Created By: cfive on March 29, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on July 31, 2014

The Fake Guy Actually Exists

A nonexistant person made up by a character is revealed to actually exist

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Trope
A Comedy Trope where a character decides to tell a lie about a person who doesn't exist. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as deflecting blame from themselves or getting out of something, but then, to the character's surprise, the person he or she just made up turns out to actually exist.


Examples

Film
  • A Very Brady Sequel. In one of her many attempts to outshine Marcia, Jan invents her perfect boyfriend, naming him George Glass... which Marcia doesn't fall for. Fast-forward to the Brady family in Hawaii, searching for Carol, where Jan bumps into, who else, a boy named George Glass.
  • In the movie Johnny English, Johnny uses Line-of-Sight Name to make up a completely absurd description of an alleged thief. In The Stinger, a person fitting that description exactly appears.
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian, a centurian dismisses the idea that Brain's father is a Roman named Naughtius Maximus, thinking it's a joke name like Sillius Soddus or Biggus Dickus. Pilate interrupts, pointing out that one of his best friends from Rome is called Biggus Dickus, and he has a wife called Incontinentia Buttocks.

Live-Action Television
  • In an episode of The IT Crowd, Roy gets caught in a disabled bathroom at a theater and pretends to be disabled so he won't get in trouble. He tells the theater staff and police that his wheelchair was stolen by a bearded, red-haired man with glasses. Later, the police see a man matching that description leaving the theater and quietly take him away.
  • The finale of Seinfeld saw a judge named "Arthur Vandalay" appear. For much of the series, that was a name George used to create either an imaginary company or a ficticious reference. He assumed that such a name as "a good sign".

Western Animation
  • In a Dudley Do-Right cartoon, Snidely Whiplash passed off a crate of dynamite and TNT as a birthday cake for "Tippecanoe N. Tyler". Sure enough, a "pathetic little man" shows up and says "I understand you're throwing a party for me".
  • For many years on King of the Hill, Dale Gribble often relied on an alias named "Rusty Shackleford" to avoid lawsuits, which, according to him, could be used since he said the child was very sickly and died. However, the real Rusty not only lived, but actually appeared and wanted Dale to sign an affadavit since Dale's rampant use of his name messed up his life.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants, Mr. Krabs makes up the name "Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen" and tells Spongebob that a valuable hat in Spongebob's posession used to belong to Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen, who was Number 1 at everything, as a way of making Spongebob get rid of the hat. It is later revealed to the surprise of Krabs that Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen actually was a real person who actually was number one at everything.
  • The Simpsons
    • In one episode Bart prank calls Moe's tavern and asks to speak to 'Hugh Jass'. One of the patrons has that name, answers the phone and spoils the prank.
    • In a Treehouse of Horror Fairy Tale Episode, Bart and Lisa (after a run-in with a troll and the Three Bears) come across the witch from Hansel and Gretel, who proceeds to fatten up Bart and make Lisa do housework. The kids accuse her for not having any friends, but the witch claims to have a boyfriend named George Cauldron (the Cauldron part being an obvious Line-of-Sight Name). Afterwards, Homer arrives and confronts the witch, who attempts to put him in the oven, but gets distracted by a ringing doorbell, leaving Homer to shove her into the oven. Then the person at the door enters the house, introducing himself as George Cauldron.

Video Games
  • In Lego City Undercover, the Chase McCain is conducting a High-Altitude Interrogation, demanding to know who a robber works for. The robber initially claims that he works for "George, um.... Far...tar...benson...bury". At the thief begins to slip off of the ledge, he admits that he works for Rex Fury, the villain of the game. At the end of the cutscene, two men meet in the background, which leads to this exchange:
    George? George Fartarbensonbury
    Hey! Long time no see, Dave!
    • Chase reacts to this with incredulity.
  • In Planescape: Torment, the main character is an amnesiac who begins the game not knowing his own name, so he can choose to introduce himself using the alias 'Adahn' in conversation. Do this enough times and you will eventually meet a man named Adahn in a tavern; Planescape is set in a world where belief and reality are intertwined, and if enough people start believing in a man named Adahn, he is summoned into existence.


Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • March 29, 2013
    Astaroth
    • In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart prank calls Moe's tavern and asks to speak to 'Hugh Jass'. One of the patrons has that name, answers the phone and spoils the prank.

    • In Monty Pythons Life Of Brian, a centurian dismisses the idea that Brain's father is a Roman named Naughtius Maximus, thinking it's a joke name like Sillius Soddus or Biggus Dickus. Pilate interrupts, pointing out that one of his best friends from Rome is called Biggus Dickus, and he has a wife called Incontinentia Buttocks.

    • In an episode of The IT Crowd, Roy gets caught in a disabled bathroom at a theater and pretends to be disabled so he won't get in trouble. He tells the theater staff and police that his wheelchair was stolen by a bearded, red-haired man with glasses. Later, the police see a man matching that description leaving the theater and quietly take him away.

    • In Planescape Torment, the main character is an amnesiac who begins the game not knowing his own name, so he can choose to introduce himself using the alias 'Adahn' in conversation. Do this enough times and you will eventually meet a man named Adahn in a tavern; Planescape is set in a world where belief and reality are intertwined, and if enough people start believing in a man named Adahn, he is summoned into existence.
  • March 29, 2013
    Duncan
    I believe this is Accidental Truth.
  • March 29, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Agree that this appears covered by Accidental Truth and there is no need for splitting off a subtrope.
  • March 29, 2013
    MrInitialMan
    If it's particularly common, it could be split off into a subtrope of Accidental Truth (or Accidentally Accurate in real-life applications).
  • March 29, 2013
    Waterlily
    Film
    • A Very Brady Sequel: In one of her many attempts to outshine Marcia, Jan invents her perfect boyfriend, naming him George Glass... which Marcia doesn't fall for. Fast-forward to the Brady family in Hawaii, searching for Carol, where Jan bumps into, who else, a boy named George Glass.
  • March 29, 2013
    Carpetfreak
    First, there's an example on American Dad!, where Roger says he pays a kid to watch Spongebob Squarepants, but then says the kid's not real. Later, when Roger calls Hayley a bitch, the kid says that roger said a bad word, to which Roger responds with "Wait...You're REAL?!" and later it turns out that the kid was imaginary, though, so I guess that's a subversion. Second, It might not be Accidental Truth if the character is a Reality Warper who willed the "fictional" character into existence a la Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • March 29, 2013
    MetaFour
  • March 30, 2013
    Waterlily
    This sort of happens in Wayside School is Falling Down. Bebe Gunn tells her teacher that her baby brother Ray causes all kind of trouble and she gets blamed for it. When the teacher confronts her mother about it, the mother doesn't know who Ray is. A later chapter has Bebe's classmate Allison ending up on the nineteenth story of the school that doesn't exist. She meets a younger boy named Ray Gunn there.

    The whole thing is a big Mind Screw.
  • March 30, 2013
    JDogindy
    For many years on King Of The Hill, Dale Gribble often relied on an alias named "Rusty Shackleford" to avoid lawsuits, which, according to him, could be used since he said the child was very sickly and died. However, the real Rusty not only lived, but actually appeared and wanted Dale to sign an affadavit since Dale's rampant use of his name messed up his life.

    The finale of Seinfeld saw a judge named "Arthur Vandalay" appear. For much of the series, that was a name George used to create either an imaginary company or a ficticious reference. He assumed that such a name as "a good sign".
  • March 30, 2013
    NESBoy
    Another Simpsons one:

    • In a Treehouse Of Horror Fairy Tale Episode, Bart and Lisa (after a run-in with a troll and the Three Bears) come across the witch from Hansel And Gretel, who proceeds to fatten up Bart and make Lisa do housework. The kids accuse her for not having any friends, but the witch claims to have a boyfriend named George Cauldron (the Cauldron part being an obvious Line Of Sight Name). Afterwards, Homer arrives and confronts the witch, who attempts to put him in the oven, but gets distracted by a ringing doorbell, leaving Homer to shove her into the oven. Then the person at the door enters the house, introducing himself as George Cauldron.
  • March 30, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    In a Dudley Do Right cartoon, Snidely Whiplash passed off a crate of dynamite and TNT as a birthday cake for "Tippecanoe N. Tyler". Sure enough, a "pathetic little man" shows up and says "I understand you're throwing a party for me".
  • March 30, 2013
    cfive
    Added a bunch of the suggestions to the entry. I'm liking Mr Initial Man's suggestion for this to be a subtrope of Accidental Truth. Maybe not so much as another page, but as a Type 1, Type 2 sort of thing, where a Type 1 Accidental Truth deals with a situation or circumstance matching up with the lie, and a Type 2 Accidental Truth being a fake character turning out to exist.
  • March 30, 2013
    Random888
    In the Thirty Rock episode "Winter Madness", Liz tries to pacify her staff by inventing a fictional executive named "Dale Snitterman" to blame everything on. Later, she realizes that she accidentally remembered the name of a real executive rather than making one up. Then her staff finds out about the real Snitterman and angrily storms his office.
  • March 30, 2013
    MorganWick
    ^^ Ugh. Tropes with "Type 1" and "Type 2" can be such a pain.
  • March 31, 2013
    JonnyB
    Would the Doctor count, to Amy Pond? She believed him to be an imaginary friend when she was a child, then discovers years later that he was in fact real.
  • March 31, 2013
    polarbear2217
    I don't have the book with me, so can someone please check it?

    In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Harry tells Fenrir that he is "Vernon Dudley", another Death Eater (forgot the name) thinks that he sees a Vernon Dudley on the list.
  • March 31, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^^ Not technically, because the Doctor was real all along, he just ... "got the timing off" regarding when he would return to take her along as a companion. But for its worth, everyone else assumed he was just Amy's imaginary friend.
  • April 1, 2013
    dvorak
  • April 1, 2013
    CompletelyDifferent
    • In the Community episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", Jeff claims to be taking a History of Conspiracy Theories class taught by a Professor Professorson. Nobody believes he's telling the truth, so everyone, especially Jeff, are incredibly surprised when the teacher actually shows up. Actually a subversion: it was a huge conspiracy concocted by the Dean to teach Jeff a lesson.
  • April 2, 2013
    robinjohnson
    • In an episode of the surreal Brit Com Mr Don And Mr George, George puts on a false beard and a falsetto voice and calls himself "Mr Jenkins" so he can sell a cardboard box for 35,000 pounds. The episode ends with the real Mr Jenkins catching up and demanding his money, looking and sounding exactly like George with a false beard and falsetto voice.
  • April 2, 2013
    JonnyB
    ^^^ So for them, at least, it would count.
  • April 2, 2013
    Nemmington
    • One episode of Maid Marian And Her Merry Men involved Guy of Gisbourne annoying everyone by constantly talking about his imaginary friend, an alien called Plopbob. At the end of the episode Plopbob is revealed to be real when he is seen by Rabies (who, like Guy, is dim-witted and childlike).
  • April 2, 2013
    littlemissmuffet
    In A Peanuts Christmas special, Sally seemed convinced that after she said the line "Hark!" a kid called Harold Angel would sing. Everyone thinks she just misheard the carol "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". Then Harold Angel actually shows up.
  • April 2, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    We already have Accidental Truth, so we don't need an identical subtrope.

    I second the motion to discard.
  • April 11, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • The Importance Of Being Earnest: Earnest exists. [More detail later if this isn't discarded; I'm about to go to bed.]
    • In another Simpsons Homer tells Moe that he has a friend with a problem. The "friend's" name is Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo. Moe comments that that's a terrible name, at which point the real Joey Jo-Jo runs out sobbing.
  • April 12, 2013
    NateTheGreat
  • May 19, 2014
    LordHerobrine
    The difference between an Accidental Truth and this is that someone is "going" to get caught, and The Fake Guy alludes to someone who may not have the intention of getting caught.

    Two main problems is that these are 1) Yes, they really are too much similar, and 2) Many of these examples go on Accidental Truth.

    If this is to get airborne, the description needs to differentiate itself between the two, and provide like examples.
  • May 19, 2014
    DAN004
  • July 31, 2014
    XFllo
    bump
  • July 31, 2014
    DAN004
    Accidental Truth is broad. This can be its subtrope.

    But then again this may be Real After All (pun intended)
  • July 31, 2014
    MetaFour
    There seem to be two different ideas lumped together here.

    1. The variant that overlaps with Accidental Truth: Someone makes up a fake person, and then someone who improbably matches that description shows up later.
    2. Variant that overlaps with Cassandra Truth: Someone is describing a real person, and the description sounds like an obvious lie so no one believes them, until that person shows up later.

    And I can think of another, related idea:
    • Subversion of Paper Thin Disguise: Someone shows up who looks like he's Bob in a bad disguise, and he gives an unconvincing alias as his name. No one believes him... until Bob shows up and stands right next to him.
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