124 Thanksgiving Conversation Starters – Avoid Awkward Chat This Year!

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You don’t have to feel anxious about the big event this year, as we’ve curated an exciting list of Thanksgiving conversation starters that you can pull out of the bag to crush uncomfortable moments before they even happen.

Be prepared with the following questions for Thanksgiving aimed at table chat, the office, Friendsgiving, and strangers, so you will be primed and ready to take on any situation.

The guide even has a section with questions for your partner’s parents, just in case Turkey Day is the first official meeting.

You don’t have to use every one of the following Thanksgiving conversation activities; choose the questions that feel natural.

You may also enjoy our Thanksgiving Trivia Quiz and Thanksgiving Games.

Thanksgiving Conversation Starters For Thanksgiving Dinner Table

These Thanksgiving conversation questions are for the family you’re used to spending most of your holidays with.

They assume some familiarity with the person you are talking to.

So, let’s get into our Thanksgiving table conversation starters.

  • How was your trip here?
  • What dish are you most excited about?
  • Are you excited for the turkey?
  • What did you bring for dinner?
  • Should we try fancy napkin folding for the place settings?
  • What’s the best thing [our host] has ever made? 
  • Is there anything you wish our host would serve that never seems to make the cut for Thanksgiving dinner?
  • You have to eat one Thanksgiving food every single day for the rest of your life. What do you pick?
  • How would you make your perfect Thanksgiving leftover sandwich?
  • You have to build a Thanksgiving meal from fast food restaurants. What items do you pick from which restaurants and why?
  • What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?
  • Do you like turkey or would you prefer that we eat another meat for our feast?
  • You can ban one side dish from ever showing up at the Thanksgiving table again. Which one do you choose?
  • Do you ever feel too full after dinner? Do you ever need a nap?
  • Who is saying grace before dinner tonight?
  • Who do you wish we could have here?
  • What’s something you’re grateful for?
  • Who is someone you’re grateful for?
  • How have you been able to give back this year?
  • What was the best thing that happened to you this year, so far?
  • What are some ways you would like to give back or pay good fortune forward next year?
  • What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving Day?
  • What’s your funniest memory of our family’s Thanksgiving?
  • What was family Thanksgiving like before I was born?
  • What did people do on Thanksgiving when you were growing up?
  • What year do you think was our best family Thanksgiving?
  • What smell reminds you the most of Thanksgiving?
  • If you could be a balloon in the Thanksgiving Day parade, which one would you be?
  • If you had to get rid of one holiday, which one would it be and why?
  • You can only have Thanksgiving or Halloween. Which one do you choose and why?
  • If you were the White House turkey, how would you convince the president to pardon you?
  • Are we going to be playing any games tonight?
  • Do you have any games planned?
  • Are we watching the football game tonight?
  • Which football team are you rooting for? Psst! Check out our football games here.
  • Have you gone to any pumpkin patches this year?
  • Have you done any hay rides this year?
  • Have you gone apple picking this year?
  • Are you ready for Christmas time/the holidays?
  • Have you started thinking about the presents you want for Christmas or Hanukkah?
  • Do you know who will be hosting Christmas/holiday dinner?
  • How are your parents?
  • How are your in-laws?
  • How are the kids/pets [use names where possible]?
  • How is work?
  • How long are you off work for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Conversation Starters For Work Thanksgiving Party

If you’re looking for conversation questions for Thanksgiving at work, these ones are workplace-friendly and will get everyone excited for the upcoming holiday season.

  • Do you have any plans for our break?
  • Are you going Black Friday shopping?
  • Do you have your eye on any Black Friday deals?
  • Have you ever seen anything crazy happen while Black Friday shopping?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do on Black Friday besides shopping?
  • What are your Thanksgiving plans?
  • What are your family traditions for Thanksgiving?
  • Have you ever spent Thanksgiving away from home?
  • Are you going to be cooking anything for Thanksgiving dinner?
  • Do you make special cultural dishes for your Thanksgiving meal? 
  • What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
  • Where did you get the recipe for the dish you brought?
  • What is your perfect Thanksgiving meal?
  • Do you do anything special with your Thanksgiving leftovers?
  • Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving movies or favorite Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes? Mine is… 
  • If you could have Thanksgiving dinner with your favorite movie or TV character, who would it be?
  • If you had to make a Thanksgiving feast centered around the cuisine from one country, which country would you pick?
  • Would you ever do a Thanksgiving camp-out where your meal is cooked over a campfire?
  • Does your family have formal place settings or is your dining style more casual?
  • What are you grateful for at work?
  • Have you ever done any volunteering for Thanksgiving?
  • Have we started planning the work holiday party yet?
  • Are you thinking about joining the holiday party committee?
  • Have you started to make any vacation plans for the holiday season or new year?

You may also like our virtual Thanksgiving games.

Family and friends dining at home celebrating Christmas or Thanksgiving with traditional food and decoration, showing proud turkey.

Thanksgiving Conversation Starters For Friends

These Thanksgiving conversation questions are perfect for celebrating Friendsgiving before you have your official family Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Did you go out for Thanksgiving Eve last night? Did you run into anyone from high school while you were out?
  • What’s your wildest Thanksgiving Eve story?
  • What did you bring for Friendsgiving?
  • What’s your favorite Friendsgiving memory?
  • Would you ever do Friendsgiving at your place?
  • Would you ever do a destination Friendsgving, where we do a friends’ trip in a cabin or in another country? Why or why not?
  • What are you the most grateful for in our friendship?
  • What drinking games are we going to play today? – Check out our friends’ games for more.
  • What’s your best family Thanksgiving memory?
  • Does it bother you when your family asks to say grace every year?
  • What Thanksgiving conversation topics stir up controversy during your family’s dinner?
  • Which one of us do you think is the best at mediating family Thanksgiving drama? Which one of us do you think starts the most Thanksgiving arguments?
  • You have to ban one of your family members from Thanksgiving dinner. Which one do you pick?
  • Have you ever had to break up a fight at your family’s house over Thanksgiving dinner?
  • What is the worst possible casserole recipe you can think of?
  • Have you ever tried Turkucken? Would you?
  • Have you ever tried Tofurkey? Would you?
  • You have to be one of the roast animals during the holiday season (pig, duck, cow, turkey, chicken). Which one do you think will give you the best odds of survival and not getting turned into a family meal?
  • What non-traditional meat do you think we should try for our next Friendsgiving?
  • What famous person do you wish we could have at our Friendsgiving?
  • Would you ever keep a pet turkey? What would you name it?
  • How do you feel about the history of Thanksgiving?
  • Did you vote this year?
  • Have you ever worked retail on Black Friday? What’s your worst working Black Friday retail story?
  • What are you doing after this?
  • Who is hosting Friendsgiving next year?
Friends drinking red wine.

Thanksgiving Conversation Starters For Strangers

If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving conversation starter when you’re making small talk in the grocery line, these ones are sure to be interesting and appropriate.

  • Will you be visiting any family for Thanksgiving this year?
  • Who normally attends your Thanksgiving dinner?
  • What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
  • Do you have any special Thanksgiving rituals?
  • Do you prefer pumpkin pie, apple pie or sweet potato pie?
  • What’s your favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday? The food? The company? The shopping? The sports? Something else?
  • Do you prefer pumpkin spice flavoring or caramel apple?
  • Have you ever done a Turkey Trot? What’s your fastest time?
  • What do you think about waiting outside in the middle of the night for Black Friday shopping?
  • Do you think we’ll have a snowy or dry holiday season?
  • Do you like autumn or are you excited to be heading into winter?
  • How soon will you be putting up your winter holiday decorations after Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Conversation Starters To Ask Partner’s Family 

These Thanksgiving questions will completely endear you to your partner’s family- whether you are meeting them for the first time or a long-time presence at the Thanksgiving table.

  • What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory of [your partner] when s/he/they was younger?
  • What was Thanksgiving like for you as a kid?
  • What are some of your family holiday traditions? Did they carry on from when you were younger?
  • Have there been any funny or memorable Thanksgiving mishaps?
  • Has the family ever celebrated Thanksgiving elsewhere?
  • [If they use any special silverware or dining sets] Who did [item] originally belong to?
  • Do you have any Thanksgiving questions that you ask around the table each year?
  • Do you have any family members you wish could be here but are not?
  • What about your family makes you the most grateful that they happen to be your family?
  • Are you a Turkey Trot family? Would you ever do a Turkey Trot?
  • Would you like me to help clean up?
  • Do you prefer Thanksgiving time as a family or winter holiday [Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/ other] time as a family?
  • Do you have any traditions for decorating around the house after Thanksgiving?
  • Will you be hitting the stores for Black Friday?
  • Are you reading for the festive period?
  • What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?

Did you find our questions to ask on Thanksgiving post useful? Tell us in the comments.

Black Friday in speech bubble

Our Thanksgiving Games

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