Think of a comeback as a holy grail of enviable wit, ultrasonic reaction and perfect timing combined at once. If it’s good, it sizzles the person like a Sunday barbecue, stripping them down to the bone where all their initial coolness has evaporated.
But it’s easier said than done. You see, making a clapback is somewhat of a form of art and we'd better learn from the best ones. So when someone asked “What’s the most memorable comeback you’ve heard in your life?” on r/AskReddit, we knew it was time to take the notebooks out.
2.6k comments later, we have some of the best responses from people who were lucky to witness a master comeback. Oh, that sweet feeling knowing you weren’t the target...
#1Someone yelled out in a Walmart , “I’m not ashamed of who I am”. Another voice echoed back, “that’s your parents job”
Image credits: ryanshaw345dfgew
#2Was standing behind these two older adults and this teen girl at the gas station last year. She was on her phone and the guy snapped at her for “not knowing how to live without technology” and without looking up she went “don’t you have a pacemaker?”.
Image credits: SilverLullabies
#3I used to work with a very conservative, very angry older man who would get triggered if you did not agree with him. Like red face angry. He would always equate my age to being less intelligent than him. I forget what we were talking about . But he went on about how he was wiser given his age. I simply said if you’re so smart then why the hell are we both doing the same job? He did not have an answer for me. And then I felt bad afterwards for having said it.
Image credits: Taco_ivore
#4Young pregnant co-worker had a stranger stare disapproving at her in a restaurant, then walk up and say "pregnancy isn't very becoming on you." She replied "well, being a nosey rude b**ch isn't becoming on you, but here we are."
Image credits: Flat-Illustrator-548
#5My dad and I were at a farming expo. I have a bunch of chickens. This presenter, a chicken-owning expert, is droning on about how stupid chickens are, and I'm getting annoyed. I know they're not clever, but you can teach them basic tricks. And even if they are stupid, okay, fine, but I came here to learn something, please.
My dad, without missing a beat, after this woman says they're dumb for the fourth time: "I think chickens take on the personalities of their owners."
Image credits: thiswomanneedsafish
#6My friend got pantsed, underwear and all at a party. Instead of pulling his underwear and pants up, immediately, he just kept going about his business, while hanging dong. Those of us that knew him already thought it was hilarious. The people at the party that didn't know him, looked really uncomfortable due to this dude having his pants and underwear around his ankles, with his wiener hanging freely. Our friend/the host said "dude, why don't you pull your pants up?" Pantsed guy said "I didn't pull them down." Then took his turn in beer pong. The host then found the guy that did pull them down and made him pull our friend's pants back up.
Image credits: wato89
#7My son and his newlywed wife were poor college students living out of state. When I went to visit them I took them to the grocery store and let them fill up a couple of grocery carts that I paid for. As we were leaving the store I said, "Now, when your kids are poor married college students trying to get by, don't forget this". My new daughter-in-law piped up and said, "Oh we won't forget. We're going to tell them to go get grandpa!" Haa haaa haaa...I love that gal.
Image credits: JakeInBake
#8My 3 year old niece came over with her dad, and, as little kids do, just randomly interrupted our adult conversation to say emphatically: I’m THREE!
Me: Wow, sweetie! How did you get so old??
Niece, gently but matter-of-factly correcting me like I am a simpleton who needs help: Actually, I’m kind of new.
It’s been months and I laugh every time I think of this story.
Image credits: gingerytea
#9Someone asked a friend of mine if they were gay.
He said, "If you'll excuse my rudeness in not answering your question, I'll excuse your rudeness for asking it."
I thought it was perfect.
Image credits: IfIKnewThen
#10My mom screaming at my brother that he’s a son of a b*tch, and him calmly saying back to her “yeah, I am.”
Image credits: RoshiRosh
#11Saw this one on a medical sub awhile back:
This woman has just given birth and tore a bit, and the father was in the delivery room while the nurse stitched her up.
The father “jokingly” said, “Be sure and stitch her up nice and tight for me down there m lol”
Without missing a beat the nurse said, “Just how small do you need it to be, sir?!”
She was a legend on the floor for that lol
Image credits: FrozenExpanse
#12I don't know if I remember this 100% correctly but here we go. In class, I had that one kid who would try get popularity points by adding his comment on everything a teacher would say. One time in class, he was being his usual disrespectful and disruptive self. In Social Studies, we talked about controversy around immigrants being deported from the USA. I believe he said something along the lines of "All immigrants should be deported" when all of a sudden, the quiet kid (me) barked back "Then why are you still here?" (He was not originally born in the USA nor NZ - my country). I went from being the quiet kid to the popular kid in 2 seconds.
#13This was my mom. (My mom is a very sweet woman who loves all of us kids but also loves to joke around with us so this might sound mean but it's not and was a joke so please no rude comments about it. We were all old enough to know it was a joke. She the kind of woman who will be brought to tears from someone hitting her car then blaming her instead of standing up for herself.)
Now, I have two younger siblings, a sister and the youngest, a brother. Anyway, when we were younger my brother, who was in the annoying, no filter I'm going to say what I want, teen phase would tease my sister. (He too is not a bad guy now, but was a little brat at that age and will admit it. He would be the first, even at that age to knock a kid down for teasing any of his older sisters. Only he is allowed to lol).
This time they were going at it and he was teasing her about how she was the 'mistake' child and wasn't planned, etc. And she would retort that FedEx dropped him off. It was actually very funny to watch. My brother though was taking things a little too far and it was no longer funny but annoying to my sister when my mom came down, already over the constant fighting with them, and with a completely straight face pointed at me first, then my sister, than him, while saying about each of us.
"No, she was a surprise, she was unplanned, you were the mistake." and then calmly walked off to the kitchen to get a drink. My dad poked his head around the corned from the computer just stunned with his mouth open and about to laugh, my sister just died, my brother who couldn't help but smile also had to try and save himself from that savage burn but it was too late.
Best. Burn. Ever.
#14A kid in high school tried to insult me by pointing out my long hair. "Yo guy, you have long-ass hair". I proceeded to follow him around asking him how he knew about my long ass hairs. He quickly started backtracking and saying he was not gay.
#15We were having a debate about something during history class in high school. Kid who had a reputation for being a jerk told this girl who had a reputation for sleeping around to shut her mouth. She retorted, “At least people like when I open my mouth!” Entire class lost their s**t including the teacher.
#16Not really a comeback in the argumentative sense, but just a quick rejoinder. My older brother and I were flying a kite he built. A guy walks by asking how we got it to fly so high. He responded, "long strings."
This was more than 40 years ago, and although he passed away nearly 2 decades ago, i have always cherished that memory of him.
#17I am a lawyer. There was a small protest over a recent decision outisde the courthouse. A non local but very experienced and senior prosecutor was in town for a matter and had to pass the demonstrators. One of the demonstrators yelled at him as he was walking, "I bet you suck c*ck!" This legend yelled back, "Lucky guess!"
If I ever get half as good as he was, I will be fulfilled.
#18I was working in tech. It was common for someone to call us right before a presentation to hook up a laptop to our system in the meeting room. Can't tell you how many times I'm feverishly working while the meeting is going on.
This happened again one day when things just wouldn't talk to one another, and I really didn't have time to track down the issue with the room full of our entire staff. It came time for the presentation to be put up on the big monitor and I shook my head to the guy to tell him it wasn't connecting.
"So, Marv, You can't get it up?"
I immediately hung my head and said "oh don't say it like THAT!"
The entire office broke up and they never let him live it down.
#19One of my favorites is one I told my sister.
Her: If I had a nickel for every time you swore, I would be a millionaire.
Me: If I had a nickel for every time you pissed me off I would put them in a bag and hit you with it.
My mom spit out her drink from laughing.
#20For some background, I’m gay. I decided to wear nail polish to school a while back and in my foods class I was washing dishes when another (straight, kind of a jerk) guy walks up to me and says “Oh… I’m sure you’ll have all the guys fawning of you” so I responded “I wish” and his expression was priceless. After the fact I told this to my friends and my best friend (who is lesbian) says that I should have said “Why, are you interested?”
#21I had a co-worker who was a bit of a bully. He was an alumnus of William and Mary and wouldn't shut up about it. (We worked with plenty of people who went to better colleges than that, but nobody else was as obnoxious as this guy.) His daughter got into UVA, and I congratulated him because "it's every parent's dream that their kid does just a little bit better than they did."
#22Whilst training in the British army we went out for a few drinks and every unit has that one Bell-end that thinks he's god's gift to women. Ours spots a really good looking girl at the bar, he announces to us all watch the master at work.
He proceeds over to the bar next to the girl and says " I've got the biggest d*ck you'll ever see and will give you the time of your life." The girl responds as quick as a flash " is it really big?" He says yeah
She asks if it reaches his ass?
Him being the asshole that he is responds "of course it does"
She comes back with"great you can go and f*ck yourself then."
He ran off like his ass was on fire and we all bought the girls drinks for the rest of the night and told her she was our hero.
#23Two neighbors (renters, young and dating while living together) took their argument to the front yard. Screaming for 15 minutes. Fight ended with:
Her: "That doesn't change the fact that you went down on my mom!"
Him: "Well you didn't complain when she paid me $500 for it!"
Not a witty retort or anything, but me and the neighbor lady who came over so we could listen together both agreed that they reached the apex of that argument.
#24I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.
#25woman: "... I was just trying to give you my 2 cents."
man: "yeah, that's about what it was worth."
#26Person 1: You ruined my life.
Person 2: you did that a long time ago.
#27My friend was.overweight and his grandfather always teased him about it. Their mutual sharp wit always kept it entertaining until Grandpa's mind went.
..except it turned out he had gangrene in his leg, and when they admitted it, grandpa was suddenly back to normal.
One day he hobbles in and catches my friend making a large sandwich, while eating a smaller one. The night one was for lunch later but gramps laid into him anyway. "What are you. Reading two sandwiches? You know that's why you're fat. ...fatty."
My friend had gotten tired of this stuff by now so he just turns to him walking around on a prosthetic with a cane and says
"Aren't you supposed to be losing an ass kicking contest somewhere?"
#28"I know you are, but what am I?" Boooom! That ruined 6 year old me.
#295th-grader on the playground, to a kindergartener: "Santa's not real!"
Kindergartner to 5th grader: "Santa's real, he brings me presents every year. If he doesnt bring you presents, maybe you should think about why."
#30A man was on his way out the door in a convenience store.
Cashier: You have a good one!
Man: Thanks for noticing!
#31I used the line from the movie Iron Eagle once on a bully at school that actually seemed to help. Using the kids name when he shoved me against some lockers I said so everyone in the hallway could hear:
“What’s your problem, Rory? Can’t you get through a single day without proving what an asshole you are?”
He stammered and shrugged and walked always and never really bothered me again.
#32Random guy: “Kiss my ass!”
My mom: “If it looks anything like your face, forget it!”
#33I observed this walking to the men’s room at a bar in Nashville.
A legitimately cross-eyed man exiting the bathroom while someone else was walking in and they bumped into each other. It wasn’t anything serious. But it still lead to this exchange:
Cross-eyed man: Watch where you’re going! Non-Cross-eyed man: Go where you’re watching!
#34My best friend was being made fun of by a (straight) dude for being a lesbian and having a girlfriend, and I (a very protective friend) looked him dead in the eyes and said, "At least she can get a girl."
#35This will get buried, but after 2 weeks of a blockhead coming in late in high school, the teacher openly warns him in front of the class “I’m going to mark you truant if you’re late again.” So he goes “what does that mean?” And my quiet ass pops up and says “it means you’re late and also need a dictionary” and I had the whole class going, teacher popped a smirk. I am still proud lol
#36Work in a factory with a really short guy. This other dude picked on him a lot. One day in the bathroom the taller guy asks, “do you want me to pick you up so you can wash your hands?” Short guy turns to the guy beside him and asks, “will you pick me up so he can kiss my ass?” I was in tears.
#37I overheard a toddler crying at the store. Mom, annoyed, said to him “stop crying! You sound like a little girl!”… sibling (girl) told mom: “He’s not crying like a little girl. He’s crying like a kid.”
#38Someone I knew was standing outside a building smoking a cigarette. A karen in a karate outfit approaches him to say, "Those things will kill you." His response? "So will ninjas."
#39My most memorable comeback actually came from my own mouth (which is why I was memorable...)
My wife (then GF) was trying out perfumes in a store and I was trying to help, so I smelled one and presented it to my GF:
ME: 'i like this one'
HER: 'No, it's too sweet, I'll get tired of it quickly'
ME: 'you're very sweet and I'm not getting tired of tou'
Old lady passing by: 'honey, marry this one'
#40This one came from me. I was 7 months pregnant and HUGE. While heading to my car some random dude stopped me and rubbed my stomach while asking when I was due.
I rubbed his stomach and asked him when he was due.
#41When I was working as a bartender one Halloween, I came dressed as an old Western style bartender (complete with mustache and accent). We had the evening split up into a little costume party for kids and families in the earlier hours, and then an adults only costume piss up later on.
One of the regulars laughed at my costume and said I looked stupid, so I told him
"You should probably come back after the kids have gone because you've come dressed as a c*nt".
He didn't talk to me for weeks after that. It was blissful.
Image credits: ScornMuffins
#42I don't care if it's self-congratulatory, I'm proud of this one:
Having dinner with my dad and older sister. I got straight As in school or something, and she's doing the older sibling thing.
Sister: You may have gotten the book smarts in this family, but *I* got the street smarts.
Me: The corner doesn't count.
Dad: *chokes whiles laughing*
Image credits: TheRedMaiden
#43“Ladies, I like my vagina shaved”
“Then shave your vagina, Bill.”
Image credits: sfyjnkljc
#44My BIL made a joke about paying a doctor a couple bucks to add the “husband stitch.”
My SIL said “too bad we couldn’t afford to pay him to add the extra inches you need.”
#45My brothers were fighting and one said the other had a thick skull, he responded by saying “ that’s because I actually have something worth protecting”
Image credits: that_sweet_old_lady
#46"Your mom's a wh*re!"
"AND YOUR DAD'S A CUSTOMER!"
Funniest s**t I've ever heard.
Image credits: PunkyMcGrift
#47I worked with an older gentleman who was from Chicago. He had a story or an opinion on everything and he was very proud of his smack talking talents.
The entire department was walking off to a meeting and, as it was summer and many of us were wearing shorts, somehow the topic shifted to the lack of hair on somebody's legs. Mr Smack Talker spouted out the comment that "hair don't grow on dead things." All I had to do was look at his head and arch an eyebrow. He had let the fact that he was quite bald escape his memory.
Image credits: Substantial_Grab2379
#48Regrettably, a secondhand telling. One of my favorite bars in Chicago (Galway Bay) has several Irish bartenders, and gets its fair share of tourists. At the earliest hint of an Irish accent, this particular tourist can't resist... "I've been to Ireland. Amazing place. What part of Ireland are you from?"
Bartender - "I'm from (wherever), but I've moved around a bit"
Tourist - "My great grandfather was from (somewhere place unrelated to bartender's hometown). He was a farrier. Do you know what a farrier is?"
B - "Aye, they shoe horses" [a bit agitated at the dull conversation]
T - "Have you ever shoed a horse?"
B - "Never shooed a horse, but I've told a donkey to f**k off once."
Image credits: BoilermakerCM
#49“What are you even doing?”
“Minding my own f**king business, you should try it sometime.”
It was one of those moments where everyone around heard it and went, “ooooohhhh…” at the same time, and it has always stuck with me.
#50"That's what she said"
"Not to you, she didn't."
It takes the right setup, but it was devastating the first time I heard it.
#51My boyfriend was in the grocery store. Our twin daughters were in the shopping cart, maybe five years old. Twins get you a lot of attention from random strangers, especially when they're little, and it's a pain in the ass for everyone, including the kids. They don't always want the attention.
Some random lady had stopped and was chatting with the girls. One of the girls is very much a people person, and was happy to chat, but her sister wasn't up for that, so she wasn't really participating.
This lady got ticked about that and told our introvert kid "Your sister is so much prettier than you are." Without missing a beat, my tiny little badass looked that b*tch dead in the eyes and said "And you're so much fatter than my sister is, too."
My boyfriend managed to get the cart on to the next aisle before laughing his ass off.
#52A guy told a female coworker she was so ugly that the only thing she could turn on was a hose. Without missing a beat, she replied that at least when she turned something on it got wet. The guy was speechless, and I laughed till I had tears.
Image credits: Muppet_Cartel
#53"at least I don't have an abandoned child in South America" during an argument between some hippies dudes. That one hippie said f**k peace and love and chose violence that day.
