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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.

Examples of Non-Action Snarker include:

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.

Comic Books


  • 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.


Live-Action TV

  • Any Joss Whedon work ever:
    • Xander, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • Doyle, from Angel. Also Cordelia, who's one of the rare female examples of this trope. Subverted with Wesley in later seasons, though.
    • Lorne. The man is made out of pure lounge music and snark.
    • Topher, from Dollhouse.
    • Wash, from Firefly.
  • 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.


Video Games

Web Original

Western Animation

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