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"Writers are liars, my dear."
Erasmus Fry, The Sandman, "Calliope"

Sometimes the creators of a story just plain lie about what's going on. Maybe it's so the wrong information will spread around, leading to a Wham! Episode effect when the true events come out. Or maybe it's just an bad attempt at explaining something they clearly didn't anticipate.

Sometimes difficult to tell whether it's willful misdirection or the creator having no idea what's going on either.

Of course, this can be justified by the fact that if people suddenly avoid certain questions it becomes pretty obvious what the real answer is (e.g. "Is character X really dead?")

Sometimes, an author will skirt the edges of this; expect Exact Words to come into play.

Closely related to Teasing Creator and Trolling Creator. See also Foiler Footage, Never Trust a Trailer. When the creator is misquoted, rather than actually lying, it's a case of God Never Said That. If it's deliberate in-story lying, that's an Unreliable Narrator.

Examples of Lying Creator include:

Anime & Manga

  • The Code Geass website, managed by Biglobe, listed Sayoko and Nunnaly as "dead" while the show was still airing, which has made some sections of the fanbase blame the creators for supposedly lying. This, and to some extent the whole Mu La Flaga debacle, causes part of the fandom to assume that they could also be lying about Lelouch's death. Then again...considering that Sunrise as a company, Biglobe and the main creative staff aren't all one and the same, they might contradict each other without actually having to lie. Your Mileage May Vary.
  • One of the most constant accusations leveled at Mitsuo Fukuda and Chiaki Morosawa. Apparently, this one's born less from them actually lying, and more from sub-par translations of their interviews. And some nice Scapegoat Creator stuff.
  • From the words of Gen Urobuchi during the creation of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: "I have been entrusted with the formidable task of series composition and script for all episodes. Although having director Akiyuki Shinbo and Ume Aoki-sensei as teammates puts a great deal of pressure on me, I will do my best to deliver a heartwarming, happy story to our viewers!" Yeah right. Then again, this was damage control due to the fact that someone leaked the staff of the anime.
    • The ending is the happiest thing he has ever written in his career.
  • Ohkubo said that he neither knew nor cared what Crona's gender was. He's been reported as saying both that the series was going to leave most relationships platonic as well as all relationships platonic. Given that the series has a mostly No Hugging, No Kissing feel, it doesn't seem too far-fetched; However, your mileage still may vary, considering the amount of Ship Tease - especially the Lust chapter and especially Soul/Maka.
    • Ohkubo never actually revealed Cronas gender- he's made it near impossible for translators to figure out what pronouns he wants to use. There is a reason why many fans refer to him as a Troll.
  • Yuhki Kamatani's official character sheet for Kouichi claimed that he was 14 years old, leading to the Wham! Episode effect when his immortality was revealed. Technically it's not a lie because his persona as "Aizawa Kouichi" is 14 years old, but it was intentional misdirection nonetheless.
  • Toei got one over the Pretty Cure fandom during Suite Pretty Cure: a blurry picture of two Cures, Cure Beat and Cure Symphony, was leaked onto the Internet and fan speculation went wild. Turns out, it was fake - there was a Cure Beat, but it wasn't the one on the picture, but there was no Cure Symphony - it was Cure Muse's role! Turns out Toei was pissed off when the identity of Cure Sunshine was accidentally revealed a month prior to her first appearance.

