Two Truths and a Lie is a great game that works with any age or group size. However, it works best with six to ten people. It can be played indoors or outdoors. Two truths and a lie game is frequently used as a get-to-know-you game or a party icebreaker. Since it needs no special planning or equipment, it works well when you need a quick or unplanned activity. No special equipment is required, although if you are keeping score, you may want a pencil and paper.
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How to Play Two Truths and a Lie
Players tell two truths and one lie. The object of the game is for the other players to guess which statement is the false one.
Have your players sit in a circle. They can sit on chairs on the floor or ground. You will want to begin by having the players introduce themselves.
Explain the game to make sure everyone understands how to play. Make sure they understand by demonstrating yourself presenting two truths and a lie to the group. A good choice might be:
- I have four children.
- I won a beauty contest once.
- I have been to China.
Allow the group to guess which statement is a lie.
Next, tell your players to think of two true statements, and one that is false, about themselves.
Go around the circle, having each player share their three statements.
The players vote on which one they believe is the lie and at the end of each round, the person who stated the three truths and one lie, tells which statement is the lie.
One way to decide who goes first is to randomly choose one person. Then, if only one person guesses the lie correctly, that person goes next. Alternatively, the person sitting closest to the last person goes next. You can go around the circle as many times as you wish, giving everyone a chance to go at least once.
Variations of Two Truths and a Lie
Also called Two Truths, One Lie, or Two Truths and One Not, there are some interesting variations you can try.
Two Truths and a Dream (Wish)
Instead of two true statements and a lie, each person says two true statements and a dream or wish – something that is not true but the player wishes it was. For example, a person who has never flown in an airplane might say, “I frequently travel by air to see my family and friends.”
This version can lead to a group learning a great deal about one another and usually is fun and revealing.
Two Truths and a Lie Icebreaker
You will need pencils or pens for writing, notecards or small pieces of paper, and something to attach the papers to each person. Have each person write their first name and two truths and a lie on the paper and pin it close to their shoulder. During the gathering, as participants mingle, they can guess which statement on the piece of paper is a lie. Later, if you wish, you can play a game seeing who remembers the most names and lies.
Three True Statements
A classroom game designed to use vocabulary, this version challenges students to write three true statements using the same vocabulary word. This also works well with a group if you challenge them to do one of the following:
- Three funny statements.
- Three statements with each word starting with the same letter.
- Three statement with a given topic, i.e. favorite food, about dogs, etc.
Playing Two Truths and a Lie in the Classroom
Two Truths and a Lie serves as a good classroom game. Divide your students into groups of four, preferably with people they do not know well, or assign group members randomly. Have the members of each group sit together.
Start by having the group members learn each other’s names if they do not know them. Then have them take turns telling two things that are true about themselves and one that is a lie (but sounds as if it might possibly be true). The other group members guess which is the lie. Allow your groups five to six minutes to complete the first round.
Have each group choose two truths and one lie about the members of their group to share with the class.
Have each group report back to the class and allow other groups to guess which were the truths and lie from each group. Once the truth is known, each group should tell the names of all members and which person their truth was about.
If there is time and you wish to do so, have the class compose two truths and a lie about the class as a whole or about a subject they are studying.
Strategies and Suggestions for Playing Two Truths and a Lie
This game is not fun if you cannot keep it from being obvious which two statements are true and which one is a lie. Here are some strategies to help you fool the other players.
Make two boring or average statements and one that is outrageous. The one that is a lie should be one of the average statements. Other players will probably suspect that the outrageous statement is the lie.
Make two surprising or outrageous statements, one true, and the other a lie. Choose a common statement for your other truth. Other players will probably pick one of the surprising statements as a lie, but they are unlikely to know which one is correct.
Make your two true statements unbelievable, if you can and make your lie very believable. Other players will assume that the two unbelievable statements cannot both be true and will probably pick one as the lie.
- Try not to say your lie last.
- Mix up the order of your statements each time it is your turn. For example, round one – truth, lie, truth – round two – lie, truth, truth, etc.
- Try to use statements other players who know you do not understand. Choose obscure facts about yourself if possible.
Two Truths and a Lie Examples
Following is a list of suggested statements as examples. These statements are easy to modify to make them true (or not true) for yourself. Simply replace “have” with “have not,” “like” with “dislike,” etc.
Truths and Lies about Your Family and Childhood
- I am a twin.
- I graduated at the top of my class in college.
- I grew up on an island.
- I have a sister who is ten years younger than I.
- I used to live in a treehouse.
- I was born in England.
- I was the first person in my family to go to college.
- I was voted most likely to succeed (funniest, handsomest) in high school.
- I went to grade school with (a famous person).
- I went to prom wearing a designer dress worth over $1000.
- I wore the same jacket every day in middle school.
- My dad is a secret agent (or other profession).
- My sister is a vegetarian.
- One of my cousins is a movie star (sports star).
- When I was a kid, I wanted to be a movie star.
Truths and Lies about Abilities and Achievements
- I can play the violin.
- I write poetry.
- I once recorded a song that was almost a hit.
- I used to do stand-up comedy.
- I once wrote and acted in a play – a murder mystery.
- I speak four languages.
- I can fly an airplane.
- I took modeling classes and have been in a commercial.
- I made a perfect score on the English portion of the SAT.
- I have been in and won a professional eating contest.
- I do not have my driver’s license.
- I dropped out of college, and then went back to finish.
- I have won an art contest.
Truths and Lies about Sports
- I am really into jogging.
- I can do a cartwheel.
- I can hold my breath underwater for two minutes.
- I can swim and competed in college.
- I have been swimming with porpoises.
- I know how to juggle.
- I love hunting and once shot an 8-point buck.
- I love mountain climbing.
- I played basketball in high school.
- I ran in a marathon once.
- I took ballet lessons last year to become more athletic.
Truths and Lies That Make You Sound Unique
- I am colorblind.
- I once stepped on a pear covered with bees, was stung multiple times, and almost died from an allergic reaction.
- I own a puppet and am a ventriloquist.
- I hate the color orange.
- I have never lived in a house that was owned – just rentals.
- I have visited 10 foreign countries.
- I do not watch network television.
- I wash all my dishes by hand.
- I own three cars (pets).
- I love gambling (drinking).
- I have never won a contest of any kind.
- I usually do not go to sleep before 1 a.m.
- I was interviewed on the news once.
- I have an autograph from Elvis Presley (Taylor Swift).
- I have over 100 selfies on my phone, but have never posted any of them on social media.
- I have never gotten a ticket of any kind.
- I have a pet bird (lizard).
- I never answer calls from unknown callers.
- I hate Madonna so much it hurts.
- I met all the members of The Beatles (Eagles).
- I nap almost every day (every Sunday).
- I always use a fake name at restaurants.
- I have been to Disney World five times and each time it was with my family
- I have never died my hair.
- I have never seen The Sound of Music.
- I am an absolute art freak!
- I once ate an entire large pizza by myself.
- I have never lived in the same place for more than four years.
- I collect coffee cups (clocks, baseball cards).
Truths or Lies about Your Personality and Life
- I am colorblind.
- I am deathly afraid of spiders (snakes).
- I do not want to get married ever.
- I hate dogs (cats).
- I have been engaged but never married.
- I have met the President (Queen of England).
- I have never been on a roller coaster.
- I have never been to New York City.
- I have over 10 pets (plants) in my house.
- I love black and white movies.
- I think grasshoppers (snakes) are pretty much the cutest things ever.
- I used to be a cab driver (hairdresser).
- I used to be deathly afraid of elevators.
- I was the last of my friends to get a smart phone (driver’s license).
- I would like to have six children.
Truths and Lies about Food
- I am a vegetarian.
- I hate chocolate.
- I drink four cups of coffee every day.
- I am allergic to peanuts.
- I think tomatoes are nasty.
- I have never tasted honey.
- I hate cilantro.
- I try to avoid eating bread.
- I love deep-fried food.
- Pizza is my favorite food.
Two Truths and a Lie Ideas
Sometimes it becomes hard to come up with ideas if you play this game frequently or with the same people. Here are some questions for you to think about to give you some new ideas:
- Are there any things you wish were true about yourself, but are not?
- Are you known for something, such as a sport, that would make less obvious that you liked something else, such as classical music?
- Do you have any special talents that people do not know about?
- How many siblings do you have and how many of each?
- What are some things you have accomplished?
- What do you own or not own?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What is something you have never done but that most people have?
- What is your favorite subject in school? What is your favorite anything?
The game Two Truths and a Lie is a great party game for teenagers, can be a good icebreaker in business meetings, works well in school classes, and is great whenever you need people to get to know each other. Play with your friends, family, in the classroom, in the car on a vacation, virtually anywhere and with anyone. Have fun!
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.