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Snark Ball

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Alice is stupid. There's no Obfuscating Stupidity either: her inability to grasp basic logic is one of the main driving forces behind the main plot. Except, outside the main plot she regularly plays Deadpan Snarker or Only Sane Man to smarter characters.

That means she just caught a Snark Ball: an imaginary device that makes a character consistently show more wit than he actually has.

May lead to fan theories that it's secretly Obfuscating Stupidity. Prevalent in cartoons of "wacky" variety, where absurdity of actions becomes funnier if the characters themselves comment on that.

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Compare Smart Ball, where a stupid character does a smart thing because the plot says so, and Dumbass Has a Point, where a stupid character says something stupid that still makes sense. A Cuckoosnarker is a Cloud Cuckoolander character who juggles the Snark Ball.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

Film

  • In Blazing Saddles, Mongo (having just been used to give Rock Ridge one heck of a load of exposition) looks right at the screen and intones solemnly, "Mongo only pawn, in game of life."

Literature

Live-Action TV

  • Doctor Who:
    • Susan Foreman is usually The Ingenue and the sweetest and most empathetic of the main cast, but Terry Nation would give her snarky lines (in accordance with his own tastes), particularly in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth".
    • The Second Doctor, who is usually compassionate, easy-going and as modest as the Doctor ever gets, has one stuffed down his throat by Robert Holmes during "The Krotons" and spends most of the serial playing Insufferable Genius, subtly mocking the Krotons and Jamie and bickering with Zoe over whether he knows how to do everything or not. This has the effect of moving his characterisation to be quite close to the Fourth Doctor's, a character Robert Holmes was pivotal in creating.
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    • Tends to happen during Steven Moffat's episodes - Moffat has an undeniable knack for coming up with snarky dialogue, so all of his original characters (Amy, Rory, River, Clara...) have the fact that they communicate exclusively in snark built into their characterisation, and when he didn't create them, he'll feed them snarky lines anyway - observe the far wittier way the Ninth Doctor communicates in "The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances", Rose's sudden increase in sarcasm in "The Girl in the Fireplace", and how abrasive and snippy the Fifth Doctor is in "Time Crash" compared to usual. This is even inverted in the case of Captain Jack, a Moffat-created character who couldn't get through a single line without a snarky gag in "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances", but who soon found himself heading Torchwood with a much more sombre dialogue style.
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  • Kelly Bundy from Married... with Children. She's barely literate, speaks almost entirely in malapropisms and nearly always misses the point of what's going on around her. She's one of the best examples of both a Brainless Beauty and a Dumb Blonde... yet she also very frequently delivered witty and inventive comebacks and snark, especially when it came to fighting with her brother.

Webcomics

  • Monette and Kharisma from Something*Positive. Both of them started as extremely stupid characters, and eventually developed into the same Deadpan Snarkers that the rest of the cast are. Some of this is character development, but they nonetheless behave with a level of intellect far higher than their original characterizations.

Western Animation


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