When it comes to creating memorable TV and movie characters, the choice to make an individual speechless is a fairly bold choice. Despite this fact, there are numerous examples of “the silent type” winning us over in our favorite shows and movies. While they may not be the most quotable characters, here are nine badass TV and movie characters that don’t talk.
9 Maggie Simpson – The Simpsons
Forever stuck in her pre-toddler years, young Maggie Simpson has only ever uttered a couple words through the show’s entire two decades of episodes (most memorably, “Daddy” – supposedly her first word). This fact was played up in a futuristic episode that saw Maggie all grown up. Though we never see adult Maggie talk, Homer is quoted to say, “Doesn’t that girl ever shut up?”
8 Gromit – Wallace and Gromit
Wallace’s loyal pooch Gromit lacks the ability to speak, but still manages to get his opinions across through plenty of body language (such as the frequent eyebrow raise). According to creator Nick Park, the original plan was to give Gromit a traditional speaking role. However, when he saw just how expressive the pooch could be via non-verbal cues, he decided to drop the idea.
8 Jerri’s Father – Strangers With Candy
Strangers With Candy is a cult classic that boasts one of the most peculiar father figures of all time. Guy Blank, Jerri Blank’s father, is only ever shown in a perpetual state of frozen terror. Given this fact, the old man never has a single line of dialogue throughout the show. Despite his inactivity, it is suggested that he is perfectly mobile when the camera is not on him.
6 Snoopy – Peanuts
Snoopy is another famous pooch that lacks the ability to speak. Though he outwardly only speaks in the occasional yelp, growl or bark, the other characters are unable to have a one-on-one conversation with him. From time to time, the viewers will be clued into his inner monologue by being able to read his thoughts. However, for the most part Snoopy relies on body language and the occasional typewritten message to get his point of view across.
5 Kenny McCormick – South Park
Technically, Kenny talks all the time. Unfortunately, his hooded parka gets in the way of allowing viewers to make out 99 percent of what he says. Despite this fact, all other characters in the show can understand him perfectly well. Rarely, Kenny will deliver a completely intelligible line or two. A notable instance of this was at the end of the South Park movie.
4 Jason Voorhees – Friday the 13th
Horror films often feature a silent creep as the main adversary. The most famous example of this is Jason from the Friday the 13th franchise. Throughout the franchise’s 12 films, Jason never utters a word, preferring instead to let his murdering do the talking.
3 Mr. Bean
Silent characters are not typically cast as the lead in a TV show. Such is not the case for Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean. Thanks in large part to Atkinson’s superb knack for physical comedy, the show’s plot-line plays out easily with hardly any dialogue at all. However, we do get to hear plenty of odd mumbles and other unintelligible sounds escape from the bumbling hero’s mouth.
2 Silent Bob – View Askewniverse
Silent Bob gets his namesake from his preference to remain voiceless. While Kevin Smith’s character in his own films is largely quiet, he does get the occasional line (or, in one case, a well-articulated monologue). As an interesting aside, Jay and Silent Bob action figures were released that featured talking action. Pull the string on Jay, and you get one of his memorable catchphrases. Pull the string on Bob, and you get nothing.
1 Harpo – The Marx Brothers
Similar to Rowan Atkinson, Harpo Marx’s abilities in prop comedy and physical humor allowed him to star in numerous films without ever speaking a single real word (he sneezes loudly in one movie and barks like a seal in another). For one of his last movies – A Night in Casablanca – his producers wanted to give a single speaking line (“Murder!”) simply so they could advertise the film with the phrase, “Harpo speaks.” Harpo ultimately scrapped the idea.