Something that you may know about me if you’ve been reading my blog for a long time is that I love ice breaker games. They’re my favorite way to introduce people to each other at a party. I find that it makes things less awkward (since everybody is playing) and gives everybody some common ground to start on (even if that common ground is – wow, Chrystina really needs to get a new hobby). Over the years I’ve narrowed down my usual list to my top 5 ice breaker games. One of those games is “Never Have I Ever,” arguably, my favorite ice breaker game of all time.
What is Never Have I Ever?
There’s a chance that you have heard of Never Have I Ever in the context of a drinking game, but it is good for so many more things than that – especially an ice breaker for large groups of people who haven’t met each other before. Essentially, there are Never Have I Ever prompts, which either the host writes down ahead of time or the guests come up with on the spot and one person reads the prompt and anybody who has done the prompt needs to complete an action. This action could be anything from have a sip of your beverage, to eat an M&M, to put up a finger, to take a step forward – essentially, you’re looking for any visible sign to let the rest of the group know that you have actually done whatever the prompt is (whether you’re embarrassed by it or not). You can see how letting guests come up with their own Never Have I Evers adds an element of unknown to the game, which can be fun, but not always. If you’re (a) trying to keep control of the direction the game is heading, or (b) trying to keep the pace moving quickly, it’s better for the host to come up with a list of prompts, at least to start the game off to get things rolling.
Benefits of Never Have I Ever as an Ice Breaker.
There are a lot of ice breaker games out there to choose from, but there are two qualities this one has that make it wonderful:
- It’s fast-paced. Sometimes when you’re playing ice breaker games people can get bored. Something like never have I ever is fast-paced enough that people stay engaged.
- It can be whatever you need it to be. It can be used for teenagers at a slumber party, it can be used for kids during a school function, it can be used for twenty-somethings as a drinking game, it can be used at a corporate event, and more. The prompts that you use during the game can be adjusted to fit any age or demographic.
Examples of how to use Never Have I Ever Questions:
Throughout my life, the game of Never Have I Ever has come up in multiple ways. Here are just a few I can think of:
Never Have I Ever as an RA
When I was an RA I once wrote the Never Have I Ever prompts on sheets of paper and taped them to the hallway of our floor. My residents walked up and down the hall writing their names on the sheets where they had done the whatever the sheet prompted. It was a good way to get people moving and to meet new people from down the hall.
Never Have I Ever at a large party for kids
The dance school I attended, starting in middle school, had a Christmas party every year for all 200 dancers, ages 3 to 18. During this party, we would play a version of Never Have I Ever where everybody started the game standing up, then the dance teacher would read prompts that she pulled out of a bowl. If the prompt applied to the dancer, she would have to sit down. The last person standing won a price. Fun fact: I once couldn’t figure it out if my dad had a beard or not. The question was, “if your dad has a beard” and I genuinely couldn’t figure out the answer. He did apparently.
Never Have I Ever at a large 21st birthday
During my 21st birthday party I had over 80 attendees that each only knew about 20 people (max) there. I put pieces colored construction paper on the floor in a circle and had each guest stand on one sheet of paper. Then I read prompts over the microphone and every time one of the guests had done the prompt, they stepped ahead to the next sheet. Whoever made it back to their original sheet of paper first won.
This was a fun idea because (a) people were overlapping each other, which meant that had to meet new people as they went around the circle, and (b) I had the opportunity to call certain people out with certain prompts – which in many cases is done maliciously if this becomes a drinking game, but I just found it cool to say things like “never have I ever sequenced DNA” knowing that all of my high school friends would need to take a step forward. During a party I recently was able to use an equivalent of “never have I ever invented a board game” to showcase another cool thing that a few of my friends had recently done. Also, I definitely wanted to make sure that the game stayed PG13 because my friend from church choir’s parents were DJ-ing and I didn’t feel like being embarrassed in the future.
Never Have I Ever in a corporate setting
One of my favorite icebreaker games in a corporate setting is to play networking BINGO. To setup the game the facilitator writes one “never have I ever” down in each square of the BINGO board (besides the free space). To play, people need to find somebody who has completed each one of those Never Have I Ever prompts and write their name in the box. The first one to fill in five boxes in a row wins.
Never Have I Ever as a typical drinking came
Everybody sits in a circle with a beverage. People take turns offering Never Have I Ever prompts and if you’ve completed the action, you take a sip of your beverage. Please note: it’s totally acceptable to play while drinking water. Also please note: it’s still very unclear whether you win or lose if you finish your drink first. Most of the time it’s just an interesting way to learn new things about people rather than “winner” or “loser.” Remember, drink responsibly.
If you have a different way you’ve utilized Never Have I Ever prompts, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
101 PG13 Never Have I Ever Questions
Today I want to focus on finding questions that are appropriate to use in a large group setting. (Because I have faith in all of you to come up with your own inappropriate questions.) Feel free to post additional PG13 Never Have I Ever questions below, I’m always looking for new ones to add to the list. Some of these can’t be used for kids parties, but it will at least get you heading the right direction.
- …jumped out of a plane.
- …jumped off of a cliff.
- …camped in the woods.
- …been a girl or boy scout.
- …played in a marching band.
- …played on a varsity sports team.
- …been to a debutante ball.
- …baked brownies from scratch.
- …made homemade jam.
- …made tomato sauce from scratch.
- …read all of the Harry Potter series.
- …seen the original 3 Star Wars movies.
- …watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- …read The Hobbit.
- …seen The Exorcist.
- …broken a bone.
- …gotten stitches.
- …traveled outside of the United States.
- …traveled to Asia.
- …traveled to South America.
- …been on a cruise.
- …been to Disney World.
- …been to the Great Wall of China.
- …been to Machu Picchu.
- …sang karaoke with a live band.
- …rickrolled someone.
- …been in a dance recital.
- …ridden a skateboard.
- …bounced on a pogo stick.
- …down a flip on a trampoline.
- …shot a bow and arrow.
- …skated backwards on roller blades.
- …ridden on a motorcycle.
- …flown an airplane.
- …been in a helicopter.
- …sailed a boat.
- …sequenced DNA.
- …won a spelling bee.
- …competed in chess competition.
- …gotten a piercing.
- …gotten a tattoo.
- …used a magnifying glass to kill ants.
- …eaten a bug on purpose.
- …bought a house.
- …remodeled a kitchen.
- …done a cross-country road trip.
- …named your car.
- …played the original Mario Kart 64.
- …beat Super Mario 64.
- …played WOW for longer than 12 hours in one day.
- …done yoga with goats.
- …golfed 18 holes.
- …made a half court shot in basketball.
- …snuck into a movie.
- …used all 7 letters in scrabble.
- …rolled Yahtzee.
- …played canasta.
- …bowled a 250+.
- …lied about your age.
- …lied about your birthday to get free dessert.
- …skipped school without being sick.
- …got detention.
- …changed a grade on a report card.
- …ran away from home.
- …given someone a fake phone number.
- …gotten your braces stuck on someone else’s.
- …attempted to chug a gallon of milk.
- …attempted to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon.
- …eaten a whole pack of oreos.
- …licked all the way to the center of the tootsie pop.
- …spent more than $50 on cheese in one sitting.
- …bought a bottle of wine for more than $100.
- …sat in a VIP box at a sports game.
- …been to the Olympics.
- …been to the Super Bowl.
- …played soccer.
- …played squash.
- …played roulette.
- …has a black belt.
- …completed a triathlon.
- …completed an Iron Man.
- …collected baseball cards.
- …collected Pokemon cards.
- …had your tarot cards read.
- …used a Ouija board.
- …sewed a quilt.
- …knit a scarf.
- …been a flower girl or ring bearer at a wedding.
- …sang the national anthem at a sports game.
- …caught a foul ball.
- …been on the jumbo tron.
- …been on television.
- …been on the radio.
- …been on a podcast.
- …changed a tire.
- …driven for a ride-sharing service.
- …seen every episode of Friends.
- …seen every episode of Cheers.
- …seen every episode of MASH.
I hope you enjoy your Never Have I Ever experience and use it as a way to get to learn more about the people you know and build even more connections in your life. Or at least that you have fun at the bar on Friday night with it.
Now tell me, what’s your favorite ice breaker game?