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"Gotta express that middle-school arrogance and being emo."
— Translated character design notes for Gladion, Pokémon Sun and Moon
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Chuunibyou (中二病 / 厨二病), often shortened to chuuni or chuu2, is an often-derisive Japanese slang term for the embarrassing behavior of 13-to-14-year-olds. The term literally means "Middle [School] 2[nd Year] Syndrome" (often translated as "Eighth-Grader Syndrome" in US media). Despite the name, it can manifest in people of all ages.

As a colloquial term, the exact "symptoms" of chuunibyou aren't entirely set in stone, but in general, chunnis act like overly melodramatic know-nothing know-it-alls who think of themselves as more awesome than everyone else because of experiences, abilities, and even special powers that they clearly don't have. Imagine kids trying to convince you (in the most obnoxious way possible) that they're accomplished Ninjas who could kick your ass, and you kind of have the idea.

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The term was coined by Japanese radio personality Hikaru Ijuin on his program in 1999. He originally used it much more broadly, to refer to any kind of childish thinking or behavior exhibited by kids that age (and would occasionally admit to "contracting" chuunibyou himself). The Japanese Internet took the concept and ran with it, applying it specifically to the kind of people they often encountered (and in the process causing Ijuin to lament that "I have no interest in this word anymore because it has lost its original meaning from when I first described it").

The Trope Codifier, on the other hand, is Saegami Hyouya's Chuunibyou User Manual, which categorizes chuunis broadly into three types:

  • DQN types pretend to be delinquents, including bragging about the many gang fights they've supposedly been in and drugs they've supposedly used, while clearly never having even been close to a gang in their lives.
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  • Subcultural types latch onto a minority or "alternative" subculture that's generally seen as "cool", pretending to be part of it despite not actually knowing anything about it — think something like a Western teenager's goth phase, without even knowing anything about the subculture to begin with.
  • Evil Eye types are the most iconic form but rarely seen outside of Japanese Media. These guys believe they have Magic and Powers and will try to convince you that they can have special or supernatural abilities (stereotypically a Magical Eye or Evil Hand which they grasp in supposed pain). They often create a persona with an Awesome Mc Coolname or Atrocious Alias (there's almost no middle ground) to display these magical abilities. They're sometimes known as the Delusional Type, due to their tenuous grasp of reality.

While chuunibyou is by no means limited to Japan, in the grand tradition of Japanese Media Tropes, Japan is the first country to give the phenomenon a name (partly by having a particularly weird twist to it). English speakers might talk about a "phase", but thanks to the Internet, the Japanese term has started to catch on in English, and some translations of Japanese works (such as Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions) will leave the term untranslated. Interestingly, the Japanese themselves see the Ur-Example as seminal Spanish literary figure Don Quixote, who became quite popular in Japan at least in part because they were familiar with his particular brand of delusion. Keep in mind though that if the characters act like this but they really are the things they're acting out (like someone with actual super powers going over the top with their behavior) it's automatically a Downplayed Trope which may even go into Ascended Fanboy territory as it's obviously not pretend if they can do those things for real.

Sub-Trope of Immaturity Tropes and Stock Japanese Characters. Not to be confused with the English phrase Sophomore Slump, which has a very different connotation. For students of this age who really do have exciting lives, see Second Year Protagonist.

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    Tropes Associated with Chuunibyou 

Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ako Udagawa of Ban G Dream! is one notable example of this trope. In both the anime and game, Ako is shown to display a lot of chuunibyou tendencies and has illusions of grandeur and magical powers. However, she seems to have taken on a more realistic variant of this trope than most, as instead of seeming to assume that she is the character, she takes great joy in basically roleplaying being a Demon King and the like. Her best friend and fellow bandmember Rinko suspect that her odd behavior as the result of her frequently playing online games.
  • In Boruto, Boruto starts acting like one when he thinks he's unlocked his Byakugan, complete with sunglasses and a smug attitude. Everyone else just finds his behavior weird and think he's making it up to get attention.
  • Daily Life with Monster Girl:
    • A flashback reveals that the protagonist Kimihito was one of these as a teenager. This being revealed is one of the few times in the series where he gets embarrassed at something he's done personally (as opposed to the usual Harem Genre antics).
    • Lala manages to be one despite actually having legitimate paranormal abilities (she's a Dullahan and a Psychopomp), as she deliberately plays herself up being the Grim Reaper in melodramatic fashion: in effect, she's the Grim Reaper pretending to be a gothy teenager pretending to be the Grim Reaper.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys
  • Kyōtarō Ichikawa from The Dangers In My Heart sits in the back of the classroom reading gory horror novels and fantasizing about murdering his classmates. It's clear he'd never actually act on these impulses, though, as outside of his delusions he's a Shrinking Violet who hates to see people upset.
  • The Digimon Emperor from Digimon Adventure 02 is an early example of this trope. The previous series' villains were all Digimon, usually of a satanic nature. As the Contrasting Sequel Antagonist, the Digimon Emperor is simply a human kid who enslaves Digimon, while wearing a comically over-the-top wardrobe and acting as hammy in his Card-Carrying Villain role as possible. One of his evil schemes is to create his own original Digimon, except it's simply a Mix-and-Match Critter of the coolest Digimon parts he could find, slapped together like a lazy fan artist, and when he loses, he claims his only option is to reset the Digital World. It turns out that his entire persona was an Escapist Character for Ken Ichijouji, who had lost his brother and sought solace from the real world, and when he realizes Digimon are in fact real, he does not take it well.
  • The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Shun Kaidou is a Conspiracy Theorist who has a secret identity known as Jet-Black Wing, fighting to protect the world from the Dark Reunion. In actuality, it's implied that Kaidou is Obfuscating Stupidity and only keeps up the antics as an outlet because he comes from an extremely strict household with an Education Mama.
  • Soumei Saitou from Food Wars! talks and behaves like a samurai. But his backstory reveals that Saitou used to work and live in a sushi restaurant, being raised by his hard-working mother who was looked down on by sexist sushi chefs. He's not unlike Souma when it comes to their backgrounds, but Saitou somehow turned into a "samurai freak" when he became better and better at cooking.
  • Komi Can't Communicate:
    • Nakanaka's character is based on this trope. In her name, "naka" is written with the same kanji as "chuu" from chuunibyou. Her bangs are cut at a sharp, slanted angle and artfully swept over one eye, and she covers the same eye with an eye patch she does not need. She wears her school jacket like a cape, and her internal monologues frequently involve her delusions of her own power and of others being afraid of her "dragon force."
    • Tadano had a chuunibyou phase in middle school, as revealed in a flashback through Najimi, much to Tadano's horror. The utter embarrassment he suffered as a chuunibyou inspired him to drop the act and attempt to live a normal high school life.
  • Lucifer of Lapis Re:LiGHTs tries to play Type 3 for all its worth, after her considerable magical powers went out of control and caused serious destruction and havoc in her school. It's clearly deconstructed as a coping mechanism for all the discrimination and social isolation she faced afterward.
  • Love Live! Sunshine!!: Yoshiko Tsushima, or, as she prefers to be called, Yohane. She claims she's a Fallen Angel who has been cursed and banished from the heavens to explain why she has extremely bad luck. Her arc in the anime is actually about her having outgrown her chuunibyou phase and wanting to leave it behind, but being unable to because the persona was that deeply ingrained into her personality by then—it can be observed in later episodes that "Yohane" now doubles as a subtle fallback coping mechanism for nervousness.
  • In Martian Successor Nadesico, Jiro Yamada (or as he calls himself, "Gai Daigoji")note  is a Hot-Blooded Real Robot pilot who thinks he's in a Super Robot series, shouting out the names of attacks from his favorite anime while in combat. He also serves as something of an inspiration to the rest of the cast, especially when he died, even those who claim to find his behaviour annoying.
  • Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama from Mob Psycho 100 can be seen as an inversion. He legitimately has incredibly strong Psychic Powers, but he doesn't see this as a big deal, due to how he wants to improve himself in more mundane areas of his life and how he's internalized the idea that being an esper doesn't automatically make him better or more special than everyone else.
  • My Hero Academia: Fumikage Tokoyami is a mixture of all types, being quiet and reserved but with Cold Ham tendencies, owning several gothic memorabilia that he is somewhat embarrassed about and having actual Casting a Shadow powers. Also, his name translates something like “unsavory shadow eternal darkness.” He’s a steadfast hero, he just has a dramatic streak.
  • In Pani Poni Dash!, Behoimi acts like a Magical Girl, though she grows out of it over the course of the series.
  • Masayoshi Hazama is one of the main characters of Samurai Flamenco. A male model by occupation, Masayoshi has a love for the heroes of justice from Tokusatsu shows, and has always desired to be one himself. One day, he decides to get a custom suit made to finally live out his dreams as a hero. While he has no fighting experience, he gives his all when acting as a superhero, trying to instill the concepts of truth and justice into the delinquents he runs into while on patrol. He believes himself able to convince these kids of the path of justice, and able to hold his own in battle, although neither of these are particularly true. Still, he never gives up on his dreams and believes that with enough dedication he can truly become a hero like the ones on TV. And then things start to get weird...
  • Shaman King:
  • Maria Imari from This Art Club Has a Problem! is one, going on about grimoires and supernatural powers, and even wearing a medical eyepatch at one point.
  • Minami Yamamoto from Wasteful Days of High School Girls has a delusion of being half-dragon (to be exact, "a half-blood of the peoples of the Altania Kingdom and the Dragonia race."), and has the tendency to invoke both Bandage Babe and Pointless Band-Aid. This trope is why her In-Series Nickname is "Yamai", or "[mentally] ill".
  • Based on the Big in Japan Ur-Example Don Quixote, there's Zukkoke Knight - Don De La Mancha, a free adaptation of Don Quixote made in The '80s, that follows the adventures of Don Quixote De la Mancha, a man that believes he's a knight and fights against monsters that there're on his imagination as well idolizes romantically to Dulcinea, who takes advantage of him for her own purposes.

