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Never My Fault / Live-Action TV

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  • Liz in 30 Rock has a minor tendency to blame the "sexist standards" of society for her own incompetence and personal failings. Jack calls her out on it in season 4 when she tries to pull the sexism card to excuse away her inability to get a steady relationship, pointing out that the only thing keeping her from settling down is her difficulty in trusting people because she has been hurt and hanging onto past bitterness and resentment.
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  • Grant Ward in season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is very quick to blame all of his actions on his messed up family or Garrett. Bobbi finally calls him on this. He doesn't take it well.
  • Alta Mar: Pierre blames Natalia completely for Clara's suicide, even though he not only was caught kissing Natalia, but accused Clara of having a consensual affair with her rapist. Yes, he made that accusation based on Natalia's lies, but that he was so quick to believe her does not speak well for his character.
  • Laurel Lance in Season 2 of Arrow. She blames everything wrong in her life — her drug addiction, her alcoholism, her abusing her authority at her job, her poor performance at the same and her only being spared arrest on charges of stealing her cop father's pain medication and DUI due to his influence (though she is still fired after trying to use her position to get out of said DUI) — on her ex-boyfriend Oliver Queen and sister Sara Lance. She gets better about this later, however.
    • Felicity never admits she's wrong, apologizes for her actions, or takes responsibility for the consequences of her decisions. Not only does she not grow out of it, she's never called on it by anyone.
  • In Babylon 5:
    • Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari has problems apologizing, stemming in part from the fact that he indirectly caused the deaths of millions as a result of his political maneuverings. However, because the dead were Narns, and to most of Londo's people Narns are seen as vile, aggressive, uncivilized animals, he compensates for his private shame by being more aggressively anti-Narn in public. Even after his conscience catches up with him and he uses his influence to free Narn, he makes up excuses that it was for the good of the Centauri, and had nothing to do with feeling sorry for the Narns. After that, it takes him a year before he can apologize to anyone about what he did. When he finally does, he admits, "I've never apologized for anything in my life." He was just too prideful and ashamed to admit that he was sorry, even to himself.
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    • Many Narns have the same problem. Certainly, G'Kar did early in the show's run; he would often blame the Centauri for problems on his own homeworld. While there may be some truth to his claim, it's certainly not the only factor; as Londo points out, at least some of the problems on the Narn homeworld are caused by the Narn aggressively building their war machine for "self-protection". G'Kar got over it as the series went along.
    • In an early scene that neatly sums up their relationship at that point, Londo and G'kar are waiting for an elevator when they get into an argument about the Narn/Centauri war. Their discussion becomes so heated that both of them miss the arrival and departure of the elevator. Upon realising, they simultaneously yell at each other "Look at what you made me do!".
  • Being Human: Mitchell takes this position over the Box Tunnel Massacre when he is confronted with his victims. First, he blames Lucy for betraying him, then Daisy for egging him on. When Lia pushes him far enough, he finally takes responsibility and admits that he doesn't deserve forgiveness.
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  • Beyond: Frost blames Willa for Celeste's death, but it was actually his experimental attempt to revive her from a coma (which giving birth left her in, though that's not Willa's fault either) which killed her.
  • Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction: Sonny Rhodes of the segment "Used Car Salesman" made a living off ripping off customers and making the honest salesman of the dealership look bad. When selling a van with damaged brakes to a small man group that was in a hurry to make it to Vegas, he decides to sell it without having it inspected. They die on the road due to the faulty brakes. When his co-workers confront him on this, he coldly rejects any responsibility, saying that the buyer was in a hurry and that their time was up. Unshockingly, he ends up an Asshole Victim by possessed cars.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper insists that because he is smarter than everyone he is automatically right about everything, no matter how he might word it. If he causes trouble for others it is their own fault for being too dumb not to understand his advice or not being able to control their anger. Most of his own problems he could fix just by swallowing his pride and apologizing or admitting he was wrong, but he usually just tries to work around the problem to avoid doing this or gives a Backhanded Apology to avoid taking complete blame. Once, when Leonard finally had enough of his shit when he spoils a Harry Potter book Leonard was reading and instead of apologizing, even when Leonard points out Sheldon would be mad if he were in the same position, says Leonard is just nagging him and being annoying again, Leonard decided to move out and move in with Penny. Once Amy decided to move in with Sheldon and he couldn't find a reason to say no, he tried to get Leonard to come back by saying that their argument was all over nothing and he forgives Leonard. Leonard slams the door in his face. Sheldon eventually told Amy she couldn't move in with him because Penny didn't want Leonard to move in with her, neither of the girls were happy that he was once again avoiding blame.
    • There was one rare time where he realized that it was all his fault Howard didn't get security clearance for his new project, because while he was complaining to the FBI agent about Howard he accidentally lets slip that Howard once crashed the Mars rover. Leonard and Raj take the blame at first because they embarrassed themselves in front of the agent, but Sheldon eventually comes clean that it was his fault. But, he expects Howard to simply accept "I'm sorry" as an appropriate apology for setting his work back two years and doesn't understand why he won't forgive him. Though in this case, Howard is even more guilty of this trope because he puts all the blame on Sheldon for telling the FBI, and not on himself for actually crashing the Mars rover in the first place.
  • In Black Books this is Bernard's default attitude. One episode involves around a quarrel between Bernard and Manny that isn't resolved until one of them has the strength to apologize:
    Manny: Bernard I'm sorry! It was my fault you toasted my hand!
  • The Boys (2019): A-Train pins the blame of Popclaw's death on Hughie and the Boys since them blackmailing her is what led to him to killing her, ignoring the fact that he was the one who killed her.
  • Walter White from Breaking Bad has a serious, nearly life-long habit of this. Whether it's the company he founded with Elliot and Gretchen in college, (a company he walked out on after a tiff, which later became worth billions) his feud with Gus, the dissolution of his family, the destruction of his relationship with Jesse, or any number of other examples, Walt has a tendency to take actions out of sheer pride and ego, then point the finger at others when it goes badly. Only in the very final episode of the series does he come clean about one of these, when he finally admits that the reason he got into manufacturing and distributing meth never had anything to do with providing for his family, but because he enjoyed it and it made him feel alive in a way that he hadn't in years, perhaps decades. However, even to the end, he still notably never apologizes for any of it.
  • Brooklyn 99:
    • Jack Danger blames Jake for letting a suspect escape because he didn't check for ground obstructions, conveniently ignoring that said obstruction was him grabbing Jake's leg.
    • Hoytsman blames Jake for his life falling apart, when it's pretty clear that it's really because of his massive drug addiction, inability to take responsibility for it, that he snorted cocaine in front of a cop (Jake), and trying to complete the 40 hours of community service he got thanks to Jake's leniency all in one go by intentionally OD'ing on cocaine and meth.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Reptile Boy", Cordelia insists that Buffy goes to a party with her, over Buffy's repeated objections. The party turns out to be a trap, and Buffy and Cordelia are captured by demons. Cordelia angrily tells Buffy, "I can't believe I let you talk me into coming here!" Buffy does nothing but stare at Cordelia incredulously.
    • In "Dead Man's Party", Joyce all but openly dismisses the fact that her ultimatum to Buffy in the second season finale was instrumental in Buffy's decision to run away. However, unlike most other examples, she admits that she reacted badly, but still states that didn't give Buffy the excuse to run.
    • In "Blood Ties", Buffy's immediate reaction upon finding out that Spike helped Dawn break into the Magic Box is to storm off to his crypt and start to beat the crap out of him, blaming him for Dawn finding out about being the Key in the worst possible way. However, Spike quickly turns the tables on her, pointing out that not only did he not know that Dawn was the Key before then, but Buffy was the one who kept it from her in the first place. When Dawn later runs away, Buffy admits that he was right and the whole mess is her fault.
    • Spike, even with a soul. It's Angel's fault for making him a monster, it's Buffy's and Drusilla's fault for making him feel weak (even after the Attempted Rape he goes from My God, What Have I Done? to "what has she done to me"), and he didn't murder Nikki Wood it was just that she was a slayer and he was a vampire. It's only in "Damage" and ironically something he didn't do that he starts acknowledging what he's done.
      Spike: The lass thought I killed her family. And I’m supposed to what, complain ‘cause hers wasn’t one of the hundreds of families I did kill?
    • Tara tells Willow she'll leave if she can't stop with the magic, especially after violating Tara's mind. Willow does it again and still tells the ratted Amy that Tara left for no good reason.
  • Charité at War: Nurse Käthe has the gall to say she's glad nothing happened to baby Karin — after she reported her as a disabled child to the Nazis, knowing that Karin would probably be euthanized. When Karin's father Artur angrily points that out, Käthe goes into a rant over how she hasn't made the rules, that she doesn't have a problem with disabled people, and that she has always treated the children in the hospital well.
    • Subverted with Artur himself, who very well knows he has blood on his hands due to his medical experiments and is desperately looking for a way to avoid taking responsibility if he's charged for his participation in the eugenics programme.
  • Chernobyl has Anatoly Dyatlov, a nuclear power plant manager whose recklessness in trying to conduct a safety test leads to the reactor core exploding. Never once does Dyatlov even consider that his management of this test was the main cause of the explosion. He shifted blame until the end of his life.
  • In season one of The Cosby Show Claire tries to cheer Rudy up by baking gingerbread. Claire then announces that it'll be a family project, even though Vanessa's mad at Rudy for bothering her when she was trying to do her homework, and Denise has better things to do. Rudy pours flour all over the floor. An argument erupts ending in Rudy running out of the house claiming that she's not a baby. Claire gets mad at the older girls and says that she hopes they're proud of themselves. She apparently forgot whose bright idea it was to force the gingerbread project on everyone in the first place.
  • Cobra Kai: Both Johnny and Shannon are far too eager to shift blame onto the other for not raising Robby properly, in spite of both of them being the same type of alcoholic Jerkass and neither is "Parent of the Year"-material. However, as the series moves on, Johnny's Character Development to a large part consists of him warming to the idea of owning his mistakes and reaching out to Robby, and Shannon checks herself into rehab when she realizes just how out of control her addictions are.
    • Johnny and Danny, as sensei of Rival Dojos, are all too eager to shift the blame for the escalating Dojo War onto the other, both because of their general animosity towards each other and their diametrically opposing attitudes to karate. The scene when they finally realize that neither of them is completely innocent is utterly heart-breaking.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Flashbacks establish that Wilson Fisk's father was one of these kinds of people. Bill's idea of "making a man" out of Wilson involved demeaning him, teaching him to blame others for his problems (including blaming Wilson himself for his own problems) and playing cruel jokes on him. When he lost the city council election, he believed that the reason he lost was that his wife and son didn't show him enough respect at home, not because he was a vile, vicious, petty loser. This led to him beating his wife with a belt and caused Wilson to snap and kill him with a hammer.
    • In the present day, Fisk tends to operate on the principle that he should do the opposite of what his father would do in a situation. As such he owns up to his mistakes and then moves on, eventually. With one exception: In the season 1 finale, after Matt Murdock foils Fisk's attempt to escape from police custody, Fisk goes on a villainous rant, clearly blaming Matt for the downfall of his operation. While it is true that Matt was the driving force, both in his civilian and vigilante lives, behind Fisk getting arrested, this is ignoring that the major factors that led to his descent were due to his own temper tantrums for minor slights (to elaborate, a string of events that began with Fisk brutally murdering Anatoly Ranskahov for simply crashing Fisk's date with Vanessa, which led to Fisk bombing the Russian mafia's hideouts, then sending in corrupt cops to finish off the survivors, then ordering the shooting of Detective Blake for accidentally leaking info to Matt, having Blake be killed in the hospital by his own partner Hoffman when this fails, Hoffman being stashed away by Leland Owlsley, then Hoffman selling Fisk out to the FBI after Fisk kills Leland in another tantrum). Not to mention the fact that he's, y'know, a criminal, and thus deserves to get arrested.
    • Nobu has an example of this in "Shadows in the Glass" after his Black Sky is killed by Stick when he angrily confronts Fisk about not providing the Black Sky more protection. Fisk points out that Nobu only asked for the docks to be cleared of police interference and he held up that end of the deal, and it was Nobu's responsibility to inform Fisk of the importance of the incoming cargo.
    • An instance of this happens in season 3. Foggy finds out that his brother Theo has been tricked by Fisk into committing fraud, something Fisk is trying to use to blackmail Foggy. When Fisk's people try to make Foggy retract statements he made in public denouncing Fisk, Theo lays into Foggy, blaming him for the entire predicament. Foggy fires back that Theo has no one but himself to blame for knowingly lying on a loan application, Fisk manipulating him into it being irrelevant.
    Theo: You know what's bullshit, Foggy? The fact that me and Mom and Dad are caught up in this in the first place! The only reason these people tricked us into that bank loan-
    Foggy: You knew it was fraud when you signed it!
    Theo: Okay, yeah. But it only happened because Fisk wanted to get to you. Everything that's happened, the suppliers cuttin' us off, the loan, all that shit happened because you wanted to be the big-time lawyer! Instead of hangin' around here with us losers!
    Foggy: Come on. That's not fair.
    Theo: No, it's not. None of it is. We didn't have any say in this, Foggy. You went and pissed off the biggest mob boss in the city, but we're the ones paying for it. Or we will if you don't do what he says.
    Foggy: If I read that statement to the press, Fisk wins, Theo.
    Theo: He's already won, Fogg. Now, do the right thing. The right thing for your family.
  • Dead Like Me: George flat out refuses to show up for a reaping, thinking maybe the victim just wouldn't die then. Never mind one of the first things she was told was that grim reapers don't kill people, they just take souls out of people who are dead or about to die, and if the soul is left in the body, it rots. The guy died anyway, and he was awake and aware for his autopsy (he couldn't physically feel it, but imagine the psychological scars). George just insists it's not her fault.
  • This was Wheels' M.O. in Degrassi High. In the conclusion movie, School's Out!, after Wheels gets drunk, drives with Lucy behind the wheel with him, critically injures her and kills a three-year-old boy, upon being in jail, he still tells Joey this: "It's not my fault that kid wasn't wearing a seatbelt, or that Lucy wanted chips!" By the time of Degrassi: The Next Generation, however, he does accept full responsibility for what happens, though.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Believe it or not, the Doctor started off this way. He was the first to point fingers when things went kablooey, both when it was his fault and when no one was to blame. Notable examples include shouting at and insulting his own granddaughter when Barbara and Ian stumbled into the TARDIS and accusing the aforementioned humans of sabotaging the TARDIS. Yeah, he was kind of a Jerkass.
    • In "Aliens of London", when it's pointed out that Jackie Tyler, Rose's mum, falsely accused Rose's ex Mickey of murdering her daughter after Rose disappeared for a year due to the TARDIS being late, all she has to say is "Well, be fair! What was I supposed to think?" She doesn't even apologize to him. Doubly disturbing since Mickey is black, though the script never deals with the fact that Jackie Tyler might be a bit racist.note 
    • "The Long Game": Another one of the nails in Adam's coffin, that results in him getting kicked off the TARDIS, is that after the Jagrafess has been defeated, he attempts to claim that he wasn't actually to blame for his part in the events (namely, getting caught by the Editor while trying to steal information to send back to the 21st century to enrich himself, leading to the Editor nearly gaining access to time travel).
    • "The Poison Sky": After learning he was just an Unwitting Pawn to the Sontarans, Luke Rattigan, upon encountering the Doctor, Martha and Donna again, points a gun at them while demanding they not tell anyone what he willingly did to help them because "It wasn't my fault, the Sontarans lied to me!" The Doctor just snatches the gun out of his hand and throws it away without slowing down.
    • "Arachnids in the UK": Corrupt Corporate Executive Jack Robertson denies any responsibility in the shoddy practices and cost-cutting performed by his businesses that caused the entire Giant Spider infestation, blaming everything on his subordinates.
    • In the Big Finish audio spin-offs, this particularly applies to Thomas Brewster, a temporary 'companion' of the Fifth and Sixth Doctors, who refuses to take responsibility for the fact that he stole the TARDIS with no real idea how to cope in the wider universe and instead complains that the Doctor doesn't immediately forgive his mistakes.
  • Drop the Dead Donkey:
    • The first season had Gus bring in a therapist to control the stress levels, and only succeeds in getting everyone more stressed out in the first place (oddly enough, even though it's Gus who's getting them all wound up, they dress the punching bag up like George, the only decent person in the cast). Gus later orders a group session in which he wants two people to describe what they think about each other. Gus decides on Dave and Henry, who had only just had a blazing row over a racehorse that Dave talked Henry into buying. Naturally, a punch up takes place. Gus later announces that he blames George for it. Gus then gets extra Jerkass points for throwing a temper tantrum when George points out that he tried to warn him several times about making Dave and Henry do the exercise.
    • In another episode, Alex has a cassette tape relating to a potential arms deal story she wants to run (even though running it has a chance of landing George and Gus in prison). She hides it from the police in Dave's desk, unlabeled, and doesn't tell Dave about it. Dave tapes over it, believing it to be a blank that Henry said he was going to leave for him, to make another copy of Sally's recorded office sex. Alex dumps all the blame on Dave, despite the fact that if she'd told him it was her tape, Dave wouldn't have taped over it.
  • ER's Kerry Weaver, rarely, if ever, took any responsibility for the contentious relationship that she had with the rest of the staff, despite the strict, patronizing way she tended to treat nearly everyone. The worst example might be when she not only allowed, but actively schemed to make two doctors take the full blame for the death of a patient, knowing full well that as their supervisor, she should have been present to correct their mistakes. When one of the doctors finally calls her on this, not only does she display no remorse for her actions, she seems to think she was completely justified in what she did because of the others errors.
  • Escape at Dannemora:
    • Tilly constantly whines about her situation and never takes any responsibility for her actions. She snaps at her husband at every opportunity without ever considering her own behavior. In the end, she reads off a speech she's planning to give to the judge asking for leniency in which she admits blame for her actions, then asks a prison guard if it sounds sincere, because she's been told she needs to sound sincere.
    • Sweat strenuously denies being a cop killer. In the Full Episode Flashback, we discover that he shot a cop multiple times and then ran him over with his car. However, it was Sweat's co-conspirator who technically delivered the final blow.
  • Family Matters:
    • One of Urkel's Catchphrases, always delivered right after a set of slapstick hijinks had played themselves out, was "Look what you did." And yes, Urkel was usually the one ultimately to blame for the mess.
    • Eddie also had a tendency to do this, as evidenced in the episode "Odd Man In". Finding that he's been asked to judge a bikini contest on the same day he has to work, who does he ask to cover his shift? Steve Urkel, the man who, according to Laura, once stabbed himself eating peas. When Urkel predictably screws up and gets Eddie fired, Eddie rages at him until Laura calls him out on it, pointing out that he always pushes his responsibilities on other people and blames them when things go wrong.
      Laura: You know, Eddie, you always do this. You shirk, and then you blame. Shirk, blame, shirk, blame.
      Eddie: I had something else to do!
      Laura: Shirk...
      Eddie: Well, he screwed up!
      Laura: ...blame.
  • The 1998 revival of Fantasy Island had an episode of a man coming to the island, complaining his girlfriend dumped him after a visit. Roarke tries to point out it's the guy's own fault to the point of showing a montage of the guy set to a TV show of "Never my Fault: The Jerry Potsweiler Story" of how, ever since he was a kid, Jerry blames others for his failings. After giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Roarke finally has enough and gives Jerry his wish of a life without any responsibilities and regressing him into an infant and "better luck this time."
  • In Fate: The Winx Saga, when Beatrix offers Bloom to help her with her research. Bloom says that she doesn't need help from someone who posted a video mocking her friend. Beatrix claims she didn't say anything in the video and was only a bystander but considering that she actually posted that video she should be held accountable.
  • The comedic appeal of Fawlty Towers revolves around snobbish hotel owner Basil Fawlty's inability to take responsibility for anything, or, for that matter, tell the truth at all.
    Basil Fawlty: [practicing] I'm so sorry I made a mistake, I'm so sorry I made a mistake...
    [opens door to guest's room] Basil Fawlty: I'm so sorry, my wife made a mistake!
  • The Flash (2014): Much like the Joker, Zoom maintains that his personal tragedies made him what he is and that if Barry experiences the same, it will turn him into a psychotic murderer as well.
    • This despite the fact that both Zoom and Barry witnessed the deaths of their mothers as children and yet Barry strives to be a hero while Zoom lashes out at everyone else.
  • The Flashpoint episode "Day Game" features ex-cop Gil Collins, who thinks he should have been in SRU. Not only does he blame Greg Parker for denying him the chance (Parker did make the decision, but it was for sound reason), but when other cops sided against him, he came to believe that Parker had manipulated them to do so. Incredibly, Parker manages to convince Collins of the truth, but, tragically, Collins is unable to bear the impact of that realization and commits suicide.
    Greg Parker: (horrified) He set out to slay the monster and I convinced him he was it.
  • The characters in Frasier tend to like blaming others for their problems, and Frasier often tends to get it in the neck regardless of how fair it is to blame him.
    • Niles does this quite frequently. Such examples include sending Frasier a repair bill for a crash Niles got in, when listening to Frasier and Kate's office sex on his car radio.
    • There are a lot of problems that arise for the characters where there's faults on all sides, but Frasier will usually get all of the blame, such as when Roz blamed him for people finding out she was pregnant after a series of events that were set in motion when Roz told Daphne that she'd had "a little accident". It could have been avoided if she hadn't said anything at all.
    • Also, when Niles and Daphne finally got together after Daphne ditching her groom at the altar, which leads to him suing them, she blames Frasier for telling both her and Niles how each other felt, even though they ditched their previous partners by their own choice. Not too mention that when Frasier told Daphne, he was doped up on painkillers and not thinking straight. Daphne and Niles later acknowledge that they weren't being fair to blame Frasier for everything.
    • Similar to the above, when Frasier advises everyone to do something they otherwise normally wouldn't do on a Leap Year day, only for disaster to result for everyone involved. While it was as a result of Frasier's advice that things went wrong, his advice was still well-meant and he was hardly directly responsible for everyone's misfortune; but from the way in which everyone delighted in placing all the blame on him you'd think he deliberately stage-managed everything that went wrong out of spite.
    • There was also a really big example when Maris first filed for divorce because Niles actually called her out on her selfish behavior, she said that Niles could come back if he said that it was all his fault.
    • Frasier himself isn't immune to this; in one episode he goes berserk at Martin for spilling some oil on the carpet claiming that "there are no accidents" and subconsciously he did it out of spite. Later in the same episode he knocked Martin's favorite chair of the balcony. When Martin confronts him on this he claims it was an accident.
    • In The Zoo Story, Martin ruins Frasier's publicity event, by accidentally letting the bird that was to be named after Frasier out of it's cage. The bird injures Martin's ear on television, causing a complete PR disaster. At home, Martin sulkily blames Frasier's new do-gooder agent Ben, when it was in fact Martin's own fault for messing around with the bird.
  • In Fresh Meat, Josie has shades of this, particularly in the episode where she breaks another girl's arm in a fit of jealousy:
    Josie: We had to take her to the hospital because her arm got broken.
    Kingsley: How did her arm get broken?
    Sabine: Josie broke her arm.
    Kingsley: Why did you break her arm?
    Josie: I didn't break her arm! I used her own weight against her, so in a way, she broke her own arm.
    Kingsley: She broke her own arm?
    Vod: No, Josie broke her arm.
    Josie: No, I was doing self-defense on her. Sabine showed me, so Sabine must have shown me wrong.
    Sabine: You were aggressive. I told you not to be aggressive.
    Josie: Anyway, Heather attacked me, I defended myself, and her arm got broken.
    Vod: Defense is the best form of attack.
    Josie: I didn't attack. I did defense. Because defense is the best form of defense.
    Kingsley: How bad is it?
    Vod: Oh, it's really bad. Monster mash, mate.
    Josie: Yes, but, you know what they say: Broken bones may break my bones, but they will never hurt me!
    Sabine: They don't say that because it's not true. And doesn't make sense.
  • Friends:
    • Rachel tries to make Ross take full responsibility for their break-up, even though, as Ross puts it, "It took two people to break up this relationship." In response to that, Rachel said, "Yeah, you and that girl from the copy place." She was claiming that Ross's cheating on her (which Ross vociferously insisted wasn't really cheating because they were "on a break") was the sole reason for their breakup, even though there were numerous problems in their relationship well before that. Or that she had the guy Ross was jealous of come over to comfort her not an hour after their big fight (and he answers the phone when Ross calls to try and patch things up). Other occasions have her claiming Ross begged her for sex even though she came onto him.
    • Ross has shades of this himself, like when he smoked weed and blamed it on Chandler (and when his parents found out claimed he was 'tricked into it'). A major reason their relationship kept failing was they both refused to take responsibility for anything and blamed the other—his very insistence about them being "on a break", essentially tries to absolve himself of any role in the break-up, even though he'd been acting like a jerk for weeks beforehand and did something that while perhaps not outright infidelity, was certainly not something to expect Rachel to instantly get over. Chandler points out that even if Ross did think Rachel broke up with him, he still slept with the copy girl mere hours after the fact. Rachel, regardless of which side one takes in this debate, raises a valid point that Ross wouldn't have been quick to forgive her if the situation had been reversed. This probably stems from the fact that they were both extremely spoiled as children. In the series finale, they both sort of acknowledge this and resolve to stop being stupid.
    • In "The One With the Embryos", Monica has this attitude towards Rachel, claiming they never would have had to switch apartments if not for Rachel blurting out "Chandler Bing" instead of "Chnandler Bong" for the name on the TV guide. However, not only are we left uncertain if this answer would have been ruled correct as the complete name was "Miss Chnandler Bong", but Monica is the one who insisted on raising the stakes.
  • Invoked by Danny (and, to a lesser extent, Jesse and Joey) in the Full House episode "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor." Michelle has been getting away with all kinds of bad behavior, such as staying up past her bedtime, provoking her sisters into a pillow fight that breaks a window, or deliberately messing around with the leaves D.J. and Stephanie have to rake to pay for said broken window. Whenever the girls complain, Danny remarks that Michelle is his "little princess" and that he can't punish her. Things come to a boil when Michelle decides she wants to swim in her kiddie pool—even after Danny told her she couldn't—drags into the kitchen, and fills it with water. D.J. and Stephanie, after discussing that there's no way that Danny can call this particular act their fault, call him in...and he still blames them for the problem. The girls call Danny out for such blatant Parental Favoritism, pointing out that Michelle freely chose to disobey him. When Danny tries to excuse it by saying D.J. and Stephanie should know better and have stopped her, they rightly say that they did tell her that she wasn't allowed to do it, but she ignored them because she knows she can get away with whatever she wants. Danny has a Heel Realization when he determines that he's deliberately let Michelle act babyish for so long because he doesn't want to admit that she's growing up, but agrees that his older daughters are right in saying that she needs to start taking responsibility for her actions.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Just like the books, rare is the moment where Cersei ever considers her own fault in any situation and even then it's fleeting. A shining example is the premiere of season 7, where she declares that everyone currently rebelling against her rule is a traitor. She seemingly cannot connect her murder of Olenna's children and grandchildren at the Great Sept to Olenna joining Daenerys, thinks she can threaten Jon Snow into bending the knee after everything her family has done to his, and even considers Tommen's suicide a betrayal of her rather than a result of her actions. Later she even blames Tyrion for Myrcella and Tommen's deaths, despite the fact that she was the one who had Tyrion arrested (starting the Trial by Combat that eventually led to Myrcella's death) and murdered Tommen's wife in the first place.
    • Balon seems to avoid mentioning the fact that he began a rebellion against Robert, was utterly defeated (resulting in the deaths of his sons), bent the knee and sold his only living heir as a hostage.
  • General Hospital: Alexis Davisin regards to her sister Kristina's death. After having an affair with Sonny and finding out she was pregnant, Alexis decided she didn't want Sonny to know about the child. So Ned agreed to pass himself off as the baby's father. The thing is that Ned was dating Kristina at the time, and both Alexis and Ned led Kristina to believe that Ned had cheated on her with Alexis and that Alexis had stolen her boyfriend. When Kristina found out the truth, she became so angry that she rushed to Sonny's warehouse, thinking he was there, to expose Alexis's lies. Unfortunately for Kristina, Luis Alcazar planted a bomb in the warehouse and she was killed in the blast. Had Alexis been honest with her sister, then Kristina wouldn't have died. But to this day, Alexis has never accepted responsibility for her role in Kristina's death and has placed the blame squarely on Sonny's shoulders.
  • Amy Duncan from Good Luck Charlie exemplifies this trope in "Amy Needs a Shower", when she arranges her own baby shower, badmouths the people she invited within earshot of Charlie who then repeats what she said about them to their faces, and when this fails to end well blithely says "It's nobody's fault." Twice. Er, actually it's your fault, Amy.
  • On Gossip Girl Blair seems to think she's entirely innocent in her and Serena's friendship falling apart in season five. Even though this happened because Blair began to date the love of Serena's life (moments after encouraging Serena to go after him) even though she doesn't have feelings for him. During the course of her relationship with Dan she makes out with him right in front of Serena at the hospital just when Serena's grandmother had died, whines to Serena about the things that aren't working in the relationship, makes Serena pretend to be Blair for a couple's interview and generally rubs the relationship in Serena's face more or less all the time. Serena is not innocent in this whole mess either but Blair's offenses are worse since they happen repeatedly and with no consideration whatsoever for Serena's feelings. And, Serena at least owns up to what she does, unlike Blair.
    • Worst offender though is Dan Humphrey. According to him it is not in any way his fault that his lifelong friendship with Vanessa, or his romantic relationship with her, ended. Though he was the one who insisted that they should date, he was the one who tried to sabotage her when she got accepted to Tisch, he was the one who cheated on her and he was the one who strung her along and let her take care of his baby by Georgina while he ran after Serena. Vanessa's offense? Applying to Tisch and going to Haiti to work over the summer (partly because Dan cheated). According to Dan it is also not his fault that he and Blair did not work out, even though he practically forced her to date him even though he knew she loved Chuck (he flat out told her that if she didn't start to date him he would no longer be her friend... this was weeks after her wedding). And apparently Blair is a really evil person for choosing to wait and see if she and Chuck can make things work while Dan is pure as can be even though he slept with her best friend while they were still dating. But that was not Dan's fault either. It was all Serena's fault, even though Dan was a very active participant and you'd think it is his responsibility to make sure his relationship with Blair is over before he sleeps with anybody else (instead of assuming it is based on a Gossip Girl blast). And to cap it all off, he's Gossip Girl - which would justify everyone else beating the shit out of him for all the stuff he pulled over six seasons!
  • The Handmaid's Tale:
    • Women receive blame for the fall in birthrates due to their wickedness, promiscuity, and subsequent lack of fertility; however, when Offred goes to see a doctor for a checkup, he claims that most (if not all) of the Commanders are also sterile.
    • Later, Fred refuses to take responsibility for his affair with Offred, blaming Serena for bringing her in as a temptation.
  • Home Improvement:
    • In the episode "A House Divided", Benny - and everyone else - blames Tim for Benny's house blowing up, when it was actually Benny's fault because there was a gas leak and he did not unplug a lamp after Al told him to unplug all the electrical appliances, his reasoning being that the lamp only turns on when you clap - and Tim did not know about this when he clapped and accidentally turned the lamp on.
    • In "Some Like It Hot Rod", Jill almost ruins Tim's chance of getting his hot rod in a big magazine by not covering the hot rod when it starts snowing, wrecking the interior, soaking the carpet and fogging up the gauges. When Tim finds out and gets mad, she claims that it's not her fault and pins the blame on Tim for not bringing the hot rod out of the garage. However, she eventually realizes that she was wrong to blame Tim when she was indeed at fault.
  • The Homicide: Life on the Street episode "The Gas Man" is a Villain Protagonist episode revolving around Victor, a gas man who was arrested by Frank Pembleton and sent to prison for negligent homicide when a gas heater he installed killed a family, stalking Pembleton to gain revenge. Although he blames Pembleton for his life going wrong, it quickly becomes apparent that Victor just can't take responsibility for his own actions, as his co-conspirator Danny points out when he eventually comes to respect Pembleton:
    Danny: We've been following Frank Pembleton. And what do we see? Frank slaving away at the office. Frank at the morgue. Frank interviewing the gypsy's neighbors. Frank buying flowers for his wife. Frank humiliating himself so that they can have babies. Frank Pembleton takes responsibility for himself, for his family. Hell, he even takes responsibility for dead people. It's about time I started taking responsibility for my own life. I'm not going with you, Victor.
    • Frank Pembleton himself becomes guilty of this in the first crossover with Law & Order when his actions cause a suspect's confession to be inadmissible in a New York trial.
    Rey Curtis: [talking to Frank] You're a self-congratulatory ass. You screw up and then blame everybody else.
  • House of Cards (US)
    • An early episode has Frank Underwood dealing with a local political hot potato in his hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina, known as the Peachoid (a real-life water tower). Ostensibly, county administrator Oren Chase is trying to have Frank blamed for the death of a teenage girl who crashed her car while texting about what the Peachoid looked like. Apparently, they think that since Frank fought so hard for the creation of the Peachoid, and because the 16-year-old girl crashed her car while texting a joke about what the tower looked like, he's responsible for her death, instead of the obvious - it's her own fault that she's dead because she decided to engage in distracted driving.
    • Frank takes up this sort of attitude in season 3 when he's barely holding things together as President. This culminates in most of his inner circle turning against him.
  • JAG: Lt. Williams in "Desert Son" is incapable of taking responsibility for his own actions. His dying words are "Why me?", unable to accept that everything that has happened to him has been his own doing.
  • Jessica Jones (2015):
    • Kilgrave is so terrifying because he can verbally command people to do anything, even commit suicide or horribly mutilate themselves. Which means he never has to physically force anyone to do anything. He reasons that because he doesn't physically force someone to do something (steal something, sleep with him, murder someone), it was their fault for doing it. Kilgrave is what happens when you combine superpowers with all the behaviors of typical abusers - impulsiveness, short temper, blaming others for his actions, his total lack of understanding of consent or others' feelings, etc.
    • Part of the problem Kilgrave's victims have with getting people to believe in the existence of his mind control abilities is the fact that they come off as people trying to deflect responsibility off themselves (which itself is a metaphor for various fears and worries about false rape accusations making it harder for real rape victims to take action against their attackers, or Victim Blaming in general).
    • Trish's interview of Hope on Trish Talk turns Kilgrave into the most popular alibi in the city. To the point that when Jeri Hogarth and Jessica make a public request for people who've been controlled by Kilgrave to set up an appointment with HC&B, they're flooded with so many accusers that they have to work through each and every one of them to determine which ones are comically obvious frauds and which ones are legitimate. The frauds include a stoner that claims Kilgrave was this Yellow Peril guy who made him rob a 7-Eleven at gunpoint, a junkie who claims Kilgrave made him shove a purple staff up his ass, and a conservative mother trying to claim that Kilgrave was this perpetually shirtless gardener who managed to charm her daughter and every girl on their block into sleeping with him.
    • A non-Kilgrave case is Trish Walker's abusive mom Dorothy. The only times Dorothy does accepts blame for something is when she thinks it will benefit her, such as admitting to a drinking problem or being a terrible mother to guilt-trip her daughters. Everyone can see through it, though:
      Dorothy Walker: So! To what do I owe the pleasure?
      Jessica Jones: It's about Trish.
      Dorothy Walker: Why? What's happened? Is she on drugs again?
      Jessica Jones: She hasn't touched drugs since I dragged her away from you.
      Dorothy Walker: I had no idea that doctor was over-prescribing.
      Jessica Jones: Still no responsibility or remorse. I wish I could be like that.
      Dorothy Walker: “No responsibility,” hmm? I took you in. You were an orphan. That's gotta count for something.
      Jessica Jones: You don't get credit for doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.
      Dorothy Walker: I cared about-
      Jessica Jones: About publicity. I was a strategic play to further the Patsy Walker brand. Trish is fine. She has security like Fort Knox and she's savvy enough not to let anyone sneak up on her, except you. She has no defenses against you.
      Dorothy Walker: She doesn't need defenses. I'm her mother.
      Jessica Jones: You're her pimp!
      Dorothy Walker: I haven't seen her in three years.
      Jessica Jones: Except for when you "accidentally" ran into her?
      Dorothy Walker: It's a small city.
      Jessica Jones: And leave long, drunken messages for her?
      Dorothy Walker: What is it you want from me?
      Jessica Jones: I want you to stick to the agreement. Because no matter where I am, even if I'm behind bars, if you try anything, I will find out. I will come for you, and it will hurt.
      Dorothy Walker: People can change, Jessie.
      Jessica Jones: It doesn't make the bad shit you did go away.
      Dorothy Walker: I just... had a problem. I got help.
      Jessica Jones: And royalty checks.
      Dorothy Walker: I earned those!
      Jessica Jones: If you want them to keep coming, you'll respect Trish's wishes... which I will enforce.
      Dorothy Walker: "And it will hurt.” You need a better tagline.
      Jessica Jones: Five hundred feet. Just like a real restraining order. Five hundred feet away from her. Do you understand?
      Dorothy Walker: Yes. Taking you in was the worst decision of my life.
      Jessica Jones: Thanks, Mom.
    • Jessica also sometimes blames her less endearing qualities on being traumatized by Kilgrave. While her experience was traumatic, flashbacks in season 1 and season 2 show that her prickly personality, excessive drinking and resulting employment problems were things that were all part of her well before she ever crossed paths with Kilgrave. In fact, many of them started with the death of her first boyfriend Stirling at the hands of her mom.
    • Early in season 2, Jessica sidelines Trish by calling the paparazzi on her and claiming Trish and Griffin are on the outs. When an embarrassing picture of Trish and Malcolm appears on the front page of the tabloids, Jessica gets angry at Malcolm for not keeping Trish in her home like she told him to. When he tries to explain himself, she just gets more angrier at him. Trish calls her out for pulling the paparazzi crap in the first place, but Jessica just moves the discussion along. Of course, Jessica feels she wouldn't have done it at all if Trish didn't try to get herself involved.
    • Following Detective Sunday's murder at the hands of Jessica's mom, Dorothy refuses to take responsibility for publicly announcing Trish's location and blames Jessica instead for that death.
    • As proof the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, we see Trish take on a lot of her mom's blame-shifting traits in season 2, with her always making excuses for her actions or very weak apologies as she gets more and more addicted to Will Simpson's inhaler out of her desire for powers.
    • Jessica's mom is a Zig-Zagging version of this; Dr. Karl Malus's experiments have left her with the impulse control of a hummingbird, which would be bad enough even if they hadn't also given her superhuman strength. Each time she demolishes something — or someone — she is immediately sorry and accepts punishment and restraint... until the next time she flies off the handle and twists off someone's head like a toothpaste cap.
  • Jessie:
    • When Luke and Zuri accidentally crash the B.A.T into the mess hall in "G.I Jessie", they blame Ravi for it just because he didn't try to stop them.
    • Shown in "Help Not Wanted". Luke, Ravi, and Zuri blame Jessie for them not being able to spend their allowance even after Jessie calls them out on wasting their bills.
  • Kirby Buckets: Dawn never takes responsibility for anything she's done and blames everyone else for treating her like a Cosmic Plaything. For example, when her parents get sucked through an interdimensional portal in the first episode of Season 3, she insists it's Kirby's fault he brought the orb that opened the portal home, even though it was Dawn who opened the portal.
  • Law & Order: SVU:
    • In "Obscene" a woman was on a crusade to censor offensive content in the media. Her son was a huge fan of a shock jock she was crusading against, whose show was apparently very offensive, and raped an actress on a show his mother was also campaigning against to impress the shock jock. The woman did not blame herself for spending so much time on her crusade that she spent almost none with her kids, or the fact that she dehumanized the victim with her Slut-Shaming campaign. She didn't even blame her son for committing the rape. She only blamed the shock jock and thought that she could shoot him and the jury would sympathize with her and acquit her. Unfortunately, she was right about the jury.
    • In "Quickie" an HIV positive man was giving HIV to as many women as possible. One of the women he infected felt entitled to throw acid in his face, despite the fact that the sex, and the non-use of protection were consensual, and the man was already facing criminal charges for criminal distribution of HIV. Like the above example, she assumed the jury would sympathize with her and acquit. This time the charges against her were dismissed so there is no way to know what the jury would have done.
      • The man in question is also an example. He refuses to accept any responsibility for knowingly spreading a potentially fatal disease; in fact, he admits that he targets promiscuous women to "teach them a lesson" and feels that anyone who was infected deserves it, insisting it's entirely the women's fault if they become infected, even though he was also an active participant and choosing not to use protection (of course, that somehow doesn't apply to the encounter where he got infected; in that case it's totally the fault of the person who infected him). It's only when his grandfather kills himself that he finally realizes what kind of a person he's become.
    • In an earlier episode, SVU determines that a woman whose infant son allegedly died of SIDS actually smothered him to death. When she's confronted with the truth, she doesn't deny doing it, but insists it wasn't her fault — it was her mother's fault, because her mother wouldn't take the baby overnight to give her a break.
  • Liar: Andrew blames Laura for making his son attempt suicide... which he'd only done because of the revelation about his dad's horrifying crimes.
  • Liv and Maddie: Maddie says she can't get a driver's license because the driving school discriminates against people who can't turn left.
  • In an episode of Lizzie McGuire, Matt and Lenny get left behind on a field trip. They flip a coin to decide whether to go back to school or spend a day on the town. When his parents confront him about not trying to get back to school, Matt claims that "I wanted to do the responsible thing. And I did, I did! Is it my fault that the penny told me to take the rest of the day off?"
  • Lois & Clark: Humorously played with in the pilot episode, which sees Lois and Clark captured and tied up by the bad guys after Lois has pressured Clark into breaking into a suspicious warehouse. Lois angrily blames Clark for their current situation. Clark angrily points out that he's not the one who wanted to break into the warehouse in the first place. After a moment's pause, Lois realizes that he's right — and this triggers an outburst of self-pity about how her recklessness and competitiveness all stems from her upbringing, how her father never paid any attention to her and how she competes with everyone and sleeps with guys from work to compensate for her hidden insecurities, thus leading Clark to save their lives out of frustration with her wangsting as much as anything else.
  • Malcolm in the Middle:
    • Lois is like this often. In one point she gets into an argument with a cop over whether she cut off another car or not and is given video proof that she did, yet still insists that the video is inaccurate. It was, but she didn't need to know that.
    • Francis blames most, if not all, of his problems on his mother. When Commandant Spangler asked Francis if there was anything wrong with his life that he didn't blame on Lois, he was stumped. Francis commits unethical behavior repeatedly, including abusing his brothers when they were young and being partially responsible for making them turn out the way they did. His brothers would be much more justified in blaming their problems on him rather than him blaming his problems on a mother who tried to stop him from spiking her coffee with washing up liquid.
    • This is taken to new heights by Francis in "A.A." Not only did he blame his alcoholism wholly on Lois, to the point of turning her into a euphemism for reasons to drink, it is revealed at the end of the episode Francis never was an alcoholic to begin with. He just blamed running his own life into the ground on a nonexistent drinking because he needs something else to be at fault.
    • However, to illustrate that Lois is in no way blameless, just take a look at the Grand Finale. Lois deliberately screws Malcolm out of a cushy, well-paying job that had fallen into his lap, and proceeds to inform him that she had planned out his entire life for him, intending him to start at nearly the bottom rung of society, and working his way up to becoming President of the United States. All because she blames the family's problems on society taking advantage of them because they're poor, even though the whole reason they're poor is because they're selfish and irresponsible people.
  • Uther Pendragon in Merlin had Nimueh use her magic to conceive Arthur. Nimueh warned him that a birth would require a death, but since he was desperate for an heir, he ignored her. The death wound up being Ygraine, his wife. Instead of pulling a My God, What Have I Done? upon realizing that his actions have killed his wife, he decides that magic is evil and genocides every single magic user he can find. Yes, even children. It isn't until his daughter Morgana has a Face–Heel Turn and says to his face. "I'm not evil because of magic, I'm evil because you made me that way." that he realizes what he's done, and as a result spends his last year as a broken shell of a man.
  • On Moesha, her stepmother signed her up for modeling classes without telling her. Her father asked Moesha as a personal favor to go along with it to keep the peace. She has fun at first, but finds both her discipline and her patience with the stepmom trying to live a modeling career through her running out. When she angrily backs out of going along with this any further, the stepmother asks why Moesha ever asked her to sign her up. Flabbergasted, Moesha reminds her she *never* asked for any of this, to which the stepmom sarcastically treats her as being ungrateful. Now, could this have been avoided if Dad had just cut it off to start? Maybe. But now he steps in and plays peacemaker, looking good for doing so. Combines this trope with Karma Houdini, to say the least.
  • In episode 8 of The Musketeers, the Red Guard were quick to pin the blame of their captain's death on the Musketeers for not helping them, despite the Musketeers warning them that the prisoner Labarge wasn't to be taken lightly and it was the resulting fight between Labarge and the Red Guard that led to a Guard accidentally killing the captain.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: During Mike Nelson's tenure as the leading man, the bots frequently pulled this on Mike. Most notably when they persuade him (against his better judgment) destroy his eyelash mites with the nanites, then treat him as a glory-hungry General Ripper leading a Vietnam-like conflict when things go wrong, 'then berate him for how filthy his eyelashes get afterwards and ask why he wanted to get rid of the mites anyway. Plus the times the moments ended with Nelson blowing up planets.
  • Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn: Dawn (being the egomaniac she is) never accepts the blame for her own doings, and would rather blame her brothers.
  • Only Fools and Horses: The Trotters have a nasty habit of blaming each other when things go pear-shaped. However, the person being blamed always calls the accuser out on it. One example, in one of the TV specials, quite similar to the Scrooge McDuck example above: after Cassandra kicks Rodney out for seemingly taking another woman out to the pictures, Rodney worries that Cassandra's father is going to fire him, as he's left a message saying that there's something important they need to talk about. Uncle Albert tells one of his war stories about an officer who was facing a court-martial and handed in his resignation. In those days, only commissioned officers were allowed to control the radio room. Because he was the only commissioned communications officer on the ship the ship, they couldn't sail without him. So, they had to refuse his resignation and cancel his court-martial. Rodney follows suit, thinking that Cassandra's father will turn down the resignation, since it's so close to Christmas and more orders are coming in. When Rodney meets him, it turns out he just wanted to talk about the extra workload. Then he finds Rodney's resignation and accepts it. Rodney blames Albert.
  • Piper on Orange Is the New Black. She thinks that she's an Only Sane Man but in reality she's a whiny, self-absorbed, and pampered idiot who often causes her own problems. For example, she belittles and insults the Ax-Crazy Pennsatucky's beliefs, then seems surprised when Pennsatucky attempts to retaliate. She initially claims that prison is causing her to act like this, but later in the show it's increasingly suggested that Piper was always a selfish idiot/jerk; she was just better at hiding it outside of prison.
  • Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation embodies this trope as he forever attempts to hog credit and shed blame all while doing the least amount of work possible. The apex (or nadir) of this behavior is when he is asked to watch 'Lil Sebastian for a few moments and promptly loses Pawnee's beloved miniature horse. When Jerry asks him where Sebastian is, Tom immediately blames Jerry (who left Tom in charge). He continues blaming Jerry throughout the episode until Ron tells him everyone knows it was clearly his (Tom's) fault.
  • Grace in Peaky Blinders seems completely incapable of taking responsibility for her own actions. She blames Tommy for why their relationship didn't work out in Season Two and conveniently ignores the fact that she betrayed him to his worst enemy, made no effort to fix it other than admitting that she'd done so when she knew he'd find out anyway and then left Birmingham instead of taking the consequences for what she did. She even blames Tommy for getting her pregnant even though she's the one who specifically came to see him and cheated on her husband with Tommy because she suspected her "good, kind" husband was impotent.
    • John gets in on this as well, as he fails to take responsibility for the fact that he's the one who started the Shelby/Changretta conflict in Season Three and then made it worse when Tommy told him and Arthur to deal with it.
  • Power Rangers tends to have Big Bad villains blame their minions for their own occasional screw ups.
    • Lord Zedd pulls this off as early as his first appearance in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. When Goldar apologizes for his loss (as the Rangers finally defeated the Piranhtishead Monster), Zedd snaps and blames Goldar, Squatt, and Baboo (the latter two had nothing to do with the episode) for the loss. He even blames Rita when their honeymoon goes sour when the Rangers are victorious.
    • Power Rangers Megaforce: Prince Vekar is a spoiled prince who prefers giving orders than doing his own dirty work, and then lash out when they make a mistake caused by his own negligence or laziness. Second episode, he asks who would actually set the missiles to be launched hours later. When told it was him, he responded to only listen to his ideas when they're good ones; he then says they all are, except this one. Then the Rangers ruin his plans and he blames everyone else for his obvious screw up.
  • The three-part "Trilogy" episode of Quantum Leap sees Sam leaping through various identities throughout the decades in order to protect a young woman named Abigail as both a child and an adult who is consistently being targeted by an Ax-Crazy woman named Leta Aider who blames Abigail for the deaths of her husband and daughter and sees her as a cursed hellspawn. During the first part, Sam leaps into Abigail's father and rushes to save her from Leta who has chased Abigail to an abandoned house trying to kill her, and winds up setting it on fire. Sam manages to save Abigail, but his host is killed (Sam barely leaps out of him in time). In part two when Sam confronts Leta over her actions killing Abigail's father in his host, Leta repeatedly insists that she isn't the one to blame for starting the fire. And the deaths of her family, the entire reason Leta persecuted the poor girl for over twenty years? Turns out it was Leta's fault. She killed them for the insurance money, and it was her deep-seated guilt that drove her over the edge and led her to blame a ten-year-old for something she had nothing to do with. Her inability to get over her resentment of Abigail eventually reaches the point where Leta kills herself just to try and frame Abigail for it.
  • In Red Dwarf, Rimmer's fundamental character is based around blaming everyone else for his own shortcomings, failures and inability to make anything of his life; while he didn't exactly have an easy upbringing to begin with, it's clear to everyone around him that he just uses this as an excuse not to have to face up to the fact that most of the time it's his own fault he's such a loser. For example:
    • In the episode "Me2", where Rimmer is moving out of the sleeping quarters, and states his belief that without Lister holding him back he should finally be able to succeed. Lister lampshades this trope by calling Rimmer out on always pinning the blame for his lack of success on everything but himself. In the same episode, it's also revealed that he blames his lack of career mobility on an embarrassing faux pas he once made when he was invited to join the captain's table, where he sent back a bowl of gazpacho soup to be heated up because he didn't realize it was supposed to be served cold. It should be noted, he made this faux pas fourteen years into a fifteen-year career.
    • Rimmer would probably be more justified than most in blaming many of his issues on his family, particularly his father. However, whenever he recounts his father's bizarre actions (like stretching him as a child so that he'd grow up to be tall), he apparently regards them as perfectly natural and even praiseworthy, which is messed up in a different way.
    • One instance that makes a sick sort of sense is the Drive Plate Disaster that killed everyone on Red Dwarf. He claims that had Lister been there to help him, Rimmer wouldn't have screwed up fixing the drive plate. Given that over the course of the series, Lister has proven to be quite technically savvy and Rimmer is completely incompetent (a resurrected Rimmer says to the resurrected captain that anyone capable of screwing up fixing the plate would have to have a brain the size of a newt's testicle), he might actually be right. Indeed, in an alternate universe, Lister became captain of Red Dwarf in part because he was able to find and repair the drive platenote . However—as Kryten argues when Rimmer ends up being tried by an automated justice system—the real blame should lie with the smeghead who gave Rimmer the job of fixing a critical drive plate when he's a barely qualified vending machine repairman. Hell, in The Captain's own notes on Rimmer, it says "There's a saying among the officers; if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well. If it's not worth doing, give it to Rimmer."
    • This idea that Rimmer's only shortcoming is his inability to accept responsibility is reinforced by the existence of his successful Alternate Universe counterpart, Ace Rimmer; when Rimmer was eight years old, he faced the prospect of being kept down a year at school, with the Rimmer we are familiar with avoiding that fate while Ace was kept back. As a result, Rimmer spent the rest of his life making excuses, while Ace recognised that he had to rely on himself and stepped up to try harder.
  • RoboCop: The Series:
    • The show's archenemy, William Ray "Pudface" Morgan, was disfigured in an accident he caused. However, the minute he sees RoboCop, it's clear he blames Murphy for it and not himself.
    • A Corrupt Corporate Executive and Straw Feminist named Rochelle Carney who was fired in the episode "Inside Crime" after being in league in the aforementioned Pudface as part of a ratings stunt for the episode's titular Show Within a Show. However, while her boss was indeed hitting on her, she chose to blame his behavior and her being a woman for the reason she was fired rather than what actually got her fired, which was being in league with a well-known criminal.
  • In Roseanne, when Roseanne confronts her mother Bev over the latter's alcoholism, Bev goes on a rant, blaming everyone around her for her problems. Roseanne shoots back "Well, that's good, Mom. The first step is admitting that everyone else has a problem." Not that Roseanne is exactly immune from this trope herself...
  • In an episode of Scrubs, Dr. Kelso wants Dr. Cox to give him a physical examination for health insurance purposes. Cox is reluctant, but J.D convinces him to do it. It turns out Kelso has high blood pressure which will cost him an extra six grand in insurance premiums. He angrily punishes Cox for finding it, who, in turn, blames J.D for putting him up to it in the first place.
  • In the Shake it Up episode "Merry Merry It Up", CeCe selfishly causes her mother and Jeremy to break up by yelling at the latter for his Christmas decorations. She is beyond excited about the breakup and refuses to believe she is responsible, repeatedly insisting that "SHE BROKE UP WITH HIM". It wasn't until she has a Yet Another Christmas Carol that she finally realizes her mistake and gets them back together.
  • Smallville
    • Nothing is ever Lex Luthor's fault. He'll blame his dad, Clark, Lana, and anyone else he can before accepting that his slide into villainy is by his own choice. This is actually a fairly major part of his characterization, and something that Clark calls him out on in the Season 7 finale. Major Zod exhibits similar traits; after throttling his lover to death and thus killing his unborn son, he blames Clark, claiming that he made Faora betray him.
    • Pete Ross blames Clark for making him feel like he's living in Clark's shadow. According to Pete, Clark is the reason nothing could ever happen between him and Chloe. When Pete gets into street-racing to have something in his life separate from Clark, and Clark tries to warn Pete that it's dangerous and his new friends are criminals, Pete accuses Clark of being unsupportive because he can't handle Pete being the one everyone thinks is special. Of course, when Clark is proven right and Pete's new friends turn on him, the first thing he does is ask Clark to use his powers to bail him out.
    • First season Monster of the Week Harry Bollston- who gained the ability to revert to his younger age- blames everyone else for having spent his entire life in prison, rather than being the celebrated concert pianist he thinks he ought to have been, when it's really his own damn fault for committing murder out of Disproportionate Retribution (which was also an example of blaming others for his own failings).
    • Lex's clone Alexander tries this trope in "Beacon", but he's snapped out of it before he ends up like his source material.
      Tess: You keep blaming everybody, but look who has the gun in their hand.
  • Sorry, I've Got No Head: In one of the Outer Hebridean Island of North Barassay sketches, the teacher's fountain pen goes missing, and she thinks her only student took it. She eventually finds the pen under the kitchen table at her house, but refuses to believe that she might have just misplaced it by accident.
  • Stargate Universe: As far as Colonel David Telford is concerned, if the plan he supported to get the Destiny crew home is revealed to have failed (once because the ship seemed about to overload and once because they received a warning from the future), someone must have sabotaged it, rather than acknowledging the possibility that his plan just didn't work.
  • Sunes Jul: Sune's father Rudolf has a tendency toward this, such as blaming the government "for having such a freaking bad environment policy that the pine trees get slippery and unusable" when he fails to stick lights to the christmas tree's branches. The rest of the family usually takes this in stride, only suggesting ways to fix the problem, but it reaches a breaking point when one of the doors of their car has frozen shut one morning and Rudolf claims the rest of the family must have poured water on the car or something to cause that.
  • Supergirl (2015): General Sam Lane blames Supergirl and the DEO when the former damages the Red Tornado and it activates programming that sends it out of control. Sam Lane, or Dr. Morrow under his command, created Red Tornado. What, did they think it would never, ever get damaged despite being built for combat?
  • A flashback on Suits reveals that this is why Mike never got into law school. Apparently, after Trevor convinced him to memorize test answers, so Trevor could sell them, the latter got caught selling them to none other than the dean's daughter. Trevor chooses to take the fall, not naming Mike as his accomplice, but Mike confesses to the dean. The dean, angry that his daughter is now blacklisted as a cheater, and that his own career is threatened as a result, blames Mike for everything, even though there is plenty of blame to go around (not the least being the fact that his daughter chose to cheat), and uses his contacts to blacklist Mike from every law school.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Too Short a Season", a guy named Karnas once took a bunch of people hostage and demanded advanced Federation weapons in exchange for them. Mark Jameson, then a Starfleet commander, got the hostages released by providing the weapons, then giving the same weapons to Karnas' enemies to make it a wash. For this, Karnas wants revenge, never pausing to consider that taking hostages means any negotiations are inherently in bad faith, and you should expect the other side to screw you over if they can.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Quark to Rom: "Everything that goes wrong around here is your fault, it says so in your contract!"
    • Cardassians in general and Gul Dukat in particular have this attitude about the Bajoran Occupation. When called out on their atrocities and brutality during that period, most Cardassian characters insist it was the Bajorans' fault for resisting their efforts to 'civilize' their planet, and for not obediently allowing themselves to be worked to death in labor camps while their planet was strip-mined and their women and children abused and exploited. They also claim it was absolutely necessary to take everything Bajor had, that Cardassia needed resources, even though they're long past the time when they were starving, which was why they built their empire. In "Duet", one Cardassian who was a file clerk at one of the camps tries to get himself tried and executed publicly as a war criminal by impersonating his evil long-dead superior, in part because of his guilt for not speaking up at the time, but also because Cardassia still refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing and he believes they need to do so in order to move forward, so he intended to be tried and executed as his superior in order to force them to confront their misdeeds.
  • Supernatural:
    • Lucifer sees himself as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, and for the longest time in the show you believe him. He's constantly saying how wrong it is that he was a faithful servant of his father, and his only crime was to not bow down before humans, and with how imperfect they are, you can hardly blame him. Then in "Hammer of the Gods", his younger brother Gabriel reveals the truth: he wasn't forced to bow down before them, it was the fact that God loved him most of all before transferring his affections to humans. In retaliation, Lucifer twisted a human soul into a demon, trying to get his father to admit they were horrible creations and destroy them, thus getting to be front and center again. Death even refers to him as a bratty child having a temper-tantrum. He gets called out on it again in the season 5 finale, when Lucifer is about to have his climactic showdown with his older brother Michael. He tries to talk Michael out of it by saying that God controls everything, and thus he forced Lucifer to be the devil, so it's not his fault. Michael promptly says that he hasn't changed a bit and he's still blaming everyone but himself for what he did.
    • Every main character on the show can be accused of this. Often understandable though, seeing as how they live in a Crapsack World.
  • Teen Wolf: Pop quiz, a child nearly drowns because you were too busy feeding your underage swim team booze to keep him away from the pool. Is it a) your fault for being irresponsible on twenty different levels or b) the child's fault for not knowing how to swim? Nice job, Mr. Lahey; no one will mourn you, especially not Matt.
  • A running gag on Top Gear is that Jeremy Clarkson denies all responsibility for things that go wrong, blaming the others or claiming it was unintentional (e.g. "I may have accidentally put a cow on the roof of my car.")
  • Ricky in Trailer Park Boys is always saying this about the harm he's caused. Except for one time when it actually isn't his fault.
  • On The Tudors, this is one of Henry VIII's defining character traits. If he no longer loves his wife, it's her fault (and she probably tricked him into marrying her in the first place). If he can't get a divorce from his wife, it's Cardinal Wolsey's fault. If his unborn son was deformed, it was his wife's fault. If he doesn't like Anne of Cleves, it's Cromwell's fault. If he married a woman who wasn't a virgin before she met him (even though she was introduced to him as his mistress), it's the other man's fault. If he comes to regret banishing Wolsey and executing Cromwell, it's the Privy Council's fault. And so on and so forth.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Spur of the Moment", Anne Mitchell blames her late father John Henderson for spoiling her when she was growing up and giving her everything that she wanted instead of making her earn it. She then accuses him of failing to teach her things such as judgement and discrimination. Anne believes that this led directly to her marriage to David, who proved to be a terrible businessman and an even worse husband. By blaming her father, Anne is ignoring the fact that both he and her mother had wanted her to marry the far more responsible and reliable Robert Blake. Her father had always hated David as he could tell what kind of person he was.
  • A subplot in an episode of The West Wing revolves around someone suing the President for making a remark about the safety of American cars, following which his wife was killed in an accident when she didn't wear a seatbelt. This inspires Sam to work on proposals for increased safety regulations for the auto industry, only for the President himself to shoot him down, pointing out that as much as he sympathizes with the husband's loss and his need to find someone to blame, he can hardly be held responsible if someone chooses to use an off-the-cuff remark he made as an excuse to ignore common sense safety guidelines.
  • The Wilds: Fatin's parents were more angry with her for revealing her dad was cheating than his doing it, and she's aghast, clearing feeling like they have this attitude. Her mom says marriages are more than one indiscretion though. It does hurt her business too, and the family's reputation. Even so, she gets all of the blame, though it was bound to get out sooner or later.
  • Jimmy McNulty from The Wire is a Cowboy Cop with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder; nonetheless, the line "What the fuck did I do?" usually with an air of injured innocence, is practically his Catchphrase. In his first season he goes out of the chain of command (a cardinal sin in the police department) and talks to a judge about the incompetency of the PD in handling high end crime. He then repeatedly sabotages the investigation, leaks information, bullies and shames subordinates and higher ups alike until the investigation is done his way. After all that, he shocked (as in goes on a drunken bender loudly asking why) to find out that his superiors are maneuvering to fire him.
  • In the Zoey 101 episode "Zoey's Balloon", Chase's ex-girlfriend Rebecca blackmails Zoey into doing humiliating stunts in front of the PCA student body because she blames her for "making Chase break up with her", forgetting that the reason Chase dumped her in the first place was because of her jealousy towards Zoey and controlling behavior.


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