Below, you will find THE WHOLE SERIES...so far.
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- Jo and Alan are always good together:Stephen Fry: Who are the lords of shouting?
Jo Brand and Alan Davies: WE ARE!!
- Also:Jo Brand: Can I just say something that's very strange? Because there's some German chewing gum called Spunk, and, um, you do have to be careful you don't swallow it - but in fact, I actually talked about that chewing gum on Clive James's show with you [pointing at Stephen] and Princess Diana! Do you remember? Seriously!Alan Davies: [wearily] That was a dream. You've got to sort these out.
- Another great collaboration as Dara was relating his early piano lessons:Dara Ó Briain: Left and right for me was always, erm — just maybe because I learnt them at the same time was the hand that played the "dun dun dun dun" on the piano— and this was the melody hand.Alan Davies: [aside to Jo] Look at him with his tough working-class background.Jo Brand: Oh, I know!
- Dara's answer is also worth mentioning.Dara: I had to play piano to get out of the ghetto — you don't know how hard it was! I had to play piano hard, my friend!
- Dara's answer is also worth mentioning.
- There's a great one when Stephen introduces the round on phrenology/physiognomy by asking how he could tell Alan is a criminal just by looking at him. Jo abruptly says, "Is it the shifty little eyes, pointy nose and just general sort of little pug face?" and then cracks up all on her own while the audience gasps at Alan's stricken expression.Alan: Never seen you happier! Never seen you happier! That's the happiest I've ever seen you!
Phill: That one's been building up for twenty years!
Alan: "Someday I'm really gonna tell you what I think of you! When will that opportunity arise?"
- He's vindicated somewhat a bit later when all their "readings" turn out to be equally bad and Jo's describes her as, among other things, "venerous".
- From the "Birds" episode (starts about a minute in):Alan: What's the national bird of England?Jo: I'll tell you what it is for women. Thrush.Alan: You know what it is for men?Jo: Um...Alan: Cock.Jo: There. Sorted!Alan: Cock and Thrush. Good name for a pub.
- All the buzzers are pretty funny, with Alan's being the kicker at the end; see for yourself - A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, and M.
- On the moon:Stephen Fry: How many moons does the Earth have?[extremely long pause - everyone knows exactly what's coming]Alan Davies: [buzz!] [resignedly] The Earth has one moon, which is made of cheese.[klaxon]Alan Davies: But it has got one moon! It's called The Moon!
Stephen: At least, I say "the Moon", but how many moons does the Earth have?Alan: Oh, god...Suggs: Well, it's definitely only one.[klaxon]: ONEJimmy Carr: Well, it's the Moon, I think I'm with him.[klaxon]: ONE, THE MOON
- Then in the next season, when the same question is asked again, Alan says 'two' and the klaxon sounds because three more moons were apparently discovered. And while we're on the subject of Mr. Davies and cosmology:Pluto and Bangkok don't exist or something! I'm scared to go out!
- Rich's comeback line (after complaining that the second-moon fact was bullshit) — at the end of the episode, they were asked what manmade object can be seen from the moon, leading up to a correction of the Great Wall myth. And Rich says: "Which moon are we talkin' about?"
- He has since made this a stock response whenever Stephen asks a question about the moon while he is on the programme. In Series I, however, he asks it, and it sets the klaxon off. His reaction is priceless.
- Two more from the initial talk:Rich: Who comes up with this shit?
- And Stephen's exasperated answer when asked why there hasn't been a song made about the second moon.Stephen: Because it was discovered in NINETEEN-NINETY-FUCKING-FOUR!
- The lead-up complaint to this is quite funny as well:Jeremy Hardy: The song is "Blue moon, I saw you standing alone", not "with a small friend"!
- The dreaded question of how many moons the Earth has comes up again in Season Lnote :
- Then in the next season, when the same question is asked again, Alan says 'two' and the klaxon sounds because three more moons were apparently discovered. And while we're on the subject of Mr. Davies and cosmology:
- Every time Bill Bailey smokes a biro.
- The gag ran so long that for the Series G episode "Green" he brought in an actual pipe.
- Pretty much every episode Phill Jupitus appears in will have one moment that reduces the viewer to uncontrollable laughter.Stephen: [discussing stalactites] The Gruta Rei do Mato in South America has the biggest of them all.Phill: How big is it?Stephen: Vast, is the answer. [cracks up]Phill: Thanks for that. "How big is it?" [as Stephen] "Oh, very. If I was to quantify its bigness would be doing it a disservice! To say just how bigly big, the vastly big bigness of the dripping thing..." Oi, I want feet, meters, anything! Throw me a f***in' bone, Fry!
- The above exchange resulted from a question concerning where one would find the world's biggest drip. When Stephen initially asked the question, the viewscreens displayed a picture of a smiling Hugh Laurie, to Stephen's dismay.Stephen: Oi! No!
- From the same episode, Stephen talks about prison slang from when he was in jail as a teenager.Phill: I swear I'm getting an erection.
- Or this one, if only for the way Stephen gets suckered into proving Phill's point:Phill: No one has a kettle like that! Where do you plug in that... Look at it! We don't all live in a fluffy-duffy Dickensian world of charm like you! [as Fry] "Oh, there goes the kettle, and on the Aga!"Stephen: [stuffily] It's a perfectly sensible way of cooking food and preparing meals —Phill: [breaks down laughing]Stephen: — and it keeps the kitchen warm! It's —Phill: [laughs again] No wonder fucking Twinings had you, pal!
- When Stephen names the units that shoe sizes are measured in (barleycorns), Phill imagines walking into a shoe store and using this information.
- Phill Jupitus's imitation of eight-year-old Stephen on a space hopper. "Baah... baah... baah... nearly to Garboldisham!"
- It's been theorized that (at least recently) Phill has been using QI as an opportunity to vent some of his frustrations with stupid contestants on Nevermind The Buzzcocks, which is why he seems to have so much fun on the show. For instance, if you look at the airdate of "Fingers and Fumbs", in which is possibly his funniest single QI appearance, it was most likely filmed around the time that Phill was filming the NMTB episode with Dappy.
- As revealed in the "making of QI" special Phill likes to flirt with Stephen because it tends to throw him off and Phill really enjoys watching Stephen squirm a bit.
- The above exchange resulted from a question concerning where one would find the world's biggest drip. When Stephen initially asked the question, the viewscreens displayed a picture of a smiling Hugh Laurie, to Stephen's dismay.
- Any episode with Johnny Vegas in. Even if you hate him, you have to realise the genius of it.
- Rob Brydon's appearances in general. In particular:Stephen: Rob, what is the difference between a Carlisle Surprise, a Reverse Canterbury Pleasure, and a sheep tied to a lamppost in Cardiff?Rob: Now this is another example of the institutionalised racism which is accepted when it's directed towards the Welsh. Is this a reference to the joke "what is a sheep tied to a lamppost in Cardiff?" "It's a leisure centre." [audience starts to laugh] No. No. [points at Rich Hall] And you, no. [points at Stephen] And you, no. [points at Alan Davies] And you...no.
Rob Brydon: And in fact, my father grew up in the same street, literally the same street, as Anthony Hopkins.
- Rob Brydon getting worked up about anything mocking the Welsh, especially:
Stephen Fry: Yeah...in England, we live in houses!
Rob: Is this another dig at my forefathers?
- Another one, after Stephen asks a question about taffy (as in the American candy):
Stephen: You've got four fathers? The Welsh are weird.
Stephen Fry: How does the 'love bomb' work?
- And then there's this:
Rob Brydon: I just turn up, and I get on with it.
- Rich Hall's first line on the series, having been given a buzzer that made the sound of a clock tower chime, though it loses something in the writing. After the first question:Buzzer: BONG(Beat)Rich [totally deadpan]: I just wanna say that it's 9 PM.
- Phill Jupitus had a similar one.Buzzer: GONGPhill Jupitus: The Rank Organisation.
- And sometimes, just the buzzer is enough:Stephen Fry: What happens when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake?Alan's Buzzer: You're fired.
- It even works for John Sessions.Stephen Fry: What do jockeys use their whips for?John's Buzzer: Hit me.
- Phill Jupitus had a similar one.
- A couple of gems involving Clive Anderson:Stephen: What is the commonest material in the universe?Clive: Jim Davidson's!
- And this one, where he tries to pin his klaxon activation on Jeremy Clarkson:[Stephen has asked what dust is made of]Jeremy: Animals... insects...Stephen: Yeah, a little bit.Clive: [quietly] Dust mites.Jeremy: Bits of...bits of smashed badgers...[klaxon]Jeremy: SMASHED BADGERS is coming up there!?[the screen flashes DUST MITES]
- And this one, where he tries to pin his klaxon activation on Jeremy Clarkson:
- The buzzers give us such wonderful gems...Stephen: And Clive's goes...Buzzer: "Everything I do... I do it for you..."Stephen: [with a smooth, slightly cheerful tone] Sometimes there's just not enough vomit in the world.
- Two of the funniest things included the name "Peter":
- And Stephen's speech about his Hungarian grandfather pronouncing Pythagoras "Peter Gorus" ("You learn the Peter Gorus!"), and then going on to explain how he pronounced "pineapple upside-down cake".
- Stephen once told Jo about a handsome man, and she responded with some interest. This exchange ensued.Stephen: Would you have a crack at him?Jo: I'd wave my crack at him.
- Phill Jupitus doing his best to headbang whenever his buzzer sound is music or singing, no matter what style it is.
- The QI Staff obviously have a lot of fun trying to photoshop the faces of the panelists and creating the most bizarre and hilarious pictures.
- Some of the funniest moments involve forfeits that are not wrong answers per se, but potential jokes which are actually cheap laughs.
- The first episode, "Adam", had one of these, after it had been explained that Caravaggio's "outrageous behavior on the tennis court" was accidentally killing a guy in the act of cutting off his testicles:Alan: Over a game of tennis?
Danny Baker: New balls, please!
- From "Birds":
- From "Bears":Stephen: What has huge teeth and only one facial expression?
Bill Bailey: Janet Street-Porter.
- From "Discoveries":Stephen: Who suffered from Chagas [pronounced "shagas"] disease?
Arthur Smith: [buzzes] [in his best Sid James voice] I did, know what I mean? [Sid James laugh] I bloody shagged them all!...
[klaxon] [Screen: "I DID"]
- From "Food":Stephen: Name a poisonous snake.
Jimmy Carr: [buzzes] Piers Morgan.
- David Mitchell's laugh after that is a thing of phonic beauty.
- From "Gardens":Stephen: Who finds garden gnomes attractive?
Rob Brydon: I do, and it's lovely to get the opportunity to be able to admit it in public.
Rob: [screen shows a garden gnome wearing a bikini] Phwoa, look at...
[klaxon] [Screen: "PHWOARR!"]
- From "Greats":Stephen: Now, tell me about the Great Disappointment.
Jo Brand: [buzzes] Have you been talking to my husband?
[klaxon] [Screen: "HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING TO MY HUSBAND?"]
- From "Invertebrates":Stephen: What has the most genes?
Alan: Jeremy Clarkson.
- From "Jam, Jelly, and Juice":Stephen: What appears to be alive, but actually is not?
Sue Perkins: Jeremy Clarkson.
- And then, ten seconds later:Sue Perkins: Jedward, then! I'm revising my answer!
- And then, ten seconds later:
- From "Jack and Jill":Stephen: Who dies if they don't have sex for a year?
Sue Perkins: Ooh! Is it Russell Brand?
- Subverted in "Jeopardy":Stephen: What's the deadliest animal in Australia?
Julia Zemiro: Rupert Murdoch.
[oddly enough did not get the klaxon]
- From "Jumpers":Stephen: Now, how could these weights give you an extra six and a half inches?
Alan: Hang them from your cock.
- From "Marriage and Mating:Stephen: Who Married Big-Mouthed Margaret?[Beat].Alan: Denis.[Klaxon]]Stephen: Oh, thank you. Thank you for that.
- From "Not Nearly":Sandi:: Put your hand up if you haven't got hemorrhoids at the moment.
Jimmy Carr: Put my hand up where?
- The first episode, "Adam", had one of these, after it had been explained that Caravaggio's "outrageous behavior on the tennis court" was accidentally killing a guy in the act of cutting off his testicles:
- Also, the season A episode where Alan's buzzer was the forfeit klaxon. Used again in a series H episode, and yet again in a series I episode.
- Best show opener ever:Stephen Fry: How do you do, Mr. Davies?Alan Davies: Uh.. fine, thanks.[klaxon]
- Along with...Stephen Fry: Alan, what are you doing?Alan Davies: Huh? What? Nothing...[klaxon]
- Ah, banisters.Stephen Fry: Has anyone ever slid down a banister?Alan Davies: Yes.[klaxon]Phill Jupitus: Please don't destroy Alan's childhood.
- From that same bit:Jo Brand: When I was at college I slid down a barrister.Phill Jupitus: Did you hit yourself on the knob at the end?
- From that same bit:
- At the start of one of the I series;Stephen Fry: Now, tonight's show is all about inattention and ineptitude. [turning to Alan] Alan, what is tonight's show about?Alan Davies: Inattention and ineptitude.[klaxon]Stephen Fry: That's ten points off to start because actually, tonight's show is all about inequality and injustice.
- During "Groovy", Stephen tells a joke about someone who can't get "Auld Lang Syne" out of his head and is directed to the Burns unit. Everyone groans.Stephen: Now, what's wrong with that joke?Lee Mack: Is it absolutely terrible?[klaxon] [Screen: "IT ISN'T FUNNY"]
- Its absence becomes a joke in itself in "J-Places":Stephen: Can you tell me the biggest joke ever to come out of Alaska?Sandi: Sarah Palin.[screen changes to show Sarah Palin]Stephen: We're not forfeiting you there, it was so obvious.Sandi: If I had forfeited, I would have refudiated.
- The first question asked in the K-series, in "Knees and Knockers":Stephen: What is this? It's a noise. Listen carefully.[the klaxon sounds]Jack Whitehall: [buzzes] A klaxon.[klaxon]Stephen: In a strange sort of way, pop just ate itself.
- Reaches new heights in "Oddballs":Jimmy Carr, faced with 4 identical options: I think the last one we pick is gonna be the good one, right? Okay, 1.[klaxon]Jimmy Carr: Does someone get paid when that sound effect goes off?[klaxon] [Screen: "YES"]Jason Manford: They've been waiting fifteen years to do that gag!
- During a discussion about Aborigines in the Australia episode, Stephen brings up Native Americans. Alan says that it's more fun to call them redskins. Then, this:Stephen Fry: I wouldn't try it, though, in America. Or you'll have your balls turned into a small purse.Alan Davies: A very big purse, I think you'll find.Jackie Clunes: [matter-of-factly] It is actually possible for the ball sack to be stretched beyond recognition.[pause]Jimmy Carr: By a woman scorned?Stephen Fry: Now, the scrotum is quite an interesting thing...
- From the first episode "Adam", Stephen asks Hugh Laurie why Edward Woodward has four 'D's in his name. After Hugh gets interrupted by a buzzer and calls said buzzer presser out on it, Alan Davies starts talking about kiwi fruit.
- One of the outtakes from Series A, when Stephen fluffs a line: Piss and arse and wank!
- "What rhymes with purple?"
- "Do you realize what you're doing on national television?"
- The reaction of everyone to Sean Lock's revelation that banana plants walk (especially when they found out he learned that on a trip to Colombia) and then everyone's reaction to the fact that he was later proved correct.
- Rich Hall's explanation of how to defend yourself against an alligator using a paperclip, a paper bag, a crocodile clip, a handbag, and a rubber band.Rich: When it says to defend yourself against an alligator, this is sort of the trick part of the question. This means if the alligator is litigious, and is trying to sue you, let's say because you're wearing his mom on your feet. There's a lot of paperwork involved in defending yourself in court against an alligator. You will need a paper clip for that.Jeremy: Is that where the word "allegation" comes from?Rich: Yes. However, you might need a paper bag. Alligators will taunt you before they attack you, and like a boxer, they will often hold a press conference, and they will say, "You can't fight your way out of a paper bag, buddy!", and then you will have to prove that you can fight your way out of a paper bag before you can fight the alligator.
- Stephen correcting Jeremy correcting Stephen:Stephen: I refute that with every fibre of my being.Jeremy: No you don't, to refute you have to provide evidence. You mean rebut.Stephen: No I don't, I mean repudiate.
- In Series B, Stephen reads the original advertisement for Pony Express riders:Stephen Fry: Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18. Must be expert riders and willing to risk death daily.Alan Davies: You wrote that.Stephen Fry: ...Orphans preferred.
- The role reversal in the B series Christmas episode. Alan was allowed to take over from Stephen as the chair (with Stephen mentioning that, traditionally, at Christmas, the servants were waited on by the masters for a change) for the General Ignorance round. Naturally, he spent the entire round targeting Stephen with questions and delighting in hitting the klaxon, resulting in Stephen finishing last out of all five contestants.
- Bonus points for Fry actually getting the first question right.
- He got one of the following ones right too - which way does water go down the plughole in the northern hemisphere? Any way you want it to.Stephen: (buzzes)Phill Jupitus: Fry! Cambridge!
- Phill's impression of Fry after Fry announces that he's tested his response (that you can make the water drain either way) is icing on the cake:Phill: "Stephen, what are you doing in that bathroom? [imitating Fry] I'm pushing it to go one way, pushing it to go the other, I'm the master!"
- In series B, while testing the buzzers, Phil Kay has a hilarious moment. The panelists aren't told what their noise would be, mostly to make sure Alan Davies is kept guessing. The topic was "birds", and each buzzer was a bird call; Phil "presses" his, while making a rooster crowing sound. He laughs at the jib and actually presses it. It's a rooster crowing. (it's early, at 00:47 seconds in) His reaction is priceless!Stephen: I promise you, I did not know that—
Phil: Let's...let's just check it again, make sure we weren't all having a hallucination...(hits the buzzer, and it's still a rooster crowing)
- Rich Hall also has the line (on the topic of butterflies):Rich: I think it's evil to put a food in front of any bug. To name it like a butterfly. Cause I would eat butterflies when I was a kid because I thought they had butter in 'em. And honeybees.Stephen: There are two theories as to why- [laughs]Rich: And a hamster.
- Thomas Edison believed that 15 tiny people live in everyone's brain. After being asked how she would respond to someone who thought this, as a psychiatric nurse:Jo Brand: Punch them to the ground!
- In another reference to Jo having been a psychiatric nurse, after Stephen's description of Van Gogh:Jo Brand: It was a bit more than that. I mean he was, like, seriously mentally ill, rather than, "not a happy bunny."
- In another reference to Jo having been a psychiatric nurse, after Stephen's description of Van Gogh:
- After a non-sequitur about fugu, Phill Jupitus mused about Stephen Fry visiting Japan.Phill (As Japanese): "AAAH! Stephen FerrrrAayuuu!"Phill (As Fry): "Baaaaaaah!"Phill (As Japan being tread on): "Stomp stomp stomp!"
- Alan on his Welsh roots: "Unfortunately, because of you English people destroying our natural culture and heritage, I don't know our own language. Cruel imperial invader! My great-grandfather was forced to flee Cardiff and set up a restaurant in the East End."
- This somehow becomes even funnier when he states, in a later series, that he's discovered that he doesn't actually have any Welsh roots at all.
- The discussion of the Hokey Cokey.Stephen Fry: There was an American version of the dance by a man called Larry LaPrise, and he died in 1996. What happened at his funeral?Alan Davies: (Completely deadpan) Oh, they couldn't get him in the coffin.Stephen Fry: Why is that?Alan Davies: They put his left leg in, and then the troubles started.
- Some more Rich Hall wisdom: "They say that the wheel was the greatest invention ever, but I think it was probably the second wheel. Because... you ever see a guy on a unicycle? What an asshole."
- The entire episode "Bombs" could count as a series-wide Crowning Moment of Funny, but the funniest part is when Stephen brings up Boy Scouts...Rich Hall: I was in the Boy Scouts. We went to 'Nam.Alan Davies: Did you go in a helicopter gunship? With The Doors playing really loudly?
- Three words: 'woof, woof, boom.'
- This:Stephen: The male anglerfish latches on to the female, and the male's body, the skeleton, muscles, digestive, respiratory systems, all disappear and become the female's, until all that's left are two testes that shoot sperm into the female.Jo Brand: Can I just say, that sounds a lot like my marriage.
- In "Bats," Alan gets the klaxon three times in a row. Seconds later, he gets it a fourth time.
- From Stephen: "I leave you with this quite interesting thought: *beat* Good night."
- In the first episode of series C, Stephen asks what was the last place in Britain to be converted to Christianity. Rich Hall suggests "SatanIsMyMaster-on-Wye." Bill Bailey informs him that "it's pronounced Semster."
- From the same episode, Rob Brydon keeps accusing the rest of the panel of mocking the Welsh.Rob Brydon: Is this another dig at my forefathers?
Stephen: You've got four fathers? The Welsh are weird.
- Also from "Campanology", Alan says that the gray and red squirrels can't live in the same environment. Stephen replies "Ebony and ivory are together on my piano key so why can't they be?", and Alan asks "what, you mean like a squirrel-fur keyboard?"
- From the same episode, Rob Brydon keeps accusing the rest of the panel of mocking the Welsh.
- Another Rich gem, from "Constellations":Jeremy Clarkson: Sixty-two miles is what you're calling outer space. Did you know there was a man called Joe Kittinger who once jumped from a hot-air balloon at that height, in 1961?
Rich Hall: Oh, Dead Joe Kittinger.
[NB: He's not dead, and although Jeremy got the height drastically wrong as well as the date and the type of aircraft, Project Excelsior is still worth knowing about]
- After a question about why the House Of Lords smells of urine (It used to be a public phone box?) and the panel deduce that most of the attendants wear tweed, we got this:Jimmy Carr: And, as we all know, tweed is made of urine.Stephen Fry: Yes, that's absolutely correct.Jimmy Carr: (incredulous) It is? Where do you buy your tweed?
- A discussion of baked beans results in a Gordon Ramsay joke, featuring a Cluster F-Bomb from the panel.
- At the end of the same episode (Season C, episode 2, Cummingtonite), Stephen has them attempt to break a glass with their voice. Alan does so, but it's shown to have been faked, and Stephen mentions that his glass was a sugar glass, and takes another sugar glass and smashes it on his head. Arthur Smith picks up his glass and throws it at Alan, at which point everyone shouts "IT'S REAL! IT'S REAL!".
- Alan Davies choking on his swazzle in the episode "Carnival."
- Especially as Phill and Clive swazzle-laugh at him.Stephen: If you don't take your swazzles out very soon, I will kill you.Alan: [with swazzle] Svzz-zzle!
- Actually, he makes a disappointed sound, kinda like a puppet in a swazzle-puppet show.
- Especially as Phill and Clive swazzle-laugh at him.
- The "Colour" episode. The entire thing was basically a Crowning Moment Of Funny: "I suggest a cummerbund for geography", "DEES PINK POLENTA I LOVE EET!", "Are you telling me the Incas talked like Oxbridge graduates!?", etc.
- The C season outtakes have the scene in which Stephen attempts to close the show with a Will Rogers joke, only to encounter stiff opposition from Rich Hall:Rich Hall: Oh you're not going to do that crap joke again, are you?[a minute later after Stephen thanks the guests again and launches into the joke]Rich: Don't do it Stephen!
- The opener of the "Cockneys" episode features Stephen Fry's ridiculously posh take on Rhyming Slang. Considering he's pulling much of it out of thin air, it goes off the rails very quickly:Stephen: Any flamencosnote given in pyongnote score barneynote .Alan: What the FUCK are you talking about?!
Phill Jupitus: So we're doing middle-class Cockney rhyming slang?
- He then goes through the faux-rhyming-slang-filled script explaining the reason behind the slang, before admitting the only thing he could think of to rhyme with "buzz" was "woman who does".
- The episode (Series C, Episode 7) in which Jeremy Clarkson tells a story about eating puffin, an action that he justifies with the slow and carefully delivered line: "I wanted to [eat] it because it was something I had never tried before". After about half a second, Sean Lock brightly asks Clarkson, "Have you ever had one of my turds?"
- "Would you like me to grate some puffin on that?"
- Jeremy subsequently describes a seal's flipper as tasting "exactly like licking a hot Turkish urinal." Sean Lock immediately expresses concern that he used the word "exactly".
- Sean Lock discovering a portal to the underworld while Stephen Fry and Rory McGrath argue about Latin bird names.
- The "Combustion" episode (episode 12) of series C. Stephen gives a rather savage opinion of The Da Vinci Code, when Alan suggests one of his... 'Epithets' would be a good name for a blues singer. Bill Bailey immediately hits his buzzer, which happened to be a blues harp.
- In "Cat's Eyes", Rich Hall, on how ancient armies captured elephants: "Well, the truth is many of these elephants volunteered. They were living in a small town, no future, and the circus comes along, y'know, you gotta join".
- In "Creatures", the first question is which of the 4 buzzer animals has the most chromosomes. Helen Atkinson-Wood suggests the chicken, because of all the eggs it lays. Stephen points out that a mosquito lays more eggs than a chicken does. Bill Bailey then says that it must then be the donkey, as the donkey lays more eggs than any of them.
- From the episodes "Discoveries":Clive Anderson: The mark of a true queen, Stephen...Stephen Fry: (lasciviously) Yeeeees?
- The episode about dogs. Jeremy Clarkson is a stitch in that one![After observing that dogs like to smell people's crotches, talking about the dog on the screen.]
Jeremy Clarkson: It can smell my crotch!
Neil Mullarkey: We all can.
- "Descendants," the fourth-series Children in Need episode, has many, many a CMoF, but it all kind of comes to a head at the end when Stephen asks how much of the charity's income goes to administration.Jonathan Ross: Ninety percent.
Stephen: It would be depressing if that were true. It is, I'm happy to say, less than that.
Alan: None! None at all!
Stephen: You're right! Nada. Not one percent...
Alan: There's no administration at all, it's a shambles!
Stephen: [post-recovery] The first Children in Need telethon, what year would you guess it was?
Stephen: Oh, you're only one year out!
Stephen: Oh, wrong way! [Alan rolls his eyes] It's 1980. And how much did it raise?
Jonathan: Twenty pounds.
Stephen: It was about one million. Last year's appeal, seventeen million, two hundred and thirty-five thousand, two hundred and fifty-six pounds...
Alan: That's not very good in terms of the rate of inflation, is it?
Stephen: Are you urging the public to do better?
Alan: [shrugs] They've probably got other things to spend their money on.
- In the same episode, at around the halfway mark, the questions proceed through such topics as The Clangers, Bill & Ben, The Flowerpot Men, the "Crazy Frog" ringtone, Geordie accents, and Terry Wogan and his televised 33-yard putt at Gleneagles. Familiar topics to the British panellists (Alan, Phill Jupitus, and Jonathan Ross), but rather alien to the panel's resident American, Rich Hall. After sitting in silence for nearly ten minutes, he hits his buzzer (which plays a Bill and Ben-esque "Flobbadobbadob!"):Rich: Ever since The Clangers I've been lost. The last picture I recognised was the KKK, and that's just sad.
- From the same episode, when Stephen asks what Kingpin put on Spiderman so that he would always know where he was, and Alan jokes "an ASBO".
- Phill's ferns joke confusing the hell out of Stephen.Phill: Ferns, they make a canny noise like. [later to Stephen] Never ever go to Newcastle!
- In the same episode, at around the halfway mark, the questions proceed through such topics as The Clangers, Bill & Ben, The Flowerpot Men, the "Crazy Frog" ringtone, Geordie accents, and Terry Wogan and his televised 33-yard putt at Gleneagles. Familiar topics to the British panellists (Alan, Phill Jupitus, and Jonathan Ross), but rather alien to the panel's resident American, Rich Hall. After sitting in silence for nearly ten minutes, he hits his buzzer (which plays a Bill and Ben-esque "Flobbadobbadob!"):
- In the Christmas special, Stephen Fry describes the Christmas routine of the Royal Family. You really have to see it to understand.
"You have to let it sit, you have to let it go black, and then you have to push it back so that no more gas goes into it. Five-twelfths of an inch is the ideal head 'round the top. ... And if somebody paints a shamrock into it, you're allowed to stab them in the eye with a fork."
- Dara explaining how to serve a pint of Guinness:
- And in response to Stephen's attempt at an Irish accent, "Well, the pub I worked in actually wasn't located in a movie from The '50s..."
- Fry asks what you might do with donkey milk;Phill Jupitus: Donkey milk! It probably makes an amazing cheese.
Stephen Fry: Well oddly enough that's the one thing it doesn't.
Johnny Vaughan: Phill, come on, you're so naive. Sometimes, honestly...
Phill Jupitus: [petulantly] I want donkey cheese!
- Another gem from Divination in which Stephen Fry explains who Thomas Midgely is:Stephen Fry: He discovered that iodine added to kerosene would reduce 'knocking' in cars, so he decided that although it slightly reduced it, slightly wasn't enough. He wanted to completely reduce it. So he tried every single chemical in the periodic table until he came up with lead. And as a result, all motorcars, for seventy-odd years, put lead in their petrol. Creating billions and billions of dollars worth of, and millions of tons worth of lead into the atmosphere. Harming millions- probably- of people.Phill Jupitus: And yet, he looks like a lovely fellow.Stephen Fry: Something- it was his guilt about that that lead him to think about doing something about that nasty old sulfur dioxide, and the nasty old ammonia, that we used in refrigeration. So, he discovered in three days, dichlorofluoromethane. And he was very proud of that, because it's inert, it's non-toxic, it's beneficial, the first of the freons. What did he not know it was also doing?Phill Jupitus: Destroying the ozone layer.Stephen Fry: Destroying the ozone layer! Not content with thousands and hundreds of millions of tons of lead...Johnny Vaughan: What was his next trick? The cigarette! "I'm sick of not having smoke going into my lungs!"Phill Jupitus: Then he decided to cut out the middle-man, and just kill babies with hammers!Stephen Fry: So, he's put lead in petrol, he's invented CFCs, but then he was struck by polio, at the age of fifty-one.Phill Jupitus: Well, fucking good!
- Stephen is explaining how a woman slipped and fell on to a knife sticking out of her dishwasher. Alan is a bit perplexed, and Stephen claims he's cut himself doing this because loading the knife with the point of the blade up 'gets a better clean', to which Phill utters the immortal retort:I clean my knives on a crossbow! Some people say it's foolish... I put them in the hoover and set it on Blow, and then just shoot water at them around the kitchen, as I sit with the plug bare-wired at my feet, peeing on it! "You get a better clean."
- Stephen's description of how other London Gangsters used to have to compliment Ronnie Kray's boyfriends to avoid offending him.
- From the Dictionaries episode, after explaining Didcot Power Station was named the second worst eyesore in the country:Rory Bremner: Do you know what was number 1?
Phill Jupitus: [in an exaggerated posh accent] People, public people, the working classes. Poorly groomed servants, ill-bred ponies. That Blair fellow.
Stephen Fry: If I find out you've been intercepting my mail.
- Death: "I've just been looking at the scoreboard, and at the moment the audience is winning."
- Danger: "What's 3 times more dangerous than war?" "Three wars".
- The moonwalking manakin bird. The backwards walk is already funny, but it's when it moves sideways back into view that really makes the clip.
- From the same episode: the "A Night to Remember" sing- and dance-along.
- They say of the Acropolis, where the Parthenon is...
- I think they broke Stephen...Stephen: I can't breathe!
- I think they broke Stephen...
- From "Eating": "What happens if you eat nothing but rabbit?" Especially when no one (read: Jimmy) lets go of the concept. Stephen's reaction: "You're picking on me, I won't have it!"
- Johnny Vegas desperately trying to get the "Elephant in the Room" bonus shortly afterward:Stephen: When did rabbits arrive in Britain?
Stephen: Do you remember what year it was?
Alan: Three thousand years ago. Tuesday morning.
Johnny: [buzz] There's an elephant in this question!
- And later...Stephen: But the extraordinary thing about the introduction of rabbits into Britain was that they were kept in these warrens which were run by—
Stephen: —people called warreners.
- And later...
- The question about what cornflakes were originally used for, and Johnny Vegas's joke response:
- Johnny Vegas desperately trying to get the "Elephant in the Room" bonus shortly afterward:
- From "Espionage", Stephen asks how gummi bears could be used to rob a bank and the panellists start coming up with the stupidest things they can imagine.Alan: Simple bribery?
- From the "Everything" episode, Stephen is talking about car accident statistics and says that the "most dangerous" cars in the world are green and driven in China.Alan: They're called tanks.
- Alan explaining his cat incident in the "Endings" episode.
- Also, during the question on emperors:Dara: Ethiopia?
Alan: Haile Selassie?
Stephen: Before Haile Selassie.
Jimmy and Alan: (at the same time) Lowly Selassie?
- When asked to name an island:Alan: Is this that one where they got stuck and that guy had to walk for ages?
Stephen: Yes, actually. For about eight months he walked around.
Jimmy: Is it The Island Of Reluctant But Inevitable Homosexuality? I think I recognize it, from a school trip that went horribly wrong.
Stephen: Lord Of The Undone Flies.
- Also, during the question on emperors:
- The "Electricity" episode has a bunch of good moments, including "Wo ist mein Handy?", Sean Lock inventing the lasagnaPod. and Alan and Jo Brand being deliberately obtuse when asked questions about lightning strikes:Stephen: How many times do you think lightning strikes the Earth every day?Jo: Four.Stephen: So we've got four. I can say that it's more than four.Jo: Is it five?[later, on the question of how many Britons are killed by lightning each year...]Stephen: It's between three and six.Alan: Four or five.
- In the same episode, Jo Brand, Alan and Stephen got into a lengthy argument over the fact that the term "boat", in Navy parlance, actually refers to submarines. Jo Brand just refused to believe it, and at the argument's end Rich Hall said: "and I'll tell you something else, there's not two moons".
- Also, Stephen getting a crush on a horse.
- And Alan managed to short out the studio lights by testing his buzzer.
- In the same episode, Jo Brand, Alan and Stephen got into a lengthy argument over the fact that the term "boat", in Navy parlance, actually refers to submarines. Jo Brand just refused to believe it, and at the argument's end Rich Hall said: "and I'll tell you something else, there's not two moons".
- After Stephen Fry said the Belgians were named after a tribe originally from the region of Winchester:Phill Jupitus: I dare say someone just threw his pipe at the television. [upper-class accent] Fry just called me Belgian! Where's my gun?
- From "Endings", Alan's Never-Ending Piano Buzzer, clocking in at a whopping 35 seconds for added irony given the episode's name.
- In "Empire", Alan notices something running really fast in the background for one of the screens. He becomes determined to see it when it runs by again.
- Jo Brand setting off the klaxon for almost every single answer she gives.
- Bill Bailey's 'compliment' to Sean Lock on his big ears, and Sean's response.Sean Lock: You're going bald.
- In "Entertainment," Alan's seat was taken by a person dressed as Pudsey Bear, the mascot of the BBC charity Children in Need. Pudsey started waving one of the elephant joker cards (for the "Elephant in the Room" bonus) and Stephen realized that there was indeed one in the studio: Alan, sitting in the audience and wearing a plush elephant head. Alan proceeded to beat Pudsey off the stage with the trunk.Alan: I was the elephant in the room! It was brilliant!
- Charlie Higson's poke at Stephen in "England":Stephen Fry: Where exactly is the best place in England to find nutters?Charlie Higson: On one of your documentaries!
- The extended version of the Series F episode "Fingers and Fumbs." All of it. But particularly the snogging forecast, Stephen's "funbags" (and Phil's reaction), the largest plastic-bottomed lake in Europe and the queue for taking the duck into the echo chamber.
Alan: [frowning and smiling at the same time, sort of] "I'm using 23 muscles!" [holds up middle finger] "Still 23!"
- "But Stephen, I can only get a forfeit if I say 'fuck!'"
- Following a discussion on the number of muscles used in frowning and smiling, the stupidity of pointing out the difference in order to make people be more friendly, and the fact that there are no muscles in fingers:
- Also:Alan: Is it true that there's more estrogen in the water supply at that more and more people are turning gay?
Jo: No, that's just you.
- In the "Fire and Freezing" episode, Rob takes it upon himself to teach the others about the dangers of smoke.
- In the "France" episode from the F series, in the lead-in to a question about a giant elephant-shaped building which was planned for the spot now occupied by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Alan declared "There's an elephant in the room" and dug out his elephant placard - which was still there after the previous series. An amazed Stephen promptly gave Alan bonus points.
- Hell, everything about that episode was funny. Stephen starts off by asking Alan a question is French. Alan's face of pure puzzlement just sells it.
- Hugh Dennis shared an anecdote on how Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't allowed to dub his own lines in German (because his Austrian accent makes him sound like a hick). This fires off several Terminator lines delivered in Cornish.
- During a discussion on how Samuel Beckett used to drive around Andrè the Giant and used to be a cricketer:Phill Jupitus: (mock upper-class accent) The Mick doesn't play cricket, Stephen!
- The "Films and Fame" episode had a discussion on the supposed fact that if a hedgehog's fleas are removed it will die turning out to actually be a myth. Following a funny rant from David Mitchell in response to Alan Davies saying humans shouldn't eat bread and milk, Stephen then goes on to talk about how David had actually reported in his Radio 4 programme "The Unbelievable Truth" that hedgehogs would die if their fleas were removed, prompting:David: Yeah, just... people give you this shit and you read it out.Stephen: [holding a QI note card very close to his face] I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU MEAN.
Stephen: You shake hands and be friends now...
- It was not merely a "funny rant." David Mitchell castigated Alan Davies, though Alan had an unconvincing argument (that bread and milk are bad for humans). Here, watch the carnage for yourself.
- This was followed up with a question on how often Shakespeare mentioned cricket; he did several times, again contrary to what David had read out on The Unbelievable Truth. All this was then topped off with Stephen and Alan, as well as QI's creator John Lloyd, being invited onto The Unbelievable Truth for a 'rematch' in a QI-themed special.
- John Sessions's stories about Alan Rickman's Typecasting as "interesting people" also drew a large amount of laughs.
- Emma Thompson's appearance on the show. First, she told a story of how she could make Stephen scream by threatening to show him her "breests" (as Stephen called them) and by appearing nude in front of him while the doors were locked so he couldn't escape. Then, after Stephen asked if she waxed "down there", she threatened to flash him, scaring him silly.Stephen: Do you wax yourself down there, darling?
Emma: [starts to stand] Do you want to see?
Stephen: [recoiling] NO, I DON'T WANT TO SEE!! No, I do not! Oh, Lord...
- Also, from the extended version, mortifying Stephen with the revelation that the OED's first recorded use of the word "luvvie" is his.Stephen: HWA!? NO! I... I can't believe... did I invent the word?Emma: Yes it was you, sometime back in the 1980s.Stephen: Did I? I'm ashamed.
- From "Fight or Flight", a discussion on flying fish and how they can't really fly for long periods. Pam Ayres commented that she thought she had seen one flying. Cue Johnny Vegas:[stage whisper] Should anyone tell her that she actually witnessed a duck?
- Later in that episode (XL Version), Stephen somehow convinces Johnny that he's really gay and the show gets completely derailed after that.
- Rob Brydon and Ben Miller fusing into Siamese twins on the "Future" episode.
- The 'prostitute racing in the Vatican' bit and its callbacks in "Flotsam And Jetsam". Also, Alan talking about sports team's pictures and Mick Jagger's walk.
- From the same episode, Stephen tells the panel how Burt Ward used to send thousands of autographs to women written in his own sperm. He then gets a message in his earpiece and is informed that he completely misunderstood and that Ward just used "giving them the ultimate autograph" as a euphemism for sex.
- Alan's story about the time his Alsatian came to wake him up one morning, led him into the kitchen and showed him that there was a frog in its water bowl. Have a link.
- "I know what you got for Christmas Luke..."
- David Mitchell, always top quality, expressing what we're all thinking on Bertrand Russell's proof that 1 + 1 = 2.David: That's a bit late for the 20th century, I say. You have a lot riding on 1 + 1 = 2. Quite a lot of building going on, an international economy...what happens if you find out 1 + 1 doesn't equal 2? What do we do? Just burn everything! God knows anything can fall on your head. Money? You might as well eat it. Just forget civilisation.
- In "Fakes and Frauds" there's the klaxon sounding over what the buzzers really are, the constant Call Backs to the pig-ladies and Stephen summarizing 'a French artist trying to make a point' as 'a git, basically'.
- From "Food", a discussion about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police gets a bit off topic:David Mitchell: So they have no unmounted police?
Stephen: Well, I don't know...
David: 'Cause that must be difficult on raids of, of small flats. [mimes hitting his head on a low ceiling] "OW! My head!"
Jimmy Carr: You should see the squad cars! They're a mess, David, they are a mess.
David: Imagine trying to chase a heroin addict up a small staircase on a horse, it's ridiculous!
Alan: All the heroin addicts would know to head for the small staircase!
Stephen: Yes, they would!
David: It's like trying to police a country with Daleks!
Jimmy: Which'd never work with the disabled access we've got now, the Daleks can get everywhere.
David: Yeah, do you think- Jimmy, are you saying that you think that disabled access is a Dalek conspiracy?!
- Alan making reference to how vacuum cleaners used to be massive horse-drawn things for cleaning streets. Then...Stephen: I remember seeing that on a program called QI.
- Alan's face is the saddest reply ever.
- "Flora and Fauna": A pun so bad (and predictable) it was a forfeit.Stephen: How does a ferret build an airliner?
Jo Brand: Really weasily.
- Stephen shares the interesting fact that flamingos can drink boiling water, and Jimmy Carr immediately asks how anyone found that out. "Must've been a really cruel man who found that out!"
- Stephen's brain fart in "Gothic":Stephen: Speaking of this kind of infectious issue... Alan, you're a zombie. You bite Jimmy. (turns to Jimmy Carr) Jimmy, you're now a zombie. You bite Jack. (turns to Jack Dee) Jack bites... (turns to Sue Perkins) Melnote , and so on.Alan: ...Sue.Stephen: What?Alan: Sue.Stephen: (buries face in hands)
- Cue Stephen never hearing the end of it for the rest of the episode.Alan: No one noticed, Hugh.
- Cue Stephen never hearing the end of it for the rest of the episode.
- From the Genders episode:Stephen Fry: Why don't we have more women as guests on QI?[...]Ronni Ancona: Is this to do with the fact that people always say there aren't as many female comedians as there are men? Because, you know what, there's loads of female comedians, it's just that we never see them, because they're being systematically rounded up and kept in a pen just outside Harwich. But you can go and see them, and adopt them online, and you can visit them and feed them lines, and you might get a joke back. And then sometimes, some of them escape and disguise themselves as male comedians, but you can always tell which ones: it's the ones with the beards, just like The Life of Brian.Jack Dee: [buzzes] Is it because once you get them started, they don't shut up?
- Hilarious in Hindsight as of Series J; the episode "Jam, Jelly, and Juice" had three women; even if one counts Stephen Fry, they still outnumbered the male members of the panel three to two.
- In the "Call My Bluff" round in "Gallimaufrey," Phill announces that he's going to do his "in the style of the usual customary out-of-work actor they used to have on Call My Bluff, who would then really lean into his definition in an effort to beg for work."IMAGINE IF YOU WILL... a lone figure walking across Hampstead Heath, the sun GLINT-ing off his very eyes. For! He is making his way back from an evening at the INN, where he has partaken of mead, and other... lascivious beverages. ADORNING THE CHIN OF SAID STOUT FELLOW... are pimples! For! They betray his excesses, and these, at the time, were known... as... [looks straight into the camera] Marty Fitch, 01-287-469, available for panto... [looks back at the panel] grog blossom.
Andy Hamilton: That's a very demoralising start to the day, isn't it, being outwitted by a clock?
- Also from the XL version of "Gallimaufrey", the discussion of various unusual alarm clocks, such as one that donates money to a political cause you hate each time you press the snooze button or one that runs off and hides when you press the snooze button.
- The Running Gag with Alan Davies pretending to issue the first-ever drivers' licenses.
- The extended gag in "Groovy," with Alan Davies and Bill Bailey pretending to be the horribly malformed hidden Osmond brother who writes all their songs, ending with Bill glomping onto David Tennant and chewing on his boutonniere.note Lee Mack: And that's how they kill off David Tennant!
Tennant: And where did they get the most money? Glasgow!Lee Mack: Yeah, 'cause they thought it was a big fruit machine. "Look, I won a soldier, Mummy!"
- In the same episode, it was suggested that David Tennant knew so much from all his time traveling:Stephen Fry: (cough) He's acting...Bill Bailey: (to Tennant, sotto voce) What's he talking about?David Tennant: Don't listen to the bad man.Bill Bailey: Yeah, I know, it's a documentary.
- Later, after Lee Mack makes a snide remark about Tennant being a Thrifty Scot, Tennant starts waving his pen around like a Sonic Screwdriver. He then makes an observation that during World War II, the British army had a tank touring throughout the UK, and encouraged people to chuck their spare change into the tank for the war effort.
- In the same episode, it was suggested that David Tennant knew so much from all his time traveling:
- From the 6th episode of the G series "Genius", the surreal digression prompted by Alan Davies' observation that a man in a Renaissance painting of the death of da Vinci bears an uncanny resemblance to 1970s British actor Rodney Bewes.Dara Ó Briain: So, Rodney Bewes is the Highlander?David Mitchell: What a weird, unsettling thing to discover that would be. In the context of the credit crunch and everything, suddenly to discover that Rodney Bewes was immortal... I mean, can you imagine on the news them going [serious voice] "And today it emerged that actor Rodney Bewes has been alive for as long as time"?
- In the same episode: David Mitchell's response to the vicious double-bluff pulled by Stephen, to compensate for the panelists' increasing knowledge of how the show works.Stephen: How many brains did The Man with Two Brains have? [visible awkwardness, as all the panelists refuse to take the seemingly obvious bait]
Stephen: ...yes! [Audience laughter] That's brilliant!
David: IT'S CRUEL! IT'S SO CRUEL! [turning to Stephen] It's just the technique of the bully! You hit us, then you go, "Oh, what, did you think I was going to hit you? No I'm not going to hit you, no. This is my hand...to stroke you." And we're here going [whimpering] "Aahh! Aaaahhh! He's stroking me!!!"
- In the same episode: David Mitchell's response to the vicious double-bluff pulled by Stephen, to compensate for the panelists' increasing knowledge of how the show works.
- From the "Groovy" episode, Bill Bailey suggesting the word 'cool' originated with "jazz Nazis."Bill Bailey: [German accent] "Zees new uniforms are cool!"
Alan Davies: [German accent] "I joined ze Nazi party. Zey're cool, daddy-o! And bezides, I had no choice."
Bill Bailey: "I burnt down ze Reichstag." "Cool!"
- From the episode on Germany...Stephen Fry: What happens on November 11th in Germany?
Alan Davies: [German accent] Everything proceeds as normal.
- Also from Germany, Rob Brydon's odd digressions about socks (and accompanying demonstration).Rob Brydon: They laughed at Edison, you know, they—
Stephen Fry: They laughed at a lot of weirdos as well, though, Rob. [beat] You know, they did! I was just saying...
- The Series G episode "Greats," particularly the discussion on giant tortoises. David Mitchell, Sean Lock and Alan Davies discussing why it took 300 years to give a Latin name to the giant tortoise is much, much funnier than it soundsnote .
- The "Gardens" episode features a discussion of bees and feeding them honey to help them get better, which is followed up by Alan accusing Dara Ó Briain of being a murderer after he says his normal reaction is to just kill them, which is then itself followed by a discussion about feeding bees more honey than they make in a lifetime, which ends with them talking about killing bees ironically by drowning them in honey.Dara Ó Briain: This is more honey than this bee has ever before seen in its life!!
David Mitchell: You're insulting it apart from anything else. It's like showing a very tired mason a whole cathedral!
- The clip can be found here. It's even more hilarious to watch.
- Series G episode "Greeks": What are Olympic gold medals made of? The panel collectively hesitates for about 20 seconds before Alan Davies gives in and says "gold" which of course is the forfeit answer.
- In the XL version of Gardens, reciting the "I'm a little teapot" rhyme, only to realise, in mid-flow, "Oh bugger, I'm a sugar bowl."*
- Alternatively it may be a reference to that fact that sugar bowl pie is gay slang for analingus?
- The Series G episode "Green," where Jeremy Clarkson (of all people!) chides Stephen for wasting electricity by having two large screens to project images and getting him to turn one of them off, meaning that half the panel has to sit on the other side of the set for the rest of the show. Stephen then says: "And people say you're an enemy of the environment!"
- Jeremy then declares that this is just a cunning scheme to ensure Bill Bailey will have to sit on his lap, but he's doomed to disappointment.
- He also came up with a complex scheme for putting tortoises on motorised wheels to help you carry things back from the shops.
- In the episode "Germany," Rob Brydon keeps going on and on and on about his new, long socks. He shows them off, waxes poetic about the feeling of security he gets from them, even draws the audience in on it. The rest of the panel mocks him mercilessly for this. And then eventually a picture of Hitler appears on the screen, wearing long socks.Rob: Say what you want about the man... But nice socks.
- Stephen attempting to provoke David Mitchell with a double bluff in the Series G episode "Geometry." David stayed calm. Johnny Vegas, on the other hand...Johnny: [upon hearing that the columns on the Parthenon look straight because they are] That's not a question! "Why does this man look thin? Because he is." ... This is why I struggled in school! "If a train travels at 40 miles an hour and leaves at 9 o'clock and arrives in Glasgow at 12 o'clock, how did it get there?" And you're going, "'Cause it did!"... [holds up his notebook with a squiggly line drawn on it] "Why does that look straight?" "Because it's not!" That could have been a question. [draws a straight line] "Why does that look straight? Because it IS!" [breaks down sobbing] Because it is...
Rob: I wouldn't be surprised now if my parents came in and had a quiet word with you and asked if Jonny could be taken to another class because they feel that Rob isn't learning.
- In the XL version of the episode, Rob Brydon appears to place himself in the camp that finds Johnny's contributions of limited value, leading to a number of hilarious confrontations with Stephen when he appears less interested in Rob's factual contributions than Johnny's bizarre outbursts. This culminates in the discussion following a question about how many cricket pitches could fit into the state of Kansas when Rob spins from the fact that the capital of Kansas is Topeka to the fact that Elvis Presley was born in the similar-sounding Tupelo, and proceeds to recite a condensed Presley biography. David Mitchell's expression of mounting confusion at how this is relevant to the discussion at hand is priceless.David: It's like Radio 2 in the middle of the night!
Rob: [mock outrage, indicating Johnny] He has come up with such bilge and you sit there like we're in Rain Man, loving it! I come out with something factual! And there are a lot of Elvis fans out there who will be loving that!
- This is immediately followed by a question about the best place to see the future, and Rob muses on the fact that the best way to predict the future is to look for patterns in the past. Johnny apparently senses a Berserk Button to be pressed:Johnny: [placing his hand on Rob's shoulder] When are you gonna realise he's not interested?
Rob: Listen, you- [to Stephen] Tell him you're interested!
Stephen: I'm very interested in that, that's a very, very good answer!
Rob: [to Johnny] Unlike when you speak, he's not frightened!
[later, after David correctly guesses "by the International Date Line"]
Johnny: Does it have the magic hill, where you're going up, even though you're... [indicates going downhill]
Stephen: Oh, it's not that, no, it's not that, no, this is literally the Date Line—
Johnny: [to Rob] See, that was stupid, but he entertained me!
Stephen: No, it wasn't stupid—
Johnny: I knew that was wrong, and he went, "No, of course it's not, Johnny", but with you, he just doesn't like you!
[Rob folds his arms and turns away, feigning offence]
- The discussion of onomatopoeic words:Stephen: It's not that every single word in every language is onomatopoeic; it's merely an example like that.
Rob: They often are, though, aren't they?
Stephen: They often are.
Rob: [slaps table] Desk.
Stephen: Yeah. And-
Rob: Desk. [picking up various objects] Tin! Tin! Tin! Tin! Boooooooooooook. Pen!
Alan: This is how you teach a chimp to speak.
Rob: Then pay attention. Paper.
- After Jonny's response about playing in God by water-skiing down the International Date Line:
- In the XL version of the episode, Rob Brydon appears to place himself in the camp that finds Johnny's contributions of limited value, leading to a number of hilarious confrontations with Stephen when he appears less interested in Rob's factual contributions than Johnny's bizarre outbursts. This culminates in the discussion following a question about how many cricket pitches could fit into the state of Kansas when Rob spins from the fact that the capital of Kansas is Topeka to the fact that Elvis Presley was born in the similar-sounding Tupelo, and proceeds to recite a condensed Presley biography. David Mitchell's expression of mounting confusion at how this is relevant to the discussion at hand is priceless.
- During the Groovy episode, Stephen explains that "groovy" may also have had sexual connotations for the "lady bits".David Tennant: Ooh hello...
- From the G series: when Alan is given a saw. First, he attempts to saw a notebook, then a QI cheat card, then his desk - and succeeds. And then he attempts the plastic trees.David Mitchell: I really wish they hadn't made this set out of asbestos.
- Meanwhile Stephen looks about two seconds away from having a stroke, considering the saw was, in fact, an artifact on loan from a museum. If Alan had broken it, there would have been hell to pay...Stephen: The Gardening Museum, to whom we are very grateful for lending us *[looks pointedly at Alan]* these incredibly valuable artifacts...
- Meanwhile Stephen looks about two seconds away from having a stroke, considering the saw was, in fact, an artifact on loan from a museum. If Alan had broken it, there would have been hell to pay...
- Ronni Ancona, when asked about a book called The Long Years of Obscurity:Ronni: Is this book about the word Obscurity before it got famous, how it was beaten by its adjective father, and left on the doorstep and abandoned by its mother, and then it was the only noun growing up in a house of verbs, and the verbs were always going out doing lovely things, because they're doing words, and poor Obscurity was stuck inside suffering from asthma, and then after school it was surrounded by quotation marks and got beaten up terribly, and then one day it entered into a reality TV show and it became very famous, and it was much in demand and used to describe all the people that leave Big Brother House?
- From the same episode, the introduction of Ancona's Mary Kingsley voice.Ronni: It is so hard to wear yellow well, you know.
- Stephen gets in on the fun, as well:Stephen: Of course, you never knew Hitler, did you?
- Stephen gets in on the fun, as well:
- From the same episode, the introduction of Ancona's Mary Kingsley voice.
- From the Greats episode, a discussion of everyone on the panel being descended from Charlemagne. "I think it would be weird to learn you were related to someone fictional. ...You'd start to doubt your own existence."
- Alan recounting how he was mistaken for Alan Partridge by a drunken Scotsman.
- In "Germany", several of the 'Don't mention the war' moments are pretty funny. In one, Sean Lock says that the Germans simply walked into Holland whenever they wanted. When he hears the klaxon, he says that he didn't mention the war: "I was talking about the Great Geschmertznift of 1762 when they just walked into Holland." Also this one:Stephen: ...the Hollanders were at war with Britain many times...
Jo: You mentioned the war.
Stephen: 'At war with', not 'the war'.
Sean (pointing at Jo): But you did.
[Jo covers her face, realizing what she's done; klaxon sounds]
Stephen: It's a minefield!
- And then there was the Schmuck Bait question about "Who wrote Brideshead Revisited?" The QI Elves interpreted Sean's correct answer as "Evelyn War", resulting in yet another "don't mention the War" forfeit for Sean.
- By the end, Sean had stopped caring about tripping the forfeit and when his record-breaking (for a guest) low score was read out he pretended to fire a machine gun into the audience.
- In the series opener, "Hodge Podge", Alan got the klaxon for his buzzer again, putting him at -10 before the first question of the series was asked.
- In the episode "Hocus Pocus", the buzzers were magic words - Daniel Radcliffe, of course, got, "Expelliarmus!"
- From the same episode, there's Lee Mack's confusion over the "I before E except after C" rule, in particular his constant suggestion of "ceiling."
- And Stephen's response to it: "Are you incapable of rational thought?!"
- Daniel portrays himself as a ruthless points-whore throughout the episode, at one point openly regretting not knowing something because it would have given him "precious, precious points."
- Graham Norton isn't fond of the jokes in the Christmas crackers the panel gets.Graham: [reads joke, gives Stephen a look] Did you write these?
Stephen: Are they good?
Graham: It just sounds like something you might write. "Knock knock."
Stephen: Who's there?
Stephen: To who?
Graham: "To whom, surely."
- From the same episode, there's Lee Mack's confusion over the "I before E except after C" rule, in particular his constant suggestion of "ceiling."
- From the H series episode "Health and Safety":Jeremy Clarkson: I've got a twisted testicle, a hideous skin disease, two slipped discs-Alan Davies: And a partridge in a pear tree!
- Alan's buzzer for the "Horrible" episode. The first three were somebody retching, a man shouting "That is disgusting!", somebody being violently sick, and then his was "Hello, I'm Piers Morgan."
- "Mighty fuhrer of the sausage people!"
Rob: So the quicker it's chirping, the hotter it is?...well, it makes sense now when you think about when you've been in the hot country and you're tossing at night and you can't get off—Alan and Stephen: [look]Rob: No! No, no, no, no, no. I'm simply not having it!Sandi Toksvig: Sounds like it.
- Also from "Highs and Lows," on learning that a certain type of cricket's chirping corresponds with the temperature outside, Rob Brydon has a slip of the tongue:
- Ross Noble in the H series.If [a monkey testicle] was scaled to the size of the Earth, it would take hours to scratch.
- Also from "Hodge Podge":Stephen: What "H" means you'll always be the bridesmaid and never the bride?Phill: Hepatitis C.Stephen: Oh. Oddly enough you're surprisingly right, in a kind of way.Phill: Herpes.
- In "H-Anatomy", Alan Davies tying a wire around the arm of the skeletons behind Fry, and proceeding to wait until all eyes are on Stephen to slowly inch the arm towards him...Stephen: Ah, I have been goosed by the palm of a skeleton.Alan: I've been sitting here for ten minutes thinking "when should I do it, when should I do it?"
- And when Alan tried moving the skeleton some more, he caused it to fall over...
- From the XL version of "Hoaxes", Sean Lock and David Mitchell's discussion on whether or not NASA was responsible for the death of Michael Jackson. Their conclusion? Not NASA, no. Buzz Aldrin.
- In the episode's General Ignorance round, the topic of oranges being green eventually becomes a discussion of the word's original name and spelling. Sean Lock sends everything downhill.
- The funniest thing ever for Rich Hall: John McCririck falling out of a boat.Rich: Funniest thing I ever saw was John McCririck fall out of a boat.Stephen: [looks very interested] Really?Rich: Pretended it didn't happen, and I was interviewing him, and so none of the crew could laugh until two hours later. Everyone laughed at the same time and didn't stop for half an hour. They kept it in for two hours. It is possible.Stephen: That's fantastic. Because he was so... Sort of... Pompously refusing...?Rich: Well, yeah, he's a big, blustery guy, and he had a cigar... And he fell right on top of me. And then fell out of the boat. And then got back in and said; 'Right. Where were we?' [makes 'Whut?' face] 'You just fell out of the boat! You're dripping wet!' Cigar just hanging out of his mouth... Guy pretended it never happened! So we all pretended it didn't happen until two hours later. We're driving back and the guy driving was just... [makes zig-zag gesture] ..almost wrecked, he was laughing so hard.
- In "Hypnosis, Hallucinations & Hysteria", Stephen brings out a live lobster out from under his desk, demonstrates how to hypnotize it (you stroke its back), and then expects it to wake up when he lifts it off of the desk... except it doesn't wake up. So he stuffs it quietly underneath his desk and pretends it never happened."Well. Dinner's sorted..."
- Robert Webb's reaction to (knowingly) setting off the klaxon. Both times.
- Phill Jupitus has a minor breakdown over a revelation over the setting sun.Phill: I...hate this show. 'Cause the sun...is there! And you're like [imitating Stephen] NO. It's the Sun! [imitating Stephen again] NOT THERE. MIRAAAAGGGEEEE...
- Even better after the speech about the dangers New Zealand drivers face when driving into the sunset.Phill: Well I dare say the drivers of New Zealand when they see the sun setting, are reassured to know...that it's not there.
- A short time later, to kick off the "General Ignorance" round:Stephen: What shape is this staircase?Phill: It's NOT THERE.Stephen: Now, Phill
- Even better after the speech about the dangers New Zealand drivers face when driving into the sunset.
- In "H-Animals", Ross Noble does an impression of a "hagfishman" who can create massive amounts of slime at will.
- From "I-Spy", in a discussion about how aye-ayes are so ugly they don't want to mate with each other, but they live in the dark:Lee Mack: That's how Jimmy mates.Jimmy Carr: I can't believe your wife told you that story.
- At the QI Sport Relief special (recorded at the same session as "I-Spy"), Alan guesses that the most popular sport in Britain in 1835 was horse racing and sets off the klaxon yet again:Alan: I have that noise in my sleep now. Even my dreams are wrong!Jimmy Carr: D'you know what? I've had a few of those, Alan, it's nothing to worry about.
- Jimmy and Lee are taken aback by an optical illusion.
- At the QI Sport Relief special (recorded at the same session as "I-Spy"), Alan guesses that the most popular sport in Britain in 1835 was horse racing and sets off the klaxon yet again:
- Season "I"(9) Episode 2 "International" sees David Mitchell trip the klaxon three times on one question because he spent the first two arguing with the klaxon. Here.[the question is "When was the First World War first named as such"]David: It's gonna be some point after 1939, isn't it.[klaxon] [screen flashes "1939"]David: Excuse me!... I think what I said, people in the box, is "after 1939". Which may contain 1939, but does not mean it.[klaxon] [screen flashes "AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR"]David: Okay! No no no! "After 1939" and "After the Second World War" are not synonymous; now this is just giving you time to type "After 1939"![klaxon] [screen flashes "DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR"]Stephen: (warningly) I wouldn't put it past them.
- Earlier on in the episode, Bill Bailey jokes about using his "Nobody Knows" card when the subject of the scoring system comes up. Funny by itself, but a minute later Stephen checks the scores and announces Bill has 3 points (note that was before any questions had been asked) while everyone else is at 0.David Mitchell: Why three? I'd've thought one or ten, but three? How do you divine your contribution and get three?
Bill Bailey: Three points: [indicates other panellists] better than you, better than you, and better than you! Three!
- Stephen's giant fake mustache - and the comment that it'll probably have its own website soon - and the weird gadgets men used to use for them.
- And then it did.
- Alan noticing that, in a photo from the 1936 Olympics, Herman Goering looks like he's making a "neener-neener" gesture:Alan: No, no, the one on the far right.David: Surely they're ALL on the far right!
- Earlier on in the episode, Bill Bailey jokes about using his "Nobody Knows" card when the subject of the scoring system comes up. Funny by itself, but a minute later Stephen checks the scores and announces Bill has 3 points (note that was before any questions had been asked) while everyone else is at 0.
- A hesitant display of Genre Savviness in "Imbroglio":Stephen: What do the signal bars on your phone mean?Alan [hesitantly]: Well... it means... how much signal you can...Stephen: Don't be scared...Sean Lock: It means... um... well... how well the speaker... in the sky... and it comes through... and all gone...Stephen: I need it in English, I'm afraid, in order to give you points...Sean: Talkie — talkie power all gone away! Sky no fly down in ear — hair — ear!Alan: Big bird in sky — you're either connected...
- Stephen, during the course of discussing French-derived words which have no meaning in French, laments the construction of a certain bathroom fixture:Stephen: They do indeed have 'bidet', though, in actuality, it'd be easier to do a handstand in the shower. If you want the expense of a bidet-Sean: Easier?!Stephen: If you're as nimble as I am.Sean: Nimble? I'd pay good money to see that. I'd like to see you doing that, with a camera up here (holds hand above his head) going "Tweet this!".
- The "handstand in the shower" became a Running Gag in the episode and is eventually dubbed the "irrigated semi-colonic".
- Stephen, during the course of discussing French-derived words which have no meaning in French, laments the construction of a certain bathroom fixture:
- From "Invertebrates", Alan's reaction to learning about 'worm charming', and the fact that at a recent worm-charming festival there were no worms found by anyone:Alan: At least when you go trainspotting, there are trains!Johnny Vegas: The trainspotters are over a hill, shouting "GET A LIFE!"
- In the same episode, we get to see Stephen, Alan and Johnny Vegas all eat candy-covered insects with varying results of disgust and distress.
- With Johnny Vegas claiming (a la Spider-Man) that eating a scorpion gave him the superpower of... being able to do a forward roll.
- In the same episode, we get to see Stephen, Alan and Johnny Vegas all eat candy-covered insects with varying results of disgust and distress.
- The entire discussion from the Incomprehensible episode about throwing Ewoks into lakes of methane.
- Ross Noble can rest assured that he was the first person alive to say "I could be tossing Ewoks into a lake of farts" on television.
- And earlier on in the show, when the topic of Ewoks comes up for the first time.(after a long, serious discussion about Saturn's rings and moons)Ross Noble: ... this is the one thing I wanted to ask you, of all these moons, which one's the most likely to be home to Ewoks?Brian Cox: That would be Titan, I think.Ross: Titan?Brian: Yeah, it's got a thicker atmosphere than the Earth, so you'd have to be furry.
- From the same episode, Alan theorises what his SatNav would be like if Stephen recorded it for him, personally:Alan: Left! Left, you moron!
- Reading town mottos, in Incomprehensible.Stephen: Welcome to Tower Hamlets - Let's make it...Alan: ...out alive.
- On the Illness episode, Jo Brand attempted to answer every question with an insult to Michael Winner. After about four questions, the phrase "Michael Winner" set off the klaxon.
Stephen: Now, I'm feeling extremely angry! What should I do?Alan: "Calm down, dear!"
- This was later followed by the following allusion to Winner's appearances in an E-sure Insurance ad campaign:
- The Series I episode "Idleness" (as of this writing, only available in the XL version) features a question about the American nuclear arms code, leading into a discussion of password protection.Ross Noble: If you need lots of different ones for lots of different things, do what I do and have each of the seven dwarfs... (realizes what he just said, covers his head) Oh shit.Stephen: Oh, you've given it away.
- Series I, episode 6 had Bill Bailey, Alan Davies and Sean Lock playing with puppets in honour of the presence of ventriloquist Nina Conti on the panel. Hilarity Ensued, culminating in Bill breaking his buzzer's covering.
Sean: I hear voices. But I ignore them and carry on killing.
- Later in the same episode, when the talk comes round to imaginary friends, Sean Lock comments that he'd never had any imaginary friends (they didn't want to play with him), but then notes:
- BRIAN BLESSED pulling Sean Lock off his chair. Repeatedly.
- Also from the Ice episode, Brian's story about the wolf that accompanied him on one of his expeditions.
- The panelists trying out their buzzers, getting little crystalline chimes... and when BRIAN BLESSED tries his, he, of course, gets massive church bells.
- Alan managing to vigorously shake apart two phonebooks that were apparently incapable of being separated by brute force.
- Alan's facial expression when Stephen informed him that the rods that the panel were being handed were lubed.
- From "Illumination":Stephen: Tell me something quite interesting about the original geishas.Jack Dee: [sarcastically] They were all men.Stephen: Yes!Jack: Oh, God...
- From "The Immortal Bard", Sue Perkins' reaction upon being told The Lion King was based on Hamlet:Sue: At which point does Hamlet say "Hakuna Matata"?!
Bill: Et finalement, les anglais!* PWAHA!
- At one point, the discussion moves to Morris dancers. Bill Bailey points out that if anyone were to take a photograph of the panel at that moment - all dressed up in Elizabethan attire with a Morris man in the background - they would end up as a joke report on foreign news networks.
- Also, Stephen has some trouble with the Elizabethan attire and says,
- From "Jargon", Victoria Coren reveals she had a nightmare about her first appearance on the show, where Stephen asks "Why was the March Hare so important to the Aztecs?" and she got the klaxon on "Worship It." What was the last question on the show? You guessed it. And did Victoria set off the klaxon? Of course she did. It's not clear whether the question was added on the fly (in which case it would double as a Moment of Awesome for her and the QI Elves), or if she somehow knew it would be asked.
- The forfeit was in a different font than usual, suggesting the former. And hopefully, she didn't get docked actual points, since it wasn't a real question, though she won the game in any case.
- Discussion about birds goes into more and more innuendo-laden names (Jizz, Tit-master, Spotty Chested Member). When Stephen asks where would one of them be found Victoria Coren finally snaps.Victoria: Breast-Cock Lane?
- It becomes even better when you realise that Victoria had been really nervous about coming on the show, then they spent the entire thing making off-colour jokes about genitalia.Stephen: A normal male ejaculation, if there is such a thing -Victoria: [indignant] I came here to talk about the Aztecs.
- The entire topic of Sherlock Holmes and ejaculation, even Victoria Coren couldn't keep a straight face.
- From "Jam, Jelly and Juice", when Stephen tells the team to eat miracle berry, his instructions become a veritable innuendo storm:Stephen: Don't swallow it. Roll it around your tongue. Try and do a bit of action on it. Spread it all over your tongue. Don't swallow it. I want it to cover all of your tongue. It does something extraordinary to your tongue.Alan: I must remember this speech.
- Also from the same episode, where the team was discussing Marie Antoinette's breast shaped utensils:Sue Perkins: I hate the word "breasts".Liza Tarbuck: I do too!Sue: Let's just say...Liza: "Bosoms".Sue: ..."jugs", "tits", "norks"...Stephen: I like 'titties'.Sue: Do you? You heard it here first, folks!
- The "speech jam" demo. Each of the panellists got a turn:
- Alan confounded Stephen's attempt to trip him up (also a Moment of Awesome), as he was almost completely unaffected.
- Jo couldn't even finish her first sentence, getting completely tripped up.
- Liza did fairly well, though not quite as well as Alan...and then, started slipping dirty terminology into the passage she was reading.
- Perhaps the funniest was Sue; once the "jamming" started, she sounded increasingly like she was drunk.
- Later in the episode, the panelists were handed special cups to drink out of, being warned by Stephen that there were holes around the rim. Sue constantly tries to use it as a standard cup, spilling water all over herself and the counter throughout the segment.
- Also from the same episode, where the team was discussing Marie Antoinette's breast shaped utensils:
- In 'J-Places', Bill Bailey using the same twiddling-his-fingers impression to represent a wide range of activities as a Running Gag.
- Bill gets tricked via Innocent Innuendo:Stephen: Now, we all know how to make Cock Soup. But how would you make manish water?Bill: ... Sorry, I don't know how to make Cock Soup.Stephen: Cock-a-leekie! Chicken Soup.Bill: Oh I see. I thought it was some terrible euphemism.Stephen: A euphemism for pheasant?
- Bill gets tricked via Innocent Innuendo:
- In "Joints", Jack Whitehall's constant schoolboy flirting with Stephen Fry.Jack: My sphincter just tightened.
- In "Jungles", Genre Savvy Alan managed to trick Greg Proops into a penalty.Stephen: What would be the best way for Tarzan to get around the jungle?Alan: He gets around by swinging... what does he swing on, Greg?Greg: Vines?[klaxon]
- After 10 series, Alan starts suspecting a klaxon no matter how simple the instruction.Stephen: Alan, what I'd like you to do is to press your buzzer.Alan: (doesn't want to) ... It's gonna be a trap.
- After 10 series, Alan starts suspecting a klaxon no matter how simple the instruction.
- In "Jumpers", when a conversation about loo rolls has somehow, somehow managed to find its way to the idea of the seats being outfitted to double as sex toys:Stephen: I have to tell you that the little baby Jesus, whom I have never believed in until this minute, has told me to change the subject.
- Ross Noble's very literal answer to the first question:Stephen: First tonight, I'd like you all to give me your impression of some Mexican jumping beans.Ross: [in a Mexican accent] "Hello, we are jumping beans!"
- One of the subjects of that episode is a festival in Spain in which people jump over babies to purge them of their original sin. Which leads to this from Ross:Ross: I love the concept of original sin. It's like you go to confess and you go in and the priest goes "It's not original enough." "All right then, I got a transit van and pushed it into a bouncy castle." "Yep, I haven't heard that before, you can have it."
- Stephen's introduction to that episode's jolly jape:Stephen: What I'm going to try and do is I'm going to try and create something that will make you think "No! No, Stephen, this is not possible! Stephen, I will now bow down and worship you forever." I'm going to try and create... a square... bubble. "Shut up, Stephen!"
- Ross Noble's very literal answer to the first question:
- In "Jobs", Fry brings up Alice in Wonderland, and consequently, the Tim Burton film, who he had the voice role of the Chesire Cat in. Pretending to struggle to remember who voiced the character, ala Rule of Funny, Alan answers with "Hugh Laurie".Stephen: [Disonantly happily] Minus 2000 points.
- In "Jingle Bells", Stephen's attempt to convince Sarah Millican to raise a "shiny" baby leads Phill Jupitus to suspect him of owning a baby-buffing workshop.
- In "Justice," Brian Cox used his buzzer to great effect in the discussion about the size of Alan's penis. All rise!
- The entire conversation referred to above goes on for five minutes and illustrates the numerous ways one can and cannot be held liable for slander... centering around the size of Alan's penis.
- After Stephen gives tips on how to deal with hecklers, Rhys Darby and Jason Manford take notes.
- Alan somehow mishearing "killing a Spaniard" as "stealing a bicycle", and Brian Cox's protests that the bicycle hadn't been invented in the time period they were discussing.
- After a bizarre gag where the panelists flash the audience, Stephen Fry quips in astonishment, "Now I see why they call you Professor Brian Cox!"
- During the discussion of the surprisingly strict rules on a real-life pirate ship, one of the quoted rules was "If at any time you meet with a prudent woman, that man that offers to meddle with her, without her consent, shall suffer present death."Alan: So "meddling" was... rape, really.
Stephen: I think essentially we are talking about rape, yes.
Alan: That kind of lost its meaning by the time Scooby-Doo came on...
- Episode 03, "K-Folk":
- Canadian comedienne and first-time guest Katherine Ryan reveals that "shagging the dog" is a Canadian idiom meaning to intentionally lax your standards when doing work. Needless to say, this caused a lot of merriment because the term has an entirely different meaning in British English. To say nothing of the subsequent Digging Yourself Deeper...Katherine: Yeah, like if you're not working very hard you're just shagging the dog.
(Beat, while this sinks in)
Stephen: Not in this country, madam! In this country when we shag a dog we know what we're doing! And it's pretty hard work, let me tell you.
- On why Stephen will not eat Alan's noodles:Stephen: But, you are already married, so I'm not going to eat your noodles, and you didn't invite me...
Alan: [offended] I did invite you! You didn't come!
Stephen: [covers his face in his hands] I-I was abroad...
Alan: Yeah, you know what you were doing? You were filming an episode of Bones!
- The same episode causes a lot of Accidental Innuendo-laden talk near the end when Stephen attempts to show exactly how an explosion could happen in a custard factory.Phill Jupitus: This... There's just too many double entendres! You "pumping custard"...
Stephen: Oh, stop it. (To the audience) Are you ready for me to pump the custard?
Phill: OH MY GOD.
- And once the experiment is over:Alan: I could feel the heat! If I had been sitting [in his usual place], I could have been ignited.
Stephen: You could have been covered in hot custard.
(Massive waves of laughter)
Phill: I told you!
- And once the experiment is over:
- Canadian comedienne and first-time guest Katherine Ryan reveals that "shagging the dog" is a Canadian idiom meaning to intentionally lax your standards when doing work. Needless to say, this caused a lot of merriment because the term has an entirely different meaning in British English. To say nothing of the subsequent Digging Yourself Deeper...
- "Knits and Knots" brings us Ross Noble and Alan Davies trying to separate cuffs, complete with inadvertent Groin Attack.Sue Perkins: I think technically you're now married.
- Episode 06, "Killers", has Sandi Toksvig getting so many wild guesses right that Stephen eventually starts accusing her of cribbing his notes.
- Trevor Noah made a supporting comment about the rag-doll effect, comparing it to how a dropped baby will be fine.
- Not to mention Stephen (who is gay) and Sandi (who is also gay), swooning over Trevor Noah and his impressive knowledge of werewolves and his singing of Miriam Makeba's "Qongqothwane", a.k.a. "The Click Song".
- In his debut appearance on "Knowledge", Graham Linehan expresses dismay when he finishes in fifth place, behind the audience.Graham: But I'm on the show!
- In "Keys", Stephen Fry tells a Grimm fairy tale about a boy who finds a key and a locked box in a forest. As he gets to the part where the boy unlocks the box, Bill Bailey and Tim Minchin start playing ominous, but very intrusive music on the keyboards that have been provided to them for the episode. Stephen just waits for them to stop the build-up to continue: "End of story."
- Near the end of "Kinetic", Stephen asks about the largest waterfall in the world. After a few guesses and a forfeit, he reveals that it's a currently unnamed underwater waterfall of cold water. Moving along, he asks for the largest river in the world (it's in the sky) and the largest river that is actually on the ground (the Rio Hamza, a subterranean river beneath the Amazon), giving out forfeits appropriately. And then he asks for the largest animal in the world, at which point Alan is not inclined to answer. So Marcus Brigstocke buzzes in and offers the blue whale, which is the correct answer. Alan's reaction is priceless.
- About a third of the way into "Keeps," the audience gets the klaxon for saying there are 1024 bytes are in a kilobyte (the correct answer being 1000; 1024 bytes now, apparently, make a kibibyte).note
- During "Kings", Stephen poses the question of what has "twenty legs, five heads, and can't reach its own nuts". Cue a photoshopped picture of the contestants' heads imposed on some can-can dancers mid-leg lift, with hazelnuts around their groin areas.Jeremy Clarkson: Westlife.
Beat, nothing happens
Stephen: Ooooh, you were so lucky. You see, I know what the klaxon was.
Jimmy Carr: I presume the klaxon... Shall I?
Jeremy: Yeah, go on.
Jimmy: One Direction.
Stephen: You're so behind, Jeremy, it's very sweet.
- Pretty much all of "Kinky" could fit into this, especially at the end when Stephen makes a homemade dildo.
- Or Janet Street-Porter describing her ex-husband's "irrational fear of tomatoes":Sandi: Did he know why?
Stephen: Irrational. If there was a reason, then it would be a rational fear of tomatoes.
Sandi: There is no such thing as a "rational fear of tomatoes"!
- Or Janet Street-Porter describing her ex-husband's "irrational fear of tomatoes":
- In "Kris Kringle", after the klaxon "Because [Santa Claus] isn't real", Phill turns around and starts staring at it in absolute shock, complete with holding onto the panel for support, and then runs to hug Stephen for comfort.
- Stephen's flirting with Tristan and subsequently when they are showing the 'reverse knitting' machine in action:Stephen: Look at how cunning that little thing is the way it moves, that little...
Phill: He's called Tristan, Stephen!
- Brendan O'Carroll's phone going off during the show.
- Stephen's flirting with Tristan and subsequently when they are showing the 'reverse knitting' machine in action:
- L-animals: Ross Noble mimes dolphins making noises with a conch shell in a slightly suggestive manner, one thing leads to another, and the whole group is miming pleasuring a sperm whale penis. Culminating in "She's gonna blow!" with the expected look on Stephen's face.
- Stephen asks what comes from North-Eastern England, is wild, horny, and has never been touched by a man for 800 years. Cue Ross Noble and Sarah Millican (both from Northumberland) turning to each other.Sarah: Well don't look at me!
Ross: I'm not looking at you!
- Ross then proceeds to nail the actual answer in one, after lampshading that this will look really cool if he's right.
- Stephen asks what comes from North-Eastern England, is wild, horny, and has never been touched by a man for 800 years. Cue Ross Noble and Sarah Millican (both from Northumberland) turning to each other.
- Location, Location, Location: when the panelists are given a plate of what looks like wasabi and asked to identify it, Stephen tells them that is isn't wasabi and Johnny Vegas proceeds to eat a big spoonful of it... only for Stephen to continue explaining it's the British equivalent of wasabi. By the end of Johnny's resulting rant, he claims to have obtained super-powers.Johnny: I'm seein' through walls!
- Literature: The panelists are given a bunch of un-finished limericks by Edward Lear. Hilarity Ensues, both from their made-up endings to the limericks and from their reactions to the actual endings.
- The topic is Sherlock Holmes, and there is stock art of Sherlock looking through a magnifier glass in the background. When Stephen asks what Sherlock's famous Catchphrase was:Alan: Burn, ant, burn!
Jack: Jack, take a step back, drop the kids off at the pool and come back to it.
- Jack tries to spend his penny on the question, then elaborates on how "going to the loo helps you think better".
- Stephen describing Jack Whitehall as "twinkly with a pert little botty", and recalling an interview that described Martin Clunes as having a "face like a torn arse".
- Stephen and Victoria Coren Mitchell (host of Only Connect) argue about the origin of the word "lunch".Jack: It's like watching two great stags banging their antlers together.
- At the start of the show, Jack claims to have never read The Very Hungry Caterpillar because he's convinced that it gorges itself to death. Alan reassures him that "No, no, he becomes a butterfl-" before clapping his hand over his mouth.
- The topic is Sherlock Holmes, and there is stock art of Sherlock looking through a magnifier glass in the background. When Stephen asks what Sherlock's famous Catchphrase was:
- Liblabble: A question of the most depressing radio broadcast leads to a discussion on Simon Bates' Our Tune.Stephen: (Imitating Simon Bates) But surely, that's the story of people who fell in love. She did die of the cancer, but-
Bill Bailey: -They battled through the cancer, and then here's their song: "Too Drunk to Fuck" by the Dead Kennedys.
The Rev. Richard Coles: You can get firked.note
- Later, the Rev. Richard Coles mentioned a naval punishment similar to "Kissing the Gunner's Daughters".
Richard: You can get firked.
Stephen: Don't keep saying it, explain it.
- Lethal: The panelists are discussing the Ventouse method of assisted birth when an audience member shouts "Inconceivable!"
Stephen: Why do people fall over when they've been shot?note
- Later in the program...
- Lovelies: Alan eating a raw potato during the "aphrodisiac foods" segment.
- Ladies and Gents: Ross Noble doing a perfect impersonation of BRIAN BLESSED catching an unnameable disease off a toilet.Ross: MY SOFT ENTRANCE HAS BEEN VIOLATED!
Stephen: IT'S HAIRIER THAN THE REST OF ME!
Sue: Uh... *%$#? (Klaxon) In for a penny. *%$#! *%$#! *%$#! *%$#! *%$#! *%$#! *%$#! Knobgobbler!
- Capping it off is Stephen informing the audience that doctors started the rumor that STD's could be caught off toilets to encourage people to come forward.Stephen: Than if they caught it from a whore, strumpet, harlot...Alan: Or parent.
- The forfeit answer for "Can you name an Anglo-Saxon swear word?" turns out to be "*%$#". Cue Sue Perkins setting off the klaxon seven times in a row with a long string of (censored) swearing. Unsurprisingly, she ended up in last place.
- Capping it off is Stephen informing the audience that doctors started the rumor that STD's could be caught off toilets to encourage people to come forward.
- Lying: Stephen asks the panelists to name a blue sea creature. Alan dives for the buzzer but is beat out by Jack Whitehall, who defers to the guy who's been shouting answers from the audience for the past few questions. "Shouty Man" picks the blue whale, which is correct.
- Shouty Man then goes on to actually get a score alongside the panelists at the end: -39, last place.
- Lumped Together: The entire bit of the lava lamp demonstration, complete with the riotous laugh when Fry knocked down his lava lamp by accident.Stephen: There is nothing funny about making people laugh!
- No-L: The very first question causes a flurry of Genre Savvy klaxon-avoiders from Alan and veteran guests Bill Bailey and Jimmy Carr. After about four of these, Stephen describes them all as "really good answers", causing first-time guest Carrie Fisher to just remark "...Really?"
- Military Matters: Jeremy Clarkson takes umbrage over being corrected on an answer he'd given eleven years ago.
Jimmy: Here's a point about Hitler. He's judged very harshly by history, but he did kill Hitler.
- Jimmy Carr points out a redeeming quality about Adolf Hitler.
- M-PlacesStephen: "What are the three manly games?Alan: (manly voice) Rugby... surely.KlaxonAlan: Boxing.KlaxonAlan: Is it going to be tiddlywinks??
- Middle Muddle: Jimmy Carr trying on a monocle and looking exactly like a ventriloquist's doll made in the likeness of an SS officer.
Stephen: He was very, very shortsighted, so much so that if he didn't wear his glasses he would be qualified as blind.Stephen: NOW...[Points a finger at him threateningly before clapping momentarily] Why am I clapping? That's dreadful!
- Jimmy's reaction to his buzzer, a choir of children singing "Three Blind Mice", is "It's like the soundtrack to a horror film!"
- This exchange between Stephen and Danny Bhoy regarding John Lennon...
- At one point, Alan notices an audience member in the front row eating a bag of sweets. Cue Jimmy Carr getting out of his chair, nicking the bag from them, and giving it to Alan.Stephen: You can have them back at the end of the lesson.
- Messing With Your Mind: Josh Widdicombe not knowing what motorboating was, and Sarah Millican gleefully explaining it.Josh: I don't know... what's "motorboat?" Am I the only one...Sarah(turning to face him): Oh! Okay... I've got this one!
- Merriment: After swapping ice creams, Johnny Vegas and Jenny Eclair have a loud, childish argument over the fact that she had a bite of hers first and completely ignore Stephen's persistent attempts to introduce the next question about the worst annoyance in Victorian theatres. (Which, surprisingly, was not screaming children.)
- Naming Names: Alan successfully avoids the trick with the question "What caused the first mass extinction?" The dinosaur extinction was not the first.Phill: After fourteen years, he understands the format.
- Cariad also suspects that the reason Alan did well (enough to win) was that he wasn't scared of Sandi the way he was of Stephen.Phill: I'll throw him off his game: baah, baah!
- Cariad also suspects that the reason Alan did well (enough to win) was that he wasn't scared of Sandi the way he was of Stephen.
- Rhod Gilbert mistaking Norway for Denmark (prompting Sandi to claim that is like saying the Scottish and the Welsh are the same) and then repeatedly claiming that Denmark only gets three hours of daylight in winter.Alan: (about their latitude) Denmark's the same as Scotland, where you're from!
- Sandi headbanging.
- The parlor games in Noel.
Susan: You're looking at me like the Eye of Sauron!
- "Taboo," where the answer must not contain the forbidden letter (in this case N).
Sandi: [deadpan] 'Sauron' has an N in it.
- "Are You There, Moriarty?" in Noel consists of one blindfolded person grasping the hand of another blindfolded person, calling out "Are you there, Moriarty?" and then beating them around the head with a rolled-up newspaper. Alan starts beating up poor Josh as soon as Sandi explains the rules.Josh: I love the idea that someone has turned on this for the first time and gone "You know what? It's really changed without Stephen, hasn't it?"
- While discussing online shopping, Susan recalls a time during Christmas when she thought she ordered four onions, but ended up with four sacks of onions. To get rid of them before her wife came home, she went around to her neighbours offering them onions and pretending it was an old Scottish tradition
- Deirdre O'Kane claims that she never saw a nun use the bathroom when she was in school and that they probably had some kind of "divine catheter." Then Miles Jupp suggests that nun wee was once a condiment.
- Sandi manipulating a condom full of Oobleck.
- Lucy Porter explains clickbait articles: "They're called listicles, which is a portmanteau of 'list' and 'testicles' because they're complete bollocks."
- Ross Noble claiming to be a time-traveler when Sandi shows an old portrait of a Croatian with curly black hair, and then being shocked that he's put on so much weight when it changes to a portly Louis XIV.
- Sandi seeking out and asking the name of the specific audience member who tripped the klaxon by shouting "Spongebob Squarepants" in response to asking who has green sponge balls.
- The audience lost 10 points for that answer and still came in ahead of Alan, who finished at -25.
- "Ology" starts off Sandi's second series with one of the most epic cases of Off the Rails ever. Sandi attempts to explain the hypothetical maximum speed of a sailboat, only to realize the prop's broken and tries to start over. What follows must be seen to be believed.
- Phill Jupitus suggests that "Ooology" is the study of how much nans think you've grown.
- "Oceans" continues David Mitchell's feud with the klaxon. After a clip of a shark is shown with Jaws music, the question is asked:Sandi: What's the scariest thing about that clip?
David: The teeth!
(Klaxon: "THE TEETH!")
David: The fact that they can't go backwards.
(Beat. David reacts to the lack of klaxon.)
David: Oh, so that takes them a bit long to type!
- It also contains Alan Davies' impersonation of a shark having an orgasm."Ooo OOOOHHH?!"
- "Odorous and Odious" has an appearance by a perfume based on every recognisable scent in the Book of Revelations, supposedly as the fragrance of the Apocalypse. Nish Kumar suffers a coughing fit the moment he gets a whiff.
- "Odds and Ends" includes a list of unusual organs in the animal kingdom, one of which is "smart vagina".Liza Tarbuck: [To Sandi] Have you got a smart vagina?Sandi: [Barely missing a beat] It's terribly tidy. I have a woman in twice a week. [Reaches over to high-five Liza amidst a wave of laughter]
- "Origins and Openings" begins with the panel expressing shock that Josh Widdicombe has never seen The Sound of Music, and Susan sings the chorus to Sixteen Going On Seventeen only for Sandi to stop her:Yeah, it's like that, but with a tune.
Sandi: So it's a picture of the whole of human evolution...Susan: There's no woman.Sandi: THERE'S NO BLOODY WOMEN IN IT! There we are! You're absolutely right.
- Alan Davies' impression of Julie Andrews after joking that you can't get a word in edgeways with her. Sandi's reaction is priceless.
- At the end the panel points out the main flaws of the famous "March of Progress" diagram, mainly how it seems to imply evolution is progressive as well as including species that are not ancestors of modern humans. Sandi asks for one last flaw, provided by Susan Calman:
- Katherine Ryan says that she lives in a converted Catholic building but assures the panel that it's been deconsecrated so you can swear and "do all sorts" in it.
- Rhod Gilbert forgets how old he is. "I'm forty... forty... I'm almost fifty!" He eventually does the math and works out he's 49... but then the producer informs Sandi via earpiece that he's 48, and he makes a show of writing it down. Then Katherine writes him a mnemonic song.
- Sandi shouting "what is the point of a tap in the ocean!" to get them back to the original question.
- Sandi asks "what other body part would you put into a dike to stop a leak?" to bait Alan into getting a klaxon with "penis." (Alan: "I was sucked into that!") She corrects him by saying no dyke needs a penis.
- Every panelist getting klaxon after klaxon as they say how many stars are in Orion's belt.
- This exchange:Sandi: Do you have Orion's Belt?
Catherine: Yes, we do have the same solar system.
- In "Overseas," after klaxoning on the number of hills in Rome (it's eight, not seven) Alan and Bill begin discussing the hilliness of other capital cities, to Sandi's increasing frustration.
Lee: Trust me.
- Lee Mack trying to convince the panel that fishing is the most dangerous sport.
Alan: Trust you? A Legendary liar from Would I Lie to You?.
Jason: Where's the bad language in Paddington?!
- Asked to guess which Content Warnings apply to which movies, nobody can spot that "Dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language" is Paddington.
Lee: Well, actually, there was one bit where he says "Where's me marmalade sandwich, ya c*bleep*?"
Sandi: Just one tiny second Gyles. (to Sally behind a card) Do not ask him any supplementary questions!
- Sandi's reaction when Sally Philips gets Gyles Brandreth talking.
- After Gyles finishes telling a story about eating fish pie that had people in it, we cut to Sandi in Stunned Silence with a "Really, what am I supposed to say to that?" expression.
- Gyles trying to take a selfie with the panel around the cardboard policeman, nearly takes a picture of the audience by mistake, and realizes that he has a lot of pictures of his own right ear from previous failed attempts. At the end Sandi takes the picture, which of course results in the top of the cutout being cut off.
- Sally unleashing a storm of Accidental Innuendo when talking about the way to fold a pizza. Gyles also drops a deliberate Double Entendre after relating a story of the time Fanny Cradock taught him and his wife how to cook and eat a pizza, after giving an apt summation of her persona.
- "Public & Private":
- Sandi sets about proving a point about comfort zones by walking over to the studio audience, picking a crowd member supposedly at random, sitting down on his lap and stroking his face.Sandi: So, I've never met you before, have I?
Theo Toksvig-Stewart: [very embarrassed] No, Mum.
- Sandi sets about proving a point about comfort zones by walking over to the studio audience, picking a crowd member supposedly at random, sitting down on his lap and stroking his face.
- Alan pretending to beat up the man dressed as a giant chicken from the challenge earlier while everyone else is singing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing".
- The panelists are given cardboard periscopes as part of the first challenge, and Alan and Phill spend the whole episode acting like, in Sandi's words, two five-year-old boys, hiding under their desks and looking up with the periscopes, pretending to walk up and down some stairs, and yelling that they can see each other.
- When Stephen Fry announced the Swedish version, he said that he knew enough Swedish to "order from a hotel room". Johan Wester, the Swedish host, asked him to say something to the Swedish fans. He proceeded to say: "Ursäkta, den get ni sände till mitt rum har spruckit, och ni glömde vispgrädden. Gräsklippare!"note
- Episode 8 - Anstötande (Offensive)
Buzzer: Hi, my name's Anders Jansson!
- Anders' buzzer. After the previous three were disgusting bodily functions...
- Episode 4 - Bombastic
Johan: (about the deadliest creature that ever existed) It's the bacteria Methanosarcina. Methanosarcina released so much methane that it may have caused the greatest disaster in human history. It was called the "Great Death" and happened 250 million years ago. 90% of all species died as methane is a greenhouse gas half of all oxygen disappeared in the process.Anders: But the 10% that were left had tons of fun!Buzzer: Sex bomb, sex bomb, you're my sex bomb...
- Anders utilizing his buzzer.
Suzanna: Something completely worthless.Anders: Why would that make him famous? "Look, I found something completely worthless!"
- About what a Spanish fisherman found near the fisher village Palomares, after "a treasure" got the klaxon:
- Episode 5 - Bedrägligt (Deceptive)
Anders: "We're having a great time; one of my granddads has malaria and the other's dead, so..."
- Anders musing what a postcard from the made-up country of Poyais would say, after being told two-thirds of the people who fell for it died in the Bay of Honduras:
Karin: But he's a bit embarrassed over it, you can see that.[...]Anders: (about what the conman did with his money) He bought rouge with it!
- And the contestants mocking the excessive rouge on the portrait of the man who started the con:
- Episode 6 - Blandat (Mixed)
- The whole discussion about burning libraries.