Worrying about the conversation at Thanksgiving dinner shouldn’t be such a burden, so we prepped both fun and funny conversation starters.
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You might know it's important to stay away from controversial topics such as politics and sour memories at your holiday dinner table, but what do you do if you don't want to revert to retelling old family stories over and over again? In an ideal world, we'd have a list of funny conversation starters and optimistic Thanksgiving wishes on deck for Thanksgiving dinner. We'd be equipped to defuse any awkward family tensions or change the subject quickly yet affably if a potentially controversial topic arose; we might even learn something new about our friends or family members.

These Thanksgiving conversation starters will prevent those dreaded silences and help you become closer with your loved ones, and if you're hosting a Friendsgiving this year, the icebreakers will also help everyone warm up to each other, especially if you're bringing different groups of friends together. If all else fails, you can always ask if anyone wants more turkey.

Parents to Ask Kids of All Ages

  • Who is the funniest person at the table and why?
  • Pretend you just won $5 million. What's the first thing you would buy?
  • What do you think is the hardest thing about being a parent?
  • What are you most thankful for this year? (You knew it was coming.)
  • If you could redo yesterday, what would you do?
  • If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
  • If you could be famous for something, what would it be?

Kids to Ask Parents

  • If you could have named yourself, what name would you have picked?
  • What do you think is the hardest thing about being a kid?
  • What about me is the most (and least) like you?
  • If you could eat only one food on this table for an entire year, which one would it be?
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
  • Would you rather not shower for a week or not brush your teeth for a week?

Friends to Ask Friends

  • Which person here do you wish you knew better?
  • Which person at this table would make the best news anchor?
  • If you had a uniform that you had to wear every day, what would it be?
  • What's your celebrity baby name?
  • Who would your Clue character be?
  • What's your favorite dad joke of all time?

Kids to Ask Grandparents or Other Older Relatives

  • How did you celebrate Thanksgiving when you were my age?
  • What was your favorite thing about where you grew up?
  • What about my mom/dad drove you crazy when she/he was a kid?
  • If you could live in any decade of your life again, which would it be?
  • If you had an extra hour every day, how would you spend it?
  • Which is your favorite month, and why?

Romantic Partners to Ask Each Other

  • What did you really think of me on your first date?
  • What phrase would you like me to never again utter?
  • If I were a pair of shoes, what kind would I be?
  • What is the best holiday we've ever spent with each other?
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  • What was the best movie or TV show you saw this year?

Virtual Conversation Starters

  • What has been your most bizarre quarantine purchase?
  • What new—and unexpected—hobby have you started during quarantine?
  • What trip are you going to take first once travel restrictions lift?
  • If you could have anyone, real or fictional, as a quarantine buddy, who would it be?
  • What has been your funniest video call moment?

If you want even more conversation starters, try weaving some Thanksgiving quotes into your chats with relatives or impress the table with your Thanksgiving knowledge.