With Due Respect

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"Why is it that whenever someone says 'with all due respect', they really mean 'kiss my ass'?"
Ashley Williams, Mass Effect

In an unquestionably hierarchical situation—often with legally enforceable prerogatives—a junior argues with a senior.

The junior has very good odds of being right, since he is confident despite what his senior thinks, or says he thinks. The more diffident the junior is about making the objection, the more likely it is that he is right (and objecting out of the purest sense of duty). Sometimes the junior merely keeps his complaints to himself, and his displeasure is merely manifested non-verbally. The senior may have to order him to express his views—repeatedly; he may decline "with respect" the first time.

Conversely, may sometimes be used to show that the senior is about to engage in a reckless or not-by-the-books action.

The Bad Boss will view this with disfavor, even if he ordered it; a Benevolent Boss will take it as a sign of good spirits and sense in the subordinate. If he slaps it down and his superior is present, the odds are good that his superior will approve, and insist on it. This can lead to some interesting tensions afterward.

A common Military Trope. Fire Forged Friendship may lead to this; the junior having won the superior's respect in combat, the superior will listen.

The Old Retainer is prone to it, because criticism must be delivered properly. Other servants may also engage in it.

The Stock Phrase had variants, include "With respect" and "With all due respect." When followed by some slang or curse words, the result can be Sophisticated As Hell.

Compare You Are in Command Now, where a junior may accidentally give a senior an order, and Friend or Foe, where the junior does not know whether the senior is who he claims to be. See also My Master, Right or Wrong where the junior's sense of ethics (or sometimes just his sense) constantly clashes with the senior's lack thereof, though he still follows. Often said by a despairing Commander Contrarian. See also Rebellious Rebel, where this may occur in the lead up to the rebellion.

Contrast Right in Front of Me. See also That's an Order.

Examples of With Due Respect include:

Anime & Manga

  • The first couple of episodes of Gundam Wing show that Relena is pretty good at this, or at least has had lots of practice. A variation occurs in the first episode, where she's backhandedly polite to an Alliance officer.

Officer: We have been waiting for you, Mr. Darlian. A military car is waiting for you outside. Please proceed quickly.
Darlian: Right away? That won't do. I have some things to take care of first for my daughter's birthday.
Officer: I have arranged for a separate car to take your daughter.
Relena: (curtsying) Don't trouble yourself about me. I'm quite capable of finding my own way home.

  • In Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, Nanoha uses a variant of this on Hayate, who is a long-time friend, but while on duty, she addresses as she would any other superior. Nanoha says that Hayate getting herself stabbed and staying behind for a few minutes to relay orders was somewhat reckless, then bows and apologizes after making her point.
  • In the English dub of the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime, Riza responds to Roy's statement that State Alchemists do terrible things that make most of them not much better than Shao Tucker by saying "With respect," and indicating that his argument based on adult reasoning would be lost on Ed.

Comic Books

  • This occurred in the first appearance of the Banzai Battalion in 2000 AD:

"Why is it, sergeant, that whenever I hear 'With respect, sir', I know there's insubordination coming?"

Jeanette: Blake, please inform our leader in the most polite and respectful of terms that I am not following his order.
Catman: Bane, Jeanette says to go **** yourself!

  • In the Iron Man annual while Tony Stark was running SHIELD; after Tony outlines his plan to depose the corrupt leader of Madripor, Maria Hill's response: "With all due respe-- no, screw the pleasantries. Are you insane?"

Fairy Tales

Next - speaking with all submission and reverence - I do not purpose to let myself fall be low the race of my ancestors, who from all time have been famous and illustrious, nor do I wish to debase the crown you wear by taking for a husband one who is our inferior. You, my beloved father, have begotten four daughters, of whom you have married three in the most honourable fashion to three mighty kings, giving with them great store of gold and wide domains, but you wish to dispose of me, who have ever been obedient to you and observant of your precepts, in an ignoble alliance. Wherefore I tell you, to end my speech, that I will never take a husband unless I can be mated, like my three sisters, to a king of a rank that is my due.

Fan Fiction

"With all due respect, Chaplain Morteus, Michael would not want a rat's head nailed to the wall!"
"Why does 'With all due respect' sound like 'frak you', Vincent?"


Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: Sheriff Rawlins, with all due respect, I'd like to suggest check points on a 15 mile radius out here on I-57, I-20 and on route 13 out of Chester...

  • In the 2009 Star Trek movie Kirk comes tearing onto the Bridge shouting for Captain Pike to get out of warp now because a giant Romulan spaceship from the future with a really pissed-off Captain is waiting to chew the fleet to pieces. Of course, he's right.
  • This exchange from the original The Fog:

Kathy Williams: Sandy, you're the only person I know who can make "Yes, Ma'am" sound like "screw you".
Sandy Fedel: Yes, Ma'am.

  • Ricky Bobby thinks he can get away with anything by adding "with all due respect". He can't.
    • He and his boss even discuss it:

Ricky: With all due respect, I didn't know you underwent an experimental procedure to have your balls removed.
Dennit: ...excuse me?!
Ricky: I said "with all due respect".
Dennit: That doesn't mean you get to say whatever you want to me.
Ricky: Yes it does! It's in the Geneva Convention! Look it up!

  • Used in Che Part One (about Che Guevera). When Che is visiting New York, he learns of a bomb threat against him. Che tells his personal security guard that he wants his guard to ride in a separate car (so his guard will be safe), but his guard says, "With all due respect, I should ride with you."
  • In Outbreak Colonel Daniels has this exchange with General McClintock while in a helicopter blocking a bomber from nuking a small town:

General McClintock: With all due respect, Colonel Daniels, if you do not follow us to Travis Air Force Base, I will blow you out of the sky.
Daniels: General, with all due respect, fuck you, sir.

Jamie: Well if it isn't Humpty Numpty...
Simon: What is this, surround bollocking?
Jamie: With due respect, I hadn't finished. Well if it isn't Humpty Numpty, sitting on top of a collapsing wall like some clueless egg...cunt. Now I'm finished.

Eunice Bloom: "With all due respect"... man, I hate it when people say that because it is inevitably followed by a disrespectful remark. Here, let me give you an example: With all due respect detective, this matter falls under whatever jurisdiction I fuckin’ say it does.

Rose: You're crazy!
Jack: That's what everybody says but with all due respect, miss, I'm not the one hanging off the back of a ship here.

Dodge: Since when did the rules ever apply to you?
Graham: Watch it! Don't you realise that you are addressing a superior officer?
Dodge: No, merely a higher ranking one.

    • Technically, he's right, if you choose to see "superior" as "better" instead of "higher-ranking". Graham is definitely not a better officer if he can't even win a rigged wargame without cheating and is biased against Dodge specifically because he's an embarassment, even though Dodge a pretty competent commander.
  • Apollo 13, after one of the NASA guys says this could be the biggest disaster NASA's ever experierenced.

Gene Kranz: With all due respect, sir, I believe this is going to be our finest hour.


