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Deadpan Snarker

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"Wow, sarcasm. That's original."


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.


Now, as for real life examples... Oh, yeah, right. Someone up there has got no sense of humour.

Example subpages:

Other Examples... or something.

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  • Morris the Catnote  from the 9 Lives cat food commercials does this on a regular basis.note 

    Fan Works 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • 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.

  • DC Nation:
    • Green Shield and Caleb Zukov take snark to the level of art form — usually at the other's expense.
    • Anything by Itsjustsomerandomguy, especially the Joker and the Green Goblin (when he isn't high).


Video Example(s):


Avengers Age of Ultron

Tony Stark being his normal self in a scene when Agent Hill tells him everything is ready to go.

Example of:

Main / DeadpanSnarker
Main / DeadpanSnarker