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Lying Creator

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"Writers are liars, my dear."
Erasmus Fry, The Sandman (1989), "Calliope"

Sometimes the creators of a story just plain lie about what's going on. Maybe it's so the wrong information will spread around, leading to a Wham Episode effect when the true events come out. Or maybe it's just a bad attempt at explaining something they clearly didn't anticipate.

Sometimes difficult to tell whether it's willful misdirection or the creator having no idea what's going on either.

Of course, this can be justified. Authors face a dicey challenge in today's brave new world, where fandom and social media intersect. Lots of clever, dedicated fans, putting their heads together, can puzzle out even the twistiest of twists way in advance of when the creator planned for the grand reveal. Will the creator throw up their hands and admit that the fans outfoxed them? Will the creator avoid certain questions and change certain subjects, in a totally-not-suspicious-at-all fashion? Or, with just a few well-placed and harmless little lies, could they get their fans to drop the issue with no further questions or even set them to work following a Red Herring? Sometimes the best (and easiest) way for a creator's big surprise to be remain in place (or be put back in place if fans are getting too close) is to hide or deny that there even is one.

Of course, if the creator lies to the point of completely misrepresenting their work, expect fan backlash to follow. Sometimes, an author will skirt the edges of this; expect Exact Words to come into play.

Closely related to Superdickery and Teasing Creator. When they're doing it to rile up the fanbase, it crosses with Trolling Creator. See also Foiler Footage, Never Trust a Trailer. When the creator is misquoted, rather than actually lying, it's a case of God Never Said That. If the creators meant what they said but then changed their minds, or new creators came along with different ideas, it's a Flip-Flop of God. If it's deliberate in-story lying, that's an Unreliable Narrator. This trope can be a reason for why Writer Conflicts with Canon.

Warning: Examples contain unmarked spoilers.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Code Geass website, managed by Biglobe, listed Sayoko and Nunnally as "dead" while the show was still airing, which has made some sections of the fanbase blame the creators for supposedly lying. This, and to some extent the whole Mu La Flaga debacle, causes part of the fandom to assume that they could also be lying about Lelouch's death. Then again...considering that Sunrise as a company, Biglobe and the main creative staff aren't all one and the same, they might contradict each other without actually having to lie.
  • One of the most constant accusations leveled at Mitsuo Fukuda and Chiaki Morosawa. Apparently, this one's born less from them actually lying, and more from sub-par translations of their interviews. And some nice Misblamed creator stuff.
  • From Nabari no Ou, Yuhki Kamatani's official character sheet for Kouichi claimed that he was 14 years old, leading to the Wham Episode effect when his immortality was revealed. Technically it's not a lie because his persona as "Aizawa Kouichi" is 14 years old, but it was intentional misdirection nonetheless.
  • Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, has been known to do this with details of story arcs that haven't appeared yet. Arguably the biggest one is the re-reveal of Sabo. The official source guide to One Piece called "The Green Book" both said that Sabo was dead after his ship was sunk by a World Noble. But Oda would dodge the question whenever he was asked personally. Sure enough, Sabo was showed to be alive. Another example is that in 2001, Oda was asked by a fan when the Straw Hat Pirates would arrive at Fishman Island. Oda responded that they would arrive "soon." They arrived at Fishman Island in 2010, nine years later.
  • From the words of Gen Urobuchi during the creation of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: "I have been entrusted with the formidable task of series composition and script for all episodes. Although having director Akiyuki Shinbo and Ume Aoki-sensei as teammates puts a great deal of pressure on me, I will do my best to deliver a heartwarming, happy story to our viewers!" Yeah right. Then again, this was damage control due to the fact that someone leaked the staff of the anime. For the ultimate irony the ending is the happiest thing he has ever written in his career. Earn Your Happy Ending indeed.
  • Director Sato Tatsuo said, "No romance", in regards to Bodacious Space Pirates and Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne. What he really meant was "No heterosexual romance". Or, in the latter, "No Romantic Resolution".
  • Ohkubo, author of Soul Eater, has been reported as saying both that the series was going to leave most relationships platonic as well as all relationships platonic. Given that the series has a mostly No Hugging, No Kissing feel, it doesn't seem too far-fetched. There is a reason why many fans refer to him as a Troll. At the end of the manga, most of the relationships do remain platonic, but two side characters (Stein and Marie) hook up.
  • The writer to Yuki Yuna is a Hero stated it was going to be a heartwarming, new form of the Slice of Life genre. While it does have a less bittersweet ending than expected the series is anything but fluff after the halfway point, and it's a Magical Girl series.
  • The director of SSSS.GRIDMAN claimed that the series was not related in any way to the original Denkō Chōjin Gridman live action series, but an alternate universe. They even had, in a promotional press-release, suit actors wearing the original Gridman costume with a brand new costume based off of the anime version. This was to hide the fact the series was a continuation of the original Gridman show and that Gridman's anime look actually hid the original live-action version.
  • The director of Persona 5: The Animation claimed that there would be a significant twist that would deviate from the game's story. No such twist occurred.

    Comic Books 
  • Brian Michael Bendis:
    • In preparation for the relaunch of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, he told readers that this would be an all-new way of telling Spider-Man stories, and there would even be a new Spidey... this turned out to be simply metaphorical, as Peter went through certain relationship and status quo changes in the course of a six month timeskip, but remained Spider-Man. The funny thing about this is that for the first four months, fans used everything from the manga-esque artwork and Peter's new, very feminine appearance (a result of the artwork, not the writing), to proclaim that Bendis was telling the truth and that Peter was actually his female clone Jessica Drew in disguise. The return of Jessica in the Ultimate Enemy mini-series finally put this speculation to rest.
    • According to Bendis, this is less Lying Creator and more creator changing his mind. Bendis had been wanting to kill off Peter for a while to make room for a "multiracial" Spider-Man. He wanted to do it during Ultimatum while they were killing off most of the other heroes, but decided there was still a story or two he wanted Peter to star in. He eventually made good on his promise and created a new Spider-Man, Miles Morales.
  • At DC Comics, the company announced that it would rename Countdown to Countdown to Final Crisis, readers were sure that the book was Exactly What It Says on the Tin, that the events in it would smoothly lead into the next Crisis Crossover, Final Crisis. That... didn't happen at all. (And it's only now, after the fact, that Final Crisis writer Grant Morrison has gotten involved in the situation; he will attempt to properly connect that crossover with Countdown.)
  • The maxi-series 52 included creator commentary from its writers, editors and artists when the issues were collected in the trade-paperbacks. In the commentary for Week Seven, Mark Waid points out that not even Booster Gold would be so stupid as to pay a sham-villain by check when he is staging false heroics to increase his fame, and he says people should keep reading and have some faith to see the payoff. This is never brought up again. Mark Waid does it again in the commentary for Week Thirteen, where he discusses the obscured-in-shadow figure in the background of the last panel; he says that he thought he knew who the character was when he wrote the script, but Week Forty-Two showed him that it was a different character entirely. Unfortunately for Mark, the trades include occasional reprints of the original scripts and the revelation in Week Forty-Two is exactly who the original script said it would be. Dan Jurgens, the creator of Booster Gold, also lied about his death halfway through; he had an interview where he discussed how he felt about Booster being killed off and he gave no hint that it was fake, so either Jurgens agreed to cover it up or DC did not tell even him.
  • When DC Comics made Bart Allen into The Flash in 2006, after former Flash Wally West retired to look after his newborn twins, they launched a new series (called "The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive") to chronicle his adventures. The initial writing team on the series was not well-liked by fans, (to put it mildly) so DC replaced them with new writer Mark Guggenheim, who told fans and interviewers that he had years worth of storylines dreamed up for Bart. DC hyped issue #12 of the series as a major event, but also solicited a 13th and 14th issue, complete with cover artwork. In reality, the series had already been set to end with Bart being killed off in issue 12; no 13th or 14th issues existed, and Guggenheim had known this from day one. The whole thing was a (mostly successful) ploy to take fans by surprise with Bart's death. Afterward, Wally West was brought back as the Flash, his twins now conveniently rapid-aged to teenagers so he didn't need to look after them quite as much. Oh, and those covers? Used in a special between the last issue of Fastest Man Alive and the return of Wally's title and the first issue of Wally's title.
  • After Blackest Night, Dan DiDio claimed that from now on dead characters would stay dead and not be subject to resurrections. Cue Flashpoint and the New 52 relaunch, and now a bunch of dead characters are back thanks to the Cosmic Retcon.
  • Mike Grell:
    • Early in the run of his Jon Sable, Freelance, publisher First Comics said that unlike at Marvel or DC, at First creators own their creation and if Mike Grell ever left, he would be allowed to take Jon Sable with him. Instead, they gave the title to another artist.
    • Grell also originally said that he wanted the characters in this series to age as time went by. He was able to keep this up during the series' original run from 1983 to 1988 during which the characters got five years older. But when the series was restarted in 2005, the characters were not thirty years older and they apparently now live in Comic-Book Time.
  • Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada does it a lot:
    • When Spider-Man unmasked himself, he explicitly stated that Spidey's newly public identity would not be undone after a year or so with a "magic retcon." Guess what happened (and then some) about a year later? If you need any help understanding that, read One More Day for answers.
    • And we have his "Dead is Dead" policy... which seems to only be enforced for characters he doesn't like or killed off himself, such as Karen Page. Jean Grey, Captain America, Psylocke, Magneto, Harry Osborn and even Bucky Barnes have all come back, which makes fans annoyed that he's not allowed the writers to bring Karen back, since it's obvious he doesn't really mean it. Although between Civil War (2006) and World War Hulk Joe Quesada admitted that the "Dead stays Dead" policy was stupid (since in comics it's like trying to plug a dam after the valley is flooded).
  • Everyone at Marvel involved in the debut of Thunderbolts (and by association, Marvel as a whole) was a lying creator, going so far as to lie during interviews and magazine articles about the true identities and motivations of the protagonists. Justified, of course, to keep The Reveal a secret until it actually debuted.
  • Something similar was done in the The Ultraverse back in 1993; Malibu solicited issue 5 of the Exiles series even though the series was actually ending with a near-Total Party Kill in issue 4.
  • In X-Factor, Jamie Madrox died from the legacy virus, and it was stated this Jamie was not a duplicate. But in a shocking twist, it turned out to be a duplicate that had died.
  • Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia crossover. Writer Matt Fraction promised that in a fight between two teams Colossus would be a balance for Ares and Sentry. They never meet in the story - Ares was fighting with New Mutants, Sentry faced Namor and only thing that Colossus did was fight Venom. Also, Fraction promised some interaction between teenage alien Noh-Varr and teenage mutant girls (not that kind). It didn't happen. Fraction kept his promise about a fight between Wolverine's son Daken and X-23. He just had to add two other girls to the mix.
    • Fraction later admitted that the Noh-Varr part at least was an honest mistake — he hadn't realized that the character would have left the team by that point.
  • When it was announced that Scarlet Witch would join the post-Secret Invasion incarnation of Mighty Avengers, Dan Slott promised that it would be the real deal. It was Loki in disguise.
  • In the run-up to the massive Joker's Last Laugh crossover, in which The Joker is diagnosed with fatal cancer, it was announced that he would die for real at the end of the crossover's central miniseries, and that he would STAY DEAD at least until a new creative team took over the Batman books, and possibly longer. Instead, it turns out that the Joker's tumor was never real. And though the Joker is beaten so severely by Nightwing that he requires CPR, he is back to normal by the last page.
  • At San Diego Comic Con 2010, James Robinson, in response to Roy Harper's right arm being hacked off in Justice League: Cry for Justice, stated his intent was to create a superhero with a prosthetic limb which was not cybernetic in honor of the numerous Iraq War veterans sporting false and missing limbs. It should be noted that Robinson included a nod to veterans in Blackest Night: Superman, but in the introduction to the trade of Cry for Justice, Robinson makes absolutely no mention of any veterans and states that it was the decision of the editors to move Roy in that direction.
  • Something similar occurred with Robinson's run on the main Justice League book. He famously had to write out the majority of the team after one arc and replace them with a line-up, which he claimed was due to his desire to work with a smaller cast. In a later convention panel, he revealed that he had been forced to write out most of his original cast because of Executive Meddling.
  • An odd one for Marvel: When the comic book company cancelled Avengers West Coast in favor of Force Works, Wonder Man had his own comic. Well, in the first issue, Wonder Man dies saving the other team. At the same time, there was a listing for his title's next issue where he and The Beast team up to fight the Hate Monger. The next month, there's a note listing off upcoming issues stating that, because of this death, his title was cancelled. It's hard to wonder if this was something akin to the Flash example above or perhaps a major case of Poor Communication Kills
  • Hooooo, boy. The early saga of the Superior Spider Man was rife with this. When the character was revealed, Dan Slott told people that it was going to be a brand new person under the mask and not Peter Parker. Even more, there was a tweet mentioning Miguel O'Hara, Spider-Man 2099, leading fans to think he was the new Spidey. Technically, it's still Peter, but Miguel was a Red Herring, in a way. Then came the final issue of Amazing Spider-Man where we find out that Peter died within Dr. Octopus' broken body and Otto is living in Peter's. Fans were livid, especially when Dan said that they'd eventually warm up to the new status quo, mostly due to the fact that an early issue hinted that "Peter" and Mary Jane would hook back up. Turns out that a piece of Peter's still living inside, trying to win back his body and Otto ended up breaking up with MJ in a case of It's Not You, It's My Enemies.
  • The 2009-2019 Alternate Continuity The Clone Saga miniseries was originally advertised as originally intended. Not only was that hard to do, given a fraction of the people involved came back and the Life of Reilly series showed each writer had their own ideas on what to do, but part of the intent of The Clone Saga (like One More Day ultimately did) was to make Peter single again, and the series ends with Peter still being with Mary Jane and the two of them going to raise their daughter.
  • When Nick Spencer's highly controversial Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 revealed that Steve Rogers was actually a HYDRA sleeper agent, Axel Alonso and Nick Spencer promised that it was a totally legit retcon of the character's entire past and not due to reality-warping or memory manipulation. The very next issue then revealed that the whole thing was the result of the Red Skull using Kobik to warp reality in order to rewrite Cap's memories.
  • The Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman repeatedly claimed over the years that the series would last at least 200 issues (at one point he even claimed it could be 300). He ended up providing a surprise end to the series in issue #193, with Image going so far as making covers for the non-existent #194 and #195 for solicitations, as Kirkman wanted to have the comic "die" as unexpectedly as its characters.
    • The book's entire existence is because of a lie. Kirkman was worried that Image wouldn't be interested in a straight-up zombie tale so he pitched it with the twist that roughly 50 issues in, it would turn out that the zombie uprising was all part of a plot by aliens to weaken humanity for invasion. By the time Image realized Kirkman never had any intention of making this a sci-fi tale the book was a hit.
  • Wonder Woman (2011): Prior to the publication of the New 52's retool of Wonder Woman Brian Azzarello promised he wasn't changing her origin. Her origin had always been a woman with no father, whose powers and personality were all due to her upbringing in a peaceful egalitarian society of women. Azzarello's version was the daughter of an incestuous relationship between Zeus and his granddaughter, whose powers all came from Zeus and whose more heroic qualities were in spite of her being raised by a society of baby-murdering, serial rapist, violent warrior misandrist women.

    Comic Strips 
  • For many years, Garfield creator Jim Davis claimed that his first strip Gnorm Gnat, which featured all insect characters, ended with a giant foot stepping on Gnorm and crushing him. Countless news sources, documentaries, and even Garfield anthologies reported this as the demise of the strip (if they even brought it up at all). The strip's obscurity (it was published solely in the Pendleton Times of Pendleton, Indiana) meant that no one was able to challenge this claim until summer 2019, when several strips were finally unearthed — and the final strip merely features the title character giving Christmas wishes to the city of Pendleton.


    Film — Animation 
  • The team behind The LEGO Movie repeatedly said that properties that weren't under the umbrella of Warner Bros. wouldn't be appearing in the movie, with Star Wars (owned by Disney by that point) used most frequently, despite the 15+ year history of licensed Star Wars LEGO sets. Consequently, when the Millennium Falcon does show up (complete with main fanfare and most of the original actors reprising their roles), it was a huge and pleasant surprise for fans.
  • The current legend about Yellow Submarine is that Erich Segal scripted it. At least, this is what he said on To Tell the Truth in the early 70s and on the DVD's extra features. Jack Mendelsohn, who is in the credits, said that he took a leave of absence from Hanna-Barbera to write Submarine for producer Al Brodax, and Brodax turned it over to Segal to "punch it up." So since Segal was the last man on the script, he was the guy taking credit for it. Brodax himself and Lee Minoff, who did the story outline, are also listed under screenplay because animated films do not fall under the same jurisdiction as live action films which allows the producer to put in anybody he wants.

    Film — Live-Action 

In General:

  • It's standard procedure for the more anticipated films to be produced under a false title, sometimes until they actually arrive at the theaters, to keep people from spying on the shootings or intercepting the reels. For instance, during production of Return of the Jedi, the crew worked under the title "Blue Harvest". But in that case, it was less about snooping fans and mostly to avoid the headaches during The Empire Strikes Back when the locations charged extra because they knew a Star Wars movie was being filmed.

By Creator:

By Movie:

  • Prior to the release of The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan and the cast were very clear on two things: Robin did not and would never exist in The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Miranda Tate was not Talia al Ghul. Miranda Tate is in fact Talia al Ghul, and "original character" John Blake is actually Robin John Blake - a composite of all the Robin incarnations. Granted, Blake seems to be taking up the mantle of Batman, not Robin. At one point, Nolan also claimed Robin, if he existed, would be too young to work with Batman right after The Dark Knight. Sure enough, Rises takes place eight years later, and Blake was a fan of Batman as a kid.
  • Ben Stein got a lot of flack for Expelled by interviewing scientists like Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers under the pretense that the movie was simply going to be a discussion of science vs. religion. When it came out as a full-on Intelligent Design screed casting Dawkins and Myers in very bad light, we all learned a lesson on trust.
  • While addressing the controversy around Ghost in the Shell (2017), Scarlett Johansson said that she was not playing a Japanese character, and that she would never play someone of another race. The big Reveal of the movie is that Johansson's character was originally a Japanese girl named Matoko Kusanagi. Johansson's comments were probably a denial of playing in Yellowface.
  • James Bond:
    • Eon Productions made sure to say in Skyfall Naomie Harris was only an agent named Eve, not Miss Moneypenny. Harris herself stated that she couldn't see the character in a desk job. Then in the film's ending, Eve states she's not fit for field work and reveals her full name as Eve Moneypenny...
    • In the lead in to Spectre, both Eon and Christoph Waltz vehemently denied that the latter's character Franz Oberhauser was actually Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Cue third act dramatic reveal.
    • Waltz did it again in the lead up to No Time to Die when he claimed that he would not return for the film and that there was a "new enemy". Sure enough, Blofeld does return and is in fact revealed to be responsible for the incident that starts the movie but Waltz' statement does prove to be Metaphorically True since Blofeld is killed off shortly after his reappearance by the aforementioned new enemy, Safin.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier's title alone was a major spoiler for comics readers, leading to increasingly Blatant Lies from the cast and crew denying that It Was His Sled.
      Sebastian Stan: [at the premiere] I died in the first movie. I'm just here for support.
    • Prior to the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, it was said that Thanos would not appear in any other Marvel movie released before 2016. He's the subject of The Stinger.
    • The promotions for both Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 played up their villains (the Mandarin and Ayesha, respectively), hiding the fact that they were Red Herrings and other characters were the true villains of the films.
    • The Russo Brothers said that the title of Avengers 4 was not mentioned in the dialogue of Infinity War. Cue the first trailer revealing the title Avengers: Endgame, which was something Dr. Strange said to Tony after giving Thanos the Time Stone. ("We're in the Endgame now.")
      • A possible example with Shuri's fate: Angela Bassett said that she survived the snap, but the teaser trailer showed that Shuri was missing, a set of posters released later had her among the dead characters, and the film itself all but stated that she was killed by the snap. However, Basset might not have actually been lying, she could have just been wrong about it, since a lot of actors were given false information to prevent them from spoiling the movie (although that means someone else lied about it instead).
      • Similarly, the Russo Brothers said that Aunt May survived the snap, but Spider-Man: Far From Home has her mention that she came back from being snapped to find that someone else had moved into her apartment. Whether this was a lie, a retcon, or a case of contradicting creators is unclear.
    • During the Captain Marvel press tour, in one interview Samuel L. Jackson claimed that Carol Danvers had the power of Time Travel. Days before the movie released to theatres, Jackson revealed that he had in fact been lying about this.
    • In the build for Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland went out of his way in interviews to state that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would not be appearing as alternate versions of Peter Parker. Likewise, both Garfield and Maguire brushed off questions of their involvement but sure enough, the film featured all three Spider-Men.
  • In pre-release interviews with Fangoria Magazine (Issue #99, Dec. 1990), director Stephen Hopkins and screenwriter John Thomas flatly and mockingly denied that more Predators would show up at the end of Predator 2.
  • Scary Movie gives us the tagline "No Mercy. No shame. No sequel." True when it was the only Scary Movie at the time.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: JJ Abrams and the film's writers said they didn't feel comfortable tackling an updated version of Khan. They lied.
    • When speculation rose in 2012 that the villain was Khan Noonien Singh, Karl Urban shot it down by suggesting Benedict Cumberbatch was playing Gary Mitchell, the villain in the TOS pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Obviously, he was also lying. It's also somewhat amusing when you consider Urban himself is practically a dead ringer for Gary Lockwood.
    • Leonard Nimoy said he had nothing to do with this film. He lied, as he's got a cameo.
  • George Lucas in regards to practically everything Star Wars-related.
    • Are there six films? Nine films? Twelve films? Depends on when you ask him, but expect him to disavow any other option. When did Darth Vader become Luke's father? Since the beginning? Eh, probably not based on drafts of the scripts, but that's what he'll tell you.
    • During the filming of The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas and the film crew went to great lengths to avoid anyone spoiling The Reveal before release... to the extent of replacing the line "I am your father" with "Obi-Wan killed your father" in the script, so if anyone did leak the big secret, they'd leak the wrong secret. Mark Hamill was only told of the revelation a moment before the scene was filmed; even David Prowse wasn't informed. Thanks to Vader's full face mask, they were able to simply take James Earl Jones aside, record the real line in secret, then swap it in during editing. In fact, David Prowse was famously annoyed that he was not told since his body language would have been completely different otherwise. Hamill also claimed he would have acted differently if given more time to prepare.
    • Another one is George Lucas's pretension that he had some grand artistic vision, broken like a butterfly upon a wheel by remorseless studio execs, which is only now achieving full bloom with the "updated" re-release. The fact that later edits remove some of his changes (such as Luke's silly scream in The Empire Strikes Back) would indicate that he evidently isn't as committed to this vision as he claims, and a cynical observer might conclude that he simply makes things up on the fly because he is short-sightedly afraid his films might look dated.
  • Michael Bay found he could keep no secrets while making Transformers, so he subverted it by being completely open. After his computer was hacked, anyway. However, he publicly announced that there would be false leads and red herrings thrown out there in regards to the sequel. Writer Roberto Orci remarked that it seemed most fans could tell the real news from false news, and trailers leading up to Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen outright disproved Bay's remarks. Bay was more successful in his misinformation for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, where he stated that fan-favorite Shockwave would be the main antagonist of the film. The result was that The Reveal of the true Big Bad (Sentinel Prime, ancient leader of the Autobots and Optimus's former mentor and father-figure) was a huge blow to viewers. While Shockwave does appear in the film, his role is sadly short.
  • Prior to the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Famke Janssen, and James Marsden all claimed that Jean Grey and Cyclops would not be appearing in the film in any way. They lied to hide the fact that Cyclops and Jean were shown Back from the Dead in the surprise Everyone Lives ending.
  • Terminator: Dark Fate: In the lead up to the movie, it was announced that Edward Furlong would reprise his role as John Connor for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Connor is instead shown in a flashback played by child actor Jude Collie with his head replaced with a CGI recreation of teenage Furlong's head and the latter is only credited as "John Connor reference". This was done to conceal the twist that John Connor did not live to see adulthood but was actually Killed Off for Real by a different T-800 not long after the ending of T2.
  • Jeepers Creepers 3: The writers swore for years that when the film came out, it would finally reveal the Creeper's origins. It did not. While the characters in the film learn, the audience does not. Needless to say after years of Development Hell, many fans were enraged that they learned nothing.
  • Niki Caro, the director of Mulan (2020), stated in an interview that Mulan "isn't a superhero" and they wanted to portray her as a normal woman pulling off realistic feats. In the movie, Mulan is given magical qi powers and is shown performing physics-defying moves that would rival Legolas (running along walls, backflipping off a galloping horse to deflect a spear with her foot, fatally kicking an arrow into an enemy's chest etc). Although she's technically not a "superhero" in the traditional sense, the film still emphasizes that she's got special abilities.
  • When Music (2021) was given an early release in Australia, certain scenes were harshly criticized for suggesting that when an autistic person is having a meltdown, the proper course of action is to forcibly pin them to the ground until they calm down (a practice which is unfortunately all too widespread, despite being known to traumatize, injure, or even suffocate and kill the person being restrained). Sia, the film's director, delivered an apology, promising that the scenes promoting the use of restraints would be removed from the American release which was scheduled for February, and that a disclaimer warning against their use would be added to the start of the movie. However, when the film was released in America, said scenes were still present and there was no disclaimer.
  • It was initially stated that Barry Keoghan was in The Batman (2022), playing Stanley Merkel from Batman: Year One, most likely to hide the fact that he actually plays the Joker in a cameo appearance.



  • Jorge Luis Borges was widely known for this. In an era when the internet didn't exist and books were difficult to look up, he wrote quite a lot of essays about made-up books, including one about an invented version of Judas.
  • Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files, Codex Alera and The Cinder Spires, explains some of the reasons behind it here.
  • Steven Erikson:
    • No, of course there aren't any Hounds of Light. What would make you think that? The fact that there are Hounds of Darkness and Hounds of Shadow? Nonsense. Cue Toll the Hounds and a whole bunch of them frolicking about the city in the finale.
    • There was also his claim that Whiskeyjack was done with and would not feature in the story anymore. Uhuh, Whiskeyjack doesn't. Iskar Jarak, on the other hand, features quite prominently in the series' resolution.
  • If you believe the critic R.W. Stallman, this can occur after the fact as well. He insisted that Stephen Crane deliberately stated the wrong Aesop for certain books to see who would figure out the correct one. The proper one for The Red Badge of Courage involved the character of Jim Conklin being a stand-in for Jesus Christ. Naturally, not everyone accepts Stallman's theory as gospel.


  • Harry Potter: J. K. Rowling was an expert in avoiding this trope: In one interview, she said, "No, I see that, and yeah, I follow your line there. I can't—I mean, obviously, there are lines of speculation I don't want to shut down. Generally speaking, I shut down those lines of speculation that are plain unprofitable. Even with the shippers. God bless them, but they had a lot of fun with it. It's when people get really off the wall—it's when people devote hours of their time to proving that Snape is a vampire that I feel it's time to step in, because there's really nothing in the canon that supports that." Such general cageyness worked: That answer was her response to a completely and totally accurate analysis of the secret plot going on behind the scenes of Book 6, which would be revealed in Book 7. Nonetheless, debates on that subject continued right up until Book 7 was released. (It helps that she pretty consistently refused to comment on any plausible speculation.)
  • House of Leaves features an in-universe Lying Creator in Zampano, who claimed his House of Leaves was a work of criticism about a documentary called The Navidson Record. The Navidson Record doesn't exist, none of the interviews in the supplementary material ever happened, much of the appendices of the book have either vanished or never existed to begin with, and the book isn't written like any actual critical piece ever would be.
  • How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life featured a particularly controversial case of this, that resulted in author Kaavya Viswanathan being dropped by her publisher for plagiarism. Viswanathan initially claimed that no other works inspired her when it came to writing the book; after the plagiarism first came to light though, she admitted she had read and enjoyed Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings (from the Jessica Darling series), and that she may have unwittingly incorporated sections of these novels into her own book. She did state that Opal Mehta was still distinct because the main protagonist was a young Indian-American woman and that she'd never read a YA book with an Indian protagonist, although this too came into question due to similarities between Opal Mehta and Born Confused, which also centers around an Indian-American teenage girl; Born Confused's author, Tanuja Desai Hidier, thought that the similarities were too precise to be a coincidence (especially because Hidier included many personal details from her own life in her story). The sheer number of similarities between Opal Mehta and the works of numerous other authors also made many people - including the publisher - skeptical that it was truly unintentional as Viswanathan claimed. There were even rumours that Viswanathan may not even have written the book herself and it was simply published under her name to help with her admission to Harvard, though this has never been substantiated.
  • R. Scott Bakker had said in a few interviews that Barbarian Hero Cnaiür's story was concluded at the end of The Prince of Nothing trilogy. This lead many to assume that this confirmed his death. Come The Great Ordeal, it's revealed that Bakker wasn't telling the whole truth and Cnaiür's still kicking it, albeit with much less page time than in the first trilogy. His story indeed seems done with, but that does not mean he can't participate in the story of others.
  • In a playful example, William Goldman presented The Princess Bride as an abridgement of a much longer work by "S. Morgenstern". Neither Morgenstern nor the unabridged work actually exist.
    • Goldman has layered metafiction on this conceit since the book's publication. The original edition mentioned a missing reunion scene that Goldman felt Morgenstern should have written. He claims to have written one himself, but his publisher refused to include it. Readers could write to the publisher for a copy of the scene; what they got was a letter detailing legal troubles with the Morgenstern estate.
    • By the 25th and 30th anniversary editions, Goldman was teasing about a sequel, Buttercup's Baby, which was also tied up in legal red tape. These editions included notes and a sample chapter for the sequel, and Goldman promised to have the "legal troubles" resolved in time for the 35th anniversary (2009). Sadly, the author was blocked and admitted he hadn't been able to produce anything worthy of the original yet... and sadly, Goldman's death killed any chance of a sequel.
  • Most Twilight fans agree that Stephenie Meyer is a liar, since before Breaking Dawn came out she had said that it was impossible for vampires to have children, only for Edward to impregnate Bella halfway through. Meyer insists that while she was deliberately misleading on the subject, she never outright said that a male vampire couldn't get a female human pregnant. Which may be true, but she still lied, as she said it implicitly. And then there's the thing where she had said that when people become vampires in her world all of their bodily fluids turn into "venom". When someone pointed this out to her, she insisted that she meant "except semen."
    • There is also the case of vampire powers. In an interview, Meyer explicitly states that a vampire's powers come from some trait s/he had as a human. Jasper is an empath because he was particularly empathetic, Alice was apparently already psychic as a human, Edward was intuitive, Emmett was strong... what about Katrina Denali, who administered electric shocks via touch? Or, assuming you'd go with 'shocking personality' for Kat, what about Ben, the Egyptian vampire with control over all four elements?
  • Henry James has been accused of this in his The Turn of the Screw. Word of God stated that this story was simply a ghost story but a few notable critics such as H.C. Goddard have argued that the story is really about suppressed sexuality and the ghosts are a result of the governess' sexual frustration. Marcia Eaton, an aesthetics professor, writes "James himself said that the story was just a ghost story. Some critics ... try to show that he [James] was intentionally deceptive when he made such statements."
  • T. S. Eliot confessed to doing this with the notes for The Waste Land: "When it came time to print The Waste Land as a little book ... it was discovered that the poem was inconveniently short, so I set to work to expand the notes, in order to provide a few more pages of printed matter, with the result that they became the remarkable exposition of bogus scholarship that is still on view to-day."
  • Victoria Holmes, author of Warrior Cats, has made many lies to her fans. Some of them are listing Hollyleaf as dead on the official website, saying Dove's Wing did not reincarnate as Dovewing, saying Bumblestripe had a crush on Ivypool, and saying that Firestar lost 2 lives in The Last Hope.
  • The Wheel of Time's Robert Jordan. "One more book. I promise." Even without his death, he almost certainly wouldn't have been able to do it, or allowed to by the publisher if he tried. The series was instead finished by Brandon Sanderson in 3 books, with him adding numbers 12, 13 and 14 of the series. Officially the last three are one book that was split up so that people can actually carry it out of a store, but all three of them are more or less the same length as the other books in the series, making that justification rather flimsy.

    Live-Action TV 

By Creator:

  • Steven Moffat seems to have learned a thing or two from Russell T Davies in Doctor Who.
    • He made a statement saying that he wouldn't use monsters that only appeared in the classic series by the time he took over from RTD in favor of creating new ones. Then came the trailers. Hey, aren't those Silurians? (Rule one: the Doctor lies. Rule two: River Song lies. Rule zero: Steven Moffat lies.)
    • In April 2011, prior to the airing of the sixth series, Moffat announced one of the main characters would die — "We're not lying, we're not cheating. One of those four people is going to die." The Doctor proceeded to die in the series opener but was revealed to be a robot duplicate. If you're really, really charitable, he dies briefly in the middle of the series in "Let's Kill Hitler" by poisoning, but gets brought back to life right after. Rory was also a main character and died too, though that's not really anything special.
    • In 2012, he assured everyone that we wouldn't find out anything about Jenna Coleman's character until Christmas. A week later, on the first of September, Coleman prominently showed up in the season premiere, though the only things revealed about her character in that episode were a lot of questions. (The Christmas special added even more questions with the reveal that there were at least three Clara Oswalds in different time periods, which can't be identical descendants of each other — the resultant Story Arc has the Doctor trying to figure out how this is so.)
    • In 2013, Moffat said that "The Day of the Doctor" would feature no classic series Doctors in the flesh (i.e. non-Fake Shemped appearances) because they're too old now. This was designated another lie in retrospect: Tom Baker makes a cameo appearance in the final scene as a museum curator who may or may not be a distant future Doctor. He also said Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi wouldn't appear, which also turned out to be a lie. Perhaps most importantly, he also said the episode wouldn't involve much, if any, of the show's canon before 2005. In addition to the appearance of the Daleks and the Zygons, both aliens that far predate the series' revival, the entire episode revolves around the restoration of Gallifrey and the Time Lords, which had been missing since the show's return in 2005.
      • In an interview about the episode, he said, "Normally I am responsible for the disinformation and the rubbish rumours - I usually put them out myself, but I haven't needed to for this one." Of course, the latter part of this was also a lie, as the preceding entry reveals.
    • Moffat also followed Davies in claiming that the Master would never return while he was showrunner. In a Q&A at a public screening of the first episode of the season when it happened.
    • Moffat also claimed that companion Clara Oswald could never return to the show post-Series 9. BUT because the Doctor tried to save her from her fixed-point death, risking the universe to do so, she's now semi-dead with "wiggle room" to travel on her own for a while before inevitably returning to the moment of her death. Their paths could cross again if Moffat wills it.
    • One relating to Sherlock: Moffat claimed Moriarty was very definitely dead after the events of series two. He turns up at the end of series three, apparently alive and well. However, the following New Year's special strongly implied, and the fourth season made it explicit, that he really was dead and the season's new Big Bad was faking his survival with pre-recorded material in order to troll Sherlock. This plot development may have been planned from the start, or it may have been due to the almost-completely-negative reaction to the idea of Moriarty still being alive from both fans and generalist critics.
    • Happened again with the Sherlock 2016 New Year's special. He'd flat-out stated it was a Victorian "alternate universe" setting that had nothing to do with the main series' continuity. The Victorian part turned out to be accurate, but the Mind Screwy ending showed either that the entire Victorian storyline was a drug-induced hallucination of modern-day Sherlock's, or that the entire modern-day series is a drug-induced hallucination of Victorian Sherlock's. Intriguingly, the episode could support either interpretation. In any case, the episode is a direct sequel to the series 3 finale, "His Last Vow", and the end of that episode becomes a plot point for the special.
  • Ryan Murphy:
    • When Idina Menzel was first cast as Shelby on Glee, Ryan Murphy said that the character wasn't going to turn out to be Rachel's biological mother as many people assumed (Menzel bears a striking resemblance to Lea Michele). And then that totally happened.
    • He also said that Susan Boyle was going to appear in the Christmas episode as a lunch lady who would get a makeover from Kurt. Then comes the first promo for said episode and not even a trace of her. The episode airs and it seems that plot was completely thrown out. Also Anne Hathaway as Kurt's lesbian aunt and Julie Andrews as Kurt's grandmother were announced by him but never appeared.
    • Murphy also claimed that Finn and Rachel would never break up in Season 2. Guess what happens in Special Education?
    • Let's not forget that "Blaine is totally just Kurt's mentor, guys. Seriously!" And then comes Original Songs. Kurt and Blaine finally, finally, finally kiss.
      • Don't get Sam/Kurt shippers started on the "Sam is gay" Word of God that ended up simply being thrown out before it became canon.
    • Ryan Murphy's penchant for lying doesn't stop at Glee, though. He's lied various times about plots in American Horror Story, like when he claimed that Luke and his mother in Coven were important characters ( he killed off Luke offscreen and with barely a mention and his mother was killed in the very episode this info was revealed), and Scream Queens (2015), where he made claimes that were totally disproven by season's end, like 'a regular will die each week' only THREE regulars out of the main cast got killed, Gi Gi (Nasim Pedrad), Earl Grey (Lucien Laviscount) and Pete (Diego Boneta), and those were in episode 9, 10 and 12, and at least Earl was barely a character. Most of the body count was made of minor characters or guest stars brought in only to add to the bodycount or 'only four will survive the season' as explained before, there weren't even four MAIN CAST DEATHS, and as of the first season finale, 'The Final Girl(s)', nine characters - Grace and Weston Gardner, Dean Cathy Munsch, Chad Radwell, Denise Hemphill, Zayday Williams, Hester Ulrich, Sadie Swenson/Chanel #3, Libby Putney/Chanel #5 and probably Chanel Oberlin as a tenth - survived the Red Devils' murder spree.
  • Dan Schneider: Huge troll, repeated liar.
    • iCarly: The week before the "iSaved Your Life" episode aired, a promo aired showing 2 of the main characters kissing. Dan Schneider, in an effort to calm the shippers of a pairing involve a different character, implied it might not be what it appeared. Cue the episode, where they ended up kissing 7 or 8 times, and it was pretty much as it appeared. It went back to Status Quo Is God by the end, though.
    • He also insisted that iStartAFanWar was really a Take That! at all the shippers for the show, since it had Carly deliver an Author Tract about how iCarly is about comedy, not shipping. The very next episode started a multi-episode romance arc that completely derailed the show to force a Sam & Freddie relationship.
    • Victorious was cancelled when most people expected at least one more season. When it happened, Dan told everyone that it was natural because it hit a '60 episode limit'. This discounts the facts that Dan never saw the cancellation coming, was telling people that the Spin-Off Sam & Cat would keep the Cat character on both shows right until the day Victorious was cancelled and that other members of the cast were "shocked" by the cancellation. The kicker is that he didn't write any series finale.
      • Not to mention the fact there there are quite a few Nick shows with more than 60 episodes, including Dan Schneider's own Zoey 101 (65 episodes) and iCarly (109 episodes).

By Series:

  • J. Michael Straczynski openly admitted to lying in response to fan questions about Babylon 5 to avoid spoiling storylines.
    • He also lied about the real reason Commander Jeffrey Sinclair was written out of the series and replace with Captain John Sheridan. This was due to a promise he made to actor Michael O'Hare to not reveal the truth until after his passing.note 
  • After Starbuck vanished, presumed dead, in the third season of the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, Katee Sackhoff (at the urging of creator/showrunner Ronald D. Moore) announced publicly that she was done with the show, displayed a slightly irritated attitude, and was even reported to be going to auditions for a new show — she did, in fact, go on to appear in the short-lived Bionic Woman reboot. This put enough of the seed of doubt in people's minds that when Starbuck did reappear, it was actually a bit of a shock.
    • Moore even went to the extent to lie to the cast and crew about her (and filmed the season-finale return in secret).
  • In the promotion for Big Sky, Ryan Phillipe played up being one of the show's big stars with no hint his character would be shot dead in the closing scene of the pilot.
  • The outrage of some fans over the trope-naming death of Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer was worsened by the fact that Joss Whedon had said in response to concern that it would happen "over his dead body".
    • In the interim between seasons two and three, when asked if Kendra's death would cause a new Slayer to be called, Joss said, "We're going to let it lie. We like the the end, there should be only one." This was after he had already cast Eliza Dushku to play Faith.
  • Marc Cherry hinted at tons of future plots for Desperate Housewives that never came to pass. Fans are divided on how many were lies and how many were just him changing his mind later, but one that pretty much everyone agrees was a lie is his statement that one or two of the Scavo kids would die.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Before RTD and The Moff, there was John Nathan-Turner, who famously wrote the title "The Doctor's Wife" on his planner in order to find out if there was a leak to the fan press in his office. There was, but he never found out who it was. Later adopted by (guess who?) Steven Moffat, who commissioned Neil Gaiman to write an episode with that title. The section of the fandom that didn't like River Song went berserk — but River did not appear in that episode.
    • Russell T Davies did this many, many times with the new series of Doctor Who. It became a well-known axiom in the Who fandom to never trust anything Davies says.
      • For one thing, he once said that he didn't like the Master and wasn't planning on bringing him back. This also caused fans to distrust him when he said something sensible and thankfully true like "It's better not to show the Time War."
      • As with the Star Wars example above, Davies used a phony name, an anagram of Doctor Who, during production of the 2005 series to prevent would-be pirates from spotting the tapes. That phony name would later become the name of a spinoff series.
      • After "Doomsday", he told the press Rose was gone for good. He told Billie Piper, "See you in two years".
      • RTD continued to lie about Doctor Who even after stepping down from it the first time round. He said he would never write an episode for Matt Smith's Doctor. Guess who guest-stars in the RTD-penned The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of the Doctor"?
      • For the first big reveal in his second term as showrunner, RTD made use of both lying and Exact Words: When Ncuti Gatwa was announced as the new Doctor, RTD was very specific with his language in press releases and interviews, referring to Gatwa only as the new Doctor, letting the media and fandom assume that meant he was the Fourteenth. The announcement that David Tennant was returning for the 60th anniversary described it as the return of an old Doctor, with RTD's teasing about Tennant's return encouraging that line of thought. However, following the regeneration of Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth, the subsequent press release revealed that Tennant was the Fourteenth and Gatwa was the Fifteenth.
    • Steven Moffat is quite notorious for this. He can be found in the "Creators" section.
    • Chris Chibnall took a different approach and simply released very little information in advance about the plot content of Series 11. The history of this in the franchise meant that hardly any fans believed him when he claimed that the season would not feature any previously existing characters or alien cultures. However, he turned out to be telling the truth... in Exact Words, as the 2019 New Year's Day special, broadcast only a few weeks after the end of the season proper, featured a Dalek.
    • As for a lying Doctor performer, Tom Baker openly admits that anything he says in interviews "may not be true" and might just be him making things up to waste his fans' time. His Big Finish interview CD, Tom Baker at 80, is even sold with a disclaimer asking listeners to be picky about which parts of it they believe. Part of this is because he claims he has forgotten most of his time being the Doctor — although this claim may, of course, be a lie. Part of this may also be that a lifetime of being interviewed about the same old questions by irritating Fan Dumb types forces you to start inventing new facts to keep the interviews interesting. Most preeminent Bakerologists hypothesise that most of what he says about his Doctor years is broadly accurate, but embellished to make it more entertaining — the rest is just telling lies for the sake of telling lies.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • In season 2 the crew said Hunter Zolomon would not be Zoom, like in the comics. That's exactly who Zoom turned out to be. Though to be fair, they were talking specifically about Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon, Zoom was his Earth-2 counterpart.
    • Following Ralph Dibny's apparent death by Grand Theft Me in season 4, the show's producers claimed that the character was in fact Killed Off for Real, declaring him "gone". He's back by the midway point of the season finale.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In one of the featurettes aired prior to the start of Season 1 to introduce the world of Westeros to viewers, George R. R. Martin said that "Ned Stark is the main character of the books". Anyone who's familiar with the books were probably laughing their ass off when watching that. He dies before the end of the first novel.
    • On a smaller note, producers Dan Benioff and D.B. Weiss stated in their DVD Commentary for Season 1 that fans shouldn't get their hopes up for a white raven as described in the books, since the rare bird is very difficult to secure for filming. Sure enough, one appeared in the Season 2 premiere, shot long before their commentary.
    • Benioff and Weiss have also lied in the past about certain story lines being faithful to the books. For instance, they claimed that they didn't cast Aeron Greyjoy for Season 2 because they wanted to find someone right for when he becomes a major character. Fast forward to Season 6, and Aeron has been effectively Adapted Out, with his name merely slapped on another extra in supplementary material.
    • Probably the most notorious example came after the fifth season finale, when Jon Snow was stabbed repeatedly by Night's Watch mutineers and left to die in the snow. Literally everyone involved with the show unequivocally stated the character was dead and never coming back. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss gave countless interviews talking about how difficult it was to kill off the character. The president of HBO said he was "Dead is dead as dead as dead." Kit Harington stated in an interview, "I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season... We did the Tony Soprano walk. And they said, ‘Look, you’re gone, it’s done.'" David Nutter, the director of the episode, even told President Obama when asked point-blank that "Jon Snow is deader than dead." Harington was spotted near the show's Belfast filming location several times during the filming of the sixth season, and claimed he was only appearing as a corpse. Jon was resurrected in the second episode of the sixth season, and the next day Harington told Entertainment Weekly, "I'd like to say sorry for lying to everyone."
  • The writers of Heroes were very adamant that Ali Larter's character had been Killed Off for Real in her big Redemption Equals Death scene mid-way through Volume 4. Turns out that she is not dead and still plot important.
    • Bryan Fuller had already stated there was a character arc planned for Tracey in an interview before the episode where she supposedly died. Also in the commentary for the episode he stated she wasn't dead.
    • Also, creator Tim Kring was very adamant that, prior to the series, he had no interest in comic books or superheroes. Which is of course why the series is packed to the gills with references to comic books and superheroes, and Misfits of Science, a past show he wrote for, was all about a team of superheroes. I call shenanigans!
  • After major fan backlash when season one of The Killing did not reveal who killed Rosie Larsen, creator Veena Sud was quick to say she never actually said the answer would be given this season. The fans counter-argue that her sitting back and saying nothing while all kinds of interviewers and critics said that exact thing is just as bad.
    • And also people were expecting the plot to be wrapped up at the end of the season because the original Danish Forbrydelsen had done so.
  • Kyle XY had lying of a different kind, according to a Canadian blog about the finale: "As the finale neared, the executive producers told fans that if they ignored the last 30 seconds or so, the episode served as an OK ending to the show. But, in my opinion, that was a crap thing to say. ... I realize that there was no chance to go back and reshoot anything, so the producers didn't have any options, but don't try to placate your audience with false information. It'll just make people more pissed off."
  • The creators of Orphan Black had a field day with this trope by steadfastly insisting that Helena, who'd been shot twice in the climax of Season 1, was well and truly dead. They even ran an online contest where one lucky "Clone Clubber" won her signature parka. As we all learned in the Season 2 premiere, she survived. To their credit, fans who were lucky enough to catch a sneak peek of the Season 2 premiere - as well as at least one journalist who spotted actress Tatiana Maslany in her Helena wig on-set - helped out by not spoiling the eventual reveal.
  • Happened in the Pee-wee's Playhouse episode "Front Page, Pee-Wee" when Randy created fake news on the newspaper. Except for the last page (which there will be a big dance in the playhouse).
  • Pretty Little Liars showrunner Marlene King is basically the definition of this trope. During Season 3, she stated that Toby was a legitimate member of the A team, when later on it was revealed that he was only trying to gather information and protect Spencer. And then the big one in Season 5, when she stated that Mona is really dead, which was later disproven in the Wham Episode season finale. She also mentioned that a gay male character would be appearing in Season 5, which never happened. She also makes liberal use of Exact Words when she could get away with it; for example, promising that a particular episode would reveal who killed Alison (i.e. the mystery that had driven the plot for the previous two seasons and change). It did: the answer was no one because Alison turned out to be Not Quite Dead.
  • When The Price Is Right announcer Rod Roddy stopped appearing on-camera in the show's 31st season, many assumed it was because Rod was in poor health. Fremantle Media instead said that it was part of a corporate policy that they didn't want announcers appearing on-camera anymore. In reality, Rod's disappearance was mandated by host Bob Barker (who was also executive producer at the time) after he and Rod had a salary dispute. The non-appearances continued through the rotation of substitute announcers after Rod's death and well into the era of his successor, Rich Fields. Drew Carey took over as host in season 36 and about one year later, Rich started appearing on-camera (as does his successor, George Gray), throwing that "rule" out the window completely.
  • Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence and other members of the staff had repeatedly stated that J.D. and Elliot would not end up together, and had written several episodes that showed what a terrible couple they were, that all they really want to do is have sex, and finally brought the relationship to its seemingly ultimate conclusion in the penultimate episode of the third season. By the time the eighth season rolled around they had made themselves into liars by giving into the significantly shipping fandom that had stuck around and been vocally in favour of JD & Elliot getting back together. It turned out to be a good decision as it helped cement their character development, resulted in a happy ending that satisfied the long term fans of the show.
  • An interesting example happened with The Shield around Season 5's finale. Some spoilers leaked that said Ronnie would die and Lem would leave and go to Mexico. These spoilers mentioned a lot of things that came through in the episode, but were totally wrong about the ending. That's because the creators themselves put those spoilers out.
  • A downright bizarre case in Star Trek: Discovery, where Aaron Harberts put out a statement that Dr. Culber wasn't really dead, despite his death being confirmed in no uncertain terms in the very next episode. It's largely supposed that he simply panicked at the backlash that resulted from the death and desperately put off dealing with it, even if just for a single week. Then in the next season, it was confirmed Culber wasn't in fact really dead, but it's unclear if Harberts (or anyone else for that matter) knew that at the time.
  • Star Wars: After a miniseries focussing on Obi-Wan Kenobi was announced in 2019, Ewan McGregor admitted in an interview that he had in fact known about the project for four years and had been lying about its existence the whole time.
  • The writers of The Vampire Diaries specifically said that Katherine wouldn't show up in present day in Season One. They lied. Last ten or so minutes of the finale? The "Holy Shit!" Quotient was through the roof.
    • In Season 3 they also claimed Damon would get his own flashback. It ended up focusing more on Stefan.

  • A 1988 NME interview with Paddy McAloon, the frontman with alternative pop-rock band Prefab Sprout discussed the winsome, delicate, poetic nature of the group's output. McAloon agreed that it was unlikely that he would ever write a song a called The King Of Rock 'N' Roll. The name of their next single, and biggest ever hit?
  • tool is known to spread misinformation about themselves as a way of preserving their mystique. One of their most famous fibs was claiming to subscribe to a philosophy called "Lacrymology," the study of crying, from a book called The Joyful Guide to Lacrymology published in the 1940s. Lacrymology doesn't actually exist.
  • Camper Van Beethoven initially claimed their Cover Album of Fleetwood Mac's Tusk was mostly recorded in 1987, with a few overdubs made in 2003, but later admitted that it was entirely made in 2003. They went so far as to make up an elaborate backstory about being stranded in a cabin during a snowstorm with a four track recorder, a few musical instruments, and a copy of Tusk, and tried to really make it sound like it could have been produced in those conditions. The whole project was done to test out how they'd get along in a studio setting after being broken up for years. In some interviews they also claimed to have sent out promo copies of Tusk to various publications with a phony press release claiming it was a side project of The Strokes - they didn't actually do this, but telling interviewers that they did was the lie.
    • The EP Vampire Can Mating Oven has liner notes by a fake critic named Isaac Fringe, full of fictional stories behind the songs - for instance, claiming that "Never Go Back" was written for a 1974 film called Vampire Surfers (in which the band also had a small role as a group of hippies) and that their cover of Ringo Starr's "Photograph" was inspired by a period when the group became collectively delusional about Ringo and ascribed fantastic powers such as flight to him.
  • Nico's live album Behind The Iron Curtain claims to have been recorded in Prague, Budapest and Warsaw, but was really recorded at one concert in Rotterdam. Available sources do not show whether Nico or her record company was the primary liar.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The very concept of Kayfabe made virtually the entirety of professional wrestling a showcase of lying creators by 1920. While fixed and rigged fights were hardly new to sports or unique to professional wrestling, rarely had an entire sport been supplanted by theatrics so completely by covert means. Though nowadays, Kayfabe has been exposed and accepted as necessary for the shows to retain any shred of enjoyability, so this no longer counts.
  • WCW was notorious for piping in cheers and chants over the sound system to try and make guys seem like they were more popular than they really were. (Though DDP denied all charges by charging WCW's staff was not smart enough to set that kind of thing up.) It worked for Goldberg, who actually was popular; for Hulk Hogan, not so much, with fans caught on camera screaming about how much he sucked and anti Hogan signs having to be confiscated. WCW also rigged polls on their website so that any votes towards cruiserweight matches for best of the night would instead officially count for Hogan's.
  • With WCW's demise, WWE has taken its place as professional wrestling lying creator extraordinaire. Some of it is understandable, such as trying to protect revelations that would kill angles. The office up North is also notorious for leaks so apparently false leads are the best they can do. But they also lie about real life things, and have gone beyond WCW's crowd pipes by censoring Último Dragón's cheers out of home television broadcasts. They've also gotten a reputation for twisting news and history in ways that would give them the best Public Record, a practice that makes people who actually care about wrestling news assume the worst stories about WWE are the true ones by default. It really goes back further though, the very first WWF champion, Buddy Rogers, was simply handed the belt but Vince (senior) made up a story about him having won some tournament in Brazil.
  • TNA, though they are surprisingly more successful than their predecessors WCW and WWE, for whatever that's worth. For example, in 2002 Jerry Jarret's claim was that TNA's talent were independent contractors, unlike WWE's (and thus could appear at independent shows without issue). This was proven false in 2004 when all TNA wrestlers were all pulled out of Ring of Honor, where many wrestled when Out of Focus on television, derailing angles and killing title runs. It took three years for the ROH bots to forgive them, particularly after TNA agreed to a return only to pull out again in 2006 over a snow storm, which no one bought since CM Punk came back out of WWE developmental to save the show, only to see TNA do it again in 2007 because TNA didn't like the fact ROH wanted to do i-pay per views. Then it happened again in 2010 when the TNA office threw a tantrum over how ROH was booking the Murder City Machine Guns even though ROH was already giving into TNA's ridiculous demands for their supposedly "independent contractors". TNA was threatened with a lawsuit over the issue in 2012 (by former ROH manager Lucy) but managed to settle out of court in 2013. Two years to catch a lie, ten before TNA almost faced consequences. WSU's Sean McCaffrey, after years of business trouble, made it his mission to expose just how much TNA had misled people.
  • Ring Of Honor's own workers did have open ended contracts in the beginning, and given their own experience, one may think they would have stayed that way; but after the 2011 Sinclair purchase, the ROH contracts changed to be as controlling as WWE's, which led to an incident in 2013 where they tried to bar their "independently contracted" wrestlers from wrestling at Family Wrestling Entertainment events. ROH contracts had became stricter even before this period after Ric Flair no showed an event without giving notice, but publicly they announced priority in schedule in contract but otherwise are said they would let wrestlers work where they choose. The 2011 additions were almost immediately opposed by talent and temporarily done away with, but by 2014, ROH contracts were as controlling as TNA's, only slightly less exclusive than WWE's in that dates for other companies can be gotten if an office is informed first and they approve.
  • If you listen to Manny Fernandez's story about the death of Bruiser Brody, he would have you believe that he went to Puerto Rico, crippled Invader #1, then ran out of the country with a shotgun wielding Harley Race. While Harley Race was known for carrying a gun, the wrestler Fernandez beat was Invader #3, who had nothing to do with Brody's death. This happened in 1988, and as late as 2012 Fernandez maintained he never returned to work for WWC. In reality he did on September 28th 1991 where he would fight IWA co-owner Savio Vega (who also had nothing to do with it but that was the point now), Invader #1 and Carlos Colon in "revenge". Of course he lies because that angle was three years too soon.

