That Time You Caught Someone in a Lie

Illustration for article titled That Time You Caught Someone in a Lie
Screenshot: Miramax/She’s All That (1999 (Fair Use)

Back in 2016, when the world was still bad but we had yet to come to terms with just how horrible things would become, Joanna Rothkopf asked Jezebel commenters to share stories about instances where they got caught in a lie. The answers were hilarious, so I’ve chosen to flip it: Tell me about the time you caught someone else in a lie. Innocuous events welcome, as are those entries that could be filed under Kids Say the Darndest Things and/or the time you caught an ex-partner cheating and sent them packing. How did you figure out they were lying? How did they react? Are you a vehement truth-teller now, as a result? Drop those stories in the comments below.


Before all that, it’s time to check out last week’s winners. These are the best comebacks you’ve ever heard.

odango atama, amazing, this wins:

A woman asked my aunt in a judgmental tone: “Where are you from?”

And my aunt said: “My mother’s twat.”

I was twelve.

Punkdebutante, good:

Seventh-grade boy: “You suck the big one!”

Eighth-grade girl: “Well, I guess that rules you out.”

Still the best one I’ve ever heard.

Imsorryhuhwhat, inspiring:

Not the most original, but it was the only time I was ever sent to the principal’s office:

Scary Tough Girl, who used to be a friend: “go to hell”

12 Year old me, feeling like goddess of snark incarnate: “I’ve already been to your house.”

She was stunned into silence, well until it was time to tattle. My terrified goodie goodie ass was hauled into the office, but since the principal himself was having a lot of trouble handling it with a straight face, I didn’t get in any actual trouble.

PriscillaPalava, straight for the jugular:

My mom, stops what she’s doing and muses: “Oh, I just had a thought...”

My aunt, walking through at that moment: “Did it die of loneliness?”

KenComesInABox, get ‘em!:

I work in software, a very male dominated industry. I was negotiating a deal with another company and the representative said “have you ever worked in software before? It seems like you don’t know what you’re doing.” To which I responded “I see on my LinkedIn notifications that you looked at my page the past 3 days in a row so you already know the answer to that question. You’re just trying to be rude and sexist so clearly this conversation is over.” Hung up, he called later that week to apologize and gave me all my demands

The Old Man from Scene 24, lol:

I was browsing through the sporting goods section of Target one afternoon, when I hear an someone yelling loudly. I turn around to see an irate woman gesticulating wildly and screaming “Hey, dumbass!” After a second, I realize she was trying to get MY attention.

I’m sure the look on my face was one of pure confusion, because I didn’t know this woman and had no idea why she would need to call me a dumbass. This infuriated her even further, and she started walking toward me at a fast clip, while continuing to hurl abuse at me.

When she got nearly toe-to-toe with me and began screaming in my face “I’ve been waiting 20 minutes for someone to open the display case (for the pocket knives) and you’re standing around with your thumb up your ass....”

She continues her tirade for what seemed like an eternity, with me trying to interrupt her but unable to get a word in edgewise. I was called fuck-nuts, ass hole and a few other colorful epithets. Meanwhile, a small crowd of about a half-dozen people had gathered to watch the show,

Finally, the woman asked “Well, are you going to open the display case?” to which I responded simply “No.” I paused for a second to let the shock of that statement sink in and then continued “I don’t work here.”

The small audience laughed, the woman turned nearly purple with rage and an bystander made the sad trombone sound - “Wah-Wah-Waaaaah.”

Pro tip - never shop at Target while wearing a red polo shirt.

The High Woman In The Castle, fuck you and thank you Amy, indeed:

In elementary school, I had this terrible teacher, Mr. Long. He was a dick who clearly had anger management issues and a palpable dislike of children. Lest you think he was some holdover from the days when no one cared what went on in classrooms, he was 25. We were his second class after completing his bachelor’s and his student teaching requirement.

A lot of us were having trouble with long division. One problem was like 45,731 divided by 8269. We were taking a long time, and Mr. Long was famously impatient. If you took too long to answer, he’d snap his fingers in your face. (If you have no patience, why work with kids? Anyway...)

Amy Taylor was in Gifted and Talented, but she was struggling too. Her mom looked out for her and stood up to teachers. Amy also occasionally bullied me.

Mr. Long had gone on one of his usual tirades mixed in with directions on how to solve the problem. He was repeating, “Add the zero.” When he called on me, I’d forgotten to add the zero. The following exchange happened:

Mr. Long: ADD THE ZERO! It’s a good thing I live alone because I’ve said this so much that I’ll be saying it in my sleep for the rest of my life.

Amy: it’s pretty obvious why you live alone.

Everyone gasped. No one said anything. Mr. Long started to respond but withdrew. He went on with the lesson as though nothing happened but with a lot less vitriol.

Dude had issues. Why he thought teaching was a good idea, I don’t know.

As for Amy, fuck you and thank you.

GrilledCheese_n_vodka, this one is... sweet? Kind of?:

My most favourite burn: the morning after an awesome wedding with an open bar, my best friend says to me “you were so drunk last night I had to carry you home!” To which I said “no you didn’t. I remember walking home.” He replied “well, I carried your emotional baggage then.” Makes me smile every time I think of it.


Burn your friends in the comments below.

URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.



Burner to not self-dox - I caught my then boyfriend, now husband in a lie once. I came into a room, and he was listening to headphones intensely. I asked him what he was listening to, and he said “NPR”. I thought nothing of it, and went about my day, until about half an hour later he came to me, crying. He was listening to sports radio, a particularly sexist crass announcer, but the only one who was playing his sports ball game, and he felt so bad for lying to me about it that he’d been crying since I asked him. And that’s how good a liar my husband is. It’s sort of nice, but also sometimes a bummer when he’s not able to pull off a social lie to get us out of something we don’t want to do, or can’t pull off a nice surprise. But it’s still cute so I guess I’ll stick with him!