(For the full story of how Tonga first came to be an important part of Williams Trivia, see the Giant Pygmies of Beckles contest from 12/86.)
Since then, one of the cherished traditions of Williams Trivia is the group anticipation building to the Tonga question: when will it come? When?
But as we'll see, asking Tonga questions wasn't nearly the instant tradition we imagine. The first four post-tiebreaker contests NOT hosted by the Evil Empire did not include a single Tonga question.
Really, we can all thank the Evil Empire for keeping Tongamania alive. (The fact that they won a pile of contests in a short period definitely helped.) After losing by the infamous "one-third of one-fifth of one point," truly a Tonga-sized margin, they won the following semester. Rather than shunning their Tongan terror, they embraced it. They cherished it. They exploited it. And they showed that a team can never slacken, never assume, never take a single misstep, or the Trivia Gods' wrath shall be swift and terrible.
We Begin Bombing in Five Minutes correctly named all 3 nations. All The Sugar, Twice the Caffeine named 2 of 3, incorrectly guessing "Tonga" as the third country. This was the margin of victory in the contest: a third of a fifth of a point.
(ARCHIVAL NOTE: The broadcast of the Giant Pygmies contest has been unearthed, and its scores analyzed. Mather's "Holy ___, Batman!" answer was actually worth 7 big points to his team.)
May 1987 We Begin Bombing in Five Minutes
- NOTE: NONE (but general Tonga-related hilarity during the introduction).
Dec 1987 I Don't Have to Answer that Question
- NOTE: The hosts were the team that mistakenly answered "Tonga."
Question: After fleeing the Phillipines, Ferdinand Marcos was all dressed up with no place to go. In the summer of 1987, his luck seemed to change. A national leader offered him asylum, as well as his help in overthrowing the Aquino government. Marcos, however, declined. Who was this leader, and what country does he head?
Answer: King Topou IV, of Tonga.
Song: To Sir With Love
Question: From what country does the hit group The Jets hail from?
May 1989 Leave the Gun, Take the Cannolis
- NOTE: Again, the hosts were the "Tonga"-guessing victims.
Realm: Royal Nuptials
Subrealm: Team History
Question: Who was the only guest at Charles and Diana's wedding who brought his own chair?
Answer: The 350-pound King of Tonga, who was too heavy for the chairs in St. Paul's Cathedral.
Song: Stranded in the Jungle
Artist: The Cadets
May 1990 Son, You've Got a Panty on Your Head
- NOTE: On top of the trivia world, but still haunted by their "Tonga" answer.
Subrealm: One Country We'll Never Forget
Question: What country once issued a stamp in the shape of a banana?
Song: Black Betty
Artist: Ram Jam
Dec 1990 Oxygen is for Losers
- NOTE: The first non-Evil Empire team to pick up the gauntlet, they asked the following back-to-back questions.
Subrealm: Famous Trivia Tiebreakers
Question: What country is also known as The Friendly Islands?
Song: Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime
Artist: The Korgis
- NOTE: Oddly enough, as Toby Elliott recalls: "Being the person in charge of the on-air questions, I made absolutely sure that there was a Tonga question in there, because I was convinced that it was always that way. Why I believed this, since two of the four contests I played in did not feature such a question, is a matter for speculation."
Subrealm: Great Detectives?
Question: Who was Jonathan Small's sidekick?
Answer: Tonga. (Sherlock Holmes: "The Sign of Four")
Song: You Better Be Sure
Artist: The Cavaliers
Dec 1991 Phasers on Stun: The Next Generation
- NOTE: NONE (The closest was the answer, "his tongue." Okay, so it's not close at all.)
May 1992 Not Everyone Keeps Their Genitals in the Same Place
- NOTE: A tricky twist: Instructions to the phone people on question 73 were "Hang up if they say 'Tonga.'"
Realm: Pacific Islands
Subrealm: Think Well Before You Answer
Question: What is the richest island nation in the South Pacific?
Song: Say You're Wrong
Artist: Julian Lennon
Subrealm: South Pacific
Question: (3 pt. play) A group of California businessmen claimed ownership of a coral reef in the territorial waters of a small island nation, for the purpose of establishing their very own country. Name their country, and the country from which they took the reef.
Answer: Republic of Minerva; Tonga.
Song: Steal Away
Artist: Robbie Dupree
Dec 1992 Phasers on Stun: The Next Generation
- NOTE: Phasers psyched out some teams earlier in the night by including a question about the Republic of Maldives, one of the very few nations on Earth even SMALLER than Tonga. Many automatic "Tonga!" guesses were had by all. They also did...