Comic Books

  • When Spider-Man unmasked himself in the Marvel Universe Civil War, Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada explicitly stated that Spidey's newly public identity would not be undone after a year or so with a "magic retcon." Guess what happened (and then some) about a year later? If you need any help understanding that, read One More Day for answers.
    • And we have his "Dead is Dead" policy... which seems to only be enforced for characters he doesn't like, such as Steve Rogers and Jean Grey (both are coming back though). Psylocke, Magneto, Harry Osborn and even Bucky have all come back, which makes fans annoyed that he's not allowed the writers to bring the other two back, since it's obvious he doesn't really mean it.
      • Although between Civil War and World War Hulk Joe Quesada admitted that "Dead stays Dead" policy was stupid (since in comics it's like trying to plug a dam after the valley is flooded).
  • Brian Bendis, in preparation for the relaunch of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, told readers that this would be an all-new way of telling Spider-Man stories, and there would even be a new Spidey... this turned out to be simply metaphorical, as Peter went through certain relationship and status quo changes in the course of a six month timeskip, but remained Spider-Man.
    • ...The funny thing about this is that for the first four months, fans used everything from the manga-esque artwork and Peter's new, very feminine appearance (a result of the artwork, not the writing), to proclaim that Bendis was telling the truth and that Peter was actually his female clone Jessica Drew in disguise. The return of Jessica in the Ultimate Enemy mini-series finally put this speculation to rest
      • According to Bendis, this is less Lying Creator and more creator changing his mind. Bendis had been wanting to kill off Peter for a while to make room for a "multiracial" Spiderman. He wanted to do it during Ultimatum while they were killing off most of the other heroes, but decided there was still a story or two he wanted Peter to star in. He eventually made good on his promise and created a new spiderman, Miles Morales.
  • After Blackest Night, Dan Di Dio claimed that from now on dead characters would stay dead and not be subject to resurrections. Cue Flashpoint and the New 52 relaunch, and now Ryan Choi, Black Orchid, Kendra Saunders, Golden Glider, B'wana Beast and Kid Eternity (and that's just So Far) are back to life.
  • Early in the run of Mike Grell's Jon Sable Freelance, publisher First Comics said that unlike at Marvel or DC, at First creators own their creation and if Mike Grell ever left, he would be allowed to take Jon Sable with him. Instead, they gave the title to another artist.
  • At DC Comics, the company announced that it would rename Countdown to Countdown to Final Crisis, readers were sure that the book was Exactly What It Says on the Tin, that the events in it would smoothly lead into the next Crisis Crossover, Final Crisis. That... didn't happen at all. (And it's only now, after the fact, that Final Crisis writer Grant Morrison has gotten involved in the situation; he will attempt to properly connect that crossover with Countdown.)
  • The maxi-series 52 included creator commentary from its writers, editors and artists when the issues were collected in the trade-paperbacks. In the commentary for Week Seven, Mark Waid points out that not even Booster Gold would be so stupid as to pay a sham-villain by check when he is staging false heroics to increase his fame, and he says people should keep reading and have some faith to see the payoff. This is never brought up again. Mark Waid does it again in the commentary for Week Thirteen, where he discusses the obscured-in-shadow figure in the background of the last panel; he says that he thought he knew who the character was when he wrote the script, but Week Forty-Two showed him that it was a different character entirely. Unfortunately for Mark, the trades include occasional reprints of the original scripts and the revelation in Week Forty-Two is exactly who the original script said it would be. Dan Jurgens, the creator of Booster Gold, also lied about his death halfway through; he had an interview where he discussed how he felt about Booster being killed off and he gave no hint that it was fake, so either Jurgens agreed to cover it up or DC did not tell even him.
  • When DC Comics made Bart Allen into the new Flash in 2006, after former Flash Wally West retired to look after his newborn twins, they launched a new series (called "The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive") to chronicle his adventures. The initial writing team on the series was not well-liked by fans, (to put it mildly) so DC replaced them with new writer Mark Guggenheim, who told fans and interviewers that he had years worth of storylines dreamed up for Bart. DC hyped issue #12 of the series as a major event, but also solicited a 13th and 14th issue, complete with cover artwork. In reality, the series had already been set to end with Bart being killed off in issue 12; no 13th or 14th issues existed, and Guggenheim had known this from day one. The whole thing was a (mostly successful) ploy to take fans by surprise with Bart's death. Afterward, Wally West was brought back as the Flash, his twins now conveniently rapid-aged to teenagers so he didn't need to look after them quite as much.
    • Oh, those covers? Used in a special between the last issue of Fastest Man Alive and the return of Wally's title and the first issue of Wally's title.
    • Bart's back now, too, by the way, conveniently DE-aged back to the teenager fans love.
  • Something similar was done in the The Ultraverse back in 1993; Malibu solicited issue 5 of the Exiles series even though the series was actually ending with a near-Total Party Kill in issue 4.
  • Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia crossover. Writer Matt Fraction promised that in a fight between two teams Colossus will be a balance for Ares and Sentry. They never meet in the story - Ares was fighting with New Mutants, Sentry faced Namor and only thing that Colossus did was fighting Venom. Also, Fraction promised some interaction between teenage alien Noh-Varr and teenage mutant girls (not that kind). It didn't happen. To be fair, Fraction keep his promise about a fight between Wolverine's son Daken and X-23. He just had to add two other girls to the mix.
    • Fraction later admitted that the Noh-Varr part at least was an honest mistake - he hadn't realised that the character would have left the team by that point.
  • When it was announced that Scarlet Witch will join the post-Secret Invasion incarnation of Mighty Avengers Dan Slott promised that it's a real deal. It was Loki in disguise.
  • In the runup to the massive Joker: Last Laugh crossover, in which The Joker is diagnosed with fatal cancer, it was announced that he would die for real at the end of the crossover's central miniseries, and that he would STAY DEAD at least until a new creative team took over the Batman books, and possibly longer. Instead, it turns out that the Joker's tumor was never real. And though the Joker is beaten so severely by Nightwing that he requires CPR, he is back to normal by the last page.
  • At San Diego Comic Con 2010, James Robinson, in response to Roy Harper's right arm being hacked off in Cry for Justice, stated his intent was to create a superhero with a prosthetic limb which was not cybernetic in honor of the numerous Iraq War veterans sporting false and missing limbs. It should be noted that Robinson included a nod to veterans in Blackest Night: Superman, but in the introduction to the trade of Cry for Justice, Robinson makes absolutely no mention of any veterans and states that it was the decision of the editors to put Roy in that direction.
  • An odd one for Marvel: When the comic book company cancelled Avengers West Coast in favor of Force Works, Wonder Man had his own comic. Well, in the first issue, Wonder Man dies saving the other team. At the same time, there was a listing for his title's next issue where he and The Beast team up to fight the Hate Monger. The next month, there's a note listing off upcoming issues stating that, because of this death, his title was cancelled. It's hard to wonder if this was something akin to the Flash example above or perhaps a major case of Poor Communication Kills


