These 35 Trivia Questions Will Separate Americans From the Rest the World


By: Jonnathan Chadwick

6 Min Quiz

Image: cmannphoto / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

If there's one thing to know about America, it's that it's not even 250 years old. The first Chinese dynasties ruled thousands of years ago; ditto for Greek, Roman and Egyptian Empires. Japan was founded in 660 BC and England was founded in 1066, so take American custom with a grain of salt. Most of our tradition is naturally derived from European ancestors, so we had to tweak a few things to set ourselves apart. Instead of using the Imperial System or Celsius Scale, we decided to use the metric system and Fahrenheit scale. They're still European inventions, but we use them, and that's what makes America America.

Everything from our meal portions to our language seems lawless to an outsider, and deservedly so. We have a fraction of the history of every other country, and our culture looks exactly like a brand new culture is supposed to look like: fast-food, touchdowns, Oscar speeches, iPhone releases, hip-hop, money and war. But underneath it all, there is a method to the madness. If there wasn't, Hollywood wouldn't be leading the world in entertainment, Silicon Valley wouldn't be leading the world in technology and Wall Street wouldn't be leading the world in finance. But if you're American, you already know that. Put your skills to the test and see if you can answer these questions that only Americans know.

What do you call a room that has a sink, toilet and shower?

Every American knows what a bathroom is, but no American calls it a loo, privy or water closet. This personal hygiene room takes on different names and forms around the globe. You might have to squat if you visit a water closet in Asia, and bidets in European bathrooms are not for washing feet.


Can you name this quarterback of the New England Patriots who has won six Super Bowls?

Being that NFL football is purely American and a Patriot is a pure American, Tom Brady might be the most American athlete in the world. He's been called Captain America as well as the greatest football player to ever live.


What is the name of this sandwich made of two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun?

The Big Mac debuted in 1967 for 45 cents, and in 1968 it went nationwide and revolutionized the hamburger universe. It is one of the most popular fast-food sandwiches in the country and a worldwide symbol for America.


Your employer might match your tax-deferred deposits if you contribute money to what type of account?

A 401(k) allows employees to take funds out of their paycheck without paying taxes and divert them to a retirement account. Their employer also contributes funds to the account, and it's similar to the U.K.'s personal pension plan (PPP).


What TV show has been aired from Studio 8H at New York City's Rockefeller Plaza since 1975?

Saturday Night Live is filmed in the same studio it debuted from in New York City. The TV show has sat at the pinnacle of sketch comedy for close to half a century and has helped to launch the careers of some of comedy's biggest names.


The Mall of America is Canadian, but where is it located?

The Mall of America is owned by a Canadian company and located in Minnesota. It's the largest mall in America and the 12th largest in the world. The Dubai Mall covers more than 12 million square feet and is the largest mall in the world.


What is the name of the nine-digit number issued to almost every U.S. citizen?

Behind your birthday, address and phone number, your Social Security Number is probably the next number you memorized. It's used for Social Security purposes like retirement and disability benefits, but it has become an official form of identification for almost everything.


If someone asks for your John Hancock, what do you need to give them?

Anyone who has ever looked at the Declaration of Independence has seen John Hancock's signature jumping off the page. It's so bold and beautiful that it has become a synonym for the word "signature."


What team does LeBron James play for?

LeBron James rose to fame as a sophomore in high school and has lived up to the hype. He's won one championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers and two with the Miami Heat, and he now plays with the Los Angeles Lakers.


Do you know the name of this campfire dessert that consists of marshmallow and chocolate melted between graham crackers?

There's almost no reason in America to start a campfire and not make s'mores. The word s'more is just a contraction for "some more," and these graham cracker sandwiches were invented back in the 1920s by Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.


Which Founding Father is featured on the 100 dollar bill?

American polymath Ben Franklin has been featured on the bill since 1914, and his name is now synonymous with money in general. "Benjis," "Benjamins," "Bens" and "Franklins" are all slang terms for 100 dollar bills, and "it's all about the Benjamins" means "it's all about the money."


What TV show follows a high school chemistry teacher who resorts to anything necessary to pay his medical bills?

Few things are more American than astronomical medical bills, destructive epidemics and the southwest desert. They all came together in the AMC hit series "Breaking Bad," and the show will go down in history as one of America's best.


There are more than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks in the U.S. Where is Mount Rushmore located?

Mount Rushmore is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and it took about 15 years to build. It was originally supposed to depict each president down to their waist, but funding for the project ran dry.


It's American tradition to work 40 hours a week. How many vacation days does the average employee get a year?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American employees are granted 10 vacation days on average. Employees with 15 years of experience get 15 days, and those with 20 years get 20 days. Entry-level employees across Europe commonly see 20-30 vacation days a year on top of holidays, and the U.S. is only one of 13 countries that don't guarantee paid vacation.


Which of these common phrases best describes the goal of buying a new car?

If you know that a buck is a slang term for a dollar, then you understand that getting the most bang for your buck means to get the most possible for the least amount of money. Shopping for a car is usually a large purchase, and most people want to get the most they can for the least amount of money.


Can you name this soccer icon who led the U.S. Women's National team to two FIFA World Cup victories?

Mia Hamm is an international legend and the most popular American soccer player, male or female. She played from 1987 to 2004 and won two FIFA World Cups and two Olympic gold medals during the time. She is married to Red Sox great Nomar Garciaparra.


Which of these condiments is most likely to come with an order of french fries?

Ketchup sales are directly proportional to french-fry sales in America. Ketchup is the No. 1 condiment used for french fries, and the de facto accompaniment at any restaurant in the country. You'll find mayo around Europe, and Asia loves its chili sauce.


You can't be American if you don't know money. Which of these values is not represented in an American coin?

American coins are the penny (1 cent), nickel (5 cents), dime (10 cents) and quarter (25 cents). Half-dollars and dollar-coins are in circulation, but they aren't as popular. A penny costs more to make than it's worth, and a nickel is mostly made of copper.


A student who is in their 11th year of school is known as a what?

Being that America is a fairly new country, our education system isn't the world's oldest, and when we invented it we decided to label students with the names freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. These names mean nothing in most countries, but a high school junior is in 11th grade.


What state is known as The Lone Star State?

Texas is the heart of the country and the largest state in the contiguous United States. It's known for its country music and barbecue food, and its slogan is "Everything is bigger in Texas." The state was once independent and is the only state that signed a treaty to join the Union.


Which of the following is not commonly played or recited at the start of each school day?

These customs vary state by state, but most U.S. public schools start the day reciting or playing either the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance (or both). It is uncommon and unusual to sing "America the Beautiful" before class each day.


If you're asked an incriminating question you don't want to answer, you might respond by saying what?

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects defendants from testifying against themselves and guarantees other rights during a criminal procedure. It is part of the first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights.


Who is this dynamic duo that won three NBA championships from 2000 to 2002?

There's no telling how many championships Shaq and Kobe would've won if they could've gotten along with each other, but Shaq won another championship with the Miami Heat, and Kobe won two more with the Lakers.


What is the name of this legendary midnight snack made of sponge cake and cream filling?

American culture as we know it almost ended in 2012 when the makers of Twinkies filed for bankruptcy and suspended production of the delightful snack. Luckily, production resumed in 2013 and the country was reunited with the spongecake treat that was invented in 1930. It originally featured banana cream filling, but a banana shortage during WWII forced the switch to vanilla cream, and the rest is history.


When dining out at a restaurant, how much money should you tip your server?

Tipping isn't an exact science but is a very exact custom. In some countries, you don't tip food servers. In some countries, you tip nurses. You should always research the tipping etiquette for whatever country you're in. It's customary to tip food servers 15-20% in the U.S. and Canada.


Can you name this shock jock who is the self-proclaimed "King of All Media"?

Howard Stern began working in radio at Boston University in 1976 and might be the most controversial radio personality in American history. He proclaimed himself the king of all media, and aside from radio success, he has written two best-sellers and starred in a hit movie.


The American flag was made in 1777 and is nicknamed "Old Glory." How many stripes are on the flag?

The 13 stripes on the American flag represent America's first 13 colonies. The flag has been redesigned 27 times since it was created in 1777. There are seven red stripes and six white stripes, and the 50 stars represent the 50 states.


There is a holiday celebrated somewhere in the world every day of the year. Which of the following is not a U.S. federal holiday?

New Year's Eve is not one of the 10 federal holidays in America, but New Year's Day is. Sydney Harbor in Australia and New York City's Times Square are two of the most popular places in the world to ring in the New Year.


How much is a rain check worth?

This is an American term that stemmed from America's game: baseball. Back in the late 19th century, fans at rainy ballparks (another American word) were reimbursed for the canceled game with tickets for a future game. These tickets came to be known as rain checks.


Who is this NHL legend nicknamed "The Great One"?

Wayne Gretzky is the undisputed best hockey player in American history, and his number 99 is the only one retired across the entire National Hockey League. He won four Stanley Cups over his 20 seasons and countless awards and records.


What city is known for sandwiches that consist of steak, cheese, onions and peppers?

To know America, you need to know its food. Philly is the place for the cheesesteak. Jambalaya, gumbo and crawfish are must-tries in New Orleans. Visit the North Atlantic for lobster rolls, Texas for barbecue and hit either NYC or Chicago for pizza, depending on your preference.


Why would a bottle of wine that has a price tag of $22.00 end up costing $22.85 at the register?

It's somewhat startling for tourists to see the price of an item change once they pay for it, but that's because of sales tax, and almost every state in America has it. Many countries around the world include a value-added tax (VAT) in the price already on the tag, so the price doesn't change when you pay.


Who wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"?

Every American school student is familiar with Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Mark Twain. The story about an orphan growing up on the Mississippi River in the 1840s is literary canon in the American education system.


What Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of speech?

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is the most powerful law in the world, and it guarantees the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peacefully gather, the right to petition the government and ensures the separation between church and state.


What year was the Declaration of Independence signed?

We celebrate July Fourth every year because it is the day that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was finalized. The American Revolution had already been going on for a year, and the document fleshed out the reasons why the 13 colonies wanted independence.


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