The Remnant
aka: The Undefeated

"Although the Clone Wars were over, some people didn't seem to get the message."
501st stormtrooper, Star Wars: Battlefront 2

A (usually) villainous version of La Résistance. The Remnant can be best described a more militaristic version of The Last of His Kind, being members of a faction who are continuing to fight a war that their side has already lost. They may be using irregular military tactics, but they will probably still be dressed in their old uniforms (or the remnants thereof). Unlike a General Ripper, The Remnant no longer hold an official position in the armed forces, often because their government has ceased to exist or has been replaced. In a number of cases, this happens because nobody on either side has yet been informed that the war is over. The losing side then becomes The Remnant by default after the fact.

This is sometimes Truth in Television, as guerrilla forces and paramilitary can be the scourge of entire countries, with no regard to the life of those they claim to defend.

For a more short term 'bigger brother' concept of this, see Dragon Their Feet. In fact, the Dragon in question may end up leading these guys. May be the Vestigial Empire. The government they're trying to overthrow is likely The Federation.

This tends to be a case of Moral Dissonance or out-of-universe Moral Myopia. Good guys who do this are Determinators and La Résistance and extra heroic for fighting in the face of near-impossible odds. Bad guys are just, well, bad. See also Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters and Villainous Legacy. The only way to objectively categorize it morally, is by knowing the history of the side, what it stands for and last but not least its methods.

One man's Resistance is another man's Remnant. Government in Exile is the civilian equivalent while The Remnant is military.


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     Anime And Manga  
  • The Principality of Zeon, from Mobile Suit Gundam, has scads of these; there are at least five separate groups that appear in the animation, and it's implied that there are more. The single largest one fled to the asteroid base Axis and became the first Neo Zeon movement in Zeta Gundam; the others include the Delaz Fleet, Cima's marines, and the Kimbareid force (all in Gundam 0083), as well as Rommel's force (in Gundam ZZ).
    • The furthest extension of this appears in Gundam F90, centering on Zeon remnants who've been hiding on Mars for nearly fifty years before making their move.
    • The second Neo-Zeon movement in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack isn't really composed of remnants from the Principality of Zeon but is rather composed of ex-AEUG and other spacenoids who have took a radical bent. It gets its own remnant in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
  • After War Gundam X has the New Earth Federation start to make trouble about a third of the way through as they campaign to "unify" (read: conquer) the emerging new nations. They're surprisingly effective and achieve their goal quickly. Meanwhile, around the Moon, Space Revolutionary Army is doing the same thing. Both sides are enemies and both lost because of the mass Colony Drop that wiped out Earth and Spacenoids alike... and both of them still want to kill each other.
  • The Millennium Group from Hellsing is a single battalion of Nazi soldiers who have voluntarily undergone artificial vampirification in their mission give World War II another go.
    • Though they're a variation on the usual type, since they're not fighting for Nazism, but because they really like fighting.
  • Many antagonists of Pumpkin Scissors are this type.
  • The character Grenadier in the Leiji Matsumoto series Cosmo Warrior Zero starts off as one of these, despite being a mercenary soldier hired by La Résistance; blame Honor Before Reason, a group of refugee children to protect, and an open-ended contract.
  • The last prime minister of Japan in Code Geass is treated somewhat like this trope... But he never got to go through with it because Suzaku killed him. It's heavily implied that Brittania would have eradicated Japan utterly if he had.
    • The Japanese Liberation Front was the remnant of the old Japanese army until the Black Knights absorbed them.
  • Fate Averruncus of Mahou Sensei Negima!. Manga only though, the anime renders this impossible for plot altering reasons. Fate was second in command of a group called Cosmo Entelecheia, a group that was trying to bring about the end of the world A.K.A. "The Ritual To Return The World To Nothing". The group was lead by someone who was only known as "The Life Maker" and "The Mage of the Beginning". They fueled a war in order to accomplish this. It was the war and the defeat of The Mage Of The Beginning that made Nagi Springfield (Protagonist's father) a legend. After that he was known as "The Invincible Thousand Master" or just The Thousand Master for short. Fate hasn't given up.
    • Or he might be the newest version of the second in command of Cosmo Entelecheia.
  • The Kiheitai in Gintama is a revolutionary army that seeks to violently drive the Amanto aliens out of Japan, even if it means that Japan will be destroyed in the process. In fact, the complete and total destruction of Japanese society under Amanto influence seems to be the desired goal of this group's leader, Takasugi, who has shown both a willingness and a creepy enthusiasm to do the destroying himself. Then again, Takasugi is also a Nietzsche Wannabe and seems solely interested in destruction and avenging his teacher's death.
  • Hegemon Heidi Einhard Stratos Ingvalt of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid is a subversion. Nove assumes her reasons for wanting to fight Vivio and Ixpellia is because to her the wars of Ancient Belka never ended, but Einhard denies this saying she only wants to prove the superiority of her Kaiser Arts. Once she actually meets Vivio, she quickly becomes The Rival and doesn't hold any grudges against her.
  • In SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers: The Next, taking place roughly in our time, an old man living under Tokyo still believes WWII continues, and is obsessed about the mission given to him. Other underground dwellers consider him dangerously crazy, but he is quite likeable.
  • Viral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fits this role early on after the Time Skip, although subverted in that while being classified as a terrorist and gets told several times that his fight is pointless, he still insists that he does it for a noble goal. It is later revealed that he did, in fact, fight for a good cause, as he was aiming to keep the population underground to prevent the activation of the Anti-Spirals' annihilation program. He does grow out of this role when he joins up with the heroes, and eventually ends up as the supreme commander of the galactic federation fleet.
    • He doesn't really know about the Anti-spirals though. What he's doing is fighting so that the people who want to stay underground can do that, at least in this particular instance. Lordgenome wanted them underground, they want to be underground, and Viral is pretty much all that's left to fight for that goal. It's hard to not feel bad for Viral finally getting arrested because Enkidu has seen SO MANY HOPELESS BATTLES that it finally just breaks down. Viral even apologizes to it.
  • In Attack on Titan, the Walled City is pretty much all that's left of human civilization (at least as far as it's known), the ruling government emerging from the world's united stand against the Titans.
  • Diana in Jewelpet (2009) turns out to be this after her big brother Dian's backstory is revealed (he was a Malcolm Xerox-flavored rebel). She managed to escape Dian's fate and many years later saw an opportunity to unseal him using the power of the Jewelpets who got lost on Earth; this is what the heroes try to stop during the first half of the show.

     Comic Books  
  • The Serenity comic book introduces the Dust Devils, extremist former Browncoats continuing to wage a terrorist war against the Alliance, and reveals that technically, Zoe was once one of their number - she participated in a battle where neither the Alliance nor the Independents had been informed that the Alliance had won.
    • From the point of view of the Alliance, Mal Reynolds could be seen as The Remnant, though he mostly resorts to brigandry like his 19th Century counterpart Jesse James.
  • Pointed out in the first X-Wing Series comic.
    Tycho: Wait, slow down. A week ago, Wedge vaporized the Emperor and half the Imperial High Command - I know that Imperials tried to stab us in the back after The Truce at Bakura, but isn't the war basically over? Why won't the Imperials just surrender?
    Luke: Would you stop fighting if Wedge was killed? Or me? Or Senator Organa? The Battle of Endor will always be a turning point in this war, but there are millions of Imperials scattered across the galaxy, and we can only assume that they will fight to the end. And they probably have orders to do just that.
  • Colonel Quantrill in B.A.'s Cattlepunk campaign in Knights of the Dinner Table.
  • The Fort Charlotte Brigade from Jonah Hex (although they also have a personal axe to grind with Jonah).
  • Colonel Augustus Barton and his renegede Confederate buswhackers in The Lone Ranger and Zorro: The Death of Zorro from Dynamite.
  • In "The War That Never Ended!" in Adventure Comics #255, Green Arrow and Speedy are stranded on a Pacific island that is still inhabited by Japanese soldiers who do not know that WWII is over.
  • The "Peekaboo Bandit" from Airboy: Deadeye.
  • Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific has CHOKAITEN; a rogue Japanese military unit that has been waiting six years since the end of the war to unleash a devastating super weapon that will sink the North American continent.
  • In the Alan Moore run of Wild CATS, this happened to both sides. The Khreubim/Daemonite war has been over for a long time, with the Daemonites falling to the Kherubim and effectively being subjugated. Unfortunately, neither side bothered to send an envoy to Earth, so the war continued to rage here for centuries.
  • Parodied in one of the "Tales of Irony" in Snake & Bacon's Cartoon Cavalcade, a Japanese soldier on a Pacific island is discovered to still be fighting World War 2—by a Confederate soldier that still thinks the Civil War's on!
  • Rare heroic example in Astérix. Gaul has surrendered to the Romans, but one Undefeatable Little Village still lives like it's the Iron Age and holds out against the invaders! ...or not, as they never engage in La Résistance-type action, preferring mostly to get on with their own, usually quite petty lives, and beat up any Romans trying to tell them what to do rather than attempting to liberate Gaul. The story clearly establishes that legally, the village is Roman, and the characters even exploit this when being part of the Roman Empire would be helpful to them. They also adopt Roman technology, such as the use of sestertii as currency, wax tablets, Roman numerals and writing, and so on, and everyone's bilingual Gaulish and Latin, though some are better at Latin than others. Caesar even says that the Roman government pays a peace settlement to their chief, as agreed upon in the terms of surrender, and the chief's wife is angry that the Romans haven't made him a senator. And yet, they proudly refuse all Roman identity, did something to the Roman taxman so he would never come back there again, and any Romans approaching the village get beaten to a paste. They have no interest in being seriously liberated and are well aware the war is over, but continue fighting it because it's fun, they hate the Romans on principle, and they just don't care.
    • Obelix All At Sea and The Secret Weapon suggest Asterix's goal is for the Romans to grant them peace with honours, but if they tried to negotiate surrender as it is all the warriors would end up in prison, so fighting until the Romans get the message is the only option. Obelix is horrified by any suggestion of compromise and considers it trampling on the memory of Vercingetorix, with the implication that most of the other villagers agree with this. Of course, this is all Played for Laughs.
  • In early 1995, when Bruce Wayne finally returned to Gotham City to officially be Batman again after a two-year absence (it's a long story), the first enemies he found himself and Robin having to combat were the Troika, a faction of three (technically four, but one of them defected to the West) ex-Soviet terrorists unwilling to admit that the Cold War was over.
  • One of The Order's first battles is against a nuclear-armed team of Russian supervillains who are completely unaware that the Cold War has been over for two decades.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: With the disbanding of the Decepticons by their leader, their forces are thoroughly shattered. Several just shrugged and moved on with their lives, while others tried for a resurgence of their once mighty empire. Tarn and the Justice Division seek out what might be the largest remnant, a band of Mercurial Decepticons 500 strong, and ally with them to bring forth a new order of Decepticons with their first act of business to hunt down the very one who disbanded the original regime, Megatron.
  • The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Presents a more conventional example with Soundwave gathering up many of the A-lister cons, including the remaining members of the Earth Infiltration team, throwing their lot in with Galvatron, and heading to earth to ally with the humans and get in the Autobot's way. They claim to be the Decepticons, following their principles in the absence of their founder, even if their ranks only have a few dozen members.

     Fan Works  
  • In Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades, Kuvira's supporters continue to uphold the ideals of the Earth Empire and defend its territory despite her being captured and abandoning her ambitions. They're still extremely well trained, armed, organized and equipped, enough to oppose the United Forces on even footing and attempt to "rescue" Kuvira.
  • In Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja, Konoha is destroyed and most of its population killed in the Sand/Sound attack, forcing the few hundred survivors to fall back to the Senju clan's hidden fortress, led by Jiraiya.
  • The Azula Trilogy's Starter Villain, General Azun, is the leader of a portion of the Fire Nation's military that refuses to accept the end of the war and Zuko's ascension as Fire Lord, and intend to "rescue" Azula so that she can lead them in retaking control of the Nation.

  • In The Burmese Harp, a Japanese POW is tasked by his British captors with getting a Japanese unit holed up in a cave to surrender, since Japan has surrendered and the war is over. The POW fails, the Japanese in the cave refuse to give up, and they are annihilated.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was originally supposed to feature a team of Nazi die-hards as its villains. After directing Schindler's List, Spielberg didn't think he could feature Those Wacky Nazis as villains again, prompting him to change the villains to Soviets.
  • Col. Stuart and his team of mercenaries from Die Hard 2 who think their government backed the wrong side.
    • Another example would be Simon Gruber's unit of East-German Special Forces who were trained to speak fluently English for infiltration operations and were disbanded after the Soviet Union fell.
  • The Last Samurai has Nathan and Katsumoto's samurais fighting against the Meiji government.
  • In Gladiator, the Germanic tribes who refused to bow before the might of the Roman empire's legions. Unusually for such a trope, though they are clearly the antagonists to Maxmimus's protagonist, Maximus shows respect for their capabilities, sympathy for them, and seems to hope that Rome wouldn't give up even against such hopeless odds. Also is Truth in Television.
  • The Last Flight Of Noahs Ark has two Japanese soldiers on a lost island.
  • Quentin Turnbull and his Southern terrorists in Jonah Hex.
  • Captain Jim West fights ex-Confederate terrorists at the start of Wild Wild West.
  • Bane's army in The Dark Knight Rises represents the remnants of the League of Shadows, a sinister organization decimated by Batman in the first movie of the series.
  • In Man of Steel, Zod and his followers position themselves as the sole remnant of the Kryptonian civilization and seek to restore it.
  • The Damned is about a group of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who flee to South America in a U-boat in April 1945, hoping to set up The Remnant as German defeat looms in Europe. When a German cargo ship encounters the sub and tells them that Germany has surrendered and the war is over, the Nazi Party fuctionary in charge of the submarine promptly torpedoes the cargo ship.
  • The First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a successor of the original Galactic Empire; note that the Legends continuity already had done something similar, as shown in the Literature folder below.

