Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?
Team Pet beans you in the head with a rock. This rarely ever causes the target any real harm. At most this can distract or annoy the Big Bad momentarily, giving the other characters time to escape, prepare, or attack. Can provide The Load with an opportunity to redeem himself/herself. See also Blasphemous Boast, Rage Against the Heavens, Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter, Heroic Sacrifice, Defiant Stone Throw, and Defiant to the End. If the person providing the distraction tries to make it last as long as possible to help his teammates, it's Holding the Floor. Sometimes literally involves Flipping the Bird.
- Bullying a Dragon: Messing with a powerful entity that you know can destroy you.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: If they immediately stomp you into a pancake.
- Mugging the Monster: If you thought you were the badass and they were an easy victim.
- Let's Mock the Monsters: When a Jerkass decides to make fun of a monster that they think is not present or too silly to be dangerous. Usually doesn't end well.
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Anime and Manga
- Taichi from Digimon Adventure did this with a different purpose: since he had the Courage crest, he thought he could force Greymon to evolve one level more by pulling this—problem is, his plan backfired because it wasn't real courage, and the resulting SkullGreymon was evil! Later on, he unintentionally pulled this off successfully against a powered-up Etemon, resulting in his Crest of Courage activating properly and causing Greymon to become his proper Perfect form, MetalGreymon.
- Pretty much every major fight in Dragon Ball Z came to the minor heroes pinging the villains to defeat after the heroes did enough damage, minor characters being the Big Damn Heroes, or at one point, all the minor characters blasting Cell in the back over and over until a regular shot from Vegeta distracted him a moment, which was when Gohan put all of his strength into his one-handed Kamehameha, killing Cell.
- Chibi Trunks even does it literally in the Broly movies. When he wasn't mooning or pissing on him.
- Recoome literally flips off Goku, which is probably the most remembered moment in the uncut dubbed version. Kids seeing a grown man flipping off their hero on an anime that mostly kids watch. Amazing.
- Krillin practically lives on this trope. Cutting off part of Frieza's tail is probably the ultimate example.
- Yajirobe even gets in on it against Vegeta.
- Heck, there's even a chapter title page where the characters literally flip off Cell.
- And again in the series, where a reporter who was with Hercule flipped off Perfect Cell during the Cell Games.
- Chichi even gets in on this. She walks right up to Majin Buu and slaps him in the face. It doesn't end well.
- One especially humorous instance in a Non-Serial Movie had Icarus, a small non-fire breathing dragon Gohan had befriended, deciding to attack Shenron. Fortunately for Icarus, Shenron just kind of sits there looking rather awkward rather than taking offense at this little thing buzzing around his head.
- In the manga version of El-Hazard: The Magnificent World. Main character Makoto Mizuhara has set off an ancient missile defense system against super android Ab-Zahal. He finds deflecting these missiles funny (and Makoto knew it meant nothing to Ab-Zahal... until Ifurita appears behind him and blows his head off.
- In Saiyuki, the Team Pet distracts Kami-sama long enough for Gojyo to grab everyone and make a retreat.
- In Naruto, when Hinata farging Hyuuga fights Pein to save Naruto in Chapter 437, declaring "I won't let you lay another finger on Naruto-kun!" And then...STAB. She survives.
- Ebisu tries this against Pain's Jigokudo body, in order to buy time for Konohamaru to escape. Konohamaru, however, goes back to help him, and defeats that body with a Rasengan.
- Also, Naruto himself likes to greet the Kyuubi by demanding it surrender its chakra to him and calling it a "damn fox." Which is probably a little irritating to a superpowered being who can flatten a mountain by swinging one of its nine tails. However, this being is sealed inside Naruto and would have to die with him.
- Ebisu tries this against Pain's Jigokudo body, in order to buy time for Konohamaru to escape. Konohamaru, however, goes back to help him, and defeats that body with a Rasengan.
- In Bleach, Ganju (a character who is not terribly important and whose only attacks are throwing fireworks and a sand spell that mostly just helps him run away) tries this against Byakuya, allowing Ichigo enough time to swoop in and save Rukia. Unfortunately, this doesn't quite work out and Ichigo ends up having to be rescued.
- Hanataro is about to do the same thing almost immediately before this scene, but Ganju steps in and tosses him aside.
- And in the Deicide arc, Don Kanonji runs into a powered-up Aizen and Gin. They're about to kill Tatsuki. He quite gladly calls them out, even after realizing how utterly outclassed he is.
- Later on in the Deicide arc, Keigo steals the town's shinigami protector's sword and tries to confront Aizen with it. A short while later, Mizuiro confronts Aizen long enough to throw a home-made molotov cocktail just to give Ichigo's classmates, Don Kanonji and the town's Shinigami protector time to escape.
- In One Piece, after Rob Lucci has Luffy exhausted and badly wounded on the ground, Usopp, the weakest member of the Straw Hats, reveals himself to Luffy and challenges Lucci, despite having easily lost to a CP9 member who was half as powerful. Lucci walks over to kill Usopp, but Luffy, his Heroic Resolve restored by Usopp's speech to him, gets up and finally manages to defeat Lucci. Earlier on, Aokiji wonders if Luffy (who is by no means weak, but doesn't yet compare to an Admiral's strength) decided to fight him alone because he thought he could win or because he wanted to prevent him from going after the rest of the crew.
- Not just challenged him. He compared him to a kitten.
- Subverted when Arlong ignores his rubber band attack (but played straight when he scares Hacchan in place).
- In the Skypiea Arc, Sanji kicks Ussop out of the way and takes a lighting attack from Enel. After which, he thanks him for the light for his cigarette. Then Enel's ship begins to malfunction because of Sanji's sabotage.
- Recently, Luffy briefly holds off the assault of Hawkeye Mihawk, the world's greatest swordsman, by throwing Buggy, whose powers render him invulnerable to bladed weapons, at him.
- Even more recently, Coby temporarily distracts everyone at Marineford to try to stop any more casualties by begging for everyone to cease fighting. This includes standing up to many incredibly powerful Marines, especially Akainu, the man who killed Ace and burned off half of Whitebeard's face. Fortunately, this distraction was long enough for Shanks to appear and successfully end the war.
- One of the most iconic moments of the series is when the entire crew (discounting Robin), declared war on the world. However, this did not serve as a distraction, merely a message to Robin. That message was that they would never betray her over her "burden". Rather, they chose to make her burden their burden.
- Luffy also argues with Whitebeard, the World's Strongest Man and one of the Four Emperors, that he's going to be King of the Pirates instead of him, to the utter shock of everyone around them. Except Whitebeard himself, who's mostly just amused that the kid has that kind of balls.
- Not quite flipping off, but one of Luffy's more noticable character traits is his complete disregard in conversations for the other person's title or power. It doesn't matter if he's talking to a king, one of the Seven Warlords or the Four Emperors, he'll talk to them just as casually as if they were just some average Joe.
- Apparently, a few years before the current storyline, Caesar Clown swindled funds away from Big Mom, one of the Four Emperors, for his research. This later comes back to bite him in the butt big time, when a ship of hers comes to collect. Since he's now under custody of the Straw Hats, he's out of Kaido's protection through his relationship with Doflamingo, meaning that he's screwed.
- Law is notorious for this. Memorably, when he and Kid first met, Kid said he had bad manners in earshot and Law's reaction was to give him the finger (Kid had the highest Supernova bounty at the time). Even near death and about to be shot, Law doesn't hesitate to do the same to his former boss Doflamingo (a Warlord of the Sea), but not before mocking him as much as possible.
- In the 5th Kara no Kyoukai movie, Enjou Tomoe, despite being Muggle Weight, tells off the Big Bad. Shiki herself passive aggressively says that because he did, she's going kill said Big Bad now.
- Ganta does this at the end of his second bout in the Carnival Corpse - Deadman Wonderland's version of the Thunderdome. He basically flipped off the blood-thirsty anonymous audience, the other watching Deadmen, and the Carnival's Promoter, Tamaki. An incident so awesome, and so unlike him (for most of the series, up to this point, Ganta has been rather passive, fighting only to defend himself, and rarely even raising his voice, except to scream Oh, Crap about the current situation), he actually questions whether or not he just broke character.
- Manta in one of the last episodes of Shaman King. Piko-Piko hammer and all!
- In Death Note, this is how L is introduced. He basically goes on television and tells Kira through his stand-in Lind L. Tailor where he can put his justice. Kira, of course, kills Tailor immediately, thinking that it's L. Then, L keeps on taunting him anyway!
- Medaka Box: Zenkichi, despite being nearly subdued by Oudo's Compelling Voice (and seeing him do the same to Medaka), manages to resist enough to attack him due to seeing him trying to kiss her.
- Soul Eater has Black*Star pulling a one man stand against Kishin Asura, madness incarnate, who at the time is easily the size of a house. He's obviously outclassed but doesn't let that slow him down as he proceeds to beat the crap out of the giant to keep him distracted while Death the Kid prepares a massive Wave Motion Gun attack.
- Maka does this to just about all her opponents. Just about everyone she fights is stronger than her, and she and Soul use their wits, teamwork, courage, and occasionally pure luck to succeed.
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
- Marlene actually attempts this by chucking a materia at Loz's head. It works a little too well. (Incidentally, Marlene is six and Loz just beat the crap out of Marlene's Made of Iron surrogate mother.)
- Another example is Denzel's response to Bahamhut Sin: "YOU SON OF A BIIIITCH!". Denzel is also about six. Bahamut is a giant dragon that is only defeated when the entire party from VII gets back together.
- Hellblazer - the protagonist John Constantine actually did literally, both to Satan and God (yes the Judeo-Christian God).
- In the superhero comic Empowered, the eponymous heroine in her Blessed with Suck Supersuit distracts a far more powerful villain, allowing the villain's previous opponent enough time to recover and animate the landscapenote .
- This is Spider-Man's coping mechanism for the numerous cosmic-level threats he faces as a member of two Avengers teams and the Future Foundation. In fact, this is his general trademark for dealing with life-threatening situations, not only blowing off steam for himself but using snarky comments to annoy opponents and keep them off-balance.
- Inverted with the advent of the Superior Spider-Man—the behavior of Doctor Octopus inhabiting Peter Parker's body was so off-kilter from what super-villains and street criminals had come to expect from Spider-Man that their perception of Spidey started to resemble the reputation Batman has in Gotham City's underworld.
- Several demons and damned souls did this to Death, Despair, and Delirium in Death: At Death's Door.
(a demon shoves Delirium to the ground)Despair: Do not touch her. Leave our sister's home.Demon: What are you going to do? Sit on us, Fatty?
- Batman will do this on occasion—usually when he's part of an ensemble, usually for a good reason.
- A villainous version can be found in All-Star Superman, where when Superman visits Lex Luthor in jail and offers him a chance at redemption, Lex chooses to spit in his face and give Supes a Death Glare. Another unheroic (though not really villainous) example is the woman who, after Superman returns to Earth after dealing with the New Krypton event, slaps him and yells at him about how her husband died of a brain tumor and Superman should have been on Earth to perform heat vision brain surgery (which, incidentally, Superman has never demonstrated) instead of, oh, preventing interstellar war. Fortunately, the public doesn't buy her Wangst-fest. Unfortunately, Superman does.
- The Joker has mocked numerous beings who could easily kill him, like Superman, Darkseid, and demons. Maybe because he knows they can't.
- In one Superman miniseries, a gang of criminals are watching Superman fight Exo-Max, a bank robber in a suit of Powered Armor, and recording data from the fight (exactly how long it takes, what specific moves Supes uses, etc). When they start talking about their plan, Superman appears in front of the leader and starts passive-aggressively trying to talk them out of it. The leader pays him lip service, then takes a long drag from his cigarette and exhales smoke directly onto the big guy's kisser. Superman leaves without another word, but the crooks are dumbstruck. "Boss... did you just blow smoke in Superman's face?" Of course, this wasn't a distraction, but still.
- When the Fantastic Four are "fighting" the Dreaming Celestial, a massive Eldritch Abomination which has control over Galactus's energy-consuming abilities and is about to destroy the entire universe and all of temporal continuity 30 years into the future with a black hole the size of a galaxy, Reed Richards hangs out of the side of his time sled and starts calling it names. Then lures it smack-dab into a Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? when he gets its attention. There's a reason entire alien races run screaming at the sound of Reed's name.
- Valeria Richards shows another example to MacGargan◊ when he was Venom.
- In the tradition of the movie, the Marvel Transformers series had Grimlock defying Unicron... by smacking him in the face with the Ark! His fellow Autobots didn't think it a wise move, but Grimlock simply sent them out to join the battle. This was preceded by Galvatron - Unicron's own creation from another reality, brought into this timeframe to sow discord and confusion among the Transformers - shooting his boss in the face. Galvatron got smacked away for his troubles, but survived to fight another day.
- In the Code Geass/Warhammer 40,000 crossover, Code Geass: There Is Only War, TAMAKI does this to Khorne. Yeah.
Tamaki: Yeah, um, up yours, buddy. If you're the devil, you can kiss my ass and tempt someone else.
Khorne: WHY WOULD I WANT TO KISS THAT AREA OF YOUR BODY?
- In Dragon Age: The Crown Of Thorns, the Wise Prince dwarven noble Guile Hero protagonist goes through a near death experience and, thinking he'd going to die, tells the Archdemon (who'd chose that time to psychically assault him) to go screw itself. Needless to say, many chapters after he doesn't die, bad things happen.
- During one fight in The Immortal Game, Rainbow Dash kicks Titan's avatar in the face. It doesn't hurt him much, but it does distract him long enough for Luna to run him through with her blade.
- Zeno Blaze in Clash of the Elements does this quite literally to Joe Dark after he becomes a soul residing inside of Alex's body.
- Mines of Dragon Mountain: After Tirac / The Beast reveals himself, Spike starts cracking up, leading to this:
Spike: Y'know, when I heard that "The Demon God Tirac" was loose I was kinda expecting something more, I dunno, sinister and menacing! I really wasn't expecting some mugging chucklehead crooning clichés like a Saturday morning cartoon villain!
- Hobbes does this in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, against Electro.
- My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: When Nightmare Moon announces herself as the new Queen, someone in the crowd cuts her off by throwing a muffin at her (it was probably Derpy).
- Justice League of Equestria: In Princess of Themyscira, Nightmare Moon engages Hippolyta in battle, but before she can cut the other mare down, Hippolyta's daughter Diana jumps on Nightmare Moon and distracts her long enough for Hippolyta to recover. At the time, Diana is less than one year old.
- The Pony POV Series has several examples:
Shining Armor: What? I'd finally found a weakspot in the jerk's armor, why not hit away at it?
- Shining Armor is hopelessly outmatched against General-Admiral Makarov in their first fight. Even after Thunderchild saves his flank, things still don't look good. The two of them discover Makarov does not take "Equestrian wit" well and proceed to spend several moments snarking the heck out of him to get him furious. Becomes a better example of this trope later on when we discover Makarov's true nature.
- Dark World!Grogar's last act when he was banished back to his prison after his war with Discord was to laugh in Discord's face.
- Apple Pie tries doing this to Rancor. Rancor isn't effected by her Logic Bomb powers and gives her a nasty wound that takes her out of the fight for awhile.
- Minty Pie's presence in Dark World's Final Battle is pretty much one long one to Nightmare Paradox. She's able to handle herself, but isn't powerful enough to do any lasting damage to her. However, she does make a good distraction and her refusal to die begins driving Paradox into a Villainous Breakdown.
- In All That Happens Here Lauren has been captured and horribly tortured by the Dark. After learning rescue is not coming, she snaps and stands up to stare down her tormenter. It responds by breaking her leg and walks off laughing. She then stands back up on her broken leg and stares it down again. This, unfortunately, earns her and even more savage beating; but the creature isn't laughing anymore.
- Equestrias First Human story Connor at the Royal Wedding: Connor vocally expresses his disgust at the implications of Chrysalis impersonating Cadence. The Queen is... not amused.
- The Rise Of Darth Vulcan: Darth Vulcan doesn't hesitate to tell Celestia and Luna exactly what he thinks of them, even when he's imprisoned and at their mercy.
- He also does this literally to Sombra at one point.
- In the Bait and Switch side story "An Anomalous Nightmare", Captain Kanril Eleya is very much not cowed when Q (as in John de Lancie) turns up. She starts by yelling at him to "get the phekk off my desk!" and continues from there.
- Shattered Skies: Joker does this to Chaos, the source of all evil, as he is being absorbed back into the nothingness from which he was born... and Chaos is impressed enough to not only spare him, but form an alliance...
Films — Animated
- In The Simpsons Movie, Cletus is enlisted to distract the giant, Big Brother-esque head of the EPA, so the rest of the town can climb to safety. Unfortunately, Homer foils this plan in his usual way.
- Megamind has the titular character do this in an attempt to have the villain punch him into a stone wall where he could get behind the invisible car and retrieve the depowering gun.
- In Transformers: The Movie, the Dinobots flip off Unicron in various ways, with Grimlock literally kicking him in the ass. While ineffective, they survive to brag about it.
Grimlock: Me Grimlock kick butt!
- In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup orders Ruff and Tuff to do this the final battle against the Red Death, a monstrous dragon the size of Godzilla.
- Near the end of Rise of the Guardians, just when a fear-empowered Pitch Black has Jamie and the Guardians cornered, Jack Frost pelts him with a snowball, interrupting his Evil Gloating and giving Jack and his friends time to escape.
- The Book of Life:
- Manolo is so determined to do whatever it takes to get back to Maria, that he flat out tells off Xibalba. When the death god gets in his face about it, he does not back down.
- In a later scene when Manolo comes back to life and kisses Maria in front of Chakal. Chakal steps forward like he's about to attack but Manolo just sticks out his finger in a "give me a moment" gesture. Surprisingly it actually makes Chakal stop and let them finish.
- In Superman Unbound, Lois Lane gives Brainiac a double-middle-finger while he's doing some "humans suck" monologuing.
Films — Live-Action
- Kia in Freddy vs. Jason, who distracted Freddy from the protagonists by taunting him openly. Unfortunately, it didn't work on Jason.
- Happens in Deep Rising. Finnegan destroys one of the monster's eyes with his shotgun, allowing him and Trillian time to escape.
Finnegan: What are you looking at? <BAM!>
- "We need a diversion. Something fast...and loud." In Dog Soldiers, Private 'Spoon' Witherspoon is without a doubt the loudest character in the film. Spoon's also probably the only character crazy enough to stand around in the woods shouting and waving a flare when the area is crawling with werewolves.
"Come and get some if you think you're hard enough!"
- Merry and Pippin do it at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring to allow Frodo to escape from the Uruk-hai. And then Aragorn does the same thing in Return of the King when he cuts off the Mouth of Sauron's head. You only see this in the extended edition, but as soon as that happens Sauron shifts his attention from a weakened Frodo bearing the Ring to the Black Gate and his dead servant.
- Men In Black:
- Kay and Jay both do it at the end of to the giant cockroach alien in order to keep him on Earth. Kay taunts him ("Do you know how many of your kind I've swatted with a newspaper? You are nothing but a smear on the sports page to me, you slimy, gut-sucking intestinal parasite! Eat me. EAT ME!") to get him to swallow him; then Jay steps on several normal cockroaches to distract him from getting on the spaceship until Kay can shoot him from the inside.
- Earlier than that, the tow truck driver who's taking "Edgar"'s stolen truck doesn't get intimidated by him at all. When "Edgar" takes out his shotgun, the driver responds by flashing his own pistol with a very dismissive "Please...". Unfortunately for him, he still gets shot and killed.
- John Constantine literally flips Satan off. Keanu Reeves has always been good at acting with his middle finger.
- Aliens: "Get away from her, you bitch!" Followed by a Crowning Moment of Awesome as she successfully wins the fight.
- Parodied (but of course!) in Kung Fu Hustle - after Sing mans up for the first time in his life and attacks the Beast with a stick to the head, he gets beaten into the ground for it. And he's just able to pick up a smaller stick and weakly bonk him on the head. It does get played straight after this, as the Landlord and Landlady immediately rescue him and flee the scene.
- In Iron Man 2, Ivan couches his attack on Tony at Monaco in this manner. Making God bleed and all that.
- In the Tales from the Crypt movie Demon Knight, the Collector offers Irene her severed arm back (on a platter) in exchange for her soul. Her response manages to be both a Crowning Moment of Awesome and a Crowning Moment of Funny:
(Irene lifts her stump)The Collector: Is that a yes?Irene: No. That's me giving you the finger, asshole!
- The Badass Bystanders in Spider-Man who pelt the Green Goblin with objects mid-scheme, excoriating Goblin for trying to kill a guy who's trying to save a group of children, while expressing some heartwarming post-9/11 solidarity.
- The Ghostbusters consider this and arming the proton packs, a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner. An especially notable incident occurs in the second film. Vigo paralyzes the Ghostbusters with a blast of energy, then steps past them to take Oscar. Lacking any other options, Venkman crawls toward Vigo and starts mocking and insulting him.
Venkman: Not so fast, Vigo! Hey, Vigo, yeah you, the bimbo with the baby. Didn't you know the big shoulder look is out? You know, I have met some dumb blondes in my life, but you take the taco, pal. Only a Carpathian would come back to life now and choose New York. Tasty pick, bonehead! If you had Brain-One in that huge melon on top of your neck, you'd be living the sweet life out in southern California's beautiful San Fernando valley.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Davy Jones offers a mortally wounded James Norrington a chance to join his undead crew. James responds by stabbing him in the chest. Jones is unharmed, but it's still pretty satisfying. See it for yourselves. Even Davy Jones seems mildly impressed.
Jones: James Norrington. Do ya fear death?Norrington: *stab*Jones: ...I'll take that as a "no." Nice sword.
- This essentially what a dying Agent Coulson does to demigod Loki in The Avengers in one pivotal and awesome scene.
Loki: "...In the end, you (people) will always kneel."Old Man: *stood up* "Not to men like you."Old Man: "There are always men like you."
- And earlier, done by an old man in Dusseldorf after Loki did his Kneel Before Zod thing.
- 15 years earlier, another Jeff Goldblum character did something similar in the 1978 adaptation of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, running and yelling to attract the attention of a group of pod people so that the main characters could escape. Didn't work out as well for everyone, in the end.
- Wrath of the Titans - when Ares tries to kill Perseus, the latter's son, Helius, briefly challenges Ares, buying his father time.
- Man of Steel:
Faora: Should I tell the General you are unwilling to comply?
- Colonel Hardy refuses to back down when negotiations with the Kryptonians move in a threatening direction.
Hardy: I don't care what you tell him.
- Martha Kent also does this with General Zod, telling him to go to hell.
- In Pacific Rim, after Striker Eureka is disabled, the Hansens weigh up their options, then continue the engagement with flare-guns. They do manage to torch one of Leatherback's eyes... even though that doesn't do much but piss him off. Even they know it was something really stupid.
- In Gladiator, Maximus regularly does this to Commodus throughout the film. What stops Commodus from simply ordering him executed is that he's so egotistical, he knows that the crowd will never embrace him if he kills their favourite gladiator.
- In The Hobbit, Thorin uses insults to divert Smaug's attention and also make use of Smaug's fire breath in an Indy Ploy.
- In John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), R.J. MacReady replies "Well fuck you too!" after the titular Thing shrieks at him. Right before blowing it to hell with a thrown stick of dynamite
- In K.A. Applegate's Animorphs, Jake to Crayak, repeatedly. In the third Megamorphs book, the rest of the team does this to Crayak by bringing Jake back to life.
- In Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus, Iris, the Messenger goddess, is trapped in her store with an army of monsters, and Polybotes, outside. She throws a ding-dong at him.
- Exploited in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, where an army of 7000 soldiers and most of the Fellowship's surviving members are mustered for the sole purpose of Flipping Off Sauron, just so Frodo can get the Ring to Mount Doom.
- Aragorn also explains one morning that he used the Palantir the night before, to taunt Sauron himself directly.
- In Moria, Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf all panic at the sight of the Balrog. Boromir however blows his horn as if in challenge of it. The echoing sound of the horn not only makes the Orcs go quiet for a few seconds, it actually makes the Balrog pause.
- In The Silmarillion, Melkor turns up at Fëanor's house and asks if he'd like to come to Middle-Earth with him. Fëanor is about to accept when Melkor implies he wants Fëanor's Silmarils, and Fëanor slams the door in his face. Please note that Melkor is the most powerful being ever created, and is the equivalent of Satan.
- When Morgoth tells Húrin that he created Arda and will give him great power if he serves him, Húrin immediately throws the offer in Morgoth's face and declares him a liar. This results in Humankind being permanently cursed to evil and suffering by Morgoth.
- In Eric Flint and David Freer's book ''Pyramid Scheme'', our heroes find themselves trapped in the world of Greek mythology and caught up in a war against the gods of Olympus. At one point, Zeus, king of the Olympians, is about to start blasting people with thunderbolts. Henri Lenoir, visiting French botanist, proceeds to deliver a blistering salvo of insults in true Gallic fashion, distracting Zeus until the others can escape. Also a Heroic Sacrifice, because he gets killed. Also a Crowning Moment of Awesome, because he did it while horribly sick And survived a god level lightning bolt long enough to flirt with a nurse back in the real world and enjoy a glass of fine wine.
- In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Rachel (whose only power is to see through the Weirdness Censor that fools other normals) saves demigod Percy from Kronos, King of the Titans, an evil creature older than the gods, by hitting Kronos in the eye with a blue plastic hairbrush. Percy remarked that this earned her his permanent respect.
- Kit did this in whale form in Young Wizards. Most other minor characters in the series have to do a Heroic Sacrifice to provide a distraction. All of the main characters in Book Of Night With Moon attempt or succeed in a Heroic Sacrifice just to delay the Big Bad, although most of them do get better later. Pitting preteen humans or housecats against the machinations of the eldest, fairest, and fallen means any form of victory is going to fall between this and Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?.
- A more classic and slightly subverted version of this trope appears in A Wizard Abroad, when a bard-kitten pisses off the Big Bad by mocking it using elaborate verse. Unfortunately, it just makes the Lone Power angry.
- Which is exactly what allowed the heroes to defeat it. In order to destroy the body the Lone Power was using, the heroes had to throw The Spear Of Destiny through its Eye of Death. However, the Lone One was keeping its eye shut and just letting the heroes get crushed by the Mooks. The kitten's taunts caused it to attack directly, which allowed the heroes to counterstrike and destroy it.
- In the related title Book Of Night With Moon, Urruah strides through a cat's mythological reenactment of Lucifer's fall and sharpens his claws on the impressive scenery about five feet away from the Lone Power in the form of a giant, godlike snake before striding back and remarking he should have sprayed it as well.
- A more classic and slightly subverted version of this trope appears in A Wizard Abroad, when a bard-kitten pisses off the Big Bad by mocking it using elaborate verse. Unfortunately, it just makes the Lone Power angry.
- The Warcraft novelization trilogy The War of the Ancients pulls this off, combining it with Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Brox actually managing to injure Sargeras. It was a small scratch, but when you realize how powerful we know Sargeras is (about three levels above the Big Bads normally seen; the "destroy planet with a flick of the hand" level of power), not to mention that little trick is what ultimately won the war, it's quite a feat.
- Harry Dresden in The Dresden Files lives off this trope in every single book. It's a habit that he can't entirely control. In many cases his internal monologue will say something like, "I wisely chose to keep my mouth shut," and then he'll say something incensive out loud anyway, out of reflex. Ironically, this has probably helped him survive as long as he has, because persistently dissing every heavy-hitter he meets has convinced a lot of them that he has something similarly powerful backing him up. Notable examples:
- From Dead Beat:
Harry: [to Lasciel the Temptress] And by any chance does all this knowledge and power and good advice come for only three easy installments of nineteen ninety-five plus shipping and handling? Or maybe it comes with a bonus set of knives tough enough to saw through a nail, yet can still cut tomatoes like this.Lasciel: You aren't nearly as funny as you think you are.[also]Harry: [to Cowl] Touché, O dark master of evil bathrobes.[also]Harry: [to Cowl (again)] And again I do answer thee. Bite me.
- In Summer Knight, when charging into a pitched battle between the rival Faerie courts:
"I DON'T BELIEVE IN FAIRIES!"note
- In Changes, he starts mouthing off to one of the most powerful creatures on the planet, in its own lair, surrounded by its ravenous army.
Murphy: Do you have to piss off everyone you meet?Harry: If I didn't, he might feel left out.
- Against a guy who is about to brutally beat Harry to death with a baseball bat:
Harry: You're, like, the fifth-scariest person I've met today.note
- While in the domain of a god Harry almost stays quiet, then decides that he's insulted everything smaller, it'd be rude not to. He'd already snarked at the god's servants (although that was by mistake).
- A fuller list includes: several Red Court nobles; the Red King; most of the existing Fallen Angels, but especially Nicodemus; several White Court nobles, including the White King himself; a Black Court wizard-level zombie magic thing; the heirs to a wizard who took on the entirety of the rest of the wizarding world and wouldn't stay dead; supernatural hitmen who could level city blocks with a thought; Faerie nobles of all shapes and sizes; every single Faerie Queen (there are six, three per court, only four of which ever leave the Nevernever, it's complicated); the leader of the Wild Hunt; a depraved shapeshifting servant of elder gods; an elder god champion; Uriel (in a more polite fashion than usual); Odin; a dragon (think less scales and more casual earth-shattering power); human mooks of all shapes, sizes, and survivabilities; Santa Claus; and Marcone.
- From Dead Beat:
- Jim Butcher likes writing characters who box outside their weight class. In Codex Alera, Tavi of Calderon flips off arch-mages, ancient wolf warriors, zerg knock-offs, and physical gods on a roughly weekly basis. Like his Take a Third Option tendencies, it becomes possible to track him by invoking this trope.
- In The Salvation War: Armageddon, happens when Gordon Brown says "Sod off, Baldrick" in reply to The Message and Satan's message that humanity now belongs to him, then revealing that he has a cunning plan to deal with the situation.
- And in a hilarious use of the trope, Michael the archangel intentionally does this to Yahweh when he delivers a heap of bad news to him. He doesn't insult Him directly, but he does do his bit of snarking... and he KNOWS what Yahweh's reaction would be to the news
- Near the end of Feet of Clay, golem-turned-watchman Dorfl refuses to express belief in any of the gods of the Discworld unless one of their believers can give him a well-reasoned argument. He's promptly hit with a lightning bolt in retaliation, but the only effect it has on his ceramic self is melting his armor, prompting Dorfl to respond "I Don't Call That Much Of An Argument." Commander Vimes is amused at the prospect of the gods having to deal with a lightning-proof atheist.
- In the Dragonlance last book, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, a member of the Kender race—which are chronically bored, are impulsive kleptomaniacs and considered little more than a pest by the other people of the world—managed to do this to Chaos the father of ALL the Gods, using lots of insults—Kenders are able to come up with insults against anything—to distract him while the other people in the battle attempt to make him bleed, for his blood is required to vanish him. In the end, he not only distracts Chaos efficiently, but, using his small knife, cuts him, and the blood coming from that cut is the one used to win the battle.
- In the Dark Disciple trilogy, Atta (A dog) bites Chemosh (The god of Death) in the ankle.
- That didn't just distract him—another god Majere used Atta's teeth as the vessel of his wrath to let Chemosh know that he was not happy with Chemosh's recent actions.
- In the Dark Disciple trilogy, Atta (A dog) bites Chemosh (The god of Death) in the ankle.
- IT by Stephen King evokes this when Eddie sprays his asthma inhaler on It. He does it twice, once when he's a kid and again a few decades later; it works because Eddie believes it will hurt It, and what really hurts It is belief. Unfortunately, it doesn't work so well the second time around when It bites his arm off, killing him.
- The Magic: The Gathering novel, Test Of Metal, has the protagonist, Tezzeret, tells Nicol Bolas, the nigh omnipotent 25,000 year old Elder Dragon, that he's "stupid" and condescendingly tries to explain what the words 'thank you mean'. Bolas is not amused. Then it turns out the Bolas he flipped off was just an inferior copy the original made to carry out his plans.
- In The Elenium, Berit hurls an ax at the god Azash which makes the Elder God flinch, allowing Sparhawk to shove Bhelliom where Azash was emasculated.
- In Life The Universe And Everything, after a flying party ship is attacked by Krikkit robots trying to steal the award for the most gratuitous use of the word "fuck", or "Belgium" in some editions. (It Makes Sense in Context.) Arthur Dent and the others prepare to flee, but are delayed by Thor (yes, THAT Thor) who wants to keep Trillian with him. Arthur then asks him one question:
- This works as intended, as Thor steps outside (read: steps off of the flying party and into thin air) and the others flee without fear of a long argument killing them.
- The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel has Billy The Kid threatening his master, Quetzalcoatl with an ax. Considering the potential consequences, that took balls. In The Sorceress, after Cernunnos points a sword at the heroes, Sophie tells him it's not polite to point.
- In Malazan Book of the Fallen, Quick Ben, a mage, does this for fun—and gets away with it. There is a very long list of gods and rulers he has pissed off during the course of his career.
- In The Divine Comedy, Vanni Fucci di Pistoia, a thief who was sent to hell, literally flips off God.
- In The Stand, Glen Bateman responds to Flagg asking him to kneel with mocking laughter. Glen finds it hilarious that he and his friends ever feared Flagg. Glen gets shot to death for his trouble, but he does contribute to Flagg's Villainous Breakdown.
- In The Wheel of Time, the Aiel essentially have a culture-wide oath to do this. When asked how long they will fight, the answer is "'Till shade is gone, 'till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit in Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day." And they bloody mean it literally.
- In the Uplift novel Heaven's Reach, Emerson refuses the Retired Ones and explains why as "You never said 'please'."
- In the Monster Hunter International books, series hero Owen makes it a point to tease the enormous Agent Franks every time they meet, even after he learns that Franks was the inspiration for Frankenstein's Monster.
- In Angel, this is the guiding force behind many of Angel's actions in the later seasons; as he begins to understand the scope of the main antagonist's power, his main aim changes from punching them out to pissing them off. It all comes to a head in the series finale where it's revealed Wolfram and Hart are too extensive to ever be truly beaten, so he decides to murder a succession of high-level members to tell the entirety of Hell that they can suck it.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy taunts the mayor about stabbing Faith to lure him into the library, which is packed with explosives.
Buffy: Hey! You remember this? I took it from Faith. Stuck it in her gut. Just slid in her like she was butter. You want to get it back from me...Dick?
- The Doctor can be counted on doing this when faced with any sort of super powerful being, whether Sutekh, Omega, a living sun, the Time Lords, and the list could go on and on.
- When facing certain death from the Daleks in the episode "The Parting of the Ways", Captain Jack simply retorts "I kind of figured."
- Rory Williams tells the Cybermen "Don't give me those blank looks!"
- In Babylon 5, while it didn't accomplish anything but make Vir out to be awesome (and set the stage for a little karmic justice later on), he does give Mr. Morden (and by extension the Shadows) a 50-story-tall middle finger telling him what he wants.
- For those who've never seen the series...
Morden: What do you want?Vir: I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike, as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave, like this. [Vir does a mocking cutesy wave] Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?
- Made more awesome later in the series when Vir's wish actually comes true and he waves at a decapitated Morden.
- Also how Ivanova managed to convince the Walkers of Sigma 957, who can destroy a spaceship just by passing by, to join the fight against the Shadows. They apparently had issues with the Vorlons.
Ivanova: The Vorlons said you wouldn't be up for this; in fact the last time the Shadows came, they said they did all the work for you. Come to think of it, we've got the Vorlons. We really don't need much more help, do we? I mean the Vorlons are pretty much perfect, aren't they?Walkers: [Angry-sounding talk about the Vorlons]Ivanova: We'll let you know when it's over, so you can come out of hiding.Walkers: When it is time, come to this place. Call our name. We will be here.
- Garibaldi deliberately tries to do this in the process of an assassination plot on the Vorlon ambassador.
- Later, in "Interludes and Examinations", Sheridan is trying to convince Kosh to get the Vorlons (themselves Sufficiently Advanced Aliens) to intervene against the shadows. Kosh doesn't want to get involved, so Sheridan starts flipping him off. Kosh responds by telekinetically pushing him around, but Sheridan persists.
Sheridan: You said you wanted to teach me to fight legends! Well, you're a legend, too, and I am not going away until you agree!Kosh: Incorrect. [shoves Sheridan by TK] Leave. Now.Sheridan: No.Kosh: Disobedient!Sheridan: Up yours! [Kosh slaps him, draws blood] So the real Kosh shows his colors at last, huh? Are you angry now? Angry enough to kill me?[Sheridan continues flipping off Kosh. Kosh suspends him against a wall]Sheridan: Go ahead. Maybe one more death will help balance out the books. Go on. Get it over with. Save us both the trouble later.
- Then, in "Into the Fire", Sheridan has drawn the Shadows into an area the Vorlons are about to attack. As soon as they see each other, they ignore the Army of Light also on site, so Sheridan decides to "get their attention" by detonating three nukes in their midst. Lyta Alexander, psychically probing them at the time, reports on their reaction to Sheridan's "wake-up call": "Captain...they're pissed."
- For those who've never seen the series...
- Deadliest Catch:
The Bering Sea: [sends three tons of freezing spray across the deck of one of the ships]Deckhand: Is that all you've got?Narrator: It's never wise to taunt the Bering Sea.The Bering Sea: [waits a few seconds, then sends a larger wave to try to wash the entire deck crew off the ship]
- Played fairly straight in the Season 5 finale, in which Castiel interrupts what would be the final confrontation between Lucifer and Michael by yelling "Hey! Assbutt!" and throwing a Molotov cocktail filled with holy oil at Michael, causing him to disintegrate. This doesn't kill Michael and is only meant to give Dean some alone time with the Devil to try to get through to his vessel. Depending on your point of view, this could be seen as either a Moment Of Awesome or a Funny Moment, or perhaps even both. Dean himself seems to forget the severity of the situation for a moment when the absurdity of Castiel's wording hits him. Unfortunately, Lucifer (the Cthulhu of this incident) does not have such a lighthearted reaction to this, and even almost quotes the name of this trope before blowing Castiel up in a bloody mess. "Castiel...did you just Molotov my brother...with holy fire?" "Uh...no?" Lucifer snaps his fingers; Castiel explodes.
- Most of the interactions the Winchesters have with gods, demigods, higher-ranked demons, and archangels comes to this, including Dean telling a room of gods "We can either take on the Devil together, or you lame-ass bitches can eat me. Literally."
- Castiel had another one of these earlier in the season when he trapped the much-more-powerful Raphael in a ring of holy fire to interrogate him. Afterwards, as Cas prepares to leave him there, Raphael threatens to hunt him down and kill him. Cas' response?
"Maybe one day. But today, you're my little bitch."
- Likewise, Gabriel gets one of these in "Hammer of the Gods" after Lucifer rips his way through a horde of pagan gods and has him on the ropes (even if it doesn't end well).
"Lucifer, you are my brother and I love you, but you are a great big bag of dicks."
- And how does Commander Sisko greet the omnipotent, god-like, so-far-beyond-human-ken-one-can't-comprehend Q when they meet for the first time? By knocking him on his ass, to Q's utter astonishment.
- Over in Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Skin of Evil" saw the crew out to rescue Troi and a crewman from a crashed shuttle and encountering Armus. He takes the shuttle crew hostage, while repeatedly harassing and threatening the landing party - including killing Tasha Yar just to demonstrate its power. When the crew discovers that they can beam the shuttle crew to safety if Armus is sufficiently distracted, Picard himself beams down to confront him - engaging in a debate and purposefully angering him.
Picard: You say you are true evil? Shall I tell you what true evil is? It is to submit to you. It is when we surrender our freedom, our dignity, instead of defying you.
Armus: I will kill you and those in there.
Picard: But you will still be in this place. Forever, alone, immortal. That's your real fear, never to die; never again to be united with those who left you here. I'm not taking you anywhere.
- Pretty much the entire SGC gets off on doing this in the Stargate Verse. Even President Hayes gets in on it at one point in "Lost City". Best summed up by this quote from "Zero Hour":
Ba'al: You dare mock me?
Jack O'Neill: Oh, come on, Ba'al. You should know. Of course I dare mock you.
- Teen Wolf: Stiles has a habit of pissing off insanely powerful creatures and people who already don't like him.
- A Sesame Street special set at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has Big Bird stand up to the god of death, Osiris.
- Destroy The Godmodder is a prime breeding ground for this trope. It includes people flipping off the godmodder himself, and anything else down the line. It doesn't always end well, like when pionoplayer called twinbuilder useless.
- In Tales of Phantasia, Chester holds back the Big Bad so that Cless and Mint escape from the past.
- Sonic Unleashed has this in the form of a Mazuri kid beaning Eggman with a rock when he demands the Temple of Gaia's whereabouts. While the kid couldn't have known about what happened next at the time, it kept Eggman's attention on the people rather than Sonic, who was hurtling in at high velocity to take down the Egg Fighters standing between Eggman and the locals.
- The Big Bad of Wild AR Ms XF was less than impressed when the heroes killed it. After all, As Long as There Is Evil it will still live! ...so they kill it again. It revives, and wonders what the heck they're doing. So they kill it again... and again. And they're just going to keep doing it. It's so in shock at this that the person it's possessing takes control long enough permanently destroy both of them in a Heroic Sacrifice.
- This is a rotating job among the party members in any given Shadow Hearts game. Probably the best is when Covenent's Anastasia interrupts Orobas to ask what he plans to do once he manages to Take Over the World. He has no answer. Another awesome one is from Yuri to Neo Astaroth. What does Yuri say to the Eldritch Abomination that regained its full power and is about to destroy Japan?
Yuri: I wish you'd shove it. You know where.Neo Astaroth: ......
- Shadow does this in Final Fantasy VI, when he pins Kefka between the components of the Warring Triad. This frees the party from Kefka's stasis spell but then they're knocked away and have to flee before the Floating Continent falls apart. If you wait until almost the last second, Shadow will catch up, unscathed from a one-on-one battle with the new god of the world.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, Auron does this a couple of times to Hades, despite that he had offered to give him a second chance at life.
Hades: Did you forget who you're talking to?! I am the lord of the dead!Auron: No wonder no one wants to die.Hades: YOU ARE FIRED!!!
- Any MMORPG you can name uses it as a game mechanic. The Tank serves as the one flipping Cthulhu off, while the DPS goes to town, and the healer makes sure the tank is able to KEEP flipping off the big bad.
- The entire point of the move Taunt in the Pokémon games. Almost with the right animation, but not quite.
- As of Mass Effect 2, Commander Shepard has managed to piss off the entire Reaper fleet to the point where they're all after him/her personally.
Harbinger: Shepard, you have become an annoyance.
- Shepard got their attention by killing one. And then coming Back from the Dead after their counterattack killed them the first time. And then beating them again, in what could even be a zero-casualty Curb-Stomp Battle depending on player choices.
- It gets to the point that the otherwise nearly unflappable Eldritch Abomination Harbinger finally acknowledges to Shepard that s/he has actually put a dent in their plans.
- Not just the Reapers, though they certainly out-Cthulhu anything else in the series. Shepard has essentially made a career out of flipping off every Cthulhu s/he comes across, which is often followed up by punching them out.
- One way to tackle the large Undead Ogre in Dragon Age: Origins's "Return to Ostagar" DLC is to have the Warden distract it, while the rest of the team tackles the very squishy Darkspawn necromancer keeping it (un)alive. It doesn't get you a badass killing animation, but it can be done with a massively underpowered party.
Hawke: *Cheerfully* And I just summoned an Ancient Horror. Of course I did. Why wouldn't I do that?
- Dragon Age: Origins also lends itself to MMO-like tactics in most places, most notably with Flemeth. Since she never moves away from her starting position and her tactics are set up so that she will melee characters rather than spitting fireballs if it is possible, the easiest way to kill her is to take Wynne, either Sten or Alistair, Leliana, and a mage or archer rogue Warden along, have the warrior flip Flemeth off, have Wynne heal and buff the warrior, and have Leliana and the Warden spam Flemeth with ranged attacks.
- Early in Dragon Age II, Hawke has repeated opportunities to be an incredible smartass toward Flemeth, confirmed in the previous game to be a Humanoid Abomination at the very least, and confirmed in this game to be capable of circumventing her own death. Flemeth actually seems to like Hawke better when Hawke mouths off at her.
- Hawke can similarly deflate the ego of Hybris, a Pride Demon, in the middle of his Breaking Speech over accidentally letting him loose:
Hawke: You're a Darkspawn. Dark. Spawn. Ravaging the Deep Roads, spreading the Blight, does any of this ring a bell?
- In the Legacy DLC, after releasing Corypheus, an Ancient Darkspawn that was originally one of the Tevinter Magisters that broke into the Golden City from the Grey Warden prison he's been sealed in for a thousand years, Hawke can snark at his confusion why the Deep Roads are in ruin and these slaves from the Imperium have the nerve to talk back to him.
- Dwarf Fortress: It's probably wrong to use Hell itself, from which the insatiable demon hordes issue forth to ravage the world, as a garbage disposal, but if so, I don't want to be right.
- Done twice in Warcraft III against Archimonde, Jaina give him short insult, and Thrall hits him with lightning before teleporting away.
- Dead Space 2: 11 words sum up the final boss fight Goddamn it, I trusted you, fuck you and fuck your marker!
- At the end of Golden Sun: The Lost Age, in the cutscene prior to the final boss fight, Jenna outright sasses The Wise One, a sentient Philosopher's Stone with enough power to redirect a volcanic eruption and which has just been referred to as "more like a god" by another character. To its credit, The Wise One doesn't take the bait, nor does it react to Ivan complimenting Jenna on the diss. It has more important matters to attend to. In the sequel, one of your goals is to get a feather from the Mountain Roc that is worshipped by the people of Morgal. You do this by bitchslapping it in the wattle. Sveta, a citizen of Morgal, complains that "one does not just pluck the feathers of divinity".
- In Assassins Creed II, Ezio tells Rodrigo Borgia, aka Pope Alexander VI, "Go fuck yourself."
- At the end of Paper Mario, after Bowser beefs himself up with the power of Kammy's machine and the Star Rod's invincibility, Twink flies straight at him and bonks him in the back of the head, making him look around in confusion long enough for Mario to get his Eleventh Hour Superpower.
- In part of the backstory in Rift, Asha Catari dies, and Regulos informs her that he intends to make her his avatar upon Telara. She tells him to get bent...and then, she comes Back from the Dead.
- At the end of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, Valvatorez doesn't just subvert God's will by saving the Earth from divine annihilation - he rubs it in God's face afterwards.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Aquaman combines this with Blasphemous Boast when he makes demands of Ares.
Ares: You presume to command me?
Aquaman: I do! And you will obey!
- During the Final Battle of EarthBound, Ness and his party are facing off Giygas, a Cosmic Horror who has become one of the go-to examples of Eldritch Abomination next to Cthulhu himself. Porky, his Dragon who may or may not have defied him at this point, not only insults him to his face, but talks about him almost as if he's a dog that he's trying to sic on somebody. That somebody happens to be Ness and his friends. Keep in mind that Giygas has gone utterly mad by that point, so he is just as much a danger to Porky as he is to the party.
- In Ultra Street Fighter IV, Hugo does this to none other than M. Bison.
"I do not take orders from you. Now YOU listen!"
- Towards the end of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, as Zurvan, the God of Time, is about to make Farah his winged queen, she asks him for a request, and as he comes closer, hoping for her to kiss him once more, she gets a Moment Of Awesome by spitting in his face. His response?
Zurvan: You impudent pig! I offer you life eternal, and this is how you respond? Oh, I shall enjoy changing you. note
- You can do this in any version of the Monster Hunter series. Step 1: Find a monster way above your level in an urgent quest or a scripted invasion scene. Step 2: Pick up a rock or a paintball or something similar. Step 3: Throw it at the monster's face and run like hell. It doesn't usually do anything useful though. For bonus points, try using one of the taunting gestures after getting its attention with a tickling item throw.
- In the ending of Crash & Bass, Frank (a Harmless Villain) distracts X with a carrot juice buster, allowing Bass to turn the fight around.
- Bob and George, starting with this strip
- In the now-defunct webcomic Life of Riley, Dan manages to shoot Jezebel (yes, THAT Jezebel) with a paintball gun, then challenges her to a paintbrawl for the fate of the world.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: Kat punches Muut (a personification of death) when she leans that Muut forced Annie to escort her own mother to the afterlife. This case was almost a Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?, but it's a little more of a What the Hell, Hero? seeing as the punch didn't do anything and Muut seems to otherwise be a decent guy.
- A straighter example is the SPANKIES!! Basically, Annie spanked the trickster god Coyote for looking up her skirt. Coyote actually thought it was pretty hilarious, Ysengrin...not so much.
- Depending on what the actual reality context of the afterlife bureaucracy is, Kat's insanely logical perceptive either saw past all the smoke and mirrors that Annie and mort were forced to see, saw an illusion of the afterlife bureaucracy that took seconds to master, or just flipped off AN AVATAR OF DEATH'S BOSS. To the point that he leaves in both versions.
- Homestuck: Spades Slick, now short an arm and an eye, finally reaches the home of The Felt's second-in-command, a Nigh Invulnerable Reality Warper who's as old as the planet he lives on... and whacks him over the head with a horse-hitcher. Repeatedly.
- Later on, Aradia's ancestor, the Handmaid, literally flips off Doc Scratch. On both hands. After whacking him with a chair.
- Nanase of El Goonish Shive uses her Doppelgänger Spin ability to distract the Omega Goo so she can talk to Ellen starting here.
- An ironic one in Grim Tales when you see who's flipping off who, but it definitely counts.
- Peridot from Cucumber Quest does this a lot especially towards the Nightmare Knight; the first time she scolds him for saying her name wrong (the T is silent) and then later she randomly sticks her tongue out at him.
- In Drowtales Erelice, possibly paralyzed and/or dying from the wounds inflicted on her in retaliation for stabbing the Big Bad Snadhya'rune In the Back as revenge for what Snadhya did to her squad earlier, deliberately taunts Khaless, a demonic Face Stealer, to redirect her from her frozen-with-fear clanmate, who manages to escape.
- Whateley Universe example: Phase, fighting a demon from a hell dimension, has lost. She's beaten to a bloody pulp, dying, and about to suffer a literal Fate Worse Than Death. She stalls by being a Deadpan Snarker and gets the thing monologuing long enough for the cavalry to show up. And the cavalry only show up with the right stuff because Phase already figured out what she was facing before she called for help.
- How It Should Have Ended's take on The Lord of the Rings has several of the characters doing this to the Eye of Sauron while Frodo air-drops the ring into the fire, instead of trekking a long way and having several more people die than necessary. The plan works (Gollum dies, too), and the characters ride away into the sunset laughing.
- Lord Ursarkar Creed, of Warhammer 40,000 fame, has become this on 1d4chan, having once beaten Tzeentch at chess, and taunted Abaddon into losing a Black Crusade, among other absurd feats.
- Worm has Taylor stabbing a Nigh Invulnerable force of nature with a fallen hero's Absurdly Sharp Blade. In the rear. She does at least save the civilians.
- During the raid on the Cauldron base, Taylor arranges to drop Zion's dead partner Eden's body on Zion to make him get angry and try to provoke bad decisions.
- In the The Fear Mythos blog Old Is Good, the author Laura-Beth tries to post her favorite song, only to find out that Slender Man has messed with it, turning it into this  Laura-Beth's response? She calls Slender Man an immature, obnoxious little brat and a twerp, and tells him that she remembers when people barely knew who he was.
- In Tribe Twelve the protagonist, Noah Maxwell, literally did just this towards Slender Man and his lackey the Observer. The Heel Face Turned Firebrand, another one of Slender Man's lackeys, also flipped Slender Man off personally face to face just as he was about to take Noah away. He was so dumbfounded by this that he just stood there and tilted his head.
- In one Counter Monkey video, Spoony describes a Planescape game he ran where a player went out of his way to antagonize the Lady of Pain, a being so powerful that she's single-handedly responsible for keeping the gods (ALL of them) out of the city of Sigil. Since the Lady's main method of dealing with annoying mortals is to trap them in a magical maze, the player created a Minotaur character due to their racial ability to never be trapped in mazes, presumably for the bragging rights of pulling a fast one on such a powerful being. Spoony's response was to have the maze be a hundred-million-mile hallway — sure, the Minotaur knew the way out, but he was never going to get there.
- Dende does this to Freeza in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. After stealing Freeza's wish to Porunga out from under him, he grabs Freeza's attention and taunts him about it, even telling him to Bring It. Dende vanishes a fraction of a second before Freeza's retaliatory attack can hit.
- In the YouTube Poop Skellington's Revenge, Soldier attacks the Black Hiver while shouting "Take your voodoo-rabbit ass back to Canada!" It doesn't end well for him.
- In the finale of Justice League, Batman repeatedly distracts Darkseid by tackling him and throwing (explosive) batarangs at him. While utterly harmless, he's distracting enough to give Superman some recovery time.
- Hawkgirl literally flips off Cthulhu in "The Terror Beyond" (or she would have if Standards and Practices would allow it).
Ichthulhu: Speak to me, child of Thanagar.Hawkgirl: Nothing to say! I have a gesture for you, but my hands are tied.
- She hates this god so much, it leads to the next step in god defiling tropes. With help from GRUUUUNNNDYYYY. Grundy crush squidface!
- Luthor does this to Amazo in "The Return", who moments ago he though was going to destroy him. For a moment, it looked like it was going to turn into a Do Not Taunt Cthulhu situation, but he gets away with it.
- Earlier, in Superman: The Animated Series, Dan Turpin seems to love taunting Darkseid. He gets an Omega Beam for his trouble. No more Dan Turpin. Superman, champion of Earth, was held before Turpin and the rest of Metropolis bruised, battered, and bleeding at the time. Turpin's attack on Darkseid and the defiance of the crowd constituted the whole human race's Crowning Moment of Awesome in the series.
- Hawkgirl literally flips off Cthulhu in "The Terror Beyond" (or she would have if Standards and Practices would allow it).
- Transformers Animated: Bumblebee actually manages to use this as a weapon in itself against the Decepticon Blitzwing, who is five times his height and twenty times his firepower—and also has trouble staying in his jet mode when he gets really annoyed. Even if he's very high up at the time.
- Peter Pan & the Pirates has an ice god appear in the hideout and berate Peter for trespassing in his domain. How does Peter respond? "You're trespassing in my house and getting snow everywhere."
- Freakazoid! uses Cosgrove to distract Cthulhu Expy Vorn the Unspeakable long enough for him to grab a bunch of weights and drop them on Vorn's foot.
- The Powerpuff Girls tend to do this to every monster that qualifies - including their enemy Him, who may or not be the Devil himself - usually right before they beat the crud out of it.
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 episode "Fathers and Sons", Splinter tells the tale of how the Turtles got their first masks. It involves them Flipping Off a Bone Demon, who had a magic doodad that made it invisible to everyone else. Keep in mind, they're like 6 at the time, and this guy has been terrifying them for the last couple of days. Their throwing rocks at it let Splinter and The Ancient One win the day. Pity they had to get Laser-Guided Amnesia about it, though.
- Played for Laughs in Adventure Time. Gunther slaps Marceline's Dad when he tries to steal Gunther's soul.
- The Tick Vs. Arthur's Bank Account: "My name is Arthur, and this is my diversion: 'The Itsy-Bitsy Spider went up the waterspout...'"
- In Young Justice, Mal Duncan, who compared to his teammates has no super powers whatsoever (minus training from Black Canary, thus qualifying him as a Badass Normal) manages to distract Despero by playing a Fake Ultimate Hero long enough for his super powered teammates to rally and take Despero down.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Admiral Zhao goes on a Badass Boast after killing the moon spirit, only to be interrupted when Momo attacks his face.
- Taken to the extreme in the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Texas", SpongeBob and Patrick continually insult Texas to lure Sandy to the Krusty Krab:
SpongeBob: [grins smugly] Oh, so we shouldn't say anything bad about [mockingly] Teeexassss!Sandy: I'm warning you, SpongeBob!SpongeBob: Hey Patrick, I'm Texas! [grabs his pants and moseys in a circle] Duh, howdy y'all! [repeats]Patrick: I'm Texas too! [does the same moseying] Get a dog, little longey. Get a dog little longey... [Sandy's really mad]Sandy: Y'all best cut it out! [SpongeBob sings horrible Western while Patrick does armpit noises]SpongeBob: The stars at night are dull and dim whenever they have to be over dumb old stupid Texas! [Sandy is really steaming, SpongeBob has converted his body into the shape of Texas] Hey Patrick, what am I now?Patrick: Uh, stupid?SpongeBob: No, I'm Texas!Patrick: What's the difference? [the two laugh, Sandy drops her bags]Sandy: Y'all best apologize, or I'll be on you like ugly on an ape!SpongeBob: You'll have to catch us first! [the two giggle and run off towards the Krusty Krab] We did it! We got her!
- In Superman Unbound Lois flips Brainiac off while he's gloating over his domination of Earth. His reaction is priceless.
- As noted in the page quote, in the South Park episode "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" Mysterion a.k.a. Kenny dares the Great Old One himself to fight him. Of course he'd just heard some prophecy stating that only another immortal can stop Cthulhu and Mysterion's one and only power is "doesn't stay dead."
- Done to magnificent levels in Rick and Morty. Summer starts working in a weird little store run by a strange man who sells objects that grant the owner's deepest desire but at a horrible price (such as a man getting a cologne that makes him irresistible to women but makes him impotent as well). Rick immediately knows this guy, Mr. Needful, is the Devil, and his objects are all cursed. Needful tries giving Rick a microscope, but Rick is savvy enough to have the microscope analyzed and figures out it would've made him retarded (Needful said it would reveal things beyond comprehension). Rick then returns to the store with a device that analyzes Needful's stock and reveals what their ironic twists are before anyone buys them. Then he opens up a store across the street from Needful where he offers to remove the curses from the items without taking away the beneficial aspects (as in a pair of sneakers will make someone an expert runner without making them run forever). Rick trolls the Devil so badly the Devil tries to kill himself.
- Western Animation/Regular Show gives us this gem: Rigby (to Death): "Is this before or after your face started looking like aged parmesan?"
- In The Real Ghostbusters it would be easier to list the number of times the heroes did not do this when confronted by a demon or abomination that qualified. Insulting these creatures seemed to be routine for them, and while most would call it crazy, it worked. (Ironically, in the episode where they fought the actual Cthulhu, they didn't both trying to talk to it; they just opened fire.)
- During the Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas of Sparta and his soldiers were tasked with holding the Thermopylae Pass against a dramatically larger army of Persians. Before the battle began, the Persian Emperor Xerxes demanded the Greeks lay down their weapons and surrender; Leonidas' response? "Come and take them."
- The US's attempt at censoring pirate sites, the PROTECT IP Bill, had some ill-advised wording that would allow the government to censor any site remotely related to online pirating in their eyes without a formal investigation. Since this could potentially extend to any search engine, social website and imageboards (such as 4Chan) where such pirates are known to lurk and coordinate, Anonymous and Google were not amused, suffice it to say.
- There's the story of World War II General Anthony McAuliffe, whose starving, freezing, surrounded, wounded, and ill-equipped troops were given a surrender ultimatum at the Battle of the Bulge. His one-word response: NUTS!
- Most of Churchill's famous 1940s speeches. When your air-force is outnumbered 4:1, your army has had to leave most of its heavy equipment on the other side of the Channel, and the wolf-packs are tightening the noose, broadcasting what is basically "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!" so the whole world can hear, certainly beats holding a town when you know you are winning the war anyway.
- There's a story on Not Always Right about an irritated and overworked gas station clerk who was approached by a man with a knife who demanded all the money in the register. The clerk, who was too glazed and tired to really be paying attention, snapped and told him that there was a long line and he should get out of the way if he didn't have any gas to buy. The robber, cowed, turned around and left. It wasn't for another few minutes that the clerk finally figured out that he had just chased off an armed robber.
- On an episode of Americas Dumbest Criminals, a gunman was trying to rob one of those small gas station booths (which have bulletproof glass). The cashier inside continued talking to her friend, until the gunman almost wedged his gun under the cash drawer. She said "Hang on a minute", grabbed the man's wrist (which was severely bent) and forced him to drop his gun. Then, he ran off.
- Small dogs will often bark at other dogs big enough to use them as chew toys.