50 Moments When People Were Completely Crushed By Just One Punchline, As Told By This Dedicated “Rare Insults” Twitter Page (New Posts)
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end, you know a well-delivered insult can feel like a gift wrapped in poison. No one likes to be offended, after all, and whether that’s a proper way of ever interacting with someone is always up for debate. But in some rare instances, however, comebacks are so well-worded, so bitingly sharp, and delivered sizzling hot just at the right place and time, you can't help but admire the poetry that goes into these verbal gems.
The 'Rare Insults' Twitter account puts this into practice. With nearly 918k followers, this entertaining outlet is on a mission to share the funniest, most chaotic, and "most unique insults on the internet". By collecting the most savage jibes they can find, they prove that some people can easily throw their opponents off their feet by displaying the undeniable superiority of their intelligence and wit.
Below, we've gathered some of the best and most entertaining remarks from the account. So continue scrolling and get ready to give a round of applause to the brilliant disses that always offer plenty of space for a good laugh. Keep reading to also find our interview about chaotic put-downs with psychologists Dr. Hunter Mulcare and Amy Donaldson, hosts of Two Shrinks Pod, as well as evolutionary psychologist Nigel Barber, Ph.D. Then be sure to upvote your favorites, and let us know what you think in the comments!
Psst! After you’re done with this list, treat yourself to some more insult madness in Bored Panda's earlier piece right here.
In just a few months of existence, 'Rare insults' has gained astonishing popularity on the platform. Which is hardly surprising once you realize that belittling someone can occur in such a humorous and messy way. The page is chock full of real masterpieces of brutal yet chic jabs, and we bet that out of these original insults, you’ll definitely find one to put in your pocket to have on hand when in need.
But since put-downs are often frowned upon, we at Bored Panda wanted to gain some more insight into the wonderful and often unappreciated art form we call insults. So we reached out to psychologists Dr. Hunter Mulcare and Amy Donaldson.
Being hosts of Two Shrinks Pod, a podcast that mainly explores clinical issues, they have also delved deeper into the topics of sarcasm, why do we laugh, and schadenfreude — a German word meaning the pleasure we get from witnessing someone else's misfortune. So it’s safe to say they were more than happy to share their thoughts on the matter.
According to Dr. Mulcare and Donaldson, people insult one another for a myriad of reasons. "Everything from an insult as a term of endearment through to genuinely wanting to harm someone. In friendly situations, people often use insults playfully: to be self-deprecating, to draw attention to someone's quirks, to connect with other people," they told us.
When asked why we find it so entertaining to stumble upon "rare" insults online, the duo explained we enjoy watching people being insulted because we enjoy being playful. "Chaotic insults paint a visual picture, play on words, or make you think. We delight in the use of creative profanity, of the insults that don't quite make sense," they added.
Moreover, we feel at least a dash of schadenfreude when someone we don’t like or respect finds themselves on the receiving end of a brilliant diss: "We enjoy their discomfort,” the psychologists noted. "We like that they're being cut down to size, that someone is holding them accountable."
We also managed to get in touch with Nigel Barber, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist and author of Kindness In A Cruel World. He explained that insults are generally designed to bring down the status of the target. "If coworkers mock their boss, the superior loses status and the mockers elevate themselves above the boss. This phenomenon resembles the pecking order of chickens where higher-status individuals get to peck those lower down the social ladder."
While exchanging insults seems to be a part of human nature, the art of the insult appears to be losing its beauty. Fewer people take time to master this skill, given the abundance of three-lettered, abrupt, unoriginal low-hanging fruits folks prolifically pass back and forth online and in real life these days. So when someone comes up with a specific, perfectly timed, and passionately insulting zinger, it’s undeniably satisfying.
Insults create the perfect arena to show off how witty and creative we can be. When it comes to the rather funny and benign ones featured in this list, their chaotic nature makes it easy for us to appreciate the joke. And it turns out that chuckling the insults away not only helps us to protect our bruised egos but also shows a sign of maturity.
"Laughing off benign insults communicates to others that you're secure in yourself, that you don't take yourself too seriously," the psychologists said. "Laughing along with a benign insult at our own expense can help us connect with others, to be part of the group."
It's also cultural, they added. For example, mocking and using affectionate insults seem to be a huge part of bonding in Australian culture. "People who can laugh off an insult are seen as warm and approachable."
Barber also noted that laughter effectively helps to turn the tables on the source of the insults. "Sigmund Freud believed that humor was a form of redirected aggression. If so, then it makes sense that many insults employ humor."
"Shakespeare liked to entertain his audience by having the characters exchange elaborate put-downs," he told us. While most of us are not so great at laughing at ourselves, Barber argued that finding a way to do this may be a defining feature of a well-developed sense of humor.
But if the insult seems real and comes from a place of anger and spite, it’s a different story. "The exception to this is if the insult is hurtful or someone keeps insulting you. In those cases, laughing it off can communicate to others that it's ok to treat you that way. We can also internalize these insults and start to believe that they're true," the hosts of Two Shrinks Pod warned.
Nearly all of us have experienced insulting remarks directed at us at some point. But to make sure we don’t ruminate over them and let them rule our heads, it’s important to examine what’s actually happening. The first step, Barber argued, is to think about the nature of the insult, the underlying motive, and the situation itself.
"Some people like to deliver put-downs because they feel inferior themselves. Others are insulting because they have hostile personalities. Either way, these criticisms need not be taken seriously because they have more to do with their author than with their target," he explained.
However, Dr. Mulcare and Donaldson also added that "if it's a benign insult said playfully, by all means, laugh it off." Although it’s also important to consider whether the comment is directed to a fundamental part of your identity. Even when the person means no real harm, pointing to your deepest layers of identity — even in a playfully humorous way — can easily strike a nerve. Then, it may be beneficial to analyze your complex emotions (and even maybe address the insulter to open an honest conversation) instead of drowning in your insecurities.
The psychologists offered another piece of advice: "If [the insult] is something you've gotten via text or email, don't respond straight away. Give yourself time to think about it and if you're upset, time to calm down before you reply." Or, as Barber also suggested, written communications that contain an insult in the first line are safely left unread. "The author's hostility is uppermost in their minds and there is no other useful content. So, chuckle at this mistake and move on!"
"And if the insult is hurtful?" Dr. Mulcare and Donaldson asked. "It's absolutely ok to say to the person that you don't want them to talk to you like that, to say it's not ok. It might not be productive to tell them how it impacted you emotionally — it's enough to just say it's not ok."
"Whatever you do, don't put too much emphasis on coming up with the perfect comeback a la George Costanza's jerk store," they concluded.