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Volleying Insults

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Dr. Loveless: Mr. West, how nice of you to join us and add color to these monochromatic proceedings.
Jim West: Well when a fella comes back from the dead, I find that an occasion to stand up and be counted!
Dr. Loveless: Miss East informs me that you were expecting to see General McGrath here. Well, I knew him years ago, but I haven't seen him in a coon's age!
Jim West: Well, I can see where it'd be difficult for a man of your stature to keep in touch with even half the people you know.
Dr. Loveless: Well, perhaps the lovely Miss East will keep you from being a slave to your disappointment!
Jim West: Well you know beautiful women: they encourage you one minute, and cut the legs out from under you the next!

Two characters in a verbal dispute are reduced to exchanging insults — back and forth, over and over, like a ping-pong ball. Sometimes they escalate to extraordinary heights of inventiveness, but more often it degenerates into utter lameness as they run out of nasty things to call each other and resort to stupid ones. If an intellectual character is involved, their Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness will be their key to victory. However, sometimes a character will go too far and make a Fisticuff-Provoking Comment that results in a brawl or worse.

If the participants are of the opposite sex, Volleying Insults can sometimes take a left turn into a Slap-Slap-Kiss. Common for Belligerent Sexual Tension.

And if the participants happen to be the same gender, such as with Vitriolic Best Buds, certain fans will use this as a ground for claiming that the pairing has a basis. Namely, that the characters have chemistry by bickering Like an Old Married Couple.

If they're dueling, it's You Fight Like a Cow; if they're in a contest of some sort it's Trash Talk. May involve a Hurricane of Puns.

Compare Argument of Contradictions, Snark-to-Snark Combat, and No, You.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Azumanga Daioh, in the episode where Kagura is introduced (ep. 10), she & Tomo start doing this, and soon degenerate into face-pulling and grappling.
  • Black Lagoon: Eda and Revy get into this, calling each other "whiny bitch" and "nasty she-male".
  • Bleach: This is a major part of comedy; their expressions, voices and dialogue as they're arguing is downright hilarious to most fans. Participants include Ichigo and Rukia, Haineko and Tobiume, Shinji and Hiyori, Renji and Ichigo, Rukia and Renji, Ichigo and Ishida, Byakuya and Kenpachi, Apache with Sun-Sun and Mila-Rose, Snakey with Chimpette, and now Ikkaku with Shishigawara.
  • Bungo Stray Dogs: Osamu Dazai and Nakahara Chuuya, pictured above. These two used to be partners in crime and kicked lots of ass together before Dazai left the mafia. When they meet again, they mainly use their breath to utter an insult to the other party. Surprisingly, they still won the subsequent fight.
  • Case Closed: Kazuha and Heiji have a relationship built almost exclusively from this trope. Most of their conversations will degrade into calling one another "ahou!" (Or, "idiot!")
  • Chivalry of a Failed Knight has Stella Vermillion and Shizuku Kurogane trading barbs about each other's bust size while they are cleaning the girl's bathrooms as punishment.
    Stella: Washboard.
    Shizuku: Top-heavy.
    Stella: Baby Bee-stings.
    Shizuku: Floppy Grandma.
    Stella: Wet Rag.
    Shizuku: Dud Firecracker.
    Stella: Zero feet above sea level.
    Shizuku: Mount Everest.
    Stella: Underinflated waterballon.
    Shizuku: Overinflated Sex-doll.
  • In City Hunter, Ryo and Kimiko, a seventeen-year-old Girl of the Week with an Unwanted Harem, really go after each other this way when they meet at Cat's Eye Cafe. Combined with both having No Indoor Voice at the time, it may also qualify for Ham-to-Ham Combat.
    Ryo: Show some respect while talking to your elders, enemy of my penis!
    Kimiko: Shut up! I'm not obligated to show you any respect, you lowdown playboy!
    Ryo: Lowdown?! Take that back right now! I'm a very upright, earnest, and honest playboy!
    Kimiko: And who's supposed to believe that?!
    Ryo: You! Now apologize to my penis!
    Kimiko: I won't! Everything was your fault!
    Ryo: Do you know how much I suffered?!
    Kimiko: Not one bit less than you deserve!
    Ryo: Do you know how painful it was to retain a mokkori for sixty minutes? Had I relaxed even one bit, I would have been thrown off the train!
    Kimiko: Ha! If you die, all women in this world would win!
    Ryo: If I die, more women would cry than the sky has stars!
    Kimiko: Oh, do you know how many stars there are in the heavens?!
    Ryo: I was just using an euphemism, stop taking everything literally!
    Umibozu: SHUT UP!!
  • Code Geass R2: The last episode had Rakshata and Lloyd bickering at each other when they're in prison, right before Lelouch's assassination at the hands of Suzaku/Zero. Hardly surprising, since they're ex-classmates and members of opposing Rival Science Teams. Lampshaded when the also imprisoned Nina hears them, asks Lloyd's assistant Cécile what's up, and Cécile is all "oh, don't worry hon, they've been like this since forever".
  • Crayon Shin-chan has this going down between all of the Noharas. Yep, it's that kind of show, and it's hella funny.
  • D Grayman: Kanda and Allen can't go two sentences without Volleying Insults at each other. Most of the time it ends with Kanda calling Allen "Moyashi," and Allen calling Kanda some random insulting name. One example is in the Drama CD where the following conversation takes place:
    Kanda: Gluttonous pig with no sense of taste.
    Allen: Narrow-minded soba idiot.
    Kanda: White-hair.
    Allen: Ponytail.
    Kanda: Cheater-gambler, King of Debts, WIMP.
    Allen: Soap-hair, Tattoo guy, STONE-HEAD.
  • In Endride, this is Shun and Emilio's favourite pastime be it insulting each other's temperaments, fighting skills, or lack of other life skills.
  • Fairy Tail: Any disagreement Gray and Natsu have will turn into this.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Kurz and Sousuke tend to do this with each other a lot. Kurz tends to take the dirtier approach, and insults Sousuke by calling him a stupid, naive, gutless virgin (which Sousuke reacts angrily to mainly because he assumes it's probably an insult), while Sousuke tends to attack Kurz as being a lazy, useless good-for-nothing. Interestingly enough, Kurz is shown to pretty much be the only person who can make Sousuke get annoyed to the point where he yells petty insults and bickers.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has a brief moment of this in a Flash Back, where Ed gets into an insult contest with Pinako regarding their height when Ed once again refuses to drink his milk.
    Pinako: Come on, Ed, drink your milk.
    Ed: No. I hate it.
    Pinako: If you don't drink it, you'll stay short forever.
    Ed: You mean like you, ya sawed-off old hag?!
    Pinako: What was that, you little half-pint midget?!
    Pinako: MICRO-PEEWEE!
  • In G Gundam, a good part of the interaction between Sheltered Aristocrat George and Boisterous Bruiser Chibodee consists of snarking at each other and throw playful insults around. George calls Chibodee "savage", he retorts by calling George "young master".
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: France and England do this on a regular basis. Greece and Turkey have done so on occasion as well.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto and Sasuke do this often in the beginning. One flashback has Naruto calling Sasuke "idiot" repeatedly and Sasuke responding with "dumbass". The fight on top of the hospital was the result of this going out of hand, to the point where Naruto and Sasuke were saying things they didn't even believe just to one-up each other.
    • Ino and Sakura do this after becoming rivals as well, with Sakura calling Ino "Ino-pig" and Ino calling Sakura "Billboard Brow" for her big forehead.
  • Nichijou: At first played straight during part of a heated argument between Yuuko and Mio over food, but later inverted when they start volleying compliments]] at each other, before ending the argument with a handshake and a hug.
  • One Piece:
    • Sanji and Zoro; the two fight constantly, and their contests end with "love-cook" and "marimo", respectively. Lately, Sanji has gone straight into using "Zoro-kun" to fake concern for him. After the time-skip, the first thing they do when they meet up again is insult each other. Not one to be left behind, Zoro now calls Sanji "Nosebleed-kun".
    • Don't forget Iceburg and Franky with "Bakanky" and "Bakaburg." "Flunky" and "Ice-for-brains" in the English dub.
  • PandoraHearts: Alice and Gilbert revel in this. Gilbert calls Alice "Stupid rabbit" and Alice calls Gilbert "Seaweed head."
  • Ranma ½: Ranma and Akane have done this before. Their fights usually involve the words "idiot," "jerk," and "tomboy," but sometimes, they're a bit more creative.
    Akane: What did you say, you little sardine?!
    Ranma: Shut it, savage woman!
  • Goku and Gojyo from Saiyuki: their fights always end up as "____ monkey!" / "____ kappa!" The most popular fill-in-the-blanks are 'stupid' and 'pervy,' respectively. Often, they just go straight to this trope.
  • Seraph of the End: Kimizuki and Yuu call each other "bastard" and "telephone pole" (Kimizuki) and "idiot or Baka Yuu".
  • In Toradora!, Taiga and Sumire's fight devolves into this. It's Taiga's last-ditch effort to provoke an Anguished Declaration of Love from Sumire.
  • The English dub of the anime of YuYu Hakusho has Hiei and Kuwabara throwing insults at each other from pretty much the moment they meet. Kuwabara's are generally aimed at Hiei's size, while Hiei's go for Kuwabara's power level and (perceived) lack of agility.