  • In A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, House Targaryen is this at the beginning of the series, after they were dethroned fifteen years earlier in a civil war.
    • The Brotherhood without Banners, the pro-Robert splinter cell encountered in A Storm of Swords. An interesting case as they start off as La Résistance, but become The Remnant after their principled leader dies and they get a vengeance crazed replacement.
    • The Sons of the Harpy wage a shadow war against Dany's rule because she outlawed slavery in Meereen and they want it back.
    • The Free City of Volantis sees itself as the Remnant of the Valyrian Freehold and once tried to restore it under its leadership but failed.
    • The Golden Company are mercenaries composed largely of descendants of losers of the Blackfyre Rebellion.
  • Once you get past all the Sweet Polly Oliver spoofing, the main protagonists of the Discworld novel Monstrous Regiment discover that they almost qualify as this trope.
    • They then use this discovery in a very effective ruse involving a press release.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels set in the Legends continuity, the Empire (referred to as the "Imperial Remnant" in the ) continues to be the major antagonist despite the Emperor himself dying in the Battle of Endor. (When people wonder why in various Expanded Universe stories, it's pointed out that if the entire ruling council of the New Republic was killed in an attack...they'd be replaced by people who probably wouldn't be as good at the job; hardly a crushing blow.) Fifteen years later, they are reduced to less than a hundredth of their former strength, and there are still politicians and commanders who refuse to give up—even though the Supreme Commander notes that the average Imperial citizen probably realized it years ago, and decides on his own to arrange for Peace Conferences with the New Republic so that the Empire could survive to rise again, one day.
    • That day came many years later, long after the Vong Invasion. At some point the Empire reformed and the Republic became The Remnant, and as the entire galaxy had become rather darker by that point, that Empire doesn't come off as too evil.
      • Of course, by this time the Empire has softened considerably from the days of Vader and Sidious — the Emperor is very strongly hinted to be a descendant of Han Solo and Leia (through their daughter, Jaina — admittedly, being called Solo isn't an anti-dark side guarantee); the anti-alien doctrine is gone to the point where you have Devaronian stormtroopers and Kel Dor admirals; and the new version of the Royal Guards are basically Jedi whose first rule is that if the Emperor goes to the dark side, they kill his ass (the official word from the Jedi Order proper is that the Emperor and his guards are neither dark nor light side). Then, of course, the Sith perform a coup and this Empire becomes a second Remnant, locked in an Enemy Civil War with a Sith-run Empire where it's pretty much back to the old business of maniacal cackling and sneering at opponents. The Fantastic Racism is still (mostly) gone though.
    • Another example would be the scattered remnants of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Officially known as Separatist Holdouts, the ones which weren't destroyed by the Galactic Empire were absorbed into the Rebel Alliance.
    • In a much smaller example, there were two separate soldiers who crashed on two different essentially uninhabited jungle planets and didn't hear that their war was over for some twenty years. The first, apparently based on the Real Life Japanese soldiers, was a TIE pilot on Yavin IV who was found by the Solo twins, antagonized them, eventually helped them, and went back to living alone in the jungle, then aided them again against the Vong. The second, chronologically the first, was Able 1707, a clone trooper whose troop transport crashed. The other troopers died - most clone troopers age at twice the normal rate - leaving him to wait until Imperial and Rebel forces skirmished near him, when he had to try and figure out which side was his. He eventually ended up as a rather Badass and slightly antiheroic commando for the Rebellion, only to be transformed into a rakghoul monster. Sigh.
      • Oddly enough, while individuals like Qorl (that'd be the aforesaid TIE pilot) happen quite often, the Imperial Remnant is never The Remnant - they remain a full-function government, albeit with less territory every year.
      • It is also worth noting that, depending on the time period, it is not always a united Vestigial Empire as much as a series of rival factions. During his life, the Emperor deliberately tore down the bureaucracy of the Old Republic, replacing it with something akin to a feudal system, with regional governors having direct control over their territories, all of whom were loyal to him, with the military might of the Empire to enforce it. When the Emperor was killed, those factions had no supreme leader holding their allegiance anymore, and many different regional governors had different ideas about succession and policy. After Thrawn's and the reborn Emperor's deaths, the Empire disintegrated as a unified force and spent the next decade or so in an off-and-on state of civil war, with former governors and high military officers setting themselves up as despots. This lasted until Admiral Daala resurfaced and brought together most of these leaders to hash out an Imperial alliance that could strike back at the Rebellion. This failed, and she simply had them all killed and took over the whole shebang pretty much by default. When her latest master plan failed, she turned over leadership to Admiral Pallaeon, who ruled the still-unified Empire in a kind of military junta with a group of civilian Moffs as an advisory council, a situation that carried all the way through the Vong wars and most of the new Galactic Civil War.
  • Captain Nemo, the villain/Anti-Hero of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island is an exiled Indian prince continuing to fight the Sepoy Mutiny.
    • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has him continue this, despite ostensibly working with British intelligence; his descendents continue this, to the point that his grandson Jack is his universe's equivalent of Osama bin Laden.
  • The democratic rebellion from Nerhûn. Granted, they'd be more like The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized, if only they were the good guys.
  • In the Miles Vorkosigan novel Brothers In Arms, the villain is one of these for the Komarran resistance, rather to Miles' frustration:
    Galen: The revolt must not die.
    Miles: Even if everybody in it dies? 'It didn't work, so let's do it some more'? In my line of work, they call that military stupidity. I don't know what they call it in civilian life.
  • In the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, a remnant of the former Galactic Empire remains for several centuries after the true empire collapses, maintaing the styles and iconography of it's previous incarnation. Because the Empire was so huge, a government in control of twenty planets is only a tiny remnant of the real thing.
  • In David Eddings' The Belgariad, the country of Arendia has been torn by civil war for millennia, largely due to their race's absurd devotion to Honor Before Reason. The Asturians continue to mount pointless insurrections against the crown, despite the fact that the Mimbrates won the war long ago and the Asturian Duchess is also the Queen.
    • The main problem with the Mimbrates and Asturians, aside from the Mimbrates treating their landed gentry opposite numbers as no better than serfs, is that neither side will talk to the other. When, after some outside prodding, they do, and the point of the queen also being Asturian nobility is mentioned, tensions ease noticeably.
    Queen: "You mean that there have been centuries of strife over a technicality?"
    Noble: "... It is rather Arendish, isn't it?"
  • The plot of the J.T. Edson Western The South Will Rise Again.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch, a small fleet of Jem'Hadar warships, led by Kitana'klan, continue to wage war on the Dominion's rivals for several months after the peace treaty is signed. Ashamed of their species' failure to take the Alpha Quadrant, they're determined to renew the fighting even against the will of the Founders. Three months after the conflict's conclusion, they attack Deep Space Nine, destroying the starship Aldebaran with all hands and damaging the starship Defiant. They are in turn attacked by the loyal Jem'Hadar Taran'atar, who was en route to Deep Space Nine as an envoy on the orders of Odo. He defends the station with his own warship, and eventually foils a secondary plot by Kitana'klan to destoy the reactor core.
  • In Andre Norton's The Beast Master, the villains turn out to be a detachment of the same aliens who found out too late that nuking Terra into radioactive sterility wouldn't save them from Terra's colonies. The war's been over for a year or so, but they're trying to make new trouble on a colony planet.
  • Saruman from Lord of the Rings qualifies in a round-about sense, in that he is a former 'Evil Overlord' , but reduced to a pathetically small scale after his armies are routed and he is cast out from Isengard. He spends the remainder of the book running the Shire into the ground, turning into a sort of bandit leader with a mob of 'ruffians'. He is stabbed in the back (completely literally) by his servant at the end.
    • It's also said that after Sauron's defeat, his human allies such as the Haradrim and the Easterlings continue fighting against Gondor, although its less out of loyalty to their old boss and more out of fear and hatred of Gondor.
    • Sauron himself qualifies, being the erstwhile right hand of Morgoth.
  • In The Years of Rice and Salt, although Western civilization is all but destroyed, a few fragments remain such as Georgia and New Norway.
  • In Red Justice, a book set in the Justice League franchise, the Justice League ends up facing Red Justice, a group of superpowered Soviets who had been in hibernation and believe The Cold War is still going on when they awakened.
  • Referenced in Animorphs. The Blade Ship's crew may qualify.
  • In Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, Tarzan encounters tewo feuding groups of Knights Templar, neither of whom know that the Crusades are over.
  • In Gimlet Mops Up by W.E. Johns, Gimlet and his crew take on the Werewolves, Nazi terrorists continuing to fight after the end of World War II.
  • In the novel Warday by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka, published in 1984 and depicting a future which seemed plausible at the time, the United States and Soviet Union destroy each other in a Nuclear War. Britian, which emerged unscathed, proceeds to re-establish itself as a major world power and in effect re-create The British Empire. Five years afterwards, a Captain of the British Royal Navy, patrolling the Pacific , tells the protagonists: "There are still submarines at sea, carrying nuclear missiles and loyal to non-existent governments. They are extremely dangerous and if they don't surrender we have to destroy them".
  • By the end of Guns of the Dawn, the army in which the protagonist is fighting has become this without realising it. Fighting in an inaccessible area, they don't realise that their forces elsewhere have collapsed and that they are now encircled. They're persuaded to surrender, but still gain a lot of praise from the citizenry for being the last survivors — which becomes important when the fugitive king tries to use the protagonist, now as much of a war hero as you can get in a defeated country, as the centre of an uprising. The king's own band, however, is not so much a remnant of his old forces as a new gang of bandits he has recruited through bribes.

     Live Action TV  
  • Col. Emmett Anderson (played by Kurtwood Smith) in the pilot episode of The Magnificent Seven TV series, "Ghosts of the Confederacy," who leads a group of ex-Confederate soldiers who roam the west preying on isolated towns.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", the crew encounter an alien fugitive with the right side of his body colored white and the left colored black. Eventually his pursuer, who has the same colors but reversed arrives to capture him for causing "race riots". Eventually, the pursuer hijacks the Enterprise to try to return the fugitive to their home planet to face trial only to find that the planet had destroyed itself in the race war. Despite being offered a place to live by Kirk, both of them blame each other's race for what happened and start fighting, eventually taking their fight to the destroyed planet below.
    Sulu: But the cause they fought about no longer exists. Does it matter now which one was right?
    Spock: All that matters to them is their hate.
    Uhura: Do you suppose that's all they ever had, sir?
    Kirk: No, but that's all they have left.[dejected] Warp factor 4, Mr. Sulu. Starbase...4.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, a member of the Maquis used a plan too complicated to describe here (Brainwashing was involved) to cause the Maquis members of the Voyager crew to mutiny.
    • This is actually a subversion; the guy in question was in reality never a part of the Maquis because his more questionable methods of freedom fighting disgusted them, and was trying to revive the Maquis through his brainwashing partially to get back at them for rejecting his help.
    • The guy who did this (who only appeared in one episode) later did the voice of Harbinger from Mass Effect 2. Assuming Direct Control, indeed.
  • Doctor Who: In "Remembrance of the Daleks", the Seventh Doctor persuades a lone Dalek to kill itself as it has "no superiors, no inferiors, no reinforcements, no hope, no rescue!"
    • When he attempts a similar tactic on another lone Dalek in "Dalek" however, he only succeeds in making it angrier.
    Then I shall follow the Primary Order! The Dalek instinct to destroy, to conquer!
    • The Doctor himself, as the last of the Timelords, has to try to keep the Daleks in check, by himself.
  • In Torchwood, the Torchwood Institute was once a massive organisation with access of powerful aliens weapons and talking about rebuilding the British Empire. After 2007 it's half a dozen people in a Elaborate Underground Base under Roald Dahl Plass. It became defunct in 2010, when Jack left Earth, and by 2011, it was four people on the run, basically running under Torchwood as a codeword. With the death of one of its remaining four members, its status as of the end of Torchwood: Miracle Day is unclear.
  • In the MacGyver episode "Humanity", MacGyver tangles with the K-Force, a group of Praetorian Guard still loyal to Romania's dead tyrant Ceauşescu.
  • The Machine Empire Remnant in Power Rangers, which attacked in the Power Rangers Wild Force episode "Forever Red", four years after the Empire (and other forces of evil) was destroyed at the end of Power Rangers in Space.
    • Most of the Power Rangers/Super Sentai crossovers involve remnants of the previous villain group teaming up with the current one.
  • In Firefly, Malcolm Reynolds, on the losing side of the Independents' revolt against the Alliance, still believes that he was on the right side, and ekes out an existence on the outskirts of civilization with a few like minded comrades.
    • Played with throughout the series. While everyone thinks that Mal is The Remnant - ready to take the fight to the Alliance again on behalf of the Independents - he really just wants to forget the Alliance exists and live his own gorram life. The mistaken belief that Mal is still fighting the war is invoked in "Bushwhacked" and several times during the movie.
    Trade Agent: You all are Browncoats, eh? Fought for independence? Petty thieving ain't exactly soldiers' work.
    Mal: War's long done. We're all just folk now.
    • Note that for a while, he was The Remnant—it's mentioned in various sources that he fought on at Serenity Valley with his troops for several weeks after the leaders of the Independents stopped fighting and began negotiating terms of surrender.
  • An episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea dealt with a Japanese holdout (see Real Life examples below).
  • The crew of the Battlestar Pegasus in Battlestar Galactica continued their war against the Cylons long after (as far as they knew) the government was completely wiped out and their warship was the only human fighting force left in the galaxy.
    • The Galactica herself is also an example, though for the most part, they tended only to fight the Cylons when escaping wasn't immediately possible. They do spend most of the Mini Series trying to figure out who is in charge and getting the ship re-armed so they can get back into the fight, it isn't until the end that Roslin convinces Adama that running away is the better option.
  • One episode of The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot had a remnant of the Roman colonial government of Britain hiding behind a section of Hadrian's Wall, pretending to be ghosts.
  • Kamen Rider Decade: Super Shocker in the Grand Finale movie Final Chapter. It's the remains of Dai-Shocker's massive Monster of the Week army after the really big fight at the end of All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker, rebranded under Narutaki (whose hatred of Decade has evolved from trolling to outright villainy) and a revived Doctor Shinigami.
  • Northern Exposure featured one of these guys in one episode, from when Japan controlled the Aleutian Islands.
  • The first episode of Rutland Weekend Television has a sketch about a group of British soldiers who remain unaware WWII is over... and who are stationed on the Isle of Wight, a couple of miles off the English coast. It also has a Major who has been told the war is over, but is incapable of understanding the concept.
  • The crew of the Minbari warship Trigati in Babylon 5.
  • Dylan Hunt is this for a while in Andromeda, trying to restart the Commonwealth despite being the last soldier of the High Guard in existence.
  • The Annointed One's army in Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spike dissolved the ancient order when he took over.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World: In "Tribute", Malone, Marguerite, and Summerlee are taken prisoner by a World War I pilot, Hans Dressler, who still thinks WWI is still going on.
  • In one episode of Gilligan's Island, a demented Japanese soldier who doesn't realize WWII is long-over arrives on the island and begins ambushing the castaways one by one.
  • Jess Evans and his Confederate renegades in the Frontier Circus episode "The Hunter and the Hunted". Refused a pardon after the Civil War, they moved west and have been living as outlaws. Several are Still Wearing the Old Colors.
  • Pompeii's army in Rome is reduced to this after he loses a great battle and he is dumped as it's leader. Cato and Scipio take over but they are defeated in Africa.
  • The American POWs in the Lexx episode "Apocalexx Now"- the Fighting 78th, a Marine Platoon that was captured during the Vietnam War and released during the episode, circa 2001 AD, under the impression that the war was still raging.
  • The New Avengers: In "K is for Kill", a cadre of Soviet soldiers are accidentally awoken from their cryogenic sleep and embark on following their original Cold War orders; attacking several former military targets that have been abandoned for decades.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The National Wrestling Alliance lost the ability to compete with any of the national promotions that arose from the territorial system in 1994. It was, in fact almost completely forgotten in its own home country by 1996. The company had been around since 1948 and by 94 there wasn't a member that had been extant in 1989. But even as a shadow of its formers self, the NWA never stopped operating and finally succeeded in establishing itself in Europe, as well as finding viewers in Africa and Asia to be surprisingly loyal. In 2010, it even made an ever so slight resurgence, reminding people it was still around through internet streaming. Even after a leadership shakeup caused more members to leave in 2012, it undauntedly launched an invasion of one of it's largest and most successful former members, New Japan Pro Wrestling, the next year.
  • The Heartland Wrestling Association is the last remaining remnant of what was once the largest pro wrestling promotion in the world, WCW, sending trainees that would have gone straight to WCW out to the wider world.
  • After the CZW conflict was officially settled by Homicide, CZW's Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli and Necro Butcher continued to cause problems at Ring of Honor shows.

  • Used as the punchline for the version of Douglas Adams 'Kamikaze' sketch that was broadcast on BBC comedy show The Burkiss Way in 1977:
    Pilot: I stand by what I said! We shouldn't be doing this at all, Sir! All this flying out and crashing into British and American ships - It's all wrong, sir!
    Commanding Officer: Wrong, Simpkins? Give me one good reason why it's wrong!
    Pilot: Well - The war ended thirty-two years ago, Sir!
  • The Navy Lark: In one episode the Troutbridge manages to capture a straggler U-Boat from World War II, with hijinks and poor German accents abounding. Please note, the episode was set in and aired in 1960...

     Tabletop Games  
  • In the Eberron setting of Dungeons & Dragons, some warforged (sentient soldier-golems) act like this after the end of The Last War has left them without a place in the world. All the sides are technically at peace, but one of the main aspects of the setting is that the peace is so fragile that any kind of major incident (which the player characters will no doubt get involved in) could start another war. The biggest Remnant among warforged is led by the charismatic Lord of Blades.
    • Also in Eberron is The Order of The Emerald Claw, Karrnathi zealots that were once the pride of Karrn's military but have now been branded outlaws and terrorist. This is also a Subversion, as the Order is actually the military arm of the Blood of Vol and are used as spies, saboteurs, and agents provocateur throughout Khorvaire. And then Double Subverted, as some supplements point out that much of the Order's rank-and-file don't realize just how strong the ties to the Blood of Vol really are, and genuinely believe they are Karrnathi patriots continuing to fight the war on Karrnath's behalf even if the Karrnathi state refuses to (or in some cases believes that the Karrnathi state's public opposition to the Order is all a case of Plausible Deniability to allow the Order to strengthen Karrnath's position without inviting reprisals against Karrnath).
  • The Deadlands supplement South o' the Border includes the San Patrico Battalion: a group of Americans who fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War who now roam the badlands of the Confederacy and northern Mexico.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The Chaos Space Marines, who after losing the Horus Heresy continue to wage war against the forces of the "False Emperor" ten thousand years later. And because many of them took refuge in the Eye of Terror after losing the civil war, some of the veterans of the Siege of Terra literally have been fighting the Long War for millennia on end.
    • The militaristic Craftworld Biel-Tan still tries to reconquer the galaxy for the Eldar race. The Dark Eldar is building up their own empire and sees itself as the remnant of the original Eldar empire.
  • The Kraken Fleet from Fifty Fathoms. Their only city has been destroyed, their once proud navy is down to one Great Ship, and their leader, Grand Admiral Caspian, was crippled in the last fight against the Big Bad. It hasn't stopped the remaining Kraken from trying to find ways to fight the Big Bad, and win this time.
  • BattleTech: Even after their annihilation there are still small elements of Clan Smoke Jaguar who pop in and out occasionally.
    • The Spirit Cats are the remains of Clan Nova Cat, who were destroyed by the Draconis Combine.
    • Despite Republic of the Sphere propaganda, the Word of Blake was never entirely annihilated. The survivors are assumed to have made a suicidal bid to attack the Clan Homeworlds, are enjoying retirement on the remaining Hidden Five, or masterminding round two for the Jihad. They are something of a bogeyman for the Inner Sphere: still possessing their most elite troops, a self-sufficient industrial infrastructure, and the setting's planet killing weapon.
  • Warhammer: as revealed in the "Storm of Magic" book, the Fimir were once the primary servants of Chaos, only for the Dark Gods to switch their attention to the humans and leave the Fimir hanging. As a result, the most Fimir you are ever likely to see in an army is two, and that's only in Storm of Magic games.

  • A Very Potter Musical: Voldemort is defeated at the end of the first play. The sequels reveal that the Death Eaters are carrying on their evil schemes without him, though the final installment has Voldemort resume leadership...sort of.

    Video Games 
  • In Metal Gear Solid and its sequel, the terrorists joins forces with a renegade Russian outfit led by Col. Sergei Gurlukovich. A most sympathetic character, the Colonel took Cold Warriors who had no where to turn after the Wall fell and made them into a mercenary force. Sergei's top guy, Ocelot, hints that certain corners of the Russian armed forces are disgusted with the current state of their country. The Colonel himself has a personal motive: After the USSR collapsed, his hometown was bought up by the U.S. and turned into an atomic testing site. Gurlukovich is delusional enough to think that if he can steal Metal Gear and deliver it into the Russians' hands, it will mean a renaissance for his country.
  • Abundant in the Warcraft universe - enemies are never fully killed off, they periodically return after slowly rebuilding. Arthas, of all people, lampshades this at one point by complaining "Doesn't anyone stay dead anymore?"
    • The early missions of Warcraft III feature orcish holdouts from the Second War, clinging to "dying traditions" and using armies evocative of Warcraft II. Later expansions, including World of Warcraft, turn the tables by featuring a xenophobic Alliance admiral campaigning against the (reformed) orcs even after a truce between the Alliance and the Horde.
    • The upper reaches of Blackrock Mountain are ruled by the remnants of the "Dark Horde," the few ogre, troll, and orc clans that fell under the rule of Rend Blackhand decades ago, and who feel that the Second War has never really ended. What makes this self-proclaimed "true Horde" dangerous is that they know their ongoing battle is largely hopeless, but they keep fighting anyway.
    • Meanwhile in Outland is the "Fel Horde," demon-corrupted orcs left behind following the destruction of the Dark Portal. They've since thrown their lot with Illidan after he conquered Outland from the Burning Legion.
    • The trollish tribes such as the Amani or Gurubashi are actually the remnants of ancient, mighty empires. Thousands of years later, their capitals are mostly ruins, and their (cannibalistic) culture and technology are primitive compared to the rest of the world. As of the "Rise of the Zandalari" patch, these remnants have united under the Zandalar tribe, the oldest troll civilization, in a last-ditch effort to reverse their race's decline and build a civilization capable of surviving their island home's destruction.
    • After Arthas' death at the end of Wrath of the Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon becomes the new Lich King in order to keep the Scourge in check. However in the subsequent Cataclysm expansion it's revealed that Darkmaster Gandling took advantage of the new Lich King's weakness to take control of the Scourge forces in the Plaguelands.
    • The Scarlet Crusade see themselves as righteous successors of the kingdom of Lordaeron, which was destroyed by the Scourge in Warcraft III. This naturally brings them into conflict with the Forsaken, the Horde-aligned faction of free-willed undead that the Crusade sees as indistinguishable from the non-sentient undead Scourge. But with both factions using rather questionable methods, their conflict can be seen as Black and Grey Morality at best.
      • The Scarlet Crusade is a particularly enduring Remnant as well. Over Wrath of the Lich King it lost its leadership in Northrend, and by the Cataclysm expansion their forces in the Eastern Plaguelands were turned into undead, their fortress in the Western Plaguelands was taken over by the Argent Crusade, and they're basically down to the Scarlet Monastery and some scattered holdings in Tirisfal Glades. The game attributes their continued survival to High Inquisitor Whitemane - as a Priest, she can revive the fallen.
  • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, the remnants of Team Rocket from Giovanni's sudden disappearance in the last game are the main antagonists, trying to call Giovanni back to them. In the DS remakes, there's also an event involving Time Travel where it turns out Giovanni was going to come back to lead them, but a combination of the signal suddenly stopping and the player soundly thrashing him along the way convince him to go back into exile.
    • Platinum also has Team Galactic turn into this after their leader Cyrus is beaten, though the new guy in charge outright tells you that they're not going to be quite as bad as they had been.
    • A small group of Rockets post-disappearance are fought in the remake of Red and Blue called FireRed and LeafGreen as part of Extended Gameplay; it's implied that the last ones you fight are the same people who go on to lead the efforts in Gold and Silver.
    • And again in Pokémon Black and White where after Ghetsis, the true leader and mastermind is defeated he and his son N vanish, leaving behind the seven sages, and a couple of random Team Plasma members. The sequel, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, sees the organisation fully rebuilt after a two-year Time Skip... into two opposing factions.
  • The opening mission of Star Fox Assault has you destroying the last remnants of the Venom army before you move up in the Sorting Algorithm of Evil.
  • The Divine Crusaders in Super Robot Wars Original Generation show up again in the sequel as the Neo DC, and then again in the Gaiden Game. It helps that the Divine Crusaders are a walking Shout-Out to Zeon, and that they had help from another faction.
    • Endless Frontier also has a variant with the Einst, who get bonus points for being the remnant of a eldritch abomination faction. Remnants of this faction also appear in Original Generation Gaiden, but not as examples of this trope.
  • The Fallout series has plenty, since it takes place After the End.
    • The series' recurring villainous faction is the Enclave, éminence grise members of the pre-war U.S. government who rode out the apocalypse in their bunker before emerging to retake the wasteland. Responsible for unscrupulous projects such as the F.E.V. and Vault Experiment, over the course of Fallout 2 they try to kill everyone that doesn't match their criteria of "pure" human, which considering all the radiation is pretty much everybody except themselves and Vault Dwellers. They get defeated. So when you encounter them in Fallout 3, you're fighting the remnant of The Remnant, and then in the Broken Steel expansion you fight the remnants of that. As of Fallout: New Vegas the Enclave is all but extinct, but you can convince a handful of survivors to rally for one last hurrah at the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, where they'll become the stuff of legends. That said, the game hints that there are probably more Enclave holdouts in the Midwest, such as the Chicago outpost visited by ED-E.
    • Many members of The Master's super mutant army survived his death, and by the time of Fallout 2 eighty years later, the smarter ones have settled in peace in the city of Broken Hills. While super mutants can be encountered as particularly dangerous raiders, New Vegas reveals that most are happy to readjust to a peaceful life. Unfortunately, the Nightkin have had their sanity shattered due to use of their stealth technology, and still wage war on non-mutants for various crazy reasons.
    • The Brotherhood of Steel technically qualifies, as they're descended from a group of former United States Army soldiers. In a twist, it's revealed in the first game that the soldiers were mutineers and the Brotherhood was effectively a secessionist movement. Unlike most examples on this page, they're relatively heroic.
    • Fallout 3 features the Chinese Remnant, ghoulified pre-War Chinese infiltrators lurking in the ruins of Washington D.C.
    • The Point Lookout DLC also has Desmond Lockheart and Professor Calvert, two high-ranking pre-War intelligence officers who have carried on their old rivalry for two hundred years, even though the nations they once represented no longer exist. And it's implied that there are others like them still playing the "Great Game."
  • Homeworld: Cataclysm with the Taiidani empire. In the original Homeworld, exiles literaly marched to the heart of their very empire. There was already rebellion, and the rebels found it very useful that exiles took the capital of The Empire and killed the emperor. In the time of the expansion, the Imperial capital is controlled by the exiles, and the rebellion is establishing a new government. That however, doesnt stops several Taiidan warlords and splinter factions from trying to attack the still vulnerable ex-capital and try to establish the empire again.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, defeating King Zephiel with all legendary weapons available and intact unlocks the chapters leading to the true ending of the game. The very first of these, "The Ghost of Bern", pits Roy against the remnant of the Bern army, led by the final Wyvern General under orders from her deceased king.
    • Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword has this as well with Eubans's mercenaries, who fight Eliwood and Hector despite being completely aware that the lords have already killed their employer.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has it again: Even after the Grado Empire is defeated by Prince Ephraim's forces, the Grado Remnant remains a persistent foe. Of note, Grado's prince is still alive, and is the one giving the orders.
  • In the Tau campaign of Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, when the Imperial Guard are defeated, the narrator mentions that many of the survivors continued to stage guerilla attacks against the aliens. Also, in the actual game, the forces remaining in any enemy-controlled province after their main headquarters on the "Risk"-Style Map has been captured probably count.
  • The Eruseans from Ace Combat do this twice. The first time, after sacking their capital Farbanti and splashing the V-22s carrying their military leaders in the penultimate mission of Shattered Skies, a group of officers and the last 15 members of their pilot corps takes over the last trump card, Megalith, prompting the final Airstrike Impossible. The second is covered in the Arcade Mode of The Unsung War, where Free Erusean forces attempt an uprising. The Leasath also do this after their commanding officer is defeated, though our Intrepid Reporter narrator notes that they shouldn't last long.
  • From Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Colonel Barnesby and his Confederate remnants are undaunted by the end of The American Civil War, and start up a gun-running operation in the hopes of putting together enough money to finance a second rebellion.
  • In the Star Wars games set in the Legends continuity, the remaining Imperials after the Battle of Endor are literally known as The (Imperial) Remnant. That's what happens when you cut off the head of the snake...
