Created By: Unknown Troper on August 6, 2009
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Gentleman Snarker

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This is when a formal and well-bred character uses a combination of formal speech patterns and mastery of vocabulary to sneak in insults or one liners in a skillful and deadly manner.

Capt. von Trapp in Sound of Music: "You flatter me captain""How clumsy, I meant to accuse you"

Simon Tam in Firefly, especially Objects in Space. "I can't keep track of her when she's not incorporally possesing a spaceship, don't look at me" And in Safe,"I'm sorry dad, I would never have tried to save River's life if I had known there was a dinner party at risk."

Higgins often does this to Magnum in Magnum PI. He can't do it as well as some.

Real Life: Churchill, of course.

Several noted English intellectuals, including Chesterton, Orwell, and others.

Field Marshal Mannerheim. He could intimidate Hitler himself, possibly because of his Death Glare.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • August 6, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Often found among characters with a Stiff Upper Lip.
  • August 6, 2009
    jason taylor
    Or less heroically with an Upper Class Twit.
  • August 6, 2009
    jason taylor
    Bump.
  • August 6, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Oscar Wilde, of course, is a real life example. He could probably fill a page by himself. Benjamin Disraeli as well. John Randolph, an early American senator, planter, and descendant of Pocahontas (and, by most accounts, an appalling asshat) was as snarky as he was aristocratic. And yes, I just raided my History of Political Snark in The English-Speaking World book.
  • August 6, 2009
    Davin Valkri
    Should we add H.L. Mencken, Benjamin Franklin, William F. Buckley, and others renowned for their wit and snarkiness?
  • August 6, 2009
    jason taylor
    Sure. But we should have some fictional ones.
  • August 6, 2009
    jason taylor
    Actually skill in this was once almost considered a necessary part of being a gentleman and many a nineteenth-century figure including a number of noted politicians could do this quite well. I have heard it suggested that it wasn't that trollishness was less common in the past, just more entertaining.
  • August 6, 2009
    lunarkweh
    A (sadly) one-off character from the [[Firefly]] episode "Shindig".
    Murphy: Why, Banning Miller, what a vision you are in that fine dress. Must have taken a dozen slaves a dozen days just to get you into that get-up. 'Course, your daddy tells me it takes the space of a schoolboy's wink to get you out of it again.
  • August 6, 2009
    jason taylor
    That was a cool one.
  • August 7, 2009
    jason taylor
    bump
  • August 7, 2009
    marjojo
    Lord John Gray from the Outlander series.

    Lots of overlap with Deadpan Snarker -- search that page for examples that are also gentlemen.
  • August 7, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    It is a special type of Deadpan Snarker. Hence the title.
  • August 7, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Jane Austen apparently had one or two of these.
  • August 7, 2009
    Bisected8
    @jason taylor: The Upper Class Twit isn't much of a snarker.
  • August 7, 2009
    jason taylor
    Not necessarily. But it is a way for him to have Kickthe Dog s by having him do this to servants who can't snark back.
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