: I never did anything to hurt you !
: Indeed, my lady. You did nothing. You did nothing when my father had my mother killed so that you could sit in her place. As you did nothing when my father banished me.
Igraine: No queen questions her king.
Morgan: And I thought my opinion of you couldn't get any lower.
-- Starz's Camelot, during Igraine and Morgan's second scene together
So, let's say Alice was abused by her dad, Evulvz. She was a favorite victim of his, and his abuse was made of both emotional and physical patterns. From her childhood to early adulthood, he made her life a real mess and when she finally managed to make Evulvz Sealed Evil in a Can
with help of her beloved, Danny, everyone expected them to rejoice. They were supposed to go straight to Charlie and Bob, the Apathetic Citizens
, who watched the abuse thinking that it was Somebody Else's Problem
, or to Claire, the Innocent Bystander
who was unable to do anything, and to throw a party and invite them.
Except they want to have them caught. Now. And to charge them all as accomplices to Alice's dad's abuse. And burn their crops. And resiliate their suscribtion to cable channels. Turns out, doing nothing wasn't that much of a great plan.
The level of sympathy given to both parties (the accusers, be they the victim or not, on one hand and the accused, on the other) can vary, depending on whether it was the bystander being oblivious or knowing all along, but also on whether the character refused to help, or was also another innocent victim, or was simply incapable to offer help. There is also the issue of Alice's reaction to the abuse. She can turn into Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
or into a Knight in Sour Armor
Compare Failure-to-Save Murder
, which has a strong overlap rate. Compare and contrast Cruel Mercy
wich the non-intervention may be from the point of view of the inactive party, thus making the accusation justified.
See also a common cause for this trope, Moral Myopia
, the All-Powerful Bystander
who is likely to be seen as this, and You Were Trying Too Hard
, for the almost-opposite.
Possible overlap with Hitler Ate Sugar
, could involve Insane Troll Logic
in some cases.
Anime and Manga
- Zira blames Kovu in The Lion King 2, after Nuka dies in the fight with Simba.
Kovu: I did nothing!
Zira: Exactly! And in doing so, you betrayed your pride, betrayed Scar!
Kovu: I want nothing more to do with him!
Zira: You cannot escape it! Nuka is dead because of you! You've killed your own brother!
- This is an audience reaction to Ryuk from Death Note : technically while he didn't force Light to kill criminals he did cause the whole plot to even start by dropping the book in the human world.
- In W.I.T.C.H., Ari of Arkhanta, who possesses a slave he uses only for his greedy motives, has a massive grudge against the oracle of Kandrakhar, the benevolent figure who saves everyone's life once a week. Why ? Unlike the man, who obsessed about changing his son, the Oracle didn't ever try to "cure" the child's autism.
Live action Movies
- Morgan's reason for hating Igraine is apparently this, as Igraine never opposed her father when he tried to destroy her childhood. It appears later on that there is also a dose of Irrational Hatred in this since Igraine couldn't have escaped Uther's will (he was really a domineering violent king). When Morgan stabs Igraine in the season 1 finale, her stepmother reveals that Uther wanted to kill his own daughter, and that she convinced him to simply send her away in a covent to protect Morgan.
- Desperate Housewives has this as the main motive of Paul Young, after the main characters couldn't do anything else than simply let him be framed. He is also offended because they didn't visit him in jail, still.
- In the backstory of Justified Hunter Mosley was the sheriff of Harlan County when Henry Crowder kidnapped, raped and murdered Mosley's young niece. Henry fled and the other members of the Crowder family refused to reveal where he was hiding. Mosley made a Deal with the Devil with a Miami drug cartel and with their help located Henry and murdered him in revenge. He then went after the other Crowders and while he could not have them arrested as Henry's accomplices, there were plenty of other crimes they were guilty of and could be sent to prison for. Even years later he still holds a grudge against the Crowders even though the remaining members of the family had no role in the matter.
- Canonically, on Once Upon a Time, this is probably supposed to be Regina's motivation for extracting revenge on Snow White, who was manipulated by Regina's mother Cora into revealing the identity of Regina's lover, all despite swearing to never to say a word about it to Cora, who then killed him. This is left ambiguous and she may believe that Snow White was more than negligent and planed it all from the start.
: (having an Indulgent Fantasy Segue about strangling the girl)
My mother corrupts young souls. If you had been stronger, none of this would've ever have happened...
- Fanon for makes this part of Regina's motivation for asking her dad to act as a manservant and later killing him to further her plans. He seems to expect this, but she denies this with an heartfelt Do Not Go Gentle speech and thanks him for always trying to help.
