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Insult Backfire / Live-Action Films

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  • Groucho Marx always responded to an accurate insult with the famous phrase: "Why, I Resemble That Remark!!"
  • A staple of Woody Allen films. For example, in Love And Death:
    Boris: (holding a gun on Napoleon) You're a tyrant, and a dictator, and you start wars!
    Napoleon: Why is he reciting my credits?
  • In Toys, when General Zevo tells Leslie, "You're as big a fool as your father ever was!" Leslie gets a surprised but touched look in his eyes and says, "Really?? You think so?...Thank you!"
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  • In Trading Places, corporate bigwig brothers Mortimer and Randolph Duke argue over a meager sum of money, leading to:
    Randolph: Mother always said you were greedy.
    Mortimer: She meant it as a compliment.
  • John Woo's Broken Arrow
    Riley Hale: You're out of your mind.
    Vic Deakins: Yeah. Ain't it cool?
  • Wet Hot American Summer: "Douchebags are hygienic products. I take that as a compliment."
  • The Shadow
    Lamont Cranston: You are a barbarian.
    Shiwan Khan: Thank you. We both are.
  • Hocus Pocus
    Billy: Go to hell!
    Winnie: I've been there, thank you. I find it quite lovely.
  • This memorable line from Star Wars:
    Leia: (I think you are a nice guy) ...occasionally, maybe, when you don't act as a scoundrel.
    Han: Scoundrel? Scoundrel... I like the sound of that.
  • In Spaceballs, calling his gunner an asshole led to Dark Helmet's realization that he's literally surrounded by Assholes.
    Dark Helmet: Who is he?
    Col. Sandurz: He's an Asshole, sir.
    Dark Helmet: I know that. What's his name?
    Col. Sandurz: That is his name, sir. Asshole, Major Asshole.
    Dark Helmet: And his cousin?
    Col. Sandurz: He's an Asshole, too, sir. Gunner's mate, 1st class, Philip Asshole.
    Dark Helmet: How many Assholes we got on this ship, anyhow?
    (All Mooks but one stand up)
    All: YO!
    Dark Helmet: I knew it! I'm surrounded by assholes. [Pulls down mask] Keep firing, assholes!
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    Norrington: You are, without a doubt, the worst pirate I have ever heard of.
    Sparrow: But you have heard of me!
  • Rock And Rule (Megalomaniac rock star Mok has coerced Angel into singing for him by torturing her friends/bandmates)
    Angel: You're totally crazy!
    Mok (with a truly creepy expression and vocal tone): Thank you. Shall we go?
  • Casino Royale (1967). Daliah Lavi is held captive by archvillain Woody Allen:
    Lavi: You're crazy! You're actually crazy!
    Allen: They called Einstein crazy.
    Lavi: That's not true; no one ever called Einstein crazy!
    Allen: Well, they would have if he'd carried on like this...
  • The Wicker Man (1973)
    Sgt. Howie: It means that you, sir, are a pagan!
    Lord Summerisle: A heathen, conceivably, but not - I hope - an unenlightened one.
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  • From Demolition Man:
    Taco Bell patron: What would you say if I called you a brutish fossil, symbolic of a decayed era gratefully forgotten?
    John Spartan: I don't know... thanks?
  • From The Sound of Music:
    Captain Von Trapp: If the Nazis take over Austria, I have no doubt, Herr Zeller, that you will be the entire trumpet section.
    Zeller: You flatter me, Captain.
    Von Trapp: Oh, how clumsy of me. I meant to accuse you.
  • In most of the first three American Pie movies:
    Stiffler: Motherfucker!
    Finch: Yes ... yes, I am!
  • From Slap Shot:
    Tim "Dr. Hook" McCracken: Dunlop, you suck cock!
    Reg Dunlop: All I can get.
  • Constantine (2005)
    Gabriel: Son of Perdition! Little Horn! Most Unclean!
    Lucifer: I do miss the old names.
  • At the end of Funny People, after Ira has deconstructed all of George's personality flaws, George lamely says that Ira isn't funny. Unfortunately, Ira has a comeback for this, too: "You're right, George, I'm not funny. If it means I'm even less like you, fine, I'm not funny."
  • In The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Dave asks Blake if he's insane. He responds with a "little bit" sign.
  • Casper
    Kat: You guys are disgusting, obnoxious creeps!
    Stretch, Stinky, and Fatso: Thank you!
  • A slightly strange case in Hackers:
    Dade Murphy/Zero Cool/Crash Override: Blow me!
    Eugene Belford/The Plague: (wide smile) Thank you!
  • A similar thing happens in 48 Hrs.:
    Reggie: Jack...tell me a story.
    Jack: Fuck you!
    Reggie: Oh, that's one of my favorites!
  • Several from The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle with Boris and Natasha. The best is when they steal an animated map from in front of the camera. The narrator calls them "Cheaters", and they both thank him.
    • This is a carry-over from the original animated series.
      Narrator: The lowest of the low, the vilest of the vile!
      Boris: Please! You are embarassink me!
  • In the restaurant scene in Big Trouble, the hitman breaks a smoker's finger. The diner then says I hope you realize you just committed assault. The hitman then responds gleefully by saying: I know, I know. You know I remember time was you actually had to hit somebody. Then he pats him on the back.
  • The 1992 film Juice has this:
    Q: You're crazy, man.
    Bishop: You know what? Last time you said that, I was kinda trippin', right? But now, you're right. I am crazy. And you know what else? I don't give a fuck. I don't give a fuck about you. I don't give a fuck about Steel. I don't give a *fuck* about Raheem, either. I don't give a fuck about myself. Look, I ain't shit. And you less of a man than me, so as soon as I figure you ain't gon be shit, *pow*! So be it. You remember that, motherfucker. 'Cause I'm the one you need to be looking out for... *partner*!
  • In Army of Darkness:
    Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
    Ash: Nope. Just me baby... Just me.
  • While it's not realized in the film itself, there is a straight example in the first Spider-Man. In fact, they are mocking him by saying that that was the only thing Harry could do, that he is powerless to stop them doing whatever they like, and is less of a man than they are because he has no option but to try and wield his father's reputation as a weapon.
    Harry Osborn: (after Flash Thompson and his friend bully Peter Parker) Leave him alone!
    Flash Thompson: Or what?
    Thompson's Friend: Or his father will fire your father. (both laugh and high-five each other)
  • The Hangover has this funny exchange:
    Stu: You are literally too stupid to insult.
    Alan: Thank you.
  • Mean Girls
    Janis: What is that smell?
    Cady: Oh, Regina gave me some perfume.
    Janis: You smell like a baby prostitute.
    Cady: Thanks.
  • Easy A
    Evan: I don't want people to know that I didn't go to second base with you. Do you know how many girls I've hooked up with because of that?
    Olive: Wow. Girls are almost as dumb as boys.
    Evan: Oh, yes they are. Cha-ching.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action:
    • DJ calls out Mr. Chairman for being evil, yet Chairman is too speachless to thank him properly.
    • Daffy tells DJ that he liked him better as a monkey, to which DJ responds with a blunt "thanks".
  • The Return of Captain Invincible:
    Captain Invincible: Fine talk from a sociopath paranoid schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur!
    Mr Midnight: Thank you!
  • Happy Gilmore has a truly crippling example:
    Shooter: I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast.
    Happy: You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?
    Shooter (panicked): ...No!
  • Inspector Gadget
    Brenda: I liked you better fat!
    Dr Claw: (after pausing for a moment with a shocked look on his face) "BRING ON THE BROWNIES! WHEEL IN THE WAFFLES! I'M READY TO BINGE!"
  • Near the end of Back to School, Jerk Jock Chas tries to antagonize Jason by telling him "You're gonna be just like your father!" to which Jason replies "God, I hope so - 'cause I love the guy."
  • Aliens
    Hudson: Hey Vasquez, you ever been mistaken for a man?
    Vasquez: No, have you?
    • And:
    Burke: I thought you'd be smarter than this.
    Ripley: I'm happy to disappoint you.
  • In The Prophecy, Lucifer at one point taunts Thomas by saying that he did hide under Thomas' bed when he was a little boy. When Thomas later defies Lucifer during their final confrontation, he ends up getting the last word.
    Thomas: I have my soul, and I have my faith. What do you have...angel?
    Lucifer: ...Leave the light on, Thomas.
  • Primary Colors
    Randy: Libby, you're crazy.
    Libby: Certi-fucking-fiably!
  • Uncle Buck
    Bug: Ever heard of a tune-up? Beh-hee-hee-hee-hee!
    Buck: Beh-hee-hee-hee-hee! Ever heard of a ritual killing? Beh-hee-hee-hee-hee!
    Bug: [smirk fades] ...I don't get it.
    Buck: Gnaw on her face like that in public again, and you'll be one. (beat) Beh-hee-hee-hee-hee!
  • The Wind and the Lion: after the Marines storm the Bashaw's palace we get this following exchange:
    Captain Jerome: Captain Jerome, United States Marine Corps, and you are my prisoner, sir.
    The Bashaw: You are a dangerous man, Captain...and your President Roosevelt is mad.
    Captain Jerome: (grinning hugely) Yes, sir!
  • White Men Can't Jump: "Your mother's an astronaut." "My mother's too drunk to be an astronaut."
  • From the Errol Flynn version of The Adventures of Robin Hood:
    Maid Marian: Why, you speak treason!
    Robin: Fluently.
  • This exchange from Summer School, right after the class has scared away their replacement teacher:
    Vice-Principal Gills: I have seen some sick things before. But this ... this is ...
    Chainsaw: Devilishly clever?
    Gills: Vomitous!
    Chainsaw: (taken aback) Thank you.
  • The Rock:
    Goodspeed: I'll do my best.
    Mason: Your best? Losers whine about their best, winners go home and fuck the prom queen!
    Goodspeed: Carla was the prom queen.
  • Observe and Report, in the mall when Ronnie rejects Brandi when she thanks him after saving her from the flasher (due to catching her having an affair with Harrison priorly). He insults and humilates her in front of nearly everyone claiming her to be the sort of girl "who dates and has sex with you, and then stabs you in the back by screwing your enemy". Brandi's reaction appeared to be a mixture of being humilated and slightly flattered...
  • Linda Seton doesn't mind a bit if her father thinks Johnny's dream of taking a Holiday to discover himself — rather than settling down and making lots of money — is childish.
    Edward Seton: I still must confess that the talk of the two of you seems to me of the seventeen-year-old variety.
    Linda: I'm glad if it is! We're grand at seventeen; it's after that, that sickness sets in!
  • Lincoln: The Ethan Allen anecdote during the Revolutionary War about an American invited to a British home where a portrait of George Washington has been hung in the outhouse. The American considers it a compliment because the sight of Washington must assist Englishmen in completing their business.
  • Men in Black: After Agent Kay explains the history of MIB to James Edwards, Edwards asks "When was the last time you had a CAT scan?", and Kay answers "About six months ago, company policy."
  • In Cabin by the Lake, serial killer Stanley seems to take being called an insane lunatic near the end with pride.
  • From Amazing Grace, during a debate in Parliament, William Wilberforce is accused of spreading revolutionary ideals:
    Duke of Clarence: Revolution is like the pox. It spreads from person to person.
    William Wilberforce: I bow to my honorable friend's superior knowledge and experience in all matters regarding the pox.
  • In Super Mario Bros., King Koopa once again does this to Mario after the latter's carelessly-thought-out attempt at a condescending evolution-related zinger.
    Mario: What single-cell organism did you evolve from?
    King Koopa: Tyrannosaurus Rex. The lizard king, thank you very much!
  • In The Patriot, Benjamin Martin responds to an accusation of ungentlemanly behavior with: "If the actions of your officers are the mark of a gentleman, I will take that as a compliment."
  • Oliver Stone's Talk Radio. Barry Champlain takes a call from someone who tells him he abuses his kids:
    Barry: Joe, you're hitting your kids with brushes and belts. You're psycho. You're a psychopath.
    Caller: And what are you, friend, a faggot?
    Barry: Coming from a pinhead like you, that's a compliment.
  • A couple examples in Hard Candy:
    • When Jeff realizes Hayley isn't kidding about her actions.
      Hayley: Which I told you when we first met, remember? Four out of five doctors agree.
    • Later when Jeff tries to insult Hayley will being tied down on the table.
      Jeff: Does your mom know you like to cut off man's balls?
      Hayley: I've never done it before today, but... maybe I'll tell her when I get home, see what she says.
      Jeff: So you and your mom are both whacked.
      Hayley: I don't know. That's that whole nature versus nurture question, isn't it? Was I born a cute, vindictive little bitch or... did society make me that way? [pause] I could go back and forth on that one.
  • In The Matrix Revolutions, when the Oracle angrily calls Agent Smith a bastard, he retorts, "You would know, Mom." note 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers has Tony Stark do this twice to Steve Rogers, the most notable being:
      Rogers: Big man in a suit of armor, take that away and what are you?
      Stark: Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
    • In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark combines this trope with Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
      Brandt: That all you got? A cheap trick and a cheesy one-liner?
      Tony: Sweetheart, that could be the title of my autobiography.
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Yondu slows a fall by holding onto his telekinetic "arrow" in a fashion that makes it look like he's holding an umbrella. That prompts Peter to try and tease him:
      Peter: Hah, you look like Mary Poppins!
      Yondu: Is he cool?
      Peter: [after thinking about it for a second] Hell yeah he's cool.
      Yondu: [proudly] I'm Mary Poppins, y'all!
    • Black Panther has Everett Ross snarking at Ulysses Klaue's highly conspicuous "entourage" of bodyguards arriving at a supposedly covert meeting, asking sarcastically if they've released a mixtape. Klaue, being the Laughably Evil man he is, cheerfully replies that they've actually made one, and offers Ross a copy via Soundcloud.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Tony Stark meets the Guardians of the Galaxy and finds that his usual insults don't have much effect on them:
      Tony Stark: We’re getting no help with Flash Gordon.
      Peter Quill: Flash Gordon? By the way, that’s a compliment. Don’t forget, I’m half-human. So that fifty percent of me that’s stupid, that’s a hundred percent you.
    • In Captain Marvel, when Carol is captured and interrogated by the Kree has this exchange:
    Supreme Intelligence: On Hala you were reborn.[Memories of Carol falling and getting hurt flash accross the screen] Without us, you are only human.
    Carol: You are right. [sees memories of her past as she gets up to try again ] I am human.
  • Purgatory: At the final shootout.
    Blackjack: Your mother's a whore.
    Wild Bill: I have no mother.
  • The Rocketeer: During the final fight.
    Cliff: Where's your Stuntman now, Sinclair?

    (Sinclair punches Cliff)
    Sinclair: I do my own stunts!
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Lex Luthor is unimpressed when Lois Lane calls him "psychotic", simply accepting it, and turning it around to insult her.
    Lex: "Psychotic" is a three syllable word for any thought too big for little minds.
  • In Don't Think Twice, we get this exchange between Lindsay and the consistently Hot for Student Miles:
    Miles: Fuck you, Lindsay.
    Lindsay: You wouldn't, 'cause I'm not 22 and I'm not your student.


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