"Don't you roll your eyes at me; it's a good plan!"
A combination of Deadpan Snarker
and The Voiceless
, The Speechless
or The Unintelligible
, the Silent Snarker is Exactly What It Says on the Tin
. A character who does not speak, usually a sidekick, who is a lot more competent
than his superior, who does things most Deadpan Snarkers would have a field day with
. But since they cannot or don't speak, they communicate their snark through eyerolls, facepalms
, furrowed brows and aside glances
. These characters normally have very expressive faces to properly convey their silent exasperation.
May overlap with The Silent Bob
. If the character is The Unintelligible
, this can sometimes overlap with Repeating so the Audience Can Hear
. Compare and contrast with Deadpan Snarker
, the vocal version of this trope, and Obnoxious Snarker
, the MORE vocal version.
The Voiceless, The Speechless, and The Unintelligible characters only (Silent Bobs are exceptions). If they can talk, or at least talk frequently, they don't count for this trope.
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Anime & Manga
- Ash's Pikachu in the earlier seasons of Pokémon.
Films — Animation
- Gromit from Wallace & Gromit is the long-suffering master of this trope and the Trope Codifier. Gromit's silent snarking so effective that back when A Grand Day Out was in production, he was originally supposed to talk, but a scene where he reacts silently to Wallace stood out so much to the creators that they made him permanently silent. In the "Cheese Lover's Yearbook" (their diary) Gromit leaves tiny, neatly typewritten notes for his snark. Really impressive when you think about the fact that Gromit has no mouth or other movable features — other than some body language, he does almost all his emoting with his brow. And the audience still knows exactly how he feels at any given moment.
- Also from Aardman is Bobo the Chimp from The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, who speaks entirely with cue cards.
- Several of the animal sidekicks from Disney movies.
- Wall E: Eve has enough "furrowed brows" and annoyed groans to count.
- How to Train Your Dragon: Toothless picks up some of Hiccup's snarkiness.
- Remy from Ratatouille, when he's around humans.
- Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, before she became Suddenly Voiced in the sequels.
- Pangur Ban in The Secret of Kells is a borderline example: as an ordinary cat, she doesn't understand the greater significance of most things that happen to her, and will therefore react with expressions of annoyance, indignation or plain puzzlement that are great for puncturing otherwise dramatic moments.
- Pascal the chameleon in Tangled. Maximus the horse as well.
- From Despicable Me, we have Kyle, Gru's dog-thing being The Speechless variation of this trope, while a few of The Minions fit The Unintelligible variation.
- Jojo from Horton Hears a Who!, up until he begins talking again.
- Melvin, The Once-ler's horse from The Lorax.
- The Sandman from Rise Of The Guardians, assisted by pictures drawn with dream sand.
Films — Live-Action
- Characters written for Harpo Marx were Silent Snarkers whenever they weren't busy clowning around.
- Star Wars
- Based on C-3PO's reactions to some of the things he says, if his speech were translated, R2-D2 would be a definite Deadpan Snarker who speaks in robot noises.
- Chewbacca as well, if you pay attention to how people react to what he says he's probably one of the most sarcastic characters in the franchise.
- In Return of the Jedi, when Lando Calrissian has ownership of the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca's role is filled by the monkey-faced alien Nien Nunb, and Lando bilingually bickers with him in much the way Han Solo did with Chewie.
- Burt Lancaster had a childhood friend, Nick Cravat, who appeared in several of Lancaster's movies. Cravat was never able to get rid of his thick Brooklyn accent, so he communicated — and often snarked — by mime in any movie where the accent would be inappropriate. He gets the last "word" in The Crimson Pirate, for instance.
- Cosmic Creepers the cat in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, notably in the scene where Ms. Price is trying to fly.
- Kharis, the title mummy in The Mummy's Hand, cannot speak, but makes his increasing aggravation at the stupidity of his master all too obvious. This is even more apparent in the sequel, where the best scene is Lon Chaney — using only body language — expressing Kharis's sheer incredulity at his master doing the same thing that got the last one killed. (And in the third film, Kharis kills the villain when he starts on the same plan as the last guys!)
- In The Brothers Bloom (a movie filled with Deadpan Snarkers), Bang-Bang manages to be the snarkiest, smart-aleckiest, most sarcastic character, despite having only three words of dialog in the entire film. Not three lines... three words.
- Snake Eyes from GI Joe The Rise Of Cobra, on occasion.
- Scotty's alien buddy Keenser has only said one word in two movies ("me"). In Star Trek: Into Darkness he manages to win an argument with Scotty despite not saying a word.
- Mouse, from The Dresden Files. Crosses over with Even the Dog Is Ashamed frequently.
- Jane Austen's Mansfield Park includes a brief appearance by a Silent Servile Snarker:
Baddeley: (to Fanny, whose suitor has come to discuss things with her and her uncle) Sir Thomas wishes to speak with you, ma'am, in his own room.
Mrs. Norris: Stay, stay, Fanny! What are you about? Where are you going? Don't be in such a hurry. Depend upon it, it is not you who are wanted; depend upon it, it is me, but you are so very eager to put yourself forward. What should Sir Thomas want you for? It is me, Baddeley, you mean; I am coming this moment. You mean me, Baddeley, I am sure; Sir Thomas wants me, not Miss Price.
But Baddeley was stout. "No, ma'am, it is Miss Price; I am certain of it's being Miss Price." And there was a half-smile with the words, which meant, "I do not think you would answer the purpose at all."
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Ilyn Payne, a headsman who had his tongue removed, is silently mocking of Jaime Lannister during their private, one-sided conversations, "laughing" at Jaime's monologues openly. Openly snarking about Mad King Aerys is what got his tongue removed in the first place.
- Theon's receives a mute squire called Wex, who frequently smirks when Theon is doing something foolish.
- Shizune Hakamichi is the Visual Novel Katawa Shoujo is deaf and mute and communicates primarily through Japanese Sign Language. She also has a very dry and cutting wit that becomes all the more obvious in her route when Hisao learns JSL himself and he (and the player) can understand her without relying on Misha.
- Big Box Model from The Big Box.
- Worm has Mannequin of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a serial killer who has rebuilt himself to remove anything that is unnecessary for being a more effective killing machine, including everything related to talking. Instead, he communicates by making gestures, which often leads to dark humor as his every move somehow manages to come off as mocking, even when he's chastising a supervillain for trying to save civilian lives with a waggle of one finger.
- Babies. Before they learn how to talk, they're capable of giving some very withering looks, particularly if you're trying to make them laugh.
- Deaf people can often communicate snark through sign language. And some elements of sign language seem to be born from snark. For example, in ASL, one sign for "idiot" or "stupid" is hitting your forehead with a fist, similar to facepalming.
- Some dogs.
- Birds of prey, especially owls (due to their Big Ol' Eyebrows).