Thissss iss a Ssssself Demonssssstrating Article.
Ssnaketalk iss the tendenccy of any ssnake or ssnake-like creature/persson to sspeak sso that any ssibilant ssound becomess "ss", pressumably to imitate a ssnake hisssing.
Ssometimess appliess sssso broadly it affectsss any reptilian creature - even when it doessn't make any sssenssssse. Asss much asss a talking reptile can make sssenssssse anyway, even if every other Talking Animal isss perfectly capable of talking.
You sssee, reptilesss do communicate with one-another, but it tendss to be largely visssual; dissssplaying boldly colored frillsss or cresstss and sssuch. Sseveral sspeciessss don't even have vocal chordss and have rather poor sssenssess of hearing. It'sss really only sssenssible to the writersss, sssinccce they think sssscaly creaturess are grosssss, ssso they mussst ssssound sssscary.
Black Sssspeech takess thiss a ssstep further, and consssstructs a whole language out of it, albeit far lesssss pleasssing to the ear.
Often employed by Lizard Folk, Ssssnake People, and The Reptilianssss.
Ssee also Fang Thpeak, Vampire Vordsss.
If you are wondering, there are five letter "essssessss" in thissss article'ssss title.
This style of speaking, as employed by Reptile in Mortal Kombat 4, originated in the MKII comics.
Averted and lampshaded in the Undocumented Features story Twilight (no relation), where Jormungand's speech is "perfectly atypical for the world's largest snake to have", because it doesn't use ssnakeTalk.
Has been seen in quite a few Harry Potter fics whenever Voldemort says anything. Despite the fact that he doesn't talk like that in the books.
In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, whenever Harry or Quirrel talk in parseltongue, an extra s gets added, and the writing style changes a little, to suggest that parseltongue lacks some words for human concepts.
The Snake in the musical version of The Little Prince.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the snake says "Thankss." In the next film, Parseltongue is represented as an untranslated language; we don't hear it in English like in the first film. However, it still has plenty of drawn-out "s"es. To wit:
Harry: ssiah sieth.
Agent Smith from The Matrix series tends to drag out the end of a lot of his words, but the s sounds are the most noticeable.
Asmodeus, The Dragon from Redwall (or what looks like a literal dragon if you're a mouse), appears to punctuate everything with "Asmodeuss." (He also seems to vocalize his name while asleep, instead of snoring.)
Lampshaded in the Mercedes Lackey/Andre Norton collaborative novel The Elvenbane: Keman, a shapeshifting dragon, has introduced himself to some other heroic characters while posing as a half-Elf. When he decides to reveal his true form (after quite some time), he breaks out in exaggerated sssssnaketalk.
In the Larklight trilogy, Ssilissa, a "blue lizard creature," was originally named Millicent and mispronounced it consistently enough as a child that eventually everyone else gave up and just called her Ssilissa. That's right, not Millicent, not even Sillisa, but Ssilissa. She's got everyone else hissing, too. Then in the third book, the rest of her species (the Snilth) turn up and we get names such as Zssthss, Alor, Ssoozzs and Thss. Lampshaded when the narrator comments that this sounds more like a gas leak than a name.
Crowley of Good Omens has "a tendency to hiss" whenever he forgot himself. This isn't very surprising, as he was the snake.
In Animorphs, the Taxxons have tongues so long they can't speak any language but their own, which is filled with "S's."
In Tanya Huff's novel Valor's Choice, the reptilian race is heard this way by the protagonist even though their native language is being run through a Universal Translator. This is explained as the protagonist's translator being either old or broken and her needing a replacement. The rest of the Marines hear the Silsviss speaking normally. Don't think about it too hard.
Gollum in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, my preciousss. Gollum is so fond of sibilants that he will use all nouns in the plural (regardless of actual number) and all verbs in s-form (regardless of whether the subject is third-person singular or not). He also avoids second person, using third person instead. Probably to get even more sibilants in.
Not just probably: Tolkien once spotted an "error" in The Hobbit as printed, where Gollum said the correct "I like riddles" instead of "likes". As he said, "Not that Gollum would miss the chance of a sibilant!"
The criminal Ssnake in Perry Moore's Hero. Is handwaved when Thom unwittingly makes out with Ssnake in his civilian identity (Simon Hess, ironically enough) at a gay bar. The hiss is stereotypically explained away as a lisp.
Draca and Lorn in Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy. To make matters even more ridiculous, they hiss when speaking using telepathy.
The dragon Calandor in Jacqueline Carey's Banewreaker. But unlike the Black Jewels example, his telepathic voice doesn't hiss, only his actual speaking voice.
The voles in Piers Anthony's Xanth series replace all their 's's with v's, leading to very confusing vpeech patternv. They, however, hear everybody else speaking snaketalk.
Mostly averted in Harry Turtledove's World War books with the Race, the reptillian conquerors to arrive to Earth in the middle of World War II. While their native language does involve a lot of hissing and coughing, the words printed in the books are written in normal language. It is mentioned, however, that they still hiss a lot when speaking human languages. Some of the lizard names are also supposed to be pronounced with a hiss, such as Ussmak.
In another non-reptilian example, ratfolk of Pular Singe's line have trouble with hissing their sibilants when speaking Karentine (language of Garrett, P.I.'s home city). Sssssssssubverted in that it's merely mentioned as a racial accent/speech impediment, rather than sssspelled out in the text.
The reptilian Ice Warriors in Doctor Who, but only in earth atmospheres, they don't hiss in their own.
Zephon from "The Daleks' Master Plan" has a distinctly sibilant hiss when he speaks.
Mesogog in Power Rangers Dino Thunder. He manages to do it with non-sibilants, actually, making his speech a lot breathier than non-reptile characters. Many other snake or lizard based Monster of the Week characters do this as well, to varying degrees.
Notably ssssssubverted by the Gorn in Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: Enterprise where the reptilian species had a notably deep and gravely voice, but whose speech patterns did not have an emphasized sibilance, although their breathing was somewhat sibilant.
Cardassian characters can get a little sibilant, especially if they're angry or keyed up, but it's unknown whether this is biological or more like an accent.
In the Farscape two-part episode "Self-Inflicted Wounds," the villain, Pathfinder Neeyala speaks like this- despite being more piscine than reptilian.
Rory Bremner's impression of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams pulls heavily on that quirk of his voice 'Issn't it ssstriking, that God, in hisss wisssdom hasss chosssen asss hisss sssservant ssssomeone who ssssounds sssso ssssusssspiccccioussssly like a sssserpent.'
In the theater adaptation of the old Chinese legend White Snake, both White Snake (Lady Bai) and Green Snake (Greeni) speak this way whenever they're turning back into snakes or particularly upset about something.
In Children Of Eden, a musical based on the book of Genesis, the Serpent's number, "In Pursuit of Excellence," is carefully designed around this trope.
The Argonians from The Elder Scrolls universe use this trope, although it's less noticeable with the females. One of the stories in Daggerfall, King Edward, even describes the Argonian healer of the story as "a strange looking lizardlike man, who spoke with such a hissing accent that Edward couldn't understand him at all" ("I cannn fixxxx thissss, it'ssss cleeean"). A later installment in the series, Oblivion, is a little bit lighter with this trope, retaining the raspy, "lizardlike" drawl, but dialing down on the hissing. As of Skyrim none of the Argonians have this.
Some of the EverQuest Iksar and lizardmen have a few extra S's. Some however don't. It's even more common in EverQuest II.
Theron-class Locust in Gears of War speak with a whispery, hissing voice and have a tendency to elongate their S's ("Sssapient wasste!").
The enigmatic G-Man from the Half-Life sseries tends to draw out his speech in this fashion, Mister Freeman.
Of course, most of his speech tends to be Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl L Able rather than just drawing it out. Not just english as a second language, more like speaking as a second means of communication.
The Sakkhra from Savage Empire are a race of lizard people, and they all do this; they also have names like Kysstaa and Ksssindra. The ones who aren't important to the plot hiss so much that they're almost completely unintelligible. Interestingly, the Sakkhra are a devolved form of a much older race, the Kotl; they were also lizard people, but the one Kotl you meet in the game doesn't hiss.
Nagas in World of Warcraft do this sometimes, and one mob is actually called Ssslith. That's not a spelling mistake: his name contains three esses.
Reptile men and Serpent men (in previous versions, Lizardmen and Snakemen) in Dwarf Fortress.
This is determined by the [LISP] creature token in the raws, so if you want to, you can make everybody snake talking.
The X-Universe has the local reptiloid race, the Teladi, talk like this. It's especially annoying since they are a race made exclusively of profiteering maniacs, and so have a tendency to put words like "profitssss" and "creditssss" where other races wouldn't. They will even hiss at the player if they're pissed off.
Variant: Dragon Quest IX has Drak after eating the Fygg, a giant taking lizard, who does this with the letter l instead of s.
The Sakkra homeworld in Master of Orion is called Sssla. However, you won't see them hissing much in their speech to you during diplomatic meetings. This is likely due to the use of Translator Microbes.
Played for laughs in an episode of Angela Anaconda, where the titular character is playing Medusa in a play. The audience and teacher think it's hilarious, while Nanette is annoyed right to hell by it.
Camille Chameleon, a villain from Darkwing Duck, is a shapeshifter who does this, which gives the hero a simple way to tell her from the person she's imitating - that is, unless he simply thinks they need some throat lozenges...
Waspinator in Transformers: Beast Wars does a variation of this trope, rendering his "s" sounds into buzz-like elongated "z's".
Slithe from ThunderCats (whose name, in the comic books, proves to actually be "S-s-slithe") talks like this. Many of his lines end with "Yes" whether it makes sense to end the sentence that way or not, apparently just to add extra sibilants so he can do this, yeeeesss?
In ThunderCats (2011) Snaketalk is present with all the Lizards, Slithe included, but comparatively underplayed. They generally stress their sibilants, but don't heavily prolong them.
None of his henchmen do, though, which is odd, seeing as they're apparently also his brothers.
Snake of the Gangrene Gang in The Powerpuff Girls. He even at one point goes out of his way to say "yess" instead of "no", the correct answer to the question being asked. When Ace slapped him he wised up and said "I means no."
Dr. Viper in SWAT Kats, who was half kat/half lizard.
The Cobra Queen on Freakazoid!! occasionally slips into this trope but thankfully doesn't overuse it.
The incredibly appropriately named Dr. Hiss in The BOTS Master, who extends this to Z sounds (pronouncing them as if they were "S"es instead), as well.
Oh, and Ziv Zoolander's Boyzz BOTS have a similar problem to Waspinator, noted above; They pronounce "S" sounds as "Z"s in every context.
On Chop Socky Chooks, the villain Kobra gained a snake-like way of speaking after being bitten by a snake. And in one episode, he brainwashed the people of Wasabi World by hypnotism. They all repeated what he said, complete with lisp, until he told them to stop it.