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Silent Snarker

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Considering who he has to deal with, can you blame him?

"Don't roll your eyes at me; it's a good plan!"
Dr. Doofenshmirtz (to Perry the Platypus), Phineas and Ferb

A combination of Deadpan Snarker and The Voiceless, The Speechless or The Unintelligible, the Silent Snarker is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A character who does not speak, usually a sidekick, who is a lot more competent than his superior, who does things most Deadpan Snarkers would have a field day with. But since they cannot or don't speak, they communicate their snark through eyerolls, Facepalms, Disapproving Looks and Aside Glances. These characters normally have very expressive faces to properly convey their silent exasperation.

May overlap with The Silent Bob. If the character is The Unintelligible, this can sometimes overlap with Repeating So the Audience Can Hear. Compare and contrast with Deadpan Snarker, the vocal version of this trope. Also compare Even the Dog Is Ashamed. Sometimes the character is a Servile Snarker whose boss would be less tolerant of his snarky opinions if he expressed them out loud.


The Voiceless, The Speechless, and The Unintelligible characters only (Silent Bobs are exceptions). If they can talk, or at least talk frequently, they don't count for this trope.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Gangsta.: Being deaf and communicating mainly through sign language does not stop Nicolas from answering Worick's arguments with a snark every so often. After all, he loves getting the raise out of people and his older brother is on the top of the list.
  • Ash's Pikachu in the earlier seasons of Pokémon. Throughout the entire run of the show, Ash always had at least one Pokémon with a snark/attitude streak, such as Treecko and Buizel. Though not just Ash's Pokémon; Dawn's Piplup was quite cheeky as well.
  • Makoto from FullMaPla communicates entirely through numbered signs and gives far more snark than the rest of the cast combined.
  • Saiki Kusuo from The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. technically speaks through telepathy and narration, but he never actually speaks aloud as far as one can tell. He is also the single most snarky character in the anime.

    Comic Books 
  • Cassandra Cain, while not completely mute, communicates largely in body language, and manages to be remarkably sarcastic without needing to say a word.

    Comic Strips 
  • Emilka Sza (Hush) from Polish comic book series created by Magdalena "Meago" Kania and Maciej Kur. Emilka is a mime and unable to make sounds... it didn't stop her from spending entire story mocking Justyna for believing in ghosts.
  • Odie from Garfield, every once in a while. Garfield himself is an odd case of us actually seeing what the Silent Snarker is thinking. If we couldn't read his thoughts, he would count for this. This is explored with the Silent Garfield experiment, which removes his dialogue but leaves him in the panel, still making his grins and aside glances.
  • Peanuts: Snoopy, technically. We can read his thoughts, but he comes off as this to the kids in-universe, rolling his eyes and expressing derision through animal sounds. Sometimes his thoughts aren't even shown, and we're left to guess.
    Snoopy: My mind reels with sarcastic replies!

    Fan Works 
  • Yin And Yang Series: Romama, who lost his voice after years of not talking due to being in Kezanstav's mind control. He got better.
  • Easen from the Kingdom Hearts fic "Re:Flection Scenario" is such an Insufferable Genius that he believes everyone else is too stupid to socialize with. While usually The Stoic, he expresses bewilderment at people's ignorance with Facial Dialogue. When Easen finally says three full sentences, his comrade Weselo is surprised he even can talk.

    Films — Animation 
  • Gromit from Wallace & Gromit is the long-suffering master of this trope and the Trope Codifier. Gromit's silent snarking is so effective that back when A Grand Day Out was in production, he was originally supposed to talk, but a scene where he reacts silently to Wallace stood out so much to the creators that they made him permanently silent. In the "Cheese Lover's Yearbook" (their diary) Gromit leaves tiny, neatly typewritten notes for his snark. Really impressive when you think about the fact that Gromit has no mouth or other movable features — other than some body language, he does almost all his emoting with his brow. And the audience still knows exactly how he feels at any given moment.
  • Also from Aardman is Bobo the Chimp from The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!, who speaks entirely with cue cards.
  • WALL•E: Eve has enough "furrowed brows" and annoyed groans to count.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Toothless picks up some of Hiccup's snarkiness.
  • Remy from Ratatouille, when he's around humans.
  • Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, before she became Suddenly Speaking in the sequels.
  • Pangur Ban in The Secret of Kells is a borderline example: as an ordinary cat, she doesn't understand the greater significance of most things that happen to her, and will therefore react with expressions of annoyance, indignation or plain puzzlement that are great for puncturing otherwise dramatic moments.
  • In the Spiritual Successor Song of the Sea, the Cute Mute little girl Saoirse gives a few annoyed glances, mostly towards her overbearing Granny or her Big Brother Bully Ben.
  • Pascal the chameleon in Tangled. Maximus the horse as well.
  • Mulan:
    • Another horse who fits this trope is Khan, Mulan's black-and-white stallion.
    • Cri-Kee gets in on this trope occasionally, mostly in regards to Mushu (apparently calling him a loser early in the film).
  • From Despicable Me, we have Kyle, Gru's dog-thing being The Speechless variation of this trope, while a few of The Minions fit The Unintelligible variation.
  • Jojo from Horton Hears a Who!, up until he begins talking again.
  • Melvin, The Once-ler's mule from The Lorax.
  • The Sandman from Rise of the Guardians, assisted by pictures drawn with dream sand.
  • Te Fiti from Moana is The Voiceless, but the magnificently unimpressed look when Maui attempts to casually greet her speaks volumes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Characters written for Harpo Marx were Silent Snarkers whenever they weren't busy clowning around.
  • Star Wars
    • Based on C-3PO's reactions to some of the things he says, if his speech were translated, R2-D2 would be a definite Deadpan Snarker who speaks in robot noises.
    • Chewbacca as well, if you pay attention to how people react to what he says he's probably one of the most sarcastic characters in the franchise.
    • In Return of the Jedi, when Lando Calrissian has ownership of the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca's role is filled by the monkey-faced alien Nien Nunb, and Lando bilingually bickers with him in much the way Han Solo did with Chewie.
  • Burt Lancaster had a childhood friend, Nick Cravat, who appeared in several of Lancaster's movies. Cravat was never able to get rid of his thick Brooklyn accent, so he communicated — and often snarked — by mime in any movie where the accent would be inappropriate. He gets the last "word" in The Crimson Pirate, for instance.
  • Cosmic Creepers the cat in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, notably in the scene where Ms. Price is trying to fly.
  • Kharis, the title mummy in The Mummy's Hand, cannot speak, but makes his increasing aggravation at the stupidity of his master all too obvious. This is even more apparent in the sequel, where the best scene is Lon Chaney — using only body language — expressing Kharis's sheer incredulity at his master doing the same thing that got the last one killed. (And in the third film, Kharis kills the villain when he starts on the same plan as the last guys!)
  • In The Brothers Bloom (a movie filled with Deadpan Snarkers), Bang-Bang manages to be the snarkiest, smart-aleckiest, most sarcastic character, despite having only three words of dialog in the entire film. Not three lines... three words.
  • Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, on occasion.
  • Scotty's alien buddy Keenser in the rebooted Star Trek films has only said one word in two movies ("me"). In Star Trek Into Darkness, he manages to win an argument with Scotty despite not saying a word.
  • Mr. Mime in Detective Pikachu manages to tell the title character to shove it without speaking.
  • Tusk has Wallace become one post-transformation and tongue removal, as his eyes speak volumes when dealing with Howe's pontificating.

  • Very often, when John Godfrey Saxe's poem ""The Blind Men and the Elephant" is printed with illustrations, the elephant itself is rolling its eyes, as if to say, "These six stupid humans have no clue." (As it should think.)
  • Mouse, from The Dresden Files. Crosses over with Even the Dog Is Ashamed frequently.
  • Jane Austen's Mansfield Park includes a brief appearance by a Silent Servile Snarker:
    Baddeley: (to Fanny, whose suitor has come to discuss things with her and her uncle) Sir Thomas wishes to speak with you, ma'am, in his own room.
    Mrs. Norris: Stay, stay, Fanny! What are you about? Where are you going? Don't be in such a hurry. Depend upon it, it is not you who are wanted; depend upon it, it is me, but you are so very eager to put yourself forward. What should Sir Thomas want you for? It is me, Baddeley, you mean; I am coming this moment. You mean me, Baddeley, I am sure; Sir Thomas wants me, not Miss Price.
    Narration: But Baddeley was stout. "No, ma'am, it is Miss Price; I am certain of it's being Miss Price." And there was a half-smile with the words, which meant, "I do not think you would answer the purpose at all."
  • The Reynard Cycle: Pierrot, Nobel's fool, becomes one after Tybalt cuts out his tongue. He's able to have arguments with Arlequin without saying a word.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Ilyn Payne, a headsman who had his tongue removed, is silently mocking of Jaime Lannister during their private, one-sided conversations, "laughing" at Jaime's monologues openly. Openly snarking about Mad King Aerys is what got his tongue removed in the first place.
    • Theon's receives a mute squire called Wex, who frequently smirks when Theon is doing something foolish.
  • In Hungry as a Wolf, Wolf's demon horse Lucifer is this. The stallion is definitely more intelligent than most horses, but does not speak, playing off Wolf with ear twitches and snarky looks.
  • The Electric Monk's horse in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is rather sardonic in its thoughts about the Monk. According to the narrator, this is totally usual for horses, as any creature that is regularly sat on by another creature is going to start forming opinions about that creature.
  • Hawthorne's brother Homer in Nevermoor has joined the Conservatory of Thought, which only requires its students to take a vow of silence while they're still in school, only being allowed to speak for one day a year. He carries around a blackboard and some chalk to compensate, and usually uses them to write sarcastic rermarks—sometimes he doesn't even need to write anything down to get the point across.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Teller of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. He is also this in the eponymous act as well.
  • Diefenbaker from Due South is treated as one of these thanks to the various reaction shots from his human co-stars.
  • Glee has Brad the Silent Pianist.
  • Top Gear: The Stig sometimes takes this role, especially alongside Clarkson.
  • Paul, Chef Rudy's main assistant on Mom, hasn't said a word so far but says more with a single expression than most characters can with pages of dialogue.
  • Mr Wrench, the deaf hitman on Fargo, has to communicate his exasperation with the people around him through either ASL or facial expressions.
  • Lurch from The Addams Family plays the role of Servile Snarker using only facial expressions and monstrous groans.
  • The Night King in Game of Thrones is The Voiceless which adds to his menacing demeanour but he often conveys disdain, taunts or Badass Boasts through facial expressions and body language and is a master of the Psychotic Smirk and Smug Smiler par excellence.

    Video Games 
  • As many video games star silent protagonists, this trope is often the easiest way for their personalities to shine through. Of course, they're not the only examples.
  • Sis from Alpha Protocol is mute (and cute), but makes it clear through some expressive body-language that 1) she is in command of her squad and 2) you are all imbeciles. She's armed with a glare that could strip paint along with her twin revolvers.
  • In DOOM (2016), the Doom Slayer never speaks a word. But starting with a meaningful glance towards a brutalized corpse during Samuel Hayden's initial speech about how everything the UAC did was for the good of mankind, he manages to demonstrate silent contempt for everything Hayden has to say.
  • The Warrior of Light in Final Fantasy XIV, a Heroic Mime, is portrayed as this in more comedic quests such as the Hildibrand questline or various holiday events, usually staring at the silliness in baflement or simply shrugging their shoulders at it.
  • Golden Sun
    • In Golden Sun, answering "yes" to Garet's inquiry about The Wise One reveals that Isaac is capable of some rather snide comments despite being a Heroic Mime.
      Garet: Do you know what that is, Isaac?
      [answer "yes"]
      Garet: I know it's a rock, stupid!
    • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has a mechanic where Matthew can choose emotional cues to display during certain cutscenes. Other characters will then respond to Matthew for a line or two before carrying on regardless. Some scenes, and the potential emotions/reactions involved, suggest that Matthew can display a lot of sass and even schadenfreude without ever saying a word.
  • Link, Silent Protagonist of the Legend of Zelda acts this way in some games. Most notable in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker as well. Link's dialogue options can also have a fair share of snark. It's all in the facial expressions. Toon Link ends up being a frequent target of screencaps in Super Smash Bros. Brawl because of how funny these can get.
  • Wonder of wonders, Freddy Krueger is turned into one in his cameo appearance in Mortal Kombat, aside from the occasional Evil Laugh.
  • Apparently Chell is this in Portal. She does have the ability to talk, and was initially supposed to say one word at one point in development, but doesn't in either game (heck, when you see her interview sheets in the midquel official comic, all it says is "Subject refused to answer.") As one of the writers put it, she chooses not to because the robots she interacts with at Aperture Science "are dicks." Reinforced by Wheatley in the final battle:
    Wheatley: But you don't listen, do you? Quiet. All the time. Quietly not listening to a word I say. Judging me. Silently. The worst kind.
  • Classic Sonic, who was retconned into being a Heroic Mime for Sonic Generations, would glare towards the camera and impatiently tap his foot as his Idle Animation in the classic trilogy. As for Generations itself, when Amy fangirls about how Sonic is "getting younger every day", his expression says more than words can hope to.
  • The Silent Protagonist of Zettai Hero Project says volumes with a single Sweat Drop.

    Visual Novels 
  • Shizune Hakamichi is the Visual Novel Katawa Shoujo is deaf and mute and communicates primarily through Japanese Sign Language. She also has a very dry and cutting wit that becomes all the more obvious in her route when Hisao learns JSL himself and he (and the player) can understand her without relying on Misha.

    Web Animation 
  • PomPom and The Cheat from Homestar Runner.
  • RWBY:
    • For most of the series, Neo was pretty cheerful, if only in an Axe-Crazy way. Volume 6, following Torchwick's death, has Neo acting this way, such as pointing at her mouth to say, "I'm mute, remember?" in regards to Cinder request to talk, and rolling her eyes at Cinder's other comments. Given that she apparently blames Cinder's plot for being the cause of Torchwick's death, it's no wonder that she's being a bit more sarcastic.
    • The Super-Deformed version of Neo in RWBY Chibi took this a step further some years earlier: she's mute, but can communicate through holding up signs, which are generally reserved for either evil laughter or biting sarcasm.
      Roman: You thought you could just move off into a spinoff comedy series and leave me behind? GUESS AGAIN! I will have my REVENGE! This time, things are gonna be different!
      Neo: [holds up a sign saying "THEY WON'T"]
  • DSBT InsaniT: Chilly the chinchilla and Doom the mongoose will sometimes narrow their eyes or cross their little paws when they're upset with something.
  • Dreamscape: CHEN, the giant cyborg chameleon, will sometimes give a look that pretty much equates to a Flat "What".

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Worm has Mannequin of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a serial killer who has rebuilt himself to remove anything that is unnecessary for being a more effective killing machine, including everything related to talking. Instead, he communicates by making gestures, which often leads to dark humor as his every move somehow manages to come off as mocking, even when he's chastising a supervillain for trying to save civilian lives with a waggle of one finger.

    Web Videos 
  • Big Box Model from The Big Box.
  • Jayuzumi is a variation. He is presumably capable of speech himself, but chooses not to talk personally in his videos, since that would ruin the premise. Instead, he snarks at various other gamers with soundboard clips of various characters, such as Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin or Jay.
  • Let's STFU and Play has this as their main gimmick. They are the LetsPlayer who specializes in VR games and communicate purely with hand movements and gestures, with the occasional on-screen caption or sound clip pulled from some other media, and they tend to snark and crack jokes without saying a single word from their mouth.

    Western Animation 
  • Data Seven from Cyber Six is an android panther who was rebuilt from the body of a destroyed android human, and despite the fact that he can't talk, he still has his human mind and does give snarky looks from time to time.
  • Porkchop from Doug snarks in barks. That's right, he's a deadpan barker.
  • General Amaya from The Dragon Prince is deaf, communicates through American Sign Language, and has some of the snarkiest lines in the show.
  • Spot from Hong Kong Phooey. He only ever makes annoyed sighs as he's bailing Phooey's dumb ass out of trouble.
  • Kaeloo: Quack Quack the duck, who can only speak in quacks, usually uses facial expressions or gestures to indicate snarkiness.
  • Rufus from Kim Possible is in the same vein as Gromit in regards to his own owner, Ron Stoppable.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Wile E. Coyote (at least, during the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons; he's Suddenly Speaking in his shorts with Bugs Bunny). Have you read the things on his signs?
    • Road Runner is similar, but with an amused smile and equally snarky signs.
      [after Coyote tries to tar and feather Road Runner] "Road Runners already have feathers!"
  • Lily Loud from The Loud House is as adorable as she is sarcastic.
  • Horace the ferret from My Gym Partner's a Monkey.
  • The original My Little Pony and Friends series had Moochick's assistant Habbit the Rabbit.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Fluttershy's pet bunny Angel is like this sometimes, as is Rarity's cat Opalescence. Opal is especially silent-snarky in "Sweet and Elite", since she can only communicate with meows and facial expressions and is constantly having to deal with the ridiculous ramblings of an owner with a messed-up sense of priorities.
    • Likewise, Twilight's pet owl, Owlowicious, is eloquent at expressing his opinion of Spike's antics with nothing but a few hoots and limited facial expressions.
  • Snoopy from Peanuts combines this with Large Ham. He doesn't just snark Charlie Brown, he gets angry, yells and throws books at him. This only applies to the animated specials, where Snoopy is silent (most of the time).
  • Rico from The Penguins of Madagascar sort of fits, as he is (usually) The Unintelligible. Although oftentimes his snarks are the only intelligible things he says.
    Private: That won't be necessary. Private LIKES big.
    Rico: Oh boy.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Perry the Platypus could probably give Gromit a run for his money in this, silent snarking in regards to his nemesis Dr. Doofenshmirtz, and his allies Major Monogram and Carl the Intern. He also at one point mocked Candace behind her back.
    • Ferb could count since he rarely talks, and spends more time rolling his eyes at the stupidity of his peers (Word of God is that he was partially inspired by Gromit).
  • Garu from Pucca.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Sunspot and his counterpart Moonbeam cannot talk. So, they snark via face-palms.
  • Ruby Gloom: Doom Kitty.
  • The Simpsons: Maggie Simpson.
  • Azrael in The Smurfs snarks in meows.
  • Gary from SpongeBob SquarePants, who meows snark to his master.
  • Soundwave of Transformers: Prime. It should be noted that he pulls it off despite not having a face.

    Real Life 
  • Babies. Before they learn how to talk, they're capable of giving some very withering looks, particularly if you're trying to make them laugh.
  • Deaf people can often communicate snark through sign language. And some elements of sign language seem to be born from snark. For example, in ASL, one sign for "idiot" or "stupid" is hitting your forehead with a fist, similar to facepalming. Since body language, gesturing, and facial expression are a major part of sign language, the Deaf are extremely adept at expressing snark without the use of a single proper sign. They often do it using facial expression alone!
    • Applies to non-vocal/non-verbal people as well, via facial expressions or their communicating devices.
  • Cats. House cats are unique among felines in that they are more vocal than feral cats. Communication among cats is more body language than vocal indicators. House cats specifically picked up the trick because humans are vocal communicators. So every time a cat's meow seems dripping with snark, it really is snarking at you!
  • Some dogs.
  • Birds of prey, especially owls (due to their Big Ol' Eyebrows).
  • Some people who own lizards have joked that their pets have the most magnificent "What the heck are you doing?" expression. Literally every time the reptiles look at their owners, it seems like they're silently judging them.


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