Dinner Conversation


When you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, how do you begin a conversation? Well, artist Tucker Nichols designed these hilarious napkins to help spark a chat. His suggested topics made me laugh, including: What I know about cheese, mosquitos do/do not like to bite me, best fish tacos, how is everyone sleeping these days, food you used to like and for the last time how daylight saving works.

Thanksgiving napkin-1

I would add: What trip you would take tomorrow if money were no object, childhood nicknames, the best meal you’ve ever had and everyone’s top five books. What are your conversation starters?

P.S. What to say when there’s an awkward silence.

  1. Have you ever heard of Table Topics? I always keep a few on hand and they make great gifts. I recently gave a cousin the Couples cube for her wedding and it stimulated funny/important/interesting conversations their entire honeymoon camping trip :)

  2. middle age and the failing body would definitely not be my table talk….in a well mixed company you should never run out of an interesting and good or funny conversation. And when dinner has
    finished and nothing worked….let’s dance.

  3. I have a ever-growing collection of random questions. (Everyone collects something, right?) Before most events requiring small-talk, I choose two or three questions to have ready to ask. I did the same thing with my husband when we first started dating and he didn’t even realize for months!

    Two of my favorite questions are: If you could not have cake of any kind for your birthday, what dessert would you choose instead? What are the two best live performances (of any kind) you have ever seen? I’ve posted more questions on my blog:

  4. Ok, that’s hilarious.

  5. That is hilarious!!!
    Always, the weather…never fails!

  6. what a super cute conversation starter idea!! I’d add on there what is your favorite candy and what would your spirit animal be?!

  7. My conversation opener is, “What did your week look like?” I came up with it because I needed an alternative to “What do you do?”, which is like the worst of the worst conversation openers. I always find out all kinds of stuff that can lead to further conversation.

  8. Love these! My husband hates making small talk, he gets really nervous and flustered – I think I should get him one of these to keep in his pocket, emergency conversation starters!

  9. Love this.
    I was at a dinner recently and the hostess asked everyone at the table, “Well now, what was your biggest regret?”. Boy that brought the mood right down. Wouldn’t recommend that one.

  10. Lol those are cute. Would have been good for our Thanksgiving that just passed (Canada)!

  11. These are some great questions!! I hate those awkward silences!

    Another good one: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

  12. Love these! Even if the conversation is flowing, I find it fascinating to ask probative questions, especially in a larger group, as everyone starts wanting to hear the answers of others around the table. The Proust Questionnaire is full of good ones, though some are a bit heavy deepening on the context of your company or the occasion.

    A few of my favourites are:
    “What is the quality you admire most in people of the same sex? Opposite sex? Are they different? Why?”

    “Which natural talent would you want to be gifted with?”


    “What is your idea of pure bliss?”

    Thanks for this! Hope you had a great visit with Lucy in San Francisco, Joanna, and that Paul is doing well :)

  13. My favorite conversation starters are:

    1) If you could live anywhere where would you live and why?

    2) When with family for holidays what year was your favorite for the holiday we are celebrating?

    3) With girlfriends, we talk about favorite hobbies we could do if there were no restrictions: ie: money, time, etc…

    Love those napkins!! Great housewarming gift!

  14. I like to ask if people have travelled somewhere lately (because I love to travel myself) and simply what they have been up to lately. “Nothing much” is not an acceptable answer, as they are free to talk about work, the gym, napping or anything under the rainbow that they have done!

  15. Although I have big plans to see more of the world, I would have to say I would head home to Indiana if time and money were no obstacle. I dearly love my family, and the added bonus of having an actual autumn would be nice too. (No offense, Texas!)

  16. haha I think I need these in my life and on my dinner table

  17. This is hilarious! I might buy one for myself and use it to spark conversation at my next family holiday gathering!

  18. These napkins are so clever. They are simple in design but you can tailor it to the host. I’d add favorite dessert or 5 things from life’s to do list. :] // ☼ ☯

  19. We used to do the “best, worst” game, where everyone would go around the table and explain the best thing to happen to them that day or month or year and then the worst. My little brothers were always my favourite to listen to “the best thing that happened to me was bologna” :)

    xo, Dakota Barber

  20. hilarious! loved it

  21. These are hilarious! What a great gift.

  22. The mosquitoes do/do not like to bite me made me laugh out loud. I think “the worst job I’ve ever had” could definitely make for some funny stories! I often ask people what their favorite meal would be (complete with drink, dessert, etc.) and about random stories from their childhood (getting in trouble, stories about their siblings, etc.)

  23. How cool! My mom is hosting Thanksgiving this year, I’ll have to get her some. Although we’re all talkers in the family so we don’t need much help!


  24. Recently I have been asking my friends what their idea of a dream home is. That has sparked a lot of interesting conversation

  25. My go-to with conversation starters is always travel related. I find that’s something people always enjoy talking about, can find connections in, and talk about for a while.

  26. jm says...

    This napkin hilarious! I will have to consult it on Thanksgiving.

  27. I am terrible at dinner conversation & i think these napkins are great!

  28. We all go around and say one thing we are thankful for. It’s a great way to keep the meal positive and we love that the little ones can learn that the blessings we have (running water! parents!) aren’t things that everyone has.

    My mom got some TableTalk cards a few years ago and we used them a few times. Our family doesn’t really need help with table conversations. We always have people who are alone/new to town/visiting so we get to know them.

  29. This is so clever and fun! Love it.