A crowd gathers. They turn to you. Sweat beads across your brow. They turn to your opponent, their steely glare unwavering. You hear a pin drop. Someone throws down a glove. We've all been in this position at some point in our lives. Alright, maybe without the glove or the pin. But being in a situation where your entire reputation hinges on the next thing out of your mouth is something everyone can relate to. You need a perfect insult. It can't be too horrendous otherwise it could cost you dearly. Then again, you don't want to seem spineless, right? This is where the movies have got it covered. Over the years, characters have supplied us with a hefty arsenal of put-downs that range from the ridiculously offensive, to the playful and silly, and here's 25 of the best. Have at 'em... you lily-livered, sack of- Alright, I'll stop there.
25. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
The insult: "You are physically repulsive, intellectually retarded, you're morally reprehensible, vulgar, insensitive, selfish, stupid, you have no taste, a lousy sense of humour and you smell. You're not even interesting enough to make me sick."
Sometimes a long-winded rant can simply turn into a stream of mean adjectives. Hey, that's OK. But for Cher, delivering this laundry list of complaints at Jack Nicholson, it works by ending on a bunch of really personal digs. No-one likes having their hygiene habits brought up.
24. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
The insult: "I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"
Looking for inspiration for your next mean put-down to dish out in front of a crowd? If that crowd consists of Python die-hards and/or ten-year olds, this one is a winner. It's also undeniable proof that you don't need bad language or sense for an insult to work!
23. Deadpool (2016)
The insult: "If I ever decide to become a crime-fighting shit swizzler, who rooms with a bunch of other little whiners at Neverland Mansion with some creepy, old, bald, Heaven’s Gate-looking motherfucker… on that day, I’ll send your shiny, happy ass a friend request."
The Merc With The Mouth tends to go off on expletive-fuelled tirades - it's his thing. Firing off insults that are so snappy they make your head spin, his superb comparison between Professor X and Heaven's Gate's Marshall Applewhite could be the best insult of them all. (This coming right after he's just called Colossus a "big chrome cock gobbler" and Ajax a "wheezing bag of dick tits."
22. The War of the Roses (1989)
The insult: "When I watch you eat. When I see you asleep. When I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in."
Marriage is hard. For the Roses, it's a contest in oneupmanship that turns quickly to pet-slaying and savagery. This insult, from Kathleen Turner to Michael Douglas, is all about the delivery. It might not seem bad, but boy, it sure does sound it.
21. The Breakfast Club (1984)
The insult: "Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?"
Ouch. A great one from Judd Nelson's too-cool-for-school-yet-he-still-turns-up-for-detention outcast, John Bender. Perhaps worth remembering if you're still suffering the hardships of the hallways.
20. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The insult: "It looks to me like the best part of you ran down the crack of your momma’s ass and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress!”
As a notoriously unfeeling drill sergeant, R. Lee Ermey eviscerates his men over and over. This line in particular really jabs deep, brought to life by the fact that Ermey was once at an actual drill sergeant.
19. Snatch (2000)
The insult: “Fuck face… I like that one Erroll. I’ll have to remember that one next time I’m climbing off your mum.”
Talk about getting personal. Jason Statham, in his husky geezer drawl, takes no prisoners with this schoolboy-inspired pisstake. It's made all the better as he's ripping the piss out of Erroll in front of the whole crew.
18. The Mist (2007)
The insult: “The day I need a friend like you, I’ll just have myself a little squat and shit one out.”
No-one expects Marcia Gay Harden's character, the zealous Mrs. Carmody, to ever say anything remotely friendly or kind. But still. This lavatorial put-down conjures up quite the vulgar image which is frankly unnecessary - the woman she says it to is trying to help her!
17. Gangs of New York (2002)
The insult: “I don’t give a tuppeny fuck about your moral conundrum, you meat-headed shit sack.”
Ah, that Bill the Butcher. He's not afraid to let anyone in any of the Boroughs know his true feelings, on account of ... well, you know, earning a nickname "The Butcher." He lets it fly when a minion attempts to offer up their opinion.
16. The Way of the Gun (2000)
The insult: "Shut that cunt's mouth before I come over there and fuckstart her head."
This one is ballsy. Eager to delve into more, adult fare, Ryan Phillippe delivers this little gem in the opening scene of Christopher McQuarrie's early aughts crime thriller. It's nasty, it's sassy, and it's followed up by a brutal beating.