You found our list of the best trivia night ideas.
Trivia night ideas are ways to make quiz game gatherings more interesting. For example, drag trivia, triviopera, and Hollywood Squares. The purpose of these tips is to shake up the normal trivia routine and give your guests a memorable experience.
This list includes:
- trivia question ideas
- trivia night topics
- fun ideas for quiz nights
- family trivia night ideas
- trivia themes
- school trivia night ideas
Here we go!
List of trivia night ideas
From holiday trivia to Jeopardy here is a list of trivia night topics and games to make your next gathering fun, engaging, and unique.
1. Pub Trivia
Pub Trivia is among the most common trivia night ideas. To set the atmosphere, book a room at a bar, or pour pitchers of beer and mix up drinks in your event room. Snacks are a must, and finger foods like pretzels, chips, pizza, fries, and nachos tend to be most popular. You can also broadcast a sports game or play music in the background to perfect the mood.
To play the game, have participants break off into teams and choose team names. An emcee will read the questions, keep time, and reveal the answers. Every round, the emcee updates the teams’ scores, and the team with the most points at the end of the evening wins the game.
Triviopera is one of the most fun ideas for quiz nights. The game is part trivia, part karaoke. Instead of saying or writing responses, players must sing all answers.
For example, if the question is “what is the Italian word for love?” a team croons “that’s amore.” Or, if the host asks, “who is the father of modern physics,” a player belts out the “Galileo! Galileo” part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
This activity adds an extra challenge and element of fun, because players must figure out the correct song as well as the right answer, and must sing the accurate lyrics.
Pro tip: Players can sing as much of the song as they want, from a single line or bar to an entire chorus or verse. Feel free to award extra points to players who sing more than the minimum, hit impressive high notes, or add choreography.
3. Backwards Trivia
Backwards Trivia is a wacky twist on quiz games. Instead of getting the question, teams receive the answer and guess the question. To narrow down the options, the host will also provide the category that the question falls under.
For example, if the answer given is “Shirley Temple,” and the category is “politics,” then the winning team might guess something like, “Which former child star went on to serve as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia?”
Answers do not have to be exact, and the team that gets closest to the true answer wins points. You can also award points to teams and individuals who come up with the funniest suggestions.
4. TV Show Trivia
TV Show Trivia is one of the easiest trivia night ideas. Either give players prompts about different shows, or theme the night around a popular program like “Friends,” “Game of Thrones,” or “Twin Peaks.” If you run an ongoing trivia night, then you can choose a different TV show to highlight each evening.
As part of the prompts, you can show clips or stills from the show, and ask participants to reenact scenes.
5. Cinema Trivia
Movies are one of the most popular topics for trivia. You can dedicate the night to a genre, a particular film, or movies in general. Playing movie clips or soundtrack snippets as part of the challenges adds a multimedia element to the evening.
Potential categories could include:
- Movie music
- Special effects
- Hollywood history
- Foreign films
- Cinema scandals
- Iconic motion pictures
You can encourage attendees to wear costumes and bring props, and can roll out the red carpet and make mounds of popcorn.
6. Music Trivia
Music Trivia is a fan favorite trivia game. You can focus the game on a specific genre or artist, or keep the categories broader to appeal to a wider audience.
Sample categories might include:
- Greatest Hits and Record Records
- Performances That Made History
- Misheard Lyrics
- Had No Clue That Was a Cover Song
- Interesting Instruments
- Classical Music
- Pop Phenomenons
- One Hit Wonders
This subset of trivia has major potential for mini-games between questions, like Name That Tune or Musical Chairs. You can also ask teams to write and perform parody songs or sing karaoke. Playing clips of songs or music videos as parts of the question is another good idea.
7. Personal Trivia
Personal trivia can be a great team building exercise, and is one of the best family trivia night ideas. In this version of the game, each question relates to a different player. To gather material for the questions, have each participant fill out a survey prior to trivia night. Then, gather the most interesting answers, and base trivia around the game. You can structure the questions many ways, such as multiple choice or fill in the blank. This exercise helps players get to know each other better and can spark conversations after the game ends.
