"I've never lost in battle or game;Other musical characters might sing about the conflicts inherent in their position, or the obstacles in their path, or the things they know are missing from their drab, wretched lives. Not this character. The I Am Great Song is sung by someone who can't sing an "I Want" Song, because there's nothing left for them to want. Their accomplishments, popularity, and undisputed mastery of their field leave absolutely no need for daily affirmations—but they have them anyway, in musical form. Singing one of these songs feels better than it probably should. Since protagonists have to face conflict, and people love to watch the mighty fall, the hero almost never sings this song. However, it is not always a Villain Song, and the singer can be legitimately great—if songs were Greek heroes, this one would be Achilles. Can be used as a negative-space version of This Loser Is You. Subtrope, naturally, of the 'I Am' Song. Works best sung by a Large Ham. See also Bragging Theme Tune, Boastful Rap.
I'm simply the best by far
When swords are crossed, 'tis always the same —
one blow and au revoir!"
I'm simply the best by far
When swords are crossed, 'tis always the same —
one blow and au revoir!"
— Lancelot, "C'est Moi", Camelot
- "Perfect Isn't Easy", in Oliver & Company. A shot of that scene is seen above.
"Pretty is nice, but still, it's just pretty. Perfect, my dear.... is MEEEEEEEEE!"
- The opening song in The Emperor's New Groove, "Perfect World", is all about how Kuzco believes the entire world revolves around him and how he gets everything he wants with zero difficulty. The rest of the film then proceeds to Break the Haughty in him.
- "It's Tough to be a God" in The Road to El Dorado features one of the protagonists singing about how uncomfortable he is with their accidental (and arguably blasphemous) position in the native society, while the other one convinces him to stick with it by pointing out just how sweet life can be for a fake god.
- From Rock & Rule, Mok's "Triumph (of the Glory of ME)". Omar's road song "I'm the Man" seems understated only by comparison. Mok is perhaps the most deliciously egotistical individual I have seen portrayed in any medium; his motivation for employing the Armageddon Key to trigger a new apocalypse is revenge on the public, because his last concert was not completely sold out.
- Two songs in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks:
Don't mean to brag, don't mean to boast, but I'm a six-course meal and you're just burnt toast
- "Awesome As I Want To Be" for Rainbow Dash, who implies that you'll never be quite as awesome as her.
- "Tricks Up My Sleeve" for Trixie, who's even less complimentary about her competition than Rainbow:
- Sort of a case with Beauty and the Beast's Mandatory Villain Song Gaston. More of a "You are Great" song by Gaston's admirers but he joins in on praising himself partway through.
- In the 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the puppet show the Golden Ticket tour group watches after they pass through the factory's gate features a Welcoming Song that, while written in the third-person, is clearly this for Willy Wonka — sample lyrics include "He's modest, clever, and so smart" and "A magician and a chocolate whiz/The best darn guy that ever lived". He's actually an Insufferable Genius and Anti-Villain. (See Theatre below for how a rather different Mr. Wonka boasts.)
- No compendium of boastful songs should be without Mr. Toad's lyrics from The Wind in the Willows, which includes "The world has held great heroes as history books have showed, but never a name goes down to fame compared to that of Toad". Complete text of the original here, the slightly different version from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad here.
- Horrible Histories has one for, fittingly, Alexander the Great. Though he prefers "the Greatest."
- How I Met Your Mother: Barney's video resume is basically just this. Although he's not singing it. That would be lame.
- Xena: Warrior Princess: "Joxer The Mighty". A song that just keeps on growing every time that it recurs.
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has "I'm So Good At Yoga", which is actually sung in the heroine's mind by the girlfriend of the guy she's obsessed with:
I do stuff with my body
That no human should be able to do
Like putting my face behind my knees
Turning my hand, into a shoe.
As the morning sun kisses the lotus
I kiss my own hoo-haa, can you do that?
Greet each day, Namaste
Screeeeeewww you, you‛re fat
- In the Red Dwarf episode "Blue", the VR "Arnold Rimmer Experience" ends with a song sung tiny munchkin Rimmers.
If you're in trouble he will save the day
He's brave and he's fearless come what may
Without him the mission would go astray
He's Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer
Without him life would be much grimmer
He's handsome, trim, and no-one slimmer
He will never need a zimmer
- Frank Sinatra's legacy is typified by "My Way", which is sung from the perspective of an old man as his life draws to a close. The theme of the song is personal integrity; Alas, it has become synonymous with Sinatra's legendary abrasiveness and "take it or leave it" attitude (Ironically, even he thought the ego-stroking lyrics too much). Sid Vicious did a much-acclaimed punk cover of the song.
- Don McLean's song "Everybody Loves Me, Baby" is in the voice of a military dictator with wealth, territory, popular acclaim, and no (remaining) rivals, though it is sung to the one person who doesn't seem to be impressed.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's "This is the Life". "You're Pitiful" is a variant, where the narrator follows "My life is brilliant", with a long "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- "Ego Trippin Out" by Marvin Gaye plays with this - half of it is a character singing about how amazing he is in every way, and how lucky people are to be in his presence - while the chorus seems to be a different character singing about how empty and broken the first character's egotism really is.
- "Demolition Man", by Sting.
- Many, many modern rap songs are about this or being In Da Club. Quite obvious with rappers like Wiz Kalifa, Flo Rida and Pitbull.
- "Towards the Crown of Nights" and "The Dark Conquest" by The Kovenant are both about some evil overlord praising themselves after bringing about The Night That Never Ends.
- "Don't Stop" by InnerPartySystem is a deeply cynical version of this.
- Todd Rundgren's "Emperor of the Highway" is a short musical duel between The Emperor of the Highway and the Royal Prince of Foreign Sports Cars; each is a Large Ham and both characters show the egotism inherent in this trope.
- Queen has several songs of this type, such as "Don't Stop Me Now", and notably "Princes of the Universe", which sums up how an Immortal from the Highlander saga would think Living Forever Is Awesome, while also showing Freddie Mercury's apparent attitude toward life.
- "Awesome Forces!" by The Aquabats!
We are your average ordinary superhuman
Punishers of evil rock-and-roll band
And we've been designated to save this crazy world
We cannot die, for this is our destiny!
- Mac Davis's "It's Hard to Be Humble":
Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way
I can't wait to look in the mirror
'Cause I get better-lookin' each day
To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man
Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble
But I'm doin' the best that I can.
- Miles Gloriosus' song, "Bring Me My Bride", in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum:
Miles: I, in war the most admired, in wit the most inspired, in love the most desired, in dress the best displayed, I am a parade!
- In Camelot, Lancelot's song "C'est Moi" is nothing but this.
- In the Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston sings a song, "Me", about how Belle has no choice but to be madly in love with him, because of how perfect he is in every way. Gaston's eponymous song in the original film isn't just sung by him, but those parts he does sing would qualify as this, too.
- Maximillian and Cunegonde in "Life is Happiness Indeed" from the musical version of Candide.
- Adolpho gets one of these in The Drowsy Chaperone, fittingly titled "Adolpho".
- Played with in The Mikado, where the title character sings about being a great Emperor in "From ev'ry kind of man," but "his daughter-in-law elect" Katisha interrupts and makes it about herself.
- In The Pirates of Penzance, the Pirate King plays it straight with his song, "Oh, better far to live and die," the chorus of which runs (and is later parodied within the show):
For I am a Pirate King!
(You are! Hurrah for the Pirate King!)
And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Pirate King!
- The Act One finale of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen", crossbreeds this trope with Welcoming Song as Willy Wonka introduces himself to the Golden Ticket finders with promises that they're going to see incredible things on their tour of his factory — all of which are of his invention. His world does warrant the hype, but he's also a Trickster Anti-Hero, and the catchy, brassy, cheekily sinister, glamorously-visualized number owes a lot stylistically to the Villain Song trope...
- In How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, one song, "I Believe in You," is sung twice; the first time the main character, J. Pierrepoint Finch, sings it to himself, as a way of bolstering his own confidence.
- Part of "Agony" from Into the Woods has Cinderella's prince listing his qualities and his bafflement that she keeps running away from him.
"Am I not considerate, passionate, as kind as I'm handsome, and heir to a throne? "
- Hamilton unusually features one for the hero in "My Shot", as Hamilton tries to impress his new revolutionary friends with a combination of boasting, sheer verbal skill and idealistic fervor.
I'm 'a get a scholarship to King's College.
I prob'ly shouldn't brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish. [...]
With every word I drop knowledge!
I'm a diamond in the rough, a shining piece of coal
tryin' to reach my goal. My power of speech: Unimpeachable!
Only nineteen but my mind is older.
Meet the latest graduate of King's College
- The melody is also reprised in Blow Us All Away when Phillip Hamilton raps about how he's following in his father's footsteps:
I prob'ly shouldn't brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish.
The scholars say I got the same virtuosity and brains as my pops
The ladies say my brain's not where the resemblance stops!
I came from afar just to say “Bonsoir!”
- Also, when Lafayette, Laurens, and Mulligan are introduced in Aaron Burr, Sir, each performs a short rap boasting about why they're great, too, and Lafayette's one explicitly references the song C'est Moi from Camelot:
Tell the King “Casse toi!” Who’s the best?
- Charlie The Unicorn episode 4's obligatory song routine features a singing millipede who sings a song about how awesome she is.
- RWBY: Yang's theme song, I Burn, is basically a very long, catchy Badass Boast about how she's going to utterly wreck your shit.
- Harry Potter sings in the Potter Puppet Pals video "The Vortex" about being the "king" of Hogwarts, and defeating Voldemort as a baby. It has a melancholy end, though, as Harry remembers he also lost his parents as a baby, and had to move to an abusive foster home.
- Played with in Commentary! The Musical: "Better Than Neil" appears to be this, but can very easily be seen as Nathan desperately masking his insecurity.
- Shady Could've Done It Better has Marik, Bakura and Shady Vox singing the notion that, "no matter what anybody else does, Shady could've done it better."
- In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, the Nominal Hero Captain Hammer tries delivering a Rousing Speech in song form with "Everyone's A Hero," which ends up being filled with Stealth Insults and comes off more as "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed at homeless people and muggles about how they'll never be as great as he is no matter what. Naturally, the audience chews it up save for Penny, though the fact that he openly boasts about sleeping with her in the song probably didn't do him any favors.
Captain Hammer: Everyone's a hero in their own way; you, and you, and mostly me, and you.
- Sam & Mickey's Barbie's Book Club videos have a theme song in which Barbie proclaims that she's "so pretty", and (twice) that she has a book club.
- Animaniacs has "I'm Cute", sung by Dot. Her brothers, who are singing the chorus, eventually get sick of it and interrupt with mocking lyrics of their own.
- Pizzazz, lead singer of The Misfits in Jem, has an ego about the same size as her bank account. Some of the groups' boastful songs include "Takin' It All", "There Ain't Nobody Better", and "Universal Appeal".
- In Phineas and Ferb, Vanessa Doofenshmirtz has this masterpiece.
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has famous mongoose celebrity Shahrukh sing one about what it's like to be a super-rich film star in the episode "Lights, Camera, Mongoose!"
Shahrukh: Get on your knees and bow right down
I'll sing you a song of my renown
When you're a famous pet like me
You look at your life a little differently...
- Bender in Futurama will often sing songs where the lyrics are a variation of "Bender is great."
- In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Bloo Done It", Uncle Pockets has his "Professional Friends Imaginary" song, which everyone actually likes. (Except Bloo.)
- At the height of the Federation Era in the WWE, Vince McMahon recorded a big music video for his own single called "Stand Back!" It's a collection of TakeThats leveled at his many critics over the way he runs his business and the product he puts out. It's a massive Never Live It Down for him, though he's willing to let the occasional jab at it slide.
- The Russian film adaptation of The Shadow contains the song "My Triumph" sung by the Living Shadow. In the song, The Shadow ponders how powerful he is , especially compared to the pitiful writer whose shadow he once was.
- The various adaptations of The Wind in the Willows naturally include Toad's I Am Great song from the book. In the Spin-Off of the Cosgrove Hall version, Oh, Mr Toad!, it's used as a Bragging Theme Tune.
The world has held great heroes,
As history books have showed,
But never a name went down in fame,
Compared with that of Toad!
- The song Calvin performs in Chapter 9 of Calvin and Hobbes Get XTREME! is one of these.