20 Family Trivia Questions for Opportunity Knocks

If I were JD Roth, the host of the new series, Opportunity Knocks, I would arm myself with these twenty questions to ask the average family. I’ve chosen these particular questions for two reasons. One, there are stories that everyone in the family has heard a million times, and has tuned out all million times. Two, there are some things you think you know, but your family will be happy to correct you.

What will your wife say were the “official colors” at your wedding?

An item most couples keep prominently displayed is the wedding picture or album. Many couples still like to revisit those memories, and stories have been told for years about the “big day”. However, women generally not only do most of the planning, but they remember very specific details the husband won’t. Husbands may have watched the wedding video the day before, but not know this answer simply because we’re looking for the “official colors” the bride spent a year agonizing over. When a man may consider these colors “dark red and pink”, women know their bridesmaids wore “burgundy and mauve elegance.” Men and women just describe colors differently.

What is the order of the arrangement of family members in your family portrait, and what is the backdrop?

The family portrait usually has a place of prominence and is seen many times every day. But does anyone actually look at it anymore? It would be fun to see the exasperation as someone struggles to remember something so obvious.

What song played as the first dance at your in-law’s wedding?”

Couples always remember their first dance. They usually spend a lot of time choosing the perfect song to start their lives together. But when the in-laws were reminiscing before and during your wedding, did anyone listen?

“Other than family members, who was the first person your spouse told that you were expecting with each of your children?”

Sometimes spouses let things slip and then gloss over it when they were supposed to have the pregnancy on the hush hush until the whole family was notified. Perhaps they’d like to keep the romance alive by saying they told their best friend instead of confessing they blabbed it to their hair stylist.

“What are the exact times on the birth certificates for the entire family?”

It’s a good bet a mother knows what time she finally gave birth. It’s also possible the father will know. But will either know what time both they and their spouse were born?

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When money was tight, has mom ever put generic ketchup into the name brand ketchup bottle so the family wouldn’t know the difference?

This question assumes mom does the shopping, but can be changed for dad. There are children who will believe their parents would never do such a thing. There are husbands who swear they have always eaten the big name ketchup since they were two years old and they would know the difference and never change brands. In fact, it would be even more amusing if the parents of the spouses told their kids they put generics in the name brand bottles.

What are your in-law’s full names, including your mother-in-law’s maiden name?”

Men generally don’t like to reveal their middle names, so the father-in-law’s middle name might escape you. Also, suffixes like Jr. and the third might have gone unnoticed. The in-laws also usually have been married a long time, and maiden names were never mentioned.

“Have your parents ever been caught doing something ‘inappropriate’ in public? ”

Children do not believe parents are sexual beings. Just seeing mom and dad kissing can bring grimaces and cries of, “ew, gross! from younger kids. So the thought of mom and dad doing something that might be illegal, and having it be “inappropriate” public behavior, is going to be beyond their belief.

“What is the first album your spouse ever bought with his/her own money?”

We know our spouse’s favorite groups and favorite songs. The first album a teenager buys with their own money is not necessarily a favorite now. Sometimes, adults are embarrassed by the hokey music they used to think was cool when they were thirteen. My own very first album was the soundtrack to “Xanadu”. Admitting that would make me the butt of jokes from my husband for a long time.

What will each member of your family describe as their most embarrassing moment?”

Most embarrassing moments are those we don’t want to relive, and we don’t want to tell people we’re trying to impress. That’s why our spouses don’t necessarily know we were caught with our pants down in the second grade. What’s more, kids do not tell their parents half of what happens to them, especially when they are mortified with embarrassment.

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“What are the full names, street address, and phone number of the neighbors who live across the street?”

The phone number might stick in your mind if you don’t use speed dial all the time. The street address is a maybe, because houses across the street from each other don’t necessarily coincide with the numbers we believe they should have. Who addresses a letter to the neighbors when you can just walk to their front door? Full names are doubtful, because middle names still remain embarrassing to most.

“What kind of pet was your spouse’s first, and what was its name?”

Again, this may be a case of hearing the story a million times and tuning out the details.

“What is the first meal your spouse ever cooked that you did not want to eat, but did anyway?”

Dating is a ritual involving sacrifice. Sometimes you’re served a special family favorite of fish when you absolutely hate fish, but you grin and bear it because you’re in love. Sometimes your boyfriend wants to show romance you with candlelight, your favorite song, and an engagement ring, but the spaghetti sauce burned and is almost inedible. Yet you ate your dinner with a smile and kissed him when he popped the question.

“What are your parent’s job titles?”

Hopefully if you ask kids what their parents do for a living, they have a good idea. But, “Mom types doctor reports,” is different than “Medical Records Transcription Specialist.” On an episode of the show Friends, Ross quizzed Joey and Chandler against Monica and Rachel, with the good apartment on the line as a prize. The game was tied. These friends knew everything about each other. Then the girls were asked about Chandler Bing’s job. Nobody, not the friends nor the audience, knew the answer, and it was hilarious.

“What CD or tape is in the player in your spouse’s car?”

This is a harder question than one would think. The CD or tape case in their car probably holds at least 20 selections, and there is always the possibility of books on tape or borrowed music.

“All inclusive, how many clocks are in your house?”

This is a question that will make everyone wrack their brains. There are clocks everywhere, even places we take for granted. Microwave ovens, televisions, VCR’s, computers, ovens, and even coffee makers have clocks.

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How much did your husband pay for your engagement ring?”

If the husband told the wife, she might not remember the exact amount. Then again, she might remember, but the husband chose to embellish, or he got a really good deal and didn’t mention his discount.

If we turn on your spouse’s car, will the stereo system be turned on or off?

The only way this would be easy is if a spouse is anal about making sure everything is turned off before the car is parked.

“What color are the sheets on your bed right now?”

Sometimes people are just not that observant. Sometimes the sheets have been changed that morning and the spouse or children have not looked at their bed yet. And sometimes the color of the sheets is one of those things looked at but not observed because they’ve been there for so long.

When was the last time your wife shaved her legs, and what did she use?

This is something women have to do but hate to do it. We go as far between as we can get away with, and that time span increases as the number of years of marriage increases. As for what we use, even if the man knows the brand of razor we bought last time, that doesn’t necessarily mean we used our own razor instead of taking the easy way out and using the man’s electric shaver without telling him.

These twenty questions would be fun and enlightening for families to try to answer. I believe Opportunity Knocks promises to be an exciting and entertaining show. It will likely have success as the newest reality/quiz show on television. It will be refreshing to have a quiz show involving families that promises to reward the closeness of the family without threatening the dynamics of relationships. Opportunity Knocks is on my list of “Must See TV” this fall.

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