Our Elves Are Better. Better than you. They are taller, thinner, prettier, more graceful, better-read, more environmentally-conscious ("In Harmony With Nature" is the usual phrasing), more socially progressive, less aggressive or confrontational (while still being fearsome warriors), and better craftspeople, too.
Oh, and they're magic.
In fact, the only quality elves seem to be lacking is humility. Even when an author tries to specify that these elves are perfect, wonderful, etc., and humble, the elves still can't resist lecturing humans on their errant ways. Sometimes the elf will try a Socratic approach — asking, for example, why humans will kill each other, because of course elves never fight amongst themselves — but they don't need to. Pretty much any excuse is good to put the silly little humans in their place.
Strangely, the humans are not allowed to take offense, demand politeness, defend themselves or — heaven forbid — mock the elves right back. If anyone tries, the elf will sniff disdainfully and utterly destroy the human's argument, thus proving the elves right yet again. This trope is not limited to elves, though. Whenever you have a group that thinks itself as just completely superior to anyone else and ignores all arguments against it, you have this trope.
Not a bad thing if the creator intends for the characters in question to appear arrogant and annoying. But there are plenty of cases in which even the audience is supposed to share this view, which has you pretty much ending up with an entire race of Mary Sues.
Screw You, Elves! is for humans who do take offense (and make it very clear). In contrast with humans, dwarves are not only allowed but expected to argue with elves.
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In Outlaw Star, Aisha of the C'tarl C'tarl constantly brags about her species' superiority, and no one calls her out on it (partially because her species is physically superior). Then again, Aisha's the local Butt Monkey and is obviously immature, so this is most likely a case of "let the baby have the bottle" or acknowledging that she can take the abuse. It helps that Aisha is considered kind of bugnuts, even by C'tarl C'tarl standards, but Aisha tends to be the sign that they let the mask slip by letting her go out in public.
The elves in Zero No Tsukaima are depicted as such, fitting almost every quality in the trope description.
Largely averted in ElfQuest. Yes, the elves do have magic (as their backstory eventually reveals, their alien ancestors simply had one heck of a head start on the still-primitive humans of the World of Two Moons) and some other innate advantages over the generally bigger but slower and clumsier humans, but as the story is told from their perspective it doesn't take long to realize that as a people they aren't particularly "superior". Nor do most of them particularly claim to be on those rare occasions when they actually interact with humans for any length of time; the elves being habitually mistaken for "spirits", whether "good" or "evil", is clearly presented as more of an obstacle to a healthy relationship between both sides than anything else.
The mutants in Marvel's Ultimate Universe constantly talk about how genetically superior they are, and how it means they have a higher standard of behavior. On one occasion Professor X tells Cyclops that a certain instance of resentment is a human thing, and he is "pleased to say" Cyclops wouldn't understand. The ordinary human they are talking to at the time says not a word.
This is especially grating since in the Ultimate Universe practically every character save Spider ManTook a Level in Jerkass, including Cyclops, who many if not most readers consider to already be a douche in the regular continuity.
Plus, in the proper 616 universe, it's the Brotherhood of Mutants who go on about how mutants are genetically superior and their main point of conflict with the X-Men is that the X-Men don't believe this. (Depending on the Writer, of course, but that's how it normally is.)
Neatly deconstructed in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic"Human" fic, What Separates. Twilight initially takes the "elf" role after the arrival of a human soldier from Twenty Minutes into the Future, but over time realizes that 1) some of the stated flaws of humanity are based on unfair assumptions or generalizations; and 2) the Ponies can live a more idyllic lifestyle because they have magic and, with that, a much greater degree of control over their environment.
In the Harry Potter fanfic The Girl Who Lived, the protagonist, Rose Potter, becomes a druid, who are basically to wizards what wizards are to Muggles. She does a lot of condescending to the wizarding world for not being as enlightened as the druids.
Seen in the The Lord of the Rings movies, particularly in Elrond, who almost despises humans as foolish and weak. His daughter wanting to leave her entire family to stay with a human man probably plays a big part in this. Most other elves seem far more relaxed about it, though.
The Na'vi of Avatar. The in-story justification is that their planet's ecosystem automatically regulates itself, meaning they don't think they have any need for things like modern technology, roads, clothing, and human education. It turns out the planet's ecosystem is actually sentient.
The Jedi in Star Wars are more than a bit like thisand it's then subverted horribly in Episode III, when their blind adherence to dogma easily allows the Big Bad to drive Anakin Skywalker, The Chosen One, to join The Dark Side and massacre them all (except for two survivors).
