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"Fawlty Towers" Plot

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"It's always better to lie than to have a complicated discussion!"
Chandler, Friends

In a "Fawlty Towers" Plot, one of the characters tells an initial lie, then other lies must be told in order to sustain the original lie, until the entire construct of falsehoods becomes too ridiculous and convoluted to hold together, and comes crashing down upon its creators in the most destructive, humiliating, and sometimes hilarious way imaginable.

A standard sitcom plot since the days of I Love Lucynote  and The Honeymooners, it was perfected in 1975 and 1979 by John Cleese and Connie Booth for the Fawlty Towers television series. In its typical form, it is a specialized form of farce, although it can also be Played for Drama.

There's a difference between a "Fawlty Towers" Plot and a Snowball Lie. A "Fawlty Towers" Plot typically has only one character doing a majority of the lying, compounding that lie with even more lies; a Snowball Lie is usually only one lie that gradually gets bigger and bigger over time, dragging others into the scheme, willingly or not.

The Fawlty Towers Plot Lie is usually exacerbated when a suspicious significant other chooses to Pull the Thread. May lead to the need to Maintain the Lie. Also compare Crime After Crime, which is a much darker, criminal counterpart to this trope, and Insidious Rumor Mill which sometimes involves weaponizing this trope to damage the reputation of another within one's social circles.

If this kind of plot is executed badly, or is misapplied in a dramatic context, it can become a glaring example of Poor Communication Kills. Might be caused by Storm in a Teacup. Can lead to an Honesty Aesop.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the Junjou Romantica manga, Takahiro convinces Misaki to obey him by telling him he's a tanuki who will have to leave if Misaki makes him too sad. As Misaki becomes more and more skeptical, Takahiro creates bigger and bolder lies, until...
    Takahiro: What do I do, Usagi?! Even after I told him I was a bear-morphing Martian bestowed with the military order to save humanity, and for that had to leave behind his precious family and friends, when a distortion in the time-space continuum led to a time rip back to the age of civil war where aliens were hiding, and in order to defeat them, had to take up alliance with a panda-morphing Saturnian...!!, he won't believe me again! Why?!!
  • Love Hina, episode 25: To avoid having to take up the leadership of her martial arts style before she thinks she's ready, Motoko forces Keitaro to masquerade as her boyfriend. In her school, falling in love renders her ineligible to take up the leadership, as it had her elder sister, who gave it up to marry. It backfires when her examiner, her elder sister, uncovers the plot, and forces Motoko to either win a duel against her, or actually marry Keitaro!
    • Motoko does not learn her lesson, for late in the manga when she fails her university admission tests she does it again... to the same sister... with similar results.
    • Not to mention the basic plot of Love Hina is based on this trope - namely, that Keitaro is a Toudai student, when in reality he's a dropout trying desperately to make it there to meet the girl he made a childhood promise to to get in there with that he hasn't seen in over 15 years. This lie is unraveled before the second manga volume, but it's still basically what gets the story going.
  • In one episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, Ash's friend Angie is left by her parents to care for a Lickitung at their daycare centre, but she over-trains it and it evolves into a huge Lickilicky. Worried the owner will be upset, she hides it in the woods. It escapes, starting rumors throughout the town of a monster running loose and attracting media attention (as well as Team Rocket posing as reporters). She and the heroes must then recover the Pokemon without anyone finding out. In the end, the lie is exposed, but Lickilicky's trainer is overjoyed that it evolved.
  • The entire plot of the anime Uta∽Kata is based on a Fawlty Towers Plot. However, instead of going for comedy, the life of lies that the main character is forced to lead causes her to hate herself more and more as the series goes on.
  • Welcome to the NHK's protagonist does this, frequently. Despite that fact that clearly nobody believes him, he tries to go with it anyway.

    Audio Play 
  • In 36 Questions, Judith only intended that have a fake identity for the span of "one cup of coffee"... only to end up continuing as it was "Too late to backpedal, too good not to keep going." The lie came crashing down after two years, when her parents sent private investigators to track her down.