  • William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 ends with an epilogue telling patrons that the sequel Henry V would come soon, and specifically says that Falstaff's in it. Guess who isn't in it. Or at least doesn't appear on stage, though he is mentioned in it a lot, thus kind of fulfilling the promise.
  • Due to the state of international copyright law in the 19th century, Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore enjoyed many unauthorized American productions. In an attempt to prevent similar things from happening with their next comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, W. S. Gilbert supplied very little information to the public, not including the fact that it would be about pirates.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Wizards of the Coast has created many "unbreakable" policies for Magic: The Gathering, most of which have been eventually tossed by the wayside. The most recent one to go was "All Magic cards will have the same card back;" this was thrown out for the "Innistrad" block.
    • A notable aversion is the Reserve List, a list of over a hundred cards (all of them first printed in 1998 and earlier) that Wizards has explicitly stated that they will never reprint directly or functionally (meaning a mechanically identical card with a different name) as a nod to those who purchase cards as collector's items. Most of the cards would never be reprinted anyway because they're either a Game-Breaker, or so bad they'd be completely useless because they were developed before creators even understood the game, or use long-discarded mechanics, mainly Ante (where the loser permanently gives a random card of his deck to the winner). Some of the cards, however, are eminently reprintable (Citanul Druid, for example), leading many players to wonder just how long the Reserve List will remain intact, and causing much speculation about whether there's any reason for it in addition to keeping their word.
      • According to Maro, the Reserve List is legally binding, so it's not likely to go anywhere soon. The designers dislike the Reserve List, but don't have the power to get it overturned without opening WotC to lawsuits.
  • While the creators of Sentinels of the Multiverse frequently claim to be liars, they're more referring to the fact that the story they create is fictional rather than actual lying. That's not to say they haven't lied, such as the time they lied about Grand Warlord Voss dying permanently ( At least, the first time. We're pretty sure he's actually dead for realsies now.).

  • Hasbro employees sometimes justify scrapping certain previously-revealed Marvel Legends figures, such as Phoenix Force Cyclops from AvX, by saying that they don't like to depict costumes or identities that are no longer being used in the comics. They then released a figure of Eddie Brock as Anti-Venom, despite the fact that the Anti-Venom symbiote was destroyed during Spider-Island and that Brock currently goes by the name of Toxin in the comics.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In 2009, Todd Howard (who has become personally infamous for this sort of behavior) stated that there were no plans for a new game in the series. After fan outrage, a statement from Bethesda Game Studios stated that "of course there will be another Elder Scrolls game." This was meant to be taken that the series simply wasn't dead. In mid-2010 Howard stated that they were working on a game that was pretty far along in development. Months later a source stated that a new Elder Scrolls game was currently in the voice recording stage. Not long after, Skyrim was confirmed. Later interviews and Howards Keynote at DICE 2012 confirmed that the game had been in the works since 2007, making Howard's original statement a flat out lie.
    • In fact, Bethesda had TWO Elder Scrolls games in development since 2007. While Howard's team worked exclusively on Skyrim, they were also consulting on Zenimax Online Studio's The Elder Scrolls Online.
  • When an IGN editor correctly speculated that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess would involve Link turning into a wolf, Nintendo denied it with "wanna bet?" to cover up any surprises. The IGN editor won the bet.
    • The Nintendo 64 game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was designed to have things added to it by a disk for the N64DD add-on to the system, codenamed Ura Zelda. This was never released in the end. Years later a special edition of Ocarina of Time was made, called Master Quest, which had the insides of dungeons altered and was otherwise the same. In an odd example of the trope, Nintendo said that this is what Ura Zelda was supposed to be but many fans don't believe it, claiming that Ura was said to change more than this. Conversely, Nintendo might have simply lied about how big the changes for Ura Zelda were going to be. So the assumption is that Nintendo lied...but fans are unsure how they lied.
    • After the Nintendo Switch, then only known by the codename NX, was announced, Nintendo said that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would be a Wii U exclusive rather than a dual Wii U/NX release, only to go back on this later.
    • On a non-Zelda note, Nintendo and Nvidia claimed that the Nintendo Switch will contain a Nvidia Tegra X1 SoC that has been customized to their exact needs. When Tech Insider got their hands on a sample of the CPU and proceeded to analyze the silicon, they found it to be a stock X1 with no modifications whatsoever. On the other hand, it does have one customization - Nintendo's otherwise-meaningless custom part number silkscreened on the package.
  • For about three weeks before E3 2010, David Jaffe said point blank numerous times he wasn't making a new Twisted Metal game, and that it was foolish to think that, and that he wouldn't even be at E3. He said he did it cause otherwise there'd be no surprise to it.
  • About two weeks before he was announced for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a representative of Sega said that Sonic appearing in the series "wasn't in the cards."
    • For the most part though, this was surprisingly averted by Masahiro Sakurai. It's certainly a Crowning Moment of Awesome to have millions of people visit your site weekly, raising an unprecedented fever pitch of anticipation for your game, by doing nothing more than regularly updating a site with simple, accurate information.
  • Listen to Peter Molyneux hype up his games, and you will be privy to a magical world where you can do anything, and be anyone, and it will revolutionize the industry. Play a Peter Molyneux game, and you will play a simply above average game if that. It's questionable whether this is because Peter Molyneux lies to stir up interest, or because his visions of games are too complex and too expensive to be feasible. He admitted to talking too much to the press about his grand ideas during production, and then having the game not live up to them, in an interview for Project Whateveritis, but has also admitted to making shit up to get the attention of the press.
    • It's been confirmed that he talks about ideas that are thrown around in development before it is determined whether or not they are feasible by other people working on his projects. It's an issue of him being overly transparent rather than misleading. Molyneux talks about gameplay mechanics at points in development that often occur before many developers would have even announced the game.
  • Hideo Kojima has made several contradictory statements regarding whether Metal Gear Solid 4 will be the end to the series, possibly just to keep fans guessing.
    • Granted, it's not so much "keeping the fans guessing" as it is "wanting to end the series, but constantly being roped in for another go." Kojima's been at it since MGS2. He's also gone on record saying that he receives death threats every time he announces that he's ending the Metal Gear series, and no one really knows if that's true.
    • Kojima has stated that the only reason that MGSV doesn't have a Wii U version because there's nothing he can do with the GamePad, only to announce a few weeks later that the PS4 version will have remote play capability with the Vita and the Xbox One will have Smartglass capabilities. Perhaps he's trying to be polite and trying to avoid calling Nintendo's choice of hardware "underpowered", given that he's a fan of many of Nintendo's franchises and is also good friends with Nintendo icon Masahiro Sakurai.
  • Aruze, the publisher of the Shadow Hearts games, leaked in a preview for sequel Shadow Hearts: Covenant that the story would revolve around Nicholai and Karin. Early screenshots of the gameplay (showing the sequence in Apoina Tower at the start) and press pictures seemed to confirm this. This was a smokescreen to hide Nicholai's true "evil" status and, more importantly, the return of beloved main character Yuri from Shadow Hearts.
  • Many Left 4 Dead fans who were upset by Valve announcing the sequel believed that the creators were simply lying and playing a big joke on the fan base. They also claimed that Valve promised extra content for the first game, then lied about it when shown that most of said content would be in the sequel instead. Of course this is Valve, The Kings of Video Game Trolls.
  • The mysterious Pyro from Team Fortress 2. Promotional art calls them both "he" and "she", sometimes in the same sentence ("Meet the Pyro"), and many times the official wiki is edited by moderators just to change up what gender they're going with this time. This would be Flip-Flop of God if it weren't so deviously intentional.
  • Takanobu Terada, producer of the Super Robot Wars series is very much known for this - this big first lie starting with Super Robot Wars Original Generations, where he claimed they had shown all the new characters and units. Wrong. Original Generation Gaiden: The list of series is complete as listed. Wrong. Super Robot Wars Z: There is only one secret. Biggest lie ever, as Z had not only a lot of them, but they were very nefariously hidden.
    • With Another Century's Episode R, he said because they were focusing on the "core elements" of each series, they would have one to three playable machines tops. The nigh-instantaneous fan backlash prompted him to reveal that Mid-Season Upgrades and Mecha Expansion Packs qualify as one unit, classed under the metaphorical header of the base machine. While some series (mostly the more popular ones like Code Geass and Macross Frontier) do have more than three machines apiece, they're typically limited to three or four characters, meaning that most of the secrets are expansion packs, upgrades, or even downgrades (as witness Code Geass with a grand total of ten machines, half of which are Lancelot variations pilots by Suzaku or C.C
  • Days before anyone even heard of World of Warcraft, Blizzard had a big game reveal announcement coming up. This of course precipitated a mass frenzy of guessing as to what it would be. Blizzard encouraged the guessing with a no-prize contest. Blizzard had previously said that it would not be from an existing IP. They lied. A person on the forums correctly guessed it would be a Warcraft MMO. His message was deleted seconds later, and the forums locked in order to keep the reveal a big surprise. After the reveal, Blizzard claimed no one correctly guessed the game, and named the one poster who came closest.
    • During the early days of the Battle for Azeroth expansion of World of Warcraft, many players pointed out the simularities between Sylvanas Windrunner and Garrosh Hellscream. Blizzard assured players that Sylvanas would have a different story than Garrosh did but come the end of the war campaign, her storyline is almost identical to Garrosh's*.
    • When asked about the presence of Old Gods during a Q&A leading up to release, Ion said that Battle for Azeroth was about the faction war and that there were no Old Gods in BfA. Out of the five raids in BFA (Uldir,Crucible of Storms, Battle for Dazar'alor, Eternal Palace and Ny'alotha), only ONE (Battle for Dazar'alor) does not feature Old Gods in some form or another, and the final boss of the expansion is N'Zoth. In fact, patch 8.3 is almost entirely focused on combating N'Zoth and thwarting his visions of a corrupted and twisted Azeroth.
      • The "Faction War" also went off the rails to being about the Alliance and the Horde uniting against another corrupt Warchief as early as the first major content patch.
    • During the PTR testing of 9.0 Update, Ion said that prepatch Stat and level squish would not decrease character power solo(not counting corruption) and players could otherwise still solo what was doable at 120 just fine.However, on the actual patch release, this was notthe caseat all ,and this claim quickly grew infamous due to its inaccuracy.
  • Steve Lycett of Sumo Digital said that he'd "not hold too much stock in" leaked evidence pointing towards a guest appearance from Banjo and Kazooie in the Xbox 360 version of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Then he let Sega go ahead and officially announce the bear and bird a few weeks later.
  • Tetsuya Nomura is often accused of this, but it's typically a Word of Dante situation, where the supposed information comes secondhand, misinterpreted, or made up altogether. More often, he takes a lighter approach to this trope, simply disregarding or invalidating the question, to the point where "It doesn't matter" has basically become code for "Yes, but I can't tell you that yet." In regards to Kingdom Hearts, this ranges from minor things, like whether Roxas ever met the real Twilight Town gang, to future major plot points, like whether the "Lingering Sentiment" from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ is really Terra from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • A character in Suda51's No More Heroes, which lacks a fourth wall, states to the player that "there won't be a sequel" at the end. Then we got No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Rocksteady mentioned that, despite fan demand, they had no plans to include a section where you played as Bruce Wayne in Batman: Arkham City. This was then confirmed by Word of Actor. Guess who you play as during the (vanilla) opening of the game?
    • In addition, Rocksteady denied that Joker's illness was caused by his exposure to the Titan formula in the previous game. It was.
    • While promoting Batman: Arkham Origins, WB Montreal kept hyping up having Black Mask as the Big Bad, since he was so little seen outside of the comics and insisting that the Joker, while present, would be a more minor villain with his own agenda. One third though the game it's revealed that Joker was impersonating Black Mask all along and thus he is the real Big Bad of the game.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight:
      • When promoting the game, it was said that the titular Arkham Knight was an original character created by Geoff Johns specifically for the game. This is not true, as his identity is that of Jason Todd, a longtime Batman character that was actually the first choice that fans came up with in regards to he was. While there's some slight changes to his motivations and backstory, he's essentially the same character.
      • Inverted in a case of real life Cassandra Truth, Rocksteady didn't lie about the Joker remaining dead. Granted, he's a Spirit Advisor who still pulls a Hijacked by Ganon, but the Joker is physically dead and cremated in the canon of the games.
  • Throughout the promoting of WWE12, the game's developers, Cory Ledesma, Marcus Stephenson, and "Tank" all said that a multitude of legends, such as "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Batista, and most importantly Brock Lesnar would not be in the game. However, thanks to people on message boards, it was discovered that all three of these people and more would be in the game, however the developers kept denying that they were, even with the evidence out in the public. The surprise announcement of a remake of the arcade game WrestleFest was also leaked, and they also deny that it exists. Someday, they'll tell the truth. Just don't hold your breath. Chris Jericho's name has also been found in the game's code, and just like with Lesnar, Batista and Savage before him, the developers deny that he'll be DLC for the game.
  • Ubisoft has lied at least once about the presence of their terrible online-only DRM in their games. For example: From Dust (developed by Ubisoft) stated that DRM would not be present in the game, and, surprise surprise, come launch day, From Dust installed with Ubisoft's DRM.
  • On March 8th, 2013, Square Enix declared that they would no longer make any "social games," instead focusing on more hardcore titles. On April 26, 2013, less than two months later, they announced a social game based off Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • Ever since PAYDAY 2 was announced back in March of 2013, everyone demanded that Overkill Software release beta keys for the game. People who got into the game's Secret group also expected a beta due to one of the masks having the beta symbol and the number two next to it. Eventually, Overkill did respond and said they had no plans for a beta release. Towards the end of May 2013, Overkill started to allow people to pre order the game and one of the bonuses included was beta passes.
  • The lead developers of Mass Effect 3 made many promises that were broken in the actual game.
    • The Rachni, an alien race the player can save or doom to extinction, were said by lead writer Mac Walters to have a huge impact on the game's "final battle with the Reapers". You only see them once in the entire game and nowhere near the final battle. As a nod to this, the Priority Earth Overhaul Mod adds a level event where the Rachni aid Shepard in No Man's Land if they were spared in both the first game and the "Attican Traverse: Krogan Team" mission in 3.
    • It was said that it would be possible for completionist players to get a "Golden Ending", and that said ending would not require any hours to be put into multiplayer. There is no Golden Ending in the actual game, and the closest you can get is a 15-second Stinger that consists of someone in damaged N7 armor, implied to be Shepard, taking a breath.
      • Concerning not having to play multiplayer, the game determines your Effective Military Strength (which determines what endings are available and how hopeful they are) by multiplying your war assets by a percentage. The base percentage is 50%, and is increased by playing multiplayer. The most war assets that can be obtained through the base game is 7700, so the most EMS a player who exclusively plays single-player is 3850, and the stinger requires 5000 EMS. That means it is impossible to get "the best ending" through single-player without modifying your save files. The percentage also drops a few points each day, so anyone who stops playing multiplayer for a few weeks will have to play a few hours to bring it back up. One match takes an average of 20 minutes and will increase the percentage by 3-4%.
    • Casey Hudson stated that the endings would "have a lot more sophistication and variety in them", would not be about using a "long lost Reaper off-button", and not be like simple A, B, or C endings. The fans have agreed with them on the latter statement. Instead, they refer to the endings as either red, green, or blue. An ending comparison can be seen here.
    • The most egregious lie was that the endings would provide closure, that they would be "triumphant and uplifting", and that BioWare was not going to "Pull a Lost." For reference, Mass Effect 3 is currently indexed on, among other pages, the Gainax Ending, Esoteric Happy Ending, Audience-Alienating Ending, Inferred Holocaust, Pyrrhic Victory, Downer Ending, and Ambiguous Situation pages.
    • The Extended Cut DLC has improved some things. It lowered the EMS requirement to 3100, meaning you need a minimum of 6200 war assets to get them without playing multiplayer. All the endings have also been fleshed out with additional dialogue and scenes, the cinematics have been changed to imply less of a Pyrrhic Victory the Citadel is left intact and only the rings of the mass relays are blown apart, as opposed to the previous cinematics where the entire relays and Citadel are destroyed, and some plot holes (e.g. your disappearing teammates) have been filled. The DLC also adds a The Bad Guy Wins ending, which BioWare claimed would be in the game in pre-release statements.
  • When backlash occurred from the always-online DRM in the 2013 version of SimCity, EA attempted to calm the flames by saying it was an absolute requirement in order for the game to function, since there were supposedly calculations done on the server side so there wouldn't be too much load on the computers. Hackers quickly discovered this was completely false (the servers function just like any other online multiplayer game) and proved an offline mode was entirely possible with almost no effort. On a side note, there were also claims that the AI would be very sophisticated, with traffic being fine-tuned to find the best paths and every Sim having its own AI. This was also false; the traffic often got very congested because it prioritized short paths over everything else, regardless if the road was clogged or the shorter road was a dirt one instead of a freeway. Sims also would take the path to the nearest home instead of being assigned to one, so if you had one isolated home closer to industries than an entire neighborhood, the Sims would all travel to the one home. This has since been fixed some, but these two reasons are why nobody sides with EA when they claim the online aspect is not DRM.
  • Dennation Games has stated that Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will be the last game in the series, but The Stinger carries a Sequel Hook in the form of a "Hotline Miami 3" title screen (complete with the remnants of the thoroughly-nuked Miami skyline in the background). It's not yet clear which of these is the lie, though, since the stinger could very easily be pure trolling.
  • No Man's Sky was found to be missing a considerable number of promised features upon release, including, but not limited to: multiplayer interactions, an extensive trading and faction system, ships that have different features and specializations, siding with specific factions being key to progress and important to develop for certain playstyles, customization of player appearance, landing on asteroids, a persistent gameworld economy, giant fauna, planetary physics and realistic orbits and being able to simply fly and eventually reach a new system. Fortunately, various major free updates would later add in a majority of the missing content, making the game more or less what had in fact been advertised to be. It later came out long after launch that this was enforced by Sony as publisher: when Sony made the exclusivity deal of No Man's Sky with Hello Games, one stipulation was that nobody in the development team could say anything that could potentially hinder the sales of the game, which collided with Sony making increasingly lofty promises while Hello Games was struggling to keep up with the scope and deadlines. There are many pre-release interviews featuring creator/Hello Games founder Sean Murray, where his words appear to have been carefully chosen to explain that certain features were possibilities, not set-in-stone promises (ex. "At the moment, you can land on asteroids."), and there was nothing to be done to prevent them from being reported as the latter without facing Sony's wrath.
  • Wargaming, the company behind World of Warships, long said they would not add submarines to warships because of the difficulty of balancing them, the fact that their historical role was already filled by destroyers in the game, the difficulty of adding underwater modeling to the existing maps, and the fact that the game engine simply couldn't handle it. Then for the October 2018 Halloween event they added a mode with submarines proving fan speculation that the last one was an outright fabrication. For its part Wargaming admitted they lied about the last one because they didn't think fans would appreciate the difficulties the other challenges posed. '
  • Pokémon:
    • Sometime after Mega Evolution was revealed to be a feature in Pokémon X and Y, Word of God said that no sixth generation Pokémon would get Megas. Come Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and Diancie, a sixth generation Pokémon, was revealed to have a Mega. However, this could be a case of Exact Words, as Diancie hadn't been officially revealed at the time of X and Y and its Mega didn't debut until Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
    • Game Freak said that the models for returning Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield were made from the ground up. This was quickly disproven by fans, who revealed they are recycled from previous games.
  • Ed Boon and Netherrealm Studios had many statements regarding Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11 that turned out to be misdirection or outright lies. The latter had one that also entered Trolling Creator, as he frequently said Mileena wouldn't be added to the game before she appeared as downloadable character, later explaining the studio always planned for Mileena's eventual inclusion even if she wasn't in the core game, but given the huge outcry requesting for her following MK11's release, Boon felt the announcement would get some value if it was preceded with some teasing that she wouldn't return.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 got hit with a mess of this even before the game came out, with CD Projekt Red getting getting caught in multiple lies regarding worker treatment and damage control following the game's infamously rocky launch.
  • Greg Pabich claimed that the new version of Cheetahmen 2 he was releasing would remove all the bugs. It did not. It inserted new ones. The only fix was that you could now play all the levels.
  • Before the proper reveal of Battlefield 2042, several Electronic Arts spokesmen reassured Battlefield fans in February 2021 that development on the then-unnamed sixth mainline entry was "ahead of [their] internal milestones," way more than previous development cycles. These claims drew traces of suspicion when developing studio DICE announced a month later they began receiving assistance from other studios, including Criterion Games and EA Gothenburg, and doubts escalated massively once 2042 was released in November of that year in an infamously shoddy state that was not only technically unstable, but missing several key features, from the class-system to in-game scoreboards. As later comments from current and former developers would reveal, 2042 had experienced a major Troubled Production cycle where the game shifted back and forth in genres in large part due to memos from EA, during which they faced several technical challenges wrangling EA's proprietary Frostbite engine, necessitating outside help. The core ideas of the game weren't properly decided until August 2020, leaving DICE only a year and few months of committed development time, with several developers calling out the "way ahead of schedule" claims a giant PR-friendly lie.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • During production of Suburban Knights, it was hotly debated among fans whether the special would feature the return of That Dude in the Suede, the site's first outside hire who had left for two years on a mission for his church. Both Suede and the Channel Awesome staff made statements that they remained on good terms, but Suede had decided not to return to the site after he returned home and preferred to focus on some new online projects. Then a certain mask comes off...
  • The Spoony Experiment: The Spoony One denied that there was ever going to be a Spooning with Spoony 2 mere hours after it had already been shot.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall:
  • The Irate Gamer uses a lot of cheap production tricks to make it seem as if a game is more horrible than it really is (slowing down footage in a review of Super Mario Bros. 2, for one).
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • Doug Walker never said the Critic would continue after To Boldly Flee, always coyly side-stepping the issue, but he and everyone else did lie when they said the huge number of crossovers was just so he could work on the movie easier. In reality it was Critic saying goodbye to everyone before he died.
    • A less dramatic example was him putting Care Bears Nutracker Suite on a list of movies and shows he would never do a Nostalgia Critic review of, in this case stating that he just felt sick of having already reviewed three previous Care Bears movies. He eventually did review it post-revival.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have been known to do this on occasion. Prior to season three they said that they had plans for Zuko to search for his mother and also for Aang's old friend Kuzon to play an important role in an episode. Neither of these things happened during the season.
    • They also have a bad habit of claiming that they had things planned from the beginning when questioned about certain elements. One example being Fire Lord Sozin and Roku being friends and the same age despite a few early episodes (and even implying that Sozin was much younger.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
    • A promo includes, among other things, model sheets for a version of the Ultimate Marvel Captain America. Chris Yost and Josh Fine comment on these designs as if Captain America changes his costume in season two. Actually, the model sheets depict a Skrull disguised as Captain America, and the real Cap continues to wear his original costume throughout the series.
    • Jeph Loeb promised that his run on Earth's Mightiest Heroes would bring forth a larger number of episodes focusing on Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Hulk, who had each starred in at least one live-action movie by the time the cartoon reached its second season. Among the 12 episodes Loeb executive-produced, Hulk only appears in two.
  • Ben 10:
    • Ben 10: Alien Force: Someone asked Dwayne McDuffie if the null void projector explosion just sent Granpda Max into the Null Void, and he answered "Sorry, he blew up". Near the end of the first season, we find out that Max really did just get sent into the Null Void. This is definitely one of those cases where anything but an outright lie would have given it away.
    • Ben 10: Omniverse continued this:
      • Derrick J. Wyatt got mistaken for this due to "Store 23" featuring present Feedback, despite him stating several times he wasn't in the new Omnitrix. It was actually a diffusion error: that episode was supposed to take place after "Showdown Part 1" and "Part 2" where Ben would reacquire Feedback.
      • He also states that Zombozo was no longer a Joker Expy. When Zombozo shows up in "Special Delivery", he still uses the same Joker-esque gadgets from Ultimate Alien rather than his more supernatural powers from the Original Series. To be fair, his personality is less like the Joker now, although it's also not the same personality he had in the Original Series.
      • Way Big's ability to shoot cosmic rays was stated to be caused by an Ultimatrix glitch that wasn't present in the current Omnitrix. Yet he still uses it against Malware in the arc 2 finale and has a Beam-O-War with a Waybad in the arc 3 finale.
      • Derrick said Steve Blum wasn't reprising any previous roles. In "Vilgax Must Croak" he plays Vilgax and in "Mystery, Incorporeal" he's also back as Ghostfreak and in the "Galatic Monsters" arc, he's back as Ghostfreak's source, Zs'Skayr.
      • Albedo was stated by Derrick to no longer possess the innate, at-will transformation ability gained in Ultimate Alien, instead relying on an Omnitrix again. In the show however, Albedo explains that he does still have it, and that his Omnitrix-looking device is merely a stabilizer to help him maintain his transformations longer.
      • "Ben 10,00 Returns" is stated to no longer be in continuity. However, while that version of Ben 10,000 is no longer treated as Ben's true future, everything else about the episode is adhered to (The Multiverse and Eon's true nature as an alternate Ben, introduced in that episode, come back in big ways in Omniverse.)
      • While Chromastone's flight ability and Primus's existence are said to have been retconned, Chromastone's one appearance thus far was indoors and nothing has happened with the Omnitrix that would be impossible in light of Primus's existence, though a lot of fans have wondered if we'll ever see Eunice again. It's not a contradiction because we've not seen either way, but basically... by this point it's clear that Wyatt didn't write a show that would make absolutely no sense at all if you missed a single Formspring post of his and were foolish enough to take past episodes into account or something, which is what we feared would be the case.
  • An episode of Bob's Burgers has an in-universe case of this regarding a dinner theatre play Linda decides to put on in the restaurant, where she says at the beginning that her character is not the killer. However, at the end of the play, Linda reveals that the killer was her character, pissing off the audience since that means she lied at the start of the play (she considers the lie to be a twist).
  • Prior to the show's premiere, previous "official" information about Dragon Booster portrayed Connor Penn (the father of Artha, the main character) and Mortis as two separate people. However, the second season finale contradicted that by portraying "Mortis" as merely being a "secret identity".
  • The Fairly OddParents!
    • A synopsis for A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! stated something along the lines of Tootie saying if she had a boy he would be named Tommy, referencing the Distant Finale ending of Channel Chasers. Grow Up Timmy Turner! ends up retconning the ending to Channel Chasers entirely by Timmy allowing to keep his fairies for life, with the later two live action installments further solidifying its fate.
    • When Season 9 was coming, Butch Hartman said he wanted to explore Timmy's relationship with Trixie in that season. Trixie ended up becoming a victim of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in that season, only occasionally appearing in group shots, although this may have been due to her VA having retired and Butch deciding not to recast her.
  • Final Space: Olan Rogers stated in a Final Thoughts video that Avocato was Killed Off for Real at the ending of Chapter 6 and would not be returning to the show in any way. However, the episode “The Remembered” reveals that the Crimson Light went back in time and saved Avocato just when he was blown into space and treated his injuries, leaving him with severe memory loss.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Danny Antonnuci said in an interview that "[we] will get to see what's behind Double Dee's hat when [they] get to do the feature!" In the movie, Edd's head is blocked by various objects the entire time his hat is off. Antonucci later explained that he backtracked because he realized that it wouldn't live up to fan expectations. One of the licensed games does show him hatless on-screen, though.
  • The producers of Justice League knew that any information they included in the Universe Bible was liable to be used in any marketing and tie-in materials. So to preserve the big surprise of the Season 2 finale, Rich Fogel wrote up a false Back Story for Hawkgirl to be used in their bible.
  • Kevin Smith constantly denied rumors that Masters of the Universe: Revelation would actually be about Teela instead of series protagonist He-Man/Prince Adam.note  The first episode ends with Adam sacrificing himself to prevent the destruction of the universe. From there, Teela serves as the lead character, with the following four episodes revolving around Adam's “death”, which has caused magic to slowly dissipate in Eternia, as well as Teela's own feelings about being Locked Out of the Loop.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • Originally, the reason given for the reason Bulkhead was used in Transformers: Prime was because they were originally going to use Ironhide, but the version they were doing was so similar to Bulkhead from Transformers: Animated that they opted just to do Bulkhead instead. On the Season 1 DVD set, it was revealed that Ironhide's death in Transformers: Dark of the Moon was the reason, saying they didn't want to confuse viewers and suggesting the reason given earlier was a lie to prevent spoilers.
  • Young Justice:
    • Voice actor Jesse McCartney claimed that his character, Dick Grayson, wouldn't have a Love Interest. However, halfway through season one it became apparent that he has a crush on Zatanna, while Word of God (Greg Weisman, the co-creator) has hinted that there might be something between him and Barbara Gordon too. (To be fair, maybe McCartney meant he wouldn't officially hook up with anyone, which he hasn't.)
    • As season 2 approached, fans asked whether there would be a Time Skip. Weisman's Exact Words were that "season 2 would start exactly where season one left off." In the end, you get one short scene set directly after the finale, and then a time skip.

  • Descartes pondered if it was possible that we live in a universe with a deceptive god pumping images into our brain. It's what caused him to be an all-doubting idealist, leading him to say the famous line "Cogito ergo sum" (I think therefore I am), it being the one thing a person in such a situation would know is true. The Matrix is based largely on his writings. He even left some wiggle room on that seemingly ironclad detail: on the off chance that he does not exist, then that means he cannot exist in the capacity of being wrong.
  • James "The Amazing" Randi blurred the lines between Lying Creator, Trolling Creator, and Con Man when he conspired to present his friend Jose Alvarez as the channeler "Carlos" to the world, as detailed in the documentary An Honest Liar. By way of a completely fabricated press package, Carlos became an overnight sensation in Australian media, with numerous television and live appearances. The truth of the hoax was revealed on 60 Minutes a week later. He did it again with "Project Alpha", coaching a pair of "telekinetics" to deceive serious researchers—who were supposed to be observing Randi's own completely legitimate experimental protocols. Randi, throughout his career as a stage magician and mentalist, tended to explicitly call himself a liar, before he gained a reputation for vigorously debunking any "psychics" (such as Uri Geller) who refused to admit the same.