The Greatest One-Liners Ever Spoken In The Heat Of The Moment
The perfect comeback rarely springs to mind in time. If your optimal zinger crops up three days later, in the middle of the night or while you’re in the shower, you’re not alone. Still, on those rare occasions where you find yourself handing out the ultimate response, the feeling is immensely satisfying – a Hollywood-worthy moment of triumph.
In particular during an argument, dealing out the last verbal blow can be irresistible, even if it lands you in trouble. At other times, it can just take a whimsical throw-away comment to have the whole room in fits of laughter.
And every now and again, the most powerful comebacks may spill out before you’ve even thought twice. As told by the people of Reddit, here are some of the greatest one-liners ever dealt at the perfect moment.
1. Sympathetic students
I am a fourth grade teacher and one day I was up at the board and struggling to remember how to spell a particular word. I was trying to make light of it, telling the kids that sometimes adults need help with spelling too. One student replied, “It is because you were poorly educated. But don’t worry, we are poorly educated too.” Double whammy.
2. Dad jokes
I’ll never forget the moment a family walked into the local pub I was working at while I was working. This big king-of-the-grill bald alpha patriarch Dad type and his wife and kids came through, I said “welcome, where would you like to sit?” And he snapped back “well a table would be nice”, and without missing a beat at all I replied “actually we usually sit on the chairs here”, I’ll never forget the satisfaction of that moment or the look on his face haha.
3. Damaged phone
A guy came in [to our store] with a little cheap phone that was absolutely shattered. He was screaming at me that the phone didn’t work, we have to be some what professional even with abuse being yelled at us. I calmly said if looks like the phone has been damaged which can cause faults in its operating ability. He explained that the phone wouldn’t work so he threw it into the concrete sidewalk. My response was “throwing your phone onto concrete can cause physical damage.” He was not pleased.
4. Retail philosophy
Working retail a Karen once told me she hoped I die. I was so into “work mode” that I blankly responded: “I mean, we all die. That’s not much of a threat.” Maybe it was my lack of intimidation or blank stare, but that really shut her up.
5. Honest feedback
I didn’t realize the nature of my comment when I wrote it… but in high school, one of my teachers did end-of-the-year anonymous evaluations. Everyone hated him, and I understood why but I still did well in his class. I wrote, “I don’t have any critiques about your teaching, but I think you should work on being a better person.”
6. Head of the table
When I was 12 my older sister had a boy over for thanksgiving dinner. She dated lots of douches, but this guy took the cake. Big, brash, annoying d*** head who was rude to her and basically everyone. As we sat down for dinner, before we were about to say what we were thankful for he says inaudible moron grunts “huh looks like I’m seated at the head of the table, must be important” with a huge s***-eating grin. Without pausing I gesture to my dad seated opposite him and said “Actually my dad is at the head of the table, you’re the a**hole”. My mom scolded me for swearing at the table but years later told me her and my dad thought it was hilarious!
7. Infectious laugh
I was around 17 or 18 and getting my first filling at the dentist. They pumped me up with nitrous oxide for pain and to help me relax during the procedure. Dentist came back and asked me, “how are you feeling?” All I said was “I don’t” and he lost his s*** and cracked up for what seemed like 20 minutes before he could pull himself together. I also started cracking up because of the laughing gas and his laugh was infectious. So we were both just sitting the in the room laughing and all his assistants came by and were very confused lol.
8. Ridiculous response
I worked at Target back in college in a stocking job where we had to be there at like 4-5am to unload trucks. One morning I overslept a bit and walked to the unpacking line about 10 minutes late eating a breakfast bar. The boss stormed over and started loudly berating me in front of everyone for being late. As he was going on, I was listening and taking bites of the bar without much expression (mainly because I was so damn tired).
It finally bothered him that I was disrespectfully chewing during the yelling and he stopped mid-sentence, held out his hand, and said, “Give me that damn thing!”. It just happened that I only had one bite left so I took it, handed him the wrapper, and said “Thanks” with a mouth full of food. He paused and started laughing at the ridiculous response to his b****ing. We were buddies after that.
9. The comedian
I’m a writer and I do a bit of stand up comedy. As such people tend to introduce me to new people as a ‘comedian’ ‘writer’ etc. So I was outside a bar smoking with a friend of a friend, he then introduced to one of his friends. His friend was dressed like Liam Gallagher from Oasis and seemed to exude a bit of a cocky sneery manner. The introduction went thusly:
Friend of Friend: Mr Gallagher this is [Me], he’s a comedian. Mr Gallagher: (looks me up and down) Comedian eh? Does that mean you think you’re funny? WriterOfWrongs: No, it means everyone else does. I literally do not know where it came from. I didn’t think about the response, it just came out. And it is hands down the GREATEST thing I’ve ever said.
At work at a company meeting, someone was presenting something cool they volunteered to work on and finished. They then explained things they thought they could do better in a self-deprecating way, and a bunch of other people started railing into his work with petty criticism. It was definitely good work, though, and a thought just hit me so I blurted it out:
“Sometimes “done” is the best feature.” A bunch of people laughed and then the criticism stopped. People gave him kudos and we moved on. Not really badass, but I was surprised this thought somehow came out fully formed, like it was some phrase I’ve been saying for decades.
11. The periodicals
I worked at a book store and a customer asked me “How often do the periodicals come out?” I deadpanned “Periodically.” and he asked to speak to my manager. Worth it.
12. Big guys
I work in waste management. I’m also a rather small person (like, “they don’t make clothes at Old Navy in my size” small). I was wheeling a stack of drums out to our loading dock, navigating pretty much purely on instinct since I couldn’t see over or around them. Lo and behold, there’s someone there chatting with the shipping people. I run straight into him.
I’m surrounded by everyone in shipping, some fairly big dudes, and I feel amazingly embarrassed. I leaned around the drums to look at the guy I hit, and without even thinking, said, “the f*** you want me to do, see through ‘em?” Everyone burst out laughing and the guy even opened the door to the dock for me. Every time I see him now he pretends to duck.
13. Threatening words
Guy pushed my 5 year old daughter at the fish store and she started crying, so I said: “Go wait with mommy – daddy might be going back to jail again”. When he heard me say that he ran out of the store. I’ve never been to jail before.
14. Unintentional roast
[When I was around age 12], my parents were meeting up with my mom’s siblings to go paint my grandparents’ house. That included my uncle Dave who was known to everyone to be a pretty heavy drinker. My mom got a water jug we owned out of the cupboard, probably to put water in for everyone while working, and I looked at it and said “oh, is that for Dave’s beer?”
15. Insult deflected
I used to work in a preschool and this kid was being an absolute snot. Telling kids he didn’t like them, giving them thumbs down. Then, he tried it on a 3 year old. Kid: I don’t like you! Three Year Old: Well, my mommy likes me! It shut him right up.
16. A nice vacation
This was back in my junior year of college. At the beginning of the semester I was introducing myself to my very intimidating biochemistry professor (guy was a genius but also a harda**, students were all terrified to ask him questions because he was known for grilling people and if they hadn’t made enough effort beforehand he’d send them out of his office to learn on their own). As I walked into his office he was sorting through some boxes and made a really sarcastic comment regarding stuffing me in the box and shipping it off somewhere.
He looked up for my response and I just blurted out without thinking “I wouldn’t mind going somewhere nice…” Dude laughed so hard it actually startled me a little. We got along pretty well for the remainder of the semester, so it all worked out really well! It’s amazing what a little laughter can do to ease tension.
17. Tough kid
One time I popped the blood vessels in my eye and had blood dripping down my face and some kid says “hey man you’re bleeding” to which I responded “s***, coulda fooled me”. Then I f***ed it up by touching my face and seeing the blood and immediately going ah s*** guess you were right.
18. The catcall
A long time ago I was walking down a side street in a medium sized town with my girlfriend. A car was parked ahead, with the front of the car facing us as we approached. I could see two kids, maybe in their late teens and instantly could tell they were likely going say something as my gf was rather attractive. As soon as we come up next to them I hear “hey baby, ditch the zero and come hang with the hero”.
I could feel my blood boil but I kept my cool and calmly said “sorry buddy, I’m not gay…and don’t call my girlfriend a zero”. The dude’s friend started laughing at him and my girlfriend made a sarcastic crying face then we both started to laugh.
19. Mutual feelings
When I was 7 some girls were bullying me at school. I just learned the word mutual. One of the bullies said “we don’t like you” and I said “ the feeling’s mutual” and then walked off. I’m 37 now and I still remember it.
My cousin had cancer (he’s doing ok now), but someone outside a shop was raising money and said “kids with cancer?” My aunty replied “no thanks, I’ve already got one.” it went down in family history.
21. Reasonable reaction
In middle school I had a class simply called “reading class,” that was taught by a conservative Christian lady. I was reading Jurassic Park and the teacher asked to see my book, I complied like a good student. The next day she gave it back and said, “You can no longer read this book in this class because they use God’s name in vain.” I looked at her square in the eye and replied, “Wouldn’t you cuss if dinosaurs were chasing after you?”
22. Girls’ shoes
About 25 year ago, I was in grade 9 and my parents bought me a pair of Air Max. I’m a female, but I had picked a pair of Air Max that were ‘supposed’ to be for males because I preferred the colour of the shoes. I was super pumped to get those shoes; we didn’t have lots of money and it was a pretty extravagant purchase.
Anyway, I was at our local shopping centre and I ran into a group of guys I went to high school with. They were a real bunch of a***holes that thrived on dumping on other people. One of the guys had on the same pair of shoes and said to me “do you know you’re wearing men’s shoes?” To which I quickly replied “then why the f*** are you wearing them?” The other guys pissed themselves laughing and it still stands out in my mind after all these years.
23. Respecting elders
“Respect should be earned, not given.” To some old lady at an extended family gathering. She was saying some mean stuff about the homeless where she lived and I told her how inconsiderate she was. Then she told me to respect her and not rebut her.
24. Keeping up appearances
Was working in a job, and the head manager from out of state came in for a visit, it was a quiet work day – so everyone is managing to look busy when he rocks around. He asks how our days going and I pipe up “ah, just trying to look busy”. He didn’t say much back and walked out of the room – my peers just looked at me like wtf did you just say that for!! I’m facepalming and wanting to hide under a rock.
25. Surgery romance
I had a surgical procedure and when I woke up, the nurse was really cute, so I started flirting with her (with no success). I had a 2nd surgery and when I woke up, it was the same cute nurse, my first words to her were: How many surgeries do I have to have before I get your phone number? (We’ve been married 8 years now).
When I was a little kid (maybe 6) I overheard my mum and older sister talking about factories making ‘pollution’, the way they talked about it I thought it was some sort of manufactured chemical product like chlorine or silica. Few weeks later a huge local industrial company comes to school to teach our class about itself. Company rep gives examples of things like soap and bleach that they make and asks ‘does anybody here know what else we make?’
I raised my hand and you guessed it ‘Um, pollution?’ I remember the guy just laughed like embarrassed and went ‘er well we try not to…’
27. Family favourites
I’ve never got along with my mom’s older brother, we’ll call him Kyle. She’s also got two other brothers, we’ll call them Jake and Steve. When I was like 10-11ish, we were at my grandpa’s house hanging out. Kyle showed up and immediately came into the bedroom to mess with me. He started trying to roughly tickle and poke me, yelling “Aren’t you going to come say hi to your favourite uncle?”
I somehow managed to innocently respond, “Oh, is uncle Jake here?” He still hasn’t forgiven me lol.
28. Tough talk
I asked a gunnery sergeant if he wanted to “take it outside” during a slightly heated meeting. Back story. He was the government manager of a DoD software project. He had “quit” smoking, I had not. So every time I went out to smoke he would bum a cigarette. What I meant to say was, “do you want to continue this conversation outside while I enjoy a cigarette which I am happy to share?”
In a class at university each student had to give a presentation about a scientific paper and answer questions about it. We were told to ask the speaker questions, because otherwise the professor would and his questions would obviously be harder. That professor was really brutal in his critiques of the presentations (but also fair and accurate).
In any case I asked a question after every single presentation, but when my turn came no student wanted to ask anything, so the professor asked me if I wanted to ask myself a question. Without even thinking about it: “Say, how come your presentation was so extremely excellent?” I was mentally preparing to be chewed out, instead the professor needed a minute to stop laughing and then gave me the best grade possible.
30. Playground bully
This boy at my middle school thought he was all that and he picked on me a lot. He was telling the class “yeah I’m going to go home cuddle with a girl by the fire and watch a movie…” I had enough of this kid and I said “Yeah moms are pretty great.” The kid never picked on me again.
31. Ready to go
I got super drunk when I was probably ~25, got in a bar fight, as was my habit, and got knocked out cold (also a bad habit back in those days). Woke up in an emergency room to a cop who said: “It’s 4:30am, you’re in so-and-so emergency room, you just blew a .29 BAC, so I have to take you to the detox center now.” I stood up from the chair they had me in and the cop goes “Hey, wait, are you okay to walk?” and I threw my arm around his shoulder and bellowed out: “Walk? Hell, I’m drivin’, let’s go!”
He was not amused, and he got a little rough with me, but about half the emergency room staff completely lost it. Also, I eventually quit drinking and fighting, though it took about 10 more years of failures before I hit that point.
32. Organic shoes
I worked at Target when I was in high school. Some lady asked me if the shoes were “organic.” I politely said I doubted it with a confused look on my face and was about to walk away and she asked “Wait! What are these made of?” As I was walking away I replied “Oh! Just check the ingredient list”. I usually am very helpful and nice but working at Target you get so sick of the morons.
33. Drama class
I was in an acting class in college, and we were doing a scene where a couple was having a big drawn out fight. Multiple pairs went through the scene, and I studied it pretty hard, so I knew all the lines. We’re about halfway through our performance when my partner clearly forgets what her line is. And because everyone was doing that scene, they could tell she had forgotten, as well.
Her next line was supposed to be “well, I’m sorry I asked!” I’m not usually a quick thinker on my feet, but I just filled the second or two of awkward silence with “I bet you’re sorry you asked, huh!?” And continued on with my lines. Not overly bada** per se, but the class and professor loved it and all laughed.
34. Rome’s action plan
Our boss was [looking for] an excuse to drag her feet on a project that would help the team internally but really she didn’t want to do any actual work so she said “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I clapped back “I bet you they laid *one* brick though.”
35. Heroic words
At a party a few years back, someone stole my friend’s purse. Her boyfriend found the guys who took it… My friend finds me and says, “I’m afraid [boyfriend] is about to get into a fight, I need your help. Stop him, please!”. I stand up, and I tell her, “I can’t promise you I can stop him from fighting, but I can promise you I won’t let him lose.” Before walking off to find him.
Ultimately, no fight actually broke out, and I didn’t realize that I had basically said a cheesy one liner until after the fact when my friend told me how intense that line was… I just wanted to let her know I wouldn’t let him get his a** kicked, I didn’t mean to make it sound like I was about to demolish three guys by myself like I’m some sort of action hero.
36. The last straw
My teacher has been pronouncing my name for over a year wrong. So yesterday, at the end of the semester she had the brilliant idea to compliment each other in the class. So when she said “Niclas, Niclas, (the wrong name again), what do you like about [my classmate]?” So without thinking I just said: “he knows how to pronounce my name properly”. The whole class got silent and my teacher just looked dead inside. But she took it relaxed.
37. Persistent petitioners
I heard tell of someone that got sick and tired of not being able to walk into the supermarket without being harassed by people at a table with political petitions he didn’t agree with. This wasn’t them just sitting out there asking nicely and accepting no for an answer, these people would just keep at him. As a result, his standard answer became: “convicted felons can’t vote”. He had no record whatsoever, he was just stating a fact. Stopped them dead in their tracks.
38. Unwanted attention
Reminds me of a story my mom told me about when my parents were younger. Some guy was aggressively hitting on mom and dad got in his face. Guy says “you think I’m scared of you motherf***er?” And dad says, “Fear isn’t required for me to beat your a**.”
39. The chosen child
I’m adopted, and I was bullied a lot in middle school. Some kids were being really mean and saying stuff about my parents and making fun of me for being adopted. And so after taking a moment I turned and said “yeah, well my parents chose me. Yours are just stuck with you, unfortunately.” I’ve never been able to top it.
40. Fair fight
I was walking home from school with 2 other friends and we got jumped by a group of maybe 6-7 other kids who were obviously looking for conflict. They were calling us names, and asking if we wanted to fight. I said in my most confident voice: “Yeah, sure let’s fight, but look at this… The three of us against the seven of you? Don’t you think it’s a bit unfair?…” I look at one of my friends and say: “You, help them out, so they have a chance.”
To this day I can’t believe it worked… They seemed to be afraid…even…? And they walked away.
41. Mispronounced name
So my full name is pronounced ‘jess-uhh-lyn’ but sometimes people call me joselin, either bc they don’t know better or bc they know it’s annoying to me. Anyway, I was at work in the lunch room with a couple other coworkers, when my one male coworker, named Miles, said something like ‘hey what’s up, JOSelin’ and I immediately turned to him and said ‘shut up, Kilometers.’
42. Girly clothes
When I was in 6th grade, one of my classmates decided to tell me that I was wearing “girly” clothes and so I therefore must be “a girl”. I couldn’t think of a comeback so I blurted out, “How is that a bad thing?” He froze. I then added, “your mom’s a girl too”. He literally backed off looking embarrassed. Then came to me after to apologise. Not that bada**, but there we go.
43. Shoe size
The bus driver screams at me to “act my age not my shoe size” on our way home from school. I was 13 years old I blurted out “THEY’RE THE SAME, WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?” I was a tall kid and was already a size 13 shoe…poor lady was so defeated.
44. Powerful slogan
My former classmate, we’ll call her “Karen”, didn’t want our final trip to be to Munich, despite the fact that the rest of the class absolutely wanted to go. She was b****ing and I remembered that I still carry around a snickers from the day before so I said: “Karen, eat a f***ing snickers. You’re not you when you’re hungry” and threw the snickers at her.
That moment also lead to my 12 minutes of fame.
“Don’t Flatter Yourself.” These girls had convinced themselves that I was a closeted gay. Even though I told them my times I was straight. One of them asked would I be attracted to her, and I immediately told her not to flatter herself. I didn’t realize how it sounded till some kids went “ohhhh.”
46. Hand-eye coordination
I became a store management trainee at a large grocery chain years ago. Part of the training is you had to spend a week or so working in each department learning how they work and operate. Basically I was just free help for that week’s department. This particular week I was in the meat department. One of the guys had just returned from a couple days off because he had accidentally cut his finger on the bone saw. He was still sporting a pretty big bandage on the digit he cut.
He was told to show me how to use the meat cuber/tenderizer (for making cubed steak) and he walks up and asks “How’s your hand-eye coordination?” I immediately responded with “Hopefully better than yours!” Everyone back there erupted in laughter that didn’t stop for what seemed a long time.
47. Hair care
My uncle is a d*** who no one in the family likes being around for more than a couple minutes. Even his kids, my cousins, say that he sucks 95% of the time. He is also bald as you can get, nothing grows on top of his shiny head… So about 2 years ago I started growing my hair out, I had it almost to my shoulders and we had a family event to go to.
About 10 minutes after getting there my uncle came up to me and mentioned that I needed a haircut, so I turned to him and said, “Oh don’t worry, I’m growing enough hair for both of us.” He still won’t look me in the eye at family gatherings.
48. Dressed to impress
The other day I was sitting in the front yard with a couple of friends and my sister’s boyfriends rolled up. They’re dumb jocks and all. I have a problem with them. They get out of their jeep and come walking towards me. Well one of them’s wearing a wifebeater so I says to him “I see the muscle shirt came today, muscles coming tomorrow?”
I was having a small party at my house back in high school, and a couple of kids that were not invited pulled up with a few other strangers. I was in my backyard at the time, so I found out about this from my friends who came out to inform me. I was a little saucy by now, and really did not have the patience for the people that arrived or the strangers they brought along (they were not very nice people).
So, I went inside to where they were, and very calmly approached them. With a smile and a friendly tone, I go “hey, what’s up man?” To one of the strangers, and I dap him up. Then I say “do I know you from somewhere?” to which he responds “haha uhh na man.” Now, I drop the smile and friendly tone, look him dead in the eyes, and say “then get the f*** out of my house.” Worked like a charm.
50. No distractions
So, I’m gay. This was during high school. My three close friends and I were playing beer pong. One cup left on both sides. My straight male friend on the other team was lifting up his shirt to distract me and my female best friend. He said, “No homo” jokingly, and I replied “YES, homo” before sinking their last cup. That’s a story we always talk about several years later.
Not me, my husband . My husband was standing in line at the pharmacy and these two guys behind him were having a heated argument about diabetes medication. He turns around, holds up his hands and says “Hey. We prefer live-abetes.” He said they cracked up and stopped fighting.
52. Jury duty
I got called for jury duty about 15 years ago. During voir dire, the lawyers were asking the whole jury panel some broad questions, and then following up. One question they asked was about if anyone had studied law or law enforcement. I disclosed that I was briefly pre-law in college but decided not to go into the field. The attorney asked what changed my mind, and I said “I wasn’t comfortable with all the gray areas.” The judge and lawyers all chuckled. I ended up being the first person selected for the jury.
53. Missed flight
Was new to a job working as a check in agent for an airline when I had a guest arrive after we had closed check in. I proceeded to ask them if they were travelling to Melbourne, when they said they were, without really thinking I replied with not anymore you’re not.
54. Workplace taunt
When I was around 4 or 5 I went to work with my dad for the day just to hang out with him, and I naturally brought my favourite stuffed animal of the time. He kept me occupied and having fun my shredding old papers. One of his employees (I have since started to work at the company and am good friends with him) walks in and says “hey why don’t we shred your stuffed animal?”
I, without skipping a beat, immediately responded “why don’t we shred your paycheck?” This story is told a lot.
55. Stirring up drama
My ex-husband’s new wife was constantly causing me grief. Her game was to pit her kids against mine, which then got me heated; I would then call my ex and a fight would ensue. Once I figured out she was doing it all for attention I finally said to her “B****, you just like to stir up drama, but I refuse to be your spoon.” My former husband eventually got sick of it too, and now he has two ex-wives.
56. Trading insults
Not me, but my little sister. 4th grade, she was in PE and her teacher told her she’d be so pretty if she lost some weight. She fired back “You’d be so pretty if you weren’t such a b****”. She got suspended but totally worth it. Took her for ice cream after I picked her up (folks were working).
57. Standing up for yourself
In high school, can’t remember the exact details but a couple of older girls that loved bullying me decided to start picking on me in front of my whole class at break time. I’d argued/fought back a little and was walking away when one of them chirped ‘you shouldn’t frown so much your face will get stuck like that’ and I replied without thinking ‘is that what happened to yours Amanda?!’
58. Calling the police
I work in a CA State building. Customer comes in and starts cussing out a coworker. I stand up and say “Sir, We’re trying to help you, but if you insist on using that kind of language you’ll need to leave or we’ll be more than happy to call CHP [California Highway Patrol] for you.” He retorted, “and what are they gonna do?” [I replied,] “I don’t know but we can call and find out together.”
59. Older bullies
When I was 15 some 18 year old thug like girls used to cause trouble around the shops. As I walked past one day I glanced their direction and one of the girls shouted ‘OI, what the f*** do you think you’re looking at!’. I stopped, looked her up and down and said ‘no idea, but it’s looking straight back’. It went down as well as you can imagine.
60. Empty threat
I work retail. I’m 6’2”. We all know customers get pissed at nothing. I had a customer (maybe 5’6” tall male)that was livid because we asked to hold his backpack at the front while he shopped. He pretty much called me every name he could think of & finally threw out the obligatory…”I’m going to kick your f***ing a**!” I calmly looked at him and said “I have daughters bigger than you. I’m not scared.” He pretty much had to walk out because the 2 ladies in my line were laughing too hard.
61. Towel boy
“Sorry towel boy”, I said to a 12 year old with a towel around his waist and his family. They were trying to get on a full elevator at a hotel I was staying at.
62. A proposal
When I was going to propose to my wife it was 4th of July exactly two years from the night we met. We were sitting on the beach watching fireworks and holding hands. I had no idea what to say but I knew the time was right to reach into my backpack and grab the ring. When I let go of her hand she asked “why won’t you give me your hand?”
Without thinking I reached into the bag and responded “because I want to give you my life..” I got on one knee and proposed as my head spun because of how perfect that sounded coming out of my dumb mouth. It sounds kind of cheesy but I’m happy I said it every day.
63. Irresponsible brain
When I did my military service, we were ordered to do some warm-up exercises to prepare for some heavy lifting. I’m not the most limber person, and the infantry captain in charge spotted that and yelled at me: “Gonzo! Have you swallowed a crowbar?” The irresponsible part of my brain replied loud and clear: “No, captain! Has one gone missing from the garage?”
The time it took until he started laughing was probably the longest five seconds in my life.
64. Subtle hint
As a 19 year old college student I was cornered by an older, kind of gross, guy in a liquor store who actually asked me “Where have you been all my life?” to which I replied “Well I wasn’t alive for the first half of it.” Lucky for me, I was with my roommate’s 6 foot tall, tough looking boyfriend or my body would probably be buried in the woods somewhere.
65. Out of patience
Role Reversal: I was at a gas station and this grumpy old man behind me rudely told me to hurry up. So I said “patience is a virtue” and he said “patients are in hospitals”. I left after that.
66. Persuasive technique
Back in my younger years when attending interviews one interviewer asked me one of those questions/scenarios where they’ll analyse your response to judge your character. They asked me. “You’re at the cinema and all your friends want to see a film you’ve already seen, how do you convince them to watch the film you want to see instead”?
I instantly answered: “I’d tell them how their film ends” Judging by her reaction I was the first person she’d heard this answer from.
I didn’t get the job lol.
67. We were young once
I was 13 and a little s***… and my Dad, trying to be sympathetic with whatever minimally inconvenient bulls*** my fragile little snowflake ego was upset about that time, said “Son, look we get it. Your mother and I were teenagers once too.” I cut him off with: “Yeah, but you’ve never been parents before, and you suck at it.”
Not me but my partner. For some context, my aunt is a bit pretentious and condescending at times, although (I think) unintentionally. She was going on about how we (humans), are “odd”, and began talking about how we are the only mammals that consume another mammal’s milk and says “it’s pretty gross how we drink another mammal’s milk, no other mammal does that.”
And my partner looks at her, straight-faced and slightly annoyed, and says, “Yeah, well we’re also the only ones who wipe our own asses properly.” He still doesn’t stop talking about it.
69. Book project
We were doing a group project on a book that I didn’t read. Our professor stepped out so it was just the class. Someone brought up something that happened in the book, and my friend who said he read it, “Wait did that really happen?” And I said “You would know if you read it.”
At work, when in a somewhat heated discussion of why things kept going wrong at a small company. Upper management said something to the effect ‘why does xyz keep happening, it’s idiot proof’ and I replied “we need to stop hiring new idiots to test if that’s true”
71. Festival encounter
The first day camping at a 2016 music festival, I headed off with a 4-gallon jug to get water. A girl who was with our group, who I’d never met before, asked if I needed help. I responded, “No—but I’d sure love some company.” We’re getting married this fall.
72. Doing nothing
I’m a teacher, and I use this one. Kids don’t think when they’re being defiant, they just want to disagree with you. “Hey! What are you doing over there?” “Nothinngggggguh!” “And therein lies the problem. Get your book out, please.”
73. Interfering public
I was pretty young, maybe 7 or 8, and we were helping to dig trenches to install sprinklers at the sports complex our community uses. My dad left me to dig a line, showed me how to do it, how wide it needed to be how deep he wanted it and so I started digging. I’m minding my own business doing what I was told when this lady, by today’s standards, clearly a Karen, walking by with a stroller says, “Little boy you need to put that shovel down.”
I was infuriated because even at that age I knew she was wrong to tell me that. I said “b**** please” and just kept on digging. Her jaw hit the cement and she went and talked to my dad who was another 100 yards out of her way. He effectively told her the same thing.
74. The greatest check-up
I was at a clinic getting a prescription for truvada, which is just preventative HIV meds. They have to test you for STDs before they write the prescription so when he was done I said “now that you know I’m clean, how about we get a drink sometime?” We’ve been dating for over a year now.
75. Cool kid
Not me, but my three year old son, who is way cooler than I ever was or will be… One time he comes up to me holding the tv remote and says: Him: Dad, can I play with the remote? Me: No. Him: But I want to play with the remote! Me: Well, the remote is not a toy. Him (walking away with the remote): Well, that’s too bad.
“There’s no way you’re this much of an a**hole naturally, you must go home and practice.” I said this to a coworker who was throwing a fit and bullying a quieter coworker because he was pissed off. He had a habit of just being a giant douche anytime things didn’t go his way. This comment pissed him off so much he just stormed into his office and stayed there the rest of the day (win for the rest of us).
77. Band camp sass
During Band Camp in high school (yes, yes, I know, band camp jokes, etc) our director was pissed about something or other, and told the whole band to put down their instruments and run to the far field and back. (This was a very large parking lot, approximate round trip was 300 yards). One of the flute players quietly – but audibly – says to her fellows “Ugh, I’m allergic to running…” I overheard and very loudly replied “And I’m allergic to bulls***, now shut up and run!”.
I have been told that a line similar to this was in a movie or a stand up routine or something. At the time that I said it, it was entirely spontaneous, and I had never heard it before.
Had our inspector at work, who is quite the attractive female, ask for help by saying “are you available?” “Sorry to disappoint but I’m married,” [I replied]. She buckled over in laughter and turned beet red.
79. Serial killer
I was meeting my wife’s family for the first time. Her aunt introduced herself and then immediately afterward said, “You look like a serial killer.” Without missing a beat I said, “What’s the odds we’re both serial killers?” Her grandmother, who was the kinda like the matriarch of the family, was watching this whole exchange. She chimed in and said, “I like him.”
80. Potato feud
I was about 11 at a family gathering and people were mock arguing about who ate the last roast potato. It was kind of split between one side of the family and the other. I had seen that it was, in fact, my dad. So when I accused him of potato theft he asked who’s side I was on, to which I innocently and rather loudly declared “I’m on the side of the truth!”
81. Golf course hazards
I was on my high school cross country team and our coach was discussing the course for our regional race. We were concerned there would be holes and indents in the ground that might cause us to twist an ankle or make us fall. Our coach was trying to reassure us that there were zero holes in the course because it also happened to be a golf course and it was very well taken care of.
I, without hesitation, blurted out, “I’m sorry to interrupt coach, but I believe there are actually 18 holes!” Things went from very serious to a lot of laughing really quick.
82. Sibling squabbling
Reminds me of how my sister burned me once. We’re two years apart but get mistaken for twins pretty often. One day when we were 14/16 I asked her “Why do you look like a man?” To which she instantly responded “Well one of us had to!”
83. Taking sides
I entered my local shop in the middle of an old lady having a go at a shop worker. She had been refused service for being rude by another staff member earlier in the day and had came back, clearly, to vent her rage. 5-10 mins go by with her repeating herself and shouting over the worker and I had to go to the aisle it was happening in.
While I’m casually perusing my bread options, she screams “I’m a pensioner, I demand to be respected!” And looks at me with a sort of “Am I right or what?” gesture. I leaned in and said “Respect goes both ways darlin.” She stormed off and I’m now that “lovely” customer.
84. Keeping spirits up
Being of British background and recently arrived in North America, my vocabulary was a bit out of sync. A project at work went awry and the manager was feeling bad. We had a team meeting at which, in front of all my coworkers, I told him not to worry and keep his pecker up. In the UK that means chin. Apparently not here!
85. Skinny jeans
Back when you couldn’t buy men’s skinny jeans at the mall, I’d always buy girls jeans. I was walking down the street with a couple friends, when a car full of older kids slowed down. One of them shouts out the window “those look like my sister’s jeans”, I yelled back “What makes you think they’re not?” All his friends cackled at him as they drove off.
86. No cost too great
At work project management undercut and mismanaged a project so badly. They pushed getting minimum viable product out with the goal to roll out improvements later. Product released, they all patted themselves on the back and moved on. Then that minimum viable product broke. In a meeting we had with our directors about how it’s so broken, and the cost to fix it etc (no cost too big, unlimited manpower etc) I asked “how come we couldn’t afford to do it right, but we can afford to do it twice?”
87. Family fight
My uncles were b****ing about my dad so I walked into the conversation and told them it wasn’t polite to talk about people behind their backs. My uncle turned to me and said I shouldn’t interrupt when the men are speaking and completely out of character I replied “I don’t see any men in here” … boy did I get some s*** that day but that’s how I knew I won that exchange.
Forensic biology professor brings out a fresh human brain as a surprise to a stunned class. “You have no idea what I had to go through to get this.” “The skull?”
89. In stitches
I was 17 and split my eye (the skin where my eyebrow was) open playing football. I went to the ER and they explained I could wait in the regular ER or I could go to the pediatric ER since I was under 18 and probably have a shorter wait time. So I went to the children’s ER and was seen right away. The doctor told me he doesn’t get patients very often who are so calm during stitches as he usually deals with small children.
So he’s stitching me up and asking about my injury and we’re having a back and forth conversation and he says “well you look like you went a few rounds with Mike Tyson” and I very quickly replied back “Oh god, are my ears f***ed up too?!” He stopped what he was doing and waited a moment and then I heard a soft stifled laugh and he said “word of advice, don’t make someone laugh when they’re holding a needle this close to your eye.”
90. Silent treatment[Aged 4], I had just woke up from anaesthesia after eye surgery. My mom asked me how I felt/how it went but I wouldn’t say anything — I just kept drinking orange juice and ignoring her. She then asked if I wouldn’t tell her, if I would tell my dad when we got home about it thinking maybe I’d talk to him. I said “I don’t think it’s any of your business” and then fell asleep. The nurse lost it I’m told.
Big burly former marine/mercenary from Iraq was back stateside, huge f***ing mountain of a man. We came to face each other in one of the narrow corridors of the office where one of us was gonna have to turn sideways. Neither of us turned, but we stopped. I’m 6’1 260 and he still towered over me. He was a nice guy, but still a little…”conditioned” I guess you could say or mentally unhinged. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “You feeling froggy?” It truly was like something out of a movie. Without blinking I replied, “You better jump.”
We both cracked up and turned sideways, while the office breathed a collective sigh of relief.
92. Good suggestion
During my divorce, my soon-to-be-ex was yelling at me about some bulls*** and closed with something along the lines of “Well then I guess you’ll just have to take all your money and like go hiking all the time!” Probably the worse finisher ever. I just gave her a confused look and said “That sounds genuinely great. I think I’ll do that!” and walked away. Not exactly a clever line on my part, but jeez what a softball.
93. Weirdly satisfying
I worked in cell phone sales for a few years and a woman came in with a fairly new flip phone (this was 2018 we just still sold them). She was complaining cause one of the sides of the screen was dangling off and said she didn’t do anything it just snapped, and demanded a new phone. I told her “that looks like physical damage and we don’t have any coverage for that since you didn’t buy a phone protection warranty.”
She insisted it wasn’t physical damage and the phone just sucks and broke itself. She started freaking out and calling me all kinds of names and swinging her phone in my face and then the top half of the phone LITERALLY snapped off and landed on the counter in front of me. I just looked her in the eyes and said: “Well that was definitely physical damage.” She lost her s*** at my comment and it was weirdly satisfying.
94. The final straw
A couple months ago, my (now ex) friend was telling me all the things that were “wrong” with me, and she finished it with “…and at least I don’t have to wear makeup to look pretty.” I was so fed up with her s***, so I responded, “At least I am capable of looking pretty.” She was speechless and I felt like such a badass because this was the first time I ever stood up to her.
95. Passive aggression
I was accused of being passive-aggressive. I replied “Which part sounded passive? I don’t ever want to come across as passive.”
96. Barber brawl
The best one I’ve heard from this is “I recently went from passively ignoring you to aggressively disliking you, so maybe that’s what you’re picking up on.” It was something my barber said to his boss.
97. Locked out
Back in high school I was a slow fat kid, for PE we’d, jog about a km to the beach, have a swimming lesson then jog back, I was the last one back to the school grounds ant the teacher was standing at the gate, he told me that cause I was too slow he was going to lock the gate and I’d have to jog to the next one 200m away.
I said that I’d consider him locking me out of school grounds to be a suspension and just go home. He let me in straight away, kinda wished he’d tried calling my bluff so I could have followed through and just gone home.
98. Low enthusiasm
I work in a general store. One time a customer asked me if we sell balloons. Right next to me there were about 5 or 6 balloons already blown up. I just silently turned to the balloons, then back to the customer. “I guess.”
99. Browsing the books
I once went into a Barnes and Noble in High school and had to get one of those “high school classic” books for AP Literature. You know the ones, the ones of a higher standard, that everybody reads in their formative years. Great Gatsby, Grapes of Wrath, Scarlet Letter types. I walked in the door and saw this store was big and I just needed to be pointed in the right direction. So the greeter asked me “How can I help you?”
And I said “Can you point me towards the literature?” And the kid was like “it’s a book store. It’s all literature.” And that was the point in my life I felt the stupidest.
100. Sharp wit
[This] happened to an old drama student friend of mine! There were a selection of set scenes so we were all aware of the plot and lines for each as we’d see multiple versions acted out. In our final practical, with the camera rolling and the examiner sat at the front, my friend, mid scene, accidently snapped his prop, a bamboo cane (His character was elderly). We all gasped in the audience, for the prop was vital for the scene. When he shocks us all with his quick thinking.
Looks at the cane, then swings it fiercely “AHA! As sharp as my wit!” It was perfectly timed and completely in character and we all lost it.