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"A certain kind of leader insists on controlling every aspect of an operation so that nothing can possibly go wrong. The downside to insisting on controlling everything is that when something bad happens, people tend to think it was all part of your plan."
Michael, Burn Notice ("Scatter Point")

Someone who is obsessed with doing everything rigid, proper, and by the book — even (or especially) if it interferes with doing it right.

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On TV, a Control Freak is usually not the big boss; they act the way they do because they're stuck in a professional rut and they want out. Most end up as big fish in small ponds, abusing what little authority they have and hopelessly trying to impress the boss by forcing underlings to fill out all forms in triplicate with identical number-two pencils. They will brook absolutely no dissent from those below them — for the Control Freak, it's My Way or the Highway.

Every Control Freak specializes in endless stories about their past achievements, usually involving the military and usually bogus.

With a bit more power, they're the Obstructive Bureaucrat. Ten steps beyond that is The Chessmaster. Often closely related to Pride and Despotism Justifies the Means — it is common for dictators, whether an Evil Overlord, enforcer of The Empire, or some other incarnation of Order Is Not Good, to have this trait. The Neidermeyer and the Sadist Teacher are usually this.

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Not all Control Freaks are self-serving Glory Hounds per se; some may have perfectly kind intentions, but their egos drive them to think said kind intentions can only be set out through their way of doing things and if they are forceful enough in their ideals, people will naturally see they are for the best of everyone. Several realistic mental disorders, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, can also drive otherwise pleasant people to demand things just so almost subconsciously. Most Rightly Self-Righteous characters become insufferable to others due to acting like this.

When it's parents that are involved, they're usually either a My Beloved Smother or Fantasy-Forbidding Father. If said parent is in show business, they're likely to be a Stage Mom.

Not to be confused with the Teen Titans (2003) villain named Control Freak.

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Examples:

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    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin once asked his father what the term meant. The very favorable definition he received ("That's what lazy, slipshod, careless, cut-corner workers call anyone who cares enough to do something right.") led Calvin to wonder aloud, "Am I in the presence of their king? Should I kneel?" Note that Calvin's dad is a patent attorney.

