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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.

Examples

Film
  • 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.
  • Amy
    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.

Literature
  • 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 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."

Live-Action TV
  • 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.
  • 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: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Fannysmackin' "
    Greg: Sara...
    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.
  • 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.

Video Games
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Webcomics
  • 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.

I Have Just One Thing to SayCompliment TropesInsult Backfire
I'll Kill You!Stock PhrasesI Love the Smell of X in the Morning

alternative title(s): Ill Take This As A Compliment
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