Some of history’s most well known figures also had a knack for clever and witty comeback lines. See which people had a sharp tongue that tended to cut any person willing to verbally challenge them.
Calvin Coolidge Vs. Some Random Lady At A White House Dinner
Oscar Wilde Vs. Lewis Morris
Morris had just been passed over for the Poet Laureateship.
Winston Churchill Vs. George Bernard Shaw
Winston Churchill Vs. Lady Astor
Calvin Coolidge Vs. An Opera Singer
Muhammad Ali Vs. Joe Frazier
Winston Churchill Vs. A Member Of Parliament
Winston Churchill Vs. Bessie Braddock
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Vs. An Admirer
Miriam Hopkins Vs. An Anonymous Singer
Ilka Chase Vs. An Anonymous Actress
John Wilkes Vs. John Montagu
Mohandas Gandhi Vs. Western Civilization
Edna Ferber Vs. Noel Coward
Coward was remarking upon the fact that Ferber was wearing a tailored suit.
James McNeill Whistler Vs. Oscar Wilde
After Whistler had made a particularly witty observation.
Pierre Trudeau Vs. Richard Nixon
Upon hearing that Nixon had called him an asshole.
Thomas Reed Vs. Henry Clay
Earnest Hemingway Vs. William Faulkner
John Barrymore Vs. A Woman In The Lady's Room
Barrymore was drunkenly urinating in the wrong bathroom, and turned to face his accuser, penis in hand.
Robert Benchley Vs. A Man In Uniform
Niels Bohr Vs. A Reporter
Groucho Marx Vs. A Contestant on "You Bet Your Life"
After the contestant revealed that he was a father of 10.
Henry Clay Vs. Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster
After seeing a pack of mules walk by.
Alcibiades Vs. Pericles
Abraham Lincoln Vs. Stephen Douglas
After Douglas called him "two-faced" during a debate:
Bill Clinton Vs. Dan Quayle
After Quayle revealed that he planned to be "a pit bull" in the 1992 campaign against Clinton and Gore.
Reverend Edward Everett Hale Vs. The U.S. Senate
When asked if he prayed for the Senators.
Senator Fritz Hollings Vs. Henry McMastor
When challenged by his Republican opponent during a televised debate to take a drug test.
NY Mayor Ed Koch Vs. Andrew Kirtzman
After the reporter insisted on pressing a point about an inconsistent statement Koch had made.
Abraham Lincoln Vs. A Foreign Diplomat
After the diplomat found Lincoln polishing his boots in his office.
Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller Vs. An Attendee At A Church Conference
After the man ranted against university education and thanked God that he had never been corrupted by going to college.
Dorothy Parker Vs. New Yorker Editor Harold Ross
Parker had been on her honeymoon, when Harold Ross interrupted her to ask why she was late with a book review.