Truth or dare?

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For other uses, see Truth or Dare (disambiguation).
truth or dare?
Players 2 or more
Setup time none
Playing time variable
Random chance low
Skill(s) required creativity,
embarrassment tolerance

Truth or dare? is a mostly verbal party game requiring two or more players. Players are given the choice between answering a question truthfully, or performing a "dare", both of which are set by the other players. The game is particularly popular among adolescents and children, and is sometimes used as a forfeit when gambling. Truth or dare? game sessions may have a sexual connotation to them.


The game has existed for centuries, with at least one variant, "questions and commands", being attested as early as 1712:

A Christmas game, in which the commander bids his subjects to answer a question which is asked. If the subject refuses, or fails to satisfy the commander, he must pay a forfeit [follow a command] or have his face smutted [dirtied].[1]

Truth or dare?-style games may ultimately derive from command games such as the ancient Greek basilinda (in Greek: Βασιλινδα) described by Julius Pollux, "in which we are told a king, elected by lot, commanded his comrades what they should perform".[2]


Player 1 starts the game by asking another to choose "truth or dare". If Player 2 chooses "truth", then Player 1 asks a question, usually an embarrassing one, which Player 2 must answer truthfully. If Player 2 instead chooses "dare", then Player 1 dares them to do something, often embarrassing or dangerous, which they must do which can entail telling an embarrassing story or acting out embarrassingly. However, if Player 2 does not like the dare, they can request a new one to be asked and a dare can't undo a previous dare. After answering the question or performing the dare, Player 2 asks "truth or dare?" to another player, and the game continues. On occasion, someone might choose "double dare", which means that they and the person who dares them can have an action suggested for them to perform. A player cannot dare another to choose "truth". Likewise, a player cannot be dared to tell a "truth". Sometimes a bottle is used to be spun within the circle of players, to select between them. The cap or cork of the bottle indicates the next player to be questioned.