This is it. Da Chief is having a "Eureka!" Moment and sending out operatives on the Evidence Scavenger Hunt, where everyone has to pull their weight to reach The Summation. At the end of the line the starry-eyed kid waits for their instruction. This is their big chance!
"You, go get me some coffee. Cream, two sugars, and make sure the lid is tight."
And the dreams of the coffee-fetcher are quickly smashed. Understandably often done at the expense of the Butt-Monkey. Is not necessarily limited to caffeinated beverages, as it has been known to happen with lunch, office equipment, and various other demeaning and unimportant tasks. May overlap with Snipe Hunt if the task is
See also Stay in the Kitchen, where an entire gender is asked to get coffee, and Comically Small Demand. Sometimes played in situations where the coffee-fetching errand is as important as everything else, either because it's needed to help the problem-solvers function or because the activity solves the problem in a way that's not immediately obvious. Or sometimes, the coffee isn't important, but it's played that way because the coffee-fetcher is so naïve that he thinks any task from his boss must be important, or because it just looks that way from the perspective of the the lower decks.
- In one ad, Coast Capital Savings, a Canadian federal credit union, advertises a flexible mortgage that allows clients to prepay, re-borrow, and skip one payment a year. Aptly named the You're the Boss Mortgage as it essentially places the customer in charge, one guest takes this to the extent and immediately orders the persons around him to "hold my calls", stop lollygagging, and do a jig. A fiddler rises from behind the counter and the representative does an intricate dance exactly as requested.
- Aggretsuko: One of Director Ton's favorite bullying tactics against Retsuko is to have her make him tea, regardless of what she's in the middle of or that it's well beneath her pay grade. When he doesn't do this during crunch time and makes himself coffee instead, it throws Retsuko for a loop long enough for Ton to give her some legitimately good advice about her relationship with her boyfriend..
- In the 2001 anime of Cyborg009, 007 asks 003 to get him an espresso to stimulate his creative juices as he writes a novel. 003, who just read an excerpt from the novel and thus does not feel too impressed by 007, coolly tells him to get his own.
- Played straight in Death Note when L asks Touta Matsuda to get him coffee. This is done to indicate that because they were waiting, there is nothing else to do. Made even more sad/funny since the reason Matsuda asked how he could be useful was that everyone else in the team had just made something useful for the investigation. Also, it served as a foreshadowing for the next episode.
L: You really wanna be useful?
L: Then could you go and get me another cup of coffee?
- Done in Dragonaut: The Resonance, with two of the Bridge Bunnies being assigned important duties and Megumi being told to get coffee. She doesn't seem too happy about it.
- One of the regular tasks that Mai has to perform after she starts working for Naru in Ghost Hunt is to make tea.
- In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Chiyo volunteers to pick up some drinks for her and Nozaki, but Mikoshiba asks her to pick up some coffee for him on top of it...and then tries to shadow her every step of the way as she does so.
- Ouran High School Host Club does this to Honey in the first episode after Tamaki dispatches the other members to gather supplies for Haruhi's "makeover", instructing him to "go have some cake". We then see a shot of him from behind looking dejected as he eats the cake.
- In the Read or Die OVAs, Joker issues a series of commands to various departments, ending with sending Wendy to get some tea. In the next episode, all the various departments report that they are ready for their respective duties in the operation, but Joker does not declare them to be ready to begin operations until after Wendy has served the tea.
- In episode 6 of Sgt. Frog, when the other characters are making dinner, Keroro and Tamama are told to go play video games, then to make sandcastles.
- Batman doesn't drink alcohol, but darn it does he drink gallons of coffee. Here is a fancomic of the real purpose for ten years of Robins.
- In G.I. Joe Declassified, a mini-series about the team's origin, Hawk doesn't want to ask Scarlett, the team's only woman until Shooter is revealed at the end of the series to get him coffee. So instead, he asks Snake-Eyes. At this point, Snake-Eyes was more of a Mad Bomber than a ninja, so he makes the coffee using C4. (This is pretty much the extent of what Scarlett and Snake-Eyes do in the mini; they were the focus of the Snake-Eyes: Declassified mini which came out around the same time.)
- First thing Iron Man told Hill to do after he took over S.H.I.E.L.D..
- Spider-Man: In Ultimate Spiderman Team-Up, Peter Parker career-shadows Reed Richards for a day... only to be mistaken for an intern and sent out to buy coffee. By the end of the Story, Spidey has helped stop a Skrull invasion, and the FF chew him out for not getting them their coffee (despite Spidey's efforts to convince them he's not the kid from before).
- Transmetropolitan - Spider Jerusalem treats both his assistants this way. Admittedly he hates to have an assistant and is probably trying to scare them off.
- In All You Need Is Love this is usually Matsuda's job but when L gets annoyed with having to deal with Near's minion he goes out to get his own coffee. That's when the taskforce mutinies in the hopes of making L's coffeeboy-status permanent.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
King Kai: All right! Now that you've arrived on my planet, we will begin your training! Tienshinhan, Chiaotzu... 10 laps around the planet! Piccolo...
Piccolo: Go to hell! I'm meditating!
King Kai: ...keep doing that. Yamcha...
Yamcha: [enthusiastically] What is it, King Kai? I'm ready for anything!
King Kai: ... wash my car.
Yamcha: [Enthusiastically] Ooh! Like in that movie! Wax On, Wax Off!
King Kai: ... yeah, go "wax off".
- In Monster after losing his memories "Ryuuzaki" becomes the office boy who gets coffee and doughnuts for Aizawa and Matsuda. Laser-Guided Karma?
- In the closing credits of Ultimate Utopia XXIII, a parody of the Final Fantasy series, there is a take on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Emperor Paplatine tells Vader that now that he has completed Order 66 to execute Order 67: "Get me a latte. Do not hesitate. Show no mercy."
- Subverted in this Undocumented Features story, as "get me a danish" turns out to be slang for "hack into this computer for me".
- In The Boss Baby, upon Tim discovering that his baby brother can talk and is some sort of corporate executive, the first thing the baby does is to tell him "Get me a double espresso, and see if there's some place around here with decent sushi. I would kill for a spicy tuna roll right about now," followed by throwing some money at him and suggesting he get a little something for himself as well.
- Happy Heroes: The Movie: After Big M. fails to defeat the Supermen, the Commander gives him a new mission: order beef noodles and a glass of juice. Big M. assumes he means he wants him and Little M. to eat before they go through with their next plan, but the Commander is just hungry and will give the actual mission afterwards.
- At the climax of Hoodwinked!, the villain gives out orders to his henchmen and ends up telling the one named Keith to think of a more scary name.
- Inside Out: Joy gives the other emotions jobs to do for Riley's first day at school. Sadness' job is to stand inside a "circle of sadness" to keep Riley from being sad.
- In Zootopia, on Judy's first day, Chief Bogo reports that the missing mammals case has top priority and assigns officers in the bullpen to investigate different areas of Zootopia. When he finally gets to Judy, she's assigned parking duty. When she protests that she's not a "token bunny", he responds "Well then, writing a hundred tickets should be easy."
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: After Dan Marino is kidnapped, Einhorn walks into the office and orders things like an autopsy report, for no one to talk to the press... "And somebody get me some coffee!"
Ace: "Tonight on Miami Vice, Crockett gets the boss some coffee."
- Sent up in Airplane!:
McCrosky: Hold all takeoffs, I don't want another plane in the air. When the 508 reports, bring it straight in. Put out a general bulletin to suspend meal service on flights out of Los Angeles. Tell all dispatchers to remain at their posts, it's gonna be a long night. How 'bout some coffee, Johnny?
Johnny: No thanks!
- In Airplane II: The Sequel, McCrosky arrives on the scene and barks out an order for a quart of Geritol and a ham on rye (no cheese!).
- In the prologue for Alien: Covenant, Peter Weyland is shown interacting with David, an artificial human that is his finest creation, meant to be an immortal 'son' who will carry on his work. When David says something to annoy Weyland however, he orders David to pour him tea, despite the fact that David is across the room and the teapot is right next to him. The scene establishes how Weyland really views their relationship better than any dialogue.
- In the movie version of Annie starring Aileen Quinn, Mr. Warbucks gives out a long list of orders to a bunch of his staff when he begins the search for Annie's parents. His last order is, "And Sanders — get me a drink!"
- Grimes from Black Hawk Down is a Desk Jockey with the ability to type and make coffee. He eventually gets drafted to the mission that devolves into a battle... and still makes coffee in the battlefield.
- Agent Smecker of The Boondock Saints does this to Detective Greenly whenever he says or does something stupid. And every time Greenly objects, the coffee order gets more complicated. Greenly, of course, can't catch a break, as Smecker does this to him even when he correctly guesses that the Saints were not fighting several armed men, but one man carrying six guns, an idea that Smecker immediately dismisses as ridiculous.
- Vikki Hiller is the only female editor on the staff of Bannerhouse Books in Down with Love. To demonstrate their contempt, her fellow editors ask her to make their coffee, as the percolator is out. She does so, irritated, while explaining the gist of the eponymous book Down With Love, concluding with, (paraphrased), "Until women are equal to men in the workplace."
- Done in The Movie version of The Fugitive. In one early scene, Gerard sends each of the members of his team off on an errand or evidence gathering, and ends with this exchange:
Gerard: Newman, what are you doing?
Newman: I'm thinking.
Gerard: Well, think me up a cup of coffee and a chocolate doughnut with some of those little sprinkles on top, while you're thinking.
- In Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Kip introduces his crew to his older brother, listing all the great things they can do to help with the car boosting. When he gets to Freb, he says "Freb can order pizzas like nobody's business."
- A version appears at the end of Gremlins 2: The New Batch. The hero has come up with a last-ditch plan to keep the Gremlins from escaping the building, and starts issuing orders along the lines of "Protect Gizmo! Aim the firehose into the lobby! Transfer the electro-Gremlin down here!" He gets to the last, useless, character and says "Marla... smoke." Marla says "right" and takes a jerky puff on her cigarette.
- In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, movie director Chaka Luther King asks his production assistant for coffee, smacking the coffee cup to the floor when it is not up to his specification. We'll never know if that production assistant got anywhere in his career.
- Judas Kiss: The first thing Detective Friedman does on arriving at the crime scene is to order a uniformed officer to get him a tape recorder and a refill, handing him his empty coffee cup.
- The Last Summer: Erin works as a PA who fetches coffee orders at an office and doesn't seem to like it. She says it's only for her college resume.
- Liliom: Part of how Liliom takes advantage of Julie is shown when lazy, jobless Liliom barks "Go make some coffee" and she willingly submits.
- Mocked in Miss Congeniality when Sandra Bullock's character is called up on her radio, told that it's "the usual", and uses her police siren and FBI badge to move through a line under the pretext of "Important business". However, all she's doing is going to Starbucks to get coffee for the office.
- Occurs in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, during "The Crimson Permanent Assurance" short: "You haul anchor, you prepare the mainsail, and YOU... put the kettle on." Then again, for Britons, there is no more important task than putting the kettle on. The captain even pronounces the last order as if it's a matter of great importance.
- Jamal in Slumdog Millionaire is an assistant at a call center, and is called a "chai wallah" (it means tea maker, although Jamal is not a tea maker in the traditional sense; people who were chai wallahs were often of a low social status and it is used as a jab at Jamal.)
- Perry White does this to Jimmy Olsen in the 1978 Superman, complete with specification of "black and no sugar".
- In A Time to Kill, Jake, Harry Rex, Lucien, and Ellen are all preparing for the big trial when Lucien decides to give out some instructions to Ellen (Roark):
Lucien: Ms. Roark, I have all the respect in the world for you. I believe in your right to equal pay for equal work and I believe in your right to bear a child or to abort one. But, since you are a law clerk, genderless in my eyes, I think you should be the one to go buy the beer.
Harry Rex: "She" woman, I think that would be an excellent activity for you.
- War (2007)
- After Crawford rudely takes over the case from the local police, they ask what they're supposed to do. As Crawford has gotten himself bloody doing a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, he says they can do his laundry.
- Kira Yonagawa arrives in the United States to find the local Yakuza chapter gearing up for war with the Triads. She makes it clear that no-one is going to war without her father's approval, and when they start waffling, she holds a knife to the boss's throat and tells his minion to get her a salad. Chef, blue cheese. With dressing on the side.
- Rischka from The Wildcat is the real leader of her clan of bandits, even though her father is the nominal leader. When soldiers from the nearby fort attack them, she tells her father to bring her coffee. He does, grinding beans and brewing a cup while the bandits are under attack, and bringing the cup to Rischka while she is in a sniper's nest taking potshots at the attacking soldiers.
- Wrongfully Accused actually has a waitress on site to parody the frequency of this happening in Crime And Punishment shows.
- In X-Men: First Class, Emma is annoyed when Shaw sends her up on deck to get ice for his drink from a handy iceberg.
- The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead has Sydney constantly doing this for one of her teachers.
- The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Alexander Belov gets annoyed over how everyone is taking advantage of Tatiana to have her fetch and carry for them. When a potential rival for her affections asks her to get him some tea, Belov points out that the samavor is right next to him.
- The third witch with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (eg, Magrat or Agnes) seems to get this quite a bit. Usually it's "make the tea," but sometimes it's "run a simple errand even you couldn't possibly mess up." Of course, half the time this is because Granny is plotting something, but according to Nanny in Carpe Jugulum, this is part of the definition of the Maiden: she makes the tea, the Mother pours it (a play on the British phrase "I'll be mother") and the ... Other One ... drinks it.
- In Interesting Times, when Cohen the Barbarian has become emperor, he makes Twoflower grand vizier. And the first order he gives him? "Bring me tea."
- Also, Rincewind's job at Unseen University, up to The Science of Discworld, was Librarian's assistant. This job is implied to consist of fetching the Librarian bananas, something that Rincewind was actually good at.
- The Dresden Files:
- In Storm Front, Harry Dresden wants to talk to Lt. Murphy in her office, without a cynical coworker listening. Murphy sends the other cop downstairs to get her some coffee. The other cop, who is smarter than he looks, knows exactly what Murphy is pulling and protests that talking to Harry is a total waste of time. But at her insistence, he goes anyway.
- In the short story "Day Off", Harry refuses to let Molly into his lab until she bribes him with coffee.
- In Heir to the Jedi, the character Fayet Kelen, owner of Kelen Biolabs, would often do this with his minions (he actually called his employees "minions") but then would soften it by doing something like giving them a compliment or asking about their family.
- Millennium Series: A senior officer attempts to pull this on Monica Figuerola in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. When asking a group of men if they want coffee, he turns to her. She coolly replies, "Yes, I'd like some coffee too", thus letting him know in no uncertain terms that she will not tolerate being treated like an underling.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society:
- When not having them do actual work, Mr. Curtain likes to have his various minions, including his Messengers, Executives, Recruiters and Ten Men do this sort of thing.
Then S.Q. was removing their blindfolds and pressing the intercom button. "Reynard Muldoon and Stic... er, George Washington here for their sessions, Mr. Curtain!" Mr. Curtain's voice came through a speaker: "They must wait. Meanwhile, bring me more juice."
- Reynie himself exploits this trope by bringing Mr. Curtain ribbons to use as bookmarks for his journal. Mr. Curtain is flattered, considering it to be "a proper attention that had been lacking."
- When not having them do actual work, Mr. Curtain likes to have his various minions, including his Messengers, Executives, Recruiters and Ten Men do this sort of thing.
- The novel The Paris Enigma is about The Twelve Detectives, an elite professional organization of twelve brilliant detectives in various countries, each of whom has an "acolyte" (the official term). The acolytes serve the brilliant detectives, do legwork, and speak when they are spoken to. (Think of them as grad students.) None of them are expected ever to become detectives themselves.
- In the fourth A Series of Unfortunate Events novel, this sums up Mr. Sir's treatment of Charles in a nutshell.
- Played absolutely straight in Agent Carter; Peggy is the best agent in the office, but her co-workers are too sexist and stupid to see her as anything but a glorified secretary. Justified due to the show being set in The '40s.
- Played with at the end of season 2: when the rest of the team are working to assemble a complex device, Jack Thompson (a main perpetrator of this trope towards Peggy in season 1) asks what he can do to help. As he has no scientific background (and just a little bit for revenge), Peggy decides that Thompson would be most useful taking dinner orders. He takes it well, though.
- When Angel tries to atone for his abandoning his friends by offering to work for them at Angel Investigations, he finds himself exiled to a tiny desk and ordered to make everyone coffee.
Angel: Atonement's a bitch.
- In "Calvary", when Wolfram & Hart CEO Lilah Morgan hides out at Angel Investigations, Angel tells her to make the coffee — she responds by breaking all the mugs.
- Harmony's job, though in this case it is blood served in a mug which says "#1 Boss".
Harmony: The secret ingredient is otter!
- When Angel tries to atone for his abandoning his friends by offering to work for them at Angel Investigations, he finds himself exiled to a tiny desk and ordered to make everyone coffee.
- When Oliver Queen promotes Felicity Smoak to be his secretary at Queen Industries (to explain why they're spending so much time together on their secret vigilante team), she absolutely refuses to get him coffee, noting "I worked very hard to get where I am and it wasn't to get you coffee!" Shortly after, she notes that someone broke the coffee machine. Violently. She does get him one at the end of the episode after he's had a very bad day, but makes it clear it's a one-time thing.
- When Felicity gets re-hired after Ray Palmer acquires Queen Industries, she assumes she's going to be his assistant, so she goes on a long rant about how she will not, under any circumstances, get him lattes or any other form of caffeinated beverage. Once she's done, Ray introduces her personal assistant, who will be getting her coffee.
Ray: Or are you just anti-latte in general?
- In Blackadder II:
- The Brittas Empire: Occurs in the episode "Underwater Wedding":
Mr. Brittas: Right, Bill, I want you to help Ian and Ronnie get those injured people down the fire escape and into the ambulances, alright? Phil, organise breathing masks and check the rest of the building. Laura, set up a first aid station outside the emergency exit.Laura: Right.Mr. Brittas: Linda, get me a full list of names and addresses of people leaving. Dont forget compensation forms and damage claims, alright?Linda: Yes, Mr. Brittas.Mr. Brittas: Patrick, make sure the carparks clear for the fire brigade. Debbie, get onto the hospital. Get me a full list of casualties, alright? Colin?Colin: Yo?Mr. Brittas: Put the kettle on.
- Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer often gets this job, most notably in "The Zeppo", where the other Scoobies are out finding protection against the impending apocalypse and he is sent for donuts. Of course, by the end of the night he's gotten laid, defused a bomb, and killed some zombies.
- In City Homicide Detective Senior Sergeant Sparkes does this to Jen in the first episode, revealing just how much he respects her abilities as a homicide detective. It's quite satisfying when he collapses from a heart attack by the end of the episode and she is reassigned to Stanley's team.
- In The City Hunter, Na Na owes Yun Sung a favor, which she agrees to repay by doing various tasks such as driving his car and fetching him coffee. Especially the latter. Apparently, it's her fault for making really good coffee.
- On Copper, New Meat police officer Finbar Byrnes is subjected to this from the senior detectives. In one incident he is tasked with catching a wayward sheep in Central Park because Detective O'Brien wants some mutton to bring home to his wife.
- Greg of CSI used to be subjected to this type of thing a lot before he was promoted to the field. Since then, the other Lab Rats who mainly work in the office get this duty instead.
- In Death Valley Captain Dashell keeps giving rookie officer Kirsten Landry the scutwork of the office, including checking all the registered werewolves to make sure they are properly locked up during the full moon and following his niece to a party to make sure she is not getting into trouble. Kirsten is upset not only because this is the most boring work in the department, but because a lot of it (like following the Captain's niece) is not even part of the department at all. Kirsten joined the UTF (Undead Task Force) to deal with the supernatural problems plaguing the city, there are plenty of cops out there already dealing with kids throwing parties.
- The Defenders (2017). In the first episode, Alexandra is shown meeting in Central Park with Madame Gao to discuss their plans. Alexandra is feeding the pigeons, and casually hands the bag to Gao and tells her to finish feeding them. Given that Gao has previously been portrayed as a mysterious and powerful supervillain in Daredevil (2015) and Iron Fist (2017), this shows just how powerful Alexandra is that Gao would act so deferential to her.
- Doctor Who:
- The Third Doctor pulls this stunt on feminist reporter Sarah Jane Smith the first time they meet, much to her annoyance.
- He also pulls it on The Brigadier in "The Three Doctors". Lethbridge-Stewart asks if there's anything he can do to help with an investigation, and the Doctor requests a silicon rod. The Brig hands him one, and the Doctor merely uses it to stir his tea.
- When the Doctor wants to know why scientist Liz Shaw has been replaced with ditzy Jo Grant as his assistant, the Brigadier quotes Liz as saying that all the Doctor wants is "someone to hand you your test tubes and tell you how brilliant you are."
- The Fourth Doctor wasn't keen on having the inexperienced Romana on board the TARDIS to start with. In her first story, he asks her to stay out of his way and make the tea, before declaring that she probably doesn't even know how to make tea anyway.
- The Tenth Doctor jokes about this when meeting Torchwood for the first time; he has accidentally brought Rose's mother Jackie along in the TARDIS, and tries to pass her off as Rose, aged from having looked into the Time Vortex. Then he tries to get Torchwood to take her off his hands, pointing out that she's good at making tea. Sort of.
- "Last of the Time Lords": Francine Jones has been forced to work for the Master as a servant for a year, which includes getting him coffee. It's implied she might be deliberately making it badly to get any sort of revenge on him she can.
- Inverted with Clara in "The Bells of Saint John", who tells the Eleventh Doctor to get her a cappuccino while she does some computer hacking. The Doctor rather grumpily does so.
- The Third Doctor pulls this stunt on feminist reporter Sarah Jane Smith the first time they meet, much to her annoyance.
- Dollhouse. A running gripe with Topher's assistant, Ivy. She's at the Dollhouse to do cutting-edge science on Neural Implanting technology without legal or moral restraint, but as Topher is an egotistical genius he prefers to do it all himself while using Ivy for routine tasks and fetching his snacks.
- One game in Drew Carey's Green Screen Show, involving the afterlife, has Jeff Davis taking on the role of God; when his "angels" await his first request, he says:
"There's a hand here with no coffee in it..."
- Drop the Dead Donkey:
- Gus Hedges unwisely pulls this stunt on psychotic office girl Joy Merryweather. A Funny Background Event has Joy emptying all kinds of unpleasant gunk into the coffee urn.
- Sally also tries it once and gets coffee with extra Tipp-Ex.
- Gus should stay away from coffee altogether, seeing as how the cleaning lady regularly urinates in his executive coffee machine.
- The Expanse. Jokingly lampshaded in "Home" by Fred Johnson when his Number Two points out that, having been given direct control of Earth's nuclear missiles, he's now the most powerful man in the solar system. She responds by Flipping the Bird Belter-style.
- Inspector Monkfish in The Fast Show would (in whatever job he was currently performing) order several people to do important things and end with "Put your knickers on and get me a cup of tea!"
- In Flashpoint's second episode, new guy Sam is asking questions with really obvious answers, annoying the team, leading to the following exchange:
Ed: Okay, here's what I want you to do. See these stairs here, where we came in, I want you to do a reverse entry. I want you to go down this hallway, through these doors here. Now be careful, because this is a big road. I want you to cross it. I want you to make an entry into this Timmy's, I'll have a double-double. Jules?
Jules: Cream, no sugar.
Spike: Nah, I'm good.
- Game of Thrones.
- A Deleted Scene from Season 3 has Grand Maester Pycelle coming to ask Lord Tywin for his seat back on the Small Council. Lord Tywin, who's busy fishing, gets annoyed with Pycelle's senility act and calls him on it. Pycelle straightens up and says he can provide more vigorous assistance in future. So Tywin tells Pycelle to take his fish to the kitchen. (Tywin does however let Pycelle back on the Small Council, so it's just a matter of putting him in his place.)
- In Season 4 Tywin tells Lord Mace Tyrell to fetch him a quill and paper. The other Small Councillors look on in amused contempt as he sycophantically obeys.
- Heroes sees Sylar use this on the cop who seems to be in charge of a hostage situation while impersonating an FBI agent in the third season.
- House- House informs his potential hirees of a patient and hands out tasks to about 2/3 of them. Amber asks "What about the rest of us?" Cut to them washing House's car. In regards to people actually getting him coffee, Chase and Cameron each did that a bit. Also he sent Foreman's girlfriend to get him coffee in "Sports Medicine".
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - After pegging himself as "the brains" and Dee as "the useless chick" of their group, Mac starts giving everyone jobs to do as part of their latest Zany Scheme. His instructions to Dee: "continue being useless."
- In the 1988 TV miniseries Jack the Ripper, the Detective Sergeant played by Lewis Collins turns up at the East End police station. The uniformed officers sneer when he introduces himself and say, "Around here sergeants make the tea!" Then Chief Inspector Abberline (Michael Caine) enters and says to the station sergeant: "Good, make us some tea then." Becomes a Brick Joke later on when Abberline congratulates another sergeant on making a good cuppa.
- In the 1990's Australian legal mini-series Janus, one of the regular characters is dumbfounded when he's working with an eccentric barrister who sends him to buy a packet of Rollos in the middle of a trial. Stunts like this make the audience think he doesn't take his job seriously, but the barrister turns out to be quite skilled and wins the trial by picking up a detail that everyone else missed.
- Life on Mars - Happened at least once to Chris and Annie. And even more often to Shaz in Ashes to Ashes (2008).
- In Lois & Clark, Perry did this to Jimmy Olsen all the time.
- From a later season of Mad About You:
Arrogant Minion: Jamie, you just have to come to terms with the fact that, in the candidate's eyes, we're equals now.
Jamie: "Equals"? "Equals"? I'm the campaign manager, you're an intern. Why don't you get me some Equal?
[arrogant minion protests; Jamie glares]
Arrogant Minion: Okay, fine.
Jamie: No cream.
- Mad Men: Most of the women working for Sterling-Cooper have this role, and the show plays the trope straight for two seasons. In Season Three's finale "Shut the Door. Have a Seat", Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Bert Cooper, and Lane Pryce have left Sterling-Cooper and formed their own ad agency, Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce. Everyone is running around, doing important, time-sensitive tasks. After working for hours around a sea of paperwork, Roger asks Peggy (formerly a secretary, by now a seasoned copywriter) to get him coffee. Without looking up, she delivers a flat "No."
- In an episode of McCloud, circumstances and McCloud's girlfriend make a low-level policewoman acting chief. McCloud's girlfriend then volunteers to help and is sent by the new acting chief to get coffee and donuts.
- In "The Insurance Man Always Rings Twice" on Now and Again, Michael takes a job for Craig Spence, the guy who got the job he wanted at Grand Empire Insurance, that is essentially this in order to get in to figure out how to get the insurance money for his wife, Lisa.
- The above-quoted Funky Fisherman from Power Rangers: Dino Thunder gives his interns five seconds to prepare his cup of coffee, and then gives them another five seconds to add the cream (but not too much cream).
- The Professionals. In "Blackout", every CI5 agent is scouring the area looking for a gang of assassins, but that doesn't stop "The Cow" from using one of his top agents to fetch him a Quick Nip.
Cowley: Cold morning. (He hands Bodie a hip flask.)Bodie: Ah, yes. Thank you, sir.Cowley: It's empty; needs filling.Bodie: Well, there's nowhere open at this time...Cowley: Regard it as a test of initiative. Success will be reflected in your yearly assessment.
- In Quark, the titular hero is always hoping for some important mission, but the leader, The Head, typically has one mission for him since he's an outer space sanitation worker, "Pick up the garbage."
- In one episode of Reno 911!, the FBI come to Reno, and when the Reno sheriff's office meet them, the Reno people are sent on a coffee run.
- In the Saturday Night Live skit Undercover Boss : Where Are They Now?: Kylo Ren, Kylo Ren goes "undercover" as an intern named "Randy" on a First Order ship. He learns that the interns do the "bitch work" - clerical work, droid wrangling, and stuff like serving blue milk to rude officers.
- One episode plot centering around Elliot screwing up with Doctor Cox's patient and being punished by becoming his official coffee-getter. Her attempts to redeem herself were often misinterpreted as many a Freudian Slip. "Doctor Cox, I want you to know that I'll do anything with you."
- Cox again, from "My Own Personal Hell":
Dr Cox: Keith, you're a fairly strong diagnostician, right?
Keith: Yes, sir.
Dr Cox: I need you to go up to the third floor and figure out what's wrong with that darned coffee machine.
- Cox must love this trope. On another occasion Eliot is trying to look competent in front of a patient, and Cox tells her to get him a donut. She asks if he means a piece of equipment that is often called a donut for its shape, and he clarifies that he means "a glazed donut. And I like sprinkles on half of it, so if you can't find a half-sprinkled donut, just get a sprinkled one and take half the sprinkles off". After she leaves, JD calls him out for being such a jerk, and Cox agrees and asks him to apologize to her for him - while he fetches coffee.
- Cox does enjoy it or at least uses to get rid of interns. In the episode "His Story", resident Butt-Monkey Doug Murphy is assigned to him and he sends on him wild goose chases to collect a patient charts and his soda, all of which he is revealed to have in his hand.
- Sebastian Stark of Shark is especially fond of doing this to his underlings in the Prosecutor's office, usually keeping the same tone of voice for both the important and non-important instructions.
- Sherlock: Played with as Molly Hooper is the one to offer Sherlock coffee, but Sherlock interprets this is as her fetching coffee for him rather than the two of them having coffee together.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Inverted in "Rocks and Shoals". Major Kira starts each day in Operations with a Cardassian officer bringing her a cup of raktajino. However this shames Kira more than him; as a former Resistance fighter against the Cardassians, it just reminds her of how she's The Quisling.
- In one episode of Teachers (2016), Ms. Snap seems to have pressed her room parent into service as her personal attendant—Mrs. Schneider is seen lint rolling her sweater and bringing her a demitasse while she teaches.
- On Timeless, the team travels back to 1969 to make sure the moon launch goes off as planned. While they're at NASA, a man keeps telling Lucy to get him coffee. She eventually tells him off in front of the rest of the secretarial staff.
- Why Women Kill: Sheila has a problem with Rob tapping his cup as a signal to Beth Ann to get up and pour him coffee and while Sheila doesn't tell him to try getting it himself, she does tell him that he can ask politely rather than tap the cup like Beth Ann is a servant. Sheila's husband acts apologetic and tries to pass off his wife as a "militant" who read The Feminine Mystique.
- The X-Files - Krycek is sent for coffee during a hostage situation.
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling has a very clear hierarchy where young lions are basically jobbers and to become a young lion a young boy in the dojo must first live out of a tiny space from which they will be called to do the dishes and laundry of the established wrestlers.
- Davey Richards was made to do menial tasks in the No Remorse Corps by Roderick Strong and Rocky Romero, though rather than having him run errands they most commonly had him stay in place doing extremely non engaging tasks like guarding a door or watching their things while Strong and Romero went out to have fun or do something important.
- Mari Apache served in this role for a month to Konnan and Las Gringas Locas in AAA after being pinned in a trios match at Triplemanía XVIII.
- Scooter in The Muppet Show is the show's 'Gofer' (go fer coffee, go fer sandwiches). He's quite happy with this though, and used his position as the theater owner's nephew to specifically request it.
- Played for a surprising amount of heartwarming in Hakuouki between Hijikata and Chizuru, who knows that she doesn't have any skills that would be really useful to The Shinsengumi but desperately wants to do something to stop being The Load. After an inspiring speech in which he tells her that if her motives are genuine she shouldn't bow but should act on her convictions with her head held high, he sends her off to make him some tea.
Hijikata: The fate of the Shinsengumi rests on this tea. Don't screw it up!
- One exchange in Jak 3: Wastelander goes as follows:
- The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Estelle and Joshua visit the city of Zeiss to meet with Professor Russell about a mysterious black orbment sent to their father, but which has ended up in their care. They end up escorted to his home and lab by his granddaughter, Tita. Upon arrival, and trying to introduce themselves, they find him completely absorbed in his work, putting the finishing touches on his latest invention. He whizzes away, bumping Estelle aside, and when they catch up with him, he has Tita start helping him with his work, tells Joshua to go fetch a book, and tells Estelle to make him coffee.
Professor Russell: I take it black, by the way. I want it clear as mud!
- In Mass Effect 3, Comm Specialist Samantha Traynor has most of her primary duties done by the ship-board AI EDI. While she does have other duties, her main gameplay role is as your overpaid and overqualified secretary.
- From Persona 5, upon learning that your homeroom teacher moonlights as a Fanservice with a Smile Meido and levelling her Confidant enough, you can call her to wash strange dirty clothes found in a Mental World to get equipment, build infiltration tools, or, in a literal example, make coffee (said coffee being a very effective Mana Potion, but it's still coffee).
- In The Sims 2: University, the final class for business majors is "Internship: Coffeemaking at Landgraab Enterprises."
- Splatoon 2: During the final boss of the "Octo Expansion" DLC, everyone has a role to play; Marina will launch her experimental hyper-ink bombs, Agent 8 will have to detonate them to coat the boss in ink and disable it, while Pearl will warm up her vocal chords to land the finishing blow with a Killer Wail. When Cap'n Cuttlefish asks if they need him to do anything, Marina sheepishly tells him "You can... uh... be the hype man." He seems to be happy with the role, at least.
- Bad Days: The police chief at a bank robbery tasks Wonder Woman with bringing coffee to his men rather than dealing with the bad guys. She's not pleased.
- Homestar Runner:
- Parodied on in an episode of Cheat Commandos. When Gunhaver is giving out orders to infiltrate the grocery store, he says to the last guy, "Firebert, you stay here and think of a better commando name." It's a running gag in the Cheat Commandos that Firebert (The Cheat in the show's main 'verse) is a terrible commando name.
- In the Strong Bad Email "superhero name" Strong Bad, responding to an email from a guy who doesn't realize that Strong Bad isn't a superhero, agrees to change his name to "Strong Badman" if the other guy agrees to call himself "Little Stiny" and wear a little mask and cape and do demeaning tasks for Strong Bad...a job which is normally done by The Cheat, who doesn't appreciate being replaced.
- Used by Sarge in Red vs. Blue, but for every member of his squad (since they're pretty much equally useless), ordering Simmons to kiss his ass, Donut to run around and scream like a girl, and for Grif to step in front of any bullets coming towards any commanding officer (Sarge being the only officer). Though Grif is the only one displeased with his order.
- In Suburban Knights, The Nostalgia Critic keeps trying to keep Ma-Ti away from the team, until he snaps:
NC: Almost, Ma-Ti. Almost. There's just one more tiny little mission I want you to run—
Ma-Ti: This is stupid! You always send me on these stupid missions, and they don't amount to anything! And they're stupid! Your team doesn't want me because you think heart does nothing. Nothing!
NC: Ma-Ti! That couldn't be further from the truth.
Ma-Ti: Okay. Whats this special mission you want from me!?
>NC: The special mission is...
[Ma-Ti looks expectantly]
NC: ... go get me a coffee.
- 101 Dalmatians: The Series: When Lucky first meets Thunderbolt in "Watch for Falling Idols," Thunderbolt tells Lucky to get him some lunch "a mineral water and a croissant, if you can find it." Unlike most instances of this trope, however, Lucky is thrilled to do it, because he's so starstruck.
- In Action League NOW!, of the four members of the Action League, The Flesh has Super Strength, Thundergirl has the ability to fly, and Stinky Diver has the abilty to shoot with his spear gun. Meltman, however, has the utterly useless ability to melt, and thus the League often assigns him to get them snacks, including sodas, pizza, and donuts.
- In the The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode "Lights! Camera! Danger!", Jimmy's father Hugh begs director Quentin Smithee for a part in his movie. Quentin reluctantly says he can be "Donut Boy", and Hugh, being The Ditz, thinks the movie is titled "The Adventures of Donut Boy", an undercover cop who plays by his own rules. It was meant to be this trope instead, but Hugh never realizes this, interpretting Quentin's orders to leave the set as preparation for another scene or to increase suspense. Turns into Hoist by His Own Petard when Jimmy has Hugh feed donuts to the giant killer robot snake to short-circuit it (Quentin, being Prof. Finnbar Calamitous in disguise, was trying to kill Jimmy and his friends all along).
- Adventure Time: In "Nemesis", when the Peace Master discovers her surveillance system, Princess Bubblegum starts barking orders to the Banana Guards, then tells Peppermint Butler "Make me some chamomile tea so I don't stress out!"
- The Batman: This was Killer Moth's main job on Team Penguin ("Mm, robust.") At least until he got some upgrades...
- The PBS Kids version of The Berenstain Bears has an unusually positive example in "The Big Race." Kenny, a bearcub that's probably about the same age as Brother Bear's little Sister Bear, wants to help Brother Bear, Freddy and Too Tall in making a racecar for the big race. They, however, already have things pretty much covered, but agree to let him help out, doing things that are pretty much "you get me coffee" type-of tasks. However, at no time are they ever mean to him and, in fact, treat him as a valuable member of the group. In the end, he is able to help them out when they realize that they're lacking a wheel by providing one from his prized wagon. They decide to let him be the one to drive the racecar at the race, though they pretend to draw straws for it, secretly snapping their own straws behind their backs so that Kenny was guaranteed the longest straw.
- Camberwick Green: In Captain Snort's episode, Private Meek daydreams while on parade. Later, when the Privates are given jobs to do in the village, Meek is chosen last, and given the demeaning task of cleaning the army truck. But he does not even manage this much, as he ends up holding Mrs Honeyman's baby the whole time.
- In "Cub Bouts" on Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, when Wonderheart Bear agrees to help Hugs & Tugs because their friend came down with bearcitis, they ask her to get them food, feeling that she can't do anything else for them because she doesn't have her belly badge powers yet. This becomes the catalyst for the rest of the episode, because Wonderheart is determined to do more than this.
- In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: F.L.U.S.H.", the Toiletnator really wants to help Mr. Boss and the other villains, despite the fact that they really don't want him to. Mr. Boss finally tells him he can "help" by getting them coffee, although he really does it just to get rid of him, hoping to finish their plan before he gets back. (Unfortunately, it only inspires him to try harder, which makes him mess up their plan even worse.)
- In "Rockstar Ruby" on Doc McStuffins, Ruby the rock star toy has quit singing because her microphone is broken and asks Doc to give her another job. She makes Ruby her office assistant and gives her a large stack of papers to file while everyone else sings and plays music until she can't take it anymore.
- Stewie from Family Guy reverses the trope at one point.
"You, bring me the Wall Street Journal. You two... fight to the death!"
- Hurricanes: When Stavros Garkos's niece helped him with a plan hoping she'd become the first woman to become Vice-President of Garkos Enterprises in exchange for her help, the plan failed and he blamed her, stating he'd not hire her even if it was to bring him coffee.
- This was a plot point in the unproduced episode "Supertool" of Mission Hill, which revolved around Andy's frustration with his career as a commercial artist for Jims advertising firm. When he thinks he's about to have a chance to prove himself to the higher-ups after the boss asks him to assist with the meeting for the new Chef-A-Roni ad campaign, it turns out he just wants him to run the slide show and make sure everyone has water in their cups.
- In "Secret Frog" from Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends, Dragon, Bounce and Pansy join Spiderus's Sunny Patch Anti-Frog Squad as junior members. They ask what the first thing they can do for him is.
Spiderus: Fetch me a berry, I had a light breakfast.
- In "Kid Mayor" on PB&J Otter Flick Duck was elected kid mayor and made Peanut, Jelly and Baby Butter his assistants. His first job for them was to get him food.
- In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Commander Mom", there's a Running Gag that involves Jet ordering Sunspot to get him a glass of water, instead of actually helping him with his project.
- The Simpsons
Krusty: This is a dream factory, the birthplace of magic — an enchantment! Now I need you to go clean out my toilet.
- In "Jazzy and the Pussycats", Lisa's dreams of playing in a professional jazz band are dashed when Bart upstages her. "We were wondering if you... Lisa Simpson... would do us the honor ... of sitting in... that chair in the audience. We wanna jam with your brother!"
- This also happened to Bart in "Bart Gets Famous", when he ended up working for Krusty the Clown.
- During the events of "Kill the Alligator and Run", when they were imprisoned in Florida and put in charge of a party, Marge devised a plan to escape and delegated chores to the other Simpsons. Lisa's chore was about the drinks.
- When the Trouble Alert blared its klaxon on the Superfriends, the adult heroes charged out to save the world, while Zan and Jayna got told to stay in the Hall of Justice and call 'em if there were any new Trouble Alerts. Of course, the action would inevitably come to them soon after....
- Teen Titans Go! pulled one in the very first episode, Legendary Sandwich, where Raven describes where the ingredients of the titular sandwich are hidden: near the Lava Lakes, deep underground and hidden among the stars, retrieved by Cyborg, Beast Boy and Starfire.note Then we get to the last ingredient:
Robin: Okay, let's do this! I assume you saved the most dangerous ingredient for the leader of the Titans?
Raven: Oh yes! The last ingredient is pretzel bread. It can be found...
[Robin bursts with excitement]
Raven: ...at the supermarket! Here's a coupon.
- On Timothy Goes to School, when Timothy decides to work with Claude for a team project on the television series involving making a model space shuttle, Claude asks him to do the sweeping up and doesn't let him do any of the work on the project. The space shuttle turns out great and wins a star for the best class project, but Timothy doesn't take any joy from it, finding comfort instead in talking with his friend Yoko.
- In Timothy Takes the Cake, a story from the book Timothy's Tales from Hilltop School, based on characters from the TV series, Claude pulls the same thing on Timothy, this time having him clean up muffin tins during a baking project. This time, however, Claude's attempt at baking alone fails and he wonders what he did wrong; what thing he left out of the recipe. Timothy tells him "Me!" and together they manage to do some good baking.
- Happened in Real Life to David Prowse, aka the physical actor for Darth Vader in Star Wars. Prowse is noted for his amazingly muscular and imposing physique, hence his role as the muscle-bound personal assistant to the old widower in A Clockwork Orange, but considerably more modest acting talents. He had auditioned for the lead role in the film Superman, and reportedly got a phone call from the producer excitedly informing him that they'd made their choice for the starring role, and they wanted him... to be that guy's personal trainer, because Christopher Reeve wouldn't look right for the role at all unless he bulked up to look more like David Prowse. Prowse reports that he had to choke back an overjoyed "Thanks!" right in the middle of the producer's sentence.
- A book by John Douglas, founder of the FBI's profiling unit, describes how the Japanese policemen who attended his profiling course always arrived in pairs: one a higher-status officer, the other a low-ranker who would shine his superior's shoes, fetch his coffee, etc. Douglas insisted that all his students were equal and put an end to this practice.
- The slang term in medicine for non-medical tasks (coffee, etc.) interns and others are made to do by more senior medical staff is "scutwork." It doesn't take most interns long to figure out that their job is perhaps the most important one in the hospital; if that doctor/vet doesn't get his/her caffeine, everything goes to hell, because "If the Doc ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
- Part of the rites of passage for newly-recruited grunts on dealing desks in large banks involves running chores of this nature. Justified, sort of, by the fact that the senior dealers are generally expected to remain at their desks for the entire eight or nine hours of the trading day and can't spend twenty minutes waiting to be served in Starbucks/the deli.
- There's a fairly common satirical joke that this was Nick Clegg's role towards David Cameron during his Coalition Government.
- Anyone who has ever done a job internship — regardless whether it's a bank, a newspaper, the local TV station — will find themselves doing more of these menial tasks than anything else (one can be lucky if they ever get REAL work to do). Quite frustrating.
- The short-term work experience that high schoolers and university students do more often than not is a glorified coffee making (or some other menial work). Nothing wrong with that, except the way the work experience is often hyped up you'd think it'd be more than that.
- After he won the Grammy for Best Rock Album, the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl was asked how he stayed so grounded. He replied that it was because his kids "don't fucking care that I'm a rockstar" and make him do things like get them smoothies *now*, which he of course obliges.
- In the Supreme Court of the United States, the most junior Justice is tasked with fetching coffee, opening doors, dispatching memos and doing any other menial task that the other Justices need done.
Justice Stephen Breyer: [as his eleven-year stint as the official SCOTUS coffee-boy came to an end] Ive gotten pretty good at this, havent I?Justice Antonin Scalia: No, you havent.
- If you're a production assistant in television or film, you do this and stuff like it. If you do it well, and they like you, then you get to sit in on meetings and stuff and maybe are allowed to pitch ideas and move up the ranks.
- In Cricket, the twelfth man's main role is to bring the players drinks and replacements for their equipment.