By Aly Semigran
Updated December 20, 2019 at 06:17 AM EST
Credit: Merrick Morton

I have a terrible confession to make PopWatchers: When I first saw Fight Club, I wasn’t particularly fond of it. In fact, I kind of hated it. (Full disclosure: I now very much appreciate it for what it is and inevitably get sucked into watching it whenever it’s on cable.)

But, back in 1999, you couldn’t get me to sit through it again. Despite Brad Pitt‘s wonderful abs (see above) and Edward Norton‘s general awesomeness, the whole thing just felt so bleak. (Guess I wasn’t entirely alone in my thinking at the time, actually!) Of course, I would have never admitted that back in the day. You see, Fight Club was the movie at my high school, and I was a lowly high school freshman. There was no way I was speaking ill of it, only to have my mouth washed out with soap made from body fat or get my ass kicked, Tyler Durden-style.

When I brought this up to my EW colleagues, I soon learned I wasn’t the only one who lied about loving a movie, book, television show, or band to avoid shunning from peers and/or embarrassment for having contempt for a pop culture item you are supposed to find utterly brilliant:

Adam Markovitz: “Nirvana. Can’t stand them. Used to lie about it all the time in grade school.”

Kate Ward: “I told people I thought The Dark Knight was an awesome movie, but really, I had to fight off sleep during the entire thing. (That could be because I was at a 12:30 a.m. screening, though.)”

Darren Franich: “In college I pretended to like Old School for about two years just because every single person I knew thought it was the funniest freaking movie ever. Can’t tell you how many times someone in my dorm would scream ‘You my boy, Blue!’ Oh wait, yes I can: It was one million billion times. Give me Todd Phillips’ earlier, way superior Road Trip (or hell, freaking Animal House) any day.”

Maggie Pehanick: “Radiohead. I found them depressing and annoying but even typing the words now I feel like my computer might shut off and refuse to work. Everything on Adult Swim. I remember that used to be really hip to like but I just couldn’t do it. Family Guy – it is written by manatees!!”

So, c’mon, PopWatchers, it’s your turn to share! Does The Lord of the Rings trilogy dumbfound you or does South Park simply not tickle your fancy? Have The Beatles never once found their way to your iTunes, despite telling people otherwise? Which beloved pop culture items have you lied about loving to save face? Let us know in the comments section below. We promise we won’t tell anyone.