"A shame. If you were anything akin to me, perhaps we could've become friends. Then again, you would need an IQ of more than 200 to meet the minimum criteria."
At first glance, the Insufferable Genius
appears to be exactly the type who's doomed to learn An Aesop
: he or she's very talented, knows they're very talented, and doesn't mind telling you repeatedly what a talented person they are. But the difference between them and your standard loud-mouth is that they really ARE
that good, and when placed in a difficult situation they can actually work their way out of it — so maybe they do have a right to brag. It can also be justified by the genius's ability to notice more about the world around them and be bothered by it.
May overlap with Brilliant but Lazy
. May join in a Battle of Wits
, if anyone is in the right league. Compare Gentleman Snarker
, Tall, Dark and Snarky
, Know-Nothing Know-It-All
, Too Clever by Half
, Bunny-Ears Lawyer
, The Proud Elite
. Contrast with characters that do
get their Aesop
, who may fall quickly
or be slowly broken
Also contrast with a Gentleman and a Scholar
, whose intelligence does not prevent him being gracious, friendly, and polite, and Small Name, Big Ego
, who thinks they're this trope, but is just plain insufferable. In a Four-Temperament Ensemble
, expect the Melancholic and Choleric to combine to be this trope and the Phlegmatic and Sanguine to be its diametric opposite. See Kindhearted Simpleton
which is the opposite of this trope. Compare Rightly Self-Righteous
if it's the character who is morally right despite how condescending they are. See Tall Poppy Syndrome
for how they're often reacted to.
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Anime & Manga
- Ah! My Goddess Skuld practically oozes this trope, and never receives anything to cut down on her massive ego. In order to balance this out, the writers had to have her fail constantly at her main goal in breaking up Keiichi and her sister Belldandy.
- In Baccano!, Claire Stanfield is so acutely aware of his own awesomeness that he has quite literally come to the conclusion that the universe actually revolves around him. This wouldn't be so bad if he also wasn't just a tad Axe Crazy.
- Code Geass
- Lloyd, an Insufferable Genius Mad Scientist who is something of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- And Lelouch, who, when not intentionally restraining himself, has a very much "I'm better than you" outlook on life. However, the only people who really see this from him are Kallen and Suzaku.
- Death Note:
- Light Yagami, when he's at his most All According To Plan-ness.
- Though this is only from the audience's perspective. Light would never let another human being know he felt that way - though it leaks out more and more towards the end.
- L is this too, at least as far as Aizawa is concerned.
has a bit of exemplifies this as well: "Please don't make me repeat myself." Especially when he does his "Look what I got from Santa!"- face.
- Dragon Ball Bulma occasionally falls into this, especially in the first show, and in the Z days before she married Vegeta and had a son. Although she is super-intelligent, even more so than her father, she's can be whiny and selfish.
- Eyeshield 21:
- Agon Kongou is considered the most talented athlete of the century and never lets anyone forget it. He never trains and regularly mocks the efforts of normal people or as he calls them, "trash." It doesn't help that he's a sadist with occasional Axe Crazy moments. "My strong point is that I'm invincible!" Sadly, that's almost true.
- Hiruma also shows obvious signs of this. He's definitely a genius, whether it's about American Football or anything else, and apparently that gives him the right to carry around firearms and abuse everyone. The only way he knows off to show people he cares is by kicking them. HIS strong point? "My strong point is that I win!"
- Clifford Lewis and Mr. Don of team America are this and then some, unfortunately they can back up their words.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward Elric, a Teen Genius with alchemy skills that are the envy of alchemists who have been doing this much longer than he has, an impressive head for deduction, and many other skills besides. He's also a Bratty Half-Pint (don't tell him that) with an ego as big as he isn't.
- Ed may be a bit of a Deconstruction. As children, he and Al practiced alchemy and were prodigies at it, (probably because of their dad). When their mother died, they sought to do the unthinkable and try and bring her back. They paid dearly for it as Al lost his body and Ed his left leg before sacrificing his right arm to get get back Al's soul and bind it to a suit of armor. Both obtain alchemic knowledge beyond imagination, requiring no circles or seals for it (though Al initially doesn't have this as truama blocked the memory at first.) Now seeking to return themselves to normal, they end up getting another tragic dose with the fate of Nina. Despire Ed's brash exterior, he knows that despite having alchemy, he is still human and the inability to save even one little girl remains on his and Al's conscience for the rest of their lives, but help their character development.
- Full Metal Panic! Sousuke certainly has his moments. Especially so in the novel, where more of his thoughts are shown, as well as extra dialogue displaying more aspects to his character (especially in regard to his sense of pride). Also, his pet peeve seems to be people calling him an amateur or hobbyist when it comes to Arm Slaves, as he'll very indignantly correct them that he's not an amateur - he's a "specialist." He is also more than willing to taunt his fallen enemies for being losers, as well as telling them why their tactics were inferior to his. Justified in that he really is that good, and definitely qualifies as a Teen Genius.
- Future GPX Cyber Formula: Karl Lichter von Randoll. While Randoll is a legitimately talented athlete, he talks down those who aren't on his level in Cyber Formula racing and lets his talent go through his head. He got over it little by little as the series progresses.
- Gash Bell - Played with - Kiyo starts out despising his intellectual inferiors (read: everybody) and the feeling's mutual. On the other hand, his unpopularity actually seems to bother him a lot and it might be a chicken-and-the-egg situation because people were jealous.
- Geneshaft: Dolce, the genius programmer, with the added bonus that she herself seems to be very quiet, while she lets her puppet do all the bragging. So she's one hell of a ventriloquist too.
- Get Backers: Ban Midou is this, all the way. He's characterized and lampshaded numerous times as being a major Insufferable Genius that insults and looks down on (almost) everyone he meets, and loves to flaunt his superiority. In fact, according to his profile in the manga omake, he's described as an extremely prideful person whom most people dislike initially. In the Birth Arc (which chronicles when Ban and Ginji first became Get Backers), he's shown to be even more big headed, telling Ginji to call him "LORD Ban," and gloats about how he's a genius, demanding Ginji to praise him for figuring out a strategy to defeat Takuma Fudou. Of course, all of this is completely justified, seeing how he is the strongest and smartest character in the entire series. As a matter of fact, he actually has the power to bend things to his will if he believes it.
- Hajime No Ippo. Takamura Mamoru. He has an ego of the size of a planet and believes himself to be strongest man in the history of men. Well, it's just that this may very well be true, since he is the strongest boxer in the entire manga. His daily jerkass habits contain bullying Aoki and Kimura and rubbing the fact that they're... not the best boxers... in their faces.
- Saya Takagi from Highschool of the Dead. Her tendancy to insult everyone around her, whine, and use her friends as meatshields hasn't made her very popular with fans.
- Keroro Gunsou: Sergeant Major Kururu has a mischievous streak a mile long, and seems more interested in amusing himself than completing the invasion of Earth. However, he's still a (technically senior) member of the Keroro Platoon, and the group's "ideas" guy.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Lord, Kyoya Hibari is so insanely egotistical, proud, condescending, and brutally violent. Yet his sheer genius and strength in combat (along with his incredibly good looks, which win over the fangirls) manages to compensate and even justify his attitude. Oh, and he gets away with pretty much everything. His sort-of-loss in an unfair fight with Mukuro is a gigantic blow to his ego, and results in his obsessing over proving his superiority over him. Well, 10 years into the future, he apparently got over it. And he's still an Insufferable Genius.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Kurt Godel, who is identified as a genius, and is extremely smug about it.
- Toru Muhyo of Muhyo And Roji is the youngest Executor in history, has an incredible amount of tempering and can use highly advanced magical laws to sentence dangerous spirits. He also frequently talks down to other MLS agents, belittles Roji, and mocks people who try to get ahead through hard work alone (which is a personal issue for him, since his best friend struggled to become an Executor to support his mother, then turned evil after he lost his mother and was passed over for the position almost simultaneously).
- Neji Hyuuga starts out as one of these before his defeat by Naruto Uzumaki.
- Sasuke also showed some signs of this, but usually got knocked down a peg before he could get too conceited. And then, he got much, much worse.
- Kakashi also started out as this, mainly toward Obito. He insists on taking point against an enemy ninja to try out his new jutsu, Chidori, destroying almost all the ninja's clones and almost taking down the ninja, but being limited by the jutsu's tunnel vision, and having to be saved by his teacher. Kakashi gets better by the end of Kakashi Gaiden, and by the start of the series, is a relatively modest individual who bears regret for his decisions.
- George from Paradise Kiss is a genius fashion designer. He's also a complete jerk.
- Ranma Saotome of Ranma ½. He even has a whole move (the Moko Takibisha) that's powered by his massive overconfidence. But even most of the characters who hate him for his ego will grudgingly admit that he has the combat skill to back it up. His ability to improvise strategy is, if anything, even MORE impressive. As he himself says, "if it's got martial arts in it, I can beat it!" And he will.
- Hiko from Rurouni Kenshin loves bragging and calling himself a genius, but he really is much stronger than any other character in the series.
- Subverted in Sailor Moon. Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury is a Shy Blue-Haired Girl, but her classmates think she's an Insufferable Genius and shun her away. Played straight with Shingo Tsukino, though. He's a great student, his sister is a Book Dumb Ditz and he won't let her forget it.
- Ryuunosuke in Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo shows streaks of this after coming out from being a reclusive Gadgeteer Genius for five months: he doesn't even bother listening to the teacher's lecture and also eats tomatoes in class, which the teacher finds irritating.
- Zelgadis Graywords, a book-smart chimera from Slayers, shows signs of this in newer anime and manga adaptations; he dismisses his companions mostly because he has intellectual skills that they don't really have, such as strategizing in battle, cartography skills, a knowledge of magical lore, and in the third anime series, is good at math. Unfortunately, this doesn't always show when he fights.
- Soul Eater: Excalibur would like you to know that his legend began in the twelfth century. And that he had written several books: "First Excalibur," "Breakfast with Excalibur," "Lunch with Excalibur," and "...it's Excalibur!"
- Tenchi Muyo! and Tenchi Universe: Washu claims to be 'the greatest scientist in the Universe' and really is. She even invented tiny robot mascots to proclaim her greatness whenever she needs an ego-boost. Also insists on being called 'Little Washu' and being treated with all the indulgence due to a child, despite the fact that she is over 10,000 years old and virtually omnipotent, capable of suspending the laws of physics or even destroying the Universe if she so pleases. Somewhat subverted in that she is still fairly nice to the people around her and gets along with them fairly well.
- The Prince of Tennis:
- Ryoma Echizen. At twelve, he beats high school players with ease, before revealing that he's really left-handed, and, if you watch the anime, also defeats professional players in the US Open. Frequently taunts his opponent with "Mada Mada Dane" ("You still have lots more to work on"). A prick, really. Made all the more obvious by titling the chapters as 'Genius #'.
- Keigo Atobe is quite like that, being a mix of the Princely Young Man with Magnificent Bastard and Large Ham. And what makes it worse is that he's the biggest Draco in Leather Pants within Tenipuri fandom.
- Seto Kaiba. With ego and indifference to match.
- The anime only character, Rebecca as well.
- Murasakiiro No Qualia. Alice makes no attempt to hide her attitude to those without special gifts, although she does act incredibly friendly to those with them.
- Lex Luthor might not be the smartest man in the DC Comics continuum, but he's close. And he's going to let you know it, any second now.
- In All Fall Down, AIQ Squared is this in spades.
- Batman can be this, especially when he does team ups.
- Arion, at least in the Superman story "Camelot Falls." He believes that Superman must die, leave, or otherwise stop interfering with humanity. He saw a Bad Future where mankind got complacent due to Supes helping all the time, ending with the human race getting wiped out. His problem is that he thinks his plan (destroy Supes) is the only option, instead of just cooperating with Supes to fix it. Arion also mocks and puts down anyone who tries to give him advice.
- The female Dr. Light. During Crisis on Infinite Earths, she angrily storms out to find the Big Bad after one of her allies is seemingly crushed. Superman, worried that she'll get into trouble, flies after her. He not only finds that she's okay, but she has discovered and analyzed the Big Bad's machine of destruction. She sternly informs him that she knows what she's doing.
- Doctor Doom: Victor Von Doom! of the Marvelverse is renowned for his villainous arrogance.
- Doom's nemesis, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four approaches this occasionally. He actually uses his genius for the betterment of mankind(sometimes).
- In one notable example, he got into an argument with Hank Pym when he claimed that he knew more about Pym particles than Hank did. Hank called him a bitch for that insult.
- Hardware; see Dwayne McDuffie's run on Justice League of America for numerous examples. He spends most of this time snarking about how easily he was able to break into JLA headquarters and how easy it was to hack into their communicators system. This angers John Stewart who at one point angrily yells "Okay, we get it! You're smarter than us."
- Iron Man: Tony Stark has been like this since his conception, though the actual strength of it depends on the writer.
- Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes, particularly in the current reboot and the one after the "Zero Hour" Crisis Crossover.
- His ancestor, Vril Dox II of L.E.G.I.O.N., has a pretty big head as well.
- Humorously, when three alternate Legions are brought together to face Superboy Prime, the three Brainiacs 5 bicker over which one of them should be the authority; None of them can stand any of the others (albeit for different reasons; One of them is distrustful of an older Brainiac 5 because he's never trusted any adults before and isn't about to get in the habit of it.)
- During The Final Night, a Crisis Crossover, the Leigon found themselves trapped in the 20th Century, and Brainiac 5 and the aforementioned Lex Luthor were forced to work together to solve the problem of the Sun-Eater. A humorous moment came when Brainiac 5 complained degradingly about how "primitive" the 20th Century tech was, Luthor loudly proclaimed to the entire room, "Young man, you're so much more advanced then we primitive cavemen, surely you must have already solved our dilemma!" Brainiac 5 promptly shut up.
- One of the (surprisingly many) post-crisis reimaginings of the origins of Superman involves his first meeting (as Superboy) with the Legion, who have violated the laws of time and causality to meet him out of hero-worship. When he discovers this, Brainiac 5 delivers a pompous lecture about the possible effects this could have. One of the Legion 'innocently' challenges him to work out the exact odds of his disastrous predictions coming true, riling Brainiac 5 up so much that he immediately leaves to do just that — leaving Superboy to hang out with the other members of the Legion, which was of course the whole point.
- An early plot turned Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog into one temporarily. Sadly, he shows occasional traces of it now in his regular "good" persona.
- Loki of The Mighty Thor usually ventures here when his plans are working (especially against Thor, since intelligence and magic are the only places he can outclass his older brother). Seeing as how he's often shown to be the Marvel Universe's resident master of the whole spectrum of The Plan, he sometimes deserves it.
- Notably, he has tricked Tony Stark (and the rest of the Avengers), Dr. Doom, and Mephisto. That's two other people on this page and the devil. You might get to gloat a little for that.
- Layla Miller of X-Factor is often seen doing this.
- Sapientín from Zipi y Zape.
- Doc Ock is particularly bad about this in Spider-Man, especially now that he's been gallivanting around as Superior Spider-Man. Notably, he scoffs at Peter's lack of scientific advancements, despite knowing he invented the advanced web shooter tech when he was fifteen, and has been too busy saving the world since then (often from Ock himself) to do much research. But nope, Ock's still "superior" to all other scientists.
- Brainstorm of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye is incredibly self-important and narcissistic, but is tolerated nonetheless because of the never-ending stream of outlandish (and highly effective) weapons he's constantly producing.
- The main characters of Swing123 and garfieldodie's Calvinverse mostly fall into this somehow.
- Daneel Randt from the Tamers Forever Series is a bright but arrogant young technician.
- Partly subverted in Equestria: A History Revealed. The narrator certainly sees herself as one, possessing a harsh personality despite her genius in uncovering the ancient conspiracies of Equestrian history. However, as the fic goes on, it becomes clear that her works of genius are powered by Insane Troll Logic, leaving her mostly just insufferable.
- Ultra Fast Pony. While Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic would occasionally dip her hooves into the insufferable pool (see Western Animation, below), Twilight in Ultra Fast Pony dives straight into the deep end. She's so irritatingly self-assured that the other ponies tell her outright that they hate listening to her.
Spike: I just don't understand why you can't let her be?
Twilight: Let her continue to live her life believing in something that is wrong?
Spike: Why not?
Twilight: Spike, listen. I am the smartest and wisest pony in the whole town. Everything I do works, and everything I do makes perfect sense, and shut up about the burrito. My way of living is vastly superior to anyone else's, and it is my duty to have everypony do exactly as I do. My thoughts and reasonings are always rational and correct, and I will not rest until everyone else has the same opinions as me!
Films — Animation
- Scar from The Lion King reminds everyone how smart he is a little too often.
Scar: Well, as far as brains go, I got the lion's share, but when it comes to brute strength... I'm afraid I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool.
Scar: I'm surrounded by idiots.
- He also does this throughout the Be "Prepared" song.
Films — Live-Action
- John Nash of A Beautiful Mind has traces of this.
- Matt Damon's character from Good Will Hunting can be this at times, particularly when explaining to Stellan Skarsgaard's character how frustrated he is.
- I'm Not There: Jude Quinn, the Bob Dylan Expy played by Cate Blanchett, has shades of this.
- Tony Stark in Iron Man. An engineering genius, billionaire, and ladies' man, he's got the ego to match. He enjoys putting the boot to his rivals and opponents, but he's usually having too much fun to be a dick to anyone else.
- Duncan from Mystery Team fakes the genius part, but gets the insufferable down pat. He spent his childhood memorizing bits of trivia, and assumed this was enough to make him a "Boy Genius."
- Herbert West, Re-Animator, is a young medical genius who has discovered the secret of bringing the dead back to life, but he pisses off so many people with his condescending attitude that no one likes him. Also the zombies probably don't make him very popular.
- Aptly, Iron Man's actor (Robert Downey, Jr.) also plays Sherlock Holmes as well, who is much the same (a genius investigator with more than his fair share of bothersome quirks).
- Wonder how Jude Law Watson isn't annoyed with this?
- Iron Man keeps it up in The Avengers, and spends most of the non-action scenes striking a perfect balance between indispensability and insufferability.
- Summed up perfectly in this well-known exchange:
Steve: Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?
Tony: A genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
- Loki also qualifies. Massively intelligent even by the standards of an Asgardian, and he doesn't mind reminding people how great he is:
You are all of you beneath me! I am a god
, you dull creature!
- This backfired, because he said it to The Incredible Hulk, who proceeded to grab Loki by the ankles and slam him repeatedly onto the ground before offering up this witty rejoinder:
Hulk: Puny god.
- Young Frankenstein. Frederick has his moments.
- Just about everyone in Now You See Me, though Atlas and Bradley stand out.
- Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr in The Man With Two Brains.
- Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, as portrayed in The Social Network. However, it's left ambiguous whether he really is that obnoxious or if his jerkass behavior in some of the flashbacks is the result of unreliable witness testimonies.
- In Rush2013, Niki Lauda is madly talented, knows it and will not hesitate to let everyone else know.
- Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady has this in spades. He is incredibly intelligent and has a near encyclopedic knowledge of linguistics. However, he's also arrogant, misogynistic, and completely selfish. Even his own mother gets annoyed with him and delights in seeing Eliza put him in his place.
- Authors and other artists are infamous for this trait everywhere. An anecdote told (probably about more than one author) has him talk with another guy, and all the time he's just talking about his new book. Finally, even he seems to get that he spoke enough, so he turns to the other guy and says: "But enough about me. Tell me something about yourself. — How did you like my new book?"
- Skull Skelton, an intelligence officer who pops up in several novels by Derek Robinson. He's almost always right, especially when pointing out the shortcomings of military tactics directly to the men responsible for those tactics, but no one likes him for it. A superior officer once threw a telephone at him. Or was it a bottle of rum? Probably both.
- Both Artemis and Foaly from Artemis Fowl. They both explain things as if everyone is that smart.
- Artemis pulls off a Evil Plan in the first book that leads to him getting a large part of a metric ton (literally) of gold, despite being up against fairies with considerable magical powers and a very vested interest in making sure he doesn't get away..
- Foaly is so smart that he's described as the only reason that fairies have kept ahead of humans, being a combination Gadgeteer Genius and Mission Control.
- The Hideous Hog in the Bridge in the Menagerie series. While he is by far the best bridge player in the group, he's all too quick to puff up his own importance. Themistocles Papadopolous, a.k.a. Papa The Greek, is just as bad about proclaiming his ability, though he usually outsmarts himself.
- Melvin Sneedly in Captain Underpants.
- Dedicate Crane from Circle of Magic. Although he does recognize other's potential, he won't be told that he doesn't know how to care for a thing, and sounds exasperated that Briar didn't know that he's one of the two greatest plant-mages on the continent (the other is Briar's teacher Rosethorn).
- It's even Played for Laughs in a later book, when Daja gets rid of an overbearing noblewoman by channeling Crane.
Daja:Forgive me, Ravvi Ladradun, but we speak of things magical, which cannot be known by those without magical power.
- Dragonlance: Raistlin Majere is another arrogant Tall, Dark and Snarky magician who is really that good. He managed to defeat all the gods of Krynn and achieve godhood in an alternate time line, after all... admittedly, it was the ultimate Pyrrhic Victory — he destroyed all of the gods and killed every living thing, leaving behind a barren wasteland where he would try and fail to create life to replace the old, but descend into madness when forced to confront the fact that his evilness made him suffer from a Creative Sterility that made him incapable of such a feat — but, still, he was a mortal who killed three Character Alignment pantheons of gods and destroyed all life on the planet by accident in the process. He lost in the main timeline only because he chose to surrender when Cameron told him of the Bad Future that would result if he went through with his plans.
- The bookish Tash Arranda of Galaxy of Fear doesn't usually trend this way, but she does to some extent in The Brain Spiders, when she's trying to stand out more from her younger, more impulsive and non-homework-interested brother Zak. It's encouraged by another character, who's taking advantage of her susceptibility to flattery.
- Michael Grant's GONE series:
- Astrid Ellison is the absolute Queen of this trope. Many characters (most notably Howard, Quinn and on occasion even her boyfriend Sam), have called her out on being too expressive with her knowledge. Many of the Perdido Beach kids end up resenting her for it, and even the fandom has a Astrid hate club on Facebook. (On the other hand, she has many militant fans too).
- Computer Jack also starts out as being described as "condescending" and "haughty" with his borderline super-human skill in computer science. He gets better, though.
- Harry Potter:
- Harry's least favorite teacher, Severus Snape. He made improvements to his textbook and invented his own spells while at school, is one of the few wizards capable of brewing the Wolfsbane Potion, and is the only wizard other than Voldemort capable of flight. Also, in the words of his actor in the films, he is a very interesting character.
- Hermione Granger. She's a bright, high-achieving witch who constantly tells her friends off for not studying as hard as she does. She also used to be an annoying Motor Mouth.
- Voldemort is evil, but also brilliant. At the end of the fourth book, he delivers a speech to his minions for a whole chapter. It basically consists of, "Let me tell you in excruciating detail how awesome and brilliant I am and how you are all morons."
- When Albus Dumbledore was young, he was like this as well. After his arrogance led to certain tragic consequences, he learned to keep his ego in check, pointing out that people who don't just wind up turning into self-destructive fools.
- James Potter and to a lesser extent, Sirius Black as teenagers. Teachers recall that they were the best at practically anything they tried, in classes and out, and they became Animagi at the age of fifteen (even helping their not as talented friend in doing so). However, this arrogance got on some people's nerves (or at least Snape, who was another Insufferable Genius and Lily, mainly because of Snape and James' fighting). He grows out of it.
- Draco Malfoy is also implied to be highly intelligent, albeit not quite as smart as he makes himself out to be. He's certainly a sovereign of insufferables.
- Hercule Poirot never gets tired of explaining his genius, but since he's only ever failed to solve one case in a thirty-year-plus career, one might consider giving him a little slack. Even Agatha Christie thought Poirot was an insufferable know-it-all and grew tired of writing him. Perhaps this is the reason that Poirot admits to that he too finds his own arrogance obnoxious, but explains it away as part of his facade of Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Otto of the H.I.V.E. Series is one of these, completely under the impression that being snarky(and therefore appearing more intelligent) will get him out of any situation. The series overall is pretty much a nine-book-long Break the Haughty as increasingly tragic events happen around and to him.
- In Death: Dick "Dickhead" Berenski. He has an egg-shaped head, he is considered creepy by a number of characters, he whines a lot about how every cop expects him to put his or her case at the top of the list, and he often has to be bribed with alcohol, sports tickets, and what have you to get him to put said case to the top of the list. He is also the chief lab tech, and he is a genius in his work.
- Kirsty from the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy is a recognized genius and tends to win absolutely everything. However her constantly explaining to everyone just how stupid they are tends to drive most people away from her, which she assumes is a character flaw in everybody else.
- Terry Pratchett later reused this basic interpretation of the trope when he created Susan Sto Helit for his Discworld series. It's most heavily present in Soul Music, when she is still a teenager, and somewhat justifiable as a combination of considerable intelligence, an upbringing in cold, hard, rationalism and an innate awareness of the true nature of things due to her supernatural heritage. It still makes her be regarded as rather annoying or obnoxious by most who meet her — the primary exception are children, who take well to her view of them as basically being small adults and thus treating them as such.
- The witch Granny Weatherwax is an unusual combination of this and Book Dumb. Her spelling (heh) and grammar are on a First Grade level at best, and she considers plenty of things most people take for granted to be stupid or unworthy of her time. She also has an ego the size of the Disc itself, names herself the best Witch in the world, and constantly proves it, being both a powerful sorceress and a genuis Guile Hero / Magnificent Bitch who's knocked around tyrants, elves, vampires and her evil sister in her time. Sure, she's an arrogant Jerkass, but she really does care, is by far most insufferable to idiots and idealists, and reserves her worst punishments for the utterly vile.
- British statesman Lord Chesterfield warned his son not to become this in the Letters to His Son: "Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one. If you are asked what o'clock it is, tell it; but do not proclaim it hourly and unasked, like the watchman." (letter 30)
- The Wizard Saruman from Lord of the Rings is like this. But Denethor is an even better example. Both are even insufferable toward Gandalf, which in Saruman's case is somewhat justified (as he is the head of the Istari, thus outranking Gandalf, and also widely acknowledged to be the smartest of them too - it's just that Gandalf is Saruman's superior in wisdom, integrity and basic social skills), but in Denethor's case is remarkably cheeky.
- Gandalf, for those not familiar with Tolkien's 'verse, is basically a demi-god working for The Powers That Be.
- The title character of the Mediochre Q Seth Series is an example. Unlike some, however, he is human enough to start being nice to people when they need it.
- In Rainbows End, Robert Gu is considered one of the greatest living poets, and he loves using his gift of language to humiliate others and put them in their place. When she finds out his Alzheimer's is being cured, his ex-wife fakes her own death, rather than have to face him again.
- Sherlock Holmes very seldom brags about how smart he is, but he is always ready to snarkily disparage the intellect of anyone who fails to keep up with his deductive leaps. Watson is really a paragon of self-restraint considering the verbal abuse he takes from Holmes. Resentment toward this conceited attitude is probably why it takes so long for the Scotland Yard detectives to (grudgingly, at first) admit that he really is as brilliant as he thinks he is.
Sherlock Holmes: You mean well, Watson. Shall I demonstrate your own ignorance?
- When we meet Mycroft (Sherlock's brother), however, Sherlock is quick to point out, matter-of-factly, that his brother is the smarter of the two. Watson suggests that Sherlock is just being modest, but Sherlock says it's just as much of a sin to have too low an opinion of your skills as too high. It is also worth noting that Holmes is just as hard on himself as on anyone else when he fails to live up to his own standards.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Wedge Antilles maneuvers around this trope depending on the book and who he's around. In the X-Wing Series, he's quietly confident about his skills around his military superiors and the Rogues and the Wraiths — he's observant, consistently lucky, highly adaptive, and much more aware of long-term ramifications and politics than most people of his rank, not to mention being the greatest pilot alive. In that series, his ego is largely an Informed Flaw; he's just better at most of what he does than anyone else, but he doesn't show off, and a certain amount of Underestimating Badassery gets directed at him. Later-set books change this, though he's still not as bad as some — in Legacy of the Force he calmly informs Jacen Solo that Jacen knows he wasn't involved at all in one operation because that op failed. Jacen grits his teeth and reminds himself that belligerent cockiness is one of the Corellian hats.
- Star Trek:
- T'Passe from The Acts of Caine. She's very much philosophically inspired by Caine, the series protagonist. She meets him in prison, and is proud to discover Caine could hear her lecturing the other prisoners from his separate cell - until Caine explains that he was desperately waiting for someone to knife her.
- Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy with an extra emphasis on the insufferable part.
"I'm much smarter than you. Think of a number, any number."
"Wrong. You see?"
- Lily Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries is said to be brilliant but has absolutely no people skills. Whatsoever.
- The German Staffie Armin von Roon in The Winds of War/War and Remembrance. One cannot possibly be a Wehrmacht General Staff officer without at least the beginnings of genius. But he was most definitely insufferable.
- Harold Lauder of The Stand, especially early on. Smarter than anyone else in the book. And he knows it. And he was bullied mercilessly and sees no reason to let go of old grudges just because the world ended and all those people are dead now. At one point, Fran mentally compares Harold to a defective oracle — balky, a little bit frightening, but incredibly useful to have around.
- Nero Wolfe isn't exactly shy about pointing out how intelligent he is, which often leads his assistant Archie Goodwin to snark about it at length.
- Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald of Fate/Zero is a powerful Mage and lecturer at the Clock Tower, and is so full of himself that it's coming out of his ears. However, it is his own arrogance that does him in. He's so convinced that his victory in the Holy Grail War is just a matter of time, and had it been a contest of magical strength, it would have been, but he is twice outdone by Emiya Kiritsugi's unconventional tactics, losing first his base of operations and then his own magical abilities. By the end, Kayneth just wants to get out with his life... and he doesn't even get that.
- A Mage's Power: Dengel is famous throughout Tariatla because of his accomplishments in codifying the science of magecraft and he fills Eric's mind with bragging about his personal legend.
Dengel: My lectures are brilliant and I never brag.
- In the Science Fiction novel Macroscope by Piers Anthony, an experiment breeds high-IQ men and women and places the offspring into an intensely educational environment to see if it will produce super-geniuses. The adults running the experiment think it failed because the smartest kids pretend to be average For the Lulz. One boy is so off-the-charts smart that he gets bored with the whole thing by the age of five and hides by shutting down most of his intellect and reprogramming himself with a completely different persona. When a galaxy-threatening danger piques his interest enough to bring him out of hiding, he's so insufferable that his comrades wonder if it's worth it.
- As an advanced alien, Dick Solomon of 3rd Rock From The Sun is extremely intelligent by human standards and doesn't mind constantly insisting that he's the smartest man on the planet. His only mental shortcoming is his unfamiliarity with Earth ways.
: You think you're the smartest man on the planet, don't you? Dick
: For the thousandth time, yes!
- Gareth Blackstock, star of Chef!, was a classic example of this, although he would occasionally bestow compliments as well. "Everton, let me explain things to you. In the world of cooking, I am Einstein. Lucinda is Isaac Newton. And you are a mud-dwelling unicellular bit of jelly with a predilection for consuming its own excrement."
- Avon from Blake's 7 is a prime example.
Dayna: Don't you ever get bored of being right?
Avon: Just with the rest of you being wrong.
- If one wished to summarize Temperance "Bones" Brennan in a single phrase, it would be: "An insufferable and very hot genius." She's one of the best forensic scientists on Earth, a skilled marksman, bestselling novelist, and wouldn't know social graces if they bit her legs off. Possibly her most abrasive habit is that she sees nothing wrong with correcting anyone who says or does anything she disagrees with — including, say, family members who say goodbye to a loved one at his funeral (since she considers the belief in an afterlife irrational).
- "The Science in the Physicist" has a whole research institute filled with these.
- Bones reveals she wanted to join the institute, but they rejected her because their research is focused on the future, not the past.
- Dr. Zack Addy is a little bit of this, too, in that he's not shy about his high IQ and general intelligence. He tends to annoy the crap out of Booth, but everyone else at the Jeffersonian accepts it as 'just Zack'. Plus, he is genuinely brilliant.
- In "The Woman in the Car" there's a particularly notable exchange:
Booth: Alright, Zack! Zack! (Zack turns around) This guy, Decker, he's like you. He's in the whole stratosphere, IQ-wise.
Zack: What's his IQ?
Booth: It's 163.
Bones: Oh, he's not where Zack is.
Zack: If he's in the stratosphere, I'm in the ionosphere.
- Oliver Wells who loves to interrupt people and show that he is smarter than them. Only Fisher likes him (He says so in the episode The Woman In White)
- Denny Crane from Boston Legal has a good bit of this. He's rather off-putting to the people he meets, acting infinitely superior to everyone while simultaneous behaving like either a senile old man or a mental patient. But then he steps into a courtroom and shows them all just why he's... well, Denny Crane.
- Breakout Kings has Lloyd, a behaviorist with No Social Skills. His ability for understanding people doesn't mean he understands why everyone gets so pissed at his conclusions about why they act the way they do. For instance, once he figures out what makes Erica tick, he blurts out his conclusions and won't shut up until she breaks his nose — at which point he won't shut up about that.
- Combat Hospital has Rebecca starting out as one of these, but slowly getting Character Development over the course of the first season to mature out of it.
- Cracker. Fitz is considered to be a complete bastard by his workmates at the Manchester Police, and has zero respect among his academic peers. But he is also very, very, very good at profiling.
- Criminal Minds
- Both Reid and the entire cast are pretty much aversions of this trope. While all extremely smart and knowledgeable, they never act with arrogance or hostility to the local forces they are working with and never denigrate or insult others. In the second episode, Gideon refuses to brag about a genius call he made and preferred to have people work it out for themselves. Rossi is about as close as we get and that is more about him not being used to teamwork.
- When characters who act like this trope do appear, they are usually the killer. Examples include the sniper who believed himself to be much smarter and sabotaged by his co-workers and the killer who tried to get revenge on Rossi by trying to trick the team into a trap.
- Dr. Spencer Reid has an IQ of 187, can read over 20,000 words per minute, has an eidetic memory, three PhD's, BA's in Psychology and Sociology, can solve the Bacon Cipher longhand, and almost played through every single possible move in chess. The only reason his coworkers haven't shot him yet is because he uses his powers for good, is a source of endless amusement due to his ignorance of pop culture, and the team's protective of him as their Little Brother-type.
- Reid only really seems to slip into the Insufferable Genius mould when he's trying to annoy his teammates on purpose — again, very much like a little brother would. He's not really arrogant, though. In fact, in the pilot, someone asks him if he is a genius and he's kind of reluctant to say yes. He's just a bit over-eager to share information with people at the most inappropriate of times.
- Prentiss does threaten to kill him once over his genius. He solved a 3D puzzle she had been working on for days (and declared impossible) in about three seconds.
- Crusade had the Insufferable Genius archaeologist/linguist.
- Dollhouse's Topher, who is tolerated by dint of being the only one around who knows how all the big shiny brain-scrambling devices work.
- Also Bennett, although in her case it's less because of arrogance and more because of craziness.
- Doctor Who:
- The Doctor from is fond of explaining how brilliant he is to his companions, but as this is usually at the point where he has just solved whatever problem they're in, he tends to get away with it. Plus, he's saved the universe several times over as well.
Rose: (to Sarah Jane) With you, did he do that thing where he'd explain something at, like, ninety miles per hour, and you'd go "What?" and he'd look at you like you'd just dribbled on your shirt?
- Eleven does this more humorously than some of the others:
The Doctor: Doctor Song, you've got that face on again.
River: What face?
The Doctor: The "He's hot when he's clever" face.
River: This is my normal face.
The Doctor: Yes it is.
River: Oh, shut up.
The Doctor: Not a chance
- While the Doctor is usually rather nicer than your usual Insufferable Genius, One and Six pretty much live this trope. Especially Six. Three and Four weren't exactly shy about telling people how clever they were in the most abrasive way possible either. It was subverted to a degree in the reason why Liz Shaw, the third Doctor's first companion who is an Omnidisciplinary Scientist herself, decided to leave. As the Brigadier noted, she often remarked all the Doctor needed "is someone to pass you your test tubes, and to tell you how brilliant you are." In short, she had enough of his ego and walked.
- If there's a holy trinity of Insufferable Genius Doctors it's probably made up of One, Six and Twelve. Twelve, like One, has No Social Skills, and his first meeting with Danny Pink as an adult is absolutely cringeworthy.
- This is one of the Doctor's qualities that backfire on him in the episode "Midnight". The Tenth Doctor is characteristically flippant about assuming authority over the humans in his company, responding to the comment "Oh, like you're so special" with "As it happens, yes I am," and even after belatedly realizing that they aren't feeling it and trying to backtrack, he loses patience and snaps that he just knows what to do "because [he's] clever." This almost ends up being the death of him, as he becomes the focus of their Witch Hunt mentality.
- Honestly, every single incarnation of the Doctor apart from the Eighth falls into this during one story or another, even the relatively mellow Second and Fifth Doctors. And even the Eighth got into it in the audios and novels. It's less a matter of an incarnation's personality as a general trait of Time Lords. The Doctor is actually rather self-deprecating by his species' standards in many respects.
- Adric very much wanted to be one of these, but his sheer incompetence at pretty much anything outside of mathematics pretty much scuttled the character. As such, he frequently came across as being more "Insufferable" than "Genius", which went a long way towards cementing his status as Doctor Who's Scrappy.
- River Song. She appears to know as much as the Doctor due to being his "wife" in his future and acts suitably insufferable a fair share of the time, but isn't one to sit about with her mouth open when things get hairy.
- Romana I came across as this, sometimes, but mellowed a little later on. Romana II, while a genius, was more good-natured about it. Combined, the Doctor and Romana (and K9) were formidably brilliant, though not that insufferable (mostly).
- Of course, loads of villains fall into this category, given the number of evil scientists and geniuses the Doctor has faced, Luke Rattigan from "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky" being a shining example. The Doctor tends to have a lot of fun letting them ramble on about how intelligent they are, then simply shutting them up by easily proving how much smarter than them he is.
The Doctor: Terraforming, biospheres, nanotech steel construction. This is brilliant. Do you know, with equipment like this, you could — ooh, I don't know — move to another planet or something.
Luke Rattigan: If only that was possible.
The Doctor: If only that were possible. Conditional clause.
- Sikozu from Farscape doesn't use translator microbes. She just learns your language after you've been speaking it for 5 minutes.
- Ross in Friends tends to be right on many subjects and he always has to prove that he is right whenever someone says something grammatically incorrect or state a wrong fact. His friends naturally get annoyed by this. Of course, his genius wasn't the only insufferable thing about Ross...
- Rico of Hannah Montana skipped three grade levels, has an eidetic memory, can do complex equations in his head, and is a Jerkass who believes anyone less intelligent than he (read: everyone) is his to manipulate.
- And yet, he still didn't figure out that Miley Stewart was Hannah Montana. He is floored that he was fooled once Miley went public, which leads him to a near mental breakdown until Jackson snaps him out of it.
- There's also the fact that due to his aforementioned "Everyone is mine to manipulate" attitude he has no friends, many of whom are suing him.
- The title character of House manifests his arrogance in different ways (he prefers putting others down to puff himself up), but he justifies his attitude by always being one intuitive jump ahead of the rest of the staff. It makes it very difficult to train his staff, because he'd rather cut them off at the knees than let them draw their own conclusions. (House's worst nightmare, according to "No Reason", is his subordinates solving the cases before he can.) His behavior is appropriate given the connections between House and Holmes (see Literature section above).
- There was also an episode featuring a super-genius who couldn't deal with the pressure of the expectations everyone had in him, so he intentionally drugged himself into a permanent dumbness haze to be happy. Which is what put him in hospital. When the effect wears off, he more or less immediately becomes this. Notably, he rants that considering the IQ difference between him and his girlfriend, having sex with her might as well be bestiality.
- Souji Tendou from Kamen Rider Kabuto carries himself with a confidence that almost suggests that he sees himself as more than mortal. One can't exactly fault him for it, however, because in addition to being a master chef, he's as good as any given expert at pretty much anything he can be bothered to try. To the point where, in an episode where he was involved in a plan to rescue a little girl, he rejected the plan to put sleeping drugs in the guards' lunches and instead cook them meals so good they'd be too distracted to stop them. And it worked.
- Tsukasa Kadoya of Kamen Rider Decade is essentially Diet Tendou, sharing the attitude of knowing they're great at everything, but Tsukasa doesn't show off those elite skills as often as Tendou did. (Although it can easily be assumed that the only reason for that is that Decade was twenty-odd episodes shorter and Kabuto didn't have any world-hopping shenanigans to distract him.)
- Leverage: Hardison, Nate, and Sterling all tend in this direction, although all of them grow a little humbler as the series progresses. Chaos, Hardison's Evil Counterpart is a full-on example, respecting absolutely no one but himself, and not a few of the villains also fall into this category, especially Victor Dubenich.
- Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle, which overlaps with his petulance and selfishness. He even Lampshades it in a couple of episodes.
- Another episode examined it with Malcolm becoming infuriated with his family's and everyone else's comparatively low intelligence and meeting Leonard (Jason Alexander), a genius who spends all his time playing chess in the park, insulting his opponents and complaining about everything. His life is a complete mess as he could never tolerate being around anyone who doesn't share his skill and indulge his ego, blaming his poor life on everyone else. The episode ends with him leaving and Malcolm complaining about him in the same manner Leonard complained earlier.
- Oddly (or not-so-oddly) enough, this trope was strongly inverted in the earlier seasons, where Malcolm viewed his intelligence as something that made him a freak, and was extremely self-conscious about alienating his friends and family if he demonstrated it.
- Charles Emerson Winchester from Mash is one of the best-known examples — puffed up and pompous, but a skilled surgeon. While he does get cut down to size a bit from time to time, it is never in proportion to his ego.
- In one episode, after Winchester has deftly saved a patient's leg from being amputated, Colonel Potter says that Winchester has "A silo full of smug", but definitely knows which end of a scalpel is up.
- In another episode, Father Mulcahy is trying to come up with something nice to say about Winchester. He finally says "He's a VERY good doctor."
- Compare this with Hawkeye, Trapper and BJ, who use their mad surgical skills as a Weirdness Coupon rather than boasting about them, and contrast with Frank Burns, who is just as convinced of his ability despite having none.
- One of Monk's Catch Phrases is "unless I'm wrong, which I'm not," but otherwise he's not at all arrogant. Well, except when on medication.
- Even though Mr. Brain's quirky, yet brilliant neuroscientist Tsukumo Ryusuke usually solves the crimes long before anybody else, he is still considered insufferable by many of his superiors.
- Charlie Eppes of NUMB3RS is usually a quite nice genius. But every so often he becomes a wee bit irritating.
- Fellow professor and friend Larry Fleinhardt once called him "a talented theoretician with an ego problem."
- Austin James, from the short-lived '80s sci-fi mystery show Probe, is the smartest man on the planet. And he never lets you forget it. Ever.
- Jeffery on Project Runway is talented, but also snarky and condescending from the beginning until he wins.
- Shawn Spencer, from Psych, is an insufferable Jerkass, vastly disrespectful of everyone and everything, who makes his best friend do all non-detective work for him, brazenly lies to the police, and solves a homicide every week. It's gotten to the point where the real detectives know he'll probably solve the case, but try to keep him away anyhow because he's just that annoying. Though usually, Shawn is more childish than insufferable.
- John Sessions generally gets this reaction from the QI audience, who either love or hate him for knowing rather obscure answers and explaining them at length, usually in a way that isn't all that funny, or his equally long, very dry humorous asides. His buzzer in one episode was "Sir, sir, I know the answer!"
- Rory McGrath came off as this in his first appearance as well.
- Tesla is apparently always like this. Getting superpowers doesn't help.
- Then there's Adam Worth, who was an insufferable genius back in the day (to the point where the Five rejected him), before going batshit insane after his daughter died.
- Saturday Night Live: Dakota Fanning, as portrayed by Amy Poehler in the Dakota Fanning Show skits. A Running Gag was her belittling the lowbrow tastes of Reggie (Kenan Thompson), her house band leader.
Dakota: You could turn a microwave on and Reggie would watch it!
- Dr. Cox from Scrubs is so over-the-top narcissistic that he actually enjoys being called a genius, even if the person saying it obviously does not mean it. At one time, he was named the best doctor in the city by a local magazine, and forced everyone in the hospital to line up and answer his question of who the best doctor is with "You are!" For another extreme example, watch this. There was a Lampshade Hanging in one episode where people were comparing him to House and he went through the same summation that he usually does. Scrubs fans might note that their series predates House by three years, to wrongly imply that House is some sort of rip-off of Cox. Outrageous! At one point he reminds Elliot that he has a giant ego and to get his help, she'll have to flatter him.
- A visiting surgeon named Russell Vaughn in the episode "Our Dear Leaders" is also this. Having traveled the world and done many amazing things, Russell is a skilled surgeon and a cultured individual. He also comes off as a remarkable douche, constantly interjecting with stories of his travels and even condescendingly offering to let Turk, Sacred Hearts' Head of Surgery and a highly competent doctor in his own right, help out with a tricky surgery as 'a feather in [his] cap.'
- The title character of Sherlock; to be expected, perhaps, given the source material.
Sherlock: What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.
Sherlock: Look at you lot: you're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.
John: Why didn't I think of that?
Sherlock: Because you're an idiot. No, no, no, don't be like that; practically everyone is.
- In Smallville, Lex Luthor. Major Zod also likes to remind people that the Kryptonians' intelligence is highly evolved.
- Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager, being a former Borg drone, has definite Insufferable Genius tendencies. She does back up her superior attitude by saving the crew's collective ass a little more frequently than she almost destroys them all, which is more than can be said for a surprising number of her crew mates.
- Voyager also gave us the Doctor (not that one), who was programmed to be the ideal doctor, and knew it. His constant preening didn't stop him from becoming a much-loved character, though. In fact, it may even have helped.
- Like Seven of Nine, the Doctor had a great deal of knowledge but little social experience. It's hardly surprising they formed an Odd Friendship.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine gives us Dr Julian Bashir. In the early seasons, he's considered unbearably smug by many of his colleagues boasting about beating Vulcans in tennis matches, curing planetary plagues, and almost being valedictorian. This is usually done humorously and often ends with him learning to temper himself. As a result, thanks to Character Development, by middle seasons of the show, he's settled down and, while still retaining a brash flair, he's much more more tolerable to both his colleagues and the audience. Then, in season 5 it's revealed he was illegally genetically engineered as a child and has, in fact, been holding back his genius all this time. After that reveal, the writers once more make him an Insufferable Genius to Ludicrous Precision, Improbable Aiming Skills, Instant Expert, New Knowledge as the Plot Demands and all-round Marty Stu levels, and without any of the aesops or humour of the earlier seasons. Even the actor hated this development.
- DS9 also gave us, in a one-off example, Professor Gideon Seyetik, whose very first appearance involved talking very loudly about how awesome he was. Later, he turned out to be rather self-aware about his ego complex, and eventually sacrificed himself to preserve his wife's health.
Seyetik: A great terraformer has the green thumb of a gardener, the eye of a painter, and the soul of a poet. And of course it doesn't hurt to be a raging egomaniac!
Kira: Which makes you eminently qualified.
Seyetik: Of course! (laughs)
- There's also Q, who in addition to being godlike has an IQ in the quadruple digit range. At the start of the series, he's also beyond insufferable, planning on wiping out "less advanced" species and examining humans like they're simple toys. He gets less insufferable in later appearances, partly from time with Captain Picard and partly from his species (who are apparently not appreciative of his behavior) briefly stripping him of his powers.
- In fairness, he's hardly the only member of his species to suffer from this... witness this exchange from Star Trek: Voyager's "The Q And The Grey":
B'Elanna Torres: You know, I have really had it with this superiority complex of yours.
Female Q: It's not a complex, dear; it's a fact.
- When he was introduced on Stargate SG-1, Rodney McKay — prickly, whiny, and arrogant — continually got shown that he was not always right. In Stargate Atlantis, he doesn't have to worry about being upstaged since Carter, the one person possibly smarter than him, is at least two galaxies over, so his brains, and considerable courage under pressure, have been critical in saving the day so many times that his friends and the rest of the Atlantis team is willing to accommodate him. And, of course, he's always willing to brag about how he is the smartest guy in the world at the drop of a hat. In one scene, his password consisted of three birth dates: Newton's, Einstein's and his, upon which Sheppard mused, "Never underestimate that man's ego."
Maj. Lorne: Wow. You really must be some kind of genius.
McKay: Well, as a matter of fact I— eh, wait. Why would you say that right now?
Maj. Lorne: Something has to have kept Col. Sheppard from shooting you all this time.
- Then there's this jewel from "Brain Storm":
McKay: Hey, I'm Dr. Rodney McKay, all right? Difficult takes a few seconds; impossible, a few minutes.
- Even Daniel Jackson could be considered that, at least in his own field. This is lampshaded by Colonel Martin Edwards in "Enemy Mine", after Daniel peacefully resolves the situation with a bunch of angry Unas.
Martin Edwards: O'Neill was right about you. You are a pain in the ass… But well worth it.
- Stargate Universe has its own example with Dr. Rush, although his insufferability is played much less for comedy than with McKay, and more to show that he's batshit nuts. For example, he's responsible for stranding the series' characters on the other side of the universe in the first place. (Ironically, now that they're there, he's the guy most able to help them with the Lost Technology they found there.)
- Interestingly, Rush does admit at one point that, in some respects, Eli is smarter than him, although he immediately asks that Col. Young keep this to himself.
- Professor Karl Friedrich Boerne, the pathologist in the Münster Tatort is not only the best there is at dissecting and analysing corpses, but also an expert on several other subjects, is fluent (though not accent-free) in English, French and Russian, has given piano recitals and performed as a stage magician, has won prizes playing golf and showjumping, and is an expert fencer. And he's always ready to let you know how good he is at everything...
- Sheldon Cooper of ''The Big Bang Theory’’, our cover boy for this page. The general template for the characters usually involves Sheldon being an Insufferable Genius and the other three main characters, themselves extremely intelligent but comparatively more normal, acting as his foils. Often played with, as there is also an element of Know-Nothing Know-It-All to his character at times; generally, Sheldon will be shown to excel, or at least demonstrate genuine intelligence, within his particular fields of interest and expertise, but will often completely flounder outside of these areas while still refusing to acknowledge that he could possibly be wrong at anything. He was apparently just as bad as a child, although this also ties in with Freudian Excuse, as it’s also suggested that he was heavily picked on and excluded because of his intelligence. There’s also elements of Rule of Funny or Depending on the Writer, since his intelligence also tends to vary depending on what will be most funny or convenient for the plot at any given moment. The following quote pretty much sums it up:
Sheldon: (to the others, regarding overcoming his fear of public speaking) I'm smarter than you and I haven't figured it out.
Penny: Yes, but you're not smarter than all of us put together.
Sheldon: I'm sorry, that is what I meant.
- You think Sheldon's bad? He can't stand his nemesis Wil Wheaton. Wil (the character) is this and a Smug Snake and a Manipulative Bastard.
- It should be noted although the most common example, Sheldon is by no means unique and ever single other member of the cast (baring Penny) has moments of this from time to time, they generally just get put down quicker.
- Garrett, the Sixth Ranger from The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg. He would tell anyone willing to listen of his supposedly great abilities (for example, the ability to calm animals by looking at them). But then, we learn he's actually able to do these things.
- Cody Martin of The Suite Life On Deck became one of these after he Took a Level in Jerkass.
- This is nicely averted with Neal and Mozzie on White Collar. They're both exceptionally brilliant, and they definitely know it, but they don't feel the need to point it out to everyone around them.
- David Hodges on CSI has shades of this. He is rather smart and loves to say it, and sometimes he does manage to do something that gets noticed.
- One thirteen year old caller to Frasier's show (played by Elijah Wood) calls about bullies picking on him for his smarts. After Frasier advises him that he'll get the last laugh later in life, the caller immediately turns into this, picking apart Frasier's advice and outright insulting him for it. Frasier then in turn takes a certain amount of vindictive glee in pointing out that the caller had now just announced to any his bullies who might have been listening exactly where he is.
- Alex Dunphy. Easily, she's a smug, arrogant kid who repeatedly antagonises both her siblings and even her parents, while acting smarter than everyone. She has no friends for a reason
- Her mother Claire qualifies as well. Though her IQ isn't shown, she is smug and arrogant, and a Sore Loser
- This was what Matt Striker becomes when he wrestles. As a commentator, he is much more tolerable, freely sharing his knowledge and breaking down things other people don't understand.
- Nemesis was voted PGWA's "2010 New Comer Of The Year" despite being an obnoxious braggart. Going into 2011, Tracy Taylor granted Nemesis a title shot and agreed defend her non PGWA belt too, to shut her up. Then Taylor found out Nemesis had been undergone a physical transformation for the sole purpose of beating her, smugly stating she knew Tracy Taylor better than she knew herself.
- Damien Sandow's feud with Sheamus on Monday Night Raw basically boiled down to Sandow flaunting his larger knowledge base and mocking Sheamus's lack of intellect till Sheamus kicked him.
- La Rosa Negra had this attitude on Caged Heat Radio, to the chagrin of Jorge Alonso.
"No worries I respect all opinions, I respect whatever peoples say. So pero, I show you, you's wrong!"
- Douglas of Cabin Pressure. When asked if there is anything he isn't "very good at", he admits: "There are things I haven't tried yet. I suppose it's possible I'm not very good at some of those. Theoretically."
- Eugene Meltsner of Adventures in Odyssey, though he softens a bit over time.
- Lancelot's "I Am" Song in Camelot brags about his prowess in battle and spiritual purity. Everyone at court finds him intolerable until the joust when he proceeds to do everything he says he can, up to and including bringing a man he (accidentally) killed back to life.
- Freddie Trumper of Chess is a jingoistic, misogynistic, certifiably-insane Jerkass, who nobody would give the time of day if he weren't every bit as good as he thinks he is at chess.
- Cyrano de Bergerac: Cyrano invokes this, because his great intellect is used to humiliate everyone who is not his friend. This is not so much to show he is a genius, but to show Viscount De Valvert that Cyrano is truly Insufferable:
Viscount De Valvert: A ballade?
Cyrano: Belike you know not what a ballade is.
Viscount De Valvert: But...
Cyrano: (reciting, as if repeating a lesson): Know then that the ballade
Three eight-versed couplets...
Viscount De Valvert: (stamping): Oh!
Cyrano: (still reciting): And an envoi
Of four lines...
- Genius: The Transgression: Many Lemurians, and a significant number of high-ranking Peers. Many of the Inspired come across this way to Muggles, thanks to Jabir.
- It doesn't help that the typical Genius won't even allow a Muggle to lay hands on one of their inventions or examine how it works. From the perspective of the normal person, this is the height of arrogance and condescension. From the Genius' perspective, it's justified paranoia and common sense, because their creations will almost always break (or worse) if touched by a normal human.
- The Unmada are particularly insufferable, as they're in permanent I Reject Your Reality mode, will simply not realize the facts are against them, and have the little quirk that reality nearby tends to be influenced into making them be right about their crazy/stupid ideas. Not a good recipe for a plentiful social life, that's for sure.
- Niv-Mizzet from Magic: The Gathering combines a phenomenal magical genius that with a titanically swollen ego. Of course, he's a dragon. If you were several thousand years older and several times more brilliant than everyone around you, you'd probably have a bit of an ego problem too.
- Leonardo de Montreal in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, who even gets XP for going off on speeches about how much smarter he is than everyone...but at the same time he's a master of Nightmare Science.
- Edwin Odesseiron from Baldur's Gate (both games). He spends most of the time calling everyone around him brainless monkeys - his 18 Intelligence, however, is the highest of any NPC you can pick up, and in addition he has a unique and non-removable magic item that further enhances his spellcasting. His arrogance (combined with his significantly lower Wisdom stat) gets him in trouble a few times, though it hardly prevents him from becoming a Draco in Leather Pants for the fandom, who seem really into it.
- That magic item? That was only included because they wanted him to be really really good at spellcasting, but the game code wouldn't let them apply the bonus directly to Edwin.
- The Riddler in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City: "And as you lie blubbering on the floor like an ignorant child, you'll know...that the Riddler is better than you!" To the point where even his own Mooks hate his guts.
- Patricia Tannis of Borderlands varies between this and complete and utter insanity.
- Special Agent Francis York Morgan in Deadly Premonition doesn't hesitate at all to point out that he's a much more experienced detective than anyone else in Greenvale, at least when the game first starts. He tones down the attitude a bit once he warms up to the rest of the town.
- Pritchard, your Voice with an Internet Connection in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. He's a hacker, and a good one, and he will never miss an opportunity to tell you so at great length with particular emphasis on how stupid you are in comparison. Adam is always willing to knock him down a peg by pointing out when he mispronounces a word, or when fixing a security hole Pritchard didn't know about.
- Devil Survivor has Naoya, the hero's cousin and a programming genius. Only twenty-four years old, yet capable of amazing programming feats, like converting handheld gaming systems into weapons able to summon demons and let humans fight toe-to-toe with them. He doesn't brag so much as treat his incomparable genius as proven fact; if the hero proves to have a canny mind, he acts as if it's just an offshoot of his brilliance. (If you play the hero as a ditz, however...)
- Mao, the main character of Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, is this in spades, always bragging about his 1.8 million EQ (That's right, EQ.) However, a combination of his ego and being Wrong Genre Savvy makes him prone to astonishingly bad decisions (no, actually, calling yourself a hero doesn't make you invincible) and easy to manipulate.
- Mr. House of Fallout: New Vegas doesn't bother to hide his condescension for...well, anybody and has clear disdain for the other factions out to rule New Vegas. He is, however, a genius of several stripes, who not only earned his fortune before he was thirty but was also responsible for preserving what remains of Vegas through the nuclear apocalypse.
- Shinra in Final Fantasy X-2 fits this as well, though when pushed about something he doesn't know he responds with "I'm just a kid."
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has Lute, a young mage who openly claims to be capable of memorising anything she reads, to the point of being able to quote sentences from specific pages and paragraphs of books.
- Also, arguably, Shinon from the 9th and 10th game. Textbook Jerkass and blatant racist. While he is not constantly reminding us that he is brilliant, he does boast about his skill with a bow in his first appearance and obviously has a pretty big ego. However, not only IS he really an incredible archer (not so much in the 9th game, but in Radiant Dawn, he's practically a Game Breaker) but also seems to be a very skilled person in general (exemplified by his ability to make one of, if not the best, bows in the game, and his epilogue even implies him to be an Instant Expert at pretty much anything he tries). He also seems to be a pretty sawy guy, both tactically (being one of the first to realize Daein's true intentions during their first ambush) and in general life-situations, as shown in his conversations with Gatrie. No wonder he looks down on many people around him.
- A blatant example is seen in the Gears of War series. Baird is the resident tech guy, shown to be well versed in many forms of academics beyond the expected technology (even having scholary interst in the Locust enemy). His jerkass behaviours, however, is the only thing keeping him from the promotion he feels he deserves.
- The Asura in Guild Wars are a whole race of Insufferable Geniuses, who are quite certain they are the only ones who can create the Magitek weapons that can save the world from the Destroyers. Fortunately for the world, they turn out to be right.
- Dr. Magnusson from Half-Life 2: Episode 2 also embodies this trope. He names a weapon after himself, and is painfully short with everyone. Even the Player, who has up until that point, been practically showered with praise from every NPC that isn't trying to kill them.
- The Vortigaunts have a great respect for him, so either they forgive him his quirks or are still a little too alien to notice them.
- In fairness, you did kinda blow up his casserole. Of course, if we had known Magnusson before that incident, cause and effect may have been reversed.
- In Halo, 343 Guilty Spark is the embodiment of this trope. He brags about his own intellect, actually has said intellect, and never stops telling you (and himself) so. He's also a backstabbing Jerkass.
- Polly Spark, the villain of JumpStart 3rd Grade. The whole plot of the game happens because she gets a 0 on a test for giving absurd answers to all the questions. Suffers from a bit of Villain Decay in later appearances. Then again, she's more of a brat than outright evil.
- Zetta, the "most badass overlord in the entire universe" of Makai Kingdom, actually is as powerful as his near constant boasting would suggest. Then we find out that he unknowingly had a bit of help in that department.
- Durandal and Tycho of Marathon. They are very smart, they know it, and they will make sure everyone else knows it as well.
Tycho: Don't sweat the details, little monkey. Leave the strategy to those of us with planet-sized brains.
- Mass Effect has Joker, the Normandy's helmsman. If you chat him up, he'll brag on endlessly about his skill. However, stick around for three games and he'll show you that he has skills to back up his talk and some to spare. There's a reason Alliance brass thought he was the guy to fly their latest over-engined prototype frigate.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 has both Squishy Wizard henchmen, Qara and, to a greater extent, Sand.
- Mask of the Betrayer follows up with Gannayev, who is very confident in his status as Rasheman's best, brightest and most beautiful spirit shaman, and will helpfully remind anyone of this fact should the opportunity arise. Trying to knock him down a peg only encourages him.
- Quake IV has Johann Strauss, Rhino Squad's technician. He constantly brags about his intelligence and his abilities (including being one of the few humans to fluently speak the language of the game's enemies, the Strogg), has a tendency to berate others for not being as intelligent as him, and is always complaining about being placed in immediate danger, as he believes himself to be highly important. Fortunately for the rest of the squad, he really is that good - amongst other things, his ability to hack into the Strogg systems to open otherwise unlockable doors is a necessity.
- Genius Weisheit from Radiata Stories with him constantly pestering the sentries to the City of Flowers to let him in and his general pretentious attitude towards people who don't share the same amount of knowledge he does.
- In Samurai Warriors, Mitsunari Ishida is portrayed as this, with quite a bit of Deadpan Snarker to go with his insufferableness as well (though it is said that he was like this in Real Life as well).
- Sengoku Basara has Mori Motonari, who never seems to get tired of telling people how futile their attempts to either foil or understand his plans are, or how worthless and idiotic they are compared to him. And, while his demeanour is usually cold, he can become rather smug when proved right (as he always is).
- Purge in Space Channel 5 Part 2 may brag about how he's a genius and amazes himself, but he really is smarter than the average villain in the series. He has a plan for everything, should you beat him here, he'll have a backup idea at the ready. That is, until the ending, when Ulala has him beat.
- And then he shows up at the end of the credits march. Cue Kaizo Trap.
- Leo in Super Monday Night Combat, a clone of Leonardo da Vinci. He's the smartest guy in the room and he knows it, constantly talking about his genius and his many incredible achievements while looking down on every other pro in competition.
Leo: I invented the hang glider while waiting for some pasta to boil; I think I can handle this.
- Jonas from The Nameless Mod, is this so much, that if you knock him out at PDX headquarters, King Kashue won't come downstairs and mop the floor with you like if you knocked anyone else out. If you kiss his ass however, he'll give you extra goodies for missions.
- * Tales of the Abyss look no further than Jade Curtis. This is also in addition to being a Stepford Smiler, Deadpan Snarker, and Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Game Master Minamimoto from The World Ends with You is, to paraphrase the man himself, an "asshole of petametric proportions," working a liberal dosage of mathematical vocabulary into everything he says. It's guys like this dude that make some folks hate math.
- But only in the game itself.
- We also have Joshua, who Neku decides isn't so bad to have around because he can decipher whatever the hell Minamimoto decides to send them for mission messages, only to correct himself five seconds later when his smug personality reappears and Neku remembers why he hates the kid.
- A great number of them abound in Touhou, or at least are depicted as such typically by the fandom. Patchouli Knowledge and Alice Margatroid are among them, as is (slightly less commonly) Satori Komeiji.
- Victor Niguel from Trauma Center is simultaneously a genius, a narcissist, and a misanthrope with little patience for anyone less intelligent than him. Which is just about everyone. And in the very, very few cases where he's wrong, he's the only one who beats himself up over it.
- Almost all battle quotes of Lezard Valeth from ''Valkyrie Profile take shots at how pathetic and unworthy his opponents are, or how much superior he is over them. Then again, this is the man who survived the end of the world to travel back in time, become a god, and screw history, all to grab the attention of his beloved Lenneth.
Lezard Valeth: I will not deny you tried, but crude efforts are no match for true ability.
- DoTA2 gives us Invoker. Absolutely loves being as condescending and arrogant in his dialogue and responses as possible, when he's not praising himself.
Invoker: What joy it is beholding me!
Invoker: You die as you lived: insipid and ignorant.
- Palom from Final Fantasy IV series is an overconfident and aggorant Black Mage whose attitude doesn't improve much even after his puberty as he becomes a jerkass mentor. Nevertheless he is still a genius in his field.
- Suspiria from Flipside. She's the youngest third-level mage in history and won't let anyone forget it. But her lack of practical experience paired with a consistent overestimation of her own power has led to tragedy and/or humiliation nearly every time she's tried to show "what she can really do." You'd think a "genius" would be better at learning from her mistakes.
- Marigold the unicorn from Phoebe And Her Unicorn gets insufferably smug from time to time. This is implied to be a shared trait among most unicorns.
- Sollux Captor in ''Homestuck can be a bit of an iin2ufferable geniiu2 when it comes to computers.
TA: iif you cant fiigure 2hiit out by fuckiing around you dont belong near computer2.
TA: kiind of liike wiith regii2tered 2ex offender2 and 2chool2.
TA: iif you move two a new town you have two go up two your neiighbor2 door and warn them about how 2tupiid you are.
TA: and giive them a chance two hiide all theiir iinnocent technology.
TA: and vandaliize your hou2e.
- Doc Scratch, crossing over with Smug Super. He is legitimately close to omniscience, but he loves reminding everyone of just how smart he is in comparison to them. He compares his machinations to playing a game of chess in which you provide your opponent with a list of all the moves you are going to make beforehand, and still win regardless. Which he proceeds to do. Everything up to the end of Act 5 happened exactly as he planned it.
- Occasionally, Tycho from Penny Arcade. The real Tycho paints himself this way, at least:
[My mother] was made to endure much as I transitioned from absolutely insufferable teenager to an adult who had found a way to get paid for being insufferable.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Galatea has a very high opinion of her intelligence. And she's right, too, she really is brilliant. But she's blind to how inexperienced and naive her extreme youth makes her.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Vaarsuvius is a brilliant spellcaster who has spent decades studying the craft and saved the team's bacon several times, and will never let them forget it. Although this eventually gets taken to the point of deconstruction, as it bites him/her in the ass big time.
- Most wizards from the Order universe are like this, comparing sorcerers to idiot savants and proclaiming that divine magic isn't real magic. In fact, Eugene Greenhilt's contempt towards Fighters ended up souring his relationship with both his father and his son and his mentor's arrogant mocking of Xykon ended with his skull caved in.
- And then there's Dr. Roykirk in 21st Century Fox, who is this combined with the trope Cats Are Mean.
- Tom from Echo Chamber shows shades of this.
- Cassidy Cain in Grandmaster of Theft. Among her friends, her insufferable qualities are kept to a minimum aside from teasing and general genius used to help others. However, against her enemies, she goes all out.
- Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation is widely viewed as one. He once wrote a sarcastic poem entitled "Where I Get My Ideas" in reaction to the countless times he'd been asked that at conventions. In reviews he sounds genuinely mournful at how idiotic everyone else is, and employs suicide threats as a running gag.
- Chuggaaconroy is a rather mild (and likely unintentional) version of this, in regards to how to properly raise a team of Pokemon and use them in battle, if his LP of Pokemon Emerald is anything to go by.
- Whateley Universe:
- Jobe Wilkins. In a school full of genius devisers and gadgeteers, plus the people smart enough to teach said inventors, he treats everyone else like they're a moron compared to him. He could be right.
- Ayla Goodkind (Phase) often comes across this way as well, especially regarding financial matters, with an extra icing of noblesse oblige. Turning 300 million into over a billion before the age of fifteen may have something to do with this. When he and Jobe collaborated, it took all Phase's massive self-control to keep from tearing the Crown Prince(ss) to pieces.
- In Noob, Bartémulius and Nostariat are the best alchemists of the Empire, remind it to players whenever they get the opportunity and are a walking incarnation of the Entitled Bastard video game Quest Giver archetype. However, the webseries and comic have shown that when they get the impression that a bad situation that is theatening to the Empire or the world can only be resolved by them, they're actually quite helpful and whatever they come up with usually works.
- Batman: The Animated Series: Deconstructed by Temple Fugate, a Schedule Fanatic with No Social Skills that is in the middle of a court hearing appeal about a $20 million dollar judgment against his company and is haggard and nervous. Fugate is aware that his personality plays against him, but not of what to do to change that.
- Tarantulas of Beast Wars, is rampantly treacherous... often to Megatron's face, but Megatron can't afford to dispose of him or even punish him too badly because he can't do without his scientific know-how.
- Though when Tarantulas eventually gets Megatron thrown into a vat of lava, Megs finally decides enough is enough.
- Though it's not the fact Tarantulas betrayed him yet again that Megatron was angry with, but that he failed. "I can suffer your treachery, Lieutenant, but not your INCOMPETENCE!"
- It is expected of Predacons to attempt to depose their leaders and take their place. A leader who allows himself to be betrayed doesn't deserve to be in charge.
- Azmuth of Ben 10: Alien Force and later Ultimate Alien is one of, if not the, smartest beings in the galaxy. And he is also an insufferable Jerkass usually appearing before Ben with an insult, or a statement regretting how the omnitrix wound up on him.
- On the plus side, his attitude helps keep Ben in check, reminding him of the responsibilities that come with the omnitrix. Most of the time.
- XANA from Code Lyoko might qualify, despite the fact that he is The Voiceless most of the time. In one episode, Jeremie cries out in despair at his inability to stop the villain's plan, yelling that "XANA is a perfect machine! I'm only human..."
- Which is interesting since Jeremie could be considered a Subversion of this trope much like Reid of Criminal Minds (see above), generally not being condescending on purpose unless he's playfully teasing one of his teammates (frequently Odd)
- Professor Algernon in Exo Squad. In his first appearance, we find him painting with a VR helmet on. When asked by his Neosapien colleague why he would paint something only he could see, the prof derisively states that only he could appreciate it. If there was any doubt that he deserved his planet-sized ego, it's put to rest near the end of the series when he puts the recently obliterated planet Mars back together again!
- "Phaeton's mistake was that he thought that the ultimate display of power was to destroy a planet!"
- Also from Exo Squad, the Neomegas seem to have this programmed into their DNA.
- "Modesty is a Terran weakness, like pity."
- Ogden Wernstrom from Futurama.
- Not as much later on, though, as he became slightly more humble, but not quite enough to break free of this trope. The best example of an Insufferable Genius on this show might be Cubert.
- Futurama also portrays Stephen Hawking as this: an arrogant womanizing genius...which is part of the joke, of course.
- Mentok the Mindtaker from Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
- Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes, to the point where she's often in better control than Lucius.
- One episode of Kim Possible had a classmate, Justine Flanner, act in a way towards Kim. It was only until the end when she and Kim started to get along.
- Looney Tunes: Wile E. Coyote acts as one in the shorts where he goes after Bugs Bunny. In theory, at least. In practice he's more of a Small Name, Big Ego.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Twilight Sparkle has some elements of this. In the pilot, she's forced to work alongside the other Mane Five because together they are the Elements of Harmony, but at first she was rather rude towards them and her prideful attitude is one of her flaws, since she is the student of Princess Celestia and Twilight views herself as the Only Sane Man.
- As the series moved on she became much more humble but still sometimes acts like this unintentionally thanks to her somewhat poor social skills. For example she flat out told Pinkie Pie that she couldn't handle babysitting on her own (and thoroughly insulted her), but was actually only trying to offer assistance rather than offend her.
- The Brain from Pinky and the Brain.
- Patrick becomes one of these on an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, where he becomes super smart and rejects Spongebob's childlike behavior, insults Squidward's clarinet playing, and calls Sandy an idiot. All of this is because Spongebob accidently replaced the top of Patrick's head with brain coral.
- Sandy was this in the early seasons. As the show progresses she became more of a Small Name, Big Ego rather than this trope.
- Krang of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 is a genius, and he knows it, (His IQ is in the 900s), but he's not above making Shredder's life difficult whenever he can get away with it. In one episode, he forces Shredder to wait for supplies being transported from Dimension X on a garbage barge which Shredder accurately guesses is to annoy him. Shredder makes it quite clear that he only puts up with Krang for his weapons.
- Baxter Stockman from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 borders on being and subverting this trope. It's also the reason he's been reduced to a brain and an eye.
- Tony Stark from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes starts out as a condescending jerk to everybody, friends and foes alike. He does have some moments of mellowing out, though. Such as when he realized an aggressive business decision he made led to rival Simon Williams joining the Masters of Evil and becoming Wonder Man.
- AJ from The Fairly Oddparents.
- Braniac 5 from the The Legion Of Superheroes occasionally shows signs of this trope, moreso in the second season. He mentions his twelfth level intelligence practically every episode. "You're good...but you don't have a twelth level intelligence." "A twelfth level intelligence has no need for improvisation, Bouncing Boy." Gaaaah.
- Homer Simpson of The Simpsons, after getting a crayon removed from his brain, experiences a dramatic surge in intelligence: his IQ skyrockets to 105, making him markedly more intelligent than everyone except Lisa. He quickly becomes resented and isolated due to this, eventually opting to have the crayon re-inserted.
- An IQ of 105 is around the average range of intelligence, though this trope applied to the more intelligent Homer Simpson only because most citizens of Springfield are portrayed as borderline idiots. Another variation of this trope is that Homer Simpson wasn't particularly arrogant or jerkish at all, he was simply vilified by his coworkers because he actually did his job and inspected the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant for its many infractions, which led to a massive number of employee layoffs and the Power Plant to be closed until it could be brought up to code.
- Lisa herself often qualifies to this as well. In "Bart vs Lisa vs The Third Grade", after seasons of complaining she's not being challenged in the second grade, when Lisa finds herself actually challenged by work, she prefers to go back down.
- Made worse by the fact that initially Lisa seemed most frustrated by how Bart was Completely Missing the Point of how shameful it is to drop down a grade - yet when he's allowed to go back up, she chooses to go back down just so that she can be smarter than her classmates again. The show jokes about 'Status Quo' but it still makes her look like a terrible show-off.
- All the characters who make up the Mensa group of Springfield were this. Oddly, with the exception of perhaps Comic Book Guy, this was a break away from their usual characterizations.
- Sunstreaker of Transformers. He's got mad skills, is very intelligent, routinely beats up Decepticons twice as strong as he is, and at the end of the fight will be more worried about his paint job than his comrades' status—some treatments of the character even hint that he's a Sociopathic Hero.
- And then there's Sky Lynx, a skilled and powerful troop carrier/dino-bird/lynx/griffin who holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His massive size is dwarfed by his even more massive ego.
Sky Lynx: Before you do anything, think, 'Is this what Sky Lynx would do in my position?', and you will not go far wrong.
- The Penguins of Madagascar: Kowalski. Dear, sweet Newton's apple, Kowalski. He is ridiculously intelligent, constantly builds things, working inventions that no human has thought of yet (A shrink ray, an invisibility ray), but the level of arrogance he displays borders on narcissism.
- Owl from The Animals of Farthing Wood, she constantly uses phrases or quotes famous philosophers but her 'wisdom' is nearly always unwanted or innappropriate for the situation, often resulting in the other animals telling her to simply shut up. Also, within the first season, she constantly believes that she would make the better leader rather than Fox or Badger despite both showing more competancy in the position than she ever exhibited.