Mr. Satou: So you would prefer to live with two cripples instead of with your own family?
Lilly: If you insist on calling them cripples, then that means you consider me one as well. Is that what you’re saying?Alice explicitly insults Bob... without realizing that the insult applies equally well to Charlie, whom she most certainly did not mean to insult. Why did she do it? Maybe she didn't think in the heat of the moment, Charlie sneaked in, or Charlie has been hiding the trait that Alice unknowingly insulted. Charlie bears the full brunt of Alice's insult plus the sting of having a friend do so (whether knowingly or not). Alice may attempt a Verbal Backspace by saying "Present Company Excluded" or "No offence [intended], Charlie." See also Insult Backfire, Insult Misfire and You Know I'm Black, Right?. Also compare Oblivious Guilt Slinging and Insult to Rocks. Not to be confused with Friendly Fireproof. If that insult actually hurts, it's Weapons-Grade Vocabulary. If Charlie is surprisingly unaffected, it's a Milholland Relationship Moment. Compare Oblivious Mockery, which is more humorous.
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Anime and Manga
- In Naruto, Sakura insults the main character for being an orphan, claiming that his Bratty Half-Pint nature is due to him not having parents to discipline him, not realizing that Sasuke, standing right there, was also an orphan.
- Vampire Knight has the protagonist telling another character that she understands now about how vampires can be seen as subhuman beasts to be exterminated like vermin, only to find out about half a minute later that he's a vampire himself. She later feels incredibly guilty about this, despite the fact that the other character gave no indication he'd even heard her (he was distracted enough at the time that he might not have), let alone cared or disagreed.
- In the manga adaptation of Persona 3, when Junpei brings up the revenge website that Strega operates, Yukari dismisses them as rumors, saying that he should focus on his studies instead, since "only losers spend all their time staring at a computer screen." Fuuka ends up getting depressed that Yukari thinks of her as a loser, prompting Yukari to hastily say that Fuuka's an exception as an intelligent honor student.
- One two-part Spider-Man story starts with Spidey dropping by to help the Fantastic Four fight a mob of ugly-looking demons. The Thing clues him in that Doctor Strange knows about the demons, and that they're called the Mindless Ones.
Spider-Man: Mindless Ones? We're fighting hockey fans?
Thing: HEY! I like hockey!
- It's a Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door: While complaining to Applejack about how she can't keep up, Rainbow Dash adds that Rarity can't even teleport. Problem is, Twilight's attempts to teach her how caused her accident, and Rarity was already blaming herself for it... so overhearing Dash claiming her inability to teleport makes her The Load doesn't help one bit.
- In Lilly Epilogue Family Matters, Lilly Satou loses her temper with her father over him repeatedly referring to her boyfriend Hisao (who has arrhythmia) and her best friend Hanako (who has scars on almost half of her body) as "cripples", saying that he should consider her one too, as she is blind. He responds by accusing her of putting words in his mouth.
- There was a Tekken fanfic written several years ago in which, in one chapter of the tournament, Hwoarang was matched up against Nina Williams. He doesn't like her, so before the match he announces to an audience how much he thinks "my opponent" sucks, including insults that imply she's a whore, that she's weak, etc...the thing is, there's been a last-minute change-up in opponents (Hwoarang didn't get the memo), and Hwoarang has just ended up insulting nice girl Xiaoyu instead of Nina. Xiaoyu is driven to tears by the speech. (This matters because in the fanfic he and Xiaoyu are friends.)
- Any Twilight/Harry Potter crossover has at least a ninety percent chance of recreating the scene where Jessica tries to disparage the Cullens by talking about their being adopted, with Harry inevitably responding with some variation of "Bitch, I'm an orphan."
- In a This Time Round story in which Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets his counterpart from The Hero of Three Faces Show Within a Show St Pudentiana the Faerie Bane, Nails, he says "Stolen any babies lately?" and Nails comes back with "Eaten any babies lately?" Spike starts to come up with a comeback to that but then stops, realising that any insult to Nails that isn't specifically about being a faerie also applies to him.
Films — Animated
- In Shrek, Shrek overhears Fiona asking Donkey, "Who could love a hideous beast?". Shrek assumes she's talking about him and is hurt, when in fact she was talking about herself, leading him to act angry toward her. Thankfully, it's cleared up pretty quickly when he sees the hideous beast she was talking about.
Shrek: Well...that explains a lot.
- In The Simpsons Movie, a Code Black emergency is declared, prompting Lenny to remark that "black is the worst color there is." He immediately apologizes to Carl.
- In Zootopia, after Judy has concluded the press conference:
Judy: Oh, that went so fast. I didn't get a chance to mention you or say anything about how we...
Nick [bitterly apprehensive]: Oh, I think you said plenty.
Judy: What do you mean?
Nick [quoting Judy's remarks]: "Clearly there's a biological component? That these predators may be reverting back to their primitive savage ways?" Are you serious?
Judy: I just stated the facts of the case! I mean, its not like a bunny can go savage.
Nick: Oh, but a fox can, right?
Judy: Nick, stop it! You're not like one of them!
Nick: Oh, so there's a them now?
Judy: You know what I mean, you're not that kind of predator!
Nick [defensively]: The kind that needs to be muzzled? The kind that makes you believe that you need to carry around fox repellent? Yeah, don't think I didn't notice that little item the first time we met.
Films — Live-Action
- In The Jewel of the Nile, Omar has the hero and his love interest in a deathtrap. After explaining said deathtrap, the hero asks what kind of sick mind would think of something like this. He copied it from a novel the love interest wrote.
- in Patton, a German officer notes that Bradley has a modest demeanor, unusual for a General, which gets him a glare from the German General in the room.
- In Winterfair Gifts, Armsman Roic tells his new friend Taura about an encounter with a swarm of gene-modified bugs, and winds up with a comment about exterminating the grotesque genetically-engineered monsters — having temporarily forgotten that Taura is herself a grotesque genetically-engineered monster.
Live Action TV
- In Smallville, Clark has to say that he is a Kryptonian too multiple times when his parents or Chloe comment on how all of them are bent on death and destruction.
- In Friends:
- Ross and Rachel are having a fight in front of everyone. In an effort to attack Ross, Rachel refers to a previously raised issue by saying, "And just so you know, it's not that common, it doesn't happen to every guy and it is a big deal!", at which point Chandler jumps forward and says, "I knew it!"
- In another episode, Joey attempts to criticize the life choices of his pregnant, unmarried sister while not offending the also pregnant, also unmarried Rachel. Eventually, after going back and forth between the two, he gets frustrated and shouts "One pregnant lady at a time!"
- And again when Ross is looking for a new place to live and it is suggested he gets a roommate. In a room full of people who live with someone else he refers to having a roommate as 'Pathet...' Death Glare 'That's pathet which is Sanskrit for really cool way to live.'
- In General Hospital, Maxie does everything to put down Winnifred, calling her a geek with no fashion sense and pretty much belittling her in front of Spinelli. Seeing as how Winnie's basically a female version of Spinelli, you can imagine how he takes it.
- On Criminal Minds, Elle manages to accidentally insult the team's antisocial Boy Genius, Reid, while profiling an UnSub in the very second episode of the series:
Elle: I say student. You need self-confidence to lecture in front of a classroom full of 30 college kids. Arsonists are socially incompetent. This guy doesn’t go on dates, doesn’t go to parties, doesn’t feel comfortable in front of groups....Reid: (gives Elle a strange look)Elle: And of course he's a total psychopath.Reid: Of course.
- Flipped sideways by The Drew Carey Show: While Drew hangs out in his backyard with friends, his neighbor Greg Clemens walks up with a live horse. Drew is not pleased:
Drew: Hey, Clemens. What has four legs, attracts flies, and shouldn't be in my yard?Greg: *pointing to Drew's friends* Oswald and Lewis.
- In Will & Grace, they both step into this one at the doctor's office when they try to have a baby:
Grace: How about Sheila if it's a girl?Will: We've been over this, Sheila is the name of a whore.Grace: (to nurse after Will left) He's right, Sheila is a bit whorish.Nurse: We haven't been introduced. Hi, I'm Sheila.Grace: Oh god, I'm so sorry.Nurse: Don't be, I am a whore.
- In the Charmed episode "The Wedding from Hell", when Allison and the Charmed ones confront Jade D'mon at her attempted wedding to Elliot, Allison's boyfriend, Jade greets Allison with "Why, you little witch!", to which Piper says "Hey!".
- In The Apprentice, Lord Sugar comments "You know what women are like" (in reference to a group of bickering female candidates). His aide Karren Brady is less than impressed.
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Redemption Part 1" O'Neill starts to say the reason he doesn't want Jonas Quinn on the team is because Jonas an alien. Then he realises halfway through the sentence that he is talking to Teal'c who is a team member and somewhat more alien than Jonas.
- Alison manages to insult herself in the second episode of Orphan Black, when, after being ambushed by Sarah, who wants answers, she tells Sarah to "hide your ugly mug on the way out of here." She may have been referring to Sarah's haircut, but since they're genetically identical clones...
- In a Peanuts comic during a baseball game, with Lucy in right field:
Lucy: Come on, he's no hitter! He hits like my grandmother!(A purse hits Lucy in the head from behind her.)Lucy: Sorry, grandma... It was just an expression...
- Dragon Age II, after Bartrand betrays his brother, Varric:
Varric: I swear I will find that son of a bitch (sorry, mother) and I will KILL HIM.
- Shepard in Mass Effect 2, giving a pep-talk to a krogan, while his/her quarian teammate is present:
Shepard: I said a badass, not some scout whining like a quarian with a tummy-ache.Tali: I'm Standing Right Here!
Ah, I just burned myself. Great."
- Joker manages to do this to himself when talking about quarians; only after he disparages people who live aboard ships their entire lives does he realize he's practically welded to his pilot's seat. (It's real leather!)
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it's possible for your Housecarls to proclaim "Skyrim for the Nords!" or other insults at their enemies despite the fact that their enemies may also be Nords, and the person they're serving is a non-Nord (or better yet, a non-human). Bonus points if your enemies are the Stormcloaks, who also use that line as a Catch-Phrase and may shout it back at you, even if you are a Nord, yourself.
- Bobwhite. Ivy is talking with her teacher Frank, and she's worried about not having enough credits to graduate:
Ivy: I'll have to stay here over the summer... How am I gonna do that? I can't take three more months of this shit! What if I still can't pass? What if I end up coming back here year after year for the rest of my life? Um... no offense, Frank.
Frank: No no, I get it.
- In General Protection Fault:
Sam: Okay, okay, the guy's a total dork, but I'll leave him alone. He's still a geek, though.Ki:Well, so am I, so don't forget that.
- Ki's father, opposing Nick and Ki getting married, says that he does not approve of a mixed marriage. He is a Japanese man married to a Chinese woman; when Nick points it out, he gets beaten up, and when Ki points it out with her mother in earshot, he quickly loses the argument, and gets Exiled to the Couch even after he apologizes.
- Comes up in a flashback arc when Ki calls Sam out over his insulting Fooker.
- Gunnerkrigg Court had the last quip William hurled at Kat applicable to his secret sweetheart. Which resulted in Janet's sharp elbow finding his ribs.
- In The Order of the Stick, while Elan and Nale are fighting, Elan insults Nale's penis. Then Nale points out that since they are identical twins, Elan just insulted himself. Later in the same fights, he calls Nale a bastard, getting the same reaction. See it here.
- In Rusty and Co., Mimic's reaction on seeing a gelatinous cube:
Mimic: Holy Cannoli! A hideous, disgusting, slimy, nasty, dripping, foul, stinking, oozing, loathsome...[realizes that he has a gelatinous cube in his own party]...er...Rusty: Awkwaaaaaard.
- In Sinfest, Squigley is shocked by Slick's Heel–Face Turn — next thing you know, he'll be reading nerdy square books — like Crimney does, whom Squigley to talking to.
- ''Twokinds: (Database Error) has a burning hatred of Keidran, which is unfortunate for him when he's paired up with one. It gets worse when it's revealed that the woman he's in love with is also a Keidran, so every time he insults the Keidran he hates, He's also insulting the woman he loves.
- Atomic Robo has one here
Phil: I gotta get back to the conference.Jullie: What for? Only the loser talks are scheduled this late.Phil: Mine's at ten-fifteen.
- In one episode of Noob, Sparadrap acts completely silly in a situation that is supposed to be taken seriously, in front of a crowd of other players. Arthéon eventually makes him stop and excuses his behaviour by saying "it's genetic". Sparadrap has a younger brother that is much more talented than him and was shown to be part of the crowd earlier in the episode.
- In 2018, PewDiePie began making videos that had many similarities to videos by his friend Jacksfilms, leading to him slowly parodying him more and more, before eventually releasing a satire video claiming Jack was the plagiarist. Some fans took this literally, sending Jack rude comments, which he happily read and corrected grammar for. One PewDiePie fan technically made a comment insulting both Jack and PewDiePie:
Comment: [sic] Your shit even pew die pie makes better and original content than you!!
Jacksfilms: Wait, "even PewDiePie", yeah, that's an insult against PewDiePie!
- In Futurama, when Leela reveals that her parents are visiting;
Amy: But they're mutants. They have to stay in the sewers because they're hideous, ugly, gross monsters...err, present company excluded.
- Superman: The Animated Series, episode "Knight Time" - Superman and Robin find out that Bruce Wayne is being mind controlled by alien nanites.
- Another example can be found in Young Justice, in which one character (Wally aka Kid Flash in this continuity) makes several disparaging remarks about aliens. Cue to Superboy (Kryptonian) and Miss Martian (obviously a Martian) standing there.
- A weird case in Justice League happened in an early episode when Hawkgirl, Superman, Martian Manhunter and the Flash are traveling through space to see why Green Lantern would surrender so readily to the Manhunters. Hawkgirl says, "You humans are crazy", and then realizes she's talking to Superman, a Kryptonian. Though Superman takes it as a compliment to be lumped in with humanity.
- SpongeBob SquarePants has Patrick's reaction to Doodlebob in the episode "Frankendoodle":
- Patrick: Look at him! He's hideous! That square body, those bulging eyes, those buck teeth, and that stupid tie!Spongebob: *clears throat*Patrick: Oh, but it looks good on you, Spongebob!
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: After prankster Gilda in "Griffon the Brushoff" gets pranked herself, she belts out a fierce "Reason You Suck" Speech at the presumed perpetrator, Pinkie Pie. It was really her own best friend, Rainbow Dash, who ends up sticking up for Pinkie.
- There's also a few instances where a character calls someone else "stubborn as a mule", only to realize that an actual mule is standing nearby and quickly add "no offense". The mule is actually very forgiving of this, which actually puts the full weight of the insult into question - how stubborn could they be, if they're that forgiving about being insulted to their faces?
- In almost every incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the word "Rat" will be used as an insult at some point, with the speaker quickly apologizing to Splinter after he or he does so.
- Batman Beyond: In "The Winning Edge", Terry is on his way to investigate the possibility that Bane is behind the appearance of a new street drug:
Bruce: Remember, he was a formidable opponent. Be careful.
Terry: Come on; he must be a zillion years old! What trouble could an old geezer... (pause) Never mind.
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero; in an episode where Egyptian deities appear as Physical Gods (no, seriously) Anubis aids the heroes by flying them to where the fighting is, until Flint refers to him as "dogface" (military jargon for an infantry soldier). He tries to explain this when it seems Anubis might be offended (Anubus has the head of an actual dog) but are unceremoniously dumped on the ground. (Whether he did take offense isn't clear.)
- In the Biker Mice from Mars episode "The Reeking Reign of the Head Cheese, Part 2", Lawrence Limburger at one point refers to the Biker Mice as "repulsive rodents". He quickly adds "Present company excepted" when he realizes that his statement has unintentionally offended his hired minion Tunnel Rat.
- This is why many insults don't work between family members. For example, calling your brother a "son of a bitch" when you both have the same mother.