Best Responses to ‘Tsk Tsk’

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Sarah Koch


Ah, the classic “tsk tsk.” That wonderful sound that’s a mix of judgment, disappointment, and a sprinkle of condescendence all rolled into one. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve encountered this insidious sound and you’re looking for ways to deftly, and perhaps humorously, respond.

Whether it’s from your overbearing Aunt Gertrude or your nosy neighbor, I’ve got your back. Let’s dive into the various ways you can turn the tables on that “tsk tsk” while keeping your cool and maybe even scoring a few laughs.

The Sarcastic Comeback

“Oh, are we five years old now?”

A sarcastic comeback can serve as a witty rebuttal to highlight the absurdity of the “tsk tsk.” This type of response shows that you’re not taking their condescension seriously and you’re perfectly capable of dishing it back.


  • “Wow, such a mature way to show disapproval.”
  • “Did you practice that for long or does it come naturally?”
  • “Oh, are we five years old now?”

The Genuine Curiosity Approach

“I’m intrigued, do tell me more.”

This type of response is where you pretend to be genuinely interested in the other person’s perspective. Use it when you want to throw them off their game and perhaps engage in a more meaningful conversation.


  • “Tsk tsk? Interesting, care to explain?”
  • “Oh really? I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on this.”
  • “I’m intrigued, do tell me more.”

The Playful Tease

“Ah, the sound of your disapproval fuels me.”

Sometimes, a playful tease can lighten the situation. Instead of getting defensive, you turn the whole thing into a joke. This can be especially effective if you’re dealing with someone who’s prone to drama.


  • “Wow, that ‘tsk tsk’ really added value to this conversation.”
  • “Ah, the sound of your disapproval fuels me.”
  • “Keep that up, my ego isn’t fragile at all!”

The Honest Confession

“Yep, I messed up, thanks for the reminder.”

There’s power in admitting our mistakes, and sometimes a straightforward acknowledgment can disarm the person trying to make you feel bad. This type of response shows maturity and confidence.


  • “Yep, I messed up, thanks for the reminder.”
  • “Guilty as charged, feel better now?”
  • “Yep, didn’t need the sound effects though.”

The Turnaround Question

“What makes you say that?”

Using a question to turn the focus back on them is a great way to understand their perspective better (or just confuse them). This approach can lead to a more constructive conversation or at least make them think twice.


  • “What makes you say that?”
  • “Care to elaborate on that ‘tsk tsk’?”
  • “Why the judgment, what’s on your mind?”

The Polite but Firm Response

“I appreciate your concern, but I’m fine.”

Sometimes, all you need is a calm, polite yet firm response to let the other person know that their judgment isn’t welcome. This shows you’re composed and unbothered by their condescension.


  • “I appreciate your concern, but I’m fine.”
  • “Thank you for your input, but I’ve got this.”
  • “Noted. Moving on.”

The Humor Bomb

“Is that the best you’ve got?”

Injecting humor into your response can diffuse tension and make the whole interaction more lighthearted. A humorous response can make the person realize that you’re not taking their “tsk tsk” to heart.


  • “Is that the best you’ve got?”
  • “Oh no, you caught me!”
  • “You know, your ‘tsk tsk’ could use more practice.”

The Compliment

“I see you’ve been practicing that expression.”

A compliment dressed as a veiled critique can be a fun way to deflect the judgment. It maintains a veneer of politeness while still making your point.


  • “I see you’ve been practicing that expression.”
  • “Wow, that ‘tsk tsk’ is on point!”
  • “Nicely done, you should teach a class.”

The Philosophical Angle

“Interesting perspective, what’s your philosophy on life?”

Who doesn’t love a good philosophical discussion? Using this type of response can elevate the conversation from a petty judgment to a deeper discourse. Plus, it can totally throw off someone who was just trying to judge you.


  • “Interesting perspective, what’s your philosophy on life?”
  • “That’s fascinating, what’s your broader view on such matters?”
  • “Care to discuss the meaning of life while we’re at it?”

The Change-the-Subject Mastery

“So, how about that weather?”

Sometimes, the best response is just a complete change of subject. It shows you’re uninterested in engaging in their negativity and are steering the conversation elsewhere.


  • “So, how about that weather?”
  • “Did you catch the game last night?”
  • “Hey, did you hear about that new restaurant in town?”

How to Reply to a Girl

Responding to a girl’s “tsk tsk” can be a delicate art. It’s important to read the room and understand the context. You want to be respectful but also clear that her disapproval doesn’t unsettle you.

If it’s a friend or someone you’re close to, a playful approach might be best. If it’s someone you’re not as familiar with, stick to polite yet firm responses. Here are some examples:


  • “Ah, the ‘tsk tsk’, I missed that.”
  • “Alright, got it. Thanks for keeping me in check.”
  • “Is that disappointment I sense?”
  • “Noted. Let’s move on, shall we?”
  • “You know, you’re more fun when you’re not ‘tsk’-ing.”
  • “Relax, it’s not a big deal.”
  • “I appreciate your feedback, honestly.”
  • “Let’s save the ‘tsk tsk’ for when I really deserve it.”
  • “I hear you, and I’ll do better next time.”
  • “Okay, truce? Let’s enjoy our day.”

