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Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth makes it so that you cannot tell a lie while under it. In the 2017 Wonder Woman film, we see that Steve Trevor is in pain whenever he tries to lie, but not when he evades a question by telling them that they are in danger. Steve is pretty talkative (perhaps out of fear that the Amazons will physically harm him) and doesn't try staying silent.

In the original DC Comics, does the Lasso of Truth compel the person it is wrapped around to speak? Or do they have the option of just staying silent, thus neither telling a lie nor the truth?

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    relevant: points 2 and 3 of TV Tropes: Truth Serum
    – RedCaio
    Nov 12 '17 at 4:31
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    "Diana raised her chin and watched as he struggled, his eyes clamped shut, his face in a frozen grimace. He didn’t want to speak, but the glowing rope forced anyone captured within it to speak the truth. They must have the truth. She must." - From the film novel
    – Valorum
    Nov 12 '17 at 8:48
  • @Valorum They have a film novel for this movie?! I had no idea they did that for superhero films. Nov 12 '17 at 15:24
  • Aquaman seems to have "diarrhea of the mouth" in this scene from Justice League, yet no one is compelling him to speak and he's only sitting on it. youtube.com/watch?v=qce4KbmmSBY Dec 16 '20 at 18:39
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In the ORIGINAL comics, it wasn't a lasso of truth at all! Truth was just a side effect. In the early comics, the lasso compelled OBEDIENCE on anyone who was bound by it.

enter image description here Obviously, if Wonder Woman wanted someone to answer her question, she would simply use that property. If she says "Answer truthfully" as a command, then not speaking is not an option, as we see in this case where you can imagine the person (a foreign national on a mission for their country) might choose silence rather than truth, if that were an option.

enter image description here

But that wasn't its only use, even into the 70s (though this particular scene is from '67) it was used for non-truth related control:

enter image description here

(images taken from this CBR article: When Did Wonder Woman's Golden Lasso Become a Weapon of TRUTH? which also contains a much more comprehensive history of the changes over time)

It was only post-crisis that it explicitly became a lasso of truth, but even then it had other powers. The DC wiki describes this version's powers as follows:

The Lasso also appears to be able to alter in length, based on it's wielder's needs. It is able to restore people's lost memories, hypnotize people, get rid of illusions, and people who are in its circumference will be protected from magical attacks. Empowered by the Fires of Hestia, the Lasso forces anyone held by it to tell and understand the absolute truth. Recently, the Lasso has been shown to actually transport Diana's mind into that of whomever is tied within it.

By this description, it seems that no they cannot refuse to answer.

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