A clapback (verb, adj.) is defined on Urban Dictionary as “to return fire.” The second definition upvote is “to return a diss…” The definition I agree with though is “basically a comeback, most likely pumped with attitude, sass and or shade.” 👏

How does a clapback come to be? After one’s insulted, usually in a public manner and at times out of nowhere, the insultee returns the favor. Combined with social media, this phenomenon is more present and a whole lot more entertaining.

For example, the #ThanksgivingClapback upped the ante for family small talk during the fall holiday.

Now that we’ve cleared up the technicalities, let’s get to the juicy details. 2016 was well-seasoned with clapbacks. Grab some popcorn, take your seat, and enjoy our “Top Clapbacks of 2016.”

It’s About to Go Down - Top Clapbacks of 2016

Aunt Viv vs. The Smiths

Most people are familiar with Janet Hubert for her most notable role as Aunt Viv on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She donned the role for the first three seasons. But for the final three seasons? A different “Aunt Viv” came into the picture out of nowhere. Turns out a decades-long feud between Janet and Will Smith developed during her time on Fresh Prince.

Last year, his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, called for the boycott of the Oscars over the lack of nominees for people of color. Remember the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite? Well, Ms. Janet created a video that not only showed no support for the campaign but also took a dig at Will.

This is a clapback 25 years in the making.

Actress slams Pinkett Smith's Oscars boycott

Actress Janet Hubert, who played aunt Viv on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has slammed Jada Pinkett Smith’s boycott of this year’s Oscars after the Academy nominated only white actors for the second year in a row. She says "I find it ironic somebody who has made their living and has made millions and millions of dollars from the very people you’re talking about boycotting just because you didn’t get a nomination, just because you didn’t win? That’s not the way life works, baby." watch full video:

Posted by Chris Lynch on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wendy’s Indirect Jab at Burger King

Social media has become a tool for brands and companies alike to reach out and form relationships with their customers. Whether it’s through entertaining, well-crafted tweets like Oreo’s with the right amount of edge (Oreo if you are reading this please go here) or a customer relations line for inquiries, social media is playing a pivotal role in present day marketing practice.

When Wendy’s boosted its “4 for $4” deal on Twitter, Burger King stepped in by mentioning their own “5 for $4, because 5 is better than 4.” Oh, snap something’s about to go down! A customer’s tweet then led to a nice set up for Wendy’s to leave Burger King burnt.

The comments that followed were a dish well-served for readers.

Verizon vs. T-Mobile

T-Mobile showed in 2016 they do not take jabs lightly, especially not from Verizon. What came about was T-Mobile’s hilarious and entertaining #BALLOGIZE campaign. It was a thrill covering the back and forth ridiculousness of these prominent cell service providers.

Asian Community Clapbacks to the Lack of Diversity in Hollywood

It isn’t unusual to see Hollywood criticized for its casting choices of white actors in Asian roles. Nothing ringing a bell? Remember The Last Airbender? The series was based off many different races but ended up with a Caucasian cast, unless you count the villains. These casting choices run way back even to the 1950’s with The Conqueror. American actor John Wayne, whose background includes English, Irish, Scots-Irish, and Scottish, starred as Genghis Khan, founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, in The Conqueror. If you need a quick history lesson, try Vox’s video.

In 2016, the Asian community made their voices heard about studio choices. In not one, but two major films.

Doctor Strange
In the live action adaptation of Marvel comic book series’ Doctor Strange Tilda Swinton plays the Ancient One. A character depicted in the books as a Tibetan man. Fans took to the streets, well, Photoshop, and made their own casting call.

So let me get this straight. You cast a white actress so you wouldn’t hurt sales…in Asia? This backpedaling is nearly as cringeworthy as the casting. Marvel must think we’re all idiots.

Posted by George Takei on Saturday, April 30, 2016

George Takei’s post broken down with explanation.

The film’s director offered his reasoning.

Ghost in the Shell

In Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures’ announcement for the live action movie Ghost in the Shell, hell broke loose on Twitter when the big reveal photo went out. Scarlett Johansson’s casting was announced back in January 2015, yet seeing her sporting the black bobbed hair made it real. Major Motoko Kusanagi, originally a Japanese character, is being played by a Caucasian woman.

The post on Instagram.

Since Hollywood couldn’t visualize an Asian actress in the role, one individual took the concept and made it feasible.

A Twitter thread conversation about the event.

Fans even suggested potential actresses for the role.

Skai Jackson vs. Azealia Banks

From spitting hateful words to lashing out at former Directioner Zayn Malik to getting shut down by Disney teen star Skai Jackson, Azealia Banks made her name known in the social sphere and on the Twitter ban list, becoming notorious for attacking everyone and anyone instead of her music career. Azealia stirring up trouble online is nothing new. The real shocker though is no one was prepared to see her get whipped by a 14-year-old.

#AzaeliaBanks vs everybody today 😩😩😩 #SkaiJackson

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

#SkaiJackson is reading honey!! #AzaeliaBanks #ClapBackSeason

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

Lord #SkaiJackson called out #AzaeliaBanks' edges 😩😩😩😩 #PettyWap #ClapBackSeason

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

For those who want a recap Ti of LovelytiTV covered the feud on her YouTube channel.

2016 we commend you for the entertainment you brought. 2017 looking forward to seeing the arena, lineup, and match. *ding*

Additional notes:

This doesn’t cover many celebrities clapbacks, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Body shamers beware the clapbacks are coming for you. The Kardashians alone can garner a whole blog post.