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[[quoteright:300:[[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/insultbackfire1_3864.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:"What is that splattered all over the drawing?"\\
[[LudicrousGibs "Chunky spaghetti sauce!"]]]]

->'''Jaime:''' Smart boy. (Off Robb's look). What? [[JustAKid Don't like being called a boy?]] Insulted?
->'''[[AChildShallLeadThem King Robb]]:''' You insult yourself, Kingslayer. You've been defeated by a boy. You're held captive by a boy. Perhaps you'll be killed by a boy.
-->-- ''Series/GameOfThrones'', "The North Remembers"

A verbal equivalent of AttackBackfire, this is for when Alice comments on a trait of Bob's in a way that's intended to sound negative -- but instead of being insulted, Bob acts ''flattered.''

Usually, this is because Bob invokes the "insulting" quality intentionally. Less commonly, Bob's TheDitz or has a poor grasp of the [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness word or concept]] being insulted and take it to be a positive comment. Other times, it's simply a case of Bob having the attitude of pretending that it's not an insult, or even turning it back on Alice: "Coming from ''you'', IllTakeThatAsACompliment."

A variant is for the character to be insulted, not because they dislike what was said, but because they're ''obviously'' [[DamnedByFaintPraise so much worse than that.]]

Occasionally, the insult backfires because Alice's remarks were insulting on the surface, but Bob carries them to their logical, ultimately complimentary conclusion. These cases typically only work when the original insult was mild and/or non-malicious to begin with.

Related to StealthInsult, but different in that an Insult Backfire is accidental and a StealthInsult is sent over the target's head on purpose. Sometimes, it seems the only sure way to insult someones is to [[ComplimentBackfire give them a compliment.]]

Not to be confused with InsultMisfire, where the target obliviously doesn't realize the insult was directed at ''them''. Compare ThreatBackfire. Compare and contrast ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne, where there are multiple insults, but the character may only object to one of them. If you phrased your insult poorly ("You fight like my grandma!"), you may get InsultBackfire through LiteralistSnarking ("You fought your grandma?"). See also BluntYes, which is often based on a similar theme. Contrast ComplimentBackfire (and CallingMeALogarithm, when someone thinks a word that's not an insult or even not directed at a person is an insult). See also InsultFriendlyFire.

'''Common variations:'''
* {{Villains}}: Calling them evil, vile, or psycho is likely to make them act AffablyEvil and unusually demure from the flattery. Especially if they're of the [[CardCarryingVillain card-carrying]] variety.
* Sluttiness: Many a [[TheVamp Vamp]] finds her lasciviousness high praise.
* Alternative Lifestyles: [[SlobsVersusSnobs Take your pick]], but the person in question is happy with it.
* A {{Trickster}}: Acting shocked at their underhandedness.
* [[TheMadHatter Madmen]]: Anyone who tells them "YoureInsane!" will be met with a response such as "Thanks for noticing!"
* {{Hero|es}}ic: The character being insulted is proud of his [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids idealism]], [[HonorBeforeReason honor]], [[WithGreatPower heroic tendencies]], or some other trait [[EvilCannotComprehendGood the villain tries to insult]].
* Artists: The disgust of the viewer for their work was the IntendedAudienceReaction.
* Geeks and Nerds are often [[ProudToBeAGeek proud of their geekiness/nerdiness/useless knowledge.]]
* [[RealWomenNeverWearDresses Feminine Women]]: The woman is a supporter of equal rights for women and sees no reason why that should stop her from displaying feminine traits.
* Someone who's been criticized ''a lot'' over something and is at the point where they brush off insults as "Wow, NeverHeardThatOneBefore." Bonus points for critiquing the insulting technique itself.
* SarcasmBlind: When a character takes someone else's sarcastic compliment towards them as a genuine compliment.
* RuleOfFunny: The character is a complete idiot who [[ItsAllAboutMe loves hearing other people talking about them]], whether positively or negatively.
* The insult was done in such a way that the target is able to turn it around with a bigger insult. For example, if someone tries to TrashTalk an opponent while [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty using an unfair advantage]] in a competition (whether combat or something else) and the target is able to turn it around by insinuating or straight out saying that the individual is unable to beat them without cheating. Then again, someone like a CardCarryingVillain could [[VolleyingInsults retort the retort]], saying the target's soft for not being a CombatPragmatist.
* Being insulted by someone with a particularly negative reputation, such as a neo-Nazi, is likely to be interpreted as a compliment by the insulted party. After all, if someone that loathsome is insulting them, they must be in the right!

See also ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne, IResembleThatRemark, WrongInsultOffence, CardCarryingVillain, TallDarkAndSnarky and ItsWhatIDo. If the insultee adopts the insult as an actual badge of identity, it becomes an AppropriatedAppellation. Compare GeekyTurnOn, IWouldSayIfICouldSay, ArsonMurderAndAdmiration, and BluntYes. Sometimes crosses paths with MisaimedFandom. The complete opposite of YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame.

