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Boring Insult

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"You nearly killed me!... with boredom."

The worst insult conceivable to a villain who prides himself on the fact that he's a genius. He's called out on being boring, predictable, and overall, just not particularly interesting. This may very well send him into a berserk rage or even a total breakdown, particularly if he can't counter any of the points his enemy is making. Could be a case of Bullying a Dragon from a Fearless Fool, or the hero being Disappointed by the Motive.

See also Shut Up, Hannibal! and Kirk Summation.

If you're looking for actual boring insults, try Lame Comeback. If you're looking for a Fan Speak term associated with calling a work/character boring, see Eight Deadly Words.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
  • Fate/Zero: Gilgamesh dismisses Tokiomi Tohsaka as boring since all he cares about is reaching The Root, which Gilgamesh dismisses as foolish since he only cares about material treasures and the here and now.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, when Bui begins his fight with Hiei by doing nothing but summoning axes, swinging, and throwing them, Hiei says he is boring. Bui then proves him wrong by unleashing his Battle Aura.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 94 has Judai ripping the Society of Light-possessed Asuka with this. In addition to calling her state boring, he called her uncool.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Jack Atlas constantly calls other duelists boring due to seeing them as too weak to be a proper challenge.

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker has been tripped up by this insult repeatedly: he usually likes to think of himself as unpredictable, chaotic, and something of an artistic genius, so pointing out that his evil plans actually tend towards being repetitive, uncreative and samey is something of a Berserk Button for him.
    • The Cassandra Cain version of Batgirl, when fighting The Joker, suddenly walks away saying, "Bored. You're boring." This infuriates him so much that he's thrown off-guard and she is able to subdue him.
    • In the Batman Vs The Incredible Hulk crossover, the Shaper of Worlds gives Joker some of his power, allowing Joker to re-shape the world with his imagination. Batman soon accuses Joker of being uncreative, to which Joker begins re-shaping the world in more chaotic ways, eventually straining his mind to the breaking point.
    • Joker was once kidnapped and tied to a chair by a self-proclaimed sadist who started punching him in the face repeatedly. Joker was not impressed and mocked the man's lack of creativity, especially when the beating made his face numb and the man couldn't think of what to do next.
    • The Joker tried to use it on Batman in the one-off Darker and Edgier comic Joker. When the two finally meet in the climax of the comic, the Joker goes on a rambling lecture where he talks about Batman's lack of style and how trite Joker find Batman's whole Terror Hero schtick.
      Joker: Uhh, God you disgust me. You have no charm at all, just... obviousness. Dumb, dull. Disappointing. Obvious. Shame on you. Obvious... and everybody knows. You wear your shame like a badge, because you don't have the balls to actually pin one on. Yes, just look at you. Desperate to be feared, you want to be perceived as a monster, dressed in black.
    • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Happens at the climax. After the Joker reveals himself, Bruce radios Terry with specific instructions not to respond to the clown's gloating, as it's just what he wants. This is the proviso Batman used during the animated series whenever he fought Joker. Terry instead realizes that he likes to talk, too and mocks the Joker over his obsession with Batman, ending in a very mocking, condescending laugh that puts Joker over the edge.
      Joker: Funny guy...
      Terry: Can't say the same for you.
      Joker: [loses all joviality] Impudent brat! Who do you think you're talking to?!
      Terry: Not a comedian, I'll tell you that!
      • In a flashback scene, the Joker does this to Batman after revealing that he knows that Batman is really Bruce Wayne:
      I must admit, it's sadly anti-climactic. Behind all the sturm and batarangs, you're just a little boy in a playsuit, crying for mommy and daddy! It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic... Oh, what the heck, I'll laugh anyway! HAHAHAHAHA!
      You make me laugh, but only 'cause I think you're kind of pathetic.
  • In the climax of the Daredevil Guardian Devil storyline, Daredevil gets a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how totally unoriginal and copying of other villain's classic schemes Mysterio's Evil Plan is. It drives Mysterio to commit suicide, snarking that he has one more villain to copy: Kraven.
  • This is at the heart of "The Reason You Suck" Speech that Stillwell gives the Homelander in The Boys. Stillwell states that for all the Homelander's tremendous powers and abilities (Homelander being an analogue of Superman), he's never taken a single action that wasn't petty or juvenile, that focused on anything larger than satisfying a passing whim or desire, or really required more than a moment of thought. Homelander's latest stunt, to Take Over the World with his fellow supers, is really just yet another example of that, and Stillwell is actually much more focused on the massive headache he has than the man who can casually reduce him to a smear on the floor. Remarkably enough this lecture saves Stillwell's life, since it makes Homelander decide that rather than killing Stillwell then and there (which is what Homelander came to do in the first place), he's going to leave Stillwell alive long enough to make him eat those words first.
    Stillwell: Why? Because I'm not impressed by you? Think about it. This is par for the course with you. When have you ever done anything remotely interesting or original? What have you thought of to do that the lowest speck of this pointless species couldn't, were they granted your level of power? And what next, destroy another airliner? Dismember more families, that kind of thing? A spoiled child's personal Auschwitz. It's so petty it's actually quite embarrassing. I'm just glad I won't be alive to see it...

