Employee #2: Yeah, so, don't get your hopes up on that one, Ed. The cake is a lie.
Employee #1: Really, aw crap.
During the game, GlaDOS, an artificially intelligent operating system and the game's passive-aggressive guide, uses the reward of cake as a motivating factor in an attempt to manipulate the player. It is first mentioned during the "impossible puzzle room", where she urges the player to "quit now and cake will be served immediately". In a later stage, the player can access a "hidden" area of the testing chamber to find a previous test participant had scrawled "The cake is a lie!" among other warning messages. Cake continues to remain the promised reward for completing the test and/or obeying GlaDOS, particularly in the final stages of the game. Finally, in the ending song, GlaDOS cheerfully sings about how "there's no sense crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake."
In the game, cake serves as a carefully calculated motivational device, but there are suggestions that it also serves as an essence of humanity--the ability to eat cake, taste it, and experience emotional pleasure from it--which a computer cannot experience even with artificial intelligence. In this less commonly-used sense, the phrase "the cake is a lie" can also imply that one's emotions or the basis of one's emotions are false, with cake representing emotion, emotional basis, or emotional capability.
Bob: "We worked hard this quarter, where's the raises you promised?"
George: "Sorry, Bob, the company is making some cut-backs; no raises this year."
Bob: "So the cake is a lie. Why did we have to work so hard, then?"
(three months after Vista release) "The cake is a lie."
Employee 1: "I am soooo gonna get that raise man."
Employee 2: "Nah man, the cake is a lie"
Employee 1: "Well shit...."
guy: "omgz, awesome! if i complete these 4 offers from this pop-up, i can get a free ipod nano!!!1!"
prosecuting attorney: "we are finally going to put this person away!"
Jose Baez: "nope, the cake is a lie"
Evan Sailhamer: Jeff man, isn't it obvious?
Jeffrey Bon-whatever: Is what obvious Easy E?
Easy Evan: The cake is a lie man. Like, it is blatantly obvious
Hugo: Then she said, 'Oh silly, you can have the garage okay. The porche is still in the shop..'
Jerry Springer: So you slept with a guy?
Hugo: I ain't gonna lie Jerry.. The cake is a lie. * He's then punched in the nose and the transsexual yells, 'Oh no you d-ent' and someones wig falls off in the tussel, Jerry picks up the hair and makes a mustache with it
Jerry Springer: *Walks off stage and plays pocket pool* We'll be back!
The cake is a lie.
The embodiment of cake is not in the cake itself. Cake is delicious, but not satisfying without the experience that usually accompanies cake. When you have cake, it is not the cake that creates the most magnificent of experiences, but it is the emotions attached to it. Celebration with friends, the social interaction usually surrounding a joyous occasion. Without this interaction between the cake and the world, the cake would just be any other pastry. However, cake can be enjoyed by some but not by others in any social interaction. Each perspective is unique to each individual.
The cake is a lie.
A cake alone can be enjoyed, but not in the sense that cake should be.
As I walked down the coast, walking her hand in mine, my heart was filled, my mind content, and in that moment I was happy.
As I walked away from her, alone to my car, I knew the emotions experienced by being with her were untrue. Her thoughts and feelings were not mine.
The cake was delicious, the experience wonderful, but in the end, it was still just cake.