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The tendency in fiction for a Non-Action Guy to also be a Deadpan Snarker. Often, a character who displays this trait is one of the few non–action-oriented characters in a show full of Action Girls and Big Guys. One possible explanation for this trope is that sarcasm is one way to show that a character is dissatisfied with his life, and of course no guy could be happy if he isn't MANLY enough. Another explanation might be that Non Action Guys tend to be geeks, and geeks tend to be snarky.
This trope is more likely to be male than female. A non–action-oriented girl may get this treatment, but more likely she will be a more feminine character type, such as The Chick, The Fashionista, the Distressed Damsel, the Team Mom or Moe.
Anime and Manga
- Ai Haibara from Detective Conan. In a series where most women are at least adept at some form of martial arts, she stands out as having very little means of self-defense.
- Kyon, from Suzumiya Haruhi.
- Chisame in Mahou Sensei Negima is physically useless in combat; her abilities are completely tactical.
- The elves in Berserk, being about the size of most people's palms, just stay back and make snarky comments when battle breaks out. Afterwards, though, they have uses.
- Asuma from Patlabor.
- Nenene from ROD the TV is basically made of this trope. Sarcasm is basically her superpower.
- Yorrick from Y: The Last Man, though five years of Walking the Earth and tuition from his bodyguard toughen him up.
- Jason Lee as Banky Edwards in Chasing Amy. It is not an action movie, but the guy is a comic book artist.
- Woody Allen. This is his stock character.
- Corporal Miller in the film version of The Guns of Navarone.
- Riley in National Treasure.
- Fitz, from the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, is a Deadpan Snarker and has been known to trip over his own feet. Shortly after he's introduced, he convinces an old woman that
J.R.R. TolkienR.J. Tolkien named Frodo after a beggar woman in France with whom he had a child, as it bothered Fitz that she got Tolkien's name wrong. Fitz is not just a bit of a geek, but a skinny one, at that.
- Rincewind technically qualifies; he's frequently snarky and definitely a Non-Action Guy, unless you count running as an action.
- Any Joss Whedon work ever:
- Ianto on Torchwood, although he gets more action-y (and no less snarky) as the series progresses.
- Seamus Zelazny Harper from Andromeda.
- Timothy McGee from NCIS.
- McGee subverts this, really. While he's not as action-oriented as Tony or Ziva, he's fully capable of handling himself, not even remotely a non-action guy. And on the other side, Tony, Ziva and Gibbs are all snarky as well.
- Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1, although he becomes an action-guy after the first few seasons, and he is definitely not the only snarker on the show.
- Alec Hardison on Leverage has this fairly often, given his two main partners for the various cons: Eliot and Parker
- Darryl from Charmed is this. While he is a cop, he doesn't really stand a chance against magical creatures like witches, demons, and warlocks.
- Thersites, from Troilus and Cressida. One of Shakespeare's many snarkers, but he's very much a Dirty Coward who shies away from action.
- Joker in Mass Effect.
- Shaun Hastings in Assassin's Creed II. He's even called out on it by Desmond.
- Hisao of Katawa Shoujo has a heart disorder that can potentially kill him if he overexerts himself, and is in less than optimal shape at the start of the story. He also has a habit of snarking, especially in his narration.
- Dr. Shelton from Darwin's Soldiers' is close to if not the purest example (There's a reason he used to be the Trope Namer). Almost every other character is firearm proficient, Made of Iron and has Nerves of Steel. Shelton can't shoot a gun, does the tech stuff, and lampshades every action trope that comes his way. As the series progressed, a few more non-action characters were introduced, but none were as bad as him.
- Tucker Foley from Danny Phantom.
- Noah in Total Drama Island might be the king of this trope, to the point where he was eliminated very early in season one just because he wouldn't play dodgeball. Fortunately, he becomes far more active in World Tour but retains his signature snarker nature.
- While Dr. Hartford is quite capable with fisticuffs, a blaster, and a sword, he is a Playful Hacker and Badass Normal who is grossly underpowered compared to his more combat-oriented teamates. Doc's snark, however, could be licenced as a deadly weapon.