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Disabled Snarker

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Kenshi: A showdown? As in your films?
Johnny: Did you like them?
Kenshi: Blindness has its benefits.

The disabled snarker is a character with some sort of disability and strong sarcastic tendencies that are linked in some way to their disability. This can be portrayed in a variety of ways — maybe they use snark as a coping mechanism or way to vent, maybe their position as a social outsider has given them an irreverent view of the world, or maybe the author is deliberately trying to avoid the Inspirationally Disadvantaged stereotype.


Subtrope of Deadpan Snarker. Some teenage examples might overlap with Emo Teen. Compare Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery; also compare Cuckoosnarker if a snarky character has a mental disability that is being used to portray them as having their head in the clouds.

If the character is physically disabled, they may also be a Non-Action Snarker.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool never technically got over his terminal cancer (his Healing Factor just keeps it from killing him) and has a history of severe mental illness, and he's famous for his Motor Mouth snarky banter.
  • Though Babs has never been quite as liberal with the banter as Nightwing she's always had the kind of quality snarky remarks that force her allies to actually respond to her rather than brush them off which she only got better at after becoming paraplegic and turning herself into Oracle.

    Comic Strips 
  • Thea, in Dykes to Watch Out For (not as much a snarker as anal-retentive and unwilling to suffer fools gladly).

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: In "What if Marco was Deaf?", it's mentioned that Marco gives running sarcastic comments in sign language that only Jake can understand, at least until the others start learning ASL. Once he starts morphing, he never shuts up in thought-speech.
  • Brainbent turns Dave Strider into an Elective Mute albino. He keeps his deadpan-snarky means of expressing himself when he's willing to talk to people, but has seriously poor eyesight due to said albinism.
  • Brina in an Autistic girl who pretty much bad mouths everything Deadpan Snarker style when she is in a foul mood.
  • Bucky Barnes, post-Winter Soldier, in Ain't No Grave. He's dealing with a rather impressive collection of psychological and neurological problems from seventy years of Hydra messing with him, plus the missing arm, and he's also an unrepentant smartass.
  • It becomes clear early on in Bucky Barnes Gets His Groove Back & Other International Incidents that Barnes's primary coping mechanism for his severe PTSD and general "fucked-upness" (his words) entails snarking about what an inconvenience it all is.
    Barnes-thing can’t really pick out what’s causing the hallucinations, because it could be one of any five billion fucking things, or a combination, or maybe there is no cause and it could just be a great new feature of his fucked-up brain.
  • The Pokémon Squad: Red is quite sarcastic (especially in regards to Ash). He's also mute, so this snark has to be communicated through signs.
  • Glee Reprise has Drew, who is Deaf and also the king of signed snark.

    Films — Animation 
  • Garrett from Quest for Camelot as demonstrated here:
    Kayley: Oh, I didn't realize you were...
    Garrett: Tall? Handsome? Rugged?
    Kayley: Blind.
    Garrett: You know, I always forget that one.
  • Vanellope Von Schweetz in Wreck-It Ralph. Her glitching is treated like a disability in-universe, and she is definitely snarky.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Roland in Saved! gets some of the best lines, and has no trouble whatsoever invoking his disability to make a joke or to lighten the mood.
  • Lewis, the blind roommate played by Jeff Daniels in The Lookout, gets his share of snarking in. "Please tell me you're not waving your hand in front of my face."
  • Both Art and Richard from The Music Within (cerebral palsy and near deaf respectively) qualify. In one notable scene a bigoted waitress threatens to call the police when they refuse to leave for making other diners "uncomfortable". Art tosses a quarter on the table, Richard leans back in a relaxed pose and translates "He says: call 'em"
  • Mark O'Brien of The Sessions manages some real zingers, some dependent on his condition due to polio. When all you can move consciously is your mouth...
  • The Dark Knight Rises reimagines Bane as a former prisoner of the Pit who sustained horrific injuries there and relies on a constant supply of painkiller inhaled through his iconic mask, but this in no way impedes his ability to snark with the best of 'em.
    CIA Agent: If I pull that off, will you die?
    Bane: It would be extremely painful...
    CIA Agent: You're a big guy.
    Bane: ...for you.
  • Peter Dinklage's character in Living in Oblivion gets a memorably snarky monologue mocking the Little People Are Surreal trope. Likewise in Elf: "CALL ME ELF ONE MORE TIME!"
  • Star Wars:
    • Darth Vader is a Dark Lord on Life Support, and also fond of accompanying his trademark Psychic Strangle with a Bond One-Liner or other witty remark:
      Darth Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

      [Needa falls dead]
      Darth Vader: Apology accepted, Captain Needa.

      [Director Krennic is gasping for air]
      Darth Vader: Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director.
    • In Rogue One Chirrut Imwe gets a good jab in when his captors try to blindfold him by placing a bag over his head.
      Chirrut: Are you kidding me? I'm blind!
  • Freddy Freeman from Shazam, whose first conversation with Billy in the film hangs a lampshade on this.
    Freddy Freeman: You look at me and you're like "Why so dark, you're a disabled foster kid, you got it all!"
  • See No Evil, Hear No Evil has Wally (a blind black man) and Dave (a deaf white man), who share a lot of snark and banter as they try to clear their names after getting implicated in a murder case.
  • Maya in Jack the Reaper is deaf and mute, but still manages to snark effectively. When getting on the bus, she responds to Mr. Smith by Flipping the Bird, causing him to remark "That's one sign I understand". Later she makes her opinion of her cousin's infatuation with Jerk Jock Steven with nothing more than expressive facial expressions.

  • The amputee joke: You can't trust doctors — you give them a foot, they take a leg.

  • Aurora Cycle: Finian de Seel has limited mobility as a result of a childhood illness, and hides his insecurities via making half of what he says some kind of sarcastic remark.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Tyrion Lannister, due to his combination of dwarfism and a sharp tongue.
    • Later we have to add his brother to the list. He was a smartass a long time before he became disabled, but the snark gets a lot more bitter afterwards.
    • Lord Varys (a eunuch) counts too.
  • There's one of these in World War Z. Though you could say he deserves it considering he survived the zombie apocalypse in a wheelchair.
  • Handicapped Badass Caine after Heroes Die. "It's like having a pair of dead dogs strapped to my ass. Except that I can't eat them."
  • Glokta in The First Law. Being tortured for two years does give you a new perspective.
  • The Rat in The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Rides around on a wooden platform with wheels because his legs are deformed and useless, and leads a street gang with the power of snark.
  • In James Herbert's Others, private investigator Nick "Dis" Dismas, deformed with spinal curvature and an overlapping brow, can be fiercely dry.
  • Jayfeather of Warrior Cats: "Oh great. Let's lump all the useless cats together and hope a tree falls on them!"
  • Dean Priest from the Emily of New Moon series. Years of namecalling made him develop a sharp tongue.
  • Thorgil from The Sea of Trolls was always a snarker, but became a Disabled Snarker after she punched Satan in the face and her hand became paralyzed.
  • Louis, the protagonist of How To Train Your Parents and My Parents are Out of Control, is a self-proclaimed "Sit Down Comedian" because of his disabled legs.
  • Agnes from Run, though she doesn't start out this way. It's part of Bo's influence on her, making her more independent.
  • Iggy in Maximum Ride is blind and can be just as sarcastic as Max at times. His first line in the series was even a snarky reminder that he's blind.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dr. Gregory House, of House. His injured leg gives him horrible pain nearly constantly, and it's sort of Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery. However, flashbacks suggests he was snarky and a jerk even when he was completely healthy, but it made him more bitter.
  • Midshipman Archie Kennedy in the first and third Horatio Hornblower TV movies. He seems to have recovered from his seizure disorder by the fourth movie, but keeps up the snarky commentary tinged with slight self-depreciation. He is either deadpan or smirks and smiles. As a sample of his glorious snarks, here is his introducing Horatio to the ship and other midshipmen:
    Archie: His majesty's ship of the line Justinian, known elsewise among her intimates as the good ship Slough of Despond.
  • Maeby Funke pretends to be one of these in Arrested Development to try to prove that an "Inner Beauty Pageant" is only really looking for girls with pretty faces.
  • Walt Jr. AKA Flynn from Breaking Bad may suffer from cerebral palsy which slurs his speech and requires him to use crutches, but he can also be absolutely brutal when he lays into his father, mother, uncle, or practically anyone who he has ever felt let down by.
  • Never Have I Ever: Devi is a Deadpan Snarker who spent her freshman year in a wheelchair.
  • Elayne Boosler as Joy Buscaglia on Night Court is blind. At first people were forgiving of her assholery because of her disability, then found out she was like that before she became blind.
  • Supernatural:
    • Pamela Barnes, the Blind Seer sarcastic chick, though she was already sarcastic before she became blind.
  • Gaeta in Battlestar Galactica showed a growing level of snark through the series, but he became particularly more sarcastic after losing his leg.
  • In Lost, Ben is regularly a Deadpan Snarker and spends most of season 3 in a wheelchair. Of course, this being the island, the disabled part doesn't last long.
  • Jimmy Brooks in Degrassi: The Next Generation. Viewers get to see him develop this trait over time as a coping mechanism.
  • Jace Newfield of the DCOM Going to the Mat. He even gets called out on his constant wisecracking.
    Mary Beth: People don't care that you're blind. They're turned off because they think you're a total snob.
  • Mr. Wrench of Fargo, a deaf hitman who engages in some serious Snark-to-Snark Combat with his partner and interpreter.
  • Agent Carter is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where snark isn't exactly thin on the ground, but Agent Daniel Sousa (who lost a leg in World War II and uses a crutch) gets more than his share of snappy lines.
  • In Daredevil (2015), Matt Murdock is blind, but that doesn't stop him from making quips at the expense of his blindness.
  • Dr. Harrison Wells from The Flash (2014) is usually the smartest guy in the room and uses his deadpan wit to go with it. That said, the cynicism stems from the fact that he's bound to a wheelchair due to his own carelessness. Of course, that's what he wants people to think. In reality he's fine because he's actually the Reverse Flash from the future and has had everything (including the accident that caused his "paralysis") planned out.
  • The deaf pollster Joey Lucas provides this on occasion in The West Wing, often having the snark to take the piss out of the likes of Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn...all through her interpreter, Kenny.
  • Auggie Anderson, the blind tech operative on Covert Affairs is a walking ball of well-timed snark and biting sarcasm. He's also one of the sweetest and most beloved people at Langley; he's got friends all over the building who are all willing to help him out the second he calls on them for a favor.
  • Garret from Superstore who has been wheelchair-bound for years. If his race isn’t the source of a joke, it’s usually his disability, and he happily runs with it, especially if he knows talking about it will make people uncomfortable.
  • J.J. DiMeo from Speechless has cerebral palsy, and communicates by pointing at words and letters with a head-mounted laser pointer. He's still able to insult his teacher, make fun of his siblings, and tell his temporary interpreter that her voice sounds like a fairy-godmother.
  • Life Goes On's Corky, who had Down's Syndrome, would often have it out with his sister Becca like any abled siblings would:
    Becca: Why don't you look in the mirror, dogface?
    Corky: I would, but you cracked it!
  • Rosa from Orange Is the New Black. She is dying from late-stage ovarian cancer, while in Prison, and all her family is gone. So she copes by making snarky remarks. Including her Last Words.
  • Caïn, from the French series of the same name, almost never turns off the snark, especially when it comes to mocking his disability or people's reactions to it. However, flashbacks from before the motorcycle accident that landed him in a wheelchair shows that he was always like that.
  • Hodgins has moments of this during the first few episodes after his paralysis in season 11 of Bones. Occasionally it still pops up later but not in as biting a way. He scared Cam in one episode when he started to talk and she didn’t know he’d rolled up behind her. When she told him not to do that, he quipped “Cam, I’m in a wheelchair. I have no choice but to roll up on you like this.”
  • In the Dark: Murphy is a nutshell. She's blind and very, very sarcastic, implied to be a coping mechanism when faced with the issues in her life (not just about her disability, but also that).

  • Sergeant McGurk in Revolting People, who has less than half of his original body parts. He's written and played by Andy Hamilton and, like Satan from Old Harry's Game is therefore a particularly vicious and cynical snarker.

  • Dino Attack RPG has Greybeard, who, despite missing a hand and being blind in one eye, remains one of Dino Attack Team's snarkiest members.

  • Richard from Richard III, portrayed as a hunchback, might be the Ur-Example. (The discovery of the skeleton of the real Richard III in 2012 revealed that while he was not a hunchback as old stories had claimed, he did have a severe case of scoliosis.)

    Video Games 
  • Joker from Mass Effect. He's got osteogenesis imperfecta, which causes his bones to be extremely brittle. It doesn't stop him from being a pilot (courtesy of future medication)—or snarking with the best of them (courtesy of Seth Green).
    Joker: What was I supposed to do, break my arm at them?
  • Portal 2 has GLaDOS when she becomes temporarily trapped in a potato.
  • Kenshi from Mortal Kombat is blind due to an unfortunate incident involving Shang Tsung, a mystic well, and a family heirloom sword. He was actually quite polite and reserved in the original timeline, but as of the altered Netherrealm Studios timeline, he has become extremely sarcastic, especially with the release of Mortal Kombat X where custom pre-battle banter is a new feature.
    Kenshi: I know you're there.
    Kung Jin: Guess I won't be quiet then.
    Kenshi: Are you ever?
  • Prom Dreams has Dolores, the main antagonist, who is in a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy. They will regularly crack jokes and insults at the expense of Kyle when the player receives a Game Over.
    Dolores: ...But don't you worry, Kyle. Walking is overrated anyway - never did too much of it myself. You'll manage, somehow.

    Visual Novels 
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • A good part of Hisao's inner narration is sprinkled with sarcasm and irony, especially when he's dealing with Kenji.
    • The arms-less Rin Tezuka subverts this. She's introduced as a huge snarker in the common stages, but in her own route her sarcasm takes a backseat as her other sides are treated far more seriously.
    • The deafmute Student Council President Shizune falls here. Hisao wonders whether she had difficulty learning the concept of sarcasm without the ability to sense tone, but it's clear she eventually mastered it.
    • All the girls are varying levels of sarcastic, except maybe Hanako, whose extensive burn scars gave her crippling (heh) shyness; the only person who speaks less than she does is the above mentioned Shizune, and that's only because Shizune is deaf and mute!
  • Snake of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. Especially when people underestimate him for his blindness.
  • Riki, the protagonist of Little Busters! who has narcolepsy, is a downplayed example in the sense that he's mostly a First-Person Smartass. However, he will be more vocal with his snarkiness towards those he knows can take it like Masato and Kurugaya.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • This community at LiveJournal. They are called dot_gimp_snark and the description says the following: "Disabled people snark about life as a gimp. We're disabled, not dead. Cattiness is extremely important — if you just want to bitch without style, there are other places to do it. Whining is not snarking."

    Web Videos 
  • The Archivist of End Times becomes this by the second season: "And now I'm the fence lub with the computer who can't leave because she's on wheels!"
  • Dirigible Days: Josie Deveraux, the pilot of S.S.Beatrix, manages superb levels of acidic, belligerent snark while being mute. She mostly uses a small chalkboard.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Needing a cane to walk doesn't stop Viktor from throwing a few good one-liners here and there. Like during Jayce's interrogation after his apartment was blown up.
    Jayce: (noticing an Enforcer pick something up) Hey, hey! Be careful with that, please.
    Viktor: I believe someone should have said that earlier.
  • Toph Beifong of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • Since she's a Little Miss Badass with a Disability Superpower, being blind doesn't cause her that many problems, but she's always got a sharp crack on hand for when it does. She likes to roundaboutly call attention to the fact by commenting on appearances. She gets Sokka with that one a lot.
      Sokka: Toph, I was going through town and I saw this. [shows a Wanted poster of Toph]
      Toph: Well, it sounds like a sheet of paper, but I guess you're referring to what's on the sheet of paper.
    • Not helped by the fact that the Gaang often forget Toph is blind.
      Katara: [holding up the same Wanted poster of Toph] Well then, what's this?!
      Toph: I don't know! I mean, seriously, what is wrong with you people?! I'M BLIND!
    • The best instance is when they're flying through the desert trying to find a tower.
      Toph: THERE IT IS!
      [the Crew turn to look only to realize she is pointing at absolutely nothin]
      Toph: ...That's what it'll sound like when one of you spots it.
      [She waves her hand in front of her unfocused eyes to remind everyone that she's blind]
    • Sokka has made another of his awful drawings.
      Toph: [regarding a drawing] It looks just like [Appa] to me.
      Sokka: Thank you. I worked really... [Beat]... Why do you feel the need to do that?
  • Futurama: Leela's blind nemesis from the orphanarium, Kirk. What a jerk! He makes fun of Leela for being one-eyed while he cannot see at all. Seriously, he deserves to have his ass kicked.
  • Alistair Smythe in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. After the initial Spider-Slayer arc, he spends most of his time in Crime Central bantering with the Kingpin.
  • The wheelchair-bound protagonist of Pelswick is snarky about everyone and everything, including himself. He uses it as both a way of making light of situations and as a way of deflecting attacks from bullies. A Phony Psychic once tried to prove his abilities by asking Pelswick if he had ever been in a major accident. "No, this thing is just an elaborate belt buckle."
  • Discussed by Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson Mysteries in "The End", when Mike is running outside in the dark and he can't see and starts to panic, he worries if he goes blind:
    Mike: Oh, no. What if I went blind? I can't face life if I'm blind! Oh, yeah! I'll rely on my other senses! I'll rely on my sense of humor! I'll say shit like, "So what if I'm blind? At least I don't have to look at your ugly face!" (laughs)
  • The Dragon Prince gives us General Amaya, who conveys her snark mostly through facial expressions, being deaf and rather blunt in her signing, but it is definitely there.

    Real Life 
  • Stephen Hawking, in Real Life. In one of his books, he remarks that before Cambridge offered him the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics (some prestigious professorship), said chair wasn't motorized. He also jokes about his very first motorized wheelchair, built for him by engineers at Caltech when he had a residency there. Apparently they built on so many useful features that they didn't stop to consider fundamental things like the centre of gravity — so that the whole thing went forward for about two feet then tipped over backwards and threw Hawking out. note 
  • Alexander Pope, the eighteenth century poet. He was ill for much of his life due to a form of tuberculosis, and wrote several famous satires of the follies of his contemporaries.
  • John Callahan, the quadriplegic cartoonist known for offending just about everybody.
  • British Paralympic cyclist Jon-Allen Butterworth apparently finds it amusing when people ask "Do you need a hand?"
  • The American humorist David Sedaris suffered from OCD and Tourette's Syndrome as a boy. Similarly, Mara Wilson has suffered from OCD, panic attacks, anxiety, and depression, which she has written articles about and posted videos online over.
  • A lot of disabled/handicapped people are this way in real life as a response to how non-disabled people treat them (intentionally or not), either as coping mechanism towards genuinely discriminating/dehumanizing/degrading/etc. behavior or as a reaction to non-disabled people reducing them solely to their disabilities. This can sometimes lead to Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery, but everyone has bad days.
    • Despite having an odd sense of humor or not understanding some types of humor well being considered a hallmark of Autism (to the point where 'lack of humor' is often a feature of Hollywood Autism), some autistic folks can be really good at snarking, either on purpose or simply by coming off as having a flat affect. There's also at least one autistic comedian (Hannah Gadsby) who jokes about her struggles and experience with being on the spectrum. In short, never fall for the psychiatric assumption that autistics have no sense of humor.
  • In a Super Bowl advert for Duracell, Seattle Seahawks player Derrick Coleman says the following of those who told him his dream of playing in the NFL were over when he wasn't drafted: "I've been deaf since I was three, so I didn't listen."
  • Both Beethoven and Handel. Towards the end of their lives, Beethoven went deaf and Handel blind, but if anyone tried to mess with them or their music, you could bet they would know the perfect response.
  • Australian journalist and stand-up comic Stella Young, who had osteogenesis imperfecta and needed a wheelchair, was well-known for her foul-mouthed zingers.