Created By: fishsicles on October 10, 2011 Last Edited By: fishsicles on October 11, 2011

Genius Needs An Audience

A brilliant character who feels the need to show off.

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Alt. Title: Needs An Audience

"That's the frailty of genius, John. It needs an audience."

A character is incredibly good at whatever it is they do, and every once in a while they feel the need to show it off in some way. Whether or not the audience has any idea what he is doing is optional.

Supertrope to Evil Gloating, when a villain decides to flaunt the brilliance of his Evil Plan. A villainous example of this trope probably has Pride as their Fatal Flaw.

Contrast Doing It for the Art and For Science!, where any showing off is a side-effect of doing it for the sake of doing it. Frequent use of this trope is a sign of the Insufferable Genius, but they can be distinct; the Insufferable Genius loves to hear himself talk, while this character loves to hear other people talk about him, or at least stare at him in silence.

When the talent in question is crime, this can overlap with The Sandiego. Compare and contrast the Attention Whore, who seeks to draw attention to themself rather than their ability, though the two can certainly overlap.

Seen It a Million Times. Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples. Is This Tropeable?

Rolling Updates.


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Live-Action TV
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • October 10, 2011
    Related to Evil Gloating.
  • October 10, 2011
    Hmm, possibly supertrope to Evil Gloating? In other words, Evil Gloating a a subset of this, and heroic geniuses can do this too.
  • October 10, 2011
    One of the reasons Sheldon Cooper puts up with his friends.
  • October 10, 2011
    The Doctor. It's occasionally implied this is one of the main reasons he keeps companions around.
  • October 10, 2011
    Many comic book villains, but especially The Riddler.
  • October 10, 2011
    Also among comics villains, Abra Kadabra, whose entire reason for traveling back in time from the 64th century is so that people will be amazed at his technologically-enabled stage-magic.
  • October 10, 2011
    • Bulma of Dragonball Z likes to crow about her genius in front of her friends. Justified, perhaps, since Goku, Krillin and the rest of the Z-fighters are muscleheads who admittedly don't spend much time on cerebral pursuits.
  • October 10, 2011
    "I am being extremely clever up here and there's no one to stand around looking impressed! What's the point in having you all?"
    -- The Doctor, Doctor Who, "The Impossible Astronaut"
  • October 11, 2011
  • October 11, 2011
    ^ The Insufferable Genius is someone who likes to talk about how brilliant they are. This guy likes to let other people talk about (or at least notice) how brilliant he is. Sister Trope?

    ^^ I was hoping someone would have that quote; I did not remember the wording or episode but I knew there was something like that.
  • October 11, 2011
    Gaius Baltar from Battlestar Galactica would have been the Insufferable Genius except that he really didn't talk about himself like that... not that he wasn't pretentious. Mostly other people would reflect on how smart he was. However, he was quite different with Head-Six.