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Seamless Spontaneous Lie

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A character(s) has to come up with a lie or alibi, and it must be believable. What some people would do is come up with a broad yet believable story, and just hope that the interrogator doesn't Pull the Thread.

Not here! The liar here is simply so talented, that in the span of seconds, they can mentally Pull the Thread of their own lie, examine the fabric of their fabrication, and sew it back together. Or lucky enough that the words that come out of their mouth just happen to be as smooth as silk, and as impenetrable as a high thread count.

As such, the Seamless Spontaneous Lie is when someone is prompted to lie and instantly comes up with a lie so incredibly detailed that there's little left to break or counter. The liar has lied so thoroughly that the interrogator could only reveal their lie if any of the following (or combination thereof) happens:

  • They, often rightfully, assume that the liar must be lying.
  • Some outside detail, usually the most minor one possible, pokes a hole in the lie.
  • The liar comes clean.

For a greater challenge, several characters come up with the same lie or alibi and present it in a way that is dependent on each other for specific facts or confirmation but cannot coordinate it explicitly with each other. The lie is said and believed anyway, due to the confirmation of the high number of facts. This lie could either be done with all liars in person or separated. The key is that they cannot actually coordinate it with each other, because then it wouldn't be spontaneous. Also, Rule of Funny or a strong relationship and understanding of each other keeps the lie coordinated.

Compare Blatant Lies and Snowball Lie, and Strange Minds Think Alike. Contrast Pull the Thread (or Stereo Fibbing for the plural version) and Hesitation Equals Dishonesty.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Azumanga Daioh: When Mayaa (a very rare Iriomote cat) collapses exhausted in front of Chiyo and Sakaki, they take him to the vet. When he asks what kind it is, Sakaki instantly says (to Chiyo's shock) it's a mixed breed since Iriomotes are endangered and no one would buy that Mayaa (the only cat that doesn't attack Sakaki on sight) followed her home.
  • The iDOLM@STER: The Producer (helped by Haruka) to Makoto when she's having a fit for being recognized as a Prince instead of a Princess.
  • Kanade Suzutsuki from Mayo Chiki! is a master of this trope.
    • When Kureha, the sister of main character Jiro, asks about Kanade's butler Subaru being a guy or girl (because she had seen a "cross-dressing" Subaru with Jiro in the previous episode), she tells Kureha that Subaru is in fact a boy and that she's dating Jiro, much to his surprise. Kureha immediately falls for both lies.
    • Later, in episode 7, while Subaru is on the beach in a bikini, Kureha runs into her and initially thinks it's Subaru (which she is). Kanade immediately points out that it's obviously a girl, and that said girl is Subaru's "cousin", Punyuru. Kureha once again falls for the lie.
    • At the end of episode 7, Nagare, Subaru's father and the butler for Kanade's dad, shows up at the beach to bring them home. At first both girls are a bit scared by his presence, but then immediately start questioning each other if they know who that guy is. Despite his pleas, both girls make it seem like he's really just a perverted stalker, and everyone immediately buys it. Cue Nagare looking confused as to why his daughter is doing this (mostly to keep him from blowing her cover since she can't be a butler if anyone finds out she's not really a guy).
    • Kanade's lies are a little less effective on Usami however. When she tries to tell Usami about running away with Jiro to marry him on the beach, Usami sees right through it. Luckily Subaru approaches and overhears something which causes her to run away, prompting Jiro to chase after her. Usami tries to follow but Kanade stops her and asks where she's spending the night at.
  • In Red River (1995), Yuri, Kail, and their True Companions are generally good at coming up with cover stories on the fly, usually to explain what they're doing poking around in various city-states when they're preparing for some conquest.
  • Spy X Family: This comes naturally to Twilight, as a skilled secret agent, though he did mix up his stories when he showed up as Yor's date when she was introducing him, having just come off a gruelling side mission — they'd agreed he would pretend to be her boyfriend, but he accidentally said he was her husband, and they decided to just roll with it, and actually get fake married for real out of convenience. Later that night, when they're attacked by survivors from his earlier mission, his excuse is that he's a psychiatrist and they're his clients, and his knocking them senseless is him using the latest innovation, concussive therapy. Yor buys it. He then actually works as a psychiatrist in a hospital for his cover story, continuing to do so months later (though the Handler could have come up with that backstory beforehand).
  • Sword Art Online: During the "Sister's Prayer" short story, Yuuki tells her new friend Merida that she's actually not using an AmuSphere for VR gaming, almost letting slip that she's using a prototype palliative care device called the Medicuboid. The problem is that the only other commonly-known option is the NerveGear - which has been phased out in favour of the AmuSphere specifically because of the SAO incident revealing that a NerveGear can kill the user with the waves it uses for full-dive. Thankfully, her older twin sister Aiko (aka Ran) steps in and claims that the two of them are using modified NerveGear devices, which don't have the ability to release deadly radio waves.
  • Episode 25a of Tamagotchi is an April Fool's Day episode where Mametchi and his friends all come up with lies as April Fool's jokes. When Memetchi contrives a joke about having to move far away to be with her grandma, she presents it so seriously that the others believe it to the exact letter and, to Memetchi's horror, spend some effort in setting up a farewell party for her. It's finding out that even her own family believe she's moving that finally persuades her to admit the whole thing was a prank.
  • Yuri is My Job!: In a flashback to Hime and Kanoko's middle school days, Kanoko gets assigned the task of making a signboard for a video celebrating their teacher getting married. Kanoko snaps and destroys the signboard in a fit of rage, with Hime catching her in the act. When the other girls find the broken signboard the next day, Kanoko confesses, but Hime lies and says Kanoko was with her all day, and claims that Kanoko is Taking the Heat in order to prevent the class from suspecting one another. It works and convinces the other girls to pitch in to finish the signboard in time for the photo shoot.

    Fan Works 
  • Code Prime: Lelouch's cover for Bumblebee? Lelouch bought him using the money he got from gambling. Given the façade he normally puts on, it doesn't take much for everyone else to believe him.
  • In The Darkness Series, when Harry Potter is caught out in another lie, he tells his "friends" that he had no choice but to lie and keep secrets from them because Dumbledore can read their thoughts and is probably controlling them. They all buy it, hook, line, and sinker.
  • A huge feature in Divided Rainbow, although in its case, it's not so much lies as False Memories.
  • Barbara Gordon from Earth-27 is pretty good at this. In the "Bruce Wayne" Voxbox, she covers up the fact that she is monitoring her father by saying that she is using a police scanner app to know what's going on (which strictly speaking is barely a lie).
  • In the Death Note fanfic Fever Dreams, Light comes up with an elaborate one when cornered: he claims he was coerced into working for Kira and then betrayed him and though he conveniently can't go into details, he has now backed Kira into a corner so he can't kill anymore. L finds to his annoyance that he can't disprove it, and the taskforce (though wary upon realizing that Light really is that manipulative) becomes convinced of his innocence, with some even beginning to see Light as a hero.
  • The Judgement of the World (5Ds):
    • Isao Yoshifumi causes Yusei to crash his D-Wheel as part of a plan to kidnap him. Upon learning Yusei had been sending out a tracking alert on his D-Wheel, Isao tells his cronies to drive off with the unconscious Yusei while staying behind himself to send Yusei's friends on a Wild Goose Chase once they come to investigate. When Jack and Crow arrive, Isao tells them that he and his friends witnessed Yusei having an accident and that his friends drove him to the hospital while he stayed behind to make sure nothing happened to Yusei's D-Wheel. Crow then asks why they didn't just contact emergency services and let them handle everything, to which Isao sheepishly claims that he didn't want to risk being caught skipping school to hang out with friends who were from out of town. Jack and Crow buy it and thank Isao before letting him leave.
    • After Jack and Crow decide to embark on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Arcadia Movement, the latter videocalls Martha to tell her to check on his orphans, lying that he has to go out of town for a last-minute job and won't be back for a day or two. Martha buys it but then asks why Jack is riding with Crow and instead of on his own D-Wheel. Jack impulsively blurts out that someone wrecked it (which was true), leading to Martha assuming that Crow and Jack were going to buy the spare parts needed to fix it. Crow goes along with her assumption, stating that they're in a rush because he doesn't want to have to deal with Jack's complaining longer than he has to.
  • In Kazekoshi Buchou Monogatari, a Saki fan doujin about if Hisa had attended Kazekoshi, Hisa walks in on Coach Kubo berating Bundou for being late. Hisa says she was late because of work for the student council (which is presumably true), then apologizes for Bundou, saying she asked Bundou to help her with something for the student council and telling Bundou that she should have told the coach. The coach grudgingly accepts this, and Bundou thanks Hisa, but then it's revealed that Hisa made it up to get Bundou off the hook.
  • A Minor Miscalculation: When Nui attempts to reveal that Isshin is actually Soichiro Kiryuin, he spins a lie about Soichiro co-founding Nudist Beach alongside him, before he was assassinated via a car bombing (which he'd actually survived). What's more, Isshin ties this into the lies he'd already told Ryuko about how she'd ended up as a Life Fiber hybrid — having previously claimed it was due to a lab accident that claimed her mother's life, he now "reveals" it to have been intentional sabotage. Unfortunately for him, Ryuko and Satsuki figure out a few logical inconsistencies and force him to drop the facade.
  • In The Non-Bronyverse Alternate Universe Fic TD's Little Rarity, TD's old roommate Ben hears a voice coming from TD's bedroom, the voice coming from the filly Rarity, whom TD found in a box in his room (this is My Little Dashie we're talking about here). His conclusion? TD's a brony. TD plays along with it to get him out of his hair, and due to him actually having been in Equestria before, it's quite believable (at least until the crystal ponies come into the discussion).
  • Plasma's Folly: Once Ben realizes that Genesect isn't a robot, Dudley immediately spins together a much more reasonable sounding lie, pulling the wool back over Ben's eyes.
  • Scarlet Lady:
    • At the end of "The Collector", Marinette meets with Gabriel to explain how she'd found the Grimoire and returned it to Adrien. Adrien instantly rolls with this, claiming that he had the book the whole time. When Gabriel demands to know why he didn't tell him as much sooner, Adrien asks "Would you have listened?", getting Gabriel to recant.
    • "The Mime" opens with Marinette up on the balcony, having a conversation with her kwami, Pollen. Alya unexpectedly barges up and asks who she was talking to; Marinette immediately points to a nearby pigeon and introduces him as Jacques. Jacques then appears to bow, convincing Alya that she's telling the truth.
  • In The Westerosi's second book, Jade implores Tyrion to do what he can to prepare for the Long Night. After she leaves, his uncle returns, and without missing a beat, he claims Jade's kindness has given her very Loose Lips, and revealed that Renly's Reach army is preparing to besiege the Westerlands. While his uncle objects, seeing that the Lannister army would crush them, Tyrion points out most of their levies are being pushed into the Neck, guided by his father, their most talented general, and the rest of their chivalry is stationed at King's Landing. Realizing that the scenario Tyrion paints is borderline doom, Lord Stafford immediately orders the peasants to start harvesting and planting, and preparing for the possible invasion.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 12 Years a Slave has a scene where Epps confronts Solomon about information he received from Armsby that Solomon hired him to deliver a letter to his family in New York and assist in securing his freedom. Solomon makes up a lie on the spot and convinces Epps that Armsby was the liar, trying to curry favor and get hired as an overseer. Which is completely true, except for the fact that Armsby was telling the truth.
  • In Darkness (2011): When Socha’s daughter accidentally mentions Jews in front of Bortnick, there's a tense pause before he demands more information. She claims that she calls her toys Jews while playing imaginary games, and Bortnick buys it.
  • In Moulin Rouge!, Christian and Satine, caught in flagrante delicto, lie to the Duke that they are rehearsing a play. Within minutes, the rest of the main cast show up (they were spying on our heroes but couldn't hear what was being said) and fall without hesitation into the pretense that it's a rehearsal, including making up the plot of their new play on the spot.
  • Dean Profitt from Overboard is an absolute whiz at off-the-cuff bullshitting. Part of why the amnesiac Joanna goes along with his scheme in spite of her instincts is that Dean never misses a beat in explaining her fake backstory, which he keeps making up on the spot.
  • In Reservoir Dogs, there's a long sequence in which The Mole, Mr. Orange practices a fictional anecdote to tell to the other thieves to convince them that he's a legitimate criminal. His police contact tells him that he needs to get used to filling in details to the story as necessary so that it withstands scrutiny. When he finally tells the anecdote, he fields several off-script questions from the thieves, delivering the answers flawlessly and then seamlessly resuming his performance.
  • This is brilliantly used in The Usual Suspects. At the end we find out that the story told by Verbal Kint was based on names and phrases he read from objects in the room where he is interrogated. We never find out how much of it was actually true.

  • Brenish does this a lot in Below, which fits. He never hesitates. Early on he has to explain how he could possibly have a late wizard's famous treasure map (he doesn't; an expert forger asked him to sell it), so he makes up a plausible story on the spot. Even though everybody knows Brenish is an extraordinary liar, it works—too well. When the forgery itself fools an appraiser, it kicks off a quest to find that treasure, and Brenish and friends are trapped into coming along. Cue a lot more lies.
  • The thief Talen in The Elenium is so talented at these that it ends up revealing he's being tampered with by the Child Goddess Aphrael when he suddenly gives an excuse for joining the team after being left behind that is so lame that Sephrenia (Aphrael's high priestess) immediately becomes suspicious, knowing her goddess is a horrible liar.
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is centered on the murder of an American businessman on a train. As Poirot interrogates the passengers of the train. In the end, we find out that everyone on the train was a part of the murder. They had to make up several lies to throw him off their trail. This was something like a dozen people. That kept up a lie under the scrutiny of Poirot. On a train in the middle of the Balkans.
    • Specifically, they made two lies. They were supposed to have the entire train car except for the victim, so presumably were just going to murder the guy and then act normal, until Poirot took the lone empty berth in the unusually full train, at which point they had to act out several hours of pantomime in front of him to frame someone who didn't exist.
    • And then an unforeseen snowstorm meant it was obvious that the imaginary person they invented couldn't have left the train car, so that person had to be a passenger, so they have to scramble to rewrite their entire story, on the fly, to deliberately frame several of them, reasoning it was better for a few to go down than all of them.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire features so many talented Manipulative Bastards playing Xanatos Speed Chess that this happens quite frequently.
    • Sansa tells Tyrion that she doesn't want to stay in the part of the castle he has chosen because her father's men were all killed there, (the real reason being that it would interfere with her escape plans). Tyrion, who is quite a Guile Hero Magnificent Bastard in his own right, accepts this (very reasonable) explanation immediately, perhaps Foreshadowing that Sansa might not be totally out of her depth in this Crapsack World after all.
    • Petyr Baelish tells Catelyn that the dagger used in a murder attempt was his dagger that he lost in a bet to Tyrion Lannister. We learn later that Petyr improvised the story on the spot and had no pre-determined plans on how he would benefit from the story. He simply wanted to cause discord, which would create opportunities further down the road. The dagger was actually Robert Baratheon's and was stolen by Joffrey.
  • Anne Fine's book The Tulip Touch has this as one of Tulip's most notable characteristics. Being an abused child who craves attention, she frequently makes up implausible stories, but does it very well; the book's title refers to her habit of putting in that one little detail that always makes one wonder if she might be telling the truth just this once. She also fits this trope, because even when she is challenged, she is able to make up another, surprisingly plausible, explanation for the inconsistency.
  • The end of Arc 7 of Twig has the Lambs interrogated for treason. While this was true—partially—they managed to quickly spin it to scapegoat Sy, each matching stories in their individual questioning sessions. The only loose thread is neatly tied up via Fakeout Makeout.
  • In Zeroes, this is one of the applications of Scam's superpower, a Voice which says whatever it has to in order to get what he desires. It helps that the Voice has knowledge of all the relevant details and facts necessary to make the lie believable, even if it's information Scam himself has no way of knowing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock: Jenna falsely tells Jack that she's only 29. He asks a rapid-fire series of questions designed to trip her up, and she just as quickly responds with answers that would be appropriate for a 29-year-old (in 2006 when the episode aired):
    Jack: What year were you born?
    Jenna: 1977.
    Jack: When did you graduate high school?
    Jenna: '94.
    Jack: When do you turn 40?
    Jenna: 2017.
    Jack: Junior high crush?
    Jenna: Kirk Cameron.
    Jack: Prom theme?
    Jenna: Motownphilly — Boyz II Men.
    Jack: What movie did you lose your virginity at?
    Jenna: Arachnophobia.
    Jack: Theater or drive-in?
    Jenna: (slyly) What's a drive-in?
    Jack: Of course. I don't know why I bothered to ask, I can tell by your physical appearance that you're obviously... 29.
  • On Arrested Development, Lucille uses a lie like this to cover up the fact that her children's Nana died, and she's been keeping the inheritance money they want for herself. By this point in their lives, the kids know not to believe her. This just makes Lindsay try even harder to find out what happened in order to get the money.
  • Bionic Woman. Jonas Bledsoe is shown to be such a Consummate Liar that he can beat a Lie Detector. In one scene Becca, the little sister of the protagonist, starts grilling Jonas about the new job her sister supposedly has selling timeshares, and it's obvious she's done her research. Jonas handles it perfectly, even making his pauses appear as if he's considering the question as opposed to making up the answer. In a later episode, Becca comes up with her own spontaneous lie when Jaime is being questioned on the exact same issues and not handling it as well.
  • Lord Edmund in the second series of Blackadder after a drunken monk Edmund invited for a drinking competition interrupts his dinner with his Puritan relatives Lord and Lady Whiteadder with a raucous "Great booze-up, Edmund!":
    Lady Whiteadder: Do you know that man?
    Edmund: No.
    Lady Whiteadder: He called you "Edmund"!
    Edmund: Oh know him? Yes, I do.
    Lady Whiteadder: Then can you explain what he meant by "Great booze-up"?
    Edmund: (thinks and thinks) Yes, I can. My friend is a missionary who, on his last visit abroad, brought back with him the head of a famous tribe. His name is Great Boo. He's been suffering from sleeping sickness and he's obviously just woken. Because, as you heard, "Great Boo's up!"
  • Breaking Bad:
    • When Skyler suddenly needs to justify the large amount of cash her husband Walter earned from making meth, she spins a tale about Walt gambling that also explains the falling out they had. It's so good that Walter himself begins to listen in awe.
    • Walter does this fairly frequently as well. It starts out as clumsily handled Multitasked Conversations, but becomes increasingly complex. In fact, when he asks Skyler how she'd managed to pull such a convincing lie off the top of her head, she says she learned from him.
  • For a character who is well known for being not very smart, Joey from Friends has managed to do this remarkably well on a few occasions.
    • One is when he manages to completely flip Chandler and Monica's lie that he is a sex addict in an attempt to cover up their affair, telling a tale close to the truth, that he slept with Monica and that now she's obsessed with him.
    • Another is when Monica asks Joey for a loan and asks him to keep it secret from Chandler, after which Chandler then asks him for a loan, which Joey can't refuse without revealing his loan to Monica.
      Chandler: Monica and I are having a little financial trouble.
      Joey: Yeah, I know.
      Chandler: What? What do you mean, you know?
      Joey: Uh, I just figured it out. You know, I mean, you're not working, and the economy is bad.
      Chandler: Oh, right.
      Joey: (to himself) That is the fastest I have ever thought!
      Chandler: Anyway, uh, I need to borrow some money.
      Joey: Oh, sure, yeah. How much? Two thousand dollars?
      Chandler: Yes, two thousand dollars exactly. How did you know?
      Joey: Well, I know how much you used to make, and I know how much your rent is.
      Chandler: Oh. Okay.
      Joey: (to himself) I am on fire!
  • Barney from How I Met Your Mother sums this up pretty well: "If someone questions you, distract them from the original lie with more lies."
    Barney: Here, let me demonstrate: I own a pony. Ask me a question.
    Marshall: Okay. Um, what color is your pony?
    Barney: Well, when I first got Dandelion she was a deep, chestnut brown, but, sadly, her stable is located near a chemical plant that contaminated the drinking water. So, over time, she's turned a sickly, grayish-white color and there's nothing the vet can do to fix her.
    Marshall: My God, I'm... that's horrible! Is Dandelion going to be okay? (Beat) Okay, all right, you are good. Dandelion's not even sick, is she?
    • Robin also came up with a series of believable lies when Ted tried to test whether she had actually been married at a mall (to explain her aversion to malls). While she came up with fairly believable answers about the food, the wedding cake, and the band, she tripped herself up when she couldn't remember the name of her non-existent husband.
  • This is Sophie's job in Leverage. Nate is okay with this, Parker can't do it, and Hardison goes way too far when he does it. But Sophie? It's Sophie's life.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: In the episode "Pearl Harbor," Malcolm and Reese need to get back at Jessica for making them both think the other was gay, so Reese gives Malcolm a hickey and Malcolm fervently denies it when his mother thinks Jessica did it. Lois takes Jessica into her room to give her a talk, and Jessica breaks down and says that she only did it to keep Malcolm away from a troubled druggie girl, and it was all just a big mistake. Lois sees through the whole thing—and every other lie in the episode—but congratulates her on the excellent improv.
  • Merlin: Gwen gets REALLY good at this after being brainwashed by Morgana in season 5. After leaving Merlin for dead in the woods, she excuses his absence by claiming he went off to visit a girl. Later, when Percival catches her sneaking out of the castle, she makes up a heartwarming excuse about missing the old town and going there to think about her late brother.
