Have you ever thought of the best comeback only after it was too late? Right before bed, while taking a shower or standing in an elevator, you get your light-bulb moment: “Ahh, why didn't I think of it before?” The French even came up with a term for that, l'esprit de l'escalier—the spirit of the staircase—and it means that the perfect retort arises only when it doesn't matter anymore.

However, this does not apply to everyone. A select few have the superpower of coming up with snappy one-liners on the spot, and the r/CleverComebacks subreddit is the site to go for these legendary comments. As the moderators put it, “If someone just got shown up, this is the place to post it.“

So make sure to scroll down and upvote your favorite retorts! And if you can't get enough of snappy comebacks, make sure to check out Bored Panda's previous posts here, here and here.

#1

He Was Asking For It!

He Was Asking For It!

LittleJohnny_nutter Report

A B C
Community Member
2 months ago

What a prick. I'm against violence, but that idiot was screaming for it.

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If you'd like to share a post on the “Clever Comebacks“ subreddit page, there's a few rules you need to follow. Firstly, you should know what a witty comment is. According to the moderators, it's “responses to someone that, for lack of a better word, roasts them.” Also, baseless insults, tasteless jokes, “no, u” style replies are what they call garbage content, and nobody likes them.

When you think about it, the only obvious goal when trying to think of a snappy comeback is to get a good laugh and share your original thought. And the same applies to real-life situations. If you hate those awkward moments when your friends or coworkers throw you a snide comment and everything that comes to your mind just sounds lame, don't worry. In real life, not many people can be as clever as Dr. House or Chandler Bing, but there's a few ways you can improve your reactions and become wittier.

#2

Bless This Woman

Bless This Woman

sp0okygorl Report

Aiyanna Clements
Community Member
2 months ago

Bless her indeed

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One of the things that could make you better is the world of improv acting. When it comes to showing your wit, timing is everything. The reply should be as spontaneous as the words that took you by surprise. One way of improving would be to become a better active listener. As Abigail Paul, workshop facilitator and training developer, told the BBC, “people think faster than others speak, giving the listener “extra time“ to compose an answer, even while they give the appearance of still listening to what the other person is saying.”

Come to think of it, there have been many times when we already wanted to share an idea with the person who's not yet finished talking. “Most of us don't listen to the whole message,” Paul said, “we are just waiting to make our own points.” So if you want to whip out snappy remarks, you should actively listen to what the other person is saying and use the unexpected material she or he gave you.

#3

Not Be A Baby Machine

Not Be A Baby Machine

lucynyu13 Report

A B C
Community Member
2 months ago

"the transformed wife"? "godly womanhood"? Gosh, that lady is so brainwashed, it's sparkling inside her head.

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#4

It Was Social Distancing Haha

It Was Social Distancing Haha

BelleAriel Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
2 months ago

Clearly this person got their prehistoric knowledge from watching The Flintstones.

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Sometimes, when we receive a biting remark, we might feel offended. Belina Raffy, a business improvisation consultant, said that negative comments usually come from a place of insecurity. So when it comes to your coworker who constantly tosses you rude remarks, remember that responding positively might ease the pressure and keep projects going smoothly. ”Positive witty comments build trust among colleagues, bosses and subordinates, and they can turn a formerly harsh environment into an accepting one,” Raffy said.

#5

Oof. That Burn Needs Some Love

Oof. That Burn Needs Some Love

BelleAriel Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
2 months ago

*opens a GoFundMe for aloe vera purchases at Walgreens*

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#6

Someone Needs A Refresher On Anatomy

Someone Needs A Refresher On Anatomy

Firethorn101 Report

Otter
Community Member
2 months ago

So THAT'S how his wife explained all those kids, even if he never had sex with her while awake!

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Another great tip would be silencing your inner critic: “It’s about letting go of the need to judge ourselves,” Raffy explains. You should try saying what's on your mind without thinking about it. In improv theater, actors try to let go of their inner voice and give in to their “deepest fantasies” in order to say something spontaneous that they would never say in real life.

#7

That's A Good Proof

That's A Good Proof

ekmadeye Report

GoodWolf
Community Member
2 months ago

Fool.

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#8

It Is Funny But True

It Is Funny But True

johnmory Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

check which one is magnetic

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#9

Yep May Be It Is True

Yep May Be It Is True

johnmory Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
2 months ago

It's not illegal to seek asylum. Also, documented immigrants have lower rates of committing violent, property, or drug crimes than native-born citizens. Undocumented immigrants have rates even lower than them. The anti-immigrant, xenophobic fear-mongering that happens here is ridiculous and repulsive. Here's the research if anyone needs to educate friends or family: https://www.pnas.org/content/117/51/32340

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Let's not forget the brands that make clever comebacks a key part of their communication with customers. One obvious example is the fast-food chain Wendy's and their made-up social media holiday—National Roast Day. Their communications team does not hold back when it comes to witty replies in their social channels. The question is, do the customers actually value it?

#10

Whatever Your Weakness, There's A Hellion To Exploit It

Whatever Your Weakness, There's A Hellion To Exploit It

free-whitebird Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

do you think Jeff has anymore d*** rockets? I need to get off this planet, permanently

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#11

Elon Musk Gets Destroyed By Facts And Logic

Elon Musk Gets Destroyed By Facts And Logic

ZaackHunt Report

Thundernight
Community Member
2 months ago

Space doesn't represent hope for me though-

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#12

Simple Math To Hard

Simple Math To Hard

uncle_russell_90 Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
2 months ago

Well, math isn’t his strong suit

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A survey by Sprout Social suggests that such responses are actually not appreciated by customers. Brand personality should connect your product to its consumers but as it turns out, that's not always the case. Sprout surveyed 1,000 consumers on which traits they want brands to share on social media and what action behaviors like humor or friendliness cause.

#13

True Perfection Has Been Achieved

True Perfection Has Been Achieved

ekiechi Report

Penelope
Community Member
2 months ago

This made me truly laugh out loud. Well done!

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#14

Old But Gold

Old But Gold

Y_Z_P Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

i'm a white straight man in my mid 40s ... i just can't stand these childish intolerant dishonest selfish ignorant people who try to play the victim to silence oppressed people who just fight to finally earn the respect they deserve !! STFU Katie

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#15

Accessible Parking, But Only During Office Hours

Accessible Parking, But Only During Office Hours

LMF5000 Report

Lyone Fein
Community Member
2 months ago

Daniel clearly has some disabilities of his own.

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It seems that “three-quarters of consumers surveyed believe there’s value in brands exhibiting humor on social but only one-third actually want brands to bring on the snark full force.” The majority of consumers buy from brands that are honest, helpful and friendly. “It turns out that at the end of the day, consumers want brands to use social as a customer care channel”, Sprout explains. So while this kind of risky brand personality offers you a great deal of exposure, it seems that it's actually bad for business.

#16

I Swear It Was On

I Swear It Was On

lucynyu13 Report

Lyone Fein
Community Member
2 months ago

Nuf said

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#17

Jesus Statues vs. Police State

Jesus Statues vs. Police State

Pleasant-Force Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

Matt needs a Schlapp in his face.

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#18

Finnally A Manager Making A Comeback

Finnally A Manager Making A Comeback

KiRiT000000 Report

simpsonsfan888
Community Member
2 months ago

give the cashier a raise

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Lastly, for a clever comeback to be considered great, it has to be honest. "The best retorts speak truth — when a person calls something that the other people didn't see," said Paul. "That's generally what makes us laugh." So if you think of a clever comeback that's piercingly accurate and say it right there on the spot, you feel absolutely great because you know that you've earned it.

#19

Found This While Browsing Instead Of Sleeping

Found This While Browsing Instead Of Sleeping

vermbraunt Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
2 months ago

Ouch! Classical Greek burn. I take my hat off to you good sir! 🎩

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#20

Would You Like Some Whine With That?

Would You Like Some Whine With That?

BelleAriel Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

Waaahaha, what a great answer. Wright got it right !

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#21

F*cking Sheep

F*cking Sheep

DaFunkJunkie Report

A B C
Community Member
2 months ago

Poor sheep.

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#22

He Makes A Good Point

He Makes A Good Point

Sadlysoul Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

every year in the US almost half of national pregnancies are unintended (98 per 1000 women are pregnant every year / 45 of these pregnancies are unintended or unwanted)... 76% of american schools teach abstinence and god are the best answer against pregnancy and STDs ... looks like it works very well !!

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#23

English Unchanged

English Unchanged

ComfortableNobody457 Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
2 months ago

This needs to fly higher.

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#24

Technically He Spoke Genders Into Existence Because By His Very Word He Can Create

Technically He Spoke Genders Into Existence Because By His Very Word He Can Create

johnmory Report

Stefan
Community Member
2 months ago

I can imagine Darwin spitting his tea reading this.

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#25

I Prayed For Help And God Sent Doctors With The Vaccine, I Said "No Thanks, I'm Waiting For God To Help Me"

I Prayed For Help And God Sent Doctors With The Vaccine, I Said "No Thanks, I'm Waiting For God To Help Me"

ChrisMMatthews Report

simpsonsfan888
Community Member
2 months ago

today on anti-vaxxers get what they deserve:

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#26

One For The Burn Ward

One For The Burn Ward

My_Memes_Will_Cure_U Report

Fred L.
Community Member
2 months ago

A real shame; she has become such a nutcase.

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#27

Mindy Kaling Shuttin’ ‘Em Down

Mindy Kaling Shuttin’ ‘Em Down

needmemes Report

Jess Thompson
Community Member
2 months ago

Mindy kalig is a highly underestimated genius

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#28

Not Sure What Is The Objective Is Here?

Not Sure What Is The Objective Is Here?

BelleAriel Report

simpsonsfan888
Community Member
2 months ago

why pick on socialism? its a good system, better than capitalism

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#29

Nasa Is Untrustworthy

Nasa Is Untrustworthy

EstablishmentEast922 Report

simpsonsfan888
Community Member
2 months ago

idiot

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#30

It Really Is The Churches Motto Tho

It Really Is The Churches Motto Tho

Adorable_Document665 Report

GoodWolf
Community Member
2 months ago

Really? A pastor saying "show up acting stupid and find out if we have guns"?? WTF and I'm not even religious

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#31

She Seems So Dumb

She Seems So Dumb

prabhjyoth Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

I'll pay 38 dollars for a burrito if it means someone is able to pay their bills

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#32

The Real Deal

The Real Deal

BelleAriel Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

even if he stays out of the emergency room (which he should) he'll still impact others, either by transmitting the disease to the vulnerable or to spread misinformation.

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#33

I'm Not A Gamer For Nothing

I'm Not A Gamer For Nothing

Reasyx_ Report

Little Wonder
Community Member
2 months ago

Also video games are fun, and there's no age limit on fun.

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#34

Why Do Some People Want Others To Have It Bad Cruz They Had ? Hope This Isn't Already Here

Why Do Some People Want Others To Have It Bad Cruz They Had ? Hope This Isn't Already Here

Ghanima81 Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

why is there such a big obsession with the military, I mean killing others or getting yourself killed is hardly a good thing

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#35

Look I Made A Joke

Look I Made A Joke

BelleAriel Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

you can't spell stupid without u, except this probably isn't a coincidence

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#36

Does Jlo Have A Reply To That?

Does Jlo Have A Reply To That?

drrhodium Report

Little Wonder
Community Member
2 months ago

Well. That's.. certainly an opinion.

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#37

In 1919 And 1920, At The Very Start Of His Career, Tolkien Worked On The Staff Of The Oxford English Dictionary; He Later Said Of This Time That He “.. Learned More In Those Two Years Than In Any Other Equal Period Of My Life”

In 1919 And 1920, At The Very Start Of His Career, Tolkien Worked On The Staff Of The Oxford English Dictionary; He Later Said Of This Time That He “.. Learned More In Those Two Years Than In Any Other Equal Period Of My Life”

TheDuhDuhMan Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
2 months ago

I though dwarfs was a verb

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#38

It Works Both Ways!

It Works Both Ways!

TelesticWarriorr Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

honestly pack your bags and leave, save your husband the trouble

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#39

He Wants The Ring Please

He Wants The Ring Please

ameece24 Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
2 months ago

You can slide off a door into oblivion, too.

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#40

Don’t Mistake Empathy For Weaknesses

Don’t Mistake Empathy For Weaknesses

BelleAriel Report

beastmachine.
Community Member
2 months ago

I am pretty sure he didn't get who his father's son is...

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#41

Getting Schooled

Getting Schooled

DaFunkJunkie Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

how do people who barely managed a high school degree get into parliament?

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#42

Fake Incest Go!

Fake Incest Go!

ViperSniper1550 Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

sweet home Alabama...

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#43

State Representative Got Owned!

State Representative Got Owned!

DeFoerest Report

Tamra Stiffler
Community Member
2 months ago

It disgusts me to my core when adults use children to further their political or personal ideology.

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#44

We Need No Masks Because Viruses Are Not Real

We Need No Masks Because Viruses Are Not Real

suchetan Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago

once again ... 76% of schools in the US teach that abstinence is the only way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs ... and STD rates in the US are waaayyyyyy higher than in Europe ... no comment

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#45

Not Sure If This Has Been Posted Here Yet, Sorry If It Has Been

Not Sure If This Has Been Posted Here Yet, Sorry If It Has Been

The_Great_Pancake Report

Susie Elle
Community Member
2 months ago

I don't understand how forcing existing characters to be queer is a sign of inclusion. To me that's like making a Jane Bond and giving yourself a pat on the shoulder for being so inclusive.

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#46

Miss Independent!

Miss Independent!

nursbear Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

Why would a woman want this. Don't we want jobs, freedom, free health care, safety, abortions, independance?

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#47

From A Religiously-Charged Argument About Letting In Afghan Refugees

From A Religiously-Charged Argument About Letting In Afghan Refugees

professorearl Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
2 months ago

I love when these people are beaten by their own "holy book"

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#48

In Your Face Jake

In Your Face Jake

randomkid_2008 Report

Susan Bosse
Community Member
2 months ago

How some of these people get famous is beyond me. He and his brother are so disgusting and deplorable. And apparently more stupid than I could have ever possibly imagined.

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#49

"I Got A Boyfriend"

"I Got A Boyfriend"

jonathan20771 Report

I'm-just-bored-okay?
Community Member
2 months ago

I hope she's not too broke because she's gonna need a whole lot of money to treat that sick.....Burn!! ...yeah....wow...that was.... terrible....hahaa...pls laugh....

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#50

You’re Not Wrong...

You’re Not Wrong...

BelleAriel Report

Jess Thompson
Community Member
2 months ago

My body is a body.

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