Adding another layer to this is ads in colleges (and other places where they can get to new adults) that advertise the existence of these agencies and why you can trust ads because of them... right next to an ad full of half-truths.
Nowadays, most service providers (especially mobile telecomms companies...) offer "unlimited" downloading, texts, or minutes. For quite small values of "unlimited". In a similar fashion they offer incredibly fast speeds...that are in reality half of what is being advertised.
Another trick is to have upload speeds of X mbps, except on any application you would use to upload with (legit or otherwise).
Our bank account has no monthly fees. as long as you maintain a minimum balance for (absurdly high amount), make six or fewer withdrawals (including ATM and electronic withdrawals) in a month, and never use an out-of-network ATM...
Did you know that Extra Sugarfree Gum can not only slim you, but also tone your ass at the same time? No? Neither did I.
Agent Burke: (points to the cell phone in her hand) Then what's that?
Fi: That's my other cell phone.
Michael: She's a... big talker?
Fi: (covering the napkin with her purse. a grenade falls out) Maybe we could just put this all... behind... us.
Agent Burke: (deadpan) Is that a grenade?
Fi: What grenade?
Computer running slow? Come to our website where you can get a FREE scan to find all the annoying adware and spyware and registry errors. Then for a small monthly fee, we'll remove them all and replace them with our adware and spyware and registry errors.
Add to that pumps, potions, powders and any other technique offered. Except maybe the painful stretching techniques which may cause some stretching at the expense of most of the nerve endings that make having a penis...well, fun.
Some of the pumps "work" as well; if you can get enough suction and movement, you start rupturing capillaries, doing permanent damage which very very slightly increases the volume of blood potentially containable by the penis (assuming the internal bleeding doesn't become external). Not that a broken penis can really be said to become erect any more. In fact, there are about half a dozen ways to "enlarge a penis" that technically work, but you don't want to even know how most of them would do so.
The Enzyte commercials with "Smilin' Bob" are possibly the worst offenders - the clear implication that "enhancement" means size, while the actual product is meant to increase endurance. This got to the point that someone actually filed a lawsuit claiming false advertising.
An oft-told but questionably true story:*
Awesome as it is, that fact that details of the story change with the retellings, the fact that nobody can get more specific than "a company," "an advertising executive," etc., and the fact that no such labels can be produced cast doubt upon it. However, check out Never Needs Sharpening for many proven-true examples of someone trying to sell a flaw as a feature.
In a battle between pink salmon and white salmon manufacturers around 100 years ago, the public was well used to pink salmon and white salmon was having a hard time getting customers ... until ... they put the phrase: "guaranteed not to turn pink in the can" on their labels.
In some iterations the pink salmon struck back with "No bleach used in processing."
Networks are starting to call the pilot episode of a series the "preview," while calling the second episode a "premiere." Nickelodeon goes even further by taking a two-parter and calling it a "movie."
The Yellow freight company.
Neither Anime nor Manga exist here
Soul Eater gives us this when Kid headshots Black*Star and Soul to break up a moment they were having.
Death the Kid: Oops. Sorry. (Beat) My fingers slipped.
In InuYasha, Kagome's long absences are explained by her Grandfather as being the result of various illnesses that are increasingly more and more serious, and which Kagome would not likely recover from so easily had she actually contracted them (such as diabetes, scoliosis and rheumatoid arthritis).
Worse, the parents of the boy who has a crush on her own an alternative medicines clinic, and he frequently brings her increasingly ridiculous herbal remedies and such. This is often how she learns of her grandfather's latest excuse for her absence.
Many of these are also geriatric disorders that the Grandfather likely has, like rheumatism.
In Ranma ˝, all of the Miniature Senior Citizens claim to have been both normal-sized and very attractive when young (particularly the ultra-lecherousHappôsai and Lukkôsai, who claim to have been dignified, respected Bishonens). This is proven to be false in Happōsai's case (who was a homely little dwarf with the exact same standards as the present Happōsai) and is likely the same in Lukkōsai's case. Cologne, on the other hand, looks the same in both her and Happosai's flashback, so she's probably being honest. It's confirmed as true in the anime!
Mahou Sensei Negima!: The Mages Hand Wave things like people flying, shooting fireballs, or giant demon mecha with "It's Toku." (In the official English translation it's CGI, which is stretches both this trope and the Willing Suspension of Disbelief even further.) And it works. This sort of makes sense during the festival arc where the Muggles were already using magic guns and the like, but there's no reason for it to work the time it showed up in the Kyoto arc.
This is the most likely excuse of the climax of the Magical World arc. Cosmo Entelechia's plan is set in motion and Magical World monsters are appearing in Mahora. The Muggles fight back the same way as they did in the Mahorafest.
Mai-HiME: After the results of the Power Trio's first encounter with an Orphan, Reito comes to Mai the next day and tells her that they're reporting the collateral damage to the landscape as the result of "a (freak) lightning strike." Suuuure, Reito. Single lightning strikes that set the landscape ablaze in perfectly straight lines happen all the time.
The characters in Bleach use the injury and illness excuse for their long absences far too often. The fact that up to five of them are missing, all from the same high school class, at the same time makes the lies all the more blatant.
One of them is Orihime who doesn't even need to lie, since even when she tells the truth everybody assumes it's just her overactive imagination.
All of the main cast (Ichigo, Rukia, Orihime, Ishida, Chad) go into school. They explain their injuries with "I fell down some stairs." No one believes them, which is kind of understandable considering that Ichigo in particular tends to acquire lots of really impressive sword wounds.
Onsokumaru of Ninin Ga Shinobuden is a floating yellow ball with arms, yet for some reason Shinobu believes him when he claims to be a hawk. This is just one of countless lies he manages to sell her on. Kaede is never fooled for a second.
Seto no Hanayome: Mafia boss Seto Gozaburo's introduction as the new homeroom teacher:
Gozaburo: Starting today, I'm taking over this "group." I'm the leader of this group. I'll scold whoever makes noise. Nice to meet you all. Class President: E-erm... What happened to the former teacher, Shibazaki-sensei? Gozaburo: Mr Shibazaki is .... On maternity leave! Students: Eh, he can give birth?!
Yamazaki of Cardcaptor Sakura gets his kicks improvising outrageous lies, usually about the history of things. Sakura and, strangely enough, Syaoran always believe him. Chiharu seems thoroughly jaded, but let Yamazaki talk long enough and she will start to wonder...
It gets worse when Eriol joins the cast in the final season and plays along with Yamazaki's lies. The two of them play off of each other and build more and more outrageous stories. Becomes doubly funny when you realize that Eriol is the reincarnation of Clow Reed, and has all of the immensely wise sorcerer's memories, so he's doing this entirely to mess with people.
Rozen Maiden's Suiseiseki takes full advantage of the fact that Hina-Ichigo will believe anything she's told. In one memorable case, she convinced Hina that mailboxes were dangerous monsters... purely so she could get her letter sent first.
Oga: Long long ago, in a certain place, there was a very very handsome, cool, respected, entirely angelic young man.
In Onegai Twins, the trio gets a visit from Tsubaki, who's clearly interested in Maiku. Karen notices Miina glowering◊.
Karen: Miina-san, your face looks scary. Miina: I was born like this. Karen: ...Is that right?
In Naruto, Madara claims that the attack of the Nine-Tails was a natural disaster, but we learn later that he was the one who caused it.
Madara: I am Madara Uchiha.
Kakashi always makes up ridiculous excuses for his lateness, such as being "lost on the path of life". No one ever believes him, and the truth is that he simply loses track of time while standing by his friend's grave.
Galaxy Angel's Mint brings the staff of an amusement park to tears with her story of the deaths of Ranfa and Forte. They charged into a hail of bullets while she remained behind because of her powerful family. I almost burst into tears, then I remembered that Ranfa and Forte were back at base enjoying their coffee break.
From Angel Beats!. After Otonashi has to grab Yurippe innappropriatly to climb up human ladder style and Hinata attempts the same thing:
Hinata:AAAAAHHHHH YYYYYOOOOUUUUUU BIIIIIIIT- (scene change) Otonashi: Where's Hinata? Yurippe: He was a noble sacrifice.
Usopp of One Piece has many of these, the most famous probably being "I have 80 million men under my command!" The, ahem, more gullible members of the Straw Hats and a few other idiots will actually take him seriously.
After experiencing all of Luffy's physical pain and fatigue courtesy of Bartholomew Kuma, Zoro is found by Sanji. Zoro is just standing there with his arms crossed, severely injured and soaked in his own blood. Sanji wonders what's going on. Zoro replies:
Zoro: Nothing... nothing at all...!!!
Luffy takes the prize, as he is completely incapable of lying with a straight face.
In Mayo Chiki, Kanade is a master at this. She tells Kureha, the main character Jiro's sister, that Subaru is in fact a guy in episode 3. Later, in episode 7, Subaru is wearing a bikini and looks like a girl when Kureha once again shows up. Kanade blatantly points out that she's a girl, and is in fact Subaru's "cousin", Punyuru. Kureha once again falls for it.
During an obvious breather arc, Keima gets upset about losing a shogi match and tries to pretend he meant to do it as part of his strategy. The girl he's working on, Nanaka, then points out that he has Ocular Gushers going on, at which point he claims he's not crying, he's relaxing in a hotspring! Complete with an image of him filling up a hot spring with his tears.
An earlier example has the narration lying where after Keima gets tasered the narration assures it's a completely safe stun gun. The girl who attacked him later breaks a tree in half with them. Totally safe stun gun, that. Yeah.
Ran Kotobuki of Super Gals! had a Running Gag in which she was constantly late for class, and every time offered an unbelievable excuse, such as being kidnapped by aliens or being ambushed by the paparazzi when in reality she'd either gotten distracted or simply overslept.
Haruka of Kotoura-san is bad at telling lies, but often resorts to that to hide per past, so it happens a few times.
Manga-only: After Manabe and Haruka came back to Haruka's apartment in Chapter/Episode 1, the first thing Manabe asked was why Haruka lives alone, and Haruka wants to avoid telling him her broken past...
Haruka, blushing and sweatdropping: "My, my parents went on a worldwide trip..."
She had a Cry Cute a few moments later, at the same scene. She claimed that was Onion Tears. Manabe of course called out her not even close to an onion.
Do Not Open This Folder. If You Open This Folder, You Will Not Find Comics. You Will Break The Internet.
Subverted in a classic Silver Age comic of The Flash which ends with Iris wondering aloud about the timing of Barry's absences. Without missing a beat, Barry just tells her she's right: "One and one still makes one! I'm the Flash!" Naturally, this flippant claim convinces Iris he's not.
Iris does end up being subjected to Blatant Lies. Iris learns Barry's identity because he talks in his sleep but he doesn't end up telling her for another year. This obviously bothers her a bit. Justified in a retcon because Barry isn't sure if he's still human and wants to determine if he and Iris can have children before breaking the news to her.
In American Flagg, the U.S. government relocates to Mars. "Temporarily, of course".
A common fight example is a character promising their opponent "one free shot", then attacking while they prepare.
Oddly enough, one issue of Captain America has a instance where Cap does give the villain their "one free shot", who then knocks Cap down with the free shot. Though Cap would then kick the villain's ass handily soon after.
From the classic Batman #251, Joker's Five Way Revenge: Joker promised to let his hostage go if Batman willingly jumps into a shark tank. Batman complies, but Joker throws the hostage in for dessert. A rare example of Batman holding the Idiot Ball.
Spider-Man's enemy the Jackal during the Clone Saga. Eventually, it got to the point that you could count on what he said to be lies. This is even lampshaded by the Jackal himself when he assaults Shriek in order to take the Carrion Virus from her:
Jackal: I'd tell you this wouldn't hurt... But that's only because I'm a notorious liar...
In Better Angels, Shane lies to the Atlanta survivors about Rick's death saying that Rick had been bitten and needed to be put down. This is consistent with Shane's duplicitous nature in The Walking Dead when he lies about leaving Otis for dead and killing Randall.
Boy, does Bhelen ever try to feed the dwarven commoner a slice of bull_hit the size of a mountain in Dragon Age The Crown Of Thorns. Hilariously enough, Faren was actually playing dumb on behalf of the dwarven noble protagonist.
This is a common tactic of Harry's in Oh God Not Again, usually when a Sarcastic Confession just won't cut it. His favorite answer to "How do you know that?" is "My psychic scar told me."
Subverted in one instance:
Molly:This is much better gossip than last year's 'Albus Dumbledore was madly in love with Gellert Grindelwald.' Honestly, you'd think Rita Skeeter would learn to stop making up such sensational stories. Obviously Dumbledore was struck speechless by the lies and thus couldn't be bothered to deny it.
In The Dilgar War, warmaster Len'char is sent to Earth space to try and stipulate a non-aggression treaty. The description in his journal of the first meeting with Earth ambassadors and their escort as 'subduing them with his commanding aura' and of the 'million sighs' from relief they produced when he informed them of coming in peace and not in conquest drew a lot of laughs from the ambassadors and the intelligence analysts who spied it.
In The Many Secret Origins Of Scootaloo, Pinkie Pie tries to convince Twilight Sparkle that Scootaloo fights crime as The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well, but Twilight protests that they both, as well as Fluttershy and Applejack, invented the MMDW themselves and donned the costume as a prior scheme. And also, she can clearly see Pinkie's costume hanging out of a closet over there. Pinkie Pie insists that she's mistaken.
Captain Renault: By the way, last night you evinced an interest in Seńor Ugarte.
Victor Laszlo: Yes.
Captain Renault: I believe you have a message for him?
Victor Laszlo: Nothing important, but may I speak to him now?
Major Strasser: You would find the conversation a trifle one-sided. Seńor Ugarte is dead.
Captain Renault: I am making out the report now. We haven't quite decided yet whether he committed suicide or died trying to escape.
First Charlie's Angels movie: Alex and her actor boyfriend are rehearsing a "bomb defusing" scene, and Alex lets slip some technobabble. To cover it up she says, "Isn't it amazing what you can learn on the Internet?"
Karen: ""I can't come out." *fake coughing* "I'm sick."
Most of Regina's behavior fits this trope.
In X2: X-Men United, Bobby Drake presents Wolverine to his parents (who think he's been attending a normal prep school) as "Professor Logan". This in itself is borderline, but when the Drakes ask Wolverine what he teaches, he replies tersely, "Art." The trailers for the film played this to maximum effect by intercutting the question and the response with a shot of Logan, claws extended, screaming and leaping towards the camera.
Agent J: Thank you for participating in our drill. Had this been an actual emergency, y'all woulda been eaten. 'Cause you don't listen. How's a man gonna come bustin' through the back of a subway — it's the same with all y'all New Yorkers! You think you've seen it all, "ooh, another six-hundred-foot worm, save us mister black man!" I ask y'all nicely to move forward to the next car, but you just sit there like... * flash* Thank you for participating in our drill. We hope you have enjoyed our shorter, more energy-efficient subway cars. Watch your step; you will have a nice evening.
Harvey Dent: Lightly irradiated bills. Fancy stuff for a city cop. Have help? Lieutenant Gordon: We liaise with various agencies. Harvey Dent: Save it, Gordon. I wanna meet him. Lieutenant Gordon: Official policy is to arrest the vigilante known as "Batman" on sight. Harvey Dent: Mm-hm. And what about that floodlight on top of MCU? Lieutenant Gordon: If you've got problems with malfunctioning equipment, I suggest you take them up with maintenance, counselor.
The many explanations to which the local police in Hot Fuzz chalk up the horrific murders in the town of Sandford are blatant lies. This is underlined when Nicholas Angel has go along with the stock explanation for a local woman's brutal murder (which took place in front of him): "She tripped and fell on her own shears." The lies are actually perpetrated by the conspiracy that surrounds the village, but most of the cops have had their instincts so dulled by both the conspiracy and the peaceful life it produces that they instinctively buy into these lies, regardless of how nakedly absurd they are. Typical response to said incident: "So... you're saying it wasn't an accident?"
Guest House Paradiso. Eddie is in the reception area welcoming new guest Gina Carbonara. There is a massive explosion from the kitchen. Eddie: "Mice." (pause) "Basque Separatist mice."
Analyze This had a scene where Dr. Sobel runs into Paul Vitti's right hand man, Jelly, who was "previously incarcerated".
Dr. Sobel: I thought you were in prison? Jelly: It would appear not. Dr. Sobel: How'd you get out? Jelly: I had a new trial. Turns out that the evidence in the first trial was tainted. Dr. Sobel: Oh, I see. Jelly: Anyway, two of the witnesses decided not to testify and the third guy, well, he commited suicide. Dr. Sobel: How? Jelly: He stabbed himself in the back four times and threw himself off a bridge.
Kick-Ass: With gunfire clearly audible in the background:
Bodyguard: Everything's under control. Chris: Under control? You're getting a fucking BAZOOKA!
At the end of Diggstown, after Gabriel Caine openly, in front of the entire town, orders Menoso Torres to take a fall in the last bout, John Gillon tells Caine "You beat me fair and square." He means it.
The plot of The Invention of Lying. In a world where everyone always tells the truth, a man figures out how to lie. Everyone believes everything he says without question, leading to the exchange:
To a random hot girl on the street: If you don't have sex with me right now, the world will end!
Girl: Oh my goodness! Do we need to do it right here, or do we have time to get a hotel room?!
Guide for the Married Man from 1967 has Walter Matthau thinking of infidelity; his friend coaches him on what to do. One vignette has a wife walk in while her husband and mistress are in bed (afterglow time) and he simply repeatedly denies that the mistress is even there. The wife walks away, disbelieving her own eyes.
In Weekend At Bernie's, an unhinged mob hitman bursts into a scene and shoots the titular corpse several times. Unfortunately, the protagonists are standing right there. This leads to:
Larry: I didn't see anything! I was looking at my watch!
Richard: I'm blind!
Cabin Fever is set in the midst of a deadly flesh-eating disease outbreak. About halfway through the movie a woman wants some hot "we're all gonna die anyway" sex and enlists a stunned male acquaintance to give her one last ride. When the guy gets antsy about the risk of disease exposure, she half-assedly tries to convince him that she's perfectly healthy. Either played straight or subverted - it isn't clear which. She may not have been aware that she had the disease, but observant watchers have noted that you can see some signs of her illness before the sex scene, so she might've been aware of her own condition.
Terry Silver's speech about what he's got from karate in The Karate Kid Part III. He's a borderline-psychotic sadist who says that he's got discipline, health, inner-peace and self-confidence from karate, and he's about to open some dojos to teach karate full of honesty, compassion and fair play. The crowd love it, but we see several shots that show us that Daniel and Mr Miyagi are clearly not buying it.
In Clue, Mrs. White uses this to explain away what happened to her first husband.
Wadsworth: Your first husband also disappeared. Mrs. White: But that was his job. He was an illusionist. Wadsworth: But he never reappeared! Mrs. White: He wasn't a very good illusionist.
In A Knights Tale, Prince Edward justifies knighting William by announcing that he's discovered Will is descended from nobility. Though pretty obviously a lie, he dares anyone to call him on it: "This is my word, and as such is beyond contestation."
Earlier, there's the scene where William tries to convince Chaucer that he is "Sir Urich Von Lichtenstein". Chaucer doesn't buy it for an instant, but goes along with it when William threatens him, offering to make letters patent of nobility and serve as Will's herald in exchange for food and clothing.
The Muppets: "Change of heart. Nothing to do with head injury."
In The Dark Knight Rises, Blake and Gordon are in their car listening to the President's address on the radio, when he says "people of Gotham, we will not abandon you."
Blake: What does that mean?
Gordon: *Sighs* It means we're on our own.
The proclamation is later shown to have contained at least a modicum of truth as the government slips a team in with the supplies in an attempt to get information in order to save the city.
This is actually the plot of Shattered Glass. It's revealed that nearly all of the articles Steven Glass wrote were almost completely made up. We say "almost" because a fact checker in the film does discover "there is apparently a state in the union named "Nevada"."
Airplane! - in one scene, Dr. Rumack lies so blatantly that his nose grows Pinocchio-style.
The main part of Watch It is about a group of housemates who play practical jokes on each other. After John, a newcomer, has fallen victim to one of Rick's jokes, their housemate Danny sympathizes with John and says the jokes have gotten juvenile, and he, Danny, doesn't play the game any more. Of course, later that night, when John comes home to what he thinks is an empty house and decides to fix himself a late-night snack, Danny is waiting in a cabinet to grab John's leg and scare the shit out of him.
Shaolin Soccer: Team Rebellion's captain has wrenches and tools falling out of his soccer shorts before the game begins. Each time, he delivers a protracted explanation that, as a mechanic, he has a valid excuse for tools to be in his shorts.
Definitely Not Literature
In Duumvirate, Sarah raids and kills a pervert, then "found" a will on his hard drive that everything he owned was to go to her son. More a Take That than a lie meant to be believed.
Astrid there's a REASON she's on the cover of the book called Lies.
In the Harry Potter series, the Dursleys claim Harry has gone to "St Brutus' Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys" to their fellow Muggle neighbors to explain his long absences at Hogwarts. Aunt Marge approves, and asks whether they still use the cane.
The Dursleys also told Harry that Lily and James Potter died in a car crash. They seem to have told Marge that as well.
When asked directly by Harry what he saw when he looked into the Mirror of Erised, a mirror that shows one's greatest desire; Dumbledore claims to see "a pair of thick, woollen socks." It's actually his dead sister, whom he may or may not have accidentally killed, alive again.
In the classic novel Gladiator, when his Army superiors ask for an explanation of his superhuman powers, Hugo Danner does NOT speak of his father's medical experiments. Instead, he simply says, "I'm from Montana."
Because most of the people in The Dresden Files are deeply in denial, large amounts of crap can be made up without anyone noticing. For example, a magical diagram to redirect a curse onto its originator is "Feng Shui", and Murphy once suggested calling in Homeland Security on the Denarians' demon-possessed asses by saying they're "terrorists with advanced biotechnology suits." However, this also gets Double Subverted in "Turn Coat" when a security guard insists on taking Harry's staff, which he says is "traditional Ozark folk art": not because he knows that the staff covered in mystic runes has, in the past, been used to blast a rampaging hell-werewolf all the way through two buildings, but because he thinks Harry could smack someone with it. Harry has been known to do just that at times.
Murphy's job with Special Investigations is fifty percent solving supernatural crimes with Harry, and fifty percent concocting lies to explain away the resulting chaos to her superiors without acknowledging the supernatural exists. Which her superiors know does exist, they just don't want their cops to admit as much on public record. Harry's remarked that Murphy could've had a successful second career writing Speculative Fiction.
In Making Money, Moist asks why Mrs. Lavish keeps two loaded crossbows on her desk. The answer is "family heirlooms". He notes that a lie so blatant is clearly meant to make a statement rather than be believed.
Considering the rest of her family, it's more of a Jedi Truth. If any of her family tries anything funny, the crossbow bolts will be heirlooms, after they've been...forcibly gifted upon the family member in question.
In Thud!, a fight nearly breaks out between a troll and a dwarf officer. Commander Vimes enters the room to find a table overturned, and the potential combatants being restrained by their fellow officers. He asks who's going to be the first to "tell me a huge whopper". Nobby Nobbs obliges by offering up an utterly preposterous explanation about how the dwarf almost drank some (dangerously chemical) troll coffee, and the others rushed to stop him. Vimes pretends to buy it, and the others pretend to believe that he buys it. Much of what Nobby Nobbs does involves this trope. He has been seen using the excuse that his "granny died" in order to get out of work. When directly asked by Colon, he says that this is about the twentieth one it happened to. Watchmen seem to be expected to have that particular excuse, having been given three afternoons off for grandmother's funerals a year.
The "grandmother's funeral" excuse comes up again when two troll constables are given an order to apprehend another troll, Acting-Constable Detritus. This exchange promptly occurs (which showcases genius-level thinking, for a troll):
Lance-Constable Bauxite: *salutes* Permission for leave to attend grandmother's funeral, sir?
Sergeant Colon: Why?
Lance-Constable Bauxite: It her or me, sarge.
Nobby Nobs only used the Grandmother's Funeral excuse twice...per year.
Feet of Clay also be Terry Pratchett has Vimes and Detritus discussing who possibly could have threatened Chrysophrase's drug smuggler, Hardcore, while a new applicant looks on in disbelief as Detritus's assurances that none of HIS trolls would ever do such a thing (and yet he knew who was threatened and why) are accepted.
This is also a Metaphorically True case since none of Detritus' trolls actually did the deed. It was Detritus himself.
Monstrous Regiment. Roughly every other spoken line.
Earlier, Johnny notes that the phrase "We're doing a school paper" seems to grant you all sorts of access, and that Hitler could probably have conquered all of Europe by claiming it was school research.
The Wraiths, pretending to be the crew of a warship, are on that warship's mission, touring planets aligned with Warlord Zsinj. The captain dies while they are capturing his ship, and at some point a planetary governor hails them and wants to talk to that captain. Improvising, the squadron's actor coats a pair of goggles with fluorescent paint, sticks one end of a tube in his nostril, the other in his ear (to disguise his distinctive features), and pretends to be a lieutenant and says that the captain is in the bath, dictating his memoirs. When the governor states his confusion, the actor roars that Captain Darillian has to budget his time; he's not some planetary governor who can skim taxes with one hand and pick his nose with the other!
Later, the Wraiths' actor, "Face" Loran impersonates that captain with the help of his full-holo Captain's Log. Most of the people who they met either hadn't known the man or had barely met him and knew little of him other than his melodrama and ego. But then the actor talks in depth to Darillian's immediate superior, making him suspicious when they turn out not to know something the captain should. He gets out of this by furiously improvising, again, and telling the admiral, as the captain, that it's been a very long time since he was home. The admiral knows that, and that the captain's family died thanks to Isard. The actor, as the captain, continues to improvise and tells the admiral that he was in love with Isard, and was wildly conflicted and distracted by this. Going off on a tangent about her, the actor fascinated the admiral long enough that he forgot about his suspicions and almost fell into the Wraiths' trap. This was helped by the fact that Loran had met Isard in person, and his particular talents allowed him to notice and remember very subtle details about her.
Face: Thank you, thank you. Performances every hour, on the hour. Imperial madmen a specialty.
In Solo Command, during Wedge and Han's "mutiny of anonymity", the various crew off-duty refused to refer to one another by their proper name and rank, or allow people who did into their section. The preferred address was "person who looks like [so and so]". Wedge explains:
"not-Wedge": Who do you think I am? Face: Um... Commander Wedge Antilles, New Republic Starfighter Command? "not-Wedge": No no no no... if I were Antilles, I'd be wearing proper rank insignia, wouldn't I?
Another from Wraith Squadron, when Wedge breaks up a fight:
Phanan: We were discussing the finer points of a specific hand-to-hand combat maneuver... Wedge: Flight Officer Phanan, how many times do you think I've heard that "we were talking about a boxing move" excuse?
There's Starfighters of Adumar.
Wedge: We'll need a wheeled transport, one of the flatcam units our pursuers are carrying, and four sets of women's clothing. Hobbie: Boss, please tell me you're not putting us in women's clothing. Wedge: Very well. I'm not putting us in women's clothing. (in the next chapter, the four pilots are in women's clothing) Hobbie: You lied to me. Wedge: I did. With my brilliant achievements in the diplomatic profession has come the realization that lies can be powerful motivators. Hobbie: My faith is shattered. Wedge: You knew, when I said we needed four sets of women's clothing, that we were going to end up in them. You knew. So any hopes you had to the contrary were just self-delusion. Hobbie: I understand that. But I'd rather blame you than me.
In the Robert A. Heinlein novel Starman Jones, the main character questions one of his friends about the contents of some boxes the friend has smuggled aboard. The friend claims they're tea cosies, which he's importing as "skullcaps for pinheads". Not so much.
In Callahan's Secret, by Spider Robinson, Mike Callahan recounts how, after a dimly-remembered alcoholic event, he woke up naked in New York and wound up riding a police horse, using the horse blanket as a toga. He averted attention by galloping boldly through the streets and periodically shouting, "Attack of the Horseclans! Coming soon from United Artists!"
The Antichrist in Left Behind, despite supposedly being the agent (and later, living avatar) of the Prince Of Lies, uses a lot of these. It only works since he has some ill-defined Mind Control powers to back him up, and more importantly because the authors portray the entire population of the planet after the Rapture as morons.
In the first Star Trek: Millennium novel, when Dr. Bashir asks Garak to aid him in identifying two recently-discovered bodies (referencing Garak's expertise), Garak responds: “Oh, Doctor, I'm afraid that in matters of mysterious deaths, I am entirely bereft of experience”. No-one is amused. Bashir then clarifies he wanted Garak to examine their clothing..."I meant your expertise as a tailor".
In A Song of Ice and Fire the Frey's excuse for the Red Wedding is that Robb's forces attacked first, transformed into wolves and they were forced to kill them in self defense. Unsurprisingly no one really buys this, but they're relying on people accepting it for political reasons. It's not proving very effective.
One observer sarcastically notes that it looks like the Freys realized that nobody was going to believe them no matter what excuse they gave, and so they decided to go all out and at least come up with something creative.
An Elegy for the Still-living Francis Church convinces a prisoner to play a game where they take turns asking and answering questions. Either player can accuse the other of lying. If the accuser is correct, he wins the game. The prisoner spots a loophole in the rules and decides never to make an accusation. Almost everything Francis says from that point on is a lie. Some of what he says is actually pretty subtle, but "I am not afraid of anything," is obviously untrue.
In Twilight, after Bella is hurt by James, the Cullens are somehow able to pass her injuries off as her falling down some steps and smashing through a window. Everyone buys this. When Bella is dropped off at the hospital, she has a broken leg, four broken ribs, cracks on her skull, bruises all over her skin, and severe blood loss. There is no mention of lacerations or injuries from impact, nor of bits of glass in her hair or clothes, and she was jacked up with morphine before being put in the hospital. In Breaking Dawn, Bella and Edward try to pass their daughter off Edward's previously-unmentioned niece from a previously-unmentioned brother, who suddenly fell over dead and left his daughter in the care of the officially-underage Edward. From all of this, the only thing that clues Charlie in on the lies is the fact that Renesmee's eyes look exactly like Bella's.
In the movie, when he sees her, he even says "So, this is your kid, Edward?" and rolls his eyes knowingly when Edward insists on "niece" with the obligatory "Oh, right".
In A Brother's Price, Jerin tells the Porter sisters that he will marry them willingly, pleasure them in bed, and care for their children if they just don't kill Cira. Later Cira is surprised to find that he was lying, but like he said earlier in the book - "You have to be very careful [with lies], but we Whistlers have always thought it was a good thing to know how to do it well."
George Orwell's 1984. The Party has browbeaten and conditioned its citizens to believe even the most blatant lies that it spouts. The Party's lies often contradict its own previously told lies. And it's not enough for citizens to simply say that they believe the lies. They have to genuinely believe them.
In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novel Ashes of Honor, Chelsea tells her mother that Toby's turning her into a full fae didn't hurt.
Not Live Action TV, No-Siree-Bob
In Human Target, Winston is faced with disarming a remote timer, which will trigger enough C4 to level the building around him. Faced with two wires and no clue, his only hope is Geurerro, a seedy freelance agent he calls over the phone... who doesn't have a clue either.
Winston: * hearing something 'plink' in the background* Did you just flip a coin?! Guererro: ...No.
In Sliders, whenever the team lands on a new world and has to explain why they don't know what's going on, they use the excuse "We're from Canada." We've hardly ever seen it fail. Although one time they had to pretend to be illegal immigrants from Canada the entire episode, who had snuck south into Mexico for work. (Thanks to the non-existence of America in the middle, and Mexico ending up with California.)
The British show Goodnight Sweetheart. The main character constantly switches between 1941 and the modern day, meaning that he often ends up in the past with technology that shouldn't exist in that time. When anyone asks him about it, he invariably claims the gadget comes 'from America'. Everyone believes this without question, which is probably Truth in Television.
In the famed Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" where Kirk and Spock travel back to the Great Depression, Kirk tries to explain Spock's vaguely alien appearance by saying he's from China; then he has to justify his pointed ears by claiming he got his head stuck in a "mechanical rice picker" as a child.
In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data, having been transported back through time to 1893 San Francisco, explains his uniform and skin color with the excuse that he's French. The fact that he can speak French fluently helps. Another TNG episode has Data in the holodeck in a pastiche of the 1920s or thereabouts; this time, he explains his skin tone with "I am from South America."
In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Garak is always very adamant that he didn't have anything to do with all those murders at the Romulan embassy. He was really just a gardener who just worked there purely by coincidence. He also makes it clear with his first introduction that he's just "plain, simple Garak", a tailor on Deep Space Nine, and definitely not a spy. It becomes rapidly apparent that most of what he says is a lie of some sort. In fact, his lies are so blatant, he doesn't simply cross the line into Self Proclaimed Liar, he sets up house and home there.
Bashir: What I want to know is, out of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren't?
The classic Coneheads sketches feature the eponymous aliens making transparent lies to hide the obvious fact that they're not human. "We are from France" was their Beam Me Up, Scotty! catchphrase, originally said to explain why they hadn't paid taxes. Amusingly, though there's no actual city or village by this name, "Remulak" sounds plausible as a town name from southwestern France (but it would be likely spelled "Rémulac").
The John Belushi sketch "Don't Look Back In Anger" is a big lie that shows him as the only surviving member.
Jon Lovitz's recurring character "The Liar" makes obvious lies in a cartoonish manner, following each with, "Yeah, that's the ticket!"
In Pushing Daisies, when Olive questions Chuck about why she and Ned don't touch each other (because Ned brought her Back from the Dead, and she would die again if he did):
The Stargate Program and the SGC is officially "Analysis of Deep Space Radar Telemetry". Carter's father, Major General Jacob Carter, obviously didn't believe her in "Secrets". Which leads to the hilarious event where Sam was receiving a medal for saving the world — with deep space radar telemetry. Carter, being a physicist, is at least plausible. O'Neill, whose explanation for everything is "magnets" makes this even more of a blatant lie when he talks of the cover. The medal they received for saving the world was the Air Medal. Which is awarded "for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight." A reporter approaches Jack to ask about a comment he'd overheard to the effect of "I can travel through the Galaxy without getting lost..." Jack explains his comment away by talking about a very large class of airplane called a Galaxy. The reporter clearly doesn't buy it.
On one occasion when Teal'c did leave the base, O'Neill explained him away as "a simple technical sergeant." When asked what Teal'c specialty was, O'Neil responded: "speech writing." In a later episode, he moves out of the Cheyenne base and attempts to set up a civilian life. When anyone asks about his manner of speaking, or why he's ignorant of customs, or the inlaid gold tattoo on his head, he tells them he's from "Mozambique."
Daniel Jackson, upon meeting an oncoming Goa'uld ship, identifies himself as "The Great and Powerful Oz".
In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron can't get through the metal detectors in the school she attends. John explains this away off-handed by saying she's got a metal plate in her head, believed because of Cameron's odd behavior (it's technically true, though John neglects to mention that her entire head is metal plates). Later on, when a guidance counselor calls Sarah to comment on Cameron's... odd behavior around the campus, she explains that a tornado did it.
Probably a rather subtle Wizard of Oz reference on Sarah's behalf. The series is peppered with them.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was full of this: "gangs on PCP" (group of vampires); "slipped and fell on a barbeque fork" (vampire bite resulting in loss of blood, consciousness, and memory); "office broken into by a pack of wild dogs" (students possessed by hyenas eating the principal); "neck rupture" (vampire bite); "gym full of asbestos" (full of recently-dusted vampires)... By the sixth season, it's gotten to the point where the official line is "Mayhem caused;monsters definitely not involved."
It was on fullest display during Anya and Xander's wedding, where the various demons sitting on the bride's side were explained as being "circus people".
Non-"Sunnydale Syndrome" example: during the episode where Buffy turns invisible, Xander goes to Spike for information and walks in on the two of them having sex. Spike's explanation is that he's exercising...naked...in bed. Xander seems to buy it, possibly for the sake of his sanity. "You know, jokes aside, you really should get a girlfriend."
Giles apparently used to tell girls he helped to found Pink Floyd. He probably didn't mention that this must have been when he was 11.
Buffy catches herself almost talking about her sex life to her mother:
Buffy: And I'm sure he'll come over later looking for a little... Bible study.
Joyce: Well, good. I mean just as long as two of you are spending some quality time with... the Lord.
On the new Doctor Who series, it's stated at the end of "World War Three" that Blatant Lies are used at first, along with people's natural Weirdness Censor, by the British government and UNIT to paper over the Doctor's various adventures. In a later subversion of the trope, it's ultimately shown that no one in London is buying what Downing Street is selling anymore, to the point where the city is nearly deserted on Christmas Eve in Voyage of the Damned due to a sudden pandemic of Genre Savviness.
Twice, when the Tenth Doctor is grieving, on being asked if he's okay replies, "I'm always all right." Lampshaded by Donna when she asks if "All right" is Time Lord speak for "Not all right at all."
Donna: because I'm all right too.
The Doctor himself does this to Amelia in "The Eleventh Hour."
Doctor: You know when grown-ups tell you, "Everything's gonna be fine" and you think they're probably lying to make you feel better? Amelia: Yeah. Doctor: Everything's gonna be fine.
And another one from "The Beast Below":
Doctor: Remember, we are observers only, no matter what happens. In all my travels, that's the one rule that I've always stuck to.
Used as a Tearjerker in A Good Man Goes To War. Upon meeting a dying girl who met the Doctor when she was younger, and expects the Doctor to know who she is, the following exchange takes place:
The Doctor: [Smiling delightedly] You helped my friends. Thank you.
Lorna: I met you once. In the Gamma forest... You don't remember me.
The Doctor: Of course I do, Lorna. I remember everyone. Hey, we ran - you and me!
[Lorna smiles weakly and dies. The Doctor composes himself.]
The Doctor: ...Who was she?
Vastra: I don't know, but she was very brave.
The Doctor: ...They are always brave. [swallows his own shame] They are always brave...
In the original series "Dalek Invasion Of Earth" story, Barbara convinces the Daleks that the resistance forces are attempting an immediate assault... working together with the Boston Tea Party, and General Lee and Hannibal are poised to perform a synchronized cavalry strike on the Dalek base. The Daleks, having never heard of those, assume the worst.
From the same era, we get:
Doctor: I've learned to stay out of the affairs of others years ago.
Doctor: Don't be absurd. I'm not the least bit curious.
A rare instance of the audience being let in on the joke when the characters are not occurs in "The Pyramids Of Death" when the big bad has to navigate a Death Course and complains when a particular puzzle looks complex but is actually simply a "find the different one" match game. (The Audience is shown how easy the puzzle actually is) When the Doctor and [The Sarah Jane Adventures Sarah Jane] arrive later the Doctor weaves an elaborate commentary on the puzzle involving scale, ratios, and physics while measuring with his scarf. He then solves the puzzle while making a show of protecting Sarah in case there is an explosion.
Doctor: *Is already pressing the guy who'd just told them to leave while they still could for more information*
Used for dramatic effect in the series finale of The Wire. Dukie hits up Prez for some money, saying he's going to take a GED. Prez points out that he's too young to take that test but acquiesces anyway, and they part on the unspoken agreement that Dukie is about to spend his life as a homeless drug addict and they will never see each other again.
Clay Davis was also a frequent source of these. His impassioned speech on the stand while on trial for corruption was perhaps the biggest.
Bunk's line 'The bigger the lie, the more they believe'.
Used often in Smallville during the earlier seasons, when any questions Clark Kent was asked about his interest in the caves or any Native American symbols that were related to his Kryptonian heritage were met with "It's for a term paper" — to the point where Lex Luthor himself actually lampshades it later.
At one point Clark uses it as an offensive tool, saying he wanted to write a term paper on a project Lex was funding, which Lex had lied about earlier prior to Clark's finding and dismantling it.
Also used whenever Clark, Lana and Chloe say they are Just Friends.
Chloe: My feelings for Clark are so ancient, they're... they're fossilized!
When it comes to his big secret, however, Clark usually evades the question. It gets funnier when he uses more and more lies when Chloe already knew his secret, though...
Also a ton of it when Lex and Lana start to get close.
Clark: Is there something you are not telling me?
Chloe: No. Not at all.
Given the context, though, you would probably root for Chloe.
In Identity, Clark beats Jimmy to reaching Chloe even though the latter is speeding all the way, and he finds a family photo of Clark wearing red and blue (it is a really dumb idea to wear only two colours, instantly recognizable), but Clark and Chloe still denies everything.
Chloe: Oliver and I are not a couple. We're... having fun.
In The Middleman, used to explain away both their identity and any of the situations they get into.
In Being Human, Mitchell and George's landlord wonders why their flat is almost entirely empty, the real reason being that George is a werewolf and accidentally destroyed most of the furniture when he transformed the night before. Eager to make up an excuse, George gives a long rambling explanation about minimalist living. The landlord says he would have just figured they were redecorating.
George: ... That would have made more sense.
This is supposed to be what sets Whacked Out Videos apart from other, similar shows.
Commandant Klink gets so many Blatant Lies fed to him by Hogan that he should just put on a bib every time the colonel comes into his office.
One episode features the other characters finding wine bottles full of blood in Nick's refrigerator. He claims he uses the blood to thin paint.
Dead Like Me has George using every excuse she can to get out of work for her reaps. Plausible the first few times I am sure but it is a very consistent thing for years. (Trying to see an executive, she claims that it's "about his son, who drugged me, and then videotaped it while homeless people had sex with my unconscious body.")
Averted in Firefly. In the first episode, Jayne, the ship's resident amoral mercenary, mouths off and is told to leave the room. He claims that "[He] isn't paid to talk pretty", but leaves. Simon asks what Jayne does, and Capt. Reynolds responds: "Public Relations." Given the kind of public the crew is used to dealing with, Jayne deals with thempretty well.
Especially if the public involves whores.
In one Primeval episode Jenny "explains" a prehistoric crocodile on a rampage in central London as a charity fun-run gone wrong. This is one of her more plausible explanations.
LOST's Benjamin Linus does this almost constantly. If you listen to Ben a lot you realize that he lies just for the hell of it, such as when he tells Jack his mother taught him to read or said he was a Pisces. Even when the truth would be fine, he lies anyway.
In the Top Geartruck driving challenge, Richard Hammond's cargo (a small car) had fallen out of the trailer during the alpine course. Afterwards, when Jeremy Clarkson showed up:
Jeremy Clarkson: This is totally... so anyway, how was your car? (beat as May and Hammond exchange glances) James May: Car's... Richard Hammond: (interrupting May)Stolen! That's what it is, I've just thought of it now: stolen. The damnedest thing.
Top Gear throws out lies like this on a regular basis, especially if a host thinks it'll make their car (or cars in general) sound better. After one challenge where a train, bike and motorboat beat a car across London during rush hour, all three hosts banded together to claim that the footage had been edited, going so far as to claim that the Thames didn't exist and Jeremy Clarkson had died violently during the race (stated by Clarkson himself).
This exchange between Jeremy and Cameron Diaz.
Jeremy: What do you drive?
Cameron: A Prius.
Jeremy: Oh, I love the Prius.
(Studio audience cracks up)
In the Albania special, the hosts claimed to have received a request from the Albanian mafia to test a Rolls-Royce against a Mercedes and a Bentley. However, Bentley pulled out at the last second and Jeremy wound up driving a Yugo instead. For the rest of the episode, Jeremy refers to the Yugo as a Bentley and talks about it using the Bentley's specifications.
Happens somewhat in Knight Rider. Michael Knight made up various stories about who/what both KITT and himself are during the run of the show. On the other hand, a surprisingly large number of guest stars, after displaying initial shock and surprise, accepted the idea of a talking, sentient supercar surprisingly quickly. Far better than Michael himself did despite being hand-picked for the job.
Several villains even point out "Up until X years ago, Michael Knight didn't exist". They don't really find this too terribly odd beyond the mention, but given the frequency this happens you'd think The Foundation would have found a way to fix that in the background check systems.
Scrubs. The Almighty Janitorloves this trope. One of the most memorable, when he was explaining how he knew sign language:
Janitor: I used to hang out at the zoo a lot, and there was this one gorilla who knew sign language. I learned it so I could talk to him. Well it turned out he only knew a few words. Big. And boobs. He liked'em big and hairy. But I always remembered him, because he inspired me. J.D.: Was any of that true? Janitor: Someone would have to read it back to me.
This happens a whole lot in Scrubs, since a lot of the dialogue is improvised. There are a ton of outtakes where the actors are just making crazy stuff up, getting progressively more ridiculous, and then one of them comes out of character and goes 'ha, no, there's no way we can use that'.
Red Dwarf's Kryten Subverts this trope somewhat by audibly engaging his "Lie Mode" software:
Rimmer: Kryten — will this work? Kryten: Lie Mode. (pause) Of course it will work, sir. No worries. (winks to Lister) Hook, line, sinker, rod and copy of Angling Times, sir.
On another occasion:
Kryten: Are you of the school that, when faced with bad news, prefers to hear that news naked and unvarnished, or are you of the ilk that prefers to live in happy and blissful ignorance of the nightmare you're facing?
Rimmer: Ignorance, every time.
Kryten: Congratulations sir! You've come storming through your medical with flying colors! See you next time.
He also plays it straight in the episode "Camille", which is when he first gains the ability to lie. He actually says (while lying himself blue in the face): "You have to believe me! I'm a mechanoid! Mechanoids can't lie!"
He does it again the "The Last Day", where he shuts down the replacement robot by telling it that there is no Silicon Heaven and no afterlife for androids. When the rest of the crew question Kryten about why the "newer model" couldn't handle that revelation and his could, this happens:
In Monk, specifically the episode "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Randy pulls an old photo of his off the wall of his dermatologist's waiting room, taking a piece of wall with it... right as the doctor is coming in. "This fell off the wall."
Happens too many times to count throughout Blackadder, but some of the more memorable are when Blackadder single-handedly rigs an election in the third-season opener.
Announcer: The Acting Returning Officer, Mr. E. Blackadder, of course. And we're all very grateful, indeed, that he stepped in at the last minute, when the previous Returning Officer accidentally brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving. (and again, moments later...) Blackadder: I took over from the previous electorate when he, very sadly, accidentally brutally cut his head off while combing his hair.
Like they live and breathe, they use Blatant Lies on Hannah Montana. Even lampshaded on occasion (usually by Lilly).
At least one third of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are dedicated to exposing the prevalent lies spewed by politicians and the media, frequently by showing clips one after the other, where whoever they are targeting says exactly the opposite of what they are currently saying. The fact they have enough material to fill out about 10 minutes of their show every day is depressing.
Supernatural: In the season 1 episode the benders, Dean enlists the help of a cop to help him find Sam by pretending to be a cop. Unknown to him the cop ran the number on the badge Dean gave her and this happened.
Cop:It says here your badge was stolen. And there’s a picture of you. [she turns the computer to reveal a heavy-set African American man]
Dean: I lost some weight. [laughs nervously] And I got that Michael Jackson skin disease...
Castiel forces Archangel Michael to teleport away with a flaming bottle of holy oil right in front of a Lucifer, while calling him an "assbutt".
Lucifer: Did you just molotov my brother with Holy Fire?
In the British comedy series The IT Crowd Blatant Lies are featured several times. Some notable examples:
In "Yesterday's Jam" Jen, the new manager of the IT department, lied in her application, saying she had "a lot of experience with computers", and is successful with these lies just because her new boss doesn't know a lot about computers either. During that episode, she gets caught a few times more (pretending to talk on a disconnected phone, or typing on an unplugged PC).
In "Calamity Jen" Jen lies about her shoe size so she can buy a nice pair of shoes (destroying her feet). When a fire breaks out in the IT office, they put an old hollowed-out monitor in front of it just before the boss enters the room, making him shout "nice screensaver!".
"The Haunting of Bill Crouse" is almost completely based on a Blatant Lie told by Moss when he was supposed to get rid of an annoying coworker for Jen. He tried making up excuses and finally settled for "She's dead", making him believe he's being haunted by Jen whenever he sees or hears her.
In "The Speech" Roy and Moss explain to Jen that the internet is a small black box with a blinking red light on top. When she later explains this in a speech, none of the listeners seem to suspect anything. When the box is destroyed, a panic breaks out.
Every episode of Lie to Me is full of them. One hilarious example, however, is a known drug dealer saying: "All I told them to do was run product... and by product I mean chewing gum."
Many eccentric news pundits will feed this trope into their Chewbacca Defense generator to fill some airtime or to shut up an opponent that they couldn't defeat otherwise.
One mildly funny example is a segment Bill O'Reilly did about a shooting in a Washington DC Holocaust Museum. He said that since his guest/opponent was a democrat, and that democrats were, in some way responsible for the shooting, that his guest had blood on her hands. He then said that she had different beliefs than he did, that he respects that and would never cast judgment upon her for that, and then screamed "BUT YOU HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS."
While you would expect a lot of blatant lies from a show about con artists like Leverage is, one exchange between the team members fits this trope perfectly: Eliot called Sophie to ask for advice while she was on vacation, and asked her not to tell Nate he'd called. Parker, who'd just done the same thing, asked Eliot who it was. His reply: "cable company."
Used as a Running Gag in 'Allo 'Allo!, where Rene was frequently surprised by his wife while making out with one of his cafe's hot waitresses. After an initial moment of confusion, he would roll his eyes and tell her a blatant lie ("You stew-pid woman! Can you not see that ..."). She always fell for it.
Rene: You stew-pid woman! Can you not see that I'm eloping?
Most criminals on Castle lie to some degree, but one episode have Beckett/Castle interrupt the Irish mob in the process of beating a rival gang member to death, resulting in this (paraphrased) exchange with the victim:
Victim: Can I be real with you detective?
Beckett: Oh, please do.
Victim: The truth is, I fell, and they were just helping me up.
Castle: And your head?
Victim: Before I fell, I hit my head on the wall, which is why I fell.
Beckett: And the burns on your hands?
Victim: After I hit my head... and I fell.. I put my hand out onto the grill, you know, to catch my fall.
Castle: Thanks for keeping it real.
In an episode of Chuck, Devon has to explain a day's absence to Ellie. He decides to go with the story that he was jogging in the park when he noticed a cat in a tree, which turned out to be a bear, which then attacked him, leaving him with no choice but to decapitate it. When, surprisingly, Ellie doesn't buy it, Chuck leaps in with the no less blatant but slightly more believable lie that Casey had been arrested for public intoxication, and Devon had spent the day trying to get the charges dropped.
Troy:[Breathless and exhausted] "How'd you like... those apples?" Abed:[Clearly not breathless and exhausted] "I don't like those apples. I'm so upset. It was clearly a fluke that I won those other games."
In a later episode, a therapist attempts to convince the gang that their entire time at Greendale College was a shared delusion. This would be a lot more believable to take in if their wasn't certain evidence to the contrary, such as pictures on a phone, families who have been to college, and Annie wearing a Greendale backpack during this whole conversation. Needless to say, the therapist turned out to be a fraud.
The Christmas episode of Misfits has this gem from Nathan.
Nathan: We may have done sod all with our powers, but we never abused them. We never raped or murdered anyone.
Curtis: [Alisha] raped me, and we killed loads of people.
In Lizzie McGuire, Matt McGuire ends up faking a lot of his genealogy report due to jealousy towards his mute friend Lenny for being related to someone famous (in Lenny's case: Chrispus Adducks, the first casualty of the Boston Massacre). He does this by claiming to be related to George Washington, Davy Crockett, and Elvis. Although everyone else didn't see through the lies about Washington and Elvis (except for Lenny), one person besides Lenny did in regards to Crockett.
Half the things Sue says are funny because of this trope.
"You know, William, that's what one Hubert Humphrey said back in 1968 at the start of the Democratic National Convention. But then hippies put acid in everyone's bourbon, and when an updraft revealed Lady Bird Johnson's tramp stamp, and tattoos above her ovaries, Mayor Richard J. Daley became so incensed with sexual rage that he punched his own wife in the face, and spent the next hour screaming 'sex party' into the microphones of all three major networks."
Kitchen Nightmares has this in full spades. Gordon Ramsay visits a restaurant that is in need of serious help and in nearly every episode, the owner, the chef, or just anybody working in the place will lie to Gordon's face whenever he asks something that is related to their problems, such as if the food is made fresh or is frozen. (One actually tried to claim it was "fresh frozen"!) This is usually the people trying to hide a bigger problem or downplay them.
There is at least one in every episode of Miranda, who often then lampshades it by turning to the camera to contradict herself. In the Christmas episode, she's sharing a bed with Gary, and rolls over, doing the dreaded 'breast clap'. Her response to him wondering what it was? "A duck quacking."
Psych uses this trope frequently. The lyrics to the theme song even point out that "I know you know that I'm not telling the truth." The premise of the series is founded on this trope as Shawn is a fake psychic detective. In the pilot, when Shawn is pressed by the police to explain how he solved a crime, Shawn lies, "Okay, okay. Fine, you win. I got the information, because…I’m a psychic."
G.O.B.: Lindsay’s been staying at the Four Seas for, like, a month— she’s probably charging the company.
Michael: Lindsay’s been in town for a month?
G.O.B.: I don’t think so.
The Living Carpets on Vic Reeves Big Night Out did nothing but tell each other blatant lies. These included "I colour in the black bits on Frisian cows with a special biro", "Perry Como uses me as a practice pad" and "I live inside a crab with Gunga Din and the Pat-a-Cake man".
In one Jim'll Fix It spot, K-9 from Doctor Who claimed to be pleased to meet "Mr. Savile and Chair". Since Doctor Who is about time travel, it's nowadays quite clear that the robot was lying so that Reapers wouldn't attack.
In one The State sketch, a husband denies he's cheating on his wife, even as he is talking to his mistress. He also tells his mistress that his wife (still in the same room) is dead. Avoids Implausible Deniability because his two-faced fast talk actually works.
No Music Here
The Rasputina song "Our Lies" exemplifies this trope, with the singer variously claiming that she was never conceived, the bones in her face weren't there all along and that she loves your coffee cake.
Shaggy's song "It Wasn't Me", about a man caught in flagrante delicto by his girlfriend, has a Blatant Lie as its title. The advice given is lie blatantly; just issue a flat denial ignoring any evidence to the contrary:
"But she caught me on the counter." "It wasn't me."
"Saw me bangin' on the sofa." "It wasn't me."
"I even had her in the shower." "It wasn't me."
"She even caught me on camera." "It wasn't me."
"She saw the marks on my shoulder." "It wasn't me."
"Heard the words that I told her." "It wasn't me."
Louis Jordan's 1940s song "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" has a bunch of people trespassing on a farmer's land, and when the farmer hears them and shouts "Who's there?" they reply with the title of the song.
Another '40s hit, Glenn Miller's "Five O'Clock Whistle", has a youngster relating how her father didn't come home the night before, because (he claimed) the titular whistle was broken.
You ought to hear what my mommy said When papa came home and sneaked into bed And told her he'd worked 'til half past two 'Cause the five o'clock whistle never blew
"Darling dear, what have you done? Your hands and face are smeared with blood." "The chaplain came and called me out To bleed and to butcher his mother's sow." "But darling dear, they found him dead This morning on the riverbed."
"Weird Al" Yankovic's "I Was Only Kidding: all those times he professed his love for his girl, he was only kidding. She doesn't take it well.
Silverchair did not take their name from a misspelled portmanteau of Nirvana's "Sliver" and You Am I's "Berlin Chair". After several years they finally admitted to having completely made up that story. Originally called Innocent Criminals, they allegedly were given the name Silverchair by one of the administrators of the Pick Me competition, which they won. It's unknown why they lied about it, but it might be because they didn't like the fact that the name was imposed upon them and/or they feared its Narnia origins might undermine their early alternarock sound (it was a better fit with their later albums).
Pavement used to tell outrageous lies in their early interviews. Stephen Malkmus claimed that they were invited to play at the "Peach Pit" for an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 (not as far fetched as it might seem, as Flaming Lips really did make such an appearance), but got into a fist fight with Jason Priestley.
Dilbert: Why have you ignored my request, Ted? Co-worker: I was killed by a squadron of giant military squirrels. Wally: He doesn't respect you enough to tell a plausible lie. Dilbert: I demand a plausible lie! Co-worker: Okay, maybe I wasn't killed by giant military squirrels. But I was imprisoned in their secret lair at the center of the earth. Wally: You can't prove that one either way. Dilbert: He did say it was a "secret" lair.
One of Dogbert's favorite hobbies and/or lucrative careers is to tell ridiculously obvious lies to idiots, usually so he can take their money.
Calvin frequently makes up outlandish excuses when caught in the act, such as blaming a mess he made on "a Venusian that materialized in the kitchen". One the former image caption's quotes comes from after he threw a snowball at Susie.
Calvin's dad is really no better, as the following example shows:
Calvin: Dad, were their dinsaurs when you were a kid?
Dad: Sure! Your grandfather and I used to put on leopard skins and brontosaurus for all the clan rituals.
Mom (after Calvin has left): Listen, buster, I think Calvin's grades are bad enough, don't you?
Calvin decides to cheat on a math test by asking Susie for answers, but when she tells him 12 + 7 is "a billion," even the math-impaired Calvin senses something is up: "That's what she said 3 + 4 was."
And what Carmen has to tell when Kevin disappears - such dirty business.
Here There Be Dragons, Not Tabletop Games
Warhammer 40000. The Imperial Truth: "There are no supernatural things or gods." Yeah, sure... The Imperium is practically BUILT on blatant lies. Take the time to read The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, and it'll all be made clear.
Technically, it's a true statement. This can be seen mostly in the Horus Heresy series, which pre-dates the superstitions commonly associated with the Imperium. The Space Marines are familiar with daemons and, to a lesser extent, the Chaos Gods. They, however, regard both as alien creatures that happen to inhabit the warp. Thousands of years of superstition changed a true statement into this trope.
The Emperor's plan was to make it true, but he never quite got that far. In the Horus Heresy series, all myths are considered false by the Imperium, and while the warp is known to be dangerous, daemons are not known to exist. Key figures in the Imperium are granted the secret knowledge that the warp sometimes spits out unintelligent energies that look like creatures and can do bad things. Not even Horus knew about the Chaos Gods, let alone that daemons could work together or even think. This kind of caused problems.
In the RPG Spycraft, a 10th level Faceman has the ability to tell one bald-faced lie that can't immediately be proven false and must be believed. "The sky is purple" is legitimate as long as they aren't outside or near a window.
In In Nomine, Balseraphs (fallen Seraphim) have the power to make people believe any lie they speak. They suffer for it if they themselves actively disprove the lie (such as saying "I won't shave your head" and then doing just that) but other than that, they're consummate liesmiths. Their angelic counterparts, on the other hand, can recognize any lie spoken, so they don't get along too well...
In Nobilis first and second editions, the same concept goes even further. An Excrucian Deceiver (a type of monster Mole) can tell one person a Blind Lie. While they don't have to believe it, they become incapable of perceiving any contradictory evidence. No. Matter. What. If the lie is "I won't hurt you." and then he starts smashing the victim in the face with a war mace? The victim will neither see nor feel it.
Players can pull this off too with the correct Estate.
In Unknown Armies many different magic styles have ways of getting people to believe anything. An avatar of the Demagogue can convince anyone by talking to them for a while, a cliomancer (history mage) can make a person think they "heard it somewhere before", etc.
Epic level characters in Dungeons & Dragons can gain enough ranks in certain skills that it's possible to mimic the effects of magical compulsion just by talking to someone. A rogue can theoretically make up anything and be believed.
Never seen it in person, but supposedly with enough bonuses, a rogue can tell the reigning monarch that they are fakes and that the rogue is the true ruler, misplaced at birth, and they are reliable because they are also the moon. "I am the Moon" has become local idiom for the brokenness of bluff and similar skills.
Even without epic levels, in D&D 3.5 a specialist can do things which seem impossible. A nineteenth-level Half-Elven diplomat using skill synergy, feats, and equipment can talk a person from fighting mad to best friend in the middle of a fight. And that's without using some of the prestige classes which are available.
Old Half-elf Binder 1/Marshal 1. Bind Naberius, take the Motivate Charisma aura, have a Charisma of 20 thanks to age effects, full ranks in Diplomacy, a Synergy skill, take Negotiator at 1st level and find a magic item that boosts your Diplomacy check by 1 or more. You can talk someone from "actively trying to kill you" to "would put in a good word for you" as a standard action with no chance of failure. You need to be a bit higher to persuade someone to switch sides mid-battle, but you can end fights automatically from a very early point.
Incarnate (for the Silvertongue Mask soulmeld) and Warlock (for the Beguiling Influence invocation) are also good one-level dips for a diplomat. And as long as the character is a half-elf, the first Bard substitution level is useful as well.
Gary Gygax pulled this with the spell Word of Recall. In the Player's Handbook, it says that the spell, which is meant to work as an emergency escape from trouble, is "infallibly safe." When you read the description in the Dungeon Master's Guide...
Word Of Recall: For each plane that the cleric is removed from the plane of his or her designated Sanctuary, there is a 10% cumulative chance that the cleric will be irrevocably lost in the intervening astral or ethereal spaces.
In Scion, characters with divine Manipulation abilities can function as both consummate liars and lie-detectors.
If you tell a mortal a lie using a particular ability, the only way for them to be convinced otherwise is to be presented with direct contradictory evidence. If you use it to tell the truth, no force on Earth can make them doubt you.
Paranoia. "The computer is your friend! Any claim that this is merely the tip of the iceberg is treason."
In the board game Dungeon Petz, if a baby monster isn't sold before it matures, it is discarded from play. The rulebook states that it is released to live happily on a farm...and tells you to add an extra meat resource to the market whenever this happens. For some strange reason.
An optional rule takes this even further, so that discarding the carnivorous plant provides a bonus vegetable, discarding the golem provides a bonus gold, and discarding the ghost provides nothing. And then restates that there is no thematic reason for this rule. Nope. Definitely not.
Blood Bowl has "hidden weapon" as a skill for some players. These include ball and chains bigger than the person wielding them and chainsaws.
Nothing Related To Theater
Jake's song from the musical for the Evil Dead movies. He claims to be a pro basketball player, to have won an Oscar for directing Platoon, to have written Jackie Chan's autobiography, and to have created the phrase "fo' shizzle, my nizzle!"
Louisiana Purchase has a song explaining how the show is not a thinly veiled satire of a certain politician, but a work of utter fiction, set in New Orleans, "a city we've invented so that there would be no fuss./If there is such a place/It's certainly news to us."
Serves as the basis of Ray Cooney's farce, Tom, Dick and Harry
In Little Shop Of Horrors, Seymour claims that Mushnik is visiting his sister in Czechoslovakia, when in reality Seymour killed Mushnik.
Utopia Limited: Nearly anything that the Flowers of Progress, and to a lesser degree Lady Sophy, say about England.
Quoth one of the murderers in Chicago's song, "Cell Block Tango": "He ran into my knife! He ran into my knife TEN TIMES!"
No Stand-Up Comedy! Cross Our Hearts!
Bill Cosbyplays this for laughs in his famous "To My Brother Russell, Whom I Slept With" routine. Bill and Russell constantly misbehave in the middle of the night, which their father always catches them doing. At first, they deny that all of the crying and screaming is them, but this veers more and more into Implausible Deniability when the two of them break the bed and soak each other in water. They blame "some man" who climbed into their window just to break their bed and throw water on them. Their father gets more and more fed up with this as the routine goes on, finally culminating in him forcing the two boys to stand up all night.
Video Games? It's A Lie, Just Like The Cake
The Dancing Zombie in Plants vs. Zombies is clearly based on pop musician Michael Jackson, although his description says "Any resemblance between Dancing Zombie and persons living or dead is purely coincidental."
Any of the dozens of games where the Enemy Chatter includes some variation of the phrase "I/we won't hurt you"; said phrase is often followed by, or sometimes even said while the character in question is attacking the player character.
Neverwinter Nights 2; in one evil questline, the PC has the option to burn down a building using a torch. They will almost certainly be stopped by a guard for questioning. While still holding the torch and possibly having come right from lighting the building in full view of the guard, they can attempt to bluff "I don't even have a torch".
In all GTA games: "Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental."
One of the promotional videos (about 4 seconds in) for Portal 2 shows that the phrase "Asbestos is harmless!" is a trademark of Aperture Science.
The Fact Core blurts out various completely ridiculous facts when you carry it, such as "Before the Wright Brothers invented the aeroplane, anyone who wanted to fly was required to eat two hundred pounds of helium."
Mass Effect gives us the following exchange: "Hey, Commander, I heard there were some interesting noises coming from the Synthetic Insights office. Would you happen to know anything about it?" "Who, me? I'm entirely innocent."
The Council's adamant refusal to acknowledge the existence of the Reapers.
She steals nearly everything that might interest her, but claims that she is only "borrowing" because she will return everything when she dies, as being a normal human most of them will outlive her. She is also working on an elixir of immortality. Yeah...
One can only conclude that her master, Mima, the black winged evil spirit, taught her well. Most of the time she can actually tell really convincing lies, but she seems to enjoy being a baldfaced liar so much she sometimes strides straight into this trope For the Lulz.
Kazami Yuuka spends the entirety of Phantasmagoria of Flower View telling absolutely pointless lies, even incriminating herself in crimes she had nothing to do with for apparently no other reason than to "tease" others.
In the first game, Regal is asked what his relationship is to Presea. He says simply "There is none", but his tone makes it more than obvious that he's lying. The party members don't push him on it, though, apparently assuming his reasons are his own business.
Also in the first game, subverted with Lloyd's calling Noishe a dog. This is very clearly untrue: although Noishe is canine in shape, he's several times too large, and possessed of green fur and giant rodent ears. It's not a case of Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit", either, because there are perfectly ordinary dogs in the game, and a pair of villagers lampshading it early on in the game. One might expect it to be this trope as a way of pretending that nothing is unusual about Lloyd and his family, but no, Lloyd genuinely seems to believe that his pet is a dog...
Everyone at Ted E. Bear's mafia-free playland and casino, in Sam And Max Freelance Police; Season 1, Episode 3. There is no confusing the place for anything but a mafia hideout with a lot of bear-head masks on the thugs, and yet, its workers will deny this every chance they get; often without even being asked, with dialogue such as "You'd never make it in the mafia... not that there's any mafia around here."
The presence of 'Safe' and 'Ultrasafe' engineering devices. The safest thing they can do is explode.
Hazama from BlazBlue says he isn't that good at fighting. It's not like he's lying or something... However, this is also subverted that if the situation demands (as in, not to reveal his grand plan), he'd lie anyway, as seen at trying to kill Makoto because she knows too much, but stated it as a 'disciplinary action' for not obeying orders.
The ending of Trio The Punch informs you that "YOU FIGURED IT OUT". In fact, you'll be just as confused, if not moreso, as when you started the game.
Then there's this interrogation from Splinter Cell: Double Agent:
Sam: What can you tell me about the meeting on the roof?
Sam: That has to be the worst lie I've ever heard.
Pandora Tomorrow also contains this gem in the first mission:
Sam Fisher: Tell me what you know about your friends on the inside.
Indonesian terrorist: I... I don't speak English.
Sam Fisher: I'd bet your neck you do.
Indonesian terrorist: Well... maybe I speak a little English.
Indonesian terrorist: They're escorting a... Um, nothing.
Sam Fisher: What? Escorting who?
Indonesian terrorist: Nothing, I... I made a mistake!
In Yo Jin Bo, this is a prominent feature of Yo and Sayori's confrontations with Nobumasa, who believes every word even when they're claiming that Sayori is Yo's mother or that they're escaping from a witch who lives in a Gingerbread House. Other couples lie as well, but their lies are at least believable.
Lesteena claims that her father was a man of peace and that she will continue his ideals in Eien No Aselia. What did the man just do? Enslaved a couple children and used them to conquer the four neighboring empires overnight. For no apparent reason.
In The1st Degree has some moments of this occurring. A notable one is when you get Ruby to admit that she saw a gun in pre-trial interview, and then at the trial, she turns around and says that it wasn't a gun, but a pair of pliers. Don't panic. Just get her to read a love letter Zack wrote to her, and she will tearfully admit to lying and tell the truth about the gun.
The Quake III incarnation of the series' iconic Quad Damage powerup. It's called Quad Damage in the manual, the Arena Announcer calls it Quad Damage, the HUD displays the words 'Quad Damage', yet the item itself only allows the bearer to do triple damage (as even described in the manual)! I guess 'Tri-Damage' just isn't as catchy.
In Dark Souls, Patches the Hyena feeds you a lot of blatant lies over his hilariously transparent attempt to kill you and take your stuff.
In Katawa Shoujo, Hisao, early in Act 4 of Lilly's route, says that while in Hokkaido with her and their mutual friend Hanako, tells Misha and Shizune that they merely studied and went sightseeing, when, in fact he and Lilly also had a Relationship Upgrade and had sex twice. He even calls it a "blatant lie".
In Syndicate (2012), after getting to the front of the train, Merit tells the controller's cabin that he's Aspari security and has dealt with the situation. The guillible guard opens the door and promptly takes a bullet to the face.
Appears almost every time a Visual Novel comes with the saying "All characters are 18 years of age or older" they're blatantly lying. There's usually at least one character that's under the age of 18 that has sex in such a game. Justified, as saying that the characters are underage (by the US' standards) would cause trouble. However, there's no punishment for saying a first year in high school is of legal age, no matter how obvious it is that they aren't!
Ace Attorney has a few examples where the a witness will tell a blatant lie. These are normally far and in-between however, especially as the games go on, as most of the lies are actual well spun, and are only broken apart due to a piece of evidence that the protagonist happens to have found on the off change, and/or just reply on some logical and clever thinking.
An example of one of the few blatant lies however comes in the very first case of the first game. The witness claimed to have heard a television say the time when he found the body...only moments after the prosecution had gotten through saying there was a blackout in the building at this time. Then straight after, he claims that the murder weapon was a clock...even through it had been made blatantly clear during the trial that the murder weapon was a statue. Although, this "lie" doesn't mean what you might think it does.
In the third game, when Larry claims to have never seen a wallet that he himself had hand delivered to someone, Phoenix's response is simply: "LIAR!"
Animal Kaiser boldly claims that every animal in the game exists in the real world. Uh huh, I'm listening- tell me where I can find the robotic shark, or robotic gorilla...
Little Busters: At one point, Komari and Rin are trying to take care of a cat in Rin's locker without anyone finding out it's there. When it causes a clattering sound, everyone in the hallway turns to look and the player has three possible explanations Riki can give: 'we're just taking out the cleaning equipment', which is totally reasonable, 'that thing came out!' which doesn't really make sense, and 'this is my home!' which...is just bizarre.
That Guy with the Glasses' MikeJ is constantly spewing "facts" about Briton. For instance, did you know that all the homosexual people were banished to Norway in the 1800s? Or that goats are the dominant species? 87 foot ring tailed lemurs run amok, and they have the Running of the Praying Mantis which happens every week.
Also several variations involving a cat sitting in the middle of a gigantic mess with a caption declaring something along the lines of "What? I had nothing to do with it!" Cat (and dog) owners know full well how much this is Truth in Television.
The characters in Dead Ends have the option of doing this a few times. It gets them killed.
Tobuscus' Lazy Vlogs contain a rather large amount of pointless rambling — that is the point. However, when Toby gets to rambling, he often launches into some... rather obvious untruths. In this vlog he claims to have a lying tell, and then claims to be lying about said tell.
YouTube videos have a "Top Comments" section, wherein the comments given the most thumbs-up are enshrined. Except, looking through any given video's comments will often reveal ones with dozens more positive ratings than whatever the actual video page considers top-rated — apparently "top" means "less than 50 ratings" on YouTube.
Played with in Happy Tree Friends: The episode description for Happy Trails, pt. 1 is "Is this really the end of the invulnerable Happy Tree Friends?". It's never specified whether the invulnerability refers to their ability to stay alive (which would make it an obvious lie) or coming back after every episode.
In Misfile, Rumisiel's presence is explained as being Ash's Canadian exchange student live-in boyfriend. Since the story takes place in Massachusetts, this is regarded as being a little implausible to say the least.
In Sluggy Freelance, after a 50-foot-tall Aylee runs through the suburbs causing mass destruction, she retreats into her shell and tries to pass herself off as a volcano. When the mob chasing her wonder how a volcano wound up in New Jersey, Aylee tells them global warming did it. Everyone finds this perfectly plausible and never question the fact that a volcano just answered their question.
Because it's a global warming volcano and therefore not subject to the normal rules of a volcano.
The Guacans of the Punyverse arc will insist that they do not eat people, even while sharpening cleavers and warming up the cooking pots. "Come to Chau-5, we won't eat you!"
Red Mage and Thief use this in 8-Bit Theater when Ranger asks why they betrayed his group:
Thief: Ghosts. Red Mage: Aliens. Thief: Ghost aliens. Red Mage: Who possessed us. Thief: From space!
Warmech is especially prone to this.
Warmech: I HAVE NO LASERS AND WILL LASER TO DEATH ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE. Later... Warmech: BEHOLD MY HUMAN LASER! And later still...
Black Mage: Oh, Lord, why does the robot have a mustache? Warmech: I grew it with my human lip.
Gabe: You said this would be easy, a half an hour tops! My world is pain! Tycho: Gabe, sometimes in order to hurt someone very badly, you have to tell that person terrible lies.
Buck Godot engages in a bit of this toward the end of the Psmith storyline (warning: spoilers!) towardtheend, when he alternates between telling Psmith one thing and Der Rock the precise opposite, in front of them both.
In Questionable Content, comic #499, Jeph writes in his little blurb at the bottom of the page "Comic number 500 is Monday. I don't have anything particularly special planned, but who knows." for the entire run of QC previous to this, Faye and Marten's possible relationship had driven most of the plot. In comic number 500, the two of them resolve the situation and the plot progresses. Faye likes Marten just fine, but she has lingering trust issues and can't maintain a relationship. Everything works out just fine, and they're still roommates.
Also present in several scenes where Faye knocks someone out, then explains their unconsciousness with "Owls." when they wake up.
In The Order of the Stick, Haley has a Bluff Skill that is ridiculously high, letting her get away with almost anything.
Turned Up to Eleven in this strip thanks to a potion of glibness. This is consistent with D&D 3.5 rules - If your Bluff check beats your opponent's Sense Motive by 20 or more, you can get them to believe things that are actually impossible. Glibness adds 30 to your Bluff check.
Dillon: You know...it's none of my business...but someday you will have to tell your wife you're gay. Dillon's Agent: Ho-ho-ho! Don't be silly! I'm not gay! That's why I have you wear the wig! Dillon: I think it might be a little bit gay. Dillon's Agent: Dilly...straight married men have secret gay sex all the time! Dillon: That sounds made up. Dillon's Agent: It's true! It's called "being on the down low". Saw it on Oprah.
And the best part? Not only does the agent seem to believe it himself, but Dillon thinks it's credible because Oprah presumably said it.
Each update of "No Black Plume" comes with the authors' real credentials.
Sandra of Zebra Girl initially trying to cover up her demonic appearance starts out very badly at this. Her story about the origins of her "scars" involves low flying birds, a ladder and a room full of knives.
No Content. Empty Folder. Nothing at all, especially not Western Animation. We never touch the filthy stuff. Yuck.
In earlier episodes of The Fairly OddParents, whenever Timmy would wish for something he would be completely unable to obtain under non-magical circumstances, he claims he purchased it off the Internet. In one episode, while trying to explain to his two friends why he was suddenly rich, he tried both an inheritance claim, and the usual claim, before settling on "I inherited the Internet!"note A later episode showing the same events from the friends' perspective shows that they didn't buy it.
Another version, with singer Chip Skylark: "What? Dude, how'd we get here so fast?" "Um... the power of music?" "Rock on!"
Weirdness is turned Up to Eleven when Vicky wants to get married to Chip Skylark. Where does she find a justice of the peace willing to marry a pop idol to his crazed teenage fan against his will? "On the Internet!"... Which implies that you really can get anything and everything on the Internet.
Timmy: If you don't believe me, we can use my new lie detector!
Dad: Say! Where'd you get the nifty lie detector, son?
In Invader Zim, Zim claims his green skin and lack of ears is due to a skin condition. This is to assist in his Clark Kenting more than anything else.
"LIES!" is actually one of Zim's favorite words. See here.
In Lilo And Stitch The Series, both big-boned aliens Gantu and Jumba (the latter of which has four eyes, and the former has the head of a shark and is also, oh, two stories tall) claim to be from Samoa, thus explaining their size. People believed it.
In Johnny Test, Dukey the talking dog is explained as being "a kid with a weird hair disorder".
In The Simpsons, Principal Skinner constantly uses these against Superintendent Chalmers, which Chalmers somehow always buys. Perhaps the greatest example, in which Skinner claims light from his burning kitchen is the "Aurora Borealis":
Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? At this time of year, at this time of the day, in this part of the country, LOCALIZED ENTIRELY WITHIN YOUR KITCHEN? Skinner: Yes. Chalmers: May I see it? Skinner: No. Chalmers: Oh well.
And later, as Chalmers is leaving...
Skinner's mother: Seymour! The house is on fire! Skinner: No mother, it's just the Northern Lights.
On the DVD commentary for "22 Short Films About Springfield", the writers acknowledged that this was Superintendent Chalmers' only joke, and they just repeated it over and over again for comedic effect.
Lisa tries to make friends by not acting like her normal self in "Summer of 4 Ft 2", and accidentally uses the word crustacean in conversation. When asked if she heard it from a teacher, she says she got it from Baywatch.
Sideshow Bob captures and hypnotizes Bart in one episode; when questioned where he's been his programmed response is "at the Flower Shop." Homer then responds that he was also at the Flower Shop, "getting drunk at the old flower shop."
Then there's Homer frantically instructing his family after stuffing his last-minute tax return with bogus deductions:
Homer: OK...if anyone asks, [Marge requires] twenty four hour nursing care, Lisa's a clergyman, Maggie is seven people, and Bart was wounded in Vietnam!
After Comic Book Guy notes that each customer will receive only one autographed photo of Poochie:
CBG: Kindly make one out to me, and three out to my friend of the same name.
In "Four Great Women and a Manicure"'s Snow White parody, the dwarves - represented by Moe ("Crabby"), Barney ("Drunky"), Homer ("Hungry"), Burns ("Greedy"), Lenny, Kearney, and Doc("...tor Hibbert") sing a song entitled "Ho Hi," an obvious parody of "Heigh Ho" which includes the lyrics "this song's not like any one you know."
After crashing his car in "Mr. Plow":
Insurance Agent: Now, before I give you the check, one more question. This place Moe's you left just before the accident. This is a business of some kind?
Homer's brain: Don't tell him you were at a bar! But what else is open at night?
Homer: It's a pornography store. I was buying pornography.
Homer's brain: Heh heh heh. I would'a never thought of that.
In "Lisa's Sax", Homer flashes back to having said to Barney as a kid "Let's Never Drink Again!" Then in the present day he says, holding a beer, "And we never did!" as he proceeds to take a sip.
Code Lyoko. During any XANA attack while the gang is in class, they would ask to go to the infirmary. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. You'd think that after, let's say, the millionth XANA attack and infirmary excuse the teachers would get a little suspicious that they aren't sick.
Somewhat averted in the first season, when they would use a Return to the Past to erase the events of that day; so, the teachers wouldn't remember most incidents (though obviously Jim noticed).
Possibly the excuse was easier to buy due to the fact that the infirmary at this school actually saw a lot more legitimate use than the typical school infirmary did, mostly due to XANA's attacks and complications involving them (which leads to the question of just why parents seemed unconcerned about the how safe the place was).
There was at least one later subversion, where the teacher didn't buy it and forced the gang to stay put. Oddly enough, it was one of the less-seen teachers, too.
Farnsworth: Good news everyone, I'm being brought up on disciplinary charges! Wait, that isn't good news at all!
Farnsworth: Now, I've often said "good news" when sending you on a mission of extreme danger. So when I say this anomaly is dangerous, you can imagine how dangerous I really think it is. Hermes: Not dangerous at all? Farnsworth: Actually, quite dangerous indeed. Hermes: That is quite dangerous! Farnsworth: Indeed.
Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! I'm afraid I have bad news.
In another episode, after Lucius claims that he never breaks his word, Samy shows up with a group of orphans, saying they want to know when he was going to give him the food he promised. Lucius quickly says "Tell them you can't find me." Samy then turns to the kids right next to him and repeats the message. They believe him.
Yet another example: after Jimmy finds all of his money gone, Beezy walks in covered in fur robes and jewelry. "Heloise took it."
And yet again, when Jimmy and Beezy are profiting off the pandas love of Heloise. Beezy reads poorly off a cue card, while Jimmy acts hurt that she'd think that, while his suit is filled to the brim with money.
Happens in South Park a lot. It is played straight and subverted, as in there have been times when even if someone is telling the truth someone will treat it like a lie. They mostly happens with Cartman when he lies- exhibit A:
Cartman: [Runs in crying] Maaaam! Maaaam!
Liane (Cartman's mom): Eric, what's the matter?
Cartman: I du-don't wu-wanna go to school tomorrow.
Liane: Sweetey? Shh, tell mommy what happened.
Cartman: Ku-kyle has a picture of meee! And he's gonna show everyone during show-and-tell and everyone's going to laugh at meeee!
Liane: What is the picture of, Eric?
Cartman: The last time when Butters spent the night, I was being really nice to hiiim, and I was gonna take a picture of him for his mom to have!
Liane: Oh, that's nice.
Cartman: When I took the picture, Butters got really hot so he pulled his pyjama bottoms down, and then I tripped and fell down and my mouth landed right on his penis, and then I thought of something funny so I smiled up at the camera and gave like a thumbsup, and then Kyle took the picture from me and he's going to show everybody and make them think I'm gaaaay! (continues sobbing)
Liane: Oh there, there Sweetey, it'll be okay! These things happen.
Season 13 episode "Pinewood Derby." Turns out humans don't deserve to be in the interstellar community because of their tendency to this trope.
Long Feng is reduced to this when desperate. It's a bit too blatant to pull off.
This [the Fire Nation drill] is nothing more than... a construction project.
Aang does this to a point but not like Azula's. He has lied about being the Avatar, lied about knowing Jin Wei and Wei Jin (he turns a conflict into a game), and lied about plenty of other things.
And this line...
Katara: "I'M COMPLETELY CALM!!!"
The Family Guy theme song is this. They sing about how TV and movies no longer have values and it makes you think this is going to have those. Instead the theme song opens up to a Black Comedy filled with Toilet Humor.
When mindcontrolled by Stewie, Chris says he wants a buzz saw capable of cutting through the human sternum for Latin class.
After farting in an elevator Peter says to the guy next to him, "Uh... it was you."
In Transformers Animated, Starscream's clone squadron is based on parts of his own personality. The liar clone is apparently incapable of saying a word of truth, to the point that it's opposite day for him 365 days a year.
Transformers Prime has a shout-out to the above Star Wars example: while attempting to infiltrate a Decepticon mining operation, Fowler takes the com unit when Breakdown starts demanding an update from the troops. Fowler stammers before mentioning something about calibrations before totally slipping up and asking "How are you?" Of course, this being Breakdown, he doesn't catch on.
In Ugly Americans clone Mark briefly tries to come up with the explanation that the real Mark is actually his twin brother...who lives in a bag in the closet, before giving up, shooting Grimes, and leaving.
The trailer for Arthur Christmas has an elf blatantly denying everything the viewer sees on screen:
Go away! There's nothing to see. That's not Santa's son. And I am not an elf. There's nothing up here. Or down there. There's no army of 1.6 million elves planning the delivery of 2 billion gifts in one night. That's just a story for kids!
In The Venture Brothers, this is all that comes out of Dermott's mouth. One clear example is him spending the day stating his hands are registered as lethal weapons, only to get beat up by Dean in a Wimp Fight. Later claims he was simply sick at the time.
Kuzco gets a lot of these in The Emperors New School. No-one believes the majority of the lies he tries to pull off, but he's usually much too self-centered and over-confident to realize this. However, there are times when he even he realizes that he told a bad lie and proceeds by breaking the fourth wall to inform the audience of this.
Played with hilariously when he tries to get rid of the handsome rock star Dirk Brock in the Musical episode, only to find he can't come up with anything... at first.
Kuzco: "Woo-hoo! I did it! I sand-bagged Dirk Brock!"
Malina "Kuzco, what are you doing!?"
Kuzco: "...Uhhhhhhhh-" (breaks the fourth wall to try and think of something) "Think, Kuzco! Think! Thinkety-think-think-think-think... GOT IT!" (starts playing the episode again) "...Uhhh. I meant to say I saved Dirk Brock! From a ravenous, rabid sand-bag!"
Malina: "HOW COULD YOU!?"
Suburban daredevil Kick Buttowski tries to pull this off twice, despite his reputation of loving the extreme, awesome and death-defying everyday life that he lives... by telling Kendall he loves sappy, romantic movies and then in a later episode tells Gordie that lipstick is his favorite make-up.
Camp Lazlo: Raj resorts to an increasingly improbable series of lies to explain Clam's absence in "Where's Clam?", culminating in him attempting to claim that a traffic cone and a bag of chips is Clam, and then that Clam is invisible and flying.
At the conclusion of "Practical Pig," the fourth of the Disney "Three Little Pigs" cartoons, the two little brothers get caught by Practical Pig's lie-detector machine, and are spanked by it. Practical Pig tells them, "This hurts me more than it does you." The lie-detector reacts accordingly.
Pinocchio of course has the moment where the puppet lies which in turn causes his nose to grow. His lies grow so outlandish they climax with him stating that he's been chopped into firewood even though he's clearly in one piece. Even if his nose didn't have the telltale sign of growing, it's more than obvious by this point he isn't telling the truth.
Little Miss Whoops from The Mr Men Show has a Catch Phrase which is a blatant lie: "Oh sure, I'm a trained professional." It's obvious she's not a trained professional. The Phrase Catcher is usually Mr. Bump.
This Doesn't Concern Politics Or War At All
Politics is built on lying. As Adolf Hitler is quoted as saying note he actually lifted it from an old army manual, "great masses of people fall to a great lie much easier than to a small one". Really, it's hard to find politicians who don't use blatant lies, as evidenced by all of the major scandals and hypocrisy going on . There is an expectation that politicians that don't represent big parties don't lie, but it's as wrong as anything else; take a look at British politics, where Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is so vilified for breaking a promise, you'd think he'd actually invented lying.
"If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." - Adolf Hitler
Politifact is built on the premise that politicians lie and sets out to fact check most notable statements, and the most blatant lies tend to be graded as "pants on fire". It even won the 2009 Pulitzer for it. There are, however, questions of bias: from the right, as Republicans are graded as lying three times more than Democrats; and from the left, for trying to bring those to parity when there may not be an equivalence.
Jon Kyl's "not intended to be a factual statement" about Planned Parenthood's abortion services is an interesting scenario. The correct abortion number is 91% (of pregnant patients that get abortions), and is 15% (of their income comes from abortions) and is 3% (of their total services provided are abortions). A great example of how statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt when stated vaguely or when, ala this trope, purposefully misworded to be technically true but misleading. Then Stephen Colbert took this and turned it into a Meme where people were encouraged to send their things about Jon Kyl (with the hashtag NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement) to his Twitter feed.
This reached to their 2011 Lie of the Year: Democrats claiming that "Republicans voted to end Medicare", which was immediately criticised from both sides; the staunchly conservative National Review) that a) it can be argued that the plan effectively ended Medicare as it's known, and b) it was pure campaign material and couldn't be dismissed simply as a lie because of the previous point.
The NPD, the German Nationalist Party (who aren't admittedNeo-Nazis). It's not like they organise Skinhead-marches, propose mainly anti-democratic edicts, promise even the most extreme of popularist actions ("Kill the paedophiles!"), attend World War II re-enactments dressed as Axis forces, engage "former" street brawlers and terrorists as candidates, strive to expel Islamic religion from Germany, plan to cut the funds for Jewish communities once elected, attend murals and honour guards of SS-, SA- and other fanatical Nazi organisations' members (as well as the birth and death days of well-known Nazis) throughout Europe, and hide the questions "An out-fashioned German first name with 5 letters", "The abbreviation for National Socialism", "Famous politician of the 20th century, also known as the 'Peace Pilot' note Rudolph Hess" in the crossword puzzles of their party papers. Or do they?
Any time any politician promises to do something (cut costs/taxes or raise growth or level of services) for nothing. They might even be sorta honest, in the sense that they're also lying to themselves that they can do it for more than a few years before things increase again. That said, it's worth noting that many of the things politicians say that seem like Blatant Lies in hindsight aren't technically lies. This is because politicians have a habit of making hasty promises to secure voter support, then realizing later that they had misjudged the situation. For example, George HW Bush ran on "no new taxes", but was forced to do so to control the deficit, and cost him a second term.
An article in US News & World Report during the 1988 election said that despite their promises, whoever won (Bush or Dukakis) would have to raise taxes despite his promise. Bush replied in a letter to the magazine stating that he definitely would not raise taxes.
During the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq, Iraqi information minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf (a.k.a. "Baghdad Bob" or "Comical Ali") became famous for statements like "The cruise missiles do not frighten anyone. We are catching them like fish in a river." or "There are no Americans in Baghdad." (while an Abrams is rolling down the block on the screen behind him).
Joseph Estrada's ads need special mention. A former Philippine president who had been proven to have been stealing money, tried to declare martial law, was forcefully impeached then imprisoned, and ran for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines for 2010 with the tag line "I didn't finish my presidency".
In general, any country that has "people's" or "democratic" in its name isn't. North Korea, possessing what is generally considered the most oppressive government on the planet, has the official name of Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Speaking of North Korea, there was the imfamous parade the government held in November of 2012 where they displayed what they claimed were nuclear missles, attempting to both intimidate South Korea and rally their citizens with proof that they had them. Any expert on missle technology that viewed the parade realized that not only were the missiles fakes, they were very unconvincing fakes. They didn't even fit properly into the platforms they were displayed in.
"Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten."Eng "Nobody has the intention to build a wall." Said by East-German Politician Walter Ulbricht in June 1961. Two months later, the Berlin Wall was built. This was also a Suspiciously Specific Denial, because while border tensions in general were being discussed, nobody in the conversation mentioned a wall until Ulbricht did. In any case, this quote was later attached to the wall itself whilst under construction for extra hilarity.
In Mexico, 1968, students were accused of being communists. The reality? The U.S.A.'s chief of the C.I.A. in Mexico, Winston Scott reported daily of the "Communist threat", yet there was no proof of that. He reported poorly and ordered an investigation to see if Chinese, Cuban, or Soviet agents were behind the plot and were giving the students weapons (which they would've used against the army in the Tlatelolco Massacre). You can guess what happened.
Underneath the Korean Demilitarized Zone, at least four tunnels large enough to file a division of soldiers through per hour have been discovered with their entrances on the North Korean side. The North claims they were digging for coal, but no coal has ever been found through those tunnels (which have been dug through granite), and the tunnels were even painted black to give the appearance of coal. Further, these tunnels run north to south, have no branches, and are sloped upward as it moves south so that standing water doesn't form within them and stagnate.
Even with hundreds of images and videos of it circulating the Internet today, the Chinese government denies the Tianamen Square massacre ever happened.
He claimed "My people love me" while opening Libya to international journalists, saying this while protests were wracking the country, army units were turning against him, and he's making his image worse even as he tries to make it better.
Senator John Kyl claimed abortion accounted for 99% of Planned Parenthood's services on the floor of the Senate while trying to push through a budget plan to defund it. When called out on this, his office gave a press release that indicated his rant was "not intended to be a factual statement", especially as Planned Parenthood's balance sheet showed helping people with STDs, counselling, and contraception being a bigger focus for the company.
When this was corrected, two political commentators rattled off the other, supposedly less involved, things that Planned Parenthood does, like pap smears, writing it off as the kind of stuff you can get at Walgreens.
Charles D.B. King, president of Liberia, claimed a landslide victory of 234,000 votes from an electorate of 15,000 voters. No, those numbers aren't reversed. He set the record for the most crooked election of all time.
While travelling to Argentina to visit his mistress (whom he later proclaimed his soul mate), going off the grid for days at a time and using government funds and transportation to do so, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford claimed that he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail". For added hilarity, during the alleged hiking days, it was a highly-popularized nude hike.
The ever popular "It's George Bush's fault", which has been used by many a politician for everything from the attempted Time Square bombing to the BP Oil Spill to Osama bin Laden hiding out in Pakistan. Granted, Boy George wasn't exactly the greatest of Presidents, but come on, it's 2012 and the phrase is still tossed around!
Blaming the previous government isn't a new concept though: while Bush still was in office there was a bit of "It's Clinton's fault" years after he left office, and the current ruling coalition in Britain use Labour's responsibility for the (strength of the) recession as a shield against criticism in the same way.
Regardless of it's truth or falsity with regards to Bush or Clinton, blaming the previous politician or administration is at least sometimes justified. Newly enacted laws and policies can take many years to start showing their full range of both intended results and unintended consequences, often several years after the person who promoted and signed the law has left office.
The Japanese envoy's statement to the League of Nations, after a report condemning the invasion of Manchuria:
Yosuke Matsuoka: It is a matter of common knowledge that Japan's policy is fundamentally inspired by a genuine desire to guarantee peace in the Far East and to contribute to the maintenance of peace throughout the world.
The Following Is A Work Of Fiction. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, are definitely coincidental.
In Las Vegas, independent stage producer David Saxe's Vegas! The Show, used these, with the website calling it "...the biggest stage production on the Strip in almost 20 years." It opened in 2010. Apparently a show with a cast of 40 and 11 musicians in a theater that seats less than 500 people was performing on an Alternate Universe Strip where Cirque du Soleil's many shows don't exist (the first, Mystere, opened Christmas 1993)...much less Blue Man Group, various Broadway imports, and Céline Dion. Most of them perform in theaters that can seat at least 1,000. And then there was a message to journalists that the first week's worth of shows were already sold out when the week in question was before the show opened. Oddly, once it was up and running it got fine reviews, so he was polishing a turd that wasn't.
The French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, who is remembered as the loser at the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar, died the next year in a hotel in Rennes with six stab wounds in the left lung and one in the heart. The official verdict was suicide.
The lead hijacker of Flight 93 on 9/11, Ziad Jarrah, continuously said "This is your captain speaking" over the plane's PA system.
For an even more bitter example, Mohammad Atta, the ringleader: "We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you'll be OK."
Iranian-Canadian reporter Zahra Kazemi was arrested in Iran for photographing a protest. She was later taken to a hospital (where she soon died) with bruises, broken bones, and other obvious traumatic injuries. The officers who brought her in told the doctors that she was suffering from "a digestive problem."
Anyone who goes off on a tangent about how back in their days, they did this, that, so and so, that, and they liked it. Obviously if you're not having to go through those obstacles, they didn't like it, did they?
How many of you got this line from your parents as a kid? "You won't get in trouble if you tell me the truth!"
That's only the most common one. There are lots of lies that parents tell their children. "If you keep making faces, your face will freeze like that." (Is there any documented case of that happening?) "Eat all your vegetables and you'll grow up big and strong." (Vegetables can only do so much towards building muscles; genetics play a larger role.) "Mommy and daddy are taking a nap." (You find out what they really mean pretty soon.)
"It won't hurt" (When at vaccinationist's or dentist's appointment.)
"This will hurt me more than you" (When you are being scolded.)
"I'm not mad." (During an argument.)
On July 3rd, 2012, someone from CERN accidentally put a video on their website talking about the discovery of the Higgs boson, 24 hours before the actual announcement was to be made. It was hastily pulled with an explanation that it was just one of a series of videos they'd made to cover all the possibilities, including not finding the Higgs. No one believed them.
In Sweden, those who own a television must pay a yearly fee. Sometimes, controllers visit people who have not paid, to check if they own one. What follows is a paraphrased urban legend of one such visit.
A controller is standing in the doorway of an apartment. A TV is turned on and clearly visible in the living room.
Controller: I see you have a TV there.
Resident: No, that's a washing machine.
Controller: Look, I can clearly see it's a TV.
Resident: I'm telling you, it's a waching machine.
Controller: Ugh, fine.
Knowing he'd need a witness to argue the case in court, the controller returns the next day with a colleague.
In the living room stands... an actual washing machine.
The supply sergeants of an air cavalry unit in Vietnam ran a black market providing the men with army issue equipment for personal use. Whenever a helicopter was shot down, they explained away the missing inventory by listing the items as having been lost with that aircraft. At one inspection of the books from the higher ups, five tons of equipment was reported to have gone down with one shot down UH-1 Huey. It should be noted that the Huey has an overweight load of one ton.
Viktor Suvorov described in his book "Tales of a Liberator" how, during the invasion of Czechoslovakia, a group of Soviet soldiers accidentally burned a motorcycle and attempted to pass it off as loss to enemy action. The battalion commander spotted the lie immediately, but said he'd sign the protocol... so long as they'd add that the motorcycle had upon it a grenade launcher another company dropped into water. By the time the documents reached the front commander, the motorcycle also carried two fur coats, two night-vision devices, a rangefinder, a machinegun, a radio transmitter and a barrel of alcohol.
There are definitely more examples after this, but we're out of indices.