The best first impressions happen when people are genuine, engaged, active listeners with good eye contact. And when they’re funny.
Seriously, funny conversation starters are a great tool to make yourself more memorable when meeting people for the first time, giving a presentation to a large group of people, or networking at an event. Most of us view the workplace as a serious, no-funny-business environment, but humor can be especially helpful in professional settings to bring levity to stressful situations and break the ice.
Don’t believe me? I’ll let the research win you over. One study showed that leaders who use humor at work are more likely to reach their target goals and more likely to receive a higher performance rating from their direct supervisor. Plus, employees are more likely to feel like they belong at work and trust their manager if they use humor, and laughing at work can even boost our productivity.
A few ideal situations for a little humor:
When meeting a nervous new coworker over Zoom
When teeing up your long, boring presentation on finances
When a colleague needs cheering up after making a mistake
142 funny conversation starters for any situation
1. Show us the best meme you’ve seen recently.
2. What was your favorite school lunch as a kid?
3. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked in a job interview?
4. What’s your most embarrassing story?
5. What would the book about your life be called?
6. Do you have a secret guilty pleasure?
7. What topic could you give a 30-minute presentation on without any preparation?
8. Which movie would you watch for the rest of your life?
9. Are you a night owl or an early bird?
10. What’s your best knock knock joke?
11. Do you have a secret talent?
12. What is the silliest fear you have?
13. What superpower would you want to have?
14. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?
15. What food describes your personality?
16. Can you recommend any hilarious podcast episodes?
17. If you dare, what was your last Google search?
18. What’s your funniest family tradition?
19. Which celebrity would you want to trade lives with?
20. Do you believe in aliens?
21. What about ghosts?
22. If you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, which would it be?
23. If you could teleport anywhere in the world right now, where would you go
24. What’s your biggest cooking disaster?
25. What’s the funniest prank you’ve pulled for April Fool’s Day?
26. What three items would you bring to a deserted island?
27. Which chore did you despise as a kid?
28. What board game are you incredibly competitive at?
29. What song do you know every word to?
30. What genre of music would you choose to listen to for the rest of your life?
31. If you could relive one day in your life, what would it be?
32. What’s been the proudest moment of your life?
33. If you were a pasta shape, which would you be?
34. If you had to give advice to your 12-year-old self, what would you say?
35. If you had to open a restaurant, what type of food would you serve?
36. Are you superstitious?
37. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?
38. What animal would you be if you could be one?
39. If you were a condiment, which would you be?
40. If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for?
41. What was your high school yearbook superlative?
42. If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would you choose?
43. Would you rather explore the depths of the ocean or outer space?
44. Which historical event do you wish you could be a fly on the wall for?
45. What song would you choose as your life’s theme song?
46. What was your dream job when you were a kid?
47. What would be your dream job now?
48. Do you remember the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
49. What are your biggest pet peeves?
50. Besides your phone, what one item can you not live without?
51. If you had to change your name, what new name would you choose?
52. Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
Read more: What Are the Best Jobs for Introverts?
53. What’s your Myers-Briggs type?
54. What’s the funniest BuzzFeed quiz you’ve ever taken?
55. What’s the wildest thing on your bucket list?
56. Do you have a favorite room in your home?
57. What’s your favorite smell?
58. What trivia topic do you know the most about?
59. What’s your favorite reality TV show?
60. What was the children’s book you read over and over again?
61. Would you rather be able to fly or breathe underwater?
62. Did you play any sports as a kid?
63. What’s your favorite Olympic sport to watch?
64. What was your best Halloween costume?
65. Tell us your funniest travel story.
66. Do you have any language translation faux pas stories?
67. What do you think is the best invention since sliced bread?
68. Would you rather live in the 1800s or the 4000s?
69. What fashion trend do you wish would come back?
70. Or go away?
71. Have you ever gotten into a food fight?
72. If you could call anyone in the world for advice right now, who would it be?
73. Settle this. Is a hot dog a sandwich?
74. What’s the best WiFi network name you’ve ever seen?
75. How long would you last during a zombie apocalypse?
76. What’s a movie that you know the script by heart?
77. Which famous person would you want to play you in a movie?
78. If you could stay one age forever, what age would you choose?
79. Would you rather never get stuck in traffic ever again or never wait in a line ever again?
80. If it was possible to live on Mars, would you live there for a year?
81. If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?
82. What would you be famous for?
83. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
84. What was your childhood nickname?
85. Would you rather have a unicorn horn or a cat tail?
86. Who would you rather be able to read your thoughts, your boss or your parents?
87. What inanimate object would you want to be?
88. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?
89. What’s the weirdest, most random fact you know?
90. What’s your favorite app to social media stalk on?
91. How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?
92. Which app game are you addicted to?
93. If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?
94. Which would be the nicest?
95. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen happen on public transportation?
96. If you had to rename cheese, what would you name it?
97. If life were a video game, what would the cheat codes be?
98. Did you have any injuries on the playground as a kid?
99. What’s your favorite music video?
100. If the state you live in was represented by a food, what would it be?
101. If the state you live in was represented by a movie, what would it be?
102. What’s your go-to dance move?
103. What’s been your worst fashion disaster?
104. Did you ever get detention in school?
105. What’s the silliest celebrity gossip you’ve heard recently?
106. What do you want to do after you retire?
Read more: 40 Things to Do Before You Retire
107. What’s the weirdest food combo you’ve ever eaten?
108. What’s your weirdest playlist name?
109. Which one of the Seven Dwarves are you most like?
110. Which Disney character are you most like?
111. Did you go through any embarrassing teenage phases?
112. What’s the weirdest thing you do to destress?
113. What’s your strangest habit when you’re home alone?
114. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
115. What’s the best fortune you’ve ever gotten?
116. Which celebrity would you want to be stuck in an elevator with?
117. What’s your earliest memory from childhood?
118. What ice cream flavor would you invent?
119. What’s the funniest name you’ve ever called your pet?
120. What’s your favorite YouTube video?
121. Is there a movie that scarred you when you were younger?
122. What movie should be made into a musical?
123. What’s your best story about an *interesting* coworker or boss?
124. If you could break any world record, what would it be?
125. What’s your most controversial opinion?
126. Do you collect anything?
127. What’s the funniest award you’ve won?
128. Have you ever sent a text to your boss that was intended for someone else?
129. What was the first concert you ever attended?
130. What do you normally give your pet a pep talk about?
131. Have you ever bumped into a celebrity?
132. What’s the most random job or side-hustle you’ve ever had?
133. What would you do if you won the lottery today?
134. Do you know of any wildly helpful life hacks?
135. What business pitch would you make if you were on Shark Tank today?
136. What object would you want to be reincarnated as?
137. Would you rather someone read your diary or search history?
138. What’s your favorite Snapchat filter?
139. What’s the most mind-bending documentary you’ve ever seen?
140. What subject would you teach in school if you were a teacher?
141. What’s the funniest mishap you’ve had while working from home?
142. Lastly...what’s the funniest conversation starter you’ve ever heard?