How Well Do You Remember “Forrest Gump?”

Olivia Cantor

Image: Paramount Pictures

About This Quiz

A countdown of great '90s movies won't be complete without mentioning "Forrest Gump." Do you remember this film?

Partially based on the novel penned by Winston Groom, Tom Hanks played the titular role of a very simple man who ended up achieving great things in life. Many of his encounters with public figures and celebrities were merely coincidental. But the way the story wove him into important social and political events was as amusing as it was amazing.

For one, this film is recognized for the great visual effects used to help tell this simple man's tale. He met iconic musicians and U.S. presidents whom he conversed with, thanks to the magic of computer-aided cinema. Through recreations, Forrest found himself in the middle or within the periphery of pivotal political scandals or social movements. All of these great moments may have just flown above his head, with him thinking nothing of it. But it's a great way to entertain audiences familiar with these historical details.

It wasn't such an easy journey for someone like Forrest, born in the 1950s without much medical or psychosocial help available for someone like him. But still, the goodness in his heart and the kindness of his spirit guided him into becoming someone important, someone with integrity and someone who's endearing.

Roll out the red carpet and take this Forrest Gump quiz!

Why is life like a box of chocolates, as Forrest's mama used to say?

"Forrest Gump" is one of those films full of "quotable quotes" people love to repeat and reuse. The most famous one of all--and perhaps the most philosophical and poignant--is this: "Life is like a box of chocolates; you'll never know what you're gonna get."

Which hip-shaking musical icon did Forrest meet early in his life?

Pop culture played a huge role in Forrest Gump's life without him noticing its significance. When he was a boy, he encountered a young pre-superstardom Elvis Presley. It was implied in their encounter that Forrest inspired The King's "Hound Dog" dance moves.

According to the story, Forrest is a descendant of a "great Civil War hero." He implied that this relative was connected to which controversial organization?

The fictional Forrest Gump was named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a real-life general during the American Civil War who fought for the Confederate Army. The film showed that he was involved in an organization that "put bedsheets on their horses," implying he was part of the Ku Klux Klan.

Can you identify the award-winning actress who played Forrest's loving mother?

Sally Field's lines as Forrest's endearing mama are very quotable in this film. Forrest says that it's her way of explaining complicated things to him. Field was nominated at the 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance in this film.

Where did Forrest's story largely take place?

Alabama is one of those U.S. southern states where people have a predominant accent as they speak. It's commonly referred to as the Southern drawl. The kid who played the young Forrest Gump had a thicker drawl that Tom Hanks ended up imitating and developing for the adult Forrest version.

How did Forrest discover that he can "run like the wind blows?"

A person like Forrest tends to get bullied, especially during earlier decades. This is what happened to him as a kid; he got bullied by others and was called hurtful names. One time, he ran away from the bullies, discovering his running skills in the process.

What sport was Forrest good at, which earned him a college scholarship?

As he was running away from bullies, Forrest accidentally ran through a football field where a game was being held. When the coach saw him run, they recruited him. His college scholarship enabled Forrest to acquire a higher education degree.

Who was Forrest's one great love?

Before playing the Amazonian Antiope, the iconic aunt of Diana in the 2017 film "Wonder Woman," Robin Wright played '80s and '90s film characters that eventually became iconic as well. Aside from being "The Princess Bride" of the '80s, she was Forrest's love, Jenny, in the '90s.

Forrest met a handful of U.S. presidents in his lifetime. Which one did he shake hands with first?

Archival footage made it possible for Forrest to interact with U.S. presidents in this film. They filmed Tom Hanks to match the technical specifications of the archives, then composited him into the shot. In this process, Forrest was able to shake hands with John F. Kennedy Jr. smoothly.

Which aspect of the Civil Rights movement did Forrest accidentally witness during college?

Forrest came of age during the time America was transitioning its society in a major way. Since he was studying at the University of Alabama, he was there when Gov. Wallace performed the "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door." The governor showed his opposition to desegregation in that incident.

After college, Forrest got recruited in the U.S. Army and sent off to fight in which Asian-located war?

An Army recruiter convinced Forrest to pursue a career in the military, which he did. After his basic training, Forrest was shipped out to fight in the Vietnam War. This was his first trip outside the U.S., too.

His given name was Benjamin Buford Blue, but what was the nickname of Forrest's army buddy?

A huge black man, Bubba appeared like a simple man just like Forrest. They hit it off as friends immediately; they became close buddies, even toward the end. Sadly, Bubba died during an ambush in Vietnam.

What was Forrest's recorded IQ?

The film doesn't clearly identify Forrest's obvious intellectual disability, but it was hinted at when they mentioned his IQ of 75. For a public high school to accept a child during the '50s, the passing IQ score is 85. Children below that number are required to attend special education schools.

While in Vietnam, Forrest said they were always looking for "this guy." What's his name?

In the Vietnam War, U.S. forces were fighting against the Viet Cong, or V.C., for short. Since Army personnel spoke using the NATO phonetic alphabet, V.C. stood for Victor Charlie. They shortened it to just "Charlie," the code name they used to refer to the enemy.

What was Jenny's lifelong advice to Forrest, especially during times of trouble?

"Run, Forrest, run" is one of the most popular quotes to come out of this film. It was first an encouragement of Jenny for Forrest to run away from his bullies. When he was about to ship out to Vietnam, Jenny reminded him of it; it was his "guide" to stay out of trouble while in the war.

Gary Sinise played which military character who became important in Forrest's life?

In the book, Forrest meets Lt. Dan Taylor in the hospital infirmary; they're not part of the same platoon. Lt. Dan already lost his legs in this first encounter. The movie version of this character fared better than the book version, since he ended up with a better life upon meeting Forrest.

