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The Quiet One
...and that's about all you'll get from her.

"I ain't quiet
Everybody else is too loud"

He's not The Voiceless. He's not an Ineffectual Loner. He just rarely talks, so anything he does say carries extra weight. In most instances, The Quiet One is physically imposing. He is either The Big Guy or The Lancer and may also be a Gentle Giant or Genius Bruiser.

If he's a member of The Squad, he'll either enjoy killing a bit too much or suffer anguish over the fact that he has killed and must continue to kill. If this is ever explained, it's credited to his former civilian occupation being one that abhors death and destruction. Often, this is the member assigned to carry the BFG.

His quietness may be a reflection of deep psychological problems. Otherwise The Quiet One just comes across as cool, calm, collected, and slightly above the madness of their universe; a less vocal Deadpan Snarker.

You might expect The Quiet One to be a loner, but unless he's the Aloof Big Brother, that's hardly ever the case, probably because of the assumption that Loners Are Freaks.

Different from The Voiceless in that The Quiet One can be seen talking occasionally, not just once during some special moment. Unsurprisingly, he isn't likely to be partial to small talk.

A subtrope of The Stoic. See also Silent Bob. Compare Heroic Mime, Silent Antagonist. Contrast Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, Motor Mouth. If The Quiet One has a Berserk Button, it could be Beware the Quiet Ones.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! (the un-Macekred one)... So, naturally, Kaiser Ryo (pre-Face-Heel Turn, at least) from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds on the other hand, this treatment is given to the main character, more or less. In the very first episode, Yusei Fudo didn't even open his mouth until near the end. And as tradition, his first on-screen words were "Hey... duel me."
  • Akira Okochi and Zazie Rainyday in Mahou Sensei Negima! take this in two different directions. Akira doesn't speak much, but talks normally when she does. Zazie, on the other hand, can hold entire conversations without speaking at all. She answers a phone call and relates how her day is going (apparently) without ever saying anything apart from a few ellipses and is understood perfectly.
  • Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing
    • Also Trowa Barton. There are fanfics claiming that he maintains a "words per day budget" and will resort to sign language if he runs out.
  • Sasuke, Itachi, Shino, Neji and Gaara in Naruto. Although Sasuke and Neji used to make remarks, once in a while, about how stupid the others were. More or less the only female example is Hinata.
  • Rey Za Burrel from Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • And, well, outside his Gundam, there is Shani, one of the Druggies from Gundam SEED. Get him in his Gundam, however...
  • Senri from +Anima, who also often is thought to be glaring menacingly at people when really he's just... really out of it.
  • Guts, Pippin from Berserk.
  • Commander Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • And Rei for that matter. Especially on the moments that she suddenly decides to speak to Asuka.
  • Sousuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic!. Especially noticeable in the Burning One Man Force novel, with his interactions with Nami and her group. After every victory in the arena, the group always has festive celebrations with beer and drunk chatter. And every time, he'll always be sitting away, quietly sipping his water. Nami, having a crush on him, tends to watch him yearningly. Numerous times, she tries to go over and talk to him, but every answer from him tends to kill conversation. It's worth noting that none of that is because he particularly hates anyone or is that mean - he just has zero social skills.
  • Seijuro Shin from Eyeshield 21.
    • Dakichi Komusubi can also be considered one since he rarely says anything beyond grunts or one word sentences.
  • Monster: Johan Liebert tends to be completely silent as someone who's with him is running their motor mouth.
  • Subverted by Takashi "Mori" Morinozuka from Ouran High School Host Club. He is physically large and doesn't say much, but what he says is pretty mundane most of the time, not to mention how he tends to have a personality change on rainy days or if he's sleepy. This trope was, however, invoked by Renge who tried to cast him as one in a Dating Sim style movie.
  • Bleach
    • Chad sometimes speaks in monosyllabic noises. It's been lampshaded in the story, where Chad has been accused by Ichigo of stopping a story half-way just because he felt he was talking too much. The anime takes the joke even further, a filler arc pairing him up with the equally quiet Noba, resulting in Kon yelling at them for wasting screen time by saying nothing. Even his sweatdrops are subdued.
    • Nakeem only ever spoke once in the manga, even when fighting Rangiku. In the anime, he spoke twice.
    • Tsumiko is the only member of the Sword Five who never says a word and the lower half of her face, like the rest of her body, is completely bandaged over.
    • In the Zanpakutou Tales filler arc, there are several silent characters:
      • Katen Kyokotsu is a twinned zanpakutou, so has two female spirits. The smaller female is a ninja-esque characters who, aside from a few muffled noises here and there, never says a word.
      • Tenken is mostly silent, only speaking once the entire arc.
      • Wabisuke usually communicates by rattling his chains. He only speaks twice the entire arc.
  • Sakaki, the tall, dark, Huge Schoolgirl in Azumanga Daioh.
  • Minami Iwasaki, the tall, but not-so-dark Huge Schoolgirl in Lucky Star.
  • Sora from Sketchbook. She's quiet only because she's really shy. Since she's the show's lead character, though, we get to hear her unusual thoughts via Inner Monologue often.
  • Mogi from Death Note. Subverted slightly as he is forced to become an overly enthusiastic manager, and worries that it suits him too well. He starts to talk more once Soichiro Yagami dies.
  • Jin from Samurai Champloo incarnates this trope, just as his opposite Mugen incarnates another...
  • Isumi Saginomiya from Hayate the Combat Butler.
  • Oji Karasuma from School Rumble.
  • Sanya from Strike Witches, except when she's singing. Also Ursula from the novels, which might tie in with her being something of a Nagato (see entry below) Expy.
  • Yuki Nagato from Haruhi Suzumiya, who's also The Stoic. The only person she has a normal conversation with is Kyon. She rarely ever talks to anyone else, and often simply ignores the person or resorts to simple hand gestures. Most of her "dialogue" in the novels is simply "...", represented in the anime as prolonged silence without moving.
    • And, of course, this all depends on your definition of "normal conversation". Yuki speaks to Kyon, but she never says an unnecessary word.
    • To get an idea of how little she acts, her staring at Kyon and Mikuru playfully flirting is considered a great deal of emotion from her.
      • In the original episode "Someday In The Rain", Yuki spends about a third of the episode on-screen, but neither Minori Chihara or Michelle Ruff are credited...because she doesn't speak throughout the entire episode.
  • Zafila /Zafira of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: trainees in StrikerS didn't even realize that he could talk until their second mission.
  • Mugi from Hitohira. Due to her Character Development she moves out of this, helped by the fact that she's somehow still rather popular with other girls.
  • Maggie from R.O.D. The TV. Has a habit of "nesting" with piles of books in small, enclosed spaces.
  • Brandon Heat. So much so, he was often mocked by other characters for being such a man of few words. He only usually has one or two lines per episode, and in the video game, with one exception, he says nothing at all.
  • Hagi in Blood+.
  • Luciola from Last Exile.
  • Rocket from Ginga Densetsu Weed
  • Jo from Innocent Venus. Sana is afraid of him at first because of his reticence, but it turns out that he's the nice guy of the group.
  • Rika from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
  • YuYu Hakusho's Hiei tends towards this. Chuck Huber, his voice actor, told a humorous story in the commentary; he once watched an episode of the show with his family, and all Hiei said through the whole episode was "Hn."
    "[His wife] was like, 'Wow. They pay you for that?'"
  • Keith Gandor from Baccano! has been known to go years without talking, and as such the resident Knowledge Brokers have been known to forgo their usual $500 fee if he says more than five words to them. Yes, Keith's words are so rare that they have monetary value.
  • Occasionally, Ryu Sanada of Kimi ni Todoke will speak in whole sentences. But not often.
    • Sawako would also fit this trope if the story was told from anyone else's perspective, but since she's the protagonist and we hear a lot from her, it's averted in her case.
  • Kamemon in Digimon Savers. The PawnChessmon count too, but they never actually talk on-screen.
    • They do in episode 26, but it seems to be limited to a few clicks.
  • Veffidas from Macross 7 has 5 lines tops throughout the entire series but whenever she talks, she usually has a point.
  • Ichise from Texhnolyze.
    • Ditto for Ran.
  • Shiina from Angel Beats!. To the point that when she does decide to comment on the situation, the rest of the cast freaks out.
  • In Toriko, Melk the First is said to be a quiet, shy man. He's actually very talkative, its just that he literally talks so quietly no one can hear him.
  • Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star acts this way most of the time. Most of his lines are less than five words long, and he usually has less than 10 per episode, despite being the main character.
  • Warrant Officer Falman in Fullmetal Alchemist is this, and often gets Flanderized further in fanfiction.
  • Trip/Shooti Pokemon Best Wishes fit. And compared to Ash's other rivals, it really stands out. Especially in BW041 where there are many competitors in the tournament that are either talking about the battle or cheering for one side. Trip just sits by himself in the back with his own opinions that he doesn't bother giving to anyone as well as look down to ignore lame battles (he looks up when Ash's battle gets his attention though.)
  • Doc Saito from Tiger & Bunny speaks very softly. So softly in fact, that he requires subtitles for the viewers to understand him. Unless he's on the intercom or using a speaker, in which case he's ear-screechingly loud.
  • Shiori from The World God Only Knows, as present in the page picture. She is only quiet because by the time she knows what she wants to say, there is nobody to talk to, but that also means any word she says on the spot, without analysing it countless times beforehand, is significant. And when she is allowed to prepare a speech in advance, she is quite a talker.
  • Rise Matsumoto, the Student Council President from Yuru-Yuri does talk, but she talks so low, and quiet, it's pretty much impossible to make out her sentences. Only Nishigaki-Sensei has no trouble hearing her, for some reason.
  • Mayu Morita in Morita-san wa Mukuchi which means Morita-san is silent is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. She never says anything in any episode. We do hear her thoughts and sometimes see someone's reaction to what she just said but in all instances on screen she at most will nod or shake her head.
  • In Saint Beast, Luca is always brooding but rarely speaks his thoughts, which is part of what makes him good for counsel.
  • Robin in One Piece. She is not as heavy of a case anymore, though, but certainly was when she had just joined the Straw Hats - probably because she didn't want to open up to her new crew because she believed she would leave soon. But even nowadays, she is not that talkative unless the conversation really interests her, she needs to give a warning, or if someone asks her for exposition.
  • Future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z could be counted as this, he doesn't even call out his attacks. As a result, the various video game adaptations have had to make up their own names for his moves.
    • Also Android 16. Though he does call some of his attacks.
  • This is defining character trait of Kotarou from Gakuen Babysitters, who doesn't speak as much as the rest of the toddlers and conveys most of his thoughts with nods, head shakes, and non-intelligible "ung" noises.
  • Egypt from Axis Powers Hetalia has only talked on one occasion, and that was because France asked him outright if he was capable of talking.
    • On a less extreme scale, Japan is this to the Axis and Russia is (a much scarier version of) this to the Allies.
  • Bertolt Hoover from Attack on Titan. He's a self-admitted Extreme Doormat, with a tendency to linger awkwardly on the outskirts of conversation.
  • Chino from Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka? always speaks in a soft voice. Lampshaded when Lize tries to teach her to speak commandingly so as to create a presence that will make up for her lack of height, and Chino can just barely raise her voice above her usual volume.

    Comic Books 
  • Strongbow, from Wendy & Richard Pini's ElfQuest. Talks aloud, but not often; he's far more prone to using the elven telepathy called "sending." Non-elves, or elves who don't know how to send, find him to be a very taciturn fellow indeed. His unfriendliness towards outsiders doesn't help. See also The Stoic.
    • Redlance from ElfQuest could also qualify, but for the opposite reason: he's quiet because he's shy. His partnership with the more outgoing and assertive Nightfall is a classic case of role-reversal, and they're both perfectly comfortable with it. (Also it's implied that when it comes to sex he does a 180 and goes completely wild.)
  • Cass Cain (Batgirl II) from Batman speaks little and mostly with short words. This is the result of her father raising her without talking to her or letting her hear people talk, so that body language would be her language. Even after magic fixed this, she was never comfortable with words. If Cass is being talkative, the only explanations are brainwashing or bad writing (which will become brainwashing later via retcon).
  • Duma from The Sandman evolves from The Voiceless into this in Lucifer.
  • Omega from Omega The Unknown, who says nothing for the first few issues, though he eventually deems it important enough to ask a suicidal woman how she could conceive of ending her existence, and opens up a little after that.
  • Cougar in The Losers.
  • X-23 in her very first appearance in the comics, NYX, has only a handful of panels in which she says anything, and the rest of her companions consider her a Creepy Child as a result. She has perhaps even fewer lines (and none in English prior to the last two issues) in her origin series, Innocence Lost, where she's arguably the Decoy Protagonist and its her mother/creator Dr. Sarah Kinney who's the main character. In fact it's the abuse she suffered in Innocence Lost (along with the loss of her remaining family to protect them in Target: X) that led to her near-muteness in NYX. Though she starts opening up more after joining the X-Men, she nonetheless tends to be The Stoic of whatever group she's in, and speaks generally sparingly at best.

    Eastern Animation 

     Fan Works 

    Film 
  • Predator
    • In the original Predator the quiet one was the Native American tracker "Billy" whose contributions were things like "Something is out there." Poignant because, sure enough, something was out there.
    • Predators has Hanzo, who at first seems to be this because he doesn't speak English. But then it's revealed that as a Yakuza member, he lost fingers for "speaking too much".
  • Silent Bob from The View Askewniverse evolved from The Voiceless into The Quiet One.
  • Gaear Grimsrud from Fargo is an almost mute character, though he is also a demented sociopath.
  • Captain Miller from Saving Private Ryan possesses some of these traits. Notably, no one in his squad knows what his line of work is back in the States, because he's so reluctant to chat.
  • The title character in Edward Scissorhands.
  • Hugo Stiglitz of Inglourious Basterds, who's definitely one of the bloodthirstiest of the Basterds (and that's saying quite a lot).
  • Brian Slade from Velvet Goldmine, despite being the main character and basically the subject of the movie, has surprisingly sparse dialogue throughout. When he does talk, he's almost always talking in riddles or quoting Oscar Wilde. Also Jack Fairy, who doesn't say a word until the Death of Glitter concert.
  • In The Magnificent Seven, there are two Quiet Ones:
    • James Coburn's character Britt (the knife-thrower), with 11 lines total during the 128 minute-long film Britt's lines are also invariably short: in his introductory scene he says a total of five words. The scene is 2:28 seconds long. 21 seconds into it, he says "You lost". 1 minute and 17 seconds later, at 1:38, he says "Call it." At 2:20, in response to Chris saying "Britt.", he says "Chris."
    • Robert Vaughan's Lee (the gambler) has a whopping 16 lines.
  • The abovementioned Britt was of course based on Kyuzo, the taciturn master swordsman from Seven Samurai (played by Seiji Miyaguchi).
  • When Radio Rock DJ "Midnight Mark" is introduced in The Boat That Rocked, Quentin says of him "Hardly ever speaks. Not even when he's broadcasting, which is...interesting."
  • Joshua, the unusually taciturn hitman in Little Odessa
  • DJ the Doctor from Event Horizon rarely talks, and when he does, it's normally somewhat intimidating. There's a reason he's the one who's allowed to play with bone-saws.
  • Star Wars
    • Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace has only three lines during the whole movie. He speaks so infrequently that all of his lines are dubbed over.
    • Boba Fett has only a few lines and spends most of his screen time posing ominously, which is a major source of his following.
  • The Driver from Drive speaks fewer than twenty whole sentences, and he's the viewpoint character.
  • Matsu, the protagonist of the Female Prisoner Scorpion series is very quiet. She says little in the first film (one of her lines is "you talk too much"), but the second is her most sparse; she's onscreen for most of the 92 minute runtime, but says only eight words across two sentences. By contrast, Yuki in the first film seems to be literally mute.
  • Babe's Farmer Hoggett. "The man who in his life had uttered fewer words than any of them knew exactly what to say. 'That'll do, pig. That'll do.'"
  • Office Space's Milton. He actually talks all the time but he's so quiet and rambling that nobody even knows he's going to set the building on fire.
  • Carol, the protagonist of Repulsion, doesn't like to speak much.
  • The antagonists in each of the three original Terminator films don't really say much. The second movie plays with this, as the T-1000 actually does get a decent amount of lines at first while the T-800 doesn't say too much like the one from the original. Then after The Reveal that the former is actually the villain while the latter is the hero, the T-800 begins talking more frequently, while the T-1000 is almost entirely silent for the rest of the film, only having two really brief conversations from that point (four if you count when it's taking someone else's form).
  • Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The low sigh he utters at Storm Shadow's apparent death is the most he's ever said in any continuity.
  • Though she has a few lines, Jinx from G.I. Joe: Retaliation is relatively taciturn.
  • In Iron Man 2 Vanko is notably very quiet, especially when compared with Tony or Hammer. In several of his most prominient scenes, Vanko says barely anything at all; most notably, during the climax, his only words are a simple "You lose." at Tony.
  • In Things Change, the humble cobbler Jerry is passed off as The Man Behind the Man. Because Jerry is an old, dignified and quiet man, the local mobsters instantly buy him as a man of confidence and power.
  • Dot from The Quiet is definitely this, being a deaf-mute. She's not The Voiceless because she's been faking her deafness
  • In Star Trek, Keenser has one line in an alien language, one word in English, and one kind of whimpering sound. In the sequel, he's The Voiceless. Even though he's supposed to be eloquent in his native tongue.
  • X-Men:

    Jokes 
  • A farmer tells the new farmhand: "I don't talk much. If I give you a nod, you'll come." The farmhand: "Guess we'll work together well, boss, 'cause I don't talk much either. If I shake my head, I won't come."
  • A boy never speaks. His parents, concerned, take him to doctors and specialists who confirm that their child is not mute and there's no logical reason that he should be unable to talk. For eight years, he says not a word. One night at dinner, however, he suddenly says, "Please pass the salt." His stunned parents stare at him, asking why he's never spoken until this moment. "Well," he replies, "everything was all right up until this point."

    Literature 
  • The narrator of the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is a physically imposing man who pretends to be deaf and mute. Between his deliberate silence, his hallucinations and his distorted view of himself and others, it is assumed that he has schizophrenia.
  • Hettar from the Belgariad. But as one of the prequel novels shows, there's at least one worse; Algar, founder of Hettar's homeland, who could let days go by without talking. When asked by Polgara, "Don't you ever talk about the weather?", he just points to a window and responds, "What for? It's right out there. Go look for yourself."
  • Ulath, from the Elenium and Tamuli series. He's actually very intelligent, but tends to respond quite cryptically and briefly with one or two word comments. It's explained that he works out all the logical steps in his head, but sees no reason to share any more than the conclusion.
    • Then subverted when he usually has to explain what his one-word outburst means anyway.
  • Benjamin, the donkey from Animal Farm.
  • "Lofty", from Monstrous Regiment, definitely has "deep psychological problems".
  • Emperor Gregor Vorbarra from the Vorkosigan Saga.
  • Maggie from Old Man's War.
    We all turned to look at her. She was visibly annoyed. “I’m not mute,” she said. “I just don’t talk much. This deserves comment of some kind.”
  • Mac, from The Dresden Files. Getting words out of him at all is rare, and if you see him speaking in actual sentences, you know things are very, very serious.
    • In Changes, he speaks an entire paragraph. Harry is completely floored by this, and not just because of what he said.
    • Hendricks, Marcone's top bodyguard, tends not to say very much either. The short story "Even Hand" lampshades this, implying that Hendricks actually talks a lot, and about profound philosophical matters; he just doesn't do it in front of Dresden.
  • Amy from The Passage is a subversion as, being a six year old girl, she's hardly physically imposing. Then she becomes a vampire.
  • Kubo in Krabat, who gets just one line in the book.
  • Shane Drinion in The Pale King. When he does speak, he has a lengthy, thought-provoking conversation with Meredith Rand and completely throws her off her game.
  • The Silent from Black Company. He speaks only once through entire series, when he performs ritual to bind Lady's powers.
  • Ruth in Someone Else's War.
  • Reacher said nothing.
  • The title character of the Horatio Hornblower books. Granted, he's an English naval captain from the early 1800's, so isolation is part of the job, but Hornblower takes it beyond what would normally be expected because he's so cautious and self-conscious about saying something that might bite him later. He makes a point of never indulging in "unnecessary words."
  • The titular character of Harry Potter is actually a man of relatively few words for most of the series. He is somewhat talkative when he is with only one person (like Ron, Hermione or Dumbledore), but in large assemblies, he doesn't say much unless he really feels the need. It is, however, a trait often overlooked by readers because Harry is also the (third person) narrator and thus, you "hear" him all the time even when he doesn't talk. It seems be a mixture of a bit of shyness (mostly in the first book) and that he simply often prefers to listen and observe rather than speak. In situations when he has to take up the leadership mantle, he becomes more talkative, and thus he has mostly gotten over his quietness when the last book rolls around.
  • Beka Cooper of Provost's Dog. At first it's because she's a Shrinking Violet; as she gets older and more experienced in Dog work she loses the anxiety, but she never becomes a chatterbox either. However the effect is somewhat mitigated since her books are in the form of a diary and so she's always 'speaking' in first person.
  • Gry in Gifts, the first book in Annals Of The Western Shore. Orrec has known her forever, so he can easily distinguish between Gry being silent because she's comfortable, or Gry being silent because she's upset. Her mother Parn is also a woman of few words.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Capt. Ronald Speirs in Band of Brothers
  • The badass priest "Mr Eko" from LOST does not speak for forty days after he kills two of the "Others" in self-defense.
  • Oz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who famously explains his lycanthropy as follows:
    Oz: I got bit.
    Buffy: Apparently not that long.
    • We see the Hidden Depths behind his laconic demeanor when Buffy is granted telepathy and overhears Oz's thoughts:
      (thinking): I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me and she becomes me. I cease to exist.
      (aloud) "Huh."
    • Angel's not known for his talkativeness, either; lampshaded when the two chat:
      Angel: Oz.
      Oz: Hey.
      Angel: Nice surprise.
      Oz: Thanks.
      Angel: Staying long?
      Oz: Few days.
      Doyle: Are they always like this?
      Oz: No, we're usually laconic.
  • Teal'c from Stargate SG-1. "You speak?" "Only when it is appropriate." Indeed.
    • He did become more talkative as time went by (presumably from spending so much time with humans), so much so that the commentary on an early episode of season 9 had the director joking that Teal'c had spoken more in the first few episodes of that season than in the previous eight seasons combined.
  • Firefly's River Tam both plays this straight and subverts it; she typically has the fewest lines of dialogue in any given episode, and will go through a lot of scenes without ever saying anything. When she does talk, its usually in the form of traumatized crying, gibberish, or veiled warnings or predictions.
    • Wash was once laconic, but that was a long time ago.
  • James May of Top Gear, though it's mainly 1. relative to his two chatty co-presenters and 2. all the better to set up a well-aimed deadpan snark when they have argued each other into exhaustion
  • The Haitian, of Heroes fame, was speechless in most of his early appearances and many of his later ones. He refuses to reveal his given name and, since he speaks so rarely, one wonders how everyone knows he is from Haiti.
  • Cameron of The Sarah Connor Chronicles mostly lets the others do the talking, and when she does speak, its usually done with a very inflectionless monotone. She mostly just punches things. Or shoots them.
  • Kosh of Babylon 5 barely ever speaks at all, when he does it's generally a sentence fragment, and fragmentary or not, it rarely makes any sense. Interestingly, his most powerful statements are usually his shortest as well, in large part because they generally make more sense than usual. Often the emphasis he puts on words carries more meaning than the words themselves.
  • Nasir of Robin of Sherwood could go entire episodes without speaking.* It's implied that in early episodes he doesn't know much English. He gets to talk a bit more later on.
  • Robin Hood.
    • Will Scarlett is known to keep his own council.
    • To a lesser extent, Little John - though when he did talk, he usually did so quite loudly.
  • In the first series of Skins, Effy Stonem only spoke twice - and she was incredibly intriguing as a result. In the later series, she talks progressively more often, although she continues to maintain long periods of silence and usually speaks less than the other characters. Nevertheless, most fans preferred her as The Stoic Ice Queen and grew increasingly disappointed with the character the more she spoke.
  • On Saturday Night Live, Robin Gibb in "The Barry Gibb Talk Show".
  • In Supernatural, season six, Sam and Dean's distant cousin Mark was introduced. Mark barely avoided becoming The Silent Bob. Promptly lampshaded.
    Dean: You don't say much, do you?
    Mark: Enough.
  • Power Rangers has its fair share of this trope in the following seasons:
  • Nathan Wournos in Haven
  • Ricky Fitness in The Aqua Bats Super Show usually has one line an episode that is when he's not having A Day in the Limelight.
  • Horatio Hornblower: In "The Even Chance", Lieutenant Chadd appears to be a fairly prominent character who hardly opens his mouth, and mostly he only grins or looks worried, awed or amused, as the situation requires. He spoke exactly twice. First when he ordered his men to fire guns, and second when he got a splinter in his arm, he allowed Doctor Hepplewhite to take care of Hornblower's sailor ahead of him because the poor guy had lost his leg. Chadd dies during their next battle on a French ship which they boarded.
  • Smallville: Emil Hamilton, the team's medic, often has very few lines in the scenes that he's in, and what he does say is said in a quiet, almost monotone voice. (Unless of course you get him completely wasted.)

    Multiple Media 
  • Technically all of the ice-characters in BIONICLE, but Kopeke especially. Since he got appointed to be the official Chronicler, it's likely that he's more wordy in his writing. Onua, an Earth character, is also known to only speak up when necessary in most of his appearances.
  • Fantöm from Noob doesn't speak much and sometimes seems to have developped his "I see" Verbal Tic as a conversation filler. Also, the comic version of Battos has yet to have a line of dialogue.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Randy Orton seems to fit this trope. While he cuts promos and talks to other wrestlers like his fellow sports-entertainers, he doesn't do much trash-talking in the ring, and a lot of his "interviews" (especially as a heel) are Orton simply being asked a question and responding with one word ("No..." or "Pain..." or something of the sort), or responding by... not responding. He'd simply stare at the interviewer and then walk away.
  • Everyone by now knows Christian to be a bit of a Loud Mouth...but before that happened, he and Edge were part of a group known as the Brood (a gimmick of pseudo-vampires). He didn't even speak the first few months...until Ken Shamrock ankle locked him into revealing where Stephanie McMahon was during the Ministry Of Darkness era.
  • The Undertaker is also one, unless he's cutting one of his amazing promos.

    Radio 
  • Fred Norris of The Howard Stern Show. Although he's in the studio, his job is sound effects, and they'll often do more talking than he does. When he DOES talk it could be just a quip or a punchline to jokes or impressions or even responding to Howard or Robin. If you even DARE insult him or call him on something, run he has been known to react VERY strongly to criticism, sensitive issues in his life among other incidents, once Howard looked in his bag and Fred nearly quit the show after an ugly outburst.
  • The classic Jack Benny-Mel Blanc "Sí, Sy, Sue" routine might fit here, with Blanc's character responding entirely in deadpan monosyllables that are, in context and timing, hilarious.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, a Space Marine chapter's Honour Guard are said to speak and advise little, as to not undermine the authority of the Captains despite how they are likely even more experienced than them, but this gives their words considerable weight to all of their battle brothers, even the Chapter Master.
    • The Dark Angels and their successor chapters are known for this. They rarely speak to anyone outside of the chapter, and in one noticeable instance, the entire Consecrators Chapter deployed en masse and relieved an Imperial Guard force by fighting for six straight hours and killing the enemy's leader without sending a single transmission to the guard.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • Kratos from Tales of Symphonia. He has emotions, they're just not obvious at first glance.
  • Auron from Final Fantasy X is a stoic, taciturn man who chooses to only talk when it is important. Kimahri speaks even less, and that's not counting giving the protagonist the silent treatment at the beginning of the game.
  • Gage/Trak from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Repeatedly lampshaded by the reminding cast, who complain about how he never speaks more than a sentence at a time.
  • Arioch from Drakengard, except when she speaks it's usually to say something deliciously morbid or insane.
  • Minor character Fujin from Final Fantasy VIII and Kingdom Hearts (going by Fuu there) speaks in broken statements of only one or two words at a time.
    • In the Japanese version, Fujin talked in only one kanji at a time. It's not a bad English equivalent.
      • Her last line of dialogue in Final Fantasy VIII is (in both versions) relatively long and spoken normally. In addition to highlighting the importance of what she has to say, it surprises the other characters, who presumably thought she was incapable of normal speech.
    • FFVIII's main character, Squall, is also not much of a talker, particularly early on when his Jerkass Façade is at its strongest, to the point that "Whatever," and "..." are his Catch Phrases. Since the game allows the player to listen in on his Inner Monologues, the reasons for Squall's silences become increasingly more apparent as the game goes on.
    • For a character of Kingdom Hearts, Lexaeus of Organization XIII.
  • Cloud of Dissidia: Final Fantasy canon seems to fit this trope, with other characters going so far as to praise him for his calm and collected mindset. He also speaks relatively few words to the other Warriors of Cosmos, not to mention it seems like he's always in a perpetual contest with himself to see how he can express a thought in as few words as possible when he does speak.
    • During the ending, he almost shows off his laconic attitude. Everyone is saying their goodbyes (in reverse series order):
      Squall: Maybe we can go on a mission together again sometime. (disappears)
      Cloud: Not interested. (disappears)
  • The Main Character (Minato) from Persona 3 fits this trope to a T. To elaborate, Minato is a Heroic Mime and never actually heard to speak (outside of summoning his Persona). However, the player is able to choose dialogue options for him when speaking to others. None of these options are ever more than one sentence long, and other characters have commented on his quietness.
  • Similar to the Persona examples listed above, Serph from Digital Devil Saga would be a Heroic Mime if not for certain cutscenes when the player is given a choice of lines of dialogue for him to speak. Interestingly, the other characters sometimes comment on this; in the first game, Heat notices Serph has been silent for a long time and asks him to say something, and in the second, Gale tells him "It's alright, you don't have to say anything."
  • Henry Townshend is listed in the Silent Hill 4 manual as a "quiet individual who never lets his feelings show". Apparently he's (mostly) capable of saying "What...the hell..?"
  • Valygar from Baldur's Gate 2. Putting him in the same party as Jan Jansen makes him a great example of The Comically Serious as well.
  • Iceman, from the original Wing Commander easily qualifies, save one cutscene where he's oddly chosen to play Mr. Exposition. It's said that even when he does speak, he does so only barely louder than a whisper, and you have to listen closely to hear him.
  • Ricky Johnson fits this trope to a bang.
  • Stare Pris of Tail Concerto.
  • League of Legends Champion Rammus. His standard exclamations include "yup" and "okay." His longest known statement is "shut up." Most other champions in the game use actual sentences.
  • Team Fortress 2-Radigan Conagher, the Engineer's grandfather, is "a man of many ideas and few words."
    • This is what the official bio for the Heavy claims him to be. He cheers up once he starts mowing people down with Sasha.
      • Though other mediums (including the Russian dub of Meet the Heavy) suggest this is more a language thing.
  • RPG Shooter: Starwish has Mare, whose dialogue consists solely of '...' until the post-Earthwall-battle cutscene.
  • Red Faction's protagonist Parker almost never says anything although it may be because he is too busy shooting Ultor's minions. The only time he says things are doing the few cut scenes in the game.
  • Rune Factory examples:
  • The Mysterious Stranger from the Fallout series. Clicking on him produces only two floating text balloon statements: "I will help thee." and "I don't talk much."
  • Until the fifth chapter of Duel Savior Destiny Rico is almost silent and when she does speak it's nearly inaudible. This is because without a proper master she burns through her lifespan when she takes action. Once this is taken care of, she becomes simply soft spoken.
  • The player character from Saints Row 1 has exactly four lines in game, each spoken during the final cutscene of a chapter. Other than that, s/he doesn't say a word. S/he becomes more vocal in the later games however, stating that his/her quietness was due to being a lackey.
  • Sten, in Dragon Age: Origins, is very much like this. He's extremely intelligent and deep, but doesn't chat much except in certain situations. There is a point when he monologues a bit with the player character about the nature of mages, and the Warden can respond by saying that it was the most words he/she ever heard Sten say. Sten's Deadpan Snarker reply: "I've been saving them up."

    Webcomics 

     Web Original  
  • Kamimura from Broken Saints, apart from his internal monologues, is not the most talkative guy around. Of course, his limited knowledge of English, the language spoken to and around him for most of the series, could be part of that.
  • Evek is the most silent of the Freelance Astronauts, but then, given his competition, it's not exactly a hard title to achieve.
  • Jennifer O'Connell from Behind The Veil communicates entirely through written notes, sign-language and text-to-speech programs, but only because of psychological reasons (her parents were killed in a car crash and she was trapped in the car with them for several hours because she had been paralysed for years and couldn't escape herself). She is still capable of speech, and recently began talking to her stepmother, but limits herself to short sentences.
  • Handsome Tom in Suburban Knights.
  • While not entirely quiet per se, Maine of Red vs Blue comes very close to this trope - mainly because he almost never makes noise, and when he does he sounds like a Predator. So he remains nearly silent most of the time.
    • Part of his silence is attributable to the fact that he was shot in the throat during the team's escape from Insurrectionists. Carolina then feels sorry for Maine and gives up her AI to act as a mouthpiece.
  • Sabastian in The Graystone Saga hates talking. When narrator Tobiah asks him questions, he answers with as few words as possible - and occasionally, none at all.
  • NintendoCapriSun while on The Runaway Guys. It doesn't help that the other two have No Indoor Voice.

     Western Animation  
  • Referenced in The Simpsons, "Lemon of Troy", where Bart and friends prepare to raid Shelbyville; Bart declares that Rod Flanders will be "the quiet religious guy who ends up going crazy."
    • In the episode where Homer joins the Navy, his superior officer gives the following keynote speech: "I'm a man of few words. Any questions?"
  • Mai on Avatar: The Last Airbender .
    • On the DVD commentary, the creators said that when they were looking for a VA for Zuko, they were looking for someone who could say one word but imply a lifetime of suffering. He was a man of few words for the first two seasons.
    • Longshot's whole character revolves around this.
  • Spoofed in Pepper Ann with, "Hush, the senior who never speaks."
  • Austin from The Backyardigans in some episodes, such as "Heart of the Jungle".
  • Velma Dinkley on A Pup Named Scooby-Doo ("Velma said 'Jinkies!'" "It MUST be a clue!")
  • Ferb from the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb, who, despite being one of the two main characters, generally only speaks once or twice per episode, expressing himself the rest of the time through nonverbal cues. These lines tend to be either the most random or funniest of the episode.
    • And like everything on the show, this is lampshaded to death. In the first episode he's introduced as being "a man of action". In the episode "Candace Interrupted" he says two conservative lines, prompting Phineas to say, "Well, aren't you chatty today."
    • The most lines Ferb has ever said at once can be seen here. Watch and be amazed.
  • Raven from Teen Titans.
    Slade: "It's always the quiet ones, isn't it?"
  • All the operatives of Sector V on Codename: Kids Next Door have a position/nickname: Number 3 is "The Flirt," Number 2 is "The Inventor," and Number 5 is "The Quiet One," although she's more like the Only Sane Man.
  • In Animaniacs Wakko is the least talkative of the Warner siblings as in some segments he doesn't say anything.
  • Kenny from South Park especially in the later episodes rarely talks and he is not involved in the plots as much as he used to be. And besides, he's The Unintelligible too.
  • Shifty Dingo from Blinky Bill, mainly due to being a Shrinking Violet.
  • Katana from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. When she does speak, her Outsiders teammates immediately stop whatever they're doing and listen to her.
    • In the episode "Inside the Outsiders", there's a flashback dream sequence to a time when she was chattier. It's revealed that she doesn't speak in the present in order to honor her sensei's memory... and because she blames her loose tongue for indirectly causing the sensei's death.
  • The eponymous character of Samurai Jack is one of these; there are several episodes in which he never speaks.
    • He didn't speak much as a child either; of the five flashback episodes to his childhood, he only spoke in one of them.
  • Leon in Titan Maximum is incredibly quiet for a monkey and his only response to things is usually just a blink. He does seem to be the Only Sane Man of the group though.
  • Apocalypse from X-Men: Evolution, in contrast to other versions of the character. Despite being the Big Bad of the last two seasons, he never speaks at all until the Grand Finale, and then his dialogue consists entirely of terse orders for minions or blunt statements of superiority (almost all delivered telepathically). One gets the sense that he simply dislikes lowering himself to speak to common mortals.
  • Ashley T. from Recess
  • Applejack's brother Big Macintosh in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, which his younger sister Apple Bloom attributes to extreme shyness. In most instances, he only communicates by saying "Eeyup" or "Nope" in response to direct questions. At virtually all other times, his remarks are either similarly short and concise, directed at someone he's exceptionally comfortable talking to (such as Applejack in the beginning of "Applebuck Season"), or meant to convey his displeasure.
    • Speaking of shyness, Fluttershy is the least talkative of the Mane 6 because of this. There's been quite a few episodes where she only has a line or two at most and several where she's completely silent for the whole episode.
    • Princess Luna seems to be turning into this somewhat, most notably in the season 4 premiere. Whenever the two sisters share a scene, she tends to let Celestia do most of the talking.
  • Brainy on Hey Arnold! has only said eight words in all the series: “something”, “I dunno”, “Hi Helga”. “I’ll go with you”. However, it’s because his Vader Breath.
  • Black Panther in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
    Wasp: I forgot you talked!
  • In The 7 D barring Dopey who cannot speak but uses whistles and other sounds to communicate, Bashful and Sleepy are the least talkative of the dwarves, Bashful due to his shy nature and Sleepy due to being asleep half the time, some episodes have one or both of them having a line or two or remaining silent throughout the whole cartoon.

     Real Life  
  • U.S. President Calvin Coolidge was famous for this, even gaining the nickname "Silent Cal". There is a longstanding joke that a woman at a party came up to him and said, "Mr. President, I just bet my friend that I could get you to say more than two words." Coolidge looked at her and said, "You lose."
    • She got the last laugh anyway; when the woman in question (Dorothy Parker, a famous and brilliant Deadpan Snarker) heard he'd died, she asked, "How can they tell?"
    • Which is derived from another Real Life incident in ancient Greece, but with a Spartan.
      • Indeed, we get the term "laconic" from "Laconia," a shortening of "Lacedaemonia", referring to the region in which Sparta lies, and often used to refer to Sparta itself.
      • The story goes as such: An emissary from Philip of Macedon (father of this guy) goes to Sparta and reads a long speech: "If we enter your lands, then we shall impale your men, violate your women and slaughter your children, burn your granaries, and put all priests to the sword..." and so forth. The Spartan king doesn't say anything until the end, when he replies: "If."
  • This story about a quiet stranger who joins a casino poker game. When The Quiet One finally breaks his silence, he turns out to be a truly awe-inspiring Deadpan Snarker.
  • In The Beatles, George Harrison was often considered the 'quiet one' being overshadowed both by the songwriting genius of Lennon & McCartney and the good natured clowning of Ringo Starr. Later, when he was allowed to write songs, he proved his innate talent was the equal of his comrades with 'Something' and 'Here Comes The Sun' amongst others.
  • John Entwistle, bassist for The Who, would later claim the title of "the quiet one" for himself - while his bandmates would flail wildly about the stage and destroy their instruments, he stood still as a statue, single-mindedly playing his bass, and rarely opening his mouth. He would eventually write a song called "The Quiet One" about himself.
  • Craig Jones of Slipknot has the title of The Silent One, choosing to never show up for interviews and never answer any questions when asked.
  • Pata of X Japan and Ra:IN. Generally seems quiet and sleepy, is the least showy member of his bands. Is also one of the most skilled who's had the least drama out of either.
  • Ira Hayes, one of the six flagraisers at Iwo Jima, was described by friends and family as this. He was still especially quiet even though his particular tribe didn't push talkativeness.
  • In Moneyball, Michael Lewis tells a story in which one of the scouts for the Oakland A's cultivates this image. Humorously, when he finally does speak for the first time in two days, what he says turns out to be completely inane.
  • Brazilian band Kid Abelha has Bruno Fortunato, who is practically the band's Garfunkel - Paula Toller sings and looks cute, George Israel writes the songs, plays many instruments and sometimes sings (not to mention working with other musicians)... and Bruno only plays the guitar. Hell, in the band's website, he doesn't even use the space that would be his blog.
  • Amy Acker, by her own admission.
  • William the Silent (1533-1584), Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch fight for independence.
    • He got the name for having the genius idea of not discussing his plans in bars where other people could hear them, not for being laconic.
  • Helmuth Count Moltke, who masterminded the Prussian campaign against Austria in 1866 and the German one against France in 1870/71, was known as "der große Schweiger" (the Great Silent).
  • Eric Wilson of the band Sublime. In the band's Rockumentary Stories, Tales, Lies, and Exaggerations Wilson does talk, but he gets no where near the screen time of fellow bandmate "Bud" Gaugh. Several interviewers have described him as quiet, but having great presence.
  • Introverts, especially IxxPs, tend to act like this.
  • John Deacon of Queen. When the band was together, he never sang on the albums and only answered questions in interviews if they were specifically directed to him. After Freddie Mercury died, he dropped out of the band and, aside from one single released in 1997, retired from the music business entirely.
  • Mixed martial artist and UFC champion Chuck Liddell used this as his image. Nicknamed the "Iceman," he remained stoic and confident in and out of the ring, choosing to let his knockouts speak for him rather than a lot of brash talk. His success and character made him the UFC's biggest star even to this day.
  • In Pink Floyd Richard Wright was noted for being quite a private person, rarely giving interviews. Syd Barrett also became notably (and self-confessedly) introverted after his mental health problems began, later becoming largely asocial.


Peek-A-BangsShyness TropesShrinking Violet
Hollywood NerdIntroversion TropesBeware the Quiet Ones
The Quiet GameSilence TropesQuieter Than Silence
New MeatThe SquadSad Clown
The Proud EliteIndex with a Heart of GoldRed Herring
Only FriendWebcomic/The Bug PondReturning The Handkerchief
Not Distracted by the SexyImageSource/Anime & MangaReal Dreams Are Weirder
Quickly Demoted WomanCharacters as DeviceThe Quincy Punk
Pushover ParentsCharacter Flaw IndexRebellious Spirit

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