A recent survey revealed that one of the most common lies is "How nice to see you", as in the sentence "How nice to see you, Lee." Another really common lie is "Sorry to bother you", as in "Sorry to bother you, Rob." "No, come in Lee, how nice to see you."
Would I Lie to You? (begun in 2007) is a British Panel Show, currently in its seventh series, based around truth and lies. Essentially, over a series of rounds the panellists (two team captains with two guests each) will read out a series of statements about themselves; the opposing team must figure out whether they are true or not.The host for the first two series was Angus Deayton, in perhaps his biggest hosting job since being sacked from Have I Got News for You; from Series 3 he was replaced by Rob Brydon of Gavin and Stacey fame. The team captains, Lee Mack (from Not Going Out) and David Mitchell (fromeverythingelse) have remained consistent through all the run. The guests will typically be one comedian and one guest from another field per team, with actors and television presenters being the most common for the latter — although singers, sportspeople, and even politicians have appeared.
The current rounds are:
Home Truths: The guests take it in turn to read out a statement about themselves from a card that they've never seen before — either something true, or a lie made up by the programme researchers. The opposing team may then interrogate them. Once the team think they've heard enough, or the host decides that they've heard enough, the team can then vote on whether it's true or not, with their captain having the deciding vote. If they guess "Truth" or "Lie" correctly, they get a point; if they guess incorrectly, the other team get a point.
This Is My...: A mystery guest appears, and each member of one team has to explain their connection with the guest. One of the panellists has genuinely met this person before, but the other two have made up their stories; the other team can interrogate all three panellists, but not the mystery guest.
Quick-Fire Lies: Essentially the same as the first round, except against the clock, and the panellists are selected at "random" until time runs out; this time, the team captains (and, from series 4, the host) may also get some turns. Possessions are occasionally thrown in, with the panelist given an item and told to claim it as theirs.
The former rounds are/were:
Ring of Truth: The host reads out celebrity facts (such as "Mick Jagger has been asked by a company if they can sell his ashes in collectible egg timers when he dies"). The teams can then question the host before again deciding on "Truth" or "Lie". Each question is typically introduced by a piece of amusing archive footage with a tenuous — sometimes very tenuous — connection (the example above was introduced by a news report of a grandmother whose ashes were blasted into the air by a firework). This round was generally dropped from the final edit in series 4; as of series 5, it is no longer being played.
Telly Tales: Clips from a show such as Tomorrow's World, EastEnders, or Doctor Who are shown. One of the panellists reads out a statement about the show (such as "The doctor on the set of Doctor Who is called "The Magician" to avoid confusion", and as usual, the opposing team interrogate the panellist before deciding whether it's true or not. This round was only played in Series 1, then dropped.
There is now a Recap page covering the truths and lies told throughout the series.
Rob: Well, that is the age at which you'd start tossing, and... No, no!
Actor Allusion: Sometimes with a few of the lies written for the guests, such as Neil Morrissey claiming to have had an extension on his house made by a builder named Bob, or Ronnie Corbett claiming to have asked for four candles in a hardware store.
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 panelist 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.
Aside Glance: The host sometimes indicates surprise or disbelief at a panelist'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 panelist 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?
Lee: 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, and in Series 2 misread the card and carried on with the incorrect thing right up until Lee Mack pointed it out (although this could have been a joke).
Almost certainly a joke, given that it was followed up by a pre-scripted autocue joke relating to the story that was told.
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.
Rob Brydon (after the panelists 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.
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!"
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.
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 panelists 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 panelist 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 panelist trying to play for time.
Trisha Goddard (reading card): "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 panelist 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...
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.
Constantly Curious: One method of interrogation. Rob Brydon tried it during his stint as a panelist, although the person he eliminated using this method turned out to be telling the truth.
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.
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.
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 panelist 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...
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.
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...
Decided By One Vote: The team captain is put in this situation whenever one panelist 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.
Defictionalization: Omid Djalili's lie in Series 3 was that he was launching his own range of condiments, including Omid Djalili Picalili. The idea received such an enthusiastic response both on the programme and on Twitter that he later noted on his Twitter that he was seriously looking into getting some Djalili Picalili produced.
Deleted Scene: The compilation shows at the end of the series show a few turns that got cut out of the regular programmes. Clearly a lot of stuff gets taken out when editing the show down to 30 minutes, as the series 4 compilation show consists entirely of deleted scenes with no "best bits", and there's even more after that that never gets shown.
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!"
[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—
Rob: 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: Panelists 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 has one when a fellow guest jokes that, as a Scotsman, he'd enjoy train journey's with a case of Stella. Frankie, in all seriousness, comments that he's a teetotal alcoholic.
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!
Early-Installment Weirdness: The early episodes had more questions and spent less time on each one; more recent series have dropped a few rounds 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.
eBay: Sometimes a panelist 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".
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.
Danny: Yes. Backwards. Through a hedge. On the Moon.[note]]Earlier, Sir Chris Hoy claimed he'd been approached by NASA to be the first man to ride a bike on the Moon[[/note]]
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.
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 Tory MP Mike Reid 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 panelists 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...
[Keeley Hawes pretends to fall asleep at her desk]
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.
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.
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".
David: The goalkeeper's the one that owns the club, right?
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.
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 panelists 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.
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.
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?
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 panelist 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 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.
(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.
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—
Lee: I know Ina because she's my local newsagent, and she sold me a scratchcard which I won £2,000 on.
Natalie Cassidy: 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 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.
[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]
Lee: 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."
Loads and Loads of Characters: The show doesn't have any topical theme and the panelists 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.
David Mitchell and panel (almost instantly): Yeah, that's true. And it was.
Man of a Thousand Voices: Rob Brydon. When he was a panelist, 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.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: When Kevin Bridges claimed a stable had sold him a horse when he thought it was renting it, David Mitchell joked "We've been trying to get rid of Psycho for years."
Inverted when Jack Whitehall was asked to name five wrestlers after he claimed that he was into Professional Wrestling. One of the names he gave was "Shelton Benjamin", which Lee refused to believe was a wrestler's name.
Lee: That's a bloody solicitors'!
David: Please don't tell me you've accidentally been represented in law by a wrestler!
[In the Quick Fire Lies round, David Mitchell has claimed that as a child, he used to pretend his calculator was a Star Trek communicator]
Rob Brydon: Did you do this, David? [makes a whistling noise, attempting to imitate the sound said communicators made]
David Mitchell: No, it's more a sort of — [makes a series of clicking noises]
Rob: It would open — [mimics opening a Star Trek communicator] — and he'd press the button, "Kirk to enterprise", and it would go — [makes the whistling noise again]
David: Oh yes, that's the secondary noise.
Lee Mack: Can I ask a question, did you two ever have girlfriends?
Rob: No, I didn't, in all honesty, as a child. Did you.
Rob: It was a great noise, wasn't it? [makes the whistling noise again]
Nice Hat: Hats are occasionally a "possession" claim in the Quick Fire Lies round. In Series 3, Lee asked David to wear Fern Britton's possession (a tea cozy which resembled the Pope's mitre) on his head, apropos of nothing but the Rule of Funny.
The Nineties: Julian Clary claimed that he has a life-size statue of himself astride a unicorn; it was allegedly a prop on his New Year's Eve show in 1992 that he kept for himself.
David: Why would a new Year's Eve show need a unicorn statue?
Julian: Well, it was the nineties.
Nonindicative Name: The first round is called Home Truths despite the fact that not all of the statements the panellists read out in it are true. Similarly, not everything in the Quick Fire Lies round is a lie; in fact, in the first episode of Series 2, all of the statements in Quick Fire Lies were true.
Now You Tell Me: If a story has descended into chaos and/or gotten David particularly riled, Lee will sometimes chime in with a humorously belated "No, wait, he/I read that wrong, it's actually [completely different statement]."
David put Fern Britton's tea cosy on his head at Lee's request, then hurriedly took it off when Ken Livingstone suggested that if, as she claimed to, take it everywhere with her it should be quite dirty.
Obfuscating Stupidity: One tactic that can be employed to try and get the opposing team to believe a true statement is false.
Jack Dee(reading card): "I developed a word-association system to remember peoples' names, but gave it up when it backfired on me."
David Mitchell: What was the word-association system?
Jack: Erm... that I developed?
Odd Couple: David Mitchell and Lee Mack. Many of the autocue jokes play up their ostensible stance on the opposite ends of the class spectrum.
Rob Brydon: [introducing the This Is My round]: Who knows who they might be tonight? The cook from David's country house, or perhaps Lee's parole officer?
Odd Name Out: Reginald D. Hunter's (alleged) brothers and sisters: Brenda, Kathy, Oliver, and Scrumptious.
The names of Eamonn Holmes' seven cats (see Only Sane Man, below).
Off the Rails: Not as much as some other panel shows, but can still occur. A discussion on Claudia Winkleman's claim that she once put nail polish remover in her goldfish tank to give the fish more energy arrived at the statement "As you'd know if you were an amputee, you can still get an itch in the bit of you that's been cut off!"
On some occasions Lee has been given a lie so ridiculous he deliberately derails it rather than try to defend such an embarassing statement as true, such as when he had to claim he had used a set of children's cutlery at every meal for a special diet.
Oh Crap: When a panelist is confronted with a lie that is completely indefensible, or when a panelist on the other team spots the hole in his/her story which reveals it to be false. Wise panelists will try not to let it show. A player trying to run a bluff may fake a facial reaction. This can also be the reaction if the statement on the card is a particularly embarrassing truth.
Martin Clunes:(about Richard E. Grant's claim that he produced a dance version of a Shakespearean soliloquy) There's no conviction in what he's saying!
Lee Mack: There was no conviction in the Spice Girls movie, either, but he did that!
Rob Brydon: Bernard [Cribbins] and his wife have an agreement. He doesn't steal her cars and she doesn't mention Carry On Columbus.
Nick Hewer described his appearance on the show as "fun at the time", but "probably ill-advised".
Once per Episode: In his introductions to the "This Is My" round, Angus Deayton would always refer to the title's incompleteness.
One of Us: Rob proves (to a bored Lee Mack) to be quite knowledgeable in the biggest comic books and where they originated.
In his guest appearance Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford accidentally calls David Mitchell "Mark" at one point.
One Steve Limit: Averted in one episode of Series 3, where David's team consisted of Dave Gorman and Davina McCall, a shortening of and female version of "David" respectively, although they were different enough that nobody picked up on it.
In the Series 2 episode when Rob Brydon was a panelist, Robert Webb was on the opposing team. Cue the Ho Yay, to Webb's amusement and Mitchell's embarrassment.
The series 6 opener had Alexander Armstrong and Alex Jones (of The One Show) on the same team.
Only Barely Renewed: The second and third series had very poor ratings; the show likely only got renewed because panel games are generally very cheap to produce. Thankfully, the fourth series did considerably better.
Only Sane Man: Typically the host, who will often intervene if things get a bit too silly. If the two guests on a team are beginning to believe something obviously absurd, their team captain may take on this role.
Lee (after both his teammates have voted "True" on Eamonn Holmes' claim that he has seven cats called Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Pickle): Are you two mental? Are you actually mental people? He says he's got a green cat! What bit of that is true?!
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Mark Watson's fake Welsh accent noticeably faltered when he was claiming that he wrote a will after losing a game of Connect 4 when he was six. The story was true, though.
Oop North: Lee, as noted above. His justification for throwing a sausage roll off Blackpool Tower was that he was Northern ("as if a Northerner would throw away anything wrapped in pastry!"), and Rob Brydon reasoned his claim that he moved to Southport (see the example in Pull The Thread, below) had to be untrue because he's "never been out of the North".
Out-of-Character Moment: False statements are sometimes written in mind that they are the sort of thing the panellist would never remotely think of doing. David Mitchell introduced one 'This Is My' guest as the man who freed him from a roller-coaster ride at Alton Towers when the car got stuck, and Lee Mack and Frankie Boyle proceeded to Lampshade it for all they were worth.
Frankie: I'm honestly struggling with the idea that you went for a day out to Alton Towers. Were you presenting a documentary for BBC 4 about the horrors of modern life?
Out of Focus: Several guests never get to make any claims that actually get aired. This has happened more often in later series, as the edit now seems to be more concerned with the funniest material rather than the amount of airtime between panellists being balanced.
Out of Order: The episodes being shown in a different order to recording was particularly noticeable in Series 3, when the first taped episode was the last to be shown, meaning that Rob Brydon's manner of hosting seemed noticeably different (he was more settled in the later tapings).
The main reason for this is to spread the results evenly: in series 2, David won every show in the first half of the series and only one in the second half in recording order, so the broadcast order was altered so the victories alternated more.
Hugh Dennis claimed that he and the "This Is My" guest had been the two halves of one of these.
Wildlife presenter Kate Humble claimed that she and the "This Is My" guest had filmed a herd of giraffes from close quarters by posing as a pantomime giraffe.
Towards the end of Kevin Bridges' story about accidentally buying a horse, he claimed the guy he'd bought the horse from turned out to be a "counterfeit horse guy", prompting David to ask if a "counterfeit horse" was "two guys in a costume".
Persona Non Grata: Getting banned or thrown out of somewhere has formed the basis of a few statements, both truths and lies.
The Pete Best: Angus Deayton once he was replaced by Rob Brydon. This may border on Unperson, as he has not been referred to and the BBC have not repeated any of the Deayton episodes (and even Dave only started airing them recently).
Pinocchio Nose: Inevitably, viewers have picked up on the "tells" of the team captains and the more frequent guests. Lee's "tell" seems to be that he gets quite shouty and defensive when he's lying, but is calmer when telling the truth.
The Points Mean Nothing: It is a comedy show and the editing frequently results in the scores making no sensenote Although as of series 6 the announcement of the final score is re-recorded to reflect what made the edit and not the whole recording. However, this trope does not apply as much as other panel games which view the scores as completely irrelevant, as there is more focus on the "game" part as both teams are actively attempting to trick each other. David, Lee and some of the guests can take winning very seriously.
When asked by Greg Davies in a series 5 episode, David stated he did feel a sense of competition about the show.
Potty Emergency: In Series 5, Sarah Millican claimed that, when stuck in a traffic jam for two and a half hours with a full bladder, she relieved herself on the passenger seat (after first moving over from the driver's seat). It was true.
[In the Ring of Truth round, David has been told that Bono's trilby which he paid $1,200 to have flown first class was "upgraded" from first class to the cockpit and is insisting that this is not an upgrade]
David: You see, never buy a first class ticket, you might end up getting "upgraded" and have to fly the fucking plane!
Prison Rape: Part of David Mitchell's five-point plan for surviving in prison was to find someone to protect him, who also wouldn't "bum him".
Private Detective: Apparently one of David's dream jobs, as discussed when he dons his "special" travel dressing gown.
Lee: Erm, I moved to Brighton, looked at the sea, and thought "Oh my God, I'm terrified of the water, I'm moving back to Southport"—
David's team attempted this on Kevin Bridges when he claimed to have accidentally bought a horse, only for it to cause a descent into complete insanity, as Bridges' story grew progressively more complicated and David's team grew progressively more incredulous, then it turned out to be true.
Quintessential British Gentleman: Of a sort; the show gets a lot of mileage out of any truths or lies that portray David Mitchell as some kind of antiquated British fop.
Rage Against the Author: This concept was brought up when Frankie Boyle claimed that as a child, he was scared that his whole life was a book being read by a bear, and that one day the bear would close the book, killing him:
Jack Whitehall: Did you have any relationship with him? Did you converse with him, or was it just reading?
David Mitchell: You can't converse with him! He's in the bear's world! He's totally junior to the bear; you can't jump out of the book that is your life and converse with the person reading it, can you?
Jack: You can't say "why is this happening, bear?"?
David: No! Otherwise the bear's just gonna go "and then "why is this happening, bear?" said Frankie Boyle for some reason". The little bears say "I don't like this part of the story". "Yeah, I'll stop reading it shall I? "No no no!" screamed Frankie Boyle, "don't stop reading this story, or it is the end of my life!" "No, this is definitely not suitable for little bears." [mimes closing a book]
Marcus Brigstocke: I'd quite like to see some of MC Hammer's little curlies in a Regal packet.
Lee Mack: That phrase has never been said in the history of mankind.
Reality Is Unrealistic: Lampshaded by David Mitchell in a Series 2 outtake where Lee refuses to believe one of the true facts. "You've got to understand, the very truths they pick are the unlikely ones!"
In a series 2 episode, Graeme Garden's false claim is that he has five pigs, named after his favourite newsreaders. Five years later in series 7, Kirsty Young makes the same claim - except with chickens, but apart from one word change the two statements are identical, word-for-word, and this time it's true.
Released to Elsewhere: Inverted — one of Lee Mack's facts was that his parents gave his dog away to relatives in Scunthorpe and told him it had died.
Retired Panel Show Element: The two rounds pertaining to "celebrity facts" rather than stories from the panellists themselves have both been phased out; "Telly Tales" was removed because it was virtually identical to "Ring of Truth", which was itself removed a few series laternote It was generally removed from the final edit in series 4, appearing in only episode 4 and the end-of-series outtakes; the following series, they cut out the middleman and just stopped playing it to focus more on the three rounds involving the panellists' stories.
Right for the Wrong Reasons: Sometimes the teams follow a bizarre line of logic (or simply guess) on a panelist's story and somehow manage to get the right answer. May border on Insane Troll Logic, particularly if it is the This Is My round and all three stories sound implausible.
Rule of Three: Three panelists on each team and three parties involved, now that the host (Rob Brydon) is allowed to take a more active role. Endless comedy potential.
Introducing Home Truths: "Our panellists each read out a statement from the card in front of them. To make things harder, they've never seen the card before, so they've got no idea what they'll be faced with. It's up to the opposing team to sort the truth from the lies."
Introducing the This Is My round: "We bring on a mystery guest who has a close connection to one of our panellists. This week, each of David's/Lee's team will claim it's them that has the genuine connection to the guest, and it's up to Lee's/David's team to spot who's telling the truth."
Running Gag: A case can be made for most of the panelists saying "It is in fact..." (or some variation) before revealing whether a statement is true or a lie, even if the other team have already worked it out.
Lee's ridiculous stories in the "This Is My" round, a fact which he has begun to lampshade frequently:
Lee [after David's team have ruled out his story about the guest being a member of his scout group with whom he went camping and awoke to discover their tent had been stolen, and are deliberating between the two other stories]: Am I not getting a look in?
One could argue that Lee being given ridiculous stories in general has become a running gag.
To the point that when Joanna Page thought his story about losing a game of swingball to a chimpanzee might be "the sort of thing he'd do", he looked genuinely dismayed.
A panelist (or the entire team) declaring that a particularly embarrassing claim is true before the opposing player has a chance to explain him or herself.
The playing up of David Mitchell's poshness and Lee Mack's commonness.
Lee acting as though all the stories given in an episode are true (even those that have been shown to be lies) so he can do crossover jokes where something from one story appears in another, basically turning it into The Verse. Especially when he does it with all three stories in the "This is My" round.
If one of his teammates starts contradicting himself in his story, Lee will act as though he's the guest's solicitor in court and will pretend to desperately try and cover over the contradiction.
Sarcastic Confession / Self Proclaimed Liar: David Baddiel, in one episode of Series 2, said towards the end of his turn (a claim that he wore a neck brace when there was nothing wrong with him just to get an upgrade on a flight) that he was telling a lie. The other team hesitated, trying to decide what level of bluff he was running, before voting "Lie"...which of course it was.
Schmuck Bait: David Mitchell's "fact" in the final episode of Series 2 was that as a child, he dressed himself as an 18th-century nobleman. Within minutes, Lee's team was sold on it being absolutely true, but Lee wondered if it was "too obvious" as something David would do...before deciding to say it was true. Subverted, when it did turn out to be true.
Schrödinger's Butterfly: Frankie Boyle had to defend the claim that when he was a child he was afraid his life was a book being read by a bear, and that one day the bear would close the book and his life would end. Rob's followup autocue joke made reference to the famous philosophical question.
Seamless Spontaneous Lie: Barry Cryer was able to come up with a long story about his (alleged) career as a romance novelist under a female psuedonym, going as far as to describe the plots and titles of individual books on the fly without hesitating. Although the opposing team did catch him, it led to a double bluff when an equally silly and seamlessly told story later leads them to the wrong conclusion. He was named the week's best liar for it.
Jamelia: I don't know. It was a party. What do you have parties for?
Lee: You can have parties for all sorts of reasons.
Jamelia: Well, it was one of those reasons.
Lee: Oh, all right, then.
Shout-Out: In his appearance, Rhys Thomas spends the episode dressed as the Fifth Doctor. Absolutely no one notices or calls attention to it.
Show, Don't Tell: Wherever possible, a panelist will be asked for a demonstration of their claim, including Michael Aspel's shadow-boxing and Lee's juggling skills.
The panelists have grown quite Genre Savvy about it as well:
[Fern Britton has claimed that the special guest is her morris dancing partner]
Lee: Are you good at morris dancing? [beat] You know where this is going, right?
Fern: ...I would feel silly.
Lee: Well, you're on the right show...
Shrine to Self: David Mitchell claimed in Series 5 that he keeps his BAFTA(s) on a bookcase in his "Me room."
Skewed Priorities: When Dave Spikey's lie was that he bunked off school to go to London with a boy called Dick Whittington, he proceeded to add several details to the story, including that the boy in question owned a chip shop. Harry Enfield enquired into the name of the chip shop, prompting this from Lee:
Lee: I can't believe that a man is sitting here saying that he bunked off school to go to London with his mate called Dick Whittington who owned a chip shop to see the Beatles, and your question is "What was the chip shop called?".
"At the moment of shoulder pain — the moment when your shoulder has been bruised, possibly shattered, by the coconut — you think, 'I must keep that for anecdotal reasons'?"
In another episode, Lee is claiming that the "This Is My" guest is a milkman who once accidentally left 88 pints of milk on his doorstep. To his disbelief, David's team take issue with the fact that it was full-fat milk.
Happened in Real Life to Charlie Brooker, who told his girlfriend he was deaf in one ear ... and then had to maintain the act for six years. Lee and fellow panelist Michael Ball were unsympathetic.
Also happened to Andy Hamilton, who played a trick on a new French teacher by making up a pupil the teacher had supposedly left off the register. This led to Andy writing and handing in homework for the fictional classmate.
[Reginald D. Hunter is defending his claim that the "D" in his name stands for "Delicious"]
Fern Britton: Where did "Reginald" come from?
Reginald: "Reginald" is a German name; it means "mighty or wise power." (beat) And "Delicious" means, uh, "very tasty."
Speech Impediment: One of Lee's lies was that his parents had to change his name to Lee because he couldn't pronounce his real name properly. Pushed for details, he made up an unlikely-sounding story about having a speech impediment that meant he couldn't pronounce the letter O properly.
Russell Howard: It was terrible, Lee could never convey surprise!
Spit Take: One particularly memorable example - after one "Telly Tales" claim that Pam St. Clement was a member of the British Abseiling Association and had abseiled down Mount Rushmore, Angus Deayton's autocue joke made reference to her "mounting the north face of Frank Butcher". Lee's team managed a (completely unrehearsed) synchronised triple spit-take in response.
Split Personality: When Rob Brydon claimed that he used to pretend he was his own agent by using a different voice on the phone, the entire panel started joking that this was a split personality.
Keeley Hawes: Did the agent take a cut?
Kevin Bridges: Did the agent phone you up to let you know you got the job?
Rob: (getting increasingly frustrated) No, I was the agent!
Lee: Did you ever fall out with your agent?
Rob: No, it was me!
Stephen Mangan: When you decided that this charade had to finish, did you take yourself out to dinner and tell yourself you were letting yourself go?
[Rob tears the card up]
Kevin: Did you sign a contract?
David Mitchell: Are you still in touch?
Rob: Right, it's time to guess. First of all, Lee and those bastards...
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Rob Brydon as host is far more involved in the action than Angus Deayton was and there have been moments where the focus has gone entirely off either team (and the ostensible fact they are discussing) and landed squarely on him; one of the worst cases was the first episode in series 4, where Martin Clunes' turn was more or less abandoned for the sake of Brydon's impressions.
Squick: In-Universe. In a Series 3 episode, Claudia Winkleman had a taxidermic cat (ostensibly her childhood pet) as her possession in the Quick Fire Lies round. She stroked it lovingly for most of her turn, but as soon as her story was revealed to be a lie she dropped it back into its box and shook her hands in disgust.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's claim that he smeared Marmite on his face for his dog to lick off, which was thankfully a lie.
Rhod Gilbert: It has to be a lie, David, or else there's something wrong with him.
In Series 6, Miles Jupp claimed that, after showering, he brushes water off his arms with his hands before drying off with a towel. Richard Madeley asked if he also brushed water off between his legs with his hands, causing Rob and Lee to make identical disgusted expressions.
Surrounded by Idiots: Several of David Mitchell's rants are provoked by Lee Mack's feigned stupidity.
[The panel's debate about Fern Britton's "Possession" claim of a tea cosy she takes everywhere with her has been derailed]
David: The rest of humanity uses numbers to denote temperature, you use mime.
Lee: Yes, because that makes sense. "Is your tea all right? Yes, it's a number seven. Maybe a six, I'm not sure."
David: Sorry, the idea of numbers denoting temperature is new to you?
David: Temperature is measured in units—
Lee: But you don't say it's a seven, do you? [David makes to interrupt] I'm talking to the lady, not the nutter—
David: Who would want a seven, anyway? A seven, that's horrendously cold! If it's centigrade it's too cold, if it's Fahrenheit it's solid!
Suspiciously Specific Denial: In the Ring Of Truth round of one Series 2 episode, David Mitchell is uncertain as to what to say in response to the "fact" that Jim Carrey bought his dog a three-bedroom house, and decides to go with his team and say it's true. Trisha Goddard asks him if he'll kill them if it turns out to be a lie, and David replies with "Don't worry, I haven't killed anyone for years."
Also the round up of lies including every detail as done by Rob. "It's a lie. Kevin Bridges did not once steal a bag with 34 bundles of bananas... from a Cardiff railway station."
Take a Third Option: In the first episode of Series 2, with Krishnan Guru-Murthy voting "No" and Rob Brydon vacillating humorously between "True" and "Lie" (eventually settling on "Lie"), David Mitchell declared "No lie — it's true!" And it was.
In the This Is My round, it is common for teams to only consider two stories and eventually settle for one of those, only for it to turn out that the correct choice was the one they didn't consider.
In series 1, Claudia Winkleman wanted to take a fourth option in the This Is My round:
Claudia: I don't think any of them have met him.
Lee: Yeah, it turns out to be Angus' nephew; is that what you're saying?
David: He cried? That's a very odd response to immediate mortal danger! To just slightly well up! I would have thought that was more 'the end of It's a Wonderful Life' reaction! "Oh dear, I am to die, it appears!" Rather than "AAAARRRGHHH! GET OUT OF THE CAR!! RUN!!" No, but just a slight welling up... "Ah well, all things come to an end!"
Once he calmed down, he actually considered it might be true, though. It was.
That Came Out Wrong: Martin Clunes describing how he was fired from a catering job by Alan Sugar after spilling the contents of his tray on a guest: He claimed that Alan was angry, but "she was just wet and dirty as I remember"...
Series 4 episode 3 had several of these: "Is your husband known for involving other people?" "Why haven't you just whipped out a knob and affixed it to the entrance?"
That Liar Lies: If a story seems patently false and/or the panellist has been particularly unconvincing in selling it, this may result.
Lee: (reacting to Michael McIntyre's story about driving a car that could only turn left) We all think, as a team, that that is a lie, no, it's a pretty bad lie, in fact, a lie that you should be ashamed of, and you should leave the show immediately. It's just over there on your right, you might have to go (points around and behind him) through there, through there, through there...
Made all the funnier by the fact that Michael's story was actually true.
One 'Ring of Truth' fact was that the Archbishop of Canterbury had endorsed a Cockney version of the Bible. When it was shown to be true and Rob Brydon produced a copy to recite the Lord's Prayer from, David Mitchell remarked, "I'm gonna hate this, aren't I?"
Timed Mission: The final round is played against the clock (depending on how long the recording has lasted up to that point - the Quick Fire Lies round for series 4 episode 3 was fairly short because the horse story lasted half an hour).
The Tyson Zone: The teams occasionally struggle with the Ring Of Truth round because some characters (e.g., Sting) are so eccentric that anything is plausible.
Totally Radical: Richard E. Grant's dance version of 'To Be Or Not To Be', and the desperate attempts of Lee's team to get him to sing part of it.
Sanjeev Bhaskar: Was it, like, lutes and harps and ting?
Trailers Always Spoil: The series 5 trailers showed several guests revealing whether their facts were true or not.
Vanilla Edition: The series 4 DVD release is just the episodes and nothing else. They attempt to cover this by passing the Clip Show off as a special feature.
Victoria's Secret Compartment: In a Quick Fire Lies round, Gabby Logan tried to hide her "Possession" (some greeting cards she'd posted to her pets) in her shirt to keep the other team from having a look at them. She relented only when Rob Brydon made it clear he would have no qualms about going in after them.
Violent Glaswegian: Following Christine Bleakley's true story about Adam Rickitt getting her to remove all the red M&Ms from a bowl for him, a discussion between Lee, Rob Brydon and Frankie Boyle about 'rider lists' ensues...
Lee: What's on your rider list, Frankie? (mock Glaswegian accent) Six cans of bitter and a knife!
Frankie: Yeah, six cans of bitter for a teetotal alcoholic!
Lee: Only Frankie Boyle could complain about the fact that I mentioned alcohol and not mention the knife! (puts on the Glaswegian accent again) "I'll take the knife, but don't accuse me of drinkin'!"
Lee: (evaluating one of David's less-plausible stories) Why did they think that you were the man to do this job?
David: Well, a friend of mine—
David: All right.
Whammy: A team can be leading for much of the show, only to be given some ridiculous lies in the Quick Fire Lies round. Lee's team was 5-2 ahead in the penultimate episode of Series 3... and then Lee had to claim that he couldn't eat custard creams as they reminded him of the bullies at his old school. The round continued in much the same way and they lost their lead, the game ending in a 5-all draw.
What an Idiot: Lampshaded in-universe by Lee Mack in the last episode of Series 3. Following his interrogation of Reece Shearsmith's claim that he once worked at a funeral parlour that offered themed funerals (including "Medieval" and "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" themes), he states that he really wants to say that it's true, but he knows that if he does everyone at home will be going "How could that possibly be true?!"
Lee: And yet there's a massive voice in my head saying this is true.
Michael Ball: I know exactly what you're saying.
Charlie Brooker: (incredulous) Really?? I- I'm- just- the- "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre"?!
Lee: I know! I know it sounds ludicrous.
[Rob Brydon puts pressure on them to give an answer]
Lee: We're going with common sense?
Michael Ball: Yeah. It's a lie. Let's not look stupid.
In series 5, Rhod Gilbert's claim that he paid for £15 worth of tapas with a Nissan Micra turned out to be true. David Mitchell's response was to straight-up call him a moron.
What Did I Do Last Night?: David Mitchell's "Possession" turn in one episode was a lock of Steve Davis' hair which he bought on eBay. Asked why he purchased it, he said he was "a bit drunk" at the time.
Ronnie Corbett claimed to have found the This Is My guest bound and gagged in a sand pit on a golf course after some kind of wild night out.
In Series 6, Richard Madeley claimed to have woken up on Christmas morning nude in a cupboard under the stairs in his house holding two empty cans of fake snow after having been very drunk the previous night. It was true.
[Lee's team are not believing Greg Davies' story in the Home Truths round]
Greg: I'm telling you, I don't know if this is in the spirit of the game, this is true.
[On the basis of this statement, they say it's true, and of course it is a lie]
[Later, in the This Is My round]
Konnie Huq: I don't know if this is in the spirit of this game, but it really is true.
Lee: I'd like to say I'm not stupid enough to fall for this again...note And he still ends up guessing that Konnie's story is the true one, and is wrong again.
Who's on First?: Done in a series 7 story where Griff Rhys Jones claims to have pretended to be deaf to Princess Margaret.
Wig, Dress, Accent: Davina McCall claimed in her "Possession" turn in Series 2 that she wore a blonde wig and glasses when she wanted to go out unnoticed. David's team concluded correctly that it was a lie since it was not particularly convincing, plus it would be embarrassing if she were discovered.
Women Drivers: Michael McIntyre blamed the fact that his car could only turn left for a fortnight on his wife having an accident whilst driving it.
Working Class People Are Morons: Averted in that David and Lee are more or less tied in terms of points and wins. Played straight in the endless stream of "dumb Northerner" jokes directed at Lee.
Writers Cannot Do Math: During Lee's lie that if you give him any date before the year 2000 he can instantly tell you what day of the week it was, he comes up with an utterly-meaningless calculation for working it out. Justified by the Rule of Funny, since he clearly wasn't making much of an effort to make it sound plausible.
There's also a bonus example in the same lie: David Mitchell asked him if 1955 was a leap year, and Lee said "Of course it isn't, you idiot, that was 1954..." failing to realise that 1954 wasn't a leap year either.
Angus Deayton's autocue joke following Lee's 'Possession' claim about a coconut that nearly killed him:
Angus: Every year, worldwide, some 3,000 people are killed by falling coconuts, now if you times that figure by 10, that's 30,000 people every year, which works out at nearly half a million people, every 12 months. Spread that out over a year, that's 4.2 billion people killed by coconuts every month. A frightening statistic.
You Can Always Tell A Liar: More or less the trope the show runs on. The host's opening monologue occasionally contains facts about lying, including the physical or verbal cues given off by someone who is being dishonest.
Some panelists have been Genre Savvy enough to try to block or mask their tells. Jason Manford attempted to do several simultaneously, and Peter Serafinowicz put on a pair of sunglasses before reading his card in Series 4.