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Government Agency of Fiction

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So secret it doesn't even exist.

INS Agent: You ever heard of Division 6?
Police Officer: There is no Division 6. This is bullshit.
INS Agent: Yeah.

This trope covers two kinds of government agency, those that are entirely fictional, and current genuine agencies described in a fictional way.

They are often shown in the same way, either as obstructive bureaucrats, or the Government Conspiracy. Many of these will only be seen as the organization behind our heroes, paying their wages and Hero Insurance and assigning them missions (such as the first few on this list), providing occasional backup (such as S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Universe), or hunting for our unusual heroes (because they're aliens secretly operating on Earth, say). Sometimes they'll just be inventing silly walks.

By some odd quirk (reflecting a similar tendency in Real Life), any randomly selected GAF has a high chance of having its name reduced to a Three-Letter Acronym.

This organization may employ The Men in Black, or barring that, the Covert Group with Mundane Front. Or there may just be No Such Agency on the books.

Compare Heroes "R" Us, Law Enforcement, Inc., and Elite Agents Above the Law. Government Agencies of Fiction sometimes have Fun with Acronyms. See also CIA Evil, FBI Good.

See Non-Governmental Organization or N.G.O. Superpower for when such organizations are not affiliated with the government.

Not to be confused with its broader Sister Trope, Fictional Combat Troop, which concerns itself with fictional military, law enforcement and emergency units serving Real Life organisations.


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Fictional Agencies

    Anime & Manga 
  • ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.: The titular organization is an agency that manages the police, fire departments, and various other services in the 13 districts of Dowa Kingdom.
  • Burst Angel: The RAPT (Recently Armed Police Taskforce).
  • Chainsaw Man: The Public Safety Devil Hunters Bureau, later known as the National Devil Extermination Public Safety Commission, is a Creature-Hunter Organization created and operated by the Japanese government for Devil Hunters who wish to work in the public sector, similar to the fire department and police force, instead of the private sector. Benefits for working in the public sector include healthcare that can reattach limbs, paid day offs, and a regular salary instead of earning money through bounties or selling bodies on the Black Market, while some downsides include receiving more dangerous assignments and having to do detailed reports after missions.
  • Digimon: Both Hypnos and DATS, or Digital Accident Tactics Squad/Digimon Data Squad, are The Men in Black agencies.
  • Fairy Gone: Dorothea, a government office that reports directly to the Prime Minister and is tasked with investigating crimes involving the illegal usage of fairies.
  • GaoGaiGar: The brave heroes of the Gutsy Galaxy Guard ("3G BANZAI!") and their American and Chinese branches and French sister organization, Chasseur, all with their own contingent of Brave Robots.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Public Security Section 9, as well as the Cabinet Intelligence Agency in Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG. They're intended to be more like fictional branches of the very real (although less than widely publicized) Japanese intelligence establishment. It isn't a monolithic entity but is more like an umbrella organization coordinating various semi-independent sections, so a couple of fictional ones would fit the structure just fine.
  • Gunslinger Girl: The Social Welfare Agency is an Italian government agency created to seek out traumatized or abandoned little girls and give them a second chance in life. In actuality, however, they subjects the girls to brainwashing, drugs, and cyberization with the girls being forced to do the dirty work of the government. In addition, all of the girls are given a male handler who controls the amount of drugs they are given as well as overseeing both their training and missions.
  • Heroman: The NIA (National Intelligence Agency), a domestic surveillance/law enforcement (?) agency that works closely with the military and seems to take its orders directly from the President.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: The Time-Space Administration Bureau. Granted, it serves an alien government, but in StrikerS, the focus is on the Bureau's homeworld, so it isn't quite so alien anymore.
  • Mission: Yozakura Family: Hinagiku is a special intelligence branch of the Japanese government founded and run by Rin Fudo. They handle under-the-table work for the Japanese government beyond the scope of regular law enforcement, such as tackling terrorists and rogue spies.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: NERV, SEELE and GEHIRN, although NERV is the one that gets 95% of the screen time.
  • Night Raid 1931: The Sakura Kikan.
  • The hentai Spy Of Darkness has the Special Security Services Cabinet, which gives the spies of Q-section their marching orders.
  • Spy X Family: Twilight works for WISE, Westalis's intelligence agency, while Yuri works for the Ostanian State Security Service.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: The Commission of Counter Ghoul (CCG), a Japanese law enforcement agency responsible for handling all matters related to Ghouls. They are shown to have the authority to give orders to local Police, and particularly talented Investigators may spend time loaned out to similar organizations in other countries. The German organization Ghoul Forschung Gesellschaft is mentioned numerous times, suggesting some significance that hasn't been revealed yet.

    Audio Play 

    Comic Books 
  • Bigfoot & Gray on the Run: As stated by the narrator during their introductory scene, Agents Knight and Daye are members of an US government agency known simply by the acronym of FBO. The agency's goal is unknown, but given the agents' mission to capture Bigfoot and Gray (a bigfoot monster and an extraterrestial alien, respectively), it seems to be along the lines of a Men in Black organization that searches for unusual living beings.
  • The 13th Bureau of the Yellow Empire in Blake and Mortimer.
  • The DCU:
    • DC also has a fictional version of the OSS; in the modern era, it has Checkmate (later handed over to the United Nations), Project Cadmus, the D.E.O. (Department of Extra-Normal Operations, the current page image), the D.M.A. (Department of Metahuman Affairs), S.H.A.D.E. (Super-Human Advanced Defense Executive), and the Global Peace Agency.
    • Blackhawk: During "The New Blackhawk Era" (in which the Blackhawks were retooled into superheroes), the Blackhawks worked for the Group for Extermination of Organizations of Revenge, Greed, and Evil (or G.E.O.R.G.E.) with Mr. Delta (a guy with a sheet of paper over his face) acting as Da Chief. When Dick Giordano succeeded George Kashdan as editor in the last two issues of the comic, his first act was to have G.E.O.R.G.E. get nuked to kingdom come, taking the Blackhawks' superhero costumes along with it.
    • Batman (Grant Morrison) and the New 52 has given us Spyral. We don't know terribly much about them. Their agents have technology that makes their faces impossible to perceive, they use a finishing school to train attractive female agents, and they have a disturbing number of double agents.
    • Young Justice parodies this with A.P.E.S (All-Purpose Enforcement Squad), whose agents, Fite n' Maad, are considered membered of every government agency, from ones listed above like the DEO to real agencies like the CIA and MI6.
    • The ridiculous number of secret organizations leads to virtually all of them being obliterated by the group Leviathan. Initially an anti-capitalist group created by Talia al Ghul, it's later taken over by the Mark Shaw Manhunter, who eliminates all of these groups, absorbing the personnel though persuasion or brainwashing.
    • The Bureau of Amplified Animals makes its (surprisingly only) appearance in a Green Lantern/The Flash crossover called "Gorilla Warfare". Rex the Wonder Dog is their top agent, and his old buddy Detective Chimp is the boss.
  • The Department of Truth features an agency of the same name that controls and contains conspiracy theories, in a world where too many people believing in a thing will make it come true.
  • Hellboy gives us the B.P.R.D., the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense which is an international agency that, as the name implies, deals with paranormal activities. Unlike most examples, the organization operates out in the open.
  • Invincible has the Global Defense Agency (GDA), a S.H.I.E.L.D. expy operating under the United States government that provides backup and medical care for the world's superheroes.
  • This is the entire basis for almost all incarnations of G.I. Joe. They go as far as to fake their members' deaths in the latest comic series.
  • Madman has Tri-Eye. Its true intentions are pretty vague, but they seem to have a hand in everything that happens.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Marvel has various United Nations agencies with fun acronyms: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division/Strategic, Hazard Intervention, Espionage Logistics Directorate), S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department), and A.R.M.O.R. (Altered-Reality Monitoring and Operational Response). An evil multinational agency called Operation Zero Tolerance briefly existed to stomp on mutants, and Weapon Plus does the same thing.
    • The United States has HATE (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort) sometimes, the CSA (Commission of Superhuman Activities), and O*N*E (Office of National Emergency). During Dark Reign, S.H.I.E.L.D. is replaced by dodgy organization HAMMER (which doesn't have a ready-made acronym).
    • The United Kingdom has MI13, the metahuman/supernatural/extra-terrestrial branch of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (the designation has not been used in reality since it was dissolved in 1964). Previous British agencies were (deep breath): S.T.R.I.K.E. (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies, a UK S.H.I.E.L.D.), W.H.O. (the Weird Happenings Organization, a Shout-Out to UNIT), Black Air, R.C.X. (the Resource Control eXecutive) and D.U.C.K. (yes, really — Department of Unknown and Covert Knowledge). Some of these organizations turn out to be evil, and the exact jurisdiction boundaries (or even which ones, if any, existed at the same time) are never clearly established — Black Air ends up more as a group of Cloak and Dagger Private Military Contractors, while WHO, RCX and DUCK seem to have been absorbed into MI13. A Captain Britain and MI13 story lampshades this by having an MI6 officer remark that none of these agencies will ever last.
    • Canada has Department H in the Alpha Flight comics.
    • In the mini-series Pryde and Wisdom, Pete Wisdom and Kitty Pryde work for a police agency called Dept F.66, The Department of Unusual Deaths. Fridge Brilliance: "F" is the sixth letter in the Roman alphabet, making it department 666.
  • Power & Glory has the National Intelligence Agency, the folks who created the all-American A-Pex hero.
  • Transformers comics have had a few, starting with the Intelligence and Information Institute (III), which is meant to handle the Transformers for the U.S. government (i.e., give a fake story about where they came from and refuse to notice that the Autobots are goodies). The Transformers (IDW) has Skywatch, which is eventually eliminated and replaced by G.I. Joe as part of IDW Publishing's Shared Universe.
  • Valiant Comics has the Domestic Operations Authority, or DOA. Usually the good guys in Turok, not so much in Bloodshot.
  • The Culper Ring in Y: The Last Man. In reality, it was George Washington's spy network. Here, they still exist as a "covert arm of the executive branch".

    Fan Works 
  • Loki: Agent of Doomgard has the title character working for the "inquiries and investigations department of the Doomstadt Ministry of Sorcery".
  • Not the intended use (Zantetsuken Reverse): The Agency of Supernatural Investigation, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Then there's FALCON, which is fighting an offscreen war against Cyber Hell. By the way, the secret agencies don't know about the existence of the other secret agencies so in one chapter the Supernatural Agency and FALCON start an all-out battle until somebody called the higher-ups and they were informed of the situation.
  • Pacific: World War II U.S. Navy Shipgirls has the Special Task and Evaluation Command, an agency handling ship girls that operates under the auspices of the US Navy using the cover of research and development. The British and Soviets have similar agencies as well, in the form of RN-STEC and ARC (Abyssal Response Command).
  • Seven Days in Sunny June Books III and IV features the SIRENs (the Strategic Intervention, Reconnaissance and Execution Network), a Royal Canadian Navy special operations force usually tasked to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Of course, as far as the Canadian Parliament or the public know, there's No Such Agency, because the SIRENs are (illegally) composed of Child Soldiers with a cradle-to-the-grave loyalty to the organization. Eventually something bad happens and the SIRENs turn into an army of laser-guided tykebombs bent on revenge.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Iron Giant: Mansley mentions that he "works for the government" when he flashes his badge for the 'Bureau of Unexplained Phenomena'.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Ministry of Information and the Information Retrieval Department from Brazil.
  • The House Committee of Racial Identity in C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America.
  • Towards the end of The Day After, the United States establishes NERA, the National Emergency Recovery Administration. It is meant to administer the reconstruction of the country in the aftermath of nuclear war, something they are completely unable to do.
  • Dead Rising: Watchtower adapts the ZDC from Dead Rising 3 as FEZA, the Federal Emergency Zombie Agency.
  • As noted above under Comic Books, Hellboy (2004) has the BPRD, which is a secret at least throughout the first movie.
  • The Bureau of National Security from I Spy, which collaborates with the CIA.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Subverted by the Agency of the Men in Black, a.k.a. the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) Division 6. They outright state that they do not represent any branch of the government (because that would involve "too much paperwork"). As a result, they are 100% privately funded, though that isn't a problem because they own the patents for Velcro and microwave ovens (which were actually invented by aliens).
  • The IMF, or Impossible Missions Force, from the Mission: Impossible Film Series.
  • The Multiverse Authority from The One is basically an interdimensional FBI that hunts down and arrests people who kill their counterparts. (It's not all they do, but everything else is on a now-defunct website.)
  • The President's Analyst features the Central Enquiries Agency (CEA) and the Federal Board of Regulation (FBR). They're ostensibly on the same side, but it's hardly apparent.
  • Push has the Division, a government agency dedicated to hunting down and training psychics (remote viewers, telekinetics, empaths, etc.) for the purposes of espionage and covert ops. There was, apparently, a Chinese version, which has been disbanded and absorbed by the Triads. The Division bears many similarities to the Psi Corps from Babylon 5 in that they have a hidden agenda, conduct secret research, and attempt to create an army of super-psychics.
  • In Shandra: The Jungle Girl, Ian Abercrombie works for (or possibly heads) something called the Department of Species Control. Exactly what this department does isn't clear, but as he is seeking to develop assassins who are living biological weapons, it seems safe to assume that it isn't anything good.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022): The events of the previous movie propmt the United States to create a new department to deal with extraterrestial affairs, dubbed the Guardian Units of Nations. Aka GUN. Rachel is at pure disbelief that they don't realize what a bad idea naming the organization "gun" is.
  • The OSS in the Spy Kids trilogy. In reality, it was the predecessor of the CIA and is now defunct. In their world, it is still active.
  • Transformers Film Series: Sector 7 from Transformers (2007) ("Never heard of it." "Never will."), followed by NEST in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen (which has Autobots and various militaries cooperating to bring down Decepticon stragglers), Cemetery Wind in Transformers: Age of Extinction (a CIA operation which is tasked with tracking down the Autobots and eliminating them after public opinion of them drops), and the Transformers Reactionary Force in Transformers: The Last Knight.
  • The Omega Sector in True Lies.
  • The Central Security Agency from The Tuxedo, which justifies Tuxedo and Martini by manufacturing ultra high-tech spy tuxedos that they issue to their field agents.
  • The Department of Mutant Affairs from X-Men: The Last Stand, headed by Hank McCoy (the mutant formerly known as the Beast).
  • Zoom: Academy for Superheroes has the Zenith Program, a program under the Department of Defense responsible for working with training and supporting superheroes. They also try to further improve the might of superheroes and operate out of Area 52.

  • The Thought Police in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as well as the Ministries of Truth, Peace, Love, and Plenty.
  • The Adventures of Fox Tayle: The BioCon corporation worked under the government creating genetic experiments, but one escaped and now the FBI has to chase him.
  • In The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, the protagonist works for the Environmental Perfection Agency.
  • The ESS in both Chrono Hustle and Simple Complications.
  • The Aellisar, a race of fairy-like beings, have A.I. to protect it in Clandestine Daze. It is an evil, corrupt, and controlling organization which treats its agents like disposable commodities. Our hero works for it.
  • CoDominium has a large number of fictional bureaus that deal with various areas as colonization, technology, correction, forced relocation, etc. — there's even an anti-tech Secret Police.
  • In Christopher Anvil's Colonization future, the Federation of Humanity has lots of agencies which keep tripping over each other, including the Space Force, the Planetary Development Authority and the Space Scouts. The Interstellar Patrol is a contrasting picture of efficiency — because they don't bother following the rules.
  • The Complete Adventures of Lucky Starr: David "Lucky" Starr, his deceased father, Lawrence Starr, and both of his surrogate parents, Augustus Henree and Dr Hector Conway, are members of Earth's Council of Science. This gives them the privilege to go into most areas of the solar system and order people around. Lucky Starr operates as a mix between a secret agent and federal official, while Dr Hector Conway is Da Chief.
  • Bureau of Sabotage (BuSab) from ConSentiency.
  • CURE, a secret U.S. government agency in The Destroyer. It was created by President John F. Kennedy to destroy threats to United States by working outside the U.S. Constitution.
  • Diogenes Club:
    • Kim Newman is one of several writers who've taken Sherlock Holmes's statement that, on occasion, brother Mycroft is the British Government to portray the Diogenes Club as a secret government agency under his control.
    • The same series has the Undertaking, an agency that captures, imprisons, and studies supernatural threats (and blatantly parodying the MIB of the titular film, down to the smoked glasses and initial names), and the Unnameables from America, a spoof of The Untouchables who deal with Lovecraftian threats.
  • Dirty Pair: The Worlds Welfare Work Association (3WA), with troublesome agents Kei and Yuri.
  • Discworld:
    • All of Discworld's governments are obviously fictional, but the only one organized enough to have actual agencies (beyond "a bunch of soldiers hired by the feudal ruler") is Ankh-Morpork. The Dark Clerks seem to be the organization that deals with situations Vetinari feels might be dangerous, but which it would be inappropriate for the Watch to deal with. They're Assassins' Guild graduates, often scholarship boys (i.e., they entered the Guild because they were already really good at killing, not because their family had money).
    • The former Patricians had a Secret Police called the Cable Street Particulars, now reinvented as the Watch's investigative and undercover arm.
    • The Kingdom of Lancre has several governmental agencies, departments and bodies. It's just that they're all run entirely by (and consist entirely of) Shawn Ogg.
    • The Fantasy Counterpart Culture of... Asia... on the Counterweight Continent also has all the formal trappings of imperial China, cradle of bureaucracy, and so presumably has massive numbers of intricately named departments. We just don't meet them, because Rincewind spends all his time running and Cohen spends all his time stabbing people. A vignette in the second edition Discworld Roleplaying Game suggests that foreign affairs (i.e., spying on the bloodsucking ghosts) is the purview of the Department of Despicable Necessities.
  • Years before the plot begins in The Dreamside Road, the IHSA was tasking with explaining and controlling all 'high strangeness' anomalies that occurred in member nations, including various forms of magic, mutations, U.F.O.s, and rapidly developing weaponizable technologies. Many of the items they confiscated were stolen away by the Dreamthought Project and became the Dreamside Road artifact trove, central to the story.
  • The Silean Seekers from Fields of Foreboding.
  • Stephen King's Department of Scientific Intelligence ("The Shop") in Firestarter and other stories.
  • For Want of a Nail is an Alternate History in which the American Revolution was quelled by the British, and in place of the United States is the Confederacy of North America (CNA), which features the Confederation Bureau of Investigation as a counterpart to the original timeline's Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Galactiquest: The Interstellar Forces, a space-focused US military branch that technically isn't a military.
  • The Hardy Boys: Casefiles has the Network, employing the boys' occasional ally Mr. Grey.
  • Harry Potter: There is a British Ministry of Magic, which often surprises the Muggle Prime Ministers. Presumably, other nations have their own arrangements, but it's not expounded upon.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: The Organization presents itself as possibly being one of these, but later information seems to indicate that it's more of a small group of individuals who happen to be well-connected.
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015 follows Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner Agent Onsi Youssef of The Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities as they investigate a specter haunting an aerial tram car. The ministry is responsible for regulating magical practices and investigating crimes committed by or against supernatural creatures like Djinn, "Angels," ghosts, and the like.
  • Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest: The National Questing Bureau is a government agency that's called in whenever someone is tasked with the Call to Adventure. Or in Helen and Troy's case, Kidnapped by the Call.
  • The World Security Board from "Hostess", which employs Mr. Smollett as "a minor government official" but is more often described as a policeman. This implies that his job is actually a secret agent, possibly an intelligence analyst.
  • The main character of "I'm in Marsport Without Hilda" works for the Galactic Service and has a Class A rank within the organization. They operate as federal agents rather than a police force.
  • ARM (originally Amalgamated Regional Militia) of Known Space, basically the UN police force, quite possibly led by a psychopathic, overprotective, super-intelligent posthuman and quite definitely consisting entirely of paranoid schizophrenics. Before you read too much into that, pretty much everyone alive today would be a "paranoid schizophrenic" by the definitions of the future. The ones employed by the ARM are medicated carefully to keep them sheep-like enough to not indiscriminately kill everyone they meet, but not so sheep-like they can't bring themselves to use violence against the truly dangerous enemies of society. Not enough paranoid schizophrenics to fill out the force? No problem, they have medications for that too.
  • Laszlo Hadron and the Wargod's Tomb: The Department of Operations serves as the intelligence service of the Solar Commonwealth.
  • The Laundry Files has the Laundry, the UK's Eldritch Abomination response team — supposedly the last surviving section of the defunct real-world Special Operations Executive. There's also their American counterparts, the Black Chamber (for history nerds: the original version of the NSA). In The Apocalypse Codex, they're jokingly referred to as the Nazgûl, and perhaps officially known as the Operational Phenomenology Agency. Their German counterparts are the Geheime Sicherheit Abteilung (Secret Security Department, also known as the "Faust Force").
  • In Lockwood & Co., the Alternate Universe British government's response to the Problem — a sudden epidemic of ghost hauntings — is to establish the DEPRAC, the Department of Psychical Research and Control.
  • Magic, Metahumans, Martians and Mushroom Clouds: An Alternate Cold War: The various organizations established to deal with paranormal (or "Fortean", as they’re officially dubbed) phenomena.
    • The earliest on record is the Department of Transcendent Research established by Fascist Italy.
    • The Allied Occult Initiative, a joint operation by the Allies to counter the Axis' occult efforts. It was eventually dissolved after the war when the Western powers and Soviets went their separate ways.
    • The Special Projects Division (or OSP using its Russian spelling) was established by Stalin at the end of WWII to handle Soviet supernatural studies.
    • The Fortean Studies Bureau is formed by the American government after the AOI falls apart.
    • The British develop a full Ministry of Science (in OTL, British scientific matters are organized as various departments under other ministries), which is tasked with handling unusual matters, primarily being focused on studying the time travel abilities of the Loch Ness Monster.
    • Romania develops the Bureau of Esoteric Research and Development (BCDE in Romanian) as part of Ceausescu's efforts to give his country more autonomy from the Soviets in regard to paranormal matters.
  • A Master of Djinn: The Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities, the Egyptian agency in charge of dealing with all things magic.
  • Matt Helm belongs to a fictional, unnamed organization that specializes in "counterassassination" — i.e., killing enemy agents who other organizations cannot deal with.
  • Monster Hunter International has the USA-based Monster Control Bureau.
  • Michael Gilbert wrote a number of short stories about two middle-aged spies, Mr. Calder and Mr. Behrens, who after twenty-some years each in MI6 joined another agency, the Joint Services Standing Intelligence Committee's External Branch. "If there's a job which is so disreputable that none of the departments will handle it, we give it to the 'E' Branch."
  • Newshound has Federal Aviation Security, an Alternate History version of the TSA, with similar duties and levels of (in)competence.
  • Much of the plot of The Nexus Series involves the actions of the Emerging Risks Directorate (ERD), an agency created to fight all forms of transhuman technology and those who would exploit it. The agency came into being after Neo-Nazi cloned children tried to kill an entire town with an engineered virus, only failing in killing millions because they released it too early. For reference, neither the DHS nor the CIA trust the ERD.
  • In the Noon Universe, there's the 22nd century Earth government's COMCON-1 and COMCON-2. The first one ("Committee for Contacts") is a fairly standard diplomatic institution for dealing with contacts and political relations between Earthlings and aliens. The second one ("Committee for Control") is a more shady organization, more akin to a professional secret service, and is dedicated to monitoring any research deemed as potentially dangerous. In the last two novels set there it ends up acting almost as an unofficial counter-intelligence unit. COMCON-2 might have been inspired heavily by the KGB.
  • Section R in The November Man.
  • The Bureau, the British intelligence agency of the Quiller novels.
  • In Red Room, the titular organization is a The Men in Black-esque organization which suppresses the supernatural and negotiates with their peoples. Subverted in they're not actually subordinate to the government and just use their influence to keep them from interfering in their activities.
  • The Department of Metahuman Affairs in Soon I Will Be Invincible.
  • In The Sorcerer's Receptionist, the kingdom's Guild is essentially an employment agency. Its work is mostly innocuous stuff like hiring contractors, scouting wilderness areas, investigating suspected non-violent crimes, or odd jobs that only require small amounts of magic. However, stumbling onto demonic incursions is common enough that all Guild members must be certified sorcerers who take client confidentiality very seriously.
    She steps away from me to go open Harré's backdoor, then beckons for me to follow her inside.
    "I haven't told you yet, have I?" she says, then lifts her index finger up in the air. "Here at Harré, whenever we get a request that deals with... something that could pose a threat to the kingdom, like a demon, we have to let the King and the Knight's Order know about it. I suppose you might call it an agreement that we have with them. We need to keep the information between us flowing freely, for peace."
  • The UK Department of Paranormal Resources in Temps, which oversees the Super Registration Act.
  • Of course, in Thursday Next, there is an actual Government Agency of Fiction, the SO27 LiteraTec division...
  • In his United Planet series, Mack Reynolds gives us Section G of the Department of Interplanetary Justice, Commissariat of Interplanetary Affairs. Spying, covert destabilization of stagnant cultures, and pushing human advancement are among their less 'official' activities. Officially, they're about peace and interplanetary relations.
  • Unsong has UNSONG, the United Nations Subcommittee on the Names of God, which enforces metaphysical copyright law.
  • The Upgrade has the Unit as a US black ops government task force existing for the purposes of protecting the government from the corporate conspiracies. It also has the International Crimes Unit as a subdivision of Interpol with more far-reaching powers.
  • The Uncle Ira Group and Special Forces Warrant Agency from The War Against the Chtorr — in a future United States which has been demilitarized by force, they serve as the country's (illegal) intelligence and black ops units.
  • Whateley Universe: The dreaded Mutant Commission Office or as the mutants often call it the 'Mutant Control Office'.
  • The Parahuman Response Team or PRT from Worm is a law enforcement agency similar to the FBI that handles threats by superpowered people. It works closely with but is separate from the official government Super Team, The Protectorate. In theory, anyway... it turns out the director of the PRT is actually the secret identity of the leader of the Protectorate.

    Live-Action TV 
  • It is commonplace on British television to use fictional police services to avoid potential issues with script clearances for real ones. A very common one is the Greater London Police used in place of the Metropolitan Police Service. However, it is common for dialogue to still refer to "the Met", resulting in an odd disconnect for British audiences.
  • The Public Control Department (PCD) in the 1970s BBC dystopian drama 1990, in which the United Kingdom is a bureaucratic dictatorship.
  • The 4400 has NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command), a division of Homeland Security.
  • CTU (Counter-Terrorist Unit) in 24. The original DVD release of Day One does refer to it on the back of the box as the CIA's Counter-Terrorist Unit — apparently, it got retconned once the show got picked up for a second season.
  • Annika (2021): Scotland Police doesn't exist. It's merely a counterpart of Police Scotland. Meanwhile, the MHU is supposedly based on the actual Major Investigation Team.
  • The Initiative from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • The titular agents in The Champions (1968) work for an UN-backed organization named Nemesis, based in Geneva.
  • The Office of Interchange in Counterpart (2018), formed thirty years prior to the events of the series, acts under United Nations aegis.
  • Days of Our Lives has several characters working for the ISA (International Security Agency).
  • Dempsey and Makepeace has SI10, which fulfils a similar role to CI5, though it has a more rigid hierarchy and appears to be an actual police unit.
  • Eerie, Indiana (and the book series based upon it) has the Bureau of Lost, whose job is to make sure that certain items are "lost" so that people will buy new items and support the economy.
  • The Equalizer: Robert McCall's former employer is only referred to as "The Agency" or "The Company", both well-known nicknames for the CIA. Not actually calling it the CIA gets around the issue of how the mysterious Agency can legally operate inside the United States, which it does in quite a few episodes.
  • Farscape had IASA (International Aeronautics and Space Administration), an International Agency of Fiction.
  • La Femme Nikita has Section 1, which is one of the many Sections under the control of Oversight, which in turn is under the control of Center.
  • The Academy in Firefly is a government agency that appears to conduct experiments on children to turn them in psychic Super Soldiers. There's also the Hands of Blue, or whoever they work for.
  • In Flash Gordon (1954), Flash and company work for the Galactic Bureau of Investigation.
  • Possibly parodied in Friends; Phoebe's twin sister Ursula claims to be an elementary school teacher like her fiancé, at "the Top-Secret School for the Children of Spies".
  • The Fringe Division in, well, Fringe.
  • General Hospital has the WSB (World Security Bureau).
  • CONTROL in Get Smart, and in one episode ABC, 'the Third Spy Network'.
  • The Bureau Underground in Ghosted was formed during the Truman administration to keep mankind safe from threats of a paranormal nature.
  • Hadrian's Wall in season 5 of Grimm is an anti-Wesen-terrorism taskforce that includes Wesen, Grimms and former members of the Resistance against the Royals.
  • The agents of InSecurity work for the National Intelligence and Security Agency, a fictional Canadian agency based partly on the real Canadian Security and Intelligence Service and fictional spy agencies as seen on TV.
  • The Agency in The Invisible Man. Arguably a parody, as it seems to be an Oddly Small Organization with only two field agents (three in the second season), one boss with one personal assistant, and one scientist, and suffers from frequently being transferred to branches of The Government that have nothing to do with intelligence (Dept. of Fish and Game, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Dept. of Health and Human Services, the US Postal Service...).
  • In It Takes a Thief (1968), Alexander Mundy is released from jail to perform missions for the United States of America's S.I.A. (Secret Intelligence Agency).
  • The Defense Security Division (DSD) in JAG. It's abolished in season 4, and many of its former agents go rogue.
  • Jekyll and Hyde (2015) has MIO (Military Intelligence Other), a sort of 1930s Men in Black who tackle supernatural threats around the UK, albeit with a nasty helping of He Who Fights Monsters at times.
  • The Librarians (2014): Season 3 gives us DOSA (Department of Statistical Anomalies), a Men in Black-like agency tasked with dealing with the resurgence of magic and supernatural creatures.
  • A Story Arc in Lois & Clark had the Planet trying to expose the secrets of the National Intelligence Agency, a mashup of the CIA and the NSA.
  • The DXS (Department of External Services) in MacGyver (1985).
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The United Network Command for Law and Enforcement — U.N.C.L.E. — is more of a multi-national, supra-governmental agency than an agency of one government. U.N.C.L.E. operatives are drawn from many of the nations of the world, even the (then) Soviet Bloc as well as the Free World, and it seems assumed without explicitly stating that U.N.C.L.E. is funded by various national governments and operates with their blessing and cooperation.
  • M.I. 9 from M.I. High. There was an actual MI9, a British intelligence service that used POW camps to gather intelligence on Germany during World War II, but bearing no obvious relationship to the show.
  • The IMF from Mission: Impossible.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Ministry of Silly Walks.
  • Nikita has Division, a black-ops program that doesn't officially exist, and originally reported to a secret group of government officials known as Oversight. However, its leader, Percy, has since gone rogue, and Division now works for the highest bidder. And unfortunately, Percy has taken steps to ensure that he can never be removed from power without bringing the entire US government down with him. Gogol is initially presented as the Russian version of Division, but Nikita quickly points out that while they employ many former government agents, they have always been just a mercenary organization. They are later revealed to be part of a Russian Mega-Corp.
  • The Outer Limits (1963):
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • The Department of Alien Services in "The Second Soul".
    • The unnamed agency which tracks down girls and women with telekinetic powers in "The Choice".
    • The Code Enforcement Agency (CEA) in "Essence of Life".
    • The Federal Reproductive Board in "Dark Rain".
    • The Urban Conservation Authority (UCA) in "Stasis".
    • The Tri-Fab Commission in "Down to Earth".
    • The unnamed agency hunting the alien parasites in "Something About Harry".
    • The Department of Information Technology in "Zig Zag".
    • The Agency, which is so secret that it does not have a name, in "Mona Lisa".
  • In Person of Interest, the people who take action on the "relevant" numbers from the Machine are from an agency called Northern Lights; the people who receive the numbers are simply "Research".
  • Power Rangers has Operation Lightspeed, a demon-fighting rescue organization; Time Force, Time Police from the year 3000; and 20 Minutes into the Future it will have a Space Police group called Space Patrol Delta. In an undefined place continuity-wise is the sinister Alphabet Soup, a scientific think-tank.
  • Primeval: The A.R.C. (Anomaly Research Centre) investigates anomalies and fight dinosaurs, when necessary, and generally cover stuff up with Blatant Lies. It's also worth noting that the ARC did not exist in the original timeline. It was an unnamed tiny branch of the Home Office with no headquarters. After Nick and Helen find themselves in the new timeline (which is never restored to the original, and both Nick and Helen later die anyway), they find out that the ARC is a well-funded organization with a high-tech HQ and a large staff.
  • The Professionals has the protagonists' employers, CI5, an agency devoted to fighting organized crime, terrorism and spies.
  • Rubicon has the American Policy Institute, a government think tank that seems to do most of the intelligence gathering for other agencies.
  • The Six Million Dollar Man: Colonel Steve Austin is employed by the O.S.I. (Office of Scientific Intelligence).
  • Sliders:
  • Smallville, in addition to Checkmate from the comics, had a thinly disguised DHS called the Department of Domestic Security.
  • Stargate SG-1 has a few of these:
    • The SGC (Stargate Command) is a classified project whose purpose is to "perform reconnaissance, determine threats, and if possible, make peaceful contact" with the peoples of the planets that have just become available through the Stargate. While operated by the U.S. Defense Department (mostly Air Force), it has a very wide purview and is essentially a scientific, diplomatic, and military organization all at once. It answers directly to the President of the United States and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at least for the first seven seasons, after which it's integrated into the newly formed...
    • Homeworld Command, a Unified Combatant Command under the U.S. Defense Department charged with all matters relating to planetary defense. In addition to the SGC, it also controls the United States' budding fleet of Space Fighters and Battle Carriers, as well as the military command at Area 51 that analyzes and builds off of the technology brought back by the SGC.
    • Also featuring prominently in the series is the NID (National Intelligence Division), a combination State Sec, Internal Affairs, and The Men in Black. Officially, its main function is to provide oversight of top-secret military projects like the SGC but is frequently seen operating as an intelligence and/or law enforcement agency. It was plagued by corruption for the first six seasons, with numerous Rogue Agents who eventually turned out to be working for a Corporate Conspiracy looking to acquire and exploit alien technology for commercial gain. Tracking and bringing down the remnants of this conspiracy has been the NID's main job ever since the agency was purged of its corrupt elements.
    • Finally, there's the IOA (International Oversight Advisory), an Intergovernmental Agency of Fiction. Once the existence of the Stargate program was revealed to various other nations who were invited to cooperate in it, the IOA was set up as the main forum for the international alliance and the governing entity for several projects related to the Earth's defense and galactic exploration (most notably the Atlantis Expedition and the Ancient weapons platform in Antarctica). As time goes by, it also slowly begins to acquire a more hands-on capacity, including a Field Operations Division to combat alien threats on Earth, and at least one former CIA agent that's seen accompanying an SG-team and representing the IOA's interests. However, the lion's share of the field work is still left to other agencies, with the IOA remaining mostly an administrative body.
  • Star Trek creates several of these. Occasionally mentioned are the Bajoran, Vulcan and Klingon intelligence agencies. However, three do get a more significant exploration:
    • Section 31 (Federation), a black ops agency so secret it doesn't even have a headquarters. Most of the Federation doesn't know exists. Those that do turn a blind eye to its existence. Its status as an actual government agency (rather than a secret society operating within the government) is a bit vague, as is its relation to the publicly acknowledged and sometimes-mentioned Starfleet Intelligence.
    • The Tal Shiar (Romulan) has a reputation for being one of the most efficient organisations in the entire Alpha/Beta Quadrants. Not many organisations have a better reputation. It's considered dangerous enough for the Dominion to target for being wiped out as a prelude to invading the Alpha Quadrant.
    • The Obsidian Order (Cardassian), the only organisation with a better reputation for efficiency and success than the Tal Shiar. Like the Tal Shiar, the Dominion views it as such a big threat that it wipes out the Order as a prelude to invading the Alpha Quadrant. The Obsidian Order is eventually replaced by the Cardassian Bureau of Intelligence which also very quickly gains a reputation for skill and efficiency at what it does.
  • One sketch in That Mitchell and Webb Look has the "All-Party Committee to Combat Footling Social Misunderstandings" introduce their proposal for a standardized method to ask for an extra chair in noisy bars. This is followed by their guidance not to flush when an overnight guest and risk waking your host... unless it was a poo, in which case you should, and follow up by shouting "IT WAS A POO! IT WAS A POO!"
  • The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DoSAC) in The Thick of It, created on account of the Prime Minister's preference for "joined-up government" (a sly reference to some of the weirder departments cooked up by Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson).
  • The Science Patrol in Ultraman.
  • The warehouses in Warehouse 13 are an interesting example, because they aren't really a real part of the government. Warehouse 1, however, was built by Alexander the Great. It was only starting with Warehouse 2 that the Regents were formed to be independent of any government.
  • Whoniverse:
    • UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, later the UNified Intelligence Taskforce), PROBE and the Torchwood Institute. (The latter is only initially associated with the British government, having been created by Queen Victoria to fight extraterrestrial threats. After World War II, they update their mandate to restore the empire to its former glory using Imported Alien Phlebotinum. After the destruction of Torchwood One, the main branch, in the Battle of Canary Wharf, the remaining two branches — Torchwood Two in Glasgow and Torchwood Three in Cardiff — are pretty tiny by comparison. They are also implied to have cut off ties with the British government.)
    • Gallifrey has the Celestial Intervention Agency (CIA), who are briefly mentioned in "The Deadly Assassin" and much expanded by Word of God and Expanded Universe material, and the Division from Chris Chibnall's era, a black ops interventionist group who appear to have been active early in Time Lord history.
    • The Department in K9, who seem to have started out as a Torchwood/UNIT type organization and have extended their mandate until they're in charge of everything.
  • Starting in the second season of Wonder Woman (1975), Wonder Woman's alter ego Diana Prince is employed by the Inter-Agency Defense Command (IADC).
  • The Ministry of Administrative Affairs in Yes, Minister. The ultimate government bureaucracy, it's in charge of organizing all the other government bureaucracies.


  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: HM's Let Just Keep This Between Us department. Exactly what they do is unclear, but at least one thing involves removing monarchial brains with spoons at the point of death. They are not at liberty to divulge the size of the spoons.
  • Pleasant Green Universe: The British occult agency known as the Department of Works or simply "the Department" plays a prominent role, most notably the Mythos miniseries.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Sound: The Ministry of Things Which Are Apparently True, who spread rumours about things which are apparently true, until you think about them for more than five seconds. Budget cutbacks mean they've had to downgrade the quality of their lies and have been merged with the Department of Things Which Are Suddenly Everywhere.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Bureau 13 in Tri Tac Games' Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic. They're a top-secret U.S. government agency dedicated to defending the world against supernatural threats.
  • Department 7, the all-purpose government agency tasked with investigating whatever the Gamemaster wants them to, from d20 Modern.
  • The secret, unofficial (and illegal) Delta Green which is dedicated to stopping Cthulhu Mythos threats. Its British counterpart is PISCES (Paranormal Intelligence Section for Counter-intelligence, Espionage and Sabotage).
  • Freedom City has several: the US has A.E.G.I.S. (which is basically S.H.I.E.L.D. when it's an American agency); the UN has U.N.I.S.O.N. (which is international S.H.I.E.L.D., U.N.C.L.E. or U.N.I.T., depending on how you play it); NATO has S.W.O.R.D. (another international S.H.I.E.L.D.); Canada has the Metahuman Affairs Department (Department H); the UK has the Ministry of Powers (MI-13) and so on.
  • Hunter: The Vigil has three — Task Force: VALKYRIE, The Men in Black who came together after hiring an actor to cover up the fact that some thing had eaten President Lincoln; the Barrett Commission, a political coalition that works to keep vampiric influence out of the halls of power; and the Vanguard Serial Crimes Unit, a branch of the FBI trained in Psychic Powers and specializing in the pursuit of slashers. Division Six thinks it's this, but it's really just a well-supplied pawn of the Seers of the Throne.
  • In Paranoia, the Computer has a number of organizations carrying out its orders, such as Armed Forces, CPU and Internal Security.
  • Transhuman Space mostly uses existing agencies, but the US has the National Technical Intelligence Bureau (futuristic NSA) and the Space Intelligence Agency; the EU has the Genetic Regulatory Agency; and Indonesia (one of the main players in the Transpacific Socialist Alliance) has BAKORSTAPAS. There's even a fictional fictional government agency; S.P.I.D.E.R., who fight the eco-terrorists of K.H.A.O.S. in a series of popular kids' shows.
  • Trinity Universe (White Wolf):
    • In Trinity, one of the psi orders is China's Ministry of Psionic Affairs, which specializes in the practice of telepathy; as such, the Ministry has a number of functions in the Chinese government. Its relationship with its home country, and with the rest of the world, is understandably complex.
    • Adventure has the U.S. Branch 9, and its international counterparts, which exist to deal with situations beyond the scope of other intelligence agencies, and answer to their respective heads of state.
  • Villains & Vigilantes has C.H.E.S.S. (Central Headquarters of Espionage for the Secret Service), a U.S. government agency that fights super menaces.

    Video Games 
  • Alpha Protocol in the game of the same name.
  • The Strategic Tactical Advanced Alien Response (STAAR) in Area 51.
  • Task Force 141 in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, a multinational anti-terrorist special operations group that was formed in response to the detonation of a rogue nuclear weapon during the first game (helmed under the command of US General Hershel Shepherd). By Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, due to Shepherd betraying them and killing the vast majority of their agents, they are all but eradicated and the remaining members are disavowed as terrorists themselves.
  • The Ministry of Occultism in the Chzo Mythos.
  • The Conduit has the Trust.
  • Control: The Federal Bureau of Control, or FBC, is a secret law enforcement agency, with the added twist of enforcing the laws of physics. They do this by finding paranatural phenomena such as Objects of Power and containing them in their headquarters in Manhattan. By removing them and keeping their existence a secret, the Bureau keeps the public from the high morality rate that these Objects of Power cause as well as keeping them out of the hands of those who would abuse their power, all the while scientists, such as the Bureau’s Head of Research Casper Darling, study them in the hopes of controlling them.
  • The Agency, employing cyborgs to bring peace to Pacific City today and the world later, in Crackdown.
  • Dance Central has DCI (Dance Central Intelligence) who are basically a secret agency dedicated to protecting the world from dance crimes.
  • Days Gone features NERO (the National Emergency Response Organization). They are the only functioning remnant of the pre-outbreak U.S. government and rule over their territories with an iron fist.
  • Dead Rising 3 has the Federal Bureau of Zombie Defense and Control or ZDC for short. Described as a 'zombie FBI' by producer Josh Bridges.
  • Subverted in Deus Ex, as UNATCO appears to be a legitimate world law-enforcement body but is just an arm of a more shadowy organization that has been manipulating member nations' laws to stage legal coups in every country.
  • Devil Survivor 2: JP's, short for Japan Meteorological Agency, Geomagnetism Research Department, is an organization founded and run by a member of the Hotsuin family, with it being dedicated to studying geomagnetism and by extension combating extraterrestrial invaders. Three prominent staff members, outside The Protagonist and his friends who join during the game, in both versions include Makoto Sako, the director’s right-hand woman, Otome Yanagiya, a doctor for the agency, and Fumi Kanno, the head scientist. Differences between the vanilla game and DLC include:
    • In the vanilla version, the director is Yamato Hotsuin with the main operation base being located in the Diet Building located in Osaka.
    • In the DLC version, the director is now Miyako Hotsuin with the main operation base being relocated to the Sky Tower in Tokyo.
  • The five nation alliances in Evil Genius: P.A.T.R.I.O.T., S.A.B.E.R., S.M.A.S.H., H.A.M.M.E.R., and A.N.V.I.L.
  • Counter Intelligence Group 9, as well as various military units, in Evolve.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Mike Toreno's "government agency" in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, plus at least one (probably two) rival agencies.
    • Grand Theft Auto V features the FIB and IAA, expies of the FBI and CIA but replace the entire roster of the former with deluded self-serving homicidal spies who love dealing collateral damage more than their actual jobs of fighting terrorism, and the latter's modus operandi is to hook the senate on drugs (as seen in GTAIV) and create vials of an unknown substance, suspected to be neurotoxin for selling to terrorists. Half the game revolves around their gang war and the bank robbers they rope into working as proxies.
  • Half-Life:
    • Civil Protection.
    • HECU (Hazardous Environment Combat Unit).
  • The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in Halo.
  • The AMS in House of the Dead. Despite featuring prominently in every game, it's never explained what they do (besides shooting zombies) or even what the acronym stands for.
  • The Department of Unified Protection from inFAMOUS 2.
  • The Civil Emergency and Defense Agency (CEDA) in Left 4 Dead, which functions as a hybrid of FEMA and the CDC.
  • The Regular Army from Metal Slug.
  • Shinra from Namco × Capcom and Project × Zone.
  • Nocturne (1999): The Player Character, known as the Stranger, is an operative for Spookhouse, or officially known as the Domestic Supernatural Research and Defense League, during both the Prohibition and Great Depression eras. The secret organization was founded by President Theodore Roosevelt during his presidency after he killed a werewolf while in Cuba during the Spanish-American War in the year 1902. Due to being a secret organization, they operate under the cover of the “Department of Biological and Wildlife Research’ with the goal of defending humanity by fighting monsters and to that the end they research cases that could possibly involve classic Hollywood monsters such as vampires, werewolves, and zombies.
  • Resident Evil has several of these, all specializing in dealing with bioterrorism.
    • The Department of Security Operations (DSO), an elite agency working directly for the President of the United States. Leon S. Kennedy and Sherry Birkin are both employed by the agency.
    • The Federal Bioterrorism Commission (FBC) was the predecessor of the DSO and dissolved after a number of scandals.
    • On the international level is the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), an organization overseen by NATO. Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, and Barry Burton were founding members of the organization.
  • The OSA (Office of Strategic Actions) from Return to Castle Wolfenstein, a joint British-American agency for which series protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz works.
  • The National Security Executive in Second Sight. Pretentious Latin Motto: Silent Leges Inter Arma.note 
  • Silent Storm: The Player Character takes on the role of a leader for a commando squad during the final two years of World War II, i.e. 1943-45, and depending upon the players choice can side with either the Allies and be apart of the Special Operations-SE2 or Axis and be apart of Abwehr Section 2. Regardless of whichever side the player picks, however, they both still carry out operations behind the frontlines of whichever side the player did not chose before finding themselves investigating a third faction, known as Thor’s Hammer Organization/THO, who plan to Take Over the World once the world superpowers destroy each other. The two expansion packs that follow have the war end with the remnants of both sides merging together to form the Sentinels, which does not answer to one government and as such are forced to buy their own weapons and ammo, whose goal is to prevent the rise of more terrorists as well as dealing with the remnants of THO, who has infiltrated Sentinel as personnel in an effort to get revenge on those who killed their leader and ruined their plans.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has the Guardian Units of Nations or G.U.N., a global military and law enforcement organization dedicated to protecting humanity from high-level threats like Dr. Eggman and Alien Invasions, as well as the CIA (Central Information Agency).
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has Imperial Intelligence for the Empire and the SIS for the Republic.
  • Syphon Filter:
    • The Agency and its more benign successor.
    • The International Presidential Consulting Agency.
    • The Chemical Biological Defense Command.
  • In the world of Tex Murphy, NSA has been turned into the National Surveillance Agency, which is perfectly willing to make people disappear if they don't cooperate or happen to be snarky private eyes. They're also searching for a UFO in order to grab its stores of Antimatter.
  • X-COM:
    • The Bureau: XCOM Declassified: A Zig-Zagging Trope as the eponymous X-COM was originally a U.S. agency originally formed during the Cold War as a contingency in case of a Soviet invasion, but instead find themselves the most prepared to deal with the Outsider invasion. However, later chronological games has them become an autonomous agency that, while not being affiliated with any government, does answer to the Council of Nations.
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: EXALT, on the other hand, is not originally a government agency, but does successfully infiltrate one of the member states of the Council of Nations so that they can infiltrate it, which starts the plot of X-COM having to figure out which member government they infiltrated before they can accomplish their goal.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: The cartoon has two major government agencies featured in the story.
    • Project: Freelancer is presented as a UNSC sponsored Super-Soldier program, dedicated to creating enhanced agents to fight the Covenant, partnered with Artificial Intelligence in suits of advanced suits of armor with varying armor abilities. As time went on, however, the Project became more and more involved in shady activities, and the Freelancer Agents found themselves fighting humans more often than aliens.
    • The UNSC Oversight Subcommittee was formed in response to reports of multiple of the aformentioned Freelancer agents in the field at once equipped with AI at any given time, when the program was only ever given a single AI unit. It turns out that the chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee is engaged in even worse activities than Freelancer was.

  • The Far Side Of Utopia: The comic has the IDS (Interdimensional Security), the Bureau, and the MSB (Magic Security Branch), which all seem to be different flavors of this.
  • General Protection Fault has a secret spy agency referred to as UGA, which is short for... Undisclosed Government Agency.

    Web Original 
  • The Fear Mythos features STAB (the Supernatural Threat Analysis Bureau), with notable branches including the SMSC (Special Monitoring and Study Commission) and the Lonely Hearts (also called Sgt. Pepper's). STAB and its respective branches deal with the Fears and other supernatural beings, but they tend to be ineffective at actually dealing with them; the SMSC, for example, is mostly focused on cleaning up messes and making sure that the Masquerade is maintained.
  • The United Liberators Coalition roleplay universe has the United States Department of Magical Affairs, and of course, the the Liberators themselves as a daughter agency of the Department of Homeland Security, specializing in stopping Type III, magical, and mystical threats in the US.


    Web Videos 
  • LOCAL58: The Department for the Preservation of American Dignity, a government agency created sometime during Lyndon B. Johnson's administration, with the purpose of inciting mass suicide in the event that the United States is forced to surrender to a foreign enemy, or worse, with its reasons to do so currently being up to speculation.

    Western Animation 
  • International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), and Organization of Democratic Intelligence Networks (ODIN) in Archer. Malory Archer was forced to surrender the former after the FBI arrested everyone as an unsanctioned agency.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Dai Li serve as a Secret Police force in Ba Sing Se for Grand Secretariat Long Feng before the capital falls to the Fire Nation, then they go on to serve Princess Azula until she starts losing her sanity and dismisses them in the finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and finally they return in the The Legend of Korra where they know serve the tyrannical Earth Queen Hou-Ting until her assassination at the hands of the Red Lotus.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: In the 2014 episode “The Fog of Courage”, it is revealed that the U.S. federal government has a Department of Curses as part of it’s cabinet, with an agency called the Federal Bureau of BLAH! under it.
    • The Federal Bureau of BLAH! is a federal agency, under the Department of Curses, that researches cursed amulets as well as other artifacts and then publishes that information to the public online, which comes in handy for the Death World nature of the show. The episode “Last of the Starmakers” also reveals that the Department of Defense also has two secret agencies, being the Department of Space Squids and the Department of Military Coverups.
  • The organisation headed by Colonel K in Danger Mouse. Named in The Remake as the Danger Agency.
  • Danny Phantom has the Guys in White, a governmental agency dedicated to ghostly research/hunts.
  • S.H.U.S.H., the international spy organization that Darkwing Duck occasionally works for.
  • Disenchantment: A Parodied Trope. In the episode “Our Bodies, Our Elves” , the Kingdom of Dreamland is revealed to have a Ministry of Health and Inhuman(e) Services, based on the U.S.’s Department of Health and Human Services, who have quarantined Elf Alley after the elves fall ill when they started playing in the dirty bath water that drained from the human’s, (plus Elfo), celebration of their only holiday, Bath Day. Although whether the inhuman(e) in the title comes from the fact that provides services to non-humans, a reference to the medieval treatments of the Dung Ages trope or a really clever word for both of them is unknown.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Section 13 are The Men in Black who help Jackie and his allies in dealing with the various supernatural threats. However, in an interesting twist, they originally were just a normal Muggle law enforcement agency who recruited Jackie for his archaeological expertise when the criminal organization that they were investigating were collecting and selling valuable artifacts. Unfortunately, for them one of the artifacts they obtained was a statue that housed the draconic fire demon Shendu and would soon realize that they are in over their heads when they stopped scoffing at the existence of magic.
  • Jonny Quest: While the U.S. government organization Intelligence One, (I-1), only appears in one or two episodes early on in the series, it plays an important role in that they are ones who brought together three of the four main cast. They accomplished this through their main goal, as revealed in the episode “Riddle of the Gold”, of protecting scientists and their families from being compromised by foreign agents, with Race Bannon being assigned to Dr. Benton Quest, a Omnidisciplinary Scientist who occasionally works with Intelligence One, and his son Jonny Quest after the death of the former’s wife and the latter’s mother.
  • The Super-Secret Government Agency of Johnny Test, headed by The General, and staffed by the incompetent men in black who call themselves Black and White.
  • Kim Possible: Global Justice is an international crimefighting agency who sometimes call on the titular heroine. Their personnel include their leader Dr. Betty, a Gender Flip version of Nick Fury with an Evil Twin brother, top young agent Will Du, Flynn Cognito, a Quintessential British Gentleman and Master of Disguise, as well as various unnamed scientists and pilots, with Team Impossible joining them later.
  • Phineas and Ferb has the O.W.C.A. (Organization Without a Cool Acronym), which employs Animal Secret Agents to fight Mad Scientists. Of course, Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel shows that they indeed collaborate with other large-name agencies such as S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • The Earth Protection Force in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), which existed since the 1800s.
  • The Office of Secret Intelligence from The Venture Bros.. The main branch operates much like S.H.I.E.L.D., but apparently a splinter group is a Captain Ersatz for G.I. Joe.

    Real Life 
  • Many scam emails have writers that purport to be from some non-existent government agency.

Real Agencies in Fiction

    Anime & Manga 
  • Death Note: The FBI is a consistent presence, although why they are suddenly investigating international cases instead of the CIA is never explained. This is Truth in Fiction — the FBI does sometimes get involved in international cases.
  • Great Pretender: Cynthia pretends to be an FBI Agent to scam Eddie Cassano. Then they hand him over to the real FBI.
  • Lupin III: Interpol does not operate the way Inspector Zenigata makes use of it. Real Life has the International Police agency as a multinational information-sharing operation. Zenigata uses it as his authority to travel and arrest Lupin in any nation.
  • You're Under Arrest!: The NPA is mentioned at least once, being the coordinating agency for police forces.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 
  • The Secret of NIMH: In a rarer non-spying example, with the National Institute of Mental Health (who probably weren't very happy about the depiction, let alone the sequel).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense is a pain in Buckaroo's neck. He badmouths Buckarooo to other people and tries to convince the President to confiscate Buckaroo's Jet Car.
  • Eagle Eye: The United States Department of Defense.
  • James Bond: MI6 and the CIA throughout the film franchise, with many other agencies appearing in individual films, but the former is referred to as simply the British Secret Service in the Fleming novels.
  • Johnny English: MI-7, although the fictional one is different from the real one. It is possible that the filmmakers didn’t know that the British Military Intelligence Section 7 was in charge of propaganda and eventually transferred to the Ministry of Information in 1940.
  • Men in Black: INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) Division 6, one of J's cover stories in the film. After its absorption into Department of Homeland Security, however, it was reorganized into Customs and Border Protection on border control, and US Citizenship and Immigration Service for immigration.
  • Outbreak: The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) plays a fairly large role and so does USAMRIID (United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases).
  • Stargate: The film portrays the United States Air Force launching a covert mission through the Stargate to investigate the alien world of Abydos and to destroy the Gate on the other side if Abydos proves to be a threat. The spinoff series would go on to portray the Stargate being operated by various Department of Defense agencies under the fictional Stargate Command.
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen: The Nuclear Emergency Support Team appears in the film as... let's just let try to explain it.
  • Sneakers: The NSA is behind the project to develop the little black box and ends up hunting the protagonists after they steal it.
  • xXx: The NSA started a program to recruit Triple X.


By creator

  • John le Carré:
    • MI6 is featured prominently in his works. It's nicknamed "The Circus" thanks to its headquarters being on Cambridge Circus (in-universe; in real life MI6 headquarters overlooks the Thames). It is called the Circus until sometime between the end of Smiley's People and the start of The Russia House, when the main part of the Service, as it then becomes known, moves to an unpleasant office building on the south bank of the Thames (as it did in real life), which is stated more clearly in The Secret Pilgrim. This is explained as being partly because of a desire to get rid of everything which reminds them of The Mole from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, especially because they know he bugged the Circus before he was caught.

By work

  • The Adventures of Fox Tayle: The FBI is after Tayle because he escaped from the fictional governmental BioCon corporation.
  • Baccano!: The FBI (or rather its pre-1935 incarnation, the Division of Investigation) has a branch dedicated to affairs regarding immortals and alchemy headed by Victor Talbot, an immortal himself.
  • The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump: The CIA exists, but they use actual spooks.
  • Child of the Hive: The Beeks are a government organization officially known as DPNI: Department for the Protection of National Intellect.
  • Dirk Pitt Adventures: NUMA, the National Underwater and Marine Agency, is a federal institution which led to the founding of a private organization of the same name and is headed by the author.
  • James Bond: SMERSH is figured heavily in the novels (at least till use of the organization was phased out around the time of Thunderball). However, the organization was never the super spy organization depicted, and may not have been in existence by the time that the Bond novels debuted. SMERSH (from SMERt SHpionam, or "death to spies") was in reality a sub-branch of the NKVD/MGB that was tasked during (the Great Patriotic War) with ferreting out ant-communist partisans, Nazi sympathizers and other enemies of the Soviet regime behind Soviet lines. They were also put in charge of the short manhunt for Adolf Hitler in Berlin at the end of the war. SMERSH was officially closed down in March 1946.
  • Wild Cards: The real MI7 was the propaganda and censorship division of the War Office, which is currently defunct. However, MI7 in the novel is the branch of British Intelligence that employs the superpowered spies and assassins codenamed Silver Helix.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Bill: The series is a rare case of a British cop show being allowed to use the Metropolitan Police name and authentic uniforms. The latter required special security measures to prevent them falling into the hands of criminals - on the show's cancellation in 2010, they were handed over to the Met for the same reason.
  • Cape Town: The series makes references to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (a South African Police Service division tasked with combating organized crime, corruption, money laundering and drug trafficking), but consistently calls it by its Squad Nickname, "Hawks".
  • Chuck: The title character is pressganged into working for both the CIA and NSA.
  • Cold Case: The show, unlike Cold Squad and Waking the Dead that introduced fictional police Cold Case divisions before such things began to pop up timidly in Real Life, itself avoids the trope portraying the characters as regular Homicide detectives, but in season 7, just as the willing suspension of disbelief was being too stretched (and the perspective of cancellation seemed sure) the writers had the two main characters be offered a position in a projected Cold Case FBI Unit.
  • Criminal Minds: The series features the members of the BAU (an actual division of the FBI). The CIA and Interpol also appear in a few episodes.
  • Fringe: The series has the eponymous FBI "Fringe Division", which works out of a basement at Harvard and consists of an Action Girl, a Mad Scientist, his Deadpan Snarker son, The Heart and the Team Pet reporting to the Bald of Authority. In an Alternate Universe, Fringe Division is the main investigative arm of the Department of Defense and reports directly to the Secretary of Defense. The FBI no longer exists and Homeland Security was never created (since 9/11 wasn't as disastrous) in that version of the United States.
  • Intelligence (2014): The series uses the U.S. Cyber Command, which is a real agency, in a fictional way. For all intents and purposes, the real CYBERCOM seems to be more of a D.O.D function through the Armed Forces. CYBERCOM on Intelligence seems to be more of a technology focused sort of CIA, despite the Armed Forces pictures located in the main hall of the fictional CYBERCOM. It seems like it's just a tick more advanced than the real thing-even using a modified version of the actual CYBERCOM's emblem.
  • Leverage: Recurring Hero Antagonist James Sterling works for Interpol. The team also often impersonates FBI agents.
  • The Mentalist: The characters work for the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation). The Real Life name has since been changed to simply the Bureau of Investigation (BI), but the show is keeping the original name.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: The British Dental Association is a bit of a subversion. While the show portrays it as one of these, they're quite mundane in real life.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Meyers is a secret agent working for the Canadian Department of Militia and Defense (about twenty years before it existed in Real Life).
  • NCIS: NCIS, CGIS and Mossad, though NCIS is relatively unknown to the general public... which is justified because most people only know about the organization because of the show.
    Tony: Relax, quickdraw, we're Feds.
    Security officer: Yeah? What agency?
    Tony/Ziva: NCIS.
    Security officer: Never heard of it
    Ziva: Naval Criminal Investigative Service...
    Security officer: Never-heard-of-it.
    Tony: [sighs] You never actually get used to it. You think you will, but you never do.
  • Psi Factor: The Organization for Scientific Investigation and Research (OSIR) is allegedly a genuine international non-governmental organization, though the TV show (presumably) veered off the actual organization by a pretty wide margin.
  • The Sandbaggers: A more realistic take on both the MI6 (although referred to as SIS, its real name) and MI5 can be found in the show (although it depicts SIS using a structure reportedly closer to the real CIA).
  • Spooks: The British Security Service (MI5) is depicted in the show.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: The series depicts the Ranger Division (state investigation bureau) of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
  • The X-Files: The FBI's X-Files Division.

    Video Games 
  • Deus Ex: FEMA is the agency in charge of distributing the Ambrosia vaccine and the Grey Death. Walton Simons is the head of FEMA.
  • Death to Spies: The game is named after the Soviet counterintelligence agency SMERSH (whose name is an acronym meaning just that); the player takes the role of a counterintelligence agent and spy working for them during WWII.
  • Gex: Gex's father used to work for NASA when he died in an incident involving eating tapioca pudding in zero gravity. After the family later became rich, Gex's mother bought 51% ownership of it, fired everybody, and turned Mission Control into a Suck E. Cheese's.
  • Hitman: Real life government organizations such as the FBI, MI6, and the CIA are occasionally brought up in different contexts, sometimes as allies/customers of the protagonist’s own (ethically amoral but politically neutral) organization, the ICA, and sometimes as being connected to some of the antagonists (e.g., the Big Bad of Hitman: Blood Money is a former FBI director).
  • Metal Gear: The CIA, KGB, GRU, DARPA, US Department of Defense, and several other real-world agencies play prominent roles in the series.
  • Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent: Nelson works for the FBI, Puzzle Division. In fact, he's the division's only agent. A friend of his works for their Vegetable Division. Not that the game takes itself very seriously.
  • Sly Cooper: Inspector Carmelita Montoya Fox, the Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist and love interest of the eponymous thief, is an Interpol Special Agent, with INTERPOL itself having establishments and jurisdiction in different parts of the world.
  • Street Fighter: Chun-Li is an INTERPOL agent, while Cammy and her Delta Red comrades are ostensibly part of SIS.


  • SCP Foundation: The Unusual Incidents Unit is a fictional unit to the real FBI, and acts as an equivalent to "The X-Files". However, it is also considered a dead-end job for the FBI, and they only find actual SCP items very rarely. They're also looked down upon by the other organizations that investigate anomalies.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: The main character, Stan Smith, works for the CIA, or Central Intelligence Agency, and it is mostly through the independent government agency that makes the series interesting, as most of the characters, gadgets, and plots originate through it, with both Roger the alien and Klaus the human-turned-goldfish being both major examples who became part of the Smith family.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: NASA, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has appeared or been mentioned in a few episodes of the series, including the “Dial M for Monkey” shorts. In the episode “Dexter’s Debt”, it is revealed that Dexter buys all of his lab equipment from them and has amassed $200 million in debt that kicks off the plot of the episode in which Dexter has to raise the money before they come to collect. In the episode “Simion”, it is revealed that the titular character of the episode was just a regular test monkey on a space mission for the government administration until a horrible accident caused him to mutate into a talking humanoid simian Hunk with superpowers, spacecrafts, and money until Monkey convinces him to give up his revenge scheme and live in the jungle wearing nothing but his white briefs giving the audience a nice view before heading off deep into the jungle.
  • Family Guy: Peter’s African ancestor, Nate Griffin, decided to get one over on the white man by opening a DMV and becoming an Obstructive Bureaucrat as seen in the video examples of the trope’s page as well as here. Also, seeing as the series is set in Rhode Island, the acronym DMV mostly likely stands for the Division of Motor Vehicles under Rhode Island’s Department of Revenue.
  • Inspector Gadget: INTERPOL.
  • Megas XLR: The DMV appears in the episode “DMV - Department of Mega Violations”, which can impressively impound and later boot an 80-foot-tall war mecha. However, the Division of Motor Vehicles, for which it is based on, under the New Jersey Department of Transportation was reorganized in 2003, a year before the episode aired, and became the Motor Vehicle Commission, or MVC, which self-operates independently from NJDOT.
  • Men in Black: The Series: The Men in Black identify themselves to civilians as Division 6 of whatever real governmental agency would sound appropriate to the situation. Thus, for an episode dealing with alien plants, they identify themselves as Department of Agriculture Division 6. In another episode dealing with extraterrestrial drugs, they identify themselves as Drug Enforcement Agency Division 6. Of course, this gets a little ridiculous when they are at a movie theater and identify themselves as “Ushers Division 6”. The episode “The Star System Syndrome” does reveal that The Men in Black are divided into different divisions with Agents J and K belonging to Division 6, but whether they are connected to any governments is unknown.
  • The Simpsons: The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) employs Patty and Selma.
  • Street Fighter: In contrast with the game, the cartoon has Cammy and her team as part of MI5, rather than MI6/SIS.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series: Played with. The pilot mentions a government agency called the Federal Security Agency, or FSA, that oversees the Mutant Registration Agency, a Non-Governmental Organization. An agency by both that name and acronym existed from 1939 to 1953 before being replaced by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. However, the two differ in the areas that they oversee, with the real one overseeing areas dealing with conservation, education, public health, social security, and several other areas, while the fictional one acts more like the National Security Agency, or NSA, with some of the negative associations as they either didn’t know about, or possibly actively helped with, the Mutant Registration Agency and their secret Sentinel Program before the unnamed 1990 female U.S. President pulled the plug on Henry Peter Gyrich.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fictional Government Agency



The Psychonauts are a government organization of Psychics who protect the world from paranormal threats.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / GovernmentAgencyOfFiction

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