A perfect comeback — a flawlessly orchestrated bon mot — has a few characteristics that we can all acknowledge: great wit, impeccable timing and a natural quality that allows it to be an immediate reaction. Bring all of these things into your brew, and you’ll have a truly sizzling burn.

In search of some of the best exemplars of this fine art, one person recently took to AskReddit and ask people what some of the most memorable comebacks were that they had ever heard in their lives.

The thread received thousands of replies. Here are just a few piquant selections from it.

Some Sick Burns

  1. One Redditor told a story from when he was at work. A man told one of his female coworkers that she was so ugly that the only thing she could turn on was a hose.

Without skipping a beat, the witty woman fired back that at least when she turned something on, it actually got wet.

  1. This next story comes from a Walmart. One night, at a Walmart branch, for reasons that are unclear, someone decided to start annoying shoppers by suddenly yelling out that he wasn’t ashamed of who he was. One miffed shopper immediately launched back this beauty: “That’s your parents’ job!”

  2. One person told the story of an argument that took place between her mother and brother, which serves as a textbook instance of how to dig your own grave. In a fury, the mother called him a son of bitch, and he immediately replaced, “Yeah, I am.”

  3. Another suggestion comes from the movie “Aliens.”


At one point, a male private asks a somewhat butch-looking woman, “Have you ever been mistaken for a man?” She shoots him a look and immediately replies, “No. Have you?”

  1. Over at the Scottish games, one Redditor heard a devastating comeback. Seeking to mock one of the kilt-wearing performers there, a man asked, “What do you wear under that skirt?” The performer simply nuked him from orbit when he replied, “Your mother’s lipstick.” Even the man’s own buddies started to laugh at him for his foolishness in challenging the witty Scotsman.