Unless you’re a font of useless historical facts, most trivia nights can be a bit of a ego bruise. Luckily, Toronto is booming with super-niche quiz contests for folks who know more about Duffman and the Knights Who Say Ni than they do about the Cuban Missile Crisis or World Series earthquake of 1989. Here, five of the city’s craziest trivia nights.
These Pretzels are Making Me Thirsty: Seinfeld Trivia
Monthly (dates fluctuate). Free. Dundas Video, 831 Dundas St. W., facebook.com/dundas-video.
It turns out there’s a lot to know about the show about nothing. Host Jake Gorman has pored over nine seasons’ worth of Seinfeld minutia to concoct the stumpers that populate this trivia night: names, dates, events and who-said-its. Winners can take home show-themed prizes, like authentic H and H bagels, upside-down writing pens or a risqué George Costanza painting. “I’ve always been surprised by the level of Seinfeld knowledge out there,” Gorman says. “Almost every time I come up with a question that I’m sure is just way too hard, there’s one person in the crowd that knows the answer.”
When Mr. Pitt hires Elaine, what is her first assignment? Buy him white tube socks.
What would Kramer name his child if he had one? Isosceles.
Gladstone TV Trivia
Monthly (dates fluctuate). $2. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., gladstonehotel.com.
The Gladstone’s trivia night is devoted to TV from the 1990s and 2000s: Sex and the City, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Saved by the Bell, Friends and more (newbies like Broad City are a rare exception). Local actor and performer Kaleb Robertson hosts, with occasional help from local comedians like Dawn Whitwell and Sara Hennessey. “When we did Seinfeld, we had an Elaine dance-off,” Robertson recalls. “One of my co-hosts later told me that Scott Speedman had walked by and watched. Then he came in and joined one of the tables. Another time, we hosted a 90210 trivia night timed to the release of Jason Priestley’s memoir. We did a script reading, and Jason himself came out to read Brandon’s lines. It was incredible.”
In Saved by the Bell, what is Jessie’s middle name? Myrtle.
Which regular 90210 cast member did not appear in the pilot? Luke Perry.
WooHoo: Classic Simpsons Trivia
Monthly (dates fluctuate). $5. Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St. W., cadillaclounge.com.
Roughly 200 Simpsons nuts compete for doughnuts and action figures at one of the most popular trivia nights in Toronto. Host Chris Brazeau sources from the show’s first 11 seasons and sorted into three levels of difficulty. She recalls one time that a question was hotly contested: “Since it was an Apu quote (‘You cannot hurt a Twinkie’), contestants started tweeting Hank Azaria for the correct answer—and he responded!”
What do Bart and Lisa plan on changing their names to? Lois Stanborn and Steve Bennett.
What does Mr. Burns want for lunch when Homer takes over as his assistant? A single pillow of shredded wheat, some steamed toast and a dodo egg.
Food Fight Trivia
Biweekly (dates fluctuate). $5. Cheesewerks, 56 Bathurst St., cheesewerks.com.
The restaurant is devoted to all things cheese (mac, grilled, fondue), and their trivia night is devoted to all things food. Cheesewerks owner and host Kevin Durkee throws in the occasional food and drink challenge, too, like cookie stacking and taste tests. The winning team gets half of the night’s total cover, as well as prizes from the restaurant and their partners, like Beau’s and Moksha Yoga.
What novel inspired the name for Starbucks? Moby Dick.
In which New York City diner does Meg Ryan fake an orgasm over a pastrami sandwich in When Harry Met Sally…? Katz’s Deli.
Monty Python Trivia
Monthly (dates fluctuate). Free. Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave., supermarketto.ca.
Journalist and longtime Monty Python nerd David Silverberg got the idea for Toronto’s newest trivia night after watching the cast’s reunion simulcast from London at the Scotiabank Theatre. Inspired by the aforementioned Seinfeld trivia, he turned that notion into reality last month, where the inaugural winning team received a book celebrating the first 20 years of Monty Python. “They showed up with a plastic shield and sword, à la Holy Grail,” Silverberg says. “And a family with a nine-month-old infant came, too—they brought the baby because they really didn’t want to miss it.”
In the Cheese Shop sketch, what is the first cheese the customer requests? Red Leicester.
In The Meaning of Life, which food item killed the Brits and Americans and invited the Grim Reaper into their home? Salmon mousse.