A character graciously concedes a point while trying to save face. This is usually accomplished by saying words such as "Touché" (a term in fencing that acknowledges an opponent landing a hit), "point taken", "I stand corrected" (both when losing an argument) or "Well played".
There can be any manner of stakes and the form of defeat can vary from losing a minor argument to being Out-Gambitted in a war. When someone merely has to admit that a good joke was made at his/her expense, it's Actually Pretty Funny.
It's often spoofed when someone tries a really pathetic plan, it gets easily beaten, but the planner acts as though he/she was outwitted by a master.
Contrast Sore Loser, who will not.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, this is Fuhrer Bradley's response when he's outmaneuvered by Lan Fan. In an earlier fight, he had stabbed her in the arm, and she's bleeding heavily enough to leave a trail of blood from it. When Bradley follows this trail to track her down, he finds her arm, completely cut off and tied to a dog, while Lan Fan is long gone. "That was well-played, girl."
- At the end of the Pokémon episode "Battle for the Underground", after a six episode long arc of being duped by Meowth and Team Rocket putting up one of their most persistent and well laid attempts to steal their Pokemon, Ash and co finally neutralise them, though admit quite willingly they had very nearly outgambitted them. Given the heroes are usually dismissive or complacent towards the Terrible Trio's bumbling plans, this is quite something for them.
- In Bokurano, Seki, an officer in the Self-Defense Force, tries to get Koyemshi to let him and the others investigate the robot, saying it has cost many of his countrymen their deaths. Koyemshi then replies that the children piloting it are fighting for their entire planet, and thus every country on Earth has the same right. In response, Koyemshi faintly smiles and says "You're absolutely right."
- In The New Teen Titans #9, Terry Long and Starfire chat:
Terry: Gotta tell you, Koriand'r, I still haven't gotten over the fact that you're an alien. I mean, you're not a little green man with tentacles or anything.
Starfire: Why, thank you, Terry Long. Neither are you.
Terry: Touche! Guess I deserved that, huh?
- In Gotham City Garage, Jason Todd sets a bomb off to take Clayface with him. Kara quickly flings him away and tanks the blast.
Jason: What... What are you?
Kara: I'm super. And you're a suicidal idiot.
- In The Silmarillion story A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script, Finrod tells his father he shouldn't start out something he isn't willing to finish. Finarfin reminds Finrod he walked out of his own wedding ceremony.
Finrod: [coolly] A rescue seemed in order. Again.
Finarfin: And of whom, pray?
Finrod: Whichever most needed it. — One ought not begin an endeavor which one has not the will to finish.
Finarfin: Aye... As, for example, — to wed.
- In Dinner and a Show, Maleficent wonders what made Aurora invite her to a formal dinner if the latter heard that she was rather unpleasant and easily angered, resulting in this exchange.
Maleficent: You've heard? What exactly have you heard, Princess, that compelled you to invite me to dinner?
Aurora: Well, I've heard that you don't like to be uninvited.
- In Swapping the Cage Kuushou's sole reaction to Anko invoking a regulation regarding rations on a mission to make him buy her dango is a simply, "Well played."
- In Enslaved when Derflinger tries to press Saito into joining a mercenary band when the latter leaves Louise (because the greater his distance from her, the less the Familiar runes will warp his mind), Saito starts saying how he doesn't want to fight and just wants to go home when he realizes what just happened. Before he'd left, he had wanted to stay with Louise but Derflinger just showed he was right that Saito was turning back to himself. Saito offers a simple "Well played" once he realizes.
- The Wrong Reflection: Eleya, a Bajoran, has a soft spot for Earth science fiction and is queried on why by her operations officer and boyfriend Gaarra.
Eleya: Well, why do you like Trill mystery novels?
- When Voldemort attacks Spellhaven in For Love Of Magic, Harry's group doesn't learn until after they've killed most of the attackers that the majority were Imperius victims. Once Harry realizes the political and social ramifications of all those deaths, he offers an irritated, "You cheeky motherfucker."
- In X Men 1970, Professor Xavier utters one after Cyclops points out that it's kind of unfair that he expects them to fall in line and keep doing whatever he says after he faked his death for one entire year.
Scott: Damn it, Professor, I've got a lot I need to say.
Professor X: Apparently you thought this was to be a one-sided conversation. I will not play the role which you have written for me in your mind, Scott.
Scott: Then, Professor— Then, Professor, how can you expect us to play the role you've written for us?
Professor X: Touché.
- Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: After Darkseid brainwashes Kara and makes her one of his Female Furies, Batman decides to take the planet of Apocalypse hostage by activating all of the Hellsporesnote and demands that Darkseid give up Kara in exchange for him turning them off. After kicking his ass seven different ways, Darkseid is actually impressed that Batman still has the audacity to make demands and decides to relent.
Darkseid: Well played.
- In Corpse Bride, Lord Barkiss gives this to his then-fiancee Emily. Her response? "Get Out!!"
- This exchange from Wreck-It Ralph, when King Candy slaps on a pair of glasses to avoid Ralph's wrath:
King Candy: You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses, would you?
(Ralph removes King Candy's glasses and hits Candy over the head with them)
King Candy: You hit a guy with glasses. That's... well played.
- In Meet the Robinsons, Wilbur tries to get Lewis to fix the time machine he crashed, but Lewis will only do it if he takes him back in time to meet his birth mother.
Wilbur: You didn't even follow through on our last deal. How can I trust you?
Lewis: Well, you told me you were a time cop from the future. How can I trust you?
- In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, during Phoebus and Esmeralda's fight in the church:
Phoebus: You fight almost as well as a man!
Esmeralda: Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you!
Phoebus: That's hitting a little below the belt, don't you think?
Esmeralda: No. This is! [attempts a Groin Attack]
- Aladdin has the titular Guile Hero trick the Genie into freeing him from the Cave of Wonders without actually expending one of his wishes. After a brief Jaw Drop of shock, Genie takes it rather well.
Genie: [Turning into a sheep] Well, do I feel sheepish. All right, you baaa-d boy, but no more freebies!
- In Jurassic Park, Great White Hunter Muldoon knows from the start that the raptors are intelligent and dangerous. When he realizes that he has just been outwitted by the raptors in a well-laid Batman Gambit, he mutters a sincere and respectful "Clever girl" to the pack leader just before being eaten.
- In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark is reading through S.H.I.E.L.D.'s profile on him, and objecting to every critique listed, until he reaches "textbook narcissism". After a moment of consideration - and a profoundly deadpan stare from Nick Fury - he agrees.
- In The Rocketeer, Cliff goes to pick up his girlfriend Jenny at her boarding house, but finds the door blocked by the landlady, who says "You know my rules, no gentlemen after 6 pm!" Cliff replies "Well, I'm no gentleman!" The landlady mutters "You can say that again..." and tells them to have a good time.
- In Casino Royale (2006), after Vesper Lynd gets in a few good barbs at James Bond, she asks him, how was his dinner?
Bond: Skewered. One sympathizes.
- In Deadpool, it happens to snarker supreme Negasonic Teenage Warhead, of all people.
Deadpool: LOOK! I'm a teenage girl, I'd rather be anywhere than here! I'm all about long sullen silences, followed by mean comments, followed by more silence! So what's it gonna be: long sullen silence or mean comment? Go on, take your pick.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead: ...You got me in a box here.
- In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond kills time before his backup plan activates by getting the media-mogul villain to rant about how Bond won't be able to beat him, in the midst of which Bond kills the mook trying to sneak up on him overhead.
Bond: Sorry. I tuned out there for a minute, Eliot.
- Black Panther (2018): After T'Challa mortally wounds Killmonger with a particularly adroit bit of knifework, the latter chokes out a pained "...Hell of a move", initiating a reasonably respectful Dying Truce.
- Gaea's grudgingly impressed by Percy's gamble to force her to choose him over Phineas in The Heroes of Olympus.
- On Sisters, an escalating mess between Teddy and Alex ends with: "Touché, sister dear, you've drawn blood, care to finish me off?"
- Something of a running gag in NCIS: Los Angeles is that Deeks will says "Touché" to acknowledge Kensi has a point, and Kensi will say it too (regardless of the meaning), because she just likes the word.
- In Frasier, Niles had heart surgery, and Frasier made a promise to God to be nice to Niles if he lived. Niles then acted insufferably (over his fear of what might happen again), and Frasier wanted to lay into his brother, but felt he couldn't break his promise. Then he found a loophole, and felt it was enough. But it turned out their father already talked Niles out of it. Frasier then just said "Well played, God. I'll see you at Easter."
- On Seinfeld, George Costanza once pretended to be handicapped at work so he could get lots of special treatment, including a private bathroom. When the truth came out, his boss was so disgusted that he wanted to fire George, but couldn't because George had a one year contract with the company. Instead the boss does everything in his power to make George miserable at work and convince him to quit. After he gives everyone in the company access to George's previously private bathroom:
George: Well played.
Boss: I'll see you in hell, Costanza.
- In the first season of The Naked Truth, Nora gets her Camilla's job back by tricking the owner of The Comet. He said earlier "Who said life was fair?", and after she tricked him, she said the same thing. He said "Touché", although did give her a crappy assignment as payback.
- In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, when Mr. Moseby admits at a baseball game that he spent his childhood learning ballet rather than sports, he gets heckled by some other guys sitting nearby. Moseby responds "Mock me if you will, but I was the only boy amongst twelve pretty girls. Mamma didn't raise no fool." The hecklers then shrug and nod in a way that says "Fair point."
- In one episode of Drake & Josh, Walter gets a laughably bad haircut. When one of Drake's slacker friends mocks him for it, Walter counters by mocking his hair too. Drake's friend remarks "Touché" and begins to walk away, when Walter yells:
Walter: It's pronounced "tush"!
- The Goon Show parodied it.
- In Team Fortress 2 Spy will occasionally greet an enemy that kills him with "Well played."
- Rubick from Dota 2 will sometimes compliment his killer.
- One of the emotes that players can use in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is "Well Played", among others.
- Lara and Pierre in Tomb Raider: Anniversary have a small spat over whether or not one's compulsion can make or break an archeological find:
Lara: I trust my instincts.Pierre: And that is why you are in second place! I am a professional, mademoiselle. I focus on the job and I get paid.Lara: There's more to life than money, Pierre.Piere This isn't life, mademoiselle! It's business! Your compulsion prevents you from seeing the difference!Lara: It hasn't prevented me from getting a piece of the Scion. How's business for you?Pierre: ...Touche. Well then, why don't we see who gets the next piece?
- In Tyranny, one of the final encounters with Tunon has him putting you on trial to answer for your actions during the Tiers campaign. If the Player Character has used the [Glare silently.] option a lot during the game, Tunon will interrogate you about your seeming inability to speak. The player is allowed to respond with [Glare silently.], which will infuriate Tunon. Alternatively you can break character and explain it's an interrogation technique to make the other party feel like they need to keep talking to fill in the awkward silence, increasing the chance they'll incriminate themselves.
Tunon: That is... a better justification than I had suspected. Thank you for satisfying my curiosity.
- The Judge in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations, after Phoenix uses his own words against his overruling.
Phoenix: "Something you heard from someone else isn't admissible as testimony". Your words, Your Honor.
Judge: ...Touche, Mr. Wright.
- In Dorkly Originals, a skit for Zombies Ate My Neighbors has the teen questioning the NPCs actions while a Zombie Apocalypse is occurring, until he encounters a guy swimming in his pool.
Teen: Hey Pool Idiot!
Pool Guy: What?
Teen: Why are you lounging in the middle of a zombie attack?
Pool Guy: Well why are you wearing 3D glasses?
Teen: Touche Pool Idiot... Touche.
- In Homestar Runner Goes for the Gold, Strong Bad reads from an old story book and is doubtful when it says that The Sneak crippled Mr. Bland (one of Homestar's teammates), saying that "That Old-Timey rat thing's not gonna cripple anybody!". One Big Ball of Violence later, Bland is on the ground in a heap and Strong Bad responds "Whoa-ho-ho! Touché."
- In Exterminatus Now Silas constantly gets attempts on his life from his second-in-command. Not only does Silas expect this, he already undoes most of what the second-in-command was going to do when it's revealed. The usurper takes it rather gracefully, all things considered, shaking hands with Silas and complimenting him on his foresight. Of course, Silas still kills him, but at least they were polite about it.
- In Questionable Content, after Dora's dad accidentally has a TMI moment with Marten, Marten's comeback leads to this.
- Buck Godot Zapgun For Hire: Der Rock's reaction when he finds out Buck really did get him the genuine MacGuffin back, and he, believing it fake, just used it to call the servant of one very pissed off Sufficiently Advanced Alien he stole it from originally was to simply pay Buck for a job well done, while offering an apology for doubting his professional standards.
- Homestuck: Dirk gets this pulled on him by his Auto-Responder, basically a digital copy of his own (younger) brain installed into a pair of sunglasses to respond to instant message chat when he can't.
Dirk: It's also obvious because you're me, and I'm sure I would be constantly fucking with my own head if I were you.
AR: Touché. Or should I say douché?
Dirk: You shouldn't say the former, and you should definitely, never, under any circumstance, say the latter.
- Lola And Mr Wrinkles: When Lola realizes that Mr. Wrinkles has sent Hugo off running with the end of her leash in his mouth, she manages a resigned "Well played." before getting yanked out of sight.
- In the Christmas Episode of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Turles mocks Goku by forcing him to fight Gohan turned Great Ape, until Goku immediately cuts off Gohan's tail and restores him, earning a "well played" response from Turles.
- A Running Gag in Naruto: The Abridged Series.
- Iruka, as the first person in the series to say it, gets irritated whenever other characters use it.
- Bob (Homura) asked Gladys (Koharu) if he could be the Hokage. When told he couldn't, he put on a disguise and asked again.
Gladys: Dammit, Bob, that's just you with a fake mustache!
Bob: Touché, Gladys. Touché.
- The Wiiviewer said this after he tried to argue he couldn't compare Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, as they were different genres, and his sons pointed out he compared a racing game with a platformer game.
- In the Star Wars episode III parody trailer: A Lost Hope, Vader quips to Mace Windu:
Vader: I thought you'd be better.
Windu: I thought you'd be taller.
- In this Team Service Announcement, both the Spy and the Engineer react rather gracefully when they realise they've been bested by the other.
- In Taco-Man episode "McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure", this conversation happen.
Taco-Man: You know I never understood why you guys hang out with someone who actually steals your products.
Donald McRonald: Well you put videos on a channel that steals your money.
- A variant on reddit: R/AngryUpvote, a collection of responses that earn the soul-searing ire and grudging respect of redditors.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Keep Calm And Flutter On", Fluttershy has been appointed to reform Discord. She reveals that she knew he was lying to her and attempting to manipulate her the whole time, and after he has apparently stabbed her in the back, she walks off, declaring that they're no longer friends.
- The Simpsons:
Homer: Don't you have school?
- In "E-I-E-I-D'oh", Homer goes to a movie theater lobby for some snacks and gets into an argument with the concessioner.
Squeaky Voiced Teen: I'm sorry, but we're not supposed to put butter on the Milk Duds.Homer: You're not supposed to go to the bathroom without washing your hands either.Squeaky Voiced Teen: (beat) Touché.
- In "Maximum Homerdrive", Homer has taken on a deceased trucker's final delivery and Bart jumps into the cab to come along.
Bart: Don't you have work?
Homer: Ah, touché. (starts the truck)
- In "E-I-E-I-D'oh", Homer goes to a movie theater lobby for some snacks and gets into an argument with the concessioner.
- Star Wars Rebels: In "Through Imperial Eyes", Ezra and Kallus have snuck into Grand Admiral Thrawn's office, and Ezra tells Chopper to transmit the Chimaera's access codes to Kanan and Rex. Kallus protests that it'll be recognized as a rebel transmission.
Ezra: Yeah, but it'll be detected as having come from Thrawn's office.
Kallus: Good point.
- Uttered verbatim by Clark Kent in The Batman/Superman Movie (aka the "World's Finest" multi-parter in Superman: The Animated Series) when he finds a Bat-tracker on his cape after he'd earlier discovered Batman is Bruce Wayne using X-Ray Vision.
- In one episode of Phineas and Ferb where Perry disappears, due to being transferred to a new villain, a guilty Candace, thinking it was her fault because she threw him out at night, went searching for him, and spots what she thinks is his tail, but it turns out to belong to a woman's pet beaver.
Candace: You have a pet beaver?
Woman: You have a pet platypus.
- In the Merrie Melodies short Compressed Hare, Wile E. Coyote uses a vacuum cleaner to try to suck Bugs Bunny up out of Bugs's rabbit hole. After he gets back to his cave, Wile E. looks in the vacuum bag to discover that Bugs planted a rabbit-shaped decoy — made of lit sticks of dynamite. Coyote, knowing he's about to get blown up, chuckles approvingly and says, "Well, well. The boy has talent!"