The Ultimate ’70s High School Nostalgia Quiz

EDUCATION

William J. Wright

7 Min Quiz

If you were in high school in the 1970s, these trousers were definitely in your closet. Can you name this decade-defining garment worn by both sexes?

No item of clothing is more symbolic of the 1970s than bell-bottom trousers. A holdover from the late 1960s, these pants that flared from the knee down were popular with both men and women. However, at the decade's close, new wave and punk rock styles would sound the death knell for bell bottoms.

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If you didn't own this island-inspired piece of jewelry made popular by "The Partridge Family's" David Cassidy, you knew someone who did. Can you name this fashion accessory?

Teen heartthrob David Cassidy of "The Partridge Family" was definitely a trendsetter with his tight bell bottoms and shaggy locks. However, his signature accessory was the puka shell necklace. An Hawaiian fashion mainstay, puka shell jewelry was a must-have for '70s teens.

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This cool character from a popular 1970s sitcom set in the '50s could be found on everything from posters to lunchboxes. Can you name him or are you a nerd?

Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli, the duck-tailed king of cool from "Happy Days" was a pop culture phenomenon. With his signature catchphrases like "AAAAYYYYYY" and "Sit on it," the greaser with the heart of gold's image could be found on virtually everything in the '70s.

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This 1970s fad that inspired a hit novelty song would definitely land you in the principal's office. Can you name this cheeky practice?

What inspired the fad of running naked through public places is a mystery, but the practice of streaking became an unlikely pastime (some media outlets called in an epidemic) in the early 1970s. Streaking caught the notice of country novelty singer Ray Stevens, inspiring his 1974 hit "The Streak."

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Here's one for the theater and drama kids: Can you name the musical midnight movie that had us doing "The Time Warp"?

Although it was a box office bomb on its original release in 1975, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" became the ultimate cult hit as a midnight movie. As fans began to incorporate audience participation and costumes into the late night screenings, "Rocky Horror" became a worldwide phenomenon.

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If you hated disco and bloated arena rock, you probably loved these punks from Forest Hills, Queens. Can you name this band?

Bursting on to the music scene in 1974, The Ramones were arguably the first real punk rock band. With their stripped-down, back-to-basics approach to rock 'n' roll, rapid-fire delivery and leather jacket and jeans style, they redefined cool for a generation. Gabba Gabba Hey!

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You wanted to make sure to get your homework done early to catch the TV adventures of this blue-eyed Amazon. Can you name the actress who played a '70s super heroine?

Actress and singer Lynda Carter played TV's Wonder Woman for three seasons from 1975 to 1979. Airing on ABC, the first season took place during World War II. With the second season, the show moved to CBS under the title "The New Adventures of Wonder Woman" with a contemporary 1970s setting.

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If you didn't have your driver's license, you could always rely on this four-wheeled contraption to get you there in style. Can you name this push-powered mode of transportation?

Although skateboards had been around since the 1950s, their popularity really took off in the '70s. With the advent of polyurethane wheels and dedicated skateparks, skateboarding became both a sport and lifestyle that remains popular to this day.

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This 1978 musical was the perfect date movie for those "Summer Nights." Can you name it?

Based on a 1971 stage musical, "Grease" brought '50s nostalgia to the '70s. Starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John as high school sweethearts Danny and Sandy, "Grease" featured a hit soundtrack and went on to become one of the highest grossing musicals of all time.

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Every groovy '70s teen had to have one of these in their room. Can you name this oil- and wax-filled psychedelic fixture?

The lava lamp was invented in the early 1960s, but reached its peak of grooviness in the '70s. Using a mixture of heated mineral oil and colored wax, they create a constantly changing, amorphous display of psychedelia guaranteed to hold your attention until the snacks ran out!

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When you got tired of staring at that lava lamp, you may have tried listening to this band's fourth album backward to hear hidden messages. Can you name this British super group?

In the 1970s, bands didn't get any bigger than Led Zeppelin. Their untitled fourth album featured the radio staples "Black Dog," "Rock and Roll" and "Stairway to Heaven," the latter of which generated a great deal of interest among the conspiracy-minded because of its supposed backward messages.

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Do you remember this 1970s ancestor to the emoji?

Although variations of the smiley face had existed for decades, the "have a nice day" icon has become the de facto symbol of the 1970s. Credited to commercial artist Harvey Bell, the smiley became an international sensation in 1970 when a novelty company printed it on a variety of products.

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If you went to the prom in 1976, you probably slow danced to this song by Peter Frampton. Can you name this ballad?

Former Humble Pie guitarist Peter Frampton had one the biggest hits of the decade with his 1976 live album "Frampton Comes Alive!" Producing the hit singles, "Show Me the Way," "Do You Feel Like We Do" and the ballad "Baby I Love Your Way" "Frampton Comes Alive!" stayed on the charts for 97 weeks.

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Do you remember comedian Freddie Prinze's catchphrase?

Freddie Prinze was a popular stand-up comedian who shot to national fame with the 1974 sitcom "Chico and the Man" with Jack Albertson. In 1975, he released a comedy album titled "Looking Good!" after his oft-repeated TV catchphrase.

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If you wanted to cruise to your favorite tunes, this clunky format was your only choice. Can you name it?

Beginning in 1965, Ford began offering 8-track players as an option on several models. Although 8-tracks allowed listeners to play their favorite albums on the go, their wonky sequencing and bulk made them obsolete by the the late '70s when they were largely replaced by the compact cassette.

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Along with a white suit, this footwear was de rigueur for the dancefloor. Can you name this popular shoe?

Platform shoes had become prominent in women's fashion in the 1960s, but the disco era elevated the style into the stratosphere for both women and men. Even rockers like KISS, David Bowie and Elton John adopted the the height-enhancing look to dramatic effect.

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Some of you were probably hiding this book in your locker. Can you name the "true story" allegedly taken from the diary of a troubled teenager that was a best seller in 1971?

Credited to "Anonymous" and marketed as a true story,"Go Ask Alice" is a 1971 cautionary tale of teenage rebellion. Written as a diary, the book follows its narrator on a fatal descent into drug abuse. Long purported to be true, the book was actually written by author and therapist Beatrice Sparks.

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You may have had pictures of this teen magazine coverboy up in your locker. Can you name this '70s actor and singer who was "made for dancin'"?

With his tousled blonde locks and boyish good looks, the multi-talented Leif Garrett managed to have a successful dual career as an actor and a pop star. Although most of his musical output was covers of '50s and '60s hits, his 1978 song "I Was Made For Dancin'" was written by producer Michael Lloyd.

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This twisty chocolate and caramel confection from the '70s was to be avoided if you had braces. Can you name it?

The Marathon bar was a twisty braid of chocolate-covered caramel introduced by Mars in 1975. Measuring a full eight inches, the bright red wrapper featured a printed ruler to guarantee its gargantuan size. Mars discontinued the Marathon Bar in 1981 to the dismay of candy lovers everywhere.

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If your date rolled up in one of these, your parents were sure to worry. Can you name this popular '70s vehicle that was the subject of a one-hit wonder?

Customized vans were all the rage in the 1970s. With shag carpeting, stereo systems and lots of room for getting up to no good, vans were the original party on wheels. Singer Sammy Johns forever enshrined the van as the iconic '70s vehicle with his 1973 hit "Chevy Van."

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Having nothing to do on Saturday night was no problem when you had this late night comedy show to look forward to. Can you name it?

Still on the air well into the 21st century, "Saturday Night Live's" golden era was the 1970s. Premiering in October of 1975 with host George Carlin, the show launched the careers of comedy titans Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, John Belushi, Gilda Radner and many others.

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Can you name the hot 1970s band that had kids rocking and rolling all night and partying every day?

Formed in 1973, KISS ruled the '70s pop culture landscape, With their combination of makeup, wild theatrics, pyrotechnics and party-down attitude, KISS' original lineup of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were the decade's rock superheroes.

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Can you name the actress in the red bathing suit whose famous poster graced nearly every guy's wall in the 1970s?

Farrah Fawcett's famous 1976 red swimsuit pinup is the best selling poster of all time. The "Charlie's Angels" actress was intimately involved in its creation acting as her own hair and makeup stylist and choosing the iconic one-piece suit, which now resides in the Smithsonian, from her own closet.

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Can you name the piece of jewelry that reflected your emotional state?

Invented in 1975, mood rings were a popular jewelry fad of the 1970s. Basically a liquid crystal thermometer, the color of the ring's "stone" would change with body temperature. Mood rings usually came with a color chart explaining the supposed mood represented by each hue the ring displayed.

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This movie made your summer break at the beach less fun. Can you name the film that kept people out of the water?

Released in 1975 "Jaws," broke box office records and permanently shattered the nerves of beachgoers the world over. Based on Peter Benchley's novel about a great white shark terrorizing a New England resort, "Jaws" was Steven Spielberg's second feature and the first-ever summer blockbuster.

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Can you name the wild and crazy guy who had a hit song about a pharaoh?

Comedian Steve Martin recorded the unlikely novelty hit "King Tut" in 1978. Riding the crest of a wave of interest in the Egyptian boy king inspired by the incredible traveling exhibit "The Treasures of Tutankhamun," Martin's song was previewed in an elaborate performance on "Saturday Night Live."

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The passing of this '50s rock 'n' roll pioneer in 1977 came as a shock. Can you name him?

The '70s marked the passing of the King. Elvis Presley's health and career had been in a rapid decline for most of the decade because of his long addiction to prescription drugs. His drug abuse took its final toll on Aug. 16, 1977. He was 42.

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This sugar-free beverage was the go-to drink for weight watchers in the 1970s. Can you name it?

Introduced by the Coca-Cola company in the early 1960s, Tab was a diet alternative to colas. Known for its bright pink can, the saccharine-sweetened soda was a hit with '70s dieters. Although it's still available, Tab's reign as the ruling diet soda ended in 1982 with the introduction of Diet Coke.

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Brevity wasn't important to the marketing team behind this product. Can you identify this shampoo with the verbose name?

With its long-lasting floral scent, Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific's ads assured you that your significant other, and perhaps, complete strangers, would have their noses buried in your coiffure all day. Although it vanished from shelves in the United States, it's still available in the Philippines.

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Long before the Playstation, '70s kids had this simple black and white video game system. Can you name this one-game wonder?

The home video gaming revolution started with Atari's Home Pong. Originally released through Sears Telegames in 1975, Home Pong was a home version of the popular Pong arcade game. An electronic table tennis game, Home Pong had the most powerful computer chip used in a home device at the time.

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If you weren't wearing this textile made of knotted yarn, it was probably hanging on your wall. Can you name this '70s fashion and decorating trend?

Macrame was at peak popularity in the 1970s. This textile made of interlocking knots of yarn or cord was used to make everything from decorative wall hangings to bikinis. By the early 1980s, macrame fell out of favor both as a craft and a material.

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It wasn't just the nerds in the chess club who made this sci-fi fantasy one of the biggest box offices hits of all time. Can you name this film from 1977?

"Star Wars" was a worldwide phenomenon the likes of which the world had never seen. Written and directed by George Lucas who had previously hit paydirt with his nostalgic take on early 1960s teen culture "American Graffiti," "Star Wars" was a welcome cinematic throwback to simpler times.

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You either loved or hated this dance music and its associated subculture. Can you name it?

Disco music with its infectious beat and syncopated bass inspired a whole lifestyle in the 1970s. Reaching its peak with the release of 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever," disco faced an inevitable backlash at the decade's close thanks to oversaturation.

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Can you name the band that recorded an anthemic rock tribute to the end of school in 1972?

Alice Cooper was a controversial hard rock band known for their wild theatrics and rebellious teen anthems like "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out." The band was fronted by singer Vincent Furnier, who legally took the band's name as his own with his 1975 solo album "Welcome to My Nightmare."

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Can you name the 1970s sitcom that launched the career of John Travolta?

Although comedian Gabe Kaplan had top billing in this show about a high school teacher returning to his alma mater, it was a young John Travolta who was the real star as the cocky leader of the Sweathogs, Vinnie Barbarino. The show faced a steady ratings decline as Travolta's film career took off.

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Image: NBC

About This Quiz

Historians haven't been kind to the 1970s, dismissing the decade as the hangover after the high-flying '60s, Nevertheless, If you were a teen during the "Me" decade, you know it was a great time to be alive. Events like Watergate may have made the '70s a downer of a decade for adults, but kids had their own thing going on as they redefined music, fashion and culture for a new generation.

The 1970s also saw marginalized segments of the population at last making inroads into all areas of American culture from politics to entertainment. Women established themselves as a force and African Americans made long overdue strides into both the mainstream and youth culture through music, television, fashion, movies and activism.

Amid the social upheaval that the decade brought, music was life for high school kids in the '70s.  Whether you were into the party-down dance culture of disco, the larger-than-life bombast of arena rock or the tear-it-all-down attitude of punk, music defined identity as never before. 

It would be a mistake to forget that even while these big changes were rocking the foundations of American life, the 1970s were also about big fun. Fashions were outrageous and fads like the pet rock and mood rings injected a much-needed jolt of absurdity into life. 

Now, dig out your elephant bells and your earth shoes, put a little Zeppelin on the 8-track — it's time to remember those groovy days of your misspent youth as we challenge you to the ultimate '70s high school quiz!


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