The best quiz round ideas to see you through isolation

Dusty Baxter-Wright
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Along with everyone else on the internet, we've been filling our self isolation time with online workouts, baking bread, watching Netflix - and quizzes with our mates.

All of a sudden, every night is pub quiz night (only, er, without the pub, and more of the quizzing), which sees virtual competitions held over Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger.

If you're experiencing the same quiz pandemonium, and are looking for new inspiration for the next one, here's a round up of the best quiz ideas the Cosmopolitan UK team have played so far. Forget the classic pub quiz questions ("What is Britain's favourite cake?" is so last month), this is all about the unpredictable.

If you are after the more classic quiz questions, we've got those covered too. How about easy trivia quiz questions, or harder general knowledge questions? We've got true or false questions covered too, and family friendly quiz questions too!

Photo credit: CosmopolitanUK

Name the quarantune

What could be better than a round that focusses on tinny music playing from one person's speaker through to everyone else's? Make the songs self-isolation / coronavirus / pandemic related, to give the quiz even more of a theme, and play the first eight seconds to see if your participants can guess what they are. Suggestions include:

  • 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' - The Police
  • 'Toxic' - Britney Spears
  • 'Night Fever' - Bee Gees
  • 'U Can't Touch This' - MC Hammer
  • 'So Fresh, So Clean' - OutKast

Isolation scavenger hunt

Name five random household items, and watch as your competitors race around the house trying to locate them the quickest. Make them as specific or ridiculous as you like - anything from 'something they made themselves' to 'the pair of pants they last had sex in' works well, or even more broad options. You can then add a clause that they have to come up with a story that connects all five items together and pick a winner, or even the actual story behind each item.

What happened next?

Play a video clip (can either be related to your group or maybe something from the news, or a hilarious TikTok) and pause it right before something dramatic happens. Give your group multiple choice answers (or not!) about what happens next.

Wrong answers only

You know the TikTok challenge that calls for wrong answers only? Turn this into a quiz round by using very basic, open-ended questions (can be about the people in the group), and asking your participants to respond with the wrongest answer they can think of. The funniest response wins - a bit like Cards Against Humanity. E.g. 'What would Rob's autobiography be called?' or 'How does Martha like her eggs in the morning?'

Name the celebrity crush / work from home set up / baby picture

Get everyone in your party to submit a photograph for a picture round. It can be themed around anything - celebrity crush, school photo, inside their fridge... anything! Give each picture a number, and get your participants to try and match up the other people in the quiz to the pictures.

Song association

The concept is simple: you name a word, and everybody has 10 seconds to think of a song name with the word in (and they have to name the artist too to get the point!) For example, if you say 'Love', they could have 'Crazy In Love' by Beyonce or 'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston. This can be unsurprisingly quite hard.

Life drawing

No, it doesn't have to involve nudity! Rather, set a timer and ask everyone taking part to draw the same thing in an allotted amount of time - it could be you, a picture of a celebrity, a self portrait... a memory you all share. Make sure you warn everyone they'll need a pen and paper in advance (or at least an iPhone app that allows for drawing). Pick a winner at the end of the round, and award the runners up some points each.

Whose knees are these?

Another picture round: screenshot a close up body part of everyone in your group, and get them to guess who is who. The photo could be anything from a nipple (you'll probably need submissions for this...) to knees in Instagram pictures, or outfits people wore in 2012. Be creative!

What's the famous landmark?

Using Google Maps, screenshot a bird's eye view of famous places around the world (or maybe your university, or office building?) and have your participants try and guess where they are. This can be surprisingly hard and disorientating, depending on what your geography is like - would you know what the Eiffel Tower looks like from above?!

Whose voice is this?

Clip up videos of celebrities, politicians and people you know (maybe get them to send you a little voice note if you're struggling to find videos on your phone) and get your quiz competitors to guess who it is. It's surprisingly hard to identify a voice when it's out of context - especially if they're saying something bizarre.

The extreme close up

Another picture round idea is to create a cropped image of something recognisable, to the point where it becomes ~almost~ unrecognisable, and let people guess what it is. This could be anything from brand logos (The G of Google, anyone?) to photos of people taking the quiz, or even geographical locations.

How well do you know each other?

Want a really easy quiz idea? Get everyone in your party to submit five questions about themselves, and dedicate each round to each person. Try and vary their submissions - make one a photo, one a 'finish the story' and a few trivia questions. Can be anything from 'What's Sarah's mothers name?' to 'What song did Sarah request at midnight on her 27th birthday?' One genuine submission has also been 'Do I like Taylor Swift?'

Guess the facial feature mash up

Create a face using the facial features of your participants - use someone's forehead, someone's eyebrows, someone's eyes and so on - and give them a point for each one they get right. Make it harder by using seriously retro photos - scroll through Facebook to find pictures from the early 2010s, when people probably won't even recognise themselves.

Who did it better?

This round might require some warning, but ask everyone on the call to recreate the same thing, and then have someone judge which one is best. Could be ANYTHING - maybe everyone makes brunch while on a video call, and an independent

adjudicator (side note: someone's flatmate) decides which one is the most aesthetically pleasing, or ask everyone to attempt to recreate a movie poster using household items. Hard, but fun.

Most likely to

Much like the drinking game, only this time over Zoom. The quizmasters ask a 'Most Likely To' question, and those participating have 5 seconds to write down who on the call they think best fits the answer on a piece of paper. Everybody then flashes their answer up on the screen, and whoever writes down the same people as the quizmaster, wins.

You've only got four minutes

Taking it in turns, each person participating in the quiz comes up with a challenge, which everybody else participating in has four minutes to complete, before the challenger picks the winner. If there are five people participating, there will be five rounds of four minute challenges. For example, 'You've only got four minutes to turn yourself into a 1920s flapper girl'. Or, 'You've only got four minutes to perfect your best Adele impression'. Once the timer is up, each person presents their entry, and the challenger picks how many points each person gets, before passing the challenge onto someone else.

What year was it?

This round involves listing a number of iconic events that all happened in the same year, and then asking your competitors to guess what year it was. It's best if you include some personal anecdotes ('The year Nathan broke his leg in Tesco') as well as some global events ('The year Beijing hosted the Olympics.)

Serious karaoke

Read out the lyrics to recognisable - and not so recognisable - songs, and watch as your quiz-takers attempt to hum the tune to themselves and work out what the lyrics are from. Make it more fun by giving a dramatic reading of the lyrics, or doing an interpretive dance to go with them. Because why not at this point?

Other quiz round ideas:

Consider your next quiz: sorted.

Cosmopolitan UK's May issue is out now and available for purchase online and via Readly. You can also SUBSCRIBE HERE or read on Apple News+. Find our podcast 'All The Way With...' on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and the Acast app.

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