These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
This crossed into "Funny Aneurysm" Moment after a report showed the late presenter Jimmy Saville as likely having been one in the '70s, forcing Hugh to retire his Jimmy Saville "and the band was...Shawaddywaddy" impersonation.
Cultural Stereotypes: The middle and upper class are a frequent target of mockery, even amongst the comedians. Hugh is a frequent target, but he just rolls with the punches:
Colbert Bump: The show has been the first or one of the first television appearances for many comedians who are now very well-known.
A 2013 episode saw Ed Byrne make a Running Gag out of buying "Farming Simulator 2013" instead of Grand Theft Auto V. The very next day, Amazon had nearly sold out of "Farming Simulator" and was showing it as being frequently brought together with GTA.
Crosses the Line Twice: Frankie Boyle, almost every time he opens his mouth. Depending on your sensibilities, some of Hugh's lines may qualify (the suggestion for "Famous Last Words" of "Yeah Jackie, let's go in the open-topped car today!" being an example).
Frankie: "...when I read the headline "Fannie Mae Collapse", I thought Kerry Katona was having another baby..."
Another notable occasion is seen in the second "two hot for tv" dvd, where the unedited version of the "deleted lines from the last harry potter book" is shown, with the multiple rape jokes intact.
According to Frankie Boyle in one of his specials, a few of his scenes were left out for crossing the line a million times.
Dara even calls Frankie out on it after this Richard Hammond joke shortly after his big crash:
Frankie: "I think that should be the anti-speeding advert. It should be footage of Richard Hammond trying to remember his own wedding day. (audience groans) She was wearing black...or was it red? Am I married?"
Dara: "We weren't going to make an oblique reference to that, let alone—there's a line in the sand, and you can't even see the line in the sand. You're out of the sand into, like, tropical tundra regions or something."
Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: the Christmas special in Series 6 manages to have two rather ambiguous ones — first, guest Adam Hills' tale of a Santa who visited his dad's plane which was flying at Midnight on Christmas Day, which gets derailed by Frankie. Second, in what must be a first for this show, a fan drawing submitted by a viewer, age 11, is proudly displayed — it shows Daleksattacking the show's set. And Frankie has taken their side.
One "Spinning The News" segment had Frankie doing a routine on the topic of "Kids" (cue audience groan). After a very typical gag, he told a very sweet story about his daughter:
Frankie: We were sitting down for breakfast, and she said to me, "Daddy, what's the best thing in the world?" And I didn't even have to think of it. I said, "darling, I don't have to think about it, you are the best thing in the world, it's definitely you." And she quiet for a minute, and then she said: "for me it's sausages!"
Dara: It's pretty clear that Saddam Hussein is going to be found guilty, but there's still debate about how long he'll go down for. My guess is about four feet, before the rope goes tight.
Mark Steel: That joke was so contrived, people felt sympathy for Saddam Hussein!
And another one where a female guest asked "how many hairs would you have to pluck from Susan Boyle's face to make her attractive?" which every single other panellist groaned at. Yeah, Frankie Boyle found that one offensive too.
Kevin Bridges, Unlikely Things to Get Through Your Letterbox: "Dear Ms Winehouse, congratulations on turning 100, best wishes, the Queen."
Hugh's impressions of Jimmy Savile don't seem quite as cuddly, given the 2012 revelations about the late entertainer's darker side. Then again, one could also argue that in retrospect, they only serve to reinforce how obviously creepy Savile actually was!
Genius Bonus: Because he studied science, Dara will sometimes make a joke about some obscure scientific principle, or nitpick a joke by one of the panelists.
Growing the Beard: Early episodes focused heavily on impressions thanks to impressionist panellist Rory Bremner and featured games rarely seen later on. Once these were dropped a couple of series in, episodes went from mildly funny to hilarity and the show started to pick up a much bigger audience.
Hugh Dennis [when the "Scenes We'd Like To See" category was "Unlikely Things For a TV Announcer to Say"]: If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in Balamory...
After that, series 9 episode 8 of the show, where Balamory regular Miles Jupp appeared as a guest.
The more recent series of the show have taken a break over the summer. One of the reasons for this break is because Parliament is in recess and there won't be any big new stories to cover. For 2010, this worked well in practice. For 2011, not so much, as the show went off air in the same week as the News International phone-hacking scandal broke, closely followed by the riots in London.
[The answer in the "If This is the Answer..." round is 2035]
Stewart Francis: Is it 'when will Dara O'Briain succumb to my... advances'?
Bad Things To Say On A First Date.
Russell: Whoa... how pissed was I when I asked you out?!
Andy: Not as pissed as I was when I said "yes"!
Unlikely lines to hear from a thriller:
Russell: I have amnesia. The tattoos on my body will tell me what happened. ... 'Dara was here'?
Dara smiles wryly at the camera and presses the buzzer.
Memetic Mutation: After Paul Gascoigne made a surreal attempt to appease escaped killer Raoul Moat with a can of lager, a chicken, and an offer of a fishing trip (apparently they were friends), Michael McIntyre started what became a Mad Libs Running Gag of Gazza cheering [someone] up with a [drink], a [foodstuff] and an [activity].
Stewart Francis: In an effort to cheer up the badger, Paul Gascoigne was seen in the area with an empty bottle of Cava, a can of Spam and a Savage Garden CD...
Andy: Don't worry, Gazza's arrived with chicken and a fishing rod.
Other news stories referenced often include the story of a British man who turned up alive 5 years after he'd gone missing whilst canoeing, the Josef Fritzl case, and Kerry Katona's drug issues and frequent pregnancies.
For many Rory Bremner, who for two series was more of a distraction with his impressions than the lead comedian he was seemingly supposed to be. As Andy lamsphaded, the round is much easier if you can do impressions.
Also countless base breaking guest comedians that contributed a noticeable lack of jokes compared to the regulars (although the half-hour edit is heavily biased towards the regulars).
From roughly series 4 to series 7, it was common for there to be one excellent guest and one that wasn't that funny and thus became this for the entire of the episode.
Mark Watson might be considered this. Though in fairness, it might simply be due to his understated sense of humour making him appear to be the odd-one-out, given the more extroverted personalities he's alongside.
If the YouTube comments are to be believed, pretty much every female panelist they've ever had, with Gina Yashere standing out as particularly unpopular. Except for probably Holly Walsh, who gets a lot of positive comments during her appearances.
Uncanny Valley: The cast regulars done up as Lego men◊ is rather creepy, especially Dara and Andy (the latter of whom is referred to as a "Lego Colombian drug dealer").