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Why Did You Make Me Hit You?

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"Sorry, baby! Why did you make me do that?"
— Description of the "Double Slap" weapon from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories

Some people just don't play fair.

Picture a scene such as a mother arguing with her teenage daughter. The cause might be trivial; maybe the kid was slightly late coming home. Usually, the mother wins these arguments, if only by virtue of You Are Grounded!. But her daughter's not backing down this time and she may actually have the upper hand in the argument (i.e., she was late because she needed to stop for gas). The argument escalates until the mother realizes that she can't win this one, or the daughter makes a comment that hits a little too close to home.



Quick as a flash, the mother's hand slams across her daughter's cheek. There's a pause while the girl registers that she's been hurt.

And that's when mother plays her trump card. Before her daughter can get over the shock... her mother bursts into tears. Normally, the person who now sports a bright red handprint across her face will begin apologizing profusely or start crying as well, usually hugging the one that just hit her. Somehow, the victim is now convinced that she was to blame... and the slapper "wins" the argument by default.

The victim of Why Did You Make Me Hit You? could be anyone, but the two most common characters who are subject to being the victim are a close relative or friend, usually a child (actual or surrogate), or romantic partner or spouse. Thanks to the Double Standard, if a man should employ this trope, it's a given that not only is domestic violence on the horizon, it's mixed in with Manipulative Bastard traits too. For example, the violent husband who knows how to play on his wife's soft-heartedness. These characters are almost invariably written as pure evil. In the case of a woman slapping her boyfriend, the chances are that the trope will be recognized as an emotionally manipulative ploy, but it's much less likely to be a sign of a Domestic Abuse plot; if it's a daughter or friend being slapped, the attacker will probably get away with it, they will reconcile and everything will have been forgotten two scenes later; however, as the signs and symptoms of emotional abuse are becoming more publicized (and stories of emotionally abusive women are featured more often in Real Life news stories) this portrayal is beginning to change.


Occasionally this is a one-off event that isn't indicative of an abusive relationship, just an argument gone bad, or just Played for Laughs, especially if the person hit isn't very hurt or recovers immediately. The character who does the hitting won't have done it before, and probably won't do it again. In the case of children, particularly if the child has worried the parents and is now acting like a mouthy brat, it will be seen as a natural reaction toward the scare, a result of combined worry, anger, and relief. Sometimes, too, a manipulative child will deliberately goad an otherwise reasonable parent into striking him, knowing that he will be able to milk the parent's guilt to his advantage for weeks afterwards.

A sub-trope of Blaming the Victim.

Compare Sorry I Fell on Your Fist (from the victim's side) or Armor-Piercing Slap (for cases when the hitter usually does NOT burst into tears) and Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! (in which the hitter really did have no choice but to hit the victim, due to the latter being a hysterical mess). Related is Stop Hitting Yourself, where you instead use the victim's own limb to hit them while taunting them.


See also our Useful Notes page on Victim-Blaming for serious Real Life explanations.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: In the bit where Griffith meets Guts again, he calmly declares that he feels no remorse for anything he did during the Eclipse, and says it all so damn reasonably that it's almost as if he thinks Guts is the one being irrational, is truly horrifying. Even if you didn't know what he was capable of with his demonic powers, the sociopathic lack of remorse would be frightening enough on its own. This aspect of him rattles even Guts and considering how much he's been through without batting an eye, that says a lot. To recap:
    • Canonically he develops a thing for Guts and tries to kill Guts when he tries to leave him, thinks of him when having sex with Princess Charlotte as a sort of rebound, and feels overwhelming hatred towards Guts in addition to love afterwards because he was tortured for having sex with Charlotte and he believes it’s Guts fault but it was also these feelings which kept him somewhat low key sane during everything. Following that he proceeds to rape Casca while having Guts pinned down and stares at him with a cold but psychotic gaze the whole time; wanting to make him feel just as much anguish as he did when Guts left him and the events following that. Guts himself is obsessed with killing Griffith following this and his betrayal of him and the Band of the Hawks.
  • In Bitter Virgin when Hinako is discovered to have miscarried, her mother demands to know the name of the man she has been sleeping with. Hinako immediately replies it is her stepfather (as he has been repeatedly raping her), to which the mother slaps her across the face as she believes Hinako is lying to protect the real man. It isn't until Hinako is pregnant again and the doctor suggests from the bruises all over Hinako that she isn't a willing participant, does her mother believe her.
  • Black Cat: Creed, Train's Stalker with a Crush, smashes Train into a wall and tells him the following:
    "This is all your fault, Train! It's your fault for making me mad! Time and time again, I come to get your cooperation so it wouldn't come to this. But despite that... all those attempts were futile. All of them!"
  • Bleach: Giselle has a tendency to hit or otherwise abuse Bambietta and every time she tells Bambietta that it is her own fault.
  • Elfen Lied: Mayu's stepfather sexually abuses her whenever Mayu's mother is not home. When Mayu tries to tell her mother what's been happening to her, she immediately gets a slap across the face. Her mother yells at her "It's you who isn't wanted! Because you're here, he doesn't...", which implies that her mother hit Mayu because she is jealous of her, and that she is trying to convince Mayu that she is the one who is in the wrong.
  • Akito Sohma from Fruits Basket physically and psychologically abuses the members of the Zodiac to keep them in line, and will often convince them that the abuse towards them is really their fault and they deserve it. This is something Akito can easily make use of, since the Sohma clan's curse keeps the Zodiac members from ever hating Akito no matter how bad the abuse gets. A particularly vicious example is when Akito blinded Hatori in one eye after he asked for permission to marry his girlfriend Kana, and immediately accused Kana of being responsible for Hatori's pain. Kana ended up agreeing, and she fell into such a deep depression over it that Hatori was forced to erase her memories of their relationship so she could recover.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: In the manga version, Mrs. Yuuki reads Miaka's diary and therefore learns of her crush on Tamahome. Miaka feels hurt and upset that, aside from her mother reading her diary, she is being forbidden from even thinking about him when Mrs. Yuuki is dating someone after having a divorce two years ago... and SLAP!
  • Hayate the Combat Butler played with this in the 'End of the World Arc'. Hayate wants Athena to join his family outside the RG and she can't bring herself to ask him to risk himself to allow her to, they fight (lethally), and then Hayate unknowingly triggers her Berserk Button of her not having parents, to which she then 'slaps' him by ordering him to leave (so she doesn't kill him?), before she's able to break down, he does so, thinking he's failed her. Afterward, she breaks down crying for having to resort to ordering him away to protect him. He does try to return to apologise but finds he's unable to.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: Bulgaria uses this as his reason to beat up and bully North Italy despite being allies.
    Bulgaria: I... I just got the sudden urge to hit him when I looked at his face.
  • Hot Gimmick: This is often how Domestic Abuser Ryoki acts in regards to his girlfriend Hatsumi.
  • This makes up most of Precia Testarossa's dialogue towards her daughter Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, with her playing the disappointed parent card while committing horrific acts of child abuse.
  • Outlaw Star: Harry hits Melfina quite a few times, angry at her for refusing to leave with him when he "came all this way just to pick you up."
    Harry: "I didn't mean to do that, Melfina! I'm sorry, I promise I'm not going to hurt you!" *backhands her to the floor roughly 40 seconds later* "Why can't I make you understand?!"
  • In Paprika, the eponymous character's Stalker with a Crush slaps her across the face when she says something that offends him.
    Osanai: "Didn't I tell you, not to say anything that would make me get rough with you?"
  • Peacemaker Kurogane: In episode 19, Susumu wraps his hands around Tetsunosuke's throat and makes an attempt to strangle him while saying, "Did you come to piss me off again? Do you think I like being pissed off? I wouldn't be feeling this way if you weren't here!" All this coupled with the fact that Tetsunosuke is crying and staring at him sadly, makes for a very Ho Yay-tastic scene between the two.
  • Peach Girl: Sae tries to make people think that Momo is doing this to her and succeeds for a while when it's really the other way around.
  • Shaman King: Jeanne takes it Up to Eleven. If you don't accept her Last-Second Chance, she WILL kill you, then weep Tender Tears for your sad fate.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • Kaneki's mother is shown beating him while he's curled up on the floor, sobbing... and, if you look closely, he's apologizing over and over and saying things like "I won't ask for anything" and "I don't need it".
    • In chapter 73 of re: Torso brings Mutsuki a flower crown, but gets angry when Mutsuki glares at him and won't accept his compliments. He beats Mutsuki violently while screaming insults. As a child, Mutsuki's father abused him. He learned that if he played along, he wouldn't be hurt. We get a Big Madam & Juuzou parallel, with his father saying "Here's your reward" and it's implied he raped Mutsuki. Later, the two are lying together on a makeshift futon. Torso says that he only "scolds" Mutsuki because of how deep his love is, and Mutsuki cries while agreeing. He thinks that he is cursed and it's implied Torso raped him as well.
    • Torso's dad abused him in the past. When Torso "betrayed" him by going to the village because he was hungry his father stuck his hand in Karao’s mouth and tore apart his cheeks. Blood came out and Torso screamed. Torso’s dad then asked, "Why would you betray me, who brings you food, by putting me in danger like this? If you wanna go to the village so much, you can be alone from now on!" He then left, cursing and muttering, "I even provided him with food, and this is how I was repaid."
    • Tsukiyama tells Kaneki he should accept responsibility for making him so focused on eating him and tells him it's his fault because he's so delicious before attacking him.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: Dilandau torches half of Palas, and Van calls him out for it. Dilandau replies, "It's your fault. The city is burning because of you. My cheek is burning because of you! So now you must die!" Then again, it's Dilandau.

    East Asian Comics 
  • In The Monstrous Duke's Adopted Daughter, the entire Speràdo household does this to little Leslie her whole life, since she was old enough to walk and talk on her own. They would make up crimes and acts of "insubordination" so they could have an excuse to beat her down, deny her meals, and break her down, mentally and emotionally, because when the time for the ritual was right, they were planning to make her a Human Sacrifice so her elder sister, Eli, would "awaken" the ability to use Dark Magic, by stealing hers. This is something the family has done for at least a 1000 years.

    Audio Play 
  • This sometimes happens in Yandere Heaven. If the protagonist refuses to do what the guy wants her/him to do, he will either yell at her/him or get physically violent. When he calms down, he'll blame the listener for provoking such a reaction.

    Comic Books 
  • New Avengers: In the third volume, Iron Man wonders why Steve always has to be like this before the Illuminati wipe Steve's memory. Steve's crime? Being unwilling to repeatedly destroy planets, and quite possibly living beings on them, to save their own.
  • Given that Deadpool is a professional assassin who has killed hundreds, it's interesting that no one is really outraged up until #13 of his solo series where he beats his best friend unconscious and throws his hostage/mother figure Blind Al into a room full of sharp objects, asking her "Why did you have to make me do this? why?"
  • Superman:
    • Supergirl (2005): In Identity/Breaking the Chain, after Supergirl is brutally beaten up by Powerboy, including having her face dragged down the side of a skyscraper, she wakes up in a bed next to a Stalker Shrine devoted to her, bound in powerful, alien-tech restraints. Powerboy says a big speech about how much he loves her, that he knows best, and that the beating was her fault for making him angry. Supergirl replies by delivering a brutal beating combined with a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech.
      Powerboy: Look, I'm just going to lay it all out because honesty is important in a strong relationship... I was born on Apokolips. Taken from the Armagetto Slums to serve You-Know-Who... He made me strong, trained me in the ways of the Earth so I could come here as a "hero" and... Well, it doesn't really matter anymore, because it changed the day you came to Apokolips. The most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Ever felt. From that moment, I knew I had found my "Missing Half". I knew we would be together. And then you left... I couldn't eat. Sleep. Think. I knew that my true destiny wasn't with Darkseid and his stupid plans... So I followed you across the universe. I watched you try so hard to fit in, to find your way. All I wanted to do was hold you. Tell you how beautiful you were. But I knew you weren't ready to hear it... Sometimes we have to fall all the way down before someone can lift us up. You could be something so special, Kara... But you're lost. You're lost and you're too weak to find your way alone. Whenever you try... the monster in you comes out. Is this what you what to be?" (cups her face) "You need someone to take care of you, Kara. Someone who loves you to build to up... To make you into something you can be proud of. I love you, Kara. We can be perfect together, if you'll just let me fix you.
      Supergirl: (destroys her restraints and burns his hand with heat vision) We need to break up.
      Powerboy: Aaaaaigh! What did you do?!
      Supergirl: You hit me. You said you loved me... And you hit me. (punches him through a wall to the outside)
      Powerboy: Y-You made me hit you! Because you don't listen, like now! Kara! I'm warning you! Stop it or I'll do it again! I'll hurt you again!
    • Infinite Crisis: When Superboy-Prime is ganged up by the Teen Titans, he beheads one of them by accident, and then screams he did not mean it and it was their fault for attacking him.
  • All-New Ultimates: One of the cops driving Scourge to the prison was actually a member of the watchdogs, who disarmed and cuffed his partner. When that partner tried to counter-attack, he was shot.
  • Wonder Woman (2006): When Zeus shows up to inform Milohai that since the Greek Pantheon is back on earth Milohai can just release his champion Diana back to him (despite Diana never having been his champion and helping his daughter overthrow him) Milohai tells Zeus that Diana's loyalties are not his to command and if Zeus wants her as his champion he needs to talk to her about it. In response, Zeus attacks him while talking about how Milohai forced him to by not listening, and ends up murdering the Polynesian deity, which he is implied to have intended all along.

    Fan Works 
  • HookerVerse; Nella bursts into hysterical tears after hitting The Nostalgia Chick.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Mistakes portrays the relationship of Imperial Japan and Korea this way; Kiku beats Yong-Soo for misdemeanours such as speaking in Korean or questioning the Emperor and then makes him thank him for the "lesson". Kiku genuinely believes this is the right thing to do, but of course that doesn't help.
  • Zastruga has Pitch repeatedly pull this sort of thing on Jack, twisting every bad thing that happens to them so that he can claim it's Jack's fault.
  • In Cori Falls's fic Blood on the Moon, Jessie takes it way too personally when James is cranky and gets it into her head that this means he's turning abusive. She hits him, tells him to go to hell and the narrative explicitly states that he brought it on himself by being cranky.
  • Combined with Abusive Parents in Heart of Ashes; when Freyja dares to tell her mother Andraya that she's too afraid to be impregnated by Smaug for the powerful offspring Andraya wants, Andraya slaps Freyja before going from furious into self-righteously affectionate.
    Andraya: Oh now look what you've done dear. My poor baby… I do not mean to hurt you dear, but you must understand: fear is a weakness that we cannot have.
  • Discussed in the Steven Universe humanized AU oneshot Heat Lightning. Jasper is in denial about her girlfriend Lapis' abuse. When her sister Amethyst tries to get Jasper to leave her girlfriend, Jasper refuses. She isn't an abuse victim—she's too big and strong to be one. She just doesn't deserve Lapis' affection or good side because she's a bad girlfriend.
  • From Episode 36 of the Professional Wrestling series The JWL: The Arn Andersonnote -Stevie Richards match started with Arn controlling and Stevie tried to bail, but Raven, his boss in Raven's Nest, decked Stevie, knocked him to the floor and slapped him around, telling him, "You made me do that! I didn't want to, but you made me!" Arn, for his part, just looked on in confusion.note 
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship: The Dazzlings blame Timmy for them eating Cosmo and Wanda and later planning to destroy Dimmsdale, claiming it's all his fault for being a selfish brat and not giving them what they want.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo pulls this on Quasimodo after Frollo figures out that Quasi helped Esmeralda escape from the cathedral.
    Frollo: Now all of Paris is burning because of you!
  • In The LEGO Movie, Lord Business' use of projection in his punishment of GCBC enables him to lay all fault on his lieutenant for not doing his job, considering how even the slightest imperfection can ruin his temper. This trope is used when GCBC is forced to Kragle his own parents because he is made to effectively take it out on the people he loves for his own failure at his job. It is reinforced because of how much Lord Business refuses failure as an option.
  • In Tangled, this is one of Mother Gothel's favorite tactics, facetiously lamenting that Rapunzel's made her "the bad guy" after refusing to let the girl leave the tower. In the end, when she mortally stabs the man Rapunzel loves, she turns to Rapunzel and says, "Now look what you've done."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Addams Family: Fester's "mother" slaps him and then instantly blames the title characters: "See what they've driven me to? Raised a hand to my child, my reason for living."
  • In A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, the husband/boyfriend of a client that Gigolo Joe has been sleeping with murders his lover when he finds out and sets Joe up for the crime. His reasoning is that "she killed me first".
  • The title character of Chopper yells "look what you made me do!" after beating his girlfriend.
  • In the movie Cruising, the serial killer whispers "You made me do that" after stabbing one of his victims.
  • In the film version of Dolores Claiborne (not sure about the novel by Stephen King), the protagonist's husband hits her across the kidneys with a piece of firewood, then says "Why did you make me do it?" It doesn't end well.
  • Empire Records: After a fair amount of provocation from his foster son Lucas, Joe drags him into the office and beats him up, then brings him an icepack and says, "You know you deserved that, right?"
  • House of Flying Daggers has a variant, this one from a jilted lover in a Love Triangle: "You made me kill you!"
  • Misery (see the entry in Literature).
  • The Night of the Hunter: "Oh, look, you made me lose my temper." Then again, by this point in the film, the audience already knows that Pearl did not deserve to be slapped and that Harry is one of the most Ax-Crazy psychopaths in anything ever.
  • The Piano: Alisdair, enraged at Ada’s infidelity, violently pushes her against the wall demanding, “Why do you make me hurt you?”
  • Nathan Wallace in Repo! The Genetic Opera does this to Shilo after she sings about how he can't control her — after he slaps her, she sits there stunned for a second, rubbing her face. Horrified, he says he's sorry and the camera blacks out.
  • Caledon Hockley in Titanic (1997) does this on occasion to his fiance Rose throughout the movie as he becomes increasingly possessive over her and jealous of her relationship with Jack.
  • Women Talking Dirty almost plays this for laughs. In the heat of an argument, a man slaps his girlfriend in the face and then says, "Oh, look what you made me do." She then slaps him in the face, repeats the same line, and storms off.
  • In The Odd Way Home, Maya's abusive boyfriend snarls "Look what you made me do to you!" while beating her.
  • In the Extended Edition of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Kumar's daydream has him doing this to a bag of weed.
    Kumar: "I'm sorry! You made me hit you! Why'd you make me do that?!"

  • In A Brother's Price, Keifer caused a lot of damage to his young wife Trini before his oldest wife came in and interrupted. He'd charmed her thoroughly and she loved him, so when he turned up the sweetness on Eldest and said he was sorry and didn't really mean it, she believed him, and cleaned up Trini and half-convinced her it was all her fault before their mothers saw her.
  • The first book of Codex Alera refers to this with the abusive father Kord. When he gets called out on beating his son by someone else, he says "I get mad. He understands." We never see the son's opinion of this, but since he openly admits that he only obeys his father out of fear, it's unlikely there's been much emotional manipulation. However, in a possible subversion of this trope, Kord doesn't even try to justify his other crimes; unlike most examples of this trope, his treatment of his son is a comparatively minor thing, as he is an out-an-out murderer, rapist, and slaver, and though he does put extra effort into tormenting those he feels have wronged him in some way, he doesn't have the intelligence to construct any sort of argument justifying himself (even as flimsy a one as this trope), nor does he try to.
  • Ender's Game: Ender, of all people, has shades of this, but it’s justified by the fact that he really *wouldn’t* have hurt his fellow students if they just left him alone. It’s more of a technical example (he very nearly says the trope’s name verbatim) though.
  • Fault Line: Kip tries to grab Becky during an argument, but he instead rips one of her earrings out. His response? "Look what you made me do!"
  • Occurs in the movie/book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where Harry is in detention with Umbridge and she makes him write "I must not tell lies" over and over again with an enchanted quill which carves the phrase into the back of Harry's hand as he writes, simultaneously using his own blood as ink. Harry stares at this in disbelief as she asks him with a warning tone, "Yes?". He backs down and says, "Nothing." to which she replies, "That's right, because you know that deep down, you deserve to be punished, don't you, Mr. Potter?" Jeez, not one for subtlety, is she?
    • Oddly, she's sort of correct—he knows damn well she doesn't have any right to punish him, especially not for the reasons she cites, and doesn't particularly think this is correct or that just plain suffering is a good idea, but between his abusive childhood and his experiences being expected to be The Hero, he only seems to have positive self-esteem when he's going through something hellish for day-saving reasons— otherwise he's pretty insecure. Which is probably why he doesn't try harder to get some other authority figure to intervene—that and his justified conviction that no one ever comes to save him from abuse.
  • The Legend of Drizzt: Most interactions between Herzgo Alegni and Barrabus the Gray in The Neverwinter Saga smack of this. Whenever Alegni perceives he has been slighted by Barrabus, he rings a magical tuning fork on Claw's blade that causes him agony - all the while lamenting how Barrabus' behaviour forces him to do this.
  • Jacqueline Wilson's Lola Rose: Lola's mother is due to go to the hospital for an operation. The night before, she drinks heavily while her daughter tries to stop her. After being ignored, Lola accidentally-on-purpose drops the bottle of alcohol. Her mother belts her across the face, then they both burst out crying. May well be justified in this case, since the operation is for breast cancer, putting everyone in the family under extreme stress.
  • In the Stephen King book Misery, Annie Wilkes pulls this on protagonist Paul Sheldon. Just replace "hit" with "chop off foot with axe and cauterize the wound with a blowtorch".
    • Generally, this is one of Stephen King's favorite tropes. For example, IT has Beverly's abusive husband, who violently punishes her for smoking next to him. Later on in their relationship, as he prepares to beat her he talks about how he has to give her a "whuppin'" for her (perfectly normal) behaviour, saying "sorry about that, Bev". This has been so ingrained into her that when she finally (and violently) leaves him and talks to her friend about the fight they had, Beverly starts to say how it was her fault only for her friend to immediately call her out on it and demand that she stop blaming herself for her husband's abuse.
  • In the S.E. Hinton book The Outsiders After Ponyboy yells "YOU DON'T YELL AT HIM!" at Darry for yelling at Soda, Darry inadvertently slaps Pony against the door. Darry looks at his hand, then looks at Ponyboy. All three brothers are shocked. Darry then says, "Ponyboy!" And as Pony is charging out the door, Darry yells in a desperate attempt to get him back inside the house, "Ponyboy, I didn't mean to—" and the youngest one disappears.
    • More Played With than anything else, as Darry attempts to alleviate some of his blame, not by shifting the blame to Ponyboy, but by making the situation seem like an accident or an involuntary reaction. Ponyboy is never seen by the narrative or by the characters to be anything but in the right here.
  • Lorraine's mother pulls this in The Pigman over Lorraine being involved in a Wild Teen Party. She hits her, scolds her, and makes her feel like total trash for daring to have a good time, then starts sobbing about how it makes her feel. She never apologizes to Lorraine, either.
  • Occurs in the first book in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events in which the Baudelaires are forced to cook dinner for their horrible guardian Count Olaf and his entire theater troupe. Once they finish, Count Olaf yells at them for forgetting to cook roast beef, and out of spite he and his troupe don't eat the food that the children worked so hard to prepare. He then tells them to clean up the kitchen and go to bed. At this, Klaus yells, "You have only provided us with one bed!" which, in turn, rouses Count Olaf's temper and he says they should buy another bed. Klaus tells him that the only money they have is the Baudelaire fortune, which is not to be used until Violet is of age. Count Olaf grows red with anger and strikes Klaus across the face. His theater troupe applauds and laughs at Klaus as they leave with Count Olaf, which firmly implies that they are proud of Count Olaf for hitting Klaus and that Count Olaf felt like Klaus definitely deserved it.
    • His actions towards the Baudelaires throughout the course of the rest of the book and the rest of the series plays out in a very similar and cruel fashion. Oddly enough, he never physically strikes any of them again.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, after Sharra reminds Daylen of his worst memories by trying to seduce him, he wakes up in a murderously bad mood, and snaps Sain's arm like a chicken bone for literally setting a foot out of line.note  Daylen's explanation:
    Daylen: "I told him what would happen. So actually, he broke his own arm."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Daenerys Targaryen was on the constant receiving end of this from her abusive older brother, Viserys, when she grew up. Viserys warned Daenerys to always follow his wishes, or else he would hit her repeatedly, which he justified as her waking "the dragon" in him. At the start of the series, Daenerys still fears her brother to some extent, but her marriage to Khal Drogo, as her as well integration to the Dothraki way of life, cause her to stand up to him, as she realizes that Viserys has no leverage against her beyond his empty threats.
  • Jacqueline Wilson's The Suitcase Kid: Andy is extremely late coming home from school after she decides that she can't stand her dysfunctional family life. Her mother slaps her when she finally does come home, bursts into tears, and lays an enormous guilt trip on Andy, despite the fact that her mother's emotional manipulation, Parental Favoritism towards her new boyfriend's children, and general lack of concern for Andy's best interests go a long-term way towards explaining why Andy didn't want to come home in the first place.
  • Alec D'Urberville is not above playing this card. Except he plays it as "Why did you make me lust after you?"
  • In The Twilight Saga Emily refuses to return Sam's affection. He eventually loses his temper, becomes a wolf, and claws half her face off. He then feels so bad about what he did that she decides to accept his love. Christ, those books are messed up...
    • And let's not go into all the emotional abuse between Edward and Bella. "Do you want to start a war" indeed.
  • This is part of what Nero does to Meg in The Trials of Apollo. He warns her that The Beast will come out if she doesn't behave and that it was The Beast (and not him) who killed her biological father.
  • A particularly dark example in The Kid: one of the Pedophile Priests at the protagonist's orphanage says a variant of this after attacking the protagonist for disobedience.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In All My Children, when Maggie confronts Jonathan after the latter hides the fact that Bianca is in a coma, Jonathan smacks her across the face. He then acts shocked by his actions, making it seem like Maggie had somehow forced him to do it against his will. Subsequent scenes with Maggie reveal her constantly having bruises, but when Bianca confronts her about it she blames herself for "making Jonathan angry".
  • Ray pulls this on Daisy in the second season of Dead Like Me.
  • Somewhat subverted in Desperate Housewives: in season four, Katherine slaps her daughter Dylan for asking about her father, but this not played as Katherine is made out, at least in the first few episodes, to be an unsympathetic character.
    • Occurs again near the end of season 4, with Lynnet slapping her adopted daughter Kayla after she makes an indirect threat to her own daughter, although this was somewhat justified.
  • Irish soap opera Fair City featured a Domestic Abuse storyline between Suzanne and Damien Halpin. In one scene, Damien is quiet and tearful after Suzanne has violently attacked him; leading her to start beating him again while screaming "Stop making me do this!"
  • Parodied in Friends, where a scene from a Soap Opera has a character slap her daughter and tearfully hug her immediately after, giving the daughter no time to react.
  • In the season 2 finale of Heroes, Sylar "accidentally" shoots Maya in a struggle and quips, "Now look what you made me do!" half-sarcastically.
    • When Peter absorbs Sylar's primordial ability, he beats the latter up and blames it on him.
    • Later, Sylar traps HRG, Claire, Angela, and Meredith in Primatech and forces them into a Saw-like deadly game. All the while he angsts about how they made him evil.
      • Both might actually qualify as subversions. In both cases, it is to a very great extent the "fault" of the victim. In the former, Peter is only beating the crap out of Sylar because of the ability he (Peter) unwittingly took from him (Sylar). In the latter, Primatech DEFINITELY had a hand in making Sylar the bastard he was.
  • On Justified Delroy does this to Ellen May after he beats her up to punish her for failing to buy drugs for him. Both times she is stopped by a gun battle erupting and multiple people getting killed yet Delroy acts like she purposely disrespected him.
  • Almost Played for Laughs, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Ted Baxter spanks his son who has been blatantly disrespectful and disobedient. Being a show from The '70s, when spanking was still routine, it's not portrayed it as abuse. The spanking itself is mild, followed by Ted, but not his son, then bursting into tears and begging, "Don't ever make me do that again." The scene ends with son comforting father and promising to behave.
  • Happens numerous times in the TV movie No One Would Tell. In one scene, Bobby throws his girlfriend Stacy against a wall when she says something that annoys him and stares at her indifferently saying, "Great. You happy now?"
  • Occurs between Beecher and Keller in Oz on a few separate occasions. In one scene Keller knocks Beecher out when he tries to go against his wishes. In another scene, Beecher annoys Keller when he continually asks what he did to make him angry with him, and he shoves Beecher so hard he falls and slides a few feet across the floor.
    • A bit of context for both incidents: the first was a case of Percussive Prevention since Keller was about to confess to arranging the murder of the son of Vern Schillinger when said murder was actually arranged by Beecher. (Since Schillinger previously had his son kidnap both of Beecher's kids and kill one of them, it's difficult to blame him.) Beecher wanted to take responsibility for what he'd done rather than having Keller turn himself into a target to save him, and Keller decided to knock him out before he could confess to the crime himself. Then Keller ran off and took the rap for it. The second case mentioned here happened earlier in the series, before Keller's Heel–Face Turn. (Or perhaps, considering all that Keller would go on to do later, while he was still on the Heel side of the Heel–Face Revolving Door.) At that time, Keller was working for Schillinger and was under orders to gain Beecher's trust, get Beecher to fall in love with him, and then torment him emotionally as part of Schillinger's revenge scheme. Suddenly switching gears—going from acting like he loved Beecher more than anything to acting like he hated Beecher more than anything—was part of the plan.
  • Rescue Me: Sheila's lesbian lover pulls this on her in Season 2. After beating the shit out of her in a fit of jealousy, she is seen tenderly dabbing at Sheila's wounds, saying, "I'm sorry I was so rough with you, but sometimes you just make me so angry."
  • Often happened on Robin Hood between Guy and Marian. Marian would infuriate Guy. Guy would lash out. Marian would get blamed. Eventually, he stabs her to death. Naturally it was the most popular ship on the show.
  • Lucifer spent a season of Supernatural tooling around waiting for the big finale, and pulled this a couple of times, because he likes to claim he's the good guy. Most notably, right before he killed Gabriel:
    Lucifer: Brother, don't make me do this...
    Gabriel: No one makes us do anything.
    Lucifer: I know you think you're doing the right thing, Gabriel, but I know where your heart truly lies... [Stab.] Here.
  • In Grey's Anatomy, Jo's husband liked to do this to her (she was known as Brooke Stadler then). As Jo finds out, he's doing the same thing to his new girlfriend. Just like Jo, the girl is made to believe it's all her own fault, as the guy is that good at convincing her, even though any outsider clearly sees that it's Domestic Abuse.
  • In The Thorn Birds midquel The Missing Years, Luke hits Meggie so hard during an argument that she falls down and miscarries. Afterwards, he apologizes, but almost immediately undercuts it with "You made me angry."
  • Cold Case. A man breaks into a couple's apartment and demands, at gunpoint, that the wife service him sexually. Her enraged husband tries to intervene and is shot in the struggle. The jerk promptly screams at the woman, "Look what you made me do! Now I have to kill you too!"
  • The Outer Limits (1995): This comes up in "The Balance of Nature" when Greg Matheson abuses his wife Barbara.
  • In Teen Wolf, Isaac's father throws a glass at him, almost blinding him, and then says blandly, "Well, that was your fault."
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Acts of Terror", Jack Simonson punches his wife Louise in the face after she burns his eggs. He tells her that it was her own fault and calls her a crybaby for making a big deal out of it.
  • El Chavo del ocho: An episode has la Chilindrina coming to Don Ramón because Quico broke her lollipop. She then explains that Quico broke the lollipop with his head when she hit him with it (not to mention the lollipop actually belonged to Quico and she'd stolen it).
  • In Word of Honor, to drive Zhou Zishu out of hiding, Prince Jin follows his own quote, saying in order to make a man leave his sword, break it, and in order to make a man leave his home, burn it down. In essence, Prince Jin does that by emotionally manipulating Zhou Zishu into returning him to him by indirectly exhausting Wen Kexing into a critical condition and burning down Zhou Zishu's home, the Four Seasons Manor in front of him. When Zhou Zishu calls him out on this, Prince Jin dismisses his anger.

  • El-P invokes this trope at the end of the song "Stepfather Factory". There's the line towards the end of the song that says:
    And in a few unsubstantiated clinical trials, this condition
    Has led to simulated feelings of resentment and worthlessness
    Manifested in the highly unlikely, but still possible, act
    Of physical aggression towards you and your loved ones' fleshy surfaces
    • Then via a bone-chilling robotic basso profundo voice, the stepfather-bot from the song eerily intones at the very end: "Why are you making me hurt you? I love you."
  • Coheed and Cambria's character "Al the Killer" does this in the comic and the songs. Then again, he is a psychopath.
  • Shades of this in P!nk's "Please Don't Leave Me." It's about an abusive relationship, and the song's narrator claims that she's not usually like this, but there's just something about the guy that makes her want to abuse him... and she kind of hates him for it.
  • Taylor Swift's Look What You Made Me Do doesn't make it clear whether she's quoting what the person she's addressing would tell her after mistreating her, or if she's getting back at them for abusing her in the first place and telling them that they forced her hand. Her video makes it clear it's the latter, especially since she'd identified herself as a snake in a self-declared Face–Heel Turn; in the album, she notes she's putting someone on a Nixon-esque "list" and underlined it twice.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: One of the nastiest things about Desus is that his social charms retain their full effect even against his victims. Since you know Desus is a great guy, your mind is forced to find a way to rationalize whatever he does to you as being your own fault.

  • In Henry V, Henry threatens Harfleur with a brutal sack... and tells them that if it happens it'll be all their fault for not surrendering. They surrender.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Applies to both Nan and Kyle. Kyle never actually does this onstage, but when he tries to protest against being turned into bear-bait by his abused wife, Nan tells him that he made her do it — and it's made pretty clear that she's directly quoting one of his catchphrases.
    NAN (A la Kyle:) "Look what you made me do. You know how I get. You made me."

    Video Games 
  • David Madsen in Life Is Strange, if he hits Chloe in his first major scene. He gets better, but from the start of the game, he's an abusive, paranoid asshole who can't stand anything not being under his control and angrily blames everything but himself for his actions.
  • Happens in Samurai Warriors; Kunoichi has a cutscene where she asks Mitsuhide why he had made her fight him when the bad guy was Nobunaga all along and triggered a thought that eventually made Mitsuhide turn on Nobunaga.
  • In a non-malicious example, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls has Toko slap Komaru out of her despair-induced funk in Chapter 5, only for her to demand Komaru hit her back after feeling disgusted with herself.
    Toko: This is the first time I've ever slapped someone in the face! See what you made me do? Now come on... Hit me back.
  • A variant occurs in We Happy Few. An article "Breeder Riot" details how a pregnant woman was brutally attacked because she caused the outbreak of violence for having the "audacity" for showing off her pregnant stomach. Instead of attributing the blame to the Joy-high addicts who assaulted her simply for being pregnant. This is justified and made all the more tragic when you realize that the writers of this article were also Joy addicts, and common sense is far removed for their lot.
  • BattleTech: Sir Raju has a well-justified moment with this trope when he is forced to turn his guns on former comrades-in-arms who chose to rebel against his daughter-in-all-but-name Kamea.
    Raju: Damn you for making me do that, son. Damn you.
  • In the midst of his Villainous Breakdown in Just Cause 3, Di Ravello begins attacking one of his own men. After he is done beating him (presumably to death), he screams "LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!"

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: Jamie's Abusive Parents used to claim that he was an unwanted child and that he was supposed to pay them back for feeding him.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Freeza does a little bit of Stop Hitting Yourself towards Vegeta by punching him in the back. When Vegeta whines out that he's doing that wrong, Freeza coldly replies "Au contrare, Vegeta. You brought this upon yourself."
  • In the Dream SMP, after finding Tommy's secret stash of items (which Dream never explicitly said he couldn't have, and at that point only consisted of innocuous things like loose diamonds, emeralds and ender pearls) during his exile, Dream blows up the entirety of Logstedshire, bars Tommy from the Nether and forbids him from having any visitors. He then scolds Tommy for betraying him, saying things like "I thought you were my friend", with Tommy frantically apologizing the entire time.
  • RWBY:
    • In the episode "Heroes and Monsters", Adam tells Blake "Why must you hurt me, Blake?" mere moments before he attempts to decapitate her. He also nearly killed another Beacon student, beat Blake within an inch of her life, declared that he's going to destroy everything she holds dear and cut off Yang's arm when she tried to rescue her. Given how Word of God stated that Adam was an abusive boyfriend to Blake in the past, and the fact that many abusive boyfriends in real life will blame their partner for provoking the abuse, it's incredibly disturbing.
    • In the episode "Stealing From the Elderly," Adam demands to know why she came into his life and ruined everything. Blake points out that he stalked her across the entire continent.
    • Many of the songs from Salem and Cinder's point of view have chastised Ozpin like this, shaming him for gathering countless people to defeat Salem and therefore sending them to their inevitable demise since he knows he can never hope to win, as Salem is immortal. It's occasionally treated as though Ozpin himself is murdering people rather than Salem and her forces.
    Have you no shame? Signing them up for your war!
  • Played for laughs in Strong Bad Email #86, when Strong Bad throws a cake in Strong Sad's face and says "look what you made me do."

    Western Animation 
  • Attempted by a tree witch in the "To Cut a Woman's Hair" episode of Adventure Time, when she lets Jake out of her so-called "bottomless bottom" and immediately starts crying about her inner and outer ugliness, seemingly provoked by a "The Reason You Suck" Speech Finn had given her just before.
  • In the second season finale of Amphibia, King Andrias runs Marcy through with his sword from behind, and the first words out of his mouth afterwards are "Now look what you made me do."
  • Also done in Batman: The Animated Series with the episode "Mad Love", where Harley Quinn is tossed out of a third-story window by The Joker, and whispers "My fault... I didn't get the joke.", quietly asserting Battered Spouse Syndrome.
  • In the premier episode of Black Dynamite:
    Michael Jackson: "Now Cream Corn, why did you make me do that to you? I'm not mad at you. But if you make me do it again, I'll kill you."
  • Played for laughs in an episode of Family Guy where Stewie gets angry and strikes his stuffed bear Rupert.
    Stewie: Now why did you make me do that? Do you think I like hitting you? ...Well, as a matter of fact, I do. In fact, I like it so much that I'm going to do it again!
  • Done memetically in the Season 1 finale of Invincible (2021), at the culmination of Omni-Man's brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of the titular character.
    Omni-Man: Why did you make me do this?! You're fighting so you can watch everyone around you die! Think, Mark!
  • Often done by Nelson Muntz, a bully on The Simpsons.
    Nelson: Hey, butler. Stop butling yourself. (hits the butler with the butler's own fist)
    Butler: Would that I could, sir. (Nelson hits him some more)
  • Played chillingly for drama in South Park when Jimmy takes steroids to give him an edge in the Special Olympics. His girlfriend tries to talk him out of continuing his steroid abuse, which causes him to fly into a rage and savagely beat her while screaming, "Why are you doing this? Why are you making me do this?"
  • Used once by Dick Dastardly as a justification for his dirty tricks.