One Last Job
(narrating) "This was my last job. Every job was 'my last job'."
—Griffith, The Detonator
A seasoned criminal announces that he'll take on One Last Job before retirement to peaceful honest life. Usually, this leads to either death by Retirony due to either a Plethora of Mistakes or his superiors demonstrating Resignations Not Accepted, or a Ten-Minute Retirement.
Compare That One Case for people on the opposite side of the law.
Anime and Manga
- Luciano in Madlax decides to quit being a gun-for-hire but takes on one last job to assassinate Carrossea Doon. Seeing how it's episode 9, Luciano is a one-shot character, and Carrossea is a main one, it doesn't end well for the former.
- Uni from Katekyo Hitman Reborn does this when she sacrifices herself (Gamma joins in, too) to seal away the power of the Mare Rings and revive the Arcobaleno so that a catastrophe like the Future Arc would never happen.
- Scar from the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist does this, too. He turns Alphonse into a Philosopher's stone before dying.
- Hidan no Aria has this in the beginning with Kinji, when Aria pulls him into the Assault Department after he has long since quit from them. He agreed to join one last time for one job so that she'll stop nagging him. He's still there.
- In the Astro City story arc "The Tarnished Angel", Steeljack finds that almost all of his fellow low-rent supervillain peers are constantly lining up for that one last job, the one that will lead them to greatness and riches... but it never works out.
"Oh, there was always a new job. And always a sure thing, too. This time was the big one, always. This time, the one that'd end all our troubles."
- Spider-Man villains the Shocker and Hydro-Man are determined to pull off one last job to retire on after a lifetime of hardship and difficulty. Spider-man foils this attempt in a way that makes him look like kind of a dick.
- The final issue of X-Statix has the team embark on what they all agree to be their last mission before they go their separate ways. None of them survived the mission.
- Blade Runner is about Deckard taking one last job to "retire" some escaped replicants.
- Unforgiven: Clint Eastwood is a retired gunslinger who agrees to take on one last job.
- Gone in Sixty Seconds: Nicolas Cage is a former car thief who must come out of "retirement" to save his brother.
- In Red Dragon, the detective is lured out of retirement for one last case.
- In The Score Robert De Niro's character is planning to retire from his career as a thief when he's nearly caught in the previous job. He is persuaded to take on one last job by his contact Marlon Brando, working with Ed Norton's eager young thief.
- Heat features Robert De Niro once again, planning one last bank heist, before retiring.
- Midnight Run is yet another "One Last Job" film featuring Robert De Niro, this time playing a bounty hunter who wants to retire and open a coffee shop.
- John Woo's The Killer is about an assassin who takes on one last hit in order to help a woman he accidentally blinded during a disastrous job. He has to deal with a Contract on the Hitman due to his boss deciding not to pay him.
- The Italian Job's climactic heist, which was more about proving a point than the money.
- The Saint is about Simon Templar's final job before he hits his predetermined retirement figure.
- Sexy Beast is all about a retired gangster trying to avoid being forced to take one more job.
- In Blow, the "protagonist" (for lack of a better word) wants to pull One Last Job before running away with his daughter. He is betrayed by former colleagues, who are working for law enforcement, and is unable to meet his daughter at the appointed time.
- In The Eiger Sanction, Dr. Hemlock is called back from retirement to kill a couple of people.
- The Usual Suspects: Dean Keaton struggles with this throughout the movie, as he tries to convince himself that he has actually gone straight, and the job he's currently working on is truly The Last Job.
- In the film version of Elmore Leonard's Out of Sight, career bank robbers Foley and Buddy discuss their planned heist of crooked businessman Ripley as being "their Last Job." Although Foley questions Buddy if they knew anybody who was successful enough with a Last Job to really retire...
- Inception is about Dom Cobb taking on one last job, the titular "Inception," so Saito erases his murder charges so he can go home to the US and be reunited with his kids. He even gives up his entire share of the pay to do so. One possible inference is that if not for the murder charges, he might not even have been forced into a life of crime in the first place.
- In Once Upon a Texas Train, John Lee is released after spending 20 years in prison. He re-forms his old gang to commit the same train robbery that got him arrested 20 years ago; only this time he'll do it right.
- The opening robbery in The Wild Bunch is supposed to be The Bunch's last job. Needless to say...
- Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire mentions that Mad-Eye Moody is retired and takes on his teaching job as a favour to Dumbledore.
- In the Medstar Duology, one character is rising in the ranks of the intergalactic crime syndicate Black Sun, when the weather changes and he's reminded of his homeworld. Then he starts longing to return - but he can't just leave, not without having an appropriate gift for his vigo. Unfortunately he gets betrayed by the people he had steal it, and while he survives he knows he has to stay in the organization. In a later book his vigo is aware that he wants to leave and uses this to get him to do nearly suicidal things. In the end, he gets away by Faking the Dead.
- Artemis Fowl: Artemis was going to do one of those in The Eternity Code. Then his memory got wiped.
Live Action TV
- Supernatural: Sam is an unusually young example, having "retired" from hunting while still a teenager in order to go to college. He agrees to one last job in the pilot episodes which turns into a lot more than that when his girlfriend is killed.
- Hustle: It was Mickey's One Last Job that persuaded the rest of the team to come on board in the first episode. Needless to say, it wasn't actually his last job...
- This is a rare example of where the protagonist doing the One Last Job knows it isn't his last. Normally he's the one to get sucked back into it afterwards, but actually it is his plan all along to get the rest of the team in.
- In 24, Jack Bauer has been "retired" or otherwise no longer officially part of things for a few seasons now. He should know by now that he's going to be doing this forever...
- Parodied in a sketch on Not the Nine O'Clock News where a man is reluctantly persuaded by a group of 'friends' to do One Last Job where "all you've got to do is drive the car." The job in question turns out to be driving a loudspeaker-equipped vehicle promoting the local Conservative party MP's election campaign.
- The Shadow Line has Joseph Bede, who is participating in one last drug deal to raise money for his wife's Alzheimer's treatment.
- Lampshaded in Chuck:
Sarah : “Well, it doesn’t change the plan. It just means we have one last mission.”
- Final Fantasy X: Auron assisting with Yuna pilgrimage is his One Last Job. That dude doesn't even let the fact that he's already dead stop him.
- Grand Theft Auto: Advance: starts of with a One Last Job situation, needless to say. Things become way more complicated then it seems.
- The mission that begins the endgame of Grand Theft Auto IV is this. Niko's finally gotten (or moved past) his revenge, and is ready to begin a normal life, when Jimmy Pegorino asks him to take part in a massive heroin deal. The player can choose to accept it or go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, which determines which ending the player receives.
- Mass Effect 2: The assassination of Nassana Dantius was to be Thane's One Last Job after finishing the last of those responsible for his wife's murder- not to mention he had only a few months left to live anyways, due to a terminal illness. It was only Shepard's intervention and appeal for help that convinced him to help him/her, thus making Shepard's mission his new One Last Job...unless you're a female Shepard and you romance him. Having never thought he would find love again after the death of his wife, it gives him something to live for again. If your a male Shepard, doing his loyalty mission that allows him to reconnect with his son steers him towards this too, but not nearly as much as the romance option.
- Ace Attorney Investigations: Catching the Yatagarasu was Detective Badd's last job, the night of the last case was the last day before his retirement. No Retirony for him -- rather than dying, he peacefully turns himself in afterwards to stand trial for also being the Yatagarasu.