    Films — Animated 
  • Barbie:
    • Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses: Duchess Rowena goes out of her way to crush the sisters' free spirits and confidence, forcing them all to dress alike and engage only in "ladylike" tasks.
    • Barbie in the Pink Shoes: Kristyn does not much care for the stern Madame Natasha and her insistence that Kristyn's unique style makes for improper ballet dancing. Her counterpart in the Ballet Realm is the Snow Queen, a tyrant who viciously enforces "perfection".
  • Count Dracula from Hotel Transylvania goes to extreme lengths to keep his daughter safe. He even built an entire village and dressed all his zombie employees up as townsfolk in order to convince her that humans were evil. He also insists on taking an active role in every aspect of running the hotel. He even corrects his friends when they call him "Captain Control Freak" by telling them that it's "COUNT Control Freak".
  • Gilbert Huph, Bob Parr's boss in The Incredibles is certainly a cut from this mold. Granted, Bob isn't a great employee for an insurance firm (given his conscience won't let him deny any claims), but Huph's pure bullying nature and reactions of offended dignity point to Bob not quite being the problem here. He even gives Bob a pre-planned disciplinary speech much like the "monologues" given by the supervillains Bob used to fight as Mr. Incredible. While cartoonish, his comeuppance is way too satisfying to watch. Too bad it costs Bob his job. The commentary on the DVD reveals that director Brad Bird, who had been fired from his first two jobs, had middle-management bosses like Huph.
  • Joy from Inside Out is decidedly more upbeat and wacky than most examples of this trope, but she's still an example; she's the leader among Riley's emotions and the others happily take orders from her, but her determination to keep Riley from ever experiencing anything short of perfect happiness is such that she prevents Sadness from doing her job, even drawing a chalk circle and ordering her not to step outside of it.
  • President/Lord Business from The LEGO Movie; everything in his city runs on conformity and following the rules, and his Evil Plan is to glue everything down so that no one can mess with his things. The Man Upstairs, whom Lord Business is partially based off, is just as much of a control freak, but he changes his ways when he sees just how creative his son is and that his son made him the villain of the story.
  • In Sing, this is one of Buster's main character flaws. While he means well, his micromanaging of the acts in the show leads to many things that make the performers uncomfortable, such as making Rosita and Gunther a team act (despite having just met), making Johnny play piano (despite being years out of practice), and making Ash dress and sing like a pop princess (even though she's a tomboy who prefers rock). In the end, though, this all works out for the best — Rosita and Gunther make an excellent team, Johnny turns out to have a natural talent for the piano, and Ash combines the dress she's given with her normal outfit to create a glam rock look (and switches out her initial song with one of her own writing, again at Buster's insistence).
  • In Turning Red, Mei's mother Ming has a lot of controlling tendencies that Mei has internalized, such as demanding perfect grades, suppressing her interests, and demanding that she use all of her recreational time contributing to the family temple. This is less out of malice or selfishness and more out of concern for her daughter's wellbeing, Mei's inability to be honest with her mother only enabling her actions. This is also a generational habit, Ming's relationship with her mother mirroring her daughter's relationship with her.
  • Rabbit of Winnie the Pooh whose over-attention to detail and zero tolerance for his friends' nonsense often leads to him acting like this. A nightmarish dream sequence in Springtime For Roo portrays his overbearing demeanor as becoming so intolerable that everyone in the Hundred Acre Wood leaves home just to get away from it all.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Control Freakery (to the point of rejecting the world as it is, in all of its unmitigated suck) is a major flaw of most of the characters in Brazil who are not heroes, love interests, or ninja plumbers. If there is something wrong going on, they just assume that it's not their department or that it's "terrorist sabotage" and either ignore it or arrest and torture whoever they suspect is the "terrorist" in question.
  • "Ace" Rothstein in Casino. Such a perfectionist that he insists on an equal number of blueberries in every muffin. While it's not a Fatal Flaw in the sense that it gets Ace killed, the exact moment things definitely started to go to hell for the entire cast is when Ace fired an employee he considered incompetent (and absolutely refused to hire him again in any other capacity when asked to reconsider by the employee's brother-in-law) without caring that the Clark County Commission chairman (the aforementioned employee's brother-in-law) would develop a vendetta over it.
  • The Cat in the Hat: Sally is stated to have ended two of her friendships because the friends in question either didn't let her be the head chef while they were baking or because they talked back to her. The Cat's "phunometer" even explicitly labels her a control freak.
  • Francis Whitman from The Darjeeling Limited starts out like this. He acts incredibly controlling towards his two brothers (Even ordering their meals for them at first) and has their entire journey through India already planned out. We meet his mother at the end of the movie where it turns out she has similar qualities.
  • Mr. Perry from Dead Poets Society. The first thing that we see him do is tell his son, Neil, that Neil was going to have to stop working on the school paper (the one extra-curricular activity that Neil enjoyed) just because that activity was the one activity least likely to satisfy Mr. Perry’s ambition to have Neil get into Harvard and become a doctor! So one can only imagine how ballistic he went when Neil decided to follow his true dream and act in a play, even one written by William Shakespeare!
  • First Officer Lieutenant Martin Pascal in Down Periscope is The Neidermeyer and has a constant need to get in people's faces and yell at them when they are doing something wrong (although in his defense in at least one case, Buckman (the ship's cook) is definitely doing things wrong). It ends up backfiring on him hard when he tries to pull (what he believes is) an Anti-Mutiny and he's instantly mobbed by the rest of the crew.
  • Wade Gustafson from Fargo is a controlling jerk who can’t trust his son-in-law with even the most basic of tasks. Even when his daughter is kidnapped and the kidnappers give specific instructions to have Jerry handle the money, Wade insists on doing it himself because he thinks he’s the only one smart enough to do it. He seems to think he can browbeat the whole world into bowing to his whims, which gets him killed when he tries it on Showalter, who simply whips out a pistol and shoots Wade dead.
  • In Inside Daisy Clover, producer Raymond Swan (Christopher Plummer) basically wants total control over the life and career of Daisy Clover (Natalie Wood), which she deeply resents. It includes drastic invokedContractual Purity, faking her past to sell her as "America's Little Valentine" instead of the near-hobo she was, and he even wants to prevent her from seeing her mother again (which he later recedes on). He also doesn't want his actor Wade Lewis to ruin it via his romance with Daisy.
  • Harlan, the murdered victim, in Knives Out. His mug "My House, My Rules, My Coffee", seen in the opening scene, even before the audience sees Harlan himself, says a lot. He also keeps his family on a tight leash, either intentionally or unintentionally, putting them in charge of aspects of his business or keeping them dependent on him for loans or college tuition, under his exact stipulations. What he says, goes, and those that don't fall in line will get cut out of his will.
  • Clarence Day Sr. of Life with Father tries to be this in his attempts to run his household on "a business basis," the same way he manages his business as a stockbroker. It very rarely goes as he wants it thanks to his wife being perfectly willing to do things her own way and his sons creating all sorts of minor chaos... leading to his frequent outbursts of "oh, gad!"
  • Marvin's Room: Lee towards her two sons. Hank rebels against her, and she even admits to his psychiatrist that she can't control him. On the other hand, Charlie is more obedient.
  • J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) in Now You See Me. This proves to be a plot point, as the FBI finds out he likes to keep track of his entire crew by making them wear GPS bracelets. The FBI try to use them to spy on the Horsemen, except they manage to slip one of the trackers into a lead agent's pocket, causing him to run around New Orleans chasing himself. However, given The Reveal, it's possible he knew about the tracker in his pocket and was deliberately making a fool of himself to keep the other agents following him and not the Horsemen.
  • Bill Lumbergh from Office Space micromanages his employees to extremes. He ends up calling Peter 17 times (hitting his answering machine each time) when post-hypnosis Peter doesn't show up at work.
  • One Night of Love: Giulio the voice coach, to his student, would-be opera singer Mary. He demands and gets full control of her life while training her to be an opera star, right down to who she sees and what she eats. One scene has Mary getting annoyed when Giulio orders a sumptuous steak dinner at a fancy restaurant but only lets Mary have the peach Melba.
  • Terence Fletcher of Whiplash, an unforgiving psychopathic perfectionist who will try to find a great musician by any means necessary. A turning point is when protagonist Andrew arrives late without his drumsticks. Doesn't matter if Andrew is the core drummer, or if the replacements could borrow their sticks, Fletcher won't let him play. So Andrew drives back to get the sticks and his car is hit by a truck. No wonder Andrew tackles Fletcher later, he nearly died simply because the Sadist Teacher was an overtly methodical asshole.
  • Abby in Wine Country. She put together a very detailed itinerary and tries to follow it to the letter, which eventually gets on the others' nerves. It is later revealed that this is because she just lost her job and is trying to find something that she's in control of.
  • Yves Saint Laurent: Pierre Bergé, the lover and business partner of Broken Ace fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, must control every aspect of their business and personal lives to keep Yves sane enough to work. He's sometimes tyrannical, sometimes loving and, in the end, protects Yves from destroying himself. It's dysfunctional but it works for both men.

    Music 
  • Dennis DeYoung, former keyboardist of the American rock band Styx, because musicals aren't for rock stars.
    • Styx broke up over it in 1983 following the Kilroy Was Here debacle. The classic lineup finally reconciled and reunited in 1995, but Dennis's Control Freak tendencies started rearing their head again by 1999. This time, rather than breaking up the whole band, the others just kicked him out.
  • Axl Rose. Offend him in the slightest and you'll end up without a job.
  • Roger Waters. If David Gilmour is to be believed, his control-freak mode kicked in around 1977's Animals. It got worse with The Wall, which was almost entirely his writing, and culminated in The Final Cut, which infamously had the words "Written by Roger Waters; performed by Pink Floyd" printed on the back cover. Then he left the band and a series of lawsuits ensued involving who had the right to use the Animals pig and whether the rest of the band had the right to use the name "Pink Floyd."
  • Paul McCartney, during the final years of The Beatles. Semi-justified though, in that John Lennon was preoccupied with his side projects/relationship with Yoko Ono and generally pissing off George Harrison and Ringo Starr, to such a degree that McCartney had to literally take over the recording sessions with an iron hand just to keep things going.
    • Even after the Beatles broke up. When The Beatles version of Twist and Shout became a hit again after being in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, McCartney was upset because a marching band in the movie was playing horns on it. Never mind the original Isley Brothers version actually did have horns on it!
    • Every so often, McCartney will vocally gripe about the familiar "Lennon/McCartney" credit for Beatles songs, and how it unfairly implies that Lennon was the main creative force of the group. While this isn't an entirely unreasonable point of contention on McCartney's part, he has also tried on several occasions to convince or force the rest of the world to start using "McCartney/Lennon" instead, at least regarding songs he was primarily responsible for writing. Given how culturally embedded "Lennon/McCartney" is by this point, this quest is quixotic at best, and he appears more or less resigned to defeat in this case.
  • Noel Gallagher joined Oasis on the condition of taking creative control of the group and becoming its sole songwriter. The rest of the band didn't object, though, since their own songwriting skills were limited. Noel eventually let the others write songs for the band as well.
  • John Fogerty, by most accounts. Tom Fogerty once said he felt he was "hip-checked" out of his role as lead singer when John joined the band.
  • Don Henley was one; this was a major force in the Eagles' 1980 breakup.
  • So was David Byrne. Talking Heads finally broke up when the other members had had enough.
  • Lawrence Hayward of Felt. (Actually, he was Felt.) Among other things, he once fired a drummer for having curly hair.
  • Ritchie Blackmore. It was bad enough while he was in Deep Purple, but singer Ian Gillan and organist Jon Lord had enough clout to hold their own. There was no one to keep him in line in Rainbow, however, and it showed.
  • Good lord, Jered Threatin. During his band's ill-fated European tour, he scolded his tour bandmates for getting breakfast at the hotel's buffet without his permission, and told them that they needed to stay with him at all times. Since Threatin's a teetotaler who doesn't do nightlife, this severely restricted where his bandmates could go during their European tour.
  • A managerial example was Colonel Tom Parker. He generally let Elvis Presley call most of the shots musically, but Parker locked him into a series of bad music and film contracts that prioritized Money, Dear Boy over quality, strictly forced Elvis to fulfill them, and came down hard on anyone who questioned him about it. Valuable contributors to Elvis' music career like Leiber and Stoller and From Elvis in Memphis producer Chips Moman got blackballed for daring to go against Parker's wishes. Parker even meddled in Elvis' personal life if he thought it was affecting their financial bottom line (though he was conspicuously silent about the drug abuse that ultimately killed Elvis).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Vince McMahon has a notorious reputation as one. It's been said that he has no life outside of WWE, and expects everyone to be as dedicated to the company as he is. James J Dillon quit his position as a WWE executive because he couldn't put up with how demanding Vince was, and Paul Heyman has said that Vince will get utterly annoyed if he sneezes — because he can't control it.

    Roleplay 
  • Jacob from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues. He has a schedule he follows strictly and always tries to abide by the rules. If chaos is brought into his life, then anxiety quickly sets in and he seeks out any semblance of order. This usually manifests itself as him loudly complaining to the people who brought chaos into his life in the hopes that they'll follow a more logical plan. This is all a result of his mother, who's forced all her expectations on him and made him adhere to a strict routine.

    Sports 
  • Former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight, also known for his General Ripper tendencies off the court. Of course, when he was actually winning titles, nobody cared about his behavior...

    Theatre 
  • Lucy from 13 is going to get her way. Or else.
  • ENGINES MUST OBEY CONTROL!! ENGINES MUST OBEY CONTROL!! DO!! WHAT!! YOU'RE!! TOLD!!!
    • Subverted once everyone shouts: "Shut it, control!!"
  • Hermia's father Egeus in A Midsummer Night's Dream is all over this. Even after his daughter refused to marry Demetrius, the man he chose for her, he had Theseus threaten to execute her if she doesn't.
  • Alyssa describes her mother as one in The Prom, and she's completely right. Mrs. Greene forces her daughter to dress a certain way, tracks her weight, makes her sign up for extracurriculars she hates, expects perfect grades, and all in all wants Alyssa to be the flawless Trophy Child she can use as a prop in her "perfect" life. This, combined with her mother's conservative political views, is why Alyssa has remained deeply in the closet, despite having known she's a lesbian and been in a loving relationship with Emma for over a year. Mrs. Greene also uses her position as the head of the PTA to push her political agenda and is very unhappy when Principal Hawkins and Emma attempt to stand up to her.
    I don't like when strangers get in my way
    or anyone who messes with the PTA.
    Well, maybe that's just me.
    But trust me,
    fixing little problems is what I do.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Blackbirds RPG: The Allmother holds the iron-clad belief that she is the only one who is fit to make decisions, and that the world can only be perfect with herself in complete control. She even views murdering and replacing people as actually doing them a service, making their lives better by forcing them to let her make decisions in their stead.
  • Exalted: She Who Lives In Her Name is the literal embodiment of control freakishness. Her Charmset has large chunks devoted to stripping those annoying little hairless apes of their free will so they have to do what they're told. There's a reason she's known as the Principle of Hierarchy.
  • Shadowrun
    • The Great Dragon Lofwyr is infamous for his micromanaging tendencies and wanting total control over everything that is his domain. Despite being the CEO of a Megacorp that stretches the globe, almost every operation needs his direct approval, and approximately 80% of Saeder-Krupp's workforce has had a performance review done directly by Lofwyr himself (usually via the Matrix) — though rumour has it that 100% of those who displease Lofwyr will have their last performance review with him in person directly before their severance, with emphasis very much on the 'sever' part.
    • The Mega-Corp Mitsuhama Computer Technologies is known in the shadows to be extremely inflexible when hiring shadowrunners (possibly because, due to their mob ties, they don't do it very often), and often demand to micromanage the operations complete with planned-down-to-the-minute time schedules that must be kept. Between this and their poor reaction to runners abandoning the plan, few runners knowingly take Mitsuhama jobs if they can be avoided.

    Visual Novels 
  • Little Busters!: Kanata, the leader of the school disciplinary committee, is very strict when it comes to rules, in complete contrast to unashamed troublemaker Haruka.
  • Captain Antares Fairchild in Starship Promise demonstrates a nigh-obsessive need for control over himself and his surroundings, probably rooted at least in part in his childhood growing up in poverty in a colony slum. His attitude is illustrated in his response when the player character asks him why he keeps fish as pets — one of the reasons he gives is that he has total control over their environment, and can thus protect them. He takes a similar though less immediately obvious attitude toward the protagonist and the crew under his command, and the constant attitude of confidence and control he puts forth inspires a great deal of faith and loyalty from them.

    Web Animation 
  • Looney Tunes Intro Bloopers: Microsoft Sam is this.
  • RWBY:
    • Jacques Schnee expects his children to follow his orders without question and to lead lives and careers that further his agenda. He has no interest in their personal desires, only in what they can do to further the business interests of the Schnee Dust Company. When his daughter, Weiss, disobeys him one too many times, he detains her until they reach an "agreement" about how her future will unfold. When Weiss realizes that Whitley has been waiting for Jacques to disinherit both daughters so that he will inherit everything, he reasons that the only way to handle Jacques is to follow the latter's expectations.
    • As a result of his paranoia, General Ironwood believes the first step to any problem is to put him in charge of it; When he comes to Vale in Volume 2, he and Ozpin clash over the appropriateness of the massive fleet he brought along "just in case". Ironwood persuades the council to remove Ozpin and be put in charge of the Vytal Festival's security. After Volume 3, Ironwood begins amassing more and more control over Atlas through his two seats on the council and locks the kingdom up to keep the villains out. By Volume 7, he has turned the city of Mantle into a police state, disturbing the main heroes, and as the situation deteriorates, bans public assembly and considers invoking martial law to get things done without having to negotiate with anyone. Once he learns that Cinder, who orchestrated his defeat in Vale is in Atlas and Salem is coming personally, he snaps, and arrests the heroes when they refuse to follow his extreme methods.

    Webcomics 
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: As can be expected from someone who embodies the sin of Pride, the Demiurge Solomon David is both this trope and The Perfectionist. He is obsessed with complete control of everything, whether it concerns self-control, control of his daily life, the goings-on in his realm, the nature of his family, and everything else he regards as 'his' in any way. His chosen fighting style, Ki Rata, embodies this — it is a martial art that will literally kill its wielder if they lose control of their concentration.
  • In Misfile, Ash's father Edward used to be this, to the point that Ash's mother abandoned them both when Ash was three. Edward has since learned from his mistakes and subscribes to a Hands-Off Parenting approach with Ash.
  • Miwa in Never Mind the Gap has tendencies of this kind, especially when aggressively playing matchmaker.
  • In The Order of the Stick, this (combined with It's All About Me) turns out to be General Tarquin's main weakness. He's so Genre Savvy that he treats everyone as elements in a narrative he's planned out and leaps at the chance to be his heroic son's Archnemesis Dad. He can't even believe that he's not the main villain of the story, and doesn't comprehend that the comic likes to subvert and deconstruct established narrative lines. When Elan refuses to take the bait and insists he's a supporting character rather than the real hero, Tarquin tries to force him into the protagonist seat by attacking his friends.
    Tarquin: I'm sorry, Elan, but you brought this all on yourself. I tried to give you a dramatically significant death scene to swear vengeance over, but you seem to prefer this... this disjointed anarchy. There's no unity of theme here at all!
    Elan: Didn't we... already do the scene...where you try to convince me to do things your way?
    Tarquin: (grabbing Elan, face twisted with rage) Yes, and it didn't go right, so we are DOING IT AGAIN. And we will CONTINUE to do it until you understand that it is in your best interest to...
  • There are a few in Pacificators, but by far the biggest one is Muneca. Hoo, boy.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: In the prologue, Ulrika Västerström acts like this. She berates her husband for taking too long to pick up the newspaper in an abandoned gas station and doesn't let her husband's parents or daughter leave the car during the stop despite at least one of them needing to use the bathroom. Later, when her husband's parents and daughter start rioting against basic demands not being met, she dangerously swerves the car to calm everyone down. Since she happens to be driving everyone to the family private cabin to escape The Plague, it's hard to tell if it's her usual attitude or just her being on the edge about what's going on.

    Web Video 
  • Dad: Cheryl likes to keep things in control, has high standards, and gets upset when things aren't going her way. She is mentioned in the "Dad Loves Mom" song to be very strict and dominating, she punished Dad for owning a magazine she didn't like, and she even had one of her employees taken away for disagreeing with her. There are only a few cases where she's shown relenting.

    Real Life 
  • Of course, this is also Truth in Television. There are people at school or work who either demand that they tell the rest of the group what to do since they know best or forcibly push their own ideas onto the others without listening to the opinions of the other people, especially when they think that they are faultless.
    • Certain co-workers tend to freak out if cleaning is done wrong not exactly how they want it
    • Whether it's school, college, or business, no matter how "well-intended" the Control Freak's contributions and/or help may be, it never ends well for anyone involved... the controllers themselves included.
    • Then again, it is sometimes useful to have someone take charge of the situation, such as in an emergency, if no one else is doing so — assuming that they are prepared to give up control should someone more qualified show up.
  • Control freaks can also pop up in cooperative video games. In games where massive teamwork is necessary, there will sometimes be a player who will constantly tell other players what to do and treat them like they never played the game before.
    • And more often than not, the people who constantly bark orders are usually the players with the least amount of skill in the team. Bonus points if said "commander" gets into trouble by his own accord and blames the rest of the team for the mishap.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys and Scrubs fall under this. The former will criticize you for playing the game "wrong" while the latter will yell at you for not playing by their house rules.
  • Totalitarian dictators and authoritarian rulers, in general, are control freaks by nature. Nothing angers them worse than people who won't go along with whatever they want them to do, which is why Secret Police and other systems are frequently put in place.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (no, NOT Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) can definitely turn a person into this, in a mentally crippling way.
  • Doug Walker admits he's this in products he has a say in but mixes it with his usual Guilt Complex. He only wants to do all the work by himself so he can freely say It's All My Fault if people don't like it.
  • We've all had that friend, either abusive or not, who does this.
  • People with narcissistic personality disorder tend to become this with friends and family members because they see others as just extensions of themselves.
  • The greatest flaw of the historical Zhuge Liang was his tendency to try to do everything himself. Notably, unlike rival states Wei and Wu (and most other empires before or after), Shu did not have a specific branch of government dedicated to archiving the state's history due to Zhuge personally overseeing Shu's records (instead of assigning someone else to head the archives). Crucially, even as Prime Minister of Shu, he would accompany the army on their invasions of Wei to the north in order to personally issue commands at the front, despite Shu having several talented and capable generals who would be able to do the job. He was also prone to assigning his close friends and confidants to high positions because he knew they'd follow his instructions to the letter, as opposed to more independent officials or generals who'd argue against him. This contributed to his death: very few people can stay up almost all night every night trying to control both military and political spheres before their health simply cannot keep up with it.
  • Less kind descriptions of famed voice acting director Wally Burr (who worked on, among other things, the original Transformers cartoon) paint him as being one of these. Michael Bell once joked that Burr's perfectionism was partially responsible for the death of Orson Welles (who passed away shortly after completing his lines for the role of Unicron), and the famous 30-year bad blood between Burr and Maurice LaMarche was caused by the latter expressing his opinion the former's "directing style" basically involved voice actors repeating lines over and over until Burr was satisfied they delivered the line the way he himself would do it.


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