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Blaming the Victim

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Haruka: Two women behaving like that with each other. You're filthy! Both you AND Natsuki Kuga!
[Shizuru slaps her]
Shizuru: What happened was something that I did to her. I will not have you insulting Natsuki.
My-HiME, Episode 22, "Collapse"

There are crimes in this world. Crimes will typically have a perpetrator/perpetrators and victim or victims.

There are, unfortunately, tendencies in some cultures or between some individuals to lay the blame for the crime at the feet of the victim; for example, common forms include "If you didn't want your house robbed, you should have locked the door", "If you didn't want to be raped, you shouldn't have worn those clothes", "If you didn't want to get scammed, you shouldn't have been so gullible", and "If you didn't want to get beaten up, you should have complied with the assailant's demands".

In fiction, Blaming The Victim usually takes on one of two basic forms:

  • In the first, the perpetrator is attempting to justify their own bad behavior and refusing to take responsibility. This almost always serves as a Kick the Dog moment for the perpetrator.
  • The other is when a person or group blames the victim to demonstrate to the audience that they are unsympathetic to the victim and/or their plight. This can be allowed to give our hero a chance to engage in Shaming the Mob for a happy ending, or it can be used to set up a Downer Ending, where the victim is denied justice.

This is the favorite tactic of a Manipulative Bastard. Compare and contrast with Asshole Victim, although the perpetrator might try to cast their victim as such. The Social Darwinist may also use this tactic, blaming any victims as being "weak" or otherwise unworthy of survival. Villains that are Playing the Victim Card might also accuse those who confront them of this to discredit them if they’re feeling desperate; it is not uncommon, however, for psychological abusers to cast themselves as the victim while shifting the blame to the real victim at the same time.

Why Did You Make Me Hit You? is one of the forms of victim-blaming. Can also overlap with Slut-Shaming and Honor-Related Abuse. Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse can slip into this instead if handled poorly enough, whether by the characters or the writers.

For more information on the subject, see Victim-Blaming. Compare Good Victims, Bad Victims, which is when writers use specific character types to influence audience feelings about a victim in a work.

Supertrope to Blaming the Cuckold. See Guilt Complex and It's All My Fault for situations where the victim blames themselves.

As this is both Truth in Television and a highly sensitive matter, No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest:
    • Kouki often does this in the form of Condescending Compassion. He is incapable of realizing that there are people who do things For the Evulz. As such, if he sees someone being bullied, he immediately believes that the victim must have clearly done something to provoke it. When he sees Hajime physically dragged off the training grounds by Hiyama and his three flunkies so the four of them can use Hajime as a punching bag, Kouki honestly believes it's Hajime's fault "for not taking the training seriously" and falling behind, despite the fact, that from the beginning, the training program was clearly not working for Hajime, period, regardless of how much effort Hajime put into it.
    • Eri Nakamura's father died protecting her from getting hit by a car, only for her mother to blame her for his death. When she remarried, her stepfather physically abused her, until he was arrested for Attempted Rape... and Eri's mother blamed her for it, claiming the girl had somehow seduced him, and gave her a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that became Eri's Start of Darkness.
  • Assassination Classroom: Kunugigaoka divides students into A, B, C, D, and E classes based on grades, with the Class E students having the lowest grades and being placed in a separate campus away from the main school with sub-par resources. No concessions are made for students no matter their reasons for having poor grades, meaning many of the Class E students are perfectly intelligent and capable, yet are essentially punished for circumstances out of their control.
  • The Death Mage Who Doesn't Want a Fourth Time has some very notable examples.
    • In a tavern just after the death of Darcia, the main character's mother, Martina of the Five Colored Blades tells Heinz that it doesn't matter why Darcia gave birth to a dhampir, the horrific three days of public torture and immolation is "reaping what she sowed" for daring to get pregnant and give birth, even if Vandalieu was sired by rape. Considering that at the time she's saying this, Martina is a woman herself, and her job as an adventurer involves rescuing female victims of monster rapes, this is deeply disturbing.
    • In chapter 200 of the web-novel, Heinz has repeatedly been slaughtering Curatos created meat-puppets designed to emulate all of Van's friends, family, and allies, including Van himself. When Van takes enough control of the meat-puppet Curatos created to call Heinz out on this, Heinz interrupts the attempt, points at the corpses and yells that it's all their fault for not wanting to talk things out. Predictably, this does nothing to convince Van that Heinz is anything but an existential threat that has to die.
  • At the start of How The Masked Earl Fell in Love, Crysta, the protagonist, learns that her fiance Michele got Crysta's half-sister Stephania pregnant out of wedlock, thus forcing her to dissolve her engagement with Michele and allow Stephania to marry him instead. Stephania and Michele, as well as Deborah(Stephania's mother and Crysta's Wicked Stepmother), all blame Crysta for waiting too long to marry Michele, but the only reason Crysta waited was because she was too preoccupied with managing the family estate to save the family from financial ruin while Crysta and Deborah were wasting money.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! The cappies of cappy town have a habit of blaming Kirby when things start to get too intense for them, simply forgetting that Dedede has been ordering monsters before Kirby even showed up and he certainly didn't ask to be hunted by some psycho company. The worst of it is in the finale, after Kirby has been rendered unconscious and thus unable to do anything while Cappy Town was destroyed, the villagers all turn on him and even tell him to leave. And they never apologize for this during the finale either.
  • Is It My Fault That I Got Bullied?: Both Shinji and Nagumo do this to Aizawa and Shiori respectively, blaming their relentless bullying on imagined aspects of their victims' personalities.
  • In My Hero Academia, as a result of repeated villain attacks on the students of U.A. High School, especially at the school's USJ training facility and at an off-campus summer training camp, the students are forced to move into dormitories, are unable to visit their families off-campus without permission and hear that their School Festival might be canceled if the authorities get even the hint of a threat. Some bitter students outside of the Hero Course blame Class 1-A (the main characters) for this, despite the fact that 1-A were victims of the attacks; the USJ attack was meant to kill All Might, while the training camp attack was for the sake of kidnapping Bakugo, a member of 1-A.
  • My-HiME: Yukino accuses Shizuru of doing something to Natsuki in her sleep. Haruka declares that relationships between women are disgusting, and that both Shizuru and Natsuki are filthy, despite clearly having heard Yukino (who's Haruka's best friend, and thus someone she has no reason to disbelieve) say that Shizuru did it "while Natsuki was sleeping". What's more, Haruka had just witnessed Shizuru kissing an unconscious Natsuki earlier. In a rare case of the perpetrator defending the victim, Shizuru speaks up, declaring, "What happened was something that I did to her. I will not allow you to insult Natsuki."
  • My Love Story!!, kicking off the entire series, a man who was caught groping Rinko on the train tries to defend himself by saying she was "asking for it." Takeo disagrees. Strongly.
  • One Piece: The nobles of the Goa Kingdom completely approve of their King lighting Grey Terminal on fire and killing all of the people living there. One of the nobles even tells their child that the scavengers deserve their fate for being born poor.
  • In Rebuild World Katsuya is soundly hated on both sides of the fourth wall when Akira is chasing a pick-pocket Alna who has taken all his money, but Katsuya, not knowing better, takes Alna's side. When it looks like Akira's been talked down and both sides could come to some sort of agreement, Katsuya goes all Open Mouth, Insert Foot and states that if Akira did get pick-pocketed then it was his fault because "he was being careless and lazy," and says it loudly. This forces Akira to actively hunt Alna and kill her, because if he doesn't people aren't going to stop going after him and his until Akira and everyone he cares for wind up in a ditch as bloody corpses somewhere. This results in a lot of needless violence and death before the situation is resolved.
  • The anime adaptation of The Rising of the Shield Hero has the Filorial queen openly criticize Naofumi for not striving to clear his name after Malty's False Rape Accusation. On paper, this makes some sense. In reality, how was Naofumi supposed to do that?! Queen Mirellia was out of the country putting out diplomatic fires, the other three cardinal heroes were completely unsympathetic, and King Aultcray was clearly biased against Naofumi, convicting him on the most circumstantial and flimsy evidence possible and continued to harass Naofumi in every way imaginable, both subtle and gross. When hard evidence of Naofumi's innocence is provided, the other three heroes, especially Motoyasu still see him as "guilty" beyond all possible reason.
  • Kyubey subtly does this to all Magical Girls in Puella Magi Madoka Magica when Madoka calls him out for betraying all the Magical Girls his kind have made wish contracts for, as all of them inevitably end with the wishes backfiring driving them to either death or despair. Kyubey responds that they didn't betray the magical girls, their wishes did; according to him, wishes that "go beyond reason" distort reality and cause it to auto-correct any hope they create with equal ammounts of despair and ensure they always end horribly, and thus if the Magical Girls aren't satisfied with the outcome, then the fault lies in them for wanting and wishing for the unrealistic in the first place.
  • Naoka Ueno does this hard in the anime adaptation of A Silent Voice. While she readily admits to bullying Shouko, she vehemently denies said bullying was wrong. She insists Shouko deserved it by daring to try to fit in and make friends, and blames Shouko for their elementary school friend group breaking up due to said bullying. And unlike in the manga, Ueno never has a Heel Realization over it.
  • The protagonist Crest Bahurst in Trash Skill Gacha gets a lot of blame for daring to be the victim of abuse and torment.
    • His father and four older brothers love to condemn him as "a devil's child" because he dared to survive his mother suffering Death by Childbirth, and use that as a reason to torment and torture him growing up.
    • When his father one-sidedly accuses him of lying about a prophetic dream and exiles him to near-certain death, the very next day, he answers the king's summons and learns from the pope's decree that the prophetic dream was legit, and now he has to scramble and try to rectify things. The moment he's alone with his four remaining sons, they all proclaim that Crest didn't "try hard enough" to convince them the dream was legit, and that's why he was banished.
    • Crest's own abusive fiancé always blamed him for the abuse she heaped upon him, by stating that it's his fault for "cheating," which he never did, especially since the only other girl Crest interacted with was his school appointed sparring partner in the swordsmanship class. And the reason Ellis, the fiancé in question, is jealous? Said sparring partner just happens to have bigger breasts than herself.
  • A Timid Woman Longing For Her Delivery Girl: In Takase's backstory, her coworker Kazama gropes her, resulting in him being fired. Her coworkers gossip about her, accusing her of exaggerating the incident and saying she should have been fired instead, resulting in Takase quitting to go freelance.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • Whenever the events of Batman: A Death in the Family, it's usually blamed on Jason Todd being a hothead with a short fuse. Granted, Jason was indeed implusive and quick to anger (after all, it was implied he pushed a diplomat's son to his death when he used his father's immunity to duck out of a rape charge and his victim committed suicide), but this ignores Sheila Haywood, Jason's biological mother, and her role in the events: namely selling out Jason to the Joker to cover up her own crimes of back-alley abortions.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): In issue #95, Artemis visits a shelter for women escaping abused relationships. Artemis asks one woman why she didn't fight back against her abusive husband. When the woman responds that the man would have killed her, leaving her children to starve, Artemis coldly responds "Good! Better they starve than have a mother who is a parasite and a coward!". Even a reporter doing a newscast on the shelter is appalled by this response.
  • Judge Dredd: This is part of the Judges' over-the-top attitude to policing. The Judges will often arrest the victims of a crime for "incitement", if for example, their car was stolen in a high-crime district or if they were seen with expensive jewelry. Even if they aren't, the victims of a major crime are often still arrested for one of several lesser ones, including jaywalking.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • X-Men villain Apocalypse is prone to doing this in his less well-written appearances, calling people "weak" for losing even if the loss is due to extenuating circumstances. This comes back to bite him in the "Apocalypse versus Dracula" mini-series when his own descendants opt to become vampires and join Dracule due to being sick of his Bad Boss tendencies.
    • Part of the reason the Civil War event was so divisive was the impression that the Pro-Registration side was pulling this on the Anti-Registration side. While the Pro-Reg side did have good points for throwing their support behind the Super Human Registration Act (SHRA), blaming the Anti-Reg side for being "unreasonable" rang hollow when they did things like trying to arrest Captain America before the SHRA was even ratified note  and launched an unprovoked attack on Luke Cage in his own house just after midnight (when the SHRA came into effect).
  • Julie Winters in The Maxx firmly believes that people don't get robbed or raped if they aren't stupid, and dismisses any objections to that worldview as "liberal-feminist garbage". This attitude makes her terrible in her chosen occupation of "freelance social worker" and is hinted to be the result of her own trauma.
  • The Transformers Megaseries: The Monstrosity mini-series has Scorponok (having seized control of the Decepticons after overthrowing Megatron) launch a massive assault on an Energon facility, then destroy it in the belief that the resulting scarcity will lead to mass chaos where only the strongest will survive. When other Decepticons point out he's just killed many of their own troops, he dismisses the casualties as "weak" and undeserving of living, never mind that very few Transformers can survive being at ground zero of an explosion visible from space.
  • Brought up a few times in Watchmen with regards to the Comedian's Attempted Rape of Silk Spectre. Though the story itself presents the incident as a Moral Event Horizon, sources within the story often play up the fact that Silk Spectre was a Ms. Fanservice who fought crime in fishnets and worked as a burlesque dancer, and the Comedian was an all-American hero. Rorschach, he of the Madonna-Whore Complex, describes the incident as a "regrettable moral lapse" and refers to Silk Spectre as a whore. Even Sally herself seems to have internalized these attitudes; she admits in an interview that though she objectively knows Blake was in the wrong, she still can't find it in herself to fully blame him and often finds herself wondering if she was somehow the one who tempted him in.

    Fan Works 
  • Eyes on Me: In If You Ever Cared to Ask, Sadako blames her daughter Nyoko for being raped, showing No Sympathy for her trauma and claiming she brought it upon herself. Eventually, she kicks Nyoko out of the house while her husband and the rest of their children watch.
  • In the Infinity Train: Blossomverse, this tactic is commonly employed by antagonists and protagonists alike. Chloe, for instance, is constantly blamed by her bullies for how they abused and isolated her, claiming that she deserved to be treated that way for being a Creepy Loner Girl as well as having the privilege of being a Pokémon Professor's daughter. Chloe in turn has her moments of engaging in this, such as when she viciously calls out Paul/Despair.
  • The main characters of My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic all blame Twilight Sparkle for her death at the hands of Raven.
  • Raise Your Voice Against Liars: Rather than trying to discipline any of the bullies in her class, Ms. Bustier prefers scolding their victims, claiming that they need to "set a good example" and "keep the peace" by forgiving their abusers.
  • With Pearl and Ruby Glowing deals with victim-blaming in several chapters, fitting its Central Theme of the struggles rape and abuse victims face.
    • Basil's father implied Basil's rape was due to naivety, saying he's old enough to know about "stranger danger."
    • Rattlesnake Jake shames a six-year-old Gideon Gleeful for being raped by Bill Cipher because it makes him impure and possibly gay, and claims he has to be raped again to be "cured."
    • Boo Boo blames Priscilla for her own assault, even though Boo Boo set it up.
    • Miss Kitty is assaulted outside of a club, and when the police arrive, they arrest her for "soliciting" because she's a sex worker, which is also why she was attacked to begin with. To contrast, her assailants only get charged for "disturbing the peace."
    • The police blame Mabel for her gang-rape because she sent the men (who claimed to be one boy her age) inappropriate pictures of herself (which the men asked her to do). Stan chews them out for this.
    • Tyler half-undresses and gropes Meilin in front of the entire party, and she gets blamed for retaliating, with the implication of misogyny, classism, and racism (Tyler is also partly Asian, but Meilin's family is much more traditional) being among the reasons. She did kick him in the groin hard enough to make him bleed, so it's understandable that people who didn't witness it might blame her, but he was the one who started it.


  • Victim-blaming is one of the main themes in the Eleutherophobia series, which takes place in an Unmasqued World where thousands of people used to be controlled by Puppeteer Parasites.
    • Tom blames himself for getting infested at first — and so do several other people. In Back to the Future, his aunt and uncle say it served him right for wandering into a place he didn't belong; and in Ghost in the Shell, CNN Quote Mine him to make it sound like he was complicit in all the horrible things his Yeerks did.
    • Several television personalities in Lost World claim that people made Yeerks up so they don't have to take responsibility for their own actions.
    • Total Recall mentions the "Vicky Austin argument", named after a Controller who committed suicide on live television. Some lawyers think that any host could have done that if they really wanted to, so anyone who didn't (eg: Alloran) was secretly complicit, even though Fighting from the Inside is extremely difficult.


  • Blackbird: Dinah Lance tries to justify her decision to trade her older daughter Laurel to the League of Assassins for her younger daughter Sara by blaming Laurel for bringing Oliver into their lives. Her reasoning is that if Laurel hadn't befriended and later dated him, he wouldn't have tried to blow up their relationship by taking Sara on the Gambit with him and Sara would have never gotten on it. It's such a bad case of Insane Troll Logic that even the traumatized Sara immediately tries to refute it, and the only reason she doesn't succeed is because Dinah talks over her and tries to bully her into accepting the latter's decision. Naturally, nobody else accepts that line of thinking and the entire situation just serves to make Dinah a bigger Hate Sink.


  • In While The Getting Is Good, Evie revealed to Chad that her mother was abusive. Chad responds by exposing that she's been cheating on her tests — turns out he was so bothered by her story that he wanted her gone so that he wouldn't have to think about it anymore.
    Phoebus: And instead of reporting this to the school or the police, you deliberately arranged for her to be returned to the same situation where it occurred?

Disney Animated Canon

Ducktales 2017

  • In Freedom From Fear, Magica attempts to blame Lena for how horribly she treated her, claiming that she ended up worse off than Lena despite all the years of abuse she heaped upon her.

Fifty Shades of Grey

  • Lucky Number Thirteen: Sharon says that when Christian confronted her about ending their relationship early because of the injury he gave her, he tried to shift the blame entirely on her, saying he couldn't tell she was in pain, that she should've sent clearer signals to stop and that she over-estimated her limits when she agreed to become his sub. Sharon calls this out as victim-blaming, saying Christian is just a terrible, abusive Dom.

Five Nights at Freddy's

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

  • One Step Ahead: When Mac stops coming to Foster's after Bloo ropes most of the residents into playing an incredibly cruel prank on him on his birthday, Bloo insists that Mac is entirely at fault, declaring that his creator should "get over himself" and accept that Bloo will always be able to outwit him. He maintains this attitude even after three years have passed.


  • Glee The New York Story:
    • Bree verbally and physically abused Marley, even joining the Glee Club specifically to deny her any sanctuary there. But Will Schuester and the rest of New Directions acted as though Marley was the bully instead.
    • Puck prevented Finn from driving while drunk by arresting him, a move that likely saved his life. Yet Finn vowed that he'd never forgive him for that.

Harry Potter

  • Trolling the Toad: In Chapter 4, when Harry points out that his Blood Quill tattoo scheme with Numbing Potions was done "so [his friends] don't have to sit through a torture session, thinly veiled as a detention", Umbridge hisses to him, "Brats like you deserve it."

Love Hina

  • For His Own Sake: Naru does this regularly as part of her Never My Fault attitude. Not only does she constantly blame Keitaro for all of her Unprovoked Pervert Payback assaults upon him, she blames him for her Karma Houdini Warranty running out after he breaks up with her. Not that she actually wants him back, mind you — she only attempts to cross that burnt bridge after she's torched all of her other options.
    • Naru also initially refuses to apologize to a man she assaulted until she's ordered to do so. When she later claims that she shouldn't be punished any further due to said apology, Chizuka points out that she only did so because she was forced to apologize... and Naru goes on to rant about how she shouldn't have needed to, continuing to blame her victim and his wife for pressing charges over the assault.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • CONSEQUENCES: In WORLD BEYOND, Hawk Moth goes on a Monumental Damage rampage around the world, slaughtering innocents around the world while claiming that Ladybug and Chat Noir are responsible for their deaths, as they're unable to reach those places and save them with the Miraculous Cure. Lila parrots his rhetoric, saying the heroes should just surrender their Miraculi to end the slaughter.
  • In Crimson and Noire, Monarch's victims are blamed for the things they did as akuma, despite Crimson Beetle and Lady Noire explaining to the public that they were Brainwashed and Crazy. Many former akuma are ostracized, isolated and shamed.
  • Dodged a Beetle: During Parent Career Day, Chloé trips Marinette, and Lila calls the Spoiled Brat out on it. Mayor Bourgeois then angrily demands that Roger arrest Marinette and Lila for daring to accuse his daughter of such an act, despite it being blatantly obvious that she did.
  • The Karma of Lies:
    • Adrien dismisses and downplays the impact of Lila conning his classmates by claiming his friends wouldn't give up anything they couldn't afford to lose. He also underestimates how cunning Lila actually is, implicitly blaming the others for not being able to see through her deception.
    • Lila reacts incredulously when Adrien enters his bank account passwords in front of her, treating this as though he was practically begging her to take advantage. This also makes it incredibly difficult for him to convince the police of the truth, in large part because they find it hard to believe that he didn't exercise any caution around her despite knowing her true nature.
  • Karma's a Bitch:
    • Defied and discussed by Tikki. While she agrees with Zoe's criticisms about how Marinette was dealing with Lila, she admits that she didn't bring them up herself before because she didn't want Marinette to feel like she was blaming her for being bullied by the Manipulative Bitch.
    • Lila is wrongly suspected of this when she tries to convince the police that Zoe was the mastermind behind their plans to con their classmates, as by this point, they already know that she's a habitual liar who regularly engages in such tactics.
  • LadyBugOut:
    • Alya attempts to defend her mishandling of the Oblivio incident by blaming Ladybug for suffering Laser-Guided Amnesia in the first place, declaring that if she didn't want to have photos of her posted without context, "Maybe she shouldn't be kissing somebody in front of her favorite blogger's phone."
    • When Adrien gets in trouble with Master Fu for attacking Ladybug, he attempts to get her in trouble as well, trying to convince the Guardian that the incident was entirely her fault.
  • Leave for Mendeleiev:
  • Miraculous Ladybug Salt-Shots: Adrien engages in this during A Price to Pay. While watching his father rip the Ladybug Earrings from Marinette's ears and kick his downed opponent, Adrien declares that all of this could have been avoided if "his lady" had just surrendered the Earrings from the start, without trying to oppose Hawkmoth's reign of terror.
  • Once Bitten, Twice Shy: Marinette responded to one of Adrien's lectures about how disappointed he was that she was still trying to expose Lila when she "wasn't hurting anyone" with her lies by giving him an Indignant Slap. Due to this, he's secretly satisfied by watching her suffer in class, telling himself that she deserves to be hurt... in precisely the way he was refusing to acknowledge she was being hurt before.
  • Referenced in A Small but Stubborn Fire: Sabine fears that her daughter has been assaulted, and that the reason why Marinette refuses to say anything or open up about her trauma is that she's convinced nobody will believe her... or that worse, they'll insist it was entirely her own fault.
  • Scarlet Lady:
    • In the second half of "Origins", the similarities between Hawkmoth/Gabriel and Chloé are highlighted by how both engage in this: Hawkmoth attempts to blame the heroes for the damage dealt to Paris by their fight with Stoneheart, while Chloé tries to convince Adrien that Marinette was bullying her by standing up to her. Both get called out on this; Marinette berates Hawkmoth and flips him off while Adrien makes clear to Chloé that he isn't fooled and warns her that he'll cut off their friendship if she doesn't stop mistreating others. Incidentally, these incidents also spark off Chat Noir crushing on Marinette and Marinette crushing on Adrien, respectively.
    • While she denies it when Marinette calls her out on it, Caline Bustier engages in this by punishing her "model student" for daring to be upset by Chloé vandalizing the gift she made for her homeroom teacher. Tellingly, despite insisting that they can't force Chloé to treat others better, Bustier attempts to do just that with Marinette, even before getting akumatized into flagrant Control Freak Zombiezou.
  • Two Letters:
    • The fic combines this with Cartesian Karma. After spending two years fighting Hawkmoth, constantly repressing her negative emotions for fear of getting akumatized herself, Marinette grew resentful of how often others got akumatized. She convinced herself that they weren't even trying to resist, willingly letting Hawkmoth akumatize them so they could go on rampages for trivial, petty and frivolous reasons. Due to this, she decided to retire, handing the Earrings over to a Sketchy Successor whom she deems to be "the hero the people of Paris deserve".
    • This also served as Mayor Andre's introduction to Marinette. Back when she first met Chloé, the Spoiled Brat demanded she hand over all the cookies she'd brought for lunch; when Marinette refused, Chloé then smashed Marinette's lunch and laughed at her tears. When her parents took her to meet the Mayor so he could apologize for his daughter's behavior, he instead laughed it off and declared "Kids will be kids," advising Marinette to bring extra cookies the next day so she could properly apologize to Chloé. Thus began years of bullying.
  • Villain Of Your Own Story: In the new reality created by Alya's Wish, Adrien blames Chloé's old classmates for her Karma Houdini Warranty running out. One of her tantrums landed her in serious legal trouble, drawing her bullying into the public eye; Adrien labels their accounts of how she treated them Malicious Slander and seeks revenge by working with Hawk Moth to get them all akumatized.
  • What Goes Around Comes Around: When Chloé and Lila are arrested due to having willingly cooperated with Hawkmoth, Adrien is relieved... because he thinks this will put an end to Marinette "making things tense" at school, what with how both of them constantly bullied her and all. He also thinks that Marinette should help him Clear Their Names and get them out of trouble, despite them being completely guilty of everything they're being charged with. Of course, he also wants her to help turn Hawkmoth into a Karma Houdini, which says even more about his priorities.
  • The Wolves in the Woods:
    • According to Ms. Bustier, bullies should not be held accountable for their actions as "they're only children". Instead, she expects their victims to "lead by example" by turning the other cheek and forgiving them. Since she refuses to discipline the bullies at all, this translates to the victims getting into more trouble instead.
    • Ms. Bustier also allows most of the class to turn on Marinette after Lila convinces them that she's the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, making no move to intervene after Kim trips Marinette in front of her. Even when Lila herself asks her several times to step in, she refuses, believing that Marinette should resolve the situation herself.
    • In a collection of deleted and extra scenes, one features Bustier calling Salomon in to discuss Amaia and Andres' "poor conduct" in class. Said misconduct includes Amaia refusing to apologize to Alya after the other girl falsely accused her of theft and Andres defending himself whenever Kim or Alix attack him. Salomon is completely disgusted to learn that Bustier hasn't done anything to address the others' Barbaric Bullying, and that she fully expects him to buy into her rhetoric simply because he's a fellow teacher.
    • Adrien fully subscribes to Bustier's toxic beliefs, claiming that Marinette brought the bullying onto herself by trying to warn the others about Lila. He clings to this belief even after the public learns about his Betrayal by Inaction and decries him for it, ruining his former reputation as the "golden boy of Paris". When Luka suggests that he should apologize to Marinette, he angrily retorts that "Well, if she hadn't tried to expose Lila like that, then this wouldn't have happened!"
    • He also expresses this attitude as Chat Noir. Not only does he blame Ladybug for the akumatization of Alya into Rena Rage, he suggests that they should let the akuma go after the Rossis, claiming that "it's only fair" to let them be hurt.
  • In this what-if scenario, Adrien turns down Marinette's Anguished Declaration of Love because he's upset by her continued efforts to expose Lila. In particular, he brings up an incident where Lila had been maliciously slandering the Dupain-Cheng bakery, declaring that Marinette was wrong for defending herself and her family's business. What's more, he declares that her desire to see Lila face consequences for her actions makes her a bully.

My Hero Academia

  • Accidental Successor: After groping Tsuyu during the League of Villains' attack on the USJ, Mineta attempts to defend himself by blaming her for the incident. Thankfully, Principal Nedzu is having none of it and expels him.
  • Actions of a Hero has Izuku give Katsuki what he wants during their exam together, letting him distract All Might while he runs for the gate. All Might then declares how disappointed he is that Izuku didn't "work with his comrade", completely ignoring how the Barbaric Bully had been beating the shit out of his teammate. Cue an emergency meeting where Inko calls out the blatant double standard:
    Inko: So I ask you, why was it my son who received a verbal lecture, while Katsuki got to stand around talking with his classmates? Why was it my son who came home crying, feeling like he'd failed, when he was the only student in the exam doing what was asked of him?
  • Death Daggers has a quirkist Quirk counselor who firmly believes that anyone with strong Quirks should be able to hurt those weaker than them without any consequences. As far as he's concerned, anyone who can't defend themselves against such abuse deserves to be hurt because they're so weak.
  • Disciplinary Action: One of the ways that Aldera covered up Katsuki's Barbaric Bullying was by giving Izuku detention, claiming that he kept "disrupting class" and causing problems. When Principal Nedzu investigates and uncovers the truth, Mitsuki balks at the prospect of watching a video one of his classmates took of Katsuki suicide baiting Izuku, only for Inko to speak up and reveal how far this went:
    Inko: Play it.
    Masaru: Inko!
    Inko: Years. For years you sympathized with me when Izuku got detention and phone calls home, telling me that he needed a firmer hand. While this was happening, while I was being investigated by social workers because of his injuries and Izuku got lectures from all three of us for being clumsy, while Katsuki was calling me auntie and, and— (wipes her eyes) I should have known. You should have known. Play the video.
  • The Emancipators: When called out on how his explosions left Ochako permanently scarred, Katsuki sneers that they "should have dodged".
  • In the Ennea Series, some of the nastier media sources and civilians blame poor Hawks for how they were captured and tortured by Kaetsu. These groups claim that as a Pro Hero with a mutant-type Quirk, they "didn't try hard enough to fight back", and that if they weren't "strong enough" to prevent it, then they shouldn't be a Hero at all. Aizawa disgustedly calls it a classic case of victim-blaming.
  • One for All and Eight for the Ninth: Mineta's mother, Karen, blames Momo for how her son sexually harasses her, claiming that "If those harlots are going to dress provocatively, a few youthful indiscretions are unavoidable."
  • Statistic has Toshinori going undercover at Aldera Middle School, where he swiftly learns that all of his fellow teachers and staff blame Izuku for being bullied. They also refuse to take any of Toshinori's concerns seriously since he claimed to be Quirkless himself. When he finally calls them all out, Maita smugly declares that he's showing off "the Quirkless victim complex".
  • Think Before You Speak:
    • Izuku manages to avoid Katsuki's attempt to test out the explosive potential of his new gauntlets on him. Unfortunately, the attack hits Tenya instead. Aizawa tells Tensei that Izuku was at fault for the incident, describing him as reckless and struggling to control his Super-Strength, as part of a scheme to get Izuku Convicted by Public Opinion through Malicious Slander.
    • Katsuki is so used to getting away with his Barbaric Bullying that his primary defense for how he disobeyed All Might's direct orders to stand down was that "I only did that because it was Deku!" He legitimately believes that's enough to justify and excuse his behavior.
  • Type-2 Hero: One of Katsuki's many, many violent assaults on his favorite victim resulted in him blowing off Izuku's arm. Not only does he feel absolutely no remorse whatsoever, both he and his mother blame Izuku, with Mitsuki insisting what happened was "just an accident" and that her son shouldn't be punished for crippling Izuku.
  • We're Not Friends Kacchan:
    • As it turns out, Aizawa unintentionally engaged in this due to his own bad experiences. Growing up, he was frequently bullied for his 'villainous Quirk' by others Playing the Victim Card, falsely claiming that he'd used his powers on them. He wrongly assumed that Izuku was yet another Bitch in Sheep's Clothing playing the same game, and that he was only pretending to be bullied by Katsuki.
    • Several of their classmates in 1-A assumed that Aizawa wasn't punishing Katsuki for breaking the rules so often because he knew something they didn't, with many drawing the conclusion that Izuku was instigating their fights somehow. Once they learn about the Suicide Dare incident, this sparks a collective Heel Realization from everybody who'd made such assumptions.
    • Katsuki himself naturally engages in this, constantly insisting that he hasn't done anything wrong. Even when his own internal voice asks him "So was Deku the villain of the story the whole time? Or was it you?", he refuses to acknowledge the point it's just made as that would mean admitting his mistakes.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • In Living The Dream, Cody saves Lance from being mugged, only to turn around and blame him for how he lost a check in the process.


  • Androgyninja's A Dose of Venom: After her impressive showing at the Chuunin Exams, Sakura finds herself being targeted by certain Konohan shinobi using their connections to make her life harder, such as screwing with her ability to restock her supplies. Then one of her missions goes horribly off the rails to the point that she's the Sole Survivor. Following this incident, Ino notes that there's a high chance of all the incidents involving Sakura being used as an excuse to ship her off somewhere that she'll be "out of the way", effectively blaming her for all the trouble she's been through.
  • in dreams you follow (but I dream in the dark): After Kiba kills Danzo, many of Danzo's supporters are furious over his apparent Crime of Self-Defense, implying that if the former war hero was isolating and grooming him, it was because Kiba was too weak to defend himself from his advances. Others blame Tsume and the rest of the Inuzuka clan for failing to notice what was happening before Kiba took matters into his own hands.
  • In Lunar Lamentations, Anko, Ibiki and Hiruzen fear Shikamaru's intelligence could result in him becoming "the next Orochimaru". So they subject him and his teammates Naruto and Sakura to utterly horrific treatment, locking them into T&I for months for some Training from Hell. All three insist the trio brought it upon themselves by virtue of being themselves, spurring Jiraiya to fear that they're creating a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy by telling the kids it's their fault.
  • Three's A Crowd: Sakura is the only member of Team Seven who takes the concept of teamwork seriously. Sasuke and Uo are both Ineffectual Loners who believe they're too good to work with others or take D-Ranks seriously, and while Kakashi pays lip service to the idea, he's reluctant to actually address the boys' issues himself. Instead, he insists that it's actually Sakura's fault that the pair don't respect her, since she's reluctant to show off the full extent of her skills. While ignoring that both boys already know she was top of their class and simply don't care, and how her outperforming them in exercises just makes them upset that they were beaten by a girl.


  • A Picaresque Royale: After Ren is sexually assaulted, she overhears others insinuating that she brought it upon herself. And that's if they aren't just claiming that she must be lying about what happened entirely.
  • In A Year To Fill An Empty Home, the Jerkass cop explaining the conditions of Akira's probation to his parents none-too-subtly implies that they are one of the "bad influences" that they're sending Akira to Tokyo to get away from. This convinces Chou and Takeshi to take the no-contact order at face value.


  • Raise: Over the course of several years of having others taking his ability to bring people Back from the Dead for granted, expecting Jaune to work himself well beyond the point of exhaustion simply because they feel entitled to his service, all while acting like Ungrateful Bastards, Jaune becomes immensely jaded. This reaches the point where he feels as though most of his patients are Too Dumb to Live, blaming either them or their negligent parents for engaging in such reckless behavior, expecting him to save them from the consequences of their actions.

A Song of Ice and Fire

Total Drama

    Film — Animated 
  • In Big Hero 6, the villain states that Tadashi's accidental death in a fire was his own fault; it's made worse by the fact that Tadashi only put himself at risk in the first place trying to rescue the villain. Upon hearing this, Tadashi's brother Hiro snaps and nearly kills the villain.
  • Wonder Woman (2009): Artemis loathes her younger sister Aleka's lack of fighting skills and preference of books over battle. When Aleka is murdered by the traitorous Amazon Persephone, Artemis is more disgusted at Aleka for failing to stop Persephone than shaken up by her death. When Aleka is resurrected as a zombie by Ares, Artemis calls her a disgrace.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • A major source of drama in The Accused is that many people believe Sarah deserved to be gang-raped in a crowded bar, both because of her past involving drugs and because shortly prior to the rape, she was wearing revealing clothes, had been drinking and danced provocatively with one of her rapists (she also had a boyfriend at the time). Sarah's lawyer Kathryn is initially reluctant to pursue stronger convictions against the rapists or let Sarah testify, partly because her past and behavior may cause the jury to blame her or otherwise see her as unsympathetic. Kathryn later regrets this and the narrative itself takes the view that Sarah was blameless for the horrific violence inflicted on her.
  • Adam (2019): After one of Casey's friends, a trans woman named Nelly, is murdered by a cis man she had sex with without disclosing her gender, Adam's friend says he can understand the guy having a hostile reaction (while saying he isn't defending her murder). Casey is naturally outraged and takes this as victim blaming.
  • Cape Fear: Explored. Max Cady's rape and battery of a teenage girl appalls his attorney Sam Bowden, who willingly buries the girl's history of promiscuity because he knows it would help Cady get acquitted.
  • Daredevil (2003): Early in the film, Matt and Foggy are defending a woman named Angela who was raped by a man named Jose Quesada. Both Quesada and his lawyer argue that the sexual encounter was consensual and use Angela's criminal history against her. Quesada is acquitted, leading to Matt taking matters into his own hands.
  • A Good Woman Is Hard To Find: One of the cops who comes to Sarah's house victim-blames her for having been with (he thinks) an abusive boyfriend, enraging her.
  • Head in the Clouds: Discussed as Gilda rejects Guy's suggesting of reporting Lucien to the police for beating Mia, because she's a stripper and so they would say she'd brought it on herself.
  • In Hundra, the titular character finds her friend being raped in an alleyway. Rather than helping her, she berates her for her weakness in "letting" men mistreat her until she gets angry enough to fight back.
  • In Insiang, Dado warps Tonya into thinking Insiang charmed him to sleep with her and she ends up scolding her daughter for flirting with him, despite looking hurt and in tears.
  • Kimi: Angela relates that after going to the police about her rape, they put her on trial instead of the rapist. It's not explained exactly how this happened, but it's made clear nothing came of her complaint.
  • In Labyrinth, the Goblin King tells Sarah that everything he's done is to live up to her expectations of him, and that honestly, she should show more appreciation of the effort he's going to.
  • Promising Young Woman: Dean Walker and Madison both tell Cassie that Nina shouldn't have expected anything less than "what happened" (her rape) when she went into Al's college room drunk.
  • Pulp Fiction: Also an example of Grey-and-Grey Morality. When Butch refuses to take a dive in his boxing match, he inadvertently kills his opponent, and reasons that the guy deserved it for being an inferior boxer ("If he hadn't laced his gloves up in the first place he'd still be alive.") Of course, it could also be argued that if the opponent hadn't agreed to a fixed fight in the first place he'd still be alive.
  • Rafiki: As Kena's father notes, she's the one arrested along with Ziki after they get beaten up for being lesbians, with all their attackers allowed to go free.
  • Real Genius: After Kent sabotages the laser, he tells Knight that it was his own fault for not inspecting the optics before running it.
  • Scream 3: The film reveals that Sidney's mother Maureen Prescott was once an aspiring actress named Rina Reynolds who was gang-raped at a party. John Milton, the leader of the gang rape, argues that "Nothing happened to her that she didn't invite... in one way or another no matter what she said afterwards."
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968): Jekyll downplays his murder of Gwyn by calling her a trollop, as if it makes her insignificant.

  • By the standards of Dayao from Always Coming Home, any woman without a proper escort is fair game who is asking for it.
  • The teachers in Doom Valley Prep School subscribe strongly to Social Darwinism and turn around to blame the victims of bullying for being bullied. The alchemy teacher calls Peter being unwillingly gender-bent by Michael "a good lesson" and admonishes him, now her, for being "stupid and trusting." Just in case the reader thinks this is an isolated incident, Lady Plague then has the incoming female students, of which Peter->Petra is one, go through a Secret Test, and when a disembodied voice cries out that those who manage to get extra room keys will be rewarded, the victims who were beaten and had their keys taken by force were left with none, they were all shoved into a barracks, and blamed for failing to defend themselves. The bullies are taken to task for failing to authenticate what they heard, resulting in breaking the rules and found themselves in separate barracks, but that hardly helps. And the male teachers apparently did something similar in the boys' dorms...
  • Earth's Children:
    • In The Valley of Horses, when Jondalar first learns that Ayla became pregnant after being raped by a Neanderthal man, his knee-jerk response is to express disgust that she "let one of them" have sex with her; this is due to Jondalar's people thinking of Neanderthals as animals rather than another type of human, and having sexual relations with "flatheads" and children born of such unions are consequently seen as massive taboos. After Ayla calls Jondalar out on this and storms off, Jondalar moves past his initial revulsion and is instead disgusted with himself for suggesting she was to blame for the rape, especially as she'd willingly shared with him this extremely painful part of her past. He later apologizes to Ayla and she chooses to forgive him.
    • In The Plains of Passage, Echozar says his mother's brother-in-law blamed her for the attack on her and his brother, which saw her gang-raped and her mate killed when he tried to protect her; her brother-in-law proclaimed that she was ill-favoured by the spirits and so carried misfortune with her. This opinion was only cemented when she gave birth to a supposedly deformed son as a consequence of the rape, leading to them both being banished (in truth, Echozar is not deformed but looks different from most of the Clan due having a Neanderthal mother and Cro-Magnon father).
  • A Father's Wrath shows this as a cultural more. When women find themselves drugged or brainwashed into being raped, society at large blames them. Main character Jon Barton learned this one first hand when his wife was drugged with powerful magical aphrodisiacs, right in front of him, and the would be assailants tried to trick her into verbally confessing. Jon executes the scoundrels on the spot when they challenge him for trying to intervene, demanding his identity, and he provides proof that he's a viscount, as the adopted son of their Lord, Marquis Liaflaf.
  • After Scarlett is nearly raped in Gone with the Wind, her rival India Wilkes cruelly tells her "What happened to you this afternoon was just what you deserve and if there was any justice, you'd have gotten worse.'' (Scarlett had repeatedly ridden through a crime-ridden part of town despite repeated pleas and warnings not to do so) Scarlett then learns that the local men have gone out to avenge her and will be hanged if they're caught. India makes it quite clear that she blames her for this too. When her husband Frank is indeed killed, along with another man, and her beloved Ashley is injured, Scarlett even turns this attitude on to herself.
  • In The Handmaid's Tale, the Aunts preach that Janine was to blame for her being gang-raped at fourteen, insisting she led her rapists on and that God was "teach[ing] her a lesson". The other Handmaids are forced to repeat this to Janine over and over until she finally breaks down and 'agrees' that it was her fault. The Aunts in general state that men can't always control themselves and that it's up to women to keep themselves modest so men won't be tempted.
  • The House of Night: In one of the later books, a girl named Becca starts flirting with Aurox with the intention of having sex with him. When he inadvertently says Zoey's name, though, Becca is put off and bites him, then becomes afraid of him after sensing he's an otherworldly creature and tries to leave. Aurox ends up pinning her against a tree and ignores her pleading to leave her alone, but is stopped from going further when a teacher intervenes. However, the teacher tells Becca that it was partly her fault for leading Aurox on and that she's "crude" for turning him down just because he's attracted to Zoey.
  • The Japanese Lover: When Radmilla finds out about her husband exploiting his stepdaughter to produce child porn, she proceeds to beat up her child, calling her a whore for seducing the man. What makes this even worse is that Radmilla herself was a victim of Human Trafficking as a teen.
  • Maya's Notebook: The 13-year-old Azucena is raped by her father (who has also raped her sister) and she becomes pregnant, miscarrying later on. Yet people in the village blame her and her mother, because they figure her father can't help it. Azucena ends up having to move out of town.
  • In the first tome of Millennium Series, Lisbeth calls Harriet Vanger a coward for not killing her brother, weeks after she humiliated Nils Larssen, her own abusive guardian. However, by the third book, she matures enough to understand the precise situation.
  • Rai Kirah: The Ezzarians believe that people who have suffered enslavement are irredeemably impure, so they declare them Legally Dead and ignore their continued existence. They shun even The Paragon Seyonne as soon as they learn he had been enslaved.
  • In Starting A New Life For The Discarded All Rounder, the country protagonist Roa hails from has a systematic culture of victim blaming. Whenever there's a conflict between the mentor and apprentice of the highly touted apprenticeship system, the legally powerless apprentice is always held to blame, regardless of the actual circumstances. In this culture 80% of apprentices wash out of the program, and the top brass is strangely proud of this, thinking their country has somehow mastered a system of separating the wheat from the chaff. Any time there's evidence this is wrong, assassins are sent to "clean it up." (Ie, eliminate the apprentice who provides hard evidence of the system's flaws, just by existing.)
  • Under Suspicion:
    • In The Sleeping Beauty Killer, the murderer, Angela, blames both her victims for what she did to them. She says it was "Hunter's fault" she fatally shot him because he broke her heart by refusing to see they 'belonged' together and dismissing her. As for Casey, Angela says that she "deserved" to be framed and wrongly convicted for killing Hunter because she "stole" Hunter from her. When she's standing over her friend Charlotte - whom she just clobbered over the head and intends to kill - she also bitterly says that maybe she should blame Charlotte because if it weren't for Charlotte's friendship with Laurie, Under Suspicion wouldn't have begun investigating and none of this would've happened.
    • In You Don't Own Me, Leigh Ann gives the impression of blaming her victims for the harm she does them, while downplaying her own culpability. She blamed her husband's stalling career and work commitments for her having an affair, blamed Kendra having depression for driving her husband into her arms and blamed Martin for her killing him because he refused to let her go and threatened to ruin her reputation and her husband's career (while Martin's actions are unacceptable, Leigh Ann wouldn't have been in this position if she hadn't had an affair with Martin or made it clearer she didn't view it as a serious relationship).
  • In Vigilauntie Justice, the police refuse to investigate reports of a serial rapist and say it's because many of the victims were drunk when it happened. When Daisy reports her Attempted Rape (the rapist had followed her from a bus stop at night and attacked her in a quiet street), the police ask her when she first met the rapist, what she was wearing, how much she had drunk that night, and how far it went before she changed her mind.
  • The plot of Worm is set up by the protagonist Taylor being bullied to the point of a Traumatic Superpower Awakening by three female classmates, one of whom is a lawyer's daughter with enough social clout to make sure that not only is Taylor not believed but is also made to look like she's antagonizing them unprovoked.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This comes up several times in Apple Tree Yard in different forms.
    • When George tries to pressure Yvonne into sex, he points out she's already having sex with another man who isn't her husband, then rapes her when she still rejects him, with it being implied George believes she deserves it because she's an adulterer.
    • The hostess of a dinner party makes comments suggesting a woman who was recently gang-raped brought it on herself, because surely she would've known what the men's intentions were when she was alone with them; she also questions why she couldn't have just bitten the man who forced her to perform oral sex. Yvonne vocally condemns this, saying that perhaps the woman felt too scared to fight or went with the men under the impression her autonomy would be respected.
    • When Yvonne's lawyer asks her about her rape and she admits she didn't try to physically stop George or get away, he says that some people on the jury may question whether she was raped because she 'let' it happen. This infuriates psychology professor Gary, who explains in a blunt fashion (with a knife to illustrate the point) that some people faced with dangerous and traumatic situations will instinctively freeze up instead of fighting or escaping (it's worth noting that George also struck Yvonne and threatened her with further violence, so it's even less surprising she would've tried to fight).
    • While Yvonne is being questioned by Mark's lawyer, it's brought up that shortly before her 'alleged' rape, Yvonne had had sex with Mark in an alleyway and attended the party where the assault occurred not wearing underwear, among other things; the line of questioning obviously implies that Yvonne is lying about the rape or perhaps led George on. Yvonne starts crying and states that this kind of attitude is exactly why she didn't go to the police about the rape at the time or disclose her affair with Mark earlier, because she was scared everyone would assume she was a liar or had it coming.
  • Class of '09: Drew was shot mistakenly by a fellow agent in 1997 when attempting to aid her colleagues. She was blamed for it, not him.
  • Cobra Kai: The season 2 finale has Tory start a fight with Sam which escalates into a gang brawl between Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai students, resulting in both Sam and Miguel being hospitalized. Even though Tory started the fight, Sam is still treated as if she is equally or entirely to blame and gets suspended for two weeks. At a PTA meeting to decide how to deal with school violence, one of the parents accuses Sam of "tramping around" with Tory's boyfriend as if that excuses Tory attacking her.
  • Criminal Minds: When the BAU is called to aid in the case of a girl abducted from a local mall, they quickly discover that her paternal uncle was molesting her. This eventually leads to the revelation that his wife, the girl's aunt, was the abductor, because she blamed the girl for her husband's deviant behavior.
  • The Crowded Room: Candy is afraid she'll be blamed if Marlin molested Danny. Rya assures her she was also a victim, and that predators find vulnerable people through no fault of their own, with this being a tragic occurrence she would never blame her for. This spurs Candy to testify for Danny about Marlin at his trial. Marlin tries to stop her testifying by saying that people will blame her if she says it though. This gets her to deny the abuse on the stand.
  • As with many crime procedural shows, this shows up from time to time on the various CSI series:
    • In an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, "Turning of the Screws" Catherine is looking into the murder of a young girl. She initially suspects the mother's handyman boyfriend, especially after blood is found on a shovel in his truck. However, fingerprints on the shovel reveal it was the mother who killed the girl. The mother then claimed that the girl was trying to come on to the boyfriend. She became convinced of this when the boyfriend gave the girl a lift home from school (which was entirely innocent). Catherine points out that the girl was all of thirteen.
  • In Cursed, Nimue comes to Arthur for help after her village is sacked by the Red Paladins. While she rests at an abbey, Arthur steals the Sword of Power entrusted to her for his own purposes. When the Sword is in turn stolen from him, a furious Nimue confronts him about it and he in turn snaps that it's her fault for trusting him in the first place, as she knew he was a thief and mercenary.
  • The Facts of Life. Natalie had a Near-Rape Experience that traumatized her. At the end, she goes to a self-defense class in which the instructor goes into detail on how Natalie could have prevented the encounter. The way he was phrasing it comes across as if he was blaming her for not being better prepared.
  • In Game of Thrones, Brienne and Jaime come across the bodies of three women who were hanged by Stark soldiers for having sex with Lannister soldiers, whom they are currently at war with; they state the women deserved it because they betrayed their country. Brienne disagrees. To make matters worse, it's left ambiguous if the three women willingly had sex with the Lannister soldiers at all, seeing as both sides are guilty of committing war crimes against the smallfolk. The only real difference is that the Lannisters did so under orders from Lord Tywin as part of an intentional terror campaign; the Northern soldiers who engage in Rape, Pillage, and Burn did so largely against King Robb's wishes. Not that it matters for the average commoner.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street: A murderer tries to blame a woman he had killed during a BDSM session for her own death, claiming that she "corrupted" him by introducing him to it. Bayliss, something of a Heteronormative Crusader himself, angrily chews him out over the blatant victim-blaming and tells him to accept the consequences of his own actions.
  • In the Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon, Queen Alicent learns that her eldest son Aegon raped a serving girl named Dyana. Alicent is horrified by what happened but tells Dyana that if she were to accuse the prince of rape, people would blame her instead. She then buys Dyana's silence with money and a cup of moon tea.
  • Irma Vep: René is accused of this after he defends Irma being raped in one scene by saying she's a murderer and villain as well.
  • Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story: Just before the ITV program aired in which Savile's crimes were exposed, a number of people accused Savile's victims of trying to get money. One man even says they were probably groupies who "threw themselves at him," claiming that "that sort of thing happened in the pop business."
  • Many a lawyer or media personality on the various Law & Order series will employ a strategy of Blaming The Victim, hoping to sway the jury to either an acquittal or a hung jury (which is usually just as good as an acquittal). Depending on the judge involved, they may or may not be able to use it as a part of their defense, the opening argument, or the closing argument. Expect the D.A. to protest vociferously to such tactics.
    • One particular episode of Law & Order: SVU has a victim who wrote a novel similar to Fifty Shades of Gray. The perpetrator argues that it was a completely consensual act based on her books, hoping the public, and thus the jury pool, will blame her and feel that she deserved it. A.D.A. Barba tricks the defendant into demonstrating with a belt how he choked the woman. The man responds, after some provocation, into pulling hard on the belt in front of the jury. Barba demonstrated that as hard as it had pulled on his throat, it had barely left a mark, then showed photographs of the deep bruising it had done on the woman's throat. The jury rejects the defendant's argument.
  • Leverage:
    • More than a few Villains of the Week defend themselves by laying blame at the feet of their victims, but the standout example has to be Greg "The Mako" Sherman. When instructing his underlings on how to rip off their victims, he declares, "If they're too dumb to hold on to their money, they don't deserve to have it."
    • Another episode has a corrupt Vice-President at a food company destroying reports of tainted food. He justifies it to the Leverage Team by saying that the package specifically states to heat the food to a particular temperature to avoid bacteria so that if people get sick, it's their own fault for not following proper instructions. This is a subversion, however, as he's threatening Hardison as he says it.
  • Luke Cage (2016): When she was a young girl, Mariah Dillard was molested by her Uncle Pete. During an argument with her cousin Cornell, he accuses Mariah of bringing her abuse on herself by "flirting" with their uncle and "running around half naked", leading to her killing him in a fit of rage.
  • In the docuseries Menudo: Forever Young about the Latin boy band Menudo, former member Ralphy Rodriguez, who went public in the 90s about being abused and exploited by founder Edgardo Díaz, speaks of being accused of ingratitude for his opportunity and trying to seek financial gain.
  • Ready or Not (1993): In “Crossing the Line”, Busy spends a day with older guy Steve at an amusement park. Later, Steve forces himself on Busy and accuses her of leading him on just because she hung out with him.
  • The Regime: In "Midnight Banquet", Chancellor Vernham is informed about a protest where a mounted police officer's horse got spooked and kicked a pregnant woman in the stomach; both the mother and unborn child died. With a total absence of empathy or sympathy, she points out that the woman should have known better than to attend a violent protest while pregnant.
  • Silent Witness: In the Series 17 story "In a Lonely Place", the police and forensics team question a man about a murdered stripper named Caitlin he had gone back to his hotel room with. The man insists he didn't kill her, but does admit to punching her in the face and breaking her nose after she resisted his sexual advances. When the man mutters that it served Caitlin right for being "a junkie prick-tease", an infuriated Jack begins punching him until the cops pull him off.
  • Touched by an Angel: When a local politician confronts her friend about the statutory rape charges he's facing, he defensively argues that the girl in question lied to him and claimed to be 18 and that "she didn't do anything she didn't want to", conveniently overlooking the fact that the girl was his student and for that alone he should have rebuffed her advances/not made advances to her.
  • A Touch of Frost:
    • In "Stranger in the House", a sleazy cab driver says a girl he picked up and then tried to have sex with was asking for it, because she was dressed in skimpy clothes and didn't protest when he started kissing and touching her. When Frost questions why he didn't stop trying to go further when she did start protesting, the driver says it's "too late" by that point, that she knew what she was getting into and that men can't control themselves in that situation. He backtracks a bit though, when Frost reveals that the girl was only fifteen (the age of consent in the UK is sixteen so even if he wasn't being forceful he would still get prosecuted for statutory rape) and that she was violently raped at knifepoint after fleeing from him. It turns out the cab driver wasn't the rapist, though not from lack of trying, and it's implied he's still going down for Attempted Rape of a minor and physically assaulting her when she resisted.
    • In "Mind Games", it's revealed the real killer of teenage cousins Jane and Harriet is David Crewes, the father of Jane and uncle of Harriet. He killed Harriet because he found out she was planning to run away from home and would've likely exposed that he'd raped her; David says he believed Harriet wanted to have sex with him, as he'd seen the way she acted around boys her age and the way she dressed, even though Harriet explicitly told him she never wanted this and was clearly traumatised afterwards. David ended up killing Jane because she saw him kill Harriet and knew what he'd done. David's account of how this happened also has victim-blaming undertones; he says that Jane refused to listen to him and wouldn't stop screaming, insisting he had no choice.
  • Vera: In the Season 11 episode "As The Crow Flies", it's revealed that two sisters, Fern and Zara, were molested by their late uncle (he actually caused the car accident that killed him while trying to assault Zara, who fought back). When Vera confronts the man's wife, she at first insists it's untrue and then says that Fern was at fault, as she would walk around in nothing but a towel and her husband told her his victim came onto him (Fern would've been in her teens at the time). The young woman later tells Vera she got the impression that her grandmother blamed her too and insisted they forget about it, which eventually prompted her to move out when she was seventeen.
  • Parodied by The Whitest Kids U' Know in the sketch "The Grapist". It involves a consultant pitching an ad for a creepy fruit soda mascot who's a blatant rape metaphor: he bursts into people's bedrooms (including children's) in the dead of night and "grapes" them in the mouth. At one point, the consultant claims that the little girl in the ad deserves to get graped.
    Consultant: Look at her! She's begging to get graped!
    Executive: Will you listen to what you're saying!?
    Consultant: Look at what she's wearing!
    Executive: Look at what she's wearing?!
    Consultant: It's purple!
    Executive: Oh. Wait, no, no no NO!

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the 5E backstory for the Duergar race in Dungeons & Dragons, it's said that the Dwarven Priests blamed the Duergar for turning their backs on the Dwarven pantheon, with them being lured deep underground and enslaved by the Mind Flayers being interpreted as punishment for them. Needless to say, this has resulted in enmity between the Dwarves and the Duergar ever since the latter managed to free themselves from captivity.

    Video Games 
  • BioShock: Victim-blaming is the main reason Andrew Ryan’s ‘Great Chain’ fails; he fundamentally refuses to believe that there is a difference between someone being unwilling to pull themselves up by their bootstraps or being unable to do so due to circumstance. His final speech even has shades of him blaming Jack for being a slave who was sold, experimented on, and brainwashed.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, one of the students, Celestia Ludenberg, proposes an additional "no leaving your room at nighttime" rule to others in an attempt to prevent murders. In the second chapter, when she finds out that Chihiro, the chapter's murder victim, had left their room and died during nighttime, specifically by meeting with the killer, she very casually says that their death was their own fault for disrespecting her self-imposed rule. She's technically correct that the death would not have occurred had the victim not broken that rule, but it's a sign that she's lashing out over her rule not being followed because it symbolizes her own lack of control over the situation.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Vivienne and Sera are a mage and an elf who live in a Crapsack World where anti-magic and and anti-elf Fantastic Racism thrive. Due to Internalized Categorism, they both blame their fellow mages and fellow elves on their own systemic oppression under mundane humans.
  • Dwarf Fortress: In a more ridiculous version of this, one particular Miscarriage of Justice you can carry out is legally blaming the victim of a crime as the perpetrator, subjecting them to the punishment. This isn't recommended, as dwarves will see right through this and be utterly outraged "after the bizarre conviction against all reason of the victim of a crime". Do this just once, and they'll be pissed. Do this a lot, and the ensuing mass riot may shut down your fortress completely.
  • In The Exorcism Of Annabelle Sunray, The Preacher, who runs The Church, tells the abused and suffering orphans under her care that their suffering is their fault and God’s punishment for their sins. She even goes on to tell Annabelle that her father’s molestation of her is somehow her fault.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, during Clarine and her brother Klein's B support, Klein confronts Clarine over making a cleric cry. Clarine replies, "No, I did not make her cry. She is the one who just started crying," and, when pressed, blames the cleric for "sucking up to" Klein by healing Klein's wounds before Clarine could. Unsurprisingly, Klein is not at all pleased with Clarine.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses::
      • In Chapter 17 of Crimson Flower, should Edelgard confront Dimitri, Dimitri calls her out for trying to invade Faerghus and killing his people and closest friends. Edelgard in response blames him for trying to kill and reconquer in retaliation to her conquest. In the original Japanese, she instead asks him if killing more people will make him happy.
      • A twisted case can happen during Chapter 20/21 of Silver Snow/Verdant Wind should Seteth or Flayn fight Thales. In spite of TWSITD manipulating Nemesis into genociding the citizens of Nabatea, Thales instead blames them and their kin for banishing his people to the depths of the earth in the past.
  • There's a tragic version in God of War Ragnarök when Sindri blames Atreus for inadvertently allowing Odin to infiltrate his home. He's ignoring that a)Sindri willingly allowed this and was just as fooled, b)Atreus is a naive teenager, and c)Odin was a Manipulative Bastard who was preying on Atreus's compassion to get himself inside- Rewatch Bonus makes it very clear that Odin is specifically angling from the very beginning of the game to get Atreus to search for "Tyr" and thus allow him to infiltrate Kratos's group. It's also clear that he doesn't really believe this (for example, he's about ready to whack Thrud when she later threatens Atreus, something he probably wouldn't do if he genuinely hated Atreus), but he's lashing out in his grief over his brother's death and blaming pretty much everyone who was in the room at the time, no matter their actual culpability.
  • In It Lives Within, Matthias (a Manipulative Bastard par excellence) takes advantage of Jocelyn's desire to protect the town (she wanted to make up for being an awful person in the past) and manipulates her into luring Rowan into an ambush after spending nearly the whole book gaining her trust. When Jocelyn finds out and calls Matthias out for using her, Matthias tells her that if she wasn't so easy to manipulate, it wouldn't have happened.
  • Master Detective Archives: Rain Code: In Chapter 3, Icardi murdered Shachi for having grown tired of the latter'ss idealism and saw fighting the Peacekeepers as a lost cause, so he planned to rob the city banks and escape Kanai Ward.
  • Persona 5:
    • Futaba's mother was killed by Akechi via mental shutdown and Futaba was blamed for her death after Shido forged a suicide note. This resulted in Futaba being treated terribly by her relatives and developing intense agoraphobia along with auditory hallucinations. Things get better after she joins the Phantom Thieves, however.
    • Kamoshida humiliates Ryuji by telling everyone about his home life in a bid to make his volleyball team the only frontline sports team in the school. This causes Ryuji to attack him, and Kamoshida retaliates by breaking Ryuji's leg in 'self-defense', then disbands the track team, causing his teammates to view him as a traitor.
    • Akechi is the bastard son of Shido and a prostitute. Eventually, his mother couldn't bear the shame of having a child out of wedlock anymore and killed herself, leaving Akechi in foster care where he was alienated for his heritage. He refers to himself as a cursed child and cites himself as the reason his mother died, though he also has a massive grudge against Shido.
  • In Silent Hill 2, Angela's mother blamed her for the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, telling Angela that she deserved what happened to her.
  • In the first scene of Spirit Hunter: NG, when Kaoru Hazuki is being harassed by Yakuza grunt Mitsuru Maruhashi, protagonist Akira Kijima mentally blames her for wearing an Elegant Gothic Lolita outfit, establishing him as more of a jerk compared to the previous protagonist. (Not that it stops him from rescuing her, and he does have the potential to get better about it.)
    She's only got herself to blame. It's her fault for walking around at night in something eye-catching like that.
  • Transformers:

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Elf & Warrior:
    • The first thing Rilien does after losing control of his powers is kill someone. The second thing he does is brainwash his friend and pick him up while screaming "WHY DID YOU MAKE ME DO THAT?!". Admittedly, they were trying to kill him, and might have done the same to his pet. But that was because they knew he was losing control and becoming a threat to everyone around him.
    • Subverted with Hector regarding Ajax's death. He blames everyone involved: the people that did it, the person who unintentionally helped them, and Ajax himself while standing over his grave. But it's clear that, deep down, the only person he really blames is himself.
    Hector: If you would've just listened, none of this ever woulda happened. You did this, and now I'm the one who's gotta deal with it. (begins to cry) I'm sorry... I'm so sorry...
  • Joe vs. Elan School:
    • Elan School's "therapies" themselves are abusive at their core, and students are made to believe that any abuses they receive from the staff or other students are their own fault.
    • Joe's parents are more than willing to praise Elan School and decry Joe as absolute scum in the same breath, ignoring his stories about how Elan abused him, and telling him that his behaviors after he leaves Elan — which are caused by his post-Elan PTSD — is just proof that he needed Elan's "therapy". Joe's narration sums it up with a quote he heard: "Sometimes people pretend you're a bad person so they don't feel guilty about the things they did to you."
  • unOrdinary: John blames those he attacks for his attacks, even those who he's never spoken to before or who tried to defend him from bulling or befriend him are all painted with the same brush. Anyone who tries to point out that he's hospitalizing people for things other people did and which they were unaware of or were defenseless victims of is also attacked for antagonizing him.

    Web Video 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Parodied when Cell makes a Black Humor joke while chasing Android 18 with the intent of absorbing her and evolving into his perfect form.
    Cell: Just look at what she's wearing! She's practically asking to get absorbed!

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In the episode "The Weirdo", upon observing Sussie getting bullied by Julius and his gang, Darwin claims that she's making herself an easy target by being so weird. Never mind that she can't help it, or that the people who bully her would find another reason to bully her if not that because they're, well, bullies (and Darwin should know, because he's been victimized by the same Gang of Bullies due to his naïve nature, both before and after this episode).
  • Played for Black Comedy in Aqua Teen Hunger Force when Shake justifies his abuse of Meatwad in "Allen Pt. 2".
    Shake: He loved it more than I did! And I craved it. You never know what you have until it leaves you because you chase it around with a ball peen hammer.
  • Beavis And Butthead: In the episode "Breakdown", Principal McVicker gets institutionalized after getting harassed by Beavis and Butt-Head one too many times. Upon seeing them enter his facility, he has another Freak Out. In response, the staff smacked him and condemned him for his actions. Of course, they are ignoring the fact that not only were the two responsible for his predicament in the first place, but they continued to harass him during their visit. The staff then has McVicker set up for electroshock therapy.
  • Family Guy:
  • In Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, the Pilot Movie invokes Adults Are Useless by having Mac's mom blame his sociopathic Big Brother Bully's behavior on his imaginary friend Bloo and have him sent away.
  • Gargoyles: In "Future Tense", none of the Manhattan Clan (with the sole exception of Broadway) let Goliath forget that he "abandoned" them years ago to pave the way into the Bad Future; never mind the fact that he and Elisa wanted nothing more than to get back home, but the Avalon skiff always had other ideas until the following episode, and their attempts to contact the clan were always thwarted until Griff was transported to Manhattan himself.
  • Oscar's Orchestra: Thadius blames Oscar for being forced to play the piano and by extension his hatred of music, but Thadius held all the power over Oscar in that situation and started actively abusing him after the failed recital. In addition, it was Thadius’ mom that forced him to play the piano in the first place, who was completely apathetic to her son’s abuse of his piano.
  • The Owl House: Emperor Belos justifies every bit of the harm he's caused this way.
    • He very explicitly blames the Grimwalkers for their own deaths. He laments to the Collector that it hurts every time they choose to betray him, though even questioning him can count as betrayal, as he demonstrates minutes later when he tries to kill Hunter for just asking him what he did to the other Golden Guards. Contrary to what he claimed earlier, Belos isn't even upset about Hunter's supposed death, just annoyed that he has to make a new one now — in fact, he looks more upset after learning that Hunter survived.
    • The creation of the Grimwalkers also points to another disturbing bit of victim blaming — all of the Grimwalkers are clones of Belos's brother, Caleb, who he murdered after finding out that Caleb had fallen in love with a witch. In "For the Future", when a dying Belos hallucinates Caleb's ghost, he outright screams at him that his death and everything that followed was Caleb's own fault, and tries to attack him.
  • Regular Show: In the episode "Eggscellent", after Rigby has a near-fatal allergic reaction to an omelette he consumed at a restaurant, Benson claims that Rigby could have avoided this if it weren't for his own stupidity. In response, Mordecai punches Benson in the face and lays into him for his callous behavior.
    Benson: Well, I hope you've learned something from this.
    Mordecai: What?
    Benson: Maybe if you were working like you were supposed to, none of this would have happened.
    (Mordecai punches Benson in the face, in which his co-workers try to restrain him)
    Benson: Mordecai, what are you doing?
    Mordecai: What's your problem?! This has nothing to do with work! He just wanted the hat!
    Benson: And look where it got you! That friend over there is only gonna get you in trouble!
    Mordecai: Sure, take advice from Benson about friends since he's got so many of them.
    Benson: I have friends.
    Mordecai: No, you don't! Everyone only hangs out with you because you're our boss! Rigby may have tried to win the hat, but he doesn't deserve to be put in a coma because of it.
  • South Park: In Season 21, after Heidi breaks up with Cartman, her friends start to mock her for having ever dated him, disregarding the amount of trauma Heidi endured from the relationship. In turn, Heidi goes back to Cartman and becomes his Distaff Counterpart. Despite this, her friends still wonder why she decided to go back to Cartman after finally dumping him.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Stuck in the Wringer", when SpongeBob hits his Rage Breaking Point with Patrick (whose stupidity is ruining his life) and gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, the townspeople catch wind of it and angrily scold SpongeBob for chewing out Patrick.
    Sandals: You know, kid, your body isn't the problem. It's your heart. You deserve what you've gotten. Come on, we're out of here. Some people are just born mean.
  • Tangled: The Series: In the episode "Rapunzel's Enemy", Uncle Monty is the one person in the kingdom who doesn't like Rapunzel, his reasons being that he's a holder of traditional values and Rapunzel herself isn't a traditional princess. But what else is he expecting when Rapunzel was stolen from her parents and locked in a tower for eighteen years? Of course, she can't be a traditional princess after suffering emotional abuse and constant isolation. It's not like the circumstances of Rapunzel's upbringing are unknown to the public; the tale of the Lost Princess spread, and the celebration of her return lasted a week according to Eugene. Monty's is negatively judgemental towards Rapunzel because of her quirks, even though said quirks are the result of her trauma. It certainly doesn't help his case that he likes to throw tomatoes at a statue of Rapunzel for fun.
  • Teen Titans (2003): Slade justifies his manipulation and control of Terra this way.
    Slade: She wanted control, and that's what I gave her; my control, her body.
  • Tuca & Bertie: Bertie recalls that when she confided in her high school friends that she was sexually assaulted by a life guard, her friends' reaction consisted of either dismissing it to focus on themselves or being disgusted that she would tell them about it, acting like it was a consensual encounter; one of Bertie's friends even got angry at Bertie because they'd made a pact they would do sexual stuff on the same schedule, completely overlooking that Bertie was assaulted (Bertie even told her "it wasn't on purpose"). Tuca bluntly says her friends were "bitches" for how they reacted and as an adult Bertie herself realises how wrong it was. Their reaction could be partly chalked up to immaturity, as one of Bertie's former friends did eventually feel bad and apologise (albeit still not really understanding what she did wrong), although some of them still haven't grown up; one of her friends is "still mad that Bertie technically got to third base before [she] did", while another friend doesn't remember the incident at all and "went pro bitch".


Video Example(s):


Were You Wearing That?

Tracey Ullman interviews a man just mugged, asking inappropriate questions of asked of women who have been raped.

How well does it match the trope?

3.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BlamingTheVictim

Media sources: