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 • 145

  • dave101t
    dave101t 6 days 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 9 days 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.

  • Luke Breaban-Cook
    Luke Breaban-Cook 16 days ago +5

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

  • Douglas Mock
    Douglas Mock 24 days ago

    My Dometic refrigerator is gas powered

  • David Dixon
    David Dixon 27 days ago

    I picked my nose. Does that count Sandy?

  • Ballconei
    Ballconei 28 days ago

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

    • gwishart
      gwishart 20 days ago

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

    • Ballconei
      Ballconei 20 days ago

      @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 20 days ago

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

  • Compliment Thief
    Compliment Thief 28 days ago

    There still are gas powered fridges used daily in mobile living and catering.

  • Johnny James
    Johnny James Month ago

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

    • Tartrazine
      Tartrazine 29 days 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 Month ago +3

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

  • Gethin Coles
    Gethin Coles Month ago

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

  • artistjoh
    artistjoh Month 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”.

    • artistjoh
      artistjoh 28 days 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 29 days 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 29 days 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 29 days 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 Month ago +6

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

  • Patrick Ols
    Patrick Ols Month ago

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

  • Antonio Bromelini
    Antonio Bromelini Month ago +1

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

    • Zach Brookes
      Zach Brookes 26 days ago

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

  • Andrew Ongais
    Andrew Ongais Month ago

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

  • Tashunka Witko
    Tashunka Witko Month 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.

  • Matt Burland
    Matt Burland Month 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 Month ago +1

    The trophy wife

  • Xavian Brightly
    Xavian Brightly Month ago +1

    Your wife.

  • al145
    al145 Month ago

    ...what? How?

  • nexgenhippy
    nexgenhippy Month 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.

  • yew 2oob
    yew 2oob Month ago

    A wife.

  • grahamlive
    grahamlive Month 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 8 days ago

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

    • grahamlive
      grahamlive Month ago

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

    • Violentsunrise
      Violentsunrise Month ago

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

  • Sem
    Sem Month ago +2

    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 Month ago +6

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

  • romulusnr
    romulusnr Month 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 Month 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?

    • fenhen
      fenhen Month ago

      Must have burnt it. If you’re using pressure you’d use steam or similar rather than something highly flammable.

  • Andy Watkinson
    Andy Watkinson Month ago +1

    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.....

    • Ian moseley
      Ian moseley 27 days ago

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

  • Radical Rainbow
    Radical Rainbow Month ago

    My gran had a gas powered fridge

  • eLJaybud
    eLJaybud Month ago

    Thumbs up for fry, thumbs down for Sandy.

    • grahamlive
      grahamlive Month ago +1

      No capital letter for Fry, misspelled Name for Sandi.

  • Jukka-Pekka Tuominen

    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 20 days 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 20 days 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 Month 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 Month ago +3

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

  • Multi
    Multi Month 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 20 days 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 Month 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 Month ago +15

    Almost all cars have gas-powered radios.

    • gwishart
      gwishart 20 days ago +1

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

    • fenhen
      fenhen Month ago +6

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

  • hauskalainen
    hauskalainen Month ago +6

    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.

    • gwishart
      gwishart 20 days ago

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

    • Todd Crabtree
      Todd Crabtree Month ago +3

      I think he was gaslighting you.

    • eLJaybud
      eLJaybud Month ago

      Sounds more like a lover of free gas. 😂

  • soloseraphim Heartsong
    soloseraphim Heartsong Month ago +13

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

    • Jonas D. Atlas
      Jonas D. Atlas 7 days ago

      When I lived in Germany, they called it "weiße Ware", which is pretty much a literal translation of this. Quite interesting.

    • debli 22
      debli 22 Month ago +2

      here in brazil they're also called "linha branca" or "white line" as in a line of goods

    • grahamlive
      grahamlive Month ago +3

      @Brian Sammond It's a common word, down our way.

    • Brian Sammond
      Brian Sammond Month ago +2

      same here, never hear the phrase

  • Bob Lamb
    Bob Lamb Month ago

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

  • Chilukar
    Chilukar Month ago

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

  • TheG
    TheG Month ago

    In fact, it was this appliance revolution of the early 20th century that inspired Rube Goldberg to design his iconic machines. Everyone was making such unnecessary machines and devices he began to satire this fad in his comics. To paraphrase him (as I’ve forgotten the actual quote), he said that the machine was a way of asserting dominance over reality. By unnecessarily complicating a simple action, such as tipping a hat (of which there was an electric assist), a man would show his strength.

  • Pipe Tunes
    Pipe Tunes Month ago

    A fucking priest? Why? Bye.....

  • Kitty
    Kitty Month ago

    There still are gas powered fridges.

  • 3506Dodge
    3506Dodge Month ago +7

    I've used a trouser press in a hotel room before an important interview.

    • gwishart
      gwishart 20 days ago

      For a morale boosting cheese toastie?

    • grahamlive
      grahamlive Month ago +2

      @James Hughes He almost didn't, but the manager was partial to a well pressed trouser.

    • James Hughes
      James Hughes Month ago +2

      Did you get the job?

  • Howard Smith
    Howard Smith Month ago +1

    They still have gas powered refrigerators, sold for use in campers and by people who have no electric service. They generally run on propane.

  • I'm Batman
    I'm Batman Month ago

    A dishwasher pointless loud noisy expensive never does perfect job when your hands can! And takes longer to deal with and requires more bending usually.

    • Tsa Szymborska
      Tsa Szymborska Month ago +3

      Well, you'd have to pry my dishwasher from my cold, dead hands. I love the thing. It does a much better job than me 99 percent of the time and works while I sleep. Emptying it and putting everything in the right cupboards takes 5 - 8 minutes. Perfect!

  • Kilo Whiskey
    Kilo Whiskey Month ago

    My m'urican to UK translator isn't working well.... a washing machine , and a washing up machine... the difference is?

    • gwishart
      gwishart 20 days ago

      Washing machine: cleans dirty clothes, bedding, towels etc.
      Washing-up machine: cleans dirty plates, knives, spoons, sex toys etc.
      Although the term "dishwasher" is also used for washing-up machine.

    • grahamlive
      grahamlive Month ago

      @Dragon Curve Enthusiast Don't know why he didn't just say dishwasher because I'm sure that's what he meant.

      Though Stephen likely has an army of scullery maids and other servants who deal with his domestic duties :)

    • Saphira Steinbach
      Saphira Steinbach Month ago +2

      Washing up machine is a dishwasher :-)

    • Dragon Curve Enthusiast
      Dragon Curve Enthusiast Month ago +3

      Non native English speaker here...
      My understanding is that the washing machine does the laundry, washing up machine does dishes (to do the wash up = doing the dishes)
      Please, someone confirm or correct.
      Also: shouldn't it be 'murican instead? You are leaving out the A after all...

  • Melissa Hudson
    Melissa Hudson Month ago +3

    I bought a home that was built in 1930's and dual electric/gas for every major appliance. Gas fringe was great. (Quietly put, put, putting away)

  • Spottydog714
    Spottydog714 Month ago +1

    A wife?

  • artao5
    artao5 Month ago

    microwave ;)
    ...... at least for me. considering selling mine. no idea when i last used it

    • gwishart
      gwishart 20 days ago

      But then how will you destroy your hard-drives when the police start hammering on your door at three in the morning?!

  • Gilbert Martin
    Gilbert Martin Month ago

    I must be dense, but what is it finally? What is the answer?

    • Growler The Dog
      Growler The Dog Month ago

      A vibrator made of sandpaper.

    • r0bw00d
      r0bw00d Month ago +2

      The gas powered radio...somehow. The moment they start talking about gas powered appliances in general and the move to electric is when they lose the thought of what made the radio of singular distaste.



  • Just Vin
    Just Vin Month ago +47

    Boss: How's the gas radio testing coming along?
    R&D: Well...sir...the device uses a lot of energy and keeps overheating, sir.
    Boss: (General Melchett laugh)

  • Adam Ford
    Adam Ford Month ago +9

    Whenever Sara Pascoe is on the screen, it almost doesn't matter what else is happening.

  • Nicholay Calhoun
    Nicholay Calhoun Month ago +30

    R.V.s still use propane fridges, actually 3 way powered fridges, 120 (in america) 12 volt and propane, depending on whatever is most convenient at the moment

    • ginvr
      ginvr Month ago

      @Nicholay Calhoun its a complicated cycle the relies on convection, odd angles disrupt the flow of gasses

    • Nicholay Calhoun
      Nicholay Calhoun Month ago +1

      Epi Endless sailboats generally dont use them, a few degrees off level and they dont work. why i dont know, but i imagine trawlers still use them

    • Epi Endless
      Epi Endless Month ago +1

      Thanks, I wondered if they were still in use. Many years ago we used to go on boating holidays and the boats had gas fridges.

  • Will4May
    Will4May Month ago +37

    I work for Royal Mail and our tumble dryer upstairs in the depot is gas powered, and its big too, like what you get in a Launderette and we use it all the time to dry out the mail bags, some staff even bring in their own washing to dry them in it :)

    • Max Falto
      Max Falto 3 days ago

      I've seen them in some older launderettes in Mexico.

    • Will4May
      Will4May Month ago

      @tziporah torbati tbh I didnt know gas dryers existed until seeing this at our depot, cool you owning a domestic one, we had to evacuate the depot nearly a month ago as the gas pipe going into it started leaking, manager didnt give us the day off though, made us wait till it was fixed to carry on working lol

    • tziporah torbati
      tziporah torbati Month ago

      I have a gas dryer at home; a regular sized one. It’s cheaper to operate than an electric one. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I think gas dryers are probably the only major gas appliance left. Well, that and the stove.

  • puirYorick
    puirYorick Month ago +42

    Kerosene and propane fridges still exist I believe for camping and off-grid users.

    • HUNKragor
      HUNKragor 2 days ago

      @Alex also without clothes, clear water and abundant food

    • Simon Winterbottom
      Simon Winterbottom 28 days ago

      Gas fridges still around as are gas lamps as well....

    • Compliment Thief
      Compliment Thief 28 days ago +1

      puirYorick they’re used in mobile catering a lot too.

    • Alex
      Alex 28 days ago

      If you live off-grid, don't use a fridge at all, people survived without them "back in the day" :))

    • Michael Tempsch
      Michael Tempsch Month ago +4

      They do, some multi powered, DC 12/24V, AC 110/230V, and gas, to make use of what's available/most convenient for power.

  • MrWombatty
    MrWombatty Month ago +8

    On another Qi episode it was mentioned that guests would sometimes use those trouser-presses to warm their sandwiches!

    • tvdan1043
      tvdan1043 Month ago

      Howard Smith that’s still the only thing I use my iron for

    • Howard Smith
      Howard Smith Month ago +4

      Electric irons have long been used by poor students and travelers to make grilled cheese sandwiches!

  • Ze Rubenator
    Ze Rubenator Month ago

    Gotta be honest, having a gas line in my home is something that sounds completely alien and terrifying. Luckily over here literally nobody uses gas so everything's fine.

    • Ze Rubenator
      Ze Rubenator Month ago

      @Jon Cook That's probably true.

    • Jon Cook
      Jon Cook Month ago

      @Ze Rubenator I believe we in the UK get a fair percentage of our gas from Norway (and other countries).

    • Ze Rubenator
      Ze Rubenator Month ago

      @floooooooooooooooood Norway, but the same goes for all the Nordic countries at least.

    • floooooooooooooooood
      floooooooooooooooood Month ago +1

      Which country?

    • Ze Rubenator
      Ze Rubenator Month ago

      @r0bw00d No I literally mean literally. There is no gas line in this country. You can buy propane cannisters if you need them, but that's it.

  • Hyman O'Cohann
    Hyman O'Cohann Month ago +37

    For their next big thing Apple introduces, the Propane Cellphone!!

    • No Thanks
      No Thanks Month ago +2

      @I am Pete Sure is partner, head over to Strickland propane and my buddy Hank will get you connected!

    • I am Pete
      I am Pete Month ago +2

      …So is that a propane accessory?

    • Michael Tempsch
      Michael Tempsch Month ago

      @Kristjan yes, found some references WRT Samsung and a system with raluminium, lye (these 2 in cassete needing periodical replacement - like 14 days) and water, producing H2 which is used in the fuel cell, as well as a direct methanol fuel cell system.

    • Kristjan
      Kristjan Month ago

      Didn't Samsung try that a couple years ago?

    • Steve Haigh
      Steve Haigh Month ago +1

      just what i was thinking, then you could recharge it with your own farts