You find out something about yourself, or a loved one, and you can't bear to tell him/her the truth, feeling it would shatter that person's innocence and sanity. So you tell a little white lie to make the blow less powerful and all is well.
- Danganronpa 3's Deadly Game is set up in such a way that Kirigiri's survival is contingent on murdering her best friend (or otherwise letting him die) within a given time limit, or ending the game before then. Even when the latter appears impossible, being a heroic sort of person, she keeps this fact from him until death.
- Joe Dirt has Brandy telling Joe that his parents died at the Grand Canyon when he was a kid. However, his parents contact him and turn out to be alive and they reveal that they left him behind on purpose. He finally breaks and as he's on the verge of suicide, Brandy comes in and tells him the truth: that she managed to find his parents, then lied when she found out how horrible they were.
- In Mr. Holmes, Masada Umezaki's Anglophile father claimed that Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You and used a meeting with Holmes as an excuse. After WWII, Umezaki dupes the elderly Holmes into visiting Japan to demand the truth, and Holmes bluntly informs him that he'd never met Mr. Umezaki, and it must have been a cover for simply abandoning his family. Later, after Umezaki's mother dies and some realizations on Holmes' part, Holmes sends a letter claiming that he does remember Mr. Umezaki and that he did sterling service as a British agent. It's a fiction, but one that will help Umezaki.
- Given a different twist in the original novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind. Again, Holmes has no memory of meeting Mr. Umezaki. However, he also realizes that he must have done so and that he has burned the volume of Watson's diaries that contains the record of this encounter, probably because that volume included politically sensitive information.
- On Blue Bloods, Frank identifies a newly-promoted officer's father as a cop-killer Henry'd been obsessed with catching for forty years, but lacks the evidence to convict. Reluctantly, he asks the man's son to wear a wire and get his father to confess the truth. The son gets the proof the prosecutor needs; arrested, the cop-killer asks Frank if he'd ordered his son to record him, and Frank falsely claims he had done so to ensure their relationship won't be damaged as badly.
- The chorus of The Beatles' "Tell Me Why."
Tell me why you cried,
And why you lied to me.
- In Final Fantasy XIII, Fang and Vanille mutually take on the burden of becoming Ragnarok, which will kill a lot of people. Then Fang gets amnesia and Vanille decides not to tell her about their Focus (or what Fang did to achieve it), because then only Vanille will be punished for not fulfilling it. Unfortunately, soon after, Fang's memories come back.
Vanille: It wasn't fair! You had to do all the horrible stuff- and I didn't have to do anything-
Fang: That is no reason to lie to me! You think that's what I want?! You, of all people-
- Around the halfway point of Mass Effect: Andromeda the doctor watching over your character's sibling during his/her coma tells you that an AI found a way for you to communicate with each other via a mental link. Your options are:
- Lying about Alec's death will create a What the Hell, Hero? moment when they finally wake up.
- Lying about Habitat 7 results in the twin calling you out later, but they have already come in terms with it whem you meet.
- However, telling the truth about both will instantly severe the connection and cause their vitals to take a slight drop.
- In Blood Stain, Elliot rushes to take a flight to God-knows-where for a professor's lab assistant position, ditching her boyfriend's date and causing her older sister to become alarmed that she's missing. She can't exactly say that she's living in the same house as her boss. All of them thought there would be student dorms, so Elliot fabricates that as a lie to make the explanation easier. She can't state that the sudden rush was due to Dr. Stein's carelessness, so she claims that the position has tight deadlines. The gist of what actually happened is there, but the details have been smoothed out.
- In the King of the Hill episode "Life: A Loser's Manual", it's revealed that Hank and Peggy lied to Luanne about her father working on an oil rig so they can spare her feelings. Really, he has a nasty drug addiction and was in jail all this time.
- In the Futurama episode "Leela's Homeworld", it's revealed that Leela is a sewer mutant whose parents abandoned her on the surface so that she could pass as an alien and be spared the shame of being a mutant.