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Films — Animation
- Played for very dark laughs in Alice in Wonderland; when the Queen of Hearts confronts a trio of cards for painting her roses red (after they accidentally planted white ones), the three of them start placing the blame on each other in a desperate attempt to keep their heads. By the end of their blame game, however, the Queen has had enough and cuts the knot by demanding that all of them get executed for it.
- Beauty and the Beast:
- Belle, while healing Beast after he saved her from the wolves, got into an argument with him over who was to blame for the wolves attacking. Beast retorts that Belle should have never entered the forbidden room and she retorts that he should control his temper... which is not exactly an excuse. True, it was partially Beast's fault Belle ran away due to him screaming at her and not explaining himself better; but for all his bad temper, Beast HAD told her to not enter that room, and had excellent reasons to forbid her from doing so. Despite being more calmed afterwards, she disobeyed, and her entering the room and almost touching the rose could have made Beast be stuck in that shape forever, so he kind of had a reason to scream at her.
- Gaston refuses to believe Belle's rejection of him was because of how much of a rude and conceited jerk he is. Instead of recognizing why she doesn't like him and find ways to bond with her and show a good side, he threatens to have her father sent to an asylum unless she marries him. It backfires and he still can't understand why she grows to hate him.
- This is the firm stance of Kenai from Brother Bear after his brother dies and Kenai himself is transformed into an ursine. Growing out of this immaturity and learning that he did do a lot of damage to his friends and family is an important part of his Character Development and leads to him becoming The Atoner.
- Merida spends most of the film refusing to acknowledge her own role in the political disaster and her mother being turned into a bear. Actually admitting her fault is an essential bit of Character Development for her.
- Her mother, Queen Elinor, fits this trope as well. Elinor never seems to realize that most people, her daughter included, would react badly to being forced into marriage, and Elinor behaves as though she cannot understand why Merida would object. She does eventually have a My God, What Have I Done? moment... over a completely different misdeed, that of almost killing her daughter while in bear form.
- She does eventually give a speech (through Merida, as Elinor is still a bear at this point) about how young people should be allowed to choose for themselves who they will marry.
We've been falling out for way too long.
- An early Cut Song called "Cool With Me" had Elsa have this type of view on relationship with her sister. Anna and Elsa were extremely close as children but have drifted apart over the years. Elsa completely blames Anna for everything while acting cocky about her own self.
So let's forget I'm right and forget you're wrong.
Okay! Let's try forgivin', maybe we could live in harmony.
- The Duke of Weselton quickly outed Elsa as a monster when her magic is revealed, stating it's because she nearly killed him with her powers. Surprisingly, Hans is the only one to call him out by pointing all that happened was he slipped on ice.
- In all media set after the film, it's established that our heroes are unaware what happened to Hans after he was sent home, believing he's been rightfully punished for his attempted regicide. This implies that his father, the king of the Southern Isles, never sent them a letter informing his son's punishment or even apologizing to them. As the king's cruelty led Hans to take the actions he thought would help free him from his father's reign, this means he doesn't feel remotely responsible for any of his youngest son's crimes or likely doesn't care that two women almost died because of him.
- At the end of the Tie-In Novel A Frozen Heart, Since Hans lied so much about his family, Anna, Elsa and Kristoff doubt that they're as bad as he claimed and deconstruct his Freudian Excuse by stating that he should take responsibility for his actions instead of pinning the blame on his family.
- Done by Goofy of all characters in A Goofy Movie. When their car starts rolling down the mountain he blames Max for both the car running away (Goofy should have put the brakes on) and the door being locked. Max retorts that the locked door was on Goofy's side. Goofy then blames Max for distracting him and tells Max he should have put the brakes on himself, then he accidentally breaks it. Max use that to show that Goofy "ruins everything". Then Goofy blames Max for "ruining the vacation". Then Max told him he never even wanted to come and should have just let him stay home. The argument ends with Goofy saying all he wanted was to spend time with him and doesn't want them to become any more distant.Goofy: You're my son, Max. No matter how big you get, you'll always be my son.
- Played very darkly in the Disney animated movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Combine this with Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny, and you have Judge Claude Frollo.
"It's not my fault!" (Mea culpa)
- Frollo, a pious, merciless man, develops an obsession with the gypsy Esmeralda, rationalizing his lust by claiming she seduced him. All she did was flirt with him a little during her dance. And then he goes on to blame GOD. Of course, the Ominous Latin Choir in the background doesn't seem to agree, singing the Act of Contrition during his song.
"I'm not to blame!" (Mea culpa)
"It is the gypsy girl, the witch who set this flame!" (Mea maxima culpa)
"It's not my fault!" (Mea culpa)
"If in God's plan!" (Mea culpa)
"He made the devil so much stronger than a man!" (Mea maxima culpa)
- Frollo also chases a woman through the city on his horse because he thinks the bundle she's carrying is stolen property, only to unintentionally kill her in front of Notre Dame; his excuse to the Archdeacon is that wouldn't have happened if she hadn't run from him in the first place. He also orders his men to burn down a home, with an innocent family still inside, with the excuse that they were harboring gypsies (despite the only "proof" being that someone had found a gypsy emblem on their property).
- In The Incredibles, Syndrome's Freudian Excuse falls kind of flat when you realize that even though Mr. Incredible told him he worked alone, Buddy had distracted him repeatedly, let Bomb Voyage escape, and had nearly gotten himself killed because he repeatedly tried to "help". In Syndrome's self-serving flashback to the scene, Bomb Voyage is no longer present at all, and so it seemed as though Mr. Incredible rejected him for no reason whatsoever.
- The Jungle Book 2: Shere Khan believes that Kaa knows where Mowgli is (after hearing the snake grumble "man-cub"). Truthfully, Kaa has no idea where Mowgli is, but Shere Khan won't believe him and continues to threaten the python. So to save his skin, Kaa fearfully lies to the tiger that Mowgli's at the swamp, allowing him to flee. When Shere Khan arrives at the swamp with Mowgli nowhere to be found, he angrily growls "That snake lied to me!", but he's the one at fault for not believing Kaa when he told him the truth: "I don't know where Mowgli is".
- Meet the Robinsons: Bowler Hat Guy blames Lewis for his Freudian Excuse that caused his Start of Darkness in the first place, despite Lewis pointing out that BHG himself let it go this far.
- Kung Fu Panda 2: One of Lord Shen's main flaws. He refuses to take responsibility for his own evil actions, instead blaming his parents for not supporting him and the rest of the world for standing in his way.
- The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island has the adult dinosaurs looking for the children who have wandered off. Mr. Threehorn growls at Grandpa Longneck at how he blames Littlefoot for getting Cera missing, but when he's questioned by the sauropod on why he blames Littlefoot, he sheepishly admits that he feels the need to blame somebody.
- The Lion King: Scar tries to shift the blame for the lack of food to the lionesses who won't hunt, instead of admitting that letting the hyenas eat the lions' game was what caused their food shortage. When Simba has Scar at his mercy, Scar tries to shift blame onto the hyenas. They overhear, and become extremely angry. Anger is a hell of an appetite stimulant.
- The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Zira blames Kovu for Nuka getting himself killed trying to get the attention and praise she never gave him. She even weeps for her elder son briefly before turning her sorrow into anger at her youngest.
- In the first film, Alex chews out Marty for getting them transferred from New York to Africa, which Marty responds by saying that he didn't intend for them to get transferred and that it's not his fault. Gloria doesn't believe that and even asks "You're kidding, right, Marty?" But near the end of the movie, after Alex turns feral and runs away, Marty realizes that his wish to be in the wild cost them their friend.
- It's averted near the end of Europe's Most Wanted, where Marty admits that them going to Madagascar was his fault in the first place. The others, however, tell him that him leaving the zoo was the best thing to ever happen to them.
- In Maya the Bee Movie, this is combined with Implausible Deniability. Maya insists that Buzzlina is hiding the royal jelly under her crown, but nobody believes her. Then, Buzzlina's crown gets knocked off, with the vial of jelly inside it, and when it lands on the ground, one of the bees goes to pick it up, which reveals the jelly to the shocked crowd. Willy flies down and grabs the jelly to protect it from Buzzlina, at which point she yells, "Thief! Arrest him!"
- Monsters University: Sulley initially blames Mike for getting him kicked out of the Scare program, even though it was really his fault for neglecting his studies.
- Pocahontas: Governor Ratcliffe blames the Native Americans for not finding any gold, John Smith for Taking the Bullet, and his own men for treason when they have him arrested.
- The Kingpin in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse blames Spider-Man for the death of his wife and son. In reality, his wife and son died in a car accident trying to get away from him after they witnessed Kingpin brutally beating up Spider-Man. Kingpin's refusal to admit that it was his actions that cost him his family causes him to repeat his mistakes across the multiverse.
- Strange Magic: Roland immediately blames Sunny for drawing the ire of the Bog King by making a love potion, even though he was the one who convinced him to do it.
- Toy Story 3: Jessie admits to Woody that the toys were wrong not to believe him. When she says that she was wrong specifically, Mr. Potato Head adds, "Jessie's right, Woody. She was wrong!"
- Wreck-It Ralph: Gene acts as though it's all Ralph's fault that their game has been put at risk. While Ralph is at fault for abandoning his game to go out and win a medal, it's also Gene's fault for A) treating him like garbage along with the other Nicelanders and B) challenging him to go out and win a medlal and claiming that it'll never happen.
Films — Live-Action
- Ace Ventura: Ray Finkle blames Dan Marino for the missed field goal that cost the Dolphins the Super Bowl, saying that if Marino had held the ball "laces out" like he was supposed to, Finkle would never have missed that kick. Though Finkle's life was certainly no bed of roses after missing the kick — every Dolphins fan blamed him, and he ended up going to a mental hospital — Finkle resorts to killing a woman, assuming her identity, killing someone else when he found out what Finkle had done, kidnapping Marino, and stealing the Dolphins' animal mascot Snowflake for revenge, all instead of admitting that any of the fault for missing the kick lies with himself.
- In Andhadhun, Simi blames Manohar entirely for the death of her husband Mr. Sinha since Manohar brought the gun and more egregiously refuses to take responsibility for murdering Mrs. D'Sa in cold blood when Akash calls her out on it.
- Annie from Bridesmaids heaps a great deal of blame on her best friend's newer, richer, prettier friend, but not all the disaster that befalls Annie in the film—losing her job because she called a customer a C-word, wrecking her car because her taillights were broken, chewing out a potential love interest who was only trying to help her find her feet—is the fault of the new woman. Said love interest eventually calls her out on this, apparently regarding the car accident but subtextually over the latter.
- Caddyshack: Rodney Dangerfield drops his anchor into another boat. The other boat sinks, yet all Rodney says is "You scratched my anchor!" It's "okay" because the other guy is a gigantic dick, and though Dangerfield is even more of a dick than that to him, he's a charming, amicable schmoozer to everyone else.
- A decidedly non-comedic version in Chinatown, where Big Bad Noah Cross absolves himself of blame for driving his daughter Evelyn away (by which we mean, he raped and impregnated her when she was fifteen), claiming that "in the right time and the right place, [most people] are capable of anything."
- In Cliffhanger... well, let's just repeat what's on the film's page: "Oh sure, Hal, it was Gabe's fault you brought your girlfriend, who had no experience in climbing whatsoever, on a climbing trip. Or never bothered to check her harness, and assured her it was safe to go across a cliff. Oh, but I'm sure you could've saved her when the harness failed when she was halfway across with little to no chance of reaching her or being able to pull her up. But hey, Gabe at least bothering to try was certainly something to blame him for. Yeah, great reasoning pal."
- Downfall: As it becomes more and more obvious Germany is about to lose the war, Hitler blames just about everyone for it: first his generals, then the SS, then his inner circle, until finally he declares the entire German people lost because they were weak and deserved it. He never, ever, once blames himself.
- In the original Ghostbusters film, Walter Peck gets the Ghostbusters arrested for causing an explosion he himself had caused, in spite of their explicit warnings. Egon's response? "Your mother!"
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: After the Grinch steals their Christmas, Augustus blames Cindy Lou for inviting the Grinch to their Whobilation, when it was his own taunts that drove the Grinch to do so in the first place.
- Juice: Bishop blames Raheem, for trying to take the gun away from him, resulting in the latter being killed by Bishop with it.
- Used rather darkly in The Last King of Scotland, after Idi Amin has realized that exiling the Asian population of Uganda was a serious political mistake.Amin: You should have told me not to throw out the Asians in the first place.
Nicholas: I did!
Amin: But you did not persuade me!
- Epitomized by the comic duo Laurel and Hardy. Whenever things went wrong, Hardy would blame Laurel (regardless of what part of the blame he truly carried) with a reproachful "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!"
- This schtick is borrowed by Illuminatus!! where various different figures appear dressed as Laurel and Hardy, e.g. The Flood, everyone except Noah and Co have been drowned for their sins by a vengeful God. Jehovah (as Ollie) turns to Lucifer (as Stan) and says, "Now look what you made me do!" Lucifer cries. Hiroshima, a mushroom cloud rises above the city. Tens of thousands have been killed in a split second. President Truman (as Ollie) turns to Albert Einstein (as Stan) and says, "Now look what you made me do!" Einstein cries. etc.
- Looney Tunes: Back in Action:
- Mr. Chairman insists that the ACME equipment functions perfectly and that Wil.E.Coyote must not be using it properly.
- After Bugs' first scene without Daffy, the Warner Brothers threaten to fire Kate if they don't get Daffy back even though firing him was their own decision in the first place.
- Mary Poppins: The bankers pressure eight-year-old Michael hard to open a savings account with his tuppence instead of using it to feed the birds like he wants to. When he opens his hand a bit, the elder Dawes snatches the money without waiting to be given it. Michael flips out and yells for Dawes to give it back. Customers overhear and, assuming there is something wrong, start demanding their money back, and there is a run on the bank. The bankers in no way acknowledge their own culpability, and instead blame Michael's father, firing him.
- Major Frank Burns in the movie, M*A*S*H, was a terrible doctor and would often have patients die on him, causing him to claim it was God's will, or someone else's fault. In the case we see in the movie, he placed the blame on Private Boone for bringing the wrong instrument (in actuality, the patient died before Boone even got back). Even so, poor Boone was reduced to tears thinking he killed him, leaving Trapper, who saw what happened, to give Major Burns a well-deserved punch.
- Muppets Most Wanted: You'd think that Fozzie, Kermit's best friend, would notice that Kermit's identity had been stolen by Constantine, who may look like Kermit but doesn't act or sound anything like him. But nope, he's just as clueless as the other Muppets. When an understandably upset Kermit calls out Fozzie for not noticing, Fozzie first tries to justify his mistake ("He looked like you and talked like you! Well, okay, he didn't talk like you, but he said he had a cold!"), then claims that it's not as bad as it sounds.
- The real reason for all the events in Now You See Me is a case of Disproportionate Retribution by the son of a magician who died trying the ultimate escape trick. He blames everyone but his father for his father's death, including Thaddeus Bradley (for exposing his father's tricks and "forcing" him to undertake the risky endeavor), Arthur Tressler (for owning the insurance company that refused to pay out on his father's policy citing suicide), and the company that made the safe his father died in (apparently, he expects safes not to deform when dropped into a river). Naturally, we're expected to side with him. Naturally, the sequel will involve a Cycle of Revenge, in which the son of Arthur Tressler seeks to avenge what was done to his father.
- In The Princess Diaries, Lana (as usual) insults Mia and attempts to bully her. Mia's response? She uses her ice cream cone and shoves it on Lana's cheerleading outfit. After being humiliated, Lana tries to whine to Ms. Gupta about what Mia did. Ms. Gupta only sarcastically gives her some advice. Lana ignores the fact that had she not tried to bully Mia, she wouldn't have gotten coned in the first place.
- The Rapture: Sharon comes off this way after murdering her daughter, blaming it all on God.
- A non-comedic example can be seen in Repo! The Genetic Opera where Rotti and his kids use a constant (and catchy) chorus of this to convince Nathan that It's All My Fault.
- The Richest Cat in the World: Oscar Kohlmeyer left the bulk of his estate (five million dollars) to his cat while his nephew got only twenty-five thousand dollars and only if he didn't contest the will. The nephew's greedy wife forced her Henpecked Husband to contest and, after they lost the case, she blamed him for losing the twenty-five thousand dollars.
- RoboCop 2 has a twisted example as OCP seeks to shift the blame for the RoboCop 2 debacle to to Dr. Juliette Faxx for picking drug lord Cain's brain. The twisted part comes in as, outside of the CEO looking the other way, the whole thing was indeed Faxx's fault and the one who suggested pinning it on her, Johnson, opposed her insane ideas along the way and is the only one who isn't to blame.
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.Jack Frost: (examines a sign he's "supervised" the elves putting up) Very nice! I've done it!
(the sign falls down and shatters, and he glares at the elves)
Jack Frost: Look what you've done!
- In the Saw movies, despite Jigsaw's claims that he is trying to help his victims, it never seems to work, as most of his victims are killed. The few that survive their game are severely traumatized. And of course, he claims the people that died were missing an essential part of themselves, the 'survival instinct,' so to speak. Apparently, if you aren't willing to do absolutely anything (up to and including committing murder) to survive, you simply don't value your own life enough. Jigsaw also never admits to being responsible for the deaths he causes, even in the tests where someone deliberately has to die for someone else to live. They're making the choice, not him; never mind that he is responsible for putting them in a life-or-death scenario in the first place.
- Sean from The Social Network particularly has this problem. He blamed the Winklevii and/or Manningham for "planting" the coke and calling the cops for catching him with underage interns. He also doesn't seem to get how record companies would be pissed to see you take money away from them, chalking it up to the companies not having a sense of humor.
- Shrek 2: Prince Charming refuses to believe that he is the reason Fiona is not falling in love with him and that it's because he has to pretend to be Shrek. In his case, he doesn't want Fiona to love him because he has feelings for her, it's because he needs to marry her to secure a position as the future king of Far Far Away.
- Spider-Man Trilogy:
- Harry blaming Peter for his father's death, even after finding out that his father was the Green Goblin. And in the third movie he at first refuses to help Peter save MJ at the end, blaming Peter for disfiguring his face. It was Harry's own stupid fault for throwing a grenade at Peter in the first place!
- Also Doctor Octopus in both the novelization and the videogame of the second movie blames Spider-Man for his wife's death, when it was the Doctor's own experiment that led to Rosie's death. The videogame adaptation has him snap out of his evil personality and admit that it was his own vanity that killed her. Ironically, his film incarnation avoids this completely by having Doctor Octopus completely uninterested in Spider-Man up until he's paid to kidnap him. And it's more the arms that are giving him this mindset.
- Eddie Brock hates Peter for costing him the staff job at the Bugle. Yeah, Peter may have been under the control of a symbiote that was making him act a bit differently, but there are consequences to framing a man for robbery and falsifying journalistic documents, Eddie. Photoshop aside, why you thought it was a good idea to plagiarize the only other man in the city who takes pictures of Spider-Man is anybody's guess (dollars to doughnuts he'd recognize his own freaking work). This is actually Truth in Television: people who plagiarize rarely admit that what they're doing is wrong, and/or tell themselves they're a special case.
- Star Wars:
- C-3PO is famous for this, especially in A New Hope when he decides to go a different direction than R2-D2 in the Tatooine desert.R2-D2: [beckoning whistle]
C-3PO: Where do you think you're going?
C-3PO: Well, I'm not going that way. It's much too rocky. This way is much easier.
C-3PO: What makes you think there are settlements over there?
R2-D2: [beeping and whistling]
C-3PO: Don't get technical with me.
R2-D2: [angry squawks]
C-3PO: What mission? What are you talking about?
R2-D2: [beeping and whistling]
C-3PO: I've just about had enough of you. Go that way. You'll be malfunctioning within a day, you nearsighted scrap pile. [kicks R2]
R2-D2: [startled beep]
C-3PO: [walks off] And don't let me catch you following me begging for help, because you won't get it.
R2-D2: [sad whistling leading into a loud yelp]
C-3PO: [turns around] No more adventures! I'm not going that way.
R2-D2: [angry honk and some muttering]
C-3PO: That malfunctioning little twerp. This is all his fault. He tricked me into going this way. But he'll do no better.
- In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker blames Obi-Wan Kenobi for turning Padmé Amidala against him. It couldn't have been your sharp descent into violent murder and villainy, no...Anakin: You turned her against me!
Obi-Wan: You have done that yourself.
- C-3PO is famous for this, especially in A New Hope when he decides to go a different direction than R2-D2 in the Tatooine desert.
- Likewise, Moe of The Three Stooges was quick to pin blame and administer physical punishment against Larry and Curly (or Shemp), even when whatever hilarious accident that had happened to Moe was his own fault.
- Vertical Limit: Vaughn accuses Tom of being the reason for the climbing team getting caught in the storm in the first place on the grounds that Tom was the official team leader, even though Tom kept insisting that they should turn back and Vaughn just kept offering new arguments to support going on until it was too late.
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: When Mr. Wonka denies Charlie the lifetime supply of chocolate because of the Fizzy Lifting Drinks incident, Grandpa Joe is positively livid, gives Mr. Wonka a What the Hell, Hero? speech accusing him of being an "inhuman monster" who cruelly strung Charlie along, and vows to get back at Wonka by selling the Everlasting Gobstopper to Slugworth. Of course, Grandpa Joe doesn't take into consideration that not only did he push Charlie into signing Wonka's contract without bothering to read it, but it was his idea to take the Fizzy Lifting Drinks in the first place.
- One of Gary King's traits in The World's End:Andy: You're late.
Gary: No, I'm not.
Andy: Yes you are. You said 3:00. It's almost 4:00.
Gary: Yeah, 3 fore 4:00.
Andy: You know your problem, Gary? You're never wrong.
Gary: How's that a problem?
- Near the end of X-Men: First Class, after Erik Lensherr deflects a bullet that hits Charles Xavier, Erik immediately blames the wound on Moira for shooting at him in the first place. Xavier immediately calls Erik out on who is really to blame.