It is not easy to admit that we are responsible for our actions and deserve to be blamed—in fact for some people it's one of, if not the most difficult thing(s) to do—and it is often far more comfortable to play the Blame Game and convince ourselves that it is the fault of another, even though this is the coward's way out. We may blame others even when we know deep down in our hearts that it is our fault. Due to the Rule of Drama, fictional characters will blame themselves for things going south most of the time, but there are some cases where, just like in Real Life, the character who really is to blame will blame everyone else instead. Common variations include:
The person stuck with the blame fails to defend himself, perhaps out of sheer dumbfoundedness at the other person's gall.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: From her first episode onward, Asuka always blames Shinji when missions and training go wrong, whether it's her mistake or completely beyond anyone's control. For variety, she also rips into him for apologizing for something he had no control over.
Happens all the time in Ranma ½. When something bad happens, the characters demand that the fault lies with someone else. Examples include Ranma not accepting responsibility for causing Ryoga to turn into a pig even though he pushed him into the spring. Ryoga blamed Ranma for missing the fight there were supposed to have before Ranma moved away, even though Ryoga was the one who missed the fight due to his own faulty sense of direction. Similarly every argument Ranma has with Akane is somehow always Ranma's fault. This trope is to be expected since the author herself describes the series as a Gag Manga.
Taken a bit further than normal in Fushigi Boshi No Futago Hime: An episode has Altessa blaming Sophie for losing at a track meet, even though it's Altessa who started the whole thing by knocking over Sophie's basket with a ball. It's taken a bit further because she decides to retaliate in the following episode at a balloon race between their kingdoms. Amusingly, instead of getting all defensive against Altessa's accusation, Sophie brushes off her threat of retaliation with "You don't have to pay me back"... she's that kind of character.
Bulma during the Shadow Dragons Arc in Dragon Ball GT somehow manages to blame Goku for starting the cycle of looking for the Dragon Balls, despite him not even knowing about them until she showed up looking for them in the original Dragon Ball.
Akito of Fruits Basket cannot fathom being to blame for anything. Have sex withKureno, while most can see that Shigure clearly loves her and then kick said lover off the Sohma estate when they sleep with Ren, Akito's mother as Revenge? It's her Zodiac to do with as she pleases. Lock somebody in isolation when they try to steal a "special" box that Akito knows is clearly empty? It's perfectly justified to put somebody's life in danger and what on earth is Kureno thinking betraying Akito and freeing said person from harm? And then Hatsuharu calls her out for almost killing Isuzu twice because she hates women for no good reason. Akito counters with telling him that it was really his fault that she was put in danger at all because he dated Isuzu anyway knowing that Akito hated her. Surprisingly, Hatsuharu agrees that he is partially to blame for Isuzu's suffering. Justified, since it's difficult for members of the Zodiac to think badly of Akito due to her supernatural influence over them as their "God".
A particularly vicious example can also be found when Akito attacks Hatori with what looks like a vase, blinding him in one eye, and immediately starts asking the maimed doctor "Hatori, what's wrong?" before accusing Kana, Hatori's innocent would-be fiancee, of being responsible for Hatori's pain. Kana ends up agreeing, and the whole situation goes downhill from there.
Azumanga Daioh: Tomo just can't take a lesson about her Jerkass behavior when she gets bitten by Mayaa. She'll "never trust an animal again" after she was the one treating it aggressively.
In an early Pokémon episode, Ash is right on the verge of capturing a Weedle, when he is rudely interrupted by a samurai, who challenges him to a Pokémon match. During said match, which is a Mirror Match between their two Metapod taking Harden commands, the Weedle manages to escape back into its tree and alert the Beedrill, who capture Ash's Metapod. In one of the series' earliest Broken Aesops, Ash is forced to learn a lesson about not making excuses about not finishing what he started, even though it was the fault of the samurai, who berates him for all of this, that Ash wasn't able to finish in the first place, all because he didn't have the courtesy to wait until Ash was done. Even after all is said and done, and Ash rescues Metapod, he's still short one Weedle, which would eventually evolve into a Beedrill.
A partial example: Ohgi holds resentment towards Zero for his abandonment during the Black Rebellion and subsequent one-year disappearance, yet never takes his relationship with Villetta, the person linked to at least some degree with the two, or his resulting carelessness, into account.
Another short-lived example is with Lelouch himself at the beginning. After he badly underestimates an opponent to the point where he would have been beaten if C.C hadn't saved him, he blames his subordinates for not following his orders (and while it is true that they didn't, he knew they were a bunch of untrained, undisciplined freedom fighters rather than a professional army, so he should have expected it,) and for his forces being so heavily at a disadvantage (again true, but again he knew that would be the case before going into battle, but went anyway). C.C just laughs at him, and points out that a good commander would make sure the battlefield was set to his advantage before starting. To his credit, Lelouch takes this advice very much to heart, and never lets himself get outmaneuvered to that extent again. Later on in the series, he shifts far to the other side of the self-blame spectrum.
Even worse, when the boys try and go into the other of the two hot springs because the girls are in the first one, it turns out that the girls have switched. And the boys get blamed again.
The entire plot of Paranoia Agent completely revolves around this. Japanese society has become so apathetic and uncaring, that everyone just makes excuses for why they couldn't get anything done, like being late for a delivery due to traffic. This results in one girl creating an urban legend Eldritch Abomination whose concept quickly spreads to everyone else to use a scapegoat to allow themselves to feel better for not owning up responsibility for their own actions. Said abomination eventually grows and causes catastrophic devastation. The kicker? said girl created the concept when she was younger as a result of a puppy dying under her care and not wanting to face the consequences. And only revived it as a way to deal with a deadline she couldn't make at work. Everyone else just picked up on it that it became real. Once she actually does finally does admit to her mistake that started all of this, does the abomination go away for good.
In the first chapter of Samurai High School, Tsukiko says the reason she's mistaken for a guy is that her brother doesn't act like one.
Dewey in Eureka Seven blames Holland for the failure of the sacrificial ritual, even though it was his own anger and impulsively trying to carry it out in response to being denied the right that caused it in the first place.
One of the best known examples is Eddie Brock, who blames Spider-Man for destroying his journalistic career in both the 616 and Maguire/Raimi movie continuities, when in both cases all Peter did was expose Brock's lack of ethics. In 616, Brock said he knew who the serial killer was, only for Spider to bring in the real crook while Eddie's guy turned out to be a serial confessor. In the film, Peter busts him for selling photoshopped pictures to the Daily Bugle.
Peter Parker's boss J. Jonah Jameson is guilty of this from time to time as well. His irresponsible journalism often puts people's lives at risk, but he always blames Spider-Man for causing the problems.
Subverted in Amazing Spider-Man #654 where Alistair Smythe kills Jameson's wife, Marla (who took the hit that was meant for him). He even says that he's not going to blame Spider-Man, instead saying that "It's All My Fault."
Also in Ultimate Spider-Man, after Peter gets his powers, he finally stands up to Jerk Jock Flash Thompson. They get in a fight, which Peter calmly tries to talk Flash out of, while the creep keeps throwing punches at him. Finally Peter catches Flash's hand and breaks it by accident. Flash goes crying to his mommy and daddy who sue Aunt May and Uncle Ben for the medical bills.
Another example in Ultimate Spider-Man would be Norman Osborn, who blames everyone but himself for his own crimes and the horrible things he's done both to his own body and to his son. In particular, he seems convinced that Nick Fury is behind everything bad that ever happens to him, motivated out of jealousy.
It gets taken to ridiculous extremes in Spider-Man. There was a girl who kept being in the wrong place at the wrong time and kept having to deal with an insane crisis with Spider-Man in some manner. This happens for years because Peter just happened to go to the same school as the woman. So because of this, she shut herself in and became an extreme recluse and thought Spider-Man was stalking her. She blamed him for ruining her life. Nevermind that he was saving the day, it was his fault that her life was so miserable. She reports this to the Daily Bugle where Peter Parker, of all people, took her picture for her story.
Decades later, with Spider-Man long dead, the now elderly woman is still a recluse. When an angry Mary Jane called her out on slandering Spider-Man, she admitted that the real reason she did that was because it made her feel special. Deep down she actually liked the idea of a superhero being interested in her. Without Spider-Man her life is now completely empty.
The entire basis of Doctor Doom's vendetta against the Fantastic Four is that he is unable to accept that Reed Richards was actually right when warning him of a critical error in his calculations during an experiment Doom was conducting. Doom dismissed Reed's warnings as jealousy, only for the experiment to blow up in his face. The idea that Richards was correct — and therefore, in Doom's eyes, smarter than him — was so abhorrent to Doom that he concluded that Reed had deliberately sabotaged Doom's experiment, and so has attempted to creatively kill Richards and his family on numerous occasions. Even more jarring is that the retcon shows that Doom really was right and Richards was indeed wrong: the machine worked perfectly. It blew up because Doom used it to take a peek into Hell. note This is played slightly differently in the Ultimate Universe - Reed's calculations were fine, but Victor altered them & caused the accident that transformed them all. When Reed calls Victor out on this, he claims that he didn't cause the accident but that Reed's calculations were so wrong that even he couldn't fix them. With Doom it's more "Always Reed Richards' Fault".
FF #5 reveals that the accident was apparently Ben's fault. Issue #9 puts the kibosh on that and reveals that alternate universe/timeline Dooms from the future made sure it would happen, and past Doom went along with it after seeing how powerful he would become in the future. So the accident was all Doom's fault.
In the Squadron Supreme limited series, Nuke blames Tom Thumb after his parents died. Though it's obvious that Nuke's power killed them, he blames Tom for not finding a cure for cancer in time.
Despite Magneto's desire to help his fellow mutants and deliver them from persecution his actions have probably done more to hurt his cause (and harmed more mutants) than he has helped. Naturally, this is always humanity's fault.
That depends a lot on who is writing him. Most of the time it is subverted as he sees that he is culpable for what he did and is ready to do, but he feels he has to do what is necessary, not what is morally right. Chris Claremont brought this out very well in Uncanny X-Men #275, where he says "My people are in danger [...] and a kinder, gentler Magneto cannot save them", and where there is also this telling exchange with Colonel Semyanov, who betrayed him, Rogue and the forces of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the Big Bad, Zaladane, in order to get revenge on Magneto for killing his son 125 issues earlier:
Magneto: I am sorry for your son, Colonel. Which is more than I ever heard for the slaughter of those I loved.
Semyanov: Your daughter, you mean? And that absolves you of any crime?
Magneto: For who we are and what we have done, comrade colonel, we are both condemned. (kills him)
Countless European Scrooge McDuck stories have Scrooge engaging in this. A common story template goes like this: Scrooge starts worrying that he's losing money (or in most cases not making as many billions as he used to). Scrooge whines about it to Donald Duck who either gives him a well meaning suggestion or simply makes a random remark that gives Scrooge an idea. Scrooge immediately implements said idea spending a ton of money. Said idea fails due to a reason that could have been anticipated with a market test or simple common sense. Scrooge laments the loss of the money... and immediately blames Donald, with the story ending with Scrooge chasing him with the intent of causing bodily harm.
Here's a concrete example of the above: in one story, Scrooge notices that his business is slowing down... because Scrooge already produces everything and there are no markets to expand into. Scrooge goes to Donald's house in the middle of the night to whine about it prompting him to snidely remark "You'd even sell dreams if you could, wouldn't you?". This gives Scrooge the idea to do just that. He enlists Gyro Gearloose to create a dream selling business via a machine that accesses your greatest desires and turns them into a dream stored in a tape that you can "replay" while you sleep. The business is a success... then Scrooge finds out that all his other businesses are going under thanks to people gradually replacing their non-essential possessions with dreams (why have anything else when you can relive your innermost desires every night?). Guess who Scrooge blames?
In another comic, Scrooge stages several robberies just to keep employees on their toes. Naturally, nobody believes him when he is genuinely robbed, but instead of acknowledging that he is at fault, he gets angry at Donald for not helping him.
Donald Duck himself is not immune to this trope, Depending on the Writer. It's not like he doesn't want to work... it's just that no job is available in a two-meters range from his sofa. Not his fault, really. Daisy is probably cosmically endowed with this trope: if you find her admitting any fault, you get a prize.
Superboy Prime kills a multitude of people, but refuses to take responsibility. Coming from a world where he was the only superhero, and being parented by a Golden Age Superman, he thinks the DC universe is full of degenerates. In his mind, it's their fault that he's driven to kill. No one agrees with him.
In the gaming comic Knights of the Dinner Table, anything bad that happens to Bob, Dave, and Brian is always somebody else's fault. No exceptions.
