When Roy Hattersley pulled out for the third time in the final episode of series 5, Paul had to do the show with a Tub of Lard as his teammate, and his headlines in the Missing Words round were in French, German, Russian, Japanese, and English (but completely blacked out), only the first of which he could even begin to understand...he still won.
In the sixth episode of series 18, during Odd One Out, he demonstrates his knowledge of The Beatles trivia when Ian's teammate Anna Ford fails to come up with the answer for a group consisting of Mao Tse Tung, Bob Dylan, a Walrus, and Jeffery Archer. Paul then takes charge:
Paul: It's Beatles: Mao Tse Tung is mentioned in the song "Revolution", Bob Dylan's mentioned in the song "Yer Blues", the Walrus is mentioned in the song "I AM the Walrus", and Jeffrey Archer is there because he appeared with the Beatles in 1963 having raised money with them to Oxfam, two points please!
He's done a lot of those laser-guided Odd One Out answers, occasionally grabbing one out from under Ian's nose. Fred MacAulay was on Ian's team in one episode and said to him, "I think I've figured out why Paul usually wins — it's because he's quite good at the game."
In season 24, when Angus was booted for two scandals involving prostitutes and cocaine, the show needed a host to replace Angus on a very short notice. Who do they get? Paul, who does a very good job.
Season 37, when a member of the audience stands up during the filming of the credits angle, Paul Merton calls the poor guy out, noting that they would have to reshoot. When the second take starts, Paul unhooks his mic and starts running around like a loon around the stage, jumping around and doing a backwards roll. And he was 51 when he did it!
Ian also gets one whenever he does his "Jimmy Somerville" impression, especially in season 10 when he 'sings' like him during an impressions related round.
Also, Ian is the only one of the series to have appeared in every episode, even doing one show while suffering from Appendicitis! He was at the hospital before taping, but decided to rush over and do the show despite the fact he had a bad appendix. When the show was done, he rushed back to the hospital and had the surgery.
He's hilarious in that episode, too, clearly due to having even less patience than usual — he kept fidgeting and responded to EVERYTHING. One of the two top stories was the revelation that Conservative politician and self-described Nazi Alan Clark had been having affairs with the entire family of some equally right-wing judge. Following a comment from Paul that how Clark should "get the father drunk and go for a full house," Ian launched straight into a long rant about how horrible everyone involved was, which got a round of applause and only stopped when Angus pointed out that no one had actually given the answer yet. The rest of the episode features him bitching about trains and utterly ignoring Mariella Frostrup's attempt to bring up Private Eye's mockery of her, and perhaps best of all, when Paul, aided by Neil Kinnock, had engaged Angus in a somewhat Seinfeldian Conversation about whether it's cool to make a joke with the premise that Irishmen walk around carrying pigs under their arms, Ian can suddenly be heard (offscreen and in a slightly strangled voice) remarking, "Pigs in the West Midlands have an Irishman under their arm."
A collective one in October 2009. Nick Griffin (leader of the right-wing British Nationalist Party) had been getting huge publicity all week thanks to press stupidity. Then his picture appeared in the "guess the major news story" round... and all four panelists (Ian, Paul, and guests Ed Byrne and Grayson Perry) agreed that they had no idea who he was. Presenter David Mitchell immediately moved them on to the next question, effectively dismissing Griffin as an irrelevance.
For all that Piers Morgan is one of the most hated guests on the show, there are quite a few moments of awesome in Season 11, Episode 6, all coming from Morgan showing his true colours:
Guest captain, Clive Anderson, has a moment every time Morgan, his own teammate, has a go at him. For instance, when discussing Eurovision 1996:
Piers:"The tragedy was that the poor girl who won had a terrible arthritic attack, moments before she went on stage."
Clive:"Piers, it's a comedy news quiz. Arthritis doesn't normally feature in that."
For the Odd One Out round, Morgan uses a joke that Eddie Izzard used in the previous episode, randomly saying "Jam" as the answer. When he fails to get a laugh and explains why he said it, Ian states why Eddie got a laugh and Piers didn't: "People like him." It turns into something of a Brick Joke when in the Missing Words round, Ian uses the 'jam' gag and gets a laugh.
Morgan, at one point, says to Ian, "Don't try the popularity line with me, Hislop," and then appeals to the audience to see if anyone likes him. Keep in mind that this is Morgan going on Ian's show, picking a fight with Ian, then expecting the audience to take his side. The audience promptly cheer and applaud in support of Ian, thus giving the audience a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
Ian's unexpected Expospeak Gag description of the J-Lo song "Jenny from the Block."
In the Teddy Taylor episode, they had an intentionally absurd round involving giving each team three glasses of water and having them guess which of three locations they came from. After a while, Paul gets bored and names a random sequence, which turns out to be the correct one. When it's his turn, Ian follows suit and also makes a random guess... which also turns out to be right. (Paul: "No one's ever going to believe that.")
Angus giving Neil and Christine Hamilton their "fees" in brown envelopes, and Ian asking Jonathan Aitken to pay him back the money Private Eye lost being sued for printing stuff about him that he later went to jail for.
BRIAN BLESSED! He impressively managed to destroy Paul's deadpan demeanour just by being himself.
Angus Deayton got one in a few episodes after being subjected to a humiliation conga for his exploits with a call girl. Christine Hamilton was on, and Angus kept referring to her husband Neil (a former Tory MP) as 'disgraced'. Eventually Christine cracked.
Christine: Stop referring to my husband as disgraced. If he's disgraced, what are you?
Angus: I don't know. Disgraced, I suppose. So, I haven't been banging on about family values for the last seven years.
Paul is also at his bitchiest in that episode, in a noticeable contrast to the first time she'd been on, on his team (with Neil). In the DVD commentary for the first one, he and Ian both say that Paul tends to feel protective of whoever is on his team and not go after them as much as he might. In her second appearance, she was with Ian, and you find out exactly what he must have been thinking but not saying the first time.
Christine:[skirting the question of how much money she won in the lottery] It was a very tidy sum — a damn sight more than you get paid to be on this program. Paul: Well, they pay what people are worth.
The entire panel (but especially Paul) completely destroying Louise Mensch on her second appearance. Her argument that Occupy Wall Street protestors in London going to Starbucks makes a lot more sense, now that the latter has been exposed as being heavily into tax avoidance. Of course, given how this wasn't exactly well known at the time (and given the fact that Mensch did use Insane Troll Logic), it's still pretty awesome.
Ian and Paul completely destroying Nancy Dell'Olio, the annoying ex-girlfriend of former England football team manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. And then targeting guest presenter Jeremy Clarkson For the Lulz.
Alastair Campbell's show had a fair few. Ian's long Take That! against Alastair Campbell (and give him one in return for taking it reasonably well), Alastair Campbell opting to release his anger by playing the bagpipes of all things, and Nick Hewer's long and well targeted rant against Jeremy Hunt.
Ian's defence of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant (to mass audience applause) when Greg Davies tried to be snarky about it.
The entire panel (but especially Ian and Alexander Armstrong) destroying Conrad Black.
Black's decision to appear at all, in a way. As Alexander said "I salute your balls".
The entire panel, particularly Ian and Marcus Brigstocke, shredding Daily Mail journalist-to-be Rachel Johnson.
The entire panel shredding Paolo Di Canio's claims that he isn't a political person, showing his fascist beliefs that he had made several efforts (and is still continuing with this) to deny.
Ian utterly shredding Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, for his completely hypocritical (and extremely disrespectful) article about the late RalphMiliband. During his rant, Ian point out that (inhales breath)... the Daily Mail supported a fascist regime seeking to invade Britain (endorsing the Blackshirts during their efforts in Kristallnacht), then pointed out that the Daily Mail has offices based abroad in tax offices to pay less corporate tax in the UK, and finishes it off with the shocking surprise that Paul Dacre doesn't even live in Britain. A rant which points out that, at the end of the day, the Mail hates Britain more than Ralph Miliband ever did.
The entire panel, particularly Victoria Coren-Mitchell, shredding Godfrey Bloom and turning his episode into a Humiliation Conga.
A less than flattering photo of Bloom's stag night note specifically one of him licking a woman's breasts while she's topless causes him to claim that it's okay as he paid her £100. Victoria says that while he may have tipped, it probably wasn't the most romantic or pleasant night she's ever had, subtly calling him out to wild applause.
Bloom does deserve a small degree of credit for not flipping out as he usually does to any bit of criticism.
Charlie Brooker utterly shredding a group of people complaining about newsreaders not showing enough of their legs.
Charlie: How bad are these people that they can't watch ten minutes of television without breaking into a wank?
Later in that episode, he bemoans the fact that the media have treated George Clooney's engagement like a serious news story, for which he receives huge applause.
Paul regularly needles Angus throughout most of the latter's run as host, though occasionally Angus gets back at him:
Angus: "Time for our Odd One Out round, in which a monkey with a pin has a one-in-four chance of getting right — so let's see how he does. Paul..."
Alexander Armstrong and Katherine Ryan shredding Protein World's controversial "beach body ready" advert, pointing out that not only was the campaign poorly thought-through, but that the company had also been very abusive to any complainers.
Ian Hislop collectively taking the entire UK to task for their willingness to believe the claim by Lord Ashcroft, who he pointed out was a former Tory donor who allegedly tried to buy himself a Cabinet post, about David Cameron and a pig's head.
After boxer Tyson Fury made headlines for a series of homophobic and sexist remarks, Paul shut down the discussion by pointing out that the best thing we could do was ignore Fury and deny him a platform for his sad and irrelevant views. Amidst huge applause, the questions were dropped and the show moved on to the next round.