the cake is a lie

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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 Doug Rattman, the only known scientist alive since GLaDOS killed all the others with neurotoxin, with the graffiti including the warning "the cake is a lie".


the cake is a lie

  1. (Internet slang) The end being pursued is unattainable or misguided; the reward promised is false.
    • 2011 December 15, Nick Martin, “A Hit Sitcom In Just Five Easy Steps!”, in Buzz Weekly, 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 November 12, J. L. Hilton, Stellarnet Prince, Carina Press, →ISBN, 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 quotations using this term, see Citations:the cake is a lie.

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