It’s never fun to be insulted, but there is one way to make the pain sting a little bit less—hitting back with an epic comeback! Whether it’s a jab at someone’s shortcomings, a poke at something they didn’t see coming, or just the old routine of giving them a taste of their own medicine, a well-timed and well-delivered comeback is truly a form of art—and here are hilarious examples that prove it.
1. Selective Memory
I was once at a comedy show where the comedian said, “I remember the first time I ever slept with someone.” A girl in the audience was trying to be funny, and shouted out, “You mean yesterday?” The audience started laughing. The comedian instantly replied, “I’m glad that you remember!” The audience erupted and started screaming in laughter.
2. Tied Down
My mom's dad had passed on a couple of days before this happened. The night before the funeral, it was a dark and stormy night. The funeral home called at 9 pm to tell my mom that she had forgotten to provide a tie for the suit for tomorrow's showing. She freaked out, realizing that she would have to drive over to the nursing home to fetch a tie and then drive to the funeral home.
My dad, who loved himself his clip-on ties and had many of them, said, "Oh, don't go doing that trip on a night like tonight and at this time of night! Just grab one of my clip-on ties and take it with you in the morning." My mom, who actually hated the fact that my dad had never learned to tie a tie, responded without missing a beat: "My father would never be caught dead wearing a clip-on tie!"
Seconds after, she realized what she had said and burst into tears.
3. A Royal Affair
I once witnessed an intoxicated customer throwing a temper tantrum against the seafood counter clerk at the grocery store. She was angry about not being treated like a queen while she was shopping. She shouted: "You don't start trouble with a 54-year-old woman!!" The seafood counter clerk replied: "What does your daughter have to do with this?"
4. Dancing Up a Storm
When I was 13 years old, I was in a dance class with some older, catty girls. One of them was constantly picking on me. One day, that ended with her remarking, "Bite me." I responded with, "Thanks, but I'm trying to cut out fat from my diet." The entire dance team heard this comment and proceeded to chastise me for being so mean to her. It served her right, though.
5. March of Dimes
One time, I was at a coffee shop with my good friend and I saw a dime lying on the floor. Jokingly, I gave it to him and said: "There, you can finally buy yourself a life with this!" He quickly answered, "I'll just buy yours and give you back the change."
6. This Means War!
This guy back in grade school was really into history and building army models. He was constantly building little model fighter jets, aircraft carriers, and other things like that. He was quiet and smart, but also very handsome and part of the main crowd. He was athletic and very social, but also very much a history buff. Interesting guy.
At a party one night, for whatever reason, he got into some kind of an argument with one of the hotter and more popular girls in our class. The greatest comeback I’ve ever heard came next. The girl said: "Whatever Dan, why don't you go play with your model planes?" The guy immediately responded, without missing a beat: "Great idea, I can land them on your flat chest!"
The reaction from the crowd added insult to injury. Everyone instantly went bonkers, as if they had just witnessed a walk off homerun in a playoff baseball game. Never have I heard a more savage and perfectly timed comeback before or since. And that goes for both real and scripted ones. People definitely thought twice before picking a fight with that guy again!
7. Like Father Like Son
Before you read on, please know that my relationship with my 14-year-old son is built on giving each other a hard time. It’s just the way we always operate. One time, I had said a swear word. I don't remember which one it was or why I had said it. Either way, my son reacted instantly by saying: "You're a horrible mother!"
My reply to that was: "If I'm such a horrible mother, then how did you turn out so awesome?" Without a second thought, he immediately came back with: "I spent a lot of time with Dad!" Wow. Even though he completely roasted me, I have to admit that this was one of the funniest and wittiest comebacks I have ever heard.
8. He Just Got Schooled
Back in the tenth grade, we had a long term substitute physics teacher. He was a younger guy, so the tough guys in the class wanted to basically have a private part measuring contest with him like daily. They constantly made fun of him and joked about his wife, trying to make themselves feel cooler or more manly or whatever.
One day, I didn't hear the start of the conversation, but one kid said something to him like, "I'm gonna bury my face in your wife's chest." The teacher had obviously had enough at this point, and he immediately came back with, "No, the only Ds you're ever going to see are your grades." The class exploded with laughter. Nobody ever told on the teacher for making that comment, and the guys stopped messing with him from that point on.
9. The Long and Winding Line
I remember some guy told me a story a couple of years ago about this encounter he had in a grocery store. He was behind this woman who was giving the cashier a bunch of grief over something or other. She was being a real chump. Finally, sick of her attitude, he spoke up and told her to lighten up and stop holding up the line.
At this point, he’s also getting kind of angry that she's double barreling this kid who's done nothing wrong. So, she whips around on him and says: "This is none of your darn business!" He responded with: "Listen, lady. I'm a veterinarian. Female dogs are my business!"
10. Child’s Play
I’m a girl. This story is one of the proudest moments of my life. When I was 17 years old, a 12-year-old boy came up to me to try and ask me out. What went down next was my greatest comeback of all time. The kid said: "Hey babe, can I have your number?" I responded with: "Why, do you need a babysitter?"
11. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
I miss my late uncle. He was the wittiest individual that I ever knew. He was not really a joke-teller; he just had great one-line comebacks that were never mean, just funny. No matter what the situation was, he always seemed to be able to come up with some funny response on the spot. And it never failed to make us all laugh.
My favorite story about one of his comebacks was the time when he went out to eat at a local diner with his wife and my mother, just the three of them. The waitress said to him, "Lucky you, getting to eat dinner with two ladies!" My uncle quickly replied, "Yes! But can you hurry it up? I have to get home to my wife!"
12. Audio Issues
The greatest comeback I ever saw was when an old man was complaining about his grandson’s rowdy behavior. The grandpa rudely said something like “You know, back in my day, children were seen but not heard!” The grandson immediately responded with “Yea, so were the movies!” I started laughing my head off.
13. And the Winner Is...
A female friend of mine once said: "In the future, I think I'll just meet some rich doctor and become a trophy wife for the rest of my life." My male friend replied with: "But they don't give out trophies for last place!" Our jaws all dropped, and we couldn’t help bursting out into laughter. That has to be the funniest comeback I’ve ever heard.
14. Her Motherly Instincts
The class clown of all my schoolmates, let’s call him K, was known notoriously for angering teachers with crude, obscene, and insulting jokes. Well, one day, K decided to ask a teacher who was in her 30s, "Miss, have you ever had a baby?" The teacher replied to that with a simple no. But that's not where the story ended.
K then said to the teacher, with a face that only appears on the stupidest of people, "Well, I could give you one!" This caused a few giggles from across the class. The corners of the teacher’s mouth curled into a smile and, with grace, she walked over to her desk and said "No thanks, K. I don't want to adopt you!" This caused the whole class to erupt into laughter.
K kept his mouth shut for the rest of that year in English class. This is still one of the best comebacks that I've ever heard. So simple, yet so powerful.
15. Run, Silly Kid, Run!
One time, we were watching Forrest Gump in my history class. We got to the scene where Jenny sleeps with Forrest, and a kid shouted out from the back of the class: "Haha, I wonder how she feels sleeping with a moron!" The teacher, without missing a beat, immediately paused the movie and said, "I don't know, let me ask your girlfriend."
16. Going Under
I once overheard the following hilarious exchange between two guys I know. The first guy, who is a braggart and a jerk, said: "I've got this great new job. I've got over a hundred guys under me." The second guy, who is a complete smart-aleck, quickly replied with: "What, are you mowing lawns at a cemetery?" I laughed my head off when I heard that.
17. He’s in No Position to Be Joking About This
One time, I was talking to a friend of mine and the topic of preferred positions in bed came up for some reason. After I talked for a minute or so about my personal favorite positions, he responded with: "I like being on the bottom, because all I do is screw up anyways." Now, this may have been self-deprecating humor, but I still thought it was one of the wittiest comebacks I had ever heard.
18. Bringing Out the Beast in Him
I did not witness this firsthand, but I have had the recounting and legend of it told to me many times over the years. Growing up, a friend's older brother nearly got kicked out of high school for this exchange. A teacher was teaching his class about ancient Jewish law. Specifically, about how zoophilia is strictly forbidden in the Old Testament.
This teacher then looked directly at my friend’s brother and sarcastically said: "Does this upset you, David?" My friend’s brother immediately replied with: "Yeah, it does. It means I can't sleep with your wife anymore." The class absolutely erupted. He ended up having to graduate late since he wasn't allowed back into that class...
19. In for a Penny, In for a Pound
I was once sitting in a bar in an area that is well known as a spot where people pay to sleep with others, if you catch my drift. As I was sitting there enjoying my drink, a man came storming in and started yelling at a girl, claiming that she had given him a disease. The woman just smiled, looked at him, and said: “I didn’t give you anything. You bought it!”
20. What’s in a Name?
I once had a supervisor who was making fun of a guy's last name. The guy just took it and didn't really say anything in return. When he was done, the supervisor asked him to email him something and the guy wanted to clarify the spelling of the supervisor's last name, which was Winsor. He said, "Your name doesn't have a D in it, right?" The supervisor said no. So the guy said, "Ok, so just -ouchebag then." And walked away.
21. So Many Calls, So Little Time
In high school, there was a jerk who was a local star athlete. He was pretty much the classic "high school cool athlete jerk" stereotype. His attempts to pick on people at school were usually pretty lame, but people always laughed at them anyway because he was cool, and you always laugh at what the cool kid says. He liked to do the "An 80-year old woman called, she wants her upper back strength back!" type of jokes.
He also wanted to go to Cornell on a wrestling scholarship really badly. Not only did he not end up getting the scholarship, but he also didn't get accepted to Cornell. So one day, when he was in the middle of one of his "So and so called..." routines, I knew exactly what to say to absolutely devastate him. I yelled, "Hey, Cornell called. Oh wait, never mind, no they didn't!"
22. Is Roast on the Menu?
I was once at a Chinese restaurant with my friend. The waitress innocently asked him: "Would you like any wonton soup before your meal?" My very hungry very quickly responded and said: "Look at the size of me! Do I look like I want one-ton soup? I'll take two tons of it!" That dude had some quick wit!
23. Putting It in Writing
When I was a high school teacher, our assistant principal was caught having an affair. She divorced her husband, but all of the students heard about it. A few weeks later, a kid hung a banner in the school hallway that read "I can't cheat in school, but ‘Mrs. So and So’ can cheat on her husband? Cool." Pretty good comeback from a 16-year-old...
24. Getting Nosey
I’m friends with this guy who has a large nose. It's not bad looking. It actually suits him quite well. But I'll still poke fun at him for it sometimes. One day, we were roasting each other, so I hit him with "Your nose is bigger than Kim Kardashian's butt." He came back with "You have bigger breasts than your mother!" I'm a guy. I shut up after that.
25. Animal Instinct
Back in high school, this hilarious incident took place that caused a major fuss. This boy who I was friends with had gotten into a huge argument with this irritating girl that no one liked. At one point, the annoying girl said to him: “You better not hit me!” My friend replied: “Don’t worry. I hate animal cruelty!” Cue hysteria...
26. Now This One Is Just Mean...
This one probably crossed some serious boundaries, but I feel like telling it anyway. This really aggressive coworker of mine once made a sarcastic comment about performing an intimate act on my mother. I promptly informed him that my mother is deceased. His comeback was just jaw-dropping. He replied: "I know. It was a lot of digging."
27. Breaking the Scale
While sitting around a campfire, drinking, telling lies, and whatnot, a female friend asked me: "On a scale from one to 10, how would you rate yourself in bed?" I kind of paused for a moment, thinking about how I should answer. My friend assumed I was embarrassed and said: "Come on, don’t be shy. Who am I going to tell?" I came back with: "Hopefully everyone. My answer is eleven."
28. When Size Does Matter
Me and a buddy of mine were at GameStop one time, just browsing and hanging out. A young employee comes up to us and asks if we need any help finding anything. We told him that we were just browsing. This was right after the Nintendo DS XL had just come out, and the guy starts trying his hardest to sell us on this whole new expensive system.
Never having been the handheld gamer type, I told him right away that I wasn't really interested. He immediately decided that his ace in the hole would be touting the newer, bigger four-inch screen. Having had enough at this point, I responded with: "Take it from me, pal. Four inches isn't that impressive." That was the end of his sales pitch.
29. That’s a Whopper
My wife tends to get mean when she’s had a few drinks. Not like start a fight mean, more like destroy everyone’s egos mean. We were winding down at a party one time, and she was very much in the mood to get everyone going. Most of us can't even remember how the conversation ended up with my chubby friend insulting my wife's lack of chest.
He began implying that she should go buy herself some implants. My wife then says: "But those are expensive!" My chubby friend agrees. He cups his male chest and jokingly says, "Yea, these did cost me quite a bit." My wife then closes out the night by replying, "Just how much did you have to spend at Burger King for a chest like that?"
30. Copy Cats
I found this little exchange to be pretty witty and hilarious. When my friend was plagiarizing an essay assignment, my other friend tried to warn him that he could easily get caught. Friend #1 said: “Your teacher literally just has to copy and paste your essay, and he'll see that it's plagiarized.” Friend #2 replied with: “Then he's no better than me!”
31. A Night on the Town
I didn't witness this, but I was told about it and found it hilarious. So my friend is at a bar with some friends of ours. My friend had asked some girl if she would dance with him, and she obliged. Shortly thereafter, her very large boyfriend came back from the bathroom. He shouted: "HEY! What are you doing dancing with my girl?" My friend blurted back: "If she's your girl, then what's she doing dancing with me?"
One of our other friends instantly jumped between them and they subsequently rushed him out of there as fast as they possibly could—but he didn’t stop there. While waiting outside of a different bar later that evening, he almost got into a rumble with one of the bouncers. The bouncer had said to my friend: "Listen bud, I'm gonna count to five..." Before he could finish the thought, my friend instantly shouted back "MAKE IT THREE! I AIN'T GOT ALL NIGHT!"
I honestly thought this stuff only happened in movies!
32. In Bad Taste
I was sitting at a side table in a convenience store having a cup of coffee with this 80-year-old man who could not have cared less about what anyone thought of him. This 20-year-old kid we both know walks in and gets two candy bars. I was giving him some grief about buying so much candy, and the old man pipes up with the following comment: "Boy, if one won't get the taste of genitals out of your mouth, neither will two."
33. Providing the Feature Attraction
One time, I was out with friends in a movie theater and, while I forget what the movie was exactly, it was apparent that we were the oldest people there to see it. While waiting for the previews to start, someone in the back made a noise. Then, someone else repeated the noise. Then two more did so. This kept going on and on.
I was starting to get very annoyed, so I eventually turned around and said “Jeeze, this is getting old!” When the noise finally stopped a few moments later, a little kid who was sitting a couple of rows behind me shouted out “So are you!” Well, I guess I walked right into that one! So yes, I got roasted by a child. Touché, you little jerk!
34. Lost in Translation
One time, I was playing the video game Overwatch at my house with a friend of mine. At one point, I made a bad play and my friend said: "Are you writing a book about sucking at video games?" I quickly responded with: "No, I'm writing a play about it, and you're the lead actor!"
35. In Your Face!
My old roommate’s wife used to be a waitress at one of our local restaurants. She's a pretty noticeably attractive woman. One night, she's serving a table full of middle-aged businessmen who had been drinking. They're mostly polite, but one dude is starting to get pretty intoxicated and really forward with his comments.
He crudely tells her, "I really want you to sit on my face." Without missing a beat, she came up with the most crushing clapback of all time. She sarcastically replied, "Why is that? Because your nose is bigger than your private parts?" The rest of the table went absolutely nuts. They thought this was the funniest thing they had ever heard. Meanwhile, the dude turned bright red and left her alone from that point on.
36. Proving Him Wrong
I had a really witty teacher for my game design class, but the vice-principal hated him for whatever reason. One day, we were all studiously working with our headphones on and programming away while our teacher was sitting up at the front reading a book. He was very clearly available and approachable if we had any questions.
Nevertheless, the VP walked into the room and lost his mind. He said: "It has come to my attention that you have absolutely no control over this class! This is unacceptable." My teacher then gave him a fairly nonchalant stare, cooly and calmly placed his book down, and clapped his hands loudly three times, which was his very effective way of getting our attention while we were listening to music.
Mind you, the following occurred without us knowing why the VP was there or what he had said. The teacher then said: "Ok class, listen up. I have an exercise for you. This will only take a few moments. First and foremost, everybody stand up." We all stood up in near unison, very quickly. The teacher then said: "Good job.”
He continued, while pointing his finger at the VP: “Now, I want all of you to leave the room and stand outside in the hallway and, no matter what this guy says, do not come back in the room until I say so. Ok, go!" We all exited the room, a little intrigued by what was going on. The teacher said: "Ok, Mr. VP. Bring them back into the classroom" We didn't budge. To this day, this is one of my favorite stories to tell.
37. Family Feud
My friend told me about this one. Apparently, this was an actual exchange between two people at work that he had overheard. A guy came in, saw his friend, and said "Hey buddy! How's your wife and my kid?" Without even thinking twice about it, his friend replied "The wife is doing great, but the kid is an imbecile!"
38. Je Ne Sais Quois
I have an issue learning spoken language. So, when I started French, I was doing horribly despite how hard I was working. During a parent-teacher conference, my French teacher told my parents that I was incapable of learning French. I was blown away by my dad’s reply. My dad leaned in and said: "Madame, there are mentally handicapped children in France who are capable of learning French. He is capable of learning, you're just incapable of teaching."
39. Pounding the Pavement
My club had a Secret Santa gift exchange one year in college. One guy got a collection of British currency, which was perfect since he liked to collect foreign bills and coins. Some girl made a rude comment about it being a stupid gift. Cue my mouth running off before my brain could stop it. It was totally worth it though.
In the heat of the moment, I let out an incredible comeback. I said: "Karen, don't be rude. He just didn't want you to be the only one who gained 20 pounds this semester!" Pandemonium ensued as her boyfriend tried to pick a fight with me, while she herself burst into tears. It was not the best day for our club...
40. A Match Made in Heaven
The story of how my grandparents went on their first date includes the greatest comeback ever. My future grandfather was working at the cash register in a sub shop. My future grandmother was standing in the line waiting to order. They had kind of met a few times in passing before, but never really spoken to each other one-on-one.
My grandpa decided that this day was going to be the one where he finally struck up a conversation. When she got up to the register, my grandfather, attempting to hit on her, jokingly said: “How’d you get through life looking so ugly?” My grandma quickly replied: “I don’t know, but you’ve been doing it a lot longer than I have!” They’ve been happily married ever since!
41. Who’s Your Daddy?
My dad likes to jokingly say that I'm his favorite daughter. The whole joke is that we both know I'm his only daughter. One day, I was in a savage kind of mood and, when he made this joke, I responded with: "That's nice. You're only my second favorite dad though." Naturally, he asked: "Who's your favorite dad?" I said "Ask mom."
42. Wiping Your Fears Away
Back when I was a teenager, I once got into an argument with my mother about my not wanting to do any chores. Mum asked: "Do you think I should wipe your butt for you too?" I replied: "Beats doing it myself!" My mum was so caught off guard by the comment that she didn’t even know how to react at first. We both laughed so hard we completely forgot about the argument.
43. Age Is Just a Number
I was dating a girl in college. I was in my second year and she was an older grad student. She was really apprehensive about her looks and our age difference. One time, we were cuddling and I guess she started feeling insecure. She said, "You shouldn't be with me, you should be with someone young and beautiful and thin."
She set me up perfectly for an epic comeback…and I couldn’t resist. I just wrapped my arms around her waist, looked her in the eyes very seriously, and said, "But honey, I don't want someone who is young and beautiful and thin. I want you." She jabbed me in the ribs, and then laughed for 20 minutes straight.
44. Going Out with a Bang
I did not like the overly condescending boss that I had at my last job. One day, while looking over my shoulder at my work as usual, he said: "Can I ask a stupid question?" Since it was my last week at that job anyway, I immediately came back and responded with: "You seem qualified!" I have to say I was pretty proud of myself!
45. Sales from the Great Beyond
My grandfather passed quite a bit before his time, and my grandmother would often get a lot of calls for him. One telemarketing firm was particularly pushy and, one day, an unbelievably condescending salesperson called and demanded to speak to the man of the household. My grandmother, who was normally restrained to a fault, sarcastically replied, "Well, as soon as he comes back to life, I'll have him call you," and slammed the phone down.
They actually did stop calling her after that.