In their Hackmaster role-playing campaign, the boys' characters, called The Untouchable Trio, have burned villages to the ground, started wars, committed mass murder, devastated entire nations ... Yet, whenever the Untouchable Trio encountered trouble from people knowing them by reputation and hating them, the boys would immediately start whining about how they were always getting "screwed over." When the Untouchable Trio was arrested and taken under imperial guard to stand trial for their crimes, Bob accused B.A. (the group's GM) of having a vendetta against their characters. It never seemed to occur to Bob that being put in prison just might be a logical consequence of killing thousands of innocent people.
When Sara tried to run the group through an adventure she had designed (and won an award for), the boys kept wasting time hunting small animals for easy experience, and doing other trivial activities that had nothing to do with the adventure. When the game went sour as a result, Bob blamed Sara, asking her, "You claim this piece of *** took top honors?"
In one storyline, B.A. ran the group through the module The Biggest Damn Dungeon Ever, which was rated as being an extremely dangerous adventure. The group kept sending their 1st-level characters into the deadliest part of the dungeon, and when their characters always died, the boys blamed B.A., and insinuated that he was cheating.
Pre-Flashpoint, Deathstroke's entire motivation for hating the Teen Titans and trying to kill them was that he blamed them for the loss of his family. In reality, Deathstroke himself was the one who drove them away with his life as an amoral mercenary. Averted in one storyline when he eventually realized he was a terrible father. He enacted a scheme to endear his remaining two children to the Teen Titans so they could have the family he couldn't give them.
This is a major part of Lex Luthor's character. Whenever he does something horribly immoral, he always finds a way to blame Superman or anyone else around him, refusing to believe he could ever make a mistake. He is unshakably convinced that he is always in the right. This was taken to new extremes in "Luthor Unleashed" when he built a power suit in anticipation of Superman coming after him and uses it to wreak havoc on an alien world. When Superman does arrive, Lex sets off a device that destroys the planet and kills his wife and son. Naturally he blames Superman for this.
Not surprising since Lex DIDN'T destroy the planet it was the fault of Superman reflecting an energy blast at a device Lex create to protect the planet (Lexor) from exploding a la Krypton.
The Pink Panther once suffered an accident while skiing and blamed it on a tree.
In Avengers Vs X Men, Captain America First chooses to consult a man who was already in conflict with Cyclops, then ignoring the fact that the Phoenix was almost always under control during Jean possession, and completely under control with Rachel's possession. He goes to Utopia...a sovereign nation, and he tells their leader to give up his granddaughter and brings an army to the fight. When asked to leave he refuses. He then leads in pushing and poking the Phoenix empowered X-men although they were only improving the world, which Reed Richards points out. He refuses to take responsibility for provoking the war and blames Cyclops entirely.
However, it's not nearly that simple. Utopia's sovereignty was exceptionally questionable, with Word of God stating that Utopia wasn't a real nation. Captain America was coming to Utopia to potentially stop a threat from destroying the world, and Cyclops was convinced it was going to save Mutantkind with no real proof other than his own beliefs. Cap's refusal was more due to the urgency of the situation, and the "army" he brought with him was because he was going into a location with an army of their own. The "Never My Fault" really applies to Cyclops, who refused to take any responsibility for the fight at all, and still clung to the notion that he was right, even after he killed his mentor and tries to destroy the world, landing him in prison.
Much later... Captain America and Professor Xavier get the X-Men and the Avengers together to gang up on Cyclops and Emma. While the X-Men and the Avengers attack him physically Xavier tries to mind wipe him. Cyclops begs him to stop, but he doesn't so Cyclops channeling the power of the Phoenix Force, kills Professor Xavier in a fit of rage when Xavier tries to Mind Wipe him again. Cyclops breaks down crying...and blames CaptainAmerica for making him do it.
In the end, Cap subverts this by accepting some responsibility for the whole mess. Cap resolves to be more supportive of mutants in general and officially endorses the X-Men. Meanwhile, Cyclops refuses to acknowledge he was wrong, even while he is awaiting punishment for killing Xavier.
Lucifer: "The devil made me do it." I have never forced one of them to do anything... They own themselves: they just hate to admit to it.
Green Lantern has the Guardians of the Universe. Ironically, they became the Guardians in the first place to become a species-wide The Atoner example in reaction to Krona, but they became this over time as they tried to protect the universe their own way. It became worse and worse over Geoff Johns' run on the series until it came to a head in Rise Of The Third Army, wherein they decide that the problems of the universe are caused by emotion itself, and thus Emotion Suppression and removal of The Evils of Free Will will remove the problems. This is in the face of the fact that the problems of the previous two armies were pretty much entirely their own fault. The Manhunters were created by them (and replaced by the extremely similar and also eventually evilAlpha Lantern Corps), and the Green Lantern Corps were led by misinformation and factors completely beyond their control, with their last "problem" being that one of them managed to kill a rogue Guardian. To lay into this contrast, when a group of Oans who have not been in contact with the majority of the Guardians see them after millennia, they react in horror to what has become of them.
Simba: I've never stopped worrying. And really, if you think about it, it's kinda your fault.
Nala: Huh? What makes it my fault?
A more serious example occurs in The Curse of Death, where Simba blames the Hermit of Hekima for causing him trouble, despite it being all his fault.
Assumptions: Rainbow Dash's huge ego makes it downright impossible apologize to Caramel, who has been nothing but kind to her, after he find out she nearly killed him with a botched aerial trick. Rainbow chooses to fly away in shame rather than admit she wronged him, but later halfway-apologizes, which Caramel accepts.
There have been quite a few Harry Potter fanfics written from the point of view of the Slytherin students. Very often in these stories, the Slytherins view themselves as the victims of injustice, of rampant "anti-Slytherin prejudice." The fact that people dislike or distrust the Slytherins never seems to be the Slytherins' fault for being bigots, bullies, or otherwise openly cruel and hostile to other students, particularly Muggle-borns.
In The Blue Blur of Termina, Tatl stops Sonic from going after the Skull Kid and, as a result, gets left behind and accidentally injured by the imp. She immediately blames Sonic who, in turn, immediately calls her out on it:
Sonic:If it weren't for you and your friend, you wouldn't even be in this mess!
Elly Patterson loves doing this in The New Retcons though the rest of her family isn't exactly innocent either. One example is blaming April for letting Farley and Sera get together while Sera was in heat when neither Elly nor Sera's owner Connie had bothered to spay/neuter their dogs. (And remember, April was four at the time.)
Then again, this seems to be one of the things Connie likes to enable her on, seeing how she was so ready to blame everyone but Elly and herself for the recent troubles in their lives: John for finally seeking treatment for Elly, or as Connie saw it, 'turning Elly against her', Claire for seeking her biological mother Elly out, and blamed Liz for her son's homosexuality, saying she didn't try hard enough to cure him.
Death Note Equestria: Twilight admits that she's had to kill a lot of innocent ponies in order to protect her identity, but says it's all L's fault — if she wasn't hunting Twilight, Twilight could have just focused on criminals.
In The Incredibles, Syndrome's motivation falls kind of flat when you realize that even though Mr. Incredible told him he worked alone, Buddy had distracted him repeatedly, let Bomb Voyage escape, and had nearly gotten killed because he repeatedly tried to "help".
In Brave, Merida spends most of the film refusing to acknowledge her own role in the political disaster and her mother being turned into a bear. Actually admitting her fault is an essential bit of Character Development for her.
Frollo, a pious, merciless man, develops an obsession with the gypsy Esmeralda, rationalizing his lust by claiming she seduced him. All she did was flirt with him a little during her dance.
Frollo: It's not my fault! / I'm not to blame! / It is the gypsy girl, the witch who sent this flame!
He then goes on to blame GOD.
Frollo: It's not my fault, / If in God's plan / He made the devil so much stronger than a man!
Frollo also chases a woman through the city on his horse because he thinks the bundle she's carrying is stolen property, only to unintentionally kill her in front of Notre Dame; his excuse to the Archdeacon is that wouldn't have happened if she hadn't run from him in the first place. He also orders his men to burn down a home, with an innocent family still inside, with the excuse that they were harboring gypsies (despite the only "proof" being that someone had found a gypsy emblem on their property).
Done by Goofy of all characters in A Goofy Movie. When their car starts rolling down the mountain he blames Max for both the car running away, (Goofy should have put the brakes on) and the door being locked. Max retorts that the locked door was on Goofy's side. Goofy then blames Max for distracting him and tells Max he should have put the brakes on himself, then he accidentally breaks it. Max use that to show that Goofy "ruin everything". Then Goofy blames Max for "ruining the vacation". Then Max told him he never even wanted to come and should have just let him stay home. The argument ends with Goofy saying all he wanted was to spend time with him and doesn't want them to become any more distant.
In Caddyshack. Rodney Dangerfield drops his anchor into another boat. The other boat sinks, yet all Rodney says is "You scratched my anchor!"
It's "okay" because the other guy is a gigantic dick, and though Dangerfield is even more of a dick than that to him, he's a charming, amicable schmoozer to everyone else.
Epitomized by the comic duo Laurel and Hardy. Whenever things went wrong, Hardy would blame Laurel (regardless of what part of the blame he truly carried) with a reproachful "here's another nice mess you've gotten me into".
This schtick is borrowed by Illuminatus!! where various different figures appear dressed as Laurel and Hardy, e.g. The Flood, everyone except Noah and Co have been drowned for their sins by a vengeful God. Jehovah (as Ollie) turns to Lucifer (as Stan) and says, "Now look what you made me do!" Lucifer cries. Hiroshima, a mushroom cloud rises above the city. Tens of thousands have been killed in a split second. President Truman (as Ollie) turns to Albert Einstein (as Stan) and says, "Now look what you made me do!" Einstein cries. etc.
Likewise, Moe of The Three Stooges was quick to pin blame and administer physical punishment against Larry and Curly (or Shemp), even when whatever hilarious accident that had happened to Moe was his own fault.
Harry blaming Peter for his father's death, even after finding out that his father was the Green Goblin. And in the third movie he at first refuses to help Peter save MJ at the end, blaming Peter for disfiguring his face. It was Harry's own stupid fault for throwing a grenade at Peter in the first place!
Also Doctor Octopus in both the novelization and the videogame of the second movie blames Spider-Man for his wife's death, when it was the Doctor's own experiment that led to Rosie's death. The videogame adaptation has him snap out of his evil personality and admit that it was his own vanity that killed her. Ironically, his film incarnation avoids this completely by having Doctor Octopus completely uninterested in Spider-Man up until he's paid to kidnap him.
Eddie Brock hates Peter for costing him the staff job at the Bugle. There are consequences to framing a man for robbery, and falsifying journalistic documents, Eddie. This is actually Truth in Television: people who plagiarize rarely admit that what they're doing is wrong, and/or tell themselves they're a special case.
C-3PO is famous for this, especially in Star Wars: A New Hope when he decides to go a different direction than R2-D2 in the Tatooine desert.
R2-D2: *beckoning whistle*
C-3PO: Where do you think you're going?
C-3PO: Well, I'm not going that way. It's much too rocky. This way is much easier.
C-3PO: What makes you think there are settlements over there?
R2-D2: *beeping and whistling*
C-3PO: Don't get technical with me.
R2-D2: *angry squawks*
C-3PO: What mission? What are you talking about?
R2-D2: *beeping and whistling*
C-3PO: I've just about had enough of you. Go that way. You'll be malfunctioning within a day, you nearsighted scrap pile. *kicks R2*
R2-D2: *startled beep*
C-3PO:*walks off* And don't let me catch you following me begging for help, because you won't get it.
R2-D2: *sad whistling leading into a loud yelp*
C-3PO:*turns around* No more adventures! I'm not going that way
R2-D2: *angry honk and some muttering*
C-3PO: That malfunctioning little twerp. This is all his fault. He tricked me into going this way. But he'll do no better.
Later on, Anakin, waking on the slab, initially has this reaction to being told that he had killed Padme. He thinks that he loves her, always will, could never will her death - but he remembers the cold terror he felt when thinking of her death (said terror is called "the dragon" in the text. It Makes Sense in Context) that made him create Darth Vader, and he remembers Vader's fury and hatred...
And there is one blazing moment in which you finally understand that there was no dragon. That there was no Vader. That there was only you. Only Anakin Skywalker.
In the first Ghostbusters film, Walter Peck gets the Ghostbusters arrested for causing an explosion he himself had caused, in spite of their explicit warnings. Egon's response? "Your mother!"
In X-Men: First Class, Erik blames Moira for Xavier getting shot, even though she was aiming for Erik who deflected the bullet. Xavier then tells Erik that it wasn't her fault, but his.
However, it is subverted as he quickly relents. Also, it does seem a bit harsh to blame Magneto for defending himself; throughout the entire sequence, he is always responding to other people attacking him with lethal intent.
Actually he does this quite a bit: it's only perfectly rational that he's dedicated his life to hunting down and brutally killing a series of individuals, to the point that he not only believes that these men are irredeemable, but that ALL humans are essentially just as bad, and hate mutants for what they are, secretly or openly. He's certainly not to blame for both his own descent into madness, nor single-handedly almost causing WWIII after just having prevented it. Given exactly WHO is responsible for his descent is a bit more valid of a Freudian Excuse than usual, even if it ends up with him being Not So Different, up to the point of agreeing with the primary target of his hunt.
Sean from The Social Network particularly has this problem. He blamed the Winklevii and/or Manningham for "planting" the coke and calling the cops for catching him with underage interns. He also doesn't seem to get how record companies would be pissed to see you take money away from them, chalking it up to the companies not having a sense of humor.
Pick a film. ANY film by Uwe Boll. Listen to the DVD Commentary. He never places the movies' failures on himself but rather on petty grievances from the actors. i.e. Blaming the failure of Alone In The Dark 2005 to actress Tara Reid refusing to show her breasts on screen.
At the end RoboCop 2, after Robocop's intended successor has killed hundreds of people and injured thousands, Johnson from OCP suggests blaming Dr. Faxx. It's a twisted example in that it actually was her fault, but OCP brought her in and her superiors turned a blind eye to what she was doing while her subordinates were too afraid to challenge her. Although, to be fair to Johnson, he did argue against Faxx' plans. It was more the CEO of OCP, known only as the Old Man, who needed the blame to be shifted, and then for legal reasons.
Major Frank Burns in the movie, M*A*S*H, was a terrible doctor and would often have patients die on him, causing him to claim it was God's will, or someone else's fault. In the case we see in the movie, he placed the blame on Private Boone for bringing the wrong instrument (in actuality, the patient died before Boone even got back). Even so, poor Boone was reduced to tears thinking he killed him, leaving Trapper, who saw what happened, to give Major Burns a well deserved punch.
In Cliffhanger... well, let's just repeat what's on the film's page: "Oh sure, Hal, it was Gabe's fault you brought your girlfriend, who had no experience in climbing whatsoever, on a climbing trip. Or never bothered to check her harness, and assured her it was safe to go across a cliff. Oh, but I'm sure you could've saved her when the harness failed when she was halfway across with little to no chance of reaching her or being able to pull her up. But hey, Gabe at least bothering to try was certainly something to blame him for. Yeah, great reasoning pal."
Gennaro, too, is a largely irresponsible man who has allowed significant monetary investment in a project he did very little checking on, under a man (Hammond) he knew to be unsavory, and yet whenever something goes wrong he's the first one to start bitching at someone else. Eventually Grant calls him on it by slamming him into a wall and spitting it all into his face.
In The Magicians, Emily Greenstreet disfigures herself while trying to alter her face with magic; when her boyfriend (who she'd dumped for one of the professors, by the way) tries to help, he loses control of a spell due to being too upset to concentrate and dies in the Magic Misfire. When Quentin meets Emily late in the novel, she blames magic for the disaster, claims magic is the source of all the sorrows in her life and Quentin's life, and accuses all of her fellow magicians of being nuclear bombs waiting to go off. For added hypocriisy, her day job requires magic performed by said nuclear bombs to disguise the fact that she does absolutely nothing.
In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, the basic stance of the cacophiles. Particularly, they blame their parents for not dying and thus shutting them out of an inheritance.
The Napoleon character does this in The Great Divorce: "It was Soult's fault. It was Ney's fault. It was Josephine's fault. It was the fault of the English. It was the fault of the Russians."
The Railway Series: Because the Rev Awdry didn't want to make railwaymen look foolish, the locomotive characters are usually blamed for whatever goes wrong on the railway. Unfortunately, by doing this, the railwaymen look not only foolish, but get off scot-free with endangering lives. There is the below mentioned example of Thomas being blamed for the cleaner fiddling with his controls as well as in Main Line Engines where The Fat Controller blames Gordon for the mix up, even though it was the fireman's fault for starting the train before everything was ready. Also in The Twin Engines he rips into the twins for accidents that aren't even their fault. Percy and the Trousers- The porters were just as much to blame for not keeping an eye on the track. Paint Pots & Queens - The painter loses his footing, spilling his paint, and he blames Henry. Percy's Predicament- The trucks cause Percy to crash, his driver and Fireman can't stop him in time and the Fat Controller still blames Percy.
In Spock's World, the Big Bad, Spock's former fiancee, seems to have this problem. "My mate took a suicidal risk because he thought that my constant brooding about my last encounter with you was romantic? Obviously, it's all your fault."
Aliens Ate My Homework: A bully tries to beat up Rod, but aliens super-accelerate the intended victim so he dodges. The bully breaks his hand on the hard surface behind Rod, and later gets his father to sue Rod's family for damages. Later, fortunately, when the bullies' ringleader, a disguised evil alien, is brought to justice, the alien's "father" confronts the bully and his father with the true story.
The Mass Effect EU book Ascension had an exiled quarian cooperate with Cerberus as revenge for (as he thought) his people banishing him from the Flotilla for no reason. This same quarian had tried to sell his people to the Collectors.
Oblomov is completely unable to change his life by himself; when he gets unhappy he decides to blame Sachar instead. Now Sachar is a Jerk Ass and whatnot, but still Mis-blamed.
In Death series: A number of the villains will always blame everyone but themselves when something goes wrong. Divided In Death had Dr. Mira explicitly telling Eve that Blair Bissel refuses to blame himself and that he has to blame someone else for everything going wrong for him.
Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: A number of villains essentially go around with this attitude. Senator Webster in Payback stands out with refusing to accept the blame for having multiple affairs, and then feebly trying to blame his wife Julia Webster for giving him AIDS. She had to shove the evidence in his face and spell out that recklessly having sex with women caused him to get AIDS, and he passed it on to her, plain and simple! Owen Orzell AKA Jody Jumper in Home Free actually averts or defies the trope by coming out and admitting that he is responsible for what he has done and nobody else.
Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire, likable though he is, has a pretty bad case of this. It gets a bit better with time.
Cersei also has this problem. And unlike Jaime she gets worse. After Joffrey's death, she becomes insanely paranoid and thinks that everything bad happening in Westeros is a conspiracy against her masterminded by her hated brother Tyrion. Even when she confesses her sins in A Dance with Dragons she blames other people for "driving" her into sin.
Ring Lardner's novel "You Know Me Al" is a collection of letters from a young pitcher trying to break into the big leagues. Whenever he writes about one of his poor pitching performances, he starts by saying that he always takes responsibility for his failings (usually with a Title Drop), and then immediately blames everyone else on the team for his loss.
The bully ringleader in Let the Right One In, Johnny, feels this way towards the protagonist, Oskar, smashing him in the head with a piece of wood... while he and a lackey were throwing him into a frozen lake. He retaliates by holding Oskar's head in the path of an oncoming train. Oskar in turn retaliates by burning the bullies' school desks. Unfortunately, the scrapbook with Johnny and his older brother Jimmy's only photos of their father is in his desk. They respond by nearly drowning him, then preparing to cut out his eye. Never once does Johnny acknowledge his horrible treatment of Oskar which drove him to this.
The Onion's Jean Teasdale is an odd example since she does this not out of egotism but out of her complete lack of understandingabout how the real world works, even when the evidence is right in front of her face. She got fired for browsing eBay instead of working, but she insists it's because the boss just didn't like her. In a more extreme example, another article has her talk about how a local magazine called her the worst columnist ever, and she proceeds to completely ignore the reasons they give (which she demonstrates perfectly in that very article) and conclude that they can't handle her sassy, in-your-face style.
In the book of Genesis after Adam and Eve eat from the tree, God finds them hiding under a bush, and he asks what happened. Instead of fessing up, Adam blames Eve for their sin, and Eve blames the serpent. Good thing God couldn't see through that one...
It's actually worse than that; Adam does blame Eve, but does so in a way that implies that God should ultimately take the responsibility: "The woman you put here with me — she gave me the fruit, and I ate it."
In Artemis Fowl:The Last Guardian, Opal Koboi has found a way to blame her arch-rival Foaly for her decision to implant a human pituitary gland in her skull in an attempt to make her body generate more growth hormone, which had the side effect of sapping her magic. The logic involved in her conclusion isn't shown, but is probably of the insane troll variety.
The title character of Tom Gleisner's Warwick Todd books is an Australian cricketer who writes memoirs of his tours with a fictionalised version of the real Australian cricket team. He blames the team's and his own failures on anyone but himself. One subversion involved Todd not joining in on an appeal for a caught behind. "My fault, no question. When Heals goes up, everyone goes up". If you're not from a cricketing nation, you have no idea what you just read.
The title character of The Picture of Dorian Gray is never able to hold himself accountable for his sinful actions. When Sibyl commits suicide, Dorian Gray views her death as a tragic drama in order to avoid responsibility. He even blames Basil for what he has become, and kills him. From Dorian's perspective, it was the knife that killed Basil, leaving Dorian himself blameless.
A common variant that shows up in most crime dramas involves an escaped convict seeking revenge on the cop who arrested him, the lawyer who helped convict him or the witness who testified against him, as payback for landing him in jail. The criminal never accepts that it's their own fault for breaking the law in the first place. This attitude is sometimes, unfortunately, Truth in Television.
Many candid security or "intervention" shows (like Restaurant: Impossible, Hotel Hell, etc.) end up with one or more people falling into this. The general premise of the show goes "My business is failing/I'm getting tons of complaints, and I want to know why", so hidden cameras are set up and/or people are sent in as customers or new employees while wearing a button camera. More often than not, someone is caught red-handed doing anything from slacking off on the job, to stealing supplies, to offering comps just because they find someone cute, to buying lower-quality supplies and pocketing the price difference. Somehow, these people inevitably say "I was just doing my job" or, incredulously, "I was helping YOU out doing this!" Almost never will they say "Well, I got caught, I'm sorry".
Only Fools And Horses: The Trotters have a nasty habit of blaming each other when things go pear-shaped. However, the person being blamed always calls the accuser out on it. One example, in one of the TV specials, quite similar to the Scrooge McDuck example above: after Cassandra kicks Rodney out for seemingly taking another woman out to the pictures, Rodney worries that Cassandra's father is going to fire him, as he's left a message saying that there's something important they need to talk about. Uncle Albert tells one of his war stories about an officer who was facing a court-martial and handed in his resignation. In those days, only commissioned officers were allowed to control the radio room. Because he was the only commisioned communications officer on the ship the ship, they couldn't sail without him. So, they had to refuse his resignation and cancel his court-martial. Rodney follows suit, thinking that Cassandra's father will turn down the resignation, since it's so close to Christmas and more orders are coming in. When Rodney meets him, it turns out he just wanted to talk about the extra workload. Then he finds Rodney's resignation and accepts it. Rodney blames Albert.
Drop the Dead Donkey: The first season had Gus bring in a therapist to control the stress levels, and only succeeds in getting everyone more stressed out in the first place (oddly enough, even though it's Gus who's getting them all wound up, they dress the punching bag up like George, the only decent person in the cast). Gus later orders a group session in which he wants two people to describe what they think about each other. Gus decides on Dave and Henry, who had only just had a blazing row over a race horse that Dave talked Henry into buying. Naturally, a punch up takes place. Gus later announces that he blames George for it. Gus then gets extra Jerkass points for throwing a temper tantrum when George points out that he tried to warn him several times about making Dave and Henry do the exercise.
In another episode, Alex has a cassette tape relating to a potential arms deal story she wants to run (even though running it has a chance of landing George and Gus in prison). She hides it from the police in Dave's desk, unlabeled, and doesn't tell Dave about it. Dave tapes over it, believing it to be a blank that Henry said he was going to leave for him, to make another copy of Sally's recorded office sex. Alex dumps all the blame on Dave, despite the fact that if she'd told him it was her tape, Dave wouldn't have taped over it.
The characters in Frasier tend to like blaming others for their problems, and Frasier often tends to get it in the neck regardless of how fair it is to blame him.
Niles does this quite frequently. Such examples include sending Frasier a repair bill for a crash Niles got in, when listening to Frasier and Kate's office sex on his car radio.
Similarly, there are a lot of problems that arise for the characters where there's faults on all sides, but Frasier will usually get all of the blame, such as when Roz blamed him for people finding out she was pregnant after a series of events that were set in motion when Roz told Daphne that she'd had "a little accident". It could have been avoided if she hadn't said anything at all.
Also, when Niles and Daphne finally got together after Daphne ditching her groom at the altar, which leads to him suing them, she blames Frasier for telling both her and Niles how each other felt, even though they ditched their previous partners by their own choice. Daphne and Niles later acknowledge that they weren't being fair to blame Frasier for everything.
Similar to the above, when Frasier advises everyone to do something they otherwise normally wouldn't do on a Leap Year day, only for disaster to result for everyone involved. While it was as a result of Frasier's advice that things went wrong, his advice was still well-meant and he was hardly directly responsible for everyone's misfortune; but from the way in which everyone delighted in placing all the blame on him you'd think he deliberately stage-managed everything that went wrong out of spite.
Teen Wolf: Pop quiz, a child nearly drowns because you were too busy feeding your underage swim team booze to keep him away from the pool. Is it a) your fault for being irresponsible on twenty different levels or b) the child's fault for not knowing how to swim? Nice job, Mr. Lahey; no one will mourn you, especially not Matt.
In season one of The Cosby Show Claire tries to cheer Rudy up by baking gingerbread. Claire then announces that it'll be a family project, even though Vanessa's mad at Rudy for bothering her when she was trying to do her homework, and Denise has better things to do. Rudy pours flour all over the floor. An argument erupts ending in Rudy running out of the house claiming that she's not a baby. Claire gets mad at the older girls and says that she hopes they're proud of themselves. She apparently forgot whose bright idea it was to force the gingerbread project on everyone in the first place.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: During Mike Nelson's tenure as the leading man, the bots frequently pulled this on Mike. Most notably when they persuade him (against his better judgment) destroy his eyelash mites with the nanites, then treat him as a glory-hungry General Ripper leading a Vietnam-like conflict when things go wrong, 'then berate him for how filthy his eyelashes get afterwards and ask why he wanted to get rid of the mites anyway. Plus the times the moments ended with Nelson blowing up planets.
Lois and Clark: Humorously played with in the pilot episode, which sees Lois and Clark captured and tied up by the bad guys after Lois has pressured Clark into breaking into a suspicious warehouse. Lois angrily blames Clark for their current situation. Clark angrily points out that he's not the one who wanted to break into the warehouse in the first place. After a moment's pause, Lois realizes that he's right - and this triggers an outburst of self-pity about how her recklessness and competitiveness all stems from her upbringing, how her father never paid any attention to her and how she competes with everyone and sleeps with guys from work to compensate for her hidden insecurities, thus leading Clark to save their lives out of frustration with her wangsting as much as anything else.
A running gag on Top Gear is that Jeremy Clarkson denies all responsibility for things that go wrong, blaming the others or claiming it was unintentional (e.g. "I may have accidentally put a cow on the roof of my car.")
A subplot in an episode of The West Wing revolves around someone suing the President for making a remark about the safety of American cars, following which his wife was killed in an accident when she didn't wear a seatbelt. This inspires Sam to work on proposals for increased safety regulations for the auto industry, only for the President himself to shoot him down, pointing out that as much as he sympathizes with the husband's loss and his need to find someone to blame, he can hardly be held responsible if someone chooses to use an off-the-cuff remark he made as an excuse to ignore common sense safety guidelines.
Lois is like this often. In one point she gets into an argument with a cop over whether she cut off another car or not and is given video proof that she did, yet still insists that the video is inaccurate. It was, but she didn't need to know that.
Francis blames most, if not all, of his problems on his mother. When Commandant Spangler asked Francis if there was anything wrong with his life that he didn't blame on Lois, he was stumped. Francis commits unethical behavior repeatedly, including abusing his brothers when they were young and being partially responsible for making them turn out the way they did. His brothers would be much more justified in blaming their problems on him rather than him blaming his problems on a mother who tried to stop him from burning his friggin' teddy bear.
However, to illustrate that Lois is in no way blameless, just take a look at the Season Finale. Lois deliberately screws Malcolm out of a cushy, well-paying job that had fallen into his lap, and proceeds to inform him that she had planned out his entire life for him, intending him to start at nearly the bottom rung of society, and working his way up to becoming President of the United States. All because she blames the family's problems on society taking advantage of them because they're poor, even though the whole reason they're poor is because they're selfish and irresponsible people.
In Friends, Rachel tries to make Ross take full responsibility for their break-up, even though, as Ross puts it, "It took two people to break up this relationship."
In response to that, Rachel said, "Yeah, you and that girl from the copy place." She was claiming that Ross's cheating on her (which Ross vociferously insisted wasn't really cheating because they were "on a break") was the sole reason for their breakup, even though there were numerous problems in their relationship well before that. Or that she had the guy Ross was jealous of come over to comfort her not an hour after their big fight (and he answers the phone when Ross calls to try and patch things up). Other occasions have her claiming Ross begged her for sex even though she came onto him.
Ross has shades of this himself, like when he smoked weed and blamed it on Chandler. (And when his parents found out claimed he was 'tricked into it') A major reason their relationship kept failing was they both refused to take responsibility for anything and blamed the other. This probably stems from the act they were both extremely spoiled as children. In the series finale, they both sort of acknowledge this and resolve to stop being stupid.
On Gossip Girl Chuck has yet to take responsibility for his and Blair's relationship failing, and has even claimed that it was "fate" that broke them up. The reason for their break-up? Chuck traded Blair to his uncle for a hotel. The reason why their attempted reunion failed? Chuck had sex with Blair's main enemy Jenny on the same night he and Blair were supposed to reunite.
Ultimately subverted as part of Chuck's character growth. Eventually he takes responsibility for all of his mistakes, apologizes for them and does everything he can to be a better person.
Blair seems to think she's entirely innocent in hers and Serena's friendship falling apart in season five. Even though this happened because Blair began to date the love of Serena's life (moments after encouraging Serena to go after him) even though she doesn't have feelings for him. During the course of her relationship with Dan she makes out with him right in front of Serena at the hospital just when Serena's grandmother had died, whines to Serena about the things that aren't working in the relationship, makes Serena pretend to be Blair for a couple's interview and generally rubs the relationship in Serena's face more or less all the time. Serena is not innocent in this whole mess either but Blair's offenses are worse since they happen repeatedly and with no consideration whatsoever for Serena's feelings. And, Serena at least owns up to what she does, unlike Blair.
Worst offender though is Dan Humphrey. According to him it is not in any way his fault that his lifelong friendship with Vanessa, or his romantic relationship with her, ended. Though he was the one who insisted that they should date, he was the one who tried to sabotage her when she got accepted to Tisch, he was the one who cheated on her and he was the one who strung her along and let her take care of his baby by Georgina while he ran after Serena. Vanessa's offense? Applying to Tisch and going to Haiti to work over the summer (partly because Dan cheated). According to Dan it is also not his fault that him and Blair did not work out, even though he practically forced her to date him even though he knew she loved Chuck (he flat out told her that if she didn't start to date him he would no longer be her friend... this was weeks after her wedding). And apparently Blair is a really evil person for choosing to wait and see if she and Chuck can make things work while Dan is pure as can be even though he slept with her best friend while they were still dating. But that was not Dan's fault either. It was all Serena's fault, even though Dan was a very active participant and you'd think it is his responsibility to make sure his relationship with Blair is over before he sleeps with anybody else (instead of assuming it is based on a Gossip Girl blast). And to cap it all off, he's Gossip Girl - which would justify everyone else beating the shit out of him for all the stuff he pulled over six seasons!
In Red Dwarf, Rimmer's fundamental character is based around blaming everyone else for his own shortcomings, failures and inability to make anything of his life; while he didn't exactly have an easy upbringing to begin with, it's clear to everyone around him that he just uses this as an excuse not to have to face up to the fact that most of the time it's his own fault he's such a loser. For example:
In the episode "Me^2", where Rimmer is moving out of the sleeping quarters, and states his belief that without Lister holding him back he should finally be able to succeed. Lister lampshades this trope by calling Rimmer out on always pinning the blame for his lack of success on everything but himself. In the same episode, it's also revealed that he blames his lack of career mobility on an embarrassing faux pas he once made when he was invited to join the captain's table, where he sent back a bowl of gazpacho soup to be heated up because he didn't realize it was supposed to be served cold. It should be noted, he made this faux pas fourteen years into a fifteen-year career.
Rimmer would probably be more justified than most in blaming many of his issues on his family, particularly his father. However, whenever he recounts his father's bizarre actions (like stretching him as a child so that he'd grow up to be tall), he apparently regards them as perfectly natural and even praiseworthy, which is messed up in a different way.
In an episode of Lizzie McGuire, Matt and Lenny get left behind on a field trip. They flip a coin to decide whether to go back to school or spend a day on the town. When his parents confront him about not trying to get back to school, Matt claims that "I wanted to do the responsible thing. And I did, I did! Is it my fault that the penny told me to take the rest of the day off?"
Lord Zedd pulls this off as early as his first appearance in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. When Goldar apologizes for his loss (as the Rangers finally defeated the Piranhtishead Monster), Zedd snaps and blames Goldar, Squatt, and Baboo (the latter two had nothing to do with the episode) for the loss. He even blames Rita when their honeymoon goes sour when the Rangers are victorious.
Believe it or not, The Doctor started off this way. He was the first to point fingers when things went kablooey, both when it was his fault and when no one was to blame. Notable examples include shouting at and insulting his own granddaughter when Barbara and Ian stumbled into the TARDIS and accusing the aforementioned humans of sabotaging the TARDIS. Yeah, he was kind of a Jerkass.
Ricky in Trailer Park Boys is always saying this about the harm he's caused. Except for one time when it actually isn't his fault.
Nothing is ever Lex Luthor's fault. He'll blame his dad, Clark, Lana, and anyone else he can before accepting that his slide into villainy is by his own choice. This is actually a fairly major part of his characterization, and something that Clark calls him out on in the Season 7 finale. Major Zod exhibits similar traits; after throttling his lover to death and thus killing his unborn son, he blames Clark, claiming that he made Faora betray him.
Lex's clone Alexander tries this trope in "Beacon", but he's snapped out of it before he ends up like his source material.
Tess: You keep blaming everybody, but look who has the gun in their hand.
First season Monster of the Week Harry Bollston blames everyone else for having spent his entire life in prison, rather than being the celebrated concert pianist he thinks he ought to have been, when it's really his own damn fault for committing murder out of Disproportionate Retribution (which was also an example of blaming others for his own failings).
In Black Books this is Bernard's default attitude. One episode involves around a quarrel between Bernard and Manny that isn't resolved until one of them has the strength to apologize:
Manny: Bernard I'm sorry! It was my fault you toasted my hand!
In an episode of Scrubs, Dr. Kelso wants Dr. Cox to give him a physical examination for health insurance purposes. Cox is reluctant, but J.D convinces him to do it. It turns out Kelso has high blood pressure which will cost him an extra six grand in insurance premiums. He angrily punishes Cox for finding it, who, in turn, blames J.D for putting him up to it in the first place.
Uther Pendragon in Merlin had Nimueh use her magic to conceive Arthur. Nimueh warned him that a birth would require a death, but since he was desperate for an heir, he ignored her. The death wound up being Ygraine, his wife. Instead of pulling a My God, What Have I Done? upon realizing that his actions have killed his wife, he decides that magic is evil and genocides every single magic user he can find. Yes, even children. It isn't until his daughter Morgana has a Face-Heel Turn and says to his face. "I'm not evil because of magic, I'm evil because you made me that way." that he realizes what he's done, and as a result spends his last year as a broken shell of a man.
In one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cordelia insists that Buffy go to a party with her, over Buffy's repeated objections. The party turns out to be a trap, and Buffy and Cordelia are captured by demons. Cordelia angrily tells Buffy, "I can't believe I let you talk me into coming here!" Buffy does nothing but stare at Cordelia incredulously.
Lucifer from Supernatural sees himself as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, and for the longest time in the show you believe him. He's constantly saying how wrong it is that he was a faithful servant of his father, and his only crime was to not bow down before humans, and with how imperfect they are, you can hardly blame him. Then in "Hammer of the Gods", his younger brother Gabriel reveals the truth: he wasn't forced to bow down before them, it was the fact that God loved him most of all before transferring his affections to humans. In retaliation, Lucifer twisted a human soul into a demon, trying to get his father to admit they were horrible creations and destroy them, thus getting to be front and center again. Death even refers to him as a bratty child having a temper-tantrum. He gets called out on it again in the season 5 finale, when Lucifer is about to have his climatic showdown with his older brother Michael. He tries to talk Michael out of it by saying that God controls everything, and thus he forced Lucifer to be the devil, so it's not his fault. Michael promptly says that he hasn't changed a bit and he's still blaming everyone but himself for what he did.
The three part "Trilogy" episode of Quantum Leap sees Sam leaping through various identities throughout the decades in order to protect a young woman named Abigail as both a child and an adult who is consistently being targeted by an Ax-Crazy woman named Leta Aider who blames Abigail for the deaths of her husband and daughter and sees her as a cursed hellspawn. During the first part, Sam leaps into Abigail's father and rushes to save her from Leta who has chased her to an abandoned house trying to kill her, and winds up setting it on fire. Sam manages to save Abigail, but his host is killed (Sam barely leaps out of him in time). In part two when Sam confronts Leta over her actions killing Abigail's father in his current host, Leta repeatedly insists that she isn't the one to blame for starting the fire.
Pike from Dad's Army was a compulsive blame-shifter.
Almost every single reality based competitive show will have this when teamwork is involved. If a team loses, everyone is quick to blame each other and not themselves.
Being Human: Mitchell takes this position over the Box Tunnel Massacre when he is confronted with his victims. First he blames Lucy for betraying him, then Daisy for egging him on. When Lia pushes him far enough, he finally takes responsibility and admits that he doesn't deserve forgiveness.
On The Tudors, this is one of Henry VIII's defining character traits. If he no longer loves his wife, it's her fault (and she probably tricked him into marrying her in the first place). If he can't get a divorce from his wife, it's Cardinal Wolsey's fault. If his unborn son was deformed, it was his wife's fault. If he doesn't like Anne of Cleves, it's Cromwell's fault. If he married a woman who wasn't a virgin before she met him (even though she was introduced to him as his mistress), it's the other man's fault. If he comes to regret banishing Wolsey and executing Cromwell, it's the Privy Council's fault. And so on and so forth.
ER's Kerry Weaver, rarely, if ever, took any responsibility for the contentious relationship that she had with the rest of the staff, despite the strict, patronizing way she tended to treat nearly everyone. The worst example might be when she not only allowed, but actively schemed to make two doctors take the full blame for the death of a patient, knowing full well that as their supervisor, she should have been present to correct their mistakes. When one of the doctors finally calls her on this, not only does she display no remorse for her actions, she seems to think she was completely justified in what she did because of the others errors.
Amy Duncan from Good Luck Charlie exemplifies this trope in "Amy Needs A Shower," when she arranges her own baby shower, badmouths the people she invited within earshot of Charlie who then repeats what she said about them to their faces, and when this fails to end well blithely says "It's nobody's fault." Twice. Er, actually it's your fault, Amy. (Then again, she notably gets caught out less than the other non-Charlie-and-Toby members of the family...)
Both Gaea and Omega Zell from Noob are good at putting blame on other people, especially each other. Sparadrap, actually responsible for part of the things that go wrong, is the most frequent recipient of the blame early in the series. The trope comes into play when Gaea complains about the guild fund being empty despite generally taking more out of it than she contributes or Omega Zell simply screws up and won't admit it.
An early Straylight Run demo includes a track called "It's Everyone's Fault But Mine". Which, given its subject matter (the singer's estrangement from his old band, Taking Back Sunday), might be a fairly accurate title.
This is a common criticism of female pop singers known for breakup songs, where they'll release a dozen singles about kicking a no-good man to the curb, but never one about their own regrets or wrongdoings in a relationship. These songs do exist, but they're never released as singles ("Back to December" by Taylor Swift comes to mind), since women showing emotional weakness has become something of a taboo in pop music.
At one point in Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin blames Hobbes for breaking the battery case of a beanie, even though Calvin was the one who broke it. Played with in that after Hobbes calls him out on it, saying he had just been sitting there watching Calvin work when it snapped. Calvin then tearfully admits that he knows, and that having Hobbes take the blame will make him feel better.
On top of that was Calvin's decision to not take part in elections when he's an adult, with the final reasoning of "It's easier to blame things than fix them."
Really, this is a major part of Calvin's character. It's likely not a coincidence that he shares his name with John Calvin, who believed in predestination and thus that free will and responsibility were mere illusions.
Dilbert: The Pointy-Haired Boss. In one comic he says that every time he and Dilbert disagree he ends up yelling, which is obviously Dilbert's fault, so he's sending Dilbert to a socialization class. Dilbert responds, "It looks like you've gained weight. Would you like me to start jogging to take care of that?"
Nothing that the Pattersons of For Better or for Worse do is ever their fault: Mike blames his mistreatment of Liz on his parents for not giving him a kid brother like they were supposed to, Elly spends her life behaving as if she was somehow forced to become a wife and mother, Liz blames fate for not guiding her properly when she messes up, and everyone blames April for killing Farley. It goes hand in hand with their refusal to apologize for anything; since nothing can ever be their fault, they can't apologize.
To be fair, they use the excuses common to most people in their position.
For the record, Farley died saving April from drowning in a swiftly-moving river. Makes one wonder where the threshold for this trope stops and the one for Jerk Ass begins...
While the writer was trying to force Anthony and Liz together, she turned him into a Jerk Ass who dogged his wife into having a kid she didn't want, and then blamed her for not being the perfect mother and having their marriage fall apart as a result. Many readers were not fooled (or amused).
Lucy from Peanuts is quick to blame others for things that were often her fault in the first place, the worst example of this being "It's Your First Kiss Charlie Brown" (see Western Animation, below).
In one episode of Im Sorry I Havent A Clue, Jeremy Hardy makes a joke which could be seen as offensive. Tim Brooke-Taylor immediately follows it with the comment "That was Jeremy Hardy who said that..." Moments later, Tim makes a joke which is groaned by the audience and follows it, again, with "That was Jeremy Hardy who said that..."
And in another episode, Tim makes a joke which gets a mixed reaction, before saying "Oh, you shouldn't say that. Shush, Jeremy." note Part of the joke is that Jeremy is both younger and more 'alternative' than the regular cast, so he's more expected to make offensive jokes.
More than "tends," it's totally expected and even encouraged. The official Mission Report form (included in the rulebook) has a series of yes/no checkboxes. One of them is "Did you accuse a fellow team member of being a traitor? If no, explain:_______."
Part of the history of Wilson's Hussars in BattleTech. Their second commander is panicky, selfish, cowardly, and horribly incompetent; in other words, everything that a mercenary 'Mech commander shouldn't be. When he panicked in the middle of a bad situation and called for their Drop Ship to pull him out, it was shot down and crashed on his lance's position. Miraculously he survived, blaming everyone but himself for the string of bad choices that led to the losses. It earns him a double PPC shot in the back from the man who would be the unit's much more reasonable and much better liked but long-suffering third commander.
When Clan Steel Viper joins the invasion of the Inner Sphere they try to "enlighten" the people of the IS of their Clan ways, initially no one buys it. They mostly blame Clan Jade Falcon on why the IS don't like them, but in truth its because of the Steel Vipers low view of freebirths.
In Notre Dame De Paris, Phoebus's song Je Reviens Vers Toi (To get back to you) is this song in trope form, he tells his fiance, that the gypsy bewitched him into cheating on her, that she only wanted his money and that he's a changed man, as he flirts with temptation.
Joe Keller of All My Sons. Yeah, people might have been shopping faulty parts to the military in World War II for the contract money, but Joe not only did it knowingly, he then pinned the crime on Steve Deever, his best friend and business partner, by pretending he had been sick the day the parts were shipped out when his greed gets 21 pilots killed. Said friend gets life in prison and Joe gets off, retaining the parts business for himself. Not only this but it also causes Steve's own family to turn against him, and Joe has no problem with letting everyone believe he was both a hero who uncovered Steve's incompetence and an innocent victim who had conveniently been sick at home when he wasn't. And he allows this to go on for years. When the truth comes out, he's not very remorseful about it and tries to justify his actions and get out of it as being "for the family" and that lots of others were doing it at the time, so if his son Chris was going to turn him to the police he might as well turn over everyone else who did it. Finally, when Chris confronts him with the suicide note Larry, his other son, wrote because he couldn't have the shame of what his father did, he goes into the house as if to get his coat so he can be taken into the police to atone for what he did... where he promptly shoots himself in the headjust so he wouldn't have to go to jail and be exposed for what he did, or have to deal with the fact his son's death was his fault.
Stross from Dead Space 2. He was unintentionally responsible for the death of his wife, Alexis, and their son. Unable to accept it, the Marker slowly drives Stross more and more insane as time goes on, eventually becoming actively antagonistic and trying to kill Isaac and Ellie. It's not that Stross wants to hurt them, it's just that Stross wants someone, anyone, to validate what he's seeing and tell him his family's deaths wasn't his fault, which is why he listens to what the symbols from the Marker are telling him.
Dynasty Warriors 4. Dong Zhuo's campaign. If Lu Bu defeats Diao Chan in the final act of the campaign. "Why did you take Diao Chan into battle. You are the one that killed Diao Chan!"
In the third case of the first game, Gumshoe blames Phoenix for Edgeworth's state of depression. Maya aggressively counters "If he's depressed it's all your fault for doing sloppy detective work!" this leaves an embarrassed and humbled Gumshoe lost for words.
Also played seriously in Trials and Tribulations in the final case of the game. Godot blames Phoenix for Mia's death, despite the fact that there was nothing he could do to prevent it. Godot then blames Phoenix for Maya currently being in danger, when it was actually his plan (that he didn't tell Phoenix or Maya about) to save Maya that put her in that situation in the first place, also resulting in the death of her mother. At the end of the game, he admits that it wasn't Phoenix's fault, and that he just needed someone to blame. He also admitted that if he had come to Phoenix in the first place, Misty Fey would still be alive.
In Justice for All Edgeworth also puts Franziska down for 'Still blaming others when things go wrong''.
Part of Siegfried's backstory in Soul Calibur: He and his gang attacked a band of knights, returning from a campaign, with the intention of robbing them. Siegfried beheaded the Knight's commander and held his severed head up to gloat. It turned out to be his own father. His mind became so warped that he psychologically convinced himself that someone else killed him. Some of his endings in the games show him taking responsibility for this.
In Scarface: The World is Yours, some of the truly hilarious insults Tony can scream at pedestrians as he runs them over include "You fucked up my grill, you stupid fuck!", "Hey! You cracked my fucking windshield, man!", and "Next time maybe you look both ways, you fuck!"
Done twice in Episode 3 of Phantasy Star Universe. First the Parum refugees hate the GUARDIANS because of the GUARDIANS Colony crash-landing on Parum, which killed thousands and left the survivors homeless with hardly any means to survive. Then the New Rogues leader, Tylor refuses to work with the GUARDIANS because they did nothing while the SEED-Virus was unleashed on Beasts. Turning them into SEED-forms which lead them to be purified. Both events were beyond the control of the GUARDIANS.
God of War has this going on on both sides. Kratos relentlessly rages against everyone and their grandmother for tricking him into brutally murdering everything in sight at the drop of a hat while the gods refuse to admit their culpability in actually manipulating Kratos in the first place, deceiving him about the rewards for following their orders and generally being the jerkasses they've always been, resulting in most them having the crap murdered out of them.
In both Persona 3 and Persona 4, each bad guy before the final Cosmic Horror/Knight Templar-goddess boss says something to the effect of "If this all happened because the world is a crappy place, then it's all your fault for making it this way, isn't it?", completely ignoring the fact that 1) Nyx was prematurely summoned because the Kirijo Group screwed with the Arcana Shadows, namely Death and 2) Adachi's murder spree helped convince Izanami that her Assimilation Plot was the right idea. To be fair, Takaya truly believes this is the reason and doesn't care either way; Adachi is blaming you because you have him cornered, and he's been partially possessed by Izanami's right-hand man at the time.
The main issue the party has with Luke unwittingly destroying Akzeriuth is his refusal to accept responsibility for it. Once he realizes that he is responsible and vows tochangehimself and make amends, the party begins to forgive him, some more quickly than others. After they've had time to cool down and think things over, the team actually realizes that unlike Luke, they were more aware of the situation and in a better position to stop it. That's why they decide to give him a second chance. By the time the team is all together again, the only person who's blaming him for "the incident" is Luke himself.
There is also a sidequest involving a character named Casim, who tries to use a forbidden fonic art. Jade and Tear manage to stop him from causing an explosion, but as a side affect, Casim loses his eyesight. Casim blames Jade for not stopping him in the first place. Thankfully, Luke sets him straight with punch in the face.
Another example that's played entirely for laughs: one skit that's activated by sleeping at the inn in Daath has Jade say that Anise is pretty thin, flat, Luke adds. Anise says "Oh, just...just shut up! It's not all about size, you know! Big blobs of fat like that'll just droop down and look ugly before you even hit thirty!", just as Tear walks in. She leaves in a huff. Jade and Anise scold Luke for hurting Tear's feelings to which Luke bellows "There is no way in hell that this is my fault!"
Maribel from Dragon Quest VII is known to berate the hero for getting her stuck in trouble with him, even though she forced her way along in the first place!
James Tobin is just made up of this trope In the 1st Degree. He is charged with murder and grand theft. If you ask the right questions, then Tobin and his lawyer Charleston will try to make a story in which Tobin admits a number of things Yvonne, Simon, and Ruby said and tries to spin it so it was all the murder victim Zack's idea, and Tobin was just the poor guy who was dragged into it against his will. Even at that point, he still obeys this trope. Fortunately, you, as the prosecutor Granger, get to pick apart the details of his new story and have him lose his cool at a couple points. If you do it right, you then get to watch Tobin have a total meltdown right there in the courtroom and reveal a little too much information. If that happens, then you have won the game.
G0-T0 of Knights of the Old Republic II gives the PC several repeated What the Hell, Hero? speeches over the destruction of Peragus mining facility (as well as, well, Peragus) — even though the PC's presence on Peragus was entirely the result of being abducted by G0-T0's bounty hunter, who also gratuitously slaughtered all of the facility's personnel before the PC even came to.
For bonus points, said slaughter, along with keeping the PC drugged, delays the escape long enough for the Sith to catch up, and destroy Peragus in the confrontation.
Professor Kuriakin in Fahrenheit tells Lucas Kane that the Oracle must never kill directly. Instead, he possesses a random proxy to commit the murder.
By the time of the final battle in Portal 2, Wheatley's incompetent management has left the Enrichment Centre on the brink of self-destruction. Wheatley rants at Chell for running off with Glados after he "reluctantly" assumed power, when in reality he jumped at the opportunity to take over and then tried to kill them. He even claims that there's nothing wrong with the facility, and all the alarms and warnings going off are just a conspiracy by the two of them trying to sabotage him, even as his lair starts to catch fire and the ceiling collapses around him.
After the final fight, Wheatley finally realizes he screwed up and admits to the camera that if he could see Chell again, he would apologize.
GLaDOS also shows signs of this, from the incinerator trap on through Portal 2. She acts like her destruction by Chell was an act of unprovoked aggression, even though she was blatantly trying to kill her, and treats Chell like a violent, ungrateful lunatic lashing out at the people trying to help her.
A rather dark example in Spec Ops: The Line. After committing numerous atrocities in Dubai, Walker develops a Dissociative Personality Disorder and starts hallucinating an imaginary colonel Konrad over the radio, on who he blames all the things that he himself has done, even though the real Konrad committed suicide quite some time ago after he couldn't deal with the consequences of his own actions. Even when confronted with Konrad's corpse Walker can still disbelieve that he is hallucinating by shooting the hallucination.
Konrad: It takes a strong man to deny what's right in front of him.
In Bully, the nerds' leader Earnest hires Jimmy to take some dirty pictures of the head cheerleader as part of his plan for revenge against the jocks. Later, after he blows the pictures up to poster size and posts them all over town, an angry mob of jocks storm his hideout. Gripped with panic, he quickly blames Jimmy for taking the pictures, even though he was the one who asked for them.
This happens all through the game. Everything bad that ever happens is Jimmy's fault.
Played with in Batman: Arkham City. The Joker seems to partially blame his impending death from the poisonous side-effects of the Titan Super Serum on Batman, because he "left [him] to die" after their climactic battle at the end of the first game. He then immediately acknowledges that Batman probably doesn't remember it that way, and then just moves on with trying to constructively fix the problem without wasting any more time. Given that the Joker is the Trope Namer for Multiple Choice Past, it is unclear whether he truly thinks he remembers Batman leaving him to die, or if he's just screwing around (and possibly Lampshade Hanging the villain's tendency to use this trope).
A more clear-cut example happens during the ending when Joker stabs Batman, causing him to drop the cure. His last hope for survival lost, Joker bitterly asks Batman if he's happy now, as if Batman had done it on purpose.
Though Mr. Freeze is treated sympathetically overall, Hugo Strange (fairly accurately) accuses him of this. Though he is fundamentally well-intentioned, Freeze's current condition and supervillain career- and his wife Nora's present state- is at least partly grounded in his inability to admit to mistakes, misdeeds or personal flaws. This is also demonstrated during your boss fight with him; there are breakable statues of Nora scattered around the room, and if Mr. Freeze accidently destroys one while shooting at you, he'll claim that you made him do it.
Likewise with the Penguin and his backstory who constantly blames the Wayne family for financially ruining his family. When in truth it was his own decisions that lead him down his path.
In Ghost Trick, Yomiel blames everyone but himself for having a hand in his death. Yes, his vendetta against Detectives Jowd and Cabanela are kind of understandable, seeing as they arrested him, subjected him to merciless interrogation, and were going to shoot him when he tried to escape, all while he was innocent. But then, he also blames Lynn, who was just a little kid playing in the park when he was being chased by the police, and who only was involved in the situation because he chose to take her hostage. Which he blamed her for, by simple fact that he wouldn't have thought to take a hostage if she hadn't been there! It is played with later, as Yomiel admits that he knows Lynn was innocent, and knows that he screwed up his life.
In Harvest Moon: The Tale Of Two Towns, the cooking competitions are Serious Business. If you don't take part yourself, you can choose to just cheer your town's cooking team on. If you're a resident of Bluebell and the team loses, Jessica will say "If you'd been a bit more supportive we..." but she stops herself before finishing. Grady will also claim that the cooking team lost because you weren't cheering properly, but he apologies right away.
Any game that has a focus on team gameplay (or, more often, just team gameplay in theory) will always have someone falling into this trope whenever they screw up and costs the team the win. Crosses with Small Name, Big Ego if they promptly take all the credit for when their team actually wins.
Tomb Raider 2013: After Alex's death, Reyes blames Lara for failing to save him, apparently forgetting that she was the one who let Alex go off on his own in the first place.
Starscream of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron despite being the main reason for the loss of a large amount of Decepticon forces and the failure of a huge operation, he blames his soldiers, the Combaticons (who were the ones who bailed said operation out and cleaned up after Starscream) and tosses them into jail for insubordination when they protest.
Megatron considers Cybertron's state of shutdown all Optimus's fault, saying that he's stopped him from returning Cybertron to its natural state when he stopped the Core's corruption from Dark Energon. Already an absurd statement which is even more absurd when Dark Energon literally is Unicron's blood.
The krogan in the Mass Effect series have this as a pretty big part of their species' feelings. They blame the Citadel races exclusively for them being effectively neutered into neutral population growth even after helping with the rachni, despite the fact that the krogan were aggressively expanding, overrunning the galaxy, and eventually started to "colonize" worlds that were already under the ownership of another species, then outright daring the Citadel races to take their worlds back. If he survives Virmire in the first game, Wrex realizes that the genophage also worked as a Break the Haughty for the krogan, and he acts as a moderating influence on them when he becomes their leader in the third game. This in stark contrast to Wreav, the replacement in that case, who outright admits that as soon as the Reapers are defeated he's going to raise an army of krogan and take revenge on the galaxy.
The quarian race also applies. They despise the geth for driving them off their homeworld, apparently ignoring the fact that the only reason the geth did that was because the quarians were trying to wipe them out. If Shepard points this out to Tali in the first game, she claims that the quarians had no choice, which the third game shows is complete bullshit. Not only did the quarians provoke conflict with the completely docile and friendly geth, but the old quarian government killed off any quarians who spoke out against this state-ordered genocide. In the third game, this leads to the Flotilla going into an idiotic war with the geth thanks to one warmonger of an admiral who refuses to accept that he may be making a mistake. At that point Tali has gone through Character Development and realizes what a bunch of hypocrites/idiots the admirals are.
Homestar Runner: In the Strong Bad Email "long pants," Strong Bad edits down a lengthy email into nothing like what it was originally (by drawing on his laptop's screen with a magic marker), then blames the sender when Homestar appears wearing Daisy Dukes and later freaks out over a remark regarding his apparent lack of pants. (And The Cheat for covering his screen in magic marker.)
Original email: "Why doesn't homestar ever wear pants? It's kind of creepy how he walks around with no pants on all the time. Anyway, I think you should get him some pants..."
Edited email: "Why wear pants? Creepy pants all the time get some..."
Strong Bad: Noice work, Clanky. You made Homestar go nuts, and you've seriously creeped me out. And how am I supposed to get this crap offa here? Stupid... made-up technology... that I made up... paint pen... The Cheat! Call tech support and tell 'em you broke the Lappy again!
Actually in the case of the Cheat, it might just be that the Cheat technically counts as a pet, and with all the crap that happens to Strong Bad's computers, saying "my pet did it again" is the only way to get service from tech support.
Caboose from Red vs. Blue will often quip "Tucker did it" whenever something bad happens - regardless of who is actually to blame.
He later fumbled a grenade toss, leading to this immortal exchange:
Washington: That, was the worst throw. Ever. Of all time. Caboose: Not my fault. Someone put a wall in my way.
Caboose once switches from gloating to this mid-sentence when things suddenly go south after he stops Tex from curb stomping the Reds and Tucker:
Caboose: I did it! I beat up the girl! I—Not my fault! Not my fault! The computer made suggestions! And the default option was yes!
Silas Merlot is sentenced to work on Castle Heterodyne, a punishment reserved for particularly nasty criminals, after an incredibly lengthy situation involving indirectly killing someone important to Baron Wulfenbach's plans for running his empire, and later deliberately killing many, many people to hide the evidence of what they worked on. Since Agatha (who Merlot has despised as long as he's known her) was either at the center of, or even the specific subject of, every stage of the situation, Merlot decides that it's all her fault for being born in the first place.
Gil Wulfenbach has a bit of trouble with this too; his part in the above situation was to defend himself. Unfortunately, "defending himself" meant swatting a bomb away, and more unfortunately, "away" meant "back at the guy who threw it, who was the one who was important to the Baron's plans". For the rest of the scene everyone shouts at Gil for killing Dr. Beetle, and Gil eventually gives up on impotently crying that Dr. Beetle threw a bomb at him.
It occasionally comes up afterward, because a lot of people seem to have heard the "Gil killed Beetle" part but not the rest:
The Order of the Stick: This is Miko Miyazaki's downfall; when the gods strip her of her powers for killing Lord Shojo, she refuses to believe it was her own fault and places the blame on a conspiracy by the Order. When she dies, the spirit of the paladin Soon tells her that her inability to admit responsibility for her deeds is one of the reasons she will die unredeemed.
Start of Darkness posits that this is Redcloak's major flaw. If he admits that allying with Xykon — let alone making him a lich — was a mistake, then the deaths of all the goblins who aided him in executing "the Plan" will be on his shoulders. During "The Reason You Suck" Speech that Xykon delivers to Redcloak, Xykon bluntly states that Redcloak will never betray him because Xykon is Redcloak's excuse for his inexcusable deeds. Though it turns out that "the Plan" has involved betraying Xykon all along. Redcloak sees Xykon as just a pawn. A very dangerous pawn who could kill him almost instantly if things go wrong, but a pawn nonetheless.
Not quite. Redcloak was perfectly happy letting Xykon live, until Right-eye died. Now he's pissed.
Vriska from Homestuck. She initiates a Cycle of Revenge that leaves three of her companions paralyzed from the waist down, blind, and dead, respectively, then she says the other trolls are jerks and weaklings for not wishing to associate with her anymore. She amasses large numbers of pointy dice which she scatters across her floor and never cleans up, and then she says it's just bad luck that she keeps stepping on them. It's only in the last hours of her life that she admits to anyone else that there might be something wrong with her.
In Jack, this is a consistent trait among the damned. None of them will ever admit full guilt in their actions; doing so is actually the first step in getting out of hell, which most of them simply can't take. This is one of the reasons why the damned can't stand angels; easier to blame and hate an authority figure who sent you to hell (even if they didn't) than admit you might actually deserve being where you are.
Vergil was the lone exception, he believed he deserved to be in hell because he didn't attack Brian during the latter's shooting rampage and his friends were killed as a result. The real reason he was in hell was because he committed suicide out of guilt. His path to redemption begins when he finally accepts that his friends' deaths weren't his fault and that his only sin was murdering himself.
In Dominic Deegan, Siegfried's inability to admit guilt for his misdeeds is ultimately what keeps him trapped in hell.
Ollie from Something Positive considers Davan to be his Arch-Enemymuch to Davan's confusion. Ollie claims that Davan is the reason his theater career never took off, when it was Ollie's own mistakes that caused the sponsor (who later gave Davan a job because he was impressed by Davan) to drop Ollie like a hot potato. It's not certain whether Ollie actually believes this or if he's just in severe denial.
Abbey's father blames Abbey for tearing the family apart, even after fatally injuring his own wife via domestic abuse.
In True Believers Joe Quesadilla tells Spider-Man and Mary Jane that he is breaking up their marriage because he thinks she is the reason people are losing interest in the comics. When Spider-Man points out the problem might be Quesadilla's own writing, he quickly defends himself and says that could not be the case.
Plenty of villains in the Whateley Universe, but the Troll Bride may be the leading contender. Her son Nephandus even warns her repeatedly, but she never listens to him (or anyone else) and then blames everyone else (including Chaka, whom she attacked with superpowers) for failing in her plan, losing a cherished keepsake, and getting banished from Whateley Academy her son's school.
Her son does this too. Wonder where he picked up the habit?
Game Chap is a web series that, at the time of this update, has over twenty-two hundred videos. And in almost every single one of them, Bertie has set fire, crashed, obliterated, or blown up something. And after every incident, over twenty-two thousand incidents, he says one or both of the following:
"It wasn't me!" "It has nothing to do with me at all!"
Ultra Fast Pony: Twilight Sparkle blames others (specifically Spike) for her mistakes occasionally. In "The Canon Has Misfired", she lets her mission to prevent the apocalypse get completely derailed. When the apocalypse comes, she says, "Dammit, I knew I forgot something! Why didn't Spike remind me?!" (completely ignoring the fact that Spike did try to remind her). In "Ponynet Fight!" she insists that her magic isn't working because Spike isn't concentrated hard enough (and she pointedly refuses to explain why her magic needs Spike's concentration).
Angela and Esmeralda on The War Comms managed to drive Syrius into an epic suicidal depression episode, yet even after being called on it many times and punished for it they still insist it was his fault.
The Buzz Lightyear of Star Command episode "Plasma Monster" has Mira and XR building a really big gun, which they then use to shoot a laser at the monster of the episode's title. The conversation that follows:
Mira: Hate to pat myself on the back, but how about that laser shot? XR: We fried that monster but good! Ha ha! Petra: You idiot! That monster is my boyfriend! (pushes XR down) XR: (to Mira) You idiot! That monster was her boyfriend!
Similarly, Toy Story 3 has Jessie admit to Woody that the toys were wrong not to believe him. When she says that she was wrong specifically, Mr. Potato Head adds, "Jessie's right, Woody. She was wrong!"
Codename: Kids Next Door: This was Numbuh 86's beef in her introduction episode, going hand in hand with her Drill Sergeant Nasty and Straw Feminist persona. She constantly blames Sector V (well the men of Sector V) for everything going wrong in the mission despite the fact it was her overzealousness that hampered their efforts. Thankfully karma stepped in at the end of the episode when she finds out she inadvertently screwed up an undercover mission of another operative (A girl operative at that, and one of the highest ranking ones) and harshly gets chewed out for it.
When the Delightful Children have accquired the 4th flavor ice cream they were about to add sprinkles to it Numbuh 5 warns them not to do it saying its wrong to add topping to good ice cream. They ignored her and added it, they ended up causing the the cave their in to collapse, they blame Numbuh 5 for tricking them even though she warned them.
Numbuh 5's rival, Heinrich, constantly does this whenever something bad happens to him through his own mistakes. Such as in his first episode where he locates a headpiece but is warned by Numbuh 5 that any candy eats will taste like asparagus if he's greedy. He doesn't believe her, puts on the headpiece, turns into a candy monster (just roll with it) and...the curse goes into effect. To which of course he blames Numbuh 5. When he got turned into a chocolate monster while trying to make real live chocolate bunnies. Nope, not his own actions, tis Numubh 5's fault. But the real kicker is his last appearance where we learn of the "Guatemala Incident" he keeps sprouting on about. He was actually a girl that got turned into a boy due to a curse that took the best attributes a person cared about (in his-er her case, her beauty) and turned them into caramel. He nearly ate all of them and thought he was stuck like that, thus blaming Numbuh 5 for "abandoning" her. Uh..yeah. It's a good thing this brat still has Numbuh 5 as a friend after all of this.
Peter: I know we're not here to place blame or beat ourselves up, but I can't help feeling like this is somehow Meg's fault.
Stewie frequently meddles into Brian's attempts at finding women and gives him bad advice. When it inevitably fails and Brian confronts him, Stewie will always accuse him of trying to blame his incompetence on others. Not that Brian isn't capable of doing this on his own, such as cheating on Rita, his (older) fiancee, with a hot young thing, then saying he just needed one last fling before settling down with her. She doesn't buy it.
And Brian after being able to publish a well liked book, blames Stewie who is agent, for ever thing he thinks its wrong. Even at the end when Brian "apologizes" to Stewie, he still acts as if it was Stewie's fault.
Fanboy and Chum Chum: Boog and Lenny blame Fanboy and Chum Chum in "Monster in the Mist" for pretending they were the eponymous monster, when in fact it was Boog and Lenny's impaired vision that made them see it. Lenny could be forgiven, though, since his eyesight was handicapped by them.
The Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Eddie Monster," in which Eduardo runs away, needs to be listed, because in it, Bloo refuses to accept that it's actually his fault Eduardo ran away, and instead blames the others for it. Even at the end of the episode, he tells the big guy that "I am very sorry for all the mean things... that all the others said about you."
Futurama does this from time to time, but most memorably after Leela is blinded, she crashes the Planet Express ship through the roof of the building. Hermes, having seen everything, turns to Zoidberg and says: "That's coming out of YOUR pay." Zoidberg is reduced to tears. This is normal for the show, as Zoidberg is the primary Butt Monkey.
Also done by Zapp Brannigan, usually blaming his egregious mistakes on Kif, his beleaguered lieutenant.
Zapp Brannigan: Prepare to take the blame in 3, 2, 1... Kif: Aaah!
In the episode, "That's Lobstertainment," Calculon grows vengeful against Bender, Zoidberg, and Harold Zoid for having him fund and star in a bomb of a movie that Bender promised would win him an Oscar. As things get worse for them, Bender puts it this way:
Bender: Calculon's gonna' kill us for sure. And it's all everyone else's fault.
In an episode of House of Mouse, Donald offers to give Mickey the money he needs to pay the club's rent if he'll let Daisy do an act tonight. Mickey reluctantly accepts the offer, but after Donald reveals to Daisy that he paid Mickey to put her on stage, she declines, saying she wanted to get her act because she would be good at it, not out of monetary reasons. As she walks out, Donald complains to Mickey, "Now see what ya did?"
Lucius on Jimmy Two-Shoes once destroyed every washroom in Miseryville to torment Jimmy...including his own. He immediately hands the detonator he used to Samy and says "Look what you've done!"
Justice League: The Atom is battling a (relatively) large nano-machine, and jokingly blames it on his assistant.
The Atom: He's bigger than my car now, Katie. Personally, I blame you.
Katie: How can it possibly be my fault?
The Atom: Because otherwise it would be my fault. That can't be right. I'm a professor.
In King of the Hill, when Hank makes Bobby take up a summer job, which involves him being Buck Strickland's personal caddy. Hank tells him to respect what Bud does and says, which escalates from receiving Bud's prized watch to doing some unethical things, even though he fails to realize what he is doing ia wrong and enjoys the perks he mistakenly believes he is entitled to. When Hank is furious over this, he tells Bobby to return the watch, not believing Bud would willingly give it away. When Bobby refuses, Hank responds by telling him to live with him, since he believes he won't stay with him. The episode ends with Bobby getting grounded for the rest of the summer. Now, Bobby, along with Bud, were under serious danger from the people who Bud had tried backing out of giving his lost pool ante (including his watch), but Hank never accounts for any of his own parenting negligence here involving Bobby's said naivete, and that he was indirectly responsible for many of the events that transpired here in the first place, so the grounding just seems wrong and inordinately excessive, especially since he was already forgoing idle rec time for his job, and seeing how that did not work out, one would hope he would have that at the very least as a safe alternative, but no.
In Moral Orel, Clay Puppington practically lives by shifting blame. In one episode, he teaches Orel the same (thankfully, Orel didn't keep that lesson for long). Orel counsels Principal Fakey to do the same, regarding Fakey's infidelity. This extends to claiming he's been faithful and accusing his wife of cheating on him and giving him gonorrhea, while he's having sex with the woman who gave the disease, as she tells him it's not that bad. He then states there's no decency in the world and goes home from school to throw her out. With his pants around his ankles the whole way.
Lucy in Peanuts. In the animated special It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, she pulls the football from Charlie Brown in an actual football game with a game-deciding last-second field goal on the line, and then later (with Peppermint Patty) blames him for missing. (Charlie Brown himself feels let down by this miss, even though it clearly wasn't his fault).
"Bart Star": Homer has a flashback to a floor gymnastics routine. Abe yells "You're gonna blow it" at him... and so he does, and Abe then gets mad at him. To add insult to injury, Abe's bitter condemnation to Homer — immediately after yelling this out — are "This is what I get for having faith in you."
In the episode "Rosebud," Adolf Hitler blames losing World War II on a teddy bear.
Homer in full Jerkass mode always finds someone else to blame:
Gabriel: Homer, your problem is quite simple. You're a drunken, childish buffoon. Homer: Which is society's fault because... Gabriel:It's your fault!
When Homer tried to back out of donating a kidney to his dad (whose kidneys Homer was responsible for damaging):
Homer: Oh, but I don't want them cutting up my soft, supple body! Why didn't someone tell me what I was volunteering for? This is everybody's fault but mine!
Sideshow Bob gives a slight variant in "Funeral for a Fiend"
Bob: I did try to kill the Simpsons. I really did. But I would like to plead not guilty, on the grounds of insanity. Insanity, caused by my persecution, at the hands of *Points at Bart* this- young- BOY!
In "Pokey Mom", Principal Skinner demands reformed prisoner Jack Crowley paint a cutesy mural on the school wall. Jack, under protest, does as he's told...and it's very poorly received by the crowd. When fingers point at Skinner, to save his own ass he neatly swings the situation around to make it Jack's fault.
Lisa is not immune to this either, and e.g. in "Lisa the Vegetarian", where she tries to persuade everyone in Springfield to stop eating meat. And at the end of the episode, she admits to Homer that she was wrong... too.
In "Bart the Lover", Bart plays a prank on Mrs Krabappel which affects her more deeply than he expected and comments "I can't help but feel partly responsible".
Butters: It's great, you get to throw rocks at cars and if the driver gets angry, you blame me."
Also done in The Movie, as the end of the song "Blame Canada" has the line We must blame them and cause a fuss/before somebody thinks of blaming us! due to them allowing their children to go see a movie with foul language, vulgar jokes, and various other things and blaming Canada for it instead of themselves.
In "Proper Condom Use", the parents are angry that the school is not teaching children about sex, something that is usually the responsibility of parents. At the end of the episode, they get called out on that by Chef, as the teachers they pick to explain are Mr. Mackey (who hasn't had sex in decades), Ms. Choksondik (who Does Not Like Men and thinks Sex Is Evil), and Mr. Garrison (no explanation necessary).
Butters is often a scapegoat for his own parents. In one episode, Butters is grounded because his dad mistakenly put Hamburger Helper in his coffee.
Cartman naturally. A lot of things will be his fault but he'll find some way to turn it around and make himself look like the victim.
In season 2 episode 3 Gwen gives Peter The Look and chews him out for not talking to her after their first kiss at the end of season 1. Petey did try to talk to her, but she was the one who was avoiding him.
Harry does this in season 1, claiming that he failed a test "'Cause Pete abandoned me!" In this case, his father Norman actually called him out on it. "You didn't fail because of Peter. Take some responsibility. If you want to pass a test, then study. You want to be popular? Be popular. Take control of your own destiny."
Also Sally blaming Peter for Liz breaking up with Flash in season 1, and then in season 2, claiming that he messed up the social order of the entire school.
Even Black Cat tears into him in "Opening Night", although this version is much more dramatic than most of the other examples. She yells at Spidey for her father choosing to stay in prison rather than escape with her. The man killed Uncle Ben, and she's crying because he didn't get away with it. Especially unfair, since she expected Spidey to pull off the Heroic Sacrifice to gas the escaped villains. Then again she's a thief as well, so her rationale on paying for a crime isn't exactly the best either.
And Harry blaming Spider-Man for Norman's "death" at the end of season two, claiming Spider-Man "should've helped him" despite the fact that one, Spidey had just figured out Norman was Green Goblin. 2. Norman was trying to kill him. 3. Norman had hired the Chameleon to be him to throw Spidey off his tail and lie to Harry. Oh yeah real nice reasoning Harry. note Harry was partially justified in that he thought Norman couldn't control his actions while under effect of the Goblin formula. Harry didn't know this unfortunate side effect is prevented when the user inhales the formula instead of drinking it.
Also, when they try out for the football team. Harry whines about Peter being better than him in the try outs. He was the one who asked Peter to come along.
