Vulcan Lies and Errors

by Joe Richardson

T'PolSpockTuvokOther VulcansThe "Big Lies"


"Vulcans are incapable of lying." This is a myth that was brought up by the Romulan commander in TOS: "The Enterprise Incident". The myth was refuted as soon as in the very same episode, because Spock was lying to her all the time, and most obviously when he pretended to kill Captain Kirk with the "Vulcan Death Grip". Still, the myth was quoted a couple more times in Star Trek, and was frequently alluded to by Spock as some sort of running gag in the TOS movies. Here, Spock consistently insisted that he wouldn't lie but only "omit" or "exaggerate" facts. This raises the question whether Vulcans generally lie less frequently than other humanoids, or perhaps only if they were ordered to do so, and whether they may have a particular reason to be embarrassed when they are caught lying.

The following is a list of occurrences of Vulcans not telling the truth, some of which may qualify as lies. Note that in many of the cases Vulcans perhaps don't lie in a narrow sense (as a conscious deception) but one of the following rationales may apply:








Other Vulcans

Ambassador Soval

Doctor Yuris




Ambassador Sarek

Lieutenant Saavik


Lieutenant Valeris



Captain Solok

Ensign Vorik



The "Big Lies"

"Time travel is impossible"

High command lies

"Melders are a minority"

"Pa'nar is incurable"

Holding back technology

Discovery denial


See Also

Vulcan Mind Melds - "The culture you've come to know isn't the one I helped to create." (Surak)



Thanks to Jake for the hint about "A Taste of Armageddon".


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