Dumb Charades 101: How to Play this Fun Game with Friends and Colleague


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Dumb Charades is a word guessing game. It’s a game that is suitable for age groups and can be customized to the interests of any group of people. Whether you like movies, music, sports, history, literature or just about anything at all, you can play an awesome and fun game of Dumb Charades with your friend group or colleagues. Dumb Charades is a game that requires no preparation, a lot of imagination and usually ends up being a laugh riot. You should definitely try this game out if you haven’t tried before. In case you have played it before, you can use some of our tips from our post to spice up your regular Dumb Charades game even more.

Dumb Charades: All You Need to Know 

What is Dumb Charades?

Dumb Charades is essentially a word guessing name which can add truckloads of  excitement and fun to your parties. You can involve kids, teens, tweens, young adults, middle aged folks, elders (basically just about everyone) and all of those people are bound to have a great time playing Dumb Charades. Dumb Charades can also serve as a great icebreaker for team outings, family get-togethers and school excursions. For many people, their first exposure to dumb charades was during a school trip.

The crux of Dumb Charades is trying to act out a given phrase, movie name, book name, TV show name or a character’s name so that your team can guess it corrctly without you explicitly stating the name. A person isn’t allowed to speak and is required to act out the phrase/name by using different gestures, facial expressions, and visual communication .

How to play Dumb Charades?

Choose a topic like names of Bollywood/Hollywood movies, songs, album names or just about anything, the world is your oyster. You can also choose to organize multiple rounds with a special theme in every round.

Decide the time which can be allocated to groups to enact & determine the assigned word, phrase, movie name etc. Generally, 60 seconds is good enough.

Form 2 or more teams, each with a minimum of 2 members.

In case of two teams, label them Team A and Team B (or any other kind of creative names that you can think of). Team A will decide the word/phrase/movie name that a member from the other team (Team B in this case) will have to act out for his/her team to guess. Team A will pass this phrase to the member from Team B in secret.

The identified member from Team B has got to enact the film name or the song via the means of visual communication with the aid of any lip movement to the remaining members of his team.

Other members of the team need to guess the name of the movie or song by following the gestures.

It’s helpful to pre-define gestures for some common descriptions of the words, phrases and movie names being enacted during dumb charades. Some of them are: male/female, old/new, English/Hindi/other, etc.

It is also very useful to assign an umpire or a referee for the game who will make sure that all the principles of the sport are being followed, resolve disputes and keep a track of the time and score.

How to score points in Dumb Charades?

The scoring in dumb charades can be done in a multitude of ways:

  • You can award 10 points to the team for every successful guess of theirs within the timeframe (generally, 1 minute). 
  • In case a team fails to guess the correct answer in the given time, you can either choose to not give any points or even deduct a few points if you want. 
  • As it is with most games, the team with the highest point total at the end of the game, wins. 

How to involve bidding in Dumb Charades?

Bidding starts from 60 seconds.

Every team bids and the lowest bidder gets the chance to perform.

In case a team places its bid on 20 seconds and guesses the answer within 20 seconds, it is awarded a grand prize of 100 points. However, failure to do so within 20 seconds will lead to a penalty of 50 points from the team’s existing score.

What are Dumb Charades gestures?

In case the term gestures seems a bit vague or confusing, you can replace it with Dumb Charades protocol, actions, or acceptable hints. The person enacting the name/song of the movie is prohibited from speaking anything. However, that person can use the subsequent pre-defined gestures to assist his team members in guessing the given name/song:

  • ‘Thumbs Up’ is the most commonly used sign for an English / Hollywood movie whereas ‘Thumbs Down’ is usually reserved for a Hindi / Bollywood movie. A ‘horizontal thumb’ is a common practice when trying to enact movies in languages which the participants are not familiar with (Les Miserables for example). 
  • To denote the amount of words within the name of the movie, remove and show an equivalent number of fingers. In case the movie you are enacting is The Dark Knight Rises, show four fingers to your team.
  • To indicate a modern / new movie (less than 10 years old, like The Avengers), point a finger ahead multiple times. In case the movie is old and from a bygone era, wave your hand backwards, with your thumb pointing over your shoulders (more than a few decades old, like Dirty Harry). To enact a movie from an intermediate period of time (The Matrix for example) shake your palm a touch horizontally.
  • Break the Name of the movie into 2 halves to elucidate the halves separately. To break it, place your right palm vertically over left as if you are about to chop something. Then, using your fingers, show which part you’re getting to explain now – one finger for the first part of the movie’s name, two fingers for the second part.
  • While enacting a movie name, if you feel that it’s easy for your team to guess if you provide the actor’s name, go ahead and enact the name of the actor. An example of that would be to act out some popular gestures of physical features of the actor. For example, if the movie stars a very tall actor, you can emphasize on the actor’s height. Point to your mustache to point out that you’re explaining an actor’s name just in case you recognize who was the male lead actor within the film and point a crooked finger to your nose to point out that you are explaining the lead actress’ name..
  • The gesture for rhyming words (similar-sounding words) is usually to touch your ear.
  • Articles and prepositions like ‘the’, ‘to’, ‘or’ etc. that cannot be acted out can be shown with the gesture made by touching the tip of your thumb with your forefinger. 
  • In scenarios where a team member makes a right guess, point to that member and nod in affirmation. Dumb Charades adds an entire lot of entertainment to all or any sorts of celebrations.

Dumb Charades: Movie Name Suggestions

Here are some fun and interesting names you can ask people to enact during your next game of Dumb Charades. Enjoy!

English Movie Names

2 Fast 2 Furious, Anastasia, The Peacemaker, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Blood Diamond, Forrest Gump, A Few Good Men, Beverly Hills Cop, The Good the bad the ugly, Blackbeard’s Ghost, Legally Blonde, Maverick, The Terminal, Meet the Fockers, Bird on a Wire, Robocop, The Bourne Supremacy, A Shot in the Dark, An American in Paris, Anywhere but Here, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Babel, The Bishop’s Wife, Blank Check, Braveheart, Cardio Boot Camp, Charade, Last Holiday, Leon the Professional, Life, The Little Mermaid, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Madagascar, Man on Fire, Mean Girls, Meet the Fockers, The Hangover, Dirty Dancing, Sex and the City

Hindi Movie Names

Zindagi na Milegi Dobara, Dev D, Talash, Mera Piya Ghar aaya, Baghban, Yalgaar, Sailaab, Namak halaal, Andha Kanoon, Omkara, Rockford, Zubeida, Shaadi le ladoo, Anurodh, Dahek, Reshma or Shera, Virasat, Maqbool, Gangs of Wasseypur, Nischay, Chitchor, Jalwa, Duplicate, Chain khulli ki main khulli, Kabul express, Saas bahu aur sensex, Shaka Laka boom boom, My name is Anthony Gonsalves, Manorama six feet under, Rok Sako to rok lo, Ugly Aur Pagli, Victoria no 203, Parineeta, Paheli, Dashavatar, Gumnaam, Gumraah, Jimmy, 36 China Town


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