  • Warhammer 40,000 examples:
    • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel His Last Command, Commissar Kanow tries to bludgeon into Junior Commissar Ludd that there is no need to investigate the story of certain "deserters and heretics", even though some of it could be corroborated; Ludd still demurs. Which is why Gaunt and his team take Kanow hostage and, when he cannot be reasoned with, get Ludd to contact their higher-ups.
      • In Blood Pact, when Maggs tries to persuade Gaunt to tell him more of what is going on, he offers "with enormous deference" that since he has Maggs and no one else it might be advisable.
    • In Graham McNeill's novel Storm of Iron, when Honsou speaks of their plan of attack, the Warsmith slaps him down, hard, for thinking himself worthy of making a suggestion and says he considers himself merciful for not punishing him.
      • On the Imperial side, when his aide suggests that Major Tedeski is exposing himself to danger, Tedeski points out they are not facing snipers and the artillery is too low.
    • In James Swallow's novel Faith & Fire, when Lethe asks a question, Dione draws in her breath; Miriya deduces that Dione does not let her squad speak without permission.
    • Space Wolf Examples:
      • In William King's Grey Hunters, when Ragnar first meets the Wolf Lord Berek, he speaks his mind. This produces some approval and some disapproval from the other Space Marines there.
      • In Lee Lightner's Sons Of Fenris, Sebastian paces after they retreat. Jeremiah asks if he wishes to speak, and Sebastian says, "With respect, no," before admitting that he dislikes retreating.
        • In Wolf's Honor, Ragnar tells Grimnar that he should be sent to the battlefield and he'd rather die on it than live where they are. Grimnar calls his an arrogant pup, cuffs him, and says he couldn't have said it better himself.
    • Horus Heresy examples:
      • In Dan Abnett's Horus Rising, Torgaddon is telling one of Eidolon's juniors Tarvitz how Eidolon's actions, blowing up certain trees, produced beneficial effects. One of Tarvitz's juniors, Bulle, requests permission to speak; Tarvitz tries to get him to keep quiet, but Torgaddon overrules him, and Bulle reveals that blowing up the trees had been Tarvitz's action, and Eidolon had rebuked him for it, until he realized what it had done. Torgaddon strictly informs his superiors that if Bulle is punished for this, he will punish them.
      • In Graham McNeill's False Gods, Petronella Vivar tells Horus that if he think he can bully her, he can go to hell—sir. (He had told her to call him "Horus".) He laughs, she is certain he will never appoint her as his remembrancer, and he appoints her on the spot.
        • The author was recycling an identical scene in his "Ambassador Chronicles".
      • In Dan Abnett's Legion, when Alpharius says they can not leave what they have sworn to do, Soneka objects that they do. When everyone looks at him, he is more diffident but points out that they act with relentless pragmatism about everything.
      • In James Swallow's Flight of the Eisenstein, while waiting on a crippled ship to see who the Imperial forces that found them were, the ship's captain checks what he is saying, and Garro urges him to speak: their experiences together should permit candor. Later, when Dorn strikes Garro for telling him of Horus's treachery, Qruze tells him he must hear him out. Dorn roars that Qruze ought to have been retired, and he dares give him an order. Qruze points out that he could have broken Garro's neck with the blow, and didn't; he knew Garro's words had value and wanted the complete truth. He listens to the rest. At the end he accuses Garro of insanity; Garro counter-accuses him of blindness.
      • In Graham McNeill's Fulgrim, Caphen questions Solomon's orders.

Sir, without wishing to appear impertinent, are you sure that's the right choice?

        • Later, when Fulgrim comes to Ferrus Manus, one of Ferrus Manus's captains, Santar, complains of the arrogance of Fulgrim's legion, angering Ferrus Manus; he apologizes for speaking out of turn, and Ferrus Manus, no longer angry, tells him that he spoke from the heart, which is what he values him for.
    • In James Swallow's Blood Angels novel Red Fury, Brother-Sergeant Rafen interrupts two Chapter Masters who are obviously about to quarrel with the comment that this was not the place.
    • In Dan Abnett's Brothers of the Snake, when Petrok is ordering Priad to prepare his squad, Priad starts to say "with respect" and Petrok explodes that Priad should show some respect. Then he apologizes, but he still insists on overriding Priad though he does explain why.
    • In Nick Kyme's Warhammer 40,000 novel Salamander, when N'keln proposes returning for Revenge, Dak'ir says "with respect, sir" that the enemy would have left by now.
      • Later, Dak'ir orders Emek to tell him what he is thinking, despite his expressed desire to not appear insubordinate. When Emek reveals that soldiers are wondering whether Dak'ir was responsible for their captain's death, Dak'ir briefly considers punishing him—but he had asked him.
    • Inverted in C. S. Goto's Blood Ravens trilogy, when a Chaplain questions Gabriel's plan and Gabriel rages at him, the Chaplain asks for forgiveness, and Gabriel says there is no need to talk of forgiveness; he values the Chaplain's questions but must ask the Chaplain to trust him this time.
  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' Whose Body, a junior doctor takes it upon himself to say at the inquest that he thought the dead man might have lingered several days, although Sir Julian Freke says he died at once. The junior doctor is very diffident about it, but Lord Peter Wimsey points out that this is evidence: The young doctor had to be very certain to go against such an eminent authority.
    • This is doubly important because Dr. Freke was the murderer.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld story The Last Hero (quote).
    • Also used in Going Postal, when Corrupt Corporate Executive Reacher Gilt uses the phrase three times over the course of telling the Patrician, basically, "We can do what we like and you can't stop us". The Patrician sardonically notes that such a great amount of respect is gratifying.
      • Subverted once; Commander Vimes, making a point about how orders are supposed to work, orders Detritus to shoot a man in cold blood. Detritus first hesitates, then refuses, then essentially tells Vimes the troll equivalent of "stick it up your ass"; he amends "With respect" to this last one. The subversion being that, because Vimes is a very good boss, Detritus actually does respect him, and he really only got away with saying something so offensive because he was proving Vimes' point.
  • America: The Book uses the trope for a C-Span drinking game.
  • Lampshaded in Ender's Game, when a superior tells Graff to "please stop assuring me of how respectful you are whenever you're about to tell me that I'm an idiot."
  • Characters in Star Trek: New Frontier are fond of mentioning how the least respectful things they hear are usually preceded by "With all due respect".

Jellico: Just once I'd like it if someone coupled the phrase 'with all due respect' with some sort of sentiment that was genuinely respectful.

"I assume that was said with all due respect?"
"Oh, absolutely, sir".

  • In the Hand of Thrawn duology, Supreme Commander Pellaeon's Commander Contrarian tries to make him change his counterintuitive plans and uses this sort of phrasing, to Pellaeon's amusement.

"Trust me, Captain," Pellaeon said, trying hard not to smile as his mind suddenly flashed back ten years. Then, he'd been the earnest captain standing on this same deck, trying in the most diplomatic way possible to make his superior see sense in the middle of a tense combat situation. [...] And yet Thrawn had never reprimanded him for his impertinence and lack of understanding. He had merely continued calmly with his plans, allowing the results to speak for themselves.

    • It's a senior talking to a junior here, but something about how a general expresses his displeasure at Commander Wedge Antilles's plan echoes this trope.

Crespin: "After due consideration and review, I think it's a terrible idea."

"I don't want to seem always to be criticizing your methods of voice production, Jeeves," I said, "but I must inform you that that 'Well, sir' of yours is in many respects fully as unpleasant as your 'Indeed, sir?' Like the latter, it seems to be tinged with a definite scepticism. It suggests a lack of faith in my vision. The impression I retain after hearing you shoot it at me a couple of times is that you consider me to be talking through the back of my neck, and that only a feudal sense of what is fitting restrains you from substituting for it the words 'Says you!'"

  • In the Imperial Guard novel Cadian Blood, Seth, the regiment's sanctioned psyker, speaks up in a meeting with the Raven Guard to ask if he can consult with the Space Marine librarian about the Emperor's Tarot. Nearly gets shot by his commissiar, but the Space Marines treat the request with utmost respect.
  • Inverted in CS Lewis's Prince Caspian, after a long debate in which Trumpkin maintains that sending someone to look for Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy is foolish, but Caspian decides otherwise, Trumpkin volunteers to go, much to Caspian's surprise. He explains to Caspian that having given his advice, now he must take orders; he knows the difference.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Transcedence, Atkins gives his knife an order; it asks for a written, notarized copy. Atkins knows that the only reason it would do so would be to preserve that information for a court martial; no soldier would ask for such for a lawful order. He tells the knife of how his uncle taught him that good and evil, if real, are irrelevant; Might Makes Right. The knife asks for permission to speak frankly before pointing out that his uncle, by his own account, also lost and therefore was, by that logic, wrong.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Only You Can Save Mankind, the Naviagation Officer ends her objected with "With respect."
  • The equivalent phrase, in multiple Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle novels is "That turns out not to be the case", originating in the novel The Mote in God's Eye:

Renner: Wrong!
Blaine: The tactful way, the polite way to disagree with the Senator would be to say, 'That turns out not to be the case.'
Renner: Hey, I like that. Anyway, the Senator's wrong.

Later in the book, Renner disagrees with a higher authority, starting out by saying "That turns out not to be the case."

  • In Jack Campbell's Courageous, Captain Desjani uses this when Geary says he doesn't want to talk.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter, Mab frequently starts off with "Begging your pardon." At the end, he says it to Prospero, and then withdraws it, not letting habit trump his new freedom.
  • A non-insulting version occurs in Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South, where a Confederate private stops Robert E. Lee (who is the Confederate President) from entering a room by saying "With due respect sir, I should go first in case there are any traps." The narration even notes that he uses "the self-conscious tone all junior officers use when dressing down their superiors".

Live-Action TV

  • When George Costanza criticized George Steinbrenner's decisions to his face, Costanza wound up working for the Yankees for a season.

George Steinbrenner: Nice to meet you.
George Costanza: Well, I wish I could say the same, but I must say, with all due respect, I find it very hard to see the logic behind some of the moves you have made with this fine organization. In the past twenty years, you have caused myself, and the city of New York, a good deal of distress as we have watched you take our beloved Yankees and reduced them to a laughingstock, all for the glorification of your massive ego.
George Steinbrenner: Hire this man!

  • In the new Battlestar Galactica, this is always prefaced by Starbuck asking for permission to speak plainly, since a subordinate is supposed to be quiet unless the superior says so. Of course, the one time Adama tells her no, the matter is not under discussion, she's amazed.
  • 24

Jack Bauer: With all due respect, Mr. President, sixteen hours ago your people were willing to hand me over for dead, and I did not hesitate.

Mayor Laskov: With all due respect, sir, I don't think Colonel Smith's unorthodox strategies will be very effective in the face of a court martial. The A-Team will discover that the element of surprise is ours this time.

Michael Vaughn: Jack, he just lost his wife. I mean, with all due respect, why are you fighting with me on this?

Greg Sanders: Well, with all due respect, sir, it's not a baked potato.

Lister: With all due respect sir, what's in it for the cat?

    • Also:

Rimmer: With respect, sir, you've got your head right up your big fat arse.

Commander William T. Riker: With all due respect, sir - you need me. Particularly now.

Odo: With all due respect, Commander, you don't know me well enough to gauge my state of mind
(a moment later)
Worf: With all due respect, I do not see how sitting in a chair, staring at a wall is going to help apprehend Shakaar's would-be assassin.

    • "Bar Association"

Chief O'Brien: With all due respect sir, we -- we weren't brawling.

    • "Let He Who is Without Sin...," after Worf helps the New Essentials disable Risa's weather control system:

Dr. Bashir: With all due respect, are out of your mind?!

Captain Kathryn Janeway: With all due respect, Dr. Frazier, you were one harmonious family bent on the violent assimilation of innocent cultures.

Daniel: Sir, with all due respect, the good senator is an ass.

    • Tobin tries it unsuccessfully on a Prior in the tenth season.
    • Jack manages to invert it in "Shades of Grey":

Well, with no due respect, General, that's just plain stupid.

    • Carter uses it all the time when explaining why Jack and/or Daniel's plan du jour won't work.

Carter: With all due respect, sir, [insert technobabble here].

  • In Yes Minister, Humphrey is technically Hacker's junior but actually regards him as inferior and rather dull. As a result:

Humphrey: And, with respect, Minister-
Hacker: Don't-don't use that filthy language to me, Humphrey.
Humphrey: Filthy language, Minister?
Hacker: I know what "with respect" means in your jargon. It means you're just about to imply that anything I'm about to suggest is beneath contempt.

Inspector Frost: With all due respect, sir...
Superintendent Mullett: (butting in) There's no respect at all in your voice when you say that, did you know?

  • Posca the slave in Rome when Mark Antony threatens to force Calpurnia to leave Rome:

Posca: With all respect, sir, but until the will is ratified I am bound to serve the Julii and I must request that you not forcibly remove my mistress. With all respect.

Ally: I mean, with all due respect, you sort of walk around with uppity breasts...and the hair flips aren't the most subtle...and your perfume! You could be flammable! Now what if somebody shut you down as a safety hazard. How would you feel then?
Elaine: That was with all due respect??

Karen: I know you're my superior, so I say this with all due respect. How stupid are you?

  • In an episode of Boston Legal, when Alan goes to Texas to appeal a man's execution. The lawyer who asked for his help warns him that if he feels the need to retaliate he should instead say "With all due respect, may it please the court." Naturally Alan ends up saying it after nearly every statement, and practically yelling it by the end of his talk, following a no-holds-barred verbal smackdown.
  • In True Blood, Erik actually does deliver the next line with a certain amount of respect, though the fact of the matter is he's saying, "That's not what you should do," in politer terms. To his queen. Leading to...

[while choking him] 'With all due respect'? Oh, I am due a lot more respect than that.

    • Later on, he shows her that the only reason he tolerated her antics was because he respected her position, even though he is at least twice her age. In the third season, he reserves the same kind of "respect" for King William Compton of Louisiana.
  • In Doctor Who episode The Invasion Of Time, Borusa postfixes his comments with "I meant no disrespect."
    • In The Dominators, the subordinate's fractious and violent nature leads to frequent insubordination, once prefixed with this.
  • Whenever this phrase comes out of Barbara Havers' mouth, it is a fairly reasonable bet that she doesn't mean a word of it. Should she actually mean it, it is then a fairly reasonable bet that shit just got serious.
  • On The Sopranos, Silvio pulls this with Tony when Tony seems willing to go to war with the New York mafia over his wayward cousin Tony Blundetto. Tony gives it right back to him:

Tony: All due respect, you got no fuckin' idea what it's like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other fuckin' thing. It's too much to deal with almost. And in the end you're completely alone with it all.

    • But in the end, he takes Silvio's advice.
  • In Community, Jeff Winger is unsurprisingly blunt in his usage of this trope when confronting Pierce's father: "With all due respect, I have zero respect for you."
  • House

Taub: With all due respect--
House: None taken.

  • Doc Bryan of Generation Kill does it after being prompted multiple times. Given how the relationship between grunts and command is generally portrayed in the series this becomes Crowning Moment of Awesome.

Doc Bryan: Are you asking me to speak frankly, sir?
Encino Man: Yes, well...
Doc Bryan: Well, sir, it's just that you're incompetent, sir.
Encino Man: I'm doing the best I can.
Doc Bryan: Sir, it's not good enough.

Newspaper Comics

  • An arc of Dilbert had the employees realize that if they insulted the boss after saying With Due Respect, he'd accept it as constructive criticism no matter what.

Pointy-Haired Boss: Alice - I've noticed a disturbing trend - the solution to the problem is always the last thing you try.
Alice: With all due respect, are you using your skull to store old rocks or what?!
Pointy-Haired Boss: It's a good thing you said "with all due respect".

    • In the very next strip, Alice relates this information to the others, and Wally takes advantage of it by asking "With all due respect, is that your face or is a monkey climbing down your neck backwards?"
    • And in another strip:

Dilbert: "I'd like permission to keep a plastic plant in my cubicle."
Cubicle Police:: "Permission denied! Plants attract bugs! If I can't tell it's fake how will the bugs be able to tell?"
Dilbert: "With all due respect, bugs are way smarter than you."
Cubicle Police: "Oh yeah? I'd like to see them do this job!"

      • See the strips in question here.


  • In Old Harry's Game, Scumspawn starts a sentence with "with respect" when protesting about being disintegrated, and Satan calls it "a meaningless form of words that people use just before they tell you you're talking bollocks". The Professor then says Satan is only disintegrating Scumspawn because he feels threatened by a demon growing as an individual, to which Satan replies "Well, with respect..."



  • Played straight and lampshaded in Mass Effect.
    • The hilarious thing is that the page quote is when Ashley was arguing with a superior—Lt. Kaidan only prefaced his remarks with the 'all due respect' line because he's excessively polite.
      • There's a little more to it then that, a subtext you can pick up on if you notice what Kaidan's doing in the game's opening and where he's usually found. Kaidan is Fleet, not Marine, by training. He's trying to keep interservice shenanigans from breaking out.
        • Actually, Kaidan is a marine.
    • Even more humorously, the next time Commander Shepard confronts the Citadel Council, Shepard also uses the phrase "with all due respect" in what may very well be an intentional callback to Ashley's previous remark.
      • Or a bit of a Tear Jerker if Ashley was the one left behind on Virmire.
    • In Mass Effect 2, you can use this line on the quarian Admiralty Board.
  • When Captain Saladin says this to Abdul Alhazred in King's Quest VI, he very much means "If the princess orders me, I will tear your throat out. Literally and gladly."
  • Played for comedic effect in Company of Heroes. When ordering a Riflesquad to attack an enemy Tank, one of the responses is "With all due respect sir, are you high?".
  • Lampshaded, in the Halo level "Shut up and get behind me... Sir"


Web Original

  • Played for Comedy (like everything) in Manwhores with the ever uncouth Randy: "I mean this with the greatest amount of respect for your girlfriend, but she was a bitch with a capital *unt."

Western Animation

Iago: With all due respect, Your Rottenness, couldn't we just wait for a real storm?

  • Spydor of Captain Simian and The Space Monkeys takes this trope and runs with it. He often adds a "And I mean that with all due respect" after scathing or sarcastic comments.
    • Which is a reference to the stand-up act of Spydor's voice actor, Dom Irrera.
  • Used in an episode of Transformers Animated with Optimus Prime to Ultra Magnus. In a variation, Sentinal Prime was not in the room, though Optimus was talking about him.
    • Ditto with "But Sentinel-" "Is a glitch-head. All due respect."
  • Played with on The Simpsons with "Permission to say that's crazy, sir." He never does get permission...
  • In one of Family Guy's many cutaway gags, Cap'n Crunch wants a mob boss to order a hit on a rival cereal mascot for spreading damn lies! My cereal does not cut kids' mouths! ...with respect.

Real Life

  • Richard Feynman recounts how he got on the Manhattan Project. Having forgotten that he was talking to Niels Bohr, Feynman contradicted him. Bohr had him assigned because Feynman spoke his mind.
  • Truth in Television - the military tries to teach that good officers listen to what their subordinates are saying, especially since the American system is that officers are generalists while enlisted men are specialists. The way it's supposed to work is that once the subordinate or subordinates have finished giving information (and in the case of experienced subordinates speaking to inexperienced superiors, also advice), the officer in command then decides... but unless the situation is such that there's no time to talk about it, the senior is supposed to first listen, then act. Likewise, the junior is supposed to first offer whatever relevant information they have that their superior does not already possess, then shut up and do what they're ordered to.
    • Also applies at very senior levels—generals have staffs, which they are well advised to listen to before jumping to a conclusion, precisely because no one person can know everything. For that matter, you can generalize this to non-military senior management positions as well, although quite often it's entirely ignored by bad managers.
  • Done literally by Joschka Fischer, member of the German Green Party, in 1984. Fischer, then member of the German Bundestag, addressed Richard Stücklen, then vice president of the Bundestag, who had suspended a party member of Fischer's: "With respect, Mr. President, you are an asshole." Fischer later became one of Germany's most popular—if not beloved—politicians, and was Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs under Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005).
  • In the US military today, this could be considered an apology before disagreeing with a superior officer or NCO, but does not eliminate anything that the person may say that would otherwise, be disrespectful, such as "With all due respect, you're a moron."
    • Additionally, respect is a two-way street. If the senior person breaches the boundaries of respect first, the subordinate may get away with the same breach of respect.
    • A good use of "with all due respect" is when a senior person gives an order that is not lawful by saying something like, "With all due respect, I can't do that," although a simple "No" would also work.
  • "With all due respect, in the most unparliamentary language, fuck you Deputy Stagg. Fuck you." - Green Deputy Paul Gogarty to Labour Emmet Stagg on the floor of the Irish parliament, 12/11/09
  • In July 2010 the FBI sent a letter to Wikipedia demanding the removal of the FBI logo from the page about the FBI. The Wikipedia response denying the demand was signed,"With all appropriate respect".
  • Excerpt of an old exchange from the 1980s between two small-town Brazilian politicians, registered in a judicial complaint: "...and if it happens to be convenient to you, Mr. Mayor, you could even go fuck yourself."