Imagine you’re throwing a trivia party for friends, organizing a Jeopardy-style pop quiz for the classroom, or introducing your colleagues to your favorite game. How can you get as many people as possible engaged? What can you do (without breaking the bank) to make sure everybody’s having a fantastic time? The answer may be simpler than you think—target the root of the game.
More specifically, reconsider your trivia categories. Everybody is familiar with general knowledge. Sure, it can be fun, but sometimes the knowledge is a bit too general. We all know the classic Trivial Pursuit categories—Geography, History, Entertainment, and so on. They’re good, but they will hardly get a new player excited. If you really want to kick it up a notch and make sure even the grumpiest players are enjoying the game, consider these fun categories for your next trivia quiz!
Most people in the world have one thing in common, regardless of their age, background, or nationality: everybody loves food! A trivia game centered around funky foods from all over the world is far more exciting than questions about geography and history. Depending on how difficult your questions are, you may want to make them multiple-choice. Watch cooking shows to get inspired and learn about the traditions surrounding food in other countries. The key is to find the most outrageous and unbelievable facts to knock the players out of the park.
What’s the only food that never goes bad?
What is mageirocophobia?
Which pepper is the hottest in the world?
In which country are tuna eyeballs considered a delicacy?
Where can you find fried spiders as a popular street food?
Name the Painting
Visual rounds are usually more exciting than traditional question rounds. There’s no better way to engage your audience than with a couple of images. We’re not talking about just any images, but fragments of famous works of art. Clip a small part of a painting and ask your players to name the painting in question. Start with the eyes from the Mona Lisa and most people will probably guess the painting quickly. Move on to some harder pieces and watch the players struggle.
Celebrity Baby Photos
Do you ever sit in your parents’/grandparents’ living room and look through old pictures, trying to identify your family members when they were young? This used to be my favorite game as a kid! For some reason, imagining your grandma as a small child is a lot harder than you’d think. Now, try to do the same with celebrities you’ve never met. To implement this topic in your trivia game, you’ll need to print baby photos of celebrities or pull them up on a big screen for all the players to see. Let the players guess who they think this baby grew up to become. Finding celebrity baby pictures online is quite easy; you can get enough to last you for rounds!
Pop culture is a fun and easy category for those days when you don’t want to think too much. If you’re planning a pub quiz for your friends to relax and unwind after a difficult work week, consider including a pop culture category. This will only work if your friends are all around the same age and have similar levels of knowledge of pop culture. You can customize this category to your liking. If you and the other players grew up in the 80s, make 80s pop culture the focus of the quiz. It’s exciting to recount iconic events you grew up watching. Current pop culture will do well with young people who pride themselves on staying informed.
Which two iconic movies debuted on the same day in the summer of 2023?
Who holds the record for the largest number of Grammy nominations?
What famous pop star founded the makeup brand Rare Beauty?
What animal did Britney Spears famously perform with?
What famous person has the most Instagram followers?
There is nothing more exciting than listening to a murder mystery podcast to wind you down before bed. Even if podcasts are not your thing, stories of mysterious deaths and disappearances might get your heart racing. With this category, it’s important to have the right group of players. Naturally, if you know your friends aren’t a part of this subculture, you might want to skip this category. And, if they love true crime as much as you do, you will score with questions about serial killers, plane disappearances, and murder. This topic will work especially well around Halloween time!
Who was the primary suspect in the Black Dahlia murder?
Which couple went on a killing spree in the 1930s?
Where did Ted Bundy commit his last murders before being captured?
What was the primary weapon of the Zodiac Killer?
Who was charged with the murder of JonBenet Ramsey?
Everybody, at one point in their life, is obsessed with a TV sitcom. Whether it’s How I Met Your Mother, Friends, The Office, Seinfeld, or The Sopranos, everyone in your friend group is guilty of rushing home after work to turn on the TV and watch their favorite show. You can derive a multitude of trivia topics from each show. If there isn’t one show that you’re all obsessed with, you can throw all of them together into a fun trivia category. Make the questions as broad or in-depth as you see fit. If you match the right questions to the right crowd, you will definitely get a positive response!
What’s the name of the coffee shop where characters from Friends hang out?
Who plays the part of Frank Reynolds in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia?
Which one of the main characters in How I Met Your Mother is Canadian?
There is nothing better than answering questions about yourself. Although, that may be a bit too easy. Try answering questions about your friends! Put together a personalized list of trivia questions about your friend group, family members, colleagues, or students. Include questions about events that you’ve all witnessed together, personal anecdotes, and hilarious personality traits. Compiling a good list of questions might take a while, but you are guaranteed to have a good night full of laughter. Make the questions as personal as you want them to be. Don’t embarrass the players too much. Or do; it will be more fun that way!
You can implement these as individual rounds in your trivia game or make a whole quiz out of one of these topics. If you don’t think your players will be able to answer these questions, make them slightly easier by introducing the multiple-choice format. Most importantly, think about what your audience would enjoy. Is there an obscure topic that you all love to discuss together? Perhaps that would make the best topic for your trivia game!
What’s your favorite trivia topic? Share with us in the comments!