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Thissss iss a Ssssself Demonssssstrating Article
Sssssnaketalk iss the tendenccy of any ssnake or ssnake-like creature/persson to sspeak sso that any ssibilant ssound becomess "ss", pressumably to imitate a ssnake hisssing.
Ssometimess appliess sssso broadly it affectsss any reptilian creature - even when it doessn't make any sssenssssse. Asss much asss a talking reptile can make sssenssssse anyway, even if every other Talking Animal isss perfectly capable of talking.
You sssee, reptilesss do communicate with one-another, but it tendss to be largely visssual; dissssplaying boldly colored frillsss or cresstss and sssuch. Sseveral sspeciessss don't even have vocal chordss and have rather poor sssenssess of hearing. It'sss really only sssenssible to the writersss, sssinccce they think sssscaly creaturess are grosssss, ssso they mussst ssssound sssscary.
Black Sssspeech takess thiss a ssstep further, and consssstructs a whole language out of it, albeit far lesssss pleasssing to the ear.
- 1 Japanesssssse Media - Anime and Manga
- 2 Comic Bookssssss
- 3 Fan Workssssss
- 4 Motion Picturessssss - Animated
- 5 Motion Picturessssss - Live Action
- 6 Bookssssssss and Other Literature
- 7 Live-Action Television Showsssss
- 8 Tabletop Gamesssss
- 9 Theatrical Productionsss - Playssssss
- 10 Theatrical Productionsss - Ssstage Musicals
- 11 Video Gamesssss
- 12 Web Comicsssssss
- 13 Wesssstern Animation
Japanesssssse Media - Anime and Manga
- Rokudo Mukuro from Katekyo Hitman Reborn tends to do this.
- The Pokémon Ekans.
- Orochimaru of Naruto does this occasionally in the manga. Given the inspiration for his character, it fits. Oddly enough, it doesn't seem to happen in the TV series.
- Largely because his voice is already so creepy that he doesn't need it.
- Kaoru Kaidou from The Prince of Tennis. But don't call him out on it.
- Judge Dredd: The crime issss life, the ssssentence issss death!
- Spider-Man villains the Lizard, Venom, and Stegron.
- Subverted by King Tyrant Lizard in Empowered, who has a prominent lisp and simply cannot properly make "s" sounds, a fact that he is very sensitive about.
- Twisted Toyfare Theatre's version of Cobra Commander talks like this, as a Take That to the characters portrayal in the second half of G.I. Joe: The Movie (the '80s cartoon movie, natch).
- DC Comics snake cult/terrorist organization Kobra requires this as a stage of initiation for all their convert.
- The lizards and reptiles in the Star FOX Nintendo Power comic book all speak like this.
- This style of speaking, as employed by Reptile in Mortal Kombat 4, originated in the MKII comics.
- Averted and lampshaded in the Undocumented Features story Twilight (no relation), where Jormungand's speech is "perfectly atypical for the world's largest snake to have", because it doesn't use ssnakeTalk.
- Esmé in Pawn to Queen, to an incredibly Narmy degree, especially with the fic otherwise being a Darker and Edgier angstfest.
- In Those Lacking Spines, Saïx's Seme Secks talks like this. It Makes Sense in Context. Well, kind of.
- Has been seen in quite a few Harry Potter fics whenever Voldemort says anything. Despite the fact that he doesn't talk like that in the books.
Motion Picturessssss - Animated
- The Other Mother in Coraline.
- Plenty of Disney Animated Canon examples:
- Kaa, in the Disney animated version of The Jungle Book, particularly during the song "Trust in Me".
- Sir Hiss, in the Disney version of Robin Hood.
- Jafar in giant cobra form at the end of Disney's Aladdin.
- The eels Flotsam and Jetsam from Disney's The Little Mermaid talk like this. Eels aren't snakes, but they look very snakelike.
- Scar in Disney's The Lion King talks like this at times. Yes, despite being a lion.
- Joanna from The Rescuers Down Under, although she is actually a lizard, but a reptile nonetheless.
- The cobras in Rikki Tiki Tavi.
- Completely averted in Kung Fu Panda, with Viper being voiced by the lovely Lucy Liu.
- The Spirit from the Care Bears movie tends to speak like this on occasion, most notably in her first line.
The Spirit: Nicholassssss...
- The Fat Dog-on-a-Skateboard from Tom and Jerry: The Movie.
Motion Picturessssss - Live Action
- The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. "Sssneakinggg, my preccciousss, yesss..."
- The Snake in the musical version of The Little Prince.
- In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the snake says "Thankss." In the next film, Parseltongue is represented as an untranslated language; we don't hear it in English like in the first film. However, it still has plenty of drawn-out "s"es. To wit:
Harry: "ssiah sieth."
- Agent Smith from The Matrix series tends to drag out the end of a lot of his words, but the s sounds are the most noticeable.
