Can anyone suggest some great trivia categories?
November 19, 2008 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone suggest some great trivia (pub quiz, what have you) categories?

We're running a pub quiz tomorrow and are stumped for categories. Has anyone ever run into a really great category at a bar trivia night?

So far, our other categories are an audio category featuring 'Song About the Moon" (really just an excuse to play Gil Scott Heron's 'Whitey on the Moon') and a category about famous drinks from movies (James Bond, Lebowski, etc)

Let me know!
posted by torietorie to Education (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you've got multimedia/computer/projector capabilities, you can have a "name the city" category that uses aerial photographs as clues (click off "show labels" in the satellite button of google maps to lose the streetnames). Our regular pubquiz did this recently and it was a great round, except they used skylines instead of aerials mostly.

Another quiz I went to once handed out a sheet of de-identified corporate logos, and while it was super easy, it went over well.

A category I've been dying to get is fictitious addresses, like those of the Huxtables, etc.

You can also mine the billboard charts on wikipedia for artists and titles of songs that everyone knows but has forgotten. Also good for "name the year" type questions.
posted by activitystory at 12:27 PM on November 19, 2008

"S" words. Seriously. Anyone who gets the reference should keel over laughing.
posted by Dec One at 12:44 PM on November 19, 2008

At a pub quiz I occasionally attend, they have a "Connections" round. There are 4 normal pub quiz-type questions, then a significant number of bonus points if a team can spot the connection between the 4 answers.

This works well because it actually gets the team talking and thinking, rather than just reciting answers to each other. If I was running it, I might have several relatively easy questions, but a lateral, kick-yourself, type of connection. This would get even novice-level teams debating and kicking ideas around!
posted by laumry at 12:45 PM on November 19, 2008

Here's a trivia game we used to play during all-night coding sessions. Provide two unlikely actor combinations and then name what movie they were in together. This is especially delicious for first films or bit roles.

Example: Sharon Stone and Leo DiCaprio.*

*The Quick and the Dead
posted by trinity8-director at 1:07 PM on November 19, 2008

I'm always a fan of "Guess the Celebrity," where I'm provided with the legal/birth name of someone famous. Examples: Dana Owens, Mark Vincent, and Caryn Elaine Johnson are Queen Latifah, Vin Diesel, and Whoopi Goldberg, respectively.
posted by kidsleepy at 1:08 PM on November 19, 2008

I was at a pub quiz once where the announcer recited 1980s song lyrics very solemnly and dramatically in a Shakespearean actor's British accent as if they were serious poetry.
posted by umbĂș at 1:29 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Summaries of what songs are about can be good, and can be constrained by genre, band name, etc.

Who certain celebrities have slept with (i.e Who's slept with barbara walters)
posted by craven_morhead at 2:28 PM on November 19, 2008

One I really like is "first sentences" where they read the first sentence of a book and then you have to write the title (and author if you want to make it harder).
It produces a lot of "damn, I should know this!"
posted by rmless at 2:31 PM on November 19, 2008

Hippopotami. How fast can a hippopotamus run? 30 mph. How long is the gestation period? 8 months. etc etc

I don't know why I thought of this other than that I feel like I once heard a category like it. Maybe it was elephants.
posted by knile at 2:42 PM on November 19, 2008

For the last round, have a set of questions to which all of the answers are integers.
Then you can give bonus points to any team who, when they're added together, gets the correct sum. *Fifty bonus points to the winner!* That kind of thing.
This, naturally, upsets the rankings a lot at the end of the night.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 2:52 PM on November 19, 2008

Colour bands. e.g Green Day, Blue Oyster Cult, Simply Red, Indigo Girls (jeez, I'm dating myself}
posted by Neiltupper at 5:27 PM on November 19, 2008

Mondegreens of popular song lyrics.

Check out these sites for some examples.

Also, even though corporate logos has been suggested, you can also try car manufacturers. Whilst most Americans will probably get the US makers, how will they fair with some of the more famous or esoteric European and Asian brands.

For example, Ferrari, Lamborghini (blur the name), Seat, Vauxhall, Holden, Delorean, Aston Martin (blur the name), Hyundai, Daewoo, Bentley, Renault, Citreon...

You get the idea. This is always fun.

Finally, at a recent quiz night there was a section on "Australiana". I'm guessing you could so something similiar for American audiences (assuming you're from the US), with questions like

a) What is the 10 line of the US National Anthem?
b) Name 5 signaturees of the US Declaration of Independence.
c) Who becomes POTUS, should the President and the Vice President die?
d) What year was the most recent State added to the Union?
e) What is the third most commonly spoken language in the US?
f) From what ethnic minority are most Americans descended? [possibly non-PC question?]

You get the idea again...

Good luck!!!
posted by Mephisto at 6:01 PM on November 19, 2008

I polled some friends tonight, all experienced with trivia in their own ways, and we came up with:
Meteorological terms
musicals based on movies
software flops
automobile flops
Playboy centerfolds (Quizmaster names a month/year, players try to guess who)
songs containing the word "____"
short order cook lingo
Disney movie parents/couples
pseudonyms of advice columnists
pseudonyms in general (varying difficulty levels exist of this)
names for baby animals
names for groups of animals (a murder of crows)
Roman emperors
Latin words for body parts
actors who've played Dr Who
simon & Garfunkel songs
Pixar shorts
Nickelodeon shows
small countries
treif foods
museum homes of famous works of art
posted by knile at 9:03 PM on November 19, 2008

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