Truth or dare?

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Truth or dare?
Players2 or more
Setup timenone
Playing timevariable
Random chancelow
Skill(s) requiredcreativity,
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.


One version of the game involves the group preparing written slips of "truth" questions and "dares", which are folded over and put into two piles. The youngest player becomes the "questioner" and chooses an "answerer", who must decide between "truth" and "dare". The questioner then selects a random slip from that pile and reads it out - either asking the answerer a question or requiring that they perform a daring forfeit. You can always skip three times.[1]

Players must perform the dare they are given, or truthfully answer the question asked. Answers must not be related to the game. Players are not permitted to change their minds about choosing "truth" or "dare" after having had the slip of paper read out to them.


A game of "Questions and Commands" depicted by James Gillray, 1788

The game has existed for hundreds of years, 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].[2]

Truth or dare?-style games[1] may ultimately derive from command games such as the ancient Greek basilinda (in Greek: Βασιλινδα). This game is described by Julius Pollux: "in which we are told a king, elected by lot, commanded his comrades what they should perform".[3]

In popular culture[edit]

The game has been portrayed in television shows, and films, including the 2018 released movie Truth or Dare and the 2016 released movie Nerve, where the game turns out to be a sinister version of Truth or Dare, in which people participate as "players" or "watchers". There are other common rules besides allowing three skips, such as the rule where a player may not pick truth twice in a row.