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Celebrity Lie

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Usually takes the form "Of course I know [famous person]. We grew up/went to school/served in the military/shared a cell in a Turkish prison together. I can certainly get tickets/backstage passes/an interview/other difficult or impossible favor for you, no problem."

Of course, the person making the claim has no such connection to the celebrity in question, and sometimes may not even have a clue of who the celebrity is. The promise is made either in an attempt to look more important than he really is, or out of misplaced sympathy for a friend, a child, or some other "unfortunate" who has failed at the task. The resulting mad scramble to make good on the foolish promise drives at least a subplot (if not the main plot) for an entire episode.

It usually ends up with apparent failure (and thus disgrace to the one who uttered the Celebrity Lie) suddenly rescued at the last minute by the celebrity in question, who sometimes goes so far as to help maintain the liar's deception. Usually requires a Special Guest or a Celebrity Star, although fictional celebrities are sometimes employed with sufficient exposition for the audience (see The Weekenders, "Band").

A common version seen in children's media (and countless real-life playground tall tales) since The '80s is the kid who claims that his father or uncle works for a famous video game company, and that he can get them cheat codes, a beta build of their latest game, or some other swag.

Virtually every 1970s sitcom had at least one of these episodes, and the plot continues to be used today.

This device is often employed when the writers feel the need to enact An Aesop about honesty, without actually requiring the characters to be honest.

Contrast History with Celebrity, when the shared history with a famous person is apparently legitimate. Not to be confused with Celebrity Is Overrated. For cases where a character wrongly thinks this is the case because the claimant is "uncool" or "not respectable", see Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders. For a character sincerely thinking he does know the celebrity well enough to ask for favors but the celebrity doesn't, see Mutually Unequal Relationship.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bora in the first chapter of Fairy Tail claims to be a member of Fairy Tail to convince Lucy to go to his party on a yacht (actually a trap). When Natsu hears this he proceeds to confront Bora. Natsu proceeds to beat Bora senseless whilst shouting that he won't allow him to dirty Fairy Tail's rep. It becomes a case of "Unwitting It's Personal" because Bora was claiming to be the famous Salamander — Natsu's nickname — but Natsu appears to be completely unaware that it's him people refer to when they talk about Salamander.

    Asian Animation 
  • Bread Barbershop: While Bread is somewhat well-known throughout Bakery Town, in "Father Bread", Wilk comes up with an operation to give the idea of him being more popular to impress Bread's father, giving everyone fake items with Bread on it such as foods and a copy of TIME Magazine and making them gush about Bread. It works up to a point.
  • The Simple Samosa episode "Banana Fontana" has Samosa being asked if he knows any celebrities to replace one that can't make it to attend a store's grand opening. Samosa claims to know a popstar named Banana Fontana... whom he not only does not know, but made up on the spot, meaning he has to spend the remainder of the episode alternating between being himself and being Disguised in Drag as his Invented Individual.

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in a strip from the British girls' comic Bunty. A group of girls are unpleasant to a classmate whom they perceive as delusional because she makes wild, exaggerated claims about her life such as being the sister of a famous pop star. It turns out she really is his sister and the moral of the story was not to make cruel judgements about people.

    Comic Strips 
  • Madam & Eve inverts the trope in this comic, where the Andersons return home to find Eve throwing a large party. She explains that it's a birthday party for Nelson Mandella, and Madam declares the party over. Mandella hugs Eve goodbye, and the shocked Andersons chase after him... thus failing to notice the other superstars at the party.

