Life

The Weirdest Lies We Told as Children

"I told, I think, lots of people in my reception class that my parents had won a year's supply of toilet roll."
HF
illustrated by Helen Frost
December 30, 2020, 10:00am
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Illustrations: Helen Frost

All kids lie. Whether it’s to get their little paws on another bag of sweets, or because they want to impress classmates at their new school, or simply because they have a compulsion that will fester and worsen as they age into a perpetually dishonest adult, children are notoriously prone to fibbing.

Like all human beings, you were once a child, and I’m sure you have at least one memory of a lie you told that now makes your face go hot when you think about it.

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As you’re now in that headspace, we thought it would be fun to help you dredge up some of the most excruciating lies you told people yourself, with these: the weirdest lies told as children by the people who responded to my social media call-out. Enjoy.

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LYDIA

At five or six I changed to a different primary school. Being a single child, I think I must have felt desperate to attempt to get other kids’ validation and friendship. I proudly claimed to a handful of the girls that I was actually Matilda, and had powers, but they needed to keep it secret so I could show them one day.

KAYLEIGH

We had a poster of the Nirvana Nevermind album in our hallway when I was a kid. I pretended the swimming baby was me to anyone who came over.

BEN

I told my sister you could die from using too much toothpaste.

NATASHA

I told my sister there was a ghost of a woman in my parents' bedroom mirror, and she refused to go into the room for like five years.

POPPY

I have a vivid memory of me and my cousin putting on humiliatingly bad American accents at a playground to try to impress the other kids.

TAYLOR

When I was 17, I told my mum I was going to a friend’s house for a sleepover, and went to Paris instead….

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LIV

I once told a boy I was trying to impress that the scar on my chin was from a great white shark attack. He told me I'd be dead if a great white attacked me, so I told him it was a baby one. He bought it.

GRANT

I scanned and edited an old school letter and sent it to my parents and my mates’ houses so we could have a long weekend off school.

TOM

Aged nine-ish, I had a floppy disk that I claimed contained a virus capable of bringing down the school computer system. It was just loads of random-looking code in a text file, but people bought it. I even had some Matrix-style shades to complete the swindle.

COLETTE

My maiden name is McLaughlin, and in the 80s Craig McLachlan was very famous. I told everyone in my class he was my cousin and he was coming over in the summer. About 20 kids rocked up to my house the last day of school, and I hid in the house…

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OTAMERE

I once locked myself in a pair of toy handcuffs (lol), swallowed the key (lol) and then claimed the key had jumped into my mouth (lol). It was the first lie I ever told.

JUNIOR

I once told a friend that my dad kicked a football so high into the sky that it landed with snow on top of it.

MOF

My mum tells me that I pretended to be deaf for a month.

JAMES

In primary school I would tell everyone in my class that Claire Richards – of Steps fame – was my auntie, and everyone believed it. To this day, I’ve never come clean to them, because it was never questioned.

PETE

I told my friends at my first school that I used to go to after-school barbarian classes.

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DAVE

Aged about ten, I told my mate’s mum I was allergic to chicken so I didn’t have to eat the dinner she made. She made me eat it anyway because she knew I was full of shit.

HOLLIE

I told people in my new school that my uncle – who’s 17 years younger than my mum, and was in his twenties when I was 11 – was my older brother. Cat got out the bag when I was invited to someone’s house for a dinner play date and the mum asked my mum how her son was.

TAYLOR

When I was 17, I told my mum I was going to a friend’s house for a sleepover and went to Paris instead.

KATE

I told, I think, lots of people in my reception class that my parents had won a year's supply of toilet roll.

JAMIE

My buddy and I used to pretend that we both went to ballet lessons. We would even lie to each other about it when no one else was there…

JOHN

When I was in comprehensive school in the early-90s, I printed off a shit load of UFO-related guff I found online. This was way before everyone had internet – my dad had it for work. Anyway, I was well in to the film WarGames, so I went in to school with this stack of papers and told people I’d hacked in to an American government server and they were all classified. Everyone believed me and I felt cool as fuck for about three days.