"Ethics are what we do when no one else is looking. For heaven's sake, I learned that from you"
―Frasier to Martin
To Tell The Truth is the 15th episode of Season 6 on NBC series Frasier.


Niles is persuaded to get a new lawyer, Donny Douglas, for his divorce proceedings, but Frasier's compulsive honesty may present a problem.


When Maris' lawyers make the proceedings in her and Niles' divorce drag on and his lawyers do nothing helpful about it, Roz recommends him to hand the case over to one of her ex-boyfriends, Donny Douglas, a.k.a. "The Piranha", a tough and sharp lawyer by all accounts. Frasier and Niles go to visit him at his office. At first, they think he's too much of a slob, but when they hear him make a phone call to Maris' divorce lawyers, decimating the proceeding time, Niles hires him in a heartbeat. Later, rehearsing for the depositions at Frasier's apartment, Donny becomes bothered by Frasier's refusals to bend the truth while under oath. Near the end, Donny gets a phone call informing him that Maris is about to cite alienation of affection, claiming that Niles was in love with Daphne while they were married; they base the accusation on their pas de deux in the episode "Moon Dance".

Niles immediately feels like he is going to lose. This is made even worse when Frasier states that he will tell the truth about Niles' feelings if it is brought up when he is under oath. In an attempt to change his mind, Martin tells his eldest son a story of when he saw a criminal shoot someone and arrested him. While Martin was reading him his rights, he slipped out of the cuffs before he could finish, but was caught again. During the trial, Martin was asked if read the shooter his rights. Because he would have gone free if he told the truth and the shooter had been in and out of prison his whole life and definitely knew his rights, Martin lied under oath and stated that he had read him his rights in full. However, Frasier is still unwilling to lie on the stand.

On the day of the depositions, Niles informs Frasier that he is going to tell Donny all about his feelings for Daphne and let him proceed how he sees fit. While alone with Niles, Donny reveals that he has been digging into his and Maris' financial records and discovered that, though Maris has been letting everyone, even Niles, believe that her family fortune comes from timber, it actually comes from urinal cakes. Realizing that Maris will give anything to hide that fact from her wealthy, elitist society friends, Niles calls her and tells her he's "flushed out her family secret". Maris quickly becomes cooperative and Niles gets a wonderful settlement. Unfortunately, he finds out that Daphne has started dating Donny, making her unavailable to him again.


  • I Guess You'd Call Them Legal Briefs
  • Inherit the Long-Winded
  • They're Solid Disinfectants, Ladies


Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane
Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon
David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane
Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle
John Mahoney as Martin Crane

Special Guest Star

Saul Rubinek as Donny Douglas


Aloma Wright as Maria
Paul Cusimano as Waiter


MartinNiles, now get a grip — Maris' people are just fishing, we're the only ones who know how you feel about Daphne
NilesToday! Tomorrow, everyone will know! Including Daphne — and this is how she's going to find out, I wanted to whisper it to her over a candlelight dinner. Not have it read back to her by a court stenographer
―Frasier ethos


  • First appearance of Donny Douglas
  • Daphne and Donny start a whirlwind romance
    • In the previous episode, Daphne was unhappily looking at happy couples on Valentine's Day, telling Martin 'that's never gonna be me'.