Bad Liar

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Seems legit. Also, don't you mean AN apple?

"The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that you will be baked, and then there will be cake."


This page, if it were about Bad Liars, would say that sometimes, but never for comedic effect, a character is unable to lie in a convincing way and comes up with really silly lies that fool no one. It would not point out that children are especially prone to it, because once they get over their innocent inability they have little practice. It would not talk about physical tics that give away liars either. And it would especially never say that this is a reason why Keeping Secrets Sucks, because keeping secrets is cool. But this page isn't about Bad Liars, so it won't. Seriously.

This page is not related to Hurricane of Excuses or Suspiciously Specific Denial. Honest. And Inflationary Dialogue is definitely not a specific form of it. And examples of this trope are never confused with Refuge in Audacity, so you never, ever have to worry about mistaking one for the other.

Actually this is Consummate Liar. Yeah, yeah. That's the ticket.

Pinocchio does not say that this page is a lie and that this actually is for comedic effect, children are prone to it, physical tics do give away the lie, and this is not Consummate Liar. What a riot that Pinocchio is, huh?

Below are not examples of Bad Liar. They are oatmeal raisin peanut-butter cookie pizzas.

These are not examples:

Totally Not Anime and Manga

Sanji: If I ever got the ability I wanted to use it to GIRL'S BATH Ah no, I meant I asked myself GIRL'S BATH No, I wanted to use it to benefit the humanity GIRL'S BATH.

  • Nagi of Hayate the Combat Butler has been known to fall into this. Sending Hayate out with Maria on a false date to throw off a stalker. The excuse she gives for not taking Hayate out herself (despite having fallen in love with him at the start of the story) is that they would be mistaken for just a sibling pair. Even normally clueless Hayate comments on how transparent the excuse is.
  • ARAGO is a borderline case. He can lie somewhat convincingly—except that every time he does he starts tugging on his ear. Even after a childhood friend points it out to him (he hadn't noticed). Even when he's running.
  • Hanaukyo Maid Tai La Vérité episode 11. Ryuuka is revealed as one when she furiously blushes while trying to claim that she just came along to make a mess.
  • Celty from Durarara!! manages to be this without being able to speak.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Yuki Nagato is a terrible liar in most ways (due to having little imagination and being a Fish Out of Water), which can be important since she needs to lie to Haruhi often. She will pause for several seconds when asked a question she needs to answer with a lie (and even tried to get Kyon to lie for her once). On the other hand her virtually unchanging expressions help her a bit with this. Compare to Itsuki, who has taken acting lessons and is very imaginative.
    • Also, Haruhi herself generally manages to be a pretty terrible liar, especially when it involves things relating to her feelings for Kyon. Luckily (or perhaps unluckily, depending on the way you look at it) for her, they either pass right over his head or he is very, very good at turning a blind eye.
  • Elsie in The World God Only Knows is the Trope Namer for the Wild Card Excuse, and makes so many Suspiciously Specific Denials that she deserves to be called one.
  • Gohan of Dragon Ball. He's totally not Saiyaman! Nor is he the Golden-haired Warrior. And he's definitely not the son of Goku!

Most Certainly Not Fan Works

  • Elspeth of Luminosity is an interesting example: a part of her power is that when she tells the truth, anyone she's talking to knows absolutely that that is the truth. Because she lacks the not-quite-Required Secondary Powers, this makes it glaringly obvious when she's lying because the heavens don't part to sing that this is true.
  • In Oh God Not Again, Ginny is specifically portrayed as being this. When Ron wonders where Ginny got the extra money she was spending on school supplies (which she got from her cut of a completely inaccurate book by Lockhart), she freaks out and demands to know if he's implying she stole it. Harry thinks to himself that the Weasleys were raised to be honest.
  • In The Man With No Name, the (10th) Doctor laments his inability to lie convincingly in this regeneration several times.
  • Dragon Ball Abridged; Vegeta, on the Dragon Radar.

Vegeta: Stupid looking watch you got there.
Gohan: Yes, it tells time...and nothing else.
Vegeta: That's what a watch does. Dumbass.

  • Socrates in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
  • There is a Durarara!! fanfic[please verify] where Izaya and Shizuo where having hate sex and he accidently broke Izaya's hip. When Shinra came round, he said that when he walked in, Izaya tripped over a bucket, which Shizuo then threw out of the window onto another roof, then an eagle that had escaped from Tokyo zoo came and picked it up. Then, when Shinra asked why Izaya was only wearing his boxers, Shizuo said that when he fell over the bucket, his clothes slipped off.

No Chance This Could Be the Film Section

  • In the teaser trailer for Arthur Christmas, an elf found in the North Pole by a wildlife documentary filmmaker goes into detail about every single thing that happens in the trailer while saying that they're not, such as how he's "not" an elf, the man in the sweater who pops up and calls Santa his dad is "not" the son of Santa Claus, and that the North Pole is "not" a place where Santa makes test flights so that he can deliver toys to millions of children around the world while a giant red flying saucer that serves as Santa's sleigh flies right over them, Also saying that there is no movie.
  • Jimmy Durante in a scene in Jumbo attempts to sneak his beloved elephant Jumbo off the circus grounds, only to be confronted by a sheriff, who demands: "Where you going with that elephant?" Caught red-handed, Durante blithely replies "What elephant?"
    • There's another Jimmy Durante movie in which he's guarding the dressing room of the beautiful young singer played by Kathryn Grayson from a pushy fan. "She's got twelve kids and I'm the youngest!"
  • From the movie The Princess Bride:

Miracle Max: You got any money?
Inigo Montoya: Sixty-five.
Miracle Max: I've never worked for so little. Except once, and that was a very noble cause.
Inigo Montoya: This is noble, sir. His wife is... crippled. His children are on the brink of starvation.
Miracle Max: Are you a rotten liar.
Inigo Montoya: I need him to help avenge my father, murdered these twenty years.
Miracle Max: Your first story was better.

    • The last two lines are either an inversion, in that Miracle Max thinks he's lying when he's not, or it's simply that Miracle Max is less pleased by the real story than he was by the lie.
  • Charlotte in The Princess Diaries.
  • Guest House Paradiso: Eddie is welcoming a new guest into the hotel when there is a huge explosion from the kitchen. When the guest asks about this he answers, "Mice... Basque separatist mice..."
  • The young hero of The Sorcerers Apprentice has this problem, which is a major plot element.
    • The titular sorcerer actually says this is a good thing, as good wizards are supposed to be truthful. This doesn't stop him from lying, although he's not that great at it either (sake is not Chinese).
  • In A Guide For The Married Man, Robert Morse is instructing Walter Matthau how to successfully cheat on his wife. A series of vignettes are used to illustrate different points. One directive concerns what you do if you are caught: Deny, deny deny!. The vignette is a man (Joey Bishop) who is caught in his own bedroom by his wife (Ann Morgan Guilbert). She keeps asking him what he's doing?, what's going on?, who's that woman? He keeps answering with denials: Nothing. I don't know what you mean. What woman? All the while, the woman is getting dressed, and eventually leaves, he makes the bed and straightens out the bedroom, and finally goes to his favorite chair, lights his pipe and picks up the newspaper. When he's all done, there's no indication that anything out of the ordinary ever happened. She eventually is so disconcerted that she simply asks him what he wants for dinner.
  • In Star Trek: First Contact, Data is... simply... imitating the behavior of humans when he gets his new arm of flesh slashed during an escape attempt from the Borg Queen's clutches. Queenie then tells him that he has now learned how to lie. Data's fortunately a very quick learner and outgrows being a Bad Liar to pull off the ultimate fakeout on the Queen later in the movie.

This Really isn't the Literature section.

  • Harry Potter. As Snape said, he "has a tendency to wear his heart on his sleeve." He gets better, though. Naturally, the fact that Snape is an accomplished legilimen (telepath) does not help in this instance.
  • In the Master and Commander series, Stephen Maturin ponders Sophie Williams' talent for prevarication.

Post Captain: She lies with as much skill as Preserved Killick -- a desperate stare, and her face the most perfect damask rose.

    • Sophie Williams is Jack Aubrey's fiancée at this point.
    • Preserved Killick is the name of Jack Aubrey's servant. Really.
  • Terry Brooks' Magic Kingdom of Landover series had the gnomes that were incredibly bad liars.
  • Discworld:
  • Animorphs: When called upon to make up a phone number, Cassie comes up with "12345678". Marco, who has no problem making up anything ever, chastises her ASAP.

Marco: Eight? You gave him eight numbers? Remind me never to be a spy with you.

    • Ax at one point is convinced to take the blame for giving humans the morphing technology to spare his brother the shame, but fails to think up a decent lie about it. When his superiors later ask how he met the Animorphs he replies with the truth: They rescued him from his ship at the bottom of the ocean...using technology he supposedly gave them. No one buys it.
  • Huckleberry Finn: Huck is occasionally brilliant at spinning yarns to get what he wants. More often, however, he forgets his fake identity, where he's supposedly from, and what he claimed his job was. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Dresden Files. Harry Dresden admits to being a bad liar (especially in the earlier books), mostly by virtue of just not being able to make his lies sound natural. As the series progresses, he gets somewhat better at being deceptive, mostly by being very selective about what information he imparts.
  • Billy Bunter. "I say, keep that beast Coker off! I wasn't in his study when he found me there, the suspicious beast! I wasn't after his cake! There wasn't any cake, and I never touched it, and I had hardly a mouthful when the brute came in! I say, you fellows -- ow! Oh crikey!"
  • In Rudyard Kipling's Danny Deever, some interesting weather:

"What makes the rear-rank breathe so 'ard?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's bitter cold, it's bitter cold", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What makes that front-rank man fall down?" said Files-on-Parade.
"A touch o' sun, a touch o' sun", the Colour-Sergeant said.

  • Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, which makes it impossible for her to convince Raoul and her adopted mother that she is not in any danger from her stalker, and later makes it impossible for her to hide from Erik the fact that Raoul and the Persian are inside his house.
  • The protagonist of Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures is this. When he asks the mentor for help, he tries the "my friend Urs has this problem..." approach, but slips and says "I" instead of "Urs" several times. The mentor is nice enough not to mention.
  • Alek from Leviathan. Literally every time he opens his mouth to try and tell a lie, he effs up. It doesn't really help that the people he tries to lie to are really sharp.
  • Michael from the Knight and Rogue Series doesn't like to lie, but when he gets into a situation where he's really got no other options, or if he's trying to spare someone's feelings, he'll give it a shot. Since he's so rotten at it though, it makes no difference. However, in a really desperate situation he can convincingly lie, and because he's known to be so bad at lying no one doubts him in the slightest.
  • Laszlo Scott from The Butterfly Kid. Not so much because of poor imagination or lack of skill, but because he tells so many lies he can't remember who he told which lie to. Chester (the book's first-person narrator) calls this his "greatest personal weakness".

Live-Action TV? No, this is dead... inaction... VT.

  • In the Red Dwarf episode where they visit the alternative reality, Holly is seen covered in lipstick after meeting Hilly. When asked "What is that lipstick on your face?", his reply is "What face?"
    • And in a different episode, Lister has to teach Kryton how to lie.
    • In the episode "Out of Time", Kryten learns what will happen to the crew in the future. He is upset that Lister is destined to become a brain in a jar, but can't tell him anything about it. He starts to cry in the kitchen when Lister comes in:

Lister: Everything okay?
Kryten: Oh, yup yup. Those darn onions get you every time!
Lister: What onions?
Kryten: Ah, the onions I'm about to peel. I always get a little emotional when I have to deprive an onion of its skin.
Lister: Don't Nixon me, man! Tell me the truth!

Phoebe: Ooh, honey. You stink at lying.
Joey: I do not.
Phoebe: Oh really. OK, let me ask you something. Yesterday at the coffee house, I went to the bathroom and when I came back, my muffin was gone. Who took it?
Joey: Somebody opened the door to the coffee house and a raccoon came running in, went straight for your muffin, and I said, "Hey don't eat that! That's Phoebe's," and he said... He said... "Joey, you stink at lying." What am I going to do?

    • Also in Friends, when Rachel was keeping her pregnancy secret. In the Season 7 finale, the audience wasn't supposed to realize Rachel was pregnant until the very last minute, so she lied incredibly well, even in spur of the moment situations. But then in the Season 8 premiere, when the audience does know Rachel's pregnant, her lying skills go straight down the toilet and the secret is out in no time.
  • Hurley on Lost.
  • An odd Reality Television example is Zoe Zanidakis from the fourth season of Survivor. When Kathy asks her if she's going to vote Kathy out, Zoe pauses for over ten seconds. Then she says no. Oops.
  • Ned in Pushing Daisies. When asked how he worked out that the Victim of the Week's plane was hijacked just from looking at his body (when what he actually did was resurrect the victim and talk to him), he said "DNA...ish?" In another episode, he and his cohorts pretended to have been sent by the Vatican, and when a nun said that she thought they'd be Italian, his response was "We are. Part time."
  • In the Firefly episode "Jaynestown" Simon has to pose as a buyer of mud. Luckily for him, the foreman has not one grain of paranoia in him, as he's very, very unconvincing. This elicits the remark by a crewmember: "Who is this diabolical master of disguise?"
    • In the movie Serenity, he does a better job impersonating an Alliance inspector. Which is odd, because technically that scene came first for the character.
      • Plus, he had time to prepare before infiltrating the Academy. Mal designated him as their buyer cover about five minutes before he had to perform. Simon does not do that well on the spot, but give him prep time, and he's pretty gorram amazing.
      • Perhaps because he's never thought of buying mud, and has little to no idea what is done with it, while he's very good at the medical jargon used at the Academy.
    • In the episode "Ariel", Jayne tries to convince the hospital authorities that he's an ambulance driver. After a heap of coaching, he answers the question even though it's never asked.
  • Saturday Night Live had Tommy Flanagan (Jon Lovitz) and his wife, Morgan Fairchild... whom he's slept with. Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • A perennial flaw of the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers and Father Ted are two major examples. In their case it's to get out of trying situations, only the explanations become so convoluted, bizarre and obviously fake, they needn't have bothered.
  • Rene in 'Allo 'Allo! is also a terrible liar, never more than when trying to explain to his wife why he's embracing one of the waitresses. She however seems to accept his nonsense—whether she genuinely believes it or just wants a quiet life is never clear.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the episode "Anne":

Buffy: You know, I just woke up, and I looked in the mirror, and I thought, hey, what's with all the sin? I need to change. I'm dirty. I'm bad with the sex and the envy and that loud music us kids listen to nowadays.... Oh, I just suck at undercover.

    • Buffy has this problem in other episodes. Example, from "Lie to Me":

Buffy: Um, uh... there was a-a cat. A cat here. And um, uh, then there was a-another cat. And they fought. The cats. And... then they left.
Ford: Oh. I thought you were just slaying a vampire.
Buffy: What? Whating a what?

    • And then there's Anya trying really hard to convince the Watchers' Council that there isn't anything demonic in her origin, no sir.
    • Early on, Willow got this role before basically passing it on to Anya.
    • Also, when Faith tries to frame Buffy to Giles for something she did (can't remember what), Giles only pretends to be mad at Buffy until Faith leaves, at which point he reveals he knew Faith did it, since lying isn't one of her strong points.
  • Over on Angel, according to Gunn, lying is the "one" thing Fred isn't good at.
  • Normally, Dean Winchester of Supernatural is an excellent liar. He impersonates FBI agents, police officers, park rangers, what have you. But when Dean contracts a Ghost Virus, and becomes a complete and total coward, he also turns into the worst liar north of Mexico.

Mr. Garland: Let me see some ID.
Sam: Of course. (Garland looks their ID's over)
Dean: (nervously) Those are real. Obviously. I mean, who would pretend to be an FBI agent? That's just nutty!

  • The title character of Monk is shown to have this character trait when Sharona asks him if he actually saw the photos of her posing nude; he hesitates for a long time, tentatively says "No," then blurts out "Yes" as he's walking away.
  • In Misfits, Nathan and Simon explain their friend Curtis' absence to his girlfriend by claiming that he had been arrested earlier that day for exposing himself to some Boy Scouts. To be fair, Nathan was only lying to amuse himself, but Simon (who is typically a bad liar anyway) genuinely seemed to think he was being helpful.
  • In The IT Crowd Jen asks Moss to make up an excuse to get rid of her unwanted suitor, telling him to just say she is busy when he seems nervous about this. Moss then blurts out to the suitor that Jen is dead, causing the whole office to go into mourning, which ends rather abruptly when Jen walks into her own memorial ceremony...
  • Chuck combines this with Nonverbal Miscommunication. Awesome is trying to explain to Ellie where he's been all day; Chuck tries to help him by miming behind Ellie's back, which results in a story about Awesome decapitating a bear he encountered in the park. Chuck has to step in with a more plausible lie.
    • Awesome can't really lie to Ellie, but he has no problem lying to other people, even Chuck.
  • Jeff from Coupling is a terrible liar. His trademark Digging Yourself Deeper monologue is often triggered by telling a stupid, unconvincing and ludicrous lie where the truth would actually have been perfectly acceptable...
    • Not really. More often that not, his lies are believed, with disastrous results - Chrissie when he claims to have a wooden leg, Wilma when he tells her that his girlfriend is dead (though she's not totally convinced until she sees Julia unconscious in his flat). Steve and Sally are a better fit for this one, such as when they're both seen demonstrating the symptoms of a lie being exposed that Jeff describes to them - the prickles, the blurts and the head-laugh.
    • Patrick as well, best demonstrated when he accidentally lets slip to Steve that he slept with Jane, then tries to deny it.

Steve: Patrick, I know you. You can't keep a lie like this going!
Patrick: Course I can. Damnit!
Steve: Look, when did this happen?
Patrick: What, the lying or the sleeping with Jane? Damnit!!

  • Some of the suspects on Lie to Me are painfully terrible liars.
  • Alan Tudyk's character from Dollhouse:

"Those are carrots. Medicinal carrots, that were here when I moved in, and I'm holding... for a friend."

Officer: Anything to declare?
Man: Yes... no! No! No! No! Nothing to declare, no, nothing in my suitcase no...
Officer: No watches, cameras, radio sets?
Man: Oh yes... four watches... no, no, no. No. One... one watch... No, no. Not even one watch. No, no watches at all. No, no watches at all. No... precision watches, no.

    • This reaches its logical conclusion when the man finally confesses to watch smuggling, only to have the Customs Officer not believe his confession because he's such a terrible liar.
      • Perhaps the customs agent is just bad at his job; after all, he lets the obvious smuggler (from Zurich, Spain) through, but immediately tosses a collared priest into a side chamber for a strip search.
  • Robin from How I Met Your Mother giggles whenever she lies.
  • Spencer from iCarly once tried to take Carly out of school to go to the amusement park. When pressed for an excuse, he said he was taking her to a doctor's appointment. With Dr. Rollercoaster.
  • Kaamelott: King Léodagan, afflicted with an extreme case of Brutal Honesty, is a bad liar the very rare times he tries it.
  • Sonny With a Chance: Sonny is a terrible liar. When she lies, her voice usually goes up an octave, and she stammers. The stammering tendency is shared by her boyfriend Chad. Seriously, the cast of So Random must be pretty gullible to fall for the multitude of excuses that Sonny and Chad come up with to hide the fact that they're planning to go on a date. By the time they're all in the limo and have Sonny and Chad cornered, they're either turning a blind eye to get free food, or they are seriously the most gullible people ever to be on television.
  • It is something of a Running Gag that Lee Mack is this on Would I Lie to You?

[Lee is having to claim that he used children's cutlery at every meal for a special diet]
Rob Brydon: What was the inspiration for this?
Lee: I read it in a book.
Rob: Which book was that?
Lee: The book of... dieting...

    • Another example:

David Mitchell:You were 12 or 13, how old was Steve?
Lee:Steve was... [He looks at Steve, who is clearly much younger than him] he was... he was... [long hesitation] He wasn't born...

  • Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory develops "more tics than a Lyme disease research facility" on his face whenever he tries to lie.
  • Due South: Benton Fraser is a really bad liar:

[Fraser appears at the table in the restaurant where Insp. Thatcher is with her skirt-chasing former boss, Henri Cloutier]
Fraser: I'm sorry to interrupt your evening, Ma'm, but I thought it prudent to inform you that there's been an emergency.
Thatcher: What sort of emergency?
Fraser: With your car. It's... [looking around quickly, then noticing the candle on the table] on fire.
Cloutier: What?
Fraser: No, it is. It's burning away. All the other cars feel threatened.
Cloutier: Oh, please! You're making that up!
Fraser: Well...[hangs his head] yes.

  • In the Scrubs episode "My First Kill", J.D. is trying to tell Dr Cox why a patient isn't being treated, without admiting he just chickened out.

J.D.: (Internal Monologue): Now you're going to lie here. Don't be too specific.
J.D.: Since one forty-two yesterday afternoon. His wife didn't want him to do it. She's beautiful, by the way; one blue eye, one green eye. She's from Luxemburg. They're both from Luxemburg. They're Luxem ... burgian.
Dr Cox: Where in Luxemburg? I spent two weeks there.
J.D.: (Internal Monologue): What are the odds? Just stay vague.
J.D.: Outside Mertert, near the German border. They say what they miss most are those lazy summer afternoons on the Mouselle River.

  • The title character on Miranda. The always single and childless woman once tried to get out of one of her mother's setup by claiming to have a sick daughter.
  • The characters on Being Human (UK), save for Nina, are pretty bad liars, particularly George. Worse yet, when the group is in desperate need of a good lie he never steps down and lets one of the other characters take care of it; he always comes up with the lie. It is often answered with skepticism.
  • In some early episodes of Criminal Minds Reid would be reduced to a stammering mess any time he needed to lie. He got better in later seasons.
  • In an episode of Stark Raving Mad it's revealed that lying makes Henry so nervous that he starts speaking in a Daffy Duck-esque voice. Ian helps him prepare for a situation where he has to lie by drawing on Henry's experience as an actor in college: by rehearsing lies before hand, Henry can then lie convincingly (albeit in a somewhat hammy fashion).
  • Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, honest to a fault, fails miserably at any and all of her rare attempts at subterfuge, in most cases ratting herself out.
  • On Season 18 of The Amazing Race, the penultimate leg had Flight Time & Big Easy and Zev & Justin find a flight that would put them in Brazil half a day in front of Kisha & Jen and Gary & Mallory, but when Mallory asked the Globetrotters if they had found a better flight, Flight Time's horrible lie all but gave away that they had, and all four teams got on the same flight, resulting in Zev & Justin getting eliminated when they struggled on the leg.
  • Maxwell Smart. A Running Gag on Get Smart went like this:

Smart: [makes an impressive sounding, but very absurd claim] Can you believe that? [makes claim again]
Listener: I find that hard to believe.
Smart: Would you believe [makes a less impressive, but still absurd claim]?
Listener: No.
Smart: How about [makes a claim that sounds pathetic]?

Rad- Literature! Film! Not Radio! At All!

  • Arthur in Cabin Pressure goes a funny colour and falls over when he lies. Even when he's sitting down. See, for instance, this dialogue with one Douglas Richardson.

Douglas: Answer this question with a lie. What's your name?
Douglas: Arthnoldmanercatsirman... That's an unusual name. Tell me, is it made up?
Arthur: Yes, it is. Augh!
Douglas: You see, that's the sort of trick question you want to watch for. I'll tell you a secret: the way to lie convincingly is never make something up, just tell a different truth. So, if you have to lie about where you were today, tell them where you really were last week. If you have to give a false name, use a real name you already know. Try again. What's your name?
Arthur: Douglas Richardson!
Douglas: Better. But not quite perfect.

    • Needless to say, the advice about telling where you were last week isn't exactly put to good use either.
  • In Hello Cheeky, John occassionally suffered this trope, usually while trying to conceal something he had just said about his affair with Barry's wife.

John: Matter of fact, one of my best friends is Barry's wife. I mean...I'm in love with a West Indian dwarf.

NOT Newspaper Comics, These Are Editorials

  • Calvin and Hobbes is full of bad liars:
    • Calvin himself. Even when you consider that he is a child, his lies can be pretty absurd. Trying to blame Hobbes every time he does something bad is a common one (whether Hobbes is simply his imaginary friend or not is debatable, but everyone else sees him as a stuffed toy), but there are lots of others. Really, the only thing sillier than his lies is that he actually expects anyone to believe them.
    • Susie fit the Trope too. When Calvin decides to cheat on a math test by asking Susie for answers, and when she tells him 12 + 7 is "a billion," even the math-impaired Calvin senses something is up: "That's what she said 3 + 4 was."
    • His dad can be pretty bad too, although he can usually fool Calvin. One example:

Calvin: Dad, were there dinosaurs when you were a kid?
Dad: Oh sure! Your grandfather and I used to put on our leopard skins and hunt brontosaurus for all the clan rituals.
Mom (after Calvin has left): Listen, buster, I think Calvin's grades are bad enough, don't you?

    • The nighttime monsters that live under his bed are lousy liars. Every time he shouts out something like "Any monsters under there?" he's sure to get several replies of "Nope!" or the like. Even Calvin is smart enough not to fall for that.

Tabletop Games examples aren't here at all. Honest.

  • The "Easy to Read" disadvantage causes this in GURPS.
  • In Deadlands, the "Lyin' Eyes" disadvantage represents this.

These aren't Video Games, these are... uh... Reality Games... yeah.

  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Chatot, and he really doesn't like it when the other Guild members lampshade it.
  • Iji blatantly stutters when she lies. Fortunately, it matters little when talking to aliens.
  • Portal: GLaDOS is a habitual liar but her habit of mentioning the truth or creating blatantly obvious fabrications on the fly are readily apparent to the audience.
    • In the second game, Wheatley isn't exactly good at this either. For instance, trying to "hack" the neurotoxin control system: "Hello Guv'. Neurotoxin inspector, need to shut this place down for a moment. Here's my credentials; shut yourself down. I am totally legit, from the board of neurotoxin, uh, observers, from the United Arab Emirates."
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Bastila Shan has a problem with her mouth moving when she thinks, but only when talking to a male player character.
  • Rune Factory 3's Sofia's lies are made quite obvious as her dialogue will be printed in red to indicate that she actually means the opposite. This is solely for the player's benefit, as the other characters lack the Medium Awareness to see it.
  • These crop up a lot during the opening levels of L.A. Noire. Granted the game is mostly about reading people, so it's somewhat a Justified Tutorial.
  • Frank Sawhit in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Justified, as he's the killer in the first ever case in the series, (and that's not even a spoiler) and thus serves to get the player used to finding contradictions in witness testimonies.
    • He somehow manages to be even WORSE when he appears in prison in Investigations 2, though.
  • The Team Fortress 2 "Meet the Medic" video shows that the Medic is a bit of a bad liar: he claims that ribs grow back, and the Heavy looks unconvinced even before the Medic turns to one of his pet doves and loudly whispers, "No zhey don't." It's unclear why he even bothered to claim that ribs grow back, because the Medigun should make it a moot point anyway.
    • Its funny because ribs DO grow back
  • From Battletoads (2020 version); in a cutscene, the heroes seem to abandon the Dark Queen and renege on their deal, leaving her at the Guardian’s mercy. Naturally, she is furious at them, shaking her fist (and using her hand in a way that does not involve a fist) calling them (among other things) “stinky wimps”. Then they come back for her, having left her behind by accident:

Zits: Heya, Queen, correct me if I’m wrong, did I hear you scream that we stink?
Dark Queen: What? No! I was talking about the Cattletoads! Like you guys, but cattle, they stink!

I swear these aren't Web Comics.

Jason: Well, we've been having a real problem with Canadian Trapdoor Alligators. They scoop you up in a sack and drag you off to their den. It's horrible.
Anna: I'm impressed. Somehow I thought you'd be a better liar.
Jason: I'm not used to having to lie to a woman I didn't wake up next to.

Haley: No offense, but you literally can't bluff to save your life. In fact, I think your bluffs usually endanger your life in new and exciting ways.

Web Animation really doesn't belong in here.

Don't even bother looking for Web Original here.

  • Light in the original Death Note Abridged by TioH and Dargonakis. to the point where he blurts out the fact that he's Kira to his father. His father being the way he is promptly forgets about it.
  • Link wanted some time alone, so he lied repeatedly to Rhett in Ultimate Caption Fail 2.
  • The Nostalgia Chick wasn't fooling anyone when she said she would be the last person to fall for a guy whose face she'd never seen.
  • The Nostalgia Critic's just as bad, stammering and falling into awkwardness when he can't keep a lie going, which is often.
  • Jay from Marble Hornets, who at one point gives the same person three different contradicting stories as to why he's staying in a hotel and carrying a camera everywhere he goes.
  • Dr. Bright from the SCP Foundation; it's gotten to the point that using "it was an accident" as an excuse is on the Long List of things he is not allowed to do.


  • Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender; when caught hatching a plan to escape from The Boiling Rock, he responds that the only thing they were hatching was "... an egg?"
    • Zuko is also a pretty bad liar (Azula must have gotten all the lying prowess in the family). In "The Southern Air Temple", Zhao sees right through his clumsy story:

Zhao: (looking at Zuko's ship) That's quite a bit of damage.
Zuko: Yes. You wouldn't believe what happened. Uncle! Tell Commander Zhao what happened!
Iroh: It was incredible!... what, did we crash or something?
Zuko: (looking WAY too innocent) Yes! Right into... an Earth Kingdom ship.

    • According to the 'Avatar Extras' (Popups that give tidbits of trivia during a set of reruns) Zuko and Iroh have many talents...lying isn't one of them.
  • South Park. After being accused of toilet papering someone's house:

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 Fritas 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.

  • Futurama: After accidentally trashing Hermes' office, Bender's excuse is this:

Bender: Uh, it was ghosts! Big ones! And a tornado!

  • Family Guy: Brian's explanation of why he's washing the sheets (that he soiled).

Lois: Those look like our sheets and our quilt.
Brian: They are -- I'm-I'm washing them in some fabric softener because last night they were so itchy I couldn't sleep which is why I was downstairs when you asked me if everything was okay... You know, 'cause it was so itchy.

Mom: Brak, why don't you run along and play with Winston?
Brak: Okay, where's he stay at?
Franklin: At the bottom of the stairs; you can't miss it. However, if you do, you'll fall through the trapdoor and die.
Dad: You have a trapdoor?
Franklin: Of course not.
Dad: But you just--
Franklin: No I didn't.

  • Phineas from Phineas and Ferb in "The Beak". He scratches his ear, stutters and giggles nervously whenever he lies in that episode, and he lies only to Isabella, for that matter. However, he turns into a Consummate Liar while lying to his mother or Candace.
  • The titular Venture Brothers are a prime example.

Sea Captain: Yer... not a good liar, are ya, Dean?
Dean: Mmmmmmaybe...

  • Beezy on Jimmy Two-Shoes. He'll often buckle under pressure and tell people to quit interrogating him, even if they're simply commenting casually to what he is saying.
  • Applejack from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is defined by her honesty. In the second season's pilot, Discord turns her into a liar, but doesn't exactly give her the skills to do it well. Every time she lies, she bites her lip and makes shifty eyes.
    • And when she's actually speaking, she blurts it out in a manner that makes it look like she's the dumbest pony alive-both in facial expression and content. She gets better at it in the next episode, at which point it's resolved.
  • Artemis in Young Justice. She looks away, stutters, and visibly has to fish for ideas when lying. This is made kind of hilarious by the fact that her father and sister are supervillains, and her mother is a reformed one. Which is usually what she's lying about.
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Adora’s attempt to infiltrate an enemy stronghold by Dressing as the Enemy is quickly aborted, as she has no poker face whatsoever. Netossa later claims this is Adora’s inability to bluff a foe is her Weaksauce Weakness.
  • From G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero; Destro is a really bad liar. Right, she had something in her eye, sure...

This is not the end of the page; this is the, uhhhh, beginning. Yeah, the beginning - that's right, the beginning.