->''"Gli enigmi sono tre, la morte è una!"'' (The riddles are three, and death is one!)
-->-- ''Theatre/{{Turandot}}''

Someone has to answer three riddles or questions for some reason. Or can be solving three puzzles.

Often it's an obstacle to complete a quest, but there can be other reasons.

Note that these have to be answering them, not just three challenges. And it has to be three chosen as a deliberate number, not a quiz that just happens to be three.

Common in some myths and {{Fairy Tale}}s.

A SubTrope of both RuleOfThree and RiddleMeThis.

Compare RiddleOfTheSphinx, OnlySmartPeopleMayPass.


* [[TropeNamer Named for]] the scene in ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'', which didn't just parody this, it [[ZigZaggingTrope zig zagged]] it (including in a DeletedScene). Heck, just referencing this would be enough for a trope on its own. The first two questions are constant: "What is your name?" and "What is your [[TheQuest quest]]?". After that, he'll often ask "What is your favourite colour?" but he's just as likely to throw curveballs like "What is the capital of Assyria?" or "[[UnexpectedlyObscureAnswer What is the air-speed velocity]] [[BrickJoke of an unladen swallow?]]".[[note]]"What do you mean? An African or European swallow?" "I don't know that!" *gets thrown off the bridge*[[/note]]

* In Susan Cooper's ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' series novel ''Literature/TheGreyKing'', Bran Davies must answer three questions to prove his worthiness to receive the harp of gold.
* In the folk song "The Devil's Nine Questions" (Literature/ChildBallads type #1, several variants), the devil challenges one or several human characters to answer nine (three times three) riddles, threatening he will take to hell whoever cannot give the right answers.
* Trisha, a sphinx in ''Literature/AFantasyAttraction'', tries to pull a 'you must answer these questions three' bit, only to get one answered. Which wasn't supposed to happen. So she increases the amount of questions to three ''hundred''.
* ''Literature/TheSpaceTrilogy'': In ''That Hideous Strength'', Merlin doesn't quite know who he's dealing with; he's looking at a man who claims to be the master of the house, but (to the eyes of a 5th century man) is dressed like a slave. So Merlin asks him three questions to test his knowledge of extremely secret things, and [[spoiler: Ransom]] nails all three questions.

[[folder:Religion And Mythology]]
* Played straight in Islamic doctrine, in which answering three questions correctly with your lifetime and the state of your soul will determine your fate in the hereafter.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' {{Shout Out}}s to the Creator/MontyPython example:
** Dragon magazine #84 (April 1984) adventure "The Twofold Talisman". When the {{PC}}'s stood in front of a door, a Magic Mouth asked them the same questions as in the movie, but nothing happened whether they gave any answers or not: the door was unlocked.
** Module I3 ''Pharaoh''. While in the pyramid tomb of Amun-re, the {{PC}}'s are asked three questions: "What is your name?", "What is your quest?" and "On whose hallowed ground stand ye?". If the PC's tell the truth for the first two questions and know to answer "Amun-re" for the third, they can proceed farther into the tomb.

* The "Riddle For You All" song with Beaver and the Gargoyles in the ''Literature/{{Franklin}} and the Adventures of the Noble Knights'' stage show.
* In the opera ''Theatre/{{Turandot}}'', princess Turandot challenges her royal suitors to answer three riddles. The penalty for failing a riddle is beheading.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Knightmare}}'', a common obstacle was the team being asked a set of three questions. The usual scoring logic was that one correct answer allowed the team to continue (usually only to die shortly thereafter due to lack of information), while two would give them a small bit of help (usually a hint), and three gave the team more helpful information, such as a password, a spell, a sequence of symbols, or hints on which items to take. Miss all three and... '''''[[GameOver BONG!]]''''' [[GameOver "Ooh... nasty..."]] [[note]] At least in theory. Only one team actually missed all three, but an extra scene was inserted before the clue room giving them a spell they could cast instead of answering a question. [[/note]]
* In ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', the main cast enjoys a period of peace living in a prison for the better part of a year, and begin accepting newcomers into their home to build up their population. They begin using the following three questions when encountering new survivors to judge if they will allow them into the prison community: “How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why?” After the group leaves the prison, they continue to use the three questions, albeit infrequently as they begin to live in more isolated territory and for a time outright stop looking for newcomers. On one occasion, however, it backfired as even though the new survivor in question gave satisfactory answers, they still betrayed the group member who asked them.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryI'', a gargoyle who guards the house of the wizard Erasmus asks the hero three questions similar to these, probably as a reference to ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''. If he gives the wrong answer, he is transported back to the bottom of the mountain. The questions are random and along with the standard "what is your name?" and "what is your quest?" there are also questions either about information you've learned in the game or ones that are {{shout out}}s to other media. For instance, to "what is your quest?" the hero can answer "[[VideoGame/MonkeyIsland I want to be a pirate.]]" Another question asks what the password to the thieves guild is, and the correct response is actually to [[SecretTestOfCharacter give a wrong answer to prove that you are not a thief.]] (The VGA version is slightly different as ''only'' answer the gargoyle will accept "I don't know." as the answer) And the answer to "What's the meaning of life?"... [[Franchise/TheHitchHikersGuideToTheGalaxy 42.]]
** And once again for ''Quest For Glory 5'', except with a titanic cloud creature replacing it. However it does this only once, and the questions are "Who are you, what is your quest, and what is the meaning of life." which anybody can answer.
* One of the [[HeartContainer Pieces of Heart]] in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' requires solving three [[FrictionlessIce ice]] [[BlockPuzzle block puzzles]] in a row.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Machinarium}}'', you are given three "complete the pattern" puzzles by a ventilation fan robot. [[spoiler:Subverted by the fact that if you get them right, the robot will simply fall back to sleep. You're actually supposed to get the questions ''wrong'' to make the robot angry enough to eject the fan allowing you to go inside the shaft.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' contains a reference to the TropeNamer in the form of the Bridgekeeper special encounter. He first asks the PlayerCharacter the first two questions asked in the movie, and then asks an obscure trivia question from the game ("What are the requirements for 'Quick Pockets' perk," "Who came back from ''VideoGame/Fallout1''", and "How much can you carry with a Strength of 6 and 'Strong Back'?"). Of course, you can respond to these questions with one of your own, which kills him, giving 500 experience points. You can ''try'' to kill him for 7500 experience points (none too shabby). but have to deal with his deceptively strong robes and kamikaze cattle.
* Spoofed in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' with the crazy old man in the forest who will only answer a question if you answer one of his questions first. But he doesn't have any good question at hand right now, so he just goes for "What... is yer name?".
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyUnlimited'' had three by three questions in the ocean puzzle.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''VideoGame/NightInTheWoods''. The trio of goth teenagers won't let Mae and Bea enter the graveyard without answering three questions... when did they first have sex, what was their most embarrassing moment, and what their ideal date would be. Bea thinks this is ridiculous, but she and Mae go along with it. [[spoiler:Then, afterwards, the teens admit there's nothing they can do to actually ''stop'' them from entering, and they could've gone on in at anytime. Mae and Bea are not amused.]]

* [[http://www.middlecenter.com/comic/64 Spoofed]] in the amateur-video-turned-webcomic ''Webcomic/TheHeroesOfMiddlecenter'' (comic only).
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Susan's boss makes her [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=353 go through this]] to get her paycheck. The questions, fortunately, are absurdly obvious (e.g. "Why should I give you a paycheck?"; "Because I work here.")
* ''Webcomic/ChampionsOfFaraus'': Skye and Karla have to answer three riddles before they're allowed to leave the house of Insanity.[[spoiler: Scrallion, the one asking the riddles, just sort of accepts whatever answer he gets, except for the second one, which is so strange he doesn't even respond to it, and moves on to question three.]]
-->'''[[spoiler:Scrallion]]''': Anssswer me thessse quessstionsss three, or leave without your sssanity.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Spoofed in ''WebVideo/AvatarTheAbridgedSeries''
* Spoofed in ''WebAnimation/RoseOfVersaillesAbridged''.
* [[DeadpanSnarker Ferr]] of the LetsPlay/FreelanceAstronauts tried to pull this [[RunningGag a few times]] during the LetsPlay of ''VideoGame/SeriousSam''. He never does complete it, as [[TheQuietOne Evek]] interrupts him each time. Usually with bullets.
-->'''Ferr''': Before you can pass through this door, you must answer me [[TheseQuestionsThree these questions]]—[[KilledMidSentence *blam*]].
* In WebAnimation/UnforgottenRealms our heroes encounter a riddle-dealing stone wall on the fourth floor of the Tower of Ultimate Wizardy
-->'''Statue (AKA Wall)''': "Answer questions, questions of three/ Get questions right and move on can thee// Listen to the rules and follow them well/ Or you will most certainly be visiting HELL!// "
-->'''Elumous Nailo''': *Gulps*
--> '''Statue''': First rule: You cannot wait to answer my sayings/ Wait more than a minute and you shall be done playing
--> "Roamin the Crime-solving Rank 11 Paladin''': This statue is a good speller
--> '''Statue''': Second rule: Each question has a completely different ending/ answer the same thing more than once and your body shall surely need mending//
--> '''Roamin''': Really good
--> '''Statue''': Final rule: If you should answer any of said questions with answers other than of either "yay" or "nay"/ Then you shall feel the wrath of this giant statue's GIANT LAZER RAY!
* The EvilOverlordList recommends getting straight to the point:
-->Mythical guardians will be instructed to ask visitors name, purpose of visit, and whether they have an appointment [[RiddleMeThis instead of ancient riddles]].
* Parodied in ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights''. Because the riddler is actually [[spoiler:[[WebVideo/BumReviews Chester A. Bum]]]], the three questions they have to answer are, [[spoiler:"Do you have any money? Do your friends have any money? Do you know of anywhere you can GET money?"]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A series of ''Series/SesameStreet'' cartoons had a bridgekeeper asking people questions about shapes.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', episode "Homer and Apu", the titular characters travel all the way to India to meet the benevolent and enlightened president and C.E.O. of Kwik-E-Mart, who allows them to ask three questions. Apu intends to ask him to get his job back. Homer blows it, of course, by asking three entirely asinine questions first.
--> '''Homer:''' Are you really the head of the Kwik-E-Mart?\\
'''CEO:''' Yes.\\
'''Homer:''' Really?\\
'''CEO:''' Yes.\\
'''Homer:''' You?\\
'''CEO:''' Yes. I hope this has been enlightening.
** The Comic Book Guy uses this a few times on ''The Simpsons''. One time he says it when Lisa Simpson is alone on a bus, scared and desperate for someone to sit with. But not that desperate.