Awesome / QI

  • Any time Alan Davies gets the better of anyone, particularly when he wins and in the incident where he switched roles with Stephen Fry and proceeded to bully him like you wouldn't imagine. "I've been waiting for this opportunity!" indeed.
    • Stephen sets out explaining how long different things (humans, dinosaurs, etc.) would have been around if the whole of the earth had existed over a single year:
      Alan: This is assuming time is linear.
    • And then Alan doing a little verbal Cutting the Knot on the topic of bees...
    Stephen: [holding forth on how bees navigate using the sun] Amazingly, they can even do this on overcast days and at night by calculating the position of the sun on the other side of the world.
    Alan: Has it occurred to you that they may not be using the sun? That whoever worked that out is wrong.. "Even when you can't see it or it's on the other side of the world, they still use it," and the bees are thinking, "No we don't, we just remember where we live!" Why is it so remarkable that they know where they live?
    Stephen: Well, because they have only 950,000 neurons as opposed to our ten billion neurons in our brains.
    Alan: But they've only got one thing to remember: where they live.
    • When Sandi Toksvig took over as quizmaster for Series N, Alan won two shows in a row right from the first episode and got many questions right. The panel are particularly astonished in the first episode, and they theorize that he's doing so well because he's no longer intimidated by Stephen.
    Cariad Lloyd: All this time you've been intimidated to say what you know! You can just speak! It's lovely, Alan!
    Phill Jupitus: Hang on, I'll throw him off his game. (Lord Melchett impression) Baaaaah! Baaaaaah!
  • The scene when Alan seems to think it odd that Lew Wallace, a Texan governor, decided to write a book about Roman chariot racing, and Stephen lays into him for this attitude:
    Stephen: Well, what should he have written about then? Urgh, you wrote a book about something not particularly close to you! You wanker!
  • Sean Lock's mocking of Rory McGrath's constant showing off. "There's some sort of portal to the underworld here, it's ridiculous!" "If I say it in a different language do I get more points?...Ocho! Ocho cardiganes!"
    • Rory McGrath managing to exhibit a remarkable knowledge of the Latin names of various birds and other such trivia.
  • One episode had the cast given little boards with refrigerator magnet letters. Jimmy Carr promptly used all his letters to write out "PUT SMARTIES TUBES ON CATS LEGS MAKE THEM WALK LIKE A ROBOT". He got applause not only from the audience, but from the rest of the panel as well.
    Alan: That is unbe-fucking-lievable.
    • Likely the result of some fixing, since this is a joke Jimmy Carr has previously used in his stand up routine. He also had rather more letters than everyone else. On the other hand, it doesn't mean they expected him to do it, just means they hoped he would.
      • He pinched the extra letters off Bill Bailey sitting next to him, Bill only had enough left for 'gay elf romp'.
  • In the same vein, Helen Atkinson-Wood, best known for playing Mrs. Miggins on Blackadder, earned 200 points for recognizing the chemical equation for an explosion in a custard factory.
    • Worth pointing out that the equation is actually specifically for the oxidation of glucose, but the oxidation of glucose is often taught to children using an explosion in custard as an example.
    Helen: I believe it's an explosion in a... just a hunch here, a custard factory?
    Stephen: How in the hell did you know that?
  • Reducing Stephen to a wreck with just nine words... repeated over and over again, also counting as a Crowning Moment of Funny. All together now:
    They say of the Acropolis, where the Parthenon is... That there are No! Straight! Lines! [1]
  • David Mitchell's rant against his school.
    • His rants in general.
  • Dave Gorman turning up, and then breaking the game in his first question.
  • Phil Kay correctly predicting that his buzzer would be a crowing rooster in the 'Birds' episode.
  • David Mitchell getting two "Teacher's Pet" accolades during the Series F episode "Food." (Unfortunately, it doesn't make him "feel that cool".)
  • In the series D episode "Doves", the final question was a bonus question worth 50 points, but Stephen got confused and provided the answer before asking the question. He was then instructed to ask the question again, and Alan buzzed in and got the correct answer and hence the bonus points. When the scores were read out a moment later, it turned out he would have won even without the bonus.
  • Alan beating Steven at rock-paper-scissors in "Fingers and Fumbs". Not especially spectacular in itself, except for the build-up that lasted much of the episode.
  • Series G was an extended CMOA for Alan Davies: he won three shows in a row (4, 5 and 6), tied for first place in a further two (12 and 13) and finished that up when he won episode 16 with the highest score all series and indeed the highest score since series D.
  • Roger McGough spontaneously composing a poem about Hoover the Talking Seal.
  • In the 'International' episode, Bill Bailey asked a question about the scoring system, then used the Ignorance bonus to earn 3 points and put himself in the lead before the first question.
  • A double awesome moment in the 'Intelligence' episode. First, for ASIMO, the most advanced humanoid robot, for walking down a step without falling over, for running, and for dancing. The second awesome moment is for QI, for having enough pull to get the most advanced humanoid robot in existence as a guest.
  • In Series "I", Alan Davies correctly guesses the "Nobody Knows" bonus almost every episode.
    • If there is one thing Alan knows, it's nothing.
  • David Mitchell's exceptional bluff to the first question in "Europe".
  • In "Jam, Jelly and Juice", Stephen explains the concept behind "speech jam", in which a person listening to themselves talk with a slight delay will adjust their speech or get muddled. To demonstrate, he gives Alan earphones and a recipe book to recite from, and then turns on the microphone mid-paragraph — and stares at it disbelievingly as Alan continues reading without any change to diction or speed. (Yes, it was working, as proven by the other panelists' failure to replicate this feat.) The only sign of Alan having any difficulty with the task was that he unconsciously pulled the book up closer to his face as soon as the microphone was turned on.
    Stephen: Alan, did you hear your voice back?
    Alan: (deadpan) Yes, weird.
  • An Awesome Moment for the research team: at the start of the "Jargon" episode, Victoria Coren notes that she dreamt the previous night that one of the questions would be, "Why was the March Hare important to the Aztecs?" It's asked as the last question of the episode and followed with an extensive explanation on why it wasn't, but could've been an interesting trick question. Recording a specific episode most likely takes only two or three hours.
  • Invoked by Phill Jupitus in "Jingle Bells". After Stephen lists a number of archaic instruments, Phill asks Danny Baker to name a 70's song that used one of them. He does, immediately.
  • Sandi Toksvig clearly wins the Sport Relief special (even though "everyone was a winner")... despite asking Stephen the night before to be taken out of the roster because she knew nothing about sport at all.
  • In "Knowledge", Stephen explains that many things said in previous episodes have since been proven false, and as the result of that, the panelists were owed some points, which are given back at the beginning of the episode. As the result of that, Alan wins the episode with 689.66 points.
  • In a similar fashion to the speech jam incident, "Kinetic" spends time demonstrating some aspects of the center of gravity using brooms. At one point Alan starts balancing his broom vertically on one hand from the broomstick side. Stephen notices this and challenges him to do the same thing using the bristle side, as this should be impossible. He does, easily. Stephen responds in a suitably impressed manner and rips up his next question card without missing a beat.
  • The reveal in "Cat's Eyes" that answering a question with "Who cares?" is an automatic forfeit.