Jenny got kicked out of college for appearing in which controversial publication?

Jenny didn't live such a straightforward life, as Forrest accidentally discovered. He saw her pose for Playboy Magazine, the controversial men's magazine that portrayed nude or semi-nude women. Jenny got expelled for doing that kind of photoshoot.

The film featured a lot of brands, and this one was Forrest's favorite soda. Can you guess which one?

The appearance of Dr Pepper soda in "Forrest Gump" could have been an organic part of the story; Forrest seemed to love this brand during his first White House visit. However, it can also be considered as "product placement" wherein brands pay to advertise within the film.

Forrest's army buddy, Bubba, had entrepreneurial dreams concerning what particular product?

During their stint at basic training, Bubba told Forrest of his plan to buy a shrimp boat back home and enter the shrimping business. Due to his family's background, Bubba claims he knows many things about shrimp. He enumerated all the shrimp dishes he knows to Forrest.

Why was Forrest awarded the Medal of Honor?

Heeding Jenny's timeless advice, Forrest just ran and took off when their platoon encountered an ambush in Vietnam. But he ran back to rescue Bubba, and ended up rescuing other platoon members who were still alive. This included Lt. Dan, whose legs got severely wounded, needing amputation later on.

Which militant organization did Forrest encounter during a visit in Washington?

Forrest met members of The Black Panther Party, commonly referred to as the Black Panthers, when he accidentally got pulled in by anti-war protesters on the sidewalk. Prior to meeting the Panthers, he met Abbie Hoffman, the anti-war activist who got arrested for wearing the U.S. flag-designed shirt.

Aside from football, which other sport did Forrest seem to excel in?

In the movie, Forrest is shown as a "natural" in two sports: football and ping-pong. In the book, Forrest also dabbled in wrestling and made money out of out it. He also displayed skills as a chess prodigy.

Forrest met another musical legend when he was in New York. Which icon was this?

As guests in the "Dick Cavett Show," Forrest met John Lennon in that early '70s talk show. In their conversation, lines from Lennon's famous song "Imagine" were being mentioned. This implied that Lennon was inspired to write this song based on this conversation, with contributions from Forrest.

As Forrest's life was progressing, Jenny lived hers being what kind of person?

Due to her implied childhood trauma as a victim of sexual abuse, Jenny became a counterculture drifter when she got expelled from college. She was shown as a hippie during the '60s and a druggie in the '70s. It was also implied that she slept with different men throughout these decades.

As part of the All-American Ping-pong Team, which country did Forrest get to visit?

The film had a clever way of inserting Forrest into important '70s political developments. When he became part of the All-American Ping-pong Team, they were invited to do goodwill matches in China. This sequence pertains to events connected to the 31st World Table Tennis Championships in 1971.

Who's the third U.S. president Forrest met in his lifetime?

As part of another goodwill courtesy call, Forrest found himself meeting another U.S. president during the '70s: Richard Nixon. After meeting JFK and Lyndon Johnson in the '60s, Nixon is the third U.S. president he met.

While he was in Washington D.C., Forrest accidentally uncovered which political incident in a hotel he was staying in?

When Forrest met Nixon, the latter recommended for him to stay in a better hotel. However, Forrest couldn't sleep due to some "men with flashlights" across his building. It turns out that Forrest was staying in Watergate Hotel, and tipped off the authorities about the Watergate scandal.

Fulfilling his promise to his army buddy, what company did Forrest put up in Bayou La Batre?

Forrest fulfilled Bubba's dream of buying a shrimp boat to enter the shrimping business. With the help of Lt. Dan, he was able to master shrimping and established the Bubba Gump Shrimp Corporation. A real-life restaurant chain named Bubba Gump was established as inspired from this film.

As his business partner, Lt. Dan invested Forrest's shrimping biz money in which tech company?

Lt. Dan found ways to secure Forrest's financial future while running his shrimping business. Forrest said he invested in "some fruit company" which turned out to be Apple Computer, Inc. If Forrest cashed in on this early investment, tech experts estimate he could get billions of dollars today.

While running his shrimping business, Forrest had to go back to Greenbow immediately. How come?

Forrest's mother developed a form of cancer while he was away. He returned to Greenbow to visit her for the last time. When she died, Forrest decided to stay home and let Lt. Dan run the shrimping business on his behalf.

Which prominent shoe brand was featured during Forrest's running days?

A prominent shoe brand that made its way into Forrest's story is Nike. When Jenny came back to Greenbow and stayed with Forrest for a while, she gifted him with a brand new pair. She said they were good for running.

Director Robert Zemeckis had which white detail float in and out of Forrest's life at the beginning and end of the film?

As Alan Silvestri's melancholic musical score played, the opening scene of "Forrest Gump" featured a floating white feather. It first landed on Forrest's foot as he was sitting on a bench in a bus stop. Later, it falls out of his favorite book where he stored it, and floats away.

When Jenny asked Forrest to come visit her in Savannah, what surprise did he encounter?

Jenny was already settled in Savannah, Georgia when she wrote Forrest a letter, inviting him to visit one of these days. When he did, he got the surprise of his life when he saw that he and Jenny made another life possible -- their son's. A young Haley Joel Osment played Forrest Jr.

Can you name Forrest's favorite book?

When Forrest was a child, his mama read him a "Curious George" book. This is a series of children's picture books originally published in the '40s, '50s, and '60s. The series focused on a young chimpanzee taken out of the forest and brought to live in a city.

It was implied that Jenny died in the '80s due to an unknown virus. What can this be referring to?

Since Jenny was shown using drugs with needles and being promiscuous, it is automatically assumed that she may have contracted HIV in the early '80s. Unprotected sex and sharing of needles were among the earliest known causes of how the virus is spread among humans.

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