Can You Pass This General Knowledge Quiz From 1999?


By: Ashley Ehman

6 Min Quiz

Image: Psivewri via YouTube

About This Quiz

The year of 1999 was filled with tragedy. John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife and his sister were lost at sea after their aircraft disappeared off the coast of Massachusetts. Columbine High School became one of the most notable school shootings in the United States. Kosovo was torn apart by war, while Turkey was rattled with an earthquake that killed more than 15,000 people. Despite all the bad things that happened in the 365 days of 1999, there are also a number of good things that came from the turn of the century. 

Technology was one of the things that saw a lot of monumental changes. With the production of Nokia cellphones, handheld devices were becoming more popular than ever. Computers were getting smaller and becoming more accessible to the general public. Floppy disks were a common sight to see, and many people met the familiar drone of dial-up internet on a daily basis. With the bad came the good, and 1999 was no exception. 

If the thought of pixelated phone games and "The Nanny" bring on feelings of intense nostalgia, then this is the quiz for you. Let's see just how much you can recall about the year before the 2000s took over!

Which form of digital storage started at an 8-inch size and gradually became smaller over time?

Floppy disks were used much like the external hard drives used today. They could provide a user with a means to back up their computer, as well as transfer data from one location to another.


Released to the public in 1999, which cellphone is said to be the most popular of all time?

In addition to their supreme ability to handle falls and excessive wear, the Nokia 3310 was one of the first of its kind to attract a younger market. With the color-changing covers, mobile game and early picture messaging options, it was a top choice among teens and young adults.


If someone asked to play a game on your phone in 1999, they would end up playing which game?

First released in 1997, "Snake" was a popular pre-installed game on most Nokia brand mobile devices. As it stands, it is estimated that the game has been installed on over 350 million devices around the world.


This popular television show often showed two neighbors talking over a fence. Which show was it?

The popular sitcom, "Home Improvement," was on-air for almost 8 years between 1991 and 1999. Starring Tim Allen, the show is said to have been the launching pad for Pamela Anderson's "acting" career.


When renting a movie from a local video rental establishment, the tapes would have a sticker on them that said "Be kind, ____." What word was found in the blank?

Before the creation of Netflix and other video-streaming services, movies were watched on VHS tapes. Some of the movies released on VHS in 1999 include "Antz", "101 Dalmatians" and "Mighty Joe Young."


If you were a student in 1999, you likely copied notes that were shown on what device?

Overhead projectors enabled educators and presenters to write and draw things at a normal size and then project it up onto a screen that made things appear bigger. Towards the '90s, these were made so they could be attached to a computer output.


In lieu of making each other Spotify playlists, how would people in 1999 share music with one another?

Burning CDs became possible with the creation of the CD-RW, which stands for Compact Disc-ReWritable. Anyone with a modern enough computer was able to load their favorite songs on the disk and then take it anywhere.


Which internet service provider had greater than 18 million subscribers in 1999?

At one point, AOL was a large contender in the internet servicing business. Nowadays, people are still able to get their internet service through AOL, with more than 2 million rural subscribers using it for dial-up service.


What noisy technology allowed users to connect to the Internet?

Dial-up modems used to be a common way to connect to the Internet. They worked by dialing a phone number that belonged to an Internet Service Provider, which would then connect the device.


"The One After Vegas", released on September 23, 1999, was an episode in Season 6 of what series?

The popular series, "Friends," was on the air until 2004 and ran for an astounding 10 seasons. When it finished, there had been a total of 236 episodes in the series, and it's still a staple to American television today.


Before the days of Wikipedia, what was a popular way to research a variety of topics?

Encarta encyclopedias were created by the Microsoft Corporation. They began as a CD-ROM that was pre-populated with digital encyclopedias that could be viewed on any computer they were loaded onto.


How did people listen to their music on-the-go in 1999?

Sony Walkmans were the go-to device to listen to portable music. By the end of 1999, there had been over 186 million of the devices sold. Production stopped on the devices in 2010, as they grew obsolete with the changing music formats of the 21st century.


The most common way to get turn-by-turn directions in this year involved the use of what?

MapQuest was first introduced to the public in 1996, making it the first commercial online mapping service of its kind. It was bought by AOL in 2000 and then sold to Verizon Media, its current owner, in 2016.


Keanu Reeves was the lead in what popular 1999 movie?

Released on March 31st, 1999, "The Matrix" hit the screens and captured the attention of many. The iconic movie went on to win four Oscars, including Best Film Editing and Best Sound.


A common item to find on the tables at a wedding reception in 1999 was what?

Before the advent of digital cameras, disposable cameras were a quick and convenient way for people to capture memories without the price of an expensive device. They were common at weddings to encourage guests to take pictures of their own.


If you were hosting a party at the park, what would be the best choice for loud music?

Boomboxes were a popular choice for events that required loud music. The bulky music players were able to play cassette tapes, CDs and be used to tune into AM and FM radio stations.


What was the biggest fear surrounding Y2K?

Also known as the Year 2000 Problem and the Millennium Bug, Y2K was an occurrence at the beginning of the 21st century that caused computers to not recognize the difference between 2000 and 1900. It ended up being much ado about nothing, as programming fixes were installed far ahead of time.


Which company began in 1999 and helped people find information about local businesses?

Prior to search engines, people used to use phone books to find the contact information for local businesses. Yellow Pages began in 1999 and is still functioning, but it is getting away from printing physical phone books.


Where would people go to rent the latest movie release?

Blockbuster used to be at the top of the movie rental business. However, in 2017 the majority of their stores were all but shut down. The single Blockbuster left is located in Bend, Oregon.


Blowing on what gaming item was believed to fix it when it stopped working?

The first iteration of the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1985 and maintained popularity into the late 90s. Some of the popular games were "Duck Hunt", "Ice Climber" and "Hogan's Alley."


What popular fighting game was released on Jan. 21, 1999?

The Super Smash Bros. name has grown in popularity since its original release for Nintendo 64. In 2001, its reach grew with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee and has gone up from there. The most recent edition of the game was released in 2018.


The last season of which popular show, starring Fran Drescher, was released in 1999?

"The Nanny" television aired between 1993 and 1999 and had 6 seasons completed before the show was cancelled. The family dog in the show actually belonged to Fran Drescher in real life!


What movie based on a novel by E.B. White was released in 1999?

"Stuart Little" was released on Dec. 17, 1999 and went on to become a trilogy of films. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but lost to another popular movie, "The Matrix."


Which famous politician stepped down from his presidency in this year?

Nelson Mandela retired from his active political role in 1999 and was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki. Mandela went on to combat HIV/AIDS and poverty in South Africa through the charity he founded.


Cassie Bernall was only one of the victims killed during what tragic event that took place?

On April 20, 1999, 13 people were killed, including one teacher, when two students went on a shooting spree at Columbine High School. At one point, it was considered the worst high school shooting in United States history.


What well-known blogging site was started in August 1999? was originally started by Pyra Labs, which was later bought out by Google in 2003. In 2007, Blogger was in the top 20 sites for number of unique visitors and is still functioning today.


What popular service was available between June 1999 and July 2001?

Napster was the brainchild of Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning. While it rapidly grew in popularity, the service was shut down in July 2001 after Napster was found guilty of infringing on intellectual property.


With characters like Patrick and Squidward, which popular animated series began in 1999?

"SpongeBob SquarePants" is one of the few shows that are still in existence as it rounds out yet another season. The franchise also has two movies, with another one set to be released.


Which athlete won their first of many Tour de France bike races?

While Lance Armstrong was indeed the first one to cross the finish line of the multiple stage race, official results have stripped him of this title. The United States Anti-Doping Agency disqualified the bicyclist in 2012.


Which virus was first detected in the United States in 1999?

The first reported case of the West Nile virus came from Queens, New York. There is no concrete evidence that can state how the virus reached the U.S., but some believe it came by way of an infected bird or mosquito.


What feminine-sounding computer virus was released around March 26, 1999?

The Melissa virus was first distributed by David L. Smith, who said that it got its name from a stripper. When he was found guilty, Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $5,000.


"The End" bear was released by what company to signify the end of its product line?

The stuffed animal that was meant to symbolize the retirement of Beanie Baby's production line was a black bear, simply called "The End." The company continued production when it was faced with backlash from Beanie Baby enthusiasts around the world.


What U.S. president was put on trial in 1999?

Bill Clinton was charged with lying under oath and obstruction of justice when his impeachment trial began. He was later acquitted of his charges because the Senate could not get the two-thirds majority needed to impeach him.


What successful company was called one of the worst business ideas in 1999?

The popular payment platform and parent company to Venmo was once called one of the top 10 worst business ideas of 1999. This is because its original business plan was made around the idea of beaming money from one Palm Pilot to another, which was not a realistic goal.


What commonly used email platform's accounts could be accessed by using the password 'eh'?

Before the importance of cyber security was entirely realized, Hotmail was revealed to have a major security flaw: any account could be logged into using 'eh' as the password. This was regardless of what the password was actually set as.


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