- Do not ask a person to repeat the phrase.
- Don't purposely communicate the wrong phrase as doing so would ruin the fun.
The Telephone game is popularly referred to as 'Chinese Whispers', 'Broken Telephone', or 'Pass the Message'. The term Chinese Whispers has been considered offensive as it denotes sheer confusion and can be misinterpreted as the Chinese language being incomprehensible. This inability of comprehension of a language is also seen in another idiom, 'It's all Greek and Latin to me!'.
So let's be on the safer side and simply call the game Telephone or Broken Telephone. The game is meant for settings involving a lot of people, like parties, or as a fun activity in school. The game pairs really good with kids as they are more likely to make audition errors, which is the sole intent of the game. The object of the game is to pass on a message from one person to the other via several others.
Let's begin with the Broken Telephone game rules, and then move on to some examples of humorous phrases that can be used to make the game more funny.
How to Play the Broken Telephone Game
- To play the Telephone or the Broken Telephone game, there should be a minimum of 6-8 heads. Try including as many people as you can as it will make the game more fun and entertaining.
- Make everyone stand in a straight line. For bigger groups, even a circular arrangement would work.
- Start the game by whispering a word or preferably a phrase in the ear of the person standing next to you. Try whispering as softly as possible to avoid any other person from hearing it. Let's assume that the phrase whispered is "bananas are better than biscuits."
- The next person whispers whatever he/she heard to the person standing next to him, and the game continues in this fashion until the last person receives the phrase.
- The fun actually begins when each person hears and communicates a different version of the original phrase to the next person. So for instance, the third or fourth person might have heard "bananas are bitter than biscuits", and till it reaches the last person, it could have been something like this, "bandannas are butter and lipsticks."
- The first and the last person say aloud the original and modified phrase, respectively. In most cases, both the phrases have no connection at all, especially the last phrase being completely weird and funny, getting a hearty laugh out of everyone.
Hard Phrases for the Broken Telephone Game
- I'd love eating toasted cheese and tuna sandwiches.
- The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog and says hello to the cat.
- The angry birds ate candy and crushed the subway surfer.
- A pink pig and a pesky donkey flew a kite at night.
- Rabbits rumble, giants grumble, dogs bark in the dark, and wolves woo in the blue.
- Wednesday is the hump day, but is the camel happy about it.
- Alex the Alsatian ate eleven Éclairs in the evening with an Espresso.
- The Martians invested in shares when the NASDAQ dropped several feet.
- Roger racketed seventeen balls against Sylvester alone.
- Bob the builder rented Oswald's apartment and borrowed Noddy's car.