Blatant Lies

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

This page is blank! There's nothing to see! Nothing at all!

So one of the characters has a secret, one that they do not want leaking out. Unfortunately, Clark Kenting doesn't always cut it, and some aspect of the secret is going to be glaringly obvious no matter what. So they have to come up with an excuse for their situation, and tell a lie.

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

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

Some statements that are true "From A Certain Point of View" may be blatant lies.

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

To be confused with Sarcasm Mode. Do not contrast with I Lied, which is when a character outright lies, but the lying is not blatant. Refuge in Audacity covers the cases when this ploy actually works.

There are no examples.

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  • David Leisure made a career about being a Smug Snake who clearly is lying—he was best known as Joe Isuzu. Here's an example. You were not supposed to believe what he said, and subtitles would point out his lies.
  • Advertising in general is lies—or at least the implication of lies. Most countries have consumer protection agencies which try to tone down the most egregious lies, but companies fight back. The truth is that although advertisers can't directly lie without risking getting caught, they can imply a lie, tell a half-truth, or spin a flaw to make it sound like an asset. If the truth is really uncomfortable they can dress it up with comedy or simply relegate it to an Unreadable Disclaimer.
    • Adding another layer to this is ads in colleges (and other places where they can get to new adults) that advertise the existence of these agencies and why you can trust ads because of them... right next to an ad full of half-truths.
    • A few ads go the opposite route and proclaim "We couldn't say it on TV if it wasn't true!"
  • 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.
  • The Edsel sales campaign was this with a little Zeerust garnish.
  • An ad for a product called the "Smoke Assassin" avoids blatant lies by pointing them out. This is an actual quote from the ad:
    Ad Guy: We can't say it'll make you quit smoking, but thousands quit every day. We can't say it's a healthy smoke, but you do the math!
  • A commercial for Burn Notice and White Collar is an exercise in telling the most blatant lie.
    FBI Agent Burke: [pointing at Fi's gun] Do you have a permit for that weapon?
    Fi: [covers it with a napkin] What weapon?
    Agent Burke: That's a gun.
    Michael: That's a napkin.
    Agent Burke: I can literally see it.
    Fi: Oh, that's my cellphone.
    Agent Burke: [points to the cell phone in her hand] Then what's that?
    Fi: That's my other cell phone.
    Michael: She's a...big talker?
    Fi: [covering the napkin with her purse; a grenade falls out] Maybe we could just put this
    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 ad-ware and spyware and registry errors. Then, for a small monthly fee, we'll remove them all and replace them with our ad-ware and spyware and registry errors.
  • Any and all penis enlargement—sorry, Male Enhancement drugs.
    • 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.
  • Networks are starting to call the first episode of a series the "preview" while calling the second episode the "premiere". Nickelodeon goes even further by taking a two-parter and calling it a "movie".
  • The Yellow freight company.
  • From Capri Sun: "Because one day aliens will come. And they will assume the one drinking the out of the most space-agey container is our leader."
  • It is common to find cans of spray oil declare themselves to be "fat free", even though they are 100% pure fat. How do they get away with this? Serving size is 2 seconds worth of spraying, or approximately 0.4 gram. And they round off fat content per serving of product to the nearest gram, so it's 0 grams of fat per serving. Then they post the calories from fat as the number of calories in 0 grams of fat, and then they put in big words on the can "fat-free calorie-free cooking spray". How's that for blatant?
  • A free-to-play game titled League of Angels is notorious for this, from subscribing to the Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game school of advertising (up to and including stolen porn and hentai) to swiping screenshots from League of Legends.
  • UK advertising for Rice Krispie Squares claims (among other things) that if you buy two you get a free boat, that the Rocky Road flavor is made from actual rocks, and that the adverts let you taste them through electrochemical impulses, before ending with the tagline "It's all lies! They're not even square!"

  • 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.
    • Similarly, this line from Darkhawk: "The best way to keep a good secret is to tell everybody -- then nobody believes you."
  • 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 an 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.
  • 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...
  • Squee gives us this gem, as Squee sends his Hilariously Abusive Parents to some aliens for Anal Probing:
    Squee: I am full of guilt.
  • Mark Waid turned this into a running gag in his Daredevil run. Since Matt's identity had been publicly revealed so many times at that point, virtually everyone in the series had figured out that he was Daredevil, despite Matt's protestations. Consequently, it became common for people to address him as Daredevil, and him to simply say "I'm not Daredevil" and change the topic, usually receiving only a "Riiight" in response. In one issue, he showed up to a party wearing a shirt reading "I'm Not Daredevil."
  • In MAD, this is often used for humorous effect. For example, Richard Nixon is once shown as a young George Washington, standing near the cherry tree that he cut down, holding an axe behind his back and saying, "I cannot tell a lie! I DIDN'T DO IT!!"
  • In The Pulse, Norman Osborn's lawyer tries to pin the near-death of an entire group of NYPD officers and civilians on Spider-Man.
  • In Kick-Ass: Volume Two, Marty tells Justice Forever a story involving his parents being killed and eaten in front of him to serve as his motivation for becoming a vigilante. Dave immediately sees through it and reveals that it's all a lie.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • Common in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfics, both because several cast members are Bad Liars and because they frequently engage in such on the show.
    Ah'm the kindest, most innocent filly in Equestria.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade), Nerissa (as "The Mage"), gives a good dose of this to the good guys of Meridian, to ensure that Jade's claims of being a threat remain a Cassandra Truth so she's forced to ally with the evil sorceress.
  • 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.
  • Downfall:
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Vegeta is a proud warrior...
    Goku: So Vegeta, what happened to you? Did you get beat up by this guy? [talking about Recoome]
    Recoome: [groaning in pain]
    Vegeta: [stammering] Uhhh no...I..umm...uh..
    Ghost Nappa: You fell down some stairs.
    Vegeta: I fell down some stairs.
    Krillin: No you didn't, you—
    Vegeta: Shut up before I throw you down a flight!
  • Gensokyos Heart: Aya Shameimaru writes an article full of these.
  • Luminosity turns these into a plot point: Elspeth's powers revolve around the truth. When lying, they dull quite a bit, so when they need a way to dull her powers...
  • Used word for word by Minato in The Girl From Whirlpool about Sakumo's claims of the border's pleasant weather.
  • Boy, does Bhelen ever try to feed the dwarven 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.
  • Oh God Not Again:
    • This is a common tactic of Harry's, 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 Bitter Leaves and Blossoms Bright, Isra is getting fed up with being protected. She would rather be doing her job - killing people.
    Altair: It's a trap.
    Isra: [sarcastic] I hadn't noticed.
    Altair: You can't go, [...] they'll be waiting for you.
    Isra: Good for them.
    Altair: This is serious, and you're being flippant!
    Isra: Oh, perish the thought!
  • In Children Of The Stars there is this exchange between the two leads that hints at the established UST being mutual.
    Keleria: Well would you rather hang onto me or the gryphon?
    Keleria: Well?
    Ayuri: The gryphon. What else would I hang on to.
  • In The Dilgar War, warmaster Len'char is sent to Earth space to try and stipulate a non-aggression treaty. The description in his journal of the first meeting with Earth ambassadors and their escort as 'subduing them with his commanding aura' and of the 'million sighs' of 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.
  • Used numerous times in the essay-fic, Equestria: A History Revealed, in which the narrator purposefully miscites sources, and her "proof" for her ridiculously implausible theories.
    • At one point, she outright admits that most of the stuff in her essay was made up as she goes along. She unfortunately doesn't see the problem in this.
  • From Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:
    Socrates: [upon being questioned by Hobbes as to why he can't go in his mansion] Uh... we're... stinky.
  • Project Ignition: What Cristoph is telling the very doomed May Greenfield as she lay in her NEXT as BETA bear down on it... yeah, Adler and Llad are incoming and will save her at the very last second.
  • In The Second Try Shinji is forced to apply this trope:
    Touji: Thanks for saving me Shinji.
    Shinji: No problem.
    Asuka: Ahem.
    Shinji: Actually, Asuka and Rei were a great help.
    Asuka: Ahem.
    Shinji: I mean me and Rei were helping her really.
    Asuka: AHEM.
    Shinji: Not that she needed it.
    Touji: I'm not thanking your "wife" just because she made you want me to.
  • 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.
  • In Naruto Asunder, when Naruto and Hinata go on an assured suicide mission:
    Naruto: So you say your goodbyes?
    Hinata: Yes. My family cheered me on and said to come home safe.
    Naruto: Did you say you would?
    Hinata: Yes. It seemed the kindest thing to do.
  • Psychopath Thinking Outside The Box: "No Worms Were Harmed in the making of this fic."
  • At the end of With Strings Attached, Shag and Varx tell the four that they had been brought to C'hou to restore the Vasyn, and that they themselves are members of an alien do-gooder race but are unable to intervene themselves. The four accept this, but the reader has known all along that they were initially brought over as subjects in an undergraduate psychology experiment, and everything the two aliens said was a complete lie. In part two of the Epilogue, Shag is ashamed to have lied so blatantly to the four, but Varx points out they almost certainly wouldn't have reacted well to the truth:
    +How else were we gonna explain everything? 'Oh, the only reason you went through all that was that we all got suckered into the quest by our idiot gamer partner who co-opted you after we got kicked off our psych experiment because we screwed around with you.' They would've loved that.+
  • The absolute INSANITY that is the Harry Potter fanfic Thirty Hs has this. The fic is marked as Angst/Romance between Bellatrix Lestrange & Seamus Finnegan. They don't appear once.
  • In the Saki doujin, Kazekoshi Buchou Monogatari, Mihoko, after seeing Kana get a poke in the forehead from Hisa (who is attending Kazekoshi in this doujin) for getting in last place due to playing into someone else's hand, gets slightly jealous and wants Hisa to touch her in such a way. She then opens her right eye, throws the game, and comments how "everyone has gotten stronger", while Miharu mentally notes that "Captain is so transparent". It's unclear whether Hisa, who kisses Mihoko on the forehead instead is fooled or if she merely doesn't care, although the latter is more likely.
  • In Saki After Story, the phrase is used verbatim to describe Teru refusing to admit that Saki is her sister, even to Sumire, who knows the truth.
    "That is utter bullshit! I've had enough of your lying!" Sumire snapped back, now completely outraged at Teru's blatant lies.
  • In Frozen Hearts, Prince Hans saying that "I'm not afraid" is an obvious lie for his parents and himself.
    True, it was a blatant lie, but even so, he felt better saying it.
  • In Table Top Adventures, an obstructive horse-breeder refuses to sell mounts to the party. This prompts Pyrrha to roll for intimidation and whisper in the Game Master's ear. When she's done, he looks afraid, and the NPC gives them the horses and supplies into the bargain.
    Jaune: Wow, Pyrrha. What did you say to her?
    Pyrrha: I only said 'please'.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series fanfic Insontis, Spock alleges that his letting McCoy and baby!Kirk sleep cuddled together for another few minutes was "entirely due to their need for sleep", not because it's "adorable."
  • In the Mork and Mindy fanfic Mork And Mindys Twenty Fifth Anniversary, Mork can easily tell that Mindy is lying when she says that "everything's fine."
  • The Soul Society is apparently built on this in Alabaster Orchestra.
  • "Last Rights": When Senior Chief Athezra Darrod is hit by Vaadwaur shrapnel he asks Captain Kanril Eleya how bad it is. She tells him it's just a flesh wound before yelling for the medic. He has four compound fractures of the ribcage and an obvious sucking chest wound, and dies less than a minute later.

  • Most of the press releases for psychedelic bands in The Sixties said something to the effect of, "This band does not require drugs to create their music." Subverted with Pink Floyd; they got advertised like this but only Syd Barrett was on drugs.
  • 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."
    "Heard the scream get louder." "It wasn't me."
    "She stayed until it was over."
  • 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
  • Björk's album Debut is actually her second album.
  • Jonathan Coulton's song "Not About You" is all about how the singer is not thinking about his ex-girlfriend, does not miss her and is certainly not singing about her.
  • In George Strait's song "Ocean Front Property", the singer tells his girlfriend that he won't miss her if she leaves, that he doesn't love her... and that he has a bridge to sell her.
  • In South Korean boy band BEAST's song "Shock", member Junhyung says "This song is not over!". Then the song ends.
  • Three Six Mafia claim their name (and especially their old name of Triple Six Mafia) had absolutely nothing to do with Satanism. Because they have absolutely no occult Horrorcore lyrics in ANY of their work, they've never questioned the existence and virtue of God, and the idea of intentionally creating bad publicity to make it big is 100% ludicrous and has never ever worked in the history of all time. So they couldn't possibly have either dedicated themselves to the Devil or opportunistically taken such a persona in a shock and awe effort so they could become stars, because they will quickly tell you that it did not happen.
  • Emilie Autumn's real name is not nor has it ever been Emily Fritges, despite fans receiving packages from her with that exact name on them.
  • The Decemberists' "The Tain";
    "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.
  • Within Temptation's "Intro" from Mother Earth is the eighth track on the album. The Title Track occupies the first position instead.
  • Henry Rollins' "Liar". It's a song expressly about using this trope to pick up women.
    I can't believe I ever hurt you, I swear I will never lie to you again, please
    Just give me one more chance, I'll never lie to you again, no,
    I swear, I will never tell a lie, I will never tell a lie, no, no
    Ha ha ha ha ha, ho ho ho! Sucker! Sucker! Ooooh sucker!
  • "They call me the Hiphopapotamus, my lyrics are bottomless. ... ...*ahem*"
  • 50 Ways To Say Goodbye by Train is a song about a man who was dumped by his girlfriend, but makes up ridiculous, over the top lies about her death.
  • John Waite obsesses over his ex-girlfriend in every verse of "Missing You", yet repeatedly denies he misses her in every chorus.
  • Possibly playing Unreliable Narrator, in her song "Conspiracy," Kristy Thirsk sings:
    I don't know what you've got against me
    I'm just a girl from a small town in Canada
    There's no phones there
  • Whitehouse's infamous song You Don't Have To Say Please, which is narrated from the point of view of a rapist, includes the line "I'd never hurt you babe", in the middle of him forcing a woman to perform fellatio on him.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • From Dilbert:
    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 and Hobbes:
    • Calvin frequently makes up outlandish excuses when caught in the act, such as blaming a mess he made on "a Venusian that materialized in the kitchen". 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 there dinosaurs 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?
    • Or this example:
    Calvin: Dad, where do babies come from?
    Dad: Most babies come in assembly kits from Sears.
    Calvin: I came from SEARS?!?
    Dad: No, you were a K-Mart Blue-light Special. Almost as good and a whole lot cheaper.
    • His dad's best - as in funniest - lie was likely the time he told Calvin that when you become a father, you get a book that explains everything in the world:
    Calvin: Can I see it?
    Dad: Nope, sorry.
    Calvin: Why not?!
    Dad: It tells what it's like to raise a kid.
    Calvin: SO?
    Dad: You're not allowed to know that until it's too late not to have one.
    • 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."
    • One of the "monster" strips uses this in tandem with I Lied:
    Calvin: Any monsters under my bed tonight?
    Monster #1: No.
    Monster #2: Nope.
    Monster #3: Uh-uh.
    Calvin: Well, there'd better not be! I'd hate to have to torch one with my flame thrower!
    Hobbes: You have a flame thrower?
    Calvin: They lie, I lie.
  • Prickly City: How best to handle Doublebunnygate.
    • And what Carmen has to tell when Kevin disappears - such dirty business.
  • Garfield: When Liz asked Jon if he believed in ghosts, he reacted in fear but then tried to recompose himself and said he didn't. Garfield told her to ask him about his 23 night-lights.

  • This is a game mechanic in Fish Tales - upon catching a fish, you can shoot a shot to "Stretch the Truth" and gain more points, but you can also tell a "total lie" that voids all points the fish would've gotten you.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Even within the framework of Kayfabe, announcers have at times been required to make completely false, unrealistic and utterly not believable statements. A good example of this can be found during the Giant Gonzales vs. Jim Powers match on the March 14 (taped January 26), 1993 episode of WWF All American Wrestling. Announcer Rob Bartlett had to say, with a completely straight face, that Powers was looking to work his way back to the top of the World Wrestling Federation. Powers was NEVER at the top, was NEVER even close to the top, and was NEVER going to get there.
  • Michael Cole interviewed Vince McMahon at Survivor Series '97 and asked who was going to win the WWF Title match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Vince replied, "I don't know."
  • Heels often do this by claiming they won matches singlehandedly when there was actually plenty of interference, the fans are all cheering for them, or they are just at ringside at the same time as their enemy to commentate.
  • John Laurinaitis constantly attempted to claim his actions were in the spirit of "People Power" and therefore giving the audience what they want. Yeah, giving heels unfair advantages and firing fan favorite employees for simply mocking your voice are truly selfless acts.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Bill Cosby plays 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.
  • Cosby did a routine about when he had his tonsils out as a kid - the doctor is trying to put him at ease, eventually telling him "When they cut your tonsils out, don't you know...are you ready for the lie?...they'll give you all the ice cream in the world that you can eat."
  • In yet another routine, young Bill Cosby tries to get out of trouble when his teacher sends home a note asking to meet with his parents. Cosby tells his father that the teacher called his father a name for no reason whatsoever. Despite the obvious holes in young Bill's story, his father is so outraged that he resolves to go to the school the following morning and pick a fight with the teacher. The story ends hilariously with Cosby Sr. wailing on young Bill right in the teacher's office once he realizes that the friendly teacher merely wanted to discuss Bill's poor marks.
    Teacher: Mr.Cosby, your killing your son.
    Bill's Dad: That's right. I made him and I'll take him out of here!
  • From John Mulaney: "And Jake asked me, 'Dude, were you at my party last night?' And I said: 'No.' You know, like a liar!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000. 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.
    • In an odd twist, the fact that said gods and supernatural things exist because people believe in them means that spreading the Imperial Truth can actually make it the truth.
    • 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. Bards, with the Glibness spell, are capable of pulling this off ''before' they've even approached that point.
    • 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.
  • Possible in Exalted, since players can potentially do anything superhumanly well, from jumping and fighting to superhuman calligraphy. In a bit of a twist, Sidereals have a charm that causes the target to take a possibly truthful statement as being a blatant lie.
  • Paranoia. "The computer is your friend! Any claim that this is merely the tip of the iceberg is treason."
  • In the board game Dungeon Petz, if a baby monster isn't sold before it matures, it is discarded from play. The rulebook states that it is released to live happily on a farm...and tells you to add an extra meat resource to the market whenever this happens. For some strange reason.
    • An optional rule takes this even further, so that discarding the carnivorous plant provides a bonus vegetable, discarding the golem provides a bonus gold, and discarding the ghost provides nothing. And then restates that there is no thematic reason for this rule. Nope. Definitely not.
  • Blood Bowl has "hidden weapon" as a skill for some players. These include chainsaws, bombs, ball and chains bigger than the goblin wielding it, and steamrollers.

  • Jake's song from Evil Dead: The Musical. 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!"
  • At the end of Alexander Pushkin's Boris Godunov Mosalskiy with the soldiers enters Godunov's house. Then the sound of fighting and woman's scream are heard. Then Mosalskiy returns and proclaims to the shocked crowd that Godunov's widow and son poisoned themselves and died before his visit...
  • Henrik Ibsen has Peer Gynt, who lies all the time. Then there is a crucial moment in Brand, where Brand has managed to get an entire parish up to the mountain in an attempt to make a rebel army of them. The main antagonist, the local Bailiff, cooks up a story of a school of fish steaming into the fjord, that eventually will make everyone rich, if they only come back down again. All of them go Heel-Face Turn in seconds, leaving Brand alone.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • 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.
  • From Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:
    • Hammer and Horrible meeting again.
    Horrible: We're meeting now for the first time!
    Hammer: You look...horribly familiar.
    Horrible: Just have that kind of face! Must be going now...!
  • Awkward. has Alex, who will say anything if it gets him a little closer to target-of-his-affections Lester.
    Alex: [while following a half-naked Lester around the kitchen with a video camera] Makin' a video. For school. Yeah, it's a documentary about, um... kitchen life.
  • Stories on Pseudopod are usually introduced with "I have a story for you, and I promise you, it's true."
  • The blogger Chromagic does this all the time. For example, "And, you know, [Sandslash has] huge long talons. Also like me."
  • Ranger in Comic Fury Werewolf during Game 11 had an exchange seen as either hilarious or quite frustrating in Game 11, where he claimed, "I'm not a wolf!" After he was dead. And confirmed by the host.
  • Count how many times Zoë says she will cut something out of episodes of The Webcomics Company podcast.
  • Half of what's written in My Opinions on Every Pokémon Ever.
  • Even on TV Tropes, on most pages warning of unmarked spoilers, the majority of the spoilers are marked anyway.
  • This Lolcat.
    • Also several variations involving a cat sitting in the middle of a gigantic mess with a caption declaring something along the lines of "What? I had nothing to do with it!" Cat (and dog) owners know full well how much this is Truth in Television.
  • 4chan did not do anything with this trope: [2]
  • In season 1 of Brazilian webseries "Só Levando", posted at [3], a man named Bezerra was making pirate CDs until the police caught him. He claimed it was for personal use.
    Officer: Vainessa Camargo CDs?
    Bezerra: I like her.
    Officer: 120 copies?
    Bezerra: I like her a lot.
  • Common in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series - it is the trope namer for Most Definitely Not a Villain, after all - but Marik is probably the worst offender here. His name is Malik Blishtar, he's not doing anything suspicious, and he is 100% straight! Also, that whole thing about being gay in Marik Plays Bloodlines episode 6? Ghosts.
  • 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.
  • Oh, I'm shooting a documentary on hotels. *later* My house is being renovated, so I'm staying here. *later* Well, my job got relocated, so I'm looking for a place to stay. He was losing his memory.
  • A lot of email spam often is lies to either download viruses or try to give banking information to "Nigerian princes."
  • Bears love lots of things, but certainly not petting zoos. The declaration on the not-bear's T-shirt is very comforting.
  • 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.
  • One of the ways someone from the SCP Foundation has tried to kill their resident Nigh Invulnerable Omnicidal Maniac lizard is "throw Dr. Clef in 682's containment room." This is followed by a note from the higher-ups very specifically stating that it was NOT an attempt by a researcher to kill Dr. Clef, and that the project head's death was due to 682, which smashed his head against a control panel while somehow remaining in its containment area.
  • 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.
  • From Death Note: The Abridged Series (Kpts4tv):
    Light: [to Ryuk] No one is listening to you, Ryuk.
    Sayu: What does Ryuk mean?
    Light: Uh, It's my new name for you. It means Ke$ha in Japanese.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: The titular town is riddled with conspiracy theories come true, resulting in a lot of hasty coverups that don't even try for credibility. Cecil, the news announcer for the local public radio station, can usually keep any disbelief he may or may not feel out of his voice, with two notable exceptions: when the City Council tries to pass off the feral dog pack menacing town as plastic bags blowing in the wind, and when the Mega Corp. that owns the neighbouring town buys the radio station and is feeding him lines under duress.
  • In the Bad Call TV episode "Up in Smoke," the spokesman for Premiere Smokeless Cigarettes says that they are "100% safe, 100% clean, and make no compromises on taste." As it turns out, they have a disgusting charcoal aftertaste, resulting in the spokesman taking a Vomit Discretion Shot. Sadly, this is based on a Real Life advertising campaign that went horribly wrong.
  • In the middle of Third Rate Gamer's Kirby's Adventure review, he does a slight commercial break advertising a card game. We then cut to an actor who is not very enthusiastic about his opinion, and the bottom of the screen has a caption saying "NOT A PAID ACTOR".
  • In Sooper Appisote 3 of Da Amazin OT Advenchr, the place called “Not Microsoft Land” that contains signs pointing to a room where Bill Gates is. Guess what’s written on the signs? “Not Where Bill Gates Is”!
    Bill Gates: [when TNT and Lite enter the room] o no hwo did u fia me?!
  • Worst Muse: "I am here to help." She isn't.
  • Matthew Santoro:
    • In Worldwide Internet Control!, Wheezy Waiter and Corey Vidal did a guest intro for Matt. Wheezy Waiter introduced himself as Corey Vidal, and Corey introduced himself as Wheezy Waiter.
    • In Why Lying is OK!, Hugo eats the cat, and Matt asks him if he's seen the cat. He says that he hasn't.
    • In Mark Zuckerberg Eats Goats!, Matt asks Hugo if he's been taking pictures with his phone again. He says no, even though he clearly has.
    • In My Favourite Stuff from the 90's!, Matt talks about shows he liked in the 90's, and mentions Xena: Warrior Princess. He then says that he never watched it.
    • In 100th Video Spectacular! (MEGA COLLAB)!, Zak says that Matt helped kill John F. Kennedy. He then answers the question of how Matt could have done so, since he was born 22 years after the assassination: he's a time-travelling demon.
    • In Back to School-What NOT to Do!, Matt tells Eugene that he thinks that his clothes look good.
    • In The Stinger of A New Planet & Antimatter!, a fan commenter accuses Matt of putting subliminal messages in his video. He denies this, while messages show up on the screen for a fraction of a second, some of them telling the viewer to subscribe.
    • In Why Lying is OK!, Matt's friend asks him if he ate the ice cream. He gets shifty eyes, and says no. His friend doesn't buy it, and asks him why he's not looking at him. He says that he is looking at him.
    • In Why Lying is OK!, Matt tells the audience that if they don't subscribe, the world will end the following week.
    • At the beginning of 10 Bizarre UNEXPLAINED Miracles from Around the World!, which is about bizarre unexplained miracles from around the world, he says that the topic at hand is "completely noncontroversial".
  • We have this with poem titled I didn't do it and it's accompanying image, where someone is suspected of murder and is playing innocent.
  • During this video of the Yogscast playing Trouble In Terrorist Town, Sips, after shooting at Smiffy, accuses him of being the traitor. Smiffy is a detective and even displayed as such, and Sips is promptly ridiculed for trying to lie so blatantly.

    Real Life - Other 
  • 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 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 various Broadway imports. 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.
  • In the Disney Theme Parks, their Vacation Club is said to be "Disney's Best Kept Secret". That actually is part of their advertising. With 10 to 15 kiosks for it in every park, they definitely hide it well from everyone.
  • 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.
  • Brass knuckles do make effective paperweights.
  • A Chinese amusement park built this. When asked about it, their answer was "This is an original design and most definitely not an orange Gundam. There might be some similarities, but that's about it". And now they brought it down and proclaim "THERE NEVER WAS A 50-FEET TALL BRIGHT ORANGE STATUE HERE, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" A shame, really, but what else can you expect? It was a strong contender for the title of "The World's Largest Bootleg", too.
  • 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."
  • EA doesn't have random celebrities make guest appearances.
  • Anyone who goes off on a tangent about how back in their days, they did this, that, so and so, that, and they liked it. Obviously if you're not having to go through those obstacles, they didn't like it, did they?
  • There are a few lines parents often use on their kids; depending on the parent, they can be an example of this trope:
    • "You won't get in trouble if you tell me the truth!"note 
    • "If you keep making faces, your face will freeze like that." note 
    • "Eat all your vegetables and you'll grow up big and strong." note 
    • "Mommy and daddy are taking a nap." (You find out what they really mean pretty soon.)note 
    • "It won't hurt" (When at vaccinationist's or dentist's appointment.)note note 
    • "This hurts me more than you" (When you are being scolded or spanked.)note 
    • "I'm not mad." (During an argument.)note 
    • "A little water can't hurt you." (Parents tell this to children when they're stubborn and unwilling to take a bath, trying to convince them it won't hurt them. As any paramedic will tell you, children can and have drowned in bathtubs. Accidents in bathrooms that cause injury and death are a greater danger than many parents are willing to admit.)note 
    • If you swallow gum, it stays in your stomach for seven years. note 
  • 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 washing 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.
    • On that note, the British Broadcasting Corporation (for about forty or fifty years) has been telling people they have detector vans that can roll down a street and pick out houses where an unlicensed TV is in use. Oddly enough nobody has ever seen one of these vans, BBC logo or no. The actual method is a combination of random checks on households with no licence and a reporting system with every TV seller in the country, even used. Licence shirkers who tell a seller their real address and then are surprised when the Beeb sends them a letter apparently exist in droves.
  • 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.
    • A World War II air ace, Lt-Commander Charles Lamb of the Royal Navy, was new, raw, and dumb enough to sign for a consignment of RAF flying jackets in 1939 which were way better than anything the Fleet Air Arm issued to Navy pilots. Over the next two years, as the original Navy pilots were transferred to all four corners of the globe taking the flying jackets with them, Lamb was plagued with demands to account for them, return them to store, or pay for all of them from his own pocket. Finally, in 1941, older and wiser, when his aircraft carrier was bombed into a blazing hulk in Malta's Grand Harbour, he was able to claim they had gone down with the ship. This accounted for thirty-odd Irving jackets to the satisfaction of the Naval bureaucracy.
    • After first contact with the Germans in 1944, practically every officer in a British tank regiment claimed their issue watches (the very best kit available and each costing a month's pay) had been destroyed in action with the Germans. The CO commiserated for the loss, but begged his officers to show some restraint in their looting.
  • Doctors will *always* say "this won't hurt a bit", regardless of whether it will hurt or not. This is because, due to the nocebo effect, telling you that it will hurt actually makes it hurt more.
  • Medical stories often dismiss the idea that someone was "standing on the corner, minding their own business", or that they "just fell down and (insert item here) just happened to go all the way up my ass". One has to feel sorry for the poor sod that actually is telling the truth.
  • In Brazil 2014, Luis Suarez got in trouble in the Uruguay-Italy match for biting Giorgio Chiellini. The excuse he gave was something along the lines of "I fell and his body collided with my teeth". Read the full article here.

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

    Other Examples 

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Alternative Title(s):

I Swear Its Not Blatant Lies