4 pop culture characters who could absolutely cast Vicious Mockery

Explicit language and potential psychic damage await...
vicious mockery Baldur's Gate 3 dnd

Vicious Mockery is the perfect Dungeons & Dragons spell. It literally does what it says on the tin: you hurl a magically powerful insult at an enemy that deals a little bit of psychic damage (a real thing in D&D) and a lot of “makes your villain look silly” damage (which is much more powerful). 

After all, is there anything better for morale during nail-biting combat in Baldur’s Gate 3, than hearing your lil’ Bard toot their flute and yell, “Your body is a temple to an idiot god!” at a 12 foot devil?

It’s this arcane mix of mechanics and flavour that immortalises moments at the real life table. Countless times as the DM, I’ve had a new player cast the spell and hit them with, “okay, so what does your character say?” and they realise that D&D is more than numbers running into each other – it really is a “be a silly little guy” machine.

It’s captured so well in Baldur’s Gate 3, with every character having seemingly endless dunks. From “thou art saucy as gruel” to “thine eyes – pools of tepid piss,” Larian Studios obviously had time (and several professional writers) to conjure these pejoratives. 

The trouble can come with keeping up at our own flesh-space D&D tables – where’s the line between hilarious quip and coming off as just a little bit cranky? Or worse still, unfunny? And so we turn to the time honoured tradition of D&D players and Dungeon Masters everywhere: stealing bits from better writers. Here’s four characters we should aspire to in our casting of Vicious Mockery.

Read: Baldur’s Gate 3 Review – Glory, guts, and brain worms

1. Moira Rose (Schitt’s Creek)

Moira Rose casts a casually destructive vicious mockery. It’s an aloof teardown – despite disembowelling your self-confidence, it’s somehow all the worse because she’s almost on your side. She wants you to do better, she just knows you can’t quite get there and she’s doing you a favour by pointing it out – lest you embarrass yourself further, dear.

The key to pulling off a Rose-flavoured Vicious Mockery isn’t in going for the throat, merely questioning the BBEG’s (Big Bad Evil Guy) taste: their shoes, the decor, their gauche choice of weapons – keep it light, but be sure to steep your tone in utmost disappointment.

I’m also taking this opportunity to say if you can really pull off a character like Moira Rose, please join my table.

Honourable mentions:

  • “Be careful, lest you suffer vertigo from the dizzying heights of your moral ground”
  • “Oh, I’d kill for a good coma right now”
  • “You are blind to reality, and for that I am most proud.”

2. Laszlo Cravensworth (What We Do In The Shadows)

vicious mockery lazslo
Screenshots: Zac Naoum

When it comes to queer, pale, sassy, British vampires with a penchant for ruffled shirts – I’ll take mine from New York Cit-ay. There’s an incredible power in poshly pronounced profanity. Like being kicked in the shin by a velvet slipper. It hurts just the same, but there’s novelty to it. 

The inclusion of the most archaic references combined with the hardest fucks are a winning combination, and which feel right at home in the faux-medieval fantasy setting of most D&D tables. The real magic for Laszlo though, is not in the words, but the delivery. Matt Berry conjuring additional syllables inside a word is a unique joy, hits hilariously, and delivers a certain jais ne se quois to his insults.

Honourable mentions:

  • “Darling, I couldn’t give a tinker’s fig.”
  • “I have not a whore’s notion of what any of that means.”
  • “I’m going to take my hat back, you crispy piece of shit.” (To be used if someone takes your very nice hat, which happens more than you’d think in D&D.) 

3. Cousin Richie (The Bear)

vicious mockery
Screenshots: Zac Naoum

There’s altogether too much representation of the lute-plucking, neck-ruffle bedecked socialite bard. Sometimes you need the high charisma, low intelligence half-orc bard that’ll counter witty repartee with a devastating “suck my whole ass, and hole”. That’s the Cousin Richie style of Vicious Mockery, the verbal equivalent of getting shlocked in the back of the head with a bar of soap in a sock.

It’s hard to pull off a Richie-style character – you have to be generally unpleasant to be around and make most situations worse by simply being part of them. But the key here is simple: while he is the absolute worst at the best of times, he’s the absolute best in the worst of times.

Honourable Mentions:

  • “Any of you incel, Qanon, 4chan, Snyder Cut motherfuckers want to get out of line now?”
  • “Also, I hate litter. So you cucks are going to clean up after yourselves, and you’re going to goddamn recycle. Fuck you.”
  • “Fuck your vibe.”

4. Princess Azula (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

vicious mockery
Screenshots: Zac Naoum

Persuasion and Deception are too often relied upon by Bards everywhere – Princess Azula kindly reminds us that intimidation is all a bad bitch needs. The true artistry of Azula’s vicious mockery is coming up with the most cruel, crushing insult, and just casually throwing it on the end of a sentence, like lazily tossing a match into a pram.

Truly Evil characters are a tough balancing act to play at the table, and there are horror stories littered all over the internet of the ‘guy trying too hard to be edgy’ making everyone’s time at the table miserable, as they live out a power fantasy of playing the Joker.

The thing to realise with a character like Azula, however, is the fierce protective instinct she has for her friends – perhaps because she sees them as possessions she owns… but still.

Honourable mentions:

  • “WE HAVE DEFEATED YOU FOR ALL TIME, YOU WILL NEVER RISE FROM THE ASHES OF YOUR SHAME AND HUMILIATION.” (Azula did use this after winning beach volleyball, but it should be applicable to many situations).
  • “Maybe you should worry less about the tides, who have already made up their mind about killing you – and worry more about me, who’s still mulling it over.”
  • “You miscalculated. You should have feared me more.”

Zac Naoum is a writer, Dungeon Master, and content creator. On the Zac Speaks Giant YouTube channel you can find 'D&D But Real', a stand-alone D&D game replacing every roll with a physical or mental challenge - like D&D meets Taskmaster meets... Saw?