Looking to host a cool get-together for your friends or your colleagues? Want to choose a fun and creative theme for your trivia night? Own a bar and are looking to drum up some extra business with a fun trivia night? You are in the right place! I will walk you through a bunch of popular trivia night themes that will wow your guests and create a memorable event.
First of all…
Look at your guests’ demographics. This can affect the types of questions, themes, and prizes that you would go for. The much-loved ‘90s culture’ topic might not go down so well with a bunch of Gen Z-ers so try to pick something that can be enjoyed by all (or at least the vast majority) of your guest list. Got that sorted? Now let’s take a look at the fun stuff … themes!
Trivia Night Theme Ideas
Pop Culture and Current Events
The sole purpose of going to a party is to have fun, right? Very few people want to answer question about physics or math on a Saturday night. You can easily make your trivia game fun and relatable by asking questions most people will know the answers to.
We’re talking about pop culture and current events. That can include anything from the newest Marvel movie that just came out to the presidential election. If you’re not comfortable with talking politics, you can keep it light. Talk about that new Netflix movie or discuss celebrity gossip. This theme is good because it is very broad and inclusive.
This theme can be as specific as you want. If you’re a huge Pulp Fiction fan, for example, decorate your home accordingly and prepare a bunch of questions about the movie. If you’d like to make your trivia night more inclusive and cover a variety of movies, do that!
It might be good to narrow it down in some way and talk about, say, popular movies, or horror movies, or iconic 1990’s movies. Ultimately, it’s all up to you!
Most people listen to music, so that’s a good place to start. The music industry is also very large and there is something for everyone. If you choose music as your theme, you can go one of many ways.
For example, you can talk about music that is popular currently if you’re hanging out with a younger crowd. You can also focus on music that everybody knows, like the Beatles and Queen. There is a lot to choose from!
This category can cover only one specific TV series, as well as as many popular TV shows at the same time.
If you want to focus on just one, you can decorate the space to match the show and prepare drinks and snacks that would go with it. You can even go as far as asking everyone to come dressed as a character from the show. That only works if everyone in your circle is familiar with the series of your choosing.
If that’s not the case, you can keep the topic broad. Include a variety of TV shows that are popular right now. Alternatively, you can focus on the classics like Friends and Seinfeld. That’s a good way to make sure everyone feels involved and knows at least some of the answers.
True or False (Fun Facts)
This is a very broad category that fits lots of different subcategories. The premise is pretty self-explanatory; you tell the attendees a fun (or boring) fact, and they have to say whether it is true or false.
The beauty of this theme is in its versatility. The questions can be about celebrities, cuisine, geography, music, fashion, or anything else. You can make the topics as broad or narrow as you’d like. It also works well for most people, as fun facts are usually a part of general knowledge. This way you can include players of all age groups and backgrounds. At the same time, it can work as a guessing game, as there are only two possible answers.
Many people won’t admit to it, but following celebrities’ lives is a guilty pleasure. We often celebrate their successes and failures behind the screens of our phones. As a result, you probably know a lot more about popular celebrities than you would care to admit. Why not let that knowledge go to good use?
Find some celebrities that all of your friends would be familiar with and come up with questions about the events of their lives. You can pick a specific group of celebrities, such as the Kardashians, or go big and cover all of Hollywood. Either way, it should be fun!
The key is to keep the questions easy, as not everyone will be familiar with all the little details of the celebrities’ lives. Throw some fancy decor around, set the dress code to cocktail attire, and get the party started!
Harry Potter (or Any Other Movie Franchise)
Harry Potter has been a fan favorite since the books came out. With 7 original books and 8 movies, Harry Potter is a very rich area for trivia questions. You can make the game beginner-friendly by focusing on general knowledge questions that most people should know the answers to. If you’re confident in your knowledge and would like to go more in depth, you can focus on a specific movie/book or character.
Luckily, Harry Potter decorations are very easy to find! If you want to go all out, you can get appropriate decor and cook some Harry Potter-themed snacks. No fan of the franchise would say no to a butter beer!
Harry Potter is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine! If your friends are bigger fans of Star Wars, the Godfather, or any other movie franchise, you can opt for that instead!
What do we all have in common? We all love to talk about ourselves! Imagine how fun it would be to ask your friends questions about you and answer questions about your favorite people! Not only is it the ultimate friendship test, it also takes some of the responsibility off your shoulders. You can ask all the attendees to prepare some questions for the game night.
This theme is very flexible; you can put your own spin on it depending on the type of event you’re hosting. If it’s someone’s birthday, for example, you can prepare a bunch of questions about them and the memories you’ve all made together as a group. You can also decorate the space with pictures of your friend(s) and ask everyone to bring their favorite snacks. It is a recipe for a great night, but only if you know your friends well!
History and geography after a few glasses of wine? You might think that’s a bad idea, but don’t worry, this is not a school quiz! Local history can be fun! And you’ll be surprised when you see how much you actually know about your town, and how much you have yet to learn.
Which Meme Is it?
I participated in a really fun trivia night last week (by video conferencing of course because, well, social distancing!) and this was the theme. It was the first time I had seen it and, I must admit, it made for a really great night. I used to consider myself to be somewhat of a social media connoisseur but I was well and truly humbled after this quiz!
What year were we introduced to the Distracted Boyfriend? Where is Hide The Pain Harold from? What was Salt Bae Salting? Sure, this quiz is for a certain generation but it can be really fun to see what costumes people come up with and there are so many memes out there that you will be spoilt for choice on questions.
Obscure Childhood Games
Who didn’t love Crocodile Dentist, Operation, Dream Phone, or Twister? There were so many amazing games back in the day so let’s bring them back to life in your trivia night! Ask questions about the characters in ‘Guess Who’ and ‘Bop It’. I guarantee your event will be fun of laughter and reminiscing! If you can, schedule an ‘in practice’ round and pull out a Twister mat or Operation set and have the teams fight for the point!
Following the Disney+ release of Hamilton this year, there has been a huge rise in Hamilton themed trivia nights. The costumes are a dream and questions don’t just need to be about events that take place in the musical. You can include the Revolutionary War, the Founding Fathers, and cultural references to that period. Did you know that Angelica Schuyler’s husband was British and this caused a rift in the family? Your guests might not!
Finally, you don’t have to take our advice at all! Find something that is very personal and meaningful to your group and go off of that! Let’s say you work at an Italian restaurant and you’re hosting a trivia night for your colleagues. You can prepare fun questions about Italian cuisine, cooking, and anything to do with running a restaurant. Throw in some inside jokes for bonus points, and your colleagues won’t want to leave!
Though a personal theme is more difficult to plan since you can’t easily download a bunch of questions off the internet, it will definitely make your guests feel special.
Table Themes for Trivia Night
Decor is a big part of trivia games. Your event won’t be complete without decorations that match the theme. It is a great way to unleash your inner artist and have fun while doing it! You don’t have to go all out and spend hundreds on decorations. Find a few staple pieces that will make the theme clear, or, even better, make them yourself! Here are some popular table theme ideas for your trivia night!
Movie theatre or movie night decor is fitting if the theme is a movie or movies, as well as TV shows, celebrities, pop culture, and much more. The staple piece for this theme is definitely popcorn served the way it is in movie theatres. Prepare some popcorn for each guest, throw movie tickets around, and add a couple of bags of skittles and other candy. As simple as that!
A game night does not have to be limited to trivia; perhaps you’ll be playing Monopoly or cards too. If so, then board games are the perfect table theme for the occasion! You can go all out and bake a dice-shaped cake along with pawn-shaped cupcakes. However, that’s not necessary. For a simple solution, you can set up game stations in your living room. The dining table can be dedicated to Monopoly, the coffee table can serve as a card station, and you can put out some more chairs for your trivia game.
Music is another popular theme that will go well with different topics. To support the theme, you can put out some old records or CDs, along with a record player, if you have one. Add some sheet music or cut-out notes. If you’re actually into music and have instruments at home, then you can use those too! Just be sure to place them strategically, where they won’t get drinks spilled on them or kicked accidentally.
Superheroes are very popular among children and young adults, but we’d be lying if we said we never wanted to be Superman for a day. The superheroes theme works well with a Marvel or DC-themed trivia night. However, don’t let that limit you. Superheroes are always fun! You can ask your guests to dress up as their favorite superheroes. Use props from your favorite movies to set the mood and get inspired by the movie’s color scheme. Music from the movies will be a great finishing touch.
If your game night is also a dinner party, then it’s settled – transform your living room into a classic American diner! Serve milkshakes, cupcakes, fries, and other US classics. Take it one step further by asking your guests to keep a 1950’s dress code. To complete the theme, you can choose a classic American movie like “Gone With the Wind” or “The Sound of Music” for the trivia game.
Tips and Tricks for Running a Trivia Night
Of course we cover this topic much more in depth in this article, but here’s a taste of what you should consider for running your trivia night:
Create a Pinterest Board
Pinterest can be very useful when it comes to planning the visual aspect of an event. Use the platform to get inspired. Look for your desired theme and create a Pinterest board. You can also find trivia questions on the platform. Finally, you can use Pinterest for DIY decorations. Download some art and use it to decorate your space.
Buying decorations is overrated, especially if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to spend loads on just one night. Luckily, most of the table themes mentioned above are very DIY-friendly. You can Google how to make specific decorations. Use your imagination and anything you have at home to decorate the space.
Prepare More Questions
You might not end up playing for as long as you thought you would, or you might end up playing for much longer. The bottom line is, it’s best to prepare a few extra questions. If you end up finishing the first game very quickly and running out of questions, you will definitely appreciate the extras!
Consider Buying Trivia Questions
Coming up with questions can be fun at first, but it quickly gets tiring and difficult. Consider buying a pack of questions on the internet. That way you’ll have a lot of questions with minimal effort.
Additional contributions to this article by Hannah Longman