[[caption-width-right:350:The regulars from 1998-2003. Left to right: David Gower, Jonathan Ross, Nick Hancock, Rory [=McGrath=], Gary Lineker.]]

Sport-themed PanelShow which aired on Creator/TheBBC from 1995 to 2006. The series was initially presented by Nick Hancock, and featured two teams of three panellists captained by former England cricketer David Gower and former England footballer Gary Lineker, with regular spots taken by comedians Lee Hurst on Gower's team and Rory [=McGrath=] on Lineker's. The guests were generally either athletes or comedians, although occasionally politicians (such as Creator/AlastairCampbell or Jeffrey Archer) or broadcasters (such as [[Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire Chris Tarrant]] or [[Series/TopGear Richard Hammond]]) would appear as the third member of the team. Hurst left the series in 1998 to concentrate on running his comedy club in Bethnal Green, and after a series of guest comedians, his place was permanently taken by presenter Jonathan Ross.

The series was to sport what ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' is to politics and ''Series/NeverMindTheBuzzcocks'' was to pop music: ostensibly a quiz about the people and events in sport, but really a showcase for the comedic talents of the regulars and an excuse to poke fun at the world of sport. Each episode featured four or five rounds chosen from among the following:

* '''Excuses:''' The teams would be shown footage of sporting failure or controversy (or, occasionally, success) and asked to identify the excuse the people involved gave when asked to explain themselves.
* '''Celebrations:''' The teams would be shown footage of an unusual goal celebration in a football match (or similar celebratory moment) and asked to explain the bizarre antics of the people involved.
* '''Sing When You're Winning:''' The teams would hear the first part of a song sung on the terraces of a particular football ground as rendered by a group of fans, and have to guess what the next lines were.
* '''Sporting Bluff:''' The teams would hear three possible explanations for a sport-related story, and have to guess which one is correct.
* '''What's Going On?:''' The teams would be shown an unusual piece of sporting footage, and have to answer the question in the round's title: what's going on?
* '''Handbags:''' The teams would be asked to explain the reason behind two sporting figures or a player and his/her team feuding with each other.
* '''Author, Author:''' The teams would hear an excerpt from a sporting figure's autobiography and be tasked with identifying the book's subject.
* '''Photo-fit:''' The teams would be shown a bizarre composite picture of three sports personalities, and have to identify the three people whose faces/bodies had been cut and assembled into the picture. (Rory [=McGrath=] would frequently claim to have slept with the "subject".)
* '''Injury Board:''' The teams would be shown a grid of twelve numbers, and behind each number would be an athlete and an item that had injured him/her in an unusual way; they would then have to explain how the injury happened.
* '''Feel the Sportsman:''' The next-to-last round of each show, and perhaps the most well-remembered round of the series. The team captains and resident comedians would don blindfolds, and a guest athlete or team would then be brought onto the stage and have to be identified by touch alone. This was the source of many of the series' biggest laughs, both from blindfolded panellists (especially Rory [=McGrath=] and Jonathan Ross) getting overfamiliar with the person (or people) on stage or from the production team finding excuses to pelt the blindfolded panellists with projectiles or otherwise assault them.
* '''The Name Game:''' The closing round of each show; the regular comedians would be given a set of cards with the names of sporting personalities on them and have to give their teammates clues as to their identities (the only rule being that they could not use rhyming clues, such as "Rubbish cricketer, hair as white as ''flour''" for "David Gower"). Variations included requiring the comedians to give clues in mime, as impressions, or as ''Pictionary''-style drawings. Generally, the first few names would be relatively familiar, and the rest would be obscure and often suggestive, leading the comedians to come up with increasingly creative ways to convey the names.

Gower and Lineker both left the series in 2003 to focus on their careers as commentators/pundits, and were replaced by cricketer Phil Tufnell and goalkeeper David Seaman. Seaman only stayed for two series before being replaced by his former Arsenal teammate Ian Wright, while Tufnell left after another series and was replaced by German tennis star Boris Becker. Hancock stepped down as presenter at the same time Tufnell left and was replaced by Creator/LeeMack, and finally Ross left the series and was replaced for two specials by comedian Sean Lock. This frantic revolving door of personnel and the gradual shift in tone of ''Series/AQuestionOfSport'' (of which ''They Think It's All Over'' was conceived as a parody) from serious game show to light-hearted comedy contributed to the series' cancellation in 2006. There was a one-off revival in 2011 as part of Creator/DavidWalliams' ''24 Hour Panel People'' with Hancock as chairman and Hurst and Tufnell on the panel.
!!This show provides examples of:
* AccidentalMisnaming: In a Series 13 episode with Kevin Flynn and James Cracknell, Nick Hancock accidentally addressed Kevin as Mike - twice. When Kevin corrected him, David Gower "accidentally" addressed him as Mike as well. This became a RunningGag for the rest of the episode, and when Jonathan Ross accidentally referred to Gary Lineker's ''Series/MatchOfTheDay'' co-presenter as Mike Lawrenson, the production team decided to join in the joke as well and displayed the scores at the end of the first round as "03 Mike - Mike 03".
* AllGermansAreNazis: Invoked by both teams in the 2002 Christmas special, in which the clues for "The Name Game" had to be given in mime. When giving a clue for Boris Becker, Jonathan Ross mimed playing tennis, made a "shagging" motion with his arms,[[note]] A reference to an incident in which Becker allegedly impregnated a waitress in a linen cupboard, an encounter that lasted a matter of seconds.[[/note]] then put his finger on his upper lip and did a Nazi salute while goose stepping; when giving a clue for Michael Schumacher, Rory [=McGrath=] mimed driving a car and then made the same finger-on-lip-Nazi-salute gesture.
* AmusingInjuries: The whole point of the "Injury Board" round. The panel would be shown an athlete and an unlikely person or object responsible for said athlete being unable to play, race, etc., and have to offer the explanation for the bizarre injury. Examples included Chelsea goalkeeper Dave Beasant breaking his foot by dropping a bottle of salad cream on it,[[note]] Worse for Beasant was the fact that this ended a run of 394 consecutive League appearances at Wimbledon, Newcastle United, and Chelsea, just seven short of the record set by Tranmere Rovers' Harold Bell in 1946-55.[[/note]] and Chelsea midfielder Dennis Wise running to a toilet to be sick after having too much to drink, slipping on the floor, and hitting his head on the bowl.
* BerserkButton: By Nick Hancock's own admission, he tended to get defensive bordering on angry if the panellists insulted his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent or Stoke City FC (confusing the latter with their cross-town rivals Port Vale FC was a guaranteed way to get on his bad side). Since Stoke is regarded as a PlaceWorseThanDeath by most of the rest of Great Britain, neither the captains nor the resident comedians were especially shy about making anti-Stoke jokes.
* BestialityIsDepraved: The series had a RunningGag that Rory [=McGrath=] was inclined toward this particular sexual depravity. For example, in a Series 12 episode with Paul Merson and Lawrence Dallaglio, Gary Lineker's team were shown footage of the all-French ''porcaillade'' (pig festival) in which attendees were imitating pigs, leading to the following series of autocue jokes from Nick Hancock:
-->'''Nick:''' Up until a few years ago, it was thought that pigs couldn't sweat. That was until they saw Rory at the sty door with his overalls round his ankles. ''(audience laughter)'' Every pig grunt means a specific thing. ''(grunt)'' means "Bring food." ''(longer grunt)'' means "Rain approaching." And ''(squeal)'' means "Rory's at the sty door with his overalls round his ankles." ''(more audience laughter)'' A pig... a pig can run a mile in seven minutes. Unfortunately, Rory can run a mile in six minutes... [[RuleOfThree with his overalls round his ankles.]]
* BitingTheHandHumour: One of the series' {{Running Gag}}s was Creator/TheBBC's steady loss of the broadcasting rights to most major sporting events to Creator/{{ITV}} and [=BSkyB=] (Gary Lineker was particularly put out when ''Series/MatchOfTheDay'' gave way to ITV's ''The Premiership'' in 2001), resulting in many jokes about the corporation being reduced to showing conkers (then-''Grandstand'' presenter Steve Rider joked that they only had highlights), the World Whistling Championship, shove ha'penny, and the World Gurning Championships.[[note]] "Gurning" being a slang term for pulling a grotesque face; footage of the world championships was shown in a "What's Going On?" round for a Series 5 episode with Tony Banks and John Moloney.[[/note]] On several episodes, the panellists joked that the mass migration of sport broadcasts meant ''They Think It's All Over'' had become the BBC's flagship sport programme.
* CallBack: In several episodes, one of the guests in "Feel the Sportsman" would be at the centre of a story referenced earlier in the episode. For example, the 1999 Christmas special referred to a magazine article in which gay cabaret performer Paul Hull named Gary Lineker as a celebrity crush; Hull was then brought on for Gary and Rory to identify during "Feel the Sportsman" (Rory seemed to be in on the joke, as he mostly left the identification up to Gary). Gary eventually started writing down the names of people referenced in the early rounds in case he needed to remember them for "Feel the Sportsman".
* CensoredForComedy: As detailed in ProductPlacement, when Gary Lineker was replaced as the face of Walker's Crisps by Michael Owen (or, rather, recast as the villain of the ad campaign with Owen the hero) in 1998, Nick Hancock announced at the beginning of a Series 6 episode with Greg Rusedski and Fred [=MacAulay=] that the word "Walker" would be treated as a swear word and bleeped; the bleeping was done in such a way that the beginning and end of the word were still audible, making it sound as though the word being bleeped was "wanker".
* CheatersNeverProsper: The teams were not above bending or breaking the rules in the interest of getting points ([[RuleOfFunny especially if it provided laughs]]), but they weren't always allowed to get away with it. Gary Lineker's team, especially Rory [=McGrath=], were by far the most frequent offenders.
** In a Series 9 episode with Shane Howarth and Rich Hall, Gary's team were the winners, but it was discovered that Rich had sneaked a look at the cards for "The Name Game" before the round began, and David's team were declared the winners instead. At the next recording, Gary was replaced as team captain by his ''Series/MatchOfTheDay'' co-presenter Mark Lawrenson for, according to Nick Hancock, "bringing the programme into disrepute".
** Gary's team won a Series 10 episode with Audley Harrison and Ashley Giles by the score 17-12. However, after "The Name Game", Nick Hancock announced that it had come to light that Rory [=McGrath=] had bribed the guest booker for "Feel the Sportsman" with champagne several weeks earlier to tell him who their subjects would be, and awarded the episode to David's team.
** In a Series 12 episode with Alec Stewart and Clive Anderson, Rory [=McGrath=] claimed that a goal celebration by Emile Heskey in England's 5-1 away victory against Germany in 2001 in which he mimed swinging a golf club was a reference to a charity match he had played against Nick Faldo. Nick Hancock revealed that although that was what he had written on the card, it was a complete fabrication (the celebration was actually a tribute to Heskey's sporting hero, Tiger Woods), and the only way Rory could have known that would have been from looking at the card. And since he had also given the unlikely correct explanations for questions in two of the previous three episodes involving Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova falling out after a charity doubles match in Chile and the Renault Formula 1 team's technical director's claims that their computers were being hacked by ex-East German Stasi members, Nick not only awarded them zero points for the Heskey question, but retroactively docked Gary's team three points for each of the previous two episodes, meaning David's team not only won this episode, but the previous two as well.
** In the 2002 Christmas special, while the six panellists were trying their luck with a "Test Your Strength" machine, Gary Lineker decided to sneak a look at his team's cards for "The Name Game". His team were promptly docked ten points, putting them 6-2 behind guest captain Steve Davis. However, this did not stop him from reading off the list he had copied down when the game actually began (in one case admitting he couldn't read his own handwriting), causing the producers to end the round early when they were trailing by just one point.
** In a Series 13 episode with guest captains Matthew Pinsent (replacing David) and Steve Davis (replacing Gary) and guests John Francome and Jo Brand, Rory [=McGrath=] somehow knew the name of a Swedish comedy duo, and Nick Hancock announced the following week that "an independent investigation" had concluded that although there was no obvious evidence of cheating, precedent suggested that "Rory [=McGrath=] is a big fat cheating git." He retroactively awarded the episode to David's team.
** In a Series 13 episode with Barry Davies and Junior Simpson, Rory gave an incredibly detailed explanation, complete with the names of every player involved, for why Millwall Reserves allowed Bournemouth Reserves to simply walk the ball into the goal after kick-off (to make up for a miscommunication during a backpass by a Bournemouth player). As he wasn't even trying to hide the fact that he'd been given the answers, Nick Hancock ''docked'' Gary's team three points instead of awarding them three points, and gave David's team ''twenty'' points. Unsurprisingly, David's team won comfortably by 33 points to 7 1/2 (Gary's team having received half a point when Rory - to much eye-rolling from Nick - correctly answered David's team's "Celebrations" question).
** In a Series 15 episode with guest captain Sharron Davies (replacing David), Graeme Le Saux, and Dave Fulton, the producers once again baited Gary's team, through Fulton, into giving a made-up answer to the Welsh rugby union team's excuse for losing their 2003 Six Nations clash with Italy (namely, that they were weighted down with carbs from eating too much pasta). Nick Hancock awarded them three points, then rescinded them immediately, and they lost the episode in a tiebreak.
* ChristmasEpisode: Once a year from 1995 to 2002, often heralded by having the panellists dress up in pantomime-style costumes (in 1997, Gary Lineker was dressed as the title character from ''Theatre/{{Oliver}}'', while in 2000, Jonathan Ross was dressed as a pantomime cow).
* CouchGag: Nick Hancock would often include a topical gag at the end of each show (usually beginning with "We're all off to...") between thanking the panellists and signing off. Just to give a few examples:
** In a Series 5 episode with John Moloney and then-Minister of Sport Tony Banks MP, Nick joked that the latter's appearance on the programme might have repercussions by saying, "We're all off to see if Tony's still got a job."
** In a Series 9 episode with Nasser Hussain and James Hewitt, Nick acknowledged Hewitt's reputation as a serial womaniser (whose past loves included the late Diana, Princess of Wales) by saying, "We're all off home to our wives before James gets there."
** In a Series 12 episode with Ricky Tomlinson and David Elleray, Nick did a CallBack to a story about referees being prohibited from having marital relations the night before a match to keep them from being distracted on the pitch by saying, "It's Friday night, so we're all off to meet up with some referees' wives."
** In a Series 15 episode with guest captain Steve Davis (replacing David), Steve Rider, and Ronnie O'Sullivan, Nick did a CallBack to a story about a streaker at a snooker tournament who wore a Sven-Goran Eriksson mask by saying, "We're all off to confiscate Rory's Sven mask."
* CountryMatters:
** Invoked in a Series 9 episode with Clive Lloyd and Rory Bremner, when Rory [=McGrath=] suggested that footage in "What's Going On?" of Reading fans waving giant pairs of underpants was a reference to the acronym "Plymouth Argyle: Notoriously Terrific Supporters".[[note]] See FunWithAcronyms for the true meaning of the letters.[[/note]] He suggested that Cambridge United had a similar acronym. Jonathan Ross wondered what the fans held up in reference to that acronym, and asked Rory to tell him when he found out; Rory countered that they could always hold up Jonathan himself.
** The shocking nature of the word was referenced again in a Series 12 episode with Fiona Allen and Audley Harrison in which both teams and Nick Hancock had [[TheSwearJar swear jars]] to collect money for Children In Need. Jonathan produced two stacks of banknotes, one for F-bombs and one he described as his "''[[SoundEffectBleep (bleep)]]'' money"; the motions of his mouth made it obvious which word had been censored. Nick suggested that the people who paid Jonathan had the same term for said money.
* CrossOver: In both 1999 and 2001, the series crossed over with ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' and ''Series/NeverMindTheBuzzcocks'' for a UsefulNotes/ComicRelief special entitled ''Have I Got Buzzcocks All Over''. Nick Hancock was a captain on both specials (accompanied by Phil Tufnell and newsreader Carol Barnes in 1999, and by David Gower and Creator/StephenFry in 2001), and in both specials his team played variations on "Feel the Sportsman" ("Feel the Pop Star" in 1999 with guest Samantha Fox, "Feel the Politician" in 2001 with guest Roy Hattersley[[note]] who, in a nod to one of the most famous ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' episodes, appeared on stage carrying a tub of lard[[/note]]), while the 2001 special finished with "The Name Game" but with names from politics and pop music as well as sport.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Referenced in the "Handbags" round of a Series 12 episode with Hazel Irvine and Nasser Hussain, in which Gary Lineker's team were shown footage of a ladies' doubles tennis match involving Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova. After Rory [=McGrath=] insinuated that the duo had a lesbian tryst involving tennis racket handles, Nick and Jonathan gave us the following:
-->'''Nick:''' There's going- a load of 14-year-old boys at home going, "Can I go to bed now, Mum?" "But you ''love'' this programme!" "No, I wanna go to bed ''now,'' Mum!"\\
'''Jonathan:''' And Nick, the dad'll go, "You know, I might turn in early as well!"
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In a Series 15 episode with guest captain Steve Davis (replacing David), Steve Rider, and Ronnie O'Sullivan, "Sporting Bluff" featured footage of Davis being interviewed by Janet Street-Porter in 1979. Nick Hancock lampshaded the fact that during the clip, Davis was rather obsessively running his hand up and down his snooker cue while talking to Street-Porter, leading to the inevitable question from the other panellists of whether it was the first conversation he'd had with a real woman.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: In the first two series, there was a "half-time" round in which the teams were tasked with providing a GagDub for a piece of sporting footage, such as David, Lee, and Steve Cram pretending that the reason John [=McEnroe=] threw a tantrum at Wimbledon was because the pizza he had ordered for lunch hadn't arrived, or Gary, Rory, and [[Series/RedDwarf Craig Charles]] pretending that a touchline fracas at the Republic of Ireland's 1994 FIFA World Cup match against Mexico involved an argument over the players not actually being Irish (with Charles voicing the Liverpool-born John Aldridge).[[note]] A poke at the fact that most of the Jack Charlton-era Republic of Ireland internationals were not born there, but qualified to play for the country through having at least one Irish grandparent.[[/note]]
* ElmuhFuddSyndwome: Jonathan Ross famously has trouble pronouncing the letter "R", which led to all sorts of laughs if he had to pronounce a name with multiple appearances of the letter.
-->''(from a "Sporting Bluff" round about how then-Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri learned English)''\\
'''Alec Stewart:''' ''(reading card)'' Mr. Ranieri... well, he learned his English from watching ''Series/EastEnders''.\\
'''David Gower:''' ''(reading card)'' Claudio Ranieri learned English from Chelsea fans.\\
'''Jonathan Ross:''' ''(reading card)'' Claudio Waniewi learned English... ''(gets cut off by laughter from audience and Nick Hancock; looks around in mock confusion)'' Claudio Waniewi learned... ''(gets cut off again by more laughter)''\\
'''Nick Hancock:''' Say "Gianluca Vialli", you'll be all right.\\
'''Jonathan:''' ''That bloke'' learned English by going to see West End musicals.
* FandomRivalry: Frequently referenced in-universe in "Sing When You're Winning", and not just limited to top-flight sides; for example, in the 1996 Christmas special, David Gower's team had to complete the chant with which Scotland's East Fife FC taunt their local rivals Cowdenbeath FC (sung to the tune of the theme from ''Series/TheAddamsFamily''):
-->"They come frae near Lochgelly\\
They havnae got a telly\\
They're dirty and they're smelly\\
The Cowden family"
* FilkSong: Sometimes found in "Sing When You're Winning", with the terrace chants of various clubs set to the tunes of folk or pop songs or television theme tunes. For example, in the ''No Holds Barred'' video episode, Sunderland fans sang the following spoof version of the folk song "In My Liverpool Home"[[note]] for which there are already "official" versions for both Liverpool and Everton fans to poke fun at each other[[/note]]:
-->"In your Liverpool homes\\
In your Liverpool homes\\
You speak with an accent exceedingly rare[[note]] Which Rory [=McGrath=] labelled HypocriticalHumour, as the Mackem accent is just as impenetrable to outsiders as the Scouse accent.[[/note]]\\
You all wear pink shell suits and have curly hair\\
In your Liverpool homes"
* FunWithAcronyms: In a Series 9 episode with Clive Lloyd and Rory Bremner, "What's Going On?" featured footage of Reading fans waving giant pairs of underpants during a 2-1 home defeat to Wrexham. Rory [=McGrath=] suggested that it was an acronym in honour of Plymouth Argyle's fans, with PANTS standing for "Plymouth Argyle: Notoriously Terrific Supporters". He added that Cambridge United had [[CountryMatters a simliar acronym]]. Although it was an acronym, it actually stood for "Players Are Not Trying Sufficiently" (as well as a reference to "pants" being British slang for "bad").
* GratuitousSpanish:
** In a Series 9 episode with guest captain Mark Lawrenson (replacing Gary) and guest panellists John Toshack and Neil Morrissey, at one point Rory (who holds a degree in modern languages from Cambridge) began holding a conversation with Toshack (who has managed a number of clubs in La Liga) in Spanish about Gary Lineker's playing career at Barcelona (at a time when Toshack was managing Spanish club Real Sociedad).
** In the Series 12 episode with Fiona Allen and Audley Harrison featuring TheSwearJar, Rory noted that he, Gary, and Fiona Allen all spoke Spanish, and they promptly embarked on a torrent of Spanish profanity (alternating with contributing to the swear jar).
* HoYay: Invoked by Jonathan Ross when discussing Gary Lineker and his ''Series/MatchOfTheDay'' co-presenter Mark Lawrenson; Jonathan regularly made jokes that they were in a serious relationship with each other and peppered their punditry with liberal use of DoubleEntendre as a result.
* HurricaneOfPuns: A clip of cows re-enacting the Euro 2000 semi-final between Italy and the Netherlands in a Series 11 episode with Dion Dublin and Ralf Little sparked one of these:
-->'''Gary Lineker:''' [[BestialityIsDepraved That's one of Rory's dreams, wasn't it?]] ''Cow''denbeath versus ''Udders''field! ''(audience cheers)''\\
'''Nick Hancock:''' It's Frisian out there! ''(mix of laughter and groans)'' I'm giving an example of the sort of stuff he would do, obviously I wouldn't ''choose'' to do that joke.\\
'''Jonathan Ross:''' But Nick, that wasn't a bad joke, but then you had to go and milk it.\\
'''Rory [=McGrath=]:''' Come on, come on!\\
'''Nick:''' Well, at least I have the bottle! ''(thumps desk)'' That's enough!\\
'''Dion Dublin:''' Did we see Steve Bull in that clip, maybe?\\
'''Jonathan:''' You're joking, but that clip frightened the life out of me! That was like a frightening vision of the future where cows rule the world! Playing football with a giant ball made out of human skin! And watch a lovely light-hearted TV sports quiz like this one where everyone is a cow! Apart from me, because even in that world I could still get the cow ladies to lactate lovingly. ''(licks lips suggestively, then winks)''\\
'''Gary:''' Jonathan! Did you get the horn?\\
'''Jonathan:''' Bullocks!\\
'''Ralf Little:''' They watch ''They Think It's All Clover''.\\
'''Nick:''' Oh, please, God, let me die now!
* HypocriticalHumour:
** Jonathan Ross was by far the most talkative panellist after becoming a regular, but this didn't stop him from cursing out David Gower for talking over his clues during "The Name Game" in the Series 12 episode with TheSwearJar, Audley Harrison, and Fiona Allen. He likened Gower's comments to his childhood Christmases when his grandfather would talk all the way through the Christmas Day film on television. Nick Hancock fired back, "And now it's ''you!''"
** Jonathan and Rory [=McGrath=] both had a tendency to get overfamiliar with the guests during "Feel the Sportsman", Jonathan perhaps more so than Rory, but they still saw fit to make jokes at each others' expense about how one day the man or woman or team being groped would take such exception to their treatment that they'd end up in court or in hospital.
* JapaneseRanguage: When shown footage of a Japanese shouting competition and asked to translate what the contestants were shouting into English, David Gower decided to use the R/L confusion joke to poke fun at Gary Lineker's brief career at Nagoya Grampus Eight in the J-League:
-->'''David Gower:''' Are they shouting, "Get that Rineker off, he's clap!"
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: By his own admission, Jonathan Ross hardly ever read the sport section of the newspaper or watched televised sport (he would often resort to verbal "rebus clues" in "The Name Game" as early as the first name, however well-known the athlete in question was), but this didn't stop him talking at great length and with supposed great authority on almost any subject that came up during the series.
* LameExcuse: The answers in the "Excuses" round nearly always boiled down to these. For example, according to the series' researchers, boxer Mike Tyson's excuse for biting off Evander Holyfield's ear in their 1997 fight was simply, "This is my career. I have children to raise," while mountaineer Alan Hinkes claimed that he had to abandon his plans to scale the fourteen highest peaks of the Himalayas in succession after injuring his back when he sneezed while eating a chapati.
* LamePunReaction: The audience of ''They Think It's All Over'' tended to be less forgiving of groanworthy puns than the audiences for David's cricket commentaries or Gary's football punditry. For example, in a Series 9 episode with Clive Lloyd and Rory Bremner in which Gary's team saw footage of Reading fans waving giant underpants during a home defeat to Wrexham, Gary suggested that they were playing "Vest Ham". Nick Hancock and the audience were not amused.
* ManOfAThousandVoices: Inverted with Jonathan Ross, as evidenced by his performance in "The Name Game" when he had to give his clues as impressions; David Gower described his approach as "One voice fits all." Halfway through the round, he forgot he was supposed to be giving the clues as impressions.
* {{Mascot}}: Sporting mascots were the subject of several questions over the years. In a Series 11 episode with Pat Cash and Mick Miller, both "What's Going On?" clips were mascot-themed, one featuring Stoke City mascot Pottermus being mistaken for a Stoke player by a linesman and flagged as offside and one featuring a mascot race on the horse racing track at Huntingdon. Pottermus then appeared as the subject for Gary and Rory in "Feel the Sportsman".
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: Especially when they're the subject of "Feel the Sportsman", as happened when serial sporting streaker Mark Roberts was David and Jonathan's subject in a Series 10 episode with Audley Harrison and Ashley Giles (Roberts had already featured in "What's Going On?" after streaking at a Wimbledon singles match involving Anna Kournikova; his reproductive area was, of course, censored). Though they were unable to identify Roberts, it didn't take David and Jonathan long to realise there was something unusual about their guest, making them ''very'' reluctant to get too close.
* NamesTheSame: Several in-universe examples.
** When Lee Hurst was a regular on the series, there was a player at Southend United FC also named Lee Hurst. Inevitably, he was the subject of David and Lee's round of "Feel the Sportsman" in the 1996 Christmas special.
** One example became a RunningGag in a Series 12 episode with Alec Stewart and Clive Anderson. "What's Going On?" featured footage of the British Lawnmower Grand Prix, won by one Bob Wilson, whom Nick noted shared his name with a former Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper turned ''Football Focus'' pundit. For "Feel the Sportsman", David and Jonathan had to identify Bob Wilson the lawnmower driver, while Gary and Rory had to identify Bob Wilson the goalkeeper, and they were also the first two names for David's team in "The Name Game".
** There were several rounds of "The Name Game" with a theme of athletes who share their names with other famous people; the clue givers were allowed to give clues for the sportsmen or the famous people with whom they shared their name.
* OffTheRails: The "electronic pencil" round which showed up in a few early series frequently wound up here as the panellists simply scribbled all sorts of random nonsense on the picture instead of drawing the correct configuration of Bobby Charlton's combover or Kevin Keegan's atrocious 1970s fashion.
* PrecisionFStrike: In a Series 9 episode with Mark Lawrenson replacing Gary Lineker and guests John Toshack and Neil Morrissey, the Spanish digression described under GratuitousSpanish led to Nick joking that David Gower must know the phrase "I've got a few hours now 'til we field, haven't I?" in multiple languages. David replied, "Can I just break into this flood of jokes to say 'fuck off'?"[[note]] The sound dropped out for the phrase itself, but his mouth movements were uncensored.[[/note]]
* ProductPlacement: Gary Lineker's sponsorship deal with Walker's Crisps led to a number of comic plugs on the programme.
** Perhaps the shining example comes from the ''No Holds Barred'' video, in which the four regulars take part in a mock school sports day and Lineker's shirt and shorts are festooned with Walker's Crisps logos, while his sack for the sack race looks like a giant crisp packet.
** In 1998, after Lineker had been replaced as the face of Walker's Crisps by Michael Owen, Hancock declared at the beginning of a Series 6 episode with Greg Rusedski and Fred [=McAulay=] that [[CensoredForComedy the word "Walker" would be treated as a swear word and bleeped]]. Inevitably, ''every'' person Gary and Fred had to identify in "The Name Game" was called "___ Walker" (Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker, footballer Des Walker, etc.), which was asterisked out.
* PunnyName: The whole point of "The Name Game". After a few familiar names the teams could recognise from a basic description of their sport, Rory and Lee/Jonathan would then have to give clues for athletes whose names generally involved some sort of pun, frequently a DoubleEntendre such as "Jesus Arce" (Jonathan's clue for whom was "Son of God's backside") or "Lucky Idahor" (a Nigerian footballer, Rory's clue for whom was "Fortunately, I engaged the services of a lady of the night").
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Creator/StephenFry delivered quite a blistering one to Nick Hancock and the producers on his appearance in Series 4 when he, Gary, and Rory had to explain a clip of the Albanian game of well defending in "What's Going On?". He asserted that countries all over the "Second and Third World" (as they once were) were deliberately inventing ridiculous "traditional" games so that Creator/TheBBC would buy footage of them for the ''They Think It's All Over'' team to use for easy laughs while the people in the footage pocketed the profits and laughed at how gullible the British were for thinking these were real games.
* RunningGag: Many, as detailed under TakeThat.
** Relating to the regulars, there were many jokes about David Gower's poshness and inconsistent performance at the crease, Gary Lineker's tendency to score goals after another player had done all the work getting the ball into position, Rory [=McGrath's=] weight, Lee Hurst's baldness, Jonathan Ross' extroverted dress sense, and the implication that Jonathan was having an affair with Gary's then-wife Michelle.
** In the wider world of sport, many episodes featured jokes about the ineptitude of the England football/rugby/cricket/whatever team, the popular perception that matches involving Manchester United would continue as far past 90 minutes as necessary for them to take the lead, the sex and drug scandals that had dogged former sport presenter Frank Bough, the idea that champion javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread was really a man, Phil Tufnell's prolific use of marijuana, and more besides.
* SelfDeprecation: David Gower and Gary Lineker were the objects of constant streams of jokes during their tenures as team captains, but were quite happy to make some of those jokes themselves. David played up his perception as an UpperClassTwit (when Jonathan Ross asked if his house had ever featured on ''Through the Keyhole'', David said it had appeared instead on ''Across the Drawbridge'') and an inconsistent batsman, while Gary joined in the jokes about how he seemed to spend whole matches camped in his opponents' 6-yard box waiting for a cross he could tap into the goal (during a "Feel the Sportsman" featuring badminton players, he felt the net and said he felt right at home in front of a net, and could he stay there for the next 90 minutes?).
* ShoutOut: The series' title is a reference to Kenneth Wolstenholme's commentary from the BBC broadcast of the final seconds of England's 1966 FIFA World Cup victory, which is played over the end of the opening titles: "And here comes Hurst! He's got- some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over! ''(Hurst fires the ball into the back of the net)'' It is now!"[[note]] Wolstenholme was reportedly not flattered by the reference, finding the programme loutish, although he did accept payment to re-record his commentary, as the original audio was unusable.[[/note]] Hancock would also quote the commentary in his closing spiel: "My name's Nick Hancock, they think it's all over, it is now."
* SigningOffCatchPhrase: Nick Hancock would end each show by thanking the panellists, possibly followed by a topical gag, and then he would deliver a TitleDrop by saying, "My name's Nick Hancock, they think it's all over, it is now."
* SuddenDeath: From Series 2 onward, if an episode finished level after "The Name Game", the teams would play a tiebreak game, the formats of which were often {{Call Back}}s to earlier rounds. If the two teams had won equal numbers of episodes by the end of a series, they would also play a tiebreak for the series. Examples of tiebreak games included answering questions from trivia books purportedly written by David Gower and Gary Lineker (neither captain could answer questions from "his" book), musical chairs, a race on "skeleton bobsleds" (tea trays with skateboard wheels), launching football boots at cutouts of David Beckham's face,[[note]] A reference to a then-recent incident in which Sir Alex Ferguson (supposedly accidentally) kicked a boot at Beckham during a dressing room tirade when Manchester United were trailing 2-0 at Arsenal.[[/note]] riding a mechanical bull, and seeing who of Rory and Jonathan could hold their breath for the longest while face down in a bowl of water.
* TheSwearJar: In a Series 12 episode with Fiona Allen and Audley Harrison, Nick Hancock announced that Creator/TheBBC were cracking down on foul language in the programme by instituting a swear jar, with all money collected to be donated to Series/ChildrenInNeed. He set the tone for the rest of the episode by declaring this "a ''[[SoundEffectBleep (bleep)]]''ing good idea" and immediately making the first donation. Rory [=McGrath=] emptied a handful of coins onto the desk in preparation, while Jonathan Ross produced two stacks of banknotes and, late in the episode, gave Nick his bank card.
* TakeThat: Like most panel games, the series made a habit of getting laughs by poking fun at the people and teams who appeared in footage or stories for various rounds.
** Few sporting figures came under fire as often as David Gower and Gary Lineker themselves. Gower would be mocked for his posh background and unfortunate tendency to get bowled or caught or run out at inconvenient moments (often exaggerated to imply that he was regularly out for a duck[[note]] Though at least one episode did acknowledge that he was second only to Graham Gooch in his career total number of Test runs scored for England; he has since fallen to fourth behind Alistair Cook, Gooch, and Alec Stewart. He also holds the record for consecutive innings in Test cricket without a duck, with 119 between August 1982 and December 1990; the West Indies' Richie Richardson is second with 96.[[/note]]), while Lineker would be teased for his "good guy" image and his prolific goalscoring frequently being the result of being just in front of goal after a midfielder had done all the hard work getting the ball into the box.
--->''(after seeing footage of Michael Owen scoring a goal against Newcastle United and then rubbing his hands in celebration)''[[note]] A tribute to a friend of Liverpool teammate Jamie Carragher's whom Owen met in a pub and who wouldn't stop rubbing his hands with delight at the experience of meeting Owen.[[/note]]\\
'''David Gower:''' Just thinking, Gary, is it true that in scoring that ''one goal'', he actually covered more distance than you did in an entire career?\\
'''Rory [=McGrath=]:''' David, what's the distance from the wicket to the pavilion?
** The regular comedians were not immune either. Rory [=McGrath's=] beard and weight were the subject of many jokes, as were Lee Hurst's baldness and Jonathan Ross' colourful suits.
** The perceived low quality of Scottish football was a steady source of jokes. In one episode, the Scottish FA refused to give the BBC footage of Forfar Athletic in action before a question about the club to avoid inviting mockery. The producers responded with a compilation of embarrassing gaffes committed by the Scottish national side, with Hancock saying they didn't need to mock Scottish football: they could just let it speak for itself.
** The football fandom allegiances of the regulars (or, in Gary Lineker's case, the clubs for which he played) were also often mocked, particularly Nick Hancock's support of Stoke City (when he ribbed Gary for never having scored at Stoke's home ground, Gary sniped back that he had never played in the lower leagues), Rory [=McGrath's=] support of Arsenal, and Gary's career at Spurs (when he bristled at the use of footage of Marcel Desailly scoring for Chelsea against Spurs, Rory quipped that goals against Spurs were easier to find).
** As the series' run coincided with the rise in prominence of David and Victoria Beckham, both of them came in for frequent verbal kickings from the panel, with many jokes about David being very thick and Victoria being very thin and having little talent for singing. Victoria was not amused, and in a Series 9 episode with Iain Lee and Shane Warne, a bonus question in "Author, Author" quoted an interview she had given ''Heat'' magazine lambasting Rory [=McGrath=], calling him an "ugly bastard" and a "prick". Rory [=McGrath=] was clearly less upset by her insults than she was by his, as the mockery continued unabated.
* ThatCameOutWrong: One of the series' {{Running Gag}}s was the perception that golfer Colin Montgomerie had breasts. In a Series 15 episode with guest captain Steve Davis (replacing David), ''Grandstand'' presenter Steve Rider, and Ronnie O'Sullivan, Rider told a story about interviewing Montgomerie after a mediocre round at the PGA Championship at Wentworth just after he and his wife had had their second child. First, Rider said the aim of the interview was to portray "Monty" as a "rounded individual", and immediately apologised for his poor choice of words. He then recalled that he had asked Montgomerie if the new baby had disrupted his sleeping pattern. Montgomerie replied, "Oh, we've got all that sorted out... my wife breastfeeds up until 9:00, and then I take over." Rider concluded, "And you think, 'you try and help a fellow...'"
* TokenMinority: Parodied in the 1999 Christmas special, in which David and Jonathan's teammate was Nick Hancock's former Cambridge Footlights castmate David Baddiel, who is Jewish and {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d the bizarre logic behind inviting him onto a ChristmasEpisode. In "Sing When You're Winning", after seeing a group of Nottingham Forest fans sing, "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed / The little lord Jesus looked up and He said...", Baddiel suggested the next line was "I'm not the Messiah, you know!"[[note]] The correct answer was half a dozen or so repetitions of "We hate Derby", followed by "We are the Derby haters! Sheep, sheep, sheep shaggers!"[[/note]]
* TooSoon: Invoked by the audience in a Series 13 episode with Barry Davies and Junior Simpson when "What's Going On?" featured footage of the 2002 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Salt Lake City.
-->'''Jonathan Ross:''' Is that the sweet dream that Jonathan King has every night?[[note]] The pop singer had been convicted of several counts of indecent assault against underage boys a few months before this episode was recorded.[[/note]] ''(audience groans)'' Oh, ''(bleep)'' off, then! ''(groans change to laughter)'' What d'you expect? ''Question of Sport''[='=]s next door!
* WhatsAHenway: In the Series 13 finale with Barry Davies and Junior Simpson, Gary's team were shown footage of an Exeter City goal being celebrated by players running up to the crowd holding out an upturned cap (a reference to unpaid wages caused by financial trouble at the club). Rory [=McGrath=] observed that Exeter were nicknamed the Grecians, leading to the inevitable joke, complete with LamePunReaction from Nick Hancock:
-->'''Rory [=McGrath=]:''' Their nickname, actually, their nickname is the Grecians.\\
'''Gary Lineker:''' Grecians.\\
'''Nick Hancock:''' ''(hammily)'' What's a Grecian urn? ''(rolls eyes)''\\
'''Rory:''' Not very much, by the looks of things.\\
'''Nick:''' Thank you very much. ''({{Facepalm}}s)'' That was always gonna come out, wasn't it.\\
'''Rory:''' It had to.
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: Since Jonathan Ross had little talent for impressions, his attempts at foreign accents always landed squarely in this territory. For example, in a Series 9 episode with Paul Merson and Lawrence Dallaglio, his team's "Handbags" question concerned David Ginola and his manager at Aston Villa, John Gregory. Jonathan attempted an impression of Ginola; Paul Merson's reaction of "He's not German!" should convey how successful his French accent was.