  • It's standard procedure for the more anticipated films to be produced under a false title, sometimes until they actually arrive at the theaters, to keep people from spying on the shootings or intercepting the reels. For instance, during production of Return of the Jedi, the crew worked under the title "Blue Harvest." But in that case, it was less about snooping fans and mostly to avoid the headaches during The Empire Strikes Back when the locations charged extra because they knew a Star Wars movie was being filmed.
  • George Lucas in regards to practically everything Star Wars-related. Are there six films? Nine films? Twelve films? Depends on when you ask him, but expect him to disavow any other option. When did Darth Vader become Luke's father? Since the beginning? Eh, probably not based on drafts of the scripts, but that's what he'll tell you.
    • During the filming of The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas and the film crew went to great lengths to avoid anyone spoiling The Reveal before release... to the extent of replacing the line "I am your father" with "Obi-Wan killed your father" in the script, so if anyone did leak the big secret, they'd leak the wrong secret. Mark Hamill was only told of the revelation a moment before the scene was filmed, even David Prowse wasn't informed. Thanks to Vader's full face mask, they were able to simply take James Earl Jones aside, record the real line in secret, then swap it in during editing.
    • It's been documented that the original intent for Star Wars was for a Flash Gordon remake. Then it became about some guy named Starkiller and something called The Book of the Whills. Han Solo originally resembled Tars Tarkas from A Princess of Mars. The first book was called Splinter of the Mind's Eye, and it was to be a novelization of the second movie, which would not have Han or Chewie, be made on a low budget and all that jazz. Reading it now, it really doesn't fit in with the story presented in ESB. This all suggests that Lucas wants to be seen as a creative genius of some sort, not just a producer like any other working within the Hollywood system and making compromises.
  • Michael Bay found he could keep no secrets while making Transformers, so he subverted it by being completely open. After his computer was hacked, anyway. However, he's publicly announced that there will be false leads and red herrings thrown out there in regards to the sequel. Writer Roberto Orci had remarked that it seemed most fans could tell the real news from false news, and trailers leading up to Revenge of the Fallen outright disproved Bay's remarks.
    • However, Bay was more successful in his misinformation for Dark of the Moon, where he stated that fan-favorite Shockwave would be the main antagonist of the film. The result was that the The Reveal of the true Big Bad (Sentinel Prime, ancient leader of the Autobots and Optimus's former mentor and father-figure) was a huge blow to viewers. While Shockwave does appear in the film, his role is sadly short.
  • Ben Stein got a lot of flack for Expelled by interviewing scientists like Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers under the pretense that the movie was simply going to be a discussion of science vs. religion. When it came out as a full-on Intelligent Design screed casting Dawkins and Myers in very bad light, we all learned a lesson on trust.
  • Bill Maher pulled the same stunt in Religulous, from the opposite point of view.
  • Sacha Baron Cohen needed to create dozens of fictional organizations for the production of Borat, Bruno and Da Ali G Show to gain the interviews and access he needed without being found out.


  • Jorge Luis Borges is widely known for this. In an era when the internet didn't exist and books were difficult to look up, he wrote quite a lot of essays about made-up books, including one about an invented version of Judas.
  • Most Twilight fans agree that Stephenie Meyer is a lying liar who lies, since before Breaking Dawn came out she had said that it was impossible for vampires to have children, only for Edward to impregnate Bella halfway through. Meyer insists that while she was deliberately misleading on the subject, she never outright said that a male vampire couldn't get a female human pregnant. But even if one grants her that, she still contradicted herself, since she had said that when people become vampires in her world all of their bodily fluids turn into "venom". When someone pointed this out to her, she insisted that she meant "except semen." And, anyway, what about saliva? Is vampire spit deadly venom too?
    • There is also the case of vampire powers. In an interview, Meyer explicitly states that a vampires powers come from some trait s/he had as a human. Jasper is an empath because he was particularly empathetic, Alice was apparently already psychic as a human, Edward was intuitive, Emmett was strong... what about Katrina Denali, who administered electric shocks via touch? Or, assuming you'd go with 'shocking personality' for Kat, what about Ben, the egyptian vampire with control over all four elements?
  • If you believe the critic R.W. Stallman, this can occur after the fact as well. He insisted that Stephen Crane deliberately stated the wrong Aesop for certain books to see who would figure out the proper one. The proper one for The Red Badge of Courage involved the character of Jim Conklin being a stand-in for Jesus Christ. Naturally, not everyone accepts Stallman's theory as gospel.
  • T. S. Eliot confessed to doing this with the notes for The Waste Land: "When it came time to print The Waste Land as a little book ... it was discovered that the poem was inconveniently short, so I set to work to expand the notes, in order to provide a few more pages of printed matter, with the result that they became the remarkable exposition of bogus scholarship that is still on view to-day."
  • The Wheel of Time's Robert Jordan. "One more book. I promise." Even without his death, he couldn't have done it. Now scheduled to be finished in 3 books... numbers 12, 13 and 14 of the series.
      • To be fair, in that same line where he promised 'There's only one more book' he also said, 'Even if that book has to be 12,000 pages', so YMMV. Technically the last three are one book that's being split up so that people can actually carry it out of a store.
  • J. K. Rowling was an expert in avoiding this trope: In one interview, she said, "No, I see that, and yeah, I follow your line there. I can't - I mean, obviously, there are lines of speculation I don't want to shut down. Generally speaking, I shut down those lines of speculation that are plain unprofitable. Even with the shippers. God bless them, but they had a lot of fun with it. It's when people get really off the wall - it's when people devote hours of their time to proving that Snape is a vampire that I feel it's time to step in, because there's really nothing in the canon that supports that." Such general cageyness worked: That answer was her response to a completely and totally accurate analysis of the secret plot going on behind the scenes of Book 6, which would be revealed in Book 7. Nonetheless, debates on that subject continued right up until Book 7 was released. (It helps that she pretty consistently refused to comment on any plausible speculation.)
  • In a playful example, William Goldman presents The Princess Bride as an abridgement of a much longer work by "S. Morgenstern." Neither Morgenstern nor the unabridged work actually exist.
    • Goldman has layered metafiction on this conceit since the book's publication. The original edition mentioned a missing reunion scene that Goldman felt Morgenstern should have written. He claims to have written one himself, but his publisher refused to include it. Readers could write to the publisher for a copy of the scene; what they got was a letter detailing legal troubles with the Morgenstern estate.
      • By the 25th and 30th anniversary editions, Goldman was teasing about a sequel, Buttercup's Baby, which was also tied up in legal red tape. These editions included notes and a sample chapter for the sequel, and Goldman promised to have the "legal troubles" resolved in time for the 35th anniversary (2009). Sadly the author is blocked and has admitted he hasn't been able to produce anything worthy of the original yet.
  • Jim Butcher explains some of the reasons behind it here.
  • Henry James of this in his The Turn of the Screw has been accused being this. Word of God stated that this story was simply a ghost story but a few notable critics such as H.C. Goddard have argued that the story is really about suppressed sexuality and the ghosts are a result of the governess' sexual frustration. Marcia Eaton, an aesthetics professor, writes "James himself said that the story was just a ghost story. Some critics ... try to show that he [James] was intentionally deceptive when he made such statements."
  • Victoria Holmes, author of Warrior Cats, has made many lies to her fans. Some of them are listing Hollyleaf as dead on the official website, saying Dove's Wing did not reincarnate as Dovewing and saying Bumblestripe had a crush on Ivypool.

Live-Action TV

  • The creators of Lost have done this at least once, implying that a particular background character would be important in Season 3... while he was mentioned, he didn't do anything. He showed up in a recent mobisode, however, and then in early season 5, where he had the show's newest ironic death.
    • They stated that there wouldn't be time travel... in a question about whether there was something relating to time travel in season 2, a season that did not feature any time travel, thus not contradicting the reveal of time travel later.
    • They have also issued Suspiciously Specific Denials of, among other things, that the beach cable lead to a underwater DHARMA station and that the Island could move (saying to a question about the topic that ABC would fire them if they ever came up with a plot twist that crazy) before those plots came up in the series proper.
    • An exact quote before season 3: "Here's what you won't see: Globetrotters, zombies, the guy Meredith Grey didn't choose, coconut radios, Laura Palmer, Jack laughing, Desmond running naked through the jungle, the Others' annual talent show, buttons, timers, electromagnetic anomalies, Cylons, cyclones, or clones, nanobots, Captain Jack Sparrow, and time travel." (Bold added.) Desmond ran naked in episode 3x03, and was revealed in 3x08 to have been time traveling just before that. And Jack did laugh a little.
    • During season two: "You will get your Libby episode. This season." They also claimed that a Rose and Bernard episode would only happen in a subsequent season. Libby gets killed off before having her own episode, while Rose and Bernard's episode shows up earlier than expected. However, Libby does get a flashback at the end of the Hurley episode Dave, when we learn that she and Hurley were in the same mental institution.
    • Christian was stated to be undead and not a form of the Monster, only to be revealed as the Monster via dialogue in the sixth season. Season six also made it clear, with the finale, that sometimes (and in retrospect this possibly accounts for several of the appearances) it is the spirit of Christian.
    • In an example of Lying Actor, after his character Frank Lapidus was hit by a steel door on a sinking submarine and proceeded to not appear in the next two episodes with no word on his fate, actor Jeff Fahey confirmed in an interview that Frank had been killed, and that he (Fahey) had already moved on to Machete. Frank went on to show up alive and well partway through the series finale. Fahey lying in order to keep this a surprise is considered by many of the popular character's fans as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Russell T. Davies did this many, many times with the new series of Doctor Who. It has become well-known in the Who fandom to never trust anything Davies says. For one thing, he once said that he didn't like the Master and wasn't planning on bringing him back. Davies also said he didn't like multi-Doctor stories. This has also caused fans to distrust them when he says something sensible and thankfully true like "It's better not to show the Time War".
    • As with the Star Wars example above, Davies used a phony name, an anagram of Doctor Who, during production of the 2005 series to prevent would-be pirates from spotting the tapes. That phony name would later become the name of a spinoff series.
    • After "Doomsday", he told the press Rose was gone for good. He told Billie Piper, "See you in two years".
    • Steven Moffat seems to be learning a thing or two from Davies. He made a statement saying that he wouldn't use monsters that only appeared in the classic series by the time he took over RTD in favor of creating new ones. Then came the trailers. Hey, aren't those Silurians?
    • RTD's still lying in regards to Doctor Who even after stepping down from it. He said he would never write an episode for Matt Smith's Doctor. Guess who guest stars in the RTD-penned The Sarah Jane Adventures story Death of the Doctor.
    • Moffat strikes again. In April 2011, prior to the airing of the sixth series, he announced one of the main characters would die - "We're not lying, we're not cheating. One of those four people is going to die." The Doctor proceeded to die in the series opener but was revealed to be a robot duplicate. If you're really, really charitable, he dies briefly in the middle of the series in "Let's Kill Hitler" by poisoning, but gets brought back to life right after.
  • After Starbuck vanished, presumed dead, in the third season of the rebooted Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, Katie Sackhoff (at the urging of creator/showrunner Ronald D. Moore) announced publicly that she was done with the show, displayed a slightly irritated attitude, and was even reported to be going to auditions for a new show. This put enough of the seed of doubt in people's minds that when Starbuck did reappear, it was actually at least a bit of a shock.
    • The fact that Moore even went to the extent to lie to the cast and crew about her (and filmed the season-finale return in secret) shows just what a Magnificent Bastard he really is.
  • The outrage of some fans over the trope-naming death of Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer was worsened by the fact that Joss Whedon had said in response to concern that it would happen "over his dead body".
    • In the interim between seasons two and three, when asked if Kendra's death would cause a new Slayer to be called, Joss said, "We're going to let it lie. We like the the end, there should be only one." This was after he had already cast Eliza Dushku to play Faith.
  • The writers of Heroes were very adamant that Ali Larter's character had been Killed Off for Real in her big Redemption Equals Death scene mid-way through Volume 4. Turns out that she is not dead and still plot important.
    • Bryan Fuller had already stated there was a character arc planned for Tracey in an interview before the episode where she supposedly died. Also in the commentary for the episode he stated she wasn't dead.
    • Another Heroes example: Before Season 2 aired, there was a massive publicity campaign of hints for some of the plotlines. The ones involving Takezo Kensei went out of their way to make statements like "Did you ever notice how, in that ancient artwork of Kensei, he looked more like a white guy" to foreshadow the appearance of Adam Monroe. However, at no point does any of the Season 1 Kensei artwork in the series depict the figure as such nor does Hiro — a fan of Kensei myth — ever say anything to the effect of "Hey, this explains why Kensei doesn't look Japanese in the paintings." And really, why would the artwork depict Kensei that way, given that the legends turn out to be based on Hiro anyways.
    • Also, creator Tim Kring was very adamant that, prior to the series, he had no interest in comic books or superheroes. Which is of course why the series is packed to the gills with references to comic books and superheroes and a past show he wrote for was all about a team of superheroes. I call shenanigans!
  • Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence and other members of the staff had repeatedly stated that J.D. and Elliot would not end up together, and had written several episodes that showed what a terrible couple they were, that all they really want to do is have sex, and finally brought the relationship to its seemingly ultimate conclusion in the penultimate episode of the third season. Guess what happens in the eight season.
  • The writers of The Vampire Diaries specifically said that Katherine wouldn't show up in present day in Season One. They lied. Last ten or so minutes of the finale? HSQ was through the roof.
  • ICarly: The week before the "iSaved Your Life" episode aired, a promo aired showing 2 of the main characters kissing. Dan Schneider, in an effort to calm the shippers of a pairing involve a different character, implied it might not be what it appeared. Cue the episode, where they ended up kissing 7 or 8 times, and it was pretty much as it appeared. It went back to Status Quo Is God by the end, though.
    • He also insisted that iStartAFanWar was really a Take That at all the shippers for the show, since it had Carly deliver an Author Tract about how iCarly is about comedy, not shipping. The next 2 major episodes with promos? 1: Sam admits she's in love with Freddie in the first and 2: locks herself in a mental hospital and after Carly and Freddie can't get her out, Freddie says he likes her too. The next upcoming episode is about Carly reacting to her best friends dating. How on earth that is not shipping-related is beyond a lot of fans.
  • When Idina Menzel was first cast as Shelby on Glee, Ryan Murphy said that the character wasn't going to turn out to be Rachel's biological mother as many people assumed (Rachel has two dads, and Menzel bares a striking resemblance to Lea Michele). And then that totally happened.
    • He also said that Susan Boyle was going to appear in the Christmas episode as a lunch lady who would get a makeover from Kurt. Then comes the first promo for said episode and not even a trace of her. The episode airs and it seems that plot was completely thrown out.
    • Murphy also claimed that Finn and Rachel would never break up in Season 2. Guess what happens in Special Education?
    • Let's not forget that "Blaine is totally just Kurt's mentor, guys. Seriously!" And then comes Original Songs. Kurt and Blaine finally, finally, finally kiss.
      • Don't get Sam/Kurt shippers started on the "Sam is gay" Word of God that ended up simply being thrown out before it became canon.
  • Kyle XY had lying of a different kind, according to a Canadian blog about the finale: "As the finale neared, the executive producers told fans that if they ignored the last 30 seconds or so, the episode served as an OK ending to the show. But, in my opinion, that was a crap thing to say. ... I realize that there was no chance to go back and reshoot anything, so the producers didn't have any options, but don't try to placate your audience with false information. It'll just make people more pissed off."
  • Marc Cherry has hinted at tons of future plots for Desperate Housewives that have never come to pass. Fans are divided on how much are lies and how much are just him changing his mind later, but one that pretty much everyone agrees was a lie is his statement that one or two of the Scavo kids would die.
  • After major fan backlash when season one of The Killing did not reveal who killed Rosie Larsen, creator Veena Sud was quick to say she never actually said the answer would be given this season. The fans counter-argue that her sitting back and saying nothing while all kinds of interviewers and critics said that exact thing is just as bad.
    • And also people were expecting the plot to be wrapped up at the end of the season because the original Danish Forbrydelsen did.
  • When The Price Is Right announcer Rod Roddy stopped appearing on-camera in the show's 31st season, many assumed it was because Rod was in poor health. Fremantle Media instead said that it was part of a corporate policy that they didn't want announcers appearing on-camera anymore. In reality, Rod's disappearance was mandated by host Bob Barker (who was also executive producer at the time) after he and Rod had a salary dispute. The non-appearances continued through the rotation of substitute announcers after Rod's death and well into the era of his successor, Rich Fields. Drew Carey took over as host in season 36 and about one year later, Rich started appearing on-camera (as does his successor, George Gray), throwing that "rule" out the window completely.
  • Steven Moffat (again) openly admits that he intends to lie to the fandom of Sherlock as much as he possibly can. Case in point: the BBC commissioned seasons 2 and 3 at the same time, but Moffat hemmed and hawed in interviews for eighteen months about how the series might end with season 2 until the night the last episode of season 2 aired.


