I am a professional trivia writer. I have written for or am currently writing for Geeks Who Drink, Trivia New York City, and Triviamatic.
Take the Quiz Now or With Friends
This quiz will test your knowledge in television, film, sports, and music. It's a lot of fun, and you can use the questions in your own game.
If you're into trivia, there's nothing better than a good trivia game. The following game was designed for the famous trivia bowl that took place at the University of Colorado at Boulder for so many years. It should also translate well to pub and bar trivia.
How to Play
There are thirty-seven toss-up questions and twenty-two bonus questions. In the form of trivia that I'm used to playing, two teams of four compete against each other. Both teams are first asked a "toss-up" question. When a player knows the answer at any time during the question reading, he or she can buzz in and answer. If he/she gets the question right, the team is then read a "bonus" question during which only that team has the opportunity to answer.
The following questions can be converted into a variety of different question types, but I present them here in the form they were intended. The "toss-up" questions are listed first, followed by the bonus questions. I strongly urge you, if you're interested in using them in the way they were intended, to pit a couple of teams against each other and play the game as instructed. It's a blast. Otherwise, you can just read through and test your knowledge.
Please let me know what you think of the questions, if you'd like to see more games, and if there are any errors as the result of changes over time since this game was written a few years ago. Above all, have fun and enjoy!
- How old were Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison when they died? (27)
- Animator’s love inside jokes. In the Disney film Beauty and the Beast (1991), the road signs that Belle’s father encounters in the forest show the names of two California cities: one points to Anaheim, while the other points down a dark, sinister-looking path to Valencia. What’s in Valencia? (Six Flags Magic Mountain)
- "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982), "McQ" (1974), "The Parallax View" (1974), "My Own Private Idaho" (1991), "Say Anything…" (1989), "WarGames" (1983), "Little Buddha" (1993), "It Happened at the World’s Fair" (1963), "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" (1992), "Harry and the Hendersons" (1987), "Give ‘em Hell, Harry!" (1975), "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996), "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (1989), "Disclosure" (1994), "Cinderella Liberty" (1973), "Black Widow" (1986), "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999), "The Vanishing" (1993), "Twice in a Lifetime" (1985), and "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) all have what city as their principal locality/backdrop. (Seattle)
- Crab Apple Cove, Maine was the home city to what MASH character? (Hawkeye)
- It’s not exactly Wagner in Apocalypse Now, I guess. In order to drive Manuel Noriega out of the Vatican Embassy during the invasion of Panama, what AC/DC tune was blared by US troops at the highest possible level? (Highway to Hell)
- Of what wood or major league baseball bats made? (Ash)
- The note “Attention all sluts. Hands off my clothes.” Was pinned to clothing owned by Alana Hamilton prior to her divorce from what rock star? (Rod Stewart)
- I don’t know what ham gravy is and I hope to never eat it in my lifetime, but I do know that it’s the name of the guy what character dated prior to meeting Popeye? (Olive Oyl)
- Who was the first stand up comedienne asked to sit on the couch by Johnny Carson after a first appearance? (Ellen DeGeneres)
- In 1972, what Gordon Parks film knocked THE GODFATHER out of its number one spot? (Superfly)
- In 1946, “The Killers” was the final acting role of what actor before entering politics? (Ronald Reagan)
- Jeremy Irons provides the voice for the narrator for Spaceship Earth, an attraction at what venue at Walt Disney World? (Epcot Center)
- As we all know, in music, Jethro Tull isn’t the name of a person, but of a band. Naturally, there is a real Jethro Tull in English history. What was his occupation? (Horticulturalist (invented the seed drill))
- The name of William Katt’s character on The Greatest American Hero was Ralph Hanley, though that wasn’t always his name since it was changed from what due to the attempted assassination on Ronald Reagan in the early 1980’s? (Hinkley)
- If you refer to “Topolino” in Italy, to whom are you referring? (Mickey Mouse)
- The badge number 2211 is worn by what bad-ass movie cop? (Dirty Harry)
- In the Star Trek episode “All of Our Yesterdays”, censors prevented Gene Roddenberry from showing Mariette Harley’s belly button. In what movie did Roddenberry show Hartley with two belly buttons? (Genesis II)
- The band must have been playing for an awfully long time. What actress gave the longest Oscar acceptance speech of all-time, clocking in at over an hour in 1942, for acting in MRS. MINIVER? (Greer Garson)
- According to Beatles producer George Martin, Neal Hefti’s catchy composition of the 1960s Batman Emmy-winning theme song inspired George Harrison to write what similarly-catchy tune? (Taxman)
- According to some reports, SUPERMAN RETURNS cost a whopping $363 million dollars. If so, and adjusted for inflation, this would eclipse what movie as the most expensive of all-time? (Cleopatra)
- Who holds the record for the longest complete game victory in World Series history? (Babe Ruth (1916 against the Dodgers))
- Which character is the first to speak in “Star Wars”? (C3PO)
- What actress is credited with being the first to ever use the f-bomb in 1968’s “I’ll Never Forget Whatshisname”? (Marianne Faithful)
- In his one and only television commercial, this man hocked Southern Maid Doughnuts in 1954. Name him. (Elvis Presley)
- What is the only letter in the alphabet that doesn’t appear in any name of any state in the U.S.? (Q)
- In 1958, the Golden Globes presented the one and only award for “Most Glamorous Actress”. Who won? (Zsa Zsa Gabor)
- Although we take it for granted now, the 1931 Rose Bowl saw the origination of this affirmation when an Alabama running back named Fogerty ran twenty-five times for exactly 5 yards on each try prompting elated teammates to slap hands in what is now known as what? (High-Fiving)
- The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan was a Saturday morning cartoon TV show in 1972 which featured Oriental sleuth Charlie Chan and his large family who solved crimes with the help of a transforming van. What then 10-year-old and eventual Oscar-winning actress supplied the voice of Anne Chan? (Jodie Foster)
- Amazingly, this was the first American tv series ever to film an episode in Moscow when it was still in the Soviet Union. The show ran from 1986 to 1991, was on ABC, and starred Howare Hesseman. Name it. (Head of the Class)
- Veronica Hamel was the original choice to play Kelly Garrett on Charlie’s Angels. When she rejected the part, she was replaced by Jaclyn Smith, who modeled for what Shampoo company? (Breck)
- After ten years on Canadian television, this game show host made his American debut in 1973 hosting The Wizard of Odds. In 1984, he was hired to host another game show and has been there ever since. Please give your answer in the form of a question please. (Who is Alex Trebek?)
- Who is the shortest player to ever lead the NBA in rebounding? (Charley Barkley)
- Burt Reynolds was the number 1 actor at the box office for five years in a row from 1978 to 1982. Who took over that spot in 1983? (Clint Eastwood)
- After Orson Welles for Citizen Kane in 1941, who was the next actor to be nominate for four Oscars for one film, an achievement that happened in 1978. (Warren Beatty for “Heaven Can Wait”)
- “Hang on Sloopy” is the official song of what state? (Ohio)
- David Frost, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Charles Grodin, and Jay Leno all share birthdays in what month? (April)
- What is Donald Duck’s middle name? (Fauntelroy)
1. If you'll remember from a few years back, Kate Winslet had an American Express commercial where she played a little trivia with us. For instance, when she said that "at 18 she was charged with murder and at 22 she nearly drowned" you knew she was talking about "Heavenly Creatures" and "Titanic". Alas, given Kate's varied and interesting roles, I imagine an entirely different commercial, perhaps on HBO or something. Identify these Kate Winslet movies from the commercial-like descriptions.
A. At 21 I had sex with Christopher Eccleston in this "obscure" movie. (Jude)
B. At 24 I peed all over myself in the Australian Outback. (Holy Smoke)
C. At 25 I did bad things with the Marquis de Sade. (Quills)
D. At 28 I sucked the life out of thousands, perhaps millions of people by starring in one of the most pretentious films ever made starring Kevin Spacey. (The Life of David Gale)
2. Who held the following sports records before they were broken by the athletes named here.
A. Whose single-season home run record did Roger Maris break in 1961? (Babe Ruth)
B. Whose single-season home run record did Babe Ruth break in 1927? (Babe Ruth)
C. Whose single-season home run record did Babe Ruth break in 1919? (Ed Williamson)
D. Whose single-season home run record did Barry Bonds break in 2001? (Mark McGwire)
3. I'll give you a suit in a deck of playing cards, you tell me the real-life king represented by the King of that suit.
A. Spades (King David)
B. Clubs (Alexander the Great)
C. Hearts (Charlemagne)
D. Diamonds (Julius Caesar)
4. Answer these questions about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
A. For what department store was the character created for a Christmas promotion in 1939? (Montgomery Ward)
B. What poet wrote the lyrics that were set to music in 1947? (Robert May)
C. Who recorded the hit song in 1949? (Gene Autry)
5. In 2006, ESPN picked the best college football players to ever wear a certain number. I'll give you a number, you tell me who ESPN picked as the best college football player to wear it.
A. #7 (Danny Weurffel)
B. #3 (Joe Montana)
C. #33 (Tony Dorsett)
D. #21 (Barry Sanders)
E. #44 (Jim Brown/Floyd Little)
F. #53 (Randy Gradishar)
G. #88 (Keith Jackson)
6. Name the original five VJs on MTV. (Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, J.J. Jackson, Alan Hunter)
7. Identify the top three historical figures most often portrayed in the movies. (Napoleon, Jesus, Abraham Lincoln)
8. Prior to Clint Eastwood, three actors were offered the role of Dirty Harry. Name them. (Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Paul Newman)
9. Among the most horrific injuries in sports was Barbaro's leg breaking at the 2006 Preakness. Identify these other injured athletes from the descriptions below.
A. This quarterback's leg was snapped in half with the bone protruding from the skin during a Monday Night Football game in 1985. (Joe Thiesmann)
B. This race car driver had both legs amputated after a crash in 2001. (Alex Zanardi)
C. This football player sustained a hit on Nov. 17, 1991 that left him paralyzed. He is best known for giving a thumbs up sign as he was being taken off the field. (Mike Utley)
D. And perhaps the most horrific sports injury of all-time, this NHL goalie's jugular vien was accidentally severed by a skate during an NHL game on March 22, 1989. (Clint Malarchuk)
10. Coincidentally, all of the Oscar-nominated films for Best Picture in 1998 took place or were set more than 50 years prior to 1998. Three took place during WWII. The other two, about 400 years earlier than that. Name them. (Saving Private Ryan, Shakespeare in Love, Life is Beautiful, The Thin Red Line, Elizabeth)
11. Name the first five players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. (Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matheweson, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson)
12. Within 2, identify these numbers:
A. Fastest time solving a Rubik's Cube. (16.5 seconds)
B. Number of tiles in a Scrabble game. (100)
C. The year Dick Button performed the first triple jump. (1952)
D. The year of the first World Cup, held in Uruguay. (1930)
13. Identify the television show from a description of a television advertiser who cancelled advertising after being offended by something on that show or a pressure group that was able to make changes to the show after complaining.
A. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell cancelled their $5.4 million sponsorship of this new ABC show in March of 1996 after some of the host's humor went "too far" including a skit involving a dancing taco that kept telling the host he was a whore for pushing Pepsi products. (The Dana Carvey Show)
B. This animated MTV show was moved to a later time slot and the writers agreed never to refer to fire in the show after it was accused of causing a 5-year-old to start a fatal fire. (Beavis and Butthead)
C. In October of 1994, Amtrak cancelled $2 million in advertising with this show after the host continued to take potshots at the railway during his monologues. (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno)
D. In the late 1970s, Coca-Cola boycotted this show because of a skit character who repeatedly said to customers "No Coke - Pepsi" thereby saying the name of their chief rival over and over again. (Saturday Night Live)
14. Name the following films in which the given actor first appeared as James Bond.
A. Sean Connery (Dr. No)
B. Roger Moore (LIve and Let Die)
C. Pierce Brosnan (Golden Eye)
D. Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights)
15. Name the first three inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. (Hank Williams, Fred Rose, Jimmie Rodgers)
16. Barbara Stanwyck never won an Academy Award for Best Actress. She was nominated four times. Name the movies. (Stella Dallas, Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity, Sorry Wrong Number)
17. Identify these TV game show hosts by the descriptions of what they did prior to their most famous job.
A. This host started out as a DJ in Burbank, California where he was discovered in 1956. Hired to host a daytime version of TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, he spent 19 years there before joining his most famous show. (Bob Barker)
B. This man was a concert promoter before becoming host of his famous game show. In 1964 he brought the Beatles to the Hollywood Bowl and joined LA's KRLA station as a DJ where Chuck Barris hired him in 1966 for his most famous job. (Chuck Eubanks)
C. This man was a page at NBC studios in 1936. It wasn't until 1947 that he got his break as half of a radio team in NY. By 1954 he was hosting THE SKY'S THE LIMIT, when he became the announcer on Steve Allen's TONIGHT SHOW. He got his most famous gig in 1973. (Gene Rayburn)
18. Name the only four NFL Hall-of-Famers to also play baseball. (Jim Thorpe, Ernie Nevers, Ace Parker, George Halas)
19. Name the four General Mills cereals represented by Rocky and Bullwinkle during its cartoon run from 1959 to 1970. (Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Jets, Trix)
20. Three Gershwin songs contain the phrase "Who could ask for anything more?" Name them. (I Got Rhythm, Nice Work if you can Get it, I'm About to Become a Mother)
21. Name the first four guests on Milton Berle's TEXACO STAR THEATER. (Pearl Bailey, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Smith and Dale, Senor Wences)
22. Name the seven ways a runner can reach first base in baseball. (Hit, Walk, Hit by pitch, defensive interference, fielder's choice, dropped third strike, error)
John Smith from New York on August 12, 2018:
Thanks for these questions, crankalicious!
Allen Donald (author) from Colorado on February 05, 2013:
You are more than welcome to use any questions you like.
Billie Kelpin from Newport Beach on February 05, 2013:
Very cool. May I use some of these questions. I create online educational games? You might like our timely Academy Awards Solitaire game (I think I can give a link here - www.languagerocks.com (click on Academy Award Solitaire). It's HARD! even for me the one who conceived it and has interacted with it while creating the cards!
Allen Donald (author) from Colorado on March 29, 2011:
Thanks! I've got lots more. I've written a lot over the years and I know how much people like trivia. It's kind of hard to find stuff written in this format online.
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on March 29, 2011:
This is fun! Think I will bookmark this for a future game. Thanks. :)vocalcoach