- The Joker in Batman is always some combination of a Mad Hatter and a Card-Carrying Villain, so he gets to do this a lot. For example, in Arkham AsylumBatman: Filthy degenerate!Joker: Flattery will get you nowhere.
Swamp Thing: You sick, unnatural clown!
- On The Batman.Joker: Medical Report! Stat!Doctor: Y-you had a bad accident. You're a very sick man!Joker: Flattery won't save you!
- Batman: The Long HalloweenBatman: You're insane!Joker: Has it really taken you this long to notice?
- An early version of this (at least for the Joker), from Batman #321.Robin: You're out of your mind, Joker!Joker: Gloriously so! Isn't it wonderful?
- And an even earlier example in The Joker's Five-Way Revenge (Batman #251). Yeah, the Joker really likes this trope.Batman: Joker — you realize you're utterly... hopelessly... insane!Joker: It's my most charming trait!
- Averted, however, in The Dark Knight.Gambol: You're crazy.Joker: (offended) I'm not... No, I'm not.
- And played straight in Tim Burton's Batman (1989):Vicky Vale: You're insane...!Joker: (feigning surprise) I thought I was Pisces.
- Batman gets Joker back in a story from Batman: Black and White.Joker: You know you're insane, Dont you?Batman: I'm insane?Joker: Oh sure, I have one or two small delusions of my own but you - you actually think you can stop crime!Batman: What do you mean? (Smiles) I stop it every night.
- Played straight again in Injustice 2.
Joker: Thank you!
Raiden: Your sadistic evil oozes from every pore!
Joker: It's called insanity. Try it some time!
Poison Ivy: I'll spit on your grave!
Joker: It could use a polish!
- On The Batman.
- WantedAdam One: Fuck you, you fascist bastard.The Future: You say fascist like it's some kind of insult, but people love fascists, man. You ever meet a woman who fantasized about being tied up and raped by a liberal?
"I do not fuck goats, Mr. Gibson. I make love to them."
- Probably a paraphrase of P.J. O'Rourke who was once called a Nazi by an offended listener. "I have often been called a Nazi... I don't let it bother me for one simple reason. No one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal."
- Don't forget Mr. Rictus reply to Wesley calling him a "goatfucker."
- In Enki Bilal's Nikopol-trilogy the eponymous characters once calls the Egyptian god Horus an inhuman bastard. Horus doesn't take this as compliment per se, but still explains Nikopol that he is inheritly inhuman, that is, far above the pathetic human concerns, like morality.
- In the British comic book anthology, 2000 AD:
Dredd: We had a human like you in the 20th century, his name was Hitler!Call-Me-Kenneth: Oh yes, I'm a very big fan of Adolf Hitler!
- Judge Dredd: Dredd at one point confronted the evil Call-Me-Kenneth, a robot leading all the other machines into a rebellion against the humans. Seeing the horrors of what's in front of him, Dredd proceeded to insulting Kenneth:
- From Superman/Batman #4:Nightwing: Go to hell.Lex Luthor: I've been. It's overrated.
- This exchange between Jean Grey and Emma Frost during Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men:Jean: What makes you such a bitch, Emma?
- From an issue of Uncanny X-Men that ties in with Avengers vs. X-Men, when Colossus learns that his sister had manipulated him into becoming the new Juggernaut so he could be as much a monster as she had become:Colossus: You're Insane!!Magik: (overjoyed) Oh thank you, thank you! I knew you'd eventually understand!
- From an issue of Uncanny X-Men that ties in with Avengers vs. X-Men, when Colossus learns that his sister had manipulated him into becoming the new Juggernaut so he could be as much a monster as she had become:
- From the series Anarky the eponymous character confronts Physical God Darkseid and begins to lecture Darkseid on why everything he does is wrong. Just when he's about to use the E-word Darkseid cuts him off and proudly finishes the "insult" for him.Darkseid: Evil? Yes. I am.
- In JLA, this exchange between Oracle and T.O. Morrow, after she learns that he lied about when the Amazo android would awaken:Morrow: Letting you think you still had half an hour to assemble the troops was just my way of hanging onto a little criminal integrity, my dear. No hard feelings, I hope.Oracle: You sick freak!Morrow: One tries one's best.
- From the Metal Men strip in Wednesday Comics #5 - Dr. Pretorius, the villain of the strip, has just revealed that he is wearing a bomb vest, and that his motivation for his attack is that Dr. Magnus, creator of the Metal Men, "stole" the grant he felt he deserved by designing the Responsometers that power the Metal Men.Dr. Pretorius: To hell with the committee! And to hell with you and your damn amusement park attractions!Mercury: Hey! I Resemble That Remark!!
- From Marvel Adventures The Avengers, Erik "Atlas" Josten tries to do this to Hank "Ant-Man" Pym, who had giant-sized to fight him.Erik: You won't win, Hank. Why don't you go back to playing with your ants?
Hank: Good idea (Hank enlarges three ants to waist-level). Get him, boys.
- What does Ant-Man do? Smile as he realizes that's not a bad idea at all.
- An odd exchange happened in one arc between Norman Osborn and his then-henchman Mad Jack. In one issue, Norman tried to pay Jack for completing a job, but Jack refused it, flying out Norman's office window:Jack: Go to Hades.
Norman: Hades? Why Jack... I've been there...
- Many issues later, Norman gave Jack another payment for another job, and this time, Jack accepted it. The previous incident was mentioned:Norman: I think it's very generous, Jack, considering that you once told me to go to Hades.
Jack: I thought you'd take it as a compliment!
Norman: (smirks) Now that you mention it... I guess I did! (cue Evil Laugh from both villains.)
- In the comic where Spider-Man faces Tombstone after the villain gains superhuman strength and rock-hard skin, there's this exchange after Spidey finds out about it.Spider-Man: Tombstone... I hate to be the one to tell you this, but... I don't think you're human anymore...
Tombstone: I know...
(Spidey punches him, but only gets a Slasher Smile from the villain)
Tombstone: I'm better.
- To make it worse, Spidey comments that Tombstone's grip is "Cold as ice... Hard as marble!" Tombstone actually thinks that sounds kind of catchy, and thanks the hero for thinking of it. ("How else would you describe a tombstone?" he laughs.)
- An odd exchange happened in one arc between Norman Osborn and his then-henchman Mad Jack. In one issue, Norman tried to pay Jack for completing a job, but Jack refused it, flying out Norman's office window:
- The Tick is The Ditz, so frequently he'll interpret insults as compliments or simply not understand that they were insults.Professor: No insult intended.
Tick: None comprehended! (goofy grin)
- Scrooge McDuck is quite happy whenever someone calls him a "tightwad" or a "cheapskate" or a "skinflint" — the sooner everyone knows that, the sooner they'll know there's no point asking him for money!
- It's apparently a family trait: in one occasion Scrooge and his father were called "Liars and cowards, as well as tightwads", and they took offense only at the liars and cowards.
- In the Carl Barks story "Lost in the Andes", Donald Duck and his nephews found a small, isolated village of square people who live on good cheer. The natives explain that their home is called "Plain Awful", the reason being that it's what their only other visitor called it. The Awfultonians are such good natured folk that they don't seem to understand that "plain awful" is supposed to be an insult.
- At one point Bigby of Fables gets called a "son-of-a-bitch". Since this is literally true, his response is essentially, "Yep, and she was a pretty great mother, too."
- In Batman Eternal, when Jason Bard exposes the new police commissioner as a Corrupt Cop, and warns the mayor who appointed him that he's next, the mayor spits out "You're just like Gordon, kid!" Without turning round as he leaves, Bard just says "Thank you".
- Wonder Woman: Suzan accepts Betram's insult as a challenge to allow her to become the first female prison warden at a woman's prison near DC.Betram Harsh: I've read all about this woman's ideas on penology! She doesn't believe in force and punishment! With her as warden the prisoners would tear the prison apart in one week!
Suzan Patience: I accept that challenge! With Wonder Woman's methods of treating prisoners with love and discipline, I guarantee to show you a model prison at the end of the week!
- At the climax of the James Tynion IV run of Detective Comics (Rebirth), the A.I. Brother EYE, working with the General, attempts to Break Them by Talking by showing Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown everything that they lost following the 2011 reboot. Instead, this further motivates them by showing them their true potential, giving Stephanie the confidence to shut down Brother EYE and kick the General's ass, and helping Cassandra out of her depression following the death of Clayface.
Insult Backfire / Comic Books