* InsultBackfire/AnimeAndManga
* InsultBackfire/ComicBooks
* InsultBackfire/ComicStrips
* InsultBackfire/FanWorks
* [[InsultBackfire/AnimatedFilms Films Animated]]
* [[InsultBackfire/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* InsultBackfire/{{Literature}}
* InsultBackfire/LiveActionTV
* InsultBackfire/{{Music}}
* InsultBackfire/ProfessionalWrestling
* InsultBackfire/{{Theatre}}
* InsultBackfire/VideoGames
* InsultBackfire/WebComics
* InsultBackfire/WebOriginal
* InsultBackfire/WesternAnimation
* InsultBackfire/RealLife


[[folder:New Media]]
* Regular commenters on the Web site [[http://www.jezebel.com Jezebel]] sometimes call themselves and other members "lesbian shitasses" in response to a slur hurled at them by former actor Scott Baio's wife, who called them (and probably feminists in general) that via Twitter in a rather childish attempt to insult them.
** A similar thing is true for commenters of Website/{{Regretsy}}, which mocks pretentious Etsy sellers, bizarre items on Etsy, and Etsy resellers (selling bulk goods as "homemade"). One such seller called the Regretsy commenters "fat jealous losers" and the name (and the acronym FJLs) stuck.
** Also true for the fighting game community, where people who only watch streams and chats (especially when it involves trolling and/or spamming) without participating in the scene proper, are referred to as "stream monsters." Said people actually embraced the term and even refer to themselves as such.

* ''Radio/TheGoonShow'' regularly uses these:
-->'''Seagoon''': You are a coward.
-->'''Bloodnock''': Seagoon, you surprise me.
-->'''Seagoon''': Why?
-->'''Bloodnock''': I didn't know you knew.
** And:
-->'''Greenslade''': Mr. Eccles, we are not doubting your sincerity for one moment. It's just your intelligence that's in question.
-->'''Eccles''': Oh... well, I accept your apology.
* Inverted on ''Radio/AdventuresInOdyssey'':
-->'''Connie''': Why don't you live in a style more befitting your financial status?
-->'''Whit''': You're beginning to sound like [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness Eugene]].
-->'''Connie''': There's no reason to get insulting.
* Similarly to the classic ''Yankee Doodle'' example, leftist musician Vic Berger's parody [[https://youtu.be/uWd6XgBVIcg folk song]] made up entirely of Radio/AlexJones quotes not only was appreciated and extensively replayed by [[AscendedMeme Jones himself]], but inspired [[https://youtu.be/3fNrhLOilgY multiple]] [[https://youtu.be/9JiwINcknWE covers]] by Trump-supporting ''Infowars'' fans ([[WatchItForTheMeme among others]]), for a contest he devised. In the end, everybody had fun with it.

* Everything the Romans did to mock and humiliate Jesus (the thorn crown, the I.N.R.I. monicker) is now standard Church imagery.
* A Jewish myth about a Midianite god called Ba'al Peor heavily involves this trope. According to the myth, Ba'al Peor was worshipped by squatting down before his idol and defecating. A Jew who came across his temple, unaware of this practice, wanted to express his disdain of the false god by wiping his ass on the idol's nose. Instead of outraging Ba'al Peor's priests with his disrespect, they actually praised him to high heaven, remarking that [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy_of_Peor#Talmudic_traditions "no one before has served this idol thus".]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* From ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', the flavor text for [[http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=Agent%20of%20Masks Agent of Masks]]:
-->"You say that I am two-faced? Enough with the flattery. We have business to conduct.''
* In ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'', the Scorpion Clan's motto is "I can swim", from their telling of the fable of the Scorpion.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' "drow" is said to be a corrupted/contracted form of old elven "dhaeraow", meaning literally "black heart" and figuratively "traitor". (Call the typical drow a traitor, [[TheStarscream and she'll see it as something to be proud of]].)
** ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' has [[http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.asp?x=fr/fx20020925es Khôltar]], where dwarves trying to insult the human metalworking settlement nicknamed it "the Place of Pourers and Filers" -- inhabitant didn't see this as an insult and ran with it.
* A supplement to FASA's ''Franchise/StarTrek'' RPG devoted to Klingons pointed out that insults often wouldn't translate very well. A Federation officer trying to insult a Klingon officer by using the old "Your mother wears army boots" line would find that it would translate to "Your maternal parent wears the footgear of a soldier" which sounds to the Klingon like an attempt to complement them on the military tradition of their line (extended family).
* OlderThanRadio: An Austrian Tarock deck from 1890 featured [[https://cdn0.rubylane.com/shops/twoforhisheels/T00001231.9L.jpg?88 Otto von Bismarck]], who betrayed and defeated Austria in the 7 Weeks War and was dismissed from power at the time of its printing, as [[TheDitz the Fool]]. Unfortunately, the Fool happens to be [[BewareTheSillyOnes the highest trump card]] in Tarock...

* In ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', [[ChaoticStupid Vezon]] misinterprets a comment that he could "die horribly without being missed" as a compliment.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', this happens twice in the same scene when Riki teases both [[DumbMuscle Masato]] and [[ManicPixieDreamGirl Haruka]] about being bad at or late for school and both of them act like he just complimented them. He proceeds to wonder why people keep being proud of strange things lately.
* In ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'', this happens in the 8th Episode Twilight of the Golden Witch when [[spoiler: Featherine, the Witch of Theatregoing, Drama and Spectating absolutely [[CurbstompBattle curbstomps]] Lambdadelta by stopping time, [[RewritingReality and hacking the story's script by skipping to the part where she kills her]] via dismemberment. Lambdadelta's dying words are calling Featherine a monster, to which she takes as a ''compliment''.]]
-->[[spoiler: Featherine]]: A monster, she says. ...Quite a compliment, for one such as I.