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Friendlessness Insult

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Eggman: It can't be! It's impossible to get out of the Phantom Ruby's Null Space!
Sonic: Maybe not by myself, but I had a little help from my friend. Something you wouldn't understand, since you don't have any friends.

There are many things a character can say to be cruel to another. Maybe they'll deliver an entire speech about how much the other character sucks, or they'll insult the way someone smells, or they'll throw an insult so lame it's funny. However, if they're really trying to be insulting, they'll go for the gut and hit a character right where it hurts — by claiming that nobody cares about them, be it friends or family.

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This doesn't need to be true; while it can be targeted at a character with a Friendless Background for an extra grain of truth, it can just as easily be a baseless claim. Either way, it'll hurt, targeting a character's insecurities and worth as a person rather than just telling them their mom is fat. The other, less obvious side of the coin is that this also builds up the status of the insulter. It's implied that while "nobody" likes the one character, the other is enjoying a position of popularity or relative status by comparison. Again, this may not be true, but it'll add some extra weight to the words regardless.

The reason this works is simple; people want to be loved. Isolation, real or perceived, can be extremely damaging. Believing everyone hates them can push a person closer to the Despair Event Horizon, especially if there's any proof at all that it may be true. So, this insult takes advantage of that, cutting the victim down by claiming they're alone and unwanted. It works especially well if the victim has already had their self-esteem lowered before this point for extra oomph.

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Usually, a person who uses a Friendlessness Insult will be a villain or Jerkass. When heroic or nice characters use such an insult, it's pretty much always to people who have earned their friendlessness through being cruel to others. In some examples, a character saying this may be a case of Jerkass Has a Point.

Contrast, of course, You Are Not Alone and A Friend in Need, both of which serve to prove someone is loved by others, even if it's just to themselves.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Groo the Wanderer: In one story, Groo gains the ability to make all his wishes come true. He wishes all his friends to appear on the spot he is, so he'll fulfill their dreams. The only one who shows up is the Sage, who twists the knife by saying that HE is Groo's only real friend!

    Fan Works 
  • Peeking Through the Fourth Wall: When The Loud House characters are wondering how the Luan in the story could have had her underwear stolen off her person without her friends noticing, Mr. Grouse says, "Of course they didn't notice. You gotta have friends first!". Luan responds by flips him off.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin: We have this exchange between Aladdin and Prince Achmed when the former stops the latter from whipping some children who got in his way.
    Aladdin: Look at that, Abu. It's not every day you see a horse with two rear ends.
    Prince Achmed: You are a worthless street rat. You were born a street rat, you'll die a street rat, and only your fleas will mourn you!
  • DC League of Super-Pets: Superman gives one of these to Lex Luthor when the Justice League comes to his and Krypto's aid early in the film. Krypto delivers the same line to Lulu during the climax after his friends foil her plot to destroy the Justice League.
  • Frozen (2013): A very cruel example occurs when Anna, while slowly freezing to death, tells Hans that only an act. He asks "a kiss of true love?", touches her face with apparent tenderness, bends to kiss her... just to retreat and says: "Oh, Anna. If only there was someone out there who loved you." before revealing his intention to get rid of Elsa and Anna to get the throne of Arendelle. It is particularly nasty because Hans knows how lonely and desperate for affection Anna is, and doesn't hesitate to rub how few people she has in her corner in her face.
  • Shrek: The title character's attempts to scare Donkey away only make Donkey want to stick by him more.
    Shrek: STOP SINGING! Well, it's no wonder you don't have any friends!
    Donkey: Wow, only a true friend would be that truly honest!
  • The Spongebob Movie Sponge On The Run: An unintentional example occurs during the climax when Spongebob accidentally implies that the tyrannical King Poseidon doesn't have friends while standing up to him. The king becomes defensive and confers with his chancellor who confirms that he indeed does not have friends.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Cool Cat Saves the Kids: Cool Cat repeatedly points out how Butch has no friends, implying that's why he bullies Cool Cat and company.
  • Fast & Furious: Dom is interrogating a man named David Park who has a connection to the murder of Dom's girlfriend Letty. Brian arrives and offers to help Dom solve Letty's murder, stating that Letty was his friend too. Dom cynically responds that Brian "isn't anyone's friend".
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Star-Lord chews out Drax and Rocket for starting a bar fight, citing their violent and anti-social mentalities as the reason they have no friends. Star-Lord doesn't exactly have what would traditionally be considered friends either, but is still the second most well adjusted member of the group.
    Star-Lord: (after Rocket has threatened to kill them again) You see!? That's exactly why none of you have any friends!
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Ron unknowingly — and uncaringly — insults Hermione for being an insufferable know-it-all (though not without basis) by commenting "no wonder she hasn't got any friends", right before Hermione storms past. Harry calls him out on this, but at the time Ron doesn't care.
  • Lemonade Mouth: "Mudslide Crush" is a band made up of Jerk Jocks, and they serve as antagonists who relentlessly bully others. Fittingly, their "I Am Great!" Song "Don't Ya Wish You Were Us" is spent mocking the listener and contains the line "No-one really likes you that much / Don't ya wish you were us".
  • Let It Shine: During the rap battle between Cyrus and Bling, one of Bling's taunts to Cyrus is that he has zero Facebook friends, before launching into how much of a loser he is.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: The film has a character do this to himself while trying to manipulate himself.
    Gollum: Master, Yes, Precious. False! They will cheat you. Hurt you. Lie!
    Smeagol: Master's my friend.
    Gollum: You don't have any friends! Nobody likes you!
  • An Officer and a Gentleman: Sergeant Foley rubs Mayo's nose in this, prior to the Character Development Mayo goes through later in the film. Mayo cares about no one but himself, takes advantage of every loophole and shortcut he can find, and runs a business selling shined boots and belt buckles to the other officer candidates. When Foley catches him, he confines Mayo to the base and gets to work on putting him through the grinder to make him drop out.
    Foley: (Pointing at the other officer candidates who are leaving for weekend liberty while Mayo does push-ups) Say goodbye to your friends, Mayo. Oh, that's right. I forgot. You don't have any friends. Just customers!
  • The Princess Bride: Vizzini tells Fezzik that he is "friendless, brainless, helpless, and hopeless".

