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Tall, Dark, and Snarky

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No, he's not Matt Hannon, though he is probably telling all of you son of a bitches to deposit precious millions in secret Swiss Bank Accounts.
A variation on the Insufferable Genius, this character is usually charismatic, incredibly good at what they do, and rather good-looking. Members of the same sex both admire and envy them, while those of the opposite fall all over them (often forming an Instant Fan Club), and the only thing that saves them from being The Ace is their overwhelming arrogance and constant annoyance at being surrounded by people they see as idiots. They'll often make snarky comments on the current situation which show that they know much more about what's going on than anyone else, and answer any questions with the preface, "Are you so stupid you can't see it?"

This doesn't necessarily make them evil, though. (If anything, it's understandable, given the mindless way people often act around them.) They're just not a character who plays well with others and are therefore at risk of becoming an Ineffectual Loner. Their snarkiness is usually brought low not with sarcasm, but a good old Insult Backfire.

Often paired or placed in contrast with an insufferably cheerful, outgoing, nice, and/or idealistic character, and may act as The Lancer. This character is usually responsible for teaching the Tall, Dark and Snarky about The Power of Friendship or The Power of Love, once he or she has enough skill to make the Tall, Dark and Snarky actually respect their opinion. However, this can backfire, with the Tall, Dark and Snarky feeling threatened by the character's newfound power and becoming The Rival instead or, worse, give the idealistic guy a pair of Jade-Colored Glasses to wear.

This archetype is also frequently used as a mentor or older brother type, used as a foil for the protagonist's optimistic and foolish nature. They also are a common choice for a villain role as well. See also Tall, Dark, and Handsome for the straight vanilla versions, though a good-looking enough example of this trope may double as both.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doumeki Shizuka from ×××HOLiC is tall, never smiles, and is a master at snarking at Watanuki.
  • Guts from Berserk isn't just tall (6'4") and handsome, he has quite a bit of snark in him as well.
  • Black Butler: Sebastian, in spades. He's black-haired, tall, handsome, and usually talks down to others, even his master.
    • William T. Spears certainly counts as well.
  • Black Clover:
    • Yuno is black-haired, handsome, 172 cmnote  at the age of 15, and can be sharply critical with his honesty at times, especially around Asta and Klaus.
    • Yami Sukehiro (who provides the page image) is tall, has black hair, and a sarcastic attitude especially towards his squad.
  • Uryu Ishida (though he defrosts a bit when he joins the True Companions), Byakuya Kuchiki, Sousuke Aizen, Ulquiorra Schiffer, and Shukuro Tsukishima of Bleach.
  • Lelouch from Code Geass is tall, handsome, arrogant and very snarky when especially around a certain green-haired lady.
  • Yu Kanda from D.Gray-Man and Tyki, who, in fact, pretty much matches the title Tall, Dark and Snarky literally.
  • Izaya Orihara from Durarara!! is a bizarre cross between this and Magnificent Bastard. Clad all in black, oh-so appealing to the fangirls...and an arrogant jerk who loves messing with people, to boot.
  • Rei Otohata in Gals! has been elected the most popular guy by a Gal magazine, but he's often cold and sarcastic towards Gals and her their lifestyle, thinking that they are shallow.
  • Get Backers: While not particularly tall, Ban Mido has dark hair, is a "combat expert" very well-read on a number of obscure subjects, and is the most arrogant, foul-mouthed member of the main cast. And a Type-A Tsundere, to boot.
  • Gintama: Hijikata has dark hair, is popular with ladies, snarky, and strict.
  • Itazura Na Kiss: Being an Insufferable Genius gave Naoki a rather sardonic sense of humor to match his ''very'' good looks. He's often snarking at Kotoko's lack of common sense or her poor performance at school.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Misato's ex-boyfriend, Ryoji Kaji, who even manages to deal the snark when he's about to be shot to death.
    • Gendo Ikari is a Magnificent Bastard version of this.
  • One Piece: Rob Lucci is an explicitly villainous version, although everyone around him does tend to act like morons.
  • Kyoya-senpai from Ouran High School Host Club has dark hair, Scary Shiny Glasses, and intense snark.
  • George from Paradise Kiss is a Tall, Dark and Snarky dandy and Insufferable Genius with an outstanding talent as a fashion designer.
  • Fakir from Princess Tutu is taller than most of the show's characters, with dark hair and an endless supply of snark:
    • In the first episode:
      Fakir: [to Mytho] What were you thinking doing such a pointless thing?
      Ahiru: So like I said, he was protecting me!
      Fakir: That's why I said pointless.
    • In Episode 14
      Ahiru: Oh, Fakir, is your wound healed yet?
      Fakir: It had started to improve, but seeing your face again has triggered fresh stabs of pain.
  • Ranma ½: In the manga, although Ranma Saotome is an Insufferable Genius and a Deadpan Snarker, he's also one of the most optimistic people in the cast. So much so that when he tries to learn an attack based on depression, he fails because he's just too much of a happy person. In essence, he fulfills both the optimistic Hero role and the sarcastic, untrusting Lancer role.
    Shampoo: This present for Ranma!
    Ranma: [looks at the oversized bell she's giving him] Just what I wanted. A huge metal acorn.
  • Ikuto from Shugo Chara!. Amplified by him being five years older than the rest of the cast, and the Power of Love bit with Amu isn't even subtle — giant, heart-shaped "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight attacks anybody.
  • Hak, from Yona of the Dawn, establishes himself as a Sarcastic Devotee in his first appearance in chapter one (Princess Yona was complaining about her hair, to which he responds that there is nothing wrong with her hair but rather her head), and at least half of what comes out of his mouth is snark-laden. He also happens to be among the tallest characters of the cast, the greatest military genius known to the setting, and a chaste Chick Magnet who is completely devoted to Princess Yona.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Jafar from Aladdin is not happy a lot until he gets the lamp, wears a dark Red and Black and Evil All Over robe and turban that contrasts with the palace, the Sultan, Jasmine, and "Prince Ali", is taller than everyone else except the Genie, and makes a few snarks. He's also called a "tall, dark and sinister ugly man" by the Genie.
    • Scar from The Lion King (1994). His fur is darker than his brother, King Mufasa's. The quote "I am surrounded by idiots" is among his most famous ones. It was directed at the incompetent hyenas.
    • Chief Bogo of Zootopia is tall, strong, handsomely built, competent, honorable Chief of Police, greatly respected by his fellow officers. He is also not above making blunt, unforgiving, or snarky comments about other animals' thoughtless behavior as needed.
    • Mother Gothel from Tangled is an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette who is taller that Flynn Rider, the latter of whom is 6'1" according to Word of God. She also makes a lot of snarky comments throughout the film, including this gem to Rapunzel:
      "Look in that mirror. I see a strong, competent, beautiful young lady. Oh, look. You're there, too!"
  • Beret Girl from An Extremely Goofy Movie is a charismatic, bold, beautiful beatnik, loved by both the resident depressive Shrinking Violet, PJ, and the resident manic Attention Whore, Bobby, and very snarky. She is willing to get into an insult match with the Privileged Rival Jerk Jock, Bradley, whose reputation is significantly higher than her own and to very bluntly reject Bobby's advances, even explicitly calling him a "fool." Her genuine compliments and interest directed at PJ cause him to be significantly less depressive and shy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dr. Ian Malcolm in the Jurassic Park franchise "suffers from a deplorable excess of personality. Especially for a mathematician", as Dr. Hammond explains in the former's very first scene. He's played by the dark-haired, six-foot-four-and-a-half-inches tall Jeff Goldblum, dresses primarily in black at all times, wryly sums up his love life as "always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs.-Malcolm", and is always, constantly warning other characters in Gibbering Genius fashion about the inevitability of their best-laid plans involving the dinosaurs going horribly wrong. he puts it in the first film as the T. rex breaches the deactivated fence, "Boy, do I hate being right all the time." He's the Breakout Character as far as the humans go — he didn't survive the original novel, but not only was he Spared by the Adaptation a Retcon made him the protagonist of the sequel novel The Lost World and corresponding loose film adaptation — in which his ego is pricked by having to deal with/protect both a current girlfriend and a frustrated daughter from a previous relationship...though he's still the Only Sane Man of the good guys. After all that, his cameo appearance in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 20 years later reveals he's gone grey and dropped the snark in the intervening time, and is now a sort of Big Good.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Loki is snarky, tall (the actor's height is 188 cm and the in-universe character's height is 187 cm) and has raven-black hair.
  • Septimus from Stardust. He's tall, dark, a skilled assassin, and thinks he is surrounded by idiots. He's played by Mark Strong

  • The Adrien English Mysteries: Adrien supposedly looks like Montgomery Clift and uses sarcasm to cope with just about anything.
  • Air Awakens: Aldrik, the silver-tongued prince. Tall, dark-haired and handsome in a bit eerie way, he is very intelligent and a very powerful sorcerer but he often treats people with contempt or hides compliments within insults (and insults within compliments).
  • Dark Heart: Arvis is a tall, black-haired demon and nearly every remark he makes is sarcastic.
  • Discworld: Vetinari has moments of extreme snarkiness and he's described as tall and dark. Although he's gaunt and has an "equine face", it's mentioned in Unseen Academicals that he's "quite handsome, in a way".
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden is this trope, being variously between 6'8 and 6'11 (the general consensus is "I can look down on some guys in the NBA), dark haired, and while certainly not bad looking, also not classically handsome. Oh, and he is constantly sarcastic and he never, ever shuts up. He'll also occasionally invoke this trope, usually with insulting variations.
  • Subverted with Severus Snape in Harry Potter. He's very snarky, dark, and intelligent, but shorter than Sirius Black, and in Harry's opinion ugly and extremely petty.
  • The Infernal Devices: William Herondale has dark hair and is implied to be quite tall (Tessa Gray mentions that he is taller than her and that she is uncommonly tall for her own age). Despite the Hidden Heart of Gold, his type of snark is practically his defining character trait.
    • Tessa: Gideon and Gabriel. They're really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.
      Will: [in sepulchral tones] I spoke of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.
      Tessa: [snorts] And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?
      Will: Mauve.
    • Gabriel: You know, there was a time when I thought we could be friends, Will.
      Will: There was a time I thought I was a ferret, but that turned out to be the opium haze. Did you know it had that effect? Because I didn't.
    • Tessa: behave as if you dislike us all.
      Gabriel: (pointing at Will) I don't. I just dislike him.
      Will: Dear me. Is it because I'm better-looking than you?
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell:
    • Invoked when it is noted that magicians are expected to be tall, dark, and snarky. One reason Jonathan Strange becomes more popular than Mr Norrell very fast is because aside from having dark auburn hair, he fits the classic image of a magician perfectly, particularly when he is mourning for his wife.
    • John Childermass, Mr Norrell's Enigmatic Minion, is foreshadowed to secretly be a magician by fitting the bill, especially in the TV mini series. While initially described as looking twisted like a tree, he nonetheless has three maids fall for him. He has long dark hair, wears a black coat with a black top hat, is the master of the eye roll and has barely any dialogue in any social situation where he does not snark. He fits the bill so perfectly, in fact, that Drawlight initially assumes he must be Mr Norrell, the magician of Hanover-Square.
  • Clip in the Malazan Book of the Fallen is not a full-blooded Tiste Andii, but still dark-skinned and black-haired. He rarely has anything nice to say to his companions, unless you count condescending ridicule as nice.
  • Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights has very dark physical features and he's capable to charm ladies easily. He counts as a Deconstruction since he lacks the heart of gold and "redemption by the love of a good woman" typically associated with the character.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Community: Jeff Winger is known for his Deadpan Snarker tendencies as well as his height and good looks, even playing off Annie as The Pollyanna, her more idealistic views serving as a foil and counterpoint to Jeff's sarcasm, such as when Troy and Abed fight over their blanket fort, with Jeff initially dismissing the whole thing as silly and taking advantage of the situation to blow off classes, while Annie pushes him to mediate for the two.
  • The Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who is by a long way the tallest and deepest-voiced Doctor, 6'3" even without the huge amount of dark Messy Hair and his usual habit of wearing high-heeled riding boots, and a character influenced by Gothic Horror heroes and the bohemian subculture of the late Victorian era. He is casually condescending and mendacious to his friends (his companion Harry gets the worst of this, but Leela was also constantly reminded how small and worthless her tiny little brain was compared to his) and delivering it all either offhandedly as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, or with a huge, adorable Cheshire Cat Grin. He's also probably the most sarcastic Doctor of the lot, due to how resigned he is to everyone else's perceived stupidity. Both these traits were also adopted by the Ninth Doctor, who does it just the same but with a lot more Angst, and fitting the trope archetype better.
  • Game of Thrones: Oberyn Martell is tall and dark, and is a forceful, lusty man with a quick wit and barbed tongue.
  • Horatio Hornblower:
    • Mr. Bush (appeared in Series Two and Three) is a fine specimen of Tall, Dark, and Handsome, but his lines involve a fair share of snarky remarks and sneering comments. Though a decent man and reliable friend, he's also very strict with his subordinates, as seen with his initial disdain towards Archie and Horatio, and his memorable introduction to Midshipmen Hammond and Orrock in the third series: "I expect you to know this ship like the back of your hand, or else you shall know the back of mine."
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Jessica herself is pretty tall compared to the other female characters, has very dark hair and makeup and has dark, snarky humor for every situation.
  • M*A*S*H: Hawkeye Pierce is a brilliant surgeon, charming and very good-looking, seduces women extremely easily, snarks at Frank Burns every episode in a way that would make Groucho proud, and he's even described by a Korean cleaning women as "tall, dark hair, snotty attitude," which is almost the trope name word-for-word. Younger characters look up to him and envy him — which is shown especially with Radar. However, he's pretty messed-up and drinks heavily. He deals with the war and all the killed and badly injured kids he encounters by being a Stepford Snarker.
  • Revolution: Miles Matheson seems taller than most of the characters, is dark-haired, and most of his sentences are aimed at snarking at the current state of affairs. Then again, he has been a soldier practically his entire life, and he has little patience with people who just don't seem to listen to his mostly sound advice.
  • Riverdale: Jughead Jones is a very dark-haired, broody boy who almost always has something snarky to say and stands at 6'0'', as per his actor's height, which makes him the tallest of the four main characters.
    Jughead: Sardonic humor is just my way of relating to the world.
  • Schitt's Creek: David Rose is the tallest member of the Rose family, dark-haired, handsome and very snarky. Despite being very insecure, he jumps at the chance to show off his smarts, especially when interacting with his Book Dumb sister Alexis.
  • Ted Lasso: Tall, dark pro footballer Roy Kent has two default modes Sir Swears-a-Lot and Deadpan Snarker. And these two modes are far from mutually exclusive.
  • Willow: Boorman is the tallest and darkest-skinned member of the rescue party, he's very quick with a quip, and doesn't hesitate to call out things (or people) he sees as foolish.
  • The X-Files: Special Agent Fox Mulder, Tall, Dark, and Handsome and a Deadpan Snarker extraordinaire. He's paired with one clever Agent who he respects greatly, and his boss is a Reasonable Authority Figure, but other than that, the people he makes his quips towards are people who do not understand (or believe) that his crazy theories about the paranormal are in most cases actually true.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Tachyon in Sentinels of the Multiverse. Okay, she's blonde. But, with a great sense of humor (she memorably described her lab team as "only the top scientific badasses") and standing at a full six feet tall, she fulfills most of the name, and certainly fits the archetype.

  • The title character from Brand, by Henrik Ibsen, is described as a man with black, straight hair, and is a Snark Knight if ever there was one. He also has an impressive effect on his fellow men.

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta from the Bayonetta is a dark-haired Statuesque Stunner who snarks with just about every single person she encounters.
  • Halara Nightmare from Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is a 181cm tall detective who wears dark blue clothes and is a significant Deadpan Snarker.
  • Jake from Resident Evil 6 is tall and definitely snarky, he may not have dark hair, though he wears dark clothes.
  • Yuri from Tales of Vesperia is a tall dark-haired Bishounen who constantly points out fallacies in people's arguments or reasoning.
  • Oleander from Them's Fightin' Herds is a unicorn, one of the more taller species of the game's world, has a dark coat and mane due to black magic, and most of her dialogue when she's not being a Smug Super is her undermining the skills and intelligence of her opponents. Even as guide during the tutorial sections she still occasionally talks about the fighters in a mocking way.
  • Garret from Thief is kind of tall, dark for sure, and all kinds of snarky. No matter who he's dealing with, he has a witty line to deliver.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Prosecutor Simon Blackquill is nearly an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, especially in his first appearance, and is taller than most of the cast. He delights in giving everyone nicknames, manipulating the court and the Judge with the power of suggestion, and punning at every opportunity. When his full motivation comes to light, it's clear that some of this is Gallows Humor.... but a lot of it is just Simon.
  • Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow:
  • Under the Moon has twin brothers Leni and Seizh; both have dark-hair, both have Instant Fan Clubs of adoring girls in their high school classes, but they express this trope in different ways.
    • Leni does not suffer fools.
    • Seizh does, but mostly for the chance to ridicule people.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Qrow Branwen is a tall, dark-haired man with Perma-Stubble who is the foremost master of the gun scythe and a member of Ozpin's inner circle. His reputation as a Huntsman is so fearsome that trained assassins like Mercury Black are running for the hills at the sight of him. He's also constantly drunk and snarks at everyone's expense when he feels that they're acting out of line (ignoring how his own actions can disturb the peace). Qrow is fiercely loyal to friends and family but has to minimize his time with his loved ones lest his Semblance bring them misfortune and tragedy.

  • The Shufflers has Hiddenite, who has dark hair, a stoic, quiet, demeanour, and a tendency to snark at his charge Märchen. He is nonetheless incredibly loyal to Märchen. He even has a personal world where it’s always night and snowing.
  • Girl Genius: Ardsley Wooster is tall, dark, British, the Servile Snarker as Gil's manservant, and a spy for Her Undying Majesty's British government, prone to badass stunts like foiling Dolokov's plan to sway the Jaegergenerals and departing with a Bond One-Liner. Out the window of an airship. Despite how dangerous it can be Wooster regularly snarks at the expense of Sparks, at one point saying he believes that a particularly dirty book Agatha noticed on Gil's shelves is one of Gil's favorites even as Gil tries to direct Agatha to a different one.

    Web Videos 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Mr. Rochester is Tall, Dark, Brooding and Mysterious. He is well-built, has tanned complexion, dark hair, Perma-Stubble and intriguing tattoos. He's bossy and almost rude but can be also nice and almost sweet when he's grateful or in a good mood. He's full of contradictions, and it's really hard to know when he's serious and when he deadpans and snarks.

    Western Animation