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Deadpan Snarker: Literature

Jorah: "Viserys couldn't sweep a stable with ten thousand brooms."

Deadpan Snarkers in Literature.
  • The yankee in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court gets off digs at everyone, but especially the nobility. It usually goes right over their heads.
  • Ex-schoolmaster and formerly-ex-British agent Reck in Manning Cole's A Toast to Tomorrow. After returning from a ten-day stay at a concentration camp intended to make him more willing to act as fellow former-ex-agent Tommy Hambledon's radio operator, he commented, in part:
    "There was an inaccurate notice to the effect that purity of the soul is won through labour. It was displayed where we could see it while shovelling. I find I am not, by nature, a shoveller, and the notice is a lie."
  • In The Alien Series almost everyone around Kitty is one, especially Christopher.
    Christopher: You're not my type.
    Kitty: I'm sorry.
    Christopher: Don't be. I like 'em stupid.
  • Marco from Animorphs.
    • Tobias, too. Occasionally even Ax, although it's not always clear whether it's intentional at first, examples in later books have to be intentional.
    • Second to last book, after the Yeerks have realized that they're mostly fighting human kids, and not alien warriors.
      Random Mook: "Andalite!"
      Ax: < Surprise. >
    • Rachel is pretty sarcastic when the situation calls for it.
  • Marilla Cuthbert of Anne of Green Gables is an example.
    • So are Mr. Harrison from Anne of Avonlea and Cornelia Bryant from Anne's House of Dreams.
  • The title character of Artemis Fowl
    Foaly: Just what else can that phone of yours do?
    Artemis: It can play solitaire and minesweeper.
    • Many other characters also fall into this, for example Foaly, Holly, and Mulch (and occasionally Juliet) enjoy trading sarcastic statements. Mulch lampshades it in the narration of the fifth book:
      Their little band of adventurers needed another smart-ass like they needed ten years of bad luck.
  • Sun Tzu from The Art of War: "To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength; to see sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear."
  • Also from George R. R. Martin, Tyrion and Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire fit the trope, but both are dwarfed (no pun intended) by Dolorous Edd. Still, practically all characters get a snappy line. Oberyn Martell counts as a Deadpan Snarker as well.
  • When not being kind of a jerk, Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities is like this.
  • Occasionally the title character of The Bartimaeus Trilogy, but he's more of an Uncontrollably Sneering Snarker, but we love him for it.
  • In David Eddings's Belgariad and Malloreon, it'd almost be easier to list every major character who isn't either a Card-Carrying Villain or a Deadpan Snarker. Even the Voice of the Prophecy (the speaking aspect of the cosmic force attempting to restore the universe to its original destiny) snarks it up almost every time it communicates with one of the characters.
  • Rayne McDonald, one of the heroes of Marianne Mancusi's Blood Coven series often dips into this:
    Spider: (re: using a flamethrower-like weapon in a pressurized airplane cabin) You thought I'd use it on fire mode? Oh ye of little faith. note 
    Rayne: Oh ye of little track record.
  • Buddenbrooks: Hanno and Kai, who "nickname" their teachers not "the spider" or "the cockatoo" as their classmates do, but rather "Herr X". Also, Hanno's geography teacher, who's a big fan of satirist Heinrich Heine, tries to be this.
  • Macon Ravenwood from The Caster Chronicles.
  • In the Chalet School series, Miss Wilson has a reputation for being very sarcastic with students who get on her bad side. And that includes Joey.
  • Eustace from The Chronicles of Narnia, with his "habit of being dreadfully matter-of-fact." Edmund too, who after the first book switches from caustic Jerkass to lovable Deadpan Snarker. Reepicheep fits both in the books:
    Caspian: There are some things no man can face.
    Reepicheep: It is then my good fortune not to be a man.
    In the films (played by Eddie Izzard)
    Caspian: Y-you are a mouse.
    Reepicheep: I was hoping for something a little more original.
    • Queen Jadis a.k.a. the White Witch, practically lives for this role (and to turn people to stone).
      "But what are ''you?" said the Queen again. "Are you a great overgrown dwarf who has cut off its beard?"
      "No, your Majesty," said Edmund, "I never had a beard, I'm a boy."
      "A boy!" said she. "Do you mean you are a Son of Adam?"
      Edmund stood still, saying nothing. He was too confused by by this time to understand what the question meant.
      "I see you are an idiot, whatever else you may be," said the Queen.
    • Edmund is actually the biggest snarker in the series. His line of snarky replies is quite long and some of them have practically become popular on the internet:
      Susan: Besides, we could all use the fresh air.
      Edmund: It's not like there isn't air inside.
    • And:
      Peter: Is it Latin?
      Edmund: Is it Latin for worst game ever invented?
    • Also:
      Lucy: Weren't you wondering where I was?
      Edmund: That's the point. That was why he was seeking you.
    • In the second part:
      Susan: Pretend you're talking to me.
      Edmund: We are talking to you.
    • After Susan and Caspian's kiss:
      Lucy: I'm sure when I'm older, I'll understand.
      Edmund: I'm older and I don't think I want to understand.
    • To Peter:
      Edmund: I know...you had it sorted.
    • When talking to Miraz:
      Miraz: This is not a question of bravery.
      Edmund: So you're bravely refusing to fight a swordsman half your age.
    • And in the third part, he's actually in his full Deadpan Snarker mode.
      Reepicheep: (about Eustace) He's quite the complainer, isn't he?
      Edmund: He's just warming up.
    • To Eustace:
      Edmund: I have the right to tell your father it was you who stole aunt Alberta's sweets.
      Eustace: Liar!
      Edmund: Oh, really? I found them under your bed. And you know what? I licked every one of them.
    • When rolling in:
      Soldier: Are you sure you're 18?
      Edmund: Why, do I look older?
  • Christopher in The Lives of Christopher Chant, sometimes more than is good for him.
  • The HERO OF THE IMPERIUM title character of Ciaphas Cain does this constantly, and often regardless of whether the target is currently attempting to kill him. About the only ones that don't receive this are beings that don't speak, such as Necrons and Tyranids (not that he doesn't try on occasion), and Inquisitors, who are in practice of a far higher rank and rarely tolerate anything resembling amusement (with the exception of Vail, who seems to grow rather fond of verbal matches with him). Vail herself also seems to possess an inclination for this trope, if her footnotes are any indication.
  • Flora Poste in Cold Comfort Farm is a borderline snarker, although her good breeding mostly keeps it in check.
  • Micheal "Mickey" Flynn from Harry Turtledove's Colonization series seems to get at least one line a section, and often rather more common (half his lines to Johnson on occasion seem to be deadpan snarks), at least in the proximity of Glen Johnson. Runners up are Glen Johnson himself, and Charles Healey. All the Americans get at least one line in, as well as a few of the Lizards (especially Atvar).
  • Every main character in The Cornersville Trace Mythos.
  • Elizabeth Bathory in Count and Countess.
  • Daisy Miller:
    Winterbourne: If you won't flirt with me, do cease, at least, to flirt with your friend at the piano; they don't understand that sort of thing here. Not in young unmarried women.
    Daisy: It seems to me much more proper in young unmarried women than in old married ones.
  • Navis from The Dalemark Quartet.
  • Darkness Visible takes place in a Victorian World of Snark, so it's hardly surprising that many characters qualify. Lewis snarks the most, being the narrator, but Marsh, Spangler, George and Wilson get in on the fun:
    Lewis: ‘Would it help if I wrote you a list?’ I asked sarcastically. ‘The “Ten Commandments of Venturing”, perhaps.

    Marsh (on being told Wilson could stop him getting a job in London): ‘There are many other cities in the Empire,’ Marsh replied. ‘And I have never much cared for English weather.’

    Spangler: ‘Well, well, old boy, you’re alive after all,’ he said, by way of a greeting.
    Lewis: ‘I know, it’s a terrible disappointment for all concerned.’

    Wilson: ‘Teaching this lad here?’ Wilson said, turning a critical eye on Marsh, who was as extravagantly attired as ever. His gaze lingered on Marsh’s bandaged right hand. ‘I can see that has been going very well.’
  • Alan Dean Foster's spinoff Dinotopia novels feature a wisecracking Protoceratops named Chaz. Bix from the main books also shows hints of this.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
    • Samuel Vimes and Esmerelda Weatherwax, both of which are particularly Genre Savvy (and hate having to be). They are both aware of the Theory of Narrative Causality, though with Vimes it's more of an instinctive understanding.
    • Lord Vetinari's snark is rumored to be so caustic that Sgt. Colon lives in fear of the patrician getting sardonic on him. (Although when it did happen, he never even noticed. Subtle and clever verbal abuse is wasted on some people.)
    • The Lemony Narrator Terry Pratchett himself.
    • Rincewind also has his moments; having long given up trying to use his Genre Savviness to stay out of dangerous situations, he occasionally uses it to be sarcastic about them.
    • Every line uttered by Salzalla in Maskerade drips with sarcasm, at least before he is revealed as the villain, and rapidly loses the plot. For instance, suggesting to Mr. Bucket that if the ballerinas did more leaps, it might save on wear and tear on ballet shoes:
      "Well, their feet wouldn't be on the ground for so long, would they?" said Salzella, in the tones of one who knows for a fact that he's much more intelligent than anyone else in the room.
    • Pratchett himself can be quite the snarker, such as his response to someone claiming that he had ripped off Harry Potter (which came out after the novel in question):
    "I, of course, used a time machine to 'get the idea' of Unseen University from Hogwarts; I don't know what Paul [Kidby, the illustrator] used in this case. Obviously he must have used something."
  • Professor Bernice Surprise Summerfield in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe. In No Future, for instance, she dismisses the Vardans based on their only TV appearance.
    Benny: The Vardans? I think you'll find that your enemies tremble with mirth and cry out things like "Oh good, it's only the Vardans, thank goodness it wasn't somebody serious like the Daleks". You are, after all, the only race in history to be outwitted by the intellectual might of the Sontarans.'
  • Don Quixote: Deconstructed by Sancho Panza: What happens in Real Life to those who cannot say anything without being sarcastic? Why, Sancho is beaten by Don Quixote and a lot of other people. The problem is that a lot of people enjoys Sancho’s sarcasm (he is good at it) and so he feels compelled to say it, even when he is in perilous situations, like when he denied payment to a Innkeeper (Chapter XVII part I), and he mocked the entire people of the Braying Town or the highwaymen of Barcelona (Chapters XXVII and LX of the part II) The first give him a beating, the highwaymen almost kill him:
    Upon this Sancho remarked, "From what I have seen here, justice is such a good thing that there is no doing without it, even among the thieves themselves."
    One of the squires heard this, and raising the butt-end of his harquebuss would no doubt have broken Sancho's head with it had not Roque Guinart called out to him to hold his hand. Sancho was frightened out of his wits, and vowed not to open his lips so long as he was in the company of these people.
    The unlucky wight did not speak so low but that Roque overheard him, and drawing his sword almost split his head in two, saying, "That is the way I punish impudent saucy fellows." They were all taken aback, and not one of them dared to utter a word, such deference did they pay him.
  • Everyone in the Doom novels. If sarcasm and smart-ass could kill monsters the invasion never would have progressed past Phobos.
  • Vlad, Kragar, and Loiosh from Steven Brust's Taltos series all fit this one. Pel in the Khaavren Romances, too.
  • Vern, the dragon protagonist and narrator of Karina Fabian's "Dragon Eye, P.I." books, seems to be made of fire and snark.
  • Most characters in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files do this at least occasionally. Michael and Mab are probably the only two recurring characters who do not regularly indulge (even Nicodemus has his moments). Harry himself is such a memetic snarker that when he accidentally mouths off to Odin's secretaries, he claims that to not insult them to would be to impugn their reputation of incomprehensible badassery, because it's well know that Harry makes fun of all of them.
    Person: "Who the hell are you?"
    Harry "I the hell am Harry."
    Person: "Are you always a wise-ass?"
    Harry "No. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    "I'll tear off your ass. Literally, your actual ass."
  • Butcher seems to love snark in general; though there's much less of it than in The Dresden Files, there's still quite a bit of it flying around in the Codex Alera series. Most characters get their moment to shine, but the most persistent example is Doroga.
  • Danjel in Vilhelm Moberg's The Emigrants suite manages to be a deadpan snarker and the meekest man around at the same time.
    The Vicar: No one is allowed to give communion unless they are ordained.
    Danjel: As far as I know, nowhere in the Bible does it say that Our Lord Jesus was ordained.
  • Felix Castor - Felix lives this trope.
  • The protagonist of Fifth Business is one.
  • Trish in Finding Gaia fits this description well - she even has a real-world blog named "ecosnark."
  • Several characters in The First Law, but especially Glokta. Then again, he has some good reasons for it.
  • Diana, in the Gone series.
    "Oh, look: Drake's trying to think."
    • Howard also has this trope down.
  • In Death series: Eve Dallas is so very much this.
    • As is her aide/partner Peabody
    Dallas: Was that sarcasm?
    Peabody (considers): No, it was too direct for sarcasm.
    • Actually, just about every named regular character, sooner or later.
  • Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind.
  • Harriet from Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy, and also her friend Janie.
  • Deconstructed in Saul Bellow's Him with His Foot in His Mouth, where the narrator is, in essence, a deadpan-snark addict. He couldn't resist any opening for snide remarks and would feel guilty after the damage is done, at times with sincere apologies. The number of faux pas he committed is enormous and that eventually contributed to ruining his life.
  • Quite a few in the Honor Harrington novels. Probably the most notable is Michael Oversteegen, who snarks at everything. When he is angry enough for Sarcasm Failure, though, whoever is on the receiving end of his anger is in for a very bad day.
  • Aphrodite and Rephaim from The House of Night.
  • Haymitch Abernathy from The Hunger Games is one of the biggest deadpan snarkers in the novel alongside Katniss and Johanna.
  • Will... most notably in Infernal Devices. But also, Tessa, Jem and Jessamine.
    • Sophie should get a special mention.
  • Dame Agnes Kerr from Rumer Godden's In This House of Brede.
  • Jeeves, the valet from P. G. Wodehouse's novels, was famous for his incredibly diplomatic portrayals of this trope:
    (when trying to convince his employer, Bertie, not to wear a specific dinner jacket)
    Bertie: But all the lads have asked for the name of my tailor.
    Jeeves: Doubtless with the aim of avoiding him, sir.
    Bertie: He's considered one of the best men in England!
    Jeeves: I do not make any judgments regarding his moral character, sir.
    • The P. G. Wodehouse 'verse is such a World of Snark in general that even Bertie gets his fair share of snarky comments. Most of them are in the narrative, but when Bingo Little leads him on an overly-long shortcut through the countryside to meet his latest love interest:
      'Of course,' I said, 'that's enough excitement for anyone, and undoubtedly a corking reward for tramping three miles out of one's way over ploughed fields with tight boots, but don't we do anything else? ...'
  • Maybeck, the Grumpy Bear of Kingdom Keepers.
  • Mr. Skree in The Kingdoms of Evil.
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle has Kvothe, the most gifted student in the Academy, Ruh performer, who knows the Name of the Wind and of Felurian, his mind like a blade of Ramston Steel, and his tongue to match.
  • Fisk from the Knight and Rogue Series. Usually in response to Michael.
  • Barquiel L'Envers, of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series. He has many snarky lines throughout the series, but the best has to be this one:
    "Didn't you enjoy my largesse in the Khalif's court? I heard I sent you to Khebbel-im-Akkad after paying you to betray your master."
  • Levi, AKA Biff, from Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is snarky enough to have invented the word Sarcasm.
  • Liz Pennykettle from The Last Dragon Chronicles. "Quelle surprise."
    • Zanna Martindale as well.
    • Ditto Grella.
  • Light and Dark: The Awakening of the Mage Knight: Elfin culture is based on being straight forward, to the point, and concise. It's very easy for them to sound like this to others and therefore give offense without meaning to.
  • The Longing of Shiina Ryo: Kouma Yon.
  • Many characters from The Lord of the Rings fall into this trope occasionally. Gandalf, though, is especially snarky.
    Pippin: There must be someone with intelligence in the party.
    Gandalf: Then you certainly will not be chosen, Peregrin Took!

    Gandalf: (after Bilbo pulls his disappearing stunt at the birthday party) I'm glad to find you visible.

    Gandalf: (meeting the bristling three walkers, who have mistaken him for Saruman) Well met indeed, my friends. I wish to speak with you. Will you come down, or shall I come up? (shortly later, after disarming them with barely a thought) Well met, I say again!
    • Bilbo goes full-on Deadpan Snarker when leaving stuff in his will:
      • his cousin who borrows books and never returns them, s given a large (empty) bookcase.
      • the relative who never answers letters gets an elaborate gold pen and inkwell.
      • to a chronic borrower, an umbrella for his very own.
      • another relative who imagines herself the Shire's equivalent of Dear Abby is given a wastebasket.
      • Cousin Lobelia, who appropriated his silverware after his first disappearance (although that was never proved) gets a case of silver spoons "as a present." "The took the point, but she also took the spoons."
  • Interestingly used in Joan Hess's Maggody mysteries, where Arly Hanks makes innumerable sarcastic comments, yet almost no one in the county has enough brains to get the joke. Thus, she mostly has to make due with First-Person Smartass monologues except when interrogating out-of-town suspects.
  • In Malazan Book of the Fallen Udinaas, Samar Dev, Bugg and Fiddler are all snarkers to some degree.
  • Everyone in the Mediochre Q Seth Series, including the narrative. Mediochre himself manages to stand out even then, as does his sidekick and frequent snarking partner Charlotte. The award for most beautifully deadpan line in the series, however, goes to the presumably-magic automated voice at the entrance to the MABGov meeting chamber.
    Automated Voice: Please state name now, Sir, Madam or Other.
    Mediochre: Dr Mediochre Quirinius Seth.
    Automated Voice: Name not recognised. Please amend and state again.
    Automated Voice: Go right in, Sir. Congratulations on your musical ability.
  • The Mortal Instruments: Jace Wayland.
  • Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series has plenty, but Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe's legman, is a champion.
    Quayle(upon ejection from Wolfe's office by Archie): You goddamn goon.
    Archie: That's Goodwin. You left out the D,W,I, but I'll overlook it.
  • Nightrunner is FULL of this, especially when Seregil is around. And put him and Thero into one room...
    Seregil: (in otter form, throwing a fish at Thero's feet) A cold fish for a cold fish!
    Thero: He never can go anywhere without stealing something.
    • After his first transformation into an otter in front of Alec (who is a pelt hunter) he replies on latter's praise:
    In light of your former profession, I'm not certain if this was a compliment or an appraisal of the worth of my pelt.
    • After his uncle remarks that Seregil is the living image of his late mother Seregil retorts: "Just what a man wants to hear."
    • Let's just say, Lynn Flewelling herself is a great snarker. And loves it.
  • Tybalt, King of the Cats is practically unable to be anything but this around October Daye.
  • Mogget, the cat-formed servant of the Abhorsens in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series practically personifies this trope. The Disreputable Dog has her moments too.
  • While in the main Outlander series, Lord John Gray is an example of the Officer and a Gentleman played relatively straight, he displays some definite tendencies towards being a deadpan snarker. (Well, when he's not mooning after Jamie.) Again, to some degree in his own series as well.
  • Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series has quite a few of these. Professor Lyall is a big one though. He has to be, being Lord Maccon's beta.
  • Everyone in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. (Even the chapter titles are snarked.)
    Ethan: My mother promised me glory. An eye was a small price to pay.
    Percy: Great mom.
  • Richard Cole from The Power of Five.
  • Halt from Ranger's Apprentice is a Deadpan Snarker - if he's suddenly serious, you know something's very, very wrong.
  • The title character in Ratman's Notebooks (the source material for the Willard movies). He's so good at it that he often comes across as a satirist or an observational comedian rather than the Ed Gein-inspired criminal he is.
  • Keith Laumer's Retief often displays a casual snarkiness regarding the rest of the CDT and how the organization is run. He often exploits his superiors' disdain for this in order to get sent into the thick of things as a punishment. Many of the aliens or human natives encountered also get in on the act.
  • Sherlock Holmes
    • Sherlock Holmes is this trope!
      Athelney Jones: (talking about a Locked Room Mystery) What do you think of this, Holmes? Sholto was, on his own confession, with his brother last night. The brother died in a fit, on which Sholto walked off with the treasure? How's that?
      Sherlock Holmes: On which the dead man very considerately got up and locked the door on the inside.
    • Watson has had his own fair share of snarks, to the point that Holmes does comment on his "pawky humour."
    • And his non-canonical protégée and later wife, Mary Russell, in the Mary Russell books is just as deadpan a snarker as Holmes.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Jack Emery can do this like nobody else can. More than one character calls him a wiseass.
  • Asher from Someone Else's War is spectacular at this.
  • Melinda, the main character of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, is deadpan in all aspects of life. Considering she was raped at an end-of-summer party at the age of fourteen, it's understandable. This doesn't stop her from being one of Anderson's most hilarious and likable characters.
  • Gerald Morris's The Squire's Tales turns many of King Arthur's knights into this. Particularly Gawain and Gaheris, Rhience, and Arthur himself when he allows himself.
  • Q, in the non-canon Star Trek book I, Q. "Yeah, and if that doesn't work, maybe the Easter Bunny will save us."
  • Mara Jade and Ben Skywalker are prone to this, but where Mara will start snarking just for the hell of it, Ben tends to save particularly nasty comments for moments when he's genuinely unhappy (although as we see in Outcast, he's not immune to random outbursts, either). And yes, both of them share the same irreverent sense of humor. Like mother, like son, really.
    Ben: (after hearing about one of Luke's earlier failures, specifically the cave section in ESB) You know, it gives me hope that you screwed up so badly and so consistently as a kid, Dad.
Deadpan humor seems to be by far the most prevalent kind in the EU; nearly all named characters (and there are plenty) will throw out a snarky line at least once.
  • Han has a very memorable one in Destiny's Way
Han: What the Empire would have done is build a supercolossal Yuuzhan Vong-killing Battle Machine. They would have called it the Nova Colossus or the Galaxy Destructor or the Nostril of Palpatine or something equally grandiose. They would have spent billions of credits, employed thousands of contractors and subcontractors, and equipped it with the latest in death-dealing technology. And you know what would have happened? It wouldn't have worked. They'd forget to bolt down a metal plate over an access hatch leading to the main reactors, or some other mistake, and a hotshot enemy pilot would drop a bomb down there and blow the whole thing up. Now that's what the Empire would have done.
  • Darth Vader of all people in the Star Wars Expanded Universe novel Patterns of Force. Here's the set-up: Vader has just captured protagonist Jax Pavan and his friends with the assistance of Dejah Duare. Jax and Duare have a back-and-forth about the betrayal and how much Jax has figured out about before Darth interrupts them thusly:
Darth Vader: This is all vaguely interesting and amusing, Pavan. But it has gone on long enough.
  • Vader is also quite the snarker in the films. When Han Solo, Leia and Chewbacca walk into an ambush on Cloud City, Vader greets them with a simple "Care to join us?"
  • It would basically just be shorter to list the characters who aren't. Bonus points for the X-Wing Series, in which 95% of the pilots are snarkers, and many lines of dialogue are just sarcasm from one pilot to another.
  • Alys in Terra Mirum Chronicles is, in her friend Charlie's words, "Miss Always-Has-a-Snarky-Comeback."
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - Atticus Finch is an unusually benevolent version.
  • Sarah in her normal life in Tales of an Mazing Girlis pretty snarky. She tends to only *think* it however when she puts on her mask, which is onle of the central tension.
  • Mephistopheles in Steven Brust's To Reign in Hell.
  • The title character of George R. R. Martin's Tuf Voyaging really has no emotions except for sarcasm, but he disguises it with enough Spock Speak that many of his interlocutors never realize that they've been insulted.
  • The unnamed debt-collector narrator of most of the "Cyclops" episode in James Joyce's Ulysses is one of the most caustic and mean-minded snarkers ever written.
  • Jack in Sebastian Rook's Vampire Plague books. It really comes out when he's confronted with vampires. Or Dominique.
  • Many of the characters in the Vorkosigan Saga have their moments, particularly Miles Vorkosigan himself, but Simon Illyan is probably the best example.
  • The Russian diplomat Bilibin in War and Peace, known later in Petersburg society for what he calls his mots (French for "sayings").
  • The Wheel of Time has several:
    • The most obvious and recurring one is Matrim Cauthon. It eventually gets edged out by him being a Memetic Badass.
      • His lieutenant, Talmanes, is so subtle at it that it took Mat months to realize that Talmanes was doing it at all - and then he quickly realized Talmanes never wasn't snarking.
    • Lan Mandragoran. Tall, Dark and Snarky, to boot.
    • Rand eventually gets shades of a gentle version after his near destruction of the world.
    • The Aiel, in their own way. You'll have to know their culture to get their jokes, though. Sometimes better than the reader.
  • Winnie the Pooh:
    "Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!" said Piglet, feeling him.
    Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.
    • Rabbit has a couple of moments as well.
  • The characters of Aaron Allston's parts of the X-Wing Series tend towards this trope. Most of the not-inconsiderable amount of humor in his books is of this variety.
    Wedge: Phanan, Face, still Seven and Eight. I'd hate to break up the best comedy team this side of the janitor's closet.
    Phanan: I love an understanding commander. Know where I can get one?
  • Ayn Rand. Get this burn Francisco d'Anconia lays on Jim Taggart in Atlas Shrugged:
    D'Anconia: It is unwise Jim, to venture unsolicited opinions. You may wish to spare yourself the embarrassing revelation of their exact value to the listener.
    • And the smackdown Hank Rearden gives to his assistant:
    Rearden: Run along, Non-Absolute. Try and pour a ton of molten steel on the expediency of the moment.
    • Dagny is quite the snarker.
    Dagny: I crashed the gate. Literally.
    • Ayn herself: "If you don't understand my books, you sure as Hell won't understand my voice."
  • Everything Douglas Adams writes is bound to have a deadpan snarker in it somewhere, but the most well known are Marvin and Arthur. Actually, apart from being fantastically and intrinsically linked to the events of the Earth blowing up (repeatedly) and wondering where the tea is, that's all Arthur does, although everyone gets in on the act at some point. Even the narrative. Constantly. Then again, it is Douglas Adams.
    Richard: The teacher usually learns more than the pupils. Isn't that true?
    Random Professor of Cambridge: It would be hard to learn much less than my pupils without undergoing a prefrontal lobotomy.
    • Marvin in the aforementioned series is an all-time master of this trope. When he isn't bitching and moaning he's doing nothing but making snarky comments.
    Marvin: (grumbling) "Give me a hand." Ha, ha, stupid human.
  • Would you believe H.P. Lovecraft? From "The Dunwich Horror": "But then, the homes and sheds of Dunwich's folk have never been remarkable for olfactory immaculateness."
    • One time a student of Lovecraft's mistook the common notation Ibid for the name of some ancient Roman fellow—which to be fair it does sound like. Lovecraft loved that so much that he wrote a story called "Ibid" about such a fellow in mockery. What kind of humour would you expect from a guy who thought that the universe was a harsh, hostile place?
  • Most of Jane Austen's heroines have a streak of this. See Emma Woodhouse, Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, etc. They get it from their author, as we see from Miss Austen's private letters.
    • Pride and Prejudice
      • Elizabeth Bennet: "I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person." She gets it from her father:
      "An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do."
      • Mr. Darcy is quite the snarker himself. Their mutually snarky banter is the earliest indication that the two of them are better for each other than they realize.
  • Machado de Assis's works often exhibit this.
  • The aptly-named bathroom reader 1,001 Facts That Will Scare the S#*t Out of You is a collection of both disturbing statistics and an equal amount of snide remarks commenting on every single one.
    (excerpt from the chapter 'And in My Spare Time, I Enjoy Dying', with boldface and italics as it appears) FACT: In boxing, a "knockout" is synonymous with cerebral concussion, which can lead to short- or long-term amnesia and confusion. Another concern is that the neurological damage is cumulative and makes the boxer increasingly vulnerable to future injury and permanent neurological trauma. Amnesia might not be a bad thing, in this case. Who wants to remember getting his ass kicked?
  • Lizzie's character in Spider Circus is very much this, especially when talking to Jack.
  • This exchange in Star Carrier: Earth Strike between Rear Admiral Alexander Koenig and his flag captain Randolph Buchanan:
    Koenig: I don't believe in "galactic empires". (snorts) The whole idea is silly, given the size of the galaxy.
    Buchanan: Well, the Sh'daar appear to believe in the concept, Admiral. And I doubt very much that it matters whether they agree with you on the point or not.
  • The Windwater Pack: The reason Ashtree says sarcasm is Zephyr’s first language. Apparently an inherited trait i.e. Layla and Cian. Sequana has her moments too. As does Moira: "You want to sing? This could easily be someone's territory. Sure; let’s announce our presence to all and sundry.”

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