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- The theme of Ben Folds song "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You":
...and you won't
that they're not sizing you up
They know your mom fucked you up
Or maybe let you watch too much TV
- There's a song called "I'm Awesome" by Spose. It's completely counterpoint to the title because the guy is describing how much of a loser he is and yet still thinks he's the greatest human being alive.
- "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)" by The Offspring describes a classic example of this phenomenon.
- The lyrics to "O.M.G." by Jenna Rose give off this feel (the fact that she dons an "All About Me!" shirt around the 52-second mark in the music video does not help). Sample lyrics:
Just take a picture, babyLook at what I'm wearingJust take a picture, babyNo need for staring[...]Oh my god, she looks goodOh my god, you know you wish you couldOh my god, she looks goodOh my god, you know you wish you couldBut you can't be like this
- Blondie's "Rip Her To Shreds" describes someone like this, and, well, rips her to shreds.
- The protagonist of English novelty song "Don Alfonso" (released by Mike Oldfield on his second single) continuously boasts about his abilities as a toreador ("I kill bulls by the score/ And sometimes more"). In the end, when he faces a real bull onto the arena, he instantly chickens out and gets rammed into his, well, posterior.
- Carly Simon's You're So Vain, natch.
- Extreme's Kid Ego.
- The Earl of Ego from Medieval Madness.
"I am the Earl of Ego, and I am far superior to you."
- Phil Harris played this type on both The Jack Benny Program and his own program The Phil Harris Alice Faye Show. (Jack Benny himself, of course, displayed many of these traits as an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist.)
- Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve on Fibber McGee and Molly was a pompous gasbag, although once the character moved to his own spinoff show these tendencies were downplayed.
- Then there was Mrs. Uppington, a rich society matron who Fibber frequently traded barbs with.
- Denis King on Hello Cheeky, although subverted in that he was genuinely competent as a pianist. However, he gets the fewest acting parts and is the worst actor, yet keeps insisting that he's the real star of the show.
Denis: Doctor, I'm worried! I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't play the piano...Psychiatrist: Well, why don't you quit showbusiness?Denis: I can't, I'm a star!
- In one episode, he complains about the others picking on him, and goes to see a psychiatrist. His philosophy is more or less summed up in their dialogue:
- Parodied by San Francisco Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper who managed in 3,700+ at bats to hit a single home-run. He jokingly has milked this for all its worth to the point of it becoming a Running Gag among the fan base
- He had a single t-shirt printed up with Official Duane Kuiper Home Run T-shirt. A recreation of this shirt can be purchased from The City Graphics
- In 2014 The Giants had as a give away an Official Duane Kuiper Home Run Bobble head. Prior to the broadcast of the game a short faux tongue and cheek documentary aired about the event; complete with his grown children showing off all his memorabilia from that game and complaining about how often they have had to hear the story.
- Former Major League catcher (and current Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster) Bob Uecker is well-known for a long-running gag about how he should be in the Hall of Famenote Uecker has since been honored for his work as a broadcaster but his limited achievements on the field are still a subject of self-deprecating humor for him.
- A surprising number of player characters.
- Many GMs, especially novice ones, can also fall into this trap. Being in charge of the setting, from the NPCs to the weather, can give some people an overinflated sense of importance. They tend to forget that their job is to weave a tale that everyone can interact in and enjoy, not just to impress everyone with their cleverness. See Railroading for more details.
- Excessively Righteous Blossom in Exalted. Because awesomeness is required to be an Exalt, he actually isn't too bad — it's just that he thinks his most impressive gifts are in areas that he isn't actually any good at, while neglecting his very real skills.
- Another example would be the stunningly inept Lunar known as Ten Stripes, whose total lack of talent in social manipulation is matched only by her pride in the social manipulation skills she does not in fact have.
- The Tau Empire of Warhammer 40,000. They like to think they are a Superior Species with super-advanced technology and their "The Greater Good" ideology, and are incredibly confident in their manifest destiny to unite the stars under their banner. They're really dangerously overstating their race's potential; they became a space-faring race only relatively recently, their empire is relatively small and weak, they are utterly naive and completely unaware of the kind of Crapsack Galaxy they inhabit and what nightmares lurk in it, and every encounter they have had with the galaxy's major players (the Imperium of Man, the Tyranids, the Orks, the Dark Eldar and the Necrons) mostly resulted in the Tau getting their asses kicked until another race intervened, or they manage to pull a win through sheer blind luck. The fandom generally views them as The Scrappy for this reason. For context's sake, every time the tau lose a world, it is a big deal, and their major expansions essentially consist of them taking over a dozen or so worlds. The Imperium, by contrast, as the second youngest species in the galaxy, has controlled and held on to a million planet empire for ten thousand years, with all of the internal strife the Tau are only just beginning to experience.
- Commander Farsight and his followers defected from the Empire more or less because they realized just how utterly screwed the Tau are barring severe changes to the status quo and that their leaders were aware of all of this and hid it from the general public for the sake of preserving "The Greater Good".
- Dr Owl of the Midnight Circus. Given that he's a mage and a member of the Electrodyne Engineersnote , ludicrous self-confidence is kind of expected, but Owl takes it all the way into borderline solipsism: he's actually convinced himself that he's in charge of the Circus, and that circusfolk like Cavendish the Ringmaster, Calabris the Magician and Astarte the Autumn Queen are just around to pad out the Circus lineup with "childish illusions" and "quaint folk shows." In reality, Owl is just a member of the Circus' Third Circlenote , little more than a jailer to the many supernatural creatures Cavendish has abducted, and has no idea of the Circus' true purpose or who it truly serves. Owl's arrogance is so predictable that Cavendish is fully prepared to use him as a scapegoat if the players start sniffing around, knowing full well that Owl will readily agree with any accusations of being the true power behind the Circus - giving Cavendish enough time to rig the inevitable battle in his favour.
- Pozzo in Waiting for Godot expects Vladimir and Estragon to be terrified by the mere mention of his name. They've never even heard of him.
- While Strong Bad from Homestar Runner is actually one of the more rational and intelligent ones in the cast, this doesn't say much - he falls squarely into this trope. He is convinced he is cool, handsome and painfully seductive, although his actual track record makes it fairly clear he is somewhat chubby and not very attractive.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has Hank Ishtar, who thinks he is "the finest human being in the world".
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged takes Vegeta's own ego and shoots it to new heights. A good point of that is when Piccolo and Imperfect Cell faces off against each other and The Stinger has a shocked Vegeta, sensing their power, going "Is that the Namekian? Is that me? Is that me stronger than me?! I'll f#$%ing kill me!"
- Notably, when Piccolo fuses with Kami (aka God), Vegeta's confused because "I'm still here". And when Cell remarks that he's only semi-perfect, Vegeta responds, "How can you be semi-perfect? Either you're perfect or you're not me. There is no grey area."