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I Lied

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If you can't trust Colonel Sanders, you can't trust anybody.

"Dealing with trained operatives is like playing chess with a master. Dealing with criminals, on the other hand, is like playing checkers with a 3-year-old: they like to change the rules."

Villains are evil, and making a Deal with the Devil is always a bad idea, but despite this, they still have a tendency to follow through with their deals. Sure, they will twist the terms to screw over their client, but they won't be outright dishonest and refuse to follow through on their end, because Villains Never Lie.

Except when they do.

This Stock Phrase is uttered in response to an expression of shock at a broken promise of leniency or forgiveness. For example, the Big Bad has kidnapped the Love Interest and is holding them Hostage for MacGuffin, and the hero arrives, having over the MacGuffin. This line is then spoken by the villain (or a particularly unmerciful and unscrupulous hero) just before making off with/killing the hostage anyway, blowing up the Doomed Hometown, using the Doomsday Device, or some other act of merciless badness that they specifically said they would not do. Sometimes spoken just after, with a smirk and a smoking gun. This action is commonly done by Neutral Evil characters.

Generally speaking, anyone who says this is lining up that puppy between the goal posts or even about to perform their defining act of depravity and has, in any case, revealed their cruelest colors. Expect them to rub it in with Evil Gloating, asking the heroes "Did you actually believe me when I said..." For some reason, this often seems to take the heroes by surprise, even when the speaker has an extensive history of villainy.

Sometimes used by a former bad guy who's made a Heel–Face Turn - made the offer to rejoin Team Evil, they calmly accept, or perhaps pretend to seriously contemplate the offer, shocking any listening heroes, and about three seconds later proceed to kick ass on the side of good, taking everybody by surprise. The bad guy looks up at them and protests, "You said you're on our side!" The former bad guy says, "Yeah. I lied."

Usually said with dripping irony, which tends to fall a little flat if the speaker doesn't at least put a new spin on the phrase. May be accompanied by a Lying Finger Cross. Compare Empty Promise and Blatant Lies, and contrast Villains Never Lie. Also contrast Exact Words, where the liar actually makes it look like he was telling the truth in a different way to get what (s)he wants anyways. Also see Schmuck Bait, where the liar doesn't even have to talk. Moving the Goalposts is a downplayed and (usually) less evil version.

As well, an antihero may utter this phrase, particularly if they have promised the bad guy, such as an abductor, they won't harm him if he tells them where the victim is hidden. One the anti-hero is confident they know what they need to know, they may say this, and then throw them off a cliff (or otherwise dispatch them).


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  • There is a rather lengthy social ad, where an unremarkable young man talks about the importance of driving carefully. He tells (with appropriate visuals) how he learned, how at first he was tempted to break the rules now and then, how he had a few close shaves. With time and experience he became a better driver, later he taught his girlfriend to drive, she had similar temptations early on, but learned to resist them. He tells how they married, had children, and what happy family they have. He ends his story with: "Now that you've seen that, I hope you understand that you too should drive carefully. Oh, and I lied. I didn't pass that truck. And none of the rest happened." And fades away.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball: In the original Dragon Ball series, when General Blue threatens to shoot a paralyzed Goku unless they tell him where the Dragon Ball is, Bulma gives in and tells him. He then decides to shoot Goku anyway, quoting the trope.
  • Inuyasha has an example with Shiori; her grandfather Taigokumaru, a malevolent bat demon, stated that he would stop attacking her village if she gave herself up to him and powered their Deflector Shield, only to immediately attack said village the following night. He even mocks the villagers for actually believing he would honor a deal with humans.
  • In the Black Butler final episode, we have a Villain Protagonist becoming slightly less villainous sharing this exchange with his Affably Evil demon butler, causing a bit of a Tear Jerker as Sebastian jumps into the Thames to recover Ciel.
    Sebastian: You said you would live till then.
    Ciel: ...I lied.
  • In the second episode of K, wandering swordsman Kuroh Yatogami has tracked down Yashiro Isana, the teenager caught on video committing the crime, and is about to kill him, when Shiro asks him for one final request. He wants Kuroh to give a farewell letter to his little sister, who's been in the hospital her whole life and has no one but Shiro, so she'll be completely alone once Kuroh kills him. Her name? Ummm, uhh... Marilyn - no, wait, Mari! Mari Isana! And Kuroh still believes him after that. But when he hands Kuroh the paper, Kuroh opens it to see... a little doodle of Shiro giving a thumbs-up and a wink, with a speech bubble that says, "I lied!". Shiro then sets off a few fireworks he had in his bag and escapes.
  • While it's not the exact phrase, similar things are naturally said countless times in Liar Game, both when the villains reveal that they were just manipulating the good guys, and when the good guys pull a fast one over the villains. Commonly said in the form "This is the Liar Game; it's a game where you lie."
  • After the heroes of Monster Rancher give themselves up for a hostage, Pixie goes so far as to say that she never keeps her promises.
  • In Naruto Madara Uchiha says that the main reason he is capturing the tailed beasts is because his ultimate plan will bring about world peace. Naruto confronts him and says he really only wants power. Madara simply laughs and tells him he's right.
  • Bleach:
    • In chapter 414, we found out that the ever Affably Evil Gin Ichimaru lied about his Bankai in his amazingly simple watch-and-wait ploy to kill Big Bad Aizen. Did we mention that he has probably been plotting this for over a CENTURY and broke the Explaining Your Power to the Enemy rule, as well as being in complete violation of the Big Bad's Complexity Addiction?
    • Aizen spent at least as long telling the rest of the soul society that his Zanpakuto just dazzled opponents with pretty reflections.
    • At one point, Ichigo points out that one of Aizen's claims directly contradicts something he said before, which means he's lying. Aizen's response is to ask Ichigo why he assumes that Aizen wasn't lying back then.
  • Late in Gundam X, Garrod threatens to destroy the Space Revolutionary Army's colony laser unless they return the kidnapped Tifa. When they do return her, he blows it up anyway; Garrod is The Hero and there's no way he'd let such a powerful weapon remain in the hands of belligerents who want to destroy the Earth.
  • Rare heroic (and tear-jerking) example in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, when in a previous timeline, Madoka and Homura are lying side-by-side, having defeated Walpurgis Night but, due to not having any Grief Seeds left, about to become witches themselves thanks to The Corruption... when Madoka suddenly produces a single Grief Seed with which she cleanses Homura's Soul Gem. Then asks Homura to Mercy Kill her.
    Homura: You said you didn't have any Grief Seeds left!
    Madoka: I lied.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Riza Hawkeye says this to Envy as she shoots him — after she rooted him out by claiming that she and Colonel Roy Mustang, the latter of whom Envy disguised himself as, were on a First-Name Basis.
    • In the last chapter, Greed is about to be absorbed into Father, and wants to cut Ling Yao's soul loose so that Ling, at least, isn't sucked up into it as well. Ling argues that they should fight Father's pull together, and Greed appears to agree, before sucker punching Ling and setting him loose. Ling protests that Greed said he never lies, to which Greed responds: "That was my first, and last, lie. If you're going to be Emperor one day, you have to stop being so gullible."
  • Pokémon: The First Movie: Giovanni's response to Mewtwo when the latter confronts the former's early declaration that they were equal partners. Not surprisingly, Mewtwo is royally pissed at the betrayal and decides to blow the joint - figuratively and literally.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In the Virtual Nightmare Arc, after the Big Five have stolen Tristan's body, they duel Yugi and Joey, wagering it against theirs. After the heroes are victorious and Yugi demands they return it, Lector (who's directing it at the moment) tells them, "You must have mistaken me for someone who keeps his word." (All five of them try to attack the heroes physically then, but Noah stops them.)
    • In the dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Leo convinces Luna, Tanner, and Yanagi to seek help from Akiza and the Arcadia Movement. Sayer, the movement's leader, invites them in under the pretense of helping them face the Dark Signer threat. In reality, he only wanted to see if Leo had any potential as a Psychic Duelist like he believed her sister did. When Leo wakes up, leg chained to the ground in preparation for a psychic duel test, he questions why Sayer isn't going about what he promised to do. Sayer's response?
  • The catchphrase of the main character of Itsuwaribito, it's basically the whole point of the manga.
  • Played for laughs in one of the Beach Episodes of Azumanga Daioh. Tomo changes into her bathing suit to hit the beach as soon the gang arrives at the beach house despite having suggested the trip so they could study for exams. When called out on it, she pauses, then invokes the trope by name, much to Chiyo's dismay. What makes it especially funny is the long Beat that suggests she was actually trying to think of an excuse, but couldn't.
  • Near the end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection, Iris reveals to Kyrie that the Examia doesn't have the power to save Eltria or her father, and she was merely using her in her revenge against Yuri.
  • One Piece: 25 years ago, Kaido and Orochi made a deal with Oden that if he danced naked in the streets once a week for five years, they would not kidnap and sell the citizens of Wano into slavery and would leave once the five years were up. Only, they never intended to fulfill this promise, something made clear once the five years were up. As Kaido explained, they didn't have the manpower to take on Oden and his followers head-on at the time, so they tricked Oden into a deal that would allow them to accumulate their forces before attacking him. Oden being made to degrade himself and drag his name through the mud was an added bonus.
  • In Yuri is My Job!, Hime, being a frequent liar, does this sometimes.
    • Shortly after meeting Mitsuki, Hime asks to play on the piano, and does so surprisingly well. Mitsuki remarks that Hime told her classmates that she couldn't play. Hime replies with "Oh! so you were listening. That was a lie," before explaining that she kept it secret so that her classmates wouldn't try to have Hime replace Mitsuki for the piano accompaniment.
    • Some time later, Hime offers to hang out with her classmates, but instead ditches them to spend time with Mitsuki. While in the room with Mitsuki, Hime then calls her classmates to let them know that has to look after the house, then tells Mitsuki that she lied to her classmates earlier.
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold:
    • Gomez demands that Zia surrender to them and gives his word the Inca's village will be spared. After she's in their grasp, Gomez immediately orders the ship to fire at the village, saying he's taking his word back.
    • In the second season, Ambrosius claims he'll release Esteban's father if Esteban finds and hands over the third City of Gold's artifact to him. When Esteban complies with his demands, Ambrosius states he lied and he want all artifacts in exchange for Esteban's father's life and freedom.
  • School Zone Girls: Kei and Yokoe, best friends, are watching TV when an ad for a horror movie comes on. Kei, despite her boyish looks, is deathly afraid of horror stories. She covers her eyes and loudly recites all 47 prefectures of Japan to avoid looking at or hearing the TV. Yokoe soothingly reassures her that the commercial is over. It isn't. As Kei yells with fright at a stringy-haired ghost girl, an overly pleased-with-herself Yokoe clenches her fist triumphantly and declares "I lied."

    Comic Books 
  • Served with extra narm sauce in the Chick Tract "First Bite":
    Warlock: Master! Why did you tell us that Igor was the Promised One?
    Satan: I... uh... I lied! Because that's what I do! Get over it!
  • Batman:
    • Almost word for word from The Joker in the famous "Laughing Fish" story:
      Batman: You said you'd let him go.
      Joker: I'm a notorious liar.
    • Jason Todd's mother tells this to him after selling him out to the Joker.
    • Joker's Last Laugh is kicked off by a doctor trying to make the Joker remorseful for all he's done by lying and saying the Joker has a tumor, which he didn't have.
  • The second issue of the four part miniseries that started Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) has Robotnik doing this to Sally when she meets with him to bargain for his father's life. As it turns out, Sally had anticipated this and the real plan was to get an analysis of the roboticizer. This plan was screwed up when Sonic rescued her because Sally didn't bother to tell anyone besides Rotor the plan.
  • In the Judge Dredd story arc that revives Judge Death, the other three Dark Judges tell this to the poor fool they coerced into freeing Judge Death on the promise that they'd let his wife go: "WE LIED!"
  • Used by the authorities in Young Justice, after they had promised Red Tornado and his wife that they'd let him off for acting out against a court order separating him from his daughter.
    • Spoiler says tells Secret she lied after suggesting that Spoiler's boyfriend Robin had talked about Secret a lot. Secret, having a crush on Robin, had found the idea pleasing but Steph is irritated by Secret's behavior towards herself and Tim and picked a petty way to get back at her.
  • In Sin City: The Big Fat Kill, Becky was promised to be allowed to live after she ratted out the Old Town Girls. Manute, the Big Bad of the story, never says these words, but he does order Becky killed by Stuka, the swastika-headed punk, after ordering Davis to break out the tools on Gail, indicating that he had no intention of following through on that promise. Becky does eventually die, but at the hands of the girls of Old Town for her betrayal rather than Manute and his men.
  • Iron Man:
    • A variation: when Doctor Octopus, who's been holding the city hostage with a supposed bomb, uses it with a subversion of Exact Words when telling Tony it's not really a bomb at all.
      Doctor Octopus: It's a device. I always called it a device.
      Iron Man: No... you said bomb... you said...
      Doctor Octopus: Who cares? I lied. Cheat to win, Stark.
    • Tony himself got one in during the climax of the Armor Wars storyline. After beating down Firepower in their rematch, Iron Man has to disable Firepower's nuclear missile, which is trapped in his damaged backpack. Firepower begs Iron Man to free him from his armor first, but Tony tells him he can't. After shutting down the nuke, Firepower gets one last taunt in, prompting Tony to tear Firepower's helmet off. When the pilot questions why he told him he couldn't get him out before, Tony simply told him, "I lied." Cue Oh, Crap! face from Firepower.
  • Used word for word by Shrapnel after he takes false information from an Autobot traitor and proceeds to fry him in Marvel Comics' The Transformers.
  • Spider-Man:
    • One case where this Trope actually saved a man's life: In The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #318-319, the Scorpion was hired by Justin Hammer to kidnap General Musgrave, an Army Intelligence Officer at a ceremony. Spidey intervened, but it looked like Scorpion would get away with his hostage, until he found out Lance Bannon was taking some great photos of the fight, meaning the fight was helping J. Jonah Jameson (a guy the Scorpion absolutely hated). He changed his mind and said he would kill Musgrave unless Jameson surrendered to him in an hour. Jameson refused to cooperate (mostly because he had been kidnapped and replaced by the Chameleon during this time) but when the hour was up, the Scorpion changed his mind again, and bolted, taking Debevick with him, leading to this:
    Musgrave: But you said you'd kill me!
    Scorpion: Seriously, General, I wear a tail, I call myself the Scorpion, do you really expect a guy like me to tell the truth??
    • In part one of The Death of Jean DeWolff, Peter witnesses a group of thugs assault and rob an old man who also happens to be one of his aunt's neighbors. He confronts them as Spider-Man and it is quite clear they are more terrified of him than the helpless elderly person they'd just beat up. Spider-Man offers them a free shot at him which they take only for him to dodge and knock them out while stating this trope word for word.
  • In the Superman/Silver Surfer crossover, The Impossible Man calls out Mxyzptlk for hurting people when they'd agreed not to hurt anyone. Mxy shrugs and says with a smarmy grin that he lied. This presses Impossible Man's Berserk Button, which Mxy laughs off.
  • Played with in Red Sonja: The Art of Blood and Fire. Samala offers to free his slaves if Sonja can complete his task. When she succeeds he backs out, but she's more frustrated about the deception than shocked.
  • Buck Godot:
    PSmith: Just a minute, if that's the device, then we still have to return it to he-who-must-be-watered.
    Buck: Relax, PSmith. I'm lying. It's a fake.
    Der Rock the Destroyer: IT'S WHAT?!!
    Buck: Just kidding, it's the real device. I slipped the fake to he-who-must-be-watered.
    PSmith: But you just said... [beat panel] Well, you're lying to one of us.
    • In the Gallimaufry arc, the Beemah tell Buck they can't help him with the libido-inhibiting virus, but they can help him find the identity of the bioterrorists who made it in exchange for their freedom from a kill-on-sight order. Once their freedom is secured, the Beemah leader tells Buck they've had the cure all along. Buck is shocked that the leader lied to him; the leader says that they learned lying from watching all the intergalactic politicians do it.
  • In the first issue of Miracleman, Miracleman's transformation caused a terrorist guarding him to be deafened and suffer third-degree burns. In the second issue, the sinister Dr. Cream visits the terrorist in the hospital hoping to get clues as to Miracleman's identity. As the man is deaf, Cream has to use a pen and pad to communicate. He promises not to kill him if he cooperates and the terrorist agrees. After telling all, the last thing the man sees is a note reading "I was lying."
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: When Senator Abernathy's wife was dying of cancer Russian agents told him that they would use new Soviet advances in medicine to save her if he gave them some classified weapon's development intel. When he does so he discovers that not only were they lying about being willing to help her, they were lying about having the means to do so, and his wife dies and he became a traitor for nothing.
  • Nnewts: The Snake Lord promises to let Wizzark, Sissy, and Lizzark!Herk rule Amphibopolis after he takes over the sky. The Snake Lord later reveals that he actually intends to destroy Amphibopolis, and laughs at the three for trusting him.
  • Thunderbolts: American Eagle tells Bullseye, after a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, that he'll be nice and let Bullseye get a free shot at him. Bullseye tries to take it, and then Eagle beats him senseless. Because he lied.
  • Hound: Morrigan tells of the prophecy of three spears for three kings when the final battle begins. She admits that she's made it up to distract everyone when Cú Cullan confronts her over fatally wounding Emer.

    Comic Strips 
  • From Calvin and Hobbes:
    Calvin: Any monsters under my bed tonight?
    Monsters: Nope, no, uh-uh.
    Calvin: Well there better not be, I'd hate to have to torch one with my flamethrower!
    Hobbes: You have a flamethrower?
    Calvin: They lie, I lie.
  • Foxtrot has this early strip:
    Paige: Jason, how do I make the margins wider?
    Jason: What? You expect me to help you after you ruined my Star Trek game?
    Paige: I'll give you a dollar.
    Jason: Press Control-C, my dollar?
    Paige: Ha ha, I lied.
    Paige: Hey! My file just got deleted!!
    Jason: Ha ha, I lied.
  • In this strip, Garfield claims he's sticking to his diet. His response when Jon asks him to explain the missing donuts? The obvious one.
  • Peanuts. Lucy and that damned football. No matter how many times she promises Charlie Brown that this time she'll let him kick it, she will always yank it away just to humiliate him yet again.note 

    Fan Works 
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Legends of Equestria sees Princess Celestia utilize this to defeat Nightmare Moon, since the Elements of Harmony could only be used by her and Luna together.
    Luna/Nightmare Moon: Celestia! You said we would fix this, make things right again!
    Celestia: I’m afraid I lied to you, sister. It's what those of us that are willing to do whatever it takes to protect this kingdom do sometimes. I could not allow you to destroy everything that I have worked to create. I should have known from the start that you lacked the resolve to see our task through to its end.
  • One of the secondary characters in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic series Savage Skies is all about this trope. Swift Stride is one of seven Celestial Knights, but none of his fellow knights can stand him because he's so full of deceit. Late in the series, there's a chapter from his viewpoint while he's fighting Tirek. He starts off by bragging that he's Celestia's strongest knight, then admits he was lying about that and he's really just the trickiest. But after a long fight...
    Swift laughed. "Hey," he said, "Remember what I said earlier, about being the strongest of Celestia's Knights."
    Tirek's eyes narrowed. "You were lying."
    "Yeah... well..." Swift seemed to step forward and vanished. Tirek's eyes caught a flash of motion right in front of him and looked down to see that Swift was now standing within inches of his front belly, having seemingly crossed the distance between them in an instant. "... I was lying about lying."
  • Advice and Trust: After kissing Shinji, Asuka confessed that she wanted to kiss him because she liked him. When he complained that wasn't what she said before, she replied: "I lied."
    Shinji: You just said you wanted to kiss me because you were bored!
    Asuka: I lied.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Wily lies to Lex Loath about giving him a robot army, leaving him a million Zennies poorer and in jail.
  • In My Child, the demon Xaphan tells Levi that if he makes a deal with him for something, then he'll still get ten years of life before Xaphan claims his soul for good. Levi retorts that he's lying and refuses to make the deal. Levi is forced to finally sell his soul to the demon in exchange for his newborn child's life, and is thinking about how to make the best use of the next ten years when this happens:
    Xaphan: Yes, about that... You were absolutely right, Corporal — every word out of my mouth is a lie. [rips Levi's soul out and drags him to hell]
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act II: Miyabi forces Mizore to have sex with him, claiming he will spare Mizore's mother if she does so. As soon as he's finished and leaves a broken Mizore alone, he orders his soldiers to have Tsurara executed.
  • In Shadowchasers: Ascension, Ophelia duels Rule-of-Three on the condition he'll release the captive Penelope and Red Feather if he loses. When he does lose, he assumes his true form and this Trope is played out:
    Rule-of-Three: Well, let’s see… I could honor my side of the bargain, which would make Jalie and my master very angry… Or I could renege on it, which would make them quite pleased… Tough decision… (Starts to assume his true form.) Oh, who am I kidding? It’s an incredibly easy decision!
    Penelope: That dirty bastard...
    Rule-of-Three: There are three rules to dealing with demons, like me... One, always get payment in advance. Two, always watch your back. And the third rule is... [transformation is now complete] Well, the third rule is, just don't make deals with them at all! They tend to lie!
Unfortunately for him, at that second, Dante and Jeb rush in and have their swords at his throat. Leading to this:
Lorelei: You were stalling? You knew Rule-of-Three was lying?
Ophelia: Oh please, it couldn't have been more obvious if his pants were on fire.
  • Quicken: When Emma reminds thug Lao that he promised that he'd let her go, he shrugs and replies that he lied.
    Emma: Y-y-you promised. You s-s-said that – that you would let me go after – after she was done.
    Lao: Guess I lied, ginger.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: Harry's family, except Archie, have no idea how many lies she tells, but she's fairly honest with her friends about it.
    Caelum: You lied. You said you were already planning on getting food out.
    Harry: Yes, I lied to you. I lie a lot, actually. You should get used to it if we're going to be friends.
  • In This Means War Lavender applies what she claims is a painless waxing potion to Ginny's legs during a makeover session.
    Ginny: You said it wouldn't hurt!
    Lavender: I lied.
  • In Madness Harry deliberately misquotes the prophecy to Voldemort before killing him with the Sword of Gryffindor.
    Wormtail: You said you would both die.
    Harry: Yeah, well about that, I lied.
  • Teen Titans The Abridged Series:
    Beast Boy: I thought you said you didn't have superpowers.
    Robin: I lied. (Kicks Mammoth hard enough to send him flying several meters backwards)
  • Initially Played Straight but then Subverted in the Danny Phantom/Justice League crossover Days of Justice. The Spectre leads Danny, Wonder Woman, and Shazam into Trigon's dimesion to rescue the Justice Society of America. Since the dimension is filled with magic, Spectre is forced to send back his human host, Jim Corrigan, and take Danny as a temporary one, promising to release him when the mission is over. When the heroes finish the mission, Spectre refuses to honor his promise since he finds Danny to be the perfect host, but relents and goes back to Corrigan after the latter refuses to let him use Danny.
  • The Night Unfurls: During the Feoh/Ur Arc, Alicia gives in to the Black Dogs' terms of surrender in hopes of freeing a number of captive nuns from their Hostage Situation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they do not keep their word.
  • And Hell Followed After Him has Ranma does this to Mousse. After being sent to hell by Cologne and his rivals, tortured for 100 years (10 on the outside), Ranma returns as the Ghost Rider to exact bloody vengeance. After de-legging Mousse and fighting his way through Hotel Moscow, the Chinese Triad and Roanapur's most lethal assassins (Revy and Eda included), he finally has the Amazon-turned-hitman at his mercy and decides to channel his inner Peyton Westlake.
    Ranma!Rider: (lifting Mousse to his face) I know you are Mousse, I know…BUT LETS PRETEND YOU AREN'T! (cue Penance Stare)
  • Time Again: Redux:
    Harry: Ginny! Ron! Go! You need to get out of here!
    Dolohov: Oh, there's not much chance of that happening. Take a look for yourself, I won't even try and curse you.
    [Harry ducks his head out, then pulls it back as a curse comes flying]
    Harry: Shit. I thought you said you wouldn't curse me.
    Dolohov: I lied.

