Gus: In these situations, we must emulate the Prime Minister.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:
Dave: What, cock it up and then blame someone else?
Dave: What, cock it up and then blame someone else?
— Drop the Dead Donkey, Pilot episode
- The person stuck with the blame fails to defend himself, perhaps out of sheer dumbfoundedness at the other person's gall.
- The blame-shifter offers an absurdly flimsy pretext for ducking responsibility.
- The character does this all the time... and consistently gets away with it.
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Anime & Manga
- Happens all the time in Ranma ˝. When something bad happens, the characters demand that the fault lies with someone else. 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 Altezza blaming Sophie for losing at a track meet, even though it's Altezza 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 Altezza's accusation, Sophie brushes off her threat of retaliation with "You don't have to pay me back"... she's that kind of character.
- Dragon Ball:
- Emperor Pilaf typically blames Shu and Mai for everything that goes wrong, even when it's clearly his fault. In the second episode of the original anime alone, he farts and puts the blame on Shu, going so far as to threaten Shu's life with a chainsaw when he doesn't take the blame.
- Dr. Gero created the androids and Cell and let them terrorize innocent populations. His reason for doing so? Because Goku, then only a kid, broke his machines over 20 years ago. Machines that he'd knowingly designed for an organization that terrorized innocent populations.
- During the Shadow Dragon Saga in Dragon Ball GT, after the Shadow Dragons are unleashed, Bulma pins the blame on Goku for starting the cycle of the Z-Fighters finding and using the Dragon Balls, despite the fact that 1) Goku had absolutely no idea what the Dragon Balls were or what they did before Bulma showed up on his doorstep looking for them, and 2) as pointed out by the Supreme Kais themselves, Bulma was the one who created the Dragon Radar, thus completely nullifying the balls' "scatter long enough for the negative energy within to disperse" safety measure, in the first place.
- Frieza, after his resurrection in ''Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’", gives Goku a long rant about his time in Hell, giving him more of a reason to want Goku dead. Goku tells him not to pin that on him, as it only happened because he came to Earth to destroy it.
- Akito of Fruits Basket cannot fathom being to blame for anything. Have sex with Kureno, 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.
- To an extent, Kyo also qualifies, externalising all of his (many, many) issues and blaming other for them, finding convenient scapegoats instead of dealing with his own self-hatred. Interestingly, he seems to have picked this up from his biological father, who in turn blames KYO for everything. Unlike his father, Kyo eventually gets over this and learns to accept responsibility for his actions.
- Rosario + Vampire: The whole reason Akua is convinced that Humans Are the Real Monsters is because her best friend/surrogate sister Jasmine was brutally murdered by an angry mob just for being a vampire. Of course, her reasoning falls a bit flat when one considers that the only reason said mob was formed to begin with was because Akua exposed herself and Jasmine as vampires by attacking a human boy who tried to befriend them out of paranoia.
- 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.
- The Dirty Pair use this as a catchphrase. And true, every time they blow up a planet or commit an act of genocide (even though it tends to happen a third of the time), it's a complete accident. Right?
- 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.
- From Code Geass:
- Suzaku demonstrates the more banal deflection of blame. Whenever the resistance takes lives/breaks the law/etc., they're bad and wrong. Yet the Empire is easily ten times worse in its treatment of Numbers, but everyone has to deal with that because they're in charge. Likewise, whenever his own culpability in such events is brought up, he acts like he doesn't have any choice in the matter, using his past as a shield.
- 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 to the opposite side of the self-blame spectrum.
- Persona 4: The Animation:
- In episode 20, the girls continue to insist that the guys are perverts because they walked in on them at the hotsprings. They conveniently choose to ignore that Yukiko was the one who caused the mix up in the first place.
- 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 creates an urban legend Eldritch Abomination whose concept quickly spreads memetically as a scapegoat to allow everyone to feel better for not owning up responsibility for their own actions. Said abomination eventually grows and causes catastrophic devastation. The kicker? The first victim created the concept to avoid facing the consequences of a puppy dying by her mistake. And only revived it years later as a way to deal with a deadline she couldn't make at work. Everyone else just picked up on it and it became real. Once she finally admits to her responsibility, the abomination goes 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.
- Haruna in Is This a Zombie? refused to accept that the reason Ayumu revealed Maelstrom's gender the way he did was because she impatiently pushed him into the vampire ninja.
- 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.
- Vincent Nightray from Pandora Hearts. Of course it's not his fault, he does it all for Gil. Besides, he is going to ask the Will of the Abyss to erase his own existence and past deeds.
- Lancer in Fate/Zero is magically cursed so that women automatically fall hopelessly in love with him; he has no control over this. When Saber (who has enough magical resistance to No Sell the attack) brings it up, he engages in some victim blaming, claiming it's her fault for being born a woman. However, later we see women who it does work on, and he clearly pities them deeply and regrets the curse.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char Aznable is pathologically incapable of accepting any accountability for his own actions. When Lalah, a former child prostitute who he turned into a Super Soldier is killed in action, it's the fault of her killer Amuro Ray. When Haman Khan, a traumatized sixteen year old girl whom he forced into being leader of Neo-Zeon, and then abandoned, becomes a tyrant, it's all on her. When the human race as a whole won't go in the direction he wants them to, they're the ones to blame for the meteor he tries to throw their way. Given Char's own mental instability it's quite likely that accepting responsibility for what he's done would break him.
- In Future GPX Cyber Formula, Naoki Shinjyo starts blaming his failures in the races on his mechanics during the latter half of the TV series, ignoring the fact that it's his recklessness and deliberately ignoring his boss's advice that caused it. It takes Miki talking some sense into him that makes him realize that his problems are his own doing.
- In Summer Wars, Wabisuke, creator of the rogue AI Love Machine, shirks responsibility for its rampage through the virtual world of OZ, blaming the American government who released it there as a test-run. Ironically, when he does accept responsibility in the climax, the media puts most of the blame on the American government.
- Magic Knight Rayearth: During his Motive Rant against the Magic Knights, Ascot says he works for Zagato because everyone else always rejects him and his summoned monsters and accuses them of being a nuisance. When Umi asks if they do cause trouble, Ascot responds that they only do so when he explicitly tells them to.
- The titular superhero has been known to act like this from time to time, whether because his general paranoia was getting the better of him, or his Manipulative Bastard tendencies were in overdrive, or because he thinks everyone else is failing to see the brilliance or tough but necessary measures of his plans.
- The Joker himself suffers from this in The Killing Joke. He spends the whole book claiming that society made him what he is by pushing him to have "one bad day" which drove him over the edge and forced him to become the insane Clown Prince of Crime. To prove his twisted theory, he shoots Barbara Gordon (permanently paralyzing her), kidnaps her father, then subjects him to a nightmarish carnival ride in which Gordon is forced to view images of his naked, crippled, bleeding daughter. The Joker then brags that Gordon has been driven mad just as he was, insisting that humanity overall is to blame for making him crazy...trouble is, Gordon is fine, though understandably shaken up. Batman then points out that it's not society's fault that the Joker went nuts, instead claiming that it was his own fault rather than anyone else's: "Maybe it was you all along." The Joker refuses to accept this.
- 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. Never mind 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. 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 Ultimate Marvel universe, things are slightly tilted — Doctor Victor van Damme, in this continuity, interfered with Reed Richards' prototype teleporter. The resultant energies resulted in the creation of the Ultimate Fantastic Four, and his own transformation into a demonic-looking being of living metal. Doctor Doom insists that the transformation is not his fault, but rather that Reed's calculations were "so bad even [he] couldn't fix them". The fact Reed lays the blame for the transformation squarely on van Damme is supposed to show that they're Not So Different, but it kind of falls flat when we see that, in an Alternate Universe where van Damme kept his grubby fingers to himself, nobody was transformed. Of course, that universe also resulted in humanity being wiped out by the Skrulls when they appeared as benefactors and gave everyone superpowers... with deliberately flawed technology that caused them to all die afterwards... but what's that saying about omelets and eggs?
- 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. How far this goes, or if it applies at all, depends a lot on who is writing him. Most of the time 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 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, "Cry Duck!", Scrooge stages several crises, such as a robbery and a fire 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. Brought up in Infinite Crisis. Batman asks Deathstroke why he's abandoned his moral code, and Nightwing says its because his children left him. Deathstroke rages that that was because of him, and it had always been of because of him. He's promptly knocked out, and told to own up to his own mistakes.
- 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 attacks him and the fight destroys a device protecting the planet, which causes its destruction and the deaths of his wife and son. Naturally he blames Superman for this.
- Supergirl enemy Worldkiller-1 (essentially an alien, body-surfing abomination) whom Supergirl fought during the storyline Red Daughter Of Krypton blames Supergirl for everything he does. He flies in a city, destroys buildings and kills innocent people? It's all Supergirl's fault because she doesn't let him take over her body and erase her mind.
- 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 Grey's possession, and completely under control with Rachel Summers'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 (although whether or not they're improving the world for the right reasons or just wanking off at themselves and their newfound power while basically putting all their oppressors under house arrest is debatable). He refuses to take responsibility for provoking the war and blames Cyclops entirely.
- 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 mindwipe 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 mindwipe him again. Cyclops breaks down crying...and blames Captain America 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, and even goes so far as to make a team that would pair Avengers up with the X-Men and other mutants, while Cyclops is wracked by guilt for killing Xavier.
- In The Sandman, Lucifer grumbles to the title character that humanity has been using him as a scapegoat throughout history. He might even be sincere.
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 evil Alpha 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.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog has Geoffrey St. John. When he was put on trial for committing treason to put Ixis Naugus on the throne, he blames the Republic of Acorn's problems on the royal familynote ignoring that fact that his own manipulations screwed things up for the heroes as well. It wasn't until he discovered Naugus' plan to mind control the Council of Acorn that he realized how badly he screwed up.
- Issue #67 of The Powerpuff Girls (DC run), "Monkey Business", tops off with everybody at Mojo Jojo's restaurant (except Blossom) having chili, which in turn makes everybody in the restaurant break wind. At the conclusion, Bubbles denies she did.
- In Legends, the Star City police officer who shot another police officer trying to stop him from firing at Black Canary decides to blame her for the death instead of taking responsibility himself, most likely since he was under the mental influence of G. Gordon Godfrey.
- Captain America and the Avengers' archenemy Baron Zemo has gotten the idea into his head that the only reason he isn't able to help the world by ruling it is because those selfish, mean superheroes just won't give him a chance. He's tried to switch sides before and expects total forgiveness/trust despite a.) acting like a mentally unstable sociopath even on his best days and b.) pretending to be a hero once as part of an Evil Plan. He's been known to wear his costume and continue using his supervillain name during trials for his crimes, and yet when he's found guilty it's the system discriminating against him. This was largely caused by his father beating praise into him through his entire childhood; by the time he was an adult, he was completely convinced of his inherent superiority over others. Thus, in his mind, he can do no wrong. Because of this, Zemo is constantly struggling with his morality.
- Avengers: The Initiative: Henry Gyrich, all the way. When a student at a super-hero training camp is killed in a training exercise, one he oversaw, Gyrich buries all knowledge of it, has the student dissected in order to work out how he got his superpowers (Which he didn't actually have), and has the kid cloned repeatedly, eventually resulting in one going utterly psychotic, rampaging about the base, killing several people and graphically wounding several others. Gyrich's response? It's not his fault, and he doesn't deserve to be dragged over the coals for it. Iron Man disagrees, and has him fired.
- Namor the Sub-Mariner. Almost every time he ever appears outside his own comic book and sometimes in it he acts like a completely psychotic Jerk Ass to everybody he meets for reasons that usually amount to Insane Troll Logic and/or Blue and Orange Morality then blames the various heroes that are trying to stop his destructive acts and/or humanity as a whole for the fact that he's doing this and the pain he's going to inflict on them for getting in his way. For instance, he's kidnapped or tried to kidnap Sue Storm multiple times but blames the Fantastic Four for trying to rescue her and bring him in.
- Nautilator from The Transformers is a bungling nincompoop who somehow manages to have No Sense of Direction and Super Drowning Skills while transforming into a lobster monster. He's a member of an underwater strike team who can't swim worth a damn and isn't even a good limb for the team's combined form. He constantly blames everyone else for his own failings, such as trying to deflect responsibility onto the Seacons for not supporting him more or to Decepticon Command for posting him to an aquatic team without checking for any competence in the area of basic seaworthiness. So far, he's been smart enough to not try to shift blame onto Megatron, which is probably why he hasn't been fusion cannoned for his whining and shirking.
- 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?"
- 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).
- Bloom County; In 1988, the Meadow Party nominated Bill the Cat - likely the most unelectable candidate in history - for President. Naturally, he lost, and his campaign manager, Milo blamed everyone and everything but the obvious:
Milo: Our organization was underfinanced! note
Opus (Turning to the reader) Two weeks later, and fingers are still pointing.
Milo: Our volunteers were unmotivated!note Our ads were late!note Our literature was weak!note
Opus: Our candidate barfed a hairball on Connie Chung.
Milo: It's the media's fault!
- A Crown Of Stars: Jinnai expected to be betrayed. But the thought that he would be betrayed because he is a Manipulative Bastard, a psychotic jerkass, a Bad Boss and a borderline rapist never ever crosses his mind. The notion that Shinji and Asuka could turn against him because he turned them into their tools and he virtually raped Asuka hundreds of times for two years never occurs to him. No, no, it has to be because Asuka is a traitorous slut and Shinji his plaything. There cannot be another reason.
- Advice And Trust: Gendo blamed Shinji, Asuka and Rei for disobeying his orders when they fought Bardiel. Never mind his strategy was dumb and nearly got them killed. Never mind they HAD to disobey his commands in order to adapt and survive the enemy attack. Never mind they won, destroying Bardiel, rescuing the pilot and recovering the Unit hijacked by the enemy by ignoring his interfering commands. He blamed them for "insubordination" and "endangering the humanity", he punished Shinji and Asuka with umemployment and threatened Rei with death.
- Evangelion 303: Asuka suffered a minor case of this in third chapter when she complained that she was being blamed for hitting Shinji even though he had got her nearly killed (forgetting that Misato clearly told her that getting angry and shouting at him was reasonable but hitting a fellow pilot was utterly unacceptable and THAT was what she was being scolded for) and for botching the latest mission (which was completely her fault). In her favor, she was under much distress at the moment and not thinking clearly, and she got over that attitude straight after.
- In The Lion King Adventures, Simba tries to pin the blame on others a couple of times.
- He does this jokingly to Nala in Who Are You?
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.
- He does this jokingly to Nala in Who Are You?
- 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.
- The real kicker is that the writers of these stories (and their supporters) actually seem to believe that the Slytherins are right. No matter how horribly the Slytherins behave, the writers always seem to attribute any display of animosity toward them to "anti-Slytherin prejudice."
- 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.)
- 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.
- Equestria: A History Revealed:
- For an In-Universe example, the Lemony Narrator often does this when explaining the clear holes in her conspiracy theories, choosing to blame either the reader or traditionalist historians, even when the fault clearly lies in the Insane Troll Logic she used to get these theories.
- One of the chapters starts out with a lawsuit to a publishing company of a book she had previously used, stating that the love potion she made following its instructions was faulty, even though it was clear earlier on that she had completely botched the recipe. It is also Hilarious in Hindsight knowing that even the Cutie Mark Crusaders in the show somehow did a better job than her in following the recipe. It becomes even worse when she says that she was aware of the "Do Not Try at Home" section prefacing the book, but states that she "chose not to read that part, so she can't possibly be held accountable for that."
- In the Vocaloid fanfic, From Concert to Chaos, Miku Zatsune and Rin Arakawa use this excuse to justify their attack on Miku and Rin during a concert AND in front of over 16,000 fans. They genuinely believed that their boyfriends, Mikuo and Len, broke up with them because of Miku and Rin interfering, even though Miku and Rin were completely and utterly innocent.
- In Mega Man NT Warrior fanfic, Maylus Revenge, has Maylu pinning the blame of Roll turning against her in "Evil Empress Roll" on Roll all because she said she's ready for the "Super Great White Angel" when in fact, it was Maylu who suggested this strategy.
- Contract Labor: After attacking Keitaro over a misunderstanding, Motoko adamantly refuses to take responsibility for her own actions and instead blames Keitaro, the victim in the whole situation, for everything, electing to challenge him to an honor duel... which ends badly for her.
- Tenten and Neji in The Darkest Light have this regarding Naruto/Naruichi.
- Tenten badmouthed Naruto, who's considered a favorite grandson by the local quadrant boss, and said quadrant boss right in front of both. She's flat-out told the sole reason she wasn't killed is because Naruto knocked her out and asked for mercy. But all Tenten cares about is that he beat her effortlessly at swordsmanship (Naruto gave her a sword then used a stick to beat her for an hour). As a result she wants him dead for humiliating her.
- Neji tried to humiliate (and possibly traumatize) Hinata by having her "manhandled by a commoner" and having her father find out when he hired Naruichi to give her a massage. Unfortunately for him, Hiashi not only found out immediately, Naruichi also had a receipt showing exactly who hired him. While Hiashi was "training" Neji in the dojo, Naruichi fixed a problem with Hinata's spine, leading her to be both more skilled and more confidant. Like Tenten, Neji has had it explained to him that what happened (particularly Hinata activating his seal while thanking him) is his own fault but instead only cares about making Naruichi pay.
- The Immortal Game: Titan blames the ponykind for the deaths of his wife and sons, although it was Discord who was responsible for First Empyrean's death, and Titan himself was responsible for the deaths of his first wife, Harmony and Empyrean II.
- Most of the girls at the Hinata Inn suffer from this in An Alternate Keitaro Urashima. Naru, Motoko, Haruka and Granny Hina are all especially bad about this.
- Naru and Motoko also suffer from this to an extreme in For His Own Sake. No matter how badly they screw up, they both adamantly refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and will always pin the blame on somebody else, typically Keitaro. This tendency has caused them all manner of grief, but they still refuse to learn their lessons. However, as of chapter 24, Motoko has finally begun to avert this and realize that all of her misery was her own damn fault.
- In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Wily has this problem big-time, blaming everyone for failures except himself.
- He finally (and rightfully) blames himself for ProtoMan leaving in the episode 11 epilogue.
- A Shadow Of The Titans: HIVE Academy has a class named "Irrational Blame Assignment". According to Mammoth, "you can get a pass even if you fail by just making a good argument on why your lousy grade somehow wasn't your fault".
- In this Harry Potter Fic, Sirius blames Dumbledore for getting the Potters killed because he didn't warn them about Voldemort until a week before he showed up, seemingly forgetting that he had a much bigger role in causing their deaths: he suggested they make Peter Pettigrew the Potter's secret keeper, and Pettigrew subsequently betrayed them to Voldemort. Bizarrely, the author didn't think that Sirius would admit his responsibility for this, even though he does exactly that in the third book.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Running From Myself, two former classmates of Twilight's blame her for getting them suspended. The entire reason for their suspensions were because they were bullying Twilight to the point where she suffered problems well into adulthood. When they try to get sympathy from Rarity, she calls them out on this. Not that they listen.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act VI:
- In chapter 27, Arial, Dark's guardian angel and now mother figure, insists that Mizore is not good enough for Dark in part because Mizore doesn't respect her. As pointed out by the others, Mizore has good reason not to respect her, especially considering the fact that Arial nearly killed Mizore in a jealous rage less than twenty-four hours ago.
- In chapter 44, after Kokoa and Sun's conflict over Gin spiral out of control to the point where Kokoa attacks Sun and beats her so brutally that Sun is left brain dead, Kurumu joins in with the others in lambasting Kokoa; while Kokoa did indeed go too far, it was Kurumu's own teasing over seeing Kokoa have sex with Werewolf!Gin, which Sun was spying on, that set Kokoa off in the first place.
- Shadow of the Dragon: In her Establishing Character Moment, Satome's mother shatters a plate of food while yelling at her son, and then blames him for it before beating the crap out of him.
- In Sun & Moon: Ascending Star, Aqua notes this tendency in Celestia during their training and endeavors to stamp it out.
- Ultra Fast Pony:
Sweetie Belle: Just because something is my fault doesn't mean I'm not allowed to blame anyone else.
- 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).
- And "Pirate Shipping" has this gem:
- In Birds of a Feather, the MBI adjuster who ran a botched procedure that left Akitsu a Scrapped Number insists it's her fault the process failed and he was fired. Everything was clearly perfect because he ran the numbers himself so clearly she was destined to be Scrapped. He dies almost immediately after when he tries to attack her with a broken bottle.
- In The Black Cauldron fic Hope For The Heartless, Avalina is kidnapped from the Horned King's (her captor's) lands by a man belonging to a bandit group (that happens to compose of the Horned king's still living former henchmen) with the intention of selling her illegally into slavery. Soon the Horned King arrives with Creeper and Addie the gwythaint, frees her and kills all the bandits. Before dying, Avalina's captor tries to kill her (again), blaming her of leading the Horned King back to them. In reality, the lich attacked them solely because Avalina was captured by that man.
- In The Changelings Have a King, the eponymous king Carapace blames Rarity for ruining his status at the Grand Galloping Gala (i.e. vehemently objecting to his poor manners, back when he was Blueblood) and incubates his new changeling army in Ponyville to cause her pain. Before finally attempting to kill her, he gloats that all of the recent death and destruction is her fault.
Films — Animation
- In The Incredibles, Syndrome's Freudian Excuse 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 himself killed because he repeatedly tried to "help". In Syndrome's self-serving flashback to the scene, Bomb Voyage is no longer present at all.
- Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, while healing Beast after he saved her from the wolves, got into an argument with him over who was to blame for the wolves attacking. Beast retorts that Belle should have never entered the forbidden room and she retorts that he should control his temper...which is not exactly an excuse. True, it was partially Beast's fault Belle ran away due to him screaming at her and not explaining himself better; but for all his bad temper, Beast DID told her to not enter that room, and had excellent reasons to forbid her from doing so. Despite being more calmed afterwards, she disobeyed, and her entering the room and almost touching the rose could have made Beast be stuck in that shape forever, so he kind of had a reason to scream at her.
- In The Lion King, Scar tries to shift the blame for the lack of food to the lionesses who won't hunt, instead of admitting that letting the hyenas eat the lions' game was what caused their food shortage. When Simba has Scar at his mercy, Scar tries to shift blame onto the hyenas. They overhear, and become extremely angry. Anger is a hell of an appetite stimulant.
- In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Zira blames Kovu for Nuka getting himself killed trying to get the attention and praise she never gave him. She even weeps for her elder son briefly before turning her sorrow into anger at her youngest.
- 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.
- Her mother, Queen Elinor, fits this trope as well. Elinor never seems to realize that most people, her daughter included, would react badly to being forced into marriage, and Elinor behaves as though she cannot understand why Merida would object. She does eventually have a My God, What Have I Done? moment... over a completely different misdeed, that of almost killing her daughter while in bear form.
- She does eventually give a speech (through Merida, as Elinor is still a bear at this point) about how young people should be allowed to chose for themselves who they will marry.
- Played very darkly in the Disney animated movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Combine this with Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny, and you have Judge Claude Frollo.
- 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!
- Of course, the Ominous Latin Choir in the background doesn't seem to agree, singing the Act of Contrition during his song.
Choir: Mea Culpa/ Mea Culpa/ Mea Maxima Culpa (My fault / My fault / My most grievous fault)
- This accompanies Frollo's "It's not my fault!/ I'm not to blame!/ It is the gypsy girl, the witch who sent this flame!"
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 "ruins 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.
- Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas blames the American Indians for not finding any gold, John Smith for Taking the Bullet, and his own men for treason when they have him arrested.
- Played for very dark laughs in Alice in Wonderland; when the Queen of Hearts confronts a trio of cards for painting her roses red (after they accidentally planted white ones), the three of them start placing the blame on each other in a desperate attempt to keep their heads. By the end of their blame game, however, the Queen has had enough and cuts the knot by demanding that all of them get executed for it.
- In Monsters University, Sulley initially blames Mike for getting him kicked out of the Scare program, even though it was really his fault for neglecting his studies.
- 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!"
- The Jungle Book 2: Shere Khan believes that Kaa knows where Mowgli is (after hearing the snake grumble "man-cub"). But truthfully, Kaa has no idea where Mowgli is, but Shere Khan won't believe him and continues to threaten the python. So to save his skin, Kaa fearfully lies to the tiger that Mowgli's at the swamp, allowing him to flee. When Shere Khan arrives at the swamp with Mowgli nowhere to be found, he angrily growls "That snake lied to me!" Well, Shere Khan, you didn't believe Kaa when he told you the truth: "I don't know where Mowgli is". Sometimes you just gotta believe the snake when he tells you the truth for once.
- Strange Magic: Roland immediately blames Sunny for drawing the ire of the Bog King by making a love potion, even though he was the one who convinced him to do it.
- In Maya the Bee Movie, this is combined with Implausible Deniability. Maya insists that Buzzlina is hiding the royal jelly under her crown, but nobody believes her. Then, Buzzlina's crown gets knocked off, with the vial of jelly inside it, and when it lands on the ground, one of the bees goes to pick it up, which reveals the jelly to the shocked crowd. Willy flies down and grabs the jelly to protect it from Buzzlina, at which point she yells, "Thief! Arrest him!"
- One of Lord Shen's main flaws in Kung Fu Panda 2. He refuses to take responsibility for his own evil actions, instead blaming his parents for not supporting him and the rest of the world for standing in his way.
- In the first film, Alex chews out Marty for getting them transferred from New York to Africa, which Marty responds with by saying that he doesn't know how this was his fault. But near the end of the movie, after Alex turns feral and runs away, Marty realizes that his wish to be in the wild cost them their friend.
- It's averted near the end of Europe's Most Wanted, where Marty admits that them going to Madagascar was his fault in the first place. The others, however, tell him that him leaving the zoo was the best thing to ever happen to them.
- An early Cut Song from Frozen called "Cool With Me" had Elsa have this type of view on relationship with her sister. Anna and Elsa were extremely close as children but have drifted apart over the years. Elsa completely blames Anna for everything while acting cocky about her own self.
We've been falling out for way too long.
So let's forget I'm right and forget you're wrong.
Okay! Let's try forgivin', maybe we could live in harmony.
Films — Live-Action
- Juice: Bishop blames Raheem, for trying to take the gun away from him, resulting in the latter being killed by Bishop with it.
- Annie from Bridesmaids heaps a great deal of blame on her best friend's newer, richer, prettier friend, but not all the disaster that befalls Annie in the film—losing her job because she called a customer a C-word, wrecking her car because her taillights were broken, chewing out a potential love interest who was only trying to help her find her feet—is the fault of the new woman.
- 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.
- Spider-Man Trilogy:
- 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.
- Star Wars:
- C-3PO is famous for this, especially in 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.
- In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker blames Obi-Wan Kenobi for turning Padmé Amidala against him. It couldn't have been your sharp descent into violent murder and villainy, no...
- C-3PO is famous for this, especially in A New Hope when he decides to go a different direction than R2-D2 in the Tatooine desert.
- Used rather darkly in The Last King of Scotland, after Idi Amin has realized that exiling the Asian population of Uganda was a serious political mistake.
Amin: You should have told me not to throw out the Asians in the first place.
Nicholas: I did!
Amin: But you did not persuade me!
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.
Jack Frost: (examines a sign he's "supervised" the elves putting up) Very nice! I've done it!
(the sign falls down and shatters, and he glares at the elves)
Jack Frost: Look what you've done!
- A non-comedic example can be seen in Repo! The Genetic Opera where Rotti and his kids use a constant (and catchy) chorus of this to convince Nathan that It's All My Fault.
- In the original 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!"
- 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.
- The Richest Cat in the World: Oscar Kohlmeyer left the bulk of his estate (five million dollars) to his cat while his nephew got only twenty-five thousand dollars and only if he didn't contest the will. The nephew's greedy wife forced her Henpecked Husband to contest and, after they lost the case, she blamed him for losing the twenty-five thousand dollars.
- 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."
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: After the Grinch steals their Christmas, Augustus blames Cindy Lou for inviting the Grinch to their Whobilation, when it was his own taunts that drove the Grinch to do so in the first place.
- Near the end of X-Men: First Class, after Erik Lensherr casually deflects a bullet and causes it to hit Charles Xavier, he immediately blames the wound on the woman who shot him in the first place. Xavier immediately calls Erik out on who is really to blame, though.
- The real reason for all the events in Now You See Me is a case of Disproportionate Retribution by the son of a magician who died trying the ultimate escape trick. He blames everyone but his father for his father's death, including Thaddeus Bradley (for exposing his father's tricks and "forcing" him to undertake the risky endeavor), Arthur Tressler (for owning the insurance company that refused to pay out on his father's policy citing suicide), and the company that made the safe his father died in (apparently, he expects safes not to deform when dropped into a river). Naturally, we're expected to side with him. Naturally, the sequel will involve a Cycle of Revenge, in which the son of Arthur Tressler seeks to avenge what was done to his father.
- Mary Poppins: The bankers pressure eight-year-old Michael hard to open a savings account with his tuppence instead of using it to feed the birds like he wants to. When he opens his hand a bit, the elder Dawes snatches the money without waiting to be given it. In a shocking turn of events, Michael flips out and yells for Dawes to give it back. Customers overhear and, assuming there is something wrong, start demanding their money back, and there is a run on the bank. The bankers in no way acknowledge their own culpability, and instead blame Michael's father, firing him.
- Downfall: As it becomes more and more obvious Germany is about to lose the war, Hitler blames just about everyone for it: first his generals, then the SS, then his inner circle, until finally he declares the entire German people lost because they were weak and deserved it. He never, ever once blames himself.
- During his last day in office, a president sits down at his desk and writes two letters, putting them in envelopes marked 1 and 2. As he welcomes the new president, he tells himthat in case he runs out of major crisis, he open the first envelope. Some time later, a crisis looms, and the new president opens the first letter, reading "Blame me for everything." The new president does so, and everything works out fine. Some time later, another crisis comes along, and the president opens the second envelope. It begins "Sit down at your desk and write two letters..."
- Jurassic Park:
- In Michael Crichton's novel, Hammond note has a long internal monologue in which he blames everyone except himself for the disaster. Then he gets eaten.
- 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 hypocrisy, her day job requires magic performed by said nuclear bombs to disguise the fact that she does absolutely nothing. Averted in the series, where she abandoned magic out of guilt after what she had done.
- 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." Which is captures in a nutshell the way Napoleon blamed all his defeats and failures on his subordinates in the memoirs he dictated to his companions Las Cases, Montholon and Gourgaud on St. Helena. Even those of his admirers who take that at face value have to point out that it generally was Napoleon himself who appointed those subordinates and put them in the position where they allegedly did so much damage.
- Very common in the 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.
- In Percy and the Trousers, Percy crashes into some luggage, but the porters were just as much to blame for not keeping an eye on the track.
- In Paint Pots & Queens, the painter loses his footing, spilling his paint, and he blames Henry.
- In The Twin Engines, The Fat Controller rips into the twins for accidents that aren't even their fault (for Donald, crashing to a signalbox and for Douglas, being late due to The Spiteful Brake Van putting on his brakes).
- In Thomas Comes To Breakfast, The Fat Controller blames Thomas for crashing a stationmaster's house, even if it was the cleaner fiddling with his controls.
- Also in Percy's Predicament, The trucks cause Percy to crash to a brake van, his driver and Fireman can't stop him in time and the Fat Controller still blames Percy.
- In Wrong Road, 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.
- In Buffer Bashing, Donald crashes into some buffers, but the Fat Controller knew it wasn't his fault since he couldn't stop in time. But when Douglas does the same, The Fat Controller scolds him.
- In Spock's World, the Big Bad, Spock's former fiancee, seems to have this problem. "My mate took a suicidal risk because my mate 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.
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Even when writing his final letter, Jekyll refers to Hyde (mostly) in the third person, insisting Hyde's actions were not his actions. "[E]ven now I can scarce grant that I committed [them]."
- 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.
- Lolita: Humbert certainly qualifies. The entire book is basically his attempt to convince a jury that he is not responsible for the events of the book.
- 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.
- In Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, this trope is played straight by every single villain.
- 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 understanding about 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.
- The unnamed student in Decision Of Fate blames his professor for his drug use. His reason? The professor gave an assignment that said the student was supposed to do something he had never done before. Somehow, it completely escapes him that not a single word was said about trying drugs.
- The protagonist of Klaus Mann's Mephisto, Hendrik Hoefgen, is a German theater actor who uses Nazi connections to advance his career. Though he uses this influence to imprison his ex-girlfriend and murder his primary rival, Hoefgen is dumbfounded when his friends, wife and colleagues disgustedly desert him. The book's concluding line has Hoefgen wondering "What do they expect of me? After all, I am just an actor."
- The Dresden Files:
- Bianca has this pretty hard. In Storm Front, the title character comes to talk to her, and she attacks him. After he defends himself and leaves, she's emotionally out of control to the point that she kills her lover/slave. And that's entirely Dresden's fault because he dared to defend himself. In Grave Peril she has the Red Court trick Dresden into an outright war because it was his fault that the woman died. Not Bianca's fault for actually killing the woman. It was Dresden's fault for making her angry by defending himself.
- The changeling Ace. By the end of Summer Knight, one of his best friends is dead and the others have turned their backs to him, since his choices led indirectly to said death. Who does he blame? Harry Dresden, whom he had earlier betrayed to the Red Court even though he was trying to help the changelings.
- The Bosses in Clocks that Don't Tick refuse to accept any responsibility for the state of the world despite, well, everything.
- Several instances in some of Stephen King's more recent works:
- The main villain in Mr. Mercedes is this. A hateful psychopath with a very disturbing relationship with his alcoholic mother, Brady Hartsfield opens the book by driving the titular Mercedes through a crowd in a spree killing, then attempts to further get his jollies by driving people close to the case to suicide through manipulation. Unfortunately, he greatly underestimates Detective Hodges, the book's main character and the now-retired detective who was on said case until he retired. Instead of pushing him over the edge, Hodges is reinvigorated and begins investigating the case on his own, turning the manipulation game around and driving Brady into a mad rage. Brady decided to try and regain the advantage by surreptitiously poisoning the dog that belongs to the family of Jerome, a young man who helps Detective Hodges, which he figures Hodges will grasp as being done by him. Unfortunately, his drunken mother gets into the poisoned hamburger and makes herself a fatal meal. Whose fault is this? Detective Hodges, of course.
- In the follow-up to the above, Finders Keepers has Morris, who blames his mother for his first stint in jail, and his friend Andrew for his second.
- Under the Dome: when Junior kills Angie. He keeps thinking about how she made him do it. He's none too rational due to a brain tumor, but still....
- Honor Harrington:
- Captain Lord Pavel Young is a poster child for the Aristocrats Are Evil trope and assumes that everything bad that happens to him is the fault of other people because, for him, It's All About Me. Usually, the target of his blame is Honor herself (whom he never calls by name, always "that bitch"). It starts with his receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Honor in their academy days when he tried to rape her. Years later, he leaves Honor horribly understaffed at Basilisk Station but blames her when she proves far more effective than he himself ever so much as tried to be.
- This is a large part of the reason the situation with the Solarian League escalates as far as it does in the later books. The League's governing bureaucracy fears that openly admitting it was in the wrong with regards to incidents where Solarian naval officers attacked Manticoran ships would be seen as a sign of weakness the systems they oppress in the Verge would capitalize on. This leaves them compelled to fight what is, in many ways, a hopeless war against the far more technologically advanced Manticore, and forces Manticore to have to fight an enemy that won't even consider a peaceful resolution.
- On a personal level, the Solarian Battle Fleet Admiral who started this conflict, Josef Byng, is shown in his own thoughts trying to justify to himself his panicked destruction of three Manticoran ships that were not threat to him while also trying to figure out how to pin the blame elsewhere.
- Discussed in the Germany section of World War Z, when a solder from Western Germany argues that this phenomenon is the reason that most skinheads and Neo-Nazis are from the East. Growing up in West Germany at the tail-end of the Cold War, he recalls that personal responsibility was drilled into all West Germans from an early age, as they were taught that they had a duty to atone for the sins of their grandparents' generation by always obeying their conscience. Under the government of East Germany, on the other hand, children never learned the importance of responsibility because they were taught that good Communists just do what they're told.
- Carcer Dun from Discworld novel Night Watch. Despite killing several people, including an off-duty watchman, and attempting to kill Vimes, he claims to the end that he is innocent.
- Star Wars Legends:
- In the Revenge of the Sith novelization, Anakin, waking on the slab, initially has this reaction to being told that he had killed Padmé. 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.
That it was all you. Is you.
You did it.
- In Star Wars: Kenobi, distraught at the loss of her son, A'Yark blames Annileen—whom she believes to have Ben Kenobi's powers—for "compelling" her to lead her people into a massacre at the hands of the settlers. A'Yark planned and led the raid to kill Annileen before she could use her hypothetical powers against the Sand People.
- In the Revenge of the Sith novelization, Anakin, waking on the slab, initially has this reaction to being told that he had killed Padmé. 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...
- In Wolf Hall, Henry VIII exiles Cardinal Wolsey and then accuses him of treason, and Wolsey takes ill and dies on the trip back to his probable execution in London. Years later, Henry acquires the habit of referring fondly to the Cardinal, as though—Cromwell privately notes—it was some other monarch who hounded him to death. (This was historically something of a pattern with Henry; it only took a few months after he executed Cromwell to start regretting it and blamed everyone else for the fact that he killed his most competent servant.)
- 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.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Quark to Rom: "Everything that goes wrong around here is your fault, it says so in your contract!"
- Cardassians in general and Gul Dukat in particular have this attitude about the Bajoran Occupation. When called out on their atrocities and brutality during that period, most Cardassian characters insist it was the Bajorans' fault for resisting their efforts to 'civilize' their planet, and for not obediently allowing themselves to be worked to death in labor camps while their planet was strip-mined and their women and children abused and exploited. In "Duet", one Cardassian who was a file clerk at one of the camps tries to get himself tried and executed publicly as a war criminal by impersonating his evil long-dead superior due to guilt over not speaking out against the atrocities of the camp and because he believes Cardassia will never be able to move forward if it does not answer for its crimes against Bajor.
- 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.
- 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.
- There was also a really big example when Maris first filed for divorce because Niles actually called her out on her selfish behavior, she said that Niles could come back if he said that it was all his fault.
- Frasier himself isn't immune to this in one episode he goes berserk at Martin for spilling some oil on the carpet claiming that "there are no mistakes" and subconsciously he did it out of spite later in the same episode he knocked Martins favorite chair of the balcony when martin confronts him on this he claims it was an accident.
- 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.
- In the Zoey 101 episode "Zoey's Balloon", Chase's ex-girlfriend Rebecca blackmails Zoey into doing humiliating stunts in front of the PCA student body because she blames her for "making Chase break up with her", forgetting that the reason Chase dumped her in the first place was because of her jealousy towards Zoey and controlling behavior.
- 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.
- Malcolm in the Middle:
- 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 spiking her coffee with washing up liquid.
- However, to illustrate that Lois is in no way blameless, just take a look at the Series 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.
- 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—his very insistence about them being "on a break", essentially tries to absolve himself of any role in the break-up, even though he'd been acting like a jerk for weeks beforehand and did something that while perhaps not outright infidelity, was certainly not something to expect Rachel to instantly get over. This probably stems from the fact that 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 her 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 he 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.
- One instance that makes a sick sort of sense is the Drive Plate Disaster that killed everyone on Red Dwarf. He claims that had Lister been there to help him, Rimmer wouldn't have screwed up fixing the drive plate. Given that over the course of the series, Lister has proven to be quite technically savvy and Rimmer is completely incompetent (a resurrected Rimmer says to the resurrected captain that anyone capable of screwing up fixing the plate would have the brain the size of a newt's testicle), he might actually be right. Though if anything, blame should fall on whoever decided it would be a good idea to give Rimmer the job of fixing a critical drive plate when he's a barely qualified vending machine repairman. Hell, in The Captain's own notes on Rimmer, it says "There's a saying among the officers; if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well. If it's not worth doing, give it to Rimmer."
- 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?"
- Power Rangers tends to have Big Bad villains blame their minions for their own occasional screw ups.
Only listen to my ideas when they're good ones! Which they all are, except this one!.
- 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.
- Power Rangers Megaforce: Prince Vekar is a spoiled prince who prefers giving orders than doing his own dirty work, and then lash out when they make a mistake cause by his own negligence or laziness. Second episode, he asks who would actually set the missiles to be launched hours later. When told it was him, he responded:
- Then the Rangers ruin his plans and he blames everyone else for his obvious screw up.
- 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.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- In one episode, 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.
- In "Dead Man's Party," Joyce all but openly dismisses the fact that her ultimatum to Buffy in the second season finale was instrumental in Buffy's decision to run away. However, unlike most other examples, she admits that she reacted badly, but still states that didn't give Buffy the excuse to run.
- Lucifer 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.
- Every main character on the show can be accused of this. Often understandable though, seeing as how they live in a Crapsack World.
- 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 host, Leta repeatedly insists that she isn't the one to blame for starting the fire.
- 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.
- Jimmy McNulty from The Wire is a Cowboy Cop with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder; nonetheless, "What the fuck did I do?" is practically his Catch Phrase.
- 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.
- On Moesha, her stepmother signed her up for modeling classes without telling her. Her father asked Moesha as a personal favor to go along with it to keep the peace. She has fun at first, but finds both her discipline and her patience with the stepmom trying to live a modeling career through her running out. When she angrily backs out of going along with this any further, the stepmother asks why Moesha ever asked her to sign her up. Flabbergasted, Moesha reminds her she *never* asked for any of this, to which the stepmom sarcastically treats her as being ungrateful. Now, could this have been avoided if Dad had just cut it off to start? Maybe. But now he steps in and plays peacemaker, looking good for doing so. Combines this trope with Karma Houdini, to say the least.
- In Fresh Meat, Josie has shades of this, particularly in the episode where she breaks another girl's arm in a fit of jealousy:
Josie: We had to take her to the hospital because her arm got broken.
Kingsley: How did her arm get broken?
Sabine: Josie broke her arm.
Kingsley: Why did you break her arm?
Josie: I didn't break her arm! I used her own weight against her, so in a way, she broke her own arm.
Kingsley: She broke her own arm?
Vod: No, Josie broke her arm.
Josie: No, I was doing self-defense on her. Sabine showed me, so Sabine must have shown me wrong.
Sabine: You were aggressive. I told you not to be aggressive.
Josie: Anyway, Heather attacked me, I defended myself, and her arm got broken.
Vod: Defense is the best form of attack.
Josie: I didn't attack. I did defense. Because defense is the best form of defense.
Kingsley: How bad is it?
Vod: Oh, it's really bad. Monster mash, mate.
Josie: Yes, but, you know what they say: Broken bones may break my bones, but they will never hurt me!
Sabine: They don't say that because it's not true. And doesn't make sense.
- In Roseanne, when Roseanne confronts her mother Bev over the latter's alcoholism, Bev goes on a rant, blaming everyone around her for her problems. Roseanne shoots back "Well, that's good, Mom. The first step is admitting that everyone else has a problem." Not that Roseanne is exactly immune from this trope herself...
- In Babylon 5:
- Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari has problems apologizing, stemming in part from the fact that he indirectly caused the deaths of millions as a result of his political maneuverings. However, because the dead were Narns, and to most of Londo's people Narns are seen as vile, aggressive, uncivilized animals, he compensates for his private shame by being more aggressively anti-Narn in public. Even after his conscience catches up with him and he uses his influence to free Narn, he makes up excuses that it was for the good of the Centauri, and had nothing to do with feeling sorry for the Narns. After that, it takes him a year before he can apologize to anyone about what he did. When he finally does, he admits, "I've never apologized for anything in my life." He was just too prideful and ashamed to admit that he was sorry, even to himself.
- Many Narns have the same problem. Certainly G'Kar did early in the show's run; he would often blame the Centauri for problems on his own homeworld. While there may be some truth to his claim, it's certainly not the only factor; as Londo points out, at least some of the problems on the Narn homeworld are caused by the Narn aggressively building their war machine for "self-protection". G'Kar got over it as the series went along.
- In an early scene that neatly sums up their relationship at that point, Londo and G'kar are waiting for an elevator when they get into an argument about the Narn/Centauri war. Their discussion becomes so heated that both of them miss the arrival and departure of the elevator. Upon realising, they simultaneously yell at each other "Look at what you made me do!".
- JAG: Lt. Williams in "Desert Son" is incapable of taking responsibility for his own actions. His dying words are "Why me?", unable to accept that everything that has happened to him has been his own doing.
- In episode 8 of The Musketeers, the Red Guard were quick to pin the blame of their captain's death on the Musketeers for not helping them, despite the Musketeers warning them that the prisoner Labarge wasn't to be taken lightly and it was the resulting fight between Labarge and the Red Guard that led to a Guard accidentally killing the captain.
- Piper on Orange Is the New Black. She thinks that she's an Only Sane Man but in reality she's a whiny, self-absorbed, and pampered idiot who often causes her own problems. For example, she belittles and insults the Ax-Crazy Pennsatucky's beliefs, then seems surprised when Pennsatucky attempts to retaliate. She initially claims that prison is causing her to act like this, but later in the show it's increasingly suggested that Piper was always a selfish idiot/jerk; she was just better at hiding it outside of prison.
- Liv and Maddie: Maddie says she can't get a driver's license because the driving school discriminates against people who can't turn left.
- Liz in 30 Rock has a minor tendency to blame the "sexist standards" of society for her own incompetence and personal failings. Jack calls her out on it in season 4 when she tries to pull the sexism card to excuse away her inability to get a steady relationship, pointing out that the only thing keeping her from settling down is her obnoxious flaws and childish bitterness.
- In Family Matters, one of Urkel's Catchphrases, always delivered right after a set of slapstick hijinks had played themselves out, was "Look what you did." And yes, Urkel was usually the one ultimately to blame for the mess.
Laura: You know, Eddie, you always do this. You shirk, and then you blame. Shirk, blame, shirk, blame.
- Eddie also had a tendency to do this, as evidenced in the episode "Odd Man In." Finding that he's been asked to judge a bikini contest on the same day he has to work, who does he ask to cover his shift? Steve Urkel, the man who, according to Laura, once stabbed himself eating peas. When Urkel predictably screws up and gets Eddie fired, Eddie rages at him until Laura calls him out on his own role in it.
Eddie: I had something else to do!
Eddie: Well, he screwed up!
- Grant Ward in season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is very quick to blame all of his actions on his messed up family or Garrett. Bobbi finally calls him on this.
- This was Wheels' M.O. in Degrassi High. In the conclusion movie, School's Out!, after Wheels gets drunk, drives with Lucy behind the wheel with him, critically injures her and kills a three-year-old boy, upon being in jail, he still tells Joey this: "It's not my fault that kid wasn't wearing a seatbelt, or that Lucy wanted chips!" By the time of Degrassi: The Next Generation, however, he does accept full responsibility for what happens, though.
- A flashback on Suits reveals that this is why Mike never got into law school. Apparently, after Trevor convinced him to memorize test answers, so Trevor could sell them, the latter got caught selling them to none other than the dean's daughter. Trevor chooses to take the fall, not naming Mike as his accomplice, but Mike confesses to the dean. The dean, angry that his daughter is now blacklisted as a cheater, and that his own career is threatened as a result, blames Mike for everything, even though there is plenty of blame to go around (not the least being the fact that his daughter chose to cheat), and uses his contacts to blacklist Mike from every law school.
- Kilgrave from Jessica Jones has an uncanny ability to do this to just about every atrocity he commits/forces others to commit. Despite his mind control ability, he's under the impression that if he didn't physically force someone to do something (steal something, sleep with him, murder someone), it was their fault for doing it.
- Though not shown as extensively, the same could be said of Dorothy Walker and Jeri Hogarth.
- The Homicide: Life on the Street episode "The Gas Man" is a Villain Protagonist episode revolving around Victor, a gas man who was arrested by Frank Pembleton and sent to prison for negligent homicide when a gas heater he installed killed a family, stalking Pembleton to gain revenge. Although he blames Pembleton for his life going wrong, it quickly becomes apparent that Victor just can't take responsibility for his own actions, as his co-conspirator Danny points out when he eventually comes to respect Pembleton:
Danny: We've been following Frank Pembleton. And what do we see? Frank slaving away at the office. Frank at the morgue. Frank interviewing the gypsy's neighbours. Frank buying flowers for his wife. Frank humiliating himself so that they can have babies. Frank Pembleton takes responsibility for himself, for his family. Hell, he even takes responsibility for dead people. It's about time I started taking responsibility for my own life. I'm not going with you, Victor.
- Laurel Lance in Season 2 Arrow. She blames everything wrong in her life — her drug addiction, her alcoholism, her abusing her authority at her job, her poor performance at the same and her only being spared arrest on charges of stealing her cop father's pain medication and DUI due to his influence (though she is still fired after trying to use her position to get out of said DUI) — on her ex-boyfriend Oliver Queen and sister Sara Lance. She gets better about this later, however.
- RoboCop: The Series:
- The show's archenemy, a criminal named William Morgan "Pudface" Morgan, was disfigured in an accident he caused. However, the minute he sees RoboCop, it's clear he blames Murphy for it and not himself.
- A Corrupt Corporate Executive and Straw Feminist named Rochelle Carney who was fired in the episode "Inside Crime" after being in league in the aforementioned Pudface as part of a ratings stunt for the episode's titular Show Within a Show. However, while her boss was indeed hitting on her, she chose to blame his behavior and her being a woman for the reason she was fired rather than what actually got her fired, which was being in league with a well-known criminal.
- A flashback in Daredevil establishes that Wilson Fisk's father was one of these kinds of people. After all, Bill's idea of "making a man" out of Wilson involves demeaning him, teaching him to blame others for his problems (including blaming Wilson himself for his own problems) and playing cruel jokes on him. When he lost the city council election, he believed that the reason he lost the local election was because his wife and son didn't show him enough respect at home, not because he's a vile, vicious, petty loser.
- Averted with Wilson Fisk himself. He seems to operate on the principle that he should do the opposite of what his father would do in a situation. As such he owns up to his mistakes and then moves on.
- House of Cards (US)
- An early episode has Frank Underwood dealing with a local political hot potato in his hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina, known as the Peachoid (a real life water tower). Ostensibly, county administrator Oren Chase is trying to have Frank blamed for the death of a teenage girl who crashed her car while texting about what the Peachoid looked like. Apparently, they think that since Frank fought so hard for the creation of the Peachoid, and because the 16-year-old girl crashed her car while texting a joke about what the tower looked like, he's responsible for her death, instead of the obvious - it's her own fault that she's dead because she decided to engage in distracted driving.
- Frank takes up this sort of attitude in season 3 when he's barely holding things together as President. This culminates in most of his inner circle turning against him.
- 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.
- The song "Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It" by Ice Cube addresses this in its subject matter, which is about people blaming the bad things they do in life on rap music rather than out of personal choice.
- The Eagles' song "Get Over It" begins with this:
I turn on the tube, and what do I see?A whole lot of people crying "don't blame me."They point their crooked fingers at everybody else,Spend all their time feeling sorry for themselves.
- Melanie Martinez's song "Crybaby" features the lyrics:
You're all on your own and you lost all your friendsYou told yourself that it's not you, it's them.
- In one episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't 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
- In Old Harry's Game:
- This trope is one of the main reasons why Satan hates humanity. However, he's not immune to this behaviour himself, continually evading any responsibility for rebelling against Heaven.
- Thomas also fits this. In life, when he was married to Edith's neice, he literally tortured her and slept with other women in her bed while she was in it. He eventually accepts that he might bear 3% of the responsibility for the divorce. Scumspawn then notes that it's 3% up from last time. In another episode, he complains to God that it isn't fair to place him in Hell when his actions were predetermined by God. God then informs him that he didn't predestine anything and Thomas' actions were of his own free will. Thomas insists that it's still God's fault for being stupid enough to give people like him free will.
- Adolf Hitler apparently still insists that the Holocaust was merely an overreaction to being filmed in the shower. Also, he blames his failed campaign in Russia on Jesse Owens.
- When something goes wrong in The Men From The Ministry, One will sometimes blame Two for what has happened, even when he is just as (or even solely) responsible.
- Orthodox Christianity states that this trope is the reason why Adam and Eve were banished from the Paradise by God, as they rejected repentance and blamed other beings: the serpent, Eve, God himself. Orthodox Church states that if they had repented, the sin would been forgiven.
- Satan and arguably the entire God of Evil concept; the idea that if someone commits a crime or indulges in a vice, it's easier to say "The Devil made me do it!" than admit to their own shortcomings.
- In Paranoia, the mission debriefing tends to devolve into everyone doing this at once.
- 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.
- This is one of Caleb Davion's many failings as a human being. He simply can't take responsibility for his own problems and mistakes. It's such an issue that he ends up a paranoid schizophrenic with an invisible friend who serves as both a split personality and an outlet for his amoral impulses.
