Follow TV Tropes


Bad Liar

Go To
And yet it still remains uneaten by ravenous chimpanzees. The disguise must be working!

Duck: Juno, look in my eyes. Do you know when I'm pullin' a fib?
Juno: Yes, it's when you start stumbling over your words a whole lot and you say 'fuck' a bunch.

This page, if it were about Bad Liars, would say that sometimes, but never for comedic effect, a character is unable to lie in a convincing way and comes up with really silly lies that fool no one. It would not point out that children are especially prone to it, because once they get over their innocent inability they have little practice. It would not talk about physical tics that give away liars either. And it would especially never say that this is a reason why Keeping Secrets Sucks, because keeping secrets is cool. But this page isn't about Bad Liars, so it won't. Seriously.

This page is not related to Hurricane of Excuses or Suspiciously Specific Denial. Honest. And Inflationary Dialogue is definitely not a specific form of it. I can honestly say that Exact Words is not this trope, either, as that is when a character avoids telling a lie by stating a technical truth. I didn't state anywhere in the previous example that this page was about bad liars.

Actually this is Consummate Liar. Yeah, yeah. That's the ticket.

Pinocchio does not say that this page is a lie and that this actually is for comedic effect, children are prone to it, physical tics do give away the lie, and this IS NOT Consummate Liar. What a riot that Pinocchio is, huh?

If it is obvious they are lying to the audience but it is convincing to other characters, it is Blatant Lies.

Below are not examples of Bad Liar. They are oatmeal raisin peanut-butter cookie pizzas.

These are not examples.

    open/close all folders 

    Nope, No Advertising Here 
  • Mr. Peanut easily tells that Chet (a squirrel with stuffed cheeks) is lying about what happened to the inventory in this commercial for Planters.

    Totally Not Anime & Manga 
  • AR∀GO: City of London Police's Special Crimes Investigator is a borderline case. He can lie somewhat convincingly — except that every time he does he starts tugging on his ear. Even after a childhood friend points it out to him (he hadn't noticed). Even when he's running.
  • In Aruosumente, Legna, due to lacking imagination and being stubborn, is really bad at telling lies, and usually doesn't bother, so the one time he does he is immediately called out on it.
  • In the anime version of Bokurano, Yosuke Kirie's pilot mark appears on his face, unlike with most of the other pilots, who could hide it under their clothes. He tells his mother that he hit his head, and Ushiro says she would never believe such an obvious lie.
  • Power in Chainsaw Man tends to lie about things that are not only blatantly obvious, but contradict things that she said less than a minute ago. The incident with Kobeni's car is a fine showcase of this, where she claimed to be the real owner of Kobeni's car moments after Kobeni explained she bought it, then got in while claiming to have a driver's license, then ran someone over a matter of seconds later, then claimed it was obviously Kobeni's fault because it was her car, then got out of the car while announcing that Kobeni had been the driver, then, upon learning that the person she'd run over was a spy, claimed she'd known it from the beginning and therefore deserved praise—all in the same scene. One volume extra outright describes her as a pathological liar; the only thing moving her out of Compulsive Liar is that there's usually something she gets out of lying, even if it's utterly minuscule.
  • Code Geass's Lelouch might be a Consummate Liar, but he's really crappy at it, especially when put on the spot. Unfortunately, this is never pursued for various reasons and sometimes people buy his terrible lies most prominently during the Betrayal which has Lelouch play up being heartless just to save Kallen's life as he sees no way out despite how obvious they are.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Protagonist Tanjiro is an honest person so he prefers not to lie in the first place, but when he needs to do so, his facial expressions make it seem like dishonesty is physically painful to him, making for an obvious tell. He can't even perform a sneak attack on an enemy, even if that enemy is a demon, and will instead announce his presence and challenge them to a fair fight.
  • Gohan of Dragon Ball Z. He's totally not Saiyaman! Nor is he the Golden-haired Warrior. And he's definitely not the son of Goku!
  • Celty from Durarara!! manages to be this without being able to speak. Celty's lies are usually online, where she poses as a guy. She's so bad at this that nobody even knew that she was attempting to put on this act.
  • Erina Nakiri in Food Wars! refuses to acknowledge that she found Soma's dish delicious during his entry exam for Tootsuki, even though her physical reaction and thoughts made it clear she was enjoying it. Much later during a training camp, they accidentally bump into each other while she's happily humming a song, and when he mentions it she vehemently tires to deny it, considering it embarrassing.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Sōsuke is a lousy liar. Every time he tries to lie to the other students at school about how he's A PERFECTLY NORMAL BOY WHO LOVES DOING NORMAL, BORING SCHOOL STUDENT THINGS AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ARMY, they're hardly ever shown to be convinced. And he fails at lying when it goes the other way and tries to convince them that he's actually a big, bad inhuman terrorist that's unreasonable and will kill anyone. Interestingly enough, however, when he's lying to a corrupt policeman who's actually trained in interrogating people, he actually manages to convince him about his phony background story (wanting to fight in the Yami Battle for money and power, and also to buy back a prostitute in Tokyo).
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team La Vérité Episode 11. Ryuuka is revealed as one when she furiously blushes while trying to claim that she just came along to make a mess.
  • Nagi of Hayate the Combat Butler has been known to fall into this. Sending Hayate out with Maria on a false date to throw off a stalker. The excuse she gives for not taking Hayate out herself (despite having fallen in love with him at the start of the story) is that they would be mistaken for just a sibling pair. Even normally clueless Hayate comments on how transparent the excuse is.
  • I Think Our Son Is Gay: Hiroki's in the Closet but can't hide his sexuality without getting a Luminescent Blush and turning into a stuttering mess. Moreover, he'll quite happily talk about attractive qualities in men, then try to backpedal with an "...Or So I Heard" or the like.
  • Haruka in Kotoura-san has a very difficult time hiding her Telepathy since speech and thought are essentially the same to her. On the other hand, as an Ingenue, the lies she made to maintain her jerkass facade is usually very blatant — she's not that kind of a person to begin with.
  • Maken-ki!: If Haruko's gonna try to convince people that she isn't in love with Takeru, it'd help if she stopped calling him, "Take-chan". Or maybe not try to hold his hand where they can see her. OR, if she didn't keep outting herself, like:
    (during girl talk about the guys they like)
    Minerva: (referring to Inaho and Haruko) That's... well... I know it's him.
    Haruko: (blushing in embarrassment) N-NO! IT's NOT LIKE WITH TAKE-CHAN!
    Himegami: (deadpan) We never said "who" it was.
    (Haruko goes blank, realizing she's done it to herself again)
  • My Monster Secret protagonist Asahi Kuromine has this as his defining trait at the start of the series. He actually can't lie because he has absolutely no poker face and tends to wear his emotions on his sleeve. So naturally, within the first two chapters he learns that the classmate he has a crush on is a vampire, and has to do everything he can to protect that secret until he works up the courage to confess to her.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Negi Springfield is a terrible liar. His Suspiciously Specific Denial in the Kyoto arc didn't fool anybody, and Chisame commented on it in the School Festival arc. Chachamaru is also incredibly bad at lying when trying to evade answering a question.
  • One Piece:
    • Usopp. Yeah sure, you command 80 million men, "Captain". Of course, he tends to ping-pong between this and Consummate Liar, depending on the Rule of Funny and Rule of Cool.
    • Also Luffy, who has absolutely zero ability for deception...pre-Time Skip, anyway. Afterwards, he has a modicum of ability, just enough to barely deceive those who are not completely oblivious or naïve... under certain circumstances... after his crew helps him come up with the lie...
      • In the recent Tournament Arc, Luffy was supposed to conceal his identity while fighting. He wasn't simply bad at lying, but forgot he was supposed to do it every couple of minutes. Cue his new battle cry: "This is a normal punch!" It's telling that, in a universe where Paper Thin Disguises work on everyone but the person's closest friends (and sometimes even then), Luffy's denial fooled absolutely no one.
      • And let us not forget why Sanji wanted to eat the devil fruit that grants invisibility.
      Sanji: If I ever got the ability I wanted to use it to GIRL'S BATH. Ah no, I meant I asked myself GIRL'S BATH. No, I wanted to use it to benefit the humanity GIRL'S BATH.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Yotsuba, the fourth of the quintuplets. During Chapter 21, Fuutarou tells her to come up with some lies to get the others to stay home and study, and her idea is to say that he's suffering some kind of deathly illness (he just got sick from eating too much of Miku's food). It also serves as foreshadowing, since at the end of the chapter she tells him that she likes him, and then tries to pass it off as a joke to prove that she can lie, but Chapter 90 reveals she was actually being sincere about it.
  • Rave Master: Ruby can't lie to save his life, because he has a bad habit of blurting out whatever he's thinking.
  • In Episode 10 of Tenchi in Tokyo, Sakuya calls Tenchi a lousy liar after he went on a date with Ryoko instead of her. Tenchi tries to explain to her, but Sakuya says that she can tell he was lying when his nose starts twitching.
  • In Tomodachi Game, it's fairly obvious whenever Shibe is lying, as he tends to stutter/look away/generally not be composed enough to seem honest. Unfortunately for him, he's stuck in a Deadly Game somewhat dependent on his (nonexistent) acting ability. That said, it's why Yuuichi ultimately didn't suspect him too much of being the traitor in the group, as he just doesn't have the skills to pull it off — along with the fact that Shibe Cannot Keep a Secret.
  • Tonari no Kashiwagi-san, Yuuto mentions that Kotone has difficulties with lying, considering how kind and modest she is.
  • While Yamai from Wasteful Days of High School Girls has a very active imagination, she's not a very convincing person altogether, which brings her a lot of trouble. She's so bad at it that even Majime can pick up on her lying, and Majime is Literal-Minded as all hell.
  • Elsie in The World God Only Knows is the Trope Namer for the Wild Card Excuse, and makes so many Suspiciously Specific Denials that she deserves to be called one.
  • Early in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga, Mokuba is like this. He often challenged Yugi to games with dangerous stakes that he rigged in his favor. But he was a bad liar and a bad bluffer, making it easy for Yugi to tell the games were rigged and exactly how Mokuba was rigging them. For instance, right before the "Death T" arc, Mokuba plays "Russian Roulette Buffet" with Yugi and Jonouchi, a game consisting of a spinning table, and six plates of food, two of which have poison; to which only Mokuba has the antidote. It's rigged, of course (Jonouchi is poisoned on the first spin), as Mokuba is controlling where the spin lands with a syrup bottle — and empty syrup bottle — next to him. This — along with his lame excuse as to why it's empty and the fact that Mokuba doesn't seem worried at all — tips Yugi off quickly to how he's doing it, and he wins by tying his Puzzle to the table for the final spin, breaking the bottle with it; having to depend solely on luck, Mokuba ends up with the second poisoned dish and loses.

    Editorial Section, NOT Comic Books 
  • Power Rangers: Soul of the Dragon: When Tommy goes to S.P.D. headquarters to investigate J.J.'s disappearance, he questions Sky Tate about J.J. quitting and quickly realizes that Sky is hiding something, though not specifically that J.J.'s quitting was a ruse so he could go deep undercover.
  • In PS238 Tyler and Alec are back in time and suddenly required to go along with Ms. Imperia's Xanatos Gambit (on herself).
    Tyler: Oh! Right! Um, stand back as I use my smoke bo—er, anti-witch...fog maker!
    Alec: And I'll use this magic wand that looks like a pencil, but totally isn't!
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake started out as an atrocious liar, looking to the side, gnawing his lip and visibly sweating when having to come up with a lie on the spot. He was always good at keeping secrets and lies of omission and had long since perfected coming up with little white lies to smooth things over with his dad before he became Robin but it took Alfred at least a year after Tim took up the mantle to get Tim to drop his obvious tells with other authority figures.
  • Superman:
    • In story The Great Phantom Peril, Clark Kent returns home and finds a stranger poking around his apartment. When confronted, the man identifies himself as Jackson Porter, his new next-door neighbour, and claims he only wanted to borrow a hammer and slipped in when he found the door open. However, Clark knows he locked his door.
    • In Escape from the Phantom Zone, as trying to convince Supergirl that she is Kryptonian, Psi reveals her real name Gayle Marsh. Batgirl quickly points out that is not a Kryptonian name when stating her story does not hold up.

    Most Definitely Not Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes is full of bad liars:
    • Calvin himself. His lies tend to be outrageous even when you consider that he's a little kid. Trying to blame Hobbes every time he does something bad is a common one, but there are lots of others. Really, the only thing sillier than his lies is that he actually expects anyone to believe them. (As his mother said once when he tried to tell her that aliens had landed outside and were demanding to speak to her as a ploy to get her to leave the cookie jar unguarded, "just how dumb do you think I am?")
      • Part of Calvin's problems, when it comes to pinning his own crimes on Hobbes, is that from everyone else's perspective, Hobbes is an inanimate stuffed toy. Since Calvin seems to be genuinely unaware that others see his friend this way, the futility of shifting the blame completely goes over his head.
    • Not just Calvin. Susie is a Bad Liar too. When Calvin decides to cheat on a math test by asking Susie for answers, and 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."
    • His dad is pretty bad too, although he can usually fool Calvin. One example:
      Calvin: Dad, were there dinosaurs when you were a kid?
      Dad: Oh sure! Your grandfather and I used to put on our leopard skins and hunt brontosaurus for all the clan rituals.
      Mom (after Calvin has left): Listen, buster, I think Calvin's grades are bad enough, don't you?
    • The nighttime monsters that live under his bed are lousy liars too. Every time he shouts out something like "Any monsters under there?" he's sure to get several replies of "Nope!" or the like. Even Calvin is smart enough not to fall for that.
  • Dave from Knights of the Dinner Table has no poker face whatsoever. This actually becomes a plot point when Bob and Dave want to conceal their in-game plans from Brian and Sara — Dave actually has to wear a paper bag on his head so they can't glean anything from his expression.

    Most Certainly Not Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: In "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?", Controller Tom heads towards the school's emergency exit after getting the cube, with the excuse that he has an English test. Jake points out that he's heading away from the English classrooms. Later, when Jake accidentally activates the cube and gives Tom the morphing power, he tries to pretend that he's an Andalite in morph, but Tom points out that you can only activate the Escafil device while in your Shapeshifter Default Form.
  • Cain: Katsuki repeatedly tries to ruin Izuku's apprenticeship with All Might by spreading Malicious Slander. However, he's so out of touch with reality that he's not very good at selling his stories. It doesn't help that the staff at Aldera Middle School humor his claims, leaving him convinced that he's much better at deception than he actually is.
  • Socrates in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
  • Celestia in Danganronpa Parody, which is hilarious considering in the original, her poker face is legendary to the point of earning her the title Queen of the Liars. Here, she only gets by because everyone else was holding the Idiot Ball that chapter, and Kyouko was elsewhere.
  • Despair's Last Resort has Kaito and Takara, though the latter is self-proclaimed. It's very obvious that Kaito can't lie to save his life, which turns out to be exactly what happens. His lies in the first trial are seen through easily, leading him to be convicted as Chiyo's murderer.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: When Vegeta first sees the Dragon Radar, Gohan awkwardly agrees with his assumption about what it is.
    Vegeta: Stupid looking watch you got there.
    Gohan: Yes, it tells time...and nothing else.
    Vegeta: That's what a watch does. Dumbass.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Archmage Dumat, also a Dirty Old Man, as noted in Skrimishing:
    "So, how much of your time with the crystal ball did you spend trying to catch her sating said appetites?" the spymaster teased.
    "None," Dumat sputtered.
    Albrecht knew his old comrade to be a very honest man, who had great trouble squeezing a lie through his throat. The resulting higher pitch sounded much like what had just come from the man's lips. "Well, by all accounts, she is a pretty young woman," the king waggled his eyebrows knowingly at the wizard.
    Dumat cleared his throat. "I don't like what you are implying," he squeaked.
  • In Eleutherophobia: THX 1138, Collette introduces herself as an Animorph, then tells Tom that she's in a wheelchair because of an "old war wound". Since Shapeshifting Heals Wounds in this setting, Tom immediately realises that this doesn't add up. (She was born with spina bifida; morphing can't heal congenital injuries.)
  • In the Peanuts story Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime, nobody believes Lucy when she says she will let Charlie kick the ball at last. And for good reason.
    Lucy: That isn't important. The thing is, I'll hold it while you run up and kick it.
    Charlie: NO.
    Patty: I agree, Lucy. You'll just pull it away and poor Chuck will break his neck when he tries to kick it.
    Lucy: How can you even think such a thing? This is the last time we may have to ever do this. The very last time. Don't you think I'd give him a real chance to kick it, after all these years? Don't you?
    Patty: No, I don't.
  • A Flower's Touch: Sephiroth describes Aerith as speaking with such honesty that it's easy to tell when she's lying, telling a partial truth or hiding something.
  • I Have This Friend is about Twilight going to Celestia, asking for romantic advice on behalf of a "friend" about a pony who sounds suspiciously similar to Princess Celestia. Ultimately subverted, as Twilight was telling the truth. But Celestia is left with the impression that Twilight just sort of confessed to her, and is now planning some sort of grand romantic gesture.
  • In Kara of Rokyn, Jara is an awful liar. She denies that she tried to coerce Kara into sleeping with her, but her inability to stick to her own story means no one believes her.
    Kara told Hira about the incident the next day. Hira talked to Nar-Es, who talked to Vara, who talked to Jasmine. Jasmine pooh-poohed Kara's version of the facts, asserting first that there had been no incident, then saying Kara had been the one to ask her over and make the advances. Nobody believed her.
  • Elspeth of Luminosity is an interesting example: a part of her power is that when she tells the truth, anyone she's talking to knows absolutely that that is the truth. Because she lacks the not-quite-Required Secondary Powers, this makes it glaringly obvious when she's lying because the heavens don't part to sing that this is true.
  • In The Man with No Name, the (10th) Doctor laments his inability to lie convincingly in this regeneration several times.
  • Edward in My Master Ed is a remarkably bad liar within his own head; for someone who insists to himself that he doesn't care whether or not Hohenheim chooses be friends with him, he obsesses over the issue for an remarkably long time.
  • Naru-Hina Chronicles:
    • Sakura notices that Naruto is hiding his right arm behind his back and asks what is he hiding. Naruto claims he's not hiding anything and thought he'd just put his hand back there. Soon enough, he admits that he's hiding a gift intended for Hinata.
    • Naruto is waiting for Hinata outside some restaurant. He sees Sakura and Sasuke coming to the same restaurant to have a date, with Naruto considering it to be a coincidence. However, after seeing Mina and Ino coming to the same restaurant with Kiba and Choji respectively, he's getting suspicious and asks them what's going on. Both Sakura and Ino claim this isn't some kind of conspiracy like he thinks this is, but the fact they're both blushing and stuttering while talking to him says otherwise.
    • Hiashi notices Hanabi trying to leave their home even though she's grounded. She claims, while hesitating, that she's just going to the kitchen, but he doesn't buy it. Especially given that she's dressed and cleaned up like she's going on a date.
    • Naru-Hina Chronicles Mini-sodes: During a family dinner at the Hyuga residence, Naruto and Hiashi are having a sword fight. However, they're interrupted by the arrival of Hinata and Hanabi:
      Hiashi: ...
      Naruto: Umm... We're... It's Not What It Looks Like
      Hiashi: Yes... Umm... Uzumaki and I were... just comparing... blades.
      Naruto: [making a nervous smile] W-We weren't fighting.
      Hinata: *Sigh* At least they lie together...
  • Lying is definitely not Brittany's forte in New Reality, as Kratos eventually said.
    Brittany: Fan-freakin'-tastic. So you know that I you how I know? Do you know that I know that you know-
    Kratos: Enough. If you're trying to conceal your nervousness, you're doing a terrible job of it.
    Brittany: ...Sorry. But really...what tipped you off?
    Kratos: Hmph. Were I to list everything, this would take all night.
  • In Oh God, Not Again!, Ginny is specifically portrayed as being this. When Ron wonders where Ginny got the extra money she was spending on school supplies (which she got from her cut of a completely inaccurate book by Lockhart), she freaks out and demands to know if he's implying she stole it. Harry thinks to himself that the Weasleys were raised to be honest.
  • A Pikachu in Love: Misty when she's trying to cover for Pikachu's midnight meetings with Pichi. Ash and Brock were quickly able to tell she wasn't telling the truth, but quickly dropped the subject when Misty decided to switch to being assertive instead when she realized it wasn't working.
  • A Rabbit Among Wolves: Lisa Lavender, after waking up in the lair of the White Fang organization she slandered, desperately and pathetically pretends to be a twin named "Laura". Everyone sees right through it. Justified, in that she had to come up with it on the spot and is panicking in a life-threatening situation.
  • Second Wind: Luffy has always been one, both in this story and in canon, and it's spelled out by Ace in Chapter 24 as the only reason he believes that he and Zoro are from the future:
    Ace: Oh hell no. You did not just talk about a future event like it already happened. Luffy, I know you. You suck at lying. You have no talent for it. You can hide the truth, you can refuse to talk, hell, you can even keep quiet as a determined psychopath punches you in the face with spiked gauntlets, but you can't lie.
  • In Spring Is Dumb, Rainbow Dash can't even lie to herself very well, as she does various things for herself, and totally not because she needs to apologize to Rarity.
  • Sunsplit Saga: In Sunsplit, Sunburst is one, multiple times:
    • At the beginning of the story:
      • His "WHAT NO ABSOLUTELY NOT!" response to Twilight's question of "Hey, you used to be Celestia's student, right? Did you know Sunset Shimmer?"
      • Combined with Mirthless Laughter, when he tries to disguise his reason to understand why Twilight asked a question, as mere curiosity:
      "Where did you even hear that name!?" Sunburst demanded, pointing a hoof at her... before suddenly realizing she was a princess and backing away. "I mean, not that I need to know, your highness, I just wondered out of purely academic, you know, curiosity, haha, us scholars are certainly a curious bunch you know—"
    • When refusing contact with Sunset Shimmer, obviously lying about not knowing her:
      one of Celestia's other students who I have definitely never met
    • Trying to stop Twilight from contacting Sunset, through deliberate fire spells, disguised as accidental spellcasting:
      She gasped as the quill in her magical grip burst into flames.
      "...choo!" Sunburst covered his nose. "Sorry. Sneezed. Must have accidentally cast a fire spell. Whoops! Good thing I didn't hit the journal."
      Twilight: luckily enough, I always carry backup quills!"
      Sunburst's eyes widened as she pulled an array of colorful feathers from her saddlebags. "Oh! I guess that is—" His horn lit up suddenly, beams of light lancing out at the array. "Choo! Choo! Sorry, I—choo! Must have got—choo! A cold from—choo! The blizzard! Choo! Choo! Choo!"

      He gasped, letting out a few pants of breath as the last of the feathers disintegrated. "Oh dear. All of your quills, gone? I'm so sorry, princess. I'll personally pay for replacements—"
  • Turnabout Storm:
    • Twilight and Rainbow are so bad at lying that Phoenix can easily tell when they are hiding something from him without the help of his lie detecting Magatama.
    • Gilda lies constantly, and never stops to consider if she's contradicting previously established facts. Eventually, even the prosecutor gets fed up with it.
  • Rainbow Dash is bad at lying even to herself in Twilight's List, especially about being nervous. She lies to herself in her inner monologue, while she shows outwards signs of the emotion.
  • The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1: When his son catches him watching a porno movie, Bizarro bashes the TV-set to pieces and claims he doesn't know what porno movie is his son talking about. Upon Junior calmly pointing out he's just destroyed the set playing it, Bizarro demands to know whether his son will believe his own eyes rather than his father.
  • Us and Them: Aeris is never very good at telling them, either as a child or when she gets older. Most of the time people just let it go, but a few times it makes people zero in on what she's trying to hide.

    No Chance This Could Be Animated Films 
  • In the teaser trailer for Arthur Christmas, an elf found in the North Pole by a wildlife documentary filmmaker goes into detail about every single thing that happens in the trailer while saying that they're not, such as how he's "not" an elf, the man in the sweater who pops up and calls Santa his dad is "not" the son of Santa Claus, and that the North Pole is "not" a place where Santa makes test flights so that he can deliver toys to millions of children around the world while a giant red flying saucer that serves as Santa's sleigh flies right over them, Also saying that there is no movie.
  • Oh from Home (2015) is an unconvincing liar, not helped by the fact that he tends to turn green when he lies.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie: When she tries to cheer Mario up after he only almost finished the training course despite practicing the entire night, Peach says that she didn't get it right the first time either. Mario, having already seen her in action, doesn't buy it for a second.
  • Trolls: World Tour: Queen Barb acts like she's offended that Poppy states she wants to become best friends with her. Despite staying gruff, her half-hearted rant about not needing one makes it clear she is lying. After everything is solved in the end and Poppy asks if she wants to be friends, Barb excitedly says yes and immediately wants to form a Girl Group with Carol.
  • In Turning Red, Mei is a terrible liar. The only one she can successfully deceive is her mother, and that's only because Ming can't imagine her Mei-Mei lying at all.

    Definitely Not Live-Action Films 
  • Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Ron Burgundy tries to lie about his Bungled Suicide...except he only told the truth in a tone that makes it sound like he is lying.
  • A classic example occurs at the end of Animal House. As the homecoming parade descends into chaos, Kevin Bacon's character, with a forced grin, shouts "Remain calm! All is well!" This later turns into desperate screaming, before, eventually, he is literally flattened by the advancing crowd.
  • Bo Callahan from Draft Day a few times. The Redskins once attached a hundred dollar bill on the back of the playbook in order to test if quarterbacks actually read the playbook. All of them found the money or admitted they didn't read the playbook. Bo stayed with his story that there was no money.
  • Caleb from Ex Machina appears uncomfortable and unfamiliar with lying, and doesn't seem to fool Nathan when he does. On the other hand, he was at least good enough not to give away his ace in the hole until it was too late for Nathan to stop it.
  • Gifted: Mary's biological father is brought into the custody battle when Evelyn support her having custody. He claims that he could never find Mary, but Frank's lawyer provides a laptop and runs a quick search for Mary's name to demonstrate that it would have been easy for the man to find his daughter if he'd actually been interested in doing so.
  • Guest House Paradiso: Eddie is welcoming a new guest into the hotel when there is a huge explosion from the kitchen. When the guest asks about this he answers, "Mice... Basque separatist mice..."
  • In A Guide For The Married Man, Robert Morse is instructing Walter Matthau how to successfully cheat on his wife. A series of vignettes are used to illustrate different points. One directive concerns what you do if you are caught: Deny, deny deny!. The vignette is a man (Joey Bishop) who is caught in his own bedroom by his wife (Ann Morgan Guilbert). She keeps asking him what he's doing?, what's going on?, who's that woman? He keeps answering with denials: Nothing. I don't know what you mean. What woman? All the while, the woman is getting dressed, and eventually leaves, he makes the bed and straightens out the bedroom, and finally goes to his favorite chair, lights his pipe and picks up the newspaper. When he's all done, there's no indication that anything out of the ordinary ever happened. She eventually is so disconcerted that she simply asks him what he wants for dinner.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen, according to Peeta. "Never gamble at cards. You'll lose your last coin." Subverted later on, when she gradually becomes more effective at fooling people — starting with Peeta himself in the form of their initial romance.
  • A recurring theme in Independence Day. President Whitmore is repeatedly told by his wife that he's a bad liar when he tries to tell untruths. It's implied that his honesty is one reason he was elected in the first place. His staff apparently gets around this by not telling him things.
  • Jimmy Durante in a scene in Jumbo attempts to sneak his beloved elephant Jumbo off the circus grounds, only to be confronted by a sheriff, who demands: "Where you going with that elephant?" Caught red-handed, Durante blithely replies "What elephant?"
    • There's another Jimmy Durante movie in which he's guarding the dressing room of the beautiful young singer played by Kathryn Grayson from a pushy fan. "She's got twelve kids and I'm the youngest!"
  • Knives Out: Protagonist Marta is such a good person that telling even the smallest lie makes her vomit uncontrollably. Seeing as how it's a murder mystery, this becomes important.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man:
      • Tony's attempt to cover what he's doing on a phone call with Rhodey are pretty bad. He claims he's out of breath from jogging, even though he had already tried to cover the noise of his armor in flight by saying he was driving.
      • Played for Drama when Pepper sneaks into Obadiah's office. She's incredibly unconvincing because she knows she's stuck in a room with a man she knows has ordered a hit on Tony and is swiping his stuff, and consequently is in mortal terror. The minute she leaves, it becomes clear Obadiah didn't believe her (and consequently, is going to try and kill her, too.)
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Steve Rogers, beacon of morality that he is, is a truly terrible liar. Not a single S.H.I.E.L.D. employee is fooled for a second by his repeated claims not to know what's going on, and Black Widow even insults him to his face for it (in an appreciative way). He's no better at other kinds of deception, either. His idea of hiding a USB with the fate of the free world resting on it is to put it behind two packs of gum in a vending machine that's being restocked.
    • Heartbreakingly subverted in Captain America: Civil War. While Steve is still a bad liar, he's capable of deliberately hiding information. Despite knowing for two years HYDRA was responsible for the deaths of Tony Stark's parents, he never told him. Tony is as enraged by this deception as he is by the act itself.
    • Thor: The Dark World: It's lampshaded by Frigga to Odin when she observes, "You've never been a very good liar." It explains why it's easy for her to manipulate him — Odin has no idea that his wife has totally disregarded his royal authority and has been visiting Loki's cell for the past year.
    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker fits this. He's laughably bad at lying to Ned about being Spider-Man, his only response to being caught being "No, I'm not [Spider-Man]."
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Played for Laughs.
      • Drax, who comes from a species with no sense of metaphor and is implied to be an oddball even by those standards. When the Sovereign come looking to kill the Guardians for Rocket stealing from them, Drax blabs, then immediately retracts it, saying hurriedly in a monotone he has no idea why their after the Guardians.
      • At one point, Nebula gives a blatantly transparent lie stating that she won't attack Gamora the moment she's let go, leading to Quill pointing out that she's a terrible liar. This is also Foreshadowing as both sisters never properly learned to lie, leading to the next entry.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: Thanos claims that Gamora is a terrible liar because he never taught her how to lie. That's why he can seemingly see through Gamora's claiming to not know where the Soul Stone is located. So he decides to get her to give him the info by torturing Nebula until she yields.
  • In The Mask, a piece of the title character's zoot suit is blown off and reverted to alter ego Stanley Ipkiss' Embarrassing Pyjamas. Lt. Kellaway finds the piece, and recognizing the pajamas, goes after Stanley:
    Kellaway: He robs the bank you work in, then I find this in the Coco Bongo. There can't be two idiots with these pajamas. May I see those pajamas?
    Stanley: Those pajamas? Those pajamas... [long pause] were stolen.
    Kellaway: Somebody stole your pajamas?
    Stanley: What is this city coming to, when a man's pajama drawer is no longer safe!
  • In No Name on the Bullet, Stricker and Pierce aren't too convincing when they deny thinking that Gant is there to kill them.
  • In Ophelia, the titular protagonist repeatedly does a poor job of lying to or misleading other people, especially when directly confronted. She becomes flustered and awkward, and either tells easily-disproven Blatant Lies (with her body language and tone of voice giving her away) or quickly throws in the towel. It's indicated to be a side-effect of her tendency to speak her mind and not hide herself; Hamlet says he admires Ophelia's honesty considering he's surrounded by a whole court of deceivers, although it causes huge problems when Claudius catches her in lies. She is able to convince almost everyone she's gone insane, including a lot of improvisation, although interestingly, besides acting in a deranged manner, everything she says is the truth in one way or another.
  • From The Princess Bride:
    Miracle Max: You got any money?
    Inigo Montoya: Sixty-five.
    Miracle Max: I've never worked for so little. Except once, and that was a very noble cause.
    Inigo Montoya: This is noble, sir. His wife is... crippled. His children are on the brink of starvation.
    Miracle Max: Are you a rotten liar.
    Inigo Montoya: I need him to help avenge my father, murdered these twenty years.
    Miracle Max: Your first story was better.
    • The last two lines are either an inversion, in that Miracle Max thinks he's lying when he's not, or it's simply that Miracle Max is less pleased by the real story than he was by the lie.
    • Zig-Zagging Trope with Humperdinck. Buttercup believes his lie to let Westley go, but the savvier Westley certainly does not; after she leaves and Count Rugan makes a rather unconvincing attempt to maintain it, Westley tells him, "We are men of action. Lies do not become us." Later, Humperdinck does pretty good at lying about caring for Buttercap and being sympathetic to her feelings for Westley, and seems convincingly saddened that she would consider marrying him to be so awful that she'd rather commit suicide. But later when she challenges his claim that he sent out his 4 fastest ships to find Westley, he's not good at covering on the spot and makes it pretty obvious he never sent the ships.
  • In Short Cuts, extramarital lovers Gene Shepard and Betty Weathers are well-matched in being spectacularly terrible liars.
    • Gene has had so many affairs that his wife, Sherri, has long since stopped caring, and she tells her sister Marian that she puts up with it because she enjoys hearing the ridiculous lies he spins. For example, to cover up his most recent tryst with Betty, Gene claims to have been dealing with a case involving kids on crack, and when Sherri finds the phone number of party clown Claire Kane (whom Gene pulled over ostensibly for driving too slowly but really to hit on her) in Gene's pocket, Gene claims that Claire is a dangerous criminal nicknamed "the Clown".
    • Betty, meanwhile, has two boyfriends going at once, Gene and Wally. She is planning a weekend away with Wally, but tells Gene she is going to Lake Tahoe to see her sister. Gene says her sister lives in Michigan, and she tries to claim this is her other sister — her "half-stepsister" Bunny. She also flips from saying the arrangement was made a week earlier to a year earlier, and avoids answering questions about what Bunny does for a living or whether she is married. Gene then asks Betty's son Chad about seeing his Aunt Bunny, and Chad clearly has no idea what he is talking about; Betty tries to claim that Chad is too young to remember Bunny.
  • The young hero of The Sorcerer's Apprentice has this problem, which is a major plot element. The titular sorcerer actually says this is a good thing, as good wizards are supposed to be truthful. This doesn't stop him from lying, although he's not that great at it either (sake is not Chinese).
  • In Star Trek: First Contact, Data is... simply... imitating the behavior of humans when he gets his new arm of flesh slashed during an escape attempt from the Borg Queen's clutches. Queenie then tells him that he has now learned how to lie. Data is fortunately a very quick learner and outgrows being a bad liar to pull off the ultimate fakeout on the Queen later in the movie — it's possible he was faking being a bad liar the whole time so the Queen would be fooled by his lie later on.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Finn's Resistance fighter act is so transparent that it doesn't fool Han for a minute. Before that, Poe calls bullshit on his motivation for helping him escape even more quickly. The only person fooled is Rey, and only because she's nearly as naïve as he is.
    • Elsewhere in the Star Wars franchise, Han Solo is... not the brilliant liar he seems to think he is. Case in point, his attempt to imitate an Imperial officer on the Death Star, despite that being a job he was trained to do, and which ended with him shooting the console to get out of the conversation.
      Han: Had a slight weapon malfunction but everything's perfectly all right now, we're fine, we're all fine now, thank you. How are you? [incredibly pained "man, what the hell did I just say?" expression]
    • Rogue One has K-2SO, whose status as a reprogrammed Imperial droid means that he'd be a very effective infiltrator, if he was actually able to keep up the facade for more than, ooh, eight seconds of conversation.
      Stormtrooper: Where are you taking these prisoners?
      K-2SO: These are prisoners.
      Stormtrooper: [wearily] Yes. Where are you taking them?
      K-2SO: I am...taking them, to imprison— prison.
      • And then there's Galen Erso, whose lies (that his wife died, that he enjoys farming) don't hold up when Director Krennic shows up to "recruit" him for the Death Star project. And then subverted when he learns how to lie well enough that he successfully engineers a weakness in the station (that thermal exhaust port that Luke hits).
  • We Are the Night: Lena lies to people twice, and both times they see through it instantly, as a result of them being forced or very implausible.

    This Really isn't the Literature section. 
  • Adrian Mole is a bad liar, especially to his very strict grandmother.
    Grandma found Maxwell's dummy (pacifier) in my father's bed. I lied and said the dog must have brought it in off the street. It was a nasty moment. I am not a good liar, and my Grandma has eyes like Superman's: they seem to bore right through you.
  • Animorphs:
    • When called upon to make up a phone number, Cassie comes up with "1234-5678". Marco, who has no problem making up anything ever, chastises her ASAP.
      Marco: Eight? You gave him eight numbers? Remind me never to be a spy with you.
    • He also berates her for using "Cindy Crawford" as a fake name. Though honestly, he and Rachel just lucked out that the interrogator didn't recognize "Fox Mulder" and "Dana Scully".
    • Ax at one point is convinced to take the blame for giving humans the morphing technology to spare his brother the shame, but fails to think up a decent lie about it. When an Andalite captain later ask how he met the Animorphs he replies with the truth: They rescued him from his ship at the bottom of the ocean...using technology he supposedly gave them. The captain catches on instantly.
    • Most Yeerks are Consummate Liars, what with being able to read their hosts' minds, but that doesn't hold for Temrash-One-One-Four, Tom's original Yeerk who later infested Jake. After finding out that Puppeteer Parasites are a thing, it only took Marco one conversation to realize that Tom was one of them. Once in Jake's body, Temrash has such instinctual Fantastic Racism toward Ax that the others catch on in about five minutes of him waking up.
  • In the Aubrey-Maturin series, Stephen Maturin ponders Sophie Williams' talent for prevarication.
    Post Captain: She lies with as much skill as Preserved Killick — a desperate stare, and her face the most perfect damask rose.
  • In the Aunt Dimity series:
    • Lori is most successful at avoiding issues by not mentioning them at all than by telling a lie. In Aunt Dimity: Detective, she jokingly asks Nicholas Fox to teach her to play poker, since he so much better at concealing his feelings than she is.
    • In Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince, curator Mile Craven acts suspiciously when Lori and Bree ask after his former employee Amanda Pickering; his gaze drops and his chatty demeanor abruptly disappears. His discomfiture is related to his inability to keep a secret.
  • In Rudyard Kipling's Danny Deever — some interesting weather:
    "What makes the rear-rank breathe so 'ard?" said Files-on-Parade.
    "It's bitter cold, it's bitter cold", the Colour-Sergeant said.
    "What makes that front-rank man fall down?" said Files-on-Parade.
    "A touch o' sun, a touch o' sun", the Colour-Sergeant said.
  • Discworld has a tribe of people who are all Bad Liars. People with the gift for lying are considered very valuable in this tribe; they are elected at various government and diplomacy positions and wear the glorious title of Liars.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Harry Dresden admits to being a bad liar (especially in the earlier books), mostly by virtue of just not being able to make his lies sound natural. As the series progresses, he gets better at being deceptive, although he still isn't great a straight up lying to peoples faces. Mostly he just gets better at selectively giving out information and talking around the truth rather than lying directly.
    • Summer Knight: Morgan is normally brutally honest, to the point that when he finds himself trying to lie, it's usually pretty feeble. When Harry figures out that Morgan is trying to provoke him into a fight so he has legal justification to kill Harry, Morgan's eyes widen in shock and he blurts an unconvincing "I don't know what you're talking about."
    • In Cold Days, Maeve gains the ability to lie after being corrupted by Nemesis. Being a faerie, they literally Cannot Tell a Lie under normal circumstances. Due to this, most Fae tend to avoid giving direct statements, being more than capable of being misleading while still telling the truth. The combination of using their new found ability to lie to make direct, unambiguous statements while also being a very poor liar by virtue of only just learning how means that other characters are able to pick up on their lies very quickly, at least once it's known they CAN lie.
  • Billy Bunter of Greyfriars. "I say, keep that beast Coker off! I wasn't in his study when he found me there, the suspicious beast! I wasn't after his cake! There wasn't any cake, and I never touched it, and I had hardly a mouthful when the brute came in! I say, you fellows — ow! Oh crikey!"
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter. As Snape said, he "has a tendency to wear his heart on his sleeve." He gets better, though. Naturally, the fact that Snape is an accomplished legilimens (telepath) does not help in this instance.
    • Hermione manages to subvert this in the first book, as she lied to McGonnagal and Snape about what happened in the bathroom, and the professors not only believed it but the boys got points for their actions. Surprising, considering how Hermione had been established by that point to be a Teacher's Pet who panicked at the thought of breaking rules.
    • A straighter example is Hagrid. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hagrid was briefly questioned by Dolores Umbridge regarding some footprints in the snow. Although he tries to defend Harry and friends by lying about them, it's pretty clear that he's doing an absolutely bad job at it. It still managed to get Umbridge away, though.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Yuki Nagato is a terrible liar in most ways (due to having little imagination and being a Fish out of Water), which can be important since she needs to lie to Haruhi often. She will pause for several seconds when asked a question she needs to answer with a lie (and even tried to get Kyon to lie for her once). On the other hand her virtually unchanging expressions help her a bit with this. Compare to Itsuki, who has taken acting lessons and is very imaginative.
    • Also, Haruhi herself generally manages to be a pretty terrible liar, especially when it involves things relating to her feelings for Kyon. Luckily (or perhaps unluckily, depending on the way you look at it) for her, they either pass right over his head or he is very, very good at turning a blind eye.
  • Shelby of the H.I.V.E. Series tries to pass herself off as a regular Alpha Bitch when first taken to the Island. It doesn't work, but the routine really irritates everyone.
    Shelby:Come play poker with us! Wing is cleaning us out with that excellent poker face of his.
    Wing: I have a poker face? Wow, I just thought you were really, really bad at this game.
  • In the Honor Harrington books, Honor, Sir Webster, and a few other Manticoran officers-cum-diplomats are this. In fact, that's part of the reason they're chosen as diplomats; their inability to lie well makes their honesty equally obvious.
    • Webster in particular is such a terrible liar that when he tries, people think he's just being sarcastic.
  • Wanderer from The Host (2008), mostly because Souls (with the exception of Seekers and members of the first wave) never needed to lie.
  • Huckleberry Finn: Huck is occasionally brilliant at spinning yarns to get what he wants. More often, however, he forgets his fake identity, where he's supposedly from, and what he claimed his job was. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen, according to Peeta. "Never gamble at cards. You'll lose your last coin." Subverted later on, when she gradually becomes more effective at fooling people — starting with Peeta himself in the form of their initial romance.
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Several characters note that Bell Cranel really sucks at lying and Cannot Keep a Secret because of that.
  • Kate Daniels: Kate is a notoriously bad liar. Except when playing poker, it tends to work in her favor, because when she threatens to kill people with ease and maximum blood loss, they instantly believe her. It becomes a plot point in Magic Rises. Curran keeps Kate out of his masterplan to deal with Lenore, because it hinges upon her reacting with genuine jealousy, anger and distress, and she couldn't possibly fake it. Needless to say when Kate finds out, this bites them in the ass, since she doesn't agree that being a bad liar warrants her heart being broken by the only person she trusts.
  • Michael from the Knight and Rogue Series doesn't like to lie, but when he gets into a situation where he's really got no other options, or if he's trying to spare someone's feelings, he'll give it a shot. Since he's so rotten at it though, it makes no difference. However, in a really desperate situation he can convincingly lie, and because he's known to be so bad at lying no one doubts him in the slightest.
  • Leviathan: Alek. Literally every time he opens his mouth to try and tell a lie, he effs up. It doesn't really help that the people he tries to lie to are really sharp.
  • Myra in the Nightfall (Series) starts out as a bad liar. Prince Vladimir is determined to teach her how to lie better (even though she's the one sent to assassinate him and he knows it) as he loves a challenge.
  • Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, which makes it impossible for her to convince Raoul and her adopted mother that she is not in any danger from her stalker, and later makes it impossible for her to hide from Erik the fact that Raoul and the Persian are inside his house.
  • Ratburger has Raj, who's said not to be a very good liar.
  • The protagonist of Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures is this. When he asks the mentor for help, he tries the "my friend Urs has this problem..." approach, but slips and says "I" instead of "Urs" several times. The mentor is nice enough not to mention.
  • Rob Roy: After Frank Osbaldistone has been strangely cold and rude to her during dinner, Diana Vernon asks for an explanation. Unwilling to confess he has been listening to his cousin Rashleigh, Frank claims he was feeling indisposed after reading some upsetting letters from home. After listening patiently to his story, Diana asks if he is already done with spouting ridiculous excuses and is ready to reveal what Rashleigh has been telling about her.
  • In the A Song of Ice and Fire book A Feast for Crows, Cersei has the duplicitous Osney Kettleblack go to the High Sparrow and "confess" to having slept with Margery Tyrell in her latest attempt to besmirch her rival queen. Her plan hits one snag though: Osney is a terrible actor. The High Sparrow noting that for a man confessing a grave sin, he looked awful pleased with himself. After a little Cold-Blooded Torture, he confesses to some real crimes. Which gets Cersei arrested.
  • Star Wars Legends: According to the squad mechanic, Kell Tainer is a terrible liar in the X-Wing Series.
    Cubber: You ever play sabacc?
    Kell: A little, but I'm not very good at it.
    Cubber: "I'm not very good at it" indeed. My four-year-old daughter is a better liar.
    Kell: Well, I lie a little, but I'm not very good at it.
  • The Stormlight Archive novella Edgedancer: Wyndle knows that he's going to become Lift's Morph Weapon and doesn't like this fact one bit, but per the rules, can't tell Lift anything about it. So of course he keeps on bemoaning the fact that Lift is going to be hitting people with him, and then tries to convince her that he doesn't mean anything by this, no siree, why would she even be asking? Luckily for him, Lift thinks he's kind of insane.
  • These Broken Stars: Tarver. When Lilac describes the bodies he buried (that he wouldn't let her see) in perfect detail, Tarver tells her she's wrong. He's unable to smother his initial reaction, however, and she doesn't believe him for a moment. Although he's a better liar in the Interrogation Flashback.
  • Underground: Robyn is called out as being horrible at lying by every single person she tries to lie to. She's aware she's bad at it too, but that doesn't stop her from trying.
  • Les Voyageurs Sans Souci: The pigeon Mirliflore brags about being the Grand Master of Ceremonies of the realm of the birds to Sébastien and Agathe. Several days later, the main characters meet Mirliflore again, and he is greeted with "The postman! The postman is here" shouts from a flock of birds. Sébastien and Agathe suspiciously ask if he has just been demoted, and Mirliflore -who does not want to admit he has always been a run-of-the-mill messenger pigeon- quickly changes the topic.
  • Whateley Universe: From Hank 4: Life's But a Walking Shadow, Ayla:
    "How his whole body tenses and scrunches up when he lies," Hank sniggered.
    Nikki turned to Ayla and smiled. "It is kind of obvious when he tries," she agreed.
  • The Witchlands: When Iseult tries to lie to Safi to cover something up, Safi sees through it almost immediately, mainly because Iseult is very obviously uncomfortable. She can't figure out what the truth is, though. Safi is also a Truthwitch.

    Live-Action TV? That's... somewhere else 
  • This has become something of a running gag for Simmons in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It's first demonstrated in "The Hub", when she's unable to come up with a good cover story when a senior agent catches her sneaking into a restricted corridor, and proceeds to attempt several awfully transparent excuses while Skye looks on in absolute horror. "The Magical Place" shows Skye giving her "safe words" to use during telephone calls rather than tell a direct lie, in the hopes that this will help. It doesn't. "T.R.A.C.K.S." plays with this trait some more: Simmons claims that it's not that she can't lie, she just can't improvise, and so she devises an elaborate back-story for her undercover character. Unfortunately, she over-corrects quite a bit, ending up going into a massively detailed rant with no provocation.
  • Rene in 'Allo 'Allo! is also a terrible liar, never more than when trying to explain to his wife why he's embracing one of the waitresses. She however seems to accept his nonsense — whether she genuinely believes it or just wants a quiet life is never clear.
  • On Season 18 of The Amazing Race, the penultimate leg had Flight Time & Big Easy and Zev & Justin find a flight that would put them in Brazil half a day in front of Kisha & Jen and Gary & Mallory, but when Mallory asked the Globetrotters if they had found a better flight, Flight Time's horrible lie all but gave away that they had, and all four teams got on the same flight, resulting in Zev & Justin getting eliminated when they struggled on the leg.
  • Andor: Apparently it takes a lot of power/effort for B2EMO to manage to lie, and Cassian makes sure to ask if he's able to before asking Bee to cover for him.
  • Over on Angel, according to Gunn, lying is the "one" thing Fred isn't good at.
  • Oliver Queen on Arrow is capable of some ridiculous excuses, particularly when it comes to Felicity before he just gives up and lets her in on the secret. He is somewhat better at deceiving his family and friends (not to mention the police) but mostly that's because they write his odd behavior off as PTSD from the island. Lampshaded when Diggle tells him "your BS excuses are getting worse".
  • In an episode of Babylon 5, Garibaldi says that Lyta is a terrible liar, which upsets her greatly. It's not seen much in the show, except for one time when she's lying to evil Kosh. He doesn't seem to notice how nervous she is, but Kosh is an arrogant Starfish Alien, so he's probably not good at reading people.
  • The characters on Being Human (UK), save for Nina, are pretty bad liars, particularly George. Worse yet, when the group is in desperate need of a good lie he never steps down and lets one of the other characters take care of it; he always comes up with the lie. It is often answered with skepticism.
    Owen: What was it?
    George: What? Oh a... pigeon.
    Owen: A pigeon?
    George: Must have left a window open.
    Owen: Have you got rid of it?
    George: (beat) I killed it.
    Mitchell: You killed it?
    George: With a shoe.
  • Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory develops "more tics than a Lyme disease research facility" on his face whenever he tries to lie. However, this mostly occurs when he has to come up with a lie on the spot. If given ample time, not only can he convincingly lie, he can even create falsified evidence to support the lie.
  • This is the reason Booth won’t tell Brennan the truth when Pelant forces him to reject Brennan’s proposal in Bones. He knows she’s a bad liar and fears she won’t be able to bluff Pelant into thinking she doesn’t know.
  • Breaking Bad: In Seasons 1 and 2, Walter White spins numerous elaborate and implausible stories to try and hide his criminal activity from Skyler, such as claiming he suffered a "fugue state" when he was away from home cooking meth. Skyler is suspicious from the off and when she eventually tries to investigate his lies she finds them easy to disprove — for example, after he said he spent four days staying at his mother's house, all Skyler had to do was phone her and ask if he'd really been there. Skyler eventually figures out that he involved in the illegal drug trade simply because this is the most likely explanation for an accomplished chemist suddenly coming into money while disappearing for days on end and being secretive.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Anne":
      Buffy: You know, I just woke up, and I looked in the mirror, and I thought, hey, what's with all the sin? I need to change. I'm dirty. I'm bad with the sex and the envy and that loud music us kids listen to nowadays...Oh, I just suck at undercover.
    • Buffy has this problem in other episodes. Example, from "Lie to Me":
      Buffy: Um, uh... there was a-a cat. A cat here. And um, uh, then there was a-another cat. And they fought. The cats. And... then they left.
      Ford: Oh. I thought you were just slaying a vampire.
      Buffy: What? Whating a what?
    • Buffy seems to subliminally want to be caught out in her Slayer duties, but the adults around her are too wrapped up in denial. In "Sanctuary", when she chases Faith to L.A. and is arguing with Angel after Faith turns herself in, Buffy insists to Angel that she came because he was in danger (Faith was previously trying to kill him under Wolfram & Hart's employ), but Angel doesn't buy it for a second and accuses her of only coming for vengeance; Buffy doesn't even try to deny that.
    • And then there's "Checkpoint", with Anya trying really hard to convince the Watchers' Council that there isn't anything demonic in her origin, no sir.
    • Early on, Willow got this role before basically passing it on to Anya. From "Doppelgangland":
      Willow: [Impersonating the Evil Twin] I'm a bloodsucking fiend. Look at my outfit.
    • Then there's Tara. In "Intervention", when Spike gets the Buffybot from Warren to use as a sex toy, Tara ultimately decides to tell Dawn that he made it with the intent to play checkers with it. Dawn, of course, isn't fooled for a second.
    • Also, when Faith tries to frame Buffy to Giles for a murder Faith had accidentally committed in "Consequences", Giles only pretends to be mad at Buffy until Faith leaves, at which point he reveals he knew Faith did it, since lying isn't one of her strong points. Fridge Logic sets in when he hires her to infiltrate a castle and assassinate a slayer.
    • It's just as well that Cordy doesn't sugarcoat the truth, because she can't lie to save her life. Except she did in "Homecoming", when she convinced a vampire she was Faith the Vampire Slayer.
  • Charmed (1998): After learning that newcomer Paige may be connected to them in some way, Piper and Phoebe summon their grandmother's spirit to ask her what's going on. Grams stammers that she has no idea who Paige is, causing Piper to immediately call her out on her terrible lying.
    Piper: You know what, Grams? You were a lousy liar when you were alive, and now as a ghost, you're worse.
  • Chuck combines this with Non-Verbal Miscommunication. Awesome is trying to explain to Ellie where he's been all day; Chuck tries to help him by miming behind Ellie's back, which results in a story about Awesome decapitating a bear he encountered in the park. Chuck has to step in with a more plausible lie. Awesome can't really lie to Ellie, but he has no problem lying to other people, even Chuck.
  • Control Z: When Quintanilla questions Natalia over her classmates' complaints regarding her money theft, she elaborates a very cheap excuse to defend her actions: that she had transferred the money to another account for better interests to provide for the Mazahuas. However, Quintanilla isn't easily fooled by this and nevertheless removes her as head of the student committee.
  • Coupling:
    • Jeff is a terrible liar. His trademark Digging Yourself Deeper monologue is often triggered by telling a stupid, unconvincing and ludicrous lie where the truth would actually have been perfectly acceptable...
    • Patrick as well, best demonstrated when he accidentally lets slip to Steve that he slept with Jane, then tries to deny it.
      Steve: Patrick, I know you. You can't keep a lie like this going!
      Patrick: Course I can. Damnit!
      Steve: Look, when did this happen?
      Patrick: What, the lying or the sleeping with Jane? Damnit!!
  • In some early episodes of Criminal Minds Reid would be reduced to a stammering mess any time he needed to lie. He got better in later seasons.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Utopia": Martha is so stunned at the sight of Professor Yana's pocket watch, which is actually a Chameleon Arch, a device that Time Lords can use as a Soul Jar, that she does a very bad job of convincing Yana that it's really, honestly, absolutely not important and that she's never seen it before.
    • "Rosa": Antagonist Krasko's attempts to feign ignorance of who Rosa Parks is, and later why he happens to be in that specific time period, are unconvincing enough that the Doctor calls him on it.
    • "The Tsuranga Conundrum": The Doctor considers Astos, the senior medic of the ambulance ship, this, and tells him so a few times.
    • "It Takes You Away": Hanne, who is blind, quickly suspects that the Doctor didn't draw a map on the wall when Ryan, who stayed behind to look after her when the others went through a portal, fumbles through an answer to a question about where the house is most vulnerable, which is what the supposed map is for.
  • Alan Tudyk's character from Dollhouse:
    "Those are carrots. Medicinal carrots, that were here when I moved in, and I'm holding... for a friend."
    • Then it turned out that whole thing was an elaborate ruse and the character was actually a Consummate Liar the whole time.
  • Josh in Drake & Josh is a very bad liar. In the episode "Dune Buggy", he got talked into lying to his stepmother by Drake about the broken television (which was caused by root beer spilled in it) and got grounded as a result. Drake, of course, reminded Josh that he didn't get grounded for lying, but more for lying badly. Averted in another episode where Josh successfully lied to the English teacher to help get Drake out of a raucous English classroom.
  • Due South: Benton Fraser is a really bad liar:
    [Fraser appears at the table in the restaurant where Insp. Thatcher is with her skirt-chasing former boss, Henri Cloutier]
    Fraser: I'm sorry to interrupt your evening, Ma'am, but I thought it prudent to inform you that there's been an emergency.
    Thatcher: What sort of emergency?
    Fraser: With your car. It's... [looking around quickly, then noticing the candle on the table] on fire.
    Cloutier: What?
    Fraser: No, it is. It's burning away. All the other cars feel threatened.
    Cloutier: Oh, please! You're making that up!
    Fraser: Well... [hangs his head] yes.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond: Ray is frequently called out for his bad poker face.
    Robert: Are you saying that Amy talks too much?
    Ray: ...No, Robert. I love Amy!
    Robert: What a liar are you!
  • A perennial flaw of the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers and Father Ted are two major examples. In their case it's to get out of trying situations, only the explanations become so convoluted, bizarre and obviously fake, they needn't have bothered.
  • Firefly:
    • Simon doesn't handle being put on the spot very well. Not only does it cause him to fall apart in social situations, but it means he cannot carry a spontaneous disguise well either. When Mal decides at the last minute to force Simon to play the role of a mud buyer in "Jaynestown", he stammers and relies heavily on prompts from Mal. However, when Simon is given the opportunity to plan a scenario (such as "Ariel" or the beginning of Serenity), he actually turns out to be a criminal mastermind. The only spontaneous situations he handles well are medical emergencies.
    • In "Ariel", Simon can see that Mal, Zoe, and Jayne will never be able to convincingly lie about being paramedics, so he has to coach them. Jayne requires a lot of coaching, so much that he ends up over-rehearsed; when the conversation with the hospital doesn't go as practised, Jayne insists on spitting out his rehearsed line anyway, much to Mal and Zoe's horror. Fortunately, the nurse at reception is too wrapped up in her own work to do more than roll her eyes at Jayne.
  • Friends:
    • Joey:
      Phoebe: Ooh, honey. You stink at lying.
      Joey: I do not.
      Phoebe: Oh really. OK, let me ask you something. Yesterday at the coffee house, I went to the bathroom and when I came back, my muffin was gone. Who took it?
      Joey: Somebody opened the door to the coffee house and a raccoon came running in, went straight for your muffin, and I said, "Hey don't eat that! That's Phoebe's," and he said... He said... "Joey, you stink at lying." What am I going to do?
    • When Rachel was keeping her pregnancy secret, in the Season 7 finale, the audience wasn't supposed to realize Rachel was pregnant until the very last minute, so she lied incredibly well, even in spur of the moment situations. But then in the Season 8 premiere, when the audience does know Rachel's pregnant, her lying skills go straight down the toilet and the secret is out in no time.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Hot Pie. Arya sees through his attempts to lie. He does manage to grow out of this in Season 4, when he glibly dismisses the Starks as all traitors and denies any knowledge of them to Brienne and Podrick until he can be sure he can trust them.
    • Cat notes that Bran always looks down every time he lies.
  • Maxwell Smart. A Running Gag on Get Smart went like this:
    Smart: [makes an impressive sounding, but very absurd claim]
    Listener: I find that hard to believe.
    Smart: Would you believe [insert a less impressive, but still absurd claim]?
    Listener: No.
    Smart: How about [insert a claim that sounds pathetic]?
  • In Get Some In!, Corporal Marsh is hopeless at trying to lie his way into good situations or out of bad situations. In "Rugby", he sees joining the rugby team as a way to rub shoulders with the officers and claims to play as a centre forward (which is a position in football, not rugby), while in "Exam Results", he tries to claim that the charges against him for cheating on an exam were motivated by racial prejudice, as although his skin appears Caucasian, the tight curls in his hair reveal his Afro-Caribbean ancestry. Neither lie is believed for a moment.
  • The Golden Girls:
    • Sophia typically fell into this when she told people stories about her past, which usually ended with a ridiculous twist. Despite the fact that the other characters rarely believed her, it was often unclear (even to Sophia herself) which stories were true or false, since she had suffered a stroke which affected her memory and also had a bit of a mysterious past.
    • Subverted in one episode, when Blanche wants to stop Dorothy using a towel of hers which had 'special memories'. Dorothy assumes it had something to do with Blanche's over-active sex life, then Blanche tells her she actually brought her newborn son home wrapped in it. The story sounds perfectly convincing and moving to the audience — but Dorothy calls her a liar immediately (she was right).
  • Good Omens (2019): Aziraphale is hilariously bad at lying:
    An Actor: (to Aziraphale, who's standing right next to Crowley) And what does your friend think?
    Aziraphale: Oh, he is not my friend. We've never met before. We don't know each other.
    Crowley: (amused) I think you should get on with the play.
    Aziraphale: I'm afraid I have no idea what you are talking about. Nor where this angel Gabriel - who I've never heard of - might be.
  • In the pilot of Homicide: Life on the Street, Steve Harris played a murderer who kept coming up with obviously fake and ever-changing alibis.
  • House of Anubis:
    • Nina Martin herself is a notable example, considering how often she has to lie. A good example is telling Victor that she and Fabian were using the telescope one night to "look for a bowling alley" because Fabian "loves bowling". He didn't believe it, and of course ended up looking through the telescope himself to see what they were up to.
    • Mara Jaffray is another example, with her most notable attempt being her story about "endangered hedgehogs" when she was forced to distract Mr. Sweet in the first season. Unlike Victor in the example above, however, Mr. Sweet actually bought it.
  • House of Cards (US): General Brockhart, who is selected as Will Conway's running mate. He's not a natural politician. As a result, lying does not come easily to him and Frank sees right through his poor attempts at deception.
    Frank Underwood: Conscience has an unmistakable stink to it, sort of like raw onions and morning breath. But a lie stinks even more when it's coming from someone who isn't used to lying. It's more like rotten eggs and horse shit.
  • How I Met Your Mother
    • Robin giggles whenever she lies.
    • Marshall is a terrible liar, which was even lampshaded:
      Robin: Marshall, you can't look me in the eye, you're blushing, coughing, and your hands are shaking.
    • And strangely enough, Barney in "Tick, tick, tick":
      Barney: They know!
  • Spencer from iCarly once tried to take Carly out of school to go to the amusement park. When pressed for an excuse, he said he was taking her to a doctor's appointment. With Dr. Rollercoaster.
    • He got better after Sam gaving him "lying lessons", as he later got good enough at lying to pull off a successful Bavarian Fire Drill when the iCarly gang took on the Disney...I mean DINGO Channel studios.
  • In The IT Crowd Jen asks Moss to make up an excuse to get rid of her unwanted suitor, telling him to just say she is busy when he seems nervous about this. Moss then blurts out to the suitor that Jen is dead, causing the whole office to go into mourning, which ends rather abruptly when Jen walks into her own memorial ceremony...
  • Jonas: Kevin's voice goes high every time he lies.
  • Kaamelott: King Léodagan, afflicted with an extreme case of Brutal Honesty, is a bad liar the very rare times he tries it.
  • Some of the suspects on Lie to Me are painfully terrible liars
  • Debra Jo in Little Lunch is terrible at lying as she tends to panic. A good example is in "The Milk Bar" where her simple attempt to not answer a question about Rory's whereabouts quickly turns into her babbling incoherently about geography.
  • The eponymous character of Merlin deconstructs this trope. He's a bad liar, but he's such a bad liar that most people believe they can already figure out what he's trying to hide, and they assume it's something embarrassing (most of the cast are under the assumption that he's mentally ill) and thus go the other way. So by being a bad liar, he lies perfectly.
  • Brick Heck in The Middle puts his head down and whispers "I'm lying!" whenever he lies. Sue is pretty terrible at it, too, rambling nervously and saying "and so on and so forth" for no reason.
  • The title character on Miranda (2009). The always single and childless woman once tried to get out of one of her mother's setup by claiming to have a sick daughter.
  • In Misfits, Nathan and Simon explain their friend Curtis's absence to his girlfriend by claiming that he had been arrested earlier that day for exposing himself to some Boy Scouts. To be fair, Nathan was only lying to amuse himself, but Simon (who is typically a bad liar anyway) genuinely seemed to think he was being helpful.
  • The title character of Monk is shown to have this character trait.
    • In "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy", when Sharona asks him if he actually saw the photos of her posing nude; he hesitates for a long time, tentatively says "No," then blurts out "Yes" as he's walking away.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring", when Monk first meets Natalie, he blurts out that she's taking birth control pills in front of her daughter Julie, and upon realizing the implications tries to claim he was mistaken and they were really "adult tic-tacs". Natalie later tries to have Monk pose as an expert on fish during an argument with one of Julie's teachers, which doesn't go any better.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • The customs sketch:
      Officer: Anything to declare?
      Man: Yes... no! No! No! No! Nothing to declare, no, nothing in my suitcase no...
      Officer: No watches, cameras, radio sets?
      Man: Oh yes... four watches... no, no, no. No. One... one watch... No, no. Not even one watch. No, no watches at all. No, no watches at all. No... precision watches, no.
This reaches its logical conclusion when the man finally confesses to watch smuggling, only to have the Customs Officer not believe his confession because he's such a terrible liar. Perhaps the customs agent is just bad at his job; after all, he lets the obvious smuggler (from Zurich, Spain) through, but immediately tosses a collared priest into a side chamber for a strip search.
  • Hitler and his cronies in the "Hitler in England" sketch, whose impressively weak disguises are not helped by their apparent inability to shut up or keep anything secret.
    "Heinrich Bimmler": Oh... and am glad England vin Vorld Cup. Bobby Charlton. Martin Peters. And eating I am lots of chips and fish and holes in the toads on Piccadilly Line, don't you know old chap, vot! And I vas head of Gestapo for ten years.
    ["Hilter" elbows him in the ribs]
    "Bimmler": Ah! Five years!
    ["Hilter" elbows him again]
    "Bimmler": Nein! No. Oh. Vas not head of Gestapo at all! I was not, I make joke!
  • During The Cycling Tour episode, when Mr. Pither ends up in the USSR, he is approached by several very suspicious-looking men in dark suits and sunglasses. When Mr. Pither asks them who they are, one of them replies, "Well, we're not Secret Police, anyway!"
  • MythQuest: Cleo, a teenager who is covertly trying to get information about a myth from a family friend and university professor, keeps blurting out details she shouldn't know. Eventually the friend catches on to the Masquerade.
  • Abby Sciutto from NCIS. It sure doesn't help that all her coworkers are specialist in Perp Sweating and usually know when they're lied to, but even so Abby doesn't like to lie and isn't very good at it.
  • Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, honest to a fault, fails miserably at any and all of her rare attempts at subterfuge, in most cases ratting herself out.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Mr. Boynton is a terrible liar. In "Trial by Jury", it's revealed the very act of lying gives him a psychosomatic case of the hiccouphs.
  • Ned in Pushing Daisies. When asked how he worked out that the Victim of the Week's plane was hijacked just from looking at his body (when what he actually did was resurrect the victim and talk to him), he said "DNA...ish?" In another episode, he and his cohorts pretended to have been sent by the Vatican, and when a nun said that she thought they'd be Italian, his response was "We are. Part time."
  • Red Dwarf:
    • The show evokes the page header image; the mechanoid Kryten is at a huge disadvantage in life, as Lister points out, because he is programmed to be absolutely truthful. Lister sets about coaching Kryten in lying, beginning with small steps: holding an orange and asserting it is a banana, or vice-versa. Kryten finds even this to be hard going and his voice circuits crash whilst trying to repeat the falsehood.
      This is a bSCRYCHH! It is not an orange, it is a GRRRZZZCH!
    • In "Parallel Universe", Holly is seen covered in lipstick after meeting Hilly. When asked "What is that lipstick on your face?", his reply is "What face?"
    • And in "Camille", Lister has to teach Kryten how to lie.
      Rimmer: I was glad to get rid of him; he's flipped! He's got mad droid disease; he kept waving a banana in front of me and calling it a female aardvark!
    • In "Out of Time", Kryten learns what will happen to the crew in the future. He is upset that Lister is destined to become a brain in a jar, but can't tell him anything about it. He starts to cry in the kitchen when Lister comes in:
      Lister: Everything okay?
      Kryten: Oh, yup yup. Those darn onions get you every time!
      Lister: What onions?
      Kryten: Ah, the onions I'm about to peel. I always get a little emotional when I have to deprive an onion of its skin.
      Lister: Don't Nixon me, man! Tell me the truth!
    • A Running Gag in later episodes is that Kryten precedes his lies by announcing "Engaging lie mode" or, on occasion, follows them with "Lie mode cancel". The feature length episode The Promised Land confirms that he doesn't know he's doing it.
  • Saturday Night Live had Tommy Flanagan (Jon Lovitz) and his wife, Morgan Fairchild... whom he's slept with.
  • Schitt's Creek: All of the Roses tell lies badly now and again, but Johnny is the grand champion of it:
    • Johnny often claims to have a bad back, first to get out of being a pallbearer at Carl's funeral and then to get out of manual labor at the motel.
    • Johnny often lies to guests about crises at the motel, including a lice infestation or the presence of a dead body.
    • Johnny tells David he didn't forget his birthday and tells Alexis he didn't "edit" her economics paper, when he clearly did.
  • In the Scrubs episode "My First Kill", J.D. is trying to tell Dr Cox why a patient isn't being treated, without admitting he just chickened out.
    J.D.: [Internal Monologue] Now you're going to lie here. Don't be too specific.
    J.D.: Since one forty-two yesterday afternoon. His wife didn't want him to do it. She's beautiful, by the way; one blue eye, one green eye. She's from Luxembourg. They're both from Luxembourg. They're Luxem ... bourgian.
    Dr. Cox: Where in Luxemburg? I spent two weeks there.
    J.D.: [Internal Monologue] What are the odds? Just stay vague.
    J.D.: Outside Mertert, near the German border. They say what they miss most are those lazy summer afternoons on the Mouselle River.
  • Sonny with a Chance: Sonny is a terrible liar. When she lies, her voice usually goes up an octave, and she stammers. The stammering tendency is shared by her boyfriend Chad. Seriously, the cast of So Random must be pretty gullible to fall for the multitude of excuses that Sonny and Chad come up with to hide the fact that they're planning to go on a date. By the time they're all in the limo and have Sonny and Chad cornered, they're either turning a blind eye to get free food, or they are seriously the most gullible people ever to be on television.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Whom Gods Destroy", Garth's lover Marta was a pathological liar (likely one of the reasons she was in the insane asylum where most of the episode took place). She even went so far as to quote the poetry of William Shakespeare, claiming it was her own work. Not even Garth, who was much more insane than she was, believed a word she said. (You still kind of have to feel sorry for her given what he did to her later, though...)
    • Kirk has a many great qualities, charm, quick thinking etc., but when he hasn't had any time to come up with a good lie, he's helplessly awkward. The footnote in the Star Trek: The Motion Picture boils down to he'd want sex more often than seven years, and then there's that whole "accident with a rice-picker" business.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • Dr. Agnes Jurati acknowledges that she's a terrible liar, which is why she told Commodore Oh everything about her conversations with Jean-Luc Picard while she was being interrogated.
    • Because Elnor was indoctrinated into the Qowat Milat philosophy of the Way of Absolute Candor, he has virtually no experience telling lies, so naturally, he's awful at it. "Stardust City Rag" demonstrates that he has great difficulty even recognizing that his crewmates are playing roles for their undercover op. After he puts on his disguise, he tries to pretend to be Captain Rios ("Agua-arrrrdiente!"), but the others react by rolling their eyes and uttering "Ugh" in unison.
      Elnor: (disappointed) I don't know how not to be Elnor.
      Picard: Then be Elnor.
      Seven of Nine: An Elnor who never talks.
  • In an episode of Stark Raving Mad it's revealed that lying makes Henry so nervous that he starts speaking in a Daffy Duck-esque voice. Ian helps him prepare for a situation where he has to lie by drawing on Henry's experience as an actor in college: by rehearsing lies before hand, Henry can then lie convincingly (albeit in a somewhat hammy fashion).
  • Lampshaded by Zack in one episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody where Cody lies to Mr. Moseby as to why the twins were standing in the hallway.
    Zack: No wonder you never lie. You stink at it.
  • Supernatural:
    • Normally, Dean Winchester is an excellent liar. He impersonates FBI agents, police officers, park rangers, what have you. But when Dean contracts a Ghost Virus, and becomes a complete and total coward, he also turns into the worst liar north of Mexico.
      Mr. Garland: Let me see some ID.
      Sam: Of course. (Garland looks their ID's over)
      Dean: (nervously) Those are real. Obviously. I mean, who would pretend to be an FBI agent? That's just nutty!
    • Castiel only has a technical understanding of what a lie is. On the rare occasion when he's convinced to lie, it just... fails.
      Castiel: [about Sam's suicide mission] It's not possible.
      Sam: Then humor me.
      Castiel: Oh, I'm supposed to lie. Uh... [smiles unconvincingly] Sure! You'll be fine.
      Sam: Just stop talking.
  • An odd Reality TV example is Zoe Zanidakis from the fourth season of Survivor. When Kathy asks her if she's going to vote Kathy out, Zoe pauses for over ten seconds. Then she says no. Oops.
  • It is something of a Running Gag that Lee Mack is this on Would I Lie to You?
    [Lee is having to claim that he used children's cutlery at every meal for a special diet]
    Rob Brydon: What was the inspiration for this?
    Lee: I read it in a book.
    Rob: Which book was that?
    Lee: The book of... dieting...
    • Another example:
      David Mitchell: You were 12 or 13, how old was Steve?
      Lee: Steve was... [he looks at Steve, who is clearly much younger than him] he was... he was... [long hesitation] He wasn't born...

    You Won't Be Finding Any Music Examples in This Folder 
  • The singer of 10cc's "I'm Not in Love" is absolutely, 100% insistent that he is not in love with the person to whom he is singing, but every single line of the song plus the singer's delivery indicate that he is completely in denial. According to Word of God, this was intentional; the song's primary author Eric Stewart began writing the song after his wife asked him why he didn't say "I love you" more often, and he responded that he felt that repeating those words too often would cheapen their meaning. As a result, he wrote a song "saying 'I'm not in love with you', while subtly giving all the reasons through the song why I could never let go of this relationship." Also doubles as a case of Everyone Can See It.
  • Imagine Dragons has a song titled this, in which the singer says that his girlfriend should see through his lies about fixing their relationship.
  • Selena Gomez, has a song titled this, about trying to hide magical feelings for someone new, but not being able to do so.

    Most certainly not the Podcast examples repository. Scout's honor. 
  • Dice Funk: Rinaldo has a sky-high Charisma score, yet always seems to fail every check related to lying. This culminates in a lie so bad that the episode was entitled "Lie Hard."
  • In the Amnesty arc of The Adventure Zone, Justin's character Duck Newton is this. He hesitates, stammers and swears loudly when trying to fabricate stories, which tend to be ludicrous and nonsensical. This was a deliberate choice on Justin's part to differentiate Duck from his last character, Consummate Liar Taako.

    Rad- Literature! Film! Not Radio! At All! 
  • Arthur in Cabin Pressure goes a funny colour and falls over when he lies. Even when he's sitting down. See, for instance, this dialogue with one Douglas Richardson.
    Douglas: Answer this question with a lie. What's your name?
    Douglas: Arthnoldmanercatsirman... That's an unusual name. Tell me, is it made up?
    Arthur: Yes, it is. Augh!
    Douglas: You see, that's the sort of trick question you want to watch for. I'll tell you a secret: the way to lie convincingly is never make something up, just tell a different truth. So, if you have to lie about where you were today, tell them where you really were last week. If you have to give a false name, use a real name you already know. Try again. What's your name?
    Arthur: Douglas Richardson!
    Douglas: Better. But not quite perfect.
    • Needless to say, the advice about telling where you were last week isn't exactly put to good use either.
  • In Hello Cheeky, John occasionally suffered this trope, usually while trying to conceal something he had just said about his affair with Barry's wife.
    John: Matter of fact, one of my best friends is Barry's wife. I mean...I'm in love with a West Indian dwarf.
  • Mr. Lamb in The Men from the Ministry doesn't know how to lie by his own admission.
  • Trevors World Of Sport: Trevor, the only honourable sporting agent in the world, is considered a very bad liar by his staff.
    Hydrun: Do not attempt to defend Sammy in court: you are a very bad liar.
    Trevor: Am I?!
    Hydrun: Yes. You blink too much, and you over-use the word "basically".
    (In court)
    Trevor: Well, er... Sammy pushed him with a slightly closed hand.
    Barrister: And I suppose the headbutt was a push with a slightly tilted head?
    Trevor: Er, yes... basically.

    Tabletop Game examples aren't here at all. Honest. 
  • In Deadlands, the "Lyin' Eyes" disadvantage represents this.
  • GURPS splits this into two distinct forms. The "Truthfulness" disadvantage represents a deep aversion to lying, leading to a lack of practice and giving penalties to social skills where deception is required. The "Easy to Read" disadvantage represents very open body language, giving other characters bonuses to read you, including when spotting your lies (but also in other circumstances, all so long as they can see you). One is assumed to be moral, the other more physical. A character with both is a completely open book.note 

    Theatre has positively nothing to do with these examples. 
  • In Animal Crackers, when Spaulding is inquiring about the stolen painting, Ravelli (who helped steal it) suddenly comes up with a dubious theory of what happened:
    "Hey Cap, it come to me like a flash. You know what happened to this painting? This painting wasn't stolen. This painting disappear. And do you know what make it disappear? Moths. Moths eat it. Left-handed moths. That's my solution."
  • The Mrs. Hawking series: In part IV: Gilded Cages, when Arthur comes by Mary's house and pretends he doesn't know her so she won't get in trouble for having a caller.

    These aren't Video Games, these are... uh... Reality Games... yeah. 
  • In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, if your character's relevant skill is not high enough to pass a dialog check, the response will instead be replaced by an attempt. If the check involves knowledge your character doesn't have, or is an attempt to lie, the dialog choice will involve dialog that's a painfully obvious lie, often with hesitation or stammering. If the required skill is technical in nature, it will usually involve Buffy Speak in place of the technically accurate terms.
  • Final Fantasy VI's Thamasa is a town full of Bad Liars. Everyone in the town can use magic. They try to hide this fact from the outside world, but they do a terrible job of it once the player characters show up. As with many other examples on this page, this is Played for Laughs, but due to the Crapsack World setting, they once had very good reason to hide their magical abilities from the world, since they were once persecuted for it (they were blamed for the War of the Magi).
    • A more comedic example is the town of Zozo, where the first guy you meet says "Zozo? Never heard of it.", and the level's boss says "Good day, gentle folks. Can I be of service? I hate fighting, so I'd better let you pass." right before attacking you.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has Flayn, who is a Really 700 Years Old dragon Cethleann disguised as a young schoolgirl, who spent the last thousand years in a coma, and is pretending her father is actually her brother. She is not good at this. She regularly talks about how great Cethleann is and how history got her wrong, refers to Cethleann in present tense, she celebrates her birthday on Saint Cethleann Day, she refers to dragons the party meets as "uncle", and she refers to a decades-old world-famous opera house as having been built after she left that city...
  • Iji blatantly stutters when she lies. Fortunately, it matters little when talking to aliens.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Bastila Shan has a problem with her mouth moving when she thinks, but only when talking to a male player character.
    • In The Sith Lords, the HK-50s in voice mimicry-mode are fairly convincing (so long as they don't have to show themselves, obviously). When they use their ordinary voice, however (which is what they do most of the time), they tend to fall solidly here in their interactions with you, on account of a Verbal Tic (of sorts) they have in that voice — describing the statement that is to follow. With adjectives like "Insincere" and nouns like "Fabrication".
  • Some of the people you interrogate in L.A. Noire are such terrible liars that you can easily tell they're lying without having to read their facial expressions. For example, Phelps finds a losing betting ticket that has a person's name on it, whom he had interviewed earlier. The NPC he questions tries to weasel out of his connection to the person on the ticket by saying one of the goons Phelps shot dead a moment ago is the guy he was looking for. A very obviously and laughably bad lie.
    • Between her terrible acting skills and her tendency to say more than she should, Jean Archer from the appropriately titled case A Slip of the Tongue might be the best example in the entire game.
    Cole: How long have you and Belasco been delivering cars?
    Jean: Who is James Belasco?
    Cole: [visibly cringes] You're lying. "James" Belasco? I don't remember mentioning his first name, miss Archer.
    Jean: Oh. I... I think you did, didn't you? I'm sure of it. Anyway, I don't know... him.
  • Cousin in Namco High, in Tomari's route, is possibly the worst liar in the entire world, although Tomari is too stressed out to pick up on it.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers: Chatot, and he really doesn't like it when the other Guild members lampshade it.
  • Portal: GLaDOS is a habitual liar but her habit of mentioning the truth or creating blatantly obvious fabrications on the fly are readily apparent to the audience.
    • In the second game, Wheatley isn't exactly good at this either. For instance, trying to "hack" the neurotoxin control system: "Hello Guv'. Neurotoxin inspector, need to shut this place down for a moment. Here's my credentials; shut yourself down. I am totally legit, from the board of neurotoxin, uh, observers, from the United... Arab Emirates."
    • In both games they tell quite a few lies that suggest they have a very low opinion of Chell's intelligence (like trying to convince her to leap into a bottomless pit by saying a sex-starved boy band is down there). Whether she is stupid enough to actually fall for most of them depends on the player.
  • RealityMinds: Silvana cannot lie without giving herself away with her facial expression, body language, and verbal hesitation, causing Rasheed to realize that she and Astrake switched bodies.
  • Roots Of Pacha: According to Krak, his mother Inza is a terrible liar, and "you'd know" if she's the secret judge in the Clan Gathering.
  • Rune Factory 3's Sofia's lies are made quite obvious as her dialogue will be printed in red to indicate that she actually means the opposite. This is solely for the player's benefit, as the other characters lack the Medium Awareness to see it.
  • South Park: The Fractured but Whole has The Coon/Cartman lying about kidnapping the player character's parents and refuses to admit he did it because he wouldn't be the one to lead the group's movies. The video sent by the "kidnapper" shows that said kidnapper is a hand with a face painted onto it and the voice is exactly the same as Cartman's. Everyone knows he is lying, but he keeps up the charade all the way to the very end of the game. Given who he is and how he acts in South Park, it's not a surprise.
  • Marina in Splatoon 2 is characteristically nervous and forthright, and so would rather not talk about anything to do with octopuses or her abnormal "hairstyle." Whenever she has to, she tends to do a bad job of covering it up: awkwardly stumbling through words, letting things slip and having to abruptly change the subject. Amusingly, Pearl, who is otherwise far more blunt than Marina, has a much easier time keeping up a cover story than she does.
  • Tales of Symphonia: The scene where Colette pretends to be an angel delivering judgment on the papal guards. They actually fall for it, though — although the fact that Colette has actual angel wings coming out of her probably scared them enough that they would have believed anything at that point.
    • And in Tales of Vesperia, Judith keeps saying over and over that she isn't a good liar. Though she never tries to outright lie to people.
  • The Team Fortress 2 "Meet the Medic" video shows that the Medic is a bit of a bad liar: he claims that ribs grow back, and the Heavy looks unconvinced even before the Medic turns to one of his pet doves and loudly whispers, "No they don't." It's unclear why he even bothered to claim that ribs grow back, because the Medigun should make it a moot point anyway. Funnily enough, ribs ''can'' grow back if they are reattached.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • In season one, Lee asks Clementine whether or not she licked a salt lick. She replies by saying "I dunno" with her eyes wide open. Many years later, AJ will asks her the same thing and she replies the same way while looking down.
    • People like Hershel and Clementine can see through him whenever Lee is lying. If he tells Clem they will find her parents, she is able to detect that he isn't being truthful.

    These aren't Visual Novels! In fact, Visual Novels don't even exist! 
  • Since the truth and lies are a major theme of the game, this pops up with several characters in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony:
    • Kaede plays with this trope in that she's generally quite an honest and forthright person, but she is capable of leaving out key information when she feels it's necessary or sticking to Exact Words. Outright lying is not her strong suit, however and several characters note it's pretty obvious when she lies.
    • Tenko is similar to Kaede in that her open, straightforward personality makes her very ill-suited for lying and Korekiyo even mentions he knew she was lying about joining Angie's student council but he chose not to out her because he found her intentions to be admirable.
    • Miu tends to stutter when she lies and her sprites become flustered and nervous-looking to boot.
    • K1-B0, being a robot, is typically very earnest. If he is ever in a situation where he has to lie, he instead just panics and says he can't remember anything.
  • Amanda from Daughter for Dessert makes up a story that she’s at a job interview when she’s going to talk with Cecilia. When the protagonist asks which company she interviewed with, she stumbles over making up a ridiculous-sounding name.
  • Multiple examples in Double Homework:
    • The fake sea captain, who claims that returning to port would violate “international sea law.” The same guy appears as a bus driver, claiming an equally absurd reason why he can’t stop the bus during a snowstorm.
    • Johanna also has one of these moments whenever she tries to pretend she’s not upset.
    • Morgan says she has two things in common with Amy. After she mentions her birthday, she stops herself, and says that they’re also both girls.
  • In the Prologue of Grisaia ministory for The Eden of Grisaia we see how Makina first came to Mihama. At first she's almost silent, but when prompted on her preferences or dislikes she'll give pitifully weak lies because she's convinced that telling the truth will make everyone think she's a spoiled brat and hate her.
  • In Little Busters!, there is a running gag of Rin starting to say something incriminating, realising half-way through, and finishing the word as something that matches the initial sound but is completely nonsensical. Invariably, she is completely convinced she covered her tracks perfectly. For example, when Kengo asks her a question for which the correct answer is 'Kyousuke', she says "Kyoo-ooooouto is a nice place to live."
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • Frank Sawhit. Not a surprise, as he's the killer in the first ever case in the series, (and that's not even a spoiler) and thus serves to get the player used to finding contradictions in witness testimonies. He somehow manages to be even WORSE when he appears in prison in Investigations 2, though.
    • Dahlia Hawthorne is another first suspect who has issues with lying (albeit a far more important one), which seems to be a persistent flaw of hers. She slips up several times in her testimony, either forgetting or leaving large gaps, and then scrambling to cover up new holes with rather clumsy claims. However, unlike Payne, Dahlia also happens to have enough superficial charm to convince people she can't be lying, even when her testimony makes very little sense. This is a notable contrast with her sister Iris, who, despite being a far less duplicitous person, is a good enough liar to not trigger psyche-locks.

    Web Animation really doesn't belong in here. 
  • Anon: Candace is known for being a terrible liar. When she returns home the morning after she stays at a hotel with her boyfriend, her father questions her whereabouts, she gets flustered and claims she spent the night at her friend's house watching "that one Leonardo Di Caprio movie". Her lie quickly unravels when she's unable to specify a movie.
  • In what's slated to be the grand finale of Charlie the Unicorn, the other two unicorns actively try to talk Charlie into going with them to an incursion of something that starts with a "w", which is never the same exact group of syllables twice, talked up in slapdash tones like they can't be bothered. (Based on the other times, Charlie historically knows that he has no choice but to follow them anyway, and says as much before he's swept up.)
  • In Red vs. Blue: Out of Mind, this is one of the things that tips the audience off to Freelancer New York's Nice Guy status.
  • In Sam & Mickey's videos, Barbie doesn't do a very convincing job hiding her flaws.

    I swear these aren't Webcomics. 
  • Thief, Red Mage, and Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater are prone to this. Thief, however, has the force of personality to succeed in regularly conning people with his bald-faced lies.
  • In The Boy in Pink Earmuffs, when JJ's mom asks him how he got all scraped up, Danny says he fell on his butt, his back, his head, and his butt.
  • Brawl in the Family has this comic, where Dedede puts on a disguise and claims to be someone named Dede...doo. Subverted, when it turns out that it isn't really King Dedede.
  • Chainsawsuit has Roger the Bad Liar.
  • DHS Comix has Col Skinchanger, who despite being a shapeshifter whose patron god's domain is lies and trickery, cannot lie convincingly to save his life. Thankfully most people either believe his weak lies, play along or don't care he's lying.
  • Elliot of El Goonish Shive tends to fall into this trope from time to time.
  • In The End, all Fiah in human guise appear to be bad at both controlling their body language to hide deceptions and recognizing deception in humans, but Endi takes the cake.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Antimony is sometimes ... well, not very good at making things up. She also fails at coming up with a Bond One-Liner.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: Scarlet. It's kind of a miracle she hasn't been found out yet. From her name being a Line-of-Sight Alias to her lying about always smelling like blood. Later when Chase wants her to attend a meeting while disguised as someone else, she points out she is really bad at lying as an obvious flaw to his plan.
  • In Jupiter-Men, Quintin is so awful at lying that his attempts to explain himself tend to make others more suspicious of him rather than less. This is Played for Laughs and Played for Drama, as Quintin's inability to convincingly lie makes it difficult for him to maintain his Secret Identity if he's under any kind of pressure.
    Arrio: Putting aside that nightmare of a day... what were you guys talking about~?
    Quintin: [sweating bullets] Talking about? What would we be talking about? Were we even talking?! You're not making sense!
    Jackie: [imitating Quintin] Just need to act normal.
  • In Kaspall, Avril Isaac is impressively incapable of keeping a story straight.
  • Lackadaisy: When Ivy confronts Viktor about the fate of the attacker she'd left him with he very unconvincingly claims he let the man go. Ivy responds that he needs to learn to tell a decent lie, though she does not figure out that Viktor stashed the mans body in a truck right behind her.
  • My Impossible Soulmate: Keegan is often unable to do lie due to his expressive tail and ears usually giving the truth away.
  • The Order of the Stick. Elan the bard is a dreadful liar. Not because he lacks imagination, but because he has too much — being a Cloudcuckoolander, his lies tends to get over-the-top. Or be Suspiciously Specific Denial. And when disbelieved he just keeps Digging Himself Deeper, as on this page. His bald-faced lies do work from time to time, though, since Sense Motive isn't a very widespread skill in the comic. Elan's girlfriend sums it up best:
    Haley: No offense, but you literally can't bluff to save your life. In fact, I think your bluffs usually endanger your life in new and exciting ways.
    • O-Chul is a terrible liar. It's not even that the things he says are that unbelievable; it's just that his world runs on gaming mechanics, and his Charisma score is atrocious, because he started as a Fighter and thought Charisma was a safe choice for his Dump Stat — which naturally turned around to bite him in the behind when he started taking levels in Paladin, a class that benefits greatly from Charisma.
  • Paranatural: As with everything else that involves being cool and dramatic, Mr Spender is bad at this as soon as it gets out of the "initial one-liner" phase and into the "actually doing something" stage.
  • Selkie: Pohl has absolutely no ability to tell a convincing lie. Even children can see through him. This is a problem because he happens to know quite a bit of highly-classified information.
  • In The Silver Eye no one will tell Enel anything because he is a bad liar. His terrible lying skills are demonstrated in the first chapter when he tells Marcus that an imprisoned character must have escaped via lock picking. Not only was he not particularly convincing, but the key was still in the lock.
  • In Something*Positive, Jason kidnapped Anna's supposedly unworthy boyfriend. Anna followed the trail of drag-marks to Jason's apartment and demanded an explanation.
    Jason: Well, we've been having a real problem with Canadian Trapdoor Alligators. They scoop you up in a sack and drag you off to their den. It's horrible.
    Anna: I'm impressed. Somehow I thought you'd be a better liar.
    Jason: I'm not used to having to lie to a woman I didn't wake up next to.
  • A dislike of lying is a recurrent feature of the character of Ruby in Sticky Dilly Buns, as she actually says herself at one point — albeit sarcastically, when refusing to flatter someone else. The fact that she's blatantly deceiving herself over her interest in sex just causes her to blush furiously, and her persistent abrasiveness with her sister Amber may largely be caused by the fact that Amber involved her in deceiving their parents over Amber's career in porn for several years.
  • Tom from Sunstone has no poker face at all, meaning that Alan sees right through his attempt on behalf of Cassie to hook him up with Anne and tells him straight out "You can't lie for shit!" Though he could probably lie quite brilliantly if he didn't take such pleasure in alluding to the truth whenever he lies.
  • Unsounded: Matty tries telling Toma, who he'd spoken to the evening before, that he doesn't speak the language.

    Don't even bother looking for Web Original here. 
  • Cody Giles in Angel of Death is such a terrible liar that people around him can instantly pick up on any lie he tells no matter how plausible or how little they know him, though his need to conceal his secret identity seems to be forcing him to get better at it over time.
  • Light in the original Death Note Abridged by TioH and Dargonakis. to the point where he blurts out the fact that he's Kira to his father. His father, being the way he is, promptly forgets about it.
  • Light also does this in Death Note Abridged Parody Charleston VO when his mum sees Ryuk.
    Mum: Also, is that a demon?
    Light: No...... Nah......
  • Light in Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv):
    Light: 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.
  • Nahman of the GI Proz has shown to not be a very good liar, at least in his videos.
  • The Last Podcast on the Left debates this trope in their series on Casey Anthony, a woman who was found not guilty of murdering her three year old daughter, regarding whether the woman was a great liar or a terrible liar. On the one hand, she told and, for the most part, got away with some real whoppers, such as leading police through an office building she only claimed to work at for a long time through sheer Refuge in Audacity. However, nearly all of those lies were easily disproven with only minimal effort because she consistently escalated into Snowball Lies when called on anything. In the case of the office building she finally had to admit she didn't work at the office at all when she navigated police into a dead end.
  • Jay from Marble Hornets, who at one point gives the same person three different contradicting stories as to why he's staying in a hotel and carrying a camera everywhere he goes.
  • Matthew Santoro is never able to tell a convincing lie, because whenever he lies, he inadvertently gives it away by getting shifty eyes.
  • The Nostalgia Chick wasn't fooling anyone when she said she would be the last person to fall for a guy whose face she'd never seen.
  • The Nostalgia Critic's just as bad, stammering and falling into awkwardness when he can't keep a lie going, which is often.
  • Rhett & Link: Link wanted some time alone, so he lied repeatedly to Rhett in Ultimate Caption Fail 2.

  • Archer's Dr. Krieger definitely qualifies:
    Cheryl: Wait, how do you know Portuguese?
    Krieger: Because I grew up in Braz... istol County, Rhode Island. Lot of Portuguese in Rhode Island.
    Cyril: Where you're from.
    Krieger: Born and raised.
    Cyril: What's the state capital?
    Krieger: ...Dallas?
    Krieger: Leave me alone! I am not a Nazi!
    Cyril: What about your father?
    Krieger: No! He was a scientist!
    Cyril: Pretty sure the Nazis had scientists.
    Krieger: No! That's why we...hurgh...they lost the war! Lack of science!
  • Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender; when caught hatching a plan to escape from the Boiling Rock, he responds that the only thing they were hatching was "... an egg?"
    • Zuko is also a pretty bad liar (Azula must have gotten all the lying prowess in the family). In "The Southern Air Temple", Zhao sees right through his clumsy story:
    Zhao: (looking at Zuko's ship) That's quite a bit of damage.
    Zuko: Yes. You wouldn't believe what happened. Uncle! Tell Commander Zhao what happened!
    Iroh: It was incredible!... what, did we crash or something?
    Zuko: (looking WAY too innocent) Yes! Right into... an Earth Kingdom ship.
    • According to the "Avatar Extras" (Popups that give tidbits of trivia during a set of reruns) Zuko and Iroh have many talents... lying isn't one of them.
    • Toph exploits the fact that most people have physical reactions when they lie (increased breathing, faster heartbeat, etc) and thus she's usually able to call out liars. The only person she's never been able to read is Azula.
  • The Brak Show: Brak's new neighbor and not-so-secret cannibal, Franklin, does this often throughout normal conversation. Appropriately, his nose grows longer each time he does.
    Mom: Brak, why don't you run along and play with Winston?
    Brak: Okay, where's he stay at?
    Franklin: At the bottom of the stairs; you can't miss it. However, if you do, you'll fall through the trapdoor and die.
    Dad: You have a trapdoor?
    Franklin: Of course not.
    Dad: But you just—
    Franklin: No I didn't.
  • Even the dimwitted Tasmanian Devil doesn't believe the claim Bugs Bunny makes that he's a monkey, one of the few animals Taz doesn't eat.
  • In Dexter's Laboratory, Dee Dee's Imaginary Friend, the Koos-A-La-Goop-A-Goop is a Bad Liar; sort of. He tells Dee Dee that he's the king of the place that he's from, and while he's clearly lying to impress her, she is naive enough to believe him for most of the story. (Of course, Dee Dee isn't all too bright.)
  • In DuckTales (2017), Huey's reply to "Where's Dewey?" is "Who's Dewey?" (Louie had attempted "sleeping", but was undermined by Huey.) Webby is even worse, unable to convincingly lie to her grandmother (either yelling loudly or making up completely unbelievable nonsense). Later, she witnesses Louie ask for a free water cup and filling it with soda when the waitress's back is turned. When Louie encourages her to do the same, she very conspicuously asks for a "free water cup for soda", confusing the waitress and ultimately tipping off the store's manager to Louie's scheme.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Timmy can't seem to come up with a good lie to explain all the weird things he wishes for, each time he uses the Wild Card Excuse "the Internet". He even uses it when he travels to a time before the Internet even existed. Naturally, this comes to bite when he hooks himself to a Lie Detector which his father asks him where he got it from. Then there's "the power of music" for how he and the famous singer Chip Skylark got to the latter's concert so fast.
  • Family Guy:
    • Brian's explanation of why he's washing the sheets (that he soiled).
      Lois: Those look like our sheets and our quilt.
      Brian: They are — I'm-I'm washing them in some fabric softener because last night they were so itchy I couldn't sleep which is why I was downstairs when you asked me if everything was okay... You know, 'cause it was so itchy.
    • Peter is often shown to be this, usually in Cutaway Gags; in one, he denies having eaten some of the candy in Willy Wonka's factory despite having swelled up into a giant blue ball (like Violet in every adaptation), and in another he farts and tells the guy next to him "Uh, it was you."
  • Futurama: Bender.
    • After accidentally trashing Hermes' office, he offers this excuse:
      Bender: Uh, it was ghosts! Big ones! And a tornado!
    • He also once turns off the TV when Leela and Fry come in, claiming that he was watching pornography rather than a cooking show.
  • In an episode of Garfield and Friends, Garfield appears on a Show Within a Show called It Must Be True. Despite the name, he spends the whole show telling rather absurd Little Known Facts, like "There is no such place as Wyoming."
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: Destro's excuse when Cobra Commander catches him and the Baroness kissing in the "Pyramid of Darkness" five-part episode ("There was something in her eye") is pretty lame. Even CC doesn't fall for it.
  • PJ on Goof Troop is very honest, partly because it's just in his nature to want to tell the truth and partly because when he's forced into a situation where he wants to lie he always fails. Comes in several varieties: the thought of lying doesn't even occur to him, he looks for a way to technically not lie, he evades direct questions entirely while making it obvious what the truth is from his tone and body language, his lie sounds like sarcasm despite him wanting someone to be fooled (which, oddly enough, sometimes works), or he comes up with a ridiculous explanation such as "I'm just seeing how hot I can make my knees!" He has been helped by lies before... Max's lies.
  • From the Gravity Falls episode "Boyz Crazy", when Mabel and her friends are trying to sneak a boy band into the Mystery Shack.
    Dipper: And what's in that bag?
    Mabel: Uh, money. Money we stole!
    Candy: We are criminals! We will cut you!
  • In one episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Grim discovers that Morg, the Reaper of Mars, had something to do with the disappearances of the rest of the solar system's reapers. When he asks what happened to all of them, Morg says offhandedly, "They disintegrated... Complete accidents, every one of them." (This is very hard to believe, seeing as he keeps complete records on why each one was vaporized with video footage of it. None of the cases look like an accident.)
  • Zim from Invader Zim is full of this, with Suspiciously Specific Denial aplenty.
    Anchor: Well, Zim. I guess my first question is...are you an alien?
    Zim: LIES! THE FILTHY EARTH BOY LIES! (Beat) I mean, no.
  • Beezy on Jimmy Two-Shoes. He'll often buckle under pressure and tell people to quit interrogating him, even if they're simply commenting casually to what he is saying.
  • In Stitch! The Movie, the pilot for Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Jumba tries to convince Gantu that the totally-not-an-experiment-pod is a ping-pong ball:
    Gantu: Where are they?
    Jumba: They? Who they?
    Gantu: The other six hundred and twenty-five experiments.
    Jumba: (laughs) You must have me confused with other evil genius scientist!
    Gantu: (notices a pod with "625" inscribed on it) What have we here?
    Jumba: Uh... is uh... ping-pong ball! Is Earth sport, like tennis but tinier.
    Gantu: You're a bad liar, Jumba. Where are the other experiment pods?
  • Applejack from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is defined by her honesty, the Element of Harmony she represents. In the second season premiere, Discord turns her into a liar, but doesn't exactly give her the skills to do it well. Every time she lies, she bites her lip and makes shifty eyes, and when she's actually speaking, she blurts it out in a manner that makes her look like the dumbest pony alive — both in facial expression and content. She gets better at it in the next episode, at which point it's soon resolved. It certainly says a lot about a character's integrity when they have difficulty lying even when being magically compelled to do so.
    • Applejack doesn't need Discord's help to be a bad liar — also in Party of One, she's perhaps the only one to have a decent, plausible, ready-made excuse for not attending the party (that being that she's busy harvesting apples). It still takes her a good few seconds of gazing over the acres of farmland, buckets of apples, and "um"ing and "ah"ing before she finally manages to blurt something out.
    • Apparently, it runs in the family. Apple Bloom is also a terrible liar. For example, when she was "explaining" that Granny Smith couldn't come to class because of a family emergency, she involuntarily gave a nervous smile and her eyes started shifting. Apparently, she can cross "poker player" off her list of cutie mark attributes.
    • In "Party of One", the rest of the mane six have to come up with reasons why they can't attend Pinkie Pie's party. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy top the list by claiming they're housesitting for "Harry the Bear" who's on a beach vacation... playing beach volleyball/collecting seashells/collecting volleyballs/playing seashells. Rainbow Dash even doodles a watch on her wrist just so she can look at it and "realize" they're late. Of course, since this is Pinkie Pie they're talking to, their excuse is the one excuse she accepts when she starts to put things together.
  • Phineas from Phineas and Ferb in "The Beak". He scratches his ear, stutters and giggles nervously whenever he lies in that episode, and he lies only to Isabella, for that matter.
  • An entire episode of Regular Show revolved around Rigby betting Mordecai that he was this, while Mordecai attempted to prove him wrong.
  • In the episode "Reunion" of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, it turns out that Bow has been living a double life, telling his dads that he's studying at a made-up educational institution instead of fighting with the rebellion like he's actually been doing. When Adora and Glimmer track him down, he has to frantically coach them on the made-up backstories he gave them, and while Glimmer manages to hold it together reasonably well, Adora has trouble remembering which major he said she had, appears convinced that scholars speak some kind of mutant version of English, and so on. Nor are Bow's attempts to cover things up any more convincing.
    Bow: Adora has a sixth major in She-Ra?
  • South Park. When the boys are waiting outside Mr. Mackey's office to be questioned about toilet papering a house, Cartman goes over their alibi:
    Cartman: Okay. Last night, all four of us were at the bowling alley until about 7:30, at which time we noticed Ally Sheedy, the Goth chick from The Breakfast Club, was bowling in the lane next to us, and we asked her for her autograph, but she didn't have a pen, so we followed her out to her car, but on the way we were accosted by five Scientologists who wanted to give us all personality tests, which were administered at the Scientology Center in Denver until 10:45, at which time we accidentally boarded the wrong bus home and ended up in Rancho de Fritas Rojos, south of Castle Rock, and finally got a ride home with a man who was missing his left index finger, named Gary Bushwell, arriving home at 11:46.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "A Distant Echo", Captain Rex makes an unconvincing attempt to cover for Anakin when he's making a private holo-call to Padmé in the barracks. It's implied that Rex's claim that Anakin is allegedly spot-checking his gear is their regular excuse since Anakin has Rex give him his helmet before he goes inside, but it's still not good. Obi-Wan sees straight through it, but doesn't call him on it.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "Breaking Ranks", as part of a plan to steal an Imperial encryption module from Agent Kallus' office, Ezra's new friend Zare Leonis has the job of distracting Kallus so Ezra can telekinetically steal the module. Zare does this by claiming he has a delivery of used podracer parts for the agent. And Zare is so nervous doing it that Kallus suspects something is up.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "The Triple Dark", Kaz, a rookie spy with pilot training but no mechanical training, who has to work as a mechanic as cover, claims to his coworker Tam that he worked as a mechanic in a factory on Coruscant that made "new ships". And, as per this trope, he's decidedly less than convincing.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Ruby turns out to have this trait in "Hit the Diamond", complete with sweating a lot and blurting out very unconvincing statements. Luckily, the people she's lying to are, put bluntly, so stupid they don't notice a sixth member joining their group because their leader forgot to count herself at roll call, so she still fools them.
    • Steven is a little better, but he still cracks under pressure, especially when compared to more experienced liars, like Connie.
      Connie: Hey Mom. I was just finishing up my six o'clock violin practice.
      Dr. Maheswaran: You should've been done an hour ago. [...] Hey Steven, how are you doing?
      Steven: [sweating and nervously glancing at the thing they're keeping hidden from Connie's mom] SITTING!
    • Steven probably picked this up from Garnet, who has psychic future sight and still can't come up with a convincing thing to tell Connie's mother on the phone.
      Garnet: (completely deadpan) The children are playing swords. Sorry, with swords. They're bleeding. Oh no, they're dead. Don't call again. [hangs up] I panicked.
  • Liar Starscream (whom Word of God definitely hasn't named Ramjet...) from Transformers: Animated never speaks a word other than the truth. Everything he says most certainly does not sound like a lie. This page at the Transformers Wiki is not about him, and does not make his lying (which he never does BTW) really, really obvious.
    • Ironically this means he really can't lie — as long as you keep in mind that what he's saying is a lie, swap it around and you've got the truth.
  • Transformers: Cyberverse: Megatron's credentials as leader of the Decepticons come under question when a Not Quite Dead Starscream suddenly returns and steals the Allspark. When Optimus assumes this was Megatron's plan, instead of Screamer acting on his own initiative, Megatron's attempt to play along rather than admit weakness has all the conviction of reading it off cue cards, and he runs away at the earliest opportunity rather than have to keep having that conversation.
  • The titular Venture Brothers are a prime example.
    Sea Captain: Yer... not a good liar, are ya, Dean?
    Dean: Mmmmmmaybe...
  • Artemis in Young Justice. She looks away, stutters, and visibly has to fish for ideas when lying. This is made kind of hilarious by the fact that her father and sister are supervillains, and her mother is a reformed one. Which is usually what she's lying about.
  • Evilina in the Zipi y Zape animated series. Not that it was really her fault: as a result of a failed experiment by Peloto, she suffered mutations of her body every time she lied.

This is not the end of the page; this is the, uhhhh, beginning. Yeah, the beginning — that's right, the beginning.



How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadBadActing

Media sources: