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Hello, worker drone number 54234. You are the perfect viewpoint into our insanely oppressive dystopian society, because you are our dystopian society. Or at least powering it.

Therefore, you are very likely to be the main character of a work of fiction about this society. Because we don't want that, you will be terminated 23 and a half seconds after your Heel Realization.

Have a nice day.

See Rage Within the Machine.

Examples of Big Brother Is Employing You include:

Anime & Manga

Audio Adaptation


  • In The Lives of Others, the main character is a Stasi agent, keeping the people of East Germany under surveillance.
  • In Equilibrium, John Preston is the top Grammaton Cleric, responsible for tracking down and bringing to justice "sense offenders," the opponents of the Tetragrammaton Council, the government of Libria.
  • In Terry Gilliam's Brazil, Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) works for the Ministry of Information Processing. God help him when he gets unavoidably tangled in the toils of Information Retrieval... It's strongly implied that everyone works for central services i.e. the state.
  • Charlton Heston's character in Soylent Green was a police detective, so he technically worked for the oppressive state that was feeding poor people to poor people.
  • The cast of Silent Running all worked for the government that ordered them to destroy the last preserved ecosystems.
  • John Anderton in Minority Report
  • Inspector Finch in V for Vendetta
  • Logan from Logan's Run, before he starts running. Big Brother in this case is the city's mainframe computer, which implements population controls.


  • Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four works for the Ministry of Truth. The book invented the term "Big Brother" and is thus the trope namer.
  • Played with in Brave New World: Bernard Marx works for the government like everyone else... except for the Savage, who becomes the protagonist for the second half of the book.
  • Fahrenheit 451: The protagonist starts out as a book burner for the government.
  • Richard Decker in Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep and the movie it (loosely) became, Blade Runner.
  • In fact, lots of Philip K. Dick books and stories can work for this one. The Penultimate Truth (maybe, depending on how you interpret the crazy, drugged-out second half), The Minority Report and We Can Remember It For You Wholesale which became the movie Total Recall.
  • The books by Karin Lowachee. While Captain Azarcon isn't the narrator in any of the books, he can undoubtedly be considered the protagonist. And he's a captain of a large space carrier for a government which invaded an alien lunar colony, started a war, and then re-started the war out of prejudice and bigotry when he tried to end it. Needless to stay, he stops working for the government by the end of the second book.
  • Arguably, most of the characters in Warhammer 40000 tie-in novels, from Ravenor to Eisenhorn to Gaunt of Gaunt's Ghosts.
  • D-503 in We.
  • The main character in The Giver is being trained to take a role in perpetuating the dystopia they all live in.
  • Chip, in This Perfect Day, works in a genetics lab identifying gene samples as part of the evil supercomputer's plan to genetically-engineer the human race into identical, interchangeable sameness. His grandfather, Papa Jan, actually helped BUILD the evil supercomputer, but later regretted it.
  • The protagonist of the Robert A. Heinlein novella If This Goes On (also known as Revolt In 2100) is one of the guards at the HQ of the Corrupt Church that rules a dystopian future America.
  • The government of Earth goes through some Dystopic stages in The Forever War, and the main characters are soldiers.
  • In a way, Miles Vorkosigan and his friends. While it's definitely reformed significantly and he is continuing that process, Barayar was The Evil Empire a generation ago and is still viewed that way by many people.
    • In this case, Miles is also literally working for his big brother, given that The Emperor is his five-years-older foster brother.
  • Thursday Next makes efforts to change the Mega Corp-run Crap Saccharine World England in which she lives, but still works for its government.
  • In The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman, the world is run by a sort of Peace and Love Incorporated, called Earth Mother. Honor's mother ends up working for them when she decides to rebel against the government.
  • The eponymous Jen from Jennifer Government works for the government, but that's not the dystopian power in the novel. Meanwhile, beta protagonists Hack Nike and Billy Betchel (later Billy NRA) work for the dystopian corporate clusters, Hack for Nike (the main antagonist in the novel) while Billy is the muscle.
  • Tracer by Stuart Jackson, set in a 1999 Britain controlled by a neo-fascist government as a result of the AIDS crisis. The protagonist is a policeman whose job is to track down AIDS carriers.
  • Blind Faith by Ben Elton features, as its hero, Trafford, who works for Nat Dat, the National Data Bank, which knows everything about everyone. Almost everyone works for Nat Dat in one way or another.
  • Everyone in Matched works for the government, because everything is controlled by the government.

Tabletop RPG

  • Paranoia. In most of the official products your Player Character is a Troubleshooter who works for The Computer, the paranoid, repressive dictator of Alpha Complex.
  • SLA Industries. The PC's are Operatives who work for some branch of the title company, which is the brutal, corrupt government of the Worlds of Progress.
  • Warhammer 40,000. To serve the Imperium is to be a servant of the the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. It says so right on the box.

Video Games

  • In Deus Ex, JC Denton begins the game working for the puppet organization of the Secret Masters.
    • Additionally, depending on which ending the player gets, he may become one of the Secret Masters of the conspiracy that takes over from the one he destroyed or install himself as one half of the possibly benevolent post-human big brother.
  • In Mass Effect 2, the Illusive Man, brings Commander Shepard back from death and equips him with everything he needs to help him defeat the lackeys of the Reapers, who want to destroy all organic life in the galaxy. Once the Collectors are defeated he wants you to not destroy their technology, but to salvage it to make mankind stronger than any other species. But that's pretty much the same thing every other slaves of the Reapers have believed to be doing.
    • However, this outcome was completely predictable less than half an hour into the game when you first meet his Ceberus agents. The Illusive Man himself never realizes that he's just playing into the Reapers hands.
  • Happens on occasion in Final Fantasy.
    • Cecil starts out as pretty much The Dragon until he realizes that his king is being more evil than usual (too late for many towns, unfortunately)
    • Terra and Celes start out Final Fantasy VI as generals for The Empire, though the former was brainwashed.
      • Terra wasn't ever actually named as a general, though it's clear she was fairly high-ranking in the Empire due to her half-Esper status. However, the fact that she had a Slave Crown placed on her makes it fairly evident that she can't have been that high-ranking.
    • Zack spends most of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII working for Shinra.
    • Midway through Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning realizes that Cocoon was not build as a safe home for the humans, but for the Fal'Cie, who run absolutely everything on the world. The human population is completely unneccessary and purely decorative, and the people really just well pampered pets.
  • Red Faction is about a rebellion of Martian miners oppressed by the corrupt Mega Corp Ultor Mining.
  • Gordon Freeman of the Half Life in a certain way? In Half-Life 2, the GMan makes it no secret that he puts Freeman into a position where everything he does to help his friend, will also further the GMans own mysterious plans. Episode 2 reveals that he brought the Xen Crystal to Black Mesa and he's seen in a telepathic vision to sit at the same desk at which in the first game a guard tells Freeman that the computers in the Lab had a malfunction, just a hour before the crystal and the lab equipment caused the dimensional rift.
  • X-COM has you playing as the top-secret transnational Government Conspiracy attempting to cover up an alien invasion, with secret labs full of captured technology and space monsters, and squads of heavily armed commandos and psychic MIBs delivered around the world via Black HelicopterOr at least that's what you aspire to.

Web Original

  • Fatebane in Associated Space is a government agent of the Terran Associated States.


  • Red vs. Blue: The Reds, the Blues, the Freelancers and Doc are working for Project Freelancer, at least until Reconstruction where the Project and its Director are brought down by some of them.
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