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1. The Team Name
Believe it or not, the first decision your collective of trivial knowledge makes is one of the most important. The perfect team name blends a mix of pop culture and subtlety with the classic lowbrow humor that belongs in a bar. Even something as simple as “Hilary Clinton’s Left Nipple” could do the trick, but the teams that end up winning that elusive cash prize are the ones who take their titles to the next level.
Something like “Guys, This Isn’t A Team Name, I Just Wanted To Come Out And Tell You All That I’m Gay” will take your scores significantly further than a simple poop or penis joke. You might be thinking “There’s no way a simple name could actually affect my score!” That’s exactly why you’re so bad at trivia that you’re reading an internet column about how to improve.
2. The Pregame Internet Scramble
It happens at every single trivia night across the country: that shocking moment when your entire team realizes that the only time you’ve spent on the internet that day was watching idiotic YouTube videos and laughing to yourself on Facebook about how ugly the spawn of your ex-girlfriend’s vagina has become.
Luckily, in this amazing generation of instant knowledge, a frantic five minutes of iPhone plucking can drastically improve your score on current event questions. Pick a news site, literally any of them will do, and take yourself back to “Holy shit, my final is in three minutes and I didn’t study” mode. It may be stressful, but we all know that there is a direct correlation between trivia skill and internet browsing dominance, so don’t be a little bitch about it.
3. The Wildcard
If your team doesn’t have some form of Wildcard, then there’s simply no hope for you. In the wonderful world of trivia night, a Wildcard is the kind of person who is so addicted to amassing knowledge that he somehow can recite the entire list of Heisman winners since the award’s inception. This is the kind of guy who triumphantly concludes every drunken argument with “No, you’re wrong, read this Wikipedia page.”
You can never predict the kinds of questions you’ll face, but having a wildcard around drastically improves your chances of success. While you immediately forgot the exact order of Presidents in 10th grade, the wildcard knows them back to front, and he can even name their wives’ maiden names.
A unique form of wildcard that definitely needs a mention is the strategic female teammate. While most men of the world won’t have a clue who married who that week, or what devil spawn rap baby had been born into the world, a well-versed lady will be able to steer you through these questions with ease.
4. Performance Enhancement
No, I’m not saying you need to rub deer antler spray on your junk to rise in the trivia night ranks. Remember how easy that pregame internet scramble was? It’s almost as easy to check a convenient “text message” (that oddly looks a lot like Google) at the exact moment a question stumps your team.
I’m not saying you should be the guy who cheats his way to a trivia victory. That guy is a huge chode. Sometimes special circumstances arise, and you just can’t help but give yourself a little supplemental knowledge.
A good example? If you happen to notice the holy trivia master is extremely buddy buddy with the team who also happens to be in the lead, chances are fair play has been thrown out the window. The moment he makes an entire category on “The Big Bang Theory” as his chums giggle victoriously in the corner, you know it’s time to cheat your ass off.