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45 Of History’s Most Famous (And Hilarious) Insults

Below is a gallery of responses, retorts, and comebacks that are so witty that they’ve outlived the person who delivered them — enjoy our collection of history’s funniest insults:

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Famous Insults From Mark Twain

Mark Twain: "The trouble ain't there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right."

Famous Insults Mae West

Mae West: "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

Groucho Marx Never Forgets A Face

Groucho Marx: "I never forget a face, but in your case, I'll make an exception."

Oscar Wilde On Happiness

Oscar Wilde: "Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go."

Kurt Vonnegut Funny Insults

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.: "If your brains were dynamite, there wouldn't be enough to blow your hat off."

Elizabeth Taylor Funny Insults On Men

Elizabeth Taylor: "Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses."

Albert Einstein On Human Stupidity

Albert Einstein: "Only two things are infinite-- the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the former."

Famous Insults Beethoven

Beethoven: "I like your opera. I think I will set it to music."

Famous Insults Roseanne

Roseanne Barr: "We were trying to get pregnant, but I forgot one of us had to have a penis."

Kierkegaard On Martensen

Kierkegaard: "My opponent is a glob of snot."

Famous Insults Faldo

Nick Faldo: "We were happily married for eight months. Unfortunately, the marriage lasted four and a half years."

Pope John Paul 23 On The Vatican

Pope John Paul XXIII: (When asked "How many people work in the Vatican?") "About half."

Dorothy Parker On Drunk

Dorothy Parker, after a drunk man commented "I can't bear fools": "Apparently your mother could."

Famous Insults Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo: "God was bored by him."

Catherine The Great's Funny Insult

Catherine The Great: "If you won't be a good example, then you'll have to be a horrible warning."

Hunter S. Thompson Epic Insults

Hunter S. Thompson: "They don't hardly make 'em like him anymore, but I think he should be castrated anyway."

Famous Insults Boyle

Frankie Boyle: "Nobody thought Mel Gibson could play a Scot, but look at him now! Alcoholic and a racist!"


King Edward VIII: "The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children."

O Brien Foreign Policy

Conan O'Brien: "Sarah Palin met with world leaders to discuss her foreign policy expertise. The meeting lasted 90 seconds."

Winston Churchill On Americans

Winston Churchill: "Americans will always try to do the right thing-- after they've tried everything else."

Gandhi's Famous Comeback On Western Civilization

Mahatma Gandhi: "What do you think of Western Civilization?" "I think it would be a good idea."

MIlton Berle's Famous Insults

Milton Berle: "You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think."

Nero Insult

Nero, while look at a man he had just killed: "How could I have been afraid of a man with such a long nose?"

Billy Wilder: "He has Van Gogh's ear for music."

Billy Wilder: "He has Van Gogh's ear for music."

Hemingway Insult

Ernest Hemingway: "Poor Faulkner. He thinks big emotions come from big words."

Hitchens On Falwell

Christopher Hitchens: "If you gave Jerry Falwell an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox."

Timothy Leary Funny Insults

Timothy Leary: "Women who want to be equal with men lack ambition."

Famous Insults Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford: "Ronnie (Reagan doesn't dye his hair--he's just permanently orange."

Joan Rivers Prince Charles

Joan Rivers: "Prince Charles's ears are so big, he could hang-glide over the Falklands!"

Mark Twain On Jane Austen

Mark Twain on Jane Austen: "Every time I read Pride And Prejudice, I want to dig Jane Austen up and hit her over the skull with her own shin bone."

Oscar Wilde Funny Insults

Oscar Wilde: "Thinking is the most unhealthy disease in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any disease. Luckily, in England at any rate, thought is not catching."

John Lennon On Elvis

John Lennon: "Before Elvis, there was nothing."

William Shakespeare History's Funniest Insults

William Shakespeare: "The tautness of his face sours ripe grapes."

Famous Insults Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston, on the media: "They're devils to me, and they eat my flesh!"

Famous Insults Mencken

H.L. Mencken on FDR: "If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he needs so sorely, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House yard come Wednesday."

Margaret Thatcher On Getting Things Done

Margaret Thatcher: "If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman."

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali: "If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you."

Famous Insults Tomlin

Lily Tomlin: "I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific!"

Dorothy Parker History's Hilarious Insults

Dorothy Parker: "The woman speaks eight languages and can't say 'no' in any of them."

Aristotle History's Funniest Burns

Aristotle: "It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of lying skillfully."

History's Funniest Insults

John Adams: "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."

Groucho Marx He May Look Like An Idiot

Groucho Marx: "He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you-- he really is an idiot."

EE Cummings Insult

EE Cummings: "A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man"

Funny Insults By Charlotte Whitton

Charlotte Whitton: "Whatever women must do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult."

Calvin Coolidge Historical Burns

(On a performance) What do you think of the singer's execution? Calvin Coolidge: I'm all for it.

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How amazing would it feel to deliver such a gut-wrenching one-liner? For even more classic insults, check out our other posts on funny quotes and history’s best comebacks. And be sure to like All That Is Interesting on Facebook!

Revolution Hits Romania In 1989

Romanian Revolution 1989

Nicolae Ceausescu was either asleep during history class or had an ego so large he thought he could escape it: no dictator whose actions completely suppress and starve his or her own people is going to last for too long. Such was the case in Romania, where after years of authoritarian Communist rule and stringent austerity measures, the people revolted. Not even the Communist leader’s cult of personality or promises of worker raises could save him: Ceausescu was put on trial and subsequently executed, and 42 years of Communist rule in Romania died with him.

The History of Madness: Mental Illness, Past and Present

Mental Illness History Gallery

Source: Wikipedia

Schizophrenia literally means “split brain.” This is given a cruel irony by the history of mental illness, which has been a seesaw struggle between empirical and mystical explanations of the phenomenon. For thousands of years, doctors and scientists have struggled against theologians and metaphysicians over the diagnosis and treatment of mentally ill people. During rare moments in history, while the empiricists have had the upper hand, treatment of the delusional has revolved around understanding what has gone wrong and treating psychosis as if it’s every bit as much an illness as cancer or diabetes. As civilization has declined, and the mystics and charlatans have gained traction, treatment has descended into depravity and sadism.

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