How to Reply to a Guy

When dealing with a guy who gives you the “tsk tsk,” the key is to be confident and maybe even a little playful or sarcastic, depending on your relationship with him. Here’s a mix of responses to cover different situations:


  • “Alright, Mr. Judgy.”
  • “Care to elaborate, or just dishing out ‘tsks’ today?”
  • “Wow, been practicing that?”
  • “Oh, ‘tsk tsk’ away, champ.”
  • “Cool sound effect, what’s next?”
  • “Got any constructive thoughts or just that?”
  • “Duly noted, moving on.”
  • “You know that noise means nothing to me, right?”
  • “Solid ‘tsk tsk,’ but have you tried whistling?”
  • “Okay, and…?”

When It’s Your Boss

Alright, this is a tricky one. When your boss gives you the “tsk tsk”, it’s safe to say you need to tread carefully. This is less about witty comebacks and more about maintaining your professionalism while subtly standing your ground.

Long story short, avoid sarcasm. Instead, opt for responses that show you respect their position but also respect yourself. Here’s what you can say:

  • “Understood, I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
  • “I appreciate the feedback, I’ll work on this.”
  • “Thank you for pointing it out, noted.”
  • “Got it, I’ll keep that in mind going forward.”
  • “Thanks for bringing this to my attention, will fix it.”

When It’s a Family Member

Family members, bless them, can be the worst (or best?) offenders of the “tsk tsk”. Unlike coworkers, you can afford to be a bit more candid and playful, but sometimes you may also just need to keep the peace.

Here are some responses suitable for family dynamics:

  • “Wow, you really nailed that ‘tsk tsk,’ mom.”
  • “Appreciate it, dad. Can we move on now?”
  • “Love you too, Aunt Gertrude.”
  • “Got it, maybe let’s talk about something else?”
  • “Thanks, but I’m really trying my best here.”

Funny Comebacks

Humor is always a great tool to diffuse tension. These responses won’t just lighten the mood, but might even make the “tsk tsker” rethink their approach next time.

  • “Ouch, that ‘tsk tsk’ felt like a dagger.”
  • “Hold on, let me get you a small violin.”
  • “Careful, don’t sprain your tongue.”
  • “Whoa, can I get that on repeat?”
  • “Noted. How about some constructive criticism, though?”

Empathetic Replies

Sometimes the best course of action is to show empathy. Assumingly, people “tsk” because they’re disappointed and maybe that’s because they care. Here are ways to approach it empathetically:

  • “I see you’re concerned, let’s talk about it.”
  • “I understand why you feel that way.”
  • “Thanks for caring enough to point it out.”
  • “I appreciate your perspective, really.”
  • “Let’s try to find a solution together.”

When to Walk Away

Walking away is an option too, folks! Sometimes the best response is no response. Whether it’s because the situation is too heated, or you simply can’t be bothered—walking away can save you a lot of unnecessary stress.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • “I need a moment, let’s talk later.”
  • Just walking away
  • “I’m stepping out, we can continue this another time.”
  • “Excuse me, I need some air.”
  • Silence

When It’s from Strangers

Strangers “tsk”ing can be the most baffling experience. Honestly, why do random people feel compelled to judge? Regardless, here are some responses to keep your cool:

  • “Do I know you?”
  • “Was that meant for me?”
  • “Well, that’s awkward.”
  • “I don’t have time for this, sorry.”
  • “Have a nice day!”

Responses for Siblings

Siblings are usually relentless, am I right? Whether it’s an older sister or younger brother, they often believe it’s their job to point out your every flaw. So, here’s how to deal with sibling “tsk tsk”:

  • “Oh, please.”
  • “Get over yourself.”
  • “Like you’re any better?”
  • “Look who’s talking.”
  • “Whatever, man.”

Strategies for Handling Public Situations

There are times you might receive a “tsk tsk” in public, which can feel embarrassing especially when other people are watching. Here’s how to gracefully handle those scenarios:

Stay Composed

The key is to appear unaffected. Your composure in such moments will speak volumes.

  • “Let’s talk about this elsewhere.”
  • “Not the time or place, really.”
  • “Excuse me, I have to go.”

Laugh It Off

If you’ve got thick skin, laughing it off can show everyone that you’re above the petty judgment.

  • Laughing “Are you serious?”
  • “Cute, really.”
  • “That was funny, thanks.”

Final Thoughts: Things to Keep in Mind


Let’s recap.

Handling a “tsk tsk” can be tricky but it’s all about maintaining your cool. Whether you choose a witty comeback, a polite rebuttal, or just decide to walk away, remember that you’re the master of your own reactions.

Learning to deftly handle such moments is an art that can vastly improve your communication skills and boost your confidence in social interactions. So, the next time someone throws a “tsk tsk” your way, you’ll not only be prepared but will have an arsenal of responses to keep the situation in check.

Just remember, you’re awesome and you should never let anyone’s “tsk tsk” make you think otherwise. Go out there and own it! Happy communicating!