->''"Would Sonic the Hedgehog please report to the security office? Repeat, Sonic the Hedgehog please report to the security office. We've found your -- er... your keys! That's it, we've found your keys. No need to be ready for a trap, since we only wish to return your keys!"''
-->-- '''Doctor Eggman''' in ''VideoGame/SonicColors''

The lovechild of LawOfConservationOfDetail and RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic, Hesitation Equals Dishonesty is ubiquitous to the point of being unnoticeable. Whether engaging in BlatantLies or making sure to LetThemDieHappy, any time a character visibly hesitates when relaying information (rather than, say, making an emotional appeal) to another character, it's even money or better that they're being dishonest, and are trying to barely avoid SayingTooMuch.

Performance-based works will often use this trope even when the audience knows that the character is lying to avoid a SeamlessSpontaneousLie. If the character tells a lie without any indication of effort, they'll suddenly look like master manipulators, which might be out of character. The trope can also be used on the assumption that ViewersAreMorons. If the character's delivery doesn't scream "lie," the audience might get confused and think that either the character believes what he just said or that his statement is actually true.

The trope extends to videogames, even to the dialogue of the player characters: Even if StatisticallySpeaking the PC is an excellent liar, there's a good chance the writers will mark his BlatantLies with the all too subtle "Why, yes.... [[SureLetsGoWithThat I AM the assassin you've ordered]]".

Sadly, belief in this in RealLife makes things even more difficult for those of us who aren't perfect communicators. FridgeLogic ''should'' indicate that the guy with the perfectly-rehearsed story is probably lying his ass off (or is extremely well-spoken, but there's a noticeable difference between the two), rather than the guy who occasionally pauses to collect his thoughts. Also, anything from being very anxious/suffering a panic attack (which can be induced in some situations where the truth is demanded - for example, the mere ''presence'' of police officers is a massive trigger for some forms of anxiety and panic) to being sleepy, drunk/high, or simply unsure and ''wanting'' to tell the truth but not sure of what the "truth" is can lead to hesitation and even confusion. Subtrope of YouCanAlwaysTellALiar. Compare SeamlessSpontaneousLie.

Compare/contrast with SuspiciouslySpecificDenial, where saying ''too much'' suggests you're being dishonest.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* This is used in the unaired episode of ''Kodomo No Jikan''. When Reiji asks Rin what she and her friends were doing (making a birthday gift for Aoki), she hesitates a few times when trying to claim they were doing schoolwork. He actually notices it, but either believes her when she says she isn't lying or decides to let it go.
* During the Mahora Festival StoryArc of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', Haruna flatly asked Yue if she got jealous when the former kissed Negi. When Yue tried to deny that accusation, Haruna noted that she took a fraction of a second too long to answer and that the old Yue would have smacked her for being an idiot immediately. Busted.
* In ''Audioplay/StrikersSoundStageX'' of the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' franchise, Teana asks [[spoiler:Runessa]] if she [[spoiler:has heard of Toredia Graze]], and after a surprised pause, she says no. Teana does some more investigation into this as a result of noticing [[spoiler:Runessa's]] reaction, and eventually [[spoiler:learns of her past connection with Toredia and eventually arrests her for her role in the Mariage killings]], pointing out that the way she responded was what tipped her off.
* Mostly inverted in ''LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}}''. A good rule of thumb in this series is the more straightforward someone seems to be, the bigger the lie they're concealing. Nadeko is hesitant and lacks self-confidence, and her "big secret" is that she likes Araragi ([[ObliviousToLove secret only to Araragi, really]]); on the other hand, Suruga is quite forthright with her sexuality but no so much [[spoiler:with her violent hatred towards Araragi for "stealing" Senjogahara from her.]] As it turns out, her provocative teasing of Araragi is probably [[spoiler:a ploy to get Araragi to forget about Senjogahara, even if that means potentially having to seduce him.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Relentlessly used in UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} comics, but ''only'' when the reader knows it's a lie. A lie that is part of the twist ending (and thus not known as a lie to the reader) will be delivered blithely, while if we know the character is lying, every sentence will begin with "Um...".
* In the first issue of ''ComicBook/TheTick'', a man on the street asks Tick if he's the guy who just broke out of the insane asylum (he is). Tick stutters for about half a page before coming up with the answer "No."

