That’s a pretty ambitious list to make, isn’t it? Oh well.
I probably don’t need to tell anyone that this is going to be heavily biased. There are characters I haven’t included that I might have included if I’d made the list tomorrow instead of today. Feel free to comment with your own favorite snarky characters!
So, in no particular order, though I’ve numbered them anyway:
1. Tony Stark (movieverse) – I’m afraid I can’t comment on Stark’s characterization in the comics, but the version played by Robert Downey Jr definitely fits the bill. With his talkative nature and his absolute inability to take anything seriously, most of what we get out of him is snark.
2. Tallis (Dragon Age: Redemption) – A cynical elven warrior, Tallis faces the challenges in her life with humor, sometimes of the darker variety. Well, that, and with flirting. Probably over half her dialogue can be interpreted as some kind of snarking , though she can’t beat out Tony Stark, who I’d estimate to be somewhere around 90%.
3. Spike (BTVS) -A bad tempered vampire whose outlook on unlife didn’t improve with an anti-violence chip implanted in his brain. Or with having to associate with a vampire slayer and her Scooby gang. Or, for that matter, with his falling in love with that vampire slayer.
4. Moloch von Zinzer (Girl Genius) – He’s my favorite snarker in the webcomic/novels, and his snarking is completely justified. I mean, just look what he has to put up with. He’s probably my favorite minion of all time, too. Working for crazy geniuses is hard, but von Zinzer somehow manages.
5. Leonard Hofstadter (Big Bang Theory) – Leonard is a physicist rooming with fellow physicist Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon can be difficult to live with, and Leonard often finds refuge in sarcasm.
6. Georgia Mason (Newsflesh Trilogy) – And she’s got reason to snark. She lives in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies, has a brother who makes a living by taunting said zombies for fun, and blogs about politics. In fact, the first sentence of the first chapter is her snarking about her brother. I can prove it. It’s here.
7. Tyrion (ASOIAF and Game of Thrones) -Unfortunately for Tyrion, his humor is lost on many of the other characters in the books/tv show. But it’s certainly not lost on audiences. He’s as likely to make jokes as to take the matter seriously, but in all fairness, he isn’t usually taken seriously anyway. Or at least, not in a positive way. Poor Tyrion.
8. Kyon (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) -Kyon stands as the sole representative of non-American media on this list. That said, he belongs on this list. It was practically made for him. Kyon, like von Zinzer, is a beleaguered assistant, though not to a mad scientist. No, Kyon is the poor, unwilling sidekick to a brutish high school girl with the power to destroy the world. Keeping her occupied and out of trouble should be a full-time job. And he’s voiced by Crispin Freeman in the dub, who gives him a perfect blend of sarcasm and apathy.
9. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly) – It would be accurate to say that pretty much everyone on this tv show snarks–it isn’t an accident that this is the second Joss Whedon project on this list (third, if you count the Avengers movie for Tony Stark). But I’m going with Mal. Mal Reynolds is the roguish yet noble outlaw, the captain of a crew on a spaceship. He juggles the jobs they do for money with the problems of his crew–and the problems that come chasing after various members of his crew–with resolve and maybe a quip or two.
10. GLaDOS (Portal) – If you don’t know anything about Portal and want to play the game unspoiled, ignore this entry. You have been warned. So, GLaDOS is a sociopathic AI who will force you to go through deadly obstacle courses, dangling the reward of cake before you. Cake that will kill you, if she doesn’t kill you first. And if that isn’t bad enough, she’ll make fun of your weight. Her snarking begins as seemingly unintentional, then later becomes nasty.
So, this is the top ten list I came up with. Anyone agree, disagree, or have other suggestions for favorite snarky characters? Feel free to comment, and let me know!