WrongInsultOffence Wrong Insult Offence YKTTW Discussion

Wrong Insult Offence
If you are going to insult me, at least use the right insult.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-12-09 01:55:10 sponsor: foxley (last reply: 2012-12-19 19:20:04)

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A Wrong Insult Offence occurs when one character attempts to insult another and hurls an insult in the other character's face. The second character considers this and then calmly replies, listing all the reasons why that particular insult does not apply to them and helpfully suggesting a more appropriate insult they could use.

As a piece of characterisation, this usually indicates that the insulted party does not take the insulter seriously. Alternatively, it could just indicate that the second party is a shocking pedant.

Bonus points if the insult they suggest is worse than the original one.

A Sub-Trope of Do Wrong, Right.

If someone objects to the spelling or grammar of the insult, but not the insult itself, that's You Make Me Sic.

Compare Insult Backfire, I Take Offence To That Last One.

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Film - Animated
  • Monsters, Inc.
    Randall: Where is she, you little one-eyed crehtin?
    Mike: First of all, it's pronounced cree-tin. If you're going to threaten me, do it properly.

Film - Live Action
  • From S.O.B.:
    Polly Reed: You're gonna let that SHYSTER on?
    Dr. Irving Finegarten: I could sue you for calling me that, Polly! A shyster is a disreputable lawyer. I'M a QUACK!
  • In Gran Torino, this exchange occurs between Walt and Sue, a spunky teenaged member of the Hmong family who'd moved in next door, concerning an old stereotype about Asians eating dogs:
    Sue Lor: There's a ton of food.
    'Walt Kowalski: Yeah, well just keep your hands off my dog.
    Sue Lor: No worries, we only eat cats.
  • Die Hard: Hans Gruber claims to be a terrorist, but is later revealed to be after 600 million dollars worth of bearer bonds.
    Mrs. McClane: After all your posturing, all your little speeches, you're nothing but a common thief.
    Hans: I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite.
  • Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) in Enemy of the State:
    Actually, I believe the slur "shyster" is generally reserved for Jewish attorneys. I believe the proper slur for someone like myself would be "eggplant".
  • In the film Murder by Death, Milo Perrier objects to being called a Frenchie. He's a BELGIE!
  • The Wicker Man (1973):
    Sgt. Howie: It means that you, sir, are a pagan!
    Lord Summerisle: A heathen, conceivably, but not - I hope - an unenlightened one.

  • In the first Sword of Truth book, a mob comes to Zedd's house intending to lynch him because he's a witch. He starts his dialogue with them by asking to clarify whether they want to kill him for sorcery, or simply demean him by calling him a girl.
  • In David Eddings' Domes of Fire, Stragen takes the Styric Council to task for not being more proactive in the emerging crisis in Daresia. When one of the Councillors answers by calling him a bastard, he bears it no mind...because he literally is the illegitimate son of a nobleman. He then proceeds to point out he is also a swindler, murderer, and thief (since he is also the head of a thieves' guild): glibly implying that anything they could call him would not be insulting in the least.

Live-Action TV
  • An unfortunate example occurs in Fawlty Towers when the Major tells a story about how he took a woman to a cricket match, and she kept referring to the Indian players by the wrong racial slur.
  • From Sherlock: "I'm not a psychopath - I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research."
  • From The Thick of It:
    Olly Reader: "Malcolm, you're bullying me..."
    Malcolm Tucker: "How dare you! How dare you! Don't you ever, ever call me a bully... I'm so much worse than that."

New Media

  • Older than Television: Cyrano de Bergerac had a very large nose, which a bit character insulted by calling it "rather large." Cyrano's reaction was to tell him that "rather large" was an absolutely pathetic excuse for an insult and go on to tell him various better ways to insult him. The Wishbone version went with:
    "'Your nose is so big, you should call a doctor and have it amputated!' Or how about, 'What do you keep in there, your pens or your whole writing desk?'"

Western Animation
  • The Looney Tunes Show: In "That's My Baby'', Bugs calls Daffy 'a bummer' after he refuses to go to lunch with him and Porky. Daffy's response is "No. Porky's the bummer. I'm a jerk."
  • Happens in Voltron where Allura insults the evil Prince Lotor and Lotor does feel insulted...but for the wrong reasons.
    Allura: You're a monster, just like your father!
    Lotor: That old fool?! Why I'm twice the monster he is!
  • Winx Club gives us this:
    Mirta: You're mean!
    Icy: Mean? Try diabolical!

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