This study assesses the utility of a compliance-gaining approach for coding messages produced in a set of “request” situations experimentally varied by status and familiarity of the requestee and by size of the request. The results indicate that altruism, and, to a lesser extent, certain positive sanction and argument strategies, are used predominately in these situations. Strategy usage also varies significantly as a function of speaker (subject) and type of situation. However, closer examination of the discourse indicates that important strategic variations, especially ones related to speech act felicity conditions and the satisfaction of “face wants” distinct from the goal of compliance, are not captured very well within the compliance-gaining framework.