In general, Harry tends to do this quite a lot, which is likely a trait he picked up from his father Norman, who's catchphrase is "Don't apologise. I never do.". This nearly gets Norman killed in the very first episode where he refuses to apologize to the Vulture for stealing his life's work-while he's being flown above the city and being threatened with a long drop to the pavement. It may be possible to be a Magnificent Bastard and still be Too Dumb to Live, but you have to have to admire his dedication to that principle.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Eddie Brock always blamed Spidey for anything that went wrong with his career as a journalist. Being unable to expose Kurt Konnors as the Lizard was the only thing he could actually blame Spidey. As for the others:
"The Spider Slayer": Eddie Brock announced on Jameson's TV network that Spider-Man was Flash Thompson. Sure, Flash might have decided to dress himself like Spidey to scare Peter Parker but it was Spidey's fault Jameson became laughingstock for all his competitors (even FOX). Jameson agreed it was Spidey's fault but fired Brock because he (as far as he knew) couldn't fire Spidey.
"Return of the Spider Slayers": Eddie Brock had just got another job as a journalist when a Spider Slayer sent after him by someone who put him (and several others) in the trope's other end. Alistair Smythe blamed Spidey, Eddie, Jameson and Norman for his father's "death" despite it being his father's fault for sending the first Spider Slayer after Spidey and the Kingpin's for being The Man Behind the Man in that case. (Ironically, the Kingpin was sponsoring this revenge) The incident caused Eddie's new boss to believe him to be the trouble Jameson described him to be and fired him. Eddie blamed Spidey for losing this other job despite Spidey's only role in the whole thing was saving Eddie.
In the three-part episode "The Alien Costume", Eddie Brock was near the site where a space shuttle crashed and had the chance to photograph Rhino stealing something and Spidey trying to catch him. When Jameson arrived there out of concern for his son (who was one of the astronauts), Brock didn't mention Rhino and lied that Spidey stole something from there and offered photos to prove it if Jameson rehired him. Spider would later confront Eddie and Jameson, telling the truth and demanding Jameson to call off the reward. Jameson didn't believe there was a man in a rhinoceros suit. When Jameson's son recovered consciousness and confirmed Spidey's version, Brock was fired, lost his reputation, his health (he sneezed while muttering about everything he lost), and his apartment (he found a notice of eviction at the door) and blamed Spidey for all those losses.
Spider-Man: The New Animated Series has it's fair share (this being a Spider-Man cartoon and all). In the second episode, when Kingpin tricks Spidey into stealing a very important chip, Peter is kidnapped by an FBI agent who interrogates him, and confiscates a videotape of a science lesson that Peter recorded for Mary-Jane, accusing Peter of being involved in Bio warfare. The agent later calls Peter and berates him for wasting time giving him the tape.
Thomas the Tank Engine frequently shows railwaymen screwing up, causing no end of crashes and delays. But the engines will nearly always be blamed for it. In Thomas Comes To Breakfast, Thomas crashed through the station master's house because a cleaner had fiddled with his controls but the Fat Controller still chewed Thomas out for it. Also in the episode One Good Turn everyone blames Bill and Ben for the incident with the turntable, when the narrator very clearly said that it was the foreman's mistake.
Done seriously in Transformers Animated: Sentinel Prime hates Optimus Prime because Optimus was unable to save Elita-1 from the giant spiders on an alien planet, even though it was Sentinel's idea to go to the planet and search for the energon that made the spiders huge in the first place. What a jerk.
Exemplified by many of the villains in Batman: Who didn't have someone other than themselves to blame, might be a better question. Even Bruce blames himself for the death of his parents which was beyond his ability to have stopped.
Beautifully pointed out by the DA in The Animated Series episode, "The Trial," when she concludes, "Batman did not create any of you, you created him!" after all of the villains played the trope straight in their testimonies.
One episode of had a fat cop who did nothing but sit around & eat donuts get fired for that very reason. He then believed he was fired because the Powerpuff Girls were cleaning up all the crime in the city and making the police obsolete, rather than think it was because he was lazy and didn't do any work.
Princess Morbucks always blamed the girls for not accepting her as a Powerpuff girl and then blamed her father for not giving her enough money for "cool gadgets."
Phineas and Ferb: Dr. Diminutive once "borrowed" (read: stole) Doofenshmirtz's Schmaltz-inator and used it for something he was arrested for. He blamed Doof for his arrest just because it was Doof who invented the inator.
Doof blames Perry for his plans failing, even when he screws them up himself. In "That Sinking Feeling" he curses Perry when his lighthouse rocket ends up lodged in the Evil, Inc. building even though Perry had completely failed to foil him that time.
Also, when Doof failed to destroy the adult diaper factory, he blamed Perry despite acknowledging Perry had no role on it whatsoever.
In "Queen of the Shadowkhan", Finn, Ratso, and Chow pin the blame of their failure in stopping Jackie from escaping with the archive on the Shadowkhan themselves. Shendu is not particularly happy with this.
Shendu: The Shadowkhan are my puppets. They do only what I command. Are you suggesting this is my fault?!
SWAT Kats: As revealed in the Origins Episode, when Chance and Jake (aka T-Bone and Razor) were still in the Enforcers, they were pursuing Dark Kat with their jet, only for Feral to order them to fall back and leave Dark Kat to him. When they refused, he actually knocked their jet out of the sky and into Enforcer headquarters, causing significant damage to the building and allowing Dark Kat to escape. Feral flat-out refused to acknowledge that the entire mess was his fault for interfering in the first place and placed all the blame on Chance and Jake, kicking them off the force and sentencing them to work at the salvage yard until they pay off the damages. It actually makes Chance and Jake upstaging him as the Swat Kats throughout the series very satisfying.
Chance and Jake themselves pull this off in the second episode of the series, though. They manage to capture a villain named Morbulus, but decide to simply dump him in the sea so the Enforcers could pick him up there, this despite the Enforcers not being near them yet and the area where they dumped Morbulus being close to a rocky shore with access to the sewers. Naturally, Morbulus easily escapes into the sewers, and Feral calls the Swat Kats out on it. The one time Feral is right about them screwing up, they get angry and blame him for it (though not to his face), and to take it even further, even Callie blames Feral for what was clearly the Swat Kats' fault.
According to Thucydides, the Athenian democracy was like this. Generals who survived a failed expedition were often put to death by democratic vote, despite the fact that the people had voted for the expedition.
Psychologists call this self-serving bias. It is also one of the defining traits of a sociopath.
A lot of politics can be seen like this, depending on how cynical you are. Politics is, in a lot of ways, a popularity contest. If you plan on moving up the political ladder, you need to try and keep something of a clean record. When a large political blunder occurs (like the current debt crisis) there tends to be a lot of shuffling blame to avoid being the ones with egg on their faces when it's time for re-election season.
The United States Congress regularly gets low approval ratings from the public (usually around 10-20%, less than half of whoever is President). When asked about their own Congressman or Senator, however, voters rate them much higher the vast majority of the time.
Actually a very common argument many convicts make to justify their crimes. Most people who watch enough crime documentaries can list at least one criminal who for either Lack of Empathy or desire to eventually be proven innocent blames other people. Admitting to guilt might also jeopardize their chances in a retrial or parole hearing.
This is how the chocolate companies try to justify doing little or nothing to help the many child slaves that gather cocoa. They claim they have no control over the cocoa farms they buy from, when they could just stop buying from said farms and/or spend some of the billions they have to help those children.
Governments can play this game with other countries, such as in "Operation Paul Bunyan". Two US soldiers were attacked by around 40 North Korean soldiers. North Korea then claimed that the Americans attacked them.
This can be a particularly insidious justification / tactic used by bullies and abusers to dominate their victims and avoid having to take responsibility for their own actions and tempers — choosing something small the victim does (or inventing something entirely) to use as an excuse to lash out, and then blaming the victim for the bully's own abuse. The classic examples are the abuser who hits the victim and then asks "why did you make me hurt you?", or the bully who makes fun of something they know the victim is sensitive about and, when the victim gets upset, protests that "it's just a joke — why don't you have a sense of humour?"
There's another particularly insidious justification / tactic used by bullies and abusers, and it's almost impossible to beat because the tactic relies on group perception to work: they frequently accuse the other person of not taking responsibility. In other words, an abuser might go home and beat his wife, and if his wife complains, he might accuse her of shifting blame for provoking him into doing it. This is obvious nonsense, since the wife does not control her husband's behavior—but in a country like America where "personal responsibility" is repeated as a mantra, the strategy works. The wife's friends may then accuse her of "blaming others", just because her husband was the first one to bring up the magic phrase of personal responsibility, when it should be clear to a calmer head that the husband is shifting blame and the wife is the one being blamed.
All victim-blaming has this trope at its roots. An abuser characterizes themselves as "reacting" to a behavior displayed by their victim, shifting the blame for a perceived initial transgression onto them, especially in situations where aggression is socially acceptable and a victim "has only themselves to blame" for putting themselves in a dangerous situation, or for "provoking" an abuser by not going out of their way to placate or mollify them. If you've ever heard someone say "Well, it's your own fault for (whatever), you know how they are," you've run into this trope.
Trolls also rely on this trope whenever they piss off the community or the moderators and then act all surprised that people are reacting so negatively towards them. In other words, it's everyone else's fault that they are reacting to someone making a questionable comment.
The industry in general can do this, blaming piracy, the economy, etc. for when big budget games don't sell as much as hoped, conveniently forgetting the fact that they frequently budget far beyond what could be reasonably expected of said game, go for widespread appeal and fail at it, badly, focus on one aspect of the game above others, ignore the reasons that people like the genre and/or series, just making a crappy game period, and many other reasons on their end that cause this lack of needed sales.
This can even stretch across generations and is being increasingly seen regarding modern youth. Many older people criticise young people today as being entitled and self-obsessed, often forgetting where they would have gotten such traits from. In the aftermath of the global economic crisis, many young people are criticised for being unwilling to take jobs involving manual labour or working minimum wage even though many were taught that such jobs were solely for people who didn't go to college or have much ambition in life. Listen to most commentators and they will often say something along the lines of "We ruined this generation" and yet act completely shocked that children act and think in the way they trained them to.
More than a few articles mention the idea of the "participation trophy", and how many of today's youth have received too many of them to understand how real competition in the workplace operates...but they never seem to ask who was giving those trophies out...
Funny, I've read plenty of articles that point out the previous generation being the one giving the participation trophies out.
Michael Jackson had a bad habit of blaming others for problems he was partially responsible for.
He continually railed against the tabloid press (and mainstream media as a whole) for presenting him as an Eccentric Millionaire. But in The Eighties, he actually planted the "hyperbaric chamber" and "Elephant Man's skeleton" stories in the tabloids himself because he thought there was No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, and his actual behavior was putting him in The Tyson Zone by that point. Not only didn't he change his behavior, he claimed that they were the ones who came up with the aforementioned stories. Barbara Walters called him out on his strange, attraction-getting behavior in a 1997 interview, but he insisted that it and his fame were no reason for the Paparazzi to hunt him down or for journalists to not write only "kind" things about him. (He may have had a point on the former, especially so soon after the death of Princess Diana, but the latter?)
As his behavior and allegations of criminal activity eroded his fanbase in North America, his record sales went into decline, not helped by his general unwillingness to do concerts or press junkets. But in 2002, he blamed the disappointing sales of Invincible on institutionalized racism at his label and in the music industry as a whole, going on to claim that his topping Elvis Presley and The Beatles in popularity motivated sinister industry forces to bring him down with wild rumors and allegations. This earned him much scorn both within and without the industry.
Following his 2009 death from a prescription drug overdose, his doctor Conrad Murray was convicted of prescribing him the drugs; as a doctor, he could not excuse this by claiming that Michael insisted on taking the drugs. In 2013, Michael's family sued his concert promoter AEG Live for hiring Murray and pressuring him into prescribing the drugs in order for Michael to be able to perform. AEG Live fired back by saying that Michael hired the doctor himself, so they couldn't be blamed for this. The jury found in favor of AEG Live: While they agreed that the company hired Murray, they did not think he was unfit and/or incompetent to perform the duties the company assigned him to do, which did not include administering the drugs. (They thought he acted unethically but that wasn't part of the question they were answering.) The family's case went over poorly in the court of public opinion, as they knew that Michael had problems with addiction for decades; thus it came off as hypocritical to blame others for not doing anything about it when they did so little themselves. The family and fanbase's attempts to absolve Michael himself of any blame for his demise, when he was the one who became addicted, haven't helped.
Invariably the result of disputes between cable companies and cable networks. If an important event is on the line, it may help.
Any cat owner will tell you that they live this Trope. When your cat breaks something or knocks something over, their first reaction is invariably to move a few feet away and start looking around nonchalantly, as if they're thinking, "What? No, that wasn't me. I'm all the way over here."