Snarky Inanimate Object
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"Honey! Come over here, sugarbuns! This machine just called me an asshole!"
Stephen King in response to a sentient ATM, Maximum Overdrive

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."

     Fairy Tales 
  • In some variations of "Snow White", the Magic Mirror is a smart aleck backtalker.

  • The robotic arm in Iron Man manages to be quite snarky even without any dialogue.
  • In Scary Movie 2, the protagonist is singing along to the radio when it suddenly speaks to her:
    Radio: Will you shut the hell up and let me sing my song?
  • In The Ladykillers, the portrait of the old lady's late husband changes his expression to react to the events around him.
  • In Maximum Overdrive, machines such as AT Ms and ticker displays, unable to actually hurt anybody, simply flash obscenities at everyone in sight.

  • 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.
  • In the Xanth series, Dor's magical talent is to make inanimate things talk, and sometimes they can be quite snarky.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a snarky car. In one scene, a button appears that says PUSH. Caractacus doesn't push it. It changes to say PUSH, IDIOT.

     Live Action TV 
  • The Muppets would often have ordinary-seeming objects such as vegetables suddenly sprout faces and start singing and cracking wise.
  • Any object that has to interact with The Young Ones will have something to say about it.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • 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.
    • To say nothing of the Ouija Board he was messing around with in a later strip:
    Calvin: O Great Ouija Board, will I ever become president?
    Hobbes: It's moving!
    Calvin: "G...O...
    Hobbes: [finishing] "..D...F...O...R...B...I...D."
    Calvin: [kicking the board] When I want an editorial, I'll ask for it, you stupid board!
  • 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...
    Wall: You've bored us to the depths of our studs. *beat* I've waited twenty years to say that.

     Tabletop Games 
  • 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.

     Video Games 
  • 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.


     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: In a Cutaway Gag, Peter pulls a Cast Away.
    Peter: What are we gonna do now?! Wilson! WILLLSOOON!
    "Wilson": My name is Voit, dumbass.
  • The computer from Courage the Cowardly Dog. You twit. For extra measure, it speaks with a dry English accent.
  • Spongebob's Magic Conch Shell. At least to Squidward.
    • Spongebob's swin trunks in "Ripped Pants"
      Spongebob: We blew it, pants.
      Pants: What do you mean "we"?
  • In Fanboy and Chum Chum, Fanboy's gloved hand comes to life in "Fanboy Stinks" due to Fanboy having gone too long without bathing and starts bossing him around.
  • In the ''My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Castle Mane-ia", Rarity voices her displeasure at the Castle of the Two Sisters at not being able to obtain its tapestries. The castle answers by dropping a piece of stone on her head.