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Cloudcuckoolanders are usually perceived as childlike and innocent, devoid of any sort of sarcasm and snarkery. Therefore when such a character all of a sudden delivers quips and witticisms, it is often a real surprise for the reader/viewer. It may serve as indication that they are not as air-headed and naive as they may seem — and perhaps even deliberately pretend — to be.


Examples:

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    Literature 
  • Princess Eilonwy from The Chronicles of Prydain seems like a Talkative Loon and an airhead at first, but turns out to be a real snarker (especially towards the protagonist). This is one of the first signs that she's much sharper than she may appear to be (actually one of the most intelligent characters in the series).
  • Jenny Wren from Our Mutual Friend is a complete Cuckoolander who lives in her imaginary world, sees angels and talks to herself; however, she is very smart, insightful and snarky when not engaged in poetic fancy.
  • Maia Fresia from Numero Zero has many quirks and childlike mannerisms, as well as a sarcastic wit.
  • Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter tends to do this from time to time, just to let the audience know that he's more aware of things than he comes off.
  • The quirky prophet Emmanuel from Sister Pelagia appears to be a Wide-Eyed Idealist, but sometimes demonstrates irony and comes up with witticisms.
  • Auri from The Kingkiller Chronicle is an ethereal, Luna Lovegood-escue girl who seems to be completely off her rails, rambling about keys that open the moon and stuff; however, all of a sudden she makes quips like this one:
    ''“I was wondering, Auri. Would you mind showing me the Underthing?"
    Auri looked away, suddenly shy. "Kvothe, I thought you were a gentleman," she said, tugging self-consciously at her ragged shirt. "Imagine, asking to see a girl's underthing." She looked down, her hair hiding her face.
    I held my breath for a moment, choosing my next words carefully lest I startle her back underground. While I was thinking, Auri peeked at me through the curtain of her hair.
    "Auri," I asked slowly, "are you joking with me?"
    She looked up and grinned. "Yes I am," she said proudly. "Isn't it wonderful?”''
  • Most wizards in Discworld to some extent. Rincewind and Ponder are exceptions (being almost purely snarkers) but Ridcully, the Bursar, and other members of faculty will bounce back and forth between saying something crazy, often by being Sidetracked by the Analogy, and saying something witty.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The A-Team: Howlin' Mad Murdock is one of the kookiest soldiers of fortune around, whose quirks have included, but are not limited to, launching a society for the freedom of golf balls, having an invisible dog and taking on a number of different personas. He can also be quite snarky when he gets the urge.
  • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, though Sarcasm-Blind, tends to make sarcastic (or Innocently Insensitive) quips at his friends and colleagues (and pretty much everyone). He's also a Ditzy Genius with an Ambiguous Disorder.
  • Brittany, the Genius Ditz of Glee, is definitely prone to this.

    Theater 
  • Sir Joseph Porter in Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore. One moment he's inanely rabbiting on about how all sailors should dance hornpipes, another moment he's dropping shade like this:
    Captain Corcoran: I am the last person to insult a British sailor, Sir Joseph.
    Sir Joseph: You are the last person who did, Captain Corcoran.

    Video Games 
  • Liz Allaire from The Next Big Thing by Pendulo Studios, described by the authors as possibly "the most outrageously insane main character in the history of all graphic adventures". She is also a very talented young journalist who often delivers brilliant quips (especially towards her colleague Dan Murray, due to obvious reasons).
  • The witch Magilou from Tales of Berseria is extremely quirky, and also very sarcastic and teasing.
  • The Sith Inquisitor from Star Wars: The Old Republic is clearly a little "off" sanity-wise, but snarks off enough to put Blackadder to shame.
  • Edér from Pillars of Eternity. He has a dry, pitch black wit, but also tends to come up with strange ideas, especially in the presence of anything fluffy. Perhaps the whiteleaf is to blame.
  • Rei of Ensemble Stars! is a member of the Five Oddballs, and constantly acts as though he is a hundreds-year-old vampire living among humans, but he is plenty snarky, especially where Koga is concerned; sure enough, he is actually very intelligent and quite a dangerous enemy.
  • Merrill from Dragon Age II delivers some pretty crushing remarks when pushed far enough by antagonistic party members Anders or Fenris, showing she is fully aware of how grim their situations are. The rest of the time, she has her head in the clouds wondering how Qunari scratch their heads and cooing over vicious guard-dogs.

    Western Animation 
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    Real Life 
  • Oscar Wilde, renowned eccentric and a Gentleman Snarker known for his sharp witticisms.
  • Historically, this is probably how many jesters acted. Jesters are thought to be very strange people who played up their cuckoo-ness so they could get away with mocking the nobility. A jester could even play a good role as an adviser by pointing out the flaws in a plan via mocking the idea or by delivering bad news that no one else dared to.

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