Deadpan Snarker/Live-Action Films

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"... your plan is to Blackmail [[[Batman]]] ? Good luck."
  • Hobson, Arthur's nanny, from the remake of Arthur. The original Hobson (played by John Gielgud) as well, more so.

Hobson: Thrilling to meet you, Gloria.
Gloria: Hi.
Hobson: Yes . . . You obviously have a wonderful economy wih words, Gloria. I look forward to your next syllable with great eagerness.

    • Arthur himself in the original has his moments:

Perry's wife: (screaming) MY HUSBAND HAS A GUN!
Arthur: I'm sure he does, madam. For all I know, he shot it while you screamed.

Bruce Wayne: I need a new suit.
Lucius Fox: Yeah, three buttons is a little '90's, Mr. Wayne.
Bruce Wayne: I'm not talking fashion, Mr. Fox, so much as function.
Lucius Fox: [Looks at diagram] You want to be able to turn your head.
Bruce Wayne: Sure would make backing out of the driveway easier.

    • An example for Alfred...

Bruce: You look tired, Alfred. You'll be all right without me?
Alfred: [Glances back at the sunbathing Russian women.] You could tell me the Russian for, "apply your own bloody suntan lotion."

    • An example for Joker...

Gambol: You think you can steal from us and just walk away?
Joker: Yeah.

    • An example for Lau...

Lucius Fox: ... I've come to explain to you why we're going to have to put our deal on hold. We can't afford to be seen to do business with, well, whatever it is you're accused of being. A businessman of your stature will understand.
Lau: I think, Mr. Fox, that a simple phone call might have sufficed.
Lucius Fox: Well, I do love Chinese food. And Mr. Wayne didn't want you to think we'd been deliberately wasting your time.
Lau: Just accidentally wasting it.

The Mayor: I don't want any more trouble like you had last year in the Filmore district. Understand? That's my policy.
Harry Callahan: Yeah, well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That's my policy.
The Mayor: Intent? How did you establish that?
Harry Callahan: When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcherknife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross.

  • Any character ever played by David Spade.
  • Juno is the quintessential example, though the whole movie is rife with it.
  • Guy Pearce's role in Lockout, the Badass Snake Plisskin Expy seems to be a formidable master of Snark-Fu.

Interrogator: "Who was the man?"
Snow: "His name was Fuk-Yoo." *smirk* "He was Asian."

  • Willy Wonka, as portrayed by Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has elements of this character. The most notable is whenever someone demands he "do something"; his response is a monotone: "Help. Police. Murder."
During his heroic efforts to save Mike Teavee from his fate: "No. Stop. Don't. Please."
Johnny Depp's version also has a few moments like that, as well as Veruca Salt.
  • Riley Poole in National Treasure.
  • Almost all of the main characters of Sin City.
  • Hedwig from Hedwig and The Angry Inch.
  • Margo in All About Eve. "Fasten your seatbelts, everybody, it's going to be a bumpy night!" Addison perhaps even more so. Come on, he has "wit" in his last name!
  • Any given film noir hero. Sam Spade is probably the snarkiest of the lot, but J.J. Gittes of Chinatown gets one or two good ones.

Loach: What happened to your nose, Gittes? Somebody slammed a bedroom window on it?
Gittes: Nope. Your wife got excited. She crossed her legs a little too quick.

  • Waldo Lydecker from the classic murder mystery Laura. "You fail to understand that you're interrupting something far more important than your career. My lunch."
  • Chevy Chase played a lot of these characters, but chief amongst them has to be Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher in his adaptations of the Fletch novels, and his particularly dry deadpan snark:

Corrupt Police Chief: Maybe I'm gonna blow your brains out!
Fletch: Now, I'm no lawyer, but I do believe that's a violation of my rights.

Kay: I don't suppose you know what kind of alien life form leaves a green spectral trail and craves sugar water, do you?
Jay: Uh, wait, that was on "Final Jeopardy!" last night. Damn, Alex said...

  • Narnia - Prince Caspian
    • Peter Dinklage as Trumpkin fulfills this role beautifully, pointing out just how ridiculously most of the other characters are behaving, and generally saying what audience members are thinking.
    • Skandar Keynes as Edmund has traits of this, as well.
    • Reepicheep has one awesome moment of snark.

Pattertwig: We can collect nuts!
Reepicheep: Yes! And throw them at the Telmarines! * glares at Pattertwig* Shut up!

    • Reepicheep also has this:

Soldier: You...are a mouse!
Reepicheep: You people are so unoriginal.

      • He follows it up with "Yes, I know. I am a mouse" to someone else.
    • Susan has her moments herself.

Peter: He said he knows the faun.
Susan: He's a beaver. He shouldn't be saying anything!

  • Grave-Robber has some moments of this in Repo! The Genetic Opera.
  • Hellboy's father, Trevor Bruttenholm, seemed this way at times. Searching for Nazis on a "deserted" island, he's told, "There's nothing on this island but rocks and sheep." When they find the Nazis, he looks at the officer in charge: "They must be here for the sheep." That must be where HB himself got his snark from.
  • Klaus has this role in The Movie of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Sunny too, on occasion, made all the funnier in that she speaks all in baby talk, with the meaning given in subtitles.
  • Alan Rickman in most of his roles, particularly Galaxy Quest and Dogma and the Harry Potter films.
  • Marvin from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. If not for his programmed personality, he would be pretty badass.
  • Star Wars":
    • Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith. When Obi-Wan points out the inadvisability of trying to clear pesky droids off his fighter's wing by shooting at them: "I agree, bad idea." (And then he does it. Although he does blow half of the fighter wing off in the process.) When asked if he can fly the Invisible Hand as it's falling toward Coruscant's surface: "Under the circumstances I'd say the ability to fly this thing is irrelevant." (And then he does it. Kind of. With some help.)
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi.
      • From Episode I, after the Trade Delegation try to kill the Jedi before even meeting them, he quips on the run. "You were right about one thing, Master. The negotiations were short."
      • In Episode II, he muses in a dogfight, "This is why I hate flying." When Anakin is worried about Padmé, Obi-Wan draws his attention to the fact that she's freed herself and has climbed to the top of her pillar: "She seems to be on top of things." And when Anakin sarcastically says "Excuse me" and jumps out of a moving speeder, Obi-Wan calmly says, "I hate it when he does that." Also, in the arena:

Anakin: We relayed your message just like you requested, Master. Then we decided to come and rescue you.
Obi-Wan: (glancing at his handcuffs and chain) Good job.

      • In Episode III, when the Invisible Hand begins to fragment: "Not to worry, we are still flying half a ship." And when they finally crash-land "Another happy landing." And after he takes out General Grievous with precision blaster-fire Obi-Wan discards the blaster saying "So uncivilized." (This is a reference to his earlier (later?) line in Episode IV about the lightsaber being "elegant weapon, of a more civilized age" and being "not as clumsy or random as a blaster" and it is made even funnier in the book. He spends a moment thinking of the absolute worst word in his vocabulary, a real crusher. "Uncivilized" is what he came up with.
      • Age does not wither his snark nor the years condemn. In Episode IV, when Luke tells "Ben" Kenobi that his uncle says that Obi-Wan is dead, the Cool Old Guy assures him, "Oh, he's not dead." Then he takes a quick look at his desolate surroundings and adds, "Not yet." In the novelizations, even his internal narration is snarky:

(while clinging to a flying assassin robot hundreds of miles above Coruscant) This is not the best idea I ever had.

    • Anakin may have "Taken a Level in Snark" after he became Darth Vader with a healthy dose of menace thrown in. The classic example would probably be his "I find your lack of faith disturbing" from Episode IV.
    • Failing hyperdrive + Princess Leia = instant snark. Actually, a lot more situations than that. Apparently, she gets it from her father.
    • Han Solo, whose snarkiness is most present in The Empire Strikes Back:

(the ground of the asteroid they just landed on shakes violently)
C-3PO: Sir, its quite possible this asteroid is not entirely stable.
Han: Not entirely stable? Well I'm glad you're here to tell us these things. Chewie, take the professor in the back and plug him into the hyperdrive.
(the ground shakes again; Leia falls and Han catches her)
Leia: Let go please.
Han: Don't get excited!
Leia: Captain being held by you isn't quite enough to get me excited.
Han: Sorry sweetheart... We don't got time for anything else.

      • In A New Hope

[Luke gets shot by the remote.]
Han Solo: [laughs] Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.
Luke Skywalker: You don't believe in the Force, do you?
Han Solo: Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls MY destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.
Ben Kenobi: [gets up and takes a blast helmet] I suggest you try it again, Luke. This time, let go your conscious self and act on instinct. [puts the helmet on Luke, which covers his eyes]
Luke Skywalker: But with the blast shield down, I can't even see! How am I supposed to fight?
Ben Kenobi: Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them. [Watches Luke succeed in blocking the lasers]
Han Solo: I call it luck.
Ben Kenobi: In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.

      • In Episode IV (after he shoots Greedo) "Sorry about the mess." and (after he shoots a communications device) "Boring conversation anyway." Another gem from Han Solo in Episode VI, on the way to the Sarlacc's Pit while he was half-blind:

Luke Skywalker: There's nothing to see. I used to live here, you know.
Han Solo: You're gonna die here, you know. Convenient.
Luke: Just stick close to Chewie and Lando. I've taken care of everything.
Han: Oh. Great.

    • C-3PO is something of a snarker in A New Hope.

C-3PO: Just you reconsider playing that message for him!
(R2 beeps a question)
C-3PO: No, I don't think he likes you at all.
(R2 beeps again)
C-3PO: No, I don't like you either.
C-3PO: I would much rather have gone with Master Luke than stay here with you. I don't know what all this trouble is about, but I'm sure it must be your fault.

Mrs. Palmer: (talking to someone else) If only he'd gone to Combe Magna. We live but half a mile away.
Mr. Palmer: Five and a half.
Mrs. Palmer: I cannot believe it is that far. I can't believe it.
Mr. Palmer: Try.

Well, he's played by Hugh Laurie...

(secret door takes them from burning building to Nazi headquarters)
Henry Jones Sr.: Our situation has not improved.

  • Deconstructed in Funny People; George and the other comedians are certainly very quick-witted, snarky and quick with a cutting comment, but it's made fairly clear that they use wit as a substitute for actually forging meaningful connections with other people, and the often hurtful nature of their comments doesn't help either.
  • Any character played by British actor George Saunders, most notably Addison Dewitt in All About Eve.
  • In Finding Neverland, Charles Frohman (the producer and financier of James M. Barrie's plays) spends most of his limited time on-screen being the deadpan, snarking, sensible Foil to the more animated, optimistic, and erratic Barrie.
  • Charlie in Letters to Juliet.
  • Hawkeye from The Last of the Mohicans.

Heyward: There is a war going on! How is it that you are heading west?!
Hawkeye: Well we kinda face north and then, real sudden like, turn left.

  • Eames in Inception is fond of this trope. As for that matter is Arthur. Usually at each other. A good bit of the fandom sees this as a sign of something else between the men.
  • The Spirit of Christmas Present, of all people. Not in the book and not in most adaptations, but in the 1970 musical Scrooge he has a ton of deadpan gems. For instance, when Scrooge says he would like to look into the window of the Cratchitt house the Spirit, inviting him by indicating with his hand, says, "It will cost you nothing--which I feel sure will be good news for you." Scrooge asks if the Cratchitts will be able to see him. The Spirit replies, "No...which I feel sure will be good news for them."
  • Sara Gilbert in any role given to her -- "Roseanne", "The Big Bang Theory" ... etc.
  • Alex Hughes from Snow Cake. Vivienne even calls him out on it, calling him 'Mr. Sarcastic'. Alex is played by Alan Rickman.
  • Olive in Easy A is definitely this. She seems to get it from her mother. As is Woodchuck Todd (her crush). And Mr. Griffith takes this trope Up to Eleven.
  • Ed in Rubin and Ed. This is partly just his natural personality and partly a defense mechanism he created to cope with his various insecurities and his Dark and Troubled Past
  • Darly in Leaving Normal. On walking into Marienne's nephew's room: "Oh my god. This room has "Please, God, don't make my son a fag" written all over it."
  • Riff-Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, especially in the takeover scene:

Dr. Frank: I'm going home! I'm going home! I'm going home! I'm going home!
Magenta: How sentimental.
Riff-Raff: Yes... and also presumptuous of you. You see... when I said 'we' were to return to Transylvania... I referred only to Magenta and myself. I'm sorry, however, if you found my words misleading, but you see... you are to remain here... in spirit anyway.

NORRINGTON: Mr. Sparrow, you will accompany these fine men to the helm and provide us with the bearing to Isla de Muerta. You will then spend the remainder of the voyage contemplating all possible meanings of the phrase 'silent as the grave.' Do I make myself clear?
JACK: Inescapably.

WOLSEY: The King wants a son- what are you going to do about it?
MORE: (dry) I'm very sure the King needs no advice from me on what to do about it.

Cop: "Do you know you were doing fifty in a twenty five miles per hour zone?"
Elvira: "No, but if you hum a few bars I'll fake it."

Ian: Now eventually you might have dinosaurs on your, on your dinosaur tour, right? Hello? Yes?
Hammond: (watching on camera feed) I really hate that man.


Ian: (After surviving being knocked down by a T-rex) Remind me to thank John for a lovely weekend...
Ian: (after being chased by a T. rex) Do you think they'll have that on the tour?

  • The cast of Fifty/Fifty, but especially Sam French, but especially Jake Wyer.
  • Mortal Kombat has its fair share of snark.
Johnny Cage:

"Liu, I hate this place. I'm telling you, I hate it. I'm in a hostile environment, I'm completely unprepared, and I'm surrounded by people who probably want to kick my ass. It's like being back in high school!"

    • Raiden:

"The fate of billions will depend upon you. Heh heh heh heh! ...sorry."

Walking away after telling Johnny and Sonya which of their fears will trip them up:

Liu: Wait! What about me?
Raiden: Oh, you.

The Operative: Are you willing to die for your beliefs?
Mal: I am.... [draws and fires, forcing the Operative to take cover] 'Course, that ain't exactly plan A.

  • In the movie-musical Hairspray, Penny Pingleton gets in a good one. When Motormouth Maybelle recognizes that her son has fallen in love with a white girl, she warns the two lovers, "You're gonna have to deal with a whole lotta ugly from a never-ending parade of stupid." Penny answers, "Oh, so you met my mom."
  • Bromhead in Zulu, very much so.

Chard: Don't worry, Miss Witt. The Army doesn't like more than one disaster in a day.
Bromhead: Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfasts.

Mike: It just happened Joe.
Hallenbeck: Sure, sure, I know, it just happened, it could happen to anybody... It was an accident right? You tripped, slipped on the floor and accidentally stuck your dick in my wife : "O Ops I'm so sorry Mrs H, I guess this just isn't my week".


Clint: Do you want me to take him down or would you rather send in more guys for him to beat up?
Clint: You better call it Coulson, cause I'm starting to root for this guy.

  • If Hugh Grant isn't playing a stuttering English fop, chances are he's playing one of these. Alex from Music and Lyrics is a pretty good example of the general type.
  • Alan has several lines in American Dreamer, until he gets shot at. Then he has Large Ham moments in frustration.
  • Eve Arden in Mildred Pierce'. And pretty much any other role she had.