- The Producers: Carmen Ghia goes Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss? as he greets Max and Leo into his house.
- Also, the joke was done earlier in Blazing Saddles with Dom De Luise playing Buddy Adler.
Buddy: "Have you got it?!"
Bookssssssss and Other Literature
- Adder and Sinuous in The Animals of Farthing Wood.
- In Harry Potter, this is part and parseltongue of speaking to snakes. The snake in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone does this even when translated into English.
- Asmodeus, The Dragon from Redwall (or what looks like a literal dragon if you're a mouse), appears to punctuate everything with "Asmodeuss." (He also seems to vocalize his name while asleep, instead of snoring.)
- Lampshaded in the Mercedes Lackey/Andre Norton collaborative novel The Elvenbane: Keman, a shapeshifting dragon, has introduced himself to some other heroic characters while posing as a half-Elf. When he decides to reveal his true form (after quite some time), he breaks out in exaggerated sssssnaketalk.
- In the Larklight trilogy, Ssilissa, a "blue lizard creature," was originally named Millicent and mispronounced it consistently enough as a child that eventually everyone else gave up and just called her Ssilissa. That's right, not Millicent, not even Sillisa, but Ssilissa. She's got everyone else hissing, too. Then in the third book, the rest of her species (the Snilth) turn up and we get names such as Zssthss, Alor, Ssoozzs and Thss. Lampshaded when the narrator comments that this sounds more like a gas leak than a name.
- Crowley of Good Omens has "a tendency to hiss" whenever he forgot himself. This isn't very surprising, as he was the snake.
- In the Warcraft novel trilogy, The War of the Ancients, one of the demon commanders, Hakkar the Houndmaster, exemplifies this. Though he isn't so reptillian as much as a flaming skull on a scaled body...
- In Animorphs, the Taxxons have tongues so long they can't speak any language but their own, which is filled with "S's."
- In Tanya Huff's novel Valor's Choice, the reptilian race is heard this way by the protagonist even though their native language is being run through a Universal Translator. This is explained as the protagonist's translator being either old or broken and her needing a replacement. The rest of the Marines hear the Silsviss speaking normally. Don't think about it too hard.
- Gollum in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, my preciousss. Gollum is so fond of sibilants that he will use all nouns in the plural (regardless of actual number) and all verbs in s-form (regardless of whether the subject is third-person singular or not). He also avoids second person, using third person instead. Probably to get even more sibilants in.
- Not just probably: Tolkien once spotted an "error" in The Hobbit as printed, where Gollum said the correct "I like riddles" instead of "likes". As he said, "Not that Gollum would miss the chance of a sibilant!"
- The criminal Ssnake in Perry Moore's Hero. Is handwaved when Thom unwittingly makes out with Ssnake in his civilian identity (Simon Hess, ironically enough) at a gay bar. The hiss is stereotypically explained away as a lisp.
- Draca and Lorn in Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy. To make matters even more ridiculous, they hiss when speaking using telepathy.
- The dragon Calandor in Jacqueline Carey's Banewreaker. But unlike the Black Jewels example, his telepathic voice doesn't hiss, only his actual speaking voice.
- The voles in Piers Anthony's Xanth series replace all their 's's with v's, leading to very confusing vpeech patternv. They, however, hear everybody else speaking snaketalk.
- Not Rose from The Book of Lost Things speaks like this after undergoing Glamour Failure.
- Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant's Child (one of the Just So Stories) has the bicoloured python rocksnake, who combines this with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. In the audiotape version read by Jack Nicholson, this is spot-on.
- Leia's Jedi Master in the Star Wars Expanded Universe talks like thisssss.
- In the Percy Jackson and The Olympians world, this is how Dracaenae (snake/dragon women monster thingies) talk.
- All the Fangsss in The Wingfeather Saga ssslip in and out of Snake Talk.
- Mostly averted in Harry Turtledove's Worldwar books with the Race, the reptillian conquerors to arrive to Earth in the middle of World War II. While their native language does involve a lot of hissing and coughing, the words printed in the books are written in normal language. It is mentioned, however, that they still hiss a lot when speaking human languages. Some of the lizard names are also supposed to be pronounced with a hiss, such as Ussmak.
- In another non-reptilian example, ratfolk of Pular Singe's line have trouble with hissing their sibilants when speaking Karentine (language of Garrett P.I.'s home city). Subverted in that it's merely mentioned as a racial accent/speech impediment, rather than sssspelled out in the text.
- Strangely enough, used in Jane Yolen's Heart's Blood series. Heart's Blood's offspring in the later books all have names with prominent hissing sssssyllables. The dragons are telepathic and communicate mostly through projecting visuals, and grow up around humans who would typically give them noun-based names like their mother's...
Live-Action Television Showsssss
- The reptilian Ice Warriors in Doctor Who, but only in earth atmospheres, they don't hiss in their own.
- Mesogog in Power Rangers Dino Thunder. He manages to do it with non-sibilants, actually, making his speech a lot breathier than non-reptile characters. Many other snake or lizard based Monster of the Week characters do this as well, to varying degrees.
- Notably subverted by the Gorn in Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: Enterprise where the reptilian species had a notably deep and gravely voice, but whose speech patterns did not have an emphasized sibilance, although their breathing was somewhat sibilant.
- In the Farscape two-part episode "Self-Inflicted Wounds," the villain, Pathfinder Neeyala speaks like this- despite being more piscine than reptilian.
- Tevesh Szat, from Magic the Gathering.
- In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the Skaven do this, but are hideous rat men instead of reptiles. Lizardmen do not conform to the trope.
Theatrical Productionsss - Playssssss
- In the theater adaptation of the old Chinese legend White Snake, both White Snake (Lady Bai) and Green Snake (Greeni) speak this way whenever they're turning back into snakes or particularly upset about something.
Theatrical Productionsss - Ssstage Musicals
- In Children of Eden, a musical based on the book of Genesis, the Serpent's number, "In Pursuit of Excellence," is carefully designed around this trope.
- The boss of Guffawha Ruins in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is not a snake, but a talking stone head who does this with "f" and "s" sounds.
- Mordak in King's Quest V Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder says "Sssssay goodbye, sssssswine!" Mind you, he is actually taking the form of a snake at this point.
- Also, Graham CAN talk to that pOIsonous snake and it says "Sssssstay back!"
- Klungo from Banjo-Kazooie is not reptilian or snake-like, but still ssspeaks thisss way.
- There's also Ssslumber the giant snake (pictured above) from the sequel Banjo-Tooie, who fits the criteria better.
- Klungo's ssnaketalk is later lampshaded in the third game, Nuts & Bolts, when, upon Banjo and Kazooie completing one of his challenges perfectly, he spells out "perfection" as "p.e.r.f.e.c.h.sss.u.n."
- A group of semi-anthropomorphic snakes called, well, "The Snakes" from City of Villains uses this. Extensively.
- Indeed, they worship Sssstheno, and their racial name is the 'silur. Interestingly enough, they never hiss on C words, even when they should.
- The online virtual pet game Neopets's NPC Sssidney. Even his name has ssnaketalk.
- And his species is a Nimmo, which is a lot closer to a frog than a snake.
- The Bangaa race in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Thankfully they dropped this in Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- The T'Rang from the Wizardry games speak like this, despite being insectoids.
- Sssssam the snake in Rayman 2: The Great Escape.
- Komodo Joe in Crash Team Racing
- The Argonians from the Elder Scrolls universe use this trope, although it's less noticeable with the females. One of the stories in TESII: Daggerfall, King Edward, even describes the Argonian healer of the story as "a strange looking lizardlike man, who spoke with such a hissing accent that Edward couldn't understand him at all" ("I cannn fixxxx thissss, it'ssss cleeean"). A later installment in the series, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, is a little bit lighter with this trope, retaining the raspy, "lizardlike" drawl, but dialing down on the hissing. As of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim none of the Argonians have this.
- Some of the EverQuest Iksar and lizardmen have a few extra S's. Some however don't. It's even more common in EverQuest II.
- Spiderweb Software likes this one. In Exile and its remake Avernum, sliths talk like this. So do the drayks (and drakons) in Geneforge. However, the sliths and drayks that spend most of their time dealing with people lose the speech pattern.
- Mortal Kombat with Reptile of course when the story got a little more vocal.
- Theron-class Locust in Gears of War speak with a whispery, hissing voice and have a tendency to elongate their S's ("Sssapient wasste!").
- The enigmatic G-Man from the Half-Life sseries tends to draw out his speach in this fashion, Mister Freeman.
- Of course, most of his speech tends to be AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle rather than just drawing it out. Not just english as a second language, more like speaking as a second means of communication.
- The mushroom like Lk from Star Control 3. "Greetingsss, fellow sssentient. I am the massster inheritor." Click this link to watch it.
- Ignus of Planescape: Torment. It's nothing to do with snakes in his case, though; he is perpetually on fire, and his voice sounds like crackling flames as a result.
- The Sakkhra from Savage Empire are a race of lizard people, and they all do this; they also have names like Kysstaa and Kindra. The ones who aren't important to the plot hiss so much that they're almost completely unintelligible. Interestingly, the Sakkhra are a devolved form of a much older race, the Kotl; they were also lizard people, but the one Kotl you meet in the game doesn't hiss.
- Nagas in World of Warcraft do this sometimes, and one mob is actually called Ssslith. That's not a spelling mistake: his name contains three esses.
- In Fallout Tactics Brotherhood of Steel, hairy deathclaws speak this way. Yes, they talk.
- Reptile men and Serpent men (in previous versions, Lizardmen and Snakemen) in Dwarf Fortress.
- This is determined by the "[LISP]" creature token in the raws, so if you want to, you can make anybody snake talking.
- X has the local reptiloid race, the Teladi, talk like this. It's especially annoying since they are a race made exclusively of profiteering maniacs, and so have a tendency to put words like "profitssss" and "creditssss" where other races wouldn't.
- Variant: Dragon Quest IX has Drak after eating the Fygg, a giant taking lizard, who does this with the letter l instead of s.
- Most of the Kremlings in the Game Boy Advance remakes of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy.
- Traffic Department 2192 has the Selarian race, as represented by Lt. (j.g.) Koth.
- A non-snake example would be General Bertram of Fire Emblem: Path Of Radiance who elongates all of his s's and vowels until you start wondering if there's a snake rather than a man under that helmet.
- While not a snake, Minecraft has creepers which hiss when about to explode. "Thatsssssssss a very nice example you've got there. It'd be a ssssssshame if something happened to it."
- The Sakkra homeworld in Master of Orion is called Sssla. However, you won't see them hissing much in their speech to you during diplomatic meetings. This is likely due to the use of Translator Microbes.
- The Lizardmen from Bruno the Bandit.
- The Ghouls from Sluggy Freelance did a lot of "his"ing.
- Jade the Yuan-Ti in Darken subverts it, speaking perfectly normally... except when Loveable Rogue Casper - who owes her a debt - has a nightmare about her.
- Sssspoofed in a ssseriess of comicssss on Fur Affinity with ssomeone'ss python character.
- In Selkie, the titular character adds an "s" to many of her words, but it's not particularly exaggerated most of the time.
- Shannon in Bloody Urban, who has a forked tongue, hisses slightly when he says certain wordss.
"It burn usss! IT BURN USSS!"
- This is, of course, an indirect example, being an obvious parody of Gollum (who himself is listed a couple sections up)
- Madame Snake in Teamo Supremo.
- King Hiss in He Man and The Masters of The Universe.
- Not surprisingly, King Hiss and his loyal race of Snake Men in the 2002 reboot.
- Cobra Commander on G.I. Joe. Particularly in G.I. Joe: The Movie, where he "wass onsse a man..."
- Camille Chameleon, a villain from Darkwing Duck, is a shapeshifter who does this, which gives the hero a simple way to tell her from the person she's imitating - that is, unless he simply thinks they need some throat lozenges...
- The Lizard in Spider-Man the Animated Series.
- Waspinator in Transformers: Beast Wars does a variation of this trope, rendering his "s" sounds into buzz-like elongated "z's".
- Slithe from Thundercats (whose name, in the comic books, proves to actually be "S-s-slithe") talks like this. Many of his lines end with "Yes" whether it makes sense to end the sentence that way or not, apparently just to add extra sibilants so he can do this, yeeeesss?
- Repton, leader of the raptors from Storm Hawks.
- None of his henchmen do, though, which is odd, seeing as they're apparently also his brothers.
- Snake of the Gangrene Gang in The Powerpuff Girls. He even at one point goes out of his way to say "yess" instead of "no", the correct answer to the question being asked. When Ace slapped him he wised up and said "I means no."
- Dr. Viper in Swat Kats, who was half kat/half lizard.
- The Cobra Queen on Freakazoid! occasionally slips into this trope but thankfully doesn't overuse it.
- It is also apparently Cave Guy's Fetish Fuel.
Cobra Queen: Tell me more about my eyessssssssss.
- The incredibly appropriately named Dr. Hiss in The BOTS Master, who extends this to Z sounds (pronouncing them as if they were "S"es instead), as well.
- Oh, and Ziv Zoolander's Boyzz BOTS have a similar problem to Waspinator, noted above; They pronounce "S" sounds as "Z"s in every context.
- On Chop Socky Chooks, the villain Kobra gained a snake-like ways of speaking after being bitten by a snake. And in one episode, he brainwashed the people of Wasabi World by hypnotism. They all repeated what he said, complete with lisp, until he told them to stop it.
- Snake Man in Mega Man.
- And it's apparently programmed in; when he switches bodies with Mega Man, he never drags out his S's, whilst Mega Man does.
- Cedric from WITCH is a mild example. He doesn't elongate his "s's" as much as many examples of this trope, but they're still more exaggerated than a normal person's, even when he's in human form.
- The tree cobra that bites Virjay in Sealab 2021 announces, "I wasss onssse a maaan", presumably as a Shout-Out to the G.I. Joe line quoted above..
- Adder and Sinuous from The Animals of Farthing Wood.
- Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. "Exxxxxxxxxxxxcellent..."
- The Rattler on Cool McCool.
- In The Owl House, Piniet is a lizard-like Villain of the Week who talks like this.