    Film — Animation 
  • Vizier Baramanda from Ark, who forces the heroine Amarinth to turn herself in by arresting Amarinth's father, Commander Jallek, ready to sentence Jallek to public execution. The moment Amarinth complies, Baramanda then had Jallek set free... before (within Amarinth's earshot) ordering a hit squad to have Jallek and several protestors gunned down in public. But thankfully the hero Rogan's intervention prevents the massacre from being carried out.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Used by Gary Oldman's character in Air Force One:
    Grace Marshall: You said you were gonna release us.
    Ivan Korshunov: Forgive me, I lied.
  • From a deleted scene of Back to the Future Part III:
    Buford: Now, I'm warning you Marshal, I'm here on a personal matter, if you want to live to see your boy grow up, you'll ride out of here for a few hours and leave me be.
    Strickland: Let's go, boy.
    [Buford shoots Strickland anyway]
    Strickland's Son: PA!!
    Buford: I lied, Marshal!
  • When Sheriff Bart confronts Hedy ("That's Hedley!") Lamarr at the climax of Blazing Saddles and draws a gun on him, Hedley protests that he is unarmed, leading Bart to throw down his gun to settle things with Good Old Fisticuffs. Hedley then mentions that wait, he is armed and reveals a Derringer in his coat, but Bart retrieves his gun and shoots Lamarr in the crotch.
  • In the 2004 film The Clearing, Arnold Mack kidnaps Wayne Hayes, then calls Wayne's wife Eileen demanding a ransom, promising to return her husband once he gets it. When the ransom is delivered, Arnold escapes with the money and reveals he killed Wayne shortly after kidnapping him.
  • Spoken by John Matrix in Commando (1985), a rare heroic version:
    Matrix: Remember, Sully, when I promised to kill you last?
    Sully: That's right Matrix, you did!
    Matrix: I lied. [Drops Sully to his death]

    Cindy: What did you do to Sully?
    Matrix: I let him go.
  • In Demon Knight, the Collector says this directly to one character just before he is Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves.
  • Damodar says the exact line in the Dungeons & Dragons (2000) movie. Most of the audience saw it coming from around the opening credits.
  • In Exam, White says this when everyone calls him out on his back-stabbing.
  • In the film Freejack, Mick Jagger gets the very last line in the film, when asked by Emilio Estevez about his sudden change of loyalties. It is delivered with such scenery chewing glee that it may be the Platonic Ideal of I Lied.
  • Played for Laughs in the original Fright Night:
    Charley Brewster: C'mon, you just said you believe in vampires!
    Peter Vincent: I [slams down car hood] lied!
    Vacendak: I LIED!
  • Gone (2012): Jill says this after she starts pouring gasoline onto her abductor, who screams that she said she'd let him go if he'd told her what he's done with her sister.
  • In The Heat after Ashburn takes one out of Mullins' book and shoots a drug lord in the crotch, Mullins reveals that she never had any bullets in the gun during her groin Russian Roulette on a perp earlier.
  • Heathers: J.D. tells Veronica that using "ich luge" bullets will only pierce the skin of the jocks, not kill them. "Ich lüge" is German for "I'm lying."
  • In ManOnFire, a burned-out intelligence operative becomes a bodyguard to a wealthy executive's little girl. After she is kidnapped for ransom, he interrogates one of the girl's captors, promising that they will not be harmed. When the kidnapper reveals what they know, the bodyguard informs the other kidnappers that the promise was not true, and executes one kidnapper. This greatly enhances the cooperativeness of the remaining kidnapper.

  • In Interstellar, when Murphy asks the dying Professor about his gravitational theory midway through the film, he confesses that he faked them to keep everybody from worrying about the future. "I lied. I lied, Cooper."
  • Lock Up: Warden Drumgoole promises one of Frank's friends a reduced sentence if he'll betray him at the right moment. When he does, he declares that they "don't make deals with prisoners", and has him thrown back into genpop.
  • Gollum/Sméagol does this in the film version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The variation here is the Split Personality. Frodo always knew that "Gollum" couldn't be trusted, but he thought that "Sméagol" would keep his word to obey him.note  When Sméagol turns on Frodo near the end, they have this exchange:
    Frodo: But you swore! You swore on the precious! Sméagol promised!
    Gollum: Sméagol lied.
  • The Mask: "You said you wouldn't hurt him!" followed by the obligatory smug "I lied".
  • In Masters of the Universe, Skeletor won. He got He-Man to surrender, give up his sword, let himself be tortured, because he left He-Man's friends back on Earth. Said friends found their way back to Eternia and attacked Skeletor's forces, and when they attacked back He-Man shouts that Skeletor promised not to hurt them. The weird thing here is that technically, Skeletor did honor his part and his forces are actually defending themselves. However, Skeletor is drunk with power at this point so fulfilled this trope just to fulfill it. (He's evil). Which galvanizes He-Man to kill him. Whups!
  • While not outright said, an example does happen in The Mummy (1999), the heroes get cornered by a mob of Imhotep's followers. Imhotep offers (through Beni translating for him) that if Evey comes with him (to be sacrificed), he will spare her friends. They accept the offer, believing that Rick, Johnathan and Ardeth Bay, will live to fight the day after so that they can rescue her later. Unfortunately, once she's in hand, Imhotep orders in ancient Egyptian to his followers to kill the rest of them.
  • In My Blue Heaven, in order to elicit sympathy, Vinny tells Barney that he saved his life since despite working for organized crime, he didn't know how to use a gun. At the climax, he singlehandedly stops two hitmen with a proficient display of marksmanship. When Barney calls him on it, Vinny states that he lied, which is the only time where he actually admits to one of his lies flat out.
  • In Next of Kin (1982), Linda overhears both Connie and Dr. Barton confess that they had both lied to her about the nature of the suspicious deaths at the retirement home, both past and present.
  • The Prestige: When Angier's wife drowns during an escape act gone wrong, Cutter tells him about a sailor he knew once who almost drowned; he said "it was like going home". When he discovers that Angier has been drowning his duplicates created by Tesla's transporter machine, he reveals that he only told Angier that to comfort him: "I lied - he said it was agony!"
  • A rare heroic example occurs at the end of The Ribald Tales of Robin Hood. After promising Lady Sallyforth that she will live if she lets Marian go, Robin then turns her over to his men to do with as they will. When she protests that he said she would be allowed to go, he responds:
    "What is the word of an outlaw worth?"
  • A somewhat more meta-example: Scary Movie's tagline was "No Mercy. No Shame. No Sequel." When Scary Movie 2 came out, their tagline was: "We lied."
  • In Sister Act, on allowing Deloris to stay in the convent:
    Reverend Mother: That is not a person you can hide. That is a conspicuous person, designed to stick out.
    Monsignor O'Hara: You took a vow of hospitality for all in need.
    Reverend Mother: I lied.
  • Invoked by Overdog, played by Michael Ironside in Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone to Nicki (played by a young Molly Ringwald).
    Overdog: You have a very enviable life force, a life force you're going to share with me.
    Nicki: But... you said if I made it through, I'm free.
    Overdog: (with a Slasher Smile) I lied, nobody goes free!
  • Used by the good guy in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Worth pointing out, in a nerdy way, that from the Klingon perspective, this makes Kirk very much a villain. It's considered a great deal of dishonor for a Klingon to be captured alive rather than killed in battle.
    Kirk: Help us or die!
    Maltz: I do not deserve to live.
    Kirk: Fine. I'll kill you later.
    Maltz: Wait. You said you would kill me.
    Kirk: I lied.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope:
      • The scene where Leia bluffs about the location of the rebel base and Tarkin immediately orders the destruction of her home planet, telling her she is "far too trusting". On the other hand, Tarkin said he would blow up Alderaan if she did not tell him the base's location. He never said that he would not blow up Alderaan if Leia did tell him the location.
      • Reversed a few minutes later when Tarkin is absolutely shocked to learn Leia lied about that location. Vader responds with "I told you she would never consciously betray the rebellion, unless she thought she could destroy us in the process." Given what he had done earlier, he should've known that was coming. (Well, there was a Rebel base there. Just not an active one.)
    • The Empire Strikes Back:
      • Lando Calrissian of Cloud City makes a deal with Darth Vader, and it kept getting worse all the time. It worked out in the end, and the Expanded Universe makes it clear that if he had refused, Cloud City would have been attacked and destroyed. There are two exchanges that reflect this trope, though neither actually say "I lied."
      Lando: That was never a condition of our agreement, nor was giving Han to this bounty hunter!
      Vader: Perhaps you think you're being treated unfairly?
      Lando: ...No.
      Vader: Good. It would be unfortunate if I had to leave a garrison here.
      • ...and
      Darth Vader: Calrissian. Take the princess and the Wookiee to my ship.
      Lando: You said they'd be left at the city under my supervision.
      Darth Vader: I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.
  • In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the Arnie Terminator pretends he'll let Katherine Brewster go if she tells him where John Connor is before admitting he lied, showing the epononymous machine has become ridiculously human enough to lie (he's been expanded with psychology routines). Or to reference his old movies.
  • During the Armed Blag at the start of Transit, Marek shoots the driver, causing the Inside Man to object:
    Man: Nobody's supposed to die! You said that nobody's supposed to die.
    Marek: I lied.
    [shoots him]
  • A lighter version occurs in the comedy Water. After Granola Girl Pamela Weintraub states her opposition to Spenco exploiting the island's mineral water, Governor Baxter Thwaites threatens to have her deported as an undesirable alien. Being taken hostage together makes them realise it's all Belligerent Sexual Tension.
    Pamela: You said I was an undesirable alien.
    Baxter: I lied. (start smooching)

  • Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception: Opal Koboi regarding the explosive strapped to Julius Root supposedly having had a "sweet spot", which, if Holly had hit it accurately, would have saved Root's life. There was no sweet spot, and the bomb went off seconds later. This served the dual purpose of screwing with Holly by forcing her to shoot her oldest friend and tricking her into framing herself for his murder on camera.
  • A Brother's Price: Jerin pulls this on the villains, justifying it by pointing out that if he were more honest than them, he would be at a disadvantage, and he prefers to "meet people at their level".
  • Companions of the Night: Ethan does it so much that Kerry has a really hard time to spot when he’s actually telling the truth. He indeed has had a lot of time to practice his lying skills, being a vampire and all...
  • Deverry: A rare completely heroic example occurs late in the cycle. Nevyn, in pursuit of the Big Bad, makes a deal with a pack of Elite Mooks, who make a big play of how they always keep their word, no matter what. Having bargained with them to get his hands on an artefact linked to the Big Bad, he then catches a Brick thrown four books earlier, (he's one of the few Light Sorcerers who didn't swear an oath always to tell the truth) and so he can set them all on fire.
  • Discworld: An Elf attempts this on Magrat in Lords and Ladies. However, she was one step ahead and A) was wearing armor under her wedding dress and B) tricked one of them into opening a box containing Greebo.
  • Don Quixote: While wandering, Don Quixote finds a man named Juan Haduldo flogging his servant, the shepard boy Andrés. Quixote stops him and orders him to promise to never do that again and to pay the boy a fair wage. As soon as Quixote leaves, Haduldo angrily says he has no obligation to obey a promise made to some old coot and resumes flogging the boy and not paying him. When Andrés meets Quixote again, he calls him out on not keeping tabs on them or even contacting the authorities to enforce the promise. Quixote had assumed that all men would never break a promise.
  • Dragonriders of Pern: In Weyr Search, the first novella, Lessa, the heiress to Ruatha Hold, schemes against evil Lord Fax who took the place by force when she was a child. Over the years she psychically maneuvers Ruatha to ruins, leading him to vow he'll renounce it in favor of his son, if any. Seeing Fax's wife Gemma die before giving birth, she announces a living son, leading dragonrider F'lar to kill Fax in a gruesome knife fight. When she reveals herself as the true heir, F'lar reminds her that Fax's son is now the heir. She says scornfully "Gemma died, the babe unborn. I lied!" (But she didn't. After she left Gemma dead, the midwife did a C-section and brought out a healthy boy.)
  • The Executioner: In "Hollywood Hell", Mack Bolan does this trope to a Mafia thug in the pornography business, whom he promised to release if he talked. Which counts as Took a Level in Jerkass as Bolan has always kept his word in the past when he promised to let someone go unharmed, and in fact has a reputation among his enemies for doing so.
  • Fate/Zero: Lord Kayneth is given a geas, in which it states that he and his wife shall not be harmed by Kiritsugu in any way should he accept the conditions, which is to have his Servant commit suicide. Lord Kayneth, who was dealt a grievous wound in a former battle, accepts. After the death of his Servant, Lord Kayneth and his wife are shot dead by Maiya, a henchman of Kiritsugu, who is not covered by his geas.
  • Forest Kingdom: In book 1 (Blue Moon Rising), the Demon Prince promised to make The Dragon the king of Forest Land. Instead, he just makes him a low-grade demon.
  • Gangsta Granny: The Granny admits to the Queen that she lied about being an international jewel thief.
  • The Gatekeepers: Evil Star:
    Fabien: Salamanda promised me the boy wouldn't be hurt.
    Rodriguez: Salamanda lied! (Shoots Fabien)
  • In Inkheart, the Big Bad Capricorn lies — a lot — in order to get people to do what he wants, and such gets one of these in about every scene he's in, in addition to being honestly baffled that people are surprised. At one point, he lies about having lied.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Kthonia promises to cease her rampage and leave everyone alone in exchange for mercy. Everyone is surprised when she backs out of the promise moments later and continues fighting.
  • Old Kingdom: Word for word in Abhorsen.
    Lirael: You told me you weren't one of the Seven!
    Disreputable Dog: I lied. It's one of the reasons I'm the Disreputable Dog.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Believe it or not, the heroes (anti-heroes may be a better term) use this a number of times on the villains! The Vigilantes used this on the bad guys in Final Justice. Jack Emery, and Harry Wong at least pull this on a pedophile polygamist sheriff and his two deputies in Under The Radar. Jack made an offer that the first one who told them what they needed to know would be set free. Deputy Clyde took the offer and told them everything he knew. When he was done, he said that he told them everything he knew and now they have to keep their word. Jack does not release him, and states that he will be set free, but Jack didn't say where! Clearly, the intention is to put them in prison where they belong! Deputy Clyde was unhappy, and he mouthed off some racist remarks at Harry Wong, resulting in him being knocked out.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • An inversion happens in A Game of Thrones, when Littlefinger betrays Ned Stark. Littefinger had directly told Ned not to trust him and reminds Ned of it while betraying him.
    • In the epilogue of A Storm of Swords, Merrett Frey goes to ransom Petyr, a relative of his, from the Brotherhood Without Banners... then he sees that the Brotherhood already hanged him.
      Merrett: You said if you had the gold by sunset he wouldn't be harmed...
      Tom Sevenstrings: Well, you've got us there, my lord. That was a lie of sorts, as it happens.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Thrawn Trilogy: In Dark Force Rising, Grand Admiral Thrawn speaks to ex-Imperial-agent Mara Jade about the location of the long-lost Katana fleet; she doesn't know it, but her current boss does. Thrawn tells her that she has a few days to go get the coordinates and lets her get back to her ship and rendezvous with her boss, but he plants a tracking device on her, shows up just after she does, and captures him. Mara is furious; Thrawn is coldly practical, and calmly states that he changed his mind on their deal. This ultimately works very much against Thrawn, as it this incident is what turns Mara against the Empire for good, making this one of the few times he succumbs to the Villain Ball.
    • Galaxy of Fear: Planet Plague has the villain give Tash an injection of The Virus while in the guise of a doctor. Later, as she starts to succumb, she says he said it was a vaccine! Well, he lied. A later book has the computer SIM. When everything went wrong, it kept telling Zak to get to its main computer room and input some codes to remove its Restraining Bolt, and that it could help him then. Zak kept not doing it, and his sister ended up locked in a room with the air being slowly vented out. SIM told Zak it would only be able to open that door when he input those codes. Guess what happened when he did.
    • New Jedi Order: Vergere. "When will you learn that everything I tell you is a lie?" She's more of a Trickster Mentor than anything else (at least, until Legacy of the Force retconned her into a Sith.)
  • Sword Art Online: Quinella motivates her henchman Chudelkin by swearing an oath to the goddess Stacia that if he can defeat the heroes, she will have sex with him. She has no intention of honoring her oath and points out that she doesn't believe in Stacia, so her oath is meaningless.
  • In the Ray Bradbury short story "The Toynbee Convector", Craig Bennett Stiles, a Bill Gates Expy, announced on live television that he built a time machine and travelled into the future, and revealed that in the future mankind would abolish war, disease, prejudice and famine and create a true utopia. Nearly a century later, in the utopia that Stiles envisioned, Stiles admitted to a reporter interviewing him, "I lied," that he never really travelled into the future. He used a special effects team to create fake "artifacts from the future" to show the world, hoping to give humanity a goal to strive for. His lie became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Trick or... Trapped!: At one point, you can end up in a fight with a crazed pirate who wants to kill you for getting too friendly with his pet ghost. He says that he will spare your life if you give him an apple, which is his favorite food. If you do have the apple with you, you can give it to him like he says. It doesn't matter though, because he goes back on his word and kills you anyway. Prick.
  • A rare Heroic version shows up in Stephen King's It. During the Ritual of Chud in 1987, Richie seizes IT and is hurting IT with his quips and voices, and tells IT he'll consider letting IT go if IT takes him to his friend, Bill. The self-proclaimed Eater of Worlds and of Children is surprised when Richie pulls an "I Lied".
  • Another heroic version in Who Censored Roger Rabbit? when Eddie gives a Jerkass Genie a lethal saltwater bath after having it grant him a single, albeit selfless, wish for him.
  • The Wind in the Willows: Badger drags Toad "off screen" for a long lecture about breaking his motorcar addiction. As Badger drones on, Rat sardonically comments to Mole that it's pointless, because Toad will say anything, and sure enough, as soon as the duo comes back with Toad having promised to change, Toad announces he was lying and will gleefully go off in the first motorcar he lays eyes on. He gets locked up and kept under guard.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The first scene of Blade: The Series is essentially this trope. Blade has just interrogated a Russian vampire:
    Blade: You can go.
    Vampire: You are joking, yes?
    Blade: Yes.
  • Played straight by the Burn Notice episode "No Good Deed". Quoth the villain of the week, Eve, "Remember that part about me letting you live if you helped me rip off my buyer? I lied." (Westen had never actually believed her; he was just buying time for Fiona to put together a rescue.)
  • Another (mostly) heroic version; Brenda Johnson of The Closer often lies to her suspects about all the crimes they're being charged with until after she's gotten their confession, but in a Season 6 episode she actually says the trope title. She tells the perp that his drive-by shooting didn't hurt anyone, but if he confessed to the crime and explained why he tried to have the target killed, the LAPD wouldn't arrest him for the property damage caused by the shooting. He confesses, she reveals that three US Army soldiers were killed, and that he'd be getting the death penalty. Her "I lied" when he shouted that she said nobody was injured was positively gloating.
  • During the Community pilot Britta promises Jeff a date if he'll stop the fighting he started. After Jeff uses his Manipulative Bastardry to calm the group down, she uses these words exactly.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In "Officer Blue", in order to get a murder confession Aiden resorts to this in a pizza shop that's a front for money laundering.
    • In "Point of No Return," Stella promises George Kolovos that she won't send him to Cyprus (where he's a wanted criminal) in a shipping container if he gives up his partner Sebastian Diakos. He does...and she locks him in the container anyway.
    Kolovos: Wait, we had a deal!
    Stella: I lied.
  • Dexter: When Dexter Morgan goes back on a promise to set a victim free: "You think I'm a killer, and not a liar?"
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Runaway Bride": The Doctor, to Donna, regarding the TARDIS and its status as a time machine.
      The Doctor: Do you know what I said before, about a time machine? Well, I lied, and now it's time to use it.
    • "The Next Doctor":
      Miss Hartigan: But you promised me, you said I would never be converted!
      Cyber-Leader: That was designated: a lie.
    • "Planet of the Dead": Christina, right before kissing the Doctor:
      "Remember when I said I hated you? I was lying."
    • Practically River Song's catch phrase. The Eleventh Doctor gets in on the action a lot, too. Basically, any time River and Eleven are on screen together, they're lying to each other, to the companions, and to you.
    • Rule #1: The Doctor Lies.
    • "The Time of Angels":
      River: This won't hurt a bit. [injects Amy, who cringes] There, you see? I lied.
  • A heroic example in the Elementary episode "Meet Your Maker". Holmes and Watson question a man who runs a site on the Dark Web for misogynists. Holmes points out the site is full of posts of men talking about raping and killing women, so if the man doesn't give them the information they need he'll turn him over to Homeland Security. Once the man gives the information, Holmes waves over the DHS agents who were watching.
    Man: But you promised you wouldn't tell them about me if I talked to you!
    Holmes: Yes, but you play den mother to a pack of would-be rapists and mass shooters, so you can see how lying to you would be the highlight of my day.
  • In the Emerald City episode "Everybody Lies", West promised Ojo that she would free his wife from the Prison of the Abject, in exchange for bringing her Dorothy. She didn't.
    West: I lied! Everybody lies!
  • Done humorously on the Father Ted episode "A Christmassy Ted". An award hungry priest decides to pose as another priest named Father Todd Unctious (even stealing Todd's clothes which Ted notes was pointless since he was already a priest) to get close to Ted to steal his recently won Golden Cleric award. Once caught he asks the police officer present to if everything he says is off the record. The officer agrees so he delivers a full confession. The officer after reveals that it was a lie and it was all in fact on the record, much to the thief's disappointment.
    Police Sergeant: Well, I got bad news for you so-called Todd Unctious. That wasn't off the record. I'm using that as evidence against you.
    (Fake)Todd: Ah that's completely unfair!
  • The Flash (2014): After the Flash enlists Captain Cold's help, and gets double-crossed:
    Flash: You gave me your word!
    Captain Cold: It's true I did, but here's the thing: I'm a criminal and a liar and I hurt people and I rob them.
  • On one episode of Frasier, Martin tries to trick Niles into signing a document so that he won't have to go get a physical, by having a cop friend of his pull them over and offer to flash his badge and get him out of the ticket only if he signed. After Niles apparently does so Martin says, "I lied," and explains the ruse to him. Niles responds, "I lied. I just drew you a picture of a dog."
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Littlefinger says "I did warn you not to trust me," when he proves why. This is actually a Double Subversion as Littlefinger was being perfectly honest when he warned Ned not to trust him. Still, he was relying on Ned falling for a Sarcastic Confession.
    • Reek delivers the promise of safe conduct to the Ironborn garrison at Moat Cailin if they surrender. Unfortunately, Ramsay is a man of tradition and has a bad habit of flaying people he promised to spare.
      Ramsay: "You didn't think I was going to let them go, did you?"
    • Polliver tells the injured Lommy that he'll carry him, then sinks a sword in Lommy's throat.
  • Played for Laughs (duh) by comedy duo Hale and Pace in their role as the managers of their own show. "We promised not to blow the budget..." (lights go own, budget very obviously blown) "...we lied."
  • In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Ares allows Hercules to marry Serena, a Golden Hind, if he gave his godly powers, and Hercules agrees to this. However, in the next episode, "Judgment Day", Serena is found dead and Hercules is blamed for it. Not surprisingly, Ares and his nephew, Strife, were the ones responsible for it.
    Iolaus: You reneged on your deal, Ares. You said if he gave up his powers, he’d be happily married.
    Ares: I lied. So what?
  • Heroes:
    [Matt traps Sylar in his own mind]
    Sylar: [unbelieving] You said you would help me.
    Matt: Yeah, well... Guess there is still a little of you left inside me. Because I lied. Enjoy hell.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim has Ryoma Sengoku pulling this after fatally operating on Mai to remove the Forbidden Fruit from her.
    Micchy: You... you said you'd save Mai...
    Ryoma: And I haven't the faintest idea why you believed me.
  • In an episode of Law & Order, Detective Phil Cerreta poses as an insurance salesman in a sting on a sex worker. After the police come in and arrest her, she, believing in Must State If You're a Cop, says, "I thought you said you weren't a cop!" Cerreta gleefully replies, "I lied!"
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: In the pilot episode, Goren tells the girlfriend of the episode's Big Bad that her boyfriend has HIV and has infected her. After the duo are arrested, he admits the deception.
    Gia: [to her boyfriend] We're already dead. You killed us.
    Eames: [straight-faced] Guess again, Gia. You're gonna live a long, happy life.
    [Beat while Gia looks at Goren in surprise]
    Goren: I lied. Sorry.
  • Lost:
    • Ben Linus should have this printed on a t-shirt.
    • Also said by Sun Kwon after silencing Ben himself with an oar to the head.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Implied in the episode "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?" Col. Flagg confronts Dr. Sidney Freedman and points out the latter never swore an oath to the U.S. Army. Sidney tells him that if he were a communist spy, he wouldn't hesitate to take the oath because he would already be a lying traitor.
    • "A Smattering Of Intelligence" has two government agents (Col. Flagg and Trapper's old friend Vinnie Pratt) looking for security leaks at the 4077th, only they seem to be chasing each others' tails. Hawkeye and Trapper give them the runaround by embellishing Frank's file with both left and right wing violations, so when Flagg and Pratt try to arrest Frank for it:
      Frank: It's a lie! They're all lies!!
      Pratt: Well, somebody's lying.
      Trapper: Right. And we know who it is.
      Hawkeye: (joining Trapper shoulder to shoulder) It's us!
  • Used by the villain in the first episode of My Own Worst Enemy. This, however, was an act. His alter-ego Edward anticipated the betrayal and coached Henry on what to do and say.
    Henry: We had a deal. I get you Fainburg's marbles, you leave my family alone!
    Uzi: I lied.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • Mike points out Pearl Forrester promised that she wouldn't make them watch any more bad movies if he and the 'bots helped him. Mike and the robots knew she would break her word, and helped her because it benefited them. (Servo told Mike, "I don't want to have to see you in a toga.")
      Pearl: [thoughtfully] You know, I think I lie because I'm evil.
    • Earlier in the series, Forrester and Erhardt would respond to Joel's accusation of lying with, "What do you want from us? WE'RE EVIL!"
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Unsurprisingly, the Red Queen doesn't fulfill her promise to help Alice find first, anyway.
  • Power Rangers in Space: Stated word-for-word during the Psycho Rangers' arc by Psycho Yellow, after she betrays Psycho Pink:
    Psycho Pink: But you promised it would be pink!
    Psycho Yellow: I lied!
    • For the Power Rangers series overall, it's honestly easier to list all the times where a villain hasn't pulled this trope on the titular heroes. The first well-known instance is in the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers when the heroes' parents and friends are abducted and Goldar demands that they hand over their Power Coins in exchange for their lives. The Rangers comply, only for Goldar to smugly tell them that they were fools to trust his word and saying that since he intends to destroy the world, there's no reason to give back their parents. If it hadn't been for his forgetting about Tommy's Dragon Power Coin, the Rangers would've been done for.
    • In the Turbo movie, the space pirate Divatox gives the ultimatum "trade Larigot for your friends (Jason and Kimberly) or I'll destroy them". The result goes about as well as the above with Goldar; Divatox shoots torpedos at the rangers and takes Larigot without giving anyone back.
  • A Bill Cullen telecast of The Price Is Right had all contestants overbidding on an item, which meant nobody won it. Bill notes that there was a bonus involved where somebody could win $80,000. After the audience gasps and murmurs subside, Bill snarks "So I lied a little!"
  • Red Dwarf, episode "Justice": Lister and the Simulant agree to come unarmed to "talk":
    Simulant: Guess what? [pulls out hunting knife] I lied.
    Lister: Guess what? [allows pole to slide from the arm of his jacket] So did I.
    Simulant: But I lied twice. [pulls out a handgun]
    Lister: I didn't think of that.
  • Scrubs:
    • After J.D protests at not being invited to the christening of Dr. Cox's son.
      Doctor Cox: Of course you're coming. In fact I want you to be the baby's godfather.
      J.D.: [whispering emotionally] I... am... honored.
      Doctor Cox: [imitating him] I... am lying.
      [Turk and Carla nearly burst with suppressed laughter]
      J.D.: I'm not sure I see how that's funny. [wipes away tear]
    • In an earlier episode, the Janitor offers to drive J.D. to his then-girlfriend Molly the night before she's due to leave... and dumps him on the highway instead. "It's been four years. How do you not get how this works yet?"
  • Heroic example from Star Trek: Enterprise.
    Klingon General: You were supposed to be creating Augments!
    Phlox: I lied.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In "Skin of Evil," Armus, the titular skin of evil, tells Troi that the Enterprise crew won't be coming back. Later...
      Armus: I lied to you. They came back.
    • "Captain's Holiday": Beverly is trying to convince Captain Picard to take a vacation. Picard is adamant, and she tells him that it's going on a vacation that he hates, but once he gets there, he has a great time. She reminds him of him telling her about how he had a great time during his four days on Zytchin III, to which he replies "I lied." Given that he's trying to wheedle desperately out of the vacation, this itself is likely a lie.
  • Chris Ryan's Strike Back (Origins in the US): Hakim Al-Nazeri, leader of an Iraqi terrorist group, vows to kill John Porter first, followed by the reporter he was attempting to rescue when he was captured. Come the morning of the execution, Al-Nazeri drags the reporter off first, prompting this exchange:
    Porter: Hakim, you bastard, you said you'd take me first!
    Al-Nazeri: I lied.
  • Supernatural:
    • Dean Winchester is trying frantically to save his daddy when he gets stonewalled by a demon. He tortures her, bargains for information, then sends her back to burn in hell with this trope.
      Meg: You son of a bitch, you promised.
      Dean: [snarling right in her face] I lied!
    • Abaddon, a demon in one of the later seasons, is really fond of using this trope. On several occasions she forces someone into a bargain by taking their friends captive, but will decide to kill everyone anyway after getting what she wants.
  • Tales from the Crypt: The duped love interest of a bottom-feeding tabloid reporter ends an episode by removing her pretty face and revealing her fanged, pallid, bald head: "I said I didn't eat meat. I lied."
  • The West Wing features Arnie Vinick pulling one in response to having been caught lying to the religious right. His secretary yanks the rug out from under him.
    Vinick: Are you finished?
    Sheila: Oh yeah.
    Sheila: [sudden outburst] I could have told you that wouldn't work! That he would leak it and you'd be forced to confirm or deny it!
    Vinick: I thought you said you were done?
    Sheila: I lied!
  • One memetic scene from Wonder Showzen:
    Wordsworth: Uh, Chauncey, you promised I could deliver my extended comprehensive lecture about the significance of honesty!
    Chauncey: I did?
    Wordsworth: Yes.
    Chauncey: I lied. [looks to camera, fart sound plays]
  • The X-Files: Used in the episode "Shadows", though not in a sinister way. Mulder lies to the doctors who called him, saying he can't help them, as he's never seen anything like their case before. He was lying, though given that the team that requested his help were stingy on the details, it was more of a snarky revenge.
    Scully: You lied. You have seen this before, I can tell. You lied to them.
    Mulder: I would never lie. I willfully participated in a campaign of misinformation.

  • "Believe Me Baby (I Lied)" by Trisha Yearwood:
    When I said it would suit me fine
    If you were out of sight and out of mind
    That wasn't me talking, that was my foolish pride
    When I said I didn't want your love
    And you were no one I was thinking of
    Believe me, baby, I lied
  • "Halloween" by Stephen Lynch:
    I promise I'll let you go home
    If you swear not to tell a soul
    So I'll just untie these... I'm kidding
    Now, where is my chainsaw? Let's rock and roll

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In an example of an actual good guy doing this, WWE's Eddie Guerrero (RIP) would do this all the time as part of his "lie, cheat, steal" gimmick. Usually he would enter into a match with a heel, promising not to cheat during the match. Then, when he won as a result of cheating and was called out on it, he would shout to his opponent, "I lied, homes!" causing the audience to roar with approval.
  • This trope would also be played with when he teamed up with his nephew Chavo Guerrero Jr.. He'd tell him, "We may lie, cheat and steal, but at least we're honest about it!"
  • On Night of Champions 2010, Chris Jericho participated in a Six-man elimination match for the WWE Championship with a personal promise that, should he fail to win, he will leave WWE for good. Naturally, when he quickly lost during the match, the 'net was in an uproar since that was not the way for someone as popular as Jericho to go... then he appeared on the next episode on WWE Raw with this little message on his Twitter account.
    Chris Jericho: Hey Internet... I'm a heel. Heels lie, therefore if I say something boastfully and renege on it, it's not an official stipulation. Smarten up!
    • Only to actually leave two weeks later via Randy Orton's patented punt to the head.
  • In 2014, Seth Rollins and his flunkies took an injured Edge hostage and threatened him unless John Cena reinstated The Authority. Cena gave in to his demands, only for Rollins to say he was going to kill Edge anyway. He attempted to stomp on Edge's head, but Cena was fast enough to get in the ring and stop him.
  • At Extreme Rules 2022, Edge faced Finn Balor in an "I Quit" match. After several people interfered, Rhea Ripley knocked Edge's wife Beth Phoenix out and threatened to bash her brains in with a chair unless Edge quit. Edge quit, but Ripley hit Phoenix in the head with the chair anyway.

  • In the 25th anniversary episode of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, David has managed to get John to participate in the show with the promise that he can do the silly walk. When David's in a spree of megalomania, John brings this up.
    David: Look, I'm the Prince of Darkness. My promises mean nothing.
  • Old Harry's Game: At one point, Satan declares this is one of the perks of being the Devil.

    Tabletop Games 
  • There's a card in the CCG Illuminati: New World Order that's called "I Lied." If you make an otherwise binding deal, then play that card, the other player has to keep his end of the bargain but you don't.
    • According to legend, the first ever official tournament was won when, after a long and grueling final game, one of the finalists convinced the other to throw the game in return for half the prize money, then played this card. The judges ruled it was perfectly legal and keeping with the spirit of the game and declared that player the winner, over the protests of his opponent.

  • A heartwarming variation occurs in the play Mass Appeal, in which Catholic priest Father Farley mentors Mark, a young, progressive deacon who has earned more than a few side-eyes for his non-traditional beliefs. When Mark is first assigned to Father Farley, Farley tells Mark that the local monsignor forced the arrangement on him, but later admits that this was a lie — Father Farley actually asked to mentor Mark because he believed the Church needed more progressive thinkers.note 

    Video Games 
  • World of Warcraft pays homage to the Commando example (see Films, above) with Lieutenant General Adorov in the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj before the General Rajaxx fight. Interestingly enough, given the way the fight works- waves of enemies will come at you and Adorov until you face Rajaxx himself- you will have to kill Rajaxx last if you're doing it normally.
  • StarCraft: Brood War, and the main reason Kerrigan really works as a villain.
    Mengsk: Kerrigan, you murdering bitch! We had a deal!
    Kerrigan: Oh, come on, Arcturus. Did you really think I'd allow you to come into power again? You practically fed me to the Zerg on Tarsonis! You're directly responsible for the hell I've been through! Did you honestly think I'd let you get away with that?
    Mengsk: But you said revenge was secondary to defeating the UED!
    Kerrigan: I lied. I liberated this planet because it was the UED's primary staging point, not because I was under any obligation to you. I used you to destroy the Psi Disrupter. And now that I've got my Broods back, you're no longer necessary for my plans. I think I'll leave you here, Arcturus, among the ashes of your precious Dominion. I want you to live to see me rise to power. And I want you to always remember in your most private moments that it was you who turned me loose in the first place.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Shows up in The Force Unleashed. After Starkiller gathers the leaders of the soon-to-be Rebel Alliance in an attempt to distract the Emperor long enough for him and Vader to stage a coup, Vader himself crashes the party and tells his "apprentice" that the whole coup plan was a ploy to get all the rebels in one place and capture them in one swoop.
      Starkiller: You agreed to stay away!
      Vader: I lied, as I have from the very beginning.
    • It's just a bad idea to believe Vader — he may tell the truth in broad statements, but he's not good with promises. Even when he'd be better off keeping his word. As was the case in this scenario.
    • Also shows up in the dark side ending of the sequel:
      Vader: I lied when I said the cloning process was not yet perfected.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin: Caulder/Stolos employs this in response to The Mayor's protests that the former promised the civilians food, supplies and a cure to The Virus they're infected with if they handed over Isabella/Catleia. He then tops it off by revealing that the medicine sample he'd just handed over to the Mayor as a gesture of goodwill (which he'd immediately taken), well:
    Caulder: Oh, and that medicine you took was not the antidote. Hello? Can you hear me? Mr. Mayor? ...Fascinating.
  • Portal: After an "unsupervised" test early in the game, GLaDOS admits that she lied about it being unsupervised. Then she promises to stop enhancing the truth "in three... two... (static)"
  • Portal 2:
    • In Chapter three, GLaDOS says that she has a "surprise" for Chell, which she heavily hints to be reuniting with her parents. But when the time comes to present it to her, Chell is met with an empty room.
      GLaDOS: I made it all up. [party horn and confetti] Surprise.
    • Right before the final battle against Wheatley, he attempts to get your hopes up before immediately ripping it away.
      Wheatley: Tell you what, this plan is so good, I'll give you a sporting chance... And turn off the neurotoxin! I'm joking, of course. Goodbye.
  • A villain ends up on the wrong end of this from The Man Behind the Man in Last Scenario:
    "I trusted you!"
    "Well, that was a stupid move. But then again, you never were very bright, were you?"
  • In Baroque, the Coffin Man pulls a decidedly non-villainous one of these on the protagonist (and the player). In one of his Tutorial Dungeons, after teaching you the basics of combat, he announces that there are a whole lot of tough Meta-Beings on the next floor, so you'd better be prepared! Once you descend to the next floor, you find it empty, and the Coffin Man laughingly says, "I'm a liar."
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future features Dimitri Allen's picross map. He gave it to Layton, telling him that the map, when marked, showed the location of the infrared sensors he rigged the building with. However, after solving the picross map, turning the map 180 degrees reveals that all you did was spell LIE upside down. Layton isn't entirely surprised, as he concludes that while Dmitri has done some less-than-moral things in pursuit of his (well-intentioned) goal, he isn't willing to kill people.

    The European version (...and the Lost Future) has a slightly different puzzle, but the effect is the same. Dimitri claims to have set bombs in the Thames Arms, and gives you the map and challenges you to find them before they go off. The locations of the alleged "bombs" spell out exactly how much time you have left: infinity.
  • Tales of Symphonia:
    • Zelos ends up uttering a variant of the line when he takes a Face–Heel Turn and betrays the party to Yggdrassil during the climax. In all but one of the endings, the line gets a reprise when it turned out he was a Fake Defector and betrays Yggdrassil to the party's benefit.
    • Earlier in the game, Lloyd invokes this trope in conversation with Colette for a different reason. He brings her a cup of coffee, which she notes to be pleasantly hot. Lloyd chides her, informing Colette that the coffee is iced. Flustered, she comments on the "cool" drink, only for Lloyd to reveal the coffee was always hot: "I lied...". This exchange confirms Lloyd's suspicion that Colette has lost her sense of touch.
  • Dragon Age II has an unusual Anti-Hero example in Fenris, who promises a magister that he'll let her go if she tells him where his long-lost sister is. She tells him - then Fenris reaches into her chest and crushes her heart.
  • Resident Evil 6: He doesn't outright say he lied, but Simmons certainly counts. In order to force Helena to help him in his scheme to whack the President, he kidnaps Helena's little sister, promising to let her go after she does her part. From the very beginning, he has no intention of making good on the bargain, and even before Helena does her part, he has said little sister mutated by the C-Virus, intending to have Helena used as a scapegoat and then killed in the subsequent nuking of Tall Oaks. When Helena realizes this, she is not happy.
  • A rare heroic version in Final Fantasy Adventure. Robot Buddy Marcie is with the hero on a collapsing tower, but the way to the final dungeon is before them. She offers to throw the hero and jump after him, which the hero agrees to. However, once the hero across safely and asks Marcie to jump, Marcie admits to its lie - it chose to lie because the hero would have wasted too much time trying to save Marcie if he knew the truth, and both would have died in the tower collapse.
  • Hades from Kid Icarus: Uprising switches between this and blatant lying, whichever he thinks would be more entertaining at the time. There's one mission where Pit runs into three Chest Monsters in a row(called Mimicuties), but neither of the two villains present actually confess to putting them there, leaving it a mystery. Until the next mission:
    Hades: Full disclosure here: the mimicuties were courtesy of yours truly.
    Pit: It WAS you!
  • Used for dramatic purposes in Tsukimi Planet. If Utarou makes a wish to live longer, Tsukimi regretfully states that she lied about being able to grant wishes. In despair, she falls to her death, hoping to be able to meet Utarou in the afterlife.
  • In Persona 4, during Yumi's version of the Sun Social Link, at one session of drama club, a fellow student runs in and tells Yumi that her mother collapsed. When Yumi gets to the hospital, she learns that her mother is fine, but that her father was hospitalized, and her mother admits that she lied in order to get Yumi to see her father before she dies. Yumi is furious with her mother, but mainly because she's bitter about her mother looking after the man who abandoned her and Yumi for another woman, who then abandoned him while he was dying.
  • In the Make a Good Mega Man Level Contest, Air Man appears as an NPC saying that he won't make an "I Can't Defeat Air Man" joke. Late in the game, he appears in a boss fight with that song playing in the background, with "I LIED" appearing just before the fight.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, this is a trait of Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption and the closest thing to a true God of Evil in the ES universe. He ultimately does not keep his word with his minions. "Rewards" are given solely for the purpose of creating a more useful or obedient minion, and remaining in his service will ultimately result in the servant only being rewarded with slavery and endless torment.
  • In Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey, Aurelie, the village elder of Dona, is seemingly a frail old lady who, according to her, can't even walk. So it comes as a great surprised to Firis and Liane when she asks them to meet her at the Divine Tree, then gets up to head there.
    Aurelie: Oh, I lied. I'm not that decrepit yet. Hahahahaha!
  • Mortal Kombat 11 has a heroic example in the end of the Aftermath storyline. Fire God Liu Kang seemingly stays behind so Shang Tsung can defeat Kronika and take her crown to reshape time itself. Right before he does, Liu Kang shows up to confront him, and that's when Shang Tsung realizes he's been played all this time.
    Shang Tsung: Liu Kang. I thought your duties required that you stay behind.
    Liu Kang: A lie. Something you know well.
    • Another person like this is Sindel, who also was revived as an Edenian and reunited with her daughter Kitana, only to reveal later that she was [1]. She not only lied to Shokan about Sheeva's defeat, but she lied to Kitana about her husband Jerrod's murder caused by Sindel herself as well as her backstory.

    Visual Novels 
  • On Lilly's route of Katawa Shoujo, when Hisao finds out he did poorly on an English test, Emi offers to show him her results. The two agree to show their results on the count of three, only for Hisao to renege on his promise.
  • In Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius, the titular villain makes a deal with the king of Ryuvia: marry off the king’s only daughter to Arcadius, and he will spare Ryuvia from a PACT invasion and guarantee the planet some measure of autonomy within his empire. The very instant that the wedding ceremony is complete, Arcadius shoots the king, mocks him for thinking that their agreement was worth a damn, and annexes the planet anyway.
  • Happens quite a bit in Ace Attorney, particularly from witnesses who give false testimony. A particularly glaring example comes in Spirit of Justice. One of the witnesses is eventually revealed to be an escaped rebel who just happened to end up at the crime scene, where he hit his head and gained temporary amnesia. Consequently, literally everything in his testimony was made up.
    Datz: In short, all my eyewitness testimony was a big fat lie.
    Phoenix: A big, fat, LIIIIEEE?!
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, at the end of Nagito Komaeda's Free Time Events, he claims to have Stage 3 malignant lymphoma, along with frontotemporal dementia. After telling his story, he claims to have read it all in a book in order to gain sympathy from Hajime. It's unclear whether this is a lie or he abruptly changed his mind and backed off of the story.

    Web Animation 
  • Eddsworld animation Space Face (Part 2) featuring Tom and Matt.
    Tom: Matt, remember that time I told you I didn't hate you?
    Matt: Yes....?
    Tom: I LIED!!
  • Played for Laughs in RWBY: Jaune tries to ask Weiss to the upcoming school dance by showing up outside her dorm strumming a guitar and singing (poorly). She slams the door in his face.
    Jaune: [knock knock knock] Aw, come on! [knock knock knock] Open the door. I promise not to sing.
    [Weiss reluctantly opens the door]
    Jaune: ♪ I LIIIED! ♪
    [Weiss Face Palms]

  • Featured here in Casey and Andy... stated by Quantum Cop, a virtual embodiment of law and order. Apparently, all that time spent hanging out with Mad Scientists and a Gentle(wo)man Thief has taught him a thing or two.
  • "What? I'm evil. I lied." is a Running Gag for most of the villains in Bob and George.
  • In 8-Bit Theater:
    • When confronted with Chaos, Red Mage asks to have some time to prepare for their battle, in order to stall. He tells them to take as much time as they need. Then he adds, "As long as it only takes 24 hours." When Red Mage questions this, he responds "I'm Chaos!"
    • Not long before this, Black Mage gets his own moment.
      "Remember the Castle of Ordeals? And how we had to defeat our tragic flaws to become heroes of legend? I didn't defeat mine. I did this..." [Cue spectacular black tendril murder.]
    • Shocking nobody except Black Mage, Muffin was lying about its invisible castle.
      Black Mage: Oh. The dragon. Who is in the wrong castle by the way!
      Muffin: How's that?
      Black Mage: Your castle is invisible.
      Muffin: I was lying.
      Black Mage: Lying?
      Muffin: I'm an evil dragon. I lie.
  • Janus from The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred:
    Janus: The super villain lied... Oh it can't be so, be still my heart.
  • Penny Arcade: Gabriel's son learns a valuable lesson about his father (and life).
  • Darken has the Villain Protagonist do it.
  • This happens in Exterminatus Now
    Chameleon: [to his men] Kill them all.
    Virus: You said no one else would get hurt!
    Chameleon: Pattener cultist, duh. Have you met my boss? Morth the Betrayer?
  • The nurses in Oglaf have... an arms-length relationship with honesty.note 
    Nurse: We promissed we would tell no-one.
    Other nurse: Yess! We promissse many thingss!
    First nurse: "Thisss will not hurt" iss our ffavourite!
  • Servants of the Imperium: Said by name by Brianna in strip #13: "Just Desserts."
  • Tower of God:
    • Kim Lurker does this in a rather elaborate fashion.
      Kim Lurker: By the way, the debt of your restaurant... I can't do anything about it. Because I'm gonna use the opportunity to ditch the company and climb the Tower.
    • Khun does this twice to Edin Dan, always using his new catch phrase: "You should trust trustworthy people."note  Basically, it's "I lied, but I also lied about the details when I told you I lied," leading to a Kansas City Shuffle.
    • On the Hidden Floor, Chungnote  had locked Batis away for defying him but given him some bullets that could supposedly even kill Chung himself, to offer Batis a cruel hope for doing what he'd never be able to do. When Batis finally gets out and eventually lands a hit on Chung, Chung reveals he'd even lied about that — the bullet going right through his head has no effect.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: Werewolf villainess Okami Neko is at the receiving end of one of these, thanks to the ancestral ghosts of the castle whose rule she has usurped.
  • In The Order of the Stick, O-Chul and Lien's kidnapper says she'll let them go if they can guess why trolls saved her life. When O-Chul guesses correctly and Lien asks if that means they can go, she replies "Ha ha, no. Good to know that no matter how old you get, you never really forget how to lie to a paladin!"
    Tsukiko: That... that doesn't help Xykon at all!
    Redcloak: Yes, I know. That's why I kept it from him for more than 30 years.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: In the Season 1 finale, Anne and Sasha engage in Trial by Combat for Hop Pop's fate, with Grime saying that he'll let Hop Pop live if Anne wins. Unsurprisingly, when she does, he goes back on his word and tries to execute Hop Pop anyway.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • Heard in first season finale. After trapping his radioactive father Derek Powers, who Terry wanted to bring to justice for murdering his father, his son Paxton delivers with particularly exaggerated suaveness:
      Paxton: You want this as much as I do.
      Batman (Terry): No. I wouldn't have agreed to this; you said you were going to help him.
      Paxton: I lied.
    • Pretty much everything that Charlie "Big Time" Bigelow tells Terry in "Betrayal" is a lie, as he tells him in the climax: About wanting to turn himself in, and about wanting to be cured. But this is the most important one:
      Big Time: An' there's one more thing I lied about. When I said I couldn't kill ya, I meant I couldn't do it then... But now... I made you an offer, and ya turned it down. Where's the respect?
  • Batman: The Animated Series: And episode has the Penguin kidnap a rich man's wife for ransom, but once he got the ransom, he left them both in a Death Trap.
  • The New Batman Adventures.
    Commissioner Gordon: We had a deal!
    Bane: Thought about it. Didn't work for me.
  • In the X-Men: The Animated Series four-partner "Beyond Good and Evil", Apocalypse gets in this habit.
    • He tricks the villainess Deathbird trying to take the Shi'ar throne from her sister Lilandra by promising to kill said sister, but instead captures one of Lilandra's bodyguards, Oracle, for her psychic abilities.
      Deathbird: You promised to destroy Lilandra!
      Apocalypse: *teleporting away with Oracle* I lied.
    • Later in the same four-partner, after Apocalypse unveils the full omnicidal extent of his evil plan, he admits he was pulling Magneto's leg with empty promises to get him on his side temporarily.
      Magneto: You spoke of creating an alternate future in which mutants would rule, as I have always dreamed!
      Apocalypse: Then you were fool enough to believe me.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Acts of Vengeance", the Enchantress and the Executioner capture Chemistro while on their Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Amora promises him that she'll let him go if he tells her where Zemo is. He does, and she predictably uses his own alchemy gun on him, turning him into solid gold.
    Chemistro: No... No! You—you promised!
    Amora: I lied. [pulls trigger]
  • The New Adventures of He-Man:
    Werban: You spoke of peace! You lied!
    Skeletor: Yeah, well, villains do that once in a while.
  • Skeletor also pulls this one in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002); after telling He-Man he would give him the captive King Randor if He-Man let him go... "Oh, and He-Man? I lied!"
  • In the Adventures of the Gummi Bears episode "For a Few Sovereigns More", Duke Igthorn hires bounty hunter Flint Shrubwood to capture a Gummi Bear (Cubbi, in this case), and then refuses to pay when he does. Unlike most of these other examples, this ends horribly for Igthorn, as Shrubwood imprisons him in his own castle, forcing him into forming a temporary alliance with Cubbi.
  • Ben 10:
    • From Ben 10: Alien Force, Mike Darkstar.
      "I can't be trusted."
    • And in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien:
      Aggregor: I lied.
      Galapagus: What a coincidence. So did I.
    • Ben does this himself at one point when Gwen tries to stop him from killing Kevin during his Face–Monster Turn:
      Ben: I'm sorry about that. But I can't let you hurt anyone else.
      Gwen: Ben, you promised we'd try it my way first.
      Ben: Yeah, I lied.
    • And from the original series, when Tetrax Shard gives Ben his hoverboard before departing.
      Ben: Hold on. I thought you said you needed this to get off the planet.
      Tetrax: Selective disinformation.
      Ben: Huh?
      Gwen: He lied.
  • The Transformers: The episode "The Burden Hardest To Bear"
    Ancient Autobot spirits: Return the Matrix!
    Galvatron: I WILL! I WILL!
    [ancient Autobot spirits return to the Matrix]
    Galvatron: Scourge! Take this and destroy it!
    Cyclonus: But mighty Galvatron, you agreed to return it!
    Galvatron: I LIED! If we can't have it, then no one shall!
  • Transformers: Animated
    Isaac Sumdac: Decepticons? But, you told me you were an Autobot.
    Megatron: And I hated every moment of that humiliating charade. But no more...
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • We have Dark Laser:
      Dark Laser: There's one thing I forgot to mention about the dark side: you can lie your evil butt off!
    • And Anti-Cosmo in The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour:
      Professor Calamitous: You promised you'd be my collaborator! You lied to me!
      Anti-Cosmo: Yes, I do that from time to time. It's almost like I'm evil!
    • In "Hex Games", Vicky goes back on her word to let Timmy run the skate park when he wins the contest. Luckily, a Brick Joke stops her.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • "Scout's Honor." "Tch, like I'm a Scout."
    • Also, this exchange between villains in the third season finale:
      Daolon Wong: But, brother of darkness, we had an arrangement!
      Shendu: I may be a "noble" dragon, but I am also a demon sorcerer... and not known for keeping promises.
  • The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 has this exchange when the Koopa Kids reveal Koopa's I Lied to Crimewave Clyde:
    Crimewave Clyde: What's going on here? What are you doing!?
    Cheatsy: Just following orders.
    Clyde: I didn’t tell you to do that!
    Kootie Pie: No, but King Daddy did!
    Cheatsy: Dad never planned on giving you half of anything! We're double crossing you!
  • Total Drama has a few "I Lied" moments.
    • There's this exchange, when Eva and Izzy are brought back into the game:
      Gwen: Wait a sec, you said no one is allowed back!
      Chris: I did?
      Gwen: And once you leave...
      Chris: [in flashbacks] And once you leave on the Dock of Shame, on the Boat of Losers, you can never, never ever, ever come back!
      Chris: Oh yeah, that. Yeah. I lied.
    • And this exchange:
      Lindsay: But we were going to the final three together!
      Heather: Guess we're not!
    • And a variation:
      Chris: Back in episode 8, teammate Beth stole the Boney Island tiki doll.
      Gwen: She said she returned that!
      Chris: She lied. She broke it up and flushed it down the septic tank!
  • In the Felix the Cat (Joe Oriolo) episode "Venus and the Master Cylinder," the title villain offers the Professor $1 million to have his nephew serve an internship on Venus. The Professor takes the Cylinder up on the offer, but the Cylinder goes back on his word of offering that kind of money. He sends the Professor into space on a rocket.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Lucius does this to his father twice in one episode, when he promises to let him stay unfrozen.
  • This is done CONSTANTLY on all three of the Sonic the Hedgehog shows that DiC made. Dr. Robotnik constantly makes deal after deal with Sonic and the blue guy always seems to fall for it. It doesn't matter because Sonic always ends up thwarting his plans anyway.
  • Said by Guiterrez in Freakazoid! When given what he wants, he orders his guards to eliminate Dexter, his family, and Roddy. He doesn't even let Roddy say more than "But you said-"
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    Zuko: You lied to me!
    Azula: Like I've never done that before.
  • The Commando example (see Films, above) is also parodied in Robot Chicken:
    Ted Kennedy: Remember, Ar, when I said I'd kill you last?
    Arnold Schwarzenegger: No! I don't recall that con— Ohh! You're doing a line from my movie!
    Kennedy: I lied.
    Arnold: I know how it goes!
    [Kennedy drops Schwarzenegger to his death]
    Arnold: YOU SUCK!
    • In a Peter Pan sketch, specifically featuring the peanut butter brand named after him, Captain Hook claims that he has a peanut allergy to get Pan's guard down, then stabs him with his hook and says that he lied.
    • When they parodied Supergirl (2015), an attempt to kill the protagonist by driving into her with a Jeep made of kryptonite fails when it falls apart before even reaching her. Following this, Livewire, who was tasked with the backup plan of giving Supergirl a kryptonite vibrator as a present so she'd kill herself using it, gives her what Livewire claims is just a regular vibrator with glow-in-the-dark paint. After being coerced into accepting it, she uses it one night and dies because Livewire lied and it really was kryptonite.
  • The Simpsons:
    • From "The Bart Wants what it Wants", obvious Schwarzenegger parody Rainier Wolfcastle says this to a piece of pie.
      Rainier Wolfcastle: Remember when I said I'd eat you last? I lied!
    • In "Brother From Another Series":
      Lisa: Hey, you said we were going to Dairy Queen!
      Bart: I lied. Now help me!
    • Also this in The Tracey Ullman Show shorts:
      Bart: Family therapy? What the hell is this?
      Lisa: You said we were going out for frosty chocolate milkshakes!
      Homer: Well, I lied.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1996)
    Gargoyle: You promised me Banner would remain alive long enough to change me back—
    [laser to the shoulder]
    The Leader: I lied.
  • Megas XLR has two, both played straight and subverted:
    Warlock: Dear, sweet Kiva. I promised I'd let them go. The rest is up to them.
    [Megas falls into orbit of hungry dragon planet]
    Warlock: Oh, come now. They might even survive the impact. Of course, they'll be in no shape to survive the Glorgnak if they do.
    Kiva: You're so predictable. [punches] Oh, and about our deal? I lied too.
  • Danny Phantom, "Reality Trip"
    Freakshow: The deal was, "If you wanted to see your family alive again, you'd bring me the gems." Well, here they are, alive... for now!
    Danny: You lied to me.
    Freakshow: Yes. Yes I did. Goodie for me.
  • From Chowder, when the title character is tricked into helping a living mass of mold:
    Chowder: Mold? You told me you were spice.
    Funjl: Yeah, I lied. It's a bad habit.
  • From Pinky and the Brain:
    Pinky: Snowball wait, you said you promised to change your evil ways.
    Snowball: And you believed me?
  • From My Little Pony: The Movie (1986):
    Reeka: You said nothing could stop the Smooze!
    Hydia: I lied!
  • In one episode of Biker Mice from Mars, Limburger secures the assistance of ex-mercenary Hardrock by kidnapping the girlfriend that had turned Hardrock away from the business and dangling her and the titular mice over a vat of acid, promising that they would all be released unharmed if Hardrock pulled off one last job. After Hardrock has left, Limburger orders the group killed and we get this exchange:
    Throttle: You lowdown ball of corrupting cheddar, you gave your word!
    Limburger: If my word was worth much, I wouldn't be much of a villain, would I?
  • The Brak Show:
    Brak: You mean you lied?
    Zorak: Yeah, I lie a lot. That's what makes me cool.
  • From the first episode of Beware the Batman:
    Thug: I thought you said the back-up piece was my best bet!
    Batman: I lied.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: R.A.B.B.I.T.", Heinrich Von Marzipan's excuse for why he lied (to a first grader, no less) was, "Ach, Liebchen, I say so many zings I do not mean, Like, "Oh, no gumdrops for me." or "Who vould like some uf mein lollipops?" (As if lying wasn't bad enough.)
  • Tirek in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2", surprising exactly no-one except Discord.
  • In the Family Guy episode "The Old Man and the Big 'C", when Lois convinces Carter to unveil his Cure for Cancer to the world, he goes back on his word and tells Lois this verbatim when she phones him about it.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    Dr. Weird: GENTLEMEN! I BRING YOU... [shutter opens up, revealing a pile of.. ] MORE CORN!
    Steve: I dunno man... I mean, after last time
    Dr. Weird: THIS TIME.. SHALL BE DIFFERENT! [cackles]
    Steve: Well, alright... cuz I am hungry again—
    [corn launches itself at him and pins him to a distant wall]
  • In the Grand Finale of Regular Show, Pops agrees to battle Anti-Pops if he agrees to a "gentlemanly" fight. A bit into the fight, Anti-Pops does something rather ungentlemanly, prompting outrage from Pops.
    Pope: We had a deal!
    Anti-Pops: A deal's only as good as the man who makes it!
  • A comedic example in Invader Zim when Zim is being abducted by a pair of aliens even dumber than he is. They insist that he's a human being and show surveillance footage of him claiming to be a human at school to prove their point. Floored by their stupidity, Zim yells that he was lying.
    Recording of Zim: Yup, I'm human! Human, human, human! Just look at my neck!
    Zim: I was LYING!
  • Zig-zag: the Beetlejuice episode "Skeletons in the Closet" has Beetlejuice accumulating a skeleton in his closet every time he tells a lie. He's told so many that the skeletons break out to tell everyone in the Neitherworld. Lydia has one as well, for lying to her parents about a baby skunk she's kept in her room. In order to get rid of the skeletons, they have to tell the truth.
  • The Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Shoe" had a B-plot of Pleakley converting the house into a "bed and not-breakfast" (he couldn't afford to serve breakfast). His last attempt to lure in customers is to claim that he'll pay them their own weight in gold, only to say that the real reward is the privilege to pay him to stay there. After he insults them further, they're rightfully mad.
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Big Mama doesn't so much lie, but rather alter the terms of an agreement at the last second to benefit her alone, which she does often when making deals with her ex Splinter and the Turtles.
  • Samurai Jack: In "Jack Under the Sea", Aku promises to return the Triseraquins and their city from their exile under the sea if they'll hand Jack over to him. When they do this, he promptly announces that he changed his mind and that they'll remain trapped for as long as he pleases.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Hostage Crisis": After escaping, Cad Bane blows up the hall where he has trapped the Senators despite claiming that he wouldn't if no one attempted to stop them.
  • Tangled: The Series: In the episode "The Alchemist Returns," Varian reaches out to Rapunzel for help in stealing the Sundrop from the castle vault, convincing her that he will use it to help save Corona from the Black Rocks. Not true.
    Rapunzel: But you said you-!
    Varian: Rapunzel, I used you! I begged you and this kingdom for help! Everyone turned their back on me, it has to be this way!
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation has a Credits Gag consisting of the following messages:
    And That's the Final End Credit
    (Cue five seconds or so of blank screen)
    We Lied.
    (Credits continue)
  • ThunderCats (1985):
    • In "Safari Joe", the evil hunter Safari Joe hunts and cages the ThunderCats except for Lion-O. While facing Lion-O, Safari Joe says if Lion-O fights him without the Sword of Omens, he'll let his friends go. Once Lion-O puts the sword down, Safari Joe immediately shoots at him and says he had no intention of letting them go.
    • In "The Evil Harp of Charr-Nin", Mumm-Ra agrees to free the genie Charr-Nin from being bound to his harp if the genie will help him defeat the ThunderCats. Once Charr-Nin captures the ThunderCats, Mumm-Ra goes back on his word, leading to a fight between the two.
  • In the second part of the two-part pilot episode of Darkwing Duck, Taurus Bulba threatens to have Gosalyn dropped from a great height by his condor unless Darkwing Duck successfully enters the arming code to his stolen superweapon. After Darkwing complies, Bulba has Gosalyn dropped anyway. This sends Darkwing into a rage that allows him to catch Bulba off guard and turn the tables on him. Luckily, Launchpad was standing by in the Thunderquack to catch Gosalyn.
    Darkwing: You butcher!
  • A rare heroic example: in Ninjago, Lessons For a Master, Wu had - at swordpoint and to spare the ninja - been going along with the Iron Baron's belief that wearing the Dragon Armor would let him control the dragon Firstbourne, when the armor had no such power. As Wu puts it, he learned "the power of a lie" from the Iron Baron, shortly before Firstbourne - a friend of Wu's father, who extends that friendship to Wu - roasts the Iron Baron.

    Real Life 
  • Then-Attorney General of Louisiana Jack Gremillion was walking by the governor's office when he recognized a contingent from Pearl River waiting to see then-Governor Huey Long. Gremillion went into Long's office. "Governor, those people from Pearl River who you had me promise a road to are here." "What the hell road are you talking about?" asked Long. Gremillion reminded Long that he had specifically ordered him to promise the Pearl River folk a road during the recent campaign. "Hell, I don't have time for them. Send them away." Gremillion pleaded, "But Governor, what can I tell them?" "Tell 'em I lied!"
  • Faisal Shahzad was a naturalized American citizen from Pakistan and would-be Islamist terrorist, who placed a car bomb in Times Square. Asked how he could do what he did after taking the oath to uphold the US Constitution, he simply answered: "You are my enemy. I lied." According to claims later made by US intelligence, this led Osama bin Laden himself to contact the whole of al-Qaida with a disgusted message that deliberate oath-breaking was not acceptable.
  • People with Asperger Syndrome tend to interpret "I was just being polite" as "I was lying to you". Here's a tip: If you're interacting with a person who's Literal-Minded, don't be polite just for the sake of sparing their feelings. It's a big Berserk Button for many of them.
  • Inversion: Dan Enright, co-producer of the 50s quiz shows Twenty-One and Tic Tac Dough, was found to be feeding answers to questions to contestants in advance to give the Barry-Enright shows a boost. Kristen Falke, a 16-year-old Tic Tac Dough contestant, deliberately threw her game and told a Congressional hearing that not only was she fed answers in advance but was told to lie about it if it ever came up. During his exile from television with Jack Barry, Enright said "I will never lie again. I will tell the truth and face the consequences."
  • Having annexed Austria in 1938, Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler subsequently threatened a military invasion of Czechoslovakia. In order to avoid an European war, Neville Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier signed the Munich Agreement which allowed Germany to annex the Sudetenland (i.e. regions of Czechoslovakia with a majority population of ethnic Germans), on the condition that Germany would not invade the rest of Czechoslovakia. But in March 1939, Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia anyway, and then started making demands on Poland. Britain and France, having sided with Poland, warned Hitler that any threats to Poland's independence would mean war. We all know what happened next.


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As From the Very Beginning

Shortly after Galen Marek gathered rebel leaders for the signing of the Corellian Treaty, Darth Vader ambushes the meeting, blowing Marek's cover by revealing him as his apprentice. When questioned why he didn't follow their plans as discussed, Vader reveals just how much his word means to Starkiller.

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