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Also known as: Chinese Whispers, Grapevine, Broken Telephone, Whisper Down the Lane, Gossip, Secret Message

Relaxing games Icebreaker games Junior youth games Circle games Large group games

How To Play Telephone

A classic and fun party game for all ages!

1. Get players to sit in a circle facing inwards.

2. Pick a player to start. Tell this player to come up with a sentence or phrase and then whisper (or "pass it on") to the person next to them.

3. They must only whisper it once, even if the player next to them asks to hear it again.

4. Each player will then whisper it to the next player around the circle.

5. When the final player receives the whisper they must say what they heard out loud to the whole group. The starting player can then say what the initial phrase was and the group can marvel out how well they did in keeping the phrase correct, or laugh at how much it changed!

Find out more about the naming of this game



Submitted by Joel on 23 May 2011 12:00:00

Has this game been helpful?

5 Comments Add a comment »

Okay this is called telephone... jus sayin

Posted by J on 1 Jun 2011 at 4:08:49 kidding...Who the heck changed the classic telephone game to "Chinese Whisper"? Not liking the implication/stereotype especially since the theme/lesson of this game is gossiping.

Posted by pmoy on 19 Jun 2011 at 10:46:22

Hmm... well that's interesting. I've always grown up hearing "Chinese Whispers" used, but I've just had a look on wikipedia and see while it's got many names, Chinese Whispers is considered offensive in America and isn't used much. However in Australia, it's the common name for it.

"In the United States, "telephone" is the most common name for the game.[2] The name "Chinese whispers" reflects the former stereotype in Europe of the Chinese language as being incomprehensible.[3] It is little-used in the United States and may be considered offensive.[4] However, it remains the common British English name for the game.[5]"

A good lesson to learn, I think I'll change it to Telephone on the website.

Posted by Shorty on 21 Jun 2011 at 2:21:59

ive lways known this game to be called gossip...

Posted by on 12 Jan 2012 at 10:30:09

This is a GREAT game for youth groups. Depending on how you play (introduce) the game it is not offensive. Try using a Bible theme - maybe "Jesus said ..."

Posted by Pastor Wayne on 21 Mar 2017 at 10:30:25

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