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Little Known Facts

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Charlie Brown: Now, Lucy, I know that's wrong. Snow doesn't come up, it comes down.
Lucy: After it comes up the wind blows it around so it looks like it's coming down, but, actually, it comes up out of the ground, like grass. It comes up, Charlie Brown, snow comes up.
Charlie Brown: Oh, good grief—
Linus: Lucy, why is Charlie Brown banging his head against a tree?
Lucy: To loosen the bark so the tree will grow faster. Come along, Linus.
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, "Little Known Facts"

It is often said that truth is stranger than fictionnote . Little Known Facts are much too strange to be true. These improbable legends may be explained by the Know-Nothing Know-It-All, The Ditz or the Cloudcuckoolander, or just by someone trying to take advantage of the gullibility of some person, usually a child. If any questions are asked, the answers will only compound the absurdity.

For the record, snow comes from up, not down. That's why you never trust a quack like Lucy Van Pelt.

Compare The Blind Leading the Blind, Don't Be Ridiculous, Common Knowledge, and Lies to Children. If said facts are true, it's not this trope. It's probably Reality Is Unrealistic, or one of its subtropes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Takashi Yamazaki (or Zachary, if you prefer) in Cardcaptor Sakura is notorious for coming up with ridiculous stories that he tries to present as interesting facts. Sakura and Syaoran are the only ones who are gullible enough to believe his lies, and his tendency towards this frustrates his childhood friend Chiharu to no end.
  • Katte Ni Kaizo: Mr. Fashion comes up with bizarre explanations for cloth functions. For example, camoflage was not invented to blend in the terrain but to hide embarrassing stains on your underwear.
  • Aoi Inuyama from Laid-Back Camp sometimes likes to mess with her friends by telling them made-up origin stories for various things.

  • George Carlin regularly sprinkled supposed "truefax" lists in his comedy routines. One of the more memorable ones is the "It's No Bullshit" segment on Carlin on Campus, parodying Ripley's Believe It or Not!.
  • One stand-up lamented how some accents lend themselves to this; someone with a thick British accent could convince you that cocoa comes from a coconut just by being insistent enough, and conversely nuclear technicians with certain Southern accents...
  • Comic/impressionist Mike Yarwood wished something like this on Michael Caine. Yarwood's take on Caine was to make him into an affable pub bore, one who would open a conversation with a weird, suspect or patently made-up "fact", and to end with the punch-line "And not a lot of people know that!" note 

    Comic Books 
  • The Simpsons tie-in comic book series's 90th issue had the first story, "Homer's America", involve Homer, chaperoning Lisa's class's field trip, take over driving the bus after driving Otto insane with his singing, and takes them on a tour across the country, telling them history lectures he makes up about the founding of the USA (such as George Washington slaying redcoat vampires and that Mount Rushmore was made to scare off aliens), all of which greatly annoy Lisa. It gets a Call-Back in the same issue's second story, a Krusty the Clown-centered story, where at the end Krusty takes off for a vacation and Lindsey Naegle needs a replacement since they're out of reruns (as they used the master tapes to record a Gunsmoke marathon). Bart's idea for a mid-season replacement is Homer's History Corner, where Homer tells his made-up history facts to the kid studio audience, much to their amusement (and to Lisa's annoyance, of course.)
  • Transmetropolitan takes place far in the future. A lot of knowledge has either been lost or is no longer known commonly. After procuring some of Hitler's urine to do drugs to, one person explains to a friend the history of the man.
    "Who was Hitler?"
    "Rock star. He was in Led Zeppelin. Fucked goats and wrote the old national anthem. Blew up Auckland in the Blitz."
    "Wasn't all bad, then, was he?"
    "History's a wonderful thing, see? We learn from it."

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin's dad was notorious for these in Calvin and Hobbes.
    • Thanks to him, Calvin learns about the world only turning color in the 1930s (and pretty grainy color for a while, too), the sun setting every night in Flagstaff, Arizona (Hold up a quarter, the sun's about the same size), wind being caused by trees sneezing (not really, but the real answer is much more complicated), and babies being bought at Sears, as a kit (Calvin was a Blue Light Special from K-Mart, however. "Much cheaper, and almost as good"). Calvin's mom is usually around to correct things, though.
      Calvin: How do they know the load limit on bridges, Dad?
      Dad: They drive bigger and bigger trucks over the bridge until it breaks. Then they weigh the last truck and rebuild the bridge.
      Calvin: Oh, I should've guessed.
      Mum: Dear, if you don't know the answer, just tell him!
    • What makes this even funnier is that Calvin's dad works as a patent lawyer, a job which requires a good deal of knowledge of technology and science, and as such could explain these things to Calvin if he really wanted to. Not to mention the fact that Calvin is likely to understand it. He won't tell you how a carburetor works, though. It's a secret.
    • Note that there's one instance in an early comic where Calvin's dad states plainly he doesn't know the answer to some of Calvin's questions and they should probably try to look it up. Calvin's response: "I take it there's no qualifying exam to be a dad."
    • Infrequently, he would attempt to educate Calvin with little success. When Calvin was playing in the sprinkler, he praised him for raising his heart rate, which took all the fun out of it. When he was listening to a record player, he explained how parts on the outside had a faster speed even though it had the same RPM; in the last panel Calvin is sitting up in bed trying desperately to wrap his mind around the concept.
  • Peanuts:
    • Early strips (1955-1965, say) use Lucy telling these to Linus as a running joke, although those strips are rarely reprinted these days. An odd example given that Lucy actually believed these "facts" herself and it was Charlie Brown who had to try and protest them. An example is that leaves are actually flying south for the winter when they fall (because south is down on a map).
      • Before she started telling Linus these things, she would tell them to Charlie Brown and completely ignore his protestations otherwise, including the "snow comes up" idea.
    • At one point, Lucy's extended misunderstanding of trees, up to and including claiming telegraph poles were a special type of tree developed for the phone companies, gave Charlie Brown a sore stomach. When she got up to leaves jumping off trees in autumn to escape the squirrels, even Linus could endure no more and developed a stomachache of his own.
    • Linus believes in the Great Pumpkin even though he made it up himself.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Subverted in The Cat in the Hat, after the Cat falls off the ceiling and lands on his back:
    Cat: Little known fact: cats always land on their tushie.
    Conrad: I thought they always landed on their feet.
    Cat: Oh great, now you tell me. [chuckles and swiftly rights himself]
  • Otto apparently did this a lot in A Fish Called Wanda.
    Wanda Gershwitz: Let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "every man for himself". The London Underground is not a political movement. Those are mistakes. I looked 'em up.
  • The characters told each other these in Gregory's Girl, and Andy uses it to pick up girls.
    Andy: Twenty thousand tons of cornflakes pass under this bridge every day. It's a well known fact.
  • Paranormal Prison: As Park Ranger Shtog is leading the group out of death row, he tells Sara that the drop room was where the phrase "drop him like a hot potato" was first coined. Matthew silently mocks Sara's perceived gullibility.
  • In Shaun of the Dead, according to the unseen Big Al, dogs can't look up. Obviously you don't believe this because it seems absurd for dogs to have never evolved that capability and Big Al is a fan of copious amounts of marijuana yet it's near impossible to form a sensible argument against. The joke actually came from DVD Commentary for Spaced. Nick Frost genuinely did believe that dogs can't look up.

  • The comedy book Great Lies to Tell Small Kids consists of these:
    "Wine makes Mummy clever."
    "Slugs are snails that couldn't afford the rent."
  • Luna in Harry Potter is full of these, mostly focusing on bizarre animals.
  • Dave Barry, in his "Mister Language Person" columns, gives out ridiculously bad advice about grammar, spelling and writing style, throwing in some choice Little Known Facts on other subjects:
    Q. What the heck are "ramparts," anyway?
    A. They are parts of a ram, and they were considered a great delicacy in those days. People used to watch o'er them.
  • The Areas of My Expertise is full of this, especially in the "Were You Aware of It?" segments. Among other things, there's a fifty-first state inhabited by thunderbirds, and hobos tried to conquer the United States during the Great Depression.
  • Continued in More Information Than You Require. Thomas Jefferson got the idea for the Declaration of American Independence from mole-men, air conditioners were invented to make Brooklyn more violent, and Jonathan Coulton was created in a lab to be the ultimate destroyer of cats. There's a reason the series is called Complete World Knowledge.
  • The Haggis-On-Whey books are lavishly illustrated educational books of the Dorling-Kindersley mold that explain how, for instance, giraffes are from Neptune and came to Earth via conveyor belt.
  • Scott Adams of Dilbert, in his book The Joy of Work, lists several to try out on Too Dumb to Live co-workers, such as "French is exactly the same as Spanish, except with more words for cheeses."
  • The Remarkable Millard Fillmore claims that Fillmore saved Andrew Jackson from assassination, wrestled with the emperor of Japan, and invented the T-shirt. If you check Amazon you'll see it has a three-star rating, due to complaints that it is "deceptively advertised" as an accurate biography. The cover illustration of Millard Fillmore riding a unicorn is apparently not enough of a clue.
  • The phrase "Little Known Fact" is used in a computer book of all things, where the author states that 0.6 times 3 is 1.799999999999998. It's justified in that he's pointing out how storing non-whole numbers in a space- and processing-efficient way makes operations on them inexact, causing math glitches (which in most cases can be rounded away).
  • The title character of the Hank the Cowdog series regularly tries to impress his sidekick, Drover, with exaggerated explanations of natural phenomena. Drover, not being the smartest dog in the world, believes him.
  • How I Edited an Agricultural Paper Once by Mark Twain is full of this. Some of his claims even were technically true—such as "the pumpkin as a shade tree is a failure" or "clams will lie quiet if music be played to them".
  • The misconception that John F. Kennedy's famous proclamation "Ich bin ein Berliner" translated as "I am a jelly donut" may have been started in Len Deighton's 1983 spy novel Berlin Game, in which the main character makes that claim, and a review of the book in The New York Times referred to it as a reference to a real fact rather than something the character made up. That is — technically spoken — not a misconception. In most parts of Germany, a "Berliner" is indeed the name for a lump of sweet yeast dough filled with jelly and fried in oil. See for yourself: Berliner on Wikipedia. Of course, apart from a joke here or there, people understood what he really meant.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mike asks Willy Wonka if other things could be transported via the Television Chocolate setup, such as breakfast cereal. Mr. Wonka is aghast at the mention of cereal: "Do you know what breakfast cereal is made of? It's made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!" (Mr. Wonka being, well, The Wonka, he may or may not be taking advantage of a child's gullibility here.)
  • In the Discworld Watch books, Colon is full of these, including how to find a dragon's voonerable spot and that hieroglyphs are a type of mollusk (but you don't get loweroglyphs in these waters, Don't Be Ridiculous). One of the funniest is his explanation in Jingo that your skin is all replaced every seven years but Nobby still has his tattoo because the colored bits were replaced by colored bits off other people's tattoos.
  • Peter Pan informs young readers that their mothers tidy up their minds at night while they're asleep as if they were folding clothing in drawers.
  • In The Light Jar, Nate's favorite book is Freaky Things to Freak You Out, which is full of information like "A man from Brazil has a pet maggot living in his eyelid" and "A rhesus macaque named Mike delivers the mail to the Himalayan village of Konapanthi every day." Nate's mum tells him the book is full of lies, and he gradually realizes she's right. Although it does help him solve two of the riddles by teaching him what an ice house is and how to identify the Orion constellation.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Since they were very young, Rodrick has told Greg several lies in order to mess with him. For instance, in Dog Days, it's revealed that Rodrick once told Greg that if you swallow watermelon seeds, a watermelon will grow in your stomach, and in Double Down, Greg recalls a variety of lies Rodrick has told him, including "if your belly button comes untied, your butt will fall off", "if you wear camouflage, you become invisible to everyone else", and "if you bury money in the ground, it will grow into a money tree".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cliff Clavin from Cheers is the undisputed king of these. It's a little known fact that "it's a little known fact" was practically his catchphrase. Hell, this page could have been called "Cliff Clavenisms."
  • Felix Unger on The Odd Couple (1970) was doing this all the time: "The opposite of brown is purple", "Millard Fillmore knew less about opera than any other President- except of course for Rutherford B. Hayes".
  • Seinfeld:
    • The "taking advantage of gullibility" thing: Jerry tells Elaine that the original title for Tolstoy's War and Peace was "War: What Is It Good For?"
    • There's another episode where a guy snags a date with Elaine by making a bet with her over whether an obvious example of this trope is true or false, with the terms being that the loser buys the winner dinner. Jerry realizes (and explains to her) that the guy did this deliberately as a clever way to ask her out without risking rejection. They discover later that he uses this trick constantly (even to covertly try to and hit on women who are dating somebody else).
  • Doug from the redecorating reality show Trading Spaces series did this at least once when they started doing "family" versions of the series involving families with young children. When dealing with fabrics, he asked, with a completely straight face, if the kids had ever seen "a wild nylon".
  • The Kids in the Hall had the "It's a Fact" Girl, who would not only relate but demonstrate her Little Known Facts.
  • Saturday Night Live
    • Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey bounced back and forth between this and simple inane musings.
      "If you met two guys on the street named Flippy and Hambone, which one would you think would like dolphins more? You'd guess Flippy, right? Well, you're wrong. It's Hambone."
    • A Game Show sketch called "Common Knowledge" where the "correct" answers (that is, the answers the judges were looking for) were this. In the sketch, giving the actual correct answer counted as getting the question wrong (since "correct" was defined as "whatever a majority of high school seniors thought was the right answer"). This allowed a teenaged stoner to beat former UN Ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick at the game.
  • David Letterman's "Fun Facts" sketches, which were made into a book. Examples include "Match Game host Gene Rayburn's tombstone reads, 'Loving father, husband and ____.'," "Prior to 1936, elevators only went up, not down," and "For $25, New York will name a pothole after you."
  • QI exists to debunk these. This didn't stop Rich Hall suggesting that the show should just use Little Known Facts, since people would believe them.
  • Mason from Dead Like Me is a total sucker for these. Did you know that when you put money in a parking meter, it goes down to pipes under the sidewalk? It's just as well, because when he's told the money stays in the meters, he goes around breaking them open with a baseball bat. He actually died of his gullibility.
  • The "Rock Facts" that the hosts of The Sifl and Olly Show presented; examples here. (The actual on-screen text would debunk these, however.)
  • During the final round of Talkin' 'bout Your Generation, the host Shaun prepares some "interesting" "facts" to share with the teams, claiming to source all of his information from Wikipedia.
    Shaun: "Cheaper [paint]brush hair is sometimes called "camel hair", although it doesn't come from camels. Apparently, it comes from tourists in India who are shaved against their will.
  • Top Gear: Some say this trope comes up during The Stig's introductions.
  • In Community episode "Introduction to Statistics", Jeff's first pick up line aimed at Slater consists of an intentionally erroneous one of these.
  • The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have used these on Twitter to make fun of dubious statements by political figures. After Senator Jon Kyl said his claim that abortions constitutes well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does was "not intended to be a factual statement," Stephen Colbert created the hashtag #notintendedtobeafactualstatement for this trope. After Sarah Palin got Paul Revere's story wrong, The Daily Show created the hashtag #accordingtopalin for intentionally erroneous historical facts. After Herman Cain said "I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration." The Daily Show created the hashtag #idonthavefactstobackthisup for this trope.
  • In one episode of Big Wolf on Campus, Merton is assigned to help Dumb Muscle Tim and Travis with a presentation on evolution. Realizing that there's no way to get them to actually understand the concept, he just feeds them a lot of lies (for example, that humanity evolved from meatloaf) and planned on giving most of the presentation himself. Unfortunately, he was off fighting the Monster of the Week at the time of the presentation, so the two gave a talk on all the stuff he'd been telling them.
  • All in the Family: Archie Bunker was known to mix this trope with Serious Business, offering up some absurd idea about how to do a simple task, such as eating dinner or putting on a pair of pants, then giving bizarre, pseudo-factual explanations as to why his way was best (for example, when you're eating dinner, you have to combine the various items on your plate and take small bites of each, rather than eating one thing at a time—if you do that, all of the pea nutrients might go to your hands, for example). Normally, this was was when he started mixing this trope with ideas about social issues that things got a little more serious, though no less funny. For instance, in the famous episode with Sammy Davis Jr., Archie remarks that God obviously doesn't want integrated society, as "He put you over in Africa, and He put the rest of us in all the white countries"; Sammy quickly replies "Well, you must have told him where we were, 'cause somebody came and got us."
  • The British comedy series Look Around You relies on these as part of their completely illogical view of science — intentionally so, as it's a spoof of old schools TV programming (in series 1) and shows like Tomorrow's World (in series 2).

    Print Media 
  • Games Magazine used to run articles of Little Known Facts, with items like "David Letterman is a member of a club that only admits people named Michael" and "because cat litter is made of clay, workers in cat litter factories are legally considered miners and must wear mining helmets at work." The reader was expected to determine which facts were true and which were not. Ironically, many readers simply read the articles uncritically, or learned the "facts" but forgot they had come from a puzzle.

  • Les Luthiers on La Gallina Que Dijo Eureka Routine: "To the children we must always tell the truth; of course, in terms they can't understand."
  • The liner notes to John Linnell's "State Songs" include ostensible trivia about each of the sixteen states the album's songs are named for. Usually these will be actual facts about a state juxtaposed with bizarre, obviously fake ones, leading to something of a Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick effect. Take the entry on Michigan:
    The Official State Stone of the Wolverine State is the Petosky Stone. Michigan has also adopted a State Soil: the Kalkaska Soil series. The State Bird is a terrifying airborne car with gigantic metal talons. The State Flower is the Apple Blossom.
There is also one intended-to-be-true fact that isn't quite right. Pennsylvania's state bird is the ruffed grouse, not the ruffled grouse.
  • "Or So I Have Read" by They Might Be Giants involves the narrator reading from a book of of increasingly bizarre nonsense facts, claiming that barber poles are captured in the wild (and you can determine their age if you count the stripes), clouds are white because they're made of bone (which the narrator believes would explain why there are skeletons living in space), and that mimes are the hybrid offspring of clowns and ordinary humans.
    Animals can smell your dreams, or so I have read
    Which explains the constant sniffing under your bed
    Or so I have read
    It says it right here
    And did you know that mixing paint with milk will make it clear?
  • "Worms Make Dirt!" by The Aquabats! makes a number of tongue-in-cheek claims, like that geothermal radiation is caused by a chipmunk baking desserts at the center of the Earth, or that worms come out of the ground when it rains because eating dirt all day makes them thirsty.

  • Bob & Ray characters such as "Mr. Science" often came up with these.
  • Likewise, "Dr. Science" from Ducks Breath Mystery Theatre and NPR, although he tends to be more interactive, with listeners writing in with questions designed to prompt a spew of twisted factoids.
  • The Unbelievable Truth is about this trope. The object of the game is to hide five actual facts within a list of those that are, of course, Little Known.
  • On The Ricky Gervais Show, Karl Pilkington would often come out with these, particularly in the feature "Educating Ricky", where he would collect three different "facts" and give them teaser headlines. A lot of these facts were the origins of sayings and expressions, but were often baseless and completely wrong.


    Video Games 
  • Portal 2:
    • The Fact Sphere in exists solely to spit these out, including such gems as:
      "William Shakespeare did not exist. His plays were masterminded in 1589 by Francis Bacon, who used a ouija board to enslave play-writing ghosts."
      "Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest, did so accidentally while chasing a bird."
      "Pants were invented by sailors in the sixteenth century to avoid Poseidon's wrath. It was believed that the sight of naked sailors angered the sea god."
      "At some point in their lives, one in six children will be abducted by the Dutch."
      "Humans can survive underwater, but not for very long."
    • He does get some facts right, though. For example, his "fact" regarding the melting point of tungsten is accurate to within a dozen degrees or so.
    • Then there are "facts" made up solely to insult the other personality spheres ("The Adventure Sphere is a blowhard and a coward") and even Chell herself ("You could stand to lose a few pounds", "This is a bad plan; you will fail"), and other "facts" that are merely self-praise ("The Fact Sphere is a good person, whose insights are relevant") or nonsense ("Error, error, error, fact not found").
    • The advertisements for Portal 2 also had several of those:
      "Fact: Four out of five people are crushed to death by giant diamonds every day."
  • The "Red Freak Facts" on some screens in the Flash horror platformer The Bright in the Screen.
  • The "Uncle Sheogorath's helpful hints and tips" mod for Skyrim replaces the regular (accurate) information on the loading screens with observations and advice from everyone's favorite Daedric Prince of Madness, Sheogorath. Gems include that Skyrim's bears are harmless honey-eaters who make great pets for your children, that the Stormcloak Rebellion is all about mushrooms, that Khajit tails are hollow and used for smuggling (or, in an emergency, as a tent), that Draugr make for great and inexpensive dates, and that he used to be an adventurer like you. He also calls Clavicus Vile "oddly blurry", lampshades the unhealthy practice of eating disgusting alchemy ingredients, and insists that giants' toes are made of gold. (Which is metaphorically true, as they can be used to make a particularly potent - and thus valuable - potion.)
  • Chemistry-themed puzzle game Sokobond gives you a small fact whenever you complete a level, usually pertaining to the molecule you've created. They're generally accurate... until you reach the bonus levels, which include such gems as:
    "The biggest atom recorded by science was twelve meters long and shaped like a cucumber."
    "Sunlight kills oxygen, that's why no one can live in the Sahara."
    "A male duck's atoms have a different 'spin' than a female duck's."
  • In The Darkside Detective, all the placards in the city's natural history museum have this kind of fact on them; for instance, a skeleton has a placard explaining that it's a plastic skeleton thought to be the inspiration for the more recent bone skeletons used by most modern humans.
  • The Jackbox Party Pack:
    • "Lie Swatter" is a trivia game in which players have to distinguish whether a given "weird but true" fact is actually true or a lie.
    • The "Fibbage" games have players being given a bit of trivia, then having to make up bogus answers and pick out the truth for themselves.

    Visual Novels 
  • Played for laughs in Double Homework. Johanna attempts to use a bunch of facts about the number eleven in the summary narration at the beginning of Chapter 11 in an attempt to inject some educational content into the story. Tamara shuts her down before she can say too much on this subject.

    Web Comics 
  • Jim in Darths & Droids has a knack for quickly making up (hilariously wrong) definitions for odd words the GM uses. The most enduring is saying that "Jedi" is a kind of cheese, which may be the result of mishearing it as "cheddar;" he still calls the Jedi "Cheddar monks." One of the author comments on a later strip explains that a recent joke was not, in fact, in whatever cipher or language that everyone seemed to think it was in; but, Jedi was in fact "Ceda" in said language/cipher. They suggest that perhaps Jim was onto something there.
  • Sir Miur in Harkovast is either using these, or just a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • This was a Running Gag in The Parking Lot Is Full, and even ended the comic itself:
  • Twisted Tropes: Charlie explains to Dennis about Irish Car Bombs and how St. Paddy got rid of snake, with an actual snake being killed in car bombing.
  • This xkcd guest comic features "the Smithsonian Museum of Dad-Trolling, an entire building dedicated to deceiving children for amusement", with exhibits such as the Hall of Misunderstood Science ("DNA only has four letters because the alphabet was smaller back then") and the Conservatory of Poorly-Remembered History ("Ghengis Khan: Victory Through Dragons").

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The first season of Planet Sketch had a series of sketches that revolved around a father telling these to his son, and usually ended with the son fleeing the room in panic.
  • South Park:
    • Little Known Facts pretty much made up the curriculum of Mr Garrison's class.
    • Cartman is fond of spewing these about ginger kids, Jews, and everyone else.
  • This was the whole point of the "Ask Dr. Stupid" segments on The Ren & Stimpy Show. The first one explained why kids go to school: "Your parents are aliens, and while you're at school, they shed their human skins and breathe dryer lint!" Another said that camel humps are where gasoline comes from (one hump for regular, two for premium and unleaded). Even Stimpy himself didn't buy that one.
  • This happened on a regular basis on King of the Hill, and not just from Dale Gribble: pretty much every regular character had engaged in one of these in the series run. In one episode, this is partially averted when an oncologist tells Bobby that there's some ridiculous amount of intestine in a person, something like several thousand miles, to which Hank replies in common sense fashion that if that were true, a steak would have to shoot through a person at the speed of sound in order to make it out of someone by the next day.
  • On Garfield and Friends, Garfield starred in a skit called "It Must Be True" featuring several of these. Among them, Wyoming doesn't actually exist: Amerigo Vespucci had extra space left over when drawing the map of America, so his cat gave him the idea to name the blank space Wyoming, which is Italian for "no state here" (as proof: have you ever met anyone from Wyoming? Of course not). The episode ends with Garfield claiming that dogs have no brains, then discovering that his entire audience is made of dogs, who proceed to clobber him for that one. (Before this, he discovers his cue cards are loaded with dog jokes, and has to throw the lot of them out to avoid getting killed — the "dogs have no brains" one is the one he missed.)
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star comes up with loads of these, usually in The Blind Leading the Blind situations with SpongeBob. They both believe them. Subverted in their knowledge of seabears—every single ridiculous-sounding survival tip they stated turned out to be valid.
    • At some point, SpongeBob has advised Mr. Krabs that "licking doorknobs is illegal on other planets."
  • In Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo makes up a lot of stuff and believes all of it. Just one example is his idea of what "the European language" is.
  • In one episode of Cow and Chicken, Chicken comes out with a bunch of these when he's convinced that he's a genius just because he put on glasses, claiming things like that the Spleen are war-like aliens from the Beta-Carotene system, and that Poopy the Clown was the first man in space.
  • One episode of Arthur has DW starting a neighborhood science class where she teaches blatantly wrong facts, such as that H2O stands for "Hose + Oxygen", hence why water comes out of the hose. Arthur gets so fed up with it that he takes her to the science museum to teach her the proper facts, where she reveals she had been getting them deliberately wrong so Arthur would take her to the museum, when previously he claimed he never would.
  • Greg from Over the Garden Wall has a habit of reciting these and adding, "That's a rock fact!" (holding up his painted pet rock). He appears to distinguish "rock facts" from actual facts, sometimes.
  • Teddy Roosevelt: You So Crazy was an animated mockumentary made by Alex Hirsch for the "24-Hour Toons" project. The short claims that Theodore Roosevelt had twenty-six split personalities (several of which served on Roosevelt's cabinet), that he attempted to wage war on the sky, and that he was ultimately overthrown and eaten by William Howard Taft, "the fattest man in America".

    Real Life 
  • In real life, where things don't always have a dramatic purpose, little known facts are used to kill time, or fill unsold ad space, or otherwise apologize for having nothing to say. How many ways have you heard that it's impossible to kiss your elbow, or that glass is really a liquid, or other such anti-wisdom? These "facts" are often equally useless whether they're true or false, and the only good that ever comes of it is the occasional MythBusters or QI episode.
  • Eskimos don't actually have over nine thousand words for snow. Or even many more than English's "slush", "sleet", "blizzard", "powder", and so on. They really only have two: Snow on the ground, and snow in the air. Everything else comes from combining these with other words, or adding adjectives.
  • The notion that a goldfish has a memory of only a few seconds is false. Actually, goldfish have fairly good memory for fish. Also, Jamie Hyneman is excellent at training them to remember obstacle courses.
  • The Other Wiki has an entire page of common misconceptions.
  • During the 1980s trivia craze, many giant books of "facts" and "trivia" were published aimed at inquisitive children. Some of the information within them was true; some of it was genuinely believed true at the time; some of it consisted of already-debunked urban legends; and a great deal of it were this.
  • Many of the "Real Facts" printed on Snapple caps.

Alternative Title(s): Little Known Fact