Trivia Games

Length of Program

1 to 3 hours

Program Description

Trivia games are popular with teenagers thanks in part to television game shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Deal or No Deal?, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, The Weakest Link, Family Feud, and Jeopardy. You may organize your trivia program as free play of trivia board games, a contest with written or verbal questions and answers, or offer DVD and online trivia games. An extensive list of trivia games in each format is provided in this program. Just decide on a format that will work best for you based on your library’s size, budget, technology, and your preference. Then gather games, and let the teens play!

Developmental Needs and Assets

The program provides positive social interaction with adults as teens interact with library staff and adult volunteers. Teens may develop relationships with adults beyond their families, and librarians may be seen as role models. Teens may learn that they live in a caring neighborhood and that they are valued members of the community. As librarians and friends encourage the teens to play well, teens may raise their expectations. Teens may experience empowerment, especially if they help create some of the trivia questions. The need for creative expression may also be met if teens are involved in designing the program and selecting the means of delivery for the questions. The need for positive social interaction with peers and positive peer influence may be met as teens play games and socialize at breaks. The need for structure is met as teens learn the rules for the trivia contests and games. Teens have an opportunity to achieve through trivia games when they successfully answer a question or learn new facts. Teens may learn that they are valued resources who can provide service to others as they help with the program. The library setting supports teens’ safety. The program fulfills teens’ needs for a constructive use of time.


Ask your teens which games they would like to play. Consider the technology available at your library; then decide what will work best for you. Purchase games and equipment if your budget allows. Ask library employees, volunteers, and teens to loan games for the program. Ask local game shops to loan or donate games and equipment. Submit a donation request to a local Target, Wal-Mart, or to another store. Some stores require written application on a donation request form and/or a letter on the library’s official letterhead.

Make numerous copies of game rules for teens who are unfamiliar with the games, or if there is more than one way to play a game. Provide copies of the rules to each player, and keep extras on hand.

This program can be very fun and easy to host as either a free-play event or a contest. For a free-play program, just set up tables with trivia games and let teens pair off or form groups and play the games of their choice. For a contest, divide the teens into teams and award prizes to the teen or team answering the most questions correctly.

Books to Display

  • Revenge of the Creature Features Movie Guide (Third Revised and Updated Edition), or An A to Z Encyclopedia to the Cinema of the Fantastic, or, Is There a Mad Doctor in the House? By John Stanley.
  • Cult Movies 3 by Danny Peary.
  • The Everything TV and Movie Trivia Mini Book by Nan Segaloff.
  • Frankly, My Dear: Quips and Quotes from Hollywood by Shelley Klein.
  • Guinness World Records by Guinness World Records.
  • The Horror Film: A Guide to More than 700 Films on Videocassette by James J. Mulay (editor).
  • I Know What You Quoted Last Summer: Quotes and Trivia from the Most Memorable Contemporary Movies by Jai Nanda.
  • Texas Trivia by Ernie and Jill Couch.
  • Who Played Who on the Screen by Roy Pickard.


Prepare flyers advertising your event. If you would like teens to bring games, add that to flyers and announcements that you post before the event. Ask teens to contact you in advance to volunteer if they would like to help plan or set up for the program. If any local shops have agreed to donate or loan games or equipment to the library for your event, acknowledge their help on the flyers.

Post flyers and notices on bulletin boards at your local bookstores, comic book stores, game stores, bookstores that host gaming groups and/or sell gaming books and supplies, and at other places frequented by teens in your community. If local shops are willing to hand out flyers, provide them with a stack. Place flyers in the teen area of the library. Teen volunteers and advisory board members can help spread the word to teens in the community that the library will be holding an event they may enjoy.

Announce the event on your library’s web site and add links to shops that are helping you, if they have web sites. If the shops do not have web sites, you may acknowledge them by name and include a brief description of their location.

If your flyers are ready before the school year ends, contact your local school district to see if they will allow flyers to be distributed at local schools. Depending on the school district, you may need to send a flyer to a central office for approval before distributing copies to students.

If your city’s parks and recreation department has a web site listing local events, ask if they will add your event to their announcements.

Contact local television and radio stations and ask if they are willing to do PSA’s (public service announcements). Many stations will require at least a few weeks’ notice, so check with them early to find out the timeline and appropriate contact information. Keep the public service announcements short (typically less than a minute).

Acknowledge and thank all of your sponsors, contributors, and volunteers during the program. Introduce all who are present.


Serve cookies, popcorn, fruits and vegetables, or even pizza, along with water, punch, lemonade, or soda pop. Ask a local pizzeria to donate some pizzas for your event, or ask for bakery items from a local store such as Target or Wal-Mart. Your attendance will increase if you let teens know in advance that you will serve refreshments!


The type(s) of trivia questions you choose will help determine the d�cor. For example, display posters of popular teen musicians and groups if your trivia questions are music-themed. Display movie posters if your trivia questions are movie-themed, and place a marquee-style announcement about the program on the door of your programming room. Display book posters if the trivia questions are literature themed. The posters will make great door prizes and/or prizes for winners of trivia contests.

Games and Activities

Trivia Board Game Day

Set up tables with a variety of trivia games or multiple sets of a single game and let teens play. Include traditional board games, such as Trivial Pursuit, any of its various themed versions, or some of the newer trivia-based board games such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, or a Harry Potter trivia board game. You may also include other trivia games and activities suggested in this chapter. Visit Trivia Games and Board Games at to read about a wide variety of trivia board games. Visit Sports Board Games and Sport Trivia Games Catalog 1 at to learn about trivia sports games that may appeal especially to teen boys.

Trivia Contest

Prepare a list of trivia questions based on books, movies, or music popular with teens. You may prepare the questions yourself, find them in books or web sites such as the Internet Movie Database at or, or you may ask volunteers to help create questions. For questions about current teen culture, read articles and trivia quizzes in teen magazines. VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) also includes a trivia quiz at least once a year; VOYA’s quiz is intended to see how well librarians are keeping up with teen culture, but the questions could also appeal to teens. You may also include local trivia about when the library was built, who founded the town, etc. Examples of trivia questions are provided at the end of this chapter. Either prepare a list of questions and answers on a sheet of paper or write them on index cards. If a computer and projector are available, you may prepare the questions in a PowerPoint slide show. PowerPoint Jeopardy Games at explains how to make trivia games using PowerPoint.

For the contest, divide the teens into teams, read the questions, and let the teams take turns answering questions. Or, hand out written questions and have the teens write down their answers. Keep score either electronically or with a score sheet posted on the wall. Give prizes for the team with the most correct responses.

Trivia Games on DVD, X-Box, and PlayStation

Many games are suggested below that require a television, DVD projector, DVD player, X-Box, and/or PlayStation. Decide on formats for games based on your library’s technology and budget. If you have a PC, teens can play Riff: The Music Trivia DVD Game. Teens can play Scene It! which features short video clips and trivia questions if you have a television and DVD player. They can play Power Play: Sports Trivia if you have a Sony PlayStation.

Online Trivia Game Free Play

If Internet is available in your program room, bookmark online trivia games for the teens to play such as Teen Trivia at and Trivia IQ Tests at and display them on a library computer screen. If your library offers wireless Internet, invite teens to bring laptops and provide them with a list of trivia game web sites.

Trivia Board Games

Produced by Cranium, Inc.
This is a very unusual board game that combines elements of several other games, including Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, and charades. The game includes trivia questions, drawing, sculpting shapes out of clay that is included, humming or singing, doing impressions of actors, spelling, and other activities. The wide range of subject matter and modes of activity make this game interesting. It is often hard to tell who is winning and the team in the lead can change quickly, which makes the game fun to play. Cranium requires at least four players on at least two teams. If teens will play several trivia board games at once, these requirements must be kept in mind.
Eat It! Snacks & Sweets Trivia Game
Produced by C-ME Games
This game includes questions about slogans, names, mascots, and details of various snacks. Categories include chocolate, candy, cookies, ice cream and desserts, and snacks. If you decide to include this game, you will definitely need to provide snacks since reading about candy, chips, and other goodies will make game-players hungry.
ESPN All Sports Trivia Challenge Game
Produced by USAopoly
This trivia game features sports-related questions and is great for teens who are more interested in sports than other subjects. The game board is laid out similarly to tic-tac-toe.
For the Record: Music Trivia Game, 80’s-90’s Edition
Produced by Talicor
This trivia game includes multiple-choice questions about music from the 1980’s to the 1990’s. Teens will most likely be familiar with some of the bands that are still popular. The multiple-choice format ensures that even if the teens do not know all the answers, they will still be able to have fun with the game.
Harry Potter Sorcerer's Stone Trivia Game
Produced by Mattel
Although the target age of this game is a little younger, it should still be fun for teens as many of them have read the Harry Potter books and seen the movies. If teens get bored with the board game format or if you want a larger number of people to be able to play, turn it into an oral trivia game by dividing the group into teams, asking questions from the game, and keeping track of the number of correct answers by each team.
Produced by Pressman Games
As in the popular television game show, this game provides answers, and the players must ask the questions that go with the answers. Several categories are included.
Lord of the Rings Trivia Game
Produced by Fantasy Flight Games
This game includes numerous questions about the Lord of the Rings books that both librarians and teens should appreciate. Players answer trivia questions and travel along the game board through Middle Earth. Multiple choice answers are provided, so players who are not experts on the books will still have a chance at winning the game and should not get too frustrated.
Marvel Trivia Game
Produced by Pressman
This trivia game includes questions about heroes and villains from Marvel Comics.
Movie Mania
Produced by Talicor
Questions about movies are divided by genres such as drama, comedy, etc. Players can partially reveal an answer to make the game easier.
The 90’s Game
Produced by Intellinitiative
This game includes trivia about 1990’s pop culture. Questions will allow teens to think back to their childhoods.
The Simpsons Edition Wheel of Fortune Game
Produced by Pressman Toy Corporation
Like on the Wheel of Fortune television show, players spin a wheel and call out letters. The words and phrases are all based on The Simpsons television show.
Simpsons Ultimate Trivia Tin
Produced by Cardinal Industries
This game includes 2000 trivia questions about the long-running and popular The Simpsons television show. The tin also comes with a poster that could be used as a decoration or awarded as a door prize.
Tip of the Tongue
Produced by Fundex Games
Questions in this game are not designed to be difficult, but there is a two-second time limit, enforced by a built-in timer. Teens may find the fast pace entertaining.
Trivial Pursuit 6th Edition
Produced by Hasbro
In this game, the players answer trivia questions in various categories, collect colorful pie pieces for each category, and move along a game board as they get the correct answers. The game is currently in the 6th edition, but any edition is fine. Specialized editions of the game are also available.
Trivial Pursuit Disney Animated Picture Edition
Produced by Hasbro
This game follows the traditional format of Trivial Pursuit. All of the questions relate to Disney animated films and may be especially popular with teen girls (and librarians) who look back fondly on Disney films from their childhoods.
The Ultimate Football Trivia Board Game
Produced by Outset Media
The Ultimate Football Trivia Board Game provides questions in four categories, including a “rookie” category for players who do not know very much about football. This game may help draw in some teenage boys. The novice questions will allow a wider audience to enjoy the game.
The Ultimate TV Trivia Game
Produced by University Games
The questions in this game are based on new and classic television shows. Several cable networks show reruns of old television series so teens will likely be able to answer questions about classic as well as recent shows.

DVDs, X-Box, and PlayStation

And Board Games that incorporate DVD components

NCAA Basketball DVD Trivia Challenge
Produced by Snap TV, Inc.
Platform: PC
This game includes over 1000 basketball video clips and provides on-screen scoring.
Pop!-A-Razzi: E! Celebrity Trivia DVD Game
Produced by Imagination Games
Platform: PC
This game includes an interactive DVD, clips, and trivia questions based on E!’s 101 Countdown series.
Power Play: Sports Trivia
Produced by Ubisoft Entertainment
Platform: Sony PlayStation
This game is designed for use on the PlayStation game platform, and it consists of sports questions in four categories: football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. The game can be played individually, or it can accommodate up to four players.
Riff: The Music Trivia DVD Game
Produced by University Games
Platform: PC
This game includes several categories of music and should appeal to a wide audience. Topics include lyrics, bands, videos, album covers, and more.
Scene It! DVD Game
Produced by Mattel
Platform: PC
This game includes movie trivia questions and a DVD with clips from movies. There are also other editions of Scene It! that focus on specific topics. Special editions include Nickelodeon, music, television, Marvel, and Disney.
Trivial Pursuit DVD Pop Culture 2
Produced by Parker Brothers, Hasbro Games
Platform: PC
This game consists of questions about pop culture. The DVD format includes clips from movies, television shows, and commercials. This second edition includes several new questions. There are also special editions of Trivial Pursuit DVD games, including SNL (Saturday Night Live), Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings.
Trivial Pursuit: Unhinged
Produced by Parker Brothers, Hasbro Games
Platform: X-Box
The X-box version of Trivial Pursuit includes some unique aspects of play. There are options to play in the traditional format, “Unhinged”, or a mini-game. The mini game is shorter and may be a good option if there is insufficient time to play the full game. The “unhinged” version allows players to steal each other’s pieces, bet against each other, etc. Video clips in various categories are hosted by Hollywood personalities.

Professional Resources

Fun Trivia Quizzes
This web site has trivia quizzes on numerous topics, including entertainment, sports, people, television, video games, and more. Quizzes are presented in multiple-choice format, and the results screen shows correct and incorrect answers, as well as explanations for the questions that were missed. Click near the top of the page to see the newest quizzes, the most popular quizzes, or a list of randomly selected quizzes.
Guinness World Records
This web site, based on the book, may be searched for a particular record either by category or by topic of interest. For instance, a search for “fingernails” accesses the record for the world’s longest fingernails within the category of the Human Body.
The Internet Movie Database
This web site is particularly helpful in creating movie-based trivia questions and in verifying a correct response. It is a great place to start for answers to questions about movies or actors. The site includes biographical information such as when and where an actor or actress was born, a filmography listing of movies and TV shows an actor has completed, future projects, and credits verifying who played various roles in movies.
PowerPoint Jeopardy Games
This site explains how to make trivia games using PowerPoint. This could be very useful if you decide to create your own questions, and if you have a projector, this would provide a good way to show questions to a large group. Two games are also included: anime and mystery.
Sports Board Games and Sport Trivia Games Catalog 1
This site provides a source for purchasing sports-themed trivia board games. This could also be used as a starting point for a shopping list of board games that you would like to purchase for your event, whether you choose to purchase items from this site or from a local store. Teen Trivia
This site includes music, sports, pop culture, movies, etc.
There are lots of different games on this site, but several of them have nothing to do with trivia. The games on this site use Flash, so whether it will work or not will depend on how updated your library’s software is.
Trivia from the '80's
Teens will not know some of the '80s trivia questions. You may wish to include questions about music, television shows, and movies that are currently being aired on your local television or radio stations.
Trivia Games and Board Games
This site provides a nice list of trivia-based board games which may be ordered or which may serve as a useful list of possible selections to purchase elsewhere.
Trivia IQ Tests
This web site includes several different free online trivia games. Some of the games are rated by level of difficulty, and others are listed by topic.
Trivial Pursuit On-Line
There are currently two online editions of Trivial Pursuit. A live multiplayer game is coming soon. A fee is required to play.

Craft and Game Materials

Sample Trivia Questions

  1. What year did this library open?
  2. What is the name of the actress who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter movies?
  3. What is the name of the dragon in The Hobbit?
  4. How many elementary schools are in _____________ School District?
    (insert the name of your local school district)
  5. How many players are on a basketball team?
  6. Who wrote Time Cat?
  7. Who played Lily Munster on The Munsters television show?
  8. How many books does this library let you check out?
  9. In Eclipse, what is Bella’s last name?
  10. Who illustrated The Spiderwick Chronicles?
  11. Who sang “She’s a Beauty”?
  12. Who played Prue on “Charmed”?
  13. Who played Ferris in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”?
  14. Who played Aunt Zelda on “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”?
Page last modified: August 15, 2011