There comes a time in everyone's life when someone you know (or maybe someone you don't) decides to step forward with a comment that is just plain out of line.
Maybe this tweet, text, or telegram was something bubbling up for a long time. Perhaps it was some fresh shade. Either way, you feel in your heart of hearts that it simply cannot be left unmatched. In fact, it must be shut all the way down.
Enter, the clapback.
Not to be confused with a garden-variety diss, a clapback is deemed by most as a targeted, often viciously acute comeback intended to place someone in much-needed check. Think of the clapback like a Pokémon's counterattack that's critically effective. One shade to rule them all.
The goal of the clapback is to 👏Shut. 👏It. 👏Down.
Here's the official guide to the art of the clapback:
1. Someone attacks you.
Here, we see Khloe Kardashian taking a side-jab at Amber Rose, who used to date her now-brother-in-law, Kanye West. The specifics of their beef are a bit complex, but know that Khloe has set herself up for a clapback by bringing up Amber's past in a negative, slut-shaming connotation.
And here, Ester Bloom, an editor of The Billfold, criticizes The Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams for not "leaning in" and asserting herself as the rightful heir to Jon Stewart on The Comedy Central program. Bloom went so far as to say that all Williams needed was "a pep talk."
2. You gather your thoughts.
We've reached a crucial juncture. Here, you need to decide whether a clapback is truly needed. Has this person wronged you in a way that needs to be called out? Should this clapback be done publicly (read: on social media)? Are you prepared to clap back efficiently? Do some soul-searching. Once you clapback, you can't take it back.
3. You issue a response.
You've taken some time to think about how to properly respond. And then... you GO IN. This is your "Welcome to my parlor," said the spider to the fly moment. You drag until there's nothing but rug burns.
Note the introduction to the clapback. Amber is "happy" that Khloe brought up her past as a stripper. Because NOW she is about to read Khloe her rights.
An expert clapback states your case...
...and then rips your attacker to shreds.
4. Bask in the glory of your clapback.
If executed properly, there's a chance your opponent will recognize their wrongs and back down. Who knows: you might even end up teaching someone something new! But don't completely put your guard down. They might attempt a clapback of their own.
Either way, your spectators will notice and honor your accomplishments. You've done it, Mama Rose. You 👏clapped 👏back.