...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
, and may have an enigmatic non-answer for any questions people might ask him.
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
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Anime & Manga
- 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.
- In Noob, Battos has yet to have a line of dialogue, despite getting a few in the webseries and novel versions.
- Nighttrace fits this perfectly in Transformers Meta.
- George Harrison in The Beatles Real Person Fic With Strings Attached; he had that rep in Real Life, and in the book he's somewhat quieter than the others for two reasons: 1) he spends much of the First Movement meditating and trying to figure out God's plan for sending them to this strange planet (he ultimately concludes that God didn't do it), and 2) he becomes a shapeshifter and is often not capable of speaking.
- Actually, Ringo Starr is something of a Quiet One as well, since when he's deep in mindsight he rarely speaks. Though he makes up for it because he often has to give long soliloquies to explain what he did offscreen.
- Harpo from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic The Vinyl Scratch Tapes.
- Even though Talisman from Ace Combat The Equestrian War does speak, he's much more quiet than Shamrock.
- Andy from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series. Lampshaded by Socrates:
- Nivus in The Tainted Grimoire has not been known to have actually said anything yet.
- In Queen Of All Oni, Left, one of Jade's Shadowkhan bodyguards, rarely ever talks. Apparently he feels he shouldn't unless it's necessary.
- Eileen of Legendary Genesis has a lot she'd like to say, but can only muster up the courage to speak very simple sentences. Her quietness frustrates her to no end and isolates her from her teammate.
- Shino in Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, though unlike his canon counterpart, he's a bit more sociable and talkative.
- The blacksmith Amaru in Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune. He speaks about a total of five or six times in all 35 chapters and only when it's about something important. The rest of the time his best friend explains why this is so, and speaks for him.
- Miyako Morino of Despair's Last Resort mentions that she's not the talkative type upon her introduction. She's rarely seen talking, even during the trials and when the number of students gets lower.
- 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: The Last Stand:
Multiple-Man has a total of TWO lines.
Colossus has only one line, despite his larger role.
- Joao from The Book Of Life has no lines.
- 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."
- 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.)
- Marilyn Whirlwind from Northern Exposure speaks few words, and when she does it's barely above a whisper. She stands out in a show filled with kvetchers (Joel), blowhards (Maurice), and philosophical chatterboxes (Chris).
- 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.
- 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.
- Brock Lesnar usually lets Paul Heyman do the talking for him.
- After Vixen was billed as the American Kong by AJPW, she stopped speaking almost entirely, though she spoke in the NWA mostly in Zero 1, she went quiet for ROH, SHIMMER and stayed quiet in TNA until she yelled "Raisha". Broke silence to announce she would no longer be able to wrestle at a WWE event, stayed talkative after returning to the ring in SHINE, though still not particularly talkative by wrestler standards.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Protagonist of Persona 4, canonically known as Yu Narukami, actually has a large number of responses that are "....."
- However, the motives of the Persona 3 and Persona 4 heroes having so many '...' options are implied to be different from their subtle characterisation with the former appearing to not care about things, while the latter tends to have it available more when it will spare feelings or the situation is awkward. In Persona Q which involves both casts, this trope is inverted as the P4 hero talks in the P3 route and in the P4 route the P3 hero talks which also highlights the contrast in personality when you see how each one does speak.
- 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."
- 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.
- Fantöm from Noob doesn't speak much and sometimes seems to have developped his "I see" Verbal Tic as a conversation filler.
- 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.
- 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.