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
Film — Animated
Film — Live-Action
- 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.
Maggie: And if not, I guess I'll just have to sit on you.
Maggie: Hey! I'm only kidding!
- The Road to El Dorado:
Miguel: You fight like my sister!
Tulio: I fought your sister, that's a compliment.
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.
- High School Musical 2
Sharpay Evans: When did you become... one of them?
Ryan Evans: You know, I'll take that as a compliment.
- James Bond:
- 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.
- Said word-for-word by C when M confronts him about the deactivation of the Double-O program; M isn't amused.
M: You're a cocky little bastard, aren't you.
C: (Laughs)...I'll take that as a compliment.
M: I wouldn't.
- 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.
- The Razor's Edge (1946)
W. Somerset Maugham: If you're suggesting I was her lover, you're mistaken.
French Criminal Investigator: It would be no affair of mine. And without wishing to say anything offensive... I must add that, from what I've heard of her proclivities... I should say that you were not her type.
W. Somerset Maugham:I'm prepared to take that as a compliment.
- The Sound of Music
Capt. Von Trapp: If the Nazis do take over Austria, I have no doubt, Herr Zeller, that you will be the entire trumpet section.
Herr Zeller: You flatter me, Captain.
Capt. Von Trapp: How clumsy of me. I meant to accuse you.
- Trading Places
Randolph Duke: Mother always said you were greedy.
Mortimer Duke: She meant it 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 Corpies, Titan's response to Corbin slandering Bubble Bubble is to note that by making himself a target for extremist pro-super groups and still expecting protection, he is showing a lot of trust in the Hero community.
- Discworld: In Jingo, Vimes responds to Lord Rust telling him "You are no gentleman" with "I knew there was something about me I liked."
- 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!
- 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 businessmen of the 20th century! And you're the one being a lowercase wang, Lemon.
- CSI episode "Fannysmackin' "
Sara: I didn't think you could see me
Greg: I can't... I know that Sidle scent...
Sara: I'll take that as a compliment.
- Doctor Who:
- "The Unquiet Dead":
The Doctor: Blimey, you look beautiful . . . considering.
Rose: Considering what?
The Doctor: That you're human.
Rose: I think that's a compliment . . .
- "Daleks in Manhattan":
Dalek Caan: You think like a Dalek.
Mr. Diagoras: I'll take that as a compliment.
- Downton Abbey:
- 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.
- 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.
- NCIS. A random character asks newcomer Bishop "What's it like working for Gibbs? I hear he's a real hardass." Gibbs, who is of course, standing right behind him, grins at hearing this, indicating that he's invoking this trope.
- 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.
- 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.
- "My Cookie Pants" has a rare example of JD holding his own against Dr. Cox, this time with Perry ranting about how much he doesn't care about J.D. and Elliot's relationship.
: What can I say? I just wish you were at home with her. J.D.
) You and me both. Dr. Cox
: That was an insult. J.D.
: I know. I thought if I took it as a compliment it would drive you insane and you'd go away. Dr. Cox
: (grits his teeth and walks away
) Damn it!
- 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.
- Dragon Age: Origins
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 reaction when Sera asks if there are more Tevinters like him; "like him" meaning "keeping their magic rubbish to themselves."
- 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.
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy Duodecim
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.
- 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.
- Gravity Falls:
Mabel sounds like an old granny's name. Mabel:
I'll take that as a compliment!
- The Legend of Korra:
Mako: Your best friend is a... polar bear dog? Somehow, that makes perfect sense.
Korra: I'll take that as a compliment, city boy.
- Star Wars Rebels: From "Zero Hour":
Thrawn: You have the heart of a rebel.
Kallus: I'll take that as a compliment.