One of the defining characteristics of a great director is the ability to tell a story through limited dialogue, and from those stories come some of the most loved characters who are only known for saying one word or line.
These word shy characters can often be endearing to an audience as well as appealing to the public’s love of a catchphrase. In this article we take a look at some of the best characters from screen to only utter either a single word or a short sentence.
Groot – Guardians of the Galaxy
In 2014 the first Guardians of the Galaxy film was released, based on the incredibly popular Marvel Comics series of the same name. Chris Pratt certainly stole the show in the film, but one character had audiences chuckling throughout – Groot.
In a move that barely seemed possible, director James Gunn managed to make a tree cute and endearing. Throughout the film Groot communicates solely in gestures and semaphore before offering up the sentence ‘I am Groot’ at the end of the film.
Hodor – Game of Thrones
Kristian Nairn’s dim-witted stable hand makes his appearance in Winterfell at the beginning of Season One. Initially his inability to say anything other than ‘Hodor’ seems to be just a gimmick of a side character.
However as the show progresses he becomes increasingly significant to the story before finally revealing the sinister reason behind his catchphrase. Hodor’s catchphrase has even been used in many adverts, and even recently Nairn and his famous character were used within the cryptocurrency business in the creative advert HODL by eToro.
Michael ‘Lurch’ Armstrong – Hot Fuzz
Sticking with the Game of Thrones theme we head to Rory McCann the behemoth of a man that portrays The Hound in the HBO series. McCann’s one word wonder came in the 2007 British Film Hot Fuzz – written by Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright.
In it McCann plays ‘Lurch’ a bustling henchman who works in the local supermarket and protects the village’s evil genius. The only words that Lurch can say are ‘yarp’ and ‘narp’ much to the annoyance of local cops.
Timmy – South Park
Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s profane cartoon has been running since 1997 and has had some iconic characters down the years. One of them is Timmy, a handicapped fourth-grader who can only speak a few words, the main one being his own name.
Timmy is the lead character in a series of South Park episode and tells stories through facial expressions and altering tones.
Road Runner – Looney Tunes
Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are perhaps one of the earliest comedy comic duos and first appeared on screen in 1949. The cartoon follows the ongoing battle between the two as Wile E. Coyote attempts to catch Road Runner in a wide range of wacky ways.
Road Runner always manages to escape capture and taunts his adversary with the only words he can say, ‘Meep, Meep’. The cartoon is still going to this day and tonnes of Road Runner merchandise has been sold off the back of the character’s catchphrase.
Chewbacca – Star Wars
Okay so technically Chewy could be speaking word perfect sentences to his accomplices, but we’ll never know because we can’t understand his language. Although to be fair his language seems to consist of a couple of variances on a canine like growl.
Still he makes a great character in Star Wars and is a cult hero, with ring tones being sold worldwide of his famous roar.