  • Christopher Titus tells a story in his first stand-up special, Norman Rockwell is Bleeding about his first real fight with his first wife after they both find out they've cheated on each other.
    Titus: You know that point where you're just shouting insults at each other? Fuck it, we were there. "SLUT!" "IDIOT!" "WHORE!" But remember, I was raised by "Anti-Dad", so I'd heard it all. Nothing she said rattled me until she threw this out: "YOU HAVE A DINOSAUR HEAD!" That one threw me off.

    Comic Books 
  • In ElfQuest, two major characters Cutter and Rayek are in a physical duel where they share banter that quickly degenerates from bragging about their skills, to calling each other "Bone Polisher!" and "Bead Rattler!" to "Dog!" and "Snake!" respectively.
  • In The Man, John and The Man exchange insults over their conflicting interests of art and sport.
    The Man: I can't stand soppy art!
    John: Can't stand stupid sport!
    The Man: Sissy!!
    John: Dumbo!!
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics:
    • Raphael and Casey Jones do this as a way of male bonding, in the first issue after their Northampton exile.
    • This scene is later adapted in the first movie with Donatello instead of Raph, and with both characters going up the alphabet as they did so.
    • A similar scene then occurs in the 2003 cartoon, where Casey and Raph are doing the same thing while roof-hopping.
  • An installment of The Simpsons comics showed Lisa Simpson and Martin Prince engaging in a poetry duel:
    "You're a self-absorbed neurotic mess!"
    "Oh yeah? Well ... you make me ill, I must confess!"
    "Your family is weird and smarmy!"
    "Your mother's boots come from the army!"
    "The air is foul in your abode!"
    "Your ego needs its own zip-code!"
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: Wonder World: Epistime and Techne are very different personalities who are paired together as partners as guards and who find ways to insult each other with almost every sentence they speak unless there's need to act serious.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes
    • Often exchanged by the title characters. One time, instead of escalating to a Big Ball of Violence, they wind up just doing insulting "impressions" of each other, until Calvin's mom calls, "Time to come in!" They trudge off, muttering:
    Calvin: Leave it to Mom to interrupt our repartee.
    Hobbes: Just when I had you wriggling in the crushing grip of reason too...

    Fan Works 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged has Nail and Vegeta snappily shooting back and forth for a few moments.
    Nail: Hello? Can I…help you with something?
    Vegeta: Yeah, the first thing you can do is go die, save me the trouble.
    Nail: Ooh! Ooh! Is this really happening? 'cause I really hope it is.
    Vegeta: (laughs) Oh trust me, you don't want any of what I am now.
    Nail: Then come on, bring on all four feet of you. Or should I count your stupid hair?
    Vegeta: Pretty big talk coming from a bipedal slug.
    Nail: Big talk coming from a bipedal bitch.
    Vegeta: Ohoho! Oh, I gotta admit, you are the best challenge I've gotten out of your people yet! Then again, all I have to compare you to are those villagers I slaughtered.
    Nail: Oh, you are dead!
    Guru: Naaaaaail!!! Stop making out with your boyfriend! I can hear it from here! It sounds like (gagging and slurping noises)
    Nail: (pissed) Thank you, lord Guru!
  • Girl Days: Shampoo and Hilda are not allowed to fight due to a peace treaty between their tribes, so they resort to insulting each other for hours:
    Shampoo: Horny Girl.
    Hilda: Stupid Amazon.
    Shampoo: Horny girl.
    Hilda: Stupid Amazon BITCH.
    Shampoo: Horny SLUTTY girl.
    Hilda: Stupid UGLY Amazon bitch!
    Shampoo: Horny slutty GOOFY girl!
    Hilda: Stupid ugly SILLY Amazon bitch!
    Shampoo: Horny slutty goofy FAT girl!
    Hilda: Stupid ugly silly nasty no-talent Amazon bitch!
    Shampoo: Horny slutty goofy fat mean geeky girl!
    Hilda: Who you call geeky?
    Shampoo: Shampoo call horny slutty goofy fat mean geeky girl geeky!
    Hilda: Stupid ugly silly nasty no-talent flat-chested Amazon bitch!
    Shampoo: Horny slutty goofy fat mean geeky trampy girl!
  • During the first chapters of Thousand Shinji, Shinji and Asuka often traded insults back and forth before getting together. Shinji even kept score of who won each one of their verbal spars.
    Shinji: Hey, why the sour face? Forget to drink your prune juice this morning?
    Asuka: No, just wondering how this country ever became important when it’s filled with morons like you.
    Shinji: Oh, you wound me. And I think you got a little collateral damage on you there.
    Asuka: I’m a quarter Japanese, and I was raised in Germany. I think I took minimal splash.
    Shinji: Ah, so the Übermensch German sides overwhelm the barbarian Japanese side?
    Asuka: Can you cut it out with the Nazi jokes?
    Shinji: But they’re so easy! Come on, throw an Imperial Japan joke. Hell, I haven’t even tried to throw out any weird German fetish jokes cause I know you’ll have way too much tentacle demon material to work with.
    Asuka: Oh? You know about German porn do you? Pervert.
    Shinji: I walked into that one.
    Asuka: You set yourself up for that one.
    Shinji: I see no contradiction between our statements.
  • In Vinyl and Octavia Have Multiple Dates, Octavia ends up doing this with Neon Lights, before it descends into a pun battle.
  • Legacy of the Rasengan: Naruto has Naruto and Sasuke do. Except they get way too personal.
    Sasuke: You do realize her (Hinata's) father would never let you date her. Especially a filthy unwanted orphan like you.
    Naruto: Yeah!? What would you know!? The only thing you're good at is brooding about something that happened in the past! At least I look towards the future!
    Sasuke: Don't talk of things you know nothing of! My family was all I had!
    Naruto: Then make a new one! It isn't really hard! Oh, Wait!, I forgot. You need to have everything handed to you on a silver platter! You never work for anything you want or have!
  • Started, but then averted in the This Time Round fic "Ground Work", where Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets his counterpart from the fictional series St Pudentiana the Fairy Bane:
    "So _you're_ the fairy." Spike said.
    "And you're the bloodsucking demon." Nails said pleasantly. "I was expecting a bit more 'grr', but I suppose you have to take what you can get."
    "Har har." Spike said. "Stolen any babies lately?"
    Nails's eyes narrowed. "_Eaten_ any babies lately?"
    "Nails-" Gaia began.
    Spike opened his mouth to retort... then clamped it shut.
    "What's the matter?" Nails said. "Lost for words?"
    "Nah." Spike said. "Just realised. Only thing I _can_ take the piss out of you for is being a fairy. 'Cause I go any further, I start ripping on _me_."
  • In the Thor crack fanfic, Fight or Flyte, Loki, much like his myth counterpart mentioned below, is quite the fan of thinking up creative insults for his enemies, especially when they are creative enough to think of good insults back. He and Tony Stark insult each other multiple times over the course of the fic, and Loki enjoys the banter so much that he takes it somewhat poorly when Tony tells him he won't insult him again until he does what he wants.
    Loki: [to Tony] Need I remind you that I lay with a horse?
  • In The Mate of the KuvaH'magh SoS, B'Elanna Torres gets involved in curse-warfare with some Klingons being hosted on Voyager.
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. Stuck in a Mad Scientist's death chamber, Captain Proton and Buster Kincaid resort to exchanging Pardon My Klingon insults, only to stop in confusion when one of them uses the word, "Asshole."
  • In Sanity is Quite Simply Overrated a physically-eight Harriet Potter and elderly Arcturus Black do this habitually.
    Arcturus: Insufferable brat.
    Harriet: Crotchety geezer.
    Arcturus: Insipid twit.
    Harriet: Self important geriatric.
    Arcturus: Ankle biting troglodyte.
    Harriet: Oh goddamn, good one.
  • Saviour of Magic:
    Dylan: Egghead.
    Harry: Moron.
    Dylan: Jackass!
    Harry: Dimwit!
    Dylan: Nitwit!
    Harry: Nincompoop!
    Dylan: That's the same thing! Wait, is it?
    Harry: Who cares? Brat!
  • Out of Sight:
    Harmony: Git.
    Hermione: Troll.
    Harmony: Trollop.
    Hermione: Tramp.
    Harmony: Bookworm.
    Hermione: Defense nut.
    Harmony: Thestral's arse.
  • Abandon:
    Voldemort: Prat.
    Harry: Git.
    Voldemort: Moron.
    Harry: Bastard.
    Voldemort: Four-eyes.
    Harry: Ouch. You always use that one, too.
  • Death is a Blessing:
    Outkast: Bastard.
    Snape: Bitch.
    Outkast: Idiot.
    Snape: Cow.
    Outkast: Moron.
  • Attraction:
    Harry: You don't deserve being a prefect, Malfoy.
    Draco: And you don't deserve to still be alive, Potter.
    Harry: Git!
    Draco: Scar face!
    Harry: Arrogant prat!
    Draco: Nerd!
    Harry: Spoiled rich brat!
    Draco: Dumbledore's little orphan boy!
  • DragonKin:
    Harry: Prat.
    Draco: Plank.
    Harry: Twit.
    Draco: Twerp.
    Harry: Brat.
    Draco: Bam.
    Harry: Git.
    Draco: Goit.
  • Love In the Dark:
    Dean: Fag.
    Harry: Prat.
    Dean: Queen.
    Harry: Smart-ass.
    Dean: Whore.
    Harry: Thief!
  • Venenum Vinco Bane:
    Ethan: Bastard.
    Harry: Braggart.
    Ethan: Sod.
    Harry: Ass.
    Ethan: Ignoramus.
    Harry: Fool.
    Ethan: Moron.
    Harry: Idiot.
    Ethan: Gryffindor.
    Harry: Slytherin.
  • Advice 2: Wheel of Fortune:
    Harry: Git.
    Draco: Prat.
    Harry: Wanker.
    Draco: Prick.
    Harry: ...Sarsaparilla head.
  • Something Wasn't Right So We Left:
    Harry: I wanted to apologize for sneezing on your hand earlier. I could’ve tried harder to turn away.
    Hermione: Fine but you’re still a moron.
    Harry: And you’re frizz city.
    Hermione: Geek.
    Harry: Dork.
    Hermione: Rat brain.
    Harry: Teacher’s pet.
    Hermione: Bubblehead.
  • Protect Me:
    Draco: Intolerable, sappy Gryffindor.
    Harry: Insufferable, high-maintenance Slytherin.
    Draco: Hopeless, romantic idiot.
    Harry: Arrogant, self-righteous prick.
  • This Bites!: When Cross and Apoo meet in public for the first time during the Skelter Bite arc, they quickly get into a loud argument in order to keep up the act of being rival DJs that they've had going for months. They hit each other with numerous insults, which grow increasingly petty and ridiculous until they finally break down laughing, much to the confusion of the onlooking Supernovas, who were unaware of the act.

    Films — Animation 
  • This happens between Madame Medusa and Mr. Snoops in The Rescuers when the Devil's Eye is found.
    Medusa: It's mine! It's all mine!
    Snoops: Double-crosser!
    Medusa: Cheap pickpocket!
    Snoops: Chiseler!
    Medusa: Ugh! Cheap crook!
  • The Secret of NIMH has Martin (Mrs. Brisby's son) doing this with Auntie "Shrew".
  • Sebastian and Marina del Ray get this exchange in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning:
    Marina: Soft-shell.
    Sebastian: Tardy girl.
    Marina: Stick-eye!
    Sebastian: Fish lips.
    Marina: Backstabber!
    Sebastian: Fashion disaster!
    Marina: Bottom feeder!
    Sebastian: Babysitter!
  • Happens between Diego and Shira in Ice Age: Continental Drift, when they are floating on a tiny ice floe in the middle of the ocean together with Manny, Sid and Granny.
    Diego: We'll never make it home on this thing.
    Shira: Maybe you should have thought of that before you capsized our berg, genius!
    Diego: Yeah, trying to escape!
    Shira: Wimp!
    Diego: Whiner!
    Shira: Crybaby!
    Manny: Land!
    Diego: Yeah, land! Wait, what?
    Manny: Not her. There! Land!
  • In an earlier version of Turning Red, Mei was going to run for class president against Tyler and the debate would have devolved into this.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Liar Liar
    • The following exchange occurs in court:
    Dana Appleton: Your Honor, I object!
    Fletcher Reede: You would!
    Appleton: BASTARD!
    Reede: HAG!
    Swoosie Kurtz: Your Honor, I object!
    Jim Carrey: You would!
    Kurtz: OVER-ACTOR!
    Carrey: JEZEBEL! (bursts out laughing) Oh, no! They're on to me!
  • The legendary exchange between Rufio and Peter in Hook, consisting of at least nineteen volleys, climaxing with:
    Peter Banning: Rufio, if I'm a maggot burger why don't you just EAT ME? You two-toned zebra-headed slime-coated pimple-farmin' paramecium-brain, munchin' on your own mucus, suffering from Peter Pan envy!
    Don't Ask: What's a Paramecium-brain?
    Peter Banning: I'll tell you what a paramecium is. That's' a paramecium! It's a one-celled critter with no brain that can't fly! Don't mess with me, man, I'M A LAWYER!
  • In Wild Wild West, West and Loveless take not-so-subtle verbal pot shots at each other for being black and crippled, respectively. While West manages to hide any reaction he has, Loveless visibly gets angrier at every insult. This becomes a Brick Joke near the end of the film.
    Loveless: [balancing on the edge of a cliff] Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle! How did we arrive in this dark situation?
    West: [hanging from the back of Loveless' chair] I don't know, Dr. Loveless, I'm just as stumped as you are.
  • Happens in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when David and Cal are playing a video game:
    David: You know how I know you're gay?
    Cal: How? How do you know I'm gay?
    David: Because you macraméd yourself a pair of jean shorts.
    Cal: You know how I know you're gay? You just told me you're not sleeping with women anymore.
    David: You know how I know that you're gay?
    Cal: How? 'Cause you're gay? And you can tell who other gay people are?
    David: You know how I know you're gay?
    Cal: How?
    David: You like Coldplay.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) has a G-rated version of this between Donatello and Casey Jones as they engage in Ship-to-Ship Combat over the characters of Gilligan's Island, while they are fixing a truck. Part of it was that they were trying to go in alphabetical order.
    Casey: Not even close, Zip-neck, the Professor and Mary-Ann, happily ever after!
    Donatello: No way, Atomic-mouth, Gilligan was her main main, they'd be married and have six kids by now!
    Casey: Nah, Gilligan was a geek, Barfaroni!
    Donatello: You're the geek, Camel-breath!
    Casey: Dome-head!
    Donatello: (gasps and defensively feels the top of his cranium) Elf-lips!
    Casey: Let's give this a try, see if it works, Fungoid!
    Donatello: Here it goes! Uh, what are we on?
    Casey: G.
    Donatello: Here it goes, Gack-face!
    Casey: I'm ready, Hose-brain!
  • Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, when Ron and Veronica's rivalry finally spills over:
    Ron: You're a smelly pirate hooker.
    Veronica: You look like a blueberry!
    Ron: Why don't you go back to your home on Whore Island?
    Veronica: Well you have bad hair!
    Ron: What did you say?
    Veronica: I said... Your hair looks stupid.
  • This exchange from The Sandlot:
    Phillips: We play on a real diamond, Porter. You ain't good enough to lick the dirt off our cleats.
    Ham: Watch it, jerk!
    Phillips: Shut up, idiot!
    Ham: Moron!
    Phillips: Scab eater!
    Ham: Butt sniffer!
    Phillips: Pus licker!
    Ham: Fart smeller!
    Phillips: You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek!
    Ham: You make your weenies with your momma's toe jams!
    Phillips: You bob for apples in the toilet and you like it!
    Ham: You play ball like a GIRL!
  • Happens between Xander and Yelena in xXx.
    Yelena: Do you know what a wire trasfer is?
    Xander: Is she for real? Sweetheart, is there anything else you need to do? Let us big boys have a conversation?
    Yelena: "Conversation", a word with four syllables. Do you want some ice before your brain overheats?
    Xander: Ice? Yes, you could chisel some off your heart — if you can find it.
  • Scary Movie 2: Hanson the caretaker (who has a deformed hand) and Dwight (who is a paraplegic) despise each other as soon as they meet, proceeding to throw a string of ableist insults at each other.
  • The Football Factory features the following exchange during a scene at a children's football game, as both characters iron out their differences. It's only when Fred accuses Billy of beating his wife that a fight breaks out between the men on the pitch, prompting the referee and the kids to walk off and leave them be.
    Fred: Bit of a coincidence, eh, Bill? That our kids should be playing against each other just before we meet in the Cup.
    Billy: Somehow, I don't think this game's gonna get quite as messy; do you?
    Fred: You fancy yourselves in bandit country, then?
    Billy: Well, let's have it right - if history's anything to go by, last time we had a little meet with you lot, we ran you all over London.
    Fred: You couldn't run 100 yards, mate.
    Billy: Wouldn't fucking need to, either.
    Fred: Don't get lemon, Bill, it don't suit ya.
    Billy: Spell it, you cunt.
    Fred: C-U-N-T. Cunt.
    Billy: I meant lemon, soppy bollocks.
    Fred: We'll see about lemon when you're lost in deep south, you fat fucking prick!
    Billy: Whoa, now we're getting personal! Now, what's your problem; the fact you open your kebab shop in five minutes, or the fact you buy your charlie off a white man?
    Fred: Well, how's it feel doing business with a Turk when you're supposed to be right-wing? Scooby-Doo's less confused than you, you prick!
    Billy: You'll be confused when I open your fucking canister up.
    Fred: D'you wanna wait till the game, or d'you wanna make one with me now!?
    Billy: Don't punch above your weight, you long streak of piss.
    Fred: Well, stop punching your old woman about then, wanker!
    Billy: [incensed] What d'you fucking say, you mug!?
    Fred: You fucking heard, you fat fucking johnson cunt!

