->''"You're a stand-up guy, Franchise/{{Bat|man}}s. Don't ever let them call you a crazed loner."''
-->-- '''ComicBook/TheFlash''', ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]''

There are already enough {{jerkass}}es in the world, even without tossing in things like PoorCommunicationKills. On the other hand, you get the genuinely nice and well-meaning people who honestly want to compliment someone else.

It fails horribly, [[HilarityEnsues of course.]]

There may be a few reasons for this: Suppose Julie wants to compliment Alice, but goes wrong because...
* The compliment reflects an aspect of herself Alice dislikes: see YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame.
** It reveals that Alice has traits she dislikes, like the above but rather than treading on old wounds, it cuts a fresh one.
* [[DamnedByFaintPraise The compliment wasn't strong enough.]]
* Similar to MaamShock, the compliment comes with the implication that Alice is old. Usually comes in the form, "I've admired you since I was little!"
* She ends up [[DiggingYourselfDeeper digging herself into a hole]].
* They make a comparison to someone famous that has [[AnalogyBackfire unwelcome implications]].
* The form it takes has UnfortunateImplications: see YouAreACreditToYourRace, for praise tainted by racism, sexism, or other -isms.
** A popular version: "I can't understand why people say what they do about you."
* Alice has ''no idea'' what Julie is trying to say, [[CallingMeALogarithm and assumes it's an insult.]]
* Alice doesn't believe that the compliment applies to her and therefore assumes that she's being mocked.
* Alice's self-esteem is too low to take it, and just degrades her opinion of Julie.
* Alice was ComplimentFishing by [[SelfDeprecation putting herself down]]; Julie wasn't supposed to show support by ''agreeing'' with her.
* The compliment misidentifies Alice's ideological stance. For example, Alice is an atheist and was complimented for her "Christian behaviour". Or Alice holds politically conservative views and is complimented on her "liberalism".
* Julie is comparing Alice to Bob, who Julie likes and respects, but who Alice ''hates''.
* Alice is miscredited for something she didn't actually do, especially if the ''actual'' person turns out to have less-than-pleasant motives or means.
* Alice has a [[HairTriggerTemper hot temper]], and can take any and everything as an insult.

Julie means well, of course. How Alice ''[[MinorInjuryOverreaction takes]]'' it, however...

Subtrope of DismissingACompliment. Compare YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame, in which the compliment itself is fine, it's the ''source'' that's the problem. This is the inverted form of an InsultBackfire. Contrast with BackhandedCompliment, where this is done intentionally to insult someone with the pretense of complimenting them. Often the trait of the {{Tsundere}}.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Jessie of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' gets a lot of the third one, but it's often a slip-up by James and Meowth. Harley secretly turned heel on May because of the second.
* In the second [[AllThereInTheManual Sound Stage]] of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'', Nanoha and Fate tell [[TheStoic Chrono]] about how the [[CatGirl Lieze Sisters]] believe that Nanoha should become a Combat Instructor, and he agrees. Chrono then gives his own thoughts on the matter which leads to the following exchange:
-->'''Chrono''': Nanoha's combat ability is considerable. Your irresponsible reliance on your magic power complements your basic true character.\\
'''Nanoha''': Er...\\
'''Chrono''': You're extremely solid and quick to recover too.\\
'''Nanoha''': Er... Are you praising me or are you insulting me?\\
'''Fate''': Oh, he's praising you, really.
* Akari, a character in the ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' manga, loves pigs and complimented Ryoga repeatedly by comparing him to a pig. He did not see this as a compliment, in part because he turns into a pig.
** Akane did this herself to Ryoga once. He was very depressed and using that depression for a special attack, and Akane tried to cheer him up by saying "You're a good friend!" Cue Ryoga, who has unrequited love for Akane, getting even more extremely depressed than he was already! (note the RealLife section below)
** Nodoka has insulted Ranma before by complimenting him on his cute, girlish looks or his talent at feminine tasks, because she has no idea that "Ranko" is actually her son. While Ranma loves being better than everyone else, he's not too thrilled that it's coming from his mother, the one person whom he ''needs'' to consider him manly.
---> '''Nodoka:''' You'll make a good wife to some lucky man, Ranko!
* ''Manga/FateKaleidLinerPrismaIllya'' has Ruby's "compliments" for Ilya after it's revealed that Ilya can fly so easily because she's a DaydreamBeliever of {{Magical Girl}}s.
--> '''Ruby:''' Look at Ilya-san! Skip logic or the process and only imagine the result! Like that, optimistic thoughts are better than practical ones for being a MagicalGirl! \\
'''Ilya:''' Somehow, since a little while ago, you've been saying cruel things!?\\
'''Ruby:''' No no, I was praising you. Having an empty head means you can stuff it with more dreams. \\
'''Ilya:''' Don't just selfishly make people into [[IdiotHero idiot characters]]!
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', when attempting to encourage Sakura, calls her a "master of brute force." Of course, being Naruto, he meant well, but that didn't stop Sakura from getting mad. [[IResembleThatRemark And then hitting him]].
** On that note, there's also when, during the "Invasion of Konoha Arc", Kakashi's ninken (summoned tracking ninja dog [[ItMakesSenseInContext who can talk]]), who is leading Naruto and Sakura on the search for Sasuke, stops in his tracks. The reason? To comment to Sakura that he's just realised - from the smell - that she uses the same brand of shampoo in her hair as he uses for his fur. Cue ColourFailure and ''Naruto'' [[IdiotHero of all people]] calling him out on this random comment.
---> '''Sakura:''' (half-delusional) I smell like a dog. I smell like a dog. [[HeroicBSOD I smell like a dog...]]
* Dramatic version in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'': After destroying the Freedom Gundam, Shinn tells Athrun "I got revenge, for me ''and'' for you"...and gets punched in the face. From Shinn's perspective this comes completely out of left field: the Freedom had previously shredded Athrun's Saviour Gundam and badly injured him in the process, on top of the non-personal interference it'd pulled on ZAFT's forces. What he ''doesn't'' know is that the Freedom's pilot is Athrun's ChildhoodFriend, so naturally being told that he's (apparently) dead isn't exactly comforting.
* Also PlayedForDrama in ''Kodomo No Jikan'', Aoki-sensei is pushed to transfer to a joint primary-middle school. He thinks this shows that the school board didn't trust him, despite everything he had done for his students. It turns out that they were more than satisfied with the job he had done; they merely wanted him to teach somewhere that his skills would be put to better use.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', Judai Yuki is absolutely amazed by Edo Phoenix's Destiny Hero monsters and expresses how cool they are. Edo, who has absolute disgust and contempt for Judai at this point, is annoyed.
* A variation occurs in ''Manga/YugamiKunNiWaTomodachiGaInai'': [[LonersAreFreaks Self-made loner]] [[TheProtagonist protagonist]] Yugami is given a LoveLetter by a girl he doesn't remember. In the letter, the girl talks about how kind and wonderful he is, but Yugami isn't the least bit flattered by these comments because she's overglorified his personality to extremes and this leads him to think the girl is delusional. This troubles Yugami so much that he concludes not replying to the letter is the best course of action.
* In ''Manga/TheWorldIsStillBeautiful'', while Nike [[SweetPollyOliver is disguised as Luna's fiance Kanaris]], Luna's brother Teibe is vocal about how he admires "him" for his manliness. Nike takes this as an insult to her femininity and sulks to Livius afterward.
* In ''Manga/BloomIntoYou'', this often happens in fairly comedic moments, and in a few serious ones.
** In one extra, when Koyomi notes that she doesn't wear her uniform's ribbon due to not liking "cute" things, at which point Akari then asks Koyomi whether she liked the stuffed animal Akari bought her. Koyomi reassures her that she did, because it wasn't cute, much to Akari's disappointment.
** In another extra, Touko and Yuu meet two of Yuu's kouhai from the middle school softball team. Touko points out that Yuu doesn't look like much of a senpai because she's shorter than the two younger girls (which Touko finds cute), which offends Yuu. Yuu's kouhai then point out that Yuu is cool and reliable... ''despite being short.''
** PlayedForDrama in Chapter 21. [[StudentCouncilPresident Touko]] meets Ichigaya, who served on the student council with Touko's older sister, Mio. After revealing that [[spoiler:Mio's status as a perfect student council president was a facade]], he says Touko's a much better president, [[spoiler:due to actually being the person Mio pretended to be]]. Touko, who'd spent the last seven years trying to emulate her sister, is quite troubled, [[spoiler:since in reality, it means Mio was more like Touko than Touko had thought]].


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A RunningGag in ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}''. It seems Thugboy finds Emp's backside one of her most alluring features, while Ms. Powers herself often finds it disgustingly oversized (along with the rest of her). You can see where this is going.
** One of the only times this compliment didn't backfire was when Ocelotina remarked that Emp's butt "quivers fetchingly" when spanked. When Thugboy confirms this, she is delighted.
* A RunningGag in ''ComicBook/JusticeLeagueInternational'' was that whenever [[AnIcePerson Ice]] had a CrowningMomentOfAwesome someone would say "Way to go, Ice! [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway I don't know why everyone thinks your powers are lame]]!"
* In one issue of ''ComicBook/TheFlash'', Wally goes to Captain Cold's parole party, mingles with the Rogues, and ends up keeping an errant boomerang from hitting Golden Glider (who went into villainy after the death of her lover, the also-villainous Top).
-->'''Golden Glider''': Thanks for saving me. You're not at all like Barry Allen. You're as brave and honest as the Top.\\
'''Wally''': I... but the Top was...\\
'''Gentleman Ghost''': I'd take that as a compliment, old thing, and let it go at that.
** In another issue, he rescues the then-reformed Dr. Alchemy, who enthuses "I don't know why everybody says you're such a jerk!"
* ''ComicBook/AstroCity'': Steeljack, a ReformedButRejected supervillain, breaks into the local Justice League {{Expy}} headquarters to warn them about another supervillain's plot, and is nearly immediately apprehended by a group of heroes, including Quarrel II, the daughter of one of his old accomplices, the original Quarrel. As he is dragged out, he mentions that her dad would have been proud of her. While he probably means that he would be proud that she got away from the slums and crime and became an upstanding citizen and hero, Quarrel flies into a rage at being complimented by an accomplice of her father's and a supervillain, and given approval by proxy from her said father, whom she has done everything to distance herself from.

* ''FanFic/{{Hivefled}}'': Vriska learns why one should not tell someone who was horribly tortured by his own parents that he should look on the bright side because his new scars are "fucking hardcore" when he responds by [[BerserkerRage giving her some new ones]] since she likes them so much.
* ''FanFic/TheFifthAct'': Vincent tells Sephiroth that he sincerely has faith in Sephiroth and that he won't go mad as Cloud fears. Since this comes after the revelation that none of friends trust him and it's coming from a total stranger this doesn't do much to comfort him.
* ''FanFic/RivalsSeries'': When Yuuri wins gold at the Junior Grand Prix, Viktor attempts to compliment him. However, he does so by criticizing Yuuri for winning without using any quads (which Yuuri was lacking in at the time) and giving unwanted advice after Yuuri's hard-earned victory. Yuuri ends up so angry that he walks away so he wouldn't make a scene.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Igor}}'', Eva tells Igor he's a good person, but since they live in a [[BadIsGoodAndGoodIsBad country where being evil is celebrated]], Igor asks her not to say that.
* ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'': The poor little drunkard mouse calls Professor Rattigan "the world's greatest [[BerserkButton rat]]!" at the end of the little musical number. Rattigan [[DisproportionateRetribution feeds him to his cat]].
* During one of the video sequels to Disney's ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'', Tarzan mentions how much more used to getting around the jungle Jane is. "You act more like an ape every day!" "Well, I ''never'' -" ''(sees his confused expression)'' "...heard such a sweet sentiment."
* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'':
** Officer [[RighteousRabbit Judy Hopps]] compliments [[CunningLikeAFox Nick]] in a condescending way by calling him unusually "articulate" for a fox, to which he sarcastically responds "It's rare that I find someone so non-patronizing" which she doesn't pick up on.
** Judy also receives a compliment from Benjamin Clawhauser that she is "even cuter" than he thought she would be. She gently informs him that it's offensive for non-bunnies to call bunnies cute (Clawhauser is a cheetah), and he immediately apologizes without a second thought.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Sing}}'': When meeting with Nana Noodleman to try and convince her to sponsor his competition, Buster cheerfully tells her that she doesn't look "a day over 90". Eddie can only FacePalm at this.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The captain of the Enterprise-B in ''Film/StarTrekGenerations'', to Captain Kirk: "I read about your missions when I was in grade school."
* In the 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' movie Spock is complimented by his elders on overcoming the "disadvantage" of being a HalfHumanHybrid. Spock's response, while unflinchingly calm and polite, is very clear on where they can stick their praises. It is a credit to Quinto's performance in this scene that his "[[CatchPhrase Live Long and Prosper]]" comes off clearly as "[[ParentheticalSwearing fuck off and die in a hole]]" without any obvious expression of emotion.
* In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', Erik tries to compliment Hank's Beast form, but Hank takes it as sarcasm. Erik is remarkably understanding about the mistake.

* In ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', Mr. Nutt, [[NoSocialSkills whose social skills are somewhat lacking]], tries to flatter the plump and plain Glenda by describing her as "fecund". Glenda is mortified, but dips down to "embarrassed" after she rushes off to look up the word, and manages to gently explain to Nutt where he went wrong.
** Another Discworld example is in Discworld/{{Jingo}}, when Vimes finds out that among the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy D'regs]], ''being trustworthy'' is apparently an insult.
--->'''Ahmed''': I left him (Prince Khufurah) with a woman I trust.\\
'''Vimes''': Your mother?\\
'''Ahmed''': Heavens, no! My mother is a D'reg! She would be terribly offended if I trusted her! She would say she had not raised me right!
*** Of course it's an insult. "D'reg" isn't the D'reg name for D'regs; it's a word from a different Klatchian dialect that they [[InsultBackfire gleefully adopted]], meaning "enemy". The D'reg word for "enemy" also translates as "target". They love to fight. They're an entire, richly-textured culture of cartoonish cliches.
* From ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'', Ron compliments Luna on her commentary regarding a Quidditch match. Ron's sincere, but Luna thinks Ron's mocking her because everyone else tells her she did a lousy job. (Considering [[CuckoolanderCommentator her performance]], it's easy to understand.)
* In the Creator/AgathaChristie novel ''Literature/TheMirrorCrackdFromSideToSide'', Heather Babcock meets actress Marina Gregg and immediately launches into a story about how Marina was her favorite actress, and how many years ago, she had been sick but had ignored the doctor's orders to go get Marina's autograph. Literature/MissMarple and her friend Mrs. Bantry speculate that Marina probably doesn't like being reminded how many years she's been acting. [[spoiler: Actually, it was an Compliment Backfire for an entirely different reason: Marina had caught German Measles from Heather on that earlier occasion. Marina was pregnant at the time, and the illness resulted in serious birth defects.]]
* In the third book of ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', a number of the men start calling Sam "Sam the Slayer" after he claims to have killed one of the Others. Sam is mad when his friends pick it up, but Grenn explains that while others might be using the name to mock him, Sam's friends know that he actually ''did'' kill the Other and has more than earned it.
* In ''[[Literature/WingsOfFire Moon Rising]]'', Kinkajou tells Moonwatcher that she usually doesn't like [=NightWings=] - but since Moonwatcher is "hardly like a [=NightWing=] at all", she doesn't mind hanging out with her. Moonwatcher is a little upset by this.
* {{Subverted}} in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians''. After Percy goes through hell to rescue Annabeth and the goddess [[DoesNotLikeMen Artemis]] from the Titan forces with his comrades, the latter tells him that he was "NotBad, for a man". He ''thought'' it was this at first, but then realized that was the first time she didn't call him "boy" and it was actually her way of giving him respect. Given Artemis's history with men, this was essentially high praise and one of the best compliments a god ever gave him outside of his dad Poseidon.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' had Aeryn compliment Zhaan on being "a true warrior" after she almost singlehandedly defeated the episode's BigBad when she and D'argo failed. Zhaan just looks shocked and quietly leaves. D'argo explains to Aeryn that Zhaan is a ''priestess'' and a fervent ActualPacifist, who had seriously bent her ethics to beat the baddie. Essentially, [[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame "You could not have cut her more deeply."]]
* ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', where newcomer Annabel Sue Pig tells Miss Piggy of her lifelong admiration of her.
* Vicki in ''Series/TheJimHensonHour'' told Kermit that she'd been a huge fan of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'' since kindergarten.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': Frasier and Niles read a new manuscript by a reclusive novelist. They lavish compliments on him, including how brilliant it was to mirror Dante's nine levels of Hell in the nine rooms of a bordello. The author hadn't intended this, realizes he ripped off the entire structure from Dante, and throws the manuscript into the fireplace.
* In one episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', Spock is a little too honest:
-->'''Spock:''' My congratulations, Captain. A dazzling display of logic.\\
'''Kirk:''' You didn't think I had it in me, did you?\\
'''Spock:''' No, sir.
** Most of the crew have at one time or another told Spock that he has acted very human. While this is often meant as a sardonic jab or even an overt insult, it is occasionally meant to be a sincere compliment. Regardless of the intent, though, it always offends him.
* Similarly to the ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' example, the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Doctor's Daughter" has Jenny complimenting [[TechnicalPacifist the Doctor]] on his skill as a soldier.
** Not to mention the episode "Dalek", in which the (supposedly) last surviving pepperpot compliments the Doctor on his ruthlessness, claiming that he would make a good Dalek...
*** [[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame They now have their own Trope.]]
* A common problem with Simon Tam from ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' in regards to Kaylee.
-->'''Simon:''' Plus, every other girl I know is either married, professional, or closely related to me, so you are more or less literally the only girl in the world.\\
'''Kaylee:''' That's a hell of a thing to say.\\
'''Simon:''' I was joking...\\
'''Kaylee:''' No, no, I get it. Back on Osiris you probably had nurses and debutantes crawling all over you. But down here at the bottom of the barrel, there's just me.
* From ''Series/That70sShow'':
-->'''Kitty:''' And Jackie, you're such a doll. I don't even mind your back-handed compliments.\\
'''Jackie:''' Oh, Mrs. Forman, [[IResembleThatRemark you're my favorite old lady!]]
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. The Emergency Medical Hologram has a tendency to do this, even when he's not trying to be his usual DrJerk self.
-->'''Kes:''' Neelix and [[TheAce Tom Paris]] had a physical fight over me.\\
'''EMH:''' How delightful.\\
'''Kes:''' Delightful?\\
'''EMH:''' You should consider it a high compliment. Throughout history, men have fought over the love of a woman. Why, I can quote you autopsy reports from duels as far back as 1538.\\
'''Kes:''' That's not funny.\\
'''EMH:''' It's not meant to be. You've always been interested in autopsies.
