No matter how long you’ve been alive, there’s something so satisfying about hearing a good, witty comeback or insult. What many people don’t know is that the art of dishing out these complex comebacks is a skill: the art of roasting.

Everywhere from comedy clubs to the playgrounds of elementary schools, roasting came become an art form for delivering blistering retorts and stealing the spotlight when there’s an overwhelming attitude on the other side of the divide. Whether it’s a guy trying to pick up ladies, a schoolyard bully, or a rival trying to get fresh with you, the art of roasting gives you the winning edge.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of roasting and look at some of the most deadly comebacks and insults you can use to offer anyone a humiliating reminder of who’s the boss.

What is Roasting?

At heart, roasting is a sharp-witted joke or insult. Done right, roasting can be a hilarious form of humor to twist a comment or situation into an insult that has all your friends laughing. A successful roast jab is not only funny, but it’s also an effective way to put an end to a hostile situation or situation you don’t want to take seriously.

In order to roast someone properly, you need to act as if you are completely in control and show no sign of getting wiped. Or of having any feelings at all about it. It’s also important to ensure your roast is as quick and direct as possible. Think of it as punching someone in the face without actually hitting them—it still hurts, but you don’t cause any lasting damage.

Famous Comebacks and Insults

When it comes to famous comebacks and insults, there are plenty of examples to draw from. Below, we’ve listed a few interesting ones.

“The big men go first, weirdo.” – The Rock to Hulk Hogan

“Try again, tiny.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger to Peter North

“Stay in school, or else you’ll end up being a janitor.” – Jimmy Kimmel to Justin Bieber

“You got a face only a mother could love—if she was blind.” – Joan Rivers to Tom Cruise

“If your IQ matches your shoe size, you’d be a genius.” – Steve Martin to Jimmy Fallon

Deadliest Comeback Lines

Ready to fight back? We’ve collected some of the deadliest comeback lines to give you an edge in any heated situation.

  1. “Is that the best you can do? Weak.”

  2. “If I wanted advice, I’d ask.”

  3. “You’re not even worth the energy it would take to roast you.”

  4. “Enjoy your last moments of relevance.”

  5. “Seems like you’re all talk.”

  6. “Can’t take the heat? Find somewhere cooler to stand.”

  7. “Look in the mirror—that’s your harshest critic.”

  8. “I’ve heard better comebacks from an empty room.”

  9. “Why don’t you go back to where you belong and stay there?”

  10. “Thanks for your input, I already have enough lazy people in my life.”

How to Roast Someone

Now that you’ve gotten the basics down, it’s time to put your new skills to the test. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for roasting someone.

Step 1: Listen

See what the roaster is saying, and figure out what you can use later.

Step 2: Think

Take a few seconds to come up with a witty retort.

Step 3: Respond

Deliver your roast with a quick and sharp response.

Staying Safe With Your Roasts

It’s important to always keep your roasts civil and not take them to an extreme. Roasting is an art form that should always be done in good humor and with a positive attitude. That being said, if you feel like you’re heading down a dark path it’s okay to take a step back and move on, however strong the temptation may be.

Creating Your Own Comeback Lines

Creating original comeback lines doesn’t have to be difficult. With the following tips, you can create your own comeback lines that are sure to land you more laughs and applause.

  1. Use reverse psychology.

  2. Take a jab about yourself.

  3. Play on stereotypes.

  4. Play on others’ assumptions.

  5. Go for the gut.

  6. Turn a nice phrase into something negative.

  7. Respond indirect rather than direct.

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn the basics of roasting and the techniques you need to start becoming a master at delivering comebacks that sting so good.

Remember to always keep it light and positive to ensure everyone is happy and having a good time. Finally, why not practice your roasting skills in front of a mirror to get the delivery just right. Before you know it you’ll have a long list of comebacks that you can easily throw out whenever a situation calls for it. Happy roasting!