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Cracking gum and cracking wise. Often with a very
nasal voice, usually with a Joisey or Brooklyn accent.
Dates back to the 1930s at least, with Sam Spade's secretary and Joan Blondell in any number of movies, making this Older than Television
May also be a Sexy Secretary
or a Plucky Office Girl
. Due to the interpersonal nature of the role, they may be The Face
of their group.
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- Moneypenny from the James Bond movies. She only fits the "cracking wise" personality though.
- Grosse Pointe Blank might be considered a subversion, as while John Cusack's character has such a secretary (played by his sister, Joan), he is an amoral assassin. Moreover she herself is an effective operative, rattling off info from dossiers, dressing down people over the phone, and nonchalantly dousing the office in gasoline when it's time to move on.
- Janine Melnitz of Ghostbusters, as pictured above.
- Janet, Russ' long-suffering secretary in Disney's The Kid. She deals with Russ's frequently unreasonable demands with healthy doses of snark and sarcasm.
- Pamela Finkelstein from UHF certainly qualifies.
- The receptionist from the Irish short Na Fíorghael goes way beyond "sassy" into "wildly unprofessional." She's seen insulting the clients (in Irish) in her phone conversations, and despite not understanding her, she doesn't make much a secret with the furtive glances and the laughter. The clients take it upon themselves to learn enough Irish to rat her out and kick her out onto the street. Justified, though, because the kicker of the short is that it's all an act: she's not really a secretary.
- Connie in the Stephanie Plum series of novels. She has Mob connections, an impressive collection of weapons in her desk (on at least one occasion, she threatens to use one on lecherous boss Vinnie), and a "take no crap" attitude that serves her very well dealing with her colleagues.
- Sir John's clerk Mrs Pound from Darkness Visible is sassy enough to deliberately wind up Lewis when she has information he needs to prevent the end of the world. Of course she's going to give it to him, but not until he realises how damned hard it was to get...
Live Action TV
- Vicki Lewis ("Beth") on NewsRadio reportedly feuded with Kathy Griffin because of her similar redheaded character on Suddenly Susan. It is worth noting that Griffin's character, while a complete ripoff of Lewis's from the standpoint of personality, is not actually a secretary.
Beth: Mention that there's a spunky redhead in this office.
Joe: I don't know how to tell you this, but there's a spunky redhead in every office.
Beth: Tell me about it.
- Whenever Picard adopts the persona of Dixon Hill in the holodeck on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he gets his own Sassy Secretary.
- A rare male example: Dennis Finch (David Spade) on Just Shoot Me! (though he denies being a secretary, at least at first).
Finch: (answering phone) Blush magazine, underpaid phone monkey speaking.
- Oddly enough, Russell Dunbar (also Spade) has his own rare male example, Timmy, on Rules of Engagement.
- Mrs. Landingham and Debbie Fiderer on The West Wing. Most of the other secretaries get in on the snarking action occasionally, but the President's secretaries are the most consistent.
- Elaine on Doc Martin. Mostly averted with Pauline, though she really "wants" to be one.
- Veronica in dads. She takes a fair amount of abuse from her bosses, but gives back just as much.
- Eva from Grim Fandango.
Manny Calavera: It's my boss's secretary, Eva.
It's my boss's whipping boy, Manny.
Manuel Calavera:: Any messages for me?
: No, calls stopped coming for you the day you left. They're STILL sending you that lingerie catalog, though.
Manuel Calavera:: Busy as ever, I see.
Eva:: I'd have more work to do if you had more clients.
- In The Space Bar, the main character has a PDA with a "female" AI called Zelda that emulates one of these. She snarks at him whenever he does something stupid (like trying to operate his fingerprinter without opening it), and sometimes makes sarcastic quips to him about the information he reads or the people he's interrogating.
- Mallory from Grand Theft Auto IV is a good example; often taking the wind out of Roman's sails when he tries to boast or scheme.