Insult to Rocks
“Well, it’s no secret how I feel about surgeons. I hate them. I’d liken them to rocks, but that would be an insult to rocks because, you see, at least rocks are useful to society. We build bridges with them. We stone surgeons with them.”Bob wants to tell Alice that she’s as dumb as a brick. But then he says that’s a terrible thing to say about bricks. More generally, any insult following the form of ‘I’d call you an X, but that would be an insult to all X’s.’ Typically, X will be an inanimate object, or something detestable. ‘I’d call you a motherfucker, but it’d be demeaning to those guys who fuck their mothers.’ Using this latter form is like saying that the one being insulted is far worse and more worthy of contempt than the detestable X to which he’s being compared. Another variant is acknowledging that at least X is much more worthy of some respect. ‘I’d call you an X, but then again I take it back, because at least X is <insert positive descriptions here>.’ A third is to state the insult, and then apologize — to any X who felt insulted by the comparison. See also My Friends... and Zoidberg, Bait-and-Switch Comparison. Compare Insult Friendly Fire.
— Dr. Cox, Scrubs
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Anime & Manga
- During Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Duelist Kingdom arc (English dub), Yugi faces off against Kaiba’s evil side, brought back from the Shadow Realm by Pegasus. When the doppelganger reveals its true form, Yugi remarks, “You know, I’m not quite sure what to call you. I was thinking about ‘monster’ — but I wouldn’t want to insult the cards.” (This insult would sound even more appropriate when you consider that in the original version, the imposter was not Kaiba's evil side, but a mercenary cruelly trying to break Yugi’s — and Mokuba’s — spirits by making them think Kaiba was dead.)
- The second Gundam Evolve CG short ends with Kamille Bidan writing an apology for destroying a camera during a field test of the Gundam Mk-II. The Wangst-filled ‘apology’ includes this memorable line:
“Letting a person like Lieutenant Quattro command a mission is like letting a monkey handle a bomb. Saying it, I even feel as if I were insulting a monkey.”
- In Encounter 142 of Keroro Gunsou, the author explains that the underground base constantly expands with no plans or organization, and says that while he could say it looks like an ants’ nest, he considers it an insult to the ants.
- When Konata from Lucky Star compares her using homework as an excuse to go see Kagami to that of an animal following her around, Kagami tells her to apologize to the animal world. Konata asks if she’s lower than a dog.
- In an alternate Cowboy Bebop tale, “Shooting Star,” rich people are compared to pigs (in their eating manners). Another member says they’re insulting pigs, even including a line defending pigs’ manners. Another of the characters even states that she used to be like that.
- Shizuo from Durarara!! does not like it when people positively compare him to Kasuka — as far as he’s concerned it’s much too insulting to his little brother to be put on the same level as him.
- When Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple begins his training, Akisame has him focus on building strength, alluding to the old saying that an ant cannot defeat an elephant, no matter what kind of techniques it has. Kenichi asks if he's being compared to an ant, and Akisame says no; that would be insulting to the ant.
- In No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular, Tomoko is on the receiving end of some food from her Lethal Chef classmate. At first she compares its taste to that of pig food, then thinks it insulting to pigs and revises her opinion to industrial waste.
- Early on, she wonders if she might be ugly. But no, she decides, calling her ugly would be an insult to true ugliness! (Of course, she doesn’t realize what she’s implied.)
- Comic Simon B. Cotter, relating his attempt to lose weight, said he knew that he had to start when he got his BMI checked and found that he had twenty-one percent body fat.
Cotter: To put that in perspective, a pig has nineteen. If you call me a pig … it’s actually an insult to the pig. ‘You fat pig!’ ‘Well, thank you, I have been working out.’
- Rich Hall’s country singing character Otis Lee Crenshaw says this about his family:
“Calling my family white trash would be an insult to polystyrene”
- A Donald Duck comic set in Donald’s childhood has him wanting to call a classmate a rat, but he doesn’t since that would be insulting to all the rats of the world. Given the Furry Confusion, the insult may or may not be worse than it is in our world.
- In the Superman vs. Predator crossover comic, the Mad Scientist is trying to cleanse the world of genetic defects by killing everyone with them, via atmospheric poisoning. Lois Lane claims she would spit if her mouth wasn’t so dry, but retracts the statement, saying “—spit’s too good for you.”
- Le Chat, a Belgian comic book written by Philippe Geluck:
“We often say ‘Man is a wolf to man’. But saying this is bad for the wolves. Instead, we should say ‘Man is a man to man’. But it would be bad for men.”
- Enemy Ace War in Heaven:
- In The Beano strip “Crazy for Daisy,” Daisy compares Ernest, the guy who just won’t leave her alone, to a warthog. After this, she's incredibly shocked at herself for being so insensitive and immediately apologizes — to any warthogs who happen to be reading.
- In Batman: Hush, Batman thinks about Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Talia, who is running Lex Luthor’s company:
Batman: Talia. Ra’s. Luthor. Calling them a nest of vipers is an insult to vipers…
- In Retribution, Kirk comments that he isn’t a coward; he’s worse, because a coward wouldn’t have been bold enough to call Spock a traitor to his face.
- In A Stitch in Time, Twilight has had enough of her jerkass of a blind date trying to get her liquored up, and tells her that to compare her to the pondscum she cleans out of fish tanks would be more of an insult to the pond scum, giving a lecture about how essential cyanobacteria is to Equestria.
