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Insult Backfire / Webcomics

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  • In Erfworld, shortly after being summoned, Parson is told that he must refer to his lord and master in a respectful manner. He says that in his world, the highest term of respect is "tool"; Stanley the Plaid, being on a quest to gather divine artifacts called the Arkentools adopts "Tool" as his new title.
    • Later in Erfworld, Jillian leaves with her army after telling the Prince of Jetstone that everything that comes out of his father's mouth is utter crap. The Warlord commander tells the Prince when he becomes King, he should remember Jillian's behavior. The Prince remarks that when he is King, he would hope to be half the queen Jillian is. The commander has a spit-take behind the Prince.
  • In Homestuck, when Vriska orders Tavros to bring her her treasures maps:
    VRISKA: Yes, that's it. Dump them all over the floor a8out ten feet away from me, just like that.
    VRISKA: The sloppier the pile and the further away from me the 8etter. Gr8 jo8, Tavros.
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  • From Narbonic, Professor Madblood's Von Boom award acceptance speech.
    Lupin Madblood: [...] I plan to use the cash prize to rebuild my lair, which was destroyed by bumbling buffoons, with the goal of crushing you all beneath my heel. Good night and God bless.
    Artie: I have to say, he gave it a lot of class.
    Helen B. Narbonic (grinning): He mentioned us!
  • Brian Clevinger was on the receiving end of this when he published the "ending" to 8-Bit Theater. He subscribes to the philosophy that the funniest jokes are on the audience (thus the bogus No Ending). He expected a deluge of hate mail for that, but found he was on the receiving end of a tidal wave of compliments for writing the perfect ending to the comic. Clevinger was very deeply upset by his audience's reaction.
    • In other words, the Insult Backfire was Compliment Backfire.
    • And of course, his character Black Mage would fit this trope perfectly as well:
    Black Mage: Hi, we were talking back there in the magic shop.
    White Mage: Ah, the morally bankrupt violent little man.
    Black Mage: Exactly. Anyway, I wanted to ask you something.
  • Happens a lot in Something*Positive.
  • Weregeek character Joel always was a bit of funny jerk, so it should not be very surprising:
    Abbie: Dude!! That's... That's nefarious!
    Joel: Aww, thanks. You're making me blush!
  • The expert Jerkass Mike, in this strip from Shortpacked!, encounters a customer who is utterly oblivious to Mike's repeated, and increasingly vulgar, attempts to insult his mother.
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  • Misfile's Cassiel:
    Rumisiel: Anyone ever tell you you're a bitch?
    Cassiel: It was my class nickname in the yearbook. Ah... Memories...
  • Precocious features the inevitable student council election, narrowing down to Roddy versus Dionne. Roddy starts describing Dionne as 'a soulless beast with malicious intentions!' Dionne's rebuttal? A happy "It's true!".
  • And Shine Heaven Now:
    • In the recent Fangirl invasion arc, a fangirl pounces on Jeeves, who proceeds to note that the fangirl's outfit leaves something to be desired. The fangirl's reaction?
      Fangirl: ...wait, Jeeves hates my clothing! JEEVES HATES MY CLOTHING EVERYBODY! MY EXISTENCE HAS BEEN VALIDATED!
    • Later...
      Jeeves: All of you are clad in the most garish, unappealing costumes ever to have been assembled from colors not found in nature.
      Fangirls: WHEEEEEEEE OMG!
      Alucard: Hey!
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  • MegaTokyo:
    Miho: I wasn't aware the Tokyo police employed uneducated, paranoid, delusional foreign delinquents.
    Largo: In my case, they made an exception.
  • In Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, surface elves mocks Wolf as a male warrior in a matriarchy. It ends in a Beat Panel with smug Wolf after he points he slept his way to his post.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Moloch von Zinzer tries to be sarcastic with a homicidally insane automaton. This sort of falls short.
    • When the attacking dragon calls Franz an unholy monster, well...
  • The variant occurs in Kevin & Kell, when Kevin ran for the school board position, R.L. confronted Kell about the press describing Herd Thinners as a "bloodthirsty pack of rapacious, slavering predators"...because they forgot to add "vicious" and "relentless" to the description. They have a reputation to maintain, after all.
  • In Drowtales, Asira'malika tells Zala'ess that "you are so like your mother it makes me sick", but Zala'ess responds with thanks and says that it's an honor to be compared to the Val'Sharess. There are a few things going on here, first Zala'ess aspires to be the head of her clan and is more than willing to backstab her own family members to do it, and for extra irony she killed her mother with her two sisters.
  • In Sinfest, Percy says his Yarny is marvelous and Pooch's Bally is so. . . so round. Pooch? Sniffs and is So Proud of You.
  • Superbitch's name wasn't her original choice, but an insult by a blogger, she kind of liked it.
  • Andrew Dobson, aka Tom Preston, creator of So...You're a Cartoonist? and the Brentalfloss comic, may have become the victim of the biggest insult backfire in webcomic history with his BINGO-Strip. This one requires some explanation first: The comic in question is supposed to be one of his many, MANY Take That, Critics! works against people who can't stand him, where he lists of things that his detractors loves to bring up such as his past as Catty N, his Encyclopedia Dramatica article, The Forever Pandring video, his infamous Nintendo localization comic, his tracing of Big Ben etc. There was just one tiny problem he did not take into consideration when uploading this comic: The vast majority of his fanbase had NO IDEA about ANY of these things! This led to hundreds of not thousands of his fans began asking for context and info and links about these things, which Andrew's detractors, critics and trolls were happy to provide. This, along with some controversial comics/journals about the highly volatile Gamergate scandal (which we shall not talk about here) and his personal "Samus Commishion"-scandal, led to Dobson not only losing a massive chunk of his fanbase, having dozens of parodies and spoofs thrown his way on DeviantArt (something that most people would not dare to do before), earning hundreds of more critics and Dobson permanently removing comments on almost all of his art-pieces.
  • This exchange between Ally and Lisa at the end of Volume 3 of Sunstone as the two are teasing each other:
    Ally: Screw you.
    Lisa(hopefully): When?
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, White Chain tells the thorn angel Juggernaut Star that they would never become like it. It tells them with infinite disdain that they couldn't if they tried.
  • Schlock Mercenary: General Tagon tells a team of analysts/acrobats that since they didn't get off the ship when they had the chance, they're under his command. Barry snaps that only a poor officer would pass blame down the chain of command. General Tagon accepts this as acknowledgment that they agree they're under his command.
    Barry: I was insulting you, not enlisting!
    Kath: I'm pretty sure you were enlisting, Barry.
  • A variation in Ménage à 3; Sonya dishes out high praise to Zii with what should be a stinging insult in the tail, but Zii is currently far enough down that she really, really needs the compliment, and the insult is one that she can live with.
    Sonya: I was bored with Gary in four days. I'd stick with you for life, if you'd ever let me! If you weren't such a stubborn unattainable bitch!


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