In one round of "The Name Game", when Jonathan Ross has to give clues to the names of sportspeople on his cards, Phil Tufnell gets his own name wrong. At the end, Tufnell's team loses, and Nick Hancock says, "But think of how different things might have been, if only Phil Tufnell had known his own name."
In a 1998 episode with Greg Rusedski and Fred MacAulay, Nick Hancock declared at the beginning of the programme that because Gary Lineker had just been replaced as the face of Walker's Crisps by Michael Owen, every mention of the word "Walker's" would be treated as a swear word and bleeped. Inevitably, when Gary's team came to play "The Name Game", every sports figure they had to name was called Walker - which was not only bleeped when they gave the answer, but asterisked out in the subtitle for the audience.
A number of variations on "The Name Game" were played over the years which resulted in many hilarious moments:
On several occasions, Lee Hurst (later Jonathan Ross) and Rory McGrath had to give their clues in the form of impressions; as neither Lee nor Jonathan had much talent for impressions, they had to be somewhat more... creative to get their points across. In one episode, Lee had to impersonate Eric Cantona and started by kicking David Gower in the chestnote a reference to an incident at a match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace when Cantona kicked a Palace fan in the chest for heckling him; when this didn't trigger a name, he vaulted over the opposite desk and kicked guest Frank Skinner in the chest. Teddy Sheringham still guessed Jean-Claude Van Damme before he thought of Eric Cantona.
On another occasion, Lee and Rory had to give Pictionary-style clues to the sportsmen on the cards. Lee's names included British swimmer Duncan Goodhew, who is famously unable to grow hair; Lee, who is also bald, drew an arrow on the giant pad and positioned his head next to it, then pantomimed swimming. His next name was 1966 World Cup winner Bobby Charlton, and when a stick figure rendition of Charlton's famous combover didn't trigger anything, he drew a combover on his own head.
The "Feel the Sportsman" round, in which the regulars had to identify mystery guests while blindfolded, was a fountain of these, though special mention must go to the Series 7 finale:
David Gower and Jonathan Ross had to identify retired Scottish footballer Bernie Slaven, who, as part of a bet earlier in the year, had bared his backside in a shop window after his old club, Middlesbrough, had beaten Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford. Slaven appeared in a kilt which he raised over his backside, on which was painted the result of the match; Jonathan's reaction when he realised that the mystery guest whose mostly bare backside he had just felt was not, as he initially thought, a young lady is hysterical.
Jonathan Ross:[sniffing his hands in dismay] It's the smell of a man! It's the smell of a man's arse! I didn't agree to this!
[later, after David has correctly identified Slaven]
Nick Hancock: So, how can you recognise the smell of a man's arse so easily?
However, this was topped when Gary Lineker and Rory McGrath then had to identify rally drivers Colin McRae and Nicky Grist, who pulled up in a rally car which launched a shower of oil all over the unsuspecting Lineker and McGrath, as well as host Nick Hancock and guests Jeff Green and Gary McAllister. (The oil cannon was more powerful than originally intended, but when it failed to work properly during preparations for the episode, the producers decided too much oil would be funnier than not enough oil. The stunt had the unfortunate side effect of completely ruining Gary's £600 suit, which he had received from Jonathan as a gift.)
Nick Hancock:[holding up a completely oil-covered card] How am I meant to do the next round, for God's sake!?
In the Series 12 opener, the teams had to identify animals instead of sportsmen. David Gower and Jonathan Ross had to identify a zebra (of which their teammate, Ed Byrne, said "I can't believe we got a zebra into a TV studio and it didn't even shit on the floor!"), while Gary Lineker and Rory McGrath were given an alligator, much to the delight of Jonathan and Nick Hancock. Neither actually got anywhere near the alligator (Gary in particular was on his guard because of the reactions of the audience and his other teammate, Shane Warne) until they took their blindfolds off - and promptly fled the stage in terror.
In an episode in which David and Gary swapped places on the panel, the scores finished level after the final game, so David, Rory, Gary, and Jonathan had to play a tiebreaker game of musical chairs (the music being the theme from Match of the Day). The ensuing fights over the chairs each time the music stopped (ignoring instructions not to pull the chairs out of position) were priceless, especially David and Jonathan's fight over the final chair.
In a Series 2 episode with Steve Davis and Gaby Roslin as the guests, the producers were clearly trolling Lee Hurst with their choices for "The Name Game". After six fairly run-of-the-mill names, the seventh name was Indian cricketer Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, the mere sight of whose name stopped Lee dead in his tracks for a moment... and yet David Gower was able to get the answer correct just from a vague comment about "van driving" and the fact that the name was extremely long. The eighth name was Brazilian footballer... Tim. Lee finally came completely unstuck on the ninth name, Indian cricketer Laxman Sivaramakrishnan.
Nick: Say that name again, that was brilliant. David: Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan? Nick: That's brilliant. That's- that's actually longer than some of your innings!