The Quiz is usually given in five to eight rounds of 10-15 questions each, with time to freshen drinks and refreshments in between rounds. Sometimes, a surprise picture round, or an obscure song identification round will pop up, so be prepared. The Quizmaster will read the question, and repeat it several times for those who weren’t listening. He might start a timer, or just wait until all answers are in before he reads the answer. When you get it right, be sure to scream and cheer at the top of your lungs! It will intimidate the awful teams sitting around you.
It can be exhilarating when the correct answer comes straight to your mind. Be prepared for the devastating disappointment when it doesn’t, or the udder befuddlement when you have no clue whatsoever. Be not dismayed, and don’t be scared. You don’t need to know astrophysics or mathematics of any kind for this kind of quiz. You simply need to have been paying attention to your world.
The following are some real examples of questions you can expect to encounter at The Quiz:
"Including the 1960’s, how many Batman feature films have been made?”
(9; Batman: The Movie , Batman , Batman Returns , Batman Forever , Batman & Robin , Batman Begins , The Dark Knight , The Dark Knight Rises , Batman v Superman . We don’t count Suicide Squad, as that is decidedly a Margot Robbie vehicle.)
“Name all three Powerpuff Girls. (1 point for each)”
(Blossom, Buttercup, Bubbles. Boom!)
“List the rules of Fight Club. (1 point for each)”
(Answer: We will accept “Sorry, I can’t talk about that” or “Don’t talk about Fight Club.”
If you list any others, you have to fight.)
When assembling your team, there are many factors that must be taken into account. A team is normally composed of between 5 and 10 members. Usually, you’ll have 3-5 brilliant team members. If your friends are dumb, maybe just one. One might be enough.
The rest of your roster will be filled with the spouses or girl/boyfriends of said stars, who likely didn’t want to come, but came anyway for the beer. Since you’re reading this, I’ll assume that you are your team’s driving factor. You might be the resident “Jukebox of Useless Trivia” in your group of friends. You must first recognize that you cannot win alone. When I played, I immediately knew the answers to 70-80% of the questions. Many were complete enigmas, and I desperately needed the help of my teammates.
There are many team members you’ll need:
- The Trivia Master- This is the guy who can carry the team into the finals, answering 70% of the questions with no problem. “What volcanic eruption in 2010 shut down European airports for a week?” Easy, Iceland. He will also make an educated guess that the latin Caveat Emptor means “without exception.” He will be wrong. (It means “buyer beware.”)
- The old guy/gal- When the inevitable television theme songs round comes up, they will help you with “Joanie Loves Chachi,” “Petticoat Junction,” and “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
- Keeps up with the Kardashians- They will know how many times Kim has been married (3) and what 2008 movie Mickey Rourke won a Golden Globe for (The Wrestler). They can also identify photos of Corey Haim (you thought he was a Backstreet Boy) and George R. R. Martin (you thought he was the guy from Duck Dynasty).
- The Runner- You’ll need someone to run your slips of paper to the Quizmaster after you write the answer. Oftentimes, the last team to turn in an answer doesn’t count, or you might get an extra point for being first. Choose someone fast.
- Guy who buys drinks- Someone is always there just for the booze. When you’re busy writing answers, or telling everyone to shut up so you can listen to the other table’s answers, they will get bored and come back with 2 pitchers for the table. Be sure to invite him every time.
- Comic relief- When the question is “How many people have walked on the moon?” he’ll yell “69!” This never gets old! I just wish he yelled 69 when asked “How many years did the Soviet Union last?” The answer actually is 69.
Do not quibble. Although it may be called for, you’ll only lose points for your team when the Quizmaster gets impatient and takes them away. Get this: The question was “What is the longest river in the world?” I answered as any self-respecting geography expert would, and confidently said “The Nile.” Of course. As we all know, The Nile is 4258 miles long. The Amazon, while it is the most voluminous river in the world, is only the second longest at… wait… 4345? That’s not right. The Quizmaster was obviously mistaken. But you can’t tell him he’s wrong, because that would be quibbling, and I’d lose my points. I would get to the bottom of this, but I’d have to wait.
Since phones are expressly forbidden at the table, I waited until the night was over before I continued my research into this scandal. “According to a 2014 study… shit.” My whole life, the Amazon River was 3989 miles long. Everyone knew that. After an hour of reading, I found this sentence as an appropriate, if unsatisfying conclusion: “The length of both the Amazon and the Nile remains open to interpretation and continued debate.” In short, I find that if Wikipedia is not a suitable source for a college level research paper, it should not be a suitable source for trivia night official answers.
At my last Quiz, I chose to dress up. I wore the obligatory bow tie and thick rimmed glasses. You know, for the intimidation factor. Many people choose to dress up simply to add a fun-factor to the night. Some teams dress up together, and have a theme going on. They’ll choose a matching team name as well, which can either make or break the night.
Choosing a team name is probably the most important component of The Quiz. Many teams will show up without having thought about it beforehand. They will scramble, and come up with something like “Jeff’s Team” or “The Blue Shirt Mafia.” While it certainly gets the job done, it does not garner a laugh, a smile, or even a second thought from any other team. When the Quizmaster reads your team name aloud, which he will frequently, you want it to have an impact.
I have compiled a list of quiz team names for you. These are team names that I have either used in the past, have heard other teams use, or came up with and have yet to use. Please feel free to use these names. I personally like to change names each time I go, especially if it’s my regular haunt.
- Agatha Quiztie
- Beyonce Know-it-alls
- E=MC Hammer
- John Trivia-lta
- “Let’s Get Quizzical” by O’trivia Newton-John
- Les Quizerables
- Quiztina Aguilera
- Quizlamic Extremists
- Quizzy McQuizface
- Stephen Hawking’s Running Shoes
- Stevie Wonder’s Driving School
- Quiz on my Face
- Pot Bellied Elephants
- Tequila Mockingbird
- Blood, Sweat and Beers
- We Bribed the Quizmaster
- Please Evacuate the Pub, this is not a Drill!
- I Thought this was Speed Dating
- The Quizard of Oz
- Anne Frank’s Hide and Seek Club
- Dumber than a Fifth Grader
- “You’re a Quizard, Harry!”
- Colors that End in “-urple”
- The Tempura Shelter for Lightly Battered Women
- Taylor Swift Kick to the Face
- Cheaper than Therapy, and not as Effective
- Hit it and Quiz it
- Aron Rolston’s Right Arm
- Donald Trump’s Hair Team
- Our Mustache Rides Require Handlebars (if your team is a barbershop quartet)
The Quiz is very popular, so show up early. A 2009 study found that there are over 2,000 weekly quizzes in the United States. Chances are, many of these team names have been used before, or might even be used that night. I always choose a backup name, just in case. If you’re feeling extra creative, try to come up with your own team name! It can be a “quiz” or “trivia” pun, or something totally original. The sky’s the limit!
Once you’ve chosen your team name, assembled your team, and sharpened your pencils, you are ready to play. Learn how to tie a bowtie (seriously, it’s a dying skill that you should know). Get some thick rimmed glasses, and tuck in your shirt. It’s Quiz night. Check out your local dive bar, tavern, pub, hostelry, saloon, brewery, Bingo club, VFW, or other watering hole of any kind, to see if they hold a weekly Quiz. Gather your friends, using my advice, and go have some fun!
I’d love to hear how you did, so please comment below! If I left out any great team names, feel free to add them in the comments section.