Realm: Great Island in Trivia History
Subrealm: What Do You Think?
Question: Although the mighty island of Tonga will never die, trivia-wise, we cannot say the same for its residents. What unique item is traditionally used to decorate Tongan graves?
Answer: Beer bottles.
Artist: Evelyn "Champagne" King
- NOTE: Phasers also did an MTV Super Bonus with specially-designed MTV logos featuring permutations of the Llap-Goch Man, and maps of Tonga.
Realm: So Close to Tonga, You Could Hit It With a Flat Rock
Subrealm: Yet Another Question About Aborigine Leaders
Question: Assuming you are not one yourself, what then is the greatest significance of "CAZIQUES"-- that is, "native chiefs of West Indian aborigines"?
Answer: It provided the highest single turn score (392) in competition Scrabble.
Song: Pop Muzik
May 1993 Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun to be With
- NOTE: HORRORS! NO TONGA QUESTION! However, they did offer the following......
Realm: Office Trivia
Subrealm: Absolute Monarchies in Africa
Question: What are the little bits of paper punched out with a hole puncher called?
Song: A Summer Song
Artist: Chad and Jeremy
Question: Dave Barry points out that the letters in this man's name spell "gaseous plant," or "Satan plus ego," but in a rare oversight, Dave failed to mention the obligatory "a less up Tonga"! Who is this man?
Answer: Paul E. Tsongas.
Song: The Politics of Dancing
Subrealm: Have We Had a Tonga Question Yet?
Question: What did women in Niamey, Nigeria blame a recent drought on?
Answer: Short skirts.
Song: Short Shorts
Artist: The Royal Teens
- NOTE: The latter two questions were not gotten to by 8 AM.
Subrealm: Not Tonga
Question: What were the names of the mythical countries in "Duck Soup" (1933)?
Answer: Freedonia and Sylvania.
Song: Land of Confusion
May 1994 Oh No! Bette Midler
Question: Actor Charles Grodin had to travel from Arizona to New Zealand in order to film the rapids sequence in the film "Midnight Run." According to Grodin, what is the only way the trip from Arizona could have been longer?
Answer: If they'd had to travel to Tonga instead.
Song: Happy Anniversary
Artist: The Little River Band
Dec 1994 How Dare They Challenge Us with their Primitive Skills
Realm: Questions You Haven't Heard Before
Question: According to David Letterman, the movie Wayne's World earned even more money than what?
Answer: The gross national product of Tonga.
Song: Deja Vu
Artist: Dionne Warwicke.
May 1995 Can't... Do... Plaid! (thud)
Subrealm: I Brake For Cows
Question: In India, what do they call the local version of the rickshaw?
Answer: A Tonga.
Song: Beast of Burden
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Dec 1995 Elvis Needs Boats
Subrealm: But Markedly Not Sucking
Question: The Sherlock Holmes story "The Sign of Four" features an Andaman Islander who killed Bartholomew Sholto, using a posion dart from a blowgun. What was the islander's name?
Artist: Lawnmower Deth
May 1996 A Bunch of Mindless Jerks who'll be First up Against the Wall When the Revolution Comes
Realm: Western Imperialism
Subrealm: Humor Across Cultural Bounds
Question: Certain people, when quizzed by explorer Houton La Billiardiere to give words for numbers greater than a billion, happily supplied any number of such words (maybe more than a billion). Only later was it discovered that these people were actually deliberately supplying the helpless European with swearwords. Who were these pranksters?
Answer: The people of Tonga.
Song: Language Is a Virus
Artist: Laurie Anderson
Dec 1996 We Make Holes in Teeth
- NOTE: As we can now see, this assertion is incorrect. It was actually the 18th question in the 20 contests following the original tiebreaker, 16 of which were asked. Seven of the 20 contests did not include Tonga.
Realm: The Wide World of Sports
Subrealm: And The USA Would've Done Better, if It Weren't for Those Medalling Kids
Question: The U.S. may have taken the most medals, but don't be bamboozled! In the ratio that REALLY counts, a medals-won-per-citizen basis, what nation led everybody else on the entire Earth at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics?
Song: Baby, What a Big Surprise
Artist: Chicago (marking the 20th consecutive contest to use "Tonga" as an answer)
May 1997 Gentle Tongue-Tongue, He Weeps For He Has But One Small Tongue With Which to Taste the World
Realm: Pre-Millenium Tension
Subrealm: It's a Brave Man Who Can Kick Back and Party
Question: Edward Bobosky is a New York businessman who wants to be among the first people to enter the new millenium. So he and some of his socialite friends have rented a house for the last New Year's Eve of the century to guarantee that they will accomplish this. Where is the house they rented?
Song: Quiet Village
Artist: Martin Denny
Realm: Better Living Through Cosmopolitan
Subrealm: I'll have what she's having
Question: In the November 1997 issue of "Cosmopolitan," we find an..... interesting advertisement. Lady Calston of Buffalo, NY offers "tickling panties" designed for "orgasms, anytime, anywhere." These panties come in two kinds: comfortable Brazilian, and one other. Name the other style.
Answer: Attractive Tonga. (Just need Tonga to get the point.)
Song: Sex Machine
Artist: The Flying Lizards
May 1998 A Dead Postman Doesn't Deliver Much Mail
Realm: In The Year 2000
Subrealm: Sorry, I'm allergic to Paprika
Question: Sure, everyone is reserving hotels in New Zealand to greet the new millenium, but what country do you REALLY want to be in, to be in the first country to greet the 21st century?
Song: Disco 2000
Dec 1998 At 200 Miles Per Hour, There is No Diplomatic Immunity
Realm: It's Good to Be the King
Subrealm: It's REALLY Good to Be the King
Question: King Fatafehi Paulah, a former ruler of Tonga, is believed to hold a rather spectacular distinction. What is it?
Answer: He is believed to have deflowered the most virgins (around 37,000).
Song: Lucky Man
Artist: Emerson, Lake & Palmer
May 1999 I've Got Ives In My Pants
- NOTE: The question below was 109th in the list of questions, but was actually numbered "The Last Question", so that it would be read last no matter how many questions the contest contained.
Realm: The Absent Presence
Subrealm: It's The End of Trivia as We Know It
Question: It's time for the last question, and we wanna know: What's been missing in this contest?
Artist: The Art of Noise
Dec 1999 Pokemon Labolatories
Realm: Little Umbrellas
Subrealm: Larger Umbrellas
Question: What is the name of the bar in the basement of the Fairmont Hotel, Nob Hill, San Francisco, where it rains from the ceiling?
Answer: The Tonga Room.
Song: Ray Ray Rain
Artist: Bettie Serveert
May 2000 Make Way For Ducklings, Mother***
Realm: The Lovable Pacific Island That Just Won't Die
Subrealm: No Subrealm Needed
Question: It's unimportant, it's insignificant, and it can't be stopped! It's the kingdom of Tonga! As every schoolchild knows, Tonga is actually a GROUP of islands. We're asking about one of those, Niuatoputapu. It's just a tiny piece of a tiny country, but it holds a big distinction. What world record currently belongs to little Niuatoputapu?
Answer: It's the fastest moving land mass on the entire planet. (As measured by tectonic movement; the island has recently been clocked at about 9.5 inches per year.)
Song: I Feel the Earth Move
Artist: Carole King
Dec 2000 The Funk of 40,000 Years
Realm: Friends, Romans, Countrymen
Subrealm: Through Thin and Thinner
Question: The 1997 MTV Fashion Award for Best Female Model had two runners-up with one-word names. One was Kiara. What was the other?
Answer: Tanga (pronounced "Tonga").
Artist: Jill Sobule
Dec 2001 I Say It's Duck Season and I Say Fire!
- NOTE: This very alum team featured several of the folks who'd asked the original "Tonga" question, as Giant Pygmies of Beckles (Raf, Dan, Ted, Andy, Rob, Helen, Greg, Gary). And it also featured at least two of the players who correctly answered Tonga, as We Begin Bombing in Five Minutes (Des and Dom). With this much history oozing through their hardened veins, the team served up a trifecta of Tonga. Adding in the Realms & Subrealms, Tonga was mentioned in five consecutive questions.
Realm: Great Moments in Tongan Finance
Subrealm: If You Know Any Others, Let Us Know
Question: In 1991 and 1992, the company Tongasat shocked its business competitors worldwide, by legally claiming almost 50% of a certain finite resource. What?
Answer: Satellite orbit routes.
Song: In the Meantime
- NOTE: The International Telecommunications Union (which basically keeps space stuff from crashing into each other) approved Tongasat's applications to own the satellite routes, even though Tonga's space program isn't quite active. Everybody's favorite island nation now owns 7 of the remaining 16 routes, and will lease them to you for a sizeable profit.
Realm: Mouse Chow
Subrealm: Just a Tip... DON'T Order the Frozen Walt Slurpee
Question: If you are at the Kona Cafe in Disney World, and have a hankering for banana-stuffed, grilled, egg-dipped bread, what should you order?
Answer: Tonga Toast.
Song: Oops.... I Did It Again
Artist: Britney Spears
Realm: Countries Slightly Bigger Than Tonga
Subrealm: Hell, Papa Charlie's is Bigger Than Tonga
Question: According to VH1, three of the Top 100 Greatest Rock and Roll Moments on TV were renditions of "The Star Spangled Banner." Who performed them?
Answer: Marvin Gaye; Whitney Houston; Roseanne.
Realm: Big-Time Sports Contracts
Subrealm: The Pay's the Thing
Question: ESPN's "Outside the Lines" described Texas Ranger shortstop Alex Rodriguez's record-setting contract in what we here at Williams Trivia considered a rather pithy way. To WHAT did they compare the superstar's megabucks?
Answer: The annual gross national product of Tonga.
Song: History Repeating
Artist: The Propellerheads
Realm: Cross-Promotional Characters
Subrealm: We Promise This Question Won't Mention Tonga.... Oops! Damn!
Question: Who has been Emmy-nominated for playing the same character in 3 different series? And please name the three series.
Answer: Kelsey Grammer; "Cheers," "Wings," and "Frasier."
Song: If I Didn't Care
Artist: The Ink Spots
May 2002 Neutered Vampires Who Cheat at Kitten Poker
Realm: Professional Wrestling
Subrealm: That's right, REAL wrestling
Question: Bobby "The Brain" Heenan had the figure-four leg lock, The Undertaker has his Tombstone Piledriver, but Meng has the most terrifying "patented" move of them all. What is this move that Meng uses to crush his opponents?
Answer: The Tongan Death-Grip.
Song: The Crusher
Artist: The Novas
Realm: Island Nations
Subrealm: South Pacific Island Nations
Question: What country was the first to officially enter the new millennium, and how did it achieve this goal?
Answer: Kiribati; in 1999 it switched time zones for its easternmost islands, making it 1st instead of last to start a new day
Song: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Realm: Funny-Sounding Words
Subrealm: All words from foreign languages are funny sounding!
Question: From what language do we get the word TABOO?
Song: Mistress of Taboo
Artist: The Plasmatics
Realm: Have we had enough Tonga questions yet?
Subrealm: Okay then, how about other South Pacific Island Nations?
Question: Annually, the people of the Duke of York Islands send a canoe out into the ocean loaded with money and decorated with green leaves. Why do they partake in this bizarre custom?
Answer: They are paying the fish for their relatives who were caught during the previous year.
Song: Lyin' Ass Bitch
Jan 2003 Joanie Loves Trotsky
Realm: Help Wanted
Subrealm: Help Wanted Getting Rid of the Old Help
Question: Jesse Bogdonoff had what unusual job in what country? Why did he lose it?
Answer: He was the court jester of Tonga. He embezzled most of the country's money.
Song: I Started a Joke
Artist: The Bee Gees
Jan 2004 Click Here to Get Huge
Realm: Her Majesty's Royal Navy
Subrealm: We're Bligh-Curious
Question: What was the last stop for the HMS Bounty, just before the famous Mutiny?
Song: Sister Christian
Artist: Night Ranger
Realm: More Oceanography
Subrealm: How Low Can You Go?
Question: We won't insult you by asking you to name the deepest part of Earth's oceans. However, we WILL insult you by asking you to name the SECOND-deepest part.
Answer: The Tonga Trench.
Song: Down in a Hole
Artist: Alice in Chains
Realm: Bulbous Cheesy Asses
Subrealm: Will Be Phoned In As a Fake 2-Point Team Later Tonight
Question: If you like to watch obese men grinding their sweaty asscrack into people's faces, sure, you can give "The West Wing" a try. But you can't go wrong with pro wrestling's Rikishi. However, Rikishi's older brother also wrestled in the WWF for a few years. What was his character name?
Answer: The Tonga Kid.
Song: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
Artist: The Hollies
Realm: The Family That Sings Together
Subrealm: Gets a Question in Some Dumb Trivia Game Together
Question: The Bee Gees had 3, the Jackson Five had 5. But what Top 40 group had the most siblings? And why do we care so much?
Answer: The Jets (8); they're the only Top 40 group from Tonga.
Song: Can't You Stop It Now?
Artist: The Mixed Emotions
Realm: Otherwise Unremarkable Countries
Subrealm: But It Ain't Tonga
Question: What is the only country in which the name of an inhabitant thereof is a palindrome?
Answer: Nauru. (A citizen is a Nauruan.)
Realm: Trivia Traditions
Subrealm: Don't worry - the next question is a real one.
Question: It claims to have the best happy hour in San Francisco, and regularly features the top 40 band Mirage. What's the name of this restaurant?
Answer: The Tonga Room
Song: Mortal Wombat
Subrealm: And we do mean foul.
Question: Earlier this year, John Hopoate was suspended for twelve weeks from the Australian National Rugby League. The London tabloid the Mirror compared the events leading to his suspension to Vinnie Jones's infamous grab at Paul Gascoigne and Mike Tyson's nibble on Evander Holyfield's ear, but concluded that "sport can rarely have had such a bizarre charge as that leveled at rugby league hard man John Hopoate." So, what exactly did John Hopoate do to earn his suspension? And for an extra point, from what country does John Hopoate hail?
Answer: He "persistently stuck his fingers up opponents' backsides while making tackles." Mortal Wombat. Er..I mean, Tonga.
Song: They Came In
Artist: Butthole Surfers
Jan 2005 Worker and Parasite
Realm: The Daily Show
Subrealm: And Now, Our Chief Question 55 Correspondent
Question: The Daily Show has been keeping its eye on the situation in Iraq, or as they call it, "Mess O'Potamia." Last April, the Daily Show reported that which country was threatening to withdraw its troop?
Answer: Tonga. (Incidentally, the troop is named Hale.)
Song: Coming Home Soldier
Artist: Bobby Vinton
Realm: Trivia's Island Paradise
Subrealm: Take A Friggin' Guess
Question: Tonga may be tiny, but it leads the whole, entire planet in at least one category. Whereas countries like England and Germany only have one of these per every 10 citizens, Tonga boasts almost 8 for every single inhabitant. Eight what?
Answer: Pornographic webpages. (*Tonga has been called the "porniest country in the world.")
Song: I'm a Pig
Artist: The Angry Samoans
May 2005 Deine Mutter ist Geekenvermachtstaffle
Realm: You Knew This Was Coming
Question: What fictional barrister bought his wig second-hand from the ex-Attorney General of Tonga?
Answer: Horace Rumpole, in the stories of John Mortimer.
Song: Give Me Back My Wig
Artist: Stevie Ray Vaughan
Jan 2006 Gratuitous Use of the Word "Belgium"
Realm: And Now, The Moment You've Been Waiting For
Subrealm: For No Reason Whatsoever
Question: Tui Malila, a former resident of the island of Tonga, died in 1965. What was Tui's main claim to fame?
Answer: It's the oldest animal ever, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Tui Malila was a tortoise presented to the Royal Family by Captain Cook in 1773 or 1777. It passed away at the age of either 188 or 192.
Song: Happy Together
Artist: The Turtles
Realm: 1788 and the Battle of Karansebes
Subrealm: Yeah, NOW You Want Tonga Trivia Back, Don't You, Bitch?
Question: At the Battle of Karansebes in 1788, an Austrian army was severely thrashed in an attempt to defend something very critical to the army. What were they defending, and who were they defending it from?
Answer: They were defending a barrel of peach schnapps from their own army.
Song: Peaches and Cream
May 2006 Awesome Sauce: Grammar For *** Like You
Subrealm: On the Bounty
Question: In 1789, after Fletcher Christian mutinied and forced Captain Bligh into an open boat and the open Pacific Ocean, Bligh briefly came ashore on this island, which today is an autochthonous monarchy.
Song: Swords Crossed from "Pirates of the Carribean"
Jan 2007 Suite, Suite Lovin'
Realm: Gods and Goddesses
Subrealm: Richard Nixon
Question: Some time during the Nixon administration, an artificial island in the South Pacific was created and named after a classical deity. Which two internationally recognized nations hold territorial claims over this island?
Answer: Tonga and Fiji. The island is known by its creators as the "Republic of Minerva".
Song: Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof
May 2007 Lay Men: JC Superstars: Take Me, Caiaphas
- NOTE: The hint was "And you thought the phrase 'Axis of Evil' upset people."
- NOTE: [This was the only Tonga reference in the contest.]
Realm: This is... TRIVIA
Subrealm: Tonight we dine in... TONGA
Question: The movie 300 caused an uproar in the international community. Why?
Answer: Allegedly Anti-Iranian propaganda.
Artist: Frankie Valli
May 2008 I'm Oxford (dot com) and Friends
Realm: Trivia Traditions
Subrealm: You Already Know the Answer
Question: Which country has the highest number of Ph.D.'s per capita?
Song: Two Princes
Artist: Spin Doctors
Jan 2009 Stink, Stank, Stunk!
Realm: South Pacific Island Nations
Subrealm: Not Yet... Not Yet
Question: Which New Zealander is that country's highest-earning sportsman?
Answer: Steve Williams, Tiger Woods' caddy. (Accept "Tiger Woods' caddy.")
Song: I'll Stand By You
Artist: Carrie Underwood
Realm: An Old Favorite
Subrealm: Dear Dear Tonga, We Stand On Guard For Thee
Question: What videogame's end credits allow you to wrench the island nation of Tonga up and out of the surface of the Earth?
Answer: Katamari Damacy. (Accept "We Love Katamari.")
Song: Hang Fire
Artist: The Rolling Stones
May 2009 Silence in the Hub
Realm: Tradition and History
Subrealm: Dammit, I Gotta Live Up to It.
Question: Tonga released a number of weirdly shaped stamps, but in 1964 they released a stamp shaped like this on silver foil.
Answer: A stamp in the shape of Tonga.
Song: This Land Is Your Land
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Jan 2010 Minnesota Pigpen
Subrealm: You Thought We Forgot?
Question: In "Flashforward," on what does Tonga's intelligence bureau blame the "flashforward" in which the entire world blacked out and saw the future?
Answer: Phytoplankton Blooms.
Artist: Michael Sembello
May 2010 La Esponja Grande
Realm: Wait for It.....
Subrealm: Tonga Question!
Question: Everyone's favorite tiny Pacific island nation not only has a special place in the game of Williams Trivia, but in the game of golf as well. What rule applies only when playing on the one and only golf course in Tonga?
Answer: There is no penalty if your ball is stolen by a monkey.
Song: Brass Monkey
Artist: The Beastie Boys
Jan 2011 Return of the Large Hardon Collider: Harder Better Faster Stronger
Realm: It's That Time Again!
Subrealm: THE TONGA QUESTION
Question: In October 2010, this American TV show paid a visit to Tonga, in an event the Tongan Ministry of Tourism called "an inspiration" for those in Tonga and across the world. Which show visited Trivia's favorite Pacific archipelago?
Answer: The Biggest Loser. Former contestant Sione Fa, who is Tongan, gave the show a tour of her homeland. Over 80% of the Tongan population is considered overweight or obese.
Song: Baby Got Back
Artist: Sir Mix A Lot
May 2011 The Ohio Players
Realm: Here It Is! The SAMOA Question!
Subrealm: Wait ... What Do You Mean It's Supposed To Be About Tonga?
Question: The Girl Scouts of America use two different baking companies to produce their cookies, each of whom has their own set of names for the standard Girl Scout brands. The cookies known as "Samoas" by one company are called what by the other?
Answer: Caramel De-lights.
Song: Groove Is In The Heart
Realm: Williams Trivia's Glorious Island Paradise
Subrealm: Yeah, We've Never Been There Either
Question: On the beautiful islands of Tonga, education is a little different. All Tongan schools offer a class which is rarely available in American schools. However, the class is only for girl students. What is Tonga's all-female curriculum?
Song: Red Rubber Ball
Artist: The Cyrkle
Jan 2012 Second Place Stars
Realm: Are You Sure?
Subrealm: You Can Be Wrong Only So Many Times
Question: What nation was the first to appoint an official court jester in modern times, as the royal court did so in 1999?
Song: I Ain't Done Wrong
Artist: The Yardbirds
Realm: Pacific Island Nations
Subrealm: For 1200, Alex
Question: What island nation put out a commemorative dollar coin featuring Pikachu?
Song: 'Pokemon' Theme Song
Realm: Hold on a Sec
Subrealm: Where's the Tonga Question?
Question: What was the codename used by the Allies in WWII for decrypting enemy transmissions, especially messages encoded by the enigma?
Song: MK Ultra
- NOTE: The theme of BOMO's Ultra Bonus was "Tonga."
Realm: Snail Mail
Subrealm: It Still Exists
Question: This country's postal innovations make it popular with stamp collectors around the world. Here, in addition to the world's first self-adhesive stamps, you can also find heart, bird, and banana-shaped stamps. What is this country?
Artist: Alice Cooper
Jan 2013 Must Capture Moose and Squirrel
Realm: Islands Northeast of Australia
Subrealm: No, Not That One
Question: What was recently discovered about Sandy Island, a 60 square-mile island located between Australia and New Caledonia?
Answer: It doesn't exist (despite appearing on Google Maps and several other sources).
Song: I Can't Reach You
Artist: The Who
Realm: African Tribes
Subrealm: Have a Bone to Pick With You
Question: Residing in the Zambezi Valley for at least the last 900 years, what witchcraft-practicing African tribe is also known as the "Three People" in their native Zambia?
Answer: The Tonga People.
Song: Witch Doctor
Artist: David Seville
Realm: Pacific Islands
Subrealm: Don't Worry, We Already Asked the Tonga Question
Question: If you are in Hawaii and order some "Hawaiian Steak", what will you be served?
Artist: Jim Backus (and Friend)
Jan 2014 Requiem for the Blue Civic
Realm: Ways to Hurt You
Subrealm: That You Can't Pronounce
Question: Walk into the club like "What up, I got a big apa'apai." What do I have, and where does this hail from?
Answer: An apa'apai is a war club from Tonga.
Song: Thrift Shop
Artist: Macklemore Feat. Ryan Lewis
May 2014 ANUSTART ("A New Start")
Realm: Quirky Little Foreign Countries
Subrealm: Tong-- I Mean, Bhutan. Psych!
Question: Most countries gauge their productivity through a measure like Gross National Product. Bhutan, however, has long found this too materialistic and crass a way to evaluate the nation. What do they use instead?
Answer: Gross National Happiness.
Artist: Pharrell Williams
Realm: Important Trivia Traditions
Question: This past winter, Tonga sent its very first Winter Olympian to the Sochi games. However, given the country's limited resources for winter sports, he had to take an extreme step to acquire adequate funding. What innovative sponsorship deal did Tonga's first Winter Olympian strike?
Answer: His sponsor was the famously outlandish German underwear company Bruno Balani--so he changed his own name to Bruno Balani. (He competed in luge.)
Song: Tale of the Tongan Ninja
Artist: Jemaine Clement
Realm: Flight Cancellations
Subrealm: Not Caused by the Polar Vortex
Question: This event, occuring within the past month, turned the seas blood red and in its aftermath caused many planes in the Eastern hemisphere to remain grounded. And no, it's not about Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501. What incident caused this disruption?
Answer: A volcano eruption off the coast of Tonga.
Artist: Damien Rice
May 2015 Freaky and the Fridays
- NOTE: NONE (Although two of their answers were island nations: "New Guinea," and "Cyprus.")
Jan 2016 Honey Bunches of Scrote
Realm: Being a Good Host
Subrealm: Pacific Islander Edition
Question: Aboriginal inhabitants of what Pacific island welcomed Captain Cook to their "Inasi festival"? Rumor has it they planned on killing him but the local chiefs couldn't decide on the best way to do it.
Artist: Gloria Estefan / Miami Sound Machine
Realm: The Kingdom of Tonga
Subrealm: Tonga is the Definition of a Sub-Realm
Question: Fifty years of Williams Trivia contests might seem like a lot to you. That's because you're not a reptile. To them, half a century is the blink of an eye... or would be, if they blinked. The animal with the greatest verified age was Tu'i Malila, a radiated tortoise who hatched in Madagascar in 1777, and was brought to Tonga as a gift to the royal family. Tu'i lived the rest of his 188 years as a resident of the Friendly Islands. Question number one! And you must answer in Tongan, because English will NOT be accepted. How old was Tu'i Malila the radiated tortoise in 1877?
Answer: Taha Noa Noa (Tongan for "one hundred").
Song: It's Been a Long, Long Time
Artist: Louis Armstrong
Realm: Question Number Ua
Subrealm: Taha More Time!
Question: Tonga! Question number one in our contest... forever number one in our hearts... and now the nation of Tonga is #1 in the entire world! Tell us how!
Answer: It's the world's fattest country. (By average weight.)
Song: We Are a Crowd
Artist: the Lonely Island (will need to edit and play twice);
Realm: Long Distance Dedications
Subrealm: The Tom Gardner Memorial Question
Question: Over the last several contests, at the personal request of BOMO's bodacious bohunk Tom Gardner, teams have played the Vogues song "Five O'Clock World" at 5 o'clock. We just bent to Tom's unyielding force of will and played it during the previous question. But it wasn't that we were impatient. Why were we 100% correct to play the song when we did?
Answer: Because it's 5 o'clock in Tonga.
Song: Right Time of the Night
Artist: Jennifer Warnes
Jan 2017 Grande Belgian Wombat Tarts
Subrealm: Fashion of the gods
Question: Meant to simulate the garb of an ancient tribal warrior leading his nation to battle, its elements were designed to give praise to the creator and the shark gods, to seek unity with nature through the emblem of the holy plover bird, and to celebrate the symmetry and beauty of the human body via the power of the coconut. Whose outfit are we talking about?
Answer: Pita Taufatofua, the famously oiled-up flagbearer for Tonga's Summer Olympic team.
Artist: Fiddler [shorten]
May 2017 Beautiful Human Submarines
Subrealm: Through the Six
Question: Sites like Jobs.to in Toronto like to use the novelty domain extension to celebrate the Canadian metro, but from what government do Toronto businesses have to buy those domains?
Song: You & The Six
Jan 2018 US vs. Good Time in Vegas
Subrealm: Boxers Named Wolfgramm
Question: At the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, boxer Paea (pronounced pay-yuh) Wolfgramm won the Super Heavyweight silver medal. In winning his medal, what was the 325-pound Wolfgramm the first, and so far only, person to accomplish?
Answer: He’s the first and only person to win an Olympic medal for Tonga.
Song: King of Tonga
Artist: Art Garfunkel
Realm: Agressively beating France
Subrealm: There's some history to this question
Question: A three point play. At the 2011 Rugby World Cup, two nations achieved victory over the eventual runners up France. Name the two nations.
Answer: Tonga and New Zealand
Artist: Maroon 5
Realm: Self-referential trivia questions
Subrealm: Traditions older than we are
Question: In this distinguished competition, what tradition began with a possibly competition defining missed answer in December 1986
Answer: Having a Tonga question
Song: In the year 2525
Artist: Zager and Evans
Realm: Yeeah, we through another one in here
Subrealm: This time it relates to book publishing!
Question: Europa Editions released an imprint starting in 2010 in which books are chosen by contemporary authors. The first released under this label were Alexander Maksik's You Deserve Nothing and Ian Holding's Of Beasts and Being. What is the name of this imprint?
Answer: Tonga Books
Song: Library Magic
Artist: The Head and the Heart
Jan 2019 Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago
Subrealm: Time For Arielle To Get All Hot And Bothered
Question: Pita Taufatofua, the Tongan who appeared shirtless and oiled at the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2018 Winter Games, is, of course, the greatest athlete in history, as far as Williams Trivia is concerned. Even though he was undoubtedly robbed by the officials when he failed to medal in 2016, please tell us which sport he competed in during the Summer Games.
Answer: Taekwondo. (He actually lost his only bout, 16-1. But we love him anyway. Especially Arielle.)
Song: My Hero
Artist: Foo Fighters
Realm: Don't Forget
Subrealm: This Is Williams Trivia
Question: There is only one country in the world that is written with the letters of its name in reverse alphabetical order. What is it?
Song: The End is the Beginning is the End
Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
May 2019 Four Oreos Away from Paradise
Realm: Current Sports Events
Subrealm: Terrible People
Question: Australian rugby player Israel Folau may have his contract terminated soon due to an Instagram post claiming that homosexuals, liars, and drunks have Hell awaiting them, which is a breach of his contract. The head coach of which nation's rugby team has unfortunately offered to take him in if his contract is terminated?
Song: Raining Men
Artist: The Weather Girls
Jan 2020 
Realm: Seeing the Forest For the Trees
Subrealm: Breaking Traditionss
Question: At 17 million acres, what is the largest National forest in the United States?
Song: Out of the Woods
Artist: Taylor Swift
Realm: Scariest words in the English language
Subrealm: The wifi is down
Question: THIS IS A THREE-POINT PLAY. Because of an event that occured on January 20, 2019, this country lost their internet for 11 days. Name the event and the country.
Answer: Undersea cable severed; Tonga
Song: Bad Moon Rising
Artist: Credence Clearwater Revival
Realm: Alfa Bravo
Subrealm: Word Nerds
Question: THIS IS A THREE-POINT PLAY. India is the only letter of the phonetic alphabet that is also a country. However, you can anagram two other phonetic letters to get two additional countries. What are they?
Answer: Mali and TONGA
Song: Tango: Maureen
May 2020 All-Star Compilation Contest
Realm: Don't Forget
Subrealm: This Is Williams Trivia
Question: Reprise from January, 2019: There is only one country in the world that is written with the letters of its name in reverse alphabetical order. What is it?
Song: The End is the Beginning is the End
Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
May 2021 Too Early for Flapjacks
Subrealm: Spreading Disease
Question: This small nation has managed to remain entirely COVID-19 free by immediately closing docks to cruise ships and and grounding all flights in March of 2020.
Song: So Close
Artist: Hall and Oates
Jan 2022 Death By Chocolate: Charles Guiteau
Subrealm: In The News
Question: At a gaudy 63% - more than 20% higher than #2, what is the country with the highest percentage of citizens who are Mormons?
Answer: Tonga! (Samoa is the country with the second highest percentage.)
Song: Volcano Girls
Artist: Veruca Salt
May 2022 Poker? I hardly Know Her
Subrealm: In Space?
Question: Humans have spent a lot of time trying to make their mark in space. Recently, a volcano made its mark on space by causing winds of over 450 mph to form in the ionosphere. Where was that volcano?
Artist: Van Halen