A character prone to gnomic, sarcastic, sometimes bitter, occasionally whimsical asides.
The Deadpan Snarker exists to deflate pomposity, point out the unlikelihood of certain plans, and deliver funny lines. Typically the most cynical supporting character. In most cases, it is implied that the snarker would make a good leader, strategist, or consultant given their ability to instantly see the flaws in a constructed plan. More often than not, their innate snarkiness is the only thing preventing the other characters from comprehending this for themselves. In other cases, the Deadpan Snarker resorts to sarcasm because they're the Only Sane Man. Tends to be shot a Death Glare when they go too far (and probably isn't without one of their own, either). Note that due to the definition evolving, the "Deadpan" part of the title has gradually become The Artifact and a deadpan delivery is no longer a necessary part of the trope.
Sometimes the Deadpan Snarker is shown to be incapable of avoiding sarcasm, due to their insecurity about expressing any genuine thought or feeling, and their fear of withdrawing from the cynical position and protection. This may turn them into a Stepford Snarker.
While the Snarker has existed (in both fiction and Real Life) since time immemorial, its most contemporary incarnation emerged in the early 1930s with the new popularity of sound cinema and the rise of "zinger" comedy. In fact, it was in 1933 that the word "wisecrack" (the Snarker's most trusted sidearm) entered English-language dictionaries. (And, in a stroke of genius, the word "wisecrack" is itself a wisecrack, carrying the sarcastic connotation of "Oh, yeah, you're a real Socrates, smart guy.")
A sub-trope of this is Grade System Snark. Compare The Snark Knight, Little Miss Snarker, Cuckoosnarker, Weasel Mascot, First-Person Smartass, Servile Snarker, Gentleman Snarker, Silent Snarker, Disabled Snarker, Mentor in Sour Armor. See also Non-Action Snarker, Snarky Nonhuman Sidekick, Cats Are Snarkers, Tall, Dark, and Snarky, Surrounded by Idiots, Silicon Snarker, and Sarcastic Devotee. Sometimes overlaps with Genre Savvy and No Sense of Humor. A common role for a Straight Man. May wear Jade-Colored Glasses. Expect them to resort frequently to Brutal Honesty. If there are too many of these, you might be in a World of Snark. Overdoing it on one character may result in a Jerkass; even when done in sufficient moderation, however, the character still tends to rely on a certain amount of Jerkass Dissonance (since, well, the audience would probably be less amused by the Deadpan Snarker's biting wit if they were the ones on the receiving end of it). Expect plenty of Snark-to-Snark Combat if and when two of these meet. May result in Offing the Mouth. Try not to confuse the dialogue with Buffy Speak. It's common among narrators, making them into a Lemony Narrator.
Boy, I hope you don't mind actually reading a full sentence to know which example subpages you're in for.
- Cartoons and comics from Japan. People actually enjoy these, apparently.
- Comics. On paper. Not exactly rocket science.
- Mostly shipping and terrible writing. Oh, joy.
- Really long cartoons, objectively a waste of your time.
- Ah, movies. Money well spent, you had hoped.
- Books: Somehow more useless than movies.
- Television shows, like movies that take way too much of your time with half the budget. Except it's free. Occasionally.
- Y'know, "Myths & Religion" isn't exactly the first thing that pops into mind when I think "snark", but yeah, sure, I guess.
- After a lot of bad news with slanted coverage, plus your favorite sports teams doing abysmally, I guess any art even REMOTELY humorous will crack you up.
- A radio, your number one source for white noise. Unless you have a TV.
- Roleplay, because obviously there's no better way to use your time than make-believing that you're someone else.
- Imagine movies with more effort and less money. Something something art something something.
- Speaking of art, or more specifically, things that aren't art: Video games. Ha.
- You know a cartoon is really good when it doesn't get airtime.
- Comic books, minus the book part. Why, I never.
- Internet content, a handy demonstration of what rock bottom looks like.
- And hey, short cartoons are also a waste of your goddamn time. Fancy that.
Other Examples... or something.
- Geralt in one of the trailers for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is playing Gwent with Ciri as soldiers bust into the locale and approach her from behind. He's still talking about their game.
Geralt: Let me guess. She's got a dragon.
- Morris the Catnote from the 9 Lives cat food commercials does this on a regular basis.note
- There's a Liberty Mutual ad on YouTube with a comedienne and her self-aware puppet singing the jingle, the latter being this trope.
Comedienne: That was great!
Puppet: Well, at least one of us was...
- Cake are noted for ironic and sarcastic lyrics, and singer John McCrea has a Perishing Alt-Rock Voice that more often than not borders on being emotionless.
- Jimmy Pop from Bloodhound Gang, who delivers snarky lyrics as monotone as he can.
- Patty Donahue, the lead singer of The Waitresses, wasn't a trained vocalist, but in her case, that meant she had an Everygirl persona. She exploits it with a flat, tough-girl delivery on the famous "I Know What Boys Like," which combines this trope with The Tease.
- While "Weird Al" Yankovic is not always deadpan, he usually tones down when the joke requires it ("A huge tyrannosaurus ate our lawyer\Well, I suppose that proves, they're really not all bad").
- Morticia from The Addams Family, whenever the player misses the skill shot:
"Don't torture yourself.""That's my job."
- Kaminski the cameraman from America's Most Haunted
"Following instructions written in blood leading to a morgue what could go wrong?"
- Rudy the Living Dummy from FunHouse (1990), as part of his overall Jerkass personality.
- Anyone in Medieval Madness who isn't a Large Ham will make up for it with snark to spare.
- Buzz from No Good Gofers is noticably snarkier and more Jerkass than his friend Bud.
- The Shrunken Head from Ripley's Believe It or Not!.
- Spider-Man (Stern) has J.K. Simmons reprise his role as J. Jonah Jameson to give player snark-filled instructions and comments.
Jameson: What're you waiting for, Chinese New Year? Go, go, go!
- Riley from Less is Morgue is insanely snarky and about as deadpan as it gets, speaking largely in complete monotone, unless they're feeling particularly angry or sarcastic. It's largely a defense mechanism, but they'd die before they'd admit it.
- Most of Starlee's clients on Mystery Show. Starlee also gets in on it occasionally.
- Crossbones. As one example, he crossed this with a blatant parody of So Beautiful, It's a Curse at CHIKARA Young Lions Cup III Night II, July 23, 2005. After his opponent Shiima Xion had introduced himself as the first Filipino model wrestler, Crossbones claimed to be the first male model from Parts Unknown. He added that he had to wear a mask because all the ladies would run to him if he wrestled without it.
- This post from Holidead's Instagram reads: