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Silent Partner

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Groucho: Who is he?
Chico: Atsa my partner, but he no speak.
Groucho: Oh, that's your silent partner.

When He Who Must Not Be Heard is paired up with, and constantly seen with, another character who does all the talking.

If the Silent Partner is The Unintelligible, it may be the case that only his talkative partner can understand him. In Video Games, Heroic Mime protagonists commonly play this role.

Not to be confused with someone who primarily provides money to a business as opposed to someone who takes part in a partnership's daily operations and management.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Kabaji from The Prince of Tennis, who functions basically as Atobe's sounding board and is almost never heard saying anything other than "Usu" (meaning "Yes", in reply to whatever Atobe says).
  • Enryu from the Filler Arc of Bleach. Kenryu generally does all the talking for both of them. He does eventually talk near the end of the arc. He kind of sounds like Mickey Mouse.
  • Medaka Box: "Not Equal" Ajimu Najimi, a self-proclaimed "impartial non-human", is constantly accompanied by fellow "Not Equal" Shiranui Hanten, a non-human who's "just there". It goes far beyond just never talking, as Hanten's entire apparent purpose is to simply stand near her with his face always turned away from view. That's not to say he's entirely pointless, however; Hanten possesses a "Skill that can make Skills". Basically, he's capable of creating any sort of technique and power, which can then be given to someone else, the perfect compliment to someone like Najimi whose defining trait is possessing over 10 quadrillion Skills and is trying to artificially create a "perfect" human being. When Ajimu Najimi is impossibly killed by Shishime Iihiko, Hanten stays true to his role as her "Double" and finally reveals his face to the audience and begins talking, in order to carry on Najimi's will in her absence.

    Comic Books 
  • Angie from PS238 translates for Prospero, an alien who is also The Unintelligible. She can apparently understand him, though nobody knows how yet.

  • Rajotel in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. As his partner Quill explains, he took a vow of public silence several years ago. When he has to communicate, he uses sign language that Quill interprets. Meanwhile, Quill is plenty talkative for the two of them. However, at the end of the Tipaan arc, Rajotel is so startled by the success of the four in getting the Cloud Horn (a feat deemed impossible) that he actually says “Oh!” and then claps his hands over his mouth in dismay.
  • For a Death Note fanfic, Silent Partner, Unfinished Business, Silent Partner is one half of the title, and a trope that descibes one half of the protagonist duo, Naomi Misora, who, with her expressive aphasia, has to rely on Amane Misa to be her interpreter.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The View Askewniverse: Silent Bob, of Jay and Silent Bob. He does have a few lines in each movie, though, usually centered around An Aesop.
  • Star Wars:
    • R2-D2, whose talking partner is C-3P0
    • Chewbacca, whose talking partner is Han Solo.
  • Older Than Television: Harpo Marx usually played Silent Partner to Chico Marx.
  • Star, the little girl in Terminator Salvation, never makes a sound through the entire movie despite being in the thick of several battles.
  • Parodies of The Godfather often have the "Godfather" character communicate only in slight groans, with these being interpreted by his consigliere: "The Don is very disturbed by this news."

  • The Belgariad: In the sequel series, the Blind Seer Cyradis is accompanied by the mute Gentle Giant Toth; it's later shown that all Seers of Kell have similar companions. Toth is a Heroic Mime, though after he joins the main characters and befriends Durnik, it comes out that he's actually communicating through Telepathy.
  • In Kraken we have villainous duo Goss and Subby. Subby never says a word. Goss constantly accuses him of never shutting up.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Newhart: Larry's brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl.
  • Lizzie McGuire: Matt McGuire does all the talking for his best friend Lanny.
  • Battlestar Galactica: The Colonial One never says anything despite having quite a lot of screen time. He would always appear as if he was about to say something, only to decide to the contrary.
  • Babylon 5 has the stellarly famous comedy duo Reebo and Zooty, played by Penn & Teller in their one appearance. Zooty (played by Teller) himself never talks, but he carries around a small machine which speaks for him, with the one exception of something he whispered in Sheridan's ear (unheard by the audience) while pointing at his machine, before departing: "Because it tells me to."

    Video Games 
  • In Spiritfarer, Bruce almost always does the talking for his strong, silent brother Mickey.

    Western Animation 
  • Jenny is this to Mr. X in Amphibia having not said a single word in all the given screentime so far.
  • Subverted in Kim Possible with toy developer Nakasumi and his assistant Miss Kyoko. It is later revealed that he can speak English quite well, but "enjoys whispering to Miss Kyoko."
  • Men in Black: The Series: Agent C. He's an operative assigned to deep sea work for months, and his only companion is a silent alien. This leaves C a bit...unhinged. Played for laughs at the end when it turns out the alien could talk. "Couldn't get a word in edgewise."
  • Moose and Zee: Zee, the animated blue bird mascot partner of Moose A. Moose on the Nick Jr. network (formerly Noggin.)
  • Phineas and Ferb where Ferb usually talks at least Once an Episode, but often only one or two lines. The rest of the time Phineas does the talking while Ferb just makes motions or subtle facial expressions.
  • Toopy and Binoo, a preschool animated television series about a mouse, Toopy and a plush cat, Binoo. Toopy is the talkative one.
  • Transformers: Animated:
    • Of the three Dinobots, only Grimlock talks. Snarl and Swoop just make dino sounds in their beast modes. However, the writers have stated this is just because of limitations in the number of Voice Actors they can have in each episode.
    • The Mayor of Detroit and his aide. Opposite of what you'd expect, it's the Mayor that's the silent partner, and the aide who does all the talking for him.
    • Perceptor and Wheeljack. Perceptor, despite his Creepy Monotone voice, is the only one of them to talk on screen.
  • Wallace & Gromit: Gromit plays silent partner to Wallace in show and films.

  • Teller of Penn & Teller. Teller's act was mute before he teamed up with Penn. Inverted in the Penn & Teller zombies in Las Vegas short film, which is not only played straight but narrated exclusively by Teller. Necessarily, since it ends with Penn being zombified and shot by a reluctant Teller.