Birthday Trivia Questions – 2020 Edition!

In 2016, I held a gathering around my birthday with friends, family and “trivia peeps” for a very unique trivia contest! I basically put on a trivia game for all of them with questions I’d written myself. Some of the questions (very few, really) – were about me – most of them were about my favorite things!

I put on a similar party in 2017, but in 2018 and 2019 – it just wasn’t feasible to get the “gang” together. I was pretty sick around my birthday in 2018 (also had a trivia tournament to play in that weekend), and…it just didn’t come to pass in 2019.  But I still wrote the questions anyway!

I’ve always been a fan of trivia, as evidenced by this old photo:


Me with one of my birthday presents, circa 1979…

Ready to dig in? I’ve written 48 regular round questions – plus a “bonus” question that is not about one of my favorite topics…but about ME! I know, I know…I feel totally vain. But let’s see how you do on THAT question! There’s also a mystery round that I pretty much phoned in (LOL), a second mystery round I DIDN’T phone in and a final question.

1. Actors – As of January 11, 2020, in addition to Malcolm X, name at least one of the two real-life people – or the titles of the movies about those people – in which Denzel Washington was nominated for acting Oscars.

2. Odd Words – What six-letter word – beginning with the letter “K” – describes the trademarked name for an electric mechanical horn or alerting devices used on cars, trains and ships?

3. Disasters – What specific mode of transportation was involved in the 1865 Sultana disaster – which still ranks as the worst disaster of its kind in U.S. history?

4. Drummers – In addition to the recently departed Rush drummer Neil Peart, name any one of the other drummers in the top 10 of Rolling Stone’s list of the best drummers of all time.

5. The Oscars – Icelandic woman Hildur Guðnadóttir recently won the Oscar for best original score for her work on  Joker – making her the first woman to have won that Oscar since Anne Dudley (formerly of the new wave band Art of Noise) –  won it for her work on a 1997 film. This film was nominated for best picture – but did not win. What was that film?

6. Caribbean Nations – Name one of the three sovereign island nations in the “Lesser Antilles”  region of the Caribbean with only one-word names.

7. Oh, Canada! – Which Canadian province has a national rat hotline that residents can call if they see rats?

8. Royal Dogs – What specific breed of dog is favored by Queen Elizabeth II?

9. Liquor – What liquor, of Scandinavian origin, gets its distinctive flavor from spices and herbs, with the dominant flavor coming from a distillate of caraway and/or dill seed? Its name is derived from Latin and means “water of life.”

10. Some People Call Me Maurice – In addition to France, name one of the other two nations that held the African island nation Mauritius as a possession until it claimed independence in 1968.

11. Alma Maters – Though more than one U.S. president served in the U.S. Navy before becoming president, only one president graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. Name that 20th century president.

12. Dying On The Job – Spaniards Victor Barrio and Ivan Fandino both died as a result of what specific type of sporting activities in 2016 and 2017 respectively?

13. Parks – Which state park in Michigan was Michigan’s first official state park?

14. Buddy Movies – Name one of the two films in which Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson co-starred. One was released in 2000 – the other in 2003.

15. Actors – What actor plays the role of Gary “Eggsy” Unwin in the Kingsman movie series?

16. ’80s Movies – Name at least one movie from the decade of the 1980s in which actor Robert Downey Jr. appeared in a credited role.

17. Controversial TV – In March 2019, a 1991 episode of what TV series was pulled because of allegations that came to light in the movie Leaving Neverland?

18. Nude Scenes – The first theatrical nude scene was by what actress – in the 1963 film Promises, Promises?

19. Profane Movie Quotes – In which 2000 crime film – directed by Guy Ritchie –  would you hear the following quote? “So, you are obviously the big dick. The men on the side of ya are your balls. Now there are two types of balls. There are big brave balls, and there are little mincey faggot balls.”

20. Sports Mascots – Name one of the two “Big Four” sports mascots in the U.S. that are part of the Canidae family (dogs and dog relatives)?

21. Gluttony – What word of Scandinavian origin describes food served buffet-style with multiple hot and cold dishes of various foods on a table?

22. Breakfast Cereal – Which discontinued “monster” cereal produced by General Mills featured a werewolf wearing suspenders on its box?

23. Film Formats – What 2015 Quentin Tarantino film had a limited theatrical release in 70-mm format?

24. Automakers – What was automaker Ferrari’s first name?

25. Life of Brian – Give the last name of either of the men named Brian (or Bryan) – associated with the new wave ’80s group Roxy Music.

26. Jock Jams – What instrumental track by the Alan Parsons Project, commonly played at sporting events, is heavily associated with the Chicago Bulls – and shares its name with a constellation named for an animal?

27. Borders – There are two doubly landlocked sovereign nations in the world. Name the one that is NOT located in Europe.

28. ’80s Songs – The song “Mad World” was a hit for Gary Jules and was used in the movie Donnie Darko. What ’80s band originally recorded that song?

29. Stunt Men – Brad Pitt’s character in Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood was loosely based on what real-life stuntman –  who would later become a film director? His film credits as a director included Smokey and the Bandit, The Villain and The Cannonball Run?

30. Famous Pilots – Within five, how many total kills during combat is Manfred Von Richtofen (aka “The Red Baron) credited with?

31. Sports Colors – There are two NFL teams, one MLB team and two NBA teams which use the color purple as one of their official team colors. Name two of these teams.

32. Album Titles – A 1972 double album by Neil Diamond – recorded from a live concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles – contains what specific month in its title? The three words in this album title are also the opening lyrics of a 1969 song by Neil Diamond.

33. Mountains – In which Asian country would you find the Annapurna Massif?

34. Bond…James Bond – When No Time To Die is released in 2020 – featuring Bond actor Daniel Craig – which James Bond actor will be the one whom has played James Bond the most total times on film? Note: Never Say Never Again is a non-EON film and does not count. Bonus – which actor – who won the Oscar for best actor in a leading role for his work in a 2018 film –  will be playing the villain in the new Bond film?

35. Cocktails – What two types of potent potables comprise a Rusty Nail cocktail according to the International Bartenders Association?


36. Anachronistic Songs in Movies – The 1973 song “I Got a Name” plays in the movie Django Unchained during a “montage” sequence involving Dr. King Schultz  and Django riding around various picturesque Western landscapes during the winter months. Who originally recorded that song – which includes these lyrics: “Moving me down the highway…rollin’ me down the highway?”

37. Musical Instruments – Of the three instrumental sections in a traditional orchestra – strings, brass and woodwinds – name any instrument from those three groups which play the lowest tones out of all others in their group.

38. Quentin Tarantino Films – Quentin Tarantino frequently casts comedic actors for small roles in his films, such as Kathy Griffin in Pulp Fiction, Chris Tucker in Jackie Brown, Stephen Wright in Reservoir Dogs and Jonah Hill in Django Unchained. Which comedic actor played General Ed Fenech in Inglourious Basterds?

39. Fairy Tales – What is the English translation for the Grimm Brothers fairy tale character Aschenputtel? This story was adapted into a Disney film released in 1950.

40. Super Bowl Ads – What model of vehicle was featured in the “Groundhog Day” Super Bowl advertisement featuring actor Bill Murray?

41. Recording Studios – AIR studios –  located in the Caribbean – attracted a variety of music artists during its heyday in the 1980s, including The Police, Dire Straits, Elton John, Duran Duran – among many others. On what non-sovereign Caribbean island was AIR studios located? It has since been virtually destroyed by a volcano, among other natural disasters.

42. Old-Ass TV Series  – Named for the series’ title character – what TV series aired from 1973 to 1980 and starred Buddy Ebsen and Lee Meriwether as a father/daughter-in-law detective team? The series’ name is the first and last name of the title character.

43. Artillery – In World War I, there were “male” and “female” tanks. One was equipped only with six-pounder guns, and the other equipped with only machine guns. Which was which?

44. Beauty Pageants – Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles served as Miss America for seven weeks in 1984 after having replaced which Miss America – whom was forced to step down?

45. Harrison Ford – Name any two movies released during the decade of the 1980s featuring Harrison Ford in a credited role which were not part of a franchise? Note – this includes franchises that continued beyond the 1980s that Harrison Ford appeared in (such as Blade Runner).

46. Birds – Which flightless bird – native to the tropical forests of New Guinea – is the world’s third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird?

47. Marvel Movies – Which Avengers character will be the focus of the next MCU movie released in May, 2020?

48. TV Series – What non-animated Adult Swim TV series – which is currently airing its second season-  features a title character who lives in Marquette, MI?

49. Collecting – THIS IS A HEATHER QUESTION – What two items does Heather keep in a jewelry box along with her earrings? Multiple choice – Wedding rings belonging to her grandmothers, marbles from her childhood marble bag, teeth that she had extracted or tiny animal shaped pencil erasers?

Mystery 1 – Disasters

Put the following disasters/murders/ tragic events in order in which they occurred – starting with the earliest.

Gianni Versace’s murder, Heaven’s Gate mass suicide, Princess Diana’s death, Mount Everest blizzard chronicled in Jon Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air

Mystery 2 – Mixed Casts

Given the following descriptions of films, and release years – identify the names of the following movies – in which the characters’  names from the movie are exchanged with other characters those actors have played on film.

Example: Dirty Harry and Lex Luthor co-star in this 1992 movie western that won the Oscar for best  picture.

Answer: Unforgiven


  1. Batman and Wolverine play dueling magicians in this 2006 film directed by Christopher Nolan (Alfred is also in this movie).
  2. Mysterio and Joker play lovers in this 2005 best picture Oscar nominated film directed by Ang Lee focusing on a multi-year romance.
  3. Kylo Ren and Black Widow play a married couple getting divorced in a 2019 best picture Oscar nominated film.
  4. Batman and the Godfather co-star in this 1996 science fiction film set on a remote island in which a mad scientist conducts experiments on animals (which results in mutants).
  5. Maleficent and Spock’s mother co-star in this 1999 psychological drama centering on women living in a mental institution.
  6. King George VI and Elton John co-star in this movie series which began in 2014 and had a 2017 sequel.
  7. The Dude and Thanos co-star in this 2010 remake of a 1969 Western film centering around a young girl attempting to avenge her father’s death.
  8. Fredo Corleone and Tony Montana co-star in this 1975 crime drama nominated for best picture involving a bank robbery and a sex change operation.
  9. John Rambo and Snake Plissken co-star in this 1989 “buddy comedy” cop film.
  10. Indiana Jones and Two Face co-star in this 1993 action thriller involving a manhunt for a man who killed his wife.
  11. Sabretooth and James Bond co-star in this 2008 drama film involving groups of Jewish refugees hiding in the forest during World War 2 to avoid capture by Nazis.
  12. Bridget Jones and Ace Ventura co-star in this 2000 comedy “road trip” film centering on Ace Ventura’s struggles with multiple personality disorder.
  13. Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and Butch Cassidy co-star in this 1986 drama which was directed by Oliver Stone and was a sequel to the 1961 film The Hustler.
  14. Padmè Amidala and Elrond co-star in this 2006 dystopian political thriller centering around Guy Fawkes Day.
  15. Heimdall and Peter Venkman co-star in this 2016 fantasy adventure film directed by Jon Favreau (both as voice actors).
  16. Darth Vader plays Axel Foley’s father in this 1988 comedy film centering around an African prince (played by Axel Foley) attempting to find a suitable princess.


Final Question – Dances

What “participation dance” – known by one specific name in the U.K. and the Caribbean – and a similar name in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries –  has roots going as far back as 1826, became popular in U.K. dance halls in the 1940s, was the subject of two different hit songs during the decade of the 1980s and was recently used in a 2019 advertisement for Apple Watch? Give the name it is known by in the U.S.



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