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  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules has the distinction of having it happen twice on one page. When Mom dances during the recording of Rodrick's band session at the talent show, thus depriving him of his chance to show his performance to record companies, Rodrick calls her out. She just responds that he shouldn't play music if he doesn't want people to dance. Rodrick then blames the recording fiasco on Greg for not taping the show for him, only for Greg to reply that he would have done it if Rodrick wasn't such a Jerkass.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • In Michael Crichton's novel, Hammond note  has a long internal monologue in which he blames everyone except himself for the disaster. Then he gets eaten.
    • Gennaro, too, is a largely irresponsible man who has allowed significant monetary investment in a project he did very little checking on, under a man (Hammond) he knew to be unsavory, and yet whenever something goes wrong he's the first one to start bitching at someone else. Eventually Grant calls him on it by slamming him into a wall and spitting it all into his face.
  • In The Magicians, Emily Greenstreet disfigures herself while trying to alter her face with magic; when her boyfriend (who she'd dumped for one of the professors, by the way) tries to help, he loses control of a spell due to being too upset to concentrate and dies in the Magic Misfire. When Quentin meets Emily late in the novel, she blames magic for the disaster, claims magic is the source of all the sorrows in her life and Quentin's life, and accuses all of her fellow magicians of being nuclear bombs waiting to go off. For added hypocrisy, her day job requires magic performed by said nuclear bombs to disguise the fact that she does absolutely nothing. Averted in the series, where she abandoned magic out of guilt after what she had done.
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  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, the basic stance of the cacophiles. Particularly, they blame their parents for not dying and thus shutting them out of an inheritance.
  • A good few of the damned have this problem in The Great Divorce.
    • The Napoleon character (mentioned in conversation) has a rather blatant form of this. He's quoted as having been pacing around his house, repeating "It was Soult's fault. It was Ney's fault. It was Josephine's fault. It was the fault of the English. It was the fault of the Russians." Which captures in a nutshell the way Napoleon blamed all his defeats and failures on his subordinates in the memoirs he dictated to his companions Las Cases, Montholon and Gourgaud on St. Helena. Even those of his admirers who take that at face value have to point out that it generally was Napoleon himself who appointed those subordinates and put them in the position where they allegedly did so much damage.
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    • Pamela, the possessive mother, also has a bad case of this. She believes that her husband and daughter abandoned her when she was grieving for her dead son because they didn't care about her or understand what it meant to be a mother. Her guide gently reminds her that they actually left because she was neglecting them in favor of her son (and when he died, her refusal to move on).
  • Very common in the The Railway Series. Because the Rev Awdry didn't want to make railwaymen look foolish, the locomotive characters are usually blamed for whatever goes wrong on the railway. Unfortunately, by doing this, the railwaymen look not only foolish, but get off scot-free with endangering lives.
    • In Percy and the Trousers, Percy crashes into some luggage, but the porters were just as much to blame for not keeping an eye on the track.
    • In Paint Pots & Queens, the painter loses his footing, spilling his paint, and he blames Henry.
    • In The Twin Engines, The Fat Controller rips into the twins for accidents that aren't even their fault (for Donald, crashing to a signalbox and for Douglas, being late due to The Spiteful Brake Van putting on his brakes).
    • In Thomas Comes To Breakfast, The Fat Controller blames Thomas for crashing a stationmaster's house, even if it was the cleaner fiddling with his controls.
    • Also in Percy's Predicament, The trucks cause Percy to crash to a brake van, his driver and Fireman can't stop him in time and the Fat Controller still blames Percy.
    • In Wrong Road, The Fat Controller blames Gordon for the mix up, even though it was the fireman's fault for starting the train before everything was ready.
    • In Buffer Bashing, Donald crashes into some buffers, but the Fat Controller knew it wasn't his fault since he couldn't stop in time. But when Douglas does the same, The Fat Controller scolds him.
  • In Spock's World, the Big Bad, Spock's former fiancee, seems to have this problem. "My mate took a suicidal risk because my mate thought that my constant brooding about my last encounter with you was romantic? Obviously, it's all your fault."
  • Aliens Ate My Homework: A bully tries to beat up Rod, but aliens super-accelerate the intended victim so he dodges. The bully breaks his hand on the hard surface behind Rod, and later gets his father to sue Rod's family for damages. Later, fortunately, when the bullies' ringleader, a disguised evil alien, is brought to justice, the alien's "father" confronts the bully and his father with the true story.
  • The Mass Effect EU book Ascension had an exiled quarian cooperate with Cerberus as revenge for (as he thought) his people banishing him from the Flotilla for no reason. This same quarian had tried to sell his people to the Collectors.
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Even when writing his final letter, Jekyll refers to Hyde (mostly) in the third person, insisting Hyde's actions were not his actions. "[E]ven now I can scarce grant that I committed [them]."
  • Oblomov is completely unable to change his life by himself; when he gets unhappy he decides to blame Sachar instead. Now Sachar is a Jerkass and whatnot, but still Mis-blamed.
  • In Death series: A number of the villains will always blame everyone but themselves when something goes wrong. Divided In Death had Dr. Mira explicitly telling Eve that Blair Bissel refuses to blame himself and that he has to blame someone else for everything going wrong for him.
  • Lolita: Humbert certainly qualifies. The entire book is basically his attempt to convince a jury that he is not responsible for the events of the book.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: A number of villains essentially go around with this attitude. Senator Webster in Payback stands out with refusing to accept the blame for having multiple affairs, and then feebly trying to blame his wife Julia Webster for giving him AIDS. She had to shove the evidence in his face and spell out that recklessly having sex with women caused him to get AIDS, and he passed it on to her, plain and simple! Owen Orzell AKA Jody Jumper in Home Free actually averts or defies the trope by coming out and admitting that he is responsible for what he has done and nobody else.
  • In Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, this trope is played straight by every single villain.
  • Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire, likable though he is, has a pretty bad case of this; not without cause, admittedly. Killing Aerys wasn't a cut-and-dried case of Bodyguard Betrayal by a dastardly villain out for gaining power for himself, after all. Even though Jaime's reasons weren't exactly all sweetness and light, either, it wasn't because of power-seeking. When everybody has harshly judged you beforehand regardless, you tend to dismiss their opinions about you... even when they're not wrong. He gets a bit better listening to others with both time and karma rubbing his nose in the results of previous messes, but he still has a tendency to duck fault for a while when at all possible.
    • Cersei also has this problem. And unlike Jaime she gets worse. After Joffrey's death, she becomes insanely paranoid and thinks that everything bad happening in Westeros is a conspiracy against her masterminded by her hated brother Tyrion. Even when she confesses her sins in A Dance with Dragons she blames other people for "driving" her into sin.
    • Cersei sees herself as an unappreciated political genius on par with her father. After Joffrey and Tywin's deaths, she finds herself in a position to make all the important decisions. She then stacks the Small Council and the Kingsguard with men of questionable competence with their only qualification that she could manipulate them or they kissed her ass a lot. When she is arrested by the Faith they all prove to be obvious failures at their jobs or run for the hills. She then spends quite a bit of time inner-monologuing and honestly wondering to herself how they could do this to her.
    • Tyrion actually tends to accept his faults and learns to wear them openly on his sleeve... sometimes when he really shouldn't. But mostly, blame gets handed to him whether he's responsible for the mess or not. Unfortunately, he occasionally hits his limits — it's less "never my fault" and more "you know what, screw it; I'll get blamed either way, so why shouldn't I?!".
  • Ring Lardner's novel "You Know Me Al" is a collection of letters from a young pitcher trying to break into the big leagues. Whenever he writes about one of his poor pitching performances, he starts by saying that he always takes responsibility for his failings (usually with a Title Drop), and then immediately blames everyone else on the team for his loss.
  • The bully ringleader in Let the Right One In, Johnny, feels this way towards the protagonist, Oskar, smashing him in the head with a piece of wood... while he and a lackey were throwing him into a frozen lake. He retaliates by holding Oskar's head in the path of an oncoming train. Oskar in turn retaliates by burning the bullies' school desks. Unfortunately, the scrapbook with Johnny and his older brother Jimmy's only photos of their father is in his desk. They respond by nearly drowning him, then preparing to cut out his eye. Never once does Johnny acknowledge his horrible treatment of Oskar which drove him to this.
  • The Onion's Jean Teasdale is an odd example since she does this not out of egotism but out of her complete lack of understanding about how the real world works, even when the evidence is right in front of her face. She got fired for browsing eBay instead of working, but she insists it's because the boss just didn't like her. In a more extreme example, another article has her talk about how a local magazine called her the worst columnist ever, and she proceeds to completely ignore the reasons they give (which she demonstrates perfectly in that very article) and conclude that they can't handle her sassy, in-your-face style.
  • In the book of Genesis after Adam and Eve eat from the tree, God finds them hiding under a bush, and he asks what happened. Instead of fessing up, Adam blames Eve for their sin, and Eve blames the serpent. Good thing God couldn't see through that one...
    • It's actually worse than that; Adam does blame Eve, but does so in a way that implies that God should ultimately take the responsibility: "The woman you put here with me — she gave me the fruit, and I ate it."
  • In Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, Opal Koboi has found a way to blame her arch-rival Foaly for her decision to implant a human pituitary gland in her skull in an attempt to make her body generate more growth hormone, which had the side effect of sapping her magic. The logic involved in her conclusion isn't shown, but is probably of the insane troll variety.
  • The title character of Tom Gleisner's Warwick Todd books is an Australian cricketer who writes memoirs of his tours with a fictionalised version of the real Australian cricket team. He blames the team's and his own failures on anyone but himself. One subversion involved Todd not joining in on an appeal for a caught behind. "My fault, no question. When Heals goes up, everyone goes up". If you're not from a cricketing nation, you have no idea what you just read.
  • The title character of The Picture of Dorian Gray is never able to hold himself accountable for his sinful actions. When Sibyl commits suicide, Dorian Gray views her death as a tragic drama in order to avoid responsibility. He even blames Basil for what he has become, and kills him. From Dorian's perspective, it was the knife that killed Basil, leaving Dorian himself blameless. He is always surprised when the eponymous painting proves otherwise. The implication is that he never takes the blame for his crimes because it is the painting, not he, that carries evidence of his guilt (Victorian culture believed that Beauty = Goodness was literally true).
  • The unnamed student in Decision of Fate blames his professor for his drug use. His reason? The professor gave an assignment that said the student was supposed to do something he had never done before. Somehow, it completely escapes him that not a single word was said about trying drugs.
  • Harry Potter
    • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Lucius Malfoy helps Draco lobby to get Buckbeak executed after the Hippogriff slashes Draco's arm. However, the only reason he did that was because Draco ignored Hagrid's instructions about never insulting a Hippogriff and proceeded to call him a "great ugly brute".
    • Draco threatening Harry at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, because his father is in jail, which was Lucius' own fault for not being able to handle a group of children at the Ministry of Magic.
    • Once Harry and Dumbledore's claim that Voldemort has returned is confirmed beyond all question, The Daily Prophet writes an article about how brave Harry was for sticking to his story while having to "bear ridicule and slander". As Hermione notes, they were the ones who did all of the ridiculing and slandering in the first place.
  • The protagonist of Klaus Mann's Mephisto, Hendrik Hoefgen, is a German theater actor who uses Nazi connections to advance his career. Though he uses this influence to imprison his ex-girlfriend and murder his primary rival, Hoefgen is dumbfounded when his friends, wife and colleagues disgustedly desert him. The book's concluding line has Hoefgen wondering "What do they expect of me? After all, I am just an actor."
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Bianca has this pretty hard. In Storm Front, the title character comes to talk to her, and she attacks him. After he defends himself and leaves, she's emotionally out of control to the point that she kills her lover/slave. And that's entirely Dresden's fault because he dared to defend himself. In Grave Peril she has the Red Court trick Dresden into an outright war in "revenge" for his "crime."
    • The changeling Ace. By the end of Summer Knight, one of his best friends is dead and the others have turned their backs to him, since his choices led indirectly to said death. Who does he blame? Harry Dresden, whom he had earlier betrayed to the Red Court even though he was trying to help the changelings.
  • The Bosses in Clocks that Don't Tick refuse to accept any responsibility for the state of the world despite, well, everything.
  • Several instances in some of Stephen King's more recent works:
    • The main villain in Mr. Mercedes is this. A hateful psychopath with a very disturbing relationship with his alcoholic mother, Brady Hartsfield opens the book by driving the titular Mercedes through a crowd in a spree killing, then attempts to further get his jollies by driving people close to the case to suicide through manipulation. Unfortunately, he greatly underestimates Detective Hodges, the book's main character and the now-retired detective who was on said case until he retired. Instead of pushing him over the edge, Hodges is reinvigorated and begins investigating the case on his own, turning the manipulation game around and driving Brady into a mad rage. Brady decided to try and regain the advantage by surreptitiously poisoning the dog that belongs to the family of Jerome, a young man who helps Detective Hodges, which he figures Hodges will grasp as being done by him. Unfortunately, his drunken mother gets into the poisoned hamburger and makes herself a fatal meal. Whose fault is this? Detective Hodges, of course.
    • In the follow-up to the above, Finders Keepers has Morris, who blames his mother for his first stint in jail, and his friend Andrew for his second. You see, he was in jail for crimes he commited while black-out drunk, and the reason he had started drinking on those two occations were because he was pissed with them. Because that is how logic works.
    • Under the Dome: when Junior kills Angie. He keeps thinking about how she made him do it. He's none too rational due to a brain tumor, but still....
  • Honor Harrington:
    • Captain Lord Pavel Young is a poster child for the Aristocrats Are Evil trope and assumes that everything bad that happens to him is the fault of other people because, for him, It's All About Me. Usually, the target of his blame is Honor herself (whom he never calls by name, always "that bitch"). It starts with his receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Honor in their academy days when he tried to rape her. Years later, he leaves Honor horribly understaffed at Basilisk Station but blames her when she proves far more effective than he himself ever so much as tried to be.
    • This is a large part of the reason the situation with the Solarian League escalates as far as it does in the later books. The League's governing bureaucracy fears that openly admitting it was in the wrong with regards to incidents where Solarian naval officers attacked Manticoran ships would be seen as a sign of weakness the systems they oppress in the Verge would capitalize on. This leaves them compelled to fight what is, in many ways, a hopeless war against the far more technologically advanced Manticore, and forces Manticore to have to fight an enemy that won't even consider a peaceful resolution.
    • On a personal level, the Solarian Battle Fleet Admiral who started this conflict, Josef Byng, is shown in his own thoughts trying to justify to himself his panicked destruction of three Manticoran ships that were no threat to him while also trying to figure out how to pin the blame elsewhere.
  • Discussed in the Germany section of World War Z, when a solder from Western Germany argues that this phenomenon is the reason that most skinheads and Neo-Nazis are from the East. Growing up in West Germany at the tail-end of the Cold War, he recalls that personal responsibility was drilled into all West Germans from an early age, as they were taught that they had a duty to atone for the sins of their grandparents' generation by always obeying their conscience. Under the government of East Germany, on the other hand, children never learned the importance of responsibility because they were taught that good Communists just do what they're told.
  • Carcer Dun from Discworld novel Night Watch Discworld. Despite killing several people, including an off-duty watchman, and attempting to kill Vimes, he claims to the end that he is innocent. He's also insane, so that has to be taken into account.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In the Revenge of the Sith novelization, Anakin, waking on the slab, initially has this reaction to being told that he had killed Padmé. He thinks that he loves her, always will, could never will her death—but he remembers the cold terror he felt when thinking of her death (said terror is called "the dragon" in the text. It Makes Sense in Context) that made him create Darth Vader, and he remembers Vader's fury and hatred...
      And there is one blazing moment in which you finally understand that there was no dragon. That there was no Vader. That there was only you. Only Anakin Skywalker.
      That it was all you. Is you.
      Only you.
      You did it.
    • In Star Wars: Kenobi, distraught at the loss of her son, A'Yark blames Annileen—whom she believes to have Ben Kenobi's powers—for "compelling" her to lead her people into a massacre at the hands of the settlers. A'Yark planned and led the raid to kill Annileen before she could use her hypothetical powers against the Sand People.
  • In the Past Doctor Adventures novel Festival of Death, Rochfort, captain of the Cerberus, takes this to a particularly twisted extent; when the Cerberus is caught in a closing hyperspace tunnel, the ship's computer ERIC told Rochfort to let him stop the ship, but Rochfort kept insisting that they could make it up until the moment they crashed into the now-sealed tunnel exit, and subsequently tells ERIC that he should have overridden Rochfort's orders even though ERIC's programming specifically forbids him from doing such a thing. The resulting conflict between what ERIC is being told he should have done and what he was actually capable of doing drives him into a suicidal depression that lasts for almost two centuries, while Rochfort's attempt to escape responsibility sees him possessed and essentially killed by an other-dimensional entity of pure death.
  • In Wolf Hall, Henry VIII exiles Cardinal Wolsey and then accuses him of treason, and Wolsey takes ill and dies on the trip back to his probable execution in London. Years later, Henry acquires the habit of referring fondly to the Cardinal, as though—Cromwell privately notes—it was some other monarch who hounded him to death. (This was historically something of a pattern with Henry; it only took a few months after he executed Cromwell to start regretting it and blamed everyone else for the fact that he killed his most competent servant.)
  • The Stormlight Archive: Normally Kaladin is too good at taking fault, but at his worst moments he starts blaming the lighteyes for absolutely everything wrong in his life. This is most clear in the second book when he is in the chasms with Shallan, which is the lowest point is his character development. He tells Shallan that all lighteyes are equally to blame for exploiting darkeyes, but refuses to accept responsibility for being an angry cynic, only saying "I am what the lighteyes made me." Thankfully, it doesn't take him too long to start improving again.
    • Odium doesn't do this, but he does encourage mortals to have this attitude, including his own minions. He does this because he's the god of uncontrolled emotion and if someone blames him for all their bad decisions, they implicitly surrender their agency to him, giving him more underlings. It's pretty much an inversion of God Needs Prayer Badly.
  • In Variable Star, one character talks about how if a child hits himself on the thumb with a hammer, he will blame everyone else in the room. If he's alone in the room, he will yell at the hammer "Look at what you made me do!" He uses it as a metaphor to explain that now is not the time to look for someone to blame, but to try and do something proactive.
  • Martín Fierro: This is a Narrative Poem about Martin Fierro, a Gaucho who is Press-Ganged into Conscription trying to Settling the Frontier. When Fierro reflects that The Judge punished him because Fierro didn’t want to vote in his election (voting was obligatory in Argentina), Fierro invokes Dumb Is Good and blames Persecuted Intellectuals instead.
  • Captain Underpants
    • In book 2, Mr. Krupp (rightfully) bans George & Harold for participating in the Invention Convention due to a prank the duo pulled on all the staff and students when the participated in the previous Invention Convention. Rather than admitting they were wrong for pulling such a stunt, the boys just play the victim, get angry, and sabotage the other kids’ inventions out of spite.
    • While it was immature & wrong for George & Harold to trick Ms. Ribble & Mr. Krupp into (almost) getting married, both Mr. Krupp & Ms. Ribble decide to put the whole blame on the boys for them almost getting married. Ms. Ribble even goes as far as to deliberately changing George & Harold's grades to failing grades to get them to flunk the fourth grade. She and Mr. Krupp ignore the fact that both of them had a whole week to simply tell the other staff members that neither of them wanted to get married to each other and that they were a victim of a prank. It doesn't help the prank that George & Harold did was intended to be a small prank that people will just laugh at & then move on.
  • The Swampling King: Duke Lenoden is very good at blaming everyone else for anything that goes wrong. He makes a very strong case that he wanted peace and it's Josen's fault they're going to war... even though he's the one who set up the situation so that there would be war if he didn't get what he wants.
  • The First Law: In order to improve his reputation at home, government officials make Crown Prince Ladisla a general under the assumption that he'll listen to Colonel West, a veteran who knows the area and who Ladisla respects. Unfortunately, he does the opposite of what West recommends, which causes thousands of his soldiers to be slaughtered. When he thinks about all the people who are dead because of him, his greatest lament is that they didn't fight harder.
  • Moby-Dick: Ahab claims that his mad obsession with catching Moby Dick at all costs can't really be his fault, because all things, including his actions, were pre-ordained by God long before he was born.
  • In the Cormoran Strike Novels, pretty much any problem in the relationship of Matthew and Robin is, in Matthew's mind, Robin's fault, no matter what it might be. Even his own infidelity.
  • Warrior Cats: The prologue for River Of Fire has Needletail scolding two ShadowClan cats for blaming themselves, saying that Rowanstar is to blame for not being a strong leader. This is after she and her fellow apprentices had constantly rebelled against Rowanstar and helped Darktail overthrow ShadowClan. Even Yellowfang calls her out for coming to that conclusion.
  • Life’s Little Annoyances, by Ian Urbina: The author used to bring home ice cream, eat some, and leave the rest in the fridge. Then someone would eat most of the rest, without permission. Hiding the ice cream didn't stop her. Writing his name on top didn't stop her. Urbina was going to move out anyway, so he bought some Cookies and Cream ice cream...and covered it in a thin layer of salt. The thief complained about being punished for something they clearly weren’t supposed to do in the first place; Urbina was just taking his ice cream "too seriously" and being "passive-aggressive" and she claimed she had a "pathological weak spot" for ice cream, so Urbina should really be more sympathetic to her condition.
  • In The King's Avatar, the reserves on Team Tiny Herb use this excuse when trying to explain to their captain Wang Jiexi why they weren't able to complete his kill order on Lord Grim. One of them stated it was due to the low levels of their player characters rather than admit they had less skill than the one controlling Lord Grim.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Ukridge stories, Ukridge will never admit that his latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme (and he has a lot of them) was a lousy idea in the first place. The circumstances which caused their failure couldn't have been foreseen and were entirely outside his control. If everyone had just been more broad-minded and cooperative, and not hounded him over every little problem, he'd soon have been in a position to repay everyone. It's really their own fault that they're out of pocket, but instead of being grateful for what he tried to do for them, they subject him to relentless persecution. Or so he'll tell you — at length.
  • Crayon will not admit he caused 60% of his own team's deaths from 'Call of Duty: Object Oblivion Edition' from Lucas Edward's Object Oblivion
  • In Diamond, Diamond's father blames Diamond for her mother's death because they didn't get the medicine she needed to her in time. The reason they were late is because Diamond's father forced her to perform for people instead of going straight home.
  • The Amy Virus: This is one of the three defining traits of Cyan's abusive father (the other two traits are he's a lying hypocrite and a total Control Freak). Tam reveals to Cyan that he actually lost his IT job because he messed up some code and blamed a coworker for it instead of taking responsibility, not because he was laid off by younger competitors as he had claimed.
  • Carrie: Chris wants revenge on Carrie for getting her banned from the prom, culminating in her plan to humiliate Carrie at the prom in front of everybody. However, Carrie wasn't the one who got Chris banned from the dance. Chris got herself banned from the dance for bullying Carrie.
  • Scavenger Alliance: This is Hannah's attitude. It's not Hannah's fault she stole medicine and lied about it: Cage made her! It's not her fault she lied to Blaze about literally everything for the next six years and chased away everyone else who tried to befriend her! And then lied to everyone else about Blaze so Cage could use her in his takeover bid! And then helped Cage corner her so he could break her arm! It's all Blaze's fault, if you think about it.
  • One Of Us Is Lying: Simon delighted in using his gossip app to tear people down, and revelled in the power this gave him. The fact that this is the reason he has no friends and that maybe he bears some responsibility for his own misery doesn't seem to have occurred to him.
  • After being overthrown in the backstory of Shadow of the Conqueror, Dayless the Conqueror—genocidal, tyrannical Serial Rapist that he was—still saw himself as the just and rightful ruler of Tellos, and had every intention of returning to power and taking revenge. It took ten years of exile before the Heel Realization fully kicked in.


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