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Was It All a Lie?

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"Well, yeah! No, wait... uh, yeah. Yeah, it all was a lie. Toodles!"

One of the goodies has just been betrayed by The Mole, whom they let get very close. They ask The Mole, "Was it all a lie? Everything?" Three responses are common:

  1. A cold blooded "Yes, you fool, and you took it hook, line and sinker."
  2. "It was real, and in another world, we could have been happy together".
  3. "It was... at first."

Of course, any of these responses can be a disguise for another (either keeping one's options open just in case, or burning bridges to let their victim get over the betrayal).

"I'm sorry it had to end like this" is a common additional Stock Phrase, particularly with the second response.

The third is related to Et Tu, Brute?.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • A great many number of times in Angel Sanctuary. Volume 1, when Setsuna finds out that Kira isn't human, asks him if their friendship was all a lie, and gets a resounding cold-hearted 'yes'. Subverted in that he looked like he was gonna cry after saying that.
  • Assassination Classroom: Nagisa asks this of Akari Yukimura, after she sheds her "Kaede Kayano" mask. She admits that yes, everything was an act, since she is an actress playing a fragile, upbeat schoolgirl, going so far as to bottle up all the pain and anger she felt from having self-implanted her tentacles and being so close to the creature she always thought was her sister's murderer, all for the sake of her role. He manages to get through to her, though, by making her realize that her experiences with her classmates where too real to just be an act.
  • In Attack on Titan, Connie and Jean confront Reiner and Bertolt with this after learning of their betrayal. The friendship was real, but Bertolt claims their actions were necessary even if he knows they can never be forgiven. As it turns out, Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie were aware the whole time that the inhabitants of the walls were NOT the last of humanity as everyone else believed. They were the same race as the wall inhabitants (Eldians), but had lived in ghettos in the neighboring country, known as Marley, which was seeking revenge against the Eldians of the walls, which were on an island called Paradis. The trio, and others, were thoroughly indoctrinated to believe that the islanders were evil and that it was their duty to steal their King's (now Eren's) Titan power and wipe them out so that the Eldians living on Marley could be forgiven for their past injustices against the Marleyans of old. Upon arriving on the island, however, they, Reiner especially, realized that the islanders were people just like them, but they were so thoroughly dedicated to advancing the Eldians on Marley that they went through with their mission, anyway, even as they now knew that they were iredeemable monsters for inciting what essentially amounted to a genocide of the walls.
  • During the Eclipse in Berserk, Casca wonders if everything they've gone through was merely a prelude to Griffith throwing them all to the wolves (and by wolves, I mean hideous demonic abominations), and if this was always the plan. This is an unusual example because she's both right and wrong; in terms of destiny, and the God Hand's manipulation of causality, she's right, and this was inevitable from the start. As far as Griffith himself is concerned, she's wrong, because he genuinely had no idea this was going to happen until the Eclipse started.
  • Bleach:
    • Sōsuke Aizen probably takes the cake for stabbing Hinamori while hugging and praising her, as well as betraying everyone in Soul Society (who adored him) after revealing the fact that he has always been against them.
    • Shuuhei Hisagi asks his former captain and mentor Tōsen if everything he taught him and all his talk of justice was just a lie. Tōsen responds by stabbing him. However, Tōsen also happens to be a case of Villains Never Lie: he believed every word of what he said. Unfortunately for Hisagi, Tōsen's "justice" involved working with Aizen against Soul Society to avenge his deceased friend. Fortunately, Hisagi manages to reconcile with Tōsen during the latter's final moments, and continues to hold him in high esteem long after his death.
    • When Ichigo confronts Zangetsu about the truth of his power, he asks this question. Old Man Zangetsu is his Quincy power masquerading as his zanpakutou spirit which is the Inner Hollow. Old Man Zangetsu states the only thing he ever lied about was his name, and Ichigo realises that both his Inner Hollow and the Old Man are equally Zangetsu.
    • Liltotto Lamperd, after Yhwach performs the Auswählen (Holy Selection) on the loyal Sternritter still in Soul Society for his own ends more or less screams this at him, asking what they really were to him. He replies with something along the lines of "We're comrades, are we not? And comrades help each other." Though given how much of a Bad Boss Yhwach is, it doesn't comes off as genuine.
  • In Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, Nunnally asks this of her friend, Alice, when the latter was revealed to be an agent of Britannia. It wasn't.
    • Let's not forget the anime's second season, after the Black Knights betray Lelouch and Kallen is left believing Lelouch's response along the lines of the first example at the top. It was a lie, of course.
      • Kallen didn't completely believe it, either, because as she walked away, she heard Lelouch say "Kallen, you have to live." It was later on, when she kisses Lelouch to see what he really feels, and his face remains expressionless, that she decides to believe it and sever ties with him. "Then, goodbye, Lelouch." "Then, it is goodbye, Kallen." (Kallen didn't hear him say that, and the viewers don't get to see Lelouch's face when he says that.)
      • However, she still had enough belief in Lelouch to understand the Zero Requiem, and what Lelouch was trying to achieve with it. In the end, she realises it wasn't a lie.
    • On a lesser note, Emperor Charles asks his brother whether or not he knew about Marianne, Lelouch, and Nunally turning into Britannia's greatest threat. Vivi responds with continued denial, claiming he just found out recently. By this point, Charles knows his brother has been undermining his authority, and this continued Compulsive Liar behavior confirms his brother doesn't want to stop The Evils of Free Will, but outright relishes in them, and murders him.
  • The Dangers in My Heart: After Yamada pulls a Fake-Out Make-Out with him to ward off Nanjou, Ichikawa’s low self-esteem leads him to believe over night that Yamada only saw him as a useful tool to keep unwanted male attention away and avoids meeting her for two days. When she chases after him and breaks down crying for upsetting him, he confirms that it was never a lie and reconciles with her.
  • In DEAD Tube, Machiya's reaction when Oushima and the remaining Film Research Club members reveal their true selves and never liked him to begin with (they were in a devious game to get Machiya killed on film for their own amusement). By confirming what Machiya didn't want to believe, he goes on to pay them back in kind, that is getting them killed.
  • The bulk of Destiny of the Shrine Maiden's ending was set off with Himeko asking this to Chikane, apparently not sure if telling Himeko she loved her was part of her plan or actually true.
  • The End of Evangelion has a reverse one... maybe. Gendo is about to shoot Ritsuko, when he says something to her which the audience doesn't hear. She calls him a Type 1, and then he shoots her.
  • Fairy Tail:
  • "Solaris" in Fullmetal Alchemist is probably type #1, but that doesn't stop her from taunting Havoc with a good, old-fashion "I thought we had something," before she attacks.
  • This happens early on in Game×Rush, when Memori demands this of Yuuki in the platonic/friendship vein, after discovering that Yuuki is the assassin Memori's supposed to protect against, and that Yuuki actually engineered the whole 'assignment' to get at Memori. The answer is a distinct Type One, with bite, that enrages Memori.
  • In Gintama, Katsura asked this in the first episode of the Renho arc, when he first discovered Elizabeth's identity.
  • Never explicitly stated by the titular assassin in Golgo 13, but in one particular episode, when he's hired to kill a female assassin he was with intimately, they share a few genuinely touching moments, until he reveals that he knows more about her than he let on. She immediately knows what that means, and gets a final happy day before Togo kills her. It wasn't a lie, but it wasn't anything that would stop him from completing a job.
  • Gundam
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, as they fight each other in their mobile suits, Lyle asks Anew if her feelings for him were a lie. She answered that they were living in a false world, even though earlier, out of his earshot, she had admitted that she really loved him.
    • In the second generation of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Asem asks this to his friend Zeheart when the latter reveals himself to be a spy.
  • In His and Her Circumstances, Tsubaki pulls this on Takefumi when she tells him that she only hangs out with him a teacher tell her to do it. That doesn't stop them from him falling for her for real.
  • In Immortal Rain, it's not romantic, but Rain does ask Yuca this about their childhood in the orphanage before Yuca handed over their entire orphan family (including the girl Rain loved) to military science and made Rain immortal. He hasn't yet answered.
    • It probably was all a lie for Freya.
  • Katanagatari uses a type two. When Shichika asks her this, Togame confesses that even though she genuinely loved Shichika, she planned to kill him anyway once she had no need for him, since she could not let her father's death go unavenged. She's rather relieved when the choice is taken away from her.
  • Nicely used in Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato. When Hyuuga fights his Broken Pedestal Indra, he mentions the trope, and Indra's reply is basically... a Type 2, instead of the Type 1 Hyuuga expected. Paraphrased: "No. I never lied. When I said I wanted to protect Tenkuukai, I meant it. But my duty now is to destroy it."
  • Lyrical Nanoha: Inverted in StrikerS Sound Stage X, where it's The Mole doing the asking. It turned out that the dupe had a hunch about The Mole's true nature for some time already, so while she was being arrested, The Mole wondered about an earlier offer made in kindness.
    Runessa: When you asked me to become your partner, was it an act to shake my confidence and change my mind? Was it fake?
    Teana: No, I was serious. If this hadn't had happened, I would still...
    Runessa: ... Thank you.
  • Played for laughs twice in Magi: Labyrinth of Magic. Sinbad slumps down and wonders if the bond with his True Companions was a lie when they refuse to believe that he's innocent of drunkenly molesting Kyougoku due to his poor track record with alcohol. During a voyage at sea, Alibaba eavesdrops on his friends and is shocked when they start badmouthing him. He sobs incoherently as he comes to believe that their friendship was a lie. Turns out they knew he was eavesdropping the whole time and were simply trolling him.
  • In My-Otome Tomoe "takes care" of a captured Shizuru, who pretends to love her (in what one blogger compared to acting lobotomized). It later turns out that it really was all a lie, and Tomoe loses what little sanity she had left at that point.
  • A variation occurs between Shion and Nezumi in No. 6. After Nezumi forces Shion to leave behind a captured Safu, Shion is so shaken that he questions if Nezumi was actually ever on his side. Nezumi feigns type 1 in order to get him to leave.
  • Gilbert Nightray in PandoraHearts has this to say when he learns that Oswald was his former master and that HIS body was sealed up in five stones, NOT JACK. He also says this trope when it is revealed that Jack was Evil All Along and that he was the real cause of the Tragedy of Sablier.
  • Rosario + Vampire has Tsukune Aono's relationship with Hokuto Kaneshiro. This guy is another human, at the school for monsters, injected with monster blood, packing a holy lock, and acts as though he intends to make Yokai peaceful. When Hokuto sheds his mask, Tsukune asks if he was really lying the whole time. Hokuto says yes. Tsukune doesn't give a damn.
  • Sgt. Frog: Anything past the touching Season 1 finale can be viewed as this, and makes it apparent that Keroro will never have any form of happiness.

    Comic Books 
  • At the end of Geoff Johns' Green Lantern run, after everything that has happened between the two, Hal Jordan asks Sinestro whether the two were ever truly friends. Yes, they were.
  • A follow up arc to Identity Crisis has the tensions within the Justice League and with Batmam exploited by Despero using the Secret Society of Supervillains. Once the crisis is resolved, Batman admits to J'onn that part of his grudge against the League's actions was the question of whether or not Catwoman becoming an ally was an indirect result of their mind manipulation of the Society.
  • In the Teen Titans arc The Judas Contract, after Terra reveals herself as a traitor, the rest of the True Companions has reactions along this spectrum. Changeling tries an I Know You're In There Somewhere with her, only to get cruelly laughed off. Terra digs the knife in further by sneering that kissing him made her "want to puke." Despite this, poor Gar was still devastated by her death, and blamed himself for it to an extent.
    • Top it off with the fact she was SHAGGING Deathstroke, who was actually a bit afraid of her. When Nightwing and Jericho show up, Terra believes she was betrayed and literally brings the house down on herself!
    • Just to prove what True Companions they really are? They bury Terra as one of their own, memorialize her with a statue in their hall of fallen comrades, and keep as quiet as possible about her betrayal.
  • A variation: In Young Avengers, Teddy Altman asks this pretty much word-for-word regarding his romantic relationship with Billy Kaplan, who happens to be an immensely powerful Reality Warper with the potential to become a Physical God. Teddy has zero doubts that Billy genuinely loves him; however, while Teddy never once questioned their relationship before, Loki puts the idea in his head that Teddy is just a bit too perfect and that Billy might have not only wished him into existence, but also manipulated his emotions. Teddy knows that Billy would never do anything like that intentionally, but Billy doesn't exactly have the best control over his powers.
    Teddy: I love him. I love him so much. But what if it's just a lie?
    • Later, it's revealed that Loki had been manipulating everyone from the very beginning, and it's heavily implied that he was lying about Teddy and Billy's relationship being... well, a lie, in order to separate Teddy from Billy and thus make manipulating Billy much easier.
  • X-Men
    • Excalibur When the cruel and sociopathic imposter Opul Lun Sat-Yr-9 revealed she had killed Courtney Ross and taken her place, this Trope was Zigzagged. It was certainly a lie towards Captain Britain and most of the team. Kitty was hit a lot harder by this Trope, however, seeing as "Courtney" was a mentor to her, helping Kitty enroll in the St. Searle's School for Young Ladies, and arranging a deal to save St. Searle's from bankruptcy. Whether it was the first or second type in that case is unclear.
    • Magneto's response to Angel's betrayal in Uncanny Xmen 2016.

    Fan Works 
  • Evangelion 303: During an argument with Kaworu after their breaking-up, Saburo grumbles:
    • And Kaworu's reply was alongside the lines of: "No, they were not. YOU broke up with ME, and I moved on. That's all."
  • In The Student Prince, Arthur questions his friendship with Merlin after he learns that Merlin is a magic user, suspecting that Merlin only got close to Arthur as yet another surveillance member ensuring Arthur's safety.
  • Thousand Shinji: Discussed. Shinji thinks of his mentor and of how they knew that even if they backstabbed each other, they would always care for each other. When he is starting to live with Misato he thinks that if he ever found the need to betray Misato (and he could think of some few scenarios where he would consider it) she would have to die instantly, without knowing what had happened (However that was a brief phase. Shortly after Asuka, Rei and Misato became his dearest people whom he would never betray, and if someone hurt them he would make that person dying extremely painfully).
  • Weight of the World: Spoken nearly word for word in the second book The Shattered Soul when an amnesiac America is betrayed by his "friends" Neo, Roman, and Mercury. They took advantage of his amnesia and pretended to be his friends in order to keep him compliant as they brought him to Kuchinashi and were perfectly willing to give him to Salem's forces if they caught up to them.
  • In Forever He-Man He-Man's parents, and Teela, have this reaction upon learning the truth about Prince Adam being He-Man.
  • In The Flash Sentry Chronicles, after finding out that his mentor, Wind Rider, had tried to frame Rainbow Dash to protect his record, Soarin asks him if anything he had told throughout his tutelage at the Wonderbolts Academy was true, or if he was just saying things to make himself look good.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: When "Rigel" leaves Hogwarts because she was exposed as a half-blood, Draco is left feeling like the world has been pulled out from under him, especially when she calls in his life-debt to stop him from trying to find her.
    Draco: How could you? Rigel...
    Harry: There is no Rigel.
    Draco: There was, though. We were friends.
    Harry: That was just an elaborate lie, Draco Malfoy. Rigel Black isn't real. And I don't have any friends.
  • The protagonist of With This Ring contacts the Gordanian clan ruling over Tamaran and arranges to buy their stock of slaves, with a view to on-selling them individually to the domestic market. A few days after picking up the delivery, he comes back with a fleet, wrecks the Gordanian ships, and maroons them on another world with no engine or communications.
    Zaark: Why did you do this? We had a business relationship. I thought that you-.
    Paul: I lied constantly throughout our discussion and used the ring to disguise how I really felt. My homeworld formally abolished slavery worldwide ninety years ago, all major nation states having long since abandoned the practice. I told you what I needed to in order to secure the release of the Tamaraneans.
  • In The Supernovas of Mass Effect, the Normandy crew feel heartbroken and betrayed upon learning the truth about their four leaders, the titular "Supernovas": they're cosmic vigilantes not native to their galaxy who were assigned to "re-do" the Mass Effect story to achieve a better outcome (think Divine Intervention with the "divine" part). They ask the four if all they accomplished together was a lie, and they try to assure them that despite lying about what they are, they never lied about who the are.
  • Loved and Lost: Twilight Sparkle's Corrupt the Cutie process is based entirely on the machinations of Prince Jewelius, who gets her to trust him by acting understandingly toward her while she gets the cold shoulder from everyone else close to her, and then isolating her from her loved ones and claiming that they never truly cared about her. However, while Twilight vents out her feelings of anger and hurt toward her former loved ones, attempts to disown them, and does little to help them out of their status as despised pariahs, they still keep trying to appeal to her better nature, and Celestia in particular gives her and everypony else a touching apology when the alicorn faces a Public Execution. Further doubt is seeded when Chrysalis tells her the same Cassandra Truth that she refused to listen to from the exiled heroes, namely that Jewelius is a manipulative sociopath who won't hesitate to get rid of her once he's gotten all he can out of her, as he did with Chrysalis herself. As Jewelius' questionable ruling style causes her and the citizens to start doubting him, particularly due to his focus on the exiles instead of the escaped Changeling army which they have much bigger concerns about, Twilight eventually gets the Evil Prince to finally confirm to Twilight that he really is exactly as horrible as had been previously claimed, and that their one-sided relationship was based on nothing but a cruel, bald-faced lie. This is the beginning of the end for Jewelius' Short-Lived Leadership, for the chain of events that follows costs him the support of everypony he manipulated, starting with Twilight cutting all ties with him, escaping to Ponyville, and reconciling with her friends, brother, and mentor.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Emperor's New Groove features a non-romantic, comedic version of this. When Kuzco is about to leave Pacha to die, tangled up in the ropes of a rickety old bridge, Pacha asks him if his apparent Aesop moment from earlier was all a lie. Kuzco replies with the page quote.
  • In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, after Perry is exposed as a secret agent, Phineas asks if he was ever a member of their family, or if he only saw them as cover. Being The Speechless, he can't exactly defend himself, but they see the truth before the end, and even opt to have their memories of the revelation erased rather than lose Perry.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Subverted a bit in Chocolat, when Josephine learns Vianne is leaving after taking much of the tiny French town by storm:
    Josephine: Did you really think that I could get better? Was it all a joke?
    Vianne: It's time, that's all.
    Josephine: If you leave, everything will go back to the way things always were.
    Vianne: It is the way things always were.
    Josephine: ...Not to me.
  • In Galaxy Quest, the good aliens - having no concept of fiction as entertainment - are shaken to learn that the people they called upon to save them from the evil Sarris are in fact actors in an old cancelled TV Sci-Fi show, Galaxy Quest, and the 'Historical Documents' they received were in fact reruns of the show. After the actors defeat Sarris, the good aliens think that it was all a scheme to deceive Sarris.
  • Low Tide: When her boyfriend Alan is caught robbing her house-which he didn't know was hers-Mary demands to know whether their whole relationship was just him and his friends scoping out her place.
  • In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), after Gaby seemingly betrays them, Solo attempts to comfort Illya whose feelings for Gaby were genuine.
    Solo: She fooled me too.
    Kuryakin: IT'S NOT THE SAME!
  • In the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), the titular couple have recently discovered that they are both professional assassins— who work for opposite sides. So Mr. Smith asks this question of Mrs. Smith over the phone, as they're both driving towards a mutually-agreed upon location wherein they'll try to kill each other. Mrs. Smith calmly assures her husband that it was indeed 'strictly business, nothing personal'— and as soon as he hangs up, breaks down crying at herself, as she was lying the entire time.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow's modus operandi, only he somehow manages to keep betraying the same people over and over.
    Elizabeth: Everything you said to me, every word, was a lie!
    Jack: Pretty much.
  • Sabrina. Invoked by Sabrina, after she learns that Linus only dated her so that she wouldn't distract David from marrying Elizabeth. Linus thought it was too, but then states it was "a dream".
  • Used in the play/movie The Shape of Things.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022), Rachel's wedding is eventually revealed to have been a sting operation set up by G.U.N. to capture Sonic. Rachel is understandably heartbroken and furious with her fiancée, who was in on the scheme, asking if everything about their relationship was faked. The couple reconciles after said fiancée admits that while the wedding ceremony was a sham, his affection towards her was genuine.
  • Tár: Inverted. The very narcissistic Lydia is taken aback when her wife Sharon says that she always assumed Lydia was using her to get ahead, since that's what she does with nearly everyone else in her life. Lydia insists she never saw Sharon that way, but Sharon coldly rebuffs this and says she doesn't believe her, not without reason. It's never clarified who is right; Sharon saying it was all a lie, and Lydia swearing that it wasn't.
  • Thoroughbreds: Lily and Amanda were best friends as kids, but drifted apart. However, they start hanging out again as teenagers — and while they were apart, Amanda has been diagnosed with a nameless disorder that makes her literally incapable of emotion. She admits to Lily she was always like this, she was just faking it or in denial before. So, naturally, Lily has to wonder if any of their friendship is genuine, or if it ever was. (For her part, Amanda does seem genuinely attached to Lily, or at the very least, respects her and tries to help her out in her own way. So that's something.)
  • A variant is used in The Truman Show— when Truman finally gets to speak to the director of the reality show that Truman had unknowingly been inhabiting, he asks, "Was nothing real?" The response he gets is "You were. That's what made you so good to watch."
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Wolverine mournfully asks this of Silver Fox after learning that Stryker sent her to seduce him and that her murder by Sabretooth was faked in order to trick him into voluntarily submitting to the admantium-bonding process to get revenge. She says it was real to her too.

  • Non-romantic example in 1984, after being caught by O'Brien, Winston at one point asks if there really is an underground movement against Big Brother, since the one that O'Brien led him into was a trap laid by the Thought Police. The villain gives the reply: "You will never know."
  • Amy wonders this in The 39 Clues after Ian pretends to love her so he and his sister can run off with her and her brother's clue. As it turns out, it wasn't.
  • Anne of Green Gables: In a romantic example, Anne Shirley's love interest Roy Gardner asks this of her when she shoots down his proposal, saying she could never love him. Given they'd been dating two years, Roy was understandably upset.
  • Beware of Chicken: Che Han questions his friendships after he learns that Bi De, Ri Zu, and "Biren" — actually Yun Ren — were all sent to spy on the Sect and investigate it for demonic corruption. But since he believes that the Emperor would only do that with a good cause, he reserves judgement.
    He wanted to demand the truth. Was their friendship a mere convenience?
  • In Cinder, Prince Kai asks this of Cinder when it's revealed that she's a Lunar. While it's clear to the reader that it was all real, especially since she had no idea she was Lunar until very recently, and even once she found out, she couldn't have manipulated him even if she'd wanted to, Kai is ultimately left in the dark.
  • In the Dresden Files novel Turn Coat, we find an unusual twist for poor Harry. He began a serious romantic relationship in the previous book. In the climax, Harry finds The Mole has mind controlled her into loving Harry.
  • In The Doctrine of Labyrinths, after Robert drops the bombshell that Felix, supposedly a noble refugee from Caloxa, is actually a former prostitute and native of Melusine, Shannon asks Felix, "How do I know that any of it was even real?" Felix being Felix, he reacts to this seemingly reasonable question by hitting him in the face.
  • In Stephen R. Donaldson's The Gap Cycle, Nick Succurso goes berserk when he finds out Morn had been not only lied to him about who Davie's real father was, but she'd been using a zone implant to pretend she enjoyed sex with him.
  • Holmes on the Range: Both Old Red and Milford Bales loved Gertie in The Crack in the Lens, and received signs that she loved them back, and at the end are left wondering if she was merely manipulating one or both of them in order to make enough money to quit her life as a prostitute. Given that she's dead, they never get an answer to it.
  • Peeta, at the end of The Hunger Games, when Katniss explains that she had been acting her half of the romance in order to win the Games.
  • The Machineries of Empire: When it's safe to do so, Jedao asks his lover and aide Dhanneth whether it's true that he was forced into their affair by their commander Kujen remaking him into a minion. Dhanneth says that it's true and that he hated Jedao from the beginning, then commits suicide in front of him.
  • Deconstructed in the Noughts & Crosses series. Second book, woman gets letter from dead man she slept with. Letter essentially says the first variant up above. Letter sends woman into depression, neglect for her child and changes her personality. Next book, turns out he couldn't decide whether to put in his actual feelings or (as per above) burn bridges to make her move on. Second letter ends up being delivered, about 16 years after the first. By this time, child has found first letter and, believing every word, joins the terrorist group her father was in.
  • Occurs in the first book of the Paradox Trilogy, when Rupert gets close to Devi before playing the role of the hijacker in the security test. He admits afterwards that he was ordered to flirt with Devi beforehand in order to see if she'd be willing to shoot someone she liked, but that he also legitimately finds her attractive.
  • In the second half of REAL, finding the answer to this pressing question becomes Neru's main motivation after Likaï, who originally behaved like your typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl, betrays his trust and steals his account to The Metaverse in order to enter a prestigious tournament in his place.
  • At the end of Going Down for the Count by David Stukas, when Manfred is being taken away by the police, Robert asks if Manfred ever really loved him since Manfred tried to frame Robert for murder. Manfred claims that he did.
  • Once the penny drops at the end of The Resurrection of the Wellsians (a Copper-Colored Cupids short story), Mandragora seems genuinely hurt when his assistant Digger reveals his stupidity was feigned in a effort to get him to reveal his secrets, and asks him if any of it was real. Yes, Digger answers; he really does like to dig holes in the ground to keep himself entertained. No reason.
  • Scavenger Alliance: Blaze wonders about this after Hannah's many betrayals (which range from stealing some medicine and lying about it to systematically lying to and about Blaze for years so Cage could use her in his power bid) come to light. She concludes that the friendship was real when they were children, but after Hannah and her mother were thrown out of London, Hannah just got used to seeing Blaze as a resource.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: The book Deja Vu has both Countess Anne de Silva and Isabelle Flanders having a short dialogue about their ex-boyfriends Little Fish and Stu Franklin. The two men were revealed to be cold-blooded murderers in the previous book. Naturally, the two women had to be wondering if they meant anything to those two men or not really.
  • In the YA satire Waste Of Space Gina Damico, there's a reversal in that the character who was pretending is a much better and more likeable person than the Jerkass who asks (additionally, this character was lying to everyone via Obfuscating Stupidity in order to get on the reality show for the prize). The answer is, basically, that Bacardi just genuinely wanted to get laid; the casual sex playing into the "vapid bimbo" persona was just a side effect. Also, she is not sorry about the lie, and points out that actually, it's a good thing it was a lie, because if she had actually been as intoxicated as she was pretending to be, he would be a rapist several times over by now. Putting the bar on the ground, the Upper-Class Twit gets some credit for being genuinely chastened by this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kind of inverted in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Nothing Personal": Ward says it wasn't all a lie without being asked, and Skye doesn't believe it. In fact, she says "I think I'm going to throw up."
  • Airwolf after Caitlin discovers that she's just been dating a baddie (who proceeds to strap a bomb to her chest).
  • Babylon 5: At the end of the episode "Divided Loyalties", Ivanova confronts Talia about her betrayal. She coldly declares that the original Talia is completely gone, replaced by the Psi Corps sleeper personality that has been brought to the surface.
  • Averted many, many times on Battlestar Galactica. Although the premise of sleeper-agent Cylons hiding out in the fleet seems to make this inevitable, every major Reveal has instead had characters immediately assume it was all a lie first, then shoot, and ask questions later. In the Season 1 finale this happens with the Sharon on Caprica; Helo runs away, but Sharon convinces him she's undergone a Sex–Face Turn. Early in Season 2, Chief Tyrol ignores Boomer's pleading, and only realizes that he believes her/doesn't care once she's been shot. In Season 4, a big deal is made out of Starbuck's identity, but no one seems to concern themselves with what she did before her death in Maelstrom or take the likely betrayal personally. Directly contrasted with the discovery of the Final Four in Season 4, one of which Adama takes very personally... once again, assuming immediately that it was all a lie and having to be convinced otherwise.
    Saul Tight: My name is Saul Tigh, I am an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be.
  • The second variety is used on Blake's 7.
    Anna: It wasn't all lies. I let you love.
    Avon: Oh, no, you never let me go. You never did.
  • A variant appears in Castle, when a con-man who has fallen in love with his mark is murdered by his partner in the con; it ends up being Beckett, who is investigating the con-man's death, who has to reassure the woman that while the con-man's identity was initially a hoax, his feelings for her were genuine and that "you made him want to be a better man." Ironically, this is after Beckett has spent the entire episode cynically rejecting the idea that the con-man could have felt anything for the woman, convinced it was all just part of his con. The truth is left ambiguous.
  • Daredevil (2015): Upon Foggy Nelson's discovery that his best friend Matt Murdock is the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, he spends an entire episode questioning if any part of his and Matt's friendship has been real, starting with whether Matt is even really blind.
  • The Devil Judge: Inverted when Yo-han asks Ga-on, who's just tried to stab him and had him arrested, if he thinks everything Yo-han said to him was a lie.
  • Forever: Asked by the victim of a con artist pretending to be a noble in "The Man In the Killer Suit"; it turns out he was planning to reveal everything to her and beg her to forgive him because he'd fallen in love with her for real.
  • Happens in a big way on Fringe with Olivia. Twice. The first time used the trope normally with John. Then, in the third season, Olivia has been replaced by her alternate universe version, and Peter has no idea. They even weirdly had feelings for each other at the end of it. Oh, and Peter got her pregnant.
  • Game of Thrones: When Theon invades Winterfell and holds everyone captive, Bran asks if he always hated him and his family.
  • Rachel ponders this in season 1 of Glee after Jesse breaks up with her. In season 2 it was revealed that, in fact, it wasn't.
  • On an episode of Hawaii Five-0, a computer hacker thought his girlfriend was a fellow activist planning to use a stolen NSA file to get them to back off spying on civilians. However, it turns out she's a murderous Russian agent planning to sell the file on the black market, holding him prisoner to force him to decrypt it.
    Hacker: Was any of it real?
    Russian: Well, definitely not the orgasms.
  • iCarly (2021): In the episode "iHate Carly", Carly discovers that her new boyfriend Justin is the troll who has been endlessly harassing her online. Her reaction is to ponder if everything was an act.
    Carly: You lied about seeing the show. And you lied about being "[IHateCarly57]". Was anything you said true? What about the homeless kids? Or the tacos?
    Justin: No, no, Carly, I swear everything since we met has been real.
  • Iron Fist (2017): Danny Rand has been raised by K'un-L'un to be the Immortal Iron Fist, a weapon destined to fight The Hand. Upon his return to New York City, he meets and falls in love with Colleen Wing, who owns a Chinatown dojo. When he learns that Colleen is in the Hand, Danny is convinced that she was trying to seduce him to the Hand. Their relationship actually formed independently of the Hand, but it isn't until Colleen learns the truth about the Hand that Danny finally begins believing her.
  • Kamen Rider Build: Sento asks this question word-for-word after it's revealed that Soichi Isurugi, the friendly coffee shop owner is The Mole who's been working for Faust all along. Isurugi responds "Not all of it", and admitted that they did feel remorse for their actions sometimes, and that Sento and Banjou managed to legitimately impress them, but Sento dismisses this as a bad joke.
  • In the Lost episode "The Economist," Sayid romances Elsa to get to her boss, whom he intends to kill. She indignantly asks, "Was it all a lie?" and then shoots Sayid, because she was just trying to find out who his boss was. Which he apparently knew all along.
    • And you can imagine Kevin, Kate's husband from "I do," would have invoked this trope when she told him, "my name's not Monica," if she hadn't already drugged him half-way to unconsciousness.
  • In a The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode the trained from the cradle mook of the Big Bad holds a girl hostage throughout the episode. At the end, mortally wounded, he tells her he loves her. Weeping the girl asks Napoleon if he thinks he meant it. Honey, when a man expires at your feet and uses his last strength to declare his love to you it is safe to assume he is sincere!
  • In the fifth and six seasons of Monk, Captain Stottlemeyer meets a real estate dealer named Linda Fusco whom he begins dating, but their personal lives eventually force them to only see each other via Skype chats. Then Monk and Natalie expose Linda for using one of these chats as an alibi to gun down her former business associate. Stottlemeyer is left wondering if she truly felt anything for him or intentionally started dating him to begin setting up her crime, even as he throws away the engagement ring he was planning on proposing to her with.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: This is almost word for word what Raelle asks Scylla after finding out she's a part of the Spree, seducing her to get close. Scylla insists that it wasn't, but Raelle doesn't believe this. However later on she realizes it's true and they reconcile, starting their relationship again.
  • In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Just Desserts", Leslie Garland asks his fiance this after learning she murdered her father in order to run off with another woman. She replies "Yes, Leslie, you repulse me" which he thinks is a bit harsh.
  • Nikita: Similar to in Prison Break, it is an inversion of the trope. In Prison Break Michael is the main character and a mole in the prison since the pilot, and we see it all from his point of view. In Nikitathe main character of Alex is set up to be the mole from the very start, and we see it all from her point of view. There is a very dramatic "Was everything just a lie?!" moment coming from a more minor character, Thom, directed at the main character of Alex mid-way through the first season - it is a very intense scene that does involve a gun and is perfect fodder for a mid-season finale with a lot of drama.
  • In NCIS, Jeanne Benoit asks Tony this after learning that their year-long relationship was part of an undercover operation assigned to him by the director of NCIS. He lies, telling her that none of it was real in order to allow both of them to move on.
  • In The Orville, Captain Ed Mercer has a relationship with a woman, Teleya, who turns a member of the Krill species, in disguise, which the Union is at war with. In the third season, the two peoples have a temporary truce against a common enemy, but then Teleya becomes the Krill Supreme Chancellor in "Gently Falling Rain," nullifies the agreement, and captures the party who was hoping to sign a more permanent treaty, including Ed. Ed tries several times to appeal to Teleya on this basis, asking if nothing got through to her during their time together. For her part, Teleya is willing to at least try to save Ed personally because he saved her, but nothing more than that.
  • In Prison Break, Michael used his masculine wiles to get Dr. Sara to leave the infirmary door unlocked, a step vital to... fulfilling the series title. She doesn't ask the question, but he whisper-tells her over the phone that "It was real."
  • Psych: Used when Juliet finds out Shawn has been lying about being a psychic. Given that her dad is a con-man and her stepdad had a secret gambling addiction that almost got them all killed, Juliet does not handle the betrayal well.
    Juliet: Are you telling me this is all a lie?
    Shawn: Please don't make me answer that.
  • In season four of Revenge, Daniel Grayson asks protagonist Emily Thorne if there was anything real about their relationship. Emily admits that there was a time where she had genuine feelings for him, but any hope they had of truly igniting something died when he sided with his father. Later, as Daniel lays dying after saving Emily, she reaffirms this to him, stating that not all of it was a lie.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Resurrection", Kira encounters the Mirror Universe version of her dead lover Bareil. He turns out to be secretly working for her own evil mirror counterpart. In a confrontation between the three of them, Mirror!Kira argues that Bareil was following version 1, while good Kira tries to convince him otherwise. Fortunately Bareil decides he likes version 2 better.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Seska and Chakotay, since she turns out to be a Cardassian disguised as a Bajoran Maquis member. He's actually more horrified to learn that, while her belief in his cause was a lie, her feelings about him possibly weren't, since in later appearances she sometimes comes across as a Stalker with a Crush.
    • In the episode "Inside Man", Barclay discovers that his girlfriend is a Honey Trap working for the Ferengi. He asks if everything about their relationship was a lie.
    "Only the parts where I expressed affection for you."
  • Spock and the nameless Romulan commander (Charvanek being the Expanded Universe name that seems to have stuck, though there are others) from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Enterprise Incident". Spock wasn't supposed to have any real feelings for her, but it's implied that he did.
    • In "The Conscience Of The King", Lenore Karidian, the daughter of a suspected murderer, confronts Kirk over whether his flirtations were all in service of getting at her father. Kirk indicates it was version 3, but Lenore isn't appeased. Of course, it turns out Lenore actually had an ulterior motive of her own.
      Lenore: You talked of using tools. I was a tool, wasn't l? A tool to use against my father.
      Kirk: In the beginning perhaps. But later, I wanted it to be more than that.
      Lenore: Later. Everything's always later. Later. Latest. Too late. Too late, Captain. You are like your ship, powerful, and not human. There is no mercy in you.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • The episode "Legacy", where dead Crewmember Tasha's younger sister Ishara comes on board, befriends everyone but in particular Data, and then betrays them for her allies. Upon leaving she has the following to say.
      Ishara: You know Data, I wasn't always lying to you. The times I spent with you... those were the closest thing to friendship I've ever had. if that means anything to you.
    • Another Next Generation example occurs in "A Matter of Time" when the time-traveling conman Berlinghoff Rasmussen is exposed, and as he is dragged off to the brig, sadly volunteers that he was genuinely attracted to Dr. Crusher.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Valley of the Shadow", Philip Redfield asks Ellen Marshall if she was merely pretending to be in love with him as part of the Secret Test to determine whether he was worthy of gaining access to the equations used by the townspeople to create their Applied Phlebotinum. She reveals to him that her feelings for him were genuine.
  • Titans (2018). In the pilot episode, Kory Anders bluntly tells a gangster she was apparently hooked up with that yes, it was. Then she kills him and his goons.

  • Amnesia by 5 Seconds of Summer is a type 2. The narrator was in a genuine relationship that ended badly; he wonders if his ex's easy recovery from it means she never really loved him at all.
    Sometimes I start to wonder, was it just a lie?
    If what we had was real, how could you be fine?
  • Mentioned in Brooks & Dunn's "That Ain't No Way To Go," after finding a "Dear John" Letter on the mirror in lipstick.
    That ain't no way to go
    Girl, it just ain't right
    Don't you think, that I deserve
    To hear you say goodbye?
    That ain't no way to go
    Was it all a lie?
    After all this time
    That ain't no way to go

    Video Games 
  • Bravely Default: After Airy is revealed to be the Big Bad, the party confronts them in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Agnès asks if all the hardships they went through and the friendship they developed were all lies. The answer is a pained cry for help, for a demon is controlling her and she can't do anything about it. Agnès is initially shocked, but then it turns into a cruel type 1, as that was a lie too, and Airy has no remorse whatsoever for what she has done.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, if you are romancing Morrigan, you can ask this when she reveals her true agenda. Morrigan claims that her feelings are real, and that she never planned on actually falling in love.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Flipped around and played with in Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem. In Chapter 16x, when Katarina reappears she tries to convince Kris that their time together as recruits in the 7th Platoon was all a lie, but it's very much clear she's just trying to convince herself of it. At that point she is so conflicted about her feelings that she actually is hoping to die in that battle, thinking that it's the only way to atone for her sins. Kris however convinces her otherwise.
    • Late in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, it is revealed that Rudolf lied to Berkut his whole life and let him drive himself mad to prove himself worthy of being heir apparent, fully intending to place Rigel in his long-lost son Alm's hands after his death. This causes Berkut to begin questioning the motives of everyone around him, including Rudolf, guard captain Massena, and his fiancée Rinea. In regards to Rudolf, Massena claims to Alm that he truly loved him, but none of their on-screen interactions support this claim. Massena and Rinea are interesting cases in that not only do they clearly do care about Berkut's welfare, but neither of them were actually in on the lie in the first place — Massena indicates that he was only informed of the truth when Alm was right on their doorstep and asks Alm to have mercy on Berkut, and Rinea's "betrayal" was actually an attempt to console Berkut that he misinterpreted in his paranoid state of mind.
    • Taking the Hoshido path sets Corrin against their foster brother Leo, who bluntly tells Corrin that despite what Corrin thought was a close relationship, the truth is that he's always resented them for being the centre of attention, and he's perfectly fine with striking them down now that they're a traitor. Corrin, shocked and deeply hurt, demands word-for-word this trope. In answer, Leo attacks. The truth, though? No, their relationship wasn't a lie. Leo was jealous sometimes, but never resentful. He loved Corrin then and still does now. Once he's defeated, he admits this, and helps Corrin on their way before retreating for the rest of the game.
  • In Heavy Rain, Lauren Winter has one of these moments, standing over the Origami Killer's grave, once it is revealed that Scott Shelby, the man she had been helping and slowly falling for, was the man who killed her son all along.
    • To an extent Ethan Mars can accuse Madison Paige of something similar to this, should they be romanced. After discovering that she is actually a journalist who has been following up on his case, he angrily rebukes her for taking advantage of his situation. She claims that her feelings for him were real, and the player can choose whether or not to forgive her.
  • In Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, the protagonist discovers at the end that his entire life has been just a colossal string of fake memories, fake relatives and fake feelings created and implanted on his mind by his best friend Huepow as part of a Batman Gambit to save the world. To make it worse, he discovers this just seconds after of saying he would be forever together with his friend, AND seconds before of being completely erased from Phantomille. Ouch.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, Carth has alternate lines to a female Revan after the big reveal along these lines (Raphael Sbarge does a great job of sounding genuinely choked up, too). Per your character's inclinations, you can answer with either option. A programming bug made these lines inaccessible unless you mod the game.
    • For a male PC, you can ask Bastila if she ever really felt anything for you after you discover that's she's joined the Sith. She says she didn't, but her hesitation in doing so and later events make it obvious she's lying.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - throughout the game, Crow Armbrust has been a key part of events in the game, helping with organizing Class VII's role in the school festival and even joining the party. Then things go down in the final chapter and it turns out that he's the masked terrorist leader C your party has been after the entire time and his goal all along was to kill the chancellor of Erebeonia. He tells Rean that C is who he really is, but Rean doesn't buy it, asking if he's expected to believe that everything they did together was just a lie, that it meant nothing.
    Crow: I'm... ...Yeah. I'm afraid so.
    • The sequel reveals that Crow was lying. At the end of the game, he pulls a Heel–Face Turn and helps Class VII take down the final boss, dying in the process. And in his dying breath, he talks about how much their time together meant to him. The further sequels explore this even further, as he ends up being resurrected on a seemingly temporary basis, which the party later finds a way to make permanent.
  • Raiden and Rose have a conversation along these lines around the point where things start getting weird in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. She insists that she really did love him; he doesn't believe her. Also, by this point, he's not even sure she really exists. Yeah, it's a bit confusing.
  • Dahlia to Phoenix in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was very much a lie, as the real Dahlia was a complete bitch. But for the "Dahlia" Phoenix knew, it was very much real.
  • In Resident Evil 2 (Remake), Leon confronts Ada after learning that she's been lying about being an FBI agent and is in fact a mercenary paid to acquire the G-Virus. He asks if she was just using him, and her response is of the evasive kind, but she is later unable to shoot him, showing that she came to genuinely care about him.
    Ada: I really hoped it wouldn't end like this.
    Leon: So that's all this was... I was just some pawn to you?
  • Skies of Arcadia has a platonic Type 2 with Belleza. When she reveals herself to Vyse, Fina, and Aika, she responds to the trope-naming question by explaining that the only part of the story of "Bellena"'s past that was a lie was that she was from the country Nasr. She is actually a Valuan, but the tragic past and hatred of war she shared with our heroes were true. She just acts on it by fighting for her homeland to end the wars more quickly.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: Bentley gets over his shock over Penelope's betrayal, and confronts her. His first question to her is to ask why she betrayed him, and whether he did mean something to her. As it turned out, it's Type 1. Penelope happens to be a greedy and manipulative sociopath who only went for Bentley because she saw potential in his skills, and wants to make a fortune through him in weapon designs. She never loved Bentley in the first place, nor even cared about him. Bentley is horrified by Penelope's wickedness, and dumps her.
  • Late in TearRing Saga, you can kill The Mole with his love interest from your army. After you empty his HP bar, Kate asks Zeek if he ever really loved her. His response is a textbook Blatant Lies type 1.
  • Diala Rheinhart asked this question at the end of The Trapped Trilogy, after Dan McNeely reveals that the Immorgamsics solution rewrote her past memories, swapping out McNeely in Diala's relationship for someone else named Mickey Lee; and the fact that Diala led the Armored Gamsees gang from the beginning. This example doesn't really hold the story together that well, though.
  • Shiki and Ciel's relationship in Tsukihime goes through this during Ciel's path, specifically with Ciel trying (unsuccessfully) to hide that it's the second answer.
    • The end of Hisui's route when Shiki is questioning Kohaku about how she really feels. Kohaku more or less admits that yes, she really was Akiha's friend... which means she just betrayed her best friend and has no reason to live anymore and attempts suicide (failed in the Good Ending, successfully in the True Ending). Actually, Kohaku asks herself this during her own route. Gives a little hint to her emotional state, no?

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • This is part of Miko's reaction to discovering that Lord Shojo, her liege and commander, had been faking his senility and manipulating her and the other paladins the whole time. (Benevolently, in truth, but Miko draws different conclusions.)
    • Thrym, the leader of the frost giants, is hopelessly in love with Hel and is devastated to find out she's just a tool in her plans... except that she'd told him that from the very start, so he's been deluding himself.
    Thrym: Yeah, but I didn't think you meant it.
  • In YU+ME: dream , thankfully Lia gets to tell Fiona that while she is not real, her feelings for Fiona are.

    Web Original 
  • In the third chapter of AsteroidQuest, when protagonist Itcher's latest fling turns out to be a plant as he suspected, he asks her "how much of it was a lie?" Her answer is a cheerful "Surprisingly little!"
  • In RWBY Chapter "Uncovered", Ozpin goes into a rant about how he's been betrayed so much that he can no longer trust anyone else with the full truth. Hearing this, Ruby questions if his previous statements on having faith in humanity were just lies to keep the rest of them pacified.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has a variant where the character has not only already figured out the answer to this question by the time he brings up the subject, but is referring to a much broader scope than the specific person he's addressing. In "The Day of Black Sun: Part 2", Zuko verbally tears his father a new one for all the horrible things that Ozai has done, noting how for most of his life, he and many others from the Fire Nation had bought into its perceived greatness and superiority compared to the rest of the world. It's heavily implied that this question must've crossed Zuko's mind, contributing to his Conflicting Loyalties, when he learned on multiple occasions that everyone else viewed the Fire Nation as a tyrannical oppressor — in other words, everything he had been taught about his homeland before being exiled was nothing but propaganda on the Fire Nation's part to make itself look good. "What an amazing lie that was," he says.
  • Parodied in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Mandy has been hanging around Billy's family and eating dinner with them for so long that Billy's dad asks this question verbatim when informed that Mandy is not, in fact, his daughter.
  • The question is asked at the very end of Justice League (but before the transition into Unlimited), after Hawkgirl has betrayed the team and, having decided to help the League in the last minute, opts for leaving the team.
    John Stewart: So, where will you go?
    Hawkgirl: I don't know. Somewhere where the fate of the world isn't in my hands. A place where there are no more secrets. No more lies.
    John Stewart: Was it all a lie?
    Hawkgirl: I love you, John. I never lied about that. (she flies away)
    John Stewart: ...I love you, too...
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: This forms the basis of Wolf's backstory. She was raised by a family of Newton Wolves, and she developed a sisterly bond with the youngest of their pups. But when she time came for the pups to be initiated as a pack, she was designated to be their prey on their first hunt; and to further twist the knife, her supposed friend told her that there wasn't anything between them because "We're wolves, you're human". This painful memory has made it hard for her to trust anyone, especially Mutes, and it even briefly damages her friendship with Kipo when she finds out that she's half-Mute.
    Wolf: How could I ever trust her again?!
    Benson: Because your friendship isn't a lie. You're practically sisters. You can't fake that.
    Wolf: You're wrong. You can fake it.
  • In the 100th episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, it's discovered that Bon Bon, one of the show's Recurring Extras, is actually a secret agent named Sweetie Drops who had to go undercover in Ponyville when one of the monsters she helped capture wound up escaping. This exchange happens when her best friend Lyra, who'd said just a moment before that they know each other like nopony else, discovers her secret:
    Lyra: Are you saying our whole friendship was based on a lie?!
    Bon Bon: I'm sorry, Lyra! I couldn't tell you for your own protection!
    Lyra: (tearing up) B-b-but the lunches! The-the long talks! The benches we sat on! None of that was real?!
    Bon Bon: It was all real. You're my very best friend.
  • In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Fred asks his father, the Mayor, this after learning that he wasn't his father. When they finally reconcile in the Sitting Room (well, Fred and the Mayor Jones's good side reconcile), Mayor Jones admits that raising Fred was the best part of his life, all but stating that no, it wasn't all a lie.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "No Escape, Part II", Tam, who has been manipulated into joining the First Order, asks this of Yeager, as she's been persuaded that Yeager was an "evil" Resistance spy all along thanks to a False Confession he gave. She says that she wasted years of her life working for him and that she saw him as a father.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Bismuth, one of the original Crystal Gems, behaved like this when Rose rejected her plan to shatter their Homeward oppressors with the Breaking Point on the grounds that it's wrong to take a life. This made Bismuth believe that Rose was a traitor to her own cause for sympathizing with the enemy, and that everything she said about being who you want to be was a cruel lie.
      Bismuth: All that talk about how Gems could take control of their own identities! How we'd been convinced to ignore our own potential! That's all it was, wasn't it?! Just! TALK!
    • After the story-shattering reveal that Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond were the same person, Sapphire is so distraught over the fact that Rose was actually their (supposed) mortal enemy that she starts questioning all the "lies" Rose had told her. She even begins to doubt that her romantic relationship with Ruby was ever genuine, because Rose was the first one to support them being together. Fortunately, Pearl telling Sapphire the true story behind Rose's origins and motivations helps her realize that while Rose was not perfect, she did truly care about the Earth and the Crystal Gems, and Sapphire's relationship with Ruby was always genuine.
  • There was a softened-up version of this in Teen Titans, during its adaptation of the "Judas Contract" arc in the second season. When it's revealed that Terra was working for Slade, Beast Boy once again is the one asking the question. This version of Terra gives a Type 2 response instead and tearfully reminds him of his earlier promise to remain her friend even if "something bad happens", at which point he angrily rejects her instead.


Video Example(s):


Operation: Catfish

Really? The wedding was just one big alien baiting sham?

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / OperationBlank

Media sources: