Quick Icebreakers That Don't Suck

UPDATED ON JAN 8, 2023 : 292 words, 2 minute read — MISC

Recently I had a small get together with a variety of friend groups that didn’t all know each other, and inspired by Nick Gray’s cocktail party suggestions , we used name tags and had people choose an icebreaker for themselves (that’s not how Nick recommends doing it, fwiw).

We went looking for ice breakers that didn’t suck, and sadly the vast majority of the “Top 10 Amazing Ice Breakers for Work” we read were predictably SEO bait and provided almost no value. In the spirit of saving myself time in the future, I’m collecting the ice breakers that don’t suck here.

Rules to Not Suck 🔗︎

What makes an icebreaker go from zero to hero? A few simple rules, again inspired by Nick Gray:

  • It shouldn’t be tied to any strong political opinions or other topics where people get emotionally charged.
  • It should provide room for expanding on answers rather than dying at “Yes/No, Blue/Red”.
  • It should be easy for someone to answer in a few seconds - so no “what’s your favorite [movie/bird/etc.]?”, too many options, and people get stuck on the term “favorite” and worry if it really is their favorite and how it makes them look.

Icebreakers 🔗︎

A few icebreakers we’ve enjoyed using. Some aren’t work-appropriate, I’ll let you use your judgement on that one.

  • If you were a potato, how would you like to be cooked?
  • FMK : Alvin & the Chipmunks
  • Is a hot dog a sandwich?
  • What do you picture when I say “Bearshark”? If you were trapped on an island “Hunger Games” style with this Bearshark, how do you defeat it?
    • Notes: Some people like to cop out with “Nuke it”, or “attack helicopter”. Feel free to call them out for lazy response.
  • To be continued….

See Also