Playing With / Stealth Insult

Basic Trope: A character insults another in a way that is intended to go over their head.
  • Straight: Alice subtly insults her boss Bob knowing that he won't get it.
  • Exaggerated: Alice manages to give an entire "The Reason You Suck" Speech without Bob realizing that she is saying anything mean.
  • Downplayed: Alice gives an obscene gesture which to Bob doesn't mean anything.
  • Justified: Bob is a Pointy-Haired Boss with a Hair-Trigger Temper, and she can't tell him what she really thinks without getting in trouble.
  • Inverted:
    • Calling Me a Logarithm
    • Alice compliments her boss Bob, but to avoid getting into the trouble with coworkers, she does it in the way, that nobody realizes it.
  • Subverted: Alice flat-out calls him an asshole.
  • Double Subverted: But he doesn't clearly hear or understand her, meaning there still aren't any repercussions.
  • Parodied: Alice pulls a Censorship by Spelling to do this, and it works.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice subtly calls her boss an asshole, among other things. He picks up on the "asshole" part, but none of the rest.
  • Averted:
    • Alice keeps her opinions to herself.
    • Alice says exactly what she thinks of Bob in no uncertain terms.
  • Enforced: "We need to show that Alice is way smarter than Bob, and has no respect for him."
  • Lampshaded: "Did you seriously miss that?" "Miss what?"
  • Invoked: Alice is teaching her coworkers how to do this to use the Catharsis Factor to lower stress.
  • Exploited: Alice's bravery and wit make her instantly popular with her coworkers.
  • Defied: Alice believes this is needless beating-around-the-bush and tells her boss point blank what she thinks of him.
  • Discussed: "Ever notice that Alice always insults Bob in a way that he won't catch on?"
  • Conversed:
    Bob: "Gee, do you think Alice really meant it when she said I was as smart as I was handsome?"
    Beatrice: "Uh, I'm pretty sure she was mocking you, Bob."
  • Implied: Alice throws a phrase with a Double Meaning her boss's way, but both interpretations are valid and relevant, so it's ambiguous as to whether she really insulted him or not.
  • Deconstructed: Despite being stupid, Bob still notices the insult.
  • Reconstructed: He realizes from the attempt that he is a terrible boss, and takes genuine steps to improve.


Well, I'm sure you wouldn't have any problems going back to Stealth Insult...
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/StealthInsult