Categories, questions, and structure for a family trivia game
November 9, 2021 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm creating a holiday activity for my family where I ask trivia questions about the family - everything from lines from movies that we collectively love, to weird house stuff, to questions about family members. Without making this specific to my family, what other categories or questions could I include? And how can I best organize/score this?

We might be in person with one or two people on video calls, or entirely on a video call, and children (between the ages of 2 and 9) might be involved.

Family consists of 2 parents of retirement age, 5 adult children + a few spouses, and a half dozen children, currently spanning three different continents.

A sampling of questions I have so far:
- where did Mom and Dad meet?
- what non-linen objects can you usually find in the linen closet?
- match each family member to their star sign
- [Family member] has misplaced their glasses. Name three spots where they're likely to be.
- [Family member] picks an album to listen to over a family dinner. Which artist do they select?
- where did the family joke about X originate?
- how many houses has [family member] lived in?
- lightning rounds: name the birth year, name the middle name, identify quotes from collectively-beloved movies
posted by punchtothehead to Human Relations (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
there are some pretty great commercial trivia games you might want to consider looking at:

say anything lets everyone write down answers and then bet on which one is correct.
wise and otherwise has a similar mechanic, but without betting.
half truth would require more work (making up wrong answers), but it is loads of fun to play.
posted by bruceo at 4:42 PM on November 9

Pets and their names?
Colleges attended / majors
Past participation in sports or other long-term activities
Who are the early birds/night owls?
Memorable vacations?
Favorite snack food of so-and-so (if you've got any that are quite over the top)
Or most hated food / name 3 foods that Uncle X won't eat.

You could do something like a Family Feud type thing where you poll everyone then ask about the answers. Like "Who did most people label as 'funniest family member'?" "Who did most people think was most likely to XYZ?" Not sure if this can be kept such that there are no hurt feelings. Maybe if they're very obscure traits? Favorite colors? What subject was most often named as their favorite in high school?
posted by hydra77 at 4:45 PM on November 9

The cynic in me wants to suggest that you sign up for a bunch of bank accounts, and take notes about the security questions; they sound a lot like some of these. "Where'd your parents meet" "who's grandma's favorite author." What was your first car, first school, oldest sibling, favority food.

But the non-cynic says this is a great idea. With my youngest, anything that sparks a story you can tell would be a huge success. Genealogy folks do this routinely; here's literally 100 questions to start with.

Also, there's a card "game" literally called "The Ungame" that might spark something good: talk about a bad habit (or) If XX found $1,000 in a parking lot, what would they do? (or) what's trophy is YY most likely to win?

Scoring is a great question; my kid that loves stories also hates evaluations... So, maybe the "Whose Line Is It Anyway" scoring method? But if you're up for a little bookkeeping, a tally on a legal pad of the count of first correct answers would be easy; if you wanted to keep everybody involved, you could start with 100 points for everybody, and then people could "bet" points that they knew the answer. I bet 99 points that I know Pop-pop's first job, 10 points that I know his favorite brand of tobacco, 1 point that I can spell his middle name on the first try. (Zbygniew? Is it fair to ask spelling questions when the answer might not be in Latin-1 encoding?) Or match up players head-to-head, and then you just need to make sure that it's pretty-much balanced so everybody got the same number of questions to answer. OR do the NPR "Wait Wait" method, where big questions are 1 point, and everybody gets a limited time to answer lightning round questions, and ... sheesh, I don't know. I recommend prizes for everyone but maybe a special trophy for the winner. Who should have to plan next year's quiz :)
posted by adekllny at 4:49 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]

You’re having a family potluck. Guess which dish or food item each family member will bring.
posted by veneer at 5:38 PM on November 9

I love this!

For organization: has very simple options--essentially, people type into a sticky note and can upvote other responses. This could be a great way to collect responses to open-ended questions; you could use a "ready-set-go" format where people type in their responses and post them when you say "Go!"

It's super easy to download the answers as a PDF chart, too, so you can create a permanent record of the proceedings.
posted by dapati at 5:57 PM on November 9

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