Get us in your inbox

cheating at pub quizzes on Google
Image: Time Out

All your friends are cheating in those virtual pub quizzes – here’s the proof

By Joe Mackertich

Since the start of lockdown, three things have helped Londoners retain their sense of identity. The first two, of equal importance, are: the freedom to begin drinking an hour earlier than would normally be deemed acceptable, and a shared hatred of joggers on the pavement.

The third is taking part in video-chat pub quizzes. People are seeking comfort in the age-old pursuit of answering trivia questions while drinking beer. Some are put together by actual pubs, others are smaller in scale, organised by friends, or that guy in your company who collects spoons and knows slightly too much about medieval history. 

Up until this point, we’ve all been taking it in good faith that people aren’t cheating. Surely only the lowest of the low, utter scoundrels, would break the rules in a video-call pub quiz? 

A brief glance at Google Analytics this morning reveals the truth. Its section dedicated to ‘rising search terms’ in London shows trending topics, normally relating to something new happening or a shift in behaviour. Usually you’d see things like ‘Tiger King’, ‘Houseparty’ or ‘banana bread recipe’.

Today, however, the rising search terms include: ‘What prominent spiritual leader was forced to flee Tibet when the Chinese invaded Lhasa in 1910?’, ‘What commodity created the speculative bubble in the Netherlands during the 1630s?’ and ‘Suleiman the Magnificent ruled over which empire?’

Typically, for a word or phrase to appear in the rising search term list, it would have to increase in popularity by 5,000 percent.

There you have it. Proof that people, your so-called mates, are all frantically googling the pub quiz questions. Honesty is dead. Now might be a good time for that Facebook friend cull you were thinking about.

Join the Pembury Tavern’s virtual pub quiz.

Find something more trustworthy to stream, like the best theatre shows.

Popular on Time Out

    More from Time In

      Latest news

        Read next