30 Best Comebacks and Good Roasts for Any Situation
Ever thought of the perfect comeback ... after the fact? Here are the best comebacks for your sassy and savage future moments.
The best comebacks for all your clap-back needs
It’s not me, it’s you
“That sounds like a you problem.” This is one of those good comebacks for when your kids are making their lack of planning your emergency.
Oh, the places you’ll go!
“Someday you’ll go far—and I really hope you stay there.”
This one cuts deep
“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” This one comes from writer Dorothy Parker, the queen of good comebacks and funny insults.
Love thy neighbor
“Oh, you don’t like being treated the way you treat me? That must suck.” Funny comebacks don’t always fit into not-so-funny situations.
A political twist
“I’ve been called worse things by better men.” Pierre Trudeau, a Canadian politician, upon hearing Richard Nixon insulted him.
Combat an interrupter
“Oh, I’m sorry. Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?” This is one of those good comebacks for the person constantly stepping on your conversation.
This one’s for the killjoys
“You bring everyone a lot of joy … when you leave the room.” This one goes left, then right, then left again, salting the wound.
“Oops, my bad. I could’ve sworn I was dealing with an adult.” This one is a little stealthy.
“Did I invite you to my barbecue? Then why are you all up in my grill?” This is from The Clique, a popular teen series by author Lisi Harrison. Harrison rules when it comes to good comebacks.
Savor this spicy line
“I’m an acquired taste. If you don’t like me, acquire some taste.” This one is applicable to many scenarios, so you’ll want to commit it to memory.
Channel your inner Lorax
“Somewhere out there, a tree is tirelessly producing oxygen for you. I think you owe it an apology.”
Back to basics
“Well, the jerk store called, and they’re running out of you.” George Constanza of Seinfeld fame dropped this epic line.
Punching below your weight
“A gross guy at a bar blurted out, ‘What ARE you?’ referring to my ethnic ambiguity,” shared one Buzzfeed contributor. “I ignored him and walked away with my friends, but what I should’ve said was ‘Out of your league.'”
The comeback is damning, your honor
Who could forget about the scene in Legally Blonde when Elle Woods’s loser ex-boyfriend condescendingly asks, “You got into Harvard Law?” to which Elle responds, “What, like it’s hard?”
Hang on, I need to take this
“The [fill in the blank] called. They want their [blank] back” never loses. And is adaptable to just about any jab thrown your way. Personally, we’re a fan of @generalgreviousdatingsim’s “I need to take this call, just hang on a second. It’s the circus. They’re asking for you. Apparently, they have a vacancy in clownery they think you’d be suited for.” Knocks ’em dead every time.
Lean in, big guy
Another comeback that doesn’t miss: “Oooh, you wanna kiss me so bad.” If someone is angry—or obsessed—enough with you, the insinuation that they in fact harbor affection toward you is all it takes to tilt a power struggle back in your favor. A little reverse psychology can work wonders.
Burn (or grill, or boil—microwave even)
“I heard a kid tell one of his classmates that they ‘smell like hot dog water,'” shares one Buzzfeed contributor. A devastating blow to anyone who has ever experienced hot dog water, as well as hot dogs everywhere.
Sorry not sorry, as they say
“This exchange happened accidentally between me and my boyfriend the other day, and it’s been legendary for us ever since: After making an honest mistake he said, ‘Sorry, I’m an idiot.’ And I, wanting to reassure him but failing miserably, replied, ‘Don’t be sorry for who you are!'” shares another Buzzfeed contributor. Given the frequency of mock apologies in verbal squabbles, “don’t be sorry for who you are” is definitely one to keep in your pocket. One of the funniest one-liners on the Internet, if you ask me.
From Reddit user VigorousRapscallion: “I was playing a drinking game that involves rules being made on the fly. We had a no-swearing rule, and then an insult rule, which means they were G-rated insults. My friend is up and I’m the insultee and, without hesitation, she says, ‘Your teeth aren’t as white as they could be!’ I was flabbergasted. The complete lack of hesitation combined with the specificity of the insult was devastating.”
Two thumbs down
“I accidentally cut someone off the other day, and instead of flipping me off, the guy gave me a big thumbs down out the window, and that hit harder,” shares Reddit user C0L0RBLINDz. Remember, thumbs are human beings’ greatest tools for a reason—use them.
When life gives you strawberry lemons …
This one might not be so universal, but—whew—does Buzzfeed contributor hollisl4d528cac4 have one that’ll stick in your mind. “One day in middle school my friends and I were all coincidentally wearing either pink or yellow shirts. We got into a fight with a random girl at the park, and when we were walking away she screamed after us, ‘What are you gonna do, strawberry lemonade?’”
Play silly games, win silly prizes
“My boss asked, ‘Can I ask a stupid question?’ My reply? ‘Better than anybody here.’ Luckily, my boss had a sense of humor,” shares one Buzzfeed contributor. Tread carefully with this one, friends!
Let me draw you a picture
“I have neither the time nor the crayons to explain it to you” is another great one to keep in your pocket when someone is being willfully ignorant. Talk about a double whammy!
Take a page from Don Draper’s book. In an episode of Mad Men, an adversarial colleague tells Don, “I feel bad for you.” To which Don cooly replies, “I don’t think about you at all.” Ouch. I guess that’s why they’re so mad.
When a big-time lawyer rolls up on Erin Brockovich and blatantly challenges Brockovich’s knowledge and abilities, Julia Roberts’s character is quick to set her straight. The lawyer tries to save face with, “I think we got off on the wrong foot here,” and Brockovich quickly counters with “That’s all you got lady, two wrong feet and ugly shoes.” Save it for the next time someone is rude to you and tries to cry “wrong foot.”
A pirate’s life
Remember when Captain Jack Sparrow, under threat of capture and arrest, takes a moment to deliver a devastating zinger? His arresting officer claims, “You are without a doubt the worst pirate I’ve ever heard of.” “Ah,” replies Sparrow, “but you have heard of me.” There is no comeback like one that tosses your opponent’s words back at them!
“I’ll never forget the first time we met. But I’ll keep trying” is an annihilating one-two punch. An atom bomb you can just drop and walk away from.
Can’t argue with logic
“I’m not insulting you, I’m describing you.” There is no greater punisher than objectivity sometimes, you know?
A new twist on an old jab
“Your face is fine, but we’ll have to put a bag over that personality.” We would disintegrate on the spot if someone said this to us. This one is even better if you have a real bag to use as a prop.
The nuclear route
“Don’t worry about me. Worry about your eyebrows.” And then watch this person’s eyebrows bounce up in alarm. This one is total warfare—only use if peace is not an option.
Additional reporting by Erin Kayata.
- Buzzfeed: “14 Hilarious Comebacks That Only Took People a Few Hours to Come Up With”
- Buzzfeed: “23 Times Tumblr Had a Weird but Perfect Comeback Ready”
- Buzzfeed: “18 Brutal but G-Rated Insults You Should Begin Using Immediately”
- Reddit: “What is the harshest G-rated insult you have received?”
- Buzzfeed: “18 Devastating Burns That People Have Had the Pleasure of Hearing”