[[quoteright:303:[[Manga/GunslingerGirl http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/truthserum_1503.jpg]]]]

->''"Wait, what the hell? This was supposed to be a truth serum, not a VOLUNTEER INFORMATION serum!"''
-->-- '''T-Rex''', ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'' [[http://www.qwantz.com/archive/000416.html #416]]

The common term "truth serum" refers to any number of sedative/hypnotic drugs which are used to induce honesty in a subject. In fact, truthfulness is not guaranteed by the use of such drugs; while a person under the influence of a truth serum may become talkative, or may experience reduced inhibitions or even hallucinogenic fantasies, they are still quite capable of lying. For this reason, and the obvious human and civil rights issues (which are similar to those regarding torture), any statements obtained in this manner are inadmissible in court. Or, they're really disgusting concoctions used in [[InitiationCeremony crossing the line ceremonies]]. The best that modern pharmacology can come up with is amobarbital (better known as sodium amytal) and is not all that useful at all.

Ah, but don't tell ''Hollywood'' that...

In fiction, truth serums of all forms (be they actual drugs, spells or whatever) behave quite predictably, and will invariably have one or more of the following effects on the subject:

# A person becomes incapable of lying, though still fully conscious and otherwise able.
# In many cases, the subject seems compelled to not only tell the truth, but to talk, period. Simply shutting up and not speaking, which isn't a lie, never occurs to them -- or, if they do try to shut up, they are physically unable to do so.
# As well, they have a tendency to go into far more detail than is necessary, when short, curt responses that aren't lies could still keep the secret. Compare IllNeverTellYouWhatImTellingYou.
# Occasionally, they will be unable to lie, but quite able to be creative in telling the truth {{from a certain point of view}}.
# A victim almost always gives complete and accurate information, even though in RealLife, people who think they're telling the truth are often wrong.

If the trope-generator is positioned more towards the "Science Fiction" end of the scale, invariably the injectee will start babbling about the KillerRabbit / NinjaPirateZombieRobot / LittleGreenMen, and be instantly dismissed as crazy or, at best, programmed to spout gibberish under interrogation.

While the body of this entry deals mainly with traditional truth serums, in fiction there are actually many methods of getting the truth out of someone besides drugs. These, due to being AppliedPhlebotinum, can be [[JustifiedTrope excused]] for behaving as described herein. Sometimes. Maybe.

For the more historically tried and true method of extracting information by getting the victim completely sloshed on cheap booze, see InVinoVeritas.

May overlap with IllNeverTellYouWhatImTellingYou. See also LieDetector and BadLiar for cases where the subject can lie but can't fool anyone.


* In Peorth's introductory arc in ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'', Urd gives her sisters a drug that will make them confess to any misdeeds they have ever committed in order to find out about an incident that made Peorth hate Belldandy. When Skuld takes it, she confesses to a variety of minor misdeeds. When Belldandy takes it, ''[[IncorruptiblePurePureness nothing happens]]''.
* In ''Anime/HeatGuyJ'', Clair gives one to Daisuke, after receiving a ShutUpHannibal from him that involved [[BerserkButton bringing up Clair's father]]. Clair was hoping that Daisuke would have a HeroicBSOD and spill some shameful or angsty secret. [[spoiler: While Daisuke ''does'' have a dark past (his father was killed by Clair's father, and his mother walked out on the family), he doesn't let it bother him, so the drug did not work on him, apart from knocking him out.]]
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', in one of the later chapters, as Negi was running away from his cute students who want to know the name of the girl he likes using every means necessary, he got an injection of "truth serum" up his... [[AssShove "back side"]]. It still didn't work.
* ''Manga/UQHolder'': Touta accidentally eats a truth serum-laced chocolate off of Yukihime's desk, which causes some chaos around the headquarters as he begins declaring to all his friends [[LoveYouAndEverybody that he loves them]]. Karin initially thought that she had taken the same stuff, only to be informed later that she'd eaten an ordinary chocolate.

* Perhaps the most famous example is Franchise/WonderWoman's magic lasso, which forces others to tell her exactly what she wants to know. Originally it was portrayed without such powers, with the assumption [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique an Amazon with her foot on your neck was a compelling enough tactic]]. The lasso was originally stated to have the power of forcing anyone bound in it to [[MindControl obey Wonder Woman's orders]]. This was written out, partly because [[StoryBreakerPower it made things too easy for her]] and partly because it laid the FetishFuel on a bit too thick. The lasso is supposed to make you tell the truth; whether or not it forces you to speak at all is unclear.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''
** Subverted in an issue when Batman uses sodium thiopental on an opponent. The opponent is barely able to answer one question before passing out.
** Subverted another time when SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker's henchmen gave him some truth serum in order to get him to tell them where he kept his money. Unfortunately for them, the Joker's state of mind isn't exactly normal at the best of times, let alone under hallucinogenic drugs. The henchmen didn't get anything for their efforts other than mad ramblings.
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}''
** Played with in ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'' when Comicbook/LexLuthor kidnaps a [[BroughtDownToNormal depowered]] Clark Kent and gives him an experimental truth serum which his scientists explain is a synthetic recreation of Wonder Woman's magic lasso (See above). He then asks Clark, who broke the story about new hero Supernova, why it is that Superman [[ItsAllAboutMe is toying with Luthor by pretending to be someone else]]. Clark, {{laughing mad}}ly, informs Lex that he does not know who is under the Supernova mask, but he is absolutely certain of one thing, [[Funny/{{Superman}} that it is not Superman]]. Creator commentary in the trade-paperbacks points out that this scene, and perhaps the entire future path of DC comics, could have gone so differently if Luthor had simply known to ask ''the right question''.
** Before that, soon after his wedding with Lois (when he was also [[BroughtDownToNormal depowered]]), [[DistressedDude he was kidnapped]] by a gangster, beaten up and drugged with a truth serum. He ''told'' he was Superman, but the gangster ''refused to believe'' and thought the serum wasn't working. Somewhat justified, as Clark, depowered, had several hematomas and was bleeding, something Superman isn't supposed to do.
* In a ''{{Numbskulls}}'' strip, Brainy accidentally switched Ed's truth control from 'true' to 'false'. When the other numbskulls find out, he resets it to 'as truthful as can be.' Ed immediately insults an enormous violent thug.
* In the Franchise/{{Tintin}} story ''Flight 714'', Laszlo Carreidas is injected with a truth serum to try and pry the number of his SwissBankAccount from him. He, however, starts confessing to every misdeed he has every done in his life. When BigBad Rastapopoulos is accidentally injected with the same serum, he and Carreidas [[HamToHamCombat get into an argument]] about [[EvilerThanThou who is the most evil]].
* Represented realistically in ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'', as lowering compulsions and possible to resist. Diabolik himself was once dosed with it and his interrogators got only a glare, and a man he kidnapped for information for a theft was revealed being an undercover cop who managed to lie without getting caught.
** Truth serum's inability to make someone tell the truth is a somewhat recurring plot point, sometimes due the interrogated being conditioned to resist, more often due him having a medical condition that would kill him if the truth serum is administered, the interrogated one having been administered something that, with the help of the truth serum, ends up killing the subject mid-interrogation, and, in at least one case, ''Diabolik misunderstanding the information'' (the combination of a safe that consisted in repeating twice a sequence of numbers. When the subject repeated it, Diabolik misunderstood and inserted the sequence only once and got caged). And then there's Ginko, who his immune to truth serums due to [[HeroicWillpower sheer willpower]].
** Natasha Morgan was another user of truth serums. She also kept around a trusted hypnotist to deal with those who can resist to the normal truth serum... [[CrazyPrepared In spite of not actually believing someone could resist it]]. She was the feared and uncontested leader of Clerville's organized crime until she decided to retire.
* 1980's British ''Starblazer''. [=P30M-90=] is an extremely potent truth drug. Pentathax is used for the same purpose.
* The French comic ''Captain Biceps'' parodied this with Wonderbra Woman's lasso forcing people to tell the truth. Unfortunately, said truths are more along the lines of "You've gained weight recently, haven't you".
* In issue #12 of ''Comicbook/MsMarvel2014'' Loki put Asgardian truth elixir in the punch at the Valentine's Day ball. He didn't target it or anything, just counted on that, if everybody said what they really thought, he will be able to find if someone had ''other'' than relationship troubles. {{Hilarity Ensue|s}}d. And by this we mean chaos. Which the local superheroine kind of took issue with.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Marvel 1602}}: [[Comicbook/FantasticFour Fantastick Four]]'', Sir Richard Reed used sodium thiopental (in gaseous form, which the victim inhales), which he's discovered over 300 years early, because he's Richard Reed.
* Most [[Franchise/XMen mutants]] with PsychicPowers can mentally compel others to only speak the truth. During the ''X-Men: Schism'' event, Quentin Quire barged into a gathering of U.N representatives and telepathically gave them the urge to reveal their darkest secrets. These secrets ranged from despicable ("I beat my children because I enjoy it" and "I once shot a man just to watch him die!") to amusing ("I married a Doombot!" and "I actually '''love''' America!").
* A common interrogation tactic in ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' is to use truth serum. [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique It's not the only way though]], since some citizens can have violent allergic reactions to it.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* ''{{Series/Emergency}}'': John Gage is given truth serum in ''[[http://www.tbillingsemergencyfanfic.com/internationaincidentpart1.htm International Incident]]'' as a foriegn diplomat tries to torture him into revealing where his daughter has gone. As is common in these fics, John has a negative reaction to the high dose and is only saved because Roy and the cavalry arrive to free him.
* ''Truth is a scourge'' from FanFic/RainbowDoubleDashsLunaverse lives up to its name. Not only does it force its victims to tell the truth and to keep talking, something in its makeup seems to compel its victims to tell those truths which will most hurt, enrage, or otherwise unsettle the audience. There's a reason Pokey called the stuff "truth poison".

* ''Film/LiarLiar'' has a lawyer compelled to tell the truth (almost nonstop) for 24 hours by his son's [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor birthday wish]].
* In ''Film/TrueLies'', Arnold Schwarzenegger's character is injected with a truth serum by terrorists, which also allows his wife, who has also been captured, to question him about his double life as a secret agent. When the interrogator comes back, Arnie tells him all about the plan he had for escaping and killing him, reveals that he picked his handcuffs, then proceeds to do exactly what he said he would.
** ''Film/TrueLies'' is a comedy, so this scene is deliberately a bit over the top.
** Also consider the answer he gives to Helen's first question: "Are we going to die?" Answer: "Yep." (She didn't ask, "Are they going to kill us?")
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Valiant}}'', a British homing pigeon is given a truth serum by the German hawks who have captured him. While he tells the truth, he still refuses to actually tell them what they want to know, and instead babbles on and on, annoying them until he accidentally gives them information they wanted to know in the first place.
* In the film adaptation of ''Film/RedDragon'', Agent Graham mentions that hospital staff tried Sodium Amytal on Hannibal Lecter to find out where he hid one of his victims. Lecter gave them a recipe for dip. Although considering his... ''[[ImAHumanitarian tastes]]'', that might have been his way of telling them without giving them anything useful.
* Parodied in ''Film/JohnnyEnglish'', when the titular inept super-spy gets two gadget rings mixed up. Instead of a strong sedative, he accidentally injects a {{mook|s}} with sodium thiopental. The {{mook|s}} becomes not only truthful but extremely helpful, happily obeying Johnny's request for safe directions out of the heavily guarded building before realising in horror what he's just done.
* In ''[[Film/MeetTheParents Meet the Fockers]]'', Pam's father Jack, suspicious of Greg, injects him with sodium thiopental. Greg forgets after five seconds that he'd had a syringe jammed into his neck, and proceeds to get on the mic and spill his guts to the whole family reunion about his lust for Pam's mom, [[spoiler:his (supposedly) illegitimate son]], and Pam's pregnancy. Note that this is a reference to the lie detector scene from the first movie.
* Parodied in ''Film/TheManWhoKnewTooLittle'', where the truth serum works just fine, but because Wally is actually TheFool who's been [[MistakenForSpies Mistaken For A Spy]], his interrogators [[CassandraTruth don't believe him]].
* ''Film/TankGirl''. The Rippers try to use nitrous oxide as one to find out if Tank Girl and Jet Girl are spies for Water and Power. It doesn't work at all: the girls only give nonsense responses.
* ''Film/TheGunsOfNavarone''. When Major Franklin is critically injured, the Allied saboteur team contemplates letting the Germans capture him, but fear they may interrogate him with scopolamine and learn all of the plan. Finally, the leader uses the opportunity provided by a radio communication to feed him false "new orders", and abandon him. He's taken to a military hospital and spits out the false orders under the drug's effect.
* In ''Film/KillBill Vol. 2'', Bill uses this, his "greatest invention", on The Bride.
* ''Film/{{Bullshot}}'' (1983). Having kidnapped AbsentMindedProfessor Fenton, the dastardly villain Otto von Bruno tries to find out his secret formula with a [[AppliedPhlebotinum device designed to cause "Involuntary Lingual Slippage"]]. After several unfortunate slips of the tongue, the device [[FailsafeFailure begins to malfunction]], but not before the Professor is forced to admit that the formula is with his daughter who's a pain in the [[LastSecondWordSwap ARRRRRGGGHH!]]
* In '' Film/EscapeFromThePlanetOfTheApes'', Dr. Zira, a chimpanzee biologist who studied humans [[spoiler:far in the ape-ruled future, where such things were commonplace]], is given a dose of sodium thiopental by the locals after a slip of the tongue inadvertently reveals that she used to dissect human specimens. Her ramblings reveal that dissection was only the start of it, and [[HilarityEnsues things go sharply downhill from there]]. To be fair, she is warned that the truth serum will have the same effect as champagne she had earlier, which is true: she just got drunk and talkative both times.
* ''Film/JumpinJackFlash''. Terri works out that the code key she needs to communicate with a British agent, which is in the song ''Jumpin Jack Flash'', actually refers to the ''musical'' key. Later when under truth serum she's asked what the password is, she burbles, "The key is the key!", confusing her kidnapper. She then escapes, and thanks to the serum proceeds to say exactly what she's thinking to everyone she meets, including her JerkAss boss.
-->[[NoodleIncident "And that's what happens when you put Ex-Lax in tea!"]]
* Creator/RobertDeNiro's period spy film ''Film/TheGoodShepherd'' subverts this trope in a disturbing, graphically realistic way. Edward Wilson, the head of the newly-formed CIA's counter-espionage branch, is confronted with a Soviet "defector" who may or may not be who he claims to be. In order to determine the man's real identity, [[spoiler: Wilson has his men administer [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique a brutal physical beating]]. When they still aren't sure, they use a newly-developed truth serum called "[[MushroomSamba Lysergic Acid]]" (better known as LSD). Rather than the above-mentioned effects of "Hollywood" truth serums, the LSD does what you would expect from reality- the man babbles like an idiot and hallucinates. Later, when the drug begins to wear off somewhat, he delivers a ReasonYouSuckSpeech to his interrogators... then jumps out the window to his death.]] In case you were wondering, [[spoiler: he really ''was'' who he claimed to be, making the tragedy AllForNothing, and highlighting the ''in''effectiveness of the so-called "truth serum".]] This was based on [[RealitySubtext a real incident]] where a man who was given LSD without knowing threw himself out of a window while hallucinating. He wasn't a Soviet defector, though, but a ''CIA'' agent given the drug by his own agency to test its effect on unsuspecting subjects.
* Subverted in ''Film/SideEffects'' (2013). A psychiatrist gives a truth serum to a patient, but it's actually a placebo. When she acts groggy, he knows she's been faking her other symptoms as well.

* ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'' mentions that among other things, Andy's ability to persuade people via mentally "pushing" them included the ability to get them to volunteer information they might otherwise keep to themselves, but that he had to keep from overdoing it. For instance, when chasing down the Shop agents who'd kidnapped his daughter, he was able to get a girl who'd seen them going by to reveal which way their van went by pushing her, but with just a light tap. As the novel explains, had he pushed her too hard, she would have told him (and truly believed) that the van had gone in any direction he wanted it to go, including straight up into the sky.
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books feature a magical truth serum called Veritaserum. It's mentioned quite a lot, but the only time it's actually used was on an unconscious [[spoiler:Barty Crouch Jr., disguised as Mad-Eye Moody]]. However, [[WordOfGod according to J. K. Rowling,]] all magical truth serums are fallible when used on a victim who is prepared for it, and its effects can be counteracted. Of course this still makes you wonder why they didn't administer it to more unconscious people, as ''that'' worked entirely well. In [[Film/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix the film version]] of ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix Order of the Phoenix]]'', Umbridge uses veritaserum successfully on Cho Chang, off-screen. [[AdaptationDistillation This serves to streamline the plot,]] giving Harry a reason to break up with Cho without having her ultimately responsible for the betrayal. It also writes out Marietta Edgecombe, the original (serum-less) tattle-tale, as well as Hermione's "SNEAK" jinx.
* {{Parodied|Trope}} in ''[[Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Life, the Universe, and Everything]]'' with a character named Prak, who was injected with too strong a dose of truth serum when asked to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in court. People had to flee his [[MadOracle illuminated ramblings]] or [[GoMadFromTheRevelation go insane]]. He forgot most of it (except for the bits about frogs) but was able to tell Arthur Dent where to find God's Final Message to His Creation [[AlmostDeadGuy before dying]].
* Spider Robinson wrote a short story, "Satan's Children", about the unexpected positive effects of a drug that made people tell the truth while under the influence -- and continue to do so afterward as they realized that [[GoodFeelsGood total honesty was less of a psychic burden than maintaining false facades]]. It wreaked particular havoc among political and religious leaders (although it didn't break ''all'' of them).
* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga has a truth drug called fast-penta, which when it works properly fulfills this trope perfectly. Inducing honesty is not actually its primary effect, though: what it does is make the subject ''want to be helpful'', allowing the interrogator to suggest that it would be helpful if they would answer a few questions. The distinction is illustrated in ''Ethan of Athos'', in a sequence where fast-penta is used to interrogate a character who is actually entirely ignorant of the subject at issue; instead of explaining that he can't understand the questions, let alone answer them, he attempts to help out by tacitly translating them into questions he ''can'' answer and answering those instead, to the confusion of his captors.
** However, as fast-penta is a drug, not everyone reacts the same way. Most exceptions are fatal allergies. People whose work involves sensitive or classified information can have the allergy artificially induced, unless their lives are deemed more important than the secrets they know. Bujold often uses artificial allergies to keep the characters from learning too much too soon. Another exception to the norm is Miles Vorkosigan. Due to his screwed up body chemistry, fast-penta induces a temporary mania in addition to the typical long-windedness. He uses this to his advantage, forcing himself to be discursive and bouncing off the walls reciting ''[[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Richard III]]'' until his interrogators give up and put him back in his cell (And he still doesn't shut up until he finishes reciting the entire play, to his cellmate's discomfort).
** Fast-penta also removes its subject's inhibitions, making them voice whatever is on their mind. So when Ekaterin is under fast-penta, she talks about her sexual curiosity about Miles, to his embarrassment.
* Creator/BruceCoville's ''Literature/TheSkullOfTruth'' has the main character come into possession of a talking skull that forces him to speak only the truth. He finds out, though, that there are different levels of truth (apparently jesters and poets are better at [[SarcasticConfession telling the truth more obtusely]] than others), and ultimately comes face-to-face with Truth him/her/itself, who describes itself as both destroyer and healer. At the end, the protagonist is gifted with the ability to compel people to tell the truth, whether they want to or not.
* The protagonist of one of Creator/LeoGursky's detective comedy series is a [[TheChewToy Chew Toy]] AbsentMindedProfessor pharmacologist. One of the substances he tested was claimed to be a "Super Truth Serum" and explicitly said to be pentothal derivative, and he has one capsule in his pocket he forgets about. Naturally, when the mafia captures him, the {{Mook|s}} ordered to search him is a drug addict, finds the capsule, and soon HilarityEnsues. Still more believable than usual: apart from the nonstop talking, the {{Mook|s}} giggled, drooled and looked like the heavily drugged idiot he was, so even after he collapsed the boss didn't get what was going on until the protagonist explained it.
* In the Creator/HarryTurtledove novel ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}: In the Balance'' the aliens try their truth drug on one of the protagonists, but all it does is make him rather giggly. With some difficulty, he manages to keep his cover story straight. The aliens don't know this, so they believe his story that he's an innocent civilian and let him go.
** This may be an illustration of what happens when you try to use truth drugs in real life- they work by lowering inhibitions (which sometimes helps), not by creating some kind of magical compulsive honesty.
** The fact that it was originally designed for use on aliens with reptilian/dinosaurian physiology (the Race, Rabotev, and Hallesi) instead of mammalian probably didn't help. The Race has had over 50,000 Earth years to work on it so it may work perfectly on themselves and subject species. The alien Fleetlord and Senior Shiplord are later seen discussing that the drug has not been working as well as it should be.
* In Creator/MercedesLackey's ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series, the Heralds have a two-stage truth spell. Stage one functions as a LieDetector; stage two compels the bespelled person to answer any question truthfully.
** Unknown to Heralds in most time periods, the spell works by attracting a (previously bound to Heralds) non-sentient air elemental to the subject, and then inducing it to possess him or her. Based on the more detailed description, stage one is actually a slightly more focused polygraph, and there's nothing to prove it lacks the same weaknesses. We tend to see the truth spell used against people lying to hide powerful and violent feelings, and the spell tends not to show up in time periods where people who can resist possession are present.
* ''[[Literature/TheExecutioner Phoenix Force]]'' uses scopalomine, administered by its [[TheMedic team medic]] Calvin James due to the risk of possible heart failure. In one novel the prisoner has a heart condition, so they try hypnosis instead, getting enough details to work out the information they're looking for.
* No one can tell lies in close proximity to the griffins in Creator/TamoraPierce's ''[[Literature/TortallUniverse Tortall]]'' books. Their feathers have associated properties like dispelling magical illusions. However, truth ''spells'' can be fooled fairly easily, even when you don't have magic.
* Pierce's ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'' books also have truth spells; most mages that can use them specialize in vision and related matters. ("See" the truth, you know.) Tris's teacher Niko is a highly respected one, which comes in handy when Tris's student is being held for "questioning" in Tharios.
* Combined with a BrownNote in the ''Literature/StarTrekNewFrontier'' novel ''The Quiet Place''. The Redeemer Overlord, along with a killing word, has a truth-telling word, that compels a person to spill his guts. In fact, it makes the victim tell every truth he's ever known, and then kills him. And then it's subverted in the fact that the victim was trying to get them to stop torturing another victim for information...but they keep going anyway because, even though he did tell the truth, the other victim still could be hiding something.
* The titular drug of ''Kallocain'' by Swedish author Karin Boye made people respond truthfully to all questions. Problem for the [[TheEmpire Universal State]]: [[spoiler: It turns out everybody hates the system of government.]]
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' books, the Aes Sedai have an artifact called the Oath Rod, which binds the will of one who makes an oath while grasping it. Each Aes Sedai before becoming a full sister must swear three oaths using the Oath Rod, one of which is never to speak a lie. However, they tend to become skilled at (and widely distrusted for) [[ExactWords making misleading statements while never saying anything technically untrue]].
* In Henry Seslar's short story "Examination Day", when a child reaches the age of 12, they are made to take a Government Intelligence Test. To prevent ''cheating'' the child being tested is told to drink a Truth Drug in a form of a buttermilk-like liquid which tastes faintly like peppermint.
** The reason is that the drug compels the subject to answer the IQ tests truthfully, making sure they do not try to deliberately answer the questions wrong in case the child in question found out what happens to those whose intelligence quotient is higher than what the Government regula­tion allow: [[spoiler:they are killed.]]
* Played fairly straight in the first book of the ''Blood of Kerensky'' trilogy set in the ''Literature/BattleTech'' universe during Phelan's interrogation by the Clans. The procedure (complete with IV drip for the truth drugs and sensors to monitor the subject's vital signs) was still involved enough to suggest that even ([[ZeeRust presumably]]) 31st-century medical science might be able to make this kind of thing ''effective'', but not exactly ''safe''.
* In ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings,'' a parody of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings,'' Goodgulf the Wizard used "one of his secret potions"[[note]]Probably Sodium Pentothal.[[/note]] to get the truth about how he obtained the Ring out of Dildo Bugger.
* In the ''ComicBook/XWingSeries'', it is mentioned that [=CorSec=] officers undergo a chemical interrogation as part of their training. When it was done to Corran Horn, he ended up confessing to every childhood misdeed committed in his entire life, which would have been amusing even at the time had the interrogator not provided a transcript to his father (a fellow officer). While also amusing and somewhat disturbing to the reader, the existence of not only such drugs used by a police force but stronger ones available to groups like, oh, the Empire, makes one wonder about how Leia managed to hold up to an interrogation by Darth Vader, when the arguably less-vicious Ysanne Isard had methods that would (with only mild exaggeration) have Corran "spilling secrets his ''mother'' had forgotten while he was in the womb".
* Creator/SimonRGreen's ''Literature/HawkAndFisher'' series contains a scene in which murder suspects are interrogated under a truth spell. The spell doesn't prevent them from withholding information or answering in a deceptive way, though, so all of them get away with saying "no" when asked if they committed the murders. [[spoiler:Turns out there are two murderers, each of whom committed a different murder; when Hawk asks each of them if they killed Blackstone ''and'' Bowman, both murderers were able to truthfully answer no.]]
* Subverted in Creator/ThomasPynchon's ''Literature/GravitysRainbow''. Slothrop is administered sodium amytal twice in the course of the narrative. In both cases he is reduced to surreal babblings and squicky nightmares instead of volunteering information.
* Creator/EEDocSmith offers us nitrobarb in the ''Family D'Alembert'' series. Nitrobarb eliminates the subject's ability to lie or withhold information, but it's difficult to use because the questioning has to be specific and directed. The other big problem is that it ''carries a 50% fatality rate''. That's right - half the people who get given it die as a result. Lampshaded in-universe by one of the heroes, who makes it clear that generally speaking they ''all'' die, because the information extracted invariably leads to a successful conviction for treason, with the death penalty to follow. When the bad guys use it, the subjects all die because once they've milked you of what you know, you're too dangerous to leave alive.\\
On another occasion the heroes capture TheDragon and inject them with a conveniently-left-lying-around dose. The information they obtain turns out to be false, but their boss is quick to point out that the dose was ''too'' conveniently left lying around, and for all they knew they were injecting them with distilled water. Later, it's discovered that TheDragon is [[spoiler:a humaniform android]], and it could have been the real thing.
* Frank Herbert's ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' universe has Verite, a will-destroying narcotic from the planet Ecaz that renders a person incapable of falsehood.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein used this trope several times.
** "Literature/MethuselahsChildren". The government uses a truth drug on members of the Howard Families to try to find out the secret of the Families' longevity. It works, but the investigators don't believe what the members tell them and assume they just know the truth.
** ''Literature/{{Friday}}''. When Friday is captured by Boss' enemies, they use a truth drug on her to make her tell them about Boss' operations. The problem is that she couldn't tell her interrogators what she didn't know, as Boss keeps his employees on a "need to know" basis since anyone can be broken with sufficient torture. Unfortunately for Friday, [[spoiler:the captors don't believe that she's telling the truth even after the serum, so they tortured her for information she couldn't give because didn't have it.]]
** In ''Literature/BetweenPlanets'', [[StateSec I.B.I.]] Agent Stanley Bankfield likes truth serums. As he explains to Don Harvey physical coercion can lead to the subject saying and confessing to anything if applied too zealously. The unnamed agent back on Earth who questioned Harvey in New Chicago disagreed, feeling proper [[ColdBloodedTorture application]] of [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique pain]] would make him quite talkative while serums force him to wade through all sorts of irrelevant babble.
* In the first ''Literature/{{Quiller}}'' spy novel, the title character is injected with a drug designed to make him high and therefore talkative; they get some facts out of the subsequent WordSalad, but not enough. Quiller does reveal too much about his obsession for a girl he's met however, so they decide to use that angle to force his co-operation.
* ''Literature/TheRifter'': Fathi, a drug used repeatedly in this novel, fits almost all the aspects of this trope. It makes a person feel relaxed and happy and willing to answer anything, and they also find themselves telling the truth even when they don’t intend to. Sometimes it doesn’t get the desired result because of a [[ExactWords too literal answer]], such as when John is asked where Ravishan is and says he doesn’t know (well, he doesn’t know ''exactly'' where, does he?) but more often it works all too well. This is how John lets it slip out that Lady Bousim has been practicing magic and gets her burned as a witch, cementing her son Fikiri’s hatred for John.
* In the ''Literature/{{Divergent}}'' series, the serum associated with the Candor faction is, of course, truth serum, used for trials, interrogations, and Candor initiation.
* In ''Literature/TheBeyonders'' trilogy a rare jungle cobra has venom that not only makes the victim say out loud everything that comes to mind, it makes them remember everything in perfect detail, [[spoiler: even the Key Word after they've spoken it. After Jason is captured by Maldor his interrogators slip the cobra into his cell. And in the second book Galloran uses small doses to restore some of the memories he lost during Maldor's torture sessions.]]
* ''Series/SchooledInMagic'': Spells which force people to tell the truth exist, and they're used in court cases, ensuring that innocents are not convicted.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Parker}} The Sour Lemon Score]]'', Rosenstein and Brock use a truth serum on Parker to find out what he knows about George Uhl. Parker later uses the same serum (which he discovered when her searched Brock's apartment) to interrogate Uhl about the location of the money.
* The ''Literature/{{Sandokan}}'' novels have the youma drink, also called "the lemonade that loosens the tongue": a drink made of lemon juice, opium and sap from a youma plant (an unspecified member of the ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansevieria sansevieria]]'' genus), it gets the drinker too high to care he shouldn't answer the questions he's being asked, even insulting the questioner if the revelations are about a plan to harm them. First shows up in ''The Mystery of the Black Jungle'', when Bharata prepares it and Macpherson tricks Tremal Naik in drinking it, with many others (including the Thuggee and James Brooke) knowing how to prepare it.
* ''Literature/TheElminsterSeries'': The wizard who accosts Elminster outside his village in the hills herding sheep places him under a {{mind control}} spell, and uses it to make him answer questions truthfully. Thankfully he doesn't realize that Elminster is the son of the man he's looking for (a [[KingIncognito hidden prince]] who's being targeted over his claim to the throne) or he'd have been killed as well. As it is, he still orders Elminster to [[PsychicAssistedSuicide run off a cliff]]. Fortunately Elminister has a latent magical ability he uses to save himself. Later he uses it himself on another mage to compel the truth from him.
* ''Piège pour un homme seul'': In fact it was just a provocation.

* Long before ''Film/LiarLiar'', ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' had an episode in which a used car salesman buys a car its previous owner claims is haunted, and finds himself supernaturally being forced to tell the truth, which is especially inconvenient in his line of work. Eventually, a local politician (who for obvious reasons doesn't want the car for himself either) helps him fob the car off as an all-American souvenir to a foreign politician who happens to be in town for a visit: [[spoiler: Nikita Khrushchev]].
* In ''[[Series/{{V 1983}} V: The Final Battle]]'', the hero Mike Donovan is injected with an alien truth serum and fulfills this trope completely. This is an ''alien'' formula, so...
** Though the initial injection apparently wasn't strong enough.
-->'''Diana:''' What color is your hair?
-->'''Donovan:''' [[BlatantLies Blue.]] ''(Diana injects him again)''
* From a Steven Wright comedy routine:
-->"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"\
"Yes, I do. You're ugly. See that woman there in the jury box? I'd really like to sleep with her. Do I continue, or are you gonna ask me questions?"
** Nothing to do with truth serums, really, but [[RuleOfFunny too funny to omit]].
* ''Series/GetSmart''
** {{Inverted|Trope}} when Maxwell Smart is given ''lying pills'' to foil any possible interrogation. He takes it at an inappropriate time and suddenly lies about every slightest fact, including his own name.
** In another episode, he is drugged and ordered to tell his interrogators "everything you know". Naturally, this results in a seemingly endless stream of trivia, including multiplication tables.
** In yet another, Max is tasked with drugging a suspected enemy spy with a truth pill, while she gives him a sleeping drug. A PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo later, he first tells everything to the ''sleeping'' spy, and later yet is talking to his boss...
* ''Series/BurnNotice'' has a relatively realistic go at showing the real life effects of a 'truth serum'. James injects Michael with a hallucinogenic drug that makes it harder for Mike to lie and/or withhold information.
* The ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' episode "The Truth Is Out There And It Hurts" has one of the sisters casting a 24-hour "Truth Spell" which results in anyone who is asked a direct question having to answer with the truth. Unfortunately it also meant if anyone asked one of the sisters a question, ''they'' would have to answer with the truth.
* ''Series/TheMiddleMan'': The Middleman sets off a truth bomb to get Pip to confess he copied Wendy's paintings. Everyone else in the vicinity starts spontaneously confessing embarrassing truths. Wendy tries to take advantage of the truth bomb to [[NoNameGiven find out the Middleman's name]], but he manages to dodge the question by giving her an honest answer that says nothing.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** Subverted in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' where they inject Quark with 6 doses of sodium thiopental, with no effect. But that's a Ferengi's metabolism for ya. Quark ironically is only too willing to talk, to stop these mad humans from jabbing him with sharp needles.
** In ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'', Vulcans are apparently resistant or disciplined enough to defeat such measures. When a villain is interrogating T'Pol about the possibilities of time travel, she is able to respond using what is technically true: "The Vulcan science directorate has determined that time travel is impossible."
** ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'' also revealed that the Andorrians have an interrogation device specifically designed for Vulcans which removes their emotional control, thereby making them a lot less capable of deceitfully telling technical truths the way T'Pol does. The one time we see it in action, however, Shran is using it on Soval to [[InvertedTrope confirm that he really is telling them the truth]] about a planned Vulcan invasion. When Shran still WontTakeYesForAnAnswer even after Soval has suffered a total emotional breakdown, Soval angrily berates him for being stupid and insists that he crank his device up further until he's convinced.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' also revealed in some episodes that while the Vulcan mind meld can be used to extract information from unwilling subjects, some of the Cardassians (Gul Dukat, for one) had a conditioning technique to block the Vulcans from using it on them. Also, one alien government had developed a means to alter and block its agents' memories while they were working undercover so that they would actually ''believe'' they were who they were making themselves out to be if anyone tried using any of these methods on them, meaning their interrogators would get nothing useful out of them even though they were being completely honest.
** The "Chain of Command" two-parter of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' has the Cardassian who captured Picard use truth serum while interrogating him. Unfortunately for him, Picard doesn't have the information he wants. This then leads to the TwoPlusTortureEqualsFive ordeal.
* ''Series/{{UFO}}'' episode "Computer Affair". The "GL-7 serum", one of the "new anodynes", is used on a captured alien at Straker's orders to lower his resistance so he'll talk. Unfortunately it kills him instead, due to either his different biology or him somehow [[InvoluntarySuicideMechanism committing suicide to prevent himself from talking]].
* Humorously used on ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' after Kelly gets bitten by a swarm of poisonous Samoan beetles during a commercial she's filming for an extermination company. Bud discovers that the Samoan people use the bugs' venom to create a truth serum, and Kelly ends up repeatedly telling the truth at the worst possible times.
* Played straight on ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when Sayid is restrained and given an unnamed drug by [[spoiler:members of the Dharma Initiative, who believe him to be a hostile spy]], and informed that he will have no choice but to answer their questions truthfully. When he does so, [[spoiler:eventually revealing that he is from the future,]] the interrogator concludes that he used too high a dose.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' has occasionally used "hyoscine pentothal" in the past (a fictional substance whose name is taken from the names of two real substances).
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'' had an episode where Roscoe returns from a police convention with, among other things, a syringe filled with truth serum. Boss Hogg sits on the syringe about halfway through the episode, injecting himself with the serum. Hilarity ensues when he can't stop telling the truth, including calling the IRS and confessing to cheating on his taxes for several years.
* In the ''Series/MIHigh'' episode "Spy Animals", a truth serum causes the teachers to start blurting out what they really think about the students and other members of staff, and causes Daisy to tell her friends that she is really a spy. They think this is a story to cover up the fact that she is going out with Blane. Blane attempts to get Daisy to say what she really thinks about him while she is still under the influence, but Lenny gives her the antidote before she can reply.
* Played fairly realistically in ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. When Aeryn is captured by the Scarrans and tortured for information, she is injected with truth serum (from a massive syringe): the drug merely lowers her resistance to questioning while also causing physical pain, disorientation, and eventual unconsciousness. After several rounds of torture and several lies, she finally tells the truth- though by then, she's barely able to speak coherently.
** Admittedly this didn't stop her from getting sarcastic with the torturers during the first session:
-->'''Aeryn:''' No, don't use that, I won't lie to you. I'll just tell you what you want to know.
