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The Speechless
Someone who does not speak onscreen because he cannot speak at all.

He is intelligent; he does show signs of sentience to us, the viewers—just not to the other characters. He may be able to vocalize onscreen, but it won't be in a known language—probably just the occasional sigh—and none of the characters will be able to interpret what he says. He will be able to gesture, but this may or may not convey any meaning to the other characters; they may play charades with him to figure out what he has to say. In extremis, may lapse into Talking with Signs—but only we the viewers get to see the signs.

Often surprisingly competent, and tends to understand what's going on better than voiced characters, while being hilariously unable to communicate that understanding.

One popular use of this character is the Silent Snarker: while they never have any lines, they are highly facially expressive and used for many a Reaction Shot, Facepalm or visual This Is Gonna Suck.

One form of He Who Must Not Be Heard. The opposite is The Unintelligible, whom the characters understand, but we don't. Contrast also The Voiceless, who can talk, but just doesn't whenever we're watching. See also Heroic Mime and Cute Mute. May utilize a Voice For The Voiceless or Mouth of Sauron.

Compare Pantomime Animal.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Fruits Basket, Yuki and Kisa both temporarily lose the ability to speak, the former after being bullied by his mother, Kyo, and Akito, and the latter after being mocked by her classmates for her unusual red hair. Interestingly enough, they both recover thanks to their interaction with Tohru
  • Although she first appears to just be very quiet Chane Laforet from Baccano!! is later revealed to have lost her ability to speak several years before the series began. She appears to have willingly given up her voice.
    • She communicates by way of hand gestures and body language/expressions.
  • Garyu of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is clearly intelligent and can understand human speech but never speaks. Being a humanoid insect that lacks a mouth may have something to do with it.
  • Mokona, from Magic Knight Rayearth can only say "Puu", making him also The Unintelligible. While he may not seem to act like it and is accorded little respect, Mokona is arguably more intelligent than anyone else in the cast — but the details are a monumental spoiler.
  • Genma Saotome in Ranma ½ is The Speechless when in panda form, forcing him to communicate by Talking with Signs. An early gag from the manga had him trying to answer a telephone, before hanging up in frustration and holding up a sign reading, "Argh! Pandas can't answer the phone!"
  • Shiro in Shakugan no Shana — he's a reanimated skeleton and therefore has no vocal cords.
  • Gola Mosca, the robot from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. Didn't stop him from getting his own Image Song.
  • Celty from Durarara!!, being headless and all, types what she wants to say on her PDA or home computer and shows it to people. From episode 4 onwards her messages and thoughts are accompanied by a voice-over as a matter of convenience for the viewer. Sometimes it's not even properly conveyed that she isn't speaking, because the VA speaks (and the listener appears to be listening) before they look at the screen. Somehow there are some people who she has spoken to before she began speaking through her PDA.
  • TEX from Eve No Jikan, since he's a Three Laws Compliant robot who's been ordered not to speak.
  • Helen of Helen ESP, what with her being rendered blind, deaf, and mute from a terrible accident. Possibly named after the real life deaf-blind figure Helen Keller.
  • Rosaland of Cyber Weapon Z never speaks on-panel. Since she's half panther - half human, her muteness may come from this. But she's no Cute Mute, she's not harmless enough for that.
  • Kid Buu in Dragon Ball Z only has one intelligible line in the manga, with the rest of his utterances being either gibberish or laughter. The Funimation dub averted this by giving him a few extra lines, all of them extremely childish in nature.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics' Awesome Android has no vocal components. He used Talking with Signs in his recent appearances in She-Hulk.
  • The Torso from Newcastle in Strontium Dog, owing to lack of a head. In one strip, he makes a witty comment in sign language - but, as the narrator notes, since nobody was looking at him at the time, his remark is lost forever.
  • General Zod's associate Non is mute because he was lobotomized. Although his intelligence did suffer, he occasionally shows signs that he is smarter that he looks. Before his surgery, he was Jor El's lab partner.
    • In the original movie (Zod's sidekicks are Canon Immigrants) it may not even have been that: he was clearly as intelligent and as deliberately nasty as the others.
  • Humberto/Hummer from Monica's Gang, who only speaks through "Hmmm".
  • Artie Maddicks was mute, but could communicate in images using his mutant power of creating holograms.
  • Snake-Eyes of G.I. Joe due to head injuries. Still clearly understood in multiple battle situations somehow.
  • Jericho from Teen Titans. His vocal cords were cut when he was a child. He communicates via sign language. He can speak if he possess someone with a voice, and that person was unconscious at the time he possessed them.
  • Black Bolt of Marvel Comics is unable to speak due to the fact that his voice is so powerful that a mere whisper is enough to send The Hulk at his strongest flying. Thats right, the Hulk. As king of the Inhumans, Black Bolt tends to let his wife, Medusa, speak for him.
  • Gyro's little helper in Disney duck comics. He sometimes gets thought balloons, but they usually have pictures in them not words.
  • The Monster in The Frankenstein Monster starts out talkative like his book counterpart, but loses his ability to speak for several issues when a vampire-bite tores his larynx.

    Fan Works 
  • In An Entry With A Bang!, Brox cannot speak due to throat injury, so he types instead. There's talk of fixing this, though.
  • Brave New World: The Buneary ninja Dawn (yes, that Dawn!) can't speak due to her throat being ripped out by her father when she was born. She communicates using "Clickspeak", a morse-code-like tapping of her foot.
    • Tiny the Larvitar also does not talk, due to severe pre-hatching trauma. He gets better.
  • Ditzy Doo from Fallout: Equestria had her tongue cut out by slavers before the story begins, and communicates via pantomime or writing notes on a small chalkboard.
  • Mega Man Defender Of The Human Race has Nomad, who can't speak due to botched programming.

    Film - Animated 
  • Remy from Ratatouille. The movie manages to maintain some sense of realism by having him unable to converse with his human co-star Linguini. However, he's very good at charades and can largely control the actions of Linguini when the human allows him to ride on his head and pull on his hair.
    • Remy can speak, however. It's just that he speaks "rat." Humans hear his squeaks as squeaks, and the other rats hear them as English.
  • Abu, Rajah, and especially the Magic Carpet from Aladdin.
    • Abu, however can speak in screeching gibberish, occasionally venturing into screeching English, placing him closer to The Unintelligible.
  • The Giant Magnet and Car Crusher from The Brave Little Toaster (although the latter may not be intelligent or sentient).
  • Other Wybie in the movie version of Coraline. Because the Other Mother thought Coraline would prefer it that way.
  • In Dumbo, the title character never says anything throughout the whole movie, we never find out if he is mute or simply chooses not to talk, he does hiccup when he gets drunk though.
    • In the storybook adaptation of the movie, however, he's given an interior monologue, so we "hear" him "speak" that way.
    • He apparently did learn to talk when the Disney Channel did the Spin-Off series Dumbo's Circus, though. (His voice is mumbly and kind of quiet, but he does have a fairly extensive vocabulary.)
      • Well, what do you expect? He was still a baby in the original!
    • Dumbo's mother is also a speechless character, though other elephants in the movie do talk.
  • Gideon the cat from Pinocchio is mute.
    • He was originally meant to be voiced by Mel Blanc, but in the end all of his dialogue was cut, and Blanc's only contribution to a Disney movie was a hiccup.
  • Despite making lots of noise, Scrat from Ice Age doesn't speak. Also, Mama T.Rex and Rudy in the third film.
  • Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Happy explains that they don't know if he can talk or not because he's never tried to (in real life, it was because they couldn't find a suitable voice actor for him). He can, however, scream and hiccup.
  • The titular Thief in The Thief and the Cobbler was written and animated as this, but when it was taken out of Richard Williams' hands, the 1995 Arabian Knight cut added a "thoughts" voiceover for him and Tack the cobbler (who almost never spoke). Re-edits closer to the intended concept leave the characters be.
  • The Sandman in Rise of the Guardians can usuall be understood, so long as the other guardians notice he's trying to tell them something, since he can make pictures with his dream sand to indicate his meaning. However, as shown when the Man in the Moon was contacting them, he can have a very, very hard time getting their attention in the first place since not only can he not talk, but he seems unable to make sounds at all.
  • Fish Out of Water in Chicken Little pantomimes and makes bubble noises with his voice, but he never talks.
  • In The Lion King, the hyenas Shenzi and Banzai talk, but Ed doesn't; he only laughs.
  • An interesting version of this occurs in A Monster in Paris: the eponymous monster, Francoeur, seems incapable of speech and communicates with chirps, but during the musical sequences is able to sing. This may have something to do with the fact that he got his voice from a singing potion, which probably doesn't cover the ability to talk.
    • Within the same movie is Charles, a monkey, who communicates by writing on cards.

    Film - Live Action 
  • In The Great Silence, the main character never speak due to having his throat cut.
  • Pip, the Chipmunk from Enchanted, can't talk in New York because... well, in the real world, animals can't talk. He actually knows what's going on from the beginning of the movie, but despite his very creative charades, is never able to convey it to the air-headed Prince Edward. Ironically in Andelasia he has a Noo Yawk accent.
  • James Bond examples:
    • Oddjob from Goldfinger who doesn't speak English so he never talks, the only thing he ever says is "Ah, Ah!" when notifying Goldfinger during their golf game.
      • In the novel, the reason that Oddjob cannot speak is beacause he has a cleft palate.
    • Blofeld's henchman Hans in You Only Live Twice. (Hans never speaks and, unlike Jaws in later movies, he is killed before we can find out if he can or not.)
  • Lydia from The Others is mute due to a trauma that remains unspecified until the end of the film - the discovery that she (and her two fellow servants) have died from Tuberculosis traumatises her so much that she never speaks again.
  • Roach in The People Under the Stairs, whose tongue Man and Woman cut out for talking back.
  • Asham, the mute slave in the Biblical epic The Prodigal. He lost the ability to speak because of some childhood illness.
  • For much of the film Tommy, the title character is rendered entirely deaf, blind and mute after being traumatised as a young child by the sight of his stepfather killing his (previously believed killed during WW2) father in front of his mother very shortly after the father re-appears. He does get better...eventually, but it is a couple of decades (at least) before he snaps out of it.
  • Kroenen from the Hellboy movie, due to cutting off his own lips, among other things. He can talk in the original comic.
  • The Thin Man in Charlie's Angels. In the first film he's simply mute, in the second it is implied he's an Elective Mute due to childhood trauma. He attempts to speak, but is killed (or is he?) before we find out if he's capable.
  • Bumblebee from the Transformers film series wasn't able to speak, only communicating through the radio, due to events before the movie started where Megatron had ripped out his vocal processors. However, in the second movie, after he recovers, he still uses the radio to "speak", as Sam says he plays it up to be cute.
  • The Professor Guinea Pig from the original The Fly couldn't speak after his teleporter accident swapped his head with a housefly's, so communicated with chalkboard, typewriter, and by knocking on tables.
  • In Lightning Jack, Jack's sidekick is mute, which creates a funny moment when he knocks on a door, and when asked who's there he can't answer.
  • Gymnasia in A Funny Thing Happened Onthe Way To The Forum. See theater for her theatrical counterpart. In the movie version, instead, she gets her Fetish Fuel tendencies toned down, but she's still a towering blonde Amazonian Beauty expressing herself in made-up language (resembling just a funny barrage of unrelated charades) who Pseudolous only can understand. When Pseudolous reveal that Gymnasia's gestures meant something, the others show genuine surprise, believing her to be just The Unintelligible.
  • The Golem from the silent movie classic The Golem, faithful to traditional Golem lore.

    Literature 
  • Discworld:
    • The Librarian, who's been turned into an ape, can only speak in Orangutan, and to us that sounds like only one word, "Ook", over and over again (with an occasional "Eek!"). Sometimes he has to do charades to get people to understand him. The author has danced around the question of why a librarian, of all people, never thinks of writing down what he wants to say. In The Last Continent, a magical illness briefly turns him into a book. The book has no title, but every single page is filled with the word "Ook". In The Last Continent, he retained a one-word vocabulary when he is transformed into a penguin ("Awk!), and later a dolphin ("Eek!).
    • The Death of Rats's vocabulary is limited to "SQUEAK", with occasional variations ("SNH, SNH, SNH"). Death understands it perfectly, as do Albert and Quoth the raven; Susan doesn't necessarily know what it says, only what it means.
    • Also, Discworld golems can't speak because they have no tongues, this being a blasphemy. They have slates and a piece of chalk which they write words on. In later novels, they are "re-made" with clay tongues and hence can speak, though they tend to be very literal-minded.
  • Lucy-B091, a Spartan-III soldier in the novel Halo: Ghosts Of Onyx, lost her voice to "post-traumatic vocal disarticulation": at the age of 12, she was so traumatized from seeing 298 members of her 300-man force slaughtered, that she never spoke another word in her life after "how are you sure we're alive?" to the other survivor, Tom-B292.
  • Nick Andros, in Stephen King's The Stand, was born deaf and mute. One version of the book explicitly states he was born without eardrums or vocal cords.
  • Avoxes, in The Hunger Games, are traitors who've had their tongues mutilated as punishment by the Capitol. Avox literally means 'without voice'.
  • One member of the submarine crew from Sewer, Gas & Electric doesn't speak anything but Turkish, so has no lines except the name of his hometown, which he cries out ("Istanbul!") to indicate he's carried out an order. Except once when he's recovering from an at-sea collision, and groans "Constantinople..." instead.
  • The mysterious and aptly named Lady Silence in Dan Simmons The Terror.
  • Saro in Patricia A Mckillip's The Book of Atrix Wolfe, after the spell.
  • John Singer, the central character of Carson McCullers' The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, is a deaf-mute. Much of the novel involves his relationship with another deaf-mute, Spiros Antonapoulos.
  • Michael, narrator and protagonist of The Lock Artist, has been silent since the age of 8 because of psychological trauma.
  • John Mathew of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series is mute (presumably born that way), and relies on American sign language, whistling, writing on a notepad, and a variety of body language in order to communicate with others.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has a few:
    • Ilyn Payne had his tongue torn out by the mad king. After the revolution, he's given a job as the royal executioner by the new king. His gaunt appearance and total silence make him quite frightening, which is very appropriate for his job. The closest he's come to speaking is opening his mouth and making a clacking sound, which Jaime takes for a laugh.
    • Theon is given a mute squire, which he takes as an insult. The squire is actually pretty bold and occasionally smirks at Theon's difficulties. Later, he manages to convey a complex message without the ability to speak or write.
    • At least some of Varys' "little birds" are tongueless but literate children who hide in the secret passages running through the Red Keep.
    • Victarion Greyjoy takes a tongueless woman as a concubine. He likes it because he can think out loud while she's around and she won't be able to tell anyone his secrets.
  • The God-King Susebron from Warbreaker is this for most of the book. Though it's because his tongue's been cut out from near-birth to keep him from using the Breath. He's also initially unable to write except in a special code script he uses to communicate with his priests, though his wife teaches him how to write normally midway through the book. And then he gets his tongue healed when Lightsong gives up his Breath for him.
  • Dramatically subverted at the very end of the children's book Cheltingham's Party. The title character is a cat who throws the feline equivalent of a Wild Teen Party while his master is away. When the master returns, she sees the mess everywhere and teasingly tells Cheltingham, "You have a lot of explaining to do!" Without any hesitation, Cheltingham looks right at her and says, "Cats don't talk."
  • Madame Raquin in Thérèse Raquin. As her health deteriorates, leaving her with locked-in syndrome. Ironically, the worse she gets, the more she realizes what happened to her son.
  • Lupus in The Roman Mysteries is mute because he had his tongue torn out.
  • The ex-P.O.W. in Beachwalker has been mute since birth. As it turns out, this was a large part of the reason why he was captured in the first place - he was unable to call for help.
  • The dragon breeder Sarkkhan in the Pit Dragon Chronicles sought to breed a mute fighting dragon, seeing their inability to roar as a potential advantage in the pits. He succeeds with Heart's Blood.
  • Skylar St. Clair from Gives Light. His throat was cut when he was a small child and his vocal cords never healed. Note that while he cannot talk to the other characters, he is the narrator of the book, so the reader always knows what he would say if he could.
  • In The Broken Crescent, the Ghadi are an entire race of these. Due to an ancient curse, they cannot speak, nor can they comprehend any type of spoken or written language.

    Live Action TV 
  • Thing, the living hand from The Addams Family, has been known to communicate via Morse code or finger alphabet such as can be used by the deaf. It seems to be of equal intelligence with anyone else in the Quirky Household.
  • Poncho in Funky Squad, the Australian spoof of 70's cop shows. The idea being that an actor with poor English skills was accidentally hired, so the creators had to think up the ridiculous plot device of Poncho being mute because he'd been shot in the tongue.
  • Lanny in Lizzie McGuire is a special case: No one can understand him except Matt...even over the phone (where apparently he remains speechless). Apparently there's something about Matt's body, because Lizzie can understand him in the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode.
  • The brothers Darryl and Darryl in Newhart. Frequently played with, as when Dick answers the phone and hears only silence: "Hello...Hello?...Oh hi, Darryl."
    • Subverted in the series finale, when the brothers shout "QUIET!" at their constantly chattering wives.
  • There some speechless characters of Sesame Street.
    • The Honkers don't speak, but they communicate by their nose to honk their horns on their head. And make music. The honkers comes in different color. And they are cute furry monsters.
    • Linda (portrayed by deaf actress, Linda Bove) doesn't speak at all because she is deaf, But she can communicate by using sign-language.
    • Sully (portrayed by Richard Hunt) is Biff's silent friend. But he does hard construction work with his partner, Biff. Sully also does well on playing the piano.
  • In The X-Files episode "Humbug", the Conundrum (a geek, in the classical sense) doesn't speak at all until the end: "Prob'ly something I ate.".
  • The mysterious aliens from the 1970-1 TV series UFO are never heard to speak, though they can apparently communicate with traitors and those under their control.
    • In a late episode, the UFO pilots are revealed to be human abductees under the control of an unseen alien intelligence.
  • The Stig Sort of qualifies, since he knows how to drive like hell, and use a credit card, but knows nothing about ducks. He also happens to be illegal in 17 states.
  • Lupus in Roman Mysteries. Unlike his his counterpart in the novels, he has not had his tongue torn out (presumably so they do not have to worry about accidentally getting shots of the actor's tongue) but is mute from some kind of trauma.
    • It is explained in the episodes "The Dolphins of Laurentum", that Lupus is mute from the trauma of seeing his uncle kill his father.
  • Liam and Ryan Mc Poyle's sister Margaret from ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia she is stated to be mute, she responds to communication by licking her lips.
  • Private Rich spends most of the M*A*S*H episode "Point Of View" using gestures and handwriting to communicate because a serious throat injury has left him unable to speak. By the end of the episode, he has managed to say a few raspy words.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Big Stoop from Terry and the Pirates. The Dragon Lady had his tongue torn out when they were children.
  • Sphinx from Dick Tracy. He destroyed his voice when he accidentally drank a glass of poison he intended for a pal of his.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • In Dino Attack RPG, the Brickspider Bot was not originally programmed with speech. It learned how to program itself with speech by studying the remains of PBB, but it only programmed one of its heads with speech, so when that head was destroyed by Rex, the Brickspider Bot was forced to use a replacement head that did not have speech programming. As such, it could only communicate by hooking itself up to Cyber-Bully and speaking through his mouth, or by tapping its foot in Morse code.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The "Cannot Speak" disadvantage in GURPS turns your character into this. Interestingly you can combine it with the Voice advantage, just because you can't form words doesn't mean the sounds can't be pleasing.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • After the first level of Drakengard, the protagonist, Caim, is one of these, as he trades away his ability to speak in order to make a Pact with the dragon.
  • Ward in Final Fantasy VIII is one of these after a throat injury. After that, he only says ".....", but Laguna and Kiros usually understand him anyway.
    • Also all Moombas, who are intelligent creatures, being an evolved form of the Shumi. According to the Shumi Elder, Laguna once tried to teach one to speak because he felt sorry that it didn't know any words and he felt that words are "useful and precious." The Elder, however, felt that the truly important things can be communicated without words.
  • Jak in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy was mute for the entire game. His first instance of speech actually occurred at the beginning of the Darker and Edgier sequel and was a proclamation that he was going to kill someone. He spoke in full coherent sentences after that.
    • Jak's younger self never vocalizes either. A fanon theory is that he lost his ability to speak due to the trauma of being separated from his actual family; Jak's utter hatred for the Baron simply let him overcome this mental block.
  • Shizune from Katawa Shoujo. Like the description she's smart, perceptive and wilful, though it's noted that the aggressive personality she has cultivated to compensate often ends up driving people away.
    "...!"
  • Mio from One Kagayaku Kisetsu E is a mute who communicates through writing in a sketchbook.
  • The Black Titan from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, stalwart and reliable companion of Claudia, the resident Cute Mute. Originally described as an animated soul of armor, crafted for Claudia's safety by her long dead parents, he's revelead to be the corpse and the soul of a mute assassin, used for spare parts by Claudia's dad and seeking redemption by protecting his innocent ward. Also, being mute he came to empathize with Claudia's handicap, to the point of feeling inconditional love for her.
  • Berserker / Herakles in Fate/stay night doesn't talk. He growls and roars a lot, though; and he could talk if he wasn't so crazed. In fact he's quite talkative when you kill him.
  • Chell from Portal may be one. At the beginning of the second game, she responds to Wheatley's request to speak by jumping and GLaDOS refers to her as a mute. Also, while in the first game a non-fatal injury could result in Chell grunting in pain, Chell is completely silent in the second game. This may imply that while her silence in the first game was a result of her tenacity, her lack of speech in the second game may be a result of her extended stay in the Extended Relaxation Vault.
    • Or as hinted by her psych profile where she refused to answer any questions during her pre-testing interviews, she's in an extended sulk and refuses to dignify any of the AI with a response.

    Web Animation 
  • Most of the cast of Adam Phillips' Brackenwood; only one, the Auld Sage, has ever actually spoken. Besides him, there's only three likely candidates we've been introduced to who even have the capacity: Bingbong, in whom nature compensated his great physical strength with the IQ of a retarded pigeon, Lemonee Wee, who hasn't really had a lot of screen time (but may be the unidentified narrator of "Last of the Dashkin"), and Bitey, who Phillips assures us can talk, but doesn't because he spends most of his time around animals who can't talk back, and thus doesn't see the point.
  • In Eric Schwartz's animations, Flip The Frog (being based on a silent movie character) never speaks. That's doesn't matter though, because his girlfriend Clarisse has such acute hearing that she can hear him nod. On the phone!
  • Although he rarely spoke before anyway, Maine of Red vs. Blue truly becomes The Speechless after being shot repeatedly in the throat. He can still make grunts and growls that others occasionally are able to interpret, but by and large he can only communicate by way of his AI, Sigma.
  • Ultra Fast Pony has Mutation, who is mute. She also has the superpower of silencing everyone around her.
  • The Mime from Happy Tree Friends.

    Webcomics/Web Original 
  • Melody from Girls with Slingshots is deaf and communicates by sign language. It's recently been revealed that she can be EXTREMELY vocal when, ahem, "suitably aroused" and has also been known to make inarticulate sounds for emphasis in conversation.
  • Coffinshaker from Whats Shakin and Coffin Comics never speaks.
  • The title character of Little Dee is preverbal and only utters nonsense syllables, such as "Eee" when excited and "Wah wah" when imitating speech. Dee does speak in Vachel's dream (where she's actually Napoleon's wife Josephine) and in out-of-continuity strips where she's an actor playing herself.
  • Punch from Girl Genius is this Though no longer, thanks to Gil. In fact, now that he can speak his prose is quite wordy... And nonstop.
  • The Protagonist in Persona 3 FTW almost never has any spoken dialogue due to the fact that he was something of a Heroic Mime in Persona 3.
  • Ace, the mask-wearing Implacable Man of Ruby Quest, never utters a word. When we eventually see him without his mask, it becomes clear why: he no longer has anything even remotely resembling facial features.
  • Bob and George: Nate.
  • The Mutali in Fite! cannot speak, but they can summon portals by howling.
  • Dawn in Dawn of Time seems perfectly capable of understanding human speech, but only ever speaks in her own language, which nobody else understands. In recent strips, the Grim Reaper and his associates never speak verbally either.
  • Strays Feral. With scars on his throat to prove it.
  • In Rusty and Co., the Cube.
  • In The Non-Adventures of Wonderella the titular heroine (a pastiche of Wonder Woman) sells her voice to an Ursula rip-off for being granted her long awaited flight powers. After a brief stint as a Silent Snarker she gets her voice restored (and her newfound powers forcibly removed) because of her apparently awful singing voice.
  • Three from Land Games.
  • Legion from Tasakeru, who only communicates in sign and body language.
  • Carapacians in Homestuck only seem to be able to speak in ways that show up in-comic when using a keyboard. Fefetasprite has only been seen communicating through emoticons. Kurloz Makara is a subversion. Though he can't speak though his mouth, since it's sewn shut, he can shout directly into peoples' minds.
  • In Worm, The Siberian pretends to be this until she talks to Bitch.
  • In Fairy Dust, Ellen is not only mute, but also illiterate, and has no immediate alternate mode of expression other than shoving people the way she wants them to go. Since she makes it obvious she doesn't want to let the loss of her tongue stop her from bossing people around, a lot of shoving happens.
  • Bina in All Night Laundry has this for awhile due to trauma from a seazure.

    Western Animation 
  • Maurice the purple gorilla from Marsupilami does not speak, He only grunts.
  • Buttons from Animaniacs. (Mindy may be generously considered a Speech Impaired Animal.)
  • Snake-Eyes, of G.I. Joe, is incapable of speech due to injuries to his larynx. He spends the time another would use for talking to be extra badass.
  • Godzilla and Godzuki from The Godzilla Power Hour.
  • Claw of the Mutates from Gargoyles.
  • Torpid of the Morlocks from X-Men Evolution.
  • Brainy from Hey Arnold!!, who usually just stands behind Helga, wheezing.
    • He actually has spoken a few words in some episodes.
  • Spot from Hong Kong Phooey.
  • Brain from Inspector Gadget.
  • The Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote from Looney Tunes shorts.
    • Wile E.'s Tiny Toon Adventures counterpart, Calamity Coyote, notably has spoken even less than Wile E.
  • Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb, though he can make a weird sort of chittering sound (and once even sarcastically mimics Candace in it). Oddly he can't even talk when he switches bodies with Candace, though she can, and Phineas and Ferb's animal translator registered his noises as meaningless.
  • The Pink Panther (not Inspector Clouseau, after whom the films were not named, but the actual Pink Panther cartoon).
    • Except for two episodes: Sink Pink and Pink Ice.
    • Also, the character was voiced in the 1990s TV revival.
  • Because she's a baby and can't talk, Maggie from The Simpsons fits this trope. Especially in "future" episodes, where she is shown as a sullen teenager who still never says anything, because she is prevented or simply disappears off-screen as she is about to speak in a Running Gag
    • Which is kinda sad. Don't you know she has a beautiful singing voice?
    • There are a few non-canon episodes (including several Halloween specials) where she does talk, usually in a deep, scary masculine voice. Other than that she has said two canonical words in the series: Daddy and Ja.
  • Kid Wykkyd from Teen Titans appears to be mute, while Jericho certainly is. He can talk through those he possesses, however.
    • Played with when Jericho possesses Cinderblock and speaks through him ... thus rousing instant suspicion, as Cinderblock is also this trope!
  • Tom and Jerry, most of the time.
    • According to Word of God (or possibly just Word of Dante; I forget my source on this one), they could converse, but generally don't have anything to say to one another that would be any more meaningful than the slapstick violence they already visit upon one another.
  • Gromit, of Wallace & Gromit, who somehow makes his feelings clear to the audience (but not Wallace) purely by moving his clay eyebrow.
  • Numbuh Five of Codename: Kids Next Door was originally going to be one of these.
  • Moose A. Moose's best friend Zee doesn't speak. Zee communicates to Moose through Squeaky Eyes.
  • The Blue Spirit from the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode of the same name appears to be this at first, communicating with Aang only by motioning with one of his swords. This is because he turns out to be Zuko and speaking would have given away his identity. Later in the series, he speaks minimally as his Blue Spirit persona when dealing with characters who would not recognize his voice.
    • Then we have Combustion Man, who communicates only through grunts.
      • Longshot, too, until Jet's death.
      • You know, it was really unclear.
  • Hooty, an owl who can only hoot in a world of Talking Animals, is this for most of the Christmas Special Christopher The Christmas Tree.
  • Shelby Bitterman from Baby Blues never speaks during the series. He does use hand gestures and motions with his wiffle bat he carries everywhere. He is also mostly emotionless except for when he shot a teddy bear through the eye with a crossbow; he is shown giving a smile, but he has audibly coughed and sneezed at some points.
  • The fan named Playboy Penguin from two Looney Tunes shorts is one of these, at the end of his first appearance after Bugs Bunny decides to leave he whispers something to him and he finds out that they have longer days in Antarctica.
  • The Kabuki Twins in The Batman
    • Also from The Batman, Punch and Judy, Joker's henchmen, never talk. When Clayface is impersonating them he insults Joker's plan, to which Joker replies "Okay; 1. You never ever talk to me like that, and 2. When have you two ever talked at all?"
  • The firefighter "Beef" from the King of the Hill episode, "A Firefighting We Will Go", never says a single word onscreen and uses hand gestures to communicate. However, he laughs plenty throughout the episode.
  • In the cult BBC preschool show Kerwhizz the three teams each consist of a kid and his/her android pet. Pip, the android dog, is constantly frustrated by the fact that although he's smarter than his girl partner Ninki he can only bark and growl, which means she often fails to realise when he gets the answer right, and shouts out the wrong answer instead. Ninki got her comeuppance in one episode where their voices were temporarily swapped. This caused Pip to launch into a long speech about how his talents would at last be recognised, while Ninki could only howl in despair.
  • Piff, a minor character from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, who first shows up almost completely emotionless, never uttering a single word. Mandy develops a crush on him and is embarrassed about it; after several attempts to get over him fail, Grim gives her a makeover, causing Piff to fall in love with her and speak his only line of dialogue: "Could you go to the dance with me? Please?". Upon hearing his high pitched voice Mandy gets over him and beats him up.
  • Laconia from The Smurfs is a mute wood elf. She actually makes use of sign language.
  • Freakazoid!'s mute butler Ingmar.
  • Yankee Doodle Pigeon from Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines.
  • In Transformers Prime, Bumblebee takes after his movie counterpart. However, he talks in electronic noises the other Autobots (and strangely, Raf Esquivel, The Smart Guy) can understand, making him also The Unintelligible.
    • Soundwave also doesn't speak in this series, though he can play back any sound he's heard (with the addition of the pretty vocoder effect that goes with the speech of other versions of Soundwave.) However, he doesn't use even this that often. Most notably, the episode where Ratchet and Wheeljack battle Soundwave for a Cybertronian artifact hidden on Earth. Being a silent scourge that just. Keeps. Coming! made him almost scary. The Powers That Be say that he can talk, he just chooses not to. How much weight to give this is unknown, though, because there are times being able to speak would have really come in handy and he still didn't.


Speech BubblesThe Silent Age of AnimationWalking In Rhythm
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