"If I was in Superman's place, I'd be totally lording my powers over all the other Super Friends. 'Hey Batman,' I'd say, 'Nice utility belt! Got anything in there that would help you lift an oil tanker? I didn't think so. Hey Aquaman! You realize I could pretty much kick ass over any sea creature you cared to summon, don't you? Wonder Woman! Your magic lasso makes me tell the truth: You suck!'"
Normally, Superheroesare modest, and failing that at least they're rarely vain. But then again, if you had superpowers, wouldn't you be the tiniest bit tempted to lord it over the foiled bad guys? Well, the Smug Super thinks so, and in fact he'll tell you about it. At greatlength. In fact, he won't shut up about it!
The Smug Super is a super hero or villain who knows they've won the Super Power Lottery and won't hesitate to remind others, especially if they're beneath him on the Super Weight scale. This character is similar to the Smug Snake, though rather than be manipulative and sneaky, he's very up front about his opinion of himself and is an active fighter who is at least on an equal footing with the rest of the cast. Also, unlike the Smug Snake, he can be very enjoyable to see in action for the One Liners they deliver. Likewise, he might fall over the edge into camp.
In combat, he's likely to hold back, taunt his opponents, and Trash Talk with the best of them. Though he might occasionally suffer setbacks due to his Pride and underestimating opponents. Especially if they're mere mortals.
This trope can also form a mild version of Beware the Superman or the Superheroic equivalent of the Jerk Jock — in this case, whilst the Super might not actually be malevolent and will still do the right thing, they're still a bit of a bullying, arrogant Jerkass. In more cynical universes, the Smug Super may consider himself — and may even be widely considered — to be The Cape; they very much aren't, however.
Many versions of this trope can be found on Anti-Hero. May be (in fact, quite often is) a target of Break the Haughty, and is generally a "stronger" Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. A God Am I is an even more extreme version. Compare with Small Name, Big Ego, who thinks he's this trope. May overlap with Super Loser when the arrogance is undeserved... either by not having much power, not knowing how to use it well or not having an ounce of charisma. A Smug Snake is similar, but relies more on brains than actual brute force like a Smug Super. Nonetheless, they are as arrogant as the latter. Contrast the Boisterous Weakling, who likes to bark but doesn't have much to bite. Also contrast with Pro-Human Transhuman, who despite their powers, isn't a prick to normal humans.
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Anime and Manga
Dragon Ball Z has many. Vegeta and Gotenks, for example. Vegetto, a fusion of Vegeta and Goku, is said to have Vegeta's ego, but with Goku's power to back it up. He's smug, and it shows, but he has a damn good claim to being as strong as he thinks he is.
In particular are Logia types — though it should be noted those who embody this trope tend to be the weaker ones, or at least less world-weary, making it somewhat of a Deconstruction. Smoker, Crocodile, and the Admirals, some of the most powerful Logia types in the series, are under no delusions that they are invincible. Enel considered himself a god, and he was able to back it up (at least until he met Luffy), but he had never been to the blue seas so he at least had an excuse. The rest however serve as the Deconstruction — they rely on their Nigh-Invulnerability so much that once they get to the New World, they're easily curb-stomped and get massive blows to their egos and/or killed.
Evangeline of Mahou Sensei Negima! damn well knows that she's one of the most powerful and infamous mages in the setting and doesn't let those around her forget it.
Don't forget Nagi, quite possibly literally the most powerful creature in existence, and definitely knows it. He once told his son "I can understand your feelings of admiration for this young, accomplished, yet super cool genius and undefeatable father who was also a hero..."
Naruto has the resurrected Madara Uchiha, who can't seem to shut up about how badass he and Hashirama are.
Saint Seiya is all over this trope like bishonen on albino. Every. Single. Enemy the Bronzies face will spend about half the fight lording it over them about how, though it's "admirable you made it this far", they're doomed to fail because they are the most powerful enemy they will ever face. The Silver Saints and later Spectres had a special narcissistic knack for it.
Phoenix Ikki does this sometimes too, despite being a hero. By being the strongest Bronze Saint in history he does sometimes beat his opponents with ease.
Black*Star from Soul Eater. Is utterly convinced of his own power in spite of initial evidence to the contrary. Finding a goal for himself did not change this one bit. However, he's more inclined to get involved with other people's problems - with the intention of helping them - because he sees it as part of his status as a god-like warrior. In contrast, Death the Kid is matter-of-fact about being a god but isn't at all arrogant about it.
EXCALIBUR!!!!note (ﺧ益ﺨ) His legend starts in the twelfth century and if he could ever shut up about how awesome he is or any number of other things he'd find someone who'd want to use him as a weapon, thus being essentially invincible.
Takamura from Hajime No Ippo is by far the best boxer in the series, his ability bordering on superhuman at some points, and he absolutely knows it. It's no surprise he's a massive Jerkass. And he's a main character.
Agon from Eyeshield 21 is the described as Japan's most talented athlete in a century and knows it. The epitome of a jerk jock, it's to the point that he can't stand those who aren't talented.
It's arguable, but one could claim that Major Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist is this. He doesn't go around lording his powers over everybody, exactly, but half of his dialogue is him going on about how great he is. It's still very funny, though.
Sabertooth as a whole is this in Fairy Tail. Having been the number one guild for years they act like they're the best thing since sliced bread. While, as a guild, they do outrank other guilds, as individuals they aren't the top dogs in the tournament, which makes it satisfying when they happen to face off against one of the stronger members.
Earlier, Fairy Tail's rival guild Phantom Lord was believed to be pair on Fairy Tail. Because Master Jose, Gajeel and other members thought their guild could destroy Fairy Tail, they started a guild war. After destroying their guild house, Phantom Lord got it back by Fairy Tail and eventually got disbanded.
The dark guild Grimoire Heart is very proud of being the strongest dark guild and being the superior race. However, their status of the strongest dark guild is doubt after the introduction of the third dark guild of the Balam Alliance, Tartaros, a guild full of demons from the Book of Zeref.
Femto from Berserk, who is actually Griffith reborn only much more openly evil. Not only does he show no remorse for what he did to Guts during the Eclipse, but each time he is seen speaking in his alter ego form he is snide, egotistical, haughty, and just downright mean, taunting Guts at every chance he can get about how much more powerful he is compared to his mortal former friend and comrade. This is even shown during the actual Eclipse, though non verbally, as Femto smugly smiled at Guts as he raped his lover Casca right in front of him, thwarting every attempt Guts made to save her. Makes sense since the rape was used to profess Griffith's power over Guts and Casca.
In Attack on Titan, Oluo is very proud of the skills of the Special Operations Squad. Oluo is the man with the highest solo Titan body count of the commando (after Levi). His teammates are annoyed by his behavior, but he claims that he boasts for everyone of the commando.
To specify the solo body count: Oluo killed 39, Eld killed 14, Petra killed 10 and Günther killed 7. However, the others killed most of the Titans with teamwork, and their individual total body counts are almost as high or even higher than Oluo's total body count. Petra has 52, Oluo has 48, Günther has 47, and Eld has 46.
Luo Hao of Campione! knows exactly how powerful she is and sees nothing wrong in reminding anyone she encounters about it. She even demands the same deference as emperors in the past, such as gouging out one's eyes after looking at her.
InuYasha: Sesshomaru is so confident in his own strength and powers that, unlike nearly every other youkai in the series, he doesn't even bother hunting down the shards of the Shikon Jewel. The same goes for Menomaru, the Big Bad of the first movie.
Most of the other heroes in Empowered are of this nature. Unfortunately for the titular heroine, who is their frequent target, they're also just overgrown and overpowered high schoolbullies for the most part as well.
And most of the villains tend to be even bigger jackasses about how great they (think they) are... Which makes it really satisfying to see them get shut down.
Thugboy went on a pretty impressive rant about this type of super.
Every superhero in The Boys by Garth Ennis. Actually, if being smug is the only thing they do to you, you're really lucky.
Guy still has his ego in spades, but he can back it up. He's about the best you can get when you've got a smug super on your hands nowadays.
Hal Jordan has his moments too. In the new Justice League comic, most of his dialogue is boasting about how awesome he is while at the same time making jabs at how useless Batman and Aquaman are in comparison. Needless to say, his over-confidence tends to get him into trouble while Batman and Aquaman, despite lacking his level of power, tend to get a handle on things more effectively.
In "Johnny Saturn"the Utopian is so smug that his feet rarely touch the ground, and he speaks with an arrogant tone.
Believe it or not, Superman had quite a few moments like this in The Golden Age of Comic Books, using a LOT less restraint against criminals, and generally lording it over the Muggles, as in the very first issue where he broke into the governor's mansion to stop an execution...
This attitude returns in the New 52's Action Comics, where he freely taunts the military agents and SCU officers who are dumb enough to try and stop him.
Happened to Batman when Superman's powers get transfered to him. Superman eventually takes his powers back because Batman was acting like a total dick and bullying the villains after they had already surrendered.
King Chimera of the Justice Society of America was such an arrogant jerk about his illusion powers that when it was revealed that there was a traitor in the Society's midst, everyone immediately assumed it was him, and he simply attempted to use his powers to walk away rather than deign to cooperate with his teammates to clear his name, even though he was innocent. He actually is almost as good as he thinks he is, but he's gotten badly injured more than once because he tends to ignore the fact that the most realistic illusion in the world can't make the human body any less fragile.
Amadeus Cho of The Incredible Hercules rarely tires of informing everyone within earshot just how smart he is. When your superpower is the ability to do math really well, you need a bit of chutzpah to go into battle against literal gods and monsters. It helps that he does math really well.
Spider-Man arguably deconstructed this trope in his very first appearance. When he obtains his powers, the bullied Peter Parker thinks about how much better they make him than other people, how he'll be able to make money with them and rub his success in his tormenters' faces. He refuses to stop a burglar because he considers it beneath him...and then his entire world is shattered when that same burglar murders his surrogate father.
Spidey further subverts it with his insults and quips. He smugly mocks his enemies and lets them know how much they suck compared to him. In most cases this is less arrogance and a way to throw them off their game so they're easier to beat. Even then, Depending on the Writer he still shows considerable actual cockiness against weaker foes and allies.
His short-lived new "sidekick", Alpha, played this so straight it hurt.
A couple have turned up in short Judge Dredd stories, notably Fairly Hyperman, a transparent Supermanclone who announced he was going to take over fighting crime in Mega-City One, with the judges reduced to traffic duty and street cleaning.
Alfie O'Meagan from Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja constantly alternates between casting himself as a selfless savior of humanity and gloating about being the most powerful person on Earth.
"There is a purpose behind my ability to increase my own powers! My potential is limitless! You can't possible conceive of the wonders I have in store for the world! Lucky that I am a pool of endless compassion!"
A number of the heroes in Irredeemable fit this blend. Qubit is an Insufferable Genius who has little trouble reminding people he's the smartest guy in any room. When The Plutonian was still a hero, he played up some false modesty, but after he turned evil he promptly dropped it and had no qualms rubbing his power into everyone's faces. But the best example from the comic is The Survivor, who's entirely too pleased with himself about his abilities and uses his power to do whatever he feels like after getting it.
The existence of Smug Supers is something that Irredeemable examines in detail. At one point the heroes discover a man with super-powers on par with The Survivor, but decides to never use them and instead became a humble monk out of fear of what such power could do to him.
Quicksilver from Marvel is even smug towards other supers. It doesn't help that his Super Speed powers affect his mental acuity as well, allowing him enhanced mental capacity.
The Marvel version of Zeus sometimes goes into this territory as well when in combat. One memorable moment involved the "Assault on New Olympus" storyline in The Incredible Hercules, when he and Quicksilver (above) bond over just how pathetic they find their opposition.
Captain Amazing from Mystery Men would have been an annoying White-Dwarf Starlet even if he hadn't deliberately sprung the villain from prison in order to help his own career.
Metro Man from Megamind looks like he could be this behind his smiles and celebrity. However, the trailer notwithstanding, he turns out not to be such a bad guy, even if he wants to step down from his responsibility to protect people and focus on being a musician.
Magneto: [to Pyro] "You are a god among insects. Never let anyone tell you different."
Tony Stark can't resist telling the world that he's Iron Man at the end of the first film. In the sequel, he brags that he's "successfully privatized world peace" and tells Senator Stern - who clearly isn't a fan of his - that he's "welcome" for the "big favor". Far from being a humble hero, he accepts the verdict of SHIELD, which is that he "displays textbook narcissism".
John Hancock in Hancock is, as many people in the movie put it, "an asshole". His hobbies include: drinking, taunting bad guys (including a 10 year old bully) by throwing them in the air and barely catching them, drinking, causing more damage to the town than the bad guys ever do, drinking, and generally just doing whatever he wants without giving a shit. He manages to piss off almost all of the town at one point, and when they threaten to arrest him for all the crap he's done, his response is "Bitches can try". Anyone who taunts him can expect to have their head shoved up another man's ass.
The Inspector from Animorphs is a Fragile Speedster alien who can literally run circles around the heroes and boasts often of it. Turns out he's not faster than a cobra.
CoreFire from Soon I Will Be Invincible. Though it's implied that he doesn't do this quite to the extent that Dr Impossible makes it out to be. Also, one of the two superheroes who interrogate Dr. Impossible in jail. He learns to regret it.
In the Dresden Files, Harry occasionally indulges in this. Murph takes him to task for it. Happens a bit more with Lasciel in his head, especially at the beginning.
Voldemort from the Harry Potter series counts. He's a megalomaniac who glories in his own power, ignores any magic he considers "worthless", and considers himself to be far more clever than he really is, to the point that all of his failures are written off as Surrounded by Idiots. This proves to be his undoing in the end as he refuses to even entertain the idea that Harry might know something about the Elder Wand that he doesn't.
James Potter had shades of this; though everyone at Hogwarts had powers, he was top tier and loved to show off.
Mediochre from the Mediochre Q Seth Series combines this with Insufferable Genius: He has the power to calculate probabilities perfectly, giving him an automatic tactical advantage over pretty-much everyone else in the world, and damn is he pleased with himself for it. In addition, he also has an impressive Healing Factor which is first introduced to the reader in one of his smuggest lines, after a pyromancer tries (and fails) to do any lasting damage to him.
Mediochre: Yes, when it comes to freaky powers, I do beat you hands down.
Excelsior from No Heroics has every cool superpower you care to name, always saves the day and the public loves him. He is also an enormous dick and takes every opportunity to bully Alex, mocking his powers and referring to him as "Hotpants", "Hotpocket" and "The Gayness".
Doctor Who: The Doctor. His dismissal and disdain for any individual or civilization he decides is beneath him is legendary and one of the only constant facets of his personality (though it is decreased when the writers want him to be more sympathetic), and he ensures that everyone from allies to villains to background characters are aware of how massively inferior they are compared to his big sexy brain. The Tenth Doctor was especially fond of this, frequently attempting to cut off arguments by glibly stating, "I'm clever."
This is more the case in the revival series under Russell T. Davies. The classic series Doctors had their moments but were considerably less flippantly arrogant than 9 and 10.
This tendency has been used against him on multiple occasions, especially in the episode Midnight where the humans all turn against him because of his glib smugness, and in Tooth and Claw, where Torchwood was created because Queen Victoria thought he and Rose were too smug and having a bit too much fun when everybody's life was in peril. In The Waters of Mars this tendency was taken up to scary levels during his Time Lord Victorious speech, where without realizing it he actually starts paraphrasing the Master. He has nothing on the rest of his race though.
And of course that's when he's not busy telling every human he meets how magnificent they are and calling all his companions and everyone he meets who makes a passing effort to think before they act "brilliant." Which isn't even to say that the original point is wrong, just that the Doctor is ... complex. Whether you see him as a blowhard who treats humans like children or a guy who makes no apologies for the fact that he legitimately IS the smartest guy in the room while truly appreciating what everyone else has to offer is up to you.
The Tick: The episode “The Big Leagues” has a "League of Superheroes" made up entirely of smug, misogynistic supers. In fact, almost every super throughout the show is a smug jerk, excepting the 4 main characters.
Power Rangers Jungle Fury's Grizzaka is a villainous example of a Smug Super. He's so arrogant about his immense power that he likes lording on to others about his belief that no one can possibly be stronger than him or that he will never be defeated.
Grizzaka: That was nothing! I won't let it happen again! I'm the strongest fighter there will ever be! (grows to giant size) Grizzaka: It's your turn to learn the same lesson all my enemies have. There is no one as powerful as Grizzaka, and never will be!
Exalted have marked tendency towards this. Partly, this is because they know their place on the Super Weight Scale (the Top); partly, it's because of the Great Curse.
More than a few novas in Aberrant certainly fit the bill. There are novas who constantly brag about being unstoppable badasses in the media to novas with messiah like powers and amazing understanding of the universe who still think they're superior to normal humans and want to flaunt it a lot. While they're deservedly called on it a lot, they're also not exactly wrong; novas don't just have vastly superior potential for just about anything, they have truly godlike potential. They can also go horribly wrong, they can become physically twisted monsters, lose control of their energies to the point of being a danger to everyone and themselves, or go absolutely mad with incredibly crippling mental illnesses.
The Clans of BattleTech look down on everyone in the Inner Sphere as uncivilized barbarians. Hell, even the Trueborn warriors in the upper echelons look down upon the naturally conceived Freeborn in their own Clans. They also think very little of older warriors(past 30), and consider them nothing but cannon fodder.
Many of the Space Marine Chapters in Warhammer 40,000 are proud, arrogant jerks who view themselves as being above the normal humans they are sworn to protect. Those who don't think they should go out of their way to fight for inferior humans are usually Chaos Space Marines.
The most prominent of them are the Marines Malevolent, who view themselves as superior to all others, even other Space Marine chapters. They consider everyone else as Cannon Fodder and that one of them is worth a thousand normal humans.
In Werewolf the Apocalypse, the ancient Garou viewed humans as inferior creatures to be bullied, ruled over, and culled when their population grew too large. The Veil forces modern Garou to hide their identities from normal humans, but some still see humans as inferior and expendable.
To a greater extent, Miranda Lawson. She's quite smug about her status as a genetically enhanced Canon Sue as well as being The Dragon of Cerberus. While she does admit that she's not completely perfect, she still believes she's as close as you can get. Then deconstructed as she realises despite all her gifts, she'll never have what Shepard has, the determination to continue even with the world against them, and the drive to achieve every impossible task set before them.
They both pale in comparison to Harbinger, whose quotes consist entirely of Badass Boasts about how inferior the characters are, how their efforts are futile, and how superior Harbinger and his kind are.
Harbinger and his kind apparently inherited this trait from the Leviathans, the race that created the Catalyst. The Leviathans consider themselves the greatest species to ever exist in the entire universe. Being driven to the edge of extinction and forced into hiding in a deep dark ocean hasn't diminished their egos one bit.
Hakumen from BlazBlue is the leader of the Six Heroes, who saved the world from the Black Beast. This seems to have gone to his head a bit (or it could be that he's monstrously powerful, and is fully aware of it). He uses a derisive tone of voice when speaking to most other characters, and many of his in-battle lines seem dedicated to mocking his opponent's inadequacy.
Hakumen: A fight? No. This will be a massacre!
Hakumen: Give everything, and you might live a little longer!
Hakumen: What was that?! Don't tell me you call that fighting...!
Series Big Bad Hazama is a villainous example. Naturally, when he and Hakumen confront each other, it is a sight to behold.
Most of Sonic's taunting lately (at least in the games) is in the form of reminding Eggman how reliable his schemes tend to be (that is, not very reliable at all), which, while still very smug, is also completely valid.
Shadow is even worse - he likes lording it over the heroes as well as the villains, not just regarding his speed but every power he has. Telling people how inferior they are to him is practically his hobby.
Iris from RosenkreuzStilette definitely counts. She's very confident that she can't be compared to the likes of everyone else, calling them worhtless run-of-the-mill insects and lording over them about being one of the strongest Magi in existence.
Grolla also shows signs of this when she, as a boss, defeats Tia in the main game when Tia herself is on her last life.
Grolla: "...Pathetic." Grolla: "Is that all you've got?"
Also, in her own side-game, Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, when she fights the Cross Wall, she calls to it to show her its worst after it attempts to run her down and says that there's nothing her blade can't cut. Later, when she confronts the Count, who believes her to be a spy hired by the Church to kill his daughter Iris, she pities him for being deceived by his own flesh and blood, and in the Final Stage, when Iris finally reveals herself to be a reincarnation of Rosenkreuz and boasts her claims to be a child of God himself, Grolla doesn't care whether she's a god, a human, or even an insect since she's still willing to rip her apart just the same.
Devil May Cry's hero Dante is this, especially in 4 where he is said to have surpassed the power of his father Sparda. Halfway through the game, you will face him as a Perfect Play A.I. boss that will kick your ass often and give you a lesson or two, while holding back.
Minogame can come of as this in Hellsinker. If he get's the chance he will show of his massive power despite those power limiters.
Max in We Are Our Avatars really IS a powerful Necromancer and later a Greek god, as he assures everybody he meets. This feat just pales in comparison to all the Reality Warpers and other powerful beings around him. This does not stop him from thinking that he is still the hottest thing in the Multiverse, though.
Shao Kahn(in this game). Most of the time, anyway.
In How It Should Have Ended, Superman constantly lords his powers over everyone. Batman even calls him out on his twitter updates all being variations of "Just Saved the World", which the other heroes find arrogant.
Alucard:(while arguing with Integra): What are you going to do? Grab the guy who can stop me? What was his name... Michael McDoesn'tExist?
SCP-056 is an entity that transforms into a superior version of whatever it is exposed to. It knows it is essentially superior to everyone around it and delights in rubbing it in everyone's face, to the point where practically everyone it interacts with ends up hating it.
Darkwing Duck parodies this concept on the episode "Mutancy on the Bouncy". The various mutants that Gosalyn and the Rubber Chicken gather to fight the Big Bad act like this toward Darkwing, even though their powers are so utterly pathetic they make Heart look Bad Ass.
Kim Possible: Shego is better than you. Shego wants you to know that. Shego doesn't care if you are her boss, her brother, her coworker, her minion or her enemy's sidekick. Her nemesis, Kim Possible, on the other hand...
Her brother Mego is an example too. You can tell that he's full of himself because his name is MEgo, and he seems to think that being a Super Hero includes talking like a Large Ham all the time.
Buttercup even more so. While Blossom is at least rather tactical and rational-minded for the large part, Buttercup is an egotistical Leeroy Jenkins that sometimes escalates defeating a villain into borderline sadistic mugging. It helps she is actually the least powerful of the three girls in reality, having a crappy unique power and tending to fall first in a lot of situations due to her hasty temper.
Discord is well aware he's a near-omnipotentReality Warper and doesn't view anyone - including the two resident Physical Goddesses - as much of a threat to him because of that knowledge. This is his undoing, as it renders him incapable of realizing the heroes are a serious threat to him until it's too late.
Oh, he didn't forget. He learned that humans are weak and helpless because he was one, so he becomes an even smugger super.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) gives us another villainous example in the form of the Shredder, who is not only one of the most brutal fighters and most cruel villains in the show but also likes telling others how inferior they are to him and claiming that no one can defeat him. Definitely a Smug Super.
Syndrome seems to think that all superheroes are this. Therefore, if he can prove himself superior to supers using his inventions instead of actual powers, it gives him an excuse to be a bigger dick than they are.
The DVD set had in-world commentaries of different superheroes who were killed by Syndrome's evolving robots. One of them was Gamma Jack, who believed supers like the Incredible Family to be a superior race, and often preferred saving beautiful or attractive women before anyone else. Before being offed by Syndrome, he was also mentioned to have "tyrannical/megalomaniac tendencies", prompting close monitoring from the NSA.
Sonic the Hedgehog, in contrast with his games counterpart, is often this in the DiC cartoons, but most especially Sonic Sat Am. Incredibly narcisistic and overconfident, his tendancy to overestimate his abilities and undermine his teammates' advise tends to get him into problems that his more cautious Badass Normal ally Sally often has to bail him out of.
While not prone to this, the DCAU version of Superman once indulged in a little smugness when pretending to be Batman while working on a case to find the missing caped crusader. He even smiled as one of Batman's rogues tried to run away from him, and he used just a littleSuper Speed to stop him cold. Leaving the poor man dumbstruck. There's also a few times he covertly uses his super powers while being Clark Kent to make his life/job easier, usually smiling to himself as he does it.
He's also shown in a flashback to his high school years smugly pwning a normal student at basketball, and throwing him around in the process.