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
Here are 142 interesting ways to start a conversation with some humor - from fun facts about yourself to embarrassing stories to your favorite movies and memes.
Funny conversation starters: facts about you
1. What was your childhood nickname?
2. Are you a night owl or an early bird?
3. What food describes your personality?
4. What’s your funniest family tradition?
5. Did you have any injuries on the playground as a kid?
6. Do you believe in aliens?
7. What about ghosts?
8. What was your high school yearbook superlative?
9. What was the first concert you ever attended?
10. What topic could you give a 30-minute presentation on without any preparation?
11. Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
Read more: What Are the Best Jobs for Introverts?
12. Have you ever bumped into a celebrity?
13. What’s the most random job or side-hustle you’ve ever had?
14. Are you superstitious?
15. What trivia topic do you know the most about?
16. Did you play any sports as a kid?
17. What’s your earliest memory from childhood?
18. What was your best Halloween costume?
19. What’s your go-to dance move?
20. Do you have any language translation faux pas stories?
21. What’s your best story about an *interesting* coworker or boss?
22. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked in a job interview?
23. Do you collect anything?
24. Did you ever get detention in school?
25. What’s the silliest celebrity gossip you’ve heard recently?
26. What song do you know every word to?
27. What’s a movie that you know the script by heart?
28. Have you ever gotten into a food fight?
29. What are your biggest pet peeves?
30. What board game are you incredibly competitive at?
31. What’s your Myers-Briggs type?
32. Which celebrity would you want to be stuck in an elevator with?
33. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
34. What’s your biggest cooking disaster?
35. What’s been your worst fashion disaster?
36. Do you know of any wildly helpful life hacks?
37. Have you ever sent a text to your boss that was intended for someone else?
Funny conversation starters: more personal info about you
38. What’s your most embarrassing story?
39. Do you have a secret guilty pleasure?
40. What would the book about your life be called?
41. What is the silliest fear you have?
42. What superpower would you want to have?
43. If you dare, what was your last Google search?
44. Do you have a secret talent?
45. Which celebrity would you want to trade lives with?
46. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?
47. What three items would you bring to a deserted island?
48. What’s been the proudest moment of your life?
49. Do you remember the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
50. What song would you choose as your life’s theme song?
51. Besides your phone, what one item can you not live without?
52. What’s the wildest thing on your bucket list?
53. What do you normally give your pet a pep talk about?
54. What’s your most controversial opinion?
55. If you could call anyone in the world for advice right now, who would it be?
56. Is there a movie that scarred you when you were younger?
57. Which one of the Seven Dwarves are you most like?
58. Which Disney character are you most like?
59. Did you go through any embarrassing teenage phases?
60. What’s your strangest habit when you’re home alone?
61. What’s the best fortune you’ve ever gotten?
62. What movie should be made into a musical?
63. How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?
64. What do you want to do after you retire?
Read more: 40 Things to Do Before You Retire
Funny conversation starters: your favorites and forevers
65. What was your favorite school lunch as a kid?
66. Which movie would you watch for the rest of your life?
67. What genre of music would you choose to listen to for the rest of your life?
68. What was the children’s book you read over and over again?
69. What’s your favorite reality TV show?
70. Do you have a favorite room in your home?
71. What’s your favorite smell?
72. What’s your favorite Snapchat filter?
73. What’s your favorite Olympic sport to watch?
74. What’s your favorite music video?
75. What do you think is the best invention since sliced bread?
76. What fashion trend do you wish would come back?
77. What’s the best WiFi network name you’ve ever seen?
78. What’s your favorite YouTube video?
79. What’s your favorite app to social media stalk on?
80. Which app game are you addicted to?
81. What would be your dream job now?
82. What was your dream job when you were a kid?
Funny conversation starters: your worst and weirdest
83. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?
84. Which chore did you despise as a kid?
85. Which fashion trend should go away?
86. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?
87. What’s the weirdest, most random fact you know?
88. What’s the weirdest thing you do to destress?
89. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen happen on public transportation?
90. What’s the weirdest food combo you’ve ever eaten?
91. What’s your weirdest playlist name?
Funny conversation starters: what you find funny or interesting
92. Show us the best meme you’ve seen recently.
93. What’s your best knock knock joke?
94. Can you recommend any hilarious podcast episodes?
95. What’s the funniest prank you’ve pulled for April Fool’s Day?
96. What’s the funniest BuzzFeed quiz you’ve ever taken?
97. What’s the funniest mishap you’ve had while working from home?
98. What's the funniest conversation starter you’ve ever heard?
99. What’s the funniest award you’ve won?
100. Tell us your funniest travel story.
101. What’s the funniest name you’ve ever called your pet?
102. What’s the most mind-bending documentary you’ve ever seen?
Funny conversation starters: what-ifs and would-you-rathers
103. If you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, which would it be?
104. If you could teleport anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
105. If you had to open a restaurant, what type of food would you serve?
106. If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would you choose?
107. If you could relive one day in your life, what would it be?
108. If you were a pasta shape, which would you be?
109. If you had to give advice to your 12-year-old self, what would you say?
110. If you could be an animal, what would you be?
111. If you were a condiment, which would you be?
112. If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for?
113. If you could, would you rather explore the depths of the ocean or outer space?
114. If you had to change your name, what new name would you choose?
115. If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach in school?
116. If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?...
117. ...And which would be the nicest?
118. If you could stay one age forever, what age would you choose?
119. What historical event do you wish you could be a fly on the wall for?
120. What would you do if you won the lottery today?
121. What business pitch would you make if you were on Shark Tank today?
122. What object would you want to be reincarnated as?
123. Would you rather someone read your diary or search history?
124. Would you rather be able to fly or breathe underwater?
125. If you could break any world record, what would it be?
126. Would you rather live in the 1800s or the 4000s?
127. Which famous person would you want to play you in a movie?
128. Would you rather never get stuck in traffic ever again or never wait in a line ever again?
129. If it was possible to live on Mars, would you live there for a year?
130. If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?
131. What would you be famous for?
132. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
133. Would you rather have a unicorn horn or a cat tail?
134. Who would you rather be able to read your thoughts, your boss or your parents?
135. What inanimate object would you want to be?
136. What ice cream flavor would you invent?
137. How long would you last during a zombie apocalypse?
138. If you had to rename cheese, what would you name it?
139. If life were a video game, what would the cheat codes be?
140. If the state you live in was represented by a food, what would it be?
141. If the state you live in was represented by a movie, what would it be?
142. Settle this. Is a hot dog a sandwich?