Hell's Kitchen: Gordon Ramsay's Most Iconic Insults

Wouldn’t it be great to have a smart speaker in your kitchen that could spew insults in Gordon Ramsay’s voice as you cook? The famous chef and TV personality hosts a variety of cooking shows with different themes, but regardless of which one, you can expect to hear him utter some of the most hilarious insults.

But no show will you hear the worst of them more so than Hell’s Kitchen, where ambitious cooks are thrown into a restaurant kitchen to duke it out with one another on teams as they try to recreate signature Ramsay dishes, from beef wellington to scallops, and risotto.

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It’s not uncommon to hear Ramsay yell “oh, come on!” exasperatedly as someone hands him yet another raw piece of chicken or burnt scallops. Don't get surprised either if you see him throw a cut of beef against the wall every now and then, threaten to “shut it down” if a team doesn't buck up and start outputting dishes, or simply tell someone to “f*** off.”

But most hilarious are his deep cutting yet seriously witty insults. Here are some of his most iconic ones, some of which he’s uttered more than once, and others that had viewers spitting out their drinks in laughter when he said them just once.

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10 An Idiot Sandwich

“What are you? An idiot sandwich?”

This is one of Ramsay’s most well-known insults, which he’s uttered many a time to contestants on the competition series.

Sometimes, as depicted above, he has even quite literally sandwiched the person’s head between two slices of bread as he asks the question. Surely it’s right after they’ve done something seriously foolish like served up raw chicken for the third time in a row. And while the insult might cut deep, it gets them motivated and ensures they won’t make the mistake again!

9 Under the Sea

“This crab is so undercooked I can still hear it singing ‘Under the Sea.’”

Chef Ramsay is known for making lots of pop culture references, even if some of them date back to before the contestants were even born, or to movies or songs they might not be familiar with. This one hails from the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid and its most popular song.

Naturally, what he’s trying to say is that the crab could literally still be alive since the cook has barely seared it much less cooked it to the perfection he expects.

8 I Believe In You…Not

“I’ve never, ever, ever, ever,  ever met someone I believe in…as little as you.”

Chef Ramsay loves to yank contestants’ chains, building them up so they think he’s about to say something complimentary, then tearing them right back down again when he finishes his sentence after a strategically-placed pause.

When he said this line to a contestant, the contestant was just about to reply with thanks for the vote of confidence. But then Ramsay threw them a curveball and they realized their performance that night wasn’t what they thought it was.

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7 You’re So Bad

“You do seriously surprise me…You surprise me as to how [bad] you are.”

Like the insult above, Chef Ramsay paused before completing this sentence, making the contestant think they were about to receive praise for their surprisingly good performance at dinner service.

Nope, this was far from a compliment. Chef Ramsay was letting them know that they were so bad, he was surprised that they could even possibly be so bad. While we often equate Chef Ramsay insults with screaming and yelling at the top of his lungs, sometimes the worst ones are delivered with a calm voice and chill demeanor.

6 Salt-N-Pepa

“You added so much salt and pepper I can hear the dish singing ‘Push It.’”

Yet another reference that the contestants’ parents probably understood better than they did, Chef Ramsay relates the taste of the dish to the iconic hip hop girls group from the ‘80s and ‘90s and their most popular tune, Push It.

The group was called Salt-N-Pepa, and while many a contestant probably wasn’t even alive when the song was first released in 1987, they may very well know it given that it still gets lots of radio play on throwback stations and has been referenced in pop culture today.

5 Kill the Vampires!

‘There’s enough garlic in here to kill every vampire in Europe.”

So I guess he’s trying to say there’s too much garlic? Leave it to Chef Ramsay to make extreme exaggerations to get his point across. In this instance, his way of saying “hey, chill it on the garlic” is to suggest that the cook has put so much garlic in their dish, it could wipe out the vampire population on an entire continent.

Of course, vampires aren’t real (or are they?) But we get his point. Garlic kills vampires. And if this dish could do so much damage, the contestant might want to scale back a bit on the seasoning.

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4 Gran Could Do Better!

“My gran could do better! And she’s dead!”

It’s unclear how well Chef Ramsay’s grandmother could cook, but chances are she was a big inspiration to him to become a chef, alongside his mom. So is he trying to insult his grandmother, saying even she could cook better than the contestant?

It appears not so much when he reveals in the latter part of the insult that his grandmother is actually dead. So does he mean she could do better now, from beyond the grave? This is probably more what he was getting at. Ouch.

3 The Heart Will Go On

“This souffle has sunk so badly James Cameron wants to make a film about it.”

Another reference that the contestants might not have gotten, Titanic is one of the biggest movies ever made not only by James  Cameron, but by anyone. The 1997 epic romance and disaster film, as the name implies, was about the sinking of the RMS Titanic British passenger liner in 1912.

Anyone who has ever made, eaten, or even read about a souffle knows that what makes the dish as such is that it puffs up to create a delicious and eye-catching pastry, filled either to be savory or sweet. If your souffle has sunk, chances are you will as well in the competition.

2 Where’s Nemo?

“This fish is so raw it’s still finding Nemo.”

Another under the sea-related raw fish reference, this one hails from yet another animated film, 2003’s Finding Nemo. While the joke is hilarious, the delivery was not as Chef Ramsay set out to spew yet another biting insult at a contestant.

If the fish was really looking for Nemo, it meant it was still very much alive, swimming about in the sea looking for the cute white and orange-striped fish. You might want to pop that baby back on the grill for another minute or two.

1 Donkey

“You f***ing donkey.”

One of Chef Ramsay’s most frequently used insults, this one includes only three words, but they hurt to the contestant’s core every time he utters them. It’s unclear why he thinks calling someone a donkey is an insult, but it could have something to do with the fact that a donkey is otherwise known as an ass, a word that can sometimes be used in a derogatory manner towards humans.

Given that the name-call is often preceded by a vulgar swear word (though not always), and Chef's Ramsay's general penchant for potty mouth, he clearly has no issues with using dirty words. But the insult is oddly just as effective when he refrains from swearing and opts for calling someone an animal instead.

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