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Funny Sentence Ideas for Playing Telephone and Other Whisper Games
“I heard it through the grapevine . . . .” Oh, how phrases get twisted when traveling through the grapevine! So twisted, in fact, that the concept makes for a great game for kids and adults to play. Whether you’re looking for sleepover game ideas or icebreaker games, the Telephone Game (aka Broken Telephone) might be just what you’re seeking!
Of course, you can also use these phrases for any other game that involves guessing a silly spoken sentence, like Whisper Challenge. Some of the shorter ones could also be used for Telephone Pictionary, Gartic Phone, or Pass the Message, although the tongue-twisters are better for games that involve speaking out loud!
How to Play the Telephone Game: Quick Rules
If you've never played Telephone or Broken Telephone before, don't worry—it couldn't be easier to learn!
1. Get the Players Positioned Properly
You don't need any equipment for this game—just people! But you need to get everyone in the proper position. There are two main options for this.
- Straight Line: The best way to set everyone up for this game is to be in a straight line, spaced far enough apart so that others can’t hear what you’re whispering into the next player’s ear.
- Circle: Sometimes you’re working with too tight of a space to allow for a straight line, such as indoors in a bedroom. In those cases, have everyone sit or stand in a circle, spaced apart in the same manner as you would in a line.
2. Whisper the Phrase From Person to Person
The first player starts the game by whispering a single word or phrase into the ear of the next player. No repeating! If the next player didn’t quite hear it, well, that’s part of the fun of the game!
The next player then whispers what they think they heard to the following player, and so on. This continues until the word or phrase reaches the very last person.
3. Reveal the Final Phrase and the Original Phrase (and Laugh)
The last player gets the most important part: announcing what word or phrase they heard! Then the first player states what the actual word or phrase was. It’s fun to see just how much it changed from one person to the next!
4. Play Again
To play another round, have the last player move into the first player position and restart the game with a new phrase. This can continue until each person has had a turn at choosing the initial word or phrase and a turn at being the one to announce it!
How Do You Choose a Good Phrase?
Coming up with single words for the Telephone Game is easy, so to create an even better game, you should have a few good phrases handy ahead of time! You want to pick something that's a little challenging and easy to misinterpret because it makes the end result even more entertaining. Also, try choosing a phrase that you think would be totally hilarious for people to whisper down the line, no matter if it's easy or hard; the players' facial expressions will be priceless!
To help you prepare for a memorable game, we've listed more than 100 funny and tricky sentence ideas below. Enjoy!
Funny Phrases to Use in Whisper Games
- Don't move! There's a gigantic spider behind you!
- If I could go back in time, I would yell at Troy, "It's a trap!"
- My favorite thing to do on a rainy afternoon is watch Lord of the Rings and party like a hobbit.
- You're a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.
- I still think Nicolas Cage would've made a great Superman.
- Minions would look really weird with contacts.
- Who's your friend who likes to play, Bing Bong, Bing Bong!
- Facebook is perfect for aunts who want to creep on nieces and nephews and tattle on them for holding a beer.
- Have you ever noticed that it only seems to rain when you have to go somewhere?
- Don't tell me that name brands and generics are the same until you've tried generic mac and cheese.
- The easiest way to make an adult man cry is to force him to watch Toy Story 3.
- The only thing I like better than reading a book is watching the movie and never reading the book.
- For Christmas this year, I'm asking Santa for an Amazon gift card.
- Education is important, but big muscles are importanter.
- A Taco Bell chicken quesadilla with extra creamy jalapeño sauce.
- If I were a dinosaur, I'd be an Ankylosaurus: I have a tough, armored exterior with a leafy, loving heart of gold!
- I really need to break my habit of opening a million new tabs I'll never look at.
- People who know me would say that my best quality is my unwavering optimism or my sarcasm.
- My guilty pleasure is watching FailArmy.
- The entrance is guarded by a fire-breathing, nearsighted dragon with a fear of heights.
- I'm cursed with the terrible fate of relentlessly interrupting everyone around me.
- The only thing better than a tall, dark, and handsome man is one carrying a pizza box.
- The best chips are chocolate ones.
- Not even an iceberg could sink our friendship!
- In high school, I was voted most likely to become a cat lady.
More Ideas for the Telephone Game
- Is my breath really bad right now, or is it just me?
- My underpants are funderpants.
- What if we all yelled "CRABAPPLE!" in unison right now?
- I heard you have strong opinions about condominiums.
- Are you Team Ketchup or Team Catsup?
- The dog goes "woof," the cat goes "mew," and the aardvark says some really unflattering things about your grandma.
- In second grade, I peed in my own shoe and pretended that I stepped in lemonade.
- Are you supposed to eat moss off a dirty log?
- So Betty told me that Ali told you that Carmen sat on Martha's beanbag.
- You smell really nice today.
- Deep thoughts: Does "butt" rhyme with "but"?
- If marbles were barbells, we'd all have some pie!
- I recently retired from the applesauce factory.
- A whirlpool full of soda would be fizzy but sticky.
- Orange you glad I didn't say cabana?
- The secret password is cock-a-doodle-doo-diddle-doodad.
- Do they allow bumbershoots at the noodle bar?
- I'm screaming right now; can you hear me? I think I might have laryngitis.
- I am a ladybug rowing a lettuce boat with oars made from baby spoons.
- I have no idea what I'm doing, but I know I'm doing it really well.
- My sexy dance moves have been described as a blend of Beyoncé and Mr. Bean.
- When I grow up, I want to be an excavator.
- I'm going to sleep like a two-year-old after eating pizza.
- You know when you're in an exam and can't stop coughing?
- Dumbo's real name is Jumbo Junior.
Good Prompts to Get Everybody Laughing
- You've been voted off the island.
- Nobody's favorite food is cabbage.
- I like Voltage better than Code Red, but not as much as Livewire.
- I only Riverdance when I'm happy.
- Koala bears are cute and pandas bears are cuddly.
- When I was six, I had a pet guinea pig that I named "Sir Piggysworth."
- That wizard is too filthy to play Skee-Ball this Friday.
- Look, I don't actually know any of you, and I don't know how I got here. Help?
- So, do you come here often, or are you new to the party?
- The sound of a raspberry is pppphhbbbbhhtttt.
- Could I please have the #9 special, extra mustard, extra oxygen, hold the rutabaga?
- Forsooth! What ho! Hey nonny nonny! Prithee! Yowzers!
- Can't you see that I'm very busy with this macramé at the moment?
- Please pass me the mashed potatoes.
- You'll never believe what the person next to me just told me.
- Does it sound funny when I whisper in your ear like this?
- In my garden, I'm growing parsnips, rhubarb, zebras, and hairbrushes.
- Would you like to sign my petition to have "badminton" changed to "goodminton"?
- I hope the ghost that's living in my body doesn't move over to you while I'm whispering in your ear.
- Oh no, I dropped all my gizmos!
- One time I dreamed that there were worms in my nostrils.
- Please be courteous to the rest of the audience and put your cellphone in airplane mode.
- How would a garter snake wear a garter if it doesn't have legs?
- Would you rather put toffee in your coffee or brie in your tea?
- Please forgive my antelope for being rude to your handbag.
Hard Sentences and Tongue-Twisters for Broken Telephone
- A dog named Moose ran loose through the spruce forest chasing a goose.
- Jokers, jesters, and jugglers jingled, jumped, and jigged for the King of Jordan.
- Kaleidoscopes, calliopes, and Christopher Columbus.
- Musical mice made the muffin mix while humming a melancholy melody.
- Ted’s toolbox fixes Fred’s friend’s Ford.
- Sally sells sushi by the seashore.
- Unlucky Laura lost her lunch at the library last week.
- Let's bet less bucks on Les's butter booklets.
- Have you ever faced a space ace's phase lasers blazing?
- Left, right, heft, fright, deft, light, chef, blight!
- It was Murray, not Mary, who married the merry merman's mama!
- Totally bogus toads sowed the sod by the road bog!
- Don't tell grand Annie about granny's hootenanny.
- This'll tether hither thistle.
- The champion of Zanzibar charged the star of the charade.
- Mellow, fallow, mallow fellow. Follow?
- I awed the odd crow's crowded crawdads daily, Daddy.
- Burger burger burger burger booger bugle.
- Quentin cutely questioned the queue at the queen's quay.
- I put the staples in the stables and the stablers in the staplers.
- My feral rarities skewed the rural parallel.
- One hippopotamus, two Mississippi, three pumpernickel, four Schenectady.
- I'm terrible at nibbling bibbleberries but natural at noshing on gnocchi.
- Do you want a tamale tomorrow?
- I'm just collateral of the bicameral caucus.
- Weather is better than withered bitters.
- My friends are named Sam, Stan, Stu, San, Sandy, Dee, and Dan.
- I can't stop my flopping poppies from popping foppishly.
- Can you catfish a cactus for practice?
- Fashion is my passion, inflation is my station, and locomotion is my lotion.
Nonsense Phrases Like "Purple Monkey Dishwasher"
You may have heard the phrase "purple monkey dishwasher" associated with the Telephone Game. That comes from an episode of The Simpsons (see the video above). Here are some more nonsense phrases along those lines! You can use them alone or add them to another sentence to end it on a bizarre note.
- scarlet anteater waffle iron
- tangerine bobcat hide-a-bed
- marigold merganser microwave
- green wolverine trampoline
- cobalt cuttlefish dinette set
- fluffy marmoset radio
- periwinkle hippopotamus drive-thru
- puce badger omelet
- fuchsia kinkajou Tupperware
- coral chameleon crumbcake
- polka-dot Brontosaurus rainbow
- pink potato apparatus
- plaid toucan nougat
Six More Ways to Play
Sometimes, the same old game can get boring. If you’re looking to put a fun spin on the game, give one of the following variations a shot!
1. Group Drawing
In this variation, the first player chooses a word and uses a pencil and paper to draw a single line to begin the illustration of the word. You cannot lift the pencil, and once you do, it’s time to pass it to the next player. The next player is quietly told the word and must continue the drawing, again with just one line. At the end of the round, the last player is not told the word and must guess the word by looking at the drawing!
2. Alternating Words and Pictures
This variation is also know as Telephone Pictionary or Pass the Message. There are published versions of this game, like the web-based Gartic Phone game and the board game Telestrations, but all you need to play it at home for free is a bunch of paper and pencils!
- Each player starts by writing a phrase at the top of their paper.
- The players all pass their papers clockwise.
- Next, each player draws a picture that illustrates the phrase written on the sheet they've just been handed. This picture should be fairly small (leave room on the page for more!) and placed right under the phrase.
- Then, they fold over the paper so that the original phrase is covered, and they pass the papers clockwise again.
- Now, all the players will only see a strange picture on their sheets! They write down a phrase that describes the picture, then fold the paper over the picture.
- Everyone passes their papers clockwise again.
- Now everyone is back to drawing—repeat step 3, and continue writing, then drawing, then writing, then drawing until the papers are filled!
- Unfold the papers, laugh hysterically at the twisted phrases and pictures, and pass them around the table for everyone to see.
You can also play this game with notebooks and alternate writing and drawing on different pages rather than folding a single sheet of paper. That uses up a lot more paper, though. Also, try using colored pencils or markers to inspire some artistic (and hilarious) drawings!
This is the best way to play with a large group, and it's fun if you like competition! Divide the players evenly into teams. One person whispers the same phrase to the first player on each team. Whichever team is closest to having the correct phrase at the end wins!
4. Different Language
Play a variation of the game that involves using a language other than your primary language. The word or phrase will be dramatically changed at the end!
5. Rumor Has It
In this variation, instruct each person to change just one or two words out of the entire phrase and see how much the words get twisted—just like a rumor as it spreads!
It's Telephone Game meets charades in this wacky version of the game. The first player shows the second player a silly movement or dance move while everyone else looks in the opposite direction. The second player must then do the same movement for the next player, and so on. (Check out the video below for a ridiculous demo of this variation!)
Psst! Have Fun Playing Telephone!
The beauty of this game is sharing a bunch of laughs as you see how much words can change as they're passed around. It also goes to show that you can’t believe everything you hear through that notorious grapevine!
More Party Games and Icebreakers
- 100+ Fun "Family Feud" Questions and Answers
"Family Feud" is a great game for family and friends of all ages. You can play at work, at parties, or at home. Here is a list of over 100 playable and funny "Family Feud" questions.
- 150 Fun Pictionary Words
Grab some chips and dip, some friends and family, and get ready to have a blast! Here are 150 fun Pictionary words you will have a blast drawing for your teammates!
- 50 Funny Icebreaker Questions
What kind of questions make the best icebreaker questions for getting to know just one person? Funny icebreaker questions, that’s what!
katie calhoun on April 21, 2020:
you are real sweet
Mahnoor on March 20, 2020:
These are really good !!!!!!!!
osiah on January 29, 2020:
thank you but i want it more funny please
Rolland on January 17, 2020:
Thank you very much Dear
Tereza on December 07, 2019:
Thanks for sharing! Nice!
Alex on November 19, 2019:
This is good hope you could do more
liam on November 15, 2019:
my name jeff i ate a big mac and didnt swallow it
Asher on October 01, 2019:
Hi there. Want to chat?
Kandyse Meighan on August 17, 2019:
I ate a piece of pie but didn’t swallow it
Angel Vazquez on June 06, 2019:
This is great! Will you make more lists?
Hooyiny on January 22, 2019:
All the phrases were stupid like your faceeeeee.NOT FUNNY.