“You Sit On A Throne Of Lies”: 122 Of The Most Evil Packaging Designs That Were Created To Deceive People (New Pics)

You know when you buy a bag of air and someone annoyingly sneaks a few chips inside? Or when you are just trying to buy a plastic box but you end up with a handful of ribbons and beads for bracelet making? How about when you buy a sandwich and whoever made it had the audacity to stuff it full of tasty ingredients? The worst! 

As ridiculous as this sounds, it seems like some companies actually think their customers are interested in excessive packaging. Either that’s what they’re thinking, or they would have to admit that they intentionally mislead customers and lure them into buying less than they intended…

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Down below, we’ve gathered some of the most infuriating examples of companies labeling and packaging products in deceptive ways, so you can know what to look out for the next time you are at the store. Be sure to upvote the pics that grind your gears the most, and then let us know in the comments what products you have noticed that are notorious for ripping buyers off. And if you’d like to be annoyed by even more evil packaging, be sure to check out Bored Panda’s last article on the same topic right here.

#1 Insurance Wouldn’t Cover Pills, Only Capsules. The Script Went From $2.73 To $56.91 Because Of That. It’s Literally A Pill Shoved Into A Capsule

Image credits: readstewmuch

As consumers, we understand that businesses are out to make a profit. We support them by purchasing their products, but that does not make us stupid. If we’re getting ripped off or we have been misled, we are going to notice. And many people have made it their mission to call out companies who are trying to trick their customers. There is a difference between persuasive marketing and outright deception, and although inflation has affected us all, that does not make it fair for companies to practice false advertising.

This has become such an issue that the European Parliament actually conducted a study on “misleading packaging practices”. They noted that there is no legal definition of “misleading packaging practices” either on the EU or Member States levels, so they had to create their own: “any kind of product packaging that notwithstanding a cursory examination as a result of the size of the packaging, its form or design or other important elements directly related to the packaging, including as well comparisons of the product in its current state to previous packaging and to competitors’ packaging, deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer in relation to the quantity, the quality or other main characteristics of the product, and which causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to make a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.”

#2 I Chose The Bottle Because A Tube Wasn’t Enough. This Trojan Trickery Is An Abuse Coming From A Brand With Recognition

Image credits: PoorGeno

#3 Artificial Or Not

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The study delved into some of the most common misleading practices including: bigger packages with the same quantity at the same or a higher price; same packages with less quantity at the same price; attaching “gifts” to the package; turning metric (when weights are converted yet still reduced); wrongful or misleading information on the package; copycat packaging; and new formulas. They broke these practices down into two categories: those relating to the quantity and those relating to the quality of a product.

The EU Parliament also found that in 5 out of 13 Member States, very little to no information could be found showing that customers were aware of misleading packaging. That does not mean that the citizens really had no idea, but there were no formal complaints made or very little evidence that consumers were discussing this issue. In the countries where customers were clearly aware, there might not have been many formal complaints either. But in Lithuania, for example, the report states that, “Their awareness and concerns towards misleading packaging is reflected in internet comments and their participation in forum discussions. Furthermore, there are several private initiatives on the internet suggesting not to buy products which are pre-packed in a misleading manner.”

#4 You Sit On A Throne Of Lies

Image credits: HailChanka69

#5 Cup Design That Makes The Drink Look Like It Has Actual Fruit

Image credits: St-Paerikus

#6 Taco Pizza… But Only If You Have All Ingredients At Home. (The Picture On The Box Is Only A “Visual Serving Proposal” It Says On The Back)

Image credits: teamcemi

So for the most part, consumers are aware that there are some products being sold in sketchy packaging out there. But what are they supposed to do about it? We should not feel like we have to be on guard before buying anything and inspect the weight listed on the package taking into consideration how much it costs and comparing that to how much the last bag we bought six months ago cost. Grocery shopping should not involve mental gymnastics. 

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At least in the United States, companies need to be wary of practicing false advertising because customers can pursue legal action. “If you paid for a product or service that was falsely or improperly advertised, you can hold the offending company accountable through a misleading advertising lawsuit,” the Wilshire Law Firm explains on their website. “If you successfully prove your claims, you could receive financial compensation.”

#7 Crayola – Super Art Coloring Kit

Image credits: OldMcNick

#8 Sometimes I Like To Flip The Chips In The Store Shelves

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#9 “Think They’ll Notice?”