    Fan Works 
  • Many Miraculous Ladybug fanworks involving Lila naturally include this tendency of hers. This is frequently made to blow up in her face:
    • BURN THE WITCH has her convincing Rose to contribute to a Fake Charity, with Rose in turn convincing others to contribute as well, including Prince Ali. When Lila steals the money, Rose tries to mollify the Prince by telling him that it was set up by his "good friend", only for him to bluntly inform her that he doesn't know anyone named Lila Rossi and ends their friendship. Rose is so enraged upon learning the Awful Truth that she's akumatized into "Witch Hunter", a Rabble Rouser villain who wants to lynch Lila, Spanish Inquisition-style.
    • LadyBugOut sees her claiming to have helped Ladybug set up the titular blog. When Marinette posts a video revealing her own involvement (carefully set up to preserve her Secret Identity), Lila tries to claim that she only ever said that Ladybug asked her to help, not that she agreed.
    • In Leave for Mendeleiev, Hawkmoth sees Lila's "exclusive interview" on the Ladyblog where she claims to be Ladybug's best friend and promptly targets her with his latest akuma. Chat Noir proceeds to make things much worse when he casually reassures Ladybug that Lila can save herself by using her own Miraculous, forcing Lila to reveal that she was lying.
    • The Point of Divergence of the AU fic The One to Make It Stay is Rose learning from Prince Ali that he's never met Lila, much less worked with her like she claimed. This leads to Kitty Section rallying around Marinette as her allies, as well as revealing Lila's deception to the rest of their class, though not everyone believes them.
    • Lila tries this twice on the Japanese students in Raise Your Voice Against Liars, only to get rebuked because they know more about the people she's talking about than she does. The first time, she claims that she's a former student of famous artist Ichiryuusai Madarame to Madarame's much-abused former foster son and pupil Yusuke; the second time, she claims to a larger group of students that she's dating Kunikazu Okumura's son, not realizing his only child and daughter Haru is in earshot.
    • This one backfires big-time on Lila in Scarlet Lady, as the titular Nominal Heroine is none other than Chlo√© Bourgeois. Not only does Adrien instantly figure out that she's lying about being her friend (and is extra pissed off since Scar forces him to pull all the weight while she steals all the credit for protecting Paris), Chlo√©'s so furious over her lies that she throws her into a fountain.
    • Wait, you're related to who now? sees Lila set up for one, claiming to Bustier's class that she's related to someone famous. She doesn't get the chance to say who, though, instead getting blindsided when the others start talking about the famous superheroes they're actually related to in response to her claims.
    • In Who You Know, Lila claims to know the mysterious new fashion designer MDC, and tells Alya that she's going to try and help Marinette meet her. What neither of them realizes is that Marinette is MDC, so when she hears about the supposed offer, Marinette can't help but burst out laughing.
    • Marinette's own celebrity connections are often invoked as well. Particularly her knowing Jagged Stone, who is commonly portrayed as confused and aghast that anyone thinks he ever owned a cat, much less that some girl he's never met saved it from being run over by an airplane and that he wrote a song about the incident.

    Film — Animation 
  • A Goofy Movie: Max can't go to Roxanne's viewing party for pop star Powerline's concert because his father is taking him on a fishing trip. Naturally, Max tells her he can't come because they're going to be at the concert because Powerline and Goofy are friends from way back. At the end, Goofy and Max do break into the concert and appear on TV, but Max still feels the need to confess to Roxanne. She forgives him. (What do you expect? It's a Disney movie.)
  • In Sing 2, Buster's desperate pitch to producer Jimmy Crystal includes an offhand reference to a song by reclusive singer Clay Calloway, which morphs into him knowing Calloway personally and having him star in the show. Thus, one of the subplots of the film is Buster trying to track down Calloway and convince him to join.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Big Night, celebrity chef Gusteau claims to know Louis Prima and offers to send him to a party evening to boost Primo and Secondo's publicity. Whether he really knows Prima is unknown; either way, he doesn't show.
  • Played straight, subverted and then played straight again with Joey "The Lips" Fagan in The Commitments. He claims to have been a session trumpeter who has played with all the greats including Elvis. The trope comes into play when Wilson Pickett comes to Dublin and Jimmy Rabbitte asks Joey if he can get him to play with the Commitments on stage (Joey having claimed with Wilson Pickett on a number of occasions). Joey claims to do so (we never see the meeting) but then Wilson Pickett never turns up to the Commitments' concert so Jimmy Rabbitte assumes that Joey was lying.....until later on as he's going home, he's stopped by the driver of a large limousine asking for directions to the club. Then later on Jimmy gets a postcard from Joey saying he's on tour with a musician...who died five years ago.
  • The 1965 beach movie The Girls on the Beach has a bunch of guys trying to impress sorority sisters by promising to get the Fab Four to perform at their fundraising concert (apparently, The Beach Boys and Lesley Gore, who perform in the film, weren't good enough). When the girls uncover the lie just before the concert, they dress up and go on stage as "The Beatles", which surprisingly goes over well with the audience.
  • Subverted in, of all things, the Hannah Montana movie. Miley tries impressing people in her hometown by telling them she "knows" Hannah Montana.
  • In Hustle & Flow, DJay's plan to get famous hinges entirely on his connection with old high school buddy Skinny Black, a local boy who made good and became a famous rapper. As it turns out, DJay is lying to his all his friends and had never crossed circles with Skinny Black ever.
  • In It Happened in Hollywood, Tim promises to bring Billy to his Hollywood ranch and introduce him to fellow celebrities once he recovers. This isn't a lie at the time as Tim is a major Hollywood star. However, by the time Billy arrives, the introduction of talkies has destroyed Tim's career. So as not to disappoint Billy, Tim throws a party using the doubles and stand-ins of the Hollywood stars.
  • Jazzin For Blue Jean: David Bowie plays a man who tries to impress a woman by claiming (falsely) to be friends with a rock star she seems interested in, who is also played by David Bowie. Turns out that she and the rock star knew each other — as lovers — all along.

  • In The Fabulous Five book The Bragging War, Beth claims to know visiting rock star Trevor Morgan. Egged on by the disbelief of her rival, she claims to not only know him, but to have been personally invited to his upcoming concert. She manages to sneak into his hotel dressed up as a Native American (knowing this will get his attention thanks to his interest in the topic) and finagle front row tickets to the concert for her and her friends.
  • Children's book The Fib by actor George Layton — apparently autobiographical — tells the story of a young lad who claims that his uncle is famous footballer Bobby Charlton. He is correctly disbelieved, and then the real Bobby Charlton shows up to turn on the Christmas lights. His friends attempt to dob him in, only for Charlton to take it like a real sport and pretend that he is indeed the boy's uncle. Of course, he then gets into trouble because his mother doesn't believe he's late home because he's been having tea with Bobby Charlton and the Lord Mayor...
  • James Herriot met a farm labourer who claimed, despite the sarcastic derision of his mates, to know lots of famous people. Herriot reluctantly agrees to go with him to a Yorkshire county cricket match where the unpreposessing farmhand claims to know the star players. There is no sign of recognition of him on their part and Herriot is steeling himself for the fact he will very soon witness humiliation on the part of the Walter Mitty farmhand, as he is brought down by reality. As the players leave the field at the end of play, an England international star, the Ian Botham or the Freddie Flintoff of the day, does a double-take and stops, exclaiming "Walter! how are you? sorry I didn't see you sitting there or I'd have said hello earlier..." and rushes over to shake hands with Herriot's companion. Several other players also recognise Walter...
  • Given a twist in Maskerade. Granny Weatherwax claims to be Lady Esmerelda Weatherwax, noted patron of the arts, who doesn't exist. However, she really has met the famous opera singer Senor Basilica, albeit in a context entirely unrelated to opera, and learned a few things in that brief acquaintance that he doesn't want known. As such when she claims to have met him many times in opera houses she can't remember the name of, he agrees that he too has met her many times, in opera houses the names of which have also unaccountably slipped his mind, confirming her identity.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Acapulco: Played for laughs with the chatty bartender, Beto, who is introduced as a guy who has thousands of anecdotes about celebrities...some of which are true.
    Beto: My friend Marlon Brando makes the same joke about me.
  • Archie Bunker's Place (the 1979 sequel series to All in the Family) displayed an early inversion of this trope in the episode "The Return of Sammy", when Archie fails to convince his friends at his bar that he actually knows Sammy Davis Jr. (Which he did, thanks to an episode of All in the Family from years earlier — see Ignore the Disability.) Even a call to a live TV show where Archie speaks directly to Sammy seems destined to paint him a liar until Archie gives enough detail about their earlier encounter, prompting Sammy's enthusiastic recognition and subsequent visit to the bar.
  • Boy Meets World had an episode where Eric and Jack form a fraternity named "Magnum Pi". When the dean of the fictional Pennbrook College asks who their famous alums are, the two scramble for names and come up with "Bernie Kopell and Ted Lange" (of The Love Boat fame). They did show up, though Eric had to pay them for their time.
  • The Brady Bunch had two examples:
    • Bobby claims to know football star Joe Namath to impress his friends. After many unsuccessful attempts of his own, Cindy manages to wrangle a visit from the athlete...problem is, she faked a letter in Bobby's name claiming he was deathly ill. Naturally, their cover is blown, but in the end Bobby gets to throw a few passes with Joe and his friends are so impressed they don't even believe him when he owns up to his lie at the beginning of the episode!
    • On another episode, Marcia made an empty promise to hire Davy Jones to sing at a school dance, then went crazy trying to fulfill her promise (mostly just to save her reputation). In the end, she not only gets him to sing at the dance, but receives the honor of being his date for the dance as well.
  • Also used on Brooklyn Bridge — the grandfather claims to have played ball with Gil Hodges. When they run into Gil Hodges, he plays along with the story so the grandfather doesn't lose face with his grandkid. He's called a mensch for it.
  • Buffalo Bill: Bill hires a Burt Reynolds look-alike to do a pop in on his local talk show, pretending it's his good friend the real Reynolds.
  • In an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Giles apparently had once told Olivia that he was an original member of Pink Floyd.
  • Cheers: Woody has an extra role on Spenser For Hire and claims to have become good friends with its star Robert Urich. Nobody believes him, but it's true as shown in The Stinger of the episode.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor is often prone to this, depending on the incarnation. He's a time-traveler, though, so at least some of them are likely true.
  • Frasier
