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Jeruba's avatar

What TV series main characters are (or were) habitual liars?

Asked by Jeruba (51916points) September 20th, 2020

Talking Lucy Ricardo, not Eddie Haskell.

What main characters—focal characters, the “good guys,” in sitcoms especially—lie routinely? Who has modeled covering up misdeeds and mistakes, pulling off schemes, and solving problems by telling lies?

Even if they get caught in the end (by Ricky, say), which characters embedded in our culture have demonstrated a penchant for deception as the solution to problems?

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10 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Elim Garak, former agent of the Obsidian Order, lied most of the time, regarding the truth as a “lack of imagination”.

JLeslie's avatar

The Nanny suggested some deceit at times, but usually the truth came out eventually. She modeled her comedy after Lucy.

Roseanne did some lying and dishonesty also.

Sophia and Blanche on the Golden Girls. Mostly in the form of long tales.

stanleybmanly's avatar

How about Samantha Stevens on Bewitched. Both her and her husband lived a perpetual (and necessary) lie. Cosmo Topper was my favorite of all the tv liars. With, George, Marian and the always drunk Saint Bernard named Neal, Topper had plenty to lie about in his upper crust English accent.

Zaku's avatar

I expect the list of non-habitual liars may be longer.

Especially if you count withholding information. So many TV/film plots have “drama” that is 90% the characters not telling each other things they should tell each other.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Jim from According to Jim.

janbb's avatar

Bart “I didn’t do it” Simpson

Kardamom's avatar

Major Nelson and Major Healy both had to lie about all kinds of magical things that happened because of Jeannie.

The mother and the two kids lied about the existence (and ghostly occurrences) of the Captain on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

The room mates on Three’s Company constantly lied, and said that Jack was gay, so that the two women could share the apartment with a man.

Jeruba's avatar

What prompted the question was wondering how people such as Kayleigh McEnany learned to lie like that. What kind of role models did they see on TV? What glib liars did they learn to emulate? For the sake of sitcom entertainment, have we made a cultural virtue of easy duplicity?

I also think of all those TV detectives who week after week pose as somebody or con somebody over the phone or otherwise misrepresent themselves for the sake of an investigation. Sure, it adds spice and suspense to the story, but what else is it teaching? That truth is for suckers and losers?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, from Seinfeld. But then, kinda the point of that show is that they’re all terrible people.

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