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Reassigned To Antarctica / Live-Action TV

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  • 'Allo 'Allo!: Colonel von Strohm was often threatened with a transfer to the Eastern Front. Of course, that's more of a Suicide Mission than a remote posting...
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
  • Angel:
    • Lampshaded by Kate after her superiors take exception to her growing interest in the macabre. She's later bounced off to the filing room, or something.
    • After half a season of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, Angel offers to use Wolfram & Hart's resources to transfer Spike anywhere he'd like, all expenses paid: "You fight the good fight, but in style. And if possible, in Outer Mongolia."
  • Arrowverse: At the end of the "Invasion!" crossover, Supergirl suggests to the president that Agent Smith be subjected to this trope, by name.
  • Ashes to Ashes (2008): In series two, when Gene Hunt stands up against Ace cop "Super" Mac, he almost gets transferred to Plymouth because of it.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Commander Sinclair referred to once being "transferred to an outpost so far off the star maps you couldn't find it with a hunting dog and a Ouija board" after openly speaking his mind on Earthforce policy in an interview. The episode is “Infection”.
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    • There's also Londo Mollari: He got the ambassador job to Babylon 5 because the Centauri considered the job to be a joke at best and a death sentence at worst. Given that he gains a lot of influence and later becomes the Emperor as a direct result of having taken the job, this can be considered a case of Reassignment Backfire.
  • At the end of Band of Brothers' first episode just before the protagonists preprare for the D-Day airborne invasion, Captain Sobel is reassigned to command a jump school for essential non-combat personnel after his inadequacies as a leader in the field leads to his NCOs attempting to resign en masse and a dispute with his executive officer Winters escalates higher than expected.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Command of the Battlestar Galactica was Adama's punishment for screwing up a covert mission for the Admiralty: it's an aging bucket assigned to the armpit of space, crewed by a Ragtag Band of Misfits. The irony, of course, is that it's these very facts that spare it when the Colonies fall; it's too old and too far away to be a primary target.
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  • In Better Call Saul, the law firm of Hamlin, Hamlin, and McGill has what Jimmy calls "the Cornfield", which is an area at the back of their office building where the file room is located and where the most junior associates have their work areas. For a senior associate to be assigned to the Cornfield, he/she must have really screwed up and/or pissed off a senior partner. When Kim Wexler is threatened with demotion to the Cornfield, she estimates that it might put her career back ten years. She ends up there in season 2 for not telling Howard or Chuck about Jimmy's unauthorized Davis & Main TV ad, and she goes to great effort to work her way back to the front of the building. When Howard still treats her as if she was in the Cornfield, she decides to throw in the towel, resign from HHM and start her own practice, sharing office space with Jimmy.
  • Brought up in Blue Bloods on a few occasions:
    • When Frank's position as Commissioner seems to be at stake, Gormley dreads the possibility of getting transferred to Staten Island. In the season 5 premiere, he'd feared that this would be his fate after he lashed out at Frank for not standing up for an officer accused of using excessive force on a crazed man. A few episodes later, he fears being "sent to Siberia" after shooting his mouth off at a COMPSTATS meeting and is given orders to bring his box when Frank summons him to One Police Plaza. Frank surprises him by instead appointing him Special Assistant to the Commissioner.
    • Likewise, in "Stomping Grounds" it's brought up twice:
      • Lt. Tim Harrison is a freshly retired cop who served 40 years on the job and was a favorite of Henry's. After he shoots two black people on the subway (a guy trying to rob him and another guy trying to intervene), Frank confides to Henry that Harrison had a history of bigotry when it came to blacks. In fact, this got to the point that Frank had to have him transferred to Staten Island explicitly because Staten Island had a 75% white population.
      • Jamie and Edie get a new training officer, Sgt. Ray Langley, who has a habit of hitting on women in the 12th Precinct. Jamie feels like Langley is abusing his power by doing so. So he gets rid of him by suggesting he put in a transfer to Staten Island.
    • "After Hours" concerns Jimmy Burke, a former partner of Frank's who took two bullets for him on a rooftop. He has been promoted to Inspector and placed in command of the 15th Precinct. While up for a promotion to Deputy Chief as the Deputy Commander of Patrol Borough Manhattan South, it's discovered that he has been cooking the books for his precinct's CompStats (artificially lowering crime rates by classifying obvious felonies as misdemeanors instead). In part, he justifies it on the grounds of how his 40 year career has left him with several failed marriages, alimonies, and college tuitions. He intended to get his promotion then call it quits. Frank allows Jimmy to retire with his reputation intact, rather than face the alternate option: demotion to Captain and reassignment to the 128th Precinct in Staten Island.
  • In The Boys, after it becomes public knowledge that the Deep forced Starlight to blow him on her first day on the job, Vought Industries makes him issue a public apology, before transferring him from their flagship Super Team "the Seven" to Sandusky, Ohio, which he quickly realizes is a dead-end posting in a small apartment with a $50 per diem. He assumes it's temporary until the whole thing blows over, but eventually realizes no one wants him back.
  • Burn Notice:
    • The overarching plot for the series is Michael being exiled to Miami to prevent him from being able to travel freely.
    • In Season 3, Michael meet Diego Garza, a CIA agent who's been assigned to working undercover at the Miami Airport overseeing an import/export business. Unlike most spies, who would view it as this trope, Diego loves it because it means he isn't getting shot at in some foreign country and is practically paid retirement. As he tells Michael, he does not want to rock the boat and potentially be reassigned somewhere much hotter.
    • In the made-for-TV movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, Sam is sent to a crummy operation in Columbia because he slept with the wife of a powerful admiral. Who caught him in the act.
    • After exposing herself during an unsanctioned op and taking the heat for the heroes, Agent Pearce is reassigned to Mumbai with an anti-counterfeit unit. As Michael notes, she's most likely going to be reading fake prescription labels for the rest of her career. She herself notes it could have been worse though, as the CIA was looking to fill an ice station post in Reykjavik.
  • In The Caesars, the third episode, "Tiberius", features Roman general Germanicus returning triumphant from a campaign on the Rhine, and being posted to Syria to negotiate the coronation of a Rome-friendly king of Armenia. As he is the heir apparent to the Imperial throne and is vastly more popular than its current occupant, Tiberius, the latter mostly sends him to Syria to get him as far away from Rome as possible.
  • Chuck:
    • Inverted Trope, where a useless, obstreperous person is sent to a distant place to get him out of the way and preserve the Secret Identities - but the place he's sent off to isn't Alaska or Antarctica, it's Hawaii. Harry Tang, assistant manager of the Buy More at the time, stumbles on Team Chuck in the middle of a teleconference with one of the generals. With aplomb rarely seen from this character, Casey convinces him that Casey thinks Tang has always been aware of spies operating out of the store, the CIA is impressed by Tang's analytical skill, and the transfer to Hawaii is a chance for Tang to have his own career as a spy. In reality, Tang stumbled on them by accident, Casey is the sort of person who would gladly kill Tang if he thought it was easiest, and he still doesn't know the really important secret.
    • This incident gets kind of a nasty Call-Back in the third season with Harry's even more unlikable replacement, Emmett is written off the show and Casey tells Chuck with a smirk that he was transferred to a Buy More in another state. Actually, as seen by the audience, he was killed by a Ring assassin.
  • Colony: After a string of disasters on his watch throughout Season 1, Synder is removed from his position as Proxy (Governor) of the Los Angeles Bloc, and by the start of Season 2 is running a labor camp outside of the colony.
  • John Curtis, A.K.A. The Replicator, of Season 8 of Criminal Minds turns out to be a FBI agent who took the fall for the failings of the Amerithrax case of 2001 along with Alex Blake for Erin Strauss. It's revealed that part of his punishment was a reassignment to the field office in Kansas.
  • In the Defiance episode "This Woman's Work", after Pottinger fails to secure the promised energy source, Viceroy Mercado has him sent to North Dakota and tells him that's he's lucky not to be sent to the front to die.
    • Ironically, Antartica has become a tropical paradise due to improper activation of terraforming equipment (or so the rumors claim), so in the world of Defiance, it's actually a nice place to go.
  • Degrassi: Combined this with Dropped a Bridge on Him when Dan Woods left the show - Raditch was reassigned after the school shooting.
  • Designated Survivor: In the pilot, HUD Secretary Tom Kirkman is told that he's being "promoted" to US Ambassador to the International Civic Aviation Union, headquartered in Montreal. He immediately realizes that the administration is shuffling him out of the way of their own agenda. And in any case, it becomes a moot point when, by the next day, he's the only living Cabinet member and subsequently becomes President.
  • Due South: Constable Benton Fraser ends up stationed in Chicago because no one in his chain of command wants him.
  • Enlightened: Cogentiva, the sub-basement where Amy Jellicoe is reassigned.
  • ER When Carter disappears from work to celebrate having matched into a residency, he's yanked from his surgical rotation and reassigned to scutwork in the ER. In fact, Carter frequently got stuck with crappy duties as punishment for unexcused lateness or absences, as did other staff members.
  • Fargo: The two FBI agents who allowed the Fargo massacre to happen right under their noses are reassigned to work in the file room. A year later, they're still there.
  • Father Ted:
    • Seems to be the point of the Craggy Island parish.
    • But the money was just resting in his account...and Bishop Brennan would've sent them to somewhere even worse after their failed protest in "the Passion of St Tibulus" if they hadn't managed to blackmail their way out of it.
  • Forbrydelsen: Detective Lund manages to find the killer, but he is killed vigilante-style rather than apprehended, and she had to break every rule in the book to get that far. In her next appearance she is seen checking truck drivers' passports in the remote North of Denmark.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The Wall, a giant wall of ice, is defended by a sworn brotherhood called the Night’s Watch and it is described by show runner David Benioff as “a cross between an ancient monastic order and a special forces brigade.” It was once considered a noble calling by all but now most realms in Westeros believe the Wall is guarding against an imaginary threat long gone (the Others) and don't believe this army-of-the-dead-threat have arisen again. While the Night's Watch is still considered a noble and honorable calling/tradition by those in the North and there are those, like second sons or highborn bastards from Northern noble houses (like the Starks), that voluntarily join for the sake of honor and duty, even many in the North — save for a few that have either seen or felt it — don't believe this ancient threat has arisen again. Nowadays, the Night's Watch has fallen into disrepair due to diminishing resources and lack of support from the southern kingdoms and the Wall has also become a place to deal with criminals, misfits, and disgraced ex-knights in a non-fatal but permanent way.
      • Cersei plans to do this to Ned Stark in "Baelor". Joffrey, however, has other plans.
      • Tyrion banishes Janos Slynt to the Wall in "The Night Lands" because he doesn't like him, cannot trust him, and wants to replace him with Bronn.
      • Lord Tywin offers this to Tyrion in exchange for a confession in "The Laws of Gods and Men".
    • Being remotely reassigned is even possible within the Order of the Wall. Lord Commander Jon Snow tries to send troublemaker Janos Slynt to Greyguard, a remote fortress far from their home base. Janos refuses to accept such a "demeaning" assignment multiple times. This was not the smartest move he could make. Janos' assignment is actually a subversion. He was being tasked with the important job of restoring one of the Watch's many derelict forts to fighting condition, even after he fled a battle and would have ideally been beheaded for desertion.
  • The Good Guys: The basic premise. Detective Stark is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander Cowboy Cop who can't be fired because of his heroic exploits back in the eighties. Detective Bailey was a young up-and-comer who decided to correct the Lieutenant's grammar. The season pilot had them searching for a broken humidifier, and it's gone downhill from there. This is despite all the important cases they accidentally close, due to a string of bad luck and embarrassments along the way.
  • Gotham: After crossing the line against the city's corruption one too many times, Jim Gordon sent to be a security guard at the newly opened Arkham.
  • Hogan's Heroes:
  • Home Improvement: In one episode, Tim is dreading a bowling game with a Binford higher-up after being told by the latter's wife that the last guy who beat him was transferred to Pakistan. Eventually, Tim mentions this to him...who explains that said employee was his wife's brother who had been embezzling from the company. Tim is relieved...until the guy insists on staying until he wins...
    Bud: [After Tim mentions being "tired"] Did my wife tell you what happened to the vice president who threw the game?
    Tim: Wearing a turban?
    Bud: Fez.
  • It Ain't Half Hot Mum: Sgt Major Williams's constant threats to have the Concert Party "posted up the jungle"
  • The IT Crowd has the seldom seen character Richmond. When he's introduced he has the job, that even he doesn't know what it is, of sitting alone in the company's server tower room. The episode goes on to reveal that he used to be a corporate exec and Denholm's right hand name, until he turned into a goth - looking like a member of Kiss in board meetings and mortifying Denholm at his father's funeral. "Antarctica" being the basement with the IT nerds.
    • In the series finale Douglas reassigns himself to the "IT Antarctica" to hide from various legal troubles. Handing off the reigns of the company to the IT Team.
  • JAG: Admiral Chegwidden hints at the possibility in "We the People":
    Lieutenant JGs don't joke with admirals, son, it could get him transferred to a supply ship in the Aleutians. Joking is strictly an admiral's privilege only.
  • Justified:
    • In the pilot, US Marshal Raylan Givens kills a vicious cartel thug in broad daylight in a busy Miami restaurant. The shooting is publicly deemed justified since the criminal drew his gun first but Raylan's bosses are aware that previous to the shooting he gave the thug 24 hours to leave town or be shot. If the press got hold of this information, it would look extremely bad for the US Marshal Service so Raylan is transferred to the Lexington, Kentucky office. While this is not really a bad posting, Raylan was born in Harlan County, Kentucky and would rather not go back home and have to once again have to deal with the messed up family situation he left behind. In season 4 he is warned that if he tries to pull the same stunt with Detroit mobster Nicky Augustine, there will be no more transfers and he will be kicked out of the Marshals.
    • In season 3 Detroit mobster Robert Quarles preemptively volunteers to get reassigned to Kentucky. He has a nasty habit of beating up and torturing male prostitutes and his adopted father and mob boss Theo Tonin is no longer willing to tolerate this behaviour. Before he gets involuntarily reassigned or maybe even killed, he hatches a plan to use Kentucky as a new source of illegal prescription drugs and convinces Theo of its merits. However, when Quarles' plans go awry and he becomes increasingly unstable, Theo permanently exiles him from Detroit and puts a bounty on his head.
  • Just Shoot Me!: when Finch blows up at Jack, he gets reassigned to the "downtown" office, a dingy, windowless office occasionally rattled by the passing subway, whose supervisor was Jack's previous assistant.
  • Kamen Rider Drive: After a catastrophic event in which he winds up injuring his partner, Shinnosuke underwent a Heroic BSoD and got resigned to a task force devoted to investigating said event and similar phenomenons. It should also be noted that said task force is... quirky to say the least and often get ridiculed by the others. Though it soon becomes the best thing for Shinnosuke, as he soon gets into a battle with the perpetrators of the event and the only people who are willing to investigate them are said task force.
  • Kyle XY: Played with. When Nicole asks Stephen if he was able to get a creepy security guard reassigned to Alaska.
  • Law & Order: After Mike Logan punches a politician in the face, he gets transferred to Staten Island, which is as close to Antarctica as the City of New York gets (both literally and figuratively). He eventually comes to refer to his job as "finding stolen lawnmowers", a far cry from his original position with his Manhattan homicide unit. (He pretty much avoided being outright fired only because the politician was actively interfering with Mike's attempts to protect him, and hitting him allowed Mike to subsequently shove him in the car, which was ultimately to his own benefit. The fact that said politician was a major slime who had just thrown Mike under the bus to beat a murder charge likely didn't hurt either.)
  • Lois & Clark: Lois and Clark hesitate to publish a boxing scandal, out of fear that Dr. Sam Lane will be targeted for reprisal. Perry isn't amused; he assigns Lois to cover the Metropolis Auto Show. As for Clark...
    Clark: Police Academy graduation.
    Lois: Nice.
  • Lost: In Season 5, Dr. Chang threatens Hurley with reassignment to HYDRA Island, shoveling polar bear turds, if he mentions the corpse he saw to anyone.
  • Mad Men:
    • Englishman Lane Price, just settling into New York, narrowly avoids being reassigned to Bombay. It's implied that this isn't the first life-disrupting reassignment given to Lane, who clearly isn't among the in-crowd of his elitist bosses.
    • Inverted in season 6 where a number of the characters want to be reassigned to satellite offices in Detroit and Los Angeles rather than keeping their key positions in the New York main office. Their personal lives are a mess and they want a fresh start. These are partners and senior executives who would lose a lot of power by being reassigned but would gain a lot of independence in return.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Major Winchester beats his commanding officer at cards and has him in quite a bit of debt. Bad enough, but just as the CO is refusing Potter's request to have a surgeon temporarily assigned to the 4077th, Winchester chooses that moment to gloat, and the CO decides he can spare a man after all — Winchester. It probably also contributes to Winchester's assignment being made permanent.
    • An early episode has Hawkeye and Trapper raising a fuss after discovering that a South Korean village was destroyed by American artillery fire. A general comes to the 4077th and tells them that he could easily transfer them to a front line aid station if they don't stop.
    • It's implied that Henry Blake ended up in Korea this way, after replying to a general's order to give a patient a coffee enema with "With cream and sugar?"
    Col. Blake: I was on a plane for Korea in 12 hours.
  • The Middleman: People who have the potential to become Middlemen, but screw up, have a tendency to be reassigned to Greenland.
  • Midsomer Murders: After the conclusion of the case in "Secrets and Spies", one of the characters, an Obstructive Bureaucrat, is sent to the Arctic to monitor shipping traffic in the Northwest Passage.
  • Mock the Week: Used in a segment of "Scenes We'd Like To See", specifically "Unlikely Things To Hear on a Survival Show".
    Hugh: I've been living in these woods for three weeks now. But that's what happens if you're married to the Home Secretary and she catches you watching porn.
  • Mork & Mindy: This is implied to be the Orkans' intention behind Mork’s observe-and-report mission on Earth. The pilot episode opens with Orson, Mork's commanding officer, informing Mork that he is to be sent to a hellhole on the edge of the galaxy to observe its inhabitants, but not before he chastises him for his constant displays of humor and emotion, which were supposedly, he explains, bred out of Orkans "for the good of the race". Mork doesn’t see it as a punishment, however — fans of Happy Days already knew how much he enjoyed Earth the last time he was there.
  • NCIS: In one episode, when Gibbs catches Abby and McGee slacking off in the lab:
    Gibbs: "You two finished playing grabass, or do I need to transfer McGee to a weather station in Antarctica?"
  • Night Court:
    • In one episode, Assistant DA Dan Fielding- who was in the US Army Reserves - was called into duty, told only that he was being sent into a war zone. Dan was prepared with fake medical records and crutches to prove he was unfit for combat duty. His tune changed when his commanding officer showed up with his orders - said commanding officer being an Action Girl and said orders involving going undercover with her, posing as a couple, doing reconnaissance in some tropical paradise turned Banana Republic. When Dan's Bumbling Sidekick Phil shows up pretending to be Dan's boyfriend (Plan B) and Dan's plan to disobey orders is exposed, he is reassigned to the Arctic Circle to help give physicals to polar bears.
    • This is probably an Actor Allusion to Laroquette's previous role as Captain Stillman in Stripes.
  • Nowhere Man: Nowhere Man's only ally was transferred from his FBI post in Washington to Alaska.
  • Oz: Father Ray Mukada was assigned to Oswald Maximum Security Prison "to learn humility" (i.e. because he questioned the conservative views of his powerful patron, Cardinal Francis Abgott).
  • Person of Interest: Cal Beecher got dangerously close to discovering his godfather's role as head of HR. The first suggestion on how to deal with him was a promotion to a quiet post in upstate New York. His godfather didn't hesitate to simply kill Cal instead.
  • Revolution: Defied Trope in episode 8. Seems when Monroe wants to punish someone without outright killing them, he sends them on expeditions to California — Tom Neville comments on how "those heathens" tend to send their people back "in a box". Then again, Neville shows signs of being The Fundamentalist, so likely anyone who doesn't think exactly as he does would be regarded as a heathen. More than likely California is sending back Monroe's people dead to send a message to Monroe not to get any ideas. Jason Neville was going to be sent to California, but Tom Neville used embarrassing information on Colonel John Faber and a promise to keep a better eye on his son to convince Monroe to let Jason stay.
  • Attempted in Rome. Julius Caesar's political enemies conspire to recruit Brutus to their cause, and Caesar responds by trying to assign Brutus as governor of a backwater province as an excuse to get Brutus out of the way. Brutus sees it for what it is, and knows it will likely mean permanent exile from Rome, and is deeply angered that it is coming from a man he considers a father. As a result, Brutus finally embraces Caesar's enemies and joins their cause.
  • Scrubs: Dr. Cox was temporarily reassigned to helping at the prison after he interrupted Dr. Kelso's Breaking Speech to Elliott (in an attempt by Kelso to Break the Cutie) with an unexpected punch to the face. Although shortlived, it still caused Dr. Cox plenty of grief, especially since it took away from his time with his young son.
  • Sherlock: After killing Magnussen in "His Last Bow", Sherlock is sent on a suicide mission for MI6 in Eastern Europe. He is recalled within four minutes after the plane takes off, thanks to the return of a seemingly Not Quite Dead Moriarty.
  • Slings & Arrows: Holly is first introduced to the show in the middle of a corporate shake-up (which she was the victor in). She comments of the guy she's replacing that "He's just gonna love Anchorage."
  • Small Wonder: Inverted Trope. Vicky's inventor and one of his co-workers are vying for a promotion. Co-worker's daughter secretly makes suggestions to Vicky to make his competitor look bad. Vicky takes the suggestions quite literally, and the co-worker wins the promotion. And then it turns out to be a transfer to Iceland.
  • Spooks: A traffic police officer was reassigned to Orkney after trying to impound one of the agents' cars.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • Could be the Trope Namer. After disobeying orders in Afghanistan, Major Sheppard is literally reassigned to Antarctica: sent to McMurdo as a helicopter taxi driver. Of course, he's The Hero of the show. Reassignment Backfire within the first half of the show's pilot and a one-way ticket to the lost city of Atlantis.
    • And McKay, who later became Atlantis' chief science officer, appeared on SG-1 and was reassigned to Siberia to work on a Naquadah generator they were developing because McKay fails at empathy and tact (and for thinking he was better than Sam Carter). He's gotten better (comparatively) at those things since he got to Atlantis.
    • A CIA Agent acquaintance of Colonel Jack O'Neill named Burke ended up being sent to Honduras as a form of exile because he allegedly turned traitor. In actuality, he took the fall to cover up his fellow agent, Woods' true status as a traitor (as well as having to kill Woods for it out of self defense) in order to ensure that Cindy Woods, Woods' wife, got the pension after his death, so in this particular case, the reason is because of No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Once O'Neill learns the full truth, he promises to get Burke transferred to a better place.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • When contemplating his return to power, Gul Dukat decides to transfer the younger officer who stole his wife to the Cardassian embassy on Breen, even adding "I hear it's bitter cold on Breen."
    • Dukat himself fell victim to this after he rescued his half-Bajoran daughter Ziyal - he went from a high-ranking military advisor to the Cardassian government to the commander of an insignificant cargo hauler due to the political scandal.
    • Early episodes of DS9 imply that Major Kira was given her post on the station because she was kind of a pain in the ass for the provisional government.
    • The station itself was initially billed as such, a remote backwater that nobody in their right mind would willingly visit. That all changes in the pilot episode, when they discover the wormhole.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: In "Life Line", the Doctor finds out from his creator, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, that the whole EMH Mark One line he belongs to was demoted to menial duties due to the poor reception from Starfleet. Since he was stuck in the Delta Quadrant, the Doctor is now the only Mark One still working as a medical officer.
  • Taken: In "Jacob and Jesse", the entire scientific research team at Groom Lake is reassigned to Iceland on December 18, 1958 as they failed to determine how the alien ship works in eleven years. Owen Crawford later threatens to send Marty Erickson to Iceland after he tells his wife Anne that he was in Lubbock, Texas. However, he decides to give him a second chance.
  • The Tonight Show: On Jay Leno's last show, Barack Obama says in a taped message that he has no grudge over all the jokes Leno made about him — and on an unrelated note, Obama makes him the U.S. ambassador to Antarctica.
  • Warehouse 13: Being assigned to the Warehouse is considered to be this by Secret Service personnel not in on the secret; Pete and Myka at first think they've done something wrong to get placed there. This is confirmed with a later episode, when they meet two colleagues and learn that they've acquired a reputation as a couple of misfit weirdos.
  • The West Wing: When Charlie takes a little too much amusement from President Bartlet's transparent attempts to get some afternoon delight from his wife, Bartlet suggests that he should wipe that smirk off his face or he'll send him on special assignment to the Yukon.
  • White Collar: This show does this with Burke, who after rescuing Neal at the beginning of Season 4 is investigated by the higher-ups and assigned to the evidence locker—a.k.a "the Cave"—pending the results.
  • The Wire:
    • Happens in order to show how messed up internal politics can become in the police force.
    • The Major Crimes Unit itself is something of a subversion — it's widely seen as a waste of time, and a lot of departments see it as a way to get rid of dead weight, hence the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits main cast. But several of the detectives absolutely love having the chance to follow an in-depth case with minimal supervision, and fight to remain in the unit when their superiors try to recall them.
    • At the start of the show, Lester Freamon had been working in the pawnshop unit (a monotonous, no-progression desk job) for thirteen years and four months as a punishment for exposing corruption. The job was such a joke that he spent most of his day making doll furniture. He warns McNulty about what to do when someone asks you "Where do you want to go?", knowing that the same thing will inevitably happen to him.
    • At the end of the first season, after Jimmy McNulty steps on too many toes, his boss asks him what detail he does not want to get transferred to. Jimmy attempts some Reverse Psychology, but unfortunately for him, way back in the first episode of the season he told his sergeant how much he hated the thought of riding a boat in the city's marine unit. Guess where Jimmy is by the end of the episode. Unfortunately for his bosses, Jimmy finds a way to stick it to them in the second season.
    • Similarly, their supervisor Cedric Daniels gets busted down to evidence control detail.
    • Subverted Trope later when both Santangelo and McNulty are demoted to Patrolmen for various reasons, but actually prefer it.
    • The gangsters do this too. As punishment for his reckless shooting prior to the pilot episode, D'Angelo is moved from the high-profile, high-income tower projects to the low rises across town.
  • The X-Files:
    • Mulder and Scully's assignment on the X-files is "outside the Bureau mainstream", and there are the many times when somebody tries to undermine their efforts.
    • Mulder's office is in the basement and has no windows and no heat. He lacks respect for what he does and is the Bureau's laughing stock, being called "Spooky" Mulder, though that nickname was originally given for his uncanny profiling skills. However, he is there by his own choice, happy that he can do as much and feeling angsty only because he thinks the threats he’s investigating (things like genetically changed mutant serial killers and upcoming alien invasion) should be taken a little more seriously.
    • Scully is assigned to the X-Files division to debunk Mulder's work, but she eventually gets just as involved as he is. While she garners a little more respect than Mulder, being a more by-the-book agent and a professor at the Academy, it's not much more. Her colleagues call her "Mrs. Spooky".
    • In the season 1 finale, the X-Files division is shut down and the season 2 opener has Mulder put on a regular, tedious assignment, transcribing surveillance tapes, while Scully returned to teach at the Quantico Academy. AD Skinner managed to assign him on a weird case in "Host" (s02e02) involving a fluke man. Mulder thought working in a sewer was meant to be even more humiliating and more of a punishment, but Skinner later admitted that “it should have been an X-File”.
    • At the beginning of The X-Files: Fight the Future which follows season 5 in the Myth Arc, the X-Files are closed and the FBI even tries to split Mulder and Scully up as partners. Scully is transferred to Utah and she actually resigns the Bureau but re-joins it at the end of the movie.
    • In the first half of season 6, the X-Files are lead by Agent Spender who doesn't care a bit about the cases and by Agent Fowley who is a rat collaborating with the conspiracy. Mulder and Scully investigate domestic terrorism and do routine background checks which they both view as humiliation. Good that Mulder gets them to freelance with several off-side projects.
      Mulder: Running down people that buy fertilizer? This is scut work, bozo work. The FBI equivalent of being made to wear an orange jumpsuit and pick up trash by the side of the highway.
    • When Mulder is found after his abduction in season 8, nobody is too keen on having him back on the X-Files or at the Bureau. In "Vienen", he's kicked out of the FBI for good.
  • Yes, Minister:
    • The only threat that will shake Sir Humphrey Appleby, a very slick career civil servant, is that of reassignment to the Vehicle Licensing Board in Swansea. Which is both far from London, the centre of power and, well, in Swansea.
    • Other career killing dead ends used to frighten Humphrey, Bernard and other civil servants include Agriculture and Fisheries, the War Graves Commission and the British Embassy in Israel.
    • Another episode has senior military and civil service types terrified of the prospect of military postings and units being moved Oop North, because while a lot of the actual military stuff is based and happens in the north, all the nice cushy things that they and their wives enjoy like Harrods and Wimbledon are down in the south.
    • In The Bishop's Gambit we learn that the Bishopric of Truro is reserved for extremely irritating Anglican priests (by which we mean "priests who actually believe in God"), on the grounds that it is "very remote." (It's in Cornwall).
      Sir Humphrey: Long time, no See.
    • One example which is not played for laughs is Hacker's fear of being made Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The series is set when The Troubles were in full swing, and the position carried with it a significant risk of terrorist attacks and assassination attempts. Risk of death aside, there is nothing the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland could conceivably do which would make him popular in Great Britain (thus limiting his future career) while he'd be blamed for anything bad happening involving the Troubles. However, the position only applies in a metaphorical sense, since the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was based in London.
    • In the first episode, Hacker tells Sir Humphrey to find an office for Hacker's political advisor Frank; Sir Humphrey finds him one in Walthamstow in north London, which in the context of ministerial politics might as well be Antarctica (or Swansea).
    • "The Writing on the Wall" sees the department threatened with closure, with Hacker rumoured to be a candidate for Minister for Industrial Harmony - thus being responsible for every single strike that takes place in the UK, at a time when strikes were frequent enough to be a spectator sport.
    • European Commissioner is a downplayed example; accepting the position is a surefire way to kill a domestic political career, but the perks of the job are such that a sufficiently unambitious or compromised politician might feel that exile in Brussels is the better choice.


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