The One with all the Trivia

Trivia is a fantastic addition to any library program but can also be great on its own. If, however, your trivia game is feeling a little stale, here are a couple of fun options to try.

The concept behind Um, Actually is pretty simple – nerds love to correct people. The host reads out a statement that contains something that is incorrect, and contestants have to name what is wrong AND correct it. While the show from College Humor sticks to nerd culture, there’s no reason you couldn’t use this format for literally anything. There are also ‘shiny’ questions, which, like Shiny Pokemon, are little more special and a little bit rarer, but aren’t worth anything more.

I highly recommend this YouTube show to any and all of my nerdy librarian friends, whether or not you ever plan a trivia event. Figuring out what is wrong with the items on the set is SO incredibly fun.

Like so many things at Rooster Teeth’s Funhaus, the Google Trends Show has evolved throughout the years, but the basics have remained the same: pick a word to pair with a term over at the Google Trends tool.

Here’s an example: the term you had to pair with another word was orange. The teams must choose different words; you can give a few moments to deliberate or do it Family Feud style. Plug the chosen words in (‘juice’ and ‘theory’), and this is what you get.

Points are allocated based on the values given, in this case, the team that chose ‘juice’ would receive 77 points, and the other team would get 24. Note: you aren’t limited to just two comparison items, and you can limit or open the definitions of what you are searching. This comparison was done based on searching in the US over the past 12 months, but you could open it to worldwide searching or limit it to a smaller amount of time. The key, though, is that the points are awarded based on the current week.

It gets really interesting when you choose to purposefully misspell a word, or choose a word that may have been relevant in the last year but is no longer. In the example above, ‘orange theory’ WAS briefly higher than ‘orange juice’ back in February 2020, and ‘orange juice’ spiked much higher back in December. Who knows why?

I’ll be honest, I’m not actually sure what this data is tracking or how they determine these numbers, but it’s obviously useful to Google. In any case, it makes for a pretty fun game, especially when you base it around a theme.

The Movie Movie Game from The Valleyfolk is pretty straightforward: take two movie titles and mash them together. But first, ask a weird question that combines the plots, such as…

A masked vigilante watches over a city as its museum comes to life by the power of a magic tablet.

The answer is, of course, The Dark Knight at the Museum. The hilarity comes from watching people as they figure it out. What *I* think would be fun is to include popular book titles, music, video games, and tv shows, though I’d probably announce what media to be thinking about before the clue. As another example…

A cancer-stricken teen falls in love and travels to Amsterdam while rebel forces battle an evil empire in a galaxy far, far away. The answer, dear friends, is The Fault in Our Star Wars.

Of course, if your program is for teens, be sure to use current things that teens (and your teens especially) are into.

So there you have it – a few more options for your trivia games. When next I get to host a game night, I’ll probably pull a few ideas from each of these, rather than doing an entire game board just within the confines of these settings, just to keep things interesting and fun.