->'''Sergei:''' I'm sorry about the unfortunate incident. It was excessive, and more to the point it was foolish. Mikhi did it without consulting me.
->'''Gregor:''' He turned rogue and can't be controlled? Is that it?
-->-- ''Film/{{Ronin}}''

A member of a government intelligence agency or military unit who starts operating on his own authority. Often this is [[PlausibleDeniability merely a cover for activities the government in question would denounce]] if anything went wrong. If more than one person is involved, it will be described as a "renegade operation" or "rogue elephant".

For writers this is a good way to have a [[EvilCounterpart villain with all the skills and knowledge of the heroes]], should they also be spooks or special forces soldiers. Also useful if you're BackedByThePentagon, as you're not disparaging the organization as a whole, just a "bad apple". Likewise, Irish terrorists are often described as being from rogue factions to avoid having to deal with UsefulNotes/TheIrishQuestion.

For the group version of this, see RenegadeSplinterFaction. Also RenegadeRussian and TerroristsWithoutACause for specific examples of this trope. Compare FromCamouflageToCriminal.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Webcomic/AmazingAgentJennifer'' exaggerates this. ''Every named agent'' goes rogue at some point, and the majority of the plot is caused by a collision of two rogue operations [[spoiler: controlled by ''the same agent''.]]
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' - [[spoiler: Kazundo Gouda]], resident SmugSnake and AgentProvocateur of 2nd Gig.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheBourneSeries'': The employers of the main character think he's done this, but he's actually suffering from EasyAmnesia.
* From the ''Film/JamesBond'' series.
** ''Film/LicenceToKill'': Bond goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge after his friend, Felix Leiter, is mutilated by a South American drug dealer and his wife was murdered on their wedding night. It's a CallBack to the end of ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService''.
** ''Film/{{Goldeneye}}'': [[spoiler:[[Creator/SeanBean Alec Trevelyan]], agent 006]], who was believed dead and turns out to be the BigBad.
** ''Film/DieAnotherDay'': Bond is imprisoned by M and has his Double-Oh status revoked after being framed for spilling secrets under duress. Bond escapes and pursues the DoubleAgent who framed him.
** ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'' has Bond acting independently of MI-6 for much of the film, though whether this is a RoaringRampageOfRevenge for [[spoiler:Vesper Lynd's death]] in ''Film/{{Casino Royale|2006}}'' or simply 007 pursuing Quantum on his own when it appears MI-6 may be compromised - or a bit of both - is at least somewhat ambiguous.
** ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'': [[spoiler:Raoul Silva, the BigBad, is a former MI6 agent.]]
** ''Film/{{Spectre}}'': Bond goes rogue from the very start of the film, albeit with a twist, [[spoiler: he's actually following orders from a VideoWill of the late M, who died in the previous film.]]
* In ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'' and ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'', Agent Smith drops his "agent" position and simply becomes "Smith" when he [[spoiler:goes rogue and takes over the Matrix]].
* A recurring element of the ''Film/MissionImpossibleFilmSeries'', which is lampshaded in [[WebVideo/HonestTrailers its Honest Trailer video]].
** In the first ''Film/MissionImpossible'', Ethan Hunt is framed to be a rogue agent after an operation gone wrong, and the rest of the film he has to [[ClearMyName clear his name]] by finding the ''real'' rogue agent, who is [[spoiler: Jim Phelps, the protagonist of the original TV series, in one of the most infamous {{Face Heel Turn}}s in the history of cinema.]]
** In ''Film/MissionImpossibleII'', [[BigBad Sean Ambrose]] is a rogue IMF agent.
** In ''Film/MissionImpossibleIII'', Ethan Hunt is accused of being this once again halfway through the film, with the real rogue agent being [[spoiler: an IMF operative who is TheMole]].
** In ''Film/MissionImpossibleGhostProtocol'', Ethan's whole team is declared rogue agents after a mission gone wrong, and they have to catch the BigBad on their own to clear their names.
** ''Film/MissionImpossibleRogueNation'' is ''full'' of rogue agents, appropriate considering the title itself. Ethan Hunt becomes a rogue agent yet again (see a pattern now?) after the CIA forces the IMF to shut down, tracking the leader of The Syndicate, Solomon Lane, [[spoiler: who is revealed to be a rogue agent of MI6 himself, a product of a top-secret project consisted of rogue agents gathered from all over the world that later forms up The Syndicate]]. Also, other agents who support Ethan in his mission are also declared rogue agents by CIA as well.
* A major theme of ''Film/{{Ronin}}'' where the characters are former UsefulNotes/ColdWar spies and special forces operatives working as mercenaries, [[spoiler:but at least one -- and possibly others -- are still secretly working for their own governments]]. Likewise, the terrorist Seamus is denounced by Sinn Fein as a 'rogue breakaway operative' after he fails to get his hands on the mysterious suitcase.
* In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', Harrison was Starfleet's best agent before a perceived betrayal by his superiors sent him on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the entire Federation. [[spoiler:It's a cover story for his work at Section 31 and his true identity]].
* In ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'', the Klingon Ambassador tries painting Captain Kirk as a "renegade and terrorist" due to the events of the previous film. The likely reason why the Ambassador doesn't claim the entire Federation is on a conspiracy to "annihilate the Klingon species" is political tact.
* ''Film/ThreeDaysOfTheCondor''. The murders turn out to be a result of members of the CIA trying to hide a renegade operation from their own organisation.
* ''Film/UnderSiege'': William Strannix (Tommy Lee Jones) is a renegade/rogue former CIA agent, as is Travis Dane in [[Film/UnderSiege2DarkTerritory the sequel]]. The latter was merely fired, but as the former turned traitor they tried (unsuccessfully of course) to have him killed. Both are murderously unhappy at their respective plights.
* The climax of ''Film/RogueOne'' has the team of rag-tag misfits-come-rebels steal (back) an impounded Imperial shuttle they had earlier stolen, dub themselves with the call sign [[TitleDrop Rogue One]], and start an attack/espionage mission on Scarif so that they could retrieve the plans to the Death Star after the Rebel Alliance refused to take Jyn's word on the fact that stealing the plans would be valuable or even helpful. Once they're already on the ground, however, much of the rest of the Rebel Alliance joins them, thus sanctioning their actions.
* The 1982 action movie ''The Soldier'' is about a deniable government dirty tricks team, but when their contact in the CIA is murdered they have to become rogue agents for real because no-one else in the US government knows they exist. Appropriately they're fighting [[RenegadeRussian KGB agents who themselves turn out to be rogue]].


* ''19'' by Roger Hall: A peculiar variant was the title organization "19". Most of the members were still part of various U.S. intelligence agencies, but secretly working for a retired OSS officer (who'd been their commander during the war) to do the work of American counterintelligence more effectively than the official agencies could. Its existence was unproven, its makeup unknown, and although it was evidently working to protect the U.S., many U.S. security types were determined to break it.
-->"Are you talking about a penetration?"\\
"Literally speaking, yes. But not by the opposition. If 19 exists, it's on our side. Although some of the things it's done, if it did them, were enough to give me the inside sweats."
* The protagonists of the ''Literature/{{Eisenhorn}}'' and ''Literature/{{Ravenor}}'' series become Rogue Agents in, respectively, ''Hereticus'' and ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Ravenor: Rogue]]''. It's necessary under the circumstances, but Eisenhorn kills at least one man whose only crime is trying to stop him.
* ''Literature/TheExecutioner''. Mack Bolan starts as a VigilanteMan, gets recruited by the US government as Colonel [[MeaningfulName Phoenix]] for the UsefulNotes/ColdWar in TheEighties, then goes rogue again after his LoveInterest is killed. He still does the occasional 'deniable' for his old colleagues.
* ''Literature/FlightOfTheIntruder'': A protagonist example, with the two main characters going on a renegade bombing mission to hit Communist Party Headquarters. They miss, succeeding only in blowing out some of the windows.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** In the ''Literature/XWingSeries'', Rogue Squadron left the New Republic to pursue a foe that the New Republic couldn't touch without alienating their allies. Notably, at this point in time there were a number of anti-Imperial groups who were only loosely affiliated with the Rebel Alliance/New Republic, and the Rogues were able to set themselves up as one of them, though there were rumors that Rogue Leader, Wedge Antilles, was setting himself up as a warlord. When they succeeded in helping a faction on that planet to overthrow Isard, they were retroactively sanctioned, and that whole thing where the New Republic's best fighter squadron publicly resigned was brushed under the rug. Apparently [[BlatantLies there was a clerical error resulting their resignations never being officially filed]].
* Several in the Literature/JohnRain series by Barry Eisler.
** In ''Hard Rain'' the CIA station chief in Tokyo is running a covert operation that's been officially shut down, using his subordinate as the fall guy by arranging to frame ''him'' as a rogue.
** Tatsu is running his own CowboyCop operation to assist reformist elements of Japanese society. He tries to recruit Rain as his assassin, with limited success.
** Jim Hilger is a CIA agent running the deniable kind of operation, who's eventually revealed to be a WellIntentionedExtremist and genuine RogueAgent.
** Daniel Larison is an ISA operative who plans to blackmail the US government for a fortune in diamonds, by threatening to release videos of Muslim prisoners being tortured.
** Colonel Horton's role in ''The Detachment'' is ambiguous for much of the novel. Is he trying to stop an American coup like he claims, or is he one of the conspirators looking to advance his own interests?


[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Jack Bauer in every season of ''Series/TwentyFour'' qualifies, though he remains on the side of good the whole time [[spoiler:barring the end of the final season where [[FaceHeelTurn he becomes]] an AntiVillain]]. Nina Myers, Stephen Saunders, Christopher Henderson and [[spoiler:Tony Almeida (in Season 7)]] are all villainous examples.
* Faith in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. This causes problems for the Watcher's Council as until she dies the line of Slayers can't continue; they do their best to rectify the situation in ''Series/{{Angel}}''.
** Wesley tries to reinvent himself as a [[InsistentTerminology rogue demon hunter]] after being fired. Nobody really buys it (at least not initially).
-->'''Cordelia:''' What's a [[AmbiguousSyntax rogue demon]]?
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor was used in this role in his 3rd and 4th incarnations, as a deniable agent for when the Time Lords decide to break their own rules of non-intervention. The Doctor wasn't happy about it, as he'd rather be a genuine rogue.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. The Peacekeeper Crais goes rogue to hunt down John Crichton, whom he blames for the death of his brother.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheFixer'', John Mercer is ordered to kill his predecessor, who has started to [[VigilanteMan pick his own targets]] instead of those selected by the [[JudgeJuryAndExecutioner mysterious unit he works for]]. There's also the SAS man who (under orders) used drug money to finance his anti-Taliban operation, who decided to go into business for himself.
* ''Series/TheGame2014'' plays with this with Joe Lamb and his revenge plot running occasionally against the official operations underway.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'' has Clark Palmer, a former [[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction DSD]] agent who has tried to either kill or frame Harm several occasions.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' has Mossad agents Ari Hassari and Michael Rivkin. [[spoiler:The former is a DoubleAgent who turns out to be EvilAllAlong; the latter is called a rogue but was actually acting under Director Eli David's full authority. Yet another example comes later with ''Deputy Director'' Ilan Bodnar, who goes rogue to assassinate Director David.]]
* A number of Division undercover agents decided to go rogue and stopped obeying orders from Division after ''Series/{{Nikita}}'' took over in season 3.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': Rogue NID agents become the standard human villains. In fact it turns out that the ''majority'' of the NID are rogue agents, making it very difficult for the few loyal agents (even with the help of Stargate Command) to actually clean up the organization. Also very occasionally played by SG-1 itself -- notably at the end of Season 1, when the Stargate program is being shut down just as Daniel has knowledge from an alternate timeline that Goa'ould are about to devastate Earth. Since he turns out to be right and they stop this from happening in the main timeline, they're forgiven and everything goes back to normal.
** Another episode had Jack going rogue and stealing technology from Earth's allies [[spoiler: as part of a sting to capture the actual rogue NID agents.]]
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''. Because it didn't seem plausible for TheDragon to keep pursuing and losing Blake without consequence, in Season B the writers had Space Commander Travis go renegade to avoid court-martial by the Federation. Servalan decides to aid him covertly just in case he does manage to get Blake or the Liberator, but in the season finale it turns out that Travis is a genuine rogue [[spoiler:and OmnicidalManiac as he's helping an AlienInvasion that will KillAllHumans.]]

* Lo Po Bia Ren from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' takes a ''lot'' of liberties with his SecretPolice job.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''Franchise/JamesBond'' video game ''VideoGame/GoldenEyeRogueAgent'' involves, as you'd expect, an MI6 agent going rogue after being discharged due to "needless brutality" and being recruited into SPECTRE by Goldfinger himself.
* ''VideoGame/SplinterCellConviction'' has protagonist Sam Fisher on the run, regarded as a rouge agent by his own people.
** [[spoiler:Killing your boss/best friend to maintain cover]] may have something to do with it.
* The Point Man is this by ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F3AR]]''.
* For the majority of ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'', Mike Thorton is a rogue agent when he learns that [[spoiler:his own agency tried to kill him after he recovered the "stolen" missiles]].
** Of the people you meet during the game, Conrad Marburg is an ex-rogue agent turned civilian contractor (and also something of Mike's EvilCounterpart). And then there's Steven Heck, who may be a rogue agent. He may also be a non-rogue agent for a ''particularly'' deep-cover (and indiscriminate) part of the CIA. Or he may be completely bugfuck insane and ''thinks'' he is either of the above. [[spoiler:A mail recovered from the CIA's Rome listening post implies it's option one.]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' has Saren, the Council's most famous Spectre, going rogue. [[spoiler: Of course it's later revealed he's actually been indoctrinated by [[BigBad Sovereign]], but at the same time, it's clear that he was pretty much fond of KickTheDog behavior even ''before'' he got indoctrinated.]]
** The galaxy sees Shepard as one in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' when s/he's forced to work with Cerberus. Particularly in the ''Arrival'' DLC, where Shepard [[spoiler: [[RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun detonates a Mass Relay]] to delay the imminent arrival of the Reapers, despite the fact this will mean sacrificing the lives of 300,000 Batarians in the system as a result. Hence why the third game appropriately begins with Shepard on trial for having essentially committed a ''war crime'']].
** The first game had several encounters with Cerberus which painted a rather horrifying image of the organization. When Shepard is forced to work with them in the second, every person speaking for them tries to downplay all the less savory things they've done. Some new ones are encountered, but Miranda and the Illusive Man are very quick to claim that these were all the work of rogue elements. A Paragon Shepard, especially one benefiting from the Overlord {{DLC}}, can see some definite hints that these claims are BlatantLies, or in Miranda's case, completely blind idealism for a group that she feels saved her life. [[HeelFaceTurn She eventually sees past it as well.]]
** In the second game's ''Lair of the Shadow Broker'' DLC, Shepard encounters Tela Vasir, a Spectre who works as TheDragon for [[ArcVillain the Shadow Broker]].
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'':
** Raynor was charged with treason for aiding the Sons of Korhal with evacuating a city.
** Tassadar was marked a traitor after he decided to work with Terrans to defeat the Zerg.
* Gabe Logan and Lian Xing go rogue at the end of the first ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter''.
* In ''Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', the Imperial Agent can become this at the end of their story [[spoiler:by bringing the Black Codex to the Minister of Intelligence, who uses it to erase your identity]] so you can act as an independent agent who protects the Empire without Sith jurisdiction. It's a mixed-bag since you're freeing yourself of a fascist Empire that runs on evil so you can protect said evil Empire on your own terms.
* ''[[VideoGame/TimeCrisis Time Crisis 5]]'' reveals that [[spoiler: Robert Baxter is the traitor within the VSSE]] in the True Mastermind Edition.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Virtually every agent from ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'''s Project Freelancer goes rogue at some point. Given the group's [[PlayingWithSyringes extensive experiments with AI implantation]], this is not the least bit surprising.
* WebVideo/HitlerRants: Willenbrock is a German U-Boat Captain who's made a career out of making Hitler's life miserable, and uses all his naval expertise to avoid being brought to justice.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' episode "It's Goin' Down", [[{{Expy}} Jack]] [[Series/TwentyFour Flowers]] decides to go vigilante on the [[AristocratsAreEvil Wunclers]], who were planning to commit a pseudo-terrorist bombing for a [[{{Greed}} convoluted scam]]:
-->'''Chief:''' Sorry Jack, [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney turns out some people are above the law]]. [[KarmaHoudini The Wunclers will not pay for what they did today]], you have my word. Good work everyone, have a good weekend. And oh, [[TemptingFate no going rogue]].\\
'''Jack:''' [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight I'm going rogue.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Terpil Frank Terpil]] was dismissed from the {{CIA}} in 1971 for financial misconduct, and used his expertise to aid various dictators including UsefulNotes/MuammarGaddafi, UsefulNotes/IdiAmin and UsefulNotes/FidelCastro.
* Ex-CIA agent [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_P._Wilson Edwin P. Wilson]] would be convicted of selling arms to Libya, though he was able to overturn the conviction after a long legal battle, claiming that he'd been working for the CIA the entire time. Details are on Wiki/TheOtherWiki.