it was his duty to serve the Karamazov estate, even if his wife could not comprehend the duty. If he had a master other than Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov this might be understandable.
* In James Stoddard's ''The High House'', Carter's best friends growing up are three old retainers, Brittle, Enoch, and Chant.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/AWitchShallBeBorn" Salome tells Tamarais that Krallides, her faithful councillor, had been caught, and killed. ColdBloodedTorture had ceased to affect her, but this brings her to tears again.
* Aerin's nurse Teka in ''Literature/TheHeroAndTheCrown''.
* Hannah in Louisa May Alcott's ''Literature/LittleWomen''.
* Hogg to Daniel Leary of Bantry, in Creator/DavidDrake's ''Literature/{{RCN}}'' novels, as a gamekeeper/groundsman (in theory, anyway - Hogg is far from above illicit activities) when Daniel was a boy, and as a very informal valet/batman to him as an adult. Given Corder Leary's frequent absence due to his political career, Hogg also serves as a [[ParentalSubstitute surrogate father]] for Daniel.
* Coram Smythesson, Alanna's manservant and man-at-arms in the ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' quartet. Smythessons have been serving Trebonds for as long as anyone can remember, and he faithfully sticks by Alanna's side through her page years, Bazhir deserts, and the Roof of the World. He's the one who changed her diapers, taught her how to hunt and fight, and takes a fatherly interest over her love interests. When her father dies, he acts as steward of the Trebond lands.
* In the last book of the ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' quartet, ''Lioness Rampant'', Buri reveals that her family has served [[RebelliousPrincess Thayet's]] mother's family for generations.
* In Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/{{Persuasion}}'', after Louisa's injuries in Lyme, the old family nursemaid goes to nurse Louisa.
* Collins is this for both Falkland and Caleb in ''Literature/CalebWilliams''. He is Falkland’s faithful steward (the only one who can bring Falkland back from his nighttime hikes), but also a father figure to Caleb, who calls him, “[m]y best, my oldest friend!”
* In Creator/PGWodehouse's ''Jill the Reckless'', Wally Mason comments on his lack of one.
* In Creator/LisaShearin's ''All Spell Breaks Loose'', Tam meets up with a family Old Retainer, with whom he finds easier to meet than his own family. Later, [[spoiler:he is included among the sacrifices to hurt Tam as much as the sacrifice of Tam's own family.]]
* In Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''Literature/MairelonTheMagician'', Hunch. Censorious about much of what Mairelon does, including taking on Kim, and prone to addressing him as "Master Richard".
* In Creator/SusanDexter's ''The Wind-Witch'', Enna freely tells Druyan what she should be doing, and often does things as she deems proper in spite of her, such as feeding Kellis meager rations.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Sargasso of Lost Starships'', Donovan's slave Wocha has been his since he was a child and Wocha a cub; he wouldn't know what to do if liberated. [[spoiler:At the end, he resolves the BettyAndVeronica situation by killing the alien Veronica as she tries to lure Donovan away.]]
* Loristan's manservant, Lazarus, in ''Literature/TheLostPrince'', who has served the family as long as Loristan's son Marco can remember and treats them with rigidly proper respect even though the family's circumstances are now more likely to involve poky rented rooms than mansions.
* Tanglebones, [[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric's]] manservant in "The Dreaming City", and his modern-day analogue John [[SignificantAnagram Gnatbeelson]] in ''Literature/TheCorneliusChronicles''.
* In ''Literature/{{Noob}}'', BoldExplorer Törk in well into his years and is mentioned to have served both Emperor Keynn Lucans and his father.