    Fan Works 
  • Ambition of the Red Princess: Malty pretends to be a "Mein of Samphor", a "simple adventurer from a small village". Not only does this force her to repeatedly lie about things her alter ego would know if she really did come from such a background, she also has to consider whether there are things Mein wouldn't know before answering some of Naofumi's questions.
  • Anyone: When All Might asks Katsuki if he knows Izuku, Katsuki lies to him about it. Katsuki's father then explains to him that he can never let anyone learn the truth. Since Katsuki is an exemplar, he's held to far higher standards than others; at minimum, being caught in a lie could completely destroy his career.
  • The Bambi fanfic Creamed Cherries uses this, and understandably so since the story is meant to be a parody of the Simpsons "Steamed Hams" skit. In it, Bambi has a lunch date with Faline and planned to serve berries he worked hard to get for her, but an accident ruins them, forcing Thumper to lie for him and forces Bambi to improvise by replacing the berries with apples and calling them "Creamed Cherries", while continuously lying to Faline the whole time as she (seemingly) starts catching on to Bambi's ruse.
  • In the Hammerverse, Izuku has a gender-swapping Quirk. Because he hid this from Katsuki, Katsuki believes that Izumi is a completely different person. This forces Izumi to tell more and more lies in order to conceal the fact that she's also Izuku from him. For instance, when he notices that her name's not on the scoreboard for U.A.'s Entrance Exam, she claims that non-passing scores aren't posted — and since she's not getting into U.A., she's going to become a vigilante instead.
  • I See What You Do Behind Closed Doors Miraculous Ladybug: Despite claiming that Marinette had his support against Lila, Adrien has no intention of doing anything about the bullying. His Betrayal by Inaction continues even after he starts dating Marinette; when she calls him out on this, he lies that he has "had a lot on his mind lately" and was too distracted to intervene. When she asks him what's been bothering him so much, he's forced to improvise, impulsively revealing that he's Chat Noir. This soon blows up in his face, as he fails to consider the implications of Marinette becoming his Secret-Keeper... especially as he continues to flirt with and pursue Ladybug, then blatantly lies about this when called out.
  • The RWBY fanfic Professor Arc is one of these. Jaune's transcripts to get into Beacon end up being so good that he gets recruited as a teacher. From there, it evolves into him trying to live up to (and fake his way around) the Fake Ultimate Hero persona that gets built up around him while also getting caught up with Cinder's machinations and attracting both her interest and caution, thinking he's another player in the game she and Salem are playing against Ozpin.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The French film Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis involves a man being forced to work Oop North (aka. le Nord, which is literally French for "the North", official name of a northern region of France and whose inhabitants are locally called "the Ch'tis") while his wife and kid live in the south of France. Le Nord is considered as a rather unloving place, but when he gets up there he finds that all of the stories are false and rather enjoys the place. When he visits home at the weekend, he enjoys the sympathy he gets from his wife and doesn't tell her that it's rather nice and exaggerates all the stories for more sympathy. Of course, she eventually decides that she needs to visit his work and he needs to drag his insulted friends into pretending to live up to the stories he told.
  • The Birdcage starts off with Barbara lying about her fiancé Val and her soon-to-be in-laws to get the ball rolling. Said soon-to-be in-laws are Armond and Albert Goldman, a pair of gay Jewish owners of a drag show nightclub in Miami Beach, who now have to hide their identities from Barbara's father Senator Kevin Keeley, an ultra-conservative Heteronormative Crusader politician who's looking to make sure Barbara's in-laws are a "wholesome" family. The pressure's on Senator Keeley after a fellow Moral Guardian conservative colleague died in bed with a underage black prostitute, so Senator Keeley's looking to take the heat off. The result is that the Goldmans and the Keeleys spend a very awkward, very uncomfortable evening around each other, with the Goldmans worried about their identities being found out at any moment, and the Keeleys thinking that everyone's being so awkward because they're trying to avoid bringing up the controversy around the senator. The lies all collapse at once when Val's biological mother shows up, causing Albert's disguise as Val's mother to be shattered, and forcing everyone to confront the truth of things.
  • The Hong Kong comedy film, Diary Of A Big Man starring Chow Yun-fat pretty much runs on this. Chow plays a wealthy businessman and two-timing bigamist cheating behind his wife's back with his girlfriend, only for said girlfriend to unexpectedly turn up as his wife's business partner; and in an attempt to avoid getting caught by either women, he then tried lying his ass off to prevent the wife and girlfriend from discovering his bigamy.
  • Easy A is also based heavily on this trope, with the entire film revolving around Olive attempting to keep her lies concealed, which eventually builds to ridiculous consequences.
  • The plot of Fargo involves Jerry Lundegaard starting this kind of plot by conning the GMAC out of $325,000 by forging the VIN numbers of cars that do not exist in his inventory. We never find out why he needed that money or how he lost it. But now he's desperate enough to hire two crooks to kidnap his wife and con a million dollars of "ransom money" out of his cruelly Obnoxious In-Laws for the sake of keeping the obnoxiously persistent GMAC loan inspector off his back. The result is a Deconstruction, because the result of this Faulty Towers Plot is about a dozen deaths, all of them a product of the crooks' violently poor impulse control, and Lundegaard ends up in jail.
  • This is the basis of Good Bye, Lenin!, where a woman in East Berlin misses the fall of the Wall while in a temporary coma, and her family try to keep the news from her for fear the shock would kill her. They go as far as making fake news segments and digging through garbage for communist goods. It ends with an aversion, as she finds out but doesn't say anything, letting them continue the charade.
  • Hail the Conquering Hero is about how Woodrow, ashamed at the fact he was discharged from the Marines for hay fever, moved far away from his hometown, wrote letters to his mother that lied and said he was discharged for getting wounded in combat, and a letter to his girlfriend saying it was over between them, so she would move on with someone else and be happy. However, Woodrow meets a group of Marines in a bar one night after he buys them drinks and sandwiches, and when they hear his story, they convince him to go home, and once there, to his horror, he's treated like a real hero. Not only that, but the Marines lie for him to make him seem even more of a hero than *he* claimed to be, and his ex-girlfriend is still in love with him.
  • Jacob the Liar (1975) and its Foreign Remake Jakob the Liar (1999, with Robin Williams) both feature the same dark take on this trope. Jakob, a Jew trapped in a ghetto in Poland during World War II, is at SS headquarters when he hears a news report that the Russians are advancing. When his friend doesn't believe his story, he claims that he has a hidden radio and heard a news report. His friend believes this, which backfires, as the news of Jakob's illegal radio spreads all over the ghetto, and Jakob has to go to increasingly desperate measures to hide the truth as his friends and acquaintances pester him for news of the outside world.
  • Just Go with It is about a plastic surgeon's assistant pretending to be his soon-to-be-ex-wife in order to avoid coming clean about his womanizing, which spirals out of control, eventually involving her children, his cousin, her old college rival, and a semi-impromptu Hawaiian vacation.
  • In Komaa, Amir has the brilliant idea of trying to pass the low-class, uneducated, shy Hassan off as a wealthy doctor.
  • Meet the Parents rests on Greg trying so hard to impress his girlfriend's family that he ends up telling little lies that lead to more complicated problems when those lies have to be better explained and Greg just ends up digging himself a deeper hole. One particular instance had him claiming to have grown up on a farm and leads to him telling a story of how he once milked a cat.
  • My Father the Hero: Niki tells one lie after another, saying it makes life more interesting. She lies that she is eighteen instead of fourteen; that Andre is her lover, rather than her father (and she calls him Andre); and word quickly spreads. When Ben tells her to leave him, she says that she can't, because Andre is dying of a rare incurable disease. Finally, the lies come crashing down when Andre is danger of drowning, and Niki yells "Daddy!" in front of Ben.
  • Not Okay: Danni gets mistaken as having survived terrorist attacks in Paris and then just goes with the idea, expanding on the lies as she adds to her activities based on this while getting more attention for it. She even creates a fake website to support the alleged writers' retreat which she'd been going to Paris on (Danni had actually just stayed at home the whole time).
  • Sex Drive is basically made of this trope, with more than half the characters spending more than half the movie lying, and frantically stacking lies on top of lies.
  • In Situation Hopeless...But Not Serious a lonely German shopkeeper tries to prevent the two American soldiers he's keeping in his bomb shelter from discovering that WWII has ended.
  • The film Tallulah involves Elliot Page stealing a baby and passing it off as his own to get his ex-boyfriend's mom to take him in. It's a ridiculous plan you know is going to come crashing down sooner or later.
  • Another German film, Wahrheit oder Pflicht (as in "truth or dare"), has a girl who fails school but pretends to still attend. Things go downhill from there.

