QI | What Is The Most Unwanted Domestic Appliance?

  • Published on Aug 14, 2019
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    This clip is from QI Series L, Episode 6, 'Liblabble' with Stephen Fry, Alan Davies, Bill Bailey, The Rev. Richard Coles and Sara Pascoe.
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Comments • 220

  • Fur Queue
    Fur Queue 14 days ago


  • Ken Fullman
    Ken Fullman 17 days ago

    I once stayed in a hotel room and upon seeing the price they wanted for breakfast, decided to make my own arrangements. I went down the road and bought some kippers, bread rolls and butter. I then placed the kippers in one of the plastic bags along with a knob of butter then put the whole thing in the trouser press to heat it up. Suffice to say they barely got warm enough to melt the butter, but that was enough for the grease to leak out of the bag and leave a rather smelly stain inside the trouser press. I pitty anyone that innocently used that trouser press after I'd vacated the room.

  • Kylar Black
    Kylar Black 22 days ago

    Juicers. Fucking annoying things.

  • Freaky Leek
    Freaky Leek 23 days ago +1

    Well please come on, power something.

  • James VanBolt
    James VanBolt 26 days ago

    Anyone who laughs that hard at the mildly amusing remark about the trouser press not really being for trousers shouldnt be a comedian.

  • Mark Rowland
    Mark Rowland Month ago

    Campers and caravans often have three way refrigerators here in Australia. That is, 240volt, 12volt, and gas. They use the hydrogen absorption system promoted by Electronic. I slept by one which produced a gurgling sound too frequently.

  • Electro-Cute
    Electro-Cute Month ago

    The gas powered fridge is not electric though.

  • Corgy K
    Corgy K Month ago +1

    I'd say a gas-powered radio sounds dangerous but I sleep with my phone plugged in under my pillow.

  • Big Blue
    Big Blue Month ago

    I dd know about the gas powered radio but I had forgotten about the others. Ironic that we went on to use gas to produce electricity for the National Grid.

  • pmailkeey
    pmailkeey 2 months ago

    Gas fridges are still made and in use today.

  • GroovingPict
    GroovingPict 2 months ago +2

    There still are gas powered fridges made today, my dad has one at his cabin/hunting place, where there is no electricity

  • Juni Post
    Juni Post 2 months ago +2

    I still think the most unwanted appliance today is a breadmaker

    • Juni Post
      Juni Post 2 months ago

      That frightens me for some reason. I do not know why. But it does.

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      @Juni Post I know someone who uses theirs every week - possibly twice a week !

    • Juni Post
      Juni Post 2 months ago

      Yes. At least a fondue set gets used during a dinner party sometimes. No one ever uses a breadmaker. ESPECIALLY NOT PEOPLE WHO MAKE BREAD. they do it all by hand and oven.

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago +1

      Are they used less than a fondue set ?

  • manfrombritain
    manfrombritain 3 months ago

    my dad used his corby trouser press loads lol

  • Lenny Murphy
    Lenny Murphy 3 months ago +1

    Ah poor Sara is dumb.. She went to South America and thought she was in spin.

  • gacekky1
    gacekky1 3 months ago +1

    Why do Brits say "washing up liquid"? There was already a word for it... soap. And if you really want to be specific dish soap.
    Makes me think of how the Japanese call curry rice "curry rice" when they already have a word for rice.

    • Lolwutfordawin
      Lolwutfordawin 21 day ago

      @gacekky1 looking at it that way windshield is worse though, because a shield, blocking everything, should block light too!

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      @gacekky1 Of course it lets the wind through because it's not a windscreen. A fire screen doesn't let fire (or even heat) through. A projection screen doesn't let light through, it reflects it, other types of screens hide things from view - which are then 'screened' or 'screened off'. A TV screen prevents electrons from escaping from a cathode ray tube. Plenty more examples if you look !

    • gacekky1
      gacekky1 2 months ago

      @pmailkeey lol no but it let's the wind through! A screen filters things. A shield blocks everything. 😈

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      @gacekky1 Completely wrong there - a screen stops things coming through !
      A fly screen doesn't let flies through does it !

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      @gacekky1 Bet it's a long way different - the solid & liquid forms.

  • Andrew Ongais
    Andrew Ongais 3 months ago

    Using any gas to cool or freeze is at the heart of a fridge or freezer.
    It's highly efficient for the end use consumers.

  • Ryan
    Ryan 3 months ago

    Sarah Pascoe will enjoy being the thumbnail for this one, eh?

  • thompompey32
    thompompey32 3 months ago

    We used to stay at a remote cottage in Devon on holiday which had no electricity. It had 2 gas powered fridges!

  • Chris m
    Chris m 3 months ago

    No one mentioned the bread maker

  • Peter Taylor
    Peter Taylor 3 months ago

    No mention of sandwich toasters?

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      That was my first thought.

  • Michael John
    Michael John 4 months ago +1

    What Is The Most Unwanted Domestic Appliance?
    A wife.

  • dave101t
    dave101t 4 months ago

    very much the same way as current 'electric cars' are actually powered by gas or coal burning power stations. but hey, it is out of sight so yay, green energy!

  • Hand Solo
    Hand Solo 4 months ago

    Why didn't the gas company just supply a "gas to electricity" converter to each house rather than build them into each device? Profit I suppose.

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      The 'petrol' engine will happily run on gas - different fuel system, mind - but that's about all the change needed and such an engine will drive an electric generator to power the house. If done efficiently, such a setup could be more reliable, more efficient and cheaper than mains electric.

  • Luke Breaban-Cook
    Luke Breaban-Cook 5 months ago +9

    My answer is "all of JML's products".

  • Douglas Mock
    Douglas Mock 5 months ago

    My Dometic refrigerator is gas powered

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      Likely 240 and 12 v too!

  • David Dixon
    David Dixon 5 months ago

    I picked my nose. Does that count Sandy?

  • Ballconei
    Ballconei 5 months ago

    I don't understand what the other thing you could do with a trouser press is.

    • gwishart
      gwishart 5 months ago

      @Ballconei It's an appliance consisting of two heated metal plates that clamp together at waist height - use your imagination.

    • Ballconei
      Ballconei 5 months ago +1

      @gwishart But But 😕😕I don't understand what the obvious sexual things to do with a trouser press is and I consider myself quite an experienced experimental pervert.

    • gwishart
      gwishart 5 months ago

      They're quite handy for making toasted sandwiches.
      Although I suspect Stephen was referring to the more obvious sexual uses.

  • Johnny James
    Johnny James 5 months ago

    The dish washer gets my vote. If you are going to rinse the dishes first, they are already nearly clean.

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      @Tartrazine I agree - I bout a dishwasher to do the work - not to finish off what someone else started ! My cutlery basket has individual slots for each item.

    • Tartrazine
      Tartrazine 5 months ago

      You don’t rinse first. The instructions for my dishwasher actually tell you not to rinse in fact. They also say to put cutlery in the basket “unsorted” - so they don’t occlude each other.

  • Jim Morrison
    Jim Morrison 5 months ago +3

    "Pedantry" is an awkward word to use around a priest

  • Gethin Coles
    Gethin Coles 5 months ago +1

    It's funny because it's true. Well. At least it's true

  • artistjoh
    artistjoh 5 months ago +1

    Steven is wrong on a couple of things here. Firstly he said gas powered fridges never caught on. In fact in isolated communities without regular electrical supplies other than expensive diesel generators, gas powered refrigerators are popular because they can keep going all day allowing the generator to be turned off when electric light is not required. They are also very common in caravans because they keep things cold while traveling and a long way away from an electrical outlet. Thus the appliances are widely used, and in the right circumstances, considered very desirable. He was also incorrect in suggesting they are really electrically powered because a gas powered refrigerator works on a heat exchanger principle - no electricity required to produce the “coolth”.

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      If they have gas, why have a generator -use gas lighting surely ?

    • artistjoh
      artistjoh 5 months ago

      Tartrazine You are right. It is absolutely fascinating that cooling can be produced by heating. It kind of contradicts what we would think of as common sense. The QI team missed an opportunity to elucidate Quite Interestingness there.

    • Tartrazine
      Tartrazine 5 months ago

      @artistjoh Yes I tend to agree. It's a shame he didn't go into the subject of how on earth (some might think) a fridge can cool using gas and without intervening electricity as that is Quite Interesting! IIRC he said they didn't "catch on" which for the massive preponderance of fridges is true but of course camping etc is the exception.

    • artistjoh
      artistjoh 5 months ago

      Tartrazine Yes, there were appliances that were spectacularly unsuited to gas power. Steven is right to point this out, however, his blanket lumping together of these appliances as all failures, and implying that they still needed electricity was only partially true. Steven has clearly never lived on the road in a caravan because if he had, he would know how that the refrigerators not only never died out, but are a thriving technology.
      Interestingly, a similar technology, are kerosine powered refrigerators. These are not common in caravans but they are common in remote rural locations such as in outback Australia. Like the gas versions, they operate on non-electric circulation of the coolant driven by convection from a flame. This was invented in the 1850’s in France and is correctly called an absorption refrigerator. Unlike electric refrigerators, which have a motor, absorption refrigerators are silent. They are less efficient than electric ones, but operate wherever there is no electric grid such as at sea, remote locations, and recreational vehicles.
      This is the Wikipedia article on them: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_refrigerator

    • Tartrazine
      Tartrazine 5 months ago

      Did he not say that it is radios that run off the electric generated? It IS interesting though that gas fridges didn’t. I suppose we might call the radios hybrid today.

  • mr kai
    mr kai 5 months ago +22

    A washing-up machine? I know Stephen has a serf for such things, but still....

    • Brem
      Brem 3 months ago +2

      They were "washing up machines". They predated the "dishwasher".

    • Patryk Wieczorek
      Patryk Wieczorek 3 months ago +2

      Exquisite boys rather ;D

  • Patrick Ols
    Patrick Ols 5 months ago

    These days, for men the most unwanted home appliance is a woman

  • Antonio Bromelini
    Antonio Bromelini 5 months ago +2

    Sarah Pascoe is lovely. She's the ideal woman funny opinionated and gorgeous to look at.

    • Zach Brookes
      Zach Brookes 5 months ago

      Gorgeous is an understatement. Ethereally stunning might do the trick, and she's SO warm and personable too!

  • Andrew Ongais
    Andrew Ongais 5 months ago

    According to Bernie Ecclestone... it's Danica Patrick.

  • Tashunka Witko
    Tashunka Witko 5 months ago

    Sorry no gas but my great aunt had an.electric fridge that did not use a compressor. To this day I have no idea how it worked. It ran *very* quietly, cooled down very well but my great aunt complained it used too much power and she got rid of it. Stupid me, I should have kept it.

    • rccarmadben
      rccarmadben 3 months ago +1

      It would have been an absorbsion type fridge which is the same as a gas powered fridge they use heat to power the cooling cuircit they’re very power hungery though a small one in a caravan is about 200W

  • Matt Burland
    Matt Burland 5 months ago +1

    I would have guessed an alarm clock. I mean who is actually happy when the damn thing goes off in the morning? It's the most insidiously evil invention ever devised by humans.

  • Nickelodeon81
    Nickelodeon81 5 months ago +6

    The trophy wife

  • Xavian Brightly
    Xavian Brightly 5 months ago +1

    Your wife.

  • al145
    al145 5 months ago

    ...what? How?

  • nexgenhippy
    nexgenhippy 5 months ago

    My great aunt had a gas powered fridge. I thought my Grandad was pulling my leg again, as he had a habit of doing so, so i looked round the back of it and sure enough I could see a gas pilot light. Still have no idea how they work though, some kind of heat transfer i guess.

    • rccarmadben
      rccarmadben 3 months ago

      nexgenhippy there’s three differant gasses/liquids in the pipework heat is applied science happens and the fridge get cold
      Look up absorbsion fridge this is that they’re called

  • yew 2oob
    yew 2oob 5 months ago

    A wife.

  • grahamlive
    grahamlive 5 months ago +1

    Are Corby trouser presses a thing in the modern era? I've stayed in quite a few hotel rooms and have never encountered one.

    • Marc Colten
      Marc Colten 4 months ago

      If you stayed more than an hour maybe you would have seen it. 😜

    • grahamlive
      grahamlive 5 months ago

      @Violentsunrise I must only stay at cheap shitty hotels that can't afford such luxuries. I need to up my game. 😏

    • Violentsunrise
      Violentsunrise 5 months ago

      Every time I have stayed in British hotels, and in some Norwegian ones too.

  • Sem
    Sem 5 months ago +5

    i love how QI always gives you a point to think about but also gives you the context in which that thought made sense

  • scroat emm
    scroat emm 5 months ago +8

    My grandfather had a kerosene powerd refrigerator WHEN I WAS A YOUNG BOY i couldent work out HOW burning MADE COLD wtf

    • nuclearmin
      nuclearmin 3 months ago

      the heat can't just evaporate, it has to go somewhere, the back of a refrigerator is very hot for example.

      maybe you knew this already but i posted it anyway have a good day

  • romulusnr
    romulusnr 5 months ago

    It's funny, I once had an idea for an alternate universe story where electricity didn't take off, but instead people had gasoline/petrol piped to their house and every appliance would be gasoline powered (via an engine). It's kind of funny to find out that there were literally something similar.

  • romulusnr
    romulusnr 5 months ago

    What were the mechanics though? Like did it burn the gas to generate electricity, or did it use the gas pressure to spin a flywheel or something?

    • jhensjh
      jhensjh 3 months ago

      I went and looked up my current water on the manufacturer's website. It does use an electronic shutoff valve, and the diagnostic unit is also powered by the same system; the system is described on the first page of the owners manual. Bradford white model RG240T6N.
      I was also mistaken, this current water does not have a diaphragm on the gas line, I must have been picturing the old water heater. The gas line goes straight into the control box that contains the diagnostic unit.

    • jhensjh
      jhensjh 3 months ago

      My water heater was replaced about a year and a half ago, and it has what looks like a diaphragm of some sort on the gas line so it may have that sort of pressure actuated shutoff valve. This same water heater has some sort of electronic diagnostic unit that doesn't connect to any external power. I assumed that unit was powered by the same millivolt system that the electric shutoff valves run on, but I suppose it could be battery powered.
      The water heater that was replaced did have an electronic shutoff valve, as the plumber that was troubleshooting it was at one point checking the voltage output of the TEG in the pilot light. The old water heater was a bradford white from around 2009.
      I have heard of old steam heating systems (as in old enough to have the cast iron radiators) that used no electricity but that supplied by TEG in the pilot light. Those were great if the power ever went out in the winter as you still had heat, but most all of those have been replaced in this area.

    • rccarmadben
      rccarmadben 3 months ago

      jhensjh I’ve personally never seen an electric shutoff valve ones I’ve seen are done by differing pressures the sender warms up putting the air inside under heigher pressure alowing a valve to stay open to keep gas flowing

    • jhensjh
      jhensjh 4 months ago

      It most likely burned gas to generate electricity using a thermoelectric generator. Thermoelectric generators produce electricity from heat using no moving parts, but are very inefficient. They are commonly used to power the safety shut off valve in gas fired appliances that use a pilot light. If the pilot light goes out, the electric power to the safety valve is cut which shuts off the gas.

  • Andy Watkinson
    Andy Watkinson 5 months ago +6

    I was born in 1956.

    When I was 5 years old my Mum would have me re-light the gas powered fridge coz the pilot had gone out because it weighed a ton, too heavy to move and I was small enough to creep behind it with a match.

    So Stephen, not everyone abandoned gas in the 1930's.....

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      @rccarmadben Probably and the washing being done by human power !!

    • rccarmadben
      rccarmadben 3 months ago

      Ian moseley how did the gas washing machine work was it just to heat the water

    • Ian moseley
      Ian moseley 5 months ago

      Andy Watkinson Yep, we had one in Fifties. Gas fires, gas water heaters, even the washing machine.

  • Radical Rainbow
    Radical Rainbow 5 months ago +1

    My gran had a gas powered fridge

  • eLJaybud
    eLJaybud 5 months ago

    Thumbs up for fry, thumbs down for Sandy.

    • grahamlive
      grahamlive 5 months ago +1

      No capital letter for Fry, misspelled Name for Sandi.

  • Jukka-Pekka Tuominen
    Jukka-Pekka Tuominen 5 months ago

    Why do they say that there used to be gas powered fridges? There are. And they are still used almost every day. Not every island or place has electricity and if you spend more than 2 days in a remote location it is very difficult to do without a fridge.

    • Jukka-Pekka Tuominen
      Jukka-Pekka Tuominen 5 months ago

      @gwishart We hear what we want to hear (I guess). I though the product did caught on as it has a real purpose and is a sought after product people buy even today. While gas powered radio as an example did not caught on.

    • gwishart
      gwishart 5 months ago

      He didn't say that gas powered fridges no longer exist, he said they never caught on for domestic use. Which is true.

  • logan casner
    logan casner 5 months ago

    You can still do this if you hook up a generator to your house during a power outage. Just make sure to keep only the necessities plugged in.

  • New Message
    New Message 5 months ago +3

    The wife's gas powered sybian is a bit vexing, I must say.

  • Multi
    Multi 5 months ago

    Christ that was a bad idea :/ I mean think of how many people catch fire to their houses by fucking with the electrical appliances. Can you imagine the sheer chaos if we all had to hook them up to the gas main as well?!

    • gwishart
      gwishart 5 months ago

      Presumably, the home owners wouldn't be permitted to install gas powered fridges for themselves, it would be done by a qualified gas fitter. Just like for other gas appliances: cookers, ovens, gas-fires, central heating boilers etc.

  • MrGladiator59
    MrGladiator59 5 months ago

    Living in the Midwest of the US, I think all of those appliances the British didn’t use went straight to the Amish (after 100 years or so). Everything is gas powered in there homes.

  • Jon Rogers
    Jon Rogers 5 months ago +15

    Almost all cars have gas-powered radios.

    • rccarmadben
      rccarmadben 3 months ago

      all the electric in use in a viechel while it is running is powered by the cars fuel as the alternater takes over from the battery 100% once the viechel is running

    • gwishart
      gwishart 5 months ago +1

      Almost all cars run on petrol or diesel, not gas. Even then, the radio is running on 12-volt electricity.

    • fenhen
      fenhen 5 months ago +6

      They’re nuclear powered, as the energy originally comes from nuclear reactions in the Sun.

  • hauskalainen
    hauskalainen 5 months ago +10

    I knew a man who discovered he had a gas supply to his house which totally surprised him because it had no meter. Being a lover of Victoriana he fitted out the main rooms with gas lighting.

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago +1

      We have a gas supply pipe with no meter. Haven't dared touch it as it still might be connected and the tap looks very rusty!

    • gwishart
      gwishart 5 months ago

      Then he died because Victorian light fittings were designed to use coal gas, rather than natural gas?

    • Todd Crabtree
      Todd Crabtree 5 months ago +6

      I think he was gaslighting you.

    • eLJaybud
      eLJaybud 5 months ago

      Sounds more like a lover of free gas. 😂

  • soloseraphim Heartsong
    soloseraphim Heartsong 5 months ago +14

    white goods
    large electrical goods used domestically such as refrigerators and washing machines, typically white in color.
    I had no idea

    • Brem
      Brem 2 months ago

      @pmailkeey Traditionally all were white. That doesn't mean they began as white or were ever exclusively white. Just that white is a traditional colour.

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      @Brem Traditionally, likely none were white. Cookers/stoves/ranges - black, red, green , blue and cream were common colours. Enamelled of course. I suspect white only appeared with devices in tin cabinets.

    • Brem
      Brem 2 months ago

      @pmailkeey Of course but they are all traditionally white. Mine are all coloured these days too.

    • pmailkeey
      pmailkeey 2 months ago

      @Brem In my kitche, only the clothes washer is white. Cooker: black, Microwave: Grey, dishwasher stainless.

    • Brem
      Brem 3 months ago +2

      White ware and white goods are reasonably common around my way also.
      Which leads me to a joke.
      Why are wedding dresses white?
      All domestic appliances are white.

  • Bob Lamb
    Bob Lamb 5 months ago

    For the record, there are still gas powered refrigerators for use in campers (or caravans as you call them across the pond).

    • rccarmadben
      rccarmadben 3 months ago

      Bob Lamb absorbsion fridges are used in all types of campervan including rvs although they tend to have large full height and a separate freezer whereas smaller campervans/caravans tend to have the small Electrolux sized ones

    • Bob Lamb
      Bob Lamb 3 months ago

      @rccarmadben - I was speaking of the towed trailer campers but I think the gas (propane) powered refrigerators are also used in the smaller (van frame) campers, I'm not sure what they use in the RVs (built on a truck or bus chassis) as I've never been in one.

    • rccarmadben
      rccarmadben 3 months ago

      Bob Lamb here a caravan is towed a camper van is a converted van chassis you call them RVs I belive (or are they only the big ones built onto truck chassis l)

  • Chilukar
    Chilukar 5 months ago

    So gas powered radios were the equivelent of todays "self charging hybrids"