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When QI Gets It Wrong: The Show’s ‘Quite Interesting’ Mistakes

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How Many Moons?

Poor Alan Davies. Every time he thinks he’s cracked how many moons Earth has, he gets a different answer. At this point the QI elves are probably just making it up to troll him. Let’s see if series T brings us yet another new answer.

What’s a Stoor Sooker?

In series N episode Naming Names (skip to 19 minutes) Sandi gives the panellists a series of bizarre new names for objects. During the segment, it’s claimed that stoor sooker is a Scottish word for a vacuum cleaner, taken from the words ‘stair sucker’. As many Scottish viewers were quick to point out, ‘stoor’ is a Scots word for ‘dust’, so it’s actually taken from ‘dust sucker’. Which makes a lot more sense, when you think about it.


In series J episode Jargon, Stephen Fry reveals the surprisingly early first instance of the phrase ‘OMG’, and then claims the term ‘Unfriended’ dates back to 1659 in a letter from Sir Thomas Fuller. 

As all the Shakespeare fans are now doubtlessly screaming at the screen, the term actually appeared decades earlier in the first scene of King Lear, when the man himself asks ‘Will you, with those infirmities she owes, / Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate, / Dower’d with our curse, and stranger’d with our oath, / Take her, or leave her?’

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

There are many mistakes made by panellists which go unchecked in the history of QI, but one of the most obvious was Ross Noble’s claim, in series K episode Knits and Knots, that the song Every Rose Has Its Thorn was by Bon Jovi. It was actually by Poison. Still, it could be worse, he could have claimed the song was by Miley Cyrus, who also covered it back in 2010.

Lobsters, Legs and Lots More

And finally, series K episode Knowledge decided to cover the show’s back pretty comprehensively when it explained the half-life of facts. As well as dishing out some retrospective points (just wait until you see how many Alan gets) if you watch the full episode (skip to 7 minutes 20 seconds) you’ll see it also covered some of the facts they’d previously claimed were true that were now proven false. 


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