122 No-Prep Zoom Icebreakers (Sortable List)

Virtual Meeting Ice Breakers
Image Credit: Keystone/Getty Images

I worked at a fully remote marketing agency for eight years. We had a small group of people scattered all over the country, but we made it a point to all meet on Zoom once per week. At first, we did business things – reporting, sales updates, standup-y type of stuff. Then we realized the real value everyone got out of this weekly meeting was just chatting about non-work stuff.

We dropped the business stuff altogether and just chatted. This deliberate non-work meeting (one of my 49 ideas to build a remote team culture) really helped us bond.

To facilitate the discussion and make it fun, we did icebreakers in our Zoom meetings for 5.86 years (I exported our 40-page running meeting agenda and found the exact date we started and ended our virtual icebreaker routine). The list you’ll see below is every ice breaker we did at our company for six years worth of weekly Zoom meetings. Every ice breaker on this list…

  • Can be done virtually
  • Requires basically no prep at all for the organizer (You wont find the in-depth murder mystery dinners here, sorry)
  • Is quick, and fun or engaging

If you’re looking for quick and easy icebreaker discussions for your remote team, filter the categories below. 

 

Which type of virtual meeting ice breakers would you like to see?


 

Virtual Meeting Ice Breakers: The Sortable List

Below, you’ll find the entire list of Zoom icebreakers. If you chose to use the filter buttons above, we’ll show just the ones in the categories you picked.

Are you a morning or a night person?

 

Get people to open up about their routines and preferences.

 

Category: Personal

At the end of the day, would you rather watch a movie, visit a relative, play a game, or read?

 

Change the options however you’d like. These are four simple ones that allow people to share what they like to do outside of work.

 

Category: Would You Rather

Come up with two truths and a lie about yourself.

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

I remember this being really fun. It requires a few minutes of prep for participants, but no prep for the organizer.

 

Category: Personal

What is one of your favorite meals to make or eat?

 

People love to talk about food.

 

Category: Food

Describe your dream vacation.

 

We all work remotely, come on people. Your team probably loves to travel.

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel)

Describe your worst haircut experience.

 

These more specific icebreakers usually turn out really funny. At least a few people will have a good story.

 

Category: Looking Back

Do you collect anything?

 

Category: Hobbies

Do you think you’re an introvert or an extrovert, and why?

 

This gets a bit deeper than surface level. It also helps people better understand each others’ communication preferences.

 

Category: Personal

Do you think you’re an optimist or a pessimist, and why?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

You’ll likely hear some interesting predictions for the future from your team.

 

Category: Personal

Find (or make!) and photograph some shadows.

 

This one requires some prep from the coordinator. Have everyone take one picture of a shadow, submit the picture, then everyone guesses which photo belongs to whom. You’ll surface the artistic sides of your team members.

 

Category: Photos & Videos

Give a video tour of your home office.

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

We usually all see one background from our coworkers. Have some volunteers (or one per meeting) get up a give a tour of where they work or the whole house.

 

Category: Photos & Videos

Handwriting challenge! Submit a photo of your handwriting.

 

As a remote team, all we do is type and talk. Can you guess what everyone’s handwriting looks like?

 

Category: Photos & Videos

Has someone ever thrown you a surprise party?

 

This might surface some a few funny stories.

 

Category: Personal

Have you ever driven anything other than a car or light truck?

 

These specific icebreakers bring out some interesting, usually funny stories.

 

Category: Personal

Have you ever had a close encounter with a wild animal?

 

Category: Looking Back

Have you ever met anyone famous?

 

Everyone has met someone somewhat famous. A few good stories might rise to the top.

 

Category: Pop Culture

How are you celebrating [holiday] this year?

 

We did this before each major holidays most years. It’s a nice discussion about how people celebrate with family and friends, where they travel to, etc.

 

Category: Holidays

How did you meet your best friend?

 

Category: Family & Friends

How did your parents come up with your name?

 

My parents named be after a bull in Ireland. Maybe you’ll hear some funny stories, too.

 

Category: Family & Friends

How many siblings do you have and where do you fall in the order?

 

Category: Family & Friends

If aliens landed on Earth tomorrow and offered to take you home with them, would you go?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

This is similar to “Would you go to space?” It makes for an interesting discussion about risk-taking.

 

Category: Would You Rather

If you can give one sentence advice about how to live life, what would it be?

 

Category: Advice

If you can instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

Category: Hobbies

If you could be an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?

 

Category: Pop Culture

If you could be immortal, what age would you choose to stop aging at and why?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

Category: Looking Forward, Travel (& Time Travel)

If you could choose one hobby that now seems out of your reach either financially or time-wise, what hobby would you take up and why?

 

Category: Hobbies

If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be?

 

Category: Advice, Personal

If you could have any kind of pet, what would you have?

 

Category: Hobbies

If you could have someone follow you around all the time, like a personal assistant, what would you have them do?

 

Category: Looking Forward

If you could have your wisdom teeth out 500 years ago once or in 500 years every 3 weeks, which would you choose?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

This makes for an interesting historical discussion comparing standard of living across time.

 

Category: Would You Rather

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

 

Category: Hobbies

If you could live in any sitcom, which one would it be?

 

Category: Pop Culture

If you could relive any period of your life, when would you choose?

 

Category: Looking Back, Personal

If you could speak one other language fluently, what would it be and why?

 

Category: Hobbies

If you could visit any city, where would you go?

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel)

If you had one hour to talk with any us president, who would you choose to talk with and why?

 

Category: Pop Culture

If you had to choose a cereal for breakfast, what would you choose?

 

Category: Food

If you had to choose to live without one of your five senses, which one would you give up?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

This turned out to be a really interesting discussion for our team.

 

Category: Would You Rather

If you were stranded on a desert island and could choose only one type of food to bring with you, what would it be?

 

You’ll see people get into personal preferences, ideas on nutrition, and more.

 

Category: Food

If you weren’t in this profession, what would be your dream profession and why?

 

Category: Jobs & Careers

Share a photo of something fun you’ve done recently.

 

Category: Photos & Videos

Submit one photo of something in your house.

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

Category: Photos & Videos

Submit one photo of something in your neighborhood.

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

There will be little clues to show if someone lives in a warm climate, in a city, in the country, etc. See if you can figure out which picture belongs to whom.

 

Category: Photos & Videos

Submit one photo of something in your yard.

 

I had palm trees in my picture. Someone else had chickens. Other people had mountains in the backdrop or a city. See if you can figure out which picture belongs to whom.

 

Category: Photos & Videos

Tell us about a book you’ve read recently.

 

Category: Books

Ugly sweater (holiday outfit) contest

 

This is simple. Just ask everyone to wear an ugly sweater to a virtual holiday party. Then, you can all vote for who has the best one and give out a prize. You can’t vote for yourself!

 

Category: Holidays

What are some things on your bucket list?

 

Category: Looking Forward, Personal

What are you looking forward to the most in the next year?

 

Category: Looking Forward

What are your favorite hobbies?

 

Category: Hobbies

What board games or card games do you like to play?

 

Category: Hobbies

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

 

Category: Food

What do you do when you have free time?

 

Category: Hobbies, Personal

What do you like on your pizza?

 

Category: Food

What do you look for in a friend?

 

Category: Family & Friends

What failure have you learned the most from?

 

This can get real quickly, in a good way.

 

Category: Looking Back, Personal

What is a book you’ve read recently and what influence has it had on you?

 

Category: Advice, Books

What is a favorite costume you’ve worn for Halloween?

 

Category: Holidays

What is a unique award you have won?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

This will unequivocally show some hidden talents.

 

Category: Looking Back

What is a unique phrase in your area of the world?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

Your team is spread all over the place. This is a good way to learn about where people live, through accents, cultures, and language.

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel)

What is one goal you’d like to accomplish this year?

 

Category: Looking Forward

What is one movie you’ve watched recently that you recommend?

 

Category: Looking Back

What is one of the tallest buildings you’ve been to the top in?

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel)

What is one of your driving/traffic pet peeves?

 

You can all get together to get mad about bad drivers. It’s a bonding moment.

 

Category: Personal

What is one of your family’s [holiday] traditions?

 

Category: Family & Friends, Holidays

What is one of your favorite drinks?

 

Category: Food

What is one of your favorite things about someone in your family?

 

Category: Family & Friends

What is one of your strangest nicknames?

 

There is always a story in a nickname.

 

Category: Family & Friends

What is one phrase or expression you often use?

 

Category: Personal

What is one really kind thing someone has done for you recently?

 

Category: Family & Friends

What is one thing we don’t know about you?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

This is one of the best questions to learn more about everyone on the team.

 

Category: Personal

What is one thing you’d like to do before the summer season ends?

 

Category: Looking Forward

What is one thing you’ve really enjoyed doing this summer?

 

Category: Books

What is something interesting about where you live?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

For a remote team, all of these location type of questions are good. It’s a unique situation to have people all over the world connecting weekly for work. You’ll learn more about where people choose to live and why.

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel)

What is something unexpected that has changed about you in the last few years?

 

Category: Looking Back, Personal

What is something you’ve been pleasantly surprised by recently?

 

Category: Looking Back

What is the best gift anyone’s ever given to you?

 

Category: Holidays

What is the best New Year’s Resolution you’ve ever made and actually kept?

 

No one keeps their resolutions. If they actually have, it must mean a lot to them.

 

Category: Holidays

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

 

You can jam pack some knowledge transfer into this discussion.

 

Category: Advice, Looking Back

What is the farthest place you have ever traveled to?

 

All of the travel questions will be well received by a remote team.

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel)

What is the first book you remember reading?

 

Category: Looking Back, Books

What is the longest book you’ve ever read?

 

Category: Books

What is the scariest thing you’ve seen at a haunted house?

 

Category: Holidays

What is the weirdest thing you have at your workspace?

 

One of my coworkers had a snorkel. It had been there for months. It’s worth trying out this icebreaker.

 

Category: Photos & Videos

What is your best scar story?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

If people are willing to share, you’ll hear a wide range of stories from childhood, to hobbies, surgeries, and more.

 

Category: Looking Back, Personal

What is your dream car?

 

Category: Pop Culture

What is your favorite board game to play?

 

Category: Hobbies

What is your favorite ice cream?

 

Category: Food

What is your favorite kind of foreign food?

 

Category: Food

What is your favorite sandwich and why?

 

Category: Food

What is your idea of a good, enjoyable breakfast?

 

Category: Food

What kind of exercise do you do or do you prefer?

 

This is a good way to talk about health and fitness without asking for people’s individual workout advice.

 

Category: Advice, Personal

What kind(s) of books do you enjoy reading?

 

Category: Books

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

 

Category: Advice, Personal

What stresses you out?

 

This is a weird one and make cause more ice than it breaks at first. But I remember people opening up quite a bit.

 

Category: Personal

What was one of your more embarrassing moments?

 

Category: Looking Back, Personal

What was the best thing that happened to you last week?

 

This sounds like a weird one, even to me. But it is specific enough that it’ll introduce topics and stories you haven’t covered yet.

 

Category: Looking Back, Personal

What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?

 

Category: Pop Culture

What was your all-time favorite/best Halloween costume?

 

Category: Holidays

What was your favorite candy to get on Halloween?

 

Category: Holidays

What was your favorite class in school?

 

Category: Looking Back

What was your favorite job prior to [our company]? What made it your favorite?

 

Category: Jobs & Careers

What was your first job?

 

There will be some funny stories in here, even if this is someone’s first job.

 

Category: Jobs & Careers

What was your least favorite food as a child? Do you still hate it or do you love it now?

 

Category: Food

When you are not at work, what is your idea of a good day?

 

Learn about everyone’s family, friends, hobbies, etc.

 

Category: Hobbies

Where was your last vacation?

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel)

Where would you like to live after you retire?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

For a remote team, all of these location type of questions are good. It’s a unique situation to have people all over the world connecting weekly for work. You’ll learn more about where people choose to live and travel, and why.

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel), Personal

Where/how did you meet your significant other?

 

People are good at telling this story. You are bound to hear a few good ones.

 

Category: Family & Friends

Who do you admire the most?

 

Category: Advice, Personal

Who was your favorite teacher/professor in school? Why?

 

Category: Looking Back

Would you go to space?

 

Going into this one, I thought everyone would say yes quickly and we’d move on. It was split 50/50. See how your team feels.

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel), Would You Rather

Would you rather be a jack of all trades or master of one?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

Category: Would You Rather

Would you rather be able to run at 100 miles per hour or fly at 10 miles per hour?

 

Category: Would You Rather

Would you rather be filthy rich and live 400 years ago or be middle class today?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

This is mainly for the history buffs, but it’ll be a fun and interesting icebreaker nonetheless.

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel), Would You Rather

Would you rather have a rewind button, a fast forward button, or a pause button on your life?

 

These time travel icebreakers are always fun. Which would you choose?

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel), Would You Rather

Would you rather have more time or more money?

 

Category: Would You Rather

Would you rather live in the city or the country?

 

For a remote team, all of these location type of questions are good. It’s a unique situation to have people all over the world connecting weekly for work. You’ll learn more about where people choose to live and why.

 

Category: Would You Rather

Would you rather meet your ancestors or meet your descendants?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

Do people on your team prefer history or technology? Do they want to see where they came from or where their families are going?

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel), Would You Rather

Would you rather read an e-book or a paperback book?

 

This may set off a playful argument. You usually prefer one of the other.

 

Category: Would You Rather, Books

Would you rather travel by plane, train, or automobile?

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel), Would You Rather

Would you rather visit the doctor or the dentist?

 

Category: Would You Rather

You are sent back to the Middle Ages in a time machine the size of a hot tub. You can bring exactly one modern object to help you survive and thrive during that time. What do you bring?

👍  Henry’s Favorite

 

This question combines history, technology, personal preferences, and survival tactics. Expect to learn a lot about how your teammates’ think.

 

Category: Travel (& Time Travel)

You have (get?) to sing karaoke, what song do you pick?

 

This is a unique way to get people to talk about the music they like. You’ll hear some good stories about karaoke, too.

 

Category: Hobbies

 

Ice Breaker Questions That Started Great Discussions

  • If aliens landed on Earth tomorrow and offered to take you home with them, would you go?
  • If you can instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
  • If you could be immortal, what age would you choose to stop aging at and why?
  • If you could have your wisdom teeth out 500 years ago once or in 500 years every 3 weeks, which would you choose?
  • If you had a time machine, would go back in time or into the future?
  • If you had to choose to live without one of your five senses, which one would you give up?
  • What is a unique phrase in your area of the world?
  • What is one thing we don’t know about you?
  • What is your best scar story?

 

My Personal Favorite Ice Breaker Games

  • Come up with two truths and a lie about yourself.
  • Submit one photo of something in your neighborhood.
  • Submit one photo of something in your house.
  • Would you rather be a jack of all trades or master of one?
  • Would you rather be filthy rich and live 400 years ago or be middle class today?
  • Would you rather meet your ancestors or meet your descendants?
  • You are sent back to the Middle Ages in a time machine the size of a hot tub. You can bring exactly one modern object to help you survive and thrive during that time. What do you bring?

 

Icebreaker Ideas That Got The Most Engagement

  • Do you think you’re an optimist or a pessimist, and why?
  • Give a video tour of your home office.
  • What is a book you’ve read recently and what influence has it had on you?
  • What is a unique award you have won?
  • What is a unique phrase in your area of the world?
  • What is one thing we don’t know about you?
  • What is something interesting about where you live?
  • Where would you like to live after you retire?

 

Want to add one of your favorite Zoom icebreakers?

Has your team done a great icebreaker in a Zoom meeting recently? Or, does your company provide virtual meeting icebreaker games in some way? I’d like to add more ideas to the list. Get in touch here for a chance to have your icebreaker ideas added.

About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and run a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a remote company. I hope if you read my site, you'll be spared.

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