Quick Icebreakers

The Best 25 Quick Icebreakers

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Break. The. Ice.

A good icebreaker doesn’t need more than 3 minutes to loosen up the atmosphere and put a smile on everyone’s face. Check out the ultimate list for your 2023 team building, school recess, and even work meetings. 

Fun Quick Icebreakers

Quick team icebreakers

1. No Smiling

When you tell someone not to do a thing, that’s precisely what they’ll tend to do. ‘No smiling’, of course, is about not showing a pleased, kind, or amused facial expression, by turning up the corners of your mouth or exposing your front teeth. This is one of the best quick icebreakers because it usually doesn’t take too long for people to start smiling and laughing. Players might even try to make each other laugh by saying inside jokes and making faces. ‘No smiling’ is a great choice for an indoor game when you’re looking for something quick to set a relaxed tone – before a tough meeting, a difficult maths class, or just as a fun team building game

2. Worst Job Stories 

Players might not have laughed so hard when those things actually happened, but now these could spark big laughs, given the context. The single rule of this group game is to share a funny story about the worst job you’ve ever had. You can even go further and ask what they learned from that job (because it must have been something). It’s a quick icebreaker and it suits adults best. It’s also a meaningful get-to-know each other activity since the players can find out what’s important for each other in the professional field. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a backyard party activity, a great drinking game for your friends, or even a topic for your coffee break

3. Best Prank Ever 

Sharing the worst job is fun, but sharing the best prank is funnier! This is great because it can turn into a ‘minute to win it’ game for teens, as well as into an outdoor team building activity for adults. All you have to do is ask your players to share the best prank they can remember. It can be something they played… or that someone else played on them. Besides the fun ingredient, they can also get some ideas for future puns and tricks!

4. Wacky Interview 

Since we’re talking about jobs, an interview comes right on time. Start by labeling three bowls/hats – whatever you have at hand – as follows: 1. ‘adjectives’, 2. ‘jobs’, 3. ‘miscellaneous’. Next, ask each player to put one suggestion in each bowl/hat. The more creative they get, the funnier this quick icebreaker will be. Then, players must draw one piece of paper from each bowl and explain why the ‘adjective’ and the ‘miscellaneous’ best define the ‘job’. For example, someone could write ‘backend developer’ for ‘job’, ‘fluffy’ for ‘adjective’, and ‘not today’ for ‘miscellaneous’. If a player draws the three things mentioned above, he would have to explain to the group why being ‘fluffy’ and saying ‘not today’ qualifies to be a ‘backend developer’. 

5. Frivolous Debate

Nothing soothes the spirits more than this quick icebreaker. Just come up with a prompt and ask players to pick a side and explain their choice. Here are some suggestions if you want to stir up a frivolous debate:

  • Dogs are more loyal than cats.
  • Procrastination makes you work better under pressure.
  • Pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza.
  • Long-distance relationships are easier to bear with texting games for couples.
  • Summer is better than winter.

Quick Team Icebreakers

6. Would You Rather

This one’s a classic game, appropriate for any context, that can work great as a quick team icebreaker too. ‘Would you rather’ is all about making a choice. Learn more about your teammates by asking the following questions: 

  • Would you rather sip gin with Ryan Reynolds or shoot tequila with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?
  • Would you rather walk in on your parents or have them walk in on you?
  • Would you rather find a rat in your kitchen or a roach in your bed?
  • Would you rather have a pause or a rewind button in your life?
  • Would you rather get a paper cut every time you turn a page or bite your tongue every time you eat?

Get more ideas from our list of 150 fun icebreaker questions!

7. Two Truths And A Lie

Another classic. Have the players write 3 things about themselves, 2 of which must be true and 1 of which must be false. The goal of the other players is to guess which one is false. The players must reveal the truth after the others have shared their statements and the group has decided which statement is false. Keep going until everyone in the group has shared their statements.

8. Jenga Questions 

Buy a Jenga set and take a look at our +200 team building questions. Write the icebreakers you find the funniest on each brick and start the game. As players pull out bricks, they must answer the questions written on them. The fun ends when the tower falls. 