Image credits: IWatchYouInTheShower

The Wilshire Law Firm explains what qualifies as false advertising as well: manipulating key terms, deceptive visual representation of the product, bait and switch (when companies pretend to be selling one good or service but end up giving the customers an inferior version), incomplete or false comparisons, and misleading product warranties or guarantees. When it comes to the consequences of false advertising, there are a few different routes consumers can take to seek justice.

For products that have been widely sold across the country resulting in a massive number of victims, class action lawsuits are usually the best way to go. Some class action lawsuits have millions or even billions of dollars at stake, and companies can be required to compensate for financial losses, to cover injuries, and more. Courts can also use a legal injunction to stop businesses from continuing their misleading marketing. Any of these cases can become very complicated, but if you feel you have been led astray or ripped off by a company, the Wilshire Law Firm recommends you seek legal counsel.    

#10 Why Must You Break My Heart?

Image credits: JaneVivanda

#11 Purely Deceiving Consumers

Image credits: AdorimeJacklove

#12 Deceiving French Sandwich

Image credits: Far0s

When we think of products that get away with evil packaging, bags of air and shockingly small items usually come to mind. But there are a multitude of ways companies attempt to manipulate consumers, including tricking them into believing products are healthier than they are in reality. Ellie Krieger broke down some of the ways corporations try to influence what consumers think of a product in this piece for The Washington Post, and some of them may surprise you. For example, even the shape of a bottle can influence how customers perceive the healthiness of a beverage. We tend to assume that taller, thinner bottles contain less calories than their thicker counterparts, and when a thin container has curves similar to the indent of a woman’s waist, customers are likely to view those products as healthy as well. 

#13 All Three Packets Contain The Same Ingredients In The Same Quantity, Same Amount Of Tablets, Same Manufacturer, Three Different Prices

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#14 So Much Wastage Just To Make The Jar Look A Little Bigger

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#15 Desert Escape And Walmart Gluing On A Flower On This Cactus

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Images can also subconsciously lead customers to assume a product is healthy. Ellie explains that many companies use depictions of farms, fields, grains and produce on their products so customers will associate their food with being natural or fresh off a farm. “As I browsed the grocery store recently, I saw pictures of whole wheat still in its husk on boxes of crackers made only with refined flour; sketches of garden leaves on bags of coconut sugar, and prominent images of ripe whole fruit and vegetables on snack bars and puffs that contain more sugar than produce on the ingredient list, and the produce was in powdered form at that,” Ellie writes. “Pictures on packages can be powerful unconscious cues, connoting unprocessed, farm-fresh, natural foods that are flush with healthful properties. Very often the ingredient list tells a different story.”

#16 I Feel Tricked, Possibly Even Bamboozled

Image credits: SEND_ME_RULE-34

#17 Where’s My Wiener?

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#18 The “New Look” Packaging Is Just 20% Less Product For The Same Price

Image credits: NeedTacosASAP

Interestingly enough, muted colors are another way food manufacturers try to trick consumers into believing that their products are more healthy or more natural than they actually are. Apparently, most shoppers associate paler colors with more healthy products and brighter, more vibrant color schemes with processed, artificially flavored foods. Ellie notes that in general, the less processed products will be packaged in this way, so you are likely to choose a healthier option if you pick solely based on color scheme. But companies can also trick you. One study found that a candy bar with a green calorie label was perceived as healthier than the exact same bar with a white label.   

#19 Buying A Solid Milk Chocolate Stanley Cup? Surely You Only Expected Half Of One

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#20 My Bag Of Mixed Veggies

Image credits: therealmikechadwick

#21 This Sewing Thread Box

Image credits: Me_Himself

Yet another way companies are out to trick us is through “greenwashing”. Greenwashing is when companies exaggerate how environmentally friendly a product or their entire company is to generate more sales. It is trendy to care about the environment now, which is great, but it is just one more way companies can increase their products. Buzz words like “sustainable”, “eco”, “clean”, “green”, “responsible” and many more are now plastered all over products to appeal to customers’ consciences, but these claims are often unsubstantiated. As the Changing Markets Foundation wrote in a piece where they called out big brands for greenwashing, “Coca-Cola has spent millions of pounds in advertising telling consumers that some of its bottles are made out of 25% marine plastic while failing to mention that it is the world’s biggest plastic polluter.”  

#22 Big Box To Make It Seem Like There’s More

Image credits: lonetrooper56

#23 So, Which Is It, Campbell’s – 30% Or 40% Bigger?

Image credits: CivilizedPsycho

#24 Bought Cheap Headphones. The Cable Advertised vs. The Cable Given

Image credits: 34thVedicDeity

Coca-Cola is only one example of a laundry list of corporations getting away with greenwashing including IKEA, TESCO, Unilever, and Kim Kardashian’s clothing brand SKIMS. George Harding-Rolls, campaign manager at Changing Markets Foundations, says on the topic, “Our latest investigation exposes a litany of misleading and mendacious claims from household names consumers should be able to trust. This is just the tip of the iceberg and it is of crucial importance that regulators take this issue seriously. The industry is happy to gloat its green credentials with little substance on the one hand, while continuing to perpetuate the plastic crisis on the other. We are calling out greenwashing so the world can see that voluntary action has led to a market saturated with false claims. We must embrace systemic solutions, such as absolute reductions in plastic packaging and mandatory deposit return systems.”

#25 Bamboozled

Image credits: mewusedpsychic

#26 To Make This Bucket Of Constructor Set Look Full, They Put A Paper Cone Inside With Some Constructor Pieces Printed On It To Make It Less Noticeable

Image credits: anatolyzenkov

#27 Meanwhile, In My Hometown, A Cutthroat Country Called Malaysia

Image credits: BootySmackahah

Whether you were already aware of many of these manipulative marketing tactics or if this list has opened your eyes to the deception of some of your favorite brands, we hope you are enjoying the calling out of these companies. Remember to keep these photos in mind when doing your weekly shop, so you can do your best not to get ripped off. Companies should not be able to get away with charging the same or more for less product, and consumers should not have to do mental gymnastics to figure out what they are purchasing. Keep upvoting the pics that annoy you the most, and then let us know in the comments if you have any experience with falsely advertised products.

#28 I Paid Way Too Much To Be Bamboozled Like This

Image credits: Mayungi

#29 The Chocolate Box Is Made Deceivingly Large By The Outer Box. Nasty Trick, Merci

Image credits: K_Agm

#30 Funfetti Candy Canes. Unwrapped (Left) vs. Wrapped (Right)

Image credits: creynolds722

#31 Waf-Full Of Deceit

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#32 A Seedless Melon

Image credits: Org_ChemistVir

#33 My Disappointment Is Immeasurable, And My Day Is Ruined. I Didn’t Even Get A Cotton Candy One

Image credits: RobloxLover369421

#34 These Were Like $1.50 More Than The Other Oreos Just Because Of The Pride Packaging (No It’s Not Going To Any Charity)

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#35 Still Tastes Good But Looks Like It’s Come From Someone’s Tortured Bowels

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#36 Pizza And Beer Tonigh

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#37 I Got An Issue With Your Tissue

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#38 Nice, Big Bottle Of Herbs Of Prov…

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#39 Nescafe Is Back At It Again

#40 Kim Kardashian’s Underwear Brand Blatantly Lying About The Plastic Packaging

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#41 Seriously?

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#42 The Amount Of Deodorant There Is In An Unopened, Unused Deodorant Stick

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#43 Camping Food Reality

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#44 Tomato Ketchup Homemade

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#45 Pricey Too

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#46 My Mom Bought This Charger With A Keychain. They Never Specified How Big The Keychain Was Going To Be

It was a tiny wooden ball wrapped in a ton of Paracord that is the same color as the charger to make the charger look longer in the package.

Image credits: _Sad_Ghost_

#47 This Deceiving Cookies Packaging

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#48 Safe To Say I Was Disappointed

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#49 I Didn’t Have High Hopes, But Come On Now

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#50 Yes, This Is New And Unused

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#51 2 Twix Short Of A Yard

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#52 Expectation vs. Reality

My wife and I bought a pizza from the store. We expected that it would differ from the picture and even very much, but the reality turned out to be harsher anyway.

Image credits: AlexKent13

#53 Deceiving Packaging

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#54 This Dressing Doesn’t Have Avocado, It Suggests Trying It With Avocado

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#55 The Hulk Has Seen Better Days

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#56 I Paid $11 For 3 Of These

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#57 I Thought I Was Getting 10 Cans

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#58 Orbit’s New “XXL” Packaging vs. Old “Normal” Packaging. Same Content – 42 Gums, 58 G

Image credits: herdek550

#59 The Cream’s I Bought Box Has More Air Than A Lay’s Bag, And The Cream Itself Wasn’t Full Either

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#60 Zero Satisfaction

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#61 Found This In A Store In London. You Cannot Imagine My Disappointment

Image credits: Akira_SevenZ7

#62 Your Marketing Tricks Can’t Fool Me

From what I can tell, your bag is a little taller than most.

Image credits: MrDiou

#63 This Bluetooth USB Adapter With Fake Antenna

Image credits: Lasp94

#64 Not Even 1,5 Snickers, Yet Still Sold For A Price Of 2

Image credits: NecrodexMC

#65 I Need Antibiotics, And My Doctor Prescribed Them To Me To Take Two Per Day For Five Days. I Find Out That There Are No More Boxes With 10 Pills, Only 8

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#66 The Packaging Of This Chocolate Is Almost 3 Times Bigger Than The Content

Image credits: One_Laugh_Guy

#67 Was Looking Forward To My “Iced” Cookies

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#68 Size Matters – Length Not Mentioned On The Packet

Image credits: AoMeister

#69 The Cover Of This Chocolate Packaging vs. The Actual Content

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#70 Lying About How Many Pinwheels Is Not Cool, Especially Considering How Overpriced They Are

Image credits: WoooshToTheMax

#71 Dollar Store Puzzle. 5 Pieces Missing. Also Not The Same Picture At All

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#72 The Company Is Actually “Tiny Cheese”

Image credits: VeryLazyLewis

#73 The Packaging Of These Cookies Have Been Changed To Remove 1 Cookie To Cut Costs While Shelf Price Is The Same

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#74 The Package vs. What I Got

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#75 On The Left Is The Packaging, And On The Right Is The Product. They Lied To Me

Image credits: Ep1cFac3pa1m

#76 Moroccan Cookies

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#77 Night Ruined

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#78 Oatmeal With A Generous Amount Of Blueberries

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#79 Just Realized Why My Aloe Vera Drink Tasted Like Apple

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#80 Bright Fruit Colors On The Outside And Shades Of Brown And Charcoal On The Inside

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#81 The Way Its Peels Of The Nice Part

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#82 Flying Domestic And Its Wonders

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#83 All 9 Pieces Of This Coloring Kit

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#84 But Like, Why?

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#85 The Packaging vs. The Cereal

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#86 What A Scam

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#87 This Car USB Adapter Has A Fake Power Display, It’s Just Two LEDs And A Frame

Image credits: vladger456

#88 Clever Example Of Inflation

Image credits: Here-For-The-Comment

#89 2 Pack Has Less Tape Than 1 Standard Roll

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#90 They Could Have Put 2 Extra Biscuits

Image credits: XxGoneRoguexX

#91 Lies

Image credits: reddit.com

#92 I Was Really Looking Forward To This

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#93 Well Damn

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#94 I Could Almost Sue For False Advertising

Image credits: Nicholaimemes714

#95 The Way Paper Towel Sizes Are Advertised

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#96 Got Less Than Expected. There Is A Smaller Jar Hidden Inside

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#97 Not Even Close

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#98 Spacer Beads

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#99 I Wanted To Make Spaghetti Sauce, So I Grabbed A Can

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#100 These Shortbreads With Sneaky Packaging

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#101 Still Tasty Though

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#102 Mmm Pie

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#103 Ah Yes, “Actual” Size

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#104 The Amount Of Plastic Packaging Around This “Giant” Licorice Wheel

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#105 Birthday Cake Bar

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#106 Reality vs. Expectation. It Wasn’t Even A Cheap Sandwich

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#107 I Thought There Was Carmel And Chocolate In It And Now I’m Kinda Sad

Image credits: Ok_Organization_4215

#108 I Bought A Curd Cheese “Dairy Station” The Other Day And Inside – A Lie

Image credits: SurtaeV.D

#109 I Expected Something A Bit More Macabre

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#110 This Packaging

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#111 Oh, Come On

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#112 Always Read The Fine Print I Guess

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#113 My Fruit Creme Has No Fruit Or Cream

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#114 Couscous

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#115 I Didn’t Want Candy Canes In My Chocolate Anyways

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#116 Expectation vs. Reality

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#117 For Namesake

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#118 Honey Bunches Of Lies

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#119 Can Of Great Value “Pringles” Is A Third Empty When Opened

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#120 Happy October

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#121 I Mean – Technically Right

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#122 McDonald’s Pork Floss & Chili Soft Serve

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Source: boredpanda.com

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