We all know someone who was told as a child that the ice-cream van played music to let people know that they had run out of ice-cream, don’t we?
When one Reddit user posed a question to others Redditors about what white lies their parents had told them as a child. Some of the replies reveal what many of us already know: that parents aren’t averse to telling a fib or two in order to avoid conflict, get their children to eat dinner, cover up the death of a much loved pet, or save some money.
Here are just a few of our favourite responses!
In the run-up to Christmas it’s fairly common for parents to tell their kids to “be good or Santa won’t give you any presents.” My mum realised that this only lasted until the precise moment that the presents were unwrapped on Christmas morning, at which point my brothers and I would unleash hell. To counter this she also told us that if we weren’t good after Christmas then Santa’s evil twin, Jimmy Claus, would come and take our presents away again. It worked.
I was an adult before it occurred to me that Jimmy Claus wasn’t a standard part of Christmas lore for everyone. Reddit user: piranhamoose
When I was 4(?) years old and we didn’t have a car, my mom would pick me up from daycare and then we’d walk home. Whenever I said that I was too tired to walk anymore, my mom would say, “Okay, I’ll give you some energy.” She’d hold my hand and then make a “bzzzz” noise as if sending me energy. Then she’d ask me if I had enough now, I’d say yes, and we’d keep walking. Redditt user: enuie
When I was about 6 my entire family went on holiday to greece. now being a child of the 90’s all I wanted to/did talk about was pokemon. My mum tired of pokemon rants told me that pokemon was illegal in greece and that airport scanners check to see if you are carrying pokemon cards. She also said you weren’t allowed to talk about it otherwise you would get arrested. And that is how you get a kid not to talk about pokemon for an entire week. Reddit user: lamezoid
When I was a young toddler until I was about 11, I had a hamster that was black&white that was named “Oreo.” My mom dropped the bomb on my 19th birthday that my hamster was actually over 30 different hamsters and whenever one died, she would just replace it with a new one that was the same color while I was at school. I never knew the difference. Reddit user: Anonymous
We had a battery monster that came during the night and stole the batteries from the loudest toys – we could only play with the loudest ones now & again as he might hear. That bastard heard every time… Reddit user: CherrySueDointheDo
When I was about four years old my mom got a hand-made skunk costume for me to wear at Halloween from a friend of hers. I was so disappointed, I really didn’t want to be a skunk for some reason. She tried her best to convince me to wear it, but I refused. A couple days later she got me a cat costume instead and I was super excited to wear it. Years later I came across some pictures of me from that Halloween looking so happy in my new cat costume, except I noticed I was actually in the skunk costume… Reddit user: kimothy52
My parents kept a big-ass sack of pennies that they’d periodically dump on the table in front of me and my sister along with a giant bottle of ketchup. They said the pennies needed to be shined, and we had to coat each penny in ketchup and rub them with a cloth until they were shiny.
It took at least an hour, and my parents would always leave us alone at the kitchen table and go into their bedroom while my sister and I slaved away shining those pennies.
. . . It only recently occurred to me that they were just keeping us occupied so they could partake in giggity time. Reddit user: henke
When I was young around 2 or 3, I always saw my parents drink wine when we had guests over. I kept wanting to try it because it looked just like fruit juice (which is delicious), but of course my parents never let me. Then one day we had guests over and I kept bugging my mom about it until she finally said “okay. fine. you really want to try it? I will bring you a glass.”
She came back with a full glass for me and I took a huge gulp.
It was vinegar. Reddit user: daninmontreal
When we were kids my mum used to make me and my brothers this pasta dish that she told us was a secret recipe she made up called Pasta a’ la Val. We loved it, partly because it was really good but partly because it was our mum’s own home-made recipe and we were raised on home made food and to believe that home cooked food was the best; so it was kinda special. It wasn’t until I was like 17-18 that I found out that it was just condensed cream of tomato soup and pasta and the name “Pasta a’ la Val” was inspired by Milk a’ la Edgar from The Aristocats (best movie ever btw). To us it was a special night if we got Pasta a’ la Val but to her it was a quick, easy and cheap meal at the end of a busy day. Reddit user: Shields32
When my brother was four or five he was still using a pacifier or “binky” as he called it. My parents, seeing how it was a little weird for their child to still be using a pacifier, cut up all the pacifiers in the house. My brother was wrecked and in the midst of his binky withdrawal he asked my mom what happened. She told him the squirrels in our yard got into the house and chewed up his pacifier. For the next year my brother could often be seen out in our front lawn yelling at the squirrels for taking his binky’s. He has hated squirrels and all small animals since then and never understood why. Reddit user: momoneymoproblem
My mom had me convinced that the toy store was where you played with toys, and then left them there, like a toy library. I had to leave the toys for other kids to play with. She took me after every shopping trip if I was good. If i was good after the toy store, I got a rolo. I never threw a tantrum while shopping. Reddit user: neil3wife
My mom used to remove the hairbrushes and other small parts from the Barbie packaging, leaving behind the shoes and earring, which she glued to Barbie’s feet and ears. I guess she got tired of stepping on these “carpet bombs” and I eventually began believing that Barbies just came that way! Reddit user: RadioActiveKitt3ns
The “Monster Juice” that my mom would spray around my room to keep the monsters out, was actually just water with a large amount of my Dad’s cologne sprayed into it. Reddit user: telekinetic_turtle
My mom used to turn the clocks forward when I had sleepovers at her house… She’d run in to change the clock from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm while we were distracted (this was before we all had cell phones) and we’d be amazed at how fast time had gone. We would stay up “really late” and then fall asleep, confident in our “coolness”. She actually got to go to sleep at a decent hour without making us all shut up six times in the middle of the night. Reddit user: NotAnAverageTaunTaun
A relative of mine tells her kid that if she behaves well at school for 5 days in a row, she can have two days off school. The kid has no idea that’s the weekend. Reddit user: bryson430
I don’t like mushrooms..the texture of them creeps me out and I’m not huge on the taste. When my mom used to make lasagna I’d notice mushrooms in it and immediately refuse to continue eating it. Even though I couldn’t necessarily taste them. Anyways, she tells me that it’s OK cause they’re lasagna mushrooms. For years anytime I would eat something and see mushrooms she’d always assure me they were lasagna mushrooms.
Fast forward like 5 years, I’m at a restaurant and was ordering something with mushrooms in it. Sure enough I said “can you make sure those are lasagna mushrooms”. My parents died of laughing and had to explain in front of the waiter the evil lie they fed me for years. Reddit user: slohomo
As a kid, my best friend used to go on and on about how he couldn’t eat the generic cereals. He had to have the name brand. How he could just “taste the lower quality”. Well one night we were having a sleepover, I woke up pretty early in the morning and went upstairs to use the bathroom. In the kitchen his mom was filling the froot loops box from a bag of the generic stuff. She saw me, smiled and said “shhhhh”. Never told my friend. Reddit user: Cstolworthy
Have you ever twisted the truth a smidge to your children? Which porky-pies have got you out of a tough parenting situation?