  • One of the main plots in Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree. Tearoom owner Sally Pyne was so caught up in the fantasy of her foreign vacation that she told a few tall tales about her manor house to an attentive suitor. She's aghast when the man writes announcing his intention to visit, and a scheme is hatched to allow her to play the role of Lady Bountiful in Willis Sr.'s house during his visit while concealing her presence there from the other villagers (particularly a trio of single women who've set their caps for eligible widower Willis Sr.). Naturally, things don't go as planned...
  • Played with in a few of the historical mystery Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, in a few ways. One, the truth always comes out to at least Cadfael, and often to his friend the sheriff and his Abbott. Two, at times women need a place to hide/escape and the head of the convent is willing to mislead people by telling parts of the truth.
  • Jaine Austen Mysteries: It turns out the new life of Jaine's ex-husband The Blob is this in Death of a Gigolo. He claims he is a graphic artist in an advertising agency, owning a BMW and a condo with an ocean view, but in reality, he's a valet, and the condo and BMW belong to his boss, whom he was housesitting for. Needless to say, Jaine dumps his lying ass after finding this out.
  • Lucky Jim: Jim loves these.
    • After accidentally burning Mrs. Welch's sheets, he goes to elaborate lengths to cover it up. This leads him to resort to elaborate prank calls and impersonations when he needs to talk to someone in the Welch household later, as he's afraid of speaking with Mrs. Welch.
    • Jim steals a taxi from a couple at the Formal, and then has to go through a number of steps to get away with it, including sending the taxi on an elaborate dance to avoid the couple's notice, hiding in the bushes, and bribing the driver.
  • This is how Penny Ack became a supervillain in Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain. In the beginning, she tries to prevent her friend from committing vandalism for petty reasons. When a Knight Templar superhero intervenes and accuses them of trying to steal a valuable piece of alien technology, she plays along to protect her real identity and keep her and her friends out of trouble. The snowball really starts to pick up speed when Penny starts committing flashy crimes at random to redirect suspicion from herself. Her reputation is cemented after she participates in some major crimes after a real supervillain blackmails her. It has reached the point where even major acts of heroism by Penny are reinterpreted by the authorities as simply being elements of some villainous master plan, and Penny herself begins to wonder if perhaps she actually prefers being a supervillain anyway.
  • The first book in the Timmy Failure series has such a plot. When Timmy finds his mother's Segway is missing, he lies to her that it's being used in a school play and ends up having to actually write and produce a play from scratch to keep the lie convincing.
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • In The Warrior's Apprentice, Miles Vorkosigan becomes Admiral Naismith through just such a chain of lies, inventing a mission in order to find a role for a Barayaran deserter, pretending to be a mercenary leader when he gets caught smuggling arms, building the pretence when he gets caught in a war... and then it all goes horribly un-funny when he realises that the end of his lies is that he's acquired a private army, which is the worst form of treason for a Barayaran Lord. Drama ensues.
    • This is far from the only example, mind you. The stories often show Miles getting more and more perturbed as he wades deeper and deeper into the mire of lies he's making, even to the extent of nearly having a nervous breakdown in the story above. He generally relies on "forward momentum" (more lies) to get out of trouble. Amazingly, Miles is brilliant enough that he consistently makes this work. Until Memory, when it all falls apart on him, costing him his ImpSec career.
    • When Miles' clone brother tries the same trick in Mirror Dance, it ends up getting Miles killed and permanently disabled (in that order).
  • Warrior Cats: In the arc A Starless Clan, RiverClan's leader and deputy die suddenly, leaving them leaderless; their first replacement leader dies, and the second never receives his official name and nine lives from StarClan. They spend a moon trying to cover it up, constantly coming up with new lies about where Mistystar and Reedwhisker are. Eventually it reaches the point where they can't continue that charade, so now they have to make up new explanations for Mistystar and Reedwhisker's deaths and how the inexperienced Owlnose became leader - and also try to hide the fact that he has not received nine lives. This comes crashing down at a Gathering, when their lies fall apart and the truth comes out about how weak they currently are - which makes the ShadowClan leader Tigerstar feel that he needs to "help" by running RiverClan for a while.

    Live Action TV 
  • Fawlty Towers, of course. Most of the comedy in the show came from Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist Basil Fawlty telling a small white lie, only to have to keep telling bigger and bigger lies, getting in deeper and deeper trouble until it all came crashing down in a glorious climax.
  • According to Jim had one episode where Jim invented an imaginary friend named "Gus" to get out of doing boring stuff with Cheryl. After Cheryl begins to suspect "Gus" is fake and wants to meet him, Jim makes up excuse after excuse before being forced to kill him off. Then he invents "Sherman" to take the latter's place.
  • In The Adventures of Lano and Woodley episode "One Simple Task", Frank tells a series of ever-increasing lies to hide the fact he forgot to book a place at a caravan park, which ends with "I am an alien!"
  • Arrested Development: Season 4 has one of these for George Michael. He makes up the lie of "Fakeblock" which would be the first anti-social media and anti-piracy app to impress Maeby and his father, while the actual "Fakeblock" was just a woodblock simulator app. Maeby, seeing this as an opportunity to get a career, markets and manages to turn "Fakeblock" in a huge hit and the hottest app around, managing millions in investments, while his new persona George Maharis scores the beautiful actress Rebel, and he keeps lying to everybody, ultimately leading to him become a target for Anonymous.
  • Subverted in Better Off Ted when Ted tells a lie about the jabberwocky project and everyone is sucked into it by the corporate machinery. Ted wants to tell the truth. He is then reminded that if it turns out there is no jabberwocky project, they are all going to lose their jobs.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Subverted in an episode which hinges around a single, simple, fully successful white lie told by Leonard to Penny to get out of going to a play. Sheldon then assumes that the rest of the world thinks like him, and proceeds to create an overly intricate series of lies involving a fictional drug-addicted cousin named Leopold (with backstory and a series of internet pages). All of this works perfectly, but he keeps piling on lies, until Leonard wakes up to find "Leopold" having breakfast in their apartment. To the very end, Penny doesn't suspect a thing.
      • Double points for Penny thinking she has averted Fawlty Towers complications by convincing Sheldon they should tell everyone the "truth" about why he and Leonard can't see her play. Also, the episode is called "The Loobenfeld Decay"; is that glorious, or what?
    • Humorously reversed in a fourth season episode when Sheldon discovers that Leonard has had a periodic affair with Raj's sister Priya whenever she comes to town. When asked to keep it a secret, Sheldon proceeds to develop a new series of lies that are "un-unravelable" to explain what Leonard was doing the previous night, which involves spending time with an Irish barmaid (complete with a lock of reddish hair for evidence). Leonard dismisses it as unnecessary, but upon being asked an offhand question by Howard on why he missed the new episode of Caprica, Leonard discovers he needs an alibi right then. After a halfhearted attempt at going with the barmaid excuse, he breaks down and tells them everything.
  • Breaking Bad runs on this—at least until its Season 2 finale. Mild-mannered schoolteacher Walter White decides to cook meth behind his family's back so that he'll be able to leave them money after he dies of cancer. Very dark laughs ensue as he's forced to come up with a series of increasingly audacious lies to explain why he's gone from the house for hours at a time, why he's hanging out with a foul-mouthed twenty-something hoodlum, and where he's getting all of his money. Most memorably, he wanders into a convenience store naked at one point so that he can explain a long absence (when he was kidnapped and taken to Mexico by a rival drug dealer) by claiming that he went through a random fugue state.
  • Chalk, a mid-90s sitcom by Steven Moffat, invoked this trope quite heavily, given that it was blatantly 'Fawlty Towers in an English comprehensive school.'
  • Some of the lies told by Chuck Bartowski to conceal his job as a spy and government asset often threaten to turn into this, particularly in the early seasons ("Spastic Colon"). However it's often subverted by the fact Chuck is greatly aided by government props to support his fibs. By the third season Chuck has become so adept at lying to his friends and family he can spin believable lies at the drop of a hat.
    • Devon, however, can't tell a simple lie to save his life. In one episode, after having been captured and briefly detained by the Ring, he managed to pull off a Fawlty Towers Plot in the space of only a few minutes with a lie that began with him going out for a jog after leaving work, and ended with him decapitating a bear in the park with his bare hands. Ellie doesn't buy it. It's made even funnier when Chuck covers for Devon's ludicrously overcomplicated lie with a much simpler and believable one involving Casey getting drunk and publicly exposing himself.
  • Completely routed in Community after Annie accidentally breaks Abed's one-of-a-kind DVD of The Dark Knight.
    Annie: What if we got a different disc and-
    Troy: Do you know how many sitcoms have done the 'secretly replace a broken, priceless item' thing? 'Cuz Abed does.
  • This is played for drama in Coronation Street, starting when John Stape lies about his identity so that he can teach.
  • Coupling does this a lot. Chief example: Patrick lies to his current girlfriend, who's bisexual, about how he has no interest in Sally, his old flame, because she's a lesbian (she is no such thing). Cross talk ensues.
    • Jeff is also a master of this - on one occasion his Digging Yourself Deeper ends up with him claiming to have a false leg, she gives him a key to her flat and implies there will be .. goings on .. later, but of course he can't take off his trousers and...
      Jeff: I've got the key to the gates of paradise... but I've got too many legs!
  • An Everybody Loves Raymond episode features Ray and Debra lying that they didn't have dinner with Marie since they were making sure an important football game for Ray to write about was taped properly. Frank then asks to watch the tape, and things build from there until their washing machine is destroyed from Frank's attempts to fix it ("This one part won't go back") and Marie easily figures everything out.
  • Frasier had a lot of these, and hung a lampshade on it by having Daphne suggest (during one between Frasier and Niles in "Rivals") that they just agree to sit the other down and have one open, frank conversation. Frasier shoots her down.
    • Subverted, however, in one episode where Daphne's ex-boyfriend re-enters her life, clearly itching to propose marriage to her despite their five-year separation. In desperation to let him down gently, Daphne claims that she's married to Niles. Over the course of the episode, Frasier's apartment becomes Daphne and Niles', Frasier becomes the husband of Roz, who becomes Maris and infertile, and Martin becomes an ex-astronaut. Incredibly, despite the complete implausibility of everything he's being told (thanks to Martin who - annoyed at being patronized - has delighted in making things much more complicated than they have to be), Daphne's ex-boyfriend believes every single word he's told, and eventually storms out not because he discovers the truth, but because he's become so convinced by their lies that he's convinced they're all horrible people. Leads to this classic line of dialogue:
      Daphne: Wait! You don't understand! We're not the horrible people you think we are!
      Frasier: No! The truth is, we've been lying to you all night!
    • They eventually lampshade their use of the trope in the 10th season episode "Daphne Does Dinner". The episodes starts at the crash of one of these plots, and although we never get to see it, it apparently involved Frasier having Tourette syndrome, flaming kebabs, a burning toupee, Martin as an Italian count, and a goat in the kitchen. Daphne claims that the constant party complications comes from the involvement of the title character (and his brother), and decides to to ban him from any involvement in the party she's planning. When her party ends up just as badly, the Crane family takes it as a rite of passage to become a Crane.
  • Many episodes of Friday Night Dinner typically have a plot where a character (usually always Martin) tries to get out of trouble by coming up with as many lies as possible. The two following episodes "The Fox" and "The Carpet Cleaner" stand out well.
  • In Glee, Mr. Schuester's wife Terri's fake pregnancy becomes one of these very fast. She even manages to gain the compliance of her OB/GYN. Her need to produce an actual baby leads her to Quinn, whose (actual) teenage pregnancy is something of a Fawlty Towers Plot itself. Eventually Mr. Schuester catches on, however, depriving the audience of seeing how she would manage faking labor and birth.
  • In an episode of Green Wing, in an attempt to pass herself off as a social-conscious activist, Caroline tells her co-workers that she breaks into pig-farms at night to free pigs. When questioned further, she reveals that she hides them at her sister's apartment, which is like a farm "in the air" and takes them for walks in the weekend. By the end of the episode she's trying to get in touch with a petting zoo in order to hire out a pig so she can take pictures of it with herself in a balaclava to prove her claims.
  • Happy Endings had an episode whose plot centered around a harmless white lie told to the gang's annoying acquaintance, which in turn led to more and more lies of increasingly epic proportions. At one point, Brad and Jane somehow bought into their own lie and had a fight about how to raise the child they were fake-expecting, culminating in a strangely almost real split up.
  • House plays this for drama in "Instant Karma," wherein Chase and Foreman try to hide that they let an African dictator die Chase killed an African dictator.
  • The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret : Todd's blatant and escalating lies drive most of the plot. Among other things he insists: His father died last week, He grew up in Leeds (a city he picked at random based on an an album cover), he is allergic to nuts (going so far as faking anaphylactic shock and taking unnecessary epinephrine shots), and he lives in the houses of Parliament (he claims it has apartments now).
  • In The IT Crowd, Roy uses a handicapped toilet and accidentally yanks an emergency signal. When the theater crew kick the door down to get to him, he pretends to be disabled. This snowballs into him getting loaded onto a bus on a wheelchair, bound for Manchester with lots of other disabled people. In the same episode, Moss uses the staff toilet and ends up being forced to work in the bar.
  • Lead Balloon uses this frequently, with Rick digging himself into deep holes in order to save time. One example is when he needs to fax a document to someone and realises not many businesses use fax machines now. He notices a fax machine in a real estate agents and goes in pretending to be interested in a property just so he can use the fax machine. Not wanting the estate agent to realise the real reason he was in there, he agrees to view a house the next day. During the viewing, the estate agent tells him she believes he's being legitimate, despite her boss warning her not to waste her time. In order not to break this image, Rick reluctantly agrees to buy the house and put a deposit on it. Magda (who was acting as his wife) is understandably incredibly confused by all this and tells him "In my country when someone says 'yes' and shakes hands, that means they will buy the house." He claims things are done differently in England. This is all made worse when it turns out the house owner was a client of Mel's who had recently fallen on hard times and was ecstatic that something had finally gone right in his life. It is never revealed how the truth came out.
  • In M*A*S*H, Hawkeye uses his imaginary childhood friend Tuttle to sign off on donations to an orphanage. Then people want to meet Tuttle for themselves, with Hawkeye trying to avoid it or convince them they already had. They avert the part where it all crashes down around their ears by having Tuttle "die" of a parachuting accident when he is to be presented with an award.
    • The best part of this episode is how everyone gradually claims to be good friends with Tuttle, in order not to feel left out.
    • Or at the very end, where Trapper creates another imaginary person to take Tuttle's place: Major Murdoch.
    • Or during the credits, where the lie went meta, and Tuttle was credited "As Himself."
    • Similarly, Hawkeye and Charles, out of boredom, start a rumor that Marilyn Monroe is to visit the 4077th. This spins off into a separate web of lies as they try to bluff their way into being put into contact with her so they can get her to actually come. As with Tuttle, they make up an excuse for why she hasn't turned up and no one realizes what happened.
  • The Nanny:
  • An early episode of NewsRadio when Dave and Lisa were still trying to hide their relationship from the office had them ask Beth to lie for them. She quickly starts getting confused by the lies she's telling and things start falling apart.
  • An episode of Not Going Out did this, with Lee and Tim having to make up more and more ridiculous lies, culminating in this (slightly paraphrased) quote:
    Lucy: What lesson have you learned?
    Lee: To always be honest and truthful. Now, get out there and pretend I'm blind, Tim's disabled, Daisy has amnesia and you've got Tourette's.
    • Actually, this happens to Lee several times throughout the series. In one episode, he goes to extreme lengths to prevent Lucy from finding out that he accidentally told her father about a surprise party she was throwing for him and her mother. By the end of the episode, he's even confusing himself.
  • Played With in the American version of The Office, in which Michael Scott's initial lies are always painfully obvious to everyone, but he nonetheless tries to support them with more lies and stall tactics, each more transparent and pathetic than the last. In one episode, Stanley admits to Michael he was having an affair. He instantly uses it as break room gossip, then tries to backpedal with ridiculous stories, including saying that Pam was pregnant, when neither Pam nor Jim had told anyone.
  • In the Only Fools and Horses "The Unlucky Winner Is", Del Boy sends a painting Rodney created as a teenager to a competition. When it wins the children's prize (a holiday for the child and his parents), he confirms that Rodney is fourteen. This necessitates other lies, such as not telling Rodney and Cassandra why it's a holiday for three until they've arrived, claiming he and Cassandra are Rodney's parents, and preventing Rodney and Cassandra from exposing his scheme by insisting to them both (separately) that the other is really enjoying the break.
    • And paid off brilliantly when, at the end of the episode, Del is in possession of a winning lottery ticket - but is forced to give up the money because the ticket is in Rodney's name, and local law states that 14-year-olds are not allowed to gamble. At this point they are unable to break the lie, because Del went to the trouble of forging all their travel documents.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In the episode "Two-Way Stretch Snodgrass", when Miss Brooks and Mr. Conklin have Walter Denton masquerade as Dumb Jock Stretch Snodgrass.
  • ¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?: Rich cousin Milagros comes to visit the Peñas. She is snobby, treats the family like servants (even throwing her coat at Adela, who was about to greet her) and going on constantly about how refined she is. She even complains to her uncle Pepe about losing her luggage to get him to treat her to a shopping spree he can hardly afford. Her cover is blown when her father calls and tells Pepe he is bankrupt. A humbled Milagros leaves with a flimsy excuse, but Pepe lets her save face and even gives her bus fare.
    Milagros: ¿Ustedes saben lo que es perder, los zapatos de Gucci, la cartera de Pierre Cardin, el vestido de Dior, y la bufanda de Givenchy? (Do you know what is like to lose, the shoes from Gucci, the purse from Pierre Cardin, the dress from Dior, and the Givenchy scarf?)
    Adela: Pero niña, ¿es que... toda tu ropa es prestada? (But dear, is it that... all your clothes are borrowed?)
  • Scrubs employed the "Collaborative Guy Lie" - a plot enacted from start to end in just one minute - where several men united to string together a single, coherent lie by all adding extra stuff one after another. It was used on Carla when Turk and most of the male hospital staff were viewing a candid video of Turk and Carla's hot babysitter... and worked flawlessly - until Turk accidentally sits on the remote afterwards and the tape starts playing again. Carla figures out that whole collective performance was a lie, and grills him for it.
  • This was the basis for the Thanksgiving episode of Small Wonder: Jamie claimed that his parents had separated, hoping to get himself and Vicki into a Thanksgiving ski trip for latchkey children.
  • An episode of Sonny with a Chance has Sonny write a fan letter to herself when she thinks she doesn't have any fans writing for her. This forces her to disguise herself as her own fan, switching between both her two selves and even having to meet her own disguise in front of the world.
  • In a non-comedy example, there is the plot of Season 2 of Sons of Anarchy, in which Gemma is attacked and raped by a rival gang. She doesn't want to tell the club about it because she knows that it was meant as a message to SAMCRO to stop their gun sales in Charming. It is only when her husband and son have a falling out that she tells them, knowing that they need a common enemy to unite against. After a long wait, ass is kicked.
  • In the The Suite Life on Deck episode "The Defiant Ones", Cody misses a homework assignment due to having spent a romantic evening with Bailey the night before. Unable to bear the shame of receiving a single bad grade, he fabricates the excuse that he was caring for Bailey, who'd injured her ankle. This leads to Bailey reluctantly faking an injury, and eventually the entire student body of Seven Seas Highs being drawn into a web of lies that is increasingly complex and ridiculous. It all comes crashing down the next day when Cody misses yet another assignment, having been too busy maintaining the farce.
    • Another episode features Zack lying to Maya about how he'll attend her poetry reading even though he intends to be at a video game night with Cody, Woody, and Moseby. His efforts to be in both places at once predictably fail, but Maya takes it pretty well, all things considered.
  • When Terri makes up various lies to avoid accepting an invitation to go out for dinner with her boss in Three's Company, her boss suggests having dinner at her apartment instead. Jack subsequently has to act out the lie by pretending to have a broken ankle and be married to Terri and and Larry and Janet have to pretend to be a French-speaking couple who doesn't know any English.
  • A rare serious example happens in the final season of The Wire. The lie McNulty makes about the Homeless slayings in an attempt to bring some kind of budget back to the Baltimore PD grows so huge and involves so many people, that when it does finally come crashing down, Three good cops lose their jobs, Rawls gets promoted, and Pearlman is forced to make a deal to save even more jobs and investigations which results in the biggest drug pusher in Baltimore at the time going free. The end.
  • Happens often in The Worst Week of My Life. If Howard ever tells a lie — even if it's a small, little white one — things will rapidly get out of hand and collapse in on him at the worst possible moment. It's just one of the many ways in which the universe is determined to make him suffer by refusing to let him get away with anything.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the Fraggle Rock episode "Boober's Quiet Day," Boober lies in an attempt to get out of caring for a pet monster, and through a series of escalating lies, eventually gets stuck impersonating the Old Gypsy Lady.

  • Older Than Steam: The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples applies. This is a common plot in William Shakespeare’s works, particularly his comedies (although not exclusively: Romeo and Juliet would probably qualify).
  • Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Shakespeare, also knew the trick:
    • He drew up a magnificent Fawlty Towers Plot in Volpone, which is about a man who pretends to be dying so he can swindle people, who think that giving him gifts will make them his heirs.
    • Jonson's slightly less famous The Alchemist is an even better example: three con artists have half a dozen customers all expecting different magic/alchemy jobs to be done for them, each of them by a different persona of all three grifters; the customers start dropping by the house at the same time, creating collisions between multiple Fawlty Towers Plots with people being stuffed into closets — and then when somebody else hears them yelling, they're told it's the moaning of the spirits.
  • La Cage aux folles, is about a man trying to pass off his gay father and the man's transvestite partner as a straight couple to his finance's family.
  • Although the farces by Georges Feydeau took this kind of convoluted plot to a peak of refinement, the french Ur-Example is to be found in Pierre Corneille's 1643 comedy Le Menteur (“The Liar”).
  • Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest plays with this as the two male protagonist characters both lie about their name, calling themselves Ernest. The two female protagonists both think they are dating the same man named Ernest, and initially react badly when the truth is revealed. The play subverts the trope in that the lie told by Jack is not actually a lie; his given name was Ernest, but having been lost as a baby by his nanny, he did not know it. The revelations take place one after the other, flipping the plot around as much as the initial lies. On realising that he was an orphan, Jack's fiance's guardian would refuse to allow them to marry... if not for the fact that she has just now realised that Jack was the child lost from her sister years ago, making her much happier about Jack marrying his fiance (despite them being legally cousins now).

    Video Games 
  • Played for Drama in Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney: The entire plot happened because the Storyteller made up a story about witches being real to help Espella get over the events of the Great Fire that killed nearly everybody else in her home-town.

    Visual Novels 
  • In CLANNAD, Sunohara is trying to convince Tomoyo to hurry up and tries saying that if they don't go faster, their parents will get worried. Tomoya points out that Sunohara's parents live in Hokkaido, so he backtracks and says he means Misae. Which might have worked if he hadn't tried covering that up by saying he reminds her of her son (Misae is 23) then having it pointed out that she's single. Sunohara claims the son is illegitimate and has to come up with a name for the son that isn't Misao. This marked the birth of Sagara Missile. Sunohara is a terrible liar.

    Web Animation 
  • Dr. Havoc's Diary:
    • For about a half of Episode 5, after Ally accidentally intrudes on Havoc's meeting with his weapon dealer.
    • This happens for a bit in Episode 10 when Ally and Kim see Nighthook with Havoc. It starts out as lying about Nighthook being their waiter, and it goes downhill from there.
  • Manga Soprano:
    • This episode centers around Erica lying about being the daughter of a rich CEO. Haru doesn't buy it and keeps getting suspicious until Kanade told her she stumbled upon a disguised Erica riding a worn-out bike. To make matters worse, Kanade isn't the only one who found out.
    • Kiyomi lied about her sister Haru stealing their parents' money to move out to get her out of the house. Later on, she faked Haru's death and sickness to cast herself as a "good girl".

  • In El Goonish Shive Justin is finding himself in one of these after trying to explain his connection to Cheerleadra. Mr Verres has since told him that the best answer to all such questions is simply "I don't know", not a convoluted explanation that you need to keep spinning. Despite this advice, when it turns out his co-worker suspects Cheerleadra is really Elliot, his immediate reaction is to devise a Zany Scheme involving Grace shapeshifted into Elliot while Elliot is Cheerleadra. He gets talked out of it, though.
  • Hitmen for Destiny has this in spades, mostly from Fusk, Vorte, and Jymre. There are examples where the web of lies doesn't "come crashing down" but is [awkwardly] stabilised. In particular, the end of the Passion, Lies, and Fungus arc.
  • Lies, Sisters and Wives: Jim tries to cover up his affair with Jessica, resulting in an increasingly tangled web of lies to cover up previous lies. To Arthur, he claims that Jessica is his wife and Matilda's sister. To Matilda and her parents, he claims that Jessica is Arthur's wife. When Arthur's actual wife comes over, Jim claims to Matilda's family that she is Jessica's sister. To Bob, he claims that they are all Mormons and that he, Matilda, Jessica, Agatha, and Arthur are in a polygamous marriage. This all culminates in the police busting in and trying to arrest Jessica as a serial killer and Arthur on charges of murder, pimping, bestiality and bigamy. Jim's lies end up unraveling and the truth comes out.
  • Subverted in a Questionable Content strip: to avoid his ex, Sven claims Faye is his girlfriend. Faye promptly quashes the attempt.
  • A lot of Terror Island's humor relies on a total inversion of this: the characters give these sorts of convoluted explanations when they are either completely unnecessary or the explanations incriminate them more than the original lie would: this is a good example.

    Western Animation 
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Eds-Aggerate", the Eds accidentally break Kevin's window and Eddy blames it on a group of mysterious creatures called "Mucky Boys". Naturally, everyone else decides to investigate, leading to the Eds going to increasing lengths to fabricate evidence the Mucky Boys' existence. In a slight variation, Edd knows that this can only end badly and tries to no avail to convince Eddy to confess the truth.
  • In the pilot episode of Family Guy, Peter doesn't want to tell Lois that he's lost his job, which leads to a Fawlty Towers Plot. First, he disguises himself as a lamp to cover up the fact that he's not at work when he should be. Then, when he applies for welfare and gets a much bigger check then expected by mistake, he covers that up by claiming he got a big raise at work. His lies come crashing down when Lois is handed the second welfare check by the postal carrier.
  • In the Fanboy and Chum Chum episode "Sigmund the Sorcerer", Kyle lied to Sigmund about being a skilled, successful wizard, not having foreseen that Sigmund would invite himself into his house for dinner. In desperate attempts to impress him, he tells several more lies in the process, including claiming that Fanboy and Chum Chum are his "elf servants", not human friends. Sigmund later suggested buying them, for the price of Kyle returning to the Milkweed academy for wizards (which he has been expelled from) and Kyle agreed - at least until he learned that Sigmund intended on blowing them up. After that, he admitted to not being as high-achieving as he painted himself at first.
  • The Flintstones. At one point, Fred lied to Wilma so he could go out to a poker game and won a decent amount of money, which he claimed to have found. Then things sort of snowballed. (In the end, he manages to get out of the deep stuff with yet another lie - but loses the money anyway)
  • The episode "Bus the Two of Us" on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends has this, with Bloo stealing the Fosters bus for a joyride and getting Wilt and Coco to come up with lie after lie to make sure no one else realizes this.
  • Kim Possible: In "October 31st", our titular heroine wanted to go to a Halloween party in order to spend some time with her then crush Josh Mankey, so in order to go to that party she lied to Ron about spending time with her parents, and she lied to her parents about spending time to trick or treat with Ron. Inconveniently, the Phlebotinum of the episode was activated by stress...such as her telling a lie. The episode concludes with a smorgasbord of Broken Aesops as a supervillain, personal assassin and an assassin for hire all act disgusted at the thought of somebody lying to their friends and family - while being arrested for theft, assault, etc.
  • Let's Go Luna!: In "A Tough Nut to Crack", while in Polynesia, Leo is jealous of a local lobster who helps Wolfgang cook Polynesian food and lies that he knows how to open coconuts. He spends the rest of the episode trying absurd, convoluted methods to open a coconut, all to Maintain the Lie that he knows how to open one.
  • The Looney Tunes Show episode "Semper Lie". To get out of going to a peach festival with Porky, Bugs tells him that he's helping Lola move. When Lola finds out, Bugs switches to helping his sister move, then when Porky and Lola insist on helping him, he takes the furniture out of Daffy's room and puts it in a fake address, which in turn leads Daffy to believe that he has been kicked out. The lying escalates until Bugs impersonates his sister and gets on a plane to Albania, where he is mistaken for a spy and imprisoned. A year later, he is rescued by the Marines... including Daffy, who joined the Corps after failing to find a place to live. And since he was in the Albanian prison for a year, he's freed just in time for the next peach festival.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Green Isn't Your Color" sees Fluttershy becoming a fashion model, and Rarity tries to be supportive, despite secretly being insanely envious of Fluttershy's success. Meanwhile, Fluttershy is secretly growing tired of being in the spotlight, but keeps up with it because Rarity's being so supportive and she doesn't want to disappoint her. They both confide their true feelings in Twilight Sparkle, who drives herself crazy keeping the two sets of secrets a secret.
    • Subverted in "Sweet and Elite." Rarity has to keep lying to people in order to get into high-society, and eventually, attend two parties at once. Her lies become increasingly blatant and nonsensical, such as "I have to go do the thing with the stuff." However, in the end, she gets away with it.
    • In "Party of One" the main characters are obviously lying to Pinkie Pie in order to cover for something, until Pinkie gets suspicious. The excuses were studying (Twilight made a giant pile of books she claimed to be behind on right in front of Pinkie when there weren't any books out of place beforehand), picking apples (Applejack was hauling in a very large harvest of apples already, but she's a terrible liar), and washing one's hair (upon Pinkie observing that Rarity's hair looked fine, she dunks her head in a full trash can). Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy said they had to house-sit for a friend, who happens to be a bear with a cave so nice it feels like a house because he's fixed the place up so well, who's vacationing on the beach because he likes to "play seashells and collect volleyball". Pinkie actually believes the one about the bear, but is very suspicious of the other excuses. Turns out the reason they were lying is they were planning a surprise party for Pinkie.
    • "Where The Apple Lies": As a filly, Applejack tried to cover for a failed business transaction between her and Filthy Rich by claiming that Granny Smith is sick. It eventually results in Big Macintosh almost undergoing an unnecessary surgery that would have seen one of his legs getting cut off before Applejack finally confesses.
  • One episode of Pepper Ann had P.A. lying that Milo's her boyfriend to drive away a girl who he dislikes. Said girl starts spreading this fact, and Pepper Ann attempts to tie up loose ends, and the lie spirals way out of control, somehow involving Pepper Ann being raised by nuns, Trinket and Cissy volunteering at the soup kitchen, and Nicky practicing for a concert of autoharp (an instrument that, later turns out, she abhors).
  • The Regular Show episode "Grilled Cheese Deluxe": Mordecai and Rigby hold a contest to see who the better liar is. It starts with them convincing people that they're astronauts to cut in line. By the end, they nearly cause an antimatter machine to malfunction and explode.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: In the episode "Reunion", it turns out that Bow has been building an entire fake life as a university student so that his dads don't realise he's fighting with the Rebellion. When Adora and Glimmer show up unexpectedly while he's visiting home, he has to hurriedly brief them on his lie, which escalates until Adora has five different majors and is pronouncing everything weirdly because apparently she thinks that's how scholars speak. Eventually the whole thing comes crashing down when Adora brings a First One robot online and it starts destroying the building.
  • The Simpsons:
  • South Park:
    • "Pinewood Derby", where Stan and his father lie about cheating at a Pinewood Derby, and it ends up with Space Cops blocking earth from the rest of the universe.
    • In "Butters' Very Own Episode", where Butters' mother attempts to kill Butters after undergoing Sanity Slippage as a result of learning that her husband is a Depraved Bisexual who cheats on her, and due to being unaware of Butters' survival, they come up with a lie to cover up both the murder and the infidelity. It leads to a Calling the old man and woman out scene for Butters:
      Butters: Now gosh darn it, you! You listen here! Now I am sick of these harmless lies and l-little white lies. You know, you can call a shovel an ice-cream machine, but it's still a shovel, Mom and Dad. Ah, and you can call a lie whatever you want, but it's still a no-good stinkin' lie! And when you start coverin' up one lie with another lie, now that's when you get into real trouble! Boy I've, I've just about had it up to here with you two!
  • VeggieTales has Larry Boy! and the Fib From Outer Space: Junior knocks over a plate that is very important to his father. An alien, Fib, tells Junior that he should lie to his dad, and he does by telling him that it was his friend, Laura who did it (in a very ridiculous way). Laura, who was there when Junior actually knocked over the plate, eventually learns of this, and tells others that Junior is lying, so then Junior (with the help of Fib) begins telling people that it was Laura's brother, Lenny, who did it (again, in a very ridiculous way). Eventually Laura, Lenny and other kids start yelling at Junior for lying. Junior, lying to try to keep him out of trouble, is then kidnapped by Fib, who has been feeding off of Junior's lies and is now a Giant. Only when Junior is forced to admit he did everything does he weaken Fib and get himself (and Larry Boy, who failed trying to save him) free.

    Real Life 
  • Charlie Brooker told a story on Would I Lie to You? about how he once tried to get out of trouble for not paying attention when his girlfriend was talking by claiming that he couldn't hear her because he was completely deaf in one ear. Of course, he then had to keep up the absurd pretense for years, occasionally forgetting what ear exactly he was supposed to be deaf in.
  • The Six-Day War of 1967 comes out like this to someone who understands the events. Despite what both sides' Propaganda Machines said, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser had no interest in fighting Israel, as it was a lose-lose for him and his pan-Arab vision. If Nasser won such a fight, he would lose the main pan-Arab rallying point and thus all his leverage against who Nasser perceived as the real enemy: conservative Arab monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Jordan who opposed him and his vision. If Nasser lost, he'd lose credibility as leader of the Arabs (and thus lose leverage against the conservative Arab monarchies). However, Nasser had to pretend like he wanted war in order to maintain that selfsame credibility as Egypt's president. From there, the war—already understood to be a farce—looks like an episode of Fawlty Towers. To wit:
    1. The USSR informs Egypt that Israel is massing troops to attack Syria. Israel is in fact doing nothing of the sort, but Nasser doesn't bother to fact check and immediately informs the Syrians, then announces a big mobilization and public march on the Sinai, hoping to scare the Israelis into backing down.
    2. Since Israel was not massing troops, this move scares the Israelis into massing troops. At about this time, Egypt learns that the USSR had been mistaken, at best. Smart money says that the USSR just flat out lied to them.
    3. Finding himself in an embarrassing bind, Nasser tries to avoid war with another tactic: he publicly demands that the United Nations peacekeeping force separating Egypt from Israel "redeploy" (whatever that means). The UN Secretary-General, wanting to save his own ass, gives Nasser an ultimatum: either the peacekeeping forces withdraw entirely, or they don't move at all. The UN Sec-Gen hoped that Nasser's known aversion to starting a war would give him an out and allow tensions to dissipate. Alas, the Sec-Gen miscalculated.
    4. The papers across the Arab world—not fully under Nasser's control—have been trumpeting Arab military superiority over the weeks since the first moves, and now the Arab public is liable to see any backing down as a sign of Nasser's weakness. Since he can't be seen to be weak, Nasser opts to expel the UN peacekeepers. Now nothing stands between Egypt, Israel, and war—and a few weeks later, Israel does indeed attack. In just six days, Nasser and his military are overrun as Israel crushes them.
  • North Korea was once caught digging a tunnel under the DMZ. They then went and claimed it was not theirs and that it must have been set up by the South Koreans and Americans. The South Koreans and Americans then countered by showing pictures of a large, military-issue North Korean flag and digging tools the Koreans left down there. Then the North Koreans claimed that they did in fact dig the tunnel, but it was a coal mine. A coal mine under the most heavily guarded and politically sensitive border in the world, where coal has never been found, and where geological surveys of the area concluded that there isn't any signs of the mineral being there to begin with. They backed up this next claim by showing investigators the "coal", which were clearly rocks coated with black paint. It's worth noting that North Korea is one of the largest producers and users of coal in the world, so they aren't exactly amateurs at finding the stuff and could have presented real coal they "found" in the "mine".

Alternative Title(s): Web Of Lies


Dr. Havoc's Diary

Nighthook is forced to pretend to be a waiter.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / FawltyTowersPlot

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