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Call to Agriculture

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Valerius: Back to barracks, General? Or to Rome?
Maximus: Home... Wife, son, the harvest.
Quintus: Maximus the farmer... I still have difficulty imagining that.
Maximus: You know, dirt cleans off a lot easier than blood, Quintus.

Someone who is in the position where they could do something much more significant, but still chooses an agricultural job for sentimental reasons.

When done with badass fighters, it is often used to symbolize that after seeing so much destruction and violence, they want a chance to actually do something constructive, put down some roots, and see some new growth, maybe as a way of dealing with post traumatic stress. In brief, instead of destroying life, they now seek to raise and maintain it. It might overlap with Real Men Wear Pink, especially when it is about flowers, or gardening, to show that this tough man always secretly wished for such a non-violent, nurturing pastime. For others, the pastoral life is particularly sweet because they've lived their entire lives on the move and this is the first place they can really call home, or maybe this is what they have really been fighting for all along (soldiers Fighting for a Homeland, for example).

It may turn out to be a harder job than they originally thought.

When it is professional agriculture, like farming, it often happens with politically or socially important figures, to show that they wish to be mere workers of the land. They might make snarky comments informing us that in fact, this is the first really useful thing they've done. This sort of response is typical of the Cincinnatus, possibly an Ur-Example.

There are practical reasons for this as well. Being a good soldier requires waking up early, being punctual, and working hard under a rigid structure. Being a good farmer requires waking up early, doing chores punctually, and working hard under a strict timetable for planting and harvesting.

See also: Home Sweet Home, Refreshingly Normal Life-Choice and Retired Badass for retirement, and Arcadia for peaceful life. Compare with Swords to Plowshares, which involves weapons rather than people. The opposite of (and a play on) Call to Adventure. A subtrope of Big Town Boredom.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Batman Ninja. Batman and Red Hood come across the Joker and Harley Quinn working as farmers, having been restored to sanity after losing their memories. Joker even talks of how working the land makes him feel like everything bad in him is escaping into the soil. Over Red Hood's objections, Batman decides to leave them be as the couple happily celebrate the sprouting of their first flower. Turns out the flower sprouting was the hypnotic trigger for their previous evil personalities to reawaken. Knowing that Batman would Never Hurt an Innocent, the Joker and Harley hypnotised themselves as a Memory Gambit. Even the plants they are growing are only used later to manufacture Knockout Gas.
  • Gordon Rosewater in The Big O. The man responsible for the creation of Paradigm City, he grows tomatoes in a private dome.
  • Lord Jeremiah in Code Geass ends the series in, of all things, an orange grove. This is a Call-Back to the start of the series, where after being disgraced by Zero he's given the choice between tending an orange grove or starting his military career over from Square One, and shows that he's become comfortable with his new life. He's joined in this work by Anya Earlstreim.
  • Combine this with an old man transforming himself into a Cyborg and you get the premise behind Cyborg Grandpa G.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, Goku is seen tending to a radish farm. This is expanded on in the first episode of Dragon Ball Super, with Goku having become a farmer after his last bout of saving the world, in order to provide for his family. Later episodes establish that Goku is actually quite good at it and that his vegetables are very popular at the local farmer's market. However, while Goku himself doesn't mind farming and even gets some satisfaction out of it, he mainly does it to keep Chi-Chi from complaining and would actually like to train a bit more, often looking for ways to combine training and farming.
    • According to Word of God, Tien Shinhan took up farming in addition to his martial arts training at the end of the series, and uses his Multi-Form and Four Witches techniques to aid in harvesting the crops.
  • Played for Laughs in Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, where it's revealed that DiMaria, a sadistic Blood Knight, came to dislike fighting after her Humiliation Conga in the original manga and became a happy farm girl.
  • Gunslinger Girl: After her handler dies, the Social Welfare Agency isn't sure what do with Claes. She ends up splitting her time between destructive testing and starting her own garden on Agency land. She got the hobby from her handler, who himself was drawn to this trope after an injury forced him to retire (before the SWA recruited him).
  • Ooishi in Higurashi: When They Cry mentioned his plans for having a vegetable garden after retirement, as a way of finally having a carefree life.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia the Animation, Arfoire and Pirachu retire from being supervillains and tend an eggplant farm.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
    • In an early chapter, Kenichi swears off martial arts and joins the gardening club instead. The Call Knows Where You Live, naturally, but Kenichi never actually quits the club.
    • After Shigure gives Kii Kagerou one of "[her] father's masterpieces" (a mattock) in exchange for a promise to never kill another person and his aid in fighting against Kushinada and three other Armed Yami masters, he starts cultivating the fields around his hermitage.
  • Fleet Admiral Sidney Sithole in Legend of the Galactic Heroes decided to take up bee-keeping after he was forced to retire from his position as Chief of the Joint Operations Headquarters following the Imperial territories invasion debacle.
  • When faced with Taki's deportation and the resurgence of war in Maiden Rose, Klaus, who has already lost many comrades in action, tries to convince Taki to come back to his estate with him to live an idyllic life farming roses. Being A Father to His Men, Taki refuses and the dream never comes to pass.
  • Mikazuki Augus from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans wanted to leave behind his work as a Child Soldier for Tekkadan to become a farmer. After the Hashmal incident halfway through Season 2, Mikazuki lost the use of his legs meaning that he'll never be able to do any sort of activity unless he's connected to Barbatos. And he is ultimately killed before he ever gets the chance to do so.
  • Ryoji Kaji in Neon Genesis Evangelion inverts this trope — rather than gardening and growing watermelons because of retirement, he does it because he's about to face the end of the world and wants to at least enjoy himself in his final moments. Later on he implies that this is what he would do if he had the chance to retire. He doesn't get the chance.
  • Gan Fall in One Piece becomes a pumpkin farmer after he is replaced by Eneru as the ruler of Skypiea.
  • Taeko from Only Yesterday has a strong yearning for the agricultural lifestyle. She gets her wish in the end.
  • Pokémon Adventures: Courtney of Team Magma eventually retires and tends a Berry farm.
  • At the end of Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, Diane and Butler, main characters of Pokémon: Jirachi: Wish Maker, have taken residence in Forina, helping to restore its beauty as a way for Butler to redeem himself after what he had done.
  • In Record of Grancrest War, Theo's unjust exile motivated him to risk his life eradicating Chaos. A complicated series of events later, he is crowned Emperor but chooses to only rule temporarily, until the realm is stabilized. His happy ending is returning to his now-safe hometown and planting crops with his wife Siluca, who prefers the steady pace of farm life to navigating political crises or awkward ceremonies.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: In the OVA. "For many years I ended the lives of evil men but I've only realized inner peace by bringing life to this land and sharing its harvest with you." Its more of a cover story than a choice but he learns to love it.
    • Played much straighter by Fuji, who after his Heel–Face Turn becomes a Tondenhei (a sort of soldier who works as a farmer during peace periods) in Hokkaido.
  • After the events that ended the first season, that's what happened with the heroines in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes and truth be told it was a very successful farm indeed. Even if Henriette Mystere owner of the land wasn't very pleased...
  • In the seventh OVA episode of Tenchi Muyo! we find out that Tenchi, future prince of Jurai and the guy who killed one of the most wanted men in the galaxy, has started a carrot garden for Ryo-Ohki.
  • At the epilogue of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen, Simon becomes a wandering well-digger, asking only that the villages he assists plant lots of flowers in return. This is to help fulfill the dream of his deceased wife Nia, who wished for an Earth covered in flowers.
  • Having grown sick of war and bloodshed, Thorfinn of Vinland Saga wants nothing more than to do constructive things like build homes and grow crops. He is able to find meaning working as a slave working on his masters' fields. Sadly, it seems like the universe isn't going to let him avoid fighting.

  • Pieter Bruegel the Elder made many paintings about peasants and their daily lives. He especially admired the farmers and their hard work on the field.
  • L'Angelus by Jean-François Millet a farmer couple are saying the Angelusnote  to close off the work day. (Millet could have intended at first to show the couple praying above the grave of their dead child. Salvador Dalí saw a copy of it as a kid, said he just had a feeling about it, and years later insisted that the Louvre x-ray the painting. Sure enough, the basket has what might be a tiny coffin next to it which has been painted over. Millet could have started out to do a take on Courbet's Burial at Ornans, then changed it and put the church in the background, saying later he remembered his grandmother back on the farm always made the kids pause to say the Angelus.)

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: A couple of Punny Name-sporting Roman legionaries retire. Egganlettus rejoins the army; Tremensdelirius trades a small Gaulish village near the coast of Armoricanote  to pay a bar tab.
  • Astro City:
    • Supersonic spends his golden years tending to his rose garden.
    • After her robot museum is closed, Ellie Jennersen starts a bee farm, selling honey.
  • In Black Hammer, the superhero Abraham Slam became a farmer in the ten years after he and the other heroes defeated Anti-God. The situation admittedly didn't leave him much choice, given that he and the other heroes have spent that time trapped on a mysterious farm with no way to leave, but still.
  • Dreadstar: Vanth Dreadstar should be the ultimate example: the man destroys the entire MILKY WAY GALAXY, escapes to a different galaxy, and then he becomes a farmer. (Granted, it ended up simply being a 30-40 year "break", before he became involved in an all-out war in his NEW galaxy...)
  • Firefly: Brand New 'Verse has Simon and Kaylee running a farm. Simon is a brilliant trauma surgeon, but he lost his chance to practice pretty much anyplace when he broke River out of the Academy. He could have probably made it as a doctor on one of the less controlled border worlds, though. And Kaylee is a skilled mechanic in her own right. They both liked being on Serenity's crew, but probably decided settling somewhere would be better and less dangerous since they have kids by this story.
  • Hound: Upon returning home, Cú Cullan settles down with Emer on her father's farm to distance himself from the life of a warrior and the meddling of Morrigan. He is shown to have spent peacetime farming again ten years after the battle against Ferdia.
  • In The Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, Adam Warlock finds Thanos on a distant moon, living as a simple farmer, following the final battle. It doesn't last, of course.
  • Kingdom Come:
    • In the beginning Superman was trying to be a farmer again when he was visited by Wonder Woman. By the end he's expanded to single-handedly replanting Kansas. At the conclusion of the crisis, Superman returns to the peaceful profession of his (adoptive) parents, the Kents, just like Bruce Wayne, who becomes a full-time doctor like his father Thomas Wayne.
    • Also a more tragic example from the same book. Magog wanders the irradiated wastes of Kansas, trying his hardest to forge a farm in a reflection of Superman at the start of the comic. It doesn't work.
  • L.E.G.I.O.N. (DC Comics): This is where manipulative supergenius Vril Dox ended up at the end of R.E.B.E.L.S. Given his suffering in that title it probably seemed like a nice vacation by then. It didn't stick, although one later story got good mileage out of it:
    Vril: Do not worry, officer: I am a botanist!
  • Transmetropolitan ends with Spider Jerusalem, having fulfilled his contracts and taken down the bad guy, moving back up the mountain and growing vegetables.
  • In the Usagi Yojimbo story "The Patience of the Spider", General Ikeda hides from his enemies by farming a plot of land. He keeps up the ruse for years, including getting married and raising a family in the process. When the opportunity arises for him to return to power, he declines, preferring the agrarian life instead.
  • In the epilogue of The Walking Dead, a grown-up Carl is shown living peacefully on a secluded farm with Sophia and their daughter Andrea.
  • After being defeated and relieved of the Infinity Gauntlet in What if... Newer Fantastic Four, the Watchers give Thanos a new life as a gardener, where he's said to find a simple peace.
  • In the final issue of Peter David's X-Factor, Jamie Madrox and his pregnant wife Layla Miller decide to settle down on his family's farm to raise their child.
  • Young Justice (2019): When Conner arrived in Gemworld, he became a farmer as well as pretending to be the husband of the widow who took him him in after he helped her. He even mentions what Pa Kent said. After his old pals Robin, Impulse and Wonder Girl manage to track him down he redons his Superboy costume and rejoins the team.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "Reygoch": The fairy Curlylocks helps save the children of two villages from drowning in a heavy flood, losing her magic tools which allowed her return home in the process. So she moves into the village, makes a garden and dedicates herself to grow oranges and olives.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: Kaji gardens and grows watermelons because he wants to make something he likes before dying since he thinks the world is ending. In chapter 8 he and Misato drag the pilots down to his watermelon garden and the kids spend some time gardening and weeding.
  • In the Avengers of the Ring sequel Avengers: Methteilien, with various residents of Middle-Earth stuck on Earth after the first battle against Thanos, Sam Gamgee is trusted with the duty of tending Wakanda's royal gardens, including the new White Tree that was planted in the grove that once held the heart-shaped herbs.
  • A Brief History of Equestria:
    • Commander Hurricane: First and Only male Commander of the Celestine Junta, a Father to His Ponies (and lover to his mares), fought tyrants and raiders alike, defended his tribe with honor and distinction for over forty years. Relinquishes his commission to start a little hideaway after Hearth's Warming.
    • This trope is evidently genetic, as his daughter Private Pansy resigned from military life to become a farmer's wife.
  • In A Charmed Life after settling down with Ryuk in the Shinigami Realm, Light takes up apple farming.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: The epilogue of the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, reveals that Rockhoof is now working as a farmer, and is quite happy.
  • Pinkie Pie in Divided Rainbow. Though unlike most examples of this trope, her taking up farming represents the beginning of Pinkie's problems....
  • In Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness, Neville's potential for incredible badassery and his love of herbology are in even bigger contrast with each other than in Canon. He often declares how much he would prefer simple gardening over leading an army. He eventually gets it, with interruptions.
  • In the Legend of Zelda oneshot farm fresh, Zelda abdicated her throne to run off with Malon. Now she lives as Malon's wife Sheik on Lon Lon Ranch.
  • Seen in I Am Skantarios, when the titular emperor retires from commanding Byzantium's armies and tries to tend to a palace garden. The results are inadvertently similar to the genocidal, scorched-earth tactics from his campaigns.
  • In Je Fais Partie De Vous after Light finally allows L out of his Gilded Cage, L finds satisfaction in being Kira's gardener.
  • Legacy of ch'Rihan: Morgaiah "Morgan" t'Thavrau was the ih'hwi'saenhe (executive officer) of a Romulan Star Navy warbird at the time of the Hobus supernova, but she's been a farmer on Virinat for the past 21 years. (The reason hasn't been given yet.)
  • The Night Unfurls: Kyril's wish is to own a farm and live out the rest of his life in peace after everything is over. Justified, as Chapter 4 reveals that before Yharnam completely changed him, he was the son of a poor farmer. Hard to imagine Sir Kyril the Bloody toiling away in a farm, both Claudia and Grace have lampshaded how unbelievable such a picture is.
  • The Second Try:
    • In the After the End chapters Shinji and Asuka become farmers. However, they hardly had any other choice, since they were the only living human beings on the planet and they needed to grow their own stuff to survive.
    • After returning to the past, winning the Angel War and averting the Apocalypse they become owners of a garden-market, this time for choice (seen in greater detail in the sequel).
  • Discussed and derided in With This Ring when Paul encounters the "Pagan Nation" attempting to live a simple life in harmony with nature, and isn't impressed.
    Mercury: This is how people are supposed to live. Working together, knowing each other. In balance with the Earth.
    Paul: Yeah. I cleansed the sea of Human refuse. I refroze the North Pole. You did some gardening and smoked some weed.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Apache: After his encounter with Clagg in Oklahoma Territory on his way to back to Arizona, Massai is convinced that he should abandon the warrior's path and turn to farming to meet the white man as equal, When Santos betrays him and hands him over to the army, Massai abandons this idea and returns to waging his one man war against the white man. However, Nalinle saves the seed corn he brought with him, and when she is pregnant with his child, persuades him to return to the corn.
  • Avengers: Endgame revealed that after killing half the universe in Infinity War, Thanos settled down to farm on an uninhabited planet and destroyed the Infinity Stones.
  • The wuxia film The Bells of Death revolves around a farmer who became a warrior and assassin after learning martial arts from an old hermit, in order to avenge his family who was massacred by a bandit clan. After killing every single bandit, in the final scene the hero returns with his new girlfriend to his old home, the farm now overgrown with weeds, where he decide to hang his sword go back into being a farmer.
  • Braveheart starts with the hero choosing this trope: After his father's death and a Time Skip, the now-adult William Wallace returns to Scotland after several years fighting in The Crusades, heartily sick of war and with no interest in being drawn into talk of rebellion. He sticks to this proclamation until English soldiers murder his wife.
    William: I came home to raise crops and, God willing, a family.
  • At the end of Day of the Outlaw, Gene, the only outlaw to survive, gratefully takes takes a job as a hand on Starrett's ranch.
  • In the movie The Egg And I, Fred MacMurray's character gives up his office job as some stodgy suit-wearer and buys a defunct farm in the middle of nowhere, dragging his new bride with him. It's been his dream to raise chickens.
  • The hero of Flying Guillotine was originally an imperial assassin and Professional Killer, until he gains a conscience and decides to flee to the countryside with his fiancée, and work as a farmer. Unfortunately, his band of ex-colleagues and fellow assassins aren't willing to let him leave.
  • In Forty Guns, Griff keeps trying to persuade his youngest brother Chico to give up being a gunslinger and instead return to their parents' farm in California. At the end of the film, he takes his own advice and returns to California, allowing Chico to become town marshal.
  • Maximus of Gladiator planned to do this after the war, though of course things went a little south for him.
  • The Godfather: Don Corleone spends most of his time after passing the family business to his son Michael gardening (which, as the book notes, is a stereotypical activity for old Italians), and exits this life while playing hide and seek with his grandson in his tomato garden.
  • In Holiday Inn, when Jim Hardy starts the film quitting show business to become a farmer, thinking that he could relax away from the stress of show-biz. After a year of working on the farm he has a nervous breakdown.
  • At the end of Hooded Angels, with his father's killer final dealt with, Wes takes his men to return to his ranch, with the implication that his adventuring days are finally done.
  • Ramius in The Hunt for Red October planned to spend his time fishing after defecting to the States. His first officer, Captain Borodin, planned to live in Montana, raising rabbits. Borodin didn't make it.
  • Indian: In this Tamil film, Senapathy takes up farming after India gaining Independence brings an end to his days as a violent insurgent. Sadly, his daughter’s death due to corruption having festered in the government, causes him to leave that life behind again.
  • Jason Statham's character in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale likes to be simply called Farmer (even though the credits list his name as Damon, it's never mentioned), even by his own wife, and spends most of his time tending to his fields. Of course, this being Jason Statham, he's also a martial arts expert and can fight with any weapon. How he gained those skills when he refuses to join the king's army is never explained.
  • Kaamelott: Premier Volet: The knights who took up farming in Carmélide are trying... but they're just as inept at farming as they were at being knights in the series, and even argue with each other.
  • In Mr. Majestyk, Vincent Majestyk keeps telling everyone who is hassling him that all he wants to do is return to his farm and harvest his melons, but none of them will leave him in peace.
  • In One Foot in Hell, Mitch plants the idea of buying back and rebuilding the family farm in Dan's brain to persuade him to agree to the robbery. The idea grows and becomes Dan's driving goal, allowing him to sober up, and he persuades Julie to share the dream with him. At the end of the film, they are still panning on doing this after they get out of prison.
  • In The Patriot (2000), Benjamin Martin took up farming after fighting in the French and Indian War, and initially resisted joining the American Revolution.
  • Moses Hightower from Police Academy returns to his original profession of working with flowers.
  • Rambo: Last Blood shows John Rambo living out his retirement on a secluded ranch.
  • Retired super spy Mason in The Rock claims he should have been a poet or a farmer.
  • At the start of Rogue One, genius scientist Galen Erso has chosen a life of farming when Orson Krennic tracks him down and forcibly recruits him to the Death Star project after killing his wife. Krennic, however, doesn't buy it.
    Krennic: You're a hard man to find, Galen, but farming. Really? A man of your talents?
  • Superman IV: The Quest for Peace originally ended with Lacy Warfield wanting to leave the business world behind and agreeing to buy the Kent family farm from Clark.
  • In Terror in a Texas Town, seaman and whaler George Hanson wants to take over his father's farm and work the land like his father did. The only trouble is that the oil speculator McNeil wants the land for himself, and will stop at nothing to get it.
  • In Warm Bodies, when peace is established at the end, Nora retires from being a soldier and becomes a nurse, which is what she had wanted to be before the Zombie Apocalypse.

  • In Alien in a Small Town, Indira's return to her Mennonite home town, at the beginning of the novel, after traumatic events in space.
  • In Anna Karenina, Levin prefers to live in the countryside rather than Moscow or St. Petersburg, like all the other members of high society. He also has a highly idealized view of the common peasant, occasionally dressing in simple peasant clothes and even participating in some activities, such as cutting wheat.
  • Sword of The Annals of the Chosen spends a great deal of his adventures wishing he was back in Mad Oak growing barley and beans.
  • Arsène Lupin retired to garden for the Kaiser. And be the Man Behind the Man of Germany.
  • Aubrey-Maturin: Jack Aubrey opens The Mauritius Command stuck in a tiny cottage, the great garden he dreamed of in previous books filled with puny wormy cabbages. As he's used to ship's food, the worms don't bother him so much. In general, Aubrey is a subversion of this trope: though he periodically makes plans for estates or agricultural projects, they're ill-fated, and he always goes back to sea (and to war) with relief.
  • Played straight in the Bazil Broketail series. The final novel ends with the main character Relkin and his dragon Bazil retiring to a life of farming after their term of military service is up — ironically the very life they joined the military to avoid. Several of his buddies in his old unit are also approaching retirement age and thinking of starting up their own farms next to Relkin's, starting a new town in the process.
  • The Belgariad:
    • After centuries of being the protector to the Heir of the Rivan Throne, Polgara finally settles down with her husband in a simple cottage in a quiet vale where hardly anybody else lives. She cultivates her own vegetables, makes her own soap... and is probably the second richest person in the world as well as an all-powerful sorceress who can create things through the power of her own Will.
    • The sorcerer Beldin too, though he doesn't become a farmer. After several millennia of spying on the enemy, he and his partner become (presumably immortal) hawks and fly off, never to be seen again.
  • Beware of Chicken: After being beaten to death by a Senior Brother looking for a chance to show off his strength, being revived by a straight-up miracle, and then being robbed by his fellow Junior Disciples while helpless, Jin Rou abandons cultivation and flees to the furthest corner of the weakest province of the Crimson Phoenix Empire to start a farm.
  • The Black Arrow: After surviving The Hundred Years' War, the old archer Nick Appleyard became semi-retired, so he planted an orchard and started growing cabbages.
  • Brother Cadfael: Zigzagged. The protagonist retired from the life of a crusader and adventurous sea captain to tend the abbey's herb gardens at Shrewsbury. While this put an end to his days as a fighter, it didn't stop him from battling evil: he just does it with his brains, not his brawn.
  • Brother Eagle, Sister Sky calls on those who acquire native lands to not cut down the forests, or otherwise destroy them and instead grow food and what they need and maintain the lands in a balance.
  • Lampshaded in Brotherhood Of The Rose by David Morrell. A retirement village for spies on the run has a high suicide rate which the man running it has to constantly hush up. He notes that only those who dedicate themselves to a monastic existence of philosophical study or this trope are capable of handling their Gilded Cage. The Spymaster Elliot boasts that thanks to his love of rose-growing, he'll survive and thrive. So in an effort to drive him out of the Truce Zone, the protagonist destroys his rose garden.
  • Candide is probably the Trope Codifier. This was basically the whole moral lesson of the story.
    "I know also," said Candide, "that we must cultivate our garden."
    "You are right," said Pangloss, "for when man was first placed in the Garden of Eden, he was put there ut operaretur eum, that he might cultivate it, which shows that man was not born to be idle."
    "Let us work," said Martin, "without disputing. It is the only way to render life tolerable."
  • The Chronicles of Prydain:
    • Coll, a legendary hero who single-handedly entered Annuvin to rescue an oracular pig, retired to a farm called Caer Dallben to take care of that pig and work the farm.
    • Which is exactly what Taran wanted to do at the end of the series, having finally grasped the value of farming... but as it turned out, fate had other plans.
    • Adaon in The Black Cauldron says that "there is more honor in a field well plowed than in a field steeped in blood."
  • Discworld:
    • Parodied in Interesting Times. One of Cohen's horde confronts him with the fact that one time he stole a farm and wanted to settle down. It lasted about three hours.
    • Also parodied in Feet of Clay. Sergeant Colon's desire to "buy a farm" and raise chickens fades somewhat when he is (forcibly, brutally and messily) exposed to real livestock.
    • In The Colour of Magic, the Talking Sword feels this.
      "What I'd really like is to be a ploughshare. I don't know what that is, but it sounds like an existence with some point to it."
    • In Reaper Man, Death gets retired, and spends this time as a farmhand helping to bring in the harvest; after all, he is a dab hand with a scythe. After his retirement ends, he generates a cornfield in his domain in remembrance.
    • The Discworld Companion says this in Vetinari's entry:
      The Patrician has expressed a wish that, one day, he could retire and cultivate a garden. It will probably never happen. It is impossible to imagine him as a mere civilian. But if he did indeed take up horticulture, the roses would grow in lines, the garden would bloom on command — and the slugs would eat the caterpillars.
  • Manion Butler, a politician, did this in Dune: The Butlerian Jihad.
  • Ged/Sparrowhawk in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series retires to a farm on his home island of Gont after losing his powers saving the world in The Farthest Shore. Of course, this wasn't his plan and he spends most of Tehanu uncharacteristically depressed, snappy and hermitic. He seems to have accepted the situation and settled down by the time of The Other Wind several years later, but still refuses to leave the farm or have anything to do with governing Earthsea.
  • Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere is about a city in which people get to lead a second life after death. The heroine is frustrated to find that her rock star idol, Curtis Jest, has taken a job as a fisherman.
    Curtis: Fishing is a fine, noble profession.
    Liz: Unless you're supposed to do something else!
    Curtis: Last week, I met a gardener named John Lennon.
  • Calidore's storyline in The Faerie Queene sees him abandon his quest to romance a shepherd girl and enjoy the simplicity of her pastoral lifestyle.
  • Andre Maurios's children's book Fattypuffs And Thinifers says that, following a campaign against the Fattypuffs, the Thinifer General Tactifer resigned his commission and returned to his home village of Skimpton Parva "where he may still be seen guiding his plough".
  • Subverted in the Hammer's Slammers novel The Sharp End. A Slammers' combat driver plans to return to his hometown and buy a farm after retiring, but when he gets back there he remembers how horrible the place was, gets a "job" training enforcers for one of the planet's drug cartels, and spends most of his time in a drugged-out stupor.
  • In the Harry Potter series, Neville Longbottom might count: he always had a soft spot for herbology, and this is what he chose as a profession after getting bored with slaying snakes with swords while on fire.
  • Hercule Poirot: The titular detective has a brief retirement in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, wherein he moves to a remote village to grow gourds. Naturally, a friend living nearby gets murdered.
  • Horus Heresy:
    • Primarch Vulkan dreams of retiring to Nocturne as a farmer after the Great Crusade is over. Curze, a fellow Primarch but significantly more unhinged, mocks him for this heavily.
    • During his short-lived retirement, Luna Wolf Gavriel Loken takes to tending to a garden left behind by some Sister of Silence. He notes that for someone as used to wrecking havoc as he is, there's a great wonder in creating rather than destroying.
    • Oll Parsson, after spending several dozen lifetimes as a soldier, retires to Calth and becomes a farmer until Calth comes under attack and forces him to return to his soldiering roots to escape.
    • While stranded on the idyllic agri-world of Sotha, Primarch Guilliman briefly fantasizes about just staying there forever, tending to the crops in peace far from the civil war ravaging the rest of the galaxy.
  • Hurog: Ward whenever he has free time, works on fixing the agricultural problems of his country. This is what the people live off, after all.
  • Inheritance Cycle:
    • Roran Stronghammer is a Berserker in battle and has strong skills in leading, but returns to a life of farming following the war with Galbatorix.
    • His cousin, Eragon, defies this. During the battle with The Empire, he briefly wonders what he'll do after the battle is over, and decides that after what he's achieved throughout the story, a simple life as a farmer would no longer satisfy him.
  • Into the Looking Glass series by John Ringo: At the beginning of the second book, Navy SEAL protagonist Command Master Chief Robert Miller had retired from active duty and was running a floral shop, doing flower arrangements. That was until he got recalled.
  • In Keys to the Kingdom, the Piper creates an army of nearly-human New Nithlings, only to discover that they would rather be farmers than soldiers. Not that they have a choice in the matter.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Sam ended the story like this. True, gardening was his profession to begin with, but after all the adventures they went through, his final settlement in the Shire definitely had this feel. Of course he later went on to become the Mayor of the Shire, but in Hobbit politics that probably doesn't necessarily rule out country work on the side.
    • Éowyn and Faramir do this as well. Though they technically end up ruling the province of Ithilien, talk as if they're hearing the call to stop fighting take up gardening, and growing things instead of killing them.
      Éowyn: I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren. No longer do I desire to be a queen.
      Faramir: That is well, for I am not a king... Let us cross the River and in happier days let us dwell in fair Ithilien and there make a garden. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.
  • Played for Laughs in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Two demon princes summoned in the fifth volume to serve as bodyguards for the Tiste Edur Emperor set up shop on a farm in the seventh volume. They just want a peaceful farm life. However, the neighbours run away in terror.
  • The Marvellous Land of Snergs:
    • After the adventure is over, Lord Bevis -the border guard whose pantries had been sacked twice by the heroes- decides to dedicate himself to his true passion: gardening.
    • Sir Percival also opts for pursuing a career in pig-rearing instead of going on being a knight and pursuing his unrequited love.
  • Detective Sergeant Cuff from The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins retires to cultivate roses.
  • Catarina from My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! takes up farming as a child because she thinks it'll improve her magic and to be self-sufficient, much to the horror of her family and fellow aristocrats. This is a carryover from her past life, where she used to spend vacations at her grandmother's countryside farm. It eventually develops into a genuine hobby that she excels in.
  • An entire army was persuaded to settle down in this fashion in Robert Asprin's Myth Conceptions. (Their leader Big Julie said that he just wanted to "sit in the sun, drink a little wine, maybe pat a few bottoms, you know what I mean?")
  • The Odyssey: Odysseus, after returning from The Trojan War.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy's Back Story part of Prospero's retirement had been gardening.
  • In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, when Liu Bei has to share temporary lodging in the same city as Cao Cao, he deflects suspicion from himself by taking up gardening in his yard.
  • In Shadow Keep the former hero Shone Stelft gave up his heroic career and became a respectable blacksmith.
  • Sharpe: In 1820 Sharpe, after retiring from the army, is living as a farmer in Normandy.
  • Sherlock Holmes retired to Sussex to keep bees.
  • H'Ta, one of the elderly members of the Order of the Bat'leth in Star Trek: Klingon Empire. Now a farmer, he much prefers fertilizer to blood and has no desire to leave when he receives Captain Klag's summons to battle.
  • In the Star Trek Online tie-in novel The Needs of the Many, Jake Sisko discovers Rene Picard, the son of Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher, had restarted his family's vineyard. This was, more or less, a moment of Taking a Third Option, as Rene had felt intimidated in trying to go into either Starfleet or medical school due to the legacy his parents left behind.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • I, Jedi: Main character Corran Horn's step-grandfather Rostek became a rather well-known horticulturist after retiring from CorSec, secreting the works of Persecuted Intellectuals and other banned information in his plants' genetic codes. He relates how one time, an Imperial Jedi-hunter asked for some flowers, and he gave the man a bunch of plants containing all kinds of information on Jedi as a private joke.
    • In the Hand of Thrawn Duology — it is revealed that Baron Fel was chosen to be the template for clones specifically to invoke this trope, so they would fight to defend their homes. It worked TOO well: the Devists decided that their loyalty to their land and families outweighed their loyalty to the Empire.
    • The novel The Old Republic: Deceived ends with the Republic-soldier-turned-spice-runner Zeerid Korr buying a farm and settling down with his daughter. He is then joined by Aryn Leneer, a Jedi Knight who has quit the order and has come to be with him.
    • Also averted with the Jedi Agricorps. Consisting mostly of Jedi who couldn't make it out of the Academy and those who did but were not chosen as apprentices, it was often ridiculed as the lowest rung of the Order.
  • In Tales of the Magic Land, the twice-defeated prideful tyrant Urfin Jus makes this career choice when presented with an opportunity to make a third attempt at conquest. Not only does he succeed and find a measure of peace and contentment — the marvelous, technicolor vegetables from his garden are unlike anything the land had ever seen.
  • In the Twilight of the Clans series in the Battletech novels, Victor Steiner-Davion considers doing this after learning his realm was taken over by his sister. He changes his mind, though.
  • Most of the characters in the Finnish war epic The Unknown Soldier are farmers, including captain Koskela, sergeant Hietanen and the badass Antti Rokka and his sidekick, Susi. The two latter are mentioned to have wives and children as well.
  • King Arthur in Bernard Cornwell's The Warlord Chronicles describes his ideal life as settling down with a farm and a smithy. Circumstances never seem to allow him his dream (for long anyway). Amusingly, when Arthur does get a few years to retire and live his dream life, Arthur is an enthusiastic but singularly bad smith and mediocre farmer.
  • In Warrior Cats, Ravenpaw runs away from ThunderClan in fear of his life and begins living with a barn cat named Barley. He proceeds to live a comfortable life as a barn cat from then on. Ravenpaw notes that life is much easier on a farm than in the forest. He doesn't have to worry about patrols or being attacked and he barely has to hunt due to all the mice.

    Live-Action TV  
  • Band of Brothers: At the end of Episode 2 ("Day of Days"), Winters states in narration that he swore to himself that once the war ended, he would retire to a secluded farm and live the rest of his life in peace. This is ultimately what he ends up doing. It's also a case of Truth in Television.
  • At the end of Battlestar Galactica, Baltar and Caprica Six plan some cultivation on the new Earth. His father was a farmer, you know.
  • In Crisis on Infinite Earths, it's revealed that this is the eventual fate of the Smallville Clark Kent and Lois Lane, after Clark voluntarily depowered himself to have a family. They're now running the Kent farm.
  • Doctor Who
    • In "Remembrance of the Daleks", after encountering the Doctor and the Daleks, Dr. Rachel Jensen quips in frustration, "You know, after this is over, I'm going to retire and raise begonias."
    • In the Big Finish Doctor Who play "The Sky Man", The Master lands on a peaceful arcadian planet and, while his companion Cole Jarnish does his own thing, decides to take up viticulture, claiming the patience and subtly required appeals to him. Rather than retiring from his evil ways however, it's just foreshadowing that The Master is waiting patiently until his Evil Plan bears fruit due to Cole's unwitting efforts.
  • Farscape
    • D'Argo planned to marry Chiana and live with his son Jothee on a farm. However after years of deprivation as a slave, that's the last thing Jothee wants, or Chiana either.
    • It was also considered that Crais might have not died, but been transported away at the last moment and gone off to live his life as a farmer.
  • Tyrion in Game of Thrones wants to have a vineyard and make his own wine.
  • The Good Guys has an episode about a former bank robber who used stolen cash to create his own bed & breakfast.
  • This is the premise behind the show Green Acres. A successful city lawyer gives up practising law to become a farmer.
  • Doc Baker was unable to save a patient or some such on one episode of Little House on the Prairie, and decides to take up farming instead. Fortunately for the sick of Walnut Grove, Hiram is a terrible farmer.
  • London's Burning: It's mentioned in passing that the now-retired Station Officer Tate has taken up beekeeping as a hobby. Bayleaf was planning to retire to run a guesthouse and restaurant, but that didn't go so well.
  • This is what the Meyerists of upstate New York are doing in The Path. The community was originally founder Stephen Meyer's family farm which the founding members expanded on and built a series of communal homes. Members are shown working in a series of gardens and hothouses, raising vegetables and flowers which are given away for free in the city. Early episodes have the Armstrong family speculating that the heavenly Garden of Meyer's ultimate vision will arise from this place, and prospective leader Eddie Lane has a vision confirming that.
  • Lampshaded (and rejected) by Sameen Shaw in Person of Interest. In the final episode she asks the Machine, "Is this the part where you tell me that I should live out the rest of my days in peace? Grow an herb garden or something?" The Machine replies She knew exactly the kind of person Shaw was when She recruited her into Team Machine. Sure enough, when the other members of Team Machine have died or retired, Shaw is shown eagerly accepting another Number.
  • In his first appearance on Red Dwarf, the robot Kryten says he's always wanted to have his own garden. Lister encourages him to find a planet with an atmosphere and do it. The viewers assume this is where he's gone, until he reappears as a regular cast member in the next season. According to the Opening Scroll (which passes so fast it can only be read by freeze-frame), he's been found in pieces and reassembled after crashing his space-bike into an asteroid.
    • Dave Lister's original plan for when he returned to Earth was to move Fiji and buy a cow and a sheep and raise horses. However, it is also apparent that he had no idea what this actually involved.
  • Something like Ascended Fanon on Spartacus: Blood and Sand — as the series drew nearer its conclusion, and the inevitable bloody failure of Spartacus's rebellion, there was a lot of half-humorous talk in the fandom of the "Nagron goat farm" — the idea that Nasir and Agron should somehow survive the show and go off to live on a goat farm somewhere. To everyone's surprise, Nasir and Agron did indeed both survive the finale (becoming the only couple to both be alive when the credits rolled), and in a post-finale interview show producer Steven S DeKnight acknowledged the meme, and added: "... They want those two to go off and start a goat farm. So, in my mind, they’re off on a goat farm living free. I think that’s the way it should be."
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: This is a theme at least three times for famous Starfleet captain Picard. After his horrific experience with the Borg, he visits his family vineyard on Earth during his recuperation; while there he briefly considers giving up his Starfleet career to lead the tantalizingly mysterious "Atlantis project", which seems to have something to do with creating or making livable new land on or from the ocean floor - not only growing new life, but creating the space to house life. He is later shown managing the same family vineyard as part of the alternate future in the Grand Finale. In Star Trek: Picard, we see that Picard has indeed retired from Starfleet to run his family farm by this time, albeit leaving Starfleet on much more tragic terms.
    • In Star Trek: Generations, in the Nexus, Kirk was found chopping wood and frying eggs on a farm. This was a memory of his, right before he chose to return to Starfleet.
    • Several of the former members of Kira's Resistance cell in Deep Space Nine are shown as farmers, seemingly for the reasons described in the trope descriptions.
  • "Farmer Rick" in The Walking Dead. At the start of the fourth season, he's caring for crops in the yard of the prison, and abdicating all his leadership and ass-kicking responsibilities. It doesn't last, even before the Governor came knocking.
  • Xena had Ares become a farmer at her Grandmother's farm after he lost his powers. Of course, he quit being a farmer after regaining his powers.
  • The X-Files: Victor Klemper is a former Nazi scientist who was offered an asylum in the States. He was employed by the Syndicate as a biologist trying to create an alien human hybrid. When agents Mulder and Scully come to confront him, he is working in his greenhouse on his flowers, particularly orchids, all blooming and very beautiful.

  • Antonin Dvorak, Franz Liszt and Béla Bartók used Eastern European peasant music in their own compositions.
  • One of the verses to "Seven Nation Army" from Elephant by The White Stripes involves the disillusioned protagonist thinking he should do this.
    I'm going to Wichita, far from this opera forever more
    I'm gonna work the straw, make the sweat drip out of every pore
  • Russian folk-rockers Otava Yo introduce this theme in a lot of their videos and the accompanying songs. A repeating theme in the videos is a sort of idealised Russia where simple peasant farmers strip everything back to the basics and live a happy healthy life.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions sourcebook "The Circle and M.E.T.E.". The Master is an extremely powerful sorcerer who once worked against the Allied forces during WW2. After surviving the atomic destruction of Hiroshima, he retired and created the Garden, an underground area filled with plants where he lives.
  • One reason why Shadowdale in the Forgotten Realms has successfully weathered an awful lot of monster attacks, despite its small population and lack of heavy fortifications, is that several high-level player characters from Ed Greenwood's home D&D campaigns wrapped up their adventuring careers by heeding this trope and starting farms there.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, one of the most iconic white spells, "Swords to Plowshares", invokes this. It removes a creature from the game and gives its owner its power in life points. It is a reference to Isaiah 2:4 in The Bible.
    • There's also the character Kamahl, who first entered the game as a red barbarian called "Kamahl, Pit Fighter"; some time later, he got another card, as the green forest druid "Kamahl, Fist of Krosa". Kamahl doesn't really fit the spirit of this trope, since he doesn't actually stop fighting. He just uses plants and animals to kick ass instead of using only his sword.
    My mind has changed. My strength has not.
    • Though this shift in attitude is played tragically straight in the block's story: After receiving the Mirari, Kamahl promptly lost his damn mind and went on a rampage, culminating in the death of his sister, Jeska, and ultimately causing her rebirth as Phage the Untouchable. Consumed with grief, he journeyed into the forest of Krosa to rid himself of the Mirari's influence through druidic magic. The "Fist of Krosa" card represents his return to battle.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has Commissar Yarrick, defender of Hades Hive and hero of the Second Armageddon War, who retired to tend his small garden once Ghazghkull Thraka's Ork invasion had been beaten back. Of course, this being 40k, Yarrick came back out of retirement when Ghazghkull returned at the head of an even bigger Ork horde to launch the Third Armageddon War, and has vowed to go back only when Ghazghkull is dead.

  • In Ruddigore, Robin decides on this once he's no longer Trapped in Villainy:
    Having been a wicked baronet a week,
    Once again a modest livelihood I seek,
    Agricultural employment
    Is to me a keen enjoyment,
    For I'm naturally diffident and meek!

    Video Games 
  • Dietrich Kellerman, an enemy ace in Ace Combat Zero, returns to his farm after the Belkan War, where the reporter narrating the story interviews him.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Embers, Ezio Auditore's retired to a villa in Tuscany, Italy over ten years after his last appearance in Assassin's Creed: Revelations and spends his days tending to a vineyard.
  • In Blade & Soul, the player character briefly considers throwing away their game-long goal to get rid of Jinsoyun at one point to become a farmer because it would be a simpler, less stressful life than being a martial artist. In the end, however, they decided that taking down Jinsoyun must be done and if they don't do it, no one else will. The player character can also help the villagers in Windrest, where they can fish, grow wheat and raise pigs for their students in exchange for upgrade materials.
  • One of the endings of Brave Soul has the main character and his girlfriend getting stranded on an island with a crate of cursed agricultural tools that force anyone who touches them to work for a given amount of time. The final scene shows them like this.
  • Cobalt Core Parodies this when Drake reveals to Smiff just what happened to a former Sidekick of hers. Namely, he gave up the pirate life in favor of settling down to become a farmer... something she considers far worse than if he'd gotten killed in action or stabbed her in the back. Smiff expresses his sincere condolences for her loss.
  • Eirik of Dead In Vinland is a Reluctant Warrior in the first place; he once participated in a Viking raid, which he regrets, and all he wants is to live a quiet peaceful life with his family. When asked what he wants to do after he and his companions overthrow the Big Bad, he says he'd like to raise vegetables.
  • One story arc in Final Fantasy XIV deals with this. In the starting quests for the coastal city of Limsa Lominsa, you deal with the former pirates who are having trouble transitioning from bloodthirsty killers to farmers, and the Starter Villain is one such pirate who didn't like this enough to debate going to the serpent reavers.
    • Inverted in the most literal sense with the Reaper job. The first Reapers were once pureblood Garlean farmers who were driven from their homes by invaders, forcing them to tap into the Void to gain dark powers (pureblood Garleans cannot naturally manipulate aether), allowing them to fight back while using their scythes as weapons.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • If you recruit General Wallace in the first official English release and keep him alive until the end, his epilogue with read that, after somehow winding up in Ilia, he spends the remainder of his days tilling the soil up there. Of course, he'd become a farmer after 30 years' worth of service as a knight to the Caelin house before he joins you, anyway, so it'd really be more correct to say that he went BACK to farming....
    • Defied in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. Ike's dying father advises him to take up farming instead of going after the Black Knight for revenge, but Ike disregards this Last Request.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: In Alois' Crimson Flower endings, he and his family retire to Remire Village and raise a farm there.
    • Brom and Nephenee follow the example of Wallace, given that they were farmers before signing up to defend Crimea.
  • Guilty Gear: In a manner of speaking, the ending of -STRIVE- has Sol stripped of his Gear powers and returned to a human, living a peaceful life with Aria in a machine parts shop.
  • In Harvest Moon this trope appears in most every game. Justified, since its a farming game. Most games have your Father die, with you taking his place. One notable time where this 'didn't' happen was Story of Seasons (2014), where the Player Character, having been raised in a mostly Urban area, always wanted to be a farmer, so upon seeing an ad for working on a farm in the rural boondocks, you sprung at the chance.
  • Agent 47 from Hitman became a gardener at a church following the events of Codename 47. Too bad the Mafia had to kidnap the local priest....
    • Sergei hired them to do it to force 47 back into the profession and use him through the Agency so it's an example of The Call Knows Where You Live.
  • A depressing version occurs in Mace: The Dark Age. Mordos Kull's bad ending has him retire from mercenary work after failing to kill Asmodeus. He becomes a farm hand, but Asmodeus has fouled the soil, and the farmers cannot even afford to share their harvest with him.
  • The end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny shows that Yuri and the Materials have settled down in Eltria to help restore the current desert planet back to its former fertile self.
  • When you're not exploring new lands, fighting off monsters, or building structures in Minecraft, you're probably farming resources. It's not hard to see why, either — farming is very low-risk, not very resource-intensive, gives you food to keep you going, and if you know the right villagers to trade with, can prove very profitable.
  • Jax in Mortal Kombat X, after being restored from his revenant form. He ultimately returns to the battlefield when Sonya asks for his help.
  • In the games where it exists as a mechanics, growing berries is one of the few things left to the player in Pokémon after beating it.
  • In Quest for Glory I, you come across a centaur raking his field. In fact, that's all you ever see him do. But his description states that he looks very strong and has had his fair share of battles. If you attempt to fight him, the game simply won't let you, implying that it's not a good idea.
  • In between the events of Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 and Rocket Knight (2010), it is revealed that Sparkster, the leader of the Rocket Knights, took up farming, got married, and even raised a son. During Sparkster's absence, his arch-rival and Evil Counterpart, Axel Gear, became the new leader of the Rocket Knights, but Sparkster returns to the Kingdom of Zephyrus when it is under attack by the Wolf Army and later, the Devotindos Empire, which was Axel Gear's plan all along.
  • Weber/Kross from Rune Factory Frontier.
    • Hell, the whole Rune Factory franchise might count, being a spinoff of its sister-series, Harvest Moon. Both the protagonists and their neighbors across all games dabble in the battlefield as much as they do in the sowing field, with varying degrees of success.
  • Stardew Valley opens with your character leaving their Soul-Crushing Desk Job at Joja Corporation to take over the farm they inherited from their grandfather.
  • Invoked by Pacifist star nations with the "Agrarian Idyll" civic in Stellaris. As of 2.2 "Le Guin", it represents a futuristic star nation that has managed to avoid large-scale urbanisation; it gives a bonus to housing for generator, mining and farm districts, and farmer pops also produce amenities. Rolling in one housing, entertainment and employment for pops can allow for powerful, non-specialised planets with very high raw resource generation and population growth.
  • Monomachus the Veteran Instructor and big guy in Tears to Tiara 2. Though he didn't let Hamil know until he died. Hamil prefers traveling. But part of his Aura Plan is to allow agriculture to flourish all over the empire.
  • Largo in Valkyria Chronicles. He always had a dream to have a vegetable garden, and eventually he did.
  • After the Kilrathi War ended in Wing Commander III, Christopher Blair retired to become a farmer. He wasn't much good at it, however, and couldn't turn down the call to return to active duty in the next game.
  • In World of Warcraft Thrall was originally Warchief of the Horde, which he later left to become the Earth Warder of Azeroth. After witnessing the death of several friends and killing his own successor as Warchief, Garrosh, Thrall lost faith in himself and his shamanic powers faded. He retired with his family to Nagrand to live as a simple farmer, but was forced to rejoin the Horde when Sylvanas sent assassins.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: This is Colony 9's subplot after the heroes liberate it. Fed up with a life of meaningless warfare, the commander decides to turn the colony's resources towards growing crops. Most of the sidequests found in the area deal with the results of this decision, such as dealing with subordinates who disapprove of the idea or helping the commander consult with other colonies who know more about how to farm properly. Notably, given that the concept of agriculture had been largely lost to the majority of the colonies, the party and commander encounter several pitfalls with their attempts to transition to it, such as blights, droughts, foraging monsters, and their first successful crops not being of an edible plant to begin with.

  • In Checkerboard Nightmare, Vaporware gets ticked that the only narrative roles available to robots are to angst about his non-humanity or go on indiscriminate killing sprees. He and his robot brethren rebel against this by farming.
    Vaporware: Strawberry farming provides me with total fulfillment. No failure to understand creation and what drives me here. No latent insecurities about being a soulless automaton here.
    Lyle: I notice you and your robot friends just seem to be crushing strawberries in your fists.
    Vaporware: I like to pretend that each one is one of mankind's goals.
  • The main protagonist of Cucumber Quest, a wizard-in-training with considerable talent, wants nothing more than to be "that nice old guy people go to for help with their crops or something" when he grows up. Too bad he's been volunteered to go save the world instead of getting a chance to go to magic school.
  • It's implied that WV of Homestuck was subject to this—presumably he did something to become the Warweary Villein. Unfortunately, it happened off-screen, and all we see is the burning remains of his farm.
  • According to the Backstory of The Phoenix Requiem, Robyn was a soldier who retired to become a farmer. As it is shown in the comic, he can still be badass if needed.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, the Just Before the End prologue has Iceland resort to bombing boats full of refugees to stop the spread of The Plague. The section of the prologue showing this focuses on a radar reader for the country's coast guard who has started having bad dreams and decides to quit to become a sheep herder. In the story's main timeframe, his great-grandson ends up a stowaway to a military crew exploring what has become a Forbidden Zone and his original job as a sheep herder contributes to emphasize just how out of place he is.
  • In Solo Farming In The Tower, Park Sejun is a relatively poor Korean who gets himself stranded inside one of the mysterious towers that began appearing all over the world. Stuck in a hole, and far away from discovery by any of the other people who have become Adventurers in the tower, he begins growing the groceries he had on hand at the time in order to survive. With the help of some friendly rabbit-monsters and other creatures, he ends up getting pretty good at it, and the Dragon in charge of the tower even makes him a Farmer(as a Character Class).

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: After becoming The Atoner in the finale, former Evil Overlord Andrias is shown to have renounced his crown and taken up the quiet, solitary life of a farmer, working to restore the greenery he'd despoiled pillaging the land for resources.
  • Subverted in Avatar: The Last Airbender. The man who killed Katara's mother has a garden and it is implied that he spends quite some time on it, but he is still the cold and heartless man he was when he committed murder. And he seems to be miserable as well, mostly thanks to his mother.
  • Karl Rossum from Batman: The Animated Series briefly takes up farming after the disaster of the HARDAC program. He eventually does return to the robotics business full-time.
  • The second season finale of Exosquad showed that Admiral Winfield became a rancher after the end of the war. Unfortunately, the show was Cut Short after that episode, so there's no way of knowing if he went back into active service after the Cliffhanger at the end.
  • Skarr from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy used to be the Only Sane Man Dragon to the Villain Protagonist in sister show Evil Con Carne, but now just wants to be left alone and do his gardening. Too bad for him he lives next door to the Grim Reaper.
  • Happened at the end of The Maxx.
  • In the epiloge of The Owl House, Principal Bump is shown to have stepped down from his post at Hexside at some point in the past three years and has taken up gardening while enjoying his retirement.
  • Punky Brewster and her pals visit the farm of her pen pal in the animated episode "Punky's Half Acre." Margaux makes a mess of things with her ignorance of agriculture matters and she insults the animals. Glomer uses his magic to make the animals talk and they vent about Margaux.
  • After being taken as a prisoner by the Rebellion in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Shadow Weaver went to grow a garden on Castle Bright Moon. This was the result of the showrunners discussing the funniest possible hobby an Evil Sorcerer like her could pick up in that situation. Subverted: the plants are actually components to magic rituals (but they're for self-care routines)- except for daisies, she just finds them cheerful.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk", after selling the Power Plant, Mr. Burns starts up a bee farm.
  • The Superhero Squad Show: Thanos, as a parody to the original Infinity Gauntlet story, says to Adam Warlock that he plans to start a chicken farm while they have trapped in the Soul Gem thanks to the Silver Surfer. After the two are them are freed by the Squadies, Warlock agrees to join Thanos with his chicken farm, but as long as he gets a bigger share of the profit.

    Real Life 
  • In real life this was often driven by necessity. The vast majority of humanity for the vast majority of human history was focused on where their next meal was coming from, with the knowledge that food surpluses could be fleeting if they existed and often didn't. Most of the human population outside the elites had to work painstakingly bringing in food to feed everyone, and luck of the draw meant often times THAT wasn't enough. Moreover, outside of raw necessity there was a good chance farming was what you knew and felt comfortable doing. So it didn't matter if you were the savior of the realm in a legendary battle or champion of the people in an important issue, eventually you had to either go back to bringing in a harvest/flock or overseeing those who were.
  • Diocletian, the Emperor who ended the Crisis of the Third Century (i.e. the fifty-year period of successive Klingon Promotions for Roman Emperor) and invented serfdom in the West, setting the stage for the ultimate division of the Roman Empire, decided to retire to a big palace in Spalatum (now Split, Croatia) after 21 years on the throne. He spent most of the time gardening, and when asked to retake the throne, Diocletian replied: "If you could show the cabbage that I planted with my own hands to your emperor, he definitely wouldn't dare suggest that I replace the peace and happiness of this place with the storms of a never-satisfied greed."
  • Cincinnatus, who returned from his farm to assume absolute power over Rome for six months while the city faced an invasion. Having repulsed and conquered the invaders in three weeks, he gave up his dictatorship and went back home. Years later, he was called back to deal with an internal threat (an aristocrat was reportedly plotting to become the King): he came, summoned said aristocrat to defend himself from the accusations, had him killed and returned home. Within a day.
  • Feudalism IS basically this trope. Every knight and soldier was given a land grant to cultivate - which they then would cultivate and grant the rest to their own vassals as fief, all the way to the serfs, who were allotted land, but who were bound to it. Since agriculture is hard work, it also kept the knights and the soldiers fit. There is a saying in Spain that "only military and agriculture are honest trades".
  • Hitler's architect Albert Speer helped design and plant the garden in the Spandau Prison. He then spent all his free time walking around it, counting his laps. He was trying to walk around the world, you see.note  Nice "Pride Goeth Before a Fall"-story: for all his power and grandiose plans for "Germania", this garden is the only thing of his projects that wasn't bombed, never built because of the war or demolished after the war (in Berlin, that is). note 
    • According to his journal, he also spent a couple of weeks drawing a modest house for one of his American guards as a farewell present (shades of season one of Prison Break there...).
  • Inversion: Early Zionists thought this part of the way to make themselves into badass Israelis, not as a way to retire.
  • Several US presidents after leaving office:
    • After two terms as President of the United States, George Washington retired to manage his plantation, earning him the nickname "The American Cincinnatus". The city of Cincinnati was named in reference to this nickname in his honor.
    • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson did the same, although Jefferson's Monticello was a slaveholding plantation as well (so he managed it rather than toiling himself) and Adams was more a gentleman gardener.
    • George W. Bush retired to his Texas ranch.
    • Subverted with Jimmy Carter, who'd planned to resume running his peanut farm after his presidency, but discovered that the trustees who'd held it in a blind trust during his single term had mismanaged it into bankruptcy.
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower served two terms as President then retired to a farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The farm was donated to the United States National Park Services in 1967.
  • Wittgenstein retired to become a monastery gardener after writing his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, reasoning that with its publication, all philosophy was now completed.
  • Justified Trope: During the Three Kingdoms period in China, Cao Cao (as seen in Romance of the Three Kingdoms) mandated that the army re-cultivate the land ravaged by war.
    • Quite a few famous philosophers and poets retired (or were forcibly exiled) to a life of gardening after trying out working for the Man and becoming disillusioned with the political system (or pissed off the wrong guy).
  • After surviving a life-threatening brain aneurysm during their 1995-96 tour, R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry retired from rock to work a farm in Georgia about a half-hour's drive from Athens.
  • Britpop band Blur's bassist Alex James produces cheese nowadays.
  • Roman legionnaires who'd served a lifetime tour of duty (about 20-25 years) could be granted farmland in lands they'd served in or helped conquer.
  • As World War II drew to a close the Willys-Overland company began to envision potential civilian markets for the Jeep. One of the first was as a "4-in 1" farm vehicle, taking over the roles of light tractor and stationary engine as well as a transporter that was both off-road capable and street-legal. While the first two roles never came to pass, the Land Rover Series I was based loosely on the same design, going on to become an Iconic Item for British farmers, gamekeepers and many other rural occupations ever since. The trope ended up coming full-circle a few years later when the Land Rover was selected as the Boring, but Practical option to replace the Jeep in British Army service, after the non-success of an Awesome, but Impractical custom-built replacement, the Austin Champ.
    • For that matter, tens of thousands of individual Jeeps and other light utility vehicles were sold off as surplus after the war, many of which found their way into the agricultural sector.
  • Speaking of World War II, many veterans of the war discharged and went to agrarian lifestyles. One of the more famous was Major Richard "Dick" Winters, of the 101st Airborne, Easy Company. He reportedly made a promise to himself at the end of D-Day that he would find a farm somewhere after the war and spend the rest of his life there. After the war, he actually went to work at Nixon Nitration Works for a few years, but by the 1990s, he did, in fact, own a farm and grow crops and raise animals. Far from being just a simple farmer, however, he was quite rich, having patented an effective fertilizer, among other things. He also became a pacifist.
  • Raduan Nassar, a acclaimed Brazilian writer, quit literature in 1984, after only two novels and some short stories, to become a successful farmer without any explanations. In 2012, he sold / donated most of his lands, again, leaving everyone perplexed.
  • This has helped many veterans returning from the recent unpleasantness.
  • The cult leader Jim Jones did this in Jonestown. He stated that the settlement was highly self-sufficient and they got everything they needed of the land. However, the residents faced severe shortages, and a storm ruined their harvest. This is an example of how the trope doesn't always work out, especially if run by a sinister megalomaniac.
  • A less odious version was Stephen Gaskin's "The Farm", whose idealistic founders were inspired by LSD visions. It is still around today, but had to undergo philosophical changes in order to survive.
  • Near the end of the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong sent thousands of members of his Red Guard to the field. According to him, it was an opportunity for them to learn from the peasants. But he did it to get rid of them, as their witch hunts for suspected traitors were tearing the country apart.
  • Simo Häyhä (1905-2002), often said to have been the most lethal soldier in existence, returned to his life as a farmer and hunter after World War II. He would become a successful moose hunter and dog breeder until the day he passed away.
  • Kenji Miyazawa, author of Night on the Galactic Railroad, gave up teaching at Hanamaki Agricultural School in 1926 to farm the land.
  • 1979 Formula One champion Jody Scheckter currently spends most of his time as a biodynamic farmer. This includes buying, owning, and operating the Laverstoke Park Farm, a 2500-acre farm located near Overton, Hampshire, England.
  • Taylor Swift has stated that she plans to primarily spend her retirement years gardening.
  • The '80s pop star Kim Wilde once wrote a book on gardening.
  • After becoming the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong took up residence on and managed a dairy farm in Lebanon, Ohio with his wife.
  • Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) was a hardline ultra-conservative known for being anti-black, anti-LGBT, anti-social programs and everything else, but he never forgot his rural beginnings and was concerned for small farmers. His agricultural bulletins ran on rural radio networks for decades. Five minutes of listening to Jesse Helms talk about beans. You'd never know it was the same man.
  • More generally, planting and maintaining a large garden or small farm is a common way to spend one's retirement, to the point of being a minor stereotype amongst Italian-Americans (see the entry for The Godfather above).