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"Eighty percent of this country is Christian. It's the religion that changed the world. Probably not the best choice. And Kurt Angle—who I guess is Christian—standing right next to me, starts screaming at ME! And I'm screaming back! 'I don't know! I didn't book this thing!'"
Joey Styles on the crucifixion of Sandman, Forever Hardcore: The Documentary

Fans sometimes blame the wrong people, and thus misblame somebody. Comes in multiple varieties:

Garbage In, Garbage Out

There are actual weaknesses in the original work, which were faithfully translated in an adaptation.

For example, you see an anime or manga with great action sequences and an interesting premise, punctuated by bizarre scenes or lines of dialogue, which you assume are changes by the translators, that cheapen said premise, provide a jarring tone, or even make the plot nonsense. You assume it's fallen victim to a serious Macekre. So you import the DVD, maybe get a region 2 player if you live outside the region, and put it in... Surprise! It's not a Macekre after all; what you thought was caused by overzealous translators was just a weakness in the original work. And yet, the fans have misblamed the translators, and they're not going to stop any time soon.

It's less common for audiences nowadays who have access to the original material beforehand, and especially less common now with the rise of VPNs and other services.

Production Lead Time

Works take time to create, with professional works often taking years and having hard deadlines to complete by.

Thus there's many times the blame is for things implemented before what it's being accused of, the unforeseeable events that caused it to become controversial, or they'd found out about the audience backlash. By the time they realize or are in a position to address the issues, so much of the work is set in stone that they couldn't feasibly fix it even if they wanted to.

Most Visible Target

Writers and those working the grindmill of day-to-day creative production are just trying to do their best making a good show/movie/comic book. Unfortunately, the demands of the executives to try and make it more popular become a kink in the creative flow.

For example, a new story arc emerges that turns the characters inside out, and the fans respond with bile and hatred. Upon exiting said story arc, everything returns to the status quo. Odds are, such major changes are demanded as a method to shake up the series and blindsides you because it was shoehorned into a narrative the writers already had planned out.

Similarly, often the actors will take heat for being "terrible actors" and "ruining the performance" when the real problem lies in the script they were handed and the director telling them what to do. An actor can only do so much with what they're given, and their choices are often limited to going wild with it or trying their damnedest to give a good performance: neither option is particularly likely to work barring luck or an extremely charismatic actor as it's not like an actor can just up and say "this is bad, I'm going to change it!" unless they have a ton of sway and push or creative control on the project.

"The Creator Is GOD!"

Blaming Executive Meddling when the author did it on purpose, without any executive mandate, perhaps with good cause, perhaps with poor cause.

The mere existence of meddling executives often gives the impression that they are tyrants, slave driving the humble writer. But even the glorified writers are prone to mistakes and their own issues, which is chronicled with Author Tract, Author Appeal, Creator Breakdown and other tropes.

For example, your favorite character is subject to Flanderization and you assume that the executives demanded the supposedly "flatter" personality. But the writer's blog reveals that the change was made because it made writing for the character easier and allowed for more story possibilities.

Fan Dumb Poisoning Its Own Well

The ultimate difficulties of the Fan Dumb, laying down false information and establishing opinion as fact. The information is then spread across the Internet and only information from the source can correct it.

This is an example of when the fan dumb just doesn't fact check. They blame someone who worked on it for an error when they actually didn't even do that much behind it. A very common form of this is when people blame a company that worked on something that was subject to Hype Backlash, when in reality, the blamed company was merely a financial backer or they didn't have any involvement whatsoever and merely published it.

This is often the underlying cause behind all the other types and we here at TV Tropes are not immune to it either.

Another small set of cases that might be related are mistranslations. Some fans might accidentally translate something the wrong way and accept it as fact. (See: Spice Up the Subtitles) This may also be the result of rumors.

"Single Person" Fallacy

They believe somehow one individual is responsible for the totality of a problem or mistake that cripples a production. Or the entire production as a whole. A common name for this particular fallacy variant is the "Quarterback Syndrome", so called due to the tendency to blame the quarterback for bad plays in a game of American football.

Take any given movie or television series. There happens to be an episode or scene that is just bad. The costuming is ridiculous, the acting is stiff, the dialogue is clichéd, the direction is uninspired and even the lighting looks bad. Yet why is the director/showrunner blamed for it all? Well, each of those things listed are handled by a whole individual team who specialize in that field. The director has a lot of control, but if one of those elements goes sour it isn't just the director/showrunner's fault, and sometimes the director/showrunner is unable to do anything about it due to executive meddling, time/budget constraints, or some other impairment.

A similar fallacy that applies to Video Games is the "There are no Developers, only Publishers" Fallacy. Despite all the company logos that show when people load up a game, they only seem to see the one of the big company and tend to assume it was all their doing. Even when their input is limited to monetary support and maybe localization. To further confound this, sometimes the #1 targets for this fallacy (Nintendo, Square Enix, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Activision) are companies that actually do develop and publish games. There are some rumors that Japanese developers are actually glad in knowing they'll receive no credit for their work, because they'll also receive none of the criticism.

This is often a result of a phenomenon called "Credits Negligence". Admit it. You yourself don't watch most credits in movies, shows, games, etc. Unless, that is, they do stuff like add in animation sequences, bloopers, small epilogues, or there's something else at the end. And even then, it's not likely you paid attention to them. Sometimes, they even scroll too fast for you to read them exactly (this happens on Television shows a lot, because they have to fit it all within a timeslot, so many times they only show the major credits and omit a lot). But nevertheless, you sometimes would actually be quite surprised at what one person's role really was in the work if you took the time to read the credits. Most haters typically won't do this, especially for games (this leads to why the "Single Person" Fallacy is often accepted as "fact" and "creditable").

All of that said, many would say that blaming the director for an artistic demerit in a film is completely justified. After all, the director's job is overseeing all artistic decisions, so if he or she lets another person's mistake slip by unchecked, there is some culpability. Hence the popular industry ideology, "When you're the director, everything is your fault" (this is pretty much the same phenomenon wherein the director is also credited for every good thing as well). The problem in these cases is when people fail to acknowledge that the director isn't the only one to blame.

Even we are susceptible to this. Both in this page and other pages on the wiki, you will see us blame a "mysterious executive" for all of a show's problems.

Misblame can be exacerbated when someone willingly takes blame for something not their fault. Among professionals, this can happen for lots of reasons:

  • The director of a film, or other "auteur", may take blame because they agree with the above belief that "When you're the director, everything is your fault." Even if the problem wasn't fixable or wasn't under their control.
  • Someone may take blame, because casting blame on another person (even truthfully) may mean never working with that person again, or never working again, period.
  • Someone may tactfully take blame because they don't want to air dirty laundry. It's very easy to get accused of being hard to work with and it's easier to take your whipping and move on.
  • Someone may take blame out of a genuine desire to protect another person, especially someone who is more easily replaceable than the big names.

Compare Beam Me Up, Scotty! for misquotes. Compare and contrast Creator Worship, Creator Backlash, and The Scapegoat. See also God Never Said That, for a specific species of well-poisoning. Compare Cowboy BeBop at His Computer for when it is done in the media. See also Spice Up the Subtitles, which is a frequent case of this trope.

This is a fan reaction trope, as such real life examples are impossible by definition.

The In-Universe-equivalent of this trope is Misplaced Retribution.


Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • It isn't as common now that the facts are better known, but superhero comic fans used to frequently blame Frederic Wertham and the Comics Code for the near-extinction of superhero comics during The Interregnum. In fact, superhero comics simply lost popularity because people got fed up with them, and were replaced by the crime and horror comics that really upset Wertham and other anti-comics campaigners. It was the Comics Code that directly led to the revival of superhero comics during the Silver Age. (Of course, Wertham didn't like superhero comics either, notoriously considering them to be fascist power-fantasies and alleging that heroes' relationships with their Kid Sidekicks were pederastic in nature.)
  • Feminists seem to get a lot of blame for Wonder Woman's depowering in the Bronze Age, however the complete opposite is true. While the decision to depower her was made to make the comic more appealing to feminists and women in general, DC came up with the idea all on their own — in fact it was backlash from the feminists that resulted in her getting repowered.
    • Also, both her depowering and Storm's are often taken as extremes of sexism regardless of whose order you think it's on. Often ignored is the fact that they were "demoted" to Charles Atlas Superpower-wielding Badass Normals. If you were really depowering a character because you didn't like the idea of strong women, you wouldn't make them Xena-class asskicking machines, which meant that it could have worked in theory. On the other hand, the de-powering period also coincided with her getting beaten up a lot by male villains, which, combined with less restricted content standards, came off as a lot more brutal than they otherwise would, and the idea that Wonder Woman would give up the responsibilities of her position to run a Mod clothing store in New York got dated real fast.
  • And then there's Wonder Woman's position as the secretary of the original Justice Society of America in All-Star Comics. This is often blamed on sexism, since she's a secretary and didn't go on missions. In fact, it was editorial policy that any character with their own solo book couldn't be a member at all (which is why Superman and Batman weren't included and Flash and Green Lantern got kicked out when All-Flash and Green Lantern started). Wonder Woman was made an exception because of her popularity and having a back-line support position as a secretary was better than similar male heroes who didn't get to be there at all.
  • Transformers:
    • Bob Budiansky gets a lot of flak from fans for horrible writing in The Transformers (Marvel), while Simon Furman is praised as the saviour of the series. They tend to ignore the fact that most of Budiansky's work was praised when it was originally released, and he even got a fan letter from Stan Lee for the "Decepticon Graffiti" story. The majority of Budiansky's work was easily as good as Furman's, but his entire opus was tainted by the burnout he suffered in his last few issues as he tried desperately to keep up with Hasbro's demands. In fact, some of his popular work is occasionally misattributed to Furman for just this reason.
    • Also, the extent to which the franchise is Budiansky's handiwork is often not understood — the early Marvel guys, him among them, were the people who were handed a bunch of toys and told to make them characters and a universe. Without him, Transformers as you know it never comes to be. If you're a TF fan, you have Bob to thank for way more of the things about the franchise you love than you realize — whichever series or comic happens to be your favorite, because all of them build on that original work to some extent. Fortunately, these misunderstandings have been cleared up, and the hate for Budiansky has largely died down.
  • Blaming Bob Harras for most Spider-Man stories of the 90s including The Clone Saga, demonstrated in Comic Critics: "Textual Harrasment". Harras is responsible for some of the bad comics of the time, most notably the Mackie/Byrne run where he demanded ideas the team disliked. But the Clone Saga wasn't really his fault. After EIC Defalco was stripped of his power by a decision to divide EIC into separate teams with each team encouraged to rival and compete with each other for success, Harras who was in charge of the X-Men stable, and had no involvement in the early part of the Clone Saga which writers and editors spun wheels around, and Harras arrived at the tail end, inheriting a major mess which he, to his credit, resolved. It's unlikely anyone in his position would have done different in that situation given how badly that story was managed at the time. And the decision he did take, bringing Norman Osborn Back from the Dead was ultimately seen as a good one by most comics fans.
  • To a lesser extent, some people sure love pinning everything DC Comics is doing "wrong" on either Dan DiDio, Geoff Johns, or Grant Morrison.
  • Joe Quesada is apparently solely responsible for every hated story to come out of Marvel offices, during his tenure, he planned them, wrote them, drew them, colored them, lettered them, with no help from anyone, especially the creative team assigned to the book. Quesada's job is EIC (Editor-In-Chief) which means he commissions, vetoes, or otherwise takes a decision on story and idea, but he doesn't dictate every little twist and turn, and while he did start out as an artist, he only did the artwork for a few issues. For instance, Sins Past a story by J. Michael Straczynski which originally was planned to have Gwen be revealed as Peter's babymama was vetoed by Quesada who objected to Peter and Gwen having unprotected sex as young people, the idea of kids aging Spider-Man, and furthermore the perception of Spider-Man as "deadbeat dad". Quesada did suggest changing the father to Norman Osborn, which most would agree was a terrible idea, but it was still JMS' choice to write that story and take that suggestion rather than withdraw it once his idea was proving unworkable.
  • Quesada is most famous and notorious for One More Day which was also blamed on writer JMS who was initially blamed for creating the story until it was known Quesada ordered it (the fact that Quesada served as artist/editor and had story credit was a dead giveaway and as EIC he was more than content to take credit for an idea that he had never made any secret of, namely ending Spider-Man's marriage). JMS differed from Quesada in that where the EIC wanted the retcon to create a Broad Strokes status-quo where every story happened with Peter and MJ in a relationship but not married, even if such a decision entirely altered whole scenes, moments, and the entire Character Development of multiple characters, JMS wanted to create a more logical change that would allow for character progression and be grounded on their history.
    • Likewise, as Quesada insists and later writers confirmed, while few people actually defend One More Day as a good story or a well-executed plan (even Quesada defends it from a corporate perspective) a good number of Spider-Man writers in the past and others in Marvel approved of the justification, namely that Spider-Man should be young, hip, and relatable, and that his marriage to Mary Jane wasn't the correct decision for the character. This includes writers like Roger Stern (who says he isn't against the idea of Spider-Man being married or married superheroes, and indeed wrote Superman's wedding vows to Lois Lane in Superman Wedding Album, but that Mary Jane isn't the right girl for him and that they'd be Better as Friends), Gerry Conway (who wholeheartedly believes that Peter and Mary Jane are meant for each other and created their love story to start with, but he again feels it should never happen in the regular continuity, and should be done only for special AU and one-offs), and Kurt Busiek among others. There were writers who liked the marriage and wanted to keep it include JMS, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Peter David, and Matt Fraction but out of professional ethics they followed the company line, since the decision to take it was also mandated by executives. Brian Michael Bendis, who reportedly tried to sneak a plot development into his Siege storyline that would've tacitly undone One More Day until Quesada caught on. Though whether that is Bendis being a Troll or being casually indifferent to continuity (as he has been known to do, owing to the fact that he has far less experience as a serial writer than working with a blank slate).
    • Others point out that while Quesada ended the marriage, he also oversaw some of the best stories in that entire period. Namely JMS' Spider-Man where Quesada didn't say anything against the plans to bring the couple back from separation from the Mackie-Byrne era, which happened before his tenure and which he had criticized, noting that it was absolutely out of character for Peter and Mary Jane Watson to ever divorce given their devotion to one another, after everything they have been through together. Likewise, Matt Fraction used his fore-knowledge to write "To Have and to Hold" (which Quesada approved) as a tribute to their iconic love story and their marriage and which Fraction said was a cheap shot and "dirty pool" to show the direction Spider-Man could take with a married Peter. Quesada also defended Spider-Girl, the daughter of the couple in the Alternate Universe line from multiple cancellations and states that is the natural progression of their relationship. Many writers note the Irony that the period right before the marriage ended, proved the great potential for storytelling and opportunities a married Spider-Man brought to the title, much of which was encouraged by Quesada as a kind of last hurrah.
    • Dan Slott pointed out that the decision to end the marriage happened on the corporate level to protect Spider-Man's status as the company mascot and it wasn't necessarily about seeing Peter Parker as a character in a story. It was something that earlier editors had been asked and pressured to do, and tried to do, and it would have likely happened without Quesada. Of course whether anyone else would have done it without the same backlash and weak execution, and in a way that provided catharsis for the people who liked it, and didn't amount to telling audiences that the thing they liked was a mistake and unimportant, is a separate question altogether.
  • Ken Penders has been given a lot of his from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) fans, and comes in two flavors: bad stories misattributed to him, and dangling plot threads misexplained as him being a douche. In reality, most fans tend to forget that Ken lost his position as head writer to Karl Bollers for a good chunk of the timeframe most of the misattributed stories come from (in reality written by Bollers himself), and that Executive Meddling was pretty much a staple of the comic ever since issue 50, leading to confusion over whether Ken left the comic voluntarily due to conflicts with this meddling, or if he was fired because of it. Even the favorite accusations of old fans that he turned the Echidnas into a Spotlight-Stealing Squad that dragged down the main comic's quality seems to be off, as he had little choice in the matter, and the Knuckles comic that came from it, despite being Screwed by the Network, is still considered one of the best parts of the comic. Granted, there are bad stories that Ken has done, but not nearly the amount that is attributed to him. On his twitter account, he will gladly tell anyone who thinks he's the reason why the comic was rebooted his side of things.
    • In the late issues, a number of characters that Penders created have been removed or gone missing while Archie and Penders work out some legal issues over the rights to said characters, causing numerous edits in varying degrees of severity. For all the flak Penders has gotten, Archie's legal team was behind their removal. Technically there wasn't anything wrong in using them, but said legal team didn't want to risk fanning the flames.
    • Prior to the above mess, fans were quite dismayed about the application of Fantastic Racism towards the AI NICOLE, with many fans saying that Ian's usage of it was too much. Many people seem to have forgotten that Fantastic Racism in the comics was a prevalent feature as the comic left its goofy roots.
    • Speaking of Ian, there has been a growing number of people who blame him for everything someone doesn't like about the later Archie Sonic run, as well as the IDW series. While he's certainly not completely innocent of all writing decisions, such as Eggman's characterization in the IDW series, he also shares head writing duties of the IDW series with Evan Stanley, who herself has had her share of people misblaming her. It's worth mentioning that Ian, Evan and others mentioned that Sega's desires for the book ultimately override anything the writers might want. It's also worth noting that they still gave their approval to what's been published so far. This doesn't mean the writers are completely innocent, but neither is Sega.
  • Dwayne McDuffie was attacked by a number of white fans for supposedly "shoving diversity down their throats" with regards to his JLA roster. The truth is, Firestorm and John Stewart were added to the team by editorial, while Vixen and Black Lightning had already been in the book when he took over. The only minority character he actually added to the team was Doctor Light. He discussed the ridiculousness of these complaints here.
  • The infamous (and maligned) scene in which Black Panther (a human with low-grade Super Serum-induced powers) seemingly incapacitates the Silver Surfer (near-godlike wielder of the Power Cosmic) with just a simple armlock is frequently attributed to Reginald Hudlin, when in reality the scene was actually written by the above-mentioned McDuffie in an issue of Fantastic Four.
  • Jack Schiff got blamed for injecting sci-fi elements into Batman's stories. In truth, it was editorial director Irwin Donenfeld's fault for having sci-fi be put into the DC output. Schiff recognised that aliens, spaceships, and the like had no place in Batman's detective storylines, and in fact, sci-fi is outside his aptitude as an editor. He argued against the management, but eventually gave in to pressure.
  • Geoff Johns gets a lot of flak for the storyline Graduation Day (though it was in actuality written by Judd Winick), the Grand Finale of Young Justice, which saw that Fun Personified series end in a bloodbath for no apparent reason and is widely seen as a point at which The DCU became too dark to care. Likewise, James Robinson gets hate for the similarly bloodbath-y Justice League: Cry for Justice. In reality, both of these stories were mandated by the same man, editor Eddie Berganza, and both times the writers fought against him; Johns lost out, but Robinson actually scored a major victory, believe it or not, as Berganza's version would have destroyed all The DCU's fictional cities except Metropolis and Gotham.
    • While Geoff Johns had received controversy for turning Bart Allen into Kid Flash, the blame is more accurately shared with Eddie Berganza for that first transition. Johns felt that having Bart mature would develop his character further (although obviously not many fans agreed), while Berganza had wanted Bart to be more of a "brand" character in the title. However, Bart's rapid-aging to become the new Flash was mandated by Berganza and Dan DiDio, a development that Mark Waid expressed disappointment and irritation over, stating that Berganza seemed to be an editor that "hated anything fun" in the DCU. Even with the backstory explained, you'll still see some fans cry foul on Johns for going along with the Kid Flash edict and not quitting the title in protest.
  • Grant Morrison did not retcon Damian Wayne’s origin as Talia drugging and raping Batman. The graphic novel people usually cite as proof of this is Son of the Demon, which was an Elseworlds story and has never been considered canon. Even in that story the issue is a bit murky as Batman had been given drugs by the League earlier in it. (Although Morrison themself says they intended Damian to be a reference to Son of the Demon and "messed up the details, like Batman wasn't drugged when he was having sex". So it's a reference error, but not a continuity error, because the story they were referencing wasn't in continuity until they referenced it, at which point it was only canon to the extent that they referenced it.)
    • Damian's death was blamed on the New 52 reboot and touted by fans as "Yet another example of how the New 52 is ruining DC's characters." In reality, Morrison had planned Damian's death from the beginning, and had set the plan into motion long before Flashpoint was even announced, which is Hilarious in Hindsight given that for the first few years of his creation, there were quite the amount of fans that were indeed wishing for his death...
  • A frequent complaint from fans is that DC mistreats the Justice League International, and that in-universe, that period in Justice League history is unfairly considered an Audience-Alienating Era. In reality, the perception of the JLI as a blotch on the League's history dates back to the actual series itself, where writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis made constant Self-Deprecating jokes about how the team was poorly regarded by other superheroes. The later reunion series, Formerly Known as the Justice League, even had Batman and Captain Marvel looking back on their time with the JLI as an Old Shame.
  • Certain fans of the original Richard Rider version of Nova blame Jeph Loeb for killing him off to replace him with Sam Alexander, who is half-Latino and therefore touted as proof of Rich Dying to Be Replaced. What these accusations usually ignore is that Rider had actually died several years earlier in The Thanos Imperative, well before Sam was created. Jeph Loeb is guilty of a lot of things, but in this case the worst he can be blamed for is not resurrecting Richard.
    • As a perfect example, someone sent hate mail to Brian Michael Bendis' blog accusing him of hating Richard Rider. Bendis simply reiterated the point that Richard was already dead way before he had been hired to write Guardians of the Galaxy, and that the ones who killed him were Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.
  • The same criticisms were leveled at Jaime Reyes, the newest Blue Beetle, several years prior. Some fans complained about Ted Kord (the previous Blue Beetle) supposedly being killed off for the sake of diversity, when in reality, Keith Giffen (considered by most to be Ted's Real Daddy) says it's the exact opposite situation. It had already been decided that Ted would die in the lead-up to Infinite Crisis, and Jaime Reyes was only conceived as a replacement after plans for Ted's death were finalized.
  • The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino were not responsible for the controversial plot details of fan-hated The Promise, The Search and Smoke and Shadow graphic novel trilogies, such as the break up of Zuko and Mai in The Promise, Azula running away after suffering another mental breakdown and the Fan-Disliked Explanation of how Ursa departed from the Fire Nation in The Search and Mai becoming a complete jerk and being depicted as someone that fans are supposed to sympathise but actually isn't, especially how she treats Zuko in Smoke and Shadow and how Out of Character she was in the comics, in fact they were only involved with the story ideas due to their involvement in sequel series The Legend of Korra, as most of the graphic novel content was actually written by Gene Yang.
  • Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso was not responsible for relaunching the publisher with Marvel NOW!, it was actually Joe Quesada's idea.
  • The Avengers #200, the infamous issue where Ms. Marvel becomes impregnated and gives birth to her own impregnator before going off to have a "happy ending" with him has four writer credits: writers David Michelinie and Bob Layton, artist George Perez and then-Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter. Both Mark Gruenwald and David Michelinie have said the issue was a last minute re-write due to similarities to another comic coming out around the same time (specifically Carol was supposed to be impregnated by the Kree's Supreme Intelligence originally; the other comic was a similar plot in What If) and according to Gruenwald Shooter's involvement was essentially the decree that they needed to find a different father. Still despite a book re-written by committee at the last minute Shooter, perhaps because of his infamous reputation, is generally the sole person blamed for that issue. That said, by Shooter's own admission, he couldn't precisely remember what part he played, but the fact that he was editor at the time meant that he wasn't completely innocent, and has accepted responsibility for it.
  • As with Spider-Man: One More Day, Straczynski gets let off the hook for Sins Past and the editorial staff took the blame. However it's difficult to ignore the fact that the actual premise (Gwen Stacy having not one, but TWO off-panel pregnancies before she died) was entirely Straczynski's idea. Though the editors did put the kibosh on Straczynski's original idea, which was for the kids to be Peter's children, and not Norman Osborn's!
  • A Death in the Family:
    • It's been said that Batman fans at the time hated Jason Todd to the point they voted to kill him off. This leaves out that it's been speculated, even by the late Denny O Neil, who over saw the event, that the votes were rigged by one person who wanted to see Jason die.
    • Whenever writers touch upon Jason's death in other stories, his death is usually blamed In-Universe on Jason himself being impulsive—which is not even close to what happened. While Jason was impulsive and did have a temper, he was lured into a trap by Sheila Haywood, who he found out was his biological mother.
  • Issue #12 of Saga wasn't for sale on the iOS version of digital comics storefront Comixology due to two panels depicting gay oral sex on Prince Robot IV's screen. People originally pinned this on Apple forbidding it, but it turned out that Comixology forbade it based on their interpretation of the Apple rules. Apple then said that they never banned it, and the comic was reinstated.
  • A number of Dark Age DC fans blame the cancellation of Supergirl's fourth self-named book on Dan Didio and alleged old-school fans and writers who supposedly hated the Linda Danvers version of Supergirl and wanted her out of the way to allow the creation of a new Kara Zor-El. In reality the book was always in hot water due to perpetually dismal sales, and the decision to cancel it was taken long before Kara was reintroduced in The Supergirl from Krypton (2004) because of her less convoluted backstory (and not because of old-school fans).
  • Grant Morrison's New X-Men is highly divisive among X-Men fans for many reasons, but many fans blame the run for robbing Magneto of his moral ambiguity and turning him back into a supervillain. While Morrison's interpretation of the character (who was later retconned as an imposter) is one of his most unsympathetic portrayals by far, Chris Claremont actually returned Magneto to supervillain status back in the early 90s—over a decade before Morrison came along.
  • A case of avoiding this very thing being the reason for a writer's departure is Len Kaminski leaving Iron Man. Kaminski, who had a well-received run on the book, revealed that The Crossing, the story that came after his run, was a case of Executive Meddling and after realizing the editorial staff had chosen to ignore his protests, he chose to get the hell out of dodge than have this trope happen to him.
  • Geoff Johns is blamed by some Green Lantern fans for rebranding Kyle Rayner as a cosmic character who regards Earth through a lens of Stranger in a Familiar Land. In nearly every story that Kyle appears in after Green Lantern: Rebirth, he is devoted to the Corps and Oa, and repeatedly affirms that he feels more comfortable in space than on Earth. This is a marked shift from earlier depictions of the character, which portrayed him as an earthbound everyman who had good friends on Earth and was proud to be on the Justice League. Many of Johns' critics assume that he shunted Kyle into space to clear the JLA spot for Hal Jordan. However, Kyle had actually left Earth long before Hal's return, as DC wanted to push John Stewart as the Earth-based Green Lantern.
  • During Sam Humphries' run on the Rebirth-era Harley Quinn solo title, he got some hostility from Harley/Ivy shippers for not depicting Ivy enough in his run, with accusations that he was part of a homophobic plot by DC to "de-gay" Harley.note  In a fan Q & A, he said that he wanted to feature Ivy, but was ordered not to by the editorial department because she was being used in other comics.
  • Some Teen Titans fans blamed editor Jonathan Peterson for not allowing Nightwing and Starfire to marry in the 100th issue of The New Titans. In actuality, the decision was made after he left DC to join Image by Batman editors, who wanted Nightwing to return back to the Bat-books, forcing Marv Wolfman to scrap plans to have them married as well as a miniseries taking place after it.
  • The exact degree to which the widely-maligned Heroes in Crisis is not the fault of writer Tom King is uncertain, but it's generally accepted that there was some level of Executive Meddling that factored into the series' most controversial aspects. A broad trend is that as the series was being released, King would claim certain aspects were all planned by him, but as it neared its conclusion, he began dropping hints that there had been a change of plans, if not outright recanting on certain details (ones he probably wouldn't need act on to if unnecessary given how despite the heavy criticism, he's overall quite happy with the series and will defend other aspects). Since DC editorial has remained hush-hush and quietly done much to bury the series in the past, it's unlikely we'll ever know the full truth, but to recap:

    Fan Works 
  • The Extended Railway Series: In-Universe example. In "Blandford the Somerset Engine", Blandford is not happy about having to work on The Little Western with Duck and Oliver. When one of the Blisters asks him why he never speaks to him, he tells them about his original home, the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway. After it became part of the Western Region of British Rail, he was assured no big changes. Over time however, the line started losing traffic, he found he was sharing sheds with Western Region engines, his brothers started being withdrawn, and then the line was closed down for good on March 7th, 1966. Blandford believed the Western Railway and its engines were behind it all (they'd been trying to gain ownership of the line for some time before then), and doesn't like Duck and Oliver as a result (Duck defends himself by saying he'd never been to Somerset, having been a station pilot at Paddington before coming to Sodor). It isn't until Blandford, while at the works after an accident, hears from Donald and Douglas the whole story about why his line was closed down that he finally comes around to the two Western Engines.

    Films — Animation 
  • A very common misconception about the film adaptation of Coraline was that Tim Burton directed it, especially when the trailers said "From the creator of The Nightmare Before Christmas". Actually, Henry Selick directed both The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline (Burton just produced), and he doesn't always have a similar style like Tim Burton does with at least 60% of his films. (Including stop-motion.) That misconception seemed to be what the marketing was aiming for (probably figuring that implying Burton's involvement would get more people to see it).
  • 9 suffered from this as well. Tim Burton's name was attached to the movie and people assumed — partly because of the weird animation style, Scenery Gorn, and dark themes — that the whole thing was his. Shane Acker came up with the concept, co-wrote, and directed, while Burton just produced it. Also, people blamed Burton for taking the credit even though he clearly credits himself a producer.
  • While many people assume Disney forced Pixar to make their first critical failure, Cars 2, to drive merchandise sales, John Lasseter insisted this wasn't the case. Lasseter came up with the idea of a sequel starring Mater when he was promoting the first film.
  • Much of the Hatedom for Planes is aimed at Pixar despite the movie being filmed and animated by DisneyToon Studios. It didn't help that the movie was executive produced by John Lasseter.
  • When it was announced that The Secret of NIMH would be remade, a lot of people have credited Don Bluth's adaptation of being even more faithful and how this would automatically be less faithful. Yeah sure, Bluth's version does follow the book it was based off of...for the most part. Those who read the books would know that Jenner actually didn't stick around and plot to murder a terrifying Nicodemus and succeed...he actually deserted the rat colony, was overheard of as being electrocuted by a car motor (with other deserters), and Nicodemus actually did not die. On top of the fact that, you know, the film isn't even in theatres yet and, considering very little has been mentioned since the first announcement, may never happen at all.
    • This would be one thing if this was announced in the 80s. Don Bluth probably didn't know there would be any others, since the movie was made before the two other NIMH books were written.
  • In The Nostalgia Chick's review of the film, she blames Barry Manilow for the songs in Thumbelina, despite the fact that he only wrote the music, not the lyrics.
  • Despite popular belief, The Emoji Movie was NOT responsible for Sony's nixing of Gennedy Tartakovsky's Popeye movie. The two movies were developed in two different time frames, separated by the fateful Sony hack and the subsequent shuffling of executive positions, making it more of a case of unfortunate timing more than anything.
  • For a long time, the critically panned American Gag Dub of The Magic Roundabout (2005) was blamed on Butch Hartman, but the true culprit was Executive Meddling from the dubious Harvey Weinstein. As Hartman explained, his take on the dub was much closer to the original English version with the Britishisms toned down, but Weinstein ordered more re-writes late in production with an emphasis on pop culture jokes (some of it done by Hoodwinked! director Cory Edwards). For the record, Hartman considers Doogal a mistake.
  • The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie is often accused of getting the the series proper Un-Cancelled and causing it to go through Seasonal Rot as a result. In reality, Nickelodeon was trying to convince Stephen Hillenburg to renew the show for a fourth season between 2002 and 2004, and he refused, so they hired Paul Tibbit instead. In fact, new episodes couldn't have been produced between the movie's release and Season 4's release, as the two were only six months apart (November 2004 and May 2005 respectively), while SpongeBob episodes take at least nine months to produce.
  • Despite some of the questionable choices Cartoon Network made in the 2010s, greenlighting Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is not one of them. Like the show it's based on, it's produced by Warner Brothers Animation and DC Comics, and is not a network original.
  • Warner Bros. has taken some criticism for supposedly making the 1990s Tom and Jerry movie when they actually didn't because they didn't own the characters until Time Warner, WB's parent company, acquired Turner Entertainment in 1996. It was actually made by Film Roman and distributed by Miramax Films. The only thing WB has to do with it is distributing the DVD release.
  • Tim Burton gets blamed for upstaging credit on Henry Selick for The Nightmare Before Christmas. Debates rage over who did the most work and will go as far as to insult one or the other. In actuality Burton chose Selick to direct Nightmare so he could direct Batman Returns. Another fact is, directors, actors and even producers, rarely control the billing of a film. Such things are done by the studio marketing department and the executives. The lines get even more blurred when it came to Coraline which advertised as being From the Director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is factual as Selick did direct both Nightmare and Coraline. Still Burton gets blamed for upstaging credit for Coraline despite the fact Burton didn't have anything to do with Coraline.
  • The Black Cauldron. Many people blame Jeffery Katzenberg for cutting the film at the last minute and ruining the movie. While he did cut the film and tone down some scenes as they were really too dark to get a PG ratingnote , in reality, most of the cuts were just timing issues. While he did do an infamous twelve minute cut, most of it was restored after Eisner talked to him. Most of the film blame can go towards Executive Meddling. The film was already overbudget and had been in production since 1973 when the rights to the book were obtained. The film had missed its release date a number of times, but issues with adaption, in fighting between Walt's old animators and the newer animators caused a lot of people to drop out of the film. Katzenberg wasn't hired by Disney until 1984, only a few months before the original release date. The storyboards of the movie and the book tie in show the missing and reworked scenes.
  • The failure of Turning Red to make a profit on box office earnings is blamed on its Critical Dissonance by many people but the film did well where it was released theatrically and was popular on Disney+ to the point of Demand Overload so the actual reason for its apparent flop is more probably the fact that Disney did not release it widely in countries without Disney+ and did not release it domestically outside of awards qualifying runs in select theaters.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There's a trend among professional film critics to regard the New Hollywood era as the last true Golden Age of films. This was a period where ambitious young film directors, using the new freedom of the R rating, created Darker and Edgier films that were critically acclaimed box office hits. Many of these critics (perhaps the most prominent was Newsweek critic David Ansen) misblame Steven Spielberg for making Jaws and especially George Lucas for making Star Wars, because this supposedly "ruined" the New Hollywood era, and replaced it with the "inferior" Blockbuster Age of Hollywood. This argument and sentiment, while valid on the face of it (and something even George Lucas has admitted is true), ignores a lot of other industry trends, and other mistakes made at the time. Namely the fact that the more artistically inclined film-makers never bothered to leverage their gains into gaining legal recognition as artists and access to copyrights (which their French counterparts did), that the film industry was so weak that it was being bought out by corporations at the time. The era lasted long primarily because of tax-breaks from the Nixon government which amounted (in critic Manohla Dargis' words) to a virtual subsidy of the film industry, a fact which did not stop Hollywood from biting the hand that fed it.
    • Likewise, A New Hope is very much a film of the New Hollywood. As historians point out, towards the middle of The '70s, several Hollywood film-makers became invested in Genre Throwback and nostalgia, reviving older Hollywood genres by updating them for a contemporary audience. They note that the film-makers Became Their Own Antithesis in that they started out making low-budget films for adults but towards the end of the decade, decided to make large-scale epic films of the kind that caused so much trouble for Hollywood in The '60s. These films were expensive, but at the same time, still fused with experimental and discordant touches. The first Star Wars film was made with atypical actors of the kind who would not be typical action heroes in the golden age and on a relatively small budget, and more or less treated B-Movie serials with the same quality as the Epic Movie. In short, Star Wars is the New Hollywood becoming a victim of its own success.
    • On a related note, Heaven's Gate tends to be regarded as The Millstone for the entire New Hollywood generation and as a flop that bankrupted the studio. While these facts are true, a lot of it is Flanderization since the production failure was as much the fault of inexperienced producers as director Michael Cimino and the former have tended to latch on to the latter. The post-Star Wars trend at the time was already making it difficult for directors to make more personal films with Robert Altman moving to France in The '80s, despite being the most prolific film-maker of the period. The film itself is now Vindicated by History as the last true Epic Movie and was released on The Criterion Collection.
  • Godzilla:
    • Before the Godzilla (1998) film, a 1994 Godzilla film was planned. The film was originally going to have Godzilla fight against a giant monster named the Gryphon and have special effects done by none other than Stan Winston Studios. A misconception that has been circulating was that the reason the Gryphon never manifested was because Toho vetoed the idea, and proposed Mothra and King Ghidorah instead. Both were turned down because they were extremely expensive. The real reason was actually worse.

      The real season is that Sony's executives disagreed about the budget and caused the would be director Jan De Bont to drop out. There were several attempts to re-negotiate, and get a director, Tri-Star brought in Roland Emmerich (the first director to turn down directing Godzilla 1994 because he explicitly stated that he didn't like Godzilla.) and Dean Devlin. The condition they agreed to direct was that they would rewrite the entire thing however they wanted, and we all know how that went. The even sadder irony is that the budget went way over the budget Sony didn't agree on, meaning that the whole screw-up was really meaningless.
    • The belief that King Kong vs. Godzilla was edited for the US release to make King Kong win instead of Godzilla. Like Battle of the Planets, it was indeed heavily Macekred, but this wasn't part of it — the movie was one of the earlier ones, before Godzilla became a hero, which meant Godzilla had to lose (though not die) in every movie. confirms. This claim is so prevalent that even resources discussing the movies have mistakenly portrayed it as true.
  • Among the complaints about Tim Burton's 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes was in its ending, which is significantly different from the original film. However, the new ending is actually closer to that of the original book.
    • There's also the fact that Burton's creative input may have been exaggerated to get the film extra publicity.
  • The same complaints were alleged at Burton's adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Most of the complaints were, in fact, not departures from the original book, but actually more faithful to the book than the last movie was. The "changed" lyrics to the Oompa Loompas' musical numbers, for example, are directly lifted from lyrics in the book. One prominent film critic complained that the Burton adaptation chickened out by showing that the bad children survived their ordeals, where the 70s film had stayed "faithful" — but the Burton film was actually being faithful to an identical scene in the book. The only drastic change to the film came towards the end with the subplot about Wonka's father, which is all Burton. The bad kids survived in the 70s movie, too, but a lot of people, including that film critic, apparently missed the line explaining it.
    • It should also perhaps be noted that, even though many fans of the original film disown the Burton remake, the remake actually exists, in part, because Roald Dahl was much displeased with how the original film turned out. His will even forbade future filmmakers from adapting the novel's sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, into a film — which is why Burton's remake doesn't have the Sequel Hook that the original did. Legitimate criticism of the remake notwithstanding, Dahl's widow personally gave it her blessing, saying that she felt that it was closer to her husband's vision than the original.
  • Towards the end of Star Trek's most recent run on television, it became popular to blame everything that had ever gone wrong with the franchise on Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. This became most noticeable with the flop of Star Trek: Nemesis, with both being blamed for the screenplay, along with the fact that the film was released in the same week as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Braga was completely innocent, and had nothing whatsoever to do with Nemesis (or even the previous film, Star Trek: Insurrection). Berman was arguably responsible to some extent, as he contributed to the storyline and happily gave screenwriter John Logan a no rewrites clause, but the two big things he gets criticised for — the release date and the decision to hire Stuart Baird as director despite Baird knowing nothing about the franchise — were decisions made by Paramount without consulting Berman.
  • Some odd-seeming Narrative Devices and Plots in old movies have been misblamed on Hays Office censorship. (Values Dissonance may be a better explanation.)
  • With regards to the Romantic Plot Tumor in Pearl Harbor, Michael Bay didn't put that in. It was Randall Wallace, and even then, at the behest of studio executives who wanted to ride the success that was ascribed to the romance sub-plot of Titanic (1997).
  • Blaming every last thing about Batman & Robin on director Joel Schumacher is practically standard issue (to the point where his very strong filmography leading up to it is completely dismissed in discussions), but his actual involvement wasn't as great as stated. While the overly goofy tone of the film, gaudy visuals and Bat-Nipples were indeed his fault, he was only loosely involved with writing the film; he helped screenwriter Akiva Goldsman come up with a story outline, then went off to direct A Time to Kill, during which time Goldsman finished the screenplay mostly by himself, albeit with the studio execs demanding the inclusion of tons of characters to help sell more toys. At worst, Schumacher just turned what would have been a very poor film regardless into an even bigger mess.
    • This can also extend to Batman Forever, which, while it was better-received than its successor, is largely seen as the origin of many of the problems B&R would face. Schumacher wanted to adapt Batman: Year One, and even had a script written with the help of the comic's author, Frank Miller; however, because the dark tone of Batman Returns was blamed for the film underperforming, the studio forced him to make a much more lighthearted film.
  • When it was eventually released, the movie version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) met with a lukewarm response. Fans were quick to blame most of the elements that they disliked on Executive Meddling which butchered Douglas Adams' vision... apparently unaware that most of the more contentious material (such as the increased focus on the romance between Arthur and Trillian and the Humma Kavula subplot) were actually put in there by Adams himself.
    • For that matter, pretty much every adaptation of Hitchhiker's Guide was criticized for differences from the source material and crying "Adaptation Decay", despite the fact that Adams was directly involved with every one of them that was made when he was alive, and intentionally designed each of them to have significant differences from one another.
  • A.I.: Artificial Intelligence was an idea and script created by legendarily cold, clinical director Stanley Kubrick, so when it was picked up after Kubrick's death by his hand-chosen successor, Steven Spielberg, a director notorious for his warm, humanistic and occasionally Narmy disposition, many Kubrick fans immediately wrote it off, and when they saw it, blamed everything they saw was a weakness on Spielberg, but most of the things blamed on Spielberg (specifically the robotic talking teddy bear that is David's accompaniment throughout the film) were present in Kubrick's original script, and in fact may have been why Kubrick gave the project to Spielberg prior to his death, saying it was "closer to his sensibilities". The rather controversial After the End ending was also completely planned by Kubrick and not Spielberg.
  • Wizarding World franchise:
    • It’s pretty widely agreed that Dumbledore is the major character who came off the worst in the process of adapting the books to movies. In particular, a lot of fans dislike the second actor, Michael Gambon. Some of this stems from comparing him with the late Richard Harris, but the rest seems to point towards the infamous "Dumbledore asked calmly" moment. Additionally, established fans seem to have shifted blame on the "asked calmly" scene to the director (who'd never read any of the books), though new fans are always around to dig up the old chestnut. There is also blame to be had on the writing and his backstory having to be condensed out of the movies without much explanation. The middle aged version played by Jude Law in the Fantastic Beasts series is well-loved by fans and is considered to be an all-around better representation of the character despite very limited screen time thus far. This comes from a combination of JK Rowling being the one writing the character this go around and Law seeming to understand the character better than some of the people involved with the original movies.
    • By now, it's pretty much taken as gospel that Steve Kloves is your average foamy-mouthed delusional Harmonian. The idea that he simply thought Harry and Hermione might end up together isn't actually unfounded, as J. K. Rowling mentioned once that "Steve Kloves who has been the script writer, who is enormously insightful on the series and a very good friend, after he read book seven he said to me, 'You know, I thought something was going to happen between Harry and Hermione, and I didn't know whether I wanted it or not.'" On the other hand, this statement clearly indicates that Kloves did not have an actual preference for Harry/Hermione, he just thought it might happen, and much less that he was actively inserting Harry/Hermione moments into the screenplays even after the ship didn't sail.
    • When Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was first released to middling reviews, J. K. Rowling took most of the blame for its incoherence. However, it's now known that the film was burdened by a studio mandated 2 hour 15 minute runtime (which is about fifteen minutes shorter than most big blockbusters) and more blame has been shifted to Warner Bros.. It was best highlighted by the extended cut included on home release, which adds a total of 14 minutes, most of which is exposition that does actually explain the story. The most baffling omission from the theatrical cut would probably be a scene that clocked in at only forty seconds that had Dumbledore explaining why exactly he had sent Newt to New York in the first film. There are even more scenes floating around the internet with completed CGI which would imply the mandated runtime came late in the process. It would seem that director David Yates and his editing team had to make the tough call to prioritize plot over exposition and characters to work within the runtime.
  • Mr and Mrs Smith: When the film was released, Angelina Jolie was vilified as “the other woman” who stole Brad Pitt from “America’s Sweetheart”, Jennifer Anniston. In the time since, both Brad and Angie have openly stated that he was well beyond separated from Jen when he and Angie began their affair, and in case anyone had any other doubts, she had made it ABUNDANTLY clear that her father cheated on her mother, and the devastation it caused her mother made her swear she would never steal another woman’s husband. Lest there be any remaining doubts, Pitt had made it clear from day one that he always wanted to be a father, that Jen didn’t want kids at tue time, and that Angie was already a mother, and that even before adopting him, her oldest child considered him a father figure.
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009) differs greatly from other adaptations, especially the classic, genteel Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett interpretations, but one only has to look at the laundry-list of continuity nods on that page to realize that in terms of characterization, Richie's film is closer to the spirit of Doyle's stories — just in a different direction from previous adaptations.
    • In the same vein, a common criticism of the 2011 sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, is that it "dumbed down" Sherlock Holmes by largely replacing the mystery and complex deductions with elaborate fight scenes and large-scale action set pieces — essentially turning Holmes into "Victorian James Bond". While it's understandable that people would like to see mystery in a movie about Sherlock Holmes, it should be noted that A Game of Shadows was based (albeit very loosely) on elements of the classic Doyle stories "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House" — both of which were essentially Cloak and Dagger adventure stories, with no central mystery at all. Hell, if you've read either of those stories, you'll notice that the screenwriters actually took pains to add a mystery where there weren't any in the source material. A Game of Shadows has the climactic reveal about the true nature of Moriarty's plans and how Holmes managed to figure them out midway through the movie, while "The Final Problem" just has a long Stern Chase across Europe.
  • William Shatner is usually blamed for absolutely everything wrong with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. While he made mistakes and his original idea was far too big and polarizing to ever truly be filmable (both of which he admits to, repeatedly, in his various books), the final product was actually a result of these being massively compounded by just about everything that could possibly go wrong with a movie, from delays to poor results from hired companies to equipment malfunctionnote , resulting in the cutting, alteration, or downgrading of numerous scenes. The majority of this was simply beyond his control, and the fact that he even got the movie made in any coherent form is an accomplishment.
    • On a different note, some fans blame Gene Roddenberry for the film's virtual Canon Discontinuity status. While it's true that Roddenberry didn't want to acknowledge the film as true Star Trek, he actually felt the same way about all of the Trek films after Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and if anything, fellow executive producer Rick Berman was probably more proactive in squashing continuity references to Original Series films and episodes. As for why The Final Frontier seemed to get this treatment much harder than other TOS material, well, the writing staff responsible for most of televised Star Trek from TNG Season 3 onwards simply thought that the film was complete garbage and didn't want their episodes to be associated with it in any way, shape or form.
  • A lot of X-Men fans blame Brett Ratner for every single problem with X-Men: The Last Stand. Others blame the film's original director, Matthew Vaughn, for screwing the film over by quitting right before the start of filming, and still others hold both men equally to blame. In actual fact, while you could make legitimate criticisms about both Ratner's direction and Vaughn's decision to quit, neither of them were responsible for the storyline. That was about 90% the same as the final film well before Vaughn had signed up, and neither director was permitted to make any serious changes to the screenplay (which, despite him giving "family reasons" for his decision to quit, was apparently a major factor in Vaughn leaving the film).
    • Ironically, many fans actually blame Bryan Singer for everything wrong with The Last Stand. Despite (or perhaps even because of) Singer departing the franchise to direct Superman Returns, and having nothing to do with X3 at all!
  • While most reviewers managed to avoid falling into the trap of blaming Kevin Smith for the screenplay of Cop Out, which he didn't write, many blamed him for what were felt to be weak action sequences in the movie. In fact, Smith didn't direct any of the major action scenes — David R. Ellis (of Final Destination 2 and 4 fame) was brought in to handle those.
    • Of course, Smith was still the overall supervisor and the editor of the movie, so he was still responsible for making sure they looked competent.
    • On the other hand, some critics did think that Smith had written Cop Out, and misblamed him accordingly. Some acknowledged that he hadn't written the screenplay, but said that he should have rewritten it himself and so still deserved blame (which is a slightly more valid viewpoint, though rather naive of how things generally work in Hollywood).
  • Roger Moore is often blamed for the James Bond franchise's turn to comedy in the '70s. But screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz was brought in specifically to add humorous touches to the last (at the time) Sean Connery movie, Diamonds Are Forever, which is as campy as any Moore flick. The real reason for the shift in tone was the perceived financial failure of the relatively serious On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which — while not a big flop as is often believed — was less profitable than previous films in the series.
  • Star Wars:
    • Fans say the decision to make Greedo shoot first in the "Special Edition" version of A New Hope is proof that George Lucas has completely lost touch with his earlier work. The change may have been to get a PG instead of a PG-13 rating (which didn't exist at the time they made the original trilogy), but Lucas flip-flops a lot.
    • Natalie Portman's performance as Queen Amidala gets lambasted as flat and lifeless. Oft cited are scenes in which it isn't actually Portman in the Queen Amidala makeup.
    • George Lucas had little to do with the infamous The Star Wars Holiday Special, especially since it's his biggest regret.
    • Portman and both actors who played Anakin had a very poor script to work with, and Lucas insisted on an overly-melodramatic acting style to mimic old 30s and 40s adventure serials. There's a behind-the-scenes clip of Hayden Christensen doing an excellent line read, only to have George come in and coach him to do it again in a more drab and stilted manner.
    • J. J. Abrams gets slammed for the decision to kill off Han Solo in The Force Awakens even though Harrison Ford has been pushing for that exact thing to happen since The Empire Strikes Back (that is to say, 35 years before Abrams's film was released). More generally, pretty much every single detail in the script that can possibly be perceived as a flaw tends to get dumped on Abrams, which completely ignores the fact that he co-wrote the movie with Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt.
    • Rian Johnson gets a lot of flak for Luke Skywalker having exiled himself during The Last Jedi, but that idea was first proposed by George Lucas in his initial treatment for the sequel trilogy, not to mention that it was established in The Force Awakens (which Johnson had no involvement with).
    • Given how Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is blamed for anything that goes wrong with a new Star Wars movie, many point to her for the Troubled Production of Solo by hiring Lord and Miller only to fire them midway through production. In actuality, it was writer Lawrence Kasdan who wanted them to work on the project before he later realized that they weren't the best fit for the story.
    • The thoroughly reviled Jar Jar Binks (arguably the single most unpopular part of the prequel trilogy) gets criticized for an awful lot of reasons, but one of the most common criticisms of the character is that his thick faux-Caribbean accent makes him an insulting caricature of African-Americans. While George Lucas may have come up with the general concept of a non-human Plucky Comic Relief character, several behind-the-scenes accounts have claimed that the accent wasn't actually his idea. In fact, Jar Jar's actor Ahmed Best (who actually is African-American, and of partial Caribbean ancestry) has actually claimed that he came up with it himself while experimenting with different voices in pre-production, and that he got the idea while imitating his Jamaican uncle.
  • Michael Bay and the screenwriters of Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen may be guilty of many crimes against art, but they did not, as the Agony Booth review accuses, feel the need to "make up a new character like the Fallen instead of using someone (or something) established like Unicron." The Fallen was a pre-existing character, taken from the comics. (The review was later corrected.)
    • Meanwhile, Michael Bay suffers type 5 misblame, apparently being singlehandedly responsible for everything one dislikes about the movies, up to and including things like new characters with the names of older characters (a well-established practice in Transformers in general, as a method of maintaining trademarks to avoid repeats of what happened to characters like Trailbreaker Trailcutter).
    • If Bay's name is in the credits at all, expect people to dump on it and dismiss it as pure garbage before it's even released. Once it is released, they will blame him for any flaws, real or perceived, even if he was only the executive producer (meaning he or his production company footed the bill, but that he likely had no creative input). Some dismissed Black Sails before it aired merely because it came from his production company.
    • Forget Michael Bay, Shia LaBeouf is actually the person personally responsible for everything wrong with Transformers. He's also the one responsible for every fault in the fourth Indiana Jones movie.
    • Michael Bay also often gets blamed for the Transformer who changes into a realistic human. Apparently the people blaming him for this forgot about the Pretenders from back in 1988, which had realistic human coverings, although their robot forms still transformed into vehicles. Beast Wars, however, provides a precedent for transformers having organic alternate modes.
    • Skids and Mudflap are racist caricatures and that's all Bay's fault. Except for the fact that they're based on the performances of their voice actors, one of whom is black, and are intended to be the robot equivalent of "wiggas" — white boys who act like how they think black people act. They have a rather different characterization in the novel.
  • M. Night Shyamalan is certainly not blameless in the overall quality of The Last Airbender but a lot of the issues with the film came from above his pay grade.
    • Paramount didn’t want to wait a year to let the show wrap up so there was a fair amount of writing in the dark. His original script that was thrown out is reported to more or less have stuck plot by plot to the show. The ghostwriter of the final script accidentally backed them into a huge corner plot wise for the rest of the series. Specifically Aang running away because he was told the avatar couldn’t have kids. Zuko’s whole character arc depends on him being the direct descendant of an avatar.
    • The studio blew most of the budget filming the opening sequence in the Southern Water Tribe (Greenland) causing the rest of the movie to be filmed inside and not look as good.
    • He didn’t actually want to cast white people to play Katara and Sokka. Katara’s actress, Nicola Peltz, was cast because Paramount owed her father (a billionaire tycoon) a favor. White Katara meant also white Sokka.
    • The studio also mandated that the runtime be under 100 minutes which is what made a lot of it incoherent. The short run time was mandated because they needed to rush to get it converted to 3D in time to meet the lucrative Independence Day weekend release.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Many fans and critics blamed the mediocre response to Iron Man 2 on director Jon Favreau. In reality, the film saw copious amounts of Executive Meddling from Marvel Studios, especially with regard to the elements meant to act as set-up for The Avengers. Favreau had such a bad experience working on the film that he refused to return as the director for Iron Man 3.
    • Fans of Agent Coulson were quick to call for the head of Joss Whedon, who is after all known for killing fan-favorites, after The Avengers came out. Apparently, though, this was part of the overall MCU masterplan, and Whedon didn't get much say in it.
    • Similarly, when Avengers: Age of Ultron came out, detractors accused Whedon of deliberately ignoring events from previous movies (particularly Captain America: The Winter Soldier). In reality, Whedon had been required to write the script for Age in isolation, to prevent the possibility of his movie spoiling the major twists of the other movies.
    • Ironically enough, it was eventually revealed to fans that much of the meddling was courtesy not so much of Marvel Studios itself, but of parent company Marvel Entertainment. In fact, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige got so sick of the meddling that he eventually went and convinced Disney (Marvel Entertainment's parent company) to remove Marvel Studios from Marvel Entertainment's control.
    • As related to the above, it’s not Feige’s fault that it took a decade before the franchise had a film led by someone who wasn’t a White Male Lead. He’d wanted to make a Black Panther movie in particular for quite some time but was shot down by the people at Marvel because they felt like it wouldn’t sell toys.
  • Film composers often get the blame and labeled with stigma for adapting a piece of classical or contemporary music into their film score. Generally during the editing stages of the film temp music is placed before the score is completed and it's common for directors and executives to "fall in love" with the temp score. And it's usually to rewrite it just enough to slip by rather than pay the extra money to license a work (for non-public domain).
  • There seems to be a lot of hatred towards the Wachowskis for the sequels to The Matrix (including an awful lot of people blaming Lana's decision to come out as transgender for the quality of the films, despite the fact that she didn't start her reassignment therapy until well after Revolutions had already been released). However, there was quite a bit of Executive Meddling with the sequels; the siblings' Plan A was to make a prequel and a sequel, but WB didn't want to make a Matrix movie without the original's cast. Thus the prequel idea got shortened into the Second Renaissance segment of The Animatrix and the sequel idea got dragged out into the two-part mess we know today.
  • The director of Punisher: War Zone openly lambasted the 2004 movie for having comedic parts such as the popsicle-torture. In fact, that scene was lifted almost directly from the comics (the original The Punisher: War Zone), and Garth Ennis, who greatly helped in raising the Punisher back to popularity in the comics, has mentioned that as his favorite scene from the older comics.
  • Numerous fans and critics blamed the shifting of John Constantine's nationality and the setting in the Constantine (2005) movie on Keanu Reeves, claiming that it was because he couldn't do an English accent (he can, even if not perfectly). However, as confirmed by various people involved, the shift to California was a decision made some time before Reeves was ever approached with the offer.
  • In 2010, MGM was bashed excessively by internet users (who have been Tainted by the Preview) when their financial problems delayed production of Bond 23 and The Hobbit, not to mention remakes of Red Dawn (2012) and RoboCop (2014). Of course, most of these users are fans of these franchises, who believe MGM stole James Bond from Sonynote  and The Hobbit from New Line Cinemanote , and that the studio is apparently meddling with these projects. This backlash somehow led to a Yahoo! Answers question asking about it.
  • Fans were quick to blame George Lucas for the infamous fridge nuking scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Steven Spielberg admitted that it was his idea (and that he was happy to have brought that silly idea into popular culture), although he did also say that the aliens were Lucas' idea. Years later, though, this was Double Subverted when Lucas revealed he did think of the fridge scene, and Spielberg was Taking the Heat for him.
    • The idea is Older Than They Think: the fridge nuking scene was in the mid-1990s "Saucermen from Mars" script written by Jeb Stuart.
      • It's even older than that. The original 1982 Back to the Future script featured Marty McFly surviving a nuclear blast in a fridge-time machine, in order to return to the present. This was scrapped because it was too expensive to pull off and they didn't want children climbing into fridges and getting stuck. Spielberg was also executive producer of that film.
    • Lucas also got blamed for making Soviets the main antagonists instead of Nazis like in previous films. In reality, due to the harrowing experience of making Schindler's List, Spielberg felt he could no longer depict Nazis as simply stock villains for Indy to beat, although Harrison Ford's advanced age since the last film also accounted for it.
  • Man of Steel
    • Zack Snyder (like pretty much every comic book film director before him) got a lot of hate from Superman purists for changing the character's costume. Snyder later revealed that he had fought to keep the character's red trunks, and that it was the execs who wanted the character in a more modern-looking outfit to fight the perception that Superman was "lame" and "old-fashioned". A lot of people also apparently missed the fact that the editors at DC Comics already took away Superman's famous red underwear when they redesigned his costume for their controversial New 52 Continuity Reboot in 2011...two years before Man of Steel came out.
    • Many fans have blamed producer Christopher Nolan for Superman killing General Zod. In actuality, Nolan disliked that scene and only agreed to it after pressure from both Snyder and writer David Goyer.
  • Perhaps because of the unpopular way Lost ended, people dissatisfied or disappointed with the movie Prometheus, which he did a rewrite on, have tended to blame Damon Lindelof for everything wrong with the film — including its vagueness, its lack of xenomorphs, the (in some people's opinion) forced comparison between the Engineers and the Christian God, etc. You name it, Lindelof's to blame. And if it's not Lindelof, it's Fox's fault. Except that Ridley Scott came up with about half of the things that people don't like about the movie.
    • And Lindelof is now getting blamed for all of the problems on the Troubled Production of World War Z... despite the fact that he was brought in only to do rewrites long after production started and did nothing else (directing, producing, acting) on the film. Could we have a new poster child for this trope?
  • When the 2010 Robin Hood movie hit theatres, the critics were quick to blame their disappointment on the lesser-known writers Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, who were credited as authors of the "story". Who else could have bungled it in a movie directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, and written by Brian Helgeland, the writer of Mystic River and L.A. Confidential? In fact, Reiff and Voris' original script was a completely different story altogether, Nottingham, that told Robin Hood's story from the Sheriff's point of view. This premise was dismissed from the start by Scott, and after several rewrites there was practically nothing left of the original script (in Reiff and Voris' words, a single sentence of the dialogue they wrote made it into the final film, and was said by a different character).
  • Whenever a new adaptation of Gulliver's Travels is made, there's a good chance it will involve the scene in which Gulliver puts out a fire in the Lilliputian palace by urinating on it. As such there will always be a reviewer who claims that this is gross, crude humour and that "Jonathan Swift would be rolling in his grave!", presumably unaware that this exact scene (and more even grosser, cruder stuff) actually happened in the book.
  • After the 2003 live-action version of The Cat in the Hat was released, many filmgoers and even professional critics blamed star Mike Myers for the less than child friendly tone of the film. It was also commonly assumed that he must have rewritten the script and added all the crude jokes himself, because he had screenplay credits on the Wayne's World and Austin Powers films. In actual fact, though, Myers had nothing to do with the screenplay, and wasn't even attached to the film for most of its development phase; he agreed to replace the original star, Tim Allen, as part of a legal settlement with Universal after he broke his contract to star in a Sprockets movie.
  • J. J. Abrams took the brunt of the blame from angry Trekkies over Star Trek Into Darkness redoing the ending of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. They apparently forgot that Abrams did not actually write the script.
  • Many reviews of Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of The Three Musketeers apparently decided that because it was Anderson, any trace of the original Dumas story would be gone. Many of the reviews acted as if the story bore no resemblance to the novel at all. Well, of course some things were changed, including turning Milady into an Action Girl and the addition of airships, but honestly, the overall plot is pretty much exactly what Dumas wrote. All in all, it probably took fewer liberties than the 1993 version. Indeed, it may be the dissimilarity to the 1993 version that caused people to think Anderson's film wasn't faithful; because it wasn't faithful to the significantly altered version they were more familiar with.
  • People who dislike the The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel tend to pile all of the hate and blame on Andrew Garfield, despite Garfield merely playing the role and not being responsible for the costume, the writing, the soundtrack, or anything that tends to be hated in particular concerning the film. Even issues people take with the characterization of Spidey tend to be things based more on how Spider-Man is written rather than how he's acted; even his hair (which gets a surprisingly large amount of hate) is at least partially the fault of the stylist for the film rather than him. As he is pretty much seen as the face of the new franchise, every problem with it is blamed on him, regardless of what sense it makes. And if it's not him, it's the director, even if the series' problems obviously not being all Webb's fault.
    • Some watchers claim that the reboot unnecessarily changed the web-shooters to mechanical ones instead of using the "comic-accurate" organic ones. However, comic-Spidey's web-shooters became organic only to match the changes made for the Raimi films; he had used mechanical ones for several decades by then.
  • Spider-Man fans have blamed Sam Raimi for the critically-divided Spider-Man 3 with the addition of Venom and having Mary Jane Watson become the damsel in distress for a third time. However, those ideas were actually Avi Arad's ideas, and in addition to that, Raimi's ideas were to have the Vulture as the secondary villain and Gwen Stacy being the damsel in distress for the final battle, plus Raimi considered Venom The Scrappy.
    • Subverted by Raimi in an interview for Pajiba on December 30, 2014, who said that he was partly responsible and has stated that he's not fond of the film:
      Raimi: “It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well. I tried to make it work, but I didn’t really believe in all the characters, so that couldn’t be hidden from people who loved Spider-Man. If the director doesn’t love something, it’s wrong of them to make it when so many other people love it. I think [raising the stakes after Spider-Man 2] was the thinking going into it, and I think that’s what doomed us. I should’ve just stuck with the characters and the relationships and progressed them to the next step and not tried to top the bar.”
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014):
    • Michael Bay tends to receive all of the scorn of the fan base in spite of simply being a producer for the film. This tends to be par the course for anything Bay is associated with. In a somewhat ironic turn, it turns out that Bay is actually responsible for nixing a lot of bad ideas that others wanted to put in, since he's now fairly aware of how a fanbase will react to changes. But, due to being who he is, he ends up being blamed for a lot of the ideas to which he said no. Essentially, a lot of the people cursing his name should be thanking him for doing what they wanted!
    • The "Turtles as aliens" rumours. They were eventually revealed to have never been an official part of the story. The rumour was based on a line which, in context, seemed to indicate that the Ooze, rather than the Turtles, would be alien in origin. A throwaway line confirmed this to still be true.
  • Richard Lester gets a lot of flack for the campier tone of Superman II as compared to the more serious tone of Superman: The Movie (which was directed by Richard Donner). In fact, given the chaos surrounding the production of Superman II (including the firing of Donner, Gene Hackman walking out and Marlon Brando refusing the use of the footage filmed of him), the fact that Richard Lester was able to get a coherent film out at all is worthy of praise. Donner's cut of the film was released on DVD in 2006, but as this review shows, it's not as if his version is any less campy. The blame really rests with the producers, Alexander and Ilya Salkind, who insisted on an extremely campy, humorous approach (even moreso than what we ended up getting) similar to the '60s Batman series, and replaced Donner because he wouldn't give it to them — nevermind that his vision for the first film became a critical and financial success despite their wishes.
  • The Last Samurai is often trotted out as a textbook example of why "whitewashing" is such a problem in Hollywood, since—of course—everybody knows that it's completely absurd to cast the whitebread Tom Cruise as "The Last Samurai". Except, if you've actually seen the movie, it should be pretty obvious that Cruise's character isn't the titular "Last Samurai"; that would be Katsumoto, who's played by the very Japanese Ken Watanabe. In fact, since the word "samurai" can be either singular or plural, the title could either refer to Katsumoto or to the band of rebel samurai that he leads. While the movie could be justly accused of leaning on an unnecessary White Male Lead to make Asian history more accessible to Westerners, it never tries to claim that Cruise's character is a samurai. He's just a wayward American who gets some samurai training and falls in love with their way of life.
  • An interesting version involving Suicide Squad (2016): when early reviews came in and Rotten Tomatoes revealed that it was given a combined total of 30% liked, fans blew up at this and started a petition in an attempt to shut down the website, accusing it of creating reviews to destroy the DC Extended Universe. This is despite the fact that Rotten Tomatoes just gathers the reviews, that Warner Bros. has a stake in the website and the movie hadn't even been released yet.
  • The MPAA have been blamed by many for neutering the gore effects in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. While it's true that they did insist on at least a few cuts to each of the films, they're not entirely to blame. With A New Beginning, Paramount actually forced a lot of cuts on the film before it ever reached the MPAA, some due to the sub-par effects, and others due to the executives feeling the kills were tasteless even by the standards of the series. Jason Lives was intentionally a less gory film to begin with, due to director Tom McLoughlin choosing to emphasise character, atmosphere and humor over gore. With Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, however... yeah, that was all on the MPAA.
  • M. Night Shyamalan, already an easy target, ended up getting the brunt of the criticism for After Earth, even though by all accounts it was really Will Smith's brainchild, who essentially had complete creative control over the film. Shyamalan acted as little more than the cinematographer/director-for-hire.
  • When a Vocal Minority of Batman fans decried The Dark Knight Rises as a complete disappointment, one of the most common allegations against the film was that the Twist Ending subjected Bane to embarrassing Villain Decay by turning him into a glorified minion of Talia al Ghul, the real leader of the League of Shadows. While one could make a pretty good case for the twist being unnecessary and distracting, actually watching the film makes it pretty clear that the complaint about Bane being a "minion" simply isn't true. Rather, it's made clear that Bane and Talia have known each other for years, that they're utterly devoted to each other, and that they owe each other their lives—due to Bane allowing himself to be disfigured to allow Talia to escape from prison, and Talia returning to free him from prison. Even if only one of them can officially lead the League of Shadows, there's genuine love and friendship between them, and Bane is far more than just a servant.
  • While the The Hobbit trilogy didn't get the worst reviews, some fans have blamed Peter Jackson for many of the more controversial aspects of the film from the sloppy editing to the decision to turn what was supposed to be duology into a trilogy. In actuality, many of these decisions were mandated by New Line Cinema against Jackson's wishes. The actors Graham McTavish and Evangeline Lilly have confirmed that theatrical cut for the third film isn't what Jackson intended and that the extended cuts of all three films are closer to his original intention.
  • Unlike Death Note, Netflix only licensed the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach movies internationally, and had no involvement in their production, which was done by Warner Bros. Japan. Those two films actually had theatrical release in Japan, unlike Death Note.
  • Anyone who dislikes Nightmare Beach (or, Welcome to Spring Break) can be pretty much counted on to consider it a low point in the distinguished career of Eurocult filmmaker Umberto Lenzi, which isn't helped by the fact that the credited director, Harry Kirkpatrick, was long believed to be an Anglicized alias of Lenzi (which happens to have not been all that uncommon in the Eurocult scene, with examples including Ruggero Deodato becoming Roger Rockefeller or Roger Franklin, Bruno Mattei becoming Vincent Dawn, Claudio Fragasso becoming Clyde Anderson, Ennio Morricone becoming Leo Nichols or Dan Savio, Gian Maria Volontè becoming John Wells, and, most infamously, Sergio Leone becoming Bob Robertson). In truth, while Lenzi was originally to direct the film, a dispute led to him taking a reduced role in favor of Kirkpatrick, who had written the screenplay for the film.
  • A funny case of this with Artemis Fowl: the infamous scene where Mulch unhinges his jaw and starts eating dirt so fast that it starts flying out of his buttcrack was largely reported as a sign that the film was a mess, and often got brought up in the context of Adaptation Decay. While there was a lot of controversial-at-best changes made to the source material, the scene is entirely accurate to how Artemis Fowl-verse dwarves were described in the books. It does strike one as a bit odd that this, of all things, was something they felt they needed to keep.
  • While there was Hostility on the Set between James Cameron and Tim Miller during Terminator: Dark Fate's Troubled Production, some thought it was in part over the death of John Connor, thinking it was Miller's idea — when it was really Cameron himself who came up with it.
  • When Moving Picture Company shuttered their Vancouver branch in December 2019, a number of articles pinned the blame on the high-profile redesign of the title character of Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), which MPC Vancouver did the bulk of, especially with reports of crunch going on behind the scenes even with the three-month delay, and some would go on to lump Cats into the equation, due to it also needing to be crunched out into theaters around the same time (though unlike Sonic, the results didn't pay off). In actuality, the shutdown was due to a corporate restructuring of their parent company Technicolor and taxing issue in the city.
  • Psycho has recieved criticism in recent years for being allegedly responsible for transphobia in the media, as well as misogyny (due to the reveal that Norman's condition is due to his mother's abuse). This is despite the film going out of its way to not describe or even imply that he is transgender, Norman has an alternate personality that happens to be a woman. The claims of misogyny are also fairly baseless, as they imply that a woman could not be capable of causing her child such psychological harm, and is arguably an example of Females Are More Innocent Note .
  • The infamously bad 2004 Catwoman film with Halle Berry tends to be harshly criticized by Batman fans for the title character having almost nothing in common with the original version from the comics. While the creative team behind the film was undeniably responsible for most of its problems, most of its liberties with the source material actually started with Batman Returns in 1992 (of which Catwoman is a very loose spinoff), which didn't get nearly as much flack for it. Batman Returns introduced the idea of Catwoman being a meek office worker who becomes a vigilante after being magically brought back from the dead by cats and developing vaguely defined cat-themed superpowers (instead of just being a professional thief with a cat gimmick); Catwoman just took those changes and ran with them.

  • There was a small debacle when fans of the comic The Books of Magic accused J. K. Rowling of ripping it off for her Harry Potter novels. Nobody has confirmed this, and in fact, even Neil Gaiman admitted that neither Rowling or himself were the first people who created a bespectacled young man destined to become a great wizard, or send him to school. But it got worse when a magazine said Gaiman accused Rowling of pinching his idea. Immediately Gaiman defended himself against the person who misblamed him and said, "I did NOT accuse her of that!" He even admits that if anything, they were more inspired by fantasy authors writing Arthurian legends than each other.
    • Terry Pratchett has likewise had to fend off numerous accusations that he'd ripped off J.K. Rowling with Equal Rites, despite the latter having been written in 1987. When he's pointed this out, some fans have turned around and misblamed him for accusing Rowling of stealing his work! The similarities between them mostly amount to this: there is a school for magic users, someone in the book uses a broomstick to fly. Someone is turned partially or entirely into a pig, goats are mentioned a couple times.
    • An accusation also leveled at him for the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy (even though the similarities pretty much begin and end with Johnny and Kirsty being similar characters to Harry and Hermione).
  • One of the complaints about the Wheel of Time infamous covers is that Lan is shown to have a samurai-based helmet in the first book, claiming that only the Seanchan have Samurai-based helmets. Actually, Lan did have a helmet just like the one on the cover of the book during the Aiel war. It was based off of the one used by the famous Samurai Date Masamune. In fact Lan's helmet was probably the most accurate thing about that cover.
  • All of the books with "Tom Clancy's" on the cover were, in fact, written by other authors, with pretty much no input on the contents of said books by Mr. Clancy himself, past laying out the setting for the various series. When people complain about Mr. Clancy's works, however, often those licensed books are cited as examples of the quality of his writing (or, specifically, lack thereof).
  • Quite a few people blame William Shatner for the fact that his name is plastered all over the cover and marketing of the Star Trek novels that he co-wrote with Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Judith Reeves-Stevens, and accuse him of pushing them to the sidelines for the sake of his ego. Fact of the matter is that writers have little, if any, say in the cover design of their books and the publishers did it because his name carries more weight outside of the Trek Expanded Universe readership than the Reeves-Stevens do.
  • Richard Knaak of the World of Warcraft Lore does receive some of this. While the man does certainly have weaknesses in his writing style (Mary Sues for instance) he doesn't exactly go around changing the lore as he sees fit. He does discuss things with the rest of the lore team before hand, and he does have to get their approval before he makes any major change. While he is guilty of at least a few sins, changing the lore because he feels like it isn't one of them.
  • In Star Wars Legends (formerly the Expanded Universe):
    • Karen Traviss gets a lot of flak, most notoriously for establishing that the Grand Army Of The Republic constituted a mere three million clones. While this number is ridiculously low for a galactic scale conflict (the Eastern Front in WWII alone had somewhere around 15 million troops), what people missed was that when Lama Su was talking about 'two hundred thousand units' being ready, he was talking about 'units of product' (and individual clones) rather than 'military units'. This was more clearly stated in the then upper-tier canon Attack of the Clones movie novelization, which was released in 2002. Traviss' first published work in Star Wars wasn't released until 2004. Unfortunately, this created a substantial amount of conflict when other authors missed the higher-canon established figures, and did things like give the Separatists an army in the quintillions. The resulting flame wars were not pretty to say the least.
    • Curtis Saxton, who was the franchise's technical consultant in the late 1990s and 2000s and authored several tie-in books (most notably the Incredible Cross-Sections), was active in the online "Star Wars vs. Star Trek" debate, leading to many accusations that he pulled huge firepower numbers out of thin air purely for the purposes of permanently settling the debate in favor of the Star Wars side. Saxton's website shows the workings behind the figures, and while they're based on assumptions that, especially in retrospect, tend to be regarded as questionable, it's obvious that he genuinely did do a great deal of work on the subject instead just abusing his position to invent grossly inflated numbers.
  • If you've met a disgruntled fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, they'll probably tell you that the Seasonal Rot of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons is evidence that George R. R. Martin ran out of ideas after the third book, and currently has no idea where the series is going. While the series' rather egregious case of Schedule Slip is no one's fault but Martin's (and he's admitted as much), the truth about the slow pace of the plot is a bit more complicated. As Martin has confirmed in multiple interviews, he knows exactly where the plot is going, and he has for years. The problem is that Crows and Dragons weren't even supposed to exist in his original plan for the series; he wanted to have a lengthy Time Skip after the events of A Storm of Swords that would have set up the final climax of the series in the next books (hence, why so many major characters die or leave at the end of that book). When he realized that that plan wouldn't work, he had to write two new books as a bridge between the first act and the final act; if not much seems to happen in those books, it's because they're only meant to set up the climax that Martin originally wanted to write much earlier. And yes, Martin does know how the series is supposed to end: he's already shared the planned ending of the series with the producers of Game of Thrones in case they get to the ending before he does.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The controversial and allegedly sexist ending of the last book, in which Susan doesn't enter Narnia's Heaven with her family because she doesn't believe in Narnia any more and only cares about stereotypically feminine things such as make-up, was actually a Sequel Hook for an eighth book that unfortunately was never made. It would have resolved this issue, as Susan was intended to come to terms with the loss of her siblings, "find Narnia in her own time" again, and eventually make her way to Heaven to be with them.
  • Jim Butcher has been accused of sexism, relating to the long, loving descriptions of female characters in The Dresden Files. However, these descriptions are completely absent from all his other works, and simply stem from the fact that the POV character in The Dresden Files is a former Tyke-Bomb with a wide and deep set of personal issues (Rage Against the Mentor and Parental Abandonment are only the tip of the iceberg). Some fans have even noted that the length and detail of the description is directly proportional to the amount of in-universe time since the character last got laid.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have often been blamed as the sole reason behind the show's Seasonal Rot after season 5 and its highly disappointing series finale, with some even claiming that they rushed the show's ending to work on Star Wars (Which they later walked away from). While the amount of blame Benioff and Weiss deserve for the show ending the way it did is debated, it is important to note that perhaps the biggest factor behind the show's decline in quality was the fact that it overtook the unfinished book series it was based on, as George R. R. Martin failed to finish the books before the series ended, resulting in the showrunners having nothing but a few notes to work with in order to end the series. As a result, many have suggested that not only did Benioff and Weiss simply suffer from creator burnout, but the finale of the TV series was bound to be a disappointment no matter who wrote it, as it's clear that no TV screenwriter would've been able match the level and quality of storytelling as a tenured author.
  • The American Power Rangers is often accused of adding unnecessary silly humour. Ironic, since the humour in Power Rangers is usually far less prevalent and far less silly than in the original Super Sentai.
    • The best way to explain the differences between Power Rangers and Super Sentai is that Rangers stays in the middle whereas Sentai goes to BOTH extremes. Yes, Rangers is less silly and does cut out a lot of the over-the-top cuteness of the Japanese version, but because the Moral Guardians seem to be less strict in Japan, Sentai is also allowed to show blood, use guns, and have characters actually die. Oddly enough, each show is Lighter and Softer and Darker and Edgier than the other at the same time.
    • Additionally, Bruce Kalish was NOT responsible for the excessive explosions during his and the rest of Disney's run on the franchise. That was actually done by Koichi Sakamotonote , who, in fact, has worked on the series with Saban, and even does work on Japanese shows (you can see more than a few "explosions" in the Sakamoto-directed Kamen Rider Fourze, especially the final episode). But Kalish was the executive producer, and thus, everything was his fault. Fans may also be willing to give Sakamoto more leeway because aside from the explosions, his style of fight direction is generally held in high regard.
      • While Bruce Kalish has passed the buck to Koichi Sakamoto on multiple occasions as Sakamoto does use similar effects work in series he directs (see: Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger on top of the above Fourze example), the problem with such blame for many fans is Sakamoto was not the main or stunt director nor involved in choreographing scenes during Kalish’s run (SPD, Mystic force, Overdrive, Jungle Fury). He hadn’t done so for Power Rangers since the end of Wild Force. And during the bulk of Power Rangers Operation Overdrive's production (where many cite Kalishplosions being at their absolute worst), Sakamoto was busy in Japan doing second unit directorial work and stunt choreography for Juken Sentai Gekiranger (Power Rangers Jungle Fury's source material), meaning he was not present or able to perform or direct the original effects work for Overdrive due to the much more demanding production schedule for Sentai. His work on Gekiranger in turn lead to his primary directorial work with Toei later on for Fourze and Kyoryuger, alongside Kamen Rider W, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, and the Ultra series over with Tsuburaya productions; none of these latter cases featuring egregious overused explosions which a scene then lingers on or repeats footage of; which is one of the more prevalent criticisms of the Kalishplosion, and such was otherwise absent from his work or nowhere near the egregious degree before this period. So generally fans have given Sakamoto the benefit of the doubt over this; as his while his effect-work does use a lot of explosions, his style of fight direction remains in known for it’s fast, Dynamic and effective pace while not removing coherence or detracting from the narrative staging of a scene. Most of which is lacking or absent in what fans refer to as Kalishplosions. As the problem with Kalishplosions is not just the explosions, but how they are framed and utilized with respect to a scene and the story.
      • Mark Harris replaced Sakamoto as stunt director at the beginning of Power Rangers Ninja Storm. As what fans refer to as Kalishplosions began to appear prominently in Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, and such appeared in his later work, it’s likely he is the true culprit in this argument. Tellingly, Harris returned as stunt director for the Neo-Saban era, and the Kalishsplosions still continue in that era, albeit they're a lot less noticeable due to being filmed and edited differently — which has just brought the argument full-circle as to whether or not Kalish was the person ordering the explosions to be showcased much more during his era.
    • The fact that the original Black and Yellow Rangers were played by an African-American man and an Asian-American woman has received a lot of criticism due to perceived Unfortunate Implications. It should be noted, however, that the actress originally cast as the Yellow Ranger was actually Hispanic (the original pilot ended up airing some years later), and the Vietnamese-American Thuy Trang was only brought in as a replacement when said actress dropped out of the show. As for the Black Ranger, Walter Jones himself has since explained that he was actually originally cast as the Blue Ranger, but the producers wanted him to switch roles so that the original Sentai footage would line up with the idea that Zack was Jason/Red's best friend; Jones was asked if he was okay with the change, and said "Yes" because he thought the suit was cooler. Jones also said that the staff did realize the Unfortunate Implications of the casting, but not until several episodes had already been completed, at which point it was too late to do anything about it.
      • The promotional video entitled Galaxy Rangers (which can be seen on the DVD boxset) done by Saban in 1992 as a proof of concept for Bandai (which is believed by some to be made up from footage from an attempt at making Bioman with Zyuranger footage being swapped in.) Zack (played by actor Miquel Nunez Jr.) is classified as green (on screen at least) and Trini is played by a white actress.
    • Haim Saban often gets blamed or credited (at least with the Saban eras) with anything Power Rangers despite not having much of a hand with it since 1995 and only cutting the checks nowadays. His producing partner, Shuki Levy was apparently far more guilty of Executive Meddling, and even then it only got really out of hand with Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
    • Similarly, fans tend to blame Saban (the company, not the man) for the terrible live-action Sailor Moon adaptation that never made it further than a brief promo video, to the point of nicknaming it Saban Moon. This is presumably because Saban is the best-known (and for many fans, the only known) company that produces and/or adapts Tokusatsu for Western audiences; the promo was made by Toon Makers, a subsidiary of Toei, the company that owned the rights to Sailor Moon at the time.
  • Speaking of Super Sentai, many fans will often claim that Chouriki Sentai Ohranger was the series that almost killed off the franchise, while Gekisou Sentai Carranger was the one that saved the franchise. In reality, the ratings for Carranger were actually lower than those of Ohranger for a good amount of its runnote , and in terms of toy sales, Ohranger outsold Carrangernote . As noted here, the show that actually almost killed Super Sentai was actually Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman, which was a flop both in ratings and in toy salesnote  - it was so bad that Toei decided that they'd make one more show and call it quits on the franchise. Said show, Choujin Sentai Jetman, ended up being a huge hit, and as a result, Toei decided to continue making Sentai series. Fortunately, this incorrect belief seems to have started to die off.
    • In another Sentai-example, fans of Power Rangers will correctly blame Toei for Samurai Sentai Shinkenger being heavily rooted in Samurai culture...but for the wrong reasons. A rumor is that Shinkenger has so many aspects of Japanese culture due to Toei retaliating against Disney trying to make the Sentai footage tone down on the violence (to the point where Disney wanted an animated series to replace the show). However, Shinkenger aired during the run of Power Rangers RPM, which was (at the time) going to be the last Power Rangers season, and had only happened because Disney was contractually obligated to make it (if Disney had their way, Jungle Fury would've been the last Rangers series), and Toei had no way of knowing that Saban would buy the rights back after RPM finished. As such, it's simply an issue of bad luck on Saban's part - Shinkenger finished airing before Saban bought the rights back, and even if they could've skipped Shinkengernote , the alternative would've been to adapt Tensou Sentai Goseiger (which, while not as heavily rooted in Japanese culture, still had some aspects of Japanese culture, not to mention that it had a religious theme), so it was a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation in regards to adapting Shinkenger (as Shinkenger was very well-received in the west, in part due to fans watching it since no Rangers adaptation was made by Disney, whereas Goseiger...wasn't; if Saban had been able to skip Shinkenger and done so, jumping to Goseiger, odds are fans would've complained about the former getting skipped, as evident by the complaints fans had when (at the time) Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters was skipped in favor of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger).
  • The poorly received third season of the original Star Trek was largely blamed on the showrunner Fred Freiberger. But most of the cast and crew have worked to denounce that idea because of several major reasons. First, Gene Roddenberry had left the writing duties in the third season, he (the creator) only had a minor influence on the show. Second, Gene Roddenberry left because the network promised a juicy Monday night spot, only to renounce it and give them the Friday Night Death Slot. Third, the production budget was always below par for a sci-fi series, and the budget was slashed another 10 percent, which affected the scripts heavily. Freiberger was doing his best on a show that was sinking fast. If anything the main culprits were script editor Arthur Singer and network executive Douglas S. Cramer, the former of whom knew virtually nothing about the show and made little attempt to find out during the season, and the latter of whom apparently vetoed several good story ideas and pushed for the show to have a campier overall tone (one of his demands in particular was having the script for "The Way to Eden" changed to incorporate childish pot shots aimed at his predecessor, Herbert Solow).
    • In regards to Rick Berman and Brannon Braga's control of the franchise in later years, fans seem to often believe that they had complete control over it even above Paramount Productions. They were actually not immune from any Executive Meddling and were given demands that have compromised the various shows. This shows primarily in the TNG-esque nature of Voyager, which had started off fairly unique unto itself. But with Deep Space Nine underperforming in ratings, Executive Meddling demanded that the more TNG-like Voyager stay with the TNG formula. Those demands largely hurt the morale at the show; Ron Moore said it was extremely depressing being in the writers' room.
    • Additionally, some seem to be under the delusion that Brannon Braga was the showrunner for the entire run of Voyager, and so lay the blame for the show's quality at his feet. In actual fact, he was only the showrunner on two out of the show's seven seasons — Jeri Taylor was the main showrunner for most of the show's history, and in an odd inversion of the trope, receives virtually no blame from the fans but quite a bit from the other writers who worked on the show. On the other hand, Braga was the showrunner for all but one season of Star Trek: Enterprise, so he has more to answer for on that count.
    • Some fans blame Ronald D. Moore for turning the Klingons into thuggish, honor obsessed warriors during the course of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In actuality, that had already been done by then-showrunner Maurice Hurley during the first season, two years before Moore started working on the show. If anything, Moore actually toned down the TNG-era Klingons from their first few appearances, where they were depicted almost as animalistic savages; in their latter appearances they were again depicted with the more cunning and ruthless nature displayed in the TOS era, albeit still with the Vikings-in-Space angle that Hurley had introduced.
      • If anything, the blame goes back even further, to their portrayal in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, which took the newer, more animalistic look, viking-like armor and dark ship interiors from Star Trek: The Motion Picture and ran with it, having the Klingons growl at each other and behave as pirates, both in attitude and action. So, more so than Hurley, Harve Bennett deserves blame for starting the trend.
  • Doctor Who fans have a tendency to find one particular behind-the-scenes figure — John Nathan-Turner, Michael Grade, Russell T. Davies, etc — and blame absolutely everything they don't like on that figure, regardless of whether they can be reasonably blamed or not.
    • Graham Williams replaced Philip Hinchcliffe's highly acclaimed tenure and was given the job of toning down the horror element and playing up the humour and whimsy. In addition, his era oversaw a whole slew of behind-the-scenes troubles, none of which were his fault. While his era is regarded as divisive at best, it's generally agreed that he did the best he could under very trying circumstances.
    • The low quality of seasons 22-23 of Doctor Who's original run was for a long time blamed on Colin Baker's performance as the Sixth Doctor. After his surprisingly good performances in the Big Finish audio plays, he's largely cleared his name, leading fans to look to other scapegoats.
    • When Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) left after the third series of the revived show, some fans insisted she had either been fired or pressured to leave because the producers felt she could not live up to her extremely popular predecessor, Billie Piper (it didn't help that onscreen Martha left the Doctor for this reason). This was denied by all involved, but it still pops up occasionally as a conspiracy theory in the fandom. It's possible that she had only signed on for one series.
    • Christopher Eccleston appeared to have left for reasons similar to the above (on top of the hectic shooting schedule); there has been no definitive proof that the 40-something actor left after one series due to being "typecast". Eccleston has also been quoted as being dissatisfied with how some of the directors mistreated the other crew during long shoots as why he wasn't involved in the 50th anniversary show. When his autobiography was released in 2019, it was clarified that he also had a falling-out with Russell T. Davies and was battling anorexia and depression.
    • Martha had also fallen victim to a Type 3: her character has received criticism for not being confident enough in herself (particularly in her unrequited feelings for the Doctor), and not being convincing as a professional adult. This seems to be based on a misconception by US viewers about the character's intended age: medical students in Britain start studying at age 18, so Martha could well be a teenager, and cannot be any older than 22 or so. There's no in-story reason for her to be particularly world-wise.
    • Steven Moffat often gets blamed for casting a woman to play the Doctor by those who disagree with the idea of a female Doctor. The idea to cast Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor was done by his successor, Chris Chibnall, though Moffatt did lay a lot of the groundwork by canonising the idea of cross sex regenerations. On a related note, the idea of a female Doctor has been around as long as regeneration and it was supported by Sydney Newman, one of the show's original producers. Ironically, during his tenure Moffat often got plenty of stick from people on the other side of the line for not casting a female Doctor when he had the opportunity.
    • Chris Chibnall has been blamed for destroying the Canon with the Timeless Child plot twist (in which it was revealed that the Doctor, far from being an ordinary inhabitant of Gallifrey, was actually a mysterious child of unknown origin who the Time Lords stole the power of regeneration from. First of all, Doctor Who canon has contradicted itself before. "The Brain of Morbius" also showed the Doctor having previous regenerations before Hartnell and the Seventh Doctor was also hinting at a mysterious origin and not being an ordinary Time Lord. So essentially Chibnall was simply just building on some ideas already introduced. He has also been blamed for every aspect of stories people haven't liked, such as the rather disliked politics in Kerblam!, a story which he didn't even write.
  • The regrettable murder storyline from the second season of Friday Night Lights was such a huge departure from season one's low key, realistic tone that everyone was sure it was all NBC's Executive Meddling trying to get the show's middling ratings up. Turns out, it was entirely the idea of the show's producers. However, NBC really didn't help with all their commercials focusing on the storyline, showing an incredible misunderstanding of what the show's fans wanted to see.
    • Or they assumed that the show's fans would be watching anyway, but that promoting the murder storyline would bring in people who had previously not watched much of the show.
  • Elementary is full of these. First off, despite what some more aggressive Sherlock fans may tell you, Steven Moffat did not invent the idea of a modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation, and the concept had been around for decades (it goes back to the 1940s Universal films with Basil Rathbone, which had Holmes battling Nazi spies). As for the criticism about making Watson Asian, it was not meant to "pander" to minority viewers; the creators are on record saying the part was race-neutral, and Lucy Liu just happened to be the best actress for the job.
    • Some people have even complained about Sherlock's "fake-sounding" accent. Jonny Lee Miller is actually English, he just doesn't sound like Benedict Cumberbatch. The complaint seems to be due to the misconception that all English people have the same accent, despite the fact that there are just as many variations as one would find in American English.
  • Every single cast change in Mystery Science Theater 3000 (quite a few, as by the end the entire original cast was gone) was blamed on Jim Mallon, who the fans portrayed as a tyrant imposing his will on everyone else involved with the show. This even happened with the departure of Joel Hodgson, who not only had the same level of creative control as Mallon but created the show in the first place, so no one could make him leave if he didn't want to. There had been some behind the scenes friction between the two men that ultimately led to Joel's departure, but much of this has been blown out of proportion by the fanbase and Joel himself has had to play damage control more than a few times.
  • Pretty much anything that went wrong with Dollhouse is blamed on Fox, even when Joss Whedon himself takes credit for such things as drastic changes or shooting a new pilot. Granted, it's hard to blame the fans. Fox did cancel Firefly, which was definitely a high-quality show that got screwed by Executive Meddling. But it's like Whedonites have a constant persecution complex up and running — All. The. Time.
    • Firefly is the perfect example of the above-mentioned phenomenon where a popular show gets cancelled because the "wrong" audience liked it. Quoth the producer: "The initial results – they made the network nervous. The men didn’t respond as strongly as they thought they would, and the women responded more strongly."
  • Nikki and Paolo are universally despised by most Lost fans for their sudden introduction, questionable relevance to the main plot and the false pretense to "have been here all along". Yet the reason the characters were created in the first place is because fans themselves often asked about the stories of the random extras seen carrying wood or something while main characters were discussing important stuff. They didn't use the actors who had actually been seen in the background earlier in the series because they were extras, and thus couldn't be expected to hold up when moved into more major roles.
  • My So-Called Life fans tend to blame the show's one-season run on either a) Screwed by the Network or b) Claire Danes (who was, it's worth pointing out, all of 16) being a prima donna and refusing to sign for a second season. The producer statements have been ambiguous, but the most likely interpretation is that the network didn't offer a renewal until Claire had other commitments that she didn't want to back out of, and the producers threw up their hands rather than try to negotiate.
  • Fans of the American version of Big Brother seemed to have blamed that the eviction of Jeff in the thirteenth season was somehow the producer's fault. Sure, Executive Meddling has been the most likely culprit for several game-changing instances, but there was clearly no Executive Meddling, obvious case of misblame there. Why would CBS meddle in a ratings dog? (The viewers literally dropped by half after his eviction.)
  • George Lucas' hatedom will sometimes blame him for the quality of The Star Wars Holiday Special (see, for example, the final paragraphs of this article). The fact is, Lucas wrote up a basic story outline, and left CBS to finish it while he worked on The Empire Strikes Back. Without Lucas' involvement, the producers rewrote much of the original script, turning it into the 70s-variety-show schlock-fest that we all love to hate. It appears that contractual obligations were the only reason that Lucas allowed the finished product to air, and he has gone on record saying that he wants to destroy every copy of the Holiday Special.
  • A large portion of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom can still be guaranteed to meltdown at the name of Marti Noxon, whom they hold responsible for the divisive sixth season, during which she took over showrunner duties while Joss Whedon was giving the majority of his time to Angel and Firefly. For many of them, the failure of subsequent series Point Pleasant was often held up as "proof" that she was out of her depth helming a TV show. Whedon came to her defense, saying the most divisive story elements ultimately came from him. David Fury and Steven DeKnight sometimes also get this, although in their cases it's more down to off-screen interactions with fans that went bad.
  • In Torchwood: Children of Earth, Ianto's character arc involved him beginning to accept his bisexuality and come out to his family about his relationship with Jack — then he was suddenly and unexpectedly killed off. Many fans were not happy, and blamed Russell T. Davies (despite the fact that he is openly gay and has introduced a variety of LGBT characters on both Torchwood and Doctor Who.) He denied that sexuality had anything to do with it, and insisted Ianto was just "defeated by a greater evil" for plot purposes. Some people then turned their ire towards writer James Moran, who has also stated that there was no malicious intent behind the decision. It's worth noting that Torchwood is very much an example of Everyone Is Bi. Of the original five characters, the three that die are all bi, while of the two that survive, one is pansexual and the other either bi or bi-curious Depending on the Writer. This isn't to say it was necessarily good writing, but it hardly seems the Unfortunate Implications were intentional.
  • The mess between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien was mostly caused by Executive Meddling from NBC, particularly from Jeff Zucker, who created an untenable situation between the two hosts. The seeds of the conflict go back to 2002, when rival network Fox tried to poach O'Brien with a deal so lucrative that his inner circle encouraged him to take it, but NBC managed to retain him by putting in writing that he's next in line to host of The Tonight Show by 2009 at the latest, which was O'Brien's childhood dream. They made this deal without any consultation with Leno, who only learned about it when negotiating his next contract two years later. While Leno publicly went along with passing the torch to O'Brien because he wanted to be fair to O'Brien and didn't want a repeat of the conflict between himself and David Letterman over replacing Johnny Carson in 1992 (which was why NBC was so afraid of losing O'Brien to a competitor), privately he felt wronged by NBC and once the time to pass the torch to O'Brien was approaching, Leno was talking to other networks. Fearing that Leno going to another network would nuke any chance of O'Brien's Tonight Show being successful, NBC then scrambled to retain him, which lead to the ill-fated Jay Leno Show and his public conflict with O'Brien. The court of public opinion has ruled that it's all Leno's fault and that he was trying to horn in on Conan's Tonight Show because he's a selfish slimeball, when in reality he was just along for the ride the whole time. Yes, with the benefit of hindsight we can say The Jay Leno Show was a mistake and that walking away in 2009 would have been Leno's best move since he should have known his previous public statements in support of O'Brien taking over would be used against him. However, O'Brien deserves equal blame given how his trying to position himself as Leno's successor - a move he was privately and publicly warned against - and negotiating a contractual agreement to that effect set the whole mess in motion. It's also true that Leno did himself no favors with his public behavior during the conflict, which only played into the perception that he simply didn't want to give up the show, even though the truth was that Leno won out purely because he had an ironclad contract that didn't leave any room for NBC to take him off the air for two years. (And the quality of Leno's humor is subjective and is honestly irrelevant to the debate.)
  • Heroes fans who blame the scrappiness of certain characters on the actors who portray them.
    • Poor Dania Ramirez, who played Maya, is probably the all time example of this. Yes, Maya was annoying, but Dania Ramirez did not write or direct the 11,000 scenes in which her character cried, screamed for her brother, and/or acted useless.
    • Likewise, Sendhil Ramamurthy has been incredibly snarky about his own character's permanent possession of the Idiot Ball during some episode commentaries, to the point where it's pretty obvious he only WISHES he had control over the scripts. In fact, Mohinder's storyline would probably get a lot more entertaining if he did.
    • Heroes was also a victim of extensive Executive Meddling by NBC (not to mention the writer's strike).
  • Alan Alda often gets blamed for a lot of the Strawman Political regarding M*A*S*H. Series creator Larry Gelbart, however, pointed out more than a few times that the series had been greenlit when no one really knew what it was supposed to be, and Alda was the only one really willing to come forward with any ideas.
  • Arguably Lizzie McGuire qualifies as an inversion of type 1 (not that the show had no flaws, just that it's the successors that had the flaws generally associated with the work) mixed with type 2. It is usually blamed by people (especially on the Internet) for Disney Channel's current batch of low budget Strictly Formula shows with over the top humor, wacky plots, weird premises, and laugh tracks, despite the fact that it really had none of those (Lizzie was supposed to be a normal girl, albeit one with a cartoon avatar, there wasn't a laugh track, and the show didn't look particularly cheap) and wasn't even made by the same production company. This may be because the success of the show really promoted Disney Channel to the forefront in the young female demographic.
  • The Bionic Woman reboot in 2007 has had executive meddling or low ratings are usually blamed for the cancellation of the show. But it was the Writer's Strike that halted production. Had it not been for the strike, it's likely the show would have had a full first season at the least.
    • The Writer's Strike resulted in a lot of problems. Fledgling shows went months without new episodes and lost what momentum they built, and some shows had storylines cut short. It's also the reason why Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was below standards. Michael Bay had to write most of the movie himself or it would have gotten shut down. He even admits that's why the movie sucks.
  • The Adam West Batman TV show is often accused of "ruining" the Batman franchise and enforcing the idea that comics are for children, whereas Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and the 1989 Tim Burton movie are credited with making Batman "serious" again. However, as West is quick to point out, the show was far less ridiculous and campy than most of the Silver Age Batman comics that were being published at the time.
  • Joss Whedon gets blamed for everything that people don't like about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., despite having almost no involvement in the writing or the production of the show. Perhaps the most egregious example of this was fans blaming Whedon for the death of Antoine Triplett, citing it as yet "another" example of Whedon's problems with black men; in fact, the character's death came about because the actor had other commitments that had already impacted his ability to regularly appear on SHIELD. Of course, this mis-blame can also sometimes work in Whedon's favor - fans tend to erroneously credit him for everything they like about the series.
  • Julian Fellowes got a lot of hate from fans of Downton Abbey for killing off Sybil Crawley but that idea came from actress Jessica Brown Findlay, who wanted to leave the show and not return in any later seasons.
  • Netflix got all the blame from fans for canceling The Get Down, with some fans essentially claiming the show was Screwed by the Network (and some fans further claiming that it's because of the mostly African-American and Latin-American cast). While that may be part of the reason, this ignores other factors such as the show's high cost (at least $120 million, making it one of the most expensive TV shows ever), relatively low ratings, and the showrunner Baz Luhrmann's commitments to other movies.
  • Some people wrongfully accused Netflix or Bill Nye himself of censoring Bill Nye the Science Guy by editing out a segment about sex chromosomes. The edit was actually made in 2007 when Buena Vista decided to sell 31 of the episodes on iTunes, and cut out many segments they couldn't get the music or talent rights to. The actress in that segment couldn't be found, so it was cut.
  • After it was announced that Coronation Street character Rana Habeeb would be killed on her wedding day, many viewers took the show's producers to task for pulling the Bury Your Gays card. In reality, Rana's actress, Bhavna Limbachia had decided to leave the show and specifically requested that the character be killed off. That being said, it was the decision of the show's writers to have her die on her wedding day, which many felt to be a pointlessly cruel twist.
  • The West Wing was always closely associated with Aaron Sorkin, and not unreasonably — he wrote, essentially, every episode during his time at the show. But it's common for people to bring up a litany of complaints about unrealistic Bartlett Administration achievements (or achievements that the person in question doesn't like) and attribute them to Sorkin — for example, the administration "saving" Social Security, fixing the Middle East and even Bartlett getting a Democratic successor. The problem is that Sorkin left the show after the fourth season, and all of these things happened after Sorkin left. If there's something you don't like from the first four seasons, that you can blame on Sorkin.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: Phil Klemmer is this for the Legends fandom on Tumblr who act like he is responsible for every single creative decision on the show. However, this is mainly done in a joking manner.

  • For years, Yoko Ono's been blamed for causing the break-up of The Beatles, when it's largely clear that internal band tensions (which would be not entirely unreasonable given that the four members of the band had essentially spent almost the entire 1960s pretty much trapped together) and increasingly diverging musical interests and pursuits would have probably done the job sooner or later, no matter who John Lennon decided to get romantically involved with. It is fair to say that her increased presence in the studio was annoying to the other three Beatles, recordings having previously been a 'no girlfriends' zone, and by all accounts she didn't exactly make much of an effort to make friends, none of which exactly helped matters; but even they acknowledge that she probably doesn't deserve all the stick that she gets.
    • Not sure about the others, but it's worth noting that as early as 1971, George Harrison said publicly (on the Dick Cavett show) that Yoko was being misblamed, and that the Beatles broke themselves up. Not that it made much difference...
    • Honestly, at this point, most people understand that Yoko contributed very little, if anything, to the Beatles' breakup. She does, however, still get blamed for the general weirdness that was her and John Lennon's marriage, despite a ton of evidence that John was at least as odd as she was well before meeting her.
    • The Beatles also feature an inversion of this trope. Owing to the oft-expressed truism that John Lennon was the "creative" Beatle and Paul McCartney was the "fluffy" Beatle, people tend to credit all the "deep" and "important" stuff that the Beatles did to Lennon, including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In fact, from about late-1966 onwards McCartney was the creative powerhouse of the Beatles, as he was the one coming up with all the ideas; Lennon, although he certainly wrote some fantastic songs during this time, spend most of the period drifting away from the Beatles and getting deeper into drugs, which in general sapped his creative instincts.
    • John is also considered to be the dark, edgy one with Paul dismissed as a lovey-dovey lightweight. In fact, Paul has written his share of hard rocking songs like "Helter Skelter" while John wrote gentle ballads.
    • Linda McCartney has also gotten her share of mis-directed blame for breaking up the Beatles too.
    • Additionally, the Beatles were horrible businessmen. They opened the Apple Boutique in London in December 1967 to support the arts and sell Beatles-related products, and it closed seven months later in July 1968 due to rampant thefts and bad business. Among other things, shoplifting occurred on a daily business with employees stealing directly from the stock. The Beatles-founded Apple Records has had its own share of business problems throughout their history, including a decades-long useless feud with Apple Computer/Apple, Inc. over issues where Technology Marches On and Apple added sound capabilities to their computers and began to sell music through iTunes, which they felt was Apple homing in on their territory. One could even claim that the end of the Beatles started when manager Brian Epstein died of an overdose, leaving the Beatles directionless. Without a strong manager, the group imploded with squabbling and arguing over what direction to take.
    • In an example unrelated to their breakup, all four Beatles have at various points griped about the phenomenon of "Beatlemania" and how they quickly seemed to become an excuse for people to go utterly mad, cause chaos and/or smash things up (the obvious example being the fans losing control and becoming hysterical at their mere presence, but on several occasions police would use this as a reason to apply excessive force in controlling the crowds) and then somehow blame them for all the trouble that was caused.
  • Lots of GACKT and/or Malice Mizer fans tend to treat Gackt's departure from MM as Mana's fault. Public opinion often portrays Mana as a wicked schemer who didn't like Gackt's behavior for some reason, so he began forcing him away from the band, and then literally kicked Gackt out. It's usually come from one of Gackt's misquotes saying "I was asked to leave Malice Mizer". Gackt really meant that Mana asked him whether he still wanted to stay in the band and said that if he didn't nobody would stand in his way. Gackt himself admitted later on that he saw MM as a temporary jump-start project and he had always wanted to pursue a solo career. He was, in fact, disinterested in MM because he loved classical music since childhood but he never was into VK, EGL, EGA and other gothic stuff. Mana, on the other hand, thought that Gackt was the best suitable for MM and the band wouldn't be the same without him. That explains why Mana couldn't find a new vocalist for 2 years until he briefly recruited Klaha whose mannerisms and appearance were almost identical to Gackt's. Then he just disbanded Malice Mizer to form Moi Dix Moi which fairly wasn't too much different from MM.
    • It gets worse from there. Mana's reputation as not just a schemer, but also an arrogant, sadistic and jealous primadonna who can't stand anyone more popular or talented than him, has stuck. He now gets blamed by a significant number of people every time someone he works with leaves or a band on his label splits up. Admittedly, Moi Dix Mois' High Turnover Rate, as well as Mana's stoic and emotionless public image doesn't help, but it really has gone too far. The really sad thing is that half the people who believe it don't even listen to Malice Mizer or Moi Dix Mois, and only think Mana's to blame for everything because everyone else in whichever Jrock community they belong to treats it as fact.
  • The opposite happened with reactions on La:Sadie's disbanding when almost every time Kisaki was solemnly blamed. Most typical reason is "the band wanted to go major while Kisaki wanted to stay indies". Which doesn't make sense because Kisaki was never against becoming major and his later activities kind of prove it. Every band he's been involved ever since was significantly more major than the previous one. Up the last band Phantasmagoria which was a living definition of majorism and him founding his own major record company Undercode Productions. Now he said he's retiring to focus on producing (producing = promoting various indies band to majors; Undercode had done dozen of these already). So the more legit reasons are Kaoru's lead persona and the fact that the band met Toshiya from D+ L at a joint concert and liked him so much, that they "stole" him.
  • The fact that T. Rex's "Get It On" was released stateside as "Bang a Gong" is often held up as an example of American prudishness, when the truth is almost the exact opposite: there was already a song by the jazz-fusion group Chase entitled "Get It On" on the American charts.
  • Sammy Hagar tends to get flack from former Van Halen fans regarding the group's switch to a Power Ballad sound after he joined. In fact, Eddie Van Halen was already moving in this direction before (and was a considerable factor behind David Lee Roth quitting the band).
    • Additionally, the band has famously often been blamed for the damage to the Colorado State University-Pueblo's basketball arena, supposedly because Roth threw a fit over discovering brown M&Ms despite the band's rider explicitly saying that their candy bowl was not to have any. While the band did vandalize the backstage area in anger, what actually caused most of the damage was the fact venue management had not read the rider properly—and thus had failed to realize the venue didn't meet the requirements to handle Van Halen's immensely heavy setup. So when they put everything together, it went through the floor. The M&M clause had been put in as a Secret Test of Character after the band had gone through similar incidents previously (the thinking being that if the venue missed the candy clause, they hadn't really paid attention to the rider, so the band would at least know they were careless), which was why Roth lost his temper.
  • Every time Mötley Crüe does something that displeases the fans, there are always three camps placing blame for it on either Vince Neil (for being a prima donna), Nikki Sixx (for being a control freak), or Tommy Lee (for being kind of an idiot). Mick Mars seems to have some kind of mystical immunity to this effect.
  • There are two different versions of the photo collage on the back cover of the original 1967 vinyl edition of Headquarters by The Monkees: one where the center picture shows the album's producer and a recording engineer, and the other showing the Monkees with facial hair. When new generations of Monkees fans rediscovered the album, they assumed the bearded Monkees pic was the original, but the record label was afraid people would complain about their teen idols no longer being clean-cut, so they substituted it with the other. In fact, it was the other way around: the producer-engineer pic was the original, but the caption mis-identified the engineer, so they replaced it with the bearded Monkees.
  • Many Genesis fans blame Phil Collins for the band's shift away from Progressive Rock to pop in The '80s. Collins is on record as saying that the shift occurred because Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks saw the solo success he was having and wanted a piece of that as well. Collins said on his (now defunct) official forum that (paraphrasing from memory) "I'd like to see someone convince Tony Banks to do something he doesn't want to do!"
    • Also according to Word of God, as the band were shifted from a five-piece to a four-piece to a trio, the band were attempting to avoid the fights over writing credits and creative input they were facing with the departures of Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett by crediting the entire band with all the songs on each album. They credited individual writers by A Trick of the Tail to deflect accusations that Gabriel was the sole visionary behind the group's music, which led to the inter-group squabbles (Hackett in particular) they tried so hard to avoid. The band decided to come in the studio with no pre-written material and write collectively in the studio. They also discovered that a great deal of magic came with group improvisations, and that by shortening the group compositions they could get more of a variety of styles. They were also, by 1981, equipped with their own recording facility (Fisher Lane Farms), and were interested in reinventing their sound for The '80s, producing their own music along with engineer Hugh Padgham. What came out of these circumstances was Abacab and the music they came up with since then. The results of having commercial success with their new sound and approach was simply icing on the cake.
    • On a similar note, Banks is often blamed for the creative conflicts that led to the departure of Gabriel and Hackett, down to excluding Gabriel from the songwriting for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and passive-aggressively mixing Hackett out of the band's second live album Seconds Out note . This of course ignores Gabriel's problems with his wife and daughter around the same time (although he did end up writing the lyrics and overall story of the album) and the fact that the Banks/Collins/Rutherford trio had already gelled into the main creative force in the band. In fact, the band started crediting individual writers for each song in order to escape the notion that Gabriel wrote everything.
    • Genesis also, by Word of God, began as a "songwriting collective", then became a band when they could find no one else willing to sing their material. They had tried to write pop songs on their first album, but failed to get success. They moved into a Progressive Rock direction from their second album, Trespass, especially as it was easier for sheltered, upper middle class private school-educated Britons to write fantasy lyrics over love songs, but they occasionally dabbled in their own brand of pop ever since with songs like "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", "Counting Out Time" and "Your Own Special Way". They hadn't intended to be strictly progressive rock, but most of their material fell into that style until they learned to write more commercially and gained success from it.
  • Mike Love is blamed by many The Beach Boys fans for the non-release of Smile in 1967. While Mike can be hated for a lot of reasons (look up his acceptance speech at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on behalf of the Beach Boys), this is not solely his fault. It was actually a combination of a royalties lawsuit against Capitol Records filed by the Beach Boys, Van Dyke Parks leaving, Brian Wilson's mental problems and the beginning of his drug problems, and a lack of support from other members (including Mike).
  • Liz Phair has gained some infamy in the music industry for "selling out". Despite what some fans choose to believe, it wasn't Liz's fault. Her indie record label Matador Records dumped her onto the major Capitol Records. They wouldn't give her money to record an album unless she worked with mainstream producers and made a pop album. If Matador Records didn't give Liz away, then she most likely would have continued on her indie rock route. Additionally, Phair has said that she wasn't forced into making the album and willingly went along with Capitol's suggestion, because she thought it would be an interesting experiment for her to write and record mainstream pop music.
  • Rebecca Black's "Friday" was an autotuned single produced on a budget of a few thousand bucks and was posted on Youtube. It soon went viral, mostly from people pointing and laughing, metaphorically speaking. A certain imgboard began to troll her, including death threats and posting her school schedule online. Yet when she went on Good Morning America talking about how hurt she was, a lot of people blamed her parents and the video production company, instead of the people doing the actual trolling. (Compare to the tone of Gawker's own earlier posts, which were much less sympathetic.) Also, she apparently doesn't get to complain because the single is selling very well and she's rich now.
    • Also, she is perceived as in it for the money or something or doing this on purpose, but actually she's just the one video that got lucky and had enough YouTube views to get famous. YouTube, and in fact Real Life itself, is full of girls with decent singing voices who want/have record deals and film low budget music videos.
    • The way some people bash the song and her make it obvious they think Black's the one who wrote the song; she just sang it. It was written by two grown-ass men, Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson, who are record producers, songwriters, and otherwise professionally associated with the music industry. Black was just your average American teenager who, as stated previously, just happened to hit it big (though probably not in the way she wanted). On a general note, it's depressing how many people online think it's okay to harass people just because they're rich and successful (or they perceive them to be) or because they've landed a dream job (even if it turns out to be not so great), especially if they're young like Black.
  • Black Flag fans tend to be divided over the more experimental, heavy metal influenced direction the band started heading in after Damaged. Those who don't like this period sometimes blame Henry Rollins for the change (or at least the "heavy metal" aspect of it). While Rollins was the Face of the Band at the time and contributed to the songwriting process, founding member Greg Ginn was still writing most of the band's music, and he was mainly the one behind their change in direction. In fact he said part of the reason Rollins was hired as a singer was because he wasn't solely interested in singing Hardcore Punk songs. That said, Ginn did lament that ever since Rollins joined they had to consistently keep things dark and edgy lyrically.
  • Everyone knows that the bass on Metallica's ...And Justice for All album is almost non-existent. It's been believed pretty much since the album was released that new bassist Jason Newsted's parts were deliberately buried in the mix by the surviving members as a way of hazing Newsted. However, when Newsted appeared on the first 2013 episode of That Metal Show and that was brought up, he admitted that a lot of the blame actually falls on him. He said that he recorded his parts by himself with no input from anyone else, using the same equipment, bass, and engineers that he used in his former band Flotsam and Jetsam. Also, since he wrote the music in F&J and the guitarists took their cues from him, his bass parts on Justice were too much like a rhythm guitar, and ended up clashing both note-wise and sonically with Hetfield's actual rhythm guitar parts.
    • Speaking of Metallica, people who dislike Lulu blame the band for that album...despite the fact that the late Lou Reed was the one in charge of that area—while Reed has released a lot of acclaimed work as a part of the Velvet Underground, he also released Metal Machine Music, so it's entirely possible that Lou made this album to be a troll.
  • Queen are often criticized for their use of synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines, etc. in The '80s, and de-emphasis of their progressive hard rock elements, after many years of releasing albums with a "No Synths!" disclaimer in the liner notes and adopting a very guitar-centered sound. In reality, Queen never opposed synthesizers and were always open-minded to them, but didn't feel that the synths of the time could produce the sounds they wanted to hear. They also felt they wanted to use Brian May's "guitar orchestra" multitracking techniques more in the studio, and only placed the "no synths" disclaimers after reading one too many comments mistaking Brian's guitar (and the band's general wizardry in the studio) for synthesizers. As Queen wanted to move their sound forward and felt inspired by the technology of the day, they decided to incorporate it into their music while still keeping it in the Queen style.
  • After Devourment released Conceived in Sewage, which was a New Sound Album that skewed more towards NYDM and proto-slam than their established slam death metal sound, a lot of fans angered by the change in sound blamed Relapse Records and Erik Rutan (who produced the album) for pushing them towards a "lighter", more marketable sound. In reality, neither claim was accurate. Most of the album had been written for years and hadn't been recorded largely because they desperately wanted off of Brutal Bands, and Majewski had expressed a desire as early as 2010 to expand his vocal range and move into more varied territory, as they had grown sick of playing pure slam and wanted to broaden and introduce some variation to their sound. Relapse had absolutely no say in what they did with their sound and Rutan's input was largely restricted to how they played various riffs; the rest was all them.
  • Around the tail end of the 1980s, Mike Gonzalez of Dark Angel was arrested while on tour in Germany because he supposedly vandalized a police cruiser. He actually wasn't responsible, however; according to Eric Meyer, the real culprits were several members of their crew, and Gonzalez was arrested because he was the only one with a passport and thus an easier scapegoat.
    Tom Zutaut: A lot of kids can’t help repeating what they grew up with. But we have to try and learn from our parents and do better. I’m not gonna sit here and have you blame everything on Axl anymore, because the truth is that if you wanted to get out of this cycle, you could. But it requires you to leave him or it requires you to stop blaming him. I mean, you guys need to go into therapy or something.
  • This wiki seems to have something against Bananarama and/or the song "Venus", acting like they wrote it. Not only did they not write it, they didn't even originally perform it. It was written by Robbie van Leeuwen and originally performed by his band Shocking Blue about 17 or 18 years before the British Girl Group scored a hit with it.
  • DragonForce got a lot of stink during their disastrous 2006 World Tour, especially at Graspop of that year, for being apparently incapable of playing their own songs, and it led to major accusations of them being a studio act that sped up their own recordings. The actual reason the tour went so poorly is because the technician they hired was wildly incompetent: Barely tuning the band's gear or not tuning it at all, and technical issues were so common it permanently colored the view of the band for years. They've since re-hired their techs, and undergo significant preparations before every tour to ensure it doesn't happen again.
  • Eminem:
    • Despite popular belief, Eminem did not face much racist harassment from Black hip-hop audiences, who often underestimated him based on his appearance, but were supportive of him as soon as they realised he could actually rap, even defending him from racist personals in the '97 Rap Olympics by booing so loud as to drown out his opponent for making white-people jokes. (As Eminem himself notes in "White America" - "when I was underground, no one gave a fuck I was white".) A few people held he was a white appropriator, but they were outliers and not the general view in the 90s hip-hop scene. Eminem did experience racist assaults by Black people, but they were just local bullies who did not know or care he was a rapper. The racism he experienced in hip-hop was mostly from other white people, with white label executives preventing him from getting signed numerous times because of his race, and white audiences chanting 'wigger' and 'Vanilla Ice' at him and pelting him with bottles at his early shows.
    • Encore:
      • The content and rapping style on Encore has been attributed to Eminem's abuse of Ambien at the time, including by Eminem. However, Eminem writes in his book The Way I Am that he had been freestyling the material due to an attempt to recapture the humour and spontaneity he had with Dr. Dre while recording The Slim Shady LP, as well as to push himself to improve as a rapper (particularly because of how much he admires Jay-Z, who can write entire songs by freestyling). His 2003 material also shows inklings of the stylistic direction he'd adopt on Encore, particularly his three Invasion freestyles which show him beginning to incorporate crunk and snap influences in his delivery, a fake Southern accent, and belching, all recorded at a time when he was still on probation and facing regular drug tests that prevented him from being able to abuse medication. While it's obvious Eminem's Ambien addiction was a factor on the lowered technical ability on the album, the audible slur in his voice and the woe-is-me content, Encore ended up the way it did due to purposeful artistic decisions that were not all the fault of the zolpidem clogging up his brain.
      • Encore turning out the way it did is also often blamed on several of the tracks intended for the album leaking, forcing Eminem to hurriedly record replacements - fans tend to assume the serious songs on the album were the "real" songs and the silly ones were the replacements. What actually happened was that the leaks gave Eminem the opportunity to revise the entire track list for the album, with many of the album's beloved serious tracks like "Evil Deeds", "Mosh", "Mockingbird" and "Like Toy Soldiers" also coming out of his freestyling sessions with Dre. Another reason he'd wanted to revise the track list had been because he was sick of the beefs he was involved in with Benzino and Ja Rule - the original track list for Encore would likely have been disses aimed at them.
    • Eminem's Creator Backlash to Relapse and his cancellation of Relapse 2 is sometimes based on the idea that a bad fan and critical reception to the album spooked him (50 Cent has said as much). Relapse's reception wasn't that bad - while there were some intense reactions from his own fanbase and some disappointed reviews, it was mostly liked, was the highest selling rap album of the year, and netted a Best Rap Album Grammy. Em himself has always maintained that he changed direction on Relapse 2 on his own. The turning point was a block of sessions in Honolulu where his producer Denaun Porter persuaded him to start dropping the creepy accent he was using and imagine he was a young MC at an open mic, leading to him producing much more playful, technical material that he felt was much better than what he'd been doing before. Around this time, his writing finally exhausted the Serial Killer incarnation of Shady he'd used on Relapse, with the character developing into a more 'mundane' Lower-Class Lout persona with subject matter about drinking, dancing, brawling, driving and bullying his girlfriends. Dr. Dre then withdrew from the project to focus on his doomed album Detox, causing Eminem to find other producers, largely from the pop-rap world; this had the effect of getting him back in touch with the outside world, and he began wanting to make more confessional, meaningful material that fit his happier state of mind instead of relying on shock-comedy. The highlights of Relapse 2 that still used Dre production, Slasher Movie-Horrorcore subject matter and accents ended up on a Relapse Updated Re-release called Relapse: Refill, with Eminem admitting that, although they no longer fit the new project, he was still proud of the songs and wanted them to be heard; the ones that fit the new direction were bundled up with some new songs and ended up on a new album called Recovery.

  • A lot of pinball fans, especially the Bally-Williams fans, blame Stern for causing pinball to go through an Audience-Alienating Era through the 00s and dragging it from an American icon into Mainstream Obscurity. While Stern is not entirely blameless (there is no one to blame but themselves for shoddy manufacturing and often rushed production), the stagnancy that occurred during this decade was largely the fallout of a patent war during the previous decade between Bally-Williams, Gottlieb, Data East, and SEGA, who collectively patented everything they could get away with to stymie their competitors, then left the pinball business still holding onto those patents. The result was that Stern, the only pinball company to survive the decade, was left with next to nothing they could use that wasn't some universal un-patentable thing, like flippers. These patents finally started expiring around 2009, which also happens to be the year that Stern started Growing the Beard with their machines becoming less bland and more varied. The upturn in quality is also sometimes attributed to Jersey Jack Pinball popping up as competition, meaning Stern no longer had a monopoly, but that didn't happen until 2011.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In general, because of the kayfabe-heavy nature of the proceedings, Professional Wrestling does it best to obfuscate who exactly is to blame for what on and offscreen. It's not entirely the fans' fault if they criticize the on-screen culprit of a Worked Shoot in a Real Life Writes the Plot situation, when the actual people behind the scenes have done their damndest to confuse the issue.
  • When Vincent J. McMahon's proposed deal about bringing the WWF back into the National Wrestling Alliance failed, people were quick to lay the blame on the feet of perennial NWA World Heavyweight Champion Lou Thesz and spread rumors about exactly how he killed the deal. After kayfabe was effectively dead and he had retired, Bruno Sammartino came to Thesz's defense, revealing that the deal required Sammartino to become World Heavyweight Champion and saying he didn't want the belt unless he'd be given Sundays off so he could see his family.
  • People tend to blame Vince McMahon (Jr) for everything bad in the WWE; while it is true that he has final say on what goes on TV a lot of the more controversial angles where others were the idea of other people working for the company (for example, the infamous Katie Vick angle was the brainchild of executive producer Kevin Dunn, though Vince has defended it pretty strongly and gladly taken "responsibility" for it in interviews, confusing the issue).
    • This is especially true for 93-94 at which time Vince had actually taken a leave of absence for legal reasons and the company was being run by Pat Patterson.
    • As CM Punk made sure to mention, some of it belongs on "his idiotic daughter and his doofus son-in-law and the rest of his stupid family. "note 
    • Many critics also don't consider just how much responsibility the TV networks and sponsers have, since Vince pretty much has to answer to them. This is particularly true for everyone who complains about WWE's more sanitized, PG-rated, predictable programming nowadays; given that a lot of the more controversial stuff that DID get on the air in the late 90s was always getting Vince in hot water with studio heads (USA president Kay Koplovitz threatened to kick Raw off the air on a standards & practices violation after the infamous "Pillman's Got a Gun" episode), it's not unreasonable to suggest any choices to not take chances today is to appease those who ultimately decide if WWE is allowed to be on the air at all.
  • Hulk Hogan tends to be blamed for holding people back and not jobbing cleanly, and indeed he has used his pull and fame more than a few times for personal gain or vendettas (like getting WCW to fire color commentator Jesse Ventura). However, he was never a booker and even though he had creative control, he did not decide on the angles that didn't concern him. Management is to blame for most of the mishandling of people like Billy Kidman and Lex Luger. One particularly egregious example of him being misblamed is for the botched ending of his match against Sting at Starrcade 1997. Several people to this day claim that Hogan bribed Nick Patrick to intentionally count at regular speed, to make Sting look bad when he kicked out when he was supposed to (after "three"). There is no real evidence that Patrick didn't just make a mistake, other than general rumors of Hogan's backstage behaviors.
    • Eric Bischoff has said in multiple places (like Ric Flair's podcast and Conrad Thompson's 83 Weeks podcast) that he booked the controversial Starrcade 1997 finish. Bischoff is adamant that Hogan lobbied for the original finish to put Sting over clean because of the year-plus that had been put into the build. But when Sting showed up on the day of the event, he was pale, out of shape and unenthusiastic (Sting was struggling with substance abuse and marital problems unbeknownst to Bischoff at that time and had not wrestled an actual match in over a year), which caused Hogan and Bischoff to doubt Sting's work efhic. Bischoff shortened the match and changed the finish a few hours before showtime. As for the pacing of the count, Nick Patrick said in several interviews (including 83 Weeks) that he was initially told by both Bischoff and Hogan to do a regular count, but Sting later told him to do the fast count. Unsure of what to do, Patrick panicked and did a regular count.
  • The Montreal Screwjob was such a chaotic situation, and kayfabe and worked shoots have further muddied the issue until a lot of people are badly misinformed about what actually happened. That being said. Triple H was not a major contributor to the Montreal Screwjob, although as Shawn Michaels' buddy he was in on it. He claims to have been the one to give Vince the idea of doing something drastic about Hart and the title; and in a 2012 DVD release, Michaels all but admits HHH planted the seed in his head. WWE has always denied that booker Pat Patterson had any involvement; although he was the one who came up with the sharpshooter spot. Conversely, Earl Hebner, who was in on the entire thing from close to the beginning, is frequently described as having been unaware of anything until minutes before the match and having been bullied into going along with it against his wishes. Many people use Michaels' autobiography as a source about the Screwjob, but as someone said, the most controversial thing about the autobiography is "whether it belongs in the fiction section".
    • In 2020 Jim Cornette claimed he was the one that planted the seed, as it was going down to the wire he angrily (but sarcastically) just yelled out "Why don't we just double-cross him?", though he didn't know they were actually going to do it and wasn't involved with the planning of it. Bret upon hearing of this was obviously not happy, to which Cornette basically responded with "Well, then you shouldn't have put yourself in that position to begin with."
  • Bret Hart gets quite a bit of the misblame as well. Contrary to popular belief, he was booked for another month of TV and house shows following Montreal, as well as having permission from WCW head Eric Bischoff to work the next pay-per-view in order to drop the title and finish up business in the WWF. His refusal to drop the title to Michaels was only after Shawn made it clear he wasn't losing to Bret under any circumstances. Stories of him taking the WWF title belt to WCW are equally ludicrous; the two previous incidents of this happening (one with Ric Flair, and one with Madusa) both ended up in nasty lawsuitsnote , and hindsight shows WCW had no plans for the unbeaten WWF champion when he did in fact arrive.
  • Hulk Hogan's can also apply Triple H starting from 2002 onwards, especially due to his longtime relationship with Stephanie McMahon, holding back smark favorites like Evan Bourne, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Of course, this often avoids factors like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's retirement from wrestling and The Rock becoming an actor depleting WWE's main event talent until guys like John Cena and Batista were ready. Or that Vince McMahon has always favored not only the larger wrestlers but the ones who can exude the most over-the-top personality even before Triple H was in WWE.
  • If Ring of Hell is to be believed, Triple H was responsible for Stone Cold Steve Austin's 2001 heel turn after WrestleMania X-Seven. According to Austin's autobiography, The Stone Cold Truth, Austin wanted to turn heel to refresh his character.
  • For the longest time, Triple H was pretty much the lightning rod for the fans' wrath, regardless of whether or not he had anything to do with it. Considering he's married to the then-head of the WWE's creative department (and, if you believe some of the nastier rumors, closer to Vince than his own son Shane), he's always accused to steering the company to always benefit himself. Have a favorite wrestler who isn't being pushed? Triple H is holding them back because he's "threatened." Crappy storyline? Triple H is burying someone he doesn't like. The blame has indeed continued on now that he has become WWE's head of talent - which would make sense given that he is officially the one running WWE's shows now, except that word around the company is that Vince still micromanages and meddles in the shows' affairs. It supposedly got to the point that even Triple H was getting frustrated with Vince's meddling - ironic given his reputation for having been a Professional Butt-Kisser for much of his career.
    • This became subverted with the emergence of NXT, which Trips was allowed to run unfettered. The NXT product and shows under Trips were generally well-liked, with good, solidly booked storylines based around solid, fresh talent. This actually led to fans calling for Vince to retire and turn the main roster over to Triple H to see if he can do the same thing with it...
    • ...until Trip was removed from his NXT role in 2021, with Vince effectively taking over the booking. But then in 2022, Vince was pushed into retirement due to allegations of sexual misconduct with female office staffers, and Trip ended up taking over WWE creative.
  • A lot of ECW fans blame TNN for what they saw as lower quality shows when it was on that network. Everything on TV was done by Paul Heyman, and though he faced some initial level executive meddling, generally TNN took a "hands-off" approach to the promotion (extending to the promotion and provided budget, the real reason the show got Screwed by the Network)note . This confusion is not helped by the inclusion of a kayfabe network representative heel whose character attempted to tone down the hardcore style ECW was known for.
  • For a long time, David Arquette received a large amount of undeserved flak for his winning of the WCW Championship by people thinking that he was the driving force behind the angle. A) He wasn't, B) as a wrestling fan, he knew it was a terrible idea and would've refused to do it had he not been contractually obligated, and C) he donated all of the money he made on the shows to paralyzed wrestler Darren Drozdov and the families of the late Brian Pillman and Owen Hart.
  • Vince Russo's booking in general. Even during his disastrous stint as the booker of WCW, a key thing to keep in mind is that, despite the booking meetings being attended by plenty of wrestling veterans and staff, no one hammered into him just how dumb some of his ideas were.
  • One thing Russo is blamed for that he shouldn't is the "Mae Young gives birth to a hand" skit, which took place in early 2000, months after he left the WWF. He often also gets blamed for unmasking Rey Mysterio Jr. in WCW, which happened months before he left the WWF.
  • Kevin Nash claims he didn't book the Starrcade 1998 finish of Scott Hall tasering Goldberg, nor the Fingerpoke Of Doom eight days laternote . Nash became a WCW booker around this time but he claims he knows this for a fact because he still has his pay stubs from WCW and he got paid more once he started booking. He's offered to show them to prove his point.
  • Keiji Mutoh is sometimes unfairly blamed for All Japan Pro Wrestling's downturn in the 2000s, with his resignation in 2011 in being used as the "proof". This is largely because quite a few fans who watched and loved the ever escalating efforts of Genichiro Tenryu, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi and Akira Taue in the 1990s hated Mutoh's "Puroresu Love" period that followed. Thing is, All Japan's decline can be linked back to the exodus of talent from the company thanks to a dispute with Giant Baba's widow Makoto to Misawa's Pro Wrestling NOAH, a promotion many of Mutoh's detractors followed almost exclusively until its own decline. The resignation had more to do with TARU assaulting Super Hate, leading to the latter having a stroke, than failure to turn the company around, which he actually succeeded in. While All Japan was behind the others, the "Puroresu Love" shows at least drew close to 10,000 and often well beyond it once they were established and also out drew some AJPW classics such as the tag league.
  • According to TNA owner Dixie Carter, the fans' chants of "Fire Russo!" were misblame, as Vince Russo only had a small part in writing their shows. Disregarding the fact that the shows still had Russo's signature style all over them, this hardly made for a better situation, as it implied that the entire booking team had their collective heads up their asses, rather than just one member. (Hilariously muddying the waters: after Russo was fired 2012 at the behest of Spike TV, he was secretly rehired as a consultant a year later. Dixie would keep up the facade of Russo not being involved until Spike removed TNA from its schedule.) It's also easier to chant "Fire Russo!" than it is to chant "Fire Russo or whoever is responsible for this awful match!"
  • John Cena gets constant flak for being a boring Invincible Hero and his Five Moves of Doom (amongst other things), yet as a performer, he really doesn't get the final say in the matter. Executive meddling is responsible for telling him what moves to do and how he should wrestle his matches. In fact, Cena said in an interview in the summer of '06 that he wanted to drop out of the Main Event scene after he jobbed to Edge at New Year's Revolution and turn heel to refresh his character. The writers collectively slapped him down and continued to write all of his lines at shows like they had since '03 when he turned face. Cena's Hate Dumb also tends to hold him exclusively responsible for the companies PG Era. The PG-Era writing was a result of the company wanting to clean up their image after Chris Benoit's double murder-suicide and to help with Linda McMahon's attempt at having a political career.
  • WWE caught a lot of flak for releasing Marty Jannetty just days after signing him in 2006. Jannetty had to go onto his blog and insist WWE was not at fault and had no choice but to let him go after both sides discovered his probation prevented him from meeting their travel demands.
  • The fall of extremely popular Diva Mickie James in WWE is this. The "Piggie James" feud with Michelle McCool was followed by James dropping the Women's Title two weeks after winning it at Royal Rumble and her subsequent release led to fans immediately accusing WWE of burying a talented wrestler they thought was too fat in favor of a rail-thin blonde who was dating The Undertaker. In a 2010 interview after her release, James revealed that she didn't have a problem with the angle itself and she was released for causing issues on a tour.
  • Jim Cornette was amusingly blamed for The Colony, Super Smash Bros and Los Ice Creams not getting more Ring of Honor bookings, as well as not getting stronger Ring Of Honor bookings, based on his known hatred of "cartoon wrestling" and statement he'd rather have RoHbot scrappies the Hardy Boys. This is despite the fact he said that the Chikara wrestlers were respectful and fine to work with. Their lack of booking had to do with not being contracted to ROH, which he and Delirious could make suggestions about but weren't in charge of. He also gets blamed for The Young Bucks being absent because he alleged they didn't bring in anyone new, even though he did want The Young Bucks back simply to appease the people who were already there and blaming him for things but couldn't convince Sinclair to pay for them since tag teams "just as good" were available and didn't need to be flown in. In short, his tendency to shoot off his mouth rather than keep his opinions to himself lead to it, with him running off Colt Cabana being precedent for a whole flood. And even then, Cabana initially refused to return to ROH even after Cornette left and went back to OVW, saying he didn't like the new corporate owners either, and addressed the fact they mistakenly thought they could get him back after "the guy with the racket left" instead saying he returned for Carry Silkin.

    Puppet Shows 
  • HBO has received flack for making changes to Sesame Street, such as firing older cast members and reducing the overall number of characters. However, the network is merely acting as a second home and financial backer for the series, and has no creative input.
  • Even the slightest "mature" content in The Muppets productions over the years has led people to say "Jim Henson must be rolling in his grave." Of particular note, The Muppets (2015) series for ABC received flack for not being kid-friendly like the original The Muppet Show. However, Jim Henson never considered himself a children's entertainer, and always intended to aim the Muppets at general audiences. Adult humor had always existed in the Muppet world. Heck, one of the pilots for the original Muppet Show was titled "Sex and Violence." The fact that the Muppet Show characters are cousins to those on Sesame Street only adds to the confusion for some.

  • The description for Type 5 of misblamed is also known as "Quarterback Syndrome", because a lot of mistakes (such as a bad play, a poorly executed play, etc) are automatically blamed on the quarterback of American football teams. When really, sometimes it isn't their fault at all.
    • And if it's not the quarterback, it's usually the head coach. Which is slightly more accurate, usually, but none but the most egotistical of them are in charge of choosing their teams (except in college football, of course).
    • A good example is when Tennessee Titans back-up quarterback Kerry Collins was hugely blamed for the team's abysmal blunder against the New England Patriots in 2009 (the one with the 59-0 score), though mostly from people who only watched snippets from ESPN, and only spotted his -7 passing yards. For those who actually watched the entire game, it told a different story. Although it's true that Collins didn't play his best, he certainly fared much better than the receivers he threw the ball to. His best passes often resulted in a no gain, yard loss or a drop, or only inched forward with maybe a yard or two gain. Worst of all, Collins tossed the ball to one receiver, who idiotically backpedaled twenty two yards to avoid getting tackled, but failed anyway and resulted in a huge loss of yards. Unfortunately, the ESPN replay didn't note this, so everyone thought Collins caused the suckage when it was multiple factors that caused the horrific loss (like god awful defense and special teams, being a couple others).
    • Relatedly, it's also fairly common, as you'll see below, that a team's loss will be blamed on a single play, even if there were a dozen or so other bad plays that happened within the same game that contributed to the loss.
      • One of the bigger cases in point: The 2001 Texas-Oklahoma game, where Texas' loss is put all on Chris Simms throwing a late 4th-quarter interception that Teddy Lehman ran into the end zone for a game-sealing touchdown. What no one remembers: If Nathan Vasher hadn't tried to field a punt on the previous play, the ball would have bounced into the end zone and Texas would have gotten the ball at the 20-yard-line. Instead, Vasher had to fall on the ball and Texas started inside the 5; this allowed OU to blitz, and Simms had no choice but to throw something fast or else get sacked in his own end zone for a safety (2 points for OU and Texas loses the ball) that would have sealed the game anyway.
  • Of course, it also works the other way. Tim Tebow became the biggest example of Quarterback Syndrome in reverse, getting every single bit of credit for the Denver Broncos 2011 turnaround. When the Broncos defense intercepts the opposing quarterback's pass in his own territory near the end of the game, leading to the Broncos kicker getting an easy game-winning field goal, and everyone says "Tebow does it again!" it's gotten pretty ridiculous.
  • Fran Tarkenton, a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings from the '70s, is often known as the "quarterback who lost four Super Bowls". Actually, the Vikings first Super Bowl loss was with Joe Kapp at the helm. Similarly, John Elway was known as being a quarterback who lost four Super Bowls, when the Broncos first loss was with Craig Morton at the helm.
  • After the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in the 2012-13 NFL season, quarterback Joe Flacco was signed to the most lucrative contract in football history. He proceeded to have a miserable 2013 season (his quarterback rating in the final game of the season against their division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, was in the 40s), and some Ravens fans were calling for the team to cut him. Of course, Flacco's best receiver was traded away in the offseason as were three of his offensive lineman, and his formerly dependable running back Ray Rice averaged just 2 yards a carry for the season.
    • It was because of that contract that the Ravens had to get rid of those other players in order to stay under the salary cap. Of course, that should still place blame mostly on management for offering the contract and not taking into account who they would have to get rid of in exchange and how it would affect the team.
  • The infamous Mark Sanchez "butt fumble", in which he ran into one of his offensive lineman's rear ends and fumbled the football, happened after fullback Lex Hilliard missed a handoff, and the butt he ran into was Brandon Moore, who was being driven back by defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.
  • The ESPN Classic series "Top Five Reasons You Can't Blame" was devoted to this, listing some of the most infamous moments in sports and giving reasons why the blame shouldn't solely go to the one person (or group) that took all the heat. Some of the incidents that were covered included:
    • Don Denkinger's blown call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. The former Major League umpire is blamed for the St. Louis Cardinals losing the 1985 World Series due to his blown call at first base in the ninth inning of that game. This ignores that 1) the Cardinals had a 3-1 series lead over the Kansas City Royals and scored only two runs in the last three games, 2) They made three defensive mistakes after the call that all contributed to the loss, and 3) They were more focused on blaming Denkinger than trying to win Game 7, which the Royals won 11-0.
    • The 1986 World Series would produce its own epic case of misblame, one which has become entrenched in baseball lore. In Game 6 of the series, the New York Mets would come back in extra innings, scoring the winning run of that game when first baseman Bill Buckner made an error and failed to field a ground ball hit between his legs. The Mets promptly won Game 7 and became champions, prolonging the legendary agony of the Boston Red Sox. Easy case for blaming Buckner, right? Not so much. Those who do conveniently ignore the fact that Boston's bullpen had already blown two leads before the error occurred, with Boston having lost a 3-2 lead in regular innings and a 5-3 lead in the 10th before Buckner's error. The situation in the 10th is particularly notable, since it happened despite the fact that when the Mets rally started they had 2 outs and no baserunners, and just about everyone except the Mets players themselves had conceded defeat. (The TV crew had already announced one Red Sox player as the player of the game and named another Sox player the World Series MVP, the message board in Shea Stadium briefly displayed a message congratulating the Red Sox on their victory, etc.) Boston relievers then gave up three hits in a row and pitcher Bob Stanley allowed the Mets to tie the game by throwing a wild pitch nowhere near target that let the tying run score and the winning run to move to second base. On top of that, Buckner (who was nearing the end of his long career) had leg injuries, particularly in his ankle, that should have kept him out of game, but Boston manager John McNamara insisted on Buckner playing so he could take part in the victory. With regards to the play itself, Buckner had to play the ball well behind first base, and it is doubtful that he would have beaten the speedy baserunner Mookie Wilson (who held the Mets team record for stolen bases until 2008) to the bag even if he had fielded the ball cleanly. (Buckner had about 1.6 seconds from when the ball reached him to when Mookie Wilson touched first base, not exactly a lot of time to make the play.) Lastly, if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly and gotten the out, it would have preserved the tie and sent the game into a new inning, it would not have given Boston the win, something which quite a few people overlook. And on top of all that, Boston still had Game 7 to work with, where they once again jumped out to an early lead and blew it.
    • In the 2003 National League Championship Series, Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman went after a foul ball at the same time left fielder Moisés Alou was trying to catch it. Other Cubs fans heckled and threw stuff at Bartman until security had to escort him out of Wrigley Field, and given after the incident the Cubs went from a 3-0 lead to an 8-3 defeat, Bartman was tormented enough to change his phone number and have police cars outside his house, along with being labeled a physical example of the Cubs' jinx. Of course, the fact the Cubs had such a disastrous collapse, and the Florida Marlins won not only the ensuing game 7, but the World Series afterwards, shows there was more to this defeat than a single fan's interference.
    • For most people, the Buffalo Bills' loss at Super Bowl XXV is summed up with two words: "Wide Right". Here are other reasons the Bills lost to the New York Giants: the Bills were outcoached by the Giants, who, in addition to Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, had the likes of Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin (both of whom would become multiple Super Bowl winning head coaches later). The Giants logged 40:33 time of possession (a record still standing as of 2016). There was also Belichick's game plan which muzzled the Bills' "K-Gun" no-huddle offense. Scott Norwood's famous kick was a 47-yard field goal on grass, and he was not good at kicking field goals on grass (not to mention, while nowhere near impossible, a 47-yarder is no chip shot either). Unlike many such examples, Norwood has had a positive reputation within Buffalo (no one picks out a team's flaws better than its hometown fans), was cheered by diehard Buffalo fans at a parade held after the Super Bowl, and even spent the next year (where Buffalo again made it to the Super Bowl) with the team.
    • Another Bills-related example, the famous "giving him the business" penalty in a game against the New York Jets. Referee Ben Drieth erroneously called Mark Gastineau as the culprit when it was actually Marty Lyons.
    Ben Drieth: There's a personal foul, on number 99note  of the defense; after he tackled the quarterback, he's giving him the business down there. That's a 15-yard penalty.
  • College basketball fans, sportswriters and TV commentators all grossly overestimated the importance of the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) ranking in the NCAA's selection procedure for its annual men's basketball tournament. Every year there were complaints about teams with a high RPI being left out or teams with a low RPI making the field, all concluding that the RPI is deeply flawed and the NCAA should get rid of it. But the NCAA always said that the RPI was just meant as a simple table to compare teams early on in the process, and that their decisions ultimately come down to who the team in question beat and who they lost to. The NCAA finally concluded that the RPI had structural flaws and replaced it with the new NET ratings starting in the 2018-19 season, but again tried to emphasize that it was one evaluation tool of many.
  • Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez was heavily criticised for paying about 100 million euros to Manchester United for the transfer of a single player, Cristiano Ronaldo, especially because it happened in the middle of the post 2008 worldwide economic crisis. However, the transfer was signed a year before by his predecessor Ramón Calderón, who was betting on Ronaldo's arrival saving his scandal-ridden presidency. He didn't resist the whole year and resigned before it passed. After his election, Pérez found that Calderón's agreement forced the club to either pay the 100 million for Ronaldo or a 30 million penalty for breach of contract and get nothing in return.
  • Watching ESPN's documentary, Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? the answer to the titular question would seem to be "Donald Trump". While Trump, as owner of the New Jersey Generals, started a bidding war with the NFL over college players (one that most USFL owners didn't have the resources to compete in), the real downfall of the league — the disastrous decision to move from spring to fall and compete directly with the NFL — couldn't have been done without a consensus of owners going along with Trump. Much like the Vince Russo entries above, it's unfair to say he single-handedly destroyed the league. Though Trump doesn't help his own cause by defending everything he did as "the right thing to do" and accepting none of the blame for the USFL's swift and epic collapse.
  • Losing The World Cup can lead to the fifth case. In Brazil, there are four known scapegoats:
    • Barbosa, the goalkeeper in 1950 — where they lost the finals to Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro. He's famously quoted as: "The biggest penalty for a crime is 30 years. I'm currently paying 43 for a crime I didn't commit!"
    • Toninho Cerezo, whose defensive mistake led to Italy's second goal in their 3-2 victory in 1982 (a simple draw would have put Brazil into the semi-finals, but the second goal turned the tide toward Italy).
    • Zico, who missed a penalty against France in the quarter-finals in 1986. The game ended up 1-1, with an eventual French victory in the penalty shootout.
    • In 2006, while Zinedine Zidane was taking a free kick, Roberto Carlos was adjusting his sock. Thierry Henry passed behind him and scored France's victory goal.
  • Goalkeeper Tommy Salo was blamed for Sweden's 4-3 loss in the quarterfinals against Belarus in the 2002 Olympic hockey tournament. While he can be blamed for the endlessly replayed final goal, the coach pointed out that it wasn't Salo's fault that a Swedish team full of NHL pros only scored three goals (out of 47 shots) on a minor team like Belarus.
  • The Hillsborough Stadium disaster of 1989, when several dozen Liverpool soccer fans were crushed to death in the standing pens at an FA Cup game (for those who are confused, in those days most soccer stadiums had lower levels with no seats that were enclosed by cage pens). Immediately after the disaster, The Sun published a front page story stating the fans themselves were to blame, intentionally overcrowding the pens and then attacking policemen after the cages broke and they spilled onto the field. It turned out that there was no security to inform and direct fans to the less crowded pens, the police actually prevented ambulances from entering the stadium after the fence broke, and the fans were trying to shuttle the injured out to the ambulances (which the police also prevented). Furthermore, stories about fans attacking police officers attempting to tend to the injured were outright fabrications. The Sun is still boycotted in Liverpool to this day.
  • The baseball version of "Quarterback Syndrome" could be called "A-Rod Syndrome", named for Alex Rodriguez. While Rodriguez is one of the best players in history, he has- with the exception of one year- never done well in the playoffs. As a result, when the New York Yankees are eliminated from the playoffs most of the blame and focus usually falls on Alex Rodriguez. This usually ignores the fact that he is rarely if ever the cause of the failure, but rather part of a wider problem. In 2012, for example, Alex Rodriguez was being benched in the postseason and being blamed for the failure of the Yankees, despite the fact that other players like Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson weren't hitting well either and that Derek Jeter, the Yankees' most famous postseason hero, had gotten hurt early in the ALCS series.
    • Similarly, a lower-level focus came on Prince Fielder in that season's World Series, despite the fact that almost the entire Detroit Tigers team was generally anemic at the plate during that series.
  • New York Giants fans still shudder at the mention of Trey Junkin, who botched a snap for what could have been a game-winning field goal in the 2002 playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers. Many fans inexplicably ignore the fact that Junkin had literally been hired the week beforehand, after going into retirement at the end of a very successful career, and was very rusty as a result. They also tend to gloss over the fact that the Giants blew a massive 38-14 lead in only a quarter-and-a-half of football, resulting in the second biggest blown lead in NFL history. Then there's the fact that the referees missed a penalty on the final play that should have allowed a re-kick of the field goal and redemption for Junkin (the penalty they did call was on the Giants for having an illegal man downfield, which they did but it wasn't Rich Seubert, who had reported as eligible in case Junkin botched the snap; the actual man illegally downfield for the Giants was Tam Hopkins). The game apparently haunts Junkin to this day, resulting in the guy misblaming himself for a situation he never should have been in.
    • It wouldn't be the only time a member of the Giants special teams received blame: Late in the 2010 season, the Giants were playing the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. The game was tied at 31 with 14 seconds to play. Giants punter Matt Dodge punts the ball away and it gets caught by Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson...who proceeded to return it for 65 yards into the endzone as time expired, winning the game for Philadelphia, 38-31. Then-Giants head coach Tom Coughlin blamed Dodge for kicking it to Jackson, when the blame should have went to the Giants defense for blowing an earlier 31-10 lead.
  • While Americans have not taken Association Football as a spectator sport well, they are often blamed for creating the word soccer, an alternative word for the sport which is a colloquial abbreviation of association (from assoc.). However, the word was actually coined by Charles Wreford Brown, an Oxford student (in England) said to have been fond of shortened forms such as "brekkers" for breakfast and "rugger" for rugby football, and back in the day, it was used by rich folk to distinguish Association Football from Rugby. When the sport arrived in the U.S. in the late 19th century, it was called Association Football (and was surprisingly quite a popular sport at the time) until after World War II, mainly due to the popularity of American Football, and the word soccer was adopted to differentiate with the two footballs. However since then, soccer in the US would fall into obscurity for a brief period of time, due in thanks to "soccer war" between the country's major league organization and FIFA. This sport's naming has also reigned true in some other countries like Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand; who have adopted or invented another football code, either as their "main" football or alongside Association Football. However, the British have since grown to hate this word, and have been hell-bent on lambasting the U.S. for it, never minding that the word came from the same place the modern rules of the game were made, the latter fact the British embrace and the former fact the British will often deny.
  • The NCAA "death penalty" in 1987 is often thought to have killed the Southern Methodist University football team, and is often regarded as an argument against strong NCAA sanctions against any particular team. In reality, when the full extent of the pay-to-play scandal was brought to light, the university itself (and the church bishops overseeing it) decided to de-emphasize its football program (threatening to drop football entirely if need be), imposing extremely tight recruiting restrictions, significantly increasing academic standards for all athletes (not just football players), making the team play in the tiny, on-campus Ownby Stadium (which the Mustangs hadn't played in since 1947) instead of Texas Stadium or the Cotton Bowl,note  and severing ties with almost all players and boosters associated with the program in the 1980s, greatly alienating the program's supporters.
    • Furthermore, many want to directly blame the fallout of the SMU death penalty for causing the breakup of the Southwest Conference. However, the 1984 Supreme Court ruling NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma probably played as much if not more of a factor, as it opened the floodgates for college conferences to negotiate their own TV contracts and subsequently start poaching off schools to make themselves look more attractive to networks (which college sports is still dealing with to this day). It's largely suspected that the SWC's biggest schools at Texas, Texas A&M and Arkansas were already considering going elsewhere even before the penalties were handed down on SMU.
  • Baseball player Fred Merkle spent almost his entire professional career being blamed for costing the New York Giants the 1908 National League pennant because he failed to touch second base after a game-winning hit. What most of the fans who blamed him conveniently forgot was at the time the rule requiring runners to touch the next base after a hit was rarely enforced on "walk-off" hits and customarily ignored by veteran players. It was Merkle's misfortune that Cubs player Johnny Evers was a stickler for the rulebook, and that umpire Hank O'Day was willing to enforce it.
    • Furthermore, many of those who choose to blame Merkle don't know the specific reason Merkle didn't bother touching second base and why he and the Giants didn't expect the rule to be enforced: The fans were pouring out onto the field, and the Giants players were all running for the clubhouse for their own safety. It was because of the fans being on the field that they couldn't continue the game even though nullifying the winning hit/run simply kept the game tied and thus forced it to be replayed at season's end.
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is often blamed for the annual rule changes, especially the ones that protect the offensive players. It's the NFL's Competition Committee that determines the rule changes. Though Goodell has been a vocal proponent of many of the changes.
  • When a college sports team, such as the Oregon Ducks football team, introduces new hi-tech, expensive equipment, uniforms, facilities, etc., people will criticize the university for spending so much money on their athletics rather than academics. The truth is most of the money that funds the teams comes from boosters, most notably Oregon alum and Nike founder Phil Knight, with the express purpose of it being used that way. In fact, many teams rely solely on booster money and use very little of a university's allotted athletics budget. (Especially Oregon; by some reports, Knight has spent over $1 billion on Oregon's athletic facilities, not just in football. He's donated even more to Oregon's academic side.)
  • NFL legend Jerry Rice took a lot of heat when, during his brief, late-career stint with the Seattle Seahawks, he wore jersey #80 (which he had his entire career). Problem was that #80 had already been retired for Steve Largent (the player Rice surpassed for most of his receiving records). Most assumed Rice big-leagued the Seahawks and asked for #80 and the Seahawks capitulated, rather than make a fuss. According to Largent himself, the Seattle general manager at the time called Largent and told him that Rice wanted #80 and asked if it would be okay if they un-retired it. After Largent said yes, the GM called Rice and told him Largent wanted him to wear #80.
  • The England football team have a well-known habit of crashing out of major tournaments on penalties. Despite it being rare that England miss only one penalty (Gareth Southgate in Euro 96 being a notable exception), the press and public always tend to blame whoever missed the final penalty. In particular, Chris Waddle and David Batty got most of the country's ire after the 1990 and 1998 World Cups respectively, despite Stuart Pearce and Paul Ince also having missed penalties. Oddly enough, this was inverted after Euro 2004, where few put the blame on Darius Vassell (whose penalty miss was actually the one that caused England to be eliminated), and David Beckham instead took the heat for an admittedly spectacularly awful first penalty.
  • One of the biggest controversies of the 2013-14 NHL realignment was that the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings were placed in separate conferences (the West and East, respectively), thus breaking up one of the league's biggest rivalries. Fans naturally blamed NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for it since he has a history of disregarding league traditions. However, it was actually the Red Wings who requested they be placed in the Eastern Conference because they were sick of being forced to play a quarter of their games three time zones away, making their players fatigued and screwing up TV broadcast times.
    • "Bettman Stripes", the vertical piping featured on some of the Reebok Edge uniforms introduced in 2007, along with the Edge redesigns of certain uniforms in particular. Ultimately, this comes down to the individual teams allowing the manufacturer to make these changes, particularly since several teams did, in fact, stand pat and keep their existing designs, while a couple more teams actually adopted more traditional-looking designs than they had been wearing before Edge.
  • Fans of the Chicago Bears still hold blame on kicker Cody Parkey for missing a field goal that would have won a 2018 NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Parkey's kick had hit the left end of the goal post and then bounced off the crossbar, and the play ended up earning the nickname "The Double Doink". What is often overlooked, however, is that the ball had briefly grazed the fingers of Eagles defensive lineman Trayvon Hester, and it was later ruled a blocked kick. Nevertheless, Parkey was treated as Public Enemy #1 in Chicago until the Bears released him in the offseason.
  • The baseball writer Bill James once observed that bad teams blame their problems on their best players. They tend to get it into their heads that their star player should be dragging them to the playoffs, when instead it's the organization's fault for not surrounding the guy with better players. This often creates a cycle where the organization resents the player, the player grows to resent the organization and then the organization is forced to trade their best player, often for a pitifully small return.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The "Roving Mauler" Dungeons & Dragons monster gets a lot of "what drug were they on" reactions from its appearance. Said appearance is lifted from the demon Buer, who goes all the way back to the 16th century. Really, this just raises the question of what drug were they on in the 16th century?
    • One of the more common beliefs about 3.5 is that the game's notoriously poor balance towards casters was caused by Power Creep from the release of too many handbooks, and people should stick to core books only. In reality, the wide opinion of optimizers is that the least balanced way to play 3.5 is to use only the core books. Nearly all the most broken caster tricks in the game, from polymorphing to scry-and-die to the Candle of Invocation to Natural Spell, are found in the core books - meanwhile, most of the popular non-caster tactics, like Leap Attack or martial adepts, were only introduced in splatbooks. In an all-splat game, the caster's power doesn't really change because they're already broken, while the low-tier classes can actually do stuff.
  • Head designer Mark Rosewater is often blamed for many things the players hate about Magic: The Gathering, even things that he had nothing to do with. And indeed, even things that have absolutely nothing to do with his department — as the face and voice of the company, he's just the one chosen to announce such things, leading many players to blame him for the decisions he likely had no say in whatsoever... Then again, many other things are entirely his fault.
  • Matt Ward is often blamed for just about everything people don't like from 5th Edition and on in Warhammer 40,000, most of which were not his fault, or were done on orders from Games Workshop. His rewriting the Necrons backstory was an editorial demand that came down from higher-ups. A controversial story in which Grey Knights murdered an entire convent of Sisters of Battle is actually not that out of character for the Inquisition, with whom the Grey Knights are in lockstep. The change in the meta from largely assault-based to largely shooting-based armies between 5th and 6th Editions was also a change mandated by GW brass to try and sell more models and is not specific to anything Ward did unilaterally. His codices are scrutinized for being overpowered when first released, however Power Creep has long been part of the game. The new codices are supposed to be more powerful to try and drum up interest and sell more models. (Case in point, the extremely powerful 6th Edition Tau Empire codex wasn't even written by him.) The lack of quality control and playtesting of codices is also the result of a direction change at Games Workshop to generate content in a rapid manner.
    • The one thing Ward is guilty of is being a shameless Ultramarines fanboy and interjecting this viewpoint into his fluff at the expense of the pride, history and identity of some other much-beloved Space Marines chapters.

  • For a while in the 90s, it was widely claimed that the thing that killed the original Transformers was the 1990 line—more specifically, the Action Masters, which infamously eschewed transforming figures altogether (they had transforming accessories and vehicles, but the figures were just typical action figures). However, the line had been in a rapidly-increasing decline for a while; the cartoon had long gone off the air, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was now at the height of its popularity and Micro Machines was no small threat, and the franchise as a whole was nearing seven years of age with no significant rebranding. The Action Masters were just an attempt to reverse the decline—sure, it didn't work, but very little would have worked at that point.
  • Greg Farshtey gets a lot of backlash for BIONICLE's story, mostly because he was the most prominent name attached to the brand and the only one during its original run to be active in fan communities. Whether it's the series' tonal shift from mystical fantasy to darker, comicbook-esque science-fantasy, the removal of romance, inconsistent and flat characterizations or plot holes in general, fans were always quick to target Greg, ignoring that he wasn't part of the original concept creators and many decisions came from LEGO's management. This got to a point where some fans would start spreading falsehoods about Greg's involvement, like that he was the "head writer" of the dubiously received 2005-2010 sagas — he wasn't. The Genre Shift likewise had nothing to do with him, it was always planned. The complaints about many of the books and all of the online serials are more justified though, as most of these were written entirely by Greg.

    Web Original 
  • Lampshaded in this cartoon.
    "Steven Spielberg is the executive producer for Jurassic Park III, but we still blame him anyways."
  • In his commentary for the TGWTG Brawl, Doug Walker wasn't exactly happy with fan dumb calling him a misogynist for showing a pillow fight between The Nostalgia Chick and Little Miss Gamer, explaining that Lindsay had been the one to come up with it, not him. note  Same went for Noah Antwiler and his commentary for the first "Spooning With Spoony".
    • Similarly, Lindsay Ellis took some flak for the jokes at the expense of Nella in her show's review of Grease. Lindsay had to clarify that Nella wrote the script herself, and that Nella and her are friends and she would never actually say anything like that.
    • A lot of people attack Allison Pregler for allegedly kicking Spoony off of That Guy with the Glasses. This is in spite of the fact that Spoony himself has said that Lupa did not get him fired and that he chose to leave himself.
    • Since he's the face of the website, Doug Walker often gets the brunt of criticism for Channel Awesome's mistreatment of its producers. Most of the executive decisions and abusive behavior came from Mike Michaud and, to a lesser extent, Rob Walker, who hold the majority stake in the website and dictate most business decisions. Some ex-producers do criticize Doug's lack of interference, however.
  • The Nostalgia Critic often ends up blaming movies for elements that originated from the works they were based on. Case in point, the purple suit worn by The Phantom, as well as his nickname "The Ghost Who Walks".
    • On that note, Rachel and Malcolm are often blamed for things people don't like about the new Nostalgia Critic episodes, even though they have far less creative control than previously and they've said they just show up and get told what to do.
  • Many YouTube comments are guilty of this, and frankly it shows how so few people actually do the research about stuff. Humorous examples include:
    • Saying the Japanese ruined Pokémon when the franchise was created by a Japanese company.
      • Blaming and crediting Nintendo for Pokémon games, when Nintendo is only the publisher.
      • Also when the reboot happened, many blamed Game Freak which for once, had nothing to do with it.
      • Saying Ken Sugimori is running out of ideas and pointing towards Vanilluxe. Vanilluxe was designed by James Turner, an Englishman.
    • Saying Nintendo ran out of ideas and reused music for Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. In no way is Nintendo involved in the Kingdom Hearts franchise outside of advertising it in Nintendo Power. Nintendo is not even the publisher.
    • Saying Disney should have finished The Thief and the Cobbler. Disney had nothing to do with that movie, it was made to be an anti-Disney, and the art style looks nothing like the art style of Disney movies.
      • Well, since Disney owned Miramax, the company responsible for Thief's Macekre, Roy Disney for a long time was talking about having the Disney animators, many of whom trained with Richard Williams and brought that influence to Aladdin, finish animating Williams' cut of the movie. But then Roy Disney left the company and then died, and Miramax closed and their library appears to have been sold to various other companies, so good luck with that.
    • Pointing fingers at Nickelodeon for stuff done in the Doug series after it was bought out by Disney.
      • Blaming Disney for changes to Doug, when most of the original crew was still retained.
    • Bashing Warner Bros. (or Time Warner) for removing music on YouTube, when it was actually Warner Music Group, a completely separate record company. And neither Warner Bros. nor Time Warner owns WMG anymore. WMG spun off from Time Warner in 2004; since then, they've been owned by private investors, then a company called Access Industries, not Time Warner. At least the record company still keeps "Warner" in their name.
    • Anger at Disney Channel for not making a Kingdom Hearts anime already. Channels aren't responsible for making shows—it is the job of studios to do that.
  • For LittleKuriboh's Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, despite the fact 4Kids Entertainment are the main villains of the 3rd season, fans keep on saying that 4Kids are responsible for banning LittleKuriboh (aka CardGamesFTW). However, they were suspended by a Japanese company named Nippon Ad Systems—LittleKuriboh even stated himself that people should stop blaming 4Kids and 4Kids are still blamed to this day. Notably, the studio itself has been defunct for years.
    • Granted it wasn't even the company that banned him, but one of the faulty copyright bots YouTube uses to enforce copyright.
  • The more irrational fans of the Yogscast tend to accuse InTheLittleWood of "replacing" Sips for a series of Garry's Mod Murder. The reality... is that Sips simply wasn't available.
  • Sjin did not simply end his "Feed the World" series (part of the Yogscast Minecraft Series) and choose to reboot it. The "Heartbleed" patch basically corrupted the old Minecraft server that the Yogs played on, meaning that a reboot was necessary.
  • Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane tend to get a lot of flack for not finishing Shadow of Israphel. While Lewis is involved in the creative process, he didn't make the series by himself (which, considering that the whole series began due to other Yogscast members pranking him, should be telling). Add to the fact that the creative team for SOI has largely moved elsewhere and you have a pretty huge case of Artist Disillusionment. Simon has seemingly never been involved in the creative process, only turning up to play whatever storyline gets thrown his and Lewis' way.
  • Sips came under fire for a seeming shift to Garry's Mod and nothing else come late 2014, with some accusing him of either selling out or screwing them over. The reality is that many of his ongoing Let's Play videos, such as Far Cry 4, were lost due to his hard drive malfunctioning and dozens of videos subsequently going missing; this forced the rest of the Yogscast to essentially give him content to fill the gaps, leading to the increase in Gmod. Similarly, he came under fire after Turpster disappeared from videos come early 2015, with fans accusing him and Hat Films of kicking him out due to the Hate Dumb (some going from calling for him to be removed to missing him). In reality, Turps had just become a father and quite understandably won't be involved as much due to his newborn baby.
  • After a fairly ugly Twitter spat between Simon Lane and The Cynical Brit, many unsubbed not just from Simon and Lewis' joint channel, but also from other content creators such as Duncan Jones and Zoey Proasheck, even though they had literally nothing to do with the events.
  • RWBY:
    • After the season 3 finale, many fans accused Miles and Kerry of killing off Pyrrha solely as one final tragedy in a season that was already divisive due to its massive change in tone and threat level. Thankfully, this died down quickly after it was confirmed by both Monty's widow and Pyrrha's voice actress that Monty himself planned it before the series even began.
    • Miles often gets accused of writing Jaune (who he voices) as a self-insert and giving him an abundance of screen time. A Reddit AMA revealed that Monty and Kerry were behind most of Jaune's prominence and that Miles actually became averse to writing scenes with Jaune because of the accusations.
    • Eddy Rivas is often misblamed for the supposed queerbaiting that happened between Clover and Qrow, but little actual dialogue suggests a romantic bond between the two. Most of the blame for this can be laid at the social media team deliberately pushing the idea of the ship, several animators deliberately adding flirtatious content like Clover's wink when the script didn't call for it, and the voice actors of Qrow and Clover for underselling that they were meant to be more antagonistic.
  • The drag and drop animations site GoAnimate removed several text-to-speech voices (from sites such as Ivona, Oddcast and VoiceForge) in early 2016. Most of the non-ironic fanbase, who were already mad at site founder Alvin Hung for trying to turn the site into a business-only site and removing most social features, took this as a second attack against them and proceeded to blame Alvin Hung for being "greedy". Truth is, however, most of the voices had expired licenses (and on top of that, mostly outdated) and Hung decided not to renew them.
  • Many, many fans blame CBS for the culling of the Star Trek fan film community, accusing CBS of being jealous of the production of Prelude to Axanar and appointing the rules so that only they could make Star Trek productions. What many fans love to ignore is that the producers of Axanar were profiting from this and not actually being a non-profit work. CBS had to step in to protect their work and it was the Axanar creators' refusal to back down that lead to the rules being set up.
  • The fansite SM Uncensored thinks Lita being a "butchy, trash-talking whore" was a product of the infamously censored DIC dub. Quite frankly, that was pretty much the personality Makoto had in the original Japanese version of the anime. The three-dimensional anime!Makoto who's both girly and tomboyish that the fandom worships only exists in their imaginations. Makoto didn't do much in the anime and didn't have much personality to match. Most changes to her lie in the transition from manga to anime, thus Toei is more to blame than DIC or Optimum; the dubbers were simply working with what they had, though they undoubtedly made the problem worse.
  • There was an infamous IndieGogo campaign for a sitcom inspired by a Tumblr post about a pair of pansexual and asexual roommates, titled All or Nothing. The campaign raised $6,000, but the product never manifested due to some heavy Troubled Production (since the people behind the project were all teenage novices), leading to massive backlash as no refunds were ever issued. A couple of years later, an unrelated group adapted the concept into a vlog-based webseries, with the same title and basic premise. Unfortunately, many people assumed they were the ones who ran the IndieGogo campaign, leading to comments bashing the webseries for producing something cheap with $6,000 of crowdfunded money (in reality, the webseries was self-funded and never had any sort of crowdfunding, hence the small budget).
  • Played for Laughs with "Thanks Obama", where you basically would blame the man for things that were absolute non-issues, could not even reasonably be considered the man's fault, or for things that happened before he was in politics or even born. Or any combination thereof. Things like your Oreo breaking off in your glass of milk, your toast getting stuck in the toaster, not being able to find a decent place to eat tonight, or things like World War 2, or the extinction of the dinosaurs. The list goes on. It hit a point where Obama himself referenced it in a Buzzfeed video.
  • Played for Laughs when Game Grumps are playing Breakout and Dan sings the lyrics to Turtle Power, which gets Arin actually upset at the lyric "Raphael is the leader of the group" and makes him lecture Dan on the canon of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    Arin: Raphael's the leader of the group?!
    Dan: In the movies, yes.
    Arin: What?! No he's not! Leonardo's the leader!
    Dan: In the cartoon, yes.
    Arin: No! In the movie, Leonardo's still the leader! He goes on like a fucking spirit journey! It's straight out of the fucking comic!!!
    Dan: You're gonna be mad at me because—
    Arin: Well you're wrong!!!

    Western Animation 
  • Many people blame Scrappy-Doo for ruining Scooby-Doo (specifically, dumping half the original cast, switching to a Two Shorts format, and the franchise's first clumsy attempts to lose the "Scooby-Doo" Hoax) due to the timing of his introduction, despite the fact that the conventional mystery format and half the cast were dumped over a year after his debut. Ironically, despite even later showrunners and writers treating the character with disdain, Scrappy is what probably saved the show from cancellation way back in 1979. And the success of that new incarnation of Scooby Doo is likely what has kept the franchise going on to this day.
  • Fans of the original Young Justice comic book attacked the Young Justice (2010) cartoon for excluding Wonder Girl while including most of the other Justice League sidekicks. In reality, Wonder Girl was legally barred from appearing in the first season of the show due to rights issues. These same issues had earlier kept the character from appearing on Teen Titans (2003), and Wonder Woman from appearing in Static Shock, Batman Beyond and Smallville. She eventually appeared in the second season.
  • Marvel Animation fans love to blame everything wrong with any Marvel cartoon on Jeph Loeb. Notably, he was blamed for cancelling The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes to replace it with Avengers Assemble. In reality, Earth's Mightiest Heroes was not doing well with the network's target demographic and wasn't doing great in merchandise either. Disney XD commissioned Assemble in order to have a show more similar to the mega-hit live-action film that could better gear itself to younger audiences.
  • In Futurama, the episode introducing Dwight Conrad was originally scheduled for season 3, but was held back to season 5, despite the fact that the character appears in a number of episodes in between this. Many fans assumed that this was due to the Fox Network's seemingly random scheduling (which resulted in similar continuity errors regarding a few minor characters) but in fact some dialogue needed to be re-recorded and the actor playing Dwight wasn't available at the time. The decision to delay airing was made by the show's producers.
  • Nickelodeon took a lot of heat for the second half of the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender taking so long to air that two episode premiered in Canada and another two on DVD. However, this was because production on the finale had been delayed, and Nickelodeon didn't want to air less than half of a season only to have another hiatus right before the end of the series.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • There was lots of rage surrounding the new film spinoff of the TV series, mostly about how it was George Lucas's "worst movie yet!" In fact, Lucas's input was more or less limited to suggesting that the show's feature-length pilot episode be distributed theatrically instead of airing on television.
    • Many blame Disney for canceling the series after it bought the Star Wars franchise in favor of Star Wars Rebels. But the rights to The Clone Wars at the time were owned by Cartoon Network, which made for an awkward legal situation. Rebels was actually in the works before the Disney buyout, due to the ratings of The Clone Wars declining (meaning that the show was slowly becoming unprofitable) and the Lucasfilm crew still wanting to do a Star Wars animated show that branched off of The Clone Wars.
    • Due to the turbulent status of the franchise in early 2018, it became increasingly common for many to state that Disney only uncancelled The Clone Wars in order to bring an end to the controversies. However, given that most of those controversies were just a few months old, animation (especially as visually appealing as The Clone Wars) takes a long time to make, and the teaser clearly had fully animated segments, it had to have been in the works well before that.
  • Warner Bros.' Histeria! has received some undeserved bashing because the people in question think it got Animaniacs and Freakazoid! cancelled. Animaniacs and Freakazoid! (the latter of which was canned a year before Histeria! even began production) were actually cancelled because the shows were seen as underperforming with Kids' WB!'s target demographic. Series creator Tom Rugger himself placed the blame for Animaniacs' cancellation on the success of Pokémon: The Series, for convincing executives that dubbing children's anime would be more profitable than creating their own programming.
    • Freakazoid's cancellation is also sometimes blamed on Madman creator Mike Allred, on the grounds that he sued over Freakazoid's similarity to his creation. This is not true: Mike has openly stated that he was unhappy that he didn't receive a credit for his influence, but he never sued — he didn't feel it was worth it.
  • For whatever reason, when the 1999 unaired Pilot Episode of As Told by Ginger made its way online, many fans mistook it for an attempt to reboot the series. This caused people to cry racism because the "new" Miranda was shown as being a brown-haired Caucasian (as opposed to being black in the series). For the record, Miranda's race was changed for the final show to invoke Actor-Shared Background with her VA, Cree Summer.
  • A very strong example of misblamed ignorance plus the Nostalgia Filter is the 2003 series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was complained by fans of the '80s version for being an "In Name Only remake of the '80s version", with no Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, or ultra-silly themes as well as how it was less faithful to the comics. While it certainly doesn't share too much in common with the 80s cartoon, it was actually that incarnation of the franchise that was the In Name Only adaptation. The 2003 series remains one of the more faithful adaptations of the source material.
    • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comic book series doesn't help matters, since it was based off of the animated series and was probably read more by said complainers. Of course, Eastman and Laird's Mirage Studios didn't produce that book series—it was licensed out to Archie Comics.
  • People who don't realize there are two English dubs of at least the first three seasons of Winx Club like to slam 4Kids for their horrible "redub" of the series. The "redub" in question was done by a Canadian company and is actually more faithful to the original version than the 4Kids dub is.
    • On a latter note, 4Kids is sometimes blamed for plot holes they did not create. For example, Beta Academy is mentioned in the original Italian dub.
    • Now that Nickelodeon owns the show, they're getting lots of criticism for their "changes" (new music, Layla's name to Aisha, etc.). Some of these people thought 4Kids created Winx Club. The truth: Nickelodeon's undoing many of 4Kids's changes to make a more faithful English dub.
    • Nickelodeon's treatment of the show is infamous, but there's a lot of ambiguity over what was going on behind the scenes. While sending the show to Nick Jr. wasn't unusual for Nick, Rainbow has said that they wanted to retool the show for younger children (due to experimenting with adult-themed spin-offs, like World of Winx and the live-action Netflix series). Rainbow ending their deal with Nickelodeon is often seen as them realizing too late the deal was a bad idea, but Rainbow has said that they had issues affording the California voice actors.
  • Most of the hate for Cartoon Network's The Problem Solverz stemmed from the disproven idea that it was the show that replaced Sym-Bionic Titan. SBT was cancelled because it couldn't secure any merchandising deals, while Problem Solverz had already been in the works for years before said decision was made.
    • Likewise, the network's former president Christina Miller is often blamed for the channel focusing on more comedic cartoons rather than airing more action-oriented stuff. Some viewers even accused her of being a Moral Guardian who actively sabotages shows that are even slightly action-based just because they aren't what she thinks the viewing audience wants. In reality, action-based shows were already in decline on the network well before Miller took the helm, with examples including Green Lantern: The Animated Series, ThunderCats (2011), Sym-Bionic Titan and Young Justice (2010), all of which were cancelled in the years prior to Miller's arrival. While Miller has certainly continued the network's trend towards comedy, she cannot be blamed for starting it.
      • Heck, several Adventure Time and Regular Show fans blamed her for ending the shows, when in fact, the respective creators of both shows—-Pendleton Ward and J.G. Quintel—-decided to end their shows with Seasons 9 and 8, respectively.
    • The following CN president, Tom Ascheim, is getting blamed for completely pulling the plug on the idea of any action or story-based series airing on the network because of his alleged belief that cartoons are only for kids and kids alone, as well as his supposed opposition to any show that might draw in a Periphery Demographic, with some even believing that his decision to create a new preschool block was done to ward off older viewers from the network. However, it must be noted that action cartoons had already been on the decline on the network for years, as has been mentioned above, and that if Ascheim was not there to pull the plug, someone else would have done the same. However, it is still up to debate on whether Ascheim is directly responsible for killing off story-based series on the network, as some were still being greenlit during Miller's tenure.
  • It's usually held that the mature content in Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" was the result of John Kricfalusi's Protection from Editors. Given John K's departure from the original series was partly over Nickelodeon's censorship policies, it's an easy assumption to make, but according to Kricfalusi himself it was forced on him by higher-ups at Spike TV. Whether or not that's the full story is hotly disputed (this is John K., after all), but the charge is at least supported by the fact that Spike also wanted to give the same "adult" treatment to Spongebob Squarepants.
  • The Superhero Squad Show is sometimes used as an example of the Disney/Marvel merger ruining Marvel forever, but it began production before Disney bought them.
  • Seth MacFarlane tends to get misblamed on a lot of things (possibly due to his hatedom claiming that he is everything that's wrong with animation). One notable one is the animation of Butch Hartman. He is automatically blamed for those just because the two of them are friends despite the fact that MacFarlane has nothing to do with those projects. Instead, it's Hartman and Fred Seibert (the latter which never seems to get any sort of hate despite being the producer of those shows). And of course, there's the cash grabs and merchandising that the studio does and not him.
    • Another notable misblaming is MacFarlane being somehow blamed for Futurama being cancelled. The truth is that Family Guy was canceled one full year before Futurama was and MacFarlane wasn't even doing anything with Fox at the time. Also, MacFarlane and Matt Groening happen to be friends in real life so MacFarlane probably would have wanted Futurama to continue. He also had a voice role in the fourth direct-to-DVD Futurama movie.
    • MacFarlane is also blamed for the direction that Family Guy went through after the show was un-canceled. MacFarlane is barely involved with the show's scripts, with the actual writing coming from the story writers. That said, MacFarlane has veto power over what's in the scripts that do make it to air (in addition to voicing three of the main characters), so his hands aren't completely clean when it comes to poorly-received episodes and gags.
  • Similar to the Futurama example, many King of the Hill fans seem to think MacFarlane was responsible for that show's cancellation, as it was initially replaced by The Cleveland Show. Never mind that King was on the chopping block for 2-3 years prior due to sagging ratings and erratic scheduling, being renewed only due to fan outcry, the show enjoyed a thirteen-year run that many shorter-lived animated shows would kill for, and several other shows have rotated in and out of its old timeslot.
    • A lot of King of the Hill fans (even on this very wiki) blame Lucky for Luanne becoming more ditzy over the years. Luanne Took a Level in Dumbass years before Lucky showed up.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: No, Lauren Faust is not responsible for everything, good or bad, that has ever happened on the show. She merely came up with the idea and wrote a handful of episodes, reduced herself to a consulting producer for season 2, and hasn't even seen the third season let alone had anything to do with it.
    • "Magical Mystery Cure" is one of the most base-breaking episodes in the show's history, and its detractors often blame writer M.A. Larson for it. According to him though, the final episode only loosely resembled his original script and many elements had to be hastily cut (without his knowledge) due to the show being unexpectedly renewed for another season, resulting in the compressed episode we actually got. That said, Larson being a Teasing Creator who utterly reveled in taking the blame for putting wings on Twilight Sparkle certainly helped bring a lot of the blame onto him, which he milked for all it was worth and enjoyed every minute of.
    • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls was largely blamed for the third season only having thirteen episodes, when in reality it was because the series was originally intended to end at that point (at the 65-episode syndication mark), but the show was continued.
    • After Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's Heel–Face Turn, they were criticized for being Demoted to Extra, right after they became interesting and likable. However the writers wanted to do more with them but had it shot down by Hasbro who felt their story was "over".
    • One of the criticisms of Starlight Glimmer's Heel–Face Turn was it being done to copy Sunset Shimmer's redemption and character. Word of God claims it wasn't which is substantiated by Production Lead Time meaning it was likely written before Rainbow Rocks airedexplanation  and made the previously contentious Sunset popular enough to want to copy.
    • In response to criticisms of the franchise's villains being Easily Forgiven, Equestria Girls director Ishi Rudell revealed that he is also sick of this trend and would be happy to do otherwise, but it's not up to him. Many fans assumed this meant the Hasbro executives were responsible for the trend because of how extensive Executive Meddling has been in the MLP G4 franchise. However, the statement could just as easily apply to the show's writers, as Rudell's job is to adapt their scripts into animation.
    • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017)
      • A common point of contention is how it ignores Character Development and continuity (outside some cameos) past the end of Season 4, leading to questions about why they sought help from the hippogriffs over all the other allied races they made since then and it not feeling like it fit the shows continuity. Many criticize this as an attempt for The Movie appeal to wider audiences at the expense of it appealing to existing fans. But work on The Movie started immediately after end of Season 4, thus Production Lead Time would make it impossible to incorporate said later development and continuity beyond cameos if they wanted to or not.
      • Once it came out Friendship is Magic would end in 2019, some blamed the movie's weak reception and earnings. However, Hasbro stated they wanted it to continue for five years in 2014 when the movie was first announced, wanted to wrap it up in the very early pitches for Season 7 while the movie would be mid-production, and months after the movie released leaked early drafts for the next series which was too soon to have been designed in response to its reception. While other G4 movies may have been canned, the end of Friendship is Magic, already a Long Runner by this point whose toy sales were slowing down before the movie released, was decided well before reception of The Movie could influence it.
  • Due to Disney's history with Greg Weisman related shows (Gargoyles and W.I.T.C.H.), many fans blame Disney for cancelling The Spectacular Spider-Man. However, it was more a case of Screwed by the Lawyers. Due to Disney's acquisition of Marvel, Sony gave away their TV rights to the franchise in order to keep making Spider-Man movies. Since Sony still owned The Spectacular Spider-Man, it would've forced Marvel to pay to continue the series.
  • Many Doug fans claim that "Disney ruined Doug" when they bought the rights to the show and un-cancelled it. In fact, buying Doug (and slapping their name on it) was the only thing they did to the show. Creator Jim Jinkens made all the changes himself.
  • Fans of The Looney Tunes Show and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated may be angry that the shows were cancelled because of Executive Meddling, but it was really because the producers meant from the beginning to make 52 episodes of each series.
  • South Park: Voice actress April Stewart has been blamed by some sore fans for Mona Marshall not having as many roles, as well as the exit of Eliza Schneider. In actuality, Schneider quit on her own terms in 2003 due to a salary dispute and issues with her union note . Stewart herself had to use an alias for her early work in the show until matters could be settled. It's also worth noting that Marshall always had voiced fewer female characters in comparison, as Schneider had handled the majority of the roles after Mary Kay Bergman's death.
    • Due to old fansites like Beef-Cake and convention advertisements mistaking Mona Marshall as the second voice of Wendy, Schneider herself received some blame and misconception of "usurping" the role. In actuality, she'd always voiced the character and simply modified her take after a while. In comparison, April Stewart would later receive flack for making Wendy sound too old, until it was revealed that it was the creators' own decision to not speed up her voice as much (while Mary Kay Bergman could naturally perform the higher voice, Schneider and Stewart had to have their voices digitally modified).
    • An in-universe Type 5 example is Played for Laughs in "Night of the Living Homeless", where Kyle tries to come up with an idea with what to do with the homeless, and Cartman's idea was to jump over them with his skateboard. The other boys either thank Kyle for the idea that was obviously Cartman's, or in Stan's case, get baffled by it.
  • The Simpsons has a serious case of Type 5: Fans who dislike the newer seasons generally say it's all the fault of the showrunner at the time: Mike Scully for Seasons 9-12, and Al Jean for Season 13 and onwards. While Scully and Jean aren't innocent, to be sure, they aren't 100% guilty either.
    • The showrunner isn't personally involved with every aspect of the show: The writing staff comes up with plot ideas and first drafts of episodes, while the showrunner selects which episodes get made and leads script revisions. The showrunner also isn't all-powerful: the senior production staff can and do interfere with writing and plot ideas.
    • Scully inherited a show that was starting to go downhill in quality: Season 8 was the beginning of the end, with many senior writers and producers heading for the exits, co-showrunners Oakley and Weinstein operated on the assumption that The Simpsons would soon be over note , leading them to experiment with new art and plot formats that led to a drop in quality and lack of direction for the show.
      • The hardcore Scully Hate Dom says he did so much damage that the show couldn't be salvaged when he stepped down as showrunner in mid-2001, but that ignores the changes Al Jean implemented on the show: of the disliked elements from Scully's time as showrunner, many were scrapped immediately while many more disappeared over time - very few of the complaints about episodes in Seasons 9-12 can be applied to seasons since then, and vice-versa.
      • Since he became showrunner in Season 9, Scully gets blamed for that season's "The Principal and the Pauper", widely seen to be one of the worst Simpsons episodes ever, if not the worst. However, Scully was never involved in it. It was a holdover from Season 8, when Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein were showrunners, Steven Dean Moore was the director, and Ken Keeler was the writer.
    • Al Jean also inherited a mostly new writing staff, presided over the retirements of the show's last original writers a few seasons into his time as showrunner, and took over at a time when the series was falling apart, due to both its age and the Denser and Wackier elements introduced during Scully's tenure. 8 seasons was a long time, and 12 was positively record breaking. For obvious reasons, Jean's detractors also ignore his time as showrunner in the third and fourth seasons, generally regarded as two of the series' best.
    • The voice actors have also run out of steam with recent seasons: Hank Azaria (Moe, Chief Wiggum, Apu) has voiced one-off characters since the show's beginning and admitted in an interview that while he would try to do something new for each of them back in the 1980s and 1990s, he ran out of ideas around Season 10 (August 1998 to May 1999) and can now pull this off only a few times a season, sometimes less.
    • Matt Groening gets next to none of the blame for the show's decline, but he probably deserves more: Some of the big complaints about the last 15 or so seasons are Flanderization, blunt political commentary, and the show increasingly resembling South Park and Family Guy. Incidentally, these are also some of the main complaints about the Un-Cancelled seasons of Futurama, which has little in common with modern-day Simpsons apart from having Groening at the helm.
  • Season 2 of Superjail! received a case of type 5, with Jackson Publick (credited under his actual name, Chris McCulloch ) getting the accusation of "usurping" the show from Christy Karacas, as he was put in charge of being the story-editor and having the final call on scripts. If an episode fell flat, a plot twist was done that a fan didn't like, or if there was less violence, it had to be all on him. In actuality, the season 2 format change was something that Christy Karacas and Stephen Warbrick had wanted to do in hope of breaking away from being formulaic and getting to explore the characters' stories more.
    • Type 2 and Type 3 also come into play, as while there was some degree of meddling in season 2 note , some of the moments cited as being the network screwing the creators over (perceived Flanderization, revelations of the Twins and Alice's backstories) were actually things that the creators themselves had decided on (to obviously mixed reception).
    • There is a lesser extent of type 5 with some of the new writers for season 2 (John J. Miller, Joe Croson, Adam Modiano), as none of them had written for the show before and were perceived as being amateurs or not "getting" it. In actuality, while the script is usually the writer's work, they evolve from boardroom pitches between all the writers and outlines by Karacas, the story editor revising the script over time, and there also being uncredited rewrites. In short, an episode that doesn't perform well doesn't always fall on one person. To contrast with the above situation, the writers and story editor in season 3 seemed to receive less blaming and outrage, perhaps as things had cooled down.
  • Fans of Kim Possible often cite the popularity of Phineas and Ferb as the reason that KP got the axe. KP ended a full year before P&F started airing regularly, and mainly because the show's creators wanted to move on.
  • As a result of the Fandom Rivalry, many Gravity Falls fans blame Phineas and Ferb for Disney Channel's bad treatment of the former show. This is not true, as P&F hardly shows episodes on the channel anymore and Alex Hirsch wants the animators to take their time animating and producing the episodes.
    • Some fans blamed Disney XD for the show's end, but it was actually Hirsch's decision to end the show as he wanted the show to avoid Seasonal Rot.
  • After the infamous Pickle and Peanut was renewed for a second season, fans got angry at it because of the cancellation of Wander over Yonder. The truth is that P&P itself was all but ignored by the network during its run, being placed in a year-long hiatus after its first season, and like several other Disney XD cartoons (including Wander itself), ended after its second season (albeit on its own terms with a definite finale).
  • Some Teen Titans fans blamed co-creator Glen Murakami for doing Teen Titans Go!. In fact, though he is credited as associate producer for said show, he has no major involvement in the show and that Aaron Horvath is the creative force behind the series.
  • "Prime killed Animated" is a common complaint of those who preferred the organic traditional animation to the more Movie accurate CGI of Prime. This isn't completely true. Hasbro gave Cartoon Network the option to continue using the license to produce Animated, while they would go on to produce Prime for their new cable channel, The Hub. Cartoon Network decided to end the show independently, as there was no incentive to continuing the show if Hasbro would be pulling all funding and ending the toyline, and Animated would still manage to have a finale.
  • In the late 1990s and early 2000s, many people blamed Rugrats for the fact that The Ren & Stimpy Show and Rocko's Modern Life were cancelled, when in reality Ren and Stimpy was cancelled because of low ratings after the creator's firing and Rocko's Modern Life was cancelled because Nickelodeon thought that Joe Murray wanted to end his show.
  • Man of Action, the creators of Ben 10 have been blamed for the fan-divided Ben 10: Omniverse. However, they left the franchise after Ultimate Alien to work on Ultimate Spider-Man (2012), though they still receive a "created by" credit and in actual fact, art director Derrick Wyatt, executive producer Tramm Wigzell, supervising producer Matt Youngberg and now ex-Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Toonami CEO Stuart Snyder are actually responsible for the stylistic change from the Darker and Edgier tone of Alien Force/Ultimate Alien to the Denser and Wackier tone of Omniverse.
    • Several The Secret Saturdays fans blamed the show's creator Jay Stephens for the crossover episode "TGIS". However, Stephens had no involvement in the episode as writer. In fact, Joelle Sellner was the one who wrote the episode.
  • No, The Legend of Korra was NOT removed from Nick's schedule and made online exclusive in favor of Nickelodeon's more comedy based TV shows. It's a far more complicated situation than that involving the leak of a number of Book 3 episodes that is explained in further detail on the Screwed by the Network page. Thank you for your time. Have a nice day.
    • Zigzagged with regards to the finale. Fans blamed Nickelodeon for the ambiguity of the final scene, which shows Korra and Asami going on a private vacation in the Spirit World, all-but-explicitly a couple. Many blamed Nick for the ambiguity of it, and assumed that Bryke had to sneak it in without the studio's knowledge, but after Bryke confirmed the Korrasami Ship online they mentioned that the Studio was supportive of the idea, though due to their Standards and Practices would only allow so much to be shown. So the studio is the reason for the ambiguity, but the scene was done with them fully knowing what was being expressed.
    • The finale similarly had other fans accuse Bryke of queerbaiting due to the slightly ambiguous ending. Most were a little more savvy and aware that Standards and Practices would only let them go so far, which Bryke confirmed online.
  • ChalkZone got a lot of flack from angry Invader Zim fans claiming that the former got the latter canceled. Not only was ChalkZone delayed for two years (and thus was not meant to be a replacement show), but Zim was still running when the first season of ChalkZone premiered (The Fairly OddParents! and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius are also blamed for this). The real reason why Zim was canceled was due to the show's high production cost, low ratings, and just generally being Screwed by the Network. Not to mention that ChalkZone itself was also treated horribly by Nick.
  • In a glaring example of the Most Visible Target fallacy, many fans of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood blamed the new kid on the block, Word Party, as the reason the former was dropped from Netflix, as the former (along with a whole plethora of 9 Story Media Group shows) was dropped days before the latter premiered. The real reason is that Amazon had just snatched the rights out of Netflix's hands by signing a multi-year exclusive deal to stream PBS Kids shows.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is often blamed as the main reason for Nickelodeon's decline in the late-2000s. In actuality, Nick would often refuse to give other shows a proper chance regardless, with SpongeBob likely having nothing to do with any other show's chances. Also, anyone involved with SpongeBob doesn't work in Nickelodeon's scheduling department, and would probably be receptive to their programmers actually having a schedule with various programs throughout the day rather than Ctrl+V'ing SpongeBob throughout the broadcast day.
  • Many fans of VeggieTales blamed Dreamworks for the new designs introduced in VeggieTales in the House. It was actually Big Idea's decision to change the characters' designs since the original was based on the old animation software from the '90s.
  • Johnny Test's fundamental destruction of the reputation of Canadian television animation has made it a pretty big source of this, due to the numerous misconceptions its Periphery Hatedom spawned.
    • The show's massive hatedom sometimes use it as proof that all Canadian animation is horrible. What many people forget is that creator Scott Fellows, James Arnold Taylor (Johnny's voice actor), and most of the show's production crew, are Americans. In fact, Warner Bros. Animation produced the early seasons while the later seasons were made in association with both Cartoon Network and Teletoon.
    • Canadian content laws are often used by people to explain why Johnny Test ran for as long as it did despite being widely hated, claiming that because the laws require channels to air a certain amount of natively produced content every day it was basically immune to being taken off air. This gets rather silly when you consider the law has been around for a long time; the real reason for Johnny Test's longevity was simply that its low budget and solid ratings allowed the networks to make profit very easily and thus motivated them to air it as much as possible and continue ordering new seasons.
    • People frequently use the show as proof that Teletoon uses the cheapest and laziest possible production values for all its original productions, despite the fact Teletoon isn't even an animation studio (and doesn't even have an in-house production company for that matter) and is in fact just a network that's involvement generally involves little more than ordering episodes of shows, lending them some funding (although they're not the sole donators to any show's budget), and giving executive notes to the production crew. In fact, NONE of Teletoon's original shows were actually made by them, but rather, they were the creations of numerous animation and television studios across Canada (in the case of Johnny Test, the real creators of the show were Cookie Jar Entertainment); the only reason Teletoon's shows are called "original productions" is because they were originally created for/commissioned by the network.
  • With Jimmy Two-Shoes, it's not uncommon to hear people accuse Teletoon as being responsible for all the Executive Meddling that got the Darker and Edgier pilot remade into the Denser and Wackier final product. In reality, Disney XD mandated all the changes in order to make the series more kid-friendly and thus more marketable to American audiences (since Americans are generally more religious than Canadians) while Teletoon approved the pilot concept without issue due to originally intending the series for tweens and young teens (i.e. a similar audience to the Total Drama series, their most popular show at the time). This is more evident with the second season, which received the tonal retool it did at the request of Disney XD's executives rather than Teletoon's.
  • Angry Total Drama fans frequently see Fresh TV and Teletoon as being entirely responsible for many of the unpopular or controversial story decisions made in the seasons following the first. However, Cartoon Network purchased the majority of the rights to the franchise after the massive success of the first season, giving them greater ownership and far more influence over the show and its production than Teletoon, the franchise's channel of origin.
  • During The Batman's heyday, it got a lot of flack due to Executive Meddling relating to it removing the use of Batman characters in Justice League Unlimited outside of Bruce Wayne himself. However, both shows were victims of that as, barring a cameo of Nightwing in JLU, Teen Titans (2003) limited the use of Robin (resulting in The Batman's Robin being a case of Adaptational Late Appearance) and neither show could use Two-Face, the Scarecrow, or Ra's al Ghul due to The Dark Knight Trilogy (resulting in The Batman using its first Clayface in place of Two-Face, Hugo Strange in place of the Scarecrow, and Black Mask and — in The MovieCount Dracula in place of Ra's al Ghul).
  • In the Hebrew dub of Dora the Explorer, the Gratuitous Spanish is replaced with Gratuitous English. This caused some controversy - Spanish is the major minority language in the United States, so by that logic, Gratuitous Spanish should have become Gratuitous Arabic instead - overlooking the fact all of Dora's other foreign dubs replaced Spanish with English as well.
  • This video blames Cocomelon on the cancellations of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and The Owl House. The biggest problem with this statement is that Cocomelon is aimed at a younger audience than these two shows, being made for preschoolers. Furthermore, it's also important to note that She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power was not cancelled, it reached a planned conclusion and ended.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: The show has been heavily accused of queerbaiting during its seventh season, after publicizing the fact that Shiro was gay and that Adam, his ex-boyfriend, would return that season. In the series proper, Adam is already dead by the time Shiro returns and only appears in two scenes, both of which are flashbacks. While the creators may have, knowingly or not, stoked hype for this plot, fans also blame them for the posters on Netflix's service that heavily marketed that aspect of the seventh season; said posters, however, are not made by the creators, but by Netflix itself, and they have no input in it.
  • High Guardian Spice:
    • While the crew often gets blamed for creating the infamous initial announcement trailer, story editor Amalia Levari claimed this was out of their control; according to Levari, Crunchyroll had asked the crew isolated behind-the-scenes questions, which they answered not knowing that those questions would be repurposed into an announcement trailer. As confirmed by Sofia Alexander, the creator of Onyx Equinox, the production staff don't have any input as to how their shows are marketed by Crunchyroll.
    • The series' staff are also accused of diverting funds from subscribers' money into this series' creation. However, not only is this claim unfounded but what has been confirmed runs contrary to it. In 2015, Crunchyroll had specifically received funding from companies like Sumitomo Corporation and Otter Media to invest in co-productions and original programming, including the Crunchyroll Originals program in general.
  • The hatedom of Work It Out Wombats! believes it was responsible for Elinor Wonders Why getting Screwed by the Network, even though they have nothing to do with each other besides sharing an animation studio. Although Elinor fans thought their show was canned, once season 2 was confirmed to be in production, their claims of Wombats "killing Elinor" became unfounded.
  • Velma:
    • The show's staff received no end of flak for not including Scooby-Doo in the show due to feeling he is too "kiddy". While showrunner Charlie Grandy certainly did admit that the writing staff thought Scooby-Doo was a generally childish element of the franchise that would have been hard to fit into the show's adult tone, he also revealed that they wouldn't have been able use the character even if they wanted to, as Warner Bros. Animation told them that the Great Dane was off-limits.
    • The show was also blamed for causing the cancellation of Final Space due to how that show was taken off of HBO Max and that Velma came in to seemingly replace it while having Velma's and Fred's character designs look very close to that of Quinn Ergon and Gary Goodspeed respectively. However, Final Space was screwed over as a result of complications with the merger between WB and Discovery along with the failure of executives to recognize the popularity of the show and that they wrote it off for taxes.
    • Many accuse Mindy Kaling of being the creator of the series; that honor would go to Charlie Grandy. She also is confused as a writer when she isn't credited as one. She is actually the executive producer.

Alternative Title(s): Scapegoat Creator