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Sarcasm-Blind
aka: Does Not Understand Sarcasm

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Agent Wolf is also Facepalm-Blind.

Leonard: For God's sake, Sheldon, do I have to hold up a sarcasm sign every time I open my mouth?
Sheldon: You have a sarcasm sign?
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A common trait among characters who have No Social Skills due to an offbeat background, also The Spock, and those who are just that Comically Serious, or are just too young. These characters do not understand sarcasm. A lot of times, that can be (especially) annoying to the sarcastic ones in question.

Although characters like this are also often Literal-Minded, some aren't. Understanding sarcasm is a complicated process even when it happens automatically, because while "That's great," sometimes does mean that something is great, other times it doesn't. Everything depends on tone, gestures, and context. Thus, a character might understand the concept of sarcasm, and even use it, but fail to notice when others are using it.

Likely to cause an Insult Backfire. And do not do a Sarcastic Confession on them, as they'll take it at face value with all the attendant consequences.

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A Washington Post contest once dubbed this 'gap' between a sarcastic speaker and the person who misses it the "Sarchasm."

For the intermittent effect, see Sarcasm Failure.

Sarcasm Mode is an effort to explicitly mark sarcasm as such to prevent these types of miscommunications.

Compare Poe's Law, Crying Wolf, Do Not Do This Cool Thing, Schmuck Bait, No Sense of Humor, Cannot Convey Sarcasm, Blunt Metaphors Trauma, Super Gullible. Often seen in Captain Obvious. It's also a trait found in persons with Asperger Syndrome. It can lead to an I Was Just Joking situation, and is a common cause of Comically Missing the Point.


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    Advertising 
  • Commercials for Hotels.com feature a man in a captain's uniform who enters an unpleasant situation and makes a comment that blatantly states what's going on. One of the people comments "Thanks, Captain Obvious." At least once, he's replied "There is no need to thank me as I have not helped you in any way."

    Anime & Manga 
  • Osaka from Azumanga Daioh, especially with the following exchange:
    Osaka: [eyes start wandering around]
    Kaorin: Hey, Osaka, what are you doing?
    Osaka: Well, you know those little tiny spots you sometimes catch in your eyes? Well, I'm trackin' them down.
    Kaorin: I see... well, good luck with that.
    Osaka: Mmm, thank you.
  • Bleach: When Yoruichi sarcastically responds to Yuushirou's latest blubbering by observing how much stronger he's become, he's thrilled she's noticed it. She kicks herself at that, having forgotten that Yuushirou's so naïve he's incapable of recognizing sarcasm.
  • Sōsuke in Full Metal Panic!, to no-one's surprise. Very late in the series, Sōsuke acquires enough of a sense of sarcasm to actually (attempt to) employ it, suggesting that he and Tessa should forget the whole deal with Amalgam and saving Kaname, sell off the Tuatha de Danann, and head off to Guam to party. Tessa does not find Sōsuke's very first joke at all amusing — or even realize he's telling one until the part about Guam.
  • Denmark of Hetalia: Axis Powers never seems to realize when Norway insults or mocks him, which annoys Norway. Though as he seems to intentionally ignore aggressive words and actions, he might just be doing it on purpose.

    Comedy 
  • Dave Barry writes about "humor-impaired" people who have this problem. He tries to remedy this issue by sprinkling the column with cues as to what's funny and what isn't, as humor-impaired people don't understand what is and isn't supposed to be a joke. He finishes the explanation with "Trust me, these people exist. They write to me all of the time."
    • His proposed method, which he claimed was pioneered by Richard Nixon, was electrified undershorts, remote-operated by Secret Service agents whenever a joke was made so the President would know when to laugh.
      "Sometimes, if the guests were unusually witty, the chief executive wound up twitching like a freshly-caught mackerel as dangerous voltage levels were reached in his boxers."
    • He then notes that if your reactions were laughter or outrage, you do not have Humor Impairment Syndrome, since you got that was supposed to be funny, the HIS people would be writing in to say they'd use hand signals or asking where they could buy those shorts.
  • In one of Emo Philips 's routines about playing at/intentionally ruining a construction site as a boy, he tells of getting caught in wet cement and being stuck for days. One of those days, his friend Jimmy Petersen walks by and asks if Emo got himself stuck in the cement, to which Emo responds: "No; last night I didn't finish my broccoli so my mom cut my head off and threw it here." Jimmy runs away screaming, and the next morning, still stuck, Emo reflects on there being a time and a place for sarcasm. This trope in other people was also listed in an interview with Emo in Time Out as one of the worst things about being a comedian.
  • Nick Swardson talks about this after one joke. His cat had diarrhea, and when the doctor asked what he was feeding the cat, he said "diarrhea". He said that an audience member actually stood up and was offended by that, and his rebuttal was that there's no way that that joke could be true.

    Comic Books 
  • In Battle Hymn, the King of the Sea doesn't understand ideas like figurative speech or metaphor; from what he says, they don't seem to have these underwater.
  • In Dylan Dog, Scotland Yard's agent Jenkins. Can't get humor, either.
  • Cat Curio and Vlad in Hack/Slash both have a really hard time with any kind of sarcasm or figurative speech. Cat has Asperger Syndrome, and Vlad had an extremely sheltered upbringing wherein speaking to someone besides his not-fluent-in-English foster father was a ridiculous notion.
  • Futurama: One B-Plot involved Hermes, Amy and Zoidberg being forced into the sub-sewers, where they find an idyllic society of handsome and beautiful humans. They keep offering the group things such as new clothes and prestigious positions within their society, and only at the end, when they believe they are about to be made rulers, do they discover why these people live underneath the sewer mutants; they are supremely arrogant and haughty, to the point they now can only communicate in biting sarcasm, meaning they were actually being mocked since the second they arrived.
  • Scootaloo and Spike in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW).
  • In Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, when Gideon sarcastically says that Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers clearly have no problems with their relationship, a random guy points out that they were having a fight.
    Gideon: You two are adorable. I can see that your relationship is really working.
    Random Guy #1: Really? Cause, I mean, it seems like they're fighting.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • The Ultimates: Captain America knows that sarcasm is a concept that he can't quite understand. When Stark said that he was dying by a brain tumor, he asked if that was some form of sarcasm.
    • All-New Ultimates: When Miles Morales mentioned Diamondback's tattoo, she said that it was a marker drawing. He was amazed. Then she clarified that no, it isn't. "Er... I knew that".
    • Ultimate Spider-Man:
      Spider-Man: Don't mind me, I'm just here for the chicken wings.
      Moon Knight: (confused) There... There are no chicken wings.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dagwood of Blondie. Apparently even sarcasm can't penetrate "that thick skull of his". Made even funnier by the fact that his boss took some time to find this out.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin can be a very sarcastic child, but it often takes him a while to recognize sarcasm from Hobbes. Sometimes a very long while.
  • Dilbert has the Pointy-Haired Boss. He's managed to recognize it maybe five times in 20 years. "This could be that 'sarcasm' thing I keep hearing about." Played with in a strip where Dilbert described his accomplishments, rattling off every management buzzword and ending with "I give you — Dilbert — the perfect employee."
    Boss: Was that sarcasm?
    Dilbert: To be honest, I don't even know.
  • Peanuts:
    • Peppermint Patty is spending a rainy night in Snoopy's dog house, which she thinks is a "guest cottage":
      Charlie Brown: Hey Patty, wake up, your dad is on the phone. He's back and he said you can come home now.
      Peppermint Patty: Tell him I'm so comfortable here I don't want to leave.
      Charlie Brown: Okay, I'll tell him.
      Peppermint Patty: That was sarcasm, Chuck!
    • One winter, the kids have to join "snow leagues" in order to build snowmen under adult supervision:
      Charlie Brown: Do you mean to say I can't build a snowman in my own backyard?
      Lucy: Why would you want to, Charlie Brown? Don't be so stupid. In adult organized snow leagues, we have teams and standings and awards and special fields... We even have a newsletter.
      Charlie Brown: Somehow, I expected you would.
      Lucy: There's no need to be sarcastic, Charlie Brown.
  • In Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Lord Splendid Humility feels bad when Dakota describes something he did as "lit." Phoebe assures him that Dakota was making fun of him. He gratefully dubs Phoebe "Oracle of Snark."
    • Marigold thinks she can detect Phoebe's sarcasm but fails with an example that is explicitly presented as an example: "You DON'T talk about yourself way too much." (Then again, she might be pretending not to know so she has an excuse to talk about herself even more.)

    Films — Animation 
  • Lampy in The Brave Little Toaster. He has his moments, though.
    Lampy: I think he was laughing at us.
    AC: You know something, you're a real bright little lamp.
    Lampy: Oh thanks! (Beat) Heeeeeyy....
  • Mr. Tweedy in Chicken Run.
    Mr. Tweedy: Oooh, that's champion, that is... what is it?
    Mrs. Tweedy: It's a pie machine, you idiot. Chickens go in, pies come out.
    Mr. Tweedy: Ooooh, what kind of pies?
    Mrs. Tweedy: Apple.
    Mr. Tweedy: [excitedly] My favorite!
    Mrs. Tweedy: Chicken pies, you great lummox!
  • From Home on the Range:
    Maggie: I got it! Why don't we go nab that Alameda Slim and use the reward money to save the farm?
    Mrs. Calloway: Oh, that is a sensible idea.
    Maggie: I knew you'd love it!
    Mrs. Calloway: Don't they have sarcasm where you come from?
    • Ironically, Maggie can completely understand Calloway's sarcasm in almost every other scene.
  • From Hoodwinked!.
    Nicky Flippers: [regarding Red Puckett's handcuffs] What's with the handcuffs on a little girl? Her wrists could slip right out. How 'bout a cage?
    Bill Stork: [eagerly; on radio] Bring in the cage!
    Nicky Flippers: I was being sarcastic.
    Bill Stork: [crestfallen; on radio] Sarcasm. Strike the cage.
  • Fear has a brief moment of this in Inside Out:
    Disgust: So...how are we gonna get to Minnesota from here?
    Anger: Well, why don't we go down to the elephant lot and rent an elephant?
    Fear: Hey, that sounds nice.
    Anger: WE'RE TAKING THE BUS, NITWIT!
  • In Leroy & Stitch, Gantu's inability to comprehend a rhetorical question frustrates Hästerviel, who fires him soon afterwards:
    Hämsterviel: Ah, I think that went very well, don't you?
    Gantu: Actually, sir, I think—
    Hämsterviel: I didn't ask what you think!
    Gantu: Actually, you did. I—
    Hämsterviel: It was a rhetorical question! Don't you know what a rhetorical question is?
    Gantu: Yes, sir. I believe it's—
    Hämsterviel: No, no! That was a rhetorical question too! (facepalms) Argh!
    • Later on, after his Heel–Face Turn, Gantu outwits Hästerviel regarding the definition of "aloha":
    Gantu: You never did understand the meaning of "aloha", did you?
    Hämsterviel: Well, I think it means—
    Gantu: Uh, that was a rhetorical question. [Hämsterviel groans in frustration after being outwitted by Gantu]
  • Pumbaa from The Lion King trilogy:
    Timon: Well, that worked like a dream.
    Pumbaa: It did?
    Timon: Sarcasm is a foreign language to you, isn't it?
  • From Rise of the Guardians, Santa.
    Santa: I hope the Yetis treated you well.
    Jack Frost: Yeah. I love being shoved in a bag and tossed through a magical portal.
    Santa: Oh, good! That was my idea!
  • Being perpetually cheerful creatures, the Trolls generally don't use or understand sarcasm. Except for Branch, of course. When Poppy has a sarcastic moment, it's seriously shocking to everyone else.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played for Drama with Angels in the Outfield. Roger questions when he can be a family again with his dad, which he sarcastically proclaims "I'd say when the Angels win the pennant.". Roger takes it literally and makes a wish to help the California Angels win the pennant. He gets that help in the form of a team of angels. While Roger isn't reunited with his dad, he and his best friend are instead adopted by the Angels' coach, whom they befriended over the course of the movie.
  • The sheriff in Bringing Up Baby is oblivious to the hero's sarcasm during interrogation.
    Sheriff: Who was with you last month in that mail-truck job?
    David: Mickey the Mouse and Donald the Duck.
    Sheriff: Doc, make a note of their names. Now we're getting someplace.
  • Calamity Jane: Calamity does this once or twice, due to ignorance.
    Calamity: Why don't you send for her?
    Henry: Sure. Why don't I send for the Queen of Sheba?
    Bill: Yeah.
    Calamity: ...No good. They want Adelaide!
  • Demolition Man:
    • In the distant future of 2032, sarcasm apparently is a lost art. Spartan was trying to figure out a way to stop Simon Phoenix.
      Police Chief: We have figured out a plan. We are going to wait for another MurderDeathKill and then we will pounce on him.
      Spartan: Good plan.
      Police Chief: Thank you.
    • Phoenix is even good enough to point this out, in an exchange with cops sent to apprehend him:
      Phoenix: Look at you, in your nice shiny uniforms... oooh, I'm SO scared... what, you people don't have sarcasm anymore?
      Squad leader: Maniac has responded with a scornful remark.
  • Happens during at least one conversation in Far and Away, when Shannon suggests Joseph be her servant boy while they travel to America and he angrily (as well as sarcastically) rejects the idea.
    Joseph: Oh, I see... I see. I could- I could polish your boots for ya.
    Shannon: They will need a polish now and then.
  • Happens in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when the Guardians are on the run from the Sovereign.
    Rocket: Come on! You saw how that High Priestess talked down to us. Now I'm teaching her a lesson!
    Peter: Well, I didn’t realize your motivation was altruism! It’s really a shame the Sovereign’s mistaking your intentions and they’re trying to kill us.
    Rocket: Exactly!
    Peter: I was being sarcastic!
    Rocket: Oh, no! You’re supposed to use a sarcastic voice! Now I look foolish!
  • In The Magnificent Seven Vin and Chris sarcastically suggest that Chico go and ask Big Bad Calvera his plans for the night. Chico does exactly that, infiltrating Calvera's camp and even speaking directly with Calvera under the cover of the particularly dim fire in the camp. Without being discovered as a spy, Chico slips away from Calvera's camp, returns to the village, and tells everyone the awful truth that Calvera's men are starving and have nowhere else to turn for food.
  • A sketch in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life has an Army drill sergeant barking at his men that they're going to spend the day "marching up and down the square... that is, unless any of you got anything better to do." When the soldiers begin mentioning such things (being at home with the wife and kids, reading a book, practicing the piano), the nonplussed sergeant dismisses them.
  • In Molly's Game, when Molly is at the outdoor ice rink with her father:
    Larry: It's not a big deal, but from what I saw out there, I think you're having a small breakdown.
    Molly: That's weird. I can't think of why.
    Larry: I would think it was because of the arrest, and not knowing what's going to happen.
    Molly: Old man, do you really not understand sarcasm?
    Larry: (chuckles) Do you?
  • Roxanne: When Roxanne, the beautiful new astronomer in town, goes to C.D. for help because she locked herself out completely naked, he asks if she'd like a coat for the trip back to her house. She sarcastically remarks, "No, I'd really like to stand naked in this bush in the freezing cold." Once he gets his tools, he heads out without giving her a coat, leaving her to leap from bush to bush all the way back. When she asks him why he didn't bring a coat, he maintains that she said she didn't want one. She protests, "I was being ironic!" He claims that this town hadn't used any irony since C.D. himself gave it up in '83. It's implied that C.D. is actually just messing with her and perhaps hoped to catch a glimpse of something.
  • Rags: Sarcasm seems to be lost on Lloyd, such as this line:
    Andrew: (mockingly, to Charlie) "Have a nice pity party."
    Lloyd: (Excitedly) "You're having a party? We're-"
    Andrew: "I was making fun of him, idiot."
  • Wade Whipple in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). In Tom's first scene, he sarcastically responds to Wade's request for confirmation of his location by saying he's on a yacht in Barbados with Rihanna. When Tom amends this after Wade asks for pics, by saying he's parked by the speed trap, Wade expresses surprise that he was able to get back so quickly since Barbados is in the ocean.
  • Pavel Chekov in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, after he's arrested on the USS Enterprisenote , and interrogated, under suspicion he's a Soviet Spy. Combines it with Sustained Misunderstanding.
    FBI Agent: Alright. Let's take it from the top.
    Chekov: The top of what?
    FBI Agent: Name?
    Chekov: My name?
    FBI Agent: No, MY name!
    Chekov: I do not know your name!
    FBI Agent: You play games with me, mister, you're through!
    Chekov: I am? May I go now?
  • C3PO from Star Wars is programmed with over 6 million forms of communication, but doesn't quite understand Han Solo's sarcasm, as shown in The Empire Strikes Back:
    C-3PO: It would appear that this asteroid is not entirely stable.
    Han: "Not entirely stable"? I'm glad you're here to tell us these things! Chewie, take the professor in the back and plug him into the hyperdrive!
    C-3PO: Sometimes I just don't understand human behaviors. After all, I'm only doing my job!
  • A couple of exchanges in the western spoof Support Your Local Sheriff:
    Pa Danby: I don't want anyone makin' a martyr of this sheriff!
    Danby Jr.: What's a martyr?
    Pa Danby: Oh, that's right! They never used words like that in the third grade!
    Danby Jr.: How should I know? I never got that far.
    • On the issue of the town not having a judge:
      Joe: Didn't need one until you came along and ruint everything!
      Sheriff: Spoiled all your fun, huh, Joe?
      Joe: You can say that again!

    Music 
  • In "Weird Al" Yankovic's 11-minute epic "Albuquerque", he mentions an incident where he saw a co-worker struggling with a sofa and asked if he wanted help. The co-worker responded "No, I want you to cut off my arms and legs with a chainsaw." So Al did, and then wondered why the co-worker started complaining, especially when he's got a really cool nickname now: Torso Boy!

    Podcasts 

    Radio 
  • Cabin Pressure: Arthur has moments of this.
    Arthur: Mr. Birling says I'll never find another girlfriend.
    Carolyn: Oh. Well, Mr Birling, the seventy-something retiree from Sussex, is of course one of the country's foremost relationship experts.
    Arthur: Oh no, is he? I didn't even know that!

    Theater 
  • In 1776, Rutledge sarcastically refers to the "eternal peace and harmony" of the Delaware delegation — two pro-independence members against anti-independence George Read. McKean doesn't get it.
    McKean: What're y'sayin', man? Y'know perfectly well neither Rodney nor I can stand the sight of this little wart!

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Maya Fey seems completely oblivious to Phoenix's sarcastic tone, taking his snarky comments seriously. Lampshaded in Case 1-4, when Maya is trying to think of a good replacement for standing under a cold waterfall (the best way for her to train her spiritual powers). When she takes his suggestion to call the fire department and have them hose her down seriously, he notes that "Apparently Fey blood is no aid in detecting sarcasm".
    • Dual Destinies has Yuri Cosmos, who's so full of himself that insults fly right over his head. During the trial, the prosecutor gets tired of his ramblings about his "great life" and asks him to go tell it to a dog on the street. Cosmos' response? "Of course! The animal world needs to know of my greatness!"
  • Mitsunari Ishida from Ikemen Sengoku is sweetly oblivious to any and all forms of snark, especially when it comes from his idol Ieyasu who doesn't want to spend nearly as much time with him as he thinks.
    Mitsunari: Lord Ieyasu and I often share recommendations as fellow book lovers.
    Ieyasu: Don't put me and you and love in the same sentence. I'd rather share a hobby with the book moths.
    Mitsunari: I find them vexing myself. You have an endless capacity for kindness to befriend them, Lord Ieyasu!
  • Tact Mayers, the protagonist of the Galaxy Angel trilogy, often mistakes a Stealth Insult to his Brilliant, but Lazy attitude or general sarcasm as praise. Usually Lester has to set him straight, or more rarely Luft and/or Forte. It doubles up on the Galaxy Angel II trilogy where he's a lot more frivolous at this, since he and Lester are now commanding different ships.
  • Rin Tezuka from Katawa Shoujo actually asks what sarcasm is when the topic is brought up. Hisao doesn't know what to say to this, because, knowing Rin, she's dead serious.

    Web Animation 
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
    • Most of the Ultramarines have this problem, it'd seem. Calgar unleashes a huge, irritated rant sarcastically praising them for succeeding on a completely suicidal mission through sheer Canon Sue powers, and the one marine listening in takes it at face value.
    • Inquisitor Karamazov is even worse, and the Emperor gets to milk it for every last drop, unleashing the single most sarcastic praising speech the Imperium has ever seen on him. No matter how insulting he gets Karamazov eats it up.
    • Rogal Dorn seems to be willfully blind to it. He knows it exists, but refuses to ever be sarcastic about anything, and thinks everyone else should (and IS) doing the same. This makes him almost entirely impervious to the Emperor's biting snark, much to the latter's irritation.
  • Caboose from Red vs. Blue. Of course, he doesn't understand reality sometimes, either.
  • RWBY:
    • Ruby Rose, who is very socially awkward and often doesn't realize when Weiss Schnee is making sarcastic remarks.
      Yang: Look, uh, sounds like you two just got off on the wrong foot, so just try to be friends, okay?
      Ruby: Yeah! Great idea, sis! Ahem. Hello, Weiss! I'm Ruby! Wanna hang out? We can go shopping for school supplies.
      Weiss: Yeah! And we can try on clothes! And paint our nails! And talk about cute boys like "tall blonde and scraggly" over there!
      Ruby: Wow! Really?
      Weiss: ...No.
    • Jaune Arc, the above mentioned "tall blonde and scraggly", as well. He actually overhears Weiss' cruel comment about him and thinks she was being serious, leading him to hit on her a lot.
  • Too good to leave off: Shortly after the developer went out of business, Yahtzee did an episode of Zero Punctuation where he "reviewed" Duke Nukem Forever, touting it as the greatest game ever, bar none; he briefly descends into a horrible fantasy where the game was never released because the developer spent twelve years jerking off and rightly got sued into oblivion, but he's so glad we don't live in a world like that! The next week, after his normal review, he posts a "Letter of the Week" which he received from a fan who was so excited that the game had finally come out, he'd been waiting for years, and asks Yahtzee where he got his copy because he can't seem to find it anywhere. (This was, of course, years before DNF's actual release.) And this was despite the video having a note at the end stating the entire review was sarcastic!

    Webcomics 
  • A running gag in 8-Bit Theater is that Red Mage never understands Black Mage's sarcasm. Also, applies to Fighter in spades.
  • Death To The Extremist: One displays sarcasm blindness in a comic.
  • Zalanna of Ears for Elves is shown to be this in an exchange.
    Zalanna: Did you get my joke? It is because your mother would never kill you, but I exaggerated the extent of her fury. It was really quite quick on the draw. It was really cleaver [sic] of me!
    Tanna: Yes, Zalanna. You are quite the jester.
    Zalanna: I am? It is a talent I never knew I possessed! How positively exhilarating!
  • As seen in the picture above, Agent Wolf of El Goonish Shive.
  • This seems to be a common problem for robots in Freefall.
  • Homestuck:
    • John, at least sometimes, due to being a bit of an Idiot Hero:
      EB: hey, can you hold on?
      EB: i'm getting trolled again.
      TG: oh man and if weve just concluded anything its that talking to those dbags should be priority number one so yeah go right ahead
      EB: ok, brb.
    • Kanaya as well. Not even John's sarcasm. She finally catches on to Rose's sarcasm, but she still hasn't figured out that the other trolls use it all the time. She seems to be getting better at it, even referring to sarcasm as "An Enjoyable Exercise In Xenocultural Inculcation". When it is pointed out to her that the other trolls do it just as often, she responds, "Thats True But When We Do It Its Usually Just Because We Are Trying To Be Jerks Rather Than By Way Of A Mild Manner Perpetually Dispatching Little Puzzles Of Rhetoric Without Apparent Purpose."
    • Also, Tavros here:
      Vriska: Yes, that's it. Dump them all over the floor a8out ten feet away from me, just like that.
      The sloppier the pile and the further away from me the 8etter. Gr8 jo8, Tavros.
      Tavros: tHANK YOU,
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • For a while, this applied to Elan in spades. He's getting better, but it's still hit-or-miss.
      Roy: "Gee, thanks for helping me, Roy."
      Elan: No need to thank me, I like helping you learn new things. Also, Roy is your name, not mine.
      Roy: *sigh*
    • Becomes a Running Gag in the case of Knight Templar Miko:
      Shojo: Good gods, they can teach you how to detect Evil, but not sarcasm?
    • Qarr completely misses the sarcasm in V's comment about V's spouse (a baker) defeating a dragon by exploiting the fact the dragon has a muffin-shaped hole in its scales.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
  • Scarlet of Sequential Art tends to be one, along with her sisters, befitting their Bunny-Ears Lawyer manner.

    Web Original 
  • In The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of Friday the 13th, Jason Voorhees is this. Jason threatens to kill the Nerd if he says anything bad about the game, so the Nerd gives sarcastic, mocking praise to the game throughout the review.
  • The website Busy Street believes this to be true of Internet communication in general.
  • Dino Attack RPG: For years, Ronald E. Army has been living under the assumption that he is a great military general. In actuality he is still a sergeant, but when asking about a promotion, he was met with the response of "yeah, you're going to be a general".
  • Fat, French and Fabulous: Jessica has a theory that despite the fact that she is terrible at understanding sarcasm, that she might have picked up a “sarcastic accent” from being around her highly sarcastic family.
  • Sparadrap from Noob. This is a big factor in insults directed at him flying over his head and mistaking random people for being nicer to him than they really are. Top top it off, his pre Character Development version tends to have a "random person equals potential friend" logic in a context where there the random person has a decent chance of wanting to harm him.
  • For a joke, The Nostalgia Chick took her snarky woobie Sex Bot's sarcastic suggestion to get to Nella through a wormhole in the sink totally seriously. And hey, it worked.
  • This lady on Not Always Right. This is actually one of the site's main schticks.
  • SCP-082 from the SCP Foundation, a giant cannibalistic mutant who, among other delusions, doesn't grasp sarcasm, parody, or fiction in general (he has even expressed a desire to meet Hannibal Lecter).
  • This quote from QDB.us:
    Tim333: You sound like a real winner
    rockstar111: is that a good thing
    Tim333: Have you ever heard of "sarcasm" or "irony," rockstar?
    rockstar111: what
    Tim333: Wow. It must be nice to be invulnerable to insult by means of incomprehension.
    rockstar111: what the hell r u talking about
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series Kaiba is still his usual sarcastic self, yet when he IS sarcastic, no one cares or are just too dumb.
    • Yami Yugi just seems to IGNORE the sarcasm from others, look at this exchange:
      Yami: Reeeally, you mean he came up with the idea of making fun of a Japanese cartoon on the Internet? How innovative. Genius, even.
      Yugi: You know, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
      Yami: Well, you'd know all about that.
      Yugi: What?
      Yami: Being lowest I mean.
      Yugi: Okay—
      Yami: Because you're so short and all.
      Yugi: Yeah, good one.
      Yami: Thank you.
      Yugi: I was being sarcastic.
      Yami: I still accept the compliment.

    Real Life 
  • The whole point of using (deadpan) sarcasm for humor is that it creates a brief disconnect between the speaker and the listener (who's implicitly assuming the speaker will say what they mean). Even someone with the best sarcasm-dar in the world will take a moment to realize that that's what's going on, and that tension-and-release is what makes it funny. The problem (and this trope proper) happens when that gap is so large that the listener has reacted to the face-meaning of the utterance before they've spotted the sarcasm (if they ever do).
  • Children often take a couple years to recognize sarcasm, hence the prevalence of the "talking to children" tone from adults. Their reaction can vary between simply taking the statement at face value just like this trope, or getting confused at why the speaker's tone and expression doesn't match their words.
    • According to this BBC article, children under five are unable to process sarcasm at all, and then the skill comes gradually, until they grow into sassy teenagers. So, realistically, a Little Miss Snarker should be at least about twelve.
  • Some people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, such as Asperger syndrome, don't get sarcasm, as they often tend to be very Literal-Minded. And even if they do realize that you're being sarcastic, it can still make a conversation very complicated very quickly. Interestingly, autistic people can still be very sarcastic, even if they can't always recognise sarcasm themselves. What's worse is that these people may want to mean serious things but other people take it to be sarcasm, causing great frustration, Poor Communication Kills and other trouble.
    • It can also be somewhat amusing (or incredibly annoying) when Wrong Genre Savvy people, being aware of this, interpret the autistic person speaking sarcastically as if they were being sincere.
    • The sarcasm recognition problems in case of Aspies are usually based on the fact that recognizable sarcasm involves presenting a more or less ridiculous sentence, and Aspies are relatively probable to disagree with you whether a sentence is ridiculous or not. Interestingly, this even applies to Aspie-to-Aspie conversation, except that the speakers are usually more used to the whole disagreeing concept than an NT person.
    • Complicated by the fact that tone of voice has no meaning the way words do, and when sarcasm is defined as "saying the opposite of what you mean", the change in tone seems optional.
  • The use of sarcasm and the recognition of sarcasm from someone else are two different things — this is why even a person who uses a lot of sarcasm might not pick up on it when used against them. The expressions and idioms we use are picked up from interaction with other people, so Sarcasm-Blind people can sometimes use a sarcastic expression without recognizing it as sarcasm.
  • A 2012 study found a link between sarcasm-blindness and some forms of dementia.
  • Sarcasm is literally a foreign language in some countries, where the spoken and written languages of those countries do not use sarcasm... though they're becoming increasingly scarce as time goes by due to the bad influence of others. This is especially so in Japanese, and other languages that rely on remaining formal and honest even with friends. The closest equivalent to sarcasm in Japanese is the speaker saying the "sarcastic" line, before following it up with, "...is what I would like to say, but..."
    • This is why there's an advisory, especially on Twitter, to not use sarcastic language on Japanese Twitter artists, as given the language gap and Values Dissonance on Western humor, they'd see it as serious/threatening and would delete it.
  • Due to lacking an ability to demonstrate tone, it's a poor idea to try to be sarcastic on the Internet without using tone indicators (i.e. tacking "/s" at the end of a post). There are stories of people getting banned from several online communities for sarcastically stating something that's against the Terms of Use, the most famous incidents involving "I am twelve and what is this?" when you need to be 13 or over to make an account. This was the original reason Poe's Law was formulated, and is a frequent source of examples.


Alternative Title(s): Does Not Understand Sarcasm, Oblivious To Sarcasm

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B&MW - Sarcastic Otter

Sarcastic otters are unnatural.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SarcasmBlind

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