%% Image and caption selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1317145795042460100
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[[quoteright:315:[[ComicBook/KatyKeene http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/katy_keene_costume_put_down_7023.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:315:Looks like the verbal claws are out.]]

->''"Senior wizards never rowed in public. The damages were apt to be appalling. No, politeness ruled, but with sharpened edges."''
-->-- ''Literature/{{Discworld}}: Discworld/UnseenAcademicals''

Fighting doesn't have to involve shouting or anything physical. For some characters, sharp well placed words are all they need to duel. They can sound very reasonable, even gentle. It's still a knock-out, winner-take-all confrontation, just that the people involved are trying to remain composed and amicable.

Once in a while these can break into something more severe if a character's BerserkButton is hit or someone has hit a RageBreakingPoint. A CatFight might even ensue.

This is also TruthInTelevision, as it's practically a necessity in politics and diplomacy ([[AssInAmbassador some are better at it than others]]), and just a common trait of a JewishMother. Someone with SilkHidingSteel is likely to engage in this when needed, as is any member of a DecadentCourt worth their salt.

Common weapons in this include PolitenessJudo, StealthInsult, ChewbaccaDefense, any of various LogicalFallacies, and DamnedByFaintPraise.

Compare JewsLoveToArgue, SugaryMalice, SnarkToSnarkCombat, OuthumblingEachOther, ComplimentFishing.

Contrast HairTriggerTemper (who couldn't do this trope if they tried), VolleyingInsults (where the fight becomes openly hostile).



* The FedEx Office commercial called "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2eojFZ0c20 Candidates]]."

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* To the suspicion of all else, Paul von Oberstein from ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes''.
* Adale from ''LightNovel/TheGoodWitchOfTheWest'' was noted, by her enemy whom she'd just beaten in this, to never be at a loss for words.
* Sir Integra Manga/{{Hellsing}} and Father Enrico Maxwell love to engage in this whenever they meet. It comes with the territory when you're the heads of two supernatural hunting organizations on a denominational divide.
* Played more literally than usual in the Territory Arc in ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', wherein one of the characters with Territory abilities can create a Territory in which violence is not possible, and the only way to beat the other person is to make them say whatever the Taboo might be at the moment. Kurama talked him into making the whole Japanese alphabet taboo one letter (kana) at a time, then made him laugh -- setting off several of the Taboo sounds and beating him at his own game. Also one earlier in the Four Saint Beasts Arc, where at the end Hiei notes that Kurama has to have the last word.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Corsair}}'', Aura, princess of a pirate clan, is kidnapped by the governor-general of a nearby territory, Jean-Hughes D'Aubigne. Their first conversation with her as a hostage consists of them sharing a meal and speaking in polite monotone while exchanging sentiments such as "It's hard to believe a beauty like you is also a dirty sea pirate."
* In ''[[Manga/BlackButler Black Butler II]]'', those meetings between Sebastian and Claude that don't degenerate into [[BattleButler an outright brawl]] inevitably turn into this, as they exchange backhanded compliments and critique each other's buttling-skills.
* Light and L's [[GambitPileup battle of wits]] in ''Manga/DeathNote'' in all its [[MundaneMadeAwesome EPIC passive-aggressive glory.]] Later [[spoiler: Light and Near's.]]
* When Negi and Fate meet up for a discussion in the Magic World arc of Manga/MahouSenseiNegima, they sit down for a cup of tea and coffee like gentlemen, seemingly polite and in control, all the while spitting ever more contemptuous and malicious insults and one another's tastes and manners at the table. Even though they're only talking about drinks and what they put in their drinks, the others around the table can't help but back up from the tangible fury building around that table.
* Anthy Himemiya of ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' is a master at this, though it's also [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]] in that it's the only way she ''can'' fight back, having been [[spoiler:emotionally anesthetized by years of emotional and sexual manipulation by her ManipulativeBastard brother Akio]]. [[spoiler: The ''one'' time [[BrutalHonesty Anthy talks straight to the point]] is when, after Utena's HeroicSacrifice for her, she manages to break the cycle of abuse [[ButNowIMustGo and walks out on Akio]], leaving Ohtori with Chuchu [[IWillFindYou to find Utena]].]]
* Used quite in a while in ''Manga/OniisamaE'', specially by Rei and Kaoru when the first is in her rare good moods, by Mariko and [[TheRival Aya]] when they can't slap each other around, or by [[ManipulativeBitch Fukiko]] against whoever she's displeased with.
* Being a deconstruction of the FightingSeries PlayedForLaughs, ''Manga/MutekiKanbanMusume'' deconstructs PassiveAggressiveKombat reminding us that this is the weapon of the people who cannot win a physical confrontation, but also [[PowerAtAPrice takes a psychological toll on those who use it]]:
** Megumi has been bullied by Miki all her life, but she knew she cannot defeat Miki in a physical confrontation, so she has adopted a CombatPragmatist philosophy and never passes on a chance to verbally humiliate Miki… at the price of developing a terrible GuiltComplex: Megumi is so a BitchInSheepsClothing that she believes herself a CardCarryingVillain due to her self-hatred.
** Miki can beat physically any person in the world… except her own mother, Makiko. As a consequence, Miki never uses PassiveAggressiveKombat in anyone except her mother: Miki always finds a way to [[DamnedByFaintPraise call her mother “ugly”, “old” or “fat”]], or being TheSlacker in the family restaurant… at the price of being a ManChild, sponging out his own mother.
* America and Russia in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' are shown to do this. Most notably with their exchange in the America's Birthday strip, where Russia gives America a huge box of "extra small" condoms and a one-way ticket to Siberia. This conversation ends with them laughing while an intimidating aura emits from both of them.
* In the anime version of ''Anime/SailorMoon'', basically ''every single thing'' that has come out of Michiru Kaioh's mouth is this. If Usagi is going to be the queen of the moon, Michiru is definitely queen of the trolls.
* In ''Manga/Brave10'', this is Kanetsugu Naoe's forte, being quick of wit and vaguely disdainful towards everyone.
* In ''Manga/KaguyaSamaLoveIsWar'', most of Kaguya and Shrogane's flirting is done through canonical subtext, since neither of them feel comfortable openly admitting their feelings and they are often surrounded by people. Their aim is to make the other person lose their composure and confess... but their "war of love" humiliates them both more than if they were just honest about their feelings.
* One chapter of ''Manga/TouhouIbarakasenWildAndHornedHermit'' has Sanae and Reimu arguing about alcohol, with Sanae getting coached in this technique by her ancestors/bosses/patron gods Kanako and Suwako. Under the pretext of a peace offering, she gives Reimu some high-quality sake that was drunk at important moments in history; Kasen, who's far savvier than Reimu, realizes that the sake is perfectly mundane, and the moments in history were ones where people made fools of themselves because they were drunk. Since Reimu didn't pick up on either of those things, she ends up looking like a fool and doesn't even realize it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The characters in ''Franchise/ArchieComics'' engage in this from time to time.
* ''ComicBook/KatyKeene'' has this, especially between Katy and Gloria, often about each other's clothes. One cover has Gloria implying her dog is barking at Katy's [[PrettyInMink white mink wrap]] because it is really cheap cat fur, and Katy says that's odd since [[VolleyingInsults the dog is owned by a cat]].
* ''ComicBook/MillieTheModel'' has Millie and Chili going at it.
* ComicBook/EmmaFrost's relationship with most of the other ComicBook/XMen tends to be this trope. Especially true between her and Kitty Pryde during Creator/JossWhedon's run on ''ComicBook/AstonishingXMen'':
-->'''Emma:''' This, children, is Kitty Pryde, who apparently feels the need to make a grand entrance.\\
'''Kitty:''' I'm sorry, I was busy remembering to put on all my clothes.\\
'''Emma:''' [[SarcasmMode So gushingly glad you could join us.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11886910/1/Gankona-Unnachgiebig-Unità Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità]]'': Germany and Japan engaged in ''plenty'' of this over Italy before their [[CockFight cock fight]]. More aggressive than passive though.
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' has Loki and Dumbledore as two particular past masters of this trope, with the hapless Cornelius Fudge a frequent target.
** Harry demonstrates a proficiency in it in chapter 6 of ''Ghosts of the Past''.
* The second season of ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfTime'' has two running examples: [[Literature/SherlockHolmes the Holmeses]] vs. Chief Inspector Grayson (Beth Holmes's boss), and the Holmeses vs. Professor Moriarty.
* In the Franchise/DanganRonpa fanfic ''Fanfic/HopeOnADistantMountain'', Hope's Peak headmaster Jin Kirigiri spends most of his meeting with the school's steering committee bringing up all the bad and stupid things they've done in the story, though always politely and never actually accusing them of doing anything wrong. He finishes up with some ParentheticalSwearing.
%%* Common between Society Girls in ''FanFic/FourDeadlySecrets''.
* Name comes from ''WebVideo/VisionOfEscaflowneAbridged'', which spoofed Hitomi's and Millerna's discussions in the real ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' series, over who would get Allen. Basically, each fight [[MundaneMadeAwesome start and end with an announcer presenting them as intense, brutal fights]], even though the actual scenes are just them calmly lying and manipulating each other. The RunningGag first shows up [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=bqieymT7z14#t=176s here at 2:56:]].
* When [[WesternAnimation/AeonFlux Trevor]] isn't outright [[HannibalLecture Hannibal Lecturing]] his audience or ''Roleplay/InkCity'' at large, he engages in this instead. [=GLaDOS=] and [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Mew]] are other regular combatants, and even [[WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}} Yakko]] treads the thin line between this and [[DeadpanSnarker Deadpan Snarking]].

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsFriendshipGames'': Principal Cinch's speech at the welcoming party ''sounds'' polite, but in fact she's constantly putting down Canterlot High School, and saying in substance that they have no chance to win the Friendship Games.
-->'''Abacus Cinch:''' It's been four years since the last Friendship Games, but it feels as though nothing has changed. Canterlot High continues to pick its competitors in a popularity contest and Crystal Prep continues to field its top twelve students. It is a comfort to know that even after so many years of losses, your school remains so committed to its ideals, however misguided they may be. I wish you all the best of luck, regardless of the inevitable outcome.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/ShallWeDance'' (1937), this scene where Denise, the StalkerWithACrush, meets Linda, the new wife of the man she's been pursuing.
-->'''Denise:''' You know, you're a lot more intelligent than you look.\\
'''Linda:''' Why, thank you. I wish I could say the same of you.
* The first ''Film/IronMan1'' movie has a wonderful little example between Pepper Potts and Christine Everhart.
-->'''Pepper:''' ''[after Stark's one night stand with Christine]'' I have your clothes here; they've been dry cleaned and pressed. And there's a car waiting for you outside that will take you anywhere you'd like to go.\\
'''Christine:''' ''[patronizing tone]'' You must be the famous Pepper Potts.\\
'''Pepper:''' ''[smiles and nods]'' Indeed I am.\\
'''Christine:''' After all these years, Tony still has you picking up the dry cleaning.\\
'''Pepper:''' I do anything and everything Mr. Stark requires. Including, occasionally, taking out the trash. Will that be all?
* Jerry Lundegaard's EstablishingCharacterMoment in ''Film/{{Fargo}}'' has him taking this approach to con a couple into paying for a protective coat of paint that they didn't want on their car. When Jerry only knocks $100 off of the $500 cost for the paint, this pisses the husband off even more.
* ''Film/TheGreenHornet'':
** Britt never directly confronts his dad, but he never misses a chance to disappoint him. When Britt talks to you, you cannot be sure if he is praising you or insulting you (he bluntly tells Kato he has no life and calls Casey "old"). The obvious example is when Kato is hitting on Casey; Britt doesn't like that and, instead of confronting his feelings, he humiliates Kato by asking for a coffee. When Kato confronts Britt (by punching a hole in the wall), [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome he manipulates Kato with guilt and convinces him that Kato misunderstood the situation and that it was all part of their cover]].
** Kato takes this attitude with Britt when the direct approach doesn't work: He goes on a date with Casey and lies to Britt about visiting his friend Tony. Does it not seem suspicious that the HypercompetentSidekick risks letting his ManChild employer [[RecklessGunUsage near a gas gun]]?
* In the FilmOfTheBook of ''Literature/MemoirsOfAGeisha'', when Hatsumomo tries to interfere with Sayuri's debut by waltzing in unannounced during the latter's fan dance. The best part is that they are both smiling sweetly throughout the entire exchange, and Sayuri never pauses in her attentions to the clients:
-->'''Hatsumomo:''' What a beautiful dance, yes Pumpkin? ''[breaking out her own fans]'' Her fans are so hypnotic, that you never notice her feet! ''[some applause]'' What's her name?\\
'''Mameha:''' Her name is Sayuri.\\
'''Hatsumomo:''' Sayuri -- a name as ''sweet'' as she is! I'm afraid these days, even a common ''chambermaid'' can call herself a geisha. So it's nice to see such a sincere young maiko -- isn't it?\\
'''Mameha:''' Surely you would like to thank Hatsumomo for her gracious compliments?\\
'''Sayuri:''' There is ''so'' much I would like to say to Hatsumomo...\\
'''Hatsumomo:''' Sometimes, the smartest remark is silence!\\
'''Sayuri:''' What better advice to follow than your own?\\
'''Mameha:''' Sayuri...!\\
'''Hatsumomo:''' I was a maiko myself once.\\
'''Sayuri:''' ''[lighting a cigarette]'' Of course. But... it's been such a very long... long... ''[blows out her match]'' ...long, long time.\\
''[everyone laughs, and Hatsumomo finally drops the smile]''
* From ''Film/StarTrek'':
-->'''[[StrawVulcan Vulcan Council President]]:''' Why did you come before this council today? Was it to satisfy your emotional need to rebel?\\
'''[[HalfHumanhybrid Spock]]:''' The only emotion I wish to convey is gratitude. Thank you, Ministers, for your consideration.\\
''[[[ParentheticalSwearing in a tone reserved for telling someone to "Go to Hell]]"]''\\
'''Spock:''' Live long and prosper.
* This is used as the [[TakeThatUs Jews' ultimate weapon]] in ''Film/TheHebrewHammer'', where Mordechai takes on the stereotypical JewishMother persona and runs with it.
* Obi-Wan's brief meeting with Jango Fett in ''Franchise/StarWars: [[Film/AttackOfTheClones Episode II]]'', to the point that Boba Fett's origin story contains a comparison between that conversation and a swordfight.
* ''Film/GosfordPark'': Maggie Smith's character is an expert at this, making backhanded compliments and snide remarks to everyone in earshot. She takes particular interest in attacking the woman from a working-class background, complimenting her for being so refreshingly economic in only bringing one formal gown to the weekend. This is [[{{hypocrite}} hypocritical]] of her, since she's only there to beg for money from her richer relative.
* InUniverse rival actresses Marina Gregg (Creator/ElizabethTaylor) and Lola Brewster (Kim Novak) have several hilarious catfights in the 1980 adaptation of Creator/AgathaChristie's ''[[Literature/TheMirrorCrackdFromSideToSide The Mirror Crack'd]]''.
-->'''Lola:''' You seem lovely, as always. Of course, there are fewer lights on than usual. In fact, any fewer, and I'd need a seeing-eye dog.\\
'''Marina:''' Oh, I shouldn't bother to buy one, dear. In that wig, you could play Lassie.\\
'''Lola:''' Same adorable sense of humor. And I'm so glad to see that you've not only kept your ''gorgeous'' figure, but you've added ''so much'' to it!\\
'''Marina:''' What are you doing here so early, dear? I thought the plastic surgery seminar was in Switzerland.\\
'''Lola:''' Actually, darling, I couldn't wait to begin our little movie. You know the saying: once an actress, always an actress.\\
'''Marina:''' Oh, I do know the saying. But what does it have to do with you?\\
'''Lola:''' Cute angel. So do tell. How does it feel to be back, after being away ''so long''?\\
'''Marina:''' I've always thought of Lola as one of my oldest, ''oldest'' friends.
* Similarly, the 1982 film of ''Literature/EvilUnderTheSun'' contains these exchanges from Daphne Castle (Maggie Smith) and Arlena Marshall (Diana Rigg):
-->'''Daphne Castle:''' Arlena and I are old sparring partners.\\
'''Arlena Marshall:''' Hello, Daphne.\\
'''Daphne:''' Oh, it's been years.\\
'''Arlena:''' A little time, yes.\\
'''Daphne:''' Years. Arlena and I were in the chorus of a show together. Not that I could ever compete. Even in those days, she could always throw her legs up in the air higher than any of us. [[ReallyGetsAround And wider.]]\\
'''Arlena:''' Kenneth, this is such a surprise! When you told me of an island run by a quaint little landlady, I had no idea it was Daphne Castle.\\
'''Kenneth Marshall:''' ''[embarrassed]'' Er, yes, quite. Daphne, I wonder if we could go to our rooms. It's been a long journey.\\
'''Daphne:''' Oh, certainly. ''[rings the bell, and calls out]'' Andreas! ''[no response]''\\
'''Arlena:''' If you're short-staffed, Kenneth can easily carry the bags.\\
'''Daphne:''' They'll be brought up in a minute! Do have a good, long, peaceful rest, Arlena.\\
''[later, during that evening's cocktail gathering]''\\
'''Arlena:''' ''[making a grand entrance]'' Oh my, I'm the last to arrive!\\
'''Daphne:''' [[DoubleEntendre Have a sausage, dear.]] You must be famished, having to wait all that time in your room.
* Many of the voice actors at Gustave's party in ''Film/InAWorld'' engage in this.

* The novels of Creator/JaneAusten are full of this. The characters are products of a society that reveres manners, so conflict is dealt with in the most cutting--but polite!--manner possible.
** ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' is like the WWII of snarkery and PolitenessJudo. Blink and you'll miss it. (Someone once re-wrote ''Dirty Harry'' in the style of ''Pride and Prejudice.'' "Dirty" Harriet Bennett ends up telling Lady Catherine de Burgh "I have no objection, Madam, to your proceeding, since by doing so you shall render my day perfectly agreeable.")
** Captain Wentworth of ''Literature/{{Persuasion}}'' is as good at this as he is at handling his ship. Even though he never addresses Anne directly in the first part of the novel, and all of his remarks seem normal and conversational to the Crofts and Musgroves, they are full of barbs about Anne's decision to break their engagement eight years ago. Many of his sentences, such as the one about not having a wife to keep him ashore, have a silent "''...Anne''" at the end of them.
* A refrigerator is also the site of Passive Aggressive Kombat in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''... Dirk Gently does not want to open it before his housekeeper cleans it, and sets up elaborate, tiny traps to be able to tell if she has, one including a strand of hair. The refrigerator turns out to be so epic in its filth that [[spoiler:it spawns a horrible god-eating abomination when it's finally opened.]]
* Amaranta Buendía from ''Literature/OneHundredYearsOfSolitude'' is a ''master'' of this. Her favorite targets are her first boyfriend Pietro Crespi [[spoiler: who's DrivenToSuicide for it]], her DoggedNiceGuy Gerineldo Márquez, and her nice-in-law Fernanda.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': This is so common amongst the nobility of the series that it's practically their language. The females of one family [[GangOfHats wear it as their hat.]] Only the Countess Persephone seems to be above resorting to it.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Sansa Stark is left with only her [[DamnedByFaintPraise pretty words]], extensive [[LogicalFallacies knowledge of both story]] and [[ChewbaccaDefense song tropes]], as well as [[ExactWords carefully applied stock phrases]] to [[MetaphoricallyTrue lie cautiously]] with, as well as her hard-won [[PolitenessJudo courtesy and politeness]] to use as either a deliberate [[SarcasmBlind counter-snark defence]] or the occasionally subtle attack when she winds up as a hostage in a DeadlyDecadentCourt. She gets increasingly good at it, although her [[LooseLips start]] was, [[WrongGenreSavvy by any measure]], [[BreakTheCutie rocky]].
** [[AlphaBitch Cersei Lannister]] is accomplished at this when she pulls back on the aggressive side, as when she tells Margaery Tyrell that she's "never seen her as a rival," which Margaery (publicly, at least) takes as a denial of ill-feeling between them but which Cersei intends as implying that she does not view Margaery as a worthy opponent.
** Olenna Tyrell is pretty nifty with the [[DeadpanSnarker dry (and obvious) verbal stab to the diaphragm]], but even when she's backed you into a corner where you simply can't publically take offence at a rude little old lady's words without looking like an untutored, ungrateful prole, she's not left anybody in hearing range with the remotest doubt about how vicious the attack actually was. Her whole reliance on the stock "just a harmless, horrible old biddy" schtick is there so she can launch attacks and get away with it.
%% * Neferet from ''Literature/TheHouseOfNight'' possesses a black belt in passive aggressive dialogue. Overlaps into PolitenessJudo whenever Thanatos and Neferet share a scene.
* In ''[[Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore Gifts]]'' by Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin, Canoc Caspro tries to fight Ogge Drum this way while he and his family are guests at Drummant. It takes several attempts for his jibes and implications to work, though, since he's fencing and Ogge is using a bludgeon.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** How wizards settle their differences on the Discworld, having figured out that not only are sharply-worded memos a lot safer than each building a tower and lobbing fireballs at each other, it's just as fun.
*** Wizards have nothing on ''witches'' when it comes to viciously attempting to ''out-polite'' one another. '''Especially''' if it's Granny Weatherwax and Mrs. Earwig who are doing it.
** Averted in ''Discworld/NightWatch'' in a fancy dinner party featuring two Ankh-Morpork FeudingFamilies: since any insult would inevitably lead to open hostilities, they have to make do with the few subjects of conversation that ''haven't'' been used for this trope in the past. [[CaptainObvious Like observing that the other is standing up, for example.]]
* In ''Literature/TheFallingKingdomsSeries'', all the royals of Mytica are well-versed in using politeness, false sincerity, doublespeak, and ExactWords as daggers. Cleo in particular likes it; at one point she and Lucia have a, on the surface, perfectly polite conversation that is practically dripping with poison.
-->'''Lucia:''' [My brother] is very forgiving, though. After all, he forgave you [[DefiledForever your unfortunate and shameful loss of chastity to Lord Aron Lagaris]], didn’t he?\\
'''Cleo:''' As you said, [[SarcasmMode I’m very lucky.]]\\
'''Lucia:''' [[BlatantLies I’m sorry for stating this so bluntly]], but as you know, servants talk.\\
'''Cleo:''' Yes. I’ve heard things too. About you.\\
'''Lucia:''' Oh? Such as?\\
'''Cleo:''' I’m sure it’s a lie. [[TakeThat Unlike some people, I prefer to make my own judgments, not have my head filled so easily with the gossip of servants.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
%%* Sheldon from ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' does this a lot.
* Khan Noonien Singh once commented on ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek]]'', "Social occasions are only warfare concealed." About sums it up.
* [[HolierThanThou Kai Winn]] and [[ServileSnarker Weyoun]], the two most passive-aggressive characters in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', meet only once, but their conversation is full of veiled barbs and insincerity.
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' features it fairly often, particularly when Emily is on-screen. One episode has Lorelai trying to warn Luke about it, but he insists he can take care of himself. After dinner, he declares to Lorelai in astonishment: "I could only thank her! She insulted everything about me and ''I thanked her''!"
-->'''Luke:''' What is this feeling in my chest? This mixture of rage and weakness?\\
'''Lorelai:''' You've been Gilmore'd!
* ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' is based around this trope. Fortunately, most of this (at least among the main characters) falls under BrutalHonesty.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Since much of the show is about medieval political intrigue, many scenes ooze with this trope (when they don't [[{{Gorn}} ooze with blood]] [[EverybodyHasLotsOfSex or other fluids]], of course). Example:
** Season 1 has Ned Stark and Jaime Lannister verbally sparring in the throne room with Jaime arguing that he's a great swordsman and can take Ned, while Ned implies that Jaime is a coward.
** Any scene with both [[EunuchsAreEvil Varys]] and [[MagnificentBastard Littlefinger]].
** Much of Season 3 as [[DeadpanSnarker Tyrion and Cersei Lannister]] share power in King's Landing with politically-astute House Tyrell, plus their all-powerful patriarch, Lord Tywin Lannister. Snarky comments are sometimes the only defense they have left.
** Oberyn snarks at Tywin and Cersei when they insult his bastard paramour, reminding them that Princess Myrcella is currently in Dorne with Oberyn's family, and using the InsistentTerminology of "Former Queen Regent" when addressing Cersei.
** Jaime tells Loras that Cersei would kill Loras if he marries her, but insists that Loras will never marry Cersei anyway. Loras responds with a snappy comeback of his own:
--->'''Loras:''' ''[smiles smugly]'' [[BrotherSisterIncest And neither will you]]. ''[pats Jaime on the arm]''
** Tyrion reminds Joffrey (during the latter's wedding feast) that Joffrey was not [[MilesGloriosus the big hero during the Battle of Blackwater that he likes to claim]].
** Margaery Tyrell, Cersei's much hated new daughter-in-law cheerfully and politely calls her a drunkard, by apologizing for not having any wine to offer when Cersei makes an appearance in her lunch, and adding that for friends and herself it's just too early to drink. (No, Cersei didn't ask for wine.) She later implies that Cersei is old and has lost all her power. Her handmaidens titter at this indirect slight. Cersei scowls through it all and takes a threatening step toward her, but remains equally civil on the surface.
** Margaery and Cersei at dinner with Joffrey and Loras in "Valar Dohaeris", and stealth insulting each other all the while.
** Subverted in "Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken", where Cersei tries initiating this with Olenna only for Olenna to respond by blatantly insulting her to her face. Cersei is not amused.
--->'''Cersei:''' Ah, yes, the infamous tart-tongued Queen of Thorns.\\
'''Olenna:''' And the infamous ''tart'' Queen Cersei.
* Pretty much everyone in ''Series/ThePalace'' makes use of this frequently.
* ''Series/{{Dynasty}}'' breathes this trope. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc-h1CrkuIQ Alexis' first meeting with Dominique]] is a textbook example. Dominique went for the kill by pointing out that Alexis' wine had been frozen and thawed.
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'' is another textbook example of the trope due to its [[RichBitch Hamptons setting]]. Emily and Victoria's [[ArchNemesis dynamic]] in particular is built on this, although it gradually degrades into VolleyingInsults as the facade of their relationship diminishes.
* ''Series/DowntonAbbey'', being set in a British manor house in the early 1900s, is chock full of this. Mary and Edith, and Violet and Isobel, are the particular champions. When Cora's mother shows up, however, she and Violet play for the World Cup Final, US v UK.
* Sherlock's brother Mycroft and best friend John in ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' are never downright rude to one another, and seem generally resigned to working together for Sherlock's sake. While they are allies, they're clearly not on friendly terms, and things can -- and do -- get snarky and hostile at times. John tips closer to the "aggressive" end of passive-aggressive in "The Reichenbach Fall" due to the knowledge that [[spoiler:Mycroft, in an attempt to get Moriarty's master keycode, ended up giving the DiabolicalMastermind exactly what he wanted: Sherlock's entire life story]].
* In ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', Lucille and Lucille II engage in this as "primary social rivals", usually these encounters get less subtle and less passive as they go.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': War Minister Ahkna and Commandant Grayza meet in private to discuss a potential treaty, without the knowledge of their superiors. While they are clearly enemies, they manage to maintain a polite(ish) facade, with only occasional barbs about Ahkna's inability to get promoted of late and Grayza's use of her body to get ahead.
* ''Series/{{Rome}}''. Atia of the Julii excels at this, but finds herself outclassed by Cleopatra. When Atia whispers an insult in her ear while giving a goodbye kiss, Cleopatra just smiles in triumph, knowing she's won.
* In ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Ross and Joey engage in this in "The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress" where they meet and date the same girl.
* In ''Series/{{Oshin}}'', the YamatoNadeshiko Oshin engages uses this against [[ObnoxiousInLaws her mother in law Kiyo]] at first, and later against her daughter-in-law Michiko.
* ''Series/YesMinister'' runs on equal part this trope and {{Blackmail}}.
** Sir Humphrey, at one point lunches with a Civil Service superior who genially says that, while he is not inclined to judge seeing as he doesn't have all the facts, he still has concerns that people might get the idea that Humphrey might not be considered... "sound"... if he can't resolve the current situation satisfactorily. Sir Humphrey leaves the meeting looking like someone took a ball-peen hammer to his kneecaps, and Bernard describes the incident as "a real punch-up".
** Similarly, Hacker brings in some union representatives to discuss new proposed legislation. All three calmly and civilly say that they are deeply concerned about the possible effects of the legislation for their members and leave. When Bernard asks how the meeting went, Hacker buries his head in his hands and asks him to "Get someone in here to mop up the blood."

* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlzVPzXa_FQ Passive Vengeance]]" by Music/{{Psychostick}}.
* The duet "Via resti servita, madame brilliante" from Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart's ''Theatre/TheMarriageOfFigaro'' involves an exchange of politely delivered insults between Susanna and Marcellina. The latter storms out after Susanna wins by "congratulating" her on her old age.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade''. [[DeadlyDecadentCourt The Camarilla]]. If you're not indulging in this, ''you're doing it wrong'', although it depends a bit on your clan. If you're Brujah or Gangrel, it's rather optional. If you're Toreador it's not only mandatory, it's your life.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has rules for this, with emphasis on Combat. You can actually kill someone with a sufficiently sharp insult.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' has the Rapier Wit advantage (of course), which lets you land a stunning blow with a well placed insult.
* ''TabletopGame/LaceAndSteel'' has the Repartee skill, which you can use in a tense social situation to engage in a verbal duel. Mechanically, such duels are identical to physical combat, only replacing attacks with "remarks" (e.g. attacks to the head represent intellectual challenges, and attacks to the legs, to "low blows"). Instead of HitPoints, the remarks target Self-Image.

* ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest'': When Gwendolen and Cecily mistakenly come to believe that they are both engaged to the same man, they engage in an incredibly vicious yet polite catfight. The unstated rule is that they must insult each other while maintaining the appearance of civility and the one who loses her temper first loses. [[spoiler: Cecily wins.]]
* The verbal battles between Beatrice and Benedick in Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'' practically define the trope.
%%* A frequent occurrence in the works of Creator/HaroldPinter.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Happens a lot in the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' UniverseCompendium ''Symposium of Post-mysticism''. The symposium section is composed almost entirely of three characters taking snipes at each other while explaining how their world works.
* Nessiah from ''VideoGame/YggdraUnion'' and ''VideoGame/BlazeUnion'' is as sharp-tongued as he is short-tempered (which is ''very''), and isn't one to let an insult slide. This is a lot more apparent in ''Blaze Union'' as Nessiah has more screen time there, but he's still passive-aggressive as anything in ''Yggdra Union'' too. For instance, take this discussion with that game's protagonists (who have just committed mass genocide and killed a number of people Nessiah cared about) concerning a character Nessiah brought back from the dead:
-->'''Nessiah:''' It was an awfully thankless task, gathering up every last scattered piece [of her body]. *giggle* But it's quite all right. Wherever anything was missing, I was able to substitute other parts. ''You left quite a lot of those parts for me to work with...''
* ''VideoGame/MinecraftStoryMode'': Whichever hero you didn't pursue at the end of ''The Order of the Stone'' will have a tense conversation with you in ''Assembly Required''. If Jesse doesn't try to defuse the tension, the conversation takes a passive aggressive turn.
* From ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'':
-->'''[[PlayerCharacter Rook]]:''' I'm torn; do I master on hand-to-hand combat, or focus on ranged attacks?\\
'''[[ReluctantWarrior Celica]]:''' Perhaps you could find another hobby altogether.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'':
** Lilly and Shizune get into a rather heated war of words over the punctuality of the submission of reports for Student Council activities before the school festival. However, as Shizune is deaf-mute (and Lilly is blind), [[GenkiGirl Misha]] is at hand to translate everything she conveys, and doesn't quite grasp the true context of what the two are actually saying, which diminishes the effect somewhat.
--->'''Lilly:''' I was actually just discussing the budget report before you came by. You must be very talented to have finished all your student council duties so quickly that you can track me down to make sure I don't forget my own.\\
'''Misha: ''[translating for Shizune]''''' Are you accusing me of slacking off? It seems like you're confusing me with yourself~!\\
'''Lilly:''' I don't think so. That would be a very difficult thing for me to do: comparing myself to you.\\
'''Misha:''' You're right, the difference between us is like heaven and hell.\\
'''Lilly:''' And it's not hard to guess which one you might represent.
** Poor Hisao, who's ''much'' more contextually aware, is also tapped once to translate a conversation between the two. His attempts to modulate the argument prove futile.
--->'''Shizune:''' [Turn over here. It's very disrespectful to [[RefugeInAudacity not look at the person you're speaking to]]. That isn't the way a prim and proper lady should conduct herself.]\\
'''Lilly:''' "I'm sorry, such formalities slipped my mind completely. I forgot that the Student Council president is the type who would [[TakeThat demand such respect]] and [[{{Hypocrite}} adherence to the rules]] at all times."\\
'''Shizune:''' [[[RageBreakingPoint I'll devour you!]]]
* Some of the cases in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series are this.
** The exchange between Franziska and Mia (channeled by Pearl) at the start of the second trial day in case 2-2 is a nice example (slightly undermined by von Karma's [[VerbalTic foolish foolery]], though Mia remains civil), Phoenix internally comments on it but wisely keeps his mouth shut:
--->'''Franziska:''' The image of your defeated face will be transmitted all over the world!\\
'''Mia:''' All over the world, huh? Sounds like you've made quite a name for yourself, Phoenix.\\
'''Franziska:''' Don't be foolish, you foolish fool wearing the foolishly foolish clothes. The famous one is me! I'm the prodigy who has never lost a case since becoming a prosecutor five years ago. Naturally, the world's eyes are on me, as I conduct my first trial in this country!\\
'''Mia:''' Uh, huh... That's nice, Ms. von Karma.\\
'''Franziska:''' Hmph. Glad to see you're in such good "spirits" today, Ms. Fey.\\
'''Phoenix:''' (Uhh... It's true what they say... Women really are scary when they fight... *gulp*)
** Morgan Fey's interactions with most people involve her doing this, as she tends to address others with superficial politeness and humility, but is actually quite condescending.
--->'''Lotta:''' Hold on, now, granny!\\
'''Morgan:''' ...Granny?\\
'''Lotta:''' How come we ain't allowed in that room!?\\
'''Morgan:''' Dear madam, you have an "impressive" grasp of English. From where did you learn it?
* Eva from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' often uses this towards, well, pretty much anyone except her husband and her son. Her son George shows signs of this, especially towards Battler. Though he is much more subtle with it than his mother.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Rose and her mother fight this way (when they're not more aggressively fighting) in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''. [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002266 Their refrigerator is a good example of the nature of the feud]] (goes on for several pages).[[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] as it turns out Mom is absolutely sincere with the stuff she does and Rose is only misinterpreting her actions.]]
* In one arc of ''Webcomic/BrunoTheBandit'', Bruno encounters a gang of pirates who wield weaponized passive-aggressiveness. They do it with the help of magic rings that make other people unreasonably concerned about what the pirates think of them.
* ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'': If they could make money at it, this would be the family business of the [=McIntyres=]. The champion in the family is, generally, agreed to be Faye.
* Characters in ''Webcomic/RumorsOfWar'' use conversation as their primary mode of aggression.
* [[http://www.darklegacycomics.com/482 I told you to put your pet on passive!]] Oh, oops.
* ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'': Due to her ExtremeDoormat tendencies, Siv's attempts at holding her ground tend to take this form.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'':
** One of the many {{Cutaway Gag}}s is Peter helping Chris to get his insect badge by observing a family of "wasps." Cut away to Chris and Peter sitting behind a potted plant in a lavish dining hall watching a family of [[AcceptableEthnicTargets upper-class white Anglo Saxon Protestants]] doing exactly this. Subverted at the end when the father calls his wife a whore in front of their child.
** Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons jab at each other with passive aggressive comments on live television and the comments grow more and more demeaning in each episode as their disdain for each other gets more intense.
** In another cutaway gag, two women at a cafe spend the whole time hurling backhanded compliments at each other. A few tables over, two men are sitting together and one simply says he likes the other's tie, and the other one simply thanks him for the compliment. "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hmlPtRu1SQ Men! We know how to be friends!]]"
** Stewie and Brian get into this type of snark war a lot. The latter's feuding with Quagmire has also dialled down into this.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** "Look Before You Sleep": Rarity and Applejack end up stuck at Twilight Sparkle's place during a thunderstorm, and end up doing a bit of this thanks to residual bad feeling from an earlier argument.
--->'''Rarity:''' Fortunately, I can get along with anypony, no matter how rude ''she'' may be.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E25ToWhereAndBackAgainPart1 To Where and Back Again – Part 1]]", Trixie gleefully rubs Starlight inviting her to come to Our Town with her in Twilight's face, while smugly "complimenting" the Princess of Friendship on her "wisdom" and emphasizing how she's Starlight's ''best friend''.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There's a popular story about Sir Arthuer Wellesly, the Duke of Wellington, that he once attended a party in France and as one, all the French officers in the room turned their backs to him as a show of disgust and non-acknowledgement. When the host came up to apologize he said, with all sincerity and grace "It is of no matter Madame. I have seen their backs before."