-->'''BattleAxeNurse:''' You wouldn't lie to me?
-->(She injects Aeryn at the shoulder.)
-->'''Aeryn:''' [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Yes, of course I'd lie to you, you]] ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome stupid]]'' [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome bitch!]]
** The Scarrans are also mildly psionic and can use their powers to force truth out of people, though it can still be an evasive half-truth. In the same series of episodes, when John is captured attempting to free Aeryn, he claims that he decided to because Aeryn was prettier than the nurse, and that once he had freed her he was going to have lots of sex and babies with her.
* An interesting example cropped up on ''Series/{{Chuck}}''. In the episode "Chuck Versus The Truth," the villain of the week uses a poison that has the side effect of inducing truth-telling tendencies in its victims. Chuck, Casey, and Sarah are all ultimately administered the drug. Since this is a comedy, it's mostly played for laughs, as when Casey admits Sarah is better at picking locks than he is. But at the end of the episode, Chuck asks Sarah if she has any real feelings for him. Her answer: [[spoiler: No.]] At the very end of the episode, it's revealed Sarah has built up an immunity to truth serums.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' ("Truth or Consequences"). A terrorist leader injects [=DiNozzo=] with a concoction of his own design consisting of sodium thiopental AndSomeOtherStuff, causing [=DiNozzo=] to give an AsYouKnow recap of the events leading up to his capture.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheGreatestAmericanHero'', Maxwell is given a truth serum by the GeneralRipper villain of the story. The resultant babblings about [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman Ralph's supersuit]] are dismissed as crazy talk.
* In the ''Series/QuantumLeap'' episode "Star Light, Star Bright", Sam leaps into an old man obsessed with [=UFOs=] who is dosed with sodium thiopental by government [[TheMenInBlack Men in Black]]. Instead of telling them what his host knows about [=UFOs=], he starts revealing top-secret information about himself and the Quantum Leap project. TheMenInBlack just assume it's gibberish and that they've given him too high a dosage.
* In ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE'' episode "The Foxes and Hounds Affair'', Napoleon and Illya are injected with truth serum to make them reveal the location of a device wanted by THRUSH. Napoleon, who is out of the loop this episode and legitimately doesn't know, just starts acting drunk; but Illya is compelled to give up the information after minimal resistance.
* In an episode of ''Series/HumanTarget'', the plan is for Ilsa to give the villain of the episode wine dosed with such a chemical so he'll tell them his password. Played with, in that to convince him that it isn't poisoned, she also drinks it herself, after which she tells him the whole plan.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': Lister injected the prison warden with sodium thiopental, which apparently caused him to come to a meeting late explaining that he had been shagging the science officer's wife and he hadn't had time to change out of his Batman costume.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has an episode in which anyone who asks for the truth gets it, in full, from everyone who talks to them. In this case it's not due to a truth serum but a truth curse.
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD:'' [[TheMenInBlack Agents Coulson and Ward]] bring [[TheCracker Skye]] in for interrogation. Coulson tells her about the top-secret truth serum SHIELD has access too--then injects ''Ward'' with it, and leaves the room, letting Skye grill Ward and satisfy herself that SHIELD is actually on the side of good. (And, in the process, learn embarrassing details about Ward.) In a later episode, Ward tells Skye that there never was a truth serum, and it was all a ruse to get her on board the team. Well, ''someone's'' lying, that's for sure. Given that [[spoiler:Ward later turns out to be a HYDRA agent,]] it probably was fake.
* An episode of ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'' has Claire accidentally injected with an experimental truth serum which causes constant babbling, paranoia, and loss of inhibitions. It's played for drama when she struggles to resist revealing secrets about the Quicksilver program and laughs when she starts trying to violate Darien.
* ''Series/IDreamOfJeannie'' plays with this. Tony gets sick of Jeannie doing him favors and commands her that the next time he asks for anything, she deny it. He ends up getting kidnapped by terrorists, but due to his previous command Jeannie can't directly rescue him. The terrorists try to give him truth serum to make him talk, so Jeannie casts a spell on him that forces him to speak in a different language when under the effect of the serum.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest''
** In "Aletheia", a government agent gives Root alternating injections of a stimulant in one arm and a sedative in the other. This is a [[ShownTheirWork real technique]] developed by the CIA MKULTRA project. It failed spectacularly on Root, and apparently wasn't so hot for the CIA either (it was supposed to induce a cooperative trance, but as often as not the subject would just fall asleep).
** And in "4C", Shaw spikes Hersh's drink with scopalomine, which has the additional benefit that [[WhatDidIDoLastNight he won't remember what happened]]. Hersh not only reveals the information Shaw wants, the cold-blooded ImplacableMan also reveals his concern that his former protege whom he tried to murder is being treated well by her new employer. [[PetTheDog D'awwww...]]
* In the ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' episode "Truth", Chloe is exposed to a gas that makes others unable to lie to her. The only person able to resist is Clark, who doesn't answer when asked about his secret.
* ''Series/TropicalHeat'': Nick is injected with one in the episode “Double Switch” and questioned.
* An episode of ''Series/LoisAndClark'' has the villain capture the inventor of a teleporting machine and inject him with a serum that makes him more talkative.
* In an episode of ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'', the heroes were searching for the Sword of Veracity, which made whomever held it incapable of lying. Iolaus and the GirlOfTheWeek found themselves in a cave full of swords, so Iolaus grabbed the first sword he could and said she was the ugliest girl he'd ever seen, explaining that the Sword should not allow him to lie. The duo then proceeded to do the same with each sword in turn ("My name is Hercules and I have two heads." "This is a rutabaga.") until she found the right one through a CassandraTruth moment, warning Iolaus of the monster behind him.
* Cole is given truth serum in ''{{Series/Tracker}}'' 'Dark Road Home'. He snuck into a mental hospital to find a dangerous fugitive who was hiding out there in the body of a psychologically troubled human. The nurses give Cole the serum to see if he'll tell something, but it backfires. He starts talking about the alien stuff and just seems to be saying more crazy things.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' has the gang land on a world where everyone has to wear "truth collars." While not quite a serum, the effect is the same.
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' : During the episode "Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep," Sarah gets injected with something, and her assailant tells her she'll be talking within three hours.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Plains of Trenzalore are covered by a "truth field" meaning that "no-one can lie or stay silent". Which makes it the perfect/worst place to ask the ultimate question: "[[spoiler: Doctor who?]]" When the Doctor and Clara finally arrive there, they ask a local couple if they don't find the truth field a problem. One says yes and the other says no.

* The Smyrk's song ''The Ballad of Fletcher Reede'' is about a man whose girlfriend put sodium thiopental in his Coke, and how he insists that she doesn't want him to tell the truth when she asks him loaded questions.

* In Myth/CelticMythology Lugh Lamfada's sword, [[StockWeaponNames Fragarach]], had this as one of its main functions, earning it the name, "The Answerer." Similar to Wonder Woman above this was accomplished by [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique holding it to subjects throat]].

* In ''Radio/TheMenFromTheMinistry'' two Soviet spies mistake General Assistance Department as the head of British Intelligence, and use their new experimental truth serum on Mr. Lamb in order to get information.

* XERRD of Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG developed a substance called Veritaserum, named after the potion from ''Franchise/HarryPotter'', which shuts down the neurological pathways necessary for lying.

* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** The spell ''Zone of Truth'' prevented anyone in it from knowingly lying. However, they are not compelled to answer, and can be evasive if they wish.
** For more fun, the 3rd Edition of Oriental Adventures (based heavily upon ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'') has an improved version called "Truth is a Scourge" that also forces the victim to answer any question asked. Considering this is set in a land where honor is extremely important, it's rather common for victims to say something that insults themselves or their lord and be forced to commit ''seppuku'' to save face - which is the whole point of the spell.
** Magic items
*** Both 2nd and 3rd Edition had a Potion of Truth that forced anyone who drank it to speak the truth. The 3rd Edition version allowed the drinker to make a saving throw to refuse to answer a question.
*** Module ''Assault of Raven's Ruins''. The Sceptre of Truth forces anyone to speak the truth for as long as they touch it.
*** Ring of Truth. If a person wearing the Ring tries to lie, they speak the literal truth instead.
*** Ring of Truthfulness. The wearer must provide full and completely true answers to any questions asked of them for as long as the ring is worn.
* White Wolf's ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' has several methods of forcing somebody to tell the truth, from the gentle to the awesome. On the gentle side, "Majesty" can compel somebody to want to confess their innermost secrets to you. On the awesome side, the "Liar's Plague" causes bugs to swarm out of a subject's mouth when they lie.
** ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' likewise has a low-level [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Goblin Contract]] named Sight of Truth and Lies that lets you automatically tell when somebody is telling a lie. The downside is, if ''you'' lie while using it, you'll automatically believe anything ''but'' utter bullshit is true when coming from the speaker's mouth.
* There are a few in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}''; the Truth potion from ''Magic'' as well as Sodium Pentothal and Sodium Amytal in ''High-Tech''. There's also the standard "Compel Truth" spell, and an equivalent psychic ability. Again, despite the name it only prevents victims from lying (if it works...) It does not force them to say anything.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' universe has Truth Drug. The recipient answers questions truthfully for two minutes, then falls unconscious for an hour and takes moderate damage.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' supplement ''Acute Paranoia'', section "Better Living Through Chemistry". The drug Telescopalomine actually works realistically. Clones under its effect answer questions reflexively (not necessarily truthfully) and will be agreeable to anything told them. Internal Security uses it for interrogations.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' (and the rest of Palladium Books Megaverse Setting) has the ''Words of Truth'' spell, which compels you to answer questions truthfully, but you get a save for each question.

* ''Theatre/BullshotCrummond'': Cranium Stimulus X.

* Played straight in ''VideoGame/{{KGB}}'' but with a slight twist. The serum used by the protagonist at one point is a new prototype and has very severe side effects. Namely, it's lethal, so PC must extract all necessary information quickly.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/BoardGameOnline''.
* Subverted during the first ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' game; at the end of a mission you are required to knock out a security guard between your extraction vehicle. Two of your allies keep him occupied by talking about interrogation techniques, the one mentioned involves a 'truth serum' that leaves them too drugged out to actually give up anything useful when they talk... but also too drugged out to remember what they actually said. You then convince them they already told you what you wanted to know, and thereby manipulate them into actually telling you.
* Near the end of ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'', you acquire a magical artifact that can force the Fellowship's members to tell you the truth.
* ''Concentration Room'' begins when a group of kids visiting their parents at a drug research facility are [[GoneHorriblyWrong exposed to a botched batch]] of the truth serum Pinenut.
* The ConspiracyTheorist in ''VideoGame/CitizensOfEarth'' learns to use truth serum as one of his attacks... by drenching the enemy with a bucketful of it. Since this guy is rather mentally unstable, it's unknown if the thing he uses is actually truth serum or something else, so it has no effects. It does, however, [[ElementalRockPaperScissors count as an]] [[MakingASplash Aqua-Element Attack]].

* A [[http://www.ballerinamafia.net/index.php?pid=20101020 variation]]; a tomb-robber in ''Webcomic/BallerinaMafia'' is cursed to have an illusion of the mummy following him around, constantly announcing what he's thinking to all in earshot.
** In another comic a government agency accidentally dumps experimental truth serum [[http://www.ballerinamafia.net/index.php?pid=20101108 in the water supply]].
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', the Sturmovarus family slips a truth serum into Agatha's soup. She had previously been hiding the fact that she was a Spark or a Heterodyne; the truth serum causes her to lose all inhibition and blurt out her entire backstory in one continuous spiel over three pages, then compliment her dessert, then fall face forward into said dessert before declaring "You're very cute!" to Tarvek as he cleans her up and his father wryly admits that perhaps a bit too much serum had been put in her food.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': WordOfGod tells us that Antimony's [[KidWithTheLeash contract of ownership]] over Reynardine means that he can't intentionally deceive Annie. He can, however, withhold information and refuse to answer questions.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Zone of Truth works exactly like this. Taking insipiration from Burlew's work, Zone of Truth has the same effect in ''Webcomic/MurphysLaw''.
* Dr Auditore, the prison psychiatrist in ''Webcomic/StringTheory'', tries it on Dr Schtein. It [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-three/page-thirtytwo/ backfires]].

* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' had Kim hit by a Truth Ray, with the full effect of the entire trope: not only could she not lie, she was compelled to say anything and everything, in [[TooMuchInformation far more detail than was needed]]. She confessed a crush to members of the sports teams, and [[DinnerWithTheBoss told her dad's bosses]] everything her dad found annoying about them (one tells ''very bad'' jokes, one won't stop talking about his home country, and one obviously wears a wig). She ended up covering her mouth to suppress the truth compulsion. Ron, who was hit by the same ray, instead becomes more confident and popular. He does things like admitting to Mr. Barkin that not only did he not read the assigned book, but that it was boring and dumb, earning Barkin's respect by stating an opinion he'd secretly shared, and winning the heart of a beautiful girl by talking about the beauty of her eyes.
* Subverted in "The Incredible Mr. Brisby" episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', when Dr. Venture is given a truth serum to reveal what his research on cloning has yielded. Apparently, it has an antagonistic reaction with one of the multitude of pills Venture is taking, and makes him think he is some sort of country milk maid and recite lines from ''Film/RearWindow'' (which might actually be a realistic reaction).
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''
** The episode "The Lion and the Unicorn" has a double subversion: Red Claw injects Alfred with a truth serum to learn the launch codes for a British missile, but rather than submit to her demands, Alfred simply begins hallucinating and babbling incoherent rhymes. After hours of this (and constantly building frustration), Red Claw realizes that the nonsensical babble actually ''is'' the launch code. Also the source of one of Alfred's best lines:
--->'''Alfred:''' You'll get nothing but gibberish out of me, madam. I come from haunts of cootenfern and knicker sudden Sally. Uh...dee-dum dee-dum dee-dum dee-dum, and bicker down the valley.
--->'''Red Claw:''' ''(shakes her head)'' And people wonder why no one takes Britain seriously anymore.
** One rather brilliant episode later on had Scarecrow make up a gas that rendered people subjected to it incapable of fear. While this didn't exactly stop them from lying, it pretty effectively removed their motivations for keeping any socially inconvenient truths to themselves, leading them to do and say all kinds of things they normally wouldn't for fear of the consequences. When Batman himself fell under the influence of the gas, we learned, among other things, that his code of honor [[ThouShaltNotKill against killing]] is driven more by fear of disapproval than by any actual moral inhibitions.
* An episode of the ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'' cartoon had Jay accidentally injected with a truth serum, which resulted in him speaking everything that popped into his head. He was perfectly capable of telling a direct lie unless asked a direct question-when first asked by some Muggles what's going on in this whole crisis here, he gives them one of the standard-issue weird-but-believable cover stories. When one of the bystanders finds himself impressed by this, he says, "Wow! Really?" and Jay admits that no, it's actually a cover story to hide the fact that he's a government agent meant to protect them from this threat and cover up the fact that it was ever there.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/RexTheRunt'' Bob and Rex start drinking what they assume is a truth serum (it was actually orange juice) and, presumably due to their [[YourMindMakesItReal minds making it real]] started admitting to old lies they'd told in the past, revealing secrets and plenty of assorted lampshading ("Why do you wear that {{eyepatch|OfPower}} anyway? You have two eyes!"). However at the end of the episode Wendy pours the real truth serum down the sink and we cut to a pair of rats in the sewer who start doing the same thing! Also, earlier on, [[CloudCuckoolander Vince]] stumbled upon the real serum and drank some of it. It caused him to see two creepy live action guys with cameras, presumably the show's animators, and start babbling "The horror...the horror...". Yes, it's a weird show.
* This is the main point of the episode "Truth Ache" of ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' episode "A Bad Case of Diary-Uh" has Vicky twice use it on Timmy.
* In the "Bottomless Pit" episode of ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', Mabel's story deals with finding a set of Truth Teeth in the forest and forcing her great uncle Stan to wear them. Under their influence, Stan reveals far too many details about his personal life, including the fact that he [[spoiler: regularly commits massive tax fraud]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'' episode "Let's Play Spies", Mr. Cat injects Kaeloo with a truth serum. Eventually, all of the main four get injected with it, and blurt out personal secrets to each other.

* Happened to the first child who eventually accused Music/MichaelJackson of sexually molesting him. Initially, his father Evan Chandler had been accusing Jackson of sexual abuse of his son, but the son, Jordan, himself wouldn't support the allegations. Eventually Evan, being a dentist, took his son in to pull a tooth and used [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_Amytal sodium amytal]] as the sedative for the procedure. Sodium amytal is known "on the street" as a truth serum and is generally illegal to use in dentistry. Psychiatrists know the drug better for ''rendering users susceptible to suggestion and being able to induce false memories''. It was during this event that Evan claims Jordan first spoke of being abused by Jackson, and it is after this point he began supporting his father's story.
* The closest things to a real truth serum we have... are [[InVinoVeritas alcohol]] and marijuana. [[GovernmentConspiracy Project MKULTRA]] found this out the hard way when they discovered that while the more "interesting" mind-bending substances they tried out on unsuspecting subjects were more likely to make such subjects want more substance rather than brainwash them, the FBI had actually gotten actionable intelligence on a bank heist by lacing a captured Mafioso's cigarettes with THC.
** And just as they were to be declassified, the said "intersting" mind-bending substances were discreetly experimented by [[KenKesey a handful]] [[TimothyLeary of individuals]], and spread through colleges, and... [[NewAgeRetroHippie you know]]..., and it led to telling ''"[[HigherUnderstandingThroughDrugs another]]"'' [[HigherUnderstandingThroughDrugs kind of truth]].
* Hypnosis was once thought to work like this. There is still a persistent myth that it provides perfect and accurate memory recall. Unfortunately, hypnosis is just as unreliable as any other real-life "truth serum," and the human brain is [[MrImagination very prone to modifying or making up memories]]--this might be said to be ''the'' main issue with the very concept as a whole: it assumes that human memory is infallible. (However, [[JustForFun/TropesExaminedByTheMythBusters it has been shown somewhat reliable in increasing someone's memory and recall of some kinds of information when objective proof of what the subject is trying to remember is on hand]].)