This article originally appeared on eightieskids.com
We’ve all been there – someone’s tried to insult you and you’re scrambling to come up with a witty comeback. Sometimes, you can’t think of something fast enough – but other times, you manage to think on your feet and hit back with an absolute zinger that leaves them gobsmacked. You know when someone’s left speechless that you’ve truly beaten them at their own game.
It’s absolutely hilarious when someone manages to put down a bully with a sharp remark, and there’s no better feeling when you’ve managed to come up with a piercing clap back yourself. Surely, we can all agree that seeing someone nasty get put in their place with the smile wiped clean off their face is always priceless.
Here are Reddit’s craziest stories of times people seriously gave as good as they got.
1. Nobody cares
A dude in my class called out a friend of mine and said that people were talking behind his back.
In fact, that wasn’t the case, as far as I know. And that guy said: “Well you know what they say about you? Nothing, nobody cares.“
2. Telling it like it is
I was an elementary school teacher and had a student who was smart but would not do any work. It was affecting his progress because he was falling behind the rest of the class. It also does not help that his mom thinks he’s a genius and that he is just bored because he is so beyond all this “kid stuff”. Being labeled gifted actually made his performance worse because he was told he was gifted so he expected everything to be easy for him and when it wasn’t, he wouldn’t even attempt it for fear of failing and showing people that he was not special after all.
We had a meeting for him and I was trying to come to some type of compromise between his mom and school expectations. The mom came back at everything I said with, well, it’s because he’s gifted. But the no-nonsense gifted coordinator who had been teaching for over 40 years said, “Look, Einstein was a genius too but we would not have known if he never did anything.”
My two friends were doing a ‘burn’ session against each other. One is much taller than all of us. So after some back and forth, he said this:
“Shut up and talk to me when you get an IQ more than the inches in your height.”
4. How to lose weight fast
My grandparents used to bicker. My grandmother generally came out on top, as she was fierier one. One time though, she was asking my grandad to do a bunch of stuff, and he muttered “if you lost some weight, you could do it yourself.”
She fixed her gaze on him, and glowered “I’m thinking of getting rid of about 200lbs of useless fat immediately…”
5. Mayo mayhem
Years ago I worked nights at a deli in the downtown area of this tourist city. My job was very very simple. I just rang stuff in. I couldn’t issue refunds. I couldn’t discount things. So, this lady comes in absolutely livid about mayo on her sandwich when she said no mayo. The extent of my power was that I could tell her to call the owner in the morning and he would issue a refund.
She continues. I understand her frustration. I understand the frustration of the last 20 people I’ve had this exact conversation with. Finally my exasperation gets to me and I say “lady, I’m just a cashier!” And she looks at me through the sunglasses she has on and coldly says “so it would seem” and storms out. I know it was a slam on me, but still.
6. Never insult a football fan
Back in high school, the chemistry teacher used to be a big FC Barcelona fan, and the students (who were Real Madrid fan) would often tease him. He would retaliate with amazing comebacks. The best one was the day after a match of Barcelona against some other team, when the teacher asked one of my mates whether he had watched it.
The student replied saying that his parents didn’t let him watch rubbish. The teacher stood in thought for a couple of seconds and then replied “So they must have removed all the mirrors from your house, then.”
7. A burn from grandma
My grandma asked my cousin, who’d had lots of partners and 2 kids at this point, if she was ever going to get married. My cousin said “it’s not the same nowadays. We don’t buy cars without test driving them first.”
My grandma said “Yeah, but they don’t let you put a hundred thousand miles on them either.”
8. A sore loser
This kid that was on the basketball team the previous year but didn’t make it the year I got on it was really upset, telling me how bad I am and blah blah blah.
I told him that if he is better than me, then why didn’t he make the team. He replied with “it’s just cause of my grades bro”. So I replied with “oh so you’re just stupid then?”
9. Fighting like cats and dogs
While working a hotdog stand outside a nightclub, I overheard the following.
Person A, looking at a longhaired Person B, said: “If you were my dog, I would have your hair cut.” Person B, without missing half a breath, clapped back: “If you were my parrot, I would have taught you to shut the hell up.”
10. Acne is no joke
I was 14 or 15 and had a quiet nerdy friend with really bad acne. My older brother had these three friends and one day me and my friend walked in the front door my brother and these friends sitting at the TV playing Halo.
One of the brothers looked at my friend and said “Sam, I got two words for you: ACNE PADS.” Sam replied “Cool, and I got two words for you Johnny: SPEECH THERAPY.” The guy had a pretty bad stutter.
11. Getting personal
I was on the school bus in my sophomore year of high school and this young girl got into an argument with the bus driver.
They went on for a little bit but the real burn was when I hear the bus driver yell “I’ve already been to school, I did my time, I’ve graduated!” And the girl fires back: “and look where it gotcha.” She just sat down and the whole bus fell silent.
Back in high school, I was in the orchestra. We went on several big national trips each year. One year, a group of upper classmen were busted for drugs in their hotel room. Everyone except one guy was suspended and prohibited to attend future trips. The one guy who wasn’t in trouble apparently hid in the shower and played dumb, and they believed him.
So a week later the entire orchestra is practicing with the teaching assistant when our conductor enters the practice room, and in front of the entire 114 members of the orchestra, says “Jason, all your friends ratted you out. They’re mad. I’m mad. You played me like a fiddle.” Jason raised his violin and replied: “That’s what I play.”
13. That showed him
At an old job my manager was a bit mean. One Monday morning, he asked one of the younger guys (who he normally picked on, trying to make him look naive): “what did you do the weekend Paul?”
Then he patronisingly added “oh, to be young and stupid again.” To which Paul replied, without missing a beat: “I minded my own business John, how about yourself?”
Overheard some little kids bickering on the train. Little boy (maybe 6 or 7) says to younger girl (maybe 4): “you can’t even READ!”
She says, “oh yeah? Well at least I don’t eat my boogers!”
15. How to deal with a bully
In middle school there was this rumour made up about me that I was bisexual, and one of the mean “popular” girls in my class yelled out for everyone to hear: “eww, you like girls” and was laughing with her friends.
And I came back with “don’t worry I’m only attracted to pretty girls”. Greatest comeback I have come up with in my 22 years of life.
16. Looking scary
I was out with a friend who was wearing a silly outfit. Someone came up and said “Why are you wearing that, it’s not Halloween!”
He replied with “Then why don’t you take off that hideous mask?”
17. It’s like looking in a mirror
When my younger brother was about 5 he would hold up a picture of an ape and say “Hey, look in this mirror.”
To which my older brother would reply, “That’s a picture of an ape but I see why you thought it was a mirror.”
18. That backfired
An Arab poet met a guy on the streets. Trying to belittle the poet, the guy said “I saw you from afar and thought you were a woman.”
The poet responded: “I saw you from afar and thought you were a man.”
19. Better than the original
I was in Target, two kids and their mom walk past. One kid was singing. The other kid said “those aren’t even the right words!”
The singing kid responded without missing a beat, “yeah, well, this is the remix.”
20. Lay off the drink
I work in construction and a lot of the guys are exactly what you would expect from construction workers. There was one particularly loud one on this job. He would always go on about drinking and how much he drinks and the ensuing consequences.
I just recently purchased a house and the loud guy heard about it and said, “What the f**k? I’m a journeyman and all I can afford is a basement suite in Langford. You’re just an apprentice, how can you afford a house?” And I just said, “I don’t have any drinking stories.”
21. A touchy subject
This short guy at a bar was talking trash to my friend and he said “I’m going to be the bigger man and walk away.”
To which my friend replied, “you will never be the bigger man.”
22. Don’t dish out what you can’t take
I had this one teacher in high school who taught computer classes. I was trying to date her daughter throughout all of high school and everyone knew, including her. Every time I made a fool of myself she would hit me with “and that’s why you don’t have a girlfriend.”
This became a trend and after about 4 weeks she said it to me again and I hit her back with “That’s why you can’t keep a man.” She had been through about five marriages and had one kid with each.
23. Construction wars
At work one night, my crew was cleaning up trash out of the middle of the interstate inside of a lane closure. We get up to where another crew is working on machines, and these guys are a**holes.
I asked them to move over for a second so we could get by, when one of them tries to point out some trash we missed. So I said to him: “oh I’m sorry, I don’t think I can fit you in this bag, I’ll come back after I open a new one and maybe we can squeeze you in there.”
I was arguing with my mom for the millionth time, and she said “you’re just like your father”. I told her, “I’m not like my father, I’m smarter than him.”
She said “oh yeah? And why is that?”, so I said “because I had a girlfriend like you and I broke up with her.”
25. Choose your words carefully
I’m sure I’ve heard better retorts, but this is one I vividly remember. When I was about 12, I stopped doing my homework, which frustrated my parents, as I had been a good student.
My mom, who was also frustrated with my father anyway, lost her patience and called me”You son of b**ch!” I replied, “Well, what does that make you?!”
26. Messed with the wrong woman
A woman I work with, but don’t like, was in a serious mood one morning. A male colleague comes in, and after putting up with her for a bit, looks at her and says, “Are you on your period or something?”
She turns around and says, ‘I woke up in a pool of blood and if you don’t shut up, you’ll end your day the exact same way.”
My brother was in his history class that just happened to have accumulated all the really disruptive kids. They’d constantly interrupt and make the class hell, and the teacher didn’t really do anything about it.
One day, a girl who had caused a ton of problems acted up in the usual way to derail the class and he had had enough. He turned to her and told her to shut up and she flipped. The teacher told her to be careful what she says to him, because she might be working for him one day. My brother turns to the teacher and goes, “Nah, I don’t plan on being a pimp.”
28. He was just trying to be nice
In elementary school, we went to a museum. We took the bus and I saw a woman without a seat. I offered her mine but my teacher said: ”You only give really old women a seat”.
She apologized to the woman, and then I said to my teacher: ”Do you want to have the seat then?”
29. A very literal comeback
My sister said the classic phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
I’m autistic, so what did I do? I grabbed a dictionary and threw it at her.
30. Best teacher ever
It’s not my comeback, but a story of how my PE teacher defended me once. We were playing football doing penalties. When my turn came, I missed the goal and everyone started laughing.
Our teacher waited until they finished and told them: “now you guys are laughing at him in football, but he always laugh at you in maths.”
31. He needed knocking down a few pegs
So Harvard went to play Dartmouth in soccer and all the Harvard guys love boasting that they go to Harvard so they dress to the nines. Harvard guy in a three-piece suit goes to a urinal next to a Dartmouth guy and they finish about the same time, but the Dartmouth guy is walking straight out the door when the Harvard guy scoffs and says, “At Harvard they teach us to wash our hands after we go to the bathroom.”
The Dartmouth guy stops, barely looks back and says, “Yeah, well, at Dartmouth they teach us not to p**s on our hands.”
32. Eloquent yet ruthless
I had a coworker who was an a**hole to everyone. I had shaved off my moustache on the weekend because I was tired of it. Monday at work, on the loading dock where everyone would hang out, this a**hole shows up. He looks at me and says, “You look stupid without a moustache.”
I replied, “That may be true, but, I can grow it back. You, on the other hand, will always be ugly.”
33. Can you blame him?
My mum served gammon for dinner and asked my dad if he liked it. He stupidly gave her an honest answer and said it was nice, but a bit salty. Mum didn’t like this feedback. Around this time he had also got into the habit of skulling her vodka lemonade as soon as she poured it. This is all purely to wind her up and it used to work like a treat.
As she was moaning at him for critiquing the salty gammon, he cooly and calmly drank her entire glass of vodka lemonade in one gulp. She yelled: “DON’T DRINK MY DRINK!” He replied with a smug grin: “DON’T MAKE SALTY FOOD, IT MAKES ME THIRSTY!”
My brother and I were driving in a car and we saw a donkey on the back of a pickup truck. My brother pointed and said: “Oh look, I found your brother.”
To which I replied: “Oh yeah, he does look like you.”
35. Don’t tread on the ref’s toes
I was a teenager soccer referee. I was on the line and a parent yelled at me that a player on the other team was offside. I had been in position and they were actually near the half line.
When they kept complaining about it, when I was back near them I took off my glasses and held them out and said “Here. You clearly need these more than I do.”
36. A taste of his own medicine
I’m Korean, and have a fairly flat profile when it comes to my face. In second grade, a boy asked me what happened to my face: “did I run into a wall head first or something?”
His whole family are fairly petite and he was the tiniest in the bunch so I responded with, “what happened to your growth spurt, hasn’t it happened yet?”
37. Sticking it to the man
A former boss and I hated each other. We were coming back from a meeting and he growled at me, “I will not have you making me look like a fool!”
I had been waiting for some time for this opportunity. I said, “you don’t need any help from me, mate.”
38. Pick on someone your own size
I had a friend in high school who got a tattoo next to her belly button. This uptight girl got really judgmental and said “that’s so stupid, what’s going to happen when you get fat?”
My friend, without missing a beat, said, “I don’t know, what happened when YOU got fat?”
39. That shut her up
My niece was a year younger than my son. She had a growth spurt around 6th grade and was constantly berating my son for still being short.
In Walmart she’s grabbing stuff off the top shelf and pushing him aside, saying “Are you jealous I got taller first?” My son turned to face her and said loudly ‘I’m just jealous you got your moustache first.”
40. The helpful vet
A girl is in front of this guy in the checkout line at a store. She’s verbally chewing out the checkout person for a mistake she made. The guy tells the yelling girl to calm down and asks how he could help.
She turns around and says “Stay out of this, this is not your business!” And the guy retorts “Well ma’am, actually I’m a veterinarian so b**ches are my business.”
41. An eventful food delivery
I was getting my food delivery by the front gate of our house then this fat old lady walked by and told me “You will never get skinny” while I’m holding a bunch of food in my hand.
I told her “Who says I wanna be skinny?”
42. 20/20 hindsight
Once, while ordering a beer in the morning at an airport bar, had a large woman tell next to me say “little early for a beer isn’t it?”
After seeing what she ordered, I replied “little late for a diet coke isn’t it?”
43. Can’t argue with the facts
Me and a friend were dealing with a homophobic bible thumper that said “it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
My friend said, straight-faced: “Well it’s homosapien, not heterosapien.”
44. A brush with the law
I was driving through Mississippi doing about 15 mph over the limit. There was a cop hiding behind a sign and he lights me up as I fly by. I pull over. This state trooper gets out, aviator sunglasses and wide brimmed hat on. He slowly strides over to my window.
He leans in, stoney-faced, and says: “Boy, I’ve been waiting for you all day.” Without thinking, I quickly replied, “officer, I got here as fast as I could!”
45. Man’s best friend
I was studying with two friends, when one of them, annoyed by a dog barking outside the apartment, started going at the “bad owners” for not teaching the dogs when to shut up. So I told him, it’s impossible for the dog to really know that he has to stop barking.
Got back to my book as he was going at me with a really heated argument on why I was wrong, so I told him “So you think that the dog can tell when to shut up, when not even you can? Get back to your book.”
46. New levels of stupidity
I remember when I was in elementary school, two of my classmates were insulting each other back and forth. Their argument was enough to attract a small crowd. Nobody knows what they were arguing about, or why did it start.
The one thing everyone who saw that fight remembers is how it ended: one of the guys fighting gave this lovely comeback to the other: “You are stupid enough to get hit by a parked car.”
47. Nothing to be afraid of
My younger cousin was saying something about how zombies are real and they come and eat your brains.
His older sister said ‘Oh, they eat brains? Ok you have nothing to worry about.”
48. Get out the way
Had a coworker at Walgreens years ago who was a rather hefty girl, and the walkway behind the registers was a tight fit at the best of times. So I’m trying to get by her to get to the further register and she’s just standing there refusing to move to be obnoxious.
I start poking her in the belly with a pen, she goes, “don’t poke me in my FAT!” I responded with, “Well that doesn’t leave me many options, does it?”
49. Don’t mess with kids
I was young and in a makeup store with my Mum, bored. I was watching someone getting their make up done. I guess it bothered her because she looked at me and said “take a picture it will last longer.”
To which I replied without missing a beat “who’d want to take a picture of you?” And walked away.
50. An A+ comeback
I was a freshman in high school riding the bus. There was a senior riding the bus that was almost 20 because he failed his senior year two years in a row. He insulted a girl on the bus by saying, “Hey Allie, have you ever heard of acne cream?”
Her response still makes me smile to the day. She responded by saying, “I don’t know Josh, have you ever heard of a diploma?”