Sometimes, silence is golden—but other times, people need to be put in their place with a few choice words. From snappy comebacks to witty one-liners, these people didn’t take kindly to getting insulted. Instead, they bit right back…and the results were glorious. Here are the greatest comebacks Redditors ever heard.
1. A Cutting Remark
My grandparents used to bicker. My grandmother generally came out on top, as she was fierier. One time though, she was asking him to do a bunch of stuff, and he muttered, "If you'd lose some weight, you could do it yourself." She fixed her gaze on him and glowered, "I'm thinking of getting rid of about 200 pounds of useless fat immediately..." He replied, "You're going to cut off your foot?"
2. I Wear the Pants in This Relationship
Back in middle school, I was at Wal-Mart with a friend of mine looking for pants. Being a tomboy, I liked to wear baggy boys’ pants, and I didn’t wear makeup. Another kid came up to me and snarkily asked, "Pfft, what are you? A boy or a girl?" And without missing a beat I responded "Why? Do you think I’m hot?" He just got flustered and walked away mumbling.
3. That’s Why They Pay Him the Big Bucks
A stand-up comedian said something along the lines of "The first time I went all the way with someone it was terrible..." and a woman from the audience chimed in with, "You mean yesterday?" The crowd laughed for a while, and while the comedian is waiting for them to calm down, you can see the gears turn in his head. He came back with the perfect response.
Once it gets down to basically a few chuckles, he just says, "Glad you remember," and the crowd just lost it, it was amazing.
4. I Can’t Put My Finger on It
A co-worker of mine for some reason was talking about how small his pinkie fingers are. My other co-worker, who is a really nice older guy, said, "You probably couldn't even pinkie swear on those things!" For a bunch of guys who butcher meat for a living, this was one of the best roasts we have ever heard, and it was so out of character for that guy in particular.
5. Bottoms up
A guy made fun of his bald friend by rubbing his head and saying, "Wow, your head is as smooth as my wife's bottom." The friend also rubs his head and says, "Wow—you're right."
6. Grandma’s Still Got It
My grandma asked my cousin, who'd had lots of partners and two kids at this point, if she was ever going to get married. Cousin: It's not the same nowadays. We don't buy cars without test-driving them first. Grandma, without hesitation: Yeah, but they don't let you put a hundred thousand miles on them, either. Point goes to Granny.
7. Double Whammy
A friend of mine was getting whined at by these two identical twin girls in a class I had once. He replied with a troubling look on his face and then said, "If you two are identical, how come only one of you is hot?" That dude played the long game, as those two girls looked rather perplexed for the rest of the session, trying to figure out which one he meant.
8. Getting it off Your Chest
I'm still really proud of this one. A boy was walking out of the English class as I was walking in. We met at the doorway and were chest-to-chest. He looks me in the eye and says, “When are you going to grow some breasts?” Without missing a beat, I replied stone-faced, “Donate yours.” Then I proceeded to proudly walk to my desk with a big smile.
9. Boy Trouble
This was an exchange between two co-workers a few years back. Michael had only ever slept with one person, who was their previous boyfriend who they were still obsessed with. Michael was also really judgy. Sharon was the opposite and would bang a different person every week. Michael: “I can’t believe how many people you’ve slept with, I don’t understand how people can get it on with someone they aren’t in love with.”
Sharon: “Well your ex-boyfriend seemed to manage it okay.” Michael: total silence.
10. No Holes in This Victory
I was a camp counselor for a few years at a summer camp. One day, my group took a hike to a large rock where we had lunch. My campers were between eight and 10 years old. This one kid we'll call Jeff keeps poking another kid we'll call Matt in my group to "look at this hole in the rock, it's so cool, it's like six inches deep."
Matt is clearly getting annoyed and is just trying to eat his lunch. Jeff keeps shoving sticks into the hole and trying to get everybody to look at it. Finally, Matt just puts down his sandwich, looks at Jeff, and starts to speak. His words stunned me. He goes, "I'll be six inches deep in your mom later if you don't shut up." I was trying so hard to be stern with this kid for saying something so inappropriate, but I kept cracking up.
11. Point, Counterpoint
I was out with a friend who was wearing a silly outfit. Someone came up and said, "Why are you wearing that, it's not Halloween!" He replied with, "Then why don't you take off that hideous mask?"
12. If the Shoe Fits
I can remember the best comeback I ever did. It is also, in fact, the only good comeback I ever did. I was in 7th grade, and we were in the locker room after gym. People were discussing shoe sizes because this one kid had enormous feet. I don't know if I have small feet, but mine were the smallest. They said, "Small feet, you know what that means!"
I didn't mind too much, but one kid crossed the line. He said, "Don't worry, fella, there's like 10 different ways to make it bigger." So I said, "Have you tried all 10?"
13. A Regular Prankster
I work at a hotel. A few years ago, this guest got into a spat with our security officer over something, but she wasn't getting whatever she wanted so she told him he was full of poop (she didn’t use that word.) Our security officer replied immediately, "No I'm not, I took care of that this morning. But thank you for your concern for my good health and regularity." But he wasn’t done yet.
At this time, I was about to bust up laughing so I had to excuse myself to the back office, and as I was leaving I heard him continuing on with this lady, "But I promise I eat a healthy diet full of fiber. It warms my heart to know you're concerned with me having regular bowel movements. So the next time I'm constipated, I'll know you're thinking of me."
It continued on and on, and all the more he's playing this straight and it's making the lady madder and madder, and I'm in the back laughing so hard I'm nearly crying. After that spiel was over, she didn't give us any more problems the rest of the night.
14. Foot in Mouth
Many years ago, when we were about 18, a friend of mine was arguing with another person we knew. This person was trying to be a tough guy and intimidate my buddy. He says "My feet are registered." Without missing a beat, my friend replies, "Where? Health & Sanitation?" I still crack up at this when it comes to mind.
15. Between a Rock and a Hard Place
One of the more memorable ones was back in 8th grade. For context, I didn’t make the basketball team in 7th grade, but I made the team in 8th grade. This kid who was on the team the previous year but didn’t make it currently was really upset and telling me how bad I am and all this stuff trying to tear me down to make himself feel better.
I told him that if he is better than me, then why didn’t he make the team? He replied with “It’s just cause of my grades, bro.” So I replied with, “Oh, so you’re just stupid then?” He gave up because it was either accept that he was bad or accept he was an idiot, so...
16. People in Glass Houses…
I was 14 or 15 and had a quiet nerdy friend with really bad acne. My older brother had these three friends, all brothers, who were all older than my friend and me. They all thought they were real tough guy types. My friend and I walked in the front door one day, and my brother and his friends were all sitting at the TV playing Halo.
One of the brothers, who had a slight stutter, looked at my friend and said "Oh my god Sam, I got two words for you: ACNEE PADS." Sam replied, "Cool and I got two words for you Johnny: SPEECH THERAPY" He jumped right up and started trying to fight my friend. As long as I could remember after that, he wanted to fight Sam, but we just ignored them.
17. Those Who Can’t Learn, Heckle
When I was in high school, I had an ancient history class with a teacher named Mr. O'Neil. He was a really educated and well-spoken (but quiet) younger guy, a bit chubby with curly blond hair, and he liked wearing bow ties. In this same class was this kid named Jake, who was one of those kids who always acted like a smart alec to every teacher in order to try and get a laugh.
He was so annoying, he actually had a stapler thrown at his direction by another teacher. Anyway, I remember one day Mr. O'Neil was having trouble reaching the string to pull down the screen for the projector. He would make little jumps and swat at the string, but just barely couldn't get it. Jake noticed and saw an opportunity.
He yelled out, "What's the matter Mr. O'Neil, can't reach?" Him and his buddies chuckled to themselves like a bunch of goons in the corner. Mr. O'Neil replied, "No, Jake. I'm just getting my morning exercise," and then he started touching his toes. Coming from a guy like Mr. O'Neil, it was pretty hilarious. More importantly, it shut Jake up and a majority of the class started laughing at him.
18. Hit the Books
I was 13 years old, and carrying a bunch of books for the teacher at school. Some joker thought it was funny to pretend to fall right in front of me. I told him: “Don’t fall for me man.” My whole book-carrying crew and his prank crew all started bursting into laughter. I didn’t even register what had happened until much later.
19. We’re Not Going to Take It
My brother was in his history class that just happened to have accumulated all the really disruptive and not-so-intelligent kids. They'd constantly interrupt and make the class a nightmare, and the teacher didn't really do anything about it. One day, a girl who had caused a ton of problems acted up in the usual way to derail the class and he had had enough.
He turned to her and told her to shut up, and she flipped. The teacher told her to be careful what she says to him, because she might be working for him one day. My brother turns to the teacher and goes, "Nah, I don't plan on being a pimp." The class loses it, the teacher has to step out from laughing, and that girl apparently didn't bother my brother for the rest of the year.
20. The Mile High Flub
Air Traffic Control was doing a poor job of leading a plane in for landing. Pilot: "You've left us too high, I don't think we can make the approach." ATC: "You've got speed brakes on that thing, don't you?" Pilot: (After a noticeable pause) "Yes, but those are for my mistakes, not yours." The whole room went eerily quiet after that.
21. Music to My Ears
Back in high school, I was in the orchestra, and we went on several big national trips each year. One year, a group of upper classmen were busted for carousing in their hotel room. Everyone except one guy was suspended and prohibited to attend future trips. The one guy who wasn’t in trouble apparently hid in the shower and played dumb, and they believed him.
So, a week later the entire orchestra is practicing with the teaching assistant when our conductor enters the practice room, and in front of the entire 114 members of the orchestra, says, "Jason, all your friends ratted you out. They're mad. I'm mad. You played me like a fiddle." Jason’s reply was unforgettable. "That's what I play," Jason replied, raising his violin.
22. Sibling Rivalry
I have a twin brother, and I’m the older one. He once told me when I came out, my parents knew it was a mistake and immediately tried again. I told him he was the “buy one, get one of equal or lesser value free.” There was a fight after that one.
23. One for the Road
I was getting a lift from my boss when there was a bit of a road rage incident. This guy pulls out in front of us and my boss had to brake. He honks the horn at this guy, and the guy leans out the window and calls my boss (who is a bit chunky) a “fattie.” My boss shouts over: “I’m only fat because every time I sleep with your mother she bakes me a cake.”.
24. Work Hard, Play Soft
I work in construction, and a lot of the guys are exactly what you would expect from construction workers. There was one particularly loud one on this job. He would always go on about drinking and how much he drinks and the ensuing consequences. He went so far as to say he's never sold a car; he wrecks them, usually while driving under the influence.
I just recently purchased a house, and another guy was asking me about it. The loud guy heard this and said, "What the heck? I'm a journeyman and all I can afford is a basement suite. You're just an apprentice, how can you afford a house?" My response was simple but devastating. I just said, "I don't have any drinking stories."
25. You Get What You Give
I had this one teacher in high school who taught computer classes, and I had taken almost every class she offered. Basically, I knew her very well and we mostly just goofed off in her class as long as we got our work done. She had been through a lot of marriages, and she’d talked about this before and about her relationship troubles.
Now, I was trying to date her daughter throughout all of high school and everyone knew, including her. Every time I messed something up or made a fool of myself, she would hit me with "and that's why you don't have a girlfriend." This became a trend, and about four weeks after it was a thing, she said it to me one last time.
I hit her back with, "And that's why you can't keep a man.” As soon as I said that, she got red and chuckled and the whole class stopped what they were doing and stared at me like I slapped her straight across the face. One of the over-dramatic kids even ran out of classroom hollering.
26. The Mother of all Insults
I was arguing with my mom for the millionth time, and she would always say something along the lines of "You're just like your father." One day, I got tired of it and told her: “I’m not like my father, I'm smarter than him." “Oh yeah? And why is that?" "Because I had a girlfriend like you and I broke up with her." She didn't talk to me for a couple of days.
27. Throw out the Whole Man
At work one night, my construction crew was cleaning up trash out of the middle of the interstate inside of a lane closure. We get up to where another crew is working on machines, and these guys are total jerks. They seriously act like they are God’s gift to construction, so the conversation goes a little bit like this.
Me: Can y’all move over for a second so we can get by? Head Jerk to his guys: C’mon guys, let’s get out of this little lady’s way so she can pick up our trash. Head Jerk to me: Y’all are slower than heck, plus look, you even missed some. Me: Oh I’m sorry, I don’t think I can fit you in this bag, I’ll come back after I open a new one and maybe we can squeeze you in there.
28. The Sins of the Shopper
Okay, I don't often outright brag, but I'm pretty proud of this one. A lady in one of those motorized carts was parked across the entire aisle at Wallyworld. After standing there watching her do basically nothing at all for 30 seconds, I got annoyed and squeezed past. She finally shows the first signs of consciousness I'd seen so far, and calls out a catty "Patience is a virtue!" To which, without skipping a beat, I responded "And sloth is a vice."
29. Mirror, Mirror
I was at a friend’s house, and his awful parents were fighting, Nothing new. The mom yells loud enough for me, my friend, and his little brother to hear "Oh, big tough man. Why don't you go tell those boys why you can't even get it up!?" Dad replies: "They already know why, and if you go look in the mirror you'll know why, too." We laughed so hard she threw us out of the house.
30. The Princess and the Punk
The best shutdown I've seen happened to my high school-aged daughter, which makes it even better for me. Some princess-type mean girl comes up and comments on my daughter's punked-out style. Daughter just looks her in the eye, then slowly looks her up and down, then smirks, cocks an eyebrow, and walks away. Princess was just frozen, as if it had never occurred to her that a lower-status person could ever choose not to give a rat's butt about what she had to say.
31. I Can Work With That
A woman I work with, but don’t like, was in a MOOD one morning. A male colleague comes in and, after putting up with her for a bit, looks at her and says, “Are you on your period or something?” She turns around and stony-eyed says, “I woke up in a pool of blood, and if you don’t shut the heck up, you’ll end your day the exact same way." Never respected her until then.
32. Come one, Come All
My brother got a terrible hair cut from Supercuts. He didn't know it was a place for "learning" barbers. They basically shaved his head, and he was so angry. So the next day at work our very short boss, on break in front of everyone, said to my brother: "So you got cancer, huh?” My brother immediately snapped back with: "Yeah, well at least I can ride ALL the rides at Six flags."
33. Trading Places, Trading Blows
I knew a guy whose wife left him for his best friend after a long, secret affair. A few months after the swapping of the wife, the two men had their first face-to-face encounter at a family gathering. My friend says to the (ex) best friend, "How's that used junk working out for you?" Ex best friend replies, "It ain't used once you get past the first two inches!" In my book, that is one of the greatest of all-time responses.
34. Don’t Mess With This Witch
One of my roommates in my freshman year of college was dating Shia LaBeouf. Her father was a movie producer and they met on the set of The Greatest Game Ever Played. Shia visited campus several times, mostly to whisk her off in a limo to spend the weekend with him in Boston, but at one point he joined us at a bonfire on campus.
She introduced him to people, including a girl in our class named Ursula. Shia: Ursula? Like that fat witch from The Little Mermaid? Ursula: Shia LaBeouf? That little jerk from the Disney Channel? Shia had no response. We all burst out laughing.
35. From the Mouths of Babes
I was at Six Flags when I was 17, and me and my best friend were waiting in line for the Superman coaster. These boys came up to us (they had to be like 14) and they started to be cute with us, asking us where we were from, if we wanted to sit next to them on the ride, etc. so I quickly shut it down with the famous “You’re like, 12. Call me when your balls drop.”
And this child DID NOT MISS A BEAT and said, “Oh, they did—in your moms mouth!” That burn has haunted me for 10 years.
36. A Close Shave
I had a co-worker who was a jerk to everyone. I had shaved off my moustache on the weekend because I was tired of it. Monday at work, on the loading dock where everyone would hang out, and drink coffee, the jerk shows up. He looks at me and says, “You look stupid without a moustache.” I took a sip from my drink before I shut him down completely.
“That may be true, but, I can grow it back. You, on the other hand, will always be ugly.” My supervisor said, “That was eloquent, yet brutal. I’ll have to remember it.”
37. Quick on Her Feet
When I was in college, I was at a party and was introduced to the first truly foul-mouthed girl I'd ever had the pleasure of meeting. After about her 20th swear in five minutes, I turn to her and say, "Kiss your mother with that mouth?" And she immediately snaps back, “No, but I blew your dad with it.” I was totally speechless.
38. Pick on Somebody Your Own Size
I grew up in a predominantly Black neighborhood, and on the bus to and from school we would have rap battles. Now, generally we all knew who wanted to participate and would only call out others who wanted to battle. However, one of the main guys decided he wanted to roast this little nerdy white kid who never joined in.
I can't remember what all he told the white kid, but that white kid stood up, looked him in the eye, and said, "I might be white, but you are whiter than me, you can't rap you can't even count to three!" We all went nuts!!!! That guy didn't battle for a few days because we would just laugh anytime he opened his mouth from then on.
39. Revenge of the Nerds
This was back in 8th grade, and is still one of my all time favorites. So this skinny bully guy keeps tormenting a quiet fat kid, one day calling him a fattie. The guy we considered the professional roaster of the class overheard and yelled to the mean kid: “At least his parents feed him, you skinny lizard-looking creep.” The pro roaster got detained, but he was treated with even more respect after that showing.
40. Trigger Happy
I manage a gun shop. A few years ago, I had this regular. Old guy, super into old western stuff. Most especially the 1851 Colt Navy, which were Wild Bill Hickok’s favorites. One day, the old guy is standing there and this young kid walks up. Kid is in his early 20s, fresh-faced. This old codger looks at him disdainfully, holds out the piece, and says, "I bet you don't know what THIS is, BOY."
This kid looks at him, looks at the gun, leans a little to look at both sides of the barrel pointed at him and says, "That’s an 1851 Colt Navy chambered in the original .36 caliber. That’s what Wild Bill carried." The look on this old guy’s face…best I have EVER seen.
41. Beating the Master
I used to bartend while I was starting college. Everyone has seen the nursing shirts most colleges make for people choosing that major. The college I went to has these, but also decided to put out more majors for the shirts. Well, I was majoring in math at the time and immediately bought one of the shirts and wore it to my shift one day.
The regular customers at our bar can sometimes be sarcastic jerks in a loving way, and one particular customer decided to give me some heck for wearing my community college mathematics t-shirt. Customer: Why are you wearing that shirt, are you on the math team or something? Me: No, I'm just majoring in math so I got the shirt.
Customer: Seems likes that shirt’s a lie then. You shouldn't be wearing a math shirt unless you're on some sort of math team. Me: You wear a Steelers shirt in here all the time, so does that mean you play for the Steelers? Only time this particular customer had nothing to say back.
42. De-Throning the Princess
Real mean, pretty princess entitled girl had this thing for calling me a white boy. Also, despite being pretty she did have a little bit of a moustache that she was insecure about. Absolutely no one would talk about this thing, and it was a forbidden thing to make fun of her for. Petty middle school rules, but she was a popular girl and ran the join.
Anyways, I was not in the mood that day. So the annoying girl starts making fun of "how I'm not Mexican" since we live in New Mexico. After that episode, she says all the other boys got facial hair and you are still baby faced, and everyone in the class starts to laugh. So I said “screw it,” and while everyone was still laughing, I told the girl, "I know right? I'm kinda jealous of yours" and I start to point at her upper lip. I've never seen a room go so quiet before in my life.
43. A Real Beaut
I’m a teacher, and I was teaching a grade 8 class in social science, specifically law. This class was great and we had a lot of fun. One student was a master in one-liners and often made me and my colleagues and fellow students laugh. This time I got him though...I was showing a picture of a mixed group of people and told the class that the law is for everybody.
I’m saying it doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, blond, tall...and then this student breaks in “—or ugly!” Without missing a beat, I responded “Yes, it’s for you, too.” He and the rest of the class exploded in laughter.
44. A Little Zinger
I'm Korean, and have a fairly flat profile when it comes to my face. In second grade, a boy asked me what happened to my face, and did I run into a wall head-first or something. I responded with, "What happened to your growth spurt, hasn't it checked in yet?" His whole family are fairly petite and he was the tiniest in the bunch.
45. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
When my daughter was little, we spent the night at my parents’ house and I was brushing her long hair after her bath. My dad told her she had such pretty hair, and asked if he could have a little to cover his bald spot. She didn’t even look up before she said to him matter-of-factly: “I think you have enough on your back to cover that.”
46. A Swing and a Miss
This was kind of a spectacular comeback fail, but it still makes me laugh every day. My oldest daughter called me “Captain Hook” when she was three years old. She had run off to her room in a fit of rage, and apparently that was the worst insult she could she come up with. Definitely a moment where I tried to hide the fact that I was laughing.
47. Love Tap
Buddy #1(driving): I should rear end that car so I can get that girl’s number. Buddy #2: That is the only way you will tap that from behind.
48. This Spells Embarrassment
I’m a teacher, and one of my middle school students was playing hangman with his class during study hall. No one could guess the correct letters to his word because he had spelled the word wrong. When the class finally lost and he revealed the word, one very upset student started yelling at him, "Sit down you ILLITERATE WALNUT!" I thought it was the perfect insult for the situation.
49. You Are What You Speak
A retail worker at a customer service counter was dealing with a really rude customer, and said, "I hope the rest of your day is as pleasant as you are." The customer flipped out and demanded to see a manager. So the manager came out while the customer is practically frothing at the mouth, yelling "This employee was so rude and terrible and you should fire her right now..."
Then the manager asked the customer exactly what his employee had said to her, and the customer repeated it. The manager then asked why exactly that was so terrible—in fact, it sounded like quite a nice thing to say. It was amazing: Now the customer couldn't explain why it was terrible without admitting that she'd been awful herself, so she stormed off.
50. This One Ain’t Pretty
When I was nine or so, I asked my mother why she always wore makeup despite being in her 40s. She told me she wears makeup so she doesn’t look like me. Destroyed.