Sorry, but Only People in Their 30s Can Answer These Questions!

By: Zoe Samuel
Image: pixelfit/E+/GettyImages

About This Quiz

The Millennial generation are, for some reason, often spoken of as if they are the proverbial "kids these days". Of course, members of this generation, which is now the largest in America, know that they are not actually kids any more. The youngest Millennials are in college and the oldest are pushing 40. That means that the older half of the huge group are all in their 30s, and that means they have mortgages (if they're lucky), kids, and also that peppering of friends in their circle who've already gotten on to their second marriage.

A lot happened during the formative years of the older Millennials. They got to see what a functioning economy looked like, for a start, right up until they graduated into a world of declining union membership, flat wages, insecure jobs, skyrocketing housing costs, crippling student debt and healthcare that costs triple what it used to. They have had to work harder than their parents, for less money, and they generally have no expectation of there being any safety net at all for them when they're old. They're also going to be around just long enough to see global warming start to get really bad. Yep, being an older Millennial is surely no picnic.

Still, amid all that misery, we can at least offer the grownup Millennial some bragging rights. Take this quiz to get your mitts on them!

What tiny hand-held puzzle was the breakout hit of the '80s?

Rubik's Cube is actually easily solved once you know the method. However, in the age before the internet, you had to figure it all out on your own.

What year did the Spice Girls hit the charts in America?

The Spice Girls were a pop band who went straight to number one in the mid-'90s in the UK. They made it big in America just a couple of years later.

What is a White Rabbit?

White Rabbit is a toffee candy. It debuted in the 1980s and is still made by a Shanghai-based company.

What seminal object was launched into space in 1990, transforming our ability to look deep into space?

Hubble is named for Edwin Powell Hubble, an astronomer and pioneer in extragalactic astronomy. Fittingly, that's what his telescope helps humanity to do.

When did the World Wide Web become a public service?

Most people had not heard of the internet in 1991, but it was available. By the mid '90s, it was becoming the next huge thing.

Who created the first King's Quest game?

Roberta Williams is one of the great pioneers of videogames. Back in the '80s when games were still the province of nerds, they were not considered to be a "boy" thing, they were just a nerd thing. Only once gaming went mainstream did a problem arise in perception.

When your mouse stopped working, what was the most likely problem?

Digital mice made life much easier. Otherwise you were constantly opening the darn thing up to get lint out of the roller.

Who became Prime Minster of the UK in 1997?

Tony Blair was the man who revamped the Labour Party to suit the 1990s economy. He won in a landslide but he left office in 2008 as one of the most loathed men in Britain after overstaying his welcome.

What does NAFTA, signed in 1994, stand for?

North American Free Trade Agreement was negotiated by the first George Bush but signed by Bill Clinton. It has been blamed for all sorts of problems, but some say these are only arguably related to it.

What key European treaty was signed in 1992?

Maastricht is part of the key architecture of the European Union. It has created a little trouble recently as it is arguably part of the argument made for Brexit.

What Cabinet official said, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women"?

Madeleine Albright was the first female secretary of state, under Bill Clinton. Thanks to her trailblazing, since then there have been two more.

What were the investigators who eventually impeached Bill Clinton for lying about an affair originally looking into?

The Whitewater deal was actually a land deal. A special prosecutor was appointed to look into it and the investigation morphed as different wrongdoing was uncovered than that which was originally investigated. It led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

How devastating was Y2K?

Y2K was a problem whereby many computer systems were originally built with only two spaces for the date, eg 66. That meant the move from 99 to 00 would possibly crash some systems. It turned out to be a near-total nothingburger - but it is quite possible that it is only BECAUSE everyone was so paranoid that they got ahead of it. We'll never know!

When did the new millennium actually start?

As there is no year zero, the answer is 2001, not 2000. A decade ends at the end of the 10th year, after all, not the end of the 9th! It's the same principle.

In what year did the Dow Jones first cross the 10,000 mark?

The Dow was very strong during the 1990s. Some people credit Reagan with this due to the end of the Cold War. Others credit Clinton. Still others say it was probably just a thing that happened and neither man had much to do with it.

Upon the fall of the USSR, how many former Soviet republics obtained independence?

The Soviet empire dominated 15 nations which achieved independence when it fell. However, some countries are newly threatened by a resurgent Russia, including Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria and others.

What did the START agreement stand for?

START was all about reducing the number of nukes the USA and USSR had. It has since lapsed.

When did China join the World Trade Organization?

China joined the WTO in December of 2001. Some people expected this would influence China to be more democratic.

In what movie did the villain say, "Greed is good"?

"Wall Street" villain Gordon Gekko remains emblematic of all the evils of the era. Rampant greed was considered a virtue and income equality took a hit from which it has still not even begun to recover.

What was the first music video to air?

It was by the Buggles and it was the first video on a new network called MTV. The network is amazingly still around, though it had some rough years before pivoting to its modern formats.

What was the maximum capacity of a 3.5" floppy disc?

You had to have about 100 of the darn things to store any meaningful amount of information. They were still a step up from the larger 5 3/4 inch discs whose capacity was generally measured in kilobytes.

What company launched the first personal computer in 1981?

International Business Machines nearly missed the boat on the PC, as they thought nobody would ever want a personal computer. They changed their tune and made a fortune.

What 1997 movie became the highest-grossing of all time, until it was later dethroned by Avatar?

James Cameron holds the unsuual distinction of directing Avatar and Titanic, albeit years apart. Adjusted for inflation, actually neither movie has beat Gone With the Wind at the box office.

What was the catchphrase of the Budweiser commercial campaign that you simply could not escape at the time?

"Waaaaaasssssssup! Waaaaaasssssssup! Waaaaaasssssssup!" was pretty much how every phone call started in the late '90s. Even people who hated the beer could not escape the ad. It was parodied in almost every medium imaginable.

In what city did 1992 riots take place after police brutalized Rodney King, an unarmed black man?

Rodney King was an example of the power of video before the cameraphone was common. He was filmed trying to cooperate with police, who beat him almost to death anyway. This resulted in days of rioting when all the officers involved got off scot-free. Two of them were later convicted and imprisoned up on federal charges.

Who was responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing of 1996?

White supremacist terrorist Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City. 168 people died including 19 children in the day care. McVeigh was a fan of a white supremacist novel, The Turner Diaries, and was very angry about taxes, among other things.

For what medical purpose was Viagra originally approved?

Viagra was actually approved to help your heart! It was quite useless (though it did indirectly encourage users to exercise, which might have caused a co-benefit). However, patients were shockingly unlikely to complain about it, even though it wasn't doing its job. For some reason they were happy anyway.

What movie filmed with minimal crew and handheld cameras made $248m at the box office, on a budget of under $1m?

The Blair Witch Project was parodied just about everywhere due to its inadvertently hilarious camera-practically-up-an-actor's-nose scene. It was a huge scucess and spawned a great many imitations and sequels.

What catchy Spanish pop song spent 14 weeks at number one?

The Macarena was catchy as heck and it also had a very simple set of dance moves that anyone could do. This made it completely ubiquitous throughout the '90s.

What internet company enjoyed a record-breaking IPO in 1995?

Netscape made $75m its first year and over half a billion the second year. A couple years later, Microsoft woke up to the power of the internet and shortly after THAT, Netscape was dead as a doornail.

On what TV show did then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton play "Heartbreak Hotel" on saxophone?

Bill Clinton got away with an awful lot, and much of it was because even his detractors had to admit that he was - by political standards - quite cool. He sealed this reputation on the national stage by playing the sax on Arsenio Hall's show.

What military vehicle was first marketed to civilians in 1992?

A Hummer is a huge gas-guzzling car that would be ideal in an apocalypse - that is, until it ran out of fuel. It's very good for driving safely through a riot zone, though.

What disease that ran rampant in the '80s and '90s was first treated with the drug AZT (azidothymidine)?

The HIV/AIDS epidemic devastated the gay community in the US in the '80s and '90s. It was ignored by the US government, delaying research into treatment. In the UK, the government overturned a policy of non-meddling in people's private lives in favor of a massive campaign of education in how to stay safe.

Which company debuted the first mobile cellular phone in 1987?

Motorola was once one of the hippest brnads out there, though these days it's generally considered more a nice sensible stalwart. Their brick-like cell phone was a huge hit in 1987.

For what tragic event is Christa McAuliffe known and honored?

The Challenger was supposed to be famous for taking an ordinary American, McAuliffe, into space. However it exploded during its ascent, shocking millions of people who watched it happen live.

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