#54Bully: You're a piece of s**t
Kid that was get bullied: and you're the rest of it
Ps: No one really liked this kid but after this he got mad respect.
#55Worked in a preschool years ago. Had this one kid who could be a real booger sometimes. Giving the other kids thumbs down, saying he didn't like them, absolutely devastating to the other kids. I was constantly hearing "Miss Bells, Isaac said he didn't like me!"
Then, Isaac made a fatal mistake. He tried it on a three year old girl.
Isaac: I don't like you!
Three Year Old: Well, my mommy LIKES me!
Shut him right up.
It was absolutely gorgeous and a little vicarious victory. The three year old was super sassy.
Maybe not as snappy as the other responses here, but I still chuckle at it to this day.
#56I asked my mum out of curiosity what she would do if she found a used condom in my brother's room.
Her response: "I would remind him that you can't get HIV from your own hand"
For context, I live in South Africa where HIV is very common
Image credits: KentuckyFriedSoy
#57"I wouldn't go out with you if you were the last man on Earth!"
"B**ch, if I was the last man on Earth, you wouldn't even be allowed in line!"
#58Boss had just fired an insufferable as**ole who was disliked by basically everyone despite his fantastic work ethic on a Friday. The following Monday he comes in to give a little pep talk to the department about how he'll hire a replacement asap. At one point he drops something like " and that Jim guy is such an as**ole I almost feel sorry for him. Who would ever hire a guy like that". Without hesitation the new kid who was working there maybe a week at the time drops "well, you did".
I nearly pissed myself laughing.
#59Somewhere on this planet, there is a tree that has spent it's entire life creating the oxygen you breathe. You should find that tree and apologize.
#60My uncle to my husband. "When are you guys having a kid?"
My husband. "Please don't ask me about my sex life with your niece"
Image credits: MHoaglund41
#61My own. A much shorter co-worker walked up to the desk, with two cute women, one on each arm, smiling at me, and said, "Jealous?".
I replied, "No, I never wanted to be short'. His face dropped, and the girls snickered.
#62I (f19) was playing a game of among us (hide and seek) with some guys and one guy was trying to be funny by saying bad jokes like women don't belong in games, ect. But then, he told me this:
Guy: women belong in the kitchen
(Game loads and i am the imposter)
Me: oh yeah? Well do you know what's in the kitchen?
(I find him immediately after loading up)
Me: KNIVES B**CH!!!
and i killed him! Best come back i ever did! Made my SO proud as well !
#63We had friends over for dinner. I asked one of them if he wanted his stew on top or beside the pasta. He said he wanted it doggy style. I put it on the floor and said "come here boy!"
#64BG- I was teaching an elementary special ed class. Two of the kids had the worst gas, for real, a boy and a girl. They’d fart constantly. The boy knew he was farting and thought it was funny, while the girl didn’t quite seem to be aware that the noise was coming from her own body.
Story- we’re going along having a normal day in class when the girl had an extra loud/stanky fart.
The boy looks over and says, “Girl! Stop farting already!”.
I laughed and said, “Boy you can’t talk! You fart all the time and you know it.”
Boy looks at me, all confused, and goes, “but Ms snoohedgehog, I AM talking! I’m talking right now!”
#65I grew up in a very conservative community, where women were expected to have long hair, wear dresses, get married, have babies, be homemakers, etc. I left at 18 and did scandalous things like went to university, wore shorts and cut my hair short, so basically was a harlot in their eyes.
I went back for my brother's wedding years later and ran into an old friend. He hadn't aged well, to put it gently. That didn't stop him from mocking my brother for being short, making some snide comments about my lack of children, asking if I was still "gallivanting around" or if I'd settled down yet, and saying, "your hair gets shorter and shorter every time I see you." I snapped back with, "at least I still have hair."
#66Guy: what a waste of time! Me: like your opinion
#67Old mans response to Hipster calling him a 'Boomer arsehole'........
'If it weren't for arseholes like me, sh*t like you wouldn't exist'.
#68My old boss (a fat bastard) was always putting me down infront of my coworkers at team meetings. So one day, I says:
Me: "Hey Ron, I've got some good news for you."
Fat, D*ckhead Boss: "Oh yeah, what's that?"
Me: "Jenny Craig called, they're giving you your money back."
#69Mom and dad were arguing.
Mom: Kiss my a*s!
Dad: Mark your spot, you're all a*s!
Image credits: DriftingPyscho
#70At the Scottish games, dude asked a performer in a kilt “what do you wear under that skirt?” The guy did not skip a beat and said “your mother’s lip stick.” I f**king laughed and so did the guys buddies. He was so shook.
Image credits: RHMS21
#71My dad is a very large man, 6'5" and pretty round. He looks a little like Hagrid when he lets his beard grow long.
A friend of his was over one day and my dad was giving him a hard time about being short (I'd guess the guy was about 5'7"). Just the usual jokes about being "vertically challenged" or needing a ladder to climb into his truck...
After 10 or 20 minutes of joking around the friend just yelled "I'M SORRY I DON'T HAVE TO BEND DOWN TO CHANGE A F**KING LIGHTBULB, DAN!"
#72Well, the jerk store called, and they're running out of you.
#73"I have neither the crayons, nor the time to explain it to you"
#74I've heard many, but one that I'll tell you is when I was watching 'King Yakko' from Animaniacs.
Mr. Tator is the dictator that attempted to take over Anvilania (the nation Yakko is King of) and he was wearing an entertainment costume. He looks like a jester in the costume. For context, the dictator's nick-name was Mr. Tator. I'll attempt to quote this correctly:
Mr. Tator: "This is the suit of a good man!"
Yakko: "Does he know you're wearing it?"
#75This might be too good to be true, but a guy told me he was in line at Safeway and the guy in front of him was on the phone with his son next to him. Another person said "you should be talking to your son, it's father's day". Without missing a beat he said , "gotta go dad" and hung up.
#765th grade. We did a parade with our Halloween costumes on. Me and my group of friends passed a girl from our class one of my buddies makes eye contact and says "what are you looking at". Without even thinking about it, this 5th grade girl says "not much" condescendingly.
Idk why that stuck with me.
#77My uncle and I worked at a Burger King together. I was a shift lead. He was b*tching to me about a useless coworker that none of us wanted to work with. This guy was maybe a year older than me (I'm 22) and was just in a poor state. He didnt shower, his arms covered in track marks, and hed show up late or not at all, and when he did he'd over extend breaks and would get high on the clock. He over heard my uncle and started to pipe up to stop him, when my uncle turned and flat out told him "you're about as useful as a submarine with screen doors"
Another one from my uncle to the same guy was "I've had more intelligent conversations with a couch from ikea."
#78A kid in highschool kept telling other kids that he f**ked their mom, one kid replied "yeah, she told me about that, worst sex she ever had".
#79Picked my niece up from school once and teacher had sent a note home that another girl called my niece’s shoes ugly and she slapped back with “shut up you-sketchers-wearing-a*s-b**ch” and I still think about that a lot she was maybe 7 then I need to somehow channel her energy
#80In a book, A king is about to break a promise, and when he gets called out, says "Are you questioning my honor?" and the guy responds "No, I was counting on it".
#81Someone asked if my friend was gay
responded "you wish"
#82I was working on a railroad signal crew. We were behind on a project and were told that we'd have to work Saturday on an upcoming 3 day weekend. About noon that Friday, the foreman tells us that we've caught up enough that we can go now and enjoy our holiday weekend.
One member of my crew was this huge angry viking of a man. Think 6'5", 400lbs. He shouted "Yeah! I'm going to go home and surprise my girlfriend with a big d**k!" With absolute horror, I heard my own voice say "That would be a surprise, since you left home this morning with a little one." Fortunately, he thought it was hilarious because he was between me and the door.
#83Myself and buddy, both grown adults were on our way to NFL game with my 15 year old brother and his 14 years old friend. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant to eat before game and my buddy orders one of those giant fishbowl margaritas.
Brothers friend (14) "Jesus Scott you think you have a problem with alcohol.
My buddy didn't miss a beat and immediately comes back with:
"Absolutely, I have to wait until 1:00 on Sunday before the let me buy it, and that's a f*cking problem me."
I nearly pissed myself
#84I was the victim of this. A restaurant I liked had gone out of business and I was complaining to my friend. I paraphrased Homer Simpson:
"I'm a white male, age 18-45. Everyone's supposed to cater to me."
"Yes, but you spend like a Japanese female, age 12-17."