9. The Q&A Icebreaker

Another quick team meeting icebreaker that ensures success is the Q&A game. Everyone should receive a slip of paper on which they should write down some non-work-related questions. Feel free to get some inspiration from our Best ‘getting to know each other’ questions article.

  • What is your standard evening routine?
  • Do you put your cereal in the bowl before the milk or the milk in before the cereal?
  • If I asked you to teach a class on any subject, what topic would you choose?
  • Do you have any crazy roommate stories?
  • What did you do as a teenager that makes you cringe now?

Then, ask players to pass their cards to the person on their right and write an answer to that question on the back of the new card. At this point, each participant should have a notecard with a question on one side and an answer on the other. Put the cards in a fishbowl and shuffle them. Next, give one to each player. Choose someone to introduce themselves and read the unrelated question and answer on the card they are holding. Then, ask another participant to do the same, and so on, until everyone has both asked and answered a question. The random sequences will spark lots of laughter.

Quick Meeting Icebreakers

Quick meeting icebreakers

10. Make Them Listen 

This is a quick meeting icebreaker that will make your players be all eyes and ears. Give everyone a word that is not so frequently used in meetings. You could go for something like ‘fire’, ‘eat’, ‘mug’, ‘couch’, or ‘no’. Every player must then mark down each time their word is used. They can even ask questions during the meeting in order to make the others say their word. At the end of the gathering, whoever’s word was said the most wins. Everyone will literally listen to everyone and that’s a hell of a win from where we’re standing. 

11. Movie Ball

This is a quick meeting icebreaker that could also stand for a great outdoor activity with your family. All you need is a ball. Have all the players sit in a circle. One of them starts by saying the name of a movie, then bounces the ball to someone else. The next player must do the same. These transitions shouldn’t last more than 5 seconds. The ball continues to be bounced randomly to individuals in the group. The players who repeat the name of a movie, or fail to say a name within the time limit, are out.

12. One Word

This quick icebreaker is a creative game that gives you the opportunity to give people context about what the meeting is going to be about and get everyone in the right mindset for the discussion. If you’re planning to discuss your new marketing campaign focusing on gender equality, ask your people to name, in one word, the biggest challenge of gender equality in 2023. After they share their ideas with the rest of the group, you will already have some great ideas to brainstorm and develop afterward.

13. Match the Brand 

Can you tell I work in the marketing department? Well, this is one of the quick meeting icebreakers we frequently do to loosen up the atmosphere and have a laugh. It requires some prepping in advance, but don’t panic. Just take the words off of company logos and have the players guess the company the logo belongs to. You can use it as a ‘minute to win it’ team building game for adults or if you want to make it more meaningful, turn it into a 5-minute team building game and spark a discussion on the importance of brand recognition.

14. The Morning After

This is one of our favorite quick meeting icebreakers! All you have to do is ask the others to act out what they did the night before…. of course, things that are adequate to the context. Some examples could be:

  • A scene that happened in the restaurant or pub they went to
  • A movie they saw
  • A meal they cooked
  • A game they played with the kids

15. Encouragement Circle 

Supporting each other is key in any type of organization. Cultivate that skill by playing this quick meeting icebreaker. All you have to do is ask your players to say one encouraging thing to the person who’s sitting right next to them. It can be anything – from a physical feature – ‘Hey, your hair looks really nice today’, to a professional one – ‘You did a great job on that project we worked on last week’. It will also be a way of getting to know each other better, while also showing recognition. 

16. Bucket List

Find out what your people want! Get them to express their wishes by naming one, or more (depending on how much time you’ve got for this quick icebreaker) items on their bucket list. You might learn about the places they want to visit, the things they want to try, or the people they’d like to meet. 

17. March Madness 

If this doesn’t remind you of ‘The Office’, we don’t know what might…Make a bracket out of your employees and have them fill it out, predicting who will win this quick icebreaker. Then, pit players against each other by throwing paper balls into a trashcan until a winner is established, and see who had the most accurate bracket.

Quick Virtual Icebreakers

18. Funny YouTube 

This is one of our favorite kick-offs for a virtual meeting. Everyone has a funny Youtube video to which they go back when things go sideways… or just when they want to have a good laugh. And everyone discovers and shares fresh, cringe stuff on the Internet on a daily basis. Ask your players to share their best finds with the rest of the team, right before that daily call. If you’re on a tight schedule, ask them to come up with a video that is maximum 3 minutes long. 

Here’s our latest find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGV4smFWeGA&t=0s . You’re welcome!

19. Three Things 

Sharing is caring, my friend. Learn about the best things in town by playing this quick icebreaker, perfect for virtual meetings. Next time you begin the weekly call with your team, have the employees name 3 things they have recently discovered and they absolutely love. It can be anything: a great restaurant, a new trick that keeps the kids quiet for a while, a discount code for their favorite brand, a team building book they’ve read, a movie that’s a ‘must watch’ at the cinema, or a good texting game for couples

Quick virtual icebreakers

20. In Company History 

How much do your employees know about the company they work for? Figure it out by organizing a quiz competition. This virtual employee engagement activity resembles Trivia, so you need to prepare a few questions in advance. You might want to start with the basic stuff, such as: 

  • ‘For how long have we been out there?’ (year of founding)
  • ‘Who was/were the founder(s)?’
  • ‘What’s the company motto?’
  • ‘What are our core values?’
  • ‘What’s our mission?’

Then, you can move on to more complicated things, like: 

  • ‘Who was our largest client so far?’
  • ‘How much did we grow in the past year?’
  • ‘What’s the busiest month?’
  • ‘Who are the 3 employees that have been on board the longest?’

You can have the players answer the questions individually, or group them into teams. Make sure to reward the most knowledgeable ones not only with points based on accuracy and speed but also with a prize. We have a list of work from home gifts for employees you might want to check out for that matter!

21. Show and Tell

Another quick icebreaker for virtual meetings could be ‘Show and tell’. Right before getting to the daily fuss, give your people a few minutes to get in the mood for work. Ask them to show an object they really appreciate, and explain why. It can be a gift they’ve got from someone meaningful for them (such as a plate, or a pen), an item they bought and they’re really proud of (the latest iPhone or some brand new AirPods), or even a picture of their family or pet. This icebreaker doesn’t take too long and it’s amazing how much it can do for team bonding.

22. My Slogan

A slogan is more than just a few catchy and entertaining words strung together. It is a strategic tool that, in the long run, increases the recall of your brand and adds credibility to your products or services. Ask your employees to come up with a slogan that represents them. They might create it on the spot or borrow a famous one. Here are some examples that could be useful:  

  • ‘Double your pleasure, double your fun’ – Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum
  • ‘You’re in good hands’ – Allstate
  • ‘Move the way you want’ – Uber
  • ‘Let’s go places.’ – Toyota
  • ‘Think outside the bun’ – Taco Bell
  • ‘Don’t crack’ – Tag Heuer: “
  • ‘A diamond is forever’ – De Beers
  • ‘Just do it’ – Nike

23. Name That Tune

This is an even funnier quick icebreaker for virtual meetings if the employees are part of different age groups. Put together a playlist of famous songs. Make sure the range is wide; Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, and 2Pac are a must on that list. Next, divide your players into teams and play short clips to see who can recognize the hit tune the fastest. Involve some prizes to increase motivation!

24. Name That Reaction 

This one’s a quick virtual icebreaker that sparks a good laugh. Have each player act out a particular situation that might happen in the office. Here are some examples:

  • The power goes out.
  • No one is able to connect to the Wi-Fi.
  • Someone forgot a meal in the microwave 2 days ago.
  • It’s been snowing a lot and you can no longer open the terrace door and go out to the smoking area.

You can either make them choose a situation or you can randomly assign them. Ask them to 

act out how they would react to the news, while everyone else has to guess the situation.

25. Funny Pet Stories 

This one’s from the same category as the quick icebreakers where you have to share the worst job memory or the best prank ever. Ask those employees who are also pet owners to tell one of their craziest stories together.

Check out eTeamBuilding for other fun icebreakers:

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