7 Challenging Charades Game Word Lists

, Staff Editor
Updated August 19, 2020
friends playing charades game
    friends playing charades game
    monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Keep a charades word list on hand when playing a game of charades to ensure you have plenty of words so the game doesn’t end too quickly. Choose one list to use for your next charades game or mix them all together.

Charades Topics and Ideas

Books, movies, and television shows are the usual categories for a game of teen or adult charades. Get creative for your game and choose funny topics or invent your own categories.

List of Funny Phrases for Charades

A list of funny charades phrases includes common idioms or silly sayings.

  • Cool as a cucumber
  • I’m all ears
  • Curiosity killed the cat
  • Your goose is cooked
  • Shoot the s***
  • Bite the bullet
  • All’s fair in love and war
  • Cry wolf
  • Dead as a doornail
  • Cat got your tongue
  • Pardon my French
  • Pot calling the kettle black
  • Quit cold turkey
  • Running around like a chicken with its head cut off
  • Herding cats
  • Best thing since sliced bread
  • Go belly up

List of Pop Culture Words and Phrases for Charades

Look to popular songs, memes, social media platforms, and other pop culture trends for modern charades words or phrases.

  • Make America great again
  • Fake news
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Tiny house
  • Impossible burger
  • White Claw
  • VSCO girl
  • Single-use plastics
  • Gender neutral
  • Streaming service
  • Apple TV
  • Old Town Road
  • Live action remake
  • Hamilton
  • Spilling the tea

List of Book Titles for Charades

Mix classic book titles with popular modern book titles to make a list of charades book titles.

  • The Art of War
  • Misery
  • Bridges of Madison County
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • War and Peace
  • The Road
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Death on the Nile
  • The Tale of Two Cities
  • The House of the Spirits
  • Marley and Me
  • Sea Biscuit
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • Emma
  • Mansfield Park
  • Great Expectations
  • Old Man and the Sea
  • 50 Shades of Grey

List of Movie Titles for Charades

Combine old movies and new movies to create a challenging list of charades movie titles.

  • Psycho
  • Superman
  • Clash of the Titans
  • Star Wars
  • Reign of Fire
  • Pearl Harbor
  • The Green Mile
  • Rose Red
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Rambo
  • The Blind Side
  • Twilight
  • The Irishman
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

List of Television Shows for Charades

Write down all your favorite TV shows and all the ones you keep hearing about from friends to make a great charades category list.

  • Friends
  • NCIS
  • Criminal Minds
  • Bones
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Outlander
  • The War of the Worlds
  • Shogun
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Seinfeld
  • CSI: Miami
  • ER
  • Game of Thrones
  • Big Bang Theory
  • The Good Wife

List of Christian Words and Phrases for Charades

If you want to keep the game G-rated or focused on faith, consider using only biblical or Christian words and phrases.

  • King James Version
  • I was saved
  • Bless your heart
  • God works in mysterious ways
  • Amen
  • Prayers
  • Lord willing
  • Let go and let God
  • Ask Jesus into your heart
  • The Bible tells me so
  • Amazing Grace
  • He is risen
  • It’s a miracle
  • Turn water into wine
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Garden of Eden

List of Actions That Are Hard in Charades

When you want to challenge players, use a list of action verbs that are difficult to act out.

  • Analyze
  • Approve
  • Award
  • Complete
  • Describe
  • Direct
  • Feel
  • Forget
  • Govern
  • Imitate
  • Promise
  • Repair
  • Save
  • Study
  • Win

Creating Your Own Charades Word List

When picking a word list for charades, make sure to choose words that are familiar to everyone in the group.

  • Use the occasion as a theme. If the reason for your get together is a special occasion, such as a retirement or Thanksgiving, pick common words that go with the festivities.
  • Incorporate educational topics for school settings. Charades is a great learning tool because it gives students a chance to use words in a fun setting.
  • Write the category with the word or phrase. Reminding players of the category can help them find the right answer.

How to Play Charades

The main concept of charades is that you will act out your word phrase without speaking or making sounds. There is no talking except for those guessing what you are attempting to act out. Whoever guesses the word correctly is the next contestant to act out a word they’re given from your list. You can play as one group or in teams of two. You can also award points for correct guesses or just play for fun.

Turn Charades Into a Challenge

Charades can be a fun and entertaining game for all ages. Families, friends, neighbors, and people who have just met can play this interactive game together. If you love active word games, try out some fun grammar games for teens and adults.