->''"You may not love the fucking IG, but the IG loves fucking you."''
-->-- Old military saying

Ask anybody in the military, what's the most nerve-wracking experience they will ever face? [[TankGoodness Enemy tanks?]] [[DeathFromAbove Air strikes?]] [[MoreDakka Being shot to death?]]

No, you may find they most lament having to deal with The Inquisitor General.

This is a character whose job it is to go over everything you do with a fine-toothed comb and an electron microscope, making sure to [[ListOfTransgressions catalog each of your transgressions]], [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin big and small.]] He could be a DrillSergeantNasty, TheNeidermeyer, or even ColonelBadass. Assuming that he is a benevolent form of this trope, his goal is to help you become as flawless at what you do as possible, so you'll be less likely to make any mistakes when [[ThisMeansWar it counts for real]]. Of course, it's also possible that he's a JerkAss whose only goal is to make you look like an incompetent fool or get you angry enough to do something you'll regret.

Given his role, the Inquisitor General will [[CharacterAlignment tend to be]] LawfulGood, LawfulNeutral, or LawfulEvil. This is, of course, very much TruthInTelevision for many organizations, who use these guys as checks against complacency and corruption.

SubTrope to TheInspectorIsComing and a SisterTrope to InternalAffairs, which is more commonly found in works about the police. Compare and contrast with ThePoliticalOfficer.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Nova Satori from ''Anime/SuperDimensionCavalrySouthernCross'' and its ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' version. She's part of the Global Military Police, which are a unit that works to check misbehavior in the Army of the Southern Cross, and it's her job to drag the protagonist in when she's [[MilitaryMaverick broken regulations yet again]].

* The Creator/DannyKaye film ''The Inspector General'' has a man arrested for vagrancy mistaken for an Inspector General [[MasterOfDisguise in disguise]].
* In ''Film/CKDezerterzy'', the disastrous inspection by [[InsaneAdmiral The Loony General Grabenau]] is what triggers the protagonists' desertion.

* In ''The Spectre General'' by Theodore Cogswell, the last Imperial Marine unit of a fallen Empire is trapped on a forgotten planet, and has regressed in some ways. The commander invokes the Inspector General to keep the troops in line; what they don't know is that [[spoiler:he's the IG in disguise, using what little tech still works to carry off the deception]].
* ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'':
** Miles Vorkosigan pulls off faking this in ''Literature/TheWarriorsApprentice'' as part of an IndyPloy -- or rather, the latest in a long string of Indy Ploys.
** In ''Literature/{{Memory}}'', the reader is introduced to the position of Imperial Auditor, a troubleshooter answerable only to the Emperor with vast powers to investigate situations beyond what's addressed by normal channels, in a combination of this trope and its sister trope InternalAffairs. Miles is assigned the position to investigate an unusual attack on [=ImpSec's=] security chief, and thinks he's killing time waiting for field agents to report on off-planet leads. As it happens, after a few days of snooping, he finds what he needs to crack the case in the basement of [=ImpSec=] HQ.
* In the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' short story ''Fanatic'', a StateSec PoliticalOfficer is sweating bullets after the suspected murder of his superior, whilst the government he works for, the People's Republic of Haven, is undergoing considerable political turmoil and purges. Things quickly get worse when he finds that the Inspector General being sent to investigate the death is none other than Victor Cachat, holder of [[NomDeGuerre many nicknames]] with [[RedBaron terrifying implications]]. [[spoiler: It doesn't help him much that he [[DramaticIrony doesn't know what the readers know]], that Victor is a good guy, just a [[SociopathicHero terrifyingly cold blooded one]], and recognizes that the protagonist is also obviously a good guy, despite who he worked for.]]
* In the novel ''Warbirds'', centered around an Air Force F-4 squadron before and during a fictional Middle East war, the egotistical, incompetent, and ambitious General Blevins forces the inspectorate to give the squadron (which is in fact a model of Air Force regulations) terrible report to destroy the career of the commanding officer, who made Blevins look like an idiot at the beginning of the book.
* Mercilessly parodied (as was everything else) with the "[[FanNickname Latrines General]]" in ''Good Soldier Švejk'' — a bumbling, dimwitted general whose only passion in life was inspecting and regulating military latrines.
* Hilariously invoked in Creator/GeorgeMacDonaldFraser's story [[Literature/McAuslan The General Danced At Dawn]]; the Scottish General finds plenty of things to criticize but is really more interested in the officers' standard of Highland dancing.
* In ''[[Literature/CarrerasLegions Carnifex]]'', The [[AristocratsAreEvil Marchioness of Amnesty]] is sent to the United Earth Peace Fleet due to its difficulties in subduing the local population of Terra Nova, as well as for issues back on Earth.
* In the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' book "The Weakness", [[BiggerBad The Council of Thirteen]] sends an agent called the Inspector to evaluate [[BigBad Visser Three's]] campaign in trying to conquer Earth. The Inspector judges Visser Three incompetent, but before he can report to their superiors, Visser Three goads him into fighting the Animorphs himself. The Inspector is rather powerful, but the heroes manage to kill him, [[UriahGambit just as Visser Three wanted]].
* In the ''Franchise/DragonAge'', this has, for the longest time, been the function of the Lord-Seeker, the leader of the Seekers of Truth, in regards to the Templar Order and the Circle of Magi. In ''Literature/{{Asunder}}'', Lord-Seeker Lambert van Reeves removes the Templar Knight-Commander of Val Royeaux from office and assumes direct command of the Order in response to a Circle mage attempting to assassinate the [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Divine]]--and things only go downhill from there. Depending on your influence on Cassandra Pentaghast in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', Lord-Seeker's role may be reformed after 9:41 Dragon, however.
* In the Marine Corps novels by W.E.B. Griffin, the Marines have come to the conclusion that people of this type will never go away until they find something to complain about. So whenever they suspect that an Inspector is coming, they make sure there are no major problems, and then deliberately leave a handful of obvious minor problems for the Inspector to find so that he will find them, report the insignificant infractions, and then leave so they can get back to work.

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' had several different kinds of examples:
** The first-season episode ''Eyes'', had an officer named Colonel Ari Ben Zayn arrive on the station to inquire into the details of recent events aboard the station, going all the way back to the series pilot episode. He also brings along Harriman Gray, a [[{{telepathy}} telepath]], who is to scan each of the officers aboard the station to ensure that they are [[LivingLieDetector loyal to EarthGov]]. [[TheLancer Ivanova]] refuses, ostensibly because she is [[HonorBeforeReason offended that her superiors would even suggest her loyalty could be in question]], but in actuality it is because [[spoiler: [[DarkSecret she is a rogue telepath]]. ]] In addition, it turned out that the Colonel was really was trying to destroy the station commander's reputation. He had been seeking that posting, and had been high on the list for consideration, but the Minbari (who had secured veto power in this regard in exchange for the funds necessary to finish the station) rejected him (and many others) in favor of Commander Sinclair.
** Alfred Bester, being a [[SecretPolice PsiCop]], is in a way this trope for the rest of the [[MutantDraftBoard PsiCorps]]. He also uses his talents and authority to generally [[MagnificentBastard fuck with the mundanes]] when it serves his purposes.
** In ''[[PoorlyDisguisedPilot A Call To Arms]]'', it is evident that the foreman at the shipyard for the new destroyers considers Micheal Garibaldi to be a most unwelcome version of this, but for the [[{{inverted}} inverse]] of the normal reason: The foreman wants to get everything perfect, and Garibaldi is insisting that he accept things as "Good Enough" and move on so they can actually complete the project. Of course, it's also possible he was delaying over every little problem because [[spoiler: he was actually TheMole.]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' featured Inspector General officers in several episodes.
** In "Coming Of Age", two officers are inspecting the Enterprise and her crew, second-guessing every decision and action they've taken thus far. In the end, it is revealed that they suspected that [[spoiler: an alien force was infiltrating Starfleet]], and that at the end of their investigation, they found the Enterprise to be the finest ship in the fleet.
** Another episode later that same season revealed that [[spoiler: Both officers had been taken over by the [[PuppeteerParasite infiltrating aliens]], along with many of Starfleet's key senior officers. Several [[HeroOfAnotherStory starship captains]] became suspicious of their seniors' [[NotHimself suspicious behavior]], including trying to [[BluffTheImpostor bluff their way out of conversations about topics they should be familiar and comfortable with]], such as mutual friends or past encounters.]]
** A later episode, "The Drumhead", featured Admiral Norah Satie. After a near-catastrophic failure of the engines, she investigates the ship's crew in belief the failure was caused by sabotage. While an investigation of the incident itself [[HanlonsRazor pointed toward equipment failure]], she still [[WitchHunt pursued her case]], destroying the career of crewman Simon Tarses [[spoiler:who ''happened'' to have [[DarkSecret Romulan ancestry]], but there was absolutely no evidence otherwise that he was a Romulan spy]]. She then turned her investigative "guns" against Captain Picard. [[spoiler:[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Her investigation (and career) flamed out spectacularly]].]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* [=IntSec=] (Internal Security) has this function in ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. They have a quota of traitors to uncover, and they couldn't care less if they falsely accuse innocent clones.
* Inquisitors in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' are more concerned with rooting out heretics, xenos-sympathizers and other undesirables, so usually it's [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Administratum drones]] that look for this kind of misuse. The ''Imperial Guardsman's Uplifting Primer'' suggests that they have the power to execute soldiers found lacking in maintaining equipment perfectly clean.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Cassandra plays this role in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', causing Varric to narrate the story in response to her questioning.
* The player character theoretically becomes one of these in the appropriately named ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', although this involves very little actual inquisitioning. Cassandra gives you this treatment at the start but ends up working for you.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/AirForceBlues'' has a mild example in the form of Barbie's ex girlfriend, Captain Dhart. She appears from time to time to inspect the 809th, though nothing ever seems to come of it.
* A RunningGag in ''Webcomic/CrewDogs'' was that the Inspector General was a malicious JerkAss turned UpToEleven, who seemed to have almost supernatural powers to catch the officers making mistakes.
** One strip had the squadron commander assuring his daughter that there was no [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight monster in the closet]]. When he opened the door to show her, the Inspector General was standing in the closet, asking the father [[CrowningMomentOfFunny "How's it feel to lie to your kid?"]]
** In fact, the very first time the Inspector General is mentioned in the comic, one of the characters is trying to equate the Inspector General to a MadScientist. The logic behind his conclusion is a a bit weak, to say the least.