Youre not funny.
October 4, 2012 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Getting constant grief from a chronic troll whose favorite put down is "youre not funny", "who told you you're funny", "you think you're funny but you're not" and other putdowns of the same stripe. Assuming that all the people I make laugh arent humoring me, what is a good retort to this?

And yes I know you shoudnt feed trolls. Thats no longer an option.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (50 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I assume this is on, like, a humor blog of some sort?

"You're right, I'm not funny. Thank you for your feedback. I'll work on my material."
posted by phunniemee at 2:28 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

"You're outvoted".
posted by Solomon at 2:28 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

"....That is not what the beautiful people say ...." and move on quickly and give the person no further attention at all.
posted by MT at 2:31 PM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

What's the context?
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 2:31 PM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

Don't feed the troll. You'll never win, and it will just get worse.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:33 PM on October 4, 2012 [19 favorites]

"You're right, I guess I should stop. Thank you for the feedback! Have a great day!"

And then keep doing your thing.
posted by griphus at 2:34 PM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

Assuming you can't block him or erase his comments? Just ignore him. Reporting sounds a little serious for those kind of comments- but if it's all public and it's constant and super disruptive? Report away.
posted by Blisterlips at 2:36 PM on October 4, 2012

"Thanks for reading!"
posted by goethean at 2:39 PM on October 4, 2012 [11 favorites]

Ignore him.

Or alternatively, something along the lines of: No one is forcing you to be here. Please find something more productive to do with your life.
posted by empath at 2:41 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

"I know you are, but what am I?"
posted by scratch at 2:44 PM on October 4, 2012

Ignore him.

Or copy paste the same boring response over and over...but really, everyone else would appreciate you just ignoring him.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:45 PM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Please elaborate, OP. Why are you not in a position to just ignore him?

Can you ban him from your site?
posted by John Farrier at 2:50 PM on October 4, 2012

When I get comments like that, I tend to find comfort in the fact that I prompted them to do something. They didn't just surf/walk/move away. Something I did made them do something. It may not be my preferred 'thing' but it is something.

Once, just once, I did deconstruct a comment on a blog post. But that comment was slightly more in depth than yours.
posted by Nufkin at 2:53 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Well, bless your heart."
posted by Midnight Skulker at 2:58 PM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]

I know you shoudnt feed trolls. Thats no longer an option.

Why not?
posted by John Cohen at 3:00 PM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]

"Yeah? Well at least I'm not good-looking."
posted by ZipRibbons at 3:04 PM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

"Clearly you must have an underdeveloped sense of humor. I can suggest a support group if you'd like."

"Ah, yes, sometimes I have to explain my sense of humor to those poor souls who haven't read a book since the fifth grade."

"I don't just think I'm funny, I have a PhD in Hilarity!"
posted by blurker at 3:07 PM on October 4, 2012

Is this on the Internet, or in Real Life? Is this person actually trolling you in any meaningful sense of the term, or just accusing you of not being funny? Why is refusing to feed the "troll" no longer an option? Where have all the apostrophes gone?

I think we need a little more information here.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:09 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

" what a sad & lonely internet loser says."
posted by Aquaman at 3:10 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Then why am I wearing these very expensive FunnyPants?

But my mom thinks I'm funny and attractive. Dad, why are you following me on the Internet?

You're right. I think I am funny and I'm not. It crushes me every morning when I look in the mirror. I have started cutting. How can I be more like you, with your virile, scathing putdowns?

Mad respect for keeping it so real on this Internet forum.

But my unemployed roommate is laughing?!?

You are so gangsta.

I love it when you talk dirty to me. Say it again. "You're not funny." Say it. I want you to.

God bless you. You're the only one who's ever been truly honest with me. I long for your touch.

You're still reading me — so if it's not the humor that draws you, it must be my luscious, muscular thighs?

Then why did this prewritten list of Internet jokes cost so much money?
posted by amoeba at 3:14 PM on October 4, 2012 [16 favorites]

Why not?
Same reason 'tis ill advised to wrestle with a pig.

How about "dude mon, is it the timing? is it the bow tie?, the extreme erudition? help me out here."
posted by sammyo at 3:28 PM on October 4, 2012

This is not an argument you can win. Don't try.
posted by ook at 3:33 PM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

"I never thought about it like that before. You're so smart."
posted by Green With You at 3:37 PM on October 4, 2012

your moms not funny
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:38 PM on October 4, 2012 [10 favorites]

That's a rude thing to say. Is your self esteem low, to be pointing that out repeatedly?
posted by readygo at 3:58 PM on October 4, 2012

"Thank you for the feedback." And don't engage AT ALL on the content of his remark. There is nowhere to go in a conversation once you shut it down with this line.
posted by deliciae at 4:01 PM on October 4, 2012

There are a number of clever responses in this thread, but please for the love of god listen to the ones telling you not to engage.

The ENTIRE point of a troll is to get you to engage and, after you've engaged, cause you to lose your cool.

If you engage, you encourage. The single most effective thing a person can do to a troll is to ignore them and make sure everyone else ignores them too. This is why some sites nuke not only the troll, but anyone who replies to them.

Please, listen to me: do not engage.
posted by aramaic at 4:01 PM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

Listen, no matter what witty rejoinder you come back with, they're going to say "lol whut a fag lolol," because they are ONLY doing this to get a rise out of you, AND IT'S WORKING. By saying "I know you shoudnt feed trolls. Thats no longer an option," you are putting up a big giant neon sign that says "THIS IS WORKING. YOU ARE UPSETTING ME. PLEASE DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUR EFFORTS TO PISS ME OFF." That is how these people operate.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:12 PM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

If you run the blog, block them.

If you don't run the blog and are just commenting - over on the Fandom Wank site, they've adopted the habit of responding to trollish comments or wanky comments by just saying simply "Okay." Because there's no way for the troll to respond to that. There's nothing for them to riff on.

If this is in person, just stare at them for a few seconds - and then go on with your conversation with everyone else.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 PM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]

Frankly, asking others for good comebacks suggests he has a point... But that's just me. Not feeding trolls is always an option because it's up to you if you react to them. If you don't - voila, troll starves.
posted by MinusCelsius at 4:46 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Escalate - post lots of funny things, while completely ignoring her/him. Either they have to keep up by making a flood of nasty replies (which works against them), or they have let more of them go (proportionally).

Also, ask the mods to act. But don't feed the troll.
posted by anonymisc at 4:58 PM on October 4, 2012

I have many internal comebacks for people like that, but I also suggest not engaging the troll. As a matter of fact, I'd just continue the conversation or joke as if that comment was never even spoken.
posted by Yellow at 4:58 PM on October 4, 2012

I love it when you talk dirty to me. Say it again. "You're not funny." Say it. I want you to.

:D This will be what the person hears, no matter what you way.

You CAN respond, but then prepare to make a whole bit out of it, where he says something, and you say something back, and it's a whole exchange. This may be a way to pass the time, but if you're busy I wouldn't recommend it.

Every comedian has hecklers. If they took time out to talk to all of them they could never do their thing.
posted by kettleoffish at 5:10 PM on October 4, 2012

This is not "trolling." This is being antagonistic.

"Trolling" is purposefully misrepresenting a position for the sake of generating a reaction. Any kind of reaction. That's why it is so important to "not feed the trolls." Engaging them in any way means that they got exactly what they wanted.

Antagonizing others is a bit different, though. People are antagonistic for various reasons. I would guess it is mostly due to a feeling of insecurity, and, due to this insecurity, needing someone to feel superior to. Your best option when confronted with petty behavior like this is to let them know that you think it is beneath you, and that you are unaffected. The "thanks for reading!" posted by goethean sounds like the most succinct way to do this. It both lets them know you are unaffected, as well as makes light of the idea that they are spending their time reading things that they find displeasing.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 5:14 PM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

Ignore. Never feed the troll.
posted by babbageboole at 5:41 PM on October 4, 2012

I don't know if you can use this, but it may at least entertain you.
[Arms and the Man] was one of [George Bernard] Shaw's first commercial successes. He was called onto stage after the curtain, where he received enthusiastic applause. However, amidst the cheers, one audience member booed. Shaw replied, in characteristic fashion, "My dear fellow, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?"
-- (from Wikipedia)
posted by pont at 5:49 PM on October 4, 2012 [19 favorites]

"cool story, bro."
posted by 6spd at 6:07 PM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

"Good try, good effort."
posted by sallybrown at 6:50 PM on October 4, 2012

"I've been insulted worse by people I respect more than you."
posted by el io at 6:52 PM on October 4, 2012

I don't know what type of material you are delivering so don't want to make any specific suggestions of what words should come out of your mouth. But generally speaking...

If this chronic heckler is a man, you must cut him off at the knees -- quick and ruthless. Otherwise he will get more and more confident. If it is a woman, I found it best to turn the audience against her and play her comments for laughs without being overtly brutal. If it is a drunk just randomly screaming "you're not funny" at odd intervals, mimic their drunken voice or say "it's okay, s/he won't remember this tomorrow" and keep going. There's also an old Bill Hicks clip where he dealt with someone who kept screaming "Freebird" over and over again.

It's okay to look annoyed or act dismissive when people are interrupting the material you worked hard to create. But don't let it show that your confidence or focus has been effected in the slightest.
posted by 99percentfake at 6:59 PM on October 4, 2012

Don't respond. Not worth the effort. They'll wither and die eventually.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:20 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have a feeling that this is a Real Life troll and that the situations you are dealing with are happening in face-to-face encounters. If this is true, then the correct response would be to point out that they're being a dick. Something like this would be my script:

YOU: " then, she said, that wasn't my dog!"

TROLL: "You're not funny."

YOU: (blank stare at troll, deadpan voice) "You're an asshole." (beat, stare, turn back to audience like nothing just happened) "So anyway, did I ever tell the one about the priest, the rabbi, and the octopus? OK, so there's a priest and a rabbi and they're at this bar..."

Basically just a firm and decisive shutting-down of the troll, followed by an immediate return to business as before. Do not under any circumstances let on that you are bothered. Hard to pull off, effective if done properly though.

Still there's really no way to know if this advice is relevant to your situation. You haven't really provided enough detail for folks to have an idea of what's going on in the situations where you encounter this troll.

You might want to contact the mods via the contact form (the link is at the bottom of every page on this site) and give them some additional details to post on your behalf. They are almost always perfectly happy to do this for anonymous posters, it's a pretty standard thing around here. I bet you'd get much better answers to your question if you did that.
posted by Scientist at 8:10 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I would suggest leaving friendly and chatty responses to every comment on the board except the troll's. If the thread is really long and busy, then choose your conversations, but keep up a lively presence that tacitly excludes Troll.

The thing is, even a troll has a limited amount of time to spend on the internet, and will want to focus its energies where it gets results. By simply not replying (while offering clear evidence that you're on the board having a great time with everyone else), the message will begin to dawn on the troll: "I'm wasting my time here."
posted by La Cieca at 8:12 PM on October 4, 2012

"My dear fellow, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?"

Oh, this one. This is classic.
posted by painquale at 8:40 PM on October 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:36 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ignoring them and not responding at all is far more powerful than responding with some "clever" quip. They want you to respond and get flustered. Your only choice is to deny them any satisfaction by not responding in any way.

Plus, fuck'em.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:53 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

"In that case, why don't you come up here and show me how it's done? Go ahead, be funny. I said be funny. Be funny, dammit! You're not funny!"
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:57 AM on October 5, 2012

Nothing bugs a troll more than being ignored.
posted by brand-gnu at 9:38 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

"You're not relevant".
posted by Decani at 9:44 AM on October 5, 2012

That's annoying, I feel for you.

As hard as it is, I'm going to agree with everyone with not feeding the troll online.

This is probably bad advice, but if it's in real life, I'd probably put my arm of his shoulder, and be like "You know what, pal, why don't you go hump your mother." Be prepared to humorously and verbally burn him to ash after that, bonus points if it is in front of mutual friends. Put that fuckwit into therapy. Real life trolls are bullies. Nuke em from orbit and walk away.

But then, I'm sort of an asshole.
posted by PlutoniumX at 9:52 AM on October 5, 2012

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