* In Walter Jon Williams' ''Literature/DrakeMaijstral'' series, Roman, a Kholasi, is from a family which has been in service to Drake's family for generations. He does not particularly approve of his master's chosen line of work, feeling it is beneath Drake's dignity, but he nevertheless offers his help and support out of strong sense of duty.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Baldrick to [[Series/BlackAdder Lord Blackadder]]. [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist Naturally]], this earns him no favours whatsoever:
-->'''Blackadder''': You're fired.
-->'''Baldrick''': But I've been in your family since 1532!
-->'''Blackadder''': So has syphilis, now get out.
** Nursie from ''Blackadder II'', who was Queen Elizabeth's nurse as a child. Now quite addlepated (and was probably addlepated back then too), she's still got a chair next to the Queen in Her royal chambers. If one imagines she was responsible for Elizabeth's education as well, [[CloudCuckoolander a lot]] of [[PsychopathicManchild the pieces]] start [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen to fall together]].
* Uncle Pete from ''{{Series/Damages}}''. Tom introduces him as "the one who really runs things around here" which is the kind of patronage you'd expect from a law firm partner towards someone from the domestic staff. But as it turns out, it may actually be true. Not only is he in on every plot and scheme that goes down, but he talks to Patty in a way that suggests that he actually has some dominance over her.
* Mrs. Hall the loyal housekeeper from ''Series/AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall''
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Ser Rodrik Cassel is is Master-at-Arms at Winterfell and a loyal servant of House Stark. He is of a very old age.
** Maester Luwin is the Maester of Winterfell and a loyal servant of House Stark. He is a surrogate parent to Bran Stark and Rickon Stark in the absence of their family.
* ''Series/UpstairsDownstairs'' is practically made of this trope. But especially notable are Mr Hudson and Mrs Bridges.
* Jiiya, from ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto'', fits this role.
* As the twenty-first-century SpiritualSuccessor to ''Upstairs Downstairs,'' ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' also gets a lot of mileage from this trope. Mr. Carson, the butler, and Mrs. Hughes, the housekeeper, have both given their whole lives to working for the aristocratic Crawley family. Mrs. Hughes gave up her chance to marry, and Mr. Carson says outright of the Crawleys, "They're the only family I've got."
* ''Series/ThePalace'' had Jeremy, a footman with a particular devotion toward Queen Charlotte.
* Niles from ''Series/TheNanny''. His father was the butler for the previous generation of the Sheffield family. Niles grew up alongside Max, and even followed him to America.
* Gaius the court physician from ''Series/{{Merlin}}''.
* On ''Series/TheWestWing'', President Bartlet inherited his secretary Mrs. Landingham from his father.
* A subplot of ''Series/ThreeKingdoms'' has the eighteen-year-old Sun Quan inheriting the ''de facto'' state of Wu from his brother Sun Ce, including the officers such as [[TheDragon right-hand-man Zhou Yu]] and veterans who'd served under their late father Sun Jian. Unfortunately Sun Quan has no power base (and no claim to legitimacy except Sun Ce's deathbed words) is not only younger than his officers, but he's younger than some of their ''sons'' too. When one of the veterans "misspeaks" in suggesting in Sun Quan's presence that Zhou Yu return to take over, Sun Quan puts two and two together and, upon Zhou Yu's return, offers him the throne and to become one of Zhou Yu's officers. This is resolved when Zhou Yu refuses and then learns from Sun Quan's mother that her son actually expected to be usurped[[note]]since he took the veteran's 'unwitting' preference for Zhou Yu as actually indicative of the officers' opinions[[/note]], and believed that simply abdicating now would prevent a SuccessionCrisis [[HeroicSacrifice and thus protect Wu]], after which Zhou Yu makes a point of leading the officers in officially swearing loyalty to Sun Quan.
* Jii in ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' is [[TheHero Takeru Shiba]]'s loyal retainer. Like Alfred, he acts half as a servant and half as a parental substitute, to Takeru for his whole life and to the other Shinkengers once they gather in the Shiba house.

* In ''[[Pinball/WHODunnit WHO dunnit]]'', Butler is this to Victoria; he used to work for her mother, and she hires him as her manservant. [[spoiler:He's really her father, Walter, and stays loyal to her due to his HappinessInSlavery.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* TabletopRoleplayingGames set in the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness have a merit called "Retainer", which may well be this depending on when the player purchases it. Depending on how many dots they put into the merit, said retainer can range in competence from TheJeeves to BumblingSidekick.
** The TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness has "Retainers" as a background, though in that case more dots just gives you more of them.
* In the past of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', Malcador The Sigillite was this to TheEmperor, although by the time we meet him in the Literature/HorusHeresy novels he is [[TheGoodChancellor chief administrator of the growing Imperium]] and thus has little time to act as a personal assistant. He is still the Emperor's only confidant and speaks to him as more of an equal than his gene-sons.

* Anfisa, in Creator/AntonChekhov's ''Theatre/ThreeSisters'' is too old and feeble to be much good as a servant anymore, but is kept on out of loyalty, until the brother's new wife starts running the house.
* Same goes to Firs in ''Theatre/TheCherryOrchard''. [[spoiler: He's left behind after Madame Ranevskaya and Co. have to go, and actually ''dies'' onstage as the orchard trees are cut down.]]
* Adam in Creator/{{Shakespeare}}'s ''Theatre/AsYouLikeIt''. Tradition holds that Shakespeare himself played this role.
* ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}'' has Old Adam Goodheart, who remains Robin/Ruthven's servant after his FaceHeelTurn.
* Zazu in ''Theatre/TheLionKing'', even more so than in the original Disney movie. At one point he consoled Mufasa regarding Simba's rebellious streak; "I seem to recall a young lion cub, more willful than wise. And ''he'' achieved some prominence."
* A standard trope in Greek tragedy; appears in e.g. Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s ''Theatre/TheLibationBearers'' and Creator/{{Euripides}}'s ''Theatre/{{Medea}}''. A direct line exists from these to characters such as [[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet Juliet's Nurse]].
* Lucky in ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot.''

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Cyan of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' served a royal family for at least two generations before joining the party.
* Kei Nanjou's butler Yamaoka in ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}''. Kei is, indeed, more attached to him than to his parents [[spoiler:and takes it very badly when he dies]]. In fact, his ultimate Persona is [[spoiler:best described as [[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/megamitensei/images/6/6c/Yamaoka.jpg Cyber-Yamaoka wielding a naginata]], protecting him even in death]].
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' has a few of these, such as Oswin for Ostia in the seventh installment and Marcus in the sixth and seventh installments.
** Mind you, Oswin is [[YoungerThanTheyLook only in his 30s]] and ''really'' dislikes being called old, so he comments he'd rather be called a gentleman than an old man in a support with Hector. Compared to bona fide geezer Marcus, who in that game is at least in his 40's...
** In fact, most {{Crutch Character}}s in the ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' series tend to be such.
*** Unless they're of the "Oifey" archetype like Seth from ''Sacred Stones'', Titania from ''Path of Radiance / Radiant Dawn'' and Oifey himself from ''Holy War''. They're all in their 30's too.
* Mr. Nakamura, butler of the Daidouji family for at least two generations in ''VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsTheSoullessArmy''.
* In ''VisualNovel/AnimamundiDarkAlchemist'', Sebastain is set up to look like a reliable Old Retainer - having helped [[VillainProtagonist Georik]] raise [[MoralityPet Lillith]], and the two referring to him as [[HonoraryUncle Uncle]]... and then immediately [[SubvertedTrope subverts the trope]] by having him immediately sell out Lillith to [[BurnTheWitch Witch Hunters]] and revealed that he's a spiteful little coward.
* Impa appears to be this to Zelda across ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'', at least when she is in fact portrayed as an old woman such as in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'', ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDIGames'', and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds''. It's rather more complicated in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild''; she's stated to not be that much older than Zelda when they were first acquainted (Zelda was 17 at the time, while the diary of Impa's older sister Purah indirectly implies that Impa was in her mid to late 20s), but the events of the Great Calamity lead to Impa taking TheSlowPath over a century while Zelda fights Ganon, leading Impa to fill this role in the main story itself.
* Winston is this to Lara Croft in the ''Franchise/TombRaider'' series.
* In the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series, Joker and Dr Chakwas can be said to serve this role, being the only Alliance crew members to (potentially) serve with Shepard in all three games, on both the original ''Normandy'' and it's successor vessel.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has Morose, the caretaker of Karazhan tower. First appearing in the novels, he was valet and housekeeper to the magus Medivh, and already quite old. In-game, not even death has prevented him from carrying out his duties, as he returns for a boss fight as a reanimated corpse determined to keep the players from "making a mess" of his master's tower.

* In ''Webcomic/TheSpecialists'', [[http://thespecialistscomic.com/page-85/ Henry gets the butler rather than his father on the phone,]] though the butler assures him they are both SoProudOfYou.
* ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'': Alumik Edrok for Repellista Zahard.
* ''Webcomic/TheMansionOfE'': Schmedley Brittle to Sylvester and his family.

* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'', where Archer regularly treats his servant Woodhouse like crap. It's obvious he still cares about him in [[HeroicComedicSociopath his distorted way]], though.

* On Vivian Stanshall's comedy LP, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Henry_At_Rawlinson_End Sir Henry At Rawlinson End,]] the butler to the Rawlinson family is "Old Scrotum, the wrinkled retainer".