A character prone to gnomic, sarcastic, sometimes bitter, occasionally whimsical asides. They can vary wildly from rare, funny one-liners to complete obnoxiousness.
The Deadpan Snarker note 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 his insecurity about expressing any genuine thought or feeling, and his fear of withdrawing from the cynical position and protection. This may turn him 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, The Mean Brit, First-Person Smartass, Servile Snarker, Gentleman Snarker, Silent Snarker, Disabled Snarker. See also Snark Bait, Non-Action Snarker, Snarky Nonhuman Sidekick, Cats Are Snarkers, Tall, Dark, and Snarky, Surrounded by Idiots, 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. 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.
- 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 its free. Occasionally.
- Yes, pinball did get its own section, of course it did.
- A radio, your number one source for white noise. Unless you have a TV.
- Y'know, "Religion and Mythology" isn't exactly the first thing that pops into mind when I think "snark", but yeah, sure, I guess.
- 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.
- Morris the Catnote from the 9 Lives cat food commercials does this on a regular basis.note