1980s Trivia and Facts

Eighties Trivia Questions

Eighties' trivia is one of my passions, mainly because it's the decade that saw me fumbling through my teenage years and graduating high school. I always look back on this time with a sense of nostalgia, and I rarely pass up an opportunity to test my knowledge of Miami Vice, Huey Lewis and the News, or the Iran-Contra scandal. If you share a similar interest in trivia about the '80s, this article will direct you to the best Trivial Pursuit editions to buy, as well as providing a number of questions on the subject for those who are too enthusiastic to wait.

Trivial Pursuit Games Focusing on the '80s

Since I'm a child of the decade, I'm always looking for Trivial Pursuit games that focus on the 1980s. Luckily, the folks at Hasbro have created several releases with such a theme, and the following are just a few of the options for those excited by 80's trivia.

1980s -- When it comes to 80's trivia games, this is the ultimate. Released in 1989, it covers each year of the decade and has 4,800 questions in the following categories:

  1. Personalities
  2. Entertainment
  3. Sports & Leisure
  4. In the News
  5. Wild Card
  6. That's Life

Flicks -- A mini-pack release from 1989, this set offers 720 questions about motion pictures. While questions are drawn from multiple decades, enough are dedicated to films of the '80s to make it worth tracking down on eBay.

Sports -- Released in 1987, this mini-pack game includes cards but leaves out the board and pie pieces. As you may have guessed, the emphasis is on sports, although the questions are far easier than those found in the All-Star Sports edition. While it doesn't focus exclusively on the '80s, enough questions revolve around the decade to make it worth seeking out.

Star Wars -- Since The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980 and Return of the Jedi hit theatres in 1983, this 1998 edition and its 2,040 questions could be said to focus on trivia from the 80s. A 2005 release titled The Star Wars Saga covers the entire sci-fi series, although most of the questions about the original trilogy were taken straight from this set.

Totally '80s -- Released in 2006, this 2,400-question set focuses entirely on '80s pop culture trivia. From Ronald Reagan to Billy Crystal, you'll find enough questions on the decade to satisfy your craving for the foreseeable future.

1980s UK -- American trivia buffs wanting a real challenge should seek out this 2000 European release focusing on notable people and events in the United Kingdom during the 1980s.

80s Trivia Questions

If you're craving some trivia about the '80s but haven't had time to purchase one of the sets listed above, this section will get you started. I've included a dozen trivia questions related to the '80s, with an emphasis on pop culture, notable figures, and historic events.

What was the first music video played by MTV?

The first music video ever shown on MTV was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. This occurred during the influential channel's debut on August 1st, 1981.

Who was the first microcomputing billionaire?

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, became the first microcomputing billionaire in 1987 at the age of 32.

What was the highest-grossing movie of the 1980s?

The top-grossing film of the '80s was "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." Directed by Steven Spielberg, it would hold the record for the highest-grossing film of all time until it was bumped by "Jurassic Park" in 1993 (also directed by Spielberg).

Which infectious disease was declared eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1980?

Smallpox, a disease estimated to have killed more than 300,000,000 worldwide, was officially eliminated in 1980 due to over a century of vaccination campaigns.

Who was banned from baseball for life in 1989 for betting on major league games?

This dubious distinction goes to Pete Rose, a 17-time all-star and longtime fixture of the Cincinnati Reds.

Which American TV show dominated the Nielsen ratings from 1985 to 1989?

The top U.S. television program in the 1980s was The Cosby Show. Starring comedian Bill Cosby, the show ran for eight seasons, revived the sitcom genre, and paved the way for more programming starring African-Americans.

Which NFL team won the most Super Bowls during the 1980s?

The San Francisco 49ers were crowned Super Bowl champions in 1982, 1985, and 1989. Bill Walsh was their head coach for each of these seasons, and Joe Montana served as the quarterback.

Who sold the most albums during the 1980s?

Michael Jackson sold the most albums in the '80s thanks to the release of Thriller in 1982 and Bad in 1987. Bad resulted in seven hit singles and over 40 million albums sold, while Thriller had seven hits (out of nine songs on the album) and remains the best-selling album in music history.

In 1988, who uttered the famous line "Read my lips: no new taxes"?

George H.W. Bush spoke these infamous words while accepting his party's nomination at the Republican National Convention. Faced with a recession and difficulty negotiating with Democrats controlling Congress, Bush would later agree to tax increases.

Which iconic boxer retired in 1981 following a decision loss to Trevor Berbick?

Muhammad Ali retired from boxing in 1981 at the age of 39. His professional record was 56-5.

Which year did the song "Rock Me Amadeus" top U.S. charts?

1986. Other hit singles in 1986 included "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna and Europe's "The Final Countdown."

Who was the first American woman in space?

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983 while part of the Space Shuttle Challenger crew.

Eighties' trivia may prove difficult for younger players, just as the Baby Boomer edition gives fits to those of us from Generation X. But whether you grew up during the fledgling years of MTV or not, the Trivial Pursuit sets dedicated to the '80s should provide you with a wealth of information while increasing your overall body of knowledge about the world around you. This is the strongest selling point of the game, as it manages to both inform and entertain.

More Trivia by Decade

1960s

1970s

1990s