- When Ichigo and Kaien are bickering once in Swinging Pendulum, Ichigo threatens to drown Kaien in a swamp. When Kaien comments on how that seems harsh, Ichigo says, “You’re right; the swamp hasn’t done anything to deserve getting you dunked into it.”
- In Fist Of The Moon, Ranma suffers a Mode Lock and is so disturbed that s/he neither eats, trains, nor bathes for three days. Kasumi knocks her out of her funk with food, and tells her to bathe, because she smells worse than Akane's cooking. Post-Character Development Akane hears this and takes offense.
Akane: Hey! You take that back Kasumi! Nothing smells worse than my cooking!
- In Colors and Capes, when Lois Lane tries to get Xander aka Flannel Man angry, he turns it around by suggesting she whored herself out to Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor for a story. Then he retracts his statement as prostitutes have more honesty and integrity than she does. Once Lois realizes he was simply turning her tactics back on her, she offers a grudging, "Not Bad."
Films — Live-Action
- From Duck Soup:
Rufus T. Firefly: To me you suggest a baboon … I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. It isn’t fair to the rest of the baboons.
- From A Fish Called Wanda:
Otto: Don’t call me stupid!
Wanda: Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people!
- In the DVD, that scene was called “An Insult to Stupid People.”
- A version appears in The Abyss: “You’re going to give that rat a disease.”
- In Porky's, Tim Cavanaugh calls the Jewish Brian Schwartz a “kite”, and Schwartz reminds him that the correct word is “kike”, telling him, “You’re too stupid to even be a good bigot.”
- In Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter, Jade Leigh says she would like to add fangs and horns to the Alpha Bitch’s face (on a school election poster). She promptly changes her mind, deciding that it would be an insult to The Devil. (After the two of them escape from the virtual reality world together, she celebrates seeing those same posters.)
- Gordon Korman’s The Chicken Doesn’t Skate: “To call you a pig is an insult to pigs!”
- The antihero of the classic satire Augustus Carp, Esq. by Himself cries so much that he sprays his former boss with his tears, and then apologizes. To the tears.
- Catherine Called Birdy: “The man was a pig, which dishonors pigs.”
- Dora Wilk Series: Dora, upon meeting goddess Badb again: "Maybe she was raised by wolves, although suspecting this would be unfair for those animals."
- In the Mage: The Ascension novel Ascension Warrior, the insanely powerful (and just plain insane) archmage Porthos Fitz-Empress, on noting that a political enemy of his is present at a meeting of the Council of the Traditions, announces that he’d thought he’d smelled a large pile of rotting fish. He then proceeds to summon a pile of dead fish so he could apologize to it for mistaking it for Vargas.
- In Redwall, Lord Brocktree has this to say about the singing of Dorothea the hare:
“To describe the young haremaid’s singing voice as akin to a frog trapped beneath a hot stone would have been a great insult to both frog and stone.”
- In one book, a character calls Corporal Nobby Nobbs a pig, and another responds “Hey now. I’ve known some splendid pigs.”
- In another book, Nobby is described by saying that the only reason why you can’t say that he’s close to the animal kingdom is that the animal kingdom would get up and move away.
- One book remarks that Ankh-Morpork is known as the Big Wahoonie, the wahoonie being a large foul-smelling root vegetable, then adds that even the wahoonie doesn’t smell as bad as Ankh-Morpork on a hot summer’s day.
- In The Art of Discworld, Terry Pratchett says that one of the inspirations for Greebo was his own Russian Blue, who has the intelligence of a rubber band “and at that I’ll probably be accused of being offensive to stationery equipment”.
- In the Gentleman Bastard Sequence, the author claims that to say that a pimp called “Rude Trevor Vargas” “was an intemperate, murderous lunatic would wound the feelings of most intemperate, murderous lunatics”.
- From Star Wars: Crosscurrent: Loveable Rogue Khedryn Faal makes a rude comment about enemy smuggler Earsh’s ship, prompting this exchange:
Earsh: You calling my ship trash, Faal?
Khedryn: Calling your ship trash would be an insult to trash.
- Two examples from the Honor Harrington series:
- In Storm from the Shadows, Solarian League Battle Fleet Admiral Josef Byng is described by one character as not having “the brains God gave a cockroach”, to which another character later says that the first person was “doing cockroaches a disservice”.
- In Mission of Honor, Admiral Sandra Crandall is described as having “the disposition of a grizzly bear with hemorrhoids trying to pass pinecones”, after which another character thinks the comment “gross libel against grizzly bears”.
- At one point in the Belisarius Series, Irene got angry at Ousanas, calling him “a foul creature from a foul land. Now I know where Homer got the inspiration for the Cyclops.” A moment later, she brightened up and apologized for slandering “the memory of an honorable monster of legend.”
- In V. C. Andrews’ Midnight Whispers, Jefferson is ranting about his (and the protagonist’s) aunt, who favors her own children over them and therefore punishes Jefferson constantly, and calls her “a low worm!” Christie tells him not to insult worms.
- In The Wheel of Time, Towers of Midnight, with Egwene utterly crushing Elaida in a debate, Elaida tries to bully Egwene into subservience with a rather hammy Who Dares?.
“I dare the truth, Elaida. You are a coward and a tyrant. I’d name you Darkfriend as well, but I suspect that the Dark One would perhaps be embarrassed to associate with you.”
- In one of G. K. Chesterton’s Mr. Pond stories, a General is explaining his thought processes to a subordinate, and the Lemony Narrator comments that he’s the sort of person who enjoys explaining things to the dog, before adding “It would be unjust to compare Lieutenant Von Hocheimer to a dog. It would be unjust to the dog, who is a much more sensitive and vigilant creature.”
- In Neal Stephenson’s Reamde, a reviewer once apparently stated about Devin Skraelin that “to say he is tin-eared would render a disservice to a blameless citizen of the periodic table of the elements.”
- In The Secret of Platform 13, Nanny Brown agrees to go along with Larina’s kidnapping plan in part because she knows that someone has to take care of the stolen baby:
- I, Claudius: Claudius’ mother, Antonia, manages to make this one do double duty, by finding something a moment later that she thinks is a sufficiently insulting comparison.
Antonia: That man ought to be put out of the way! He’s as stupid as a donkey — what am I saying? Donkeys are sensible beings by comparison — he’s as stupid as … as … Heavens, he’s as stupid as my son Claudius!
- Papillon features an inmate who says to a guard: “I would spit on you, but my spit would just get dirty.”
- Enders Game, Shen and Ender on Bernard:
Shen: He’s a pig.
Ender: On the whole, pigs aren’t so bad.
Shen: You’re right. I wasn’t being fair to the pigs.
- In A Feast For Crows, one character describes the “butchery” committed to a nearby town. Another takes issue, as “that gives insult to honest butchers everywhere.”
- In the Paladin of Shadows book Unto the Breach, Father Kulcyanov says that calling Stalin a pig is an insult to pigs.
- In the book Elvenborn of The Halfblood Chronicles, Kyrtian and his bodyguard Gel are talking to the former’s mother via teleson (a magical device that works like Skype). Gel starts to refer to the rather unpleasant Lady Triana as a bitch before correcting himself out of deference to Lady Lydiell. She then says, “I wouldn’t call Triana a ‘bitch’, Gel. It’s a terrible insult to all female canines, which are, on the whole, rather nice creatures.”
- In Chapter 28 of 1824: The Arkansas War, Andrew Jackson publicly denounces the deal-making that put Henry Clay into office as President after getting only about a sixth of the popular vote, and initially lambasts John Calhoun as Judas. Later, Jackson corrects himself, saying that the comparison was an insult to Judas.
- Dave Barry’s column “Insect Aside” mentions that some people voting for Official National Insect compared dung beetles to Congress. He objected:
“I’m sorry, but that’s a low blow: Our research indicates that no dung beetle has ever accepted money from a savings-and-loan operator.”
- In Bored of the Rings, the narration says:
Heavily ridged over the eyes and prone to rather poor posture, [the men of Whee] were often mistaken for Neanderthals, a common confusion that the latter deeply resented.
- In Gray Lensman, Kimball Kinnison expresses his disapproval of people who deal in illegal drugs:
“Calling a zwilnik a louse is insulting the whole louse family.”
- The novelization of Serenity says: “On the other side of the job was a gent name of Marco Ferlinghetti who had the brains of a cabbage — and that was only if one was feeling inhospitable toward vegetable matter.”
- In Words of Radiance, Shallan amazingly stops herself from responding to Bluth’s comment, “You think I’m as dumb as that stick” with, “Stop insulting my stick”. She does, however, think it.
- On the other hand, the stick is a POV character, and Bluth isn’t.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- While Buffy is hunting Angel inside the empty Bronze, she calls out that she knows he’s in there, and she knows what he is (“Angel”). From the balcony, Angel, in game face, sneers:
Angel: I’m just an animal, right?
Buffy: You’re not an animal. Animals, I like.
- In “Lover’s Walk,” Spike sobs that he’s “nothing” without Dru, a sentiment with which Buffy is inclined to agree. “You’re not even a loser anymore. You’re a shell of a loser.”
- In “Consequences,” Angel’s sermon to Faith doesn’t appear to be sinking in. In the privacy of his garden, he grumbles to Buffy that it’s like talking to a wall. “Only you get more from a wall.”
- While Buffy is hunting Angel inside the empty Bronze, she calls out that she knows he’s in there, and she knows what he is (“Angel”). From the balcony, Angel, in game face, sneers:
- In the Firefly episode “Shindig”:
Sir Warrick Harrow: I know [Badger]. And I think he’s a psychotic lowlife.
Mal: And I think calling him that is an insult to the psychotic lowlife community.
- In a 3rd Rock from the Sun episode, Mary tells Dick, “To say that you behaved childishly is an insult to children everywhere!”
- That '70s Show:
Red: Eric, what did I tell you about comparing your sister to the Devil?
Eric: That it’s insulting to the Devil?
- Dr. Cox as made evident by the quotation at the top.
- “My Night to Remember” has Dr. Cox tell JD he’s as useless as the wall he’s leaning on … then take it back because the wall is somewhat useful, as it’s currently providing a place for “some jackass to lean on and reflect on what a jackass he truly is”.
- In iCarly:
Sam: [when she sees Carly’s painting] Who’s that? Freddie?
Carly: No! It’s a clown!
Sam: Oops. Sorry, Clown.
- In Doctors, an ex of Daniel’s left a baby in the surgery. When he insists it was nothing to do with him, Michelle calls him a horrible stinking rat. Archie asks them not to insult rats.
- In Friends: “The One Where Mr. Heckles Dies”:
Rachel: Have you ever seen so much crap?
