The Quiet One

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
...and that's about all you'll get from her.

"I ain't quiet
Everybody else is too loud"

He's not The Voiceless. He's not an Ineffectual Loner. He just rarely talks, so anything he does say carries extra weight. In most instances, The Quiet One is physically imposing. He is either The Big Guy or The Lancer and may also be a Gentle Giant or Genius Bruiser.

If he's a member of The Squad, he'll either enjoy killing a bit too much or suffer anguish over the fact that he has killed and must continue to kill. If this is ever explained, it's credited to his former civilian occupation being one that abhors death and destruction. Often, this is the member assigned to carry the BFG.

In a Deconstruction setting, his quietness is a reflection of deep psychological problems, which is why he is more commonly an Anti-Hero than a hero. Otherwise The Quiet One just comes across as cool, calm, collected, and slightly above the madness of their universe; a less vocal Deadpan Snarker.

You might expect The Quiet One to be a loner, but unless he's the Aloof Big Brother, that's hardly ever the case, probably because of the assumption that Loners Are Freaks.

Different from The Voiceless in that The Quiet One can be seen talking occasionally, not just once during some special moment. Unsurprisingly, he isn't likely to be partial to small talk.

A subtrope of The Stoic, see also Silent Bob. Compare: Heroic Mime, Silent Antagonist. Contrast: Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, Motor Mouth. If The Quiet One has a Berserk Button, it could be Beware the Quiet Ones.

Examples of The Quiet One include:

Anime and Manga

  • Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! (the un-Macekred one)... So, naturally, Kaiser Ryo (pre-Face Heel Turn, at least) from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's on the other hand, this treatment is given to the main character, more or less. In the very first episode, Yusei Fudo didn't even open his mouth until near the end. And as tradition, his first on-screen words were "Hey... duel me."
  • Akira Okochi and Zazie Rainyday in Mahou Sensei Negima take this in two different directions. Akira doesn't speak much, but talks normally when she does. Zazie, on the other hand, can hold entire conversations without speaking at all. She answers a phone call and relates how her day is going (apparently) without ever saying anything apart from a few ellipses and is understood perfectly.
  • Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing
    • Also Trowa Barton. There are fanfics claiming that he maintains a "words per day budget" and will resort to sign language if he runs out.
  • Sasuke, Itachi, Shino, Neji and Gaara in Naruto. Although Sasuke and Neji used to make remarks, once in a while, about how stupid the others were. More or less the only female example is Hinata.
  • Rey Za Burrel from Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • And, well, outside his Gundam, there is Shani, one of the Druggies from Gundam SEED. Get him in his Gundam, however...
  • Senri from +Anima, who also often is thought to be glaring menacingly at people when really he's just... really out of it.
  • Guts, Pippin from Berserk.
  • Commander Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • And Rei for that matter. Especially on the moments that she suddenly decides to speak to Asuka.
  • Sousuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic!. Especially noticeable in the Burning One Man Force novel, with his interactions with Nami and her group. After every victory in the arena, the group always has festive celebrations with beer and drunk chatter. And every time, he'll always be sitting away, quietly sipping his water. Nami, having a crush on him, tends to watch him yearningly. Numerous times, she tries to go over and talk to him, but every answer from him tends to kill conversation. It's worth noting that none of that is because he particularly hates anyone or is that mean - he just has zero social skills.
  • Seijuro Shin from Eyeshield 21.
    • Dakichi Komusubi can also be considered one since he rarely says anything beyond grunts or one word sentences.
  • Monster: Johan Liebert tends to be completely silent as someone who's with him is running their motor mouth.
  • Subverted by Takashi "Mori" Morinozuka from Ouran High School Host Club. He is physically large and doesn't say much, but what he says is pretty mundane most of the time, not to mention how he tends to have a Personality Change on rainy days. This trope was however invoked by Renge who tried to cast him as one in a Dating Sim style movie.
  • Chad from Bleach. As is Nova to his squad. The series has been known to play with this by pairing the two up and portraying neither to be able to successfully start a conversation.
    • It gets the point that Kon pops up and yells at them for wasting screen time.
  • Sakaki, the tall, dark, Huge Schoolgirl in Azumanga Daioh.
  • Minami Iwasaki, the tall, but not-so-dark Huge Schoolgirl in Lucky Star.
  • Sora from Sketchbook. She's quiet only because she's really shy. Since she's the show's lead character, though, we get to hear her unusual thoughts via Inner Monologue often.
  • Mogi from Death Note. Subverted slightly as he is forced to become an overly enthusiastic manager, and worries that it suits him too well. He starts to talk more once Soichiro Yagami dies.
  • Jin from Samurai Champloo incarnates this trope, just as his opposite Mugen incarnates another...
  • Isumi Saginomiya from Hayate the Combat Butler.
  • Oji Karasuma from School Rumble.
  • Sanya from Strike Witches, except when she's singing. Also Ursula from the novels, which might tie in with her being something of a Nagato (see entry below) Expy.
  • Yuki Nagato from Haruhi Suzumiya, who's also The Stoic. The only person she has a normal conversation with is Kyon. She rarely ever talks to anyone else, and often simply ignores the person or resorts to simple hand gestures.
    • And, of course, this all depends on your definition of "normal conversation". Yuki speaks to Kyon, but she never says an unnecessary word.
    • To get an idea of how little she acts, her staring at Kyon and Mikuru playfully flirting is considered a great deal of emotion from her.
      • In the original episode "Someday In The Rain", Yuki spends about a third of the episode on-screen, but neither Minori Chihara or Michelle Ruff are credited...because she doesn't speak throughout the entire episode.
  • Zafila/Zafira of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, so much so that the trainees in StrikerS didn't even realize that he could talk until their second mission.
  • Mugi from Hitohira. Due to her Character Development she moves out of this, helped by the fact that she's somehow still rather popular with other girls.
  • Maggie from R.O.D. The TV. Has a habit of "nesting" with piles of books in small, enclosed spaces.
  • Brandon Heat. So much so, he was often mocked by other characters for being such a man of few words. He only usually has one or two lines per episode, and in the video game, with one exception, he says nothing at all.
  • Hagi in Blood+.
  • Luciola from Last Exile.
  • Rocket from Ginga Densetsu Weed
  • Jo from Innocent Venus. Sana is afraid of him at first because of his reticence, but it turns out that he's the nice guy of the group.
  • Rika from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho's Hiei tends towards this. Chuck Huber, his voice actor, told a humorous story in the commentary; he once watched an episode of the show with his family, and all Hiei said through the whole episode was "Hn."

"[His wife] was like, 'Wow. They pay you for that?'"

  • Keith Gandor from Baccano! has been known to go years without talking, and as such the resident Knowledge Brokers have been known to forgo their usual $500 fee if he says more than five words to them. Yes, Keith's words are so rare that they have monetary value.
  • Occasionally, Ryu Sanada of Kimi ni Todoke will speak in whole sentences. But not often.
  • Kamemon in Digimon Savers. The PawnChessmon count too, but they never actually talk on-screen.
    • They do in episode 26, but it seems to be limited to a few clicks.
  • Veffidas from Macross 7 has 5 lines tops throughout the entire series but whenever she talks, she usually has a point.
  • Ichise from Texhnolyze.
  • Shiina from Angel Beats!. To the point that when she does decide to comment on the situation, the rest of the cast freaks out.
  • Melk the First is said to be a quiet, shy man. He's actually very talkative, its just that he literally talks so quietly no one can hear him.
  • Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star acts this way most of the time. Most of his lines are less than five words long, and he usually has less than 10 per episode, despite being the main character.
  • Warrant Officer Falman in Fullmetal Alchemist is this, and often gets Flanderized further in fanfiction.
  • Trip/Shooti Pokemon Best Wishes fit. And compared to Ash's other rivals, it really stands out. Especially in BW041 where there are many competitors in the tournament that are either talking about the battle or cheering for one side. Trip just sits by himself in the back with his own opinions that he doesn't bother giving to anyone as well as look down to ignore lame battles (he looks up when Ash's battle gets his attention though.)
  • Doc Saito from Tiger and Bunny speaks very softly. So softly in fact, that he requires subtitles for the viewers to understand him. Unless he's on the intercom or using a speaker, in which case he's ear-screechingly loud.
  • Shiori from The World God Only Knows, as present in the page picture. She is only quiet because by the time she knows what she wants to say, there is nobody to talk to, but that also means any word she says on the spot, without analysing it countless times beforehand, is significant. And when she is allowed to prepare a speech in advance, she is quite a talker.
  • Rise Matsumoto, the Student Council President from Yuru-Yuri does talk, but she talks so low, and quiet, it's pretty much impossible to make out her sentences. Only Nishigaki-Sensei has no trouble hearing her, for some reason.
  • Mayu Morita in Morita-san wa Mukuchi which means Morita-san is silent is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. She never says anything in any episode. We do hear her thoughts and sometimes see someone's reaction to what she just said but in all instances on screen she at most will nod or shake her head.
  • In Saint Beast, Luca is always brooding but rarely speaks his thoughts, which is part of what makes him good for counsel.
  • Robin in One Piece. She is not as heavy of a case anymore, though, but certainly was when she had just joined the Straw Hats - probably because she didn't want to open up to her new crew because she believed she would leave soon. But even nowadays, she is not that talkative unless the conversation really interests her, she needs to give a warning, or if someone asks her for exposition.
  • The title character of Komi Can't Communicate suffers from an unspecified condition which renders her almost incapable of speech.

Comic Books

  • Strongbow, from Wendy & Richard Pini's Elf Quest. Talks aloud, but not often; he's far more prone to using the elven telepathy called "sending." Non-elves, or elves who don't know how to send, find him to be a very taciturn fellow indeed. His unfriendliness towards outsiders doesn't help. See also The Stoic.
    • Redlance from Elf Quest could also qualify, but for the opposite reason: he's quiet because he's shy. His partnership with the more outgoing and assertive Nightfall is a classic case of role-reversal, and they're both perfectly comfortable with it. (Also it's implied that when it comes to sex he does a 180 and goes completely wild.)
  • Cass Cain (Batgirl II) from Batman speaks little and mostly with short words. This is the result of her father raising her without talking to her or letting her hear people talk, so that body language would be her language. Even after magic fixed this, she was never comfortable with words.
  • Duma from The Sandman evolves from The Voiceless into this in Lucifer.
  • Omega from Omega the Unknown, who says nothing for the first few issues, though he eventually deems it important enough to ask a suicidal woman how she could conceive of ending her existence, and opens up a little after that.
  • Cougar in The Losers.

Eastern Animation

Fan Works

(trying to find Andy) "Well, [he] was never the talkative one. Admittedly, he's gotten better this season, but...


  • In Predator the quiet one was the Native American tracker "Billy" whose contributions were things like "Something is out there." Poignant because, sure enough, something was out there.
    • Predators has Hanzo, who at first seems to be this because he doesn't speak English. But then it's revealed that as a Yakuza member, he lost fingers for "speaking too much".
  • Silent Bob from The View Askewniverse evolved from The Voiceless into The Quiet One.
  • Gaear Grimsrud from Fargo is an almost mute character, though he is also a demented sociopath.
  • Captain Miller from Saving Private Ryan possesses some of these traits.
  • The main character from Edward Scissorhands.
  • Hugo Stiglitz of Inglourious Basterds, who's definitely one of the bloodthirstiest of the Basterds (and that's saying quite a lot).
  • Brian Slade from Velvet Goldmine, despite being the main character and basically the subject of the movie, has surprisingly sparse dialogue throughout. When he does talk, he's almost always talking in riddles (or quoting Oscar Wilde, which is much the same thing...)
    • Also Jack Fairy, who doesn't say a word until the Death of Glitter concert.
  • In The Magnificent Seven, there are two Quiet Ones:
    • James Coburn's character Britt (the knife-thrower), with 11 lines total during the 128 minute-long film Britt's lines are also invariably short: in his introductory scene he says a total of five words. The scene is 2:28 seconds long. 21 seconds into it, he says "You lost". 1 minute and 17 seconds later, at 1:38, he says "Call it." At 2:20, in response to Chris saying "Britt.", he says "Chris."
    • Robert Vaughan's Lee (the gambler) has a whopping 16 lines.
  • The abovementioned Britt was of course based on Kyuzo, the taciturn master swordsman from The Seven Samurai (played by Seiji Miyaguchi).
  • When Radio Rock DJ "Midnight Mark" is introduced in The Boat That Rocked, Quentin says of him "Hardly ever speaks. Not even when he's broadcasting, which is...interesting."
  • Joshua, the unusually taciturn hitman in Little Odessa
  • DJ the Doctor from Event Horizon rarely talks, and when he does, it's normally somewhat intimidating. There's a reason he's the one who's allowed to play with bone-saws.
  • Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace should have a special mention here for having three lines during the whole movie.
    • Bobba Fett doesn't talk much either.
  • The Driver from Drive speaks less than twenty whole sentences in the movie, and he's the viewpoint character. The reason for this is left ambiguous, but it's possible he has a mental disorder.
  • Matsu, the protagonist of the Female Prisoner Scorpion series is very quiet. She says little in the first film (one of her lines is "you talk too much"), but the second is her most sparse; she's onscreen for most of the 92 minute runtime, but says only eight words across two sentences. By contrast, Yuki in the first film seems to be literally mute.


  • A farmer tells the new farmhand: "I don't talk much. If I give you a nod, you'll come." The farmhand: "Guess we'll work together well, boss, 'cause I don't talk much either. If I shake my head, I won't come."


  • The narrator of the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a physically imposing man who pretends to be deaf and mute. Between his deliberate silence, his hallucinations and his distorted view of himself and others, it is assumed that he has schizophrenia.
    • He does. Unless you believe that the asylum actually inserted electronics into the patients every night.
      • Why else did that Acute die after Bromden's nightmare?
  • Hettar from the Belgariad. But as one of the prequel novels shows, there's at least one worse; Algar, founder of Hettar's homeland, who could let days go by without talking. When asked by Polgara, "Don't you ever talk about the weather?", he just points to a window and responds, "What for? It's right out there. Go look for yourself."
  • Ulath, from the Elenium and Tamuli series. He's actually very intelligent, but tends to respond quite cryptically and briefly with one or two word comments. It's explained that he works out all the logical steps in his head, but sees no reason to share any more than the conclusion.
    • Then subverted when he usually has to explain what his one-word outburst means anyway.
  • Benjamin, the donkey from Animal Farm.
  • "Lofty", from Monstrous Regiment, definitely has "deep psychological problems".
  • Emperor Gregor Vorbarra from the Vorkosigan Saga.
  • Maggie from Old Man's War.

We all turned to look at her. She was visibly annoyed. “I’m not mute,” she said. “I just don’t talk much. This deserves comment of some kind.”

  • Mac, from The Dresden Files. Getting words out of him at all is rare, and if you see him speaking in actual sentences, you know things are very, very serious.
    • In Changes, he speaks an entire paragraph. Harry is completely floored by this, and not just because of what he said.
  • Amy from The Passage is a subversion as, being a six year old girl, she's hardly physically imposing. Then she becomes a vampire.
  • Kubo in Krabat, who gets just one line in the book.
  • Shane Drinion in The Pale King. When he does speak, he has a lengthy, thought-provoking conversation with Meredith Rand and completely throws her off her game.
  • The Silent from Black Company. He speaks only once through entire series, when he performs ritual to bind Lady's powers.
  • Ruth in Someone Elses War.

Live-Action TV

  • Capt. Ronald Speirs in Band of Brothers
  • The badass priest "Mr Eko" from Lost does not speak for forty days after he kills two of the "Others" in self-defense.
  • Daniel "Oz" Osbourne on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who famously explained his lycanthropy as follows:

Buffy: It's a Long Story.
Oz: Got bit.
Buffy: Apparently not that long.

    • We see the Hidden Depths behind his laconic demeanor, when Buffy is granted telepathy and overhears Oz's thoughts:

(thinking): I am my thoughts. But if Buffy can hear my thoughts, they exist in her, independent of me. I cease to exist.
(aloud) "Huh."

    • Angel's not known for his talkativeness, either; lampshaded when the two chat:

Angel: Oz.
Oz: Hey.
Angel: Nice surprise.
Oz: Thanks.
Angel: Staying long?
Oz: Few days.
Doyle: Are they always like this?
Oz: No, we're usually laconic.

  • Teal'c from Stargate SG-1. "You speak?" "Only when it is appropriate." Indeed.
    • He did become more talkative as time went by (presumably from spending so much time with humans), so much so that the commentary on an early episode of season 9 had the director joking that Teal'c had spoken more in the first few episodes of that season than in the previous eight seasons combined.
  • Firefly's River Tam both plays this straight and subverts it; she typically has the fewest lines of dialogue in any given episode, and will go through a lot of scenes without ever saying anything. When she does talk, its usually in the form of traumatized crying, gibberish, or veiled warnings or predictions.
    • Wash was once laconic, but that was a long time ago.
  • James May of Top Gear, though it's mainly 1. relative to his two chatty co-presenters and 2. all the better to set up a well-aimed deadpan snark when they have argued each other into exhaustion
  • The Haitian, of Heroes fame, was speechless in most of his early appearances and many of his later ones. He refuses to reveal his given name and, since he speaks so rarely, one wonders how everyone knows he is from Haiti.
  • Cameron of The Sarah Connor Chronicles mostly lets the others do the talking, and when she does speak, its usually done with a very inflectionless monotone. She mostly just punches things. Or shoots them.
  • Kosh of Babylon 5 barely ever speaks at all, when he does it's generally a sentence fragment, and fragmentary or not, it rarely makes any sense.
    • Interestingly, his most powerful statements are usually his shortest as well, in large part because they generally make more sense than usual. Often the emphasis he puts on words carries more meaning than the words themselves.
  • Nasir of Robin of Sherwood could go entire episodes without speaking.
    • It's implied that in early episodes he doesn't know much English. He gets to talk a bit more later on.
  • Will Scarlett from Robin Hood.
    • To a lesser extent, Little John - though when he did talk, he usually did so quite loudly.
  • In the first series of Skins, Effy Stonem only spoke twice - and she was incredibly intriguing as a result. In the later series, she talks progressively more often, although she continues to maintain long periods of silence and usually speaks less than the other characters. Nevertheless, most fans preferred her as The Stoic Ice Queen and grew increasingly disappointed with the character the more she spoke.
  • On Saturday Night Live, Robin Gibb in "The Barry Gibb Talk Show".
  • In Supernatural, season six, Sam and Dean's distant cousin Mark was introduced. Mark barely avoided becoming The Silent Bob. Promptly lampshaded.

Dean: You don't say much, do you?
Mark: Enough.

Professional Wrestling

  • Randy Orton seems to fit this trope. While he cuts promos and talks to other wrestlers like his fellow sports-entertainers, he doesn't do much of trash-talking in the ring, and a lot of his "interviews" (especially as a Heel) are Orton simply being asked a question and responding with one word ("No..." or "Pain..." or something of the sort), or responding by... not responding. He'd simply stare at the interviewer and then walk away.
  • Everyone by now knows Christian to be a bit of a Loud Mouth...but before that happened, he and Edge were part of a group known as the Brood (a gimmick of pseudo-vampires). He didn't even speak the first few months...until Ken Shamrock ankle locked him to revealing where Stephanie McMahon was during the Ministry of Darkness era.
  • The Undertaker is also one; unless he's cutting one of his amazing promos.


  • Fred Norris of The Howard Stern Show. Although he's in the studio, his job is sound effects, and they'll often do more talking than he does. When he DOES talk it could be just a quip or a punchline to jokes or impressions or even responding to Howard or Robin. If you even DARE insult him or call him on something, run he has been known to react VERY strongly to criticism, sensitive issues in his life among other incidents, once Howard looked in his bag and Fred nearly quit the show after an ugly outburst.
  • The classic Jack Benny-Mel Blanc "Sí, Sy, Sue" routine might fit here, with Blanc's character responding entirely in deadpan monosyllables that are, in context and timing, hilarious.

Tabletop Games

  • In Warhammer 40,000, a Space Marine chapter's Honour Guard are said to speak and advise little, as to not undermine the authority of the Captains despite how they are likely even more experienced than them, but this gives their words considerable weight to all of their battle brothers, even the Chapter Master.
    • The Dark Angels and their successor chapters are known for this. They rarely speak to anyone outside of the chapter, and in one noticeable instance, the entire Consecrators Chapter deployed en masse and relieved an Imperial Guard force by fighting for six straight hours and killing the enemy's leader without sending a single transmission to the guard.


Video Games

  • Kratos from Tales of Symphonia. He has emotions, they're just not obvious at first glance.
  • Auron from Final Fantasy X is a stoic, taciturn man who chooses to only talk when it is important. Kimahri, who talks even less than Auron does, also qualifies.
    • Kimahri in particular is so quiet that he doesn't even have a spoken line until about a third of the way through the game.
      • That's because Kimahri was giving main character Tidus the silent treatment (for whatever reason).
  • Gage/Trak from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Repeatedly lampshaded by the reminding cast, who complain about how he never speaks more than a sentence at a time.
  • Arioch from Drakengard, except when she speaks it's usually to say something deliciously morbid or insane.
  • Minor character Fujin from Final Fantasy VIII and Kingdom Hearts (going by Fuu there) speaks in broken statements of only one or two words at a time.
    • In the Japanese version, Fujin talked in only one kanji at a time. It's not a bad English equivalent.
      • Her last line of dialogue in Final Fantasy VIII is (in both versions) relatively long and spoken normally. In addition to highlighting the importance of what she has to say, it surprises the other characters, who presumably thought she was incapable of normal speech.
    • FFVIII's main character, Squall, is also not much of a talker, particularly early on when his Jerkass Facade is at its strongest, to the point that "Whatever," and "..." are his Catch Phrases. Since the game allows the player to listen in on his Inner Monologues, the reasons for Squall's silences become increasingly more apparent as the game goes on.
    • For a character of Kingdom Hearts, Lexaeus of Organization XIII.
  • Cloud of Dissidia Final Fantasy canon seems to fit this trope, with other characters going so far as to praise him for his calm and collected mindset. He also speaks relatively few words to the other Warriors of Cosmos, not to mention it seems like he's always in a perpetual contest with himself to see how he can express a thought in as few words as possible when he does speak.
    • During the ending, he almost shows off his laconic attitude. Everyone is saying their goodbyes (in reverse series order):

Squall: Maybe we can go on a mission together again sometime. (disappears)
Cloud: Not interested. (disappears)

  • The Main Character (Minato) from Persona 3 fits this trope to a T.
    • To elaborate, Minato is a Heroic Mime and never actually heard to speak (outside of summoning his Persona). However, the player is able to choose dialogue options for him when speaking to others. None of these options are ever more than one sentence long, and other characters have commented on his quietness.
  • Henry Townshend is listed in the Silent Hill 4 manual as a "quiet individual who never lets his feelings show". Apparently he's (mostly) capable of saying "What...the hell..?"
  • Valygar from Baldur's Gate 2. Putting him in the same party as Jan Jansen makes him a great example of The Comically Serious as well.
  • Iceman, from the original Wing Commander easily qualifies, save one cutscene where he's oddly chosen to play Mr. Exposition. It's said that even when he does speak, he does so only barely louder than a whisper, and you have to listen closely to hear him.
  • Ricky Johnson fits this trope to a bang.
  • Stare Pris of Tail Concerto.
  • League of Legends Champion Rammus. His standard exclamations include "yup" and "okay." His longest known statement is "shut up." Most other champions in the game use actual sentences.
  • Team Fortress 2-Radigan Conagher, the Engineer's grandfather, is "a man of many ideas and few words."
    • This is what the official bio for the Heavy claims him to be. He cheers up once he starts mowing people down with Sasha.
  • RPG Shooter Starwish has Mare, whose dialogue consists solely of "..." until the post-Earthwall-battle cutscene.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Kamimura from Broken Saints, apart from his internal monologues, is not the most talkative guy around. Of course, his limited knowledge of English, the language spoken to and around him for most of the series, could be part of that.
  • Evek is the most silent of the Freelance Astronauts, but then, given his competition, it's not exactly a hard title to achieve.
  • Jennifer O'Connell from Behind the Veil communicates entirely through written notes, sign-language and text-to-speech programs, but only because of psychological reasons (her parents were killed in a car crash and she was trapped in the car with them for several hours because she had been paralysed for years and couldn't escape herself). She is still capable of speech, and recently began talking to her step-mother, but limits herself to short sentances.

Western Animation

  • Referenced in The Simpsons, "Lemon of Troy", where Bart and friends prepare to raid Shelbyville; Bart declares that Rod Flanders will be "the quiet religious guy who ends up going crazy."
    • In the episode where Homer joins the Navy, his superior officer gives the following keynote speech: "I'm a man of few words. Any questions?"
  • Mai on Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • On the DVD commentary, the creators said that when they were looking for a VA for Zuko, they were looking for someone who could say one word but imply a lifetime of suffering. He was a man of few words for the first two seasons.
    • Longshot's whole character revolves around this.
  • Spoofed in Pepper Ann with, "Hush, the senior who never speaks."
  • Austin from The Backyardigans in some episodes, such as "Heart of the Jungle".
  • Velma Dinkley on A Pup Named Scooby Doo ("Velma said 'Jinkies!'" "It MUST be a clue!")
  • Ferb from the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb, who, despite being one of the two main characters, generally only speaks once or twice per episode, expressing himself the rest of the time through nonverbal cues. These lines tend to be either the most random or funniest of the episode.
    • And like everything on the show, this is lampshaded to death. In the first episode he's introduced as being "a man of action". In the episode "Candence Interrupted" he says two conservative lines, prompting Phineas to say, "well, aren't you chatty today."
    • The most lines Ferb has ever said at once can be seen here. Watch and be amazed.
  • Raven from Teen Titans.

Slade: "It's always the quiet ones, isn't it?"

  • All the operatives of Sector V on Codename: Kids Next Door have a position/nickname: Number 3 is "The Flirt," Number 2 is "The Inventor," and Number 5 is "The Quiet One," although she's more like the Only Sane Man.
  • In Animaniacs Wakko is the least talkative of the Warner siblings as in some segments he doesn't say anything.
  • Kenny from South Park especially in the later episodes rarely talks and he is not involved in the plots as much as he used to be. And besides, he's The Unintelligible too.
  • Shifty Dingo from Blinky Bill, mainly due to being a Shrinking Violet.
  • Katana from Batman the Brave And The Bold. When she does speak, her Outsiders teammates immediately stop whatever they're doing and listen to her.
    • In the episode "Inside the Outsiders", there's a flashback dream sequence to a time when she was chattier. It's revealed that she doesn't speak in the present in order to honor her sensei's memory... and because she blames her loose tongue for indirectly causing the sensei's death.
  • The eponymous character of Samurai Jack is one of these there are several episodes in which he never speaks.
    • He didn't speak much as a child either, of the five flashback episodes to his childhood he only spoke in one of them.
  • Leon in Titan Maximum is incredibly quiet for a monkey and his only response to things is usually just a blink. He does seem to be the Only Sane Man of the group though.
  • Apocalypse from X-Men: Evolution, in contrast to other versions of the character. Despite being the Big Bad of the last two seasons, he never speaks at all until the Grand Finale, and then his dialogue consists entirely of terse orders for minions or blunt statements of superiority (almost all delivered telepathically). One gets the sense that he simply dislikes lowering himself to speak to common mortals.
  • Ashley T. from Recess
  • Applejack's brother Big Macintosh in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.
    • To elaborate, starting with Season 2, he normally only says "Eeyup" or "Nope"... Apart from two times, one in which he switched speaking roles with Applejack, and one where he was under the influence of the a Love Potion.
  • Brainy on Hey Arnold! has only said eight words in all the series: “something”, “I dunno”, “Hi Helga”. “I’ll go with you”. However, it’s because his Vader Breath.

Real Life

  • U.S. President Calvin Coolidge was famous for this, even gaining the nickname "Silent Cal". There is a longstanding joke that a woman at a party came up to him and said, "Mr. President, I just bet my friend that I could get you to say more than two words." Coolidge looked at her and said, "You lose."
    • She got the last laugh anyway; when the woman in question (Dorothy Parker, a famous and brilliant Deadpan Snarker) heard he'd died, she asked, "How can they tell?"
    • Which is derived from another Real Life incident in ancient Greece, but with a Spartan.
      • Indeed, we get the term "laconic" from "Laconia," a shortening of "Lacedaemonia", referring to the region in which Sparta lies, and often used to refer to Sparta itself.
      • The story goes as such: An emissary from Philip of Macedon (father of this guy) goes to Sparta and reads a long speech: "If we enter your lands, then we shall impale your men, violate your women and slaughter your children, burn your granaries, and put all priests to the sword..." and so forth. The Spartan king doesn't say anything until the end, when he replies: "If."
  • This story about a quiet stranger who joins a casino poker game. When The Quiet One finally breaks his silence, he turns out to be a truly awe-inspiring Deadpan Snarker.
  • In The Beatles, George Harrison was often considered the 'quiet one' being overshadowed both by the songwriting genius of Lennon & McCartney and the good natured clowning of Ringo Starr. Later, when he was allowed to write songs, he proved his innate talent was the equal of his comrades with 'Something' and 'Here Comes The Sun' amongst others.
  • John Entwistle, bassist for The Who, would later claim the title of "the quiet one" for himself - while his bandmates would flail wildly about the stage and destroy their instruments, he stood still as a statue, single-mindedly playing his bass, and rarely opening his mouth. He would eventually write a song called "The Quiet One" about himself.
  • Craig Jones of Slipknot has the title of The Silent One, choosing to never show up for interviews and never answer any questions when asked.
  • Pata of X Japan and Ra:IN. Generally seems quiet and sleepy, is the * least* showy member of his bands. Is also one of the most skilled who's had the least drama out of either.
  • Ira Hayes, one of the six flagraisers at Iwo Jima, was described by friends and family as this. He was still especially quiet even though his particular tribe didn't push talkativeness.
  • In Moneyball, Michael Lewis tells a story in which one of the scouts for the Oakland A's cultivates this image. Humorously, when he finally does speak for the first time in two days, what he says turns out to be completely inane.
  • Brazilian band Kid Abelha has Bruno Fortunato, who is practically the band's Garfunkel - Paula Toller sings and looks cute, George Israel writes the songs, plays many instruments and sometimes sings (not to mention working with other musicians)... and Bruno only plays the guitar. Hell, in the band's website, he doesn't even use the space that would be his blog.
  • Amy Acker, by her own admission.
  • William the Silent (1533-1584), Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch fight for independence.
    • He got the name for having the genius idea of not discussing his plans in bars where other people could hear them, not for being laconic.
  • Helmuth Count Moltke, who masterminded the Prussian campaign against Austria in 1866 and the German one against France in 1870/71, was known as "der große Schweiger" (the Great Silent).
  • Eric Wilson of the band Sublime. In the band's Rockumentary Stories, Tales, Lies, and Exaggerations Wilson does talk, but he gets nowhere near the screen time of fellow bandmate "Bud" Gaugh. Several interviewers have described him as quiet, but having great presence.
  • Introverts, especially IxxPs, tend to act like this.
  • John Deacon of Queen. When the band was together, he never sang on the albums and only answered questions in interviews if they were specifically directed to him. After Freddie Mercury died, he dropped out of the band and, aside from one single released in 1997, retired from the music business entirely.
  • US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas acquired this reputation, with one analysis noting he spoke just 96 words in the first eight arguments he heard (most justices used ~2500-~4500 in their first eight). When Thomas did speak, his questions were extremely direct and pointed ones that had major impacts on the case. Observers long speculated Justice Thomas's silence was because Justice Antonin Scalia, whom Thomas's ideology frequently overlapped with, was already asking most of the more basic questions Thomas would ask, but while Thomas did start asking more questions after Scalia's death, he still remained solemn. Whatever the reason, this trope only applies to Justice Thomas during his official duties, as he has proven far more talkative in interviews.