50 Times Famous People Shared Brilliant Comebacks That Definitely Left A Burn
With the joys of social media, we also get a chance to glimpse into the glamorous celebrity life. In mere seconds, pop culture connoisseurs can briefly scroll through A-listers' thoughts and discover some entertaining details. But if there’s one thing we love even more, it’s finding the most satisfying clapbacks to insults or unwelcome remarks.
After all, for every starstruck fan, there are at least two keyboard warriors who spew negativity only to stir some more drama into the pot. Whether they try (and fail!) to show off their wittiness or forget that behind every star lies an actual human being, some people almost beg to be put in their place. And the whole world gets to watch it happen.
Let’s give a round of applause for the scathing tweets and sizzling burns from celebrities that left some seriously bruised egos, shall we? Our team here at Bored Panda has scoured Twitter to bring the most razor-sharp snapbacks ever composed in 280 characters. So grab your popcorn and pull your chair closer because we’re about to uncover some of the best and wildest cases. Keep reading to also find an in-depth interview about fierce replies online with Deborah S. Bowen, Ph.D. Then be sure to upvote your favorite entries, and share what you think of them in the comments!
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There’s just something about celebrities that makes us inherently interested in the lives they lead. We feel fascinated by their talent, looks, and charisma, and can’t seem to stop talking about them. Especially when they involve themselves in some zesty drama online. After all, even when celebrities are adored by millions of fans worldwide, they often become subject to constant opinions from people they don’t even know. So no wonder many celebs, fed up with unwanted comments, sometimes fiercely snap back to defend themselves.
As you’re scrolling through this list, you can’t help but feel entertained by stars who seized the opportunity for a sweet comeback. But when social media experts often tell us it’s best to take the high road and ignore petty haters and their insults, is it really the right choice?
To learn more about how celebrities deal with criticism, as well as how to better handle the pouring negativity online, we reached out to Deborah S. Bowen, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of PR Instruction at the University of South Florida. "Every celebrity, no matter where on the alphabet list they fall, is under constant pressure to maintain a particular public image that aligns with that celeb's brand," she told Bored Panda.
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"Much of the time, high-level celebs do rely on guidance from a PR rep, but a human brand is a human first. Living under a social microscope can certainly result in very intense human reactions to emotionally-charged situations," the professor explained.
However, it’s important to remember that these superstars are regular people who also make mistakes. "There's no template for handling a human being, so while any response would do well to be executed thoughtfully and strategically, the next-best thing would be to assess the situation objectively and figure out how to proceed in resolving the situation in a way that not only repairs the brand but also serves as a positive example to the public," Bowen said.
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But as it turns out, we seek celebrity hearsay because our brains are almost wired to be intrigued by it. How we process it, however, depends on the type of gossip. One study found that people were happier to hear positive tattle and more annoyed to hear negative talk about themselves than about celebrities and best friends. And although their personal ratings suggested they weren’t particularly happy to hear negative gossip about celebs, "the significantly enhanced neural activity in the reward system suggested that they were indeed amused."
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When asked Bowen’s opinion about this desire to seek drama happening online, she told us we absolutely enjoy devouring it. "If we didn't, as social creatures, love a little bit of drama, think of how little content we'd find on streaming platforms!"
"No one is immune to the draw; I succumbed to learning all about a particular rivalry on 'Beauty YouTube' a couple of summers ago, and spent hours down biographical rabbit holes, searching for exposition because the best drama has backstory," she continued.
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According to Bowen, we adore seeing some spicy action on social media because it fills important narrative needs for us. "And maybe a little Schadenfreude, too," she added, mentioning the German word that describes the pleasure we get from witnessing someone's misfortune.
"The parasocial relationships we cultivate with our celebrity favorites online also give us an interest. Finally, this is confrontational adrenaline or dopamine that doesn't involve you. That's the best kind of intrigue: somebody else's!"
But social media users, whether celebrities or general folk, can find other ways to tackle internet haters and bullies other than responding with the sauciest clapbacks they can think of. "The phrase that's thrown around Twitter is 'don't feed the trolls!', and that's my philosophy," Bowen told us.
"Have I been 'put on blast' for my opinions? Of course I have; I'm a person interacting with strangers on a social platform. But unless you want to get into what used to be called a 'flame war' with someone who is likely inconsequential in your life, take a deep breath and keep on scrolling. Don't feed that troll!"
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If you want to avoid being bombarded with hateful tweets and messages, as well as bring some ease into the social media chaos, the professor offered a few suggestions. "'Mute' and 'Block' are great tools to use with abandon, too. They give you the ability to temporarily mute or completely block people, topics, keywords, and so on. Take some of the tools that are available in any number of apps and use them to build a platform experience that works best for your style of online interaction."
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"The best kind of organic social media interactions, I find, result from one of the parties attempting to make a connection ("hey, you know So-and-So?" or "I grew up right near you!") or joining in a conversation as a positive contributor. Then, authentic debate might happen in a potentially productive way. Being a good steward of your little chunk of social media might make you feel like a hall monitor at times, but it also probably makes you a happier social media user," Professor Bowen concluded.