History Main / UnreliableNarrator

30th Apr '16 10:13:18 AM hollow49
Is there an issue? Send a Message


-->-- ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'', "[[http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001195.html Literary techniques comics: Unreliable Narrator]]" AltText

to:

-->-- ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'', "[[http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001195.html com/index.php?comic=1195 Literary techniques comics: Unreliable Narrator]]" AltText
9th Mar '16 3:18:47 PM mlsmithca
Is there an issue? Send a Message



[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* Taken to huge levels in ''Manga/PandoraHearts'', especially with the case of one...[[spoiler:[[EvilAllAlong Jack]] [[ManipulativeBastard Vessalius]] and all of the despicable deeds he has done-including twisting his story around numerous times-making it look like GLEN stabbed Gilbert when HE was the one to do so, making it look like Alice liked Jack when in fact she hated him and Alyss liked him, and even rewriting history to make it look like the Baskervilles were the bad guys.]] Oh, and also-watch for whenever they tell you about the Tragedy of Sablier and Alice's memories. [[spoiler:Especially considering those were ALYSS'S memories she was remembering, not her own....]] and that hooded figure who speaks to Lacie....[[spoiler:It's not Glen, it's Jack.]]
* As in the light novels, Kyon in the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' AnimatedAdaptation certainly qualifies. At the end of each episode, in the original 2006 summer broadcast, Haruhi always indicates the number of the next episode by its chronological order, while Kyon corrects her every time with the episode number based on the broadcast order (and for the one episode where the numbers actually match up, he then corrects himself and apologizes). Both are replaced with Nagato delivering a deadpan tie-in to the next episode, in both the DVD release and expanded 2009 broadcast.
** There is also his stupefying habit of mixing narration with dialogue in language and terms that no high-schooler uses; and tendency not to tell the readers what he has figured out previously until the reveal.
** His tendency in the novels not to differentiate between narration and things he says aloud which are included in the narration without indication of their being speech is preserved by either not showing his mouth or not showing it moving and having characters respond--[[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption or give what]] ''[[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption could]]'' [[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption be responses]]--anyway.
** A [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation favored theory]] is that he tries to present himself as [[AccidentalPervert an objective and respectful young man]]. When [[UnresolvedSexualTension he's actually in love with]] [[ManicPixieDreamGirl all]] [[TheGlassesComeOff of]] [[DistractedByTheSexy them.]] Whenever scenes supporting this come up, his narration says nothing about it, or goes completely off-topic while we watch what happens.
* In ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'', the episode ''Poker Face'' entirely takes place in a small shack at the side of some large event, where ColdSniper Saito and some other police officers play poker during their break. When the other players ask him how he got so good at bluffing, he tells them the story how he met the Major while he was a mercenary sniper who killed most of her patrol during a UN mission in Mexico. Since both the plot and the [[NestedStory story within the story]] are all about bluffing, it's entirely unclear if anything was true at all, and there are lots of small details that are inconsistent with information from other episodes.
* Genma Saotome from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''. Any time he tells a story you just know that isn't how it really happened. This goes double for Happōsai. And Cologne. And the principal. And Sōun (ESPECIALLY Sōun). Heck, point to just about any important adult in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', and it'd be easier to list the things they claimed that ''weren't'' total BS.
* Jack Rakan of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' is kind of like this whenever he relates any sort of BackStory, tending to massively exaggerate his own importance. That said, what he says is usually accurate... he just leaves out enormous chunks of the story because they don't involve him.
* In ''Manga/LoveHina'', Kitsune starts explaining Naru's past, and says that Naru and Seta were in a TeacherStudentRomance at the time. She then immediately states "If that had happened, it would have been interesting."
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' anime, Mikami himself, rather than an omniscient narrator, narrates his flashbacks. He thus has an unfavorable view of his mother's advice to stop fighting against the bullies, whereas the manga's narrator noted that she was motivated by genuine concern for his welfare that was largely lost on him.
* According to WordOfGod nearly every installment in the ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' franchise is in fact an in-universe dramatization of the events depicted made several years after the fact. While the BroadStrokes of what happened is usually correct certain elements are tweaked somewhat due to RuleOfCool, RuleOfDrama, or just the contemporary political climate.
* In early episodes of ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'', Lina's narration of the previous episode's events tends to paint herself in the best light possible, to the point of, say... practically ignoring destroying almost a whole village. Lina is no more reliable as the narrator of the novels.
* ''Manga/SchoolLive'' has a severely unreliable narrator in its heroine Yuki. The story at first largely follows her life as she sees it, living at school for fun and spending her days doing typical light-hearted school-life anime activities with her classmates and a small group of club members. When the perspective switches to one of her club members, however, [[spoiler:it's revealed that the four club members are the only survivors left in the city after a ZombieApocalypse, Yuki spends much of her time interacting with classmates who're long gone, and the beautiful school is in ruins, full of barricades designed to stop attacks.]]
* In several of the first novels of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', [[spoiler:due to the nature of the madness and paranoia-inducing parasite that infects all of the residents of Hinamizawa, it is unclear what actually takes place as the narrator for the arc ends up slaughtering several of their friends and others. There are hints throughout that the events may not be as perceived by the narrator, such as when the police report at the end of the first novel contradicts the narrator's belief of what happened. Keiichi's demise by clawing at his throat at the end of the first arc proves that he succumbed to the town's parasite, creating doubt with regards to his mental state.]]
* Ii-chan of ''LightNovel/{{Zaregoto}}'' forgets important details, frequently. He even neglects to tell the readers [[spoiler: how he disguised the second murder in The Kubishime Romanticist as a suicide.]]
* The protagonist to the manga ''Kami no Kodomo''; a sociopathic serial killer who depicts himself as a messiah-like figure.
* Played for Laughs in ''TenchiUniverse''. During the series, both Ayeka and Ryoko give different versions of how they met and interacted with each other in the past, which resulted in them becoming enemies. Both girls tell stories that make the other look bad. It's up to the viewing audience to decide if Ayeka or Ryoko is telling the truth. [[spoiler: By the end of the series, Washu concludes that they're both telling the truth and both girls were cruel to each other.]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' (the manga, not the anime) doesn't have an actual narrator except for in a few info boxes, and when characters recount their memories, it is usually done in the form of an objective {{Flashback}}, even making use of the ThirdPersonFlashback trope to show all details. There is, however, a first example of an unreliable narrator in the Dressrosa arc: [[spoiler: When Rebecca's flashback is shown, it looks like she was raised by only her mother, Scarlet, and didn't meet her father, Kyros, before he appeared as a toy soldier carrying her dead mother in his arms. However, as Kyros' flashback shows, he lived with them and was an important part of Rebecca's early childhood. But then Kyros was turned into a toy, effectively making him an UnPerson. This is why Rebecca's flashback was unreliable: She cannot remember a thing about her father, so she genuinely thought that she only lived with her mother. This unreliability makes all the Third Person Flashbacks seem a little weird in hindsight, but it was probably a handy excuse to avoid spoiling that the toy soldier was Rebecca's real father and Kyros, since that wasn't known by the readers back then]].
** In a similar vein, the Tontatta dwarf Leo describes Mansherry, princess of the Tontatta that he's trying to rescue, as "selfish, mean, capricious, and short-tempered". When the manga finally shows her in person, it's shown that she's incredibly sweet and kind-hearted, [[{{Tsundere}} but acts that way around Leo]] because she has a giant crush on him [[ObliviousToLove and he's too dense to see it]].
* In ''LightNovel/TheDevilIsAPartTimer'', in order to clear up a [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend repeated misunderstanding]], Ashiya tries to explain the relationship between himself, his roommate Sadao Maō, and Emi Yusa to some people. However, the people he's talking to don't know that all three hail from a HeroicFantasy universe where Maō was the Demon King, Ashiya was his top general, and Emi was the [[ChosenOne fated hero]] who almost slew them both. So instead Ashiya makes up a story about Maō being the head of an upstart construction company that was driven out of business by a rival, for whom Emi worked as an intern. In this case, the viewer already knows that the story is made up, but it's interesting to note that his cover-up story offers an interesting perspective on the real events he's masking: for example, he sees the armies of humanity not as mortal enemies or insects to be crushed, but simply as rivals competing over limited resources, and he doesn't seem to hate Emi personally for her role in their defeat, instead regarding it as a case of JustFollowingOrders. In retrospect, this interpretation would explain why a pair of demons who seemed hell-bent on conquering humanity in their world would be able to fit in so comfortably with humans in this world.
* In episode 8 of ''Anime/{{Tokyo Magnitude 8}}'' [[spoiler:Yuuki]] dies. However the viewers don't know this until two episodes later. We see [[spoiler:him]] die however it's treated like a nightmare that [[spoiler:his sister]] had. For the entirety of episode nine and most of episode ten we see [[spoiler:Yuuki]] alive and normal because that's what [[spoiler:Mairi]] thought happened. There are clues that [[spoiler:Yuuki]] isn't "really" there, like [[spoiler:shots where he is missing and him constantly disappearing.]]
* ''Anime/LupinIIIEpisode0FirstContact'' is the OriginStory to ''Franchise/LupinIII'', except the narrator Jigen admits to altering some things. [[spoiler:Also, he's actually Lupin in disguise]]. The credits sequence shows that ''some'' of it is true, but it's clear, and even stated, that other parts were changed. Why? [[ItAmusedMe Why not?]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
Comics are the easiest medium to accomplish this in, since you can have the narration saying one thing above the panel and the panel show what's really happening, whereas in Film, Western Animation, and Live TV you might have the narrator's speech conflict with the scene, necessitating a more "flashback" style to show this. It is very common to have a narrator say one thing and the below panel completely contradict it.

* It should be obvious at the beginning of ''ComicBook/EarthX'' that Uatu the Watcher is an unreliable narrator: he's an alien from a culture that has [[AlienNonInterferenceClause very different values from humanity's.]] It should be further obvious when Uatu does things like object to World War II on the grounds that [[DeliberateValuesDissonance "humanity was not yet ready for a master race".]] But most readers were used to Uatu's style of narration and [[NeglectfulPrecursors problematic "neutral" moral stance]] from ''What If?'', so Uatu manages to carry on the illusion that he's a friend of humanity for several more issues.
* Rorschach in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' is a good example of this, especially when he talks about himself. The artwork actually uses an unreliable ''framing device'' (one of many the work contains) to show "Rorschach" in the [[TheFaceless first person]] and Walter Kovacs in the 3rd person (walking around in the background of the same chapter), leading to TheReveal. This both misdirects the audience as to who Rorschach is behind the mask, and contributes to the sense of Rorschach's disconnection from "the man in the mirror", so to speak.
* Ed Brubaker's ''Books of Doom'' miniseries tells the origin story of classic MarvelComics supervillain Doctor Doom, seemingly narrated by Doom himself. However, at the story's end, it is revealed that the narrator is actually one of the Doom's [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Doombots]], telling the story that Doom has programmed into it, leaving to question how much of it was true.
* Dreadwing, the main antagonist of ''ComicBook/{{Gold Digger}}'' has a mymior, a magical journal of sorts for dragons. He lost his original one, but he was able to create a "new and improved" mymior for himself and it's clear that Dreadwing's jaded and evil mindset has heavy influence over his writing, such as putting everyone except him in a negative light, trying to justify his many crimes and giving questionable overviews of his relationships with other characters.
* WordOfGod states that Delios of ''ThreeHundred'' is an unreliable narrator; all of the supposed inconsistencies with actual history are actually bare-faced ''lies'', with Delios stretching the truth about who did what and how many there were. This naturally justifies the comic's explicit use of RuleOfCool and RefugeInAudacity.
* Recent issues of ''ComicBook/TheBoys'' have been about the backgrounds of other members of the eponymous group beyond Wee Hughie. Mother's Milk was relatively straight forward. Frenchie's was... not. This is partially justified by Frenchie being ''craaaaaaaazy''.
* The ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'' series. [[spoiler: It's revealed in the final book of the series, Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour that Scott's memories of his past experiences with his ex-girlfriends were altered by Gideon Graves, meaning some of the events shown in the previous books may/may not be entirely false]].
* John Constantine from ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' tends to get unreliable, especially if he's depressed or drunk. If there was a scene where he actually didn't see it (but we readers do), he will tend to second guess everything and can only imagine what could have happened. Although not an accurate description, John's gory imagination makes up one hell of a comic panel.
* Done in ''ComicBook/SteelgripStarkeyAndTheAllPurposePowerTool'' via thought balloons and dialog from [[spoiler:Flynn "Flyin'" Ryan . Although he's secretly the tool's inventor and the mastermind behind [[DecoyLeader Mr. Pilgrim]], his thoughts often read like he's unaware of the big picture. Done particularly egregiously when he and a cohort are making plans, and he still refers to Mr. Pilgrim in the third person.]]
* In ''ComicStrip/TwistedToyfareTheatre'', the [[TheAlcoholic perpetually drunk]] ComicBook/IronMan tells Spider-Man about how Bucky died (again).
-->'''Iron Man:''' I shtood my ground, but it wash too late! The Shweathogs got him...\\
'''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica:''' "Sweathogs"? I thought Pez Dispensers were chasing you!\\
'''Iron Man:''' Thash the weird part...
* Vincent Santini, the narrator from ''Brooklyn Dreams'', tells us in the first page he can't remember much from his past, so he'll tell us the best he can. The whole story is him telling us about his life the way he wants to remember it. He even says "I'll weave you some lies about my life, and who knows they might be true."
* This is one of the rules governing the stories in ''ComicBook/MouseGuard: Legends of the Guard''.
** June states that the stories can be neither "complete truths", nor "complete falsehoods." Exactly how much of any given story is true or false is left as an exercise to the reader, and they vary from the relatively plausible (a story of brief and unlikely companionship between mouse and bat), to the truly outlandish. (A mouse king who rode into battle upon a weasel, a Guardmouse who saved a town from a flash flood and drought by swallowing the flood waters then spitting them back out to serve as a reservoir.)
** Amusingly, one of the most plausible stories -- a play on "Androcles and the Lion" in which an African mouse manages to befriend a lion that's impressed with its bravery and resourcefulness (pulling the thorn out of the lion's paw is in there, but is outright established to be a secondary factor at best) -- is discarded out of hand because the North American mice of the series have never seen or heard of lions or hyenas before, as well as the fact that it's told by a known lunatic who claims to have heard it from a beetle, which aren't talking animals in ''Mouse Guard''.
* An annual had ComicBook/IronMan villain The Mandarin telling his life story to a film maker, with the captions showing his version of the events, and the panels showing the complete opposite.
* ''ComicBook/FantasticFour #15'' offers [[http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/scans7/FF15_Yancy.JPG this introduction to]] [[TheBigGuy the Thing]].
* Common in ''Twisted Tales''. Examples include:
** "Banjo Lessons": A man narrates, in increasingly detailed flashbacks, the circumstances that led him to have a psychotic break and murder his friends. He claims it's due to his suppressed rage over an incident where they killed and ate a dog while on their hunting trip, but [[spoiler:a court sees through him and realizes the truth - "Banjo" the dog was actually their (black, while the men were white) hunting guide.]]
** "Me An' Ol' Rex": A mentally disabled hick boy is beaten by his abusive father, but finds solace in "Rex", his dinosaur friend. Rex eventually grows bigger and begins eating people who the boy feeds to him. The boy eventually commits suicide because he knows he'll be blamed for the people's disappearance. We then discover that [[spoiler:"Rex" is not a dinosaur, but his father, who was driven to cannibalism when locked in the shed for the boy's own protection. The dinosaur story was his delusion or lie.]]
* In ComicBook/TheMightyThor #356, Hercules and Jarvis are taking a stroll in the park, and a group of guys ask him if he's stronger than Thor or not. So, Hercules began to narrate their last encounter. Humbled and ashamed by the vast superiority of Hercules over him, Thor asked him for an arm wrestling, to see if he could regain the will to live. Jarvis laughed at the idea of Thor trying to defeat Hercules... but Jarvis, standing right there while Hercules made his narration, pointed that he did not remember any such scene. "[[RetGone Oh, of course, it happened while you were on vacation, dear Jarvis!]]". So, Thor was defeated in a second, attacked Hercules in his head with his hammer, began to destroy the city on a tantrum... Mr. Hercules, that doesn't make sense, aren't you making it up? Oh, this Jarvis may be a prince among butlets, but as a spectator he leaves much to desire. Where were we? Oh, that the fight got into the Empire State building which was destroyed... but such thing never made it to the newspapers, [[BlatantLies because the Avengers repaired it immediately]]! And goes on, on, and on... that is, until he realizes that the guy asking was not his fan but a fan of Thor, who felt sad for his hero. Where were we? Oh, that Thor was about to receive the final blow... and suddenly showed that he was [[WillfullyWeak holding his strength]], beated the crap out of Hercules, and [[MegatonPunch sent him to another state with a single punch]]. Yes, it really happened! [[LampshadeHanging Would Hercules lie to you?]]
* ComicBook/TheSandman: Invoked with a story that Cluracan tells in a tavern. He tells of when he was sent as an envoy to an impoverished nation, imprisoned, and managed to escape as well as destroy the corrupt ruler. The other patrons call him on this, and he freely admits to adding and removing parts of the story to make it more interesting, though the only thing he admits to fabricating is a sword fight he had with the guards (he added that part to make the story interesting). He states they can choose to believe him or not. How much of it is true is left to the audiences interpretation, though in story Cluracan is still an amoral ditz and a drunk who get's himself in trouble, requires Dream to save him, and dethrones the ruler out of a revenge rather than duty, none of which is out of character.
* In ''ComicBook/DruidCity'', no one character in particular serves as a narrator in a traditional sense, but it does become clear that certain details about how some characters are drawn change after the character in question is disassociated with the lead character. For example, once Hunter Hastings (the lead) and Misa Saito (a character in question) end their second relationship and potential lasting friendship, Misa's hair is drawn in a completely different style and certain qualities that she has disappear. All of these changes are not commented upon by any other characters, so the assumption could be that Hunter's opinion was shaping her appearance for the audience to some degree.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' series ''Arkham Reborn'', [[spoiler:Jeremiah Arkham turns out to be just a tad loopy, to the point where it turns out his "beauties", three patients who seem relatively functional but have to be kept apart for their own safety, don't actually exist, and some of the time he's the supervillain Black Mask (another one).]] When he recovers his memories as to where his marbles actually went - it involves the Joker, Hugo Strange, and a suggestibility-enhancing drug, even that is left ambiguous regarding how much of it is true, [[spoiler:in his reflection, he sees himself as Black Mask.]]
* In ''Comicbook/{{Phonogram}}'', one issue of "The Singles Club" has a back-up strip that tells the story of the previous story, "Rue Britannia", from the perspective of a minor character in the previous work. The minor character is a friend of David Kohl, the protagonist of the previous story, and tagged along for part of it. As the minor character is not part of the world of the 'phonomancers' like Kohl, it's pretty clear from his telling that he really had no clue exactly what was going on, but it's nevertheless a reasonably faithful version of events. Until the end, whereupon the minor character suddenly produces a big gun, shoots what he thinks was the bad guy, saves Kohl's life and then swaggers off to have a threesome with two beautiful women. Kohl, needless to say, is not particularly impressed with this addition to the narrative.
* Done in-universe with ''ComicBook/AstroCity's'' Manny Monkton, a comic book publisher who encourages his writers to play fast and loose with the facts to make their stories more exciting.
-->"The kids don't want facts. They want drama! THRILLS!"
* Happens once in a while in ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'', as the characters may gloss over some particulars (for example, when narrating the flashback of "Diabolik, Who Are You?" the title character didn't say numerous important particulars), not know the truth (some of the facts from "Diabolik, Who Are You?" are later shown wrong in "The True Story of King's Island", as King flat-out lied to Diabolik), or flat-out lie (in [[spoiler: "Diabolik's Secret"]] Eva is forced to tell a journalist a story about Diabolik that nobody knew... And lied, before mailing to their competitors evidence that it was a lie).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': [[http://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/posts/2578680/ In chapter 49]] a character is being filled in on the history of the Angel War and the post-Impact world. However Misato had some ''creative'' interpretations of the events. Asuka suggests him that he ignores everything Misato said.
* Elspeth of ''Fanfic/{{Luminosity}}'' narrates the second book, and whenever under Allirea's power sees her as "not important". This leads to glossing over some important dialogue, with a little UnspokenPlanGuarantee.
* The museum curator from "[[FanFic/KingSuperman The Courier Who Had Cheated Death]]" averts this trope. On one hand, every detail from the story he told was true. On the other hand, he ''was'' the murderous psychopath from the story, and the 'display dummy' he mentions offhandedly is implied to be another of his victims.
* ''FanFic/HuntingTheUnicorn'' makes liberal use of this--though there isn't any intentional misleading, there are two instances that make use of this for ''huge'' impact: "The Hunters" reveals that [[spoiler: Blaine isn't a virgin]], and it's elaborated [[LoveHurts very painfully]] in the following chapter. "The Butterfly" is where David tells a counselor [[spoiler: that Blaine has a stalker and has ''no idea of it'']].
* In the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' fanfic ''[[http://shinodaholic.deviantart.com/art/Revenge-of-the-Narrator-201034142 Revenge of the Narrator]]'', the replacement Narrator tells the reader halfway through that [[spoiler: everything the original Narrator had said]] was a lie.
* FanFic/{{Pipeline}} is primarily told through third-person limited, using Kevin's thoughts and perceptions of things to tell the story. Kevin's kind of a... self-informed guy, so this has interesting results. He's got the best of intentions, really, but his perceptions of the way Ben is acting towards him are much harsher than Ben means them to, and his irrational dislike of Dexter makes the boy genius out to be the bad guy sometimes when they really have similar values and goals.
%% * ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' fanfic ''FanFic/CicadasCaseOfTheEndlessDreamer'' is unreliable narration '''[[UpToEleven HE]][[MindScrew LL]]!'''
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6949110/1/A_Piece_Of_Glass A Piece Of Glass]]'', the story is sandwiched together from the POV of the Joker, his OriginalCharacter accomplice, Breech Loader, and Batman himself. The Joker sees his demented social experiments as perfectly acceptable. Breech repeatedly insists that morals and sanity are moot points, being a matter of perspective. Neither is sane, but ThroughTheEyesOfMadness both are convinced they are right. Interestingly, through Batman's POV, he's NotSoDifferent...
* Similarly, Dogbertcarroll's stories on Fanfiction dot net include one where [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander Harris]] has a cosmic event happen and gets dropped into the Justice league, literally during a meeting. He describes Batman as being possibly the most sociologically driven man in the DC Universe but also deadly necessary. Of course, this is Xander's viewpoint, and the man has been somewhat unreliable narrating himself, as anyone who's ever watched/critiqued "The Zeppo" can tell you.
* All over the place in ''FanFic/TheNewRetcons'' since for most of the story it's written in the style of the characters writing letters. Including an insane Elly. In the comments for one of the letters, the authors and fans discussed this trope with regard to Liz, and whether she was one about [[spoiler: [[AttemptedRape the going after]]]].
* Possibly Dominic in ''FanFic/PinkPersonalHellAndAlteringFate''. Early in the story, he tells the reader how [[ButtMonkey bad he has it]], such as how his group doesn't bother to communicate with him and dumps half the project on him. However, when he arrives to give a presentation with Gummy attached to his finger (ItMakesSenseInContext) they actually laugh ''with'' him. Granted, later on, the mirror shows moments he'd rather not see...
** One thing that also makes a bit of sense with the story's main twist is [[spoiler: Pink Personal Hell is revealed to be InMediasRes to Altering Fate - it can be read in a way that Dominic is remembering his so-called "Pink Personal Hell" during the events of the "Altering Fate" narrative from his perspective - which still plays true to this trope as Dominic glosses over a ''lot'' of events.]]
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic'', in which [[CuteKitten Vesta's]] narration is filled with {{Suspiciously Specific Denial}}s and IMeantToDoThat.
* ''FanFic/HomeWithTheFairies'' downplays this. Maddie is not trying to lie, but her misunderstandings affect the narration, especially in the early chapters, when the LanguageBarrier is still a major problem. For example, Maddie visits the town of Fornost, but it might not be Fornost; Maddie later uses the name "maybe-not-Fornost". Then in chapter 13, Maddie believes that Lord Kinsey will fire her if "gossip gets out", but this might not be true; Lord Kinsey might or might not believe the gossip. A writer's note on chapter 14 declares Maddie as an unreliable narrator.
* The Franchise/{{Pokemon}} fic ''{{Fanfic/Obsession}}'' shows Corbin as a caring father who simply doesn't know how to care for his [[{{Anime/Pokemon 2000}} strange son]]. Said son is narrating, however, and describes his father as a heartless fool and constant embarrassment. He's also narrating as an adult, so this isn't just a child's perspective.
* [[TheStoryteller Brett's mother]] in ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfTotalDramaIsland''. Although she recounts long-past events with [[InfallibleNarrator inhuman precision]], she also embellishes some details, fills in gaps with informed guesswork, and lets her biases influence some characterizations. Indeed, those cartoonish elements in [[WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland the original]] that are retained in the reimagining could well be chalked up to her embellishments. It’s called a “legend” for a reason.
* ''Fanfic/ConceptRoad''. For a character preemptively familiar with [[MegaCrossover all the worlds he goes to]], Louis Starsky sure doesn't always have his facts together.
** For example, he believes that Miku Hatsune was the first Music/{{Vocaloid}} preceding Meiko Sakine and Kaito. He's convinced that Kino from ''LightNovel/KinosJourney'' is a dude.
** It should also be noted that several context clues within the same chapter(s) strongly suggest that this is not a {{critical research failure}} on the actual author's end.
* The narrator of ''FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed'' is without a doubt, one of the most unreliable narrators to ever be featured in a fanfiction. Her tendency to present her conspiracies as fact is both disorienting and highly amusing as well. But it is this nature of hers that the entire concept of the fic centers around.
** It is possible to get a glimpse of actual Equestrian history through her eyes, once one wades through the enormous fallacies and insane conspiracy theories she presents. But the fic mostly consists solely of Equestrian history as seen through her eyes, whether the reader wants to accept it as accurate or not.
* The ''Fanfic/GettingBackOnYourHooves'' side story "Another Happy Mother's Day" is [[VillainEpisode told from the perspective of]] [[BigBad Checker Monarch]] after her defeat and [[VillainousBreakdown fall into]] [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness insanity]] at the end of the original fic. Considering she's insane to the point she's suffered a LossOfIdentity and created FalseMemories, it's impossible to tell what details of her past she gave are real and which are false.
* Navarone is an in-universe example in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman'', as he often leaves stuff out or puts misleading information in his journals. [[spoiler: Discord is a straighter example, as he flat out lies to the reader]].
* All over the place in ''[[Fanfic/ImHereToHelp I'm Here to Help]]''. Emerald's narration portrays Crystal Tokyo as a CrapsaccherineWorld where everyone is brainwashed and the senshi rule with an iron fist, but the only reasons actually given for how the kingdom is bad boil down to "it's boring". It doesn't help that Emerald is several hundred years old and insane. ([[spoiler:Pluto's]] interference near the end could indicate some truth to his argument, but [[spoiler:she]] gives no reason for [[spoiler:her]] actions beyond "I don't like how Crystal Tokyo turned out", which still gives nothing solid to go off of.) Meanwhile, the two sections told from the point of views of the future senshi depict Emerald as a dangerous murderer, while the past senshi and Luna see him as shifty and untrustworthy. It's difficult to say exactly how much of this was intentional. [[spoiler:The author's notes at the end say that there was a lot more going on than we see, but we're never told what it was. The possibility of everything being revealed in a sequel was mentioned, but that never came around.]]
* [[spoiler:Carlos]] in his chapters of [[Fanfic/TheStrexFamily ''Compliance'' and ''Procedure'']]. His narration includes, for instance, [[spoiler:domestic abuse, emotional manipulation not being mentioned as such, and sexual assault/rape being seen as consensual sex (the following chapter proves that it very much is not)]].
* The Sassgardian is the worst offender in ''Fanfic/SuperheroRPF''. He insists for example that ''Loki'' is a LovableRogue with [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold a heart of gold]], he even has his tumblr to prove it! [[spoiler:He ''is'' Loki.]] But several other characters are super heroes or villains too, protecting their secret identities, so being unreliable narrators is pretty much unavoidable.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
[[AC:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. Syndrome's flashback to the moment when he lost faith in Mr. Incredible ("Go home, Buddy. I work alone.") is significantly different from the actual moment the audience saw, in order to demonstrate Syndrome's unreliable and skewed perspective on events.
* Played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}''. The GreekChorus of mariachi owls says the tale of the titular character ends with him dying. He lives. When this is pointed out, they simply say he will ''eventually'' die...probably in a household accident.
* A truly bizarre example in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. The story itself is objective, but the narration accompanying it is biased towards Emperor Kuzco, since he ''is'' the narrator. At one point, while complaining about how everyone else is the problem, his on-screen self interrupts to remind him the audience saw what happened and knows that isn't true. He's literally arguing with himself over the reliability. Narrator-Kuzco falls silent and is never heard from again.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}''. When Red describes meeting the Wolf in the forest, she leaves out the part where she kicked his butt using karate before running away. We can safely assume Wolf's telling the truth about this, since there's a picture of her with a black belt on Granny's wall.
* A few fans believe this trope is the reason for the [[SeriesContinuityError inconsistencies]] of Disney/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf compared to the first two films.
* During the Bowler Hat Guy's flashback in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'', we see how badly he (aka [[spoiler: Goob]]) gave up on life after his baseball incident. At one point, we see him in school and despite his claims that "they all ''hated'' me," people were trying to be friends with him. Justified, as it also shows how twisted and antisocial he became since the incident.
* A 1969 cartoon by the National Film Board of Canada, titled "The National Film Board of Mars Presents: What On Earth?" is a pseudo-documentary in which the Martian filmmakers mistakenly believe automobiles are the dominant species of life on earth, and proceeds to describe their life span (they die in scrapyards), breeding habits (made in factories), feeding habits (gas stations) and minor parasites that infest them (people).
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForceColonMovieFilmForTheaters'': After the opening movie theater parody, the story supposedly begins millions of years ago, in 1492, at 3pm, in Egypt. Then a modern airplane flies by. It turns out this is a story Master Shake is telling Meatwad, and to make it worse, Meatwad is in the story. In fact, pretty much every character in this film is an Unreliable Narrator.

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Nymphomaniac}}'' can be said to have three main characters: Joe-the-protagonist, Joe-the-narrator, and Seligman-the-audience. While Joe and Joe are the same person, Joe-the-narrator hates Joe-the-protagonist with a passion. Seligman sometimes calls out Joe on her bullshit, but perhaps not often enough. Her story gives an accurate portrayal of her state of mind, but perhaps less so of her life.
* ''Film/TheKidStaysInThePicture''. Robert Evans acknowledges that the documentary is colored by his point of view of the events in the film, with a title card stating:
-->"There are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently."
* The movie ''Film/SuckerPunch'' embodies this trope, since [[spoiler:almost all of the movie takes place just as the protagonist is having a lobotomy]]. Made all the more weird because we're not quite sure who the narrator is.
* ''Film/{{Detour}}''. It's implied that the main character Al Roberts is coloring events to make himself look sympathetic, and to make Vera seem more like a vicious FemmeFatale. He probably ''did'' commit the crimes in the film purposefully, but the story is altered by NeverMyFault.
* ''Film/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]]: "Here is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there's no real me, only an entity, something illusory."
* ''Film/MadDetective''. Bun claims that he can visualize people's inner personalities but it's never clear whether it's an example of his madness or a legit supernatural power.
* ''Film/SnakeEyes'' features several flashbacks narrated by several characters in an attempt to reconstruct a crime, and every flashback replays through a continuous, first-person point of view shot. One such flashback is completely untrue, as it is narrated by the (unbeknownst) criminal.
* Implied in ''Film/BunnyAndTheBull''. Stephen, the main character, is retelling the story of a road trip from his perspective- vital pieces of information are left out or glossed over, not to mention the fact that he sees hallucinations in his house but doesn't realise they are not real until the end of the movie, so by consequence, neither does the audience.
* ''Film/TheUsualSuspects''. Agent Kujan spends the course of the movie listening to Verbal tell his story, then rejects portions of it as lies. [[spoiler: The problem, of course, is that he rejects the WRONG portions.]]
* The premise of ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'' is that the story is told from four different points of view, ''all'' of which disagree, and ''all'' of which are unreliable, due to each character having a reputation to protect. The ending at least gives us the truth about [[spoiler:what happened to the dagger]], but with a very different motive than what the viewer might have assumed.
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' reveals in the end that the man who has been telling the story is in fact an inmate of an insane asylum, and the ''entire movie'' never happened; he just made it up based on the people around him.
* ''Film/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]].
* Nearly every joke in ''Film/TheMatingHabitsOfTheEarthboundHuman'' relies on the alien narrator misinterpreting human behavior.
* In ''Film/BladeOfVengeance'', the narrator is the female love interest. Her narratives are usually really weird. At the end of the movie, she's seen smoking opium, which explains a lot.
* An early example of this occurred in Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/StageFright'', which opens with a flashback narrated by one of the characters who is lying to another character to obtain their help.
* The plot of ''Film/{{Hero}}'' consists of the same story being retold three times with major differences: [[spoiler:Nameless' BS story he told so that he could get an audience with the Emperor and have a shot at assassinating him, the Emperor finally calling Nameless on his BS and telling what he thinks really happened, and Nameless finally admitting what REALLY happened just before he tries to kill the Emperor.]]
* In the Korean horror/suspense film ''Film/ATaleOfTwoSisters'', this trope only becomes apparent at the end. It starts out fairly normal, with two sisters returning home to their father and stepmother. It starts to get confusing, with the unexplained appearance of some wraith-like girl under the sink, various objects and people disappearing and reappearing without explanation, and all sorts of contradictory information. Eventually [[spoiler:the stepmother murders one of the girls, only it's revealed immediately after that it never happened. It turns out one of the girls was pretending to be both herself, her stepmother, and her sister. The sister who was supposedly murdered had died a long time ago in an accident, and the stepmother was simply the nurse taking care of the two when said accident happened, which the girl blames for her sister's death. [[GainaxEnding Are you]] [[MindScrew confused yet?]]]]
* ''Film/BigFish'' has an unusual take on the unreliable narrator, in that [[spoiler:the flashback stories are assumed to be pure fiction for most of the movie and the twist is that the father may actually be more reliable than was thought. The appearance of the twins, Giant, and Ringmaster at the father's funeral clearly leaves the son reeling as he reassesses his father's stories for where exactly they diverged from the truth. The reality is only slightly skewed from his stories, i.e., the Siamese twins are actually just regular twins from Siam, the giant is a 7'6" man, and so on.]]
* ''Film/TheFall'' plays some fun games with this trope. It is a film of two levels, stories within stories - a girl in a hospital listens to stories told by a bedridden man, and we see her visualisations of the stories he tells. However, they don't share identical internal dictionaries. One great example is that he talks about an Indian and his squaw, but the girl, who was friends with a Sikh, imagines a bearded subcontinental man in a turban. ''Film/TheFall'' also features a classic example of InUniverse CreatorBreakdown.
* ''Film/{{Memento}}''. Lenny may be ''trying'' to report accurately, but his grasp on the real past is, to put it mildly, highly questionable.
* Played straight, for laughs, and for drama in ''ForrestGump''. The [[InnocentInaccurate naive]] Forrest incorrectly describes events he witnesses through his life. Notable examples: He believes that Charlie was someone specific that the Army was looking for, as opposed to the code name for the Vietcong, and Apple computers was a fruit company, even though he made a fortune by investing in them on Lieutenant Dan's advice.
* The film ''Film/SecretWindow'', (based on Creator/StephenKing's novella ''Secret Window, Secret Garden''), which is narrated in third person) the narrator is stalked by a psychopath who accuses him of plagiarizing his book, and who attempts to frame him for several heinous crimes. In the climax, it is revealed that [[spoiler:the narrator has been driven to madness over his guilt for plagiarizing a classmate in college, and is unconsciously committing the acts for which he thinks he's being framed. The stalker does not exist outside his own mind (although the novella hedges a bit on this point).]]
* ''Film/MonsterAGoGo'' has the ultimate unreliable narrator. [[spoiler:Whaddaya mean there was no monster, beauzeau?]]
* ''Film/BubbaHoTep''. The stories Elvis and JFK share about themselves and how they ended up in a Texas nursing home are VERY speculative and unreliable.
* Jack Crabb (DustinHoffman), in ''Film/LittleBigMan'', is quite likely one of these. In the original novel by Thomas Berger, the historian who transcribes Crabb's narrative expresses the opinion that most of his supposed exploits are pure malarkey. There are hints, however, that the historian may ''himself'' be something of an unreliable narrator.
* While it didn't have an unreliable narrator itself, the 2007 ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' implies that the original poem is a false account of the events as told by Beowulf himself. His account of why he lost a swimming race is stated to be at the very least exaggerated, when his friend mutters that last time he heard the story, there were fewer sea monsters in it.
* The events of ''Film/TheNewGuy'' seem to strain the limits of WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. At various points throughout the movie (eg: immediately after the scene with [[{{Fanservice}} Danielle trying on swimsuits]]), however, the audience is [[LampshadeHanging reminded]] that we're seeing the story through the eyes of an arguably-insane convict.
* David Leigh (David Beard) in ''Film/TheLastBroadcast''. Even his narraton being a documentary doesn't help.
* In ''Film/HighTension'' (originally ''Haute Tension''), a French psychological thriller, Marie, a resourceful young woman is trying to save her best friend, Alexia, from an insane serial killer who murdered Alexia's family before kidnapping her. The twist: [[spoiler:Marie is the serial killer. The Killer is an alternate personality that Marie created in order to live out a disturbing fantasy: Alexia will fall in love with her savior and stay with Marie FOREVER.]]
* Matthew [=McConaughey=] in ''Film/{{Frailty}}''.
* The main story of ''Film/RoadTrip'' is told through the eyes of Barry, a campus tour guide who's [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} not playing with a full deck]]. As such, the story has some highly improbable elements. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when he is telling the part involving the girls' locker room.
* In ''Film/SwimmingPool'' the novelist protagonist spends most of the movie dealing with her publisher's daughter's bad habits [[spoiler:including murder]] but, at the end, we learn [[spoiler:that the publisher's daughter is a completely different girl, leaving us wondering who the girl was, and if she existed at all.]]
* In the musical film, ''Film/{{Grease}}'', Danny and Sandy sing about how they met each other during the summer holidays to their friends, unaware that they are both going to the same school. Sandy sings about how Danny was such a sweet guy and describes their romantic evening, whereas Danny shows off about making out with Sandy and saying that she was "good, if you know what I mean."
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'': Joel. A great portion of the film is told through Joel's memories of events he experienced with Clementine, but the unreliability of those memories is shown on at least two occasions. When Joel first arrives home the night of the erasure, his neighbor chats with him about Valentine's Day. This is then the first substantial memory about Clementine that gets erased. But while this event took place just a short while (maybe an hour at most) before the erasure, it is shown that Joel is already incorrectly remembering what his neighbor said to him. Other less obvious hints abound (e.g., Joel remembering childhood events while being adult in appearance). Taking the imperfection of human memory alongside whether Joel considered a given memory as enjoyable or upsetting, the audience ought to wonder if what they're viewing is what ''actually'' happened, or if Joel's memories are distorted, exaggerated, or embellished because of the passing of time and because of his emotional state at the time of the event.
* In the song "I Remember It Well" from ''Film/{{Gigi}}'', Maurice Chevalier's character claimed to remember a past meeting with Gigi's grandmother perfectly, only to be contradicted by her in every detail.
* ''Film/{{Flourish}}'' stars Jennifer Morrison as Gabrielle Winters, a tutor who is brought in for questioning in the death of her sixteen-year-old student, Lucy. She tells the entire story to the police officer questioning her, and when she finishes, the police officer asks her how she could have [[spoiler: spoken about events she wasn't present for. It's then revealed that Gabrielle is actually in a mental hospital, and the police officer is a psychiatrist. Prior to the story, Gabrielle was in a car accident that caused her brain trauma; as a result, she has frequent memory lapses and unconsciously fills them in with fictional details (sharp viewers will notice that one of the suspects in Gabrielle's story is played by the same actor as the man questioning her). Gabrielle overhears the psychiatrist talking with someone else and comes to the realization that she has made up nearly everything she said. However, the psychiatrist also notes that Gabrielle did correctly guess a lot of the details, leaving it up in the air how much of her story was actually true.]]
* ''Film/{{North}}'' seems to know that other parents use him as a reference as how their kids should act to be a perfect child. It also doesn't help that most of the movie about his exploits is all a dream. And despite stating he is intelligent, everyone aside from the middle class white American family are a bunch of jerks and racial stereotypes.
* ''Film/FearIsland'' is told through flashbacks during a police interview with the sole survivor of a teenage slaughter. It's not until the survivor's parents show up that [[spoiler:: the police realize the narrator was lying about which person she is and that she was actually the murderer all along ]].
* The plot of ''Film/HeLovesMeHeLovesMeNot''.
* The main issue in ''Film/EvesBayou'' hinges on the fact that two characters have very different memories of an event and another character reacts to the probably false version with fatal consequences. [[spoiler: Cisely admits near the end of the movie that she isn't sure what happened, long after she tells Eve that their father molested her. Eve then tries to kill her father, only finding out much later that he may not have done what he was accused of.]]
* Jack Harper from ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'' has no memory from before he began his current job - his OpeningNarration is entirely based on what Sally tells him (and Sally herself is an UnreliableExpositor). Even better, for the whole first act of the movie, Jack, Vicka and Sally are the only characters with lines.
* Suki, the protagonist of ''Film/TheScribbler'', is giving a statement to a GoodCopBadCop detective team regarding a series of suspicious suicides in her apartment complex. Because she's a former psychiatric patient recovering from SplitPersonality syndrome, the bad cop automatically thinks she's lying.
* Near the end of the film ''Film/JEdgar'', it is revealed by Clyde Tolson that a lot of the FBI investigations the audience sees as narrated by Hoover, exaggerate his actual involvement in the arrests.
* In ''Film/WhoAmI'', the interrogators (and by extension the audience) learn of the hero's backstory through narrated flashbacks. However, TheReveal exposes key points of his story to be false.
* ''Film/MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirl'' is narrated by Greg after the events of the film take place, and he states several times that [[spoiler:Rachel isn't going to die and it isn't a story about death. He's lying]].
* ''Film/TheWolverine'': There's definitely a whiff of this with regards to how Logan over-romanticizes his relationship with Jean Grey when she appears in his dreams/visions. In the first two X-Men movies, their interactions didn't really go beyond some flirting and a kiss (we're excluding his make-out session with [[SplitPersonality the Phoenix]]).
* In ''Film/WangDeShengYan'', much of the film is narrated by the aging emperor Gaozu, and revolves around the events that led to his rise to power. Later we get to see just how incomplete his version of events was, and how much help he had from those who are now serving under him. It is also implied that ancient historians and scribes are [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable narrators]], as they are forced to pass down the version of history that their masters want them to.
* ''Film/{{Underground}}'' has a brief joke in which expository text claims that Yugoslavian President Tito became so distraught by the disappearance of one of the main characters that he fell sick and died... [[BlatantLies 20 years later]].
* ''Film/JennifersBody'' is told as flashback by Anita, who is a patient in a mental hospital. The story in the flashback appears to contain multiple supernatural aspects, notably that Anita's friend Jennifer has magic powers. At the end of the film, Anita appears to use the magic powers that had supposedly been Jennifer's to break out of the asylum. Was all of it real? All the delusions of a lunatic? Not precisely real, but the truth as seen ThroughTheEyesOfMadness?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': In one of her letters, Beatrice claims that the stories the Baudelaires told her of their troubles in some cases differ wildly from Lemony's accounts. Lemony himself admits that some parts of the story he basically made up, due to lack of witnesses and trace evidence, but there are a few moments when he appears to be deceiving the reader or else not being quite truthful. For instance, he claims on separate occasions that the sugar bowl and the Snicket fires both contain evidence that will clear his name, when testimony from other characters suggests that there is nothing of the kind. Then there's the timeline. During ''The Slippery Slope'' Lemony writes a letter in the novel to his sister (Kit) asking for her to meet him at the Hotel Denouement. Presumably, this is the same day where the Baudelaires are supposed to arrive there, detailed in ''The Penultimate Peril'', and a character strongly suggested to be Lemony does indeed make an appearance. The problem is that said date occurs ''less than a week'' from the events in ''The Slippery Slope.'' Not only does that indicate that Lemony is less than a week behind the Baudelaires in tracking them--directly contradicted by previous statements that suggest at least some years have gone by--but that he also expects his book to be published and read by Kit in a week. But he certainly can't be asking Kit to meet him after the events of ''The Penultimate Peril'' because the Baudelaires burn down the hotel in that book's climax. Very, very odd.
* Duff, the main character in ''Literature/HowToSurviveAZombieApocalypse'', is a narcissist, has an ego the size of the moon and is convinced she is smarter than the whole Squad combined. Sometimes. She also has a penchant to exaggerate things and is rather biased, resulting in a rather peculiar... perception of the whole story.
* Most of the characters in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', especially early on, aren't capable of recognizing their own character flaws, and their narration is reflective of this. Furthermore, sometimes the kids just straight-up lie about things - see LiteraryAgentHypothesis. For instance, in ''The David trilogy'', Jake says it's been a couple months since Elfangor's crash. Dialogue, however, hints that the story arc takes place much later, and it's confirmed late in the series that the David trilogy takes place maybe two years after the crash.
** It is stated a few times in the early books that the characters are intentionally leaving out certain key details (like not revealing their own last names) just in case the reader happens to be one of the enemy Yeerks.
* If one is familiar with the events of ''Series/ImAlanPartridge'' (and to a lesser extent the other Alanified series), the hideous unreliability of Alan as narrator in his predictably self-serving autobiography ''Literature/IPartridgeWeNeedToTalkAboutAlan'' is glaringly and hilariously obvious. Instances of Alan's cowardice, selfishness, incompetence, unpopularity, borderline sociopathy and general loathsome inadequacy as a human being are turned by Alan into tales of towering heroism. Alan's in "reality" humiliating encounter with Tony Hayers in the BBC restaurant is somehow turned into a moral victory for Alan, and his encounter with stalker Jed Maxwell becomes a surreal, OTT Bond-esque fight scene with a well-muscled Alan beating Jed to a squealing pulp (instead of, as "actually" happened, Alan being physically humiliated, somehow sweet-talking his way outside and then fleeing in terror).
* ''The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs'' is a PerspectiveFlip on ''Literature/TheThreeLittlePigs''. The Wolf details how every instance was a mistake or misunderstanding. Still, the pictures with the text -- and the Wolf's shifty tone -- can lead even a small child to doubt the veracity of his claims that he is the victim. Specifically, there's the fact that he just "had" to eat the pigs when unfortunate (and completely not his fault) events killed them because "why waste them?" Granted, the Wolf is telling his side of the story. It is possible that the more traditional story was the lie.
* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' by Patrick Rothfuss is written largely as a flashback told in the first-person perspective by the main character, Kvothe, and there are hints that it's not wholly reliable. One of Kvothe's companions remarks that a certain woman who shows up frequently in the story (and is the object of Kvothe's affection) wasn't as beautiful as described, among others. He actually says a character won't shows up, but uses ExactWords to lie. Further, he's just wrong from time to time. Because the narrative's descriptions of people are his own, he'll say things the audience later realizes are obviously untrue--such as when he describes his LoveInterest as "naive" or "innocent"...
* Creator/AgathaChristie:
** ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone'': at one point, the actual murderer, [[spoiler: Judge Wargrave]], is described as being surprised when the person who wrote the letter inviting them to Indian Island isn't at the island to greet them -- and the narrator's little peek into the character's thoughts reveals (or seems to reveal) that the character's surprise is ''genuine''. (Since this books uses a third-person omniscient narration, this might be a case of LyingCreator, but no one knows if it was deliberate or accidental on Christie's part.)
** ''Endless Night'' - Michael talks about meeting the love of his life, a rich heiress, marrying her, fighting with her best friend, building their dream house, only for her to die mysteriously... [[spoiler: and then you find out that all of that was a lie, because ''he's'' the murderer and his true love is the best friend, who he's known since before the story.]]
** ''Literature/TheMurderOfRogerAckroyd'': Something of an aversion, since the narrator never actually ''lies'' -- but deceive, oh my yes.
* In ''Literature/TheExorcist'' by William Blatty, a young girl seems possessed by a presence who claims to be the Devil himself. Various developments point more toward a demon called Pazzuzu, but the main and central premise of the novel is that we NEVER fully get proof that there is ANY foreign entity sharing the mind of the young girl. It could all be explained away as (admittedly paranormal) activity originating ONLY from the girl's mind. This horrible doubt is perhaps the central theme of this very powerful and disturbing story - that the hellish narrator inside Reagan... is only Reagan herself. From there, we are forced to ask (along with the main character) do demons really exist? Hell? God?
* ''Literature/BlackLegion'' is narrated by [[BigBad Abaddon]]'s lieutenant, Khayon. While he claims that he's completely honest in his account, the Inquisition doesn't really believe him and they may be right, considering his background.
* ''Literature/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]]. He doesn't realize he's unreliable until two thirds of the way through the book - and when he finds out and tries to convince everybody else, [[CassandraTruth no one believes him]].
* In ''Literature/TheMothDiaries'', the entire story revolves around the unnamed narrator not being reliable. You get to work it out for yourself, because you don't actually find out whether Ernessa is [[spoiler:a vampire or not]]. There are also some very interesting deaths in the plot, and it's fun to work out whether they happened and how much of it was psychosis.
* ''Literature/DamnatioMemoriae'' by Laura Marcelle Giebfried has Enim Lund narrating. Not only is it difficult to know if he's being entirely truthful because he's known to feel guilty about certain events involving his mother (and thus he 'remembers' them different ways), but [[spoiler:he is also diagnosed with schizophrenia at the end of the first novel]] making it difficult to know what really happened and what didn't. Still, the author makes it unclear as to whether he really is unreliable, or if he's [[CassandraTruth reliable and no one believes him]].
* In ''Literature/{{Illuminatus}}'', the narrator's identity is kept secret throughout most of the series as it meanders back and forth through time, through the viewpoints of various characters, some of whom do not actually exist, and through a web of hallucination, myth, and deception.
* [[Creator/RobertAntonWilson R.A. Wilson's]] novel ''The Masks of Illuminati'' gives a human narrator, Sir John Babcock, who is fairly reliable, albeit emotionally loaded when it comes to his own experiences, but he keeps narrating events that he didn't personally witness without a hint of suspicion or doubt despite of how incredible they are. [[spoiler:Most of them aren't even remotely true.]]
* [[Creator/GeoffreyChaucer Chaucer]] used this technique in ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'' (the "Merchant's Tale", and, to a subtler extent, the General Prologue).
* The children's book ''Literature/TheStinkyCheeseMan and Other Fairly Stupid Tales'' combines an unreliable narrator with NoFourthWall: First, Jack the Narrator spoils the ending of "Little Red Running Shorts", prompting the characters from that story to quit in disgust. Then, Jack's narration of his own story, "Jack's Bean Problem" is immediately interrupted by the premature arrival of the Giant. When the Giant threatens to eat Jack if he can't tell a better story, Jack launches into a recursive story in which the Giant threatens to eat him if he can't tell a better story, so Jack launches into a recursive story in which the Giant threatens to eat him if he can't tell a better story. The giant also says that even if Jack tells a better story, he'll still eat him anyway (ho, ho, ho), leading to the looping story.
* This is the main trope of the BaronMunchausen stories, both in the original 18th century novel or in any of the various later pastiches. The Creator/TerryGilliam film ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'' has the final twist that some of the outlandish things he claims are, apparently, true - or at the very least, the Turkish army ''did'' lift the siege of Vienna for some unknown reason connected to the Baron, which is good enough for the crowds who had been listening to him.
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe practically invented this trope, at least in western literature:
** In "Literature/TheCaskOfAmontillado", the narrator claims that he is getting revenge on his nemesis Fortunato for a monstrous insult. However, Fortunato seems to trust the narrator and thinks that they're friends. The narrator never specifies exactly what Fortunato did to him, leaving the question of Fortunato's exact fault (or even the existence thereof) open.
** "The Tell-Tale Heart", which has the narrator, who insists at the very beginning that he is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not mad]], murdering a man and putting him under the floorboards but giving himself away because he imagines his victim's heart is still beating. This story is often used to introduce students to the concept of unreliable narrators in general.
** "Ligeia," in which the narrator admits that he is under the influence of "an immoderate dose of opium," leaving the reader to wonder if the events of the story are really happening or if they're simply being hallucinated by the narrator.
** The eponymous narrator of "William Wilson" has been oft suggested by literary critics to be insane, or at least suffering from multiple personality disorder and severe schizophrenia.
* Creator/DanielDefoe's fictional memoir ''Literature/MollFlanders'' is an early case of a narrator who is unreliable on more than one plane. Superficially, Moll puts herself in the best possible light no matter what, either by glossing over the enormousness of her crimes or by blaming the victims, but her story is also logically inconsistent and ahistorical. She leaves her purportedly well-loved children in Colchester in the 1640s - in other words, in a war zone - to traipse off to America on a whim. Her "older brother", with whom she inadvertently commits incest and has a child, must be younger than her if her mother's story is true. Despite living in London in the 1660s, she does not recall the Plague, the Dutch invasion, or the Great Fire.
* ''Literature/FannyHill'' also features an unreliable narrator. Fanny's description of prostitution is wildly unrealistic even for the 18th century. Some also see her ConvenientMiscarriage as a lie told to cover a Convenient Abortion, as Fanny had been recently deserted by her patron and was broke, owed an astronomical sum to her landlady (an abortionist), and had no way to earn money outside of prostitution - impossible while pregnant in the 1740s. Keep in mind, though, that Cleland wrote ''Fanny Hill'' so he could pay his way out of debtor's prison, and he may have written the story based on unrealistic and melodramatic "life stories" told to him by the prostitutes he met in prison which he wasn't experienced enough to see through. In other words, Fanny may have been unreliable despite the writer's intentions, not because of them.
* ''Literature/{{Transition}}'' by Creator/IainBanks starts like this:
--> "Apparently I am what is known as an Unreliable Narrator, though of course if you believe everything you're told you deserve whatever you get."
** ''Literature/ThePlayerOfGames'' by Iain M. Banks ends like this:
-->[[spoiler:''This is a true story. I was there. When I wasn't, and when I didn't know exactly what was going on -- inside Gurgeh's mind, for example -- I admit that I have not hesitated to make it up. But it's still a true story. Would I lie to you?'']]
* ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'' is mostly narrated by one protagonist, David, and the majority of the book involves David recounting unlikely supernatural adventures to a reporter. A small part of the book (involving important events that the narrator didn't witness firsthand) is instead told by David's best friend, John, and this portion has a suspiciously high occurrence of backflips, as well as a chase scene that John resolves by "stealing a nearby horse". As David points out early on, "If you know John, you'll take the details for what they're worth. Please also remember that, where John claims to have 'gotten up at three-thirty' to perform this investigation, it was far more likely he was still up and somewhat drunk from the night before." David himself even admits that his version of events is only "mostly true." And let's not forget, [[spoiler:The title is a bald-faced lie.]]
-->I did it according to this equation:
-->@@l = E × ∞ @@
-->Which can be translated as "One small lie saves an infinite amount of explanation." I use it all the time. I've used it on you already.
* ''Literature/{{This Book is Full of Spiders}}'' ends with Lance Falconer providing Dave with some extra material for the book Amy is writing in exchange for a cut of the profits, on condition that the book's account of Lance is a cool, handsome, {{badass}} {{action hero}} who owns a Porsche.
* ''Literature/AnInstanceOfTheFingerpost'' has several narrators, all of whom are various varieties of unreliable narrator. One is insane, one is a xenophobe who imputes his own nasty motives on to others, one is relatively accurate except where his own identity is concerned, and one is actually a nice guy, but whose perceptions are shaped by the prejudices of the time.
* Agota Kristof's first [[Literature/TheBookOfLies Trilogy]] (''The Notebook'', ''The Proof'', and ''The Third Lie'') rides this trope like a pogo stick on your spine. It is really an artform the way each of the twins can lie. Even in the first book where they set in conditions that would make it impossible for them to be untruthful about anything they write in the notebook, they still manage to dupe everyone around them - and the reader - more times than could ever be counted. By the end of the third book, it ultimately becomes impossible to tell what about what actually happened due to the web of lies that both Lucas and Claus managed to weave.
* Daniel Handler's ''Literature/TheBasicEight'' is told as the recovered journal of Flannery Culp, a girl in jail for the murder of a classmate... as being edited by the same girl for publication. This, coupled with the "poor me" attitude she expresses in the intro, forces the reader to be constantly second-guessing her, noting things that she may be altering to make herself look better. At one point, she believes the killer to be a third party... who turns out to be her imaginary friend. This also means that another character has been present for nearly the entire book, but Flan never saw her.
* Creator/VladimirNabokov's ''Literature/{{Lolita}}'' uses this narrative device after the John Ray, Jr.-penned prologue; Humbert's unreliability calls into question the major plot elements of the text - does he ''really'' miss Annabel Leigh, or is it just a pedophilia justification? Even so, should his (probable) love for Leigh excuse his horrific actions? Does he really love and care for Dolores, or is she just an object to him? (Note the nickname, "Dolly".) We could go on and on. Entire theses have been written about this.
* Another one of Nabokov's novels, ''Literature/PaleFire,'' deals with an unreliable narrator in Charles Kinbote. But in Kinbote's case, he is not only narrating multiple stories, he is also interpreting (and ''mis''interpreting) the poem of fellow university professor John Shade. But the above is only true if you assume that John Shade is a real person and that he wrote the poem in the novel. Or if you assume that Kinbote is who he says/thinks he is. You might want to also double-check who has claimed to write what part of the novel. It's safe to say that Nabokov loved this trope.
* In ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' by Jonathan Stroud, much of the eponymous djinni's dry wit is based on his (probably intentionally) transparent attempts to cast himself in a favorable light in the chapters he narrates. This includes frequent (and often ironic) references to his own legendary power and cunning, and constant [[HistoricalInJoke name-dropping]] of his past masters (Ptolemy, notably, but also Solomon, Tycho Brahe, Nefertiti, Gilgamesh, etc. etc.) This is all the more obvious since the chapters narrated by Bartimaeus are alternated with chapters of third person narrative focused on the [=POVs=] of the other two protagonists, Nathaniel and Kitty, often covering the same events from their perspectives.
** Especially noticeable on the occasion in the first book in which the events are being told from Bartimaeus's perspective, and he calmly tells Nathaniel to "Just watch and listen." The narrative immediately switches to Nathaniel's (third person) perspective, in which he says "Just shut up and watch!"
--> '''Bartimaeus:''' Faquarl wasn't a sly old equivocator like Tchue; he prided himself on blunt speaking. Mind you, he did have a weakness for boasting. If you believed all his stories, you'd have thought him responsible for most of the world's major landmarks as well as being adviser and confidant to all the notable magicians. This, [[HypocrisyNod as I once remarked to Solomon]], was quite a ridiculous claim.
** In an interesting twist - the above turns out to be ''true'' in "The Ring of Solomon". Go figure.
* Several times, Greg seems to be treated as a ButtMonkey in ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid''. However; numerous times, he's actually being a bit of a JerkAss himself. This is one of the examples in which the unreliable narrator is actually played for laughs.
* The TwistEnding of ''Literature/LifeOfPi'' plays with this trope: [[spoiler:At the end of the novel, the narrator offers an alternate (and far more disturbing) version of the events thus far, and tells the audience to choose which story they want to believe.]]
* ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves'': Some confusion comes from [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis multiple literary agents]], but when you have at least one instance of one of the literary agents messing around with what another literary agent tells you, it goes beyond confusing. One of the narrators, in fact, [[spoiler:admits to making up the events of one chapter entirely, and then ''laughs at you for believing him.'']]
* Reams of paper have been written on the narrative technique used in ''Literature/TheBrothersKaramazov'', which ostensibly makes the narrator out to be a resident of the town, even placing him physically at certain events. It's clear, however, that he knows more than an observer could possibly know, and there are disturbing stretches of the narrative in which the narrator is completely absent, dissolved into the perspective of the characters. This becomes a problem when one character starts [[TheDevil speaking with things that probably aren't there]], and the critical reader will start to wonder about other times this character supposedly heard things. The real kicker though? The points at which the narrator's reliability are questioned are ''[[MindScrew pivotal moments in the book]]'', moments that affect your understanding of everything that has happened up till then.
* Similarly in ''Demons'', though in that novel, the narrator is more explicitly party to its events. He has a name (Anton Lavrentievich [=G-----v=], and he is explicitly addressed by a few characters throughout the text), describes himself as a good friend of Stepan Trofimovich Verkhonvensky (one of the central characters), and acknowledges that he used the spectacular events that ensue as the basis for this, his "first novel." Nevertheless, lots of things are described for which he could not possibly have been present (which he [[HandWave handwaves]] as having been fictionalized from the characters' accounts, related to him later), and especially the unspoken thoughts and inner motivations of several characters strain the bounds of the WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief.
* Oswald Bastable, or at least Creator/ENesbit's version of him.
* ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''. The story is told by Chief Bromden, who is schizophrenic. While the story is supposed to be true, he adds in plenty of insane, paranoid delusions. On the other hand, any student of American History with an understanding of the issues involved in the history of the Plains Indian tribes can see just how accurate the alleged delusions of Chief Bromden are.
---> But it's the truth even if it didn't happen.
* The author, Ken Kesey, played with this idea further in his second novel, ''Sometimes a Great Notion'', which is narrated at various points by at least a half-dozen different people. Each different person sheds new light on (or changes the facts in) previously shared events [[RashomonStyle in a way which reflects their own views and interests]], shifting the reader's sympathies in various conflicts several times.
* Creator/HenryJames's novella ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'': Are the ghosts real or simply the narrator's imagination?
* Robert Pirsig's novel ''Literature/ZenAndTheArtOfMotorcycleMaintenance'' deals, partly, with the unnamed narrator's attempt to stave off the re-emergence of his former "insane" personality, nicknamed "Phaedrus," and thereby protect his young son from sinking into madness himself. However, in the end, he realizes that "Phaedrus" is in fact the saner and more authentic personality, whereas his "normal" self is a facade which has in fact ''caused'' his son's mental problems. When he embraces and integrates his Phaedrus-self, father and son are healed and reconciled.
* In ''Literature/TheEyesOfMyPrincess'' by Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez, you are led to believe that the book is a about a love story that ended in the death of the protagonist's girlfriend. But then, almost at the end, you find out that nothing that happen after a specific event was real. The protagonist wrote fake entries into his diary, because he was disappointed about his crush's real personality.
* Creator/GeneWolfe is the undisputed master of this trope. If one of his novels is narrated in the first person it is guaranteed to contain incomplete, inaccurate or just missing information that the reader will have to figure out in order to make sense of the story.
** In ''Literature/BookOfTheShortSun'', there's one point where the narrator throws himself on the mercy of the reader for having lied to them, then proceeds to retell a completely different version of the events of the previous chapter. Just in case you hadn't figured out yet what was going on.
** His ''Literature/SoldierOfTheMist'' gives us Latro, a Roman mercenary who receives a head injury that completely destroys his short term memory beyond a 10-12 hour window. So the book consists of his adventures where he is constantly re-introducing himself to certain characters, some of whom try to take advantage of his disability. On the flip side, Latro can see and interact with the spirit world, so he often runs into gods and mythical creatures.
** The polar opposite is Severian, from the'' Book of the New Sun''. He claims to have perfect recollection his entire life. Careful reading will lead the reader to conclude he either does not, or he is purposely trying to mislead the reader, but keeps contradicting himself.
*** Severian is perhaps the least reliable narrator ever; unreliable because (by his own claim) he is unsure whether he was merely a man doing a necessary job well or a violent sadist, whether he was a rapist or a genuine lover [[spoiler: (he should know this by the end, because he has a copy of her personality, memories and thoughts in his head for most of the book)]] and/or whether he was, basically, the second coming of Jesus or not. [[spoiler: The unintentional time-travel incest and meeting between three and five other versions of himself can't help.]]
*** An often overlooked aspect of Severian's unreliability is that while his head is full of details, he is not really smart enough to join the dots and understand their significance. There are [[ShoutOut pointers in the book to the author Borges]] (Ultan and the Library). Borges' own character Funes the Memorious likewise has a head so full that he cannot think in abstractions.
** ''The Fifth Head of Cerberus'' uses this in several forms. The narrator in the eponymous first story spends quite some time in a fugue state resulting in ever-longer growing memory gaps, some of them several months long. The second story is narrated by John Marsch, a character in the first and third stories, who claims to have heard the story from another character (V. R. T.) who might have very good reasons to lie to him. The third story is from John Marschs diary and ties in with the other two stories, but has some inconsistencies that cast serious doubts on the reliability of Marsch as a narrator. A recurring theme in all three stories is the nature of identity (both cultural and personal), and the narrative inconsistencies play a big role in figuring out the overarching mystery.
** "Seven American Nights" may be the height of this trope in Wolfe's oeuvre. First, the author of the travelogue that makes up the story states at one point that he altered the text for fear of it being read by the American secret police. Second, the author placed some hallucinogen into a candy egg, then mixed up the eggs so he wouldn't know which one was the real one. Then he ate a single egg every night. That means that at least one of his nights of experiences could have been a hallucination. And one of the eggs got stolen, so it was ''also'' possible the none of the nights were a hallucination. Finally, at the end of the story, [[spoiler: the author of the travelogue's mother, who had been the one reading it (along with his fiancee), calls into question the veracity of the handwriting. So it's possible the entire thing is a forgery, or at the very least important parts.]]
** Alden Dennis Weer from ''Peace'' is another very unreliable narrator, even if at first he seems to be just an old man telling stories about his childhood and youth - and who could blame him if he gets them wrong? That is, until the reader starts to realise how many people around him have a tendency to die or mysteriously disappear.
* Likewise Creator/MichaelMoorcock's ''Colonel Pyat'' series.
* Likewise, the works of Jim Thompson. ''A Hell of a Woman'' is a prime example, wherein the main character's personality splits halfway through the tale and begins telling the story in parallel paths, one an idealistic version of what happened and the other, presumably, the real story.
* In ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' novels, set in the ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40K'' universe, the story is told from the point of view of Ciaphas Cain - and annotated by the Inquisitor, Amberley Vail, who constantly reminds the reader in her footnotes that Ciaphas is an habitual liar, and there are too many holes that can't be backed up by other sources for this story to be taken at face value. There's also some unreliability in the way Cain downplays all of his acts of heroism, saying that they were all just to protect his own skin or his reputation, but Amberly steps in every once in a while to point out that Cain gives himself far too little credit. Creator/SandyMitchell [[ShrugOfGod has stated that he doesn't know]] if Cain is the [[AFatherToHisMen kind-hearted]] DirtyCoward with (very) enlightened self-interest he claims to be, or a [[CowardlyLion genuine hero with an inferiority complex]].
** An interesting case where this is a ''minor plot point'' is the fact that Cain is predominantly concerned with things that happened directly to him. This results in [[FootnoteFever Inquisitor/Editor-In-Chief Amberly Vail]] having to consult other people's memoirs to fill in {{Plot Hole}}s, and, as she notes, they tend to have their own problems too. For instance, Jenit Sulla was serving in the the Valhallan 597th (the unit Cain was most often attached to) and is the best secondary record of his actions, but writes in bombastic PurpleProse and portrays Cain as the mighty world-bestriding hero everyone believes him to be, and a book named ''Purge the Unclean!'' provides a good overview on the setting and wider conflict in ''For The Emperor'', but the author blames absolutely everything on a conspiracy of rogue traders. And for ''extra'' fun, the character editing the books has a tendency to cut out the bits that don't make her, the editor, look good. Which includes (probably) sleeping with the self-confessed coward.
* The ''Literature/DuneEncyclopedia'' about the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' series is a big example of this. It is framed as an Encyclopedia within the ''Dune'' universe, purportedly 5,000 years after the events of the first novel and after the historical record has been greatly altered or lost. Several of the entries either contradict or give a different perspective on the events of the novels. It is up to the reader to determine what account, if any, "really" happened. Particularly interesting is the brief chronological timeline linking "our" time to the setting in ''Dune''. The fictional authors of the Encyclopedia have an idea of what happened in their "distant past" ... but it's [[FutureImperfect heavily filtered]] through the experience of thousands of years of living in a feudal system of government. World War 2, for example, is referred to as a "commercial dispute between House Washington and House Tokyo" within a British Empire that supposedly ruled almost the entire world.
* In ''Literature/WutheringHeights'', there are two main narrators. Mr Lockwood who is telling us the story, and Ellen Dean who is telling him about Heathcliff. Lockwood is shown very early on to be unreliable as he describes Heathcliff as a "capital fellow", only to later learn that that is really not the case. Ellen 'Nelly' Dean herself is full of biased opinions, and is very judgemental of most of the other characters. Since pretty much every revelation in the book is made whilst Nelly is telling Lockwood the history of the Heights, it is a possibility that she just made the whole thing up. She is also unreliable as a character, as she happily spills all of the people who confided in her's personal details and secrets to a complete stranger with little hesitation.
* Matthew Kneale's ''English Passengers'' is told from the perspective of at least a dozen different narrators. All of their accounts are of varying degrees of reliability, and many are clearly carefully editing or embellishing their stories to make themselves look better or to support their own prejudices.
* Elizabeth Peters uses a mild version of this in the Literature/AmeliaPeabody novels as a form of wry humor. The books are primarily in the first person, and purport to be journal entries. Mild comic irony is created through what the narrator leaves out, misinterprets, plays down, or is clearly deluding herself on.
* ''Literature/{{Atonement}}'': the story seems to end beautifully with the wronged protagonists united idyllically. It is then revealed that the story read so far is written by another character, Briony, who changes the ending to try and ''atone'' for wrong she wreaked on the protagonists who really die lonely and apart.
* Brilliantly done in ''[[Literature/FactionParadox Dead Romance]]'', by Lawrence Miles. The [[FirstPersonSmartass Narrator]] freely admits she has a serious drug problem, and even [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] when she takes a time out from describing an alien invasion to muse on the possibility that she's on the worst acid trip of her life.
-->"Maybe this whole book's just a list of the states of mind I was in when I wrote it, like a catalogue of all the things I've been putting into my system. Paranoia for cocaine. Multicoloured planets for acid. I'll be relaxed again soon, so you'll think I'm writing it on dope."
* Done in ''Literature/TalesOfMU'':
** Where the narrator Mackenzie isn't lying to the audience -- just frequently clueless or in deep denial. It's written so that the audience almost always knows what's going on even if she doesn't, which is sometimes subtle (the slow build-up to the revelation about [[UnsettlingGenderReveal Steff]]) and other times obvious (her overwrought FoeYay-based crush on the AlphaBitch, Sooni).
** Additionally, the [=MUnivers's=] history is also handled this way; so far, we've heard multiple accounts of the creation of the world, all of which contradict each other. But the kicker is that the gods exist, and semi-regularly involve themselves in worldly affairs, meaning that the gods themselves are {{Unreliable Narrator}}s.
* Done excellently in Jeff Vandermeer's Literature/{{Ambergris}} books. ''Shriek: An Afterword'' features two conflicting viewpoint characters, while ''City Of Saints And Madmen'' features stories set in Ambergris, stories written by various Ambergris residents, a story about an AlternateUniverse Jeff Vandermeer who gets sucked into Ambergris and goes crazy (or believes he is an author in an alternate universe resembling our own, or just decided to fuck with our heads) and stories penned in the name of various Ambergris residents but actually written by said alternate-universe Author Surrogate. And a couple of pamphlets.
** And adding to the confusion, the pamphlet ''King Squid'' and the ''Hoegbotton Guide to the Early History of Ambergris" actually were written by real Ambergrisians-Frederick Madnok and Duncan Shriek, to be exact. So whose copy was used?
** It's also done to a far lesser extent in the sequel Shriek: An Afterword, which is written by Duncan's sister Janice. She holds that she is offering a balanced yet opinionated account of her brother's life. Duncan takes issue with the first claim, and frequently disagrees with her over the course of the book.
** The third book, ''Finch'', averts this. Probably. It's narrated by the main character, John Finch, but there's nothing in the text to indicate that his narration is unreliable. However, Finch goes through so many mind screws, including [[spoiler:a couple of literal [[MushroomSamba mushroom sambas]] and several instances of severe torture]], that it's hard to tell whether his own perception is truly intact.
* The unreliable first-person narrator of Elizabeth Bear's ''Blood and Iron'' is ''so'' unreliable that, for the first third or so of the book, [[spoiler:she]] narrates everything in third person, including scenes in which [[spoiler:she herself]] is present. (It works, but this is definitely the Don't Try This at Home school of writing.)
* Creator/DianaWynneJones's ''Literature/TheDalemarkQuartet'' has an ''unreliable glossary'' on the history of Dalemark at the back of each book. Much of what it says is straightforward and fills in background to the story, but frequently it puts a slant on historical events which the reader can deduce to be wrong or at least incomplete.
* If you're reading an Alistair [=MacLean=] novel written in the first person, you're dealing with this trope.
* There is a consistency to some of the facts in ''Literature/OnlyRevolutions''. That is, certain events don't change between the two viewpoints the book is narrated from. However, for the vast majority of details, like names and places, those shift even in the same story. Is the Italian cook's name Viatitonacci or Viazazonacci or Viapiponacci? Is he even Italian? [[MindScrew I don't know!]]
* ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'': There are places where Rico is likely describing something that happened to him in the third-person. The biggest one involves [[spoiler:the death of the Lieutenant in his beloved Rascak's Roughnecks MI unit, where he describes the Lieutenant saving two privates before being killed. It's hinted that one of them was probably Rico.]]
* Nicely done in an understated way in Creator/DorothyLSayers's ''The Documents in the Case''. A series of letters written by each of the main characters to various other people are collected. Each person describes incidents from their point of view, ''each'' person showing themselves as paragons of virtue surrounded by fallible fools.
* In Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Literature/OddThomas'', Odd specifically says that he was asked to be an unreliable narrator, citing Christie's ''The Murder of Roger Ackroyd'', but indicating he doesn't really want to do that. In the end, though, [[spoiler:Odd says that he really has been misrepresenting things; whenever he said he and his girlfriend Stormy were destined for each other, he was speaking as his past self; by the end of the book Stormy is dead and they obviously are not living happily ever after.]] He handwaves the whole sequence at the end by saying that [[spoiler:both his parents are insane, and he expects madness runs in his family.]]
* James Clemens's ''Literature/TheBannedAndTheBanished'' discusses this trope - the narrator admits that he has told many fake versions of that story, but cannot die until he tells the truth. According to the last book, his many previous versions included but were not limited to giving the main character IncorruptiblePurePureness, making her actions ForTheEvulz, and making her an IdiotHero. The final version is a flawed ordinary person who happens to be TheChosenOne.
* Holden from ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye'' is a good example. The novel is about his downward spiral into emotional trauma, but he doesn't tell the reader this and lies about how he was feeling by making excuses of "just didn't feel like it," or the like.
** There is also the fact that most of the things he says shouldn't always be taken seriously, like people like Chapman have. One minute he's putting down the movie business and then the next he's recommending one of his favorites. Usually the people he calls "phonies" sometimes do the same things he does.
** He actually [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on it within the first chapter.
--->"I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible."
* At one point in ''Literature/TheThingsTheyCarried'', the narrator retells a story told to him by the squad's medic, Rat Kiley, prefacing it with the admission that though Kiley's stories always have a basis in truth, they are often greatly exaggerated, stating that "If Rat told you he slept with two women on a particular night, you can be safe in assuming one and a half." At another point, the narrator goes on a long rant about how a war stories' veracity has no relation to whether or not it actually occurred, and goes on to tell a "true" war story that he made up on the spot. He then states that the mark of a "true" war story is that the reader does not care if it is true.
** On another occasion, he recounts a story about another of the soldiers in his unit, which he later admits was actually him.
** Also found in ''Literature/GoingAfterCacciato'' by the same author. About halfway through the book, you realize that [[spoiler:Paul Berlin is probably still in the observation tower, and the whole story is just a daydream to excuse himself of complicity in the death of Cacciato, who (it appears) the squad killed to hush him up.]] But again, it's postmodern, so the question is: does any of this matter?
* ''Film/{{Spider}}'' by Patrick [=McGrath=], is narrated by the main character, who is insane. At the end of the book it turns out practically everything he recollected to the reader was heavily warped by his perception. [=McGrath=] specializes in this trope. ''Asylum'' is another excellent example.
* In three books of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' so far, Harry's narration is made unreliable by various magical influences. The first is in ''Dead Beat,'' in which [[spoiler:the psychic imprint that the fallen angel Lasciel left in his mind appears to him repeatedly in the form of "Sheila," a bookstore employee who doesn't actually exist]]. The second is in ''Small Favor'', in which [[spoiler:Mab takes his blasting rod (his weapon of choice in the series up to that point) and places a mental block which prevents him from even thinking about it or fire magic - only when another character draws attention to the blasting rod's absence does Harry (and the reader) realize something is wrong]]. The third instance is revealed in ''Ghost Story'': [[spoiler:in the previous novel, after deciding to become the Winter Knight, Harry set up his own assassination and then had Molly wipe his memory of doing so in order to keep Mab from becoming aware of it]].
** The dialogue of other characters (and the short stories narrated by other characters like Murphy and Thomas) imply that Harry is this trope for mundane reasons as well. For example, he assumes at one point that a side character [[note]](Hendricks, Marcone's bodyguard)[[/note]] is your stereotypical dumb grunt, but events in ''Even Hand'' (a short story narrated by Marcone) reveal that said character is in fact a CulturedBadass.
** In ''Skin Game'', there's nothing wrong with Harry's memory; he just neglects to inform the reader that [[spoiler: Nicodemus's hired mercenary Goodman Grey is secretly working for Harry]].
* Robert Irwin's brilliant ''Satan Wants Me'' is built around this trope. The narrator, Peter, is a young sociology student who likes sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, studies children's behavior in a school playground, and is attempting to be accepted into a magical lodge. Part of the requirements made of him in Black Book Lodge is to keep a diary for magical purposes, writing down everything that happened during the day. ''Satan Wants Me'' is, essentially, this diary - until in the middle of the book we find out that [[spoiler:this young sociologist's real object of study are the occultists themselves, and after his cover is blown he keeps on writing the diary just because and because his hand makes him write sometimes.]]
* Creator/RobertBloch's classic short story "Yours Truly UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper" is a great example. Set in the modern day, the first-person narrator relates an incident in which a friend of his becomes convinced that Jack the Ripper killed all those women as part of an occult ceremony to attain immortality. He assists his friend in his investigations and helps him track suspects [[spoiler:but the big twist is that the narrator himself is Jack the Ripper, and while his friend's theory was correct, he had the wrong suspect. This is revealed in the final line of the story when the narrator, holding a knife, says, "Just call me... Jack!"]] Bloch never cheats - you can re-read the story knowing the ending, and it remains internally consistent, although it changes from an odd little comedy to a chilling thriller.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is one unreliable narrator telling a story received from another unreliable narrator to the point that you simply can't know if any of the story really ever happened or is all just fantasy. It gets even funnier when you take into account the non-canon "sequel" that was written by a different author before Cervantes finished the second part.\\
\\
Played completely straight and even lampshaded: In the very first paragraph, Don Quixote's literary portrait has the narrator NOT telling us the name of Don Quixote's town, and the narrator admits he doesn't know very well if his name was Quixada, Quesada or Quexana. For the people of the seventeen century, this was an infringement of a very well known rule of the literary portrait, and so they immediately had the real impression that the author was a liar. Also, [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis the original author (Cide Hamete Benengeli) and the Translator (an anonymous moor)]] comment the text when the plot is being implausible, and the second author (Cervantes), [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial constantly remind us that this is a true history]]. All these tricks show that Cervantes clearly want the reader realizes that this tale cannot be true.
* Done very well in ''The Family of Pascual Duarte'', from Spanish author Camilo José Cela. Basically it tells the story of an unnamed editor(1) who finds and corrects the "memoirs" that he found in an old church, addressed to a bishop (2), who made a lot of censorship and correction on them beforehand, by Pascual Duarte (3), who admits that he mixed a lot of facts when writing them, along with the more stealthy: a) non linear narration of the events, b) subjectivization and constant digression to gain the favor of the reader and c) manipulation of the contents because of real life problems (lack of paper, tripped and mixed the pages, etc.). The purpose of the "memoirs"? [[spoiler: to gain clerical pardon, staving off his imminent execution]]. That's right, guys. An editor who edits an editor who edits the edited version of Pascual's life. It is subtly implied by the end of the book that the real life author in fact "edited" the story himself, making him another step in the long line of editors the book will have (publisher's editors, academic editors, "reader editor", etc.). This, by context, was a sort of TakeThat to Franquism, along with a few subtle political/social references/criticism (which make a big part of the novel objective).
* Wilkie Collins, the narrator of Creator/DanSimmons's ''Literature/{{Drood}}'', happens to be addicted to laudanum. [[spoiler:Not to mention that Charles Dickens mesmerizes him a few pages in and never gets around to unmesmerizing him. [[UnwittingPawn Oops!]]]]
* Creator/HPLovecraft's stories are usually narrated from a first-person point of view by said stories' main characters. The unreliability of the narrators may range from [[ThroughTheEyesofMadness becoming increasingly maddened as the narration progresses]] to seemingly sane persons questioning their own sanity and the quality of their recollections as they recall a horrific experience they lived through. Lovecraft also had a penchant for having some of his stories' narrators narrating from mental asylums. In ''The Temple'', the narrator is a German submarine commander in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, who steadfastly refuses to believe in anything supernatural, and instead he's sure that he went insane and became an unreliable narrator. Lovecraft loved (no pun intended) to play the RefugeInInsanity card when his characters faced an EldritchAbomination or related supernatural phenomenon. One could say that a lot of his stories can be a form of this Aesop: "If you ever see the Truth, run. For it has many tentacles."
* Corwin, the narrator of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'', for almost the entire series is telling the story to [[spoiler:Merlin]], giving Corwin numerous reasons to distort, add, or omit events. Added to this, Corwin is suffering from amnesia at the beginning of the story.
* Played with quite a bit in Patrick O'Brien's Literature/AubreyMaturin series.
** Early on the aphorism "Today's wardroom joint is tomorrow's messdeck stew" is introduced. Meaning that anything officers discuss today will be hazily retold by the crew tomorrow.
** Usually O'Brien gives both reliable and unreliable versions of events to contrast them, but occasionally only the crew's version will be told. Leaving the reader guessing as to what actually happened.
* Ernesto Sabato's ''Literature/OnHeroesAndTombs'' has a self-containing chapter, ''Report on the blind''. It's about a man who [[AncientConspiracy believes the world is being controlled by a cabal of blind people]] and tries to locate their secret lair under the streets of Buenos Aires. Due to the fantastical nature of his story, in contrast with the realism of the rest of the book, it's impossible to know what was true and what was just a paranoid delusion.
* ''Literature/DomCasmurro'', from Creator/MachadoDeAssis, a most famous realist Brazilian writer, has an interesting case. For a long time it was considered that the protagonist, who's the narrator, was simply and clearly cheated on by his wife, and that he himself as a character was completely just in his actions. Only long after his death it has become common knowledge (among professional critics at least) that the fact is, not only is Dr. Bento, the protagonist, in possession of a failing memory (he commits many continuity errors, AND lets it slip a few times as he complains about his memory), but is also a lawyer (no further explanation needed, really... but) and he's paranoid. Those all add up for a really unreliable narrator who struggles to remember simple facts, sees things that aren't really there AND wants the reader's approval.
* It is also noteworthy to mention that pretty much every single first-person narrator from Machado de Assis is unreliable, with a single extraordinary exception. Really extraordinary. In ''The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas'' the narrator is somewhat a lot more reliable than any other for a simple fact: He's dead. As such, he doesn't care about his life anymore and doesn't knowingly deceives the reader. However, as he narrates, he sometimes stumbles at points where he had lied to himself, and even in death he keeps the rationale of life about his personal thoughts, like his rationalization as to why he didn't go through with his relationship with Eugenia (she was poor and he was not, he convinced himself it was because she had a lame leg) and how he regretted paying a few silver coins to a black man who saved his life (because he didn't like parting with money, but he convinced himself it was because the man didn't want any reward).
* ''[[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy I, Jedi]]'' is made of this trope. Basically, [[MarySue Corran]] has an internal dialogue along the lines of "She so wants me, '''[[ChasteHero I must remain faithful to Mirax!]]'''" [[AuthorAppeal with every female character]].
* Apparently Creator/DouglasAdams retconned the divergences between the book, radio show, TV show, stage play, etc. of ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' by explaining that the source of the accounts was Zaphod Beeblebrox, about as unreliable as a narrator can get, who never remembered the story the same way twice.
** One section of [[Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy the radio series]], involving Zaphod's incredible escape from a particularly nasty fate, is explicitly based on Zaphod's own account. It begins:
--->Many stories are told of Zaphod Beeblebrox's journey to the Frogstar. Ten percent of them are ninety-five percent true, fourteen percent of them are sixty-five percent true, thirty-five percent of them are only five percent true, and all the rest of them are told by Zaphod Beeblebrox.
** Approximately half of the first series of the radio drama was negated when Trillian dismissed the storyarc as one of Zaphod's psychotic episodes. [[spoiler: Although it later turned out she was wrong.]]
* ''The Lace Reader'' begins with the first-person narrator introducing herself as a SelfProclaimedLiar.
-->(''Opening lines.'') "My name is Towner Whitney. Well, that's not exactly true. My first name is Sophya. I lie a lot. Never believe me."
** And the book gets less reliable from there. In the end, [[spoiler:it is revealed that her twin sister Lyndley's suicide, which drove her motivations throughout the book, never happened; her real sister's name was Lindsey, and she died before she was born. Mae did not give her up to Emma, Mae never was her real mother in the first place, Emma was. Cal's abuse of Lyndley was actually directed at Towner.]] Besides these revelations, it's nearly impossible to tell what else the narrator might have lied about.
* ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby'':
** Nick Carraway: most events that he describes you can accept are true, but there's one point where he claims to have said something to Gatsby that it's possible he merely ''wishes'' he'd said. It also seems possible that he's intentionally omitted some pieces of information about Gatsby due to his desire to see and portray Gatsby as in a favourable light.
** The scene when Nick gets drunk and starts losing time. It starts with "keep your hands off the lever" and somehow jumps to "[Mr. [=McKee=]] was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear". The reader is left to wonder if Nick is gay or bisexual, but Nick never mentions it (he probably doesn't know what happened either).
** One of the first things he says is how nonjudgmental he is. Followed by about 200 pages in which he leaves pretty much no other character unjudged. Cleverly mocked in ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'' [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=259 here (7th strip down)]].
** In fact, Nick explicitly states that the reason he doesn't judge people is essentially because it's not their fault that they're morally inferior to him.
* Marcel Proust's ''Remembrance of Things Past''/''In Search of Lost Time'' consists of thousands upon thousands of pages of this trope. "Marcel" never explicitly acknowledges that he is unreliable, but constantly undermines his own recollections such that it's impossible to trust anything he says 100%. Of course, the entire series is an exploration of the nature and limits of memory, so yeah.
* The young woman who narrates Sabina Murray's ''A Carnivore's Inquiry'' finds that her travels are accompanied by multiple murders, usually involving some sort of horrific mutilation. The end of the novel strongly implies that the book's real title should have been [[spoiler:[[ImAHumanitarian A Cannibal's Inquiry]].]]
* Melanie Rawn uses this one to interesting effect in her [[Literature/TheExiles Mageborn trilogy]]. While not apparent on a casual reading it's pretty clear that [[spoiler:Collan]]'s background doesn't quite add up. The only certain thing is that Gorynel Desse had something to do with it.
** Actually it's easier to count the things Gorynel Desse ''hasn't'' been running from behind the scenes, wily Chessmaster that he is.
* The teen series ''[[Literature/DramaSeries DRAMA!]]'' provides a subtle example. The narrator, Bryan, never outright lies to the audience, but he clearly interprets events based on his own preconceptions. For example, he goes out of his way to tell the readers what a jerk Eric Whitman is. Over the course of the series, it becomes obvious that Eric is actually an incredibly nice guy, almost to the point of being a CanonSue. [[spoiler:What's interesting is that this highlights Bryan's emotional growth. [[CharacterDevelopment By the end of the series, he admits that he was being unfair.]]]]
* Creator/PGWodehouse once collected story ideas and kept getting ones that were simply too absurd to be used. Then he had the brilliant idea of putting them all in the mouth of Mr. Mulliner, a fisherman spinning yarns at his local pub, who wouldn't be believed anyway.
* Within the context of the novel, Creator/BramStoker's ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' exists as a [[ScrapbookStory series of ''transcriptions'' of letters and newspaper clippings]] about the [[CharacterTitle eponymous vampire]]; about midway through the novel, {{Dracula}} destroys the originals by tossing them into a fireplace in order to discredit the protagonists should they ever wish to make their story public. The transcriptions are kept by Mina Harker, a trained secretary, who foresees the usefulness in keeping backups. However, Mina herself undergoes some pretty severe trauma throughout the course of the novel; apart from the whole vampire-hunting thing, her best friend is turned by Dracula (and then [[StakingTheLovedOne staked by her friends]]), and she [[VampireRefugee very narrowly escapes]] being ''turned into a vampire herself'', which [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness brings her mental state and her reliability as a recordkeeper into question.]]
* Read ''Literature/GentlemenPreferBlondes'' for a comedic (if archaically sexist) take on this trope.
* In Megan Whalen Turner's ''[[Literature/TheQueensThief The Thief]],'' the narrator, Gen, tells the story in such a way that the reader assumes he is an ignorant, dirt-poor, none-too-bright street thief being forced to help the other characters steal a precious artifact. Only at the end does it become clear that though Gen has never actually lied in his telling of the story, certain omissions and misdirections have allowed him to obscure the fact that [[spoiler:he is a queen's cousin, a hereditary master thief, and the [[TheChessmaster highly intelligent orchestrator of everything that has occurred in the story thus far]].]]
** This continues in the sequels, as characters interpret Gen's actions without knowing what is really going on is his head. This leads to some very interesting bits of confusion, though Attolia can be forgiven for not realizing that the man she [[spoiler:mutilated is still completely in love with her.]]
* ''Literature/TheHobbit'' has a somewhat odd example of this. In the first edition, Gollum bets his Ring in the riddle game with Bilbo. After Creator/JRRTolkien decided to [[CanonWelding set it in Middle-earth]] and write ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' as a sequel, this didn't fit with the concept of the Ring. So for the second edition of ''The Hobbit'', he {{RetCon}}ed the riddle game part of the story was changed to the "true" version of events. His explanation for the first edition? Bilbo was lying to legitimize his ownership of the Ring! He even obliquely apologizes for that in ''The Fellowship of the Ring'', at the Council of Elrond.
** Frodo in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is somewhat of an UnreliableNarrator himself, or at least he has a few in-universe examples of BeamMeUpScotty:
*** When he recalls what Gandalf had said about Bilbo's mercy to Gollum: ''Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.'' What Gandalf had actually said was "Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
*** When he reminds Gollum of the true nature of the One Ring: ''One Ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.'' There was no such line in any verse; the closest thing would be the inscription on the Ring, which read "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to ''bring'' them all and in the Darkness bind them."
*** Tolkien goes to considerable pains to inform us that LOTR was written by Frodo. Do you really believe that Gollum fell into the lava because he was "dancing about on the edge" and lost his footing? Sam Gamgee was put there for a *reason*.
* One of the central conceits of Creator/IsaacAsimov's "Azazel" short stories is that they're being told to an AuthorAvatar of Asimov by an Unreliable Narrator who may or may not just be making them up entirely.
* Music/NickCave's ''And the Ass Saw the Angel'' starts out as a peculiar [[MagicRealism Magic Realist]] work, but as we go on, the narrator has occasional complete blackouts, leading us to wonder how many of the supposedly Magic Realist events were in his mind. To reinforce the theme of subjectivity, the entire narrative is written in FunetikAksent.
* Justine Larbalestier's ''Literature/{{Liar}}.'' It's so bad that she actually lies about lying. [[spoiler: First she mentions her brother Jordan often, then she says she made him up, then she mentions that he did exist but he died.]]
** To the point where she says ''she's'' not even sure what really happened at the end.
* ''The Amnesia Clinic'' runs on this. Thematically, it's all about storytelling and liars, and for certain sequences it's unclear what versions of what we're told are true. For example, first we read about Anti's seduction by a quirky ManicPixieDreamGirl marine biologist who renamed herself Sally Lightfoot after a bad divorce and lost her ring finger to a snapping turtle. [[spoiler:The second time the story's told, it's recounted by Anti as all being one big lie fabricated to make his best friend Fabian jealous; the woman he named Sally Lightfoot was cold and distant, the two weren't even friends, and she had her ring finger cut off with a kitchen knife by her abusive husband. The rest, including the seduction, was a lie Anti told to make Fabian jealous, and to make reality a little less boring.]]
* The Literature/{{Dragaera}} books by Steven Brust:
** Vlad Taltos is an honest narrator, but in ''Dzur'' it turns out that [[spoiler:some of his memories have been altered by the Demon Goddess Verra, putting his recollections into question.]] Sometimes he also just misunderstands things, such as calling the Countess of Whitecrest a Lyorn, when she's really a Tiassa who dresses in Lyorn colors.
** ''Orca'' applies the trope to [[spoiler:Kiera. The story is told from her perspective, and it's in this story that we learn that she's actually an alternate identity for Sethra, the Enchantress of Dzur Mountain. Until another character figures it out, Kiera's narration does not overtly betray her secret.]]
** Paarfi of Roundwood, the narrator of Khavraan Romances, is a historical novelist who is dramatizing real events within his world. Brust has stated that Paarfi gets plenty of details wrong and sometimes just makes things up. Certain characters behave very differently within Paarfi's stories than how they behave in Vlad's recollections.
** One notable contrast of unreliable narrators is the conflict between Aerich and a lowly Teckla, which is given dramatically different tellings by Paarfi and the Teckla himself in different books. According to the Teckla, it was an epic duel, while according to Paarfi, the Teckla scampers off after little more than a lordly glare from Aerich.
* Sarah Caudwell's (very funny) four legal mysteries are narrated by ''Literature/HilaryTamar'' (of unknown gender). While the stories can be considered 'accurate' the narrator's roles and motivations are always given a very shiny gloss (I just happened to need a book in that room, and I just happened to need one that was low down behind the sofa. Oh no, now they've entered the room and started talking about the mystery without realising that I'm here).
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein:
** ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove'' is a (sort of) autobiography of immortal(?) Lazarus Long. Long himself states in the book that some of the details may or may not be true. A later book, ''Literature/ToSailBeyondTheSunset'', has the lead character state out right that Lazarus had lied all through the book.
** At one point in TEFL, Long offers to tell the true story of what happened to the Jockaira from ''Literature/MethuselahsChildren''; another character declines to hear it, asserting that the story is already in the Howard Families archives "in four conflicting versions."
** Heinlein could be said to be the unreliable narrator of his own life: for decades fans accepted, without question, his assertion that "Life-Line" was the first work of fiction he'd written ([[Literature/ForUsTheLivingAComedyOfCustoms it wasn't]]) and that he'd written it for a contest (he hadn't).
* This is thoroughly and effectively explored in James Hogg's ''Literature/ThePrivateMemoirsAndConfessionsOfAJustifiedSinner''. The memoir is framed as a FictionalDocument. The Sinner himself is a religious fanatic who portrays himself as a righteous Calvinist martyr and the people he's killed as horrible, horrible people. He's seemingly helped by the Devil himself, but then again, he might just be insane. The editor who researches the events in the Sinner's journal exposes many falsehoods and contradictions, but he himself isn't completely reliable either - because of his strictly rationalist outlook, he cannot reconcile the seemingly supernatural events described and tries to explain them away, even though some things don't quite make sense as a result.
* The Repairer of Reputations, a part of the ''Literature/TheKingInYellow'' features this. From the get-go, the narrator, Hildred, mentions that he suffered a head injury that led him to be committed to an asylum before being released after a couple of years, but he then vehemently insist that he was unjustly detained and that he was never insane, meaning that his account of events is already untrustworthy from the beginning. And when end reveals that [[spoiler:he died in an asylum the previous day]], large portions of plot become extremely questionable. To top it off, he even fairly early reveals that he read the in-universe "The King In Yellow", which is a BrownNote that drives you insane.
* James Tiptree, Jr.'s "[[http://www.lexal.net/scifi/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/tiptree2/tiptree21.html The Women Men Don't See]]" is narrated by a super-manly shadowy ex-spy MightyWhitey who thinks he knows what kind of story he's in--after the plane crashes, he's going to assume leadership and save the female passengers in the plane crash with the help of the obedient Maya pilot. He's utterly, utterly wrong, and you have to read around the edges of his ego and his narration to figure out what's ''actually'' going on. (A good critical essay describing the technique is [[http://zeroatthebone.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/review-the-women-men-dont-see-by-james-tiptree-jr/ over here.]])
* Tom Wingfield from ''Theatre/TheGlassMenagerie''. He seems reliable until [[spoiler:he abandons Amanda and Laura]]. That, combined with his final speech, demonstrate that he has strong motives to justify his actions and put himself in a positive light. In fact, we only see the ending of the play from Tom's perspective - and even though it is somewhat sad, it's suspiciously redemptive for everyone. Also, if Tom was in the right, why is his conscience plagued by memories of Laura?
* A short story, "Literature/TheYellowWallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, features a narrator who is unreliable on all levels. Is she driven to insanity? Is she already insane from the beginning? Is the house actually haunted? Is she actually dead? If she isn't insane upon her arrival, at what point in the story does she turn insane? Are the peripheral characters of the story real, figments of her imagination entirely, ghosts, or real but turned into different characters via her delusion? Are any of her observations trustworthy, such as the description of her room and reasons why there are ''bars on the windows'' and ''hooks and rings'' in the walls? There is evidence to support any of the possible theories, and, since the narrator actually ''is'' insane by the end of the story, absolutely none of the questions are answered.
* ''Literature/AdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn'': One of the most famous unreliable narrators ever [[BreakingTheFourthWall breaks the fourth wall]] [[LampshadeHanging and hangs a lampshade on it]] in the very first paragraph.
-->"You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer''; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. MarkTwain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly -- Tom's Aunt Polly, she is -- and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before."
* [[Creator/FranzKafka Kafka]]. Due to his famous style, he's able to directly contradict himself within the same ''sentence'', AND make it so subtle that a casual or superficial reader will scarcely notice. ''Literature/TheMetamorphosis'' and ''The Judgment'' stand out in this respect.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Most of the POV characters are reliable, if biased, narrators, but there's one interesting instance of true unreliability: Sansa's frequent "recollections" of Sandor Clegane kissing her during the Battle of the Blackwater. Which would be understandable, if in fact he ''had''. During the actual scene, "for a moment she thought he meant to kiss her," but he does not; by the next book she's making occasional references to the kiss occurring, and by the fourth, she can recall how the kiss ''felt''. WordOfGod confirms that it's all in her head. Sansa's misremembering what happened with Sandor is an indication that she's been so emotionally traumatized by the abuse heaped on her that she clings to the memory of someone who she saw as a protector in King's Landing, even though the kiss never happened and in fact he almost raped her.
** Arya can also be unreliable sometimes in that, being a little girl, she can misread the behavior of adults or fail to grasp the real significance of what she sees.
** It's also worth comparing different [=POVs=] of the same character: compare Catelyn's chapter with Jaime in ''A Clash of Kings'', where he comes off as an obnoxious, egotistical {{jerkass}}, and Jaime's own first chapter in ''A Storm of Swords'' where he becomes bitter, biting, and [[JerkassFacade well-aware of his own limits]]. Jon Snow has a similar disconnect; in his own chapters he reads like TheFettered, but from Samwell's POV he's an exhausted AntiHero. And then there's Stannis (whose head we've not got in as of yet), who from Catelyn's POV is a dour jerk, from Davos' POV is a WellIntentionedExtremist, and from Jon's POV is ToBeLawfulOrGood. When we see Littlefinger from Catelyn's perspective, we feel bad for him, in Ned's, he seems like a SmugSnake, and Tyrion consideres him a formidable foe, but it's not until Sansa meets him that it's clear how utterly ''[[{{Ephebophile}} slimy]]''. It should be interesting to see how other characters view Daenerys when they finally cross paths with her...
** Backstory is sometimes given in bits and pieces from various characters, each with their own interpretation of history. For example, Meera Reed's telling of the tourney at Harrenhal (as she was told by her father) is dreamy and whimsical, while Barristan's memories of the same event are melancholic and bitter.
** This extends to the supplementary material as well. ''Literature/ArchmaesterGyldaynsHistories'' and ''Literature/TheWorldOfIceAndFire'' are in-universe accounts written by characters who, for the most part, didn't witness the events they're writing about firsthand. Archmaester Gyldayn frequently notes that history often gets lost or distorted over the years, though he himself shows some slight biases.
* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheScrewtapeLetters''. The book is an EpistolaryNovel made up of letters written by a ''demon'', so of course he's more than willing to twist the truth to his own ends.
* ''Literature/ILucifer'' can likely claim having one of if not ''the'' most unreliable narrator a person could hope to find in Lucifer himself. Well, Literature/TheBible was admittedly ''one-sided''.
* Pretty much anything by Christopher Priest. ''The Affirmation'' is pretty notorious for this: [[spoiler:the narrator did not spend weeks cleaning up and repainting the summer house he was staying at, he never actually wrote his memoirs, and it is never clear if he was from London and invented Jethra or vice-versa.]] Same goes for ''The Prestige'', where [[spoiler:one of the character's memoirs is actually written by a set of twins.]] Even ''The Inverted World'' plays with the trope, though [[spoiler:there it's more because the narrator doesn't understand the nature of his own world.]]
* The Caitlín Kiernan novel ''[[Literature/TheRedTree2009 The Red Tree]]'' takes this trope UpToEleven with not just one but at least three and at some points five levels of unreliable narration. First, there is the main character Sarah: the story is told in the form of her journal, and she's clearly losing it (a note at the beginning mentions she killed herself after the events in the story). Then there is the unknown person who collected Sarah's journal and mailed it to her editor. Finally, there is the editor herself, who is distinctly coy in her note about any details that might confirm or deny Sarah's story. If that weren't enough, there are long sections of the book where Sarah is supposedly quoting from a manuscript she found. The author of this manuscript is also of questionable sanity, and there are several places where he is quoting from sources of questionable veracity. Not only is it impossible to tell if anything in this book actually happened outside anyone's imagination, it isn't even possible to tell whose imagination it might have been. It works, though.
* Ikkun from Nisioisin's ''Kubishime Romanticist'' never outright lied to the reader, but frequently left out important details, such as the reason he was feeling sick upon seeing [[spoiler:Mikoko]]'s body. It was because he had [[spoiler:eaten the evidence that would incriminate her as the murderer, and only because he had been the one to drive her to suicide in the first place.]]
* In ''Literature/TallTaleAmerica'' the author claims that the entire book is a true story and goes into detail about all the trustworthy sources he consulted in putting it together. Then he says, "And on top of all this, I've made improvements of my own all along the way - [[InsaneTrollLogic fixed up fact after fact to make it truer than it ever was before.]]"
* ''Literature/NotesFromUnderground'' by Creator/FyodorDostoevsky is one of the first modern uses of the unreliable narrator, though it's not the TropeMaker since ''Literature/ArabianNights'' and ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'' employed it long before.
* The beginning of ''Number 9 Dream'' features the narrator recounting a bunch of crazy action-movie adventures that turn out not to have happened. Once you get to the meat of the story this habit seems to stop, but given the narrator's established tendency to mix fact with fantasy and the many things he accomplishes over the course of the book, from the plausible-yet-mildly-improbable ([[spoiler:finding his DisappearedDad by complete coincidence, patching things up with his estranged mother, dating a beautiful musical prodigy (despite being kind of a loser himself)]]) to the cinematically unlikely ([[spoiler:surviving being thrown into the middle of a conflict between two Yakuza factions, being instrumental in exposing a huge organization of organ thieves using a document given to him by a mysterious private detective he met only once and a program given to him by a friend who happens to be a master hacker who's just been scouted by the American government after hacking into their most secret files]]), the reader is left wondering whether any of it actually happened.
* Kyon from the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' series is a possible example here. Despite the title, he's the main character. He's also the narrator, and it seems at times he confuses the two. Dialogue made by himself the Narrator will be responded to by other characters as if he the Character said it; while he the Narrator will point out details that he the Character is either [[SelectiveObliviousness ignoring or supposedly isn't aware of.]] It's to little wonder that this has made a few people paranoid about him.
** Also, Kyon usually [[ObfuscatingStupidity knows much more than he admits]], even to the reader. His habit of stating to [[MrExposition wordy characters]] "I don't understand you," contrasts with his tendency to go off on downright cerebral tangents in a way which is...frustrating. Ignoring completely that his understanding of whateve is being discussed is often immediately made clear by the narration.
** There have been passages where Kyon has begun to iterate a thought, then cut himself off and invoked SelectiveObliviousness because no no, it's best to not even think that. Who knows how many ideas character-Kyon refuses to consider and how many facts narrator-Kyon deliberately twists? The great mysteries of the series are divided between things Kyon presumably doesn't know at the time the story is set, and things Kyon has ''neglected to mention'' including [[NoNameGiven any part of his real name]]. After eleven novels, it looks like it's either plot or capriciousness. There's also undeniable color to depictions of Kyon and those around him.
* Timothy Kensington from the book "SCIENCE!" (a.k.a. "True Science") skews every event to try to fit his point of view, which is that Stratton's theories about altering reality are pure craziness. He remembers everyone wrong in order to convince everyone that his friend's theories about remembering everything wrong are insane. Yet, here he is, narrating this book, expecting you all to believe him unquestioningly.
* ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' was narrated by a faery psychologist at least a decade after the events occurred, the account rummaged together through the accounts of many involved. The end of the book itself states that at least 6% was 'unavoidable extrapolation', though it was likely a much higher percentage, seeing as many of the people involved in the storyline die in the following books. The narrator himself, Dr. Jerbal Argon, is a minor character in the book (as well as the later novels), though there is a good chance that he simply added himself in for the popularity that would ensue.
* The Time Traveller in ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'' by Creator/HGWells forms various hypotheses about the nature of the Eloi as the story progresses. Also, due to the novel's FramingDevice, the narrator's spellings of the few samples of Eloi language that readers get are likely poor reflections of the actual phonology, as neither the Time Traveller nor the outer story's narrator is a linguist by profession.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' has the hero as third-person narrator, except in first chapter in some books:
** Lampshaded twice in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'': in Gringotts, the narration tells the path in full of stalactites and stalagmites, then Harry confesses he can't tell the difference between them. Later: "Perhaps it was Harry's imagination, after all he'd heard about Slytherin, but he thought they looked like an unpleasant lot."
** And in the whole saga, were the Slytherin really mostly bad guys, or do they look like it because Harry is an unreliable narrator? The debate is far from over.
** Throughout the series, Harry's narration describes Pansy Parkinson, the AlphaBitch, as ugly. When Pansy is quoted in one of Rita Skeeter's articles, Rita calls her "pretty and vivacious". It's possible Rita was lying as she is prone to do, but it's also possible that Harry sees Pansy as ugly because he hates her. Or perhaps it's both and actually Pansy is just average-looking. Also, Draco Malfoy seems to have a fling with Pansy (during their school years at least). With his typical arrogance, would he go for, and want to be seen with, an ugly girl? Or even a plain one?
* Theodor Storm's novella ''Der Schimmelreiter'' (the rider on a white horse) puts the main story into question by the expedient of a triple framing story: 1. Storm begins by saying he is writing down from memory a story that he read in a magazine when he was young (but his memory already is so bad that he isn't sure in which magazine). 2. The narrator in the magazine tells of how he came to an in on the North Sea coast where he heard of the ghostly Schimmelreiter, and when he enquires further, 3. the local schoolmaster tells him the story of Hauke Haien, a young man who invented a more modern type of dyke who died in a storm flood and who according to popular belief became a ghost haunting that stretch of the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. The schoolmaster tells it rationally, as a psychological drama, with no supernatural elements, but he also says that his (superstitious) housekeeper would tell the story very differently.
* The French SciFi novel ''{{Literature/Malevil}}'' is presented as the memoirs of Emmanuel Comte [[AfterTheEnd following]] WorldWarIII. He doesn't have perfect memory of all events and so his friend Thomas provides correcting notes after certain chapters. In one circumstance, Thomas corrects what would be a glaring PlotHole to anybody in-universe reading the memoir: Emmanuel doesn't mention a single word about the solution to their {{Polyamory}} situation. However, Thomas isn't necessarily more reliable, as some of his notes are less correcting of mistakes and omissions and more arguing of opinions. At one point, Thomas decides he needs to debate Emmanuel's assessment of the only woman in their group and contradict his praise of her intelligence and beauty.
* ''Literature/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman, the narrator, is clearly insane and has bizarre hallucinations (i.e., a Cheerio interviewed on a talk show, being stalked by a park bench) which he believes to be true. It's also ambiguous whether he committed the brutal (and, occasionally, ''preposterous'') murders that he describes in graphic detail.
* ''Literature/ForWantOfANail.'' The entire book is written as a history of an alternate world where America lost the Revolutionary War, eventually breaking into the United States of America and Mexico. After such lush detail into the history of this world, the book ends with a "critique" by a scholar that notes that much of the history presented is biased and omitting key details and moments.
* ''Literature/LunarPark''. The narrator is a writer named after the author of the novel: Creator/BretEastonEllis who is an unreliable narrator, because he describes things the other characters don't see or feel. The main character is abusing drugs; some of the hallucinations might be to some extent related to that. Also, there is a intertextual reference: Ellis' character has apparently also written a novel titled ''American Psycho'' and he says: "Patrick Bateman is an unreliable narrator."
* Joanne Harris' psychological thriller ''blueeyedboy'' is told through blog postings from the eponymous character (a self-proclaimed murderer) and his online acquaintance "Albertine," both of whom take sizable liberties with the truth and blur the line between fiction and reality constantly.
* In ''Literature/MerlinDarklingChildOfVirginAndDevil'', one chapter involves Merlin facilitating [[BrotherSisterIncest Arthur and Morgana's relationship]]. The next chapter has him explain that it never happened, he just induced a hallucination in Arthur (and himself, hence the ExactWords "If this is a dream, lord, it is one I share with you") ... and then immediately reveals that this is what he ''thought'' happened, but Morgana had other ideas. There are a few other moments when Merlin hides what's going on, thinks he knows what is going on but doesn't or -- as above -- both simultaneously. He has, after all, gone mad and is telling this story to a pig.
* The same author's ''Falstaff'' uses this to play with Creator/WilliamShakespeare's AnachronismStew; the editor of Sir John Fastolfe's memoirs believes they cannot possibly be true because (for example) the drink "sack" was unknown in Fastolfe's time (and therefore, from the editor's perspective, doesn't exist). However, when he reaches the point of denying Fastolfe himself exists, despite being the man's stepson, it becomes open as to which of them is the less reliable.
* Zoe Heller's ''What Was She Thinking?'' (filmed as ''Film/NotesOnAScandal''): Barbara purports to be a cool, unbiased narrator of her friend Sheba's disastrous affair with a fifteen-year-old boy. In fact, [[spoiler: she's a PsychoLesbian StalkerWithACrush who's blatantly using the upheaval in Sheba's life to isolate and control her.]]
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'', at the start of the second part Orual reveals that the first half of the book was not an accurate version of what happened, but she does not have the time to revise the whole book, so she merely continues forward, explaining how she learned she was wrong.
* The protagonist of ''Literature/TheCuriousIncidentOfTheDogInTheNighttime'' is autistic, and while he has perfect recall and so relates everything word for word, facial expressions are naturally absent and therefore many things that may seem confusing or abrupt are simply the way they look from his eyes.
* In the ''danger.com'' series, one book, ''Bad Intent'', features mild-mannered Brian Rittenhouse, the POV character who's on his school's student council. About a third of the way through the book, it actually ''names this trope'' as the POV character reveals that he is, in fact, also an online alter ego named "Lobo" and explicitly instructs the reader to look up the concept of the unreliable narrator.
* In ''Literature/TheLongingOfShiinaRyo'' WordOfGod and the sections narrated by other characters indicated that Shin-tsu may be this. Or maybe they're the unreliable ones.
* The ''Literature/AmeliaPeabody'' series provides a fantastic example; the narrator's depth stems from her unreliability as a narrator, which can be due to either omission or equivocation. She reports her perceptions, but despite her vaunted skills in understanding people, she routinely misses the actual meaning of events; for example, when people speaking with her begin coughing, she totally misses their disguised laughter and offers them cough drops. She also is often oblivious to her own viewpoints and prejudices, and even when she is aware of them, pride stops her from relating them to the reader. Victorian sensibilities also prevent her from discussing delicate subjects.
* ''Literature/WeNeedToTalkAboutKevin'' leaves open the possibility that Eva, the title character's mother and narrator, may have been exaggerating her son's malignancy to absolve her of any responsibility. Several times she assumes he's responsible for an incident with no evidence to support this, and on at least one of these occasions she's actually proved wrong. The end of the story further adds to the unreliability, in that [[spoiler:the entire FramingDevice was a lie -- the book is written as a series of letters from Eva to her husband Franklin, who was actually one of the victims of Kevin's rampage but who most readers will assume is still alive because of the story's presentation]].
* Richard Powell's ''Pioneer Go Home!'' and ''Don Quixote, U.S.A.'' are both told by utterly naive narrators (from stupidity due to excessive inbreeding in the first case and a [[ShelteredAristocrat privileged-but-sheltered]] upbringing in the second) who credit nearly everybody they meet with the best of intentions and, largely due to this, misinterpret several key events.
* Russell H. Greenan's ''The Secret Life of Algernon Pendleton'' is told by a man who got a brain concussion during WWII and earnestly believes that objects can have souls. Considering that his best friend is a china pitcher named Eulalia, large portions of his narrative can be regarded as doubtful at best.
* ''Literature/CountAndCountess''. As an EpistolaryNovel, it technically has two narrators, but it's usually a good rule of thumb that Vlad will be lying or exaggerating while Elizabeth tells the honest truth without much emotional embellishment.
* Both in and out of universe in ''Literature/TheThirteenthTale''. Vida has a reputation for lying to people about her life story, so much so that Margaret refuses to work on this project without independently verifiable sources. Also, certain details of Vida's story raise questions for the reader.
* In Sharon Creech's ''The Wanderer Sophie'', a 13 years old girl, is sailing in a small boat across the Atlantic, with her two cousins (both also 13) and three uncles. The story is given to us as her and Cody's (one of the cousins) diaries. At first Sophie's diary seems consistent and convincing. However, when comparing it with Cody's diary, we quickly notice that Sophie blacks out any notions that [[spoiler: she is actually adopted. Even when somebody in her vicinity uses the word "orphan", she changes it to something else, or else outright skips it in the diary]]. Also she slightly changes all Bompie's stories so that [[spoiler: he has to struggle in the water, like she did once]].
* WordOfGod says that in the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' novel ''The Last Hope'', [[spoiler: Dovewing hallucinated Firestar walking away from Tigerstar, and that he actually died from wounds received fight with him.]] Then again, WordOfGod from another of the authors states that [[spoiler: Firestar died from the smoke of a nearby tree that was struck by lightning]], so this may actually be a case of unreliable God.
* In Creator/ChristopherBrookmyre's ''Literature/ASnowballInHell'', any section narrated by [[VillainProtagonist Simon Darcourt]] is unreliable due to the fact that he spends the majority of his time lying to or misleading the audience, especially about [[spoiler: his motives and, importantly, his cancer, or lack thereof]]
** Also by Brookmyre, ''Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks'' features the unreliable duo of Jack Parlabane and Michael Loftus, both of whom conceal the fact that they are [[spoiler: not in fact dead]]. A third-person narrator also gets in on the act by misleading the reader as to the true identity of [[spoiler: the person who sabotaged Michael's flat]].
** Really, most Brookmyre mysteries involve intricately constructed networks of misdirection, careful omission and outright lies by at least one narrator to maintain his preferred illusion until such time as he decides to deliver the twist.
* Mandeville just comes out and says he is one in ''Literature/DirgeForPresterJohn''.
* In ''Gilligan's Wake'' (by Tom Carson), all the narrators have a trace of this, but the Professor takes the cake. For one thing, he commits [[spoiler:serial rape]] but his narcissism convinces him that this an act of generosity to his inferiors (who are, naturally, grateful). For another thing, he ends the story believing that [[spoiler:he, like every other American, is a {{kaiju}}]]: it is strongly implied that he is really [[spoiler:completely out of touch with reality, and living on the street]]. He is so confused and forgetful at this point that it retroactively turns the detailed, if slanted, nature of the preceding narrative into a very odd mixture of unreliable narrator and implausibly InfallibleNarrator.
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in [[Creator/JorgeLuisBorges Borges']] "Literature/TlonUqbarOrbisTertius":
--> "We [[[SelfInsertFic Borges and a fellow writer]]] became lengthily engaged in a vast polemic concerning the composition of a novel in the first person, whose narrator would omit or disfigure the facts and indulge in various contradictions which would permit a few readers - very few readers - to perceive an atrocious or banal reality"
* The YA superhero novel ''Literature/CharlottePowers'' is presented as the eponymous character's journal. Although afflicted with an 'honesty curse' that means she can't tell a direct lie, Charlotte often focuses on the wrong thing, goes off on a tangent, or simply omits information. [[spoiler:The fact that she's under psychic influence for much of the story doesn't help.]]
* Ishmael, the FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator from ''Literature/MobyDick'', is often suggested to be one, mostly due to the famous opening line "Call me Ishmael", which has been the subject of considerable analysis. The thinking generally goes like this: Saying "Call me Ishmael" instead of "My name is Ishmael" may imply that Ishmael isn't his true name, and if he didn't tell the truth about his name, then you can't be certain he told the truth about anything else after that.
** There is also the issue of the narrator's frequent digressions about whales; much of which flatly contradict the established science of the time. A fact that the narrator acknowledges at one point, stating that he prefers his beliefs on the subject over the general consensus; and further cementing his unreliability.
* The first half of Elizabeth Wein's UsefulNotes/WorldWarII novel ''Literature/CodeNameVerity'' is told entirely through the written confession of an Allied agent to her Nazi captors. Unsurprisingly, she's not giving them (or us) the full story...
* The short story "Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story" by Russell Banks is built on this trope. The narrator Ron repeatedly insists that he was [[HerCodenameWasMarySue an extremely handsome, modest, and nice guy]] and that Sarah Cole was an extremely ugly woman he dated out of pity/niceness, but it doesn't take much reading between the lines to see that Ron is not ''nearly'' as nice a guy he tries to pass himself off as and that he constantly refers to himself in the third person because he's secretly ashamed of how poorly he treated Sarah. He even seems to realize it at the end when his narration breaks down and he suddenly begins describing Sarah as a gorgeous goddess who he stupidly and cruelly hurt, implying that not only does he know deep down that ''he'' didn't deserve ''her'' instead of the other way around but also that he might have described her as much worse-looking than she actually was to justify his treatment of her.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheGreatDivorce'', the damned will do this about their lives if they can. When talking with the Bright Ones, they get (gently) called on this, but on the bus, the Tousle-Headed Poet presents his life as NeverMyFault, even though it is clear he is a lazy, untalented moocher, and on their arrival, a grumbling woman blames her death on everyone around her at the time, someone should have managed to save her, although it was certain she was gravely ill -- she complains of the surgery, but during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, when this is set, operations were a matter of last resort.
* Creator/RobertCharlesWilson's ''[[Literature/JulianComstock Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America]]'' has a lot of fun with this trope, with the narrator simply not noticing important things about his friends, not being able to tell reality from propaganda, and often being manipulated and played, without even realising it.
* ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon'' has the mentally challenged narrator Charlie Gordon, whose disability means he often doesn't completely grasp the situations he encounters. For example, the "friends" he hangs out with repeatedly humiliate Charlie without his batting an eye.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'', large chunks of the book are people's first person accounts of their own history. Even those who do not actually lie do have their own axes to grind.
* In ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'', the reader is not supposed to agree with Arronax that Captain Nemo is the greatest guy ever. Arronax shows clear signs of StockholmSyndrome and excuses everything Nemo does throughout the book [[spoiler:until Nemo's VillainousBreakdown]]. Most adaptations completely miss this and [[MisaimedFandom portray Nemo as the hero]].
* British statesman Lord Chesterfield points out a problem with telling about RealLife events in ''Literature/LettersToHisSon'': "A man who has been concerned in a transaction will not write it fairly; and a man who has not, cannot." (letter 37)
* In ''Film/TheRemainsOfTheDay'', Stevens's repression of his emotions in all situations results in many moments where even as it's incredibly obvious what he must be feeling, he refuses to acknowledge having any feelings at all — his father's death, for instance.
* Phil's first-person narration in ''Literature/{{Snyper}}'' isn't technically unreliable but is full of subjective filtering and misinterpretation of the facts he's presenting, such as assuming Ashley is just a DumbBlonde secretary even though other characters frequently say otherwise.
* Hagar Shipley (formally Currie) from Margaret Laurence's "Literature/{{The Stone Angel}}" fits the bill in that she is a very proud, cynical woman. It can be very difficult to discern whether she is exaggerating about somebody or if the negative attributes she applies to someone is all in her head.
** Lottie is a girl Hagar grows up with, and often Hagar will dismiss her as a nobody. She also assumes that when Lottie makes a comment about her, it is meant in a derogatory manner.
** Hagar describes her husband as a low-class slob who is lazy and not worth her respect; insight into Bram's character, however, can reveal that Hagar drove him to drink.
* The ''Literature/ThievesWorld'' SharedUniverse used this as a way of dealing with [[ContinuitySnarl continuity errors]] between the many authors who wrote for it. A preface framing story has an old man explaining to a new arrival to the city of [[WretchedHive Sanctuary]] that one should not believe everything in the stories one hears, as everyone spins the stories to fit their agendas, to make themselves sound more important in a good story, or less to blame in a bad one, and two people telling the same story may have wildly different variations.
* The ''Franchise/{{Starcraft}}'' novel ''I, Mengsk'' contains two sections: one narrated by [[MagnificentBastard Arcturus Mengsk]], manipulator extraordinaire, and one narrated by his son Valerian. In Arcturus's segments, he is a perfect student, blows past his peers in every way, charms any girl he wants, is a perfect soldier, etc. etc. etc. Other people are either smitten with him (like his girlfriend Juliana) or fools (like his father Angus). In Valerian's segments, he paints a very different, much darker picture of Arcturus that's more in keeping with his video game appearances and other novels such as ''Liberty's Crusade''. It demonstrates how, although most people ''are'' swept up by his father's rhetoric and believe the elder Mengsk is who he claims to be, Valerian [[BrokenPedestal has grown beyond that]] and sees the monster his father really is for himself.
* H. G. Wells's ''Literature/WarOfTheWorlds'' makes more sense if we doubt the narrator's reliability. A progressive-minded Victorian, he is dazzled by the Martians' technology, and sees them as embodying the naive popular view that humans were "evolving" towards beings of pure brain without "animal" functions like eating. He constantly describes them as coldly brilliant superminds, whereas their actual behaviour - their rampaging vandalism, their unpreparedness for Earth's seas, and, of course, their fatal ignorance of Biology 101 - suggests a bunch of dumb adventurers with guns running wild among helpless primitives. Given that Wells's known intention was to show the British how it would feel to be the savages they were busy conquering, this misguided admiration may be exactly the effect he intended.
* Thomas Cromwell of ''Literature/WolfHall'', while not precisely the narrator, has only a very selective section of thoughts revealed during the book, and tends to skip over thinking about many of his more morally dubious actions. At the end of the sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, it is implied by another character that he chose the five men charged with adultery with Anne Boleyn because they took part in a masque insulting his former master Wolsey. This is probably true but he never thinks about this (or indeed any other reasons) while he is selecting the men.
* The video games ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' and ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag'' were novelized in the form of ''Literature/AssassinsCreedForsaken'' and ''[[Literature/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag Assassin's Creed: Black Flag]]'', both of which are narrated as Haytham and Edward Kenway respectively narrating the events of those games through their points of view. Thing is, these are both expressly intended to be read by their respective offspring -- Haytham's son Connor[[note]]who authors the prologue and epilogue of ''Forsaken''[[/note]], and Edward's daughter Jennifer Scott -- so both "''journals''" have unsupported claims about what really happened; WordOfGod is that they're canonical to the extent not contradicted by the games, i.e. Edward's [[BlatantLies glowing view of his relationship with]] [[VitriolicBestBuds Adewale]] and convenient omissions.
* Jennifer A. Nielsen's ''Literature/AscendanceTrilogy'' (especially The False Prince, the first novel) provides an example in which the narrator rarely actually lies, either to the readers or the other characters he interacts with, and on the occasions he does tell an outright lie often points it out in the narration. Instead, his unreliability comes from his tendency to tell only part of the truth so that it is easily misinterpreted or to tell the truth in a manner that makes other characters believe he is lying or being sarcastic. In the later two books he is more forward about things, but still will often let the reader believe what the general public believes about a situation until it comes time to reveal the more complete version of the truth.
* The ''Literature/{{Idlewild}}'' series:
** The narrator of ''Literature/{{Idlewild}}'' is an amnesiac whose memory doesn't track further than the first page of the book. He claims to recover some memories over time, but they're rosy interpretations that support his existing perspective.
** ''Literature/{{Edenborn}}'' uses SwitchingPOV to track several different characters, each of whose perspectives taint the narrative (though Penny is definitely the worst).
* In ''Literature/TheGospelOfLoki'', Loki describes his own autobiography as a "tissue of lies". He adds that "it's at least as true as the official version and, dare I say it, more entertaining."
* The PinkertonDetective who narrates Creator/AnthonyHorowitz's Franchise/SherlockHolmes novel ''Literature/{{Moriarty}}'' omits just a few important details[[spoiler:--for example, his actual identity--]]and trots out ExactWords on more than one occasion.
* Defied in ''Literature/ABadDayForVoodoo''. Tyler assures the reader that he is telling the complete truth.
* Played with in "Literature/ThePrincessBride", in which the author uses a false version of himself to provide background for his editing of the (nonexistent) original novel. Weirdly enough, though, especially in the introductions he periodically adds on for various anniversary editions (particularly about the movie), he will often reference real people and occasionally tell real anecdotes about them as well as real anecdotes about his life and then segue into an anecdote that, if you know that the book is wholly fictional, couldn't possibly have happened. Within the false original book, it is implied that the author, though he was purportedly writing a novel based on true events, did not quite know when to stick to the truth, when not, when to add in his whole long polemics about trees, etc. Especially in the 30th anniversary intro, when we learn that he was considering changing aspects of the story (and may have actually done so) in order to cater to what he and others wanted to hear, we question, even upon finding out that there is a museum with artifacts of the story, how much of it REALLY happened.
* In ''Literature/GoneGirl'', Nick Dunne leaves out numerous details throughout the story, making the reader suspicious about ''how'' unreliable he is, and whether or not he is behind his wife Amy's disappearance. [[spoiler: It turns out that Amy is even more unreliable than her husband, as her diary was deliberately fabricated with lies so that she could frame her husband.]]
* The protagonist Ted in ''IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream'' says that [[CureYourGays Benny]], [[TheEeyore Gorrister]], [[ThoseWackyNazis Nimdok]] and [[BlackAndNerdy Ellen]] all hate him because he's the youngest and because AM effects him the least. He also says Ellen claims to have had sex only twice before being brought down into AM, yet in the game she was both married and [[spoiler: a rape victim.]]
* Anika in ''Literature/{{MARZENA}}'' makes it clear multiple times throughout the story that she wasn't there when it happened. She's just a [[AuthorAvatar ghost writer]] transcribing down the thoughts and memories of the characters. As for what really happened? Who knows!? Although... the story may be fictitious, but the science is real!
* ''Literature/BlowingUpTheMovies'': Discussed in the essay on ''Film/{{Hero}}''.
* ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'' : is set up as the two siblings, Carter and Sadie Kane, recording their most recent adventures. They switch off every chapter and frequently comment on what the other has said. This ranges from side comments (such as one telling their sibling to stop laughing) to outright correcting things the other sibling has said. However the over arching story is assumed to be pretty accurate. Things just may not have gone as well as they say.
* Holly, the narrator of Laura Kasischke's ''Mind of Winter,'' fights with her adopted teenage daughter Tatiana while trying to get the house ready for Christmas. But there are two problems. First, Holly also struggles with her repressed knowledge that [[spoiler: Tatiana is not the girl whom she and her husband originally intended to adopt from a Siberian orphanage.]] Second, as the ending reveals, Tatiana [[spoiler: died of an undiagnosed heart defect on Christmas morning, leaving it unclear if Holly is interacting with both her ghost and that of the other girl, or has been DrivenToMadness out of guilt.]]
* Lemuel Gulliver from ''Literature/GulliversTravels'' becomes one by the fourth journey. He describes [[StrawVulcans the Houyhnhnms]] as the perfect civilization, despite their arrogance, elitism, and genocidal tendencies.
* The most prominent example in ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' is when, in first person present tense, Ana gives a detailed explanation of her surroundings and right afterwards claims that she doesn't get a chance to see what her surroundings look like.
* In ''Literature/{{Barkwire}}'', it's not entirely clear how much of the dogs' personalities and social lives are imagined by the reviewers.
* ''LightNovel/AnotherNote'' is narrated by Mello. He is biased in favor of L, having been raised to be his successor, and states openly that he sympathizes in some ways with B, because both he and B are AlwaysSecondBest. Also, Mello is telling a story that he heard from L, who heard the details from Naomi, so Mello is filling in a lot of blanks he couldn't possibly know. (He lampshades this too, giving a ShoutOut to the above-mentioned [[Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye Holden Caulfield]], calling him "The greatest literary bullshitter of all time.")
* ''Literature/TheRedTent'' is narrated by Dinah. She tells the readers that she's retelling a lot of stuff that her mom and aunts have told her, from memory, and that it's been a long time, so some of the details might not be ''quite'' accurate.
* The History of Love: near the end, Leo explains how he's an unreliable narrator; it also turns out that Bruno was [[spoiler: {{Deadallalong}} ]], which casts the last scene with him in a different light.
* ''Literature/TheKharkanasTrilogy'': The story is narrated by the poet Gallan to another poet, Fisher kel Tath, and in the prelude to ''Forge of Darkness'', Gallan flat-out admits to not be telling the truth:
--> No matter; what I do not recall I shall invent. [...] And if I spoke of sacrifices, I lied.
* Drew Karpyshyn, author of the ''Franchise/StarWars'': ''Literature/DarthBane'' books [[WordOfGod discussed this]] in relation to a fan theory regarding the ending. He had actually intended for the ending to be clear, but to many it wasn't. He noted that in order for the fan theory to work, readers would have to assume that he was being an unreliable narrator at the end of the book, something that he had never done before. "[[http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DtRcbmCVBwIJ:www.drewkarpyshyn.com/spoiler.htm Unfortunately, “twist” endings have become so prevalent recently that I think people assume narrators are unreliable now by default...]]"
* Literature/JessicaDarling is prone to leaving out things she doesn't want to talk about, making conjectures with absolute certainty that turn out to be entirely false, and of course talking at length about [[CoolLoser how ugly and unpopular she is while people are constantly praising her and boys fawning over her.]] She's not entirely unaware of it, though; at one point she flat out wonders how she can be so [[TheSnarkKnight incapable of ignoring anything even if she'd be happier not seeing it,]] yet at the same time completely miss so much. Another character tells her that while she is indeed quite perceptive, she's also prone to making up her mind about what people are like and refusing to believe that they could ever [[CharacterDevelopment change]].
* ''Literature/TheDarkElfTrilogy'' is framed as being the memoir of its protagonist, Drizzt Do'Urden, and at various points in the novels, Drizzt addresses the reader directly to share his reflections or feelings about the experiences he is recounting. The bulk of each novel, however, is written from the perspective of an omniscient third-person narrator, who describes events that Drizzt was not present for, and which in some cases he could not possibly have known about. That leads to some interesting questions. For example, Alton [=DeVir=] tries more than once to kill Drizzt, supposedly for revenge on the Do'Urden's for murdering his family, except that Drizzt was born on the night the [=DeVir=]'s were killed, and so is, of all the Do'Urdens, completely innocent. Nevertheless, Alton's hatred seems to particularly target Drizzt, moreso than any other Do'Urden. We are never really given a satisfying explanation for why Alton targeted Drizzt; it is possible that Drizzt just did not know why, or perhaps he knew and did not want to tell us. This is not the only time something like that happens: in the third novel, Roddy [=McGristle=] conceives a bitter hatred of Drizzt and hunts him for years, to the ends of the earth, despite relatively little provocation. Roddy's hatred seems bizarrely undermotivated, just like Alton's. Was Drizzt not telling us everything? Did he just not know what motivated Roddy, and so had to guess? There is also the fact that Drizzt spares Roddy at the end, because, the narrator tells us, he had no knowledge of any crimes Roddy had committed that were deserving of death. Earlier in the novel, however, Roddy had committed two murders. If Drizzt did not know about those--and it is hard to see how he could have--then who put them in the story?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Several TV shows have had a RashomonStyle episode.
** ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'' opened with the end of a particularly nasty marital argument. When Mary complains to her friend, she was being a pleasant wife and her husband was in an inexplicably nasty mood. When he complains to his coworkers, he came home to find her unusually lazy and nagging. The audience then gets to hear from the goldfish what actually happened: they'd both had bad days, and took it out on each other.
** In an episode of ''Series/SpaceCases'', when Catalina is asked to describe what happened with the Ion Storm, Harlan acts completely and utterly worthless and it's actually her who saves the day. When this flashback finishes, everyone says "...wait that's not what happened" and they ask for Harlan's version, which is...more or less the same thing but with Harlan presented as the hero and Catalina being useless and her obsession with Suzee being exaggerated.
** An episode of ''Series/PerfectStrangers'' have Larry, Balki, and their neighbor give differing stories to the police about an incident. Each version has the teller as the hero.
** An episode of ''Series/HappyDays'' had Fonzie, Chachi, Roger, & Potsie all giving differing versions of the same chain of events leading to Fonzie getting shot in the butt.
** ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' had a Rashomon episode where an incident was seen from the points of view of all four principals - Edith's version was the objective, accurate one, of course.
** ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "Tall Tales" is a TheRashomon episode, with Sam and Dean telling their own version of the previous events to their ParentalSubstitute Bobby - and often end up arguing over who's telling the story and the exact details of what occurred. It is eventuality revealed that a Trickster (a minor god of chaos) has been messing with their relationship in order to distract them from the case at hand, so most of the narrative consists of whichever brother is speaking portraying himself as a suave, dedicated professional searching earnestly for the truth, while painting the other in decidedly uncomplimentary colors. In Sam's narration, Dean appears as a slutty, gluttonous pig with no standards, while Dean portrays Sam as a prissy, super-sensitive do-gooder with CampGay mannerisms. They end up working together to defeat the Trickster and sincerely apologizing for their behavior after closing the case.
** ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
*** In the fourth-season episode "The Novocaine Mutiny", Frank and Hawkeye give wildly differing accounts of the same event.
*** The series finale segment in which Hawkeye - via flashback - describes the bus ride with the chicken to Sidney, is a powerful example; made powerful due to the frighteningly awesome reveal later on.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Andrew is this in the episode "Storyteller".
* The ''{{Series/Farscape}}'' episode "The Ugly Truth" has four of the characters being successively interrogated about the destruction of an alien spacecraft by angry compatriots of the aliens who assume that any difference in the stories must be deliberate lies. While we can see that the characters are consciously or subconsciously framing events to make themselves look better, the central character Crichton finally delivers a KirkSummation about how memory is fallible and no one person's description of something will ever be totally accurate. Notably, the aliens claim that this cannot be, as they always remember things in the same way.
** "Scratch 'n Sniff" features Crichton relaying the events of why he had to leave a planet to Pilot. At several points, Pilot refuses to believe Crichton (even at one point suggesting that if Jool had lost as much fluid from her body as Crichton said, she'd be dead) and in the end it was left ambiguous how much of the story, if any, was true.
* ''{{Leverage}}'' has "The Rashomon Job", in which each of the characters recounts how it was they who stole the golden dagger. In the end, Nate reveals the single true story and reveals who really stole the dagger. One running gag is everybody messing up Sophie's British accent. By [[CloudCuckooLander Parker]], she sounds like a dwarf from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* Series/PrettyLittleLiars plays with this a lot.
** "I won't let Spencer Hastings bully me anymore."
** Why are there football guys laughing at Hanna and oinking while she eats cupcakes? More likely is that she feels they are laughing at her and we see it as such.
** Why are swim meets and class elections such a huge deal? Because they are important to Emily and Spencer respectively.
* ''Series/TheBlackDonnellys'': The narrator (Joey "Ice Cream") puts himself into the story in places where he couldn't have been, gets dates wrong by a year or so, and just has the general demeanor of not being a guy whose facts are ready to bank. On the flip side, the story he tells does not make him seem like a MartyStu. He gets shut down by the ladies. He never plays a pivotal role in the events of the story. This leads us to believe we can accept at least ''some'' of what he is saying. Joey generally gives the sense of wishing he had brothers like the Donnellys, and that's why he inserts himself into the story, in a hopeful-sad attempt to feel like part of them while he's really an outsider. Sometimes it seems like he may have been there, and usually it seems like it was probably another Donnelly or sometimes Jenny who was really there.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' started off occasionally playing with this, but has used the device increasingly often as it progressed. Unusually, it is not because Future Ted is lying ''per se'' (at least, not often - there are some instances of outright lies), but because of ordinary memory lapses (having a character named Blah Blah because he can't recall her name), subjective interpretation of ordinary events (showing Robin's forty-something date as elderly), or sanitizing the story for his children (using "I'm getting too old for this ''stuff''" instead of "shit".). The few times he tells us things that seem to defy reality (such as Lily and Marshall escaping their own party by jumping out the window, or having high school athletes and a ''Film/TeenWolf'' on a kindergarten basketball team), he {{Hand Wave}}s it by saying that's all he heard about it. In short, if there is a way to exploit the potential of an unreliable narrator for comedic purposes, it's been done on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' at some point.
** Episode "The Rough Patch": [[spoiler:Since they began happily dating, Barney and Robin]] have let themselves go a little; however, in Ted's mind, they look like absolute hell, and [[spoiler:Barney]] in particular is now comically overweight. He even admits that he's unreliable on this point, but they stay that way for most of the episode [[RuleofFunny anyway]].
*** Especially blatant is the apparent scene right after he came in possession of a architecture themed porn movie. Porn is bad so he intended to get rid of it right away. He loses the grip and the VHS just happen to fly out of the case, jump on the remote and land in the VCR which in an equal unfortunate event turned itself on.
** Episode "Zoo or False" includes two more examples. The question of whether or not Marshall was mugged by a monkey goes unanswered, and the last two minutes of the show, where [[spoiler:the monkey carries a little doll woman to the top of Ted's scale model of the empire state building while paper airplanes are thrown at him]] are left similarly ambiguous.
--->'''Ted:''' Barney, enough with the lies. You can't just tack on a new ending because you're unsatisfied with how a story wraps up.
--->'''Barney:''' Oh really? Well, mark my words, Mosby, 'cause someday you'll be telling this story, and you'll see it my way.
--->'''Ted:''' Doubtful. ''[[FramingDevice (narrating from the future)]]'' And then, kids, you'll never believe what happened!
** [[spoiler: Particularly great, since the setup for the awesome end has been laced throughout the episode--so if Future Ted is making this up he's likely made up a fair chunk of the episode]].
** This also happens to Ted when he goes to see a movie and finds out that the story is based on how Stella left him right before their wedding. It portrays him as a {{Jerkass}} and makes him the villain.
** Speaking of Present!Ted's {{Jerkass}} behavior, Ted comes off as a NiceGuy, but continually done some pretty selfish things. Is he worse than he appears? On the other hand, Future!Ted tends to insult his past self fairly often. He seems to recognize his behavior as wrong and learned to grow up. Or has he?
** Subverted in episode 5.5, "Duel Citizenship:" Future Ted says, "And then it happened... Marshall and Lily morphed into one big married blob." This is shown literally happening, indicating Ted's narration is being exaggerated for comic effect. Then Present Ted blinks and says, "Whoa...I gotta dial back on the Tantrum." This refers to a highly caffeinated beverage he'd been consuming, implying that he was hallucinating.
** An ongoing joke in the series is that Ted doesn't want to admit to his kids that he and his friends occasionally smoked pot, so any time he refers to a joint, he calls it a "sandwich," and the characters are duly portrayed eating sandwiches (while their behavior makes it obvious they're stoned).
** The trope is used twice in the episode "The Ashtray", when an unexpected meeting with The Captain is told by Ted, then being retold and corrected by Robin, who reveals Ted was stoned and terrified of The Captain, after which it is retold by Lily who reveals that Ted was stoned, and Robin was drunk.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** Telling Bashir how it was a fellow Obsidian Order agent named Elim who screwed up Garak's life, providing a number of different versions. When Bashir finds Garak's mentor ([[spoiler:and father]]) Enabran Tain, he asks about this. Tain just laughs and reveals that Elim is Garak's first name. In a way, Garak was saying that his predicament is his own fault.
** Episode "The Wire": Garak, because as a former secret agent of the Cardassian Obsidian Order he liked obfuscating his own past and never told a truth if a lie would suffice.
-->'''Bashir:''' Out of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren't?
-->'''Garak:''' My dear doctor, they were all true.
-->'''Bashir:''' Even the lies?
-->'''Garak:''' ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t02v9EUHs30#t=2m12s Especially the lies.]]''
** The moral Garak draws from ''The Boy Who Cried Wolf''? ''Never tell the same lie twice.''
--> Garak: The truth is usually just an excuse for lack of imagination.
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' often mentions his lack of any emotions in his narration, though it becomes increasingly apparent that this is not true. For example, he does clearly care about the people in his life, though with his (eventual) wife and her two kids it's also implied to be a case of BecomingTheMask. He's not lying to the audience so much as he simply doesn't understand a lot of human nature.
* In one segment of ''Series/{{MADtv}}'', Aries Spears tells a story as a photomontage of the events he's detailing accompanies. We start with Aries hanging out on the roof, where he goes to chill out in his downtime, and noting that this would be a great place to launch a glider. After this point, the wholesome and educational narrative he details begins to subtly (and, very very shortly, not so subtly) diverge from the things we're seeing, and ends with Aries high as a kite on glue fumes, under the impression that one of the other actors, aware of what has happened and concerned for Aries' safety, is some kind of demon out to kill him.
* The Dharma orientation films of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' are narrated by [[Creator/FrancoisChau François Chau]]'s variably named character. The Swan film is located "behind ''The Turn of the Screw''" on the bookshelf, tipping the audience in advance that perhaps "Marvin Candle" is not to be trusted.
* Hard to prove, but Kevin of ''Series/TheWonderYears'' may fall under this. He is recalling events to him long past, and while the broad details are likely accurate, consider that the older brother and some of the pre-Women's Lib neighborhood girls get away with a lot of hitting. Also, when unfairness, especially parental, hits Kevin, it seems to focus on him exclusively, making you wonder if his older self is letting the filters of nostalgia and occasional bitterness influence his re-telling. The premiere episode has Kevin recalling that he was a 'pretty fair athlete' while showing a perfectly thrown football pass bounce off his chest.
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' plays with the more humorous variant. For one example, Malcolm says the house next-door never seemed to have a permanent resident and they never figured out why. Cue montage of the boys playing all ''sorts'' of pranks on the previous residents, then cut to Malcolm saying "I don't know - I think it might be haunted."
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Episode "The Trial of a Time Lord", [[spoiler:the Valeyard]] has tampered with the evidence in the Matrix, especially in ''Mindwarp'', to make the Doctor's conviction certain.
** In the more recent Series/DoctorWho story, "The Unicorn And The Wasp", Agatha Christie questions the attendees at an outdoor party regarding a recent murder. As the suspects each give their story, we see the events that they describe, but as they really happened. Example, one young man claimed to be wandering alone, but in the flashback scene it's shown that he was flirting with another man. His father lies not only about what he was doing but also what he was reminiscing about at the time, leading to a flashback-within-a-flashback.
** The episode "Love & Monsters" is framed as a story being told to the camera by Elton Pope. [[spoiler: It's explicitly shown that his memory of how the band sounded, and how they actually sounded are rather different, which calls into question a lot of his interpretation of events]].
* BBC sitcom ''{{Coupling}}'' had numerous examples of unreliable narrators, notably pretty much anything said by either Jeff or Jane. But the greatest example of was in the third season episode "Remember This", where Patrick and Sally's individual recollections of how they met match in many, but not all details, to great comedic effect. [[spoiler:In particular, the print of Munch's ''The Scream'' that the exceedingly drunk Sally remembers is revealed to be a mirror in Patrick's memories.]] When Jane turns up unexpectedly at Patrick's flat, the lads discuss the incident at the bar:
--> Steve (astonished): Why?
--> Patrick (equally astonished): That's the first thing I said to her, I said, "Why?"
--> (Cut to flashback)
--> Patrick (suave): Come in!
--> (Cut to bar)
--> Patrick: She just came in. I had no idea what to say!
--> (Cut to flashback)
--> Patrick (suave): Drink?
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** In "The Unnatural" an alcoholic ex-cop tells Mulder how he encountered an alien posing as a famous Negro baseball player in [[RoswellThatEndsWell 1947 Roswell]]; a story that even Mulder finds hard to believe. When Mulder tries fitting these facts into what he knows about the GovernmentConspiracy, the cop basically tells him to just shut up and enjoy the tale.
** Used this trope very frequently, especially in the more comedic episodes, like "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" and "Bad Blood," both of which are told RashomonStyle. In "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'", one alien is named "Lord Kinbote" after Charles Kinbote, the unreliable narrator in Nabokov's "Pale Fire."
* In ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', [[spoiler:Bennett's memory of how her arm was crippled shows Caroline abandoning her to save herself. Caroline's own memory is later seen, and shows her trying to dislodge the rubble pinning Bennett, then explaining that as an employee Bennett can pretend she wasn't involved, and pinning her ID badge to her to make this more obvious before leaving. Which seems very thorough. The apparent implication is that Bennett's memory is incomplete. On the other hand, Caroline is the one whose memory is repeatedly and extensively tampered with, so there's room for multiple interpretations.]]
* The Janitor from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' is a pathological liar. He tells the most bizarre tales about his past and doesn't even keep track of what is true in them, if any at all. Or maybe he does but just wants to screw with you. The only thing we know about him for sure is that he had a bit part in ''Film/TheFugitive''.
-->''(as Janitor finishes a story)''
-->'''J.D.''': Is any of that true?
-->'''Janitor''': Somebody would have to read it back to me.
* Played for laughs on ''Series/RedDwarf''. In the episode "Blue", the crew travel through an artificial reality version of Rimmer's journal, in which he depicts himself as a brave, handsome leader and the other crew members as reliant on him for various things which, in reality, they're better at than Rimmer.
* Occasionally used in ''TheMiddle''. A scene will go surprisingly well, considering things rarely if ever go well for the characters. Frankie will then voice over "OK, that's not really what happened," and show the much worse thing that actually happened.
* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' Tony tends to embellish his stories. In a sad example he has been embellishing a story about a school prank for so long that he started to believe that his version of events was exactly what happened. When he starts feeling guilty and goes to apologize to the now grown up victim of the prank, the guy is baffled by Tony's apology. Tony was actually the victim of the cruel prank and the other guy was the bully. Tony realized that over the years he managed to flip the story in his head and made himself into the villain.
* An episode of ''StillGame'' features a subplot involving Winston being barred from the Clansman. As Winston recounts the events which led to him being barred, we also see what really happened. Winston makes out he politely asked Boabby to pour another pint, as he felt it was too cloudy, to which Boabby took offence and threw him out. In reality, Winston went ballistic and spat the contents of the glass over Boabby.
* Alan Bennet's ''[[Series/AlanBennettsTalkingHeads Talking Heads]]'' series of monologues is built on this trope. Each narrator tries to tell their story to their own advantage, but we can see through their facade to see the real story. For example, 'Her Big Chance' features Julie Walters as a woman who thinks she's a highly professional actress but we get enough hints to see that she is anything but (for example whenever she says a line, the director tells her it might be silent). She also appears to have no idea that she's acting in a soft-core porn movie for the German market.
* The first episode of the fourth series of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' has a framing device of Rudy explaining the most recent strange occurrences at the community center to newcomers Finn and Jess. Each time they catch him in a lie, he backpedals and alters the story he's telling to avoid the relevant lie, admitting to cutting off Michael's hand with a hacksaw and conspiring with Seth to lock Curtis in the freezer and [[LampShaded Lampshading]] his unreliability as a narrator (actually naming this trope outright in the process). Once he's run out of story to tell them, Rudy admits that he is only telling the story to stall while the [[SlippingAMickey drugs he has given them take effect]], thus ending the framing device.
* In the ''Series/StargateUniverse'' episode "Twin Destinies", both Telford and Present Rush suspect the reliability of Future Rush's claims that he tried to save the rest of the crew after the accident. The later episode "Epilogue" reveals that at the very least he was lying about which crewmembers stayed behind with him.
* The ''Series/TeenWolf'' episode Visionary is a series of flashbacks framed by Peter and Gerard depicting a tragedy from Derek's past and the events that eventually led to the formation of the alpha pack. What the flashbacks depict vary wildly in some places from what Peter and Gerard actually say happened and the trope is actually mentioned by name. Further complicating matters, WordOfGod states that while [[DramaticIrony the audience knows more about what really happened than the characters]], they should not assume they know the whole story.
* The entirety of ''Series/TheGoldbergs'' is this, with every episode narrated as occurring in "nineteen-eighty something". One episode featured the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana (which occurred in 1981), while also including the song Eternal Flame (from 1989).
* The trope comes up repeatedly in ''Series/TrueDetective''. Hart accuses Cohle more than once of coming up with a narrative that might explain a crime and potentially bending the evidence to support the narrative rather than letting the evidence dictate the narrative. Both Hart and Cohle's present day accounts of what happened in 1995 omit and fabricate various details, and in a scene integral to the case in episode 5 their depositions directly contradict what plays out onscreen. In the same episode, detectives Gilbough and Papania call out Cohle on his unreliability in a big way.
* ''Series/MrRobot'' is told almost entirely through the eyes of the main character, Elliot, so we only see what he sees and know what he knows. He also has issues with his mental health, and at certain points, actively questions his own sanity and how much of what he's seeing is really there. He thinks he's being followed by MenInBlack, but isn't sure if that's true of if he's making that up. He also purposely replaces the name of the company E Corp with EvilCorp because he hates them so much, so whenever any character mentions it, we hear “Evil Corp” instead of what they're actually saying. At the end of the first season, we also find out that [[spoiler: Mr. Robot is his father, and also died years ago, and Elliot was hallucinating him the whole time. And Darlene is actually his sister]]. He's just as shocked as the audience.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In Music/{{Mothy}}'s [[Franchise/EvilliousChronicles Moonlit Bear]], Eve Moonlit, the character {{Vocaloid}} Hatsune Miku plays in the song, talked about how she found two apples deep in the wood and got chased by a bear. As it turned out, [[spoiler:the apples are two infants and the bear their mother, whom Eve ended up killing.]]
* Most of Music/TheBarenakedLadies song "The Old Apartment" is meant to imply that the narrator has broken into his ex-girlfriend's apartment in a fit of creepy stalkerishness. Toward the end of the song, he reveals that he and the girlfriend are still together, and have just moved to a nicer house; he's broken into their old place in a fit of creepy nostalgia.
* The protagonist of Music/KingDiamond's concept album ''The Graveyard'' claims that he was thrown into a [[BedlamHouse mental hospital]] because he threatened to expose a politician as a child molester. Since the entire album is from his point of view, and he's [[AxeCrazy an insane killer]], it's not clear if he's telling the truth or just crazy.
* The refrain of Music/GaelicStorm's "Johnny Tarr" goes: "Even if you saw it yourself you wouldn't believe it/But I wouldn't trust a person like me if I were you/Sure I wasn't there - I swear I have an alibi/I heard it from a man who knows a fella who swears it's true". The story told in the song is borderline fantasy, wherein the title character dies of thirst in the middle of a drinking contest.
* Music/TheyMightBeGiants do this so much they considered calling one of their albums ''Unreliable Narrator''. To cite one example, "Purple Toupee" is built around the narrator's horribly mangled memories of newsworthy events of the 60s ("I remember the book depository where they crowned the king of Cuba"..."Martin X was mad when they outlawed bell bottoms").
* Denton, TX based Slobberbone's "Billy Pritchard" features a father telling his daughter how he doesn't approve of her relationship with a boy in her town, and implies that he killed her brother. Near the end of the song, we learn that the father shot his own son in the back of the head after mistaking him for Billy, and that most of what he had said was a lie.
* Music/{{Eminem}} played with this for the majority of his career. His 'Slim Shady' character was an obvious parody of the excesses of the gangsta rapper archetype, but a lot of the devices Eminem used with Slim Shady were kept on even after he abandoned the character. How much of Eminem's rapping reflected his own attitudes is a very debatable question. Eminem often twists fact and fantasy in his songs, explaining why so many real-life people felt the need to sue him for slander. He lampshades this himself in the song "Criminal" from ''Music/TheMarshallMathersLP''.
--> ''A lot of people ask me.. stupid fucking questions''
--> ''A lot of people think that.. what I say on records''
--> ''or what I talk about on a record, that I actually do in real life''
--> ''or that I believe in it''
--> ''Or if I say that, I wanna kill somebody, that..''
--> ''I'm actually gonna do it''
--> ''or that I believe in it''
--> ''Well, shit.. if you believe that''
--> ''then I'll kill you''
* Rael, the protagonist of the Music/{{Genesis}} ConceptAlbum ''TheLambLiesDownOnBroadway'', is practically made of this trope.
* In Music/JoannaNewsom's song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enmj-fK9niY "Colleen"]], the story is told by a young mermaid or sea nymph who lost her memory and was subsequently adopted by humans. It's implied that by the end of the song, she's still unaware that she's not human, although it's obvious from the lyrics.
--> I'll tell it as I best know how, and that's the way it was told to me: I must have once been a thief or a whore, then surely was thrown overboard, where, they say, I came this way from the deep blue sea...
* Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheWall'', the movie in particular.
* Music/{{Ludo}}'s song "Lake Pontchartrain" is told from the perspective of a young man who supposedly witnessed his friends' watery, supernatural deaths. But at the last verse he adds; ''"That's how it happened/Why would I lie?/There were no bodies/I got none to hide"'', implying that he's being tried for killing them.
* [[Music/TheDecemberists The Decemberists]] has "We Both Go Down Together". It is supposedly a tale of {{Starcrossed Lovers}} from different social classes who kill themselves to be together, but with lines like "You wept, but your soul was willing", [[RapeAsDrama it is possible that the narrator is a deranged rapist believing he and his victim are tragic lovers]].
* Music/{{Gorillaz}} bassist Murdoc is notorious for this. He may be the only speaking witness to [[spoiler: Noodle's disappearance and apparent death,]] but he changes the story every time he tells it. Sort of [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that he claims to be withholding information in hopes of a movie deal. Of course, Murdoc's been known for exaggerating stories and flat out lying on important topics, so it's possible that he's just making things up as he goes.
* Music/RegalPinion's songs has some of this. Sometimes the narrator's don't know if they can even trust themselves.
* Many of Music/RandyNewman's songs feature one of these.
* In Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming to take me away HAHA," the main character went mad because his wife divorced him (or his dog ran away, depends on the interpretation). In another song in the series sung from the point of view of the wife\dog, it shows he wasn't really all there beforehand.
* The Music/NickCave song "The Curse of Millhaven" from the album ''Music/MurderBallads'' introduces us to Lottie, a young teen girl who recounts the nasty murders that have been plaguing her small town. By the end of the song, it's revealed that Lottie herself is the curse of Millhaven and has been committing all the killings.
* The Silverstein song "A Great Fire" and what follows throughout the album "A Shipwreck in The Sand". The first song talks about how the protagonist/hero saves his wife and daughter from their house that's burning down.though there are some things in the song to hint at something not quite right with how the husband wife treat each other;''this was my home/this was my life/it's not always just about you''. it doesn't become apparent till a later song what happened to cause the fire. in "I Am The Arsonist" he set the house on fire himself, because in the second song "Vices" he found out his wife was cheating on him, which lead to drinking, trying to hide he knew and knew how disappointed in him his wife was. it culminates in a song just before the last 2, "A Hero Loses Everyday", in which he states; ''The Protagonist became/The villian they disdain/In every way'' and ends on a realization that they could never have truly loved each other in the first place, because they were broken people.
* In the Creator/MercedesLackey / Frank Hayes song ''The Leslac Version'', Leslac the bard tries to tell the story of wandering heroes Tarma and Kethry liberating Viden town, but Tarma keeps interrupting with snarky corrections. In his version they deliberately sought out the tyrant to bring him down; in her version he died accidentally in a drunken bar fight. He plays up their nobility, she plays it down, but the truth is probably closer to Tarma's version:
-->'''Leslac:''' They searched through all the town to find and bring him to defeat.
-->'''Tarma:''' Like hell what we were searching for was wine and bread and meat!
-->'''Leslac:''' They found him in the tavern and they challenged him to fight.
-->'''Tarma:''' We found him holding up the bar drunk as a pig that night!
** Lackey went on to write a short story about the events surrounding this song. Tarma's version has a few minor inaccuracies, but Leslac's version is complete nonsense. The amusing thing is that Leslac was ''present'' for the events of the song, but ultimately decided that he couldn't write a song about how a belligerent drunk (Who coincidentally happened to be the unpopular local lord) picked a fight with a couple travelers for no intelligent reason, got hit with a broomstick, and accidentally broke his skull against the fireplace and died. So he wrote a song about how the story ''should'' have gone. In fact, the author invented Leslac to handwave away mistakes she wrote in some of the Tarma and Kethry stories due to the fact that she wrote some of the songs about them before the stories behind the songs, and forgot a few details. All mistakes in the songs are Leslac's either because he didn't do the research, or changed the story to be more dramatic.
* Music/TheBeeGees: "And somehow in this madness believe she was mine -but...I'm a liar"
* In Music/TomWaits' "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" from ''Music/BlueValentine'' a woman tells an old acquaintance named Charlie (possibly an ex) that she's cleaned up, got married, has a child on the way (though it isn't her husband's) and is happy for the first time since an unspecified accident. She then admits it's all a lie; in fact she's lonely, in debt and is writing to Charlie to ask for money. She concludes by telling him she'll be "eligible for parole on Valentine's Day."
* The old blues song "Get My Shotgun" by Lightnin' Hopkins is one long rant by a cuckolded man who announces that he's going to shoot his old lady for foolin' around with too many men. At the end, his wife dares him to go through with it, and he admits that his shotgun doesn't even work.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Some members of the ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' {{Hatedom}} point out that a lot of events are communicated to the readers by having one character tell another, such that we get this information second or even third hand. This treatment is notably applied to Anthony's ex-wife, Therese - the audience sees very little of her, and almost everything we know about her is communicated by other characters when she's not present. As a result some question just how accurate the portrayal of Therese as an evil harpy really is.
** Elly is inclined to think of herself as a kind, reasonable, generous mother, and will paint herself as such in any retelling of events which involved her. Occasions when Elly has ''been'' any of those things, as a mother, as a wife, or just as a person in general, are few and far between.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''. Calvin's six year-old imagination has the tendency to run away with him, resulting in spectacular fantasy sequences featuring characters like [[ComicStrip/FlashGordon Spaceman Spiff]], [[{{Superman}} Stupendous Man]], and [[FilmNoir Tracer Bullet]]. Then, of course, there's Hobbes himself, Calvin's stuffed tiger to whom he attaches a personality. Hobbes is even drawn differently when other characters are in the panel, to reflect how they see him as just a toy. WordOfGod is deliberately mum on whether or not Hobbes is just a stuffed toy, or really somehow alive. And then there's the storyline where Hobbes ties Calvin to a chair and Calvin's dad finds him and can't for his life figure out how the heck Calvin has managed this...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audio ''And The Pirates'' is told by Evelyn and the Doctor. Evelyn gets many of the facts wrong and is caught making up names on the spot, such as "John Johnson" and "Tom Thompson". She even initially says the Doctor died mere minutes after saying he'll be around to tell more of the story. Parts are told out of order, and all the sailors have the same voice because she can't impersonate them well. The Doctor's version of events is much more accurate but suspiciously full of characters complimenting his unorthodox wardrobe.
** The Companion Chronicles audio ''[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS6E3TheMemoryCheats The Memory Cheats]]'' is told first person by Zoe to a Company psychologist, as they try to unlock her memories of traveling the Doctor (wiped by the Time Lords at the end of "The War Games"). At the end, [[spoiler: she reveals she made it all up based on information the psychologist gave her, the one time she did meet the Doctor, and her dreams. But she can't explain why there's a photo of her from 1919. Not only are we left not knowing how much of the story is true, so is Zoe herself.]]
** Used to a lesser extent in the previous story in the arc, "[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS5E2EchoesOfGrey Echoes of Grey]]." [[spoiler:The parts that Zoe narrates are accurate. The parts narrated by Ali are lies; she was never there.]]
* Dickensian parody ''Radio/BleakExpectations'' uses this in the framing story for laughs:
-->"We swore we would escape the school, or die in the attempt."
-->"And what happened?"
-->"We died in the attempt."
-->"Oh, how awful!"
-->"Of course not, you blundering idiot! How would I be talking to you now?"
* Occasionally used for humorous effect in the introductory narration on radio episodes of ''Radio/OurMissBrooks''. Cue a correction from DeadpanSnarker Miss Brooks.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Nearly all of the background material for ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is told from possibly inaccurate histories and skewed propaganda pieces, making the exact nature of the setting [[ContinuitySnarl dubious at best.]]
** While all of the material is written from the perspective of some particular group, which naturally wants to make itself the most sympathetic, the Imperium takes a ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' approach to the way it handles information.
** This trope (along with FutureImperfect) was specifically ''invoked'' when the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novels were first released. When fans pointed out that events in the novels contradicted what was in the 40k backstory, GW outright said "the backstory is history filtered through ten thousand years. The novels are what ''really'' happened."
** Invoked again with the [[TheAlliance Tau]], who were initially introduced as an AlwaysLawfulGood faction after part of the player base complained that there was ''too much'' GRIMDARK in the setting. After another section of the player base complained that the Tau were ruining the GRIMDARK, information popped up about forced sterilizations, concentration camps, and various other traditionally evil acts on the part of the Tau. The kicker? InUniverse, all of said information comes from the Imperium's propaganda machine, putting the right to AlternateCharacterInterpretation squarely in the players' laps.''
** Games Workshop once said that while all published material is canon, not all of it is ''true''...
* And like ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the regular TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} books are also written in an unreliable sort of way.
* Much like the above ''Warhammer'' example, all of the material on ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' is written from an in-universe perspective, always of some particular person or organization. This goes for everything, even the technical readouts on new 'Mechs and such. [=ComStar=] was the original viewpoint group, but it has since branched out to every faction. Some of the earlier books had significant errors (people doing things before their stated date of birth, using 'Mechs that hadn't been invented yet, etc), and the in-universe perspective allowed them to chalk it up to different perspectives. It also allowed them to {{Retcon}} things that they didn't want.
* TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} Sourcebooks are kind of this way too, though far more reliable as it is a more mundane setting. There is enough leeway for a good gamemaster to go every which way.
* Used as a justification for adventure hooks in ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'', in the form of rumours that may or may not be true as the GM decides. One example: "Bigfoot has a social security number".
* Almost all source materials for games set in Greg Stafford's "Glorantha" (''TabletopGame/RuneQuest, TabletopGame/HeroQuest, TabletopGame/DragonPass, TabletopGame/NomadGods'') along with books (King of Sartar) are written in the style of Unreliable Narrators with no one absolute truth.
* Large parts of ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' supplements were written as posts on an online message board, and the authors were ever eager to point out that anything could be wrong, exaggerated, or invented.
* All of the world background in White Wolf's TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness is presented in this way. Each book. This is most notable in the splatbooks: each faction tells a different version of history in which their own faction is somehow older, smarter, and generally more awesome than all the others. Each game line had its own creation myths filtered through the interpretations and prejudices of whatever faction is the focus of the book you're reading and most are mutually exclusive.
** The largest one: ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen''. We ''never'' get the other viewpoint, and the viewpoint we do get is filtered through several millennia of resentment.
* Many 2nd edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' sourcebooks, and most notably the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' ones, are assigned specific narrators. (This also includes the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' Van Richten's Guides and a bunch of others.) ''Planescape'' had more unreliable narrators than others, considering the fact that at least one of them was certifiably insane by human standards...
** In fact, the {{Splat}} book ''Faces of Evil: The Fiends'' had ''several'' oddball narrators presented as contributors, but by far the most interesting - and likely most unreliable - one was the blue slaad Xanxost who was... Who was a slaad. That was the best way the editor could describe him. Xanxost seemed to be less chaotic than most of his kind, being able to write complete sentences, but he was distracted easily (mostly by his appetite), repeated himself often, and seemed to have trouble counting. (Xanxost appeared later to narrate the chapter on the Quasielemental Plane of Steam in the later book ''The Inner Planes'', the editor of that book claiming he was recruited to pen the chapter because feedback to his commentary in the former book was overwhelmingly positive.)
** An especially interesting example of this was the ''Netheril: Empire of Magic'' sourcebook that described said lost civilization in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms. Except one particular archwizard of immense power was never mentioned in the entire book, despite being a prominent figure. That is, until you start to try to figure out who the narrator was...
* Indie storytelling game ''The Adventures of Baron Munchausen'' makes every player into an unreliable narrator, and has specific mechanics governing how players can challenge the veracity of each others' tales.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' source books are divided into two to three sections. The Posse Territory sections are for general use, and give about as much information as the world at large knows. No Man's Land is for information only certain people would know, like the existence of Harrowed or how Huckster magic works. Both of these sections are filled with untruths, ranging from simple misinformation to BlatantLies. The Marshall's Only sections have the lowdown on how things ''really'' work. Part of the setting's mystique is having the inner workings of the Reckoning remain a mystery to the players. ''Then'', to make it all even more interesting, several of the Marshalls Only sections are double-bluffs, leadinig metagaming players to think there's something sinister going on when there in fact isn't.
* The first and early second edition sourcebooks of the ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' RPG were all written from the subjective in-universe point of view of the clan or faction that was the primary focus of the book. This was done both for flavor and to give the GM the freedom to decide what was true and what wasn't in his campaign. This approach was eventually abandoned during the second edition because Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast thought it was too confusing for d20 players.
* All of the character stats in the ''TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles'' RPG are treated this way, as extrapolations made by [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis Billy, the RPG's writer and werewolf]] from Harry's "case files". He admits flatly that this heavily underestimates the power of a lot of important figures (like the White Council's senior members, the Denarians, Cowl, etc.), allowing the GM to make them as powerful as he or she desires. It also means that future books are not constrained to the metaphysics or stats laid out in the RPG.
* TabletopGame/HoylesRulesOfDragonPoker starts off with a fictional history of the game, in which the author offers two possible origins of the game, mocks both and ultimately chides the reader for not believing the more fantastic one when it turns out to be (allegedly) true. All this happens within about a page and a half.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'' is known for having a rather odd case of the [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable narrator trope]], in which the basic plot attempts to paint Caim and his "acquaintances" as heroes destined to save the world, and the original ending is by far the closest one the game has to a happy ending. However, further endings end up painting a progressively darker picture about what's really happening. And since its sequels have taken different endings as canon, the truth about what's really going on remains ambiguous.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has an unreliable narrator in the form of Varric. On several occasions his interrogator points out his lies and he retells a section of the story. It doesn't help that in the game he tells Hawke that he is a compulsive liar. In fact, the game allows you to play through his exaggerations: for example, in the prologue, [[TheHero Hawke]] and his/her sibling are fighting a group of [[TheVirus darkspawn]], and are able to one-shot Hurlocks left and right, even [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomp an Ogre]], before he's called out on it and the player replays that section at level one. The second time, the gang is raiding a mansion, and Varric bursts in through the front door and is able to mow down all the guards ''Film/{{Scarface|1983}}''-style with his AutomaticCrossbow.
** In addition, in Varric's prologue, [[InnocentFanserviceGirl Bethany]] seems to have gotten some [[BreastExpansion upgrades...]]
** "Bianca", his AutomaticCrossbow, initially appears to be an example of this, since its ability to reload makes it unlike any other crossbow that exists within the setting. It's later clarified that it really ''does'' exist and was built by a friend of Varric's who was trying to corner the market on these kind of weapons, but "Bianca" was the [[SuperPrototype only one]] that he could get to work.
** In the ''Legacy'' DLC, he openly admits to making up the conversation between Hawke and Leandra's spirit (unless the quest was completed before her PlotlineDeath). In this case, it was just because he wanted to imagine that his best friend got some closure, even though he knows they didn't.
** ''Videogame/DragonAgeInquisition'' reveals just how unreliable he really was. [[spoiler:The whole spiel about Hawke vanishing? He made that up. He knew all along where Hawke was, but kept it a secret to protect his friend.]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' creators tend to cite unreliable ''historians'' -- making it slightly easier to explain away various retcons -- to the point "canon" is usually refered to as "lore".
** Humorously demonstrated in the Badlands zone post-cataclysm where the player meets a trio of characters who each tell a story of their encounter with Deathwing as he carved the gigantic gouge across the landscape. Each tale is filled with ridiculous exaggerations and BlatantLies, the other characters constantly calling out the tall tales and even ''invading'' upon the third one' story, interrupting his "epic confrontation" to keep on perpetuating their own bragging. And it's absolutely hilarious.
* Interestingly, this only happens ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' if the PlayerCharacter dies. Since the Prince is the one telling his story, yet somehow fails to remember HE DIDN'T DIE until he actually says that he did.[[note]]Given the time-travel shenanigans and the fact that the Prince ''can in fact die quite a lot'', but still rewind time, it's probable that this is just him getting confused with one of the many deaths that he actually undid.[[/note]]
** As [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] [[http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/archive/20050718-0907.htm put it]]: "And then I wall-jumped at the wrong time and fell down a chasm and died. Oh, sorry, I'm thinking of something else. What really happened was... I wall-jumped at the wrong time... and fell down... no, wait, hang on. In actuality I wall-jumped at the right time, then accidentally pressed circle instead of X and fell to my death - I'm not boring you, am I?"
* Also used this way in ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge''. Guybrush spends most of the game narrating his story to Elaine, and if you fail to escape from the torture chamber in time and are killed then she points out that this is impossible since you are talking to her.
* Common in InteractiveFiction, where it can be used for comedy, as in {{Infocom}}'s ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' ("[[TheComputerIsALyingBastard Okay, I was just joking, you really can't go west.]]"), or for suspense, as in Andrew Plotkin's ''VideoGame/SpiderAndWeb'', (where [[spoiler:the entire first half of the game is a spy's "confession" under interrogation, and he's trying to mislead his interrogator]]).
** In ''VideoGame/{{Photopia}}'', the narrator of the fantasy segments turns out to be [[spoiler:a babysitter who is telling the story to a little girl with her as the protagonist.]]
** More than one puzzle in the aforementioned ''Hitchhiker'' game relies on the player working out that [[spoiler:some of the room descriptions are lies. The game eventually gives in and admits the truth if you look at it hard enough]].
** ''Make It Good'' relies heavily on this. The player plays as a hardboiled detective, send to investigate a murder scene, but [[spoiler:various little clues eventually reveal the PC was directly involved in the murder, and the goal changes from identifying the murderer to subtly meddling with the evidence and getting the blame off yourself.]]
** The Interactive Fiction game ''Fail-safe'''s main gimmick is that you are giving the regular Interactive Fiction commands via a communication device to someone on a falling-apart spaceship. At the end of the game, [[spoiler: he asks for the code to a laser in order to help prevent the ship from crashing. It turns out, however, that he was lying to you about him being a survivor of the attack and that he is really an enemy alien who boarded, and you handing him the laser codes has enabled him to attack and help his fleet. On the player's second playthrough (or the first if he or she catches on to the twist beforehand), you can instead give him the code to target the enemy ships and thus ruin his plan]].
* ''The Compilation of VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has given us no less than ''five'' different retellings of the Nibelheim Incident, each one slightly different than the last. Cloud, in particular, seemed to have ''several'' retellings on it before the game makes you play through his subconscious to figure out what the hell really happened. [[spoiler:Cloud's narration of the events is completely accurate, in terms of events that took place. The only really unreliable aspect is that he told the story as though he was Zack. The rest of the retellings in other games in the compilation also get the major events correct, but elaborate on points that weren't there before.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has a particularly interesting example of this trope. Much of the game is told as a flashback by the main character. While not necessarily deceptive, he also does not reveal a number of key points. This parallels his process of discovery; the player isn't told anything explicitly until the point in the story where the narrator himself first learned them.
* In the video game ''PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheLegendOfJackSparrow'', most of the game is Jack recounting his adventures. Being Jack Sparrow, he exaggerates things quite a bit, which is sometimes [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by having other characters point out factual inaccuracies in his stories. This allows the game to include giant spiders, frozen vikings, and a very different version of the events of the first movie.
* ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' features a narrator attempting to make Joe's actions look [[DesignatedHero heroic]]. The truth is Joe is having a blast being a superhero, completely forgets about his captured girlfriend, and more or less arrives where she is ''accidentally''.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' has [[spoiler:Hanekoma]] writing about the Fallen Angel throughout his secret reports--seriously, why would anyone teach Minamimoto the DangerousForbiddenTechnique?! [[spoiler:Well, of course Mr. H was the Fallen Angel all along]].
* In ''VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney'', the game takes place in flashbacks being told in an interview by former FBI director [[spoiler:"Jack" Alexander Leland Cayne]], who's account contains multiple inconsitencies with what actually happens in the game. It turns out that [[spoiler:Cayne founded "The Franchise" and was behind the "The Agencies" destruction and part of a plot to assassinate the President so that he couldn't forward his pro-cloning policy, allowing for Alpha Zerox continued monopoly on cloning.]] At the end of the game, [[spoiler:Diana revives 47 in the funeral house and 47 kills everyone on the premises, including Cayne and the reporter performing the interview.]]
** It's employed in other ways during the series as well. Several missions in the original ''VideoGame/HitmanCodename47'' were remade for the third game, ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'', but in the latter instances the level architecture is different, some events play out differently from the originals, and all of them take place at night in dismal weather. The disparity is explained by the FramingDevice of 47 having been shot and going through a near-death experience in which he recalls past missions; it's never made explicit whether the original version of the missions is unreliable, or the remade versions.
* Every character in ''TwistedMetal: Black'' narrates their tale during the three cutscenes (opening, mid-game flashback, and ending). However, at least two of them find that the truth is far from what they thought... and neither get a happy ending.
* The ''SilentHill'' series has two unreliable narrators: James in the second and Alex in the fifth.
** Also, possibly, the third. [[spoiler:[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oywfsv2SJNg "Monsters? They look like monsters to you?"]] Most likely this is just a mindscrew attempt or a lame joke, though.]]
** Possibly ''Shattered Memories'': [[spoiler:It is likely that the entire game involving Harry Mason takes place in Cheryl's head and it has even been suggested that the therapy sessions are also viewed in a biased manner, explaining Kauffman's poor attitude.]]
* Captain Qwark in the ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'' series built his career by telling bogus stories about his heroics that were either actually done by someone else or never actually happened. This is actually a major point in the ''Secret Agent Clank'' spinoff, where there are entire gameplay parts based on Qwark's ridiculous narrations. Amusingly, one of Qwark's apparent fabrications are "robotic pirate ghosts"... until ''Tools of Destruction'' revealed the existence of robot SpacePirates and ''Quest for Booty'' featured [[spoiler:''undead'' Robot SpacePirates]], thus making his story seem much more plausible...
* Haldos follows this trope closely in both ''VideoGame/NexusWar'' games, although despite plenty of KickTheDog behavior on his part and the fact that he openly admits to learning what he knows directly from the BigBad, there's nothing to actually disprove his claims.
* Lampshaded in ''PennyArcade Adventures'' where the narrator right at the start sets doubt in the player's mind as to his identity and motivation. "Please, do not dwell on my... ''mysterious identity''. You're dwelling on it, aren't you?"
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'', whenever the player sees Stella during a flashback from Senel's perspective, she seems to be a PuritySue. However, Stella appears a lot less than...idealized whenever the flashbacks are from Shirley's perspective. There's a reason for the discrepancy [[spoiler: Senel was madly in love with Stella and also deeply guilt ridden due to the role he played in her death. Shirley, meanwhile, was in love with Senel, and jealous of her sister because Senel was so infatuated with her.]]
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', given that she gives you a lot of exposition, from background of the Mandalorian Wars to the whys of the Jedi Civil War to the reason the Exile was... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin exiled]] by the Jedi Council, Kreia fits this description.
** Making Kreia possibly unique as a party member in RPG history -- she is ''always'' lying about something.
* This trope is an excellent summary of ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''. Each of the various routes in the games (depicting different characters or even the same character experiencing similar, slightly altered events) are ''all canon'' simultaneously. The universe compendiums are written by a reporter who hasn't even heard of journalistic integrity, a racist historian relying almost entirely on conjecture and second-hand reports with a massive dislike of the local youkai populace and who readily accepts bribes to smear and stroke egos, and a hyperactive thief obsessed with explosions. Even [[WordOfGod ZUN himself]] is prone to [[FlipFlopOfGod blatant contradictions]], [[TeasingCreator messing with the fans]], ''[[TrollingCreator really]]'' [[TrollingCreator messing with the fans]] and [[LyingCreator outright lying]]. Inevitably, the {{Fanon}} is truly massive.
* In a rare case of the games' EncyclopediaExposita being this, the entries for the [[{{Pokemon}} Pokédex]] are sometimes speculated by fans to have been written by the 11-year-old protagonists, and thus are likely to contain wild exaggerations about the Pokémon they describe. This would explain the games' use of SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale, but then the FridgeLogic hits and you realize that this means that TheProfessor's life's work would be utterly ruined.
* The Franchise/ResidentEvil Chronicles games depict the events of previous games through records and word-of-mouth. This results in some things that happened either glossed over or misinterpreted.
* Is ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' a retconned take on ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' (based on what happened at the end of the first game) or a storybook?
* The near-entirety of ''VideoGame/CryOfFear'' centers around and takes place [[spoiler: within Simon's book as a personification of himself,]] making you wonder what inspired the events inside or otherwise aside from the obvious causes, like [[spoiler: his insanity and being able to walk in it.]] Whatever caused them is (likely intentionally) left open to interpretation by those who play.
* Rucks in ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' doesn't lie, but his recounting of the game's backstory comes off as selective and self-justifying, including some whitewashing of aspects of Caelondia's history and culture.
* There is a very, very subtle hint that this is how the story of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' is unfolded. When Ramza meets Orlan Durai for the first time, the latter is shown capable of seriously overpowered magick ("Galaxy Stop!") while fighting the thieves that caught him spying in their guild; but Ramza and co must save him anyway as he's outnumbered. Such magicks are the domain of inhumanly powerful wizards, but Orlan is just a spy; in fact, later he can't use the same magick to stop Delita from (not-)executing him. Thus, a more likely explanation is that it's the narrator, Alazlam '''Durai''', who exaggerates the power of his ancestor.
* ''VideoGame/DearEsther'''s narrator talks about events that aren't actually happening to the player. [[spoiler:It turns out that most of what he says is either a blatant lie or a metaphor for what really happened. [[SanitySlippage It doesn't help that he's slowly slipping into a delirium due to some kind of infection.]]]]
* In ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition,'' the main character, York, has an ImaginaryFriend named Zach who is, for the most part, a [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall stand-in for the player's influence over him.]] In the third act, however, [[spoiler: it turns out the York was the imaginary one ([[MindScrew sort of]]), created to help Zach forget numerous traumatic facts about his past, such as how his parents ''really'' died, what attacked him, and even what he [[GoodScarsEvilScars truly]] looks like.]]
* [[DoomMagnet Jennifer]] from ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose'' is the King of this trope. Everything that happens in the game, when taken literally, is simply a metaphor for things that did happen. And when you think about the game's story like that, [[MindScrew it makes even less sense]].
* In ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', some cutscenes FadeToWhite instead of [[FadeToBlack Fading to Black]]. [[spoiler:Those are the scenes in which the protagonist, Cpt. Martin Walker, is in some way deceiving himself, via hallucinations, delusions or other doubtful perception - and since he's the PlayerCharacter, that means he's lying to the player, too. This leads up to a pretty massive reveal at the end of the game]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Black}}''. The intensity of the game is a reflection of [[PlayerCharacter Keller]]'s recollection of combat under intense psychological pressure - both in the battlefield and in the interrogation room. So the winding levels, seeming endlessly respawning enemies that take a ''lot'' of damage to kill, ambushes, useless/missing squadmates that randomly drop in and out with no mention of where they went, labyrinthine level design, etc. are just how Keller recalls each mission, not how it actually was. This also explains the disjointed, almost non-existent story, as that doesn't matter to Keller as much as the accomplishing the mission does.
* ''VideoGame/{{SpaceQuest}}'' runs on this trope quite nicely. He has little to no confidence in Roger Wilco during most of his adventures. Oh, and two games have actual voices for the characters, and who else would be picked to be the narrator than the famous Gary Owens?
* ''VideoGame/FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'': The old guy who starts narrating the game does this even in death scenarios. "You're talking to a ghost, wooooooooooooo!"
* Much of the in-game books and lore in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' is written by people with a heavily biased agenda or simply wrong historical information. For almost any given concept or historical event, one can find several conflicting sources throughout the game. In particular, almost all of the in-game lore books in ''Morrowind'' are written by unreliable narrators (Almalexia and Vivec especially).
** The fact that the fundemental laws of physics and time don't work the same way as in our universe, and may even change over the years, does not help matters, and means that it is entirely possible that a piece of narration is [[MindScrew only reliable at the moment.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Errand}}'' combines this with InterfaceScrew to show that the main character phantasizes seeing e.g. a hungry dragon when it's really a complacent dog.
* Despite ''Videogame/{{BattleblockTheater}}'''s "[[CloudCuckoolander eccentric]]" narrator, it surprisingly tends to avert this. What he tells you seems to be what's legitimately going on in the game.
* The Narrator from ''VideoGame/TheStanleyParable'' isn't just unreliable, in some endings (such as the Countdown and Video Games Endings) he's downright hostile. In the "Confusion" ending he's just as baffled about what's happening to the game as Stanley is.
* In The Stanley Parable's follow-up, Videogame/TheBeginnersGuide, Davey may function as an unreliable narrator. One example of this is when he [[spoiler:cites the lampposts at the end of many of Coda's games as evidence that all the games are connected. In the last game, Coda writes to Davey "Would you stop changing my games? Stop adding lampposts to them?"]]
** Also, when you enter the Housekeeper minigame, Davey tells you that [[spoiler:the house and the door represent the two doors puzzle. However, the only thing behind the second door is the aforementioned lamppost. He later mentions that originally the minigame wouldn't end, that you would originally do chores forever, one of his "changes". If that is true, it seems likely that the second door wouldn't exist at all, lacking any purpose, and the two doors metaphor, like the lampposts, is one that he interpreted from the content he added to Coda's game.]]
* Venom Snake from ''Videogame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' has elaborate, vivid hallucinations and delusions during the game, most notably [[spoiler:when he thinks Paz is alive]]. He also has memory issues and "remembers" the events of the prologue ''Ground Zeroes'' differently throughout the course of the game. His unreliability as a POV character is enough to spark a fair amount of EpilepticTrees about the game's twist ending. [[spoiler:Namely that he isn't actually the Medic from ''Ground Zeroes'' as the ending tells you he is, but rather that he's either a split personality of the "real" Big Boss, or the masked man from the helicopter in ''Ground Zeroes'' who was missing from most of the flashbacks of the scene througout ''The Phantom Pain''.]]
* In ''Videogame/CallOfJuarezGunslinger'', the story takes the form of Silas Graves recounting his past adventures to several bar patrons, embellishing heavily due to getting progressively drunker as well as just all-around bullshitting. This explains why he's somehow fought alongside or against almost every renowned gunslinger in the west and also leads to scenes where Silas will tell a story, only to stop halfway and rewind to clarify.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Taichi in ''VisualNovel/CrossChannel'' to some extent is an unreliable narrator. The first version of events about something he says or illustrates is rarely entirely correct and leaves out a great deal of necessary context. For example, he initially portrays [[spoiler:his earlier relationship with Touko]] as a mixture of an experiment and mere seduction, but later it turns out [[spoiler:he really was trying to have a relationship, but she turned out to be incredibly clingy and obsessed with him nearly to the point of being a yandere.]]
* Shikanosuke in ''VisualNovel/KiraKira'' is sufficiently {{kuudere}} that he won't admit what he's feeling, ''even to the reader.'' Despite him being the narrator it can fall to other characters to explain his emotions.
* The early parts of ''VisualNovel/AProfile'' do not have entirely accurate narration because it is all from the point of view of Masayuki, who insists on seeing the best in situations and people, even if they're terrible. After some of his backstory is revealed, the point is largely dropped.
* Very well done in the ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' manga-only arc ''Onisarashi-hen''. In the final chapter, it's revealed that the point-of-view character [[spoiler:is responsible for every murder in the story]].
** Also, [[spoiler:Onikakushi-hen, although we only find out in later chapter. Rena and Mion were completely innocent, and Keiichi was hallucinating the CreepyMonotone, HellishPupils, and murder attempts.]]
** Tatarigoroshi-hen plays with this, too. Keiichi kills [[EvilUncle Teppei Houjou]] in order to protect Satoko. But then his friends tell him he was at the festival at the time, and Satoko insists that her uncle abused her later that night. But wait! Teppei's missing and his body isn't where Keiichi buried it. [[spoiler:Subverted by the fact that Keiichi ''did'' kill Teppei. Mion just had the body moved and everyone's giving Keiichi a cover story. As for Satoko? Well... Who says the POV character has to be the only crazy character?]]
* The narrator in ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' (or the camera, in the anime) is pretty much the queen of this trope. Anything the main character doesn't see with his own eyes is highly suspect, at best. A chunk of the series mystery is simply whether the series is a genuine mystery or a massive MindScrew, since [[spoiler:Beatrice is narrating most of the third-person sections and writing the TIPS]]. It's later confirmed that [[spoiler:in the first four arcs only Battler's narration is reliable, and in [=EP5=] only Erika's narration is reliable (though the scenes that she narrates are very few)]].
* There are more than a few witnesses in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series who ''think'' they're telling the truth, but are muddled by details that obscure what really happened:
** In Case 1-3, Cody's testimony is a bit difficult to figure out, because he insists on telling it like the Steel Samurai was a real hero fighting a bad guy (as opposed to a man in a costume, allegedly your client killing the victim). This discrepancy is because Cody is a child who has a bit of trouble separating fiction from reality [[spoiler:and because he saw the man in the Steel Samurai outfit being killed, which shredded his belief that "the Samurai always wins".]]
** In Case 1-4, Larry testifies that he was at the scene of the crime on the night it happened and, in fact, heard a gunshot. Unfortunately, he was also listening to the radio via headphones, making what he actually heard highly questionable. [[spoiler:It then turns out that the time he heard the gunshot was actually considerably earlier than the other witness verified hearing hers, leading Phoenix to realize that the killer fired ''three'' gunshots, opening the possibility of another way the murder went.]] Later in the same case, Phoenix needs to solve the mystery of Gregory Edgeworth's murder by making sense of Miles's testimony. This is made considerably more difficult by the fact that Miles Edgeworth was a child at the time, and that he passed out near the end from oxygen deprivation.
** Pretty much ''anything'' Dahlia Hawthorne says can be taken with a block of salt, since she repeatedly proves herself not above lying to get what she wants. [[spoiler:This leads to a rather interesting part of the final case of the third game, when she disguises herself as Iris and neither Phoenix nor the player are aware of it. She says quite a few things about how "Dahlia" felt about dating Feenie in college and about how terribly she was treated by her father, but the reveal that it was Dahlia herself saying those things makes it easy to see how self-serving it all was.]]
** In the third game, Godot's grudge against Phoenix has shades of this. Throughout the game, he berates Phoenix as a rookie who can't properly protect others. [[spoiler:In the final trial, it's revealed that he's talking about how he blames Phoenix for the death of Mia (who Godot had been in a relationship with before his coma), believing that Phoenix should have been there to protect his mentor. The case centered around Mia's murder, however, makes it pretty clear that Phoenix wouldn't have been able to have done much to save her even if he had been there. It's difficult to say how deliberate this was, on the part of Capcom.]]
** In ''Dual Destinies'', there's a very similar situation to Edgeworth's. [[spoiler:Athena Cykes]] is accused of murdering [[spoiler:her mother]] as a child, but [[spoiler:she]] mentally repressed much of the events of that day. While on the stand, [[spoiler:Athena claims she can remember stabbing her mother with the murder weapon - a katana - and feeling the blood run down he hilt and onto her fingers. Phoenix notes that this is impossible though, as the katana taken as evidence had no blood on the hilt. It turns out that while Athena ''did'' stab someone that day, it wasn't her mother. She walked in while her mother's real murderer was still there, and had to stab him in the hand with a took kit knife to save herself.]] An earlier witness in the same trial was also very unreliable, due to them being [[spoiler:a robot programmed to recognize people through their facial features, heartbeat, and a specially-designed jacket that all Space Center employees owned. The murderer killed Athena's mother, stole her jacket, and covered his face with a mask, effectively tricking the robot into thinking that he was Dr. Cykes. Thus, when the robot testified as to seeing young Athena "hugging" her mother (which was accurately deduced as her stabbing someone), everyone was led to believe that it was her stabbing her mother, instead of the real killer.]]
* Shiki in {{Tsukihime}} would like to let you know that he's only ever had [[spoiler: [[LaserGuidedAmnesia one sibling]]]], [[RippleEffectProofMemory despite the fact that]] [[spoiler: he refers to them in the plural.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Collar 6}}'', Butterfly and Trina give mutually exclusive versions of how [[spoiler:Butterfly got information on Michelle's techniques from Trina]], and WordOfGod has confirmed that this was intentional. Its unusual, in that both of them presented versions that made themselves look worse [[spoiler:Butterfly claiming she tortured Trina, and Trina claiming she gave up the information freely]].
* One of the characters in ''[[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com Flying Man and Friends]]'', Harbor the loon, is convinced that [[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com/?p=301 his belly and the bottle of eggnog he carries with him]] count as two separate characters. This is never refuted, so it's his word against dead silence. In one strip, he somehow [[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com/?p=310 detonates an atomic bomb]] that is never explained (and is eventually undone). The entire story is unreliable.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Frivolesque}}'', any strip focusing mostly on Flore shouldn't be trusted too much. What's real and what's a figment of her wild imagination isn't always clear.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has a subversion. After the reader goes to Doc Scratch for some god moding help, he gives out a huge amount of exposition and his self-serving memory prompts Andrew Hussie, the creator of the comic, to break through the "fifth wall" and beat him up.
** There's also the Mindfang Journal, embellished and flowery as it is written. WordOfGod is that everything Mindfang wrote in it is true, though only as she perceived it putting a few accounts into question.
** Aranea Serket, [[spoiler: Mindfang's pre-Scratch counterpart]], is proudly the cast's ExpositionFairy, but the fact that [[spoiler: she [[AntiVillain goes rogue in an attempt to defeat]] [[BigBad Lord English]]]] puts some of her claims into scrutiny.
* The NightmareFuel-ish animated short arc "Twist, Twist, Twist" in ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}''. "I'm in hell because I love my wife... imagine that."
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' has a consistent running theme of different perceptions of reality and what events fit into which character's reality, creating what is, in effect, an entire cast of unreliable narrators -what is perfectly obvious and logical for one character is dismissed out of hand as impossible by another, if it gets noticed at all.
** Of course, considering how often it [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/126 comes]] [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/454 up]], even so far as to be lampshaded by both [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/382 characters]] and the [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/132 author]], this is probably more of an Unreliable Author.
** Also, since all of the examples above are about Pirovision being unable to see Largoland, it's worth pointing out that it [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1243 works both ways.]]
** Additionally, nature and circumstances of Piro and Miho's "relationship" differ greatly depending on who's telling the story.
* In ''Webcomic/MenageA3'', the trope is briefly and explicitly but stylishly demonstrated by Senna in her description to Gary of her falling out with Sandra, [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/she_planned_treachery starting here.]] (She claims that Sandra used supernatural powers. Compare and contrast [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/senna_and_sandra_-_part_1 the true story here.]]) Senna, who evidently loves her ''telenovelas'', isn't the sort to let the truth get in the way of a melodramatic story that shows herself in a much better light than reality.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** Early on, Durkon is lost in a dungeon with a female dwarf named Hilgya, and he's starting to fall for her. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0083.html She tells him the story of how she came to be with the Linear Guild, where she's married against her will to a cruel husband who refuses to understand her needs, so she runs away to make her own life. The panels below her narration show that the "cruel husband" was in fact an extremely pleasant guy who was thrilled to be so lucky as to be married to a dwarf like Hilgya, and whose only need out of the relationship appeared to be meeting hers.]]
** Tarquin tells Elan about how he carved out an empire in the Western Continent, but was booted out within a year (which is hardly unexpected in the region). While perfectly accurate, he fails to mention a few key details: He made his debut by conquering ''eleven'' nations in eight months, and it took a coalition of '''twenty-six''' other countries to finally defeat him.
* None of the [[http://satwcomic.com/too-little-butter Scandinavian countries]] are telling the whole unvarnished truth about Norway's butter crisis.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' had one scene narrated via "[[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2000-10-03 The Memoirs of Jud Shafter, K.F.D.A. Commando]]" -- not quite in sync with panels. [[BrickJoke Later]] this [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2009-05-05 bitten him in the butt]] (sorry).
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''
** Done in a complicated way in "bROKEN": There's no narrator as such, but it's revealed at the end that some scenes have been shown through Torg's skewed memories. We keep seeing versions of a scene where he's standing in the background and someone else is sitting on the ground at the foreground. When he goes to see a psychiatrist having realised that perhaps these memories are inaccurate, he figures out that he's remembering things like that because he's suppressing a memory of what really happened in one scene near the end -- where someone really was sitting like that, but which was shown differently, edited by his mind to remove evidence of something terrible.
** Later, we believe we are seeing Torg relating his experiences in the Digbot city to Sasha, when in fact we are seeing [[spoiler:Torg telling Kiki a largely embellished story ''about'' relating the experiences in the Digbot city to Sasha--a recursive flashback, as it were.]] While it definitely seemed weird, there was nothing to indicate that what we were seeing was false until Torg got killed by a porcupine on a boomerang--and then resurrected by said porcupine, who is also a necromancer.
** A few of the Christmas stories, including a "Gift of the Maji" variation in which Torg and Riff sold their shoulders to science to pay for each other's coat/flannel... but they didn't appear shoulderless to the old man Torg told the story in a bar.
** Torg's story to the storyteller in the original Stormbreaker saga. He gives an account that's at least partially the story of ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'' including telling the storyteller he had a chainsaw for a hand. The majority of the story being accurate after this beginning is never questioned, except for the bits where we see that Torg edits it because the bard says no-one will believe that. Besides, Zoë is present to correct him.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' is narrated by Lisa writing about the events some five years in the future; but Lisa is writing for ''retail,'' meaning some of the events are embellished. We know this due to the framing device showing Lisa's wife calling bullshit on certain events.
* ''Webcomic/WhatTheFu'' is narrated by the main character, who sometimes pads out the blind spots with imaginary scenes, which employ [[UpToEleven even broader stereotypes]] than the comic generally does.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/{{Twig}}'' is narrated by Sy, an eleven-year-old ManipulativeBastard who sees the world in terms of manipulators and their dupes, and all of his narration is colored by this impression-for example, it's likely that not ''every'' person he talks to has precisely calculated their words, posture, and phrasing to elicit a desired result.
* ''Literature/{{Oktober}}'', a collection of journal entries from each of the main characters. Now, obviously, journal entries aren't going to be entirely accurate, so sometimes minor discrepancies appear. Other times though...
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[Characters/SCPFoundation [=Characters/SCPFoundation=]]]
** The website is made up largely of documents. Given the nature of the Foundation, much of it is deliberate misinformation. Also, there tends to be a lot of stuff with black marker over it and a large amount of [DATA EXPUNGED].
** There was one instance however in which all of the blacked out sections and [DATA EXPUNGED] were removed, allowing the article to be read in its entirety. Let's just say that there is a ''very, very good reason'' for those edits.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1867 SCP-1867 ("A Gentleman")]]. Lord Blackwood thinks he's a British gentleman adventurer. He does exaggerate his tales, but there's considerable evidence that they aren't ''entirely'' delusional.
* During The Third Night of ''Literature/TheTaleOfTheExile,'' Gaven Morren (who tells the story from a first person POV) is dosed with a potent [[MushroomSamba hallucinogen]]. What follows is a trip into DaydreamSurprise, dream logic, and SchrodingersButterfly, helped along by [[spoiler:a character actively lying to him about events to [[DreamApocalypse prevent herself from disappearing]].]]
* Rather common in Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos. Examples on the wiki include [[Blog/DreamsInDarkness Damien]] [[spoiler:in no small part thanks to his multiple personalities]]. A possible example (via AlternativeCharacterInterpretation) would be [[spoiler:[[Blog/SeekingTruth Zeke Strahm]], according to the final entry in the blog.]]
** A notable example in the video of WebVideo/TribeTwelve 'The Envelope', there is a piece of paper torn in half that says "unrel/ narra/". Noah may not be telling us everything.
** ParanoiaFuel especially comes into play with [[http://ulrycdaretodie.blogspot.com/2010/09/first-post.html Dare 2 Die]] where Ulryc [[spoiler:wasn't even narrating for most of the time]].
** Arron of ''WebVideo/StrangeAeons'' could possibly be this as well. Very suspicious that he claimed to not be able to see the clips randomly in his videos.
** The girls of ''Webvideo/OneHundredYardStare'' manage to subvert this trope and being worse by it. They tell the story as it happened from their point of view. [[spoiler:''Why'' they made the series is the true reveal. They are spreading the infection in the hope to divert the monsters attention, how do you feel being Slender bait?]]
** ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' played this somewhat mildly, but it was still clear from fairly early on that, while Jay doesn't necessarily lie to the viewer, his memory isn't perfect due to the Operator's influence. The clearest example would be in Entry #71, where it's revealed that [[spoiler: the very action of Alex giving Jay the tapes, the event that kicked off the entire series, went down ''a lot'' differently than how Jay remembered]].
* The Jobe stories of the WhateleyUniverse. Jobe Wilkins narrates his own stories, explaining how as a handsome, dynamic, brilliant, but misunderstood bio-deviser, he has to put up with all kinds of grief from everyone else. Even within his own stories he seems to be an Unreliable Narrator. Everyone else in all other Whateley stories sees Jobe as an egocentric, inconsiderate, unattractive HeroicComedicSociopath who might be a little short on the 'heroic' part. Still, Jobe doesn't seem to lie about events, just put his own personal spin on interpreting them.
** Anything Phase says about the Goodkinds. Canon (particularly "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind") has proven that there's a lot Ayla doesn't know about his family, but he keeps insisting that the Goodkinds are almost totally morally blameless, ignoring canon events because he doesn't want to apply them to his family or the anti-mutant organizations they support. This has come back to bite him on almost every occasion, but in this one area he seems utterly blind.
* Surprisingly enough, used in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest''. In the profile for v4 killer Clio Gabriella, it explains several parts of her personality, yet her actions in the game contradict this. Reason? Clio spent nearly all of her teenage life lying to her parents, her therapist, and nearly everyone she knew so that she could put on a demeanor of a normal, well-adjusted teenage girl, when secretly she was a basket case very close to breaking point.
* The "Lost Soul" stories from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' are told from the singularly self-serving point of view of an immortal Erzebet Bathory, who is trying to win redemption for herself.
* Strong Bad in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' is often a pathalogical liar. Sometimes narrating events ''that just happened'' as a complete fabrication. Probably most blatantly with how he narrates to us that he successfully popped Pom Pom with a pin. Seen [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail108.html here]].
* ''[[http://herbaldrink.deviantart.com/art/Misadventures-of-Norma-193263881 Misadventures of Norma]]'' is a metafiction that story discusses it, with the characters snarking at the LemonyNarrator because they refuse to describe an entire days' worth of travel, resulting in a literal PlotHole.
* About half of season 3 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' is about the time traveling adventures of Church as he repeatedly is thrown back in time by a bomb, teleports to Blood Gulch with the help of a friendly AI, and tries to avert his death, Tex's death, the bomb going off, and any number of other past problems. It's all to no avail, however, as he fails to achieve anything. Turns out Church was an unwitting unreliable narrator... he was never being thrown back in time, it was all a torture scenario run by the AI, who was himself an unreliable narrator, lying to Church (and the dirty shisnos in the audience) about everything from the timeline to his own origins.
** Seasons 9 and 10 have proved that Church fits this trope in-universe: If he tells you about something that happened to him or about someone he used to know, chances are good his memories are inaccurate at best.
* Even though Website/{{Update}} is a work that is simply the retelling of life experiences from the perspective of the protagonist, much of the information given is clearly not fully correct or telling the whole story, with how frequently it's inconsistent or contradictory, and has been proven at some cases to be flat out false. Determining how much of the story is being told, and how much of it is accurate is up to the reader's interpretation.
* Cecil from ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' is an earnest narrator, but not particularly reliable: he lets his biases color his reporting, has a skewed idea of what is normal, and lives in a police state where, presumably, he needs to be careful what he says. It's unclear ''exactly'' how much he believes of what he's told or whether he's using some very VERY dry sarcasm [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar to get around government censorship]].
** Kevin, his Desert Bluffs counterpart, is implied to be even more unreliable than Cecil.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Taylor is affected by [[spoiler:an amnesia plague]], which causes her to inadvertently misrepresent several important details, such as that [[spoiler:the people she thinks are Grue and Tattletale are actually Jack Slash and Bonesaw]].
** More generally, the entire story is first-person and filtered through Taylor's fairly major hang-ups and biases. The third-person interludes show different characters ruminating on some of the same events with very different contexts and interpretations.
* The merchant from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' is revealed to be this in ''Theatre/TwistedTheUntoldStoryOfARoyalVizier''. In reality, [[WritingAroundTrademarks Ja'far]] is one of the nicest guys around (though hated by all) and Aladdin is a thieving asshole. The merchant himself is [[spoiler: really Aladdin many years down the road.]]
* A hazard when it comes to the stories on ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' and its various sister-sites is that a number of the narrators/submitters telling their stories could very well be this, as there's no way of telling of whether or not the stories posted to the various websites are true, have been heavily embellished, or are just fake altogether.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Absolutely everything that happens in ''StevenUniverse'' must be seen through the eyes of Steven, who never actually narrates. As such, things that Steven is uncomfortable about or doesn't want to talk about never make it into the story unless they're forced in by another character. In the episode "Steven's Birthday," [[spoiler:it's revealed that Steven hasn't aged in many years, most likely since he stopped living with Greg, and he doesn't talk about it because he doesn't want Connie to know she'll continue aging without him. He's known this since the beginning of the series, when he already had a crush on Connie, but the audience doesn't find out until Steven overhears Greg talking to Connie about it]] in the episode before the 2A finale. The question of what else Steven may be hiding is still up in the air.
** A more minor example occurs in the episode "Log Date 7 15 2," where Steven gets a hold of [[spoiler:Peridot]]'s diary and decides to go through it. We see what he imagines happening in most events based on what is in the log, but for events where he was actually present, it's clear the log entries are tainted by [[spoiler:Peridot's]] very high opinion of herself.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DofusTheTreasuresOfKerubim'', characters often get into arguments regarding how something actually happened, so it's highly likely that Kerubim embellishes his stories when no-one's there to dispute them.
* Two ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoons, ''The Trial of Mr. Wolf'' and ''Turn Tale Wolf'', have the Big Bad Wolf tell alternate versions of ''Little Red Riding Hood'' and ''The Three Little Pigs'', respectively, with him as the victim. (At the end of the first one, when it's clear that no-one believes him, [[spoiler: he says that if he's lying, he hopes he's run over by a street car, at which point that's ''exactly'' what happens. Then he gets up and says, "Okay, maybe I did exaggerate a bit..."]])
** A modern short featuring Daffy as "Superior Duck" had him getting frustrated with Creator/ThurlRavenscroft's apparent inability to announce him as being faster than a bullet and more powerful than a locomotive.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'':
** The episode "Legends of the Dark Knight" focuses on three kids talking about different stories of who Batman is, evoking [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks different]] [[ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns versions]] of the character. The 1950s-style story is questioned as particularly dubious because one of the kids heard it from his uncle, a security guard who was knocked out by Joker gas and didn't actually witness the events.
** The first story in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight'', "Have I Got a Story", also does this. Where each kid describes Batman differently from a different point in a single chase (in reverse order). The first describes a Shadow demon, second strikes a similar figure as Manbat, third is a robot. When Batman shows up he is, of course, human.
** Both of those episodes resemble a comics story, Batman #250's "The Batman Nobody Knows."
** The episode "P.O.V." is a RashomonStyle. The three versions are told by Harvey Bullock, who knows what really happened but is portraying himself as the competent hero and Batman as the one who screwed up; Officer Wilkes, who is genuine in his belief but makes Batman come off as a supernatural creature; and Officer Montoya, who tells the truth as she saw it but erroneously believes that Batman was killed.
* In the second ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' series, teasers and recaps are narrated by a character who plays a prominent role within the episode. In the episode "Rogue in the House, part 2", said duty falls upon Zog, a brain-damaged Triceraton which the turtles--taking advantage of the fact that Zog believes them to be Triceratons--recruited in the previous episode. Despite accurate visuals, Zog's narration states what he wrongly believes is actually happening--that the turtles are a Triceraton sabotage unit, the Foot are Federation.
* A very literal example of this (which occurs due to the RuleOfFunny) happens in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', where Mojo Jojo attacks, ties up, and gags the narrator and takes over the job so that the events of the story turn out in his favor. The Girls eventually realize what is happening, ignore his narrations, and beat the crud out of him. At the end of the story, they rescue the real narrator.
* The Narrator in the ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' animated series not only often has no idea what's actually happening, he's also, at least once, bullied into reading a scene transition to the benefit of one of the villains. "Hey, Narrator guy. Read this or I'll disperse your molecules." "Oh. Erm... later, Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head have defeated the evil Queen." <Scene transition to this having already happened>.
* The ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'' episode "Freaky Fred" is told from the point of view of the [[AntagonistTitle title character]], who's an AxeCrazy {{Expy}} of SweeneyTodd and one of the creepiest villains in the series; kind of hard to trust his story.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** Anytime that Eric Cartman tells a story, you can bet that he is lying, either intentionally, or because he's just that deluded.
** The episode "Fishsticks" had Music/KanyeWest being offended by a joke that Jimmy made up, and Cartman claim he had co-created the joke. We soon see he actually believes this when he recounts the opening scene with Jimmy being more enthusiastic about seeing him and Cartman coming up with the joke all by himself. Cartman then explains the lesson is that Jimmy is such a narcissist that he rewrites his memory to include himself in a bigger role (Or something like that).
** In the third version of the memory, Cartman is interrupted when writing the joke (himself, of course) by someone claiming that the "Jew robots" are invading the town. Cartman turns into the [[Franchise/FantasticFour Human Torch]] and proceeds to melt the "Jew-bots" before finishing the joke. When the flashback ends, Cartman nods that this is exactly what happened.
** In "Mysterion Rises", the Coon attacks a little girl who was only asking about Mintberry Crunch, with a man breaking the fight off. In the Coon's subsequent summary of what transpired, the girl was depicted as a villain who was bigger than him and "fought with all her might" against him, while spectators cheer the Coon on.
*** All of the "comic book" scenes regarding the Coon invoke this.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' Grim deliberately tells Billy and Irwin distorted versions of classic American stories claiming that he was there.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Homer Simpson is this in-universe. In one episode, he wanted to buy a bottle of expensive hair-regrowth formula. After the pharmacist tells him the price, Homer realizes he can't afford it, he breaks down crying and says, "Forget you, pal. Thanks for nothing," as he leaves. This is changed in his story to his friends to an angry, "Forget you, pal! Thanks for nuthin'!" as he "stormed" out.
** There's also when Mr. Burns builds a casino in town. Homer claims that Marge made a huge scene because she refused to accept gambling in Springfield. When Marge reminds him she was in favor, Homer recalls his version of the events: Marge's hair is green, she wields a rolling pin, Homer is musclebound and Apu has three heads.
** A kind of meta-example. In the episode where the family have the opportunity to go to Japan, which Homer isn't keen on, Marge attempts to convince him by mentioning all the aspects of Japanese culture he likes. She tells him that he enjoyed ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'', to which he retorts 'That's not how ''I'' remember it.'
** Lisa accuses Homer of this in ''[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E13AndMaggieMakesThree And Maggie Makes Three]]'' when he tells them about his brilliant advertising campaign involving randomly discharging a shotgun into the air. Marge laments that actually happened.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Any time [[CloudCuckoolander Pinkie Pie]] tells a story, you can be sure it'll have more than a few... embellishments.
** In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles," she tells the [[PowerTrio Cutie Mark Crusaders]] the story of how she got her cutie mark. It apparently involved her being raised by Amish-looking ''rock farmers'', and she closes her tale with "[[CreationMyth And that's how Equestria was made!]]" On top of that, Pinkie follows it up by [[MindScrew offering to tell the CMC how she got her cutie mark]].
** Another episode involves Pinkie trying to figure out who took a bite of a cake she was delivering to a dessert contest. She blames the three competing chefs on board by inventing wild explanations as to how each one did it, accusing a griffin of being a [[DastardlyWhiplash Dastardly Whiplash-esque]] villain, a donkey of being a {{ninja}}, and a unicorn of being [[ShoutOut a]] Film/JamesBond {{expy}}. [[spoiler: It turns out that Pinkie's friends just got hungry and snuck a bite while she wasn't looking.]]
* [[GreekChorus The Muses]] from ''Disney/{{Hercules}}''.
* In ''IronManArmoredAdventures'', Pepper claims to have found information on AIM by [[CeilingCling clinging to the ceiling]] listening onto her father talking the the FBI. She later breaks down and admits her father just forgot to log off his computer.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' put an interesting spin on this in "The American Dad After School Special". For the first half of the episode, Stan is shown becoming dangerously obese, apparently thanks to his family sabotaging his diet. Just before the ad break, we see that Stan is in fact dangerously '''under'''weight and the family's "sabotage" is their desperate attempts to help him. [[FridgeBrilliance Since Stan is the viewpoint character...]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', certain parts of Cotton's recountings of his past are rather questionable. It's implied that he and his friends have shared war stories for so long that he cannot remember which ones he was actually involved in.
** Not to mention, the firehouse episode plays this for laughs; showing everyone's recounts of the events, [[{{Flanderization}} Flanderizing]] everyone and in Boomhauer's case, everyone [[MotorMouth talks like him]] bit he speaks normally.
** In "Luanne Gets Lucky", Lucky recounts the tale of his grandfather finding a perfect walnut tree stump; while he says "Grandpappy" was on a church picnic, the FlashBack shows he was a criminal attempting to escape jail. However, it's implied that Lucky is simply repeating the (false) story that he heard from family rather than lying on purpose.
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim,'' [[MinionWithAnFInEvil Gir]]'s witness account of [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Dib]]'s alien video in "[[RashomonStyle Mysterious Mysteries]]" is so out there it borders on ThroughTheEyesOfMadness. He claims to have been Stacy: "The chubby lady hidin' in the bushes," and halfway through he starts talking about a [[TalkativeLoon giant space squirrel.]]
-->'''Mysterious Mysteries Host''': What does that have to do with anything?!
-->'''Gir/Stacy''': Me and the squirrel are friends.
** In fact, the whole episode was an example. The episode involves Zim, Gir, Dib, and Gaz all giving their accounts of the alien video Dib takes and each one is obviously biased. As noted above Gir's is absoulute nonsense, Zim's makes him and Gir out to be sympathetic children and Dib as an Ogre-style bully, Dib's show him as a powerful and confident hero while showing Gaz as the stereotypical damsel in distress, and Gaz's shows Zim and Dib as stupid to the point of mental retardation. All parties are obviously lying to some degree and what's worse is that from the actual video the you can easily tell what ''really'' happened.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011:'' Jaga's OpeningMonologue is shot through with [[HalfTruth half truths]], neglecting to mention that Third Earth's "peace and prosperity" belongs solely to Thundera's upperclass Cats, or that the ruler's "just heart" does not extend to other species.
* ''WesternAnimation/IAmWeasel'' once did a strange origin story for both I.M Weasel and I.R. Baboon (Baboon is a no-talent comedian and Weasel is a country singer who often comes to Baboon's rescue). It had an unidentified narrator with a somewhat deep Southern accent. At the end of the story, his voice drastically changes and he's revealed to be Jolly Roger, who of course made it all up.
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'' has Ray and Tito frequently tell stories of their escapades in the 60s, but a few episodes make it pretty obvious that they're exaggerating it for the sake of getting a point across.
** Even the kids are aware of this; as when Tito mentions that he stepped on a piece of lava so hot he lost the hopscotch competition, they look at him skeptically. Tito quickly dodges further questions by saying he has to go do some dishes.
* An early episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has [[AnIcePerson the Ice King]] claim that he made his [[ArtifactOfDoom magic crown]] himself, which contradicts [[ApocalypticLog the back story we see]] in "[[WhamEpisode Holly Jolly Secrets]]." Of course, that episode made it clear that the Ice King is [[SanitySlippage even more unhinged]] than previously shown, so the contradiction makes a bit of sense.
** While Hunson Abadeer [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis wrote]] the [[AllThereInTheManual Adventure Time Encyclopedia]], it makes quite clear at several points that there are things he does not know (such as Simon Petrikov's relationship to his daughter, or his own origins) and that there are assumptions he makes which are incorrect (he is fond of assuming that centuries or eons passed at certain points when other sources would indicate it was probably more like days, years at most).
* In the ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}'' episode "Threat Level: Texas!", while being interrogated by Tooley, Texas tells him about the events of several previous episodes, only in which he is the hero of the story rather than Mike Chilton, to the point where the rest of the main cast is ''incredibly'' out of character and very goofy, constantly praising him.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'':
** In "Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T.", all five members of Sector V seem to be this. If one had to guess, Numbuh Five's version of the story was probably closest to the facts, but they were all rather farfetched.
** Possibly the case in the SeriesFinale, "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.". [[spoiler:It is revealed at the end that the adult KND were deliberately misleading Father during the interview, so it stands to reason that the parts of the story that he did not actually witness could have been untrue.]]
* ''Franchise/EverAfterHigh'' suffers from this, mostly because there are two narrators who [[LikeAnOldMarriedCouple constantly criticize how the other tells the story.]] One favouring the Royals (female) and the other the Rebels (male) doesn't help.
* The narrator in ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'' cartoon "I Want To Hold Your Hand" is ostensibly taking the viewers on a tour of a pleasure cruise and giving away the boys' hiding spots from their hysterical female fans. The narrator, in so many words, is told to bug off.
[[/folder]]

to:

\n[[foldercontrol]]\n\n[[folder:Anime And Manga]]\n[[index]]
* Taken to huge levels in ''Manga/PandoraHearts'', especially with the case of one...[[spoiler:[[EvilAllAlong Jack]] [[ManipulativeBastard Vessalius]] and all of the despicable deeds he has done-including twisting his story around numerous times-making it look like GLEN stabbed Gilbert when HE was the one to do so, making it look like Alice liked Jack when in fact she hated him and Alyss liked him, and even rewriting history to make it look like the Baskervilles were the bad guys.]] Oh, and also-watch for whenever they tell you about the Tragedy of Sablier and Alice's memories. [[spoiler:Especially considering those were ALYSS'S memories she was remembering, not her own....]] and that hooded figure who speaks to Lacie....[[spoiler:It's not Glen, it's Jack.]]
UnreliableNarrator/AnimeAndManga
* As in the light novels, Kyon in the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' AnimatedAdaptation certainly qualifies. At the end of each episode, in the original 2006 summer broadcast, Haruhi always indicates the number of the next episode by its chronological order, while Kyon corrects her every time with the episode number based on the broadcast order (and for the one episode where the numbers actually match up, he then corrects himself and apologizes). Both are replaced with Nagato delivering a deadpan tie-in to the next episode, in both the DVD release and expanded 2009 broadcast.
** There is also his stupefying habit of mixing narration with dialogue in language and terms that no high-schooler uses; and tendency not to tell the readers what he has figured out previously until the reveal.
** His tendency in the novels not to differentiate between narration and things he says aloud which are included in the narration without indication of their being speech is preserved by either not showing his mouth or not showing it moving and having characters respond--[[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption or give what]] ''[[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption could]]'' [[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption be responses]]--anyway.
** A [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation favored theory]] is that he tries to present himself as [[AccidentalPervert an objective and respectful young man]]. When [[UnresolvedSexualTension he's actually in love with]] [[ManicPixieDreamGirl all]] [[TheGlassesComeOff of]] [[DistractedByTheSexy them.]] Whenever scenes supporting this come up, his narration says nothing about it, or goes completely off-topic while we watch what happens.
UnreliableNarrator/ComicBooks
* In ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'', the episode ''Poker Face'' entirely takes place in a small shack at the side of some large event, where ColdSniper Saito and some other police officers play poker during their break. When the other players ask him how he got so good at bluffing, he tells them the story how he met the Major while he was a mercenary sniper who killed most of her patrol during a UN mission in Mexico. Since both the plot and the [[NestedStory story within the story]] are all about bluffing, it's entirely unclear if anything was true at all, and there are lots of small details that are inconsistent with information from other episodes.
UnreliableNarrator/FanFiction
* Genma Saotome from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''. Any time he tells a story you just know that isn't how it really happened. This goes double for Happōsai. And Cologne. And the principal. And Sōun (ESPECIALLY Sōun). Heck, point to just about any important adult in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', and it'd be easier to list the things they claimed that ''weren't'' total BS.
UnreliableNarrator/{{Film}}
* Jack Rakan of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' is kind of like this whenever he relates any sort of BackStory, tending to massively exaggerate his own importance. That said, what he says is usually accurate... he just leaves out enormous chunks of the story because they don't involve him.
UnreliableNarrator/{{Literature}}
* In ''Manga/LoveHina'', Kitsune starts explaining Naru's past, and says that Naru and Seta were in a TeacherStudentRomance at the time. She then immediately states "If that had happened, it would have been interesting."
UnreliableNarrator/LiveActionTV
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' anime, Mikami himself, rather than an omniscient narrator, narrates his flashbacks. He thus has an unfavorable view of his mother's advice to stop fighting against the bullies, whereas the manga's narrator noted that she was motivated by genuine concern for his welfare that was largely lost on him.
UnreliableNarrator/{{Music}}
* According to WordOfGod nearly every installment in the ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' franchise is in fact an in-universe dramatization of the events depicted made several years after the fact. While the BroadStrokes of what happened is usually correct certain elements are tweaked somewhat due to RuleOfCool, RuleOfDrama, or just the contemporary political climate.
UnreliableNarrator/NewspaperComics
* In early episodes of ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'', Lina's narration of the previous episode's events tends to paint herself in the best light possible, to the point of, say... practically ignoring destroying almost a whole village. Lina is no more reliable as the narrator of the novels.
UnreliableNarrator/{{Radio}}
* ''Manga/SchoolLive'' has a severely unreliable narrator in its heroine Yuki. The story at first largely follows her life as she sees it, living at school for fun and spending her days doing typical light-hearted school-life anime activities with her classmates and a small group of club members. When the perspective switches to one of her club members, however, [[spoiler:it's revealed that the four club members are the only survivors left in the city after a ZombieApocalypse, Yuki spends much of her time interacting with classmates who're long gone, and the beautiful school is in ruins, full of barricades designed to stop attacks.]]
UnreliableNarrator/TabletopGames
* In several of the first novels of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', [[spoiler:due to the nature of the madness and paranoia-inducing parasite that infects all of the residents of Hinamizawa, it is unclear what actually takes place as the narrator for the arc ends up slaughtering several of their friends and others. There are hints throughout that the events may not be as perceived by the narrator, such as when the police report at the end of the first novel contradicts the narrator's belief of what happened. Keiichi's demise by clawing at his throat at the end of the first arc proves that he succumbed to the town's parasite, creating doubt with regards to his mental state.]]
UnreliableNarrator/VideoGames
* Ii-chan of ''LightNovel/{{Zaregoto}}'' forgets important details, frequently. He even neglects to tell the readers [[spoiler: how he disguised the second murder in The Kubishime Romanticist as a suicide.]]
UnreliableNarrator/VisualNovels
* The protagonist to the manga ''Kami no Kodomo''; a sociopathic serial killer who depicts himself as a messiah-like figure.
UnreliableNarrator/{{Webcomics}}
* Played for Laughs in ''TenchiUniverse''. During the series, both Ayeka and Ryoko give different versions of how they met and interacted with each other in the past, which resulted in them becoming enemies. Both girls tell stories that make the other look bad. It's up to the viewing audience to decide if Ayeka or Ryoko is telling the truth. [[spoiler: By the end of the series, Washu concludes that they're both telling the truth and both girls were cruel to each other.]]
UnreliableNarrator/WebOriginal
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' (the manga, not the anime) doesn't have an actual narrator except for in a few info boxes, and when characters recount their memories, it is usually done in the form of an objective {{Flashback}}, even making use of the ThirdPersonFlashback trope to show all details. There is, however, a first example of an unreliable narrator in the Dressrosa arc: [[spoiler: When Rebecca's flashback is shown, it looks like she was raised by only her mother, Scarlet, and didn't meet her father, Kyros, before he appeared as a toy soldier carrying her dead mother in his arms. However, as Kyros' flashback shows, he lived with them and was an important part of Rebecca's early childhood. But then Kyros was turned into a toy, effectively making him an UnPerson. This is why Rebecca's flashback was unreliable: She cannot remember a thing about her father, so she genuinely thought that she only lived with her mother. This unreliability makes all the Third Person Flashbacks seem a little weird in hindsight, but it was probably a handy excuse to avoid spoiling that the toy soldier was Rebecca's real father and Kyros, since that wasn't known by the readers back then]].
** In a similar vein, the Tontatta dwarf Leo describes Mansherry, princess of the Tontatta that he's trying to rescue, as "selfish, mean, capricious, and short-tempered". When the manga finally shows her in person, it's shown that she's incredibly sweet and kind-hearted, [[{{Tsundere}} but acts that way around Leo]] because she has a giant crush on him [[ObliviousToLove and he's too dense to see it]].
* In ''LightNovel/TheDevilIsAPartTimer'', in order to clear up a [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend repeated misunderstanding]], Ashiya tries to explain the relationship between himself, his roommate Sadao Maō, and Emi Yusa to some people. However, the people he's talking to don't know that all three hail from a HeroicFantasy universe where Maō was the Demon King, Ashiya was his top general, and Emi was the [[ChosenOne fated hero]] who almost slew them both. So instead Ashiya makes up a story about Maō being the head of an upstart construction company that was driven out of business by a rival, for whom Emi worked as an intern. In this case, the viewer already knows that the story is made up, but it's interesting to note that his cover-up story offers an interesting perspective on the real events he's masking: for example, he sees the armies of humanity not as mortal enemies or insects to be crushed, but simply as rivals competing over limited resources, and he doesn't seem to hate Emi personally for her role in their defeat, instead regarding it as a case of JustFollowingOrders. In retrospect, this interpretation would explain why a pair of demons who seemed hell-bent on conquering humanity in their world would be able to fit in so comfortably with humans in this world.
* In episode 8 of ''Anime/{{Tokyo Magnitude 8}}'' [[spoiler:Yuuki]] dies. However the viewers don't know this until two episodes later. We see [[spoiler:him]] die however it's treated like a nightmare that [[spoiler:his sister]] had. For the entirety of episode nine and most of episode ten we see [[spoiler:Yuuki]] alive and normal because that's what [[spoiler:Mairi]] thought happened. There are clues that [[spoiler:Yuuki]] isn't "really" there, like [[spoiler:shots where he is missing and him constantly disappearing.]]
* ''Anime/LupinIIIEpisode0FirstContact'' is the OriginStory to ''Franchise/LupinIII'', except the narrator Jigen admits to altering some things. [[spoiler:Also, he's actually Lupin in disguise]]. The credits sequence shows that ''some'' of it is true, but it's clear, and even stated, that other parts were changed. Why? [[ItAmusedMe Why not?]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
Comics are the easiest medium to accomplish this in, since you can have the narration saying one thing above the panel and the panel show what's really happening, whereas in Film, Western Animation, and Live TV you might have the narrator's speech conflict with the scene, necessitating a more "flashback" style to show this. It is very common to have a narrator say one thing and the below panel completely contradict it.

* It should be obvious at the beginning of ''ComicBook/EarthX'' that Uatu the Watcher is an unreliable narrator: he's an alien from a culture that has [[AlienNonInterferenceClause very different values from humanity's.]] It should be further obvious when Uatu does things like object to World War II on the grounds that [[DeliberateValuesDissonance "humanity was not yet ready for a master race".]] But most readers were used to Uatu's style of narration and [[NeglectfulPrecursors problematic "neutral" moral stance]] from ''What If?'', so Uatu manages to carry on the illusion that he's a friend of humanity for several more issues.
* Rorschach in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' is a good example of this, especially when he talks about himself. The artwork actually uses an unreliable ''framing device'' (one of many the work contains) to show "Rorschach" in the [[TheFaceless first person]] and Walter Kovacs in the 3rd person (walking around in the background of the same chapter), leading to TheReveal. This both misdirects the audience as to who Rorschach is behind the mask, and contributes to the sense of Rorschach's disconnection from "the man in the mirror", so to speak.
* Ed Brubaker's ''Books of Doom'' miniseries tells the origin story of classic MarvelComics supervillain Doctor Doom, seemingly narrated by Doom himself. However, at the story's end, it is revealed that the narrator is actually one of the Doom's [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Doombots]], telling the story that Doom has programmed into it, leaving to question how much of it was true.
* Dreadwing, the main antagonist of ''ComicBook/{{Gold Digger}}'' has a mymior, a magical journal of sorts for dragons. He lost his original one, but he was able to create a "new and improved" mymior for himself and it's clear that Dreadwing's jaded and evil mindset has heavy influence over his writing, such as putting everyone except him in a negative light, trying to justify his many crimes and giving questionable overviews of his relationships with other characters.
* WordOfGod states that Delios of ''ThreeHundred'' is an unreliable narrator; all of the supposed inconsistencies with actual history are actually bare-faced ''lies'', with Delios stretching the truth about who did what and how many there were. This naturally justifies the comic's explicit use of RuleOfCool and RefugeInAudacity.
* Recent issues of ''ComicBook/TheBoys'' have been about the backgrounds of other members of the eponymous group beyond Wee Hughie. Mother's Milk was relatively straight forward. Frenchie's was... not. This is partially justified by Frenchie being ''craaaaaaaazy''.
* The ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'' series. [[spoiler: It's revealed in the final book of the series, Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour that Scott's memories of his past experiences with his ex-girlfriends were altered by Gideon Graves, meaning some of the events shown in the previous books may/may not be entirely false]].
* John Constantine from ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' tends to get unreliable, especially if he's depressed or drunk. If there was a scene where he actually didn't see it (but we readers do), he will tend to second guess everything and can only imagine what could have happened. Although not an accurate description, John's gory imagination makes up one hell of a comic panel.
* Done in ''ComicBook/SteelgripStarkeyAndTheAllPurposePowerTool'' via thought balloons and dialog from [[spoiler:Flynn "Flyin'" Ryan . Although he's secretly the tool's inventor and the mastermind behind [[DecoyLeader Mr. Pilgrim]], his thoughts often read like he's unaware of the big picture. Done particularly egregiously when he and a cohort are making plans, and he still refers to Mr. Pilgrim in the third person.]]
* In ''ComicStrip/TwistedToyfareTheatre'', the [[TheAlcoholic perpetually drunk]] ComicBook/IronMan tells Spider-Man about how Bucky died (again).
-->'''Iron Man:''' I shtood my ground, but it wash too late! The Shweathogs got him...\\
'''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica:''' "Sweathogs"? I thought Pez Dispensers were chasing you!\\
'''Iron Man:''' Thash the weird part...
* Vincent Santini, the narrator from ''Brooklyn Dreams'', tells us in the first page he can't remember much from his past, so he'll tell us the best he can. The whole story is him telling us about his life the way he wants to remember it. He even says "I'll weave you some lies about my life, and who knows they might be true."
* This is one of the rules governing the stories in ''ComicBook/MouseGuard: Legends of the Guard''.
** June states that the stories can be neither "complete truths", nor "complete falsehoods." Exactly how much of any given story is true or false is left as an exercise to the reader, and they vary from the relatively plausible (a story of brief and unlikely companionship between mouse and bat), to the truly outlandish. (A mouse king who rode into battle upon a weasel, a Guardmouse who saved a town from a flash flood and drought by swallowing the flood waters then spitting them back out to serve as a reservoir.)
** Amusingly, one of the most plausible stories -- a play on "Androcles and the Lion" in which an African mouse manages to befriend a lion that's impressed with its bravery and resourcefulness (pulling the thorn out of the lion's paw is in there, but is outright established to be a secondary factor at best) -- is discarded out of hand because the North American mice of the series have never seen or heard of lions or hyenas before, as well as the fact that it's told by a known lunatic who claims to have heard it from a beetle, which aren't talking animals in ''Mouse Guard''.
* An annual had ComicBook/IronMan villain The Mandarin telling his life story to a film maker, with the captions showing his version of the events, and the panels showing the complete opposite.
* ''ComicBook/FantasticFour #15'' offers [[http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/scans7/FF15_Yancy.JPG this introduction to]] [[TheBigGuy the Thing]].
* Common in ''Twisted Tales''. Examples include:
** "Banjo Lessons": A man narrates, in increasingly detailed flashbacks, the circumstances that led him to have a psychotic break and murder his friends. He claims it's due to his suppressed rage over an incident where they killed and ate a dog while on their hunting trip, but [[spoiler:a court sees through him and realizes the truth - "Banjo" the dog was actually their (black, while the men were white) hunting guide.]]
** "Me An' Ol' Rex": A mentally disabled hick boy is beaten by his abusive father, but finds solace in "Rex", his dinosaur friend. Rex eventually grows bigger and begins eating people who the boy feeds to him. The boy eventually commits suicide because he knows he'll be blamed for the people's disappearance. We then discover that [[spoiler:"Rex" is not a dinosaur, but his father, who was driven to cannibalism when locked in the shed for the boy's own protection. The dinosaur story was his delusion or lie.]]
* In ComicBook/TheMightyThor #356, Hercules and Jarvis are taking a stroll in the park, and a group of guys ask him if he's stronger than Thor or not. So, Hercules began to narrate their last encounter. Humbled and ashamed by the vast superiority of Hercules over him, Thor asked him for an arm wrestling, to see if he could regain the will to live. Jarvis laughed at the idea of Thor trying to defeat Hercules... but Jarvis, standing right there while Hercules made his narration, pointed that he did not remember any such scene. "[[RetGone Oh, of course, it happened while you were on vacation, dear Jarvis!]]". So, Thor was defeated in a second, attacked Hercules in his head with his hammer, began to destroy the city on a tantrum... Mr. Hercules, that doesn't make sense, aren't you making it up? Oh, this Jarvis may be a prince among butlets, but as a spectator he leaves much to desire. Where were we? Oh, that the fight got into the Empire State building which was destroyed... but such thing never made it to the newspapers, [[BlatantLies because the Avengers repaired it immediately]]! And goes on, on, and on... that is, until he realizes that the guy asking was not his fan but a fan of Thor, who felt sad for his hero. Where were we? Oh, that Thor was about to receive the final blow... and suddenly showed that he was [[WillfullyWeak holding his strength]], beated the crap out of Hercules, and [[MegatonPunch sent him to another state with a single punch]]. Yes, it really happened! [[LampshadeHanging Would Hercules lie to you?]]
* ComicBook/TheSandman: Invoked with a story that Cluracan tells in a tavern. He tells of when he was sent as an envoy to an impoverished nation, imprisoned, and managed to escape as well as destroy the corrupt ruler. The other patrons call him on this, and he freely admits to adding and removing parts of the story to make it more interesting, though the only thing he admits to fabricating is a sword fight he had with the guards (he added that part to make the story interesting). He states they can choose to believe him or not. How much of it is true is left to the audiences interpretation, though in story Cluracan is still an amoral ditz and a drunk who get's himself in trouble, requires Dream to save him, and dethrones the ruler out of a revenge rather than duty, none of which is out of character.
* In ''ComicBook/DruidCity'', no one character in particular serves as a narrator in a traditional sense, but it does become clear that certain details about how some characters are drawn change after the character in question is disassociated with the lead character. For example, once Hunter Hastings (the lead) and Misa Saito (a character in question) end their second relationship and potential lasting friendship, Misa's hair is drawn in a completely different style and certain qualities that she has disappear. All of these changes are not commented upon by any other characters, so the assumption could be that Hunter's opinion was shaping her appearance for the audience to some degree.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' series ''Arkham Reborn'', [[spoiler:Jeremiah Arkham turns out to be just a tad loopy, to the point where it turns out his "beauties", three patients who seem relatively functional but have to be kept apart for their own safety, don't actually exist, and some of the time he's the supervillain Black Mask (another one).]] When he recovers his memories as to where his marbles actually went - it involves the Joker, Hugo Strange, and a suggestibility-enhancing drug, even that is left ambiguous regarding how much of it is true, [[spoiler:in his reflection, he sees himself as Black Mask.]]
* In ''Comicbook/{{Phonogram}}'', one issue of "The Singles Club" has a back-up strip that tells the story of the previous story, "Rue Britannia", from the perspective of a minor character in the previous work. The minor character is a friend of David Kohl, the protagonist of the previous story, and tagged along for part of it. As the minor character is not part of the world of the 'phonomancers' like Kohl, it's pretty clear from his telling that he really had no clue exactly what was going on, but it's nevertheless a reasonably faithful version of events. Until the end, whereupon the minor character suddenly produces a big gun, shoots what he thinks was the bad guy, saves Kohl's life and then swaggers off to have a threesome with two beautiful women. Kohl, needless to say, is not particularly impressed with this addition to the narrative.
* Done in-universe with ''ComicBook/AstroCity's'' Manny Monkton, a comic book publisher who encourages his writers to play fast and loose with the facts to make their stories more exciting.
-->"The kids don't want facts. They want drama! THRILLS!"
* Happens once in a while in ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'', as the characters may gloss over some particulars (for example, when narrating the flashback of "Diabolik, Who Are You?" the title character didn't say numerous important particulars), not know the truth (some of the facts from "Diabolik, Who Are You?" are later shown wrong in "The True Story of King's Island", as King flat-out lied to Diabolik), or flat-out lie (in [[spoiler: "Diabolik's Secret"]] Eva is forced to tell a journalist a story about Diabolik that nobody knew... And lied, before mailing to their competitors evidence that it was a lie).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': [[http://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/posts/2578680/ In chapter 49]] a character is being filled in on the history of the Angel War and the post-Impact world. However Misato had some ''creative'' interpretations of the events. Asuka suggests him that he ignores everything Misato said.
* Elspeth of ''Fanfic/{{Luminosity}}'' narrates the second book, and whenever under Allirea's power sees her as "not important". This leads to glossing over some important dialogue, with a little UnspokenPlanGuarantee.
* The museum curator from "[[FanFic/KingSuperman The Courier Who Had Cheated Death]]" averts this trope. On one hand, every detail from the story he told was true. On the other hand, he ''was'' the murderous psychopath from the story, and the 'display dummy' he mentions offhandedly is implied to be another of his victims.
* ''FanFic/HuntingTheUnicorn'' makes liberal use of this--though there isn't any intentional misleading, there are two instances that make use of this for ''huge'' impact: "The Hunters" reveals that [[spoiler: Blaine isn't a virgin]], and it's elaborated [[LoveHurts very painfully]] in the following chapter. "The Butterfly" is where David tells a counselor [[spoiler: that Blaine has a stalker and has ''no idea of it'']].
* In the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' fanfic ''[[http://shinodaholic.deviantart.com/art/Revenge-of-the-Narrator-201034142 Revenge of the Narrator]]'', the replacement Narrator tells the reader halfway through that [[spoiler: everything the original Narrator had said]] was a lie.
* FanFic/{{Pipeline}} is primarily told through third-person limited, using Kevin's thoughts and perceptions of things to tell the story. Kevin's kind of a... self-informed guy, so this has interesting results. He's got the best of intentions, really, but his perceptions of the way Ben is acting towards him are much harsher than Ben means them to, and his irrational dislike of Dexter makes the boy genius out to be the bad guy sometimes when they really have similar values and goals.
%% * ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' fanfic ''FanFic/CicadasCaseOfTheEndlessDreamer'' is unreliable narration '''[[UpToEleven HE]][[MindScrew LL]]!'''
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6949110/1/A_Piece_Of_Glass A Piece Of Glass]]'', the story is sandwiched together from the POV of the Joker, his OriginalCharacter accomplice, Breech Loader, and Batman himself. The Joker sees his demented social experiments as perfectly acceptable. Breech repeatedly insists that morals and sanity are moot points, being a matter of perspective. Neither is sane, but ThroughTheEyesOfMadness both are convinced they are right. Interestingly, through Batman's POV, he's NotSoDifferent...
* Similarly, Dogbertcarroll's stories on Fanfiction dot net include one where [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander Harris]] has a cosmic event happen and gets dropped into the Justice league, literally during a meeting. He describes Batman as being possibly the most sociologically driven man in the DC Universe but also deadly necessary. Of course, this is Xander's viewpoint, and the man has been somewhat unreliable narrating himself, as anyone who's ever watched/critiqued "The Zeppo" can tell you.
* All over the place in ''FanFic/TheNewRetcons'' since for most of the story it's written in the style of the characters writing letters. Including an insane Elly. In the comments for one of the letters, the authors and fans discussed this trope with regard to Liz, and whether she was one about [[spoiler: [[AttemptedRape the going after]]]].
* Possibly Dominic in ''FanFic/PinkPersonalHellAndAlteringFate''. Early in the story, he tells the reader how [[ButtMonkey bad he has it]], such as how his group doesn't bother to communicate with him and dumps half the project on him. However, when he arrives to give a presentation with Gummy attached to his finger (ItMakesSenseInContext) they actually laugh ''with'' him. Granted, later on, the mirror shows moments he'd rather not see...
** One thing that also makes a bit of sense with the story's main twist is [[spoiler: Pink Personal Hell is revealed to be InMediasRes to Altering Fate - it can be read in a way that Dominic is remembering his so-called "Pink Personal Hell" during the events of the "Altering Fate" narrative from his perspective - which still plays true to this trope as Dominic glosses over a ''lot'' of events.]]
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic'', in which [[CuteKitten Vesta's]] narration is filled with {{Suspiciously Specific Denial}}s and IMeantToDoThat.
* ''FanFic/HomeWithTheFairies'' downplays this. Maddie is not trying to lie, but her misunderstandings affect the narration, especially in the early chapters, when the LanguageBarrier is still a major problem. For example, Maddie visits the town of Fornost, but it might not be Fornost; Maddie later uses the name "maybe-not-Fornost". Then in chapter 13, Maddie believes that Lord Kinsey will fire her if "gossip gets out", but this might not be true; Lord Kinsey might or might not believe the gossip. A writer's note on chapter 14 declares Maddie as an unreliable narrator.
* The Franchise/{{Pokemon}} fic ''{{Fanfic/Obsession}}'' shows Corbin as a caring father who simply doesn't know how to care for his [[{{Anime/Pokemon 2000}} strange son]]. Said son is narrating, however, and describes his father as a heartless fool and constant embarrassment. He's also narrating as an adult, so this isn't just a child's perspective.
* [[TheStoryteller Brett's mother]] in ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfTotalDramaIsland''. Although she recounts long-past events with [[InfallibleNarrator inhuman precision]], she also embellishes some details, fills in gaps with informed guesswork, and lets her biases influence some characterizations. Indeed, those cartoonish elements in [[WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland the original]] that are retained in the reimagining could well be chalked up to her embellishments. It’s called a “legend” for a reason.
* ''Fanfic/ConceptRoad''. For a character preemptively familiar with [[MegaCrossover all the worlds he goes to]], Louis Starsky sure doesn't always have his facts together.
** For example, he believes that Miku Hatsune was the first Music/{{Vocaloid}} preceding Meiko Sakine and Kaito. He's convinced that Kino from ''LightNovel/KinosJourney'' is a dude.
** It should also be noted that several context clues within the same chapter(s) strongly suggest that this is not a {{critical research failure}} on the actual author's end.
* The narrator of ''FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed'' is without a doubt, one of the most unreliable narrators to ever be featured in a fanfiction. Her tendency to present her conspiracies as fact is both disorienting and highly amusing as well. But it is this nature of hers that the entire concept of the fic centers around.
** It is possible to get a glimpse of actual Equestrian history through her eyes, once one wades through the enormous fallacies and insane conspiracy theories she presents. But the fic mostly consists solely of Equestrian history as seen through her eyes, whether the reader wants to accept it as accurate or not.
* The ''Fanfic/GettingBackOnYourHooves'' side story "Another Happy Mother's Day" is [[VillainEpisode told from the perspective of]] [[BigBad Checker Monarch]] after her defeat and [[VillainousBreakdown fall into]] [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness insanity]] at the end of the original fic. Considering she's insane to the point she's suffered a LossOfIdentity and created FalseMemories, it's impossible to tell what details of her past she gave are real and which are false.
* Navarone is an in-universe example in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman'', as he often leaves stuff out or puts misleading information in his journals. [[spoiler: Discord is a straighter example, as he flat out lies to the reader]].
* All over the place in ''[[Fanfic/ImHereToHelp I'm Here to Help]]''. Emerald's narration portrays Crystal Tokyo as a CrapsaccherineWorld where everyone is brainwashed and the senshi rule with an iron fist, but the only reasons actually given for how the kingdom is bad boil down to "it's boring". It doesn't help that Emerald is several hundred years old and insane. ([[spoiler:Pluto's]] interference near the end could indicate some truth to his argument, but [[spoiler:she]] gives no reason for [[spoiler:her]] actions beyond "I don't like how Crystal Tokyo turned out", which still gives nothing solid to go off of.) Meanwhile, the two sections told from the point of views of the future senshi depict Emerald as a dangerous murderer, while the past senshi and Luna see him as shifty and untrustworthy. It's difficult to say exactly how much of this was intentional. [[spoiler:The author's notes at the end say that there was a lot more going on than we see, but we're never told what it was. The possibility of everything being revealed in a sequel was mentioned, but that never came around.]]
* [[spoiler:Carlos]] in his chapters of [[Fanfic/TheStrexFamily ''Compliance'' and ''Procedure'']]. His narration includes, for instance, [[spoiler:domestic abuse, emotional manipulation not being mentioned as such, and sexual assault/rape being seen as consensual sex (the following chapter proves that it very much is not)]].
* The Sassgardian is the worst offender in ''Fanfic/SuperheroRPF''. He insists for example that ''Loki'' is a LovableRogue with [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold a heart of gold]], he even has his tumblr to prove it! [[spoiler:He ''is'' Loki.]] But several other characters are super heroes or villains too, protecting their secret identities, so being unreliable narrators is pretty much unavoidable.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
[[AC:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. Syndrome's flashback to the moment when he lost faith in Mr. Incredible ("Go home, Buddy. I work alone.") is significantly different from the actual moment the audience saw, in order to demonstrate Syndrome's unreliable and skewed perspective on events.
* Played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}''. The GreekChorus of mariachi owls says the tale of the titular character ends with him dying. He lives. When this is pointed out, they simply say he will ''eventually'' die...probably in a household accident.
* A truly bizarre example in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. The story itself is objective, but the narration accompanying it is biased towards Emperor Kuzco, since he ''is'' the narrator. At one point, while complaining about how everyone else is the problem, his on-screen self interrupts to remind him the audience saw what happened and knows that isn't true. He's literally arguing with himself over the reliability. Narrator-Kuzco falls silent and is never heard from again.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}''. When Red describes meeting the Wolf in the forest, she leaves out the part where she kicked his butt using karate before running away. We can safely assume Wolf's telling the truth about this, since there's a picture of her with a black belt on Granny's wall.
* A few fans believe this trope is the reason for the [[SeriesContinuityError inconsistencies]] of Disney/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf compared to the first two films.
* During the Bowler Hat Guy's flashback in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'', we see how badly he (aka [[spoiler: Goob]]) gave up on life after his baseball incident. At one point, we see him in school and despite his claims that "they all ''hated'' me," people were trying to be friends with him. Justified, as it also shows how twisted and antisocial he became since the incident.
* A 1969 cartoon by the National Film Board of Canada, titled "The National Film Board of Mars Presents: What On Earth?" is a pseudo-documentary in which the Martian filmmakers mistakenly believe automobiles are the dominant species of life on earth, and proceeds to describe their life span (they die in scrapyards), breeding habits (made in factories), feeding habits (gas stations) and minor parasites that infest them (people).
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForceColonMovieFilmForTheaters'': After the opening movie theater parody, the story supposedly begins millions of years ago, in 1492, at 3pm, in Egypt. Then a modern airplane flies by. It turns out this is a story Master Shake is telling Meatwad, and to make it worse, Meatwad is in the story. In fact, pretty much every character in this film is an Unreliable Narrator.

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Nymphomaniac}}'' can be said to have three main characters: Joe-the-protagonist, Joe-the-narrator, and Seligman-the-audience. While Joe and Joe are the same person, Joe-the-narrator hates Joe-the-protagonist with a passion. Seligman sometimes calls out Joe on her bullshit, but perhaps not often enough. Her story gives an accurate portrayal of her state of mind, but perhaps less so of her life.
* ''Film/TheKidStaysInThePicture''. Robert Evans acknowledges that the documentary is colored by his point of view of the events in the film, with a title card stating:
-->"There are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently."
* The movie ''Film/SuckerPunch'' embodies this trope, since [[spoiler:almost all of the movie takes place just as the protagonist is having a lobotomy]]. Made all the more weird because we're not quite sure who the narrator is.
* ''Film/{{Detour}}''. It's implied that the main character Al Roberts is coloring events to make himself look sympathetic, and to make Vera seem more like a vicious FemmeFatale. He probably ''did'' commit the crimes in the film purposefully, but the story is altered by NeverMyFault.
* ''Film/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]]: "Here is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there's no real me, only an entity, something illusory."
* ''Film/MadDetective''. Bun claims that he can visualize people's inner personalities but it's never clear whether it's an example of his madness or a legit supernatural power.
* ''Film/SnakeEyes'' features several flashbacks narrated by several characters in an attempt to reconstruct a crime, and every flashback replays through a continuous, first-person point of view shot. One such flashback is completely untrue, as it is narrated by the (unbeknownst) criminal.
* Implied in ''Film/BunnyAndTheBull''. Stephen, the main character, is retelling the story of a road trip from his perspective- vital pieces of information are left out or glossed over, not to mention the fact that he sees hallucinations in his house but doesn't realise they are not real until the end of the movie, so by consequence, neither does the audience.
* ''Film/TheUsualSuspects''. Agent Kujan spends the course of the movie listening to Verbal tell his story, then rejects portions of it as lies. [[spoiler: The problem, of course, is that he rejects the WRONG portions.]]
* The premise of ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'' is that the story is told from four different points of view, ''all'' of which disagree, and ''all'' of which are unreliable, due to each character having a reputation to protect. The ending at least gives us the truth about [[spoiler:what happened to the dagger]], but with a very different motive than what the viewer might have assumed.
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' reveals in the end that the man who has been telling the story is in fact an inmate of an insane asylum, and the ''entire movie'' never happened; he just made it up based on the people around him.
* ''Film/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]].
* Nearly every joke in ''Film/TheMatingHabitsOfTheEarthboundHuman'' relies on the alien narrator misinterpreting human behavior.
* In ''Film/BladeOfVengeance'', the narrator is the female love interest. Her narratives are usually really weird. At the end of the movie, she's seen smoking opium, which explains a lot.
* An early example of this occurred in Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/StageFright'', which opens with a flashback narrated by one of the characters who is lying to another character to obtain their help.
* The plot of ''Film/{{Hero}}'' consists of the same story being retold three times with major differences: [[spoiler:Nameless' BS story he told so that he could get an audience with the Emperor and have a shot at assassinating him, the Emperor finally calling Nameless on his BS and telling what he thinks really happened, and Nameless finally admitting what REALLY happened just before he tries to kill the Emperor.]]
* In the Korean horror/suspense film ''Film/ATaleOfTwoSisters'', this trope only becomes apparent at the end. It starts out fairly normal, with two sisters returning home to their father and stepmother. It starts to get confusing, with the unexplained appearance of some wraith-like girl under the sink, various objects and people disappearing and reappearing without explanation, and all sorts of contradictory information. Eventually [[spoiler:the stepmother murders one of the girls, only it's revealed immediately after that it never happened. It turns out one of the girls was pretending to be both herself, her stepmother, and her sister. The sister who was supposedly murdered had died a long time ago in an accident, and the stepmother was simply the nurse taking care of the two when said accident happened, which the girl blames for her sister's death. [[GainaxEnding Are you]] [[MindScrew confused yet?]]]]
* ''Film/BigFish'' has an unusual take on the unreliable narrator, in that [[spoiler:the flashback stories are assumed to be pure fiction for most of the movie and the twist is that the father may actually be more reliable than was thought. The appearance of the twins, Giant, and Ringmaster at the father's funeral clearly leaves the son reeling as he reassesses his father's stories for where exactly they diverged from the truth. The reality is only slightly skewed from his stories, i.e., the Siamese twins are actually just regular twins from Siam, the giant is a 7'6" man, and so on.]]
* ''Film/TheFall'' plays some fun games with this trope. It is a film of two levels, stories within stories - a girl in a hospital listens to stories told by a bedridden man, and we see her visualisations of the stories he tells. However, they don't share identical internal dictionaries. One great example is that he talks about an Indian and his squaw, but the girl, who was friends with a Sikh, imagines a bearded subcontinental man in a turban. ''Film/TheFall'' also features a classic example of InUniverse CreatorBreakdown.
* ''Film/{{Memento}}''. Lenny may be ''trying'' to report accurately, but his grasp on the real past is, to put it mildly, highly questionable.
* Played straight, for laughs, and for drama in ''ForrestGump''. The [[InnocentInaccurate naive]] Forrest incorrectly describes events he witnesses through his life. Notable examples: He believes that Charlie was someone specific that the Army was looking for, as opposed to the code name for the Vietcong, and Apple computers was a fruit company, even though he made a fortune by investing in them on Lieutenant Dan's advice.
* The film ''Film/SecretWindow'', (based on Creator/StephenKing's novella ''Secret Window, Secret Garden''), which is narrated in third person) the narrator is stalked by a psychopath who accuses him of plagiarizing his book, and who attempts to frame him for several heinous crimes. In the climax, it is revealed that [[spoiler:the narrator has been driven to madness over his guilt for plagiarizing a classmate in college, and is unconsciously committing the acts for which he thinks he's being framed. The stalker does not exist outside his own mind (although the novella hedges a bit on this point).]]
* ''Film/MonsterAGoGo'' has the ultimate unreliable narrator. [[spoiler:Whaddaya mean there was no monster, beauzeau?]]
* ''Film/BubbaHoTep''. The stories Elvis and JFK share about themselves and how they ended up in a Texas nursing home are VERY speculative and unreliable.
* Jack Crabb (DustinHoffman), in ''Film/LittleBigMan'', is quite likely one of these. In the original novel by Thomas Berger, the historian who transcribes Crabb's narrative expresses the opinion that most of his supposed exploits are pure malarkey. There are hints, however, that the historian may ''himself'' be something of an unreliable narrator.
* While it didn't have an unreliable narrator itself, the 2007 ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' implies that the original poem is a false account of the events as told by Beowulf himself. His account of why he lost a swimming race is stated to be at the very least exaggerated, when his friend mutters that last time he heard the story, there were fewer sea monsters in it.
* The events of ''Film/TheNewGuy'' seem to strain the limits of WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. At various points throughout the movie (eg: immediately after the scene with [[{{Fanservice}} Danielle trying on swimsuits]]), however, the audience is [[LampshadeHanging reminded]] that we're seeing the story through the eyes of an arguably-insane convict.
* David Leigh (David Beard) in ''Film/TheLastBroadcast''. Even his narraton being a documentary doesn't help.
* In ''Film/HighTension'' (originally ''Haute Tension''), a French psychological thriller, Marie, a resourceful young woman is trying to save her best friend, Alexia, from an insane serial killer who murdered Alexia's family before kidnapping her. The twist: [[spoiler:Marie is the serial killer. The Killer is an alternate personality that Marie created in order to live out a disturbing fantasy: Alexia will fall in love with her savior and stay with Marie FOREVER.]]
* Matthew [=McConaughey=] in ''Film/{{Frailty}}''.
* The main story of ''Film/RoadTrip'' is told through the eyes of Barry, a campus tour guide who's [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} not playing with a full deck]]. As such, the story has some highly improbable elements. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when he is telling the part involving the girls' locker room.
* In ''Film/SwimmingPool'' the novelist protagonist spends most of the movie dealing with her publisher's daughter's bad habits [[spoiler:including murder]] but, at the end, we learn [[spoiler:that the publisher's daughter is a completely different girl, leaving us wondering who the girl was, and if she existed at all.]]
* In the musical film, ''Film/{{Grease}}'', Danny and Sandy sing about how they met each other during the summer holidays to their friends, unaware that they are both going to the same school. Sandy sings about how Danny was such a sweet guy and describes their romantic evening, whereas Danny shows off about making out with Sandy and saying that she was "good, if you know what I mean."
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'': Joel. A great portion of the film is told through Joel's memories of events he experienced with Clementine, but the unreliability of those memories is shown on at least two occasions. When Joel first arrives home the night of the erasure, his neighbor chats with him about Valentine's Day. This is then the first substantial memory about Clementine that gets erased. But while this event took place just a short while (maybe an hour at most) before the erasure, it is shown that Joel is already incorrectly remembering what his neighbor said to him. Other less obvious hints abound (e.g., Joel remembering childhood events while being adult in appearance). Taking the imperfection of human memory alongside whether Joel considered a given memory as enjoyable or upsetting, the audience ought to wonder if what they're viewing is what ''actually'' happened, or if Joel's memories are distorted, exaggerated, or embellished because of the passing of time and because of his emotional state at the time of the event.
* In the song "I Remember It Well" from ''Film/{{Gigi}}'', Maurice Chevalier's character claimed to remember a past meeting with Gigi's grandmother perfectly, only to be contradicted by her in every detail.
* ''Film/{{Flourish}}'' stars Jennifer Morrison as Gabrielle Winters, a tutor who is brought in for questioning in the death of her sixteen-year-old student, Lucy. She tells the entire story to the police officer questioning her, and when she finishes, the police officer asks her how she could have [[spoiler: spoken about events she wasn't present for. It's then revealed that Gabrielle is actually in a mental hospital, and the police officer is a psychiatrist. Prior to the story, Gabrielle was in a car accident that caused her brain trauma; as a result, she has frequent memory lapses and unconsciously fills them in with fictional details (sharp viewers will notice that one of the suspects in Gabrielle's story is played by the same actor as the man questioning her). Gabrielle overhears the psychiatrist talking with someone else and comes to the realization that she has made up nearly everything she said. However, the psychiatrist also notes that Gabrielle did correctly guess a lot of the details, leaving it up in the air how much of her story was actually true.]]
* ''Film/{{North}}'' seems to know that other parents use him as a reference as how their kids should act to be a perfect child. It also doesn't help that most of the movie about his exploits is all a dream. And despite stating he is intelligent, everyone aside from the middle class white American family are a bunch of jerks and racial stereotypes.
* ''Film/FearIsland'' is told through flashbacks during a police interview with the sole survivor of a teenage slaughter. It's not until the survivor's parents show up that [[spoiler:: the police realize the narrator was lying about which person she is and that she was actually the murderer all along ]].
* The plot of ''Film/HeLovesMeHeLovesMeNot''.
* The main issue in ''Film/EvesBayou'' hinges on the fact that two characters have very different memories of an event and another character reacts to the probably false version with fatal consequences. [[spoiler: Cisely admits near the end of the movie that she isn't sure what happened, long after she tells Eve that their father molested her. Eve then tries to kill her father, only finding out much later that he may not have done what he was accused of.]]
* Jack Harper from ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'' has no memory from before he began his current job - his OpeningNarration is entirely based on what Sally tells him (and Sally herself is an UnreliableExpositor). Even better, for the whole first act of the movie, Jack, Vicka and Sally are the only characters with lines.
* Suki, the protagonist of ''Film/TheScribbler'', is giving a statement to a GoodCopBadCop detective team regarding a series of suspicious suicides in her apartment complex. Because she's a former psychiatric patient recovering from SplitPersonality syndrome, the bad cop automatically thinks she's lying.
* Near the end of the film ''Film/JEdgar'', it is revealed by Clyde Tolson that a lot of the FBI investigations the audience sees as narrated by Hoover, exaggerate his actual involvement in the arrests.
* In ''Film/WhoAmI'', the interrogators (and by extension the audience) learn of the hero's backstory through narrated flashbacks. However, TheReveal exposes key points of his story to be false.
* ''Film/MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirl'' is narrated by Greg after the events of the film take place, and he states several times that [[spoiler:Rachel isn't going to die and it isn't a story about death. He's lying]].
* ''Film/TheWolverine'': There's definitely a whiff of this with regards to how Logan over-romanticizes his relationship with Jean Grey when she appears in his dreams/visions. In the first two X-Men movies, their interactions didn't really go beyond some flirting and a kiss (we're excluding his make-out session with [[SplitPersonality the Phoenix]]).
* In ''Film/WangDeShengYan'', much of the film is narrated by the aging emperor Gaozu, and revolves around the events that led to his rise to power. Later we get to see just how incomplete his version of events was, and how much help he had from those who are now serving under him. It is also implied that ancient historians and scribes are [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable narrators]], as they are forced to pass down the version of history that their masters want them to.
* ''Film/{{Underground}}'' has a brief joke in which expository text claims that Yugoslavian President Tito became so distraught by the disappearance of one of the main characters that he fell sick and died... [[BlatantLies 20 years later]].
* ''Film/JennifersBody'' is told as flashback by Anita, who is a patient in a mental hospital. The story in the flashback appears to contain multiple supernatural aspects, notably that Anita's friend Jennifer has magic powers. At the end of the film, Anita appears to use the magic powers that had supposedly been Jennifer's to break out of the asylum. Was all of it real? All the delusions of a lunatic? Not precisely real, but the truth as seen ThroughTheEyesOfMadness?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': In one of her letters, Beatrice claims that the stories the Baudelaires told her of their troubles in some cases differ wildly from Lemony's accounts. Lemony himself admits that some parts of the story he basically made up, due to lack of witnesses and trace evidence, but there are a few moments when he appears to be deceiving the reader or else not being quite truthful. For instance, he claims on separate occasions that the sugar bowl and the Snicket fires both contain evidence that will clear his name, when testimony from other characters suggests that there is nothing of the kind. Then there's the timeline. During ''The Slippery Slope'' Lemony writes a letter in the novel to his sister (Kit) asking for her to meet him at the Hotel Denouement. Presumably, this is the same day where the Baudelaires are supposed to arrive there, detailed in ''The Penultimate Peril'', and a character strongly suggested to be Lemony does indeed make an appearance. The problem is that said date occurs ''less than a week'' from the events in ''The Slippery Slope.'' Not only does that indicate that Lemony is less than a week behind the Baudelaires in tracking them--directly contradicted by previous statements that suggest at least some years have gone by--but that he also expects his book to be published and read by Kit in a week. But he certainly can't be asking Kit to meet him after the events of ''The Penultimate Peril'' because the Baudelaires burn down the hotel in that book's climax. Very, very odd.
* Duff, the main character in ''Literature/HowToSurviveAZombieApocalypse'', is a narcissist, has an ego the size of the moon and is convinced she is smarter than the whole Squad combined. Sometimes. She also has a penchant to exaggerate things and is rather biased, resulting in a rather peculiar... perception of the whole story.
* Most of the characters in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', especially early on, aren't capable of recognizing their own character flaws, and their narration is reflective of this. Furthermore, sometimes the kids just straight-up lie about things - see LiteraryAgentHypothesis. For instance, in ''The David trilogy'', Jake says it's been a couple months since Elfangor's crash. Dialogue, however, hints that the story arc takes place much later, and it's confirmed late in the series that the David trilogy takes place maybe two years after the crash.
** It is stated a few times in the early books that the characters are intentionally leaving out certain key details (like not revealing their own last names) just in case the reader happens to be one of the enemy Yeerks.
* If one is familiar with the events of ''Series/ImAlanPartridge'' (and to a lesser extent the other Alanified series), the hideous unreliability of Alan as narrator in his predictably self-serving autobiography ''Literature/IPartridgeWeNeedToTalkAboutAlan'' is glaringly and hilariously obvious. Instances of Alan's cowardice, selfishness, incompetence, unpopularity, borderline sociopathy and general loathsome inadequacy as a human being are turned by Alan into tales of towering heroism. Alan's in "reality" humiliating encounter with Tony Hayers in the BBC restaurant is somehow turned into a moral victory for Alan, and his encounter with stalker Jed Maxwell becomes a surreal, OTT Bond-esque fight scene with a well-muscled Alan beating Jed to a squealing pulp (instead of, as "actually" happened, Alan being physically humiliated, somehow sweet-talking his way outside and then fleeing in terror).
* ''The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs'' is a PerspectiveFlip on ''Literature/TheThreeLittlePigs''. The Wolf details how every instance was a mistake or misunderstanding. Still, the pictures with the text -- and the Wolf's shifty tone -- can lead even a small child to doubt the veracity of his claims that he is the victim. Specifically, there's the fact that he just "had" to eat the pigs when unfortunate (and completely not his fault) events killed them because "why waste them?" Granted, the Wolf is telling his side of the story. It is possible that the more traditional story was the lie.
* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' by Patrick Rothfuss is written largely as a flashback told in the first-person perspective by the main character, Kvothe, and there are hints that it's not wholly reliable. One of Kvothe's companions remarks that a certain woman who shows up frequently in the story (and is the object of Kvothe's affection) wasn't as beautiful as described, among others. He actually says a character won't shows up, but uses ExactWords to lie. Further, he's just wrong from time to time. Because the narrative's descriptions of people are his own, he'll say things the audience later realizes are obviously untrue--such as when he describes his LoveInterest as "naive" or "innocent"...
* Creator/AgathaChristie:
** ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone'': at one point, the actual murderer, [[spoiler: Judge Wargrave]], is described as being surprised when the person who wrote the letter inviting them to Indian Island isn't at the island to greet them -- and the narrator's little peek into the character's thoughts reveals (or seems to reveal) that the character's surprise is ''genuine''. (Since this books uses a third-person omniscient narration, this might be a case of LyingCreator, but no one knows if it was deliberate or accidental on Christie's part.)
** ''Endless Night'' - Michael talks about meeting the love of his life, a rich heiress, marrying her, fighting with her best friend, building their dream house, only for her to die mysteriously... [[spoiler: and then you find out that all of that was a lie, because ''he's'' the murderer and his true love is the best friend, who he's known since before the story.]]
** ''Literature/TheMurderOfRogerAckroyd'': Something of an aversion, since the narrator never actually ''lies'' -- but deceive, oh my yes.
* In ''Literature/TheExorcist'' by William Blatty, a young girl seems possessed by a presence who claims to be the Devil himself. Various developments point more toward a demon called Pazzuzu, but the main and central premise of the novel is that we NEVER fully get proof that there is ANY foreign entity sharing the mind of the young girl. It could all be explained away as (admittedly paranormal) activity originating ONLY from the girl's mind. This horrible doubt is perhaps the central theme of this very powerful and disturbing story - that the hellish narrator inside Reagan... is only Reagan herself. From there, we are forced to ask (along with the main character) do demons really exist? Hell? God?
* ''Literature/BlackLegion'' is narrated by [[BigBad Abaddon]]'s lieutenant, Khayon. While he claims that he's completely honest in his account, the Inquisition doesn't really believe him and they may be right, considering his background.
* ''Literature/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]]. He doesn't realize he's unreliable until two thirds of the way through the book - and when he finds out and tries to convince everybody else, [[CassandraTruth no one believes him]].
* In ''Literature/TheMothDiaries'', the entire story revolves around the unnamed narrator not being reliable. You get to work it out for yourself, because you don't actually find out whether Ernessa is [[spoiler:a vampire or not]]. There are also some very interesting deaths in the plot, and it's fun to work out whether they happened and how much of it was psychosis.
* ''Literature/DamnatioMemoriae'' by Laura Marcelle Giebfried has Enim Lund narrating. Not only is it difficult to know if he's being entirely truthful because he's known to feel guilty about certain events involving his mother (and thus he 'remembers' them different ways), but [[spoiler:he is also diagnosed with schizophrenia at the end of the first novel]] making it difficult to know what really happened and what didn't. Still, the author makes it unclear as to whether he really is unreliable, or if he's [[CassandraTruth reliable and no one believes him]].
* In ''Literature/{{Illuminatus}}'', the narrator's identity is kept secret throughout most of the series as it meanders back and forth through time, through the viewpoints of various characters, some of whom do not actually exist, and through a web of hallucination, myth, and deception.
* [[Creator/RobertAntonWilson R.A. Wilson's]] novel ''The Masks of Illuminati'' gives a human narrator, Sir John Babcock, who is fairly reliable, albeit emotionally loaded when it comes to his own experiences, but he keeps narrating events that he didn't personally witness without a hint of suspicion or doubt despite of how incredible they are. [[spoiler:Most of them aren't even remotely true.]]
* [[Creator/GeoffreyChaucer Chaucer]] used this technique in ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'' (the "Merchant's Tale", and, to a subtler extent, the General Prologue).
* The children's book ''Literature/TheStinkyCheeseMan and Other Fairly Stupid Tales'' combines an unreliable narrator with NoFourthWall: First, Jack the Narrator spoils the ending of "Little Red Running Shorts", prompting the characters from that story to quit in disgust. Then, Jack's narration of his own story, "Jack's Bean Problem" is immediately interrupted by the premature arrival of the Giant. When the Giant threatens to eat Jack if he can't tell a better story, Jack launches into a recursive story in which the Giant threatens to eat him if he can't tell a better story, so Jack launches into a recursive story in which the Giant threatens to eat him if he can't tell a better story. The giant also says that even if Jack tells a better story, he'll still eat him anyway (ho, ho, ho), leading to the looping story.
* This is the main trope of the BaronMunchausen stories, both in the original 18th century novel or in any of the various later pastiches. The Creator/TerryGilliam film ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'' has the final twist that some of the outlandish things he claims are, apparently, true - or at the very least, the Turkish army ''did'' lift the siege of Vienna for some unknown reason connected to the Baron, which is good enough for the crowds who had been listening to him.
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe practically invented this trope, at least in western literature:
** In "Literature/TheCaskOfAmontillado", the narrator claims that he is getting revenge on his nemesis Fortunato for a monstrous insult. However, Fortunato seems to trust the narrator and thinks that they're friends. The narrator never specifies exactly what Fortunato did to him, leaving the question of Fortunato's exact fault (or even the existence thereof) open.
** "The Tell-Tale Heart", which has the narrator, who insists at the very beginning that he is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not mad]], murdering a man and putting him under the floorboards but giving himself away because he imagines his victim's heart is still beating. This story is often used to introduce students to the concept of unreliable narrators in general.
** "Ligeia," in which the narrator admits that he is under the influence of "an immoderate dose of opium," leaving the reader to wonder if the events of the story are really happening or if they're simply being hallucinated by the narrator.
** The eponymous narrator of "William Wilson" has been oft suggested by literary critics to be insane, or at least suffering from multiple personality disorder and severe schizophrenia.
* Creator/DanielDefoe's fictional memoir ''Literature/MollFlanders'' is an early case of a narrator who is unreliable on more than one plane. Superficially, Moll puts herself in the best possible light no matter what, either by glossing over the enormousness of her crimes or by blaming the victims, but her story is also logically inconsistent and ahistorical. She leaves her purportedly well-loved children in Colchester in the 1640s - in other words, in a war zone - to traipse off to America on a whim. Her "older brother", with whom she inadvertently commits incest and has a child, must be younger than her if her mother's story is true. Despite living in London in the 1660s, she does not recall the Plague, the Dutch invasion, or the Great Fire.
* ''Literature/FannyHill'' also features an unreliable narrator. Fanny's description of prostitution is wildly unrealistic even for the 18th century. Some also see her ConvenientMiscarriage as a lie told to cover a Convenient Abortion, as Fanny had been recently deserted by her patron and was broke, owed an astronomical sum to her landlady (an abortionist), and had no way to earn money outside of prostitution - impossible while pregnant in the 1740s. Keep in mind, though, that Cleland wrote ''Fanny Hill'' so he could pay his way out of debtor's prison, and he may have written the story based on unrealistic and melodramatic "life stories" told to him by the prostitutes he met in prison which he wasn't experienced enough to see through. In other words, Fanny may have been unreliable despite the writer's intentions, not because of them.
* ''Literature/{{Transition}}'' by Creator/IainBanks starts like this:
--> "Apparently I am what is known as an Unreliable Narrator, though of course if you believe everything you're told you deserve whatever you get."
** ''Literature/ThePlayerOfGames'' by Iain M. Banks ends like this:
-->[[spoiler:''This is a true story. I was there. When I wasn't, and when I didn't know exactly what was going on -- inside Gurgeh's mind, for example -- I admit that I have not hesitated to make it up. But it's still a true story. Would I lie to you?'']]
* ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'' is mostly narrated by one protagonist, David, and the majority of the book involves David recounting unlikely supernatural adventures to a reporter. A small part of the book (involving important events that the narrator didn't witness firsthand) is instead told by David's best friend, John, and this portion has a suspiciously high occurrence of backflips, as well as a chase scene that John resolves by "stealing a nearby horse". As David points out early on, "If you know John, you'll take the details for what they're worth. Please also remember that, where John claims to have 'gotten up at three-thirty' to perform this investigation, it was far more likely he was still up and somewhat drunk from the night before." David himself even admits that his version of events is only "mostly true." And let's not forget, [[spoiler:The title is a bald-faced lie.]]
-->I did it according to this equation:
-->@@l = E × ∞ @@
-->Which can be translated as "One small lie saves an infinite amount of explanation." I use it all the time. I've used it on you already.
* ''Literature/{{This Book is Full of Spiders}}'' ends with Lance Falconer providing Dave with some extra material for the book Amy is writing in exchange for a cut of the profits, on condition that the book's account of Lance is a cool, handsome, {{badass}} {{action hero}} who owns a Porsche.
* ''Literature/AnInstanceOfTheFingerpost'' has several narrators, all of whom are various varieties of unreliable narrator. One is insane, one is a xenophobe who imputes his own nasty motives on to others, one is relatively accurate except where his own identity is concerned, and one is actually a nice guy, but whose perceptions are shaped by the prejudices of the time.
* Agota Kristof's first [[Literature/TheBookOfLies Trilogy]] (''The Notebook'', ''The Proof'', and ''The Third Lie'') rides this trope like a pogo stick on your spine. It is really an artform the way each of the twins can lie. Even in the first book where they set in conditions that would make it impossible for them to be untruthful about anything they write in the notebook, they still manage to dupe everyone around them - and the reader - more times than could ever be counted. By the end of the third book, it ultimately becomes impossible to tell what about what actually happened due to the web of lies that both Lucas and Claus managed to weave.
* Daniel Handler's ''Literature/TheBasicEight'' is told as the recovered journal of Flannery Culp, a girl in jail for the murder of a classmate... as being edited by the same girl for publication. This, coupled with the "poor me" attitude she expresses in the intro, forces the reader to be constantly second-guessing her, noting things that she may be altering to make herself look better. At one point, she believes the killer to be a third party... who turns out to be her imaginary friend. This also means that another character has been present for nearly the entire book, but Flan never saw her.
* Creator/VladimirNabokov's ''Literature/{{Lolita}}'' uses this narrative device after the John Ray, Jr.-penned prologue; Humbert's unreliability calls into question the major plot elements of the text - does he ''really'' miss Annabel Leigh, or is it just a pedophilia justification? Even so, should his (probable) love for Leigh excuse his horrific actions? Does he really love and care for Dolores, or is she just an object to him? (Note the nickname, "Dolly".) We could go on and on. Entire theses have been written about this.
* Another one of Nabokov's novels, ''Literature/PaleFire,'' deals with an unreliable narrator in Charles Kinbote. But in Kinbote's case, he is not only narrating multiple stories, he is also interpreting (and ''mis''interpreting) the poem of fellow university professor John Shade. But the above is only true if you assume that John Shade is a real person and that he wrote the poem in the novel. Or if you assume that Kinbote is who he says/thinks he is. You might want to also double-check who has claimed to write what part of the novel. It's safe to say that Nabokov loved this trope.
* In ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' by Jonathan Stroud, much of the eponymous djinni's dry wit is based on his (probably intentionally) transparent attempts to cast himself in a favorable light in the chapters he narrates. This includes frequent (and often ironic) references to his own legendary power and cunning, and constant [[HistoricalInJoke name-dropping]] of his past masters (Ptolemy, notably, but also Solomon, Tycho Brahe, Nefertiti, Gilgamesh, etc. etc.) This is all the more obvious since the chapters narrated by Bartimaeus are alternated with chapters of third person narrative focused on the [=POVs=] of the other two protagonists, Nathaniel and Kitty, often covering the same events from their perspectives.
** Especially noticeable on the occasion in the first book in which the events are being told from Bartimaeus's perspective, and he calmly tells Nathaniel to "Just watch and listen." The narrative immediately switches to Nathaniel's (third person) perspective, in which he says "Just shut up and watch!"
--> '''Bartimaeus:''' Faquarl wasn't a sly old equivocator like Tchue; he prided himself on blunt speaking. Mind you, he did have a weakness for boasting. If you believed all his stories, you'd have thought him responsible for most of the world's major landmarks as well as being adviser and confidant to all the notable magicians. This, [[HypocrisyNod as I once remarked to Solomon]], was quite a ridiculous claim.
** In an interesting twist - the above turns out to be ''true'' in "The Ring of Solomon". Go figure.
* Several times, Greg seems to be treated as a ButtMonkey in ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid''. However; numerous times, he's actually being a bit of a JerkAss himself. This is one of the examples in which the unreliable narrator is actually played for laughs.
* The TwistEnding of ''Literature/LifeOfPi'' plays with this trope: [[spoiler:At the end of the novel, the narrator offers an alternate (and far more disturbing) version of the events thus far, and tells the audience to choose which story they want to believe.]]
* ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves'': Some confusion comes from [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis multiple literary agents]], but when you have at least one instance of one of the literary agents messing around with what another literary agent tells you, it goes beyond confusing. One of the narrators, in fact, [[spoiler:admits to making up the events of one chapter entirely, and then ''laughs at you for believing him.'']]
* Reams of paper have been written on the narrative technique used in ''Literature/TheBrothersKaramazov'', which ostensibly makes the narrator out to be a resident of the town, even placing him physically at certain events. It's clear, however, that he knows more than an observer could possibly know, and there are disturbing stretches of the narrative in which the narrator is completely absent, dissolved into the perspective of the characters. This becomes a problem when one character starts [[TheDevil speaking with things that probably aren't there]], and the critical reader will start to wonder about other times this character supposedly heard things. The real kicker though? The points at which the narrator's reliability are questioned are ''[[MindScrew pivotal moments in the book]]'', moments that affect your understanding of everything that has happened up till then.
* Similarly in ''Demons'', though in that novel, the narrator is more explicitly party to its events. He has a name (Anton Lavrentievich [=G-----v=], and he is explicitly addressed by a few characters throughout the text), describes himself as a good friend of Stepan Trofimovich Verkhonvensky (one of the central characters), and acknowledges that he used the spectacular events that ensue as the basis for this, his "first novel." Nevertheless, lots of things are described for which he could not possibly have been present (which he [[HandWave handwaves]] as having been fictionalized from the characters' accounts, related to him later), and especially the unspoken thoughts and inner motivations of several characters strain the bounds of the WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief.
* Oswald Bastable, or at least Creator/ENesbit's version of him.
* ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''. The story is told by Chief Bromden, who is schizophrenic. While the story is supposed to be true, he adds in plenty of insane, paranoid delusions. On the other hand, any student of American History with an understanding of the issues involved in the history of the Plains Indian tribes can see just how accurate the alleged delusions of Chief Bromden are.
---> But it's the truth even if it didn't happen.
* The author, Ken Kesey, played with this idea further in his second novel, ''Sometimes a Great Notion'', which is narrated at various points by at least a half-dozen different people. Each different person sheds new light on (or changes the facts in) previously shared events [[RashomonStyle in a way which reflects their own views and interests]], shifting the reader's sympathies in various conflicts several times.
* Creator/HenryJames's novella ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'': Are the ghosts real or simply the narrator's imagination?
* Robert Pirsig's novel ''Literature/ZenAndTheArtOfMotorcycleMaintenance'' deals, partly, with the unnamed narrator's attempt to stave off the re-emergence of his former "insane" personality, nicknamed "Phaedrus," and thereby protect his young son from sinking into madness himself. However, in the end, he realizes that "Phaedrus" is in fact the saner and more authentic personality, whereas his "normal" self is a facade which has in fact ''caused'' his son's mental problems. When he embraces and integrates his Phaedrus-self, father and son are healed and reconciled.
* In ''Literature/TheEyesOfMyPrincess'' by Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez, you are led to believe that the book is a about a love story that ended in the death of the protagonist's girlfriend. But then, almost at the end, you find out that nothing that happen after a specific event was real. The protagonist wrote fake entries into his diary, because he was disappointed about his crush's real personality.
* Creator/GeneWolfe is the undisputed master of this trope. If one of his novels is narrated in the first person it is guaranteed to contain incomplete, inaccurate or just missing information that the reader will have to figure out in order to make sense of the story.
** In ''Literature/BookOfTheShortSun'', there's one point where the narrator throws himself on the mercy of the reader for having lied to them, then proceeds to retell a completely different version of the events of the previous chapter. Just in case you hadn't figured out yet what was going on.
** His ''Literature/SoldierOfTheMist'' gives us Latro, a Roman mercenary who receives a head injury that completely destroys his short term memory beyond a 10-12 hour window. So the book consists of his adventures where he is constantly re-introducing himself to certain characters, some of whom try to take advantage of his disability. On the flip side, Latro can see and interact with the spirit world, so he often runs into gods and mythical creatures.
** The polar opposite is Severian, from the'' Book of the New Sun''. He claims to have perfect recollection his entire life. Careful reading will lead the reader to conclude he either does not, or he is purposely trying to mislead the reader, but keeps contradicting himself.
*** Severian is perhaps the least reliable narrator ever; unreliable because (by his own claim) he is unsure whether he was merely a man doing a necessary job well or a violent sadist, whether he was a rapist or a genuine lover [[spoiler: (he should know this by the end, because he has a copy of her personality, memories and thoughts in his head for most of the book)]] and/or whether he was, basically, the second coming of Jesus or not. [[spoiler: The unintentional time-travel incest and meeting between three and five other versions of himself can't help.]]
*** An often overlooked aspect of Severian's unreliability is that while his head is full of details, he is not really smart enough to join the dots and understand their significance. There are [[ShoutOut pointers in the book to the author Borges]] (Ultan and the Library). Borges' own character Funes the Memorious likewise has a head so full that he cannot think in abstractions.
** ''The Fifth Head of Cerberus'' uses this in several forms. The narrator in the eponymous first story spends quite some time in a fugue state resulting in ever-longer growing memory gaps, some of them several months long. The second story is narrated by John Marsch, a character in the first and third stories, who claims to have heard the story from another character (V. R. T.) who might have very good reasons to lie to him. The third story is from John Marschs diary and ties in with the other two stories, but has some inconsistencies that cast serious doubts on the reliability of Marsch as a narrator. A recurring theme in all three stories is the nature of identity (both cultural and personal), and the narrative inconsistencies play a big role in figuring out the overarching mystery.
** "Seven American Nights" may be the height of this trope in Wolfe's oeuvre. First, the author of the travelogue that makes up the story states at one point that he altered the text for fear of it being read by the American secret police. Second, the author placed some hallucinogen into a candy egg, then mixed up the eggs so he wouldn't know which one was the real one. Then he ate a single egg every night. That means that at least one of his nights of experiences could have been a hallucination. And one of the eggs got stolen, so it was ''also'' possible the none of the nights were a hallucination. Finally, at the end of the story, [[spoiler: the author of the travelogue's mother, who had been the one reading it (along with his fiancee), calls into question the veracity of the handwriting. So it's possible the entire thing is a forgery, or at the very least important parts.]]
** Alden Dennis Weer from ''Peace'' is another very unreliable narrator, even if at first he seems to be just an old man telling stories about his childhood and youth - and who could blame him if he gets them wrong? That is, until the reader starts to realise how many people around him have a tendency to die or mysteriously disappear.
* Likewise Creator/MichaelMoorcock's ''Colonel Pyat'' series.
* Likewise, the works of Jim Thompson. ''A Hell of a Woman'' is a prime example, wherein the main character's personality splits halfway through the tale and begins telling the story in parallel paths, one an idealistic version of what happened and the other, presumably, the real story.
* In ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' novels, set in the ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40K'' universe, the story is told from the point of view of Ciaphas Cain - and annotated by the Inquisitor, Amberley Vail, who constantly reminds the reader in her footnotes that Ciaphas is an habitual liar, and there are too many holes that can't be backed up by other sources for this story to be taken at face value. There's also some unreliability in the way Cain downplays all of his acts of heroism, saying that they were all just to protect his own skin or his reputation, but Amberly steps in every once in a while to point out that Cain gives himself far too little credit. Creator/SandyMitchell [[ShrugOfGod has stated that he doesn't know]] if Cain is the [[AFatherToHisMen kind-hearted]] DirtyCoward with (very) enlightened self-interest he claims to be, or a [[CowardlyLion genuine hero with an inferiority complex]].
** An interesting case where this is a ''minor plot point'' is the fact that Cain is predominantly concerned with things that happened directly to him. This results in [[FootnoteFever Inquisitor/Editor-In-Chief Amberly Vail]] having to consult other people's memoirs to fill in {{Plot Hole}}s, and, as she notes, they tend to have their own problems too. For instance, Jenit Sulla was serving in the the Valhallan 597th (the unit Cain was most often attached to) and is the best secondary record of his actions, but writes in bombastic PurpleProse and portrays Cain as the mighty world-bestriding hero everyone believes him to be, and a book named ''Purge the Unclean!'' provides a good overview on the setting and wider conflict in ''For The Emperor'', but the author blames absolutely everything on a conspiracy of rogue traders. And for ''extra'' fun, the character editing the books has a tendency to cut out the bits that don't make her, the editor, look good. Which includes (probably) sleeping with the self-confessed coward.
* The ''Literature/DuneEncyclopedia'' about the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' series is a big example of this. It is framed as an Encyclopedia within the ''Dune'' universe, purportedly 5,000 years after the events of the first novel and after the historical record has been greatly altered or lost. Several of the entries either contradict or give a different perspective on the events of the novels. It is up to the reader to determine what account, if any, "really" happened. Particularly interesting is the brief chronological timeline linking "our" time to the setting in ''Dune''. The fictional authors of the Encyclopedia have an idea of what happened in their "distant past" ... but it's [[FutureImperfect heavily filtered]] through the experience of thousands of years of living in a feudal system of government. World War 2, for example, is referred to as a "commercial dispute between House Washington and House Tokyo" within a British Empire that supposedly ruled almost the entire world.
* In ''Literature/WutheringHeights'', there are two main narrators. Mr Lockwood who is telling us the story, and Ellen Dean who is telling him about Heathcliff. Lockwood is shown very early on to be unreliable as he describes Heathcliff as a "capital fellow", only to later learn that that is really not the case. Ellen 'Nelly' Dean herself is full of biased opinions, and is very judgemental of most of the other characters. Since pretty much every revelation in the book is made whilst Nelly is telling Lockwood the history of the Heights, it is a possibility that she just made the whole thing up. She is also unreliable as a character, as she happily spills all of the people who confided in her's personal details and secrets to a complete stranger with little hesitation.
* Matthew Kneale's ''English Passengers'' is told from the perspective of at least a dozen different narrators. All of their accounts are of varying degrees of reliability, and many are clearly carefully editing or embellishing their stories to make themselves look better or to support their own prejudices.
* Elizabeth Peters uses a mild version of this in the Literature/AmeliaPeabody novels as a form of wry humor. The books are primarily in the first person, and purport to be journal entries. Mild comic irony is created through what the narrator leaves out, misinterprets, plays down, or is clearly deluding herself on.
* ''Literature/{{Atonement}}'': the story seems to end beautifully with the wronged protagonists united idyllically. It is then revealed that the story read so far is written by another character, Briony, who changes the ending to try and ''atone'' for wrong she wreaked on the protagonists who really die lonely and apart.
* Brilliantly done in ''[[Literature/FactionParadox Dead Romance]]'', by Lawrence Miles. The [[FirstPersonSmartass Narrator]] freely admits she has a serious drug problem, and even [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] when she takes a time out from describing an alien invasion to muse on the possibility that she's on the worst acid trip of her life.
-->"Maybe this whole book's just a list of the states of mind I was in when I wrote it, like a catalogue of all the things I've been putting into my system. Paranoia for cocaine. Multicoloured planets for acid. I'll be relaxed again soon, so you'll think I'm writing it on dope."
* Done in ''Literature/TalesOfMU'':
** Where the narrator Mackenzie isn't lying to the audience -- just frequently clueless or in deep denial. It's written so that the audience almost always knows what's going on even if she doesn't, which is sometimes subtle (the slow build-up to the revelation about [[UnsettlingGenderReveal Steff]]) and other times obvious (her overwrought FoeYay-based crush on the AlphaBitch, Sooni).
** Additionally, the [=MUnivers's=] history is also handled this way; so far, we've heard multiple accounts of the creation of the world, all of which contradict each other. But the kicker is that the gods exist, and semi-regularly involve themselves in worldly affairs, meaning that the gods themselves are {{Unreliable Narrator}}s.
* Done excellently in Jeff Vandermeer's Literature/{{Ambergris}} books. ''Shriek: An Afterword'' features two conflicting viewpoint characters, while ''City Of Saints And Madmen'' features stories set in Ambergris, stories written by various Ambergris residents, a story about an AlternateUniverse Jeff Vandermeer who gets sucked into Ambergris and goes crazy (or believes he is an author in an alternate universe resembling our own, or just decided to fuck with our heads) and stories penned in the name of various Ambergris residents but actually written by said alternate-universe Author Surrogate. And a couple of pamphlets.
** And adding to the confusion, the pamphlet ''King Squid'' and the ''Hoegbotton Guide to the Early History of Ambergris" actually were written by real Ambergrisians-Frederick Madnok and Duncan Shriek, to be exact. So whose copy was used?
** It's also done to a far lesser extent in the sequel Shriek: An Afterword, which is written by Duncan's sister Janice. She holds that she is offering a balanced yet opinionated account of her brother's life. Duncan takes issue with the first claim, and frequently disagrees with her over the course of the book.
** The third book, ''Finch'', averts this. Probably. It's narrated by the main character, John Finch, but there's nothing in the text to indicate that his narration is unreliable. However, Finch goes through so many mind screws, including [[spoiler:a couple of literal [[MushroomSamba mushroom sambas]] and several instances of severe torture]], that it's hard to tell whether his own perception is truly intact.
* The unreliable first-person narrator of Elizabeth Bear's ''Blood and Iron'' is ''so'' unreliable that, for the first third or so of the book, [[spoiler:she]] narrates everything in third person, including scenes in which [[spoiler:she herself]] is present. (It works, but this is definitely the Don't Try This at Home school of writing.)
* Creator/DianaWynneJones's ''Literature/TheDalemarkQuartet'' has an ''unreliable glossary'' on the history of Dalemark at the back of each book. Much of what it says is straightforward and fills in background to the story, but frequently it puts a slant on historical events which the reader can deduce to be wrong or at least incomplete.
* If you're reading an Alistair [=MacLean=] novel written in the first person, you're dealing with this trope.
* There is a consistency to some of the facts in ''Literature/OnlyRevolutions''. That is, certain events don't change between the two viewpoints the book is narrated from. However, for the vast majority of details, like names and places, those shift even in the same story. Is the Italian cook's name Viatitonacci or Viazazonacci or Viapiponacci? Is he even Italian? [[MindScrew I don't know!]]
* ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'': There are places where Rico is likely describing something that happened to him in the third-person. The biggest one involves [[spoiler:the death of the Lieutenant in his beloved Rascak's Roughnecks MI unit, where he describes the Lieutenant saving two privates before being killed. It's hinted that one of them was probably Rico.]]
* Nicely done in an understated way in Creator/DorothyLSayers's ''The Documents in the Case''. A series of letters written by each of the main characters to various other people are collected. Each person describes incidents from their point of view, ''each'' person showing themselves as paragons of virtue surrounded by fallible fools.
* In Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Literature/OddThomas'', Odd specifically says that he was asked to be an unreliable narrator, citing Christie's ''The Murder of Roger Ackroyd'', but indicating he doesn't really want to do that. In the end, though, [[spoiler:Odd says that he really has been misrepresenting things; whenever he said he and his girlfriend Stormy were destined for each other, he was speaking as his past self; by the end of the book Stormy is dead and they obviously are not living happily ever after.]] He handwaves the whole sequence at the end by saying that [[spoiler:both his parents are insane, and he expects madness runs in his family.]]
* James Clemens's ''Literature/TheBannedAndTheBanished'' discusses this trope - the narrator admits that he has told many fake versions of that story, but cannot die until he tells the truth. According to the last book, his many previous versions included but were not limited to giving the main character IncorruptiblePurePureness, making her actions ForTheEvulz, and making her an IdiotHero. The final version is a flawed ordinary person who happens to be TheChosenOne.
* Holden from ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye'' is a good example. The novel is about his downward spiral into emotional trauma, but he doesn't tell the reader this and lies about how he was feeling by making excuses of "just didn't feel like it," or the like.
** There is also the fact that most of the things he says shouldn't always be taken seriously, like people like Chapman have. One minute he's putting down the movie business and then the next he's recommending one of his favorites. Usually the people he calls "phonies" sometimes do the same things he does.
** He actually [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on it within the first chapter.
--->"I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible."
* At one point in ''Literature/TheThingsTheyCarried'', the narrator retells a story told to him by the squad's medic, Rat Kiley, prefacing it with the admission that though Kiley's stories always have a basis in truth, they are often greatly exaggerated, stating that "If Rat told you he slept with two women on a particular night, you can be safe in assuming one and a half." At another point, the narrator goes on a long rant about how a war stories' veracity has no relation to whether or not it actually occurred, and goes on to tell a "true" war story that he made up on the spot. He then states that the mark of a "true" war story is that the reader does not care if it is true.
** On another occasion, he recounts a story about another of the soldiers in his unit, which he later admits was actually him.
** Also found in ''Literature/GoingAfterCacciato'' by the same author. About halfway through the book, you realize that [[spoiler:Paul Berlin is probably still in the observation tower, and the whole story is just a daydream to excuse himself of complicity in the death of Cacciato, who (it appears) the squad killed to hush him up.]] But again, it's postmodern, so the question is: does any of this matter?
* ''Film/{{Spider}}'' by Patrick [=McGrath=], is narrated by the main character, who is insane. At the end of the book it turns out practically everything he recollected to the reader was heavily warped by his perception. [=McGrath=] specializes in this trope. ''Asylum'' is another excellent example.
* In three books of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' so far, Harry's narration is made unreliable by various magical influences. The first is in ''Dead Beat,'' in which [[spoiler:the psychic imprint that the fallen angel Lasciel left in his mind appears to him repeatedly in the form of "Sheila," a bookstore employee who doesn't actually exist]]. The second is in ''Small Favor'', in which [[spoiler:Mab takes his blasting rod (his weapon of choice in the series up to that point) and places a mental block which prevents him from even thinking about it or fire magic - only when another character draws attention to the blasting rod's absence does Harry (and the reader) realize something is wrong]]. The third instance is revealed in ''Ghost Story'': [[spoiler:in the previous novel, after deciding to become the Winter Knight, Harry set up his own assassination and then had Molly wipe his memory of doing so in order to keep Mab from becoming aware of it]].
** The dialogue of other characters (and the short stories narrated by other characters like Murphy and Thomas) imply that Harry is this trope for mundane reasons as well. For example, he assumes at one point that a side character [[note]](Hendricks, Marcone's bodyguard)[[/note]] is your stereotypical dumb grunt, but events in ''Even Hand'' (a short story narrated by Marcone) reveal that said character is in fact a CulturedBadass.
** In ''Skin Game'', there's nothing wrong with Harry's memory; he just neglects to inform the reader that [[spoiler: Nicodemus's hired mercenary Goodman Grey is secretly working for Harry]].
* Robert Irwin's brilliant ''Satan Wants Me'' is built around this trope. The narrator, Peter, is a young sociology student who likes sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, studies children's behavior in a school playground, and is attempting to be accepted into a magical lodge. Part of the requirements made of him in Black Book Lodge is to keep a diary for magical purposes, writing down everything that happened during the day. ''Satan Wants Me'' is, essentially, this diary - until in the middle of the book we find out that [[spoiler:this young sociologist's real object of study are the occultists themselves, and after his cover is blown he keeps on writing the diary just because and because his hand makes him write sometimes.]]
* Creator/RobertBloch's classic short story "Yours Truly UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper" is a great example. Set in the modern day, the first-person narrator relates an incident in which a friend of his becomes convinced that Jack the Ripper killed all those women as part of an occult ceremony to attain immortality. He assists his friend in his investigations and helps him track suspects [[spoiler:but the big twist is that the narrator himself is Jack the Ripper, and while his friend's theory was correct, he had the wrong suspect. This is revealed in the final line of the story when the narrator, holding a knife, says, "Just call me... Jack!"]] Bloch never cheats - you can re-read the story knowing the ending, and it remains internally consistent, although it changes from an odd little comedy to a chilling thriller.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is one unreliable narrator telling a story received from another unreliable narrator to the point that you simply can't know if any of the story really ever happened or is all just fantasy. It gets even funnier when you take into account the non-canon "sequel" that was written by a different author before Cervantes finished the second part.\\
\\
Played completely straight and even lampshaded: In the very first paragraph, Don Quixote's literary portrait has the narrator NOT telling us the name of Don Quixote's town, and the narrator admits he doesn't know very well if his name was Quixada, Quesada or Quexana. For the people of the seventeen century, this was an infringement of a very well known rule of the literary portrait, and so they immediately had the real impression that the author was a liar. Also, [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis the original author (Cide Hamete Benengeli) and the Translator (an anonymous moor)]] comment the text when the plot is being implausible, and the second author (Cervantes), [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial constantly remind us that this is a true history]]. All these tricks show that Cervantes clearly want the reader realizes that this tale cannot be true.
* Done very well in ''The Family of Pascual Duarte'', from Spanish author Camilo José Cela. Basically it tells the story of an unnamed editor(1) who finds and corrects the "memoirs" that he found in an old church, addressed to a bishop (2), who made a lot of censorship and correction on them beforehand, by Pascual Duarte (3), who admits that he mixed a lot of facts when writing them, along with the more stealthy: a) non linear narration of the events, b) subjectivization and constant digression to gain the favor of the reader and c) manipulation of the contents because of real life problems (lack of paper, tripped and mixed the pages, etc.). The purpose of the "memoirs"? [[spoiler: to gain clerical pardon, staving off his imminent execution]]. That's right, guys. An editor who edits an editor who edits the edited version of Pascual's life. It is subtly implied by the end of the book that the real life author in fact "edited" the story himself, making him another step in the long line of editors the book will have (publisher's editors, academic editors, "reader editor", etc.). This, by context, was a sort of TakeThat to Franquism, along with a few subtle political/social references/criticism (which make a big part of the novel objective).
* Wilkie Collins, the narrator of Creator/DanSimmons's ''Literature/{{Drood}}'', happens to be addicted to laudanum. [[spoiler:Not to mention that Charles Dickens mesmerizes him a few pages in and never gets around to unmesmerizing him. [[UnwittingPawn Oops!]]]]
* Creator/HPLovecraft's stories are usually narrated from a first-person point of view by said stories' main characters. The unreliability of the narrators may range from [[ThroughTheEyesofMadness becoming increasingly maddened as the narration progresses]] to seemingly sane persons questioning their own sanity and the quality of their recollections as they recall a horrific experience they lived through. Lovecraft also had a penchant for having some of his stories' narrators narrating from mental asylums. In ''The Temple'', the narrator is a German submarine commander in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, who steadfastly refuses to believe in anything supernatural, and instead he's sure that he went insane and became an unreliable narrator. Lovecraft loved (no pun intended) to play the RefugeInInsanity card when his characters faced an EldritchAbomination or related supernatural phenomenon. One could say that a lot of his stories can be a form of this Aesop: "If you ever see the Truth, run. For it has many tentacles."
* Corwin, the narrator of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'', for almost the entire series is telling the story to [[spoiler:Merlin]], giving Corwin numerous reasons to distort, add, or omit events. Added to this, Corwin is suffering from amnesia at the beginning of the story.
* Played with quite a bit in Patrick O'Brien's Literature/AubreyMaturin series.
** Early on the aphorism "Today's wardroom joint is tomorrow's messdeck stew" is introduced. Meaning that anything officers discuss today will be hazily retold by the crew tomorrow.
** Usually O'Brien gives both reliable and unreliable versions of events to contrast them, but occasionally only the crew's version will be told. Leaving the reader guessing as to what actually happened.
* Ernesto Sabato's ''Literature/OnHeroesAndTombs'' has a self-containing chapter, ''Report on the blind''. It's about a man who [[AncientConspiracy believes the world is being controlled by a cabal of blind people]] and tries to locate their secret lair under the streets of Buenos Aires. Due to the fantastical nature of his story, in contrast with the realism of the rest of the book, it's impossible to know what was true and what was just a paranoid delusion.
* ''Literature/DomCasmurro'', from Creator/MachadoDeAssis, a most famous realist Brazilian writer, has an interesting case. For a long time it was considered that the protagonist, who's the narrator, was simply and clearly cheated on by his wife, and that he himself as a character was completely just in his actions. Only long after his death it has become common knowledge (among professional critics at least) that the fact is, not only is Dr. Bento, the protagonist, in possession of a failing memory (he commits many continuity errors, AND lets it slip a few times as he complains about his memory), but is also a lawyer (no further explanation needed, really... but) and he's paranoid. Those all add up for a really unreliable narrator who struggles to remember simple facts, sees things that aren't really there AND wants the reader's approval.
* It is also noteworthy to mention that pretty much every single first-person narrator from Machado de Assis is unreliable, with a single extraordinary exception. Really extraordinary. In ''The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas'' the narrator is somewhat a lot more reliable than any other for a simple fact: He's dead. As such, he doesn't care about his life anymore and doesn't knowingly deceives the reader. However, as he narrates, he sometimes stumbles at points where he had lied to himself, and even in death he keeps the rationale of life about his personal thoughts, like his rationalization as to why he didn't go through with his relationship with Eugenia (she was poor and he was not, he convinced himself it was because she had a lame leg) and how he regretted paying a few silver coins to a black man who saved his life (because he didn't like parting with money, but he convinced himself it was because the man didn't want any reward).
* ''[[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy I, Jedi]]'' is made of this trope. Basically, [[MarySue Corran]] has an internal dialogue along the lines of "She so wants me, '''[[ChasteHero I must remain faithful to Mirax!]]'''" [[AuthorAppeal with every female character]].
* Apparently Creator/DouglasAdams retconned the divergences between the book, radio show, TV show, stage play, etc. of ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' by explaining that the source of the accounts was Zaphod Beeblebrox, about as unreliable as a narrator can get, who never remembered the story the same way twice.
** One section of [[Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy the radio series]], involving Zaphod's incredible escape from a particularly nasty fate, is explicitly based on Zaphod's own account. It begins:
--->Many stories are told of Zaphod Beeblebrox's journey to the Frogstar. Ten percent of them are ninety-five percent true, fourteen percent of them are sixty-five percent true, thirty-five percent of them are only five percent true, and all the rest of them are told by Zaphod Beeblebrox.
** Approximately half of the first series of the radio drama was negated when Trillian dismissed the storyarc as one of Zaphod's psychotic episodes. [[spoiler: Although it later turned out she was wrong.]]
* ''The Lace Reader'' begins with the first-person narrator introducing herself as a SelfProclaimedLiar.
-->(''Opening lines.'') "My name is Towner Whitney. Well, that's not exactly true. My first name is Sophya. I lie a lot. Never believe me."
** And the book gets less reliable from there. In the end, [[spoiler:it is revealed that her twin sister Lyndley's suicide, which drove her motivations throughout the book, never happened; her real sister's name was Lindsey, and she died before she was born. Mae did not give her up to Emma, Mae never was her real mother in the first place, Emma was. Cal's abuse of Lyndley was actually directed at Towner.]] Besides these revelations, it's nearly impossible to tell what else the narrator might have lied about.
* ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby'':
** Nick Carraway: most events that he describes you can accept are true, but there's one point where he claims to have said something to Gatsby that it's possible he merely ''wishes'' he'd said. It also seems possible that he's intentionally omitted some pieces of information about Gatsby due to his desire to see and portray Gatsby as in a favourable light.
** The scene when Nick gets drunk and starts losing time. It starts with "keep your hands off the lever" and somehow jumps to "[Mr. [=McKee=]] was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear". The reader is left to wonder if Nick is gay or bisexual, but Nick never mentions it (he probably doesn't know what happened either).
** One of the first things he says is how nonjudgmental he is. Followed by about 200 pages in which he leaves pretty much no other character unjudged. Cleverly mocked in ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'' [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=259 here (7th strip down)]].
** In fact, Nick explicitly states that the reason he doesn't judge people is essentially because it's not their fault that they're morally inferior to him.
* Marcel Proust's ''Remembrance of Things Past''/''In Search of Lost Time'' consists of thousands upon thousands of pages of this trope. "Marcel" never explicitly acknowledges that he is unreliable, but constantly undermines his own recollections such that it's impossible to trust anything he says 100%. Of course, the entire series is an exploration of the nature and limits of memory, so yeah.
* The young woman who narrates Sabina Murray's ''A Carnivore's Inquiry'' finds that her travels are accompanied by multiple murders, usually involving some sort of horrific mutilation. The end of the novel strongly implies that the book's real title should have been [[spoiler:[[ImAHumanitarian A Cannibal's Inquiry]].]]
* Melanie Rawn uses this one to interesting effect in her [[Literature/TheExiles Mageborn trilogy]]. While not apparent on a casual reading it's pretty clear that [[spoiler:Collan]]'s background doesn't quite add up. The only certain thing is that Gorynel Desse had something to do with it.
** Actually it's easier to count the things Gorynel Desse ''hasn't'' been running from behind the scenes, wily Chessmaster that he is.
* The teen series ''[[Literature/DramaSeries DRAMA!]]'' provides a subtle example. The narrator, Bryan, never outright lies to the audience, but he clearly interprets events based on his own preconceptions. For example, he goes out of his way to tell the readers what a jerk Eric Whitman is. Over the course of the series, it becomes obvious that Eric is actually an incredibly nice guy, almost to the point of being a CanonSue. [[spoiler:What's interesting is that this highlights Bryan's emotional growth. [[CharacterDevelopment By the end of the series, he admits that he was being unfair.]]]]
* Creator/PGWodehouse once collected story ideas and kept getting ones that were simply too absurd to be used. Then he had the brilliant idea of putting them all in the mouth of Mr. Mulliner, a fisherman spinning yarns at his local pub, who wouldn't be believed anyway.
* Within the context of the novel, Creator/BramStoker's ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' exists as a [[ScrapbookStory series of ''transcriptions'' of letters and newspaper clippings]] about the [[CharacterTitle eponymous vampire]]; about midway through the novel, {{Dracula}} destroys the originals by tossing them into a fireplace in order to discredit the protagonists should they ever wish to make their story public. The transcriptions are kept by Mina Harker, a trained secretary, who foresees the usefulness in keeping backups. However, Mina herself undergoes some pretty severe trauma throughout the course of the novel; apart from the whole vampire-hunting thing, her best friend is turned by Dracula (and then [[StakingTheLovedOne staked by her friends]]), and she [[VampireRefugee very narrowly escapes]] being ''turned into a vampire herself'', which [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness brings her mental state and her reliability as a recordkeeper into question.]]
* Read ''Literature/GentlemenPreferBlondes'' for a comedic (if archaically sexist) take on this trope.
* In Megan Whalen Turner's ''[[Literature/TheQueensThief The Thief]],'' the narrator, Gen, tells the story in such a way that the reader assumes he is an ignorant, dirt-poor, none-too-bright street thief being forced to help the other characters steal a precious artifact. Only at the end does it become clear that though Gen has never actually lied in his telling of the story, certain omissions and misdirections have allowed him to obscure the fact that [[spoiler:he is a queen's cousin, a hereditary master thief, and the [[TheChessmaster highly intelligent orchestrator of everything that has occurred in the story thus far]].]]
** This continues in the sequels, as characters interpret Gen's actions without knowing what is really going on is his head. This leads to some very interesting bits of confusion, though Attolia can be forgiven for not realizing that the man she [[spoiler:mutilated is still completely in love with her.]]
* ''Literature/TheHobbit'' has a somewhat odd example of this. In the first edition, Gollum bets his Ring in the riddle game with Bilbo. After Creator/JRRTolkien decided to [[CanonWelding set it in Middle-earth]] and write ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' as a sequel, this didn't fit with the concept of the Ring. So for the second edition of ''The Hobbit'', he {{RetCon}}ed the riddle game part of the story was changed to the "true" version of events. His explanation for the first edition? Bilbo was lying to legitimize his ownership of the Ring! He even obliquely apologizes for that in ''The Fellowship of the Ring'', at the Council of Elrond.
** Frodo in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is somewhat of an UnreliableNarrator himself, or at least he has a few in-universe examples of BeamMeUpScotty:
*** When he recalls what Gandalf had said about Bilbo's mercy to Gollum: ''Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.'' What Gandalf had actually said was "Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
*** When he reminds Gollum of the true nature of the One Ring: ''One Ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.'' There was no such line in any verse; the closest thing would be the inscription on the Ring, which read "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to ''bring'' them all and in the Darkness bind them."
*** Tolkien goes to considerable pains to inform us that LOTR was written by Frodo. Do you really believe that Gollum fell into the lava because he was "dancing about on the edge" and lost his footing? Sam Gamgee was put there for a *reason*.
* One of the central conceits of Creator/IsaacAsimov's "Azazel" short stories is that they're being told to an AuthorAvatar of Asimov by an Unreliable Narrator who may or may not just be making them up entirely.
* Music/NickCave's ''And the Ass Saw the Angel'' starts out as a peculiar [[MagicRealism Magic Realist]] work, but as we go on, the narrator has occasional complete blackouts, leading us to wonder how many of the supposedly Magic Realist events were in his mind. To reinforce the theme of subjectivity, the entire narrative is written in FunetikAksent.
* Justine Larbalestier's ''Literature/{{Liar}}.'' It's so bad that she actually lies about lying. [[spoiler: First she mentions her brother Jordan often, then she says she made him up, then she mentions that he did exist but he died.]]
** To the point where she says ''she's'' not even sure what really happened at the end.
* ''The Amnesia Clinic'' runs on this. Thematically, it's all about storytelling and liars, and for certain sequences it's unclear what versions of what we're told are true. For example, first we read about Anti's seduction by a quirky ManicPixieDreamGirl marine biologist who renamed herself Sally Lightfoot after a bad divorce and lost her ring finger to a snapping turtle. [[spoiler:The second time the story's told, it's recounted by Anti as all being one big lie fabricated to make his best friend Fabian jealous; the woman he named Sally Lightfoot was cold and distant, the two weren't even friends, and she had her ring finger cut off with a kitchen knife by her abusive husband. The rest, including the seduction, was a lie Anti told to make Fabian jealous, and to make reality a little less boring.]]
* The Literature/{{Dragaera}} books by Steven Brust:
** Vlad Taltos is an honest narrator, but in ''Dzur'' it turns out that [[spoiler:some of his memories have been altered by the Demon Goddess Verra, putting his recollections into question.]] Sometimes he also just misunderstands things, such as calling the Countess of Whitecrest a Lyorn, when she's really a Tiassa who dresses in Lyorn colors.
** ''Orca'' applies the trope to [[spoiler:Kiera. The story is told from her perspective, and it's in this story that we learn that she's actually an alternate identity for Sethra, the Enchantress of Dzur Mountain. Until another character figures it out, Kiera's narration does not overtly betray her secret.]]
** Paarfi of Roundwood, the narrator of Khavraan Romances, is a historical novelist who is dramatizing real events within his world. Brust has stated that Paarfi gets plenty of details wrong and sometimes just makes things up. Certain characters behave very differently within Paarfi's stories than how they behave in Vlad's recollections.
** One notable contrast of unreliable narrators is the conflict between Aerich and a lowly Teckla, which is given dramatically different tellings by Paarfi and the Teckla himself in different books. According to the Teckla, it was an epic duel, while according to Paarfi, the Teckla scampers off after little more than a lordly glare from Aerich.
* Sarah Caudwell's (very funny) four legal mysteries are narrated by ''Literature/HilaryTamar'' (of unknown gender). While the stories can be considered 'accurate' the narrator's roles and motivations are always given a very shiny gloss (I just happened to need a book in that room, and I just happened to need one that was low down behind the sofa. Oh no, now they've entered the room and started talking about the mystery without realising that I'm here).
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein:
** ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove'' is a (sort of) autobiography of immortal(?) Lazarus Long. Long himself states in the book that some of the details may or may not be true. A later book, ''Literature/ToSailBeyondTheSunset'', has the lead character state out right that Lazarus had lied all through the book.
** At one point in TEFL, Long offers to tell the true story of what happened to the Jockaira from ''Literature/MethuselahsChildren''; another character declines to hear it, asserting that the story is already in the Howard Families archives "in four conflicting versions."
** Heinlein could be said to be the unreliable narrator of his own life: for decades fans accepted, without question, his assertion that "Life-Line" was the first work of fiction he'd written ([[Literature/ForUsTheLivingAComedyOfCustoms it wasn't]]) and that he'd written it for a contest (he hadn't).
* This is thoroughly and effectively explored in James Hogg's ''Literature/ThePrivateMemoirsAndConfessionsOfAJustifiedSinner''. The memoir is framed as a FictionalDocument. The Sinner himself is a religious fanatic who portrays himself as a righteous Calvinist martyr and the people he's killed as horrible, horrible people. He's seemingly helped by the Devil himself, but then again, he might just be insane. The editor who researches the events in the Sinner's journal exposes many falsehoods and contradictions, but he himself isn't completely reliable either - because of his strictly rationalist outlook, he cannot reconcile the seemingly supernatural events described and tries to explain them away, even though some things don't quite make sense as a result.
* The Repairer of Reputations, a part of the ''Literature/TheKingInYellow'' features this. From the get-go, the narrator, Hildred, mentions that he suffered a head injury that led him to be committed to an asylum before being released after a couple of years, but he then vehemently insist that he was unjustly detained and that he was never insane, meaning that his account of events is already untrustworthy from the beginning. And when end reveals that [[spoiler:he died in an asylum the previous day]], large portions of plot become extremely questionable. To top it off, he even fairly early reveals that he read the in-universe "The King In Yellow", which is a BrownNote that drives you insane.
* James Tiptree, Jr.'s "[[http://www.lexal.net/scifi/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/tiptree2/tiptree21.html The Women Men Don't See]]" is narrated by a super-manly shadowy ex-spy MightyWhitey who thinks he knows what kind of story he's in--after the plane crashes, he's going to assume leadership and save the female passengers in the plane crash with the help of the obedient Maya pilot. He's utterly, utterly wrong, and you have to read around the edges of his ego and his narration to figure out what's ''actually'' going on. (A good critical essay describing the technique is [[http://zeroatthebone.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/review-the-women-men-dont-see-by-james-tiptree-jr/ over here.]])
* Tom Wingfield from ''Theatre/TheGlassMenagerie''. He seems reliable until [[spoiler:he abandons Amanda and Laura]]. That, combined with his final speech, demonstrate that he has strong motives to justify his actions and put himself in a positive light. In fact, we only see the ending of the play from Tom's perspective - and even though it is somewhat sad, it's suspiciously redemptive for everyone. Also, if Tom was in the right, why is his conscience plagued by memories of Laura?
* A short story, "Literature/TheYellowWallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, features a narrator who is unreliable on all levels. Is she driven to insanity? Is she already insane from the beginning? Is the house actually haunted? Is she actually dead? If she isn't insane upon her arrival, at what point in the story does she turn insane? Are the peripheral characters of the story real, figments of her imagination entirely, ghosts, or real but turned into different characters via her delusion? Are any of her observations trustworthy, such as the description of her room and reasons why there are ''bars on the windows'' and ''hooks and rings'' in the walls? There is evidence to support any of the possible theories, and, since the narrator actually ''is'' insane by the end of the story, absolutely none of the questions are answered.
* ''Literature/AdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn'': One of the most famous unreliable narrators ever [[BreakingTheFourthWall breaks the fourth wall]] [[LampshadeHanging and hangs a lampshade on it]] in the very first paragraph.
-->"You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer''; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. MarkTwain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly -- Tom's Aunt Polly, she is -- and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before."
* [[Creator/FranzKafka Kafka]]. Due to his famous style, he's able to directly contradict himself within the same ''sentence'', AND make it so subtle that a casual or superficial reader will scarcely notice. ''Literature/TheMetamorphosis'' and ''The Judgment'' stand out in this respect.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Most of the POV characters are reliable, if biased, narrators, but there's one interesting instance of true unreliability: Sansa's frequent "recollections" of Sandor Clegane kissing her during the Battle of the Blackwater. Which would be understandable, if in fact he ''had''. During the actual scene, "for a moment she thought he meant to kiss her," but he does not; by the next book she's making occasional references to the kiss occurring, and by the fourth, she can recall how the kiss ''felt''. WordOfGod confirms that it's all in her head. Sansa's misremembering what happened with Sandor is an indication that she's been so emotionally traumatized by the abuse heaped on her that she clings to the memory of someone who she saw as a protector in King's Landing, even though the kiss never happened and in fact he almost raped her.
** Arya can also be unreliable sometimes in that, being a little girl, she can misread the behavior of adults or fail to grasp the real significance of what she sees.
** It's also worth comparing different [=POVs=] of the same character: compare Catelyn's chapter with Jaime in ''A Clash of Kings'', where he comes off as an obnoxious, egotistical {{jerkass}}, and Jaime's own first chapter in ''A Storm of Swords'' where he becomes bitter, biting, and [[JerkassFacade well-aware of his own limits]]. Jon Snow has a similar disconnect; in his own chapters he reads like TheFettered, but from Samwell's POV he's an exhausted AntiHero. And then there's Stannis (whose head we've not got in as of yet), who from Catelyn's POV is a dour jerk, from Davos' POV is a WellIntentionedExtremist, and from Jon's POV is ToBeLawfulOrGood. When we see Littlefinger from Catelyn's perspective, we feel bad for him, in Ned's, he seems like a SmugSnake, and Tyrion consideres him a formidable foe, but it's not until Sansa meets him that it's clear how utterly ''[[{{Ephebophile}} slimy]]''. It should be interesting to see how other characters view Daenerys when they finally cross paths with her...
** Backstory is sometimes given in bits and pieces from various characters, each with their own interpretation of history. For example, Meera Reed's telling of the tourney at Harrenhal (as she was told by her father) is dreamy and whimsical, while Barristan's memories of the same event are melancholic and bitter.
** This extends to the supplementary material as well. ''Literature/ArchmaesterGyldaynsHistories'' and ''Literature/TheWorldOfIceAndFire'' are in-universe accounts written by characters who, for the most part, didn't witness the events they're writing about firsthand. Archmaester Gyldayn frequently notes that history often gets lost or distorted over the years, though he himself shows some slight biases.
* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheScrewtapeLetters''. The book is an EpistolaryNovel made up of letters written by a ''demon'', so of course he's more than willing to twist the truth to his own ends.
* ''Literature/ILucifer'' can likely claim having one of if not ''the'' most unreliable narrator a person could hope to find in Lucifer himself. Well, Literature/TheBible was admittedly ''one-sided''.
* Pretty much anything by Christopher Priest. ''The Affirmation'' is pretty notorious for this: [[spoiler:the narrator did not spend weeks cleaning up and repainting the summer house he was staying at, he never actually wrote his memoirs, and it is never clear if he was from London and invented Jethra or vice-versa.]] Same goes for ''The Prestige'', where [[spoiler:one of the character's memoirs is actually written by a set of twins.]] Even ''The Inverted World'' plays with the trope, though [[spoiler:there it's more because the narrator doesn't understand the nature of his own world.]]
* The Caitlín Kiernan novel ''[[Literature/TheRedTree2009 The Red Tree]]'' takes this trope UpToEleven with not just one but at least three and at some points five levels of unreliable narration. First, there is the main character Sarah: the story is told in the form of her journal, and she's clearly losing it (a note at the beginning mentions she killed herself after the events in the story). Then there is the unknown person who collected Sarah's journal and mailed it to her editor. Finally, there is the editor herself, who is distinctly coy in her note about any details that might confirm or deny Sarah's story. If that weren't enough, there are long sections of the book where Sarah is supposedly quoting from a manuscript she found. The author of this manuscript is also of questionable sanity, and there are several places where he is quoting from sources of questionable veracity. Not only is it impossible to tell if anything in this book actually happened outside anyone's imagination, it isn't even possible to tell whose imagination it might have been. It works, though.
* Ikkun from Nisioisin's ''Kubishime Romanticist'' never outright lied to the reader, but frequently left out important details, such as the reason he was feeling sick upon seeing [[spoiler:Mikoko]]'s body. It was because he had [[spoiler:eaten the evidence that would incriminate her as the murderer, and only because he had been the one to drive her to suicide in the first place.]]
* In ''Literature/TallTaleAmerica'' the author claims that the entire book is a true story and goes into detail about all the trustworthy sources he consulted in putting it together. Then he says, "And on top of all this, I've made improvements of my own all along the way - [[InsaneTrollLogic fixed up fact after fact to make it truer than it ever was before.]]"
* ''Literature/NotesFromUnderground'' by Creator/FyodorDostoevsky is one of the first modern uses of the unreliable narrator, though it's not the TropeMaker since ''Literature/ArabianNights'' and ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'' employed it long before.
* The beginning of ''Number 9 Dream'' features the narrator recounting a bunch of crazy action-movie adventures that turn out not to have happened. Once you get to the meat of the story this habit seems to stop, but given the narrator's established tendency to mix fact with fantasy and the many things he accomplishes over the course of the book, from the plausible-yet-mildly-improbable ([[spoiler:finding his DisappearedDad by complete coincidence, patching things up with his estranged mother, dating a beautiful musical prodigy (despite being kind of a loser himself)]]) to the cinematically unlikely ([[spoiler:surviving being thrown into the middle of a conflict between two Yakuza factions, being instrumental in exposing a huge organization of organ thieves using a document given to him by a mysterious private detective he met only once and a program given to him by a friend who happens to be a master hacker who's just been scouted by the American government after hacking into their most secret files]]), the reader is left wondering whether any of it actually happened.
* Kyon from the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' series is a possible example here. Despite the title, he's the main character. He's also the narrator, and it seems at times he confuses the two. Dialogue made by himself the Narrator will be responded to by other characters as if he the Character said it; while he the Narrator will point out details that he the Character is either [[SelectiveObliviousness ignoring or supposedly isn't aware of.]] It's to little wonder that this has made a few people paranoid about him.
** Also, Kyon usually [[ObfuscatingStupidity knows much more than he admits]], even to the reader. His habit of stating to [[MrExposition wordy characters]] "I don't understand you," contrasts with his tendency to go off on downright cerebral tangents in a way which is...frustrating. Ignoring completely that his understanding of whateve is being discussed is often immediately made clear by the narration.
** There have been passages where Kyon has begun to iterate a thought, then cut himself off and invoked SelectiveObliviousness because no no, it's best to not even think that. Who knows how many ideas character-Kyon refuses to consider and how many facts narrator-Kyon deliberately twists? The great mysteries of the series are divided between things Kyon presumably doesn't know at the time the story is set, and things Kyon has ''neglected to mention'' including [[NoNameGiven any part of his real name]]. After eleven novels, it looks like it's either plot or capriciousness. There's also undeniable color to depictions of Kyon and those around him.
* Timothy Kensington from the book "SCIENCE!" (a.k.a. "True Science") skews every event to try to fit his point of view, which is that Stratton's theories about altering reality are pure craziness. He remembers everyone wrong in order to convince everyone that his friend's theories about remembering everything wrong are insane. Yet, here he is, narrating this book, expecting you all to believe him unquestioningly.
* ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' was narrated by a faery psychologist at least a decade after the events occurred, the account rummaged together through the accounts of many involved. The end of the book itself states that at least 6% was 'unavoidable extrapolation', though it was likely a much higher percentage, seeing as many of the people involved in the storyline die in the following books. The narrator himself, Dr. Jerbal Argon, is a minor character in the book (as well as the later novels), though there is a good chance that he simply added himself in for the popularity that would ensue.
* The Time Traveller in ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'' by Creator/HGWells forms various hypotheses about the nature of the Eloi as the story progresses. Also, due to the novel's FramingDevice, the narrator's spellings of the few samples of Eloi language that readers get are likely poor reflections of the actual phonology, as neither the Time Traveller nor the outer story's narrator is a linguist by profession.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' has the hero as third-person narrator, except in first chapter in some books:
** Lampshaded twice in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'': in Gringotts, the narration tells the path in full of stalactites and stalagmites, then Harry confesses he can't tell the difference between them. Later: "Perhaps it was Harry's imagination, after all he'd heard about Slytherin, but he thought they looked like an unpleasant lot."
** And in the whole saga, were the Slytherin really mostly bad guys, or do they look like it because Harry is an unreliable narrator? The debate is far from over.
** Throughout the series, Harry's narration describes Pansy Parkinson, the AlphaBitch, as ugly. When Pansy is quoted in one of Rita Skeeter's articles, Rita calls her "pretty and vivacious". It's possible Rita was lying as she is prone to do, but it's also possible that Harry sees Pansy as ugly because he hates her. Or perhaps it's both and actually Pansy is just average-looking. Also, Draco Malfoy seems to have a fling with Pansy (during their school years at least). With his typical arrogance, would he go for, and want to be seen with, an ugly girl? Or even a plain one?
* Theodor Storm's novella ''Der Schimmelreiter'' (the rider on a white horse) puts the main story into question by the expedient of a triple framing story: 1. Storm begins by saying he is writing down from memory a story that he read in a magazine when he was young (but his memory already is so bad that he isn't sure in which magazine). 2. The narrator in the magazine tells of how he came to an in on the North Sea coast where he heard of the ghostly Schimmelreiter, and when he enquires further, 3. the local schoolmaster tells him the story of Hauke Haien, a young man who invented a more modern type of dyke who died in a storm flood and who according to popular belief became a ghost haunting that stretch of the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. The schoolmaster tells it rationally, as a psychological drama, with no supernatural elements, but he also says that his (superstitious) housekeeper would tell the story very differently.
* The French SciFi novel ''{{Literature/Malevil}}'' is presented as the memoirs of Emmanuel Comte [[AfterTheEnd following]] WorldWarIII. He doesn't have perfect memory of all events and so his friend Thomas provides correcting notes after certain chapters. In one circumstance, Thomas corrects what would be a glaring PlotHole to anybody in-universe reading the memoir: Emmanuel doesn't mention a single word about the solution to their {{Polyamory}} situation. However, Thomas isn't necessarily more reliable, as some of his notes are less correcting of mistakes and omissions and more arguing of opinions. At one point, Thomas decides he needs to debate Emmanuel's assessment of the only woman in their group and contradict his praise of her intelligence and beauty.
* ''Literature/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman, the narrator, is clearly insane and has bizarre hallucinations (i.e., a Cheerio interviewed on a talk show, being stalked by a park bench) which he believes to be true. It's also ambiguous whether he committed the brutal (and, occasionally, ''preposterous'') murders that he describes in graphic detail.
* ''Literature/ForWantOfANail.'' The entire book is written as a history of an alternate world where America lost the Revolutionary War, eventually breaking into the United States of America and Mexico. After such lush detail into the history of this world, the book ends with a "critique" by a scholar that notes that much of the history presented is biased and omitting key details and moments.
* ''Literature/LunarPark''. The narrator is a writer named after the author of the novel: Creator/BretEastonEllis who is an unreliable narrator, because he describes things the other characters don't see or feel. The main character is abusing drugs; some of the hallucinations might be to some extent related to that. Also, there is a intertextual reference: Ellis' character has apparently also written a novel titled ''American Psycho'' and he says: "Patrick Bateman is an unreliable narrator."
* Joanne Harris' psychological thriller ''blueeyedboy'' is told through blog postings from the eponymous character (a self-proclaimed murderer) and his online acquaintance "Albertine," both of whom take sizable liberties with the truth and blur the line between fiction and reality constantly.
* In ''Literature/MerlinDarklingChildOfVirginAndDevil'', one chapter involves Merlin facilitating [[BrotherSisterIncest Arthur and Morgana's relationship]]. The next chapter has him explain that it never happened, he just induced a hallucination in Arthur (and himself, hence the ExactWords "If this is a dream, lord, it is one I share with you") ... and then immediately reveals that this is what he ''thought'' happened, but Morgana had other ideas. There are a few other moments when Merlin hides what's going on, thinks he knows what is going on but doesn't or -- as above -- both simultaneously. He has, after all, gone mad and is telling this story to a pig.
* The same author's ''Falstaff'' uses this to play with Creator/WilliamShakespeare's AnachronismStew; the editor of Sir John Fastolfe's memoirs believes they cannot possibly be true because (for example) the drink "sack" was unknown in Fastolfe's time (and therefore, from the editor's perspective, doesn't exist). However, when he reaches the point of denying Fastolfe himself exists, despite being the man's stepson, it becomes open as to which of them is the less reliable.
* Zoe Heller's ''What Was She Thinking?'' (filmed as ''Film/NotesOnAScandal''): Barbara purports to be a cool, unbiased narrator of her friend Sheba's disastrous affair with a fifteen-year-old boy. In fact, [[spoiler: she's a PsychoLesbian StalkerWithACrush who's blatantly using the upheaval in Sheba's life to isolate and control her.]]
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'', at the start of the second part Orual reveals that the first half of the book was not an accurate version of what happened, but she does not have the time to revise the whole book, so she merely continues forward, explaining how she learned she was wrong.
* The protagonist of ''Literature/TheCuriousIncidentOfTheDogInTheNighttime'' is autistic, and while he has perfect recall and so relates everything word for word, facial expressions are naturally absent and therefore many things that may seem confusing or abrupt are simply the way they look from his eyes.
* In the ''danger.com'' series, one book, ''Bad Intent'', features mild-mannered Brian Rittenhouse, the POV character who's on his school's student council. About a third of the way through the book, it actually ''names this trope'' as the POV character reveals that he is, in fact, also an online alter ego named "Lobo" and explicitly instructs the reader to look up the concept of the unreliable narrator.
* In ''Literature/TheLongingOfShiinaRyo'' WordOfGod and the sections narrated by other characters indicated that Shin-tsu may be this. Or maybe they're the unreliable ones.
* The ''Literature/AmeliaPeabody'' series provides a fantastic example; the narrator's depth stems from her unreliability as a narrator, which can be due to either omission or equivocation. She reports her perceptions, but despite her vaunted skills in understanding people, she routinely misses the actual meaning of events; for example, when people speaking with her begin coughing, she totally misses their disguised laughter and offers them cough drops. She also is often oblivious to her own viewpoints and prejudices, and even when she is aware of them, pride stops her from relating them to the reader. Victorian sensibilities also prevent her from discussing delicate subjects.
* ''Literature/WeNeedToTalkAboutKevin'' leaves open the possibility that Eva, the title character's mother and narrator, may have been exaggerating her son's malignancy to absolve her of any responsibility. Several times she assumes he's responsible for an incident with no evidence to support this, and on at least one of these occasions she's actually proved wrong. The end of the story further adds to the unreliability, in that [[spoiler:the entire FramingDevice was a lie -- the book is written as a series of letters from Eva to her husband Franklin, who was actually one of the victims of Kevin's rampage but who most readers will assume is still alive because of the story's presentation]].
* Richard Powell's ''Pioneer Go Home!'' and ''Don Quixote, U.S.A.'' are both told by utterly naive narrators (from stupidity due to excessive inbreeding in the first case and a [[ShelteredAristocrat privileged-but-sheltered]] upbringing in the second) who credit nearly everybody they meet with the best of intentions and, largely due to this, misinterpret several key events.
* Russell H. Greenan's ''The Secret Life of Algernon Pendleton'' is told by a man who got a brain concussion during WWII and earnestly believes that objects can have souls. Considering that his best friend is a china pitcher named Eulalia, large portions of his narrative can be regarded as doubtful at best.
* ''Literature/CountAndCountess''. As an EpistolaryNovel, it technically has two narrators, but it's usually a good rule of thumb that Vlad will be lying or exaggerating while Elizabeth tells the honest truth without much emotional embellishment.
* Both in and out of universe in ''Literature/TheThirteenthTale''. Vida has a reputation for lying to people about her life story, so much so that Margaret refuses to work on this project without independently verifiable sources. Also, certain details of Vida's story raise questions for the reader.
* In Sharon Creech's ''The Wanderer Sophie'', a 13 years old girl, is sailing in a small boat across the Atlantic, with her two cousins (both also 13) and three uncles. The story is given to us as her and Cody's (one of the cousins) diaries. At first Sophie's diary seems consistent and convincing. However, when comparing it with Cody's diary, we quickly notice that Sophie blacks out any notions that [[spoiler: she is actually adopted. Even when somebody in her vicinity uses the word "orphan", she changes it to something else, or else outright skips it in the diary]]. Also she slightly changes all Bompie's stories so that [[spoiler: he has to struggle in the water, like she did once]].
* WordOfGod says that in the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' novel ''The Last Hope'', [[spoiler: Dovewing hallucinated Firestar walking away from Tigerstar, and that he actually died from wounds received fight with him.]] Then again, WordOfGod from another of the authors states that [[spoiler: Firestar died from the smoke of a nearby tree that was struck by lightning]], so this may actually be a case of unreliable God.
* In Creator/ChristopherBrookmyre's ''Literature/ASnowballInHell'', any section narrated by [[VillainProtagonist Simon Darcourt]] is unreliable due to the fact that he spends the majority of his time lying to or misleading the audience, especially about [[spoiler: his motives and, importantly, his cancer, or lack thereof]]
** Also by Brookmyre, ''Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks'' features the unreliable duo of Jack Parlabane and Michael Loftus, both of whom conceal the fact that they are [[spoiler: not in fact dead]]. A third-person narrator also gets in on the act by misleading the reader as to the true identity of [[spoiler: the person who sabotaged Michael's flat]].
** Really, most Brookmyre mysteries involve intricately constructed networks of misdirection, careful omission and outright lies by at least one narrator to maintain his preferred illusion until such time as he decides to deliver the twist.
* Mandeville just comes out and says he is one in ''Literature/DirgeForPresterJohn''.
* In ''Gilligan's Wake'' (by Tom Carson), all the narrators have a trace of this, but the Professor takes the cake. For one thing, he commits [[spoiler:serial rape]] but his narcissism convinces him that this an act of generosity to his inferiors (who are, naturally, grateful). For another thing, he ends the story believing that [[spoiler:he, like every other American, is a {{kaiju}}]]: it is strongly implied that he is really [[spoiler:completely out of touch with reality, and living on the street]]. He is so confused and forgetful at this point that it retroactively turns the detailed, if slanted, nature of the preceding narrative into a very odd mixture of unreliable narrator and implausibly InfallibleNarrator.
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in [[Creator/JorgeLuisBorges Borges']] "Literature/TlonUqbarOrbisTertius":
--> "We [[[SelfInsertFic Borges and a fellow writer]]] became lengthily engaged in a vast polemic concerning the composition of a novel in the first person, whose narrator would omit or disfigure the facts and indulge in various contradictions which would permit a few readers - very few readers - to perceive an atrocious or banal reality"
* The YA superhero novel ''Literature/CharlottePowers'' is presented as the eponymous character's journal. Although afflicted with an 'honesty curse' that means she can't tell a direct lie, Charlotte often focuses on the wrong thing, goes off on a tangent, or simply omits information. [[spoiler:The fact that she's under psychic influence for much of the story doesn't help.]]
* Ishmael, the FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator from ''Literature/MobyDick'', is often suggested to be one, mostly due to the famous opening line "Call me Ishmael", which has been the subject of considerable analysis. The thinking generally goes like this: Saying "Call me Ishmael" instead of "My name is Ishmael" may imply that Ishmael isn't his true name, and if he didn't tell the truth about his name, then you can't be certain he told the truth about anything else after that.
** There is also the issue of the narrator's frequent digressions about whales; much of which flatly contradict the established science of the time. A fact that the narrator acknowledges at one point, stating that he prefers his beliefs on the subject over the general consensus; and further cementing his unreliability.
* The first half of Elizabeth Wein's UsefulNotes/WorldWarII novel ''Literature/CodeNameVerity'' is told entirely through the written confession of an Allied agent to her Nazi captors. Unsurprisingly, she's not giving them (or us) the full story...
* The short story "Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story" by Russell Banks is built on this trope. The narrator Ron repeatedly insists that he was [[HerCodenameWasMarySue an extremely handsome, modest, and nice guy]] and that Sarah Cole was an extremely ugly woman he dated out of pity/niceness, but it doesn't take much reading between the lines to see that Ron is not ''nearly'' as nice a guy he tries to pass himself off as and that he constantly refers to himself in the third person because he's secretly ashamed of how poorly he treated Sarah. He even seems to realize it at the end when his narration breaks down and he suddenly begins describing Sarah as a gorgeous goddess who he stupidly and cruelly hurt, implying that not only does he know deep down that ''he'' didn't deserve ''her'' instead of the other way around but also that he might have described her as much worse-looking than she actually was to justify his treatment of her.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheGreatDivorce'', the damned will do this about their lives if they can. When talking with the Bright Ones, they get (gently) called on this, but on the bus, the Tousle-Headed Poet presents his life as NeverMyFault, even though it is clear he is a lazy, untalented moocher, and on their arrival, a grumbling woman blames her death on everyone around her at the time, someone should have managed to save her, although it was certain she was gravely ill -- she complains of the surgery, but during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, when this is set, operations were a matter of last resort.
* Creator/RobertCharlesWilson's ''[[Literature/JulianComstock Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America]]'' has a lot of fun with this trope, with the narrator simply not noticing important things about his friends, not being able to tell reality from propaganda, and often being manipulated and played, without even realising it.
* ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon'' has the mentally challenged narrator Charlie Gordon, whose disability means he often doesn't completely grasp the situations he encounters. For example, the "friends" he hangs out with repeatedly humiliate Charlie without his batting an eye.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'', large chunks of the book are people's first person accounts of their own history. Even those who do not actually lie do have their own axes to grind.
* In ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'', the reader is not supposed to agree with Arronax that Captain Nemo is the greatest guy ever. Arronax shows clear signs of StockholmSyndrome and excuses everything Nemo does throughout the book [[spoiler:until Nemo's VillainousBreakdown]]. Most adaptations completely miss this and [[MisaimedFandom portray Nemo as the hero]].
* British statesman Lord Chesterfield points out a problem with telling about RealLife events in ''Literature/LettersToHisSon'': "A man who has been concerned in a transaction will not write it fairly; and a man who has not, cannot." (letter 37)
* In ''Film/TheRemainsOfTheDay'', Stevens's repression of his emotions in all situations results in many moments where even as it's incredibly obvious what he must be feeling, he refuses to acknowledge having any feelings at all — his father's death, for instance.
* Phil's first-person narration in ''Literature/{{Snyper}}'' isn't technically unreliable but is full of subjective filtering and misinterpretation of the facts he's presenting, such as assuming Ashley is just a DumbBlonde secretary even though other characters frequently say otherwise.
* Hagar Shipley (formally Currie) from Margaret Laurence's "Literature/{{The Stone Angel}}" fits the bill in that she is a very proud, cynical woman. It can be very difficult to discern whether she is exaggerating about somebody or if the negative attributes she applies to someone is all in her head.
** Lottie is a girl Hagar grows up with, and often Hagar will dismiss her as a nobody. She also assumes that when Lottie makes a comment about her, it is meant in a derogatory manner.
** Hagar describes her husband as a low-class slob who is lazy and not worth her respect; insight into Bram's character, however, can reveal that Hagar drove him to drink.
* The ''Literature/ThievesWorld'' SharedUniverse used this as a way of dealing with [[ContinuitySnarl continuity errors]] between the many authors who wrote for it. A preface framing story has an old man explaining to a new arrival to the city of [[WretchedHive Sanctuary]] that one should not believe everything in the stories one hears, as everyone spins the stories to fit their agendas, to make themselves sound more important in a good story, or less to blame in a bad one, and two people telling the same story may have wildly different variations.
* The ''Franchise/{{Starcraft}}'' novel ''I, Mengsk'' contains two sections: one narrated by [[MagnificentBastard Arcturus Mengsk]], manipulator extraordinaire, and one narrated by his son Valerian. In Arcturus's segments, he is a perfect student, blows past his peers in every way, charms any girl he wants, is a perfect soldier, etc. etc. etc. Other people are either smitten with him (like his girlfriend Juliana) or fools (like his father Angus). In Valerian's segments, he paints a very different, much darker picture of Arcturus that's more in keeping with his video game appearances and other novels such as ''Liberty's Crusade''. It demonstrates how, although most people ''are'' swept up by his father's rhetoric and believe the elder Mengsk is who he claims to be, Valerian [[BrokenPedestal has grown beyond that]] and sees the monster his father really is for himself.
* H. G. Wells's ''Literature/WarOfTheWorlds'' makes more sense if we doubt the narrator's reliability. A progressive-minded Victorian, he is dazzled by the Martians' technology, and sees them as embodying the naive popular view that humans were "evolving" towards beings of pure brain without "animal" functions like eating. He constantly describes them as coldly brilliant superminds, whereas their actual behaviour - their rampaging vandalism, their unpreparedness for Earth's seas, and, of course, their fatal ignorance of Biology 101 - suggests a bunch of dumb adventurers with guns running wild among helpless primitives. Given that Wells's known intention was to show the British how it would feel to be the savages they were busy conquering, this misguided admiration may be exactly the effect he intended.
* Thomas Cromwell of ''Literature/WolfHall'', while not precisely the narrator, has only a very selective section of thoughts revealed during the book, and tends to skip over thinking about many of his more morally dubious actions. At the end of the sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, it is implied by another character that he chose the five men charged with adultery with Anne Boleyn because they took part in a masque insulting his former master Wolsey. This is probably true but he never thinks about this (or indeed any other reasons) while he is selecting the men.
* The video games ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' and ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag'' were novelized in the form of ''Literature/AssassinsCreedForsaken'' and ''[[Literature/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag Assassin's Creed: Black Flag]]'', both of which are narrated as Haytham and Edward Kenway respectively narrating the events of those games through their points of view. Thing is, these are both expressly intended to be read by their respective offspring -- Haytham's son Connor[[note]]who authors the prologue and epilogue of ''Forsaken''[[/note]], and Edward's daughter Jennifer Scott -- so both "''journals''" have unsupported claims about what really happened; WordOfGod is that they're canonical to the extent not contradicted by the games, i.e. Edward's [[BlatantLies glowing view of his relationship with]] [[VitriolicBestBuds Adewale]] and convenient omissions.
* Jennifer A. Nielsen's ''Literature/AscendanceTrilogy'' (especially The False Prince, the first novel) provides an example in which the narrator rarely actually lies, either to the readers or the other characters he interacts with, and on the occasions he does tell an outright lie often points it out in the narration. Instead, his unreliability comes from his tendency to tell only part of the truth so that it is easily misinterpreted or to tell the truth in a manner that makes other characters believe he is lying or being sarcastic. In the later two books he is more forward about things, but still will often let the reader believe what the general public believes about a situation until it comes time to reveal the more complete version of the truth.
* The ''Literature/{{Idlewild}}'' series:
** The narrator of ''Literature/{{Idlewild}}'' is an amnesiac whose memory doesn't track further than the first page of the book. He claims to recover some memories over time, but they're rosy interpretations that support his existing perspective.
** ''Literature/{{Edenborn}}'' uses SwitchingPOV to track several different characters, each of whose perspectives taint the narrative (though Penny is definitely the worst).
* In ''Literature/TheGospelOfLoki'', Loki describes his own autobiography as a "tissue of lies". He adds that "it's at least as true as the official version and, dare I say it, more entertaining."
* The PinkertonDetective who narrates Creator/AnthonyHorowitz's Franchise/SherlockHolmes novel ''Literature/{{Moriarty}}'' omits just a few important details[[spoiler:--for example, his actual identity--]]and trots out ExactWords on more than one occasion.
* Defied in ''Literature/ABadDayForVoodoo''. Tyler assures the reader that he is telling the complete truth.
* Played with in "Literature/ThePrincessBride", in which the author uses a false version of himself to provide background for his editing of the (nonexistent) original novel. Weirdly enough, though, especially in the introductions he periodically adds on for various anniversary editions (particularly about the movie), he will often reference real people and occasionally tell real anecdotes about them as well as real anecdotes about his life and then segue into an anecdote that, if you know that the book is wholly fictional, couldn't possibly have happened. Within the false original book, it is implied that the author, though he was purportedly writing a novel based on true events, did not quite know when to stick to the truth, when not, when to add in his whole long polemics about trees, etc. Especially in the 30th anniversary intro, when we learn that he was considering changing aspects of the story (and may have actually done so) in order to cater to what he and others wanted to hear, we question, even upon finding out that there is a museum with artifacts of the story, how much of it REALLY happened.
* In ''Literature/GoneGirl'', Nick Dunne leaves out numerous details throughout the story, making the reader suspicious about ''how'' unreliable he is, and whether or not he is behind his wife Amy's disappearance. [[spoiler: It turns out that Amy is even more unreliable than her husband, as her diary was deliberately fabricated with lies so that she could frame her husband.]]
* The protagonist Ted in ''IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream'' says that [[CureYourGays Benny]], [[TheEeyore Gorrister]], [[ThoseWackyNazis Nimdok]] and [[BlackAndNerdy Ellen]] all hate him because he's the youngest and because AM effects him the least. He also says Ellen claims to have had sex only twice before being brought down into AM, yet in the game she was both married and [[spoiler: a rape victim.]]
* Anika in ''Literature/{{MARZENA}}'' makes it clear multiple times throughout the story that she wasn't there when it happened. She's just a [[AuthorAvatar ghost writer]] transcribing down the thoughts and memories of the characters. As for what really happened? Who knows!? Although... the story may be fictitious, but the science is real!
* ''Literature/BlowingUpTheMovies'': Discussed in the essay on ''Film/{{Hero}}''.
* ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'' : is set up as the two siblings, Carter and Sadie Kane, recording their most recent adventures. They switch off every chapter and frequently comment on what the other has said. This ranges from side comments (such as one telling their sibling to stop laughing) to outright correcting things the other sibling has said. However the over arching story is assumed to be pretty accurate. Things just may not have gone as well as they say.
* Holly, the narrator of Laura Kasischke's ''Mind of Winter,'' fights with her adopted teenage daughter Tatiana while trying to get the house ready for Christmas. But there are two problems. First, Holly also struggles with her repressed knowledge that [[spoiler: Tatiana is not the girl whom she and her husband originally intended to adopt from a Siberian orphanage.]] Second, as the ending reveals, Tatiana [[spoiler: died of an undiagnosed heart defect on Christmas morning, leaving it unclear if Holly is interacting with both her ghost and that of the other girl, or has been DrivenToMadness out of guilt.]]
* Lemuel Gulliver from ''Literature/GulliversTravels'' becomes one by the fourth journey. He describes [[StrawVulcans the Houyhnhnms]] as the perfect civilization, despite their arrogance, elitism, and genocidal tendencies.
* The most prominent example in ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' is when, in first person present tense, Ana gives a detailed explanation of her surroundings and right afterwards claims that she doesn't get a chance to see what her surroundings look like.
* In ''Literature/{{Barkwire}}'', it's not entirely clear how much of the dogs' personalities and social lives are imagined by the reviewers.
* ''LightNovel/AnotherNote'' is narrated by Mello. He is biased in favor of L, having been raised to be his successor, and states openly that he sympathizes in some ways with B, because both he and B are AlwaysSecondBest. Also, Mello is telling a story that he heard from L, who heard the details from Naomi, so Mello is filling in a lot of blanks he couldn't possibly know. (He lampshades this too, giving a ShoutOut to the above-mentioned [[Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye Holden Caulfield]], calling him "The greatest literary bullshitter of all time.")
* ''Literature/TheRedTent'' is narrated by Dinah. She tells the readers that she's retelling a lot of stuff that her mom and aunts have told her, from memory, and that it's been a long time, so some of the details might not be ''quite'' accurate.
* The History of Love: near the end, Leo explains how he's an unreliable narrator; it also turns out that Bruno was [[spoiler: {{Deadallalong}} ]], which casts the last scene with him in a different light.
* ''Literature/TheKharkanasTrilogy'': The story is narrated by the poet Gallan to another poet, Fisher kel Tath, and in the prelude to ''Forge of Darkness'', Gallan flat-out admits to not be telling the truth:
--> No matter; what I do not recall I shall invent. [...] And if I spoke of sacrifices, I lied.
* Drew Karpyshyn, author of the ''Franchise/StarWars'': ''Literature/DarthBane'' books [[WordOfGod discussed this]] in relation to a fan theory regarding the ending. He had actually intended for the ending to be clear, but to many it wasn't. He noted that in order for the fan theory to work, readers would have to assume that he was being an unreliable narrator at the end of the book, something that he had never done before. "[[http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DtRcbmCVBwIJ:www.drewkarpyshyn.com/spoiler.htm Unfortunately, “twist” endings have become so prevalent recently that I think people assume narrators are unreliable now by default...]]"
* Literature/JessicaDarling is prone to leaving out things she doesn't want to talk about, making conjectures with absolute certainty that turn out to be entirely false, and of course talking at length about [[CoolLoser how ugly and unpopular she is while people are constantly praising her and boys fawning over her.]] She's not entirely unaware of it, though; at one point she flat out wonders how she can be so [[TheSnarkKnight incapable of ignoring anything even if she'd be happier not seeing it,]] yet at the same time completely miss so much. Another character tells her that while she is indeed quite perceptive, she's also prone to making up her mind about what people are like and refusing to believe that they could ever [[CharacterDevelopment change]].
* ''Literature/TheDarkElfTrilogy'' is framed as being the memoir of its protagonist, Drizzt Do'Urden, and at various points in the novels, Drizzt addresses the reader directly to share his reflections or feelings about the experiences he is recounting. The bulk of each novel, however, is written from the perspective of an omniscient third-person narrator, who describes events that Drizzt was not present for, and which in some cases he could not possibly have known about. That leads to some interesting questions. For example, Alton [=DeVir=] tries more than once to kill Drizzt, supposedly for revenge on the Do'Urden's for murdering his family, except that Drizzt was born on the night the [=DeVir=]'s were killed, and so is, of all the Do'Urdens, completely innocent. Nevertheless, Alton's hatred seems to particularly target Drizzt, moreso than any other Do'Urden. We are never really given a satisfying explanation for why Alton targeted Drizzt; it is possible that Drizzt just did not know why, or perhaps he knew and did not want to tell us. This is not the only time something like that happens: in the third novel, Roddy [=McGristle=] conceives a bitter hatred of Drizzt and hunts him for years, to the ends of the earth, despite relatively little provocation. Roddy's hatred seems bizarrely undermotivated, just like Alton's. Was Drizzt not telling us everything? Did he just not know what motivated Roddy, and so had to guess? There is also the fact that Drizzt spares Roddy at the end, because, the narrator tells us, he had no knowledge of any crimes Roddy had committed that were deserving of death. Earlier in the novel, however, Roddy had committed two murders. If Drizzt did not know about those--and it is hard to see how he could have--then who put them in the story?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Several TV shows have had a RashomonStyle episode.
** ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'' opened with the end of a particularly nasty marital argument. When Mary complains to her friend, she was being a pleasant wife and her husband was in an inexplicably nasty mood. When he complains to his coworkers, he came home to find her unusually lazy and nagging. The audience then gets to hear from the goldfish what actually happened: they'd both had bad days, and took it out on each other.
** In an episode of ''Series/SpaceCases'', when Catalina is asked to describe what happened with the Ion Storm, Harlan acts completely and utterly worthless and it's actually her who saves the day. When this flashback finishes, everyone says "...wait that's not what happened" and they ask for Harlan's version, which is...more or less the same thing but with Harlan presented as the hero and Catalina being useless and her obsession with Suzee being exaggerated.
** An episode of ''Series/PerfectStrangers'' have Larry, Balki, and their neighbor give differing stories to the police about an incident. Each version has the teller as the hero.
** An episode of ''Series/HappyDays'' had Fonzie, Chachi, Roger, & Potsie all giving differing versions of the same chain of events leading to Fonzie getting shot in the butt.
** ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' had a Rashomon episode where an incident was seen from the points of view of all four principals - Edith's version was the objective, accurate one, of course.
** ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "Tall Tales" is a TheRashomon episode, with Sam and Dean telling their own version of the previous events to their ParentalSubstitute Bobby - and often end up arguing over who's telling the story and the exact details of what occurred. It is eventuality revealed that a Trickster (a minor god of chaos) has been messing with their relationship in order to distract them from the case at hand, so most of the narrative consists of whichever brother is speaking portraying himself as a suave, dedicated professional searching earnestly for the truth, while painting the other in decidedly uncomplimentary colors. In Sam's narration, Dean appears as a slutty, gluttonous pig with no standards, while Dean portrays Sam as a prissy, super-sensitive do-gooder with CampGay mannerisms. They end up working together to defeat the Trickster and sincerely apologizing for their behavior after closing the case.
** ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
*** In the fourth-season episode "The Novocaine Mutiny", Frank and Hawkeye give wildly differing accounts of the same event.
*** The series finale segment in which Hawkeye - via flashback - describes the bus ride with the chicken to Sidney, is a powerful example; made powerful due to the frighteningly awesome reveal later on.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Andrew is this in the episode "Storyteller".
* The ''{{Series/Farscape}}'' episode "The Ugly Truth" has four of the characters being successively interrogated about the destruction of an alien spacecraft by angry compatriots of the aliens who assume that any difference in the stories must be deliberate lies. While we can see that the characters are consciously or subconsciously framing events to make themselves look better, the central character Crichton finally delivers a KirkSummation about how memory is fallible and no one person's description of something will ever be totally accurate. Notably, the aliens claim that this cannot be, as they always remember things in the same way.
** "Scratch 'n Sniff" features Crichton relaying the events of why he had to leave a planet to Pilot. At several points, Pilot refuses to believe Crichton (even at one point suggesting that if Jool had lost as much fluid from her body as Crichton said, she'd be dead) and in the end it was left ambiguous how much of the story, if any, was true.
* ''{{Leverage}}'' has "The Rashomon Job", in which each of the characters recounts how it was they who stole the golden dagger. In the end, Nate reveals the single true story and reveals who really stole the dagger. One running gag is everybody messing up Sophie's British accent. By [[CloudCuckooLander Parker]], she sounds like a dwarf from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* Series/PrettyLittleLiars plays with this a lot.
** "I won't let Spencer Hastings bully me anymore."
** Why are there football guys laughing at Hanna and oinking while she eats cupcakes? More likely is that she feels they are laughing at her and we see it as such.
** Why are swim meets and class elections such a huge deal? Because they are important to Emily and Spencer respectively.
* ''Series/TheBlackDonnellys'': The narrator (Joey "Ice Cream") puts himself into the story in places where he couldn't have been, gets dates wrong by a year or so, and just has the general demeanor of not being a guy whose facts are ready to bank. On the flip side, the story he tells does not make him seem like a MartyStu. He gets shut down by the ladies. He never plays a pivotal role in the events of the story. This leads us to believe we can accept at least ''some'' of what he is saying. Joey generally gives the sense of wishing he had brothers like the Donnellys, and that's why he inserts himself into the story, in a hopeful-sad attempt to feel like part of them while he's really an outsider. Sometimes it seems like he may have been there, and usually it seems like it was probably another Donnelly or sometimes Jenny who was really there.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' started off occasionally playing with this, but has used the device increasingly often as it progressed. Unusually, it is not because Future Ted is lying ''per se'' (at least, not often - there are some instances of outright lies), but because of ordinary memory lapses (having a character named Blah Blah because he can't recall her name), subjective interpretation of ordinary events (showing Robin's forty-something date as elderly), or sanitizing the story for his children (using "I'm getting too old for this ''stuff''" instead of "shit".). The few times he tells us things that seem to defy reality (such as Lily and Marshall escaping their own party by jumping out the window, or having high school athletes and a ''Film/TeenWolf'' on a kindergarten basketball team), he {{Hand Wave}}s it by saying that's all he heard about it. In short, if there is a way to exploit the potential of an unreliable narrator for comedic purposes, it's been done on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' at some point.
** Episode "The Rough Patch": [[spoiler:Since they began happily dating, Barney and Robin]] have let themselves go a little; however, in Ted's mind, they look like absolute hell, and [[spoiler:Barney]] in particular is now comically overweight. He even admits that he's unreliable on this point, but they stay that way for most of the episode [[RuleofFunny anyway]].
*** Especially blatant is the apparent scene right after he came in possession of a architecture themed porn movie. Porn is bad so he intended to get rid of it right away. He loses the grip and the VHS just happen to fly out of the case, jump on the remote and land in the VCR which in an equal unfortunate event turned itself on.
** Episode "Zoo or False" includes two more examples. The question of whether or not Marshall was mugged by a monkey goes unanswered, and the last two minutes of the show, where [[spoiler:the monkey carries a little doll woman to the top of Ted's scale model of the empire state building while paper airplanes are thrown at him]] are left similarly ambiguous.
--->'''Ted:''' Barney, enough with the lies. You can't just tack on a new ending because you're unsatisfied with how a story wraps up.
--->'''Barney:''' Oh really? Well, mark my words, Mosby, 'cause someday you'll be telling this story, and you'll see it my way.
--->'''Ted:''' Doubtful. ''[[FramingDevice (narrating from the future)]]'' And then, kids, you'll never believe what happened!
** [[spoiler: Particularly great, since the setup for the awesome end has been laced throughout the episode--so if Future Ted is making this up he's likely made up a fair chunk of the episode]].
** This also happens to Ted when he goes to see a movie and finds out that the story is based on how Stella left him right before their wedding. It portrays him as a {{Jerkass}} and makes him the villain.
** Speaking of Present!Ted's {{Jerkass}} behavior, Ted comes off as a NiceGuy, but continually done some pretty selfish things. Is he worse than he appears? On the other hand, Future!Ted tends to insult his past self fairly often. He seems to recognize his behavior as wrong and learned to grow up. Or has he?
** Subverted in episode 5.5, "Duel Citizenship:" Future Ted says, "And then it happened... Marshall and Lily morphed into one big married blob." This is shown literally happening, indicating Ted's narration is being exaggerated for comic effect. Then Present Ted blinks and says, "Whoa...I gotta dial back on the Tantrum." This refers to a highly caffeinated beverage he'd been consuming, implying that he was hallucinating.
** An ongoing joke in the series is that Ted doesn't want to admit to his kids that he and his friends occasionally smoked pot, so any time he refers to a joint, he calls it a "sandwich," and the characters are duly portrayed eating sandwiches (while their behavior makes it obvious they're stoned).
** The trope is used twice in the episode "The Ashtray", when an unexpected meeting with The Captain is told by Ted, then being retold and corrected by Robin, who reveals Ted was stoned and terrified of The Captain, after which it is retold by Lily who reveals that Ted was stoned, and Robin was drunk.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** Telling Bashir how it was a fellow Obsidian Order agent named Elim who screwed up Garak's life, providing a number of different versions. When Bashir finds Garak's mentor ([[spoiler:and father]]) Enabran Tain, he asks about this. Tain just laughs and reveals that Elim is Garak's first name. In a way, Garak was saying that his predicament is his own fault.
** Episode "The Wire": Garak, because as a former secret agent of the Cardassian Obsidian Order he liked obfuscating his own past and never told a truth if a lie would suffice.
-->'''Bashir:''' Out of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren't?
-->'''Garak:''' My dear doctor, they were all true.
-->'''Bashir:''' Even the lies?
-->'''Garak:''' ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t02v9EUHs30#t=2m12s Especially the lies.]]''
** The moral Garak draws from ''The Boy Who Cried Wolf''? ''Never tell the same lie twice.''
--> Garak: The truth is usually just an excuse for lack of imagination.
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' often mentions his lack of any emotions in his narration, though it becomes increasingly apparent that this is not true. For example, he does clearly care about the people in his life, though with his (eventual) wife and her two kids it's also implied to be a case of BecomingTheMask. He's not lying to the audience so much as he simply doesn't understand a lot of human nature.
* In one segment of ''Series/{{MADtv}}'', Aries Spears tells a story as a photomontage of the events he's detailing accompanies. We start with Aries hanging out on the roof, where he goes to chill out in his downtime, and noting that this would be a great place to launch a glider. After this point, the wholesome and educational narrative he details begins to subtly (and, very very shortly, not so subtly) diverge from the things we're seeing, and ends with Aries high as a kite on glue fumes, under the impression that one of the other actors, aware of what has happened and concerned for Aries' safety, is some kind of demon out to kill him.
* The Dharma orientation films of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' are narrated by [[Creator/FrancoisChau François Chau]]'s variably named character. The Swan film is located "behind ''The Turn of the Screw''" on the bookshelf, tipping the audience in advance that perhaps "Marvin Candle" is not to be trusted.
* Hard to prove, but Kevin of ''Series/TheWonderYears'' may fall under this. He is recalling events to him long past, and while the broad details are likely accurate, consider that the older brother and some of the pre-Women's Lib neighborhood girls get away with a lot of hitting. Also, when unfairness, especially parental, hits Kevin, it seems to focus on him exclusively, making you wonder if his older self is letting the filters of nostalgia and occasional bitterness influence his re-telling. The premiere episode has Kevin recalling that he was a 'pretty fair athlete' while showing a perfectly thrown football pass bounce off his chest.
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' plays with the more humorous variant. For one example, Malcolm says the house next-door never seemed to have a permanent resident and they never figured out why. Cue montage of the boys playing all ''sorts'' of pranks on the previous residents, then cut to Malcolm saying "I don't know - I think it might be haunted."
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Episode "The Trial of a Time Lord", [[spoiler:the Valeyard]] has tampered with the evidence in the Matrix, especially in ''Mindwarp'', to make the Doctor's conviction certain.
** In the more recent Series/DoctorWho story, "The Unicorn And The Wasp", Agatha Christie questions the attendees at an outdoor party regarding a recent murder. As the suspects each give their story, we see the events that they describe, but as they really happened. Example, one young man claimed to be wandering alone, but in the flashback scene it's shown that he was flirting with another man. His father lies not only about what he was doing but also what he was reminiscing about at the time, leading to a flashback-within-a-flashback.
** The episode "Love & Monsters" is framed as a story being told to the camera by Elton Pope. [[spoiler: It's explicitly shown that his memory of how the band sounded, and how they actually sounded are rather different, which calls into question a lot of his interpretation of events]].
* BBC sitcom ''{{Coupling}}'' had numerous examples of unreliable narrators, notably pretty much anything said by either Jeff or Jane. But the greatest example of was in the third season episode "Remember This", where Patrick and Sally's individual recollections of how they met match in many, but not all details, to great comedic effect. [[spoiler:In particular, the print of Munch's ''The Scream'' that the exceedingly drunk Sally remembers is revealed to be a mirror in Patrick's memories.]] When Jane turns up unexpectedly at Patrick's flat, the lads discuss the incident at the bar:
--> Steve (astonished): Why?
--> Patrick (equally astonished): That's the first thing I said to her, I said, "Why?"
--> (Cut to flashback)
--> Patrick (suave): Come in!
--> (Cut to bar)
--> Patrick: She just came in. I had no idea what to say!
--> (Cut to flashback)
--> Patrick (suave): Drink?
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** In "The Unnatural" an alcoholic ex-cop tells Mulder how he encountered an alien posing as a famous Negro baseball player in [[RoswellThatEndsWell 1947 Roswell]]; a story that even Mulder finds hard to believe. When Mulder tries fitting these facts into what he knows about the GovernmentConspiracy, the cop basically tells him to just shut up and enjoy the tale.
** Used this trope very frequently, especially in the more comedic episodes, like "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" and "Bad Blood," both of which are told RashomonStyle. In "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'", one alien is named "Lord Kinbote" after Charles Kinbote, the unreliable narrator in Nabokov's "Pale Fire."
* In ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', [[spoiler:Bennett's memory of how her arm was crippled shows Caroline abandoning her to save herself. Caroline's own memory is later seen, and shows her trying to dislodge the rubble pinning Bennett, then explaining that as an employee Bennett can pretend she wasn't involved, and pinning her ID badge to her to make this more obvious before leaving. Which seems very thorough. The apparent implication is that Bennett's memory is incomplete. On the other hand, Caroline is the one whose memory is repeatedly and extensively tampered with, so there's room for multiple interpretations.]]
* The Janitor from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' is a pathological liar. He tells the most bizarre tales about his past and doesn't even keep track of what is true in them, if any at all. Or maybe he does but just wants to screw with you. The only thing we know about him for sure is that he had a bit part in ''Film/TheFugitive''.
-->''(as Janitor finishes a story)''
-->'''J.D.''': Is any of that true?
-->'''Janitor''': Somebody would have to read it back to me.
* Played for laughs on ''Series/RedDwarf''. In the episode "Blue", the crew travel through an artificial reality version of Rimmer's journal, in which he depicts himself as a brave, handsome leader and the other crew members as reliant on him for various things which, in reality, they're better at than Rimmer.
* Occasionally used in ''TheMiddle''. A scene will go surprisingly well, considering things rarely if ever go well for the characters. Frankie will then voice over "OK, that's not really what happened," and show the much worse thing that actually happened.
* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' Tony tends to embellish his stories. In a sad example he has been embellishing a story about a school prank for so long that he started to believe that his version of events was exactly what happened. When he starts feeling guilty and goes to apologize to the now grown up victim of the prank, the guy is baffled by Tony's apology. Tony was actually the victim of the cruel prank and the other guy was the bully. Tony realized that over the years he managed to flip the story in his head and made himself into the villain.
* An episode of ''StillGame'' features a subplot involving Winston being barred from the Clansman. As Winston recounts the events which led to him being barred, we also see what really happened. Winston makes out he politely asked Boabby to pour another pint, as he felt it was too cloudy, to which Boabby took offence and threw him out. In reality, Winston went ballistic and spat the contents of the glass over Boabby.
* Alan Bennet's ''[[Series/AlanBennettsTalkingHeads Talking Heads]]'' series of monologues is built on this trope. Each narrator tries to tell their story to their own advantage, but we can see through their facade to see the real story. For example, 'Her Big Chance' features Julie Walters as a woman who thinks she's a highly professional actress but we get enough hints to see that she is anything but (for example whenever she says a line, the director tells her it might be silent). She also appears to have no idea that she's acting in a soft-core porn movie for the German market.
* The first episode of the fourth series of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' has a framing device of Rudy explaining the most recent strange occurrences at the community center to newcomers Finn and Jess. Each time they catch him in a lie, he backpedals and alters the story he's telling to avoid the relevant lie, admitting to cutting off Michael's hand with a hacksaw and conspiring with Seth to lock Curtis in the freezer and [[LampShaded Lampshading]] his unreliability as a narrator (actually naming this trope outright in the process). Once he's run out of story to tell them, Rudy admits that he is only telling the story to stall while the [[SlippingAMickey drugs he has given them take effect]], thus ending the framing device.
* In the ''Series/StargateUniverse'' episode "Twin Destinies", both Telford and Present Rush suspect the reliability of Future Rush's claims that he tried to save the rest of the crew after the accident. The later episode "Epilogue" reveals that at the very least he was lying about which crewmembers stayed behind with him.
* The ''Series/TeenWolf'' episode Visionary is a series of flashbacks framed by Peter and Gerard depicting a tragedy from Derek's past and the events that eventually led to the formation of the alpha pack. What the flashbacks depict vary wildly in some places from what Peter and Gerard actually say happened and the trope is actually mentioned by name. Further complicating matters, WordOfGod states that while [[DramaticIrony the audience knows more about what really happened than the characters]], they should not assume they know the whole story.
* The entirety of ''Series/TheGoldbergs'' is this, with every episode narrated as occurring in "nineteen-eighty something". One episode featured the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana (which occurred in 1981), while also including the song Eternal Flame (from 1989).
* The trope comes up repeatedly in ''Series/TrueDetective''. Hart accuses Cohle more than once of coming up with a narrative that might explain a crime and potentially bending the evidence to support the narrative rather than letting the evidence dictate the narrative. Both Hart and Cohle's present day accounts of what happened in 1995 omit and fabricate various details, and in a scene integral to the case in episode 5 their depositions directly contradict what plays out onscreen. In the same episode, detectives Gilbough and Papania call out Cohle on his unreliability in a big way.
* ''Series/MrRobot'' is told almost entirely through the eyes of the main character, Elliot, so we only see what he sees and know what he knows. He also has issues with his mental health, and at certain points, actively questions his own sanity and how much of what he's seeing is really there. He thinks he's being followed by MenInBlack, but isn't sure if that's true of if he's making that up. He also purposely replaces the name of the company E Corp with EvilCorp because he hates them so much, so whenever any character mentions it, we hear “Evil Corp” instead of what they're actually saying. At the end of the first season, we also find out that [[spoiler: Mr. Robot is his father, and also died years ago, and Elliot was hallucinating him the whole time. And Darlene is actually his sister]]. He's just as shocked as the audience.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In Music/{{Mothy}}'s [[Franchise/EvilliousChronicles Moonlit Bear]], Eve Moonlit, the character {{Vocaloid}} Hatsune Miku plays in the song, talked about how she found two apples deep in the wood and got chased by a bear. As it turned out, [[spoiler:the apples are two infants and the bear their mother, whom Eve ended up killing.]]
* Most of Music/TheBarenakedLadies song "The Old Apartment" is meant to imply that the narrator has broken into his ex-girlfriend's apartment in a fit of creepy stalkerishness. Toward the end of the song, he reveals that he and the girlfriend are still together, and have just moved to a nicer house; he's broken into their old place in a fit of creepy nostalgia.
* The protagonist of Music/KingDiamond's concept album ''The Graveyard'' claims that he was thrown into a [[BedlamHouse mental hospital]] because he threatened to expose a politician as a child molester. Since the entire album is from his point of view, and he's [[AxeCrazy an insane killer]], it's not clear if he's telling the truth or just crazy.
* The refrain of Music/GaelicStorm's "Johnny Tarr" goes: "Even if you saw it yourself you wouldn't believe it/But I wouldn't trust a person like me if I were you/Sure I wasn't there - I swear I have an alibi/I heard it from a man who knows a fella who swears it's true". The story told in the song is borderline fantasy, wherein the title character dies of thirst in the middle of a drinking contest.
* Music/TheyMightBeGiants do this so much they considered calling one of their albums ''Unreliable Narrator''. To cite one example, "Purple Toupee" is built around the narrator's horribly mangled memories of newsworthy events of the 60s ("I remember the book depository where they crowned the king of Cuba"..."Martin X was mad when they outlawed bell bottoms").
* Denton, TX based Slobberbone's "Billy Pritchard" features a father telling his daughter how he doesn't approve of her relationship with a boy in her town, and implies that he killed her brother. Near the end of the song, we learn that the father shot his own son in the back of the head after mistaking him for Billy, and that most of what he had said was a lie.
* Music/{{Eminem}} played with this for the majority of his career. His 'Slim Shady' character was an obvious parody of the excesses of the gangsta rapper archetype, but a lot of the devices Eminem used with Slim Shady were kept on even after he abandoned the character. How much of Eminem's rapping reflected his own attitudes is a very debatable question. Eminem often twists fact and fantasy in his songs, explaining why so many real-life people felt the need to sue him for slander. He lampshades this himself in the song "Criminal" from ''Music/TheMarshallMathersLP''.
--> ''A lot of people ask me.. stupid fucking questions''
--> ''A lot of people think that.. what I say on records''
--> ''or what I talk about on a record, that I actually do in real life''
--> ''or that I believe in it''
--> ''Or if I say that, I wanna kill somebody, that..''
--> ''I'm actually gonna do it''
--> ''or that I believe in it''
--> ''Well, shit.. if you believe that''
--> ''then I'll kill you''
* Rael, the protagonist of the Music/{{Genesis}} ConceptAlbum ''TheLambLiesDownOnBroadway'', is practically made of this trope.
* In Music/JoannaNewsom's song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enmj-fK9niY "Colleen"]], the story is told by a young mermaid or sea nymph who lost her memory and was subsequently adopted by humans. It's implied that by the end of the song, she's still unaware that she's not human, although it's obvious from the lyrics.
--> I'll tell it as I best know how, and that's the way it was told to me: I must have once been a thief or a whore, then surely was thrown overboard, where, they say, I came this way from the deep blue sea...
* Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheWall'', the movie in particular.
* Music/{{Ludo}}'s song "Lake Pontchartrain" is told from the perspective of a young man who supposedly witnessed his friends' watery, supernatural deaths. But at the last verse he adds; ''"That's how it happened/Why would I lie?/There were no bodies/I got none to hide"'', implying that he's being tried for killing them.
* [[Music/TheDecemberists The Decemberists]] has "We Both Go Down Together". It is supposedly a tale of {{Starcrossed Lovers}} from different social classes who kill themselves to be together, but with lines like "You wept, but your soul was willing", [[RapeAsDrama it is possible that the narrator is a deranged rapist believing he and his victim are tragic lovers]].
* Music/{{Gorillaz}} bassist Murdoc is notorious for this. He may be the only speaking witness to [[spoiler: Noodle's disappearance and apparent death,]] but he changes the story every time he tells it. Sort of [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that he claims to be withholding information in hopes of a movie deal. Of course, Murdoc's been known for exaggerating stories and flat out lying on important topics, so it's possible that he's just making things up as he goes.
* Music/RegalPinion's songs has some of this. Sometimes the narrator's don't know if they can even trust themselves.
* Many of Music/RandyNewman's songs feature one of these.
* In Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming to take me away HAHA," the main character went mad because his wife divorced him (or his dog ran away, depends on the interpretation). In another song in the series sung from the point of view of the wife\dog, it shows he wasn't really all there beforehand.
* The Music/NickCave song "The Curse of Millhaven" from the album ''Music/MurderBallads'' introduces us to Lottie, a young teen girl who recounts the nasty murders that have been plaguing her small town. By the end of the song, it's revealed that Lottie herself is the curse of Millhaven and has been committing all the killings.
* The Silverstein song "A Great Fire" and what follows throughout the album "A Shipwreck in The Sand". The first song talks about how the protagonist/hero saves his wife and daughter from their house that's burning down.though there are some things in the song to hint at something not quite right with how the husband wife treat each other;''this was my home/this was my life/it's not always just about you''. it doesn't become apparent till a later song what happened to cause the fire. in "I Am The Arsonist" he set the house on fire himself, because in the second song "Vices" he found out his wife was cheating on him, which lead to drinking, trying to hide he knew and knew how disappointed in him his wife was. it culminates in a song just before the last 2, "A Hero Loses Everyday", in which he states; ''The Protagonist became/The villian they disdain/In every way'' and ends on a realization that they could never have truly loved each other in the first place, because they were broken people.
* In the Creator/MercedesLackey / Frank Hayes song ''The Leslac Version'', Leslac the bard tries to tell the story of wandering heroes Tarma and Kethry liberating Viden town, but Tarma keeps interrupting with snarky corrections. In his version they deliberately sought out the tyrant to bring him down; in her version he died accidentally in a drunken bar fight. He plays up their nobility, she plays it down, but the truth is probably closer to Tarma's version:
-->'''Leslac:''' They searched through all the town to find and bring him to defeat.
-->'''Tarma:''' Like hell what we were searching for was wine and bread and meat!
-->'''Leslac:''' They found him in the tavern and they challenged him to fight.
-->'''Tarma:''' We found him holding up the bar drunk as a pig that night!
** Lackey went on to write a short story about the events surrounding this song. Tarma's version has a few minor inaccuracies, but Leslac's version is complete nonsense. The amusing thing is that Leslac was ''present'' for the events of the song, but ultimately decided that he couldn't write a song about how a belligerent drunk (Who coincidentally happened to be the unpopular local lord) picked a fight with a couple travelers for no intelligent reason, got hit with a broomstick, and accidentally broke his skull against the fireplace and died. So he wrote a song about how the story ''should'' have gone. In fact, the author invented Leslac to handwave away mistakes she wrote in some of the Tarma and Kethry stories due to the fact that she wrote some of the songs about them before the stories behind the songs, and forgot a few details. All mistakes in the songs are Leslac's either because he didn't do the research, or changed the story to be more dramatic.
* Music/TheBeeGees: "And somehow in this madness believe she was mine -but...I'm a liar"
* In Music/TomWaits' "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" from ''Music/BlueValentine'' a woman tells an old acquaintance named Charlie (possibly an ex) that she's cleaned up, got married, has a child on the way (though it isn't her husband's) and is happy for the first time since an unspecified accident. She then admits it's all a lie; in fact she's lonely, in debt and is writing to Charlie to ask for money. She concludes by telling him she'll be "eligible for parole on Valentine's Day."
* The old blues song "Get My Shotgun" by Lightnin' Hopkins is one long rant by a cuckolded man who announces that he's going to shoot his old lady for foolin' around with too many men. At the end, his wife dares him to go through with it, and he admits that his shotgun doesn't even work.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Some members of the ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' {{Hatedom}} point out that a lot of events are communicated to the readers by having one character tell another, such that we get this information second or even third hand. This treatment is notably applied to Anthony's ex-wife, Therese - the audience sees very little of her, and almost everything we know about her is communicated by other characters when she's not present. As a result some question just how accurate the portrayal of Therese as an evil harpy really is.
** Elly is inclined to think of herself as a kind, reasonable, generous mother, and will paint herself as such in any retelling of events which involved her. Occasions when Elly has ''been'' any of those things, as a mother, as a wife, or just as a person in general, are few and far between.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''. Calvin's six year-old imagination has the tendency to run away with him, resulting in spectacular fantasy sequences featuring characters like [[ComicStrip/FlashGordon Spaceman Spiff]], [[{{Superman}} Stupendous Man]], and [[FilmNoir Tracer Bullet]]. Then, of course, there's Hobbes himself, Calvin's stuffed tiger to whom he attaches a personality. Hobbes is even drawn differently when other characters are in the panel, to reflect how they see him as just a toy. WordOfGod is deliberately mum on whether or not Hobbes is just a stuffed toy, or really somehow alive. And then there's the storyline where Hobbes ties Calvin to a chair and Calvin's dad finds him and can't for his life figure out how the heck Calvin has managed this...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audio ''And The Pirates'' is told by Evelyn and the Doctor. Evelyn gets many of the facts wrong and is caught making up names on the spot, such as "John Johnson" and "Tom Thompson". She even initially says the Doctor died mere minutes after saying he'll be around to tell more of the story. Parts are told out of order, and all the sailors have the same voice because she can't impersonate them well. The Doctor's version of events is much more accurate but suspiciously full of characters complimenting his unorthodox wardrobe.
** The Companion Chronicles audio ''[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS6E3TheMemoryCheats The Memory Cheats]]'' is told first person by Zoe to a Company psychologist, as they try to unlock her memories of traveling the Doctor (wiped by the Time Lords at the end of "The War Games"). At the end, [[spoiler: she reveals she made it all up based on information the psychologist gave her, the one time she did meet the Doctor, and her dreams. But she can't explain why there's a photo of her from 1919. Not only are we left not knowing how much of the story is true, so is Zoe herself.]]
** Used to a lesser extent in the previous story in the arc, "[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS5E2EchoesOfGrey Echoes of Grey]]." [[spoiler:The parts that Zoe narrates are accurate. The parts narrated by Ali are lies; she was never there.]]
* Dickensian parody ''Radio/BleakExpectations'' uses this in the framing story for laughs:
-->"We swore we would escape the school, or die in the attempt."
-->"And what happened?"
-->"We died in the attempt."
-->"Oh, how awful!"
-->"Of course not, you blundering idiot! How would I be talking to you now?"
* Occasionally used for humorous effect in the introductory narration on radio episodes of ''Radio/OurMissBrooks''. Cue a correction from DeadpanSnarker Miss Brooks.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Nearly all of the background material for ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is told from possibly inaccurate histories and skewed propaganda pieces, making the exact nature of the setting [[ContinuitySnarl dubious at best.]]
** While all of the material is written from the perspective of some particular group, which naturally wants to make itself the most sympathetic, the Imperium takes a ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' approach to the way it handles information.
** This trope (along with FutureImperfect) was specifically ''invoked'' when the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novels were first released. When fans pointed out that events in the novels contradicted what was in the 40k backstory, GW outright said "the backstory is history filtered through ten thousand years. The novels are what ''really'' happened."
** Invoked again with the [[TheAlliance Tau]], who were initially introduced as an AlwaysLawfulGood faction after part of the player base complained that there was ''too much'' GRIMDARK in the setting. After another section of the player base complained that the Tau were ruining the GRIMDARK, information popped up about forced sterilizations, concentration camps, and various other traditionally evil acts on the part of the Tau. The kicker? InUniverse, all of said information comes from the Imperium's propaganda machine, putting the right to AlternateCharacterInterpretation squarely in the players' laps.''
** Games Workshop once said that while all published material is canon, not all of it is ''true''...
* And like ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the regular TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} books are also written in an unreliable sort of way.
* Much like the above ''Warhammer'' example, all of the material on ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' is written from an in-universe perspective, always of some particular person or organization. This goes for everything, even the technical readouts on new 'Mechs and such. [=ComStar=] was the original viewpoint group, but it has since branched out to every faction. Some of the earlier books had significant errors (people doing things before their stated date of birth, using 'Mechs that hadn't been invented yet, etc), and the in-universe perspective allowed them to chalk it up to different perspectives. It also allowed them to {{Retcon}} things that they didn't want.
* TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} Sourcebooks are kind of this way too, though far more reliable as it is a more mundane setting. There is enough leeway for a good gamemaster to go every which way.
* Used as a justification for adventure hooks in ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'', in the form of rumours that may or may not be true as the GM decides. One example: "Bigfoot has a social security number".
* Almost all source materials for games set in Greg Stafford's "Glorantha" (''TabletopGame/RuneQuest, TabletopGame/HeroQuest, TabletopGame/DragonPass, TabletopGame/NomadGods'') along with books (King of Sartar) are written in the style of Unreliable Narrators with no one absolute truth.
* Large parts of ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' supplements were written as posts on an online message board, and the authors were ever eager to point out that anything could be wrong, exaggerated, or invented.
* All of the world background in White Wolf's TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness is presented in this way. Each book. This is most notable in the splatbooks: each faction tells a different version of history in which their own faction is somehow older, smarter, and generally more awesome than all the others. Each game line had its own creation myths filtered through the interpretations and prejudices of whatever faction is the focus of the book you're reading and most are mutually exclusive.
** The largest one: ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen''. We ''never'' get the other viewpoint, and the viewpoint we do get is filtered through several millennia of resentment.
* Many 2nd edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' sourcebooks, and most notably the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' ones, are assigned specific narrators. (This also includes the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' Van Richten's Guides and a bunch of others.) ''Planescape'' had more unreliable narrators than others, considering the fact that at least one of them was certifiably insane by human standards...
** In fact, the {{Splat}} book ''Faces of Evil: The Fiends'' had ''several'' oddball narrators presented as contributors, but by far the most interesting - and likely most unreliable - one was the blue slaad Xanxost who was... Who was a slaad. That was the best way the editor could describe him. Xanxost seemed to be less chaotic than most of his kind, being able to write complete sentences, but he was distracted easily (mostly by his appetite), repeated himself often, and seemed to have trouble counting. (Xanxost appeared later to narrate the chapter on the Quasielemental Plane of Steam in the later book ''The Inner Planes'', the editor of that book claiming he was recruited to pen the chapter because feedback to his commentary in the former book was overwhelmingly positive.)
** An especially interesting example of this was the ''Netheril: Empire of Magic'' sourcebook that described said lost civilization in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms. Except one particular archwizard of immense power was never mentioned in the entire book, despite being a prominent figure. That is, until you start to try to figure out who the narrator was...
* Indie storytelling game ''The Adventures of Baron Munchausen'' makes every player into an unreliable narrator, and has specific mechanics governing how players can challenge the veracity of each others' tales.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' source books are divided into two to three sections. The Posse Territory sections are for general use, and give about as much information as the world at large knows. No Man's Land is for information only certain people would know, like the existence of Harrowed or how Huckster magic works. Both of these sections are filled with untruths, ranging from simple misinformation to BlatantLies. The Marshall's Only sections have the lowdown on how things ''really'' work. Part of the setting's mystique is having the inner workings of the Reckoning remain a mystery to the players. ''Then'', to make it all even more interesting, several of the Marshalls Only sections are double-bluffs, leadinig metagaming players to think there's something sinister going on when there in fact isn't.
* The first and early second edition sourcebooks of the ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' RPG were all written from the subjective in-universe point of view of the clan or faction that was the primary focus of the book. This was done both for flavor and to give the GM the freedom to decide what was true and what wasn't in his campaign. This approach was eventually abandoned during the second edition because Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast thought it was too confusing for d20 players.
* All of the character stats in the ''TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles'' RPG are treated this way, as extrapolations made by [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis Billy, the RPG's writer and werewolf]] from Harry's "case files". He admits flatly that this heavily underestimates the power of a lot of important figures (like the White Council's senior members, the Denarians, Cowl, etc.), allowing the GM to make them as powerful as he or she desires. It also means that future books are not constrained to the metaphysics or stats laid out in the RPG.
* TabletopGame/HoylesRulesOfDragonPoker starts off with a fictional history of the game, in which the author offers two possible origins of the game, mocks both and ultimately chides the reader for not believing the more fantastic one when it turns out to be (allegedly) true. All this happens within about a page and a half.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'' is known for having a rather odd case of the [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable narrator trope]], in which the basic plot attempts to paint Caim and his "acquaintances" as heroes destined to save the world, and the original ending is by far the closest one the game has to a happy ending. However, further endings end up painting a progressively darker picture about what's really happening. And since its sequels have taken different endings as canon, the truth about what's really going on remains ambiguous.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has an unreliable narrator in the form of Varric. On several occasions his interrogator points out his lies and he retells a section of the story. It doesn't help that in the game he tells Hawke that he is a compulsive liar. In fact, the game allows you to play through his exaggerations: for example, in the prologue, [[TheHero Hawke]] and his/her sibling are fighting a group of [[TheVirus darkspawn]], and are able to one-shot Hurlocks left and right, even [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomp an Ogre]], before he's called out on it and the player replays that section at level one. The second time, the gang is raiding a mansion, and Varric bursts in through the front door and is able to mow down all the guards ''Film/{{Scarface|1983}}''-style with his AutomaticCrossbow.
** In addition, in Varric's prologue, [[InnocentFanserviceGirl Bethany]] seems to have gotten some [[BreastExpansion upgrades...]]
** "Bianca", his AutomaticCrossbow, initially appears to be an example of this, since its ability to reload makes it unlike any other crossbow that exists within the setting. It's later clarified that it really ''does'' exist and was built by a friend of Varric's who was trying to corner the market on these kind of weapons, but "Bianca" was the [[SuperPrototype only one]] that he could get to work.
** In the ''Legacy'' DLC, he openly admits to making up the conversation between Hawke and Leandra's spirit (unless the quest was completed before her PlotlineDeath). In this case, it was just because he wanted to imagine that his best friend got some closure, even though he knows they didn't.
** ''Videogame/DragonAgeInquisition'' reveals just how unreliable he really was. [[spoiler:The whole spiel about Hawke vanishing? He made that up. He knew all along where Hawke was, but kept it a secret to protect his friend.]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' creators tend to cite unreliable ''historians'' -- making it slightly easier to explain away various retcons -- to the point "canon" is usually refered to as "lore".
** Humorously demonstrated in the Badlands zone post-cataclysm where the player meets a trio of characters who each tell a story of their encounter with Deathwing as he carved the gigantic gouge across the landscape. Each tale is filled with ridiculous exaggerations and BlatantLies, the other characters constantly calling out the tall tales and even ''invading'' upon the third one' story, interrupting his "epic confrontation" to keep on perpetuating their own bragging. And it's absolutely hilarious.
* Interestingly, this only happens ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' if the PlayerCharacter dies. Since the Prince is the one telling his story, yet somehow fails to remember HE DIDN'T DIE until he actually says that he did.[[note]]Given the time-travel shenanigans and the fact that the Prince ''can in fact die quite a lot'', but still rewind time, it's probable that this is just him getting confused with one of the many deaths that he actually undid.[[/note]]
** As [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] [[http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/archive/20050718-0907.htm put it]]: "And then I wall-jumped at the wrong time and fell down a chasm and died. Oh, sorry, I'm thinking of something else. What really happened was... I wall-jumped at the wrong time... and fell down... no, wait, hang on. In actuality I wall-jumped at the right time, then accidentally pressed circle instead of X and fell to my death - I'm not boring you, am I?"
* Also used this way in ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge''. Guybrush spends most of the game narrating his story to Elaine, and if you fail to escape from the torture chamber in time and are killed then she points out that this is impossible since you are talking to her.
* Common in InteractiveFiction, where it can be used for comedy, as in {{Infocom}}'s ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' ("[[TheComputerIsALyingBastard Okay, I was just joking, you really can't go west.]]"), or for suspense, as in Andrew Plotkin's ''VideoGame/SpiderAndWeb'', (where [[spoiler:the entire first half of the game is a spy's "confession" under interrogation, and he's trying to mislead his interrogator]]).
** In ''VideoGame/{{Photopia}}'', the narrator of the fantasy segments turns out to be [[spoiler:a babysitter who is telling the story to a little girl with her as the protagonist.]]
** More than one puzzle in the aforementioned ''Hitchhiker'' game relies on the player working out that [[spoiler:some of the room descriptions are lies. The game eventually gives in and admits the truth if you look at it hard enough]].
** ''Make It Good'' relies heavily on this. The player plays as a hardboiled detective, send to investigate a murder scene, but [[spoiler:various little clues eventually reveal the PC was directly involved in the murder, and the goal changes from identifying the murderer to subtly meddling with the evidence and getting the blame off yourself.]]
** The Interactive Fiction game ''Fail-safe'''s main gimmick is that you are giving the regular Interactive Fiction commands via a communication device to someone on a falling-apart spaceship. At the end of the game, [[spoiler: he asks for the code to a laser in order to help prevent the ship from crashing. It turns out, however, that he was lying to you about him being a survivor of the attack and that he is really an enemy alien who boarded, and you handing him the laser codes has enabled him to attack and help his fleet. On the player's second playthrough (or the first if he or she catches on to the twist beforehand), you can instead give him the code to target the enemy ships and thus ruin his plan]].
* ''The Compilation of VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has given us no less than ''five'' different retellings of the Nibelheim Incident, each one slightly different than the last. Cloud, in particular, seemed to have ''several'' retellings on it before the game makes you play through his subconscious to figure out what the hell really happened. [[spoiler:Cloud's narration of the events is completely accurate, in terms of events that took place. The only really unreliable aspect is that he told the story as though he was Zack. The rest of the retellings in other games in the compilation also get the major events correct, but elaborate on points that weren't there before.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has a particularly interesting example of this trope. Much of the game is told as a flashback by the main character. While not necessarily deceptive, he also does not reveal a number of key points. This parallels his process of discovery; the player isn't told anything explicitly until the point in the story where the narrator himself first learned them.
* In the video game ''PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheLegendOfJackSparrow'', most of the game is Jack recounting his adventures. Being Jack Sparrow, he exaggerates things quite a bit, which is sometimes [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by having other characters point out factual inaccuracies in his stories. This allows the game to include giant spiders, frozen vikings, and a very different version of the events of the first movie.
* ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' features a narrator attempting to make Joe's actions look [[DesignatedHero heroic]]. The truth is Joe is having a blast being a superhero, completely forgets about his captured girlfriend, and more or less arrives where she is ''accidentally''.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' has [[spoiler:Hanekoma]] writing about the Fallen Angel throughout his secret reports--seriously, why would anyone teach Minamimoto the DangerousForbiddenTechnique?! [[spoiler:Well, of course Mr. H was the Fallen Angel all along]].
* In ''VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney'', the game takes place in flashbacks being told in an interview by former FBI director [[spoiler:"Jack" Alexander Leland Cayne]], who's account contains multiple inconsitencies with what actually happens in the game. It turns out that [[spoiler:Cayne founded "The Franchise" and was behind the "The Agencies" destruction and part of a plot to assassinate the President so that he couldn't forward his pro-cloning policy, allowing for Alpha Zerox continued monopoly on cloning.]] At the end of the game, [[spoiler:Diana revives 47 in the funeral house and 47 kills everyone on the premises, including Cayne and the reporter performing the interview.]]
** It's employed in other ways during the series as well. Several missions in the original ''VideoGame/HitmanCodename47'' were remade for the third game, ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'', but in the latter instances the level architecture is different, some events play out differently from the originals, and all of them take place at night in dismal weather. The disparity is explained by the FramingDevice of 47 having been shot and going through a near-death experience in which he recalls past missions; it's never made explicit whether the original version of the missions is unreliable, or the remade versions.
* Every character in ''TwistedMetal: Black'' narrates their tale during the three cutscenes (opening, mid-game flashback, and ending). However, at least two of them find that the truth is far from what they thought... and neither get a happy ending.
* The ''SilentHill'' series has two unreliable narrators: James in the second and Alex in the fifth.
** Also, possibly, the third. [[spoiler:[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oywfsv2SJNg "Monsters? They look like monsters to you?"]] Most likely this is just a mindscrew attempt or a lame joke, though.]]
** Possibly ''Shattered Memories'': [[spoiler:It is likely that the entire game involving Harry Mason takes place in Cheryl's head and it has even been suggested that the therapy sessions are also viewed in a biased manner, explaining Kauffman's poor attitude.]]
* Captain Qwark in the ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'' series built his career by telling bogus stories about his heroics that were either actually done by someone else or never actually happened. This is actually a major point in the ''Secret Agent Clank'' spinoff, where there are entire gameplay parts based on Qwark's ridiculous narrations. Amusingly, one of Qwark's apparent fabrications are "robotic pirate ghosts"... until ''Tools of Destruction'' revealed the existence of robot SpacePirates and ''Quest for Booty'' featured [[spoiler:''undead'' Robot SpacePirates]], thus making his story seem much more plausible...
* Haldos follows this trope closely in both ''VideoGame/NexusWar'' games, although despite plenty of KickTheDog behavior on his part and the fact that he openly admits to learning what he knows directly from the BigBad, there's nothing to actually disprove his claims.
* Lampshaded in ''PennyArcade Adventures'' where the narrator right at the start sets doubt in the player's mind as to his identity and motivation. "Please, do not dwell on my... ''mysterious identity''. You're dwelling on it, aren't you?"
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'', whenever the player sees Stella during a flashback from Senel's perspective, she seems to be a PuritySue. However, Stella appears a lot less than...idealized whenever the flashbacks are from Shirley's perspective. There's a reason for the discrepancy [[spoiler: Senel was madly in love with Stella and also deeply guilt ridden due to the role he played in her death. Shirley, meanwhile, was in love with Senel, and jealous of her sister because Senel was so infatuated with her.]]
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', given that she gives you a lot of exposition, from background of the Mandalorian Wars to the whys of the Jedi Civil War to the reason the Exile was... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin exiled]] by the Jedi Council, Kreia fits this description.
** Making Kreia possibly unique as a party member in RPG history -- she is ''always'' lying about something.
* This trope is an excellent summary of ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''. Each of the various routes in the games (depicting different characters or even the same character experiencing similar, slightly altered events) are ''all canon'' simultaneously. The universe compendiums are written by a reporter who hasn't even heard of journalistic integrity, a racist historian relying almost entirely on conjecture and second-hand reports with a massive dislike of the local youkai populace and who readily accepts bribes to smear and stroke egos, and a hyperactive thief obsessed with explosions. Even [[WordOfGod ZUN himself]] is prone to [[FlipFlopOfGod blatant contradictions]], [[TeasingCreator messing with the fans]], ''[[TrollingCreator really]]'' [[TrollingCreator messing with the fans]] and [[LyingCreator outright lying]]. Inevitably, the {{Fanon}} is truly massive.
* In a rare case of the games' EncyclopediaExposita being this, the entries for the [[{{Pokemon}} Pokédex]] are sometimes speculated by fans to have been written by the 11-year-old protagonists, and thus are likely to contain wild exaggerations about the Pokémon they describe. This would explain the games' use of SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale, but then the FridgeLogic hits and you realize that this means that TheProfessor's life's work would be utterly ruined.
* The Franchise/ResidentEvil Chronicles games depict the events of previous games through records and word-of-mouth. This results in some things that happened either glossed over or misinterpreted.
* Is ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' a retconned take on ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' (based on what happened at the end of the first game) or a storybook?
* The near-entirety of ''VideoGame/CryOfFear'' centers around and takes place [[spoiler: within Simon's book as a personification of himself,]] making you wonder what inspired the events inside or otherwise aside from the obvious causes, like [[spoiler: his insanity and being able to walk in it.]] Whatever caused them is (likely intentionally) left open to interpretation by those who play.
* Rucks in ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' doesn't lie, but his recounting of the game's backstory comes off as selective and self-justifying, including some whitewashing of aspects of Caelondia's history and culture.
* There is a very, very subtle hint that this is how the story of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' is unfolded. When Ramza meets Orlan Durai for the first time, the latter is shown capable of seriously overpowered magick ("Galaxy Stop!") while fighting the thieves that caught him spying in their guild; but Ramza and co must save him anyway as he's outnumbered. Such magicks are the domain of inhumanly powerful wizards, but Orlan is just a spy; in fact, later he can't use the same magick to stop Delita from (not-)executing him. Thus, a more likely explanation is that it's the narrator, Alazlam '''Durai''', who exaggerates the power of his ancestor.
* ''VideoGame/DearEsther'''s narrator talks about events that aren't actually happening to the player. [[spoiler:It turns out that most of what he says is either a blatant lie or a metaphor for what really happened. [[SanitySlippage It doesn't help that he's slowly slipping into a delirium due to some kind of infection.]]]]
* In ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition,'' the main character, York, has an ImaginaryFriend named Zach who is, for the most part, a [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall stand-in for the player's influence over him.]] In the third act, however, [[spoiler: it turns out the York was the imaginary one ([[MindScrew sort of]]), created to help Zach forget numerous traumatic facts about his past, such as how his parents ''really'' died, what attacked him, and even what he [[GoodScarsEvilScars truly]] looks like.]]
* [[DoomMagnet Jennifer]] from ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose'' is the King of this trope. Everything that happens in the game, when taken literally, is simply a metaphor for things that did happen. And when you think about the game's story like that, [[MindScrew it makes even less sense]].
* In ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', some cutscenes FadeToWhite instead of [[FadeToBlack Fading to Black]]. [[spoiler:Those are the scenes in which the protagonist, Cpt. Martin Walker, is in some way deceiving himself, via hallucinations, delusions or other doubtful perception - and since he's the PlayerCharacter, that means he's lying to the player, too. This leads up to a pretty massive reveal at the end of the game]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Black}}''. The intensity of the game is a reflection of [[PlayerCharacter Keller]]'s recollection of combat under intense psychological pressure - both in the battlefield and in the interrogation room. So the winding levels, seeming endlessly respawning enemies that take a ''lot'' of damage to kill, ambushes, useless/missing squadmates that randomly drop in and out with no mention of where they went, labyrinthine level design, etc. are just how Keller recalls each mission, not how it actually was. This also explains the disjointed, almost non-existent story, as that doesn't matter to Keller as much as the accomplishing the mission does.
* ''VideoGame/{{SpaceQuest}}'' runs on this trope quite nicely. He has little to no confidence in Roger Wilco during most of his adventures. Oh, and two games have actual voices for the characters, and who else would be picked to be the narrator than the famous Gary Owens?
* ''VideoGame/FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'': The old guy who starts narrating the game does this even in death scenarios. "You're talking to a ghost, wooooooooooooo!"
* Much of the in-game books and lore in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' is written by people with a heavily biased agenda or simply wrong historical information. For almost any given concept or historical event, one can find several conflicting sources throughout the game. In particular, almost all of the in-game lore books in ''Morrowind'' are written by unreliable narrators (Almalexia and Vivec especially).
** The fact that the fundemental laws of physics and time don't work the same way as in our universe, and may even change over the years, does not help matters, and means that it is entirely possible that a piece of narration is [[MindScrew only reliable at the moment.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Errand}}'' combines this with InterfaceScrew to show that the main character phantasizes seeing e.g. a hungry dragon when it's really a complacent dog.
* Despite ''Videogame/{{BattleblockTheater}}'''s "[[CloudCuckoolander eccentric]]" narrator, it surprisingly tends to avert this. What he tells you seems to be what's legitimately going on in the game.
* The Narrator from ''VideoGame/TheStanleyParable'' isn't just unreliable, in some endings (such as the Countdown and Video Games Endings) he's downright hostile. In the "Confusion" ending he's just as baffled about what's happening to the game as Stanley is.
* In The Stanley Parable's follow-up, Videogame/TheBeginnersGuide, Davey may function as an unreliable narrator. One example of this is when he [[spoiler:cites the lampposts at the end of many of Coda's games as evidence that all the games are connected. In the last game, Coda writes to Davey "Would you stop changing my games? Stop adding lampposts to them?"]]
** Also, when you enter the Housekeeper minigame, Davey tells you that [[spoiler:the house and the door represent the two doors puzzle. However, the only thing behind the second door is the aforementioned lamppost. He later mentions that originally the minigame wouldn't end, that you would originally do chores forever, one of his "changes". If that is true, it seems likely that the second door wouldn't exist at all, lacking any purpose, and the two doors metaphor, like the lampposts, is one that he interpreted from the content he added to Coda's game.]]
* Venom Snake from ''Videogame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' has elaborate, vivid hallucinations and delusions during the game, most notably [[spoiler:when he thinks Paz is alive]]. He also has memory issues and "remembers" the events of the prologue ''Ground Zeroes'' differently throughout the course of the game. His unreliability as a POV character is enough to spark a fair amount of EpilepticTrees about the game's twist ending. [[spoiler:Namely that he isn't actually the Medic from ''Ground Zeroes'' as the ending tells you he is, but rather that he's either a split personality of the "real" Big Boss, or the masked man from the helicopter in ''Ground Zeroes'' who was missing from most of the flashbacks of the scene througout ''The Phantom Pain''.]]
* In ''Videogame/CallOfJuarezGunslinger'', the story takes the form of Silas Graves recounting his past adventures to several bar patrons, embellishing heavily due to getting progressively drunker as well as just all-around bullshitting. This explains why he's somehow fought alongside or against almost every renowned gunslinger in the west and also leads to scenes where Silas will tell a story, only to stop halfway and rewind to clarify.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Taichi in ''VisualNovel/CrossChannel'' to some extent is an unreliable narrator. The first version of events about something he says or illustrates is rarely entirely correct and leaves out a great deal of necessary context. For example, he initially portrays [[spoiler:his earlier relationship with Touko]] as a mixture of an experiment and mere seduction, but later it turns out [[spoiler:he really was trying to have a relationship, but she turned out to be incredibly clingy and obsessed with him nearly to the point of being a yandere.]]
* Shikanosuke in ''VisualNovel/KiraKira'' is sufficiently {{kuudere}} that he won't admit what he's feeling, ''even to the reader.'' Despite him being the narrator it can fall to other characters to explain his emotions.
* The early parts of ''VisualNovel/AProfile'' do not have entirely accurate narration because it is all from the point of view of Masayuki, who insists on seeing the best in situations and people, even if they're terrible. After some of his backstory is revealed, the point is largely dropped.
* Very well done in the ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' manga-only arc ''Onisarashi-hen''. In the final chapter, it's revealed that the point-of-view character [[spoiler:is responsible for every murder in the story]].
** Also, [[spoiler:Onikakushi-hen, although we only find out in later chapter. Rena and Mion were completely innocent, and Keiichi was hallucinating the CreepyMonotone, HellishPupils, and murder attempts.]]
** Tatarigoroshi-hen plays with this, too. Keiichi kills [[EvilUncle Teppei Houjou]] in order to protect Satoko. But then his friends tell him he was at the festival at the time, and Satoko insists that her uncle abused her later that night. But wait! Teppei's missing and his body isn't where Keiichi buried it. [[spoiler:Subverted by the fact that Keiichi ''did'' kill Teppei. Mion just had the body moved and everyone's giving Keiichi a cover story. As for Satoko? Well... Who says the POV character has to be the only crazy character?]]
* The narrator in ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' (or the camera, in the anime) is pretty much the queen of this trope. Anything the main character doesn't see with his own eyes is highly suspect, at best. A chunk of the series mystery is simply whether the series is a genuine mystery or a massive MindScrew, since [[spoiler:Beatrice is narrating most of the third-person sections and writing the TIPS]]. It's later confirmed that [[spoiler:in the first four arcs only Battler's narration is reliable, and in [=EP5=] only Erika's narration is reliable (though the scenes that she narrates are very few)]].
* There are more than a few witnesses in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series who ''think'' they're telling the truth, but are muddled by details that obscure what really happened:
** In Case 1-3, Cody's testimony is a bit difficult to figure out, because he insists on telling it like the Steel Samurai was a real hero fighting a bad guy (as opposed to a man in a costume, allegedly your client killing the victim). This discrepancy is because Cody is a child who has a bit of trouble separating fiction from reality [[spoiler:and because he saw the man in the Steel Samurai outfit being killed, which shredded his belief that "the Samurai always wins".]]
** In Case 1-4, Larry testifies that he was at the scene of the crime on the night it happened and, in fact, heard a gunshot. Unfortunately, he was also listening to the radio via headphones, making what he actually heard highly questionable. [[spoiler:It then turns out that the time he heard the gunshot was actually considerably earlier than the other witness verified hearing hers, leading Phoenix to realize that the killer fired ''three'' gunshots, opening the possibility of another way the murder went.]] Later in the same case, Phoenix needs to solve the mystery of Gregory Edgeworth's murder by making sense of Miles's testimony. This is made considerably more difficult by the fact that Miles Edgeworth was a child at the time, and that he passed out near the end from oxygen deprivation.
** Pretty much ''anything'' Dahlia Hawthorne says can be taken with a block of salt, since she repeatedly proves herself not above lying to get what she wants. [[spoiler:This leads to a rather interesting part of the final case of the third game, when she disguises herself as Iris and neither Phoenix nor the player are aware of it. She says quite a few things about how "Dahlia" felt about dating Feenie in college and about how terribly she was treated by her father, but the reveal that it was Dahlia herself saying those things makes it easy to see how self-serving it all was.]]
** In the third game, Godot's grudge against Phoenix has shades of this. Throughout the game, he berates Phoenix as a rookie who can't properly protect others. [[spoiler:In the final trial, it's revealed that he's talking about how he blames Phoenix for the death of Mia (who Godot had been in a relationship with before his coma), believing that Phoenix should have been there to protect his mentor. The case centered around Mia's murder, however, makes it pretty clear that Phoenix wouldn't have been able to have done much to save her even if he had been there. It's difficult to say how deliberate this was, on the part of Capcom.]]
** In ''Dual Destinies'', there's a very similar situation to Edgeworth's. [[spoiler:Athena Cykes]] is accused of murdering [[spoiler:her mother]] as a child, but [[spoiler:she]] mentally repressed much of the events of that day. While on the stand, [[spoiler:Athena claims she can remember stabbing her mother with the murder weapon - a katana - and feeling the blood run down he hilt and onto her fingers. Phoenix notes that this is impossible though, as the katana taken as evidence had no blood on the hilt. It turns out that while Athena ''did'' stab someone that day, it wasn't her mother. She walked in while her mother's real murderer was still there, and had to stab him in the hand with a took kit knife to save herself.]] An earlier witness in the same trial was also very unreliable, due to them being [[spoiler:a robot programmed to recognize people through their facial features, heartbeat, and a specially-designed jacket that all Space Center employees owned. The murderer killed Athena's mother, stole her jacket, and covered his face with a mask, effectively tricking the robot into thinking that he was Dr. Cykes. Thus, when the robot testified as to seeing young Athena "hugging" her mother (which was accurately deduced as her stabbing someone), everyone was led to believe that it was her stabbing her mother, instead of the real killer.]]
* Shiki in {{Tsukihime}} would like to let you know that he's only ever had [[spoiler: [[LaserGuidedAmnesia one sibling]]]], [[RippleEffectProofMemory despite the fact that]] [[spoiler: he refers to them in the plural.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Collar 6}}'', Butterfly and Trina give mutually exclusive versions of how [[spoiler:Butterfly got information on Michelle's techniques from Trina]], and WordOfGod has confirmed that this was intentional. Its unusual, in that both of them presented versions that made themselves look worse [[spoiler:Butterfly claiming she tortured Trina, and Trina claiming she gave up the information freely]].
* One of the characters in ''[[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com Flying Man and Friends]]'', Harbor the loon, is convinced that [[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com/?p=301 his belly and the bottle of eggnog he carries with him]] count as two separate characters. This is never refuted, so it's his word against dead silence. In one strip, he somehow [[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com/?p=310 detonates an atomic bomb]] that is never explained (and is eventually undone). The entire story is unreliable.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Frivolesque}}'', any strip focusing mostly on Flore shouldn't be trusted too much. What's real and what's a figment of her wild imagination isn't always clear.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has a subversion. After the reader goes to Doc Scratch for some god moding help, he gives out a huge amount of exposition and his self-serving memory prompts Andrew Hussie, the creator of the comic, to break through the "fifth wall" and beat him up.
** There's also the Mindfang Journal, embellished and flowery as it is written. WordOfGod is that everything Mindfang wrote in it is true, though only as she perceived it putting a few accounts into question.
** Aranea Serket, [[spoiler: Mindfang's pre-Scratch counterpart]], is proudly the cast's ExpositionFairy, but the fact that [[spoiler: she [[AntiVillain goes rogue in an attempt to defeat]] [[BigBad Lord English]]]] puts some of her claims into scrutiny.
* The NightmareFuel-ish animated short arc "Twist, Twist, Twist" in ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}''. "I'm in hell because I love my wife... imagine that."
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' has a consistent running theme of different perceptions of reality and what events fit into which character's reality, creating what is, in effect, an entire cast of unreliable narrators -what is perfectly obvious and logical for one character is dismissed out of hand as impossible by another, if it gets noticed at all.
** Of course, considering how often it [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/126 comes]] [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/454 up]], even so far as to be lampshaded by both [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/382 characters]] and the [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/132 author]], this is probably more of an Unreliable Author.
** Also, since all of the examples above are about Pirovision being unable to see Largoland, it's worth pointing out that it [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1243 works both ways.]]
** Additionally, nature and circumstances of Piro and Miho's "relationship" differ greatly depending on who's telling the story.
* In ''Webcomic/MenageA3'', the trope is briefly and explicitly but stylishly demonstrated by Senna in her description to Gary of her falling out with Sandra, [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/she_planned_treachery starting here.]] (She claims that Sandra used supernatural powers. Compare and contrast [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/senna_and_sandra_-_part_1 the true story here.]]) Senna, who evidently loves her ''telenovelas'', isn't the sort to let the truth get in the way of a melodramatic story that shows herself in a much better light than reality.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** Early on, Durkon is lost in a dungeon with a female dwarf named Hilgya, and he's starting to fall for her. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0083.html She tells him the story of how she came to be with the Linear Guild, where she's married against her will to a cruel husband who refuses to understand her needs, so she runs away to make her own life. The panels below her narration show that the "cruel husband" was in fact an extremely pleasant guy who was thrilled to be so lucky as to be married to a dwarf like Hilgya, and whose only need out of the relationship appeared to be meeting hers.]]
** Tarquin tells Elan about how he carved out an empire in the Western Continent, but was booted out within a year (which is hardly unexpected in the region). While perfectly accurate, he fails to mention a few key details: He made his debut by conquering ''eleven'' nations in eight months, and it took a coalition of '''twenty-six''' other countries to finally defeat him.
* None of the [[http://satwcomic.com/too-little-butter Scandinavian countries]] are telling the whole unvarnished truth about Norway's butter crisis.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' had one scene narrated via "[[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2000-10-03 The Memoirs of Jud Shafter, K.F.D.A. Commando]]" -- not quite in sync with panels. [[BrickJoke Later]] this [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2009-05-05 bitten him in the butt]] (sorry).
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''
** Done in a complicated way in "bROKEN": There's no narrator as such, but it's revealed at the end that some scenes have been shown through Torg's skewed memories. We keep seeing versions of a scene where he's standing in the background and someone else is sitting on the ground at the foreground. When he goes to see a psychiatrist having realised that perhaps these memories are inaccurate, he figures out that he's remembering things like that because he's suppressing a memory of what really happened in one scene near the end -- where someone really was sitting like that, but which was shown differently, edited by his mind to remove evidence of something terrible.
** Later, we believe we are seeing Torg relating his experiences in the Digbot city to Sasha, when in fact we are seeing [[spoiler:Torg telling Kiki a largely embellished story ''about'' relating the experiences in the Digbot city to Sasha--a recursive flashback, as it were.]] While it definitely seemed weird, there was nothing to indicate that what we were seeing was false until Torg got killed by a porcupine on a boomerang--and then resurrected by said porcupine, who is also a necromancer.
** A few of the Christmas stories, including a "Gift of the Maji" variation in which Torg and Riff sold their shoulders to science to pay for each other's coat/flannel... but they didn't appear shoulderless to the old man Torg told the story in a bar.
** Torg's story to the storyteller in the original Stormbreaker saga. He gives an account that's at least partially the story of ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'' including telling the storyteller he had a chainsaw for a hand. The majority of the story being accurate after this beginning is never questioned, except for the bits where we see that Torg edits it because the bard says no-one will believe that. Besides, Zoë is present to correct him.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' is narrated by Lisa writing about the events some five years in the future; but Lisa is writing for ''retail,'' meaning some of the events are embellished. We know this due to the framing device showing Lisa's wife calling bullshit on certain events.
* ''Webcomic/WhatTheFu'' is narrated by the main character, who sometimes pads out the blind spots with imaginary scenes, which employ [[UpToEleven even broader stereotypes]] than the comic generally does.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/{{Twig}}'' is narrated by Sy, an eleven-year-old ManipulativeBastard who sees the world in terms of manipulators and their dupes, and all of his narration is colored by this impression-for example, it's likely that not ''every'' person he talks to has precisely calculated their words, posture, and phrasing to elicit a desired result.
* ''Literature/{{Oktober}}'', a collection of journal entries from each of the main characters. Now, obviously, journal entries aren't going to be entirely accurate, so sometimes minor discrepancies appear. Other times though...
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[Characters/SCPFoundation [=Characters/SCPFoundation=]]]
** The website is made up largely of documents. Given the nature of the Foundation, much of it is deliberate misinformation. Also, there tends to be a lot of stuff with black marker over it and a large amount of [DATA EXPUNGED].
** There was one instance however in which all of the blacked out sections and [DATA EXPUNGED] were removed, allowing the article to be read in its entirety. Let's just say that there is a ''very, very good reason'' for those edits.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1867 SCP-1867 ("A Gentleman")]]. Lord Blackwood thinks he's a British gentleman adventurer. He does exaggerate his tales, but there's considerable evidence that they aren't ''entirely'' delusional.
* During The Third Night of ''Literature/TheTaleOfTheExile,'' Gaven Morren (who tells the story from a first person POV) is dosed with a potent [[MushroomSamba hallucinogen]]. What follows is a trip into DaydreamSurprise, dream logic, and SchrodingersButterfly, helped along by [[spoiler:a character actively lying to him about events to [[DreamApocalypse prevent herself from disappearing]].]]
* Rather common in Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos. Examples on the wiki include [[Blog/DreamsInDarkness Damien]] [[spoiler:in no small part thanks to his multiple personalities]]. A possible example (via AlternativeCharacterInterpretation) would be [[spoiler:[[Blog/SeekingTruth Zeke Strahm]], according to the final entry in the blog.]]
** A notable example in the video of WebVideo/TribeTwelve 'The Envelope', there is a piece of paper torn in half that says "unrel/ narra/". Noah may not be telling us everything.
** ParanoiaFuel especially comes into play with [[http://ulrycdaretodie.blogspot.com/2010/09/first-post.html Dare 2 Die]] where Ulryc [[spoiler:wasn't even narrating for most of the time]].
** Arron of ''WebVideo/StrangeAeons'' could possibly be this as well. Very suspicious that he claimed to not be able to see the clips randomly in his videos.
** The girls of ''Webvideo/OneHundredYardStare'' manage to subvert this trope and being worse by it. They tell the story as it happened from their point of view. [[spoiler:''Why'' they made the series is the true reveal. They are spreading the infection in the hope to divert the monsters attention, how do you feel being Slender bait?]]
** ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' played this somewhat mildly, but it was still clear from fairly early on that, while Jay doesn't necessarily lie to the viewer, his memory isn't perfect due to the Operator's influence. The clearest example would be in Entry #71, where it's revealed that [[spoiler: the very action of Alex giving Jay the tapes, the event that kicked off the entire series, went down ''a lot'' differently than how Jay remembered]].
* The Jobe stories of the WhateleyUniverse. Jobe Wilkins narrates his own stories, explaining how as a handsome, dynamic, brilliant, but misunderstood bio-deviser, he has to put up with all kinds of grief from everyone else. Even within his own stories he seems to be an Unreliable Narrator. Everyone else in all other Whateley stories sees Jobe as an egocentric, inconsiderate, unattractive HeroicComedicSociopath who might be a little short on the 'heroic' part. Still, Jobe doesn't seem to lie about events, just put his own personal spin on interpreting them.
** Anything Phase says about the Goodkinds. Canon (particularly "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind") has proven that there's a lot Ayla doesn't know about his family, but he keeps insisting that the Goodkinds are almost totally morally blameless, ignoring canon events because he doesn't want to apply them to his family or the anti-mutant organizations they support. This has come back to bite him on almost every occasion, but in this one area he seems utterly blind.
* Surprisingly enough, used in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest''. In the profile for v4 killer Clio Gabriella, it explains several parts of her personality, yet her actions in the game contradict this. Reason? Clio spent nearly all of her teenage life lying to her parents, her therapist, and nearly everyone she knew so that she could put on a demeanor of a normal, well-adjusted teenage girl, when secretly she was a basket case very close to breaking point.
* The "Lost Soul" stories from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' are told from the singularly self-serving point of view of an immortal Erzebet Bathory, who is trying to win redemption for herself.
* Strong Bad in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' is often a pathalogical liar. Sometimes narrating events ''that just happened'' as a complete fabrication. Probably most blatantly with how he narrates to us that he successfully popped Pom Pom with a pin. Seen [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail108.html here]].
* ''[[http://herbaldrink.deviantart.com/art/Misadventures-of-Norma-193263881 Misadventures of Norma]]'' is a metafiction that story discusses it, with the characters snarking at the LemonyNarrator because they refuse to describe an entire days' worth of travel, resulting in a literal PlotHole.
* About half of season 3 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' is about the time traveling adventures of Church as he repeatedly is thrown back in time by a bomb, teleports to Blood Gulch with the help of a friendly AI, and tries to avert his death, Tex's death, the bomb going off, and any number of other past problems. It's all to no avail, however, as he fails to achieve anything. Turns out Church was an unwitting unreliable narrator... he was never being thrown back in time, it was all a torture scenario run by the AI, who was himself an unreliable narrator, lying to Church (and the dirty shisnos in the audience) about everything from the timeline to his own origins.
** Seasons 9 and 10 have proved that Church fits this trope in-universe: If he tells you about something that happened to him or about someone he used to know, chances are good his memories are inaccurate at best.
* Even though Website/{{Update}} is a work that is simply the retelling of life experiences from the perspective of the protagonist, much of the information given is clearly not fully correct or telling the whole story, with how frequently it's inconsistent or contradictory, and has been proven at some cases to be flat out false. Determining how much of the story is being told, and how much of it is accurate is up to the reader's interpretation.
* Cecil from ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' is an earnest narrator, but not particularly reliable: he lets his biases color his reporting, has a skewed idea of what is normal, and lives in a police state where, presumably, he needs to be careful what he says. It's unclear ''exactly'' how much he believes of what he's told or whether he's using some very VERY dry sarcasm [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar to get around government censorship]].
** Kevin, his Desert Bluffs counterpart, is implied to be even more unreliable than Cecil.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Taylor is affected by [[spoiler:an amnesia plague]], which causes her to inadvertently misrepresent several important details, such as that [[spoiler:the people she thinks are Grue and Tattletale are actually Jack Slash and Bonesaw]].
** More generally, the entire story is first-person and filtered through Taylor's fairly major hang-ups and biases. The third-person interludes show different characters ruminating on some of the same events with very different contexts and interpretations.
* The merchant from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' is revealed to be this in ''Theatre/TwistedTheUntoldStoryOfARoyalVizier''. In reality, [[WritingAroundTrademarks Ja'far]] is one of the nicest guys around (though hated by all) and Aladdin is a thieving asshole. The merchant himself is [[spoiler: really Aladdin many years down the road.]]
* A hazard when it comes to the stories on ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' and its various sister-sites is that a number of the narrators/submitters telling their stories could very well be this, as there's no way of telling of whether or not the stories posted to the various websites are true, have been heavily embellished, or are just fake altogether.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Absolutely everything that happens in ''StevenUniverse'' must be seen through the eyes of Steven, who never actually narrates. As such, things that Steven is uncomfortable about or doesn't want to talk about never make it into the story unless they're forced in by another character. In the episode "Steven's Birthday," [[spoiler:it's revealed that Steven hasn't aged in many years, most likely since he stopped living with Greg, and he doesn't talk about it because he doesn't want Connie to know she'll continue aging without him. He's known this since the beginning of the series, when he already had a crush on Connie, but the audience doesn't find out until Steven overhears Greg talking to Connie about it]] in the episode before the 2A finale. The question of what else Steven may be hiding is still up in the air.
** A more minor example occurs in the episode "Log Date 7 15 2," where Steven gets a hold of [[spoiler:Peridot]]'s diary and decides to go through it. We see what he imagines happening in most events based on what is in the log, but for events where he was actually present, it's clear the log entries are tainted by [[spoiler:Peridot's]] very high opinion of herself.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DofusTheTreasuresOfKerubim'', characters often get into arguments regarding how something actually happened, so it's highly likely that Kerubim embellishes his stories when no-one's there to dispute them.
* Two ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoons, ''The Trial of Mr. Wolf'' and ''Turn Tale Wolf'', have the Big Bad Wolf tell alternate versions of ''Little Red Riding Hood'' and ''The Three Little Pigs'', respectively, with him as the victim. (At the end of the first one, when it's clear that no-one believes him, [[spoiler: he says that if he's lying, he hopes he's run over by a street car, at which point that's ''exactly'' what happens. Then he gets up and says, "Okay, maybe I did exaggerate a bit..."]])
** A modern short featuring Daffy as "Superior Duck" had him getting frustrated with Creator/ThurlRavenscroft's apparent inability to announce him as being faster than a bullet and more powerful than a locomotive.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'':
** The episode "Legends of the Dark Knight" focuses on three kids talking about different stories of who Batman is, evoking [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks different]] [[ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns versions]] of the character. The 1950s-style story is questioned as particularly dubious because one of the kids heard it from his uncle, a security guard who was knocked out by Joker gas and didn't actually witness the events.
** The first story in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight'', "Have I Got a Story", also does this. Where each kid describes Batman differently from a different point in a single chase (in reverse order). The first describes a Shadow demon, second strikes a similar figure as Manbat, third is a robot. When Batman shows up he is, of course, human.
** Both of those episodes resemble a comics story, Batman #250's "The Batman Nobody Knows."
** The episode "P.O.V." is a RashomonStyle. The three versions are told by Harvey Bullock, who knows what really happened but is portraying himself as the competent hero and Batman as the one who screwed up; Officer Wilkes, who is genuine in his belief but makes Batman come off as a supernatural creature; and Officer Montoya, who tells the truth as she saw it but erroneously believes that Batman was killed.
* In the second ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' series, teasers and recaps are narrated by a character who plays a prominent role within the episode. In the episode "Rogue in the House, part 2", said duty falls upon Zog, a brain-damaged Triceraton which the turtles--taking advantage of the fact that Zog believes them to be Triceratons--recruited in the previous episode. Despite accurate visuals, Zog's narration states what he wrongly believes is actually happening--that the turtles are a Triceraton sabotage unit, the Foot are Federation.
* A very literal example of this (which occurs due to the RuleOfFunny) happens in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', where Mojo Jojo attacks, ties up, and gags the narrator and takes over the job so that the events of the story turn out in his favor. The Girls eventually realize what is happening, ignore his narrations, and beat the crud out of him. At the end of the story, they rescue the real narrator.
* The Narrator in the ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' animated series not only often has no idea what's actually happening, he's also, at least once, bullied into reading a scene transition to the benefit of one of the villains. "Hey, Narrator guy. Read this or I'll disperse your molecules." "Oh. Erm... later, Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head have defeated the evil Queen." <Scene transition to this having already happened>.
* The ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'' episode "Freaky Fred" is told from the point of view of the [[AntagonistTitle title character]], who's an AxeCrazy {{Expy}} of SweeneyTodd and one of the creepiest villains in the series; kind of hard to trust his story.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** Anytime that Eric Cartman tells a story, you can bet that he is lying, either intentionally, or because he's just that deluded.
** The episode "Fishsticks" had Music/KanyeWest being offended by a joke that Jimmy made up, and Cartman claim he had co-created the joke. We soon see he actually believes this when he recounts the opening scene with Jimmy being more enthusiastic about seeing him and Cartman coming up with the joke all by himself. Cartman then explains the lesson is that Jimmy is such a narcissist that he rewrites his memory to include himself in a bigger role (Or something like that).
** In the third version of the memory, Cartman is interrupted when writing the joke (himself, of course) by someone claiming that the "Jew robots" are invading the town. Cartman turns into the [[Franchise/FantasticFour Human Torch]] and proceeds to melt the "Jew-bots" before finishing the joke. When the flashback ends, Cartman nods that this is exactly what happened.
** In "Mysterion Rises", the Coon attacks a little girl who was only asking about Mintberry Crunch, with a man breaking the fight off. In the Coon's subsequent summary of what transpired, the girl was depicted as a villain who was bigger than him and "fought with all her might" against him, while spectators cheer the Coon on.
*** All of the "comic book" scenes regarding the Coon invoke this.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' Grim deliberately tells Billy and Irwin distorted versions of classic American stories claiming that he was there.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Homer Simpson is this in-universe. In one episode, he wanted to buy a bottle of expensive hair-regrowth formula. After the pharmacist tells him the price, Homer realizes he can't afford it, he breaks down crying and says, "Forget you, pal. Thanks for nothing," as he leaves. This is changed in his story to his friends to an angry, "Forget you, pal! Thanks for nuthin'!" as he "stormed" out.
** There's also when Mr. Burns builds a casino in town. Homer claims that Marge made a huge scene because she refused to accept gambling in Springfield. When Marge reminds him she was in favor, Homer recalls his version of the events: Marge's hair is green, she wields a rolling pin, Homer is musclebound and Apu has three heads.
** A kind of meta-example. In the episode where the family have the opportunity to go to Japan, which Homer isn't keen on, Marge attempts to convince him by mentioning all the aspects of Japanese culture he likes. She tells him that he enjoyed ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'', to which he retorts 'That's not how ''I'' remember it.'
** Lisa accuses Homer of this in ''[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E13AndMaggieMakesThree And Maggie Makes Three]]'' when he tells them about his brilliant advertising campaign involving randomly discharging a shotgun into the air. Marge laments that actually happened.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Any time [[CloudCuckoolander Pinkie Pie]] tells a story, you can be sure it'll have more than a few... embellishments.
** In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles," she tells the [[PowerTrio Cutie Mark Crusaders]] the story of how she got her cutie mark. It apparently involved her being raised by Amish-looking ''rock farmers'', and she closes her tale with "[[CreationMyth And that's how Equestria was made!]]" On top of that, Pinkie follows it up by [[MindScrew offering to tell the CMC how she got her cutie mark]].
** Another episode involves Pinkie trying to figure out who took a bite of a cake she was delivering to a dessert contest. She blames the three competing chefs on board by inventing wild explanations as to how each one did it, accusing a griffin of being a [[DastardlyWhiplash Dastardly Whiplash-esque]] villain, a donkey of being a {{ninja}}, and a unicorn of being [[ShoutOut a]] Film/JamesBond {{expy}}. [[spoiler: It turns out that Pinkie's friends just got hungry and snuck a bite while she wasn't looking.]]
* [[GreekChorus The Muses]] from ''Disney/{{Hercules}}''.
* In ''IronManArmoredAdventures'', Pepper claims to have found information on AIM by [[CeilingCling clinging to the ceiling]] listening onto her father talking the the FBI. She later breaks down and admits her father just forgot to log off his computer.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' put an interesting spin on this in "The American Dad After School Special". For the first half of the episode, Stan is shown becoming dangerously obese, apparently thanks to his family sabotaging his diet. Just before the ad break, we see that Stan is in fact dangerously '''under'''weight and the family's "sabotage" is their desperate attempts to help him. [[FridgeBrilliance Since Stan is the viewpoint character...]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', certain parts of Cotton's recountings of his past are rather questionable. It's implied that he and his friends have shared war stories for so long that he cannot remember which ones he was actually involved in.
** Not to mention, the firehouse episode plays this for laughs; showing everyone's recounts of the events, [[{{Flanderization}} Flanderizing]] everyone and in Boomhauer's case, everyone [[MotorMouth talks like him]] bit he speaks normally.
** In "Luanne Gets Lucky", Lucky recounts the tale of his grandfather finding a perfect walnut tree stump; while he says "Grandpappy" was on a church picnic, the FlashBack shows he was a criminal attempting to escape jail. However, it's implied that Lucky is simply repeating the (false) story that he heard from family rather than lying on purpose.
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim,'' [[MinionWithAnFInEvil Gir]]'s witness account of [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Dib]]'s alien video in "[[RashomonStyle Mysterious Mysteries]]" is so out there it borders on ThroughTheEyesOfMadness. He claims to have been Stacy: "The chubby lady hidin' in the bushes," and halfway through he starts talking about a [[TalkativeLoon giant space squirrel.]]
-->'''Mysterious Mysteries Host''': What does that have to do with anything?!
-->'''Gir/Stacy''': Me and the squirrel are friends.
** In fact, the whole episode was an example. The episode involves Zim, Gir, Dib, and Gaz all giving their accounts of the alien video Dib takes and each one is obviously biased. As noted above Gir's is absoulute nonsense, Zim's makes him and Gir out to be sympathetic children and Dib as an Ogre-style bully, Dib's show him as a powerful and confident hero while showing Gaz as the stereotypical damsel in distress, and Gaz's shows Zim and Dib as stupid to the point of mental retardation. All parties are obviously lying to some degree and what's worse is that from the actual video the you can easily tell what ''really'' happened.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011:'' Jaga's OpeningMonologue is shot through with [[HalfTruth half truths]], neglecting to mention that Third Earth's "peace and prosperity" belongs solely to Thundera's upperclass Cats, or that the ruler's "just heart" does not extend to other species.
* ''WesternAnimation/IAmWeasel'' once did a strange origin story for both I.M Weasel and I.R. Baboon (Baboon is a no-talent comedian and Weasel is a country singer who often comes to Baboon's rescue). It had an unidentified narrator with a somewhat deep Southern accent. At the end of the story, his voice drastically changes and he's revealed to be Jolly Roger, who of course made it all up.
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'' has Ray and Tito frequently tell stories of their escapades in the 60s, but a few episodes make it pretty obvious that they're exaggerating it for the sake of getting a point across.
** Even the kids are aware of this; as when Tito mentions that he stepped on a piece of lava so hot he lost the hopscotch competition, they look at him skeptically. Tito quickly dodges further questions by saying he has to go do some dishes.
* An early episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has [[AnIcePerson the Ice King]] claim that he made his [[ArtifactOfDoom magic crown]] himself, which contradicts [[ApocalypticLog the back story we see]] in "[[WhamEpisode Holly Jolly Secrets]]." Of course, that episode made it clear that the Ice King is [[SanitySlippage even more unhinged]] than previously shown, so the contradiction makes a bit of sense.
** While Hunson Abadeer [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis wrote]] the [[AllThereInTheManual Adventure Time Encyclopedia]], it makes quite clear at several points that there are things he does not know (such as Simon Petrikov's relationship to his daughter, or his own origins) and that there are assumptions he makes which are incorrect (he is fond of assuming that centuries or eons passed at certain points when other sources would indicate it was probably more like days, years at most).
* In the ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}'' episode "Threat Level: Texas!", while being interrogated by Tooley, Texas tells him about the events of several previous episodes, only in which he is the hero of the story rather than Mike Chilton, to the point where the rest of the main cast is ''incredibly'' out of character and very goofy, constantly praising him.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'':
** In "Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T.", all five members of Sector V seem to be this. If one had to guess, Numbuh Five's version of the story was probably closest to the facts, but they were all rather farfetched.
** Possibly the case in the SeriesFinale, "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.". [[spoiler:It is revealed at the end that the adult KND were deliberately misleading Father during the interview, so it stands to reason that the parts of the story that he did not actually witness could have been untrue.]]
* ''Franchise/EverAfterHigh'' suffers from this, mostly because there are two narrators who [[LikeAnOldMarriedCouple constantly criticize how the other tells the story.]] One favouring the Royals (female) and the other the Rebels (male) doesn't help.
* The narrator in ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'' cartoon "I Want To Hold Your Hand" is ostensibly taking the viewers on a tour of a pleasure cruise and giving away the boys' hiding spots from their hysterical female fans. The narrator, in so many words, is told to bug off.
[[/folder]]
UnreliableNarrator/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]
7th Mar '16 11:57:03 PM Oddstar
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/JennifersBody'' is told as flashback by Anita, who is a patient in a mental hospital. The story in the flashback appears to contain multiple supernatural aspects, notably that Anita's friend Jennifer has magic powers. At the end of the film, Anita appears to use the magic powers that had supposedly been Jennifer's to break out of the asylum. Was all of it real? All the delusions of a lunatic? Not precisely real, but the truth as seen ThroughTheEyesOfMadness?
7th Mar '16 5:50:12 AM Knight20
Is there an issue? Send a Message


[[index]]
* UnreliableNarrator/AnimeAndManga
* UnreliableNarrator/ComicBooks
* UnreliableNarrator/FanFiction
[[/index]]



[[folder:Film]]
[[AC:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. Syndrome's flashback to the moment when he lost faith in Mr. Incredible ("Go home, Buddy. I work alone.") is significantly different from the actual moment the audience saw, in order to demonstrate Syndrome's unreliable and skewed perspective on events.
* Played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}''. The GreekChorus of mariachi owls says the tale of the titular character ends with him dying. He lives. When this is pointed out, they simply say he will ''eventually'' die...probably in a household accident.
* A truly bizarre example in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. The story itself is objective, but the narration accompanying it is biased towards Emperor Kuzco, since he ''is'' the narrator. At one point, while complaining about how everyone else is the problem, his on-screen self interrupts to remind him the audience saw what happened and knows that isn't true. He's literally arguing with himself over the reliability. Narrator-Kuzco falls silent and is never heard from again.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}''. When Red describes meeting the Wolf in the forest, she leaves out the part where she kicked his butt using karate before running away. We can safely assume Wolf's telling the truth about this, since there's a picture of her with a black belt on Granny's wall.
* A few fans believe this trope is the reason for the [[SeriesContinuityError inconsistencies]] of Disney/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf compared to the first two films.
* During the Bowler Hat Guy's flashback in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'', we see how badly he (aka [[spoiler: Goob]]) gave up on life after his baseball incident. At one point, we see him in school and despite his claims that "they all ''hated'' me," people were trying to be friends with him. Justified, as it also shows how twisted and antisocial he became since the incident.
* A 1969 cartoon by the National Film Board of Canada, titled "The National Film Board of Mars Presents: What On Earth?" is a pseudo-documentary in which the Martian filmmakers mistakenly believe automobiles are the dominant species of life on earth, and proceeds to describe their life span (they die in scrapyards), breeding habits (made in factories), feeding habits (gas stations) and minor parasites that infest them (people).
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForceColonMovieFilmForTheaters'': After the opening movie theater parody, the story supposedly begins millions of years ago, in 1492, at 3pm, in Egypt. Then a modern airplane flies by. It turns out this is a story Master Shake is telling Meatwad, and to make it worse, Meatwad is in the story. In fact, pretty much every character in this film is an Unreliable Narrator.

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Nymphomaniac}}'' can be said to have three main characters: Joe-the-protagonist, Joe-the-narrator, and Seligman-the-audience. While Joe and Joe are the same person, Joe-the-narrator hates Joe-the-protagonist with a passion. Seligman sometimes calls out Joe on her bullshit, but perhaps not often enough. Her story gives an accurate portrayal of her state of mind, but perhaps less so of her life.
* ''Film/TheKidStaysInThePicture''. Robert Evans acknowledges that the documentary is colored by his point of view of the events in the film, with a title card stating:
-->"There are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently."
* The movie ''Film/SuckerPunch'' embodies this trope, since [[spoiler:almost all of the movie takes place just as the protagonist is having a lobotomy]]. Made all the more weird because we're not quite sure who the narrator is.
* ''Film/{{Detour}}''. It's implied that the main character Al Roberts is coloring events to make himself look sympathetic, and to make Vera seem more like a vicious FemmeFatale. He probably ''did'' commit the crimes in the film purposefully, but the story is altered by NeverMyFault.
* ''Film/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]]: "Here is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there's no real me, only an entity, something illusory."
* ''Film/MadDetective''. Bun claims that he can visualize people's inner personalities but it's never clear whether it's an example of his madness or a legit supernatural power.
* ''Film/SnakeEyes'' features several flashbacks narrated by several characters in an attempt to reconstruct a crime, and every flashback replays through a continuous, first-person point of view shot. One such flashback is completely untrue, as it is narrated by the (unbeknownst) criminal.
* Implied in ''Film/BunnyAndTheBull''. Stephen, the main character, is retelling the story of a road trip from his perspective- vital pieces of information are left out or glossed over, not to mention the fact that he sees hallucinations in his house but doesn't realise they are not real until the end of the movie, so by consequence, neither does the audience.
* ''Film/TheUsualSuspects''. Agent Kujan spends the course of the movie listening to Verbal tell his story, then rejects portions of it as lies. [[spoiler: The problem, of course, is that he rejects the WRONG portions.]]
* The premise of ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'' is that the story is told from four different points of view, ''all'' of which disagree, and ''all'' of which are unreliable, due to each character having a reputation to protect. The ending at least gives us the truth about [[spoiler:what happened to the dagger]], but with a very different motive than what the viewer might have assumed.
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' reveals in the end that the man who has been telling the story is in fact an inmate of an insane asylum, and the ''entire movie'' never happened; he just made it up based on the people around him.
* ''Film/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]].
* Nearly every joke in ''Film/TheMatingHabitsOfTheEarthboundHuman'' relies on the alien narrator misinterpreting human behavior.
* In ''Film/BladeOfVengeance'', the narrator is the female love interest. Her narratives are usually really weird. At the end of the movie, she's seen smoking opium, which explains a lot.
* An early example of this occurred in Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/StageFright'', which opens with a flashback narrated by one of the characters who is lying to another character to obtain their help.
* The plot of ''Film/{{Hero}}'' consists of the same story being retold three times with major differences: [[spoiler:Nameless' BS story he told so that he could get an audience with the Emperor and have a shot at assassinating him, the Emperor finally calling Nameless on his BS and telling what he thinks really happened, and Nameless finally admitting what REALLY happened just before he tries to kill the Emperor.]]
* In the Korean horror/suspense film ''Film/ATaleOfTwoSisters'', this trope only becomes apparent at the end. It starts out fairly normal, with two sisters returning home to their father and stepmother. It starts to get confusing, with the unexplained appearance of some wraith-like girl under the sink, various objects and people disappearing and reappearing without explanation, and all sorts of contradictory information. Eventually [[spoiler:the stepmother murders one of the girls, only it's revealed immediately after that it never happened. It turns out one of the girls was pretending to be both herself, her stepmother, and her sister. The sister who was supposedly murdered had died a long time ago in an accident, and the stepmother was simply the nurse taking care of the two when said accident happened, which the girl blames for her sister's death. [[GainaxEnding Are you]] [[MindScrew confused yet?]]]]
* ''Film/BigFish'' has an unusual take on the unreliable narrator, in that [[spoiler:the flashback stories are assumed to be pure fiction for most of the movie and the twist is that the father may actually be more reliable than was thought. The appearance of the twins, Giant, and Ringmaster at the father's funeral clearly leaves the son reeling as he reassesses his father's stories for where exactly they diverged from the truth. The reality is only slightly skewed from his stories, i.e., the Siamese twins are actually just regular twins from Siam, the giant is a 7'6" man, and so on.]]
* ''Film/TheFall'' plays some fun games with this trope. It is a film of two levels, stories within stories - a girl in a hospital listens to stories told by a bedridden man, and we see her visualisations of the stories he tells. However, they don't share identical internal dictionaries. One great example is that he talks about an Indian and his squaw, but the girl, who was friends with a Sikh, imagines a bearded subcontinental man in a turban. ''Film/TheFall'' also features a classic example of InUniverse CreatorBreakdown.
* ''Film/{{Memento}}''. Lenny may be ''trying'' to report accurately, but his grasp on the real past is, to put it mildly, highly questionable.
* Played straight, for laughs, and for drama in ''ForrestGump''. The [[InnocentInaccurate naive]] Forrest incorrectly describes events he witnesses through his life. Notable examples: He believes that Charlie was someone specific that the Army was looking for, as opposed to the code name for the Vietcong, and Apple computers was a fruit company, even though he made a fortune by investing in them on Lieutenant Dan's advice.
* The film ''Film/SecretWindow'', (based on Creator/StephenKing's novella ''Secret Window, Secret Garden''), which is narrated in third person) the narrator is stalked by a psychopath who accuses him of plagiarizing his book, and who attempts to frame him for several heinous crimes. In the climax, it is revealed that [[spoiler:the narrator has been driven to madness over his guilt for plagiarizing a classmate in college, and is unconsciously committing the acts for which he thinks he's being framed. The stalker does not exist outside his own mind (although the novella hedges a bit on this point).]]
* ''Film/MonsterAGoGo'' has the ultimate unreliable narrator. [[spoiler:Whaddaya mean there was no monster, beauzeau?]]
* ''Film/BubbaHoTep''. The stories Elvis and JFK share about themselves and how they ended up in a Texas nursing home are VERY speculative and unreliable.
* Jack Crabb (DustinHoffman), in ''Film/LittleBigMan'', is quite likely one of these. In the original novel by Thomas Berger, the historian who transcribes Crabb's narrative expresses the opinion that most of his supposed exploits are pure malarkey. There are hints, however, that the historian may ''himself'' be something of an unreliable narrator.
* While it didn't have an unreliable narrator itself, the 2007 ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' implies that the original poem is a false account of the events as told by Beowulf himself. His account of why he lost a swimming race is stated to be at the very least exaggerated, when his friend mutters that last time he heard the story, there were fewer sea monsters in it.
* The events of ''Film/TheNewGuy'' seem to strain the limits of WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. At various points throughout the movie (eg: immediately after the scene with [[{{Fanservice}} Danielle trying on swimsuits]]), however, the audience is [[LampshadeHanging reminded]] that we're seeing the story through the eyes of an arguably-insane convict.
* David Leigh (David Beard) in ''Film/TheLastBroadcast''. Even his narraton being a documentary doesn't help.
* In ''Film/HighTension'' (originally ''Haute Tension''), a French psychological thriller, Marie, a resourceful young woman is trying to save her best friend, Alexia, from an insane serial killer who murdered Alexia's family before kidnapping her. The twist: [[spoiler:Marie is the serial killer. The Killer is an alternate personality that Marie created in order to live out a disturbing fantasy: Alexia will fall in love with her savior and stay with Marie FOREVER.]]
* Matthew [=McConaughey=] in ''Film/{{Frailty}}''.
* The main story of ''Film/RoadTrip'' is told through the eyes of Barry, a campus tour guide who's [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} not playing with a full deck]]. As such, the story has some highly improbable elements. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when he is telling the part involving the girls' locker room.
* In ''Film/SwimmingPool'' the novelist protagonist spends most of the movie dealing with her publisher's daughter's bad habits [[spoiler:including murder]] but, at the end, we learn [[spoiler:that the publisher's daughter is a completely different girl, leaving us wondering who the girl was, and if she existed at all.]]
* In the musical film, ''Film/{{Grease}}'', Danny and Sandy sing about how they met each other during the summer holidays to their friends, unaware that they are both going to the same school. Sandy sings about how Danny was such a sweet guy and describes their romantic evening, whereas Danny shows off about making out with Sandy and saying that she was "good, if you know what I mean."
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'': Joel. A great portion of the film is told through Joel's memories of events he experienced with Clementine, but the unreliability of those memories is shown on at least two occasions. When Joel first arrives home the night of the erasure, his neighbor chats with him about Valentine's Day. This is then the first substantial memory about Clementine that gets erased. But while this event took place just a short while (maybe an hour at most) before the erasure, it is shown that Joel is already incorrectly remembering what his neighbor said to him. Other less obvious hints abound (e.g., Joel remembering childhood events while being adult in appearance). Taking the imperfection of human memory alongside whether Joel considered a given memory as enjoyable or upsetting, the audience ought to wonder if what they're viewing is what ''actually'' happened, or if Joel's memories are distorted, exaggerated, or embellished because of the passing of time and because of his emotional state at the time of the event.
* In the song "I Remember It Well" from ''Film/{{Gigi}}'', Maurice Chevalier's character claimed to remember a past meeting with Gigi's grandmother perfectly, only to be contradicted by her in every detail.
* ''Film/{{Flourish}}'' stars Jennifer Morrison as Gabrielle Winters, a tutor who is brought in for questioning in the death of her sixteen-year-old student, Lucy. She tells the entire story to the police officer questioning her, and when she finishes, the police officer asks her how she could have [[spoiler: spoken about events she wasn't present for. It's then revealed that Gabrielle is actually in a mental hospital, and the police officer is a psychiatrist. Prior to the story, Gabrielle was in a car accident that caused her brain trauma; as a result, she has frequent memory lapses and unconsciously fills them in with fictional details (sharp viewers will notice that one of the suspects in Gabrielle's story is played by the same actor as the man questioning her). Gabrielle overhears the psychiatrist talking with someone else and comes to the realization that she has made up nearly everything she said. However, the psychiatrist also notes that Gabrielle did correctly guess a lot of the details, leaving it up in the air how much of her story was actually true.]]
* ''Film/{{North}}'' seems to know that other parents use him as a reference as how their kids should act to be a perfect child. It also doesn't help that most of the movie about his exploits is all a dream. And despite stating he is intelligent, everyone aside from the middle class white American family are a bunch of jerks and racial stereotypes.
* ''Film/FearIsland'' is told through flashbacks during a police interview with the sole survivor of a teenage slaughter. It's not until the survivor's parents show up that [[spoiler:: the police realize the narrator was lying about which person she is and that she was actually the murderer all along ]].
* The plot of ''Film/HeLovesMeHeLovesMeNot''.
* The main issue in ''Film/EvesBayou'' hinges on the fact that two characters have very different memories of an event and another character reacts to the probably false version with fatal consequences. [[spoiler: Cisely admits near the end of the movie that she isn't sure what happened, long after she tells Eve that their father molested her. Eve then tries to kill her father, only finding out much later that he may not have done what he was accused of.]]
* Jack Harper from ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'' has no memory from before he began his current job - his OpeningNarration is entirely based on what Sally tells him (and Sally herself is an UnreliableExpositor). Even better, for the whole first act of the movie, Jack, Vicka and Sally are the only characters with lines.
* Suki, the protagonist of ''Film/TheScribbler'', is giving a statement to a GoodCopBadCop detective team regarding a series of suspicious suicides in her apartment complex. Because she's a former psychiatric patient recovering from SplitPersonality syndrome, the bad cop automatically thinks she's lying.
* Near the end of the film ''Film/JEdgar'', it is revealed by Clyde Tolson that a lot of the FBI investigations the audience sees as narrated by Hoover, exaggerate his actual involvement in the arrests.
* In ''Film/WhoAmI'', the interrogators (and by extension the audience) learn of the hero's backstory through narrated flashbacks. However, TheReveal exposes key points of his story to be false.
* ''Film/MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirl'' is narrated by Greg after the events of the film take place, and he states several times that [[spoiler:Rachel isn't going to die and it isn't a story about death. He's lying]].
* ''Film/TheWolverine'': There's definitely a whiff of this with regards to how Logan over-romanticizes his relationship with Jean Grey when she appears in his dreams/visions. In the first two X-Men movies, their interactions didn't really go beyond some flirting and a kiss (we're excluding his make-out session with [[SplitPersonality the Phoenix]]).
* In ''Film/WangDeShengYan'', much of the film is narrated by the aging emperor Gaozu, and revolves around the events that led to his rise to power. Later we get to see just how incomplete his version of events was, and how much help he had from those who are now serving under him. It is also implied that ancient historians and scribes are [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable narrators]], as they are forced to pass down the version of history that their masters want them to.
* ''Film/{{Underground}}'' has a brief joke in which expository text claims that Yugoslavian President Tito became so distraught by the disappearance of one of the main characters that he fell sick and died... [[BlatantLies 20 years later]].

to:

[[folder:Film]]
[[AC:Films -- Animated]]
[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. Syndrome's flashback Taken to huge levels in ''Manga/PandoraHearts'', especially with the case of one...[[spoiler:[[EvilAllAlong Jack]] [[ManipulativeBastard Vessalius]] and all of the despicable deeds he has done-including twisting his story around numerous times-making it look like GLEN stabbed Gilbert when HE was the one to do so, making it look like Alice liked Jack when in fact she hated him and Alyss liked him, and even rewriting history to make it look like the Baskervilles were the bad guys.]] Oh, and also-watch for whenever they tell you about the Tragedy of Sablier and Alice's memories. [[spoiler:Especially considering those were ALYSS'S memories she was remembering, not her own....]] and that hooded figure who speaks to Lacie....[[spoiler:It's not Glen, it's Jack.]]
* As in the light novels, Kyon in the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' AnimatedAdaptation certainly qualifies. At the end of each episode, in the original 2006 summer broadcast, Haruhi always indicates the number of the next episode by its chronological order, while Kyon corrects her every time with the episode number based on the broadcast order (and for the one episode where the numbers actually match up, he then corrects himself and apologizes). Both are replaced with Nagato delivering a deadpan tie-in
to the moment when he lost faith next episode, in Mr. Incredible ("Go home, Buddy. I work alone.") is significantly different from both the actual moment DVD release and expanded 2009 broadcast.
** There is also his stupefying habit of mixing narration with dialogue in language and terms that no high-schooler uses; and tendency not to tell
the audience saw, readers what he has figured out previously until the reveal.
** His tendency
in order the novels not to demonstrate Syndrome's unreliable differentiate between narration and skewed perspective on events.
* Played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}''. The GreekChorus of mariachi owls
things he says the tale of the titular character ends with him dying. He lives. When this is pointed out, they simply say he will ''eventually'' die...probably aloud which are included in a household accident.
* A truly bizarre example in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. The story itself is objective, but
the narration accompanying without indication of their being speech is preserved by either not showing his mouth or not showing it moving and having characters respond--[[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption or give what]] ''[[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption could]]'' [[AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption be responses]]--anyway.
** A [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation favored theory]]
is biased towards Emperor Kuzco, since that he ''is'' the narrator. At one point, tries to present himself as [[AccidentalPervert an objective and respectful young man]]. When [[UnresolvedSexualTension he's actually in love with]] [[ManicPixieDreamGirl all]] [[TheGlassesComeOff of]] [[DistractedByTheSexy them.]] Whenever scenes supporting this come up, his narration says nothing about it, or goes completely off-topic while complaining we watch what happens.
* In ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'', the episode ''Poker Face'' entirely takes place in a small shack at the side of some large event, where ColdSniper Saito and some other police officers play poker during their break. When the other players ask him how he got so good at bluffing, he tells them the story how he met the Major while he was a mercenary sniper who killed most of her patrol during a UN mission in Mexico. Since both the plot and the [[NestedStory story within the story]] are all
about how everyone else is the problem, his on-screen self interrupts to remind him the audience saw what happened bluffing, it's entirely unclear if anything was true at all, and knows there are lots of small details that are inconsistent with information from other episodes.
* Genma Saotome from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''. Any time he tells a story you just know
that isn't true. He's literally arguing with himself over how it really happened. This goes double for Happōsai. And Cologne. And the reliability. Narrator-Kuzco falls silent principal. And Sōun (ESPECIALLY Sōun). Heck, point to just about any important adult in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', and is never heard from again.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}''. When Red describes meeting
it'd be easier to list the Wolf in the forest, she things they claimed that ''weren't'' total BS.
* Jack Rakan of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' is kind of like this whenever he relates any sort of BackStory, tending to massively exaggerate his own importance. That said, what he says is usually accurate... he just
leaves out the part where she kicked his butt using karate before running away. We can safely assume Wolf's telling the truth about this, since there's a picture enormous chunks of her with a black belt on Granny's wall.
* A few fans believe this trope is the reason for the [[SeriesContinuityError inconsistencies]] of Disney/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf compared to the first two films.
* During the Bowler Hat Guy's flashback in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'', we see how badly he (aka [[spoiler: Goob]]) gave up on life after his baseball incident. At one point, we see him in school and despite his claims that "they all ''hated'' me," people were trying to be friends with him. Justified, as it also shows how twisted and antisocial he became since the incident.
* A 1969 cartoon by the National Film Board of Canada, titled "The National Film Board of Mars Presents: What On Earth?" is a pseudo-documentary in which the Martian filmmakers mistakenly believe automobiles are the dominant species of life on earth, and proceeds to describe their life span (they die in scrapyards), breeding habits (made in factories), feeding habits (gas stations) and minor parasites that infest them (people).
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForceColonMovieFilmForTheaters'': After the opening movie theater parody,
the story supposedly begins millions of years ago, in 1492, at 3pm, in Egypt. Then a modern airplane flies by. It turns out this is a story Master Shake is telling Meatwad, because they don't involve him.
* In ''Manga/LoveHina'', Kitsune starts explaining Naru's past,
and to make it worse, Meatwad is says that Naru and Seta were in a TeacherStudentRomance at the story. In fact, pretty much every character in this film is an Unreliable Narrator.

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Nymphomaniac}}'' can be said to
time. She then immediately states "If that had happened, it would have three main characters: Joe-the-protagonist, Joe-the-narrator, and Seligman-the-audience. While Joe and Joe are the same person, Joe-the-narrator hates Joe-the-protagonist with a passion. Seligman sometimes calls out Joe on her bullshit, but perhaps not often enough. Her story gives an accurate portrayal of her state of mind, but perhaps less so of her life.
* ''Film/TheKidStaysInThePicture''. Robert Evans acknowledges that the documentary is colored by his point of view of the events in the film, with a title card stating:
-->"There are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently.
been interesting."
* The movie ''Film/SuckerPunch'' embodies this trope, since [[spoiler:almost all In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' anime, Mikami himself, rather than an omniscient narrator, narrates his flashbacks. He thus has an unfavorable view of his mother's advice to stop fighting against the bullies, whereas the manga's narrator noted that she was motivated by genuine concern for his welfare that was largely lost on him.
* According to WordOfGod nearly every installment in the ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' franchise is in fact an in-universe dramatization
of the movie takes place events depicted made several years after the fact. While the BroadStrokes of what happened is usually correct certain elements are tweaked somewhat due to RuleOfCool, RuleOfDrama, or just as the protagonist is having a lobotomy]]. Made all contemporary political climate.
* In early episodes of ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'', Lina's narration of
the previous episode's events tends to paint herself in the best light possible, to the point of, say... practically ignoring destroying almost a whole village. Lina is no more weird because we're not quite sure who reliable as the narrator is.
of the novels.
* ''Film/{{Detour}}''. It's implied ''Manga/SchoolLive'' has a severely unreliable narrator in its heroine Yuki. The story at first largely follows her life as she sees it, living at school for fun and spending her days doing typical light-hearted school-life anime activities with her classmates and a small group of club members. When the perspective switches to one of her club members, however, [[spoiler:it's revealed that the main character Al Roberts is coloring events to make himself look sympathetic, and to make Vera seem more like a vicious FemmeFatale. He probably ''did'' commit four club members are the crimes only survivors left in the film purposefully, but the story is altered by NeverMyFault.
* ''Film/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]]: "Here is an idea of
city after a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there's no real me, only an entity, something illusory."
* ''Film/MadDetective''. Bun claims that he can visualize people's inner personalities but it's never clear whether it's an example of his madness or a legit supernatural power.
* ''Film/SnakeEyes'' features several flashbacks narrated by several characters in an attempt to reconstruct a crime, and every flashback replays through a continuous, first-person point of view shot. One such flashback is completely untrue, as it is narrated by the (unbeknownst) criminal.
* Implied in ''Film/BunnyAndTheBull''. Stephen, the main character, is retelling the story of a road trip from his perspective- vital pieces of information are left out or glossed over, not to mention the fact that he sees hallucinations in his house but doesn't realise they are not real until the end of the movie, so by consequence, neither does the audience.
* ''Film/TheUsualSuspects''. Agent Kujan
ZombieApocalypse, Yuki spends much of her time interacting with classmates who're long gone, and the course beautiful school is in ruins, full of the movie listening barricades designed to Verbal tell his story, then rejects portions of it as lies. [[spoiler: The problem, of course, is that he rejects the WRONG portions.stop attacks.]]
* The premise In several of ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'' is that the story is told from four different points first novels of view, ''all'' of which disagree, and ''all'' of which are unreliable, due to each character having a reputation to protect. The ending at least gives us the truth about [[spoiler:what happened ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', [[spoiler:due to the dagger]], but with a very different motive than nature of the madness and paranoia-inducing parasite that infects all of the residents of Hinamizawa, it is unclear what the viewer might have assumed.
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' reveals in the end that the man who has been telling the story is in fact an inmate of an insane asylum, and the ''entire movie'' never happened; he just made it up based on the people around him.
* ''Film/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]].
* Nearly every joke in ''Film/TheMatingHabitsOfTheEarthboundHuman'' relies on the alien narrator misinterpreting human behavior.
* In ''Film/BladeOfVengeance'',
actually takes place as the narrator is for the female love interest. Her narratives arc ends up slaughtering several of their friends and others. There are usually really weird. At hints throughout that the events may not be as perceived by the narrator, such as when the police report at the end of the movie, she's seen smoking opium, which explains a lot.
* An early example
first novel contradicts the narrator's belief of this occurred in Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/StageFright'', which opens with a flashback narrated what happened. Keiichi's demise by one clawing at his throat at the end of the characters who is lying to another character to obtain their help.
* The plot of ''Film/{{Hero}}'' consists of the same story being retold three times with major differences: [[spoiler:Nameless' BS story he told so
first arc proves that he could get an audience succumbed to the town's parasite, creating doubt with the Emperor and have a shot at assassinating him, the Emperor finally calling Nameless on regards to his BS and telling what he thinks really happened, and Nameless finally admitting what REALLY happened just before he tries to kill the Emperor.mental state.]]
* In Ii-chan of ''LightNovel/{{Zaregoto}}'' forgets important details, frequently. He even neglects to tell the Korean horror/suspense film ''Film/ATaleOfTwoSisters'', this trope only becomes apparent at readers [[spoiler: how he disguised the end. It starts out fairly normal, with two sisters returning home to their father and stepmother. It starts to get confusing, with the unexplained appearance of some wraith-like girl under the sink, various objects and people disappearing and reappearing without explanation, and all sorts of contradictory information. Eventually [[spoiler:the stepmother murders one of the girls, only it's revealed immediately after that it never happened. It turns out one of the girls was pretending to be both herself, her stepmother, and her sister. second murder in The sister who was supposedly murdered had died a long time ago in an accident, and the stepmother was simply the nurse taking care of the two when said accident happened, which the girl blames for her sister's death. [[GainaxEnding Are you]] [[MindScrew confused yet?]]]]
* ''Film/BigFish'' has an unusual take on the unreliable narrator, in that [[spoiler:the flashback stories are assumed to be pure fiction for most of the movie and the twist is that the father may actually be more reliable than was thought. The appearance of the twins, Giant, and Ringmaster at the father's funeral clearly leaves the son reeling
Kubishime Romanticist as he reassesses his father's stories for where exactly they diverged from the truth. The reality is only slightly skewed from his stories, i.e., the Siamese twins are actually just regular twins from Siam, the giant is a 7'6" man, and so on.suicide.]]
* ''Film/TheFall'' plays some fun games with this trope. It is a film of two levels, stories within stories - a girl in a hospital listens The protagonist to stories told by a bedridden man, and we see her visualisations of the stories he tells. However, they don't share identical internal dictionaries. One great example is that he talks about an Indian and his squaw, but the girl, manga ''Kami no Kodomo''; a sociopathic serial killer who was friends with depicts himself as a Sikh, imagines a bearded subcontinental man in a turban. ''Film/TheFall'' also features a classic example of InUniverse CreatorBreakdown.
* ''Film/{{Memento}}''. Lenny may be ''trying'' to report accurately, but his grasp on the real past is, to put it mildly, highly questionable.
messiah-like figure.
* Played straight, for laughs, Laughs in ''TenchiUniverse''. During the series, both Ayeka and for drama Ryoko give different versions of how they met and interacted with each other in ''ForrestGump''. The [[InnocentInaccurate naive]] Forrest incorrectly describes events he witnesses through his life. Notable examples: He believes that Charlie was someone specific that the Army was looking for, as opposed to the code name for the Vietcong, and Apple computers was a fruit company, even though he made a fortune by investing past, which resulted in them on Lieutenant Dan's advice.
* The film ''Film/SecretWindow'', (based on Creator/StephenKing's novella ''Secret Window, Secret Garden''), which is narrated in third person) the narrator is stalked by a psychopath who accuses him of plagiarizing his book, and who attempts to frame him for several heinous crimes. In the climax, it is revealed
becoming enemies. Both girls tell stories that [[spoiler:the narrator has been driven make the other look bad. It's up to madness over his guilt for plagiarizing a classmate in college, the viewing audience to decide if Ayeka or Ryoko is telling the truth. [[spoiler: By the end of the series, Washu concludes that they're both telling the truth and is unconsciously committing the acts for which he thinks he's being framed. The stalker does not exist outside his own mind (although the novella hedges a bit on this point).both girls were cruel to each other.]]
* ''Film/MonsterAGoGo'' has ''Manga/OnePiece'' (the manga, not the ultimate unreliable narrator. [[spoiler:Whaddaya mean there was no monster, beauzeau?]]
* ''Film/BubbaHoTep''. The stories Elvis and JFK share about themselves and how they ended up
anime) doesn't have an actual narrator except for in a Texas nursing home are VERY speculative few info boxes, and unreliable.
* Jack Crabb (DustinHoffman),
when characters recount their memories, it is usually done in ''Film/LittleBigMan'', is quite likely one of these. In the original novel by Thomas Berger, form of an objective {{Flashback}}, even making use of the historian who transcribes Crabb's narrative expresses the opinion that most of his supposed exploits are pure malarkey. ThirdPersonFlashback trope to show all details. There are hints, is, however, that the historian may ''himself'' be something a first example of an unreliable narrator.
* While it didn't have
an unreliable narrator itself, in the 2007 ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' implies Dressrosa arc: [[spoiler: When Rebecca's flashback is shown, it looks like she was raised by only her mother, Scarlet, and didn't meet her father, Kyros, before he appeared as a toy soldier carrying her dead mother in his arms. However, as Kyros' flashback shows, he lived with them and was an important part of Rebecca's early childhood. But then Kyros was turned into a toy, effectively making him an UnPerson. This is why Rebecca's flashback was unreliable: She cannot remember a thing about her father, so she genuinely thought that she only lived with her mother. This unreliability makes all the Third Person Flashbacks seem a little weird in hindsight, but it was probably a handy excuse to avoid spoiling that the original poem is toy soldier was Rebecca's real father and Kyros, since that wasn't known by the readers back then]].
** In
a false account similar vein, the Tontatta dwarf Leo describes Mansherry, princess of the events as told by Beowulf himself. His account of why he lost a swimming race is stated to be at the very least exaggerated, when his friend mutters Tontatta that last time he heard the story, there were fewer sea monsters in it.
* The events of ''Film/TheNewGuy'' seem to strain the limits of WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. At various points throughout the movie (eg: immediately after the scene with [[{{Fanservice}} Danielle
he's trying on swimsuits]]), however, to rescue, as "selfish, mean, capricious, and short-tempered". When the audience is [[LampshadeHanging reminded]] manga finally shows her in person, it's shown that we're seeing she's incredibly sweet and kind-hearted, [[{{Tsundere}} but acts that way around Leo]] because she has a giant crush on him [[ObliviousToLove and he's too dense to see it]].
* In ''LightNovel/TheDevilIsAPartTimer'', in order to clear up a [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend repeated misunderstanding]], Ashiya tries to explain the relationship between himself, his roommate Sadao Maō, and Emi Yusa to some people. However, the people he's talking to don't know that all three hail from a HeroicFantasy universe where Maō was the Demon King, Ashiya was his top general, and Emi was the [[ChosenOne fated hero]] who almost slew them both. So instead Ashiya makes up a story about Maō being the head of an upstart construction company that was driven out of business by a rival, for whom Emi worked as an intern. In this case, the viewer already knows that
the story through is made up, but it's interesting to note that his cover-up story offers an interesting perspective on the eyes real events he's masking: for example, he sees the armies of an arguably-insane convict.
* David Leigh (David Beard) in ''Film/TheLastBroadcast''. Even his narraton being a documentary
humanity not as mortal enemies or insects to be crushed, but simply as rivals competing over limited resources, and he doesn't help.
seem to hate Emi personally for her role in their defeat, instead regarding it as a case of JustFollowingOrders. In retrospect, this interpretation would explain why a pair of demons who seemed hell-bent on conquering humanity in their world would be able to fit in so comfortably with humans in this world.
* In ''Film/HighTension'' (originally ''Haute Tension''), a French psychological thriller, Marie, a resourceful young woman is trying to save her best friend, Alexia, from an insane serial killer who murdered Alexia's family before kidnapping her. The twist: [[spoiler:Marie is episode 8 of ''Anime/{{Tokyo Magnitude 8}}'' [[spoiler:Yuuki]] dies. However the serial killer. The Killer is an alternate personality viewers don't know this until two episodes later. We see [[spoiler:him]] die however it's treated like a nightmare that Marie created in order to live out a disturbing fantasy: Alexia will fall in love with her savior [[spoiler:his sister]] had. For the entirety of episode nine and stay with Marie FOREVER.most of episode ten we see [[spoiler:Yuuki]] alive and normal because that's what [[spoiler:Mairi]] thought happened. There are clues that [[spoiler:Yuuki]] isn't "really" there, like [[spoiler:shots where he is missing and him constantly disappearing.]]
* Matthew [=McConaughey=] in ''Film/{{Frailty}}''.
* The main story of ''Film/RoadTrip''
''Anime/LupinIIIEpisode0FirstContact'' is told through the eyes of Barry, a campus tour guide who's [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} not playing with a full deck]]. As such, the story has some highly improbable elements. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when he is telling the part involving the girls' locker room.
* In ''Film/SwimmingPool'' the novelist protagonist spends most of the movie dealing with her publisher's daughter's bad habits [[spoiler:including murder]] but, at the end, we learn [[spoiler:that the publisher's daughter is a completely different girl, leaving us wondering who the girl was, and if she existed at all.]]
* In the musical film, ''Film/{{Grease}}'', Danny and Sandy sing about how they met each other during the summer holidays
OriginStory to their friends, unaware that they are both going to the same school. Sandy sings about how Danny was such a sweet guy and describes their romantic evening, whereas Danny shows off about making out with Sandy and saying that she was "good, if you know what I mean."
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'': Joel. A great portion of the film is told through Joel's memories of events he experienced with Clementine, but the unreliability of those memories is shown on at least two occasions. When Joel first arrives home the night of the erasure, his neighbor chats with him about Valentine's Day. This is then the first substantial memory about Clementine that gets erased. But while this event took place just a short while (maybe an hour at most) before the erasure, it is shown that Joel is already incorrectly remembering what his neighbor said to him. Other less obvious hints abound (e.g., Joel remembering childhood events while being adult in appearance). Taking the imperfection of human memory alongside whether Joel considered a given memory as enjoyable or upsetting, the audience ought to wonder if what they're viewing is what ''actually'' happened, or if Joel's memories are distorted, exaggerated, or embellished because of the passing of time and because of his emotional state at the time of the event.
* In the song "I Remember It Well" from ''Film/{{Gigi}}'', Maurice Chevalier's character claimed to remember a past meeting with Gigi's grandmother perfectly, only to be contradicted by her in every detail.
* ''Film/{{Flourish}}'' stars Jennifer Morrison as Gabrielle Winters, a tutor who is brought in for questioning in the death of her sixteen-year-old student, Lucy. She tells the entire story to the police officer questioning her, and when she finishes, the police officer asks her how she could have [[spoiler: spoken about events she wasn't present for. It's then revealed that Gabrielle is actually in a mental hospital, and the police officer is a psychiatrist. Prior to the story, Gabrielle was in a car accident that caused her brain trauma; as a result, she has frequent memory lapses and unconsciously fills them in with fictional details (sharp viewers will notice that one of the suspects in Gabrielle's story is played by the same actor as the man questioning her). Gabrielle overhears the psychiatrist talking with someone else and comes to the realization that she has made up nearly everything she said. However, the psychiatrist also notes that Gabrielle did correctly guess a lot of the details, leaving it up in the air how much of her story was actually true.]]
* ''Film/{{North}}'' seems to know that other parents use him as a reference as how their kids should act to be a perfect child. It also doesn't help that most of the movie about his exploits is all a dream. And despite stating he is intelligent, everyone aside from the middle class white American family are a bunch of jerks and racial stereotypes.
* ''Film/FearIsland'' is told through flashbacks during a police interview with the sole survivor of a teenage slaughter. It's not until the survivor's parents show up that [[spoiler:: the police realize
''Franchise/LupinIII'', except the narrator was lying about which person she is and that she was Jigen admits to altering some things. [[spoiler:Also, he's actually the murderer all along ]].
*
Lupin in disguise]]. The plot of ''Film/HeLovesMeHeLovesMeNot''.
* The main issue in ''Film/EvesBayou'' hinges on the fact
credits sequence shows that two characters have very different memories ''some'' of an event and another character reacts to the probably false version with fatal consequences. [[spoiler: Cisely admits near the end of the movie that she isn't sure what happened, long after she tells Eve that their father molested her. Eve then tries to kill her father, only finding out much later that he may not have done what he was accused of.]]
* Jack Harper from ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'' has no memory from before he began his current job - his OpeningNarration is entirely based on what Sally tells him (and Sally herself is an UnreliableExpositor). Even better, for the whole first act of the movie, Jack, Vicka and Sally are the only characters with lines.
* Suki, the protagonist of ''Film/TheScribbler'', is giving a statement to a GoodCopBadCop detective team regarding a series of suspicious suicides in her apartment complex. Because she's a former psychiatric patient recovering from SplitPersonality syndrome, the bad cop automatically thinks she's lying.
* Near the end of the film ''Film/JEdgar'',
it is revealed by Clyde Tolson true, but it's clear, and even stated, that a lot of the FBI investigations the audience sees as narrated by Hoover, exaggerate his actual involvement in the arrests.
* In ''Film/WhoAmI'', the interrogators (and by extension the audience) learn of the hero's backstory through narrated flashbacks. However, TheReveal exposes key points of his story to be false.
* ''Film/MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirl'' is narrated by Greg after the events of the film take place, and he states several times that [[spoiler:Rachel isn't going to die and it isn't a story about death. He's lying]].
* ''Film/TheWolverine'': There's definitely a whiff of this with regards to how Logan over-romanticizes his relationship with Jean Grey when she appears in his dreams/visions. In the first two X-Men movies, their interactions didn't really go beyond some flirting and a kiss (we're excluding his make-out session with [[SplitPersonality the Phoenix]]).
* In ''Film/WangDeShengYan'', much of the film is narrated by the aging emperor Gaozu, and revolves around the events that led to his rise to power. Later we get to see just how incomplete his version of events was, and how much help he had from those who are now serving under him. It is also implied that ancient historians and scribes are [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable narrators]], as they are forced to pass down the version of history that their masters want them to.
* ''Film/{{Underground}}'' has a brief joke in which expository text claims that Yugoslavian President Tito became so distraught by the disappearance of one of the main characters that he fell sick and died... [[BlatantLies 20 years later]].
other parts were changed. Why? [[ItAmusedMe Why not?]]


Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Comic Books]]
Comics are the easiest medium to accomplish this in, since you can have the narration saying one thing above the panel and the panel show what's really happening, whereas in Film, Western Animation, and Live TV you might have the narrator's speech conflict with the scene, necessitating a more "flashback" style to show this. It is very common to have a narrator say one thing and the below panel completely contradict it.

* It should be obvious at the beginning of ''ComicBook/EarthX'' that Uatu the Watcher is an unreliable narrator: he's an alien from a culture that has [[AlienNonInterferenceClause very different values from humanity's.]] It should be further obvious when Uatu does things like object to World War II on the grounds that [[DeliberateValuesDissonance "humanity was not yet ready for a master race".]] But most readers were used to Uatu's style of narration and [[NeglectfulPrecursors problematic "neutral" moral stance]] from ''What If?'', so Uatu manages to carry on the illusion that he's a friend of humanity for several more issues.
* Rorschach in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' is a good example of this, especially when he talks about himself. The artwork actually uses an unreliable ''framing device'' (one of many the work contains) to show "Rorschach" in the [[TheFaceless first person]] and Walter Kovacs in the 3rd person (walking around in the background of the same chapter), leading to TheReveal. This both misdirects the audience as to who Rorschach is behind the mask, and contributes to the sense of Rorschach's disconnection from "the man in the mirror", so to speak.
* Ed Brubaker's ''Books of Doom'' miniseries tells the origin story of classic MarvelComics supervillain Doctor Doom, seemingly narrated by Doom himself. However, at the story's end, it is revealed that the narrator is actually one of the Doom's [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Doombots]], telling the story that Doom has programmed into it, leaving to question how much of it was true.
* Dreadwing, the main antagonist of ''ComicBook/{{Gold Digger}}'' has a mymior, a magical journal of sorts for dragons. He lost his original one, but he was able to create a "new and improved" mymior for himself and it's clear that Dreadwing's jaded and evil mindset has heavy influence over his writing, such as putting everyone except him in a negative light, trying to justify his many crimes and giving questionable overviews of his relationships with other characters.
* WordOfGod states that Delios of ''ThreeHundred'' is an unreliable narrator; all of the supposed inconsistencies with actual history are actually bare-faced ''lies'', with Delios stretching the truth about who did what and how many there were. This naturally justifies the comic's explicit use of RuleOfCool and RefugeInAudacity.
* Recent issues of ''ComicBook/TheBoys'' have been about the backgrounds of other members of the eponymous group beyond Wee Hughie. Mother's Milk was relatively straight forward. Frenchie's was... not. This is partially justified by Frenchie being ''craaaaaaaazy''.
* The ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'' series. [[spoiler: It's revealed in the final book of the series, Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour that Scott's memories of his past experiences with his ex-girlfriends were altered by Gideon Graves, meaning some of the events shown in the previous books may/may not be entirely false]].
* John Constantine from ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' tends to get unreliable, especially if he's depressed or drunk. If there was a scene where he actually didn't see it (but we readers do), he will tend to second guess everything and can only imagine what could have happened. Although not an accurate description, John's gory imagination makes up one hell of a comic panel.
* Done in ''ComicBook/SteelgripStarkeyAndTheAllPurposePowerTool'' via thought balloons and dialog from [[spoiler:Flynn "Flyin'" Ryan . Although he's secretly the tool's inventor and the mastermind behind [[DecoyLeader Mr. Pilgrim]], his thoughts often read like he's unaware of the big picture. Done particularly egregiously when he and a cohort are making plans, and he still refers to Mr. Pilgrim in the third person.]]
* In ''ComicStrip/TwistedToyfareTheatre'', the [[TheAlcoholic perpetually drunk]] ComicBook/IronMan tells Spider-Man about how Bucky died (again).
-->'''Iron Man:''' I shtood my ground, but it wash too late! The Shweathogs got him...\\
'''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica:''' "Sweathogs"? I thought Pez Dispensers were chasing you!\\
'''Iron Man:''' Thash the weird part...
* Vincent Santini, the narrator from ''Brooklyn Dreams'', tells us in the first page he can't remember much from his past, so he'll tell us the best he can. The whole story is him telling us about his life the way he wants to remember it. He even says "I'll weave you some lies about my life, and who knows they might be true."
* This is one of the rules governing the stories in ''ComicBook/MouseGuard: Legends of the Guard''.
** June states that the stories can be neither "complete truths", nor "complete falsehoods." Exactly how much of any given story is true or false is left as an exercise to the reader, and they vary from the relatively plausible (a story of brief and unlikely companionship between mouse and bat), to the truly outlandish. (A mouse king who rode into battle upon a weasel, a Guardmouse who saved a town from a flash flood and drought by swallowing the flood waters then spitting them back out to serve as a reservoir.)
** Amusingly, one of the most plausible stories -- a play on "Androcles and the Lion" in which an African mouse manages to befriend a lion that's impressed with its bravery and resourcefulness (pulling the thorn out of the lion's paw is in there, but is outright established to be a secondary factor at best) -- is discarded out of hand because the North American mice of the series have never seen or heard of lions or hyenas before, as well as the fact that it's told by a known lunatic who claims to have heard it from a beetle, which aren't talking animals in ''Mouse Guard''.
* An annual had ComicBook/IronMan villain The Mandarin telling his life story to a film maker, with the captions showing his version of the events, and the panels showing the complete opposite.
* ''ComicBook/FantasticFour #15'' offers [[http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/scans7/FF15_Yancy.JPG this introduction to]] [[TheBigGuy the Thing]].
* Common in ''Twisted Tales''. Examples include:
** "Banjo Lessons": A man narrates, in increasingly detailed flashbacks, the circumstances that led him to have a psychotic break and murder his friends. He claims it's due to his suppressed rage over an incident where they killed and ate a dog while on their hunting trip, but [[spoiler:a court sees through him and realizes the truth - "Banjo" the dog was actually their (black, while the men were white) hunting guide.]]
** "Me An' Ol' Rex": A mentally disabled hick boy is beaten by his abusive father, but finds solace in "Rex", his dinosaur friend. Rex eventually grows bigger and begins eating people who the boy feeds to him. The boy eventually commits suicide because he knows he'll be blamed for the people's disappearance. We then discover that [[spoiler:"Rex" is not a dinosaur, but his father, who was driven to cannibalism when locked in the shed for the boy's own protection. The dinosaur story was his delusion or lie.]]
* In ComicBook/TheMightyThor #356, Hercules and Jarvis are taking a stroll in the park, and a group of guys ask him if he's stronger than Thor or not. So, Hercules began to narrate their last encounter. Humbled and ashamed by the vast superiority of Hercules over him, Thor asked him for an arm wrestling, to see if he could regain the will to live. Jarvis laughed at the idea of Thor trying to defeat Hercules... but Jarvis, standing right there while Hercules made his narration, pointed that he did not remember any such scene. "[[RetGone Oh, of course, it happened while you were on vacation, dear Jarvis!]]". So, Thor was defeated in a second, attacked Hercules in his head with his hammer, began to destroy the city on a tantrum... Mr. Hercules, that doesn't make sense, aren't you making it up? Oh, this Jarvis may be a prince among butlets, but as a spectator he leaves much to desire. Where were we? Oh, that the fight got into the Empire State building which was destroyed... but such thing never made it to the newspapers, [[BlatantLies because the Avengers repaired it immediately]]! And goes on, on, and on... that is, until he realizes that the guy asking was not his fan but a fan of Thor, who felt sad for his hero. Where were we? Oh, that Thor was about to receive the final blow... and suddenly showed that he was [[WillfullyWeak holding his strength]], beated the crap out of Hercules, and [[MegatonPunch sent him to another state with a single punch]]. Yes, it really happened! [[LampshadeHanging Would Hercules lie to you?]]
* ComicBook/TheSandman: Invoked with a story that Cluracan tells in a tavern. He tells of when he was sent as an envoy to an impoverished nation, imprisoned, and managed to escape as well as destroy the corrupt ruler. The other patrons call him on this, and he freely admits to adding and removing parts of the story to make it more interesting, though the only thing he admits to fabricating is a sword fight he had with the guards (he added that part to make the story interesting). He states they can choose to believe him or not. How much of it is true is left to the audiences interpretation, though in story Cluracan is still an amoral ditz and a drunk who get's himself in trouble, requires Dream to save him, and dethrones the ruler out of a revenge rather than duty, none of which is out of character.
* In ''ComicBook/DruidCity'', no one character in particular serves as a narrator in a traditional sense, but it does become clear that certain details about how some characters are drawn change after the character in question is disassociated with the lead character. For example, once Hunter Hastings (the lead) and Misa Saito (a character in question) end their second relationship and potential lasting friendship, Misa's hair is drawn in a completely different style and certain qualities that she has disappear. All of these changes are not commented upon by any other characters, so the assumption could be that Hunter's opinion was shaping her appearance for the audience to some degree.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' series ''Arkham Reborn'', [[spoiler:Jeremiah Arkham turns out to be just a tad loopy, to the point where it turns out his "beauties", three patients who seem relatively functional but have to be kept apart for their own safety, don't actually exist, and some of the time he's the supervillain Black Mask (another one).]] When he recovers his memories as to where his marbles actually went - it involves the Joker, Hugo Strange, and a suggestibility-enhancing drug, even that is left ambiguous regarding how much of it is true, [[spoiler:in his reflection, he sees himself as Black Mask.]]
* In ''Comicbook/{{Phonogram}}'', one issue of "The Singles Club" has a back-up strip that tells the story of the previous story, "Rue Britannia", from the perspective of a minor character in the previous work. The minor character is a friend of David Kohl, the protagonist of the previous story, and tagged along for part of it. As the minor character is not part of the world of the 'phonomancers' like Kohl, it's pretty clear from his telling that he really had no clue exactly what was going on, but it's nevertheless a reasonably faithful version of events. Until the end, whereupon the minor character suddenly produces a big gun, shoots what he thinks was the bad guy, saves Kohl's life and then swaggers off to have a threesome with two beautiful women. Kohl, needless to say, is not particularly impressed with this addition to the narrative.
* Done in-universe with ''ComicBook/AstroCity's'' Manny Monkton, a comic book publisher who encourages his writers to play fast and loose with the facts to make their stories more exciting.
-->"The kids don't want facts. They want drama! THRILLS!"
* Happens once in a while in ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'', as the characters may gloss over some particulars (for example, when narrating the flashback of "Diabolik, Who Are You?" the title character didn't say numerous important particulars), not know the truth (some of the facts from "Diabolik, Who Are You?" are later shown wrong in "The True Story of King's Island", as King flat-out lied to Diabolik), or flat-out lie (in [[spoiler: "Diabolik's Secret"]] Eva is forced to tell a journalist a story about Diabolik that nobody knew... And lied, before mailing to their competitors evidence that it was a lie).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': [[http://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/posts/2578680/ In chapter 49]] a character is being filled in on the history of the Angel War and the post-Impact world. However Misato had some ''creative'' interpretations of the events. Asuka suggests him that he ignores everything Misato said.
* Elspeth of ''Fanfic/{{Luminosity}}'' narrates the second book, and whenever under Allirea's power sees her as "not important". This leads to glossing over some important dialogue, with a little UnspokenPlanGuarantee.
* The museum curator from "[[FanFic/KingSuperman The Courier Who Had Cheated Death]]" averts this trope. On one hand, every detail from the story he told was true. On the other hand, he ''was'' the murderous psychopath from the story, and the 'display dummy' he mentions offhandedly is implied to be another of his victims.
* ''FanFic/HuntingTheUnicorn'' makes liberal use of this--though there isn't any intentional misleading, there are two instances that make use of this for ''huge'' impact: "The Hunters" reveals that [[spoiler: Blaine isn't a virgin]], and it's elaborated [[LoveHurts very painfully]] in the following chapter. "The Butterfly" is where David tells a counselor [[spoiler: that Blaine has a stalker and has ''no idea of it'']].
* In the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' fanfic ''[[http://shinodaholic.deviantart.com/art/Revenge-of-the-Narrator-201034142 Revenge of the Narrator]]'', the replacement Narrator tells the reader halfway through that [[spoiler: everything the original Narrator had said]] was a lie.
* FanFic/{{Pipeline}} is primarily told through third-person limited, using Kevin's thoughts and perceptions of things to tell the story. Kevin's kind of a... self-informed guy, so this has interesting results. He's got the best of intentions, really, but his perceptions of the way Ben is acting towards him are much harsher than Ben means them to, and his irrational dislike of Dexter makes the boy genius out to be the bad guy sometimes when they really have similar values and goals.
%% * ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' fanfic ''FanFic/CicadasCaseOfTheEndlessDreamer'' is unreliable narration '''[[UpToEleven HE]][[MindScrew LL]]!'''
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6949110/1/A_Piece_Of_Glass A Piece Of Glass]]'', the story is sandwiched together from the POV of the Joker, his OriginalCharacter accomplice, Breech Loader, and Batman himself. The Joker sees his demented social experiments as perfectly acceptable. Breech repeatedly insists that morals and sanity are moot points, being a matter of perspective. Neither is sane, but ThroughTheEyesOfMadness both are convinced they are right. Interestingly, through Batman's POV, he's NotSoDifferent...
* Similarly, Dogbertcarroll's stories on Fanfiction dot net include one where [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander Harris]] has a cosmic event happen and gets dropped into the Justice league, literally during a meeting. He describes Batman as being possibly the most sociologically driven man in the DC Universe but also deadly necessary. Of course, this is Xander's viewpoint, and the man has been somewhat unreliable narrating himself, as anyone who's ever watched/critiqued "The Zeppo" can tell you.
* All over the place in ''FanFic/TheNewRetcons'' since for most of the story it's written in the style of the characters writing letters. Including an insane Elly. In the comments for one of the letters, the authors and fans discussed this trope with regard to Liz, and whether she was one about [[spoiler: [[AttemptedRape the going after]]]].
* Possibly Dominic in ''FanFic/PinkPersonalHellAndAlteringFate''. Early in the story, he tells the reader how [[ButtMonkey bad he has it]], such as how his group doesn't bother to communicate with him and dumps half the project on him. However, when he arrives to give a presentation with Gummy attached to his finger (ItMakesSenseInContext) they actually laugh ''with'' him. Granted, later on, the mirror shows moments he'd rather not see...
** One thing that also makes a bit of sense with the story's main twist is [[spoiler: Pink Personal Hell is revealed to be InMediasRes to Altering Fate - it can be read in a way that Dominic is remembering his so-called "Pink Personal Hell" during the events of the "Altering Fate" narrative from his perspective - which still plays true to this trope as Dominic glosses over a ''lot'' of events.]]
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic'', in which [[CuteKitten Vesta's]] narration is filled with {{Suspiciously Specific Denial}}s and IMeantToDoThat.
* ''FanFic/HomeWithTheFairies'' downplays this. Maddie is not trying to lie, but her misunderstandings affect the narration, especially in the early chapters, when the LanguageBarrier is still a major problem. For example, Maddie visits the town of Fornost, but it might not be Fornost; Maddie later uses the name "maybe-not-Fornost". Then in chapter 13, Maddie believes that Lord Kinsey will fire her if "gossip gets out", but this might not be true; Lord Kinsey might or might not believe the gossip. A writer's note on chapter 14 declares Maddie as an unreliable narrator.
* The Franchise/{{Pokemon}} fic ''{{Fanfic/Obsession}}'' shows Corbin as a caring father who simply doesn't know how to care for his [[{{Anime/Pokemon 2000}} strange son]]. Said son is narrating, however, and describes his father as a heartless fool and constant embarrassment. He's also narrating as an adult, so this isn't just a child's perspective.
* [[TheStoryteller Brett's mother]] in ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfTotalDramaIsland''. Although she recounts long-past events with [[InfallibleNarrator inhuman precision]], she also embellishes some details, fills in gaps with informed guesswork, and lets her biases influence some characterizations. Indeed, those cartoonish elements in [[WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland the original]] that are retained in the reimagining could well be chalked up to her embellishments. It’s called a “legend” for a reason.
* ''Fanfic/ConceptRoad''. For a character preemptively familiar with [[MegaCrossover all the worlds he goes to]], Louis Starsky sure doesn't always have his facts together.
** For example, he believes that Miku Hatsune was the first Music/{{Vocaloid}} preceding Meiko Sakine and Kaito. He's convinced that Kino from ''LightNovel/KinosJourney'' is a dude.
** It should also be noted that several context clues within the same chapter(s) strongly suggest that this is not a {{critical research failure}} on the actual author's end.
* The narrator of ''FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed'' is without a doubt, one of the most unreliable narrators to ever be featured in a fanfiction. Her tendency to present her conspiracies as fact is both disorienting and highly amusing as well. But it is this nature of hers that the entire concept of the fic centers around.
** It is possible to get a glimpse of actual Equestrian history through her eyes, once one wades through the enormous fallacies and insane conspiracy theories she presents. But the fic mostly consists solely of Equestrian history as seen through her eyes, whether the reader wants to accept it as accurate or not.
* The ''Fanfic/GettingBackOnYourHooves'' side story "Another Happy Mother's Day" is [[VillainEpisode told from the perspective of]] [[BigBad Checker Monarch]] after her defeat and [[VillainousBreakdown fall into]] [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness insanity]] at the end of the original fic. Considering she's insane to the point she's suffered a LossOfIdentity and created FalseMemories, it's impossible to tell what details of her past she gave are real and which are false.
* Navarone is an in-universe example in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman'', as he often leaves stuff out or puts misleading information in his journals. [[spoiler: Discord is a straighter example, as he flat out lies to the reader]].
* All over the place in ''[[Fanfic/ImHereToHelp I'm Here to Help]]''. Emerald's narration portrays Crystal Tokyo as a CrapsaccherineWorld where everyone is brainwashed and the senshi rule with an iron fist, but the only reasons actually given for how the kingdom is bad boil down to "it's boring". It doesn't help that Emerald is several hundred years old and insane. ([[spoiler:Pluto's]] interference near the end could indicate some truth to his argument, but [[spoiler:she]] gives no reason for [[spoiler:her]] actions beyond "I don't like how Crystal Tokyo turned out", which still gives nothing solid to go off of.) Meanwhile, the two sections told from the point of views of the future senshi depict Emerald as a dangerous murderer, while the past senshi and Luna see him as shifty and untrustworthy. It's difficult to say exactly how much of this was intentional. [[spoiler:The author's notes at the end say that there was a lot more going on than we see, but we're never told what it was. The possibility of everything being revealed in a sequel was mentioned, but that never came around.]]
* [[spoiler:Carlos]] in his chapters of [[Fanfic/TheStrexFamily ''Compliance'' and ''Procedure'']]. His narration includes, for instance, [[spoiler:domestic abuse, emotional manipulation not being mentioned as such, and sexual assault/rape being seen as consensual sex (the following chapter proves that it very much is not)]].
* The Sassgardian is the worst offender in ''Fanfic/SuperheroRPF''. He insists for example that ''Loki'' is a LovableRogue with [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold a heart of gold]], he even has his tumblr to prove it! [[spoiler:He ''is'' Loki.]] But several other characters are super heroes or villains too, protecting their secret identities, so being unreliable narrators is pretty much unavoidable.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
[[AC:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. Syndrome's flashback to the moment when he lost faith in Mr. Incredible ("Go home, Buddy. I work alone.") is significantly different from the actual moment the audience saw, in order to demonstrate Syndrome's unreliable and skewed perspective on events.
* Played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}''. The GreekChorus of mariachi owls says the tale of the titular character ends with him dying. He lives. When this is pointed out, they simply say he will ''eventually'' die...probably in a household accident.
* A truly bizarre example in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. The story itself is objective, but the narration accompanying it is biased towards Emperor Kuzco, since he ''is'' the narrator. At one point, while complaining about how everyone else is the problem, his on-screen self interrupts to remind him the audience saw what happened and knows that isn't true. He's literally arguing with himself over the reliability. Narrator-Kuzco falls silent and is never heard from again.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}''. When Red describes meeting the Wolf in the forest, she leaves out the part where she kicked his butt using karate before running away. We can safely assume Wolf's telling the truth about this, since there's a picture of her with a black belt on Granny's wall.
* A few fans believe this trope is the reason for the [[SeriesContinuityError inconsistencies]] of Disney/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf compared to the first two films.
* During the Bowler Hat Guy's flashback in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'', we see how badly he (aka [[spoiler: Goob]]) gave up on life after his baseball incident. At one point, we see him in school and despite his claims that "they all ''hated'' me," people were trying to be friends with him. Justified, as it also shows how twisted and antisocial he became since the incident.
* A 1969 cartoon by the National Film Board of Canada, titled "The National Film Board of Mars Presents: What On Earth?" is a pseudo-documentary in which the Martian filmmakers mistakenly believe automobiles are the dominant species of life on earth, and proceeds to describe their life span (they die in scrapyards), breeding habits (made in factories), feeding habits (gas stations) and minor parasites that infest them (people).
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForceColonMovieFilmForTheaters'': After the opening movie theater parody, the story supposedly begins millions of years ago, in 1492, at 3pm, in Egypt. Then a modern airplane flies by. It turns out this is a story Master Shake is telling Meatwad, and to make it worse, Meatwad is in the story. In fact, pretty much every character in this film is an Unreliable Narrator.

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Nymphomaniac}}'' can be said to have three main characters: Joe-the-protagonist, Joe-the-narrator, and Seligman-the-audience. While Joe and Joe are the same person, Joe-the-narrator hates Joe-the-protagonist with a passion. Seligman sometimes calls out Joe on her bullshit, but perhaps not often enough. Her story gives an accurate portrayal of her state of mind, but perhaps less so of her life.
* ''Film/TheKidStaysInThePicture''. Robert Evans acknowledges that the documentary is colored by his point of view of the events in the film, with a title card stating:
-->"There are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently."
* The movie ''Film/SuckerPunch'' embodies this trope, since [[spoiler:almost all of the movie takes place just as the protagonist is having a lobotomy]]. Made all the more weird because we're not quite sure who the narrator is.
* ''Film/{{Detour}}''. It's implied that the main character Al Roberts is coloring events to make himself look sympathetic, and to make Vera seem more like a vicious FemmeFatale. He probably ''did'' commit the crimes in the film purposefully, but the story is altered by NeverMyFault.
* ''Film/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]]: "Here is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there's no real me, only an entity, something illusory."
* ''Film/MadDetective''. Bun claims that he can visualize people's inner personalities but it's never clear whether it's an example of his madness or a legit supernatural power.
* ''Film/SnakeEyes'' features several flashbacks narrated by several characters in an attempt to reconstruct a crime, and every flashback replays through a continuous, first-person point of view shot. One such flashback is completely untrue, as it is narrated by the (unbeknownst) criminal.
* Implied in ''Film/BunnyAndTheBull''. Stephen, the main character, is retelling the story of a road trip from his perspective- vital pieces of information are left out or glossed over, not to mention the fact that he sees hallucinations in his house but doesn't realise they are not real until the end of the movie, so by consequence, neither does the audience.
* ''Film/TheUsualSuspects''. Agent Kujan spends the course of the movie listening to Verbal tell his story, then rejects portions of it as lies. [[spoiler: The problem, of course, is that he rejects the WRONG portions.]]
* The premise of ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'' is that the story is told from four different points of view, ''all'' of which disagree, and ''all'' of which are unreliable, due to each character having a reputation to protect. The ending at least gives us the truth about [[spoiler:what happened to the dagger]], but with a very different motive than what the viewer might have assumed.
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' reveals in the end that the man who has been telling the story is in fact an inmate of an insane asylum, and the ''entire movie'' never happened; he just made it up based on the people around him.
* ''Film/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]].
* Nearly every joke in ''Film/TheMatingHabitsOfTheEarthboundHuman'' relies on the alien narrator misinterpreting human behavior.
* In ''Film/BladeOfVengeance'', the narrator is the female love interest. Her narratives are usually really weird. At the end of the movie, she's seen smoking opium, which explains a lot.
* An early example of this occurred in Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/StageFright'', which opens with a flashback narrated by one of the characters who is lying to another character to obtain their help.
* The plot of ''Film/{{Hero}}'' consists of the same story being retold three times with major differences: [[spoiler:Nameless' BS story he told so that he could get an audience with the Emperor and have a shot at assassinating him, the Emperor finally calling Nameless on his BS and telling what he thinks really happened, and Nameless finally admitting what REALLY happened just before he tries to kill the Emperor.]]
* In the Korean horror/suspense film ''Film/ATaleOfTwoSisters'', this trope only becomes apparent at the end. It starts out fairly normal, with two sisters returning home to their father and stepmother. It starts to get confusing, with the unexplained appearance of some wraith-like girl under the sink, various objects and people disappearing and reappearing without explanation, and all sorts of contradictory information. Eventually [[spoiler:the stepmother murders one of the girls, only it's revealed immediately after that it never happened. It turns out one of the girls was pretending to be both herself, her stepmother, and her sister. The sister who was supposedly murdered had died a long time ago in an accident, and the stepmother was simply the nurse taking care of the two when said accident happened, which the girl blames for her sister's death. [[GainaxEnding Are you]] [[MindScrew confused yet?]]]]
* ''Film/BigFish'' has an unusual take on the unreliable narrator, in that [[spoiler:the flashback stories are assumed to be pure fiction for most of the movie and the twist is that the father may actually be more reliable than was thought. The appearance of the twins, Giant, and Ringmaster at the father's funeral clearly leaves the son reeling as he reassesses his father's stories for where exactly they diverged from the truth. The reality is only slightly skewed from his stories, i.e., the Siamese twins are actually just regular twins from Siam, the giant is a 7'6" man, and so on.]]
* ''Film/TheFall'' plays some fun games with this trope. It is a film of two levels, stories within stories - a girl in a hospital listens to stories told by a bedridden man, and we see her visualisations of the stories he tells. However, they don't share identical internal dictionaries. One great example is that he talks about an Indian and his squaw, but the girl, who was friends with a Sikh, imagines a bearded subcontinental man in a turban. ''Film/TheFall'' also features a classic example of InUniverse CreatorBreakdown.
* ''Film/{{Memento}}''. Lenny may be ''trying'' to report accurately, but his grasp on the real past is, to put it mildly, highly questionable.
* Played straight, for laughs, and for drama in ''ForrestGump''. The [[InnocentInaccurate naive]] Forrest incorrectly describes events he witnesses through his life. Notable examples: He believes that Charlie was someone specific that the Army was looking for, as opposed to the code name for the Vietcong, and Apple computers was a fruit company, even though he made a fortune by investing in them on Lieutenant Dan's advice.
* The film ''Film/SecretWindow'', (based on Creator/StephenKing's novella ''Secret Window, Secret Garden''), which is narrated in third person) the narrator is stalked by a psychopath who accuses him of plagiarizing his book, and who attempts to frame him for several heinous crimes. In the climax, it is revealed that [[spoiler:the narrator has been driven to madness over his guilt for plagiarizing a classmate in college, and is unconsciously committing the acts for which he thinks he's being framed. The stalker does not exist outside his own mind (although the novella hedges a bit on this point).]]
* ''Film/MonsterAGoGo'' has the ultimate unreliable narrator. [[spoiler:Whaddaya mean there was no monster, beauzeau?]]
* ''Film/BubbaHoTep''. The stories Elvis and JFK share about themselves and how they ended up in a Texas nursing home are VERY speculative and unreliable.
* Jack Crabb (DustinHoffman), in ''Film/LittleBigMan'', is quite likely one of these. In the original novel by Thomas Berger, the historian who transcribes Crabb's narrative expresses the opinion that most of his supposed exploits are pure malarkey. There are hints, however, that the historian may ''himself'' be something of an unreliable narrator.
* While it didn't have an unreliable narrator itself, the 2007 ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' implies that the original poem is a false account of the events as told by Beowulf himself. His account of why he lost a swimming race is stated to be at the very least exaggerated, when his friend mutters that last time he heard the story, there were fewer sea monsters in it.
* The events of ''Film/TheNewGuy'' seem to strain the limits of WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. At various points throughout the movie (eg: immediately after the scene with [[{{Fanservice}} Danielle trying on swimsuits]]), however, the audience is [[LampshadeHanging reminded]] that we're seeing the story through the eyes of an arguably-insane convict.
* David Leigh (David Beard) in ''Film/TheLastBroadcast''. Even his narraton being a documentary doesn't help.
* In ''Film/HighTension'' (originally ''Haute Tension''), a French psychological thriller, Marie, a resourceful young woman is trying to save her best friend, Alexia, from an insane serial killer who murdered Alexia's family before kidnapping her. The twist: [[spoiler:Marie is the serial killer. The Killer is an alternate personality that Marie created in order to live out a disturbing fantasy: Alexia will fall in love with her savior and stay with Marie FOREVER.]]
* Matthew [=McConaughey=] in ''Film/{{Frailty}}''.
* The main story of ''Film/RoadTrip'' is told through the eyes of Barry, a campus tour guide who's [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} not playing with a full deck]]. As such, the story has some highly improbable elements. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when he is telling the part involving the girls' locker room.
* In ''Film/SwimmingPool'' the novelist protagonist spends most of the movie dealing with her publisher's daughter's bad habits [[spoiler:including murder]] but, at the end, we learn [[spoiler:that the publisher's daughter is a completely different girl, leaving us wondering who the girl was, and if she existed at all.]]
* In the musical film, ''Film/{{Grease}}'', Danny and Sandy sing about how they met each other during the summer holidays to their friends, unaware that they are both going to the same school. Sandy sings about how Danny was such a sweet guy and describes their romantic evening, whereas Danny shows off about making out with Sandy and saying that she was "good, if you know what I mean."
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'': Joel. A great portion of the film is told through Joel's memories of events he experienced with Clementine, but the unreliability of those memories is shown on at least two occasions. When Joel first arrives home the night of the erasure, his neighbor chats with him about Valentine's Day. This is then the first substantial memory about Clementine that gets erased. But while this event took place just a short while (maybe an hour at most) before the erasure, it is shown that Joel is already incorrectly remembering what his neighbor said to him. Other less obvious hints abound (e.g., Joel remembering childhood events while being adult in appearance). Taking the imperfection of human memory alongside whether Joel considered a given memory as enjoyable or upsetting, the audience ought to wonder if what they're viewing is what ''actually'' happened, or if Joel's memories are distorted, exaggerated, or embellished because of the passing of time and because of his emotional state at the time of the event.
* In the song "I Remember It Well" from ''Film/{{Gigi}}'', Maurice Chevalier's character claimed to remember a past meeting with Gigi's grandmother perfectly, only to be contradicted by her in every detail.
* ''Film/{{Flourish}}'' stars Jennifer Morrison as Gabrielle Winters, a tutor who is brought in for questioning in the death of her sixteen-year-old student, Lucy. She tells the entire story to the police officer questioning her, and when she finishes, the police officer asks her how she could have [[spoiler: spoken about events she wasn't present for. It's then revealed that Gabrielle is actually in a mental hospital, and the police officer is a psychiatrist. Prior to the story, Gabrielle was in a car accident that caused her brain trauma; as a result, she has frequent memory lapses and unconsciously fills them in with fictional details (sharp viewers will notice that one of the suspects in Gabrielle's story is played by the same actor as the man questioning her). Gabrielle overhears the psychiatrist talking with someone else and comes to the realization that she has made up nearly everything she said. However, the psychiatrist also notes that Gabrielle did correctly guess a lot of the details, leaving it up in the air how much of her story was actually true.]]
* ''Film/{{North}}'' seems to know that other parents use him as a reference as how their kids should act to be a perfect child. It also doesn't help that most of the movie about his exploits is all a dream. And despite stating he is intelligent, everyone aside from the middle class white American family are a bunch of jerks and racial stereotypes.
* ''Film/FearIsland'' is told through flashbacks during a police interview with the sole survivor of a teenage slaughter. It's not until the survivor's parents show up that [[spoiler:: the police realize the narrator was lying about which person she is and that she was actually the murderer all along ]].
* The plot of ''Film/HeLovesMeHeLovesMeNot''.
* The main issue in ''Film/EvesBayou'' hinges on the fact that two characters have very different memories of an event and another character reacts to the probably false version with fatal consequences. [[spoiler: Cisely admits near the end of the movie that she isn't sure what happened, long after she tells Eve that their father molested her. Eve then tries to kill her father, only finding out much later that he may not have done what he was accused of.]]
* Jack Harper from ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'' has no memory from before he began his current job - his OpeningNarration is entirely based on what Sally tells him (and Sally herself is an UnreliableExpositor). Even better, for the whole first act of the movie, Jack, Vicka and Sally are the only characters with lines.
* Suki, the protagonist of ''Film/TheScribbler'', is giving a statement to a GoodCopBadCop detective team regarding a series of suspicious suicides in her apartment complex. Because she's a former psychiatric patient recovering from SplitPersonality syndrome, the bad cop automatically thinks she's lying.
* Near the end of the film ''Film/JEdgar'', it is revealed by Clyde Tolson that a lot of the FBI investigations the audience sees as narrated by Hoover, exaggerate his actual involvement in the arrests.
* In ''Film/WhoAmI'', the interrogators (and by extension the audience) learn of the hero's backstory through narrated flashbacks. However, TheReveal exposes key points of his story to be false.
* ''Film/MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirl'' is narrated by Greg after the events of the film take place, and he states several times that [[spoiler:Rachel isn't going to die and it isn't a story about death. He's lying]].
* ''Film/TheWolverine'': There's definitely a whiff of this with regards to how Logan over-romanticizes his relationship with Jean Grey when she appears in his dreams/visions. In the first two X-Men movies, their interactions didn't really go beyond some flirting and a kiss (we're excluding his make-out session with [[SplitPersonality the Phoenix]]).
* In ''Film/WangDeShengYan'', much of the film is narrated by the aging emperor Gaozu, and revolves around the events that led to his rise to power. Later we get to see just how incomplete his version of events was, and how much help he had from those who are now serving under him. It is also implied that ancient historians and scribes are [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable narrators]], as they are forced to pass down the version of history that their masters want them to.
* ''Film/{{Underground}}'' has a brief joke in which expository text claims that Yugoslavian President Tito became so distraught by the disappearance of one of the main characters that he fell sick and died... [[BlatantLies 20 years later]].
[[/folder]]
7th Mar '16 5:46:04 AM Knight20
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* UnreliableNarrator/{{Film}}
* UnreliableNarrator/{{Literature}}
* UnreliableNarrator/LiveActionTV
* UnreliableNarrator/{{Music}}



[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Some members of the ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' {{Hatedom}} point out that a lot of events are communicated to the readers by having one character tell another, such that we get this information second or even third hand. This treatment is notably applied to Anthony's ex-wife, Therese - the audience sees very little of her, and almost everything we know about her is communicated by other characters when she's not present. As a result some question just how accurate the portrayal of Therese as an evil harpy really is.
** Elly is inclined to think of herself as a kind, reasonable, generous mother, and will paint herself as such in any retelling of events which involved her. Occasions when Elly has ''been'' any of those things, as a mother, as a wife, or just as a person in general, are few and far between.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''. Calvin's six year-old imagination has the tendency to run away with him, resulting in spectacular fantasy sequences featuring characters like [[ComicStrip/FlashGordon Spaceman Spiff]], [[{{Superman}} Stupendous Man]], and [[FilmNoir Tracer Bullet]]. Then, of course, there's Hobbes himself, Calvin's stuffed tiger to whom he attaches a personality. Hobbes is even drawn differently when other characters are in the panel, to reflect how they see him as just a toy. WordOfGod is deliberately mum on whether or not Hobbes is just a stuffed toy, or really somehow alive. And then there's the storyline where Hobbes ties Calvin to a chair and Calvin's dad finds him and can't for his life figure out how the heck Calvin has managed this...

to:

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
[[folder:Film]]
[[AC:Films -- Animated]]
* Some members ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. Syndrome's flashback to the moment when he lost faith in Mr. Incredible ("Go home, Buddy. I work alone.") is significantly different from the actual moment the audience saw, in order to demonstrate Syndrome's unreliable and skewed perspective on events.
* Played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}''. The GreekChorus of mariachi owls says the tale
of the ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' {{Hatedom}} titular character ends with him dying. He lives. When this is pointed out, they simply say he will ''eventually'' die...probably in a household accident.
* A truly bizarre example in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. The story itself is objective, but the narration accompanying it is biased towards Emperor Kuzco, since he ''is'' the narrator. At one point, while complaining about how everyone else is the problem, his on-screen self interrupts to remind him the audience saw what happened and knows that isn't true. He's literally arguing with himself over the reliability. Narrator-Kuzco falls silent and is never heard from again.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}''. When Red describes meeting the Wolf in the forest, she leaves out the part where she kicked his butt using karate before running away. We can safely assume Wolf's telling the truth about this, since there's a picture of her with a black belt on Granny's wall.
* A few fans believe this trope is the reason for the [[SeriesContinuityError inconsistencies]] of Disney/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf compared to the first two films.
* During the Bowler Hat Guy's flashback in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'', we see how badly he (aka [[spoiler: Goob]]) gave up on life after his baseball incident. At one point, we see him in school and despite his claims that "they all ''hated'' me," people were trying to be friends with him. Justified, as it also shows how twisted and antisocial he became since the incident.
* A 1969 cartoon by the National Film Board of Canada, titled "The National Film Board of Mars Presents: What On Earth?" is a pseudo-documentary in which the Martian filmmakers mistakenly believe automobiles are the dominant species of life on earth, and proceeds to describe their life span (they die in scrapyards), breeding habits (made in factories), feeding habits (gas stations) and minor parasites that infest them (people).
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForceColonMovieFilmForTheaters'': After the opening movie theater parody, the story supposedly begins millions of years ago, in 1492, at 3pm, in Egypt. Then a modern airplane flies by. It turns out this is a story Master Shake is telling Meatwad, and to make it worse, Meatwad is in the story. In fact, pretty much every character in this film is an Unreliable Narrator.

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Nymphomaniac}}'' can be said to have three main characters: Joe-the-protagonist, Joe-the-narrator, and Seligman-the-audience. While Joe and Joe are the same person, Joe-the-narrator hates Joe-the-protagonist with a passion. Seligman sometimes calls out Joe on her bullshit, but perhaps not often enough. Her story gives an accurate portrayal of her state of mind, but perhaps less so of her life.
* ''Film/TheKidStaysInThePicture''. Robert Evans acknowledges that the documentary is colored by his
point of view of the events in the film, with a title card stating:
-->"There are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently."
* The movie ''Film/SuckerPunch'' embodies this trope, since [[spoiler:almost all of the movie takes place just as the protagonist is having a lobotomy]]. Made all the more weird because we're not quite sure who the narrator is.
* ''Film/{{Detour}}''. It's implied that the main character Al Roberts is coloring events to make himself look sympathetic, and to make Vera seem more like a vicious FemmeFatale. He probably ''did'' commit the crimes in the film purposefully, but the story is altered by NeverMyFault.
* ''Film/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]]: "Here is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there's no real me, only an entity, something illusory."
* ''Film/MadDetective''. Bun claims that he can visualize people's inner personalities but it's never clear whether it's an example of his madness or a legit supernatural power.
* ''Film/SnakeEyes'' features several flashbacks narrated by several characters in an attempt to reconstruct a crime, and every flashback replays through a continuous, first-person point of view shot. One such flashback is completely untrue, as it is narrated by the (unbeknownst) criminal.
* Implied in ''Film/BunnyAndTheBull''. Stephen, the main character, is retelling the story of a road trip from his perspective- vital pieces of information are left
out or glossed over, not to mention the fact that he sees hallucinations in his house but doesn't realise they are not real until the end of the movie, so by consequence, neither does the audience.
* ''Film/TheUsualSuspects''. Agent Kujan spends the course of the movie listening to Verbal tell his story, then rejects portions of it as lies. [[spoiler: The problem, of course, is that he rejects the WRONG portions.]]
* The premise of ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'' is that the story is told from four different points of view, ''all'' of which disagree, and ''all'' of which are unreliable, due to each character having a reputation to protect. The ending at least gives us the truth about [[spoiler:what happened to the dagger]], but with a very different motive than what the viewer might have assumed.
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' reveals in the end that the man who has been telling the story is in fact an inmate of an insane asylum, and the ''entire movie'' never happened; he just made it up based on the people around him.
* ''Film/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]].
* Nearly every joke in ''Film/TheMatingHabitsOfTheEarthboundHuman'' relies on the alien narrator misinterpreting human behavior.
* In ''Film/BladeOfVengeance'', the narrator is the female love interest. Her narratives are usually really weird. At the end of the movie, she's seen smoking opium, which explains a lot.
* An early example of this occurred in Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/StageFright'', which opens with a flashback narrated by one of the characters who is lying to another character to obtain their help.
* The plot of ''Film/{{Hero}}'' consists of the same story being retold three times with major differences: [[spoiler:Nameless' BS story he told so that he could get an audience with the Emperor and have a shot at assassinating him, the Emperor finally calling Nameless on his BS and telling what he thinks really happened, and Nameless finally admitting what REALLY happened just before he tries to kill the Emperor.]]
* In the Korean horror/suspense film ''Film/ATaleOfTwoSisters'', this trope only becomes apparent at the end. It starts out fairly normal, with two sisters returning home to their father and stepmother. It starts to get confusing, with the unexplained appearance of some wraith-like girl under the sink, various objects and people disappearing and reappearing without explanation, and all sorts of contradictory information. Eventually [[spoiler:the stepmother murders one of the girls, only it's revealed immediately after that it never happened. It turns out one of the girls was pretending to be both herself, her stepmother, and her sister. The sister who was supposedly murdered had died a long time ago in an accident, and the stepmother was simply the nurse taking care of the two when said accident happened, which the girl blames for her sister's death. [[GainaxEnding Are you]] [[MindScrew confused yet?]]]]
* ''Film/BigFish'' has an unusual take on the unreliable narrator, in that [[spoiler:the flashback stories are assumed to be pure fiction for most of the movie and the twist is that the father may actually be more reliable than was thought. The appearance of the twins, Giant, and Ringmaster at the father's funeral clearly leaves the son reeling as he reassesses his father's stories for where exactly they diverged from the truth. The reality is only slightly skewed from his stories, i.e., the Siamese twins are actually just regular twins from Siam, the giant is a 7'6" man, and so on.]]
* ''Film/TheFall'' plays some fun games with this trope. It is a film of two levels, stories within stories - a girl in a hospital listens to stories told by a bedridden man, and we see her visualisations of the stories he tells. However, they don't share identical internal dictionaries. One great example is that he talks about an Indian and his squaw, but the girl, who was friends with a Sikh, imagines a bearded subcontinental man in a turban. ''Film/TheFall'' also features a classic example of InUniverse CreatorBreakdown.
* ''Film/{{Memento}}''. Lenny may be ''trying'' to report accurately, but his grasp on the real past is, to put it mildly, highly questionable.
* Played straight, for laughs, and for drama in ''ForrestGump''. The [[InnocentInaccurate naive]] Forrest incorrectly describes events he witnesses through his life. Notable examples: He believes that Charlie was someone specific that the Army was looking for, as opposed to the code name for the Vietcong, and Apple computers was a fruit company, even though he made a fortune by investing in them on Lieutenant Dan's advice.
* The film ''Film/SecretWindow'', (based on Creator/StephenKing's novella ''Secret Window, Secret Garden''), which is narrated in third person) the narrator is stalked by a psychopath who accuses him of plagiarizing his book, and who attempts to frame him for several heinous crimes. In the climax, it is revealed that [[spoiler:the narrator has been driven to madness over his guilt for plagiarizing a classmate in college, and is unconsciously committing the acts for which he thinks he's being framed. The stalker does not exist outside his own mind (although the novella hedges a bit on this point).]]
* ''Film/MonsterAGoGo'' has the ultimate unreliable narrator. [[spoiler:Whaddaya mean there was no monster, beauzeau?]]
* ''Film/BubbaHoTep''. The stories Elvis and JFK share about themselves and how they ended up in a Texas nursing home are VERY speculative and unreliable.
* Jack Crabb (DustinHoffman), in ''Film/LittleBigMan'', is quite likely one of these. In the original novel by Thomas Berger, the historian who transcribes Crabb's narrative expresses the opinion that most of his supposed exploits are pure malarkey. There are hints, however, that the historian may ''himself'' be something of an unreliable narrator.
* While it didn't have an unreliable narrator itself, the 2007 ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' implies that the original poem is a false account of the events as told by Beowulf himself. His account of why he lost a swimming race is stated to be at the very least exaggerated, when his friend mutters that last time he heard the story, there were fewer sea monsters in it.
* The events of ''Film/TheNewGuy'' seem to strain the limits of WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. At various points throughout the movie (eg: immediately after the scene with [[{{Fanservice}} Danielle trying on swimsuits]]), however, the audience is [[LampshadeHanging reminded]] that we're seeing the story through the eyes of an arguably-insane convict.
* David Leigh (David Beard) in ''Film/TheLastBroadcast''. Even his narraton being a documentary doesn't help.
* In ''Film/HighTension'' (originally ''Haute Tension''), a French psychological thriller, Marie, a resourceful young woman is trying to save her best friend, Alexia, from an insane serial killer who murdered Alexia's family before kidnapping her. The twist: [[spoiler:Marie is the serial killer. The Killer is an alternate personality that Marie created in order to live out a disturbing fantasy: Alexia will fall in love with her savior and stay with Marie FOREVER.]]
* Matthew [=McConaughey=] in ''Film/{{Frailty}}''.
* The main story of ''Film/RoadTrip'' is told through the eyes of Barry, a campus tour guide who's [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} not playing with a full deck]]. As such, the story has some highly improbable elements. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when he is telling the part involving the girls' locker room.
* In ''Film/SwimmingPool'' the novelist protagonist spends most of the movie dealing with her publisher's daughter's bad habits [[spoiler:including murder]] but, at the end, we learn [[spoiler:that the publisher's daughter is a completely different girl, leaving us wondering who the girl was, and if she existed at all.]]
* In the musical film, ''Film/{{Grease}}'', Danny and Sandy sing about how they met each other during the summer holidays to their friends, unaware that they are both going to the same school. Sandy sings about how Danny was such a sweet guy and describes their romantic evening, whereas Danny shows off about making out with Sandy and saying that she was "good, if you know what I mean."
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'': Joel. A great portion of the film is told through Joel's memories of events he experienced with Clementine, but the unreliability of those memories is shown on at least two occasions. When Joel first arrives home the night of the erasure, his neighbor chats with him about Valentine's Day. This is then the first substantial memory about Clementine that gets erased. But while this event took place just a short while (maybe an hour at most) before the erasure, it is shown that Joel is already incorrectly remembering what his neighbor said to him. Other less obvious hints abound (e.g., Joel remembering childhood events while being adult in appearance). Taking the imperfection of human memory alongside whether Joel considered a given memory as enjoyable or upsetting, the audience ought to wonder if what they're viewing is what ''actually'' happened, or if Joel's memories are distorted, exaggerated, or embellished because of the passing of time and because of his emotional state at the time of the event.
* In the song "I Remember It Well" from ''Film/{{Gigi}}'', Maurice Chevalier's character claimed to remember a past meeting with Gigi's grandmother perfectly, only to be contradicted by her in every detail.
* ''Film/{{Flourish}}'' stars Jennifer Morrison as Gabrielle Winters, a tutor who is brought in for questioning in the death of her sixteen-year-old student, Lucy. She tells the entire story to the police officer questioning her, and when she finishes, the police officer asks her how she could have [[spoiler: spoken about events she wasn't present for. It's then revealed that Gabrielle is actually in a mental hospital, and the police officer is a psychiatrist. Prior to the story, Gabrielle was in a car accident that caused her brain trauma; as a result, she has frequent memory lapses and unconsciously fills them in with fictional details (sharp viewers will notice that one of the suspects in Gabrielle's story is played by the same actor as the man questioning her). Gabrielle overhears the psychiatrist talking with someone else and comes to the realization that she has made up nearly everything she said. However, the psychiatrist also notes that Gabrielle did correctly guess a lot of the details, leaving it up in the air how much of her story was actually true.]]
* ''Film/{{North}}'' seems to know that other parents use him as a reference as how their kids should act to be a perfect child. It also doesn't help that most of the movie about his exploits is all a dream. And despite stating he is intelligent, everyone aside from the middle class white American family are a bunch of jerks and racial stereotypes.
* ''Film/FearIsland'' is told through flashbacks during a police interview with the sole survivor of a teenage slaughter. It's not until the survivor's parents show up that [[spoiler:: the police realize the narrator was lying about which person she is and that she was actually the murderer all along ]].
* The plot of ''Film/HeLovesMeHeLovesMeNot''.
* The main issue in ''Film/EvesBayou'' hinges on the fact that two characters have very different memories of an event and another character reacts to the probably false version with fatal consequences. [[spoiler: Cisely admits near the end of the movie that she isn't sure what happened, long after she tells Eve that their father molested her. Eve then tries to kill her father, only finding out much later that he may not have done what he was accused of.]]
* Jack Harper from ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'' has no memory from before he began his current job - his OpeningNarration is entirely based on what Sally tells him (and Sally herself is an UnreliableExpositor). Even better, for the whole first act of the movie, Jack, Vicka and Sally are the only characters with lines.
* Suki, the protagonist of ''Film/TheScribbler'', is giving a statement to a GoodCopBadCop detective team regarding a series of suspicious suicides in her apartment complex. Because she's a former psychiatric patient recovering from SplitPersonality syndrome, the bad cop automatically thinks she's lying.
* Near the end of the film ''Film/JEdgar'', it is revealed by Clyde Tolson
that a lot of events are communicated to the readers by having one character tell another, such that we get this information second or even third hand. This treatment is notably applied to Anthony's ex-wife, Therese - FBI investigations the audience sees very little as narrated by Hoover, exaggerate his actual involvement in the arrests.
* In ''Film/WhoAmI'', the interrogators (and by extension the audience) learn
of her, the hero's backstory through narrated flashbacks. However, TheReveal exposes key points of his story to be false.
* ''Film/MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirl'' is narrated by Greg after the events of the film take place,
and almost everything we know he states several times that [[spoiler:Rachel isn't going to die and it isn't a story about her death. He's lying]].
* ''Film/TheWolverine'': There's definitely a whiff of this with regards to how Logan over-romanticizes his relationship with Jean Grey when she appears in his dreams/visions. In the first two X-Men movies, their interactions didn't really go beyond some flirting and a kiss (we're excluding his make-out session with [[SplitPersonality the Phoenix]]).
* In ''Film/WangDeShengYan'', much of the film
is communicated narrated by other the aging emperor Gaozu, and revolves around the events that led to his rise to power. Later we get to see just how incomplete his version of events was, and how much help he had from those who are now serving under him. It is also implied that ancient historians and scribes are [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable narrators]], as they are forced to pass down the version of history that their masters want them to.
* ''Film/{{Underground}}'' has a brief joke in which expository text claims that Yugoslavian President Tito became so distraught by the disappearance of one of the main
characters when she's not present. As a result some question just how accurate the portrayal of Therese as an evil harpy really is.
** Elly is inclined to think of herself as a kind, reasonable, generous mother,
that he fell sick and will paint herself as such in any retelling of events which involved her. Occasions when Elly has ''been'' any of those things, as a mother, as a wife, or just as a person in general, are few and far between.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''. Calvin's six year-old imagination has the tendency to run away with him, resulting in spectacular fantasy sequences featuring characters like [[ComicStrip/FlashGordon Spaceman Spiff]], [[{{Superman}} Stupendous Man]], and [[FilmNoir Tracer Bullet]]. Then, of course, there's Hobbes himself, Calvin's stuffed tiger to whom he attaches a personality. Hobbes is even drawn differently when other characters are in the panel, to reflect how they see him as just a toy. WordOfGod is deliberately mum on whether or not Hobbes is just a stuffed toy, or really somehow alive. And then there's the storyline where Hobbes ties Calvin to a chair and Calvin's dad finds him and can't for his life figure out how the heck Calvin has managed this...
died... [[BlatantLies 20 years later]].



[[folder:Radio]]
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audio ''And The Pirates'' is told by Evelyn and the Doctor. Evelyn gets many of the facts wrong and is caught making up names on the spot, such as "John Johnson" and "Tom Thompson". She even initially says the Doctor died mere minutes after saying he'll be around to tell more of the story. Parts are told out of order, and all the sailors have the same voice because she can't impersonate them well. The Doctor's version of events is much more accurate but suspiciously full of characters complimenting his unorthodox wardrobe.
** The Companion Chronicles audio ''[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS6E3TheMemoryCheats The Memory Cheats]]'' is told first person by Zoe to a Company psychologist, as they try to unlock her memories of traveling the Doctor (wiped by the Time Lords at the end of "The War Games"). At the end, [[spoiler: she reveals she made it all up based on information the psychologist gave her, the one time she did meet the Doctor, and her dreams. But she can't explain why there's a photo of her from 1919. Not only are we left not knowing how much of the story is true, so is Zoe herself.]]
** Used to a lesser extent in the previous story in the arc, "[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS5E2EchoesOfGrey Echoes of Grey]]." [[spoiler:The parts that Zoe narrates are accurate. The parts narrated by Ali are lies; she was never there.]]
* Dickensian parody ''Radio/BleakExpectations'' uses this in the framing story for laughs:
-->"We swore we would escape the school, or die in the attempt."
-->"And what happened?"
-->"We died in the attempt."
-->"Oh, how awful!"
-->"Of course not, you blundering idiot! How would I be talking to you now?"
* Occasionally used for humorous effect in the introductory narration on radio episodes of ''Radio/OurMissBrooks''. Cue a correction from DeadpanSnarker Miss Brooks.

to:

[[folder:Radio]]
[[folder:Literature]]
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audio ''And The Pirates'' is ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': In one of her letters, Beatrice claims that the stories the Baudelaires told by Evelyn her of their troubles in some cases differ wildly from Lemony's accounts. Lemony himself admits that some parts of the story he basically made up, due to lack of witnesses and trace evidence, but there are a few moments when he appears to be deceiving the reader or else not being quite truthful. For instance, he claims on separate occasions that the sugar bowl and the Doctor. Evelyn gets many Snicket fires both contain evidence that will clear his name, when testimony from other characters suggests that there is nothing of the facts wrong kind. Then there's the timeline. During ''The Slippery Slope'' Lemony writes a letter in the novel to his sister (Kit) asking for her to meet him at the Hotel Denouement. Presumably, this is the same day where the Baudelaires are supposed to arrive there, detailed in ''The Penultimate Peril'', and a character strongly suggested to be Lemony does indeed make an appearance. The problem is that said date occurs ''less than a week'' from the events in ''The Slippery Slope.'' Not only does that indicate that Lemony is less than a week behind the Baudelaires in tracking them--directly contradicted by previous statements that suggest at least some years have gone by--but that he also expects his book to be published and read by Kit in a week. But he certainly can't be asking Kit to meet him after the events of ''The Penultimate Peril'' because the Baudelaires burn down the hotel in that book's climax. Very, very odd.
* Duff, the main character in ''Literature/HowToSurviveAZombieApocalypse'', is a narcissist, has an ego the size of the moon
and is caught making up names on convinced she is smarter than the spot, such as "John Johnson" whole Squad combined. Sometimes. She also has a penchant to exaggerate things and "Tom Thompson". She even initially is rather biased, resulting in a rather peculiar... perception of the whole story.
* Most of the characters in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', especially early on, aren't capable of recognizing their own character flaws, and their narration is reflective of this. Furthermore, sometimes the kids just straight-up lie about things - see LiteraryAgentHypothesis. For instance, in ''The David trilogy'', Jake
says it's been a couple months since Elfangor's crash. Dialogue, however, hints that the Doctor died mere minutes story arc takes place much later, and it's confirmed late in the series that the David trilogy takes place maybe two years after saying he'll the crash.
** It is stated a few times in the early books that the characters are intentionally leaving out certain key details (like not revealing their own last names) just in case the reader happens to
be around one of the enemy Yeerks.
* If one is familiar with the events of ''Series/ImAlanPartridge'' (and
to tell more a lesser extent the other Alanified series), the hideous unreliability of Alan as narrator in his predictably self-serving autobiography ''Literature/IPartridgeWeNeedToTalkAboutAlan'' is glaringly and hilariously obvious. Instances of Alan's cowardice, selfishness, incompetence, unpopularity, borderline sociopathy and general loathsome inadequacy as a human being are turned by Alan into tales of towering heroism. Alan's in "reality" humiliating encounter with Tony Hayers in the BBC restaurant is somehow turned into a moral victory for Alan, and his encounter with stalker Jed Maxwell becomes a surreal, OTT Bond-esque fight scene with a well-muscled Alan beating Jed to a squealing pulp (instead of, as "actually" happened, Alan being physically humiliated, somehow sweet-talking his way outside and then fleeing in terror).
* ''The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs'' is a PerspectiveFlip on ''Literature/TheThreeLittlePigs''. The Wolf details how every instance was a mistake or misunderstanding. Still, the pictures with the text -- and the Wolf's shifty tone -- can lead even a small child to doubt the veracity of his claims that he is the victim. Specifically, there's the fact that he just "had" to eat the pigs when unfortunate (and completely not his fault) events killed them because "why waste them?" Granted, the Wolf is telling his side
of the story. Parts are It is possible that the more traditional story was the lie.
* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' by Patrick Rothfuss is written largely as a flashback
told out of order, and all in the sailors have the same voice because she can't impersonate them well. The Doctor's version of events is much more accurate but suspiciously full of characters complimenting his unorthodox wardrobe.
** The Companion Chronicles audio ''[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS6E3TheMemoryCheats The Memory Cheats]]'' is told first person by Zoe to a Company psychologist, as they try to unlock her memories of traveling the Doctor (wiped
first-person perspective by the Time Lords at main character, Kvothe, and there are hints that it's not wholly reliable. One of Kvothe's companions remarks that a certain woman who shows up frequently in the end of "The War Games"). At story (and is the end, object of Kvothe's affection) wasn't as beautiful as described, among others. He actually says a character won't shows up, but uses ExactWords to lie. Further, he's just wrong from time to time. Because the narrative's descriptions of people are his own, he'll say things the audience later realizes are obviously untrue--such as when he describes his LoveInterest as "naive" or "innocent"...
* Creator/AgathaChristie:
** ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone'': at one point, the actual murderer,
[[spoiler: she Judge Wargrave]], is described as being surprised when the person who wrote the letter inviting them to Indian Island isn't at the island to greet them -- and the narrator's little peek into the character's thoughts reveals she made it all up based on information (or seems to reveal) that the psychologist gave character's surprise is ''genuine''. (Since this books uses a third-person omniscient narration, this might be a case of LyingCreator, but no one knows if it was deliberate or accidental on Christie's part.)
** ''Endless Night'' - Michael talks about meeting the love of his life, a rich heiress, marrying
her, the one time she did meet the Doctor, and fighting with her dreams. But she can't explain why there's a photo of her from 1919. Not best friend, building their dream house, only are we left not knowing how much for her to die mysteriously... [[spoiler: and then you find out that all of that was a lie, because ''he's'' the story murderer and his true love is true, so is Zoe herself.the best friend, who he's known since before the story.]]
** Used to a lesser extent in ''Literature/TheMurderOfRogerAckroyd'': Something of an aversion, since the previous narrator never actually ''lies'' -- but deceive, oh my yes.
* In ''Literature/TheExorcist'' by William Blatty, a young girl seems possessed by a presence who claims to be the Devil himself. Various developments point more toward a demon called Pazzuzu, but the main and central premise of the novel is that we NEVER fully get proof that there is ANY foreign entity sharing the mind of the young girl. It could all be explained away as (admittedly paranormal) activity originating ONLY from the girl's mind. This horrible doubt is perhaps the central theme of this very powerful and disturbing
story in the arc, "[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS5E2EchoesOfGrey Echoes of Grey]]." [[spoiler:The parts - that Zoe narrates the hellish narrator inside Reagan... is only Reagan herself. From there, we are accurate. The parts forced to ask (along with the main character) do demons really exist? Hell? God?
* ''Literature/BlackLegion'' is
narrated by Ali [[BigBad Abaddon]]'s lieutenant, Khayon. While he claims that he's completely honest in his account, the Inquisition doesn't really believe him and they may be right, considering his background.
* ''Literature/FightClub'' has the unnamed narrator who turns out to [[spoiler:have a SplitPersonality disorder and is also Tyler Durden]]. He doesn't realize he's unreliable until two thirds of the way through the book - and when he finds out and tries to convince everybody else, [[CassandraTruth no one believes him]].
* In ''Literature/TheMothDiaries'', the entire story revolves around the unnamed narrator not being reliable. You get to work it out for yourself, because you don't actually find out whether Ernessa is [[spoiler:a vampire or not]]. There
are lies; she also some very interesting deaths in the plot, and it's fun to work out whether they happened and how much of it was never there.psychosis.
* ''Literature/DamnatioMemoriae'' by Laura Marcelle Giebfried has Enim Lund narrating. Not only is it difficult to know if he's being entirely truthful because he's known to feel guilty about certain events involving his mother (and thus he 'remembers' them different ways), but [[spoiler:he is also diagnosed with schizophrenia at the end of the first novel]] making it difficult to know what really happened and what didn't. Still, the author makes it unclear as to whether he really is unreliable, or if he's [[CassandraTruth reliable and no one believes him]].
* In ''Literature/{{Illuminatus}}'', the narrator's identity is kept secret throughout most of the series as it meanders back and forth through time, through the viewpoints of various characters, some of whom do not actually exist, and through a web of hallucination, myth, and deception.
* [[Creator/RobertAntonWilson R.A. Wilson's]] novel ''The Masks of Illuminati'' gives a human narrator, Sir John Babcock, who is fairly reliable, albeit emotionally loaded when it comes to his own experiences, but he keeps narrating events that he didn't personally witness without a hint of suspicion or doubt despite of how incredible they are. [[spoiler:Most of them aren't even remotely true.
]]
* Dickensian parody ''Radio/BleakExpectations'' uses [[Creator/GeoffreyChaucer Chaucer]] used this technique in ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'' (the "Merchant's Tale", and, to a subtler extent, the General Prologue).
* The children's book ''Literature/TheStinkyCheeseMan and Other Fairly Stupid Tales'' combines an unreliable narrator with NoFourthWall: First, Jack the Narrator spoils the ending of "Little Red Running Shorts", prompting the characters from that story to quit in disgust. Then, Jack's narration of his own story, "Jack's Bean Problem" is immediately interrupted by the premature arrival of the Giant. When the Giant threatens to eat Jack if he can't tell a better story, Jack launches into a recursive story in which the Giant threatens to eat him if he can't tell a better story, so Jack launches into a recursive story in which the Giant threatens to eat him if he can't tell a better story. The giant also says that even if Jack tells a better story, he'll still eat him anyway (ho, ho, ho), leading to the looping story.
* This is the main trope of the BaronMunchausen stories, both
in the framing original 18th century novel or in any of the various later pastiches. The Creator/TerryGilliam film ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'' has the final twist that some of the outlandish things he claims are, apparently, true - or at the very least, the Turkish army ''did'' lift the siege of Vienna for some unknown reason connected to the Baron, which is good enough for the crowds who had been listening to him.
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe practically invented this trope, at least in western literature:
** In "Literature/TheCaskOfAmontillado", the narrator claims that he is getting revenge on his nemesis Fortunato for a monstrous insult. However, Fortunato seems to trust the narrator and thinks that they're friends. The narrator never specifies exactly what Fortunato did to him, leaving the question of Fortunato's exact fault (or even the existence thereof) open.
** "The Tell-Tale Heart", which has the narrator, who insists at the very beginning that he is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not mad]], murdering a man and putting him under the floorboards but giving himself away because he imagines his victim's heart is still beating. This
story for laughs:
-->"We swore we would escape
is often used to introduce students to the school, concept of unreliable narrators in general.
** "Ligeia," in which the narrator admits that he is under the influence of "an immoderate dose of opium," leaving the reader to wonder if the events of the story are really happening
or die if they're simply being hallucinated by the narrator.
** The eponymous narrator of "William Wilson" has been oft suggested by literary critics to be insane, or at least suffering from multiple personality disorder and severe schizophrenia.
* Creator/DanielDefoe's fictional memoir ''Literature/MollFlanders'' is an early case of a narrator who is unreliable on more than one plane. Superficially, Moll puts herself
in the attempt.best possible light no matter what, either by glossing over the enormousness of her crimes or by blaming the victims, but her story is also logically inconsistent and ahistorical. She leaves her purportedly well-loved children in Colchester in the 1640s - in other words, in a war zone - to traipse off to America on a whim. Her "older brother", with whom she inadvertently commits incest and has a child, must be younger than her if her mother's story is true. Despite living in London in the 1660s, she does not recall the Plague, the Dutch invasion, or the Great Fire.
* ''Literature/FannyHill'' also features an unreliable narrator. Fanny's description of prostitution is wildly unrealistic even for the 18th century. Some also see her ConvenientMiscarriage as a lie told to cover a Convenient Abortion, as Fanny had been recently deserted by her patron and was broke, owed an astronomical sum to her landlady (an abortionist), and had no way to earn money outside of prostitution - impossible while pregnant in the 1740s. Keep in mind, though, that Cleland wrote ''Fanny Hill'' so he could pay his way out of debtor's prison, and he may have written the story based on unrealistic and melodramatic "life stories" told to him by the prostitutes he met in prison which he wasn't experienced enough to see through. In other words, Fanny may have been unreliable despite the writer's intentions, not because of them.
* ''Literature/{{Transition}}'' by Creator/IainBanks starts like this:
--> "Apparently I am what is known as an Unreliable Narrator, though of course if you believe everything you're told you deserve whatever you get.
"
-->"And ** ''Literature/ThePlayerOfGames'' by Iain M. Banks ends like this:
-->[[spoiler:''This is a true story. I was there. When I wasn't, and when I didn't know exactly
what happened?"
-->"We died
was going on -- inside Gurgeh's mind, for example -- I admit that I have not hesitated to make it up. But it's still a true story. Would I lie to you?'']]
* ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'' is mostly narrated by one protagonist, David, and the majority of the book involves David recounting unlikely supernatural adventures to a reporter. A small part of the book (involving important events that the narrator didn't witness firsthand) is instead told by David's best friend, John, and this portion has a suspiciously high occurrence of backflips, as well as a chase scene that John resolves by "stealing a nearby horse". As David points out early on, "If you know John, you'll take the details for what they're worth. Please also remember that, where John claims to have 'gotten up at three-thirty' to perform this investigation, it was far more likely he was still up and somewhat drunk from the night before." David himself even admits that his version of events is only "mostly true." And let's not forget, [[spoiler:The title is a bald-faced lie.]]
-->I did it according to this equation:
-->@@l = E × ∞ @@
-->Which can be translated as "One small lie saves an infinite amount of explanation." I use it all the time. I've used it on you already.
* ''Literature/{{This Book is Full of Spiders}}'' ends with Lance Falconer providing Dave with some extra material for the book Amy is writing in exchange for a cut of the profits, on condition that the book's account of Lance is a cool, handsome, {{badass}} {{action hero}} who owns a Porsche.
* ''Literature/AnInstanceOfTheFingerpost'' has several narrators, all of whom are various varieties of unreliable narrator. One is insane, one is a xenophobe who imputes his own nasty motives on to others, one is relatively accurate except where his own identity is concerned, and one is actually a nice guy, but whose perceptions are shaped by the prejudices of the time.
* Agota Kristof's first [[Literature/TheBookOfLies Trilogy]] (''The Notebook'', ''The Proof'', and ''The Third Lie'') rides this trope like a pogo stick on your spine. It is really an artform the way each of the twins can lie. Even
in the attempt.first book where they set in conditions that would make it impossible for them to be untruthful about anything they write in the notebook, they still manage to dupe everyone around them - and the reader - more times than could ever be counted. By the end of the third book, it ultimately becomes impossible to tell what about what actually happened due to the web of lies that both Lucas and Claus managed to weave.
* Daniel Handler's ''Literature/TheBasicEight'' is told as the recovered journal of Flannery Culp, a girl in jail for the murder of a classmate... as being edited by the same girl for publication. This, coupled with the "poor me" attitude she expresses in the intro, forces the reader to be constantly second-guessing her, noting things that she may be altering to make herself look better. At one point, she believes the killer to be a third party... who turns out to be her imaginary friend. This also means that another character has been present for nearly the entire book, but Flan never saw her.
* Creator/VladimirNabokov's ''Literature/{{Lolita}}'' uses this narrative device after the John Ray, Jr.-penned prologue; Humbert's unreliability calls into question the major plot elements of the text - does he ''really'' miss Annabel Leigh, or is it just a pedophilia justification? Even so, should his (probable) love for Leigh excuse his horrific actions? Does he really love and care for Dolores, or is she just an object to him? (Note the nickname, "Dolly".) We could go on and on. Entire theses have been written about this.
* Another one of Nabokov's novels, ''Literature/PaleFire,'' deals with an unreliable narrator in Charles Kinbote. But in Kinbote's case, he is not only narrating multiple stories, he is also interpreting (and ''mis''interpreting) the poem of fellow university professor John Shade. But the above is only true if you assume that John Shade is a real person and that he wrote the poem in the novel. Or if you assume that Kinbote is who he says/thinks he is. You might want to also double-check who has claimed to write what part of the novel. It's safe to say that Nabokov loved this trope.
* In ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' by Jonathan Stroud, much of the eponymous djinni's dry wit is based on his (probably intentionally) transparent attempts to cast himself in a favorable light in the chapters he narrates. This includes frequent (and often ironic) references to his own legendary power and cunning, and constant [[HistoricalInJoke name-dropping]] of his past masters (Ptolemy, notably, but also Solomon, Tycho Brahe, Nefertiti, Gilgamesh, etc. etc.) This is all the more obvious since the chapters narrated by Bartimaeus are alternated with chapters of third person narrative focused on the [=POVs=] of the other two protagonists, Nathaniel and Kitty, often covering the same events from their perspectives.
** Especially noticeable on the occasion in the first book in which the events are being told from Bartimaeus's perspective, and he calmly tells Nathaniel to "Just watch and listen." The narrative immediately switches to Nathaniel's (third person) perspective, in which he says "Just shut up and watch!"
--> '''Bartimaeus:''' Faquarl wasn't a sly old equivocator like Tchue; he prided himself on blunt speaking. Mind you, he did have a weakness for boasting. If you believed all his stories, you'd have thought him responsible for most of the world's major landmarks as well as being adviser and confidant to all the notable magicians. This, [[HypocrisyNod as I once remarked to Solomon]], was quite a ridiculous claim.
** In an interesting twist - the above turns out to be ''true'' in "The Ring of Solomon". Go figure.
* Several times, Greg seems to be treated as a ButtMonkey in ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid''. However; numerous times, he's actually being a bit of a JerkAss himself. This is one of the examples in which the unreliable narrator is actually played for laughs.
* The TwistEnding of ''Literature/LifeOfPi'' plays with this trope: [[spoiler:At the end of the novel, the narrator offers an alternate (and far more disturbing) version of the events thus far, and tells the audience to choose which story they want to believe.]]
* ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves'': Some confusion comes from [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis multiple literary agents]], but when you have at least one instance of one of the literary agents messing around with what another literary agent tells you, it goes beyond confusing. One of the narrators, in fact, [[spoiler:admits to making up the events of one chapter entirely, and then ''laughs at you for believing him.'']]
* Reams of paper have been written on the narrative technique used in ''Literature/TheBrothersKaramazov'', which ostensibly makes the narrator out to be a resident of the town, even placing him physically at certain events. It's clear, however, that he knows more than an observer could possibly know, and there are disturbing stretches of the narrative in which the narrator is completely absent, dissolved into the perspective of the characters. This becomes a problem when one character starts [[TheDevil speaking with things that probably aren't there]], and the critical reader will start to wonder about other times this character supposedly heard things. The real kicker though? The points at which the narrator's reliability are questioned are ''[[MindScrew pivotal moments in the book]]'', moments that affect your understanding of everything that has happened up till then.
* Similarly in ''Demons'', though in that novel, the narrator is more explicitly party to its events. He has a name (Anton Lavrentievich [=G-----v=], and he is explicitly addressed by a few characters throughout the text), describes himself as a good friend of Stepan Trofimovich Verkhonvensky (one of the central characters), and acknowledges that he used the spectacular events that ensue as the basis for this, his "first novel." Nevertheless, lots of things are described for which he could not possibly have been present (which he [[HandWave handwaves]] as having been fictionalized from the characters' accounts, related to him later), and especially the unspoken thoughts and inner motivations of several characters strain the bounds of the WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief.
* Oswald Bastable, or at least Creator/ENesbit's version of him.
* ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''. The story is told by Chief Bromden, who is schizophrenic. While the story is supposed to be true, he adds in plenty of insane, paranoid delusions. On the other hand, any student of American History with an understanding of the issues involved in the history of the Plains Indian tribes can see just how accurate the alleged delusions of Chief Bromden are.
---> But it's the truth even if it didn't happen.
* The author, Ken Kesey, played with this idea further in his second novel, ''Sometimes a Great Notion'', which is narrated at various points by at least a half-dozen different people. Each different person sheds new light on (or changes the facts in) previously shared events [[RashomonStyle in a way which reflects their own views and interests]], shifting the reader's sympathies in various conflicts several times.
* Creator/HenryJames's novella ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'': Are the ghosts real or simply the narrator's imagination?
* Robert Pirsig's novel ''Literature/ZenAndTheArtOfMotorcycleMaintenance'' deals, partly, with the unnamed narrator's attempt to stave off the re-emergence of his former "insane" personality, nicknamed "Phaedrus," and thereby protect his young son from sinking into madness himself. However, in the end, he realizes that "Phaedrus" is in fact the saner and more authentic personality, whereas his "normal" self is a facade which has in fact ''caused'' his son's mental problems. When he embraces and integrates his Phaedrus-self, father and son are healed and reconciled.
* In ''Literature/TheEyesOfMyPrincess'' by Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez, you are led to believe that the book is a about a love story that ended in the death of the protagonist's girlfriend. But then, almost at the end, you find out that nothing that happen after a specific event was real. The protagonist wrote fake entries into his diary, because he was disappointed about his crush's real personality.
* Creator/GeneWolfe is the undisputed master of this trope. If one of his novels is narrated in the first person it is guaranteed to contain incomplete, inaccurate or just missing information that the reader will have to figure out in order to make sense of the story.
** In ''Literature/BookOfTheShortSun'', there's one point where the narrator throws himself on the mercy of the reader for having lied to them, then proceeds to retell a completely different version of the events of the previous chapter. Just in case you hadn't figured out yet what was going on.
** His ''Literature/SoldierOfTheMist'' gives us Latro, a Roman mercenary who receives a head injury that completely destroys his short term memory beyond a 10-12 hour window. So the book consists of his adventures where he is constantly re-introducing himself to certain characters, some of whom try to take advantage of his disability. On the flip side, Latro can see and interact with the spirit world, so he often runs into gods and mythical creatures.
** The polar opposite is Severian, from the'' Book of the New Sun''. He claims to have perfect recollection his entire life. Careful reading will lead the reader to conclude he either does not, or he is purposely trying to mislead the reader, but keeps contradicting himself.
*** Severian is perhaps the least reliable narrator ever; unreliable because (by his own claim) he is unsure whether he was merely a man doing a necessary job well or a violent sadist, whether he was a rapist or a genuine lover [[spoiler: (he should know this by the end, because he has a copy of her personality, memories and thoughts in his head for most of the book)]] and/or whether he was, basically, the second coming of Jesus or not. [[spoiler: The unintentional time-travel incest and meeting between three and five other versions of himself can't help.]]
*** An often overlooked aspect of Severian's unreliability is that while his head is full of details, he is not really smart enough to join the dots and understand their significance. There are [[ShoutOut pointers in the book to the author Borges]] (Ultan and the Library). Borges' own character Funes the Memorious likewise has a head so full that he cannot think in abstractions.
** ''The Fifth Head of Cerberus'' uses this in several forms. The narrator in the eponymous first story spends quite some time in a fugue state resulting in ever-longer growing memory gaps, some of them several months long. The second story is narrated by John Marsch, a character in the first and third stories, who claims to have heard the story from another character (V. R. T.) who might have very good reasons to lie to him. The third story is from John Marschs diary and ties in with the other two stories, but has some inconsistencies that cast serious doubts on the reliability of Marsch as a narrator. A recurring theme in all three stories is the nature of identity (both cultural and personal), and the narrative inconsistencies play a big role in figuring out the overarching mystery.
** "Seven American Nights" may be the height of this trope in Wolfe's oeuvre. First, the author of the travelogue that makes up the story states at one point that he altered the text for fear of it being read by the American secret police. Second, the author placed some hallucinogen into a candy egg, then mixed up the eggs so he wouldn't know which one was the real one. Then he ate a single egg every night. That means that at least one of his nights of experiences could have been a hallucination. And one of the eggs got stolen, so it was ''also'' possible the none of the nights were a hallucination. Finally, at the end of the story, [[spoiler: the author of the travelogue's mother, who had been the one reading it (along with his fiancee), calls into question the veracity of the handwriting. So it's possible the entire thing is a forgery, or at the very least important parts.]]
** Alden Dennis Weer from ''Peace'' is another very unreliable narrator, even if at first he seems to be just an old man telling stories about his childhood and youth - and who could blame him if he gets them wrong? That is, until the reader starts to realise how many people around him have a tendency to die or mysteriously disappear.
* Likewise Creator/MichaelMoorcock's ''Colonel Pyat'' series.
* Likewise, the works of Jim Thompson. ''A Hell of a Woman'' is a prime example, wherein the main character's personality splits halfway through the tale and begins telling the story in parallel paths, one an idealistic version of what happened and the other, presumably, the real story.
* In ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' novels, set in the ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40K'' universe, the story is told from the point of view of Ciaphas Cain - and annotated by the Inquisitor, Amberley Vail, who constantly reminds the reader in her footnotes that Ciaphas is an habitual liar, and there are too many holes that can't be backed up by other sources for this story to be taken at face value. There's also some unreliability in the way Cain downplays all of his acts of heroism, saying that they were all just to protect his own skin or his reputation, but Amberly steps in every once in a while to point out that Cain gives himself far too little credit. Creator/SandyMitchell [[ShrugOfGod has stated that he doesn't know]] if Cain is the [[AFatherToHisMen kind-hearted]] DirtyCoward with (very) enlightened self-interest he claims to be, or a [[CowardlyLion genuine hero with an inferiority complex]].
** An interesting case where this is a ''minor plot point'' is the fact that Cain is predominantly concerned with things that happened directly to him. This results in [[FootnoteFever Inquisitor/Editor-In-Chief Amberly Vail]] having to consult other people's memoirs to fill in {{Plot Hole}}s, and, as she notes, they tend to have their own problems too. For instance, Jenit Sulla was serving in the the Valhallan 597th (the unit Cain was most often attached to) and is the best secondary record of his actions, but writes in bombastic PurpleProse and portrays Cain as the mighty world-bestriding hero everyone believes him to be, and a book named ''Purge the Unclean!'' provides a good overview on the setting and wider conflict in ''For The Emperor'', but the author blames absolutely everything on a conspiracy of rogue traders. And for ''extra'' fun, the character editing the books has a tendency to cut out the bits that don't make her, the editor, look good. Which includes (probably) sleeping with the self-confessed coward.
* The ''Literature/DuneEncyclopedia'' about the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' series is a big example of this. It is framed as an Encyclopedia within the ''Dune'' universe, purportedly 5,000 years after the events of the first novel and after the historical record has been greatly altered or lost. Several of the entries either contradict or give a different perspective on the events of the novels. It is up to the reader to determine what account, if any, "really" happened. Particularly interesting is the brief chronological timeline linking "our" time to the setting in ''Dune''. The fictional authors of the Encyclopedia have an idea of what happened in their "distant past" ... but it's [[FutureImperfect heavily filtered]] through the experience of thousands of years of living in a feudal system of government. World War 2, for example, is referred to as a "commercial dispute between House Washington and House Tokyo" within a British Empire that supposedly ruled almost the entire world.
* In ''Literature/WutheringHeights'', there are two main narrators. Mr Lockwood who is telling us the story, and Ellen Dean who is telling him about Heathcliff. Lockwood is shown very early on to be unreliable as he describes Heathcliff as a "capital fellow", only to later learn that that is really not the case. Ellen 'Nelly' Dean herself is full of biased opinions, and is very judgemental of most of the other characters. Since pretty much every revelation in the book is made whilst Nelly is telling Lockwood the history of the Heights, it is a possibility that she just made the whole thing up. She is also unreliable as a character, as she happily spills all of the people who confided in her's personal details and secrets to a complete stranger with little hesitation.
* Matthew Kneale's ''English Passengers'' is told from the perspective of at least a dozen different narrators. All of their accounts are of varying degrees of reliability, and many are clearly carefully editing or embellishing their stories to make themselves look better or to support their own prejudices.
* Elizabeth Peters uses a mild version of this in the Literature/AmeliaPeabody novels as a form of wry humor. The books are primarily in the first person, and purport to be journal entries. Mild comic irony is created through what the narrator leaves out, misinterprets, plays down, or is clearly deluding herself on.
* ''Literature/{{Atonement}}'': the story seems to end beautifully with the wronged protagonists united idyllically. It is then revealed that the story read so far is written by another character, Briony, who changes the ending to try and ''atone'' for wrong she wreaked on the protagonists who really die lonely and apart.
* Brilliantly done in ''[[Literature/FactionParadox Dead Romance]]'', by Lawrence Miles. The [[FirstPersonSmartass Narrator]] freely admits she has a serious drug problem, and even [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] when she takes a time out from describing an alien invasion to muse on the possibility that she's on the worst acid trip of her life.
-->"Maybe this whole book's just a list of the states of mind I was in when I wrote it, like a catalogue of all the things I've been putting into my system. Paranoia for cocaine. Multicoloured planets for acid. I'll be relaxed again soon, so you'll think I'm writing it on dope.
"
-->"Oh, how awful!"
-->"Of
* Done in ''Literature/TalesOfMU'':
** Where the narrator Mackenzie isn't lying to the audience -- just frequently clueless or in deep denial. It's written so that the audience almost always knows what's going on even if she doesn't, which is sometimes subtle (the slow build-up to the revelation about [[UnsettlingGenderReveal Steff]]) and other times obvious (her overwrought FoeYay-based crush on the AlphaBitch, Sooni).
** Additionally, the [=MUnivers's=] history is also handled this way; so far, we've heard multiple accounts of the creation of the world, all of which contradict each other. But the kicker is that the gods exist, and semi-regularly involve themselves in worldly affairs, meaning that the gods themselves are {{Unreliable Narrator}}s.
* Done excellently in Jeff Vandermeer's Literature/{{Ambergris}} books. ''Shriek: An Afterword'' features two conflicting viewpoint characters, while ''City Of Saints And Madmen'' features stories set in Ambergris, stories written by various Ambergris residents, a story about an AlternateUniverse Jeff Vandermeer who gets sucked into Ambergris and goes crazy (or believes he is an author in an alternate universe resembling our own, or just decided to fuck with our heads) and stories penned in the name of various Ambergris residents but actually written by said alternate-universe Author Surrogate. And a couple of pamphlets.
** And adding to the confusion, the pamphlet ''King Squid'' and the ''Hoegbotton Guide to the Early History of Ambergris" actually were written by real Ambergrisians-Frederick Madnok and Duncan Shriek, to be exact. So whose copy was used?
** It's also done to a far lesser extent in the sequel Shriek: An Afterword, which is written by Duncan's sister Janice. She holds that she is offering a balanced yet opinionated account of her brother's life. Duncan takes issue with the first claim, and frequently disagrees with her over the
course not, you blundering idiot! How would I be talking to you now?"
* Occasionally used for humorous effect
of the book.
** The third book, ''Finch'', averts this. Probably. It's narrated by the main character, John Finch, but there's nothing
in the introductory text to indicate that his narration is unreliable. However, Finch goes through so many mind screws, including [[spoiler:a couple of literal [[MushroomSamba mushroom sambas]] and several instances of severe torture]], that it's hard to tell whether his own perception is truly intact.
* The unreliable first-person narrator of Elizabeth Bear's ''Blood and Iron'' is ''so'' unreliable that, for the first third or so of the book, [[spoiler:she]] narrates everything in third person, including scenes in which [[spoiler:she herself]] is present. (It works, but this is definitely the Don't Try This at Home school of writing.)
* Creator/DianaWynneJones's ''Literature/TheDalemarkQuartet'' has an ''unreliable glossary''
on radio episodes the history of ''Radio/OurMissBrooks''. Cue Dalemark at the back of each book. Much of what it says is straightforward and fills in background to the story, but frequently it puts a slant on historical events which the reader can deduce to be wrong or at least incomplete.
* If you're reading an Alistair [=MacLean=] novel written in the first person, you're dealing with this trope.
* There is a consistency to some of the facts in ''Literature/OnlyRevolutions''. That is, certain events don't change between the two viewpoints the book is narrated from. However, for the vast majority of details, like names and places, those shift even in the same story. Is the Italian cook's name Viatitonacci or Viazazonacci or Viapiponacci? Is he even Italian? [[MindScrew I don't know!]]
* ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'': There are places where Rico is likely describing something that happened to him in the third-person. The biggest one involves [[spoiler:the death of the Lieutenant in his beloved Rascak's Roughnecks MI unit, where he describes the Lieutenant saving two privates before being killed. It's hinted that one of them was probably Rico.]]
* Nicely done in an understated way in Creator/DorothyLSayers's ''The Documents in the Case''. A series of letters written by each of the main characters to various other people are collected. Each person describes incidents from their point of view, ''each'' person showing themselves as paragons of virtue surrounded by fallible fools.
* In Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Literature/OddThomas'', Odd specifically says that he was asked to be an unreliable narrator, citing Christie's ''The Murder of Roger Ackroyd'', but indicating he doesn't really want to do that. In the end, though, [[spoiler:Odd says that he really has been misrepresenting things; whenever he said he and his girlfriend Stormy were destined for each other, he was speaking as his past self; by the end of the book Stormy is dead and they obviously are not living happily ever after.]] He handwaves the whole sequence at the end by saying that [[spoiler:both his parents are insane, and he expects madness runs in his family.]]
* James Clemens's ''Literature/TheBannedAndTheBanished'' discusses this trope - the narrator admits that he has told many fake versions of that story, but cannot die until he tells the truth. According to the last book, his many previous versions included but were not limited to giving the main character IncorruptiblePurePureness, making her actions ForTheEvulz, and making her an IdiotHero. The final version is a flawed ordinary person who happens to be TheChosenOne.
* Holden from ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye'' is a good example. The novel is about his downward spiral into emotional trauma, but he doesn't tell the reader this and lies about how he was feeling by making excuses of "just didn't feel like it," or the like.
** There is also the fact that most of the things he says shouldn't always be taken seriously, like people like Chapman have. One minute he's putting down the movie business and then the next he's recommending one of his favorites. Usually the people he calls "phonies" sometimes do the same things he does.
** He actually [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on it within the first chapter.
--->"I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible."
* At one point in ''Literature/TheThingsTheyCarried'', the narrator retells a story told to him by the squad's medic, Rat Kiley, prefacing it with the admission that though Kiley's stories always have a basis in truth, they are often greatly exaggerated, stating that "If Rat told you he slept with two women on a particular night, you can be safe in assuming one and a half." At another point, the narrator goes on a long rant about how a war stories' veracity has no relation to whether or not it actually occurred, and goes on to tell a "true" war story that he made up on the spot. He then states that the mark of a "true" war story is that the reader does not care if it is true.
** On another occasion, he recounts a story about another of the soldiers in his unit, which he later admits was actually him.
** Also found in ''Literature/GoingAfterCacciato'' by the same author. About halfway through the book, you realize that [[spoiler:Paul Berlin is probably still in the observation tower, and the whole story is just a daydream to excuse himself of complicity in the death of Cacciato, who (it appears) the squad killed to hush him up.]] But again, it's postmodern, so the question is: does any of this matter?
* ''Film/{{Spider}}'' by Patrick [=McGrath=], is narrated by the main character, who is insane. At the end of the book it turns out practically everything he recollected to the reader was heavily warped by his perception. [=McGrath=] specializes in this trope. ''Asylum'' is another excellent example.
* In three books of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' so far, Harry's narration is made unreliable by various magical influences. The first is in ''Dead Beat,'' in which [[spoiler:the psychic imprint that the fallen angel Lasciel left in his mind appears to him repeatedly in the form of "Sheila," a bookstore employee who doesn't actually exist]]. The second is in ''Small Favor'', in which [[spoiler:Mab takes his blasting rod (his weapon of choice in the series up to that point) and places a mental block which prevents him from even thinking about it or fire magic - only when another character draws attention to the blasting rod's absence does Harry (and the reader) realize something is wrong]]. The third instance is revealed in ''Ghost Story'': [[spoiler:in the previous novel, after deciding to become the Winter Knight, Harry set up his own assassination and then had Molly wipe his memory of doing so in order to keep Mab from becoming aware of it]].
** The dialogue of other characters (and the short stories narrated by other characters like Murphy and Thomas) imply that Harry is this trope for mundane reasons as well. For example, he assumes at one point that a side character [[note]](Hendricks, Marcone's bodyguard)[[/note]] is your stereotypical dumb grunt, but events in ''Even Hand'' (a short story narrated by Marcone) reveal that said character is in fact a CulturedBadass.
** In ''Skin Game'', there's nothing wrong with Harry's memory; he just neglects to inform the reader that [[spoiler: Nicodemus's hired mercenary Goodman Grey is secretly working for Harry]].
* Robert Irwin's brilliant ''Satan Wants Me'' is built around this trope. The narrator, Peter, is a young sociology student who likes sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, studies children's behavior in a school playground, and is attempting to be accepted into a magical lodge. Part of the requirements made of him in Black Book Lodge is to keep a diary for magical purposes, writing down everything that happened during the day. ''Satan Wants Me'' is, essentially, this diary - until in the middle of the book we find out that [[spoiler:this young sociologist's real object of study are the occultists themselves, and after his cover is blown he keeps on writing the diary just because and because his hand makes him write sometimes.]]
* Creator/RobertBloch's classic short story "Yours Truly UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper" is a great example. Set in the modern day, the first-person narrator relates an incident in which a friend of his becomes convinced that Jack the Ripper killed all those women as part of an occult ceremony to attain immortality. He assists his friend in his investigations and helps him track suspects [[spoiler:but the big twist is that the narrator himself is Jack the Ripper, and while his friend's theory was correct, he had the wrong suspect. This is revealed in the final line of the story when the narrator, holding a knife, says, "Just call me... Jack!"]] Bloch never cheats - you can re-read the story knowing the ending, and it remains internally consistent, although it changes from an odd little comedy to a chilling thriller.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is one unreliable narrator telling a story received from another unreliable narrator to the point that you simply can't know if any of the story really ever happened or is all just fantasy. It gets even funnier when you take into account the non-canon "sequel" that was written by a different author before Cervantes finished the second part.\\
\\
Played completely straight and even lampshaded: In the very first paragraph, Don Quixote's literary portrait has the narrator NOT telling us the name of Don Quixote's town, and the narrator admits he doesn't know very well if his name was Quixada, Quesada or Quexana. For the people of the seventeen century, this was an infringement of a very well known rule of the literary portrait, and so they immediately had the real impression that the author was a liar. Also, [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis the original author (Cide Hamete Benengeli) and the Translator (an anonymous moor)]] comment the text when the plot is being implausible, and the second author (Cervantes), [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial constantly remind us that this is a true history]]. All these tricks show that Cervantes clearly want the reader realizes that this tale cannot be true.
* Done very well in ''The Family of Pascual Duarte'', from Spanish author Camilo José Cela. Basically it tells the story of an unnamed editor(1) who finds and corrects the "memoirs" that he found in an old church, addressed to a bishop (2), who made a lot of censorship and
correction on them beforehand, by Pascual Duarte (3), who admits that he mixed a lot of facts when writing them, along with the more stealthy: a) non linear narration of the events, b) subjectivization and constant digression to gain the favor of the reader and c) manipulation of the contents because of real life problems (lack of paper, tripped and mixed the pages, etc.). The purpose of the "memoirs"? [[spoiler: to gain clerical pardon, staving off his imminent execution]]. That's right, guys. An editor who edits an editor who edits the edited version of Pascual's life. It is subtly implied by the end of the book that the real life author in fact "edited" the story himself, making him another step in the long line of editors the book will have (publisher's editors, academic editors, "reader editor", etc.). This, by context, was a sort of TakeThat to Franquism, along with a few subtle political/social references/criticism (which make a big part of the novel objective).
* Wilkie Collins, the narrator of Creator/DanSimmons's ''Literature/{{Drood}}'', happens to be addicted to laudanum. [[spoiler:Not to mention that Charles Dickens mesmerizes him a few pages in and never gets around to unmesmerizing him. [[UnwittingPawn Oops!]]]]
* Creator/HPLovecraft's stories are usually narrated
from DeadpanSnarker Miss Brooks.a first-person point of view by said stories' main characters. The unreliability of the narrators may range from [[ThroughTheEyesofMadness becoming increasingly maddened as the narration progresses]] to seemingly sane persons questioning their own sanity and the quality of their recollections as they recall a horrific experience they lived through. Lovecraft also had a penchant for having some of his stories' narrators narrating from mental asylums. In ''The Temple'', the narrator is a German submarine commander in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, who steadfastly refuses to believe in anything supernatural, and instead he's sure that he went insane and became an unreliable narrator. Lovecraft loved (no pun intended) to play the RefugeInInsanity card when his characters faced an EldritchAbomination or related supernatural phenomenon. One could say that a lot of his stories can be a form of this Aesop: "If you ever see the Truth, run. For it has many tentacles."
* Corwin, the narrator of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'', for almost the entire series is telling the story to [[spoiler:Merlin]], giving Corwin numerous reasons to distort, add, or omit events. Added to this, Corwin is suffering from amnesia at the beginning of the story.
* Played with quite a bit in Patrick O'Brien's Literature/AubreyMaturin series.
** Early on the aphorism "Today's wardroom joint is tomorrow's messdeck stew" is introduced. Meaning that anything officers discuss today will be hazily retold by the crew tomorrow.
** Usually O'Brien gives both reliable and unreliable versions of events to contrast them, but occasionally only the crew's version will be told. Leaving the reader guessing as to what actually happened.
* Ernesto Sabato's ''Literature/OnHeroesAndTombs'' has a self-containing chapter, ''Report on the blind''. It's about a man who [[AncientConspiracy believes the world is being controlled by a cabal of blind people]] and tries to locate their secret lair under the streets of Buenos Aires. Due to the fantastical nature of his story, in contrast with the realism of the rest of the book, it's impossible to know what was true and what was just a paranoid delusion.
* ''Literature/DomCasmurro'', from Creator/MachadoDeAssis, a most famous realist Brazilian writer, has an interesting case. For a long time it was considered that the protagonist, who's the narrator, was simply and clearly cheated on by his wife, and that he himself as a character was completely just in his actions. Only long after his death it has become common knowledge (among professional critics at least) that the fact is, not only is Dr. Bento, the protagonist, in possession of a failing memory (he commits many continuity errors, AND lets it slip a few times as he complains about his memory), but is also a lawyer (no further explanation needed, really... but) and he's paranoid. Those all add up for a really unreliable narrator who struggles to remember simple facts, sees things that aren't really there AND wants the reader's approval.
* It is also noteworthy to mention that pretty much every single first-person narrator from Machado de Assis is unreliable, with a single extraordinary exception. Really extraordinary. In ''The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas'' the narrator is somewhat a lot more reliable than any other for a simple fact: He's dead. As such, he doesn't care about his life anymore and doesn't knowingly deceives the reader. However, as he narrates, he sometimes stumbles at points where he had lied to himself, and even in death he keeps the rationale of life about his personal thoughts, like his rationalization as to why he didn't go through with his relationship with Eugenia (she was poor and he was not, he convinced himself it was because she had a lame leg) and how he regretted paying a few silver coins to a black man who saved his life (because he didn't like parting with money, but he convinced himself it was because the man didn't want any reward).
* ''[[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy I, Jedi]]'' is made of this trope. Basically, [[MarySue Corran]] has an internal dialogue along the lines of "She so wants me, '''[[ChasteHero I must remain faithful to Mirax!]]'''" [[AuthorAppeal with every female character]].
* Apparently Creator/DouglasAdams retconned the divergences between the book, radio show, TV show, stage play, etc. of ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' by explaining that the source of the accounts was Zaphod Beeblebrox, about as unreliable as a narrator can get, who never remembered the story the same way twice.
** One section of [[Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy the radio series]], involving Zaphod's incredible escape from a particularly nasty fate, is explicitly based on Zaphod's own account. It begins:
--->Many stories are told of Zaphod Beeblebrox's journey to the Frogstar. Ten percent of them are ninety-five percent true, fourteen percent of them are sixty-five percent true, thirty-five percent of them are only five percent true, and all the rest of them are told by Zaphod Beeblebrox.
** Approximately half of the first series of the radio drama was negated when Trillian dismissed the storyarc as one of Zaphod's psychotic episodes. [[spoiler: Although it later turned out she was wrong.]]
* ''The Lace Reader'' begins with the first-person narrator introducing herself as a SelfProclaimedLiar.
-->(''Opening lines.'') "My name is Towner Whitney. Well, that's not exactly true. My first name is Sophya. I lie a lot. Never believe me."
** And the book gets less reliable from there. In the end, [[spoiler:it is revealed that her twin sister Lyndley's suicide, which drove her motivations throughout the book, never happened; her real sister's name was Lindsey, and she died before she was born. Mae did not give her up to Emma, Mae never was her real mother in the first place, Emma was. Cal's abuse of Lyndley was actually directed at Towner.]] Besides these revelations, it's nearly impossible to tell what else the narrator might have lied about.
* ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby'':
** Nick Carraway: most events that he describes you can accept are true, but there's one point where he claims to have said something to Gatsby that it's possible he merely ''wishes'' he'd said. It also seems possible that he's intentionally omitted some pieces of information about Gatsby due to his desire to see and portray Gatsby as in a favourable light.
** The scene when Nick gets drunk and starts losing time. It starts with "keep your hands off the lever" and somehow jumps to "[Mr. [=McKee=]] was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear". The reader is left to wonder if Nick is gay or bisexual, but Nick never mentions it (he probably doesn't know what happened either).
** One of the first things he says is how nonjudgmental he is. Followed by about 200 pages in which he leaves pretty much no other character unjudged. Cleverly mocked in ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'' [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=259 here (7th strip down)]].
** In fact, Nick explicitly states that the reason he doesn't judge people is essentially because it's not their fault that they're morally inferior to him.
* Marcel Proust's ''Remembrance of Things Past''/''In Search of Lost Time'' consists of thousands upon thousands of pages of this trope. "Marcel" never explicitly acknowledges that he is unreliable, but constantly undermines his own recollections such that it's impossible to trust anything he says 100%. Of course, the entire series is an exploration of the nature and limits of memory, so yeah.
* The young woman who narrates Sabina Murray's ''A Carnivore's Inquiry'' finds that her travels are accompanied by multiple murders, usually involving some sort of horrific mutilation. The end of the novel strongly implies that the book's real title should have been [[spoiler:[[ImAHumanitarian A Cannibal's Inquiry]].]]
* Melanie Rawn uses this one to interesting effect in her [[Literature/TheExiles Mageborn trilogy]]. While not apparent on a casual reading it's pretty clear that [[spoiler:Collan]]'s background doesn't quite add up. The only certain thing is that Gorynel Desse had something to do with it.
** Actually it's easier to count the things Gorynel Desse ''hasn't'' been running from behind the scenes, wily Chessmaster that he is.
* The teen series ''[[Literature/DramaSeries DRAMA!]]'' provides a subtle example. The narrator, Bryan, never outright lies to the audience, but he clearly interprets events based on his own preconceptions. For example, he goes out of his way to tell the readers what a jerk Eric Whitman is. Over the course of the series, it becomes obvious that Eric is actually an incredibly nice guy, almost to the point of being a CanonSue. [[spoiler:What's interesting is that this highlights Bryan's emotional growth. [[CharacterDevelopment By the end of the series, he admits that he was being unfair.]]]]
* Creator/PGWodehouse once collected story ideas and kept getting ones that were simply too absurd to be used. Then he had the brilliant idea of putting them all in the mouth of Mr. Mulliner, a fisherman spinning yarns at his local pub, who wouldn't be believed anyway.
* Within the context of the novel, Creator/BramStoker's ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' exists as a [[ScrapbookStory series of ''transcriptions'' of letters and newspaper clippings]] about the [[CharacterTitle eponymous vampire]]; about midway through the novel, {{Dracula}} destroys the originals by tossing them into a fireplace in order to discredit the protagonists should they ever wish to make their story public. The transcriptions are kept by Mina Harker, a trained secretary, who foresees the usefulness in keeping backups. However, Mina herself undergoes some pretty severe trauma throughout the course of the novel; apart from the whole vampire-hunting thing, her best friend is turned by Dracula (and then [[StakingTheLovedOne staked by her friends]]), and she [[VampireRefugee very narrowly escapes]] being ''turned into a vampire herself'', which [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness brings her mental state and her reliability as a recordkeeper into question.]]
* Read ''Literature/GentlemenPreferBlondes'' for a comedic (if archaically sexist) take on this trope.
* In Megan Whalen Turner's ''[[Literature/TheQueensThief The Thief]],'' the narrator, Gen, tells the story in such a way that the reader assumes he is an ignorant, dirt-poor, none-too-bright street thief being forced to help the other characters steal a precious artifact. Only at the end does it become clear that though Gen has never actually lied in his telling of the story, certain omissions and misdirections have allowed him to obscure the fact that [[spoiler:he is a queen's cousin, a hereditary master thief, and the [[TheChessmaster highly intelligent orchestrator of everything that has occurred in the story thus far]].]]
** This continues in the sequels, as characters interpret Gen's actions without knowing what is really going on is his head. This leads to some very interesting bits of confusion, though Attolia can be forgiven for not realizing that the man she [[spoiler:mutilated is still completely in love with her.]]
* ''Literature/TheHobbit'' has a somewhat odd example of this. In the first edition, Gollum bets his Ring in the riddle game with Bilbo. After Creator/JRRTolkien decided to [[CanonWelding set it in Middle-earth]] and write ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' as a sequel, this didn't fit with the concept of the Ring. So for the second edition of ''The Hobbit'', he {{RetCon}}ed the riddle game part of the story was changed to the "true" version of events. His explanation for the first edition? Bilbo was lying to legitimize his ownership of the Ring! He even obliquely apologizes for that in ''The Fellowship of the Ring'', at the Council of Elrond.
** Frodo in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is somewhat of an UnreliableNarrator himself, or at least he has a few in-universe examples of BeamMeUpScotty:
*** When he recalls what Gandalf had said about Bilbo's mercy to Gollum: ''Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.'' What Gandalf had actually said was "Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
*** When he reminds Gollum of the true nature of the One Ring: ''One Ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.'' There was no such line in any verse; the closest thing would be the inscription on the Ring, which read "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to ''bring'' them all and in the Darkness bind them."
*** Tolkien goes to considerable pains to inform us that LOTR was written by Frodo. Do you really believe that Gollum fell into the lava because he was "dancing about on the edge" and lost his footing? Sam Gamgee was put there for a *reason*.
* One of the central conceits of Creator/IsaacAsimov's "Azazel" short stories is that they're being told to an AuthorAvatar of Asimov by an Unreliable Narrator who may or may not just be making them up entirely.
* Music/NickCave's ''And the Ass Saw the Angel'' starts out as a peculiar [[MagicRealism Magic Realist]] work, but as we go on, the narrator has occasional complete blackouts, leading us to wonder how many of the supposedly Magic Realist events were in his mind. To reinforce the theme of subjectivity, the entire narrative is written in FunetikAksent.
* Justine Larbalestier's ''Literature/{{Liar}}.'' It's so bad that she actually lies about lying. [[spoiler: First she mentions her brother Jordan often, then she says she made him up, then she mentions that he did exist but he died.]]
** To the point where she says ''she's'' not even sure what really happened at the end.
* ''The Amnesia Clinic'' runs on this. Thematically, it's all about storytelling and liars, and for certain sequences it's unclear what versions of what we're told are true. For example, first we read about Anti's seduction by a quirky ManicPixieDreamGirl marine biologist who renamed herself Sally Lightfoot after a bad divorce and lost her ring finger to a snapping turtle. [[spoiler:The second time the story's told, it's recounted by Anti as all being one big lie fabricated to make his best friend Fabian jealous; the woman he named Sally Lightfoot was cold and distant, the two weren't even friends, and she had her ring finger cut off with a kitchen knife by her abusive husband. The rest, including the seduction, was a lie Anti told to make Fabian jealous, and to make reality a little less boring.]]
* The Literature/{{Dragaera}} books by Steven Brust:
** Vlad Taltos is an honest narrator, but in ''Dzur'' it turns out that [[spoiler:some of his memories have been altered by the Demon Goddess Verra, putting his recollections into question.]] Sometimes he also just misunderstands things, such as calling the Countess of Whitecrest a Lyorn, when she's really a Tiassa who dresses in Lyorn colors.
** ''Orca'' applies the trope to [[spoiler:Kiera. The story is told from her perspective, and it's in this story that we learn that she's actually an alternate identity for Sethra, the Enchantress of Dzur Mountain. Until another character figures it out, Kiera's narration does not overtly betray her secret.]]
** Paarfi of Roundwood, the narrator of Khavraan Romances, is a historical novelist who is dramatizing real events within his world. Brust has stated that Paarfi gets plenty of details wrong and sometimes just makes things up. Certain characters behave very differently within Paarfi's stories than how they behave in Vlad's recollections.
** One notable contrast of unreliable narrators is the conflict between Aerich and a lowly Teckla, which is given dramatically different tellings by Paarfi and the Teckla himself in different books. According to the Teckla, it was an epic duel, while according to Paarfi, the Teckla scampers off after little more than a lordly glare from Aerich.
* Sarah Caudwell's (very funny) four legal mysteries are narrated by ''Literature/HilaryTamar'' (of unknown gender). While the stories can be considered 'accurate' the narrator's roles and motivations are always given a very shiny gloss (I just happened to need a book in that room, and I just happened to need one that was low down behind the sofa. Oh no, now they've entered the room and started talking about the mystery without realising that I'm here).
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein:
** ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove'' is a (sort of) autobiography of immortal(?) Lazarus Long. Long himself states in the book that some of the details may or may not be true. A later book, ''Literature/ToSailBeyondTheSunset'', has the lead character state out right that Lazarus had lied all through the book.
** At one point in TEFL, Long offers to tell the true story of what happened to the Jockaira from ''Literature/MethuselahsChildren''; another character declines to hear it, asserting that the story is already in the Howard Families archives "in four conflicting versions."
** Heinlein could be said to be the unreliable narrator of his own life: for decades fans accepted, without question, his assertion that "Life-Line" was the first work of fiction he'd written ([[Literature/ForUsTheLivingAComedyOfCustoms it wasn't]]) and that he'd written it for a contest (he hadn't).
* This is thoroughly and effectively explored in James Hogg's ''Literature/ThePrivateMemoirsAndConfessionsOfAJustifiedSinner''. The memoir is framed as a FictionalDocument. The Sinner himself is a religious fanatic who portrays himself as a righteous Calvinist martyr and the people he's killed as horrible, horrible people. He's seemingly helped by the Devil himself, but then again, he might just be insane. The editor who researches the events in the Sinner's journal exposes many falsehoods and contradictions, but he himself isn't completely reliable either - because of his strictly rationalist outlook, he cannot reconcile the seemingly supernatural events described and tries to explain them away, even though some things don't quite make sense as a result.
* The Repairer of Reputations, a part of the ''Literature/TheKingInYellow'' features this. From the get-go, the narrator, Hildred, mentions that he suffered a head injury that led him to be committed to an asylum before being released after a couple of years, but he then vehemently insist that he was unjustly detained and that he was never insane, meaning that his account of events is already untrustworthy from the beginning. And when end reveals that [[spoiler:he died in an asylum the previous day]], large portions of plot become extremely questionable. To top it off, he even fairly early reveals that he read the in-universe "The King In Yellow", which is a BrownNote that drives you insane.
* James Tiptree, Jr.'s "[[http://www.lexal.net/scifi/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/tiptree2/tiptree21.html The Women Men Don't See]]" is narrated by a super-manly shadowy ex-spy MightyWhitey who thinks he knows what kind of story he's in--after the plane crashes, he's going to assume leadership and save the female passengers in the plane crash with the help of the obedient Maya pilot. He's utterly, utterly wrong, and you have to read around the edges of his ego and his narration to figure out what's ''actually'' going on. (A good critical essay describing the technique is [[http://zeroatthebone.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/review-the-women-men-dont-see-by-james-tiptree-jr/ over here.]])
* Tom Wingfield from ''Theatre/TheGlassMenagerie''. He seems reliable until [[spoiler:he abandons Amanda and Laura]]. That, combined with his final speech, demonstrate that he has strong motives to justify his actions and put himself in a positive light. In fact, we only see the ending of the play from Tom's perspective - and even though it is somewhat sad, it's suspiciously redemptive for everyone. Also, if Tom was in the right, why is his conscience plagued by memories of Laura?
* A short story, "Literature/TheYellowWallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, features a narrator who is unreliable on all levels. Is she driven to insanity? Is she already insane from the beginning? Is the house actually haunted? Is she actually dead? If she isn't insane upon her arrival, at what point in the story does she turn insane? Are the peripheral characters of the story real, figments of her imagination entirely, ghosts, or real but turned into different characters via her delusion? Are any of her observations trustworthy, such as the description of her room and reasons why there are ''bars on the windows'' and ''hooks and rings'' in the walls? There is evidence to support any of the possible theories, and, since the narrator actually ''is'' insane by the end of the story, absolutely none of the questions are answered.
* ''Literature/AdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn'': One of the most famous unreliable narrators ever [[BreakingTheFourthWall breaks the fourth wall]] [[LampshadeHanging and hangs a lampshade on it]] in the very first paragraph.
-->"You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer''; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. MarkTwain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly -- Tom's Aunt Polly, she is -- and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before."
* [[Creator/FranzKafka Kafka]]. Due to his famous style, he's able to directly contradict himself within the same ''sentence'', AND make it so subtle that a casual or superficial reader will scarcely notice. ''Literature/TheMetamorphosis'' and ''The Judgment'' stand out in this respect.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Most of the POV characters are reliable, if biased, narrators, but there's one interesting instance of true unreliability: Sansa's frequent "recollections" of Sandor Clegane kissing her during the Battle of the Blackwater. Which would be understandable, if in fact he ''had''. During the actual scene, "for a moment she thought he meant to kiss her," but he does not; by the next book she's making occasional references to the kiss occurring, and by the fourth, she can recall how the kiss ''felt''. WordOfGod confirms that it's all in her head. Sansa's misremembering what happened with Sandor is an indication that she's been so emotionally traumatized by the abuse heaped on her that she clings to the memory of someone who she saw as a protector in King's Landing, even though the kiss never happened and in fact he almost raped her.
** Arya can also be unreliable sometimes in that, being a little girl, she can misread the behavior of adults or fail to grasp the real significance of what she sees.
** It's also worth comparing different [=POVs=] of the same character: compare Catelyn's chapter with Jaime in ''A Clash of Kings'', where he comes off as an obnoxious, egotistical {{jerkass}}, and Jaime's own first chapter in ''A Storm of Swords'' where he becomes bitter, biting, and [[JerkassFacade well-aware of his own limits]]. Jon Snow has a similar disconnect; in his own chapters he reads like TheFettered, but from Samwell's POV he's an exhausted AntiHero. And then there's Stannis (whose head we've not got in as of yet), who from Catelyn's POV is a dour jerk, from Davos' POV is a WellIntentionedExtremist, and from Jon's POV is ToBeLawfulOrGood. When we see Littlefinger from Catelyn's perspective, we feel bad for him, in Ned's, he seems like a SmugSnake, and Tyrion consideres him a formidable foe, but it's not until Sansa meets him that it's clear how utterly ''[[{{Ephebophile}} slimy]]''. It should be interesting to see how other characters view Daenerys when they finally cross paths with her...
** Backstory is sometimes given in bits and pieces from various characters, each with their own interpretation of history. For example, Meera Reed's telling of the tourney at Harrenhal (as she was told by her father) is dreamy and whimsical, while Barristan's memories of the same event are melancholic and bitter.
** This extends to the supplementary material as well. ''Literature/ArchmaesterGyldaynsHistories'' and ''Literature/TheWorldOfIceAndFire'' are in-universe accounts written by characters who, for the most part, didn't witness the events they're writing about firsthand. Archmaester Gyldayn frequently notes that history often gets lost or distorted over the years, though he himself shows some slight biases.
* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheScrewtapeLetters''. The book is an EpistolaryNovel made up of letters written by a ''demon'', so of course he's more than willing to twist the truth to his own ends.
* ''Literature/ILucifer'' can likely claim having one of if not ''the'' most unreliable narrator a person could hope to find in Lucifer himself. Well, Literature/TheBible was admittedly ''one-sided''.
* Pretty much anything by Christopher Priest. ''The Affirmation'' is pretty notorious for this: [[spoiler:the narrator did not spend weeks cleaning up and repainting the summer house he was staying at, he never actually wrote his memoirs, and it is never clear if he was from London and invented Jethra or vice-versa.]] Same goes for ''The Prestige'', where [[spoiler:one of the character's memoirs is actually written by a set of twins.]] Even ''The Inverted World'' plays with the trope, though [[spoiler:there it's more because the narrator doesn't understand the nature of his own world.]]
* The Caitlín Kiernan novel ''[[Literature/TheRedTree2009 The Red Tree]]'' takes this trope UpToEleven with not just one but at least three and at some points five levels of unreliable narration. First, there is the main character Sarah: the story is told in the form of her journal, and she's clearly losing it (a note at the beginning mentions she killed herself after the events in the story). Then there is the unknown person who collected Sarah's journal and mailed it to her editor. Finally, there is the editor herself, who is distinctly coy in her note about any details that might confirm or deny Sarah's story. If that weren't enough, there are long sections of the book where Sarah is supposedly quoting from a manuscript she found. The author of this manuscript is also of questionable sanity, and there are several places where he is quoting from sources of questionable veracity. Not only is it impossible to tell if anything in this book actually happened outside anyone's imagination, it isn't even possible to tell whose imagination it might have been. It works, though.
* Ikkun from Nisioisin's ''Kubishime Romanticist'' never outright lied to the reader, but frequently left out important details, such as the reason he was feeling sick upon seeing [[spoiler:Mikoko]]'s body. It was because he had [[spoiler:eaten the evidence that would incriminate her as the murderer, and only because he had been the one to drive her to suicide in the first place.]]
* In ''Literature/TallTaleAmerica'' the author claims that the entire book is a true story and goes into detail about all the trustworthy sources he consulted in putting it together. Then he says, "And on top of all this, I've made improvements of my own all along the way - [[InsaneTrollLogic fixed up fact after fact to make it truer than it ever was before.]]"
* ''Literature/NotesFromUnderground'' by Creator/FyodorDostoevsky is one of the first modern uses of the unreliable narrator, though it's not the TropeMaker since ''Literature/ArabianNights'' and ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'' employed it long before.
* The beginning of ''Number 9 Dream'' features the narrator recounting a bunch of crazy action-movie adventures that turn out not to have happened. Once you get to the meat of the story this habit seems to stop, but given the narrator's established tendency to mix fact with fantasy and the many things he accomplishes over the course of the book, from the plausible-yet-mildly-improbable ([[spoiler:finding his DisappearedDad by complete coincidence, patching things up with his estranged mother, dating a beautiful musical prodigy (despite being kind of a loser himself)]]) to the cinematically unlikely ([[spoiler:surviving being thrown into the middle of a conflict between two Yakuza factions, being instrumental in exposing a huge organization of organ thieves using a document given to him by a mysterious private detective he met only once and a program given to him by a friend who happens to be a master hacker who's just been scouted by the American government after hacking into their most secret files]]), the reader is left wondering whether any of it actually happened.
* Kyon from the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' series is a possible example here. Despite the title, he's the main character. He's also the narrator, and it seems at times he confuses the two. Dialogue made by himself the Narrator will be responded to by other characters as if he the Character said it; while he the Narrator will point out details that he the Character is either [[SelectiveObliviousness ignoring or supposedly isn't aware of.]] It's to little wonder that this has made a few people paranoid about him.
** Also, Kyon usually [[ObfuscatingStupidity knows much more than he admits]], even to the reader. His habit of stating to [[MrExposition wordy characters]] "I don't understand you," contrasts with his tendency to go off on downright cerebral tangents in a way which is...frustrating. Ignoring completely that his understanding of whateve is being discussed is often immediately made clear by the narration.
** There have been passages where Kyon has begun to iterate a thought, then cut himself off and invoked SelectiveObliviousness because no no, it's best to not even think that. Who knows how many ideas character-Kyon refuses to consider and how many facts narrator-Kyon deliberately twists? The great mysteries of the series are divided between things Kyon presumably doesn't know at the time the story is set, and things Kyon has ''neglected to mention'' including [[NoNameGiven any part of his real name]]. After eleven novels, it looks like it's either plot or capriciousness. There's also undeniable color to depictions of Kyon and those around him.
* Timothy Kensington from the book "SCIENCE!" (a.k.a. "True Science") skews every event to try to fit his point of view, which is that Stratton's theories about altering reality are pure craziness. He remembers everyone wrong in order to convince everyone that his friend's theories about remembering everything wrong are insane. Yet, here he is, narrating this book, expecting you all to believe him unquestioningly.
* ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' was narrated by a faery psychologist at least a decade after the events occurred, the account rummaged together through the accounts of many involved. The end of the book itself states that at least 6% was 'unavoidable extrapolation', though it was likely a much higher percentage, seeing as many of the people involved in the storyline die in the following books. The narrator himself, Dr. Jerbal Argon, is a minor character in the book (as well as the later novels), though there is a good chance that he simply added himself in for the popularity that would ensue.
* The Time Traveller in ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'' by Creator/HGWells forms various hypotheses about the nature of the Eloi as the story progresses. Also, due to the novel's FramingDevice, the narrator's spellings of the few samples of Eloi language that readers get are likely poor reflections of the actual phonology, as neither the Time Traveller nor the outer story's narrator is a linguist by profession.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' has the hero as third-person narrator, except in first chapter in some books:
** Lampshaded twice in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'': in Gringotts, the narration tells the path in full of stalactites and stalagmites, then Harry confesses he can't tell the difference between them. Later: "Perhaps it was Harry's imagination, after all he'd heard about Slytherin, but he thought they looked like an unpleasant lot."
** And in the whole saga, were the Slytherin really mostly bad guys, or do they look like it because Harry is an unreliable narrator? The debate is far from over.
** Throughout the series, Harry's narration describes Pansy Parkinson, the AlphaBitch, as ugly. When Pansy is quoted in one of Rita Skeeter's articles, Rita calls her "pretty and vivacious". It's possible Rita was lying as she is prone to do, but it's also possible that Harry sees Pansy as ugly because he hates her. Or perhaps it's both and actually Pansy is just average-looking. Also, Draco Malfoy seems to have a fling with Pansy (during their school years at least). With his typical arrogance, would he go for, and want to be seen with, an ugly girl? Or even a plain one?
* Theodor Storm's novella ''Der Schimmelreiter'' (the rider on a white horse) puts the main story into question by the expedient of a triple framing story: 1. Storm begins by saying he is writing down from memory a story that he read in a magazine when he was young (but his memory already is so bad that he isn't sure in which magazine). 2. The narrator in the magazine tells of how he came to an in on the North Sea coast where he heard of the ghostly Schimmelreiter, and when he enquires further, 3. the local schoolmaster tells him the story of Hauke Haien, a young man who invented a more modern type of dyke who died in a storm flood and who according to popular belief became a ghost haunting that stretch of the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. The schoolmaster tells it rationally, as a psychological drama, with no supernatural elements, but he also says that his (superstitious) housekeeper would tell the story very differently.
* The French SciFi novel ''{{Literature/Malevil}}'' is presented as the memoirs of Emmanuel Comte [[AfterTheEnd following]] WorldWarIII. He doesn't have perfect memory of all events and so his friend Thomas provides correcting notes after certain chapters. In one circumstance, Thomas corrects what would be a glaring PlotHole to anybody in-universe reading the memoir: Emmanuel doesn't mention a single word about the solution to their {{Polyamory}} situation. However, Thomas isn't necessarily more reliable, as some of his notes are less correcting of mistakes and omissions and more arguing of opinions. At one point, Thomas decides he needs to debate Emmanuel's assessment of the only woman in their group and contradict his praise of her intelligence and beauty.
* ''Literature/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman, the narrator, is clearly insane and has bizarre hallucinations (i.e., a Cheerio interviewed on a talk show, being stalked by a park bench) which he believes to be true. It's also ambiguous whether he committed the brutal (and, occasionally, ''preposterous'') murders that he describes in graphic detail.
* ''Literature/ForWantOfANail.'' The entire book is written as a history of an alternate world where America lost the Revolutionary War, eventually breaking into the United States of America and Mexico. After such lush detail into the history of this world, the book ends with a "critique" by a scholar that notes that much of the history presented is biased and omitting key details and moments.
* ''Literature/LunarPark''. The narrator is a writer named after the author of the novel: Creator/BretEastonEllis who is an unreliable narrator, because he describes things the other characters don't see or feel. The main character is abusing drugs; some of the hallucinations might be to some extent related to that. Also, there is a intertextual reference: Ellis' character has apparently also written a novel titled ''American Psycho'' and he says: "Patrick Bateman is an unreliable narrator."
* Joanne Harris' psychological thriller ''blueeyedboy'' is told through blog postings from the eponymous character (a self-proclaimed murderer) and his online acquaintance "Albertine," both of whom take sizable liberties with the truth and blur the line between fiction and reality constantly.
* In ''Literature/MerlinDarklingChildOfVirginAndDevil'', one chapter involves Merlin facilitating [[BrotherSisterIncest Arthur and Morgana's relationship]]. The next chapter has him explain that it never happened, he just induced a hallucination in Arthur (and himself, hence the ExactWords "If this is a dream, lord, it is one I share with you") ... and then immediately reveals that this is what he ''thought'' happened, but Morgana had other ideas. There are a few other moments when Merlin hides what's going on, thinks he knows what is going on but doesn't or -- as above -- both simultaneously. He has, after all, gone mad and is telling this story to a pig.
* The same author's ''Falstaff'' uses this to play with Creator/WilliamShakespeare's AnachronismStew; the editor of Sir John Fastolfe's memoirs believes they cannot possibly be true because (for example) the drink "sack" was unknown in Fastolfe's time (and therefore, from the editor's perspective, doesn't exist). However, when he reaches the point of denying Fastolfe himself exists, despite being the man's stepson, it becomes open as to which of them is the less reliable.
* Zoe Heller's ''What Was She Thinking?'' (filmed as ''Film/NotesOnAScandal''): Barbara purports to be a cool, unbiased narrator of her friend Sheba's disastrous affair with a fifteen-year-old boy. In fact, [[spoiler: she's a PsychoLesbian StalkerWithACrush who's blatantly using the upheaval in Sheba's life to isolate and control her.]]
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'', at the start of the second part Orual reveals that the first half of the book was not an accurate version of what happened, but she does not have the time to revise the whole book, so she merely continues forward, explaining how she learned she was wrong.
* The protagonist of ''Literature/TheCuriousIncidentOfTheDogInTheNighttime'' is autistic, and while he has perfect recall and so relates everything word for word, facial expressions are naturally absent and therefore many things that may seem confusing or abrupt are simply the way they look from his eyes.
* In the ''danger.com'' series, one book, ''Bad Intent'', features mild-mannered Brian Rittenhouse, the POV character who's on his school's student council. About a third of the way through the book, it actually ''names this trope'' as the POV character reveals that he is, in fact, also an online alter ego named "Lobo" and explicitly instructs the reader to look up the concept of the unreliable narrator.
* In ''Literature/TheLongingOfShiinaRyo'' WordOfGod and the sections narrated by other characters indicated that Shin-tsu may be this. Or maybe they're the unreliable ones.
* The ''Literature/AmeliaPeabody'' series provides a fantastic example; the narrator's depth stems from her unreliability as a narrator, which can be due to either omission or equivocation. She reports her perceptions, but despite her vaunted skills in understanding people, she routinely misses the actual meaning of events; for example, when people speaking with her begin coughing, she totally misses their disguised laughter and offers them cough drops. She also is often oblivious to her own viewpoints and prejudices, and even when she is aware of them, pride stops her from relating them to the reader. Victorian sensibilities also prevent her from discussing delicate subjects.
* ''Literature/WeNeedToTalkAboutKevin'' leaves open the possibility that Eva, the title character's mother and narrator, may have been exaggerating her son's malignancy to absolve her of any responsibility. Several times she assumes he's responsible for an incident with no evidence to support this, and on at least one of these occasions she's actually proved wrong. The end of the story further adds to the unreliability, in that [[spoiler:the entire FramingDevice was a lie -- the book is written as a series of letters from Eva to her husband Franklin, who was actually one of the victims of Kevin's rampage but who most readers will assume is still alive because of the story's presentation]].
* Richard Powell's ''Pioneer Go Home!'' and ''Don Quixote, U.S.A.'' are both told by utterly naive narrators (from stupidity due to excessive inbreeding in the first case and a [[ShelteredAristocrat privileged-but-sheltered]] upbringing in the second) who credit nearly everybody they meet with the best of intentions and, largely due to this, misinterpret several key events.
* Russell H. Greenan's ''The Secret Life of Algernon Pendleton'' is told by a man who got a brain concussion during WWII and earnestly believes that objects can have souls. Considering that his best friend is a china pitcher named Eulalia, large portions of his narrative can be regarded as doubtful at best.
* ''Literature/CountAndCountess''. As an EpistolaryNovel, it technically has two narrators, but it's usually a good rule of thumb that Vlad will be lying or exaggerating while Elizabeth tells the honest truth without much emotional embellishment.
* Both in and out of universe in ''Literature/TheThirteenthTale''. Vida has a reputation for lying to people about her life story, so much so that Margaret refuses to work on this project without independently verifiable sources. Also, certain details of Vida's story raise questions for the reader.
* In Sharon Creech's ''The Wanderer Sophie'', a 13 years old girl, is sailing in a small boat across the Atlantic, with her two cousins (both also 13) and three uncles. The story is given to us as her and Cody's (one of the cousins) diaries. At first Sophie's diary seems consistent and convincing. However, when comparing it with Cody's diary, we quickly notice that Sophie blacks out any notions that [[spoiler: she is actually adopted. Even when somebody in her vicinity uses the word "orphan", she changes it to something else, or else outright skips it in the diary]]. Also she slightly changes all Bompie's stories so that [[spoiler: he has to struggle in the water, like she did once]].
* WordOfGod says that in the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' novel ''The Last Hope'', [[spoiler: Dovewing hallucinated Firestar walking away from Tigerstar, and that he actually died from wounds received fight with him.]] Then again, WordOfGod from another of the authors states that [[spoiler: Firestar died from the smoke of a nearby tree that was struck by lightning]], so this may actually be a case of unreliable God.
* In Creator/ChristopherBrookmyre's ''Literature/ASnowballInHell'', any section narrated by [[VillainProtagonist Simon Darcourt]] is unreliable due to the fact that he spends the majority of his time lying to or misleading the audience, especially about [[spoiler: his motives and, importantly, his cancer, or lack thereof]]
** Also by Brookmyre, ''Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks'' features the unreliable duo of Jack Parlabane and Michael Loftus, both of whom conceal the fact that they are [[spoiler: not in fact dead]]. A third-person narrator also gets in on the act by misleading the reader as to the true identity of [[spoiler: the person who sabotaged Michael's flat]].
** Really, most Brookmyre mysteries involve intricately constructed networks of misdirection, careful omission and outright lies by at least one narrator to maintain his preferred illusion until such time as he decides to deliver the twist.
* Mandeville just comes out and says he is one in ''Literature/DirgeForPresterJohn''.
* In ''Gilligan's Wake'' (by Tom Carson), all the narrators have a trace of this, but the Professor takes the cake. For one thing, he commits [[spoiler:serial rape]] but his narcissism convinces him that this an act of generosity to his inferiors (who are, naturally, grateful). For another thing, he ends the story believing that [[spoiler:he, like every other American, is a {{kaiju}}]]: it is strongly implied that he is really [[spoiler:completely out of touch with reality, and living on the street]]. He is so confused and forgetful at this point that it retroactively turns the detailed, if slanted, nature of the preceding narrative into a very odd mixture of unreliable narrator and implausibly InfallibleNarrator.
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in [[Creator/JorgeLuisBorges Borges']] "Literature/TlonUqbarOrbisTertius":
--> "We [[[SelfInsertFic Borges and a fellow writer]]] became lengthily engaged in a vast polemic concerning the composition of a novel in the first person, whose narrator would omit or disfigure the facts and indulge in various contradictions which would permit a few readers - very few readers - to perceive an atrocious or banal reality"
* The YA superhero novel ''Literature/CharlottePowers'' is presented as the eponymous character's journal. Although afflicted with an 'honesty curse' that means she can't tell a direct lie, Charlotte often focuses on the wrong thing, goes off on a tangent, or simply omits information. [[spoiler:The fact that she's under psychic influence for much of the story doesn't help.]]
* Ishmael, the FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator from ''Literature/MobyDick'', is often suggested to be one, mostly due to the famous opening line "Call me Ishmael", which has been the subject of considerable analysis. The thinking generally goes like this: Saying "Call me Ishmael" instead of "My name is Ishmael" may imply that Ishmael isn't his true name, and if he didn't tell the truth about his name, then you can't be certain he told the truth about anything else after that.
** There is also the issue of the narrator's frequent digressions about whales; much of which flatly contradict the established science of the time. A fact that the narrator acknowledges at one point, stating that he prefers his beliefs on the subject over the general consensus; and further cementing his unreliability.
* The first half of Elizabeth Wein's UsefulNotes/WorldWarII novel ''Literature/CodeNameVerity'' is told entirely through the written confession of an Allied agent to her Nazi captors. Unsurprisingly, she's not giving them (or us) the full story...
* The short story "Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story" by Russell Banks is built on this trope. The narrator Ron repeatedly insists that he was [[HerCodenameWasMarySue an extremely handsome, modest, and nice guy]] and that Sarah Cole was an extremely ugly woman he dated out of pity/niceness, but it doesn't take much reading between the lines to see that Ron is not ''nearly'' as nice a guy he tries to pass himself off as and that he constantly refers to himself in the third person because he's secretly ashamed of how poorly he treated Sarah. He even seems to realize it at the end when his narration breaks down and he suddenly begins describing Sarah as a gorgeous goddess who he stupidly and cruelly hurt, implying that not only does he know deep down that ''he'' didn't deserve ''her'' instead of the other way around but also that he might have described her as much worse-looking than she actually was to justify his treatment of her.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheGreatDivorce'', the damned will do this about their lives if they can. When talking with the Bright Ones, they get (gently) called on this, but on the bus, the Tousle-Headed Poet presents his life as NeverMyFault, even though it is clear he is a lazy, untalented moocher, and on their arrival, a grumbling woman blames her death on everyone around her at the time, someone should have managed to save her, although it was certain she was gravely ill -- she complains of the surgery, but during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, when this is set, operations were a matter of last resort.
* Creator/RobertCharlesWilson's ''[[Literature/JulianComstock Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America]]'' has a lot of fun with this trope, with the narrator simply not noticing important things about his friends, not being able to tell reality from propaganda, and often being manipulated and played, without even realising it.
* ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon'' has the mentally challenged narrator Charlie Gordon, whose disability means he often doesn't completely grasp the situations he encounters. For example, the "friends" he hangs out with repeatedly humiliate Charlie without his batting an eye.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'', large chunks of the book are people's first person accounts of their own history. Even those who do not actually lie do have their own axes to grind.
* In ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'', the reader is not supposed to agree with Arronax that Captain Nemo is the greatest guy ever. Arronax shows clear signs of StockholmSyndrome and excuses everything Nemo does throughout the book [[spoiler:until Nemo's VillainousBreakdown]]. Most adaptations completely miss this and [[MisaimedFandom portray Nemo as the hero]].
* British statesman Lord Chesterfield points out a problem with telling about RealLife events in ''Literature/LettersToHisSon'': "A man who has been concerned in a transaction will not write it fairly; and a man who has not, cannot." (letter 37)
* In ''Film/TheRemainsOfTheDay'', Stevens's repression of his emotions in all situations results in many moments where even as it's incredibly obvious what he must be feeling, he refuses to acknowledge having any feelings at all — his father's death, for instance.
* Phil's first-person narration in ''Literature/{{Snyper}}'' isn't technically unreliable but is full of subjective filtering and misinterpretation of the facts he's presenting, such as assuming Ashley is just a DumbBlonde secretary even though other characters frequently say otherwise.
* Hagar Shipley (formally Currie) from Margaret Laurence's "Literature/{{The Stone Angel}}" fits the bill in that she is a very proud, cynical woman. It can be very difficult to discern whether she is exaggerating about somebody or if the negative attributes she applies to someone is all in her head.
** Lottie is a girl Hagar grows up with, and often Hagar will dismiss her as a nobody. She also assumes that when Lottie makes a comment about her, it is meant in a derogatory manner.
** Hagar describes her husband as a low-class slob who is lazy and not worth her respect; insight into Bram's character, however, can reveal that Hagar drove him to drink.
* The ''Literature/ThievesWorld'' SharedUniverse used this as a way of dealing with [[ContinuitySnarl continuity errors]] between the many authors who wrote for it. A preface framing story has an old man explaining to a new arrival to the city of [[WretchedHive Sanctuary]] that one should not believe everything in the stories one hears, as everyone spins the stories to fit their agendas, to make themselves sound more important in a good story, or less to blame in a bad one, and two people telling the same story may have wildly different variations.
* The ''Franchise/{{Starcraft}}'' novel ''I, Mengsk'' contains two sections: one narrated by [[MagnificentBastard Arcturus Mengsk]], manipulator extraordinaire, and one narrated by his son Valerian. In Arcturus's segments, he is a perfect student, blows past his peers in every way, charms any girl he wants, is a perfect soldier, etc. etc. etc. Other people are either smitten with him (like his girlfriend Juliana) or fools (like his father Angus). In Valerian's segments, he paints a very different, much darker picture of Arcturus that's more in keeping with his video game appearances and other novels such as ''Liberty's Crusade''. It demonstrates how, although most people ''are'' swept up by his father's rhetoric and believe the elder Mengsk is who he claims to be, Valerian [[BrokenPedestal has grown beyond that]] and sees the monster his father really is for himself.
* H. G. Wells's ''Literature/WarOfTheWorlds'' makes more sense if we doubt the narrator's reliability. A progressive-minded Victorian, he is dazzled by the Martians' technology, and sees them as embodying the naive popular view that humans were "evolving" towards beings of pure brain without "animal" functions like eating. He constantly describes them as coldly brilliant superminds, whereas their actual behaviour - their rampaging vandalism, their unpreparedness for Earth's seas, and, of course, their fatal ignorance of Biology 101 - suggests a bunch of dumb adventurers with guns running wild among helpless primitives. Given that Wells's known intention was to show the British how it would feel to be the savages they were busy conquering, this misguided admiration may be exactly the effect he intended.
* Thomas Cromwell of ''Literature/WolfHall'', while not precisely the narrator, has only a very selective section of thoughts revealed during the book, and tends to skip over thinking about many of his more morally dubious actions. At the end of the sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, it is implied by another character that he chose the five men charged with adultery with Anne Boleyn because they took part in a masque insulting his former master Wolsey. This is probably true but he never thinks about this (or indeed any other reasons) while he is selecting the men.
* The video games ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' and ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag'' were novelized in the form of ''Literature/AssassinsCreedForsaken'' and ''[[Literature/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag Assassin's Creed: Black Flag]]'', both of which are narrated as Haytham and Edward Kenway respectively narrating the events of those games through their points of view. Thing is, these are both expressly intended to be read by their respective offspring -- Haytham's son Connor[[note]]who authors the prologue and epilogue of ''Forsaken''[[/note]], and Edward's daughter Jennifer Scott -- so both "''journals''" have unsupported claims about what really happened; WordOfGod is that they're canonical to the extent not contradicted by the games, i.e. Edward's [[BlatantLies glowing view of his relationship with]] [[VitriolicBestBuds Adewale]] and convenient omissions.
* Jennifer A. Nielsen's ''Literature/AscendanceTrilogy'' (especially The False Prince, the first novel) provides an example in which the narrator rarely actually lies, either to the readers or the other characters he interacts with, and on the occasions he does tell an outright lie often points it out in the narration. Instead, his unreliability comes from his tendency to tell only part of the truth so that it is easily misinterpreted or to tell the truth in a manner that makes other characters believe he is lying or being sarcastic. In the later two books he is more forward about things, but still will often let the reader believe what the general public believes about a situation until it comes time to reveal the more complete version of the truth.
* The ''Literature/{{Idlewild}}'' series:
** The narrator of ''Literature/{{Idlewild}}'' is an amnesiac whose memory doesn't track further than the first page of the book. He claims to recover some memories over time, but they're rosy interpretations that support his existing perspective.
** ''Literature/{{Edenborn}}'' uses SwitchingPOV to track several different characters, each of whose perspectives taint the narrative (though Penny is definitely the worst).
* In ''Literature/TheGospelOfLoki'', Loki describes his own autobiography as a "tissue of lies". He adds that "it's at least as true as the official version and, dare I say it, more entertaining."
* The PinkertonDetective who narrates Creator/AnthonyHorowitz's Franchise/SherlockHolmes novel ''Literature/{{Moriarty}}'' omits just a few important details[[spoiler:--for example, his actual identity--]]and trots out ExactWords on more than one occasion.
* Defied in ''Literature/ABadDayForVoodoo''. Tyler assures the reader that he is telling the complete truth.
* Played with in "Literature/ThePrincessBride", in which the author uses a false version of himself to provide background for his editing of the (nonexistent) original novel. Weirdly enough, though, especially in the introductions he periodically adds on for various anniversary editions (particularly about the movie), he will often reference real people and occasionally tell real anecdotes about them as well as real anecdotes about his life and then segue into an anecdote that, if you know that the book is wholly fictional, couldn't possibly have happened. Within the false original book, it is implied that the author, though he was purportedly writing a novel based on true events, did not quite know when to stick to the truth, when not, when to add in his whole long polemics about trees, etc. Especially in the 30th anniversary intro, when we learn that he was considering changing aspects of the story (and may have actually done so) in order to cater to what he and others wanted to hear, we question, even upon finding out that there is a museum with artifacts of the story, how much of it REALLY happened.
* In ''Literature/GoneGirl'', Nick Dunne leaves out numerous details throughout the story, making the reader suspicious about ''how'' unreliable he is, and whether or not he is behind his wife Amy's disappearance. [[spoiler: It turns out that Amy is even more unreliable than her husband, as her diary was deliberately fabricated with lies so that she could frame her husband.]]
* The protagonist Ted in ''IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream'' says that [[CureYourGays Benny]], [[TheEeyore Gorrister]], [[ThoseWackyNazis Nimdok]] and [[BlackAndNerdy Ellen]] all hate him because he's the youngest and because AM effects him the least. He also says Ellen claims to have had sex only twice before being brought down into AM, yet in the game she was both married and [[spoiler: a rape victim.]]
* Anika in ''Literature/{{MARZENA}}'' makes it clear multiple times throughout the story that she wasn't there when it happened. She's just a [[AuthorAvatar ghost writer]] transcribing down the thoughts and memories of the characters. As for what really happened? Who knows!? Although... the story may be fictitious, but the science is real!
* ''Literature/BlowingUpTheMovies'': Discussed in the essay on ''Film/{{Hero}}''.
* ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'' : is set up as the two siblings, Carter and Sadie Kane, recording their most recent adventures. They switch off every chapter and frequently comment on what the other has said. This ranges from side comments (such as one telling their sibling to stop laughing) to outright correcting things the other sibling has said. However the over arching story is assumed to be pretty accurate. Things just may not have gone as well as they say.
* Holly, the narrator of Laura Kasischke's ''Mind of Winter,'' fights with her adopted teenage daughter Tatiana while trying to get the house ready for Christmas. But there are two problems. First, Holly also struggles with her repressed knowledge that [[spoiler: Tatiana is not the girl whom she and her husband originally intended to adopt from a Siberian orphanage.]] Second, as the ending reveals, Tatiana [[spoiler: died of an undiagnosed heart defect on Christmas morning, leaving it unclear if Holly is interacting with both her ghost and that of the other girl, or has been DrivenToMadness out of guilt.]]
* Lemuel Gulliver from ''Literature/GulliversTravels'' becomes one by the fourth journey. He describes [[StrawVulcans the Houyhnhnms]] as the perfect civilization, despite their arrogance, elitism, and genocidal tendencies.
* The most prominent example in ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' is when, in first person present tense, Ana gives a detailed explanation of her surroundings and right afterwards claims that she doesn't get a chance to see what her surroundings look like.
* In ''Literature/{{Barkwire}}'', it's not entirely clear how much of the dogs' personalities and social lives are imagined by the reviewers.
* ''LightNovel/AnotherNote'' is narrated by Mello. He is biased in favor of L, having been raised to be his successor, and states openly that he sympathizes in some ways with B, because both he and B are AlwaysSecondBest. Also, Mello is telling a story that he heard from L, who heard the details from Naomi, so Mello is filling in a lot of blanks he couldn't possibly know. (He lampshades this too, giving a ShoutOut to the above-mentioned [[Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye Holden Caulfield]], calling him "The greatest literary bullshitter of all time.")
* ''Literature/TheRedTent'' is narrated by Dinah. She tells the readers that she's retelling a lot of stuff that her mom and aunts have told her, from memory, and that it's been a long time, so some of the details might not be ''quite'' accurate.
* The History of Love: near the end, Leo explains how he's an unreliable narrator; it also turns out that Bruno was [[spoiler: {{Deadallalong}} ]], which casts the last scene with him in a different light.
* ''Literature/TheKharkanasTrilogy'': The story is narrated by the poet Gallan to another poet, Fisher kel Tath, and in the prelude to ''Forge of Darkness'', Gallan flat-out admits to not be telling the truth:
--> No matter; what I do not recall I shall invent. [...] And if I spoke of sacrifices, I lied.
* Drew Karpyshyn, author of the ''Franchise/StarWars'': ''Literature/DarthBane'' books [[WordOfGod discussed this]] in relation to a fan theory regarding the ending. He had actually intended for the ending to be clear, but to many it wasn't. He noted that in order for the fan theory to work, readers would have to assume that he was being an unreliable narrator at the end of the book, something that he had never done before. "[[http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DtRcbmCVBwIJ:www.drewkarpyshyn.com/spoiler.htm Unfortunately, “twist” endings have become so prevalent recently that I think people assume narrators are unreliable now by default...]]"
* Literature/JessicaDarling is prone to leaving out things she doesn't want to talk about, making conjectures with absolute certainty that turn out to be entirely false, and of course talking at length about [[CoolLoser how ugly and unpopular she is while people are constantly praising her and boys fawning over her.]] She's not entirely unaware of it, though; at one point she flat out wonders how she can be so [[TheSnarkKnight incapable of ignoring anything even if she'd be happier not seeing it,]] yet at the same time completely miss so much. Another character tells her that while she is indeed quite perceptive, she's also prone to making up her mind about what people are like and refusing to believe that they could ever [[CharacterDevelopment change]].
* ''Literature/TheDarkElfTrilogy'' is framed as being the memoir of its protagonist, Drizzt Do'Urden, and at various points in the novels, Drizzt addresses the reader directly to share his reflections or feelings about the experiences he is recounting. The bulk of each novel, however, is written from the perspective of an omniscient third-person narrator, who describes events that Drizzt was not present for, and which in some cases he could not possibly have known about. That leads to some interesting questions. For example, Alton [=DeVir=] tries more than once to kill Drizzt, supposedly for revenge on the Do'Urden's for murdering his family, except that Drizzt was born on the night the [=DeVir=]'s were killed, and so is, of all the Do'Urdens, completely innocent. Nevertheless, Alton's hatred seems to particularly target Drizzt, moreso than any other Do'Urden. We are never really given a satisfying explanation for why Alton targeted Drizzt; it is possible that Drizzt just did not know why, or perhaps he knew and did not want to tell us. This is not the only time something like that happens: in the third novel, Roddy [=McGristle=] conceives a bitter hatred of Drizzt and hunts him for years, to the ends of the earth, despite relatively little provocation. Roddy's hatred seems bizarrely undermotivated, just like Alton's. Was Drizzt not telling us everything? Did he just not know what motivated Roddy, and so had to guess? There is also the fact that Drizzt spares Roddy at the end, because, the narrator tells us, he had no knowledge of any crimes Roddy had committed that were deserving of death. Earlier in the novel, however, Roddy had committed two murders. If Drizzt did not know about those--and it is hard to see how he could have--then who put them in the story?



[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Nearly all of the background material for ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is told from possibly inaccurate histories and skewed propaganda pieces, making the exact nature of the setting [[ContinuitySnarl dubious at best.]]
** While all of the material is written from the perspective of some particular group, which naturally wants to make itself the most sympathetic, the Imperium takes a ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' approach to the way it handles information.
** This trope (along with FutureImperfect) was specifically ''invoked'' when the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novels were first released. When fans pointed out that events in the novels contradicted what was in the 40k backstory, GW outright said "the backstory is history filtered through ten thousand years. The novels are what ''really'' happened."
** Invoked again with the [[TheAlliance Tau]], who were initially introduced as an AlwaysLawfulGood faction after part of the player base complained that there was ''too much'' GRIMDARK in the setting. After another section of the player base complained that the Tau were ruining the GRIMDARK, information popped up about forced sterilizations, concentration camps, and various other traditionally evil acts on the part of the Tau. The kicker? InUniverse, all of said information comes from the Imperium's propaganda machine, putting the right to AlternateCharacterInterpretation squarely in the players' laps.''
** Games Workshop once said that while all published material is canon, not all of it is ''true''...
* And like ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the regular TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} books are also written in an unreliable sort of way.
* Much like the above ''Warhammer'' example, all of the material on ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' is written from an in-universe perspective, always of some particular person or organization. This goes for everything, even the technical readouts on new 'Mechs and such. [=ComStar=] was the original viewpoint group, but it has since branched out to every faction. Some of the earlier books had significant errors (people doing things before their stated date of birth, using 'Mechs that hadn't been invented yet, etc), and the in-universe perspective allowed them to chalk it up to different perspectives. It also allowed them to {{Retcon}} things that they didn't want.
* TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} Sourcebooks are kind of this way too, though far more reliable as it is a more mundane setting. There is enough leeway for a good gamemaster to go every which way.
* Used as a justification for adventure hooks in ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'', in the form of rumours that may or may not be true as the GM decides. One example: "Bigfoot has a social security number".
* Almost all source materials for games set in Greg Stafford's "Glorantha" (''TabletopGame/RuneQuest, TabletopGame/HeroQuest, TabletopGame/DragonPass, TabletopGame/NomadGods'') along with books (King of Sartar) are written in the style of Unreliable Narrators with no one absolute truth.
* Large parts of ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' supplements were written as posts on an online message board, and the authors were ever eager to point out that anything could be wrong, exaggerated, or invented.
* All of the world background in White Wolf's TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness is presented in this way. Each book. This is most notable in the splatbooks: each faction tells a different version of history in which their own faction is somehow older, smarter, and generally more awesome than all the others. Each game line had its own creation myths filtered through the interpretations and prejudices of whatever faction is the focus of the book you're reading and most are mutually exclusive.
** The largest one: ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen''. We ''never'' get the other viewpoint, and the viewpoint we do get is filtered through several millennia of resentment.
* Many 2nd edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' sourcebooks, and most notably the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' ones, are assigned specific narrators. (This also includes the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' Van Richten's Guides and a bunch of others.) ''Planescape'' had more unreliable narrators than others, considering the fact that at least one of them was certifiably insane by human standards...
** In fact, the {{Splat}} book ''Faces of Evil: The Fiends'' had ''several'' oddball narrators presented as contributors, but by far the most interesting - and likely most unreliable - one was the blue slaad Xanxost who was... Who was a slaad. That was the best way the editor could describe him. Xanxost seemed to be less chaotic than most of his kind, being able to write complete sentences, but he was distracted easily (mostly by his appetite), repeated himself often, and seemed to have trouble counting. (Xanxost appeared later to narrate the chapter on the Quasielemental Plane of Steam in the later book ''The Inner Planes'', the editor of that book claiming he was recruited to pen the chapter because feedback to his commentary in the former book was overwhelmingly positive.)
** An especially interesting example of this was the ''Netheril: Empire of Magic'' sourcebook that described said lost civilization in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms. Except one particular archwizard of immense power was never mentioned in the entire book, despite being a prominent figure. That is, until you start to try to figure out who the narrator was...
* Indie storytelling game ''The Adventures of Baron Munchausen'' makes every player into an unreliable narrator, and has specific mechanics governing how players can challenge the veracity of each others' tales.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' source books are divided into two to three sections. The Posse Territory sections are for general use, and give about as much information as the world at large knows. No Man's Land is for information only certain people would know, like the existence of Harrowed or how Huckster magic works. Both of these sections are filled with untruths, ranging from simple misinformation to BlatantLies. The Marshall's Only sections have the lowdown on how things ''really'' work. Part of the setting's mystique is having the inner workings of the Reckoning remain a mystery to the players. ''Then'', to make it all even more interesting, several of the Marshalls Only sections are double-bluffs, leadinig metagaming players to think there's something sinister going on when there in fact isn't.
* The first and early second edition sourcebooks of the ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' RPG were all written from the subjective in-universe point of view of the clan or faction that was the primary focus of the book. This was done both for flavor and to give the GM the freedom to decide what was true and what wasn't in his campaign. This approach was eventually abandoned during the second edition because Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast thought it was too confusing for d20 players.
* All of the character stats in the ''TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles'' RPG are treated this way, as extrapolations made by [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis Billy, the RPG's writer and werewolf]] from Harry's "case files". He admits flatly that this heavily underestimates the power of a lot of important figures (like the White Council's senior members, the Denarians, Cowl, etc.), allowing the GM to make them as powerful as he or she desires. It also means that future books are not constrained to the metaphysics or stats laid out in the RPG.
* TabletopGame/HoylesRulesOfDragonPoker starts off with a fictional history of the game, in which the author offers two possible origins of the game, mocks both and ultimately chides the reader for not believing the more fantastic one when it turns out to be (allegedly) true. All this happens within about a page and a half.

to:

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Nearly Several TV shows have had a RashomonStyle episode.
** ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'' opened with the end of a particularly nasty marital argument. When Mary complains to her friend, she was being a pleasant wife and her husband was in an inexplicably nasty mood. When he complains to his coworkers, he came home to find her unusually lazy and nagging. The audience then gets to hear from the goldfish what actually happened: they'd both had bad days, and took it out on each other.
** In an episode of ''Series/SpaceCases'', when Catalina is asked to describe what happened with the Ion Storm, Harlan acts completely and utterly worthless and it's actually her who saves the day. When this flashback finishes, everyone says "...wait that's not what happened" and they ask for Harlan's version, which is...more or less the same thing but with Harlan presented as the hero and Catalina being useless and her obsession with Suzee being exaggerated.
** An episode of ''Series/PerfectStrangers'' have Larry, Balki, and their neighbor give differing stories to the police about an incident. Each version has the teller as the hero.
** An episode of ''Series/HappyDays'' had Fonzie, Chachi, Roger, & Potsie
all giving differing versions of the background material for ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is told same chain of events leading to Fonzie getting shot in the butt.
** ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' had a Rashomon episode where an incident was seen
from possibly inaccurate histories the points of view of all four principals - Edith's version was the objective, accurate one, of course.
** ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "Tall Tales" is a TheRashomon episode, with Sam
and skewed propaganda pieces, making Dean telling their own version of the previous events to their ParentalSubstitute Bobby - and often end up arguing over who's telling the story and the exact nature details of the setting [[ContinuitySnarl dubious at best.]]
** While all
what occurred. It is eventuality revealed that a Trickster (a minor god of the material is written chaos) has been messing with their relationship in order to distract them from the perspective case at hand, so most of the narrative consists of whichever brother is speaking portraying himself as a suave, dedicated professional searching earnestly for the truth, while painting the other in decidedly uncomplimentary colors. In Sam's narration, Dean appears as a slutty, gluttonous pig with no standards, while Dean portrays Sam as a prissy, super-sensitive do-gooder with CampGay mannerisms. They end up working together to defeat the Trickster and sincerely apologizing for their behavior after closing the case.
** ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
*** In the fourth-season episode "The Novocaine Mutiny", Frank and Hawkeye give wildly differing accounts of the same event.
*** The series finale segment in which Hawkeye - via flashback - describes the bus ride with the chicken to Sidney, is a powerful example; made powerful due to the frighteningly awesome reveal later on.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Andrew is this in the episode "Storyteller".
* The ''{{Series/Farscape}}'' episode "The Ugly Truth" has four of the characters being successively interrogated about the destruction of an alien spacecraft by angry compatriots of the aliens who assume that any difference in the stories must be deliberate lies. While we can see that the characters are consciously or subconsciously framing events to make themselves look better, the central character Crichton finally delivers a KirkSummation about how memory is fallible and no one person's description of something will ever be totally accurate. Notably, the aliens claim that this cannot be, as they always remember things in the same way.
** "Scratch 'n Sniff" features Crichton relaying the events of why he had to leave a planet to Pilot. At several points, Pilot refuses to believe Crichton (even at one point suggesting that if Jool had lost as much fluid from her body as Crichton said, she'd be dead) and in the end it was left ambiguous how much of the story, if any, was true.
* ''{{Leverage}}'' has "The Rashomon Job", in which each of the characters recounts how it was they who stole the golden dagger. In the end, Nate reveals the single true story and reveals who really stole the dagger. One running gag is everybody messing up Sophie's British accent. By [[CloudCuckooLander Parker]], she sounds like a dwarf from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* Series/PrettyLittleLiars plays with this a lot.
** "I won't let Spencer Hastings bully me anymore."
** Why are there football guys laughing at Hanna and oinking while she eats cupcakes? More likely is that she feels they are laughing at her and we see it as such.
** Why are swim meets and class elections such a huge deal? Because they are important to Emily and Spencer respectively.
* ''Series/TheBlackDonnellys'': The narrator (Joey "Ice Cream") puts himself into the story in places where he couldn't have been, gets dates wrong by a year or so, and just has the general demeanor of not being a guy whose facts are ready to bank. On the flip side, the story he tells does not make him seem like a MartyStu. He gets shut down by the ladies. He never plays a pivotal role in the events of the story. This leads us to believe we can accept at least ''some'' of what he is saying. Joey generally gives the sense of wishing he had brothers like the Donnellys, and that's why he inserts himself into the story, in a hopeful-sad attempt to feel like part of them while he's really an outsider. Sometimes it seems like he may have been there, and usually it seems like it was probably another Donnelly or sometimes Jenny who was really there.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' started off occasionally playing with this, but has used the device increasingly often as it progressed. Unusually, it is not because Future Ted is lying ''per se'' (at least, not often - there are
some instances of outright lies), but because of ordinary memory lapses (having a character named Blah Blah because he can't recall her name), subjective interpretation of ordinary events (showing Robin's forty-something date as elderly), or sanitizing the story for his children (using "I'm getting too old for this ''stuff''" instead of "shit".). The few times he tells us things that seem to defy reality (such as Lily and Marshall escaping their own party by jumping out the window, or having high school athletes and a ''Film/TeenWolf'' on a kindergarten basketball team), he {{Hand Wave}}s it by saying that's all he heard about it. In short, if there is a way to exploit the potential of an unreliable narrator for comedic purposes, it's been done on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' at some point.
** Episode "The Rough Patch": [[spoiler:Since they began happily dating, Barney and Robin]] have let themselves go a little; however, in Ted's mind, they look like absolute hell, and [[spoiler:Barney]] in
particular group, is now comically overweight. He even admits that he's unreliable on this point, but they stay that way for most of the episode [[RuleofFunny anyway]].
*** Especially blatant is the apparent scene right after he came in possession of a architecture themed porn movie. Porn is bad so he intended to get rid of it right away. He loses the grip and the VHS just happen to fly out of the case, jump on the remote and land in the VCR
which naturally wants to make in an equal unfortunate event turned itself on.
** Episode "Zoo or False" includes two more examples. The question of whether or not Marshall was mugged by a monkey goes unanswered, and
the most sympathetic, last two minutes of the Imperium takes show, where [[spoiler:the monkey carries a ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' approach little doll woman to the way top of Ted's scale model of the empire state building while paper airplanes are thrown at him]] are left similarly ambiguous.
--->'''Ted:''' Barney, enough with the lies. You can't just tack on a new ending because you're unsatisfied with how a story wraps up.
--->'''Barney:''' Oh really? Well, mark my words, Mosby, 'cause someday you'll be telling this story, and you'll see
it handles information.
my way.
--->'''Ted:''' Doubtful. ''[[FramingDevice (narrating from the future)]]'' And then, kids, you'll never believe what happened!
** [[spoiler: Particularly great, since the setup for the awesome end has been laced throughout the episode--so if Future Ted is making this up he's likely made up a fair chunk of the episode]].
** This trope (along with FutureImperfect) was specifically ''invoked'' also happens to Ted when the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novels were first released. When fans pointed he goes to see a movie and finds out that events the story is based on how Stella left him right before their wedding. It portrays him as a {{Jerkass}} and makes him the villain.
** Speaking of Present!Ted's {{Jerkass}} behavior, Ted comes off as a NiceGuy, but continually done some pretty selfish things. Is he worse than he appears? On the other hand, Future!Ted tends to insult his past self fairly often. He seems to recognize his behavior as wrong and learned to grow up. Or has he?
** Subverted in episode 5.5, "Duel Citizenship:" Future Ted says, "And then it happened... Marshall and Lily morphed into one big married blob." This is shown literally happening, indicating Ted's narration is being exaggerated for comic effect. Then Present Ted blinks and says, "Whoa...I gotta dial back on the Tantrum." This refers to a highly caffeinated beverage he'd been consuming, implying that he was hallucinating.
** An ongoing joke
in the novels contradicted what was series is that Ted doesn't want to admit to his kids that he and his friends occasionally smoked pot, so any time he refers to a joint, he calls it a "sandwich," and the characters are duly portrayed eating sandwiches (while their behavior makes it obvious they're stoned).
** The trope is used twice
in the 40k backstory, GW outright said "the backstory is history filtered through ten thousand years. The novels are what ''really'' happened."
** Invoked again
episode "The Ashtray", when an unexpected meeting with the [[TheAlliance Tau]], The Captain is told by Ted, then being retold and corrected by Robin, who were initially introduced as an AlwaysLawfulGood faction reveals Ted was stoned and terrified of The Captain, after part which it is retold by Lily who reveals that Ted was stoned, and Robin was drunk.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** Telling Bashir how it was a fellow Obsidian Order agent named Elim who screwed up Garak's life, providing a number of different versions. When Bashir finds Garak's mentor ([[spoiler:and father]]) Enabran Tain, he asks about this. Tain just laughs and reveals that Elim is Garak's first name. In a way, Garak was saying that his predicament is his own fault.
** Episode "The Wire": Garak, because as a former secret agent
of the player base complained that there was ''too much'' GRIMDARK in Cardassian Obsidian Order he liked obfuscating his own past and never told a truth if a lie would suffice.
-->'''Bashir:''' Out of all
the setting. After another section of the player base complained that the Tau stories you told me, which ones were ruining true and which ones weren't?
-->'''Garak:''' My dear doctor, they were all true.
-->'''Bashir:''' Even
the GRIMDARK, information popped up about forced sterilizations, concentration camps, and various other traditionally evil acts on lies?
-->'''Garak:''' ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t02v9EUHs30#t=2m12s Especially
the part of the Tau. lies.]]''
**
The kicker? InUniverse, all of said information comes moral Garak draws from ''The Boy Who Cried Wolf''? ''Never tell the Imperium's propaganda machine, putting the right to AlternateCharacterInterpretation squarely in the players' laps.same lie twice.''
** Games Workshop once said --> Garak: The truth is usually just an excuse for lack of imagination.
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' often mentions his lack of any emotions in his narration, though it becomes increasingly apparent
that while all published material this is canon, not all of it is ''true''...
* And like ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the regular TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} books are also written in an unreliable sort of way.
* Much like the above ''Warhammer''
true. For example, all of he does clearly care about the material on ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' is written from an in-universe perspective, always of some particular person or organization. This goes for everything, even the technical readouts on new 'Mechs and such. [=ComStar=] was the original viewpoint group, but it has since branched out to every faction. Some of the earlier books had significant errors (people doing things before their stated date of birth, using 'Mechs that hadn't been invented yet, etc), and the in-universe perspective allowed them to chalk it up to different perspectives. It also allowed them to {{Retcon}} things that they didn't want.
* TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} Sourcebooks are kind of this way too,
people in his life, though far more reliable as it is a more mundane setting. There is enough leeway for a good gamemaster to go every which way.
* Used as a justification for adventure hooks in ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'', in the form of rumours that may or may not be true as the GM decides. One example: "Bigfoot has a social security number".
* Almost all source materials for games set in Greg Stafford's "Glorantha" (''TabletopGame/RuneQuest, TabletopGame/HeroQuest, TabletopGame/DragonPass, TabletopGame/NomadGods'') along
with books (King his (eventual) wife and her two kids it's also implied to be a case of Sartar) are written in BecomingTheMask. He's not lying to the style audience so much as he simply doesn't understand a lot of Unreliable Narrators with no human nature.
* In
one absolute truth.
* Large parts
segment of ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' supplements were written as posts on an online message board, and the authors were ever eager to point out that anything could be wrong, exaggerated, or invented.
* All of the world background in White Wolf's TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness is presented in this way. Each book. This is most notable in the splatbooks: each faction
''Series/{{MADtv}}'', Aries Spears tells a different version of history in which their own faction is somehow older, smarter, and generally more awesome than all the others. Each game line had its own creation myths filtered through the interpretations and prejudices of whatever faction is the focus story as a photomontage of the book you're reading events he's detailing accompanies. We start with Aries hanging out on the roof, where he goes to chill out in his downtime, and most are mutually exclusive.
** The largest one: ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen''. We ''never'' get
noting that this would be a great place to launch a glider. After this point, the wholesome and educational narrative he details begins to subtly (and, very very shortly, not so subtly) diverge from the things we're seeing, and ends with Aries high as a kite on glue fumes, under the impression that one of the other viewpoint, actors, aware of what has happened and the viewpoint we do get concerned for Aries' safety, is filtered through several millennia some kind of resentment.
demon out to kill him.
* Many 2nd edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' sourcebooks, and most notably the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' ones, The Dharma orientation films of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' are assigned specific narrators. (This also includes the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' Van Richten's Guides and a bunch of others.) ''Planescape'' had more unreliable narrators than others, considering the fact that at least one of them was certifiably insane narrated by human standards...
** In fact, the {{Splat}} book ''Faces of Evil:
[[Creator/FrancoisChau François Chau]]'s variably named character. The Fiends'' had ''several'' oddball narrators presented as contributors, but by far the most interesting - and likely most unreliable - one was the blue slaad Xanxost who was... Who was a slaad. That was the best way the editor could describe him. Xanxost seemed to be less chaotic than most of his kind, being able to write complete sentences, but he was distracted easily (mostly by his appetite), repeated himself often, and seemed to have trouble counting. (Xanxost appeared later to narrate the chapter on the Quasielemental Plane of Steam in the later book Swan film is located "behind ''The Inner Planes'', Turn of the editor of Screw''" on the bookshelf, tipping the audience in advance that book claiming he was recruited perhaps "Marvin Candle" is not to pen be trusted.
* Hard to prove, but Kevin of ''Series/TheWonderYears'' may fall under this. He is recalling events to him long past, and while
the chapter because feedback to his commentary in broad details are likely accurate, consider that the former book was overwhelmingly positive.)
** An
older brother and some of the pre-Women's Lib neighborhood girls get away with a lot of hitting. Also, when unfairness, especially interesting parental, hits Kevin, it seems to focus on him exclusively, making you wonder if his older self is letting the filters of nostalgia and occasional bitterness influence his re-telling. The premiere episode has Kevin recalling that he was a 'pretty fair athlete' while showing a perfectly thrown football pass bounce off his chest.
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' plays with the more humorous variant. For one example, Malcolm says the house next-door never seemed to have a permanent resident and they never figured out why. Cue montage of the boys playing all ''sorts'' of pranks on the previous residents, then cut to Malcolm saying "I don't know - I think it might be haunted."
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Episode "The Trial of a Time Lord", [[spoiler:the Valeyard]] has tampered with the evidence in the Matrix, especially in ''Mindwarp'', to make the Doctor's conviction certain.
** In the more recent Series/DoctorWho story, "The Unicorn And The Wasp", Agatha Christie questions the attendees at an outdoor party regarding a recent murder. As the suspects each give their story, we see the events that they describe, but as they really happened. Example, one young man claimed to be wandering alone, but in the flashback scene it's shown that he was flirting with another man. His father lies not only about what he was doing but also what he was reminiscing about at the time, leading to a flashback-within-a-flashback.
** The episode "Love & Monsters" is framed as a story being told to the camera by Elton Pope. [[spoiler: It's explicitly shown that his memory of how the band sounded, and how they actually sounded are rather different, which calls into question a lot of his interpretation of events]].
* BBC sitcom ''{{Coupling}}'' had numerous examples of unreliable narrators, notably pretty much anything said by either Jeff or Jane. But the greatest
example of this was the ''Netheril: Empire of Magic'' sourcebook that described said lost civilization in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms. Except one particular archwizard third season episode "Remember This", where Patrick and Sally's individual recollections of immense power was never mentioned how they met match in many, but not all details, to great comedic effect. [[spoiler:In particular, the entire book, despite being a prominent figure. That is, until you start to try to figure out who the narrator was...
* Indie storytelling game
print of Munch's ''The Adventures of Baron Munchausen'' makes every Scream'' that the exceedingly drunk Sally remembers is revealed to be a mirror in Patrick's memories.]] When Jane turns up unexpectedly at Patrick's flat, the lads discuss the incident at the bar:
--> Steve (astonished): Why?
--> Patrick (equally astonished): That's the first thing I said to her, I said, "Why?"
--> (Cut to flashback)
--> Patrick (suave): Come in!
--> (Cut to bar)
--> Patrick: She just came in. I had no idea what to say!
--> (Cut to flashback)
--> Patrick (suave): Drink?
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** In "The Unnatural" an alcoholic ex-cop tells Mulder how he encountered an alien posing as a famous Negro baseball
player in [[RoswellThatEndsWell 1947 Roswell]]; a story that even Mulder finds hard to believe. When Mulder tries fitting these facts into an what he knows about the GovernmentConspiracy, the cop basically tells him to just shut up and enjoy the tale.
** Used this trope very frequently, especially in the more comedic episodes, like "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" and "Bad Blood," both of which are told RashomonStyle. In "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'", one alien is named "Lord Kinbote" after Charles Kinbote, the
unreliable narrator, narrator in Nabokov's "Pale Fire."
* In ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', [[spoiler:Bennett's memory of how her arm was crippled shows Caroline abandoning her to save herself. Caroline's own memory is later seen,
and has specific mechanics governing how players shows her trying to dislodge the rubble pinning Bennett, then explaining that as an employee Bennett can challenge the veracity of each others' tales.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' source books are divided into two to three sections. The Posse Territory sections are for general use,
pretend she wasn't involved, and give about as much information as the world at large knows. No Man's Land is for information only certain people would know, like the existence of Harrowed or how Huckster magic works. Both of these sections are filled with untruths, ranging from simple misinformation pinning her ID badge to BlatantLies. The Marshall's Only sections have the lowdown on how things ''really'' work. Part of the setting's mystique is having the inner workings of the Reckoning remain a mystery to the players. ''Then'', her to make it all even this more interesting, several of obvious before leaving. Which seems very thorough. The apparent implication is that Bennett's memory is incomplete. On the Marshalls Only sections are double-bluffs, leadinig metagaming players to think other hand, Caroline is the one whose memory is repeatedly and extensively tampered with, so there's something sinister going room for multiple interpretations.]]
* The Janitor from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' is a pathological liar. He tells the most bizarre tales about his past and doesn't even keep track of what is true in them, if any at all. Or maybe he does but just wants to screw with you. The only thing we know about him for sure is that he had a bit part in ''Film/TheFugitive''.
-->''(as Janitor finishes a story)''
-->'''J.D.''': Is any of that true?
-->'''Janitor''': Somebody would have to read it back to me.
* Played for laughs
on when there ''Series/RedDwarf''. In the episode "Blue", the crew travel through an artificial reality version of Rimmer's journal, in fact isn't.
which he depicts himself as a brave, handsome leader and the other crew members as reliant on him for various things which, in reality, they're better at than Rimmer.
* Occasionally used in ''TheMiddle''. A scene will go surprisingly well, considering things rarely if ever go well for the characters. Frankie will then voice over "OK, that's not really what happened," and show the much worse thing that actually happened.
* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' Tony tends to embellish his stories. In a sad example he has been embellishing a story about a school prank for so long that he started to believe that his version of events was exactly what happened. When he starts feeling guilty and goes to apologize to the now grown up victim of the prank, the guy is baffled by Tony's apology. Tony was actually the victim of the cruel prank and the other guy was the bully. Tony realized that over the years he managed to flip the story in his head and made himself into the villain.
* An episode of ''StillGame'' features a subplot involving Winston being barred from the Clansman. As Winston recounts the events which led to him being barred, we also see what really happened. Winston makes out he politely asked Boabby to pour another pint, as he felt it was too cloudy, to which Boabby took offence and threw him out. In reality, Winston went ballistic and spat the contents of the glass over Boabby.
* Alan Bennet's ''[[Series/AlanBennettsTalkingHeads Talking Heads]]'' series of monologues is built on this trope. Each narrator tries to tell their story to their own advantage, but we can see through their facade to see the real story. For example, 'Her Big Chance' features Julie Walters as a woman who thinks she's a highly professional actress but we get enough hints to see that she is anything but (for example whenever she says a line, the director tells her it might be silent). She also appears to have no idea that she's acting in a soft-core porn movie for the German market.
* The first and early second edition sourcebooks episode of the ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' RPG were all written from fourth series of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' has a framing device of Rudy explaining the subjective in-universe point most recent strange occurrences at the community center to newcomers Finn and Jess. Each time they catch him in a lie, he backpedals and alters the story he's telling to avoid the relevant lie, admitting to cutting off Michael's hand with a hacksaw and conspiring with Seth to lock Curtis in the freezer and [[LampShaded Lampshading]] his unreliability as a narrator (actually naming this trope outright in the process). Once he's run out of view story to tell them, Rudy admits that he is only telling the story to stall while the [[SlippingAMickey drugs he has given them take effect]], thus ending the framing device.
* In the ''Series/StargateUniverse'' episode "Twin Destinies", both Telford and Present Rush suspect the reliability of Future Rush's claims that he tried to save the rest
of the clan or faction crew after the accident. The later episode "Epilogue" reveals that at the very least he was lying about which crewmembers stayed behind with him.
* The ''Series/TeenWolf'' episode Visionary is a series of flashbacks framed by Peter and Gerard depicting a tragedy from Derek's past and
the primary focus of the book. This was done both for flavor and to give the GM the freedom to decide what was true and what wasn't in his campaign. This approach was events that eventually abandoned during led to the second edition formation of the alpha pack. What the flashbacks depict vary wildly in some places from what Peter and Gerard actually say happened and the trope is actually mentioned by name. Further complicating matters, WordOfGod states that while [[DramaticIrony the audience knows more about what really happened than the characters]], they should not assume they know the whole story.
* The entirety of ''Series/TheGoldbergs'' is this, with every episode narrated as occurring in "nineteen-eighty something". One episode featured the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana (which occurred in 1981), while also including the song Eternal Flame (from 1989).
* The trope comes up repeatedly in ''Series/TrueDetective''. Hart accuses Cohle more than once of coming up with a narrative that might explain a crime and potentially bending the evidence to support the narrative rather than letting the evidence dictate the narrative. Both Hart and Cohle's present day accounts of what happened in 1995 omit and fabricate various details, and in a scene integral to the case in episode 5 their depositions directly contradict what plays out onscreen. In the same episode, detectives Gilbough and Papania call out Cohle on his unreliability in a big way.
* ''Series/MrRobot'' is told almost entirely through the eyes of the main character, Elliot, so we only see what he sees and know what he knows. He also has issues with his mental health, and at certain points, actively questions his own sanity and how much of what he's seeing is really there. He thinks he's being followed by MenInBlack, but isn't sure if that's true of if he's making that up. He also purposely replaces the name of the company E Corp with EvilCorp
because Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast thought it was too confusing for d20 players.
* All of the
he hates them so much, so whenever any character stats in mentions it, we hear “Evil Corp” instead of what they're actually saying. At the ''TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles'' RPG are treated this way, as extrapolations made by [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis Billy, the RPG's writer and werewolf]] from Harry's "case files". He admits flatly that this heavily underestimates the power of a lot of important figures (like the White Council's senior members, the Denarians, Cowl, etc.), allowing the GM to make them as powerful as he or she desires. It also means that future books are not constrained to the metaphysics or stats laid out in the RPG.
* TabletopGame/HoylesRulesOfDragonPoker starts off with a fictional history
end of the game, in which first season, we also find out that [[spoiler: Mr. Robot is his father, and also died years ago, and Elliot was hallucinating him the author offers two possible origins of whole time. And Darlene is actually his sister]]. He's just as shocked as the game, mocks both and ultimately chides the reader for not believing the more fantastic one when it turns out to be (allegedly) true. All this happens within about a page and a half.audience.


Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Music]]
* In Music/{{Mothy}}'s [[Franchise/EvilliousChronicles Moonlit Bear]], Eve Moonlit, the character {{Vocaloid}} Hatsune Miku plays in the song, talked about how she found two apples deep in the wood and got chased by a bear. As it turned out, [[spoiler:the apples are two infants and the bear their mother, whom Eve ended up killing.]]
* Most of Music/TheBarenakedLadies song "The Old Apartment" is meant to imply that the narrator has broken into his ex-girlfriend's apartment in a fit of creepy stalkerishness. Toward the end of the song, he reveals that he and the girlfriend are still together, and have just moved to a nicer house; he's broken into their old place in a fit of creepy nostalgia.
* The protagonist of Music/KingDiamond's concept album ''The Graveyard'' claims that he was thrown into a [[BedlamHouse mental hospital]] because he threatened to expose a politician as a child molester. Since the entire album is from his point of view, and he's [[AxeCrazy an insane killer]], it's not clear if he's telling the truth or just crazy.
* The refrain of Music/GaelicStorm's "Johnny Tarr" goes: "Even if you saw it yourself you wouldn't believe it/But I wouldn't trust a person like me if I were you/Sure I wasn't there - I swear I have an alibi/I heard it from a man who knows a fella who swears it's true". The story told in the song is borderline fantasy, wherein the title character dies of thirst in the middle of a drinking contest.
* Music/TheyMightBeGiants do this so much they considered calling one of their albums ''Unreliable Narrator''. To cite one example, "Purple Toupee" is built around the narrator's horribly mangled memories of newsworthy events of the 60s ("I remember the book depository where they crowned the king of Cuba"..."Martin X was mad when they outlawed bell bottoms").
* Denton, TX based Slobberbone's "Billy Pritchard" features a father telling his daughter how he doesn't approve of her relationship with a boy in her town, and implies that he killed her brother. Near the end of the song, we learn that the father shot his own son in the back of the head after mistaking him for Billy, and that most of what he had said was a lie.
* Music/{{Eminem}} played with this for the majority of his career. His 'Slim Shady' character was an obvious parody of the excesses of the gangsta rapper archetype, but a lot of the devices Eminem used with Slim Shady were kept on even after he abandoned the character. How much of Eminem's rapping reflected his own attitudes is a very debatable question. Eminem often twists fact and fantasy in his songs, explaining why so many real-life people felt the need to sue him for slander. He lampshades this himself in the song "Criminal" from ''Music/TheMarshallMathersLP''.
--> ''A lot of people ask me.. stupid fucking questions''
--> ''A lot of people think that.. what I say on records''
--> ''or what I talk about on a record, that I actually do in real life''
--> ''or that I believe in it''
--> ''Or if I say that, I wanna kill somebody, that..''
--> ''I'm actually gonna do it''
--> ''or that I believe in it''
--> ''Well, shit.. if you believe that''
--> ''then I'll kill you''
* Rael, the protagonist of the Music/{{Genesis}} ConceptAlbum ''TheLambLiesDownOnBroadway'', is practically made of this trope.
* In Music/JoannaNewsom's song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enmj-fK9niY "Colleen"]], the story is told by a young mermaid or sea nymph who lost her memory and was subsequently adopted by humans. It's implied that by the end of the song, she's still unaware that she's not human, although it's obvious from the lyrics.
--> I'll tell it as I best know how, and that's the way it was told to me: I must have once been a thief or a whore, then surely was thrown overboard, where, they say, I came this way from the deep blue sea...
* Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheWall'', the movie in particular.
* Music/{{Ludo}}'s song "Lake Pontchartrain" is told from the perspective of a young man who supposedly witnessed his friends' watery, supernatural deaths. But at the last verse he adds; ''"That's how it happened/Why would I lie?/There were no bodies/I got none to hide"'', implying that he's being tried for killing them.
* [[Music/TheDecemberists The Decemberists]] has "We Both Go Down Together". It is supposedly a tale of {{Starcrossed Lovers}} from different social classes who kill themselves to be together, but with lines like "You wept, but your soul was willing", [[RapeAsDrama it is possible that the narrator is a deranged rapist believing he and his victim are tragic lovers]].
* Music/{{Gorillaz}} bassist Murdoc is notorious for this. He may be the only speaking witness to [[spoiler: Noodle's disappearance and apparent death,]] but he changes the story every time he tells it. Sort of [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that he claims to be withholding information in hopes of a movie deal. Of course, Murdoc's been known for exaggerating stories and flat out lying on important topics, so it's possible that he's just making things up as he goes.
* Music/RegalPinion's songs has some of this. Sometimes the narrator's don't know if they can even trust themselves.
* Many of Music/RandyNewman's songs feature one of these.
* In Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming to take me away HAHA," the main character went mad because his wife divorced him (or his dog ran away, depends on the interpretation). In another song in the series sung from the point of view of the wife\dog, it shows he wasn't really all there beforehand.
* The Music/NickCave song "The Curse of Millhaven" from the album ''Music/MurderBallads'' introduces us to Lottie, a young teen girl who recounts the nasty murders that have been plaguing her small town. By the end of the song, it's revealed that Lottie herself is the curse of Millhaven and has been committing all the killings.
* The Silverstein song "A Great Fire" and what follows throughout the album "A Shipwreck in The Sand". The first song talks about how the protagonist/hero saves his wife and daughter from their house that's burning down.though there are some things in the song to hint at something not quite right with how the husband wife treat each other;''this was my home/this was my life/it's not always just about you''. it doesn't become apparent till a later song what happened to cause the fire. in "I Am The Arsonist" he set the house on fire himself, because in the second song "Vices" he found out his wife was cheating on him, which lead to drinking, trying to hide he knew and knew how disappointed in him his wife was. it culminates in a song just before the last 2, "A Hero Loses Everyday", in which he states; ''The Protagonist became/The villian they disdain/In every way'' and ends on a realization that they could never have truly loved each other in the first place, because they were broken people.
* In the Creator/MercedesLackey / Frank Hayes song ''The Leslac Version'', Leslac the bard tries to tell the story of wandering heroes Tarma and Kethry liberating Viden town, but Tarma keeps interrupting with snarky corrections. In his version they deliberately sought out the tyrant to bring him down; in her version he died accidentally in a drunken bar fight. He plays up their nobility, she plays it down, but the truth is probably closer to Tarma's version:
-->'''Leslac:''' They searched through all the town to find and bring him to defeat.
-->'''Tarma:''' Like hell what we were searching for was wine and bread and meat!
-->'''Leslac:''' They found him in the tavern and they challenged him to fight.
-->'''Tarma:''' We found him holding up the bar drunk as a pig that night!
** Lackey went on to write a short story about the events surrounding this song. Tarma's version has a few minor inaccuracies, but Leslac's version is complete nonsense. The amusing thing is that Leslac was ''present'' for the events of the song, but ultimately decided that he couldn't write a song about how a belligerent drunk (Who coincidentally happened to be the unpopular local lord) picked a fight with a couple travelers for no intelligent reason, got hit with a broomstick, and accidentally broke his skull against the fireplace and died. So he wrote a song about how the story ''should'' have gone. In fact, the author invented Leslac to handwave away mistakes she wrote in some of the Tarma and Kethry stories due to the fact that she wrote some of the songs about them before the stories behind the songs, and forgot a few details. All mistakes in the songs are Leslac's either because he didn't do the research, or changed the story to be more dramatic.
* Music/TheBeeGees: "And somehow in this madness believe she was mine -but...I'm a liar"
* In Music/TomWaits' "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" from ''Music/BlueValentine'' a woman tells an old acquaintance named Charlie (possibly an ex) that she's cleaned up, got married, has a child on the way (though it isn't her husband's) and is happy for the first time since an unspecified accident. She then admits it's all a lie; in fact she's lonely, in debt and is writing to Charlie to ask for money. She concludes by telling him she'll be "eligible for parole on Valentine's Day."
* The old blues song "Get My Shotgun" by Lightnin' Hopkins is one long rant by a cuckolded man who announces that he's going to shoot his old lady for foolin' around with too many men. At the end, his wife dares him to go through with it, and he admits that his shotgun doesn't even work.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Some members of the ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' {{Hatedom}} point out that a lot of events are communicated to the readers by having one character tell another, such that we get this information second or even third hand. This treatment is notably applied to Anthony's ex-wife, Therese - the audience sees very little of her, and almost everything we know about her is communicated by other characters when she's not present. As a result some question just how accurate the portrayal of Therese as an evil harpy really is.
** Elly is inclined to think of herself as a kind, reasonable, generous mother, and will paint herself as such in any retelling of events which involved her. Occasions when Elly has ''been'' any of those things, as a mother, as a wife, or just as a person in general, are few and far between.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''. Calvin's six year-old imagination has the tendency to run away with him, resulting in spectacular fantasy sequences featuring characters like [[ComicStrip/FlashGordon Spaceman Spiff]], [[{{Superman}} Stupendous Man]], and [[FilmNoir Tracer Bullet]]. Then, of course, there's Hobbes himself, Calvin's stuffed tiger to whom he attaches a personality. Hobbes is even drawn differently when other characters are in the panel, to reflect how they see him as just a toy. WordOfGod is deliberately mum on whether or not Hobbes is just a stuffed toy, or really somehow alive. And then there's the storyline where Hobbes ties Calvin to a chair and Calvin's dad finds him and can't for his life figure out how the heck Calvin has managed this...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audio ''And The Pirates'' is told by Evelyn and the Doctor. Evelyn gets many of the facts wrong and is caught making up names on the spot, such as "John Johnson" and "Tom Thompson". She even initially says the Doctor died mere minutes after saying he'll be around to tell more of the story. Parts are told out of order, and all the sailors have the same voice because she can't impersonate them well. The Doctor's version of events is much more accurate but suspiciously full of characters complimenting his unorthodox wardrobe.
** The Companion Chronicles audio ''[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS6E3TheMemoryCheats The Memory Cheats]]'' is told first person by Zoe to a Company psychologist, as they try to unlock her memories of traveling the Doctor (wiped by the Time Lords at the end of "The War Games"). At the end, [[spoiler: she reveals she made it all up based on information the psychologist gave her, the one time she did meet the Doctor, and her dreams. But she can't explain why there's a photo of her from 1919. Not only are we left not knowing how much of the story is true, so is Zoe herself.]]
** Used to a lesser extent in the previous story in the arc, "[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS5E2EchoesOfGrey Echoes of Grey]]." [[spoiler:The parts that Zoe narrates are accurate. The parts narrated by Ali are lies; she was never there.]]
* Dickensian parody ''Radio/BleakExpectations'' uses this in the framing story for laughs:
-->"We swore we would escape the school, or die in the attempt."
-->"And what happened?"
-->"We died in the attempt."
-->"Oh, how awful!"
-->"Of course not, you blundering idiot! How would I be talking to you now?"
* Occasionally used for humorous effect in the introductory narration on radio episodes of ''Radio/OurMissBrooks''. Cue a correction from DeadpanSnarker Miss Brooks.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Nearly all of the background material for ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is told from possibly inaccurate histories and skewed propaganda pieces, making the exact nature of the setting [[ContinuitySnarl dubious at best.]]
** While all of the material is written from the perspective of some particular group, which naturally wants to make itself the most sympathetic, the Imperium takes a ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' approach to the way it handles information.
** This trope (along with FutureImperfect) was specifically ''invoked'' when the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novels were first released. When fans pointed out that events in the novels contradicted what was in the 40k backstory, GW outright said "the backstory is history filtered through ten thousand years. The novels are what ''really'' happened."
** Invoked again with the [[TheAlliance Tau]], who were initially introduced as an AlwaysLawfulGood faction after part of the player base complained that there was ''too much'' GRIMDARK in the setting. After another section of the player base complained that the Tau were ruining the GRIMDARK, information popped up about forced sterilizations, concentration camps, and various other traditionally evil acts on the part of the Tau. The kicker? InUniverse, all of said information comes from the Imperium's propaganda machine, putting the right to AlternateCharacterInterpretation squarely in the players' laps.''
** Games Workshop once said that while all published material is canon, not all of it is ''true''...
* And like ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the regular TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} books are also written in an unreliable sort of way.
* Much like the above ''Warhammer'' example, all of the material on ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' is written from an in-universe perspective, always of some particular person or organization. This goes for everything, even the technical readouts on new 'Mechs and such. [=ComStar=] was the original viewpoint group, but it has since branched out to every faction. Some of the earlier books had significant errors (people doing things before their stated date of birth, using 'Mechs that hadn't been invented yet, etc), and the in-universe perspective allowed them to chalk it up to different perspectives. It also allowed them to {{Retcon}} things that they didn't want.
* TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} Sourcebooks are kind of this way too, though far more reliable as it is a more mundane setting. There is enough leeway for a good gamemaster to go every which way.
* Used as a justification for adventure hooks in ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'', in the form of rumours that may or may not be true as the GM decides. One example: "Bigfoot has a social security number".
* Almost all source materials for games set in Greg Stafford's "Glorantha" (''TabletopGame/RuneQuest, TabletopGame/HeroQuest, TabletopGame/DragonPass, TabletopGame/NomadGods'') along with books (King of Sartar) are written in the style of Unreliable Narrators with no one absolute truth.
* Large parts of ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' supplements were written as posts on an online message board, and the authors were ever eager to point out that anything could be wrong, exaggerated, or invented.
* All of the world background in White Wolf's TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness is presented in this way. Each book. This is most notable in the splatbooks: each faction tells a different version of history in which their own faction is somehow older, smarter, and generally more awesome than all the others. Each game line had its own creation myths filtered through the interpretations and prejudices of whatever faction is the focus of the book you're reading and most are mutually exclusive.
** The largest one: ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen''. We ''never'' get the other viewpoint, and the viewpoint we do get is filtered through several millennia of resentment.
* Many 2nd edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' sourcebooks, and most notably the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' ones, are assigned specific narrators. (This also includes the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' Van Richten's Guides and a bunch of others.) ''Planescape'' had more unreliable narrators than others, considering the fact that at least one of them was certifiably insane by human standards...
** In fact, the {{Splat}} book ''Faces of Evil: The Fiends'' had ''several'' oddball narrators presented as contributors, but by far the most interesting - and likely most unreliable - one was the blue slaad Xanxost who was... Who was a slaad. That was the best way the editor could describe him. Xanxost seemed to be less chaotic than most of his kind, being able to write complete sentences, but he was distracted easily (mostly by his appetite), repeated himself often, and seemed to have trouble counting. (Xanxost appeared later to narrate the chapter on the Quasielemental Plane of Steam in the later book ''The Inner Planes'', the editor of that book claiming he was recruited to pen the chapter because feedback to his commentary in the former book was overwhelmingly positive.)
** An especially interesting example of this was the ''Netheril: Empire of Magic'' sourcebook that described said lost civilization in the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms. Except one particular archwizard of immense power was never mentioned in the entire book, despite being a prominent figure. That is, until you start to try to figure out who the narrator was...
* Indie storytelling game ''The Adventures of Baron Munchausen'' makes every player into an unreliable narrator, and has specific mechanics governing how players can challenge the veracity of each others' tales.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' source books are divided into two to three sections. The Posse Territory sections are for general use, and give about as much information as the world at large knows. No Man's Land is for information only certain people would know, like the existence of Harrowed or how Huckster magic works. Both of these sections are filled with untruths, ranging from simple misinformation to BlatantLies. The Marshall's Only sections have the lowdown on how things ''really'' work. Part of the setting's mystique is having the inner workings of the Reckoning remain a mystery to the players. ''Then'', to make it all even more interesting, several of the Marshalls Only sections are double-bluffs, leadinig metagaming players to think there's something sinister going on when there in fact isn't.
* The first and early second edition sourcebooks of the ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' RPG were all written from the subjective in-universe point of view of the clan or faction that was the primary focus of the book. This was done both for flavor and to give the GM the freedom to decide what was true and what wasn't in his campaign. This approach was eventually abandoned during the second edition because Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast thought it was too confusing for d20 players.
* All of the character stats in the ''TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles'' RPG are treated this way, as extrapolations made by [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis Billy, the RPG's writer and werewolf]] from Harry's "case files". He admits flatly that this heavily underestimates the power of a lot of important figures (like the White Council's senior members, the Denarians, Cowl, etc.), allowing the GM to make them as powerful as he or she desires. It also means that future books are not constrained to the metaphysics or stats laid out in the RPG.
* TabletopGame/HoylesRulesOfDragonPoker starts off with a fictional history of the game, in which the author offers two possible origins of the game, mocks both and ultimately chides the reader for not believing the more fantastic one when it turns out to be (allegedly) true. All this happens within about a page and a half.
[[/folder]]
7th Mar '16 5:38:58 AM Knight20
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* UnreliableNarrator/NewspaperComics
* UnreliableNarrator/{{Radio}}
* UnreliableNarrator/TabletopGames
* UnreliableNarrator/VideoGames



[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Taichi in ''VisualNovel/CrossChannel'' to some extent is an unreliable narrator. The first version of events about something he says or illustrates is rarely entirely correct and leaves out a great deal of necessary context. For example, he initially portrays [[spoiler:his earlier relationship with Touko]] as a mixture of an experiment and mere seduction, but later it turns out [[spoiler:he really was trying to have a relationship, but she turned out to be incredibly clingy and obsessed with him nearly to the point of being a yandere.]]
* Shikanosuke in ''VisualNovel/KiraKira'' is sufficiently {{kuudere}} that he won't admit what he's feeling, ''even to the reader.'' Despite him being the narrator it can fall to other characters to explain his emotions.
* The early parts of ''VisualNovel/AProfile'' do not have entirely accurate narration because it is all from the point of view of Masayuki, who insists on seeing the best in situations and people, even if they're terrible. After some of his backstory is revealed, the point is largely dropped.
* Very well done in the ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' manga-only arc ''Onisarashi-hen''. In the final chapter, it's revealed that the point-of-view character [[spoiler:is responsible for every murder in the story]].
** Also, [[spoiler:Onikakushi-hen, although we only find out in later chapter. Rena and Mion were completely innocent, and Keiichi was hallucinating the CreepyMonotone, HellishPupils, and murder attempts.]]
** Tatarigoroshi-hen plays with this, too. Keiichi kills [[EvilUncle Teppei Houjou]] in order to protect Satoko. But then his friends tell him he was at the festival at the time, and Satoko insists that her uncle abused her later that night. But wait! Teppei's missing and his body isn't where Keiichi buried it. [[spoiler:Subverted by the fact that Keiichi ''did'' kill Teppei. Mion just had the body moved and everyone's giving Keiichi a cover story. As for Satoko? Well... Who says the POV character has to be the only crazy character?]]
* The narrator in ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' (or the camera, in the anime) is pretty much the queen of this trope. Anything the main character doesn't see with his own eyes is highly suspect, at best. A chunk of the series mystery is simply whether the series is a genuine mystery or a massive MindScrew, since [[spoiler:Beatrice is narrating most of the third-person sections and writing the TIPS]]. It's later confirmed that [[spoiler:in the first four arcs only Battler's narration is reliable, and in [=EP5=] only Erika's narration is reliable (though the scenes that she narrates are very few)]].
* There are more than a few witnesses in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series who ''think'' they're telling the truth, but are muddled by details that obscure what really happened:
** In Case 1-3, Cody's testimony is a bit difficult to figure out, because he insists on telling it like the Steel Samurai was a real hero fighting a bad guy (as opposed to a man in a costume, allegedly your client killing the victim). This discrepancy is because Cody is a child who has a bit of trouble separating fiction from reality [[spoiler:and because he saw the man in the Steel Samurai outfit being killed, which shredded his belief that "the Samurai always wins".]]
** In Case 1-4, Larry testifies that he was at the scene of the crime on the night it happened and, in fact, heard a gunshot. Unfortunately, he was also listening to the radio via headphones, making what he actually heard highly questionable. [[spoiler:It then turns out that the time he heard the gunshot was actually considerably earlier than the other witness verified hearing hers, leading Phoenix to realize that the killer fired ''three'' gunshots, opening the possibility of another way the murder went.]] Later in the same case, Phoenix needs to solve the mystery of Gregory Edgeworth's murder by making sense of Miles's testimony. This is made considerably more difficult by the fact that Miles Edgeworth was a child at the time, and that he passed out near the end from oxygen deprivation.
** Pretty much ''anything'' Dahlia Hawthorne says can be taken with a block of salt, since she repeatedly proves herself not above lying to get what she wants. [[spoiler:This leads to a rather interesting part of the final case of the third game, when she disguises herself as Iris and neither Phoenix nor the player are aware of it. She says quite a few things about how "Dahlia" felt about dating Feenie in college and about how terribly she was treated by her father, but the reveal that it was Dahlia herself saying those things makes it easy to see how self-serving it all was.]]
** In the third game, Godot's grudge against Phoenix has shades of this. Throughout the game, he berates Phoenix as a rookie who can't properly protect others. [[spoiler:In the final trial, it's revealed that he's talking about how he blames Phoenix for the death of Mia (who Godot had been in a relationship with before his coma), believing that Phoenix should have been there to protect his mentor. The case centered around Mia's murder, however, makes it pretty clear that Phoenix wouldn't have been able to have done much to save her even if he had been there. It's difficult to say how deliberate this was, on the part of Capcom.]]
** In ''Dual Destinies'', there's a very similar situation to Edgeworth's. [[spoiler:Athena Cykes]] is accused of murdering [[spoiler:her mother]] as a child, but [[spoiler:she]] mentally repressed much of the events of that day. While on the stand, [[spoiler:Athena claims she can remember stabbing her mother with the murder weapon - a katana - and feeling the blood run down he hilt and onto her fingers. Phoenix notes that this is impossible though, as the katana taken as evidence had no blood on the hilt. It turns out that while Athena ''did'' stab someone that day, it wasn't her mother. She walked in while her mother's real murderer was still there, and had to stab him in the hand with a took kit knife to save herself.]] An earlier witness in the same trial was also very unreliable, due to them being [[spoiler:a robot programmed to recognize people through their facial features, heartbeat, and a specially-designed jacket that all Space Center employees owned. The murderer killed Athena's mother, stole her jacket, and covered his face with a mask, effectively tricking the robot into thinking that he was Dr. Cykes. Thus, when the robot testified as to seeing young Athena "hugging" her mother (which was accurately deduced as her stabbing someone), everyone was led to believe that it was her stabbing her mother, instead of the real killer.]]
* Shiki in {{Tsukihime}} would like to let you know that he's only ever had [[spoiler: [[LaserGuidedAmnesia one sibling]]]], [[RippleEffectProofMemory despite the fact that]] [[spoiler: he refers to them in the plural.]]

to:

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Taichi in ''VisualNovel/CrossChannel'' to some extent is an unreliable narrator. The first version Some members of the ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' {{Hatedom}} point out that a lot of events about something he says or illustrates is rarely entirely correct and leaves out a great deal of necessary context. For example, he initially portrays [[spoiler:his earlier relationship with Touko]] as a mixture of an experiment and mere seduction, but later it turns out [[spoiler:he really was trying to have a relationship, but she turned out to be incredibly clingy and obsessed with him nearly are communicated to the point of being a yandere.]]
* Shikanosuke in ''VisualNovel/KiraKira'' is sufficiently {{kuudere}}
readers by having one character tell another, such that he won't admit what he's feeling, ''even we get this information second or even third hand. This treatment is notably applied to Anthony's ex-wife, Therese - the reader.'' Despite him being the narrator it can fall to audience sees very little of her, and almost everything we know about her is communicated by other characters to explain his emotions.
* The early parts of ''VisualNovel/AProfile'' do
when she's not have entirely present. As a result some question just how accurate narration because it is all from the point portrayal of view of Masayuki, who insists on seeing the best in situations and people, even if they're terrible. After some of his backstory is revealed, the point is largely dropped.
* Very well done in the ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' manga-only arc ''Onisarashi-hen''. In the final chapter, it's revealed that the point-of-view character [[spoiler:is responsible for every murder in the story]].
** Also, [[spoiler:Onikakushi-hen, although we only find out in later chapter. Rena and Mion were completely innocent, and Keiichi was hallucinating the CreepyMonotone, HellishPupils, and murder attempts.]]
** Tatarigoroshi-hen plays with this, too. Keiichi kills [[EvilUncle Teppei Houjou]] in order to protect Satoko. But then his friends tell him he was at the festival at the time, and Satoko insists that her uncle abused her later that night. But wait! Teppei's missing and his body isn't where Keiichi buried it. [[spoiler:Subverted by the fact that Keiichi ''did'' kill Teppei. Mion just had the body moved and everyone's giving Keiichi a cover story. As for Satoko? Well... Who says the POV character has to be the only crazy character?]]
* The narrator in ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' (or the camera, in the anime) is pretty much the queen of this trope. Anything the main character doesn't see with his own eyes is highly suspect, at best. A chunk of the series mystery is simply whether the series is a genuine mystery or a massive MindScrew, since [[spoiler:Beatrice is narrating most of the third-person sections and writing the TIPS]]. It's later confirmed that [[spoiler:in the first four arcs only Battler's narration is reliable, and in [=EP5=] only Erika's narration is reliable (though the scenes that she narrates are very few)]].
* There are more than a few witnesses in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series who ''think'' they're telling the truth, but are muddled by details that obscure what
Therese as an evil harpy really happened:
is.
** In Case 1-3, Cody's testimony Elly is a bit difficult inclined to figure out, because he insists on telling it like the Steel Samurai was a real hero fighting a bad guy (as opposed to a man in a costume, allegedly your client killing the victim). This discrepancy is because Cody is a child who has a bit think of trouble separating fiction from reality [[spoiler:and because he saw the man in the Steel Samurai outfit being killed, which shredded his belief that "the Samurai always wins".]]
** In Case 1-4, Larry testifies that he was at the scene of the crime on the night it happened and, in fact, heard a gunshot. Unfortunately, he was also listening to the radio via headphones, making what he actually heard highly questionable. [[spoiler:It then turns out that the time he heard the gunshot was actually considerably earlier than the other witness verified hearing hers, leading Phoenix to realize that the killer fired ''three'' gunshots, opening the possibility of another way the murder went.]] Later in the same case, Phoenix needs to solve the mystery of Gregory Edgeworth's murder by making sense of Miles's testimony. This is made considerably more difficult by the fact that Miles Edgeworth was a child at the time, and that he passed out near the end from oxygen deprivation.
** Pretty much ''anything'' Dahlia Hawthorne says can be taken with a block of salt, since she repeatedly proves herself not above lying to get what she wants. [[spoiler:This leads to a rather interesting part of the final case of the third game, when she disguises
herself as Iris a kind, reasonable, generous mother, and neither Phoenix nor the player are aware of it. She says quite a few things about how "Dahlia" felt about dating Feenie in college and about how terribly she was treated by her father, but the reveal that it was Dahlia will paint herself saying as such in any retelling of events which involved her. Occasions when Elly has ''been'' any of those things makes it easy to see how self-serving it all was.]]
** In the third game, Godot's grudge against Phoenix has shades of this. Throughout the game, he berates Phoenix
things, as a rookie who can't properly protect others. [[spoiler:In mother, as a wife, or just as a person in general, are few and far between.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''. Calvin's six year-old imagination has
the final trial, it's revealed that he's talking about how he blames Phoenix for the death of Mia (who Godot had been in a relationship tendency to run away with before his coma), believing that Phoenix should have been there to protect his mentor. The case centered around Mia's murder, however, makes it pretty clear that Phoenix wouldn't have been able to have done much to save her even if he had been there. It's difficult to say how deliberate this was, on the part him, resulting in spectacular fantasy sequences featuring characters like [[ComicStrip/FlashGordon Spaceman Spiff]], [[{{Superman}} Stupendous Man]], and [[FilmNoir Tracer Bullet]]. Then, of Capcom.]]
** In ''Dual Destinies'',
course, there's a very similar situation Hobbes himself, Calvin's stuffed tiger to Edgeworth's. [[spoiler:Athena Cykes]] whom he attaches a personality. Hobbes is accused of murdering [[spoiler:her mother]] as a child, but [[spoiler:she]] mentally repressed much of the events of that day. While on the stand, [[spoiler:Athena claims she can remember stabbing her mother with the murder weapon - a katana - and feeling the blood run down he hilt and onto her fingers. Phoenix notes that this is impossible though, as the katana taken as evidence had no blood on the hilt. It turns out that while Athena ''did'' stab someone that day, it wasn't her mother. She walked in while her mother's real murderer was still there, and had to stab him even drawn differently when other characters are in the hand with a took kit knife panel, to save herself.]] An earlier witness in reflect how they see him as just a toy. WordOfGod is deliberately mum on whether or not Hobbes is just a stuffed toy, or really somehow alive. And then there's the same trial was also very unreliable, due storyline where Hobbes ties Calvin to them being [[spoiler:a robot programmed to recognize people through their facial features, heartbeat, a chair and a specially-designed jacket that all Space Center employees owned. The murderer killed Athena's mother, stole her jacket, Calvin's dad finds him and covered can't for his face with a mask, effectively tricking life figure out how the robot into thinking that he was Dr. Cykes. Thus, when the robot testified as to seeing young Athena "hugging" her mother (which was accurately deduced as her stabbing someone), everyone was led to believe that it was her stabbing her mother, instead of the real killer.]]
* Shiki in {{Tsukihime}} would like to let you know that he's only ever had [[spoiler: [[LaserGuidedAmnesia one sibling]]]], [[RippleEffectProofMemory despite the fact that]] [[spoiler: he refers to them in the plural.]]
heck Calvin has managed this...



[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Collar 6}}'', Butterfly and Trina give mutually exclusive versions of how [[spoiler:Butterfly got information on Michelle's techniques from Trina]], and WordOfGod has confirmed that this was intentional. Its unusual, in that both of them presented versions that made themselves look worse [[spoiler:Butterfly claiming she tortured Trina, and Trina claiming she gave up the information freely]].
* One of the characters in ''[[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com Flying Man and Friends]]'', Harbor the loon, is convinced that [[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com/?p=301 his belly and the bottle of eggnog he carries with him]] count as two separate characters. This is never refuted, so it's his word against dead silence. In one strip, he somehow [[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com/?p=310 detonates an atomic bomb]] that is never explained (and is eventually undone). The entire story is unreliable.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Frivolesque}}'', any strip focusing mostly on Flore shouldn't be trusted too much. What's real and what's a figment of her wild imagination isn't always clear.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has a subversion. After the reader goes to Doc Scratch for some god moding help, he gives out a huge amount of exposition and his self-serving memory prompts Andrew Hussie, the creator of the comic, to break through the "fifth wall" and beat him up.
** There's also the Mindfang Journal, embellished and flowery as it is written. WordOfGod is that everything Mindfang wrote in it is true, though only as she perceived it putting a few accounts into question.
** Aranea Serket, [[spoiler: Mindfang's pre-Scratch counterpart]], is proudly the cast's ExpositionFairy, but the fact that [[spoiler: she [[AntiVillain goes rogue in an attempt to defeat]] [[BigBad Lord English]]]] puts some of her claims into scrutiny.
* The NightmareFuel-ish animated short arc "Twist, Twist, Twist" in ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}''. "I'm in hell because I love my wife... imagine that."
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' has a consistent running theme of different perceptions of reality and what events fit into which character's reality, creating what is, in effect, an entire cast of unreliable narrators -what is perfectly obvious and logical for one character is dismissed out of hand as impossible by another, if it gets noticed at all.
** Of course, considering how often it [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/126 comes]] [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/454 up]], even so far as to be lampshaded by both [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/382 characters]] and the [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/132 author]], this is probably more of an Unreliable Author.
** Also, since all of the examples above are about Pirovision being unable to see Largoland, it's worth pointing out that it [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1243 works both ways.]]
** Additionally, nature and circumstances of Piro and Miho's "relationship" differ greatly depending on who's telling the story.
* In ''Webcomic/MenageA3'', the trope is briefly and explicitly but stylishly demonstrated by Senna in her description to Gary of her falling out with Sandra, [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/she_planned_treachery starting here.]] (She claims that Sandra used supernatural powers. Compare and contrast [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/senna_and_sandra_-_part_1 the true story here.]]) Senna, who evidently loves her ''telenovelas'', isn't the sort to let the truth get in the way of a melodramatic story that shows herself in a much better light than reality.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** Early on, Durkon is lost in a dungeon with a female dwarf named Hilgya, and he's starting to fall for her. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0083.html She tells him the story of how she came to be with the Linear Guild, where she's married against her will to a cruel husband who refuses to understand her needs, so she runs away to make her own life. The panels below her narration show that the "cruel husband" was in fact an extremely pleasant guy who was thrilled to be so lucky as to be married to a dwarf like Hilgya, and whose only need out of the relationship appeared to be meeting hers.]]
** Tarquin tells Elan about how he carved out an empire in the Western Continent, but was booted out within a year (which is hardly unexpected in the region). While perfectly accurate, he fails to mention a few key details: He made his debut by conquering ''eleven'' nations in eight months, and it took a coalition of '''twenty-six''' other countries to finally defeat him.
* None of the [[http://satwcomic.com/too-little-butter Scandinavian countries]] are telling the whole unvarnished truth about Norway's butter crisis.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' had one scene narrated via "[[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2000-10-03 The Memoirs of Jud Shafter, K.F.D.A. Commando]]" -- not quite in sync with panels. [[BrickJoke Later]] this [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2009-05-05 bitten him in the butt]] (sorry).
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''
** Done in a complicated way in "bROKEN": There's no narrator as such, but it's revealed at the end that some scenes have been shown through Torg's skewed memories. We keep seeing versions of a scene where he's standing in the background and someone else is sitting on the ground at the foreground. When he goes to see a psychiatrist having realised that perhaps these memories are inaccurate, he figures out that he's remembering things like that because he's suppressing a memory of what really happened in one scene near the end -- where someone really was sitting like that, but which was shown differently, edited by his mind to remove evidence of something terrible.
** Later, we believe we are seeing Torg relating his experiences in the Digbot city to Sasha, when in fact we are seeing [[spoiler:Torg telling Kiki a largely embellished story ''about'' relating the experiences in the Digbot city to Sasha--a recursive flashback, as it were.]] While it definitely seemed weird, there was nothing to indicate that what we were seeing was false until Torg got killed by a porcupine on a boomerang--and then resurrected by said porcupine, who is also a necromancer.
** A few of the Christmas stories, including a "Gift of the Maji" variation in which Torg and Riff sold their shoulders to science to pay for each other's coat/flannel... but they didn't appear shoulderless to the old man Torg told the story in a bar.
** Torg's story to the storyteller in the original Stormbreaker saga. He gives an account that's at least partially the story of ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'' including telling the storyteller he had a chainsaw for a hand. The majority of the story being accurate after this beginning is never questioned, except for the bits where we see that Torg edits it because the bard says no-one will believe that. Besides, Zoë is present to correct him.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' is narrated by Lisa writing about the events some five years in the future; but Lisa is writing for ''retail,'' meaning some of the events are embellished. We know this due to the framing device showing Lisa's wife calling bullshit on certain events.
* ''Webcomic/WhatTheFu'' is narrated by the main character, who sometimes pads out the blind spots with imaginary scenes, which employ [[UpToEleven even broader stereotypes]] than the comic generally does.

to:

[[folder:Web Comics]]
[[folder:Radio]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Collar 6}}'', Butterfly ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audio ''And The Pirates'' is told by Evelyn and Trina give mutually exclusive versions of how [[spoiler:Butterfly got information on Michelle's techniques from Trina]], and WordOfGod has confirmed that this was intentional. Its unusual, in that both of them presented versions that made themselves look worse [[spoiler:Butterfly claiming she tortured Trina, and Trina claiming she gave up the information freely]].
* One
Doctor. Evelyn gets many of the facts wrong and is caught making up names on the spot, such as "John Johnson" and "Tom Thompson". She even initially says the Doctor died mere minutes after saying he'll be around to tell more of the story. Parts are told out of order, and all the sailors have the same voice because she can't impersonate them well. The Doctor's version of events is much more accurate but suspiciously full of characters in ''[[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com Flying Man and Friends]]'', Harbor complimenting his unorthodox wardrobe.
** The Companion Chronicles audio ''[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS6E3TheMemoryCheats The Memory Cheats]]'' is told first person by Zoe to a Company psychologist, as they try to unlock her memories of traveling
the loon, is convinced that [[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com/?p=301 his belly and Doctor (wiped by the bottle of eggnog he carries with him]] count as two separate characters. This is never refuted, so it's his word against dead silence. In one strip, he somehow [[http://www.flyingmanandfriends.com/?p=310 detonates an atomic bomb]] that is never explained (and is eventually undone). The entire story is unreliable.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Frivolesque}}'', any strip focusing mostly on Flore shouldn't be trusted too much. What's real and what's a figment of her wild imagination isn't always clear.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has a subversion. After
Time Lords at the reader goes to Doc Scratch for some god moding help, he gives out a huge amount end of exposition and his self-serving memory prompts Andrew Hussie, "The War Games"). At the creator of the comic, to break through the "fifth wall" and beat him up.
** There's also the Mindfang Journal, embellished and flowery as it is written. WordOfGod is that everything Mindfang wrote in it is true, though only as she perceived it putting a few accounts into question.
** Aranea Serket, [[spoiler: Mindfang's pre-Scratch counterpart]], is proudly the cast's ExpositionFairy, but the fact that
end, [[spoiler: she [[AntiVillain goes rogue in an attempt to defeat]] [[BigBad Lord English]]]] puts some reveals she made it all up based on information the psychologist gave her, the one time she did meet the Doctor, and her dreams. But she can't explain why there's a photo of her claims into scrutiny.
*
from 1919. Not only are we left not knowing how much of the story is true, so is Zoe herself.]]
** Used to a lesser extent in the previous story in the arc, "[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoCCS5E2EchoesOfGrey Echoes of Grey]]." [[spoiler:The parts that Zoe narrates are accurate.
The NightmareFuel-ish animated short arc "Twist, Twist, Twist" parts narrated by Ali are lies; she was never there.]]
* Dickensian parody ''Radio/BleakExpectations'' uses this
in ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}''. "I'm the framing story for laughs:
-->"We swore we would escape the school, or die
in hell because I love my wife... imagine that.the attempt."
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' has a consistent running theme of different perceptions of reality and -->"And what events fit into which character's reality, creating what is, in effect, an entire cast of unreliable narrators -what is perfectly obvious and logical for one character is dismissed out of hand as impossible by another, if it gets noticed at all.
** Of course, considering how often it [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/126 comes]] [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/454 up]], even so far as to be lampshaded by both [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/382 characters]] and the [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/132 author]], this is probably more of an Unreliable Author.
** Also, since all of the examples above are about Pirovision being unable to see Largoland, it's worth pointing out that it [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1243 works both ways.]]
** Additionally, nature and circumstances of Piro and Miho's "relationship" differ greatly depending on who's telling the story.
* In ''Webcomic/MenageA3'', the trope is briefly and explicitly but stylishly demonstrated by Senna in her description to Gary of her falling out with Sandra, [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/she_planned_treachery starting here.]] (She claims that Sandra used supernatural powers. Compare and contrast [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/senna_and_sandra_-_part_1 the true story here.]]) Senna, who evidently loves her ''telenovelas'', isn't the sort to let the truth get
happened?"
-->"We died
in the way of a melodramatic story that shows herself in a much better light than reality.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** Early on, Durkon is lost in a dungeon with a female dwarf named Hilgya, and he's starting
attempt."
-->"Oh, how awful!"
-->"Of course not, you blundering idiot! How would I be talking
to fall you now?"
* Occasionally used
for her. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0083.html She tells him humorous effect in the story of how she came to be with the Linear Guild, where she's married against her will to a cruel husband who refuses to understand her needs, so she runs away to make her own life. The panels below her introductory narration show that the "cruel husband" was in fact an extremely pleasant guy who was thrilled to be so lucky as to be married to a dwarf like Hilgya, and whose only need out on radio episodes of the relationship appeared to be meeting hers.]]
** Tarquin tells Elan about how he carved out an empire in the Western Continent, but was booted out within
''Radio/OurMissBrooks''. Cue a year (which is hardly unexpected in the region). While perfectly accurate, he fails to mention a few key details: He made his debut by conquering ''eleven'' nations in eight months, and it took a coalition of '''twenty-six''' other countries to finally defeat him.
* None of the [[http://satwcomic.com/too-little-butter Scandinavian countries]] are telling the whole unvarnished truth about Norway's butter crisis.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' had one scene narrated via "[[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2000-10-03 The Memoirs of Jud Shafter, K.F.D.A. Commando]]" -- not quite in sync with panels. [[BrickJoke Later]] this [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2009-05-05 bitten him in the butt]] (sorry).
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''
** Done in a complicated way in "bROKEN": There's no narrator as such, but it's revealed at the end that some scenes have been shown through Torg's skewed memories. We keep seeing versions of a scene where he's standing in the background and someone else is sitting on the ground at the foreground. When he goes to see a psychiatrist having realised that perhaps these memories are inaccurate, he figures out that he's remembering things like that because he's suppressing a memory of what really happened in one scene near the end -- where someone really was sitting like that, but which was shown differently, edited by his mind to remove evidence of something terrible.
** Later, we believe we are seeing Torg relating his experiences in the Digbot city to Sasha, when in fact we are seeing [[spoiler:Torg telling Kiki a largely embellished story ''about'' relating the experiences in the Digbot city to Sasha--a recursive flashback, as it were.]] While it definitely seemed weird, there was nothing to indicate that what we were seeing was false until Torg got killed by a porcupine on a boomerang--and then resurrected by said porcupine, who is also a necromancer.
** A few of the Christmas stories, including a "Gift of the Maji" variation in which Torg and Riff sold their shoulders to science to pay for each other's coat/flannel... but they didn't appear shoulderless to the old man Torg told the story in a bar.
** Torg's story to the storyteller in the original Stormbreaker saga. He gives an account that's at least partially the story of ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'' including telling the storyteller he had a chainsaw for a hand. The majority of the story being accurate after this beginning is never questioned, except for the bits where we see that Torg edits it because the bard says no-one will believe that. Besides, Zoë is present to correct him.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' is narrated by Lisa writing about the events some five years in the future; but Lisa is writing for ''retail,'' meaning some of the events are embellished. We know this due to the framing device showing Lisa's wife calling bullshit on certain events.
* ''Webcomic/WhatTheFu'' is narrated by the main character, who sometimes pads out the blind spots with imaginary scenes, which employ [[UpToEleven even broader stereotypes]] than the comic generally does.
correction from DeadpanSnarker Miss Brooks.



[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/{{Twig}}'' is narrated by Sy, an eleven-year-old ManipulativeBastard who sees the world in terms of manipulators and their dupes, and all of his narration is colored by this impression-for example, it's likely that not ''every'' person he talks to has precisely calculated their words, posture, and phrasing to elicit a desired result.
* ''Literature/{{Oktober}}'', a collection of journal entries from each of the main characters. Now, obviously, journal entries aren't going to be entirely accurate, so sometimes minor discrepancies appear. Other times though...
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[Characters/SCPFoundation [=Characters/SCPFoundation=]]]
** The website is made up largely of documents. Given the nature of the Foundation, much of it is deliberate misinformation. Also, there tends to be a lot of stuff with black marker over it and a large amount of [DATA EXPUNGED].
** There was one instance however in which all of the blacked out sections and [DATA EXPUNGED] were removed, allowing the article to be read in its entirety. Let's just say that there is a ''very, very good reason'' for those edits.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1867 SCP-1867 ("A Gentleman")]]. Lord Blackwood thinks he's a British gentleman adventurer. He does exaggerate his tales, but there's considerable evidence that they aren't ''entirely'' delusional.
* During The Third Night of ''Literature/TheTaleOfTheExile,'' Gaven Morren (who tells the story from a first person POV) is dosed with a potent [[MushroomSamba hallucinogen]]. What follows is a trip into DaydreamSurprise, dream logic, and SchrodingersButterfly, helped along by [[spoiler:a character actively lying to him about events to [[DreamApocalypse prevent herself from disappearing]].]]
* Rather common in Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos. Examples on the wiki include [[Blog/DreamsInDarkness Damien]] [[spoiler:in no small part thanks to his multiple personalities]]. A possible example (via AlternativeCharacterInterpretation) would be [[spoiler:[[Blog/SeekingTruth Zeke Strahm]], according to the final entry in the blog.]]
** A notable example in the video of WebVideo/TribeTwelve 'The Envelope', there is a piece of paper torn in half that says "unrel/ narra/". Noah may not be telling us everything.
** ParanoiaFuel especially comes into play with [[http://ulrycdaretodie.blogspot.com/2010/09/first-post.html Dare 2 Die]] where Ulryc [[spoiler:wasn't even narrating for most of the time]].
** Arron of ''WebVideo/StrangeAeons'' could possibly be this as well. Very suspicious that he claimed to not be able to see the clips randomly in his videos.
** The girls of ''Webvideo/OneHundredYardStare'' manage to subvert this trope and being worse by it. They tell the story as it happened from their point of view. [[spoiler:''Why'' they made the series is the true reveal. They are spreading the infection in the hope to divert the monsters attention, how do you feel being Slender bait?]]
** ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' played this somewhat mildly, but it was still clear from fairly early on that, while Jay doesn't necessarily lie to the viewer, his memory isn't perfect due to the Operator's influence. The clearest example would be in Entry #71, where it's revealed that [[spoiler: the very action of Alex giving Jay the tapes, the event that kicked off the entire series, went down ''a lot'' differently than how Jay remembered]].
* The Jobe stories of the WhateleyUniverse. Jobe Wilkins narrates his own stories, explaining how as a handsome, dynamic, brilliant, but misunderstood bio-deviser, he has to put up with all kinds of grief from everyone else. Even within his own stories he seems to be an Unreliable Narrator. Everyone else in all other Whateley stories sees Jobe as an egocentric, inconsiderate, unattractive HeroicComedicSociopath who might be a little short on the 'heroic' part. Still, Jobe doesn't seem to lie about events, just put his own personal spin on interpreting them.
** Anything Phase says about the Goodkinds. Canon (particularly "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind") has proven that there's a lot Ayla doesn't know about his family, but he keeps insisting that the Goodkinds are almost totally morally blameless, ignoring canon events because he doesn't want to apply them to his family or the anti-mutant organizations they support. This has come back to bite him on almost every occasion, but in this one area he seems utterly blind.
* Surprisingly enough, used in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest''. In the profile for v4 killer Clio Gabriella, it explains several parts of her personality, yet her actions in the game contradict this. Reason? Clio spent nearly all of her teenage life lying to her parents, her therapist, and nearly everyone she knew so that she could put on a demeanor of a normal, well-adjusted teenage girl, when secretly she was a basket case very close to breaking point.
* The "Lost Soul" stories from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' are told from the singularly self-serving point of view of an immortal Erzebet Bathory, who is trying to win redemption for herself.
* Strong Bad in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' is often a pathalogical liar. Sometimes narrating events ''that just happened'' as a complete fabrication. Probably most blatantly with how he narrates to us that he successfully popped Pom Pom with a pin. Seen [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail108.html here]].
* ''[[http://herbaldrink.deviantart.com/art/Misadventures-of-Norma-193263881 Misadventures of Norma]]'' is a metafiction that story discusses it, with the characters snarking at the LemonyNarrator because they refuse to describe an entire days' worth of travel, resulting in a literal PlotHole.
* About half of season 3 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' is about the time traveling adventures of Church as he repeatedly is thrown back in time by a bomb, teleports to Blood Gulch with the help of a friendly AI, and tries to avert his death, Tex's death, the bomb going off, and any number of other past problems. It's all to no avail, however, as he fails to achieve anything. Turns out Church was an unwitting unreliable narrator... he was never being thrown back in time, it was all a torture scenario run by the AI, who was himself an unreliable narrator, lying to Church (and the dirty shisnos in the audience) about everything from the timeline to his own origins.
** Seasons 9 and 10 have proved that Church fits this trope in-universe: If he tells you about something that happened to him or about someone he used to know, chances are good his memories are inaccurate at best.
* Even though Website/{{Update}} is a work that is simply the retelling of life experiences from the perspective of the protagonist, much of the information given is clearly not fully correct or telling the whole story, with how frequently it's inconsistent or contradictory, and has been proven at some cases to be flat out false. Determining how much of the story is being told, and how much of it is accurate is up to the reader's interpretation.
* Cecil from ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' is an earnest narrator, but not particularly reliable: he lets his biases color his reporting, has a skewed idea of what is normal, and lives in a police state where, presumably, he needs to be careful what he says. It's unclear ''exactly'' how much he believes of what he's told or whether he's using some very VERY dry sarcasm [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar to get around government censorship]].
** Kevin, his Desert Bluffs counterpart, is implied to be even more unreliable than Cecil.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Taylor is affected by [[spoiler:an amnesia plague]], which causes her to inadvertently misrepresent several important details, such as that [[spoiler:the people she thinks are Grue and Tattletale are actually Jack Slash and Bonesaw]].
** More generally, the entire story is first-person and filtered through Taylor's fairly major hang-ups and biases. The third-person interludes show different characters ruminating on some of the same events with very different contexts and interpretations.
* The merchant from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' is revealed to be this in ''Theatre/TwistedTheUntoldStoryOfARoyalVizier''. In reality, [[WritingAroundTrademarks Ja'far]] is one of the nicest guys around (though hated by all) and Aladdin is a thieving asshole. The merchant himself is [[spoiler: really Aladdin many years down the road.]]
* A hazard when it comes to the stories on ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' and its various sister-sites is that a number of the narrators/submitters telling their stories could very well be this, as there's no way of telling of whether or not the stories posted to the various websites are true, have been heavily embellished, or are just fake altogether.

to:

[[folder:Web Original]]
[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''Literature/{{Twig}}'' is narrated by Sy, an eleven-year-old ManipulativeBastard who sees the world in terms of manipulators and their dupes, and Nearly all of his narration the background material for ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is colored by this impression-for example, it's likely that not ''every'' person he talks to has precisely calculated their words, posture, and phrasing to elicit a desired result.
* ''Literature/{{Oktober}}'', a collection of journal entries
told from each of possibly inaccurate histories and skewed propaganda pieces, making the main characters. Now, obviously, journal entries aren't going to be entirely accurate, so sometimes minor discrepancies appear. Other times though...
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[Characters/SCPFoundation [=Characters/SCPFoundation=]]]
** The website is made up largely of documents. Given the
exact nature of the Foundation, much of it is deliberate misinformation. Also, there tends to be a lot of stuff with black marker over it and a large amount of [DATA EXPUNGED].
** There was one instance however in which all of the blacked out sections and [DATA EXPUNGED] were removed, allowing the article to be read in its entirety. Let's just say that there is a ''very, very good reason'' for those edits.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1867 SCP-1867 ("A Gentleman")]]. Lord Blackwood thinks he's a British gentleman adventurer. He does exaggerate his tales, but there's considerable evidence that they aren't ''entirely'' delusional.
* During The Third Night of ''Literature/TheTaleOfTheExile,'' Gaven Morren (who tells the story from a first person POV) is dosed with a potent [[MushroomSamba hallucinogen]]. What follows is a trip into DaydreamSurprise, dream logic, and SchrodingersButterfly, helped along by [[spoiler:a character actively lying to him about events to [[DreamApocalypse prevent herself from disappearing]].
setting [[ContinuitySnarl dubious at best.]]
* Rather common ** While all of the material is written from the perspective of some particular group, which naturally wants to make itself the most sympathetic, the Imperium takes a ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' approach to the way it handles information.
** This trope (along with FutureImperfect) was specifically ''invoked'' when the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novels were first released. When fans pointed out that events
in Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos. Examples the novels contradicted what was in the 40k backstory, GW outright said "the backstory is history filtered through ten thousand years. The novels are what ''really'' happened."
** Invoked again with the [[TheAlliance Tau]], who were initially introduced as an AlwaysLawfulGood faction after part of the player base complained that there was ''too much'' GRIMDARK in the setting. After another section of the player base complained that the Tau were ruining the GRIMDARK, information popped up about forced sterilizations, concentration camps, and various other traditionally evil acts
on the wiki include [[Blog/DreamsInDarkness Damien]] [[spoiler:in no small part thanks to his multiple personalities]]. A possible example (via AlternativeCharacterInterpretation) would be [[spoiler:[[Blog/SeekingTruth Zeke Strahm]], according to of the final entry Tau. The kicker? InUniverse, all of said information comes from the Imperium's propaganda machine, putting the right to AlternateCharacterInterpretation squarely in the blog.]]
players' laps.''
** A notable example Games Workshop once said that while all published material is canon, not all of it is ''true''...
* And like ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the regular TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} books are also written in an unreliable sort of way.
* Much like the above ''Warhammer'' example, all of the material on ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' is written from an in-universe perspective, always of some particular person or organization. This goes for everything, even the technical readouts on new 'Mechs and such. [=ComStar=] was the original viewpoint group, but it has since branched out to every faction. Some of the earlier books had significant errors (people doing things before their stated date of birth, using 'Mechs that hadn't been invented yet, etc), and the in-universe perspective allowed them to chalk it up to different perspectives. It also allowed them to {{Retcon}} things that they didn't want.
* TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} Sourcebooks are kind of this way too, though far more reliable as it is a more mundane setting. There is enough leeway for a good gamemaster to go every which way.
* Used as a justification for adventure hooks in ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'',
in the video form of WebVideo/TribeTwelve 'The Envelope', there is a piece of paper torn in half rumours that says "unrel/ narra/". Noah may or may not be telling us everything.
true as the GM decides. One example: "Bigfoot has a social security number".
* Almost all source materials for games set in Greg Stafford's "Glorantha" (''TabletopGame/RuneQuest, TabletopGame/HeroQuest, TabletopGame/DragonPass, TabletopGame/NomadGods'') along with books (King of Sartar) are written in the style of Unreliable Narrators with no one absolute truth.
* Large parts of ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' supplements were written as posts on an online message board, and the authors were ever eager to point out that anything could be wrong, exaggerated, or invented.
* All of the world background in White Wolf's TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness is presented in this way. Each book. This is most notable in the splatbooks: each faction tells a different version of history in which their own faction is somehow older, smarter, and generally more awesome than all the others. Each game line had its own creation myths filtered through the interpretations and prejudices of whatever faction is the focus of the book you're reading and most are mutually exclusive.
** ParanoiaFuel The largest one: ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen''. We ''never'' get the other viewpoint, and the viewpoint we do get is filtered through several millennia of resentment.
* Many 2nd edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' sourcebooks, and most notably the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' ones, are assigned specific narrators. (This also includes the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' Van Richten's Guides and a bunch of others.) ''Planescape'' had more unreliable narrators than others, considering the fact that at least one of them was certifiably insane by human standards...
** In fact, the {{Splat}} book ''Faces of Evil: The Fiends'' had ''several'' oddball narrators presented as contributors, but by far the most interesting - and likely most unreliable - one was the blue slaad Xanxost who was... Who was a slaad. That was the best way the editor could describe him. Xanxost seemed to be less chaotic than most of his kind, being able to write complete sentences, but he was distracted easily (mostly by his appetite), repeated himself often, and seemed to have trouble counting. (Xanxost appeared later to narrate the chapter on the Quasielemental Plane of Steam in the later book ''The Inner Planes'', the editor of that book claiming he was recruited to pen the chapter because feedback to his commentary in the former book was overwhelmingly positive.)
** An
especially comes into play with [[http://ulrycdaretodie.blogspot.com/2010/09/first-post.html Dare 2 Die]] where Ulryc [[spoiler:wasn't even narrating for most of the time]].
** Arron of ''WebVideo/StrangeAeons'' could possibly be this as well. Very suspicious that he claimed to not be able to see the clips randomly in his videos.
** The girls of ''Webvideo/OneHundredYardStare'' manage to subvert this trope and being worse by it. They tell the story as it happened from their point of view. [[spoiler:''Why'' they made the series is the true reveal. They are spreading the infection in the hope to divert the monsters attention, how do you feel being Slender bait?]]
** ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' played this somewhat mildly, but it was still clear from fairly early on that, while Jay doesn't necessarily lie to the viewer, his memory isn't perfect due to the Operator's influence. The clearest
interesting example would be in Entry #71, where it's revealed of this was the ''Netheril: Empire of Magic'' sourcebook that [[spoiler: described said lost civilization in the very action TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms. Except one particular archwizard of Alex giving Jay the tapes, the event that kicked off immense power was never mentioned in the entire series, went down ''a lot'' differently than how Jay remembered]].
* The Jobe stories of
book, despite being a prominent figure. That is, until you start to try to figure out who the WhateleyUniverse. Jobe Wilkins narrates his own stories, explaining how as a handsome, dynamic, brilliant, but misunderstood bio-deviser, he has to put up with all kinds narrator was...
* Indie storytelling game ''The Adventures
of grief from everyone else. Even within his own stories he seems to be an Unreliable Narrator. Everyone else in all other Whateley stories sees Jobe as an egocentric, inconsiderate, unattractive HeroicComedicSociopath who might be a little short on the 'heroic' part. Still, Jobe doesn't seem to lie about events, just put his own personal spin on interpreting them.
** Anything Phase says about the Goodkinds. Canon (particularly "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind") has proven that there's a lot Ayla doesn't know about his family, but he keeps insisting that the Goodkinds are almost totally morally blameless, ignoring canon events because he doesn't want to apply them to his family or the anti-mutant organizations they support. This has come back to bite him on almost
Baron Munchausen'' makes every occasion, but in this one area he seems utterly blind.
* Surprisingly enough, used in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest''. In the profile for v4 killer Clio Gabriella, it explains several parts of her personality, yet her actions in the game contradict this. Reason? Clio spent nearly all of her teenage life lying to her parents, her therapist, and nearly everyone she knew so that she could put on a demeanor of a normal, well-adjusted teenage girl, when secretly she was a basket case very close to breaking point.
* The "Lost Soul" stories from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' are told from the singularly self-serving point of view of an immortal Erzebet Bathory, who is trying to win redemption for herself.
* Strong Bad in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' is often a pathalogical liar. Sometimes narrating events ''that just happened'' as a complete fabrication. Probably most blatantly with how he narrates to us that he successfully popped Pom Pom with a pin. Seen [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail108.html here]].
* ''[[http://herbaldrink.deviantart.com/art/Misadventures-of-Norma-193263881 Misadventures of Norma]]'' is a metafiction that story discusses it, with the characters snarking at the LemonyNarrator because they refuse to describe an entire days' worth of travel, resulting in a literal PlotHole.
* About half of season 3 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' is about the time traveling adventures of Church as he repeatedly is thrown back in time by a bomb, teleports to Blood Gulch with the help of a friendly AI, and tries to avert his death, Tex's death, the bomb going off, and any number of other past problems. It's all to no avail, however, as he fails to achieve anything. Turns out Church was an unwitting unreliable narrator... he was never being thrown back in time, it was all a torture scenario run by the AI, who was himself
player into an unreliable narrator, lying to Church (and and has specific mechanics governing how players can challenge the dirty shisnos in the audience) veracity of each others' tales.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' source books are divided into two to three sections. The Posse Territory sections are for general use, and give
about everything from the timeline to his own origins.
** Seasons 9 and 10 have proved that Church fits this trope in-universe: If he tells you about something that happened to him or about someone he used to know, chances are good his memories are inaccurate at best.
* Even though Website/{{Update}} is a work that is simply the retelling of life experiences from the perspective of the protagonist,
as much of the information given is clearly not fully correct or telling as the whole story, world at large knows. No Man's Land is for information only certain people would know, like the existence of Harrowed or how Huckster magic works. Both of these sections are filled with untruths, ranging from simple misinformation to BlatantLies. The Marshall's Only sections have the lowdown on how frequently it's inconsistent or contradictory, and has been proven at some cases to be flat out false. Determining how much things ''really'' work. Part of the story setting's mystique is being told, and how much having the inner workings of it is accurate is up the Reckoning remain a mystery to the reader's interpretation.
* Cecil from ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' is an earnest narrator, but not particularly reliable: he lets his biases color his reporting, has a skewed idea of what is normal, and lives in a police state where, presumably, he needs
players. ''Then'', to be careful what he says. It's unclear ''exactly'' how much he believes of what he's told or whether he's using some very VERY dry sarcasm [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar to get around government censorship]].
** Kevin, his Desert Bluffs counterpart, is implied to be
make it all even more unreliable than Cecil.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Taylor is affected by [[spoiler:an amnesia plague]], which causes her to inadvertently misrepresent
interesting, several important details, such as that [[spoiler:the people she thinks are Grue and Tattletale are actually Jack Slash and Bonesaw]].
** More generally, the entire story is first-person and filtered through Taylor's fairly major hang-ups and biases. The third-person interludes show different characters ruminating on some
of the same events with very different contexts and interpretations.
* The merchant from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' is revealed
Marshalls Only sections are double-bluffs, leadinig metagaming players to be this in ''Theatre/TwistedTheUntoldStoryOfARoyalVizier''. In reality, [[WritingAroundTrademarks Ja'far]] is one of the nicest guys around (though hated by all) and Aladdin is a thieving asshole. The merchant himself is [[spoiler: really Aladdin many years down the road.]]
* A hazard when it comes to the stories on ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' and its various sister-sites is that a number of the narrators/submitters telling their stories could very well be this, as
think there's no way something sinister going on when there in fact isn't.
* The first and early second edition sourcebooks
of telling of whether or not the stories posted to ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' RPG were all written from the various websites subjective in-universe point of view of the clan or faction that was the primary focus of the book. This was done both for flavor and to give the GM the freedom to decide what was true and what wasn't in his campaign. This approach was eventually abandoned during the second edition because Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast thought it was too confusing for d20 players.
* All of the character stats in the ''TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles'' RPG
are true, have been treated this way, as extrapolations made by [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis Billy, the RPG's writer and werewolf]] from Harry's "case files". He admits flatly that this heavily embellished, underestimates the power of a lot of important figures (like the White Council's senior members, the Denarians, Cowl, etc.), allowing the GM to make them as powerful as he or she desires. It also means that future books are just fake altogether.not constrained to the metaphysics or stats laid out in the RPG.
* TabletopGame/HoylesRulesOfDragonPoker starts off with a fictional history of the game, in which the author offers two possible origins of the game, mocks both and ultimately chides the reader for not believing the more fantastic one when it turns out to be (allegedly) true. All this happens within about a page and a half.



[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Absolutely everything that happens in ''StevenUniverse'' must be seen through the eyes of Steven, who never actually narrates. As such, things that Steven is uncomfortable about or doesn't want to talk about never make it into the story unless they're forced in by another character. In the episode "Steven's Birthday," [[spoiler:it's revealed that Steven hasn't aged in many years, most likely since he stopped living with Greg, and he doesn't talk about it because he doesn't want Connie to know she'll continue aging without him. He's known this since the beginning of the series, when he already had a crush on Connie, but the audience doesn't find out until Steven overhears Greg talking to Connie about it]] in the episode before the 2A finale. The question of what else Steven may be hiding is still up in the air.
** A more minor example occurs in the episode "Log Date 7 15 2," where Steven gets a hold of [[spoiler:Peridot]]'s diary and decides to go through it. We see what he imagines happening in most events based on what is in the log, but for events where he was actually present, it's clear the log entries are tainted by [[spoiler:Peridot's]] very high opinion of herself.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DofusTheTreasuresOfKerubim'', characters often get into arguments regarding how something actually happened, so it's highly likely that Kerubim embellishes his stories when no-one's there to dispute them.
* Two ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoons, ''The Trial of Mr. Wolf'' and ''Turn Tale Wolf'', have the Big Bad Wolf tell alternate versions of ''Little Red Riding Hood'' and ''The Three Little Pigs'', respectively, with him as the victim. (At the end of the first one, when it's clear that no-one believes him, [[spoiler: he says that if he's lying, he hopes he's run over by a street car, at which point that's ''exactly'' what happens. Then he gets up and says, "Okay, maybe I did exaggerate a bit..."]])
** A modern short featuring Daffy as "Superior Duck" had him getting frustrated with Creator/ThurlRavenscroft's apparent inability to announce him as being faster than a bullet and more powerful than a locomotive.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'':
** The episode "Legends of the Dark Knight" focuses on three kids talking about different stories of who Batman is, evoking [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks different]] [[ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns versions]] of the character. The 1950s-style story is questioned as particularly dubious because one of the kids heard it from his uncle, a security guard who was knocked out by Joker gas and didn't actually witness the events.
** The first story in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight'', "Have I Got a Story", also does this. Where each kid describes Batman differently from a different point in a single chase (in reverse order). The first describes a Shadow demon, second strikes a similar figure as Manbat, third is a robot. When Batman shows up he is, of course, human.
** Both of those episodes resemble a comics story, Batman #250's "The Batman Nobody Knows."
** The episode "P.O.V." is a RashomonStyle. The three versions are told by Harvey Bullock, who knows what really happened but is portraying himself as the competent hero and Batman as the one who screwed up; Officer Wilkes, who is genuine in his belief but makes Batman come off as a supernatural creature; and Officer Montoya, who tells the truth as she saw it but erroneously believes that Batman was killed.
* In the second ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' series, teasers and recaps are narrated by a character who plays a prominent role within the episode. In the episode "Rogue in the House, part 2", said duty falls upon Zog, a brain-damaged Triceraton which the turtles--taking advantage of the fact that Zog believes them to be Triceratons--recruited in the previous episode. Despite accurate visuals, Zog's narration states what he wrongly believes is actually happening--that the turtles are a Triceraton sabotage unit, the Foot are Federation.
* A very literal example of this (which occurs due to the RuleOfFunny) happens in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', where Mojo Jojo attacks, ties up, and gags the narrator and takes over the job so that the events of the story turn out in his favor. The Girls eventually realize what is happening, ignore his narrations, and beat the crud out of him. At the end of the story, they rescue the real narrator.
* The Narrator in the ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' animated series not only often has no idea what's actually happening, he's also, at least once, bullied into reading a scene transition to the benefit of one of the villains. "Hey, Narrator guy. Read this or I'll disperse your molecules." "Oh. Erm... later, Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head have defeated the evil Queen." <Scene transition to this having already happened>.
* The ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'' episode "Freaky Fred" is told from the point of view of the [[AntagonistTitle title character]], who's an AxeCrazy {{Expy}} of SweeneyTodd and one of the creepiest villains in the series; kind of hard to trust his story.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** Anytime that Eric Cartman tells a story, you can bet that he is lying, either intentionally, or because he's just that deluded.
** The episode "Fishsticks" had Music/KanyeWest being offended by a joke that Jimmy made up, and Cartman claim he had co-created the joke. We soon see he actually believes this when he recounts the opening scene with Jimmy being more enthusiastic about seeing him and Cartman coming up with the joke all by himself. Cartman then explains the lesson is that Jimmy is such a narcissist that he rewrites his memory to include himself in a bigger role (Or something like that).
** In the third version of the memory, Cartman is interrupted when writing the joke (himself, of course) by someone claiming that the "Jew robots" are invading the town. Cartman turns into the [[Franchise/FantasticFour Human Torch]] and proceeds to melt the "Jew-bots" before finishing the joke. When the flashback ends, Cartman nods that this is exactly what happened.
** In "Mysterion Rises", the Coon attacks a little girl who was only asking about Mintberry Crunch, with a man breaking the fight off. In the Coon's subsequent summary of what transpired, the girl was depicted as a villain who was bigger than him and "fought with all her might" against him, while spectators cheer the Coon on.
*** All of the "comic book" scenes regarding the Coon invoke this.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' Grim deliberately tells Billy and Irwin distorted versions of classic American stories claiming that he was there.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Homer Simpson is this in-universe. In one episode, he wanted to buy a bottle of expensive hair-regrowth formula. After the pharmacist tells him the price, Homer realizes he can't afford it, he breaks down crying and says, "Forget you, pal. Thanks for nothing," as he leaves. This is changed in his story to his friends to an angry, "Forget you, pal! Thanks for nuthin'!" as he "stormed" out.
** There's also when Mr. Burns builds a casino in town. Homer claims that Marge made a huge scene because she refused to accept gambling in Springfield. When Marge reminds him she was in favor, Homer recalls his version of the events: Marge's hair is green, she wields a rolling pin, Homer is musclebound and Apu has three heads.
** A kind of meta-example. In the episode where the family have the opportunity to go to Japan, which Homer isn't keen on, Marge attempts to convince him by mentioning all the aspects of Japanese culture he likes. She tells him that he enjoyed ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'', to which he retorts 'That's not how ''I'' remember it.'
** Lisa accuses Homer of this in ''[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E13AndMaggieMakesThree And Maggie Makes Three]]'' when he tells them about his brilliant advertising campaign involving randomly discharging a shotgun into the air. Marge laments that actually happened.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Any time [[CloudCuckoolander Pinkie Pie]] tells a story, you can be sure it'll have more than a few... embellishments.
** In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles," she tells the [[PowerTrio Cutie Mark Crusaders]] the story of how she got her cutie mark. It apparently involved her being raised by Amish-looking ''rock farmers'', and she closes her tale with "[[CreationMyth And that's how Equestria was made!]]" On top of that, Pinkie follows it up by [[MindScrew offering to tell the CMC how she got her cutie mark]].
** Another episode involves Pinkie trying to figure out who took a bite of a cake she was delivering to a dessert contest. She blames the three competing chefs on board by inventing wild explanations as to how each one did it, accusing a griffin of being a [[DastardlyWhiplash Dastardly Whiplash-esque]] villain, a donkey of being a {{ninja}}, and a unicorn of being [[ShoutOut a]] Film/JamesBond {{expy}}. [[spoiler: It turns out that Pinkie's friends just got hungry and snuck a bite while she wasn't looking.]]
* [[GreekChorus The Muses]] from ''Disney/{{Hercules}}''.
* In ''IronManArmoredAdventures'', Pepper claims to have found information on AIM by [[CeilingCling clinging to the ceiling]] listening onto her father talking the the FBI. She later breaks down and admits her father just forgot to log off his computer.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' put an interesting spin on this in "The American Dad After School Special". For the first half of the episode, Stan is shown becoming dangerously obese, apparently thanks to his family sabotaging his diet. Just before the ad break, we see that Stan is in fact dangerously '''under'''weight and the family's "sabotage" is their desperate attempts to help him. [[FridgeBrilliance Since Stan is the viewpoint character...]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', certain parts of Cotton's recountings of his past are rather questionable. It's implied that he and his friends have shared war stories for so long that he cannot remember which ones he was actually involved in.
** Not to mention, the firehouse episode plays this for laughs; showing everyone's recounts of the events, [[{{Flanderization}} Flanderizing]] everyone and in Boomhauer's case, everyone [[MotorMouth talks like him]] bit he speaks normally.
** In "Luanne Gets Lucky", Lucky recounts the tale of his grandfather finding a perfect walnut tree stump; while he says "Grandpappy" was on a church picnic, the FlashBack shows he was a criminal attempting to escape jail. However, it's implied that Lucky is simply repeating the (false) story that he heard from family rather than lying on purpose.
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim,'' [[MinionWithAnFInEvil Gir]]'s witness account of [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Dib]]'s alien video in "[[RashomonStyle Mysterious Mysteries]]" is so out there it borders on ThroughTheEyesOfMadness. He claims to have been Stacy: "The chubby lady hidin' in the bushes," and halfway through he starts talking about a [[TalkativeLoon giant space squirrel.]]
-->'''Mysterious Mysteries Host''': What does that have to do with anything?!
-->'''Gir/Stacy''': Me and the squirrel are friends.
** In fact, the whole episode was an example. The episode involves Zim, Gir, Dib, and Gaz all giving their accounts of the alien video Dib takes and each one is obviously biased. As noted above Gir's is absoulute nonsense, Zim's makes him and Gir out to be sympathetic children and Dib as an Og