* ''Series/{{Spaced}}'' has Twist, who constantly makes backhanded insults in the guise of compliments towards her friend Daisy. For example when Daisy appears on the scene of her birthday party at a restaurant with a brand new dress and make-up in an attempt to impress, Twist comments that she looks nice and follows that with "I wish I could dress down like that". This is particularly grating in that everyone else at the table hasn't even noticed the way Daisy looks and the atmosphere is already extremely tense for a multitude of reasons.
* In an episode of ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', Jessica is doing a book-signing at a police station and one of the cops comments "My grandmother will be thrilled. She's been reading your books since she was a girl." The fact this can't actually be true (Jess isn't ''that'' old, and she only started writing after she retired) is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by her FriendOnTheForce, who [[DeadpanSnarker drily]] comments "I remember my great-great-grandfather telling me he read your books by candlelight."
** In another episode, someone starts by saying he's a fan, but it backfires when he not only says he's been reading her books for twenty years, but [[DiggingYourselfDeeper gets the genre wrong entirely]].
* In ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'': When Topher is talking to Bennett, he says that "I had a crush on you even when I thought you were a dude." Bennett seems mildly creeped out by it, but appreciates it after Topher adds: "This is better."
** In their first meeting there's also Bennett describing Topher as "very pale skin. Like a pig." and having to clarify that she likes pigs. They're an awkward couple.
* In ''Series/FullHouse'', after Rebecca gives birth to twins Nicky and Alex. Joey goes into CutenessProximity mode, saying that they look like miniature [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Elmer Fudds]]. To this, Becky screams "MY BABIES LOOK LIKE ELMER FUDD!" and breaks into tears.
** In this case, the ComplimentBackfire was explicitly stated to be because of leftover pregnancy hormones turning Becky into a MoodSwinger.
* ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'':
-->'''Goober:''' You don't sweat much for a fat girl.
* Early on in ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
-->'''Chandler''': What do you say, Monica - if we're both single when we're 30, let's get married?\\
'''Monica''' (angrily): Why wouldn't I be married by 30?\\
'''Chandler''': ...Omigod, this parachute is really a ''knapsack!''
* A couple examples of this occur in ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS1E18BasicGenealogy Basic Genealogy]]:
** Pierce compares his ex-step-daughter's appearance to those of the call girls he frequents. It goes over about as well as you'd expect.
** Britta's comment about the attractiveness of Troy's grandmother ends in her being spanked.
** In the first episode, when Pierce tells Jeff "You remind me of myself at your age", Jeff's response is "I deserve that."
* Screech from ''Series/SavedByTheBell'' does this twice. The first time he makes this mistake, he tries to compliment his prospective girlfriend's mother with a celebrity... and he compares her with, of all people, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The other mistake involves an episode of ''The New Class'' series where Screech attempts to be complimentary to Mr. Belding when introducing him to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:
-->'''Screech''': This is Mr. Belding, the man who made me what I am today!\\
'''Kareem''': (Turning to Mr. Belding) Mr. Belding, we need to talk.
* In an episode of ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'', this is [[IceQueen April's]] response to being told that she's a "[[PetTheDog very nice person]]."
* In ''{{Series/Scrubs}}'' JD means to compliment Julie when he says "you smell like my mom". Naturally this has the opposite effect. Thankfully he saves himself...
-->'''JD:''' I didn't mean you smell like my mom, I meant you smell like mamum. It's a rare fragrant herb.\\
'''Julie:''' (''hugging him'') I feel so silly.\\
'''JD's Narration:''' (''sniffing her'') Ah, Mommy.
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'' Arlene attempts to comfort Sookie by saying "you really are smarter than people give you credit for".
* Sheldon Cooper, the InsufferableGenius on ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', sees even fields such as experimental physics and engineering to be beneath him, and takes offense when his sister tells him that she's always bragging to her friends about "my brother, the rocket scientist".
--> '''Sheldon''': You tell people I'm a ''rocket scientist''??? ...Why don't you just tell people I'm a toll-taker at the Golden Gate Bridge? Rocket scientist. How humiliating.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Blossom}}'', one character recently introduced to another says "I don't care what they say, you keep wearing that shirt."
* From ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
-->'''Castiel''' (to Dean): You are not the burnt and broken shell of a man that I believed you to be.
* Greg's DoubleEntendre introductions on ''Series/RedEyeWithGregGutfeld'' are meant to be complimentary (except to [[ButtMonkey Bill]]), but often end up being this trope. Introductions such as "She's so hot, Smokey the Bear flings feces at her" can be less than flattering.
** "She's so hot, when dogs go into heat, it's called 'going into Jill Dobson'" prompted a faux walk-off from the person in question.
* At one point in ''Series/GameOfThrones'', Sansa promises [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Cersei]] that she won't be any trouble: "I'll be a good queen just like you, I won't hatch ''anything''!" Since Cersei has just engineered her husband's death and seized power for herself and her son, her reaction is priceless.
* ''Series/TopGear'': Jeremy Clarkson, MeanBrit extraordinaire, makes a somewhat bizarre comment when faced with a rather attractive young American lass.
-->''"You're American?'' [backs up, looks up and down her body] ''You can't be! You're nowhere near fat enough!''
* Turned into a running gag on ''Series/FTroop'' with Sgt O'Rourke's "I don't know why everyone says you're so dumb" compliments to Corporal Agarn, with the humor coming from the amount of time it takes Agarn [[ComicallyMissingThePoint ("Who says I'm dumb?")]] to realize he's just been insulted.
* ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'': One episode features this exchange, just to show how much of a ButtMonkey Josh really is.
-->'''Josh:''' Have a nice day.
-->'''Delivery Man:''' Don't tell me what to do!

* Music/WeirdAlYankovic's "That's Your Horoscope for Today": "You are the true lord of the dance, no matter what those idiots at works say."

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In the ''Redeye'' comic strip, the incompetent brave tried to butter up his chief with the line, "You don't sweat much for a fat guy." The brave intended it as a compliment. This is a gender-reversal of a real life line Alex Karras originally said to a girl he was dancing with, with the same intention.
* A ''{{ComicStrip/Dilbert}}'' comic listed one of "The 7 Habits of Highly Defective People" as "use compliments to show your prejudices". The corresponding picture showed the PointyHairedBoss telling Alice "Ooh, nice crisp photocopy, Alice. I don't think a man could have done it better!"
* A ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' strip shows Jon telling Vet Liz that because animal medicine is a difficult field, she must "have a great mind for a woman." She, offended, responds, "I have a great mind for a MAN." He attempts to flirt by telling her she has "a great body for a man too."
* ''Film/{{Overboard}}'' - Nate urges Charley to say something nice to the Captain, seeing as it's his birthday - on such short notice the best Charley can come up with is "Wow - you barely look insane today!"
* One strip of ''Out of the Gene Pool'' has the baseball player Puff Maghee punching out a sports reporter. Another reporter on the scene points out that the term Cinderella Story is a compliment.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* At Wrestling/{{D|ragonGate}}GUSA's ''Enter The Dragon'' the Matt Jackson didn't like the suggestion that he and Nick were "the {{tag team}} of the future", instead suggesting Wrestling/TheYoungBucks were the hottest tag team in the world.
* Wrestling/BryanDanielson tried to convince fans that Davey Richards would become his superior and successor at ''Open The Ultimate Gate''. Problem was, the fans didn't really buy it, heckling Richards after his match with SHINGO, which in turn caused Richards to attack Danielson for the "endorsement".
* While Ambassador Wrestling/RicFlair's assertion that Wrestling/AustinAries was a "fair hand" who might be the next Wrestling/ShawnMichaels or Nature Boy some day was an attempt to put over Wrestling/{{R|ingOfHonor}}oH on HD net, Aries took it as a suggestion he wasn't great already.[[/folder]]

* Hall-of-Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig had an off year in 1938, but manager Joe [=McCarthy=] kept him in the lineup throughout the season. He was much worse at the beginning of 1939, but everyone still thought he'd play through it. The end came in a game when he fielded a soft grounder and flipped the ball to the pitcher covering first base to end the inning. On the way back to the dugout, his teammates mobbed Gehrig, patting him on the back and congratulating him - for making a routine play. Gehrig realized how bad his performance must have been for his team to be complimenting him on something so basic. In his words, "They meant it to be kind, but it hurt worse than any bawling out." Gehrig retired shortly thereafter. He was later found to be suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease which [[TropeNamer today bears his name]]. Two years later, he was dead.

* The bridesmaid Zorah has a line like this in ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}'': "Dame Hannah, you're a nice old person..." Play it right and it always gets a laugh from the audience.
* Set up and then subverted in ''Theatre/MaryMary''. Bob, at a loss at how to win back Mary, says she doesn't know he believes she's pretty. He never got to tell her that she was as beautiful as "a lovely piece of white porcelain," because he knew what she would say: "White porcelain? You mean like the kitchen sink?" Indeed, in their final reconciliation scene, he gives her that compliment, and her retort is as predicted, except that she catches herself in mid-sentence and goes sweet.
* ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'': Cyrano tricks a poor Bore to invoke this trope (so he can literally kick the Bore's ass) at Act I Scene IV: When asked if [[BerserkButton his nose is large]], the Bore desperately says itís minute:
-->'''Cyrano:''' Why then that air Disparaging? -ó perchance you think it large? \\
'''The Bore''' ''(stammering):'' No, small, quite smallóminute!\\
'''Cyrano:''' Minute! What now?\\
Accuse me of a thing ridiculous!\\
Smallómy nose?

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Flattering another player in ''[[VideoGame/AnnoDomini Anno 1404]]'' for diplomatic purposes may result in this, especially when you try too hard or too often. For instance, Willem van der Mark, a depressed Dutch intellectual, will express his regret over a book he wrote after you lauded him for it.
* A lot of a male player's attempts to compliment Nathyrra in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights: Hordes of the Underdark'' are...ill-received (at best).
** Though by chapter three she seems to have decided that the player character is joking.
* In one ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' sidequest, when [[VideoGame/TailConcerto Waffle]] attempts to complement [[ContinuityCameo Alica]] [[spoiler:for looking pretty in a princess dress]], she just gets mad at him for comparing her to [[TheRival Princess Theria]].
* Played absolutely for drama in the backstory of Shiki from ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou''. Shiki and her best friend Eri work together to design and make clothes, with Eri doing the designs and Shiki taking the construction. [[spoiler: Shiki always felt inferior and wanted to be a designer too, and the eventual argument about this culminated in Eri telling her she "just wasn't suited to being a designer." She meant that Shiki was such a good, detail-oriented seamstress that turning her attention to designing would be a waste of her skill, but]] Shiki took it... poorly. And ran away crying. [[spoiler: [[NeverGotToSayGoodbye And died in an accident before Eri could explain.]]]]

* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' Sam's idea of complimenting Florence is "You look good ... for a dog in a dress."
* It would appear that [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_KAMics/5153063/ this cartoonist]] was not a fan of ''Webcomic/TheKamics''.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' has [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120217 a genuine compliment]] apparently designed to go like this, as befits between two MadScientist VitriolicBestBuds.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/CodeMENT'', when faced with a gun-toting Shirley:
-->'''Lelouch:''' C'mon Mao, you can read minds! Say something that'll make her stop!\\
'''Mao:''' Shirley, listen to me. No one even notices how much bigger your left boob is from your right.\\
'''Lelouch:''' [[SarcasmMode Thank you, Mao.]]
* In ''WebVideo/YuYuHakushoAbridged'', Suzaku (who is a redneck) tries to compliment Yusuke.
-->'''Suzaku:''' You and I seem to be of an even intemellect, Detective.
-->'''Yusuke:''' You take that back right the [[PrecisionFStrike fuck]] now.
* In ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'', Gohan is twice stated to be like his [[IdiotHero father]]. His response?
-->'''Gohan:''' In what regard?
* In ''Literature/{{Twig}}'', Lillian reacts like she's been slapped when Sylvester, who hates her for being NewMeat and TheTeamNormal, compliments her on a job well done, signifying that he considers her as part of the gang.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Amy from ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' does this to Leela a lot. To whit:
-->'''Amy''': Those are great shoes!\\
'''Leela''': Thank you.\\
'''Amy''': Do they come in women's sizes?\\
''(Leela smashes Amy with the Planet Express Ship stairway ramp)''
* ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' had a poodle actress (dog food commercials, Franchise/{{Lassie}} takeoffs and the like) as a recurring guest star. ''Every time'' someone says how much they admire her, they tell her they've been fans for years and years. And years. And years...
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' Goodfeathers sketches, Pesto ''ALWAYS'' takes Squit's compliments as insults. Granted it's obvious and it was a spoof of ''Film/GoodFellas'' but still...
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Zuko goes on an incredibly awkward date with a girl in Ba Sing Se. He tries to offer her a compliment, but since he [[{{Adorkable}} sucks at talking to girls...]]
-->'''Zuko''': Uh... you have... quite an appetite for a girl.\\
'''Jin''': ...Thanks?
** In another episode, Aang and Katara are stuck in a cave and... this happens.
--->'''Aang''': Well, if there was a choice between kissing you and dying...\\
'''Katara''': (makes an offended grunt}\\
'''Aang''': What, I'm saying I'd rather kiss you than die, that's a compliment!
** Yeah, Aang is guilty of these. Take this one he gives [[spoiler: Zuko]], whose initial smile fades as he processes the compliment.
---> '''Aang''': You know, [[spoiler: Zuko]] I don't care what everyone else says about you, you're pretty smart!
* In the "T.K.O" episode of ''WesternAnimation/OKKOLetsBeHeroes'', when Mr. Gar tries to stop K.O. from destroying the Plaza:
-->'''Carol''': Tell him what all his hard work means to you!\\
'''Mr. Gar''': Uh, huh? Oh, oh... uh, you're a valuable help at the Bodega, K.O.! Uh, excellent work! You're a very nice, helpful boy!\\
'''K.O.''': Enough! Your approval's useless to me now!
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Lucius gets [[RichBitch Jez]] a giant, solid gold statue of herself for her birthday. her reaction? "So you're saying I'm big? Is that it?"
* In an episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/QuickDrawMcGraw Snooper and Blabber]]'' the duo are disguised as servants protecting the valuable diamond of a matron whose 65th birthday is being celebrated. Snooper gets the cake thrown in his face after quipping to her "You'll never see 60 again!"
* Due to her snooty nature, Lacienega from ''WesternAnimation/TheProudFamily'' has a unique gift for being insulting even when she makes an attempt at a compliment.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Littlest Pet Shop|2012}}'', Blythe is impressed over the stuck-up Biskit twins' unusual math skills, that she asks them to join her Math team for the day. Although she compliments them for being "geniuses", the twins somehow take it as an insult. They agree to join her if she can get them out of detention and:
-->'''Whitney Biskit''': Stop calling us "geniuses". Someone might hear you.
-->'''Blythe''': Easy enough...
* In the ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' episode "The Fancy Party", the [[EvilOldFolks ancient and sinister]] [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Entozoa]] is getting ready to choose which of a group of villains (including Lord Hater) will receive the empire she's spent a thousand years building. One of the villains awkwardly quips "You're a thousand years old? You don't look a day over four hundred!", and gets dragged away and tortured... because Entozoa sees such blatant and desperate buttering-up as a sign of weakness.
* PlayedForDrama in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse''. When Garnet meets the Off-Colors she gives them sincere compliments, wanting to hear Rhodonite's story, finding the Rutiles amazing, and flat-out calling Fluorite beautiful. Problem is, they've had the idea that they're worthless mistakes drilled into them for so long that they assume she's making fun of them.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Mary Whitehouse, patron saint of MoralGuardians in the UK, once praised ''Series/TheGoodies'' as the sort of decent, wholesome television she'd like to see more of. The boys were horrified, and rapidly produced an episode called "Sex and Violence", featuring Beryl Reid as "Mrs Desiree Carthorse".
* Under Tony Blair, the UK government drew up a list of celebrities to be encouraged as good role models for children. When actress Emma Thompson found out she was on the list she told the press her immediate reaction was "an overwhelming desire to go out and score a load of cocaine in rebellion."
* UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla was eventually awarded the Edison Award, which is named after his archrival, UsefulNotes/ThomasEdison.
** Then again, nobody measures anything in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_(unit) Edisons...]]
* Journalist Johann Hari decided it was ''definitely'' time to change his diet and get in shape when the staff of his local Kentucky Fried Chicken gave him a Christmas card and a round of applause for being their best customer.
* Saddam Hussein decided that the best tribute he could pay to Islam would be to have [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Qur%27an a copy of the Qur'an written using his blood as ink]]. To write the Qur'an in blood is actually a major blasphemy in Islam, and pretty quickly every Islamic organisation outside Iraq denounced it. It gets better. If they were to destroy it, the act could also be seen as blasphemy. [[MortonsFork So either way they have a Qur'an that's blasphemous to do anything with.]]
* Joan Rivers said in her documentary she hates being told she was a trailblazer for female comics because she's not done working!
* A blogger once wrote about webcomics as a new artform, which for some reason annoyed [[Webcomic/CtrlAltDel Tim Buckley]] enough to write a huge blog entry about how webcomics are just fun entertainment, not art.
* [[http://fav.me/d2z3iue This fan art]] of ''WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows''. After seeing it, Todd joked that it made him seem like a CausticCritic.
-->'''Todd''': The more I look at this (amazing) fanart of me, the more I wonder what the artist thinks of me. My world is bleak, muted, gray. I am bored. I turn on the radio. My world is suddenly filled with bright, vibrant colors. I am shocked and quickly begin criticizing the colors, harshly. Then, I run out of energy and return to my boredom and my bleak, dull room. What does this mean about me?
* "Is any man wiser than Creator/{{Socrates}}? / No." The rest is, ''very'' literally, history.
* During the 2012 American Presidential Election Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan stated that (''without any irony whatsoever'') that his favorite band is Music/RageAgainstTheMachine. Tom Morello's [[FlatWhat reaction]] then lampshaded the irony that Ryan's politics is the very ''machine'' the band's been raging against.
* UsefulNotes/AndrewJackson hated paper money, and tried to outlaw it. Today, he's on the $20 bill.
* When Colin Powell was a young lieutenant in the U.S. Army, an officer tried to pay him a compliment by saying Powell was "the best black lieutenant" he'd ever seen. Powell quietly vowed to show the officer that he was ''"the best lieutenant, period."''
* In the 2016 ''Franchise/StarTrek'' film ''Film/StarTrekBeyond'', the character Hikaru Sulu is depicted as gay (becoming the franchise's first confirmedly gay character) because castmember and screenwriter Creator/SimonPegg hoped to salute Sulu's original actor Creator/GeorgeTakei, who is himself gay and a prominent LGBT rights activist. However, to his disappointment, Takei did not like this, arguing that it would have been better if he'd created an entirely new LGBT character instead of simply adding an LGBT orientation onto an existing character.
* Common among men and women who are LikeBrotherAndSister is the statement "I wish I could find [[ShapedLikeItself a guy like you]]" when the woman is talking about her troubles with dating. What she's trying to say is he has a good personality, but by seeking someone LIKE him who ISN'T him, this is essentially implying that her friend is ugly. Of course, she could be complimenting his appearance with this phrase, but that would lead to possibly [[BeautyIsBad even worse implications.]]