Worrying about the conversation at Thanksgiving dinner shouldn’t be such a burden, so we prepped both fun and funny conversation starters you can blurt out as soon as someone brings up the last election.

By Claudia Fisher
Updated October 30, 2019
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In an ideal world, we’d all 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 came up; we might even learn something new about our friends or family members. (And we would be a whole lot less stressed about figuring out how to start a conversation before the big day.)

At your holiday dinner table, you know it’s important to stay away from controversial topics such as politics and sour memories, but what do you do if you don’t want to revert to retelling old family stories over and over again?

Luckily for you, we have some playful and funny conversation starters perfect for Thanksgiving (or any large gathering) to get your family and friends bonding—not bickering or making passive-aggressive remarks—during the meal. If you’re hosting a Friendsgiving this year, these convo starters will also help everyone warm up to each other, especially if you’re bringing different groups of friends together.

We guarantee no one will want to flee that gorgeous Thanksgiving table setting on November 28 with these conversation starter questions. If all else fails, you can always ask if anyone wants more turkey.

Fun conversation starters for 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?

Fun and funny conversation starters for 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?

Funny conversation starters for 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 most favorite dad joke of all time?

Thanksgiving conversation starters for 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 in every day, how would you spend it?
  • Which is your favorite month, and why?

Fun and funny conversation starters for 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?

Now you’re equipped with more than just Thanksgiving appetizers, dinner, and desserts so the meal will be as delightful as the photos on Instagram make it seem. If you want even more conversation starters, you can try weaving some of these Thanksgiving quotes into your chats with relatives and see if anyone notices or impress the table with your Thanksgiving knowledge.