• Acceptable Targets: Like all good English TV, France, England and America, (and occasionally Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) are constantly the butt of jokes.
    • Although in the episode about France it was pointed out that the French have a very solid military record, refuting the Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys stereotype, and an episode on "Germany" instituted a special "Don't Mention the War" penalty (only for Stephen to go on to break it himself with a question about WWII).
    • Rob Brydon often takes umbrage at what he (jokingly) calls Stephen's offensive stereotypes with regard to the Welsh.
    • Stephen once made the mistake of mentioning his prep-school tailor, with obvious results
    • Colin Lane's appearance in Series L had Stephen making several comments about Australians, which Colin took (joking) offense to. Naturally, his reaction ensured a lot more jokes at Australia's expense for the remainder of the show.
    • With Sandi Toksvig taking the helm, there have been a lot more jokes about Scandinavians.
  • The Artifact: Almost no one ever uses the buzzers anymore, even during the General Ignorance round. Jo Brand might be the only exception.
    • The panelists appear to be using the buzzers more now in Series L.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Rob's awful, awful pun "philately will get me nowhere" in Holidays. Cue audience groans and an utterly unimpressed Stephen. Luckily, he redeemed himself by going back in time and correcting himself.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Alan being presented with a potato-head version of himself in "Corby".
    • At the end of "Justice", after a discussion about nude psychotherapy, all five panelists get out of their seats and get their lads out. Color bars appear and a continuity announcer says something's gone wrong. The show returns to the QI panelists back in their seats, joking about their relative sizes. Unlike other non-sequitur moments intended to segue into the next topic, the only thing left is the reading out of the scores (at least in the regular length version of the show).
    • "Merriment" is one long series of bizarre events: an overhead light exploding, a fly landing on Bill Bailey's hand and being killed by Alan, the panel composing an impromptu musical based on bathroom puns, Stephen handing out ice cream for no explained reason and the panel arguing over flavors like a disfunctional family, and at the end, Stephen being inducted into the Magic Circle. And although it made sense in context, the panelists wearing pantomime-themed costumes made it all more surreal.
  • Broken Base: The bombshell that Stephen Fry would leave as host has naturally caused this reaction. Though, this is downplayed so far in comparison to other shows, as the general consensus among fans so far is that, if Stephen can't be the host, Sandi Toksvig would be the best choice to take over.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Stephen tells a joke that utilises this in the punchline, and then asks "Why is it so funny?!
  • Ear Worm:
  • Edited for Syndication: The BBC America episodes are 40 minutes long (regular episode + commercials) and shown three at a time.
    • No Export for You: Retroactively: After BBC America got the rights almost all the episodes on YouTube have been taken down.
    • Sunday Morning Death Slot: Possibly, though this may not be as much of a problem since people who get BBC America would also likely own DVRs: switched from 4:30 PM Thursdays to 9:30 AM Sundays, which makes the opening "Goooooooodeveninggoodeveninggoodevening!" a little awkward.
      • They also air only once, whereas in the 4:30 slot they were repeated a few times.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Johnny Vegas. Considered The Scrappy by some fans.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "Monster Mash", Phil Jupitus makes a joke about Alan Rickman. The episode first aired just after Rickman's death. The same happened two weeks later in "Mix and Match" with Lemmy from Motörhead. Cue fans wondering if they'd mention David Bowie next.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: There are many instances during the "J" series where Stephen Fry is obviously sick, on medication or otherwise not himself (the whole Jumpers episode being the most obvious example). Later that year, he attempted suicide (again), and in an interview afterwards talking about his bipolar disorder, he said, "There are times when I'm doing QI and I'm going, 'ha ha, yeah, yeah' and inside I'm going, 'I want to f***ing die. I want to f***ing die.'"
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • During the "Green" episode, Danny Baker urged the viewers at home to save electricity by turning off their television sets. That episode had one of the lowest audience figures of the programme's run.
    • When David Tennant was on the show jokes were made about Bill Bailey being on the Christmas special of Doctor Who. Come the 2011 Christmas special...
    • In early series, Alan Davies makes several jokes about being an oppressed and displaced Welsh person. And then, in the Europe episode, he reveals that he's found out that, despite his last name indicating otherwise, he actually has no Welsh ancestry.
    • In Series I aired in 2011, when discussing the fungus Cordyceps, Johnny Vegas speculates what kind of disaster it would be if it jumped into humans. Cue The Last of Us, a game featuring that exact premise just two years later.
    • In the Series F episode Future, Ben Miller's buzzer is the Doctor Who theme. Come 2014, and Ben Miller is playing the villain in the third episode of Series 8!
    • In one episode, the panel discusses the fact that Thomas Edison thought fifteen tiny people lived in his brain. Turns out, it's just five.
  • Memetic Mutation: And referenced by in "International", when Stephen puts on a false moustache and Bill Bailey claims that there'll be a website devoted to it by the time the show finishes airing. (There was one put up a day later, apparently.)
    • In an older episode, after Stephen's infamous line "what you need is length and thickness"note , Alan remarks, "That'll be snipped out, straight on YouTube." He was right, too.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Sean Lock's crying baby buzzer in "Imbroglio". Sure, it was invoked (all the buzzers were purposefully annoying), but while the first two buzzers were annoying in an amusing way, Sean's crossed the line into this territory. Judging by the reactions of Sean (he doesn't often lose his smile, but he did for this!), Stephen, and the audience, they all seem to agree.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • The Halloween episodes often go into gross-out territory, as did the episode wherein Stephen tried to cajole his guests to eat candy with insects in them, and got sick after trying one himself.
    • In one Sandi episode, she warns the panel to prepare themselves for the footage of a worm that blows its nose—literally. It ejects the entirety of its slimy white nasal passages outwards over a man's finger. Phill Jupitus mimes throwing up and then covers his face with a book when she replays it.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The occasional segment, but the "Inventive" episode was pretty horrifying for anyone with a fear of ventriloquists' dummies.
  • The Producers Think Of Everything: Some of the panelists' jokey answers set off the klaxon, especially too-obvious jokes. These are often an episode's Crowning Moment of Funny, and the source of much frustration for the panellists.
    Stephen: Name a poisonous snake.
    Jimmy Carr: Piers Morgan?
    At another point:
    Stephen: What's eight poles wide and forty poles long?
    Howard Goodall: "A regiment in the Polish Army?"
    • Reached The Tape Knew You Would Say That levels in the XL version of the "Greats" episode, when Jo Brand uttered a particularly long forfeit phrase word for word:
      Stephen: Now, tell me about the Great Disappointment.
      Jo: [buzzes] Have you been talking to my husband?
      *KLAXON* "have you been talking to my husband?"
    • Phill Jupitus has been picked on a few times as well, his Verbal Tic being part of the forfeit:
      Stephen: How long would it take you to bicycle from Land's End to the northernmost part of Britain?
      Phill: What, John O'Groats, you mean?
      [KLAXON]: what, john o'groats, you mean?
      Stephen: ...What was the name of the- the naturalist on board the Beagle?
      Phill: Charles Darwin, you mean?
      [KLAXON]: what, charles darwin, you mean?
      Phill: Oh- FRY!
      • Although on the third attempt a little later on in the same show (the question was which country worshipped jackal-headed dogs and the forfeit was " what, egypt, you mean?") another panellist set it off instead.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Trevor Noah appeared as a panelist on the Series K episode "Killers" one year before joining The Best F#@king News Team Ever, and two years before taking over from Jon Stewart.
  • The Scrappy:
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Of all people, Jerry Springer will be a guest in Series N.
    • Corey Taylor's presence also baffled some people enough for it to trend in the UK when his episode aired, despite him being a genuine fan of the show.