  • In the winter of 2004, the Texas Rangers declared they would not be trading MVP Alex Rodriguez and in fact had just named him team captain (this came shortly after a deal to send him to Boston was nixed because the player's union wouldn't let Rodriguez take a pay cut to make it happen). A week after the announcement was made, they traded him to the Yankees.


  • Due to the state of international copyright law in the 19th century, Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore enjoyed many unauthorized American productions. In an attempt to prevent similar things from happening with their next comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, W.S. Gilbert supplied very little information to the public, not including the fact that it would be about pirates.
  • William Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 2 ends with an epilogue telling patrons that the sequel Henry V would come soon, and specifically says that Falstaff's in it. Guess who isn't in it.

Tabletop Games

  • Wizards of the Coast has created many "unbreakable" policies for Magic: The Gathering, most of which have been eventually tossed by the wayside. The most recent one to go was "All Magic cards will have the same card back;" this was thrown out for the "Innistrad" block.
    • A curious subversion is the Reserve List, a list of cards (all of them 1998 and earlier) that Wizards has explicitly stated that they will never reprint directly or functionally (meaning a mechanically identical card with a different name) as a nod to those who purchase cards as collector's items. Most of the cards can't be reprinted because they're either a Game Breaker, or use the long-discarded Ante mechanic (where the loser permanently gives a random card of his deck to the winner). Some of the cards, however, are eminently reprintable (Citanul Druid, for example), leading many players to wonder just how long the Reserve List will remain intact.


  • Greg Farshtey seems to have problems answering Bionicle questions truthfully. He said, and I quote, that Takua wasn't Takanuva...and there's so many other things.
    • This is an argument that has reached meme levels. Farshtey is extremely talented at the manipulative statement; he will use words such as 'evidence' and 'looks' and 'appears to be' liberally in statements about sensitive information. The result is something that looks like proof, but really isn't once it gets double-checked. This has created a community that immediately goes back for clarification at the slightest hint of an ambiguous word, accepting nothing less than direct statements. And he never said that, by the way.

Video Games

  • Some people accuse the creators of The Legend of Zelda of lying about the presence of an official timeline for the series.
    • Quote from Gannon-Banned: "At E3 2007, IGN conducted an interview with Eiji Aonuma, in which he revealed that there is a document on a few computers at NCL which are marked 'top secret' which contain the basic 'timeline' of the entire Zelda series, known or unknown to the public. /b/ army, do not fail me and get that document!"
      • However, a semi-official timeline was finally revealed in an art book released in 2011 along with the latest game, Skyward Sword. Though it contains notes that the timeline is really only kept as a guideline, and could change at a moment's notice.
    • When an IGN editor correctly speculated that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess would involve Link turning into a wolf, Nintendo denied it with "wanna bet?" to cover up any surprises. The IGN editor won the bet.
    • The N64 game Ocarina of Time was designed to have things added to it by a disk for the N 64 DD add-on to the system, codenamed Ura Zelda. This was never released in the end. Years later a special edition of Ocarina of Time was made, called Master Quest, which had the insides of dungeons altered and was otherwise the same. Nintendo said that this is what Ura Zelda was supposed to be but many fans don't believe it, claiming that Ura was said to change more than this.
  • For about three weeks before E3 2010, David Jaffe said point blank numerous times he wasn't making a new Twisted Metal game, and that it was foolish to think that, and that he wouldn't even be at E3. He said he did it cause otherwise there'd be no surprise to it.
  • About two weeks before he was announced for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a representative of Sega said that Sonic the Hedgehog appearing in the series "wasn't in the cards."
    • For the most part though, this was surprisingly averted by Masahiro Sakurai. It's certainly a Crowning Moment of Awesome to have millions of people visit your site weekly, raising an unprecedented fever pitch of anticipation for your game, by doing nothing more than regularly updating a site with simple, accurate information.
  • Listen to Peter Molyneux hype up his games, and you will be privy to a magical world where you can do anything, and be anyone, and it will revolutionize the industry. Play a Peter Molyneux game, and you will play a simply above average game if that. It's questionable whether this is because Peter Molyneux lies to stir up interest, or because his visions of games are too complex and too expensive to be feasible. He admitted to talking too much to the press about his grand ideas during production, and then having the game not live up to them, in an interview for Project Whateveritis, but has also admitted to making shit up to get the attention of the press.
  • Hideo Kojima has made several contradictory statements regarding whether Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots will be the end to the series, possibly just to keep fans guessing.
  • Aruze, the publisher of the Shadow Hearts games, leaked in a preview for sequel Shadow Hearts: Covenant that the story would revolve around Nicholai and Karin. Early screenshots of the gameplay (showing the sequence in Apoina Tower at the start) and press pictures seemed to confirm this. This was a smokescreen to hide Nicholai's true "evil" status and, more importantly, the return of beloved main character Yuri from Shadow Hearts.
  • Many Left 4 Dead fans who were upset by Valve announcing the sequel believed that the creators were simply lying and playing a big joke on the fan base. They also claimed that Valve promised extra content for the first game, then lied about it when shown that most of said content would be in the sequel instead. Of course this is Valve, The Kings of Video Game Trolls.
    • Also, from Valve, we have the mysterious Pyro from Team Fortress 2. Promotional art calls it by both genders, sometimes in the same sentence, and many times the official wiki is edited by moderators just to change up what gender their going with this time. This would be Flip-Flop of God if it weren't so deviously intentional.
  • Terada, producer of the Super Robot Wars series is very much known for this - this big first lie starting with Super Robot Wars Original Generations, where he claimed they had shown all the new characters and units. Wrong. Original Generation Gaiden: The list of series is complete as listed. Wrong. Super Robot Wars Z: There is only one secret. Biggest lie ever, as Z had not only a lot of them, but they were very nefariously hidden.
    • With Another Century's Episode R, he said because they were focusing on the "core elements" of each series, they would have one to three playable machines tops. The nigh-instantaneous fan backlash prompted him to reveal that Mid-Season Upgrades and Mecha Expansion Packs qualify as one unit, classed under the metaphorical header of the base machine. While some series (mostly the more popular ones like Code Geass and Macross Frontier) do have more than three machines apiece, they're typically limited to three or four characters, meaning that most of the secrets are expansion packs, upgrades, or even downgrades (as witness Code Geass with a grand total of ten machines, half of which are Lancelot variations pilots by Suzaku or C.C
  • Days before anyone even heard of World of Warcraft, Blizzard had a big game reveal announcement coming up. This of course precipitated a mass frenzy of guessing as to what it would be. Blizzard encouraged the guessing with a no-prize contest. Blizzard had previously said that it would not be from an existing IP. They lied. A person on the forums correctly guessed it would be a Warcraft MMO. His message was deleted seconds later, and the forums locked in order to keep the reveal a big surprise. After the reveal, Blizzard claimed no one correctly guessed the game, and named the one poster who came closest. Liars.
    • And now they are declaring loudly for all to hear that the "next-gen MMO" they are working on will most definitely be a completely new IP. "Sector of Starcraft" anyone?
  • Shinji Mikami infamously said he would "cut off [his] own head" if Resident Evil 4 was ported to the Play Station 2. This was referenced in God Hand with a racing dog named "Mikami's head". In his case, the creation of the Play Station 2 port was the result of circumstances beyond his control; it's been said that the corporate suits at Capcom ordered the port to be created because they were concerned about their bottom line. So, Mikami didn't "lie" about the port; he legitimately had no plans for a Play Station 2 port, but because Capcom had the final say about it, there was nothing he could do. He did rather over-egg the pudding regarding how he might react, though.
  • Steve Lycett of Sumo Digital said that he'd "not hold too much stock in" leaked evidence pointing towards a Guest Fighter appearance from Banjo and Kazooie in the Xbox 360 version of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Then he let Sega go ahead and officially announce the bear and bird a few weeks later.
  • Tetsuya Nomura is often accused of this, but it's typically a Word of Dante situation, where the supposed information comes secondhand, misinterpreted, or made up altogether. More often, he takes a lighter approach to this trope, simply disregarding or invalidating the question, to the point where "It doesn't matter" has basically become code for "Yes, but I can't tell you that yet." In regards to Kingdom Hearts, this ranges from minor things, like whether Roxas ever met the real Twilight Town gang, to future major plot points, like whether the "Lingering Sentiment" from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ is really Terra from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.
  • A character in Suda51's No More Heroes, which lacks a fourth wall, states to the player that "there won't be a sequel" at the end. Then we got No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.
  • Rocksteady mentioned that, despite fan demand, they had no plans to include a section where you played as Bruce Wayne in Batman: Arkham City. This was then confirmed by Word of Actor. Guess who you play as during the (vanilla) opening of the game?
  • In the lead up to the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2, Motomu Toriyama said in several interviews that the game had to do with Lightning finding true happiness. The game ends with Serah dead, Lightning a statue, the Big Bad taking over the world, and a "To Be Continued" screen.
  • Throughout the promoting of WWE 12, the game's developers, Cory Ledesma, Marcus Stephenson, and "Tank" all said that a multitude of legends, such as "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Batista, and most importantly Brock Lesnar would not be in the game. However, thanks to people on message boards, it was discovered that all three of these people and more would be in the game, however the developers kept denying that they were, even with the evidence out in the public. The surprise announcement of a remake of the arcade game Wrestle Fest was also leaked, and they also deny that it exists. Someday, they'll tell the truth. Just don't hold your breath. Chris Jericho's name has also been found in the game's code, and just like with Lesnar, Batista and Savage before him, the developers deny that he'll be DLC for the game.
  • Casey Hudson, the project lead for the second and third installments Mass Effect made many promises for Mass Effect 3 that were broken in the actual game. Firstly, it was said that it would be possible for completionist players to get a "Golden Ending", and that said ending would not require any hours to be put into multiplayer. There is no Golden Ending in the actual game, and the closet you can get is a 15 second Stinger that consists of someone in damaged N7 armor, implied to be Shepard, taking a breathe. The most Egregious lies were that the endings would provide closure, that they would be "triumphant and uplifting", and that BioWare was not going to "Pull a Lost." For reference, Mass Effect 3 is currently indexed on, among other pages, the Gainax Ending, Esoteric Happy Ending, Ending Aversion, Inferred Holocaust, Pyrrhic Victory, Downer Ending, and Ambiguous Situation pages.
    • Oh and the thing he said about not having to play multiplayer, yeah... The game uses a system called EMS counting how strong your army is (through war assets). This is then divided by a percentage system which is increased with playing multiplayer. Well since the maximal EMS you can aquire is 7700, the basic percentage (without playing multiplayer) is 50 % and you need at least 4000 to receive the best ending that means it is officially impossible to get the golden ending without multiplayer.
      • This can also be especially annoying since the percentage will drop with a few percent per day so if you are away or not playing for a few weeks you have to spend a few hours with multiplayer in order to get back what you lost (one match takes around 20 minutes and will increase the counter between 3-4 %)
  • Ubisoft has lied at least once about the presence of their terrible online-only DRM in their games. For example: From Dust (developed by Ubisoft) stated that DRM would not be present in the game, and, surprise surprise, come launch day, From Dust installed with Ubisoft's DRM.