    • In "A Lilith Thanksgiving", Frasier and Lilith try to impress the headmaster of their son's fancy school by pretending that Lilith had been given earrings by Golda Meir. The ruse completely falls apart when Frasier tries to describe their connection to Meir's cousin... Oscar.
    • In "The Perfect Guy", Frasier tries to impress the title character, new KACL medical presenter Clint Webber, by claiming he was friends with opera tenor Jose Carreras. Turns out that Carreras is Clint's godfather. This leads to what might be the best line this trope ever inspired: when Clint says, "I'll call Carreras tonight; he'll be delighted to hear I'm working with you!", Frasier laughs nervously and says, "I'll be interested to see if he remembers the game we used to play, where we'd pretend not to remember one another."
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
    • One episode has Will lying to his aunt and uncle that he can get Boyz II Men to sing at Nicky's christening because he grew up with them in Philly. He goes to their studio where they are doing some recording sessions and begs them to come, which works at first until events lead up to clarifying what is a slight subversion of the trope: Will actually did know one of the members, Wanya Morris, but only because he stole his girlfriend, which leads to the group saying no. After this fails, he returns to the studio dressed in a Santa suit and gets them to come, until he accidentally reveals himself. Later on, when it seems they won't show up, Will begins to confess and it seems everyone is about to be disappointed, but the group shows up at the last minute singing "Silent Night" and their first names, in turn, are used as Nicky's middle name.
    • Inverted with Hilary, who frequently claimed to know famous people, to which a disbelieving Will would scoff. . .only to have several of these celebrities show up at the Banks' Christmas party and greet Hilary warmly, revealing that they obviously did know each other very well.
  • Full House had a subplot where the band R.E.M. is booked for a bar, but it turns out it's three old ladies — Rebecca, Esther, and Martha.
  • Subverted repeatedly as a Running Gag in Gavin & Stacey; Vanessa is constantly namedropping celebrities she's met (and often slept with) in her Mysterious Past — and she's apparently telling the truth every time.
  • Girls5eva: As part of her Mock Millionaire act Wickie pretended to be friends with the Dalai Lama.
  • The Golden Girls:
    • When the girls are working to host a variety show to raise money for charity, their scheduled emcee cancels. Rose is convinced that Bob Hope, who she has never met, is actually her biological father, and will host the show for them. Through a bizarre coincidence (Hope was Sophia's new boyfriend's old vaudeville partner), Bob Hope really does show up to host the event, although no indication is given that he's been made remotely aware of Rose's conviction.
    • Another episode has Sophia claim that she has a date with Julio Iglesias. The other women think she's lying to avoid admitting that she, like the others, doesn't have a date scheduled for Valentine's Day. After Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose leave for their dates (their dates just cancelled to surprise them later), Iglesias shows up and goes out with Sophia.
    • At one point, the girls win a contest to attend a meet and greet event with Burt Reynolds, but exclude Sophia as they only have three tickets. Sophia nabs the tickets from them after they are mistakenly arrested for prostitution, and tells them about the all the celebrities she hung out with at the event once they get out. Sophia claims to have a date with Burt Reynolds later, but Dorothy blames her for fabricating the tales to make them feel worse for missing the event. However, Burt Reynolds shows up at the door for her date with Sophia immediately after.
    • When Frank Sinatra comes to town,and the girls stress out about how they will obtain tickets to his show, Sophia doesn't worry and offers to get tickets for everyone through her connections to the singer. No one believes her and all parties go to great lengths to buy tickets on their own. Sophia ultimately comes through in the end, resulting in an enormous surplus of tickets, which the girls are arrested for trying to scalp.
    • In "Mrs. George Devereaux", Dorothy says that she met Sonny Bono and Lyle Waggoner and they both fell for and were fighting for her, but as she was Allegedly Dateless, no one believes her. While she was telling the truth, the episode turns out to be a Bizarro Episode that was All Just a Dream.
    • After Rose has an argument with Blanche, she begins calling Blanche out on the outrageous sexual encounters that she constantly claims to have engaged in, which often involve celebrities. One of the stories she contradicts is what she claims to have done with Buzz (supposedly Aldrin) in the Lunar Module.
      Blanche: I would never lie about the US Space Program!
  • Happy Days: Richie really did know the keyboard player from "Johnny Fish & the Fins" at summer camp, but when he tries to get tickets for their concert nobody believes him because they're in the nosebleed section. They figure he just bought cheap tickets to cover the lie. Then he's given a Shout-Out from the stage, and everyone believes him.
  • Hollyoaks had a spin-off episode where Dennis Savage tries to impress his friends by tracking down the musician Maverick Sabre and asking him to perform at the Savages' party. Dennis really has met Maverick before, but no one will believe him, and it's a race against time to find Maverick before the party.
  • I'm Still Alan Partridge had Alan claim to his girlfriend that he knew Bono, lead singer of U2. After a row, she insisted he take her to Bono's house, so Alan takes her to a stately home and arranges for a man to turn up in dark glasses speaking in a fake Irish accent, which backfires quite badly.
  • The Jim Henson Hour back-half special Miss Piggy's Hollywood has her trying to put this over on the audience, even as it quickly becomes clear that the Tinseltown stars she's trying to get on camera for interviews are not dear friends of hers, reaching a low point when an angry Justine Bateman backs her into a pool (Gonzo told her agent she was going to be interviewed by Barbara Walters). Just after she knocks on the door of the final "friend", Dudley Moore, Piggy finally breaks down and cries as she admits to the audience that she's been fibbing because she wanted to live up to their expectations...and for a moment doesn't realize that Moore has not only stepped outside but is thrilled to see her, as he's a huge fan of hers. She promptly cheers up after that!
  • A variation in Kenan & Kel - Kenan mistakenly thinks Sharla is going to the dance with some "special guy" (she means him) and lies saying he's taking R&B singer Tamia. Realising his mistake, he goes to a signing and eventually persuades Tamia to say yes. She is forced to cancel at the last minute - but Kenan has already left for the dance so she tells Sharla instead.
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien had a recurring skit where they would have a person walk across the set, stating that this person was some lesser-known public figure (usually a scientist or politician). Conan would then ask bandleader Max Weinberg if he was familiar with this person, and Max would respond by usually either saying that he has been following their work for years, or that they go way back and were childhood friends. Conan would then reveal that the person who just appeared on the set was actually an actor that they cast in order to fool Max, and an "ASS" stamp would be graphically super-imposed over his face.
  • Likewise the The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode that takes place in Washington, where Lou can't convince Mary that he knows important politicians. She refuses to believe that Gerry Ford left his pipe in Lou's hotel room, even after Betty Ford (playing herself) calls to inquire about it.
    Betty Ford: Hello Mary, this is Betty Ford.
    Mary Richards: Hi, Betty. This is Mary — Queen of Scots!
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Subverted in the episode "Major Topper". In a bragging and name-dropping contest, Charles Winchester claims to have had dinner with Audrey Hepburn, despite never having seen any of her movies. Hawkeye and B.J. refuse to believe him, until Charles produces a photograph (which is never shown to the viewers) to prove the veracity of his tale.
    • Played straight in "Bombshells", when Hawkeye and Charles start a rumor that Marilyn Monroe is going to visit the 4077th, and it snowballs until even Colonel Potter believes it and arranges a welcome ceremony for her.
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon twists this. Mio, the villain, claims that Usagi knows Idol Singer Minako and can get her to perform for the class, while telling Usagi that she'll take care of it. In reality, she's actually plotting to make Usagi miserable and lonely, intending for Minako never to show up. Minako, being Sailor Venus, is suspicious of Mio, finds out the plot and shows up.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
    • Inverted. Sabrina ends up alienating her co-workers and they're convinced she's crazy. One day she pays for a woman's coffee and talks casually about it to her, not knowing it is actually Ashanti. Ashanti later comes into the magazine office while it's empty and sings for Sabrina to prove who she is. The rest of the magazine refuse to believe Sabrina but then Ashanti comes back in and references their conversation earlier, making it seem like they know each other. Sabrina then makes it seem like they have known each other a while in order to save her reputation.
    • Also subverted in a season six episode. Roxie claims to know Isaac Hanson - which she does. They dated years ago.
  • In one episode of Saturday Night Live, Jon Lovitz's Pathological Liar character was trying to pick up Jerry Hall in a bar, with increasingly absurd lies ranging from being a Senator, inventing Rock'n'Roll, to knowing Mick Jagger. Mick Jagger then walks in to pick up his girlfriend, and uses Lovitz as his excuse for not coming home some nights.
  • Seinfeld
    • In "The Wink," Kramer, in order to get back a priceless birthday card he accidentally sold, promises a young sick boy that Yankees player Paul O'Neill will hit two home runs for him.
    • George saying that he is "very good friends with Keith Hernandez" as part of a scam. Although Jerry had spent the past two episodes as Keith's friend, and George's scheme only failed because Jerry and Keith had an argument.
    • George was fond of bragging that the previous owner of his car was Jon Voight. This was technically true in that it belonged to someone with that name, but it wasn't the famous actor, as he wanted people to believe.
  • Silver Spoons: Alfonso claims to know Michael Jackson, and when called on it he hires a Jackson look-alike to show up. Everybody is convinced but he ends up telling the truth.
  • Subverted in Sister, Sister, where not only does Roger know Batman (from the group Immature/IMX) because he is related to him, he gets him to come. Of course, since Batman looks just like Roger (and Marques Houston plays both), no one believes him until the very end of the episode.
  • Small Wonder had a running gag with the Brindles' aunt Ida Mae, who continually claimed to know practically every celebrity on the planet, even to the point of giving them advice. She name-dropped constantly, and the Lawsons thought they had a chance to prove she was lying when they met Lyle Alzado and asked if he'd come over that night for a moment. Before Lyle shows up, they ask Ida Mae if she knows him, which of course, she claims to, saying that it was her idea for him to go into professional football. He wanted to be a ballet dancer. This story, like her others, is so ridiculous the family thinks they've got her dead to rights. Cue Alzado entering...only to shout "Ida Mae!" and run into her arms, proclaiming "If it weren't for this woman I'd be doing Swan Lake in a tutu!"
  • The Steve Harvey Show:
    • Played with: Steve meets Michael Jordan (who doesn't appear in the episode) after a fender-bender and convinces him to speak at the school's entrepreneur day event. Regina does not believe Steve at first but a call to the school from the insurance company convinces her and she is thrilled. Later, Michael Jordan cancels his appearance, leaving Steve to tell Regina the bad news. He couldn't bring himself to disappoint her so he hires an MJ look-alike to come to the school. Hilarity Ensues when the agency sends Michael Jackson instead.
    • Sara did this a lot during the first season. She constantly lied to her classmates that she knew certain celebrities like George Clooney, Will Smith, and Wesley Snipes. This usually prompted everyone to tell her to shut up.
  • The Suite Life on Deck: In another effort to impress Bailey, Cody tells her that he is friends with Hannah Montana and can get them tickets for the concert she was going to hold. Subverted because he actually does know Hannah (they met at the Tipton when they were younger) but Hannah doesn't remember Cody. Cody does everything he could to win the tickets for him and Bailey and when he fails, he tells the truth to Bailey but she is touched that Cody was willing to go through so much trouble for her. Then, Hannah and Lola skip by and Hannah finally remembers Cody (Woody getting cake all over Cody's shirt helped) and gives them tickets and backstage passes. Cody and Bailey then have a Relationship Upgrade (prompting a hilarious Brick Joke from the beginning of the season).
  • The Vicar of Dibley did a variation on this. A local offers to secure the services of his distant cousin, a musician named Reginald Dwight (the real name of Elton John), for a town event. The vicar assumes this Reginald Dwight to actually be Elton John, only to discover at the last moment that he is simply an accordion player with the same name. In this case, it is not so much a celebrity lie as a celebrity mistake, as the person making the claim did not actually know. This may have been inspired by a similar urban legend reputing that Eric Clapton had offered to play guitar for a local church, only to be declined by an unknowing vicar who advised him to practice more first.
  • On The Wayans Bros., Busta Rhymes is in town for a concert and Dee's church needs $3,000 to stave off foreclosure due to Shawn and Marlon losing the money because they got arrested for scalping tickets to said concert. At that point they meet Busta and try to get him to remember them from their school days. He says that he does and that's because they insulted his girlfriend who is now his wife. He refuses to help them. Later, they raise money for Dee's church by lying that Busta will do a benefit concert. Marlon hijacks Busta's limo and takes him and his crew to the church instead of the airport. Busta's angry at first, but when Marlon and Shawn apologize to him, he agrees to do the benefit and Dee's church is saved.
  • On one episode of The Weird Al Show, Al claims to know John Tesh and promises his friends that Tesh will perform in his cave. He then attempts to pull off an elaborate sales scam to raise enough money to hire Tesh for said performance. When the scam falls through and people come in to return the product, one of the people turns out to be John Tesh himself. Al doesn't recognize him.
  • Occurred in the final episode of What's Happening!!, with Rerun pretending to know Sammy Davis, Jr., and then later being pressed to have him appear for a performance at a teen center.
  • Wings: In an attempt to get Alex to go out with him, Brian tells her that he knows Clint Black and has several misadventures trying to meet him before Helen finally convinces the country singer to pretend to be an old friend of his. Afterward, Alex tells Brian that she had been sure he was lying and that the fact that Brian would have gone to such absurd lengths to impress her made her consider going out with him, however when she found out he actually did know him, it completely took the air out of it.

  • Pretty much the point of the Aaron Carter song "Oh Aaron". Although Aaron really is Nick Carter's little brother, three thousand tickets are a bit much.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Confessions Part III" includes this revealed lie.
    Al: Like remember when I told you I knew Pauly Shore (Pauly Shore)
    That's a lie, I don't know what I said that for.

  • Inverted in this Dork Tower comic strip with Stan Lee.
  • NEXT!!! Sound of the Future: In chapter 6, Shine pretends to be idol influencer Princess' friend so she can confirm whether Roll's tip that she frequently visits a specific coffee shop is true.

    Western Animation 
  • The American Dad! episode "My Morning Straitjacket" has Stan become a fan of the band My Morning Jacket, and he and Roger eventually manage to find their way onto their tour bus. Stan tries to ingratiate himself by making up a story about partying with famous musicians. Unfortunately, the musicians he chooses are "Tina Jivestrong" and "the black guy from The Beatles", and he and Roger are summarily kicked off the bus.
  • In the Bob's Burgers episode "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl", Courtney's father Doug promises teacher Ms. LaBonz that if the school performs his daughter's proposed musical adaptation of Working Girl, he can get Carly Simon to attend. At the show, LaBonz sits next to Simon's reserved seat while wearing a T-shirt reading "You're Still Vain Tour '85". The performance comes to a halt near the end and Simon still has not shown up while Doug makes various excuses for her tardiness. When it becomes obvious the whole thing was a lie just to ensure putting on his daughter's show, LaBonz confronts him and says "You probably think this slap is about you." (referencing Simon's hit song "You're So Vain") before slapping him in the face. After this, a re-written musical is performed and Simon shows up in time for the curtain call, and sings with the cast during the episode's credits. Simon voiced herself for this appearance.
  • In an episode of Father of the Pride Larry the Lion claims to know Donkey from Shrek in order to impress his son's classmates. A Zany Scheme ensues (involving kidnapping what turns out to be Donkey's stunt double), before Donkey decides to play along. It should be noted that in this case, Larry actually tries to get help from the "real celebrity" much earlier than the usual examples of this trope. However, Donkey keeps adamantly refusing. The only reason Donkey eventually decides to help is because he walks in on Larry's son's classmates laughing at him...which causes Donkey to have a painful flashback to his own foalhood days of his classmates laughing at him, so Donkey sympathizes with Larry's son enough to play along.
  • Hercules: The Animated Series had Hercules claiming to know the master bard Orpheus and could get him to play at their dance to impress the amazon princess he had a crush on. Parodied in that Hades claimed the same thing to get Lastrigon, the Titan, to join his forces.
  • Jetta from Jem is a wannabe British Rockstar who lies about her celebrity status in America. She eventually becomes an actual celebrity by joining The Misfits but she constantly tells her bandmates about how she's friends with the queen and is wealthy. It isn't until several episodes later that her lie is exposed, after she almost weasels Pizzazz out of a million dollars. As an extra joke, Jetta's Cockney accent betrays her lies however her friends are too ignorant to notice and think all British accents are posh-sounding.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, many of Lila's lies involve knowing famous celebrities (for example, she claims famous rock star Jagged Stone wrote a song about her). The problems start when she lies that she knows Ladybug, which is eventually exposed as a lie to the guy she's trying to woo and leads to her getting akumatized.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Played with in the episode "Sweet and Elite". Rarity really does know Princess Celestia, which is what initially turns the Canterlot upper class's heads towards her; however, an incident involving some upper class ponies shunning her earlier in the day for coming from Ponyville drives her to put out a few fibs here and there to mask her origins. Eventually comes to a head when her friends from Ponyville show up at Canterlot, end up merging Twilight's birthday party with the upper class one Rarity was invited to, and inadvertently force Rarity to admit where she really came from. Fortunately for her, one of the most influential ponies she befriended finds the whole thing "delightfully rustic", so she gets to keep her celebrity status despite the earlier lies.
    • Another variant in the same episode exists. Rarity, discussing who will win the Wonderbolts Derby she and several upper class ponies are attending, uses what Rainbow Dash has told her to correctly guess the winner. Rainbow Dash's name was mentioned, though, and when the other ponies ask who she is, Rarity claims that Dash is the Wonderbolts' personal trainer.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one episode Lisa becomes popular when Bart tells everyone that she is best friends with a Hannah Montana Expy. Lisa plays along with the lie but eventually has to come clean.
    • Another episode of this has Gary Coleman pretend to be talking to the President of the United States on a telephone that isn't plugged in — while there's no one to his knowledge actually around, meaning that he's essentially performing a Celebrity Lie on himself. He'd previously been having an imaginary argument with the employee of a Chinese restaurant through said unplugged phone, again with no knowledge that anyone was there.
  • In one episode of South Park, the boys become talent agents and decide to pretend to publicly receive a phone call from a famous person to increase their credibility. Unfortunately, Cartman decides to get calls from Abraham Lincoln and Colonel Sanders.
  • A played-with variation occurs in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Superman's Pal"; Jimmy's reputation as "Superman's Pal" isn't due to him, but to Angela Chen and her willingness to Quote Mine for a good story; he's originally embarrassed and only starts going along with it later when he realizes the perks of the reputation. Then, at the end, Superman reveals he does see Jimmy as a close friend (although perhaps not quite as much as Angela implied).
  • Subverted in The Thing cartoon. Benji Grimm says the Thing will show up for a high-school talent show, which should be easy (since he is the Thing), but every time he transforms, he accidentally scares a janitor and then changes back to try to calm him down instead of just remaining the Thing and going to the show. In the end, the Thing never makes it to the show.
  • An unusual variation appears in The Zeta Project, where in an attempt to help impress Ro's one-time foster family, Zeta takes on the appearance of fictional celebrity Adam Heat... without telling her beforehand. This goes awry on a variety of levels: Zeta gets roped into a Romeo and Juliet rehearsal, stalling them. Undesirable publicity follows. Then, when the real Adam appears appears in a live interview at the same time, Agent Bennet comes knocking...


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Celebrity Lie


G for Gonad

Beavis, a lily-white Texan, fails to convince Butt-Head that he is a "straight G" from Compton who knew Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy

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