21 Things Liars Say To Get Out Of Trouble When They’re Caught

21 Things Liars Say To Get Out Of Trouble When They’re Caught

We’ve all been there, whether it’s a little white lie or a whopper of a fib, getting caught in a lie can be pretty awkward. And when the jig is up, liars often resort to a range of tactics to try and wiggle their way out of trouble. Let’s take a look at some of the classic phrases and excuses that people use when they’re caught red-handed.

1. “I was just joking!”

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This is a classic deflection tactic, especially when the lie is particularly outrageous or unbelievable. By claiming it was all a joke, the liar tries to dismiss the seriousness of the situation and avoid taking responsibility for their words.

2. “You misunderstood me.”

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This one shifts the blame onto the person who caught them in the lie, suggesting that the problem lies in their interpretation rather than the liar’s dishonesty. It’s a way of muddying the waters and creating confusion.

3. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

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This phrase is often used when the liar realizes their words have caused offense or hurt. By claiming they didn’t intend to say it that way, they try to minimize the impact of their lie and avoid a confrontation.

4. “I forgot.”

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This excuse is a convenient way to dodge responsibility for a lie, especially if it involves a promise or commitment that was broken. The liar can simply claim they forgot, hoping the other person will let it slide.

5. “I was just trying to protect you.”

Woman is consoling her sulking boyfriend on the street

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This is a common tactic used to justify lies that involve withholding information or telling half-truths. The liar claims their intentions were good, hoping to appeal to the other person’s emotions and avoid further scrutiny.

6. “It’s not a big deal.”

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This dismissive phrase is often used to downplay the significance of the lie and avoid a serious conversation. The liar hopes the other person will move on and forget about it.

7. “Everyone does it.”

Consoling her depressed Boyfriend

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This is a classic excuse that attempts to normalize the lie and make it seem less serious. By claiming that everyone lies, the liar tries to shift the focus away from their own dishonesty.

8. “I was under a lot of stress.”

mom with two adult sons

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This excuse tries to garner sympathy and understanding from the person who caught them. By blaming their lie on stress or external factors, the liar tries to make their behavior seem more excusable.

9. “I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”

mom and aunt trying to talk to daughter

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This phrase is often used when the lie involves something personal or sensitive. The liar claims they were trying to spare the other person’s feelings, even though their dishonesty ultimately caused more harm.

10. “I’m not perfect.”

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This is a general statement that tries to deflect blame and avoid taking full responsibility for the lie. The liar acknowledges they have flaws, but implies that everyone makes mistakes and it shouldn’t be a big deal.

11. “It was a white lie.”

Mother caring for her adult son, putting hand on his shoulder, comforting and consoling him. Family love, bonding, care and confidence

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This excuse tries to downplay the severity of the lie by suggesting it was harmless and meant to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. The liar hopes to be forgiven for their minor transgression.

12. “I didn’t think it would matter.”

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This excuse is often used when the lie involves something seemingly trivial or unimportant. The liar claims they didn’t consider the potential consequences of their dishonesty.

13. “I was confused.”

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This excuse tries to shift the blame onto a lack of clarity or understanding. The liar suggests they were simply mistaken or misinformed, hoping to avoid being labeled a deliberate liar.

14. “I was just trying to be funny.”

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Similar to the “I was just joking” excuse, this phrase tries to deflect blame by claiming the lie was intended as a harmless joke or prank. The liar hopes to avoid serious consequences for their actions.

15. “It’s complicated.”

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This vague and evasive response is often used to avoid giving a direct answer or explanation. The liar hopes to create confusion and discourage further questioning.

16. “I’m sorry, I’ll never do it again.”

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This classic apology is often accompanied by a promise to change their behavior. The liar hopes their remorse will be enough to earn forgiveness and move on from the situation.

17. “I was just trying to help.”

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This excuse is similar to “I was just trying to protect you,” but with a focus on helping rather than protecting. The liar claims their intentions were good, even if their actions were dishonest.

18. “It was a misunderstanding.”

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This phrase tries to shift the blame onto a communication breakdown or misinterpretation. The liar claims they were misunderstood, hoping to avoid being held accountable for their lie.

19. “I panicked.”

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This excuse is often used when the liar was caught off guard and didn’t have time to think of a better response. They claim their lie was a result of fear or anxiety, hoping to elicit sympathy.

20. “I don’t remember.”

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Similar to the “I forgot” excuse, this one suggests a lack of memory or recollection. The liar hopes to avoid further questioning and evade responsibility for their lie.

21. “I’ll make it up to you.”

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This is a common tactic used to try and appease the person they lied to. The liar offers compensation or favors in an attempt to make amends for their dishonesty.

Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.