Touché

Just because your boss has betrayed you and will sacrifice you to his god is no reason to be impolite about it.

A character graciously concedes a point while trying to save face. This is usually accomplished by saying words such as "Touché" (a term in fencing that acknowledges an opponent landing a hit), "point taken", "I stand corrected" (both when losing an argument) or "Well played".

There can be any manner of stakes and the form of defeat can vary from losing a minor argument to being Out-Gambitted in a war.

It's often spoofed when someone tries a really pathetic plan, it gets easily beaten, but the planner acts as though he/she was outwitted by a master.

Compare Worthy Opponent and Graceful Loser, who are likely to use this.

Contrast Sore Loser, who will not.

Examples:

Fan Fiction
  • In Dinner and a Show, Maleficent wonders what made Aurora invite her to a formal dinner if the latter heard that she was rather unpleasant and easily angered, resulting in this exchange.
    Maleficent: "You've heard? What exactly have you heard, Princess, that compelled you to invite me to dinner?"
    Aurora: "Well, I've heard that you don't like to be uninvited."
    Maleficent: "Touché."
  • In Swapping the Cage Kuushou's sole reaction to Anko invoking a regulation regarding rations on a mission to make him buy her dango is a simply, "Well played."

Films — Animated

Films — Live-Action
  • In Jurassic Park, Great White Hunter Muldoon clearly considers the raptors Worthy Opponents from the start, hinting that he has been enjoying the challenge of staying one step ahead of their increasingly creative attempts to escape confinement, and is oddly enthusiastic about himself "playing" with the creatures in the jungles of the island. When he realizes that he has just been outwitted by the raptors in a well-laid Batman Gambit, he mutters a sincere and respectful "Clever girl" to the pack leader just before being eaten.
  • In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark is reading through S.H.I.E.L.D.'s profile on him, and objecting to every critique listed, until he reaches "textbook narcissism". After a moment of consideration, he agrees.
  • In The Rocketeer, Cliff goes to pick up his girlfriend Jenny at her boarding house, but finds the door blocked by the landlady, who says "You know my rules, no gentlemen after 6 pm!" Cliff replies "Well, I'm no gentleman!" The landlady mutters "You can say that again..." and tells them to have a good time.

Literature
  • Gaea’s grudgingly impressed by Percy's gamble to force her to choose him over Phineas in The Heroes of Olympus.

Live-Action Television
  • Something of a running gag in NCIS: Los Angeles is that Deeks will says "Touché" to acknowledge Kensi has a point, and Kensi will say it too (regardless of the meaning), because she just likes the word.
  • In Frasier, Niles had heart surgery, and Frasier made a promise to God to be nice to Niles if he lived. Niles then acted insufferably (over his fear of what might happen again), and Frasier wanted to lay into his brother, but felt he couldn't break his promise. Then he found a loophole, and felt it was enough. But it turned out their father already talked Niles out of it. Frasier then just said "Well played, God. I'll see you at Easter."
  • On Seinfeld, George Costanza once pretended to be handicapped at work so he could get lots of special treatment, including a private bathroom. When the truth came out, his boss was so disgusted that he wanted to fire George, but couldn't because George had a one year contract with the company. Instead the boss does everything in his power to make George miserable at work and convince him to quit. After he gives everyone in the company access to George's previously private bathroom:
    George: Well played.
    Boss: I'll see you in hell, Costanza.
  • In the first season of The Naked Truth, Nora gets her Camilla's job back by tricking the owner of The Comet. He said earlier "Who said life was fair?", and after she tricked him, she said the same thing. He said "Touché", although did give her a crappy assignment as payback.

Radio

Video Games
  • In Team Fortress 2 Spy will occasionally greet an enemy that kills him with "Well played."
  • Rubick from Dota 2 will sometimes compliment his killer.

Visual Novels
  • The Judge in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials And Tribulations, after Phoenix uses his own words against his overruling.
    Phoenix: "Something you heard from someone else isn't admissible as testimony". Your words, Your Honor.
    Judge: ...Touche, Mr. Wright.

Webcomics
  • In Exterminatus Now Silas constantly gets attempts on his life from his second-in-command. Not only does Silas expect this, he already undoes most of what the second-in-command was going to do when it's revealed. The usurper takes it rather gracefully, all things considered, shaking hands with Silas and complimenting him on his foresight. Of course, Silas still kills him, but at least they were polite about it.
  • In Questionable Content, after Dora's dad accidentally has a TMI moment with Marten, Marten's comeback leads to this.
  • Buck Godot Zapgun For Hire: Der Rock's reaction when he finds out Buck really did get him the genuine MacGuffin back, and he, believing it fake, just used it to call the servant of one very pissed off Sufficiently Advanced Alien he stole it from originally was to simply pay Buck for a job well done, while offering an apology for doubting his professional standards.

Web Original
  • A Running Gag in Naruto The Abridged Series.
    • Iruka, as the first person in the series to say it, gets irritated whenever other characters use it.
    • Bob (Homura) asked Gladys (Koharu) if he could be the Hokage. When told he couldn't, he put on a disguise and asked again.
      Gladys: Dammit, Bob, that's just you with a fake mustache!
      Bob: Touché, Gladys. Touché.
  • The Wiiviewer said this after he tried to argue he couldn't compare Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, as they were different genres, and his sons pointed out he compared a racing game with a platformer game.
  • In the Star Wars episode III parody trailer: A Lost Hope, Vader quips to Mace Windu:
    Vader: I thought you'd be better.
    Windu: I thought you'd be taller.
    Vader: ...Touché!

Western Animation
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Keep Calm And Flutter On", Fluttershy has been appointed to reform Discord. She reveals that she knew he was lying to her and attempting to manipulate her the whole time, and after he has apparently stabbed her in the back, she walks off, declaring that they're no longer friends.
    Discord: You think you can boss Discord around? You think I'm going to turn all this back because you say so? Because if I don't, I'll lose the one friend I ever had? (long, reflective pause) Well played, Fluttershy. Well played.


Alternative Title(s):

Well Played