  • Ozark: Marty and Wendy are occasionally called upon to deliver one of these. Wendy proves particularly adept at it, such as when she's confronted by her lie about not seeing her brother shortly before his disappearance.
  • Person of Interest has Reese along with several assassins in the custody of the FBI which tries to find out who among them is The Man In The Suit. He spins a reasonably good story that goes into Tear Jerker territory because it's basically the path his life would have taken if he hadn't gone to the CIA after 9/11. Of course, he has the massive advantage that his direct interrogator is Carter and the interrogation is surveilled by Finch who spends enormous amounts of resources and hacks to turn all of his stories into verifiable facts in real time.
  • Resident Alien: Sahar stops skaters from going near the invisible spaceship on the baseball field by claiming not only that there was an underground sewage leak, but that the particulate matter would cause a vile infection. Her attitude sells the lie to both the skaters and her friend Max (who knew full well that she was protecting the spaceship).
    Sahar: Go ahead. Walk across the field and breathe the sewage particulates into your lungs. By day two of the infection, your colon blocks off and poop comes out of your eyes. It's called eye-arrhea.
  • Used several times by Sarah in The Sarah Connor Chronicles — it's a skill she's learned over the course of years on the run. For example, at one point she spots Cameron being questioned by a police officer, realises that Cameron is about to decide that the simplest solution is to kill the cop, and immediately marches up and starts yelling at Cameron and demanding the cop arrest her for being a spoiled brat while filling her rant with little details that makes it clear to everyone listening that Cameron is her stepdaughter, they've had this argument many times before, the reason they're in this dangerous neighbourhood is that Cameron is seeing an unsuitable boy... and by the time she draws breath, the cop is over his suspicions of Cameron and just advises them to leave the area.
  • A frequent tool of Scrubs.
    • One episode had a "seamless collaborative guy lie," to cover up their original one-word lie being pulled. And it would've worked, too, if it weren't for Turk's meddling ass.
    • "My First Kill":
      J.D.'s Narration: Now you're gonna lie here. Don't be too specific!
      J.D.: Since 1:42 yesterday afternoon. His wife did not want him to do it. She's beautiful, by the way — one green eye, one blue. She's from Luxembourg. They're both from Luxembourg. I believe they're, uh, Luxem... bourgian.
      Dr. Cox: Where in Luxembourg? I spent two weeks there.
      J.D.'s Narration: What are the odds? Just stay vague.
      J.D.: Uh, outside Mertert, near the German border.
      Dr. Cox: Ah.
      J.D.: They say what they miss most are those lazy summer afternoons on the Moselle River.
      J.D.'s Narration: You are channeling that seventh grade book report!
    • "My Intern's Eyes", after Carla catches J.D. sneaking around the apartment he's no longer supposed to be living in:
      Carla: Are you wearing boxers?
      J.D.: Yes, I am, Carla, because I know when Turk's sad, he likes me to come over in my boxers because he likes to call me his Honky Adonis, and that's what friends do.
      [Elliot and Carla look at each other and shrug]
      J.D.'s Narration: They bought it? Are we that gay?
  • George on Seinfeld is usually terrible at lying, but he does have one shining moment when he sneaks an IQ test to supposed genius Elaine to take for him, then has to explain the food stains she got on it by concocting an elaborate story about how he went out the window to get some snacks.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Garak lies so often and so convincingly that an aversion is noteworthy enough to be lampshaded.
      Odo: He's telling the truth, Captain. He doesn't know.
      Sisko: What makes you so sure?
      Odo: Because if he did know, he would even now be weaving an elaborate web of lies to conceal the truth.
    • In another episode, Garak has Worf completely convinced until Garak chooses to expose the deception with a punchline.
      Worf: Then why the elaborate deception?
      Garak: Because lying is a skill like any other, and if you want to maintain a level of excellence, you must practice constantly.
      Worf: (unamused) Practice on someone else.
  • That Girl Lay Lay: After Lay Lay comes out the app, Sadie pretends she's an exchange student from Houston and has her family serve as her host family. Naturally, everyone easily falls for it.
  • On Unforgettable, a murder suspect being interrogated by the cops realizes that they have discovered that the murder scene was staged, so he has to come up with a new story to distract the detectives. He uses the "take names from the bulletin board" technique to tell a believable story, and the detectives spend a fair chunk of time chasing this red herring.


