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Insult Sword Fighting is an activity within the Monkey Island series, heavily featured in the first part of The Secret of Monkey Island and being the bulk of Part Three of The Curse of Monkey Island.

The intention of insults in sword fighting is to throw off an opponents guard and allow a swordsman to press their attack. Throughout the Caribbean a number of standard insults are used by the many pirates.

During a fight there may come a natural break in the swordplay where one pirate will launch an insult such as "You fight like a Dairy Farmer". The opponent will then be forced to respond with a comeback. If the comeback is sufficiently insulting, they will win the upper hand in the battle. If not, they will be fought down. Whoever retains the upper hand will be able to throw the next insult.

Usually three successfully landed insults will ensure a combatants victory.

Insult Sword Fighting has a slightly different rule when at sea. While fighting on board ship, all insult comebacks must rhyme with the attackers line.

The popularity of Insult Sword Fighting has spawned various other insult based pastimes including Insult Arm Wrestling.

Learning Process[]

Guybrush Threepwood was taught two insults and comebacks by Captain Smirk on Mêlée Island: The famous 'dairy farmer' insult and the 'shish kabob'. He could also learn the 'smart dog' insult from the Troll.

Stinking winner

After his training, Threepwood had to go out into the forest and confront a number of pirates in order to learn more from them in combat.

At first Threepwood would lose many fights not knowing many insults, but the pirates would use new ones which he would then memorize and be able to use in future battles. If he used them later on a different pirate who had a proper comeback, he would then memorize that too.

In order to learn more insults, it can be wise to lose on purpose, perhaps by using 'loser insults' such as "I am rubber, you are glue".

Sword Masters[]

Some practitioners of Insult Sword Fighting are known as Sword Masters. A famous one is Carla, the Sword Master of Mêlée Island.

Usually these individuals have their own unique arsenal of insults and those who oppose them are forced to use their wits to find a comeback in their own repertoire that makes sense.

It is also impossible to gain the upper hand against them, even with a successful comeback. They will do all of the initial insults. They are beatable, but prove the toughest opponents of all in sword fights.

Insult Sword Fighting In Game[]

In The Secret of Monkey Island Guybrush Threepwood must defeat the Sword Master of Mêlée Island as one of the Three Trials to prove himself worthy of becoming a pirate.

In The Curse of Monkey Island Guybrush must face and defeat multiple pirates to learn insults and responses before finally confronting Captain Rene Rottingham to retrieve the map to Blood Island.

In Escape from Monkey Island, Guybrush Insult arm-wrestles Ignatius Cheese (the owner of the Scumm Bar). Guybrush may also challenge Ozzie Mandrill to an insult swordfight, but will be utterly defeated due to not understanding his opponents Australian themed insults.

In Tales of Monkey Island Insult Swordfighting is apparently no longer practised by anyone except farm boys according to Morgan LeFlay. In Rise of the Pirate God, Guybrush fights against both Morgan and Bill and must simultaneously insult Bill but compliment Morgan to raise her spirits after a prior defeat.

SoMI Insults and Comebacks[]

There are 16 in all. Once you win three fights with normal pirates, they will begin to say 'You're good enough to fight the Sword Master'.

Stinking fight

Insult Comeback
You fight like a dairy Farmer! How appropriate. You fight like a cow!
This is the END for you, you gutter crawling cur! And I've got a little TIP for you, get the POINT?
I've spoken with apes more polite than you! I'm glad to hear you attended your family reunion!

Soon you'll be wearing my sword like a shish kebab!

First you'd better stop waving it like a feather duster.
People fall at my feet when they see me coming! Even BEFORE they smell your breath?
I'm not going to take your insolence sitting down! Your hemorrhoids are flaring up again eh?
I once owned a dog that was smarter than you. He must have taught you everything you know.
Nobody's ever drawn blood from me and nobody ever will. You run THAT fast?
Have you stopped wearing diapers yet? Why? Did you want to borrow one?
There are no words for how disgusting you are. Yes, there are. You just never learned them.
You make me want to puke. You make me think somebody already did.
My handkerchief will wipe up your blood! So you got that job as janitor, after all.
I got this scar on my face during a mighty struggle! I hope now you've learned to stop picking your nose.
I've heard you are a contemptible sneak. Too bad no one's ever heard of YOU at all.
You're no match for my brains, you poor fool. I'd be in real trouble if you ever used them.
You have the manners of a beggar. I wanted to make sure you'd feel comfortable with me.

Stinking win

Sword Master Insults
Insult Comeback
Now I know what filth and stupidity really are. I'm glad to hear you attended your family reunion.
Every word you say to me is stupid. I wanted to make sure you'd feel comfortable with me.
I've got a long, sharp lesson for you to learn today. And I've got a little TIP for you. Get the POINT?
I will milk every drop of blood from your body! How appropriate, you fight like a cow!
I've got the courage and skill of a master swordsman. I'd be in real trouble if you ever used them.
My tongue is sharper than any sword. First, you'd better stop waving it like a feather-duster.
My name is feared in every dirty corner of this island! 1. So you got that job as a janitor, after all.

2. Too bad no one's ever heard of YOU at all.

My wisest enemies run away at the first sight of me! Even BEFORE they smell your breath?
Only once have I met such a coward! 1. He must have taught you everything you know.

2. I'm glad to hear you attended your family reunion.

If your brother's like you, better to marry a pig. You make me think somebody already did.
No one will ever catch ME fighting as badly as you do. You run THAT fast?
My last fight ended with my hands covered with blood. 1. I hope now you've learned to stop picking your nose.

2. Your hemorrhoids are flaring up again, eh?

I hope you have a boat ready for a quick escape. Why, did you want to borrow one?
My sword is famous all over the Caribbean! Too bad no one's ever heard of YOU at all.
You are a pain in the backside, sir! Your hemorrhoids are flaring up again, eh?
I usually see people like you passed-out on tavern floors. 1. Even BEFORE they smell your breath?

2. I'm glad to hear you attended your family reunion.

There are no clever moves that can help you now. Yes, there are. You just never learned them.

Swordmaster fight

Battling on Sea Insult and Comeback Examples[]

Whenever you win a battle you will take your enemy's booty. However, if you lose and you have booty in your hold, they will take yours. So spend your booty on upgrades as soon as you win it.

Insult Renee Rottingham's Insults Comeback Guybrush's Loser Comeback
Every enemy I've met I've annihilated! My attacks have left entire islands depopulated! With your breath, I'm sure they all suffocated. I had my cat laminated.
You're as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee. You have the sex appeal of a Shar-Pei. I look THAT much like your fiancée?
  • Instead of skip, I'd rather sashay.
  • This floor is lovely. Is it parquet?
  • In case of an earthquake, stand in a doorway.
  • I set my blender to frappe.
Killing you would be justifiable homicide! When I'm done, your body will be rotted and putrified! Then killing you must be justifiable fungicide.
  • Hydraulic suspension guarantees a nice smooth ride.
  • I like my steak chicken-fried.
  • I found a three-dollar bill, but I don't think it was bona fide,
  • I sent a letter to the King of Portugal, who never replied.
You're the ugliest monster ever created! Your looks would make pigs nauseated.

If you don't count all the ones you've dated.

  • We had a Little League team, but I never participated.
  • You'll digest food better if it's been masticated.
  • I was thrown off a subway because I had expectorated.
  • I'd like the Latin verb 'to go' conjugated.
I'll skewer you like a sow at a buffet! Your lips look like they belong on catch of the day! When I'm done with YOU, you'll be a boneless filet.
  • I think that my sister's in a family way.
  • The Caribbean is in such a state of disarray.
Would you like to be buried, or cremated? I give you a choice. You can be gutted, or decapitated! With you around, I'd prefer to be fumigated.
  • Better keep that refrigerated.
  • These swordfights need to be officiated.
  • This isn't going as well as I'd anticipated.
  • Could I get my parking ticket validated?
  • The importance of breakfast cannot be overstated.
Coming face to face with me must leave you petrified! Never before have I seen someone so sissified! Is that your face? I thought it was your backside.
  • I'm waiting for these feelings of nausea to subside.
  • Well, I'm fit to be tied.
  • You should let your conscience be your guide.
When your father first saw you, he must have been mortified! You're a disgrace to your species, you're so undignified!

At least mine can be identified.

  • I carry traveler's cheques that are accepted worldwide.
  • Dinoflagellates are the cause of red tide.
You can't match my witty repartee! Nothing can stop me from blowing you away! I could, if you would use some breath spray. Support your local PTA.
I have never seen such clumsy swordplay! I have never lost to a melee! You would have, but you were always running away.
  • Plan for your future with an IRA.
  • I'll meet you in the foyer.
  • Of all crafts, my favorite is papier-mâché.
En garde! Touché! Your mother wears a toupee! Oh, that is so cliché.
  • I'd like to see this swordfight on instant replay.
  • Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way.
Throughout the Caribbean, my great deeds are celebrated! My skills with a sword are highly venerated! Too bad they're all fabricated. I'd have a good comeback, but it's hard to get motivated.
I can't rest 'til you've been exterminated! Your stench would make an outhouse cleaner irritated! Then perhaps you should switch to decaffeinated.
  • I haven't fed my dog for so long, he's emaciated.
  • My fishing hook is always live-baited.
  • I fear our government's funds are being misappropriated.
  • I like music that's syncopated.
I'll leave you devastated, mutilated, and perforated! I can't tell you which of my traits leaves you most intimidated. Your odor alone makes me aggravated, agitated, and infuriated.
  • My entire wardrobe is color-coordinated.
  • Let's get these sausages hot-plated.
  • My craving for peanuts will never be satiated.
  • Chinese food's best when not monosodium-glutamated.
Heaven preserve me! You look like something that's died! Nothing on this Earth can save your sorry hide! The only way you'll be preserved is in formaldehyde.
  • Can you go cross-eyed?
  • If you're planning on retiring, have money set aside.
  • My ship has barnacles on its underside.
I'll hound you night and day! You'll find I am dogged and relentless to my prey! Then be a good dog. Sit! Stay!
  • What this island needs is a good, reasonable buffet.
  • Happy birthday.
  • You're ugly.
  • You're stupid.

Return to Monkey Island[]

2022-10-07 20 06 01-Window

Threepwood engaged in insult sword fighting a few times, though it was not a playable puzzle.

Boybrush practiced his skills against Chuckie in the park.

Guybrush duelled LeChuck before being thrown overboard from LeShip.

Children's Scurvydog Sword Fight Practice
Chuckie Insult Boybrush Response
Let's be frank, you could never hope to beat me! No way! You'll never ketchup to my level!
Your sword is as sharp as a banana! I'll still pear (pare) you down to size.
You're about as scary as a bowl of oatmeal. I'll be sure to break you fast!
You fight like a doofus! Yeah! Like a doofus! Who's an amazing fighter!


  • Many of the insults in SoMI were written by Orson Scott Card, the author of the 1985 book Ender's Game, and his children. His daughter Emily was responsible for the iconic "You fight like a dairy farmer!". Card was not made aware of the insult and reply dynamic however, so Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer had to fill the gaps and make sure the insults they had were suitable for the fights against generic pirates, and also against the alternate insults of the Sword Master.
  • In ToMI, Threepwood can use the insult "Every enemy I've met I've annihilated" while dueling Morgan LeFlay. She gives the correct response.
  • In the Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition, the Swordmaster will not use "I've got a long, sharp lesson for you to learn today." It is in the Ultimate Talkie Edition only when in "keep original text" mode.
  • In the Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition when you use the wrong comeback Guybrush will say the lines with less confidence (same text but different intonation).


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