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30 Hilariously Good Comebacks You’ll Wish You Knew Before

Ever thought of the perfect comeback... after the fact? Here are all the best comebacks for your sassy and savage future moments.

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Funny comeback: 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. Parenting is full of humor, as these stories can attest!

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Funny comeback: Oh, the places you’ll go!


“Someday you’ll go far—and I really hope you stay there.” Become a verbal vendetta master—here’s how to craft the perfect comeback.

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Funny comeback: This one cuts deep


“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” This one comes from Dorothy Parker who was the queen of good comebacks. Her sharp humor fits right in with these witty bar jokes anyone can remember

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Funny comeback: 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. This one is an instant classic—just like these 22 insults from Shakespeare that still sting to this day.

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Funny comeback: A political twist


“I’ve been called worse things by better men.” Pierre Trudeau, a Canadian politician, upon hearing Richard Nixon insulted him. File this one with these other funny political quotes and insults you can’t help but laugh at.

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Funny comeback: 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 interrupting you.

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Funny comeback: This one’s for the kill-joys


“You bring everyone a lot of joy…when you leave the room.” This one goes left then right then left again, salting the wound. Here are 11 words and phrases that used to be insults—and are now compliments.

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Funny comeback: Oh, baby!


“Oops, my bad. I could’ve sworn I was dealing with an adult.” This one is a little stealthy. If you need to go full stealth-mode, here are 16 compliments you don’t realize are actually pretty insulting.

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Funny comeback: B.B.Quiet, please


“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 ruled when it came to good comebacks in her writing. If you look for humor in your books, try some of the funniest reads of all time.

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Funny comeback: 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 memorize it—along with these 40 funny sayings worth committing to memory.

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Funny comeback: Channel your inner Lorax


“Somewhere out there, a tree is tirelessly producing oxygen for you. I think you owe it an apology.” Now that we’ve got a few zingers down, don’t forget how to bring the energy back up: try these 50 cheesy pickup lines guaranteed to get a laugh on for size.

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Funny comeback: Back to basics


“Well, the jerk store called and they’re running out of you.” George Constanza of Seinfeld dropped this epic line. If you want to keep the giggles going, check out these hilarious photos that will make you laugh out loud.

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Funny comeback: 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.'”

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Funny comeback: The comeback is damning, your honor

Who could forget about the scene in Legally Blonde when Elle Woods’ loser ex-boyfriend condescendingly asks, “You got into Harvard Law?” to which Elle responds, “What, like it’s hard?”

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Funny comeback: 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. Here are 75 more short jokes anyone can remember.

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Funny comeback: 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 towards you is all it takes to tilt a power struggle back in your favor. A little reverse psychology can work wonders. In fact, here are 21 anti-jokes you can’t help but laugh at anyway.

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Funny comeback: 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.

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Funny comeback: 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-sorrys 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.

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Funny comeback: Be specific

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.”

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Funny comeback: 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. Here are some groan-worthy jokes you can’t help but laugh at.

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Funny comeback: 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?’”

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Funny comeback: 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! Maybe follow it up with one of these funny jokes to defuse awkward situations at work.

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Funny comeback: 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!

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Funny comeback: Who now?

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.

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Funny comeback: Objection!

When a big-time lawyer rolls up on Erin Brockovich and blatantly challenges Brockovich’s knowledge and abilities, Julia Roberts’ 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.” This is definitely one of those movies with the best one-liners you’ll want to say over and over.

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Funny comeback: 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! And if this one doesn’t do it for you, we’ve got plenty of pirate jokes on deck.

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Funny comeback: Remember what?

“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.

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Funny comeback: Can’t argue with logic

“I’m not insulting you, I’m describing you.” There is no greater punisher than objectivity sometimes, you know? It’s one of those very clever jokes that make you sound smart.

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Funny comeback: 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.

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Funny comeback: 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.

Sources:

  • Thought Catalog“50 Hilarious Comebacks That Will Shut Everyone Up (And Make You Look Like a Genius)”
  • Mental Floss, “25 of Dorothy Parker’s Best Quotes”
  • SomeEcards.com“Breakup Memes”
  • British Pathé“Histories Greatest Replies and Insults”
  • SomeEcards.com“Confession Memes”
  • Humoropedia.com“99+ Really Funny Comebacks, Insults, & Burns List”
  • Pinterest.com, @CrystalMarie
  • Thought Catalog, “70 Roasting Jokes to Burn Bitches when the Middle Finger Won’t Cut It”
  • Pinterest.com“19 Fiery Insults to Send to Your Worst Enemies”
  • Youtube.com“Seinfeld-The jerk store called (the comeback)”
  • Buzzfeed, “14 Hilarious Comebacks That Only Took People a Few Hours to Come Up With”
  • Youtube.com“Legally Blonde (4/11) Movie CLIP – First Day of School (2001) HD”
  • 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’ve ever received?”
  • Buzzfeed, “18 Devastating Burns That People Have Had The Pleasure of Hearing”
  • Youtube.com, “Don Says: “I Don’t Think About You At All”
  • Youtube.com, “Two Wrong Feet in Ugly Shoes”
  • Youtube.com, “Worst pirate I’ve ever heard of”
  • ScaryMommy.com, “These Funny Comebacks And Insults Are What Our Minds Are Really Made Of”

Erin Kayata
Erin Kayata joined Reader’s Digest as an assistant staff writer in March 2019, coming from the Stamford Advocate where she covered education. Prior to this, she was part of a two-year Hearst fellowship program where she covered crime and education in suburban Connecticut. She graduated from Emerson College and spent part of her undergraduate career writing for the Boston Globe. When she’s not writing articles about useful facts and pop culture, you can find Erin enjoying the local theater scene and working toward her goal of reading 50 books a year.