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Circumstantial evidence, that's all you've got!

"The truth."
Patrick Kielty, Mock the Week, "Unlikely Things to Hear in a TV Election Debate".

So one of the characters has a secret, one that they do not want leaking out. Unfortunately, Clark Kenting doesn't always cut it, and some aspect of the secret is going to be glaringly obvious no matter what. So they come up with a unique (and often humorousd) excuse.

Similar to A Wizard Did It, but instead of hand-waving some implausible aspect of the series, the character is the one doing the hand-waving to another character.

In the ideal version of the trope, most people accept this because of their built-in Weirdness Censor, or because it's excuted as a Seamless Spontaneous Lie. When it fails, you get That Liar Lies followed by Implausible Deniability. May or may not involve Hesitation Equals Dishonesty. Will almost inevitably accompany any Paper-Thin Disguise or Most Definitely Not a Villain. Often delivered by a Bad Liar. Suspiciously Specific Denial is a subtrope. See also From a Certain Point of View.

In Real Life, this is the most offensive form of turd polish.

Not to be confused with Sarcasm Mode.

There are no examples whatsover in this list.

Advertising? Wouldn't dream of it!

  • David Leisure made a career about being a Smug Snake who clearly is lying - he was best known as Joe Isuzu. Here's an example. Subtitles would point out his lies.
  • Advertising in general is lies—or at least the implication of lies. Most countries have consumer protection agencies which try to tone down the most Egregious lies, but companies fight back. The truth is that although advertisers can't directly lie without risking getting caught, they can imply a lie, tell a half-truth, or spin a flaw to make it sound like an asset. If the truth is really uncomfortable they can dress it up with comedy or simply relegate it to an Unreadable Disclaimer.
    • Adding another layer to this is ads in colleges (and other places where they can get to new adults) that advertise the existence of these agencies and why you can trust ads because of them... right next to an ad full of half-truths.
  • Nowadays, most service providers (especially mobile telecomms companies...) offer "unlimited" downloading, texts, or minutes. For quite small values of "unlimited". In a similar fashion they offer incredibly fast speeds...that are in reality half of what is being advertised.
    • Another trick is to have upload speeds of X mbps, except on basically any application you would use to upload with (legit or otherwise). Here's a list of those applications: just kidding, there is no list.
  • Our bank account has no monthly fees. as long as you maintain a minimum balance for (absurdly high amount), make six or fewer withdrawals (including ATM and electronic withdrawals) in a month, and never use an out-of-network ATM...
  • Did you know that Extra Sugarfree Gum can not only slim you, but also tone your ass at the same time? No? Neither did I.
  • The Edsel sales campaign was this with a little Zeerust garnish.
  • An ad for a product called the "Smoke Assassin" avoids blatant lies by pointing them out. This is an actual quote from the ad:

 Ad Guy: We can't say it'll make you quit smoking, but thousands quit every day. We can't say it's a healthy smoke, but you do the math!


 FBI Agent Burke: (pointing at Fi's gun) Do you have a permit for that weapon?

Fi: (covers it with a napkin) What weapon?

Agent Burke: That's a gun.

Michael: That's a napkin.

Agent Burke: I can literally see it.

Fi: Oh, that's my cellphone.

Agent Burke: (points to the cell phone in her hand) Then what's that?

Fi: That's my other cell phone.

Michael: She's a... big talker?

Fi: (covering the napkin with her purse. a grenade falls out) Maybe we could just put this all... behind... us.

Agent Burke: (deadpan) Is that a grenade?

Fi: What grenade?

  • Computer running slow? Come to our website where you can get a FREE scan to find all the annoying adware and spyware and registry errors. Then for a small monthly fee, we'll remove them all and replace them with our adware and spyware and registry errors.
  • Any and all Penis enlargement - sorry, Male Enhancement drugs.
    • Add to that pumps, potions, powders and pretty much any other technique offered. Except maybe the painful stretching techniques which may cause some stretching at the expense of most of the nerve endings that make having a penis...well, fun.
    • Some of the pumps "work" as well; if you can get enough suction and movement, you start rupturing capillaries, doing permanent damage which very very slightly increases the volume of blood potentially containable by the penis (assuming the internal bleeding doesn't become external). Not that a broken penis can really be said to become erect any more. In fact, there are about half a dozen ways to "enlarge a penis" that technically work, but you don't want to even know how most of them would do so.
      • The Enzyte commercials with "Smilin' Bob" are possibly the worst offenders - the clear implication that "enhancement" means size, while the actual product is meant to increase endurance. This got to the point that someone actually filed a lawsuit claiming false advertising.
  • In a battle between pink salmon and white salmon manufacturers around 100 years ago, the public was well used to pink salmon and white salmon was having a hard time getting customers ... until ... they put the phrase: "guaranteed not to turn pink in the can" on their labels.
  • Networks are starting to call the pilot episode of a series the "preview," while calling the second episode a "premiere." Nickelodeon goes even further by taking a two-parter and calling it a "movie."
  • The Yellow freight company.

Neither Anime nor Manga exist here

  • In Inuyasha, Kagome's long absences are explained by her Grandfather as being the result of various illnesses that are increasingly more and more serious, and which Kagome would not likely recover from so easily had she actually contracted them (such as diabetes, scoliosis and rheumatoid arthritis).
    • Worse, the parents of the boy who has a crush on her own an alternative medicines clinic, and he frequently brings her increasingly ridiculous herbal remedies and such. This is often how she learns of her grandfather's latest excuse for her absence.
    • Many of these are also geriatric disorders that the Grandfather likely has, like rheumatism.
  • In Ranma ½, all of the Miniature Senior Citizens claim to have been both normal-sized and very attractive when young (particularly the ultra-lecherous Happôsai and Lukkôsai, who claim to have been dignified, respected Bishonens). This is proven to be false in Happōsai's case (who was, basically, a homely little dwarf with the exact same standards as the present Happōsai) and is likely the same in Lukkōsai's case. Cologne, on the other hand, looks the same in both her and Happosai's flashback, so she's probably being honest. It's confirmed as true in the anime!
  • Mahou Sensei Negima: The Mages Hand Wave things like people flying, shooting fireballs, or giant demon mecha with "It's CGI." And it works. This sort of makes sense during the festival arc where the Muggles were already using magic guns and the like, but there's no reason for it to work the time it showed up in the Kyoto arc.
    • This is the most likely excuse of the climax of the Magical World arc. Cosmo Entelechia's plan is set in motion and Magical World monsters are appearing in Mahora. The Muggles fight back the same way as they did in the Mahorafest.
  • Mai-HiME: After the results of the Power Trio's first encounter with an Orphan, Reito comes to Mai the next day and tells her that they're reporting the collateral damage to the landscape as the result of "a (freak) lightning strike." Suuuure, Reito. Single lightning strikes that set the landscape ablaze in perfectly straight lines happen all the time.
  • The characters in Bleach use the injury and illness excuse for their long absences far too often. The fact that up to five of them are missing, all from the same high school class, at the same time makes the lies all the more blatant.
    • One of them is Orihime who doesn't even need to lie, since even when she tells the truth everybody assumes it's just her overactive imagination.
    • All of the main cast (Ichigo, Rukia, Orihime, Ishida, Chad) go into school. They explain their injuries with "I fell down some stairs." No one believes them, which is kind of understandable considering that Ichigo in particular tends to acquire lots of really impressive sword wounds.
    • We also have Shinji Hirako referring to each cute girl he meets as "his first love ever". Suuuuure.
  • Minako of Sailor Moon does the same thing during her own manga, Codename: Sailor V. Artemis doesn't buy it for a second.
  • Onsokumaru of Ninin ga Shinobuden is a floating yellow ball with arms, yet for some reason Shinobu believes him when he claims to be a hawk. This is just one of countless lies he manages to sell her on. Kaede is never fooled for a second.
  • Seto no Hanayome: Mafia boss Seto Gozaburo's introduction as the new homeroom teacher:

 Gozaburo: Starting today, I'm taking over this "group." I'm the leader of this group. I'll scold whoever makes noise. Nice to meet you all.

Class President: E-erm... What happened to the former teacher, Shibazaki-sensei?

Gozaburo: Mr Shibazaki is .... On maternity leave!

Students: Eh, he can give birth?!

  • Yamazaki of Cardcaptor Sakura gets his kicks improvising outrageous lies, usually about the history of things. Sakura and, strangely enough, Syaoran always believe him. Chiharu seems thoroughly jaded, but let Yamazaki talk long enough and even she will start to wonder...
  • Rozen Maiden's Suiseiseki takes full advantage of the fact that Hina-Ichigo will believe anything she's told. In one memorable case, she convinced Hina that mailboxes were dangerous monsters... purely so she could get her letter sent first.
  • About half of the dialog in Beelzebub are lies on way or another. Especially anytime Oga is describing himself, or well any other time it could get a laugh.
  • In Please Twins, the trio gets a visit from Tsubaki, who's clearly interested in Maiku. Karen notices Miina glowering.

 Karen: Miina-san, your face looks scary.

Miina: I was born like this.

Karen: ...Is that right?


 Madara: I didn't unleash the Kyuubi on Konoha, it was a Natural Disaster.

  • Galaxy Angels Mint brings the staff of an amusement park to tears with her story of the deaths of Ranfa and Forte. They charged into a hail of bullets while she remained behind because of her powerful family. I almost burst into tears, then I remembered that Ranfa and Forte were back at base enjoying their coffee break.
  • Durarara has Orihara Izaya saying "No way! I'm not the bad guy!"
  • Madoka Magica: As much as you would want to believe that Kyubey is lying, he's not. He actually considers himself above lying, so he will always be obligated to tell the truth, although it's usually From a Certain Point of View. Gen Urobuchi, however, lies constantly, and reached legendary Troll status that way. Saying Sayaka was the main character is just one example...
  • From Angel Beats. After Otonashi has to grab Yurippe innappropriatly to climb up human ladder style and Hinata attempts the same thing:


(scene change)

Otonashi: Where's Hinata?

Yurippe: He was a noble sacrifice.

  • Usopp of One Piece has many of these, the most famous probably being "I have 80 million men under my command!" The, ahem, more gullible members of the Strawhats and a few other idiots will actually take him seriously.
  • After the Life Alive concert in Haruhi Suzumiya, we can see Kyon wolf down his lunch in silence and then casually stroll out of the classroom and declares that it's not that he wants to talk to Haruhi about the concert or anything, he just took a walk to settle his stomach. The narrator is blatantly lying to the viewer!
  • In Mayo Chiki, Kanade is a master at this. She tells Kureha, the main character Jiro's sister, that Subaru is in fact a guy in episode 3. Later, in episode 7, Subaru is wearing a bikini and looks like a girl when Kureha once again shows up. Kanade blatantly points out that she's a girl, and is in fact Subaru's "cousin", Punyuru. Kureha once again falls for it.
  • In The World God Only Knows during an obvious breather arc, Keima gets upset about losing a shogi match and tries to pretend he meant to do it as part of his strategy. The girl he's working on, Nanaka, then points out that he has Ocular Gushers going on, at which point he claims he's not crying, he's relaxing in a hotspring! Complete with an image of him filling up a hot spring with his tears.

Do Not Open This Folder. If You Open This Folder, You Will Not Find Comics. You Will Break The Internet.

  • Subverted in a classic Silver Age Flash comic which ends with Iris wondering aloud about the timing of Barry's absences. Without missing a beat, Barry just tells her she's right: "One and one still makes one! I'm the Flash!" Naturally, this flippant claim convinces Iris he's not. (This is the same issue with the immortal cover line "I've got the strangest feeling I'm being turned into a puppet!")
  • A common fight example is a character promising their opponent "one free shot", then attacking while they prepare.
    • Oddly enough, one issue of Captain America has a instance where Cap does give the villain their "one free shot", who then knocks Cap down with the free shot. Though Cap would then kick the villain's ass handily soon after.
  • From the classic Batman #251, Joker's Five Way Revenge: Joker promised to let his hostage go if Batman willingly jumps into a shark tank. Batman complies, but Joker throws the hostage in for dessert. A rare example of Batman holding the Idiot Ball.

 Batman: You promised--

Joker: I'm a notorious liar.


Clearly Fan works are in a different folder.


 Goku: So Vegeta, what happened to you? Did you get beat up by this guy? (talking about Recoome)

Recoome: *groaning in pain*

Vegeta: (stammering) Uhhh no...I..umm...uh..

Ghost Nappa: You fell down some stairs.

Vegeta: I fell down some stairs.

Krillin: No you didn't, you-

Vegeta: Shut up before I throw you down a flight!

  • Luminosity turns these into a plot point: Elspeth's powers revolve around the truth. When lying, they dull quite a bit, so when they need a way to dull her powers...
  • Used word for word by Minato in The Girl from Whirlpool about Sakumo's claims of the border's pleasant weather.
  • Boy, does Bhelen ever try to feed the dwarven commonner a slice of bull_hit the size of a mountain in Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns. Hilariously enough, Faren was actually playing dumb on behalf of the dwarven noble protagonist.
  • This is a common tactic of Harry's in Oh God Not Again, usually when a Sarcastic Confession just won't cut it. His favorite answer to "How do you know that?" is "My psychic scar told me."
    • Subverted in one instance:

 Molly: This is much better gossip than last year's 'Albus Dumbledore was madly in love with Gellert Grindelwald.' Honestly, you'd think Rita Skeeter would learn to stop making up such sensational stories. Obviously Dumbledore was struck speechless by the Blatant Lies and thus couldn't be bothered to deny it.


 Altair: It's a trap.

Isra: *sarcastic* I hadn't noticed.

Altair: You can't go, [...] they'll be waiting for you.

Isra: Good for them.

Altair: This is serious, and you're being flippant!

Isra: Oh, perish the thought!

  • In Children of the Stars there is this exchange between the two leads that hints at the established UST being mutual.

 Keleria: Well would you rather hang onto me or the gryphon?


Keleria: Well?

Ayuri: The gryphon. What else would I hang on to.

  • In The Dilgar War, warmaster Len'char is sent to Earth space to try and stipulate a non-aggression treaty. The description in his journal of the first meeting with Earth ambassadors and their escort as 'subduing them with his commanding aura' and of the 'million sighs' from relief they produced when he informed them of coming in peace and not in conquest drew a lot of laughs from the ambassadors and the intelligence analysts who spied it.
  • From Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:

  Socrates: (upon being questioned by Hobbes as to why he can't go in his mansion) Uh... we're... stinky.


Films that are NOT Live Action

  • First Charlie's Angels movie: Alex and her actor boyfriend are rehearsing a "bomb defusing" scene, and Alex lets slip some technobabble. To cover it up she says, "Isn't it amazing what you can learn on the internet?"
  • In X 2 X Men United, Bobby Drake presents Wolverine to his parents (who think he's been attending a normal prep school) as "Professor Logan". This in itself is borderline, but when the Drakes ask Wolverine what he teaches, he replies tersely, "Art." The trailers for the film played this to maximum effect by intercutting the question and the response with a shot of Logan, claws extended, screaming and leaping towards the camera.
    • Maybe he meant martial art.
  • Whole point of the Neuralizer in Men in Black.

 Agent J: Thank you for participating in our drill. Had this been an actual emergency, y'all woulda been eaten. 'Cause you don't listen. How's a man gonna come bustin' through the back of a subway — it's the same with all y'all New Yorkers! You think you've seen it all, "ooh, another six-hundred-foot worm, save us mister black man!" I ask y'all nicely to move forward to the next car, but you just sit there like... * flash* Thank you for participating in our drill. We hope you have enjoyed our shorter, more energy-efficient subway cars. Watch your step; you will have a nice evening.


 Han: Everything is under control. Situation normal.

Intercom Officer: What happened?

Han: Uh...had a slight weapons malfunction. But, uh, everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?

Intercom Officer: We're sending a squad up.

Han: Uh, uh, negative. We had a reactor leak here now. Give us a few minutes to lock it down. Large leak...very dangerous.

Intercom Officer: Who is this? What's your operating number?

Han: Uh...(blasts commlink) Boring conversation anyway.


 Harvey Dent: Lightly irradiated bills. Fancy stuff for a city cop. Have help?

Lieutenant Gordon: We liaise with various agencies.

Harvey Dent: Save it, Gordon. I wanna meet him.

Lieutenant Gordon: Official policy is to arrest the vigilante known as "Batman" on sight.

Harvey Dent: Mm-hm. And what about that floodlight on top of MCU?

Lieutenant Gordon: If you've got problems with malfunctioning equipment, I suggest you take them up with maintenance, counselor.

  • The many explanations to which the local police in Hot Fuzz chalk up the horrific murders in the town of Sandford are blatant lies. This is underlined when Nicholas Angel has go along with the stock explanation for a local woman's brutal murder (which took place in front of him): "She tripped and fell on her own shears."
    • To elaborate; the Blatant Lies are actually perpetrated by the conspiracy that surrounds the village, but most of the cops have had their instincts so dulled by both the conspiracy and the peaceful life it produces that they instinctively buy into these lies, regardless of how nakedly absurd they are. Typical response to the incident mentioned above: "So... you're saying it wasn't an accident?"
  • In Mystery Men, The Bowler's father supposedly died when he "fell down an elevator shaft... onto some bullets".
  • The Crazies. Ogden Marsh is "The Friendliest place on Earth". It's possible they probably came up with the moniker before the outbreak of the illness that turns you Ax Crazy...
  • Guest House Paradiso. Eddie is in the reception area welcoming new guest Gina Carbonara. There is a massive explosion from the kitchen. Eddie: "Mice." (pause) "Basque Seperatist mice."
  • Analyze This had a scene where Dr. Sobel runs into Paul Vitti's right hand man, Jelly, who was "previously incarcerated".

 Dr. Sobel: I thought you were in prison?

Jelly: It would appear not.

Dr. Sobel: How'd you get out?

Jelly: I had a new trial. Turns out that the evidence in the first trial was tainted.

Dr. Sobel: Oh, I see.

Jelly: Anyway, two of the witnesses decided not to testify and the third guy, well, he commited suicide.

Dr. Sobel: How?

Jelly: He stabbed himself in the back four times and threw himself off a bridge.

  • Kick-Ass: With gunfire clearly audible in the background:

 Bodyguard: Everything's under control.

Chris: Under control? You're getting a fucking BAZOOKA!

  • At the end of Diggstown, after Gabriel Caine openly, in front of the entire town, orders Menoso Torres to take a fall in the last bout, John Gillon tells Caine "You beat me fair and square." He means it.
  • Not so much the movie itself, but for Friedberg and Seltzer's latest film, Vampires Suck, there have been a bunch of "reviews" claiming the movie is funny. No sources given. Plus, one name is actually Ivona Tinkle; they're just making reviews up to make their movie seem more appealing.
  • Pretty much the entire plot of the movie The Invention of Lying. In a world where everyone always tells the truth, a man figures out how to lie. Everyone believes everything he says without question, leading to the exchange:

 To a random hot girl on the street: If you don't have sex with me right now, the world will end!

Girl: Oh my goodness! Do we need to do it right here, or do we have time to get a hotel room?!

    • For added points, notice that the "random hot girl on the street" is played by Stephanie March, who also played ADA Cabot on Law & Order: SVU. As the main character is about to rape her, there's a certain irony.
  • Coneheads: "We're from France."
  • Guide for the Married Man from 1967 has Walter Matthau thinking of infidelity; his friend coaches him on what to do. One vignette has a wife walk in while her husband and mistress are in bed (afterglow time) and he simply repeatedly denies that the mistress is even there. The wife walks away, disbelieving her own eyes.
  • The Godfather: "Is it true?" "No." And she believes it.
  • In Weekend at Bernies, an unhinged mob hitman bursts into a scene and shoots the titular corpse several times. Unfortunately, the protagonists are standing right there. This leads to:

 Larry: I didn't see anything! I was looking at my watch!

Richard: I'm blind!

  • Terry Silver's speech about what he's got from karate in The Karate Kid Part III. He's a borderline-psychotic sadist who says that he's got discipline, health, inner-peace and self-confidence from karate, and he's about to open some dojos to teach karate full of honesty, compassion and fair play. The crowd love it, but we see several shots that show us that Daniel and Mr Miyagi are clearly not buying it.
  • The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean:

 Jack: Hector! It's been too long! ...Hasn't it?

Barbossa: Aye. Isla de Muerta. Remember? You shot me.

Jack: (Beat) No, I didn't.


 Frank/Dad: Would you please explain what you're doing in this picture?

Rodrick: That's not me.

Frank/Dad: That's not you?


Rodrick: ... Nope.

  • In Clue, Mrs. White uses this to explain away what happened to her first husband.

 Wadsworth: Your first husband also disappeared.

Mrs. White: But that was his job. He was an illusionist.

Wadsworth: But he never reappeared!

Mrs. White: He wasn't a very good illusionist.

  • In A Knight's Tale, Prince Edward justifies knighting William by announcing that he's discovered Will is descended from nobility. Though pretty obviously a lie, he basically dares anyone to call him on it: "This is my word, and as such is beyond contestation."
  • The Muppets: "Change of heart. Nothing to do with head injury."

Definitely Not Literature

  • In Duumvirate, Sarah raids and kills a pervert, then "found" a will on his hard drive that everything he owned was to go to her son. More a Take That than a lie meant to be believed.
  • In the Harry Potter series, the Dursleys claim Harry has gone to "St Brutus' Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys" to their fellow Muggle neighbors to explain his long absences at Hogwarts. Aunt Marge approves, and asks whether they still use the cane.
    • The Dursleys also told Harry that Lily and James Potter died in a car crash. They seem to have told Marge that as well.
    • When asked directly by Harry what he saw when he looked into the Mirror of Erised, a mirror that shows one's greatest desire; Dumbledore claims to see "a pair of thick, woollen socks." It's actually his dead sister, whom he may or may not have accidentally killed, alive again.
  • In the classic novel Gladiator, when his Army superiors ask for an explanation of his superhuman powers, Hugo Danner does NOT speak of his father's medical experiments. Instead, he simply says, "I'm from Montana."
  • Because most of the people in The Dresden Files are deeply in denial, large amounts of crap can be made up without anyone noticing. For example, a magical diagram to redirect a curse onto its originator is "Feng Shui", and Murphy once suggested calling in Homeland Security on the Denarians' demon-possessed asses by saying they're "terrorists with advanced biotechnology suits." However, this also gets Double Subverted in "Turn Coat" when a security guard insists on taking Harry's staff, which he says is "traditional Ozark folk art": not because he knows that the staff covered in mystic runes has, in the past, been used to blast a rampaging hell-werewolf all the way through two buildings, but because he thinks Harry could smack someone with it. Of course, Harry has been known to do just that at times.
  • Discworld:
    • In Making Money, Moist asks why Mrs. Lavish keeps two loaded crossbows on her desk. The answer is "family heirlooms". He notes that a lie so blatant is clearly meant to make a statement rather than be believed.
      • Considering the rest of her family, it's more of a Jedi Truth. If any of her family tries anything funny, the crossbow bolts will be heirlooms, after they've been...forcibly gifted upon the family member in question.
    • In Thud, a fight nearly breaks out between a troll and a dwarf officer. Commander Vimes enters the room to find a table overturned, and the potential combatants being restrained by their fellow officers. He asks who's going to be the first to "tell me a huge whopper". Nobby Nobbs obliges by offering up an utterly preposterous explanation about how the dwarf almost drank some (dangerously chemical) troll coffee, and the others rushed to stop him. Vimes pretends to buy it, and the others pretend to believe that he buys it. Much of what Nobby Nobbs does involves this trope. He has been seen using the excuse that his "granny died" in order to get out of work. When directly asked by Colon, he says that this is about the twentieth one it happened to. Watchmen seem to be expected to have that particular excuse, having been given three afternoons off for grandmother's funerals a year.
      • The "grandmother's funeral" excuse comes up again when two troll constables are given an order to apprehend another troll, Acting-Constable Detritus. This exchange promptly occurs (which showcases genius-level thinking, for a troll):

 Sergeant Colon: Lance-Constable Coalface! Lance-Constable Bauxite! Apprehend Acting-Constable Detritus!

Lance-Constable Bauxite: *salutes* Permission for leave to attend grandmother's funeral, sir?

Sergeant Colon: Why?

Lance-Constable Bauxite: It her or me, sarge.

    • Feet of Clay also be Terry Pratchett has Vimes and Detritus discussing who possibly could have threatened Coalface's drug smuggler while a new applicant looks on in disbelief as Detritus's assurances that none of HIS trolls would ever do such a thing (and yet he knew who was threatened and why) are accepted.
      • This is also a case of Jedi Truth since none of Detritus' trolls actually did the deed. It was Detritus himself.
    • Monstrous Regiment. Roughly every other spoken line.
  • Johnny and The Bomb shows that it's possible to appear out of thin air, claim you're looking for the pottery club, and let everyone's Weirdness Censor do the rest.
    • Earlier, Johnny notes that the phrase "We're doing a school paper" seems to grant you all sorts of access, and that Hitler could probably have conquered all of Europe by claiming it was school research.
  • Twice in the X Wing Series novel Wraith Squadron:
    • The Wraiths, pretending to be the crew of a warship, are on that warship's mission, touring planets aligned with Warlord Zsinj. The captain dies while they are capturing his ship, and at some point a planetary governor hails them and wants to talk to that captain. Improvising, the squadron's actor coats a pair of goggles with fluorescent paint, sticks one end of a tube in his nostril, the other in his ear (to disguise his distinctive features), and pretends to be a lieutenant and says that the captain is in the bath, dictating his memoirs. When the governor states his confusion, the actor roars that Captain Darillian has to budget his time; he's not some planetary governor who can skim taxes with one hand and pick his nose with the other!
    • Later, the Wraiths' actor, "Face" Loran impersonates that captain with the help of his full-holo Captain's Log. Most of the people who they met either hadn't known the man or had barely met him and knew little of him other than his melodrama and ego. But then the actor talks in depth to Darillian's immediate superior, making him suspicious when they turn out not to know something the captain should. He gets out of this by furiously improvising, again, and telling the admiral, as the captain, that it's been a very long time since he was home. The admiral knows that, and that the captain's family died thanks to Isard. The actor, as the captain, continues to improvise and tells the admiral that he was in love with Isard, and was wildly conflicted and distracted by this. Going off on a tangent about her, the actor fascinated the admiral long enough that he forgot about his suspicions and almost fell into the Wraiths' trap. This was helped by the fact that Loran had met Isard in person, and his particular talents allowed him to notice and remember very subtle details about her.

 Face: Thank you, thank you. Performances every hour, on the hour. Imperial madmen a specialty.

    • In Solo Command, during Wedge and Han's "mutiny of anonymity", the various crew off-duty refused to refer to one another by their proper name and rank, or allow people who did into their section. The preferred address was "person who looks like [so and so]". Wedge explains:

 "not-Wedge": Who do you think I am?

Face: Um... Commander Wedge Antilles, New Republic Starfighter Command?

"not-Wedge": No no no no... if I were Antilles, I'd be wearing proper rank insignia, wouldn't I?

    • Another from Wraith Squadron, when Wedge breaks up a fight:

 Phanan: We were discussing the finer points of a specific hand-to-hand combat maneuver...

Wedge: Flight Officer Phanan, how many times do you think I've heard that "we were talking about a boxing move" excuse?

    • And of course, there's Starfighters of Adumar.

 Wedge: We'll need a wheeled transport, one of the flatcam units our pursuers are carrying, and four sets of women's clothing.

Hobbie: Boss, please tell me you're not putting us in women's clothing.

Wedge: Very well. I'm not putting us in women's clothing.

(in the next chapter, the four pilots are in women's clothing)

Hobbie: You lied to me.

Wedge: I did. With my brilliant achievements in the diplomatic profession has come the realization that lies can be powerful motivators.

Hobbie: My faith is shattered.

Wedge: You knew, when I said we needed four sets of women's clothing, that we were going to end up in them. You knew. So any hopes you had to the contrary were just self-delusion.

Hobbie: I understand that. But I'd rather blame you than me.

  • In one Robert A. Heinlein novel (Starman Jones?), the main character questions one of his friends about the contents of some boxes the friend has smuggled aboard. The friend claims they're tea cosies, which he's importing as "skullcaps for pinheads". Not so much.
  • In Callahan's Secret, by Spider Robinson, Mike Callahan recounts how, after a dimly-remembered alcoholic event, he woke up naked in New York and wound up riding a police horse, using the horse blanket as a toga. He averted attention by galloping boldly through the streets and periodically shouting, "Attack of the Horseclans! Coming soon from United Artists!"
  • In Drugs & the Dominoes, when Luck Gandor pulls himself together after near-decapitation in front of a witness, there's no possible plausible lie, so he goes for a blatant one:

 Luck: [grabs magazine with a red cover off shelf] Oh my, that was dangerous. If not for the timely rescue of this book, I would have died.

Shopkeeper: Uh... that... no... blood.

Luck: [rips magazine] It was the cover of this book scattering everywhere. You saw wrongly. It was too sudden.

Shopkeeper: But--

Luck: Oh right, I have to repay you for this book...

  • Everything Shin-tsu of The Longing of Shiina Ryo says is taken as this, even though he's telling the truth. It's not his fault the Universe made him its plaything.
  • The Antichrist in Left Behind, despite supposedly being the agent (and later, living avatar) of the Prince Of Lies, uses a lot of these. It only works since he has some ill-defined Mind Control powers to back him up, and more importantly because the authors portray the entire population of the planet after the Rapture as morons.
  • In the first Star Trek: Millennium novel, when Dr. Bashir asks Garak to aid him in identifying two recently-discovered bodies (referencing Garak's expertise), Garak responds: “Oh, Doctor, I'm afraid that in matters of mysterious deaths, I am entirely bereft of experience”. No-one is amused. Bashir then clarifies he wanted Garak to examine their clothing..."I meant your expertise as a tailor".
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire the Frey's excuse for the Red Wedding is that Robb's forces attacked first, transformed into wolves and they were forced to kill them in self defense. Unsurprisingly no one really buys this, but they're relying on people accepting it for political reasons. It's not proving very effective.
    • On a very similar note, after the Lannister forces are broken by Robb in battle, Lancel Lannister relays the news that Robb set an army of wolves on the Lannister forces, slaughtering them while they slept...and then "feasting on the flesh of the slain".
  • An Elegy for the Still-living Francis Church convinces a prisoner to play a game where they take turns asking and answering questions. Either player can accuse the other of lying. If the accuser is correct, he wins the game. The prisoner spots a loophole in the rules and decides never to make an accusation. Almost everything Francis says from that point on is a lie. Some of what he says is actually pretty subtle, but "I am not afraid of anything," is obviously untrue.

Not Live Action TV, No-Siree-Bob

  • In Human Target, Winston is faced with disarming a remote timer, which will trigger enough C4 to level the building around him. Faced with two wires and no clue, his only hope is Geurerro, a seedy freelance agent he calls over the phone... who doesn't have a clue either.

 Winston: * hearing something 'plink' in the background* Did you just flip a coin?!

Guererro: ...No.

  • In Sliders, whenever the team lands on a new world and has to explain why they don't know what's going on, they use the excuse "We're from Canada." We've hardly ever seen it fail. Although one time they had to pretend to be illegal immigrants from Canada the entire episode, who had snuck south into Mexico for work. (Thanks to the non-existence of America in the middle, and Mexico ending up with California.)
    • The British show Goodnight Sweetheart uses something very similar. The main character constantly switches between 1941 and the modern day, meaning that he often ends up in the past with technology that shouldn't exist in that time. When anyone asks him about it, he invariably claims the gadget comes 'from America'. Everyone believes this without question, which is probably Truth in Television.
  • In the famed Harlan Ellison penned Star Trek the Original Series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" where Kirk and Spock travel back to the Great Depression, Kirk tries to explain Spock's vaguely alien appearance by saying he's from China; then he has to justify his pointed ears by claiming he got his head stuck in a "mechanical rice picker" as a child.
  • In an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation, Data, having been transported back through time to 1893 San Francisco, explains his uniform and skin color with the excuse that he's French. The fact that he can speak French fluently helps. Another TNG episode has Data in the holodeck in a pastiche of the 1920s or thereabouts; this time, he explains his skin tone with "I'm from South America."
    • The second one works because Holodeck characters are literally programmed to accept even the most spurious of Handwaves.
  • In Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Garak is always very adamant that he didn't have anything to do with all those murders at the Romulan embassy. He was really just a gardener who just worked there purely by coincidence.
    • He makes it clear with his first introduction that he's just "plain, simple Garak," a tailor on Deep Space Nine, and definitely not a spy. It becomes rapidly apparent that most of what he says is a lie of some sort.

 Bashir: What I want to know is, out of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren't?

Garak: My dear doctor... they're all true.

Bashir: Even the lies?

Garak: Especially the lies.

  • Some Saturday Night Live sketches hinge on the trope for comedy:
    • The classic Coneheads sketches feature the eponymous aliens making transparent lies to hide the obvious fact that they're not human. "We are from France" was their Beam Me Up, Scotty catchphrase, originally said to explain why they hadn't paid taxes. Amusingly, though there's no actual city or village by this name, "Remulak" sounds plausible as a town name from southwestern France (but it would be likely spelled "Rémulac").
    • The John Belushi sketch "Don't Look Back In Anger" is a big lie that shows him as the only surviving member.
    • Jon Lovitz's recurring character "The Liar" makes obvious lies in a cartoonish manner, following each with, "Yeah, that's the ticket!"
  • In Pushing Daisies, when Olive questions Chuck about why she and Ned don't touch each other (because Ned brought her Back From the Dead, and she would die again if he did):

 Olive: Do you have some kind of deadly food allergy to Ned?

Chuck: I'm going to say yes.

    • In "Pie-lette", some time after Ned visited the morgue posing as a dog expert, he visits again:

 Coroner: Aren't you the dog expert?

Ned: No.

    • Every lie Ned tells, basically.
  • In Stargate SG-1, the Stargate Program and the SGC is officially "Analysis of Deep Space Radar Telemetry". Carter's father, Major General Jacob Carter, obviously didn't believe her in "Secrets". Which leads to the hilarious event where Sam was receiving a medal for saving the world—with deep space radar telemetry. Of course Carter, being a physicist, is at least plausible. O'Neill, whose explanation for everything is "magnets" makes this even more of a blatant lie when he talks of the cover. Consider that he's a retired Air Force Colonel who took part on several special forces mission and came back from retirement to work with... Deep Space Radar Telemetry. Considering O'Neill is a known fan of Astronomy, it's SLIGHTLY more plausible. Now, Dr. Jackson, an ARCHAEOLOGIST, on the other hand...
    • What makes it even better is that the medal they received for saving the world was the Air Medal. Which is awarded "for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight." You know, like analysts of deep-space radar telemetry tend... to do...
      • I think Carter eventually did save the world using Deep Space Radar Telemetry...
    • Also note that Daniel is also a linguist. Presumably they asked him to translate stuff most definitely not related to aliens.
    • In the episode where the award is being given, a reporter approaches Jack to ask about a comment he'd overheard to the effect of "I can travel through the Galaxy without getting lost..." Jack explains his comment away by talking about a very large class of airplane called a Galaxy. The reporter clearly doesn't buy it.
    • And Teal'c would be so impossible to explain that they just keep him on base and avoid the issue.
    • On one occasion when Teal'c did leave the base, O'Neill explained him away as "a simple technical sergeant." When asked what Teal'c specialty was, O'Neil responded: "speech writing."
    • In a later episode, he moves out of the Cheyenne base and attempts to set up a civilian life. When anyone asks about his manner of speaking, or why he's ignorant of customs, or the inlaid gold tattoo on his head, he tells them he's from "Mozambique."
    • Daniel Jackson, upon meeting an oncoming Goa'uld ship, identifies himself as "The Great and Powerful Oz".
  • In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron can't get through the metal detectors in the school she attends. John explains this away off-handed by saying she's got a metal plate in her head, believed because of Cameron's odd behavior (it's technically true, though John neglects to mention that her entire head is metal plates). Later on, when a guidance counselor calls Sarah to comment on Cameron's... odd behavior around the campus, she explains that a tornado did it.
    • Probably a rather subtle Wizard of Oz reference on Sarah's behalf. The series is peppered with them.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer was full of this: "gangs on PCP" (group of vampires); "slipped and fell on a barbeque fork" (vampire bite resulting in loss of blood, consciousness, and memory); "office broken into by a pack of wild dogs" (students possessed by hyenas eating the principal); "neck rupture" (vampire bite); "gym full of asbestos" (full of vampires)... By the sixth season, it's gotten to the point where the official line is "Mayhem caused; monsters definitely not involved."
    • It was on fullest display during Anya and Xander's wedding, where the various demons sitting on the bride's side were explained as being "circus people".
    • Non-"Sunnydale Syndrome" example: during the episode where Buffy turns invisible, Xander goes to Spike for information and walks in on the two of them having sex. Spike's explanation is that he's bed. Xander seems to buy it, possibly for the sake of his sanity. "You know, jokes aside, you really should get a girlfriend."
    • Giles apparently used to tell girls he helped to found Pink Floyd. He probably didn't mention that this must have been when he was 11.
  • On the new Doctor Who series, it's stated at the end of "World War Three" that Blatant Lies are used at first, along with people's natural Weirdness Censor, by the British government and UNIT to paper over the Doctor's various adventures. In a later subversion of the trope, it's ultimately shown that no one in London is buying what Downing Street is selling anymore, to the point where the city is nearly deserted on Christmas Eve in Voyage of the Damned due to a sudden pandemic of Genre Savviness.
    • Twice, when the Tenth Doctor is grieving, on being asked if he's okay replies, "I'm always all right." Lampshaded by Donna when she asks if "All right" is Time Lord speak for "Not all right at all."
    • The Doctor himself does this to Amelia in "The Eleventh Hour."

 Doctor: You know when grown-ups tell you, "Everything's gonna be fine" and you think they're probably lying to make you feel better?

Amelia: Yeah.

Doctor: Everything's gonna be fine.

    • And another one:

 Doctor: Remember, we are observers only, no matter what happens. In all my travels, that's the one rule that I've always stuck to.

    • Anytime the Doctor says anything, keep in mind River Song's first rule: The Doctor lies.
    • The overuse of perception filters in series 5 may be due to perception filters being a metaphor for Eleven lying to himself and Amy by pretending everything is okay. Amy begins to see through Eleven in the second half of the series, and is confused by what she sees at first.
    • In "A Christmas Carol" the Doctor tries to pull his psychic paper trick with the line, "I am widely acknowledged as a mature and responsible adult." It shorts out the paper.

  Doctor: Finally, a lie too big.

    • Used as a Tear Jerker in A Good Man Goes To War. Upon meeting a dying girl who met The Doctor when she was younger, and expects The Doctor to know who she is, the following exchange takes place:

 Lorna: Doctor...

The Doctor: [Smiling delighted] You helped my friends. Thank you.

Lorna: I met you once. In the Gamma forest... You don't remember me.

The Doctor: Of course I do, Lorna. I remember everyone. Hey, we ran - you and me!

Lorna smiles weakly and dies. The Doctor composes himself.

The Doctor: ...Who was she?

Vastra: I don't know, but she was very brave.

The Doctor: ...They are always brave. [swallows his own shame] They are always brave...

    • In the original series "Dalek Invasion Of Earth" arc, Barbara convinces the Daleks that the resistance forces are attempting an immediate assault... working together with the Boston Tea Party, and General Lee and Hannibal are poised to perform a synchronized cavalry strike on the Dalek base. The Daleks, having never heard of those, assume the worst.
  • Used for dramatic effect in the series finale of The Wire. Dukie hits up Prez for some money, saying he's going to take a GED. Prez points out that he's too young to take that test but acquiesces anyway, and they part on the unspoken agreement that Dukie is about to spend his life as a homeless drug addict and they will never see each other again.
    • Clay Davis was also a frequent source of these. His impassioned speech on the stand while on trial for corruption was perhaps the biggest.
  • Used often in Smallville during the earlier seasons, when any questions Clark Kent was asked about his interest in the caves or any Native American symbols that were related to his Kryptonian heritage were met with "It's for a term paper"—to the point where Lex Luthor himself actually lampshades it later.
    • At one point Clark uses it as an offensive tool, saying he wanted to write a term paper on a project Lex was funding, which Lex had lied about earlier prior to Clark's finding and dismantling it.
  • In The Middleman, used to explain away both their identity and any of the situations they get into.
  • In Being Human, Mitchell and George's landlord wonders why their flat is almost entirely empty, the real reason being that George is a werewolf and accidentally destroyed most of the furniture when he transformed the night before. Eager to make up an excuse, George gives a long rambling explanation about minimalist living. The landlord says he would have just figured they were redecorating.

 George: ... That would have made more sense.

  • This is supposed to be what sets Whacked Out Videos apart from other, similar shows.
  • Commandant Klink gets so many Blatant Lies fed to him by Hogan's Heroes that he should just put on a bib every time the colonel comes into his office.
  • Forever Knight's Nick Knight tells his coworkers he has an unfortunate combination of light sensitivity and food allergies to explain away why he's never seen during the day and doesn't eat... food.
    • One episode features the other characters finding wine bottles full of blood in Nick's refrigerator. He claims he uses the blood to thin paint.
  • Dead Like Me has George using every excuse she can to get out of work for her reaps. Plausible the first few times I am sure but it is a very consistent thing for years. (Trying to see an executive, she claims that it's "about his son, who drugged me, and then videotaped it while homeless people had sex with my unconscious body.")
  • Averted in Firefly. In the first episode, Jayne, the ship's resident amoral mercenary, mouths off and is told to leave the room. He claims that "[He] isn't paid to talk pretty", but leaves. Simon asks what Jayne does, and Capt. Reynolds responds: "Public Relations." Given the kind of public the crew is used to dealing with, Jayne deals with them pretty well.
    • Especially if the public involves whores.
  • In one Primeval episode Jenny "explains" a prehistoric crocodile on a rampage in central London as a charity fun-run gone wrong. This is one of her more plausible explanations.
  • Lost's Benjamin Linus does this almost constantly. If you listen to Ben a lot you realize that he lies just for the hell of it, such as when he tells Jack his mother taught him to read or said he was a Pisces. Even when the truth would be fine, he lies anyway.
  • In the Top Gear truck driving challenge, Richard Hammond's cargo (a small car) had fallen out of the trailer during the alpine course. Afterwards, when Jeremy Clarkson showed up:

 Jeremy Clarkson: This is totally... so anyway, how was your car?

(beat as May and Hammond exchange glances)

James May: Car's...

Richard Hammond: (interrupting May) Stolen! That's what it is, I've just thought of it now: stolen. The damnedest thing.

    • Top Gear throws out lies like this on a regular basis, especially if a host thinks it'll make their car (or cars in general) sound better. After one challenge where a train, bike and motorboat beat a car across London during rush hour, all three hosts banded together to claim that the footage had been edited, going so far as to claim that the Thames didn't exist and Jeremy Clarkson had died violently during the race (stated by Clarkson himself).
    • This exchange between Jermey and Cameron Diaz.

 Jeremy: What do you drive?

Cameron: A Prius.

Jeremy: Oh, I love the Prius.

(Studio audience cracks up)

  • Happens somewhat in Knight Rider. Michael Knight made up various stories about who/what both KITT and himself are during the run of the show. On the other hand, a surprisingly large number of guest stars, after displaying initial shock and surprise, accepted the idea of a talking, sentient supercar surprisingly quickly. Far better than Michael himself did despite being hand-picked for the job.
    • Several villains even point out "Up until X years ago, Michael Knight didn't exist". They don't really find this too terribly odd beyond the mention, but given the frequency this happens you'd think The Foundation would have found a way to fix that in the background check systems.
  • Scrubs. The Almighty Janitor loves this trope. One of the most memorable, when he was explaining how he knew sign language:

 Janitor: I used to hang out at the zoo a lot, and there was this one gorilla who knew sign language. I learned it so I could talk to him. Well it turned out he only knew a few words. Big. And boobs. He liked'em big and hairy. But I always remembered him, because he inspired me.

J.D.: Was any of that true?

Janitor: Someone would have to read it back to me.

    • This happens a whole lot in Scrubs, since a lot of the dialogue is improvised. There are a ton of outtakes where the actors are just making crazy stuff up, getting progressively more ridiculous, and then one of them comes out of character and goes 'ha, no, there's no way we can use that'.
  • Red Dwarf's Kryten Subverts this trope somewhat by audibly engaging his "Lie Mode" software:

 Rimmer: Kryten — will this work?

Kryten: Lie Mode. (pause) Of course it will work, sir. No worries.

(winks to Lister) Hook, line, sinker, rod and copy of Angling Times, sir.

    • On another occasion:

 Kryten: Are you of the school that, when faced with bad news, prefers to hear that news naked and unvarnished, or are you of the ilk that prefers to live in happy and blissful ignorance of the nightmare you're facing?

Rimmer: Ignorance, every time.

Kryten: Congratulations sir! You've come storming through your medical with flying colors! See you next time.

    • Of course, he also plays it straight in the episode "Camille", which is when he first gains the ability to lie. He actually says (while lying himself blue in the face): "You have to believe me! I'm a mechanoid! Mechanoids can't lie!"
    • He does it again the "The Last Day", where he shuts down the replacement robot by telling it that there is no Silicon Heaven and no afterlife for androids. When the rest of the crew question Kryten about why the "newer model" couldn't handle that revelation and his could, this happens:

 Kryten: Well, I knew something he didn't.

Lister: What?

Kryten: I knew I was lying! No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where would all the calculators go?

  • Common on Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    • The Dead Parrot sketch.
    • The Argument Clinic too, especially when John Cleese's character starts to spew Blatant Lies in order to scam more money out of his client.

 John Cleese: Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time.

    • Hell, one sketch plays on the fact that everybody assumes a pair of pilots are blatantly lying when in fact they are telling the truth. It equates to something along the lines of

 This is your pilot speaking, there is absolutely no need to be alarmed. The left engine is definitely not on fire. There is no need to panic

  • Happens too many times to count throughout Blackadder, but some of the more memorable are when Blackadder single-handedly rigs an election in the third-season opener.

 Announcer: The Acting Returning Officer, Mr. E. Blackadder, of course. And we're all very grateful, indeed, that he stepped in at the last minute, when the previous Returning Officer accidentally brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving.

(and again, moments later...)

Blackadder: I took over from the previous electorate when he, very sadly, accidentally brutally cut his head off while combing his hair.

  • Like they live and breathe, they use Blatant Lies on Hannah Montana. Even lampshaded on occasion (usually by Lilly).
  • At least one third of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are dedicated to exposing the prevalent lies spewed by politicians and the media, frequently by showing clips one after the other, where whoever they are targeting says exactly the opposite of what they are currently saying. The fact they have enough material to fill out about 10 minutes of their show every day is depressing.
  • Supernatural: In the season 1 episode the benders, Dean enlists the help of a cop to help him find Sam by pretending to be a cop. Unknown to him the cop ran the number on the badge Dean gave her and this happened.

 Cop:It says here your badge was stolen. And there’s a picture of you. [she turns the computer to reveal a heavy-set African American man]

Dean: I lost some weight. [laughs nervously] And I got that Michael Jackson skin disease...

    • Castiel forces Archangel Michael to teleport away with a flaming bottle of holy oil right in front of an Lucifer, while calling him an "assbutt".

 Lucifer: Did you just molotov my brother with Holy Fire?

Castiel: Umm... no?


 Teacher: (rips mustache off) Yes it is!

Will: No it's not!

  • In the British comedy series The IT Crowd Blatant Lies are featured several times. Some notable examples:
    • In "Yesterday's Jam" Jen, the new manager of the IT department, lied in her application, saying she had "a lot of experience with computers", and is successful with these lies just because her new boss doesn't know a lot about computers either. During that episode, she gets caught a few times more (pretending to talk on a disconnected phone, or typing on an unplugged PC).
    • In "Calamity Jen" Jen lies about her shoe size so she can buy a nice pair of shoes (destroying her feet). When a fire breaks out in the IT office, they put an old hollowed-out monitor in front of it just before the boss enters the room, making him shout "nice screensaver!".
    • "The Haunting of Bill Crouse" is almost completely based on a Blatant Lie told by Moss when he was supposed to get rid of an annoying coworker for Jen. He tried making up excuses and finally settled for "She's dead", making him believe he's being haunted by Jen whenever he sees or hears her.
    • In "The Speech" Roy and Moss explain to Jen that the internet is a small black box with a blinking red light on top. When she later explains this in a speech, none of the listeners seem to suspect anything. When the box is destroyed, a panic breaks out.
  • Every episode of Lie to Me is full of them. One hilarious example, however, is a known drug dealer saying: "All I told them to do was run product... and by product I mean chewing gum."
  • Many eccentric news pundits will feed this trope into their Chewbacca Defense generator to fill some airtime or to shut up an opponent that they couldn't defeat otherwise.
    • One mildly funny example is a segment Bill O'Reilly did about a shooting in a Washington DC Holocaust Museum. He said that since his guest/opponent was a democrat, and that democrats were, in some way responsible for the shooting, that his guest had blood on her hands. He then said that she had different beliefs than he did, that he respects that and would never cast judgment upon her for that, and then screamed "BUT YOU HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS."
  • While you would expect a lot of blatant lies from a show about con artists like Leverage is, one exchange between the team members fits this trope perfectly: Eliot called Sophie to ask for advice while she was on vacation, and asked her not to tell Nate he'd called. Parker, who'd just done the same thing, asked Eliot who it was. His reply: "cable company."
  • Used as a Running Gag in Allo Allo, where Rene was frequently surprised by his wife while making out with one of his cafe's hot waitresses. After an initial moment of confusion, he would roll his eyes and tell her a Blatant Lies ("You stew-pid woman! Can you not see that ..."). She always fell for it.
  • Most criminals on Castle lie to some degree, but one episode have Beckett/Castle interrupt the Irish mob in the process of beating a rival gang member to death, resulting in this (paraphrased) exchange with the victim:

 Victim: Can I be real with you detective?

Beckett: Oh, please do.

Victim: The truth is, I fell, and they were just helping me up.

Castle: And your head?

Victim: Before I fell, I hit my head on the wall, which is why I fell.

Beckett: And the burns on your hands?

Victim: After I hit my head... and I fell.. I put my hand out onto the grill, you know, to catch my fall.

Castle: Thanks for keeping it real.

  • In an episode of Chuck, Devon has to explain a day's absence to Ellie. He decides to go with the story that he was jogging in the park when he noticed a cat in a tree, which turned out to be a bear, which then attacked him, leaving him with no choice but to decapitate it. When, surprisingly, Ellie doesn't buy it, Chuck leaps in with the no less blatant but slightly more believable lie that Casey had been arrested for public intoxication, and Devon had spent the day trying to get the charges dropped.
  • Example occurs in Community episode "The Politics Of Human Sexuality" after Troy 'wins' his race with Abed:

 Troy: [Breathless and exhausted] "How'd you like... those apples?"

Abed: [Clearly not breathless and exhausted] "I don't like those apples. I'm so upset. It was clearly a fluke that I won those other games."

    • In a later episode, a therapist attempts to convince the gang that their entire time at Greendale College was a shared delusion. This would be a lot more believable to take in if their wasn't certain evidence to the contrary, such as pictures on a phone, families who have been to college, and Annie wearing a Greendale backpack during this whole conversation. Needless to say, the therapist turned out to be a fraud.
  • The Christmas episode of Misfits has this gem from Nathan.

 Nathan: We may have done sod all with our powers, but we never abused them. We never raped or murdered anyone.

Curtis: [Alisha] raped me, and we killed loads of people.

  • In Lizzie McGuire, Matt McGuire ends up faking a lot of his geneaology report due to jealousy towards his mute friend Lenny for being related to someone famous (in Lenny's case: Chrispus Adducks, the first casualty of the Boston Massacre). He does this by claiming to be related to George Washington, Davy Crockett, and Elvis. Although everyone else didn't see through the lies about Washington and Elvis (except for Lenny), one person besides Lenny did in regards to Crockett.
  • Glee
    • Half the things Sue says are funny because of this trope.

  "You know, William, that's what one Hubert Humphrey said back in 1968 at the start of the Democratic National Convention. But then hippies put acid in everyone's bourbon, and when an updraft revealed Lady Bird Johnson's tramp stamp, and tattoos above her ovaries, Mayor Richard J. Daley became so incensed with sexual rage that he punched his own wife in the face, and spent the next hour screaming 'sex party' into the microphones of all three major networks."

  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined And they have a plan. Damn open credits.
  • Almost any competitive reality show will have at least someone lying through their teeth if it means getting them an advantage over the other people. Depending on the show, people can get away with it or suffer for their actions with interest.
  • Kitchen Nightmares has this in full spades. Gordon Ramsay visits a restaurant that is in need of serious help and in nearly every episode, the owner, the chef, or just anybody working in the place will lie to Gordon's face whenever he asks something that is related to their problems, such as if the food is made fresh or is frozen. This is usually the people trying to hide a bigger problem or downplay them.
  • There is at least one in every episode of Miranda, who often then lampshades it by turning to the camera to contradict herself. In the Christmas episode, she's sharing a bed with Gary, and rolls over, doing the dreaded 'breast clap'. Her response to him wondering what it was? "A duck quacking."
  • Psych uses this trope frequently. The lyrics to the theme song even point out that "I know you know that I'm not telling the truth." The premise of the series is founded on this trope as Shawn is a fake psychic detective. In the pilot, when Shawn is pressed by the police to explain how he solved a crime, Shawn lies, "Okay, okay. Fine, you win. I got the information, because…I’m a psychic."

No Music Here

  • The Rasputina song "Our Lies" exemplifies this trope, with the singer variously claiming that she was never conceived, the bones in her face weren't there all along and that she loves your coffee cake.
  • Shaggy's song "It Wasn't Me", about a man caught in flagrante delicto by his girlfriend, has a Blatant Lie as its title. And the advice given is, basically, lie blatantly; just issue a flat denial ignoring any evidence to the contrary:

 "But she caught me on the counter." "It wasn't me."

"Saw me bangin' on the sofa." "It wasn't me."

"I even had her in the shower." "It wasn't me."

"She even caught me on camera." "It wasn't me."

"She saw the marks on my shoulder." "It wasn't me."

"Heard the words that I told her." "It wasn't me."

"Heard the scream get louder." "It wasn't me."

"She stayed until it was over."


 "Darling dear, what have you done?

Your hands and face are smeared with blood."

"The chaplain came and called me out

To bleed and to butcher his mother's sow."

"But darling dear, they found him dead

This morning on the riverbed."


Look Elsewhere for Newspaper Comics


 Dilbert: Why have you ignored my request, Ted?

Co-worker: I was killed by a squadron of giant military squirrels.

Wally: He doesn't respect you enough to tell a plausible lie.

Dilbert: I demand a plausible lie!

Co-worker: Okay, maybe I wasn't killed by giant military squirrels. But I was imprisoned in their secret lair at the center of the earth.

Wally: You can't prove that one either way.

Dilbert: He did say it was a "secret" lair.

    • One of Dogbert's favorite hobbies and/or lucrative careers is to tell ridiculously obvious lies to idiots, usually so he can take their money.
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin frequently makes up outlandish excuses when caught in the act, such as blaming a mess he made on "a Venusian that materialized in the kitchen".
  • Prickly City: How best to handle Doublebunnygate.
    • And what Carmen has to tell when Kevin disappears - such dirty business.

Here There Be Dragons, Not Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40000. The Imperial Truth: "There are no supernatural things or gods." Yeah, sure... On that note, the Imperium is practically BUILT on blatant lies. Take the time to read The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, and it'll all be made clear.
    • In an odd twist, the fact that said gods and supernatural things exist because people believe in them means that spreading the Imperial Truth can actually make it the truth.
    • Technically, it's a true statement. This can be seen mostly in the Horus Heresy series, which pre-dates the superstitions commonly associated with the Imperium. The Space Marines are familiar with daemons and, to a lesser extent, the Chaos Gods. They, however, regard both as alien creatures that happen to inhabit the warp. Thousands of years of superstition changed a true statement into this trope.
  • In the RPG Spycraft, a 10th level Faceman has the ability to tell one bald-faced lie that can't immediately be proven false and must be believed. "The sky is purple" is legitimate as long as they aren't outside or near a window.
  • In In Nomine, Balseraphs (fallen Seraphim) have the power to make people believe any lie they speak. They suffer for it if they themselves actively disprove the lie (such as saying "I won't shave your head" and then doing just that) but other than that, they're consummate liesmiths. Their angelic counterparts, on the other hand, can recognize any lie spoken, so they don't get along too well...
  • In Nobilis, the same concept goes even further. An Excrucian Deceiver (a type of Cosmic Horror Mole) can tell one person a Blind Lie. While they don't have to believe it, they become totally incapable of perceiving any contradictory evidence. No. Matter. What. If the lie is "I won't hurt you." and then he starts smashing the victim in the face with a war mace? The victim will neither see nor feel it.
    • Players can pull this off too with the correct Estate.
  • In Unknown Armies many different magic styles have ways of getting people to believe anything. An avatar of the Demagogue can convince anyone by talking to them for a while, a cliomancer (history mage) can make a person think they "heard it somewhere before", etc.
  • Epic level characters in Dungeons and Dragons can gain enough ranks in certain skills that it's possible to mimic the effects of magical compulsion just by talking to someone. A rogue can theoretically make up anything and be believed.
    • Never seen it in person, but supposedly with enough bonuses, a rogue can tell the reigning monarch that they are fakes and that the rogue is the true ruler, misplaced at birth, and they are totally reliable because they are also the moon. "I am the Moon" has become local idiom for the brokenness of bluff and similar skills.
    • Even without epic levels, in D&D 3.5 a specialist can do things which seem impossible. A nineteenth-level Half-Elven diplomat using skill synergy, feats, and equipment can talk a person from fighting mad to best friend in the middle of a fight. And that's without using some of the prestige classes which are available.
    • Old Half-elf Binder 1/Marshal 1. Bind Naberius, take the Motivate Charisma aura, have a Charisma of 20 thanks to age effects, full ranks in Diplomacy, a Synergy skill, take Negotiator at 1st level and find a magic item that boosts your Diplomacy check by 1 or more. You can talk someone from "actively trying to kill you" to "would put in a good word for you" as a standard action with no chance of failure. You need to be a bit higher to persuade someone to switch sides mid-battle, but you can end fights automatically from a very early point.
    • Incarnate (for the Silvertongue Mask soulmeld) and Warlock (for the Beguiling Influence invocation) are also good one-level dips for a diplomat. And as long as the character is a half-elf, the first Bard substitution level is useful as well.
  • In Scion, characters with divine Manipulation abilities can function as both consummate liars and lie-detectors.
    • If you tell a mortal a lie using a particular ability, the only way for them to be convinced otherwise is to be presented with direct contradictory evidence. If you use it to tell the truth, no force on Earth can make them doubt you.
  • Possible in Exalted, since players can potentially do anything superhumanly well, from jumping and fighting to superhuman calligraphy. In a bit of a twist, Sidereals have a charm that causes the target to take a possibly truthful statement as being a blatant lie.
  • Paranoia. "The computer is your friend! Any claim that this is merely the tip of the iceberg is treason."
  • In the board game Dungeon Petz, if a baby monster isn't sold before it matures, it is discarded from play. The rulebook states that it is released to live happily on a farm...and tells you to add an extra meat resource to the market whenever this happens. For some strange reason.
    • An optional rule takes this even further, so that discarding the carnivorous plant provides a bonus vegetable, discarding the golem provides a bonus gold, and discarding the ghost provides nothing. And then restates that there is no thematic reason for this rule. Nope. Definitely not.

Nothing Related To Theater

  • Jake's song from the musical for the Evil Dead movies. He claims to be a pro basketball player, to have won an Oscar for directing Platoon, to have written Jackie Chan's autobiography, and to have created the phrase "fo' shizzle, my nizzle!"
  • Louisiana Purchase has an entire song explaining how the show is not a thinly veiled satire of a certain politician, but a work of utter fiction, set in New Orleans, "a city we've invented so that there would be no fuss./If there is such a place/It's certainly news to us."
  • Serves as the basis of Ray Cooney's farce, Tom, Dick and Harry
  • In Little Shop of Horrors, Seymour claims that Mushnik is visiting his sister in Czechoslovakia, when in reality Seymour killed Mushnik.
  • Utopia Limited: Nearly anything that the Flowers of Progress, and to a lesser degree Lady Sophy, say about England.

Video Games? It's A Lie, Just Like The Cake

  • Neverwinter Nights 2; in one evil questline, the PC has the option to burn down a building using a torch. They will almost certainly be stopped by a guard for questioning. While still holding the torch and possibly having come right from lighting the building in full view of the guard, they can attempt to bluff "I don't even have a torch".
  • In all GTA games: "Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental."
  • In Psychonauts, the G-Men use this to hilarious effect.
  • Nearly all of GLaDOS's dialog in Portal, which makes sense, as she's a lying liar who lies about lying.
    • One of the promotional videos (about 4 seconds in) for Portal 2 shows that the phrase "Asbestos is harmless!" is a trademark of Aperture Science.
  • If you believe the Talking Pet when it says it says its race is peaceful, or anything else it says for that matter, you're prob- I WANT TO TALK ABOUT FLOWERS AND HOW MUCH THE DNYARRI LIKE TO FROLIC THROUGH THEM WHILE HUGGING PUPPIES. OR AT LEAST RIDING ON THEM AS THE CASE MIGHT BE.
  • Mass Effect gives us the following exchange: "Hey, Commander, I heard there were some interesting noises coming from the Synthetic Insights office. Would you happen to know anything about it?" "Who, me? I'm entirely innocent."
    • The Council's adamant refusal to acknowledge the existence of the Reapers.

 "Ah yes, "Reapers". We have already dismissed that claim."

"Can it wait? I'm in the middle of some calibrations."

  • Marisa is the most honest person in all of Gensokyo!

 Shiki: Yes, you are a little too comfortable with lying.

Marisa: That isn't true. I haven't told a single lie since I was born.

    • She steals nearly everything that might interest her, but claims that she is only "borrowing" because she will return everything when she dies, as being a normal human most of them will outlive her. She is also working on an elixer of immortality. Yeah...
    • Kazami Yuuka spends the entirety of Phantasmagoria of Flower View telling absolutely pointless lies, even incriminating herself in crimes she had nothing to do with.
  • Kreia in Knights of the Old Republic 2. Lampshaded by Kreia herself who warns you frequently not to trust her.
  • RuneScape has a quest called "One Small Favor." How bad could it be? *Snerk*
  • Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World and Emil's Mystic Arte. "This... is the final strike !" (slash !). And then he strikes the enemy again...
    • Not counting Ain Soph Aur. What a liar...
    • In the first game, Regal is asked what his relationship is to Presea. He says simply "There is none", but his tone makes it more than obvious that he's lying. The party members don't push him on it, though, apparently assuming his reasons are his own business.
    • Also in the first game, subverted with Lloyd's calling Noishe a dog. This is very clearly untrue: although Noishe is basically canine in shape, he's several times too large, not to mention possessed of green fur and giant rodent ears. It's not a case of Call a Smeerp a Rabbit, either, because there are perfectly ordinary dogs in the game, not to mention a pair of villagers lampshading it early on in the game. One might expect it to be this trope as a way of pretending that nothing is unusual about Lloyd and his family, but no, Lloyd genuinely seems to believe that his pet is a dog...
  • The NPCs in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. Often Mis Blamed on the English translation, but the characters were blatant liars in the Japanese original as well.
  • Just about everyone at Ted E. Bear's mafia-free playland and casino, in Sam and Max Freelance Police ; Season 1, Episode 3. There is no confusing the place for anything but a mafia hideout with a lot of bear-head masks on the thugs, and yet, its workers will deny this every chance they get; often without even being asked, with dialogue such as "You'd never make it in the mafia... not that there's any mafia around here."
  • The already-legendary (despite only being in beta) "The Day Deathwing Came" questline in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Three NPCs tell their stories of how Deathwing flew over the Badlands and got curb stomped by the NPC in question. Face-punching, world-shrinking, and a Casanova orc with a flying motorbike ensue.
    • Not to mention the presence of 'Safe' and 'Ultrasafe' engineering devices. The safest thing they can do is explode.
  • Hazama from Blaz Blue says he isn't that good at fighting. It's not like he's lying or something... However, this is also subverted that if the situation demands (as in, not to reveal his grand plan), he'd lie anyway, as seen at trying to kill Makoto because she knows too much, but stated it as a 'disciplinary action' for not obeying orders.
  • The ending of Trio the Punch informs you that "YOU FIGURED IT OUT". In fact, you'll be just as confused, if not moreso, as when you started the game.
  • Jade Curtiss is a master of this.
  • Then there's this interrogation from Splinter Cell: Double Agent:

 Sam: What can you tell me about the meeting on the roof?

Guard: Nothing!

Sam: That has to be the worst lie I've ever heard.

    • Pandora Tomorrow also contains this gem in the first mission:

 Sam Fisher: Tell me what you know about your friends on the inside.

Indonesian terrorist: I... I don't speak English.

Sam Fisher: I'd bet your neck you do.

Indonesian terrorist: Well... maybe I speak a little English.


Indonesian terrorist: They're escorting a... Um, nothing.

Sam Fisher: What? Escorting who?

Indonesian terrorist: Nothing, I... I made a mistake!

  • In Yo-Jin-Bo, this is a prominent feature of Yo and Sayori's confrontations with Nobumasa, who believes every word even when they're claiming that Sayori is Yo's mother or that they're escaping from a witch who lives in a Gingerbread House. Other couples lie as well, but their lies are at least believable.
  • Lesteena claims that her father was a man of peace and that she will continue his ideals in Eien no Aselia. What did the man just do? Enslaved a couple children and used them to conquer the four neighboring empires overnight. For no apparent reason.
  • Don't look, now! Wess isn't going to stick his butt out or anything, though.
  • In the 1st Degree has some moments of this occurring. A notable one is when you get Ruby to admit that she saw a gun in pre-trial interview, and then at the trial, she turns around and says that it wasn't a gun, but a pair of pliers. Don't panic. Just get her to read a love letter Zack wrote to her, and she will tearfully admit to lying and tell the truth about the gun.
  • The Quake III incarnation of the series' iconic Quad Damage powerup. It's called Quad Damage in the manual, the Arena Announcer calls it Quad Damage, the HUD displays the words 'Quad Damage', yet the item itself only allows the bearer to do triple damage (as even described in the manual)! I guess 'Tri-Damage' just isn't as catchy.
  • In Dark Souls, Patches the Hyena feeds you a lot of blatant lies over his hilariously transparent attempt to kill you and take your stuff.

Web Unoriginal


 Horrible: "We're meeting now for the first time!"

Hammer: You look...horribly familiar.

Horrible: Just have that kind of face! Must be going now...!

    • In the final song:

 Horrible: And I am fine...

  • Awkward has Alex, who will say pretty much anything if it gets him a little closer to target-of-his-affections Lester.

 Alex: (while following a half-naked Lester around the kitchen with a video camera) Makin' a video. For school. Yeah, it's a documentary about, um... kitchen life.

  • Stories on Pseudopod are usually introduced with "I have a story for you, and I promise you, it's true."
  • The blogger Chromagic does this all the time.
    • For example, "And, you know, [Sandslash has] huge long talons. Also like me."
  • Ranger in Comic Fury Werewolf during Game 11 had an exchange seen as either hilarious or quite frustrating in Game 11, where he claimed, "I'm not a wolf!" After he was dead. And confirmed by the host.
  • Count how many times Zoë says she will cut something out of episodes of The Webcomics Company podcast.
  • Half of what's written in My Opinions On Every Pokémon Ever.
  • Even on TV Tropes, on most pages warning of unmarked spoilers, the majority of the spoilers are marked anyway.
  • This Lolcat.
    • Also several variations involving a cat sitting in the middle of a gigantic mess with a caption declaring something along the lines of "What? I had nothing to do with it!" Cat (and dog) owners know full well how much this is Truth in Television.
  • 4chan totally did not do anything with this trope: [1]
  • In the first season of Brazilian webseries "Só Levando", posted at [2], a man named Bezerra was making pirate CDs until the police caught him. He claimed it was for personal use.

 Officer: CDs da Vainessa Camargo?/Vainessa Camargo CDs?

Bezerra: Eu gosto./I like.

Officer: 120 cópias?/120 copies?

Bezerra: Gosto muito./I like it so much.


Would You Believe There Are No Examples for Web Comics?


 Susan: What's to explain? My hair changed color. It happens!

Nanase: Hair doesn't just spontaneously change color!

Susan: I stand by my ridiculous claim.

  • In Misfile, Rumisiel's presence is explained as being Ash's Canadian exchange student live-in boyfriend. Since the story takes place in Massachusetts, this is regarded as being a little implausible to say the least.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, after a 50-foot-tall Aylee runs through the suburbs causing mass destruction, she retreats into her shell and tries to pass herself off as a volcano. When the mob chasing her wonder how a volcano wound up in New Jersey, Aylee tells them global warming did it. Everyone finds this perfectly plausible and never question the fact that a volcano just answered their question.
    • Because it's a global warming volcano and therefore not subject to the normal rules of a volcano.
    • The Guacans of the Punyverse arc will insist that they do not eat people, even while sharpening cleavers and warming up the cooking pots. "Come to Chau-5, we won't eat you!"
  • Red Mage and Thief use this in Eight Bit Theater when Ranger asks why they betrayed his group:

 Thief: Ghosts.

Red Mage: Aliens.

Thief: Ghost aliens.

Red Mage: Who possessed us.

Thief: From space!

    • Warmech is especially prone to this.




And later still...

Black Mage: Oh, Lord, why does the robot have a mustache?

Warmech: I grew it with my human lip.

  • Penny Arcade:
    • The first part of this. (Gabe's not exactly well-versed in the difference between dragons and dragaerans.)

 Gabe: You told me this book a) wasn't fantasy, and b) contained no dragons.


 Gabe: You said this would be easy, a half an hour tops! My world is pain!

Tycho: Gabe, sometimes in order to hurt someone very badly, you have to tell that person terrible lies.

  • Buck Godot Zap Gun for Hire engages in a bit of this toward the end of the Psmith storyline (warning: spoilers!) toward the end, when he alternates between telling Psmith one thing and Der Rock the precise opposite, in front of them both.
  • DM of the Rings: Walking sticks.
  • In Questionable Content, comic #499, Jeph writes in his little blurb at the bottom of the page "Comic number 500 is Monday. I don't have anything particularly special planned, but who knows." for the entire run of QC previous to this, Faye and Marten's possible relationship had driven most of the plot. In comic number 500, the two of them resolve the situation and the plot progresses. Faye likes Marten just fine, but she has lingering trust issues and can't maintain a relationship. Everything works out just fine, and they're still roommates.
  • In Order of the Stick, Haley has a Bluff Skill that is ridiculously high, letting her get away with almost anything.
    • Turned Up to Eleven in this strip thanks to a potion of glibness. Note that this is consistent with D&D 3.5 rules - If your Bluff check beats your opponent's Sense Motive by 20 or more, you can get them to believe things that are actually impossible. Glibness adds 30 to your Bluff check.
  • On MS Paint Masterpieces, Dr. Wily manages to get Dr. Light to build all the robots he uses for his first attempt at world domination by saying they're for mining.
  • In Stick Figure Hamlet, Laertes poisons his sword by dipping it in a barrel labeled "Not Poison, Honest".
  • In Bob and George, Kalinka goes for No one up here but us air duct mice.
  • In this Skin Horse strip, Unity, who is a zombie, tries unsuccessfully to uphold the Masquerade.

 Unity: Civilian, you is smoking crack. I am a totally normal alive human federal agent.

(Her arm falls off.)

Unity: ...who has a cold.


 Dillon: You's none of my business...but someday you will have to tell your wife you're gay.

Dillon's Agent: Ho-ho-ho! Don't be silly! I'm not gay! That's why I have you wear the wig!

Dillon: I think it might be a little bit gay.

Dillon's Agent: Dilly...straight married men have secret gay sex all the time!

Dillon: That sounds made up.

Dillon's Agent: It's true! It's called "being on the down low". Saw it on Oprah.

    • And the best part? Not only does the agent seem to believe it himself, but Dillon thinks it's credible because Oprah presumably said it.
  • Footloose the objection to a Wounded Gazelle Gambit.
  • Bug insists that skipping isn't gay.
  • Each update of "No Black Plume" comes with the authors' totally real credentials.
  • Sandra of Zebra Girl initially trying to cover up her demonic appearance starts out very badly at this. Her story about the origins of her "scars" involves low flying birds, a ladder and a room full of knives.

 Mike: So...

Sandra: I'M NOT A DEMON!


 "Listen, like I told your captain, that orphanage attacked me. It was self defense."


No Content. Empty Folder. Nothing at all, especially not Western Animation. We never touch the filthy stuff. Yuck.

  • In earlier episodes of The Fairly Odd Parents, whenever Timmy would wish for something he would be completely unable to obtain under non-magical circumstances, he claims he purchased it off the Internet. In one episode, while trying to explain to his two friends why he was suddenly rich, he tried both an inheritance claim, and the usual claim, before settling on "I inherited the Internet!"[1]
    • Another version, with singer Chip Skylark: "What? Dude, how'd we get here so fast?" "Um... the power of music?" "Rock on!"
    • Perhaps the most Egregious example was when Timmy used this excuse to explain his heat-vision, while visiting a time before the Internet existed. They buy it.
    • Weirdness is turned Up to Eleven when Vicky wants to get married to Chip Skylark. Where does she find a justice of the peace willing to marry a pop idol to his crazed teenage fan against his will? "On the Internet!"... Which implies that you really can get anything and everything on the Internet.
    • Also:

 Timmy: If you don't believe me, we can use my new lie detector!

Dad: Say! Where'd you get the nifty lie detector, son?

Timmy: Uhh... Internet?

Detector: *BUZZ!!*

  • In Invader Zim, Zim claims his green skin and lack of ears is due to a skin condition. This is to assist in his Clark Kenting more than anything else.
    • "LIES!" is actually one of Zim's favorite words. See here.
  • In Lilo and Stitch: The Series, both big-boned aliens Gantu and Jumba (the latter of which has four eyes, and the former has the head of a shark and is also, oh, two stories tall) claim to be from Samoa, thus explaining their size. People believed it.
  • In Johnny Test, Dukey the talking dog is explained as being "a kid with a weird hair disorder".
  • In The Simpsons, Principal Skinner constantly uses these against Superintendent Chalmers, which Chalmers somehow always buys. Perhaps the greatest example, in which Skinner claims light from his burning kitchen is the "Aurora Borealis":

 Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? At this time of year, at this time of the day, in this part of the country, LOCALIZED ENTIRELY WITHIN YOUR KITCHEN?

Skinner: Yes.

Chalmers: May I see it?

Skinner: No.

Chalmers: Oh well.

And later, as Chalmers is leaving...

 Skinner's mother: Seymour! The house is on fire!

Skinner: No mother, it's just the Northern Lights.

    • On the DVD commentary for 22 Short Films About Springfield, the writers acknowledged that this was pretty much Superintendent Chalmers' only joke, and they just repeated it over and over again for comedic effect.
    • Lisa tries to make friends by not acting like her normal self in "Summer of 4 Ft 2", and accidentally uses the word crustacean in conversation. When asked if she heard it from a teacher, she says she got it from Baywatch.
    • Sideshow Bob captures and hypnotizes Bart in one episode; when questioned where he's been his programmed response is "at the Flower Shop." Homer then responds that he was also at the Flower Shop, "getting drunk at the old flower shop."
    • Then there's Homer frantically instructing his family after stuffing his last-minute tax return with bogus deductions:

  Homer: OK...if anyone asks, [Marge requires] twenty four hour nursing care, Lisa's a clergyman, Maggie is seven people, and Bart was wounded in Vietnam!

    • After Comic Book Guy notes that each customer will receive only one autographed photo of Poochie:

 CBG: Kindly make one out to me, and three out to my friend of the same name.

    • In Four Great Women and a Manicure's Snow White parody, the dwarves - represented by Moe ("Crabby"), Barney ("Drunky"), Homer ("Hungry"), Burns ("Greedy"), Lenny, Kearney and Doc("...tor Hibbert") sing a song entitled "Ho Hi," an obvious parody of "Heigh Ho" which includes the lyrics "this song's not like any one you know."
    • After crashing his car in "Mr. Plow":

 Insurance Agent: Now, before I give you the check, one more question. This place Moe's you left just before the accident. This is a business of some kind?

Homer's brain: Don't tell him you were at a bar! But what else is open at night?

Homer: It's a pornography store. I was buying pornography.

Homer's brain: Heh heh heh. I would'a never thought of that.


    • In "Lisa's Rival," Homer bags up a pile of sugar spilled from a truck without bothering to pick out any nails or broken glass. When Lisa points them out, he says they're prizes.
  • Word Girl, being a superhero Affectionate Parody, uses this in practically every episode through the title character's alibis alluding to her heroic identity.
  • Code Lyoko. During any XANA attack while the gang is in class, they would ask to go to the infirmary. EVERY. FREAKING. TIME. You'd think that after, let's say, the millionth XANA attack and infirmary excuse the teachers would get a little suspicious that they aren't sick.
    • Somewhat averted in the first season, when they would use a Return to the Past to erase the events of that day; so, the teachers wouldn't remember most incidents (though obviously Jim noticed).
    • There was at least one later subversion, where the teacher didn't buy it and forced the gang to stay put. Oddly enough, it was one of the less-seen teachers, too.
  • Good news, everyone!
    • No-one believes it, though, not even himself.

 Farnsworth: Good news everyone, I'm being brought up on disciplinary charges! Wait, that isn't good news at all!

    • And:

 Farnsworth: Now, I've often said "good news" when sending you on a mission of extreme danger. So when I say this anomaly is dangerous, you can imagine how dangerous I really think it is.

Hermes: Not dangerous at all?

Farnsworth: Actually, quite dangerous indeed.

Hermes: That is quite dangerous!

Farnsworth: Indeed.

    • And:

 Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! I'm afraid I have bad news.


 Farnsworth: Good news, everyone!

Bender: Uh oh, I don't like the sound of this.

Farnsworth: Today, you'll be delivering a package to Trisol...

Bender: Here it comes.

Farnsworth: A mysterious planet in the darkest depths of the Forbidden Zone.

Bender: Thank you, and good night.

      • Especially amusing as this was the first episode he said it.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, whenever Heloise does something that Jimmy disapproves of, she puts on Puppy Dog Eyes and says something along the lines of "I feel bad about it now." Even Jimmy doesn't fall for it.
    • In another episode, after Lucius claims that he never breaks his word, Samy shows up with a group of orphans, saying they want to know when he was going to give him the food he promised. Lucius quickly says "Tell them you can't find me." Samy then turns to the kids right next to him and repeats the message. They believe him.
    • Yet another example: after Jimmy finds all of his money gone, Beezy walks in covered in fur robes and jewelry. "Heloise took it."
    • And yet again, when Jimmy and Beezy are profiting off the pandas love of Heloise. Beezy reads poorly off a cue card, while Jimmy acts hurt that she'd think that, while his suit is filled to the brim with money.
  • Happy Tree Friends: The episode blurb for one of the episodes is "Is this really the end of the invulnerable Happy Tree Friends?"
  • Happens in South Park a lot. It is played straight and even subverted, as in there have been times when even if someone is telling the truth someone will treat it like a lie. They mostly happens with Cartman when he lies- exhibit A:

 Cartman: [Runs in crying] Maaaam! Maaaam!

Liane (Cartman's mom): Eric, what's the matter?

Cartman: I du-don't wu-wanna go to school tomorrow.

Liane: Sweetey? Shh, tell mommy what happened.

Cartman: Ku-kyle has a picture of meee! And he's gonna show everyone during show-and-tell and everyone's going to laugh at meeee!

Liane: What is the picture of, Eric?

Cartman: The last time when Butters spent the night, I was being really nice to hiiim, and I was gonna take a picture of him for his mom to have!

Liane: Oh, that's nice.

Cartman: When I took the picture, Butters got really hot so he pulled his pyjama bottoms down, and then I tripped and fell down and my mouth landed right on his penis, and then I thought of something funny so I smiled up at the camera and gave like a thumbsup, and then Kyle took the picture from me and he's going to show everybody and make them think I'm gaaaay! (continues sobbing)

Liane: Oh there, there Sweetey, it'll be okay! These things happen.

    • Season 13 episode Pinewood Derby. Turns out humans don't deserve to be in the interstellar community because of their tendency to this trope.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula demonstrates that she's too sociopathic to be read by Living Lie Detector Toph by announcing "I am a 400-foot tall purple platypus bear with pink horns and silver wings."
    • Long Feng is reduced to this when desperate. It's a bit too blatant to pull off.

  This is nothing more than... a construction project.

    • And this line...

  Katara: "I'M COMPLETELY CALM!!!"

  • The Family Guy theme song is this. They sing about how TV and movies no longer have values and it makes you think this is going to have those. Instead the theme song opens up to a Dead Baby Comedy filled with Toilet Humor.
    • When mindcontrolled by Stewie, Chris says he wants a buzz saw capable of cutting through the human sternum for Latin class.
    • After farting in an elevator Peter says to the guy next to him, "Uh... it was you."
  • In Transformers Animated, Starscream's clone squadron is based on parts of his own personality. The liar clone is apparently incapable of saying a word of truth, to the point that it's basically opposite day for him 365 days a year.
  • In Teen Titans, Starfire is trying to hide Silkie in her room in "Can I Keep Him?"

 Raven: So, you and the curtains got in some sort of argument?

Starfire: Yes, today is Glorb Glorb, the Tamaranian festival of berating drapery. STUPID CURTAINS!!! (blasts curtains with eye lasers, leaving a gaping hole in the wall).

Raven: Aliens.

  • In the very first episode of Re Boot, Megabyte employs several methods of persuasion to convince Bob to open him a portal to the Supercomputer for what is totally an entirely benign visit.

 Bob: (raises an eyebrow and jerks his thumb to the side) And these?

(Cut to large army of infected sprites snapping to attention)

Megabyte: Oh, just some, ah, colleagues, to make my visit, shall we say, comfortable.

  • The title character of Rango wows the crowd in the saloon by claiming to have killed the Jenkins Brothers with one bullet. All seven of them.
  • Octus has to "go to the bathroom" a lot. With his brother and sister. His girlfriend eventually gives up trying to get him to say exactly what they're doing, but she's not too happy about the situation.
  • In Ugly Americans clone Mark briefly tries to come up with the explanation that the real Mark is actually his twin brother...who lives in a bag in the closet, before giving up, shooting Grimes, and leaving.
  • Space Jam: after Michael Jordan is sucked down the magical portal in a golf hole, his assistant tries to dig him out. Naturally, someone finds him standing waist-deep in a huge hole in the middle of the course and asks what he's doing. "Um ... I'm fixing a divot." The guy buys it.
  • The trailer for the upcoming movie Arthur Christmas has an elf blatantly denying everything the viewer sees on screen:

  Go away! There's nothing to see. That's not Santa's son. And I am not an elf. There's nothing up here. Or down there. There's no army of 1.6 million elves planning the delivery of 2 billion gifts in one night. That's just a story for kids!

  • In The Venture Brothers, this is pretty much all that comes out of Dermott's mouth. One clear example is him spending the day stating his hands are registered as lethal weapons, only to get beat up by Dean in a Wimp Fight. Later claims he was simply sick at the time.
  • Kuzco gets a lot of these in The Emperors New School. No-one believes the majority of the lies he tries to pull off, but he's usually much too self-centered and over-confident to realize this. However, there are times when he even he realizes that he told a bad lie and proceeds by breaking the fourth wall to inform the audience of this.
    • Played with hilariously when he tries to get rid of the handsome rock star Dirk Brock in the Musical episode, only to find he can't come up with anything... at first.

 Kuzco: "Woo-hoo! I did it! I sand-bagged Dirk Brock!"

Malina "Kuzco, what are you doing!?"

Kuzco: "...Uhhhhhhhh-" (breaks the fourth wall to try and think of something) "Think, Kuzco! Think! Thinkety-think-think-think-think... GOT IT!" (starts playing the episode again) "...Uhhh. I meant to say I saved Dirk Brock! From a ravenous, rabid sand-bag!"

Malina: "Done?"

Kuzco: "Yep."

Malina: "HOW COULD YOU!?"

  • Suburban daredevil Kick Buttowski tries to pull this off twice, despite his reputation of loving the extreme, awesome and death-defying everyday life that he lives... by telling Kendall he loves sappy, romantic movies and then in a later episode tells Gordie that lipstick is his favorite make-up.
  • Camp Lazlo: Raj resorts to an increasingly impropable series of lies to explain Clam's absence in "Where's Clam?", culminating in him attempting to claim that a traffic cone and a bag of chips is Clam, and then that Clam is invisible and flying.
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, pretty much everything that comes out of Master Shake's mouth fits this trope.
  • At the conclusion of "Practical Pig," the fourth of the Disney "Three Little Pigs" cartoons, the two little brothers get caught by Practical Pig's lie-detector machine, and are spanked by it. Practical Pig tells them, "This hurts me more than it does you." The lie-detector reacts accordingly.

This Doesn't Concern Politics Or War At All

Politics is built on lying. As Adolf Hitler is quoted as saying,[2] "great masses of people fall to a great lie much easier than to a small one". Really, it's hard to find politicians who don't use blatant lies, as evidenced by all of the major scandals and hypocrisy going on . There is an expectation that politicians that don't represent big parties don't lie, but it's as wrong as anything else; take a look at British politics, where Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is so vilified for breaking a promise, you'd think he'd actually invented lying.

  • Politifact is built on the premise that politicians lie and sets out to fact check most notable statements, and the most blatant lies tend to be graded as "pants on fire". It even won the 2009 Pulitzer for it. There are, however, questions of bias: from the right, as Republicans are graded as lying three times more than Democrats; and from the left, for trying to bring those to parity when there may not be an equivalence.
    • Of note was Jon Kyl's "not intended to be a factual statement" about Planned Parenthood's abortion services (he claimed 90%, when it's actually 3%) was not as bad as the Democrats claiming that Republican proposals would add $12,500 to Medicare (it's actually $6,250).
    • This reached to their 2011 Lie of the Year: Democrats claiming that "Republicans voted to end Medicare", which was immediately criticised from both sides; the staunchly conservative National Review) that a) it can be argued that the plan effectively ended Medicare as it's known, and b) it was pure campaign material and couldn't be dismissed simply as a lie because of the previous point.
  • The NPD, the German Nationalist Party (who totally aren't admitted Neo-Nazis). It's not like they organise Skinhead-marches, propose mainly anti-democratic edicts, promise even the most extreme of popularist actions ("Kill the paedophiles!"), attend WW 2 re-enactments dressed as Axis forces, engage "former" street brawlers and terrorists as candidates, strive to expel Islamic religion from Germany, plan to cut the funds for Jewish communities once elected, attend murals and honour guards of SS-, SA- and other fanatical Nazi organisations' members (as well as the birth and death days of well-known Nazis) throughout Europe, and hide the questions "An out-fashioned German first name with 5 letters", "The abbreviation for National Socialism", "Famous politician of the 20th century, also known as the 'Peace Pilot'[3]" in the crossword puzzles of their party papers. Or do they?
  • Any time any politician promises to do something (cut costs/taxes or raise growth or level of services) for nothing. They might even be sorta honest, in the sense that they're also lying to themselves that they can do it for more than a few years before things increase again. That said, it's worth noting that many of the things politicians say that seem like Blatant Lies in hindsight aren't technically lies. This is due to the fact that politicians have a habit of making hasty promises to secure voter support, then realizing later that they had misjudged the situation. For example, George HW Bush ran on "no new taxes", but was forced to do so to control the deficit, and cost him a second term.
    • An article in US News & World Report during the 1988 election said that despite their promises, whoever won (Bush or Dukakis) would have to raise taxes despite his promise. Bush replied in a letter to the magazine stating that he definitely would not raise taxes.
  • The Armenian Genocide never happened.
  • "I'm not a crook. I earned everything I've got."
  • During the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq, Iraqi information minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf (a.k.a. "Baghdad Bob" or "Comical Ali") became famous for statements like "The cruise missiles do not frighten anyone. We are catching them like fish in a river." or "There are no Americans in Baghdad." (while an Abrams is rolling down the block on the screen behind him).
    • And before that, "Baghdad Betty" tries to use this to demoralize American soldiers in the 1990 war. Hilarity Ensues.[4]
  • Joseph Estrada's ads need special mention. A former Philippine president who had been proven to have been stealing money, tried to declare martial law, was forcefully impeached then imprisoned, and as of this writing, is now currently running for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines for 2010 with the tag line "I didn't finish my presidency".
  • In general, any country that has "people's" or "democratic" in its name isn't. North Korea, possessing what is generally considered the most oppressive government on the planet, has the official name of Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
  • "Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten."[5] Said by East-German Politician Walter Ulbricht in June 1961. Two months later, the Berlin Wall was built.
    • This was also a Suspiciously Specific Denial, because while border tensions in general were being discussed, nobody in the conversation mentioned a wall until Ulbricht did. In any case, this quote was later attached to the wall itself whilst under construction for extra hilarity.
  • In Mexico, 1968, students were accused of being communists. The reality? The U.S.A.'s chief of the C.I.A. in Mexico, Winston Scott reported daily of the "Communist threat", yet there was no proof of that. He reported poorly and ordered an investigation to see if Chinese, Cuban, or Soviet agents were behind the plot and were giving the students weapons (which they would've used against the army in the Tlatelolco Massacre). You can pretty much guess what happened.
  • Underneath the Korean Demilitarized Zone, at least four tunnels large enough to file a division of soldiers through per hour have been discovered with their entrances on the North Korean side. The North claims they were digging for coal, but no coal has ever been found through those tunnels (which have been dug through granite), and the tunnels were even painted black to give the appearance of coal. Further, these tunnels run north to south, have no branches, and are sloped upward as it moves south so that standing water doesn't form within them and stagnate.
  • Even with hundreds of images and videos of it circulating the Internet today, the Chinese government denies the Tianamen Square massacre ever happened.
  • Most of what deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi said. Two particularly memorable examples come to mind: He claimed "My people love me" while opening Libya to international journalists, saying this while protests were wracking the country, army units were turning against him, and he's basically making his image worse even as he tries to make it better. Also, his suggestion that the rebels are actually drunk/hallucinating/Al-Qaeda/American/Israeli/Zionist/terrorist/mercenary/imperialists who are all high. Of course, none of those labels contradict each other whatsoever.
  • Senator John Kyl claimed abortion accounted for 99% of Planned Parenthood's services on the floor of the Senate while trying to push through a budget plan to defund it. When called out on this, his office gave a press release that indicated his rant was "not intended to be a factual statement", especially as Planned Parenthood's balance sheet showed helping people with STDs, counselling, and contraception being a bigger focus for the company.
  • Charles D.B. King, president of Liberia, claimed a landslide victory of 234,000 votes from an electorate of 15,000 voters. No, those numbers aren't reversed. He set the record for the most crooked election of all time.
  • While travelling to Argentina to visit his mistress (whom he later proclaimed his soul mate), going off the grid for days at a time and using government funds and transportation to do so, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford claimed that he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail". For added hilarity, during the alleged hiking days, it was a highly-popularized nude hike.
  • Following the killing of Osama Bin Laden, former Bush Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, when asked if waterboarding or other Enhanced Interrogation Techniques used on captured insurgents led to Bin Laden's killing, he simply denied that waterboarding was ever done. The next day, he said waterboarding was vital in ascertaining the information.
  • I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
  • "My Twitter account was hacked" (Anthony Weiner)
  • There will never, ever be a GST.
  • Sarah Palin didn't misspeak. Paul Revere really did ride to warn the British to not away Americans' guns.
  • The ever popular "It's George Bush's fault", which has been used by many a politician for everything from the attempted Time Square bombing to the BP Oil Spill to Osama bin Laden hiding out in Pakistan. Granted, Boy George wasn't exactly the greatest of Presidents, but come on, it's 2012 and the phrase is still tossed around!
    • Blaming the previous government isn't a new concept though: while Bush still was in office there was a bit of "It's Clinton's fault" years after he left office, and the current ruling coalition in Britain use Labour's responsibility for the (strength of the) recession as a shield against criticism in the same way.
    • Regardless of it's truth or falsity with regards to Bush or Clinton, blaming the previous politician or administration is at least sometimes justified. Newly enacted laws and policies can take many years to start showing their full range of both intended results and unintended consequences, often several years after the person who promoted and signed the law has left office.
    • Many inconveniences and general irritations of Americans were created by George W. Bush. For instance, the TSA has overtaken "airline food" as the ubiquitous air-travel related target of comedians. The person who created TSA was... George W. Bush /spoiler He was responsible for the largest expansion of the federal government since the NEW DEAL, made several drastic changes to the US Government after the most significant event in American history since the end of the Vietnam War, and was around when the country faced the worst economic crisis since THE GREAT FRIGGIN' DEPRESSION. Of course people are still going to be kicking his name around.

Everything In This Folder Is Definitely Fiction, Not Real Life.

  • In Las Vegas, successful independent stage producer David Saxe's latest effort, Vegas! The Show, is using these, with the website calling it "...the biggest stage production on the Strip in almost 20 years." Apparently a show with a cast of 40 and 11 musicians, in a theater that seats less than 500 people, is performing on an Alternate Universe Strip where Cirque Du Soleil's seven shows don't exist (the first, Mystere, opened Christmas 1993)...much less Blue Man Group, the Re Cut of The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Celine Dion, and Cher. And all of them perform in enormous theaters that can seat at least 1,000. And then there was a message to journalists that the first week's worth of shows were already sold out when the week in question was before the show opened.
  • In the Disney Theme Parks, their Vacation Club is said to be "Disney's Best Kept Secret". That actually is part of their advertising. With 10 to 15 kiosks for it in every park, they definitely hide it well from everyone.
  • Brass knuckles do make effective paperweights.
  • Recently, a Chinese amusement park built this. When asked about it, their answer was "This is an original design and most definitely not an orange Gundam. There might be some similarities, but that's about it". And now they brought it down and proclaim "THERE NEVER WAS A 50-FEET TALL BRIGHT ORANGE STATUE HERE, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" A shame, really. It was a strong contender for the title of "The World's Largest Bootleg".
  • The lead hijacker of Flight 93 on 9/11, Ziad Jarrah, continuously said "This is your captain speaking" over the plane's PA system.
  • Iranian-Canadian reporter Zahra Kazemi was arrested in Iran for photographing a protest. She was later taken to a hospital (where she soon died) with bruises, broken bones, and other obvious traumatic injuries. The officers who brought her in told the doctors that she was suffering from "a digestive problem."
  • EA doesn't have random celebrities make guest appearances
  • Anyone who goes off on a tangent about how back in their days, they did this, that, so and so, that, and they liked it. Obviously if you're not having to go through those obstacles, they didn't like it, did they?
  • Also: "Calm down!" "I AM CALM!!!"
  • "I'm not mad!"
  • The fish was this big!
  • A number of false statements around This Wiki are potholed to this page.
  • "This hurts me more than it does you." In spirit at least, fits this more than Lies to Children.

There are definitely more examples after this, but we're out of indices.

Other Examples


  1. A later episode showing the same events from the friends' perspective shows that they didn't buy it.
  2. he actually lifted it from an old army manual
  3. Rudolph Hess
  4. Bart Simpson? Orly?
  5. "Nobody has the intention to build a wall."