Throwaway Rumours You've Started That Have Taken on a Life of Their Own

A couple of years ago whilst the (then) Ryman League was having it’s AGM, I tweeted that the league had agreed to restructure the League Cup and that rather than a straight knock-out, it would be constituted of 16 groups of 4, with each team playing eachother twice before the top two went through into the group stage. I think I @ted the Non League Radio show for added gravitas.

This got picked up and ended up being taken as Gospel by more than one club’s official Twitter feed and became a genuinely heated discussion point on a number of club message boards.

“We already play too many fucking games as it is without this…”

“Fucking hell, this league have no idea…”

“Why the League Cup? No-one, literally no-one cares…”

“It costs enough to host one League Cup tie as it is, never mind three of the sodding things…”

Have you ever begun a scurrilous (and barely credible) rumour that gained unlikely traction?

Details below, pls.


Started a rumour at Junior School that Michael Ogden from my class had dropped his gay card


I have recently started rumors about my friend that he ‘shat the bed’ (it’s ok, it’s that type of relationship). The worst thing is that people really want it to be true.

I also convinced loads of people that I was really into ket by making passing jokes about ket all the time. Good fun.

Oh I also once started a rumour that someone had size two feet, and it really took off

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I started a rumour at high school that one of my mates was banging a girl that absolutely hated him, and it spread a bit. it was a dickish move, and I wasn’t very happy about it after I saw how non-throwaway it became.

then he took me aside one afternoon a few weeks later, and asked me “how did I know they were together?” and it tuned out my jovial joking at their playful hatred of each other in public was correct that they were putting on an act so their families wouldn’t find out about them.

I felt awful for a whole other reason after that.


Told a load of my mates that my friend Seán’s middle name was Ignatius. It’s gotten a bit out of hand to the point that even his brother now believes it.


About 20 years ago 3 directors from the company I was working for left to set up their own business. They were all told to leave immediately and not work their notice period to try and stop them poaching clients.
About a week after they left I was doing some overtime one night and when I was leaving I saw one of the ex directors come into the office with his old secretary.
Next morning I told all the bosses. They automatically assumed that the ex dir was stealing documents or up to something illegal so they called the police and then put out a private detective to keep tabs on him.

Turns out he was coming back to pick up his photos and clear out his desk.


Oh man, SO many of these since I spend most of my time creating my new realities that I hope are more interesting than the one I live.

Back when I had my first grad job in London, I decided to start a rumour about a new guy who’d just started to see what would happen. I decided to tell everyone that he was addicted to Jamster Ringtones and had racked up a bill of five hundred pounds worth of ringtones feeding his addiction. It stuck surprisingly due to the era (tail end of ringtones being a thing) and the relative believableness. I remember being in the kitchen one time and overhearing someone asking him if he could show him some of his favourite ringtones, trying to break the ice.

After a few weeks, at which point most people had worked out that the story wasn’t true, I started a new one that his dad was Roger Taylor from Queen (since they shared the same surname). This one also gained more momentum than I thought it would and I was pleased with the results.

It wasn’t long after I left the company but whenever I’d meet up with the guy, he’d love to tell me how some people would still come up to him and ask him if it was true about the ringtones or Queen thing. Happy days.


So many. So, so many.

One that springs to mind, though, is from my junior school days. Over one weekend, a burnt-out car was left on the school playing field, which we were not permitted to go near by the headmistress. As we were all keen Eastenders fans back then, I fooled my credulous, 9 year old classmates into thinking that I was in fact living in the burnt-out car with Robbie Jackson (Dean Gaffney) and his dog Wellhard. The lie persisted, even after the car was towed away.