"Three years ago you assaulted a superior officer for ordering his soldiers to fire upon civilians. He and his body cast were shipped to Pearl Harbor, while you were transferred to Mars, home of the Union Aerospace Corporation."When a character is transferred to a remote and/or unpleasant outpost as punishment for annoying the higher-ups for some reason (bad job performance, personality conflicts, or perhaps good job performance that a superior finds threatening). Moral crusaders and other characters that are likely to put Honor Before Reason may be frequently threatened with this sort of reassignment, or will have it really done to them. At best, whoever orders it simply hopes to have a "troublemaker" out of his or her hair. At worst, they're disposing of someone who "knows too much" by handing them a dangerous posting in the hopes it will lead directly to their death. The others there are often a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits at best, since their Back Story will always include a reason to have been sent there too. This is often the explanation of why a response to a new danger which first appeared at such a remote outpost is so feeble, allowing the threat to swell to the proportions it will later assume: the characters there are a mostly useless and rotten lot. Of course, sending The Hero there almost always guarantees a Reassignment Backfire. For what it's worth, the real-life US military facility in Antarctica (McMurdo Sound) is staffed by volunteers... you can't get Reassigned To Antarctica. (You can, however, get reassigned to places that make you wish you were in Antarctica.) The Japanese actually have a succinct word for this act: matsurikomu (祭り込む), which is translated to "place an obnoxious person in an out-of-the-way post to be rid of him."note
— The Doom instruction manual
- Kicked Upstairs: The new job appears not to be a punishment to those on the outside, but the hero knows exactly what's been done to them.
- Punishment Detail: An assigned task is the punishment rather than the location.
- Snipe Hunt: A rather less permanent case of Punishment Detail.
- Locked Away in a Monastery: Not only banished to an out-of-the-way place, but also required to take a vow or oath that limits their behavior.
- Place Worse Than Death: A place that has a reputation for being absolutely horrible to live or work in.
- Put on a Bus: A character is sent elsewhere to remove them from the ongoing narrative, but in a way that they have a (slim) chance to come back.
- The Exile: Someone who is forced to leave their home and never return for offenses either real or imagined.
- Remittance Man: When your own family sends you away with the promise of financial support provided you stay away.
- Persona Non Grata: Rather than being sent to a specific place, the punishment involves being kicked out and forbidden to return.
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- The first major ad campaign for the Mercury Villager minivan in the early 90s was centered around a fictional car company whose CEO watched the success of the Villager unfolding with an envious eye. In one commercial, two of the company executives are discussing the situation, and executive #1 mentions how the CEO now wants his company to design a minivan with the same special features as the Villager. Executive #2 jokes that in that case, the CEO should just buy a Villager. Unfortunately, the CEO happens to walk up behind him just as he says it. In the closing scene, the now former executive #2 is answering telephones in the mail room.
Anime & Manga
- From Eroica with Love:
- Major Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach in likes to threaten his men with a transfer to Alaska should they fail in their job. He follows through on this threat at least once.
- Misha gets sent to Siberia around the same time.
- Chor Tempest in Simoun gets assigned to Messis, a mediocre border patrol Airborne Aircraft Carrier, after failing to properly protect their previous base of operations, Arcus Prima.
- The title teacher in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is relocated far north in one episode. For some reason his students are already waiting at the new school.
- The Object Maintenance unit from Heavy Object is sent to Antarctica to locate terrorists in possession of a SAM missile base.
- In the Pokémon anime, Giovanni repeatedly threatens to reassign the Team Rocket trio to Antarctica. At the beginning of Battle Frontier he does. The only reason they're still following Ash is because Giovanni has long since stopped caring about them. Until the final episode of Sinnoh League Victors, when he decides that he has a use for them and reassigns them to Unova. They proceed to actually act competent for much of the beginning of Black & White before reverting to their old selves.
- Trigger-happy Small Girl, Big Gun Kome Sawaguchi from Blue Seed points to this trope when the team commander asks here to exercise a little self-control. "If I could control myself, I never would have been assigned to this unit!"
- In Codename: Sailor V Inspector Wakagi ends up being (temporarily) transferred to Siberia (somehow it's within the jurisdiction of the Tokyo Police) by his Superintendent-General for being beaten by Sailor V at solving a case too many times.
- 20th Century Boys features a chapter about Chouno aptly titled "Officer at the End of the Earth."
- The crew of the Irresponsible Captain Tylor's ship gets shipped off to the "galactic boonies" in the second quarter of the series. The series averts Reassignment Backfire though, as almost nothing relevant to the war with the Raalgon occurs until they're on their way back.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- In the manga, it occurs twice: Mustang's team is scattered to different parts of Amestris, and Olivier Armstrong is transferred to Central after it becomes clear they know a bit too much about the military's inner workings. Both result in major Reassignment Backfire.
- In the 2003 anime version, Roy gets sent to the North between the end of the series and the movie after killing Pride..
- The manga Gundam Legacy (which focuses on Greatest Stories Never Told about Gaiden Game characters) has an almost literal example. In the final story arc, Ford Romfellownote and Agarnote defy their Titans superiors to help stop a plot by Zeon die-hards that would have resulted in the destruction of the Zeon home colony, Zuum. In punishment, they're demoted to Ensigns and shipped off to the ass-end of the world; Ford has an "another fine mess you've gotten me into" attitde, but Agar is surprisingly upbeat — either because he knows they did the right thing, or because their company includes the cute Bridge Bunnies Noel Andersonnote and Miyu Takizawa.note
- This trope is also why Bright Noa (and later on, along with his Londo Bell group, despite his reputation and service to the Earth Federation, is called "the Eternal Captain." The top brass of the EFSF aren't particularly keen on giving greater publicity or promotions to someone associated with (in)famous Newtype Gundam pilots.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Carta Issue gets a high-ranked position due to her family name and commands the Outer Earth Orbit Regulatory Joint Fleet. The position is actually an antiquated relic and she was given it to keep her out of the way. (It does not stop her from acting as though she is the lynchpin in Earth's defenses and throwing what authority she does have around in the hammiest way possible.)
- In Tegami Bachi, Lag is reassigned to the Cold Letter division, being forced to deliver letters that have sat a long time without being delivered, because the new director doesn't like his trying to become Head Bee, the position that he also wants.
- The main characters in Sound of the Sky appear to have been assigned to an area with very little going on around them, although no real reason is given as to why they were assigned there.
- Happens to Anabuki Tomoko in Strike Witches. For some reason, The Ace and the star of the propaganda movie is transferred to the middle of nowhere in Suomus and then having to raise a squadron out of some misfits. Naturally, she's pissed off.
- In order to protect Naruto from Tobi, the Allied Ninja Army has him sent to an obscure island with the 'mission' of documenting the island's giant animals, as well as taming the 9-tailed fox. It flops when Naruto senses the war going on outside and shows why they had to resort to trickery.
- One Piece:
- Smoker does this to himself willingly. Why? Because the base he is being assigned to is at the entrance of the New World, and he wants to be there when Luffy finally shows up.
- Later on, we learn that the base is a dumping ground for the Marine's least-professional and generally unpleasant soldiers.
- Patlabor: This befalls Captains Gotoh and Shinobu, prior to the start of the OVA continuity. Both were assigned duty at SVU's headquarters, which sits on reclaimed land that's practically out in the middle of nowhere.
- In Gotoh's case, he was too observant for his superiors liking, so they reassigned him where he couldn't ruffle any feathers; not knowing, it was exactly what he wanted. It leaves him free to operate as he sees fit, without any of their bureaucratic bullshit slowing him down.
- Shinobu shares the same fate, albeit for a different reason. The second film revealed she had an affair with her instructor, while she was a student at the Tsuge Institute, which created a scandal. It wasn't long before word of the affair reached the top brass, forcing her to settle for a position with Special Vehicles.
- Phantom Quest Corp.: U Division is understaffed with a grand total of only three employees. One of whom is an elderly man who seems to be passing time until retirement (or death), the other's a spinster with a Hair-Trigger Temper, and Detective Karino, whose desk is shown to be buried under a mountain of paperwork. So it's no wonder that he often outsources his extra assignments to Phantom Quest.
- In Kyo Kara Maoh!, Geiganhuber's punishment for his Fantastic Racism and actions that led to the death of Lady Julia was to be sent in search of a magical artifact which had long been lost in human lands, effectively a more dignified way of exiling him.
- The Devil Is a Part-Timer! has the threat of being sent to Greenland as punishment for not living up to sales figures.
- In the anime of The Heroic Legend of Arslan, after freeing himself from Lusitanian captivity and rumors of Arslan being adopted are spreading, Andragoras ordered Arslan to go to the coastal regions to gather 50,000 men for the war effort and not to return unless he has the men. Everyone effectively realized the king is basically exiling and banishing his son in all but name.
- In Izetta: The Last Witch, the Emperor of Germania relocated the Commanding Officers who were in charge of a battle that resulted in them on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle. Their destination were the prison camps, plus all of their lands and possessions being taken away as an alternative to execution. Justified as the officers and surviving soldiers had info about the Outside-Context Problem that took away their victory and executing them would be a waste.
- Beetle Bailey:
- Lt. Sonny Fuzz has been reassigned to places along the lines of Antarctica (perhaps literally there, too) a couple of times, though we've never seen him actually end up there.
- It is sometimes implied that General Halftrack was put in charge of Camp Swampy because he's too incompetent to manage anything more important.
- A Crown of Stars: Invoked in chapter 2 when Ching makes such a terrible quip that Daniel jokes that kind of puns will get her exiled to Antarctica.
Ching: (while serving drinks) Of course, Your Majesty. It’s an honor to serve.
Daniel:And puns like that will get you promoted and possibly exiled to Antarctica.
- The listening posts on the fringes of the Sol system in Red Fire, Red Planet play a theoretically extremely important role in protecting the heart of the Federation, but in practice they're viewed as a dead-end assignment because they see very little action. Although that's exactly why Operations Specialist, Second Class Kybok likes working there.
- This is basically what happens to the rainbowface in The Land Before Time fanfiction The Seven Hunters when they are stationed on Earth. This is a slight inversion of the trope, however, because the rainbowfaces actually want to be stationed on Earth.
- Played with at the start of The Wrong Reflection. After Eleya apparently set off a political shitstorm back home during Tuvok's conference, her ship gets posted to Deep Space 9 to get her away from Earth. The tricky part's that it worked in her favor since it meant she could attend her sister's wedding.
- Navy of the Isles in What About Witch Queen? treats being send to Westerguard as this, despite the island being important in Isles' economy. The are some reasons for it. The locals, Weste, aren't all that fond of the Islanders, the place is seen as the virtual end of the world by people on the other islands, and the weather is always stormy, cloudy or rainy. Not to mention that the Navy actually dumps people it doesn't like to see there, which might not be the wisest thing to do in a long run.
- In The Power of the Press "Evan Black"'s real identity (Harry Potter) is being kept so secret that Minister of Magic Amelia Bones has the Unspeakable who did the research on "Evan" sent to Station Zebra in Antarctica to investigate Yeti rumors until further notice.
- In Chapter 7 of the Doctor Who fanfic Devotee of Augustus, "The Galactic Council", Callidus Dominus and Funos decide to get rid of four members of the Malphan Ministers Council who support an alliance with the Daleks by having a re-shuffle of Planetery Governors and making them the Ministers of Rylosh, Qol, Grit, and Hushyt, four planets "that required a lot of management and had notoriously poor secrets security", hoping they'll be too attend the council, make schemes, and even if they do they'll be found out. Unfortunately it turns out their information hasn't been extensive enough and Malpha ends up joining the Galactic Council with the Daleks.
- A.A. Pessimal's Discworld fic Bungle in the Jungle deals with the political fallout at the end of the canonical novel Snuff. Lucinda Rust, sister of Gravid, cannot be inhumed by order of the Patrician. But the Guild of Assassins chooses to reassign a embarrassing liability as resident Guild representative to a distant tropical plague-pit.
- In the My Little Pony Fan Fic "We Rent The Night", Trixie Lulamoon is given the choice of joining The Night Guard or facing prison, after the Alicorn Amulet incident. Cut to six months later, at which point she is has been shipped off to a remote guard outpost with only half a dozen guards, on the isolated island community of Wash Margin. As it turns out, all of the guards stationed there were Reassigned to Antarctica for various reasons (knocking over The Princess's cake and blaming it on her bird, hitting on a princess, etc) .
- In Webwork, Agent Jones is placed in charge of the new Section 0... which currently consists of three agents (him included), and operates out of one of Section 13's repurposed closets. Viper asks what he did to deserve this; he notably refuses to give details, but apparently his last mission didn't go so well.
- In The Passing of the Shades of Black, a cadet for the Men in Black is shown to have been sabotaging her fellow cadets in order to improve her chances of making field agent. Rather than have her neuralyzed and sent back to the Air Force, the higher ups take Xander's suggestion of giving her an assignment she'll hate. She ends up as the liaison to the alien race in charge of the porn industry with the offer that if she lasts five years without incident, she'll be made second in command of the Intelligence Division (which is three or four steps away from her dream job of becoming a Branch Director).
- This Bites!: The PR disaster that was Enies Lobby causes Sengoku to reassign every Marine that follows "Absolute Justice" to the New World to wage war against the Four Emperors and keep them out of the public eye before they make things worse than they already have. Among these Marines include Admiral Akainu and Vice-Admiral Onigumo. For all his faults, Sengoku despises the doctrine of "Absolute Justice" and wanted to dishonorably discharge/imprison those in question (specifically Akainu), especially since that would be the easiest and fastest way to fix this mess, but the Corps needs their abilities too much in face of the rising crime rate.
- In the Mega Man Zero fanfic 'Mistress Ciel by Archaon, Ciel goes back in time via Mental Time Travel to make things better. One of the first things she does? Send Elpizo to a post in Antarctica. Better than killing him, though, right?
- In Ice And Fire, Suzaku ends up being transferred to the Middle East after he caused a scandal by dancing with Princess Euphemia at a ball. It's there that he ends up meeting Lelouch, and becoming one of his greatest assets and best friends.
- In Sword Art Online Abridged, this is the basis for Kirito and Asuna's "vacation" in Episode 10. Their guild leader Heathcliff is about to undertake a vital diplomatic mission to gain access to Floor 75, and so sends Kirito to Floor 22 because he's afraid the little Jerkass will do something to "piss someone off and kill thousands." Asuna gets to go along too as a guard and Heathcliff tries to spin the whole thing as a honeymoon of sorts.
- In the Lone Wolf book The Deathlord of Ixia, Captain Lanza commands a fort near the frozen wasteland of Ixia (populated by The Undead) because he killed the son of a noble in a drunken brawl. Most of the garrison, in fact, probably ended here for similar reasons.
His posting here had been his punishment for a drunken brawl in a Vadera tavern in which he had killed, albeit in self-defence, the brutish elder son of Haglar, the mayor of the city. At his court-martial he had been allowed to choose his fate — command of the notorious Azgad Island garrison, or death by hanging. Lanza readily admits that there have been times when he has felt that he made the wrong choice.
- In The Men from the Ministry, Sir Gregory frequently threatens to reassign One and Two to the Outer Hebrides.
- In The Navy Lark, this is pretty much how the crew of HMS Troutbridge was assembled. The Admiralty's apparent thought process was to keep all the screw-ups and schemers in one place — namely one broken-down frigate. Given the mental capacities of some of the admirals, though, this policy has the expected result.
- In the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st edition campaign The Enemy Within, the adventurers at one point save the life of an Imperial Elector Count... and learn a lot of embarrassing secrets about his court. So as a "reward" they get sent to Kislev, which is the fantasy equivalent of Russia...
- In the Planescape campaign, when the devils want to do this, the place they have is a Blood War battlefield called the Stinging Sands of Minethys. This place in Carceri used to have strategic value millennia ago, but since then, both sides of the war have long forgotten why they were fighting over it, and the fighting has degenerated into tedious, grueling trench warfare. The fighting here is pointless, because no progress has been made by either side in over a thousand years, and the devils only persist because pride prevents them from letting the demons have it. Devils send subordinates here as a punishment.
- Happens all the time in BattleTech. Two notable examples include Aidan Pryde, a Clan Jade Falcon commander who was transferred to the destroyed Falcon Guard (which due to a humiliating defeat was considered nothing but a dumping ground for failures) and Caradoc "Doc" Trevena, a Lyran officer who got sent to the Coventry militia by a commander who took his lack of promotions as a sign of incompetence (in fact, Trevena had been refusing promotions because he was very good at doing the job he had at his current rank: training squads to combat effectiveness).
- Marathon 2: Lh'owon, the abandoned homeworld of S'pht, has since become a Pfhor dumping ground for poor officers and brilliant but belligerent ones. This makes the initial invasion of it extremely easy for the player, until he causes so much damage that the Pfhor Empire sends their best fleet, Battle Group Seven, to deal with him.
- A Silph Co. Scientist mentions that he got transferred to the Tiksi Branch in Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, and the remakes, and implies that this is the reason why he was defecting to Team Rocket during their takeover.
- The backstory for Doom says that the main character was reassigned to Mars for assaulting his superior after the man ordered him to open fire on civilians. The manual makes it clear that Phobos is considered by space marines to be the dullest assignment imaginable, "With no action for fifty million miles, your day consisted of suckin' dust and watchin' restricted flicks in the rec room." Obviously, things didn't go so well.
- In Half-Life 2, Combine soldiers are threatened with "permanent offworld assignment" if they fail to stop Gordon Freeman. It is worth noting that at this point, they trap you in a cell block, and suicidally rush you only to get gunned down. It can be assumed that death was a preferable alternative.
- During the Villain Protagonist campaign of Star Wars Battlefront II, this happens to the narrator when the prisoners on the death star escape and wreak havoc. This seriously pissed off Vader, who consequently then dragged the 501st across the galaxy (to a variety of pretty dire planets) to hunt for the missing Death Star plans. This, however, eventually turns out to be their "salvation", when the death star is destroyed shortly after they leave.
- The Elder Scrolls
- Trebonius Artorius, the incompetent Archmage of the Mages Guild in Vvardenfell, is said to have gotten that title as a combination of this trope and Kicked Upstairs. He is indeed a powerful Battlemage, which helped him to rise in the ranks initially, but his mainland superiors got tired of his incompetence in managing Guild affairs, so they made him the Archmage in the most backwater district in the Empire to get him out of their hair. He now spends his time letting in badly disguised spies, giving his underlings (who view him as a Pointy-Haired Boss) Impossible Tasks, and just generally being petty and immature to those who offend him. If you want his title, you'll need to beat him in a duel to the death... maybe. There is a peaceful path to becoming Arch-Mage of Vvardenfell, but it is a bit ambiguous if it leaves you joint Guild Masters or just lets him keep the title of Arch-Mage as an honorary one. Need we remind you that he is indeed a powerful Battlemage, his flaws aside?
- In the Bloodmoon expansion, most or all of the soldiers stationed at Fort Frostmoth are there because of punishment. It's a freezing island filled with werewolves, naked barbarians, tree-women, and undead warriors. One of the first quests in the Bloodmoon main quest reveals the Imperial Cult priest Antonius Nuncius has this attitude to his assignment, and has cooked up a scheme to inflame tensions in the fort in a bid to get reassigned. If you inform on this, Fort Frostmoth's commander remarks that if the schemer had simply asked he'd have been happy to recommend a reassignment, but now he's going to recommend that Antonius Nuncius' assignment to Frostmoth is extended indefinitely...
- In Oblivion, several of the Mages' Guild Hall leaders are implied to have been assigned as such so that they aren't around the Arcane University. Of particular note is Jeanne Frasoric, the young leader of the Bruma Mages' Guild who is outright called incompetent by her colleagues, and is even noted by Traven himself to be very annoying. Made even funnier by the fact that Bruma is actually situated in the coldest region of Cyrodiil. Then it becomes kind of sobering when you realize that her incompetence attributed to her entire guild hall getting slaughtered.
- In Activision's BattleZone, if you fail a particular mission, you are to be reassigned to Mars' polar region.
- In Radiant Historia Viola was reassigned to the Sand Fortress for being to popular. Unusually for the trope, the Sand Fortress is of genuine strategic importance and sending a decorated general there makes perfect sense. Sure her popularity didn't help, but she was also close to uncovering Hugo's El Cid Ploy. Her popularity meant he couldn't just make her disappear, so he used his command authority to kick her back to the front lines. Whether by enemy forces or stalling out her Incurable Cough of Death, the problem would take care of itself.
- In Wing Commander, Christopher Blair gets demoted and Reassigned to Antarctica between the first and second games when nobody believes his claim that Kilrathi stealth fighters destroyed the Tiger's Claw. He's proven right by the end of the second game.
- In a bad ending after failing at a specific mission, Blair can find himself reassigned there *again* and can only sit in despair as news comes in that the Concordia has been destroyed. The Concordia is destroyed anyway at the beginning of Wing Commander III, meaning that it's doomed either way, if that makes you feel better...
- In the adventure game KGB (also known as Conspiracy), this can be your ending if you annoy your higher-ups in the KGB.
- And this is the most lenient Non Standard Game Over, mind you.
- Luminous Arc: It takes a bit of figuring out, but this is apparently what Kingston did to Heath when the latter started to get too suspicious, creating a program to raise war-orphans as child soldiers to get him out of the way for almost a decade. Naturally, he shot himself in the foot by doing this.
- It is implied in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker that Coldman, the CIA Director prior to the aftermath of Operation Snake Eater, being made the CIA Station Chief of Central America was a result of this trope, Exile, and Kicked Upstairs due to his involvement in creating the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater.
- Also, a side mission in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops that involved recruiting Raikov revealed that, because of his abusing his power as a Soviet GRU Major by beating personnel up, they sent him to the San Hieronymo Peninsula after the Soviets abandoned their men for the SALT talks, and things got worse when Gene took over the chain of command at the base on San Hieronymo.
- A possible ending for Norman Jayden in Heavy Rain.
- Happens to Cole Phelps in L.A. Noire after his affair with a German singer is brought to the attention of the public. Of course, being the protagonist, it turns into a Reassignment Backfire of epic proportions.
- Suikoden III: It's made clear to Thomas that the Zexen Confederacy has sent him to oversee the struggling Budehuc Castle just to get him out of the way. In his case, the only thing he's really done to warrant this treatment is exist, given that he's the illegitimate son of a Zexen council member.
- Although no one is threatened with reassignment there, Camp Golf is meant to be treated this way in Fallout: New Vegas, as Boone mentions that it's "The only resort in New Vegas that no one wants to get sent to."
- Lyude, from Baten Kaitos was reassigned to Nashira, because he unfortunately was too much of a decent human being.
- In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Hazama has Makoto assigned to Ikaruga to keep her from interfering with his plan to mindrape Noel and Tsubaki. The fallout of this plot is still in the air, but unlike all his other gambits, pulling off his work with those two is all the good he's getting out of this one. The negative fallout starts from one simple fact - she's alive and reunited with Noel! More
- BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma shows the results. Makoto was a mole for Sector Seven and this reassignment allowed her to pass tons of information to her employers that they wouldn't have otherwise had access to. This, and her shenanigans in Wheel of Fortune (keeping in mind Hazama remembers alternate timelines) means she's on a very short and prestigious list of people that Terumi will not risk toying with - if he can't had her over to Relius immediately, he'll just try to off her.
- In Mass Effect 2:
- In the opening cutscene, the Normandy is scouting a remote space sector for signs of geth activity—a task that, as Joker comments, was only given to them to keep Shepard's crew and their knowledge of the impending Reaper invasion away from the still-ignorant majority. The geth were never the source of the first game's conflict and Shepard's superiors know that—but they want to keep it under wraps.
- A bit later, due to Shepard's newfound ties to Cerberus and because of their repeated claims about the Reapers, the Citadel Council agree to reinstate Shepard's Spectre status, under the provision that they limit their movements and jurisdiction only to the Terminus Systems. Luckily for Shepard, this is exactly where they need to be to stop the Collectors from attacking human colonies.
- In Mass Effect 3 Listening Post X-19 can be found near what was once the Rachni homeworld and is described as this due to the fact there has been no sentient life in the star cluster for over a thousand years.
- Detective Adachi of Persona 4 was reassigned to Yasoinaba after an unspecified incident. By his account it was a minor slip-up, though considering his actions in-game one can assume that the actual reason was much more serious. His social link in the Updated Re-release reveals more: it was something minor, or rather, a lot of minor things. Apparently he's always had the motivation issues he demonstrates in Inaba, including slacking on his paperwork and not treating his superiors with due respect. Reality Ensues as acting like The Millstone to a busy metropolitan police force is a fantastic way to get reassigned to the boonies without anyone going to the trouble of firing you.
- In Jade Empire, Minister Sheng gets "promoted" to govern Tien's Landing, a small, middle of nowhere, and unimportant town. Sheng claims this is because his superior wanted him out of the way so Sheng couldn't take their job, but it's just as likely to be because he's a whiny Wangst douche. If you like, you get him out of his slump to the Imperial City and a possible promotion or drop him in it with a powerful judge to advance your own plans.
- In the Justified Tutorial of X: Beyond the Frontier, the flight controller will warn you off if you shoot at the Terran mothership. He'll eventually threaten to send you to a radar station in Alaska. Do it again and you get a Non Standard Game Over.
- In Skies of Arcadia, Alfonso gets removed from his patrol detail of the bustling Mid-Ocean trade routes and reassigned to a station in the economically-important but extremely isolated Ixa'taka. While Ixa'taka is home to a vibrant society with its own rich history and culture, the Valuan Empire sees it as little more than uncivilized savages living in trees, so it's definitely this trope.
- This is heavily implied to be the reason for the titular Space Station 13's existence.
- After failing three missions in a row in Wings, the player gets demoted to a lowly trooper in the trenches. Even considering the high casualty rate among fighter pilots, this sounds like a death sentence and definitely is one of few bad endings.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, it's very heavily implied that Prince LaCroix was sent to 're-take' Los Angeles for the Camarilla as a way of punishing him, which is why he doesn't have the troops or the financial backing to make any headway. As it is, he's stuck with a hollow title, subordinates who openly disrespect him, and a sphere of influence that all but stops on the doorstep of his office building.
- In Rising Angels, Natalie starts the game having just returned from a long solitary posting to a listening post in a swamp. She didn't like it at all, and is very glad to be back doing "real" work on a refreshingly solid, metallic ship. She considers it an injustice that she got sent there when "inferior" classmates got better assignments (and often failed at them). It's not stated, but it's not impossible that she got sent there for just such an attitude.
- Resident Evil 6: Helena was kicked out of the CIA and assigned to the Secret Service because she shot her sister's abusive boyfriend in the leg. If you think it's stupid that Helena was given the most elite and prestigious security detail in US law enforcement as punishment... you're onto something. Simmons assigned Helena as a weak link in the President's security detail so that he could kidnap her sister and blackmail her into helping assassinate the President.
- Rebel Assault II has a cutscene in which an Imperial officer threatens an inattentive stormtrooper with transfer to "a refuse barge, where you'll stay for the next 20 years," for any further lapses in concentration. Amusingly, neither notices until far too late that Rebel agents are stealing one of the top secret Imperial fighters they're guarding.
- In the Total War series, as the ruling family of your faction expands, it is inevitable that a few members will come along with several detrimental traits and no redeeming qualities. Rather than allow them to sit around polluting your family line with their negative traits, decreasing the morale of your soldiers as Generals, and/or embezzling and causing unrest in your cities as governors, you have two options to deal with them: this trope or pull a Uriah Gambit. Since even the worst Generals still get a bodyguard unit of tough heavy cavalry, it can be more beneficial to leave them alive. Simply send them to far reaches of your territory and have them build a fort. They can simply sit and act as a unit of heavy cavalry guarding the frontier.
- Tales of Berseria: It's not like Titania offered much opportunity for career advancement to begin with, but after failing to stop Velvet escaping at the start of the game, Oscar Dragonia isn't heard from for over half the game - talking to certain NP Cs reveals he'd been disciplined by being assigned milk runs in the boonies. When you do see him again, he's being handed a dead-quiet governor position on a far-fling island chain (allegedly) better known as a honeymoon destination than for strategic importance. When the player party screw that up for him, he gets reassigned to a barely-inhabited marshy shithole in the middle of nowhere, armed with a prototype device that he's more or less told will kill him when activated.
- In Deep Fear, it's eventually revealed that Commander Clansy was assigned to the Sea Table after he fired a torpedo at a civilian vessel in contested waters, which another character states he knew he was doing. And Clansy genuinely considers this to be Disproportionate Retribution.
- In Far from Home, the lieutenant made a paper airplane out of a briefing. Hence, the scouting mission.
- In Girl Genius Tarvek had Violetta reassigned to Mechanicsburg because she "wasn't good enough"... supposedly. Actually Tarvek pulled strings to have her sent there in order to save her life, because someone had been assassinating the Smoke Knights assigned to protect him, and he didn't want her to die doing a job she hated.
- Baron Wulfenbach employs Castle Heterodyne for this purpose, albeit with more direct lethality than most examples. Repairing and researching the Castle from the inside out is the job given to convicts considered too dangerous for a conventional prison...and guarding those prisoners is punishment duty for lousy Wulfenbach employees.
- In Misfile Rumisiel is assigned to the 5th Branch of The Celestial Filing Dept, the lowest rung of the heavenly ladder whose job is basically to take files out, read them, and put them back, in the hopes of keeping him from doing any damage. Unfortunately he is such a screw up it backfires.
- The Sapphire Guard in The Order of the Stick has a tendency to send Miko on missions that require spending months in foreign lands, due to her... abrasive personality. Doing so has seriously harmed the Sapphire Guard's image, though.
- Durkon was sent to the human lands and ordered to stay there until he was called back, in an attempt to prevent a prophecy that he would bring disaster when he returned. As such, the dwarves responsible had no intention of ever letting him return. Recent events show that this was a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, as forcing him out was the catalyst for buried resentment towards his clan, giving his vampiric side something to draw on and reason to side with Hel.
- In Sluggy Freelance, Riff was briefly reassigned to Alaska for pissing off his boss; because he'd never previously held down a nine-to-five job, he didn't know that it was possible to just quit without blowing up the factory.
- Besides, it beat being transformed into a gnome.
- In S.S.D.D Tessa was assigned to station E11, orbiting Uranus, for ordering Tin-Head to disassemble her commanding officer's car (while drunk). Earlier (chronologically), when she was considering volunteering for the Super Soldier implants field test she envisioned herself being assigned to: the arctic, a desert, and a really boring post if she refused the offer.
- Used in this page of A Girl and Her Fed as a more credible class of threat from an Actual Pacifist with Technopath resources.
- Widdershins has Voss sent to Nepal after he badly mishandles a situation in the Prussian military. His "mission" is to check the status of the magical anchor of Chomolungma, a.k.a. Mount Everest. It's right where they left it. Moreover, he releases a powerful, hostile spirit through the anchor, so he actually bungles his make-work project.
- In From Winter's Ashes, the story begins with this trope, the unlucky protagonist is sent to a seeming Punishment Post in the high arctic, to join a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that are surprisingly competent. Reassignment Backfire ensues.
- In Decades of Darkness, an Alternate History timeline, being transferred to the West African colony of Whydah is considered this for members of the American military. The American State Department's equivalent assignment is Liberia.
- In Reds the United American Socialist Republics became Stalin's go to dumping ground for those too popular to kill.
- The SCP Foundation files make occasional use of this. For displaying either egregious stupidity or horrific disregard for common decency (i.e. rearranging the furnishings of a young blind girl for a laugh), Foundation staff can be reassigned to Keter duty. Keter is the classification used for objects or beings that show an active, intense hostility towards human life, civilization, or existence itself. As they often require incredibly precise and challenging means of containment to prevent wholesale destruction, staff members on Keter duty have a VERY short life expectency.
- For the members of the Global Guardians, superheroes who are seen as too aggravating and trouble-making to put up with but who are too effective in the field to fire, tend to be sent to the Guardians embassy in Azerbaijan in the hopes that their time in exile will teach them some discipline. In the Guardians universe, Azerbaijan is notable for having fewer incidences of super-crime per year than any other country... even micro-nations such as Vatican City, Monaco, and Lichtenstein.
- Whateley Universe: From Absinthe, when an employee is offending someone higher in the corporate ladder:
"I will personally see to it that you are permanently assigned to bumfuck Alaska."
- Red vs. Blue:
- In "The Reconstruction" we learn that at some point after "The Blood Gulch Chronicles", Church was reassigned to watch over an empty base. He loved it, as there was no one to bother him. It later transpires that his assignment to Blood Gulch was one of these as well; As the Alpha AI, Project Freelancer needed a place to safely hide him from the Meta.
- In "The Revelation" that everyone in the Red and Blue armies are this; the two sides consist of the UNSC's worst soldiers, who are used as training dummies for battle simulations, all while thinking they are fighting a real war.
- In Season 14, Agents Idaho, Iowa, and Ohio, the worst of Project Freelancer, were basically abandoned on a frozen planet. There, they meet a trio of Charon Industries troops who are in the same boat.
- Garfield and Friends, "Rooster Revenge": Roy has played a practical joke on Orson, who vows revenge but is secretly pulling off a Paranoia Gambit. Shortly thereafter, an inspector, who appears to be Orson in a Paper-Thin Disguise, arrives on the farm. Roy just mocks him and begs to be sent to the South Pole, even trying to throw mud on the "inspector". After the inspector falls into Orson's waller, the real Orson walks up. As Roy contemplates this turn of events with a horrified look on his face, the inspector declares that he really will banish Roy. As Roy runs away in panic, the inspector turns out to be Lanolin in disguise.
- How Invader Zim came to Earth, and a Running Gag in the series. Zim is the definition of Small Name, Big Ego and has no idea that the planet isn't a "good" assignment — in fact, it was little more than a thinly-disguised suicide mission. The Tallest sent him out on this "important mission" not even knowing there was a planet in the vicinity (Earth's location is labeled on their hi-tech star map with a sticky note that has "Planet?" written on it). They fervently hoped that he would die looking for a non-existent location.
- Literally what happens to Military Maverick Yuri Stavrogan in Exo Squad: he gets sent to Antarctica right after he gets promoted to an squad commander. Unfortunately for him, the Neosapien breeding facility they are assigned to investigate is, in fact, the highest security Neo installation on the planet at the moment (because it researches Neo Lords), and his entire squad is wiped out.
- Happens once in Johnny Bravo when Johnny is given to a foster family in Antarctica.
- About half of the main cast in Transformers Animated. Bumblebee and Bulkhead were assigned space bridge repair detail as punishment for an incident in boot camp (though Bulkhead didn't mind), while Optimus himself was installed as their captain because it was the highest position he qualified for after the Elita-1 incident.
- Ranger Smith often threatened to send Yogi Bear to either Siberia or the St. Louis zoo if he didn't behave.
- Marvin from Martin Mystery was reassigned to a Center base in Antarctica, largely as an excuse to have a Whole Plot Reference to The Thing (1982).
- The explanation for why the famed Commodore Tolwyn is babysitting a bunch of space cadets in Wing Commander Academy.
- An episode of G.I. Joe: Renegades opens with two hapless Cobra guards standing in front of a remote bunker in the middle of a frozen wasteland. A brief conversation between the two reveals that they were both assigned there due to previously failing to prevent the Joes from getting into secure areas. Naturally, the Joes show up again. One wonders where they'll get sent next time...
- In the two-part American Dad! episode "Stan of Arabia", Stan is reassigned to a post in Saudi Arabia after screwing up his supervisor's anniversary roast party, and naturally his family goes with him. It doesn't go well.
- In an episode of the Dilbert cartoon, two teams within Dilbert's company (his team and that of the one-off villain Lena) are pitted against each other to finish a task, with the team that fails being reassigned to Albany, New York (cue an image of a desolate, snowy waste).
Lena's newly-decapitated head: "Well, better this than Albany."
- This trope is discussed in the Private Snafu cartoon, The Outpost, an attempt to debunk soldiers' gossip that assignment to remote locations was a punishment. It was no coincidence that the cartoon was made in World War II, the most geographically encompassing conflict in human history.
- In the third season of Archer, Nikolai Jackov, head of the KGB is transferred to SIBERIA when cyborg Barry takes over. Jackov defects to ISIS instead.
- Brock Samson's assignment as the Ventures' bodyguard in The Venture Bros. is one of these, for asking too many questions about the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Hunter Gathers was reassigned to Guam for the same reason.
- It's important to note that this all happens in a flashback. In the present, Brock is content in his job as bodyguard, Gathers went rogue, and the Guild is basically a club that lets eccentrics pretend to be supervillains. In Season 4, both Brock and Gathers work for SPHINX and take care of the actual threats to the public.
- A 1980s episode of The Jetsons had Mr. Spacely threaten to (and almost) reassign George to "Outer Moongolia"note
- In an episode of The Simpsons Mr. Burns gives Homer and two other lunkhead employees the duty of watching the company bee while a nuclear inspection is going on, thus hiding them away in the basement where the inspectors won't witness their incompetence. Homer is the only one of the three not to question what's happening.
- At the end of Season 2 of Detentionaire, Lee Ping gets expelled from school, and his furious mother states that he's going to be transferred to a school in either Alaska or Siberia - whichever one's colder and has more polar bears.
- In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life focusing on the parasites living on Spunky, Bloaty the tick invites his ill-tempered boss to dinner to stay on his good side. The second his boss enters the room he shouts "YOU'RE FIRED!" (Which he quickly explains was just a Verbal Tic due to how often he fires people) then warns Bloaty that he can, on a whim, reassign Bloaty to the Colon Mines.
- On Totally Spies! after Clover finally found the perfect boyfriend, fellow WOOHP agent Blaine, he was reassigned to WOOHP's Australian division.
- In Milo Murphy's Law, Cavendish and Dakota discover that their mission to protect pistachios in the present is basically this. The two are so incompetent that they were given the least important assignment that the Time Agents had, which amounts to "preserve this thing that the boss liked eating as a kid."