    Comic Books 
  • A famous Western example of chuunibyou is Kick-Ass, in which Dave Lizewski (a.k.a. Kick-Ass), a sixteen-year-old high school student, decides to become a real-life superhero, despite having little-to-no fighting skills or training, and no superpowers. He assumes the superhero role by fashioning a costume from a wetsuit bought on Ebay, inspiring dozens of teenagers like him to become superheroes like him (and eventually supervillains too).
    • Another case is Hit Girl, which apart of becoming a vigilante and having real training and skills (with the same Evil Eye-type than Kick-Ass), she's also a Delinquent-type as well a Western example of a Tsundere.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) comic series of Season 10, we learn Zecora of all equines fit some aspects of this or at least came off as this to her friends. She wanted to be the first zebra to learn magic and devoted her life to studying it, while also learning to speak in rhyme and even spent a week talking backwards. Furthermore, her friends were dismissive of her attempts to learn magic which is why she left, though it turns out she was not entirely correct. Zecora ended up neglecting them in her studying to learn magic and their 'dismissiveness' turns out to be based on her not wanting to be crushed if she failed, but she took it the wrong way. Additionally, it turns her friends were hurt on how she left without saying anything.

    Fan Works 
  • Some internet articles, like this one, have theorized that Chuunibyou may be related to the Mary Sue/Marty Stu trope in fanfiction; essentially, teenagers with this syndrome making Fan Fic or original stories based on themselves or as an extension of themselves. Via fanfic, they can be everything they can't be in real life, and depict themselves as actually being edgy, cool or special (magical powers included).
  • Fedora: the Tipping, a parody World of Darkness gameline, is about playing a cringeworthy Manchild, complete with its version of the Humanity Meter being named Edge. There's also a supplement called Chuunibyou: the Arm-Grabbing for games set in Japan, which adds new ability paths themed after the Chuunibyou User Manual and modifies old ones (notably replacing some powers based on Atheism and Weabooism with ones themed on Patriotic Fervor).
  • In take only what you need, there is the implication that Izuku's harsh treatment is not so much that he is Quirkless, but that his desire to be a hero in spite of it is viewed as completely deluded. When he publicly drops the hero desire to go into medical school, his treatment from peers and teachers greatly improves.
  • When Bakugou is transferred to a more strict middle school in The Vigilante Boss and His Failed Retirement Plan after getting kicked out of Onodera, he is accused of being one by the teachers and fellow students when they try to crack down on his behavior. Bakugou constantly seeing himself as the main character while treating his classmates as nameless extras is not something a good educator would tolerate.
    Teacher: He needs anger management class… and I am not sure how to bring this up- but your son seems to be under delusions that he is the main character of a fantasy, and calling everyone around him as either extras and cannon fodder.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • One example that's lasted even before Japanese diagnosis and cultural adoption, and of a darker well known variety is that of Heavenly Creatures.

