Hosting a virtual quiz with friends and family has become a regular part of most of our weekly schedules these days. With limited access to pubs, coffee shops or restaurants, the main source of social interaction we can have with friends is talking to them on platforms like Zoom, FaceTime and House Party — and taking part in a quiz has become the new normal.
When it comes to organising a quiz, there are plenty of tried and tested categories to fall back on, including general knowledge, history, sport, and music. But for those who have exhausted these several weeks into lockdown, there are plenty of other ideas for quiz rounds to make your quiz one to remember.
In fact, quizzes with niche rounds are often the most fun, and really challenge players while usually provoking a laugh or two throughout. Whether it’s recognising funny animal sounds or asking them to ‘name that chin,’ it often follows that the sillier, the better!
We’ve picked out 41 of the very best ideas for quiz rounds to add an extra edge to your quiz, and you never know, you may well be remembered as the most inventive host in family history!
41 of the best alternative quiz round ideas
1. Household item challenges
Whether it’s a pair of socks or the duvet from their bed, challenging your quiz players to grab a household item the quickest is always fun.
2. Name the album cover
There are plenty of famous album covers on the internet with the titles and artists photoshopped off. Challenge the players to name them.
3. Name the book from the cover
Like with album covers, but this time with famous books!
4. Put these famous faces in age order
Put your friends and families’ celebrity knowledge to the test and ask them to line up famous actors or musicians in order of age.
5. Name that ghost
This may sound like an odd one, but the more niche, the better! Play audio clips of different famous ghosts from TV or film, and ask players to guess the ghost, film, and actor.
6. One letter answers
From actors who played Q in James Bond to the start of a number plate in Germany, there are plenty you can eek out of this category.
7. Celeb pseudonyms
Most celebrities have stage names, so you can really test your players’ knowledge of their favourite artists with this round.
8. What country are you in if…
You’re hiking Machu Picchu? Or you’re visiting Waiheke Island? This round will test their geography and travel.
9. Which book map is this?
From Lord Of The Rings to Game Of Thrones, plenty of our favourite tales have their own fictional worlds. Show players a picture of a map from your favourite novels, and see if they can guess which it is.
10. Celebrity caricatures
Google ‘celebrity caricatures’ and you’ll be bombarded with a whole host of illustrations. Ask your friends and family to guess who’s who.
11. Name the biscuit
We all have a favourite biscuit, but can players name the more obscure supermarket aisle options?
12. Name the chocolate bar
As with biscuits, but with this one, show players the inside of each chocolate bar (with its fillings) to make it harder!
13. Whose chin is this?
Do your players know their Reese Witherspoon’s from their John Travolta’s? Test their chin knowledge with this hilarious round.
14. Classic movies by posters
As with the album and book covers, players must guess which famous movie the poster (with a photoshopped out title) represents.
15. Which city skyline is this?
There are hundreds of illustrations of major city skyline silhouettes online; can your pals guess which is which?
16. Celebrity mugshots
Plenty of celebrities have had run ins with the law, but can players recognise them from their (sometimes less than flattering) mug shots?
17. Name the planet
Astrology fans will ace this round, which asks everyone to name planets simply from illustrations of them.
18. Friends lines: who said this?
Call out famous lines from everyone’s favourite sitcom to find out who’s the biggest diehard fan.
19. Baby photo round
This one takes a little planning. If you have a big group of friends, get them all to send you a picture from their childhood before their fellow players guess who’s who.
20. Guess the landmark from Google satellite images
This is a little tricky, but will separate the quiz novices from the quiz masters!
21. Name a song with this colour
Whether it’s ‘Purple Rain’ or ‘Green Tambourine,’ give your players a colour and ask them to come up with one, two, or three famous songs that feature it in the title.
22. Where was it set?
From fictional lands to very real places, ask your loved ones to name where a number of famous books, movies, or even songs were set.
23. How many players per team?
How many players are there on a basketball team? Or what about cricket? Sports fans will rejoice in this round.
24. Chemical symbols
Got a few science whizzes in the family? Ask them to name the chemical symbols for a certain list.
25. What is the legal age for…
Whether you pick the UK or go round the world, this round will test your players’ knowledge of the law.
26. Spelling bee
Can your friends spell onomatopoeia? Or what about anaesthesiology? The more complicated, the better.
27. Guess the animal sounds
This will require a little YouTube preparation ahead of time, but can really provoke some laughs!
28. Spot the difference
This old classic childhood game can be just as fun for grown up quizzes. Simply hold up the pictures to your Zoom camera, or email over the document mid-quiz.
29. Who sang it first?
The music world is packed full of covers, but can your loved ones name who sang each tune first? (By the way, if you really want to go hard on the music theme, we’re got 17 more creative music round ideas for quizzes here).
30. World leaders
From Australia to China, The Netherlands to France, can your players name the world leaders around the globe?
31. License plates
Flash images of number plates from all around the world, and ask your contestants to name which country said plate is from.
32. Where are these lyrics from?
Make it harder by saying the lines, rather than singing them!
33. Surprising food origins
Did you know Danish pastries were actually invented in Austria? And are French Fries really French? Let’s find out.
34. Lead singers
We all know lots about our favourite bands, but can we actually name the lead singers from each?
35. West End musicals
Play a sound clip from some of the most recognisable theatre tunes of all time, and see which of your teams can identify it correctly.
36. Board game boards
Do you think your players could identify the board of Monopoly without the branding on it? What about the other famous classic games?
37. Famous siblings
As well as testing celebrity family knowledge in this way, you could also ask players to name more obscure familial ties between certain famous faces (ie. Louis Theroux and Justin Theroux, who are cousins).
38. Name that tool
Source images of spanners, hammers and the like and find out their proper names. It’s up to the teams to determine which is the lump hammer and which is the ring spanner.
39. What is greater than…
This is where conversion skills will come in handy – do the teams know what’s bigger, three pints or two litres? How about 10 stone or 60kg? It gets tricky fast!
40. Animal breeds
You know Golden Retrievers and pugs, sure, but it’s a lot harder to identify lesser known dog breeds like Japanese Spitzs or Norwegian Lundehunds. It doesn’t have to be dogs, either, it could be cats, rabbits or horses – basically any excuse to get some adorable pictures in there.
41. Celebrity pets
Speaking of cute animals, the world of celebrity pets is another great one to explore for alternative quiz round ideas. Fun starting points include the fact that Nicole Kidman keeps alpacas, and George Clooney once had a beloved pot bellied pig named Max.