Pro tip: Be sure to include at least one question about every player. Also, this version of the game may be better suited to individual vs team gameplay.
8. Photo Trivia
Photo trivia is a visual quiz game. There are many ways to use pictures during trivia. For instance, hosts can show players a famous photograph and ask teams to name the title or photographer. Or, the emcee can read a fact about the photo, show players four options, and challenge participants to select the right picture. Another way to play is that the gamemaster reads a regular trivia question and asks teams to submit the answer in photo form. For the final rounds, the host can even ask players to draw or recreate a famous photo and name the most entertaining or convincing entry the winner.
9. Scavenger Trivia
Scavenger trivia is a more active trivia challenge and a problem solving game. This game combines scavenger hunts with trivia. At the start of the evening, players or teams receive a list of clues. Participants must solve riddles and puzzles to find the location of trivia questions. These clues may differ between contestants, however the trivia questions should all be the same. Once the time limit on the game is up, the host reviews the answers, and the team with the most correct responses wins.
10. Hollywood Squares
Hollywood Squares is a game show competition that is a cross between tic tac toe and trivia. Each round, there are nine questions. Participants sit in a 3X3 square and read an assigned question. There are two teams or players per game, an X and an O. If the player or team gets the question right, then they mark the square with their letter. Otherwise, the square goes to the opponent. The first player or team to get three squares in a row wins.
If playing Hollywood squares in person, then arrange nine chairs in the front or middle of the room and give participants X and O signs to hold up. If playing the game virtually, then spotlight nine players on Zoom.
11. Holiday Trivia
Holiday Trivia is one of the most festive trivia theme night ideas. First, choose the holiday. Next, create questions.
Categories might include:
- Pop Culture
Decorating the space with seasonally-appropriate decor is a must, and you and your guests can enjoy holiday foods and drinks throughout the evening. You can also play holiday music, dress up in costume, and play thematic minigames like trivia or gift-wrapping races for extra points.
Pro tip: You do not need to be in the same month as the holiday. Think Christmas-trivia-in-July or New Years trivia midyear.
Check out this list of Christmas trivia questions.
Jeopardy is the most famous trivia game, and is also one of the best school trivia night ideas. To win this competition, players must pick point values within subject categories and answer the corresponding questions correctly. Each response must be in the form of a question, for example, “What is the Taj Mahal?” At the end of the game, participants play final Jeopardy and wager a percentage of points before hearing the question and writing down the answer.
You should have a whiteboard or projector handy to display the gameboard. Also, playing the legendary Jeopardy theme music makes the experience more authentic.
13. Complete the Quote Trivia
Complete the Quote Trivia is a game that tests players’ knowledge of famous phrases. Each question revolves around a famous quote, and most questions involve players finishing the saying.
Q: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in___________.” -Nelson Mandela
A: Rising every time we fall
Players may also have to name the speaker of the saying, or recite the full quote when given the surrounding circumstance. For example,
Q: Allegedly, when a society lady told Winston Churchill, “Winston, if you were my husband, I’d poison your tea,” he replied….
A: “If I were your husband, I’d drink it.”
For inspiration, check out these collections of quotes.
14. Edible Trivia
Edible Trivia puts a tasty twist on the game. Each question accompanies a different dish.
For example, hosts may serve a small cup of ropa vieja and ask “this is the national dish of which country?” to which the answer would be Cuba. Or, the emcee hands out madeleines and asks, “which author penned a famous passage about this buttery sponge cake?” and awards points to teams who answer “Marcel Proust.”
Pro tip: You may want to choose a theme for the foods before you start writing questions, or write the prompts and the menu at the same time, to ensure that the dishes do not clash.
15. Drag Trivia
Drag is one of the more outrageous themed trivia night ideas. Traditionally, a drag queen or drag king acts as emcee. Sometimes there are performances between rounds. Drag trivia categories might include subjects like drag slang or LGBTQ history, however you can run a drag trivia night with any quiz categories. A killer playlist is a must for the game, and a fabulous fashion sense is also encouraged.
Note: Depending on the group, attendees may also opt to dress in drag alongside the host. Audience participation should be tasteful and not tacky. Drag is an art and is about self-expression, not caricature. If attendees put effort into the costumes, then the act will likely not be offensive. However, men simply throwing on dresses and calling it drag is typically not in good taste. Also, you should never force participants to don drag.
For more LGBTQ friendly activities, check out our list of virtual pride month ideas.
Trivia Night Theme Ideas
Here is a list of examples of creative themes for trivia nights.
- Broadway or Bust
- Ladies of the eighties
- Slasher Film Showdown
- Nerd Trivia
- History’s Mysteries
- Time Traveler Trivia (aka, Different Decades)
- The Beatles
- All About Beer
- Dragons, Fairies, and Fantasy
- Board Games
- US States
- Around the World
- Saturday Morning Cartoons
- Flashback to the 90’s
- Untold History
- Jukebox Heroes
- They Didn’t Teach Us That in School
- Sounds Fake Trivia
- Disney Trivia
- Spectacular Sports
- Witches and Wizards
- Love Song Trivia
- True Crime Trivia
- Fun Facts About Fiction
- I Saw It On The Internet
Once you pick a fun and fitting theme, there are many ways to make theme nights more engaging, such as asking guests to dress up for a virtual costume contest, serving themed food, and making a matching playlist. Photo booths and decorations are more extraordinary elements that can make the event a momentous occasion.
Trivia question ideas
Here is a list of sample trivia questions to use as starters for your game.
Q1: What is the largest island in the Caribbean?
Q2: How much does it cost to get out of Jail in Monopoly?
Q3: At what temperature do the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales read the same?
A3: -40 degrees
Q4: What was the first animal (non-human) species to be sent into space?
A4: Dog (Bonus points– the name of this canine astronaut was Laika)
Q5: What is the natural color of rubber?
Q6: How many US states have an NFL team?
Q7: Who was the third man to walk on the moon?
A7: Michael Collins
Q8: A charm is the collective name for a group of which kind of birds?
Q9: The seatbelt was first invented within which car company?
Q10: Which animal has 5 hearts?
Q11: Which is the first US state to allow women to vote?
Q:12 Which US president is on the $1,000 bill?
A12: Grover Cleaveland
Q13: This plant has the scientific name Salsola tragus and the nickname “Russian Thistle.”
Q14: The rough draft title for this famous Beatles hit song was originally “Scrambled Eggs”
Q15: Phantom of the Opera is the longest running musical in Broadway history. What is the 2nd longest?
Q16: Valletta is the capital city of which Island country?
Q17: Christopher Edwin “Lonny” Breaux is the birth name of which famous contemporary musical artist?
A17: Frank Ocean
Q18: Where was Hawaiian Pizza invented?
A18: Ontario, Canada
Trivia is a competitive yet low-stake environment that encourages teamwork and highlights participants’ various strengths and smarts. Quiz games make for the ultimate hangout because these evenings typically involve an activity, food, drinks, music, and fun. Since the focus is on winning the game, there is very little pressure to make conversation with strangers. Not to mention, all attendees typically enjoy the evening, and the champions walk away with prizes and bragging rights.
FAQ: Trivia nights
Here are common questions about trivia nights.
What are trivia nights?
Trivia nights are gatherings where friends, family, or coworkers form into teams and compete to answer questions and win points. These nights often have themes and prizes, and food and drinks are also common features.
What are some good ideas for trivia nights?
Some good ideas for trivia nights include TV Show Trivia, Personal Trivia, Drag Trivia, and Edible Trivia.
How do you host a trivia night?
To host a trivia night, first choose a venue and set a date and time. You may be able to rent out a restaurant or bar for the occasion, or you and your group can join an existing trivia game night. You can also host trivia nights in living rooms, schools, community centers, and online. Before the event, write up questions. Be sure to prepare a few extra questions for the sake of timing. Next, recruit an emcee, and gather any sound or projector equipment you might need, as well as pencils and paper, buzzers, white boards, or any other necessary supplies. Also, pick prizes to give to the winners. If playing in teams, be sure that you have enough prizes for all potential winners, or choose a prize that is splittable with a group, such as a dinner. Finally, meet up and run your game. Be sure to keep score, and name winners at the end of the activity.
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