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/MarkTrail'' plays this ludicrously straight. Begin your sentence with "um" and you're the villain.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', Harry spots that Draco was considering lying with this, and Draco believes that Harry is telling the truth because he doesn't stammer.
-->''Draco paused for a moment, weighing, and then opened his mouth --\\
"I see he did," said Harry, and Draco cursed himself, he should've known better, only it ''had'' been hard to decide.''\\
''Draco had listened carefully, but he hadn't detected any hesitation or tremor.''
* Kyon does this in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'' when Tsuruya asked why he had to return to the clubroom despite he telling her before he was dismissed for the day. It turns out he had to find Mikuru to TimeTravel back to the next day.
-->'''Kyon:''' Well, I have to head back in anyway, since ... I forgot my shoes. Yeah. I'll see you tomorrow, alright, Tsuruya-sempai?
* This is noticeable in a IHaveToGoIronMyDog scene from ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'':
--> '''Rupert:''' You know, on second thought… we, um, left the, er, iron on. We've gotta go!
* The Porre ambassador in the ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' FanSequel ''VideoGame/CrimsonEchoes'' inserts significant hesitations into EVERY SINGLE ONE of his lines. Him not being on the up and up therefore comes as a tremendous surprise to the player.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' fic ''Fanfic/SpotsOff'', Chat Noir visits Marinette after her identity as Ladybug as publicly exposed. When she asks if he found out from the news broadcast, he hesitates before agreeing. As the reader knows, he actually found out when Nino called Adrien a couple of hours ago and told him about a viral video of her transforming, but he's not yet in a position to tell her they have mutual friends out of costume.
* In the ''Series/Daredevil2015'' fanfic ''Fanfic/WhatTheyWouldntDo'':
** The premise of the work is that Sarah Corrigan, a young secretary at a company that used to be part of Wilson Fisk's criminal enterprise, accidentally stumbles upon Matt Murdock's secret identity of Daredevil. Matt, after conversing with Foggy about what to do, decides to track her down and intimidate her in an alleyway outside her apartment to find out how much she knows about him:
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' Alright, Sarah. Now we're going to talk about me. Do you know who I am?
-->''[Sarah can feel her palms starting to sweat and tries to play dumb]''
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' Y-you're...Daredevil.
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' I think you know that's not what I'm asking. Do you know who I ''really'' am?
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' I—I, um— ''[Matt increases his hold on her throat just slightly—not painful, but undeniably threatening]''
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' If you're thinking of lying, rethink it. Do you know who I am?
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' Yes.
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' What's my name?
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' Matthew. M-Matthew Murdock.
** It happens again later on when Sarah goes to the 15th precinct to fix a traffic ticket her dad received. Then she sees Matt and Foggy conversing with Brett Mahoney and immediately backpedals, knowing that Matt will think she's there to rat him out. Matt hastily follows her and drags her into an alleyway to interrogate her:
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' You know, if you were going to try and turn me in without me catching you, it might have been a smarter move to go to a police station not in Hell's Kitchen.
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' Okay, w-wait. I know what you're thinking—
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' I'm thinking that you just broke your part in our agreement, Sarah, less than twenty four hours after you swore you wouldn't, so give me one good reason why I shouldn't do the same.
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' I wasn't there about anything to do with you. I swear. I wasn't going to—
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' We'll get to what you were going to do in a minute. What I need to know right now is what you've already done. If the police station wasn't your first stop then my friends are in danger, meaning you have about ten seconds to tell me the truth. Have you already told someone?
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' No. No, I—I haven't. A-and I wasn't going to in there, either.
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' Then why were you there?
-->''[lengthy silence]''
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' [[LampshadeHanging You know, when someone takes this long to answer, it's not usually a good indicator that they're about to tell you the truth.]]
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' It…it was for…personal reasons.
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' "Personal reasons?" This is my ''life'' you're messing with. The lives of people I love. You can at least come up with a better lie than "personal reasons".
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' It's not a lie! I just, I can't—I can't tell you. Why I was there. B-but it had nothing to do with you, I swear.
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' Really. If it had nothing to do with me, why can't you tell me what it was?"
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' I just—you don't need to know. It's not relevant. T-to anything that we're doing.
-->'''Matt Murdock:''' So you're telling me that your mysterious reason for being in the police station has nothing to do with me? Nothing to do with Orion, or why you're working there? No connection to…any of that at all?
-->'''Sarah Corrigan:''' [[BlatantLies R-right. No connection.]]
* The ''Series/TrueBlood'' fanfic ''[[https://archiveofourown.org/works/701839/ How Could You Forget?]]'' is an AU of season 4 where the witches erased Bill Compton's memories instead of Eric Northman's. After the witches subject Pam to her rotting spell like in the show, Eric goes to Bill's house to demand help, only to be told that Bill is busy and he'll need to speak with Jessica (who has been covering for Bill while Sookie is hiding him) has glamored the guards to forward all intended messages to her. Jessica's attempts to backpedal when she inadvertently lets slip things she shouldn't know of are enough to tell Eric that she's hiding something:
-->'''Eric Northman:''' Where is the King?
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' He's not available right now. What do you want?
-->'''Eric Northman:''' Where is he? Why is he suddenly not available? I must speak with him.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' What is so important that you need to speak with him?
-->'''Eric Northman:''' ''[getting into Jessica's space]'' That is between me and Bill.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' Well, I am handling all of his messages for now, so either you tell me and I'll discuss it with Bill, or you can come back later when you have an appointment.
-->'''Eric Northman:''' There is a problem with the witches.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' The witches that you said were no problem?
-->'''Eric Northman:''' I underestimated their abilities. After your little visit last night, I sent Pam to check on our friends.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' And?
-->'''Eric Northman:''' Pam was subjected to some sort of spell.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' ''[intrigued]'' A spell? What kind of spell?
-->'''Eric Northman:''' Some kind of rotting spell. It is very unpleasant. I would have simply killed them, but I cannot be sure that would fix the spell.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' So she's like decomposing? Did anything else happen to her? How did they do it? ''[She fired the questions at him rapidly. Her excitement arousing his suspicion, but he couldn't put his finger on why]''
-->'''Eric Northman:''' I do not know. She said that when she arrived, several of the members were meeting, despite my instructions that they stop, they then started chanting and the one called Marnie cast some kind of spell.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' [[INeverSaidItWasPoison A spell? Was it in Spanish again?]] Did Pam know what they said?
-->'''Eric Northman:''' ''[getting in Jessica's face]'' Again? What do you mean in Spanish again?
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' [[VerbalBackspace I just mean... like you told me... about that other witch in Spain...]]
-->'''Eric Northman:''' You are lying to me. You know more about this than you are telling. ''[grabs Jessica by the shoulders and shakes her]'' What other spell has been cast?!
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' Nothing, there isn't any other spell, it was just a mistake, that's all.
-->'''Eric Northman:''' Where is Bill?! If you will not tell me, I will force him to tell me. ''[He pushes Jessica away and begins marching towards the stairs, intending to tear the house apart looking for Bill]''
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' NO! He doesn't know, he doesn't know anything!
-->''[Jessica's hands fly to her mouth as she realizes she's let slip the truth about Bill. Eric slowly steps back towards her]''
-->'''Eric Northman:''' You will tell me ''everything''. And you will tell me ''now''.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' ''[tearing up]'' The witches, they erased his memory, he doesn't remember anything.
-->'''Eric Northman:''' What? When did this happen?
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' A couple of nights ago. The night after you attacked the witches. He went to see them, and before he could even say anything, they had cast a spell on him.
-->'''Eric Northman:''' Where is he?
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' He's somewhere safe.
-->'''Eric Northman:''' And what exactly does that mean? Why does his staff not realize he is gone? ''[It then crosses his mind that Jessica has glamored all the staff]''
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' It means he is somewhere else, until I can find a way to help him.
-->''[Eric, who is losing patience with Jessica, bares his fangs and grabs her by her throat]''
-->'''Eric Northman:''' You will tell me where he is, or there will not be enough of you left to help him.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' ''[stammering]'' He's.... He's at...
-->'''Eric Northman:''' You are trying my patience.
-->'''Jessica Hamby:''' ...He's with Sookie.
* ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/8793565/chapters/20159878 How the Light Gets In]]'' has a variation that occurs several times. A character will hesitate before answering a difficult question, and the pause is usually always long enough for the person who asked to work out the answer on their own. The person answering usually doesn't an outright lie, but typically tries to downplay the truth, or gives a non-answer. For example, when Dean tries to calm Laurel down and prevent a panic attack:
-->'''Laurel:''' I used to have panic attacks?
-->'''Dean:''' ''(long pause)'' Every now and then. Is this helping?
-->'''Laurel:''' Yeah. Did you - Did we used to do this a lot?
-->'''Dean:''': ''(pause)'' I wouldn't say a lot. Sometimes. If you needed a little help.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Played with in ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'', when Anna's hair starts to turn white after Elsa accidentally curses her with her ice magic:
-->'''Anna:''' Does it look bad?\\
'''Kristoff:''' Uh, no.\\
'''Olaf:''' You hesitated.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the ending scene of ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', Marty asks Doc if he and Jennifer become "assholes" in the future and the Doc says they both turn out fine. The sequel establishes the RetCon that Doc was lying to protect Marty from the AwfulTruth. In ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'', the refilmed version of that scene (refilmed to [[FlashbackWithTheOtherDarrin accommodate the Jennifer swap]]) has Doc hesitate before answering Marty's question.
* This is actually reversed in ''Film/StrangerThanFiction''. After a disastrous first meeting, Harold encounters Anna Pascal on the bus, and stumbles his way through an apology, outright stating that he 'ogled' her and it was wrong. She accepts his apology... "But only because [he] stammered."
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Obi-Wan in A New Hope has a slight hesitation before telling Luke that his father was betrayed and murdered by Darth Vader, instead of telling him that Anakin and Vader were one and the same. Though, when the line was uttered in 1977, it was originally planned that Vader and Anakin were going to be two different people. And in a way, it was still "true" FromACertainPointOfView after the change.
* Averted in ''Film/InsideMan''. When Madeline White confronts Arthur Case, asking him if it was true that he used to work for the Nazis in WWII, he hesitates for about four seconds...then smiles and says "Yes." Either he was a truly honest man, who was old and had nothing to lose, or he realized that hesitating that long before lying about it would make it obvious that he was lying.
* ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'': Chekov, under mind control, tells the Genesis scientists that the ''Reliant'' is going to appropriate their invention for immediate testing. His performance is so full of awkward pauses (Khan is feeding him lines offscreen) that even David, who believes the Federation to be a bunch of war-mongers, should have immediately considered it BS. Carol is at least rational enough to call for confirmation, which was Khan's plan all along.
* ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'': Invoked by General Chang, during Captain Kirk and Doctor [=McCoy's=] trial for the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon. Inspired by the RealLife incident where US Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson II made a similar demand of the Soviet Ambassador.
-->'''General Chang:''' Indeed. The record shows that Captain Kirk once held the rank of Admiral. And that ''Admiral'' Kirk was broken for [[MilitaryMaverick taking matters into his own hands]] in defiance of regulations of the law. Do you deny being demoted for these charges? [[LargeHam DON'T WAIT FOR THE TRANSLATION]]. Answer me now.

* ''Literature/HerculePoirot'':
** In ''Literature/MurderOnTheOrientExpress'', when Poirot mentions to Hector [=MacQueen=] the letter naming Daisy Armstrong, the secretary interrupts his own reply. Poirot deduces that [=MacQueen=] is involved with the cover-up.
** {{Subverted}} in ''The Hollow'' which involves [[spoiler:a group of people trying to cast suspicion on themselves in order to cover for the real murderer. This leads them to try all sorts of tricks to convince Poirot that they're lying when they're telling the truth, and telling the truth when they're lying]].
* Both played straight and averted in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''. While pauses do often hint at lies, several characters, especially Sam Vimes, note that instant responses are even less honest.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** A fairly realistic example in ''Literature/GhostStory''; Butters and Daniel are impersonating Wardens to try and intimidate a low-level warlock, and it seems to work until he asks them why they don't have the Wardens' trademark swords, at which point Butters hesitates and their cover is blown. It's pointed out later that had Daniel and Butters immediately responded ''or'' completely ignored the question as below their concern, the bluff might have worked. Butters was not an experienced liar, he had not had much time to work out the cover story, he was under a lot of stress at the time, and the warlock in question had some sort of very weak innate telepathy and was exactly the sort of impulsive person who would not stop to consider whether there might be an innocent reason for the hesitation. There actually ''was'' an innocent explanation for a Warden not carrying a sword ([[spoiler: the person who forged them was trapped in another body that lacked her former magical talent]],) but the warlock was too low down in the magical food chain for this information to have reached him yet, and was able to see through the lie when someone who was better informed would not have thought it odd that the imposters had no swords.
** Harry hesitates in ''Literature/FoolMoon'' when it's revealed [[spoiler: that one of his apprentices was connected to the werewolf they were chasing]] causing Murphy to think he was withholding information.
* In ''[[Literature/AuntDimity Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince]]'', Lori and Bree return to Skeaping Manor to ask the curator for the home address of Amanda Pickering. Their conversation starts off pleasantly enough, but the curator Miles Craven falls silent when Lori makes the request, then puts her off with protestations about confidentiality. It turns out that Miles knows [[spoiler: Amanda has left to join her husband in Australia]], and is a [[BadLiar lousy liar]] who [[CannotKeepASecret can't keep a secret]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Creator/JonLovitz's "The Liar" character from ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''. "[[BlatantLies Yeah... that's the ticket!]]"
* From ''Series/GetSmart'': Max's "Would you believe?" segments often included this.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}''[==]'s Clark Kent is the king of this, pausing for years before delivering a [[BlatantLies horrible explanation]] for something that has even the slightest correlation to his being an alien. If you're going to pause that long, Clark, at least come up with a plausible explanation, will ya?
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', when Matt tells Daphne he believes she's reformed, the poor guy is told Hesitation Equals Dishonesty, with the extra twist that the amount of time he hesitated was only significant to someone with SuperSpeed.
* Averted on ''Series/LieToMe'': characters point out that prepared lies generally cause people to answer ''more quickly'' because they have already prepared their story for questioning. The way to catch these people is to ask them to repeat their story ''backwards'': your average liar won't bother to practice enough to get this right, but someone telling the truth will obviously be able to draw on their memory to answer. It's also mentioned, however, that hesitating is [[RealityIsUnrealistic a way to make people think you're lying]].
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'', Monk's assistant asks him if he saw some embarrassing pictures of her. He hesitates for about a minute (no exaggeration intended), refusing to meet her eyes, before he responds "no". Then, as he walks away, he wretchedly adds, "Yes."
* Pick a crime drama, any crime drama... Sometimes seems you can't go two episodes without this trope being the '''only''' reason a cop or prosecutor declares someone to be lying, no matter how logical or reasonable what the suspect says is.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'''s Benjamin Linus falls into the trope rather absurdly. 98% of what he says is at best a half-truth, and after several seasons it's still hard to tell which was which. But whenever he says something the audience already knows is a lie (like, say, that [[spoiler:the smoke monster killed Jacob]]), he hesitates.
* Played with on the PanelGame ''Series/WouldILieToYou'', where hesitating can be the sign of a bad liar ... or a panelist trying to appear to be lying.
* ''Series/KnightRider'' pulled this now and again (since at least one character can only communicate with a words, and a series of little red lights, his hesitations were usually blindingly obvious. Then There's a scene in one of the traditional [[TrashTheSet smash-KITT-up-so-we-can-redesign-him-for-the-new-season]] episodes:
-->'''KITT:''' Where are we? Everything is so dark... is it night?\\
'''Bonnie:''' ...Yeah.
* Explained on ''Series/{{Friends}}'' "The One with the Jam" where Chandler is explaining his problems with Janice which includes him pausing before what could be considered a white lie.
-->'''Chandler:''' Okay, well. Janice said 'Hi, do I look fat today?' And I, I looked at her...\\
'''Ross:''' Whoa, whoa, whoa. You looked at her. You never look. You just answer, it's just a reflex. Do I look fat? Nooo! Is she prettier than I am? Noo! Does size matter?\\
'''Rachel:''' Nooo!\\
'''Ross:''' And it works both ways.
* Invoked on ''Series/{{Frontline}}'', when Brooke edits a pause into the interview of a priest accused of rape to make it look like he's thinking about his answer.
* In a season two episode of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Ted is trying to catch Robin out in a lie by asking a string of questions about the wedding she claims that she had. When she hesitates answering a question about the catering, he immediately takes that as his in to accuse her of lying, but she quickly covers by saying that she wasn't sure how to answer the question as there were multiple possible answers. She's got rapid-fire responses for all his other follow-up questions about the ceremony until he gets to "Husband's name?" to which she just stammers in response. It turns out that she ''is'' lying and was never married.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' - after Balthazar rewrites history by un-sinking the Titanic, and is then forced to reset things by a very angry Fate, Castiel and the Winchesters have this exchange. The boys think Balthazar did it because he's an impulsive hedonist who hated the Titanic movie, but Castiel knows it was [[spoiler: to create fresh souls for his war in heaven.]]
-->'''Dean:''' Did Balthazar really [[CosmicRetcon unravel the sweater]] over a chick flick?\\
'''Castiel:'''....Yes. ''(not meeting Dean's eyes)'' Absolutely. That's what he did.
* {{Inverted}} in ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'' when Gaius catches Morgana trying to retrieve the mandrake root enchantment that she's hidden under Uther's bed. On asking her if she's looking for something, Morgana doesn't hesitate for a second when she answers "my earring." However, Gaius knows full-well that she's lying, as Merlin has already told him what she's been up to.
* According to [[http://sepinwall.blogspot.co.il/2008/06/wire-season-1-episode-4-old-cases_20.html David Simon]] this is how the viewers should have been able to tell a certain story D'Angelo tells in the first season of ''Series/TheWire'' is not quite true.
* On ''Series/TheMiddle'', Frankie had set up a play date for Brick that went well. Several days passed without the other mother contacting her again, so Sue called her to ask what was up. The other mother said, "My son's been... sick." Sue accepts this, but thinking about it later she wonders why the woman had hesitated, and it turns out she was lying.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': {{Averted}} with [[MagnificentBastard Garak]]. When he hesitates, it means the SeamlessSpontaneousLie isn't coming.
* ''Series/JudgeJudy'' tends to assume that any answer with a pause in front of it is a lie. [[BerserkButton And don't you dare fill-in that silence with "Um"!]]

* ''Radio/TheNavyLark'': One episode had Pertwee not only hesitate, but ask Cmdr. Murray to give him a minute to think, before reeling off an [[BlatantLies improbable explanation]]. {{Lampshaded}} by Phillips as being not too bad, given the time he had to come up with it.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'', and doubtless many other older {{RPG}}s without much spoken dialog, use this trope to convey to the player that a particular dialog tree choice is... the gospel truth, of course. In modern gaming, tags such as "<Lie>" are included instead to indicate to the player that his character is lying.
* [=RPGs=] with a CharacterAlignment system, such as ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' or ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' sometimes allow the exact same words to be spoken as truth or lie, only differentiated by a "<Lie>" tag. With no tag, opinions and claims are assumed to be the character's genuine belief, and alignments will adjust accordingly.
* Girl Stinky of ''VideoGame/SamAndMax'' does this constantly. [[spoiler:[[RedHerring Typically when she's actually being honest]].]]
* VideoGame/{{Iji}} when lying about [[spoiler:the surviving Tasen in a PacifistRun]]. According to WordOfGod, this was to make it obvious to the player that she was lying, rather than [[WelcomeToCorneria saying the same line regardless of the facts]].
* ''VideoGame/InThe1stDegree'' definitely plays this straight. When you question the defendent Tobin and pin him about the phone message of him threatening Zack, he says "I was trying to...''persuade'' Zack to withdraw the claim." He's lying, you know it and the prosecutor you're playing as knows it.
* Eggman's [[AnnouncerChatter public announcements]] in VideoGame/SonicColors are often full of these, at least whenever he's not being [[BrutalHonesty brutally honest]].
* In ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyTrialsAndTribulations'', when Edgeworth is cross-examining Larry Butz:
-->'''Larry:''' I didn't see a s-snowmobile!\\
'''Edgeworth:''' '''''HOLD IT!'''''...Larry! You really didn't see it?\\
'''Larry:''' H-H-Hey! [[PunctuatedPounding No need to hit your desk!]] I can hear you! ...I didn't see it! I didn't see a s-s-snowmobile!\\
'''Edgeworth:''' ...Larry. Say "snowmobile" for me, please?\\
'''Larry:''' S-S-S-Snowmobile.\\
'''Edgeworth:''' If you truly have nothing to hide... then why are you stammering like you just flew over a cuckoo's nest!?

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'': In Chapter 14, Onni figures out that Reynir is lying about the entire crew being fine after the battle from Chapter 13 due to Reynir taking two {{Beat Panel}}s worth of time to answer when he asks after Tuuri and Lalli.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Parodied/subverted: Bart's announcement of, "Well, I'm doing a presentation on... fireworks!" is met with his mother saying, "Bart, I wish you wouldn't lie like that" before confiscating said fireworks. Cut to Springfield Elementary, where Skinner is announcing a fireworks show, courtesy of Bart.
** Also subverted when Marge asks Homer where he's going, and he replies 'I'm just going outside... to stalk... Lenny and Carl', which is exactly what he was planning to do.
** Played straight ([[ExaggeratedTrope And very noticably so]]) when Homer asks Marge whether she thinks he's smart or not. It veers into OverlyLongGag territory:
--->'''Marge:''' ''(after a very long pause)'' Yes.\\
'''Homer:''' Thanks, honey. ''(beat)'' Waaaait a minute. How come you hesitated?\\
''(long pause)''\\
'''Marge:''' [[BlatantLies No reason]].\\
'''Homer:''' Oh, okay. ''(beat)'' Waaaait a minute. Are you humoring me?\\
''(long pause)''\\
'''Marge:''' Yes.\\
'''Homer:''' Oh, okay. ''(beat)'' Waaaait a minute. That's bad!
** In "Diatribe of a Mad Housewife", Homer does this when Marge asks him is he read her manuscript. Each pause is accompanied by [[PinocchioNose Homer's pupil darting back and forth]].
* Parodied as well in ''WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'', when Daffy accuses Porky of this due to his [[PorkyPigPronunciation stutter]] when trying to get out of paying a littering fine. No one buys it.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins was asked in an interview if he could "give an example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome" -- a question that, he later said, "would only be phrased that way by somebody who doubts that evolution happened." He famously paused for eleven seconds before answering, and the tape was used by creationists to claim that evolutionists don't have all the answers. Dawkins explains he had actually just realized that the documentary being filmed wasn't what he thought it would be, and was trying to decide whether to [[GetOut throw them out]] or not. His full, non-"soundbite" answer can be read [[http://www.skeptics.com.au/publications/articles/the-information-challenge/ here]].
* [[http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/relationship-advice/is-he-hiding-something This Cosmo article]] is doing its best to make the belief more prevalent. Note that it counts both significant hesitation and simply SWALLOWING while having a conversation. Ruthlessly mocked by Cracked [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19066_7-psychotic-pieces-relationship-advice-from-cosmo.html here]]
* Military recruiters. Hesitate for any reason, and they automatically assume you're a liar.
* Ever hesitated to answer a question your mother asked you? She'll automatically assume that the worst answer must be true regardless of the answer you do end up giving.
* Police interrogations, similar to the military recruiters example above. Most reasonable people would give you a few moments to ponder the question "where were you last night between 20:00 and 23:00?" as it's information you wouldn't usually keep accurate tabs on unless you ''knew'' it would be important later. Unfortunately, the end goal of an interrogation is to coerce a confession - [[DiggingYourselfDeeper and any detail that pushes things in that direction is to the interrogator's advantage.]]
** Statement analysis of the things said by many criminals have noted that they often repeat the questions that they have been asked--"Where was I last night?", "What time did I leave?", etc. This is because they are sensitive questions and repeating them allows the person to hesitate and think of an answer without making it obvious that they are doing so.
* Invoked by Adlai Stevenson II during [[UsefulNotes/ColdWar The Cuban Missile Crisis]], when he demanded that Valerian Zorin, the Soviet Ambassador to the United Nations, say whether or not they were installing nuclear missile sites in Cuba. In this case, invoking the trope for someone being asked a question ''in a foreign language'', making for a darkly humorous play of this trope despite the serious topic.
-->'''Stevenson:''' Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!"[[note]] Stevenson was justified, in that he knew Zorin knew English well enough that he could answer the question without it being translated into Russian.[[/note]]
** The Soviets were in fact placing nuclear missiles in Cuba, but Zorin refused to answer the question. Unfortunately for him, Stevenson had brought surveillance photographs of the missile sites.
* This trope is likely part of why [[LonersAreFreaks introverted people are often distrusted by extroverted people]]. As [[http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/302696/ this article]] says, an introvert usually thinks before he/she speaks, while an extrovert tends to speak as he/she thinks. Because saying their thoughts aloud right as they come is natural for an extrovert, they assume that anyone who doesn't do that is trying to hide something.