Web Original

Western Animation

  • At Botcon 2008, Marty Isenberg and Derrick Wyatt of Transformers Animated said they wouldn't use any re-deco characters like the Seekers in the show, as they didn't like the idea of a "clone army". Then in the second season, Starscream makes an actual clone army who are colored like various Seekers.
    • In fairness to Isenberg, this isn't quite what happened. Those in actual attendance could tell by Isenburg's tone that this was a sarcastic denial, but since tone of voice doesn't show up on interview transcripts, fans who weren't in attendance (the majority of them, obviously) had no way of knowing this.
  • Ben 10 Alien Force: Did that null void projector explosion just send Granpda Max into the Null Void? "Sorry, he blew up". This is probably one of those cases where anything but an outright lie would have given it away.
  • The producers of Justice League knew that any information they included in the Universe Bible was liable to be used in publicity materials. So to preserve the big surprise of the Season 2 finale, Rich Fogel wrote up a false Backstory for Hawkgirl to be used in their bible.
  • Prior to the show's premiere, previous "official" information about Dragon Booster portrayed Connor Penn (the father of Artha, the main character) and Mortis (The Obi-Wan of the series) as two separate people. However, the second season finale contradicted that by portraying "Mortis" as merely being a "secret identity".
  • In Young Justice, voice actor Jesse McCartney claimed that his character, Dick Grayson, wouldn't have a Love Interest. However, halfway through season one it became apparent that he has a crush on Zatanna, while Word of God (Greg Weisman, the co-creator) has hinted that there might be something between him and Barbara Gordon too. (To be fair, maybe McCartney meant he wouldn't officially hook up with anyone...)


  • A 1988 NME interview with Paddy McAloon, the frontman with alternative pop-rock band Prefab Sprout discussed the winsome, delicate, poetic nature of the group's output. McAloon agreed that it was unlikely that he would ever write a song a called The King Of Rock 'N' Roll. The name of their next single, and biggest ever hit?
  • Tool is known to spread misinformation about themselves as a way of preserving their mystique. One of their most famous fibs was claiming to subscribe to a philosophy called "Lacrymology," the study of crying, from a book called The Joyful Guide to Lacrymology published in the 1940s. Lacrymology doesn't actually exist.


  • Descartes pondered if it was possible that we live in a universe with a deceptive god pumping images into our brain. It's what caused him to be an all-doubting idealist, leading him to say the famous line "Cogito ergo sum" (I think therefore I am), it being the one thing a person in such a situation would know is true. The Matrix is based largely on his writings.
    • He even left some wiggle room on that seemingly ironclad detail: on the off chance that he does not exist, then that means he cannot exist in the capacity of being wrong.
    • Ultimately subverted, though, because he reasoned God lying was impossible.
      • Although Descartes is probably the most widely known example, a number of other famous examples exist. Plato's Cave and, more recently, Putnam's Brains in Vats deal with the issue of deception.
      • In fact, the Matrix has more similarity to those two rehearsals of the debate than it does to Descartes. If it were the Coen Brothers you'd put money on it that they have read these, with the Wachowski Brothers...not so much.