The tendency in fiction for a Non-Action Guy to also be a Deadpan Snarker. Often, a character who displays this trait is one of the few non-action-oriented characters in a show full of Action Girls and Big Guys. One possible explanation for this trope is that sarcasm is one way to show that a character is dissatisfied with his life, and of course no guy could be happy if he isn't MANLY enough. Another explanation might be that Non Action Guys tend to be geeks, and geeks tend to be snarky. This trope is more likely to be male than female. A non-action-oriented girl may get this treatment, but more likely she will be a more feminine character type, such as The Chick, The Fashionista, the Damsel in Distress, the Team Mom, or Moe.
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Anime and Manga
- Ai Haibara from Detective Conan. In a series where most women are at least adept at some form of martial arts, she stands out as having very little means of self-defense.
- Kyon, from Haruhi Suzumiya. The rest of the club fights in some form in some way, while he comments from the sidelines.
- Chisame in Mahou Sensei Negima! is physically useless in combat; her abilities are completely tactical.
- The elves in Berserk, being about the size of most people's palms, just stay back and make snarky comments when battle breaks out. Afterwards, though, they have uses.
- Asuma from Patlabor.
- Nenene from R.O.D the TV is basically made of this trope. Sarcasm is basically her superpower.
- Yukiteru in the English dub of Future Diary, at least up until he decides to join the action towards the end.
Yukki: [to Yuno, while trying to escape a Serial Killer] Oh, great idea. Being on the roof makes getting away a total cinch.
- Fitz, from the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, is a Deadpan Snarker and has been known to trip over his own feet. Shortly after he's introduced, he convinces an old woman that R.J. Tolkien named Frodo after a beggar woman in France with whom he had a child, as it bothered Fitz that she got Tolkien's name wrong. Fitz is not just a bit of a geek, but a skinny one, at that.
- Rincewind qualifies; he's frequently snarky and definitely a Non-Action Guy, unless you count running away as an action.
- Any Joss Whedon work ever:
- Ianto on Torchwood, although he gets more action-y (and no less snarky) as the series progresses.
- Seamus Zelazny Harper from Andromeda.
- Timothy McGee from NCIS.
- McGee subverts this, really. While he's not as action-oriented as Tony or Ziva, he's fully capable of handling himself, not even remotely a non-action guy. And on the other side, Tony, Ziva and Gibbs are all snarky as well.
- Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1, although he becomes an action-guy after the first few seasons, and he is definitely not the only snarker on the show.
- Alec Hardison on Leverage has this fairly often, given his two main partners for the various cons: Eliot and Parker
- Darryl from Charmed is this. While he is a cop, he doesn't really stand a chance against magical creatures like witches, demons, and warlocks.
- Once Upon a Time: Aurora. She's not a fighter, but she snarks with the best of them, even sassing Cora despite the very strong likelihood that she would die for it.
- Stiles from Teen Wolf. At any given moment, expect him to either be snarking or avoiding getting caught in werewolf crossfire.
- Sergeant Wu from Grimm is basically a large pile of snark squeezed into human form. He's also definitely a Non-Action Guy, despite being a cop.
- Rory Williams from Doctor Who mainly existed as a character foil and Henpecked Husband to the fiery Amy Pond until becoming The Lone Centurion.
- Dr Harrison Wells, the Non-Action Guy Mission Control in The Flash (2014). He has a very dry, snarky sense of humour, which is partially due to him being the smartest guy in any room and partially due to the cynicism he gained after his own recklessness landed him in a wheelchair for life. Subverted, in that he is very much an action guy in his role as the Reverse Flash and, if anything, his snarking gets more pronounced after his true identity is revealed and he ditches the Obfuscating Disability.
- Cisco Ramon is also very snarky, although his humour is a bit sillier than Dr Wells' dry wit, and his main role is as the team's Gadgeteer Genius rather than anything combat oriented. He's shown to be capable of holding his own in a fight against Hartley Rathaway, but Hartley has no powers and is thus in a very different league to the bad guys Team Flash usually face.
- Kazi from BIONICLE.
- Dr. Shelton from Darwins Soldiers' is close to if not the purest example (There's a reason he used to be the Trope Namer). Almost every other character is firearm proficient, Made of Iron and has Nerves of Steel. Shelton can't shoot a gun, does the tech stuff, and snarkily lampshades every action trope that comes his way. As the series progressed, a few more non-action characters were introduced, but none were as bad as him.
- Cup from The Black Legion of the Dark Lord Sketch Melkor appears to generally be this, fitting in as well with the geeky aspects associated. She tends to not participate in the more extreme or strange conquests of Sketch, and sometimes even calls her out on them. Many of her comments regarding, well, anything, tend to be sarcastic. Subverted, in that she punched a guy out for making fun of feminism, and will stand up for herself, even if that means standing against the majority.
- Tucker Foley from Danny Phantom.
- Noah in Total Drama Island might be the king of this trope, to the point where he was eliminated very early in season one just because he wouldn't play dodgeball. Fortunately, he becomes far more active in World Tour but retains his signature snarker nature.
- While Dr. Hartford is quite capable with fisticuffs, a blaster, and a sword, he is a Playful Hacker and Badass Normal who is grossly underpowered compared to his more combat-oriented teamates. Doc's snark, however, could be licenced as a deadly weapon.
- Pretty much Jamie's character in Megas XLR.