The 15 Best Insults And Comebacks In Movies, Ranked By Someone Who Involuntarily Cries When They Argue With People

Hello, my friends! It's everyone's favorite (???) BuzzFeed dot com writer/editor/phantom of the megaplex, Allie, back at it again with yet another ranking no one asked for or assigned to me!


In case you're new here: Hi! Hello! I like to rank random-yet-specific things for this site, so please check out my others if you enjoy this one! My other rankings include: Horror Movie Jump Scares21st-Century Fight ScenesUnderrated Disney SongsShocking Plot TwistsGory Scenes in Horror MoviesLove Declarations in Romantic MoviesMusical Moments in Non-Musical Movies, and most recently, Best First Kisses.

Anyway, I'm a Gemini and, to be honest, that's really all you need to know about me to contextualize why this post exists. In my humble opinion, there are few things more satisfying in a film than a good ol' fashioned comeback or a great insult thrown out by a character at the perfect moment. So, with that in mind, I decided to take it upon myself to round up and rank 15 of my personal favorites!

DreamWorks Pictures

The rules of this ranking are simple. No. Like, really, really simple: the comeback or insult has to be from a feature-length film. That's it. So, unfortunately, no TV shows! Sorry!

Paramount Pictures

And a couple of other quick lil' housekeeping things before we get started: First, these picks are, obviously, my own personal opinion! Still, you better believe I want to hear about all about the ones I missed, as well as your own picks in the comments below! And second, there are light SPOILERS AHEAD for literally every single one of these movies!

Ready? OK! Buckle up, buttheads — I mean...buttercups:

15."You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity." — Toy Story (1995)

Buzz Lightyear angrily pointing at Woody the Cowboy

Some Context: Woody, a cowboy doll, is losing his goddamn mind over the arrival of Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut doll. In a delightful bit of social commentary, the cowboy believes he's being replaced by the spaceman. Anyway, the main issue is that Buzz is unaware he's a toy at all, while Woody's unaware of the fact that he's losing his own goddamn mind. Somebody's poisoned the waterhole, indeed.

Why It's So Effective: It's the slow head shake paired with the condescending squint, mostly. I didn't know a toy could be such a jerk, yet here we are.

Buena Vista Pictures / ©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

14."Hey, O'Connell! Looks to me like I've got all the horses! / "Hey, Beni! Looks to me like you're on the wrong side of the river!" — The Mummy (1999)

Brendan Fraser in a Mummy's tomb, yelling

Some Context: In search of a long lost city of treasure in Egypt, a verifiable genius, her idiot brother, and the inventor of this TikTok-lookin' haircut get more than they bargained for when their cruise is cut short by a secret society dead-set on stopping them from getting there (and for good reason, as it turns out). After their boat sinks, a rival team on board with them (who're also searching for the city) get all the horses — but, no worries, because their directional skills are awful.

Why It's So Effective: This is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time, and, in my humble opinion, it's the best action/adventure movie ever made (second, perhaps, only to Raiders of the Lost Ark). For me, it's Brendan Fraser's delivery of the comeback that makes it so perfect. He could've simply said it, but instead, he added a little sassy-spice to the lines, just 'cause. No extra charge. We need more Brendan Fraser, now more than ever. I look forward to the Brendanaissance in 2022.

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

13.Charlie's "Big Nose" rebuttal — Roxanne (1987)

Steve Martin with a large nose screaming at a woman

Some Context: Charlie's nose is very large. A rude gentleman at a bar Charlie frequents is not very creative. Chaos ensues.

Why It's So Effective: You rarely see a good self-burn retooled to become a great burn-burn, and Steve Martin's is incredible here. This scene never gets old, and — as someone who's struggled with her weight her entire life — there are few things more relatable than thinking to yourself "...that's really the best you have?" when someone hits you with a basic, boring, obvious observation about your physical appearance. Like, come on! My terrible personality is RIGHT THERE!

Columbia Pictures / ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection / Via

Watch the sick burn(s) here:

12."Look, I think we got off on the wrong foot here." / "That's all you've got lady: two wrong feet in fucking ugly shoes." — Erin Brockovich (2000)

Julia Roberts studying legal documents at a desk

Some Context: An unemployed single mother defies the odds to become a legal assistant, though she's not taken seriously at first. For example, this lady with one of the tightest-pulled hair buns I've ever seen in my life doesn't believe she has all of the information they need memorized. Big mistake. Huge. I have to go shopping now. (Whoops, wrong movie.)

Why It's So Effective: While a great comeback or insult can absolutely be done without any swearing at all, it's hard to deny that there are few things better than a well-placed f-word to really drive home your point, and this one is an expert example!

Universal / ©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

11."You're tacky, and I hate you." — School of Rock (2003)

Jack Black instructing a classroom up at the blackboard

Some Context: In a plot on Mrs. Doubtfire levels of absurd, which — like the aforementioned film — would 110% result in a lengthy prison sentence if it occurred in real life, a rock-music-lovin' slacker pretends to be his roommate in order to land a substituting job at a private school, where he then attempts to form the ultimate rock band. In this scene, a child is absolutely done with this grown man and his terrible attitude.

Why It's So Effective: It's simple, effective, and true. This man is tacky, and, in that moment, this child does hate him. A+.

Paramount / ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

10."Look up 'idiot' in the dictionary. You know what you'll find?" / "A picture of me?" / "No, the definition of the word 'idiot,' which you fucking are!" — Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)

Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr pointing guns at something off screen

Some Context: Nineties Batman and Marvel's Iron Man don't get along so well as they set off on a whirlwind adventure filled with film-noir goodness. Sidenote: This movie also has one of the coolest titles of all time (kudos to Pauline Kael).

Why It's So Effective: It's the perfect subversion of a familiar childish comeback. It's like a Sesame Street episode as directed by Quentin Tarantino-level insult. If you didn't giggle the first time you heard this line, you're lying to yourself. (And I don't know why you keep doing that? Stop it! You're great!)

Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

9."You despise me, don't you?" / "Well, if I gave you any thought, I probably would." — Casablanca (1942)

Humphrey Bogart standing on a staircase, looking down

Some Context: Rick, a too-cool-for-you bar owner located in TITLE OF MOVIE, has little patience for the foolishness of others. Before there was Don Draper, there was Rick.

Why It's So Effective: It's so quick and so cold that it could easily be mistaken for an icicle hurdling down from the sky at your face. He doesn't even bother looking up when he says it! ICE COLD.

Warner Bros.

Watch the sick burn here:

8.Clark's "Jelly of the Month Club" rant — Christmas Vacation (1989)

Chevy Chase hiding behind a Christmas tree

Some Context: Clark Griswold believes he's getting a sizable bonus check for Christmas from his job — so much so that he's already spent the money on a down payment for an in-ground pool. However, in a moment that's relatable to anyone working for a major corporation, Clark is less-than-thrilled to learn his Christmas gift this year is instead a year-long subscription to the "Jelly of the Month Club." He cannot pay for his pool in jellies and jams, thus an incredible rant follows.

Why It's So Effective: Every second of this monologue is filled to the brim with pure "Uh oh, dad's about to lose it" energy. The bugged-eyes. The cardigan and goofy tie combo. The gently whispered, "It's's good" while main-lining egg nog right before the full-fledged freak-out begins. It's perfection. Also, any time I have a little mini-rant in real life to my family or friends, I like to punctuate it with, "Hallelujah, holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?!" It's a real crowd-pleaser.

Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

7."It's against the law to burn anything besides trash in your own yard, ma'am." / "It is trash." — Waiting to Exhale (1995)

Angela Bassett smoking a cigarette while watching a car burn

Some Context: A woman who's put her entire life on hold for the love of her husband discovers he's cheating on her. She then proceeds to collect all of his belongings, put them in his car, and burn all of it. A firefighter arrives at the scene to question her about the fire, wherein she assures him of its true contents.

Why It's So Effective: You'll see as you continue down this list that some of the best comebacks and insults of all time come from the lips of a tired woman finally taking back what's theirs. Absolutely any human being who's been cheated on (hi, hello, how are you) has fantasized about doing this, or something similar — although, it'd be impossible to do it looking as stunning as Angela Bassett.

(c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

Watch the sick burn* here:

6."Liam and me, we’re going to fuck you up." / "Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man." — The Big Lebowski (1998)

Jeff Bridges looking down while wearing sunglasses

Some Context: Liam and this guy are going to fuck The Dude and his friends up, man.

Why It's So Effective: While I'd like to imagine that I'm some cool, sexy, quick-witted movie character, if I'm being honest with myself and all of you, this is a lot closer to what a comeback from me would look like in real life. Heck, I'm only just now realizing I even kind of dress like The Dude...and I don't care for the Eagles, either... Uh, I'll be right back — I got to go make some changes.

© Gramercy Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

5.“By the way, there's a name for you ladies, but it isn’t used in high society...outside of a kennel.” — The Women (1939)

A group of gossiping women

Some Context: Joan Crawford and Joan Crawford's incredible eyebrows put a group of gossipin' gals in their place in the rudest-yet-classiest way possible.

Why It's So Effective: It's the most polite way anyone has ever called anyone else a "bitch" in all of cinematic history. That's all.

Loew's Inc. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

4."And go where, Sharon?!" / "To Hell. But, until then, I suggest maybe the Four Seasons." — Obsessed (2009)

Beyoncé talking on the phone while looking angry

Some Context: Clean-shaven Idris Elba is stalked by post-Final Destination Ali Larter, much to the dismay of Beyoncé. Yes, Beyoncé. Anyway, Beyoncé (yes, Beyoncé) believes Idris may have truly been cheating, and the two proceed to deliver my favorite couple-fighting-in-a-kitchen scene ever committed to film.

Why It's So Effective: BOY HOWDY, do I love everything about this very odd scene! The confusing amount of times Idris says "Sharon." The use of the word "prophylactics" instead of just saying "condoms." Beyoncé's (yes, Beyoncé's) black turtleneck. I have been waiting my whole life to quote this line to someone, and look forward to the moment an opportunity presents itself!

Screen Gems / ©Screen Gems/Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

3."I'll explain, and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog-faced buffoon." — The Princess Bride (1987)

Cary Elwes looking off into the distance

Some Context: A farm boy turned unlikely-but-legendary pirate leader does as he wishes by setting out to rescue the woman he loves from an arranged marriage to an unfortunately named king-to-be.

Why It's So Effective: COME ON, does this one really need any explanation? It's a classic! This man just had the literal life sucked out of him, and still manages to scare the holy heck out of his rival, all while laying down. He destroys him with nothing more than his cutting words, and that's what a great insult's all about. Also, we don't throw around the word "buffoon" enough anymore as a society.

© 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy / Via

Watch the sick burn here:

2."It's not my job to make you feel like a man. I can't make you something you're not." — Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Gemma Chan looking away from her onscreen husband, upset

Some Context: Another cheating husband gets owned on the list! This time, the husband attempts to place the blame on his wife's rich family alienating him, and thus driving him to cheat. The otherwise quiet wife finally stands up for herself in one of the simplest-yet-most-effective verbal slaps I've ever had the pleasure to witness.

Why It's So Effective: Similar to several entries that came before, it's all in Gemma Chan's delivery. She's restrained, but firm. It's the type of line you feel her character had been waiting years to say, and finally found the right moment to do so. I gasped. People literally clapped in my theater. Truly unforgettable.

© Warner Bros. Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn here:

1.And finally: The entire Rufio vs. Peter sequence — Hook (1991)

Dante Basco holding a sword between himself and Robin Williams

Some Context: Peter Pan grows up and completely forgets how to Peter Pan. Like, he's terrible at it. In his absence, a young man named Rufio has taken on the role, and — if I do say so myself — elevated it. The tension between the two culminates, and they get into it over dinner in a symphony of insults that are pure music to my, admittedly, immature ears.

Why It's So Effective: Y'all, I love Hook. Always have, always will. It's one of my only personality traits. This whole sequence is great. Rufio's unrelenting comebacks. Peter's quick switch from grown-up restraint to childlike chaos. Every single one of these insults are golden, even the "bad" ones. Like, this grown man calls a child a "near-sighted gynecologist!" Incredible! Also, the amount of times a week I say, " man! You stupid, stupid man!" in Rufio's exact inflection is absurd.

© TriStar Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Watch the sick burn(s) here:

There you have it! You've read my ranking, but what's YOURS? I want to hear all about YOUR favorite insults and comebacks from movies in the comments below because, as I say in all of these rankings, I do read all the comments (against the explicit advice of all of BuzzFeed's editors and, you know, mental health experts and stuff)!!!

Also, what would you like to see me rank next? Let me know in the comments below — or don't! It's your world; I'm just livin' in it! Until next time, my friends!