Follow TV Tropes


Insult Backfire / Video Games

Go To

  • From Kingdom Hearts II:
    Sora: Lowlife!
    Hades: Heh, you're too kind, kid.
  • A complicated version of this trope appears in Tales of Symphonia between Zelos and Sheena, when Zelos is revealed to have betrayed them all to several enemy factions.
    Sheena: I can't believe you! You were always a pervert, but I never doubted that you were a good person when it came down to it.
    Zelos: Why, thank you, my sweet, voluptuous hunny.
    • Which seems to imply he's thanking her for calling him a good liar.
  • Two in Mortal Kombat X:
    Sonya: You're just like your father.
    Cassie Cage: I'll take that as a compliment.

    Takeda: Father of All Evil!
    Shinnok: You flatter me.
  • In Mortal Kombat 11:
    Johnny Cage: Hey there, tall, dark and gruesome!
    Noob Saibot: An apt description.
    Johnny Cage: Do you not get I'm mocking you?

    Cassie Cage: Sorry, Skarlet, but you're creepy.
    Skarlet: "Creepy" doesn't offend me.
    Cassie Cage: Oh, it should, honey!
  • There's a longer version of an Insult Backfire in Neverwinter Nights 2 when the player first enters the Sunken Flagon after recruiting Qara (a red-haired sorcerer with a short temper and a penchant for fire spells).
    Khelgar Ironfist: By my reckoning, the Flagon's never had a finer table-cleaning goblin-wench.
    Qara: What, since your mother lost her job?
    Khelgar: Eh? Now don't be bringing my mother into this! You'd best be careful, you simpering little father's girl, or you'll learn a thing or two about Ironfist honour and manhood!
    Qara: Oh, you mean the two smallest things in all of Faerûn? From what I hear, no woman could learn about Ironfist manhood from you, Khelgar.
    Khelgar: Wh-what?! I'll have you know plenty of women know about Ironfist manhood! Plenty! They just all live up... around Waterdeep... or they'd tell you!
    • In the same conversation, the rogue Neeshka calls Khelgar "stumpy". He laughs and explains his clan considers that a term of endearment. Another insult by Qara to Neeshka, "tail-for-brains", fails because Khelgar has to explain it to her.
  • Monkey Island lives this trope in its iconic insult swordfighting, although it's not as much agreeing with the insult as putting a spin on it and coming up with a riposte that literally makes it backfire at the person who made the insult.
    You fight like a dairy farmer!
    How appropriate, You Fight Like a Cow!
    • And:
      There are no words for how disgusting you are.
      Yes there are. You just never learned them.
    • And
      Have you stopped wearing diapers yet?
      Why, did you want to borrow one?
    • Inspired Kingdom of Loathing's 'Insult Pong'. The player has to match insults against Old Don Rickets, eg:
      When I'm through with ye, ye'll be crying like a little girl!
      It's an honor to learn from such an expert in the field.
  • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the Judge tells Alita Tiala that she is not being a good fiance, she responds that she's flattered.
  • Happens many times in Sam & Max: Freelance Police, concerning Max and his tendency for mass destruction, to put things in perspective: when Max is elected President of the United States, Impeach Max Weekly becomes a regular publication, unsurprisingly Max enjoys reading it.
    • At the beginning of Sam & Max Season 3 Episode 5, "The City That Dares Not Sleep!" Satan is issuing a press release from the roof of a building. In an inversion of the trope, he's protesting all the people who are blaming the current disaster on him; sure, it's a tragedy, every second the problem isn't solved racks up thousands more dollars worth of property damage, and the trains have stopped running, but it's all just mindless destruction! Where's the temptation? Nobody's going to do any kind of significant sinning because of this; in fact there's a very good chance it will make people turn to God.
    • Advertisement:
    • He also doesn't like that the artifacts used by Junior are stored in something called the Devil's Toybox. He vehemently denies knowing anything about it.
  • In Western versions of Sonic Adventure, Sonic calls Dr. Robotnik an "Eggman" thanks to his obvious love of egg-shaped Giant Mecha. Robotnik spites Sonic and takes it as a term of endearment, asking everyone to call him "Dr. Eggman" from now on. And one in Sonic Colors: Just after Eggman says "nothing" will stop him, Sonic shows up and says he's never been called that before. Orbot has to explain to dimwitted Cubot what Sonic is talking about.
  • In-game example from Valve in Team Fortress 2. Due to people using external programs to idle for in game item drops, valve removed all such ill-gotten items from those players inventories, and gave all legitimate players a new, free hat, in the form of a (fake) halo called Cheater's Lament. The Result? All players who DIDN'T have a halo, ceased to assist players who did.
    • The game is also famously known for its absurd amounts of hats players can earn and even got to a point where people played just to obtain more hats. Many people who hate the idea of random hats dub the game "Hat Simulator" or a variant of it. Fans of the game take the insult as a compliment. Even the official site describes the game as "the world's #1 war-themed hat simulator."
  • Advertisement:
  • In Final Fantasy IX, not so much a straight-up insult, but in explaining to Quina why he chose him/her to accompany him to the Earth Shrine, Zidane states "Well... I sort of got stuck with the leftovers..." Quina reacts with delight, which puzzles Zidane, until s/he explains, "There old saying in my tribe... 'Leftovers good!'"
  • Somewhat of a variant in MOTHER 3; Kumatora speaks insultingly of Yokuba/Fassad when she learns about Salsa's kidnapped girlfriend. When she's in the process of saying "that cheap bastard" is "screwed up," he smugly appears on the scene and says, "Oh, did you call for me? I happen to be that screwed-up, cheap bastard you speak of!"
  • Heavy Rain:
    Norman Jayden: Blake, you are an unbalanced, psychopathic asshole!
    Carter Blake: I'll take that as a compliment.
    • To make it fair, there's also the mission, "Covered Market" where Blake tells Norman to "fuck off", and how did Norman respond? He smiles it off.
    • To expand upon this, They had just finished a job confronting a suspect who had looked like he was going to pull a gun on Blake, Norman has a clear shot at him and could have killed him, instead he Hesitated. It turns out to be a cross and they get out fine but Blake is understandably mad that he was willing to let the guy kill him if he did have a gun. Norman's response? He berates him for wanting him to kill the guy and thus leading into the aforementioned "Fuck Off".
  • Dawn of War: Dark Crusade has a hypocritical one when the player as Chaos attacks the Space Marine stronghold. Upon capturing the Relic to fulfill a secondary objective, Captain Thule calls the Chaos commander Eliphas a "daemon-spawn". Eliphas replies dryly that it's kinda funny hearing a Blood Raven trying to insult someone else's parentage when the Blood Ravens don't even know who their own primarch was (the most likely candidate is actually Magnus, now a Daemon Prince himself, although the chapter themselves don't know this). Note that by the tone of his reply, Eliphas did took the euphemism as a compliment (since the entire point of his campaign is ascension into a daemon prince).
    • In the previous expansion, Winter Assault, Gorgutz' supposed advisor tries to come up with a plan to get the Chaos Space Marines to attack them by calling them names (specifically "Grot", the small goblinoid helpers/slaves of the bigger Orks). When Gorgutz calls the plan "Stupid" after said Ork, the advisor is grinning because his boss named a plan after him. Which, since they are Orkz, also means the advisor's name apparently really is "Stupid".
  • In the 1st Degree has this little gem of dialogue:
    Inspector Looper: I'm lucky?! Listen, lady! Your friend was murdered this morning, and I'm trying to figure out what happened, and you are acting like a a girl dog.
    Ruby Garcia: (amused) They won't let you say "bitch"?
  • From The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge:
    Jack: You are very bad kids.
    Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Thanks, Jack!
  • Dead Rising:
    Brad Garrison: You're one hell of a journalist, aren't you, Frank? A hotheaded, underhanded, hotshot paparazzi with nothing better to do than to invade people's privacy.
    Frank West: I try... You got a point?
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, specifically VCPR's Pressing Issues debate show at one point has firebrand preacher and evangelical conman Pastor Richards, espousing the "virtues" of his religion/Salvation Statue fund. Show host Maurice Chvez has this to say:
    Maurice Chavez: Pastor Richards, as a human being I have to say, I find your philosophy or cult or whatever it is, utterly and completely appalling.
    Pastor Richards: Why thank you! I knew you'd understand.
  • Before the release of On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, famous internet troll Dennis Duckfat made a comment on the Wired blog saying that the game sucks, anyone who likes it sucks, and Penny Arcade is "as funny as something that's not funny at all". The comment ended up being used on internet advertisement banners for the first episode. View an example of one of the ad banners here.
  • In MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, the player has an option to join one of four preeminent mercenary companies, including the Kell Hounds. There are also missions pitting them against Clan warriors, who have a tendency to throw around insults like "honorless dog". Mix the former with the latter one too many times, and Spectre retorts thusly:
    "That's hounds, Star Colonel. Kell Hounds. And you are trespassing on our planet."
  • Season 2, Episode 3 of The Walking Dead has an option for Clementine to tell Carver that she wishes Kenny had shot him. The villain compliments the gall it took to say that to his face, and states that they're Not So Different.
  • Mass Effect 3 gives us this example of an insult backfire from the villain:
    Kai Leng: You're slow, Shepard.
    Commander Shepard: I'm only slow because I'm not running away! You ran at the Citadel, you ran at Thessia, all you can do is run!
    Kai Leng: Sh-shut up!
  • Undertale: It's completely, utterly impossible to actually insult Papyrus. He might thank you for your honesty without actually addressing your insult, he might misconstrue it in the strangest way to end up turning it into a weird comment or a compliment, or he might think you're insulting yourself and ask you not to be so hard on yourself. But he will never, ever be offended. Only thing that even remotely upsets him are crappy puns.
  • Neyla attempts one in Sly 2: Band of Thieves during "Operation: Choo-Choo", but she cannot comprehend The Power of Friendship.
    Neyla: What's the problem Poodle? Afraid you can't take me on? Have to call up your little friends for help?
    Sly: (speaking into a transmitter) Come in "little friends", Neyla's got me pinned down.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, the C support conversation between Owain (trying to find names for his moves) and Inigo has this gem:
    Inigo: Perhaps you should name your next move "Eternal Chastity".
    Owain: Sure, why not? I've got the perfect teacher for it right in front of me!
  • Fear Effect has Hana call Madame Cheng a "bitch from Hell." Cheng responds with that Hana can die knowing she was right.
  • In Borderlands 2, a pack of bandits decide to taunt the, er... exceptionally generous mechanic Ellie about her weight by sticking hood ornaments in her likeness on their vehicles. When Ellie finds out, she hires the Vault Hunters to kill them and steal the ornaments... so she can hang them around her garage, because she thinks the designs are badass. She knows full well that they're meant to be insulting, but she thinks they're awesome anyway.
  • Splatoon 2:
    • During the intro to the "Salsa vs Guacamole" Splatfest, Pearl accidentally compliments Marina when she tries to diss her:
    Marina: "Guac is more expensive because it's good. It's the Gold Dynamo Roller of dips."
    Pearl: "Your face is the Gold Dynamo Roller of dips."
    Marina: (facepalm) "Okay."


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: