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The Voiceless

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That's why we never actually saw Maggie speak...

The character who, though able to speak, never does so on screen (except, perhaps, for that one really dramatic moment).

A variant of He Who Must Not Be Heard. The gag may be extended by having other characters refer to just how talkative this character is — but that's never seen on screen. ("Sorry I'm late, but (The Voiceless) caught me in the hall, and I couldn't get them to shut up.")

In movies, The Voiceless almost invariably says a line towards the end of the film — usually it's something complex and/or profound. Or they can go back to the previous joke and have them open their mouth, only to end the scene before any sound comes out.

Sometimes The Voiceless is The Team Pet, who is no doubt smarter than his masters, but can only communicate through normal animal noises and perhaps the occasional sardonic eye roll or other body language.

Contrast The Speechless, who never says anything because he actually cannot. Not to be confused with The Quiet One, which does speak, just not a lot. May utilize a Voice for the Voiceless or Mouth of Sauron. For the video game protagonist version, see Heroic Mime. When The Voiceless communicates entirely by body language, see The Silent Bob. If the character is a villain whose silence only makes them more frightening, they're a Silent Antagonist. See also The Singing Mute.

Before adding examples, please note that this trope implies that the character CAN, and DOES speak — we simply never see this on-screen (i. e. it is a narrative device rather than a character trait). If a character is physically incapable of speaking, it is The Speechless. If a character can speak but makes a choice to remain silent all the time, it is either The Quiet One or the Elective Mute. If a character never learned how to speak, it is Never Learned to Talk.


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  • The Burger King was a giant, creepy-looking, nutcracker-like being who never speaks.
  • A series of '80s commercials for Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers featured the fictional Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes. Frank did all the talking for the duo. See example here.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Keith Gandor of Baccano! doesn't speak throughout the entire anime series, despite being a main character and frequently appearing. This is taken to a much larger extreme in the light novel series, which mentions that he has a tendency to go years without talking. The irony of this would be that, even with his muteness ramped up to eleven, Keith actually does get an in-scene line in the first book: "That guy's an idiot."
  • The Child from Berserk. While he does not speak in his human form when the body of light appears before Guts — which only appears when the Child is around — when he is on the verge of becoming a monster, it does speak.
  • In Black Butler, Lau's favorite girl is this trope in the anime, but in the manga, Ranmao is simply a Cute Mute Ms. Fanservice. ... she needs more screentime, her and Lau.
  • BlazBlue: Alter Memory: Faithful to the games, Phantom never spoke and the anime only covered the first two games in which she made her silent debut in the latter. Phantom didn't get a Seiyuu until the console release of the third game, which was released a bit more than two weeks after the first episode of the anime had aired in Japan. In fact, her seiyuu Ayumi Fujimura wasn't even aware that there even was a BlazBlue anime until she heard it from her colleagues two years later who, unlike her, were part of the cast.
  • In the second filler arc in Bleach, Enryū doesn't speak until the end of the story line, at which point the giant imposing guy is revealed to have a voice that would make Alvin the Chipmunk blush.
  • Cells at Work: Baby!: Platelet either can't or won't speak. This trait seems unique to her — her fellow Platelets are shown speaking — but no reason has been given for it.
  • Cells at Work! CODE BLACK: It's never said that the Kupffer Cells can't speak, but none of them are shown speaking at all.
  • Nonette Enneagram in the second season of Code Geass, somewhat outstanding in that she is truly voiceless — in her two very brief appearances across 25 episodes, she never says a word.
  • Digimon:
    • Kamemon from Digimon Data Squad starts out as this, but the real winners are the two PawnChessmon. They actually have to have Miki and Megumi call their attacks and announce their evolution, but Kamemon is just shy. So shy that everyone stares at him in shock when he finally speaks a full sentence, and he retreats into his shell. Which is cute, but the real hilarity is in the finale: Megumi and Miki take the PawnChessmon to sing karaoke... off-screen.
    • In the Crisis Crossover finale of Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time, a very large number of the involved returning protagonists — specifically Yamato, Gabumon, Mimi, Palmon, V-mon, Wormmon, Guilmon and Renamon — have no speaking parts whatsoever. It's particularly egregious because this is a franchise that is heavy on Calling Your Attacks, and some of their original voice actors ARE involved in this series so it can't always be a matter of being unable to rehire the voice actors.
  • Sumiyoshi in the Excel♡Saga anime talks, but soundlessly. His lines are visible on the screen just as his lines were written in the manga (i.e., right next to his head, without word bubbles).
  • Joe Tetsuma from Eyeshield 21.
  • Makoto from FullMaPla never speaks, instead opting for numbered signs. Even when she's texting, she sends hyperlinks instead of typing out messages.
  • Brandon Heat, the main character from Gungrave. He says maybe three things in the whole series. Because in the video game series that the anime is based upon, Brandon (and his later persona Beyond the Grave) doesn't talk at all.... except for one and only one line at the end of the second game.
  • The Captain from Hellsing says not one word throughout the series. His speech bubbles consist entirely of "..." He has exactly one line in The Dawn. Unless that speech bubble is meant to be attributed to Dok.
  • Egypt from Hetalia: Axis Powers may fit this trope. He's never spoken a word in the anime or the manga, and the only thing he's done on screen yet was deliver a mild beat down to Italy with a stick and his fist. All without saying a word.
  • The title character of High School Ninja Girl, Otonashi-san never speaks, instead communicating via "freakishly expressive gestures." She even goes to great lengths to make herself conductor at a choir event so she doesn't have to sing. The only sound she's ever made is a yelp in one instance when she trips and falls.
  • In Inuyasha, Ginkotsu speaks very rarely, more often communicating in a grunt (typically written as "gersh"). After several episodes in a row of nothing but grunting, he surprises everyone by speaking in full sentences just before self-destructing to protect Renkotsu.
  • Isao from Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? never speaks aloud. The most he does is mumble, without speech bubbles, to the main characters who seem to be the only ones who can understand him.
  • The Baker in Kiki's Delivery Service has one line in the entire film. "Oi" which is little more than a grunt.
  • Mitobe from Kuroko's Basketball. He never says a word (and if I recall correctly, he doesn't even have a single bubble with ellipses in the whole manga). Played with in a scene where he's shown eating with his family, who all seem to be chatterboxes. Lampshaded in the first episode of the anime (not in the manga though), when they're getting people to join the basketball club:
    Koganei: Mitobe, make sure they hear you!
    [Mitobe grins at him, then turns back]
    Koganei: You're not gonna do it, are you?
  • Admiral Ernst von Eisenach from Legend of the Galactic Heroes never speaks even though he commands a fleet. Instead, he communicates his orders via hand gestures. He speaks twice over the course of the entire series. The first time his voice is not heard by viewers; the second time it is merely: "checkmate". The latter incident is recorded by the narrator as an important historical event would be, and his fellow admirals are shown to be shocked by the fact that he is actually capable of speech.
  • Muu from The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer is a bit of a subversion, in that he's a crow, so he shouldn't be able to speak, but he's also the animal familiar of one of the Beast Knights, and all the other familiars can talk, so why not him? Thus there's some doubt among the characters as to whether Muu conforms to this trope or if he's simply incapable of speech (though he certainly displays human intelligence in other ways.) This is eventually settled when Muu finally speaks in front of everyone right before he vanishes forever at the end of the war. We also learn from Muu's voice that she was a female all along.
  • The titular character of Mado Kara Madoka-chan never utters a word throughout the manga's entire 74 chapter run, usually communicating through gestures and facial expressions. That said, she can in fact speak as she confesses to the male protagonist, however in true tradition to this trope, it's drowned out by a passing train.
  • In a sense, Haibara-san of Mahoraba. Speaks with ventriloquy through his dog puppet, Johnny, but never says anything as himself (and claims that Johnny is an actual other being). Though he was not always this way, as revealed through flashbacks, and says a single sentence in the actual plot's timeline as himself for impact.
  • In spite of having a voice actor, Rusty Mackenzie doesn't have a single line in the series. The Typical Gundam SEED Destiny takes this a step further when he's cloned. If any of his clones so much as tries to speak, they will die from some contrived fashion even if all they say is "...".
  • Mayu from Morita-san Wa Mukuchi rarely speaks because her mother said to think before speaking. As a result she spends too much time thinking and misses the opportunity to speak. Luckily her friend Miki can usually guess what she wants from her facial expressions.
  • The titular character of My Neighbor Seki, never says a word, because the manga is focused on what he does instead. (Exception: he does speak two words of English when he is hypnotized into believing he is George Washington.) This is carried over into the animation, though his voice actor claims that supplying all of Seki's emotive grunts and sighs proved to be one of his more challenging roles.
  • Kuchinashi from NEEDLESS only speaks once in the series when she's calling out her ultimate attack and everyone is more surprised she spoke than about the actual attack. She uses a notebook to communicate through the series, often times having sarcastic comments.
  • Suguru from Non Non Biyori isn't mute, but he never utters anything on-screen. The one time we see him speak with his sister, he's playing the guitar, so no one can hear his voice, much less understand him.
  • For some time after his initial appearance, Pica in One Piece did not speak a word or even so much as grunt. This makes him come off as far more serious and pragmatic than his partners Trébol and Diamante, who are both chatterboxes. Subverted, eventually — he can talk, but he prefers not to because he has a high-pitched voice he's ashamed of. He'll forget to stay silent if sufficiently enraged, though.
  • Me-Mania of Perfect Blue. There are only two scenes in which he has any dialogue at all, and in one of them he's just mumbling to himself.
  • Meru Otonashi ("no sound") from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is voiceless unless extremely provoked (in which case you'd better run for your lives). She makes up for it by being a very proficient text spammer.
  • Many a Giant Spider from Spider Riders rarely ever spoke. The fact is actually lampshaded by the characters themselves on a few occasions.
    Spider Shadow: You don't talk much, do you Flame?
    Spider Flame: ...silence...
  • Overload in Transformers: Armada mostly serves as a mecha expansion pack for Optimus Prime, only appearing in robot mode once, and never speaks.
  • The fisherman in When Marnie Was There. Apparently he hasn't said a single word for quite some time but breaks his silence at the end when hearing the name Marnie.

    Asian Animation 
  • Roxanne from Ben And Izzy doesn't speak for most of the show and is always chewing gum instead. Until the final episode when she gets her heel-face turn, lampshaded by Ben and Izzy.

  • Teller, of Penn & Teller, is known for never speaking in their various shows and specials. Well, almost never — in fact, Penn Jillette admits that Teller talks at least once during every live show, but it's always a gimmick, and usually when you hear him, you can't see him. Teller explained once that he noticed, when he first started performing at parties, that people were more likely to pay attention (and less likely to heckle) if he kept silent. In any event, Teller talks openly off-camera (e.g. meeting fans after live performances) and in non-performance contexts (e.g. interviews, lectures, and panel discussions). His few speaking instances tend to be weird and memorable:
    • He waits until the very end of Penn & Teller Get Killed to pipe up.
    • Once on Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Penn is standing alone on the set referencing the schoolyard rhyme, "liar, liar, pants on fire", when Teller runs by in the background with his pants on fire, screaming in terror.
    • Once he narrated a magical act aloud — while being drowned out by an industrial wood chipper. It showcases how Teller eschews the common magician's trope of narrating everything they're doing while they're doing it.
    • In the duo's appearance on The Simpsons, Teller manages to get out, in desperation, "I'm not the first Teller!"
    • In Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Teller can be seen speaking to Penn while discussing the tricks they've just witnessed, but his voice is inaudible to the camera.
    • In his book God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist, Penn mentions that audience members have admit to him that they have heard Teller talk during the performance — but they always tell their friends and family that they didn't hear him at all, adding to the mystique of the duo's performance. It's all part of the show, in the same way people don't want to be told which tricks they're going to see.

    Comic Books 
  • Sin City:
    • Kevin, the especially disturbing silent killer. He only talks to Cardinal Roark, who says that he has "the voice of an angel."
    • Deadly little Miho also qualifies, though she's on the side of the Anti Heroes.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): When Di and the revolutionaries free the tortured Daxamite woman who chooses to ally herself with them the woman doesn't speak at all, even after spending months with the other revolutionaries, causing Diana to nickname her "Julia" after a friend back on earth just to have a name for her. "Julia" speaks for the first time when she encounters the kreel torturer who ripped her eyes out after the revolution has been successful, she did however occasionally scream or yell prior to this, she just never tired to use any words.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Lubyov hasn't been described speaking a single word, and is described In-Universe as "deathly silent" and as having always been quiet.
  • Chirp of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction Silent Knight. Thus far, Word of God says his primary purpose it to serve as "a large, human chibi."
  • Mobius from Ace Combat: The Equestrian War never says a single word. As Sky Eye puts it, he prefers to let his actions speak instead.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • The Winter Soldier never speaks. It's not that he can't — indeed, as Natasha notes, he used to be more The Quiet One — it's just that he doesn't either need or particularly want to speak. And it serves to make him even more terrifying. It's later revealed that he can't speak unless he's ordered to. However, he can communicate just fine when he wants to, either through writing, miming, or through a form of sign language he and Natasha invented. Apparently it was either used on ops where speech wasn't practical or the equivalent of passing love notes across a classroom. Chapter 67 has a Wham Line in the form of him speaking, signifying how far his brainwashing has degenerated.
      • Even after Heel–Face Turn, he continues as The Quiet One, with his habitual silence combined with his disturbing knack for fading into the background meaning that some Hogwarts students seriously speculate somehow that he must be half-ghost.
    • The Red Son, as the Winter Soldier's designated successor, continues this trend. As it turns out, he can speak... but since he's a Blank Slate of Harry, there's not very much for him to say. Usually.
  • Kill la Kill AU was this mostly off and on (i.e, characters would be seen speaking but there was no speech bubbles) and, in earlier comics, in terms of characters, it was mostly Ryuuko that didn't talk, being two and lacking the ability to speak fluently (when she did speak, it was baby talk), while Mako, in most of her appearances, never usually has any lines, however, she does speak in the fanfics and the videos.
  • In The Elements of Friendship, Pinkamena, by virtue of being a mime in this fiction.

    Films — Animation 
  • Ironically, Farmer Jones in Animal Farm (1954) never speaks on-screen while his pigs spend the whole film talking to each other.
  • Three of the Turaga (Nuju, Matau and Whenua) and Ensemble Dark Horse characters Hafu and Macku appear but don't talk in BIONICLE: Mask of Light, and Hewkii only says a single line and some grunts.
  • Despite being described as "loud and boisterous", Pouks never speaks in BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows, and Kualus only says one word, though he talks a bit in one of the bonus features on the DVD.
  • The Bone Hunters and Skrall soldiers in BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn make grunts, laughs, squawks, an out-of-place Wilhelm Scream, and can be heard chattering in some animal-like tribal language, but never say a real word.
  • Joao from The Book of Life has no lines.
  • The Triplets in Brave. They only make occasional sounds like laughter and gasping. At the end of the movie, one of them can be heard saying "Bye Dad!" as they have snuck aboard one of the foreign ships heading back to their home lands.
  • In The Care Bears Movie, Secret Bear let his secret of never uttering a word slip a couple of times (his partner Friend Bear serves as a translator). When he says "the key", while handing it to Nicholas to help him close a book which contains The Spirit's face and when he lets out a "yeah!!" during a song, as the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins fall down from the sound of this behind them and they turn around, and look at him surprisingly.
  • Red in the Cars sequels. He was voiceless because the actor that voiced him in the original Cars, Joe Ranft died (it happened before the first movie was even released).
  • Dumbo never learned to speak, due to his young age, so he doesn't get a line in his own movie. His partner, Timothy Q. Mouse, does all the talking for him.
  • In Faeries (1999) one of the titular faeries never speaks.
  • Taarna, the heroine of the final story of the 1981 movie Heavy Metal, never speaks. Whether she can't or merely won't, however, is never explained. Strangely, this actually makes her the most interesting character in the movie.
  • The film adaptation of Horton Hears a Who! has Jojo, who never speaks until the end of the movie. The reason why he didn't speak is because according to the narrator, "he might let down his dad." He’s actually voiced by Jesse Mc Cartney.
  • Spike from The Land Before Time is voiceless, only speaking in squawks and grunts. The only instants he speaks are when his sister falls down a ledge ("DUCKY!") and when he breaks through thin ice ("MOM!") Justified because he's a baby, and adult Stegosaurs in the films are shown to be perfectly capable of speech.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, aside from Vinyl Scratch, who has always been silent and may be The Speechless, the human counterparts of Derpy, Scootaloo, Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, Mr. Cake, and Photo Finish have no dialogue. In the sequel, although Photo Finish and even Octavia speak, Lyra Heartstrings, Sweetie Drops/Bon-Bon, and Sweetie Belle remain silent, although SB's voice actress is listed in the credits. Lyra and Bon-Bon gets speaking roles in Friendship Games and its prequel shorts, and Derpy get a line in Legend of Everfree.
  • In My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), the Cutie Mark Crusaders have no lines. Neither Sweetie Belle nor Scootaloo's voice actresses are credited. Officially, Apple Bloom was briefly heard in the pony choir during the song "We Got This Together" along with Granny Smith, and their voice actresses were credited. Also, Starlight Glimmer, the new recurring character as of Season 6, makes very brief cameos and does not speak.
  • In The Old Lady and the Pigeons, the only characters that speak in the short are the American tourists. Everyone else is either silent or only "talks" in vague sighs and mumbles.
  • Peter Pan:
    • Tiger Lily was mostly taciturn. A rare speaking moment from her was when she cried to Peter for help. This is partly justified, since Captain Hook has been threatening her to give up information, and the Indian princess bravely refuses to disclose anything.
    • Toodles, the youngest lost boy in the skunk costume never spoke throughout the whole film, aside from a single line when Wendy tells them about mothers he says “tell us, Wendy”.
  • Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs doesn't speak at all, though he is quite expressive. Happy explains that Dopey doesn't know whether he can talk, because he never tried. The only sounds he ever made in the movie are a one-shot yell upon mistaking Snow White for a sleeping monster, a few hiccups during the Washing Song, whimpering like a dog in his sleep, and most notably, crying when he and the other dwarfs think Snow White died.
  • In Tangled, the King and Queen do not speak. Despite this, they have three of the most emotionally charged and tearjerking scenes in the movie, which says a lot about the quality of the animation. In the short Tangled Ever After, the Queen gets a single line in an Imagine Spot, and the series, they talk regularly.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler:
    • In the original version, Tack never said anything until the end when he gets engaged to Princess Yum Yum — he says "I love you" in a surprisingly deep voice. Later versions, however, had him speak throughout the movie.
    • Also, the thief was silent throughout the original version. The only time he makes any vocalization is when he fakes getting his hands chopped off. Later versions had him speak, though.
  • In Turning Red, Sun Yee never says a word, enforcing her mystical imposing stature. She only wants her children's children to be happy, and lets her descendants' own words, choices, and actions be her voice, respecting whether they want to embrace the red panda spirit or seal it away.
  • Up: Zigzagged at the beginning. As kids, Carl hardly speaks and Ellie hardly stops. Both characters are seen to speak during the following montage, but we don't hear it. Then the montage ends, and we hear Carl, but Ellie has died, and we don't even hear her as a ghost voice or through Carl's memories.
    • Also the construction boss, who never says a word or makes a sound in either scene he appears in.
  • In the Wreck-It Ralph franchise, most Sugar Rush racers don’t play a speaking role, while Jubileena Bing-Bing only gets a couple lines in the first movie (she doesn’t talk in the second film, Ralph Breaks The Internet), and Rancis Fluggerbutter and Candlehead only get one to three speaking lines in each Wreck-It Ralph movie. The only Sugar Rush racers that speak with full dialogue in the films are Vanellope Von Schweetz and Taffyta Muttonfudge (unless you count King Candy/Turbo, who steals the position of Vanellope in the first Wreck-It Ralph movie [he doesn’t return in the second film as he dies towards the end of the first film] and is also not meant to be in Sugar Rush, since he belongs to the game Turbo Time [in his Turbo form]).
  • Mr. Emmitt Otterton of Zootopia doesn't speak, but his wife does. He does make realistic otter sounds when going savage, however.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 8 Women: Marcel, the murder victim, is never heard speaking in flashbacks involving him, nor when it turns out he's actually alive and Faking the Dead; by the time he kills himself with a gun to the head, he still hasn't uttered a word.
  • Vulnavia, The Dragon to the Villain Protagonist in The Abominable Dr. Phibes. Offscreen, she apparently can speak, although she is The Quiet One. Onscreen, her only utterance is a scream of agony as she is doused with Hollywood Acid.
  • Unlike his television counterpart, Lurch from The Addams Family doesn't speak in the movies, other to occasionally grunt a little.
  • Owen never says a word throughout The Aggression Scale. Comments from his father Bill indicate that Owen could speak before the incident that landed him in the secure mental institution, and that Owen is choosing not to speak for reasons of his own.
  • Amazing Grace and Chuck: Chuck becomes this as a way to escalate his anti-nuclear protest during the film's third act. Then the other kids in his class join in, then it spreads among children across the globe and people start freaking out
  • The Artist, the almost-but-not-quite "silent film", features an interesting twist on this trope. It is mostly a silent film where we can't hear characters speak except in inter-titles. However, in a dream sequence, we find that suddenly the world has sound (which we can hear), except that our hero finds he cannot speak, despite trying to. At the very end of the film he speaks, audibly, for the first time — indicating that he has now accepted the inevitability of people talking in movies. We are also surprised by the fact he has a strong French accent, which may explain earlier reluctance to appear in talkies.
  • In Abel Gance's Austerlitz, Emperor Francis of Austria does not have a single spoken line. When Tsar Alexander (who does all the talking) is not pushing him offscreen, he can be seen fidgeting nervously with his various decorations and looking completely overwhelmed.
  • Mini-Me Dr. Evil's clone from the Austin Powers series, the only things he ever says are "Me" or "Eee" and during Dr. Evil's music video he says "You and I" in a deep voice.
  • The Avengers (1998):
  • Han-gi in Bad Guy by Kim Ki-duk. When he does eventually speak, his voice turns out to be a hoarse whisper.
  • Battle Royale: Kiriyama, one of the most psychopathic students in the game, never says a word. The only noise he makes is blowing into a loudspeaker.
  • Stanley, the title character in Jerry Lewis' The Bell Boy, doesn't say a word until the very end of the film (although Lewis, in a dual role, also appears as himself and speaks while doing so).
  • Lane's super-genius kid brother Badger in Better Off Dead never says a word on-screen, which doesn't seem to keep him from picking up trashy women. There's also a young Asian immigrant who never speaks because he doesn't know any English — although his brother does, and talks like Howard Cosell, thanks to repeated viewings of Wide World of Sports.
  • The Big Clock: Earl Janoth's bodyguard/dogsbody is the silently menacing Bill Womack (played by a young Harry Morgan). He obviously can speak as he is sent to bribe the cab driver off-screen, but he never does so while onscreen.
  • The Holy Man in Black Narcissus. Kanji screams, but has no dialogue.
  • The Blind Side: Michael, due to his Dark and Troubled Past, when he first arrives at his new private religious school. He eventually opens up and starts talking after the Tuohys begin helping him.
  • Allison in The Breakfast Club remains quiet for at least the whole first half of the movie, during which time she has a grand total of one line of dialogue (aside from shouting "ha" once). It isn't until the last quarter of the film that she finally opens up and we start to learn about her troubled social life.
  • Bang Bang, the Japanese explosive expert in The Brothers Bloom only speaks two words in the whole film. When she accidentally blows up an entire castle, she exclaims, "Fuck me!"
  • Catch Us If You Can: Lenny Davidson doesn't have a single line. Occasionally he'll try to speak, but someone else will cut him off. At a costume party, he dresses as Harpo Marx.
  • Even after the introduction of sound, Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp character didn't speak. The first time we hear the Tramp's voice is when he sings in Modern Times. Chaplin chose to have the Tramp sing gibberish so he could continue to cross all language barriers. The only time The Tramp speaks clearly is in The Great Dictator, which is also the last appearance of the character.
  • Cloud Atlas: Technically, he's not literally voiceless, but until nearly the end of the Cavendish story, Mr. Meeks only utters the same phrase repeatedly: "I know, I know!" Meeks finally finds his voice when he shouts out to Scottish rugby hooligans in a pub and urges them to fight off the staff of Aurora House who have come to take his crew back to the home.
  • In Confessions of a Psycho Cat, Virginia's Battle Butler Bye never speaks over the course of the movie. He must be able to speak, as Virginia instructs him to answer the phone at one point, which would be a pointless command if he was mute.
  • In the Egyptian film "Dada Doody" Kadhim stops talking after his mother dies while hugging him. He speaks in the end of the movie.
  • Dave Made a Maze: Harry's cameraman doesn't say a word until right before he dies. Several times it looks like he's about to say something, only to just spit out a sunflower seed shell instead.
  • The killer from Desolation (2017) never says a word. He DOES however, let out a scream when Sam stabs him with a knife.
  • George, the Cute Mute climbing instructor in The Eiger Sanction. On her final night with the protagonist she slips into his bedroom and starts to casually remove her clothing, while he jokingly provides both sides of the seduction dialogue.
  • Similarly, Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th never spoke except as a child in the flashbacks and in the earlier films before he became a zombie he would occasionally grunt and scream. (The closest he came was saying "Ow!" in the third movie.) He wouldn't even talk in the Freddy vs. Jason pre-movie conference when asked a question. This was even lampshaded by Freddy himself, which served to piss Jason off. No one died that day, thankfully.
  • Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation never utters a single word, due to him having taken a vow of silence. The low sigh he utters at Storm Shadow's apparent death is the most he's ever said in any continuity.
  • The Golden Child, as a Buddhist Messiah figure, never speaks until the very end, after he's been rescued.
  • Vinnie Jones (The Sphinx) in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), who gets a lengthy philosophical soliloquy at the end.
    The Sphinx: (in Vinnie Jones's typical accent) If his unpleasant wounding has in some way enlightened the rest of you as to the grim finish beneath the glossy veneer of criminal life and inspired you to change your ways, then his injuries carry with it an inherent nobility, and a supreme glory. We should all be so fortunate. You say poor Toby? I say poor us.
    (everyone stares at him)
    Tumbler: He spoke.
    Atley Jackson: Yeah...
  • In the Scottish comedy Gregory's Girl, the character of Charlie doesn't speak until the final scene, when he point out that the capital of Venezuela is misspelled.
  • The Guns of Navarone: Anna has never spoken after her torture by the Germans. But that's all a lie, since she's actually The Mole.
  • In the original Halloween series Michael never spoke and only ever uttered generic noises like grunts, which themselves are barely audible in most cases. In the remake series Michael's shown to talk, but only as a child. That is until the director's cut for Halloween II (2009), where he screams "DIE!" at Loomis before stabbing him multiple times.
  • In Hannie Caulder, the mysterious black clad gunslinger known only as the Preacher never says a word: communicating only through subtle gestures.
  • Kroenen in Hellboy, on account of removing his lips, among other things. His character is completely different in the Comic Book and can speak quite well.
  • Colby (Lee Van Cleef) from High Noon, seems to speak at the beginning, but has no lines beyond a few harmonica tunes.
    • Not to be confused with Charles Bronson's similarly harmonica-bound character in Once Upon A Time In The West, who was more The Quiet One.
  • Tiny never speaks in either House of 1000 Corpses or The Devil's Rejects. This may be because he's completely covered in burn scars and can't hear very well.
  • The Human Centipede films have a couple such characters. In First Sequence, the cop named Voller never utters a word, merely staring piercingly (something between a Death Glare and a Kubrick Stare) but it's assumed he can talk. In Full Sequence, Villain Protagonist Martin is suggested to have spoken offscreen numerous times, even making phone calls, but otherwise never actually says a single thing outside of a few weird squeaks and grunts.
  • The Hunger Games: Foxface maybe says a word or two during her interview with Caesar, but this is out of focus so it's hard to tell.
  • The DMZ soldiers watching the interview in The Interview, particularly the one played by Song Kangho, don't have a single word of dialogue.
  • The two protagonists of Film/3Iron, also by Kim Ki-duk, share a romance through the entire film without ever speaking a word.
  • Several James Bond villains:
    • From Russia with Love's Donald "Red" Grant, who remains silent for most of his apperance in the movie, only speaking in his final scenes on the train.
    • In Goldfinger, the titular villain's hulking, Korean bodyguard Oddjob apparently lacks the ability to speak English, so he doesn't talk, but simply not talking only makes him more intimidating. The only sound he makes is screaming when he is electrocuted while trying to retrieve his metal hat when bond electrocutes the metal bars the hat is stuck in.
    • Vargas from Thunderball is never heard speaking. He only screams when Bond shoots him with a harpoon gun.
    • Blofeld's henchman Hans in You Only Live Twice, who only utters a Big "NO!" as he's devoured alive by the piranhas.
    • Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. At the end of his second film appearance, he has one line of dialogue when preparing a toast to his bespectacled girlfriend as the rocket ship is heading back to Earth. He says, "Well, here's to us." (Possibly, the reason he doesn't speak is because his metal, cybernetic teeth make talking difficult, but that is just a theory.)
    • Another Bond example: Emil Locque, the Psycho for Hire Professional Killer in For Your Eyes Only. We see him speaking on the phone at one point, but we cannot hear him. He later screams in terror when Bond kills him. Otherwise, he is silent.
    • Patrice from Skyfall doesn't say a word, even when he is asked by Bond who he's working for, he desires not to speak and plummets to his death.
    • Mr. Hinx from Spectre, a hulking henchman not unlike Oddjob and Jaws, says only one word throughout the film, "Shit.", only before being killed by Bond.
  • Kong: Skull Island: This is the Iwi tribe's entire hat. They are stated to be capable of speech, but generally refuse to speak out loud and communicate almost entirely through body language. This is justified because they live on an Isle of Giant Horrors and keep as quiet as they can to avoid unwanted attention from the island's many vicious predators.
  • Listen to Your Heart: Ariana only speaks a few times, and always during very dramatic moments. Though she's able to, for some unclear reason she'd prefer not to, perhaps as a means of defying her mother (who didn't want her to learn sign language, and would likely have wanted Ariana only speaking).
  • Laddie, the youngest of the vampires from The Lost Boys, doesn't speak until the very end, when he bursts out with Star's name in his excitement over having become human again. He does snarl at the Frog brothers prior to this, but it's inarticulate growling, not words.
  • Mandroid: The homeless mute Drago hires to help him never says a word. Any attempt at communication from him comes out as wheezy-sounding groans.
  • Jack the Ripper never says a word in A Man with a Maid, although there is no indication that he is mute.
  • Harpo of the Marx Brothers built his professional persona around pantomime. As a youth, his Uncle Al wrote him a vaudeville part that was silent, but Harpo insisted on ad-libbing some lines. Afterwards, he read a review that said his excellent pantomime was spoiled once he started talking. Thereafter, he never spoke in a performance again, and very rarely allowed his voice to be recorded. However, he does audibly sneeze in At the Circus and might be harmonizing "Sweet Adeline" with his brothers in Monkey Business. The producer of A Night In Casablanca proposed that Harpo speak a single line so they could advertise, "Harpo Speaks!" but he got shot down. Harpo did use the line for the title of his autobiography. If you're curious what Harpo sounded like, some recordings of his voice can be found here.
  • A few characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are this.
    • Taskmaster (aka Antonia Dreykov) from Black Widow never utters a word or grunts until the very end of the movie, where after having her brainwashing courtsesy of Dreykov undone by Natasha, she asks, "Is he gone?", before losing consciousness.
    • Death Dealer from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings never utters a single word in the movie, nor is it explicitley stated whether or not he was actually physically mute, and he ends up being Killed Off for Real by the Soulsuckers before it could be answered.
  • Midnight Madness: Blue Team member Blade has no dialogue and only communicates by shaking his head or giving the odd Death Glare.
  • Sub-Zero, and Reptile from Mortal Kombat: The Movie.
  • Murder by Decree: Not once does William Slade, a.k.a. Jack The Ripper, ever speak on screen.
  • One of the comedy writers in My Favorite Year says nothing up until the film scene, when he finally blurts out, "Oh God, this makes me happy!"
  • Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, ostensibly deaf-mute, eventually reveals to McMurphy that he's faking it.
  • Painkiller Jane: It's never said Squeak cannot speak, but he doesn't utter a word in the film.
  • Elisabet, one of the main characters in Persona (1966) speaks only fourteen words in the film.
  • The Perfect Weapon (1991): Jennifer, played by the beautiful Mariska Hargitay, never utters a single word on-screen.
  • Pilgrimage: The lay brother at the Irish monastery never speaks and hasn't told anyone his name, so he's referred to as Mute in the credits. He reveals that he is capable of speech in the third act by grunting and then saying a single word before dying.
  • One of the holders of the Pieces of Eight in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End never spoke, but as it turned out, it was because he actually had a very high-pitched, squeaky voice..
    • Cotton, one of Jack's crew members, also never speaks, since his tongue was cut out. He speaks through his parrot instead (which isn't a very good speaker).
  • In Pixels, Lady Lisa doesn't say a word throughout the entire film.
  • Fallon, Borden's mysterious ingenieur, in The Prestige only speaks once in the entire film. Justified because he is actually Borden's twin and if he speaks, he would give away his familiar East End accent.
  • Repothe Genetic Opera has two identical characters who speak one line in the entire film. Justified as they're the silent, badass bodyguards of Rotti Largo.
  • None of the Indians in Revenge of the Virgins speak while on screen.
  • In Run for the Sun, Jan never says anything beyond a few grunts, with Browne describing him as 'a man of few words'. It seems likely that he does not speak English, explaining why he never talks to Mike and Katie. They do see him talking to Van Anders at one point (presumably in German) but they are too far away to hear what he says.
  • In Scrooged, the son of the TV executive's African-American assistant hasn't spoken since his father (her husband) was murdered a couple years back. Until the end with the TV executive, where he speaks: "God bless us every one."
  • Inverted in Mel Brooks's Silent Movie: the only one who says anything is Marcel Marceau, the French mime, who gives an enthusiastic "Non!" when invited to appear in the film.
  • Kristen Stewart's character in Speak decides to stop talking after a traumatic event.
  • Vega in the Street Fighter movie; he only speaks with his mask on or off screen. In the games, he can indeed talk whenever he wants. This sparked a rumour that the actor who played him couldn't speak English or was mute.
  • The bounty hunters chasing Hulk Hogan in Suburban Commando are large, muscular, and silent — until one(played ironically by Mark "The Undertaker" Calloway)speaks in a squeaky, girly voice, prompting Hogan to remark, "No wonder you guys never talk!"
  • In Swashbuckler, neither the lute player nor the Woman of Dark Visage utter a word while they are on the screen. It is not clear if they can't speak, or just chose not to, but the lute player remains silent even after accidentally stabbing himself in the stomach.
  • Ryan, the protagonist of Ten Dead Men, is not shown speaking during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge beyond grunts of pain or exertion. He is shown speaking in flashbacks, but his voice is not heard. Only at the end of the film does he deliver a single Wham Line to the Projects manager:
    I killed Hart two days ago.
    • Additionally the Project Manager's Perky Female Minion does not speak. Unlike Ryan, it is not established if she can speak and is choosing not to, or if she is physically incapable of speech.
  • In Take Down, the star athlete of Rockville High's wrestling team, Leroy Baron, never speaks. He clearly can as he's seen talking with his coach at one point, but the viewers can't hear it. Presumably this is done to make him more intimidating—less of a character and more of an obstacle for the hero Nick to beat.
  • The Tall Man: Jodelle Ferland's character, Jenny, can speak — she just doesn't at first. It appears to be because she's dealing with a speech impediment, since Julia mentions she goes to speech therapy. Once she's adopted it appears this was overcome, since she then does speak normally.
  • In The Theatre Bizarre, Enola Penny is intrigued by an abandoned theatre in her neighborhood. One night the theatre door mysteriously opens and she enters. A puppet host introduces six short films. Throughout the whole experience, Enola does not speak.
  • Rinzler a.k.a. Tron in TRON: Legacy, who only ever makes a sort of muted-flickery-growling sound until speaking one line when he regains his free will and turns on CLU.
  • Vet Hard: Vuk is a Yugoslavian who can't speak Dutch, and thus can't communicate with the other characters at all. He doesn't say anything in the movie note .
  • The View Askewniverse/New Jersey Trilogy movies by Kevin Smith
    • Silent Bob, who earns his nickname. If you pull the string on Silent Bob's action figure, nothing happens. Each film has about one instance of him talking, ranging from a profound monologue (Clerks) to an Indiana Jones impression after throwing someone off a train (Dogma) to him just finally losing it with Jay's stupidity (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). In Clerks II, when in jail at the end and having to figure out what to do, Jay says to Bob, "That's your cue, man!" — to which Bob tries to think of something, then just shrugs it off with "I've got nothing".
    • God, in Dogma, since living humans would die instantly if they ever heard her speak out loud; the Metatron has to speak for her. (Bob also says "Thanks" to her near the end.)
  • Mitch in Waiting..., for the most part. Every time he is asked a question or tries to speak, he is somehow interrupted within the first two words of his response. Averted in the end when he goes on a tirade at the end during the party.
  • Special mention must go to the Furies in 1979's The Warriors. They are baseball bat-wielding, Day-Glo face-painted vigilantes who prowl New York's Central Park after dark and never, ever utter a single word. Even when they get punched, they grunt quietly.
  • Everyone assumes the title character in What the Deaf Man Heard is a deaf-mute, until he appears as a witness in a court case.
  • Willy's Wonderland: Nicolas Cage's character does not say a single word throughout the film. We do hear some grunts as he battles the animatronics, so we know he has vocal cords.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Deadpool during the final confrontation (providing a pointed contrast to his comic book reputation as "the Merc with the Mouth").
    • X-Men: First Class: Riptide has no dialogue.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Sunspot doesn't speak in the theatrical version, but he does get one line in The Rogue Cut.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Wolverine has no dialogue; he just grunts and roars.
    • Logan. Laura appears to be a Cute Mute, though Charles Xavier is apparently communicating with her via telepathy. After Charles dies Logan gets a shock when Laura throws a diatribe of Spanglish at him. According to Word of God, her silence was to avoid the character becoming the usual sardonic Kid Sidekick. In-Universe, a translation of her first rant reveals that Laura willfully chose to remain silent around Logan; when she blows up at him she pointedly asks why he expects her to talk to him, when all he's done the entire film is yell at her, insult her, or try to abandon her.
  • Mindy, Dupree's girlfriend in You, Me and Dupree, apparently can speak, but we never hear her do so; we do hear her scream in pain when Dupree accidentally sets her on fire. Even more bizarre, Mindy is also The Faceless.

  • An old joke goes: there was a boy who never spoke. As he grew up, his parents took him to doctors, specialists, healers; there appeared to be no physical reason for his silence, but no one was ever able to make a dent in it. Finally they gave up and accepted him for what he was. One day when he was 13, the family was eating dinner, and the boy suddenly spit it out and loudly proclaimed, "This soup is terrible!" His parents were shocked. "You can speak?" "Of course I can. Why wouldn't I be able to speak? Perfectly normal thing to do." "Then why have you been silent all these years?" "Well, up to now, the soup's been pretty good."
  • Some monks and nuns who have taken a vow, like the famous trappists. This is occasionally made fun of, like in this joke: A woman wants to become a trappist nun. Since she is a novice, she is allowed to speak two words per week (or month, or year, depending on the version of the joke). The first time she is allowed to speak, she says "bed hard", so she gets a softer mattress. The second time she says "food cold", so they care for this problem too. The third time, she says "I leave."
    Abbess: Yes, that's better for all of us. You've been complaining all the time.

  • A running joke in John Morgan Wilson's Benjamin Justice series. Fred, one of Justice's elderly landlords, has virtually no dialogue, beyond the occasional grunt.
  • In The Chronicles of the Black Company, one of the company wizards (called Silent) is quite the embodiment of this trope.
  • In most adaptations of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come does not speak, answering Scrooge's questions with simple nods, or just staring in stony silence.
  • In The Book of the Dun Cow, Ebenezer Rat never speaks, and is the only animal character who doesn't. It is implied that his stealthy, criminal nature contributes to this.
  • In Daughter of the Forest, based on the traditional fairy tale, a girl must rescue her brothers after they have been turned into swans by her evil stepmother. To do so she must not speak (or, it seems, make any vocal sound, not even sobs or cries of pain) until she has made seven shirts for them out of what are essentially sharp thistled plants. She manages it, but it causes her quite a few troubles, including one man's death because she could not speak up at the appropriate time.
  • In Dave Barry Slept Here, Calvin "Silent Cal" Coolidge is noted only for the humorous anecdotes about him hardly ever talking.
  • In The Dragonslayer's Apprentice, the dragonslayer's assistant Ron is like this; he says little, if anything, and has mastered the art of nonverbal communication. He says so little that when the titular apprentice fills her boss in on the details of a celebration he got a little too drunk at, a big deal is made of Ron commenting that he likes the sausages.
  • In Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Oskar's grandfather slowly loses his ability to speak after Anna's death. He resorts to writing everything in journals and tattoos "Yes" on one hand and "No" on the other.
  • Cophthera-gn of The First Dwarf King never speaks. He just stares at those engaged in conversation with him, to incredibly creepy effect.
  • Dexna from First Light had only spoken to about five people (and never in public) for about thirteen years. Thea was shocked when she spoke upon seeing Peter. Everyone was likewise shocked when she interrupted an annual children's play about the founding of the city.
  • In Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Spartan-III Lucy-B091 is one of only two survivors of Operation: TORPEDO. The experiences of that mission are so traumatic that she becomes utterly incapable of speaking until Halo: Glasslands. Despite this, she becomes a capable NCO under Lieutenant Kurt Ambrose when training Gamma Company. She also coordinates well with the other Spartans, who mostly communicate by hand gestures and comm beeps anyways. She can't do the Spartan version of the "all clear" signal (an "Olly olly oxen free" whistle), though.
  • The only sounds Rip the Coyote from the Hank the Cowdog series makes are grunts of affirmation ("Uh") or negation ("Uh-uh").
  • Harry Potter:
    • Crabbe and Goyle, until the last book. In the second book, Harry and Ron talk while magically transformed into them, though, and Malfoy doesn't find this unusual, implying that they're The Quiet Ones when with him.
    • Marietta Edgecombe, despite being infamous of her one act of being a tattletale, never says anything on"screen".
    • Also the Bloody Baron. One can assume Harry has heard him speak, since he impersonates him to fool Peeves and it works, but he never says a word the readers can hear.
    • Slytherin Quidditch player Montague boasts about Crabbe's light punishment, tries to dock points from Fred and George, and tells Malfoy how to work the Vanishing Cabinet...yet we never hear his exact words, nor does he say anything we can hear.
  • In Homecoming (Walsh) by Anne B. Walsh Mazor are perfectly capable of vocal speech, but consider it incredibly crass and barbaric. They prefer to communicate with sign language.
  • Hover Car Racer has Jason's autistic brother, the Bug. He only talks directly to Jason and his mother (not his father though), and even the readers don't hear him. Except at one particularly dramatic moment.
  • The Hunger Games: Lavinia. Getting your tongue cut out does that... However, before she was taken by the Capitol, she screamed the boy's name that she was with.
  • Nina Tanleven: The Ghost Wore Gray has Martha, one of the staff members at the Quackadoodle, who never says a word where Nine can hear it — the most noise she makes is a snort.
  • In John Scalzi's Old Man's War Maggie is an example, though at one point after she speaks and is looked at oddly, she comments "What? I'm just quiet, not mute."
  • Adah Price in The Poisonwood Bible communicates almost entirely by writing notes. After she goes to college alone, she's forced to talk and starts acting more normally, much to Rachel's surprise.
  • From Rabble Starkey, Mrs Bigelow doesn't say anything due to her mental illness and Rabble hadn't heard her say anything in the four years she lived with the Bigelows.
  • Archer from The Reader (2016) is unable to speak for most of the book, a combination of physical and mental trauma. He's able to talk again near the end.
  • In Sekhmet, Henrik, Nathanael, and Cassandra never speak. Though Cassandra growls and Nathaniel squeaks.
  • Inkie from The Seventh Tower.
  • John Marsden's So Much To Tell You is written as a diary by a girl called Marina. Before the book starts, she was horribly disfigured when her father threw acid in her face (while aiming for his wife). She hasn't spoken since, and does not break her silence until the final chapter when she visits her father in prison and announces that she has "So much to tell [him]."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Pycelle claims that "Robert Strong" took a holy vow of silence, but it's heavily implied that Robert Strong is the reanimated Gregor Clegane and unable to speak.
  • Remember the Interrogation Droid that Darth Vader used on Leia in Star Wars: A New Hope? This was actually an inversion. Expanded Universe novels have shown that these droids are perfectly capable of speech, but are usually simply told not to by whoever is conducting the interrogation, because a torturer who remains silent can be far more effective than one who speaks to the victim.
  • In Superfudge, baby sister Tootsie is too young to speak until the end, when she starts imitating the "Yuck!" that Peter utters while changing her diaper. Her timely repetition of "Yuck!" is later misinterpreted as "York!" by the rest of the family, which helps them reach the decision to move back to New York City ("Nu yuck!").
  • In Tiassa, Khaavren's servant Borteliff is widely assumed to be mute. He can talk, he's just found that silence in a servant is so prized by his employers that he'll go for a year or more without saying a word.
  • Villains by Necessity: Blackmail never speaks, and communicates solely through gestures, until near the end of the book.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. had gunfighter Utah Johnny Montana (he's from Idaho) who can't speak due to having been shot in the throat, and has a sidekick who does all his talking for him.
  • Ironically, Kimi Milard of Alphas is never heard on-screen despite the voice being the center of her power. She steadily walks up, whispers something (inaudible to the audience) into the victim's ear, forces them to kill themselves ...and appears to enjoy it. However, she has no dialogue beyond this.
  • Wacky the Wolf, from A.N.T. Farm.
    • Noted in one episode; When Lexi disguises herself in a cheap replica of Wacky's costume, and starts asking why the rest of the cheerleaders seem to hate her, one of them notes that Wacky never speaks.
  • Rajesh from The Big Bang Theory never speaks around girls, except when he's drunk (slipped up in one episode, though, prompting him to cover up his mouth). He eventually overcomes this.
    • Played for laughs in one episode at Season 2 where Sheldon ended up with laryngitis. As a result, he has to communicate with a laptop and does gestures while it talks to what he is typing at.
    • When Amy's parents were introduced, her father never spoke because his domineering wife never let him get a word in. (Casting Gag: he's played by the silent half of Penn & Teller). Subverted when someone insults Mom, and she tells her husband to "Say something!". He does: "Thank you." (He speaks in all his subsequent appearances.)
  • In Breaking Bad, the Salamenca cousins, even though they're fully able to talk, only speak in two of the six episodes they appeared in; their reputation and actions spoke for them, in most instances.
  • In Season 5 of Canada's Worst Handyman, Matt's nominator Silent Keith fully lives up to his nickname, never saying a word or making a sound. The one time he speaks is in the second-to-last episode, when spoken to about not speaking.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Mrs. Hernandez is the communications director at Whitefeather & Associates. In stark contrast to her position at the law firm she doesn't actually speak much, including have a voiceless reprise. In the second season, however, she gets a Wham Line, telling Rebecca to shut up, because it isn't all about her — at which point, when Rebecca points out that she doesn't speak, she says that she does speak, but Rebecca doesn't listen. From then on, Mrs. Hernandez is still laconic, but has occasional lines.
  • Pike's girlfriend Ivy in Dad's Army.
  • Detectorists: Varde, one of the members of the metal detecting club, has no lines at all, and in the first series several of the other characters seem to think she might not speak English. In the fourth episode of Series 2 she pipes up with an eloquent speech about her research into a dig site, to the shock of most of the rest of the club. This turns out to be her one and only speaking contribution in the entire series, although later episodes imply she is quite talkative offscreen, with her girlfriend complaining about receiving "the silent treatment" and one scene beginning immediately after she has finished delivering a long lecture to the rest of the club.
  • Game of Thrones: Gregor Clegane doesn't speak after his deadly encounter with Oberyn Martell, voluntarily according to Qyburn, until the crown's enemies are defeated. More likely he simply can't speak anymore.
  • Brad, the ubiquitous piano player, on Glee.
  • Jianyu from The Good Place is a Buddhist monk who had taken a vow of silence when he was alive and continues to follow it in the afterlife. However, it's later revealed he's actually a DJ named Jason Mendoza who was sent to the Good Place by accident. He never talks because he's afraid of being found out and sent to the Bad Place.
  • The Haitian during most of the first season ("Volume 1") of Heroes. Many characters still believe he's incapable of speech.
  • For his entire run on Hey Hey It's Saturday, Drummer "Animal" never spoke a word onscreen. Once, when he received an award, instead of speaking his thanks, he handed a letter to another cast member, who then read it aloud.
  • Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show: who did speak in the final episode. "Goodbye, kids!"
  • In the iCarly episode iSpace Out the little girl who infiltrates the Shays' apartment never says a word.
  • Inspector Koo: "Santa", Koo Kyung-mi's friend from online video gaming who becomes her investigative sidekick. He is so shy that when he actually does need to talk he uses a voice-generating app on his phone.
  • The IT Crowd, in the episode "Something Happened", had Norman, Jen's new boyfriend who plays the keyboard in a band.
  • The German sketch show "Klimbim" had the Silent Bar Guest. He did nothing than drink, fall from his stool and be a running gag. Until the end of one season, when he runs amok, guns everyone down and shouts "Now I am talking!"
  • Grifforzer of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, until he was reunited with his wife Lamie, at which point Bandora gave him a voice.
  • Matt's best friend Lanny on Lizzie McGuire. Matt and Melina were the only ones who ever seemed to be able to communicate with him. Matt even had a conversation with him over the phone, which really confused his parents.
  • Miami Vice: Izzy's dimwitted assistant Manny never has any lines, although he can occasionally be seen talking in the background.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Buzz is rarely ever heard unless he's laughing alongside Loomer and Crony. The only episode he spoke in is "Volunteering", where he gave a short monologue about, well, volunteering. This is lampshaded almost immediately afterwards, where it's revealed that even his two best friends have never heard his voice before that day.
  • Larry's brother Darryl and Larry's other brother Darryl in Newhart (again, spoke in the final episode — ironically, only to bellow "QUIET!" at their chattering wives).
  • Orange Is the New Black: Norma never speaks in the present, only communicating by writing, though she sings once. In the flashbacks of her earlier life, it's revealed she doesn't due to a severe stutter (people with stutters really can often sing normally). She speaks once in a flashback (or rather, swears loudly in rage at her husband).
  • The Outpost: Ilyin is capable of speaking, though she mostly chooses not to in the first season.
  • The General in Prison Break used to be this, apparently for fear of being recorded saying something incriminating. He is first heard speaking in a small boat in the middle of the ocean where the environmental conditions somehow prevent bugs from transmitting. He later abandoned this habit for no apparent reason.
  • Bill from The Red Green Show is usually considered one of The Voiceless, though this may be unfair: he most often appears in the Adventures With Bill segments, in which the dialogue is replaced with a narration by Red, though he has shown up in the regular scenes from time to time, as well as in the Red Green movie Duct Tape Forever. In the "Behind The Scenes" special, the character of Bill appears, and points out that many people assume him to be mute, but he is actually quite talkative.
  • Mr. Foley on Remember WENN (another "voiceless chatterbox").
  • Cute little Vorena, the Younger from Rome emits only three brief sounds throughout the entirety of the series despite featuring regularly as a background character.
  • The Kurokos in Samurai Sentai Shinkenger.
  • Saturday Night Live has the recurring talk show bit "What Up With That'', wherein Kenan Thompson's host DeAndre Cole spends so much time on his "spontaneous" song and patter that he has no time left for interviews. While most of his guests do try to break in so that the audience can hear them, Lindsay Buckingham (Bill Hader) always gives up silently.
  • Effy Stonem in the first series of Skins — and her Expy, Eura, in the American remake.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: The Egyptian, Ashur's primary thug, is never heard to speak. The only indication that he's even capable of speech is a single scene where he whispers something inaudible into Ashur's ear.
  • The Stargate SG-1 episode "Wormhole X-Treme!", deals with the making of an episode of Wormhole X-Treme!, a Show Within a Show. Douglas Anders, the actor who plays the role of of Grell the robot on Wormhole X-Treme!, does not speak, and, on a few occasions, is cut off just before he has the chance to do so. However, 100 episodes later, in "200", he is the one who delivers the episode's closing speech, where he quotes Isaac Asimov.
  • Star Trek:
    • Morn from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is an example of a "voiceless chatterbox". The funny part is that he wasn't originally meant to be a Voiceless character, and the make-up crew went through the trouble of making his mask in two parts (i.e., for a movable jaw) in anticipation of lines that never came. At first his lines ended up getting cut for time, and then the writers decided to turn it into a running joke. Played even further by having other characters constantly mention how much he keeps talking all the time and tells the funniest jokes... just never while the camera is around.
    • Maihar'du, the Grand Nagus's servant, is said never to speak except to his master. The only time his voice is heard in the series, it's not actually him but a wormhole alien using his likeness. This is apparently standard for all Hupyrian servants.
    • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Mr. Homn, Lwaxana's valet, never speaks until the end of his first appearance in "Haven", surprising everyone when he gives his one line: "Thanks for the drinks". He would never speak again.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation also has Admiral Thomas Henry from "The Drumhead". He never speaks a word during his one scene, instead casting a Death Glare upon Insane Admiral Norah Satie during her paranoid rant against Captain Picard.
  • Jerri's father in Strangers with Candy is only ever seen silently frozen in place, usually with an expression of extreme shock. He's implied to be very active whenever the camera isn't on him.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The Unnamed Hispanic girl employed as a lookout by Carlos never speaks a word on screen. Emotionless Girl Cameron appears to identify with this, because she lets her live in "What He Beheld".
  • The enigmatic racing driver known as The Stig on the British car show Top Gear has only been seen to speak once in an interview, although he didn't say much else other than confirming that his name is The Stig. He is always wearing the same coveralls and helmet, which when added to his muteness suggest that more than one man (or tall flat-chested woman, or alien) may be playing the role.
  • Jake Bohm from Touch (2012), whose voice is only heard during the opening narration of each episode (except when he screams).
  • True Jackson, VP: Kopelman never utters a single word throughout the entire show's run and it's never explained why. Though he occasionally Screams Like a Little Girl when frightened offscreen, so his vocal cords do function.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Two", "pryekrasnyy," the Russian word for beautiful, is the only word that the woman says the entire episode.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Children's Zoo", Debbie Cunningham never speaks but all indications are that she can.
  • In the Korean sitcom Vampire Idol Yoobi never says a word throughout the first 20 or so episodes, despite the fact that's she's the member of a k-pop girl group, who might be expected to.. you know, sing. Hilariously, she still participates in radio interviews. Silently.
  • Stan from Will & Grace plays this trope straight without any exceptions.
  • On Workaholics, Waymond Womano never speaks-this is even enforced in one episode when he's about to testify in court against the guys, so Blake sabotages the proceedings by throwing a dead dog into the court's ceiling fan, covering everyone in gore. In-series, it seems that Waymond can talk, he just never does on-camera.
  • The X-Files: In the episode "Humbug", set in a town full of sideshow performers, the heavily tattooed Conundrum doesn't say anything until the very end, when he breaks his silence to deliver a lame punchline.

  • Meg White of The White Stripes was this, initially.
  • Mana from Malice Mizer and more recently Moi Dix Mois does this on purpose. During televised interviews he does not speak or emote, keeping a perfectly deadpan expression and opting to whisper his answers into a bandmate's ear so that they can answer for him, although he has been known to use mime and yes/no cards. According to him, this is because his music is his voice. So far he has kept it going for about 15 years with only two mistakes, not counting the time he sung through a distorter at a Malice Mizer live performance.
  • Guitarist Buckethead is well known for never talking in public or in front of cameras (with very few exceptions). Usually one of his friends and/or colleagues will talk for him the few times he's accepted an interview. Understandable, considering part of his stage persona is to be silent and awkward around people.
  • The Residents, a long-running avante-garde rock band/art collective have vocal components to their songs, but otherwise hide their identities, wear masks in all public appearances and never speak. They are managed by the Cryptic Corporation, who give interviews on their behalf and strenuously deny being members themselves.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • "The Shooter" Dean Malenko in the original ECW NEVER spoke, usually having a mouthpiece (Jason, Shane Douglas). At times this was played up in promos, such as when Douglas noted that Malenko was very happy after winning a title, and for his victory speech... he said nothing (even as Douglas held the microphone to his mouth). This made it an even bigger event after Dean's and Eddie Guerrero's last match in ECW when he asked for the mike and gave a farewell speech.
  • Kane was this trope for a while after debuting at Bad Blood in 1997. He helped to cement his role as a silent badass monster. Over the years, he slowly found himself capable of speaking more and more usually during face runs in order to humanize him which eventually culminated years later when he unmasked. First, he started talking with a voice box when he challenged "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to a First Blood match in 1998. Later, he revealed he could make noise when he let out an animalistic yell over a downed ally. Then, finally, they had Kane speak on his own — and, yes, his words were "suck it."
  • TNA repeated the unspeaking Kane gimmick with Abyss.
  • Countless "evil foreigners", mostly of the Samoan or jungle variety (Wild Samoans, Kamala, Abdullah the Butcher, et al). Save for the occasional primal moaning.
  • Vladimir Kozlov passed through a fascinating progression of this. He started out never speaking at all (which was also emphasized by his ring entrance, which featured no music or sound). Eventually he got a musical theme and began speaking, but he could only say things in Russian with the occasional English phrase. Now he speaks in English (with a Russian accent) exclusively, but still doesn't talk all that much.
  • Hornswoggle, the mischievous leprechaun, has been around since 2006 and has only spoken a handful of times since then. The first time was in 2007, when he expressed his fear of the Little Boogeyman by saying (among other things), "Little people are scary!" Subsequent appearances primarily showed him being unable to talk unless he tentatively mimicked the words of others, such as when Christian got him to shout, "MOOSE!" at Vickie Guerrero. Except now he's able to talk, thanks to a wish from Santa (yes, really).
  • Sin Cara, a high-flying masked WWE wrestler, hasn't spoken a wordnote , opting instead to gesture at his opponents, and dazzling the fans with an impressive aerial arsenal. Sin Cara can now speak Spanish with Rey Mysterio Jr. translating. [1]
  • According to Jim Smallman of Progress Wrestling, co-owner Jon Briley is this, backed up by him being always seen but almost completely not heard at shows. He is very talkative on Twitter and Facebook though.
  • John Tenta's run as Golga of The Oddities was the only time he was this, since in his Earthquake and Shark gimmicks he was in full No Indoor Voice mode.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Forgotten Realms: The war god Tempus never speaks in front of mortals, aside from grunts of exertion or growls of aggression when fighting. Word of God is that this deity was designed to be very mysterious, in contrast to most mythic war-gods.
    • Planescape: The Lady of Pain. There is only one confirmed case in Sigil's history where she has been known to utter a sound, and that was at the end of the module Die, Vecna, Die! (Factol Nilesia once made a claim that the Lady spoke to her in a dream, but Nilesia's sanity was questionable at best.) In the rare times that the Lady needed to communicate with someone, her entourage of dabus translate for her.
  • Warhammer Fantasy
    • Slann Mage-Priests. Usually, they're too busy contemplating to speak, and only one has ever said anything: "Attend to the gates!" Word of God is that they do talk on occasion, but it's always in short blurbs. Then the Skink Priests take forever to figure out what they meant. (They've fought the High Elves for centuries because when a Slann first met some, he said, "They should not be here", and the Lizardmen took it as a genocide order... while he could have just as easily meant "Send them back to Ulthuan".)
    • The Phoenix Guard of the High Elves take a binding vow of silence. However, the Captain will speak once, calling the Elven god's wrath upon whoever kills him.

  • The Abduction Of Figaro: Figaro has only one line ("CUBA?"). Schlepporello is supposed to be another example, but his actor has other ideas...
  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto has a variety of ensemble parts with no lines who are recognizable characters throughout multiple scenes due to the actors' expressive physicality. One member of the Spanish students' group (who is likely Felipe from the manga), and the bar owner who's pregnant in the scene towards the beginning, are two who stand out.
  • Dracula: A Love Stronger Than Death: Dracula himself. Mina is functionally voiceless too — she has a few spoken lines, but she doesn't sing in any of the songs, making her totally absent from the soundtrack album.
  • The Golden Apple: Paris somehow manages to be a successful Traveling Salesman despite never saying a word.
  • The Libation Bearers: Pylades is silent throughout the play except for one line toward the end, urging his friend Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. Particularly important because there were only three actors in Greek tragedies at the time; "using up" one of them in many scenes for the silent Pylades is an interesting artistic decision.
  • Mastergate A Play On Words: The TNN field reporter Clay Fielder never gets to speak. Anchorman Chip Chatworth never stops with his long-winded introductions and questions, and by the time it's Clay's turn, TNN inevitably has to cut back to the hearing room. He's also interrupted by transmission problems, and even an earthquake at one point.

    • Vamprah never says a word in any of his appearances (misplaced word bubbles in the comics notwithstanding). According to Word of God, he even remained silent while getting electrocuted to dust with the rest of his team.
    • All the Ko-Matoran in the online games, their dialogue consisting of the page quote. They speak just fine in other media, though, with the exception of Kopeke who rarely talks anywhere.

    Video Games 
  • This describes many old school RPG protagonists the player controls. Even when you can choose things to say for them in certain conversations, you'll never hear the character's own dialogue. Take your pick: Crono, Vahn, Red (or really any Pokémon protagonist), Brian, Toan... even Mario, who often resorts to expressive pantomime in order to communicate.
  • Hawke from Advance Wars 2 and DS partially qualifies. Where other Commanding Officers would cheer or lament at a good or bad turn of events for each simulated battle respectively, Hawke would only respond with "...", regardless of whether he suffered a crushing defeat or completely obliterated his opponent.
  • Amagami: Nanasaki's brother, Ikuo, whose lines are all represented as elipses. Inexplicably, the other characters appear fully capable of understanding him. Averted in the sequel, Seiren, where he is Suddenly Speaking.
  • Thor Herring in the later Backyard Sports games.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Ada had only a single line as Nirvana, but it's not clear if it's just in Carl's mind who is capable of understanding her or if she did it out loud. This implies that her mother Ignis may be capable of speech too. But since both of them are trapped in doll bodies, this seems to be fairly difficult.
    • Phantom doesn't speak until the end of Chronophantasma's story mode. Even if it was already obvious, her voice would have given away that she's Nine.
    • In BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Neo from RWBY, who is The Speechless in her show, grunts in pain when hit and also giggles during some intros (her "voice" here is provided by Casey Lee Williams, the girl who provides the vocals for the show's songs).
  • In Cultist Simulator anyone who passes the white door forfeits their ability to speak until they wake up. The spirits of the dead who pass through it can't wake up anymore though, so they lose theirs for good, becoming either a Voiceless Dead or a Maid-in-the-Mirror depending on how much further they make it into the mansus.
  • In Dead Space, this is played straight with Isaac. He can talk in the sequel, though.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution has Yelena Fedorova, who never speaks in-game, only making noises during your battle with her and the cutscene afterwards, with Eliza providing the Boss Banter for the battle. You can hear two guards talk about her telling workers to evacuate earlier in the level you fight her in, and can read a email by her later in the game.
  • Pleinar from Disgaea, except in the first game where you access the Dark Assembly by speaking to her. She's silent if you recruit her in New Game Plus, though. In Disgaea 2, she's a news anchor but never speaks, instead letting her bunny/co-anchor/emergency food supply do the talking. At one point she's on the screen alone and proceeds to give the news in 30 seconds of silence.
  • Corvo from Dishonored and all subsequent spin-offs (even non-video game ones like novels and comics). He averts this trope in some comics but only in flashbacks that are set before the first game, and also when you choose to play as Emily in Dishonored 2... but Emily herself becomes this instead. Daud and Billie Lurk from the DLCs, on the other hand, are aversions even when playable.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 does this unintentionally. Super Saiyan 3 GT Goku speaks just fine in battle if you're playing on the Japanese voice settings, but his English voice clips are noticeably absent if you switch to the dub voices. He's the only character in the game to be affected by this bug, as his base, Super Saiyan, and Super Saiyan 4 forms have him speaking normally.
  • Dusty Revenge is set in a world populated by andromorphic animals perfectly capble of speech, and then there are bosses who doesn't have any dialogue, like the Killer Gorilla Tongada who only roars throughout the battle.
  • Enoch of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron only says two sentences in the entire game, which are "No problem. Everything's fine.". He repeats those sentences whenever he recovers from a deadly attack, but he never says anything else, leaving most of the talking to Lucifel.
  • Far Cry games: The character you pick in Far Cry 2, the Junior Deputy (Far Cry 5), the Security Captain (Far Cry: New Dawn). While the Deputy and Captain are player created, the Deputy still doesn't speak once they're turned into The Judge in New Dawn.
  • Ward in Final Fantasy VIII starts out able to speak, but an encounter with some Esthar soldiers renders him mute for the rest of the game. However, Kiros and possibly Laguna have gotten REALLY good at reading his body language, to the point where they can interpret entire conversations with him.
    • Fujin is a variation. She normally only speaks in one or two word sentences until near the very end of the game, where she delivers a "Reason You Suck" Speech to Seifer.
  • Subverted in Final Fantasy X. Kimahri is set up as being one of these characters, being stoic and silent for the first few hours, but he surprises Tidus by speaking, and after that he has no problems opening up (though he's hardly a chatterbox). His earlier extended silence is explained as him not liking Tidus.
  • Byleth, the player's avatar in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is never voiced outside of battles, certification and class change quotes.
  • Isaac in the first Golden Sun game is a Heroic Mime, and Felix takes over the role in Golden Sun: The Lost Age. In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Isaac's son Matthew doesn't get any written lines, but it's implied that he speaks anyway; sometimes you'll be prompted to elucidate an emotional response to a remark, and if you choose "angry" in the right spot, Karis will remark, "Wow! Graphic!"
  • Claude from Grand Theft Auto III never talks beyond grunts of pain when he gets shot. When he appears in San Andreas, he's described as a "snake without a tongue."
  • Gordon Freeman from Half-Life. Lampshaded in Half-Life 2 shortly after your introduction to Alyx, where during an elevator ride she speaks of what's been going on while Gordon was away, and as the elevator comes to a stop she notes "man of few words, aren't you?".
    • Chell in sister series Portal as well, but she is described as explicitly refusing to talk back to GLaDOS so as to prevent GLaDOS from goading her into doing something foolish.
  • Halo 3: ODST gives us the Rookie, who, aside from grunts and yells, never says a single word. He does speak a bit in the Halo: Evolutions short story Dirt and the novella Halo: New Blood, though.
  • Isaku, the main antagonist and title character of the Isaku Survival Horror games and its anime adaptions, doesn't speak. He only communicates to the protagonist through notes narrated by someone else and videotapes of his deeds.
  • Kevin Smith in Suda51's killer7. He never makes a sound other than the noise of him throwing a knife. He doesn't even grunt when the enemies explode on him. Hand in Killer7 says that his voice can summon gods.
  • In Kingdom Hearts III, cutscenes and dialogues are now fully voice acted as opposed to previous games where some of the dialogues are through text boxes. However some characters without a voice actor are either written out, or they don't speak at all in the scenes they are present, this includes Phil, Prince Hans and Dilan & Aeleus.
  • Link from The Legend of Zelda is one example. Other than the random grunts and yells, he never utters any words:
  • Mathilda, the Black Baron's "ho" in MadWorld, never says a thing. She does, however, give little poses after punting the Baron into the latest deathtrap. She seems to enjoy her work.
  • An even earlier example of a silent player character in a Bungie-made shooter would be the protagonist of Marathon.
  • Mario Is Missing!: Weegee, according to Fanon.
    • An quick elaboration here is that while he does speak in the actual game, fanon explains his silent nature as when he actually does speak, something especially horrible will happen.
  • Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a mix of this and The Quiet One. After the prologue, which is the only part where she speaks in English, where she is set on fire, she received parasite therapy, where she uses her skin to breathe, but the side effect is that it renders her entirely mute capable of only a few subtle noises due to the parasites infecting her. We later find she can speak other languages, particularly Navajo, she prefers not to speak in English because it would activate her vocal cord parasites.
  • Samus Aran of Metroid used to be this. Metroid Fusion only had a few lines outside of journal entries, but in Metroid: Other M she talks constantly.
  • Most mobs in Minecraft make idle noises, which can tip the player off to the presence of nearby enemies. One thing that makes Creepers so dangerous (aside from the fact that they explode, of course) is that they don't have these, and the only noises they make are from being damaged or killed, or when they're just about to explode, at which point it's too late to evade them if you didn't already see them coming.
  • In Monaco, ignoring The Pickpocket's version of the story that suggests he's also the very-chatty Hacker, The Cleaner never says a word. Even when dragging himself away from the burning, exploded wreckage of The Gentleman's yacht with the rest of the crew, he only ever says "...".
  • Ryuji from No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. He never speaks during his cutscenes, and he only speaks in the battle when he does his dash or you lose a clash with him ("See you in hell...") or when he is summoning his dragon ("Come out, dragon..."). The rest is just grunts.
  • Phoning Home: ION, the Player Character, neversays a word in the game. All conversations the characters have with him are one-sided.
  • The dabuses in Planescape: Torment communicate only in rhebuses. The Nameless One can decypher them with a moderate level of Intelligence, but getting other party companions' translations can reveal nuances in symbolism and more of those characters' personalities.
  • Any player character from the Pokémon games. The most notable is Red, whom you can encounter and battle in Pokémon Gold and Silver and their remakes, as well as Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 and Pokémon Sun and Moon. The only dialogue he gets in the text box is "..." (which Blue comments on in Sun and Moon). This is lampshaded in the first generation games and their remakes: the waiter on board the S.S. Anne refers to the player as "Le Strong Silent Type", but yet despite his lack of speech in future games and the above comment, in the games he is playable in he has several lines of internal thought, and a NPC even parrots his apparent dialogue at one point, which is revealed to be surprisingly fluent and casual. (The NPC, however, is known to have made dialogue up at least once.)
  • As a Mythology Gag to their roles as Heroic Mimes in the core series games, Pokémon Masters's trailer portrays Rosa, Red, and the new player characters as this. They don't even make noises. In the game proper, the player character plays this straight, Red has Voice Grunting, and Rosa averts the trope completely, as do other player characters from throughout the series.
  • Ragnar in Rune.
  • The player character in Saints Row never speaks during gameplay. S/He has exactly 4 lines in the game, each spoken during the final cutscene of a chapter. Subverted in the sequels, where s/he drops the mute act, and becomes a loudmouthed nut puckish rogue.
  • Fuma Kotaro in Sengoku Basara takes this to the extreme, making no noise at all: he doesn't even breathe audibly. This apparently comes from the fact that he's a highly professional Ninja that just focuses on his job and has no need for words. The creators lampshade this, using a gust of wind and the sound of a shuriken as his voice sample, and having him communicate exclusively in ellipses.
  • In Sonic Generations, Classic Sonic does not speak. Something of a nod to the Genesis games, where Sonic (like everyone else) rarely spoke. Classic Tails, on the other hand...
  • In South Park: The Stick of Truth and it's sequel, the protagonist is a parody of the Heroic Mime trope who responds to everything with a blank stare, no matter how much it annoys or confuses the people they're talking to. This leads to others trying to interpret their lack of speech for their own purposes or just thinking that you're an asshole. The only time they do speak is at the very end of the first game, where they tell the main four boys "Screw you guys, I'm going home".
  • Stavros "Bulldog" McGrogan, hero of A Spot of Bother and The Warlord, the Princess and the Bulldog communicates almost entirely through grunts and an occasional raised eyebrow. Practically the only time he speaks is to correct someone who tried to refer to him as "Mister Bulldog."
  • The Tenno player characters from the game Warframe have the capability to speak, but feel that actions speak better and instead communicate to each other using subtle gestures if any communication is needed. The only Tenno to speak so far is Valkyr, who upon using her "Warcry" ability emits a scream.
    • Now subverted as of The Second Dream where the true nature of the Tenno are revealed; Tenno do not "wear" their Warframes, they actually remotely control them via somatic link due to their human bodies being unable to safely project their powers without breaking down or becoming unstable. Once the Tenno is installed in the somatic chamber on the ship, they will become much more...vocal during missions, musing about certain factions and enemies and shouting encouragement to their warframes when downed in combat. The warframes themselves continue to play this trope straight, though it isn't clear whether they prefer to remain silent and let the Tenno do the talking, are physically unable of speaking, or simply aren't autonomous enough to have independent thought or speech.
  • The Zoq-Fot-Pik from Star Control II are a trio of aliens (one green and vaguely plantlike, one blue and cylindrical, and one red and spherical) who evolved together, and always come in groups of one each. The red one never seems to say anything, though.
    • In fact, one of the dialogue options when meeting them is "Doesn't that guy behind you say anything?", to which the other two reply "Nope," and "Not a word."
  • One of the Thorntails in Star Fox Adventures says "Mumble... mumble... not now..." when you try to speak with him, until after the WarpStone tells you to look for "He who has no voice". Then he'll spill. Apparently, he hasn't spoken in a while.
  • Sergei Dragunov of Tekken doesn't speak at all — the only noises he makes are grunts when he's attacking or being hit (and, in the case of one of his Tekken 6 win poses, humming). Not much of a problem, in that (since it's a Fighting Game) he communicates mainly by kicking ass.
    • Tekken 6's Scenrio Mode reveals that he is, in fact, capable of speech, he just chooses to not speak 99% of the time (a fact that is frequently lampshaded by several characters, especially Alisa). In one level, Alisa reacts with amazement when he utters a single word ("I am shocked. You can speak!"), and, in another level, he goes one further by speaking a sentence to Raven. The audience never actually hears him speak, as all of Scenario Mode's dialogue (minus the cutscenes) is purely text-based.
      • Sergei's official profile lists his hobby as "singing", and word is he has quite the singer's voice.
    • Neither do any of the Mokujins.
    • None of the Jack robots are heard to speak, either, although Tekken 6's Scenario Mode does reveal that Jack-6 is capable of speech — albeit Hulk Speak, and it's written entirely in caps ("BIOLOGICAL IGNORE JACK. JACK SAD.").
  • Len of Tsukihime never says anything but "............." in official material. She's still somehow able to communicate, presumably just by showing her emotions really, really well. (Shiki, for one, seems able to pull full sentences just from reading her facial expressions.)
    • She does speak a total of twice. In Kagetsu Tohya, she gasps out Shiki's name during an...intense moment. In Melty Blood, she tells White Len (who sort of is Len's voice and intellect) to shut up, get back here, and stop screwing up reality.
    • She's also seen muttering to herself at one point in Kagetsu Tohya about the paradoxes and contradictions going on and hoping she can fix it before Shiki notices.
  • Madotsuki from Yume Nikki only says "No" and "Impossible" in the entire game and only if you try to leave her apartment. Justified, as there isn't any dialogue to be shared in the first place. In the official manga, however, Madotsuki does quite a lot of talking.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Whenever Mario shows up in Bowser's Kingdom, he says nothing except the grunting from Charles Martinet.
  • The entire intelligent cast of Adam Phillips' Brackenwood, and also Bingbong. Of the three, the Auld Sage barely speaks (one line per appearance, not counting the time he sang a Coldplay song), Lemonee Wee hasn't had cause to say much on screen, and Bitey spends most of his time around animals that can't talk back, so he doesn't bother.
  • Mime from Happy Tree Friends takes his job very seriously. The amount of times he has made vocal noises can be counted on one hand, and he has never outright spoken.
  • Maine of Red vs. Blue was The Voiceless before becoming The Speechless, speaking clearly a grand total of three times in Season 9 before being shot in the throat and becoming mostly mute save for making inhuman growl sounds.
  • Sekai No Fushigi has Sakura, who never spoke for one year due to shock of her parent's death. She eventually opened to Kaito and started to speak to him with time.
  • Several characters from SMG4 are this, with them only making voice grunts.
    • Steve has almost no text-based dialogue; almost all his current voices have been provided through voice clips (such as his catchphrase, "Hi, guys!"). The only exception to this was in "Super Mario Attorney".
    • After his Characterization Marches On, Yoshi became this, as he has almost no text-based dialogue, and like Steve, almost all his current voices have been provided through voice clips.
    • The Anime Replicas from the Anime Arc occasionally use phrases from the replicas' respective sources, or some other audio source, but none of them have text based dialogue.
    • Fishy Boopkins' dad, Joe (a giant version of Octodad with Cthulhu's head), just makes voice grunting and no text based dialogue.
    • Melony, who started out as The Speechless when she was an inanimate watermelon, becomes this when she gains a humanoid form when the Fierce Deity Mask is put on her in "Mario's Mask of Madness", since she just makes various voice grunts and only had a few text based lines in "The Melony Felony"

  • Although he does have the ability of speech, Harvey of AACIAN has not spoken once. There's the occasional grunt every now and then, but nothing more.
  • In Ask White Pearl and Steven (almost!) anything, White Pearl is unable to speak on her own, only able to repeat words that Steven has already spoken and weave her own sentences with the recycled words.
  • Scut from Gnoph refuses to say anything apart from 'Kyuu!' and 'Ki!' (or variants thereof) except for one line, which was 'I'm sorry.'
  • Homestuck's Fefetasprite, an amalgam of two incredibly social characters, is only seen communicating through emotes. Despite this, her close friend Roxy describes her as quite the jabberjaw when recalling their off-panel conversations.
  • The characters of A Loonatic's Tale write the newsposts, and post on the forums, in character. Miya communicates entirely through image macros in this format, never typing out actual dialogue despite clearly being able to.
  • Brother Finland of Scandinavia and the World was at first depicted as physically mute, communicating his thoughts with threatening knife gestures or the occasional (usually noverbal) sign. His only actual word was perkele. Later comics have revealed that he can speak both Finnish and, to his eternal shame, Swedish — it's just that he really, really hates talking, and avoids it whenever possible. Sister Finland is both present much less often and speaks much more rarely, but is once seen screaming "Perkele!" at a troublesome IKEA table.
  • In the comic Unshelved, Colleen's adopted daughter Doreen never spoke for years, apparently because she was too little. When Dewey finally wondered about this, he found out she had been speaking — just not to him (and thus not to us, since he's the viewpoint character).
  • In Wastelanders Anonymous none of the the plague doctors talk, although it becomes obvious they are capable of speech after Felix loses his mask.
  • Emm from The Wisdom Of Moo is an odd example. She speaks frequently, but never as herself — she's a ventriloquist who speaks only through her cow hand puppet, the eponymous Moo. Later on, she had to talk when Moo was in the wash, and made her shirt-sleeve into a makeshift sock puppet to do so... then ran away when she accidentally spoke for herself, rather than through a puppet.
  • In The Wotch, when Jason/Sonja is turned into a child along with Anne and Robin, s/he never talks, instead communicating with thought bubbles (with pictures, not words.) Communication is accomplished by whispering (and we get graphical speech bubbles.) Gets one line at the end of the story, but it's not treated as a dramatic "Wow! S/he can talk!" moment, so it's possibly an oversight.
  • Theoretically Cthulhu in Cthulhu Slippers can speak, he just choses not to.
  • Jason from Transmission started practically unvoiced, but as he started to recover from the abuse his uncle inflicted upon him he started speaking more often.
  • J from Operation Reboot has apparently said a lot off panel but hasn't said a word on panel.
  • Precocious: The few times Yvette has spoken on screen was in text so small as to be unreadable. Initially it was assumed to be just her terminal shyness, but she later became more of a Creepy Child who could be quite assertive through gestures and it was once suggested that she was cursed.

    Web Original 
  • The German radio drama Allimania (which is set in World of Warcraft) has the character Raoul. Everytime he speaks, the sound of a train is played and all character laugh about how funny he is... except for the female elf priestess, who does not believe that Raoul is NOT the Voiceless, despite what the other characters tell her.
  • The Ninja-Style Dancer on Atop the Fourth Wall only communicates with cue cards. Except in the Silent Hill: Dead/Alive review, but that was a hallucination.
  • Menelaos in Greek Ninja a lot of the time due to his limited knowledge of English.
  • Mime and Mole of Happy Tree Friends are the only ones who don't speak due to Mime being a mime although he can sometimes be heard to scream in pain as he's being killed and Mole being blind and deaf.
  • Jayuzumi is a variation. He is capable of speech in real life, but having him talk personally would ruin the whole soundboard joke, so he instead plays voice clips from various works to bypass this.
  • The Watcher in KateModern, who appears frequently but never gets a line. Mostly, he just... watches. Silently.
  • Lucy in lonelygirl15, to sinister effect. She finally got a line in the late Season 3 story "Prom: It's To Die For", although some fans were too busy reeling from the Wham Episode to notice.
  • The Monster Hunters has four main characters, one of whom is a talented young Sassy Secretary named Suki. Impressively for an audio medium, she pulls this off without ever speaking a word.
  • In Noob that is set in a MMORPG, Précieux breaks his microphone in Season 2 and uses the text chat function to convey what he wants to say. What was meant to be a one-off gag was so popular with the fans that three years later, Précieux's player has yet to get a new microphone.
  • SERA 00 has Alura Land, usually called Luraland. She loses her voice extremely easily, so in order to conserve her voice, she never speaks. Instead, she writes on a tablet and uses sign language to communicate, only using her voice to sing.

    Western Animation 
  • The Alvin Show: Leonardo, Clyde Crashcup's pint-sized assistant, never speaks out loud. He usually just whispers to Clyde.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Ocho doesn't speak in the first season, and many background characters don't get a chance to speak because of how unimportant they are.
  • American Dad!: Stelio Kontos, a man who bullied Stan in his childhood and is sometimes paid to beat up others, never utters a single word in either of his appearances.
  • Angelina Ballerina: In one episode of The Next Steps, Ms. Mimi appears this because of having laryngitis. She spends the whole episode communicating with Angelina and her friends by notes and music. Luckily, she got her voice back in the end.
  • Animaland: Most characters in the mockumentary shorts, as well as Loopy Hare and Dusty Mole. Zimmy Lion in "Christmas Circus" has exactly one line of dialogue.
  • Astroblast!: Jet doesn't never talks.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In "The Blue Spirit", the titular being appears to be this at first, communicating with Aang only by motioning with one of his swords. This is because he turns out to be Zuko and speaking would have given away his identity. Later in the series, he speaks minimally as his Blue Spirit persona when dealing with characters who would not recognize his voice.
  • Baby Blues: Shelby Bitterman (besides being The Stoic), never speaks during the series. He does use hand gestures and motions with his wiffle bat he carries everywhere but he has audibly coughed and sneezed at some points. Apparently, he's The Quiet One.
  • Batman Beyond: Curare. It's never made clear whether she can't speak or just chooses not to. (She does cry out in pain a couple of times if she's hit hard enough in a fight, so the latter is likely the case.)
  • The Batman: The Joker and the Penguin have a pair of henchmen who never speak.
    • The Joker has Punch and Judy, two hulking musclemen dressed like clowns. (In fact, when Clayface disguises himself as them and does speak, the Joker quickly smells a rat.)
    • The Penguin has the Kabuki Twins, two female assassins. Given their blind loyalty to him and how no bare flesh is ever seen on either of them, some have speculated that they may be robots, or even mutated birds that he created using his mastery of orinthology.
  • Capertown Cops: The only noises that Officer Tattles makes are sound effects, usually a horn being honked.
  • CB Bears: Blast-Off Buzzard and Crazy Legs Snake were both mute.
  • Chilly Willy: Chilly the Penguin almost never speaks; there are only a small handful of cartoons in which he actually speaks.
  • Clerks: The Animated Series: In the segments at the end of the episodes, starring Jay and Silent Bob, the trope is inverted: instead of referring to the Voiceless as someone who talks a lot, he refers to Silent Bob's supposed inability to talk. The twist is that during these segments, Bob talks completely normally.
    Jay: Kids, if Silent Bob could talk, he'd remind you that when you're camping, it's always smart to tie your food up in a tree at night so as not to attract bears.
    Silent Bob: Word.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • Although that isn't the case in the show proper, in the working pilot for the series titled Garage Kids, Ulrich is The Voiceless. He says a total of two syllables — blink and you'll miss it.
    • XANA qualifies on the actual show. He only communicates with the heroes in two episodes, both times when he disguises himself as someone else; first as Jérémie and later as Franz Hopper.
  • Crystal Tipps And Alistair: Not a single character speaks.
  • Elena of Avalor: "Marisa and the Mirror" and "Feeling Clammy" , two of the Secret Life of Sirenas shorts, do this to Marisa and Daria. In the former, she comes across a mirror , with all of her emotions being expressed through facial expressions , and no dialogue, even when warning Elena of a shark. In the latter, she and Elena are trying to figure out how to save Ocho from a giant clam. She has no dialogue, outside of some grunts, with Elena getting more of the dialogue. note 
  • Family Guy:
    • Ricardo, Jasper's boyfriend only appeared twice in the series and in both episodes, he never speaks. This is handwaved by Japser, saying that "Ricardo doesn't speak any English." Actually, he DOES speak in a deleted scene from "You May Now Kiss the, Uh, Guy Who Receives".
    • Susie Swanson doesn't talk since she is a baby and is not Stewie, but she has an inner voice that channels Patrick Stewart.
  • Futurama: "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", which features the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series, depicts DeForest Kelley this way since he'd already passed away in 1999.
  • Gargoyles: After the trauma of being mutated (probably painfully) into a cat-bat-fish thing by an Evilutionary Biologist, one poor man never speaks again. Nobody even knows his name, so they call him "Claw." All the others who were mutated in the same way still have the anatomy for human speech, so it's clear Claw was just psychologically damaged. This occasionally leads to charades/pantomime when he wants to express something.
  • Gigantosaurus: Spino the Spinosaurus, the Big Bad of the Season 2 finale, never says anything. He just growls and roars.
  • Hey Arnold!: For all intents and purposes, Brainy never ever says anything, just... snores.
  • House of Mouse features examples of this, most notably with Ariel in the metaphorical sense of this trope and Percival C. McLeach and Mr. Snoops in the literal sense of this trope.
  • Kevin Spencer: Kevin does speak, and the other characters react appropriately, although the audience almost never hears his voice. Instead, the show's narrator tells us what Kevin is "saying".
  • King of the Hill:
    • Debbie Grund, Buck Strickland's secretary and mistress, is silent until "Hanky Panky", where she is also killed off.
    • The firefighter "Beef" from "A Firefighting We Will Go" never says a single word onscreen and uses hand gestures to communicate. However, he laughs plenty throughout the episode.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner:
      • Wile E. Coyote was mainly silent throughout the series, except for the two-reeler The Adventures of the Road Runner (a 1962 proposed pilot for a Road Runner TV show) where he answers a child's question on why he wants to catch the Road Runner and then using film to examine his shortcomings.
      • He spoke as a Smug Snake in four cartoons where he is paired against Bugs Bunny.
    • Sylvester normally was blessed with a loud, slobbery voice, but in a short series of cartoons directed by Chuck Jones, he was mute, being the pet cat to Porky, and the only one of the two to see horrific things happening around them. He vainly tries to communicate this through pantomime to his annoyed, incredulous master.
  • Metalocalypse: Toki's Abusive Parents never speak. According to one episode, they took a vow of silence.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Adrien's bodyguard, aka "the Gorilla", is never shown to speak, his vocalizations limited to the occasional menacing grunt.
  • Moral Orel: Shapey and Block come pretty close to this trope: what little communication they do is unintelligible screeching and the occasional screeched word (usually 'cake', 'no', or 'mine'). Keep in mind we know Shapey is seven, and Block is implied to be the same age, for all they act like three year olds. Shapey finally says a complete sentence in a normal tone of voice in "Sacrifice".
  • ˇMucha Lucha!: Pulgita can only speak her brother's name and in later episodes and in The Movie she can't talk at all.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "The Golden Horseshoes, Part 2", while his wife and sons are all quite chatty, the goblin father has no lines and never speaks a word on-screen.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • "Equestria Games" has several cases. Though all four princesses are present, Celestia and Luna don't speak, save for gasping when seeing the icy cloud, and saying "You guess?" with the Mane Six and Cadance. (Although if one listens carefully, it sounds like Nicole Oliver and Tabitha St. Germain, Celestia's and Luna's voice actors respectively, never recorded those two words for them during production.) After the Ponyville relay team fly through the Cutie Mark Crusaders' hoop in the opening ceremonies shouting their Catch Phrases, Derpy follows them silently. The Cloudsdale team appears prominently, but none of them have lines this time around.
      • The character DJ Pon-3 started out as a Recurring Extra and was not thus expected to talk; many a party featured a white unicorn with spiky blue hair and purple shades at the turntable. However, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks features her as a secondary character — a silent secondary character. She's equally speechless in the Lower-Deck Episode "Slice of Life," the long-anticipated episode starring fan-favorite background ponies. However, we could be dealing with a case of The Speechless: in the novelization of the second EQG, she's the one to suggest the idea of starting a band to Rainbow Dash via text message while right beside her and with no visible reason to avoid speaking. How much canon weight the book has for you may vary, but the idea that she really can't speak is no longer in Epileptic Trees territory.
      • "Crusaders of the Lost Mark": Twist is silent, because her voice actress had moved away from Vancouver since the last time the character spoke.
  • Peanuts: Snoopy doesn't really talk in the cartoons, but he does laugh, cry, and say words like "hey!", "ow!", and "woah!" On a few occasions in the specials (and regularly in the newspaper strip) we hear him "speak" through his thoughts.
  • Pink Panther: The panther almost never speaks in the original shorts. In fact, there are only two cartoons in which he actually speaks ("Sink Pink" and "Pink Ice" with the voice of Rich Little). When he got his own spinoff series in the 1990's, he spoke in nearly every episode (voice of Matt Frewer).
  • The Proud Family: Nubia is the only member of the Gross sisters who talks while the other two don't even make a single sound in the whole series.
  • Recess: Ashley T. hardly ever speaks on her own (as a joke done by the creators), except in six episodes and Recess: School's Out. The only other times she speaks are in group scenes.
  • The Simpsons: Maggie fills this role, because she's a baby and can't talk. Because of this, being The Voiceless has become part of her character. There are a few exceptions, but these are mostly hallucinations or "Treehouse of Horror" shorts. She did once say "Daddy", and also during the credits of The Movie she said "Sequel?" Even when we Flash Forward to Maggie as an adult, we never actually hear her speak — she's usually cut off in some way. It can be played off quite interestingly:
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man:
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: The Chameleon is an odd case — he never once uses his own voice, instead imitating other people.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "I Was a Teenage Gary", when SpongeBob turns into a snail, he loses the ability to speak and can only meow.
  • Steven Universe: Onion never speaks to anyone but his parents, and then he's The Unintelligible. Most of his communication is via nodding or shaking is head. It's the least of what's strange about him, and this show being this show, there proving to be a reason behind it all that's no laughing matter someday is a very real possibility.
  • TaleSpin: One of the Air Pirates never spoke out loud, only whispering into Don Karnage's ear. The pirate's name, ironically, was Gibber.
  • Tangled: The Series: "Lost and Found" foreshadows Cassandra pulling a Face–Heel Turn, which eventually comes true in the next episode, yet she doesn't say a single word.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003):
    • Hisomi, of the Ninja Tribunal, is one of these, due to his role as the Ninja Master of Stealth.
    • The Foot Elite Guard, almost. They rarely talk, but one of them did so in the episode where Karai debuted.
  • Teen Titans: Jericho, a last-minute inductee of the cartoon, has no voice of his own. His power of possession allows him to use the voice of whomever he chooses to overshadow. Ironically, this exception to the trope backfires when Jericho. infiltrating a villainous stronghold, uses a borrowed body to respond to another Mook's question. Turns out that the borrowed body's owner, Cinderblock, is also The Voiceless. "Since when can you talk?"
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Furball usually only speaks through meows, but there are two episodes in which he talks. In "Buster and the Wolverine", after Sweetie is eaten by the wolverine, he comments on how he wanted to be the one to eat her. And in a Star Trek parody, he played the role of McCoy.
  • Tom and Jerry: The due rarely speak beyond screams and yelps of pain. In some shorts they have at least one line of dialogue, and the only short in which both of them spoke throughout the picture was The Lonesome Mouse. Strangely enough, when the two hear each other talk in Tom and Jerry The Movie, they act very surprised despite having heard each other talk in past cartoons.
  • Van Beuren Studios:
    • The Little King: has no dialogue. Even when he does "speak" in "Jest of Honor", it's completely unintelligible gibberish.
    • Tom and Jerry act like this in most of their shorts, with the notable exception of "Plane Dumb".
    • Molly Moo Cow usually doesn't speak in her shorts either; she either makes cow like moos and grunts, or facsimiles of words like "Yoo Hoo!". She does have a few lines of dialogue in "Molly Moo Cow Meets Rip Van Winkle".
  • The Venture Bros.: In "The Incredible Mr. Brisby", the title character has an imposing black henchman who makes evil faces while carrying out his commands, but never speaks. Until the end, where in his final confrontation, he shrugs, "Man, I don't even need this job," and stalks off.

    Real Life 
  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas is just as talkative as anybody when not on the bench. When he is ON the bench on the other hand he can go years without talking. Thomas has become more talkative since Antonin Scalia's death, though.
  • One author who presents himself this way is ItsJustSomeRandomGuy[2], who does the "I'm a Marvel/And I'm a DC" shorts on YouTube.
  • Lucius Sergius Catilina (or "Catiline"), the guy who almost destroyed the Roman republic in 64 BC doesn't have dialogue in ANY historical writings. His speeches are mentioned and he is occasionally quoted, but nobody has any idea what his own voice sounds like. All we've got are people talking about him, such as Sallust and Cicero.
  • Dane Cook mentioned this trope (and the "speaking for one dramatic moment") in one of his jokes about action movies. He says that every team in an action movie has the one guy who "never says anything, he just stands there. And he never talks, ever, except for like, one scene near the end where he says 'Let's go kill those bitches.'"
  • Moonie, in one version of his performance, (usually) will not speak, and instead use gestures, sounds, and the like to convey ideas. Then, towards the end of his act, after having found an audience member who can follow directions; then conveyed the idea that he will be juggling torches on a tightrope, and, if he catches fire, the volunteer should use a bucket of water on him, utters his first line: "Don't. Screw. Up."
  • The guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They are only allowed to speak during the Changing of the Guard...unless someone is acting disrespectful. This is just when they are on guard duty. The rest of the time they can do anything that anyone else in the Army can.
  • Isaac Newton was a Member of Parliament for an entire year and spoke only a single sentence while Parliament was in session: He asked an usher to open a window.


Video Example(s):


Ninja Brian

With the exception of a few Early Installment Weirdness moments, Ninja Brian never speaks.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheVoiceless

Media sources: