What film or novel would you be most surprised that a friend had not seen or read?
Nothing really surprises me about film or novel experience. It might be because I game in a college town, where many of my players didn’t grow up with the same media as I did because of our geographical, cultural, or chronological differences. I’ve had players who didn’t know Lord of the Rings was a book before it was a movie, or who didn’t know which jokes came from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and most of them weren’t interested in correcting that. I’d be stunned if a player had never heard of them, but experiencing them as they are intended is another thing altogether. It helps that I tend not to read novels or watch movies myself; most of my references come from television, comics, and video games, so that’s what pops up in my campaigns.
If I have to pick something, I’ll pick The Avengers. It’s recent enough that my players aren’t too young for it, it’s popular enough that everybody’s had a chance to see it, and it’s relevant enough that it falls within the interests of pretty much anybody I know who games.