- Actually Pretty Funny
[The clip introducing the Ring of Truth fact shows a man attempting to communicate with pigeons]
Lee: I love how much they patronize me on this show. We're 4-0 down, they go "Give Lee a chance, ask him a question about pigeons."
Dave Gorman: It's more than that, that's your dad, filmed two weeks ago!
Lee: My dad's dead.
David Mitchell: Was he dead two weeks ago?
Lee: ...He wasn't, actually, no.
David: There you are, then. Good point, Dave.
- Adorkable: David Mitchell.
- The Alleged Car: Several stories have been about car trouble — and they tend to be true.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Russell Howard's story in Series 3 was that he used to put his underpants on his head to cure his acne. When asked why he stopped doing it, he said that his mother randomly announced what he did to his doctor.
- Amusing Injuries: Lee insisted that getting hit on the shoulder by a coconut that would have killed him had it fallen an inch to the left was hilarious, and offered to demonstrate on David Mitchell.
- Angrish: Rile a panellist beyond natural caution and you'll hear some of this.
- The Announcer: The first three series used an announcer to introduce the teams and the host. The two guests on each team would each be introduced with a rhyming or comparative remark. He was dropped in the fourth series, and Rob Brydon now introduces the guests in place of his monologue of lying-related autocue jokes.
- Annoying Laugh: David, whenever Lee says something truly ridiculous.
- Appeal To Audacity: The idea that a story is so ridiculous it must be true is often considered.
David Mitchell: What I'm worried we're in danger of doing here is, having heard something that is absurd and obviously not true, and saying that therefore it must be true...
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Many contestants have picked up on one specific detail of a story as proving that it's false even when the entire story has been completely ridiculous. Like believing that a contestant had put a flat cap on a hippo and a fez on a lizard but declaring it a lie because he hadn't heard of the zoo where it supposedly happened.
- This is often lampshaded by the panel themselves, such as when David claimed that the 'This is My..." guest was a surfing coach who told him while he was on a stag do that he had never seen such natural surfing talent from a novice. Henning Wehn found disbelief in the fact that someone on a stag do in Newquay would have a curry.
Henning: If you go to the seaside you're not having a curry, you're having fish & chips aren't you. What sort of a stag do goes all the way to Newquay then says, "You know what I really fancy now. Some naan bread".
David Mitchell: I must say, if that's the part which you think is the chink in my armour...that a stag do wouldn't have a curry at the seaside, then I reckon I'm doing alright.
- Armour Piercing Question: David Mitchell specialises in them, sometimes almost channelling a QC.
- Artifact Title: The title of the This Is My round doesn't make as much sense given that the panellists also introduce "Possession" claims with the same words.
- Aside Glance: The host sometimes indicates surprise or disbelief at a panellist's story with a sardonic look at the camera. Angus Deayton was good at these, but Rob Brydon excels.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: The occasional tactic of a panellist supporting a claim is to deflect the question by mocking the questioner.
[Lee has claimed he and the Mystery Guest had been camping and had discovered their tent was stolen in the night]
Rhod Gilbert: Did this tent not have a built-in ground sheet?
: No it did not, because otherwise it would have been "This is Steve and we were once kidnapped."
Miranda Hart: [having been asked if her childhood friend made of toast had been buttered] No, David, that would be stupid.
- Bad Liar: Surprisingly averted for the most part; whilst the opposing team might correctly guess a lie, most of the guests have been able to make up details of a story reasonably well. Russell Howard is probably the guest who best fits this Trope, though, as particularly evidenced by an outtake shown in a compilation episode where after a little while of trying to defend a story he gave up.
Russell Howard: Well it's clearly a fucking lie, isn't it?
David Mitchell: Do I get extra points for capitulation?
- Also Jason Manford, who in Series 1 managed to forget what his lie was a few minutes after reading it out. He was caught out by Leslie Ash, who later went to do the exact same thing only to be caught out by Manford.
- In her first appearance, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson said in the This Is My round that she thought Dave Spikey was telling the truth. Spikey was her own teammate.
- John Bishop's claim that he was thrown out of a cinema for crying too loudly at the film, which utterly fell apart shortly after Lee's team started to interrogate him.
- Lee Mack often plays this for laughs — it's often painfully (and hilariously) obvious when he's either fibbing or stalling for time, but that doesn't mean that what he's saying isn't true.
[Lee is claiming that he and the mystery guest were in the Scouts together]
David: You were 12 or 13, how old was Steve?
Lee: Steve was... [He looks at Steve, who is clearly much younger than him] he was... he was... [long hesitation] He wasn't born...
- David O'Doherty, claiming that he was seeing a hypnotist to cure his addiction to hypnosis, clearly knew the story sounded as ridiculous to Lee's team as it did to him, and decided to have fun with it by telling the most outrageously obvious lies he could imagine when pressed for details, to the point that even he could no longer keep a straight face when he claimed his hypnotist was named "Dr. Spanks".
- Bait and Switch: Kevin Bridges, referring to a misunderstanding in Eastern Europe.
Kevin Bridges: There was a bit of a communication breakdown - there was a Bulgarian guy, trying to speak English, and two Scottish guys, trying to speak English.
- Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Commonly appear in the host's autocue jokes.
Rob Brydon (after the panellists have debated Jimmy Carr's story about meeting Prince Phillip at Wimbledon): What a moment. Perhaps the funniest man in Britain, known for his off-color material, finally getting to meet Jimmy Carr.
- Be as Unhelpful as Possible: All part of the game
[Lee is claiming in the This Is My round that the guest is his children's nanny and the first time they met he ran over her foot]
Dave Gorman: That was the first time you met her.
Dave: And the circumstances were..?
Lee: Uh, I was in the car.
Dave: And she was on the driveway.
David Mitchell: What happened immediately after the foot-running-over moment?
David: Can you roll that forwards?
Lee: "Ow! That was my foot!"
- Lee seems to be a master at this
Lee: This is the coconut that nearly killed me.
David: Where were you?
Lee: Under a coconut tree, where d'you think?
- Bears Are Bad News: Frankie Boyle's claim that as a child he was scared his entire life was a book being read by a bear, and that one day the bear would close the book and his life would end.
- Berserk Button: David Mitchell whenever a story fails to make sense. Naturally Lee presses this button as frequently as possible.
[Lee is claiming that he commemorates the death of his goldfish by annually pouring a shot of brandy into his pond]
Bernard Cribbins: Was the goldfish in the pond when it died?
David: Sorry, the goldfish was not a pond goldfish, it was a bowl goldfish, or a tank goldfish?
Lee: No, it was a tree goldfish, actually...
David: Where did he live?
Lee: The goldfish lived in a bowl. The goldfish bowl!
David [shouting]: If the goldfish lived in a bowl—
David: —Why do you commemorate its death by pouring brandy into an alternative goldfish habitat?
- Biggus Dickus: "That's just a salad fork!"
- Big Red Button: One of David's truths in series 6 was that one of these was on a wall in his flat, and that he had never pressed it as he didn't want to find out what it did.
- Bilingual Bonus: See Gratuitous Welsh below.
- Black Spot: The Hoot Owl of Death.
- Blatant Lies: Inevitably, perhaps — the false statements that the panellists are given out can often be ridiculous, such as Chris Hoy claiming that he was asked by NASA to be the first man to cycle on the moon, or Lee Mack saying that if you give him any date he can instantly tell you what day of the week it was on that date, and yet no matter how stupid they must then continue to try and persuade the opposing team it is true.
- As mentioned under Butt Monkey and Running Gag below, a lot of the more preposterous lies tend to be given to Lee. The date of the week one was probably the worst, to the point that almost straight after he said it, Jack Whitehall exclaimed "bollocks!"
- Another noteworthy example occurred when Lee was describing his supposed map of all the service stations he'd visited, when for no evident reason he insisted that there were roughly equal numbers of blue and orange stickers, when there were actually over four times as many orange ones as blue ones.
- The Board Game: Came out last year.
- Boring but Practical: David Mitchell claimed that the screensaver on his phone was a picture of his "bright beige" living room carpet. He justified it on the grounds that he had a common make and model of phone and he wanted to be able to recognize his own.
- Bound and Gagged: Ronnie Corbett claimed that he had discovered the 'This Is My' guest in this situation on the golf course next to his home.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In a This Is My round:
Russell Howard: This is Chris and Gill; I interviewed them on my radio show because they claimed that they were abducted by aliens.
Michael Buerk: This is Chris and Gill, who are fellow members of the Guildford walking and dining club.
Lee Mack: This is Chris and Gill; they once helped me dispose of a dead body after I killed a man in a car park. (audience laughter) Not really, just trying to add a bit of spice to proceedings.
- "Here I am in my castle with ten different sorts of vaguely posh animal, all fighting each other, then I kill a servant and have sex with a wall!"
- Brief Accent Imitation: Rob Brydon does this quite a bit. Quite often, David Mitchell's the subject.
- Lee Mack has (poor) imitations of Rob and David which he will use to wind them up.
- Scottish Kevin Bridges broke out an eerily convincing generic English accent when Terry Wogan complained that he couldn't understand him.
- Broken Pedestal: When Bernard Cribbins claimed to have sold his wife's car to pay his gambling debts, Lee's team got quite distressed and insisted it just couldn't be true.
Lee: We need this to be a lie, Bernard. (It was.)
- Buffy Speak: The inevitable result of panellists trying to remember (or make up) technical details on the spot, as when Michael McIntyre claimed his car could only turn left because something had happened to "the metal of the car." Naturally Lee Mack pounced on this and proceeded to Lampshade it to death.
Lee: Hang on, Michael, Michael. Don't get so technical with me. 'The metal of the car,' yeah? Could you be more specific: what bit of the metal of the car?
Michael: The metal bit.
Lee: (flat stare)
Michael: Um.. the metal bit over the wheel was bent into the wheel so you could no longer turn the wheel to the right.
- Butt Monkey: Some of the lies Lee Mack are given tend to be more difficult than David's. One example is when he gets a "Possession" turn in Series 3; the possession was a wall map of the UK with every service station he'd ever stayed at marked on it. The producers had used different-coloured stickers and marked some of them with asterisks and Fs, doubling the amount of bluffing he had to do (he later called them out on this, having utterly failed to convince David's team it was true — "Can I just say to the idiots that come up with these questions..."). Rob Brydon is also more likely to make fun of Lee with a "working class" gag than he is to mock David Mitchell's "poshness".
(after David's "possession" turn — a rejection letter from McDonald's — has been shown to be a lie)
Rob: It's a lie. Because David has never even been to McDonald's, although he was—
David: Of course I've been to McDonald's.
Lee (sourly): The next joke is (mimicking Rob) "He went to visit Lee".
(the actual joke was something tame about the "new McPheasant Zinger")
- Of course, Lee Mack and virtually everyone else is perfectly happy to make fun of David Mitchell's poshness, so it balances out.
- Jimmy Carr tends to have a rough time of it when he appears on the show, between the embarrassing statements he has to claim as true and the episode he spent verbally fencing with an inexplicably hostile David Baddiel.
- Rob gets his fair share, especially his story about pretending to be his own agent.
- Call Back: Some of the more ridiculous details a panellist might come up with for a story will sometimes be mocked throughout the episode. One example is when Clive Anderson said he was going to Greenland for a BBC documentary on "Inuit ways of dealing with criminal justice" as part of a story that his wallet was stolen by a walrus. Later on, when he claimed that a builder once fell through his roof whilst he was watching Richard & Judy, David Mitchell asked him if he tried to justify watching the programme by shouting "There's an item on Inuit ways of dealing with criminal justice coming on...!"
- A cross-series example from series 4, episode 8:
[David's "Possession" claim of a travel dressing gown that he takes on every holiday has been shown to be true]
John Bishop: You are never going to get away from that now! Everyone who sees this show will look at you and see that!
David: Basically, my entire image has been destroyed by this show. I was like a cool guy who was into music and modern art before this show, before all the stuff about dressing as an 18th-century nobleman and having a little bell came out. The travel dressing gown's just the tip of the iceberg!
- Camp Gay: Julian Clary was on Lee's team in Series 4.
- And Louie Spence in series 5.
- Captain Obvious: Sometimes used by a lying panellist trying to play for time.
): "I'm currently beating Jeremy Kyle 5-3 at Internet Scrabble
Lee: How did this come about?
Trisha: ...On the Internet.
- The Cast Showoff: Rob will take any opportunity he can to start doing one of his impressions.
- Catch Phrase: Played for maximum humor if a panellist is known for one, as when Lee Mack and Jimmy Carr tried to get Richard Wilson to say "I don't believe it!" in Series 2.
- Harry Enfield had to claim that he once threw a man in a lake for following him shouting "Only me!"
- Panellists, mostly Lee Mack, will often declare "I really want this to be true!" when faced with a story they want to be true.
- Character Filibuster: You'd think it was in David Mitchell's contract that Once an Episode he's allowed an uninterrupted rant. Although since these often form some of the funniest moments of the show, they'd be fools not to...
- Christmas Episode: Introduced in the seventh series.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Angus Deayton has not been referred to once since he left, although several references have been made to 'true' facts from the series he hosted.
- Clip Show: Entitled The Best of "Would I Lie to You?", showing some highlights and unseen material, once a series since Series 2. The series 4 one dispensed with the former entirely, and all of the footage was new.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Several guests have fallen into this category during their turns, sometimes to their advantage. Lee ultimately (and wrongly) decided Claudia Winkleman's claim about owning a childhood cat that was stuffed when it died was true because "she looks like a very lovely but slightly unstable woman", which is pretty much how she comes off on many of her TV appearances.
- Tara Palmer-Tomkinson also came across like this.
- David Mitchell when it's revealed that he didn't have a doorknob on his bedroom door for two years.
- Vic Reeves seems to be one in real life. Several of his stories thought to be blatant lies have turned out to be true.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The graphics indicating whether a fact is/was true or a lie are green for a truth and purple for a lie.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Giving a panellist (usually Lee) a ridiculous lie and leaving them to convince the other team of its veracity. On occasions it seems like the other team have actually worked it out a long time ago and are only continuing to question the panellist for the sake of this trope.
- The Comically Serious: Of the two captains, David is the one more likely to treat the game as a serious debate and proceed with great earnestness and usually annoyance, even when the claim is obviously ludicrous. This is highly entertaining.
- Nick Hewer as a guest in the fifth series. Claiming that he played ping-pong with Lord Sugar to wind down. Over the boardroom table. Which was his idea. With Karen as umpire. Related completely deadpan.
- And then a story in which he accidentally e-mailed an image of his infected toenail to everyone in his address book. Still deadpan.
- Companion Cube: David Mitchell claimed that as a child, he played board games against a bucket that he called "Stephen Tatlock".
- When making his decision as to whether it was true or a lie, Lee started asking his water bottle, which he named "Boris".
- Also, Miranda Hart's childhood friend made of toast.
- Barry Cryer considers the H14 bus his friend, and says "Hello, darling!" whenever he sees it.
- Constantly Curious: One method of interrogation. Rob Brydon tried it during his stint as a panellist, although the person he eliminated using this method turned out to be telling the truth.
- Consummate Liar: From Series 3 onwards, a "Liar Of The Week" award is given to the best liar on each episode.
- Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: Ruth Jones claimed the This Is My guest had saved her lost pet tortoise from one of these at a recycling plant, to much mockery from Lee's team. It turned out to be true, to their genuine astonishment.
- Conviction by Contradiction: The panel will usually vote "Lie" if they can get the opposing panellist to contradict the details in his/her story.
(Rhys Thomas' claim is that his bed used to belong to John Nettles)
Rhys: I think this one dated from about 1987, when Bergerac was in Germany...
David Mitchell: So this was a prop bed? It wasn't John Nettles' bed, it's Bergerac's bed? There is a distinction...
- Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Dara O'Briain claimed to own a "brindle" racehorse and was immediately shot down by Lee Mack. But it is possible, if exceedingly rare, for a horse to have a brindle pattern through genetic chimerism.
- Couch Gag: When Angus Deayton was host, he would emerge from behind a screen where he was visible in silhouette engaging in some ridiculous activity, which changed with each episode.
- Creator Cameo: Of a type; both Charlie Brooker and Richard Osman, both of whom are directors for the show's production company Endemol, have appeared as guest panellists.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Sometimes teams will decide that a clearly ridiculous story is true. In one episode of Series 3, Janet Street-Porter's claim was that she wrote her will on a bit of cardboard when she thought her plane was about to crash. David Mitchell believed it was a lie, but both his teammates thought it was true; he went along with them, expressing utter disbelief as he said "We're saying it's true!" It was true.
- Subverted minutes later in the same episode, when David's team started to consider that another story (see Defictionalization, below) is "so weird it might be true", but he chose to overrule them and say it's a lie, which it is.
- A Date with Rosie Palms
Clive Anderson [realising that Lee is clutching the desk as he waits to see if he has guessed correctly on a fact] You're clutching the desk, man! It's only a panel game!
Lee: That's not the desk!
- Daydream Believer: When Bernard Cribbins was a guest:
Rob Brydon: I would remind you that Bernard has travelled in the TARDIS, so if anyone has knowledge of odd things going on... I mean, he's literally travelled in time and relative dimensions in space.
David Mitchell: And by "literally", you mean "fictionally".
: You have to spoil it, don't you? You'll be telling me next the Wombles weren't real!
- Hilarious in Hindsight when Katherine Parkinson's true fact in series 5 was that she had once put down a womble as an example of a mammal on a GCSE biology paper.
- When asked to make a decision on Bob Mortimer's story about burning down his house with some fireworks, Jon Richardson said that he believed Mortimer had seen a movie where such a thing happened and subsequently convinced himself it had happened to him.
- In a series 8 episode, Lee Mack is claiming that the "This Is My" guest is a French nanny whom he tried to help get rid of a spider. After David's team have dismissed the story and gone for one of his teammates, the guest answers in French (as she herself wanted Lee's story to be true), causing Lee to briefly believe that he really was telling the truth.
- Deadpan Snarker: Angus Deayton.
Angus (closing the show after David's team have won): Night-long celebrations for David's team, the joy of having taken part for Lee's team...
- Death Glare: Huw Edwards claimed to use one to shut up correspondents when it's time for them to wrap up. His demonstration is fairly terrifying. It's true.
- Decided By One Vote: The team captain is put in this situation whenever one panellist votes lie and the other votes true. David Mitchell seems particularly irritated when this happens.
Graeme Garden: I think it's a lie.
Lee: Based on what?
Graeme: I just want to put you on the spot.
- In general, David Mitchell seems more willing to defer to his team when making a decision (hence his annoyance when they put him on the spot) while Lee Mack is more willing to overrule his teammates (and on a few occasions, will overrule himself by deciding to make the official answer the opposite of what he has claimed to actually believe)
- One (fairly rare) exception was when Charlie Brooker blatantly overruled both Lee and teammate Michael Ball (who did change his mind after hearing Charlie's passion on the subject), who both considered the story that three cabinet members were following David Mitchell's Twitter feed, with a rant about how boring David Mitchell is on Twitter. He was right.
Lee Mack: I think it might be true.
Charlie Brooker: What! You can say that, if you want to lose the game.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "We went camping somewhere in the Lake District. I think it was called... the Lake District."
- Didn't Think This Through: Panellists can make up a detail of a false story on the spot that seems clever at the time, but falls apart under further investigation.
[Lee is claiming that when he was 18, he bet £500 that he would live to the age of 100]
Ruth Jones: Where did you get £500 from?
Lee: I inherited it from my grandad, who reached the age of 100. I thought it would be an appropriate thing to do.
David Mitchell: Your grandad was 100 before you were 18?
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Jamelia trying to explain why she thought Jimmy Carr's statement (that he was a ballboy at Wimbledon and Prince Phillip said he was an funny-looking fellow) was true.
Jamelia: It could be true because of... his face, but— (Jimmy Carr looks wounded) ...no, no I don't think you're ugly, I just think... (Jimmy looks even more hurt) No! I don't. No...sorry...I just think you have a very...unique face, no one will ever forget your...
Jimmy: How am I getting bullied by Jamelia? How did that happen?!
- If you look at Terry Christian in the wide shot, you can see him mime digging.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Following Lee's utterly unbelievable story about receiving a full-body search at Miami Airport for making a joke about Ronald Reagan, David's team began yelling "Lie! Liar!" at him. Vic Reeves ended up shouting "Flog him!"
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: David Mitchell implies this about himself at one point.
- Do Not Try This at Home: Rob Brydon interjected with this during Claudia Winkleman's story about putting nail polish remover in her fish tank to give the goldfish more energy.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Rob is guilty of this at least once an episode, usually when he does an impression and then pauses to tell the audience who it is.
[Patrick Kielty's story about punching Muhammad Ali by accident has been proven true]
Rob: Explain the bit where Muhammad Ali flies in and he asks — I mean, with the greatest respect in the world —
Patrick: No, no, no—
: If he said (Muhammad Ali impression
) I'd love to see that Bono guy, get Bono down, get him down now — (to the audience
) I'm doing Muhammad Ali--
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After Charlie Brooker claims he couldn't go to collect his girlfriend from the station because he was too scared of a spider in the hallway provokes Nigel Havers to state that he doesn't want it to be true because it would reflect so poorly on Charlie, Charlie's response is this. Understandable, since it's true.
- Double Entendre: In Series 2, Graeme Garden claimed the This Is My guest was an entrant in the Chipping Norton giant vegetable contest (for which Graeme gave out the prizes) and that one year he had the biggest cucumber, "and he might have had the longest leek." Angus commented afterwards that the guest's longest leek was also up for a prize from the British Innuendo Society, "as a result of which, they gave him one."
- The episode with Julian Clary naturally had several of these.
- Double Standard: When Miranda Hart caught a cricket ball (accidentally) thrown at her face, to audience applause, Rufus Hound mocked them for applauding a girl catching a ball.
- Dramatic Curtain Toss: Subverted by Rob's 'possession' turn in series 4; there was a large sheet covering his supposed invention, but when he aimed to whip it off dramatically he failed. It took four attempts and a little wriggling to get the sheet off, to much amusement.
- Dramatic Pause: Panellists may leave this between the opposing team reaching a decision on their statement and their revealing the truth.
Rob Brydon: Barry Cryer - truth or lie?
Barry: Dramatic pause! Music is heard in the background - it was - [hits button] - a lie!
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe, Frankie Boyle (of all people):
Lee Mack: What's in your list? [Scottish accent] Six cans of bitter and a knife!
Frankie Boyle: Yeah, six cans of bitter for a teetotal alcoholic!
Lee Mack: [bursting into laughter] Only Frankie Boyle could complain that I said 'bitter' and not mention the knife!
- A less funny example comes from the joke that got Angus Deayton removed as the host of the show. The scripted joke was about Jimmy Savile, in which Angus joked about the recent death of Jimmy Savile's mother, as well as making comments about Savile himself, such as saying he served "no useful purpose" and describing him as a "dirty old man". This was before the sex abuse charges. Lee Mack responded to the comments with, "I'm sorry but that is well out of order".
- Early Installment Weirdness: The early episodes had more questions and spent less time on each one; more recent series have dropped a few rounds (see Retired Panel Show Element below) and included fewer questions in the Quickfire round to spend more time on the questions that do make the edit. The difference between the totally deadpan Angus Deayton and Rob Brydon (who also tends to interact with the panel more) can also be disconcerting.
- What's much weirder, though, is seeing the Angus Deayton era episode where Rob Brydon was a guest on David's team.
- The first series had all six panellists read out a statement in the first round; presumably in an effort to conserve the number of truths for the regulars, since the second series only the four guests have done so.
- eBay: Sometimes a panellist will claim a "Possession" in the Quick Fire Lies round was an ill-considered eBay purchase.
- David Mitchell introduced one 'This Is My' guest as the man who sold him ten packs of rechargeable batteries via eBay, and accidentally sent him a hundred packs.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Invoked by Reginald D. Hunter being given a lie that the D in his name stood for "Delicious". He refused to say what his real middle name was when asked by Rob Brydon. It's Darnell.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Has come up a few times as one of the panellists' "facts", typically as a nickname they were given at school; Dom Wood claimed his nickname at school was "Earsniffer", and Robert Webb claimed his was "Mr. Custard".
- Embarrassing Tattoo: The subject of several supposed truths.
- Davina McCall's fact in Series 3 was that she was having her tattoo of two chillies covered up as they more closely resemble carrots. It was true.
- Ben Fogle claimed that the 'This Is My' guest had given him a tattoo when they were both completely drunk. It was true.
- Denise van Outen claimed she had a tattoo on her back that she had gotten after being told it would disappear after three years. It was true, and, as it's on her lower back, she gave Rob Brydon a private viewing rather than showing it on camera.
- Epic Fail: Frankie Boyle was already failing to convince David's team that he had written and published a book of love poetry, but when he claimed he had written it all in "aggressive haiku"...
David Mitchell: Either it's the most exceptional double bluff, or it's a lie he literally didn't have the energy to go through with.
- Lee introduced the 'This Is My' guest in one episode as the woman who gave his dog mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after she ran it over with her car. The story was unlikely enough already, but he first claimed that the dog was a greyhound, then a dalmatian, and then when David's team pointed this out he claimed it was half-greyhound, half-dalmatian.
(towards the end of the round...)
Olivia Colman: What's her surname?
Eamonn Holmes: Kemp.
Peter Serafinowicz: Hugh, what's her surname?
Hugh Dennis: Robertson.
David Mitchell: Lee... don't bother.
- In another "This Is My," he forgot himself and started asking one of his teammates about her story.
- Vic Reeves had a particularly memorable one in episode 5 of season 1 as well:
Vic Reeves: "I once helped... TV's Dr. Raj Persaud... fix his computer. It just needed a reboot." [about five seconds pass] I'm sorry I can't read this question out because I don't know who Dr. Raj Persaud is, and I don't know what a reboot is.
David Mitchell: I... Yeah it does seem like a lie.
Vic [pressing the button to bring the word "LIE" up onto the screens]: Yeah, you're quite right, it's a lie.
- The aforementioned series 2 outtake where Russell Howard outright gave up on trying to convince David's team his story was true.
- David O'Doherty's claim in series 5 that he was seeing a hypnotist to cure him of his addiction to hypnotists.
- Lee's claim in the first episode of series 6 that his ex-girlfriends' initials in order spell out the word "Bermuda". He is visibly smiling with disbelief the moment he finishes reading it out.
- Escalating Punchline: In series 3 episode 7, when Danny Wallace was claiming he sometimes pretends to be part of the Olympic cycling team:
Lee: To be fair, he does have the haircut of someone who's just ridden a bike.
- Everyone Is a Suspect: In a series 7 episode, Mel Giedroyc claims that she once had a snog with somebody else on the show. Rather than directly ask her who it was, the opposing team consider each member of the panel (including themselves) in turn.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Lee claimed that a chimpanzee once beat him at swingball.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Olivia Colman's true fact was that she pulled a boy by pretending to be French and putting on a fake accent.
- Expy: Angus Deayton's manner of hosting was very similar to how it was on Have I Got News for You, including his imaginary "prizes", descriptions of the current points, and "I leave you with news that..."
- Face Doodling: Lee claimed in a series 5 episode that after an incident with a permanent marker he had to attend his son's parents' evening with a drawn-on moustache and glasses.
- Face Palm: When things seem to be going badly. Lee does the "pinch the bridge of the nose" variant.
- Faux Horrific: Everybody's reaction to the "Hoot Owl of Death".
- Fetish: Apparently Lee has a thing for Morris dancers.
- Finger Gun: Lee made one of these with his hand and blew on the "barrel" after winning a show.
- Foil: Lee and David for each other, with an upper-lower-class contrast.
- For Want of a Nail: When Michael Buerk claimed to have stolen an ashtray from 10 Downing Street, Danny Baker joked that Tony Blair's inability to have a smoke was the cause of Britain's involvement in the US-Iraq conflict.
Danny: "Shall we go to war, Cherie, or not? I'll have a cigar and think about it — No ashtray! We'll go to war!" And that's what you did! That's the consequences! Are - are you proud of what you did?
- David Mitchell, in one of his Hair-Trigger Temper rants, accused Mike Read of having the deaths of British soldiers on his conscience, for once doing a 10-minute rap at a Tory party conference. Link.
- Fridge Logic: In-Universe - since the panellists often have to make up stories on the spot, they tend to leave plot holes that are hard to see at the time but become glaringly obvious later (which may play a part in teams working out the truth). One example is David Mitchell's claim that he has a five-point plan for surviving in prison: one point was that he would use his (Cambridge University) degree to his advantage, but he claimed he had come up with the plan when he was 16 or 17, well before he would have started university studies.
- Geeky Turn-On: Lampshaded to hell and back during this bit from the series 4 outtakes show:
[Professor Brian Cox has claimed that he got the Large Hadron Collider shut down after he spilt yoghurt on it]
Brian: During construction, I had to go in, and I was responsible for a bit that's about 420 metres from the point at which we create the big bangs, and I was in there, and you test bits, and I was in there in the morning, having my yoghurt...
Lee Mack: Brian really knows how to chat up the ladies, doesn't he?
[Later on, in the same story...]
Keeley: Which part of it, did you drop the yoghurt into or onto?
Brian: There are pieces of it, called - I'm going to go into chat-up mode again now -
Keeley: Oh, go on!
Brian: As David well knows, because they're superconducting...
Lee: (as David looks completely lost) I might well know as well! With you two flirting with each other — I'm here as well! Tell me, you bitch!
- Genre Blindness: Lee Mack will occasionally exhibit this (Played for Laughs, naturally) after being given a ridiculous lie to read out by complaining to the programme researchers that it was an idiotic thing to come up with, especially when his team are losing.
Lee (re-reading his card): ..."I received a strip-search at Miami Airport after making a joke about Ronald Reagan..." I'm supposed to write that on the spot, am I?
- Genre Savvy: The panellists have tended to start voting the most incredibly disjointed, rambling, implausible stories (such as Henning Wehn's claim to have been listed as a missing person by Interpol for three weeks) as true.
- Gentleman Snarker: Angus Deayton, and several of the guests.
David: Well, I have to say, Lee's story is incredibly plausible.
- G.I.R.L.: Chris Packham claimed that he and the (male) This Is My guest were married in an online world, where his avatar was based on Audrey Hepburn.
- Giving Up On Logic: Has happened at least once when David's team have to guess who the This Is My guest is.
- Glad I Thought of It: Jokingly pulled by David a couple of times when he's reluctantly allowed his team to overrule him and they've turned out to be right.
- Global Ignorance: When Eamonn Holmes claimed that he had a twin brother who lived in Canada, he immediately tried to support the lie by saying that "Jimmy" worked as an insurance salesman "in that CN Tower in Montreal." No one on David's team recognized the mistake.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Stephen Mangan claimed his big toes were named "Leslie" and "Scruple" after his potential future child and the child's accompanying "shoulder angel." His justification was that it was an injoke with a very religious former girlfriend.
- Good with Numbers: Lee.
- Go Through Me: When Janet Street-Porter walked threateningly across the stage toward David Mitchell's team having grown annoyed with his manner of questioning, Davina McCall threw an arm out in front of David.
- Completely averted (in one of the funniest moments of the show) when Lee threatened to hit David with a coconut and both Rich Hall and Trisha Goddard immediately retreated to a safe distance.
- Gratuitous Welsh: When Rob Brydon named Joanna Page "liar of the week", he insisted it wasn't favouritism because she was Welsh, and then had a short conversation in Welsh with her. Part of Rob's speech translated to "well done Jo" before descending into gibberish (as Rob doesn't actually speak Welsh), and Page responded with "Last night I went to the youth club with friends".
- Gretzky Has the Ball: David talking about football:
David: The goalkeeper's the one that owns the club, right?
- Also Miranda Hart claiming she had had a trial with "QPR Rangers" Womens' Football Club.note Even though she couldn't remember the club's name, she was telling the truth.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: David Mitchell, of course. Something (usually Lee Mack) will provoke him in the course of a show, be it scared hitchhikers or Mike Read rapping.
David (reacting to Lee's claim that he threw a sausage roll off the top of Blackpool Tower): Why did you throw it off the top, you're there, there's security there, it's a horrible thing to do! How fast is a hot, or even quite hot, sausage roll going to be moving by the time it hits some morbidly-obese child down on the promenade having a miserable time on holiday in Blackpool of all places, who's just heard about the divorce of his parents, consoling himself with another load of high-sugar snacks and the next thing he knows, a warm-ish sausage roll hits him slap in the face?
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Charlie Brooker and David Mitchell in the same room? A rant-off was more or less inevitable.
Charlie Brooker (after having revealed that he told a girlfriend he was hard of hearing in one ear to cover for not paying attention to her and had to maintain the ruse for six years): Can't you see? Don't you find that moving? You cold-hearted... monsters!
David Mitchell: I'm not having THIS! You can't call us cold-hearted! You- you lived for six years-
Charlie Brooker: People make mistakes, David!
David Mitchell: Yes, and for which they must be punished!
- This can also occur between Lee and David, memorably when Lee claimed one 'This Is My' guest was his personal iPod manager.
- Head Desk: This is sometimes Lee's reaction when he guesses one of David's more ridiculous facts (and there are quite a few of them) as a lie, only for it to be true.
- Heavy Mithril: Stephen Mangan claimed to have been in a band called Aragon with the This Is My guest, and that they had released an album called "The Wizard's Dream". It was true.
- Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: Sometimes straight, but sometimes the tactic of a clever panellist running a bluff.
Stephen Mangan (reading from card): "I once correctly guessed the exact number of sweets in a Mini Cooper, and was awarded a prize by Britain's tallest man."
Ken Livingstone: How many sweets were in that van?
Stephen (slowly): Yyyyyep...
(it was true)
- Horrible Camping Trip: Lee claimed that he had been camping with one "This Is My" guest when they were Boy Scouts and had woken up to discover that their tent had been stolen.
- A House Divided: On occasion panellists from the same team will turn on each other.
Lee Mack: Me and Jimmy think it's a lie, but Terry, you're going to overrule us..
Terry Christian: No, no, I'm just going to disagree and that way I'll look great if you're wrong.
Jimmy Carr: You won't look great...
Terry (pointing at David's team): Give them your brutal quipping, not me! I'm on your team!
Lee: Right, Jamelia, you're going to have a bit of brutal quipping!
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: David's teammates in a series 5 episode were Greg Davies and Konnie Huq. At one point Lee Mack asks them to stand up for perspective, and Konnie doesn't quite reach Greg's shoulders.
- Hurricane of Puns: In season 4:
[Rob has just read out a Ring of Truth that Noel Edmonds has a pet chef prepare a three-course meal for his cat once a week.]
David: What are the courses?
Lee: Veal or no veal? [Audience groans] I'm actually ashamed of myself.
Julian Clary: If it gets run over it's "Wheel or no wheel"
Rob: If the cat was a fishing enthusiast—
David: Shut up!
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: A rare example in the series 5 compilation episode, when Lee, alongside his team, starts booing at Rob for making a derogatory comment about David's appearance.
- Hypocritical Humour: Lee Mack mocking Jason Manford's Northerness ("Is this the first time you've been out of the North...?").
Jason: You're from the North!
- In Series 4, Martin Clunes appended an odd "Well done" to one of his answers, prompting David Mitchell to mock him for congratulating himself for remembering something. But at the end of the episode, David revealed that he had recalled the name of a women's magazine (Top Sante) out of thin air in an instant of panic, "and frankly, I want a medal!"
- Rob Brydon introduced Peter Serafinowicz as "a man who's half-English and half-Polish, so is always trying to book himself to tile his own bathroom." Brydon then had to claim in the Quick-Fire Lies round that he once stole Catherine Zeta-Jones' dinner money, and David Mitchell said "You're both Welsh, so presumably you went to the same school." This earned a round of applause from the audience, and Brydon then complained that they were laughing at "thinly-veiled racism".
- David Mitchell mocked Rob Brydon for suggesting that Doctor Who was real (see Daydream Believer, above), then one of his true facts in the same show was that he (as a child) had created a system of communicating with Captain Kirk during Star Trek.
- At one point during Katherine Parkinson's explanation of why she (supposedly) listed wombles as a real mammal on a GCSE exam, Lee expresses confusion on why she would've been asked this and/or struggled with it, given how basic the question was. The hypocritical part comes when David makes fun of Lee for being "such an intellectual snob".
- Lee keeps expressing annoyance at the stereotyping he receives as a working-class Northerner, but he himself was guilty of it when he tried to explain his claim that he threw a sausage roll off the top of Blackpool Tower with "well, I'm Northern..."
- Invoked by Lee in an outtake where Rob stumbles over several autocue jokes relating to him:
Lee: This joke about me being really thick isn't working out with you not being able to read, is it?
- I Always Wanted to Say That: "Can you please let me say to Ronnie Corbett, were they four candles or handles for forks?"
- In Series 4, Lee gets to deliver the ancient joke about what happens when you fail to pay the person you hire to exorcise your home (it gets repossessed) and looks extremely pleased with himself.
- I Am One of Those Too: Pity the lying panellist trying to sell a story when an expert in that field is on the other team. One of the best examples comes from Series 2, where Jason Manford's lie was that he applied to Mastermind with the specialist subject Columbo. David Mitchell proceeded to more or less give him an impromptu round of Mastermind on said show.
- I Am Spartacus: "I'm posh and a little bit gay!"
- If I Had a Nickel: David Mitchell said this after Josh Widdicombe was forced to wear his possession (a very old pair of boxer shorts he claimed were still in regular use) and described it as "genuinely the lowest moment of my life".
- I Know You Know I Know: The general attitude seems to be that stories should be judged on their merits, which implies that the person whose turn it is really will be trying to convince the other team that their "fact" is true; however, half the time the story really is true, and since the objective is to fool the other team, presumably the person will be trying to tell it in a way that makes it sound unlikely and badly thought out; on the other hand, it might really just be unlikely and badly thought out... and so on. Trisha Goddard of all people nearly managed to get a ridiculous-sounding true This Is My past Lee's team by giggling her way through it and making no effort to make it sound plausible; they apparently considered her Beneath Suspicion.
- I Lied: Although there's lots of lying going on in the show, a better example would be Lee breaking one of David's pens after explicitly and repeatedly promising not to.
- Imaginary Friend: David Mitchell had to claim in one series 4 episode that he used to play board games against a bucket with a face painted on it, named "Stephen Tatlock".
Holly Walsh: I don't think many people give their imaginary friends surnames.
Lee Mack: He's one of the few...
- Miranda Hart claimed she had made an imaginary friend out of toast and carried him with her in her purse.
David Mitchell: This wasn't an imaginary friend. This was a friend that just happened to be made out of a piece of toast.
- Robert Webb claimed in series 5 that he had so many imaginary friends he formed an imaginary gang. It was true.
- Andy Hamilton's story in series 6 was that he used to write and hand in homework for an imaginary classmate.
- Implausible Deniability: At the end of Peter Serafinowicz's turn in series 4, he said he was telling the truth... as he pressed the button that brought the word "LIE" up onto the giant screens behind the panellists.
Rob Brydon: It was a lie, and he lied even as he was telling us whether or not it was a lie.
- Inverted during a This Is My round where Bradley Walsh went into what was described as a "meltdown" when pressed for details and David's team ended up none the wiser about his story, and they decided it must be him because of the lack of evidence.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Probably lots of examples, but for starters...
(during a This Is My round, Jo Brand's true story is that she dropped Liz in a pond when she was a baby)
Lee: Who went into the water, to get Liz out?
Jo: My brother Bill.
Lee: Because he had the right beak shape?
- "Part of the problem is that the wheels on a post office bike are larger than normal — that's according to a spokesperson." Rob Brydon earned a Collective Groan for that one.
- The Internet Is for Porn: When considering whether or not Trisha Goddard is beating Jeremy Kyle 5-3 at Internet Scrabble, Frankie Boyle reasons that it's a lie because the only person who'd do something like that would have to have "seen all the porn first".
- Irony: The very fact that Kelvin Mackenzie was on a show called Would I Lie to You? at all.
- The fact that Angus Deayton was the original host, given that part of the reason he was sacked from Have I Got News for You because after the first round of tabloid revelations he assured his bosses there was nothing else to come... only for more to follow a few months later.
- I Take Offence To That Last One
- Bernard Cribbins has claimed that he sold his wife's car to cover his gambling debts, then pretended to her it was stolen:
Mark Watson: We're trying to decide, basically, if the esteemed actor and voiceover artist Bernard Cribbins is a gambler, a liar and a borderline crook, essentially.
David Mitchell: It is not illegal to lie to your wife!
- Jack Whitehall questions Jim Carter about a concussion that caused him to speak in a Scottish accent for three days.
Jack: Was it just the voice, or for the next three days did you not eat lettuce and loathe the English as well?
Armando Iannucci: Some of us do eat lettuce.
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Since Rob Brydon took over as host, several members of the Gavin and Stacey cast have appeared on the show (Larry Lamb in series 3, Joanna Page and Ruth Jones in series 4).
- David Mitchell has had comedy partner Robert Webb and Peep Show costar Olivia Colman on the show, and Lee has had Miranda Hart and Katy Wix from Not Going Out.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Janet Street-Porter.
Janet: [having stormed across the stage during the This Is My round to confront David's team] If you met Daniel Craig, could you speak?
Davina McCall: No. She's right.
- Kansas City Shuffle
- Kubrick Stare: Rob, disturbingly often.
- Lampshaded Double Entendre: David Mitchell introduced one This Is My guest as a pet shop owner who sold him a hamster that died the very next day. Ken Livingstone asked him what the hamster died of, and Lee interrupts with "I think we all know, David".
- When Jim Carter claimed he served lunch to the cast of Downton Abbey in character:
David: On a big set like Downton Abbey, with so many high-profile stars like Maggie Smith—
Jim: I don't do Maggie, I have to say...
Rob: Do you serve her lunch?
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The stories the guests have for the 'This Is My' round can sometimes fall into this.
Lee: I know Ina because she's my local newsagent, and she sold me a scratchcard which I won £2,000 on.
Ina's worked on EastEnders
for 21 years as a supporting artist, and she used to run the lampshade stall.
Dom Joly: Ina's actually my aunt, who is Greek, and she is a voiceover artist in Greece, and she has been the voice of Helen Mirren in the last four of her films that have been translated into Greek.
Angus Deayton (as audience laughter dies away)
: So, it's as simple as that. A winning newsagent according to Lee, a veteran EastEnders
extra according to Natalie, or Helen Mirren's Greek voice dub according to Dom.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Common in The Reveal of whether a fact is the truth or a lie.
Jack Dee: It was a — true.
- Last Second Word Addition: When Reece Shearsmith claimed that he'd worked at a funeral parlour that offered themed funerals, he was asked what the themes other than "medieval" were, and said "Valentine's Day...massacre". It's hard to tell, but it seems like he may have originally intended to just say "Valentine's Day", only to decide that a Valentine's Day themed funeral was too ridiculous to be believed, prompting him to add "massacre", although that didn't really succeed in making it any more plausible.
- Let Me Get This Straight: Used whenever a panellist has finished a lengthy and implausible sounding story.
[Rob has claimed in the Quick Fire Lies round that he throws the first and last biscuit in every package away, which escalated into a description of a complex and utterly implausible biscuit-unpackaging routine]
: So just to absolutely establish — you're taking out the biscuit, you're discarding it because it's crumbled, if it's not crumbled you tend to throw it away but not always; then you'll slide them out like some sort of magician, on your hand like that, you'll get the jar, you'll insert them in unless it's a Leibniz
... whatever the bloody hell they are... they go in, it comes off, there's one left, it's not damaged; give it to the dog that used to be brown but is now black — is what you're telling us is what's happening in your house. You're mental. 'Course it's true.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: What David Mitchell speculated was the likely response to Neil Morrissey (the voice of children's TV character Bob the Builder) learning that one of the builders who was working on an extension on his house was also called Bob: "A quick chuckle [followed by]... let us never speak of this."
- Line-of-Sight Name: During Lee's claim that the initials of his ex-girlfriends spell out "BERMUDA", David is of course asking him for a complete list of names. After an increasingly ridiculous list, for the last one he gives up completely, glances at his team-mate Alex Jones and says "...Alex." The name beginning with "D" he gives is "Dave. Experimental phase. [looking at David Mitchell] I'm quite hurt you don't remember actually..."
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The show doesn't have any topical theme and the panellists explaining/making up their stories provides the comedy, so is more welcoming to guests from other fields unlike shows such as Mock the Week or QI. Repeat guests are hence more of a rarity.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Poor Jimmy Carr...
Jimmy (reading card): I lost my virginity at 26.
David Mitchell and panel (almost instantly): Yeah, that's true. And it was.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Rob Brydon. When he was a panellist, one of his false facts was that he had worked on a radio station and played the DJ and the newsreader, using a different accent for each one.
- Medium Awareness: Several jokes about the host's use of an autocue, such as the joke Angus Deayton read out after David Mitchell's claim that he used to proofread dictionaries for a living:
Angus: Proofreading, of course, is vital to any piece of writing. Even the scripts on this show are subject to rigorous scrutinae.
- Averted in that it is the only panel game regularly repeated on Dave that has not made endless jokes about that fact.
- Money, Dear Boy: Played for laughs; Professor Brian Cox jokingly claimed that the only reason he was on the show was to pay for the damage he'd claimed to have done to the Large Hadron Collider.
- Similarly, Richard E. Grant cracked a few jokes of this nature when the subject of his (possible) Shakespearean-themed techno single came up.
Lee Mack: How did Ken convince you it was a good idea?
Richard E. Grant: He asked me.
Lee Mack: Is that all it takes for you, Richard?
Richard E. Grant: Why do you think I'm here?
- Murder Is the Best Solution: During a "Ring of Truth" round where David's team had to work out whether or not Jodie Marsh had genuinely said "People say I'm thick, but what they don't know is that I won nearly £6 on a Weakest Link quiz machine", Frankie Boyle suggested, amongst other things, that if Jodie Marsh had to answer a question on such a machine to save his life he would rather she fell drunkenly on the machine, hit the buttons with her face and choose the answer that way. David then had to make a choice:
David: [to Duncan Bannatyne] So you think it's true... [to Frankie] ... you don't care, you just want to murder her.
- Murderous Thighs: Patrick McGuinness recounted a false story about being held in a leg-grip by Andy McNabb after wrestling him for a bet. He then demonstrated the move on set with John Barrowman.