- Acceptable Targets:
Hugh: Well, listen to my voice!
Dara: Like an episode where a landowner comes around...
Hugh: (In an even posher accent than normal) One of you — I don't know which — has been stealing my pheasants!
Dara: "Well, welcome to public life, Nick, you look like fat Hitler."
Frankie: "He looks like a plucked owl that's been fast-tracked for management at Greggs."
- TV presenters are always good for a ribbing. Anne Robinson (especially her plastic surgeries; for Americans, she's the British equivalent of Joan Rivers) and Ant & Dec are frequent targets.
: It's hard to imagine such a crumbling, old ruin...presented Weakest Link
for as long as she did.
- Speaking of Americans...
"The good thing about Trump becoming President is, we'd finally be mocking them for reasons they understand."
Dara: (Christmas dinner in England) is the unhealthiest in Europe... it is the second most caloriffic Christmas dinner in the world.
Ed Byrne: Whose is the most caloriffic?
Dara: Take a wild fucking guess.
- Southern Rail is the subject of many gags for its reliability, particularly during Scenes We'd Like To See segments.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: "ICE FISHING!"
- Lampshaded by his disbelieving realisation of what he'd just said seconds later.
- Broken Base: Did Frankie Boyle's departure make the show more inclusive and less of a bearpit, or just completely unfunny?
- 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).
- Too Soon?
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 "Too 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 Daleks attacking 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!"
- Ensemble Darkhorse: The camera crew seemed to like pointing out how even the other comedians were losing their shit during Stewart Francis' turn on Spinning The News.
- Holly Walsh, in comparison to the general audience perception of the female comediennes on the show.
: Holly Walsh might be the only decent female comedienne on MtW
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
- 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!
- This line from Frankie Boyle:
"It's showbusiness, it's not ugly business! You think I'll stop doing Mock the Week after these looks go? NO!"
- 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 panelist 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.
- Hilarious in Hindsight
[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.
- This. Presumably he took it to the knee.
- Frankie's comment at 1:18 here, since he later grew a Badass Beard two years later.
Frankie Boyle: "Everyone knows I'm not a paedophile because I don't have a beard".
- Naturally, anything said that mocked Andy Murray's tennis ability. One example (exaggerated but the sentiment is there):
: (Unlikely things to hear at Wimbledon
) "And as the Scottish man holds the Wimbledon trophy aloft, the earth opens and swallows him whole."
: (Unlikely things to read on a packet
) "Viagra are proud sponsors of Andy Murray. For people who can only ever achieve a semi."
- Ed Byrne got one in after Murray won Wimbledon...while Murray was in the audience.
("Unlikely things for Andy Murray to think")
Ed Byrne: Well, at least now that I've won Wimbledon, they'll stop making fun of me on television.
- A "Scenes We'd Like to See" in a 2007 episode is "The worst thing to say when running for U. S. president":
: I will never forget the terrible
events ... of 9/12
- During the 2016 U.S. Presidential race, while talking about the atrocities of 9/11, Donald Trump flubbed and called it "7/11", similar to Frankie's joke made almost a decade earlier.
- Newcomers John Robins and Sara Pascoe can be heard taking digs at his girlfriend and her boyfriend respectively on occasion. Then we learn in season 15 that they meant each other.
- Milton Jones' infamous monologue about "thinking that Europe doesn't exist", now that the UK has voted to leave the European Union.
- Nish Kumar's joke about Of Mice and Men suffering Sequelitis in the style of the Fast and Furious franchise takes on different meaning if you've paid attention to the plotline of both - due to Values Dissonance, George shooting Lennie would never have gone over well today, but the first Fast and Furious movie provides a possible way out with Bryan letting Dom escape.
- Ho Yay
[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.
: Will Dara cop off with Ed? Find out tonight on: Love Ireland.
- 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].
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
Andy: Don't worry, Gazza's arrived with chicken and a fishing rod.
- "ICE FISHING!"
- Other news stories referenced often include the story of John Darwin, who turned up alive five years after he'd gone missing whilst canoeing, the Josef Fritzl case, and Kerry Katona's drug issues and frequent pregnancies.
- One of Us: Tennis star Andy Murray is apparently a fan of the show, despite the fact they regularly take the piss out of him, as on three occasions now he's gone to recordings straight after Wimbledon. On the second occasion they had an entire segment aimed at him.
- Padding: As seen on the show:
Fred MacAulay: ... And the detail is vital in padding out the routine...
- Replacement Scrappy: Averted somewhat in Series 8 by replacing Frankie with guests as opposed to a permanent panelist.
- From Series 3's first Between The Lines:
Frankie (attempting Saddam Hussein): "Hello campers!"
Hugh: "I reallllly think we're gonna miss Rory Bremner..."
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Andy Parsons was loathed for relying on lazy Captain Obvious-style humor and taking an eternity to reach his underwhelming punchlines, but became much better received once Frankie Boyle left and he started filling for the former's Black Comedy niche.
- The Scrappy:
- There have been 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.
- If the YouTube comments are to be believed, pretty much every female panelist they've ever had, with the exception of Holly Walsh.
- Technology Marches On: Zoe Lyons with her more subtle take on reusing "Scenes we'd Like to See" suggestions:
"Unlikely Small Ads"
Zoe: Wanted: the Internet, as I seem to be the only person in Britain still using the small ads.
- 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").