- Ender gives a very nice one to Bonzo Madrid in Ender’s Game.
, your father would be proud of you
. He would love to see you now
, come to fight a naked boy in a shower, smaller than you, and you brought six friends. He would say, Oh, what honor
. Be proud, Bonito
, pretty boy. You can go home and tell your father, Yes, I beat up Ender Wiggin
, who was barely ten years old, and I was thirteen. And I had only six of my friends to help me, and somehow we managed to defeat him, even though he was naked and wet and alone - Ender Wiggin
is so dangerous
it was all we could do not to bring two hundred.
- The speech saves his life.
- In Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty, one of the main characters, Emily, wants to do Law at university. For this she needs a signed form from her principal, but she hasn't got it back. She finally works up the courage to go see him...
Mr Ludovico: Do you really think you have what it takes to be a lawyer? Lawyers are adults. Let's take a look about what it means to be an adult, shall we? Adults are independent. You, Emily, can't seem to take a step in any direction without Lydia and Cassie by your side. An adult would simply work hard to improve his marks. You, Emily, make foolish requests to have your marks altered. An adult is a rational being. You ran around last term obsessing over Amelia and Riley, and this term you're shouting to the world— including, I might add, on some childishly hysterical blogs— that there's a ghost living in the Art Rooms at this school! You are every inch a child, Emily, and I see no indications that you will ever grow up. Now, let me ask you this. Would I be doing my job— would I be carrying out my responsibilities are principal of this school— if I signed a form that allowed you to be a lawyer?
- Emily protests that there is a ghost, and Mr Ludovico tells her that if she can prove it, he'll sign the form. Emily finds evidence and returns...
Mr Ludovico: In the last few weeks, my school has been overrun with hysteria about your ghost. Students are refusing to enter the Art Rooms. Teachers can't get their students to concentrate. You have infected my entire student body with your childishness. There is no ghost, and yet, if I didn't sign this form, your parents would be in this office in an instant. Taking some kind of legal action, no doubt. Not letting me get away with it! Protecting their little girl! I always intended to sign it. Just thought I might try to teach you something about the real world first. Help you to grow up a little. But now I see you're a lost cause.
- During the climax of The Name of the Rose, William of Baskerville unleashes one of these on Jorge of Burgos following his Motive Rant against laughter.
You are the Devil. Yes. They lied to you. The Devil is not the Prince of Matter; the Devil is the arrogance of the spirit, faith without smile, truth that is never seized by doubt. The Devil is grim because he knows where he is going, and in moving, he always returns whence he came. You are the Devil, and like the Devil, you live in darkness. If you wanted to convince me, you have failed.
I hate you, Jorge
, and if I could, I would lead you downstairs, across the grounds, naked, with feathers stuck in your asshole and your face painted like a juggler and a buffoon, so that the whole monastery would laugh at you and be afraid no longer. I would like to smear honey all over you and roll you in feathers and take you on a leash to fairs, to say to all: He was announcing the truth to you and telling you that the truth has the taste of death, and you believed not in his words but in his grimness. And now I say to you that in the infinite whirl of possible things, God allows you to imagine a world where the presumed interpreter of the truth is nothing more than a clumsy raven who repeats words learned long ago.
- Pride and Prejudice gives us one from Elizabeth Bennet to Mr. Darcy. And boy does it burn.
- Elizabeth also recieves one from Lady Catherine. Its burn is...significantly less.
- The good guys get one in Lois McMaster Bujold's The Vor Game when Gregor finally tells off Cavilo, pointing out that she's been treating the Emperor of three worlds as a naive newbie.
Commander Cavilo, both my parents died violently in political intrigue before I was six years old. A fact you might have researched. Did you think you were dealing with an amateur?
- Miles also gets one in the same scene.
You should have stuck to your first contract. Or your second plan. Or your third. You should, in fact, have stuck to something
. Anything. Your total self-interest
didn't make you strong, it made you a rag in the wind, anybody's to pick up.
- Jesus in the Left Behind book Glorious Appearing delivers his own to Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet.
- In one Cicada short story, the main character's parents on the brink of divorce are having an argument over the mother talking to her boyfriend while they were watching a Christmas special. After the mother berates the father for his "Catholic martyrdom" and expecting people who make mistakes to spend the rest of their lives on their knees, he responds with "You're stuck. You're going to wake up on the day you die and realize you hasn't changed one bit."
- In the X-Wing Series, Wedge Antilles is comfortably on the border between Sergeant Rock, The Heart, and the Reasonable Authority Figure. He really chews out some of his pilots when he sees the need. Kell Tainer, someone with a marked tendency to fold when he's needed, once asks for Permission to Speak Freely, and when it's granted says "Every time I hear one of your 'motivational speeches' I want to beat you to death."
- In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , Sherburn plays this trope HARD. "Then he says, slow and scournful, 'The idea of YOU lynching anybody! It’s amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a MAN!'" etc.
- Jim lays one a quietly crushing one down on Huck at the end of his "dream interpretation" after the two get separated in a fogbank:
What do dey stan’ for? I’se gwyne to tell you. When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin’ for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn’ k’yer no’ mo’ what become er me en de raf’. En when I wake up en fine you back agin, all safe en soun’, de tears come, en I could a got down on my knees en kiss yo’ foot, I’s so thankful. En all you wuz thinkin’ ’bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie. Dat truck dah is TRASH; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren’s en makes ’em ashamed.
- In Elantris Sarene gives a nasty one to Iadon that actually leaves the man as a blubbering wreck.
Sarene: Defiance, Iadon? I think you'll feel differently when everyone knows the truth. You know they already think you a fool. They pretend to obey you, but you know— you know in that whispering part of your heart that they mock you with their obedience. You think they didn't hear about your lost ships? You think they weren't laughing to themselves at how their king would soon be as poor as a baron? Oh, they knew. How will you face them, Iadon, when they learn how you really survived? When I show them how I rescued your income, how I gave you the contracts in Teod, how I saved your crown. You are a fool, Iadon. I know it, your nobles know it, and the world knows it. You have taken a great nation and squashed it in your greedy hands. You have enslaved the people and you defiled Arelon's honor. And, despite it all your country grows poorer. Even you, the king, are so destitute that only a gift from Teod lets you keep your crown. How will it look, Iadon? How will it feel to have the entire court know you are indebted to a woman? A foolish girl at that? You would be revealed. Everyone would know what you are. Nothing more than an insecure, trivial, incapable invalid."
- In A Confederacy of Dunces, Ignatius P. Reilly gets a good one from his mother towards the end:
Mrs. Reilly: You learnt everything, Ignatius, except how to be a human being.
- In Death: This has popped up from time to time. A pretty nice one is when Eve gets attacked by Isaac McQueen in New York To Dallas and Eve tells him that he should have just run and hid somewhere for awhile after he broke out of prison. Instead, he decided to go after her. She concludes with "You're just fucking stupid!" He does not take that well.
- Everworld: Senna Wales dishes these out like they're going out of style. Jalil, The Smart Guy, recognises this, hangs a lampshade on it, and deconstructs one of her speeches point for point. He and Merlin the Magnificent team up to give Senna a joint The Reason You Suck Speech in Book 11.
- An Elegy for the Still-living: Francis delivers one of these to himself near the end. He does not feel too cheerful afterward.
- The Remains of the Day: At the end of the book, Stevens at last can articulate the truth in a The Reason We Suck Speech for Lord Darlington and himself. Lord Darlington played Head-in-the-Sand Management for the Nazis, and at the end of the day, he can say he was wrong and take the responsibility like a man. Stevens never did anything for himself, and he cannot say even that.
- In The Fox in the Chicken Coop by Ephraim Kishon. The Yes-Man finally snaps and calls the politician out on his incompetence, how he still doesn't leave politics to make room for someone else, and the stupid joke he always tells.
- In Warrior Cats, after her sister Ivypool pushes one too many of her Berserk Buttons, Dovewing tells Ivypool exactly why she thinks Ivypool is a terrible cat who deserves to rot in the deepest corners of the Dark Forest for all eternity.
- Squirrelflight also gives one to Jayfeather in Faded Echoes after he treats her and Leafpool like crap for two books straight.
- Leafstar gives one of her own to Sol in After The Flood when he steals her kits just so he could become a warrior.
Sol: I'm always overlooked! Never made leader of a patrol...always scorned because I used to be a kittypet! I can be a warrior!
Leafstar: No. You can't. You have no understanding of the warrior code at all. What you've done here proves it. You've risked the lives of young kits...by leaving them alone here. Anything could have happened to them. They could have been lost. They could have died. My kits could have died. But you didn't just betray me. You betrayed the entire Clan. You did all this...and you never considered how it would make any of us feel. The Clan is a family, Sol. A community. And you're incapable of thinking about anyone but yourself. I banish you from SkyClan. You've betrayed my trust, betrayed the warrior code...betrayed everything I thought you believed in.
- Sol himself gives one to Billystorm about being a daylight warrior only for Billystorm to retort that he's moving into the gorge from now on with his Clan. So Sol gives this speech to SkyClan.
Sol: Those rogues were right. You are pathetic! You think the warrior code will keep you safe? What if there's another flood? More rats? Twolegs? You'll only ever be as strong as your weakest kit or oldest elder! I curse all Clans for their foolishness!
- Redwillow gives on to Blackstar, sneering that he's just old and should die. Blackstar shuts him up by calling him a traitor and killing him.
- Clear Sky gives Jagged Peak a cruel and unprovoked one in Thunder Rising, calling him selfish and lazy. Gray Wing, however, is quick to defend their little brother, and Jagged Peak gives Clear Sky one for kicking him out of the forest.
- In the first Dragonriders of Pern novel Dragonflight, Masterharper Robinton delivers a scathing one to the Lord Holders when they complain that Benden Weyr is asserting too much authority over them in the fight against Thread. Robinton reminds the Lord Holders that most of them treated Benden Weyr like crap for centuries and recently rode out to attack the Weyr because they thought there were no more Threads. Robinton then says that Benden has every right to leave the Holds to be eaten by Thread after all of that, and that the Lord Holders should shut up and do whatever the Weyrleader thinks is necessary to survive the return of the Threads. The speech makes F'lar very grateful that Masterharper Robinton is an ally of Benden Weyr and not an enemy.
- Aftran does "the reason you humans as a whole suck" speech in Animorphs, when she's talking to Cassie in "The Departure". She tells Cassie how humans suck because they don't appreciate the beauty of the world they live in and that they complain about the Yeerks enslaving them, but they do the same thing to their own livestock.
- Admiral Ackbar gives a memorable one to an Obstructive Bureaucrat and his supervisor during The Black Fleet Crisis regarding an application by a refugee from an Imperial Remnant planet genocided by the Yevetha to join the New Republic military.
: Admiral, we could certainly reconsider the application if you could just give us the context for your concern— Ackbar
: The context. It's not enough that a man is willing to put on a uniform and fight alongside people he's never met, just because he shares an ideal with them—no, his offer must come from the right context, and his school papers must be in order, and his arms not too long, and his blood type stocked in the combat medivacs. How things have changed. I can remember when we were glad for anyone willing to fight beside us. Supervisor
: Admiral—there have to be standards— Ackbar
: Major, ask yourself how many of the everyday heroes of the Rebellion—not just the names everyone knows—would have qualified to fight for their freedom under your rules. And then ask yourself if that answer doesn't make you look just a bit like a dewback's cloaca
- In The Well of Loneliness, Anna delivers a blistering one of these to her daughter Stephen when she founds out that she's a lesbian and was in a relationship with someone.. Stephen awesomely then gives one right back, saying that she truly loved the woman she was briefly with and is a good person who deserves better treatment. This leads to a lifelong estrangement.
- The Reynard Cycle: This series features more than a few, and all of them are leveled at Reynard, usually once people wise up and realize that he's not as lovable a Lovable Rogue as people seem to think he is. Hermeline's are, by far, the most blistering.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has many, unsurprising considering its Loads and Loads of Characters, most of whom deserve a bollocking at some point or another due to the Thirty Gambit Pileup Gray and Gray Morality setting.
- Sandor "The Hound" Clegane's numerous put-downs of Sansa's ideas about Knights in Shining Armor certainly count as this trope. These speeches, though harsh and contemptuous, are actually very good advice for the Crapsack World they live in, and the fact that he even bothers to insult her is one of the earliest signs that she's his Morality Pet.
- Tywin Lannister gives a particularly vicious one to his dwarf son Tyrion. This is an unusual example of this trope, because rather than telling hard truths, it is totally undeserved and reveals more about Tywin's Selective Obliviousness than it does about Tyrion.
- Tyrion himself doles out many, to various characters, and in contrast to his father, his observations are painfully accurate for the victim.
- A serious mistake by Edmure Tully results in him being given this by several different characters at the same time.
- Theon is given several before and during his poorly planned capture of Winterfell, but he's too much of a Smug Snake at the time to pay any attention to them.
- Cersei receives a truly excellent one from her uncle Kevan with regards to her many failings as a ruler and a mother. She throws wine in his face, orders him to leave, and thinks to herself that he's a traitor rather than face the truth of his accusations.
- She gets another excellent one from Margaery Tyrell, when Cersei visits her in her cell, showing that she's seen through approximately 100% of of Cersei's bullshit and calling her out as a paranoid Beloved Smother and utterly deflating her pretensions to Magnificent Bastardry.
- The Blackfish, Brynden Tully, delivers a truly devastating one to Jaime Lannister in A Feast for Crows. Best of all, he apparently attended parley mainly to deliver it, since he acknowledges he has no intention of accepting any terms offered and is there simply because a siege is a dull affair.
- Near the end of Brimstone, Captain Hayward delivers one to "Reverend" Buck.
"Mr. Buck? If you don't mind, there's something personal I'd like to say to you... First of all, there's only one Jesus and you aren't Him. Another thing: I'm a Christian, and I try to be a good one, although I may not always succeed. You had no right to stand there when I was at the mercy of that crowd, point your finger at me, and pass judgement. You should take a good look at that passage in the Gospel of Matthew: Judge not, that ye be not judged... Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.... I always liked the King James Version the best. Now, listen. You worry about yourself from now on, being a good citizen, keeping out of trouble, and obeying the law... If there's a Second Coming in the works, you sure as heck won't get advance notice - that much I do know... Farewell, Mr. Buck. Keep your nose clean."
- Kill Time or Die Trying: Nathan Hillary specialises in these, delivering a memorable one when complaining that WARP has become dull
"You’re a teenage choir boy, your standards for excitement are lower than Dylan’s IQ. I mean, look at these people. Look at Steve, it’s like God made him from leftovers. And not leftovers from making other humans. No no. We’re talking substandard meatloaf and candle-wax.
"And Ari? I have seen bears less hairy. The guy has to shave his damn teeth. Kevin’s okay, I suppose, does what he’s told. But Kerry, every time I look at her I give Douw a coupon for the optometrist. And you! Dude, brushing your fringe over your forehead mole isn’t fooling anyone. A comb-over is no cure for cancer. And no-one does anything anymore, and every-one always wears pants. There are no WARP shenanigans, no kilts, no rave day. It’s boring."
- Nathan McCall's Them has a scene where Barlowe Reed and Sandy Gilmore basically trade these after someone sets fire to the Gilmores' mailbox.
Barlowe: "These people been out here toilin' most a dey lives. You came here on a fuggin' whim. So what don't you understand? Far as I can see, you just a silly white girl looking for somethin interestin' to do."
Sandy: "You know, I actually feel sorry for you. You're so wounded that you may no longer be capable of seeing the good in others."
- This is not the first TRYSS Barlowe receives. After Nell bails him out of jail, leading to breaking up with him:
Nell: "Yeah, well, your li'l crusade cost me time and money. I ain't got money for that...And I definitely don't have time to be goin down there, minglin with ghetto folk. You too cozy, Barlowe; you too laid-back for me. You go to work and lay round a house that ain't even yours. It wouldn't bother you none if things stayed that way. All I can go by is what I see. I been waitin a long time for you to show me somethin. But you ain't showin me nothin I can use...Barlowe, I wont things..."
- This also doubles as Dare to Be Badass, as it drives Barlowe to buy the house he rents.
- Zhuge Liang in Romance of the Three Kingdoms can kill a man just by delivering one of these.
- Specifically, there are two. Zhuge Liang caused the death of Wang Lang via speech and Cao Zhen via a letter.
- GONE series:
- Legacy of the Dragokin: After deciphering and exploiting the weakness in Abyss' fighting style, Lydia tells her opponent what this flaw says about them personally.
- In pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, the poetic form of Hijaa', although called satire by more polite historians, is actually a kind of insult poetry directed at an enemy, explaining all the reasons why he was an awful, terrible, dishonorable, no-good human being. Like satire, Hijaa' is supposed to be funny to the general audience, but it was mostly supposed to be read or heard by its target, who would be gravely insulted. Essentially the world's first diss tracks.
- Gaithim of Quest Of The Unaligned gives an epic one to Prince Alaric, augmented by Gaithim's hoshek Charm Person powers.
- The Rifter: Laurie accusing John of being controlling toward "his kingdom" that he’s the god of. This is something that John tends to worry about himself. It’s true that there’s danger in a country depending on a single ruler — an immortal one at that! — however well-intentioned (and John is a something like a paragon of liberal American values and environmental responsibility). John tries to be as non-interventionary as possible, sets up democratic institutions, and forbids people from worshipping him, but they do anyway... Laurie was John's oldest friend, and now that she's his greatest enemy she’s very good at getting past his defenses saying things that remind him of his weaknesses.
- Older Than Feudalism: Jesus, of all people, lays down a few of these in The Bible, usually directed at the Pharisees. He also had a tendency to lambast crowds as he was teaching them, such as this quote from Matthew 21:31 (New American Standard Bible):
Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.
- In the Book Of Jonah, God himself calls out Jonah at the end for having Skewed Priorities, namely weeping that a plant that gave him shade has died but being fine with the entire city of Nineveh being smited to ash.
"You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?"
- In The Eddas, The Flyting of Loki is all about him delivering one of these to the assembled company of Valhalla, collectively and individually — Thor is a braggart, Freja is a ho, Odin is kinky, etc. While this could have been a jolly tale to be memorised and recited in the feast-hall, it's more likely that it was written by a convert to Christianity to lampoon the old gods and to denounce the moral standards of pre-Christian Norse culture. For context, it should be noted that flyting is a Norse tradition that is basically a formalized exchange of "reason you suck" speeches, so this sort of thing happens a lot in Norse Mythology.
- In The War of the Worlds, the Artilleryman, a working-class soldier who is the sole survivor of his unit, really gives it to the formerly comfortable middle-class Narrator - with both barrels loaded with shrapnel. Free from the military heirarchy and the social norms of Victorian England, he is finally free to say what he thinks.
“All these—the sort of people that lived in these houses, and all those damn little clerks that used to live down that way—they’d be no good. They haven’t any spirit in them—no proud dreams and no proud lusts; and a man who hasn’t one or the other—Lord! what is he but funk and precautions? They just used to skedaddle off to work—I've seen hundreds of ’em, bit of breakfast in hand, running wild and shining to catch their little season-ticket train, for fear they’d get dismissed if they didn’t; working at businesses they were afraid to take the trouble to understand; skedaddling back for fear they wouldn’t be in time for dinner; keeping indoors after dinner for fear of the back-streets, and sleeping with the wives they married, not because they wanted them, but because they had a bit of money that would make for safety in their one little miserable skedaddle through the world. Lives insured and a bit invested for fear of accidents. And on Sundays—fear of the hereafter. As if hell was built for rabbits! Well, the Martians will just be a godsend to these. Nice roomy cages, fattening food, careful breeding, no worry. After a week of chasing about the fields and lands on empty stomachs, they’ll come and be caught cheerful. They’ll be quite glad after a bit. They’ll wonder what people did before there were Martians to take care of them.”
- In Survivors: Darkness Falls, Alpha gives Lucky one for his "wavering" loyalty to the wild pack.
Alpha: "I'm impressed that you think so highly of the Pack. But the truth is, a dog never changes. I've been around long enough to know that. Look at you - you're a Lone Dog; it's in your blood. Your Lone Dog nature will always get the better of you. First you joined the Leashed Dogs, then the Wild Pack. Now you have taken it upon yourself to foster the Fierce Dogs. I doubt your commitment will last. I'll wake up one morning to discover you've deserted the Pack, including your precious Fierce Dogs. We'll be left to pick up the pieces."
- Fiery gives Alpha one in The Broken Path for his leadership skills. Believe it or not, he compliments Alpha first before laying one on him.
: "I respect Alpha. He has led us well and kept us together, in good times and bad. But I believe the Big Growl changed things. Our world has turned upside down, and I don't think Alpha can cope anymore. He has been hesitant; he has failed to make decisions. And his attitude
to the Leashed Dogs is not helping. He scorns them instead of valuing the skills they do have, and he makes no attempt to hide his dislike for Lick. His attitude is beginning to cause conflict in the Pack. While I know and respect what he has done as our Alpha, I believe I would be the better leader now-the stronger leader. That's why I challenge him."
- Lucky finally gives one to Alpha in "The Endless Lake" for betraying the Wild Pack and joining the Fierce Dogs, dogs he had said he hated with a burning passion.
Lucky: "You disgust me! You despicable traitor. You turned on your own Pack after they mourned for you, taking you for dead! Dishonorable beast! Even now, you show contempt for the laws of the Spirit Dogs! Blade promised that Storm could go free if she passed the Trial, that she would not be harmed!"
- Captain Ia gives an epic one in Theirs Not To Reason Why, as she explains to a disobedient subordinate how, by continuing to fire after she ordered him to stop, he doomed the entire galaxy. How only through one of his comrades giving up everything he ever could have been to take over a dead man's life was the total annihilation of every sapient who would ever live in the Milky Way averted. And how, because of his actions,despite all she could do to fix the situation, 720,593 people who otherwise could have been saved will die horribly.
"You will be given a list of these names to contemplate in your spare time. You are free to ignore it if you wish, but understand that I cannot. "
- In Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Der Verdacht, a sociopathic former nazi doctor delivers a devastating speech to his opponent, the Handicapped Badass Kommisär Bärlach. Bärlach isn't able to argue against his solipsistic reasoning on why he kills as he pleases.
- The titular heroine of Heaven gives one to Kitty after all the abuse she suffered at the latter's hands:
Heaven: "You're not my mother, Kitty Setterton Dennison! I don't have to call you Mother. Kitty is good enough. I've tried hard to love you, and forget all the awful things you've done to me, but I'm not trying anymore. You can't be human and nice for but a little while, can you? And I was stupid enough to plan a party, just to please you, and give you a reason for having all that china and crystal... but the storm is on, and so are you, because you just don't know how to act like a mother. Now it's ugly, mean time again. I can see it in your watery eyes that glow in the darkness of this room. No wonder God didn't allow you to have children, Kitty Dennison.God knew better."
- Lilly delivers a brutal one to Mia in The Princess Diaries, chastising her for throwing away her values by eating meat, something she hasn't done since she was small, simply because Michael temporarily moved to Japan. Though some of her arguments make sense, it's also obvious that her rage is fuelled by the fact that J.P dumped her for Mia.
- Almost everything that Eudamonia says is one of these, or a prelude to one, in Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon. And finally, Molly responds in kind.
- In Harahpin, still suffering from the loss of her father, Desmodea gives a scathing one to Eyrco.
- Thrym lashes out at Xepysa for denying him enough freedom to even feel pain, much to the planet soul's unsettlement.