the last laugh

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the last laugh

A victory or vindication achieved in the face of someone's doubt, derision, or mockery. After so many people dismissed her dream of becoming an actress, the global superstar has truly had the last laugh. Everyone at my old job laughed at me for pursuing a career in making games for mobile phones. But I had the last laugh, as I made nearly $4.5 million off my very first game.
See also: last, laugh

*last laugh (on someone)

Fig. laughter or ridicule at someone who has laughed at or ridiculed you. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) John laughed when I got a D on the final exam. I got the last laugh, though. He failed the course. Mr. Smith said I was foolish when I bought an old building. I had the last laugh when I sold it a month later for twice what I paid for it.
See also: last, laugh
References in classic literature ?
At this I did at last laugh out aloud, when to my surprise, Alan joined in, and laughed as merrily as myself.
"Oh, it's not with him I'm riled," I said frankly, "but with those other blackguards, and--and with you, old chap, for taking it all as you do, while such infamous scoundrels have the last laugh, and are safely on their way to France!"
Last Laughs and Prehistoric Epitaphs is a quirky children's books of wacky epitaph poems in honor of extinct species, from dinosaurs to woolly mammoths and more.
"Last Laughs: A Pocketful of Wry for the Aging" is a discussion of aging in today's culture which seems to revere youthfulness.