- This may be her motivation for ruining the lives of every inhabitant of her kingdom. Her mother abused her for years, killed her lover and forced her to watch and to marry a middle-aged widower ? Well, they are fine with it. She tries to kill their princess ? They unleash their wrath on her.
- Seinfeld is a prime example in the last episode of the last season. The episode is about the cast not helping someone getting mugged on the street in broad daylight, and them being arrested, trialed (with everybody they managed to somehow piss off with their Jerkassery over several seasons coming Back for the Finale as witnesses) and then put in jail because of a recently-passed "Good Samaritan" law.
- Subverted in an episode of Taggart; members of a criminal gang are being murdered and the prime suspect is the daughter of a have-a-go-hero who got beaten to death for his trouble (by the leader, the other gang members just stood by). They arrest her after she shoots said leader however when they try to call her out for killing the other gang members, she denies it. They realise that said leader had manipulated her into shooting him (he was wearing a bullet proof vest) and was the one who killed his former partners in crime.
- In V-2009, this culminates for Erica after she must watch her ex-husband die in her arms because of an attack by the aliens, just after escaping what everyone thinks was a kidnapping, and is just narrowly cleared of accusations of being The Mole. But this is not over, because she must bear her son Tyler's sneering comments about how she couldn't save her husband and should have, leading to Failure-to-Save Murder.
- She is understandably angry and depressed and this souds shocking to her, just like the cases of teenagers chastizing the church for not meddling in V politics. Though, when you read Tyler's previous actions, you realize that he often blaimed her for not helping the cute (ruthless homicidal totalitarian) and charismatic Hive Queen of the Vs, his friends, or himself when she could barely intervene...
- Batman Begins : Bruce could, from the beginning, quite rightflly cause this reaction with one of his lines.
I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you...
- TDK has this somewhat as the reason for Harvey's rampage, as he goes after everybody who had something to do with Rachel Dawes' death, including (or would, at term, include) those who had nothing to do with it (like the mob boss other than Maroni he blows away at the bar, since he helped hire the Joker, but surely had nothing to do with him and the rest of the movie's plot after *that*).
- In the film adaptation of Night Watch, a cornered vampire girl blames the Night Watch (ostensibly the good guys) for her turning into a vampire and subsequent crimes, since the vampire who turned her was doing so legally under the Balance Between Good and Evil treaty, so the Night Watch couldn't intervene.
- Ulysses is constantly blamed for the amount of mind-boggling STUPID his crew members can wack. They are always eager to disobey the orders of the superior forces, and when he tries to apologize for them, he is usually held responsible.
- Electra has the poor Chrysothemis, who seems to be blamed for not really taking a side in the terrible family conflict. She is sweet and is well-adjusted, so she probably will have an easy life...
- In The Bible, Matthew 25:41-45 showcases the fate of those who are not chosen by God when the Day of Judgment comes :
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
- In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten Judge Nemo blames everyone for the death of Artina, and considers everyone evil because no one helped him when he was tortured.
- In the game Misao, Kudou saw Misao being bullied, but didn't take action against it, and Misao executes him by driving a car over him.
- World of Warcraft: Grand Magister Rommath (along other blood elves) hate the Kirin Tor because they did nothing when every elf in Dalaran, a city many of them considered home, was imprisoned and sentenced to death because of a false accusation.
Rommath: "A monumental betrayal. In Dalaran, beneath the ever watchful eyes of the Kirin Tor."
Aethas Sunreaver: They really had nothing to do with --"
Rommath: "I assume you mean that the Kirin Tor did nothing. Did nothing to prevent it, did nothing to stop it. And instead left us to rot in the prisons beneath a city many of us called home as much as ever we did Silvermoon."
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: After Lizzie learns that Bing Lee simply left her sister Jane because his sister Caroline and his friend Darcy told him that she wasn't interested in him, she is about to forgive him. Then, she realizes that he understood the situation later, but couldn't muster the courage to do anything. And from that point, she hates him.
- In Squaresville, it is hinted that the group of protagonists which we follow are a bunch of social outcasts. They are victims, if not of bullying, at least of condescending remarks from the other children, even the comformist outcasts, and the mots jaded of them all, Esther, has a grudge against Shelly, a girl who "escaped" their current condition, and did nothing to help.
- This is very much Truth in Television in certain situations, as far as judiciary system goes, since you can be prosecuted for not taking any action to help somenone in peril (officially known as the duty to rescue concept)..
- Céline Rapahaël, a Frenchwoman victim of a Stage Dad, wrote a book about the abuse she underwent. The examples are treated in the Litterature section.