Making Trivia Fun: 
Smart-Ass Points

The Big Quiz Thing is always working to make our games fun for a variety of people: Not just hardcore trivia geeks, but also the curious layperson. Sometimes it’s a tricky needle to thread—make your material too easy, the geeks will get bored; make it too hard, trivia Muggles will be turned off. This is one of the many reasons why we’re proud of a longtime trademark BQT element: Credit for wrong but funny answers, a.k.a. Smart-Ass Points.

“If you can’t be smart, be a smart-ass,” our quizmasters declare. At nearly any Big Quiz Thing event, if a team can’t fathom a plausible answer, we invite them to exercise their wit and mark down an amusing response. If it solicits a laugh when the quizmaster shares it with the audience, guess what? They get credit. Because everyone likes to laugh. 

(Naturally, the term Smart-Ass isn’t appropriate in all contexts. So when a client demands it, or it’s an all-ages audience, we just say, “If it’s wrong but funny, you get credit.” And yes, we’ve contemplated shifting to Smart-Alec Points, Wise-Guy Points, etc., but nothing ever sounded right.) 

Check out some examples (and yeah, a lot of the best SA Point answers are way more NSFW than these): 

Q: In 1972, science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick defined what as “that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away”?
A: Gonorrhea 

Q: What four-word Southern-state slogan originated in the 1980s as part of an anti-littering campaign?
A: Pick That S— Up!


Q: The company that makes Peeps is called “Just BLANK.”
A: Diabetes 

Q: Tramar Dillard is the real name of what hitmaking rapper, whose stage moniker was inspired by his birth state?
A: Arizona Ice-T 

Q: Bob Dylan’s 1966 concert at Royal Albert Hall is famous for what biblical heckle shouted by an audience member?
A: “Play that funky music, white boy” (from Revelations) 

Q: In 1997, Mike Tyson controversially bit off a chunk of whose ear?
A: Vincent Van Gogh 

Q: What 1991 novel featured a murderer’s analyses of the music of Genesis, Whitney Houston, and Huey Lewis and the News?
A: Mein Kampf 

Oh, the fun never ends with the Big Quiz Thing. See you soon, you hilarious geniuses…