  • The Godfather: The Game counts an enemy Family as wiped out once you bomb and take over their Compound, but any Legitimate Businessmens Social Clubs that you have yet to take over still shows as under their control, plus in certain spots even in Corleone turf you may still find pockets of enemy mobsters.
  • In Dungeon Keeper 2 the Sylvan Elves formerly under the command of Lord Ronin continue to fight against Keeper Asmodeous. Interestingly, and very unusually for this trope, if left to their own devices they'll actually win. Granted it won't resurrect their commander, but they'll get their territory back. Of course, the mission objective is to kill Asmodeous yourself in order to prevent this, with the assumption being that the player has destroyed the remaining Elves in the process. Later, the remainder of Lord Bramble's forces don't give up either, but they're more interested in surviving in what remains of his fortress than actually aggressing against the two Keepers in the area.
  • Chrono Trigger features a few incarnations of forces from the past in later eras. The Reptites of the Giant's Claw cross over into Lost World, while the only way to improve relations between the Humans and Fiends in 1000 AD is to take out Magus' surviving generals in 600 AD. Doing this with Magus in your party leads to some rather rewarding special dialogue.
  • Many un-updated Random Encounter zones can produce an effect similar to this after external plot changes, such as The Empire's troops in South Figaro's secret tunnel after the Floating Continent in Final Fantasy VI.
  • In StarCraft, the Confederacy just won't seem to go away after being defeated by Arcturus Mengsk. One remnant group joined the United Earth Directorate shortly after they invaded the sector.
    • The Confederacy appears in a cool map, Deception, having made strange alliances.
    • Ironically, there are UED remnants left in the K-Sector after their defeat, some of them serving as mercenaries; in fact, a lot of the remnants of old Terran factions appearing as mercenaries that can be hired in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
    • Mengsk himself spent a few months as a remnant force between the sacking of his capital of Augustgrad and being able to reclaim it from Kerrigan's Swarm. There are also several prominent protoss examples (ranging in size from "the majority of the Fleet of the Executor" to "a couple dozen civilian refugees") on Aiur following the zerg invasion of that world; though most of them escape sooner or later and are absorbed into (or found, in the case of Artanis's group) the Daelaam Protoss government on Shakuras.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim the two criminal organizations the Dragonborn can join have both fallen into hard times, and the player can create a third Remnant.
    • The Dark Brotherhood has only one Sanctuary in all of Tamriel, in a remote forest in Skyrim, and the Legion already knows its location and could wipe out the Brotherhood at any time. They also don't have a Listener, so they can't even pick up the contracts that reach the Night Mother via Black Sacraments and are forced to rely on the rumour mill to find jobs.
    • The Thieves' Guild is reduced to a tavern in a sewer, their connections are all but gone, and they are considered little more than petty hired thugs with a veneer of civility. The Guild's sorry state is due to Mercer Frey's betrayal. He stole Nocturnal's Skeleton Key (draining the Guild's luck since this upset their patron Daedra Nocturnal), embezzled the Guild's fortune using the Key, and murdered the Guild's charismatic leader Gallus when he got too close to the truth (which cost the Guild all of Gallus' connections).
    • Once you've completed the Civil War questline in favor of the Imperial Legion or Stormcloaks, the other side becomes this. Though despite what your commander says, you can't wipe them out without a Game Mod since their officers are still flagged as "Essential" characters.
  • In Alpha Protocol, this is an almost-inevitable consequence of the Alpha Protocol system, because there are so many layers of deniability built into the program that each agent can become an organization unto himself, and when the program is exposed, it just shuts down and the government denies everything, leaving its remaining agents completely unattached. Conrad Marburg's Deus Vult is one such organization, and though it's not outright stated, it is strongly hinted that G22 is actually the remnant of a previous iteration of Alpha Protocol known as G19.
  • Halo: One of the enemy factions in Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians is a Covenant remnant led by religiously fanatical Elites who disregard the Arbiter's peace treaty with humanity. The Covenant fighting on the planet Genesis are the remnants of the remnant, with the Arbiter having rooted them out of their last stronghold on Sanghelios.
    • The Didact, the Big Bad of Halo 4's main campaign, is leading the remnants of his Promethean Warrior-Servants in tandem with the Covenant remnant against the UNSC, despite there being no plausible means of restoring the Forerunner Ecumene to its ancient glory.
    • The Expanded Universe and gaiden games include several other Covenant remnants unrelated to the one we see in 4 and 5, such as the Keepers of the One Freedom (who are unique in their relative tolerance towards humanity).
  • Total Annihilation: Kingdoms Iron Plague: After Lokken was defeated in the first game, a small band of cultist called The Cult of Lokken still fight to restore Taros's former glory, and they are successful in reviving Lokken from the dead.
  • Neo Contra has the titular organization Bill and Jaguar battle throughout the whole game. They are apparently the political rebels who are trying to defy the governments by setting up their powers.
  • In the Playable Epilogue to four of six plotlines in EV Nova, the Bureau is ousted from their control of the Federation and its lawfully elected government is restored to power. But you periodically run across Bureau remnant forces flying their trademark RAGE Gunboats, battling Federation Navy ships.
  • In Just Cause 2, Rico can take a mission to find a missing pilot that ends up leading him to an island populated with hundreds of Imperial Japanese soldiers manning and using a towering machine that generates thunderstorms to shoot down planes and sink boats.
  • Star Trek Online has the True Way. They're a terrorist group composed of rogue Jem'Hadar and Cardassian soldiers that wants to overthrow the civilian-dominated Cardassian government that came into being post-Deep Space Nine and resume the Dominion War.
    • The 2800 mission arc is a time-travel twist on the 'holdout that haven't heard/refuses to believe the war is over' variant — the eponymous 2800 are 2800 Dominion warships that disappeared in the wormhole in 2374, at the height of the Dominion War... only to emerge in 2409, 34 years after the War ended, quickly capturing Deep Space Nine. It even goes so far as to have the solution be an analogue to bringing in the old commanding officer (the Federation brings out the Female Changeling imprisoned after the war, and gets her to co-operate by offering to return her to the Dominion for her assistance). That is to say, the intended solution. Unfortunately, while the Vorta falls in line, the Jem'Hadar First goes nuts and decides that a suicidal last stand is preferable to surrender even against a Founder's orders.
    • While the Tal Shiar starts out as State Sec crossed with de-facto rule of the Romulan Star Empire note , by the end of the Romulan storyline they have been reduced to this, having splintered from the remnants of the Star Empire in the wake of Sela's disappearance and reeling from Hakeev's death. What remains of Imperial loyalist forces are almost too weak for this trope — when Sela returns the escort force they manage to gather consists of an armed freighter and a Mogai warbird (a mid-size warship).
  • According to the official bio for Team Fortress 2's Soldier, after being rejected from all branches of the military he flew to Europe on his own and embarked on a 'Nazi killing spree', which ended when he heard news of the war's end. In 1949.
  • The player could actually become a remnant soldier in the online mode of the game Chromehounds. If your nation was the first to be taken over, you could then elect to either join one of the remaining two nations or strike out on your own, fighting against both in hopes of liberating the conquered third.
  • The Terran Republic we see (and play as) in PlanetSide is the tiny portion of the Terran military that was stranded alongside everyone else when the wormhole to Auraxis abruptly closed. In Planetside 2, they're the military command that took over the Auraxis colony fleet after much of it was damaged or destroyed passing through the Auraxis wormhole. Despite being separated from their command, the Terran Republic is still a powerful force that equals the New Conglomerate and Vanu Sovereignty in strength.
  • In Freespace, we get two factions of Remnants.
    • In the first game, is a Vasudan group calling themselves "The Hammer of Light" who refuse to accept their government's cease-fire with the Galactic Terran Alliance, and believe that the genocidal Shivans are a prophesized god-race. The Vasudan Empire declares them a terrorist group and they are believed to have been wiped out some time after the formation of the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance.
    • In the second game, the Terran Admiral Bosch forms a Polaris-based militant group called the Neo-Terran Front. Their aims are to overthrow the current Terran government and break ties with the now-friendly Vasudans, motivated mainly by good old-fashioned racism (speciesism in this case). They are declared a rebel group and wiped out over the course of the game. It was actually all a front by Bosch, who really wanted an excuse to plunder some Vasudan ruins and revive an abandoned Terran project to communicate with the Shivans. He is successful in this endeavor, and survives the game... albeit in the custody of the Shivans, and who knows what they intend to do with him.
  • In Dynasty Warriors 8, the Jin Campaign's Alternate History storyline sees them defeating Shu and Wu halfway through... and then spend the other half dealing with an incredibly stubborn Remnant of Shu's old military, Jiang Wei, who rallies various allies (including remnants of Wu's forces) in a bid to retake Shu.
  • Any time a faction is defeated in Warlock: Master Of The Arcane, all their cities and units remain in the game as "Neutrals". These cities do no longer play to win and are hostile to everyone, except other neutrals.
  • The Loyalist faction from Call of Duty 4 is reduced to this by Modern Warfare 3, where they act as a PMC who helps the player (themselves acting as the remnant of the disavowed Task Force 141 from the previous game).

    Web Comics 
  • The B-Movie Comic's thids movie features an old Nazi garrison on the island of Toblerone.

    Web Original 
  • Common, but usually not very important in Ad Astra Per Aspera. The Batavian Soviet Republic is the main remnant of the USSR, and the Platte system is home to various German successor states.

    Western Animation 
  • The Quirky Mini Boss Squad Knights of Vengeance in W.I.T.C.H., at least until they try to free Phobos and end up in prison.
  • The DuckTales episode "Launchpad's Civil War" similar in plot to the The Magnificent Seven example given above. Re-enactments, Launchpad McQuack, and hot air balloons are involved.
  • A variation in Ben 10: Alien Force, in the episode "If All Else Fails": a Highbreed commander had been chosen when the war still raged to stay in a hibernation-like state on Earth, to awake only should his kind lose the war. An earthquake awoke him however, and thinking he was woken up due to the Highbreed losing the fight (which was actually resolved peacefully), the commander unleashed a fail-safe doomsday weapon on all of humankind. It wasn't until the new Highbreed Supreme briefed him on the situation and ordered him to stop the weapon that he ceased acting as an antagonist to the main cast.
  • In Exo Squad, after Terran retake Venus, some of the Neosapien garrisons become guerrillas, hoping that Phaeton would send more reinforcements to rescue them. The reinforcements never reach the Venusian surface.
    • More directly, the Exo Fleet itself, having been deployed to the Outer Planets when the Neosapiens launched their conquest of the Homeworlds, continues to carry the fight for several years after the government they were loyal to had been disbanded, despite suffering several major defeats in their early attempts to liberate Earth.
  • In an odd twist on the usual show theme, the Decepticons are the outnumbered La Résistance in Transformers Animated, fighting to retake their homeland after losing the war the first time around. Word of God, however, stated they technically left by choice, because doing that gave them amnesty for the war-crimes they committed during said war.
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon "Southern Fried Rabbit", Yosemite Sam was told to guard the Mason-Dixon Line and is still doing so... in 1952. On being told by Bugs Bunny that the War Between the States has been over for nearly 90 years, he responds "I'm no clockwatcher!" before trying to blast the rascally rabbit.
  • In an episode of Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, the heroes have to contend with a crazy group who somehow think The American Revolution is still going on. This includes the group thinking Jonny and his friends are British spies and the group saying they are desperately trying to pass on top secret info to General George Washington.
    • For bonus points, one of the group's factions have the Declaration of Independence...the real one, having intercepted it and held it for ransom all these years while Washington simply had it copied in secret.
  • In the Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "Mission to Save Earth", the Planeteers come to an island and stumble upon Commander Clash. This soldier had been assigned to guard the island and prepare for a possible invasion of America by the Soviets. After they manage to convince him that the Cold War has been over for a while, he goes into a Heroic BSOD when he realizes his superiors had long forgotten about him and he had been fighting for nothing. Clash eventually finds a new purpose in helping the Planeteers protect the Earth from pollution and such.
  • The Archer season six opener, appropriately enough titled "The Holdout", has Archer encounter Kintaru Sato, a Japanese officer defending an isolated island in the South Pacific decades after the Second World War ended. He only finds out the war has ended by stealing Archer's smartphone and looking up old newsreels which displayed the dropping of the bombs on Japan, although Archer reunites Kintaru with his still-alive family.

    Real Life 
  • As are any counterrevolutionaries. The Vendée uprising and rebellion against the French Revolution could well be the Trope Codifier.
  • Japanese holdouts, also known as stragglers, were soldiers (usually stationed on small islands in the Philippines or up and down the Pacific coast) who either did not learn or did not believe that World War II was over, and Japan had surrendered. The latest confirmed holdouts lasted until 1974, a full twenty-nine years after the war's end, with more rumored until the turn of the century. This was a particular problem as these holdouts were often single soldiers, resorting to guerrilla tactics against local law enforcement in fighting a war they still believed was ongoing.
    • Onoda Hiroo would not believe the news until his now-retired former commanding officer was flown in to personally order him to stand down. In 1974. When he surrendered, he still had his army sword and original issue rifle in full-working order.
    • Yokoi Shoichi held out on the island of Guam until 1972. When he returned to Japan, his official statement was "I am embarrassed that I have returned alive."
  • Jesse James and his James Gang never stopped fighting The American Civil War.
    • The last ship to fly the Confederate flag (CSS Shenandoah, a commerce raider) reached port and officially struck its colors in November of 1865 (about 5 months after most of the rest of the Confederate forces). It spent most of the intervening time getting months-old bad news occasionally whenever it would raid "enemy" shipping.
    • Robert E. Lee deliberately refused to go down this path, against the advice of several of his subordinates, and chose surrender rather than continuing increasingly futile bloodshed as bandits for years or even decades to come.
    • Part of the reason for the popularity of the Ku Klux Klan was a romantic desire to continue the fight and ensure the South rose again. The Klan soon chose to direct its violence towards the most visible symbol of the North's victory, emancipated negroes (they also shot back less than US troops).
    • "Confederados" are Brazilian descendants of Southerners who refused to give up their way of life after the war.
  • This was a feature of some nations' defense planning during the 20th century; in fact, during the Bush 43 administration, Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice used the German stay-behind "force" Werwolf as part of the justification for continuing the Iraq War. NATO, under United States direction, did much the same thing in much of western Europe as a poison pill in case of Communist invasion (the plan is best known by the Italian name, Operation Gladio); sounds sensible, right? Except many Gladio recruits were some of their nations' most outspoken fascists and thugs.
    • Became an Invoked Trope with the Iraqi resistance being dubbed the "dead-enders" to suggest they were only resisting Coalition forces out of loyalty to the deposed Saddam Hussein. This was dropped when the war continued long after the Iraqi dictator was executed.
  • For that matter, the Nazis' Werwolf project itself. Originally devised as an underground network of soldiers that would conduct sabotage and guerilla warfare in those parts of Germany that would soon be occupied by the Allies forces, it was never seriously intended as a last-ditch effort to retain control over Nazi Germany. Its propaganda value far outweighed its practical use, and it is because of this that the Allies over-estimated its effectiveness and actual threat level.
  • During the Russian Civil War, there were several White warlords in the Russian Far East who were still fighting months or even years after the main White armies/governments in Crimea and Siberia were destroyed (1920). The most Determinatoriffic of these was General Pepelyaev, who led a raid on several towns in Yakutia in 1923, when the LAST White remnant in the Maritime province was already fallen. Another notable example is Baron Ungern-Sternberg, who kept raiding in the Soviet Union and Mongolia until his own men handed him over to the Bolsheviks and left for China and exile.
  • Eastern Europe's non-communist undergrounds left over from WWII certainly count. Many of these organizations had been fighting for nearly half a decade or more when WWII ended, and many continued the fight after the Soviets marched in and set up their clients. In many cases they were conducting guerilla warfare until the eighties. The last Polish group of freedom fighters was captured in 1965. Allegedly some of the groups were blowing up support trains for Germans on the Eastern Front. Many of them included former soldiers of the Waffen-SS Legion (often, locals who had joined the SS believing at the time that the Nazis were better than the Soviets).
  • The various Anti-Soviet groups (Forest Brethren/Forest Brothers depending on translation from Estonian/Latvian/Lithuanian) in the Baltics in general. Though the Soviets moved in for good in 1944, guerrilla fighters in the woodlands remained active until well after Stalin's death, with pardons issued to La Résistance leaders and the mass deportations of rebels to the GULAG ended. Of course, some of them just stayed in the woods even after that and kept up the fight. The last fighters of the Forest Brethren (Metsavõnnud) of Estonia were crushed in 1979, the Latvian meža brāļi (pronounced mezha braal'i ) fought until ~1957, and the Lithuanian miško broliai (mishko broliai) until 1971, just in time for the 80s and Gorbachev to get everyone back in the habit of protesting those commies only to get their independence in 1991. The Determinator anybody?
  • Whenever the leadership of a terrorist movement decides to give up violence despite not having fulfilled its goals, it is likely that a splinter faction will continue fighting.
  • After the Boer Wars, there were still groups of Boer guerrillas roaming the South African countryside; they were known as Bitter-Enders and refused to admit defeat against British forces.
  • When Mao won the Chinese Civil War in 1949, his enemies fled to Taiwan. They fortified the island and prepared for the eventual reconquest of the mainland. Chiang Kai-Shek initially didn't even bother to develop the Taiwanese economy or infrastructure; he didn't expect to be staying there long. It wasn't until 1987 that martial law was lifted. The country is still officially called the Republic of China, founded by Sun Yat-Sen in 1911 before anyone had ever heard of Mao; and to this day there are hardcore members of the Nationalist Party who hope to see China reunited under their banners.
    • There were also pro-Chiang guerrillas operating from Burma in the '50s that were sponsored by the CIA.
    • This trope is actually enforced for Taiwan: officially, the Republic of China not only claims the whole territory of the People's Republic of China, but also Mongolia, parts of Burma and Tajikstan and anywhere else even nominally part of the Empire when it fell apart (not much different from PRC today). This is because although even the hardliners have no intention of reconquering all of this territory, actually changing their definition of the Republic in any way would be an official acknowledgement of "two Chinas", and thus would be perceived as a provocative move by the People's Republic.
      • As of 2008 the claim on Mongolia has been officially dead, with ROC officials now says Mongolia has ceased to be "lawful territory" of Republic of China under current constitution. Other areas have only minor difference from PRC's claim line, and the full ROC map had fallen into disuse after 2000s—now map of ROC simply shows Taiwan and its associated islands, a number of islands in Fujian and South China Sea that are "free".
    • To clarify (or not): Both the government in Beijing and the one in Taipei agree that there is only one China, they merely disagree on who has the legitimate claim to be in charge and to some degree what the borders of that One China are. In recent years they have quietly taken on a policy of ignoring the elephant in the living room and hoping nobody brings it up, as neither side really wants the trouble of fighting a war over it.
    • Both Taiwan and Mongolia have been homes of various remnants of Chinese dynasties at different times. After being displaced by the Ming in China itself, the khans of the House of Genghis Khan, who still ruled in Mongolia, claimed to be the legitimate rulers of all China as emperors of the Yuan Dynasty. Only the absorption of both the Ming and the Yuan remnants by the Manchu Qing dynasty extinguished this claim. After the fall of the Ming, Zheng Chenggong, a one time pirate also known to the Europeans as Koxinga, declared himself loyal to the fallen Ming Dynasty and established a de facto independent state called the Kingdom of Tungning on Taiwan after displacing the Dutch who had previously established an outpost there. This remnant lasted a full generation before being conquered by the Qing imperial troops in 1683 and Zheng remains a major folk hero in Taiwan.
  • Happened during the War of 1812 due to the amount of time it took for information to travel in those days; the treaty ending the war was signed in December 1814 but combat continued into the following year. Of particular note is the Battle of New Orleans, fought January 8, 1815, as the Americans' overwhelming victory both compelled the British to abide by the terms of the treaty and propelled Major General Andrew Jackson to a successful run at the presidency.
  • Even after Franco won the Spanish Civil War, the Republicans' various remnants kept trying to fight him for decades, even until the day Franco died.
  • Belarus, with its quasi-communism, state-controlled industries, a strong arm President backed up by State Sec (which is even called KGB) and a very Soviet-looking flag and coat of arms, can be seen as The Remnant of the Soviet Union.
    • Minsk remains quite possibly the only former Soviet capital to have kept virtually all of their Commie Land monuments.
    • Most Belorussians (roughly 70%) list Russian as their primary language and it remains an official language still used heavily in education and politics.
  • Transnistria (an unrecognised but de facto independent breakaway state within the territory of Moldova) may similarly be considered a Remnant of the Soviet Union, continuing to operate a literal Soviet government (although not communist), and using the associated iconography (hammer and sickle, Lenin, etc.) on official monuments and state symbols.
  • The followers of the British King James II, or Jacobites, became this after he is ousted in 1688, to the point of having two attempted rebellions to try and regain the throne; an abortive one in 1715, and an almost successful one in 1745.
  • Enver Pasha, one of the Triumvirate of "Young Turks" that ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I. In 1922 he turned up in Central Asia organizing Muslim tribes in the hope of recreating the Ottoman Empire from scratch, in the midst of the Soviet Union no less. It didn't work out.
  • The French OAS, consisting of disgruntled military leaders, pied noirs (descendents of European settlers) and far-right extremists, attempted to continue the Algerian War even after Charles De Gaulle began negotiations with the FLN. Unable to seriously disrupt the peace process through paramilitary attacks on Algerians, they soon began targeting French officials and ultimately De Gaulle himself.
  • The Principality of Liechtenstein has been described as the last functioning remnant of the Holy Roman Empire, having survived both Napoleon Bonaparte's dissolution of said Empire and the later collapse of Austria-Hungary in World War I.
  • When the Roman Empire in the West fell in AD 476, it was survived by a number of remnant-states. Julius Nepos continued to address himself as 'Emperor', ruling from the province of Dalmatia in the Balkans until his death in AD 480.
    • The warlord Aegidius and later his son, Syagrius, continued to hold out against barbarian incursions in northern Gaul (France) from the city of Soissons until King Clovis I of the Franks conquered and added their lands to his own petty kingdom. Clovis' consolidation of power and territory would lay the foundations for the medieval French monarchy.
    • The largest, and most successful, remnant was the Byzantine Empire, embracing the eastern provinces of Greece, Anatolia (Turkey), Syria, and Egypt. The Byzantine Empire lasted for a thousand years, its rulers loftly styling themselves 'Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans'.
      • After the sack of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, the Byzantine Empire itself spun off a number of remnant states, each of which claimed to be its rightful successor. One of these (the Empire of Nicaea) later recaptured Constantinople and put its emperor on the rightful throne, while the longest-lived successor state (the Empire of Trebizond) maintained an independent existence until 1461, eight years after the fall of Constantinople itself to the Turks.
  • Wales was conquered by England in the late 1100's. In the following centuries there were sporadic rebellions against English rule, the most successful being by the prince Owain Glyndwr in the 1400's. An organisation called the Meibion Glyndwr - Sons of Glyndwr - still exists today, although dormant, in the way a rump IRA continued between the War of Independence in 1921 (only to leap into active life again in 1969). In the 1960's, traffic signs written in English only were destroyed until the British Government agreed to dual-language signage in all of Wales, with Welsh taking precedence over English in the West. In the 1970's and 80's, second homes in Wales bought by English-speakers were under threat of being firebombed. In a very real way, a Remnant is still fighting English rule nine hundred years on - although very, very, much marginalised and made insignificant after a series of concessions to Welsh nationalism.
  • The Kingdom of Navarre was a medieval kingdom in the northern Iberian Peninsula, at a time in which what is now Spain was divided between several petty kingdoms. Gradually these kingdoms conglomerated until all of modern Spain save Navarre was at least unofficially unified by 1492. in 1512, Spain conquered virtually all of Navarre except for a tiny portion north of the Pyrenees, where the former Kings of Navarre remained as a kind of government in exile. In 1589, King Henry of Navarre succeeded to the French throne. From 1589 right up to 1830, every French monarch (except Napoleon) styled himself 'King of France and Navarre' despite the overwhelming majority of what had been Navarre being part of Spaway.
    • Fairly common in European history. Kings of England claimed to be legitimate kings of France, on the basis of the claims that Hundred Years' War were fought over in the Middle Ages, until after the French Revolution was well under way. This included the Stuart predenders who were subsidized by the actual kings of France! Kings of Spain still claim the title "King of Jerusalem," as in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, established (and destroyed) during the Crusades.
  • A man fled to the jungle during the 1969 "Football War" between El Salvador and Honduras. He finally "surrendered" to a group of lumberjacks he mistook for enemy soldiers more than 30 years later, telling them he was tired of running away. The saddest part is that the actual war lasted a total of four days.
  • During the Wars of the Roses, Calais gained an infamous reputation for being The Remnant of whichever faction was out of power at the time. Calais itself became The Remnant of the British monarchy's attempts to rule in France, remaining an English possession for another hundred years after Joan of Arc and her buddies kicked the English out of the rest of France. For that matter, British monarchs continued styling themselves King/Queen of France well into the 18th Century.
  • The Channel Islands are the last remnants of extensive English holdings in medieval France. The Queen of United Kingdom rules them to this day as the Duke (not the duchess) of Normandy, as did William the Conqueror a thousand years before.
  • The Sicarii, Jewish rebels who occupied the fortress of Masada for years after the Jewish Revolts had been put down. They were eventually besieged by the Romans, and committed mass suicide to avoid capture.
  • When The Netherlands fell during The Napoleonic Wars, the trading outpost of Dejima suddenly found itself as the only place left where the Dutch flag flew. The fact that the Dutch outpost also happened to be off the coast of Nagasaki in Tokugawa-era Japan probably helped.
  • Pre-skinhead-era neo-Nazis - the kind who do not cut their hair and who embrace fascism as well as racism - are (or were) an interesting case. They seem to understand that Hitler's war is long over and do not launch military maneuvers, or for that matter even behave all that violently. But they're still wearing the now horribly outdated Sturmabteilungen uniforms, and speak of Hitler as an almost immortal being.

Alternative Title(s): The Undefeated