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Its All About Me / Live-Action TV

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  • 30 Rock: Tracy and Jenna. Liz has her moments of this too. And Jack. And... okay, everyone not named "Kenneth". The first two are the prime offenders, though, and it's frequently pointed out by other characters. Liz once reminded Jenna that she (Jenna) can't bear to be around babies because they get more attention that her.
  • Absolutely Fabulous: Edina essentially lives this trope. When she finds out that her daughter has written and produced a play, her immediate reaction is "Am I in it?" and when she finds out that she is, she immediately panics because it will portray her in a negative, i.e. accurate, light. Nor is this at all out of character for her.
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  • Ally McBeal: The title character. Actually treated sympathetically by the show; when asked why her problems are so much more important than everyone else's, she responds "because they're mine" while angsty music plays in the background.
  • Arrow:
    • Thea Queen once told her brother that what she went through the five years he was on a deserted island was every bit as bad as what he went through. She had to deal with the deaths of her brother and father and was neglected by her mother, but she was still a rich, pretty, popular girl who spent her days in a mansion being waited on hand and foot. Oliver, meanwhile, had to watch his father kill himself to save him, bury his decaying corpse, and then spent five years on the run from people trying to kill him.
    • Laurel. First Tommy dies because he had to rescue her from a collapsing building because she thought what she was doing was more important than anything else. She then becomes an alcoholic and drug addict to deal with his death, ignoring everyone else's grief over him. When her sister Sara comes Back from the Dead her response is to blame her for everything that's ever gone wrong, even though Sara has spent the last six years fighting for her life and going through horrors even Oliver doesn't want to think about.
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    • Felicity gradually becomes like this over the course of the third season, before hitting this attitude full-force in Season 4. When Oliver learns that he has a long-lost illegitimate son she accuses him of being untrustworthy (even though he just learned about it a day prior), only thinking of himself and not caring about what she feels, ignoring what he's going through over this knowledge, and breaks up with him over it. And she gets upset with him going behind her back, even though she was doing the same thing at the beginning of the season when she was still assisting Team Arrow without his knowledge. It was these events that lead to her turning from an Ensemble Dark Horse into The Scrappy.
  • At Last the 1948 Show: This was the main joke of "The Lovely" Aimi MacDonald, who instead of doing transitions between the sketches (her supposed role on the show) would talk about how lovely she was, try to raise money for the "Make Aimi MacDonald A Rich Woman Fund," and just generally try to draw all attention to herself.
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  • Barry: Barry's girlfriend and fellow actor Sally Reed is incredibly self-absorbed, causing her to constantly wallow in her own issues during situations where Barry's needs ought to be a priority.
  • Being Human: Mitchell gets regularly called out on this. He focuses on how miserable and guilty he feels and forgets all the people he killed and the suffering of their families. It's a vampire trait. If they stop drinking blood, their empathy comes back. Remembering all the evil you've done is one of the hardest things about staying clean.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Sheldon takes "the world revolves around me" as an axiom:
      Leonard: Sheldon, not everything is about you.
      Sheldon: [pause] I don't follow you.
      • When Stuart's comic book store suddenly gets an influx of business thanks to Neil Gaiman tweeting about it, Sheldon whines about how this affects him because he prefers the store empty of customers who are not him or his few friends. Stuart's need to earn a living to keep the store open doesn't even figure into it.
    • Leonard's mother is the same way. She sees no reason to take pride in Leonard's achievements since they're not her accomplishments. She also trapped her husband into a Sexless Marriage and couldn't understand why he would cheat on her.
  • The Big C: Rebecca has a rather selfish reaction to Cathy revealing that she has cancer:
    Rebecca: You will be my first real friend with cancer. I will be forever changed.
    Cathy: [dryly] Hopefully for the better.
  • Big Time Rush: James Diamond is essentially a male version of Trina. Gustavo can also be like this as well, considering how greatly he thinks about his music and never thinks he needs relaxing.
  • Blackadder: All incarnations of Edmund Blackadder share one trait, namely "...the belief, raised almost to the point of religiosity, that [their] hide is more valuable than anyone else's."
  • The Boys (2019): Starlight's mother suffers from an extreme case of this. It leads her to treat her daughter horribly.
  • Breaking Bad: Walter White. Originally having turned to cooking crystal meth to pay his hospital bills and provide some extra money for his family should he die, his motivations increasingly turn to serving his own ego and hunger for power. He even says this word-for-word in the Season 4 episode "Cornered," and it gets even worse in Season 5, where he flat-out admits that he's continuing to cook meth in order to build an empire. He even tells Jesse that "this business is all I have left," despite the fact that the reason he's lost most of what he had at that point was due to his desire to continue cooking. In the finale, Walt finally admits to Skyler that cooking meth was something he did for himself, and his family was always just an excuse. This marks probably one of the very few times the admission of this trope has been portrayed in a sympathetic light, as he is finally being honest with himself and his wife.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Gina Linetti has an unwavering conviction that she is the absolute center of the entire universe, that everything and everyone exists to benefit her in some way, and that everything that ever happens revolves around her. For example, when one of her co-workers is considering getting another job:
      Terry: I'm trying to do what's best for my family. It's not just about me.
      Gina: Exactly! It's about me, and how you're abandoning me to these squares!
    • Or when a pregnant woman is giving birth in front of her and she's in charge of summoning up a Happy Place:
      Gina: You're in a Channing Tatum movie. You're in a Channing Tatum movie...
      Sharon: I don't like Channing Tatum.
      Gina: I wasn't talking to you!
    • At one point, a perp wanted to talk to her because they went to high school together and he thought she'd get him a better deal. He bonds with Rosa over the fact that Gina didn't recognize him in the slightest.
      Perp: She didn't even know who I was. And we were good friends!
      Rosa: On more than one occasion, she's called me 'Gina'. That's her own name.
      Perp: [appalled] No she didn't.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • This is Cordelia's whole shtick until she starts getting Character Development in the second season, whether she's complaining about the trauma of hitting a cyclist with her car (and the cyclist wanting it to be all about their leg), shushing her companion as a motormouth for almost getting a word in edgewise, or (as above) realizing that the Monster of the Week is targeting her. (All this is even funnier when considering what happens to her on the spinoff.) Even as late as Buffy's third season, there are shades of this. When Buffy temporarily gains the ability to read minds, Cordelia's first thought, which she immediately says out loud, is, "I don't see what this has to do with me."
    • Xander falls into this at times. It overlaps with his issues taking blame for some things, like when he didn't want his friends feeling sympathy for Cordelia after he cheated on her. He also dismissed Buffy's need to leave Sunnydale to grieve having to kill Angel as "boy troubles", focusing on the worry she caused them instead of any real empathy.
    • Nobody else matters to Warren Mears but himself. Not Andrew, not Jonathan, not anybody.
    • This was a Running Gag with Glory, the self-involved Big Bad of Season 5. She literally had no interest in anything that didn't have to do with her getting home.
    • Dawn, even by the standards of a fifteen-year-old. Her sister is traumatized by dying, being snatched out of Heaven, and forced to dig her way out her own grave? Just one more person who wants to abandon Dawn.
    • Spike is as self-serving with the soul as he was without it, even asking Angel what's the point of doing good if they're just going to go to hell anyway. He does get a bit better after being tortured by Dana, because he finally gets that he can't exactly feel bad being mistaken for the guy who killed her family when he killed hundreds of families anyway.
  • The Carol Burnett Show and its spinoff, Mama's Family: Eunice Higgins always had to be the center of attention, partly due to being The Unfavorite in Mama's eyes. She even tried to upstage her own brother at his wedding. Ultimately, she moved to Florida the day before her son, Bubba, was supposed to be released from juvenile hall without telling him, and forcing him to live with Mama.
  • Choujin Sentai Jetman: Radiguet. He wants to take everything for himself, even from fellow elites. Or boss (be it Juza or Tranza, if it means an Enemy Mine with the Jetman, he'll do it to reclaim his superiority).
  • The Closer: This, along with being a Knight Templar, is one of Brenda Leigh Johnson's defining character traits: her investigation is more important than honesty (not only with potential suspects, but also her fellow cops), more important than other investigations, and more important than the law itself. And if you are not with her, then, by God, you are against her.
  • Community:
    • This is the usual attitude of the study group (e.g. thinking that a professor ignited a protest against them so that they could learn about different perspectives of history). It doesn't earn them any favors with the rest of the student body, who are tired of the group hogging the spotlight all the time. This operates as part of the series' tendency to Lean On The Fourth Wall about such matters; while in the real world they would (and to their fellow students they do) appear to be self-obsessed Attention Whores, ultimately they're the main characters of the series and to varying degrees are Genre Savvy about this — so the world they inhabit really is All About Them.
    • Of the study group, Jeff in particular has a problem with this; he actually is a self-obsessed narcissist convinced the entire universe exists for his benefit, and can get very touchy if someone or something suggests this isn't the case. Lampshaded and demonstrated in one episode:
      Abed: Unfortunately, the very thing that drove you to this dorm room is what will prevent you from properly running this machine, or even being a cog in it: your ego.
      Jeff: I see. I see. This has been about me the whole time. You want a shot at the Jeff Winger throne? You better bring a powerful ass. Oh, and for your information, I don't have an ego; my Facebook photo is a landscape.
  • Coupling: Jane. When we see her under "Captain Subtext" mode, all of her dialogue is translated as "Let's all talk about me! Me... Me... Me!"
  • Rebecca of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is this although to be fair, it's more due to serious mental problems. Still, she holds up herself as far more deserving of love and success as she is and paints herself the heroine everyone revolves around.
    • A telling moment is when Paula is upset over finding out her husband is cheating on her and Rebecca, assuming it's because of a fight they had, gives Paula reassurance she forgives her. Mrs. Hernandez, who hasn't said a word on screen for the entire series, rips into Rebecca for assuming this is about her.
      Rebecca: You... you talk?
      Mrs. Hernandez: I talk all the time. You're too busy staring at the Narcissus pond of your bewitching self to even notice.
    • To be fair to Rebecca, several of the other characters also have this attribute like Josh and Paula herself.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm:
    • A woman is seen by the doctor before Larry because she signed in first, even though her appointment was scheduled for after Larry's. The next time Larry goes, he is able to sign in before the same woman, but the woman is still seen first because the doctor changed his policy after Larry complained the last time he was there. Larry still complains, and the receptionist gets him to admit that he wants the world to work in his favor.
  • Dawson's Creek:
    • Dawson. He's so fixated on 'reflecting' life in his movies he fails to notice the real people. Hardly an episode goes by without him bringing someone else's problems back to him. Especially disgusting as while his parents adore him, Joey's mother is dead and her father is in prison, Jack and Andie's dad walked out on them, Jen's parents abandoned her and Pacey suffers horrible abuse from his whole family. Three guesses whose issues get the most attention.
    • The last example concerning Pacey is especially bad. Despite being 'best friends' their whole lives, Dawson completely misses the emotional degradation Pacey's father puts him through and dismisses it as 'kidding around'. In contrast Jack takes one day to figure out the situation and sympathize with Pacey. Seriously, where was Dawson's head for the last sixteen years?
    • It's addressed as early as the first episode as Dawson seems obsessed with proving his parents must be cheating on one another to improve the movie he's making about them. Joey tells him off for how incredibly lucky he is to have loving parents still together but would prefer not to in order to be more dramatic.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor's Evil Counterpart, the Master. While the Doctor has used up several regenerations saving their companions, the Master has a history of throwing others under the bus to save themself — or just For the Evulz; spin-off media has shown the Master manipulating an entire planet into civil war just to create the necessary technological development to repair his TARDIS, and on another occasion one of the Master's incarnations was willing to kill his own past self as part of a wider plan. In "The End of Time", the Simm Master assumes the ominous prophecy the Doctor's heard is all about him, unaware he's actually Rassilon's errand boy.
      "Don't you ever listen?! Not someone, something!"
    • Davros is utterly selfish to the point he cares for no one but himself; he was even fine with sacrificing all of his own people just to ensure his Dalek project would go through. He's also so self-centred that he keeps forgetting that the Daleks (with exceptions) are not slavishly loyal to him.
    • Rassilon would sacrifice all of creation to stave off his death, and the death of the Time Lords, as he sees them as extensions of himself:
      Rassilon: I will NOT DIE! DO! YOU HEAR ME? A billion years of Time Lord history riding on our backs... I will not let this perish. I. Will. Not.
    • "The Evil of the Daleks": Theodore Maxtible has become an ally of the Daleks and helped them make a girl their hostage. When the girl's father wants to know about her well-being, Maxtible tells him, "I am not a nursemaid to your daughter!" The only thing he cares about is the Daleks' promise to give him the secret of turning "base metal into gold!"
    • "Boom Town": Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen, aka Margaret Blaine, tells the Doctor that, on one occasion, she could have murdered someone to benefit herself, but didn't. The Doctor points out that there are a lot more people that she has murdered — including the woman whose skin she's currently wearing.
    • "Fear Her": The Isolus is effectively a selfish child. First, it tries to remove anyone and everyone who threatens to separate it from Chloe, and is willing to threaten the girl herself with her worst nightmare in order to keep them together. After its pod is repaired and it leaves, it tells Chloe it loves her, but leaves her to deal with the scary drawing of her abusive father that it created.
    • Rose Tyler has elements of this regarding her relationship with the Doctor. Near the end of "Doomsday", after being Trapped in Another World, she asks the Doctor if he can come through. When he says that more travel between the worlds would destroy both of them, her response is a joking "So?"
  • Dragnet: Most of the criminals feel this way, but Mister Daniel Lumis takes the cake, feeling that even the cops should accept his my-wants-trump-all attitude and apologize for daring to interrupt his three-game bowling series with handcuffs.
  • Kenny Powers of Eastbound & Down may well be the king of this trope. A major league player who won one World Series game, he believes he's the greatest player in history. He boasts of his epic abilities and expects everyone to fawn over him no matter where he goes. He even once faked his death under the belief that the press "would never leave me alone." That most baseball fans barely know him at all and those who do consider him an asshole who wasted all his talent never crosses his mind.
  • Elementary: Particularly applies to the show's final Big Bad, Odin Reichenbach; a major tech mogul, he believes/claims that he has created a system where he can track a person's online activity and predict when they will commit major crimes in the future, allowing him to deploy agents to kill the potential killer before they can do it. However, as Sherlock and Joan observe, most of the time people just rant online without any plans to go through with it, and as the series unfolds, even when Sherlock proposes a system where Reichenbach's forces try to help potential killers get over their issues, Reichenbach has three innocent people killed just to suggest that his current system is superior. Add in that it's revealed he arranged for an innocent woman to die so that he could buy her brother's company, and it becomes clear that Reichenbach just likes having a good excuse for killing people rather than really wanting to 'help' anybody.
  • ER: Kerry Weaver's girlfriend is being investigated for sexually harassing/assaulting a patient. The woman comes to her, clearly looking for some compassion and support and Kerry's only reaction is to ask if she's told anyone about their relationship, which she wants to keep secret, fearing that their homophobic supervisor will find some contrived reason to fire her. Kerry promptly spends the rest of the episode doing everything she can think of to make sure that the relationship remains a secret, to the point where she refuses to even look at the woman, much less say a single word in her defense, lest it make anyone suspect that they're involved. When the hurt, angry, and fed-up woman dumps her, Kerry still doesn't get it, accusing her of not considering Kerry's feelings in the whole mess. This is sadly par for the course with Kerry, who's first concern whenever the going got tough was to protect herself, even if it meant stepping all over others.
  • Frasier: The titular character, frequently. A shining example is his reaction to Lilith and Niles sleeping together, which is to accuse them of doing it just to aggravate him.
  • Friends:
    • Rachel suffers badly from this because of her doting parents. It was well-managed in earlier seasons when she was aware of how spoiled she was, trying to improve, and balanced with a scared naivete. However in later seasons, she becomes more confident and arrogant showing little regard for anyone else's problems.
    • Special examples are trying to crash Ross's wedding even though she'd rejected him barely a season before, stealing Monica and Chandler's engagement night because they were happy and she wasn't, and later forcing them to come to her baby's birthday party even though they'd recently discovered they couldn't have children and wanted to take a weekend away to deal with it.
    • On the other hand, "stealing Monica and Chandler's engagement night" is entirely the view of Monica, who can have elements of this herself (for the opposite reason, she was the Un Favorite as a child), including her response to Rachel saying her pregnancy isn't as big a deal as Monica's wedding "Of course not, nothing is!"; literally saying the wedding is all about her, and being baffled when Chandler asks if it's maybe a little about him; and her reaction to the big Rachel and Ross break-up:
      Monica: It’s three in the morning. They don’t know that I’ve come home yet. You'll notice how neither one of them are wondering where I am!
      Pheobe: Yeah, people can be so self-involved.
  • On Full House, all three of the Tanner girls occasionally acted this way, but the biggest culprit by far was Creator's Pet Michelle. Two examples in particular stand out:
    • After Uncle Jesse marries Rebecca Donaldson, they naturally plan to move in together to start their new life. But Michelle is too upset by the idea of Uncle Jesse leaving the house (to live in an apartment explicitly stated to be a ten-minute walk away) to stand this, and guilts Jesse into feeling the same way (he was eager to move out before Michelle started complaining). Ultimately, Michelle gets her way, and Jesse and Rebecca remodel the house's attic to become a private apartment—and even then, Michelle is prone to barging in and demanding attention.
    • The Season 7 finale manages to take this Up to Eleven. The Tanner household is more crowded than ever—D.J. and Stephanie are both teenagers now (and Stephanie is still sharing her room with her much younger sister), while Becky has given birth to twin boys (which means there's now a family of four living in a renovated attic). An extremely wealthy man shows up and explains that he grew up in the house, and is ready to buy it for a huge sum. Danny calls a family meeting to discuss the idea, and everyone begins to excitedly plan (and not just on luxuries—Joey hopes to get his own personal life settled, while Becky and Jesse are looking forward to creating a private space to call home). Everyone, that is, except Michelle, who decides (for the whole family) that they have to be together no matter what. It's clear that the group will find homes relatively close to each other (Danny and Becky are coworkers, for example) and will still spend a good deal of time together. But that doesn't matter to Michelle: they have to live in the same house to be a "family." And everyone agrees to this. Is it anyone wonder the fans (and even some of the actors on the show) have come to hate her so much?
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Cersei, to the point of possible textbook narcissim:
      • She regards Jaime as a poor sight at the start of Season 4 and complains about being left alone to suffer a siege in the capital despite being surrounded by servants and with several bodyguards while living lavishly in the Red Keep which she considers far worse than Jaime's imprisonment, maiming, and being humiliated and despised.
      • Her main reason for accusing Tyrion for Joffrey's murder amounts to her believing that Joffrey's assassination was motivated solely to hurt her personally. It doesn't matter that Tyrion might have had much more legitimate motives for killing Joffrey; to Cersei, the motive must have been that he wanted to get back at her specifically and Joffrey just happened to be collateral damage.
      • She sees only the opportunity to see Tyrion dead instead of the dangerous consequences for her realm, her dynasty, and her daughter when Oberyn Martell is killed.
      • In "The Children", she tells Tywin that she'd be willing to burn House Lannister to the ground so long as she remains Queen and gets to have her children. In the Season 6 finale, we see this wasn't an idle threat when she literally burns down a good chunk of the city's skyline to take out the Faith Militant, Margaery, and everyone else that opposes her to make sure she stays in power.
    • Viserys Targaryen treats everyone like they're his subjects and thinks everything should go his way. He never shares credit that it was his sister and Magister Illyrio that got him the Dothraki alliance, insisting it was his idea. Also he claims that the Dothraki are his people and army to command when they aren't and are actually Daenerys'. In the DVD extras, he narrates the history sections, giving the perspective of House Targaryen. While recounting the Sack of King's Landing, he mentions that he was spirited out of the city before it fell as, with his brother Rhaegar's death, he was now heir to the throne. Technically, he was second in line behind his nephew, Aegon. In fact, as his sister-in-law was a Dornish princess, he may well have been third in line behind his niece and nephew (Dornish law puts women in the line of succession; while Dornish law doesn't officially apply to the royal line, had the Targaryens won, Dorne would have had a significantly stronger army than the Targaryens, having not taken part in the war). And that's to say nothing of where Rhaegar's other son may have fit in.
    • Renly Baratheon, though charming and sincere about the well-being of the common people, is self-centered enough to declare himself king just because he thinks he'd be good at it, even though he has few tangible accomplishments and much less experience compared to Stannis, making his claim Stannis should be passed over for rule rather shaky, and Renly knows it will very likely mean killing his own brother. He claims that he would be a superior monarch in comparison to Stannis because the older man has No Social Skills, completely ignoring — unlike Ned — his impeccable service record.
    • Robb Stark chooses love over his political responsibilities and suffers for it.
    • Karl Tanner is so self-involved that he could not overstate his own importance worse if he tried.
    • In a broader sense, most nobles don't spare a thought for the thousands of smallfolk affected by their decisions. Jorah Mormont notes that the feeling is somewhat reciprocal:
      Jorah: The common people pray for rain, health, and a summer that never ends. They don't care what games the high lords play.
    • The Smalljon complains about Jon Snow letting the Wildlings south of the Wall and settling at the Gift, land that legally belongs to the Watch, yet they, and most Northern houses, did nothing to help the Watch when they truly needed help. He, and other Northern houses, didn't respond to Maester Aemon's call for aid against the White Walkers and Mance Rayder, nor did they respond once the previous season after Lord Commander Jon Snow sent many letters calling for men and supplies, and now have the nerve to complain about Jon Snow making the best of his understaffed and undersupplied situation.
    • Tyrion calls Tywin out on this, noting that Tywin automatically equates his personal ambitions with that of his family and that he makes his children compromise and face consequences that he himself has never done and will never do. Tywin's reply to that was that the great personal sacrifice he made was not killing Tyrion as a baby. Likewise, Tywin could have resolved the seeming unfittingness of his children by naming his brother Kevan as heir but then Tywin couldn't well claim that it was his great family line. Also, Kevan himself has a Sketchy Successor in the soon to become Brother Lancel.
    • Joffrey doesn't think very far beyond his own immediate pleasure.
    • As with his younger brother Renly, Stannis is apparently sincere in his claims to care about the well-being of the common people but ultimately his desire to be king is motivated by Pride rather than duty to the realm. He completely rejects an opportunity to ally with his brother and Robb Stark and instead has his brother assassinated with blood magic out of a misguided belief that he alone can defeat the Lannisters. After his defeat on the Blackwater he abandons restraint entirely and allows Melisandre to burn whoever she pleases, and from there he resorts to extreme measures to secure his claim.
  • Glee:
    • Rachel Berry: accuses Mr. Schue of giving other students solos purely to punish her; sends a rival to a crackhouse instead of an audition to avoid losing her top spot in the club; continually pesters (to the point of harassment) the dean of a prestigious college to give her another chance to audition after not getting in the first time (although at least in that case, the dean called Rachel out on her selfishness and pointed out that there were plenty of other students who didn't get in, and that she's not the center of the universe); makes the Glee Club's routine center on original songs that she's written to make the championships a kind of second audition for herself (a ploy which works).
    • Finn: lies to Rachel to get her back into glee so he can get a music scholarship.
    • Sue Sylvester ...everything she says and does, really. However, she at least has a Morality Pet in the name of a older sister with Down's syndrome who she dearly, genuinely loves— just look at what happens when she dies. As such, Sue treats Becky, a teen with Down's syndrome and her own personal henchwoman, with respect as well, even making her the cheerleading captain.
    • Mr. Schue gets accused of this when he focuses too much on his own personal musical preferences and not what is best for the students. He did start the Glee club partly to relive his glory days and will occasionally slip into behaving like it is all about him. Having to deal with Sue and Rachel usually knocks him out of it.
    • Blaine Anderson had more of this every minute and lampshaded as much as Glee would its Creator's Pet in the Season 5 episode 'Puppet Master'.
    • It would actually be easier to list the characters that don't fall into this trope on Glee.
  • This was one of Blanche's key traits on The Golden Girls, in addition to her legendary promiscuity and obsession with seeming young. On several occasions, she would take a totally unrelated situation, such as the girls being taken hostage by a robber, and somehow make herself the center of attention (in that case, she pointed out that the youngest and the prettiest—i.e., herself—was always the first person to be attacked).
  • The Good Place:
    • Eleanor is unbelievably selfish, which is her main flaw.
    • It turns out that Tahani actually went to the Bad Place since, though she did good things, it was for corrupt motives: to make herself look good for her parents and show up her sister.
  • Gossip Girl: Blair Waldorf was always this from the word go, but in Season 5 she turned it Up to Eleven - which is one of the reasons why she went from fan favorite to a character most people dislike.
  • Heroes Volume 3: Villains:
    • In the finale, Sylar personifies this trope. He says that Angela is a monster because she was willing to kill her husband, blow up New York, and worst of all, hurt him by making him think he had a family.
    • Possibly a Justified Trope in that by making him think he had a family, she was really just using his mommy issues to trigger his Season 1 persona of rampaging powers-Darwinist lunatic. Since the bomb didn't go off and her other crime involved just one (attempted) murder (which even that was technically to protect Nathan Petrelli, since the dad did try to off Nathan Petrelli, and was also responsible for crippling Nathan's ex-wife Heidi), this could technically be the worst of her crimes as it culminated in a lot of deaths. Still, I don't think the writers deserve the credit that statement implies: logic in a Season 3 script.
    • And while we're talking about Nathan Petrelli anyway, he's like this too. This was at its peak in Season 1 but never quite disappeared. He treats his mother (Who just lost her husband of four decades) as an inconvenience, talks down to his brother and openly insults his career choice before offering him a job that he even admits is solely for his benefit, and is willing to let Lindeman destroy New York so he can become President in the future. In Season 3, he puts all his friends and his family in danger and nearly ruins Their lives to sort out his own guilt for working with his dad (Who wasn't exactly selfless either), which he screws up royally. After a while, You've got to wonder why Peter ever looked up to such a selfish jerk.
  • House of Anubis: Joy towards the end of Season 2. Among other things, she wanted to be in the spotlight and couldn't handle other people getting it instead, and then tried to act like the victim when people called her out on her worst actions. She especially treated Mara pretty badly. First, by using her blogging alias, Jack Jackal, to write a horrible article on Nina and thus put her friend at risk at being expelled. After she was caught for this, she started acting like the only Jack Jackal and took credit for all the good articles Mara had been writing, justifying it by acting like this was the only way people would read Mara's stuff. After she got caught again, Joy convinced Mr. Sweet to let them continue with the blog as long as she entered one of Mara's articles in a blogging competition. Instead she insisted on "looking out for number one" and used one of her articles instead, just so she could be the winner rather than Mara. Even Patricia didn't support her, and neither did the fans Joy still had left.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Basco Ta Jolokia. He will betray everyone and do anything to get what he wants. Yes, that include threatening to kill a wounded child which he was very willing to do. In fact, his catchphrase is: To gain something, you must throw something else. Said 'something else' can be anything that didn't belong to him in the first place.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Den-O: Sieg, the Sheltered Aristocrat Imagin, starts off extremely arrogant, referring to everyone around him as servants; in fact, his two catchphrases are "Advent; the one who stands above all" and "The world revolves for my sake". Once he gets owned by Hana (verbally and physically), he mellows out and starts acting more benevolent, but still does it in arrogant fashion.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto: Tendou Souji makes a play at this, particularly with two lines of his grandmother's wisdom. One is his Catchphrase: "Walking the Way of Heaven, I am the man who rules over all." The other may be giving the trope a Lampshade Hanging: "The world revolves around you. ... It's fun to think like that."
    • Kamen Rider Ghost: Alain thought that everything has to be like he wants it because he only wants good after all. Naturally, his idea of good was terrible. His mean Psychopathic Manchild streak and extremely possesive attitude didn't help at all.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid:
      • Parado considers himself the main character of Kamen Rider Chronicle and by extension, hero of the story as whole. Naturally, his idea of what that means is horrible. Like with Alain, his mean Psychopathic Manchild streak and extremely possesive attitude ddn't help at all.
      • Taiga Hanaya simply bulldozed his way through the battlefield without thinking about anyone he is stepping over. His words about "being the only Kamen Rider needed" and "[the fight is] just game to be enjoyed" reflect this. He endangered patients simply to sate his grudges and desires all while acting like a smug jerk.
    • Kamen Rider Build: Gentoku Himuro sees himself as the savior trying to unify Japan and help it recover after the Skywall incident, but it's all just an outlet for how incredibly power hungry he is. He started a freaking war just to be on the top of the other leaders and they are no better.
  • Lab Rats: Donald Davenport should be the spokesperson for this trope. If it's not about him or his achievements, he has no interest in it. He also puts his "name and face on everything" he invents or has made. Even the tech demos for his gadgets are preprogrammed to tell the potential owner how great he is. Add in the fact he believes his instructions are absolute, perfect and will not tolerate disaggreement with his ideas, the package is complete.
  • In a very early episode of Law & Order, Logan tells his partner that Carla Lowenstien, the mother of a fatally injured six-year-old, looks at life this way.
    Logan: I know she's nuts. The way she lay there primping herself — it just made me want to puke... You think she cares diddly about those kids or anything? Huh? Everything's a mirror to her. She holds a dying kid up to it, and all she can see is herself and how it affects her!
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: One episode had this as the Villain Of The Week's weakness. He betrays everyone who helps him but expects complete loyalty from his "allies". To this end they simply make him think his latest accomplice is planning to betray him, causing said accomplice to realise how dangerous he is and turn to the police for help.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The episode "Garland's Baptism By Fire" deals with a pastor and close friend of the eponymous Chief Garland being exposed as a sexual abuser of teenage girls. When Garland visits him in jail, the pastor states he believes that everything that is happening is God's way of testing him. Garland angrily tells the man that he is not the real victim here.
  • Leverage: The mark in "The First Contact Job" is a failed inventor who puts his name on everything his company produces, even toilets, in an effort to get his name everywhere he possibly can. Naturally, the Leverage team uses this against him in their con.
  • Lucifer (2016): The fallen angel Lucifer is living on Earth because he decided to take a holiday from Hell. He manipulates the LAPD into making him a civilian consultant to a homicide detective, Chloe Decker, because she's mysteriously immune to his powers and he thinks investigating murders will be a thrill; he proceeds to make both her job and her private life difficult by interpreting everything that happens in terms of his own problems and his "daddy issues"; she feels like she's babysitting him while his therapist feels like an enabler due to how he twists her advice in ways that create chaos for everyone. When he and Chloe encounter a serial killer who is "punishing" people who humiliate others on social media, his interest in the case stems from the fact that his therapist asked him why he needs to punish and he wants to ask the serial killer the same question to better understand himself rather than to stop any murders. When they investigate one murder, Lucifer latches onto the rebellious son, initially assumes the son is the murderer and excitedly asks him what it's like to finally escape from under the shadow of an all-powerful father. He gate-crashes a bereavement group counselling session to talk about his own, non-bereavement problems. Even when he briefly explores the concept of philanthropy, it's about trying to prove that people are as selfish as him and to explore the rush it gives him; his therapist warns him to stop thinking of "being good" as a toy, but he confirms that's exactly what it is for him.
  • Merlin (2008): Morgana Pendragon. While she does have terrible things happen to her, and the world actually is out to get her, she also manages to make the death of her best friend's father all about her. At one point, she joins the druids, and when she is informed that her decision has put the lives of many innocent people on the line, she still refuses to return home because she was unhappy there. Both examples are from when she was still considered one of the good guys.
  • Monk: It's been said that Adrian Monk has to make an issue personal in order to exert more self-control over his world. In one episode Sharona, his first caretaker, confesses to Monk that she is afraid of elephants (a fear with a legitimate history—as a child, she saw another little girl fall into an elephant pit and nearly die). Monk, who himself is full of phobias, dismissively tells her to "suck it up." She spends a good part of the rest of the episode furious at his callousness, and he can't figure out why she's mad at him, even when she throws his own words back in his face, until she spells it out for him.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: : At first she's quite selfish. Over time however she starts to genuinely care for and look out for the members of her team, who became her friends.
  • Never Have I Ever: For a while, Devi gets so wrapped up in her own problems that she dismisses the idea that other people, like her best friends, have some big ones of their own too.
  • Noah's Arc: Noah seems to fall into this regarding relationships, and occasionally catches himself (or is called out on) not really giving as much focus to his friends' relationship issues while they are expected to drop whatever they are doing to tend to his. Its highlighted at the end of one episode where Ricky just went through a breakup and is clearly depressed, and Noah calls him to complain about the "emergency" of Wade wanting to go house hunting with him.
  • The Office (US): Michael Scott, to a pathological degree. For instance, when Phyllis invites him to take part in her wedding (which is actually to get her six weeks for her honeymoon), Michael oversteps his role of pushing her disabled father down the aisle and tries to insert himself into the ceremony wherever possible, from announcing them as an official couple before the vows are even finished to giving a toast (with three opening lines).
  • The Other Two: Most of the time, Brooke and Carey make their brother's superstardom all about themselves. They are not wrong, as it does charge both their lives dramatically. Also, they do occassionally snap out of it enough to be concerned about their little brother.
  • Reba: Barbara Jean is blind to her own flaws in general, and therefore expects that everyone—especially Reba— will like her. Reba's husband has had an affair with Barbara Jean and then divorced Reba to marry Barbara Jean. And Barbara Jean's insensitivity extends to a failure to understand that this is a reason why Reba might not be too comfortable being best friends with the woman who stole her husband.
    • On the other hand, this trope is thankfully subverted in later seasons as Barbara Jean slowly reveals how much she actually blames herself for ruining Reba's marriage and how desperate she is to make things right between the two of them as a sign of apology. She still has moments of being a major attention hog, but she's more aware of her flaws than most would think.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • The Cat actually makes a logical argument that the world revolves around him. It finishes with The most exciting things that have ever happened to me, have been whenever I was in the room! This is apparently the default attitude of his species.
    • Rimmer is just as bad. "Lister, I just saw your future self die! Wait, what are you so horrified about? I'm the one who had to watch it."
  • Becky on Roseanne has her moments. For example, when Dan reveals that his bike shop is going out of business, instead of feeling sorry for her father, Becky gets upset that he won't have enough money to get her into college (although she did raise a good point when she argued that he essentially gambled the entire family's savings—including her education fund—to run a business which he knew next to nothing about from an economic standpoint).
  • Schitt's Creek: All of the Roses are guilty of this, more so in the early seasons but they never lose it.
    • Johnny probably has it the least, though he has his moments such as when he wants a car or when he wants to have a Christmas party.
    • Moira makes everything about herself most of the time, often forgetting or not noticing her children or friends problems. She is also always pushing to be the lead or featured voice in the Jazzagals, even though they are an ensemble singing group.
    • David's natural tendency is to put himself first, though usually he will relent if someone he loves needs something. This happens in the Christmas Episode when he won't give up any of his store's ornaments for his father's party because he's saving for a fancy espresso machine, until he realizes how upset Johnny is. During a touching carol at the end, his boyfriend Patrick realizes David needs consolation about the espresso machine.
    • Alexis begins the series perfectly willing to dump her family and run off with her douche boyfriend. She still tends to think about herself, such as when she asks Ted to whip up a few dozen extra cookies to take her her parents or when assumes every woman is jealous of her.
  • Sea Change: Although not a villain - this show doesn't really have any villains - Jules Jelly, the daughter of town Jerkass Bob Jelly, is probably the paramount example. The worst example is in the episode "Balls and Friggin' Good Luck", where a young man she dated for a while, Jerome, committed suicide. Jules constantly exaggerates and grand-stands to make everything about her while showing absolutely no sorrow at Jerome's death. Even worse is when at the inquest, she tries to act like everything's about her, while Jerome's family are there, crying their eyes out. It gets so bad that her own mother tells her to stop it.
  • Sex and the City has Carrie Bradshaw, who will often redirect discussions with her friends to be about her and her relationships and constantly thinks more about what she wants in her personal life. Several characters even call her out on this, albeit not to the extent they probably should.
  • Sherlock: This trope is a staple of any good portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, but recent incarnations of the character seem bound-and-determined to raise it to new levels entirely. In the series three premier, Holmes returns to England after a two year absence, during which the public—including Dr. John Watson—believed Holmes to be dead:
    Mycroft: He [Watson's] got on with his life.
    Holmes:: What life? I've been away.
  • Smallville: Lex Luthor goes this way as the show progresses, allowing his obsessions to dominate his life, and refusing to accept the blame for any of the disasters he's caused. He blames his father, Clark, Lana, and anyone else he can, has dozens of skeletons in his closet, but takes anyone else keeping a secret as a personal betrayal, and tries to control the lives of everyone around him, never understanding why they might have a problem with that.
  • Spellbinder: Spellbinder Ashka sabotages Regent Correon's suit to get him exiled after he loses the Wizard Duel. Then she destroys a book of technological secrets that would've drawn her world out of prolonged stagnation and barbarism so as not to jeopardise her position in power. Then she tricks Paul's father to build her a new powersuit and as a token of gratitude she locks his entire family in an electrified cage and leaves them there to die. In the sequel she steals a valuable mask that is also an interface of a super-computer that governs a whole country, thus leaving it defenceless against an invading horde of barbarians.
  • Stargate SG-1: Senator Robert Kinsey may be one of the few people in government who knows about the Stargate Program, but he makes it repeatedly clear that he would only consider the program worthwhile if it offers a benefit for him; in one future timeline (later erased) where he won the presidency due to an alliance with a race who have now discreetly taken over the planet, he thanks SG-1 for what they have done for him before he thanks them for what they have done for the entire planet (and in the present, after SG-1 have erased this timeline by sending a message back to the past, Kinsey assumes that the only reason SG-1 sent that message was because Jack O'Neill couldn't stand the idea of Earth winning because Kinsey was the one who made the relevant deal, rather than believe that O'Neill had a wider legitimate reason for erasing that timeline). This arrogance eventually works against Kinsey when he tries to force new SGC commander Elizabeth Weir to let him leave Earth when he thinks SG-1 are going to fail to stop Anubis, prompting the new President to decide to use recently-accumulated evidence to get Kinsey fired from his new role as Vice-President.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Kai Winn is made of this. Despite being the Bajoran pope, she hates Sisko for being chosen as the Emissary of the Prophets (even though Sisko never wanted the job and spends over three seasons trying to distance himself from it). Even when she admits that her lust for power has led her astray, she refuses to resign her position, thinking that Bajor needs her to be their kai.
    • Starfleet traitor Michael Eddington basically adopts this after he defects to the Maquis, with his later contact with Sisko and Starfleet framing every action taken against him as though they're all just petty children picking on the Maquis for making them look bad. Granted, Eddington has a point in this considering Sisko's personal vendetta against him, but Eddington also uses this to overlook the legitimate reasons Starfleet has for hunting them and basically ignore any negative impact his actions have, to the point that Eddington calls Sisko out as a villain for adopting basically the same tactics Eddington was using. Right up to the end, even when Sisko tries to move past their history to stop an apparent missile attack, Eddington literally can't move forward without framing Sisko's every action as a personal slant against himself.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Obsessive collector Kivas Fajo in the episode "The Most Toys". In order to expand his collection, he abducts and fakes the death of a Federation officer (specifically, Data), then tries to force Data to comply with his whims by threatening to murder his own subordinates, at one point killing his assistant of 14 years, then dismissing her death with "there's always another Varria". Had O'Brien been just one second slower with the transporter, Data would have inflicted an agonizing Ironic Death on him with the same model of disruptor he'd used on Varria. Nobody in or out of universe would have put much effort into mourning him.
  • Stuck in the Middle: When Rachel uploads photos to her social media account, she crops the image to remove anyone else standing nearby when the photo was taken, even if they're literally centimetres from her! She prefers that her boyfriend Cuff remain unemployed because a job distracts him from spending 100% of his time focussed on only her.
  • Supernatural: Lucifer suffers from this, with several characters pointing out that his motivation is the cosmic equivalent of a former favourite child throwing a tantrum for not getting his way after 'Daddy' made it clear he loved the 'new baby' more (referring to God and humanity in this context).
  • Survivor:
    • Shows up all the time, especially with jury members in the final episode: many reflect on their time in the game and conclude that they were Too Cool to Live, and their questions for the Final Two/Three revolve around getting the finalists to suck up to them.
    • Naonka from the Nicaragua season is one of the more extreme examples. Immediately after winning a challenge, she announces her intention to quit the game. After a few minutes on this subject, the host gets back to business and gives the winning team a choice: one member can give up reward (which includes food) to get food and shelter for the tribe. Naonka, even though she'll be fed that night at the Loser Lodge if once she quits, makes no move to give up the reward and talks to the Confession Cam about how she doesn't care, she wants food now. She spends the rest of the episode talking about how awesome she is (even though she's quitting because the experience is too hard) and how she knows she would've won if she stayed (not a chance; she was being carried to the end because she'd be easy to win against).
    • Russell from Samoa and Heroes Vs Villains seemed to believe that he was such a good player and his strategy- which involved voting off members of his own alliance, constantly backstabbing people and lying to everyone- was so good that the jury would just automatically vote for him, even though he got most of them voted off in the first place. In the end, out of the eighteen votes he could have got from both juries, he got two. And both of those were from the Samoa jury. Jeff tried to tell him that maybe if he hadn't lied to the jury, back-stabbed them and generally treated them like shit, he might have got some votes… and he still couldn't understand, refusing to acknowledge the idea of the social game. At one point he even said that America should be able to vote, he was that frustrated.
  • The Tick (2001): In the episode "The Tick vs. Justice", a car accident between Batmanuel and a supervillain named Destroyo reveals the villain's trunk is full of ransom letters, nuclear weapons, and very strong rope. Despite an obvious threat to national security Batmanuel spends the entire episode worried about his insurance premiums, even turning his statement to the court into a plea for them to lower his deductible.
  • Tinsel: Kwame. He is shocked that Angela would break into his office and steal back her medical files - the same medical files that he's been blackmailing her with and that he stole from her doctor's office in the first place!
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Masks", Paula Harper is extremely self-obsessed and spends most of her time admiring her looks. Her grandfather Jason Foster says that she sees the world as nothing more than a reflection of herself.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "To See The Invisible Man", Mitchell Chaplin sentenced to one year of invisibility. He manages to chat with a blind man named Bennett Gershe for a while, before Gershe is told that the stranger talking to him is 'invisible' and he shouldn't be talking to him or even acknowledging his presence. When alerted to this, Gershe mutters "Damn you!"
  • Two and a Half Men: This applies to everyone, but especially Evelyn, the two brothers' mother. She frequently reacts to news that affects anyone except her with "Do you have any idea what you put me through?!"
  • Ugly Betty: Betty briefly dates a musician who has this attitude. When he begins to show off his new song for her on a date, she has a trippy hallucination of him singing a song consisting of nothing but "Me me me me me!" Hilariously, the actually chorus of the song turns out to be "The only one I can depend me."
  • Undateable: Danny's ego is so big that he can't help turning any situation back towards himself, even when he's trying to be genuinely selfless. It's especially disturbing to him when someone else starts to take attention away from him and he'll take steps to rectify it.
    • Danny goes so far as to tell Nicki that the move Justin used in bed is his own invention, fully aware that Justin is self-conscious about his sexual performance.
    • Danny also completely co-opted Leslie's wedding, calling it "Danny's Big Day", wearing a white tuxedo, and performing a solo dance number in lieu of the bride and groom's first dance. From the way Leslie and Danny talk about the day, it also seems as if Danny made the walk down the aisle all about himself as well. To top it all off, he thinks he actually improved the wedding by making it all about himself.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Damon Salvatore. Damon openly admits he's selfish in Season 4. Damon tells Elena that he would save Elena over any of her loved ones any day of the week, even if that means that Elena's loved ones die "Because I am that selfish".
    • Klaus. He is extremely selfish and only cares about his power, his goal and his agenda.
  • Victorious:
    • Trina has a vain and narcissistic ego:
      Trina: So she said "You think you're better than everyone else" and I said "Well, yeah, pretty much."
    • While not to the same extent as her sister (because let's face it, who is?), Tori can be pretty selfish as well.
  • On Westworld, William spends the majority of season 2 thinking the entire host uprising is nothing but an elaborate game played by rival Ford to strike at him personally rather than them actually gaining independence. He even shoots a would-be rescue team, thinking it's part of the trap. Lampshaded by his daughter Emily snapping how "you think all this is for you." Becomes tragic when he guns down Emily only to realize she actually was his daughter, leading to a breakdown.
  • Why Women Kill:
    • Rob first states that his attraction to Beth Ann about how subservient she was to him and how she made his life easier. He never thinks when his behavior might embarrass or hurt her, and when she brings up that she might need to get a job or a hobby to prepare her for when he inevitably dies one day, all he cares about was if this might keep him from getting more delicious dinners from her and can't think beyond more about her being his widow.
    • Simone is very self-centered early on, to the point where she reacts to Carl attempting suicide by screaming that he won't get away with humiliating her with his infidelity. Over time, though, she grows more selfless.
  • Will & Grace: Everyone has their moments, but especially Jack and Karen:
    Will: Grace, this is not about you.
    Grace: Yes it is, it is always about me.
  • The Young Ones: This is Rick’s default state. To best illustrate, his reaction to finding out in the series finale that both his parents suddenly and mysteriously died? "The selfish BASTARDS! I was going to spend the whole summer with them!"


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