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Resigned in Disgrace

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"Not sure if you heard yet, Boyle resigned this morning. It was either that or face war crime charges for authorizing the use of the Liquid Tiberium Bomb, what a disaster that would have been."
General Jack Granger, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

The administrative counterpart to the Role-Ending Misdemeanor, a character who must resign in disgrace is usually (but not always) a high-ranking business figure or government official caught in the midst of a scandal. Regardless of whether the scandal was actually their fault or not (or based on unfounded rumors, or they were acquitted of all charges, or what have you), the crisis has undermined their position too badly for their work to continue.

In other words, it's time to go.

The circumstances around the resignation itself may vary. Sometimes, the resigning character may recognize that their organization doesn't need to be lumbered with the burden of a personal scandal, and politely bows out to spare their colleagues further trouble before things get any worse. At other times, things do get as bad as they can possibly get, and the character has no choice but to resign because business simply cannot continue as usual in the face of the scandal. In the absolute worst-case, it's an administrative Better to Die than Be Killed scenario; a higher-up may demand the character's resignation, usually as a more honourable alternative to sacking them outright.

In some cases, this might be the beginning of a new path in life, maybe even an opportunity for a dramatic comeback if the character was falsely accused. However, in all too many cases, resigning in disgrace is a long and embarrassing descent into ignominious defeat.

Compare and contrast Resign in Protest, Gracefully Demoted, Insignia Rip-Off Ritual, and Screw This, I'm Outta Here. May overlap with Treachery Cover Up if the resignation is intended to forestall further investigation into the scandal. May also overlap with Contractual Purity. If the character refuses to resign and decides to face the music, they may become a Legally Ousted Leader.

This does happen in real life. But if you put in any real life examples, you will have no choice but to resign as a troper.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Year One sees Gillian Loeb forced to resign after Flass testifies against him. This bit was Adapted Out of the animated version, which has Loeb use Branden as a fall guy. (Though jury's out on whether that's a bigger downer than the comic version, where Gordon notes Loeb's likely replacement is worse in every respect.)
  • Judge Dredd: Chief Judge Dan Francisco resigned the office voluntarily after he was unable to prevent Chaos Day, where most of the city was decimated by a plague engineered by rogue East Meg elements. If he had somehow tried to hang on after overseeing the biggest disaster in MC-1's history, he would have been voted out by the Senior Judges anyway to put someone more competent in charge.

    Fan Works 
  • A Canterlot Wedding: Aftermath: Shining Armor becomes so ashamed of himself over how he hurt Twilight at the wedding rehearsal, he resigns from his position as captain of Canterlot's royal guard. Princess Celestia believes it's for the best, as she doesn't want him to be overworked when ruling the Crystal Kingdom alongside Cadence.
    Twilight: But... you didn't have to. It was your dream.
    Shining Armor: My dream would have meant nothing without you in my life.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Defied in Dune (2021): when a Harkonnen assassin manages to slip the net and very nearly kills Paul Atreides, Mentat Thufir Hawat offers his resignation for failing to uncover the threat. Duke Letos Atreides refuses him point-blank on the grounds that Thufir's services are desperately needed for mopping up any other Harkonnen operatives on the scene.
  • In GoldenEye, it's something of a plot point. Gen. Arkady Ouromov, Russia's head of Space Division, tenders his resignation after the destruction of the Severnaya Satellite Facility, which he had perpetrated to cover up his taking of the security keys to fire the titular GoldenEye satellite. His resignation is not accepted, however, though it's ultimately futile as he's killed by Bond within days. In fact, it's a bit of a mystery how he ended up in this position in the first place, since he previously oversaw the destruction of a major chemical weapons factory at Bond's hands when he was a Colonel, which wouldn't have done wonders to his career.
  • Nasty Habits has two nuns at the Abbey of Crewe vie for the newly-vacated position of Mother Superior. Though Sister Alexandra wins by election, the sordid details of her involvement in a smear campaign against her rival slowly unfurl. In a parallel to the Watergate scandal, there's burglary, bugging, abuse of power, and conspiracy galore. The film concludes with Sister Alexandra resigning, and flying by jet to the Vatican, declaring, "[The press] won't have Sister Alexandra to kick around any more."
  • Starship Troopers: Sky Marshall Dienes resigns after the full frontal assault he ordered on the planet Klendatu ends in failure, with the invasion force forced to retreat and several hundred thousand soldiers dead in the operation (a propaganda clip says 100,000 died in one hour, but the casualty list on a hospital bay aboard a space station lists the total at over 300,000). His successor, Sky Marshall Maru, changes to a more cautious strategy by targeting the outlying Klendathu colonies first and to investigate Arachnid intelligence.
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace has Chancellor Valorum request the Jedi Council's help to quell the impasse between the Trade Federation and the rimworld Naboo. Instead, the Trade Federation captures Naboo's capital, forcing Queen Amidala into exile, and when her pleas for help at the Galactic Senate are met with truculence and protocol, she calls for a vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum. Though not an outright ouster, the Chancellor is left a laughingstock with a fancy chair; as per the nature of successful No Confidence motions, Valorum soon resigns, allowing Senator Palpatine to replace him, All According to Plan.

  • Behind the Sandrat Hoax: Bancroff quickly resigns due to "health reasons" after it's proven that his arrogance has kept him from acknowledging a life-saving discovery for years.
  • Following the title characters' climatic massacre in Carrie, Miss Desjardin and Principal Grayle resign from their posts at Chamberlain High, realizing that they could have done more to stop the disaster before it happened. Little is seen of them beyond their resignation letters, but given that the town of Chamberlain itself begins to collapse as a result of the devastation, their futures don't look especially optimistic.
  • In The Day of the Jackal Colonel Saint-Clair tenders his resignation when he realizes he's the leak that's been tipping the Jackal off about the investigation, thanks to his habit of blabbing about it to his mistress...who's an OAS spy. In the film he takes another means of resigning.
  • In Debt of Honor, Vice President Ed Kealty is forced to resign by President Durling after it was revealed Kealty raped at least two of his aides while he was a senator. It actually becomes more important in Executive Orders after Durling dies and Kealty has one of his lackeys steal his resignation letter so he can try to contest the presidency from President Jack Ryan.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin resigns from his post as Hogwarts's Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher after Snape outs him as a werewolf; though no complaints or demands are ever issued, he knows it's only a matter of time before parents protest a werewolf teaching their children, so he decides to bow out before the scandal gets going.
    • By the events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge is facing down the full consequences of spending the previous book denying Voldemort's return and being proven horrifically wrong. Having totaled his reputation and cemented his legacy as a Dirty Coward and one of the worst Ministers for Magic in recorded history, he's forced to resign less than two weeks after the scandal breaks. (This plays out differently between the books and the film. In the books, he tries to gain Harry's support despite having run a smear campaign against Harry, Dumbledore, and their supporters; when that fails, he gets sacked. In the film, however, he cuts his losses and simply resigns.)
  • Honor Harrington: Echoes of Honor has Honor and crew stranded on and eventually taking over the planet Hades (or Hell), where the People's Republic of Haven dumps a lot of people they want to just disappear, including a few high-value Manticoran officers. One such officer is Rear Admiral Harold Styles who, once Honor takes control of the prison HQ, begins making a nuisance of himself at every opportunity. It eventually gets to the point that Honor has to take official action, hitting him with charges of insubordination and cowardice, to be heard back in the Star Kingdom once they escape. In Ashes of Victory, Honor learns that, rather than face the charges, Styles is allowed to resign his commission.
  • Referenced in The Magicians: during the backstory, Professor Mayakovsky destroyed his reputation at Brakebills by having an affair with one of his students, Emily Greenstreet; worse still, the affair ended in an accident that transformed one of Emily's friends into a Niffin. Mayakovsky was given a choice: he could resign in disgrace, or be reassigned to Brakebills' southern campus - in other words, permanent exile to a deserted Antarctic base where his only visitors would be fourth-year students arriving for their Training from Hell. Either intent on avoiding humiliation or realizing just how purposeless his life would become without work, Mayakovsky took reassignment over resignation.
  • Towards the end of Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne escapes from Shawshank Prison without triggering a single alarm and is never seen again. Warden Sam Norton is left absolutely humiliated: quite apart from the fact that he was forcing Andy to launder his bribe money, the fact that an inmate was able to dig a hole in the wall of his cell over the course of nearly thirty years and escape through it without anyone suspecting a thing proves to be a major embarrassment to the Warden; within three months of the incident, he resigns with his reputation in tatters.
  • In The Sum of All Fears it's implied, and later confirmed in other Tom Clancy books, that President Fowler resigned from office after his incompetence and paranoia almost caused World War III. While that would tarnish his public image terribly, he chose to resign after Ryan stopped him from nuking Iran in a fit of rage for supposedly having backed the nuclear attack on Denver. Having decisively lost his moral authority, Fowler broke down and decide he was not fit to govern any further. Also Fowler's National Security Advisor was going to resign after it was exposed he had an improper affair with a student while he was a professor, but an aneurysm did him in before the resignation could take effect.
  • Kardue'sai'Malloc of Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina once served as a captain in his home planet's military, continuing to serve even once the army began accepting orders from the Empire. However, after managing to capture seven hundred rebel sympathizers from among his fellow Devaronians, he received an order to march onwards without his captives and without leaving behind any guards; Malloc had all seven hundred prisoners shot dead. He soon realized that his own people wanted him dead as a result, and submitted his resignation to the Imperial Army; the moment it was accepted, he fled Devaron with with a bounty on his head - eventually winding up as a drunk on Tatooine.
  • In The Thick of It: The Missing DoSAC Files, one of Malcolm Tucker's papers includes a series of letter templates to be used in the event that a minister has to resign from their post. Ranging from A to C, each one can be used for a different situation: A is to be used for ministers who are resigning before the scandal leaks and therefore deserve a glowing tribute; B is for ministers who've merely fucked up and deserve nothing; C is for ministers who have disgraced themselves, refused Malcolm's recommendation to resign, made even bigger fools of themselves in the process, and have brought shame to the government - or as Malcolm describes such ministers, "C for Cunt."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 24, it's disturbing how often this happens to Presidents and Vice Presidents. Out of the nine onscreen presidents, three ended up resigning their presidencies, two because of criminal actions (Charles Logan and Allison Taylor) and one due to health issues that he covered up (James Heller). President David Palmer almost had to resign because he covered for his wife's crimes, but was spared because Sherry got killed (he withdrew from the presidential race anyway). Also Vice President Prescott tried to resign but was his resignation was refused and President Wayne Palmer tried to force Vice President Daniels to resign, but collapsed and possibly died before he could follow through.
  • Breaking Bad: In the beginning of Season 5, following the public revelation that respected businessman Gus Fring actually ran the biggest drug empire in the Southwest and had extensive ties to local cartel activity, ASAC Merkert of the Albuquerque DEA is forced into early retirement due to Gus being a close family friend. Merket is ashamed to discover that a criminal of such a calibre was hiding right under his nose for years and accepts the punishment. When Hank discovers his brother-in-law Walter is actually the mysterious meth kingpin Heisenberg, he understands the same fate will befall him if he actually prosecutes Walt, but nonetheless accepts this fate if it means outing his criminal double-life.
  • The Death in Paradise episode "Political Suicide" begins with Saint Marie's commerce minister resigning in the face of a scandal, having been caught having an affair with an aide. He turns up dead later that evening, having apparently committed suicide by gunshot to the chest; however, Humphrey quickly determines that the shot was from the wrong angle - indicating a murder despite the presence of a suicide note. It turns out that the victim was running a gun-smuggling operation, and was using the scandal as an opportunity to fake his Suicide by Sea so he could "vanish" and continue his business abroad, hence the suicide note. However, his wife found out and took action.
  • Dexter: Captain Tom Matthews is forced to resign after he is found with a dead prostitute who overdosed on drugs she had taken previously. He initially called Lt. LaGuerta to help him cover it up, but she later uses it to take her boss's job. Ironically, Matthews is later brought back as Captain after LaGuerta herself is killed.
  • Doctor Who:
    • At the end of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs", Captain Mike Yates has been unmasked as the traitor who was aiding Operation Golden Age; however, his distinguished service record and the fact that he did his best to prevent anyone from being hurt nets him a second chance, and he is allowed to quietly resign from UNIT in lieu of imprisonment.
    • In "The Impossible Astronaut", Canton Everett Delaware III has been forced to resign from the FBI due to an unknown scandal, eventually leading to him being hired by President Nixon to investigate the inexplicable phone calls haunting him, and from there, becoming a companion to the Doctor. "Day Of The Moon" eventually reveals that the scandal was due to Canton being gay and in an active relationship with a black man — both frowned upon in the 1960s.
  • Endeavour: The very first episode features Richard Lovell, a respected government minister with a taste for prostitutes (including several underage teenage girls). When one is murdered and throws a spotlight on the issue, he initially believes he'll get through it with his career intact thanks to MI5 covering up his involvement. However, in the climax, Agent Dempsey reveals that the government has deemed him too big a liability and he's been instructed to take early retirement. When he tries to protest, Dempsey makes it clear his orders come from Harold Wilson himself and if he does not agree, he'll shoot him dead on the spot and frame it as a burglary gone wrong.
  • Fargo: In Season 1, Bill Oswalt is promoted to Chief of Police in Bemidji after the previous chief Vern Thurman is murdered by Lorne Malvo. He proceeds to stonewall Deputy Molly Solverson's investigation into Lester Nygaard's involvement in the murder (and the death of Lester's wife), mostly because he's just too naïve to believe Lester was responsible. Towards the end of the season, when he finally realizes his mistakes have cost further lives, Bill willingly steps down and asks Molly to replace him as chief.
  • House of Cards (UK):
    • The first half of the first season is concerned with Francis Urquhart's efforts to force Prime Minister Henry Collingridge out of office by engineering a series of humiliating scandals - the last of which results in Henry's brother Charles being accused of insider trading, with the PM being considered complicit. Worn down by weeks of uninterrupted shame, Henry resigns from his post, allowing Urquhart and the other ministers to begin jockeying for his position... but not before Urquhart leaks the news to the media ahead of Henry's planned announcement, leaving the ex-PM unable to take the dignified exit he'd hoped for.
    • In The Final Cut, Urquhart himself begins facing near-unanimous calls for him to resign as Prime Minister after an incident in Cyprus ends with his orders to the army directly resulting in the deaths of several children. Plus, his own dirty dealings throughout the show are due to be revealed to the public. However, he never gets that far: his wife has him assassinated in order to save his reputation and her retirement fund.
  • On Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Captain Deakins is implicated in a corruption scandal. He is innocent, but an investigation threatens to wreck the careers of the detectives serving under him. He uses his medical problems as an excuse to take early retirement.
  • Lois & Clark: In the two-part arc "The People vs. Lois Lane" and "Dead Lois Walking", Lois is framed for murder and eventually found guilty, because the district attorney prosecuting her conceals exculpatory evidence to ensure he'd win the case (and then starts pushing for the death penalty). At the end of the arc, that DA is forced to resign after his actions come to light and Lois is cleared.
  • Monk: In "Mr. Monk and the Twelfth Man", Deputy Mayor Kenny Shale ignores his girlfriend Sharona's warnings that Monk has just realized the twelfth juror is not the murderer, wanting to show off to the press by declaring that he has the serial killer in custody. After Stottlemeyer arrests the Babcocks, the news breaks, and Kenny winds up stepping down due to the scandal.
  • Parks and Recreation: Ben decides to resign when he and Leslie begin dating, which is against workplace rules because he's technically her boss. Everyone knows it's entirely consensual and neither were abusing their position, but it still triggers an investigation—which in turn reveals that they did bribe an electrician to keep his mouth shut, which looks very bad. They agree to just concede that they did screw up, and Leslie throws herself at the mercy of the council... only to get a slap on the wrist and two weeks' paid suspension. She then finds out Ben took complete blame in his own hearing, and resigned. It then becomes a Running Gag in the next episode that Ben keeps specifically saying he "resigned in disgrace," and Leslie wishes he'd just say "quit."
    Chris: Can I ask you one more question? Was all of this, all the sneaking around and scandal, losing your job, was... was it worth it?
    Ben: Yes. It was. Because I love Leslie. I want to be with her and I don't want to hide the way I feel about her anymore. So yeah, it was worth it, because I'm in love with Leslie Knope.
  • Prison Break: President Caroline Reynolds, one of the primary figures involved with The Conspiracy, is blackmailed by Michael Scofield with certain secrets about her family to pardon him and his falsely convicted brother Lincoln. Instead, she resigns her post, publicly citing health reasons to keep her image intact.
  • Vice-President Robert Kinsey of Stargate SG-1 finally ends up facing the music for his shady dealings throughout the series when Richard Woolsey reveals his corruption to President Hayes. Following a botched attempt to take over Stargate Command, Kinsey is forced to resign — and Hayes makes it abundantly clear that the only other option is being executed for treason.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    • In the "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost" two-parter, Insane Admiral Leyton attempts a coup against President Jaresh-Inyo. Once it becomes clear that Sisko and his crew have thwarted his plans, however, he quietly takes off his admiral's bars and resigns.
    • Subverted in "Dr Bashir, I Presume." Here, Julian Bashir is found to be have been genetically-enhanced in childhood in order to correct an intellectual disability. Unfortunately, thanks to the example set by the Eugenics Wars, augments are barred from working in Starfleet or practising medicine, meaning that Julian is going to be kicked out as soon as this detail is reported. Instead, Julian plans to resign before the news breaks so he can exit with his dignity intact... but to his surprise, his estranged father takes the fall by turning himself in for the illegal enhancement, agreeing to serve two years in prison in exchange for Julian getting to stay on at Starfleet.
  • On Star Trek: Enterprise the Vulcan High Command makes T'Pol the scapegoat for the destruction of a sacred monastery, but since she works for Starfleet and lives on the Enterprise, they can't do anything to her. So to get to her, they put the screws to her mother. They frame her for a crime she didn't commit and give her the "option" of resigning in disgrace.
  • In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, after Una is revealed to be an Illrydian, who are known to be genetically modified (a big no-no in the Federation) and arrested, Batel attempts to give her a plea deal of a dishonorable discharge, mostly because Starfleet could hide the fact that they made a major blunder by letting her serve for so long. Her new lawyer, however, convinces her not to and they end up fighting to save Una, instead making her an asylum seeker.
  • The Thick of It:
    • The show begins with Cliff Lawton being forced to resign as Secretary of State for Social Affairs, having become the subject of an embarrassing screw-up; with the government not wanting to look weak in the face of increased media scrutiny, Malcolm Tucker arranges to make it look as if Lawton jumped instead of being pushed - arranging his farewell and letter of resignation twenty minutes before even telling Lawton.
    • During the first season, Hugh Abbott (Cliff's replacement) becomes embroiled in a scandal when his clumsy attempts to sell his second home end up making him look prejudiced against Asian buyers, and it's not long before Malcolm floats the idea of having him resign to spare the government further trouble. Hugh refuses at first, only to realize that doing so would actually improve his reputation; by the time he gets around to trying, he finds that Dan Miller has already beaten him to it and gained a ton of brownie points as a result.
    • In the final episodes of season three, Malcolm ends up in conflict with Steve Fleming, an ex-Chief Whip out for revenge after becoming a victim of this trope. During a scandal over botched crime statistics, Fleming is able to use Malcolm as a scapegoat and force him to resign - even recycling his own tactic of leaking the resignation to the media before telling him about it. However...
    • the season finale, Julius Nicholson reinstates Malcolm as Director of Communications in order to prevent Dan Miller's attempted takeover, promising to pardon him and Fleming of all wrongdoing in his official report... only for Malcolm to spread a rumour that the report is going to pin the blame entirely on Fleming, eventually prompting the ex-whip to confront Nicholson — not realizing that a journalist has been tipped off about their meeting and is photographing everything — making it look as if Fleming was trying to influence the report. In the media furore that follows, Nicholson is forced to scapegoat Fleming for the entire incident, resulting in the ex-whip being forced to resign again.
    • As part of a scheme to replace Nicola Murray with a more competent Opposition Leader who can get the party back into power, Malcolm exploits the recent suicide of homeless nurse Douglas Tickell to shake things up: first, he baits the predictably overambitious Ben Swain into resigning to undermine Nicola's leadership; then he encourages her to call for an enquiry into Tickell's death so Swain's resignation will be overlooked by the media; finally, he has Glenn Cullen leak an old email in which both Ben and Nicola voiced support for the decision that resulted in Tickell becoming homeless in the first place. As a result, the inquiry is set to screw over the government and give the Opposition a chance to take over, Ben is left resigning in disgrace instead of in protest, and Nicola has no choice but to bow out with her career prospects in tatters.
    • Having also supported the housing act, Peter Mannion attempts to take the dignified exit and resign before the media crucifies him. However, Emma and Phil talk him out of it, encouraging him to instead expand the scope of the inquiry to screw over the Opposition. Instead, they end up becoming the victim of another scandal when all the nasty things their department said about Mr Tickell are leaked to the media. As a result, Peter has to sit down his two advisors and demand to know why they shouldn't resign in disgrace.
  • Vice President John Hoynes in The West Wing resigns in the episode "Life On Mars" after a new member of the White House Counsel's Office discovers that he has been leaking classified information to look like "a good guy" to a Washington socialite that he's having an affair with, who is now writing a tell-all book. Bartlet and Leo try to talk him out of it, but he says he committed a felony and he can't drag his family through the scandal. This becomes even more important a couple episodes later when Bartlet has to invoke the Twenty-Fifth Amendment and cede power to a political rival because there is no Vice President.
  • The Wire:
    • In season 3, Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin, the Police Commander of the Western District of Baltimore, realizes it's impossible to meet the demands from his superiors for lowering crime and simultaneously fight a war on drugs. He effectively legalizes drugs in three "free zones" and moves all drug traffickers there without informing his bosses downtown. When word gets out, Commissioner Burrell and Deputy Commissioner Rawls, worrying it's going to be blamed on them, blackmail Colvin into becoming the fall guy, demoting him to Lieutenant and forcing him to resign.
    • Also in season 3, Roland Pryzbylewski's police career comes to an abrupt end when, while on a dinner run with McNulty, he shoots and kills a plainclothes officer. Given the dead officer was black and Prez is white, he chooses to resign rather than face a potential trial board, despite the fact that the Major Crimes Unit has several black officers (Cedric Daniels, Lester Freamon, Leander Sydnor, and Kima Greggs) who will vouch for Prez.
    • Carefully avoided by Commissioner Burrell himself in season 5. The new mayor, Tommy Carcetti, was already planning to give Burrell the boot and temporarily promotes Rawls to replace Burrell when a major scandal seemingly gives him the perfect opportunity to get rid of Burrell. However, Burrell refuses to resign and tells Carcetti that he will have to fire him, knowing that the white mayor forcibly replacing a black commissioner with his white deputy will look extremely bad politically in a majority-black city (the community leaders are willing to tolerate one of those posts not being held by an African American, but not both). Carcetti has to settle for making Burrell a figurehead still drawing a hefty salary for doing essentially nothing while Rawls runs the day to day operations. When Burrell does eventually resign, he manages to do so without being publicly disgraced, he keeps his connections to Baltimore's corrupt power players intact, and he has to be mollified out of raising a stink about the whole thing by being gifted a cushy job elsewhere.
  • At the halfway point of the Colombian telenovella Yo soy Betty, la fea, Beatriz Pinzón (the titular "Ugly Betty") finds out that her handsome boss, Armando Mendoza, and his friend, Mario Calderón, two high ranking executives, were using her as their Unwitting Pawn to scam their way to the top of the company owned by Armando's parents by having Armando stringing Betty along as his mistress. At an important board meeting, Betty reveals the scheme, accepts responsibility for her role in the near collapse of the company, and after revealing to Armando's fiance that she's the mysterious woman he's having an affair with, resigns her position as Armando's assistant and bow never to return.

    Video Games 
  • Chrono Trigger has Frog resign as Queen Leene's personal guard after Yakra is defeated, claiming he has disgraced himself by failing to prevent her abduction. While nobody else blames him, his permanently joining the party later delays his reinstatement until the game's ending.
  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars: Should you choose to deploy the liquid Tiberium bomb at the end of the GDI campaign, Lieutenant General Jack Granger chews you out but is unable to court martial you due to Redmond Boyle labelling you as a hero. Afterward, Boyle tells you that General Granger resigned and he plans to have you take the latter's place. On the flipside, if you don't use it, Boyle is the one who's forced to resign or face charges of war crimes.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge, Lt. Eva gets mind-controlled into giving away important information, and once she recovers she submits her resignation. Her superiors refuse it because there was nothing she could have done to prevent Yuri's mental attack, so she's not in disgrace after all.
  • Death Stranding: Sam Porter Bridges' wife commits a suicide, causing the entire town to blow up (since in this universe a necrotised dead body pretty much acts like an antimatter bomb). Sam was the only survivor due to his ability to repatriate; soon after, people started to suspect he killed his wife and hid her body to trigger a voidout on purpose as part of a terrorist attack. As a result, he resigns from BRIDGES.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution: ex-SWAT team squad leader Adam Jensen was involved in a scandal known as the "Mexicantown Massacre" prior to the events of the game, prompted by his refusal to carry out an order to gun down a 15-year-old criminal. When the order was carried out instead by his colleague Wayne Haas, the resulting negative press led to violent city-wide riots. Jensen resigned from SWAT in an attempt to preserve his dignity, only for his superiors to pin the entire incident on him and promote Haas into his post, hence why Jensen is working as security for Sariff Industries at the start of the story. Ironically, he ended up better off than Haas: where Jensen became the superhumanly augmented head of Sariff's security, his former colleague wound up getting demoted to precinct desk sergeant.
  • The Outer Worlds: Reed Tobson, adminstrator of the Company Town of Edgewater, can be convinced to abdicate his post if the player proves that the Deserter leader Adelaide McDevitt is able to cure the plagues that are constantly ravaging the town. In the hyper-corporatised setting of the game, there is pretty much no such thing as an honorable resignation, so he is left with little choice but to head into self-imposed exile in the wilderness - a fate that he will likely not survive.
  • In the Resident Evil series, the U.S. President was forced to resign from office after ordering the nuclear destruction of Raccoon City. Spin off works, particularly Resident Evil: Degeneration, imply that the President was a fall guy for more corrupt elements of the government that went unpunished for their involvement with the Umbrella Corporation.
  • By the end of Spider-Man (PS4), Norman Osborn has been forced to resign in disgrace from his position of Mayor of New York, having been undermined by the many civil rights infractions committed by Sable International on his behalf in his efforts to regain control of the city, his total failure to stop the Sinister Six, and his personal role in the creation of Devil's Breath. For good measure, Oscorp has suffered critical damage from the incident, and the only reason why Osborn hasn't ended up in jail is because nobody knows about the integral part he played in the creation of Mr. Negative and Dr. Octopus.

  • Cassiopeia Quinn: Madison Vrax is pressured by the Admiralty into resigning from the Regency, (Kangaroo Court) officially due to a breach of honor from "fraternization with the enemy" in Neutral-Aligned space. In truth, they just want to remove her before her investigation into a space criminal tracks their corrupt under-dealings, so they threaten to disgrace her entire squad if she does not resign willingly, which she complies with.

    Web Videos 
  • The sequel installment of CollegeHumor's Furry Force has the team of four heroes rescue the President of the United States from the clutches of the Card-Carrying Villain. No sooner is the President brought out from the villain's lair, a gaggle of reporters assail him with questions. Realizing that being carried in the arms of a Camp Gay lion-man and his hyper-sexualized cohorts cannot be construed as innocent, the President meekly resigns on the spot.

    Western Animation 
  • Little Dogs on the Prairie: At the end of "Cheating", Ms. Kitty quits being a substitute teacher after some of the other characters find out that no one cheated on the spelling tests they were given by her and she reveals that she cheated on her substitute teacher's exam.