Imagine an object, say, an inanimate object. Any inanimate object. Got that? Good.
Now, imagine the characters in a show interacting with the object as if it were another character
. That shouldn't be too hard to picture, should it? Good.
Now, imagine that object answers back. And it is snarky as all hell
This can be any object, but it often takes the form of a Magic 8 Ball
. Things that specifically are Artificial Intelligence
in canon do not count.
Related tropes include Animate Inanimate Object
, Companion Cube
, and The Man in the Mirror Talks Back
. See also Talking Appliance Sidekick
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Anime and Manga
- In the Pokémon anime, the Pokedex is canonically just a database. However, Dexter (Ash's Pokedex) had shades of this in the first episode of the series, notably calling Ash "stupid."
- In some variations of "Snow White", the Magic Mirror is a smart aleck backtalker.
- Bob in the book of The Dresden Files was never a real person. He's an air spirit of intellect which occupies the skull unless Harry explicitly gives him permission to come out and possess his cat or otherwise travel freely.
Live Action TV
- The Muppets would often have ordinary-seeming objects such as vegetables suddenly sprout faces and start singing.
- Oliver Wendell Jones' Banana 2000 computer from Bloom County. Not intended to be an animate object, it frequently was sentient.
- On occasion Garfield will use a talking scale, which will naturally make a fat joke.
- The ifruit computer in FoxTrot.
- While we won't get into a debate over whether Hobbes counts, Calvin''s TV got in a few good ones, always quietly to itself:
Calvin: What does this mean, "religion is the opiate of the masses"?
TV: It means Karl Marx hadn't seen anything yet.
- A wall in Pearls Before Swine gets in on the fun.
Rat: What are you doing pig?
Pig: Just staring at our living room and thinking of all the moments in our lives that have happened here. If only these walls could talk...
: You've bored us to the depths of our studs. *beat*
I've waited twenty years to say that.
- Dungeons & Dragons solo adventure Knight of the Living Dead. After becoming an undead creature, the protagonist has a weasel skull that acts as his companion, including snarky dialogue. It's implied that the conversations are his mind talking to itself.
- There are a whole lot of inanimate-object-based characters in Banjo-Kazooie, but even the immobile ones who can only blink may still snark at you.
- Lilacor from Baldur's Gate 2 is not this - intelligent weapons are far from unprecedented in Dungeons & Dragons - but the Morrowind mod of the same name veers closer to this by it being unique for the The Elder Scrolls.