While populism challenges the pluralism and technocratic expertise on which public bureaucracies are based, extant scholarship has overlooked its effects on accountability processes. In particular, it neglects the impact of anti-elite rhetoric, characterized by what can be regarded as “emotionalized blame attribution,” on the thinking and behavior of accountability actors. Responding to this gap, this article examines the impact of this distinctive form of populist rhetoric on accountability relationships within the bureaucratic state. It identifies three “stages” whereby these populist pressures challenge accountability relationships, threaten the reputation of accountability actors, and result in alternative accountability practices. In doing so, the article provides a roadmap for assessing the impact of anti-elite rhetoric on accountability actions.