woman with long 'Pinocchio' nose. Lying concept
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
February 11, 2024 ·  5 min read

15 Lies and Misconceptions The Too Many People Believe

In our daily lives, we often encounter myths and misconceptions that have been ingrained in our minds over time. Some of these myths are so pervasive that we don’t even realize we believe them. In this article, we’ll debunk fifteen of the biggest lies that too many believe. These are some of the most popular lies, myths, and misconceptions users shared on the sub-Reddit, r/Askreddit. In the thread, the question was posed, “What’s the biggest lie most people believe?” Here are some of the most popular answers.

Read: ‘I’m a proud mistress: Here are the 4 lies cheating men tell you’

1: Nothing is Free

Women managing debt and expenses. People holding wallet but no money to pay credit card. broke, mortgage, loan, bankruptcy, bankrupt, can't to pay
Credit: Shutterstock

The first lie we need to address is the idea that there are still things that are genuinely free. Some people argue that “the only actual free thing is oxygen.” It’s true that in a market-driven world, there’s often a cost associated with goods and services, but nature’s gifts like clean air and sunshine are indeed free.

2: School’s Out

Rear view of university graduates wearing graduation gown and cap in the commencement day
Credit: Shutterstock

While education is highly valued, it’s a common belief that graduating from school and going to college is the only path to success. This myth neglects the numerous ways one can make a good living without pursuing higher education. Vocational training, entrepreneurship, and other opportunities can also lead to success.

Read: ‘I Have A Bachelor’s Degree And Still Work 4 Jobs To Make Ends Meet’

3: Dream On

hard work
Credit: Shutterstock

You might have heard the saying, “You can do anything you want.” However, for some, this phrase can be discouraging when faced with adversity. While this isn’t a flat-out lie, the truth is that challenges are a part of life, but with determination and hard work, many obstacles can be overcome. You just have to be weary of what is known as survivorship bias. According to The Decision Lab, “Survivorship bias is a cognitive shortcut that occurs when a successful subgroup is mistaken as the entire group, due to the invisibility of the failure subgroup. The bias’ name comes from the error an individual makes when a data set only considers the “surviving” observations, excluding points that didn’t survive.

4: Thinking Of You

Politician giving an interview at conference
Credit: Shutterstock

Some people believe that ‘the government has your best interest in mind.’ While government plays a vital role in society, it can’t fully cater to individual needs. Oftentimes, a government will serve its self-interests over the people’s. Taking personal responsibility and not blindly trusting any institution is important.

Read: 10 Popular Lies In History That People Still Believe Today

5: A Drop in The Bucket

Miniature people standing on a pile of coins.
Credit: Shutterstock

Trickle-down economics is a concept that claims to stimulate the wealth of the rich will benefit everyone. However, the effectiveness of this theory is a subject of ongoing debate among economists. It’s vital to critically assess such economic principles and not take them at face value.

6: Taste Test

Happy man showing his tongue on white background, closeup
Credit: Shutterstock

Many of us grew up learning about a “taste bud map” on our tongues, but this is a lie. Taste buds are distributed throughout the mouth and can detect various flavors. So, the idea that specific areas are responsible for particular tastes is incorrect.

7: Insured, not Assured

worried frustrated girl holding steering wheel
Credit: Shutterstock

Despite what commercials may imply, insurance doesn’t always provide a guaranteed peace of mind. While insurance serves an essential role, it’s crucial to understand its limitations and not place unrealistic expectations on it.

Read: Seventeen “Conspiracy Theories” That Turned Out To Be Completely True

8: Let it Grow

career and growth concept
Credit: Shutterstock

The myth that fish grow to the size of their containers is a humorous misconception. This claim is not accurate. Fish require appropriate care and an adequately sized habitat to thrive. Releasing a goldfish into a vast lake won’t lead to it destroying a town.

9: Lost in the Mail

Irritated woman sit at table staring at laptop screen feels angry and confused having problems with broken computer, reading message with bad news in email, lost information, apps malfunction concept
Credit: Shutterstock

The classic excuse, “I never got your email,” is a common lie many people believe. In the age of digital communication, email misplacement can happen, but it’s also used as an excuse to avoid responding.

10: Unfair Taxes

A man puts a money bag on scales opposite to building of government, bank, university
Credit: Shutterstock

One misconception is that a conservative government is always “prudent” with taxpayers’ money. In reality, political ideologies and government fiscal policies vary, and it’s essential to critically assess how tax dollars are being allocated and used.

11: Hindsight is 20/20

Happy cute girl in eyeglasses eating carrot, vitamin A for good vision, health
Credit: Shutterstock

Eating carrots to improve your eyesight is a widely held belief. While carrots are a nutritious food, they won’t grant you superhuman vision. This myth originated from  World War II propaganda falsely claiming carrot consumption sharpened a pilot’s eyesight for dogfighting. 

Read: Europeans Share ‘Hard Truth’ That Americans Don’t Want to Hear

12: Freedom at a Cost

Hands tearing shackles the background of blue sky. Concept of freedom
Credit: Shutterstock

The concept of a “free” country can be subjective, depending on one’s perspective. Some believe their country’s freedom is a lie and not as absolute as it may seem. It’s essential to engage in thoughtful discussions about the state of freedom. Some scientists even think Free will is a myth.

13: Screen Time and Eyesight

Girl works on internet. Reflection at the glasses from laptop. Close up of woman's eyes with black female glasses for working at a computer. Eye protection from blue light and rays.
Credit: Shutterstock

Feel free to sit as close to the TV as you want. According to vision experts, watching TV doesn’t cause permanent eye damage. The blue light from the screen may lead to temporary eye strain, but it affects your eyes the same way no matter your distance. To alleviate this, consider blue light filtering glasses when spending extended time in front of screens.

14: Reality Check

Man Sleeping On Bed With Bundle Of Currency Notes
Credit: Shutterstock

Many people believe they will become rich one day, often due to the allure of the lottery or the actions of the wealthy. However, this is a common lie we all tell ourselves. The reality is that wealth accumulation is not guaranteed, and it’s crucial to manage financial expectations and pursue responsible financial planning.

Read: The Body Language Which Will Reveal the Truth About Your Relationship

15: You Can’t Swim for an Hour After Eating

Happy kid boy swim and dive underwater, kid with fun in pool under water. Active healthy lifestyle, water sport activity and swimming lessons on summer vacation with child.
Credit: Shutterstock

A commonly held belief is that you shouldn’t swim for an hour after eating because it can lead to cramps or even drowning. This myth has no scientific basis, and the Mayo Clinic confirms that there’s no evidence to support it. You can enjoy a swim after eating without any worries.

In a world filled with lies and myths, it’s important to distinguish fact from fiction. These 15 debunked myths remind us that critical thinking, self-reliance, and a willingness to question common beliefs are essential for navigating through life’s complexities. By challenging these misconceptions, we can lead more informed and fulfilling lives.

Keep Reading: Elon Musk Shares ‘Uncomfortable Truth About AI


  1. 15 Biggest Lies of All Time That Too Many Americans Believe.” MSN. Gabby Gervais. October 2023.
  2. 19 Lies You Were Told as a Kid—That You Probably Still Believe.” RD. Isabel Roy. March 2, 2023.
  3. “What’s the biggest lie most people believe?” Reddit