The Elves of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle. The protagonist Eragon, who lives with them for quite a while, doesn't seem to notice (and also becomes elven later on). The text makes it apparent that the elves are more in tune with nature, more logical, more attractive, more graceful, more physically capable, more intelligent, more magical, and even more sexually liberated than humans are. It runs so deep in this series that non-Elves will regularly point out their own inferiority to Elves (usually along the lines of "We're not as good as you elves at this, but we manage"). The Elf being spoken to always accepts this as indisputable fact, and never disagrees.
Terry Pratchett's Discworld uses this not with elves that are better but with The Fair Folk, whose glamour produces a crushing inferiority complex in others. Readily averted by the cat, the birds, and any character that thinks like a witch (that is: very, very hard). Also by dwarves and trolls, whose instinctive reaction on meeting an elf is to bash it with something hard, heavy and/or sharp.
The Houyhnhnms of Swift's Gulliver's Travels are about as bad as it gets. They aren't a magical race, but they fill this trope quite well. Then again, considering that Gulliver is an Unreliable Narrator who worships any backward race he encounters, there's much literary debate over whether the reader is actually expected to have such an averse reaction to the Houyhnhnms and their hypocrisy.
The Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn books by Tad Williams. The Sithi can't help coming up with subtle put downs, condescending behavior and reproaches about old injustices done to them by ancestors who have been dead for centuries and their highbred human allies never pay back in their coin.
In C.L. Wilson's Tairen Soul books, the Fey are so self-righteous and brash that the "evil/stupid" humans are on the verge of cancelling their alliance. The strange thing is that the author is completely with the Fey on that. The author seems to think it is their natural right to be arrogant. The "good" humans are the ones who don't take offense at being treated with condescension.
The Star Wars Expanded Universe rarely relies on this trope, but the Caamasi might count. They're basically a martyred race of pacifists who will fight if they must and are tirelessly moral. Still, they don't feature all that heavily, and most of them don't spend their page time lording it over other cultures.
Lampshaded in The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. The first human protagonist, Kellen, does quickly come to admire elves and elven culture, and these elves are fairly varied and polite and, well, human, as elves go. He does take minor offense when an older elf telling him some ancient history implies that humans did something or other because it's a natural human failing. A later human protagonist on the same side flatly dislikes elves for their formality and their absolute perfectionist attitude, though since they're all fighting a war he tries to keep it under wraps. It's actually a saying in that 'verse that you can't win an argument with elves, since they'll just change the subject.
The Aurėnfaie in Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner novels have this going on in spades. Longer lifespans (and thus perceived greater experience and wisdom) than humans. Check. Innate magical potential (all the more because human magical potential originates from cross-breeding with them). Check. A language that is difficult for most humans to pronounce properly. Check. Monotheistic religion while the humans are following their gaggle of silly gods. Check. Tendency to drag out any kind of decision making for a length of time that makes most humans want to give up and leave. Check.
The People in Artemis Fowl call humans "Mud Men", and the few human characters they interact with never really call them out on it. Possibly because said humans (especially Artemis) tend to notice that the People are the ones hiding from the humans, so what are they so proud of?
Also because Artemis agrees that humans fight too much and ruin the ecosystem, the People's most common arguments.
There's a rather interesting twist on this trope in Kathryn Lasky's Guardians of Ga'Hoole books, in which all the main characters are owls. The owls consider themselves superior to other birds because most other birds don't regurgitate pellets. The other birds never take offense.
J. R. R. Tolkien's Elves (of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion) aren't really like this, but some of the second-hand false impressions of them by people like Boromir and dwarves (as well as false portrayal in adaptations) fit the trope. It very much depends on the Elf. Thingol starts out as a straight example, but the trope is totally averted with FinrodFelagund, who's prepared to risk his life to help out the son of his human friend/fellow warrior.
The gnomes of the Gnomes faux field guide are quietly disapproving of humanity for the way we despoil nature, in comparison to their own ways. The fact that the gnomes have one-thousandth our mass (and therefore require one thousandth the resources to feed), can perfectly control their (already low) fertility, live for hundreds of years, can understand animal speech, and have access to magic probably makes it a little easier for them to live in harmony with Mother Earth, y'know?
The Harry Potter series has the centaurs who refuse to accept any sort of human dominion over themselves, and indeed even contact with humans is seen as a crime. Ironically, the only elves we do see in the series avert the trope entirely, as they have a psychological compulsion to serve their master's wishes.
Wizards themselves: they restrict contact with normal people, and consider the problems of the country they live in to be nothing to do with them. Are shown as superior (and arrogant because of it) all the time. One wonders if the word 'Muggle' was deliberately chosen as a six letter word with a double 'g' in it.
The Star Trek: Destiny series features the Caeliar, a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who have evolved almost completely beyond the need for physical bodies, have no crime, poverty, or want, and are devoted completely to artistic and scientific pursuits. They have just enough respect for others' beliefs to not try to convince other races that the Caeliar's way is correct, but no amount of cajoling will convince them that the Caeliar's way is wrong. They are severely isolationist, but are Actual Pacifists, which leads various characters who stumble upon their home planet to become permanent "guests". Not a bad place to be, all things considered, but don't argue too much. Make too much noise or disrupt their work and the Caeliar will teleport you to a nice uninhabited planet a few billion light years away, just to make sure you never get home with information about them.
Timothy Zahn's Warhorse has the Tampies, who live in complete harmony with all living things and have no trouble being snooty about it.
The Cetagandians in the Vorkosigan Saga are a human variety of this, being obsessed with aesthetic accomplishments and possessing an extreme superiority complex. Naturally Barrayarans have other ideas.
Betans can be kind of like this, everyone making a fuss about how morrally superior they are.
In Dragonlance the Qualinesti elves and especially the Silvanesti elves. Their common belief is the following: they're the chosen race of the god of good Paladine (despite failing in actually doing something good to the world), they're the best in everything, blame humans for every single bad thing happened to Krynn, especially the Cataclysm and the return of the chromatic dragons. Oh, they're also so arrogant that they'll enslave their less-evoluted cousins, the Kagonesti. They eventually pay for their hubris by losing both their homelands (Silvanost's taken by minotaurs, while Qualinost is destroyed by a giant dragon).
The antihero of Jack Vance's Green Magic is a master of the Black and White Arts who discovers the existence of an even more powerful form of magic. He actually does argue with elves, or rather the sprites of the Green Plane, and makes himself such a nuisance to them that they eventually give up and teach him Green magic, although they repeatedly warn him it's a terrible idea. They were right: it turns out that human beings are just too primitive to ever become competent in Green magic... oh, and once exposed to the indescribable beauty of the Green plane, no human will ever again be content with anything on Earth.
About a dozen separate races in Star Trek, most notably the Organians. In the original series, these races were always pacifists speaking out against some conflict or other.
The Silurians from Doctor Who. While The Doctor usually tries for a peaceful solution with most foes, he turns this tendancy Up to Eleven every time he meets the Silurians, completely ignoring the fact that they're always armed to the teeth and just itching to cleanse their home planet of the ugly monkeys that have taken up residence in the past two million or so years. When the inevitable bloodshed occurs each episode, it's always the humans to blame.
Subverted by Lennier, who is a humble, softspoken servant, and happy to be so. The humans he knows are more up front about their badassery while he simply keeps it hidden. Usually...
Delenn is more complicated. Her ladylike demeanor and noblesse oblige can be mistaken for this. However she is not unthinkingly arrogant or self-righteous.
Played straight by a number of other Minbari, although it's not universal. The warrior caste Minbari in particular seem to be more oafish than being examples of this trope.
The Vorlons, on the other hand, play this trope alarmingly straight. They're better than everyone else (even the Minbari look up to them) and there is literally no arguing with them because a) they're always right and b) it's rather hard to argue with someone who talks in cryptic koans all the time. They've also manipulated most of the other races to see them as divine beings. Sheridan finally snaps in spectacular style. Subverted by Kosh, who was often convinced to help and listen in various ways, including taking an action he knew would lead to his death. Sheridan mistook his attitude for this trope and didn't realize what Kosh actually meant until it was too late.
In the Dinotopia miniseries, Karl and David are completely unable to convince the Dinotopians that people living anywhere else have it better than they do. Cars, airplanes, and television simply can't hold a candle to their intellectual, pacifistic self-satisfaction, and any argument the brothers can offer is instantaneously deflected. Did I mention they're vegetarians and In Harmony With Nature? (except for the animals they kill to feed the T-rexes) The books have some elements of this but are less explicit about it.
This is pretty much Joel's relationship with the locals in Northern Exposure. He's always in the wrong, even when he's right.
Shadowrun products address this issue from both sides, with a heavy dose of Lampshading. On the one hand, "elf-wannabes" abound among the humans of the Sixth World, slavishly watching human-bashing shows from Tir Tairngire and saving up for surgery to elf-ify themselves; on the other, actual immortal elves (left over from Earthdawn) are depicted as callous, spoiled jerkass powermongers, who hold non-immortal elves in nearly as much contempt as humans. Ironically, ordinary elves who just want to get on with their lives find the "wannabes" every bit as distasteful as other humans do.
Magic: The Gathering has a sort-of example in the fairytale-inspired "Lorwyn" setting, where elves were, for the first time, just as heavily black-aligned as they were green. In story, they were so obsessed with beauty that they literally worshiped it, and their caste-system was determined by who was the most beautiful. Bad enough on its own, right? Well, because they were so beautiful, they considered themselves the de facto rulers of the entire setting, and actively hunted down and killed "eyeblights," creatures they deemed "too ugly to live", which included goblins (especially goblins,) and even disfigured elves (There's a reason that the Lorwyn elves are called "elf nazis"). Granted, when Lorwyn was plunged into a Brothers Grimm-esque darkness and became "Shadowmoor," a setting which was decidedly less interested in looking pretty, this made their change in position all the more satisfying.
The Sidhe in Changeling: The Dreaming are immune to being made to look like fools with magic, and if you manage to do it the mundane way, they get a big stack of bonuses to cut you back down to size.
The Viera in Final Fantasy XII consider themselves to be above the Hume race since they don't cause wars or seek absolute power like Humes do. Only the main characters hear this and they never tried to show how Humes are not savages. Only a handful of Viera have a positive view on the Humes.
Inverted in Dragon Age where elves are considered lesser and barbaric by the humans, who take up the arrogant mantle and enslave the elves, even after the elves are freed from slavery they're still third class citizens.
The Dalish elves (who lead nomadic lives outside human settlements) attempt to invoke this over and over however, even when it's become glaringly obvious that it'll never work. All they have to show for it is more Fantastic Racism on both sides of the issue and the destruction of any would-be permanent homeland they tried to establish so far (declaring those unilaterally then flipping off your much bigger human neighbours everytime doesn't help). Even the City Elves think the Dalish are full of themselves, if Fenris' attitude is any indication.
The Elf Queen of Dragon Quest III is so upset that her daughter Anne eloped with a 'horrible human boy' that she curses his hometown, sending everyone there into eternal, unaging slumber. The only one who escaped that fate is the boy's father... who instead spends years pleading with the Queen to change her mind, to no avail. By the time your heroes arrive, the father's a withered old man, and the Queen still doesn't care. Despite all this, the father is surprisingly civil about having his whole life ripped away from him and all.
Parodied in Overlord, where the elves are just too full of themselves (and stupid) to notice (or care).
While you can say Screw You, Elves! as much as you like in Baldur's Gate, there is nothing anyone can do or say to argue with Xan, who is so morbidly depressed that any argument will pretty much lead to him going on about how doomed everyone is.
The Mandalorians in Knights of the Old Republic II will not hesitate to outline how they are, in every way conceivable, superior to those puny little Jedi. Considering you are a Jedi in the game, it is surprising how little opportunity you get to disagree with them. Particularly interesting is that you can badmouth the Mandalorians but only as long as none of them are actually within earshot...
Mass Effect does this quite often with the Turian councilor. If you free the Rachni Queen, he chastises you for loosing a potentially fatal threat upon the galaxy. If you opt to kill the Queen instead, he asks if you routinely commit genocide. The guy just can't be pleased, most likely due to Fantastic Racism.
In World of Warcraft, there are three types of elf (Night, Blood, and High), all of which clearly believe themselves awesome and superior but are blatantly flawed: elves are prone to Fantastic Racism, get themselves into deep trouble experimenting with magic, and won't help the other races against global threats until it's absolutely necessary.
Both played straight and subverted in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura were the all nature and magic elven society is falling to the rampant industrialism of humans, gnomes and dwarves. This brought to a separation of the elves in two branches: light and dark. Light elves are comparably decent - but still quite jerkass - folks who are content to let the other people live their own lives. The Dark ones are convinced of the innate superiority of elvenkind and despise all the other races as lesser. The fact that both branches are mostly going deeper and deeper into wilderness, leaving place for industrialism of other races makes them almost literal local version of Magical Native American.
Battle for Wesnoth. Both humans and elves have an archer unit, and each type levels up through different promotional classes. The description for the highest-level elven archer is a three paragraph long love letter about how they can shoot birds in the eye while blindfolded (or something similar); the description for the highest-level human archer just says that they're pretty good for a human, and then goes on for another paragraph about how much better elves are. Of course, as the game is open-source and fan made, many of the campaigns are a little less elf-friendly... about half of them include a "sticking it to the elves" mission, just for the sake of doing so.
The The Elder Scrolls series plays around a bit with this trope. The Dunmer (Dark Elves) are very warlike and tend to scorn other races due to their meddlesome nature in their time honored traditions and of course their homeland, most of them are fairly adaptive though and aside from the backwater Ashlanders are able to tolerate outlanders to some degree. Bosmer (Wood Elves) actually tend to be very curious and are more an inversion of this trope as they tend to cause more trouble than the human races do by sticking their noses into other people's business. Altmer (The High Elves) play it more or less straight with their extremely haughty attitudes that condescend to all other races as being inferior in their achievements, and typically scorn the other races for their failings (despite the Aldmeri Dominion being vastly responsible for many ancient wars and calamities of Tamriel...)
The Thalmor of Skyrim certainly believe in this trope. The other races react to this belief in a predictable fashion, and often do argue with them, ranging between general disagreement and contempt (the majority of people, including quite a few High Elves), feigned alliance with hidden hostility (the Empire), and very vocal and at times violent hostility (the Stormcloaks).
The Gnomes take this even further than the Fae. Most Gnomes in the game preach on and on about Gnomes being the paragons of reason and logic in the world. Templar Octienne in particular is pretty arrogant which makes the end of the boss battle with him — using Fate to bash him through a window — extremely satisfying.
The Order of the Stick. Try arguing with Vaarsuvius. Haley basically smacked V on top of the head after one too many "And the problem with that would be...?" replies to her reasons why elves can't be allowed to be inherently superior to the other races.
The elves in 8-Bit Theater parody this aspect of elves, making them so obsessed with their own superiority that they believe all other races, and even some of the gods, exist as leftover genetic material that wasn't good enough for elves. This may also go some way towards explaining why they're on technological par with humans in spite of a nine-thousand-year head start. Maybe Fighter wasn't the one who needed the trial of sloth.
In Errant Story, the elves' belief in their own superiority has led to multiple instances of genocide. Considering the trolls to be flawed and mistaken creations of their gods, they made a pretty good effort at exterminating them but did not succeed. They nearly did the same thing to humans before deciding to instead "uplift" the humans by using them as servants. Then after a few human-elf hybrids went violently insane they decided to kill all half-elves. This backfired as the resulting racial and civil war nearly exterminated the elves and they spent the next thousand years hiding from the rest of the world in an underground city.
Deconstructed by the fae (drow, dark elves, light elves etc.) of Drowtales who love to think of themselves as such, and while it is true that they possess Game Breaker powers that significantly put them above the humans and orcs of the setting, they're also responsible for turning the surface into the Hell hole it is thanks to their screwing around with demonic magic. Through the story it becomes increasingly obvious that the fae rule through brute force and that they really aren't that much better than the "savage" humans and orcs.
Hilariously subverted in Tales Of MU. The elves are immortal, wise, good at EVERYTHING and generally peaceful, but also arrogant as all get out and often absolutely batshit insane, especially when it comes to sexual matters (it is considered fairly rational elven behavior for a young elf to castrate the lover of a rival just to spite them, for example). They resent the weariness of their too-perfect lives and usually end up killing themselves. The major half-elf character in the story hates her heritage and everything to do with it.
It should be noted with Steff that she views herself as being an ugly talentless clod who looks about as much like a real woman (she's trans) as Sailor Bubba does, while Mack and her friends all see her as impossible graceful and artistically talented and it takes Mack and several other characters a long time to actually figure out that Steff isn't biologically female. This is explicitly stated to be caused by Steff being raised by elves, by whose standards she IS a clumsy talentless drag queen.
It should also be noted that most elves we see in the series are in the elven equivalent to their twenties, which are noted as being abnormally sociopathic in their dealings with pretty much everyone.
The main character Mackenzie Blaise has this viewpoint about some of her friends (notably Dee and Amaranth), seeing them as being inherently purer because of their species (dark elf and nymph, in this case), although that probably has something to do with how Mack thinks of herself as being inherently corrupted because of her half-demon heritage (which has some support in the story). Whether or not the reader is supposed to feel that any one race is supposed to be inherently better than others is hard to tell—we certainly see faults with all of them as the story goes on.
Merfolk in the MUniverse feel themselves to be inherently superior to all land species, although they don't really advertise this. However, as Mack discovers, it is rather hard to argue with them about this belief, as they on principle dismiss arguments from prey. To them, any land creature in water is food and no longer has a right to be considered a sentient being.
The transapients of Orion's Arm aren't elves, per se, but they are better than you and quite aware of it. In fact the only reason you'd ever argue with them would be because they want you to.
Played straight when several elves explain to the main characters of MDWS about how superior they are compared to humans. Then immediately subverted when the tank of the group punches the leader in the face while saying "But we're meaner".