    Visual Novels 
  • Very common in Ace Attorney, where characters who are caught out on their lies often come up with entirely different, equally detailed stories within very little time. Of course, due to the nature of the game, these are always found out eventually. Indeed, there are a number of subversions, where the spontaneous lies are so full of holes that one well-placed bit of evidence causes the entire thing to collapse like badly-made furniture.
    • Probably the best example is Luke Atmey from the third game. For the last bit of testimony, he rapidly puts together a series of "patches" for the various holes in the story. All of them hold up surprisingly well to scrutiny... unless you realize that one of the explanations he gives includes information that you have, but he wouldn't have unless he had either been in your courtroom when your suspect had testified (which he couldn't have possibly) or had been at the scene of the crime around the time it had happened (which he claimed he hadn't).
  • Celestia Ludenberg in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc isn't called the "Queen of the Liars" for nothing. One example was when Asahina found a laptop in the bath house (the only room without cameras) left by the Ultimate Programmer to help everyone escape. When Monokuma wants to know why they're congratulating Asahina as they're leaving, Ludenberg quickly puts together a story about Hina winning exclusive use of the bath house for the girls in a game of rock-paper-scissors against the boys (since the bath isn't gender-separated). Naegi notes that her poker face is perfect the whole time.

  • Anecdote of Error: Atshi and Shimei want to sneak out of school and into the forest to help Luntsha deal with possible villains but a guard stops them. What’s more, he doesn’t care about Shimei’s claim that they just want to visit the town, because school is still in session. Just before they are forced to turn back, Atshi claims they’re going into town to get supplies on their teacher’s orders, and despite the logical hole in that story namely  and despite Shimei giving Atshi a worried and skeptical look, the guard believes her and lets them pass.

    Web Video 
  • Oxventure Blades in the Dark: In "The Marriage of Lady Fyengeh", Kasimir and Zillah infiltrate a backstage area with nothing but a set of sandbags as their disguise. When a theater worker becomes suspicious of them, Kasimir casually delivers a bullshit cover story about how he is a veteran sandbag deliverer, how Zillah is there to assist him due to his leg injury, and how the sandbags are needed to reinforce some faulty props during the second act of the play. Luke, the Game Master, is so impressed that he doesn't even ask for a dice roll; it just works.

    Western Animation 
  • Roger of American Dad! frequently manages to utilise one of these (given his multiple dress-up personas, he has likely come to be accustomed to it).
    • Stan actually labels it something of an endearing trademark for him when he seemingly reads off a number of redemptions he vows to accomplish off a sheet of paper (it's all just a spontaneous lie, the paper is blank).
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Katara seems to be very good at this, going along with Aang's terrible fake name choice to sneak into Omashu with ease.
      Aang: Name's Bonzu Pippinpaddleopsicopolis the third! And these are my grandkids.
      Katara: Hi. June Pippinpaddleopsicopolis. Nice to meet you.
    • She also does this again after Aang gets in trouble at a Fire Nation School, posing as his mother.
      Teacher: Thank you for coming, Mr. and Mrs...
      Sokka: Fire; Wang Fire! This is my wife, Saph Fire.
      Katara: Sapphire Fire, nice to meet you.
  • The Simpsons: In "Little Girl in the Big Ten", Lisa becomes friends with two girls in her gymnastics class who are actually college-aged, looking younger due to their short statures. So, Lisa attempts to pass herself off as another college student. Asking where she lives, Lisa tells them she lives "off-campus", and when they take her home, they hear Homer singing (well, trying to sing) "Tubthumping" inside, before hurling a keg out the window.
  • In the South Park episode "Toilet Paper", Eric Cartman delivers one in Motor Mouth fashion when fabricating a cover for their eponymous incident:
    Cartman: Okay. Last night, all four of us were at the bowling alley until about 7:30, at which time we noticed Ally Sheedy, the Goth chick from The Breakfast Club, was bowling in the lane next to us, and we asked her for her autograph, but she didn't have a pen, so we followed her out to her car, but on the way we were accosted by five Scientologists who wanted to give us all personality tests, which were administered at the Scientology Center in Denver until 10:45, at which time we accidentally boarded the wrong bus home and ended up in Rancho de Burritos Rojos, south of Castle Rock, and finally got a ride home with a man who was missing his left index finger, named Gary Bushwell, arriving home at 11:46.
  • The titular character of Top Cat often engages in this.


Video Example(s):


Nick's qualifications

Before hiring him as his bodyguard--er, chaperone, Cyrus Kinnick (Peter MacNichol) wants to make sure Nick Escalante (Burt Reynolds) can protect him as he gambles. Nick proceeds to rattle off a list of accomplishments to rival Thomas Jefferson.
From the 1986 adaptation of William Goldman's novel HEAT

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / SeamlessSpontaneousLie

Media sources: