Revenge Ninjas: 9 People Share Their Best Passive-Aggressive Comebacks.


There's something to be said for expressing yourself clearly, and confronting the people who have wronged you in a mature straightforward manner.

Oh, who am I kidding? No, there isn't!


This piece is based on a Quora question. Link on the last page.

1/9. When I was in college, a friend spent 3 hours building a giant snowman only to have this dumb jock next door do a flying tackle and destroy it. Thing is, I was the repairs manager in the dorm.

My friend and I decided to get him back. So he and I filled an upside down steel trash can with concrete cinderblocks, and over the next six hours, we built a new 8-foot snowman around the trashcan. We built the center ball hollow and shuttled in the brick and mortar. Used a ladder to finish off the head with a green Mohawk and red eyes.

In the morning, the center ball was tilted 5 degrees with a large shoulder impression in the snow shell. Next time I saw the jock, he had a broken collarbone. I wonder how that happened. He should really be more careful.


2/9. The phone rang again, I picked it up again and said my name, no sound, then beep-beep-beep. That did it. I got so fed up with it that it was time for a plan. My own little 10-years olds revenge plan.

My father was having an affair, that much was clear. For months already, our family was disturbed and dysfunctional. The relationship between my parents was totally messed up and as their youngest son, I felt heartbroken and angry.

Twice a day, for weeks, the phone would ring and there would be no sound if I picked it up. It annoyed me big time. It never happened to my father though. So I concluded it must be her, the unknown woman.

I decided to start some retaliation. Every now and then I heard him calling her in his home office (on a landline). One day I overheard him through the office door, and I waited out the call.

He went to have lunch in the kitchen afterwards, so I sneaked into his office. I pressed the redial button. (continued...)

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This was 1988, so no caller ID, no nothing. She picked up and said her name. Gotcha! I stayed silent, wrote her name on a paper and hung up. As a little Sherlock Holmes I started looking her up in the phone book. I had some clues to what town she might live, so after some researching, I found her name and number.

From that moment, the fight was on. A few times a day I would call her and say nothing at all until she would hang up. It felt great. It must have driven her crazy.


It took them weeks to find out. Then my father came to me, sighed, collected some courage and asked me bluntly if I was the one that was ghost calling his friend. I denied. But from that day on, I stopped. My point was made.

-Cyril Snijders

3/9. During my first try at college I lived in a dorm. My room-mate Amy was such a sweet girl. We hung out with a group that included a young lady named Susan. We spent meals together, drove places together, and generally had fun.

Susan was a lesbian. This mattered to me not a jot, but it plays into the trouble. Susan was sending Amy notes saying she was in love with her. Amy is straight and it was making her uncomfortable.

Finally Susan came over and told her outright that she was in love with her. Amy said she didn't feel the same. Susan called her a liar. They started yelling and shoving. I kicked Susan out of our room.

Susan then spread all over campus that I had brainwashed Amy because I wanted Amy all to myself, and I had used our friendship to get closer to her. This was news to me.

Sothe revenge part. (continued...)

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I was Roman Catholic at the time. And boy, if you ever express any interest in becoming a nun, the sisters of the world do their best to recruit you.


So I wrote a letter to the diocese vocational office about how all I wanted was to pledge my virginity to Jesus and please get me in touch with as many different convents as they could, and signed Susans name, phone number, and address.

It was a FLOOD of mail and phone calls. She came barging into our room with a fist-full of letters. "It was you! I know it was you!"

I just smiled.

-Amanda S. Glover

4/9. One day, I was on the metro and it was quite busy, although not completely crowded. This random guy kept moving as close to me as he could, pressing his crotch against me, even though there was ample room to avoid doing so, and he took advantage of the accelerations and turns to touch me. I tried to move away but he kept coming back.

So I stepped back in my high heels, and pressed them into his toes as hard as I could (and I can!) and said a loud "Im sorry" in the most insincere tone.

He immediately stopped bothering me and didnt try again. And boy how good that felt!

-Claire Delavalle

5/9. A man Id never met made a rude comment about something I was wearing- and I was particularly conservatively dressed in a business suit at the time, to make it even more shocking.

I turned to him, and with as much sincerity and urgency as I could project I said Thank you so much for pointing that out, I didnt realize. Since youre so kind, would you please let me borrow your phone for a second? My battery is dead and I urgently need to call my Mom. Just for a second.

He was nonplussed, but I turned up the biggest pleading ingnue eyes I could manage, and he begrudgingly handed over his phone. Jackpot. (continued...)

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I quickly scrolled through his contacts to one labeled Mom, called it, and when a lady answered I asked Did you raise your son to make rude comments to women he doesnt even know, to approach women in public with the sole reason of insulting them? No? I think you need to speak with him.

Handed the phone back to the dumbfounded man and skipped away happy as a lark.


6/9. As a teenager, I worked at a coffee shop. Many of our customers were gruff, grumpy, caffeine-addicted men. But I loved that job, because I was REALLY good at it; efficient and fast.

One day, our most crotchety customer came up to the counter and interrupted my friendly greeting with an abrupt, Two medium, one black, one with milk.

I pour his coffees, lid them, and promptly place them on the counter. I did this quickly, deliberately omitting the step of using a white pencil to mark the lids, which we normally do to indicate which was which.

He looked at his cups, then looked at me like I was an idiot, and sarcastically asked, How am I supposed to know which is which?


With an almost imperceptible jerk of my wrists, I moved the cups enough that a tiny drop appeared on the lid of each cup through the vent hole. One drop was definitely black, the other clearly contained milk.

Would you like me to write it down for you, sir? I asked, smiling politely.

Nope, thatll be fine, thanks. He paid me his 2.20 and left. Still gruff, but I think I detected a tiny flicker of amusement in his eyes.

-Jane Graham

7/9. When I moved in with my girlfriend, everything was great. We had each other's perpetual company, space for ourselves, and best of all: isolation and freedom.

After a few months, we started getting surprise visits from her parents. They would wake us up by pounding on the door early in the morning, or sometimes just barging in. (continued...)

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Sometimes it was just her mother and father, other times they brought their 5-year-old daughter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriends sister and even her parents. But these visits were unexpected, untimely, and were happening at an increasing rate. That's when I had an idea.

Bright and early one morning (I'm talking 4:30am on a weekday) my girlfriend and I picked up our loudest, most obnoxious friend, and ventured over to her parents place.

I'm sure you can guess what we did. We barged in, shouting "wake up!" forcing them out of bed.


We proceeded to demand they make us breakfast, and spent hours interrupting their morning routines. Pleased with ourselves, we left around 10am and went on with our day.

The visits from them started happening less and less after that day. Today, they notify us if they're coming over, which is exactly what we wanted the whole time. In the end, I feel we delivered a powerful statement ironically teaching parents manners.

-Lucas Matthews

8/9. I was a receptionist in a doctors office in California. This was less than a year after 9/11.

A woman called in to make an appointment for her yearly physical exam, and she wanted the soonest available appointment.

Me: Well, the first availability I have is with Dr. Tukenmez this Thursday, actually, so we could get you in this week!

Patient: Oh, um, Tukenmez? Do you have any appointments with any other doctors?

Me: Well, the only appointments this week are with Dr. Tukenmez.

Patient: Well I just I would rather have another doctor. Because, you know, Im from New York City. (Code for "I dont want a doctor with a middle eastern sounding name because Im afraid theyre all terrorists.").

Me: What a coincidence! Dr. Tukenmez is from NYC too, she was born and raised there. And actually, shes an American citizen.

Patient: Well that doesnt really matter to me. (continued...)

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Me: (at this point super triggered by her racism) Well, we have an opening in 4 weeks with Dr. Goldman. Hes Jewish though. Do you have a problem with Jews too?

Woman: (pause) um, no, that will be fine.

Me: Ok, he has an appointment on X date at 2 pm.

Woman: (sounding chastened) Ok. Ill take that one. Thank you.

It felt incredible satisfying to say that. I know it was unprofessional. I hope she felt ashamed.

-Lia Goloff

9/9. So, I used to drink a lot of Diet Coke but the machines at work only had Pepsi (disgusting!) so I kept a 12-pack of cans in my desk. Each morning, Id go put one in the shared fridge and when I went to get it, Id replace it with another. Always a chilled DC in the fridge.

And then one disappeared. Hmmm.

Maybe someone just thought it was the same unclaimed DC in there all day, so they took it because it was abandoned. No big. I replaced it.

It disappeared again. The plot thickens. Maybe they thought it was theirs? I replaced it, but marked a big red X across the top in whiteboard marker.

It disappeared too. This was theft! Outright, bold, shameless theft! I was angrier than I probably should be over a Coke, but they were mine! And I had to drink it warm now!


So, I replaced it again. New Diet Coke in the fridge. But this time, I shook it up. I mean, like a paint can at Home Depot I shook it up. Then I had to go to a meeting.

When I walked by the fridge again, there was a very satisfying dark brown stain about three feet across on the carpet in the hallway. SCORE!

-Myra Scott


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