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Small Name, Big Ego
The Streetest Fighter... in his head.

Rhomann Dey: Peter Jason Quill. Hes also known as "Star-Lord."
Denarian Saal: Who calls him that?
Rhomann Dey: Himself, mostly.

A character with a comically over-inflated image of himself. He thinks he's smarter than everyone else, thinks he's a real lady's man, thinks he's cool, it's all about him, but both his fellow characters and the audience know that this coolness is all in his mind.

This is a slightly different phenomenon from shows (like Seinfeld) where essentially all the characters are like this and there are no "good" characters with which to contrast them.

Often occurs in conjunction with a Show Within a Show. If the TV Series runs long enough, the writers usually devote one episode to a Big Ego, Hidden Depths examination of the character.

Expect this guy to be a victim of Pride. Said characters often insult or look down on those who have far more to be proud of and who generally flaunt it less. When they are faced with such characters, whether in a competition or in a comparison of abilities, it tends to be humiliating, and might even be a much needed reality check. Also, don't expect these characters to handle criticism (either of them or of the abilities that they're egotistical about) very well.

If (s)he is the main character on a show, we're dealing with a species of Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. If the writers, not the character (though he can fit this trope, underscoring his unpopularity) think the character is amazing, we have the Creator's Pet.

If the character is a nerd and unaware of it, he's an Extraverted Nerd. If he makes a big deal of how heroic and badass he is, but runs at the first sign of real danger, he's a Miles Gloriosus. If he claims to be a genius, but is incredibly dim or just misinformed, he's the Know-Nothing Know-It-All. If he thinks he's a brilliant artist but is actually dire, he's Giftedly Bad. If he claims to kick ass only to get his own ass constantly kicked, he's a Boisterous Weakling. Contrast Insufferable Genius (where he actually has the skill to back himself up) or Almighty Janitor. Many a Narcissist and Pointy-Haired Boss is afflicted with this condition. Every Year They Fizzle Out and Fake Ultimate Hero, meanwhile, are when everyone else are the ones with a high opinion about the person in question. Often a Large Ham. In more serious works, he will often be the victim of Break the Haughty. The Smug Snake could be considered a villainous variation. Might be a Paper Tiger.

Contrast with the Jaded Washout, who knows only too well how pathetic he is. Not to be confused with the other kind of ego.


Example subpages


The Prima DonnaEgo TropesSmug Snake
Prince Charming WannabeThe Wannabe IndexSocial Climber
Old MasterGender Dynamics IndexBling of War
Small Annoying CreatureCharacters as DeviceSmug Snake
Childhood Friend RomanceOverdosed TropesNigh-Invulnerability
Miles GloriosusPaper Tiger    
Rightly Self-RighteousPrideful TropesSocial Climber
SlimeballCharacter Flaw IndexSmug Super
Slipping a MickeyAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Smug Snake
Street FighterImageSource/Comic BooksStrontium Dog
The Good, the Bad and the UglyWebVideo/University Ever AfterTempting Fate

alternative title(s): The Ted Baxter; Ted Baxter; Legend In His Own Mind
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