We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here
"Well, yeah! No, wait... uh, yeah. Yeah, it all was a lie. Toodles!"
One of the goodies has just been betrayed by The Mole
, whom they let get very close. They ask The Mole
, "Was it all a lie? Everything?" Two responses are common:
- A cold blooded "Yes, you fool, and you took it hook, line and sinker."
- "It was real, and in another world, we could have been happy together".
Of course, either of these responses can be a disguise for the other (either keeping one's options open just in case, or burning bridges to let their victim get over the betrayal
"I'm sorry it had to end like this" is a common additional Stock Phrase
, particularly with the second response.
A more extreme form of the second case is Becoming the Mask
. Related to Et Tu, Brute?
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- A great many number of times in Angel Sanctuary. Volume 1, when Setsuna finds out that Kira isn't human, asks him if their friendship was all a lie, and gets a resounding cold-hearted 'yes'. Subverted in that he looked like he was gonna cry after saying that.
- In Mai-Otome Tomoe "takes care" of a captured Shizuru, who pretends to love her (in what one blogger compared to acting lobotomized). It later turns out that it really was all a lie, and Tomoe loses what little sanity she had left at that point.
- In Gundam 00, as they fight each other in their mobile suits, Lyle asks Anew if her feelings for him were a lie. She answered that they were living in a false world, even though earlier, out of his earshot, she had admitted that she really loved him.
- "Solaris" in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga is probably type #1, but that doesn't stop her from taunting Havoc with a good, old-fashion "I thought we had something," before she attacks.
- The bulk of Kannazuki no Miko's ending was set off with Himeko asking this to Chikane, apparently not sure if telling Himeko she loved her was part of her plan or actually true.
- Inverted in StrikerS Sound Stage X of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, where it's The Mole doing the asking. It turned out that the dupe had a hunch about The Mole's true nature for some time already, so while she was being arrested, The Mole wondered about an earlier offer made in kindness.
When you asked me to become your partner
, was it an act to shake my confidence and change my mind? Was it fake? Teana:
No, I was serious. If this hadn't had happened, I would still... Runessa:
... Thank you.
- In Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, Nunnally asks this of her friend, Alice, when the latter was revealed to be an agent of Britannia. It wasn't.
- Let's not forget the Anime's second season, after the Black Knights betray Lelouch and Kallen is left believing Lelouch's 1) response. It was a lie, of course.
- Kallen didn't completely believe it, either, because as she walked away, she heard Lelouch say "Kallen, you have to live." It was later on, when she kisses Lelouch to see what he really feels, and his face remains expressionless, that she decides to believe it and sever ties with him. "Then, goodbye, Lelouch." "Then, it is goodbye, Kallen." (Kallen didn't hear him say that, and the viewers don't get to see Lelouch's face when he says that.)
- However, she still had enough belief in Lelouch to understand the Zero Requiem, and what Lelouch was trying to achieve with it. In the end, she realises it wasn't a lie.
- In Immortal Rain, it's not romantic, but Rain does ask Yuca this about their childhood in the orphanage before Yuca handed over their entire orphan family (including the girl Rain loved) to military science and made Rain immortal. He hasn't yet answered.
- It probably was all a lie for Freya.
- Aizen Sousuke probably takes the cake for stabbing Hinamori while hugging and praising her, as well as betraying everyone in Soul Society (who adored him) after revealing the fact that he has always been against them.
- Shuuhei Hisagi asks his former captain and mentor Tousen if everything he taught him and all his talk of justice was just a lie. Tousen responds by stabbing him.
- When Ichigo confronts Zangetsu about the truth of his power, he asks this question. Old Man Zangetsu is his Quincy power masquerading as his zanpakutou spirit which is the Inner Hollow. Old Man Zangetsu states the only thing he ever lied about was his name, and Ichigo realises that both his Inner Hollow and the Old Man are equally Zangetsu.
- Liltotto Lamperd, after Yhwach performs the Auswählen (Holy Selection) on the loyal Sternritter still in Soul Society for his own ends more or less screams this at him, asking what they really were to him. He replies with something along the lines of "We're comrades, are we not? And comrades help each other."
- This happens early on in Game X Rush, when Memori demands this of Yuuki in the platonic/friendship vein, after discovering that Yuuki is the assassin Memori's supposed to protect against, and that Yuuki actually engineered the whole 'assignment' to get at Memori. The answer is a distinct Type One, with bite, that enrages Memori.
- End of Evangelion has a reverse one... maybe. Gendo is about to shoot Ritsuko, when he says something to her which the audience doesn't hear. She calls him a Type 1, and then he shoots her.
- Katanagatari uses a type two. When Shichika asks her this, Togame confesses that even though she genuinely loved Shichika, she planned to kill him anyway once she had no need for him, since she could not let her father's death go unavenged. She's rather relieved when the choice is taken away from her.
- Never explicitly stated by the titular assassin in Golgo 13, but in one particular episode, when he's hired to kill a female assassin he was with intimately, they share a few genuinely touching moments, until he reveals that he knows more about her than he let on. She immediately knows what that means, and gets a final happy day before Togo kills her. It wasn't a lie, but it wasn't anything that would stop him from completing a job.
- In Gintama, Katsura asked this in the first episode of the Renho arc, when he first discovered Elizabeth's identity.
- In second generation of Gundam AGE, Asem asks this to his friend Zeheart when the latter reveals himself to be a spy.
- A variation occurs between Shion and Nezumi in No6. After Nezumi forces Shion to leave behind a captured Safu, Shion is so shaken that he questions if Nezumi was actually ever on his side. Nezumi feigns type 1 in order to get him to leave.
- During the Eclipse in Berserk, Casca wonders if everything they've gone through was merely a prelude to Griffith throwing them all to the wolves (and by wolves, I mean hideous demonic abominations), and if this was always the plan. This is an unusual example because she's both right and wrong; in terms of destiny, and the God Hand's manipulation of causality, she's right, and this was inevitable from the start. As far as Griffith himself is concerned, she's wrong, because he genuinely had no idea this was going to happen until the Eclipse started.
- Nicely used in Tenkuu Senki Shurato. When Hyuuga fights his Broken Pedestal Indra, he mentions the trope, and Indra's reply is basically... a Type 2, instead of the Type 1 Hyuuga expected. Paraphrased: "No. I never lied. When I said I wanted to protect Tenkuukai, I meant it. But my duty now is to destroy it."
- Gilbert Nightray in Pandora Hearts has this to say when he learns that Oswald was his former master and that HIS body was sealed up in five stones, NOT JACK. He also says this trope when it is revealed that Jack was Evil All Along and that he was the real cause of the Tragedy of Sablier.
- In Attack on Titan, Connie and Jean confront Reiner and Bertolt with this after learning of their betrayal. The friendship was real, but Bertolt claims their actions were necessary even if he knows they can never be forgiven.
- Played for laughs twice in Magi - Labyrinth of Magic. Sinbad slumps down and wonders if the bond with his True Companions was a lie when they refuse to believe that he's innocent of drunkenly molesting Kyougoku due to his poor track record with alcohol. During a voyage at sea, Alibaba eavesdrops on his friends and is shocked when they start badmouthing him. He sobs incoherently as he comes to believe that their friendship was a lie. Turns out they knew he was eavesdropping the whole time and were simply trolling him.
- Rosario + Vampire has Tsukune Aono's relationship with Hokuto Kaneshiro. This guy is another human, at the school for monsters, injected with monster blood, packing a holy lock, and acts as though he intends to make Yokai peaceful. When Hokuto sheds his mask, Tsukune asks if he was really lying the whole time. Hokuto says yes. Tsukune doesn't give a damn.
- In Kare Kano, Tsusbaki pulls this on Takefumi when she tells him that she only hangs out with him a teacher tell her to do it. That doesn't stop them from him falling for her for real.
- In the Teen Titans arc The Judas Contract, after Terra reveals herself as a traitor, the rest of the True Companions has reactions along this spectrum. Changeling tries an I Know You're In There Somewhere with her, only to get cruelly laughed off. Terra digs the knife in further by sneering that kissing him made her "want to puke." Despite this, poor Gar was still devastated by her death, and blamed himself for it to an extent.
- Top it off with the fact she was SHAGGING Deathstroke, who was actually a bit afraid of her. When Nightwing and Jericho show up, Terra believes she was betrayed and literally brings the house down on herself!
- Just to prove what True Companions they really are? They bury Terra as one of their own, memorialize her with a statue in their hall of fallen comrades, and keep as quiet as possible about her betrayal.
- At the end of Geoff Johns' Green Lantern run, after everything that has happened between the two, Hal Jordan asks Sinestro whether the two were ever truly friends. Yes, they were.
- In The Student Prince, Arthur questions his friendship with Merlin after he learns that Merlin is a magic user, suspecting that Merlin only got close to Arthur as yet another surveillance member ensuring Arthur's safety.
- Used in the play/movie The Shape Of Things.
- A variant is used in The Truman Show — when Truman finally gets to speak to the director of the reality show Truman had been inhabiting, he asks, "Was nothing real?" The response he gets is "You were. That's what made you so good to watch."
- In the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), the titular couple have recently discovered that they are both professional assassins - who work for opposite sides. So Mr. Smith asks this question of Mrs. Smith over the phone, as they're both driving towards a mutually-agreed upon location wherein they'll try to kill each other. Mrs. Smith calmly assures her husband that it was indeed 'strictly business, nothing personal' - and as soon as he hangs up, breaks down crying at herself, as she was lying the entire time.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow's modus operandi, only he somehow manages to keep betraying the same people over and over.
Elizabeth: Everything you said to me, every word, was a lie!
Jack: Pretty much.
- Jack hides an Idiot Ball on his person which he just palms off to anyone he happens to be speaking to.
- Would explain a lot, really.
- In Galaxy Quest the good aliens who have believed the entire time that the people they called upon to save them from the evil Sarris are in fact actors in an old cancelled TV Sci-Fi show, Galaxy Quest, and the 'Historical Documents' they received were infact reruns of the show. After the actors defeat Sarris the good aliens think that it was all a scheme to deceive Sarris.
- Subverted a bit in Chocolat, when Josephine learns Vianne is leaving after taking much of the tiny French town by storm:
Josephine: Did you really think that I could get better? Was it all a joke?
Vianne: It's time, that's all.
Josephine: If you leave, everything will go back to the way things always were.
Vianne: It is the way things always were.
Josephine: ...Not to me.
- Sabrina. Invoked by Sabrina, after she learns Linus only dated her so that she wouldn't distract David from marrying Elizabeth. Linus thought it was too, but then states it was "a dream".
- Deconstructed in the Noughts & Crosses series. Second book, woman gets letter from dead man she slept with. Letter essentially says the first variant up above. Letter sends woman into depression, neglect for her child and changes her personality. Next book, turns out he couldn't decide whether to put in his actual feelings or (as per above) burn bridges to make her move on. Second letter ends up being delivered, about 16 years after the first. By this time, child has found first letter and, believing every word, joins the terrorist group her father was in. The whole thing balances between heart-wrenching and a posthumous What an Idiot moment.
- Non-romantic example in 1984, after being caught by O'Brien, Winston at one point asks if there really is an underground movement against Big Brother, since the one O'Brien led him into was a trap laid by the thought police. Being Dangerously Genre Savvy, the villain gives the reply: "You will never know."
- Amy wonders this in The 39 Clues after Ian pretends to love her so he and his sister can run off with her and her brother's clue. As it turns out, it wasn't.
- In the Dresden Files novel Turn Coat, we find an unusual twist for poor Harry. He began a serious romantic relationship in the previous book. In the climax, Harry finds The Mole has mind controlled her into loving Harry.
- In a romantic example, Anne Shirley's love interest Roy Gardner asks this of her when she shoots down his proposal, saying she could never love him. Given they'd been dating two years, Roy was understandably upset.
- Nick Succurso goes berserk when he finds out Morn had been not only lied to him about who Davie's real father was, but she'd been using a zone implant to pretend she enjoyed sex with him, in Stephen R. Donaldson's The Gap Cycle.
- Peeta, at the end of The Hunger Games, when Katniss explains that she had been acting her half of the romance in order to win the Games.
- Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: The book Deja Vu has both Countess Anne de Silva and Isabelle Flanders having a short dialogue about their ex-boyfriends Little Fish and Stu Franklin. The two men were revealed to be cold-blooded murderers in the previous book. Naturally, the two women had to be wondering if they meant anything to those two men or not really.
- In Cinder, Prince Kai asks this of Cinder when it's revealed that she's a Lunar. While it's clear to the reader that it was all real, especially since she had no idea she was Lunar until very recently, and even once she found out, she couldn't have manipulated him even if she'd wanted to, Kai is ultimately left in the dark.
- In Doctrine of Labyrinths The Doctrine of Labyrinths, after Robert drops the bombshell that Felix, supposedly a noble refugee from Caloxa, is actually a former prostitute and native of Melusine, Shannon asks Felix, "How do I know that any of it was even real?" Felix being Felix, he reacts to this seemingly reasonable question by hitting him in the face.
- Occurs in the first book of the Paradox Trilogy, when Rupert gets close to Devi before playing the role of the hijacker in the security test. He admits afterwards that he was ordered to flirt with Devi beforehand in order to see if she'd be willing to shoot someone she liked, but that he also legitimately finds her attractive.
Live Action TV
- Airwolf after Caitlin discovers that she's just been dating a baddie (who proceeds to strap a bomb to her chest).
- In Prison Break, Michael used his masculine wiles to get Dr. Sara to leave the infirmary door unlocked, a step vital to... fulfilling the series title. She doesn't ask the question, but he whisper-tells her over the phone that "It was real."
- Nikita: Similar to in Prison Break, it is an inversion of the trope. In Prison Break Michael is the main character and a mole in the prison since the pilot, and we see it all from his point of view. In Nikitathe main character of Alex is set up to be the mole from the very start, and we see it all from her point of view. There is a very dramatic "Was everything just a lie?!" moment coming from a more minor character, Thom, directed at the main character of Alex mid-way through the first season - it is a very intense scene that does involve a gun and is perfect fodder for a mid-season finale with a lot of drama.
- Seska and Chakotay, in Star Trek: Voyager.
- Barclay discovers that his girlfriend is a Honey Trap working for the Ferengi. He asks if everything about their relationship was a lie.
"Only the parts where I expressed affection for you."
- A Fake Defector from a telepath-hating species tells Janeway how he questioned this policy after sending a little girl to the "relocation centre". After he reveals his true colours...
"That touching story about the little girl. Was that a fabrication, too?"
- Babylon 5: At the end of the episode "Divided Loyalties", Ivanova confronts Talia about her betrayal. She coldly declares that the original Talia is completely gone, replaced by the Psi Corps sleeper personality that has been brought to the surface.
- In NCIS, Jeanne Benoit asks Tony this after learning that their year-long relationship was part of an undercover operation assigned to him by the director of NCIS. He lies, telling her that none of it was real in order to allow both of them to move on. Which is big of him, considering her woman scorned response was to FRAME HIM FOR MURDER.
- In the LOST episode "The Economist," Sayid romances Elsa to get to her boss, whom he intends to kill. She indignantly asks, "Was it all a lie?" and then shoots Sayid, because she was just trying to find out who his boss was. Which he apparently knew all along.
- And you can imagine Kevin, Kate's husband from "I do," would have invoked this trope when she told him, "my name's not Monica," if she hadn't already drugged him half-way to unconsciousness.
- Averted many, many times on Battlestar Galactica. Although the premise of sleeper-agent Cylons hiding out in the fleet seems to make this inevitable, every major Reveal has instead had characters immediately assume it was all a lie first, then shoot, and ask questions later. In the Season 1 finale this happens with the Sharon on Caprica; Helo runs away, but Sharon convinces him she's undergone a Sex Face Turn. Early in Season 2, Chief Tyrol ignores Boomer's pleading, and only realizes that he believes her/doesn't care once she's been shot. In Season 4, a big deal is made out of Starbuck's identity, but no one seems to concern themselves with what she did before her death in Maelstrom or take the likely betrayal personally. Directly contrasted with the discovery of the Final Four in Season 4, one of which Adama takes very personally... once again, assuming immediately that it was all a lie and having to be convinced otherwise.
- Happens every now and then on Matlock.
- Pretty much any episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine featuring Garak.
Bashir: Of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren't?
Garak: My dear Doctor, they're all true.
Bashir: Even the lies?
Garak: Especially the lies.
- A variant appears in Castle, when a con-man who has fallen in love with his mark is murdered by his partner in the con; it ends up being Beckett, who is investigating the con-man's death, who has to reassure the woman that while the con-man's identity was initially a hoax, his feelings for her were genuine and that "you made him want to be a better man." Ironically, this is after Beckett has spent the entire episode cynically rejecting the idea that the con-man could have felt anything for the woman, convinced it was all just part of his con. The truth is left ambiguous
- In a The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode the trained from the cradle mook of the Big Bad holds a girl hostage throughout the episode. At the end, mortally wounded, he tells her he loves her. Weeping the girl asks Napoleon if he thinks he meant it. Honey, when a man expires at your feet and uses his last strength to declare his love to you it is safe to assume he is sincere!
- The second variety is used on Blakes Seven.
Anna: It wasn't all lies. I let you go...my love.
Avon: Oh, no, you never let me go. You never did.
- Happens in a big way on Fringe with Olivia. Twice. The first time used the trope normally with John. Then, in the third season, Olivia has been replaced by her alternate universe version, and Peter has no idea. They even weirdly had feelings for each other at the end of it. Oh, and Peter got her pregnant.
- In the fifth and six seasons of Monk, Leland Stottlemeyer meets a real estate dealer named Linda Fusco whom he begins dating, but their personal lives eventually force them to only see each other via Webcam. Linda eventually uses one of the times she was talking with him on webcam as an alibi for murdering her former partner, but Monk exposes the truth. Stottlemeyer wonders if she truly felt anything for him or intentionally started dating him to begin setting up her crime, even as he throws away the engagement ring he was planning on proposing to her with.
- Rachel ponders this in season 1 of Glee after Jesse breaks up with her. In season 2 it was revealed that, in fact, it wasn't.
- Game of Thrones: When Theon invades Winterfell and holds everyone captive, Bran asks if he always hated him and his family.
- Kind of inverted in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Nothing Personal": Ward says it wasn't all a lie without being asked, and Skye doesn't believe it. In fact, she says "I think I'm going to throw up."
- Psych: Used when Juliet finds out Shawn has been lying about being a psychic. Given that her dad is a con-man and her stepdad had a secret gambling addiction that almost got them all killed, Juliet does handle the betrayal well.
Juliet: Are you telling me this is all a lie?
Shawn: Please don't make me answer that.
- Raiden and Rose have a conversation along these lines in Metal Gear Solid 2. She insists that she really did love him; he doesn't believe her. Also, by this point, he's not even sure she really exists. Yeah, it's a bit confusing.
- Shiki and Ciel's relationship in Tsukihime goes through this during Ciel's path, specifically with Ciel trying (unsuccessfully) to hide that it's the second answer.
- The end of Hisui's route when Shiki is questioning Kohaku about how she really feels. Kohaku more or less admits that yes, she really was Akiha's friend... which means she just betrayed her best friend and has no reason to live anymore and attempts suicide (failed in the Good Ending, successfully in the True Ending). Actually, Kohaku asks herself this during her own route. Gives a little hint to her emotional state, no?
- Dahlia to Phoenix in Ace Attorney? Yes. But for Iris, who he was really dating? Nope.
- In Knights of the Old Republic, Carth has alternate lines to a female Revan after the big reveal along these lines. (Raphael Sbarge does a GREAT job of sounding genuinely choked up, too.) Per your character's inclinations, you can answer with either option. A programming bug made these lines inaccessible unless you mod the game.
- For a male PC, you can ask Bastila if she ever really felt anything for you after you discover that's she's joined the Sith. She says she didn't, but her hesitation in doing so and later events make it obvious she's lying.
- Skies of Arcadia has a platonic Type 2 with Belleza. When she reveals herself to Vyse, Fina, and Aika, she responds to the trope-naming question by explaining that the only part of the story of "Bellena"'s past that was a lie was that she was from the country Nasr. She is actually a Valuan, but the tragic past and hatred of war she shared with our heroes were true. She just acts on it by fighting for her homeland to end the wars more quickly.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, if you are romancing Morrigan, you can ask this when she reveals her true agenda. Morrigan claims that her feelings are real, and that she never planned on actually falling in love.
- In Klonoa: Door to Phantomille, the protagonist discovers at the end that his entire life has been just a colossal string of fake memories, fake relatives and fake feelings created and implanted on his mind by his best friend Huepow as part of a Batman Gambit to save the world. To make it worse, he discovers this just seconds after of saying he would be forever together with his friend, AND seconds before of being completely erased from Phantomille. Ouch.
- In Heavy Rain, Lauren Winter has one of these moments, standing over the Origami Killer's grave, once it is revealed that Scott Shelby, the man she had been helping and slowly falling for, was the man who killed her son all along.
- To an extent Ethan Mars can accuse Madison Paige of something similar to this, should they be romanced. After discovering that she is actually a journalist who has been following up on his case, he angrily rebukes her for taking advantage of his situation. She claims that her feelings for him were real, and the player can choose whether or not to forgive her.
- Bravely Default: After Airy is revealed to be the Big Bad, the party confronts her in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Agnès asks her if all the hardships they went through and the friendship they developed were all lies. Her answer is a pained cry for help, for a demon is controlling her and she can't do anything about it. Agnès is initially shocked, but then it turns into a cruel type 1, as that was a lie too, and Airy has no remorse whatsoever for what she has done.
- In The Order of the Stick, this is part of Miko's reaction to discovering that Lord Shojo, her liege and commander, had been faking his senility and manipulating her and the other paladins the whole time. ( Benevolently, in truth, but Miko draws different conclusions.)
- In YU+ME: dream , thankfully Lia get to tell Fiona that while she is not real, her feelings for Fiona are.
- In the third chapter of AsteroidQuest, when protagonist Itcher's latest fling turns out to be a plant as he suspected, he asks her "how much of it was a lie?" Her answer is a cheerful "Surprisingly little!"
- The Emperor's New Groove had a non-romantic version of this trope, which was played for laughs. Kuzco is about to leave Pacha to die, tangled up in the ropes of a rickety old bridge, and Pacha asks him if his apparent Aesop moment from earlier was all a lie. Kuzco replies with the page quote.
- Parodied in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Mandy has been hanging around Billy's family and eating dinner with them for so long that Billy's dad asks this question verbatim when informed that Mandy is not, in fact, his daughter.
- There was a softened-up version of this in Teen Titans, when it was revealed Terra was working for Slade. Beast Boy was the one asking the question. The Terra of the cartoon was lost, confused, and relatively innocent.
- Sort of asked by Jinx when Cyborg betrayed the Hive Five. His answer probably contributed to her eventual Heel-Face Turn.
- The question is asked at the very end of Justice League (but before the transition into Unlimited), after Hawkgirl has betrayed the team and, having decided to help the League in the last minute, opts for leaving the team.
: So, where will you go? Hawkgirl
: I don't know. Somewhere where the fate of the world isn't in my hands. A place where there are no more secrets. No more lies. John Stewart
: Was it all a lie? Hawkgirl
: I love you, John
. I never lied about that. (she flies away) John Stewart
: ...I love you, too...
- In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, after Perry is exposed as a secret agent, Phineas asks if he was ever a member of their family, or if he only saw them as cover. Being The Speechless, he can't exactly defend himself, but they see the truth before the end.
- In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Fred asks his father, the Mayor, this after learning that he wasn't his father. When they finally reconcile in the Sitting Room (well, Fred and the Mayor Jones's good side reconcile), Mayor Jones admits that raising Fred was the best part of his life, all but stating that no, it wasn't all a lie.