Entertainment Career

43 Passive Aggressive Email Phrases

25 March 2020

When you spend 40+ hours a week at the office, people are bound to get on your nerves. But even when your colleagues are driving you crazy, you have to stay professional – why is why every office worker ever has thrown shade via email. These passive aggressive email phrases are perfectly petty. They’re polite and get the point across. We’re not saying they’re right, but they usually work!

Chances are, you’ve used or received a bunch of these clapbacks. Here’s what they really mean…


“As per my last email…”

“You idiot. I already answered that question the last time we emailed. Can’t you read?! Or were you just not paying attention? I’m not afraid to go Kimmy K on you if you claim not to remember.”


“Should you need further clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”

“I’m not sure why you’re having such a hard time grasping this concept, but please, feel free to pester me to explain it again.”


“Sorry to bother you again.”

“I’m really not sorry. Do your job.”



“I’m over 45.”


“I’m pissed off.”


“Kind regards,”

“I didn’t know it was possible to dislike someone this much.”


“Warm regards,”

“I will finish you.”

TIP: If you want to know whether someone likes you, look at their sign-off. It’s a dead giveaway!


“I’m just cc’ing my colleague.”

“You’re incompetent, and I’m making sure other people are here to witness your huge f-up so I don’t get the blame.”


“I’ve cc’d my boss.”

“This is war.”


“How can we avoid this in the future?”

“Don’t EVER do that again. And while this politely phrased sentence may sound like I’m willing to brainstorm ways to help you to figure it out, I’m most certainly not.”


“Let me know if you need any assistance with this.”

“Please don’t, under any circumstances, ask for my help.”


“Awaiting your reply.”

“I needed that answer/document/info yesterday, so HURRY UP.”


“Not sure if you got my email as I haven’t heard back.”

“Why are you ignoring me? What is so important? Also, I am the passive aggressive QUEEN.”


“Any updates on this?”

“What is taking so long?!!! I sent that email four days ago.”


“According to my records/research…”

“I’m looking at the information right now, and I’m 100% right. And I’ll tell you exactly how you’re wrong.”  


“In order to maintain clarity for the client…”

“Stop doing what you’re doing. Just stop. It makes zero sense.”


“Please advise.”

“I’m washing my hands of this responsibility. You caused this chaos – now fix it.”


“Do you even know what you’re talking about? Please get your shit together before wasting more of my time.”


“Just following up on my email below. Let me know if I should be talking to someone else about this? Thanks!”

“For fuck’s sake, point me in the direction of someone who can actually help me.”


“As discussed…”

“Do you have the memory of a goldfish? I don’t want to have this conversation again, so I’m creating a written record just in case. Also, when I say ‘discussed,’ I mean ‘demanded.’”


“I hope you don’t mind…”

“I went ahead and did something that I should have gotten your permission for. So sue me.”


“Just wondering…”

“This is a long shot and/or an unreasonable request, but I’m asking the question anyway.”


“Per our convo this morning…”

“I’m moving this to email for two reasons: a) to create a paper trail to save me for when this project fails in spectacular fashion, and b) because I don’t like talking to you IRL.”


“Checking in.”

“I’m going to nag you until you respond.”


“Circling back”

“I’m like a merry-go-round – I’ll keep riding the carousel (aka sending emails) until you GIVE ME AN ANSWER. PS. This is a more aggressive version of ‘checking in.'”


“Thanks in advance.”

“You don’t have a choice. You have to help me, even though you haven’t agreed to do what I’m asking just yet.”


“Thanks in advance for your timely response.”

“Fix this ASAP.”


“It’s on my radar.”

“I’m aware of it, but I’m trying my hardest to ignore/forget about it.”


“I look forward to hearing from you.”

“You better get back to me by COB or I will ruin your day/week/life.”


“As no doubt you are aware…”

“You know this already, so denying it will only make you look dumb.”


“Correct me if I’m wrong.”

“I’m definitely not wrong.”


“Reattaching it here just in case…”

“I know you didn’t miss what I sent you, so I’m clogging up your inbox again. For your convenience, of course.”


“FYI” (when sent with a forwarded message, and nothing else)

“Uh-oh. This is a problem, and it affects you.”


“Please let me know if I misunderstood.”

“I understood you perfectly. You, on the other hand, messed up.”


“Can you explain in a MUCH better, clearer way, please?!”


Subject line: Friendly Reminder.

“You’re getting on my nerves. Here’s a gentle reminder to DO YOUR JOB. Now.”


“Let’s circle back on this.”
“I genuinely can’t deal with you right now. I’m praying you can work it out on your own.”


“To put it more simply…”

“Are you stupid?!! Sure, I have sooo much time to explain this to you over and over again.”


“Going forward, I’d prefer that you/we…”

“Don’t ever do that again.”


“Just to reiterate…”

*Highlights and bolds what was said in email chain*

“I have already explained this to you and/or told you what needs to be done. Here’s the proof.”


“I’d just like to tweak a few things…”

“This pretty much needs to be completely redone. Thanks.”



“Sure, that’s fine.”



“I hate you right now.”


“I’m strapped for time” or “I’m at capacity.”

“I could probably shuffle some things around, but I won’t.”


“All the best.”

“This conversation is over.”


“Happy Friday!”

“Is it happy hour yet? Mama needs a stiff drink (or five).”


 Words by Katia Iervasi.