- The one thing that the darklords of Ravenloft have in common. All of them committed terrible deeds (the Acts of Ultimate Darkness) and refuse to acknowledge that they did anything wrong. Acknowledging their crimes and their responsibility for their own misfortune is actually the first step towards escaping their realms. Then again, anyone who had the strength of character to do this would never have become a darklord in the first place.
- Into the Woods has a song named "Your Fault", which involves all the 'heroes' placing the blame for the Darker and Edgier second act on each other. (See here). The witch proceeds to call all of them out on their behavior in a Crowning Moment of Awesome The Reason You Suck Song, particularly after they tried blaming her for everything that happened.
- 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 head just 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.
- Zachary Hale Comstock, the Big Bad of Bioshock Infinite has severe trouble facing his own guilt, to the point that this is arguably his most defining trait. He only exists because he's a version of the main character that accepted baptism and created a new identity to bury his guilt over Wounded Knee. Driving the point home further, Burial at Sea features an alternate Comstock who accidentally killed Elizabeth when he tried to take her from her own world, and then had the Luteces move him to another world so that he could escape his guilt over that, too.
Rosalind Lutece: Comstock was never one to own up to his errors, was he, brother?
Robert Lutece: Never comfortable with the choices he made.
Rosalind: Always seeking someone else's life to claim as his own.
- 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!"
- 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.
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Beldam twice blames Vivian for losing something that she'd earlier insisted on hanging onto herself because Vivian "couldn't be trusted with something so important". After the second time, Vivian gets fed up with Beldam's mistreatment and joins forces with Mario.
- God of War Series 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. On the other side, Kratos refuses to accept that everything that's happened to him is because he made a deal with Ares, instead blaming every single that happens on the Gods even if it's something they didn't actually cause.
- 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. 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.
- Persona 4 also has Eri Minami, who recently married and is having a hard time bonding with her stepson Yuuta. While she does admit that she rushed into marriage despite not knowing that her husband has a son, she also tends to blame Yuuta for their inability to connect, which is only half-right, as Eri is also somewhat awkward around him. Ultimately, when Eri complains about how Yuuta's behavioral problems have resulted in his teacher and the other mothers disliking her, Yuuta assumes the player character made her cry and punches him in response, forcing Eri to realize that Yuuta is actually a good kid and open up to him.
- Tales of the Abyss:
- 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 to change himself 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!"
- In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Tatl stops you from following the Skull Kid in the beginning, and as a result gets left behind by him. She immediately blames Link for it.
- 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: The Sith Lords 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 PCs' 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. And 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.
- Portal 2:
- By the time of the final battle, 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.
- Cave Johnson. He blames Black Mesa and life for his company's failure, completely ignoring the fact that his continued abuse of ethics and ridiculous spending was what really got it done.
- 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).
- Also occurs when he gives his origin story to Hugo Strange (it's the same story from The Killing Joke). Strange points out the Joker has many different versions of his origin, and the only consistent thing is that he blames Batman for his condition in every one.
- 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 condition and supervillain career- and his wife Nora's present state- is at least partly grounded in his inability to admit to his 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.
- Averted with Gray Mann of Team Fortress 2. While he seethes at the fact all his robots are imbeciles, he admits it's his fault for designing them, and claims that the "hailing circuit" was his one moment of weakness.
- 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.
- Tales of Xillia: After the death of Milla, Alvin tries to get Jude to snap out of his Heroic B.S.O.D. by attacking him... and takes it too far by shooting Leia In the Back. While initially horrified by it, he soon blows his stack and screams at an equally-enraged Jude that it's his fault. Sure, Alvin, you can blame Jude, but which one of you has the gun in his hand?
- Tomb Raider (2013): After Alex's death, Reyes blames Lara for failing to save him and accuses her of being a Doom Magnet, 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.
- Liara has a small moment near the end of Lair of the Shadow Broker if the player chooses a certain dialogue option. She criticizes Kaidan/Ashley for not trusting Shepard after the latter was brought Back from the Dead by a known terrorist organization, conveniently leaving out the part where she was the one who left them in the dark on the subject, which allowed the Illusive Man to poison them with false information.
- In League of Legends, "Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars" and every multiplayer game, even "Call of Duty", it is common that a player will yell at his teammates in a losing game, then proceed to say that he is the only competent person on said team., even if he is doing the worst and/or hardly contributes and judges solely on his KDA ratio.
- Mega Man Zero: Dr. Weil blames the reploids for causing destruction all the time, but he considers it "the right thing" when he enacts Project Elpis and causes Elf Wars (decimating 90% of reploids and 60% of human population), and then blamed humans for punishing him. He might be right, considering that the humans are basically going vigilante... if not for the fact that the judges are reploids made by Weil himself.
- Scylla Cartier-Wells from Remember Me. While she constantly blames her daughter, Nilin for a car accident that cost her a leg, it was her fault for turning around to talk to her daughter while driving, instead of stopping at the red light just up ahead. While it is true that Nilin was misbehaving before, she wasn't misbehaving for about a minute before the crash, which doesn't justify Scylla's behaviour.
- In Sonic Rivals, Eggman Nega's motive is that the failures of his ancestor, Dr. Eggman, caused the world to refuse to recognize genius, motivating him to travel back in time, and kill his ancestor, erasing his failures and altering his family history. According to Shadow, though, this is just Nega blaming his own failures on the past.
- Lyric, the Big Bad of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, blames the other Ancients for his incurable disease, which necessitated his conversion into a cyborg, when in reality, it was his own reckless experiments with the Chaos Crystals that led to him contracting said disease in the first place.
- ENIGMA: An Illusion Named Family: Unlike his younger brother Minhyuk, who blames himself for everything, Samoon's mantra is that his company's troubles were never his fault. No, it's all the fault of a single employee, and he shouldn't be held responsible for how they killed a patient with a faulty vaccine!
- The Halo series's background info has the entire Office of Naval Intelligence do this. When the war against the Covenant ends, and the sins of the past are being looked at in detail, ONI decides to pin all of the unethical aspects of the SPARTAN-II program (kidnapping 75 children, replacing them with doomed-to-die flash clones, and subjecting said children to harsh military training and dangerous augmentations) on the project's head scientist Catherine Halsey, portraying her as an insane Mad Scientist who did it all For Science! ONI fails to mention that the SPARTAN-II Program was their idea; in fact, Halo: Ghosts of Onyx shows that ONI head Margaret Parangosky actually considered Halsey to be a "bleeding-heart" who was too concerned about the IIs' well-being.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Loghain is of this mind regarding the failure at Ostagar. When Anora asks him an Armor-Piercing Question over whether or not he indirectly killed Cailan, he looks away from her and mutters that Cailan's death was his own fault.
- Loghain's first response to any mention of his crimes is to deflect the blame onto someone else. He left Cailan and the Grey Wardens to die? Cailan killed himself and/or the Grey Wardens goaded him into the charge (which to be fair isn't entirely inaccurate). Loghain allowed the darkspawn to pour into Ferelden since he was too busy igniting and fighting a needless civil war and/or Orlesian border patrol? It's the nobles' faults for not instantly bowing before him. The Warden points out he sold elves into slavery? It's the Wardens' fault because them raising their own army to fight the Blight he wasn't fighting meant it was somehow their fault he stretched his forces too thin and needed the money. Anora sides with the Warden because Loghain's many crimes, madness, and paranoia have finally gone too far for her? They brainwashed her. Only occasionally does he expand his defense to I Did What I Had to Do.
- Yuuki Terumi of BlazBlue fame zigzags this trope all over the place. You see, it's whether accepting the blame is beneficial to him that determines whether he'll take it or dodge it.
- Because he requires external observation to retain his existence (for him, being hated is easier), he's willing to accept the blame for screwing up other people's lives. This includes creating the Black Beast (Nine), killing Tomonori in cold blood (Jubei), murdering Nine and Trinity (Valkenhayn, Hakumen, Kokonoe) and everything he did to Ragna and Saya (Ragna, Noel).
- On the other hand, if the consequences of accepting blame are harmful to him, he's all too willing to distort the truth of the affair, up to and including attacking (with intent to kill) any potential witnesses. See the affair of "Ministerial Secretary to Jin Kisaragi" as proof; he would rather tell Tsubaki that Noel stole the seat from her than admit his own role in the affair (also, she was Jin's sec in another world, but he left to chase Ragna anyway, one instance had her jump ship to Zero Squadron just to pursue him, and she winds up dead in the end) because (a) he'd rather keep an anti-Observer weapon pointed away from him and (b) he needs an anti-Hakumen shield close at hand. And the first spoilered bit is all the reason he needs to kill Makoto... amongst other things.
- Huey Emmerich, as of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is this to a T. When he is called out for his crimes: helping XOF destroy the MSF and the original Motherbase, helping Skull Face create the ST-84 Metal Gear, causing the Vocal Cord parasite mutation that resulted in the deaths of dozens of Diamond Dog's personnel, try to use his son in a weapon experiment, and for murdering his wife; he refuses any blame. He tells outright lies (such as claiming that his wife had committed suicide or that he was not aware of XOF's attack until it had started), shifts the blame onto someone else (trying to blame Venom Snake for the deaths of the Diamond Dogs personnel even though Snake had only killed them to prevent the spread of an infection caused by Huey, or claiming that Kaz was the traitor because he had contacts with Cipher in the past), or, after being caught out in the lie, tries to claim that he had done the right thing anyway (he claims that MSF and Diamond Dogs were just bands of murderers that needed to be destroyed).
- The Legend of Dragoon: This shows up in Haschel's backstory of him being a lousy parent. As her martial arts master, he pokes and pokes at Claire to be more aggressive until she accidentally kills her sparring partner. Then he accuses her of "planting a murderous intention in her fist." No, what happened on his watch, as a result of his words to his student, wasn't his fault. By the time the game proper has started, he's realized this and his entire motivation is to track her down so she can forgive him.
- At the end of a genocide run in Undertale, After you drag the Narrator aka Chara aka The First Child through the murder of everyone they ever knew and loved, Flowey will appear to beg for his life. A broken Chara, after killing Sans and Asgore without hesitation, is unwilling to kill their brother and their best friend, until YOU force them to. After destroying everything in the Underground, Chara appears before you and asks you to make good on the promise to erase the world... the only way for a ghost to actually "die". Given Chara's suicidal tendencies before the start of the game, wanting that release is fairly understandable. But then you decide not to, you'd rather leave Chara trapped in the Undergound all alone for all eternity after breaking them emotionally and psychologically. Chara takes matters ibnto their own hands and does it for you. And somehow, despite being the entire reason you're able to save Asriel in the pacifist run, despite being your friendly narrator throughout the game, despite Undertale's entire message that NO ONE is irredeemable, and NO ONE is bad for no reason, the fanbase has decided that Chara is an irredeemable, psychotic demon that wants to destroy everything you ever knew and loved. And why? Well, because, as Chara puts it, we Undertale fans think we are above CONSEQUENCES.It's easier to blame someone else than to take responsibility for the horrible things we did.
- Garrosh Hellscream in World of Warcraft infects his men with the Sha and when they all succumb, blames Anduin who up to that point, had done nothing beyond telling Garrosh he was making a grave mistake. He also orders an attack on the Alliance fleet in Twilight Highlands, despite both parties being present to fight the Twilight's Hammer, and then tells his men that the Alliance attacked first. In the final confrontation with Thrall, he accuses Thrall of leaving him to rule the Horde in spite of the fact that he wasn't ready, conveniently forgetting that Thrall had given him respected Horde leaders to advise him, whom Garrosh then proceeded to alienate and/or try to kill.
- Mighty No. 9: The entire plot happened because years ago Gregory Graham tried to use Trinity to get ahead of weapon development, only to be stopped by Dr. Blackwell, who was incarcerated so Graham could avoid being arrested. Years later, he tries again and Trinity basically causes the robot apocalypse. He tries to shift blame to anyone he can think of, from Trinity's creators to his own parents.
- Ace Attorney — both humorously and seriously.
- 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''.
- Every time the prosecutors lose, they cut Gumshoe's salary.
- Another serious example; Matt Engarde displays no Psyche-Locks when questioned about the death of his rival. Though Exact Words probably played a small part in it - he hired an assassin rather than doing the deed himself - it's still heavily implied that actually thinks this absolves him of any guilt, at least legally speaking. On top of that, his motive for doing so was that his rival was going to 'ruin his reputation' over the fact that he'd deliberately driven his ex-girlfriend to suicide (not that the rival, who'd dumped her after learning of her past relationship, was completely blameless either, but Matt treats the entire affair like it was just another way of one-upping the guy).
- Monokuma from Danganronpa traps 15 students in a school, explains that the only way for them to escape is to start killing each other, and then if they don't, starts providing incentives for them to do so and generally psychologically tortures them until the body count rises. If he's ever called out on this, though, he'll act offended that anyone would even think to make such an accusation. After all, they're the one's doing all the killing. This escalates in the sequel, where his "incentives" include infecting a good chunk of the cast with a personality-altering disease and then withholding food until until somebody dies.
- 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 white-out fluid), 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 white-out fluid).
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!
- Red vs. Blue:
- Caboose 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!
- In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor manages to deal with everything he's accused of by shifting the blame for it on either Chaos gods or fucking Horus.
- Friendship is Witchcraft deliberately parodies this with Twilight Sparkle. In this universe, she's a psychotic narcissist who only cares about becoming a princess; as such, she refuses to believe that anything she does is wrong, often blaming Spike for things she clearly messed up. One episode even goes into her memory and shows that she willfully misremembers things just to make Spike look bad.
