Open-ended questions are a brilliant way to get a fascinating and in-depth conversation going.
Due to their nature, an open-ended question is more likely to lead to the person answering the question providing a longer answer than not.
These types of questions are perfect to ask to those in your friendship group and if you want to challenge your perceptions on important topics.
If you want to know what open-ended questions to ask friends and family, our list below will provide you with plenty of ideas!
What are open-ended questions?
Open-ended questions are questions that require a response greater than a simple yes or no answer.
The point of open-ended questions is to provide the person answering the question with a chance to elaborate on their point rather than giving a brief answer.
They can be used in conjunction with deep conversation starters to open up some interesting chats, allowing you to have a meaningful and long conversation with anyone.
Open-ended Question Examples
- Do you think the space race was one of the reasons for the Soviet Union’s eventual collapse?
- What would life look be like if we could live to 500?
- Will there be a political system that supplants democracy in the future?
These questions are very difficult to provide a short answer to, which means they’re likely to lead to a lengthy and interesting conversation on that particular topic.
Open-ended Questions List
1. What human behavior or activity do you feel could be exposed as harmful in years to come?
2. What challenges do children have now that are different from when you were a child?
3. If you had the ability to go back in time, what things would you change and why?
4. What common value could change the world if everyone shared it?
5. What do you think was the most significant moment in your country’s history?
6. What felt the worst at the time but turned out to be one of the best things that happened to you?
7. If you could change one thing about the country you live in, what would it be?
8. What’s something all humans do that deep down you think is wrong?
9. Why do men suffer in silence when it comes to mental health?
10. What do you think is the main cause of homelessness?
11. Will humans be able to travel beyond the solar system in the centuries to come?
12. How would society change if there was life after death?
13. Why does success come easy for some people but not for others?
14. What was the most important chance encounter you’ve had?
15. How would your country change if children were allowed to vote?
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16. What policies could world governments introduce to reduce global warming?
17. What could local stores in our towns and cities do to compete with large online retailers?
18. Do you think Facebook’s ability to connect people across the planet is a net positive or net negative?
19. How would you explain right and wrong to a robot?
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20. What opinion do you hold that’s controversial?
21. What’s the scariest animal encounter you’ve had?
22. Who would you most hate to be stuck in an elevator with?
23. How has your perception of beauty changed during your lifetime?
24. Why don’t people invest money at a younger age for their later life?
25. If you could only travel to one place for the rest of your life, where would it be and why?
26. What songs would you include in the soundtrack of your life?
27. How has your working life shaped you as a person?
28. What image in your head always seems to bring you peace and calm?
29. Do you think lab-grown meat will come to produce conventional meat in the future?
30. How would the world be different if some people were able to perform magic (like in Harry Potter)?
31. What would you like to invent if money was no issue?
32. Do you think it’s possible to live in a world free from nuclear weapons?
33. What would the world be like with aliens living amongst us?
34. What things could your boss do to be better at their job?
35. Why do people make mistakes again and again?
36. What rules would you add to your favorite sport to make it more enjoyable?
Next: Ethical questions
37. What’s your funniest school memory?
38. What’s your opinion on gene therapy?
39. What does a good life look like?
40. What key things have history taught us?
41. What different values and beliefs do you have from other people?
42. Should we be looking to nature or pharmaceutical companies for improving our health?
43. Who is your role model in life?
44. What was one Netflix series you binge-watched?
45. What’s your favorite travel destination and why?
46. What bad habit really annoys you?
47. Would you prefer to work out in the gym or outside in nature?
48. What plans do you have for your future?
49. If you could write your own job description, what would it say?
50. What conspiracy theory do you believe the most?
51. What part of your working day do you enjoy the most?
52. Who motivates you most in your workplace?
53. What tradition has your family always done?
54. What makes you feel relaxed?
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55. What are your proudest moments in life?
56. Why can’t humans live peacefully on this planet?
57. How would you define success?
58. How has plastic shaped the course of human history?
59. What’s your daily morning routine before work?
60. What happened in the funniest TikTok video you’ve watched?
61. What can people do to earn your trust?
62. How did you and your best friend meet?
63. How would you prepare for doomsday?
64. What do you regret not doing this year?
65. Why do people find fun in video games?
66. What do you think the future cars will look like?
67. What are your thoughts on eating a more plant-based diet?
68. What’s the history behind how you met your partner?
69. What do you think will be the next massive health breakthrough?
70. Who is your biggest inspiration?
71. What does paradise look like to you?
72. What can we do to share wealth more fairly between all countries?
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73. What more could we do to improve gender equality?
74. What superpower would you have and why?
75. What could we do to clear all the plastic waste in the oceans?
76. What was the best ending to a film or TV series you watched?
77. Why have people become so detached from nature?
78. What does art mean to you?
79. What are your best holiday memories?
80. What’s your earliest childhood memory?
81. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on the internet?
82. How does a helicopter stay airborne?
83. What strategies do you use to deal with stress?
84. What will video games look like in the future?
85. What are your thoughts on flying cars?
86. What’s your bedtime routine?
87. If you got to name a brand-new animal, how would you decide what to call it?
88. If you had enough money not to work again, what would you do to fill your days?
89. What would you change about yourself?
90. What most attracts you to another person?
91. What’s the most useful thing you own?
92. What are your thoughts on tattoos?
93. What are your thoughts on men having more than one wife?
94. What’s something everyone does that annoys you?
95. What TV program did you love as a kid?
96. Why do some people love to travel, and others like to stay at home?
97. What stands in the way of you being the best version of yourself?
98. What does your ideal house look like?
99. What are your thoughts on freezing your body after you die?
100. Where have you seen the most amazing sunrise or sunset?
101. What part of history would you like to relive?
102. What genre of music is your favorite?
103. If you could write a book, what would the story be about?
104. What are your thoughts on piercings?
105. What could your local politicians do to improve your day-to-day life?
106. What are the limitations of democracy?
107. What’s your opinion on the United Kingdom leaving the European Union?
108. What does freedom mean to you?
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109. What are your thoughts on the world having one leader?
110. What would you like to achieve before you die?
111. What room in your house do you most enjoy being in?
112. What smell feels nostalgic to you?
113. What app could you not live without?
114. What will a mobile phone look like in 20 years?
115. What language would you love to learn?
116. What do you feel like when you lose your phone?
117. What’s your favorite fast-food restaurant?
118. What’s the most overrated place you’ve been to?
119. Where do you never want to visit?
120. What’s your idea of an enjoyable holiday?
121. Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met while traveling and why?
122. What’s the best invention of the last 100 years?
123. What’s the difference between a hike and a walk?
124. What up-and-coming technology are you most excited about?
125. What are the pros and cons of the internet?
126. What’s your fashion top tip that would help society?
127. What’s your opinion on plastic surgery?
128. What’s one piece of clothing you own that you would never wear in public?
129. What are the best and worst things about your favorite coffee shop?
130. What’s your understanding of sustainability?
131. What do you feel about having a sugar tax?
132. What do you think are the main factors in obesity?
133. Discuss the pros and cons of renting a property or getting a mortgage.
134. What do you know about Cryptocurrency?
135. What technology has made the world a worse place to live?
136. In what ways is religion harmful or helpful?
137. Which culture do you admire and why?
138. What do you think happens after we die?
139. What’s your opinion on abortion?
140. What does a day of eating look like for you?
141. What food could you not live without?
142. What will education look like in the future?
143. What are your opinions on schooling your children at home?
144. What do you plan to do in your retirement?
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145. What food do you hate the most?
146. What is your least favorite word?
147. What was your favorite game to play as a child?
148. What’s your favorite thing about nature?
149. Why do 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce?
150. What’s your favorite book and why?
Looking For More Questions?
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Dumb questions – A selection of weird and irreverent questions to ask anyone.
Tom is a travel writer and Co-Founder of Questions About Everything. He grew up in the UK and enjoys spending his time traveling to new places, supporting Liverpool FC, and blogging about his adventures. He spent two years teaching English in Barcelona and frequently utilized question games and conversation starters as part of his lesson plans. Learn more about Tom on our About page.