    Literature 
  • The Belgariad: Garion accuses Torak of having no one at all who loves him, meaning that the best he can possibly achieve is a Pyrrhic Victory where he will be alone. Torak loses all self-control, howling in rage, and makes such a clumsy attack that he's easily defeated. Belgarath later explains that if Torak had succeeded in forcing Polgara to love him, then he would have been invincible.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: As the Hobbits and Strider (Aragorn) leave Bree, Bill Ferny is awaiting at the edge of the village to insult them. He pretends to be surprised that Strider "found some friends at least", rubbing it in his face how much he is distrusted by the community.
  • Gravity Falls: Journal 3: It is revealed that, ever since the events of the episode "Blendin's Game", Blendin Blandin is still shunned by others despite getting his job back, and is mocked for being friendless by his piers. Even Time Baby, of all beings, mocks him by calling him "No-Friendin Blandin". This results in Blendin Blandin becoming an easy target for Bill Cipher's Demonic Possession, as Bill promised that Blendin will not be mocked anymore.
  • Haganai: During a Christmas party, Sena is confronted by a group of girls for inadvertently getting the attention of a boy that one of the girls had a crush on. Her attempts to pacify the situation are vehemently spurned, which causes her to badmouth the girls to the point of them crying. The crowd around them soon starts criticizing Sena until someone calls her out for being friendless, making her a laughingstock, much to Sena's embarrassment.
  • Harry Potter: Draco loves to bully Neville by telling him no one wants to be friends with him.
  • It: Harry Bowers taunts the "Losers' Club" by reminding them they've no other friends than themselves, due to them being a motley group of an African-American, a Jew, a stutterer and a girl.
  • KonoSuba:
    • One of the ways Megumin mocks Yunyun is pointing out how the latter has no friends, often in response to Yunyun pointing out one of Megumin's flaws or problems. There's no real ill-will between them, though, as while Megumin will claim she doesn't care about Yunyun at all except as a sad, self-proclaimed rival, people who know them know they're Vitriolic Best Buds (to the point that several of their friends in the Crimson Demon village actually shipped them together). After Yunyun makes friends with several fellow adventurers, Megumin stops teasing her about being friendless... and instead begins mocking her for being single while she and Kazuma are now an item.
    • Dodonko and Funifura, two of Yunyun and Megumin's Crimson Demon clansmen, mock both Megumin and Yunyun for being friendless wierdos. Like with Megumin mocking Yunyun, there isn't any actual spite between them, though Megumin gleefully points out how while it's true in the past they were loners, she is now happily a couple with Kazuma and Yunyun the acquaintance of at least two eligible men while Dodonko and Funifura are both stuck in the Crimson Demon Village with no romantic options in sight. Dodonko and Funifura always respond with vexation and outrage that the two girls known for being loners (to the point several of their classmates like Arue and Nerimaki were certain they'd find comfort in each other's arms out of desperation) are now enjoying a romance-filled youth.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Chuck: In "Chuck Versus the Couch Lock", Morgan and Casey's already difficult relationship worsens when Casey learns that Morgan is dating his daughter Alex. When Casey tries to bully Morgan into dumping Alex, Morgan refuses and goes as far as telling Casey that he's really upset because the only people who showed up at Casey's (fake) funeral where the ones who actually wanted him dead.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Robots of Death", we get a rare well-deserved example with crew member Borg, who is pointlessly nasty and spiteful to the point nobody else likes him. At one point he becomes affronted that people are accusing him of murdering his "friends", causing Zilda to retort, "you don't have any friends!".
  • House: In "Who's Your Daddy", an old college friend of House's is the patient's father, prompting Cuddy to comment, "I thought I'd met all your friend!".
  • House of Anubis: When the sinner-turned Fabian is asked to comfort an already-heartbroken Joy, he pulls her into a hug before whispering nasty things to her, telling her that everyone in the House despises her. This being a far-cry from Fabian's usually kind-hearted personality, it served both to shatter Joy further and to establish just how evil he was now.
  • Leverage: In the Pilot episode, Eliot tries to offer some advice to Nate Ford, only for Nate to coldly brush him off.
    Nate: We're not friends, Eliot.
  • Lucifer: When Mazikeen trolls Amenadial by joining him uninvited at dinner, he accuses her of being lonely, as Lucifer is currently not speaking to her. When she denies this, he points out that she has nothing better to do than troll him. She turns it around by pointing out that he's eating dinner in a restaurant by himself. Coitus Ensues.
  • Men Behaving Badly: Tony is given the nickname "Nobby No-Mates" by his fellow postal workers because of his lack of friends.
  • Scrubs:
    • "My Bad": The first on-screen encounter between Perry and his ex-wife Jordan immediately has them sniping at each other. It doesn't take long for Jordan to mock Perry for his lack of an active social life and a later episode does indeed acknowledge that Perry has a very lonely life because of his unfriendly attitude.
    • "My Bed Banter and Beyond": JD and Elliot get into an argument about their relationship. When Elliot accuses JD of relying on jokes because he is afraid someone in the hospital won't like him, JD fires back that his jokes are how he makes friends and points out that Elliot pretty much has only one friend among the Sacred Heart staff.
  • Sherlock: The titular character is mocked deliberately and accidentally by many for having no friends (beyond John Watson at least to start with; Miss Hudson is more of a Parental Substitute and Lestrade a Friend on the Force), to the point that an old "friend" from his university admits he hated him. This changes a bit as he slowly starts to befriend other people, though he still gets called a "weirdo".
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: In "Not So Suite 16", Maddie's bratty little brother mocks her by saying she has no friends except for a "creepy dweeb" (Zack).

    Radio 
  • Dark Empire: In the comic, Leia retrieves a fallen Luke from the Emperor without much incident. The radio drama expands on this scene in a sequence where we see how Luke's been Mind Raped, with the Emperor making him believe "You are nothing", "You have no name", and "You are alone". Leia eventually breaks him free.

    Video Games 
  • Disgaea 3: The Vato brothers try this on Mao, only for him to brush it off and declare that he doesn't need friends, which disturbs Almaz.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Alistair makes a few sharp digs at Morrigan's lack of friends due to her home-schooling in isolation under Flemeth. It's not entirely unmerited, of course.
  • Elden Ring: One of the first NPCs you encounter in the game, Varre, refers to your character as "maidenless", which in-universe means essentially "unable to level up"note . However, a lot of internet denizens find it funnier to misinterpret Varre's words as an insult aimed at the video game players' supposed inability to find romantic partners.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach: While hunting Gregory — who is implied to be a homeless orphan — Roxanne Wolf taunts him with insults like "I bet you don't even have friends.", or "Nobody will miss you!". However, it's implied that these insults are actually what she thinks about herself, and that she's merely projecting.
  • Halo Infinite: The Weapon is angry with the Master Chief at one point and adopts a sour and passive-aggressive disposition throughout an entire mission, and during another encounter with Adjutant Resolution, the latter calls Sentinels for backup, prompting the Weapon to quip, "And look. He brought friends. Did you hear me? He. Has. Friends."
  • Kingdom Hearts: Since The Power of Friendship is a running theme throughout the games, a few heroic examples naturally occur when facing the villains.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: The Final Boss of Ventus's side of the story is Vanitas, the extremely cruel manifestation of the darkness in Ventus's Heart and The Dragon to Xehanort. Ventus declares that he's going to win and get his friends back, leading to the following exchange:
      Vanitas: It's always about your friends, isn't it.
      Ventus: At least I have some!
    • Kingdom Hearts III: Woody tells Young Xehanort — who spent that entire chapter straining the bonds of friendship between Andy's toys by putting stress and physical distance between them in order to manipulate them as part of an experiment — that their friendship is strong despite distance and that nobody ever loved Xehanort before.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: Malefor tries to break Spyro's spirit by telling him that he is alone and always has been.
  • Neptunia: Neptune has a tendency to call Noire a "loner" due to her pompous Tsundere attitude. However, most of Neptune's comments come off as playful teasing and Noire herself actually does have friends, she just isn't really open about it.
  • Overwatch 2: An interaction between Cassidy and Reaper has Cassidy say that a friend (implied to be Sombra) told him that Reaper was getting rusty. Reaper, who has openly despised Cassidy since the fallout with Blackwatch, ignores the second half of the comment, instead responding with "You don't have any friends".
  • Portal: GLaDOS does this to the player Chell. Given that she is a super-intelligent AI who intones in Robo Speak, it is equally jarring and hilarious.
    I'd just like to point out that you were given every opportunity to succeed. There was even going to be a party for you. A big party. That all your friends were invited to. I invited your best friend the Companion Cube. Of course, he couldn't come because you murdered him. All your other friends couldn't come either because you don't have any other friends.
  • Resident Evil Village: In the Shadows of Rose DLC, Rosemary Winters is very lonely due to bullying and ostracization from her classmates because of her mutations and desperately wants to have friends as a result. She at one point encounters Eveline who regularly taunts her with her loneliness by telling her how unloved and friendless she is, which severely bothers Rose. In the end, this is Psychological Projection, as she later complains about how unloved she is herself, showing that she transfers her grievances onto Rose.
  • The Stanley Parable: In one ending, the Narrator takes Stanley to an apartment where his "wife" is waiting for him. When it's revealed the wife is just a mannequin, the Narrator laughs and asks if he really believed that anyone would want to marry him.
  • Undertale: The final boss of the No Mercy Route likes to mock the player character of this, justifiably so on account of the player character by that point having indiscriminately killed everyone they saw, including Sans's brother who never had any ill will towards them. The very clearest notion comes at the tenth attempt of the fight:
    Sans: hmm. that expression... that's the expression of someone who's died ten times in a row. hey, congrats! the big one-oh! let's invite all your friends over for a big shindig. we can have pie, and hot dogs, and... hmmm... wait. something's not right. you don't have any friends.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss: After spotting Blitzo, Robo Fizz mocks him over being a failure back when he was a circus performer. When Blitzo fights back and calls him a Sell-Out, Robo Fizz points out that while that may be true, people adore him, before following it up by asking if anyone actually loves Blitzo. Blitzo replies with no, but it doesn't matter because he's really good with guns now and opens fire.
  • Red vs. Blue: In the (non-canon) rap battle episode, Church's final line in the video refers to his pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to power Tucker's suit so the others might make it out, which he uses to mock Sarge for allegedly having no friends, saying he wouldn't understand a selfless act for others. Sarge isn't fazed by this in the slightest.

    Web Video 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Mr. Satan tries some standard wrestling put downs against Cell, who responds by making a series of increasingly personal insults.
    Cell: "Do you have any actual friends? Any relationships at all that aren't about your money or your position?"
    Mr. Satan: "I have a daughter..."
  • Epic Rap Battles of History:
  • Game Grumps: Played with during their playthrough of Doki Doki Literature Club!. Arin and Dan start jokingly acting as the main character during a scene with Natsuki where she implies that she doesn't have friends. This leads to the following exchange between her and their rather-assholish FriendArin character, who is more ignorant and insensitive than malicious while still adding to the "dick" persona:
    FriendArin: Don't you share your manga with your friends? You don't?
    Natsuki: Could you not rub it in?
    FriendArin: Oh, I get it! You don't have any manga. Why don't you borrow some from all the friends you have?
    (Natsuki cries)
  • Sanders Sides: There are various examples throughout the show with Logan as the victim:
    Virgil: Get over it, you're the least popular character and you know it.
    • In Sanders Sides S 2 E 5 Can Lying Be Good, Janus, disguised as Patton, right after Logan shows up, tells him this in his usual language of lies, where what he means is exactly the opposite of what he's saying:
    Janus: Oh, cool, Logan, everyone's favorite character!
    Roman: Geek Squad?! More like Squad-less Geek! Ha ha ha! You're alone!
  • Translator Fails: This can pop up when translating certain friendship-based lyrics; while the lyrics themselves don't necessarily have to be read as mean, the characters who sing the lyrics are usually portrayed as such, creating hurt and confused reactions from the person they're singing to:
    • In the translated version of "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin, the title is translated as "You do not have a friend", so the song is now about Genie insulting Aladdin for having no friends. At the end it's implied that Genie is doing it because he is jealous his girlfriend likes Aladdin.
    • In "You've Got A Friend In Me", there's two singers, a guest for the normal lyrics and Malinda doing the translated ones. Where the guest is trying to show her love for Malinda, Malinda comes off as considerably meaner thanks to the translated lyrics, declaring not only that the two of them aren't friends, but that "no one loves" the guest to begin with.

    Western Animation 
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: A variation occurs in "Living Legend". Zemo mocks Captain America for not only being a Fish out of Temporal Water while the Baron has had time to adapt, but also for being alone, with all his friends dead or believing him as KIA. This turns out to not entirely be true, as Bucky later gets resurrected by Cosmic Retcon, and his comrade James "Logan" Howlett, better known as Wolverine, is alive, though only the former is a plot point.
  • Green Eggs and Ham (2019): after Guy learns just why Sam dragged him around and that Sam was really a con-artist the whole time, he tell Sam that the reason nobody stays with him for so long is that he doesn't fit anybody — not even his mother who dropped him off at an orphanage. This is such a low blow that even Guy realizes he just crossed a line.
  • Hey Arnold!: When he finds his team losing to Arnold during a school sports festival, Big Bob Pataki angrily decries that he doesn't want to lose to "some orphan," referencing Arnold's lack of parents. This actually rattles the characteristically confident Arnold, as well as embarrassing Helga Pataki who can't believe her father would sink so low.
  • Invader Zim: In "Bestest Friend," Zim overhears some kids calling him inhuman because he hasn't made a single friend. This scares Zim because this makes him think that having no friends would expose him as an alien and ruin his mission.
  • The Owl House:
    • A well-intentioned example, but equally painful: as Luz resists going to the Reality Check Camp, her mother Camilla asks if she has any friends that aren't imaginary or reptilians, adding that some people "have to make some adjustment to make some friends".
    • When she gets irritated by Luz and Amity's antics, Boscha yells that she has more friends than they do, only to be ignored. It serves to highlight just how inconsequential she now is to them.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Played for Laughs in "Don't Forget The Motor City". The Ghostbusters decide to create a special car to capture the gremlins that are sabotaging the cars of a factory. The car is painted olive green, and Winston asks why Egon and Ray haven't chosen a decent color. Ray comments he has a suit of this color and Peter replies that's why he's such a lonely man. Later, the gremlins repeat the scene, with one complaining about the color and another asking what's wrong with it, since he has olive green clothes, too.
    Gremlin: That's the only reason you're such a lonely gremlin, Gonner.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • After capturing Entrapta, Catra convinces her that the other princesses abandoned her in the Fright Zone, saying that the princesses care only about those who are like them. "But you are not like them, are you?" Since the princesses complained a lot about Entrapta's quirks in spite of everything she did to help, the question hits hard, making her cry.
    • Over the course of the show, Catra's mental state declines as she pushes everyone away, with even Scorpia deciding to desert her. At the height of her insanity, Double Trouble transforms into every person Catra has ever cared about or looked up to, cruelly explaining that she is alone and, no matter what she tries to tell herself, it's all her fault. When Glimmer finds her afterwards, Catra asks the queen to just end her.
  • Teen Titans:
    • "Betrayal" is where the Titans learn that Terra has secretly been working for Slade, which Beast Boy takes very badly.
      Terra: You said you'd be my friend, no matter what, remember?
      Beast Boy: Slade was right — you don't have any friends.
    • This gets cast back at him two episodes later when the team tries to redeem her, only for her to angrily retort "I don't have any friends, remember?"

    Other 
  • At one point, Apple digital assistant Siri's response to being asked what zero divided by zero is was "Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn't make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies. And you are sad that you have no friends."

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