40+ Things to Say When Someone Surprises You

When someone surprises you, it can be hard to know how to react. Having some good responses ready will make sure you express the right sentiment. I was recently surprised on my birthday in a way I didn’t expect, which made me realize I needed some better things to say.

So I put together this list of 30 responses for when someone surprises you. Whether it’s a fun prank, an unexpected gift, or something more elaborate, you’ll know exactly what to say. Keep reading for flirty, funny, sweet, and grateful replies.

30 Things to Say When Someone Surprises You

Before jumping into the list, I want to emphasize that how you respond depends on the surprise. A prank might warrant a different reaction than an expensive present from your partner. Make sure to gauge the situation first.

With that said, having ideas at the ready means you won’t be left speechless. Here are 30 responses to try when someone catches you off guard:

Well this is unexpected! I don’t know what to say but thank you.

I’m in shock right now—in the best possible way.

You really caught me off guard, I love it!

How on earth did you pull this off without me finding out?

I can’t believe you planned this whole thing just for me!

You know me so well, this is perfect.

You’re too good to me! I don’t deserve this.

I’m kind of mad you managed to surprise me because I’m usually so hard to fool!

Are you trying to make me cry happy tears?! Because it’s working.

This is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.

I don’t even know what to say except thank you SO much!

You really are full of surprises, I wasn’t expecting this at all!

Well now I feel silly for not planning something this thoughtful for you.

You must have put so much thought and effort into this, I can’t believe it!

I can tell how much love and care went into this surprise. Thank you.

How did I get to be so lucky to have someone as thoughtful as you in my life?

You’re amazing, this means the world to me. I’ll never forget it.

This is above and beyond anything I could have imagined, wow!

I wish I had filmed my reaction, I was so shocked!

You really pulled one over on me, I had no idea this was coming!

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, this is just so lovely and unexpected.

You’re pretty sneaky! I can’t believe you managed this without me finding out.

I’m kinda mad that you surprised me, but mostly very grateful!

I’m still in disbelief right now. You totally bowled me over with this!

How long have you been planning this sneak attack?![1 Bold](line 34 “You totally got me, but I love it!”)

You shouldn’t have gone to so much effort just for me.

I can’t stop smiling right now, this was the best surprise ever!

You sure know how to make me feel special!

This was so unexpected, but so perfect. You’re the best!

I don’t know how yet, but I’m going to get you back for this surprise!

Funny Responses

Catching someone completely off guard with a surprise makes for a great opportunity to get a funny reaction. While pranks should be lighthearted, make sure no one gets hurt!

Below are some humorous replies for surprise pranks or gifts meant to get a laugh:

  1. I think I just peed a little!
  2. This surprise scared me half to death. Now you only have half a girlfriend/boyfriend left!
  3. I may need to go change my underwear after a shock like that!
  4. Are you trying to give me a heart attack?!
  5. Geez, give a girl/guy some warning next time!
  6. Wow, and here I thought nothing exciting ever happens around here!
  7. You do realize payback is going to be twice as crazy, right?
  8. I look forward to planning my revenge… evil laugh.
  9. That surprise took 10 years off my life!
  10. This surprise was almost as scary as seeing my grandma naked! (Sorry grandma!)
  11. Did you install hidden cameras to spy on my reaction?! How embarrassing!
  12. Next time maybe yell “Surprise” first before jumping out and scaring me!
  13. I’m adding extra locks to my doors so this doesn’t happen again!
  14. That surprise was so shocking that I think I pulled a muscle screaming.
  15. And the Oscar for best dramatic reaction to a surprise goes to…me!

Savage Responses

For surprise pranks that go a bit too far, having some savage comebacks ready lets the prankster know you aren’t amused. Just try not to be too harsh!

Here are witty ways to respond when a surprise rubs you the wrong way:

  1. Wow, you really put the “prank” in “it’s just a prank, bro!”
  2. I can’t decide if this surprise was more stupid or mean.
  3. You have a weird idea of what constitutes a “funny” prank.
  4. Clearly whoever thought this prank was clever has no sense of humor.
  5. Haha, so funny. You should take this act on the road…far away from me!
  6. Next time you get the urge to pull a prank like this, do me a favor and don’t.
  7. You’re just lucky I have self-control because right now I want to strangle you!
  8. I don’t find humiliation all that amusing. Do better next time.
  9. I’m surprised by how immature some people still are. Grow up!
  10. Wow, pranking me really boosted your ego, huh? Congrats I guess?
  11. You know that mean jokes say more about the “comedian” than the target, right?
  12. Hmm, I think someone is jealous of me and trying to knock me down a peg. How sad!
  13. I’m not laughing…just waiting for karma to catch up with you!
  14. If I wanted a 12 year old boy pulling pranks I would have given birth to one.
  15. Next time you get the urge to embarrass me, why don’t you go kick rocks instead?

Flirty Responses

If your romantic partner surprises you, flirty responses are a great way to let them know how much you appreciate it. Just dial it up a notch on the sweet talk!

Here are some ideas for flirty reactions to a thoughtful surprise:

  1. You’re just trying to impress me… and it’s working!
  2. If this was your plan to get lucky, I’d say it’s effective.
  3. Are you trying to make me fall in love with you even more? Because it might be working!
  4. This kind of romance and I may want to show you my appreciation later…
  5. Now I’m thinking I should surprise you more often if this is the response I get!
  6. Every time I think you can’t get any sweeter, you go and do this!
  7. You spoil me! Keep it up and see where it gets you…
  8. I’m swooning over here from this incredibly thoughtful gesture.
  9. You sure do know how to treat me right! I might have to reward that behavior…
  10. If this is how you surprise me, I can’t wait to see what else you have planned!
  11. How is it possible I have the sweetest, most caring partner ever?![1 Bold](line 182 “You really swept me off my feet with this one!”)
  12. I knew I was with you for a reason! This just reminded me why I stick around.
  13. Every day with you feels like a surprise. You always keep me on my toes!
  14. You’re making me fall head over heels for you all over again with this!
  15. Oh darling, you spoil me! But please don’t stop!

10 Editor’s Choice Responses

After sorting through dozens of ideas, I narrowed it down to the 10 best responses for when someone catches you totally unaware. Consider these my editor’s top picks!

1. Overjoyed but Speechless

What to say: A heartfelt “oh my gosh” or “I can’t believe this!” captures being overjoyed but speechless. For an extra punch, grin from ear to ear or even get teary eyed to show just how touched you are.

When to use: This genuine display of shock and gratitude works for almost any heartfelt surprise, especially from close friends or a romantic partner.

When NOT to use: If the surprise is meant as a prank or teasing joke, acting overly emotional may inflate the prankster’s ego!

2. It’s the Thought That Counts

What to say: A simple “thank you, this was so thoughtful” emphasizes that the care behind the surprise means more than the surprise itself.

When to use: This response works well for smaller, sentimental surprises where the gesture is what counts most.

When NOT to use: Be wary using this for lavish surprises—you don’t want the gift-giver to think you aren’t satisfied!

3. Laughing Off the Shock

What to say: React with a dramatic “oh my god!” then break into giggles or laughter. Bonus points for grabbing your chest and pretending to faint!

When to use: Use silly dramatics to lightheartedly play off your immense shock for hilarious surprises or extreme pranks.

When NOT to use: Be cautious if the prank was cruel-natured. Laughter may encourage the prankster to keep escalating.

4. Turn Up the Sass

What to say: “Seriously?! How long did it take you to come up with this little scheme?” in your most playfully sarcastic tone lets them know their hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

When to use: This pairs nicely with surprises that clearly took serious effort or planning on the prankster’s part.

When NOT to use: Go easy on sass if they put themselves in an embarrassing or vulnerable position for your enjoyment.

5. Threaten Revenge

What to say: “I will get you back for this, just you wait!” shakes a playful warning finger at overly-sneaky pranksters.

When to use: Lighthearted threats of revenge are great for surprise pranks from friends or siblings.

When NOT to use: Be cautious using this on stranger’s or superior’s pranks to avoid seeming aggressive.

6. Gushing Gratitude

What to say: “You have gone above and beyond. I can’t thank you enough!” conveys earnest appreciation for lavish or luxurious surprises.

When to use: This gushing gratitude works perfectly for pretty much any surprise gift that clearly involved a lot of effort, planning, or expenditure.

When NOT to use: Be wary overusing this phrase on more modest surprises—you don’t want the genuineness to wear off!

7. Flirtatious Banter

What to say: “Oh baby, you shouldn’t have…but I’m sure glad you did!” playfully banters after an extravagant gift from your romantic partner.

When to use: Bring out charming, flirty responses for thoughtful surprises from your lover, especially expensive ones!

When NOT to use: Obviously avoid flirtatious reactions to surprises from employers, parents, or platonic friends to prevent misinterpretation.

8. Suspicious Side-Eye

What to say: Squint eyes and slowly ask “…should I be concerned about what you have planned next?”

When to use: This works perfectly when friends or partners pull surprising pranks clearly intended as lead-ups to something bigger.

When NOT to use: Go easy on the suspicious side-eye if surprises seem genuinely heartfelt rather than secretly plotting!

9. Heartwarming Tears

What to say: Let happy tears speak for themselves. Covering your mouth in disbelief seals the deal.

When to use: Breaking down crying (or pretending to!) demonstrates immense gratitude for huge, moving surprises from very close loved ones.

When NOT to use: Unless the surprise is truly tear-jerking, too much emotion may weird out casual friends or new love interests.

10. Understated Cool Guy/Girl

What to say: “I mean…this is pretty cool! Not bad, I guess” in a relaxed, indifferent tone downplays your shock.

When to use: Acting nonchalant injects comedy into stunned reactions, especially for elaborate surprises. Downplaying extreme reactions diffuses potential awkwardness too.

When NOT to use: Be wary using too cool or sarcastic a reaction for sentimental surprises—you don’t want to seem ungrateful!

How to Reply to a Girl

Women appreciate thoughtfulness and romance. Surprising your lady? Here’s how to make her melt.

Compliment Thoughtfulness

Girls work hard to look good every day. Notice details! Compliment manicures, new hairstyles, or outfit coordination. Saying “You look so beautiful!” pampers her.

Mention careful planning too. Gush “I can’t believe how sneaky you were pulling this off!” or “You put so much thought into this!

Finally, emphasize sentimentality. A sweet “This surprise means so much since I know you hate surprises. It shows how much you care!” can make her tear up.

Flirt Back Boldly

Don’t be afraid to escalate her romantic surprises with some flirting!

Reciprocate sincerity. If she surprises you saying “I love you!” respond “I love you SO much baby!

Amp up intimacy if she surprises you in lingerie. Growl flirtatiously, kiss her passionately, then lead her to the bedroom. She’ll feel so sexy!

Finally, preview future excitement. If she surprises you with concert tickets, tease “I can’t wait to take you out afterward…” leaving possibilities tantalizingly open.

Gush Over Gestures

Little romantic surprises mean MORE to most girls than big expensive ones. React ecstatically to make inexpensive gestures seem extra thoughtful.

Bringing you coffee in bed? Rave “You spoil me rotten!

Cooked a fancy dinner? Marvel “You really went all out, I feel so special!

Picked a cute gift “just because”? Emphasize how much seemingly simple surprises mean through thrilled reactions.

How to Reply to a Guy

Dudes often want laughter or appreciation. Tailor reactions to what motivates his surprise.

Ham Up Reactions

Laughter fuels most guys, especially for pranks. Fall over dramatically, clutch your chest, or scream obscenities.

Over-the-top reactions give him the punchline they crave. Wiping tears of mirth shows you find pranks hilarious rather than mean.

Go ahead and get childish! Exaggerated laughter and pretending to pee your pants makes pranks fun versus humiliating.

Appreciate His Efforts

Men downplay thoughtfulness. So emphasize effort behind surprises to stroke his ego!

If preparations were extensive say “I can’t believe how tricky you were pulling this off!

Compliment expenditure too. “You really went all out for me! I must be pretty special.

Finally, praise disruptions to his schedule. “I know how busy you are. That you took the time for this means so much!

Flatter His Cleverness

Guys pride themselves on craftiness and deception. For surprises requiring sneakiness, flatter his cunning!

If completely blindsided, bewildered reactions like “How did you even do this without me finding out?!” feed his ego.

You can fuel his pride further by demanding an explanation later. “Okay now you HAVE to tell me step-by-step how this was pulled off! I couldn’t live with not knowing.

So there you have it—a foolproof guide on responding to surprises tailored specially for him or her! Now you can react perfectly no matter the situation.

In Conclusion

Being caught off guard leaves many of us speechless. But having go-to reactions ready for surprises of all kinds ensures you never need to strain for a response again!

Whether pranked, spoiled sweetly or wowed with an elaborate scheme, this guide equips you with ideal replies for every surprise scenario. Commit a few all-purpose expressions to memory from the list. Then tailor your response to the uniqueness of each surprise using ideas from the funny, sweet, grateful or flirty examples.

Finally, don’t forget to personalize reactions based on WHO is surprising you using our tips for guys vs girls. With this toolbox of customizable responses, you’ll expertly react to any unexpected situation life throws your way!

Now put these surprise reaction skills into action—then wait and see if someone can actually catch YOU off guard next time!

I am a Certified Life Coach (CPC) and mom of two from Austin, TX. I draw on my psychology background and coaching experience to empower others to grow through my writing.

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