- In Motherly Scootaloo and its spin-off, although Rain Catcher does admit that he made a few mistakes, he blames Scootaloo for it overall, even though he was the one who gave her the idea, saying it would make her "cool", and pressured her into continuing when she had second thoughts at the last minute.
- Girl Genius:
- 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:
Random Person: You killed Beetle?
Gil: He threw a bomb at me!!
- Othar Trevveyson, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER! is this for his relentless conviction that he's the hero, and should therefore have Protagonist-Centered Morality. In the Revenge of the Weasel Queen "radio drama", the Queen pours out her Tragic Villain backstory to him and as good as says she wants to reform and he can help. Othar, only half-listening, assumes this is an evil subterfuge and declares he will "do whatever it takes to destroy you!" When the Weasel Queen responds "Fine! Just ... fine!" and Othar is surrounded by killer rabbits, he criticises her for "resorting to violence instead of peaceful discussion".
- In Strays, in Meela's dreams, after a Stalker with a Crush kills the mother, he sees the child and — blames him.
- 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 (though he was perfectly willing to let Xykon live until Redcloak killed Right-Eye). A very dangerous pawn who could kill him almost instantly if things go wrong, but a pawn nonetheless.
- When Sabine's buffs start wearing off because she was given them by a low-level caster, she asks herself whose dumb idea it was to hire an apprentice wizard. Just over a hundred strips earlier, guess whose idea it was?
- A comedic example is Mr. Jones and Mr. Rodriguez. Whenever they lose a case, Mr. Jones declares that the trial transcript clearly shows that Mr. Rodriguez was representing their client. Mr. Jones proudly noted his 5-0 record, while lambasting Mr. Rodriguez's 0-147... even though the two always work together and it's the same record.
- 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. At one point, she literally demands that Tavros (one of the aforementioned companions) apologize to her for being paralyzed- and she was the one who paralyzed him.
- Lark in Mike Bookseller will blame anyone or anything to get out of trouble: "Lark, that's a cardboard display of Henry Winkler".
- 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.
- 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-Enemy much 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.
- 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.
- Psionic Minmax in Goblins feels no guilt over the fact that he regularly tortures and kills others in order to advance his plans, because he has convinced himself that the universe itself is to blame if the fundamental rules that govern it allow things like pain and death to occur.
- In Sluggy Freelance, Zoe has an unusually self-aware example when, after Riff incinerates her laundry, she goes to Gwynn and borrows a low-cut shirt that shows the curse tattoo on her upper chest. When Zoe's fellow students stare at her during a test, Zoe wants to "kill" Gwynn, but then remembers that she chose the shirt herself. Since she knows she can't "kill" herself, she decides she "can always kill Riff."
- 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?
- GameChap 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!"
- A_J of AJCO is quick to place blame on those around her when she makes mistakes, and it's always Played for Drama. After Doctor Pi dies in the re-education suite she instantly turns to Egg, who was forced to make the final decision, and places the blame on her despite the fact that she didn't want to let it happen, and despite the fact that Kaja, Crez and Req played an almost equal part in the affair. Egg immediately calls her out on it.
- 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.
- If Arin Hanson screws up a puzzle he immediately says that the game is poorly designed, even if the game is designed well.
- DarkSydePhil! 97% of the time he plays a game and screws up or loses, he will blame the game on lag, a non-existent bug, or any number of other factors that don't involve him. If he's playing multiplayer, he almost always declares the one who beat to be a terrible player who must have cheated.
- During the Yogscast Minecraft Series playthrough of Voltz, Sjin gets all of the blame from Sips for spawning in a Red Matter Bomb for the purposes of mining copper and nearly destroying the world. While Sjin was responsible for spawning the bomb in and setting it off, Sips had also been spawning stuff in and actively encouraged Sjin to use it, equally ignorant as to its effects.
- 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.
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Robotnik demotes Coconuts after being tricked by Sonic, despite Coconuts not being around when it happened. "I'M the boss! I can blame whoever I want!"
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Master Shake lives this trope to extremes. If he caused something, no matter what it is, he'll shift blame to anyone in the immediate area. He once wrote a self-help book dedicated to people living like this, and it didn't sell at all. True to Shake, he blames this not on his advice, but Frylock shutting his website down.
- The Batman featured several villains who became what they were because they refused to take responsibility for their actions.
- Mr. Freeze blamed Batman and a homeless drifter for his accidental mutation that occurred after stealing diamonds. He even freezes the homeless man in an act of revenge. Batman actually does blame himself for a while, before getting back on his feet and calling Freeze out, saying it was his own fault for what happened.
- Cluemaster was dedicated to killing three people he perceived as responsible for his humiliation as a child. What actually happened was he kept winning a game show but lost, fair and square, by getting a question wrong. Being a spoiled brat, he had his mother sue the show for being rigged and spend decades plotting revenge while becoming obese. Batman once again calls out his enemy, throwing away a promising future with his vast intellect all for revenge on something he legitimately got wrong on people who don't even remember him.
- Harley Quinn snaps and becomes Joker's girlfriend and partner, and desires revenge on the network that cancelled her show. Her show was cancelled because of her insane attitude and unorthodox methods, which include giving advice to a girl to disobey her mother to date a boy she wasn't allowed to see and harassing Bruce Wayne with a jilted ex while trying to talk about a charity fund.
- 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!
- 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 acquired the 4th flavor ice cream, they decide to add sprinkles to it. Numbuh Five warns them not to do it, saying it's wrong to add topping to good ice cream. They ignore her and add it, they end up causing the the cave they're in to collapse, they blame Numbuh Five for tricking them even though she warned them.
- Numbuh Five'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 Five that any candy he 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 Five. When he got turned into a chocolate monster while trying to make real live chocolate bunnies. Nope, not his own actions, it's Numbuh Five'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 Five for "abandoning" her. Uh... yeah. It's a good thing this brat still has Numbuh Five as a friend after all of this.
- Danny Phantom:
Valerie: This is all your fault!
- Valerie in the Chained Heat episode, though at least Danny has the nerve to call her out on it:
Danny: Right, 'cause clearly the maniac who cuffed us and dragged us in here didn't have anything to do with it!
- This is Sam Manson's defining character trait. When she screws up, she always blames either ignorance (such as when she accidentally wishes Danny's powers away) or someone else (either Danny, Tucker, Jazz, or even the ghosts).
- Dexter's Laboratory: In the episode "Game Over," when Dee Dee repeatedly beats Dexter at video games and Dexter snaps and angrily declares that he doesn't want to play games with her anymore, Dee Dee angrily calls him a Sore Loser and storms off, not taking into consideration that the entire reason Dexter snapped at her like that is because every time she beat him at a game, she relentlessly rubbed it in his face.
- Family Guy:
- Brian notes that Peter is a terrible liar. The scene then cuts to Peter and one other man in an elevator. Peter farts. The other man looks at him. Peter's remark? "Um... That was you."
- Though Meg was already blaming Chris, Peter, mistaking the blame to be directed for having to relocate towards him, also blames Chris... even though it was Peter's fault in the first place for revealing Chris' identity to the crook who wanted him dead.
- After hitting Brian with his car:
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.
- When Brian is finally able to publish a well-liked self-help book by deliberately pandering to the lowest common denominator of reader, he slowly starts believing his own hype and goes on a talk show to discuss it. While there, the guests eviscerate the book as terrible—but rather than admit his own failings, Brian blames Stewie, who's working as his agent, for booking him on the show. Even at the end when Brian "apologizes" to Stewie, he still acts as if the whole incident was Stewie's fault.
- This is generally the case for Brian, especially in regards to his writing career and track record with women. He's never willing to say that he's not a very good author or that he can be a jerk to his dates, instead insisting that everyone else has a problem.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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.
Demona: I will have vengeance for the betrayal of my clan. Vengeance for my painBrunette Sister: But who betrayed your clan?Silver-Haired Sister: And who caused this pain?Demona: The Vikings destroyed my clan.Brunette Sister: Who betrayed the castle to the Vikings?Demona: The Hunter hunted us down.Blonde Sister: Who created the Hunter?Demona: Canmore destroyed the last of us.Sister: Who betrayed Macbeth to Canmore?
- Used for much more serious effect twice in identical instances with two different characters, Demona and Jon Canmore, as each realized (and then immediately denied) the full scope of the consequences of their actions:
"What have I — what have they done to you?!"
- This is one of Demona's defining character traits — she constantly finds a way to blame humans for her problems, even when things are clearly her own fault. It's Lampshaded in the final episode of the "City of Stone" arc, when the Weird Sisters put her in a trance and ask a series of questions.
- True to form, once the trance is lifted, Demona wastes no time in declaring "None of this was my fault!"
- Used for much more serious effect twice in identical instances with two different characters, Demona and Jon Canmore, as each realized (and then immediately denied) the full scope of the consequences of their actions:
- 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?"
- This is one of the negative traits of demon sorcerer Shendu and his son Drago in Jackie Chan Adventures. They like to blame their conscripted underlings or Jackie Chan himself for their defeats, and this doesn't fly well with their comrades.
- 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.
- Just like his comics incarnation, Luthor tends to do this. For instance, when he finds out that he's got radiation poisoning from exposure to Kryptonite, he blames Superman for it, despite Luthor being the one who carries the radioactive rock around in his pocket at all times. And before he blames him Superman even states he is willing to do whatever he could to help him.
Luthor: This is all your [Superman's] FAULT!
- Emil Hamilton justifies siding with Luthor by blaming Superman for threatening his life at the end of Superman: The Animated Series. The reason Superman had threatened him is because Hamilton had initially refused to help save a wounded Supergirl's life, due to Superman being treated as a criminal after being temporarily Brainwashed and Crazy, and Hamilton was more concerned about saving his own ass than helping someone he'd previously called a friend.
- The Atom is battling a (relatively) large nano-machine, and jokingly blames it on his assistant.
- 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 Buck does and says, which escalates from receiving Buck's prized watch to doing some unethical things, even though he fails to realize what he is doing is 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 Buck 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 Buck, were under serious danger from the people who Buck 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.
- Looney Tunes:
- In the short The Turn-Tailed Wolf, the Big Bad Wolf gives his nephew a VERY biased account on his encounter with The Three Little Pigs. At times, he even accidentally breaks character while telling the story, making it pretty clear to the audience ( and, by the end of the short, his nephew) that it's a fabrication.
- 1941's The Trial of Mr. Wolf, taking place in a courtroom trial, has the Big Bad Wolf telling of how he was terrorized by the grandmother of Red Riding Hood, who was after his pelt. The jury is comprised on twelve wolves who are ultimately agreed to finding the Big Bad Wolf not guilty. When Big Bad finishes his testimony, the jury finds it so far-fetched that they're now skeptical.
Big Bad: (groping) And if that ain't the truth, I hope... uh, I hope I get run over by a streetcar! (a streetcar bursts through the wall and runs over him) Well... maybe I did exaggerate just a little.
- 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. Clay's penchant for this trope goes so far that he blames Orel when Clay shot him in a drunken state. It's hard to say which is worse, the victim blaming, or that the only time he admitted to shooting Orel, he claimed to be glad about it.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3" Rainbow Dash realizes she's going to fail the Wonderbolts history test, then turns around and blames Twilight for it, even though it was clearly her fault for not paying the slightest bit of attention when Twilight was trying to help her.
- Lord Tirek hates his brother Scorpan for betraying him... despite the fact Scorpan tried his hardest to get Tirek to join him in performing a Heel–Face Turn with him, and Scorpan only betrayed him when Tirek left him with no other choice and thus Tirek has no-one to blame but himself.
- 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).
- The Simpsons:
- "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 — is "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. And then Jack himself does this when he burns both the mural and Skinnner's car in retaliation, the latter of which he does in full public view. Even after that Jack tries to insist that he didn't do it.
- 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."
- In "Lisa the Vegetarian", Lisa uses a riding mower to destroy a barbecue organized by her father. She admits her fault, but not completely. Of course, Homer was a bit of a Jerkass to her, but this doesn't justify Lisa's behavior.
Homer: Ohhhh. Lisa. I was looking for you. I wanted to apologize. I don't know exactly what went wrong, but it's always my fault.Lisa: Actually Dad, this time, I was wrong...Homer: Oooh!Lisa: ...too.Homer: Ohh.
- Summed up by Homer with this quote from "I'm with Cupid". "Guys, It's easy to blame ourselves, but its even easier to blame Apu".
- South Park:
- Butters is used to being a scapegoat.
Butters: It's great, you get to throw rocks at cars and if the driver gets angry, you blame me.
Cartman: (after sending Butters to the store and then destroying the TV) It was just... I was just... BUTTERS YOU ASSHOLE!
- 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 milk.note
- In "Fishsticks", Jimmy comes up with the funniest joke ever (according to the show, at least) while Cartman is lounging on the couch eating pretzels. Cartman quickly takes half the credit. When Kyle rightly questions Cartman's involvement in writing the joke, Cartman has a flashback and decides that, yes, he did do the lion's share of the work, and Jimmy's the one who is taking more credit than is due. Naturally, he blames Kyle for being jealous. Kyle tells him that Cartman is exactly this trope and is able to easily fool himself. Another flashback later, and Cartman is convinced that he did all the work (while fighting off Jew-bots as the Human Torch) and uses Kyle's logic to convince Jimmy that he's this trope.
- "Pinewood Derby" has Randy cheat on the soapbox derby race he and Stan are participating in by stealing a hadron collider. After the winning boxcar launches into space and is found by aliens, things escalate into a "Fawlty Towers" Plot where everyone lies about not finding "space cash" while hiding it. When things come to a head, Stan, who never wanted to cheat in the first place, comes clean about the car they used not using the approved items in their kit. Randy praises him for telling the truth before punishing him, clearly not taking any responsibility.
- Butters is used to being a scapegoat.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog: A Running Gag is that Eustace scares or hurts Courage for fun, which results in Muriel promptly bashing him over the head with a rolling pin or whatever else may be handy at the time, after which Eustace angrily demands, "What did I do?!"
- The Spectacular Spider-Man: Spider-Man/Peter Parker has his fair share (this being a Spider-Man cartoon and all)
- 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.
- 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
- 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 apologize. 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. note
- 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.
- 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.
- Averted in "Wayward Winston". While the Fat Controller scolds Winston for rolling away, he also admits that it's partially his fault for not putting the brake on.
- Played for Drama 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.
Sentinel: I'm sorry too. Sorry we ever went to that stupid planet in the first place. Besides, it too late for apologies now, Optimus. Too late for all of us.
- There's elements of this in Blackarachnia's behavior too. Even though she was just as eager to go to the planet and is strongly implied to have been responsible for talking Optimus into going, she lays all of the blame on Optimus. Oddly, she doesn't ever seem to hold as much of a grudge against Sentinel, even though it was his idea in the first place.
- 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.
- 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.
- This comes up three times in the Rocket Power movie "Race Across New Zealand". First, when Otto's dirtboard falls apart and he loses the race to Theodore and Reggie, he blames his loss on Reggie refusing to give him her board. Then, when he loses the windsurfing race to Theodore after Reggie blocked his path to get her dad to notice her, Otto blames the loss on Sam giving him bad directions based on false information supplied by the Big Bad, as well as Reggie blocking his path. When Ray calls Reggie out on the act, she has a moment of her own, blaming her action on her dad shutting her out in favor of Otto.
- The Powerpuff Girls:
Brikowski: (about to be taken away) This is just another story of a good cop gone bad.
- One episode has a fat cop named Mike Brikowski who, rather than actually trying to fight crime, sits around and eats donuts. When he's fired for being a terrible police officer, Brikowski immediately claims that it's because the Powerpuff Girls are cleaning up all the crime in the city and making the police obsolete, rather than admitting his own laziness and refusal to work (when he sees a news report of himself sleeping on the job, it's implied that he realizes he's at fault, but instead blames the girls). He then tries to murder the Girls for all of this, and tries to back up his actions by saying they make "cops look like bums"—the girls quickly correct him, insisting that they need the police and work with them to fight crime. True to form, the police arrive just in time to save them and arrest Brikowski.
Blossom: You're not a good cop gone bad. You're a bad cop gone worse!
- Princess Morbucks always blames the girls for not accepting her as a Powerpuff Girl, and then blames her father for not giving her enough money for "cool gadgets".
- One episode features Straw Feminist Femme Fatale, a supervillain who claims she's committing crimes to fight the patriarchal systems of Townsville. She temporarily sways the girls to her views and makes them mini man-haters, but Miss Bellum and Miss Keane help them realize that Femme Fatale isn't noble in the slightest, especially because she hurts and robs other women. When they confront Femme Fatale with their new knowledge, she tries to repeat her old view that men are to blame for what she's doing, when it's really all her own fault for being a jerk.
- The Smith family, who live next door to the Girls, has this problem. Harold Smith, the family patriarch, dreams of being a supervillain (and is really, really bad at it), so when his wife invites the girls and Professor Utonium over for dinner, he tries "attacking" him with a ray gun that appears to be a common hairdryer. When the girls understandably fight back against the man they think is trying to kill their father, he ends up getting arrested, but his wife is somehow convinced that it's the girls' fault and not her insane husband's. This leads to a second episode in which the whole Smith family blames all of their problems on the Powerpuffs; they decide to become supervillains to fight them, never once considering their own culpability.
- Phineas and Ferb:
- Dr. Diminutive once "borrows" (read: stole) Doofenshmirtz's Schmaltz-inator and uses it for something he is arrested for. He blames 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.
- Jackie Chan Adventures: 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 themselvesnote . 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?!
- My Life as a Teenage Robot: The Crust Cousins have it in for Jenny for getting them arrested by the police. The reason they were arrested: for causing a fire that burned down the school by interfering with Jenny's circuitry while operating a laser, in order to ruin her.
- SWAT Kats:
- As revealed in the Origins Episode, when Chance and Jake (a.k.a. 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, even after Chance point-blank told him so, 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.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
- In a first season episode, after being turned into Spider Bytez, Vic attacks the Turtles in a rage, blaming them for his mutation. However, if he hadn't been acting like such a Fat Bastard to them throughout the episode, and screwed up their attempt to save him from the Kraang, he never would have come in contact with the mutagen in the first place.
- In the second season, Mutagen Man begins blaming the Turtles for his transformation into this horrific Blob Monster, except that he ended up that way despite their attempts to stop him deliberately exposing himself to mutagen. It may be justified, since it's implied that his mutation has destroyed his sanity.
- The exact same thing happens with Michelangelo in "Mikey Gets Shellacne" where he intentionally exposes himself to mutagen to make himself cool, even ignoring the warning labels on the can and his own common sense from experience. The end result has his mutation going out of control by making huge pus-filled boils grow across his body up to and including through his shell, so much it nearly kills him and continues to blame the others for not warning him of its effects, even after Donatello points out that there were indeed warnings on the can.
- Shredder has this mentality constantly. More than once, he has attempted to hurt Splinter, had it backfire in his face, hurt a bystander Shredder did not want hurt, and blamed Splinter for it.
- The Fairly OddParents:
- In one episode, Vicky causes an avalanche that leaves Timmy and herself trapped in a cave and freezing to death, and then angrily tells Timmy that it's all his fault. Timmy, however, quickly points out that she was the one who caused the avalanche in the first place, and goes off on a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how Vicky is responsible for all of his misery and how, even if he dies, at least Vicky is going down with him.
- Timmy himself is not exactly innocent of this trope either, though. It's fairly common for him to blame other people for his own wishes going awry, despite the fact that it's almost always his own lack of foresight that leads to said wishes going awry.
- In another episode, Timmy's friend AJ gloats over his intelligence, prompting a jealous Timmy to wish himself smarter than AJ. When Timmy starts gloating and showing off, AJ acts as though he's being an obnoxious jerk for no real reason when in fact Timmy probably wouldn't have been showing offnote if he hadn't been gloating himself. However, AJ subverts this later on when he admits that if he hadn't been so busy gloating, Timmy might have agreed to let AJ help him study.
- Mary Anne, an old evil godkid of Cosmo and Wanda's blames them for "deserting" her and plans to murder them for it when Timmy wishes her back to life. In perhaps the most extreme invocation of this trope, it turns out that Cosmo and Wanda were either taken away or quit because Mary Anne stole one of their wands, used it to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand and plunged the world into World War I, meaning that all of it was very clearly her fault. Yikes.
- A crux of the Sibling Rivalry between Arthur and D.W.
D.W.: (in the "Two Sides of the Story" song) Why do I always get blamed for things I don't do, Mom?
- Quite possibly the most infamous example would be in "Arthur's Big Hit", when she breaks his model plane despite his warnings and because she thinks it could fly. She blames Arthur for not building the plane correctly before he punches her in retaliation. To make matters worse, Arthur takes all of the punishment, and D.W. gets off scot-free. The episode tries to portray D.W. as the victim and Arthur as the one in the wrong.
- A crux of the Sibling Rivalry between Arthur and D.W.
- Camp Lakebottom: In one episode, Suzi and Buttsquat have jet skis. Suzi invites her brother to join her only to close a glass door on him every time he tries to accept her invitation. She blames him when the mechanism that opens and closes the door breaks.
- NASCAR Racers: Lyle blames Charger for losing his job as a Fastex driver but he was fired because Jack Fassler doesn't approve what Lyle does to earn his nickname as "The Collector".
- Livewire's origin as a villain in Superman: The Animated Series is a result of this when she, as a Superman-bashing Shock Jock, decided to host a party in the middle of a nasty thunderstorm. Superman literally saves her life by preventing her from being struck by lightning, but she gains her electrical powers in the process. She, of course, blames Supers for "ruining" her life.
- Wander over Yonder:
- Brad Starlight thinks he's a hero who is following a prophecy to save a princess and marry her. He's actually her stalker who won't take no for an answer and gets beaten up, by her of all people. He refuses to admit he was wrong about everything. He also places all the blame on Wander, despite that Wander was actively helping him but only stopped helping when Brad was revealed to be a delusional fraud and didn't do anything else after that.
- One of Lord Hater's main flaws. He blames his losing status as a villain and lack of arsenal on par with Lord Dominator's on Peepers, rather than his wasting his resources on trivial things or his obsession with destroying Wander. Peepers has to call him out on it.
- 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.
- When Denmark became an absolute monarchy, a "King's law" stated that the king was "above all human laws", and therefore faultless. This rule was executed in Denmark all the way to 1848, when a democratic constitution was drafted. Kind of an Enforced Trope. Any Danish king from 1665 up to 1848 and onwards could argue with this trope as a legal right.
- 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 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. This can be justified in some cases as a voter may like his own representatives, but disagrees with all the others.
- This is 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 what prompted "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 insidious justification/tactic used by bullies and abusers to dominate their victims and avoid having to take responsibility for their own actions and tempers. 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.
- 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 humor?". A response of "it's not funny, you asshole" is likely to be written off as either further proof of the victim's humorlessness or evidence that they're a "drama whore" who needs conflict to make themselves feel special. This is why teachers are taught to make children responsible for their own behaviour.
- They accuse the other person of not taking responsibility. In other words, an abusive husband 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 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. Fundamentalist feminist activists, on the other hand, often claim that unprovoked female-on-male violence is a form of self-defense that proactively holds men and boys accountable for the future abuse that all males, in the minds of those activists, will inevitably commit against females.
- Conmen run a line that attempts to put the blame of their crime on the victim. In these cases, the line is less "X (the victim) provoked me and therefore its his/her fault" and more "X was Too Dumb to Live since X didn't ask one specific question or wanted something they hadn't earned; X therefore deserved to get ripped off." Or in short - "A fool and his money are soon parted". Alternately, many confidence games lure in their intended "mark" with the prospect of cheating the con artist out of some money, which lets the con artist justify it as "If they hadn't been greedy, they wouldn't have lost anything." The hypocrisy of this argument is self-evident, given that the con artist set up the scenario specifically to rip the mark off in the first place.
- 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. According to an article by a former commenter on one political website, anyone who showed up to disagree with them was a "troll". The response to "trolls", among other things, was to deliberately provoke them - in other words, troll them - until they either left the site or said something bannable. The website in question linked to and endorsed this guide to dealing with "trolls". The guy running the site later said that he would never, ever endorse harassment of people on the other side. It's not clear whether he was lying, or his bias is just that severe.
- Long-time abuser Bryon Beaubien (Bit Polar) does this a lot alongside Gaslighting, another favored abuser tactic.
- This happens on both sides of the digitial piracy issue.
- Whenever a PC port of a game doesn't sell well due to being buggy, missing important features, or just burdened by unmanageable Copy Protection, the publisher always puts the blame on piracy. Which usually leads to the copy protection on future games being even more unmanageable. 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.
- Conversely, pirates themselves may fall into this trope when trying to justify their behavior, claiming that the media industry (games, movies, music, etc.) has driven them to piracy due to detrimental practices such as the aforementioned unmanageable Copy Protection. Some pirates can and will blame everything and everyone for "forcing" them to pirate stuff, such as, say, the latest episode not being available for their cell phone legitimately...yet. Or a game company selling "expensive" DLC for the game, even if they didn't want to buy any DLC in the first place. Or even offering a season pass for DLC which the pirate, again, doesn't want. The ugliness of this was shown when an independent developer allowed the buyers to pay whatever they thought a game was worth, going as low as 1 cent: about a third of the downloads were still pirated. Apparently, even paying a single cent is too much for some people. Some defenders, of course, argued that the pirates may have been people without credit cards, possibly in third-world countries, and so it's still the industry's fault they pirated.
- Plenty of movie executives and network executives are this way. They'll demand unnecessary changes to a film or TV show thinking it will improve it. The changes the executive wants are horrible, the fanbase hates, and the show is cancelled. Who takes the heat? The creator of the show, instead of the executive who demanded the changes in the first place! This one goes both ways. Fans and creators blame the executives when a movie or show fails. An example is Hasbro's treatment of the Jem franchise. Back in the 1980s, dolls were made of various characters on the show, albeit more expensive than your average Barbie doll and as such, sales were not great. In turn to the lackluster sales, the company responded by axing the very popular cartoon series. Fast forward almost three decades later when they helped to develop Jem and the Holograms, in spite of the fact that it dropped various characters and distorted the remaining characters' motivations and added so many unnecessary plot points to turn-off fans who grew up with the show while simultaneously have the plot be so watered-down that it fails to bring in a whole new generation of fans. Upon the movie flopping, who gets most of the blame? Its director, and what happens to Jem itself, which had been airing on Discovery Family for the past few years? It's pulled off of their schedule.
- 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.
- Also, the people who complain about entitled and self-obsessed attitudes among the young tend to cheerfully support those attitudes (or at least deflect criticism away from those attitudes)—when they come from those they admire. Corporate CEOs give themselves huge bonuses while laying off whole companies, and the people cheer them as entrepreneurs and successful businessmen. Then, they wonder why the young seem to think they'll be similarly rewarded if they wreck others' lives after they graduate with MBAs. Tyrants of various sorts are consistently rewarded for tyrannical behavior since their victims are told by the community not to complain. Then when the young decide to worship the strong, these communities are stumped as to why. What's worse is how misunderstood these bonuses are; in many cases a new CEO is brought in because a business is failing, and those bonuses are promised as inducements because otherwise a successful and skilled CEO would never come to work for a business likely to fail. If the business isn't turned around, they're often blamed for getting huge bonuses, when they only came into a failing company because of those bonuses. This means that CEO's predecessor often leaves the company with this type of attitude, able to point at his successor - who was hired to clean up his mess to begin with - and claim it's their fault. And it's the predecessor - who brought the company to the brink of collapse to begin with and was, at best, politely asked to resign - who gets to move on to some new company, while the successor - the company's last shot at turning it around - is often headed for a retirement afterwards.
- Younger generations blame older people for all the problems in the world without working to change things themselves.
- 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 '80s, 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 — most infamously, multiple accusations of child molestation being leveled against him (one accuser's case went to court and Jackson was found not guilty, while other accusers received out-of-court settlements) — eroded his fanbase in North America, his record sales went into decline, made worse 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, made it worse.
- Invariably the result of disputes between cable companies and cable networks. If an important event is on the line, it may help. There is also an unending argument of who's entitled\responsible for what between ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon and content providers such as Netflix and Google.
- 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."
- Likewise if they trip or stumble when attempting a jump. Cats tend to look right at you afterward, their expression reading, "The bookcase was greased up." It's either this or them saying I Meant to Do That.
- Lord Cardigan's first words to his troopers after the Charge of the Light Brigade: "It was a mad, harebrained trick but no fault of mine!" Strictly speaking he was correct, since his commanders Lord Raglan and Lucan ordered the Charge. Still kind of a dickish comment after losing half of his command in battle.
- A lot of terrorist groups like to play the victim card when the world finally has enough of their shenanigans, willingly forgetting that many anti-terror operations are in retaliation for their own works.
- The inverse has proven true: when a democratic government's actions have created or galvanized a terrorist movement, said government will likely take no responsibility for this and declare that they have been fighting them.
- Many have blamed "media bias" for reporting a nasty comment.
- When someone gets caught breaking a rule of any kind, most often their first reaction is to blame the catcher or the rule itself.
- John Landis has been pulling this trope for years ever since The Twilight Zone film adaptation where Vic Morrow and two illegally hired child actors were killed during shooting of an outdoors scene at night when an explosion went off too soon, causing a hovering helicopter to crash on them. From the start of the trial to the finish Landis blamed everyone else but himself, as did the film's own producers and crew members.
- Most people have noted that members of the Obama Administration still continue to blame the Bush Administration for new problems despite the Bush Administration being out of office for about 7 years. The inverse is also true; former members of the Bush Administration and Republican congress members tend to blame Obama and his administration for things they themselves caused, sometimes intentionally. And of course, members of the Bush Administration had previously spent a fair amount of time in office blaming their problems on the Clinton Administration. And so on back and so on back.
- An excellent example of this is when, early in his first term when he was struggling to come to grips with the enormous amount of problems facing him, Barack said in frustration "you know, I inherited these problems!" Practically every politician does this, conveniently forgetting that the central focus of any political campaign against an incumbent is pointing out the problems and how you're the person who can fix them.
- Similar to the above, David Cameron has acquired a reputation for blaming absolutely everything that goes wrong on the previous Labour government. The economy isn't recovering fast enough? It's all the previous Labour governments fault. One of Cameron's own policies implemented after he came to power has failed? Labour's fault again, since if they hadn't handed him such a broken, dysfunctional country he would never have needed to implement that policy in the first place. It eventually got to the point where after he twisted his ankle by slipping on one of the staircases in 10 Downing Street in 2013, it was widely joked that the first thing he did was blame the floor polish that Gordon Brown's cleaners used.
- In fact, it's pretty much a given that a democratically-elected politician will often blame the opposition for his or her mistakes and scandals. If that doesn't work, they blame the voters for electing them into office in the first place.
- Repeat criminals and gangstas tend to hold grudges against or despise the police for arresting them. Naturally it rarely occurs to these individuals that the police probably wouldn't bother with them if they weren't breaking the law. Police also do this to some extent. It's not unheard of for officers accused of brutality to claim that the victim was "resisting arrest."
- Numerous people have tried to sue creators of various "vices" like cigarettes, alcohol, and fast food for contributing to the plaintiff's self-destructive lifestyle. The lawsuits never get very far in court, for the simple reason that consumption of these companies' products is always personal choice. No-one is putting a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to smoke, drink and eat too much junk food.
- Alcoholics and drug addicts do this almost reflexively, always blaming someone or something else when their bad choices land them in hot water. A memorable example occurred during a courtroom TV show. The wife of an alcholic man had done everything she could to prevent him from taking the car keys and driving, but he went so ballastic that finally she gave him the car keys and sure enough, he was busted for drunk driving. The Jerk Ass actually had the nerve to look at the judge and say it was in no way his fault, because she should not have given him the car keys. Cue an epic The Reason You Suck speech from the judge.
- Certain controversies have involved someone publicly badmouthing large groups of people, then trying to deflect blame when said people get offended. Often by accusing them of "harassing" them. It's not uncommon for certain groups to consider someone who doesn't already agree with them asking a polite question harassment.
- Anyone who resorts to an Ad Hominem; the basic logic is "somebody doesn't like us? Well that can't possibly be our fault! No no, it's clearly because the people who don't like us are terrible people."
- This is a striking feature of Spanish-speaking cultures, especially in some Latin American ones.
- This is very frequent among Asian cultures, given their predilection for honor and "face".
- Eminem had a tendency of blaming his mother for his prescription drug addiction. Not the case anymore since the release of Recovery.
- Sonichu creator Christian Weston Chandler has a general habit of this, but took it to ludicrous extremes after being arrested for pepper-spraying a GameStop employee in December 2014. Saying it was the employee's own fault for trying to enforce a previous ban was bad enough, but Chandler tried to put the blame mostly on Sega of all people, for changing Sonic the Hedgehog's arm color from tan to blue in the Sonic Boom games, with said ban being a result of Chandler defacing the game's posters and boxes to try and make Sonic's arms look right.
- Lynn Koegel, author of Overcoming Autism, has listed every possible reason for why an autistic person has "tantrums" (read: meltdowns), except for desperation born from people ignoring any legitimate special needs. This Tumblr user has ranted about how she ignored nearly every damn thing they tried to communicate to her and expected them to behave properly, despite making no effort of her own to actually understand them.
- Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian, the captain who refused to respond to an obvious distress signal rocket pattern on April 15, 1912, which in all likelihood was from the RMS Titanic, would keep bellowing for the rest of his life, and especially after the film A Night to Remember, that he did nothing wrong. This was despite the fact that he was essentially cornered in the officially inquiries that he did that serious breech in maritime ethics.
- This Cracked article lists five tactics that those with power use when faced with protests, in order to make the protesters seem like the bad guys, keep everyone else on their side, and maintain the status quo.
- Military memoir-writers are often prone to this, sometimes to ridiculous extents. For The Napoleonic Wars, Marshal Marmont certainly stands out, as he has three big failures to account for (his defeat at Salamanca, his defection in 1814 and his inability to suppress the 1830 Revolution) and spends most of the eight tomes of his Mémoires either lauding himself (not unjustified, though, given that his early career was truly brilliant and promising) or shifting the blame onto pretty much every other military commander of his era, especially Napoleon.
- Presidential candidate Ben Carson blames the "liberal media" for getting his story of how he supposedly stabbed a friend in his youth wrong, to explain the inconsistencies in the multiple versions. The problem? He wrote those versions himself, in his own books.
- Back during the actual war (and today among some Confederate sympathizers) The American Civil War was known as the "War of Northern Aggression" despite the fact that the South started the conflict and fired the first shots.
- According to this account of the recording of the Metallica album "...And Justice for All" straight from one of the sound engineers, the controversially bass deficient mix was a result of Lars Ulrich demanding the bass be brought down in order to get the drums up to his liking. Years later, when Lars and the sound engineer ran into each other, Lars asked him what happened to the bass. The least damning possibility would be Lars forgetting the original incident.
- Lutheranism and several other Protestant Churches actually have this as a Credo, that Jesus Christ has taken every single person's sins on himself and therefor literally nobody is at fault for anything but God himself. Sinning is only insofar a problem as you're not living up to God's standard (impossible for the average person, since you automatically inherit the responsibility for the sins of all your ancestors).
- This is a common tactic of unfaithful spouses: blaming the faithful partner for "not doing enough" for the cheater, whether it be not enough sex, not a clean enough house, too much time spent with the kids, "letting oneself go" in the looks department, etc. Unfortunately, the excuses often fail to take confirmation bias into effect: the cheater sees what s/he wants to see in order to justify his/her horrible behavior. Somehow, the faulty logic goes, all the faithful spouse's faults drove the cheater to cheat instead of, say, suggest counseling or divorce, like an emotionally healthy person might. That society also tends to blame the faithful spouse for the cheater's infidelity doesn't help matters.
- Not Always Right shows that consumers will blame anyone and anything (and we mean anything) rather than a simple "Oops, sorry there, I seem to have misunderstood/made a mistake, etc."
- A particularly Face Palm-worthy one.
- The aptly-titled It's your fault that it's my fault.
- "Oh, you made it small? When I said small, I meant big! I thought you would understand."
- How were we supposed to know a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on our door meant housekeeping wouldn't come into our room?
- This businessman would like you to know that it's never the customer's fault when they fail to notice where the register actually is; it's always the fault of the workers. Somehow.
- Apparently it's not this woman's fault that her house collapsed when she took a chainsaw to a load-bearing wall.
- This guy gets a wrong number, argues with the person on the other end for minutes, and then when he finally realizes it's a wrong number, blames them for wasting his time.
- This mother doesn't even understand the concept of discipline. Her son decides to treat some cereal boxes on display as his own punching bags, and when the submitter asks her to make him stop, she flips her lid and tries to blame her son's behavior on the submitter's "bad attitude", refusing to pay for the damage. She's banned from the store until she pays.
- This customer and her daughter decide the submitter is a "self-hating black" because they were both jabbering on their phones and not paying attention when they were greeted, which in their minds translates to the submitter ignoring them and only greeting white customers.
- The entire concept of "Haters". That is, if Bob dislikes Alice, it is only because he is a negative person, jealous of her success, too easily offended at the things she says, etc. Nevermind that he more likely has a genuine gripe about the shortcomings of her character; it's never Alice's fault people don't like her.
- If you were to go on the news and see reports about parents taking their kids to see movies that aren't meant for them, you will always see that the parents will blame the people working at the theatre for their own ignorance and refuse to own up to their mistake. The most infamous incidents that have happened with 9 and Deadpool (the former especially, due to the Animation Age Ghetto).
- The owners of the (now closed) Amy's Baking Company – commonly regarded as one of the world's worst restaurants. They often gripe about their workers being lazy and not working and cite this as a reason their service is sub-par and why something as simple as a pizza takes well over an hour to bake. The kicker? They actively work to make sure of it. They bar the other (many professionally trained and experienced) workers from doing anything besides waiting tables and explicitly say that only one allowed to process orders is Sammy and Amy is only one ever allowed to cook the food. They also have a well documented history of blaming their customers for not eating their undercooked, tampered-with food. Famously, they even tried blame world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay when he didn't just blindly sing their praises after receiving a thoroughly unsatisfying lunch; an undercooked pizza, microwave ravioli topped with sweet corn, and two burgers, the first one pretty much raw and grease-soaked and second one bone-dry. The above is easily the most famous episode of Kitchen Nightmares and is the first time Ramsay folded up and walked away, deeming the owners a lost cause.
- Australian television presenter Eddie McGuire once blamed a racist joke he made note on some heavy prescription medicine. This news came after he made a joke about a woman drowning at a charity eventnote which upset several people who claimed that these kinds of jokes trivialised acts of cruelty against women for entertainment. He wasn't on medication then.
- When a political figure says or does something outrageous, the media will condemn them and complain that it's the people's fault if they get voted in. They conveniently forget that it was them, the media, who drew attention to these gaffes while at the same time ignoring politicians who don't resort to shock tactics. Controversial views or not, if only one candidate is being reported on, then everyone is going to gravitate to that candidate. Conversely, voters who exclusively blame the media for the popularity of the incompetent and opportunistic forget that they didn't seek out any information on other candidates even if said information was more obscure. In other words, the media didn't inform the public of alternatives and the public chose to not be informed. This is pretty common in politics in general and it often occurs with candidates and the media gravitating to and causing rating stunts among other things.
- This was a defining trait of the Isla Vista mass murderer, Elliot Rodger; Apart from his most infamous crime, his manifesto details another incident: A few weeks before the massacre we went to a party and after being ignored by some of the partygoers, he decided to push them over a balcony, naturally the more numerous group overpowered him, gave him beating, and he was the one who ended being pushed over; Elliot describes the incident as the last straw of the world's vendetta against him as if he was the victim, despite the fact that in his own narration clearly he was the one who attempted to push them over the balcony in the first place.