Osaka:(eyes start wandering around) Kaorin: Hey Osaka, what are you doing? Osaka: Well, you know those little tiny spots you sometimes catch in your eyes? Well, I'm trackin' them down. Kaorin: I see... well, good luck with that. Osaka: Mmm, thank you.
Nick Swardson talks about this after one joke. His cat had diarrhea, and when the doctor asked what he was feeding the cat, he said "diarrhea". He said that an audience member actually stood up and was offended by that, and his rebuttal was that there's no way that that joke could be true.
Dave Barry writes about "humor-impaired" people who have this problem. He tries to remedy this issue by sprinkling the column with cues as to what's funny and what isn't, as humor-impaired people don't understand what is and isn't supposed to be a joke. He finishes the explanation with "Trust me, these people exist. They write to me all of the time."
In Battle Hymn, the King of the Sea doesn't understand ideas like figurative speech or metaphor; from what he says, they don't seem to have these underwater.
In Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, when Gideon sarcastically says that Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers clearly have no problems with their relationship, a random guy points out that they were having a fight.
Gideon: You two are adorable. I can see that your relationship is really working. Random Guy #1: Really? Cause, I mean, it seems like they're fighting.
Cat Curio and Vlad in Hack/Slash both have a really hard time with any kind of sarcasm or figurative speech. Cat has Asperger's Syndrome, and Vlad had an extremely sheltered upbringing wherein speaking to someone besides his not-fluent-in-English foster father was a ridiculous notion.
Raditz: Now, disregarding the Namekian... Goku: Nu-uh, the Yoshi. Piccolo: I'm not a goddamn Yoshi! Goku: But you said you were? Piccolo: It's called Sarcasm!! Goku:What's that taste like? Piccolo: DAMMIT GOKU!!!
Octavia: Still as good at detecting sarcasm as you ever were… Blueblood: Oh… Well, thank you for the compliment. Octavia: No, I was being… Ugh, you know what, never mind.
Anthropology: Lyra does not understand sarcasm, and actually has to be informed when someone is being sarcastic with her. Example from chapter 23:
Lyra: I was reading that history book you gave me and it said that America had been in wars. A lot of them, actually. Paul: News flash. I’ve never heard that before. Lyra: So… It wasn’t true? I mean, if there had really been so many, you would have heard – Paul: That was sarcasm, Lyra.
In Gypsy Caravan Barty Crouch Jr. commented on how hard he'd been trying to stay out of Voldemort's way when he was busy, prompting Snape to offer to bring a book next time he was called and Crouch to reply that that would be lovely and sincerely thank him. Snape's final thought as he departed was that sarcasm was wasted on the insane.
Maggie: I got it! Why don't we go nab that Alameda Slim and use the reward money to save the farm? Mrs. Calloway: Oh, that is a sensible idea. Maggie: I knew you'd love it! Mrs. Calloway: Don't they have sarcasm where you come from?
Jack Frost: Yeah. I love being shoved in a bag and tossed through a magical portal.
Santa: Oh! Good! (Proudly) That was my idea!
Films — Live-Action
A sketch in Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life has an Army drill sergeant barking at his men that they're going to spend the day "marching up and down the square... that is, unless any of you got anything better to do." When the soldiers begin mentioning such things (being at home with the wife and kids, reading a book, practicing the piano), the nonplussed sergeant dismisses them.
Phoenix: Look at you, in your nice shiny uniforms... oooh, I'm SO scared... what, you people don't have sarcasm anymore? Squad leader: Maniac has responded with a scornful remark.
In Roxanne, the title character accidentally locked herself out of the house, wearing only a bathrobe that got caught in the door. She goes to the fire department for help, and hides in the bushes. C.D. asks her if she'd like a coat, and she sarcastically remarks, "No, I'd really like to stand naked in this bush in the freezing cold." He goes to get his tools, and she's surprised when he returns without anything for her.
Roxanne: Nobody had a coat? C.D.: I thought you said you didn't want a coat. Roxanne: Why would I not want a coat? C.D.: You said you didn't want a coat. Roxanne: I was being ironic. C.D.: Oh! Irony! Oh, no, no, we don't get that here. See, people ski topless here while smoking dope, so irony's not really a high priority. We haven't had any irony here since about '83 when I was the only practitioner of it, and I stopped 'cause I was tired of being stared at.
C3PO from Star Wars is programmed with over 6 million forms of communication, but doesn't quite understand Han's sarcasm.
C-3PO: Captain Solo, it would appear that this asteroid is not entirely stable. Han: "Not entirely stable"? I'm glad you're here to tell us these things! C-3PO: Sometimes I just don't understand human behaviors. After all, I'm only doing my job!
Carrot Ironfoundersson, due to his upbringing by the Literal-Minded dwarves. He gets better at recognizing it, even if he still doesn't really understand it. Though some wonder, in-story, if Carrot isn't as oblivious as he seems.
Interestingly, though Carrot has No Social Skills because he grew up at the bottom of a dwarven mine, most of the dwarfs seen in the books are a lot more savvy than himself. This is mainly because most of them are from Ankh-Morpork. Mountain dwarfs fall more definitely into this trope, which is justified by the fact that sarcasm (along with metaphor, and other forms of non-literal communication) are useless and potentially unsafe in a mine.
Sergeant Colon as well, who thinks "irony" means "sort of like iron." When he's made Captain in The Fifth Elephant, Vetinari's barbed comments just bounce straight off, no matter how blatant he tries to make them.
Cohen the Barbarian does understand sarcasm, in a vague sense, but he has a little more trouble with metaphor and hyperbole. Several Agatean nobles commit suicide in Interesting Times by telling him they'd rather die than see him on the throne.
In the X Wing Series, Runt is like this at first, being a non-human new to serving in the New Republic. He learns.
"Well. They could've been muggers, I suppose." "I'm so, so sorry." "Why, did you put them up to it?" The Doctor looked at her strangely. "Of course not!"
Hephaestus in The Heroes of Olympus. As the god of the forge, he's not too smart dealing with organic life forms.
Hephaestus: That was sarcasm, wasn't it? Machines don't have sarcasm, usually.
Bill Bryson notes this is a problem when conversing with some of his friends and neighbors, in an article in Notes From a Big Country:
Bill:(sees his neighbor's car covered in tree branches the morning after a storm) Morning George! Camouflaging your car, I see! George: ... No, the storm blew these branches onto my car last night and I need to clear them away.
In the Animorphs books, Ax the Andalite at first didn't understand sarcasm, though he was a quick learner. He occasionally played dumb, though.
On a sketch hosted by Kevin Spacey he played the "inventor" of sarcasm. He said things like "I love this party" meaning he hated it, but no-one got it because no-one else knew of sarcasm. Until they all understood he was being ironic, became extremely hurt, and burned him at the stake.
Another SNL skit had Matthew Perry as a teacher in a class for Sarcasm101.
"Is this Sarcasm 101?" "No this is embroidery. Sarcasm101 is down the hall." "Ah. Thanks!"
Leonard even made a sarcasm sign in an early episode. And Sheldon keeps track of how many times he correctly understands sarcasm.
Once, when Howard made a sarcastic comment, Sheldon asked "Was that sarcasm?", and Howard sarcastically replied "No!" — which, of course, Sheldon failed to recognize the sarcasm of.
In at least one episode, this is inverted: Sheldon takes something as sarcastic when it isn't. I suppose this can be Truth in Television to some extent if you can't recognize sarcasm and you're used to looking for it everywhere.
Over the course of several seasons, Sheldon has eventually learned to recognise sarcasm.
Castiel. Though as he hangs out with Dean more, he might get a handle on it.
Castiel: [God] isn't in Heaven. He has to be somewhere. Dean: Try New Mexico! I hear he's on a tortilla. Castiel:(after seriously considering this) No, He's not on any flat bread.
