Newly appointed QPR manager Harry Redknapp saw his side concede three times in eight minutes as Manchester United won 3-1 at Old Trafford.
The Premier League's bottom side led through Jamie Mackie's well-deserved 52nd-minute strike but United woke up with a flurry of goals.
Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher headed in from Wayne Rooney corners, before substitute Javier Hernandez produced a typically clinical finish.
It was the sixth time in 13 Premier League games that Manchester United have won after going behind.
Despite their ninth defeat of the season, Redknapp will be largely encouraged by the QPR performance. They remain only five points from safety, and possess more than enough quality in their squad to survive.
Redknapp, confirmed as Mark Hughes's successor four hours before kick-off at Old Trafford, watched from the stands on a rainy afternoon in the north-west.
The QPR team, led by Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, contained one surprise as the injury-plagued Kieron Dyer made his first Premier League start of the season.
Despite their atrocious start, this QPR team clearly has more talent that its four points suggest, and if Redknapp can get his players performing anywhere near their potential the R's should be fine.
Redknapp is a canny operator, and he would not have taken the job if he were not confident of dragging QPR away from relegation. Two wins would change the Premier League table's complexion entirely.
A host of former Manchester United stars were present after attending the unveiling of a statue of Sir Alex Ferguson on Friday.
But the current United side did not put on much of a show.
They moved the ball too slowly and failed to create any sort of opening until the 16th minute, when a deflected Robin van Persie shot nearly found its way into the path of Paul Scholes.
Van Persie then hit a shot into the side netting, before Rooney saw his swept effort saved by the feet of Julio Cesar.
At the other end, the lively Mackie had a headed goal rightly disallowed for offside, before Adel Taarabt tested Anders Lindegaard from long range.
Mackie opened the scoring seven minutes into the second half when Lindegaard could not hold a driven Dyer cross-shot - the forward was on hand to tap in from close range.
It might have been two shortly afterwards when Djibril Cisse declined to play in Mackie for what would have been a golden opportunity.
United are used to playing from behind, and though they were playing poorly they did not panic.
Evans levelled shortly after the hour mark when Danny Welbeck met Rooney's corner with a downward header and the defender nodded it in from less than a yard.
Four minutes later another left-sided Rooney corner was met by the head of Fletcher, who powered in his first goal in 368 days.
And Hernandez put the result beyond doubt when he collected a fine pass from fellow sub Anderson and finished coolly into the bottom-right corner.
Redknapp will not leave Old Trafford disheartened after a decent contest - QPR just need a shred of United's ability to grind out results and they should be fine.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jamie Mackie (QPR): Ended up on the losing side, but produced a tireless and inventive display, and thoroughly deserved his goal.
MANCHESTER UNITED: Lindegaard 6, Rafael 7, Evans 7, Ferdinand 6, Evra 7, Young 5, Fletcher 7, Scholes 5, Rooney 6, Welbeck 6, Van Persie 5. Subs: Anderson 7, Hernandez 7, Powell N/A.
QPR: Cesar 7, Mbia 7, Hill 7, Nelsen 7, Traore 6, Derry 6, Faurlin 7, Mackie 8, Taarabt 6, Dyer 7, Cisse 5. Subs: Ferdinand 4, Granero N/A, Hoilett 6