    Comic Strips 
  • Jon from Garfield gets these a lot:
    Jon: Someone threw this rock through the window, there's a note attached. (reading note) "You seem boring".
    Garfield: Must remember to send them a thank-you-rock.

    Jon: I'm bored.
    Garfield: You're also boring, you do it all!

    Fan Works 
  • Earth and Sky features a non-villainous example: part of the reason Pinkie Pie is so distraught in the first chapter is that after having to lecture her daughter Tootsie again, Tootsie told her she was "no fun anymore".
  • In Pony POV Series, Makarov unveils his goal of committing mass murders while making everyone think he is the hero. Shining Armor mocks him by pointing out he's ripping off the plot of Winny 4, and that killer did it much more effectively. Shining can also predict most of his speeches and gloating because they are ripped off from various fictional characters.
  • A major example happens in Of State. After Grimmel seemingly ambushes Hiccup and Toothless, Hiccup expresses disappointment at his new foe and brushes Grimmel off, commenting on how he's no different from the other hunters Hiccup has had to deal with in the past. He even goes as far as to guess Grimmel's backstory and motives.
  • A Red Rose in the Blue Wind: Upon confronting Eggman aboard the ARK, Sonic interrupts his evil monologue and tells him that these repeated confrontations are starting to get old in their predictability. Eggman actually agrees, which is why he came up with the plan to start anew on Remnant.

    Films — Animated 
  • Referenced in How to Train Your Dragon 2:
    Hiccup: It's not every day that you find out your mother is some kind of crazy, feral, vigilante dragon lady!
    Valka: Well, at least I'm not boring, right?
  • Bruce gets to deliver a similar Breaking Speech to The Riddler in Batman: Hush, accusing his supervillain name of being on the nose. The Riddler did not like that, for some reason.
    Bruce: You tell riddles a fifth-grader could solve, you call yourself the Riddler. The sheer lack of imagination is staggering.
  • Kung Fu Panda 3: Po lets Kai know how bored he is with yet another villain rant:
    Kai: You must be the Dragon Warrior.
    Po: And you must be Kai. Beast of vengeance, Maker of widows.
    Kai: YES! Finally thank you. Almost makes me want to spare your life.
    Po: Oh you want to spare me huh? How about you spare me the chit-chat, alright? Let's do this.
    Kai: I'm going to take your chi then the chi of every panda in the...
    Po: Augh! chit-chat
    Kai: In the...
    Po: Chitty-chitty-chat-chat, chat-chat-chat!
    Kai: In the...
    Po: Chit-Chat!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Die Hard. After Hans Gruber and his band of terrorists are revealed to actually be after $600 million in bearer bonds:
    Holly McClane: After all your posturing, all your little speeches, you're nothing but a common thief.
    Hans Gruber: I am an exceptional thief, Mrs McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite.
  • In The Italian Job remake, this is the primary tone of the gang's first confrontation with Steve since Steve had previously thought them all dead. While Steve clearly thinks highly of himself for his "clever" betrayal plan (which pretty much involved hiring a bunch of guys with guns to show up at the rendezvous point) and his equally "clever" plan to safeguard the gold, the gang calls him out on the fact that in spite of being a multi-millionaire, Steve hasn't thought of anything the least bit interesting to do with his money. He just bought all the things everybody else said they would do with their share of the money (just like he joked he would during their conversation about what they each wanted to do). And, though they don't mention this, he basically lives his life watching TV and is so hard up for entertainment that he hits on who he thinks is the cable girl. Further driven home by the fact that, in the climax, it's revealed he still had almost all the original loot when the gang steals it from him. Which isn't all that surprising considering Steve regularly engages in Blatant Lies.
  • GoldenEye: Subverted when Bond faces Janus towards the end, Boris just smirks and Janus points Bond fails to understand the real plan.
    Bond: You break into the Bank of England via computer, then transfer the money electronically, seconds before you set off the GoldenEye, which erases any record of the transactions. Ingenious.
    Janus: Thank you, James.
    Bond: But it still boils down to petty theft. In the end, you're just a bank robber. Nothing more than a common thief.
    Janus: You always did have a small mind, James. It's not just erasing bank records. It's everything on every computer in Greater London: tax records, the stock market, credit ratings, land registries, criminal records. In 16 minutes and 43-no, 42 seconds, the United Kingdom will reenter the Stone Age.
    Bond: A worldwide financial meltdown.
    • Done again by Bond in Skyfall. Silva takes a moment to express the power he wields with his hacking, showing how he can manipulate stocks and votes with the press of a button. Bond responds with the snarky quip "Everyone needs a hobby". Cue a nerve visibly popping on Silva's forehead.
  • Malcom Tucker from In the Loop is one of these, as he demolishes Linton Barwick in his own inimitable style.
    Malcolm: I've met a lot of psychos, but none as fucking boring as you — I mean, you're a real boring fuck. Oh, sorry. I know you don't approve of swearing, so we'll sort that out: you are a boring eff-star-star-CUNT.
  • In Quo Vadis, Petronius' suicide note to the Emperor Nero where he enjoins Nero to stop boring everyone with his bad poetry; he can continue to be a bloody tyrant, but could he please stop murdering the arts?
  • In Mystery Men, when The Shoveler, Mr. Furious and the Blue Raja first face the Disco Boys, they're less than impressed by their arsenal. Unfortunately for them, the superheroes — who exist in a world of Awesome, but Impractical — are not quite sharp enough to consider the fact that these weapons are actually Boring, but Practical:
    Tony P: What do we got here?
    Tony C: I think they're supposed to be jive superheroes.
    Tony P: Well, they made a big mistake coming to Casanova's place. (as he draws a gun, the heroes snicker) What's so funny?
    Mr. Furious: (unimpressed) That's it? That's your power? You have guns? Couldn't you be a little more creative than that?
    Blue Raja: Pardon the impertinence, guv'nor, but what the devil does a pistol have to do with disco?
    Disco Boy: It's a Saturday Night Special.
    Mr. Furious: Weak.
    Blue Raja: At best.
    (they high-five as more Disco Boys arrive, armed with a variety of blunt instruments)
    Shoveler: Check out the guy with the pipe. What are you, the Disco Plumber?
    Blue Raja: (laughing) There's no theme at all here, mates!
    Mr. Furious: I mean, if you're gonna carry a chain, at least make it a gold chain, and that's just off the top of my head... (To Tony C) Yo, what's up, Tiger Lily?
    Tony C: Top of your head, huh?
    (The Disco Boys beat the heroes up)
  • After Tony Montana makes it big in Scarface (1983), his wife Elvira tells him he's become boring because all he talks about is money.
  • In Dredd, when Dredd delivers his verdict over the PA system, he makes a point that Ma-Ma, the sadistic drug clan leader, is a "common criminal."
  • In The Shadow, this pops up while Lamont and Shiwan Khan have a chinwag at the Chinese restaurant.
  • Used against Angela in American Beauty, in reference to her earlier line, "There's nothing worse than being ordinary."
    Angela: Well, at least I'm not ugly.
    Ricky: ...Yes, you are. And you're boring. And you're totally ordinary. And you know it.
  • In Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon, Holmes talks himself out of being shot dead on the spot by telling Professor Moriarty that a man of Moriarty's genius ought to be able to come up with something more creative. He then goads Moriarty into giving him a slow, lingering death that gives The Cavalry time to arrive.
  • At the end of the film version of American Psycho, Patrick Bateman confesses several crimes to his lawyer, Harold Carnes, who mistakes his client for someone else and believes his list of audacious killing sprees to be a hilarious joke that was otherwise undermined by the fact that the perpetrator was "Patrick Bateman", whom he views as being too much of a dorky, boring and spineless lightweight to commit murder. Adding insult to injury, Harold goes on to say that the "joke" would have been perfect had the perpetrator instead been Timothy Bryce or Craig McDermott, both of whom are part of Patrick's friend group. Patrick is visibly bothered by Harold's remark that was obliviously aimed towards him.
    Harold Carnes: Davis, I'm not one to badmouth anyone. Your joke was amusing, but come on, man. You had one fatal flaw: Bateman is such a dork. Such a boring, spineless lightweight. Now if you said Bryce or McDermott... Otherwise, it was amusing. Now if you'll excuse me, I really must be going.
  • Birds of Prey (2020): Roman Sionis/Black Mask kidnaps Harley Quinn and ties her to a chair. He tries to threaten her with a To the Pain speech, but she keeps interrupting him and saying he's boring because she's heard all of them before.
  • In Freddy vs. Jason, when Freddy from A Nightmare on Elm Street is finally forced to fight Jason from Friday the 13th in the real world, he quickly runs down a list of Jason's weaknesses, finishing with a boring insult in true Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking fashion.
    Freddy Kreuger: You're slow. You're stupid. And ya got no style!

  • The Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Unnatural History sees the Doctor give one to a young boy who’s an agent of Faction Paradox and has offered to avert the current crisis in exchange for the Doctor’s companion Sam Jones; the boy has been trying to present himself as a threat, but the Doctor effortlessly guesses the general details of his backstory and dismisses him as nothing more than another monster broken by life who just wants to smash everything, no more special than any of the other monsters out there, and affirms that his companions are more than that.
  • Harry Potter: Voldemort's entire motive was always to be special. He achieved this in finding out he was a wizard, excelling both academically and socially, and becoming the most powerful dark wizard ever. His horcruxes were all unique, powerful and symbolic items. So it stands to reason that, during his and Harry's final showdown at the end of the seventh book, Harry continually calling Voldemort "Tom" — his original name that represented everything ordinary about him — hits his Berserk Button. It's a mannerism borrowed from Dumbledore, who always calls him "Tom" when speaking to him, and generally talks to him as less a terrifying murderer and more a schoolboy in detention.
  • Honor Harrington: In Mission of Honor, this is invoked by a Manticoran official in the Spindle System, when they are hailed by an approaching Solarian fleet. First they take their sweet time answering the Solarian admiral's call, and then by the video call opening to reveal the Manticoran official reclining in his chair, reading a book, and having to be alerted to the Admiral's call by an aide, as if the approaching Solarian battle fleet was simply not worth noticing, compared to whatever he was reading. The Plan being to taunt the Solarians into firing the first shot of the inevitable battle, so that the Manticorans can dispatch the fleet while still claiming self-defense.
  • The (real-life) critic Anthony Lane ended his review of Hannibal Rising by saying, about Hannibal Lecter: "He would kill me for saying it, but he's a bore."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel derides Penn, a vampire he sired, for being so lacking in imagination that he's spent the last hundred years doing the same set of kills over and over again. He backs this up by accurately describing Penn's serial killer wall despite never having seen it.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this was the Catchphrase of Evil Vampire Willow, in the Wish!Verse, an alternate universe where Buffy never came to Sunnydale. Gets a Meaningful Echo several seasons later when Willow flays Warren alive in revenge for the Accidental Murder of Tara.
    Willow: Bored now.
    • Buffy does this to the Master during the first season finale when he tries to hypnotize her.
      Buffy: You have fruit-punch mouth. (hits him) Save the hypnosis crap for the tourists!
    • Cordelia delivers one to Willow in the second episode of the series.
      Cordelia: Excuse me? Who gave you permission to exist? Do I horn in on your private discussions? No. Why? Because you're boring.
  • Doctor Who: In "Voyage of the Damned", after the Doctor learns that the villain wants to crash the Starship Titanic on Earth to get back at the board who seized control of his company. Capricorn spends most of his speech mugging and making faces, until he gets to the end...
    "So that's the plan? A retirement plan? Two thousand people on board this ship, six billion underneath us, all of them slaughtered, and why? Because Max Capricorn is a loser."
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Young Cersei calls the witch Maggy this in "The Wars to Come".
    • Olenna describes the High Sparrow's "man of the people" act as dull, but seems disconcerted when she realizes it really isn't an act.
  • Will Graham tells Hannibal Lecter "I don't find you that interesting" in the pilot of Hannibal. He changes his mind very much afterwards.
  • Done brilliantly in Homicide: Life on the Street. When trying to get a suspect to confess, Pembleton and Bayliss call him the "most boring man ever to enter the interrogation room" and list off all the types of killers they have encountered, saying that none of them were ever as dull as him.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus has the accountant who wants a new job because his job is drearily dull. The vocation counselor tells him that his records show how dull and unimaginative he is, and as these would be drawbacks in other professions, in accountancy such traits are considered positives.
  • Sherlock gets one in his final confrontation with Moriarty:
    Moriarty: Every fairy tale needs a good old-fashioned villain. You need me or you're nothing. Because we're just alike, you and I, except you're boring. You're on the side of the angels. (This insult doesn't seem to bother Sherlock - or if it does, he doesn't show it.)
    • There was a moment of this in "A Study in Pink." Cabbie Jeff Hope pulls a gun (really a lighter shaped like a gun) on Sherlock. Sherlock practically rolls his eyes.
      Sherlock: Dull.
    • There's also a set of Sherlock reviewing cases to see if he'll take them, and telling potential clients he's either bored, or that they're boring.

  • Stephen King dismisses Edgar Allan Poe as a boring writer in Epic Rap Battles of History, considering his stories to not be scary at all.
    Poe: In a minitue maybe I'mma hit him, cut him into itty bitty bits and I'mma stick him in the floorboards!
    King: [yawns] Speaking of bored, you're the worst. Dropped out of school but you can't drop a verse.
  • In the JT Music song, "Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To", Ana Amari crashes the rap battle between Soldier: 76 and Reaper.
    Between petty insults, rhymes that are boring, I can't believe for once that I'm the one snoring.
  • "Crazy = Genius" by Panic! at the Disco has the speaker dealing with a Love Interest who hits him with this insult.
    She said "At night in my dreams you dance on a tightrope of weird,
    But when I wake up, you're so normal that you just disappear,
    You're so straight like commuters with briefcases toeing the line,
    There's no residue of a torturer inside of your eye."
    She said, "You're just like Mike Love, but you wanna be Brian Wilson."
    And I said, "If crazy equals genius,
    [...] Then I'm a fucking arsonist,
    I'm a rocket scientist."

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is how "Stone Cold" Steve Austin pretty much deflated the rest of Lance Storm's WWE run.
  • Ring of Honor and CZW had already scheduled joint events before Chris Hero provoked the latter promotion to invade the former. They managed to workout an agreement to be civil, rather than go the trouble of rescheduling the events, the fans however, did not and the CZW side would frequently chant "Boring" during the ROH matches.
  • John Morrison's fans gasped and hoped for the sake of his WWE career he was being in character when he pulled this trope on perennial WWE Champion John Cena.
  • In a Meta example, this is typically what rings as the death knell for a prospective wrestler, with an audience chat of "Bo-ring! Bo-ring!" either meriting a retool or "Good luck on future endeavors" for the wrestler(s) being hit with this trope. Hilariously, when the audience chanted this to Bo Dallas, he replied, "This IS Bo's Ring!"
  • In Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho's WrestleMania 19 match, after Jericho started using standard mat wrestling instead of his usual arsenal, Shawn mocked him by miming going to sleep.

  • Non-villainous example. In an episode of Hello Cheeky, John describes Barry with the aside "He could make World War II sound boring", to which Barry responds by doing his impression of World War II — an amalgamation of accents, sound effects, and war songs.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Inverted in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony; the absolute highest praise Kokichi Oma can give someone is telling them that they weren't boring. He reassures Kaede with this phrase when she's about to be executed.
  • In Queen of Thieves, "boring" is just about the worst criticism that Nikolai Stirling can dish out. When his Arch-Enemy Gerard confronts him publicly early in Nikolai's first season, Nikolai puts him in his place thusly:
    Nikolai: You want to be my rival so badly, Gerard. It really is unfair, when I'm so bored with you.

    Web Animation 


    Web Video 
  • Counter Monkey: At the end of his "3d6 in Order" video, Spoony retracts part of a previous "Reason You Suck" Speech, where he'd called people who wouldn't try rolling 3d6 in order for stats "cowards", and amends it with this.
    Spoony: You're not cowards if you don't try this; you're boring. And that's worse. Cowards can at least be interesting.

    Western Animation 
  • Quagmire from Family Guy tops off his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Brian by stating he could forgive Brian's faults if he wasn't such a huge bore.
  • Used dead seriously in Transformers: Prime. In one episode, Megatron reveals that's he's been aware of Starscream's treachery since the start, but has tolerated it as long as it was entertaining. Now that he's become predictable, Megatron no longer cares to put up with it.
  • Futurama. From "Anthology Of Interest I".
    Zoidberg: And the murderer is... (Gasp!) And the MURDERER IS...!
    Fry: (gets up to leave) This is boring. You're boring me, Zoidberg. (leaves)
  • This exchange from the season one finale of Star vs. the Forces of Evil. Oddly enough, Marco seems to hit a nerve here.
    Toffee: You're a disappointment.
    Marco: Yeah? Well, you're boring. And you dress like a lawyer.
  • In one episode of Kaeloo, Kaeloo receives a letter from someone claiming to be a fan of the show and criticizing her for being "boring". She eventually gets sent into an extreme rage when she finds out that Mr. Cat wrote said letter just to annoy her.
  • In his final confrontation with The Lich on Adventure Time Finn says this regarding the Lich and how evil and malevolent it is. Plenty of characters in the show that Finn has encountered have all sorts of back stories or reasons for why they act the way they do, the Lich is ultimately nothing but hardwired destructiveness and anti-life.
    Finn: You're so evil it's boring. You're basic, man.
  • Bob's Burgers: Louise complains that one of the guests Linda invited to Louise's "surprise" slumber party is extremely boring, describing her as "red-headed wallpaper". It seems to just be a defense mechanism to avoid being invited to slumber parties because of her chronic bed-wetting problem.
    Louise: And then there's Jessica. Bland, boring Jessica! If she were a spice, she'd be flour. If she were a book, she'd be two books.


Video Example(s):


Alec Trevelyan

Alec smugly points out that it's a lot more than banks; the GoldenEye will wipe out all of the UK's records, effectively annihilating the country that betrayed his parents. Though Bond still get the jab in by pointing out that even if the crime itself turns out to be more grandiose than he thought, the underlying motivations are still petty.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BoringInsult

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