One of the first things that Holden refers to as "phony" is his school work. He is confronted about his report on the Egyptians, and becomes frustrated at the phony report he had to do for school. Holden also thinks that several people are phony. Mrs. Morrow, the three ladies in the bar, and his roommate are all referred to as phony at one point or another. Holden also thinks that some behavior is phony. The people across from him in the hotel spitting water on each other are phony. These things are all phony to Holden because he doesn't see the point in doing them, or talking to them. He want to live a real life, but doesn't quite know what that is.