Test your thrills with the Silence of the Lambs quiz!


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: Strong Heart/Demme Production

About This Quiz

The 1991 classic, "Silence of the Lambs," gave worldwide film audiences a detective story, memorable pop culture characters, and a cinematic gem that continues to thrill newer audiences. Want to test your knowledge of the film? Then take this quiz!

"Silence of the Lambs" features which American agency prominently in the story?

The FBI is the American agency at the heart of this novel-turned-film. The major characters of the story work for this agency.


In the film, future FBI agents are also trained in an FBI-led institution. What is the common name for this institution?

The FBI Academy is where future agents get their educational and skills training. It’s located near Quantico, Virginia.


FBI Academy student Clarice Starling figures prominently in the film’s story, even if she’s not yet a full-fledged agent. Which Hollywood A-lister played her?

Jodie Foster played the now-iconic role of Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. She won an Academy Award for this performance.


Within the FBI, Clarice — a psychology graduate — wants to eventually work with Jack Crawford, the head of this special FBI unit.

Jack Crawford, head of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, recruits Clarice’s help for a case — even if she’s not yet a graduate. Bright students get ahead anywhere, don't they?


In the story, the FBI is searching for this kind of criminal, who is on the loose.

The FBI is studying the patterns of several abductions that led to murders. A serial killer is definitely what they’re looking for.


Clarice gets assigned to interview an incarcerated serial killer, hoping his behavior will lead them to another serial killer who is on the loose. What is the name of this infamous jailed killer?

Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter is a psychiatrist-turned-serial killer. Clarice gets to interview him to “pick his brains,” so to speak.


Which respected actor convincingly played Hannibal Lecter?

Hannibal Lecter is perhaps Sir Anthony Hopkins’ most memorable cinematic role. His chillingly cool portrayal of the dapper, but deranged, psychiatrist has often been mimicked and spoofed in global pop culture.


What is the nickname the FBI has given to the serial killer they’re hunting?

The FBI called the serial killer “Buffalo Bill.” The media immediately picked up on it, and started using the nickname to refer to the killer as well.


What trait do the real-life Buffalo Bill Cody and the fictional Buffalo Bill serial killer have in common?

It was said that the real-life Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West shows had an act in which he scalped a Native American Indian. The serial killer in the film also skinned his victims. Hence the nickname.


Buffalo Bill apparently targets specific people. What is his “victim type?”

Buffalo Bill seems to pick up women of a certain age or body type. Why he chose them was a mystery to the FBI.


What kind of vehicle does Buffalo Bill use to abduct his victims?

Buffalo Bill uses a van to abduct his victims. It’s relatively easy to push someone into the back of the vehicle, close the door, and speed off without anyone noticing.


Hannibal Lecter tells stories that evoke fear and intimidate those listening to him. He told Clarice that he once ate a census taker’s body part with some fava beans. Which body part was it?

It's no secret why Hannibal Lecter is known as “The Cannibal." Aside from eating a census taker’s liver, he has been documented to have eaten quite a few other human body parts as well.


What does Buffalo Bill do before abducting his victims?

It’s one thing to talk to strangers, but it’s another to see them helpless and in need of some assistance. Apparently, this is how Buffalo Bill tricks women into his van. They help him carry something into the vehicle, he knocks them out and locks them inside.


Since Hannibal Lecter is incarcerated in a high security prison, he told Clarice that "Memory is what I have instead of a ___.”

Lecter is highly intelligent. He told Clarice, "Memory is what I have instead of a view.” And what a memory that must be!


In Clarice’s childhood flashbacks, it was revealed that her dad was a member of this kind of unit.

Clarice’s father was a police officer. It appears that she was close to him when she was a child.


In their talks, Hannibal hinted at the name, Hester Mofet. Clarice later unscrambled the name as “the rest of me.” What is the term for this kind of word play?

Hester Mofet turns out to be an anagram for “the rest of me.” Clarice uses this anagram as a clue to what Lecter has been saying.


Because of the Hester Mofet clue, Clarice tracked down a storage facility where a body part was stored inside a big jar. What kind of body part was it?

Clarice finds a head hidden and preserved inside a jar. She then goes back to Lecter to get more clues.


As time passes and the case progresses, why is Clarice intent on talking to Hannibal about Buffalo Bill?

Clarice pieces Hannibal’s double talk and suspects that he knows Buffalo Bill's identity. She would do anything to get that information, even if it means revealing some of her own personal stories to "trade" with Lecter.


Why is the FBI intent on searching for Buffalo Bill’s latest abductee?

Buffalo Bill's latest abductee is the daughter of a senator. Buffalo Bill's previous patterns indicate he kills his victims in three days’ time. Hence the race against the clock t find the senator's daughter.


In exchange for Buffalo Bill’s information, Clarice tells Hannibal of a nightmare-ish childhood experience involving what kind of animal?

Clarice offers Lecter a story about her childhood. She tells him of an incident when, as a child, she woke up and heard lambs screaming at night as they were being led to slaughter.


During his talks with Clarice, Hannibal claimed he wanted to take a look at certain FBI documents to help her find Buffalo Bill. What were these documents?

Clarice was convinced by Hannibal to let him look over the case files about Buffalo Bill. But holding the case files might just be another ploy of this sinister psychiatrist...


Hannibal’s psychological probing of Clarice’s childhood memory regarding the lambs "inspired" him to ask for a special dinner featuring this ...

During his negotiated facility transfer process, Hannibal Lector ordered a second course for his special dinner: lamb chops.


Just as he was about to be transferred to a new holding facility, Lecter managed to do this ...

Hannibal was able to orchestrate an elaborate escape during his negotiated facility transfer. Since he was only held in small cage in the middle of a big room, and guarded by only two policemen, it was relatively easy for him to get away.


What did Hannibal use to “mask” himself and escape the FBI?

In a classic Hannibal twist, he apparently peeled off the face of one of his police guards and put it on himself, while dressed as the other policeman. It was easy for him to pretend to be a policeman in need of medical attention. He then removed his "switched face” while inside the ambulance. Morbidly smart!


As the FBI was still searching for new leads on Buffalo Bill’s whereabouts, the serial killer was busy abducting a woman in Tennessee. In what city did he find his victim?

Buffalo Bill had his van parked in Memphis, Tennessee, pretending to be a helpless guy hauling a couch. He easily snagged his victim with the act.


The FBI was finally able to track down a solid lead which led them to this area of Illinois.

The FBI’s Jack Crawford informed Clarice that they were pursuing a suspect who lived at the edge of Chicago. Apparently, a man denied of a sex-change operation lived there, and his profile was close to Buffalo Bill’s.


While her FBI boss is in Chicago in pursuit of a Buffalo Bill lead, Clarice encounters the real suspect in Belvedere, the town where his first victim was found. In which state is Belvedere located?

Clarice followed other leads by herself, which led her to revisit Belvedere, Ohio, home of Buffalo Bill’s first victim. She finds more than what she bargained for in her solo expedition ...


Inside his hideout, Buffalo Bill keeps his victims at the bottom of this kind of structure.

Buffalo Bill hides his victims down a dry well, hidden at the back of his house. There are secret doors that hide the well, so no one from the outside can hear anyone inside.


Based on her talks with the first victim’s friends and family, Clarice finds out Buffalo Bill’s occupation. What is it?

Based on the profile of Buffalo Bill’s first victim, Clarice is led to clues that he is a tailor by profession.


Clarice also discovers the reason why Buffalo Bill skins his victims. As a tailor, what is he trying to make?

Buffalo Bill creates specific patterns out of his victims’ skins and patches them up to form a woman's suit.


Buffalo Bill had a tattoo on his hand that spelled out this word...

Buffalo Bill was shown dressing up in women’s clothes while rocking to some music. He also had a nipple ring and a tattoo on his hand that said "love."


Buffalo Bill used night vision goggles to stalk Clarice in his darkened house. But she was able to shoot him first, thanks to what she heard. What did she hear in the dark?

During their struggle, Buffalo Bill turned off the lights in his house, leaving Clarice in the dark while he watched through night vision goggles. But as soon as he cocked his gun to shoot her, Clarice heard it and shot him first.


During her FBI graduation, the escaped Hannibal Lecter communicates with Clarice a final time via this ...

Hannibal calls Clarice to say hello, and to ask that they keep their distance from each other. This is when he says his famous last words, “I'm having an old friend for dinner."


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