Chandler: Actually, I think this apartment sullies the good name of crap.
- During an episode of Cheap Seats dedicated to Roller Derby:
Jason: Roller Derby was once considered ‘Poor Man’s Wrestling’, which I think we can all agree is a tremendous insult to wrestling.
Randy: …and the poor.
- True Blood: Talbot insulting werewolves:
Talbot: Please, they’re all dumber than a box of rocks.
Werewolf: That’s unfair!
Talbot: To boxes, maybe. [Beat] Or rocks.
- The Daily Show once featured a segment where, trying to debate whether Fox News were stupid or evil, Wyatt Cenac (on Team Evil) noted that if they weren’t evil they were as stupid as potatoes with mouths. John Oliver (on Team Stupid) helpfully pointed out that potatoes can still power a digital clock, and suggested rocks with mouths.
Jon Stewart: I’d call you a bunch of little girls, but you don’t deserve the compliment.
- In response to Boko Haram’s kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls and subsequent videos attempting to intimidate the public, Jon said the only ones that come off as badasses were the students for having gone to school in spite of the danger in the first place. It took the form of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and ended with an inversion of this trope:
- The Colbert Report: In the midst of heaping abuse on Canton, Kansas, Stephen says that converting the town to a landfill would be an insult to landfills.
- Room 101:
- In the last episode, Ian Hislop tried to put in Piers Morgan and mentioned how in Private Eye they call him Piers Moron.
Paul Merton: Is that unfair to morons?
Ian: And to piers. I mean, Southend — very nice.
- When Paul eventually did pull the lever to send Morgan into Room 101, an alarm went off and it was announced that Room 101 had rejected him for being too toxic.
- In the last episode, Ian Hislop tried to put in Piers Morgan and mentioned how in Private Eye they call him Piers Moron.
Czarsky: Haven’t you embarrassed yourself enough already?
Shawn: Hardly. I’m just getting started, you giant cockroach. [Beat] You know what, that was out of line. I apologize to cockroaches everywhere.
- In the very first episode of Doctor Who in 1963, the Doctor uses this on his first ever human companion, Ian, who is complaining about being condescended to. It would surely be a throwaway line if it were uttered today by Matt Smith, but this is William Hartnell we’re talking about here.
Ian: You’re treating us like children!
The Doctor: Am I? The children of MY civilization would be insulted.
- Based on the idiom ‘Everything resembles its owner,’ the title character of El Chavo del ocho compares Doña Florinda to a broom. When Don Ramón tells him that was offensive, El Chavo responds that doesn’t matter, because brooms doesn’t understand.
- In The Suite Life on Deck, Bailey compares talking to London to talking to a tractor. Zack promptly replies that it’s an insult to tractors.
- In the Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles,” a drunk Klingon calls the Enterprise a garbage scow. When Scotty demands an explanation, the Klingon apologizes for his misstatement, saying, “I didn’t mean to say that the Enterprise should be hauling garbage. I meant to say that it should be hauled away as garbage!” Fisticuffs ensue.
- From Sabrina the Teenage Witch when Hilda is forced to tell jokes by a magical belt.
Hilda: You should meet my mother-in-law. I used to say she was ugly as sin. Sin sued.
Ravi: He has the personal hygiene of a wolverine!
Bertram: That’s offensive to wolverines. They occasionally lick themselves clean.
- In Mystery Science Theater 3000, Doctor Erhardt states that calling Robot Monster wretched was an insult to the word ‘wretched’.
- Wizards of Waverly Place: “You’re so far ahead, you might as well be competing with that chair — oops. Sorry, chair.”
- Inverted in the penultimate episode of season nine of NCIS. Dr. Samantha Ryan, who loves to play mind games and has been trying to get Gibbs to be off his game, calls Gibbs “solid as a rock. Which is, by the way, a compliment to rocks.”
- In an episode of Hannah Montana: A cleaning lady refuses to clean Jackson’s room and wanted to call him a pig but it would be an insult to pigs.
- Life With Boys:
“I just realised that when I compared you to an average dog, I was being insulting to dogs.”
- In the Suits pilot, Harvey claims the company executive being sued doesn’t “give a rat’s ass about his employees’ right to privacy. Sorry, that’s actually unfair to rats’ asses.”
- In Horrible Histories, after pointing out that the rather corpulent George IV was called the “Prince of Whales” before ascending the throne, Rattus apologizes … to whales.
- A variation in NCIS: Los Angeles, where Callen's Arch-Enemy the Chameleon calls his tracking device a collar.
Callen: Collars are for animals. Don’t flatter yourself.
- In one episode of The Pretender, Jarod has captured Mr. Lyle and threatens to torture him for information. He whips out a cattle prod, but adds that he shouldn’t compare Lyle to cattle, it’s insulting the latter.
- From the Blue Bloods episode “Knockout Game,” Frank’s remarks on the eponymous spate of kids running up to random pedestrians and landing haymakers on them:
“Look, this kind of stupid, random brutality gives regular street crime a bad name.”
- In an episode of CSI where the team have to deal with a suspect's Trash of the Titans, Nick says "People are pigs" and Grissom says "Don't insult pigs, Nick, they're actually very clean."
- On The Hughleys, as Darryl, Milsap, and Dave are hanging out at a bar and Dave excuses himself to get another round, a customer begins making snide and racist comments to Darryl and Milsap, who fight back with equally snarky remarks.
Racist: Are you calling me stupid?Milsap: No, sir, that would be insulting to the stupid.
- Dave Bartholomew’s “The Monkey Speaks His Mind.” In the song, three monkeys claim that the idea that man evolved from primates is an insult to monkeys.
Kevin: [on Tommy Wiseau] Wow, producer, writer, director, and actor? He’s a modern Shyamalan!Mike: Kevin! Don’t besmirch the good name of … Tommy Wiseau.
- Fantastic Four:
Mike Nelson: Danny DeVito!
Kevin Murphy: Mike, that’s a horrible insult to the Thing!
- The Room:
- Fantastic Four:
- The News Biscuit article “Underworld does not want Blair’s book in crime section” responds to an Internet campaign to move Tony Blair’s memoirs to the ‘crime’ section of bookshops by suggesting the criminal underworld is “unhappy at being associated with Mr Blair as it makes them feel ‘dirty’”.
- PJTV’s Bill Whittle, in his Afterburner episode “Rule of Lawlessness” states that calling the “fiscal cliff” shenanigans (or “goat rodeo” as Bill calls it) Kabuki theater was an insult to that art, which has rules, structure, beauty, and an ancient and honorable tradition.
- After the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch made some nasty comments about the company refusing to make larger sizes of clothing because they don’t want “ugly people” in their stores, the Internet got angry and started making fun of his appearance, with posts circulating Tumblr comparing him to◊ a particularly ugly orc captain named Gothmog in The Lord of the Rings movies. Cue the counter-post saying that this is entirely unfair to Gothmog, because he’s a total badass.
- On an episode of WWE Raw, Chris Jericho would call Stephanie McMahon a “filthy, dirty, disgusting nasty, skanky brutal bottom-feeding, trash-bag ho!” When he was forced to apologize, he apologized to all the filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, skanky, bottom-feeding, trash-bag hoes for even comparing them to Stephanie. He decided that “Bargain basement slut” and “Miserable slimeball pig” were more appropriate.
- The Rock had one when he put an end to Vince McMahon’s Kiss My Ass Club. After winning a match that stipulated Vince was to pucker up and plant one on Rock’s bottom (see what I did there?) Rock stops him before his moment of humiliation, exclaiming “Your lips are not good enough to kiss the People’s Ass!!!” He brought out Jim Ross and then teased him with the prospect of kissing Trish Stratus’ firm glutes … before declaring there is one ass Vince would kiss.
- Jason Sartin’s review of the tabletop RPG FATAL notes that “saying that this game should be burned is an insult to fire.” Later, he says that “giving FATAL a 1/1 Style/Substance rating was an insult to almost every other product on RPGnet that ever got a 1/1.”
- Along with his Racial Holy War’s “Badness” rating: “To say that this game sucks would be an insult to oral sex.”
- At least two recaps by The Agony Booth have done it so far.
- Batman & Robin: “I would say that the Batman movie franchise has been reduced to the level of the campy 60’s Adam West TV series, but that would be an insult to Adam West.”
- Battlefield Earth: “Every shot is tilted at a different angle. I’d call this ‘jarring’, but I’d worry about offending jars.”
- There is also one that almost fits on Myra Breckinridge: “This means that at one point, there was actually a scene in this movie that implied a fucking ten-year-old was getting bukkaked. I now understand why Time called this movie ‘about as funny as a child molester.’ Actually, that’s not completely accurate. I think a child molester gets more laughs.”
- Speaking of Battlefield Earth, J.D. Shapiro, one of the credited screenwriters (he wrote the first draft, and was fired due to Executive Meddling), started an apology letter on the movie with this:
“Let me start by apologizing to anyone who went to see Battlefield Earth. It wasn’t as I intended — promise. No one sets out to make a train wreck. Actually, comparing it to a train wreck isn’t really fair to train wrecks, because people actually want to watch those.”
- Roger Ebert:
- His review for Tom Green’s Freddy Got Fingered including this phrase:
“This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.”
- And A Lot Like Love: “To call A Lot Like Love dead in the water is an insult to water.”
- And The Spirit: “To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material.”
- The Village: “Eventually the secret of Those, etc., is revealed. To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes.”
- Additionally, discussing Ishtar on their Worst of ’87 special, Gene Siskel said, “I just saw Road to Morocco, and it is funnier than Ishtar — of course, that’s really, I guess, an insult to Road to Morocco. Anything is funnier than Ishtar — except Leonard Part 6.”
- Of Battle: Los Angeles, he said: “Here’s a science-fiction film that’s an insult to the words ‘science’ and ‘fiction,’ and the hyphen in between them.”
- His G.I. Joe: Retaliation review reads: “To say G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a video game for the big screen is to insult a number of video games that are far more creative, challenging and better-looking.” Mr. Ebert never was a fan of video games, either.
- His review for Tom Green’s Freddy Got Fingered including this phrase:
- His former cohost Richard Roeper, listing Jonah Hex among the worst of 2010:
“Megan Fox is truly the Raquel Welch of our generation. And maybe that’s an insult to Raquel Welch.”
- One RPGamer review had much to say about Hoshigami’s lack of sound quality (among other things):
“The sound quality is the crappiest this side of the original NES and the compositions are so dull, so bland, so sickening, that you’ll think it was composed by an ape! I apologize; I meant no disrespect to the ape community.”
- This review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows features the line “To say it’s massively dissatisfying and frustrating is to do massively dissatisfying and frustrating things a great disservice.” Needless to say, it’s not a very positive review.
- “Calling Friedberg and Seltzer untalented hacks is an insult to REAL untalented hacks like Uwe Boll, Michael Bay, Roland Emmerich, and Eli Roth.” — Squid Vicious, Joblo.com
- In SB Sarah’s savage review of Cassie Edwards’ Savage Moon, she comments: “I might have to modify our grading schedule and give it a Z except that the poor letter Z did nothing to deserve being permanently stuck on a Cassie Edwards novel.”
- Quoth MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Philosopher, on Baby Geniuses 2: “To call this immeasurably terrible movie ‘stupid and nonsensical’ would be an insult to stupid and nonsensical movies.”
- Christopher Hitchens referred to Michael Moore’s anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 as such:
To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of “dissenting” bravery.
- The Moiderah of Ponies has this to say about The Conversion Bureau: “Burning is not advised, as burning it is a grave heresy to fire. Consider sending it to your enemies instead.”
- After a scandal over the number of synthetic additives contained in Miller Lite beer, the well-known beer critic Roger Protz stated “I have, in the past, compared Miller Lite to a certain equine by-product, but now I see that that is an insult to a noble animal”.
- A NBA analysis states that “To call the 2012–13 season a forgettable one for the [Bob]’Cats is an insult to long-lost memories everywhere.”
- Reviewer James Berardinelli on Zombie! Vs. Mardi Gras (considered the worst movie he’s ever seen): “The film seems to have been inspired in equal parts by George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space. The result is an embarrassment to both films. (When was the last time anything was described as an embarrassment to Plan Nine??)”
- In Baldur's Gate II:
Nalia: He is a complete and total bastard, and calling him that insults bastards everywhere!
- From Rome: Total War, there’s the description of the “Deranged” trait:
“There are those who say that this man gibbers like a deranged rock ape. The rock apes will take offense at this slur.”
- The manual for Full Throttle described Adrian Ripburger (voiced by Mark Hamill!) as follows:
We’d call him a weasel at heart, if he had a heart and it wasn’t an insult to respectable weasels.
- In Jade Empire, one of the more fucked-up people you meet in the game, aside from the villains themselves, is the powerful Judge Fang: a man so disgustingly perverted that he’s implied to have gotten off to a corrupt guard’s genitals being torn off by starved dogs in addition to paying a prostitute a lot of money to allow him to “do things to her” that makes his own guards both flinch at their offensiveness but still pity her for having to put up with him. If your main character says “Sounds like a really sick and twisted person,” the guard quips “Nah. I wouldn’t call him sick and twisted. That would be an insult to all sick and twisted people everywhere. Fang, he’s on a whole other level …”
- In Lords of the Realm the default insulting message contains the line “You look like a toad. No, that’s an insult to toads, you look worse.”
- Tales of the Abyss has this exchange when a coachman mistakes Luke and Tear for bandits.
Luke: Don’t go comparing me to some pathetic bandits!
Tear: Yes, you might upset the bandits.
- In the manga of Tales of Destiny, Leon says to Stahn’s ineptitude, “I’d compare you to that chicken there, but it wouldn’t be fair to the chicken.”
- Eternal Sonata — “Really, though, comparing seawater stirred up by the beauty of the moon to the ugly waves created by the effects of human desire is rather an insult to the ocean.”
- The vice president of the school in Snow Sakura was compared to a snake by the main character. His uncle then tells him that he shouldn’t insult snakes like that.
- Blood Bowl’s Video Game edition has an example of this when the Pro Elves play a game and the Announcer Chatter turns to them:
Jim: Hair products? Check. Scantily clad players? Check. If I didn’t know better I could have mistaken these for an Amazon team, Bob.
Bob: Don’t be silly, Jim, I don’t think I know anyone that fears an elf.
Jim: That’s true, Bob.
- Before the first Sonic/Shadow boss fight Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic calls Shadow a faker, only for Shadow to retort that Sonic is the fake hedgehog and that he isn’t good enough to be his fake. Sonic then tells him that he’ll make him eat his words.
- The Order of the Stick:
- In Between Failures, Mike finds himself confronting Reggie over setting the microwave on fire. When he mentions the number of accident reports in Reggie’s file (long story short, Reggie's reliance on his executive aunt’s interference makes the official quantity “long past too many”), Reggie interrupts to point out that they were all accidents, just like the term says. Mike states in no uncertain terms that ‘accident’ is no longer sufficient to describe the things Reggie accomplishes, and that it’s entirely possible that there is no word for what Reggie does, but either way, it’s not fair to accidents to lump them in with Reggie.
- Done implicitly in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: “Do you have to put [art degrees and particularly low quality toilet paper] next to each other?”
- In Ozy and Millie, Millie comments that the school’s pit orchestra isn’t good enough to deserve the word ‘pit’.
- Schlock Mercenary once said, “Most politicians are uncomfortable being compared to tumors. The tumors, however, are getting the short end of the stick.”
- The Cinema Snob enjoys using comparisons like this.
To say that these dipshits overdo it on the silly factor would just take the dignity of the word silly.
- While reviewing Brazilian Star Wars:
- After confirming that the name “Uwe Boldt” in the credits of Violent Shit has no connection to Uwe Boll:
Snob: Oh good, because for a minute there I thought … you know what? This movie is so fucking awful that comparing it to Uwe Boll is an insult to UWE BOLL!
- And in reviewing the fundamentalist propaganda film Rock: It's Your Decision on DVD-R Hell, Brad says that calling the Captain and Tennille ‘sin’ is a sin against the word ‘sin’.
- Linkara did a crossover review with the Last Angry Geek of Spider-Man: One Moment in Time. Said comic was supposed to be an explanation of the whole mess that One More Day ended up creating, but only ended up making it worse. Linkara once again loudly declares that Joe Quesada is a hack, and that calling him one was actually doing a favor to the other hacks out there by making them look better.
Adam: So your method to criticize something you’ll never watch is to swear about the people involved? That’s not a critical opinion, that’s throwing a tantrum for attention. Congrats, you’re equal to my 4 year-old cousin.Linkara: Now that, sir, is simply unfair. 4 year-olds don’t know any better.
- Allison Pregler, on The Room: “I’d go as far as saying The Room is this generation’s Troll 2, but I’d be afraid of insulting Troll 2.”
- The Nostalgia Critic reviewed the first story arc of Superman: The Animated Series, and noted how the first episode has a hover bike chase scene quite similar to the one found in Judge Dredd.
“Now, I would say this chase scene seems to copy the one from Judge Dredd, but that would imply that people actually saw Judge Dredd.”
- However, he actually said he kind of enjoyed Judge Dredd, so that may be just a jab on it flopping at the box office.
- In the SNICK review, the Critic compares the musical numbers of Roundhouse to bad Christian rock. After playing a sample of one of the numbers, though, he admits that Christian rock doesn’t sound that badnote .
- TV Trash: During the review of Family Guy episode “Not All Dogs Go to Heaven”, Chris asserts that the decision by the creators of South Park to compare the Family Guy writers to manatees is an insult to the manatees.
- Tom Foolery, a Joker Expy from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe once took offense to one of the heroes calling the super-powered serial killer Abattoir “a psychotic clown” because doing so was an insult to him (Tom Foolery) and his fellow psychotic clowns.
- The Music Video Show has one against Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” and its video.
“Saying that this song and video is an insult to songs and videos is an insult to insult to insult to songs and videos.”
- Stefan Molyneux’s YouTube video “Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme” says this about the American “Social Security” system and Ponzi Schemes. Since Ponzi Schemes don’t force you to join it’s arguably justified.
- This Cracked article, in discussing a conspiracy theory that Stephen King killed John Lennon, says:
…Yes, according to a particularly inspired conspiracy enthusiast (who I’m specifically not calling a loon, for loons are a fine folk and I have no wish to offend them)…
- Bad Creepypasta: After the reading of It's OK, Your Soul Doesn't Matter, MD Phantasm made remark about how poorly-written creepypastas were written by children, where Jacob took offense to his remark and gave a small rant how they should being writing better stories as they learning in school.
- In a micro-commercial for Pinky and the Brain, the Brain said Pinky had the approximate IQ of an empty soap dish. “I take it back. I don’t want to insult the soap dish.”
- Tripping the Rift: When Angel calls the alien T’Nuk a cow for knocking her out of her chair:
Chode: She’s not a cow.
T'Nuk: Thank you, Chode.
Chode: Cows have a quiet dignity and serve a purpose.
Chode: Let's not drag your mother into this.
- And let's not get into the implication that T'Nuk’s mother was somehow a male donkey.
- Johnny Test: Dirt tastes better than Mr. Test’s cooking. Johnny checked.
- In one Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode Sonic mentions that he’d like to call Robotnik a slime bucket, “but that would be an insult to decent slime buckets everywhere!”
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series — Spider-Man to Hobgoblin:
Spider-Man: Personally, I’d never call you a fool. That’d be an insult to fools everywhere.
- Beavis And Butthead, discussing Scatman John’s “Scatman” music video.
Beavis: They should have a ‘Crap’ section in the record store.
Butthead: Uhhh, yeah. It should be out in the Dumpster.
Beavis: No way, Butthead. There’s cool stuff in the Dumpster. You wouldn’t want to mess it up with this crap.
- The Simpsons:
- In “Homer’s Enemy”, Frank Grimes observes Homer’s eating habits.
Grimes: God, he eats like a pig.
Lenny: I dunno. Pigs tend to chew. I’d say he eats more like a duck.
Grimes: Well, some kind of farm animal anyway.
- In “Beyond Blunderdome”, a studio executive declares that an Actionized Remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (that ends with Smith killing everyone in Congress and decapitating the President) made by Mel Gibson and Homer was worse than Godfather III. Mel and Homer gasp in horror, and the studio executive quickly apologizes.
- In “Homer’s Enemy”, Frank Grimes observes Homer’s eating habits.
- On Total Drama World Tour, Leshawna opens a can of peanuts only for a little Chris head to pop out.
Leshawna: A Chris-in-the-box? That’s an insult to boxes.
- “I’d say you were a carnival barker — except that wouldn’t be fair to carnival barkers! A carny will at least tell you up front that he’s running a shell game!” U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-Illinois) to Kenneth Lay, Feb. 12, 2002
- David Letterman on the O.J. Simpson trial: “To call this trial a circus is an insult to the fine people at Ringling Brothers!”
- “I’d call her a cunt, but she lacks the depth and the charm.” — William Styron. Nobody seems to know to whom he referred.
- A common form of rebuke from an instructing NCO to a recruit in the British Army was “I’d call you a cunt, but unlike you, cunts are useful. And decorative.”
- In one of Bill Maher’s 2010 monologues, he compares the anti-immigration reforms of Arizona to Nazi Germany. He then takes it back because “the Germans knew how to dress themselves.”
- There is a Facebook group that claims that calling Edward Cullen gay is an insult to gay people. One would argue this is a Justified Trope: most gay people don’t break into someone’s house to watch them sleep.
- Jon Stewart, towards Sarah Palin:
Palin: What’s the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?
Stewart: One is a variety of dog that's unfairly maligned in spite of being no worse than other varieties of dog, and the other is an artificial demographic of mothers no better than other mothers?
- On the Usenet newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.email, comparing a spammer to anything will get you a metaphorical call from the proper Anti-Defamation League.
- Classic Evil Lawyer Joke: A man loses a lot of money in a trial and goes to a bar to drown his sorrows. As he gets more and more drunk, he finally slams his mug down on the bar and shouts, ‘Goddammit! Lawyers are nothing but a load of scumbags!’ The man sitting next to him turns and says, ‘Mister, I take offense to that.’ ‘Why, you a lawyer?’ ‘No, sir. I am a scumbag.’
- “I would call them scumbags, but that would be an insult to bags of scum.” — Dennis Miller, in reference to the French.
- Another classic joke: A man walks into a bar and starts complaining about the president, finally saying ‘The president is a horse’s ass!’ Another man says ‘Hey, don’t talk like that in here.’ The first man says ‘You can’t tell me you actually like that horse’s ass!’ ‘No, but this is horse country.’
- A new Yorker goes in a bar in the Deep South, starts drinking and yells out loud "Texans are all assholes!". Dead silence in the bar, until a huge guy goes up to him and says "Hey now, I take offense to that." "Why, are you a Texan?" "No, I'm an asshole!" (replace Texan with Acceptable Target of choice).
- Another generic one is calling someone ‘retarded,’ then taking it back because ‘that insults the intelligence of the mentally retarded.’ Jon Stewart did this as part of a bit describing the U.S. government’s response to Hurricane Katrina at the 2006 Emmys.
- Rare case of it actually occurring: Binghamton (New York) High School athletic director Joel Thirer compared the basketball team to a zoo. The Binghamton Zoo got offended. (“Not one of our tigers has been arrested with cocaine. No otter knocks over old ladies to shoplift condoms.”)
- Quoth Dan Savage: “Your boyfriend is an asshole. Wait, maybe I’m not being fair… to assholes, which are as delightful as they are functional. Your boyfriend is a piece of shit, a loose stool, a santorum slick.”
- British MEP Nigel Farage was ordered to apologise after comparing the President of the European Council to a low-grade bank clerk. His response was to issue an apology to bank clerks.
- In addressing a Republican convention, Ronald Reagan said, “To say Congress is spending like drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors…” The cheers and applause kept him from delivering his punchline, “…who at least are spending their own money.”
- When Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian president elected in 2012, seized dictatorial powers, he was declared “Egypt’s new pharaoh.” However, at least one commentator stated that this was an insult to pharaohs, as ancient Egyptians were very advanced.
- After Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez compared George W. Bush to the Devil, Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador and a friend of Chavez’s, said that Chavez was being unfair to the Devil.
- Along similar lines, during the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner, Barack Obama noted that the History Channel was not present, jokingly because of the kerfluffle over their series on The Bible where some thought the portrayal of Satan looked like him. He then riffs on Fox News:
Obama: Of course, that never kept Fox News from showing up. They actually thought the comparison was not fair — to Satan.
- After Matt Taibbi called Goldman Sachs “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”, he received responses from a number of zoologists saying he was slandering the squid.
- After the Italian election of 2013, German politician Peer Steinbrück made a comment about being shocked that “the two Italian clowns” won, referring to Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo. Afterwards, the clown and boss of circus Roncalli Bernhard Paul protested against the comparison, stating that clowning is an honorable, difficult, and sensible job.
- Marilyn Manson once mentioned, when One-Hit Wonder New Radicals released their hit “You Get What You Give,” which contained this closing rap:
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson
You're all fakes, run to your mansions
Come around, we'll kick your ass in!
- that he was less insulted by lead singer Gregg Alexander mentioning he’d kick Marilyn's ass in as he was being mentioned in the same breath as Courtney Love.
- Some people compare the user interface changes in Windows 8 to the flavor changes in New Coke. Robert X. Cringely called it an insult to New Coke.
- In June 2013, The Sun published the following retraction/apology:
In an article on Saturday headlined ‘Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ,’ we stated ‘two flat silver discs’ were seen ‘above the Church of Scientology HQ.’ Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologise to any alien lifeforms for linking them to Scientologists.
- In a 1910 trial Judge Ralph H. Latshaw declared that grouping rapists with murderers was an insult to the murderers and even went so far as to deny the rapists the dignity of being hanged on a Friday, the traditional day on which hangings take place.
- Conservative commentator David Frum declared Sarah Palin to have demonstrated that she wasn’t up to the job of being Vice President of the United States and compared her to Dan Quayle, before admitting that he felt such a comparison unfair…to Quayle.
- Comparing anyone to the Westboro Baptist Church is literally an insult to everyone else. Jerry Falwell (who believed, like them, that gays caused 9/11) thought they went too far as well as the Ku Klux Klan.
- The Daily Mail had a headline calling Ed Miliband a "Chuckle Brother". Barry Chuckle immediately tweeted that he'd hate to be called an Ed Miliband.