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 an indication that they are not as air-headed and naive as they may seem — and perhaps even deliberately pretend to be. Sometimes the two go together in a sort of low-grade Insanity Immunity; their odd perspectives allow them to spot the hypocrisies and oddities in what others consider "normal".
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Anime & Manga
- Son Goku, the protagonist of Dragon Ball, is known to be a cheerful goofball, but on occasion, he will throw a sarcastic or biting remark in someone's direction. It gets even more noticeable when he gets serious.
- Ryo from Bocchi the Rock! is often shown to have a rather odd thought process and very little common sense, but she has a snappy comment for almost everything and she delivers them in her typical stoic, deadpan way.
- Sailor Moon: Usagi is a Kindhearted Simpleton, but she surprisingly has her snarky side to her, especially when Rei is involved.
- Zeno the Yellow Dragon Warrior from Yona of the Dawn is a Cloudcuckoolander of the Obfuscating Stupidity subspecies — he initially doesn't want to let on to his traveling companions that he is actually an immortal contemporary of their mythical ancestors from 2,000 years prior and instead prefers to be underestimated (and spoiled) as a cute, cuddly 17-year-old boy with no power whatsoever. However, he's actually very intelligent, intuitive, and perceptive, and he was watching over Yona and the other three dragons for much of their lives, so he will occasionally let slip an affectionately snide remark. He has an especial talent for stating the obvious in such a way that it's both blunt enough to sound like his typical cheerful obliviousness, yet also pointed enough that it has to be sarcasm. Once the other characters learn the truth, his always-lovingly-meant snark becomes more open for a while, often tag-teaming with self-proclaimed big brother Jaeha to gently mock Kija, but the changing dynamic in the way the other characters view his powers (namely, the fact that his immortality causes him to be subjected to constant pain and dismemberment, which they all try to protect him from) begins to stress him out and makes him too irritable to snark properly. Thankfully, Shrinking Violet Shin-ah has been watching him all along and seems poised to pick up where he left off.
Zeno: We have to fight the mister this time? Someone'll die. Probably us...
Shin-ah: Zeno will probably live...
Zeno: You're finally quipping back, huh Seiryuu?
- Bridging the span between Deadpool's addled Meta Guy and full Fourth-Wall Observer depictions, the sheer levels of nonsequitur snark in his dialogue note makes it difficult to pin down the boundaries between whimsical eccentricity, meta-fueled Infallible Babble, and moments of cuttingly cynical lucid insight.
- This was Norm Macdonald's whole comedic persona, combining Surreal Humor with a sarcastic delivery.
Films — Live-Action
- In The Last Jedi, Vice-Admiral Amilyn Holdo seems quirky and aloof most of the time, but also has some snarky moments:
Poe: With our current fuel consumption, there's a very limited amount of time we can stay out of range of those Star Destroyers.
Holdo: Very kind of you to make me aware.
- 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).
- 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.
- The Comically Serious, common sense-less Sōsuke engages in this with increasing frequency as Full Metal Panic! progresses, the implication being that he's slowly developing an actual sense of humor as he rediscovers his other buried emotions. It's apparently subconscious on his part, however, as it's not until 5/6ths into the series that he deliberately tells his first joke (and completely bombs it because he Cannot Convey Sarcasm).
- The Gargoyle has the Eccentric Artist Marianne Engel who is a quirky idealist believing in The Power of Love, and who also speaks to unseen apparitions and thinks she that she was a Medieval nun in her past life. However, when she is in less exhalted mood, she can be quite snarky, such as quipping at the protagonist's patches of black skin (he was burned in a car crash):
"If ever you were a racist," she said, running her fingers over the game board of my body, "this would certainly be a hair in your soup."
- 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. This is also Luna Lovegood's shtick, particularly in the film versions.
- Auri from The Kingkiller Chronicle is an ethereal, Luna Lovegood-esque 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?"
- Maia Fresia from Numero Zero has many quirks and childlike mannerisms, as well as a sarcastic wit.
- 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.
- The quirky prophet Emmanuel from Sister Pelagia appears to be a Wide-Eyed Idealist, but sometimes demonstrates irony and comes up with witticisms.
- In Stargirl, the titular character is a free-spirited and altruistic girl who has a flamboyant fashion sense, engages in random acts of kindness towards complete strangers, and is into Zen meditation. However, she also has her teasing moments, such as when she asks the protagonist why he was following her around, and then gives this explanation:
You were smitten with me. You were speechless to behold my beauty. You had never met anyone so fascinating. You thought of me every waking minute. You dreamed about me. You couldn’t stand it. You couldn’t let such wonderfulness out of your sight. You had to follow me.
- 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.
- Doctor Who: The Doctor is genuinely odd, even by the standards of their alien culture, and quite prone to sarcasm. The stranger the incarnation, the sharper the snark. Four, Eight, and Thirteen are loopy even by Doctor standards with WMD levels of snark to dish out.
- Brittany, the Genius Ditz of Glee, is definitely prone to this. At one point, she even points out that something is dumb even for her.
- Jason Cook, a champion baker from Holiday Baking Championship and now a Food Network baking show judge is a very odd duck with his Impossibly Tacky Clothes and southern fried Good Old Boy humble background. And in every appearance he makes, he doles out some kind of weapons-grade snark either as self-depreciation or at the expense of some contestant who is getting a bit ahead of themselves.
- Seinfeld's Kramer shows his seldom-tapped potential for this in "The Chicken Roaster" when he and Jerry temporarily switch apartments so that Kramer can avoid a bright light that's keeping him up, causing Jerry's friends to start consulting him for help with their problems and evincing responses in Jerry's standard Deadpan Snarker style (while, conversely, a sleep-deprived Jerry acts like Kramer).
Elaine: So I told Ipswich I'd have the hat by this afternoon! What am I gonna do?
Kramer: You should sleep with him.
- 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.
- The Importance of Being Earnest: Lady Bracknell is mostly pretty disconnected from reality except when it comes to money, being a parody of the most absurd British upper class attitudes (at one point, she compares Jack's Doorstop Baby status to the French Revolution), but gets a few witty remarks in anyway.
Lady Bracknell: I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing.
- Queen from Deltarune is very strange and immature, yet she often makes snarky comments.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- The witch Magilou from Tales of Berseria is extremely quirky, and also very sarcastic and teasing. Most of her snarking involves pointing out the Doublethink and hypocrisies of other people, which Magilou does because she loves getting under someone's skin. Late-game events with Magilou also show that she's grown into The Cynic after having had her heart broken by Mechior several times after he abandoned her for "a world of pure reason". Magilou also has such intense self-loathing that she genuinely doesn't seem to care if she lives or dies.
- Elan from The Order of the Stick, the poster boy for the Quirky Bard. While he's almost always Sarcasm-Blind, he typically becomes pretty sarcastic whenever he's particularly upset (i.e., him asking his father if he's planning to "make [me] watch as you punch a bunny in the face").
- Vinny of the streaming group Vinesauce is both incredibly sarcastic and incredibly eccentric. He has no shortage of snark yet at the same time, this is a man who used rubber dildos to play the drums in a gesture recognition game, amuses himself by aggressively shouting "spin" in a vaguely Slavic voice for no particular reason beyond it being inherently funny-sounding, comes up with words like "clussisimo" and "klump-skumping," and created a detailed backstory for a random earthworm puppet from an MSN commercial just because it looked silly, not to mention the fact that his main claim to fame is figuring out how to glitch out old video game ROMs with things like Game Genie codes to see how badly he can corrupt their graphics and sound without having them crash or freeze entirely and even having a purpose-built "real-time corruptor" made for him that he can use to accomplish similar results on physical video game cartridges.
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
- Master Shake has the logic of a deranged lunatic, but he's also one of the show's most sarcastic characters.
- Meatwad is probably the least snarky of the main cast, but that doesn't mean he won't dish out some good sarcasm when the moment calls for it despite having the intelligence and imagination of an immature child.
- Clam from Camp Lazlo can be this on occasion, despite his odd speaking patterns and bizarre behavior.
Samson: Well, well, well, where have you two been?
Clam: Wouldn't you like to know.
- Philip J. Fry has his moments.
Hermes: Get ready for fun, Fry. Nowadays we have a type of game played entirely on video.
Leela: We call it a "video game".
Fry: [holding it together] ...A video game, you say? Well, golly gee. You mighty spacemen of the future will have to show me how it works.
[cut to Fry laughing maniacally as he outguns them all]
- Dr. Zoidberg too. His cheery reaction when Hermes, who cordially hates him, pairs up all their other coworkers for a mission, then realizes he's left himself with nobody else to team up with:
Zoidberg: Screwed again, my friend!
- Philip J. Fry has his moments.
- Harley Quinn (2019): Harleys a nutjob, but she gets a few snarky quips here and there. She saves the most of her snark for Batman and the Joker, implying that the former "fucks bats" and personally insulting the latter's manhood.
- Gir in Invader Zim can occasionally drop a snide remark in-between all the raving incoherently about food.
- Panchito in Legend of the Three Caballeros, who is now more cuckoo and ditzy, can be surprisingly sarcastic, mainly towards Donald.
- Looney Tunes: Daffy Duck is probably the single best known character of this type from the golden age. A lot of his mid-1940s shorts have him as a witty, somewhat snarky, Chick Magnet, mildly Cloudcuckoolander character. Some directors, like Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones, eventually decided to portray Daffy as a full-on Small Name, Big Ego in the 1950s, while Bob McKimson kept the mixed portrayal as defined by Frank Tashlin and Arthur Davis. (One could argue, however, that Daffy's transition from a full-on Cloudcuckoolander as seen in his 1930s shorts to this trope actually started in 1942, with director Norm McCabe's "Daffy's Southern Exposure", which depicts him as quite egotistical in regards to his decisions, but still very cuckoo when it comes to character interactions).
- The Mask: The Mask is genuinely insane, however he does have his moments when he's dealing with people who are idiots, jerks, or cowards, showing that he keeps himself in control a lot more than he appears to be. Such as trying to warn people that there's a monster about to eat them, but he gets annoyed when they choose to ignore him. Or when the police are acting like idiots and chasing him when he's trying to take care of the real danger, which he snarks at their stupidity and obsession with him.
- Cutter from Monsters at Work talks almost entirely in sarcasm, but is also deliriously devoted to her work ethic to a psychotic degree.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: It is rare, but Cloudcuckoolander supreme Pinkie Pie can snark if the situation calls for it.
- For example, in "Non-Compete Clause":
Twilight Sparkle: Who better [than Applejack and Rainbow Dash] to model the importance of working as a team?
Pinkie Pie: Um, Rarity, Fluttershy, me, Spike, this flower pot...
- Or in "A Trivial Pursuit":
Twilight Sparkle: ...we still could've had fun. I'm so sorry for not realizing it. I got so obsessed with one thing, I forgot what really mattered.
Pinkie Pie: [heavy with sarcasm] No! That doesn't sound like you at all!
- For example, in "Non-Compete Clause":
- Phineas and Ferb: Norm hits a little too close to home for Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
Doofenshmirtz: I think we made too much potato salad, Norm, I, I guess we'll have to give everyone a two-ton take-home container. And I still think you should have added more green onions.
Norm: Well, next time you can do all the cooking, and I'll stand around coming up with evil plans that ultimately fail!
Doofenshmirtz: ...Wow. Cuttin' deep, man.
- Total Drama:
- When resident Cloudcuckoolander Izzy finally finds herself as the Only Sane Woman.
Izzy: I'm surrounded by loons!
- Shawn the Zombie-Conspiracy Nut spends every other moment spouting nonsense about how a Zombie Apocalypse is impending, but he's prone to be the snarky Only Sane Man just as much.
Shawn: I can't hear you over your insanity!
- When resident Cloudcuckoolander Izzy finally finds herself as the Only Sane Woman.
- Oscar Wilde, renowned eccentric and a Gentleman Snarker known for his sharp witticisms.
- The famed physicist Richard Feynman was known for both his whimsical personality and his sense of humor and love for pranks.
- 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.