the cake is a lie

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the 2007 video game Portal, in which a self-aware computer, GLaDOS, lures the player into participating in dangerous experiments with the promise of cake. As the game progresses, the player discovers graffiti left by previous test subjects, including the warning "the cake is a lie".

Proverb[edit]

the cake is a lie

  1. (Internet slang) The end you are pursuing is unattainable or misguided; the reward you have been promised is false.
    • 2011, Nick Martin, "A Hit Sitcom In Just Five Easy Steps!", Buzz Weekly, 15 December 2011, page 6:
      The jokes are cake, and the cake is a lie — fan-service tricking nerds into watching a show designed for adults who vote Republican (Middle America!).
    • 2012, James Margeson, "The quiet assault on public education", The Sphinx (University of Liverpool), March 2012, page 9:
      The assumption that a degree will vastly improve future earnings is increasingly misleading. By their very nature high paid jobs are exclusive and limited in number. "The cake is a lie."
    • 2012 12 November, J. L. Hilton, Stellarnet Prince, Carina Press (2012), ISBN 9781426894619, page 320:
      “One shitty leader doesn't mean the cake is a lie. One man's decisions don't invalidate everything else—the ideals, the history, the words etched in marble and the sacrifices of all the people who make the United States a just and safe place to live.”
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see the citations page.

See also[edit]