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Lame Come Back
In a situation where the usual tropes call for a clever rejoinder, sometimes the absence of one can have the same effect (as far as the audience is concerned).

Related to Comeback Tomorrow, except here there is no comeback.

Also see Dissimile, Metaphorgotten and Buffy Speak for different kinds of subverted verbal setups. See Your Mom, Big Stupid Doodoo Head and No, You for straighter examples.

Truth in Television, you know who you are.

Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z: Vegeta, during the losing half of his fight with Android 18:
    Vegeta: You should be impressed. Very few are willing to train as intensely as I have for this kind of power!
    Android 18: How sad, to work so hard...for so little.
    Vegeta: Sad FOR YOU!
  • Subverted in Bleach when Ichigo roars, "Shut up!" after Ginjo gave a Break Them by Talking. Ginjo mocks him and says attempting a Shut Up, Hannibal! by simply telling the other person to shut up means you have no argument to counter the other person's words. Ichigo informs him that he was telling Uryu to shut up, then expertly refutes Ginjo's argument.

    Comic Books 
  • Scott Pilgrim is the king of this trope.
    Scott I... but... it's... not... it's totally... it's... y...you're not the boss of... me?
    • Later:
    Scott: This band sucks.
    Monique: That's what they'll be saying about you on Sunday.
    Scott: At least I... wait... something... you... insult...
    Ramona: Scott, that was not a good comeback.
    Stephen Stills: That was actually not bad for Scott.
    • Even later:
    Scott: Shut up, you... guy...
    Wallace: Better comebacks, Scott!
    • This also happens to some of the Evil Exes, like Matthew Patel in the first volume...
    Scott: C'mon, man, dish! Got any embarassing stories?
    Matthew: Your Mom is an embarrassing story!
    • ...and Todd Ingram in the third volume:
    Scott: I don't like you.
    Todd: Tell it to the cleaning lady on Monday.
    Scott: ... Huh?
    Todd: Because you'll be dust by then.
    Scott: ...?
    Todd: Because I'm going to pulverize you sometime this weekend. And the cleaning lady, she... cleans dust. She dusts. And she has weekends off, so Monday... [to Envy] Right?
    Envy: What the hell are you talking about?
  • Doom
    The Doom Marine: Stupid! Stupid! Stupid imp! You're stupid! And you're gonna be stupid and dead!

    Fan Works 
  • The CA Tverse story "Vacation Time". Following assault and/or battery with a notebook:
    Al: And if you hit me with that again, well, good luck getting your notebook removed from your colon. I hear that involves very delicate surgery.
    Captain: Well, I heard... that... you suck.
  • This 'Marvel / DC' spoof:
    Nightwing: You're nothing but a hack, McGinnis!
    Terry McGinnis: You got issues, Dick.
    Nightwing: No you're the... issues person.

    Film 
  • Singin' in the Rain: "I make more money than... Calvin Coolidge... put together!"
  • The Big Lebowski contains an example that, due to the Dude's sheer unflappable laid-backness being combined with Jesus Quintana's over-the-top arrogance, turns this trope into an artform, to the point where Memetic Mutation has in fact made this an actual comeback that is successful:
    Jesus: You ready to be fucked, man? I see you rolled your way into the semis. Dios mio, man. Liam and me, we're gonna fuck you up.
    The Dude: Yeah, well, you know, that's just like... uh... your opinion, man.
  • In Tommy Boy, after Tommy sets a bag of M&M's on the dashboard and they pour into an open slot:
    Richard Hayden: Oh that sounds good: melted chocolate inside the dash, that really ups the resale value.
    Tommy: I think you'll be okay here, they have a thin candy shell. 'Surprised you didn't know that.
    Richard Hayden: I think your brain has a thick candy shell.
    Tommy: Your... Your brain has the shell on it.
    Richard Hayden: Are you talking?
    Tommy: Shut up, Richard.
  • In Funny People, George is verbally abusing Ira after Ira has inadvertently destroyed George's admittedly slim chances of getting back together with 'The One That Got Away'. Ira — having put up with all the shit he's willing to take from George by this point — proceeds to completely demolish the other man and basically pegs him as a pathetic, bitter, self absorbed and self loathing man who even if he had everything he ever wanted still would find some way to fuck it up and be completely miserable because he doesn't even know how to be happy himself, much less inspire it in other people. Faced with this verbal assault, George's comeback — that Ira isn't funny — is exactly as pathetic as it sounds. And unfortunately, Ira has a comeback for that also.
  • From Serenity:
    Mal: You want to run this ship?
    Jayne: Yes!
    Mal: Well... you can't!
  • In Hook, Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan when he engages in the verbal duel with Rufio.
    • He quickly develops his own successful brand of insults, though. His opponent, Rufio, is eventually reduced to calling him "You stupid... you stupid man!"
  • Hercules Returns - Urses mocks Samson, trying to provoke him into a fight to see whether or not he's faking the loss of his strength. Samson's response?
    Samson, pitifully: I'm really angry now. You know what you are? You're a big poop.
  • Brick Tamland, from Anchorman, has a few of these.
    Brick: Where'd you get your clothes...the...toilet store?
    Ron Burgundy: You dirtbags have been in third place for five years!
    Frank Vitchard: Yeah?! Well you're about to be in... dead place!
  • Napoleon Dynamite has tons of this.
    Kip: Your mom goes to college!
  • In Shallow Hal, after Jason Alexander brags that he is "bigger", Hal takes about 8 seconds to respond "Yeah, bigger than a mouse's". Jason calls him out on taking too long; that's why it's called a "quip", not a "slowp".
  • In Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle, towards the end, when Harold confronts his two co-workers.
    Harold: Back off, cock-boy. What I say to him goes double for you.
    Co-Worker: Cock-boy? You just call me cock-boy?
    Harold: Yeah, you know I did. You're just stalling because you're not quick enough to think of a comeback.
    Co-Worker: You think I'm not quick enough - guy thinks I'm not quick enough! Well I got news for you! I AM quick enough... Cock-Boy!
  • Manta, Manta from Germany. The main character who drives an Opel Manta and becomes the Butt Monkey of a radio moderator who tells Manta jokes all the time. Finally, he gets revenge when he breaks in at the radio station and has the opportunity to say his opinion on the radio.
    Bertie: "What's the difference between a guy telling Manta jokes and an asshole? There is none!"
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: "Well...double dumbass on you!"
  • All of Me:
    Peggy: "I faked all of those orgasms! 'Aaah! Aaaaaah! Oooooh! YESSS!' Sound familiar?"
    Roger: "Oh yeah?! Well I faked... all of mine... too."
  • In Spring Break Lawyer, Senator Claxton (who is trying to use the current case against the protagonist's friend as an example why Spring Break should be banned) and Jay Garvey, the titular "Spring Break Lawyer", are having a verbal joust during a break in court.
    Senator Claxton: You're going to wish you never got off that plane.
    Jay Garvey: Well, you're going to wish you never got off your... plane.

    Literature 
  • In American Psycho, when somebody calls the protagonist a "fucking yuppie", he responds: "Hey... You may think I'm a really disgusting yuppie but I'm not, really."
  • Kate's banter tends to be hit-and-miss. When she's on her game, she's pretty witty. When she's off-balance, her inner monologue and the people around her are perfectly willing to point out how embarrassed she should be.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant is usually the epitome of wit and snark. When Serpine uses magic to pull him into a brick wall, we get this instead:
    Serpine: Where are your oh so clever taunts now?
    Skulduggery: You've got big ears!
  • In the Discworld novel Pyramids, Ptaclusp IIb (a cosmic-minded architect) tells his twin brother Ptaclusp IIa (an accountant) "The trouble with you is you know the price of everything and the value of nothing". IIa retorts "And the trouble with you is ... is that you don't!"
  • From the first Artemis Fowl book:
    Holly: That's right, Mud Boy. Play time's over. Time for the professionals to take over. If you're a good boy, I'll buy you a lollipop when I come back.
    Artemis: I don't like lollipops.
    • He recognises how lame his comeback was and notes that he will have to create a list of good comebacks for future use. Note that Artemis is usually very well-spoken and intelligent. It's used to emphasize how he's breaking down as his plan falls apart.
  • In one of The Savannah Reid Mysteries, Savannah's new brother-in-law is arguing with his wife, who tells him he "sucks". His response? "You suck worser!"
  • Dave Barry has suggested that people who get angry in traffic exchange phone numbers so they can call each other back "when we've had time to think of witty and learned insults or look them up in the library".
  • In his short story "I, The Hunted", humorist Patrick McManus includes this exchange from his childhood:
    "We'll see about that, you puny little rat!" Skragg snarled.
    "Yeah, and you got dandruff!" I retorted. I made a mental note to work on my repertoire of insults. Dandruff, for pity's sake.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blackadder did this a couple of times despite usually being very good with a comeback.
    Captain Rum: Aaah, courtiers to the Queen, you're nothing but lapdogs to a slip of a girl!
    Blackadder: Better a "lapdog to a slip of a girl" than a... git!
    Captain Rum: So you do have some spunk in you!
    • In Blackadder The Third, George combines this with Comeback Tomorrow, because he can't even think of a lame comeback on the spur of the moment:
      George: Only the other day, Prime Minister Pitt called me an idle scrounger, and it wasn’t until ages later that I thought how clever it would have been to have said, "Oh, bugger off, you old fart!"
  • Mash had numerous instances where Frank Burns got insulted and the most he could come back with was, "You ... guys!"
  • From Friends, when Chandler is in a fight with his girlfriend:
    Girl: I'm leaving. Call me when you decide to grow up!
    Chandler: Well don't expect that to happen anytime soon!
    • Chandler, despite being known for his sense of humor, has a lot of these:
    Joey: (while playing football) Prepare to feel very bad about yourself.
    Chandler: Hey, well, I've been preparing for that my entire life! ...Or something about you that's mean!
  • In the That '70s Show episode "Eric's Depression" Eric and Donna have a shouting match (it was shortly after their breakup) in which Donna calls Eric a dillhole. Eric's response is to call her a "double dillhole". As soon as Donna leaves he berates himself for saying something that stupid.
    • In the episode "Eric's Hot Cousin":
    Jackie: Lobster face!
    Donna: Little Red Riding... Bitch!
    • In the same episode:
    Donna: Eric, my sunburn will fade, but your shame will last forever.
    Eric: Yeah well, at least my shame won't... peel.
  • From Supernatural
    Ruby: It's called witchcraft, shortbus.
    Dean: You're the shortbus... shortbus.
    • And:
    Eliot Ness: You look like some kind of bindlestiff.
    Dean: Stiff your br – bin – what?
    • And again with poor Dean:
    Crowley: Well, I forgot you two at best are functioning morons—
    Dean: You're functioning...morons...
  • The Larry Sanders Show: Hank is guest-hosting the show and letting his ego get out of control. Phil, the head writer, isn't impressed.
    Hank: Hey, hey - you like your job?
    Phil: No.
    Hank:... Well watch it.
    • In another episode, Hank is trying to persuade a skeptical Artie that he can fill in for Larry at a live gig, and to prove it, asks Artie to stage being a heckler:
    Artie: Listen, I'm very busy, and I got a sore throat...
    Hank: C'mon, heckle me! Don't worry! Hit me hard.
    Artie: [Without missing a beat] GET OFF THE STAGE, YOU FUCKIN' MORON! I'VE TAKEN SHITS MORE INTERESTING THAN YOU ARE! YOU'RE NOTHIN' BUT LARRY SANDERS'S PERSONAL BUTT-BITCH! SO SHUT YOUR FUCKIN' FAT FACE AND GET YOUR GODDAMN BLOATED ASS OFF THE STAGE, MOTHER FUCKER!!!
    Hank: [Deeply hurt, almost in tears] ... Jesus, Artie!
    Artie: Good comeback.
  • Glee: Shannon Beiste. Her comebacks are actually so lame that they leave her rival Sue speechless.
    Beiste: Do not get up in The Panther's business, lady. You're all coffee and no omelette.
    Sue: [whispering to herself] That doesn't make any sense...
    • The Season 5 episode "Previously Unaired Christmas" has Marley make a valiant effort at countering Kitty's insult about her virginity. Unfortunately, Marley isn't very practiced at insulting people, so this is all she can come up with:
    Marley: Well...you wear a smaller bra than me.
  • The West Wing has this a couple times, one when Sam meets Mallory after she dumped him following his whole 'being-photographed-with-a-callgirl' scandal:
    Sam: Can I just say I was the one who was in trouble? I was the one under siege, it was my picture in the paper and I don't know why I need to call you and explain myself.
    Mallory: It was a picture of you and a callgirl.
    Sam: Oh, like there aren't any pictures of you and a callgirl.
    Mallory: No. There aren't any pictures of me and a callgirl.
  • Also on The West Wing:
    Josh: Let's do this: find out what her problem is, solve it and then, I don't know, do something else.
    Donna: You're the reason there are term limits.
    Josh: Yeah? You're the reason... Nothing. Nothing's happening. Nothing's there.
  • Spaced, when Tim and Daisy are arguing about Tim's desire to get back with his unfaithful, selfish and manipulative ex-girlfriend, who has made overtures to him:
    Tim: This is something that I've always wanted! You have things you want - you're always going on about going to Asia and seeing the Taj Mahal.
    Daisy: I do want to go to Asia! I do want to see the Taj Mahal! The difference is, the Taj Mahal didn't sleep with its boss behind my back and break my heart!
    Tim: Yeah, well... it might if you go to Asia.
    • Tim makes another lame comeback after claiming Daisy's dog, Colin, will eventually grow up to savage the man repairing the tumble dryer:
      Daisy: "We don't have a tumble dryer..."
      Tim: "You will my friend, you will..."
  • Lyle's inability to come up with a decent comeback is what drives his romantic interest in a recent episode of Kingdom
  • In The Big Bang Theory:
    (Sheldon's phone rings) Leslie: Don't turn it off, you might miss your call from the Nobel committee letting you know you've been nominated as Dumbass Laureate of the year.
    Sheldon: Oh yeah? Well... you wouldn't even be nominated!
  • The Monkees: Famous line by Micky (who often mixes up his words).
    Ronnie: I'm going to contact the authorities!
    Micky: ...You do and I'll be sorry!
  • Requisite Buffy the Vampire Slayer example:
    • In "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" Cordelia is giving out chocolates to drum up votes to become May Queen.
    Cordelia: Here's a chocolate... (realises it's Buffy) Oh, I don't think I need the loony-fringe vote.
    Buffy: Well, I don't even like chocolates! (to herself) Okay, that was the lamest comeback of our times.
    • And this one...
    Buffy: Let's be realistic Willow, your basic spells are usually only about 50/50.
    Willow: Oh yeah? Well... so's your face!
    • In "Superstar" reality is changed so Buffy is overshadowed by another superhero, affecting her confidence and therefore Deadpan Snarker skills.
    Spike: Back off Betty.
    Buffy: It's Buffy, you big bleached...stupid guy.
    Spike: And, I never really liked you, and, and, and, you have stupid hair.
    Buffy: ...
    • A deleted scene (though still viewable in the first pilot) had Xander shouting after Cordelia, "Check back tomorrow! I'll have that devastating comeback ready!"
  • The plot of an episode of Seinfeld was George regretting not using a good comeback on a guy who burned him. The comeback was "The jerk store called, and they're running out of you." (in response to 'George, the ocean called and they're running out of shrimp' because George was stuffing his face with shrimp) He's so proud of this that he travels to a city he doesn't want to go to, and makes an ass of himself again, just so the guy will insult him again so he can make this comeback. After all that, the guy deflects it in two seconds with "what does it matter? You're their all-time best seller!". The best that George can come up with in response is 'Oh yeah? Well...I had sex with your wife!' to which George is told that his wife is in a coma. By the end of the episode George is racing back to the airport having come up with yet another comeback.
    • In the episode, "The Dealership", Elaine criticizes Puddy (her boyfriend) for constantly giving the high-five to people:
    Elaine: You’re a salesman now - and the high-five is.. it’s very grease monkey.
    Puddy: What did I tell you about that?
    Elaine: I’m sorry, but the high-five is just so stupid.
    Puddy: Oh yeah? I’ll tell you what’s stupid. You. Stupid.
    Elaine: Well, that is really mature.
    Puddy: Yeah? So are you.
    Elaine: Huh?
    Puddy: You’re the grease monkey.
  • From The Mighty Boosh:
    Bob Fossil: Hey Moon. What are you supposed to be, Zorro on gay night?
    Howard: ...
    Bob Fossil:... Nice comeback.
    Howard: (after Fossil leaves) Uh, yeah well... your uniform is too tight and you look stupid!
  • From LOST, in one of the instances where Hurley gets tired of Sawyer's nicknames:
    Sawyer: What's your problem, Jumbotron?
    Hurley: Shut up, red... neck... man.
    Sawyer: ...Touche?
  • In the Better Off Ted episode "The Impertence of Communicationizing", Phil laments his lack of ability to insult people:
    Phil: The best comeback I ever came up with was, "You're right, I'll work on that."
  • House has a combination of this and Comeback Tomorrow here.
  • In iCarly, Freddie isn't very good at comebacks for Sam.
    Sam: Hit it, Fred-Weiner!
    Freddie: Sure thing, Sam... jerk.
  • In the finale of Dollhouse:
    Echo: You're so corny.
    Paul: You're... fat!
  • In the Scrubs "My Butterfly":
    Dr. Cox: Look, newbie, if you go ahead and leave this hospital knowing only one thing — and God save me, it looks like there's a real chance that might happen — please let this be that one thing: I'm in charge, and I don't care about your opinion. Now [whistles] go get me a cup of coffee.
    J.D.: [thinking] Whatever. Just avoid the shoulder bump, catch the elevator, and make a great wise-ass remark before the doors close!
    J.D.: Hoohoo, hey, Dr. Cox, if you're so smart, maybe you should just... go ahead and be the... you're the kind of... [elevator door closes] Oh, dammit!
    • In the episode "His Story IV":
      J.D.: I know all about the war.
      The Janitor: Really? (takes out a globe) Point to Iraq.
      J.D.: Why do you keep a globe on you janitor cart?
      The Janitor: In case I get lost. I'll give you a hint. It's not the country shaped like a boot.
      J.D.: (points to a country) That's Iraq.
      The Janitor: That's China.
      J.D.: You're China! (walks away)
      The Janitor: ...That's an outrageous accusation.
    • J.D. also claimed at one point to have a comeback for every situation. Unfortunately, this comeback was always "so's your face".
      • Played with in that instance, though, since he considers it a perfectly legit comeback, even when used by others in a nonsensical context.
    • Occurs twice in the same conversation here.
    Dr. Cox: Did you feel that you weren't quite annoying enough without adding a delusional sense of grandeur? Because, I promise you, you are annoying enough. In fact, you're the number one contender for the middleweight annoyance crown!
    J.D.: Well you're the number one jealous... w-weight, for the... jealous weight, jealous... ch-champ.
    Dr. Cox: HE'S DONE IT! HE'S DONE IT! DORIAN'S THE MOST! ANNOYING! MAN! IN THE WORLD! Who would have ever thought? A Journeyman annoyer like Dorian...
    J.D.: (As Dr Cox is leaving the room) You were a close second.
  • In the Boy Meets World episode "Honesty Night", Cory and Topanga pretend to be mad at each other in front of Shawn, and when they trade fake insults Cory proves he's not very good at ending them:
    Topanga: I can't believe you said that to me, you stunted little whiny brillo-head!
    Cory: Oh yeah, well you're a short little nasal voiced blimpo lipped... so and so! (whispering) I need more time.
  • The Aquabats! Super Show!, in the season finale "Showtime!", while the MC Bat Commander is in Space Monster M's clutches:
    Space Monster M: Did you fools think you could stop me?!
    MC Bat Commander: No! But...you're ugly!
    • "Night of the Cactus!":
    Ronmark: Oh that big dude better not make a move on my girl!
    Jimmy the Robot: Please shut up!
    Ronmark: (grumbling) ...you shut up.
  • Community has some of these, most notably:
    Shirley: Mother Hen? I think we’re about the same age.
    Britta: Sure, unless time is linear.
    Shirley: I’ll make your ass linear.
    Britta: That doesn’t make any sense.
    Shirley: I’ll make your ass sense.
  • The Office (US) somewhat lampshades it in this gem of a verbal throwdown:
    Andy: Saw your dork-mobile in the parking lot. What does it get, like, four miles to the gallon?
    Dwight: Uh, try double that. Classic Trans Am, vintage American muscle. Please.
    Andy: Yeah, my Xterra is pretty sweet. Luxurious yet rugged. Leave it to the Japanese.
    Dwight: Xterra's not even a real word.
    Andy: Actually, it is. It's Latin for "earth."
    Dwight: Oh, so you drive an X-earth? Yeah, that makes sense. I'd rather drive a classic Trans Am than an X-earth.
    Andy: Yeah, I bet you would. Oh, by the way, 1985 called. It wants its car back.
    Dwight: Well, I hope 1985 has a time machine, 'cause I drive an '87.
    Andy: Oh, speaking of time machines? I just got back from the future, and I went to your funeral, and guess what? Nobody came.
    Dwight: Speaking of funerals, why don't you go ahead and go die?
    Andy: That was a really well-constructed sentence. You should be an English professor at Cor-Not University.
    Dwight: Idiot!
    Andy: If I were an idiot, I'd be driving a Trans Am.
    Dwight: If you were driving a Trans Am, you would be the smartest idiot in the whole world.
    Andy: [coughing] Idiot!
    Dwight: [coughing] You're the idiot.
    Andy: [coughing] Nice comeback.
    Dwight: [coughing] I was making fun of your comeback. That's why it worked.
  • Kelly got in a couple of these. Once to Zack, who accidentally made her face maroon from acne cream in "Cream For A Day":
    Kelly: Zack, you're uh, uh, you're something really, really bad!
    • And again in "Blind Dates" when she thought Mr. Belding's niece was dating Zack:
    Kelly: Yes, I know what you mean, you, you...un-nice girl!
  • Subverted in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch about the party at Oscar Wilde's. James Whistler and George Bernard Shaw insult the Prince Of Wales and blame each other, only for each accused to soften the insult with a compliment associated with it. When Shaw comes up with "Your Majesty is like a dose of clap. Before you arrive is pleasure but after is like pain in the dong," and accuses Wilde of saying it, all Wilde can do is blow a raspberry. Everyone applauds.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Dave Batista became infamous for saying to CM Punk, "Yeah, well...you're a punk!"
    • SPEAKING of Batista, there was that hilarious time where Batista was to face The Great Khali for the world championship, and Khali was demonstrating his strength by crushing a basketball in his hands. Batista's response was, "Basketballs... don't hold grudges! Basketballs don't wanna knock your teeth down your throat! And you're not gonna be in the ring with a basketball Summerslam for the World Heavyweight Championship!"
  • Kurt Angle in the WWE, when he was still on his square American Hero persona.

    Radio 
  • In Hello Cheeky, John Junkin gets one of these to Barry Cryer.
    John: Here, Barry, I'll tell you something interesting.
    Barry: Why change the habit of a lifetime?
    John: I'll have you know, I'm taking repartée classes.
    Barry: Alright, let's hear your witty repartée, then.
    John: Uhh... ...shut up. ...I start classes tomorrow.

    Theatre 
  • An embarrassing scene in the opera Le Grand Macabre, by Gyorgy Ligeti, has the White and Black Ministers calling names at each other — in alphabetical order. It starts out strong with "Ass-kisser" and "Bloodsucker", until:
    White: I...I can't think of anything with I...
    Black: I can't think of anything with J...Kidnapper!
  • Keating: The Musical has an epic one during Paul Keating and John Hewson's debate on the GST (Keating's insults are based on actual comments in parliament:
    Keating: Oh, no, they sent the Doctor to get us,
    It's like being flogged with warm lettuce
    And cabbages, the feral abacus
    Come to savage us, he must be ravenous, ravenous!
    Mr. Mediocrity from the Bunyip Aristocracy
    The Member for Wentworth should be in bed
    He's like a lizard on a rock, alive but looking dead
    Old Dozy knows when I've got him
    He always turns around when I drop one on him
    It's something he can't psychologically handle
    Him and his band of constitutional vandals
    Drones and pansies, frauds and mugs,
    Blackguards, harlots, pigs and thugs,
    And your mindless, stupid, foul-mouthed grubs,
    You couldn't even raffle a chook in a pub.
    Your barnyard bullies, crims and ghouls,
    Dullards, dimwits, clowns and fools and born-to-rules,
    Over here we're born to rule you
    Your dishonest crew, you almost make me spew.
    Loopy intellectual hobos,
    Brain-damaged dummies and desperadoes,
    Harebrained hillbilly cheats, cheats, cheats
    (They'll always be cheats, cheats, cheats)
    Useless motley corporate crooks and clots!
    Stunned-mullet rustbucket boxheads!
    Scumbags, and alley cats!
    You wanna fight back? FIGHT BACK! FIGHT BACK FROM THAT!
    Hewson: Oh, you bloody... your mom's a... bitch!
  • William Shakespeare manages to make this one heartbreaking in King Lear:
    I will have such revenges on you both,
    That all the world shall — I will do such things —
    What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be
    The terrors of the earth.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood:
    Desmond:(stereotypical Italian accent) Ey, what's-a-matter you Altair?
    Rebecca: That's racist!
    Desmond: You're racist!
  • Master Chief in Halo uses these a lot in the Master Chief Sucks At Halo videos (loadsa swearing):
    Teammate: You had -3 kills and 41 deaths!
    Master Chief: Your Mom had -3 kills in bed last night.
  • The MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing includes a mini-game called Insult Beer Pong, in which you have to respond appropriately to various insults (e.g., if your opponent says "When I'm through with you, you'll be crying like a little girl," you say "It's an honor to learn from such an expert in the field"). But you can't just start with battle; you have to research the insults and comebacks. So you grab The Big Book of Pirate Insults, get into fights with various pirates, insult them at random from the book, and learn various witty comebacks, which are then available for you during the match.note  If a pirate can't think of an insult, he'll stammer out something like "Yeah? Well... so's your face!" - and there are five possible Lame Comebacks for you to use during the match (if you want to lose), including "Stop waving it around like a featherduster!" - an extended reference to Monkey Island.
  • During your final battle with Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3, he tries taunting Shepard. Shepard throws it right back at him, and his comeback line reeks of lame.
    Leng: You're still slow, Shepard!
    Shepard: I'm only slow because I'm not running! You ran at the Citadel! You ran on Thessia! All you can do is run!
    Leng: Sh...shut up!
  • As mentioned above, the "insult swordfighting" in Monkey Island is based not around actual fencing ability, but about being able to come up with clever comebacks to your opponents' insults to gain advantage in the duel. There are a couple of stock lame comebacks - "I am rubber, you are glue" or "Boy are you ugly!" - which don't work on any insult. In later games, "how appropriate - you fight like a cow!" goes from being a legitimate retort to Guybrush's go-to Lame Comeback whenever somebody insults him. In Escape from Monkey Island, Guybrush is only able to respond in Lame Comebacks to Ozzie Mandrill due to the latter using incomprehensible Australian taunts that no one understands.
  • In Portal 2, during the Final Boss fight, if you let Rick the Adventure Sphere talk long enough, he will eventually ask if you have a "Cool Line" prepared for when you kill Wheatley. After some unsuccessful attempts to think one up himself, he will try to invoke one by asking Chell to get Wheatley to say "You two have been a thorn in my side for long enough!", reminding you to do so as he is plugged in. Once all three cores are plugged in and the final part of the fight starts up, Wheatley's dialogue will have now changed slightly to include Rick's setup line word-for-word. Rick then delivers his "Cool Line". It's... a little underwhelming.
    Rick: "Yeah? Well this thorn... is about to take you down. Man, that sounded a whole lot better in my head."
  • Leon Scott Kennedy in Resident Evil 4. One could pity Big Bad Saddler for being Affably Evil and having to laugh at those...
    Saddler: Perhaps you are disillusioned with overconfidence just because you killed my small-time subordinate?
    Leon: Saddler, you're small-time!
    Saddler: Oh... hahahahahaha! Writhe in my cage of torment my friend.
  • In the remake of Splatterhouse (made worse by the fact that the villain had something like 200 years to think carefully to an appropriate comeback:
    Rick: (after hearing Doctor West's Motive Rant): "Yeah, well... Fuck you."
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Sniper has a domination quote in reference to the Spy:
    The Sniper: I was never on your side either! ... Wanker!
  • In 2 Dark Seed 2, Mike is given a lot of silly dialogue, but his flashback with Rita while under hypnosis is particularly noteworthy...
    Rita: "People change, Mike, but I don't care for the change that has come over you. You're drunk. I'll see you later. I have a friend to see."
    Mike: "Fine! Just walk away! I hope the boogeyman gets you."
    • Jimmy Gardner's comebacks mostly consist of third-grade caliber insults like 'doofus' and 'jerkface'. Granted, it's still a step or two above Mike's boogeyman comment.
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    Sten:to Oghren If you were significant enough to notice, I wouldn't step on you.
    Oghren: Oh, well... your mother!
    Sten: ... That was disappointing. I expected better from you.
    Oghren: Sorry, I was in a rush.
  • Another gem in Dragon Age II, in the Dalish camp:
    Terath: You do not belong here, shemlen.
    Snarky!Hawke: What about my... Dear Maker! Where did my self-righteousness and pointy ears go?
    Terath: Why you... you... Shemlen!
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has a pretty triumphant example of the trope.
    Ocelot: Metal Gear only has room for one! Gurlukovich, you and your daughter will die here!
    Sergei: Damn you!

    Webcomics 
  • The Villain Protagonists of 8-Bit Theater (Black Mage in particular) are quite prone to this, such as in this installment:
    Black Mage: What did you THINK I meant every time I said I was going to burn the world?
    Red Mage: Who cares?
    Thief: Yeah, you're a weiner. You couldn't burn a match.
    Black Mage: Yeah, well... Your face... is ugly. Shut up!
  • Bobwhite. Ivy and Cleo are competing in a videogame:
    Cleo: I'm gonna warn you, my character has crazy good range.
    Ivy: Your face has crazy good range. From ugly to... super ugly.
    Cleo: Hee hee. I love when they do the little victory dance.
    Ivy: I love your face when it's ugly. Which is all the time.
  • In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , Aliph Soulstealer (a.k.a. Dark Pegasus) goes on a rant that starts on #985, continues in #986, and ends at #987 with the following exchange:
    Aliph: IT WOULD PAIN ME GREATLY TO KNOW THAT YOU WERE KILLED BY A RECKLESS ADVENTURER'S BLOODLUST FOR REVENGE... FOR YOUR SAKE, I HOPE THAT YOUR IMMATURE DECISION DOESN'T RESULT IN YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER'S DEATH.
    Kria: Yeah, well... You're a buttface.
  • In Goblins, Minmax is notoriously bad at witty banter.
    Kin: Minmax! Stop throwing your clothes into the hole!
    Minmax: I haven't thrown anything into the hole yet! You're the one throwing craziness into the hole 'cause you're craz... No, wait, you're... You're throwing... Yourself... No. Wait. You're... Yeah! Yeah! You're throwing yourself into the crazy hole!
    (beat)
    Minmax: Heh. Burn.
  • This strip from The Non-Adventures of Wonderella:
    Hitlerella: Oh my, did you just make a sweeping generalization that all Germans have masculine features? What about Heidi Klum? She's German.
    Wonderella: So's YOUR MOM.
    Hitlerella: Um, YES? Wait, did you just actually say that?
  • The Order of the Stick, "A Minor Glitch": Belkar berates Vaarsuvius for saving his life and thus ruining his Thanatos Gambit, pointing out that Durkon could have just cast Raise Dead on him immediately afterward. After Vaarsuvius points out a major flaw in the plan, Belkar utterly fails to come up with a comeback.
    Vaarsuvius: And how would your cunning master plan have accounted for the fact that Durkon would have required 5000 gp worth of diamonds as a material component to power the Raise Dead spell?
    Diamonds, I hasten to add, that he does not, in fact, possess?
    Belkar: Well, uh...
    Obviously, I would have...
    beat
    Belkar: SHUT UP!
  • An amusingly awkward attempted comeback by Marigold in Questionable Content:
    Angus: Does that mean you're gonna wash [your hair] more than twice a year now?
    Marigold: I'll- I'll wash you more than twice a year! B-because you're a stupid jerk! Who smells!
  • Rice Boy:
    Rice Boy: You aren't very helpful, Bor.
    Bor the Very Large: Uh-huh, well - you aren't very large.
  • Brooke "Aphrodite" Lennox Rival Angels is a ditz. The following exchange is just one of many, many examples:
    Monica: Maybe that'll shut you up, idiot!
    Brooke: You're not smart!
  • In Homestuck, Nepeta and Equius's first chatlog has a series of these.
    AC: :33 < you suck at archery
    CT: D —> No
    AC: :33 < yes
    CT: D —> No
    AC: :33 < yes
    CT: D —> No I don't
    AC: :33 < yessssss yes yes yes
  • Russel in Every Button Hurts the Other Guy proves that two improvised lines that don't even rhyme are no match for a rehearsed song performed by one's own personal cheering squad.
    • Also this:
    Afro: You've got more teeth than you do braincells, and you're smarter that you are handsome. You've probably got about as much fight in you as an asthmatic kitten.
    Russel: Oh yeah, well... you're a loser!

    Web Original 
  • From Homestar Runner:
    Dear strong bad,
    Can you please write a book about
    come-back jokes!
    Mike
    Canada
    Strong Bad: More like, you write a book about come-back jokes, NERD!
    • From the Strong Bad Email where Homestar and Strong Bad get stranded on a "Far Side" Island together:
    Homestar Runner: Is there ice cream yet?
    Strong Bad: You're gonna need to get ice cream in a second if you don't quit asking me that. You know... 'cause I'm gonna hit you...and you'll need the ice cream to... stop the swelling.
  • Red vs. Blue has a lot of these, despite the fact that the initial insults are hardly clever themselves.
    Simmons: Suck it, Blue!
    Caboose: No, YOU suck it... Blue...
    • From Reconstruction:
    Washington: You guys are the most immature soldiers I've ever met!
    Church: Wow, that guy's dumber than you are.
    Tucker: You mean he's dumber than you are.
    Church: Wow, Tucker. That was a classy comeback.
  • The Irate Gamer attempts a Take That to his hatedom, with the key word being 'attempts'.
    Shadow Overlord: But I thought you hired thousands of mindless idiots to troll his videos with hate-spam.
    Evil Gamer: Well I did, but let's face it. These idiots are so dumb they can't even make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without ruining it.
  • Not Always Right has one that's not even in response to an insult, made by someone who seems to consider everything at the store "stupid".
    Cashier: Have a nice day!
    Customer: Well… you… DON’T have a nice day!
  • From the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series episode "Yami of Darkness":
    Yugi: God, you are such a slut.
    Yami: Yeah, well... you're really small.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged has this exchange between Vegeta and Android 19:
    Vegeta: You expect to beat ME with this Automa-Ton Of Fun?

    Western Animation 
  • In the Animaniacs episode "Morning Malaise", Yakko takes on radio personality Howie Tern in a match of Volleying Insults. Howie is quickly reduced to a series of these. Their entire match is here.
  • From The Simpsons;
    Professor: Marge, it's statements like that that make people think women are stupid.
    Marge: Well, it's statements like that that... are mean!
    • A better one comes from Sideshow Bob:
    Marge: You awful man! Stay away from my son!
    Bob: I'll stay away from your son alright. Stay away... forever!
    Homer: Oh no!
    Bob: Wait a minutes, that's no good. (Leaves, groaning in frustration. Hurries back a moment later.) Wait! I've got one now! Marge, say 'Stay away from my son' again!
    Marge: No!
    • From "Homer the Heretic":
    Reverend Lovejoy: Homer, I'd like you to remember Matthew 7:26. "The foolish man who built his house upon the sand."
    Homer Simpson: And you remember...Matthew... 21:17.
    Reverend Lovejoy: "And he left them and went out of the city, into Bethany, and he lodged there?"
    Homer Simpson: Yeah. Think about it.
  • Futurama:
    Dwight: I heard alcohol makes you stupid.
    Fry: No, I'm... doesn't!
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants engages Sandy in a name-calling contest until all he can come up with is "not-wet person".
  • South Park, episode "Douche and Turd":
    Giant Douche: I would hope that those students and their parents who question my qualities would simply look at my opponent. He is a turd sandwich.
    Turd Sandwich: You're a turd sandwich.
    • Also, Towelie
      You're a towel!
  • Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance":
    Flash: Mirror Master!
    Mirror Master: You're quick as ever.
    Flash: Yeah? Well you're... you're not really all there!
    Mirror Master: Oh, nice try. If you had another minute you'd probably think of a decent comeback.
    • He does come up with a better one after the battle:
    Flash: While you're waiting for me to come arrest you, why not take some time and reflect on your mistakes! Hey, that was pretty good.
    • There was one in the Justice League episode "Brave and the Bold" when Gorilla Grodd gets snippy with Flash and he responds with: "Oh yeah? Well, you're... naked! (he shrugs to Solovar behind him because he knew it was lame). The more hilarious part is that the comment was actually pretty funny.
    • Flash does this a lot.
    Joker: Even you can't disarm one of my bombs in time!
    Flash: Shut up!
    Joker: What kind of a retort is that? You're not even trying!
  • From Batman: The Brave and the Bold, "The Mask of Matches Malone!":
    Catwoman: You two are useless.
    Black Canary: Oh yeah? Well, YOU are... useless!
    Huntress: Nice comeback there, chief.
  • A classic from Street Fighter: The Animated Series:
    Fei Long: You've got sloppy and weak. You've never had fallen from this move before! Look at you! You've ignored your training, and have turned against all of your friends!!
    Ken: And you... you're a loser!
  • Daria: Kevin and Brittany get into one of their weekly arguments; before stalking off, Britney snaps at him,
    "Don't you fretranize me!"
    Kevin: "...You think I don't know what that means? I know what that means!!"
  • Pretty much everyone on Archer, running as it does on Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic and parodies of the Bond One-Liner.
    Barry: So don't try to do anything stupid.
    Archer: I don't have to try. [Beat] Shit. Whatever. Move.
  • From Super Mario World:
    Magikoopa: Hey, watch where you're goin', ya egghead!
    Luigi: Who's an egghead, eggface!?
    Magikoopa: You are! [turns Luigi into an egg] So, whaddaya have to say now, egghead?
  • From Robot Chicken:
    Abe Lincoln: Who dares disturbs my slumber?!
    George Bush: Who dares question my... daring of his..dare... Jerk!
  • From an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch:
    Matt Damon: Hey, Ben, Armageddon ready to kick your ass!
    Ben Affleck: Oh, yeah? Well, I'm not gonna save your privates, Ryan!
    Matt Damon: You really are dumb, bro.
    • And in the Keanu Reeves/Brad Pitt fight:
    Keanu Reeves: Pop quiz, A-hole: You're on my turf, and there's no way out. What do you do?
    Brad Pitt: Give it a rest, Johnny Moronic.
    Keanu Reeves: Oh, yeah? Well, you shut up too, you... guy who was in Seven...
  • From Dan Vs. "Canada":
    Chris: Good luck getting home.
    Dan: Good luck being stupid.
    Chris: Well, good luck... you're stupid!
  • The Tick:
    Barry: Where's the jerk who calls himself 'The Tick'?!
    The Tick: *I* am that jerk; who wants to know?
  • Invader Zim is not very good at comebacks: "GO HOME AND SHAVE YOUR GIANT HEAD OF SMELL WITH YOUR BAD SELF!"
  • On Aqua Teen Hunger Force, after the Mooninites acquire the Foreigner Belt:
    Meatwad: Your belt is stupid.
    Err: Oh yeah, well your face is stupid!
    Meatwad: Oh, good one. You really got me.
  • Unusual example in Avatar: The Last Airbender . When her "friend" Mai betrays her and tells her she "miscalculated", Azula responds with a No, You. While this is one of the rare occasions when the No, You can be legitimately frightening (as she intended to follow it with a killing strike), the fact that the normally composed Deadpan Snarker Azula shouted this retort (thus showing the first cracks that ultimately lead to a spectactular Villainous Breakdown), means it can qualify as this trope.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Even wisecracking Michelangelo is sometimes at a loss for the right words:
    Shredder: Say farewell to each other, while you still can.
    Michelangelo: Oh yeah, Mr. Spikeypants? Well, you're the one who should be saying farewell to, uh, to yourself!
  • Lampshaded in the Doug episode, "Doug's Brainy Buddy", when he and Skeeter were arguing and the latter calls the former on his behavior:
    Skeeter: What's your problem, man?
    Doug: What's your problem?
    Skeeter: No, what's your problem?
    Doug: I—*stammers* What's your problem?
    Skeeter: Ooh, good comeback! I guess you're way too smart for me!
    *Kids laughing*
    • And this brilliant exchange between Doug and Roger over whose pet will win a talent contest in "Doug's Pet Capades":
    Roger: We'll just see about that, Funnie-face!
    Doug: Yeah, I'm sure we will, Roger...face.
    Roger: *cackles* Oh, brother!


I'll lame your comeback!
I Will Show You XInsult TropesMalicious Misnaming
Knows A Guy Who Knows A GuyDialogueLame Rhyme Dodge

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