Jo: Hey, ever heard of door handles? Castiel:(after teleporting himself out of the car) Of course I have.
Lately, he's become more sarcastic himself.
Castiel: You're right. Pardon me for highlighting their crippling and dangerous empathetic response with "sarcasm."
A Mr Show sketch has a man who expresses constant, venomous sarcasm... through letter writing. Given the obvious lack of cues towards his sarcasm as a result, everyone tends to take him at face value (including one poor woman who receives a "love" letter from him).
Dr. Temperance Brennan, title protagonist of Bones, often fails to understand sarcasm at first (if at all) and usually must use logical deduction (out loud) to detect it. Much to the bemusement of her partner.
Bennett Halverson, the programmer played by Summer Glau on Dollhouse, shows signs of this as part of a general Rainman vibe, as evidenced by an exchange with Adelle.
Bennett: You used the company jet to abduct the programmer of a rival house? Adelle: I'm certain I'll be kicking myself come holiday bonus time. Bennett: I'm sure you'll be dead by then.
Virtually everyone in Blackadder except the title character takes turns at failing to understand his sarcasm, especially in the fourth series.
This is lampshaded once in the third series.
Blackadder: Baldrick, do you have any idea what irony is? Baldrick: Yeah. It's like goldey and bronzey, only it's made of iron.
The Brittas Empire: Mr. Gordon Brittas not only fails to understand sarcasm, but anything at all that's subtler than coming out and speaking your mind. Cue Cringe Comedy.
Laura: You see, we were all standing outside the ambulance waving goodbye to Mr. Petrov, and Mr. Brittas was saying "Where are we going to find an internationally famous pianist in the next half hour?" and I said, "Hey kids, why don't we do the show ourselves?" Helen: Oh, you didn't... Laura: I just never thought.
Cafe Proprietor: 35 p please. Mr Pither: Ah... oh, I have only a fifty. You have change? Cafe Proprietor: Well, I'll have a look, but I may have to go to the bank. Mr Pither: I'm most awfully sorry.
In the House episode "Family Practice", the Patient of the Week is Cuddy's mother, played by Candice Bergen. After going through the usual incorrect diagnoses of what's wrong with her (her hypochondria didn't exactly help things much), House makes a blatantly sarcastic remark about how much he loves a certain famous baseball player, then asks her if he really meant what he just said. Her inability to detect his sarcasm confirms his suspicions, allowing him and his team to proceed finally in the right direction.
Riker:(sarcastic) Charming woman. Data's voice-over: The tone of Commander Riker's voice makes me suspect that he is not serious about finding Ambassador T'Pel charming. My experience suggests that, in fact, he may mean the exact opposite of what he says. Irony is a form of expression I have not yet been able to master.
Deputy Halloran on Boardwalk Empire demonstrates this twice in the show's second season; when he marvels at the existence of a "lady lawyer", said lawyer deadpans "What next, horseless carriages?", prompting his response "They already got those." On another occasion, while helping dispose of a body, he asks whose it is and is sarcastically told it's silent film star Mary Pickford, leading to the shocked response "You killed Mary Pickford?!"
In Community, Abed's inability to understand being "messed with" drives his and Troy's subplot for an episode. Lampshaded:
Abed: Troy invented rap music, and he's related to Danny Glover, and President Obama. Troy: Hey man, that stuff I said this morning wasn't true, I was just messing with you. Abed: You were lying? Troy: Yeah, as a joke. You've never had somebody mess with you before? Abed: Yes, just kidding, no. Like that?... This isn't a table. (laughs) ... That's funny.
Leverage's Parker. Too many to count in every episode.
Subverted with Chris Trager on Parks and Recreation. Due to his extremely positive, upbeat personality, one would expect that he wouldn't understand sarcasm. He does understand and recognize sarcasm; he just ignores the sarcasm because he believes there is a kernel of truth in sarcasm.
The elderly Ernie "Coach" Pantusso, bartender at Cheers, made a lot of dimwit comments after taking sarcasm too literally. His future replacement Woody Boyd, a farmboy from Indiana, was probably even worse at it.
In Father Ted, when Mrs Doyle encounters Father Jessup, "the most sarcastic priest in Ireland";
Mrs. Doyle: Shall I make the beds in the spare room? Father Jessup: No, we'll sleep outside, in a ditch! Mrs. Doyle: OK so... would you like a cup of tea? Father Jessup: No, We want to die of thirst. Mrs. Doyle:[baffled] Ok so... Father Ted:[quietly] Mrs. Doyle, I think Father Jessup might have been being a bit... sarcastic... Mrs. Doyle: Really? Were you being sarcastic, Father Jessup? Father Jessup: No, we'd like to die of thirst! Father Ted:[quietly] Mrs. Doyle, I know it's a bit confusing, but the trick is to do the opposite of what Father Jessup says. Mrs. Doyle:[very uncertain] So, you really... do... want a cup of tea? Father Jessup:[exasperated] Yes! [reaches out for the cup] Mrs. Doyle:[takes the cup away, looking very pleased with herself]
On The Golden Girls, Dorothy is a Deadpan Snarker extraordinaire, while Rose is a ditzyCloud Cuckoo Lander. Since this is something akin to an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, the writers will usually split the difference and have Rose understand that Dorothy is being sarcastic about half the time.
Example: Sophia was telling her friends a friend of hers passed away.
Rose: How did she die? —>Sophia: She was fighting an oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico. She was 88! —>Rose: Well, at least she was able to work right up until the end.
Horatio Hornblower: Horatio Hornblower sort of inhabits a World of Snark. The resident Deadpan Snarkers do not exchange sneering comments with each other, but they are paired with poor Sarcasm Blind Horatio, who is a genius at every other thing but irony, jokes and the like usually escape him. However, his close friend Archie's smartass comments are likely to bring about one of his rare and most attractive smiles. An example from "Retribution", involving the hero and a snarky captain at the Lieutenants' trial which investigates a possible mutiny aboard their ship commanded by a crazy Captain.
Captain Collins: [in Sarcasm Mode] A happy day for James Sawyer when you four gentlemen came aboard.
In "Weird Al" Yankovic's 11-minute epic "Albuquerque," he mentions an incident where he saw a co-worker struggling with some heavy boxes and asked if he wanted help. The co-worker responded "No, I want you to cut off my arms and legs with a chainsaw." So he did. But he's got that really cool nickname now: Torso Boy!
Arthur: Mr. Birling says I'll never find another girlfriend. Carolyn: Oh. Well, Mr Birling, the seventy-something retiree from Sussex, is of course one of the country's foremost relationship experts. Arthur: Oh no, is he? I didn't even know that!
For years, Ronald E. Army has been living under the assumption that he is a great military general. In actuality he is still a sergeant, but when asking about a promotion, he was met with the response of "yeah, you're going to be a general".
In My Sims Kingdom, the first time you go to Cowboy Junction, Buddy asks what kind of people they'll find there. Lyndsay says that it's probably inhabited by a race of fishmen, which excites Buddy. She tells him that was sarcasm. He tells her that he's a fishman, prompting a "Really?" from her. He takes that to mean that he fooled her "with a sarcasm."
Mical the Disciple in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. When the player character receives a request to meet a shady character, alone, Atton Rand snarks, "Well, at least we know it isn't a trap," to which Mical earnestly replies, "No, Atton, I think it may be a trap!" Since her and Mical are an either/or pair, The Handmaiden fills this role for Male!Exile's party. "What are you talking about? It's obviously a trap."
Mackenzie: Um, I'm Detective Mackenzie. Daisy: Oh, how cute. A detective. Mackenzie: Thanks... Daisy: Don't you understand sarcasm when you hear it? Mackenzie: ...
Mackenzie's reaction showed that she didn't like it.
Master Ilen displays this when approached about Iron Bark by a particularly Snarky!Hawke in Dragon Age II:
Hawke:(with a sarcastic tone) What could have happened to cause concern among such skilled warriors as the Dalish hunters? Ilen: I'm surprised to see a shemlen with such respect for our hunters.
Knight-Commander Meredith is either totally sarcasm blind or is determinedly ignoring Snarky!Hawke. "Always happy to help in a life-threatening situation." "Good." And so on...
Meredith: I assume you are ready, Champion?
Hawke: To slaughter the entire Circle? Oh, sure.
During the climax of Portal 2 as the second core transfer starts. Justified as it's a machine:
Announcer: Corrupted core, are you ready to start? Wheatley: What do you think? Announcer: Interpreting vague answer as "yes". Wheatley: Nonononononono!! Didn't pick up on my sarcasm...
Ward the Jerkass from The Orion Conspiracy does not know sarcasm when he hears it. Devlin says sarcastically at one point, "Thank you for your compassion and understanding." Ward's response goes something like "What?"
In The Secret World, Hayden Montag suffers from this. As Headmaster of Innsmouth Academy, one of the most disaster-prone Wizarding Schools in the country, its expected for him to be a bit on the dour and humourless side- especially now that the school and most of the surrounding countryside are under attack by everything from ancient Norse sea-zombies to Native American wendigos. Montag, however, has great difficulty understanding human emotions, catapulting quite a bit of his dialogue into this trope.
(Montag has just explained how living humans have been Buried Alive inside the walls to act as immortal magical power sources, and how the few that just escaped have to be rounded up and forced back into their tombs.)
Usher: The first time you get bricked in's probably the worst time, eh?
Usher: You're like the world's revenge on sarcasm, d'you know that?
Maya Fey from the Ace Attorney games seems completely oblivious to Phoenix's sarcastic tone, taking his snarky comments seriously.
Lampshaded in Case 1-4, when Maya is trying to think of a good replacement for standing under a cold waterfall (the best way for her to train her spiritual powers). When she takes his suggestion to call the fire department and have them hose her down seriously, he notes that "Apparently E.S.P. is no aid in detecting sarcasm".
Rin Tezuka from Katawa Shoujo actually asks what sarcasm is when the topic is brought up. Hisao doesn't know what to say to this, because, knowing Rin, she's dead serious.
John, at least sometimes, due to being a bit of an Idiot Hero:
EB: hey, can you hold on? EB: i'm getting trolled again. TG: oh man and if weve just concluded anything its that talking to those dbags should be priority number one so yeah go right ahead EB: ok, brb.
Kanaya as well. Not even John's sarcasm. She finally catches on to Rose's sarcasm, but she still hasn't figured out that the other trolls use it all the time. She seems to be getting better at it, even referring to sarcasm as "An Enjoyable Exercise In Xenocultural Inculcation." When it is pointed out to her that the other trolls do it just as often, she responds, "Thats True But When We Do It Its Usually Just Because We Are Trying To Be Jerks Rather Than By Way Of A Mild Manner Perpetually Dispatching Little Puzzles Of Rhetoric Without Apparent Purpose."
Zalanna: Did you get my joke? It is because your mother would never kill you, but I exaggerated the extent of her fury. It was really quite quick on the draw. It was really cleaver [sic] of me! Tanna: Yes Zalanna. You are quite the jester. Zalanna: I am? It is a talent I never knew I possessed! How positively exhilarating!
The website Busy Street believes this to be true of internet communication in general.
Too good to leave off: Shortly after the developer went out of business, Yahtzee did an episode of Zero Punctuation where he "reviewed" Duke Nukem Forever, touting it as the greatest game ever, bar none; he briefly descends into a horrible fantasy where the game was never released because the developer spent twelve years jerking off and rightly got sued into oblivion, but he's so glad we don't live in a world like that! The next week, after his normal review, he posts a "Letter of the Week" which he received from a fan who was so excited that the game had finally come out, he'd been waiting for years, and asks Yahtzee where he got his copy because he can't seem to find it anywhere. (This was, of course, years before DNF's actual release.) And this was despite the video having a note at the end stating the entire review was sarcastic! Sometimes even Captain Obvious has a job to do.
SCP-082 from the SCP Foundation, a giant cannibalistic mutant who, among other delusions, doesn't grasp sarcasm, parody, or fiction in general (he has even expressed a desire to meet Hannibal Lecter).
Tim333: You sound like a real winner rockstar111: is that a good thing Tim333: Have you ever heard of "sarcasm" or "irony," rockstar? rockstar111: what Tim333: Wow. It must be nice to be invulnerable to insult by means of incomprehension. rockstar111: what the hell r u talking about
For a joke, The Nostalgia Chick took her snarky woobie Sex Bot's sarcastic suggestion to get to Nella through a wormhole in the sink totally seriously. And hey, it worked.
Used in the South Park movie "Imaginationland". The military is interrogating Stan and Kyle, trying to find a way into Imaginationland, and a specialist accidentally lets slip that they have a secret portal there. The general shuts him up, sarcastically saying, "Why don't you just tell them everything about Project X?!" The specialist starts describing it until the general cuts him off by pointing out he was being sarcastic.
This is the main plot of the episode "Sarcastaball". Randy complains about new rules enforced in junior football to make the sport safer, saying it might as well played with a balloon while all the players wear bras and tinfoil hats, hugging their opponents and giving them compliments. He ends up being team coach after the school board takes him seriously when he says he'd love to coach the new sport.
Used hilariously in Justice League. In the episode "Eclipsed," a general is possessed by an evil spirit, which wants to pass itself along to a member of the Justice League. Asking a subordinate how to get the attention of the Justice League, the subordinate replies, "Put on a gaudy costume and threaten to hurt a lot of people."So he does. The costume he puts together is a Shout Out to one of the more garish of the old school super villains, Eclipso.
In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown is none to pleased to discover he has received no Christmas cards, so he goes up to Violet, and says:
Charlie Brown: Thanks for the Christmas card you sent me! Violet:I didn't send you a Christmas card, Charlie Brown! (walks off) Charlie Brown: Don't you know sarcasm when you hear it?!
Chief Wiggum: Just sit down and wait for "Detective Like I Give A Damn." Homer: Thank you so much. (beat) Lisa: Dad? Homer: Honey, Daddy's waiting for the detective.
Lisa: Maybe they're all reverse vampires and they have to get home before dark. Kids: AAAAAAHHHHH!!! REVERSE VAMPIRES!!!
Barney also shows this in one famous scene:
Barney: And I say England's greatest Prime Minister was Lord Palmerston! Wade Boggs: Pitt the Elder! Barney: LORD PALMERSTON! Boggs: PITT! THE! ELDER! Barney: Okay, you asked for it, Boggs! (punches out Boggs) Moe:Yeah, that's showin' 'im, Barn!"Pitt the Elder"... Barney:'LORD PALMERSTON!(punches out Moe)
Most characters on Avatar The Last Airbender are pretty quick on the uptake, but Aang, due to his optimism and shining idealism, demonstrates this characteristic at least once, when he is reluctant to kill the Big Bad, but the rest of the Gang wants him to.
Aang: Maybe we could make some big pots of glue, and then I could use gluebending to stick his arms and legs together so he can't bend anymore! Zuko: Yeah! And then you can show him his baby pictures and all those happy memories will make him good again! Aang: Do you really think that would work? Zuko: NO!
Spike: Well, you're good at a lot of things. Just not nest making, ice skating, animal waking, snow clearing... Twilight Sparkle: Thanks a lot for making me feel so much better. Spike: That's what I'm here for, sister.
Pinkie Pie seems to be especially prone to this. In "Feeling Pinkie Keen":
Pinkie Pie: (observing the frog conspicuously clinging to Twilight's head) Uh, Twilight, you got a little something on your face there. Twilight Sparkle: Oh? Did your "Pinkie Sense" tell you that too? Pinkie Pie: No, I could just see it. (hops off) La la la la laaaa....
And again in "Over a Barrel," where it backfires on Rainbow Dash because Pinkie Pie takes her quip about Fluttershy being a tree out of context.
Rainbow Dash: When we get to Appleoosa, you think we'll have to carry that heavy tree all the way from the train to the orchard? Pinkie Pie: What tree? You mean Bloomberg? Rainbow Dash: [sarcasm] No. Fluttershy. Pinkie Pie: Fluttershy's not a tree, silly. Twilight Sparkle: What's going on? Pinkie Pie: Rainbow Dash thinks Fluttershy's a tree. Rainbow Dash: I do not think she's a tree, I was just... Twilight Sparkle: Did you say she was a tree? Rainbow Dash: No... well, yes... but... not exactly ... Twilight Sparkle: You know she's not a tree, right? Pinkie Pie: She's not a tree, Dashie. Fluttershy: ...I'd like to be a tree.
And once again in "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1", after showing off what she had planned for the wedding reception:
Pinkie Pie: I think this reception is gonna be perfect! Don't you? Princess Cadance: Perfect! ...if we were celebrating a six-year-old's birthday party. Pinkie Pie:(gasps) Thank you!
In ''The Crystal Empire, Part 1":
Twilight Sparkle: I love research papers! Rainbow Dash: Yeah, (nudges Pinkie) who doesn't? Pinkie Pie: Oh, oh, oh! Let me guess! Is it Spike? No, no, Fluttershy! Rarity?
Beavis from Beavis And Butthead. If told "Tell me something I don't know." he'll do exactly that. He thinks "Stick it where the sun doesn't shine." means "Put it under your pillow."
In The Legend Of Tarzan, Terk gives Tantor a sarcastic compliment. When Tantor acts smug, she follows it up by saying that he's really good at detecting sarcasm, as well. Tantor continues acting smug.
Daria's entire family in Daria. They somehow manage to talk to Daria all day long without noticing that she's the Deadpan Snarker to end all Deadpan Snarkers.
Doug would occasionally fall into this, usually with his Deadpan Snarker of an older sister. There was even an entire episode where he was worried when Patti invited him over for a dinner party and said they were having his favorite: liver and onions. He actually hated liver and onions and even made a speech in front of the class about how much he hated them. It never dawned on Doug that Patti was only joking until she flat out told him at the end of the episode.
The whole point of using (deadpan) sarcasm for humour is that it creates a brief disconnect between the speaker and the listener (who's implicitly assuming the speaker will say what he means). Even someone with the best sarcasm-dar in the world will take a moment to realise that's what's going on, and that tension-and-release is what makes it funny. The problem (and this trope proper) is when that gap is so large that the listener has reacted to the face-meaning of the utterance before they've spotted the sarcasm (if they ever do).
Children often take a couple years to recognize sarcasm, hence the prevalence of the "talking to children" tone from adults. Their reaction can vary between simply taking the statement at face value just like this trope, or getting confused at why the speaker's tone and expression doesn't match their words.
Some people diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome don't get sarcasm, as they are very Literal-Minded. And even if they do realise you're being sarcastic, it can still make a conversation very complicated very quickly. Interestingly, some people with Asperger's can still be very sarcastic, even if they can't always recognise sarcasm themselves.
The use of sarcasm and the recognition of sarcasm from someone else are two different things - this is why even a person who uses a lot of sarcasm might not pick up on it when used against them. The expressions and idioms we use are picked up from interaction with other people, so Sarcasm-Blind people can sometimes use a sarcastic expression without recognizing it as sarcasm.
A 2012 study found a link between sarcasm-blindness and some forms of dementia.
Sarcasm is literally a foreign language in some countries, where the spoken and written languages of those countries do not use sarcasm...though they're becoming increasingly scarce as time goes by due to the bad influence of others...