January 4 is National Trivia Day, so what better way to celebrate than with some “totally tubular” trivia that will take you back to the era of shoulder pads, scrunchies, and Spandex? Even if you distinctly remember living (and partying) through the ’80s, some of these questions might require an extra bit of brain power — and that’s a good thing! An added bonus of playing trivia is that it helps keep your brain active, which experts say is good for brain health. (Let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger around here.)
Though there’s no “right” way to celebrate National Trivia Day, we recommend ending the day with an episode of Jeopardy. Order a pizza and make it a good old-fashioned family game night in front of the TV. You may even find this ’80s trivia comes in handy! That said, we take no responsibility if the loser has to clean the dishes.
Keep scrolling and test your knowledge of the ’80s trivia below.
80s Trivia Back To The Future
Who was originally cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future before Michael J. Fox: Matthew Broderick, Jason Bateman, Jon Cryer, or Eric Stoltz?
Fans of the 1985 sci-fi comedy might be surprised to learn that Michael J. Fox almost wasn't the memorable Marty McFly. The studio's first choice to play the time-transporting teen was Fox, but at the time, he was playing Alex Keaton on Family Ties. The producers of Family Ties wouldn't let Fox star in the movie, so the studio had to cast someone else.
The correct answer is Eric Stoltz, who had previously appeared in the films Fast Times at Ridgemont High and The High Life. Stoltz was part of production for about a month until filmmakers agreed that he'd been miscast. "He's a magnificent actor," director Robert Zemeckis said of Stoltz in a bonus clip on the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy Collection ($34.98, Amazon), "but his comedy sensibilities were very different from what I had written."
We all know the success of Back to the Future and subsequently Michael J. Fox, so you can't help but feel bad for Stoltz after Fox got the blessing of Family Ties producers to split his time between the two productions. But don't worry! Stoltz went on to star in the acclaimed film Mask, as well as John Hughes' Some Kind of Wonderful and Cameron Crowe's Say Anything....
80s Trivia Bruce Willis
What '80s TV show introduced the world to Bruce Willis: Remington Steele, Cheers, Hart to Hart, or Moonlighting?
The leading men of Remington Steele, Cheers, and Hart to Hart are Pierce Brosnan, Ted Danson, and Robert Wagner, so that only leaves us with the correct answer: Moonlighting! Bruce Willis (then with a full head of hair!) starred opposite Cybill Shepherd as private detective David Addison. Glenn Cordon Caron, the show's executive producer, had to fight for Willis to get the part because ABC did not feel there was any "believable sexual tension" between Willis and Shepherd. Nevertheless, the show lasted for five seasons and had garnered 16 Emmy nominations by just its second season.
Before her stint on Moonlighting, Shepherd gained attention for her roles in The Last Picture Show, The Heartbreak Kid, and Taxi Driver. In the early- and mid-'80s, you could argue that Shepherd was the bigger of the two stars, which Willis, who would famously go on to star in the Die Hard franchise, did not appreciate. Shepherd's top billing on the show led to tension between her and Willis, who reportedly resented her and blamed her for delays in shooting.
That said, in her 2001 autobiography Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think ($14, Amazon), Shepherd claimed that she and Willis were tempted to start a relationship in real life but stopped themselves for the sake of the show.
While Willis went on to star in numerous action films, Shepherd continued to work in TV, appearing in many TV movies. Her most memorable recent roles include Madeline Spencer on Psych and Linette Montgomery in The Client List.
80s Trivia Bond
Which of these '80s bands scored the only #1 James Bond theme song with "A View to a Kill": U2, The Police, Duran Duran, or The Cars?
Even if you're not a fan of the James Bond films, you've definitely heard of — if not loved — at least one of these bands. Though you might be tempted to guess U2, that's not the correct answer. Bono and U2 bandmate The Edge wrote the single "GoldenEye" specifically for Tina Turner to sing for the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye, starring Pierce Brosnan as 007. It peaked at #10 on the the U.K. singles chart and was a top-5 hit in most other European countries.
Neither The Police nor The Cars ever collaborated with the James Bond franchise, so by process of elimination, that means the correct answer is Duran Duran. Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that U2's work with the James Bond franchise came in the mid-'90s — not the 1980s. The British group performed "A View to Kill" for the Bond film of the same name, which saw Roger Moore in his last turn as the MI6 agent. Today, "A View to Kill" remains the only James Bond theme song to reach #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. John Barry, the composer, and Duran Duran were nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
80s Trivia Hall And Oates
Which one is Hall and which one is Oates?
The correct answer is Daryl Hall is right and John Oates is on the left. The Philly duo topped the charts from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, and their hits "Rich Girl," "Kiss on My List," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," "Maneater," and "Out of Touch" all reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though most of their success came during the aforementioned period, the pair released music through the mid '00s.
In 2017, John Oates wrote Change of Seasons: A Memoir ($17.39, Amazon) in which he revealed that in 1987, he learned he was broke despite selling out stadiums just a few years before.
After nearly five decades of friendship, Daryl Hall revealed that he and Oates are still good friends. "First, we were friends before we were partners. It’s more like a brotherhood, actually. I just feel like John is family," Hall told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Today, the friends still perform together, and you can catch them on tour through March of 2018.
80s Trivia Johnny Depp
Which '80s cop show saw Johnny Depp make his TV debut: Miami Vice, 21 Jump Street, Hill Street Blues, or Riptide?
The correct answer is 21 Jump Street. A fresh-faced Johnny Depp was only 24 years old when he began his stint as Officer Tom Hanson on the Fox show 21 Jump Street. Though the other TV shows were also police procedurals, Miami Vice starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, Hill Street Blues featured a bevy of actors and actresses including Daniel J. Travanti and Veronica Hamel, and Perry King and Joe Penny ruled the streets in Riptide.
Depp was 21 Jump Street co-creator Patrick Hasburgh's first choice to play Officer Hanson, but when he offered Depp the role, Depp turned it down. Jeff Yagher was then cast as Hanson and filmed the pilot, but Fox was unhappy with his performance. The studio pushed for Josh Brolin to play Hanson, but Hasburgh offered the role to Depp again. Depp, as we know, accepted.
In 2000, Depp left the show, moving on to some of his most famous roles: Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and the wizard Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series.