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Alice, Bob and Charlie are chatting together, and Charlie viciously launches an insult at Bob; but Bob, Master of Missing The Point, fires back, "I won't let you insult Alice like that!"

Not to be confused with Insult Backfire. Compare Insult Friendly Fire.

Examples of Insult Misfire include:

Anime and Manga

  • In one episode of Koihime Musou, someone insults Rin Rin by calling her flat-chested. Her response is to demand that they apologize to Shuri immediately.


 Peter: I guess there's an idiot born every minute.

Jason: Don't call my future customers idiots.

Peter: I wasn't referring to your customers.

  • My Cage: Jeff fails to realize that Rex was calling him "clammy".
  • This Garfield Strip.
    • To be fair, Garfield should be right. Why would someone assume that a fat cat is a weasel? Surely, it's more likely that they are viewing the skinny cat as a fat weasel?
    • Also this one.
  • In Baby Blues, Zoe asked her mom, Wanda, to help her confront a bully in her grade. The bully said, "Good morning, stupid." When Wanda told her not to talk to Zoe that way, she replied, "I wasn't."
  • In the third Adam Warren miniseries of the Dirty Pair, we find perhaps the ultimate misfired insult. Kei's just had an exotic weapon snatched from her hand by a man who fears she'll set it off. "Set it off? Do I look as decerebrate as one of your KalSec morons!?" she demands of him. "Actually, no! We have standards for our morons!" he replies, and probably realizes a few moments later what he's just actually said.


 Joker: (To Vicky) "It's as though we were made for each other. Beauty and The Beast. Of course, if anyone else calls you Beast, I'll rip their lungs out."

 Lord Farquaad: What is THAT? Ugh, it's hideous!

Shrek: Oh, that's not very nice... It's just a donkey.

  • In the film Shallow Hal, two men snicker at Gwyneth Paltrow's character for being obese. Jack Black's character, who sees her as slender and beautiful, thinks the men are insulting him.
  • A variation from the Jose Ferrer version of Cyrano De Bergerac:

 Vicomte de Valvert: [to Cyrano] Dolt! Insolent puppy! Jabbernowl!

Cyrano de Bergerac: [bowing, sarcastically] How do you do? And I - Cyrano Savinien Hercule de Bergerac!

  • Lucky did a Insult Misfire (although the term "Insult Backfire" would probably be more appropriate) when, along with an army of animals, guarding the hospital where Doctor Dolittle was operating on a very sick tiger when calling the Police a slang insult, which almost caused a certain group of animal to leave their post due to a misunderstanding until Lucky set them straight.

 Lucky: (to the Police) Pigs go Home! Pigs go Home!

(a literal Pig is attempting to walk away)

Lucky: Oh, no, not you. I was talking to the Police!

 Clu: The cycles haven't been kind, have they?

Flynn: Nah. You don't look so bad.

  • The Beverly Hillbillies: Miss Hathaway put on a disguise to rescue Granny. Later the two tried to return to Clampett Manor but were barred by a guard. Miss Hathaway asked the guard if he knew who he was talking to. Granny thought the part of a woman in a toupee was about her.


 Lily: Look at the three of you. Bursting with inefficient good intentions. The maiden, the mother and the crone.

Nanny Ogg: Who are you calling a maiden?

Magrat: Who are you calling a mother?

Granny Weatherwax: ...

    • Of course, it's only a misfire for Nanny Ogg and Magrat. Mistress Weatherwax is actually trying to be crone, so this is more of an Insult Backfire, except that she's still insulted by the fact that someone has so little fear of her that they actually call her a crone.

Live Action TV

  • The Doctor Who episode "The Sontaran Stratagem".

 Rattigan: You're smarter than the usual UNIT grunt. I'll give you that.

Doctor: He called you a grunt. Don't call Ross a grunt. He's nice. We like Ross.

  • In the That 70s Show episode "Eric's Hot Cousin", where Donna and Jackie are talking about the title character:

 Donna: I never liked her. You know, once when we were little she bit me, so I bit her back. And then she said, "Truce", so I said, "Okay". And then she bit me again... Whore.

Jackie: (insulted) Slut!

 Beakman: Here's some CO2 and some air. Like Phoebe and Lester, one is much denser than the other.

Lester [to Phoebe]: He's got ya there!

  • Tosh.0: Daniel does this when responding to viewer mail.

 Viewer: "How does such an unfunny douche get his own show?"

Daniel: "Okay, that is not nice, Demetri Martin is a wonderful person."

  • El Chavo Del Ocho: In one episode, Don Ramon entered Professor Jirafales' class claiming he wanted to learn. (He just wanted a place where he'd be safe from Doña Florinda) When El Chavo first saw him there, he believed it was an old kid who looked like Don Ramon. When Don Ramon stated something like "I am, idiot!", El Chavo said they had even that in common.


 Director General: Who did that rotten, despicable, clever-dick, so-called quiz show, eh?

Jo Kendall: Oh, I quite like Twenty Questions.

Web Comics

  • In Darths and Droids, Pete says that Sally (who borders on Cloudcuckoolander at times) is in his "top forty percent" of people he believes should lead, as he doesn't like Ben and doesn't really respect Jim or Annie. Jim, missing the implied insult, then wonders aloud why Pete would rank Sally over himself.
  • In And Shine Heaven Now, when Jeeves insults the fangirls' choice of clothing, not only did he get an Insult Backfire from the ecstatic fangirls, he got a "Hey!" from an insulted Alucard, thinking he was talking about Alucard's pillbox hat.
  • Ansem Retort has one between Ansem, Sora, and Riku in the second panel here.

Web Original

 Kaiba: No offense Yugi, you're a great duelist and all, but your buddy there couldn't duel his way out of a paper bag.

Joey: That does it! No one talks about my friend Tristan that way!"

 Linkara: Let the wussy go!

The Nostalgia Critic: Hey, I will not let you talk about The Nostalgia Chick that way!

Western Animation

 Dr. Drakken: We've got a new team here. The genius and The lack wit!

Ron: (To Mr. Dr. P) Don't let him call you a lackwit!

  • In Futurama: "Into the Wild Green Yonder", Mr. Wong is talking to Fry in the presence of his daughter, Amy:

 Mr. Wong: Can I be brutally honest, Fry? I always wanted a son.

Fry: That hurt, but I can take it.

  • King of the Hill does this when Luanne realises she's become just like Hank regarding house rules. "Oh my god! I've become you!". Hank assumes she meant Bobby.
  • Code Monkeys does this when Noshi calls Todd a "fat homosexual with horn hat". Todd says that nobody talks to Black Steve that way.
  • Gummi Bears: "A Tree Grows In Dunwyn"

 Troll Leader: (Pointing at Tummi and Zummi) Take the fat one and the old one!

Tummi: Who are you calling old?

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