  • In the Discworld novel Mort, Mort and Ysabel have a lengthy slanging match with one another, including, at a few points, taking a moment out to clarify their meaning, before continuing.
  • Year of the Griffin displays this with Felim and the Emir of a far off land. When they meet towards the end of the book, they begin yelling various insults at each other about how their maternal ancestors were different animals. (Your mother was a camel!) It is later revealed that the two are brothers and insulting their own mothers, grandmothers, etc.
  • Artemis Fowl: something of a hobby among most of the main characters, Foaly and Mulch in particular.
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Bartimaeus and Nathaniel, nigh-constantly.
  • The First Law: By circumstances, main protagonist Monza Murcatto and Carlot dan Eider, whom she more than once just slighted, meet on the same side before a major battle in Best Served Cold. An insult volley ensues (though of course strictly speaking both only speak the truth. Or at least, as far as they know):
    Carlot dan Eider: And who is this? The Butcher of Caprile! I thought you were but a thief, blackmailer, murderer of innocents and keen practiser of incest! Now it seems you are soldier, too.
    Monza Murcatto: Carlot dan Eider, such a surprise! I thought this was a battle but now it smells more like a brothel. Which is it?
    Carlot dan Eider: Judging by all the swords I'd guess... the former? But I suppose you'd be the expert. I saw you at Cardotti's and I see you here, equally comfortable dressed as warrior or whore.
    Monza Murcatto: Strange how it goes, eh? I wear the whore's clothes and you do the whore's business.
    Carlot dan Eider: Perhaps I should turn my hand to murdering children instead?
  • The Icelandic Saga of Gunnlaug Viper-Tongue (Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu). A major part of the story is Gunnlaugur confronting his rival in front of the king of Norway and them doing the ancient equivalent of freestyle battle rapping to see who the king favours.
  • Mudge in The Paths of the Perambulator: when the world-saving heroes are trapped by a magical cage built of insults, only Mudge is a sufficient maestro of put-downs to volley the cage's slurs back at it, with each diss's intensity increasing, until it disperses.
    Cage: That's right, tell us everything you know. It won't take long.
    Mudge: I'll tell you everything we both know. It won't take any longer.
  • This is how Beldin and Polgara greet each other in The Belgariad. Being The Grotesque, Beldin doesn't have much use for flattery, so this is how he shows affection. She picked up the practice from her father. Before Polgara was born, Belgarath and Beldin traded insults for the same reason, and even afterward, they would do it occasionally for old time's sake.
  • The Stormlight Archive: The second time Shallan and Kaladin meet in Words of Radiance, they end up standing in the middle of the hallway in front of the king's rooms, screaming increasingly creative insults at each other. This is largely because the first time they met, Shallan pretended to be a Horneater princess and stole Kal's boots.
  • In Jon Barth's "The Sot Weed Factor" two prostitutes trade one-word insults for several pages. Each insult is essentially a variant on the word "whore."
  • Norma Fox Mazer's Saturday, the Twelfth of October has a ritualized form of this when Farwe and N'ati become upset enough to declare a Quarrel between themselves. Farwe's future son-in-law Hiffaru and N'ati's son Sonte, as the chosen Quarrelers, trade insults until they run out of steam.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks and Miss Enright will unavoidably start throwing catty remarks at one another, should they engage in anything but the briefest of conversations.
  • An episode of Ally McBeal has Ally and her ex doing this two different times, with Ally ultimately winning both rounds. In the first, her conquering insult was "Lawyer!" (ironic, since she was one also), and in the second, she won by calling her opponent, simply, "Man!"
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "Convictions", Londo and G'Kar are trapped in an elevator. They exchange a final volley of insults as a rescue crew approaches (much to G'Kar's annoyance, as he'd seen the incident as a chance to watch Londo die under circumstances that would not trigger reprisals against his people).
    Londo: There, you see... I am going to live!
    G'kar: ...So it would seem. Well, it is an imperfect universe.
    Londo: ...Bastard.
    G'kar: ...Monster.
    Londo: ...Fanatic!
    G'kar: ...Murderer.
    Londo: You are insane!
    G'kar: And that is why we'll win.
    Londo: ..."Go be the ambassador to Babylon 5", they say. "It will be an easy assignment". Ugh, I hate my life.
    G'kar: ...So do I.
    Londo: Shut up!
  • Benson has insults as the main weapon in a duel between him and Clayton. Clayton wins two rounds, Benson the other thirteen.
  • Parodied in Blackadder series three, with a French revolutionary and aristocrat using various animal insults, from "Dog" and "Snake" up to "Happypotamus".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy and Willow in "Dead Man's Party":
      Willow: I'll stop giving you a hard time... Runaway.
      Buffy: Will!
      Willow: I'm sorry! Quitter.
      Buffy: Whiner.
      Willow: Bailer.
      Buffy: Harpy.
      Willow: Delinquent.
      Buffy: Tramp.
      Willow: Bad seed.
      (ending credits)
      Buffy: Witch.
      Willow: Freak.
    • Xander and Anya's duet in the Season 6 musical "Once More With Feeling".
      Xander: She clings / She's needy / She's also really greedy / She never
      Anya: (interrupting) His eyes are beady!
      Xander: This is my verse, hello!
  • On Cheers, Sam did this with both Diane and Rebecca. In both cases, it frequently went into Slap-Slap-Kiss territory.
  • Clarissa and Ferguson on Clarissa Explains It All could insult each other back and forth for a very long time, including one particularly long exchange at the end of the episode "The Silent Treatment".
  • The pilot episode of Community has this exchange:
    Prof. Duncan: I'm asking if you know the difference between right and wrong.
    Jeff: I discovered at a very early age that if I talked long enough, I could make anything right or wrong. So either I'm God, or truth is relative. And in either case, BOOYAH.
    Prof. Duncan: Interesting. It's just the average person has a much harder time saying "BOOYAH" to moral relativism.
    Jeff: Duncan, you don't have to play shrink to protect your pride. I accept. You're chicken.
    Prof. Duncan: Are you trying to use Reverse Psychology on a psychologist?
    Jeff: No, I'm just using regular psychology on a spineless, British twit.
    Prof. Duncan: I'm a professor; you can't talk to me that way.
    Jeff: A 6-year-old girl could talk to you that way.
    Prof. Duncan: Yes, because that would be adorable.
    Jeff: No, because you're a 5-year-old girl and there's a pecking order.
  • Doctor Who: In "Doomsday", the leader of the Daleks and the Cyber-Leader take turns insulting each other after the Dalek refuses an alliance. What makes this particularly fun is that both communicate in Robo Speak. Mickey sums it up: "It's like Stephen Hawking meets the speaking clock."
    Cyber-Leader: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?
    Dalek Sec: Four.
    Cyber-Leader: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?
    Dalek Sec: We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek! You are superior in only one respect.
    Cyber-Leader: What is that?
    Dalek Sec: You are better at dying!
  • On The Electric Company (1971), two cowboys on a screen exchange insults, and subverted at the end.
    Jim Boyd's cowboy: Rat!
    Luis Avalos' cowboy: Snake!
    Jim Boyd's cowboy: Worm!
    Luis Avalos' cowboy: Weasel!
    Jim Boyd's cowboy: Skunk!
    Luis Avalos' cowboy: Dirty dog!
    Jim Boyd's cowboy: Pussycat!
    (Both turn toward the audience)
    Jim Boyd's cowboy: Pussycat?
  • Frasier:
    • Both pairings aren't afraid to have polite slinging matches with each other when sufficiently riled. Then there's Niles and Roz, who do it sincerely at first, then make a sport of it long after they've warmed up to each other.
    • Roz and Julia during the tenth season, including one hysterical scene in which they try complimenting each other and end up hurling insults - and loving it.
      Julia: Well, you certainly made an impression on me. I remember, I kept thinking: "Who did she sleep with to get this job?" And then I found out. Everybody!
      Roz: That's a good one! [they laugh] You know, there's a plunger in the bathroom, what do you say we go look for your career?
      Julia: Great! While we're in there I can get your phone number.
      Roz: Don't bother, it's 1-800-BITE ME.
      Julia: "Bite me," that's the best that you've got?
      Roz: Oh, I could spend half an hour on your hair.
      Julia: Well, you should have spent half an hour on your hair.
      Roz: Oh, really? [they laugh]
      Waitress: It's closing time, ladies, I'm afraid you'll have to leave.
      Roz: But we're just warming up.
      Julia: You know, there's a place down the street that, uh, is open all night.
      Roz: Just like your mouth?
      Julia: Just like your legs? [Julia leaves]
      Roz: Hey, wait up!
  • Given Friends degrades into a World of Snark often, easy to find. Best example being the re-encounter of the resident Deadpan Snarker's parents:
    Mr. Bing: Yes! Although, I think we may be seeing a little too much of some people. Aren't you a little old to be wearing a dress like that?
    Mrs. Bing: Don't you have a little too much penis to be wearing a dress like that?
  • Horrible Histories has a sketch with an insult contest between Thomas and the gentleman whose ale he spilled -Shakespeare. Who had a habit of making up his own insults.
    Thomas: Though art a saucy rogue!
    William: How can I respond... to a slobbering, pebbling churlish clophole, a beef-witted gleeking bombailey. (continues the insults)
  • Inverted in the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode, "The Gang Broke Dee". The gang try to insult Dee. But instead of insulting them back, she preemptively insults herself by trying to guess their insults and interrupting them continuously until they stop. They try to explain to her it's less fun that way and she should stop doing that.
  • From Lost, "Tricia Tanaka is Dead":
    Sawyer: What's your problem, Jumbotron?
    Hurley: Shut up, Red... neck... man!
    Sawyer: Touché.
  • Politically incorrect Brit Com Love Thy Neighbour relied on the back-and-forth exchange of racially heated epithets between a racist redneck and his black nextdoor-neighbour - even after they became Vitriolic Bestbuds in all but name.
  • Married... with Children:
    • Happens often between Bud and Kelly. The insults usually center around Al (occasionally Peggy's thrown in as well).
    • Also happens between Kelly and one of her sleepover guests; the final insult before fisticuffs: Bundy.
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel had the title character and former idol turned rival Sophie Lennon sharing the stage on a TV show and using the opportunity to roast each other.
  • The entire concept of Rob Newman and David Baddiel's History Today sketches on The Mary Whitehouse Experience, featuring two history professors insulting each other like schoolchildren; "That's you, that is..."
  • In The Monkees episode "Monkees Chow Mein", Davy and Mike are dressed as superheroes and use insults as their "weapon":
    Davy: You're nail biter. You're nail biter and your mother never ever loved you.
  • In Moonlighting, anytime Maddie and David argue,note  it has the potential to go into this.
  • The is the entire premise of Yo Mamma on the Network Decay-ed MTV.
  • From My Wife and Kids, Michael and Wanda:
    Wanda: I'm going to dedicate my life to making you miserable, even if I have to live to be 150.
    Michael: Well, you only have 4 more years left for that.
  • The Nanny: Niles and C.C. Babcock spend much of the series snarking against one another. And then finally...
    C.C.: I loathe you.
    Niles: I despise you.
    C.C.: Servant.
    Niles: Trollop.
    C.C.: Bellboy.
    Niles: Brunette.
    [they kiss passionately]
  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks:
    Donny Tourette: (grabbing his crotch) This is what I think of you!
    Simon Amstell: What? You think me a small penis? Well I never!
  • In one episode of the incredibly obscure UK sitcom Never the Twain, Windsor Davies' character gets into one of these with a French waiter which ends with both of them consulting a phrase book/dictionary in order to continue the insults. Funnier than it sounds.
  • Reba has Reba's ex-husband, Brock, and her close friend, Lori Ann interact with each other in this fashion. For example:
    Brock: (upon walking into Reba's eldest daughter's baby shower) Look at all these beautiful women. (looks at Lori Ann) You must be security.
    Lori Ann: (looking at Brock) I thought we agreed not to hire a clown.
  • Saturday Night Live: "Jane, you ignorant slut." "Dan, you pompous ass."
  • Supernatural. The Previously on… montage for "Tall Tales" is edited this way to show Sam and Dean pranking and snapping at each other in various episodes.
  • From That '70s Show, between Hyde and Laurie:
    Hyde: Boy Laurie, you really like that hotdog! You didn't even chew it.
    Laurie: Oh hey Hyde, Father's Day is coming up, shouldn't you practice saying: Hi are you my Daddy?
    Hyde: Oh, by the way Laurie, the surgeon-general called, he wants you to stop hoarding all the penicillin.
    Laurie: You know, when you're in prison, your bad table manners will probably just be a turn on for some guy named Tank.
    Hyde: Oh maybe when you're there for a conjugal visit, you can ask him to take it easy on me.
    Laurie: Oh yeah well... NICE HAIR!
  • Surprisingly, given its Cluster F Bombs and extremely Flowery Insults, The Thick of It doesn't have as many as you'd think. Arguments frequently occur, but they're usually about something that needs to be dealt with quickly and so seldom become simple insult contests. Also, the fact that most of the arguments involve Malcolm Tucker, who can steamroller most opposition fairly easily, means that the shouting matches don't drag on for as long as a fight between equals would.
  • In the Two and a Half Men episode "For the Sake of the Child", Charlie and Alan take turns at insulting each other, using up insults that start with each letter of the alphabet. When we see them, they're at L.
    Alan: You are a lush!
    Charlie: You are a leech!
    Alan: You are a misogynist!
    Charlie: You are a mistake!
    Alan: You are a... What are we up to?
    Charlie: N.
    Alan: Thank you. You are a... necrophiliac!
    Charlie: She was drunk, not dead, I challenge!
    Alan: Fine. You... are a narcissist!
    Charlie: Better. You are a nancy-boy!
    Alan: You are old!
    Charlie: You are shaped.
    Alan: (phone rings) Hang on.
    Charlie: You are a parasite.
    Alan: Not your turn.

  • Yellowjackets: Out in the wilderness, hunger is making the girls cranky. While they are looking for berries, Lottie (who has shown she is sensitive to… a presence) brings up that some animals live off their own vomit:
    Mari: Did Dead Cabin Guy tell you that, or do you guys just chat about blood and stuff?
    Lottie: No, we mostly talk about how Danny Mears dumped you for his own cousin.

  • Bo Diddley's "Say Man" (and its follow-up "Say Man, Back Again") features Bo and his percussionist, Jerome Green jiving and bantering back and forth in musical form, with Bo not wanting to hurt Jerome's feelings, and Jerome retorting that his feelings are already hurt just by being around Bo. Bo goes on to say that he got hit in the face by the wind blowing his girlfriend's hair in it, and then Jerome mentions that he was walking home with Bo's girl for a drink, mentioning that she's so ugly, she'd have to sneak up on a glass to get a drink of water. Bo mentions that anyone who stops and talks to Jerome ought to be arrested, and Jerome jokes that his mom didn't have to put a sheet on his head so sleep could sneak up on him, essentially telling Bo that he's just as ugly, figuring out that Bo is the thing in the zoo at which people throw peanuts. Bo jokes that Jerome is so ugly, he looks like he was beaten up with an ugly stick.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Norse Mythology: Flytings.
    • The most memorable being "Lokasenna" ("The Insults of Loki") of the Poetic Edda in which Loki insults every single god in the pantheon, and is only quelled when Thor threatens to smash his head in. Why did it come to that? Loki was exploiting Sacred Hospitality when he started mouthing off. By the rules, they couldn't reprise, but Loki had to stop when Thor arrived because Thor was late and therefore not yet a guest.
    • Another classic flyting is the exchange between Thor and Harbard the Ferryman (actually Odin in disguise).
    • Nidhoggr, a dragon that sits at the bottom of the world tree, Yggdrasil, trades insults with the unnamed eagle who sits at the top of the tree, with Ratatosk the squirrel running up and down the tree delivering the messages back and forth. Interestingly, at least some versions have Ratatosk trolling both, spreading slanderous gossip that both the eagle and Nidhoggr gobble up, with neither suspecting how much fun he's having at their expense.
  • In the African epic Sundiata the eponymous hero does this with his Worthy Opponent.

    Print Media 
  • The Journal of Polymorphous Perversity article "The Etiology and Treatment of Childhood" has this in the "Further Readings" section:
    Smythe, C., & Barnes, T. (1979). Behavior therapy prevents tooth decay. Journal of Behavioral Orthodontics, 5, 79–89.
    Potash, S., & Hoser, B. (1980). A failure to replicate the results of Smythe and Barnes. Journal of Dental Psychiatry, 34, 678–680.
    Smythe, C., & Barnes, T. (1980). Your study was poorly done: A reply to Potash and Hoser. Annual Review of Aquatic Psychiatry, 10, 123–156.
    Potash, S., & Hoser, B. (1981). Your mother wears army boots: A further reply to Smythe and Barnes. Archives of Invective Research, 56, 570–578.
    Smythe, C., & Barnes, T. (1982). Embarrassing moments in the sex lives of Potash and Hoser: A further reply. National Enquirer, May 16.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the Avery Schrieber episode of The Muppet Show, Avery does a sketch where he battles "the Monster of the Moors" (Sweetums) in an insult contest.

  • The Opie & Anthony Show is made of this trope. Any show featuring two or more of O&A's comedian friends in-studio is guaranteed to be a verbal slug-fest.

  • The following from 1776:
    John Dickinson: Are you calling me a coward?
    John Adams: Yes! Coward!
    Dickinson: Madman!
    Adams: Landlord!
    Dickinson: Lawyer!
    • Which, from there, leads to the two whaling away at each other with their walking sticks in a donnybrook that can only be broken up by gunfire. In Congress. Some things never change.
  • In Keating! The Musical a song called "On the Floor" is a rap-battle of volleying insults between Paul Keating and John Hewson. It's all the funnier because all the insults are things they actually said.
  • Gyorgy Ligeti's operatic Mind Screw masterpiece Le Grand Macabre has this embarassing scene where the Black and the White Ministers trade insults with each other — alphabetically, from A to W, because they cannot think of anything that start with X, Y or Z.
    White: Arse-licker! Arse-kisser!
    Black: Blackmailer! Bloodsucker!
    White: Charlatan! Clodhopper!
    Black: Driveller! Dodderer!
  • In Gilbert and Sullivan's last opera, The Grand Duke, the duet of Rudolph and Ludwig. The joke is that they are only pretending to insult each other, to furnish an excuse for the "statutory duel" of the subtitle.
    Ludwig: Tall snobs, small snobs, rich snobs and needy ones!
    Rudolph: (jostling him) Whom are you alluding to?
    Ludwig: (jostling him) Where are you intruding to?
    Rudolph: Fat snobs, thin snobs, swell snobs and seedy ones!
    Ludwig: I rather think you err. To whom do you refer?
    Rudolph, Ludwig:
    To you, sir!
    To me, sir?
    I do, sir!
    We’ll see, sir!
    I jeer, sir!
    (makes a face at Ludwig)
    Grimace, sir!
    Look here, sir—
    (makes a face at Rudolph)
    A face, sir!
  • Also, in Gilbert's Cox and Box, the duet "Who are you, sir?" followed by "Printer, printer"
  • Appears in the ancient Greek comedy The Clouds by Aristophanes.
  • Several examples from the works of Shakespeare:
    Brabantio: Thou art a villain.
    Iago: You are—a senator.
    Beatrice: I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick, nobody marks you.
    Benedick: What, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?
    Beatrice: Is it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence...
    Timon: When there is nothing living but thee, thou shalt be welcome. I had rather be a beggar's dog than Apemantus.
    Apemantus: Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.
    Timon: Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!
    Apemantus: A plague on thee! thou art too bad to curse.
    Timon: All villains that do stand by thee are pure.
    Apemantus: There is no leprosy but what thou speak'st.
    Timon: If I name thee. I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.
    Apemantus: I would my tongue could rot them off!
    Timon: Away, thou issue of a mangy dog! Choler does kill me that thou art alive; I swound to see thee.
    Apemantus: Would thou wouldst burst!
    Timon: Away, thou tedious rogue! I am sorry I shall lose a stone by thee. (throws a stone at him)
    Apemantus: Beast!
    Timon: Slave!
    Apemantus: Toad!
    Timon: Rogue, rogue, rogue...
    • In Henry IV, Hal and Falstaff spend most of their scenes together trying to top the other in insults.
    Hal: I'll be no longer guilty of this sin; this sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh
    Falstaff: 'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish! O for breath to utter what is like thee! you tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bowcase; you vile standing-tuck—
    Hal: Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again.
  • Seen in the play Waiting for Godot where Vladimir and Estragon spend one page hurling insults until Vladimir yells "Cretin" to which Estragon replies with "Critic", which naturally utterly defeats Vladimir.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Viscount de Valvert and Cyrano engage on this in an epic way at Act I Scene IV. It is not pretty for the Viscount.
  • In The Marriage of Figaro, Susanna and Marcellina insult each other in song while fighting over Figaro.
  • In The Threepenny Opera, Lucy and Polly try to out-do each other in the Jealousy Duet, while fighting over Macheath.
  • In Anyone Can Whistle Fay and Cora lapse into this at the end of "There's Always a Woman."
    Cora: Sneak.
    Fay: Thief.
    Cora: Cheat.
    Fay: Crook.
    Cora: Frump.
    Fay: Fake.
    Cora: Bore.
    Fay: Bag.
    Cora: Leech.
    Fay: Crone.
    Cora: Witch.
    Fay: Ghoul.
    Cora/Fay: Police!
    Shoot to kill!
  • This gem from La Bohème, where Marcello and Musetta are arguing with each other:
    Musetta: Pittore da bottega! (Housepainter!)
    Marcello: Vipera! (Snake!)
    Musetta: Rospo! (Toad!)
    Marcello: Strega! (You witch!)

    Video Games 
  • Volleying Insults are a staple of Monkey Island. The quality of your insult comes from your swordfighting skill, of all things.
    • The most famous example is the "insult swordfights" from Secret ("You fight like a dairy farmer!" "How appropriate. You Fight Like a Cow."); the Fettucini Brothers indulge in this a bit as well ("Slacker!" "Weasel!" "Ruffian!" "Fop!").
    • The Curse of Monkey Island features rhyming insult sword-fighting.
    • Escape from Monkey Island has insult arm-wrestling and a monkey form of insult battles, "Monkey Combat". Also in Escape, in order to solve a puzzle, Guybrush needs to "borrow" a time clock from two chess players, Castaneda and Santiago, so he gets the two mad enough at each other that they're too busy Volleying Insults (such as "Falstaff stand-in!" and "Weasel worrier!") to notice him take it. "FRINGE CANDIDATE!"
  • Likewise, there's an entire pirate insult mini-game in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves where the object is to not do the same insult twice.
  • Pirates and Volleying Insults seem to go well together: a quest in Kingdom of Loathing requires you to face another pirate in a game of Insult Beer Pong. That's a blatant swipe/parody of Monkey Island, though, even to the point of having the same (long, tedious) puzzle solution and even some of the same insults.
  • In World of Warcraft, an exchange between two bumbling ex-cops in Dalaran (possibly a tribute to the above Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) example) goes as follows:
    Jadaar: Arrogant.
    Asric: Braggart.
    Jadaar: Craven.
    Asric: Craven? I am most certainly not! Are we not in the middle of a war z... ah.
    (Jadaar holds up a finger)
    Asric: What were we on? "D"?
    (Jadaar nods)
    Asric: Dolt.
  • The cutscenes of The Amazing Spider-Man for the Game Boy have Spidey trading insults with villains.
  • Imoen and Korgan in Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal.
    Korgan: Hmph, Imoen, yer an o'er-lame excuse fer a member o' this party and I be tired of exertin' meself to protect ye! Next time I let ye perish, screaming like a ninny as ye does!
    Imoen: The last time I saw you exert yourself over anything was the last slab of pork in an inn. If you could keep up with me with that beer gut of yours I'd be amazed.
    Korgan: Beer gut?! Why, ye stinkin' wench, how dare ye! Keep up with my keen axe as it flies towards yer head, more like! Though it'd be like splittin' a hair, skinny as ye are!
    Imoen: I'd be startled if a drunk dwarven oaf like yourself could hit the broad side of a barn with your axe. And while we're talking about stench, let's talk about the last time you passed out in your own vomit.
    Korgan: An outrage! Yer a canker on me backside and the world would be best rid of ye! Loathsome mongrel she-dog!
    Imoen: Brutish pig! You're nothing but a boil needing lancing!
    Korgan: I've seen harlots with less open sores than ye, ye pimple-faced, whining gutter-snipe!
    Imoen: You cantankerous, foul-mouthed excuse for a gully dwarf!
    Korgan: Gully dwarf? Har har! Ye knows how to hit low, ye does! Har har! Yer a fine, fine lass, ye are, Imoen. That Gorion of yers would be proud.
    Imoen: Aw, gee. Thanks, Korgan!
  • In Planescape: Torment, one of the girls you can meet working in the Brothel Of Slaking Intellectual Lusts is a "mistress of insults" that you can try trading insults with. If you've got high enough Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, you can beat her at her own game, earning you some respect for your skill. Otherwise, you're forced to use a Lame Comeback and earn her scorn.
  • Oh...Sir!! The Insult Simulator and its sequel Oh...Sir!! The Hollywood Roast are basically this trope in game form. Two opponents pick from a pool of phrases in order to string together a semi-coherent insult ("[Your mother] [was] [a grunting sow] [and] [dances like] [a hamster]!"). Each character has a set of topics that do extra damage if used in an insult against them, like Grisha being sensitive to insults involving his nationality and origin ("[Your beloved auntie] [secretly adores] [the Communists] [and] [was born in] [an ordinary pigsty], [and I have proof]!") and Jane Blunt being sensitive to insults about England and the British monarchy ("[Your sister] [ruins the British accent] [and] [your face] [kinda resembles] [Princess Diana's ghost]!")
  • In Skyrim with the Hearthfire DLC installed, if you adopt two children you can sometimes return home to find that they're engaging in a name-calling contest.
  • Ensemble Stars!: Expect this to happen any time Tsukasa and Tori share a scene together, with Tori claiming that Tsukasa is irrelevant and stuck in the past, and Tsukasa saying that Tori is just a young upstart lacking the 'proper' noble social graces.
  • Old School Musical: The Beach City Clash Competition is a contest based around this, with the competitors throwing insults at each other and trying to make the other person cry. Protagonists Tib and Rob get dropped right into a match and join for a short while before driving off.
  • Pit two Pkunk Furies against each other in Star Control 2's SuperMelee and this results. They replenish battery by insulting the opponent, after all.

  • Honeydew Syndrome shows this between Josh and Metis in the last scene of Chapter 5.
  • Metanoia has Star and Zander doing this a few times.
  • Misfile has a round of this between Ash and Tom before their last race.
    Tom: Say, why don't you wear something sexy some time? I keep mistaking you for a boy. Maybe if you showed some cleavage I'd feel bad and go easy on you.
    Ash: Damn. Looks like my plan backfired. Everyone at school was saying you were into boys. Then again, I kinda like the boy look. You ought to try it sometime. Now shut up and let's race.
  • Ozy and Millie had a friendly version of this in one strip, in one of their games: iambic pentameter slam.
  • The Dreamer has Alexander and Beatrice do this in spades.
  • The Order of the Stick: Julia and Roy Greenhilt having a friendly brother-sister spat.
    Roy: Why you little spoiled child—
    Julia: Hero complex.
    Roy: Attention seeker.
    Julia: Martyr.
    Roy: Brat.
    Julia: Jackass!
    Roy: Bitch!
  • Girl Genius: Gil and Tarvek, quite often during their brawls and in the Cinderella side story. Best seen when they are playing out Agatha's plan to stall for time:
    Tarvek: Snitch.
    Gil: Sneak.
    Tarvek: Libertine!
    Gil: Fop!
  • In Pacificators, Cinna and Aphrodite got into a fight, started over whether Aphrodite's boobs are real or not. They got into the same fight again... and the second time, it was in Italian.
  • In Dominic Deegan, a necromancer and a clairvoyant make a merry drinking game out of trading insulting nicknames for the other's branch of magic. You repeat yourself, you drink.
  • Nebula: Uranus and Neptune's argument about whether or not Pluto is a planet quickly devolves into insults, though before it goes too far Sun cuts it off and brings everyone's attention back to the matter at hand.

    Web Original 
  • In an alt-universe future game of New Vindicators, there are two characters who are half-sisters and cousins (their father slept with two sisters), with similar super powers. When a new student at the school asks if their powers are the same, they have this exchange.
    Eva: Powers? You'd think it would be tolerating Desirée, but that's just a lifetime of training. Actually, both of us can become super strong due to an extreme adrenal reaction. I can manage it through self-control...Desiree' needs somebody to hurt her to provoke the response. Needless to say, she's a spanking man's dream.
    Desirée: I heard that!
    Eva: Just callin' 'em as I see 'em.
    Desirée: Bitch!
    Eva: Whore.
    Desirée: Skank!
    Eva: Pain slut.
    Desirée: Culero!
  • The top-rated quote on is a somewhat meta version.
  • Two people from the blog Everything Sucks Forever.

    Web Videos 
  • Freshy Kanal: After both rapper's first verses in "Bakugo vs. Inosuke" rap battle, the next verse is a shared one where they exchange diss back-and-forth.
    Bakugo: Homie, you were Mowgli on a cliff!
    Inosuke: But then I get deadly!
    Bakugo: Get that dead mom on your head, make you top heavy
    Inosuke: This blonde's petty, kinda shady when his palms sweaty
    Bakugo: Get Piglet out the Hundred Acre Woods, he's not ready
  • The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd do this in their first brawl.
  • The Nostalgia Chick, Nella and Tammy use the Wii FIT to insult the hell out of each other instead of just using it for exercise.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The episode "The Feud" has this happen THREE times!
    • First, with Hugh Neutron and Ebenezer Wheezer:
    Ebenezer: I already told you I gave [your lawn lopper] back, ya wingding!
    Hugh: And I'm telling you, ya didn't, tool hog!
    Ebenezer: Cheese brain!
    Hugh: Sneeze jockey!
    Ebenezer: Noodle head!
    • Second, with Judy Neutron and Martha Wheezer:
    Martha: You're just a dupe for that hateful husband of yours!
    Judy: "Hateful"?! You take that back!
    Martha: Never, allergy-giver!
    Judy: Venom-spitter!
    Martha: She-witch!
    Judy: Hag woman!
    Martha: (gasps)
    • And third, with Hugh and Ebenezer all over again:
    Hugh: Stupidhead!
    Ebenezer: Moron face!
    Hugh: Mucus monkey!
    Ebenezer: Duck lover!
  • American Dad!
    • From the episode "Stannie Get Your Gun".
      Hayley: You're such a fascist!
      Stan: Peace pusher!
      Hayley: Murderer!
      Stan: Hermaphrodite!
    • And later
      Hayley: Gun-toting maniac!
      Stan: Beatnik!
      Hayley: Warmonger!
      Stan: Chupacabra!
      Hayley: I'm the Mexican Bigfoot?
      Stan: You heard her, she admitted it!
  • An Animaniacs sketch features Yakko trading insults with "Howie Tern", ultimately winning out when the best insult Tern can think of is: "You're a little shorty-shorty." Tern then explodes.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara and Sokka pick a fight in front of some Fire Nation soldiers to try and get Katara arrested...
    Sokka: Get out of my way, pipsqueak!
    Katara: How dare you call me pipsqueak, you giant-eared cretin!
    Sokka: What did you call me?
    Katara: A giant-eared cretin. Look at those things! [she flaps her hands around her own ears] Do herds of animals use them for shade?
    Sokka: You better back off! [quietly] Seriously back off.
    Katara: I will not back off! I bet elephants get together and make fun of how large your ears are!
    Sokka: That's it, you're going down!
  • Throughout Beast Wars, Rattrap and Dinobot were prone to doing this. Especially in "The Low Road":
    Dinobot: Excuse me. Are you implying that the current situation is responsibility?!
    Rattrap: Well, you did start it... gearhead!
    Dinobot: I BEG to differ... cheese lips!
    Rattrap: Pre-evolved birdbrain!
    Dinobot: Eater of garbage!
    Cheetor: (listening) Sheesh, and they call me the immature one.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head do this to each other constantly. On more than one occasion, it's actually shown as a sign of endearment.
  • Code Lyoko: The heroes tend to do this quite a bit with Sissi Delmas and/or her cronies.
  • The Earthworm Jim cartoon gave us this classic...
    Professor Monkey-for-a-Head: Yellow belly!
    Psycrow: Know-it-all!
    Professor: Bubble head!
    Psycrow: Monkey fancier!
    Professor: (brandishing enormous gun) YOU LEAVE MY MONKEY OUT OF THIS!
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Ed and Edd exchange this over a hunk of rotting cheese Ed keeps in his jacket. But Ed's only insult he made was "STINKY HAT!"
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: This happens whenever Uncle and Tohru's mom are in the same room.
    Uncle: Dragon lady should watch her forked tongue, unless she wants a piece of Uncle!
    Mama Tohru: Ha! I would sweep floor with you! And this floor needs it!
    [Uncle turns to walk away; Mama Tohru casts a Death Glare at him]
    Uncle: Evil eye will not work on me!
    Mama Tohru: Ha! What junk-seller know about work?
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 85, Kaeloo and Mr. Cat are in a debate, and Mr. Cat constantly insults Kaeloo instead of countering her points. Kaeloo finally decides she's had enough and starts insulting him back. The fight keeps escalating, and eventually both of them start speaking Angrish. Stumpy finally steps in and breaks up the fight.
  • From the Mike, Lu & Og episode "Tea for Three".
    Mike: You're just mad because I wouldn't be your personal fanboy!
    Lu: Am not, thief!
    Mike: Are too, liar!
    Lu: Tea hater!
    Mike: Pain-in-the-pajamas!
  • Popples: Siblings Bonnie and Billy often did this in the first season.
  • South Park runs nuts on this trope, usually revolving around Cartman. After about Season 4 or so, any scene featuring him and Kyle has about a 50% chance of devolving into an exchange of insults focusing on Kyle's Judaism and Cartman's weight.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Pressure", an argument between SpongeBob and Sandy over whether land creatures or sea creatures are better leads to one of these. It ends when SpongeBob can't think of a better insult than "not-wet person".
  • On The Tick (the animated version), this happens between Die Fledermaus and American Maid: "Jerk!" "Jingoist!"
  • In the Time Squad episode "Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Monty Zuma", Tuddrussel and Robot Buddy Larry 3000 start doing this when Tuddrussel gets tired of trying to remain polite and civilized while dealing with Larry mocking him. This ends up working out, as they distract the audience at a comedy contest with their barbs, discouraging Montezuma from becoming a stand-up comic instead of king of the Aztecs.
    Tuddrussel: I checked your Blue Book value, Larry, and it said you were worthless.
    Larry 3000: Well, I tried to check your I.Q., but numbers don't go that low!

    Real Life 
  • Prime Minister's question time (yes, that really is what it's called) in the UK can descend into this. Luckily there is someone with the job of "Speaker of the House" who stops it going on for too long. There has been at least one incidence of an argument over music groups breaking out (paraphrased);
    MP: (speaking about the recently unelected Gordon Brown) The White Stripes say, "Everyday I love you less and less".
    David Cameron: Actually I think you'll find that song is actually by Kaiser Chiefs. Incidentally, I Predict a Riot.
  • Also frequently occurs in the Australian Federal Parliament's Question Time. Certain politicians are infamous (and often popular) for their command of invective, but the all-time champ in the last few decades was former Prime Minister Paul Keating. Many of his 'greatest hits' can be found on YouTube, and make quite entertaining viewing. They call the floor of the Australian Parliament the "bear pit" for good reason.
    • Early Australian Prime Minister George Reid was rather rotund, leading to the following exchange:
    Heckler: What are you going to call it, George?
    Reid: If it's a boy, I'll call it after myself. If it's a girl, I'll name it Victoria after our queen. But if, as I strongly suspect, it's nothing but piss and wind, then I'll name it after you, sir.
    • Another one, from Sir Robert Menzies:
    Heckler: I wouldn't vote for you if you were the Archangel Gabriel!
    Menzies: Madam, if I were the Archangel Gabriel, you wouldn't be in my constituency.
  • Sir Winston Churchill is known for more than a few of these. A small sampling:
    Lady Astor: If you were my husband, I'd poison your tea.
    Churchill: If I were your husband, I'd drink it.

    Elizabeth Braddock: Winston, you are drunk.
    Churchill: Yes, madam, I am drunk, but you are ugly. And in the morning, I shall be sober, and you will still be ugly.
  • If you have multiple children who are capable of speech, odds are this will ensue. Even if they are incapable of speech, they will find a way to do this. Bickering trumps all obstacles.
  • Known as "The Dozens" in African-American culture, this is a semi-friendly practice of trying to top each others' insults. This is thought to have originated from the slave-trade practice of selling less valuable (old, feeble, deformed) or less skilled slaves by "the dozens", where being included in that group was the lowest insult imaginable. It frequently overlaps with Your Mom.
  • Roger Ebert's feud with Vincent Gallo. After reviewing the premier of Gallo's The Brown Bunny as "the worst film in the history of Cannes," Gallo retorted that Ebert was "a fat pig with the physique of a slave trader." Taking a page out of Churchill's book, Ebert proclaimed that "one day I will be thin, but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of The Brown Bunny." Gallo then claimed to have hexed Ebert's colon, and Ebert replied that a colonoscopy would be preferable to watching the movie again. They have since made up.
  • Henrik Wergeland and rival poet Johan Sebastian Welhaven ended in this while students. The Student's society had a news wall where clips and scraps were pinned up for public reading. One of the two wrote a humorous verse pointed at the other, and the fight started from there. This quarrel is the more famous because the whole round of insults were in metre and rhyme, and lasted for almost a year. And then somebody witty decided to print the verses in a newspaper... The "scrap feud" became cultural history in a matter of days, as everybody else entered the debate.


Tuddressel vs. Larry

Tuddressel and Larry exchange insults at each other, which overshadows Montezuma's comedy act.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / VolleyingInsults

Media sources: