->''"The problem with having a sarcastic voice is that no one can tell when you're actually being sarcastic."''
-->-- '''Cupcake woman''', ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''

The {{inver|tedTrope}}sion of SarcasmBlind. Due to some characters' demeanor, it is hard for others to distinguish if they are being sarcastic. In this case it isn't that someone doesn't understand the concept of sarcasm -- it's that someone doesn't understand how to properly use it, despite knowing exactly what sarcasm is. Often they have to alert others that they are in SarcasmMode. May overlap with InsultBackfire.

Likely perpetrators are TheComicallySerious and those with NoSocialSkills or NoSenseOfHumor. Compare CannotTellAJoke.



* [[InvertedTrope Inversion]]: There was an old commercial for ''Starburst'' where a man asked a woman if she wanted a Starburst and she sarcastically replied something like "Yeah, sure I would." He asked her why she had to be so flippant and she sarcastically told him that she has a speech disorder which makes everything she says sounds sarcastic. He got annoyed and walked away, after which she maintained the sarcastic tone and lamented to herself how this speech disorder sucks. [[https://soundcloud.com/drfsupercenter/starburst-commercial]]

* Comedian Arj Barker had a joke suggesting we all use the made-up font Sarcastica when typing sarcastic comments.
* Comedian Rob Newman created a character called Ray who was almost a 100% inversion of the trope: Ray was incapable of saying almost anything ''without'' sounding sarcastic. Even when he suffered life-threatening injuries nobody tried to help him because they thought his cries for help were meant ironically. He did play the trope straight occasionally though: Ray sounded completely sincere on the rare occasions when he ''meant'' to be sarcastic.

* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', this is played for drama, when Ward says something like "Yeah, right, I would totally kill my uncle, he is the last one standing between me and inheriting castle Hurog", and Oreg thinks he's ''serious''. Ward is deeply hurt that ''everyone'' seems to believe he's like his father.
* {{Inverted}} with Feygor, one of Literature/GauntsGhosts, who (thanks to [[WeCanRebuildHim reconstructive surgery]] involving an augmetic voicebox) can't ''not'' sound sarcastic. It doesn't help that, according to his squadmates, he's [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastic pretty much all]] the time ''anyway''. One of them half-jokingly suggests raising a hand when he was being serious.
--> '''Feygor:''' Yeah, that's a good idea.\\
''Feygor [[ActuallyPrettyFunny reluctantly raises his hand]].''

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Every so often, Sheldon from the ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' says something sarcastic but does it without much inflection. In one episode, Penny wants Sheldon to apologize to Leonard. When Sheldon refuses, Penny invokes this trope by telling Sheldon to apologize sarcastically. Sheldon agrees, and Leonard never realizes Sheldon is trying to be sarcastic.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
** Anya Jenkins, maybe. She is very inept handling human relationships and behaviour, so it is hard to tell for the Scoobies whether she is being sarcastic, just unknowing -- or plain insulting.
** Oz, the extremely-DeadpanSnarker.
--->'''Oz:''' I can see why you'd be upset. Oh, that was my sarcastic voice.\\
'''Xander:''' You know, it sounds a lot like your regular voice.\\
'''Oz:''' I've been told that.
* Abed from ''{{Series/Community}}'' (possibly) subverts this twice: Once where he goes out of his way to use sarcastic inflection when being sincere about the importance of inflection, and again where he lets the group know he's about to begin a sarcastic diatribe before doing so, and closes with "Sarcasm over".
* Every so often Brennan and (at one point anyway) Zack from ''Series/{{Bones}}'' (on the off chance that they'd actually use sarcasm).
* Robin and her date have a misunderstanding in ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' in which he turns up in a Halloween costume while she doesn't, as her sarcasm didn't come across in their online conversations.
* The ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketch "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLc8RIdRzio Sarcasm 101 with Matthew Perry.]]" They know what sarcasm is but they don't all quite get how to do it.
* One sketch on ''Series/SoRandom'' features "Possibly Sarcastic Skip", who was born with a disease that makes him sound sarcastic all the time. The sketch is spent trying to determine when he is and isn't being sincere.
* Inverted in a ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'' sketch in which Dave Foley’s character inadvertently insults people due to his speech impediment which causes it to sound as though he’s ''perpetually'' being sarcastic. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziH9St7ajuw Check it out]].
* Inverted in the ''Series/CornerGas'' episode "Dog River Dave". People keep thinking Wanda is being sarcastic when she actually isn't, a big pet peeve of hers. As Wanda is the biggest DeadpanSnarker on the show, it's highly likely that the rest of the town just assumes that ''anything'' coming out of her mouth must be sarcasm.

[[folder:New Media]]
* The Internet comes standard with sarcasm filters built into the Internet Protocol, rendering it highly possible that offhand flippant comment you thought was the height of clever LampshadeHanging insulted everyone who read it. Detecting sarcasm in text requires the reader to rely on wording and context alone, and a conversation between strangers provides a lot less context than one between friends. It might be related to the rampant ''overuse'' of ''italics'' to make something seem more outstanding or ALL CAPS SPEAK TO SUGGEST YELLING.
* Sarcasm is nearly impossible to convey in text in general. The Internet is more noticeable in that sarcasm is more abundant, but when it appears in text, it can be hard to tell how genuine they're being.
** It should be noted that the above is pretty much PoesLaw restated.
** Absolutely. On Wiki/ThisVeryWiki, one can never, ever, ever tell when a troper is being sarcastic or snarky. Such is the monumentally difficult task of communicating sarcasm through text alone. Because of this, some have a tendency of potholing to SarcasmMode whenever they say anything sarcastic, even when the sarcasm would be very obvious given the rest of what they added (spending an entire addition expressing what a jerk somebody is only to end it with "What a great guy").
*** That being said, there are tricks to make the sarcasm (somewhat) more apparent. Using deliberately archaic or unusual language ("Oh yeah, Bob, what a stupendous chap, what would us peons do without his radiance?"), extreme (but still readable) misspellings within an otherwise regular body of text ("People hear me say 'Bob is teh beztezt!!shift+1' quite often, I assure you."), the usage of ''italics'' (Bob is ''so cool.'' I wouldn't call him a sack of crap ''at all.''"), and other abnormal ways of communicating textually are often good indicators of sarcasm. However, because these methods are by no means universal, it is still very difficult to convey sarcasm, doubly so with a stranger who may not use the above methods at all or use methods the readers are unfamiliar with.

* In the first "fit" of ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' after Ford and Arthur find themselves on a Vogon ship, Ford deflects Arthur's attempts at sarcasm with disarming fact:
-->'''Arthur:''' How did we get here?\\
'''Ford:''' We hitched a lift.\\
'''Arthur:''' Excuse me! Are you trying to tell me that we just stuck out our thumbs and some green bug-eyed monster stuck his head out and said "Hi, fellas. Hop right in. I can take you as far as the Basingstoke Roundabout"?\\
'''Ford:''' Well, the thumb is an electronic sub-etha device. The roundabout at Bernard's Star is six light years away, but that's more or less right.\\
'''Arthur:''' And the bug-eyed monster?\\
'''Ford:''' Is green, yes.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Maybe [=GLaDOS=] from ''{{VideoGame/Portal}}''. Her being a robot doesn't help. She might not have the intonation, but given that most of her sarcasm is the variety you would expect from a bratty six-year-old it isn't exactly difficult to make out. At least in the sequel she is promoted to teenager-level bitchiness.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FobvIYd0BHU Bowser's reaction]] to Mario and friends forgetting to invite him in ''[[VideoGame/MarioParty Mario Party 7]]''.
* Sten from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''. He's extremely stoic and does not seem to make jokes. However, if you at one point reply to one of his rather deadpan observations with "funny" ([[AlternateCharacterInterpretation whether your character is being sarcastic or not is really up to you]]), he'll thank you as it was, apparently, meant as a joke.
* EDI from ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. She slowly becomes increasingly capable at humor, although her capability to convey sarcasm through tone of voice takes a bit more work. In between the six months that seperate the second and third games, she seems to have refined her technique, although she tends to a void sarcasm in favor of [[{{Troll}} messing with her Organic crew members minds.]]
** Joker has just finished crawling through one access tunnel and is about to crawl through another, complains to EDI about it.
----> '''EDI:''' I enjoy the sight of humans on their knees.\\
'''Joker:''' ''[[{{Beat}} Stunned silence]]'' \\
'''EDI:''' That was a joke.
** Even better in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', as she gets the same reaction from resident badass, Commander Shepard.
---> '''EDI:''' Do not worry, Shepard. I only forget to recycle the Normandy's oxygen when I find something ''truly'' interesting.\\
'''Shepard:''' ''*StunnedSilence*''\\
'''EDI:''' [[RunningGag That was a joke.]]
* Shizune in ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' occasionally has this problem. Being deaf and mute, her sign language is interpreted by Misha, who tends to speak in a cheerful, bubbly tone regardless of Shizune's intent.
* In ''Videogame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', [=Zer0=] has this as a taunt when he manages to kill someone with a critical hit. Being [=Zer0=], he does it in Haiku.
-->"Sorry, did that hurt? / That "sorry" was sarcasm / I am not sorry."
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] by Beckett in ''Videogame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines''. His line reading sounds like he's being constantly sarcastic, making even innocuous statements like "pleasure to make your acquaintance" sound like he's mocking you. Or maybe he really ''is'' mocking you. You can't really tell.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Discussed in [[http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=168 this strip]] of ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'', in which T-Rex worries that people can't tell when he's being sarcastic. (And then repeats that worry in a sarcastic tone.)

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Dr. Clef from ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' makes it impossible to tell whether he's lying or not, or whether he's even serious or not.
* In ''WebVideo/EdgarAllanPoesMurderMysteryDinnerParty'', several famous nineteenth-century writers gather for a murder mystery game which turns out to be far too real. When the writers start arriving, Mary Shelley makes the lamest joke possible about her own novel. Through a combination of the joke's stupidity and her dead serious delivery, everyone present misses it or charitably prétends they did.
* Simply put, it's ''very'' hard [[PoesLaw to convey sarcasm through an online post]] without somehow marking it as such. Some use mock-html end tags (</sarcasm>) or punctuation marks such as a tilde (~), and Wiki/TheOtherWiki has a page about [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony_punctuation proposed new punctuation marks]], but there hasn't been much consensus, perhaps because on one's sure which proposals are serious. Meanwhile, here at TV Tropes, [[SarcasmMode we don't really have any favorite method.]][[note]][[SincerityMode This only needs to be used when the sarcasm isn't immediately obvious.]][[/note]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** Inverted in the episode "Bart of Darkness":
-->'''Homer:''' There's still the little matter of the whereabouts of your wife.\\
'''Maude Flanders:''' [[CaptainObvious Uh, I'm right here.]]\\
'''Homer:''' Oh, I see! Then I guess everything's wrapped up in a neat little package!\\
''(after a pause)''\\
'''Homer:''' Really, I mean that. Sorry if it SOUNDED sarcastic.
** Played with in "Bart Has Two Mommies", after [[SarcasticConfession telling Marge that]] [[ItMakesSenseInContext Bart was kidnapped by a monkey]]:
-->'''Homer:''' And maybe I'm talking like this because I can't stop! Help me, Lisa! I have serious mental problems!
** In the episode "Homerpalooza" two unnamed teens/young adults engage in a form of this:
-->'''Teen 1:''' Here comes that cannon ball guy. He's cool.\\
'''Teen 2:''' Are you being sarcastic, dude?\\
'''Teen 1:''' I don't even know anymore.
** And then there's the time when Homer's sarcasm was perfectly clear, but he suddenly worried that he hadn't made himself clear:
-->'''Marge Simpson:''' Well, Homer, maybe you can take some consolation in the fact that something you created is making so many people happy.
-->'''Homer Simpson:'''[sarcastic voice] Ooh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the Magical Man from Happy-Land, in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane!
-->'''[walks out, slams the door, then sticks his head back in]:'''
-->'''Homer Simpson:''' Oh, by the way: I was being sarcastic.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' had an inversion in "Sarcastiball": After Randy Marsh [[IWasJustJoking accidentally invents a sport by sarcastically suggesting it]], he adopts a habit of speaking sarcastically all the time. At one point Sharon asks him if he's stuck speaking sarcastically. He angrily replies with things like "Yes! I'm stuck speaking like this! I need help!" She still can't tell if he's sincere or not.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'', Mr. Herriman tries to receive funding from an EccentricMillionaire, and tells Bloo with obvious sarcasm that he and Mac will get race cars from the money. Bloo's glee at this comment reveals to Mac that [[SarcasmBlind he has absolutely no idea what sarcasm is]], and his attempts to teach him run throughout the episode. [[spoiler: As it turns out, the "millionaire" had no money, and thought his baldfaced lying was sarcasm. [[RuleOfThree Additionally]], Mr. Herriman was telling the truth, and gives Mac and Bloo race cars in the end.]]