This could never be you.
"I've never lost in battle or game; I'm simply the best by far
When swords are crossed, 'tis always the same—one blow and au revoir!"
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
- 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.)
- 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"
- "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; notably "Princes of the Universe", which sums up the Immortal ethos from the Highlander saga, as well as Freddie Mercury's apparent attitude toward life. "I am immortal! I have inside me blood of kings. I have no rival! No man can be my equal!" And the lyrics, if anything, are understated compared to the music.
- Miles Gloriosus' song 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...
- 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.