->''"Another insect, CRUSHED!!!"''
-->-- '''Dong Zhuo''', ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors 4''

Bugs are small. Bugs can be annoying. And bugs are easily squishable, given the right tools. So what better way is there to insult an opponent you don't want to be bothered with anymore? By comparing him/her/it to a bug (or worm, or maggot, or something else that crawls along the ground and can easily be stepped on), of course.

This is a favored technique among very powerful and/or very arrogant villains to intimidate their opponent or devalue their abilities before their climactic battle. More savvy heroes tend to shrug this off as lame posturing, but a bad guy will still throw this in from time to time, if only to make himself [[EvilIsCool sound cool]]. This can be [[LargeHam hammy]], especially if you [[FridgeLogic stop to think]] of [[ComicalOverreacting what that would actually look like]] if it were a normal human saying it to an actual bug.

Note that [[VideoGame/EarthwormJim so]][[Series/KamenRiderKabuto me]] VideoGame/{{Worms}} are less pitiful than others.

See also the DrillSergeantNasty, who uses this as a "motivational" tool ("You call that an insult, maggot?!"), If a character thinks of ''everyone'' this way, that's HumansAreInsects. Also compare YourLittleDismissiveDiminutive.

! Examples:


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': Cementing his status as the BigBad of the story arc, Frieza often delivers insults like this to his foes. His [[{{Leitmotif}} theme song]] in ''Kai'' also has lyrics to this effect, describing his subjects as worms and insects before him.
-->''Did you really think that three little ants could defeat a dinosaur?''
* In ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'', Zorin Blitz talks about swatting Pip Bernadotte "like a fly", [[spoiler:which makes Seras [[UnstoppableRage angry]] enough to [[TookALevelInBadass take a level in badass]]]].
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'': Dio Brando does this a lot. For example, when standing on a floating rock about to fight the man in the funny hat.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', The Espada Barragan Luisenbarn is fond of this, repeatedly calling his enemies ants and insects even when he's not the one fighting them.
* Double meaning in ''Manga/CMonDigimon'', where Bun is both a weak monster (bug as in small and easily squished) but is also believed to be the result of an error in the v-pet(bug as in glitch). Similarly, in ''Manga/DigimonVTamer01'', Neo Saiba does compare opponents to bugs (small, easily squished) but considers Taichi and Zeromaru to be bugs in that they aren't squished when they are supposed to be (errors in the system).
* The double meaning continues in ''[[Anime/DigimonAdventure Our War Game]]'', where Kuramon is compared to a bug, in that Digimon are not supposed to directly appear on the internet, and a bug in that Taichi and Yamato's monsters are criticized for not easily squashing it like they should have.
* Children under the influence of the Dark Spore in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' get an attitude of superiority to normal humans, and often compare ''anyone who's not them'' to "insects".
* Father in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' once said humans are so insect-like compared to him that they don't even deserve his contempt as his homunculus give.
* In the Black Swordsman arc of ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'', which begins the story InMediasRes, Griffith/Femto makes his BigBad debut by "greeting" Guts with, "Still squirming around in your pitiful existence, I see." taking note that he is practically a god at this point and Guts is a mere mortal. Guts "calmly" reminds him that [[DudeWheresMyRespect if it hadn't been for the bullshit that Guts went through for his goals]], Griffith/Femto would not have been [[InWithTheInCrowd in the position that he is in now.]]
* The [[ObstructiveBureaucrat corrupt eunuchs']] in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' call the people of China ants in their MotiveRant to Zero [[JustBetweenYouAndMe when they think they have him cornered]]. Too bad for them, this is all part of an EngineeredPublicConfession.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', the dark guild Eisenwald refers to the members of the titular guild as "flies". They don't really make notice of it, except for Natsu who brilliantly gives the taunting Kageyama his comeuppance by [[InsultBackfire punching him and naming the attack "Fly Punch"]].
** TheDreaded Black Wizard Zeref believes that the even ''more'' dreaded Black Dragon of the Apocalypse Acnologia chooses not to speak to humans [[spoiler:(despite technically still being one himself)]] because he sees them are mere vermin.
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', Teitoku Kakine calls Accelerator a worm at one point before trying to kill him.
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', Fate boasts at one point, "You are as an ant before an elephant."
* In ''LightNovel/FateZero'', Gilgamesh calls one of the Assassins a worm after slicing his head open with one of his [[StormOfBlades flying swords]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}''
-->'''Dr. Manhattan:''' The world's smartest man is no more a threat to me than the world's smartest termite.
* Epic example from ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo''. [[spoiler: Mr. Mind, who appears in most stories as a tiny, telepathic caterpillar who needs the help of other villains to fight his enemies, has become the Hyperfly. Now the size of a planet, he chases down Booster Gold and Rip Hunter...]]
-->''I have you now. You insects.''
* In one issue of ''[[ComicBook/BatmanArkhamUnhinged Arkham Unhinged]]'', Bane has broken into the church where Cash, the medical staff and political prisoners are holed up. Cash confronts, and Bane says that he is an insect to him. Cash's pure badass response
-->''Good! Then feel my sting! *SLASH!*''
* Due to his motif, Franchise/SpiderMan's enemies often do this. Of course, if anyone is so foolish as to refer to him as an "insect", he'll be quick to remind them that he's actually an ''arachnid''.

[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* Villains fond of this insult in a [[http://www.geocities.ws/prhiddenwar/Hw45.html Power Ranger universe]] have the chance to take it [[MakeMyMonsterGrow a step further.]]
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'':
** Hex, Pandora, and Babylon can barely form a sentence without derisively calling humans and monsters "lesser beings."
** The dark Falla likes to refer to humans and other monsters as ants.
** In Act III chapter 41, Kuyou explicitly states that, as far as he's concerned, humans are the equivalent of ants and dirt.
** In Act V chapter 36, during the school attack, Jacqueline outright refers to the humans as "filthy bugs."
* ''FanFic/ALinkBetweenWorldsTheNovelization'': As in the game, Yuga is literally incapable of opening his mouth without comparing everyone around him to worms and insects.
* In ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', [[EldritchAbomination Nyarlathotrot]] tells the heroes that ponies are less than bacteria to him.
* In ''Fanfic/TheBridge'', Grand King Ghidorah often calls his opponents things like cockroaches and worms. [[InsultBackfire Megalon points out he actually resembles a giant cockroach]].
* In ''[[Fanfic/TheUltimateEvil The Stronger Evil]]'', [[SealedEvilInACan Shendu]] calls [[OracularHead Tarakudo]] a worm as part of his BadassBoast when [[EvilVersusEvil the petrified Demon Sorcerer repels the flying head of an Oni King]].
-->'''Shendu''': Do you feel it - [[CastingAShadow shadow]]-''worm''?! That is a smidgen of the force of '''true''' power! Savour this small glimpse of hope you have. For it is only this [[TakenForGranite stone casing]] which restricts me from tearing you asunder. If I were free of this skin, you would be in trouble.
* In ''[[Fanfic/TheHeartTrilogy Heart of Ashes]]'', King Wilhelm of Dorwinion tries to assert his authority to [[VillainProtagonist Smaug]] while comparing him to a worm. The [[HumanityEnsues dragon-in-human-skin]] responds with a scathing TheReasonYouSuckSpeech in which he turns the worm-comparison around.
-->'''King Wilhelm''': I am a king, and you are nothing more than a worm beneath my boot!\\
'''Smaug''': A ''worm''... What ''lovely'' titles you give both to yourself and to me. But I have seen kings and empires fall in just one day, all gone in a cloud of smoke... And just now, as your narrow-minded advisors tell you, self-proclaimed kings are falling day by day, to die in the dirt, and be nothing but food for the crows and the ''worms''.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', Pain and Panic, minions of Hades, use this trope on ''themselves'', to demonstrate their unworthiness compared to their boss.
-->'''Pain and Panic:''' We are worms! Worthless worms!
* ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'' is about ants, so the antagonist Hopper has to go one step further with his insults.
-->"You piece of dirt! No, I'm wrong. You're lower than dirt. You're an ant!"
* ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'': Early on, Frollo outright compares the Gypsies to ants. For emphasis, while explaining his genocidal intentions to Phoebus, he squishes an ant nest.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Rotti Largo from ''Film/RepoTheGeneticOpera'':
-->"Maggots! Vermin! You want the world for nothing!"
* Non-villain example from ''Film/GoldenEye''. [[LoveInterest Natalya]] tells off her former partner [[PlayfulHacker Boris]], who has [[FaceHeelTurn joined Trevelyan]].
-->'''Natalya:''' This is not one of your games, Boris! Real people will die! You pathetic little worm...
* In ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'' (also in the stage play), the reprise of ''"Super Heroes"'' includes the line:
-->''"And crawling / on the planet's face / some insects / called the human race..."''
* Loki in ''Film/TheAvengers2012''.
-->'''Director Fury:''' We have no quarrel with you.\\
'''Loki:''' An ant has no quarrel with a boot.
** Later, when Loki is thrown into a cell designed to contain the Hulk, Fury informs him he can be ejected into the sky at any time if he misbehaves, then says, [[IronicEcho "Ant, meet boot."]]
* In ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'', Spider-Man lands several hits on Thanos using Doctor Strange's [[TeleportSpam portal-spamming]] abilities. Thanos eventually grabs him and drives him into the ground while snarling, "Insect!"
* Amos, the preacher from ''Literature/ColdComfortFarm'' begins his church service this way before beginning his rant about the FireAndBrimstoneHell that awaits them all.
-->"You...miserable...crawling worms are yer here again then?"

* In ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain Taran Wanderer]]'', Morda attempts to BalefulPolymorph Taran into a worm, considering other animals not lowly enough. (He fails because Taran is unwittingly holding his SoulJar.)
* Douglas Hill's ''Master of Fiends'' has a particularly unpleasant demon call the heroes insects.
-->Scythe: Some insects bite, crawler. Do you dare to risk my fangs? <brandishes CoolSword>
* In Literature/TheDresdenFiles, this is fairly stock. So much so, that if the monster of the week ''doesn't'' do this, then they're savvy. Like Cowl. Or Kincaid. Notice, they're both [[spoiler: probably at least a little bit]] human.
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'' gives us a hilarious example in which a young apprentice makes up a weird dream that goes something like this "I was walking through the forest and [=ShadowClan=] cats were EVERYWHERE! And the river was running with blood, THUNDERCLAN BLOOD! I went to tell somebody in the camp but there were no [=ThunderClan=] warriors anywhere and a [=ShadowClan=] cat is all like 'We can crush [=ThunderClan=], because [=ThunderClan=] are no more powerful then a swarm of beetles, and Beetles can be crushed,".
* In Creator/MattStover's {{novelization}} of ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', Anakin is shown gradually having less and less regard for his wife as a person he loves and respects, more and more seeing her as a possession whose fear and pain, when he provokes them, are sweet. There's a scene where he looks at her and realizes he could crush her like a bug, and almost wants to.
* In the original ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety'' book, after realizing that the members of titular society are spies, the BigBad Mr. Curtain refers to them and children in general as gnats that are easy to crush.

* On ''Series/{{Angel}}'', ''Illyria'', oh so much. An Old One from when demons ruled the earth, used to being worshiped by millions or billions of beings, she was not especially impressed with the twenty-first century. Insects, vermin, and muck were all ways she described humanity.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. LargeHam Dr. Chaotica in the Film/{{Flash Gordon|Serial}} {{expy}} holodeck program "The Adventures of Captain Proton!"
-->Your pitiful fleet is no match for my spaceforce! We'll crush you like insects!
** Gary Mitchell from the [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries TOS episode]] "Where No Man Has Gone Before" makes a similar threat as he's being beamed down to Delta Vega.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Ultimate Foe", the Valeyard hurls this sort of insult at Glitz: "Insect! Microbe!!"
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', The Vorlons and Shadows take this attitude towards the younger races, humans included. Kosh is our main window on this ("The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."), and he's actually ''way'' more engaged with us than the rest of his race.
* In ''Series/{{Haven}}'', the villainous Mara is several centuries old and sees herself as superior to ordinary humans. She boasts to the heroes, "You're less than insects to me."
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': The Angels that adhere more openly to FantasticRacism deride humans as either monkeys or maggots. Zachariah, a higher-tier and particularly [[SmugSnake smug]] Angel topped it by describing Dean as "nothing but a maggot inside a worm's ass".

* Professor Higgins in ''Theatre/{{Pygmalion}}'':
--> '''Eliza''': Nothing wrong -- with ''you''. I've won your bet for you, haven't I? That's enough for you. ''I'' don't matter, I suppose.
--> '''Higgins''': ''You'' won my bet! You! Presumptuous insect! I won it.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Emperor from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' (especially as he appears in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'') loves using this trope.
-->"Insects may swarm, but they are insects nonetheless."
** This comes back to bite him after his ''second'' major defeat - when he disbelievingly asks who the heroes are, Firion mockingly replies: [[IronicEcho "Just a swarm of insects."]]
* Kefka from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': "Such magnificent power! You are like insects to me!"
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' - facing the party for the first time, Beatrix tells Freya and Zidane, "I once killed a hundred knights single-handedly... To me, you two are nothing more than insects."
* Dr. Batrachian from ''VideoGame/ShadowMan'': "You ant! You piece of excrement! You NOTHING!!"
* SHODAN from ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' also likes to use "insect" as an insult. Of course, this is one of her ''nicer'' threats...
* Albel Nox from ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime''.
* There's also Luca Blight's rant from ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'':
-->"You can round up a million maggots to defeat me... but you'll still all just be maggots!"
* Astaroth from ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur'', often calls his opponents "worms" and the like. Apparently, freaky hulking golems are hard to please. Who knew?
** Soul Calibur IV gives us this gem from one of the more evil sounding custom male voices:
-->'''Created Villain (Upon Victory):''' "Did you feel my power, you maggots?!"
* Liquid Snake from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', in one of his ''first lines''!
-->"I'm going to go swat down a couple of ''bothersome flies.''"
* The Soldier from ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' often yells about maggots and spineless worms. (See DrillSergeantNasty above.)
** Lampshaded with one of the Halloween items, [[http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Larval_Lid which is an actual maggot]] [[PuppeteerParasite inside of his brain]], which changes the lines to add him apologizing for the InsultFriendlyFire.
* One of Adon's win quotes in ''Super VideoGame/StreetFighterIV''.
* [[EldritchAbomination Sovereign]] in ''Franchise/MassEffect''.
-->[[AC: Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh.]]\\
[[AC: Organic life is nothing but a genetic mutation, an accident…]]
* [[BigBad O. Dio]] of ''VideoGame/LiveALive''[='s=] [[SpaghettiWestern Western]] chapter:
--> "It doesn't matter how many rats you rustle up... You won't be able to win against a [[GatlingGood Gatling Gun]]!!"
* This exchange from ''VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'':
-->'''Idura:''' Foolish vermin! Do you dare to defy me? I'LL CRUSH YOU LIKE WORMS!\\
'''Tia:''' (to Maxim and Guy) Hey, are we worms, or are we vermin? Boy, he's really mad now.
* Galactus in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' will sometimes start the FinalBoss fight by saying "You are not unlike an ant fighting the sun."
** He also says "Now I must squash you like the bug that you are!" when you beat him. [[SarcasmMode Sure, he is.]]
** Also, Super Skrull says at the beginning of a fight: "I will ''crush'' you like the ''insect'' you are."
* Wizpig of ''VideoGame/DiddyKongRacing'' enjoys calling the racers "worms."
* Sigma from ''VideoGame/MegaManX 2'': "You are merely a bothersome insect, Mega Man X! It is about time that I crush you beneath my heel!"
* Wild Dog in ''VideoGame/TimeCrisis 4'' says the following to the VSSE, whose members he had to deal with in the entire series. He hams it up in the sequel with similar insults.
-->'''Wild Dog:''' A bunch of annoying little flies...
** In ''Time Crisis 2'', Ernesto Diaz compares the VSSE to roaches.
* In ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'', Doviculus calls Lars an insect.
* Used and then subverted in ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'', in which Egil apologizes for calling the party "bugs" earlier [[WorthyOpponent after they put up a surprisingly strong fight against him]]. [[AesopAmnesia He then]] [[DoubleSubverted proceeds to call them "worms"]] upon their next encounter.
* Along with "bakufu's dogs," this is one of Kazama Chikage's favorite ways to address the Shinsengumi in ''VideoGame/{{Hakuouki}}''.
* In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment'', Dracula is quite fond of this. Some of his victory quotes have him call his defeated opponents insects.
* In ''{{VideoGame/Rosenkreuzstilette}}'', [[spoiler:Iris loves using this trope as well. Just another reason to call her a SmugSuper]].
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'': [[BigBad Yuga]] can barely finish a sentence without calling everyone around him worms and insects.
* Granga from ''VideoGame/StarFox64'' has two variations of this:
-->'''Granga:''' "I will not be defeated by this worm!" \\
'''Granga:''' "You annoying little flies!"
* In ''VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRaccoonus'', the first boss hams it up with this little exchange:
-->'''Sir Raleigh:''' Ohhhhhh, I'm ever so sorry. How sloppy of me not to finish the job. Obviously we should have snuffed you out as well. So, without any further ado, let me make amends by, what... [[SuddenlyShouting BLOATING TO GARGANTUAN SIZE AND SQUASHING YOU LIKE THE INSIGNIFICANT BUG THAT YOU ARE!!!!]]
* Ragnaros the Firelord from ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' and ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' is fond of saying things like, "Die, insect!"
* In ''Blue's Journey'' for the UsefulNotes/NeoGeo, the Daruma Emperor says "You worm!" before attacking you.
* In ''VideoGame/UltimaWorldsOfAdventure2MartianDreams'', many of the martians refer to humans as worms, even non-maliciously. This is revealed to be because they are all plant-based beings, as are the majority of Mars' lifeforms, and the only native animals are a few varieties of worms, all primitive and hostile - "worm" is the only analogue they recognize. Quite a few of the friendlier martians are even delighted and intrigued by the novelty of civilized and advanced "worms".

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Crops up ''a lot'' in various continuities of ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}''. It [[JustifiedTrope helps]] that [[AliensAreBastards Decepti]][[HumongousMecha cons]] [[PunyEarthlings usually don't think too highly]] of humans for the most part.
* What was Comicbook/{{Darkseid}}'s reaction when Franchise/{{Batman}} gave him a flying kick with enough force to [[BadassNormal actually make him]] ''stumble a bit'' in the GrandFinale of ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]''. One pithy word before firing the [[EyeBeams Omega Effect]]:
-->'''Darkseid:''' Flea.
* ''Series/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow'': In "Mario Meets Koop-Zilla", King Koopa becomes the size of a skyscraper, and he calls Mario and Luigi insects.