Looking for interesting, conversation-provoking would you rathers
March 24, 2022 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Long story short, I'm going to be in a group setting soon where I'd like to use would-you-rather questions to start an interesting discussion. A lot of would-you-rathers I've found are negative (e.g. about choosing between two bad outcomes) rather than positive, and I would prefer mostly positive ones. Grounded and thought-provoking are better than absurd and ridiculous.

A prior question on this topic, but targeted at groups of children instead of adults

I like a lot of these, but would like some that better fit adult groups. What are your best would-you-rathers for adults, roughly ages 25-35?
posted by LSK to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
There was an old okcupid question that went something like "would you rather good things happen or interesting things happen?"

This one may not have aged well given that it's currently March 753rd in the year of our lord Interesting Times, but it'll get folks talking.

Another one is would you rather live [some number of] years in the past or [number] years in the future (a.k.a. how white is your penis).
posted by phunniemee at 7:10 PM on March 24, 2022 [9 favorites]

If you could take a pill one time to restore the neural plasticity of your childhood (i.e., you would be able to learn new things rapidly and intuitively like a child, without being constrained by preconceptions, but you would lose most of your accumulated store of judgment in things you were already deeply experienced in), would you?
posted by praemunire at 7:15 PM on March 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

Perhaps way too video-game-nerd specific, but it popped into my head:

Would you rather refill your Mana (or Magic, or Blue) Bar or would you rather refill your Health (or Heart, or Red) Bar?

Might sound silly, but I think it could generate a really interesting discussion. :)
posted by dngrangl at 7:57 PM on March 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

Would you rather be given ten thousand hundred dollar bills or a billion pennies?

It would help if we had an idea what kind of discussion you’d like to provoke. This would probably be good for a discussion of basic numeracy or practicality.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 8:02 PM on March 24, 2022

Would you rather be able to speak every language or play every instrument?

Would you rather have a houseboat or a private jet?

Would you rather be able to understand what animals are thinking, or have animals understand what you are thinking?

Would you rather have rain or snow?

Would you rather go camping or stay in a hotel?

Would you rather go to dinner or a movie?
posted by armeowda at 8:08 PM on March 24, 2022 [7 favorites]

Would you rather have the ability to talk to animals and have them understand you, or hear animals and understand them?
posted by oxisos at 8:19 PM on March 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

Would you rather great riches or a happy life?
posted by TimHare at 8:30 PM on March 24, 2022

Best answer: A machine can open a tiny peephole into the past, to any event you wish to witness. But you have to choose between audio-only, or video-only.

If it were possible to transfer into another person's life and consciousness for an hour, would you rather experience another person's life, or have someone else experience yours?

Or another version:

Would you rather have the ability to to truly understand another person, or have another person truly understand you?

If you could transform into an animal, would you rather be a beloved pet, or a wild creature?

Choose between the ability to talk to and understand the sea, or talk to and understand trees?

Would you rather be able to send a message back in time to yourself, or receive a message from your future self?

Your fairy godmother can transform your appearance for one night. Do you choose to look like a person who really exists in our world, or a fictional character?

You are going to a incredible party, attended by all the people you are most interested in. Would you rather be the belle of the ball, impressing everyone with your wit and charm, or the quiet witness who gets to see and hear everything that's going on?

A new technology lets you instantly gain either one or the other: the ability to meditate, or the ability to concentrate. Which do you choose?

Would you rather have the ability to remember every word of your favourite book with perfect clarity, or to wipe the memory of a favourite book so that you can discover it again as if for the first time?

Would you rather have the ability to be invisible when you choose to be, or project your voice so that anyone you choose can hear you, wherever they are?

There's a postage system that works through time. Would you rather send a long letter to a person in the past without them being able to respond, or send them a one sentence question, to which they can respond with a long letter?

Your fairy godmother can give you a magical ability for one evening only. Would you rather be incredibly charming and persuasive, able to change other people's minds and opinions, or very wise and insightful, able to truly understand other people's motivations and feelings?

Would you rather be much braver than you are, or much safer than you are?

You can be someone else's fairy godmother. Do you give them the gift of self confidence, or of self knowledge?

You can add a room to your home. Would you rather have a cozy, safe and secret escape room nobody else knows about, or a extra spacious, luxurious entertainment suite you can invite everyone to?
posted by Zumbador at 9:02 PM on March 24, 2022 [31 favorites]

Would you rather live in a large luxurious home in a boring place, or a small simple home in an exciting place?
posted by nouvelle-personne at 9:33 PM on March 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

posted by kickingtheground at 10:56 PM on March 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

There's always the old John Hodgeman standby: flight or invisibility?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:38 AM on March 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

For the rest of your life, your diet will be restricted to only items which are on the menu of a single restaurant. Which restaurant will you pick?
posted by ficbot at 6:14 PM on March 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

Coin toss time? You have two options. Tou can either get $1,000,000 right now or toss a coin. Heads you get nothing, tails you get $5,000,000. Which option do you take? For those who take the sure thing, what sum of money would cause you to take the coin toss? For those who take the toss, is there a sum of sure-thing money for which you'd never take the toss, regardless of how much was offered?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:00 AM on March 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I stumbled across these questions from reddit user loyalantar a few years back and continue to think of them often.
posted by girlstyle at 4:01 PM on March 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

This is silly, but my family has had some fun conversations on the topic of “What would you be?”
If you were a chair, what kind of a chair would you be?
If you were a tree….
A car…
A window…
posted by SLC Mom at 3:35 PM on March 28, 2022

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