Created By: tryourbreast on October 3, 2012 Last Edited By: tryourbreast on October 8, 2012

Blame the Leader

Putting all responsibilities on and blames the leader for everything related to him/her.

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Page Type:
Trope
Possibly Logical Fallacies + Audience Reaction.


First rule of management: Everything is your fault.
-Hopper, A Bug's Life

A common Logical Fallacies, which consists of blaming the leader of something for every wrongness at that. It's just like blaming Fast Eddie, the webmaster for every Natter and mistakes on This Very Wiki.

Even though it's a fallacy, it's very common in the armed forces of many countries, where the ranking member of a unit can be held accountable for some failure or another. It's fairly common for a base commander to be relieved of their responsibilities after a particularly embarassing screw-up or failed inspection, even if the failure happened well below their level in the chain, because as commander, they are responsible for everyone who works for them, and their conduct.

When Follow the Leader occurs, this would make you blame the leader for all those imitators/copies that appeared, or become Seinfeld Is Unfunny.

Compare Scapegoat Creator. Related to The Chains of Commanding.

No Real Life Examples, Please! - lots of politics consists of this. Which shouldn't be discussed at here.

Examples

Film
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country has Kirk and McCoy being convicted in a Kangaroo Court when Kirk was maneuvered into claiming responsibility for what was believed to be two members of his crew assassinating the Klingon Chancellor, on the grounds that he was responsible for the actions of his crew.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • Donald Trump is quick to do this on The Apprentice, singling out team leaders when the team fails. Naturally, other members of the losing team are equally quick to try to divert blame to the team leader, to save their own necks.

Web Comic
  • In Strip #75 of Order Of The Stick, ("The Blame Game") Elan, Haley and Belkar do this when Durkon gets separated from the rest of the group. When Roy points out that NONE of them remembered to bring Durkon along, Haley uses the following excuse:
"The three of us are so consistently and staggeringly irresponsible that it's utterly unreasonable to expect us to have been paying any attention in the first place."
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • October 4, 2012
    TonyG
    First rule of management: Everything is your fault.
    -Hopper, A Bugs Life
  • October 4, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Nice quote, added.
  • October 5, 2012
    Chabal2
    Mentioned by Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter; now that Voldemort's existence is publicly recognized, everyone is asking why action wasn't taken sooner. In this case, they're actually right, as he had at least two years of Dumbledore and Harry repeatedly saying Voldemort was back.
  • October 5, 2012
    AFP
    Alternate quote:

    Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
  • October 5, 2012
    AFP
    Very common in the armed forces of many countries, where the ranking member of a unit can be held accountable for some failure or another. It's fairly common for a base commander to be relieved of their responsibilities after a particularly embarassing screw-up or failed inspection, even if the failure happened well below their level in the chain, because as commander, they are responsible for everyone who works for them, and their conduct.

    Related to The Chains Of Commanding.

    • Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country has Kirk and McCoy being convicted in a Kangaroo Court when Kirk was maneuvered into claiming responsibility for what was believed to be two members of his crew assassinating the Klingon Chancellor, on the grounds that he was responsible for the actions of his crew.

  • October 5, 2012
    Quatic
    Donald Trump is quick to do this on The Apprentice, singling out team leaders when the team fails. Naturally, other members of the losing team are equally quick to try to divert blame to the team leader, to save their own necks.
  • October 6, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    When someone takes "the buck stops here" to perhaps unreasonable levels? A lot of starship captains and assorted field commanders in popular media works will at least give lip service to the idea that they are responsible for everything that happens under their command, and if called on it will generally accept such responsibility (if they're any kind of hero, anyway) even if they couldn't have been reasonably expected to prevent a particular incident.

    It may be hard to specify whether a charge of culpability in a leader is reasonable or not, especially considering that taking responsibility for everything that happens under one's command or administration is considered by many a mark of good leadership.
  • October 6, 2012
    RedneckRocker
    • In Strip #75 of Order Of The Stick, ("The Blame Game") Elan, Haley and Belkar do this when Durkon gets separated from the rest of the group. When Roy points out that NONE of them remembered to bring Durkon along, Haley uses the following excuse:

    "The three of us are so consistently and staggeringly irresponsible that it's utterly unreasonable to expect us to have been paying any attention in the first place."

    In other words, they can't be blamed since they always screw up.
  • October 6, 2012
    AFP
    Incidentally, the Star Trek VI example should be under Film, not Live Action TV.
  • October 6, 2012
    DracMonster
  • October 8, 2012
    Rotpar
    • In the Excel Saga manga, the Department of City Security is more then willing to let Iwata be the leader on their exploration of the sewer, being as he is the only one who wants to play "defender of the city", the others just want quiet government office jobs. They throw him under the bus when the expensive, prototype ray gun they were entrusted with disappears. Dr. Kabapu, accidentally having given them the worthless wooden mockup, gives Iwata a grueling physical punishment, intending to spare him from it when the team asks for mercy, to show his generosity. They leave Iwata to his fate and go back to the office.

    I'll have to double check, and that will take a bit of time, but I believe they keep reminding him he's "the leader" whenever danger arises, given that he dies and returns as a cyborg and can be rebuilt.
  • October 8, 2012
    EFraim
    It is not necessarily a fallacy. A manager is responsible for what his underlings do *as far as work is concerned.* How can this be incorporated into this trope page?
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