Gordon Ramsay's worst insults ever

Gordon Ramsay may have more Michelin stars than some chefs have knives. He may make as much money as Beyonce, and be London's restaurateur king. But let's get one thing straight — Ramsay is a bully. Infinitely more people have heard Ramsay curse, belittle, and mock his staff and other restaurant owners than have ever tried his food. It's exactly this nastiness that's helped to make Ramsay's shows and his persona so popular in the pop culture spectrum.

In a 2010 interview with The Guardian, Ramsay touched upon his reputation for outbursts. "I was a crazy f***ing psycho! If anyone even bruised a chive I came down on them like a ton of bricks." Years later Ramsay hasn't exactly softened, and other than MasterChef Junior, he still can toss around a verbal whipping like nobody else on reality TV.  

Ramsay's knack for delivering insults that are both LOL-worthy and cringe-inducing have even given rise to viral parodies. First, there was Ramsay forcing Big Brother contestant Julie Chen to call herself an "idiot sandwich," and then there was John Legend crooning some Ramsay-ish insults over piano music. As for the real deal insults that Ramsay's dished out, well, these are difficult to beat. (As to be expected with Gordon Ramsay, the following video clips may contain strong language.)

The infamous pumpkin incident

Woe betide the customer who approaches Ramsay's kitchen to complain about a dish. The Hell's Kitchen star doesn't take kindly to sass from his staff, and he doesn't make an exception for the occasional snooty customer either. The chef takes exceptional offense to liars, and it's something he told Entertainment Weekly he simply won't stand for.

"When somebody lies to you it's worse than working with somebody who can't cook," Ramsay said. "Because when you trust someone with your reputation and they cross that line, they want [the food] out of their sight and they tell you they finished it, and you know they're lying, that's the worst."

Such was the case with one restaurant customer who complained to the maitre d' and Ramsay about no pumpkin in his risotto — despite nearly finishing the plate. "I just want more pumpkin, that's all I want," proclaimed the customer before Ramsay let loose. Ramsay telling the customer that he'll get him more pumpkin and shove it where the sun doesn't shine was biting enough, but offering to serve it "whole or diced" was the cherry on top. The customer's stunned reaction upon realizing he had poked the bull and gotten the horns was priceless.   

Meat or flip-flop?

We're probably not alone here, but a piece of meat that resembles an old flip-flop is never going to be a mouth-watering dish. Sneaking a poorly cooked piece of meat by Gordon Ramsay is about as easy as breaking into Fort Knox — it simply can't be done and it's only a matter of time before Ramsay calls out the chef in question and proceeds to rip them apart.

In this instance, what appears to be a piece of pork belly has been ruined, with Ramsay calling it not just overcooked but comparing it to Gandhi's flip-flop. Ouch. That's definitely not the sort of comparison that a chef wants associated with their skills. Chef Jillian seemed to get a kick out of the insult and is amazed at Ramsay's creativity in criticizing the dish. "I don't know where he comes up with this stuff, Gandhi didn't even where flip-flops," exclaimed Jillian. "He lived in the jungle. I don't even think the dude had shoes." Uh, Jillian, you might be confusing Gandhi with Tarzan. Because Gandhi didn't live in the jungle and he definitely wore sandals. Regardless, nobody wants to eat a flip-flop.

No staring allowed

Having Gordon Ramsay tear you down for your cooking skills is bad enough, but having him rip into you for simply looking his way is another thing altogether. Ramsay took issue with one Hell's Kitchen contestant who couldn't stop staring at him in the kitchen. It's not just that chef Mary was staring at Ramsay, but she seemed to do do so without even blinking. Creepy much?

It's a social faux pas that Ramsay warned her about, but Mary couldn't seem to shake it and the other chefs noticed. It's obvious that Mary's staring gave Ramsay the willies when he remarked that she stares at him "like something out of the f****ing Shining." We're gonna go out on a limb and assume that Ramsay was referring to Jack Nicholson's psychotic character Jack Torrance. Then again, maybe Ramsay was comparing Mary to those creepy dead twins in the hallway. Either way, no chef wants their Hell's Kitchen claim to fame to be that Gordon Ramsay once compared them to one of the creepiest horror movies of all time.

The old bait-and-switch

One of Ramsay's go-to insult tactics is to start off baiting the cook in question by acting like he's about to give them a compliment. Then he pulls the ol' switcheroo and slams them with a searing insult. Almost every time he does this it works and the chef chimes in with something like, "Thank you, Chef. Of course, Chef." The poor chumps never seem to see the insult coming.

That's exactly the case in this Hell's Kitchen clip where Ramsay baits Ben by telling him that his ambition surprises him. Foolish Ben falls into Ramsay's trap and begins rambling, "Thank you, Chef, I was hoping you'd see that. I mean, I give it all I've got. Gave you 110." But Ramsay follows up by telling Ben that the only surprising thing is how "sh** you are." It's a simply savage move that has the other chefs trying to hold back their laughter. Before moving onto the next chef critique, Ramsay drives home his distaste in Ben home by telling him that maybe he shouldn't have quit his day job.

Make no mistake, Gordon Ramsay will definitely kick you when you're down and he'll delight in doing so.

Like a camel what?

There's no amount of spin that can make a food's comparison to poop not sound terrible. But that's exactly the critique Jimmy, or "Big Boy" as Ramsay so condescendingly refers to him, gets in one round of Hell's Kitchen. To be fair, there doesn't seem to be a single contestant who isn't sweating bullets when called up to present their plate to Ramsay. Maybe it's because he begins the critiquing process by lifting the lid and asking, "Whose is this?" in a manner that roughly translates to, "Who does this hot garbage belong to?"

When Jimmy presents his seared and stuffed chicken breast, Ramsay immediately sums it up by telling the contestant that it reminds him of a "dehydrated camel's turd." Telling him that it looks like a camel's turd is mean enough, but c'mon, it doesn't even remind him of a fresh camel's turd. Nope, this chicken breast is so dry that it could only be compared to piece of dung that's been sitting out in the desert sun for days. The humiliating critique comes to a close with Ramsay flicking the carrot greens off the plate at a visibly defeated Jimmy and then spitting out the food.

Can we all have a moment of silence for Jimmy? Because Ramsay just murdered him.

Proof that Ramsay can make anything an insult

It's not just one mistake that causes Ramsay to lose his cool in this Kitchen Nightmares episode, it's multiple blunders that put the customers' health at risk. When confronted about rotten lettuce on salad plates, Brian tells Ramsay that they get the lettuce pre-washed and it's not checked before going out. Strike one. If that weren't enough, Ramsay discovers soon afterwards that the desserts in the "display only" case are going out into the dining room. That's strike two, bub.

Any restaurant owner or chef worth their salt would be appalled at those two failures alone, but Brian seems to just shrug it off. If there's one thing Ramsay-watchers know, it's that the Hell's Kitchen madman doesn't ever shrug something off, and will reign down hellfire on those who do. Poor Brian, he had know idea what was coming when he and Ramsay walked down to the fridge. It's there that Ramsay discovers a tray of raw chicken that wasn't properly put away. That's strike three, and you're out, Brian. "Hey, panini head, listen to me! You're gonna kill someone!" Ramsay screams at the eerily calm chef.

Maybe it's just us, but something about being called a "panini head" by Ramsay just seems way more insulting than his usual tirade of expletives. But the fact that Brian doesn't seem to take it seriously that his mismanagement could actually kill a customer is definitely deserving of the verbal dunce cap Ramsay placed upon his head.

Fun with stuffed squid

Things have most definitely gone awry with your dish if other people look at it with such bewilderment that they're not sure what it's supposed to be. Ramsay can slice and dice a squid with ease, but when a contestant on Hell's Kitchen struggles severely, he doesn't go easy on them, critiquing their work with plenty of expletives. 

More fun with squid comes in another episode when the chefs are each tasked with preparing a plate for a couple to pick for their wedding menu, and one dish in particular is destined straight for the garbage can. After being presented a poorly prepared piece of grilled and stuffed squid, the bride-to-be tries to be nice by saying it's "really opaque looking." Ramsay doesn't tap dance around the issue and rather than simply say that it's unappetizing, he compares it to the genitals of another animal. "Slightly phallic in terms of it looks like a bison's penis." Well okay then, Chef.

The other contestants can't help but laugh while chef Ariel hangs her head in embarrassment. Sometimes you just gotta call it like it is, and nobody wants to serve phallic squid at their wedding reception.

Undone focaccia gets a disgusting comparison

Some of Hell's Kitchen's best moments are early on in the competition when Ramsay is familiarizing himself with the cooking contestants' skills failures. Contestant Polly is a caterer and confessed that she's gone through natural childbirth six times so "Hell's Kitchen's gonna be nothing." Welcome to Hell, Polly, meet your new lord Satan, aka Gordon Ramsay.

It's always a bad sign when a person has to explain to Ramsay their dish and then go a step further to explain their explanation. Polly tells Ramsay she's made "undone focaccia bread" to which Ramsay asks, "Undone? What does that mean, undone?" It's a pretty unappetizing half-baked appetizer and there's no sugar-coating bad food in this kitchen. "Right now, I'd rather eat poodle s*** than put that in my mouth," Ramsay fires back.

Having your food compared to a piece of dog feces is pretty bad, but on the bright side, at least Ramsay didn't call it a "dehydrated camel's turd." Polly should consider herself lucky.

Another seemingly innocuous word turned insult

Things start off fine in this episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Ramsay introducing himself to the staff, but it all quickly goes downhill from there. Ramsay has definitely worked with some less-than-bright folks over the years, but it's never a good sign when he asks who is in charge and everyone just looks around at each other in confusion. "Something's not quite right here," exclaims Ramsay. You can say that again. 

After asking if the restaurant is serving anything that's not warmed up in the microwave, one genius pipes in with "the salad." We applaud him for his honesty, but Ramsay didn't find it amusing and retorted with, "You f***ing doughnut, of course you don't put f***ing salad [in the microwave]!"

Only Ramsay could make calling somebody a doughnut sound insulting, and it certainly had an impact because the rest of the staff couldn't help but laugh. The sweet insult — pun intended — resonated with viewers too, with one YouTuber commenting "I laughed so hard, I swear. Best insult ever." Another added, "Calling that guy a donut was classic."

Remember, doughnuts are delicious, but they can also be used as verbal weapons.

Not a lot of trust here

It's understandable why Gordon Ramsay becomes so visibly upset in this 2008 episode of Kitchen Nightmares. The kitchen at the Fiesta Sunrise restaurant is an utter disaster with Ramsay disgusted at numerous trays of food that look more like pig slop than edible Mexican cuisine. With each new bin of gelatinous food that Ramsay picks up, he asks, "What is that?!" as the embarrassed owner desperately tries to explain.

When he's had enough, Ramsay loses it and tells the owner, "I wouldn't trust you running a bath let alone a f***ing restaurant!" You almost wouldn't blame the guy if he walked out right there, changed his name, and moved to a town where nobody knew of the refried bean atrocities he was serving. It's the sort of insult that completely eviscerates the restaurant owner's self-confidence and calls into question how he makes his livelihood.

As for the Fiesta Sunrise restaurant, well, it's no longer open for business. Maybe Ramsay's evaluation was pretty spot-on after all.

When "plank" means something else entirely

Here's a question to ponder: Which is worse, Gordon Ramsay insulting you, or Ramsay having to explain the insult to you immediately after? We suspect it's the second. Ramsay has insulted countless contestants, but most of the time those contestants don't then ask for a second tongue-lashing by inquiring about the meaning of the first insult. Well, ladies and gentleman, Chris is a special kind of Hell's Kitchen contestant.

Ramsay immediately doubts Chris' executive chef status and the interaction goes off the rails seconds later when he's presented with Chris' roasted salmon on a plank of cedar. Before even tasting the dish, Ramsay says, "I think you're a plank." Maybe Chris had never seen Hell's Kitchen, but generally when Ramsay call somebody a _____, it's not a positive. After confessing his unfamiliarity with the term, Ramsay informs Chris that he's "an idiot."

What can we say about Hell's Kitchen? It's a different experience for everyone. Some contestants learn new cooking skills and others learn new ways of being called an idiot. As Ramsay demonstrated to Chris, there's much to learn and he should just "be a good plank and get back in line."

The time he brought his grandma into it

Having Ramsay shout at you that his gran could do a better job preparing a dish doesn't sound all that mean at first. After all, one would assume that the elder Ramsay likely knew her way around the kitchen. The kicker is when Ramsay follows that up by informing the chef that his grandmother is dead. It doesn't speak highly of your cooking skills if a dead person could do a better job.

The issue here in a 2010 episode of Kitchen Nightmares isn't some complicated piece of fish or something like beef Wellington — it's salad. That's right, the chef is having a problem with salad, and not just any salad mind you, but Caesar salad. After a patron sends the salad back, Ramsay chastises the cooks for including veggies like carrots and radishes that aren't traditionally used in a Caesar salad. It's when the chef complains that "it's a very complicated salad" that Ramsay loses it, shouting, "My gran could do better! And she's dead!" We're pretty sure that if the salad in question is so common it's on the menu at McDonald's, it's not that complicated, dude.

It's definitely one of Ramsay's best insults and the man himself even chimed in on social media and confessed that it was one of his favorites.