I don’t love talking with strangers. I’m an introvert at heart, and making an effort to engage in social interaction often drains my energy. But still, I do it. Not because I feel like I have to, but because while it can be exhausting, it’s equally energizing. Talking with new people or even people you know of but have never engaged with before is how connections are made, friendships are formed, and potential business partners and clients are identified. Love it or hate it, chatting with people and making small talk is a necessary skill if you want to converse with strangers IRL at networking events, dinner parties, or even your local coffee shop—instead of solely through social media DMs and text. But just because it’s necessary doesn’t mean it’s an innate skill everyone possesses.
To help you start meaningful conversations that go beyond small talk, you need to have a few good conversation starters up your sleeve. And because I was equally as curious to have a few great conversation starters in my back pocket that spark memorable and interesting discussions whether I’m at a dinner with friends or at a work event, I did the work so you don’t have to. Here are 150+ good conversation starters for any situation.
150+ Good Conversation Starters
We find ourselves in a lot of different situations throughout our lives that require very different ways to start a conversation. So, I’ve divided the list by different styles of great conversation starters to help you find the best conversation topics you may want to add to your list.
Easy Conversation Starters
Sometimes, we need an effortless way to get the conversation started. The next time you’re in need of something simple, try these.
- I really like your [insert anything the person has on them or with them]. Where did you get it?
- Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
- What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
- What are you currently reading?
- What’s the last show you binged?
- What’s your go-to comfort show?
- What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
- What podcasts do you like listening to?
- Do you have a favorite sport?
- What’s your favorite holiday?
- Do you have any pets?
- Are you a morning person or a night owl?
- Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?
- Are you a sweet or savory treat person?
- What sports teams do you root for?
- Are you a beach or mountain person?
- Do you have any trips coming up?
- What restaurant do you always recommend to out-of-town guests?
- What was the first cell phone you had?
- What’s the one app on your phone that you use the most?
- What’s the last picture you took on your phone?
- Do you believe in ghosts?
- What are your kids really interested in right now?
- Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world with all expenses paid?
- Would you rather have a chauffeur or a personal chef as a gift for one month?
- What’s your least favorite household chore?
- What was the last thing you bought on Amazon?
- What’s your favorite thing you purchased in the last year?
Deep Conversation Starters
With the right audience, deep conversation starters are a meaningful way to dive into great conversations.
- What piece of advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- What advice would you give your younger self?
- If you could change one thing about the way you were raised what would it be?
- What’s a core memory from your childhood?
- Do you have siblings? What’s the dynamic like and what role do you play?
What’s one thing you miss from your childhood?
- What’s one thing that used to be an insecurity but now you love about yourself?
- If money wasn’t a concern, how would you spend your ideal day?
- Education, experience, and money aside, what is your dream job?
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- What’s something you’re currently struggling with?
- What is one thing you’re grateful for right now?
- If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
- What motivates you?
- If you were frozen in time, when would you want to be unthawed?
- If someone came to you for advice, what would the topic be?
- Biggest difference between your current decade and your previous one?
- What’s a compliment you received that really stuck with you?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, with the caveat that it can’t be anything physical, what would it be?
- When was the last time you cried?
Conversation Starters For Texting
Not all conversations start in person. And while AIM isn’t a thing anymore (am I dating myself?), texting is. If you’ve exchanged numbers with someone after a successful first meeting and are not sure where to take the conversation next, try these fun conversation starters.
- I need to know your opinion on… *insert topic*
- You won’t believe what just happened! *insert story*
- This is random, but *insert story*
- Do you have any *insert topic* recommendations?
- How did *insert topic* go? (try to tie in something from your in-person conversation)
- I have nothing to watch, any recommendations?
- What are your most used emojis?
- If you had to choose a song to describe your vibe what would it be?
- What’s been your favorite part of the day so far?
- What are your green flags?
- Do you have any plans for this weekend?
- How many photos are on your camera roll?
- What’s your favorite local restaurant?
Work Conversation Starters
You may need good conversation starters in the office, at interviews, or even when working remotely. Or maybe you’re looking for networking conversation starters for your next event. No matter where you use them, do your best to keep the conversation professional.
- What did you do this weekend?
- Are you working on an exciting project right now?
- What’s the best team-building activity you’ve ever been a part of?
- What do you like to listen to when you’re working?
- Do you prefer standing desks or sitting desks?
- What’s your Starbucks order?
- What was your very first job?
- What is the best professional development book you’ve ever read?
- What is your favorite work-related podcast?
- What one skill you’re currently working on?
- If you could work from anywhere, where would you work from?
- What are your desk must-haves?
- What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
- What’s your favorite part about working at your current company?
- What has been the most enjoyable networking event you’ve attended?
- How does your team measure success?
Family Conversation Starters
Conversations with family can feel safe and warm (or at least that is my hope for you). If you’re in a comfortable environment with those you love, it’s delightful to get the conversation going with questions centered around your family, past gatherings, and enjoyable memories.
- If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What’s your favorite family gathering you’ve ever been to?
- What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
- What’s your favorite movie from your childhood?
- If you were stuck in an elevator full of family members, who are the five people you’d want to be trapped with?
- What was your favorite subject in school and why?
- Who is someone who positively impacted your life but doesn’t even know it?
- Which family member cooks your favorite food?
- What’s your favorite childhood memory?
- What were your parents like when they were your age?
- How has our family dynamic changed over the years?
- What is something you wish we did more of as a family?
- If budget wasn’t an issue, what would your dream family vacation be?
- What are you most proud of?
- What’s the best piece of advice you gave this year?
- What’s the best thing about our family?
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
- What’s changed the most about me since I was a kid?
- What are you glad I inherited?
- If you could relive one moment of the past year, what would it be?
- What’s a gift you really wanted as a kid but never got?
- If we had to compete as a family, what Olympic sport do you think we could dominate at?
- If our family had a reality show, what would it be called?
Flirty and Date-Worthy Conversation Starters
- What’s the first thing you noticed about me?
- What’s your story?
- What do you look for in a partner?
- What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to learn how to do?
- What’s your go-to karaoke song?
- If you could be anyone for a day who would you be and why?
- If you had to give your younger self advice, what would it be?
- What would be your theme song if you had to pick one song to play every time you walked into a room?
- What’s the worst date you’ve been on?
- What’s your biggest turn-on?
- If you took someone on a tour of your hometown, where would you take them and why?
- Do you believe in love at first sight?
- What’s the most attractive quality in a person?
- Who was your first kiss and what’s the story behind it?
- What’s your love language?
- What’s something you could talk about forever?
- Are you the type to be friends with your ex?
- How many times have you been in love?
Party Conversation Starters
When it’s time to get the party started, you can often use conversation starters that are a bit more fun and adventurous. Try a few of these at your next gathering.
- How do you know the host?
- What’s your go-to drink order?
- If you’re looking to have a good time, what’s the first thing you do?
- When was the last time you laughed so hard that you almost peed your pants? What happened?
- If you were a dog, what would breed would you be, and why?
- What would the title of your autobiography be?
- If you could star on any current television show, what show would you be on?
- If you were going to star in a movie, who would you want to be your costar?
- What’s a movie where you loved the original, but hated the sequel?
- If you could host any reality show reunion, what would it be and why?
- What’s your real housewife tagline?
- Do you have a hidden talent?
- What songs would be played on a loop in hell?
- If you were invisible and could go anywhere, where would you go?
- What would you bring if you were stranded on an island and could only bring three things with you for entertainment?
- What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever Googled?
- What is the most famous true-crime story from your hometown?
- What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever broken?
- What word do you always misspell?
- What product could you be a spokesperson for?
- If you could have any talent, what would it be and why?
- If you could build your dream home tomorrow, where would it be, and what are your must-haves for the design?
Road Trip Conversation Starters
Is there anything more fun than taking a road trip with good friends? If you’re traveling with someone, I’d like to think you’re already pretty well acquainted. But if you want to learn something fun and new about each other, try these questions.
- What’s the best trip you’ve ever been on?
- What’s a trip you want to take but haven’t had the chance to yet?
- Have many states and countries have you traveled to?
- Who are your top artists on Spotify?
- What would you order for your last meal?
- If you could get tickets to any concert, whether the band/artist is dead or alive, who would it be?
- What is your favorite gas station snack?
- What’s a personal goal you’re trying to achieve?
- What are three words that best describe you?
- What’s on your bucket list?
- What music did you listen to in high school?
- What song would you pick if you had to listen to one song for the entire car ride?
- Who’s your role model?
- Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
- Who’s your current celebrity crush, and who was your first celebrity crush?
- If you could only subscribe to and watch one streaming service for the rest of the year, which one would you choose?
- If you were going to become immortal, at what age would you want to be when you stop aging?