I'll Take That as a Compliment
Kind of between the Insult Backfire and Compliment Backfire, the reaction of smart people when addressed with an ambiguous compliment (which can be, often intentionally so, a genuine compliment and a backhanded one at the same time). Contrast Your Approval Fills Me with Shame.
- Quantum of Solace
James Bond: You know I was just wondering what South America would look like if nobody gave a damn about coke or communism. It always impressed me the way you boys would carve this place up.Felix Leiter: I'll take that as a compliment, coming from a Brit.
- High School Musical 2
Sharpay Evans: When did you become... one of them?Ryan Evans: You know, I'll take that as a compliment.
- Home on the Range
Piggy: Gee, you're the biggest cow I've ever saw!Maggie: Well, if you're in charge, I'll take that as a compliment.Piggy: Uh...Maggie: And if not, I guess I'll just have to sit on you.Piggy: MOM!!!!!!Maggie: Hey! I'm only kidding!
Bill Trendle: Jesus, lady, you're worse than my wife!Tanya Rammus: I'll take that as a compliment.
- Flash III: Deadly Nightshade
Dr. Desmond Powell: (wolf whistles)Rebecca Frost: I'll take that as a compliment, you sexist pig.
- Trading Places
Randolph Duke: Mother always said you were greedy.Mortimer Duke: She meant it as a compliment.
- The Patriot
Gen. Lord Cornwallis: This is hardly the conduct of a gentleman!Col. Benjamin Martin: If the conduct of your officers is the measure of a gentleman, I'll take that as a compliment.
- In the third Ciaphas Cain book, Cain says that "there's only room for one lethally dangerous woman in [his] life". This is accompanied by a footnote from the book's in-universe editor, Cain's close personal friend (and sometimes lover) Amberley Vail: "Which I decided to take as a compliment."
- In Jingo, Vimes responds to Lord Rust telling him "You are no gentleman" with "I knew there was something about me I liked."
- Doctor Who, "The Unquiet Dead"
Doctor: Blimey, you look beautiful...considering.Rose: Considering what?Doctor: That you're human.Rose: I think that's a compliment...
- Doctor Who, "Daleks in Manhattan"
Dalek Caan: You think like a Dalek.Mr. Diagoras: I'll take that as a compliment.
- Star Trek: Voyager episode "Life Line"
Dr. Zimmerman: Well, the last beautiful woman to walk in here turned out to be him.The Doctor: I'll take that as a compliment.
- Star Trek: Enterprise episodes
- "A Night in Sickbay"
Dr. Phlox: My children all left the nest years ago, captain.Archer: I would have never guessed. You don't look that old.Dr. Phlox: I'll take that as a compliment.
- "Azati Prime"
Ensign Travis Mayweather: (Instructing Archer in flying the Xindi shuttle) Good. You're starting to think like an Insectoid.Captain Jonathan Archer: I'll take that as a compliment.
- "A Night in Sickbay"
- Queer as Folk
Vic: Once upon a time I was a pretty decent chef.Debbie: 'Decent?' He was another Sara Lee!Vic: I'll take that as the compliment I'm sure was intended.
- NewsRadio episode "French Diplomacy"
Dave: Bill is certainly not John F. Kennedy.Bill: I'll take that as a compliment, because if I was, I'd be dead now.
- Holby City episode "Invasion"
Percy 'Abra' Durant: You're a fine surgeon, Mr Jordan. But you have the charm of a salt-encrusted slug.Nick Jordan: I'll take that as a compliment.Percy 'Abra' Durant: I knew you would.
- Downton Abbey — when snarky old ladies collide...
Lady Grantham: You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal.Mrs Crawley: I take that as a compliment.Lady Grantham: I must have said it wrong.
- And vice versa...
Mrs Crawley: And must you always sound like the sister of Marie Antoinette?
Lady Grantham: The Queen of Naples was a stalwart figure. I take it as a compliment.
Mrs Crawley: You take everything as a compliment.
Lady Grantham: I advise you to do the same. It saves many an awkward moment.
- CSI episode "Fannysmackin' "
Greg: Sara...Sara:I didn't think you could see meGreg:I can't...I know that Sidle scent...Sara:I'll take that as a compliment.
- 3rd Rock from the Sun:
Strudwick: Dick, without your cowardice and courage we wouldn't be right back where we started!Dick: Thank you, Strudwick, I'll take that as a compliment.Strudwick: I meant it as an insult!Dick: Too late, it's a compliment!
- In one episode of Monk, "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall", a reporter is very proud of his talent to take nearly anything that is said as a compliment.
- 30 Rock:
Liz: God, Jack, why are you being such a wang about this?Jack: I'll take that as a compliment. An Wang, the founder of Wang Computers, is one of the greatest business men of the 20th century! And you're the one being a lowercase wang, Lemon.
- Final Fantasy VI
Terra: Brother? At first glance, I thought he was some bodybuilder who had strayed from his gym...Sabin: I'll take that as a compliment.
- Even funnier in the GBA dub.
Terra: Brother? For a moment I thought he was another of Vargas' bears!Sabin: A bear? I'll, uh, take that as a compliment.
- Even funnier in the GBA dub.
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy Duodecim
Squall: Typical dirty Chaos trick.Kuja: I'll take that as a compliment.
- Heavy Rain (Rabid Cop page quote)
FBI Agent Norman Jayden: Blake, you are an unbalanced, psychopathic asshole!Lieutenant Carter Blake: I'll take that as a compliment.
- Dragon Age: Origins
Warden: You are a heartless shrew, you know that?Morrigan: Yes, yes. I shall take that as a compliment, whether intended or not.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition: Solas' reaction to Iron Bull's comment on his efficient, no-frills style compared to most mages. Dorian's
- World of Warcraft his this exchange between the Forsaken and Blood Elf faction leaders after the Galakras encounter in the Siege of Orgrimmar.
Sylvanas Windrunner: Oh, you're still here? I had kind of hoped you perished. You would make a very attractive corpse.
Lor'themar Theron: I will take that as a compliment.
- Roommates (Mega Crossover Fan Webcomic) — When James forced his Roommate to greet the new neighbors with a gift basket... again.
Javert: ...we've all been operating under the horrible misconception that you reformed. I shall set the record strait: You are evil incarnate.James: I shall take that as a compliment.