    Light Novels 
  • Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest was originaly published as a web novel under the pen name ''Chuuni Suki''. The tropes are turned Up to Eleven then lampshaded all over the place.
  • Rinna Kazamatsuri from Chivalry of a Failed Knight is a member of the Shinigami, a C-Range Blazer... and a chuunibyou, who even referenced Rikka Takanashi having an Eyepatch of Power to "seal her powers".
  • Denpa Teki na Kanojo: Ame Ochibana appears to be the evil-eye type. She follows Yuzawa around, pretending it's because she was a knight in a previous life and he was her king. It's unclear how much of it she really believes herself, but a flashback shows that she actually fell for him back when they where children because he gave her a king toy figure to cheer her up when she was crying .
  • Played with in The Eminence In Shadow: Cid thinks he is this. He came up with the Diabolos Cult and the Shadow Garden out of nowhere, but everything he claimed turned out to be true. Still to this day he believes that his friends are playing a game and the people they go after are ordinary bandits, unaware that he is leading one side in a Secret War, created a N.G.O. Superpower, with an Amazon Brigade that have Undying Loyalty towards him. Along with said women believing he is The Chessmaster.
  • Vali in High School Dx D describes himself as the descendant of the original Lucifer with a legendary dragon sealed within him. This is completely accurate, but he says this even when he's a child and has yet to demonstrate his powers, causing others to think that he's this trope (as shown in the spinoff SLASH/DOG). It's also revealed that he would write down various chuunibyou lines (such as "If one had to describe fate or a miracle, perhaps that would be me") in a personal diary so he could say them to his eventual rival.
  • In KonoSuba, Megumin is a self-proclaimed genius who wears an eyepatch and bandages for purely aesthetic reasons, and is prone to dramatic speeches and silly gestures, prompting protagonist Kazuma to call her "chuuni mage" when she's being annoying. Subverted in that she really is a prodigy Arch Wizard of the Crimson Demon clan (who all act like this), and is one of the few mages alive who can cast the Fantastic Nuke spell "Explosion". Double Subverted in that casting Explosion drains her entire mana pool and leaves her unable to move since it's a particularly high level spell, and she never learned any spells other than Explosion because they "weren't cool enough"; even other Crimson Demons think she's taking the Rule of Cool too far.
  • The most famous example and the reason why this term is widely known outside Japan is Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (mostly because of the anime adaptation rather than the light novel). It follows a boy, Yuta Togashi, who in middle school had chuunibyou and called himself the Dark Flame Master, which ended up alienating him from his fellow classmates. He ends up finding this behavior embarrassing, and tries to reinvent himself in High School. However, a girl with chuunibyou, Rikka Takanashi, catches wind of Yuta's past and becomes interested in him and his Dark Flame Master persona. She herself believes that she is a sorceress with the ability to see other people's destinies through her "Wicked Eye", which she keeps hidden behind a medical eyepatch. Hilarity ensues as the two begin to become friends and they start to learn more about each other's lives.
  • My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, as I Expected:
    • Yoshiteru Zaimokuza has delusions about being a warlord in another life and even having a lifetime rivalry with Hachiman Hikigaya who also has a coincidence in his name just as Yoshiteru. He's recognized as a chuunibyou for all the other members of the Service Club (even being called by Yui and Komachi as "Chuuni-chan"), but Hachiman, who sees he has the "novelist syndrome".
    • In the first chapters of the light novel and in an episode of the first season, Hachiman talks about he had the Chuunibyou syndrome when he was younger, even he made Cosplay in few ocasions (mostly for himself).
  • In Oreimo, "Kuroneko" is this, wearing Gothic Lolita dresses, threatening people with curses, and enjoying shows because they're hard to understand. It's a while before the audience even learns what her real name is.
  • Overlord (2012):
    • One of Momonga's former guildmates, Ulbert Alain Odle, is mentioned to have been a textbook example. No wonder he roleplayed an openly evil demon with a flair for the dramatic and the most powerful destruction spells in YGGDRASIL. The NPC he created, Demiurge, is equally edgy, which suddenly becomes a lot more of a problem when the game came to life. Though, given that he lost his parents in an accident, his "chuunibyou" act may have been hiding legitimate mental issues.
    • Momonga himself once went through a chuunibyou phase which resulted in the creation of Pandora's Actor, a Large Ham of a doppelganger who wears a Nazi uniform and constantly lapses into Gratuitous German. Nowadays, Momonga is deeply ashamed of this phase and finds the Actor quite cringeworthy in hindsight, especially now that he's sentient and his quirks fully come into play as opposed to being just a part of his backstory.
    • Lakyus Alvein Dale Aindra, the leader of Blue Rose, is implied to have a pretty severe case of this, even faking a "dark personality" and hyping up the possibly non-existent corrupting nature of her sword Kilineiram. However, she at least has enough sense to keep it out of her public persona and gets very embarrassed whenever she realizes she's slipped up in front of others. Ironically, her team has a member named Evileye who wears a mask and has magic powers (since she's a vampire).
  • Jurai Andou from When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace is a shameless and textbook example of the Mystic type, to the point that Hatoko infamously chews him out for it. Also, depending on whether you believe they actually have powers or simply have overactive imaginations, every character in the series may also count.

    Literature 
  • Bridge to Terabithia: Two fifth-graders invent a fantasy world in order to escape the pressures of everyday life. It doesn't turn out well for them.
  • Dr. Diabliere of Differently Morphous is an adult version. A powerless "wizard" who studies Rune Magick because he lacks The Gift (a fact he desperately tries to hide). Diabliere is neither his real name (in fact, it's the name of the Unforgiveable Sin of eating a vampire's soul from Vampire: The Masquerade), nor does he hold a PHD. He actually does have magick, but he's a mole from a Nebulous Evil Organization, and uses it to transform, mind and body, into a number of alter-egoes.
  • Discworld:
    • Agnes Nitt engages in this, renaming herself Perdita X. Dream (or as the depressingly down-to-earth people of Lancre know her, Agnes what calls herself Perditax) and giving herself a skinnier, wittier and interestingly pale personality. Since this is the Discworld, Perdita gradually evolves into Agnes's Split Personality (which comes in useful when vampires control Agnes, letting Perdita take the wheel as vampires can only control one mind per body). Although Agnes hangs around a coven of wannabe witches, she's the only one who the real witches recognize as having talent, and eventually takes the place of Magrat, who gave up witching to become queen (as she doesn't really have the figure to be a witch-queen).
    • Granny Weatherwax of all people was this (at least briefly), explaining to Agnes that you should never pick a name that doesn't go with the kind of physical work witches do, in her case, Desdemona (bear in mind Granny's birth name is Esmerelda).
  • As noted in the description, Don Quixote is often considered the Ur-Example, with protagonist Alonso Quijano being a fifty year-old man who has become so enamoured with Chivalric Romance novels that he has come to see himself as one of the knights of his stories and has started styling himself as the eponymous Don Quixote de La Mancha and claims to be on fantastic adventures and quests, while the people around him see him as the delusional nuisance he is. As a delusional old man who attempts to joust windmills he claims are actually giants, he can be seen as something of a predecessor of the modern "Evil Eye" or "Delusional" variety of Chuunibyou.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The titular Prince came up with his identity in his teenage years as a way to get back at his Muggle father (hence half-blood) by using his witch mother's last name. He was known to run around with a gang of people who would later become the first Death Eaters and came up with some very nasty spells. He's better known as Severus Snape.
  • The 2001 mystery novel Hyouka (most known for their manga and anime adaptations) is about a group of students part of the Kamiyama High School's Classic Literature Club. All of them take very seriously their duties in the Club, at the point of working more as a Mystery Club than a Literature Club, solving fictional cases made by themselves.

    Music 

    Video Games 
  • In The Caligula Effect Overdose, this is listed as Shadow Knife's trauma. He believes himself to be a great warrior of justice, having modelled his appearance in Mobius on that of the anti-hero protagonist Shadow Knife of his favorite anime, and has the ability to pin people in place via sniping their shadows with his knives. But Kotaro quickly calls out Shadow Knife for what he actually is — a Bully Hunter that ends up bullying his former tormenters because it makes him feel good, while hiding behind the excuse of it being some skewered sense of 'justice'.
  • During the Gamescom demo for Devil May Cry 5, one of Capcom's representatives basically stated that Chuunibyou was one of his inspirations for the game (and his games in general).
  • Garungun, the (wingless) Obsidian Winged Destroyer, from Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness. In addition to claiming he has a Majin sealed within his hand, he also says that his supposed wings are invisible to those who lack the "evil eye".
  • A number of Ensemble Stars! characters are this to some degree.
    • Shinobu is a classic example, being rather childish and trying to become a great and powerful Ninja, using some speech patterns from the Sengoku period and going as far as establishing a ninja association extracurricular (of which he is the only member for his entire first year, making his club unrecognised by school policy). He is the 5* of a gacha set explicitly themed around chuunibyou, appropriately outfitted in a long, ragged black coat with too many belts and an eyepatch, wielding magical powers from his hands. The story is based around him encountering a set of 'scrolls' he believes will grant him magical ninja techniques. At one point, Nazuna shows up and suggests that if he tries to perform too many techniques in a row his magical power will be drained—not that he knows anything about all this! This leads Midori to wonder if Nazuna also had a chuuni phase when he was younger (which also might explain his part in Valkyrie, the Victorian gothic-themed unit).
    • Rei and Ritsu insist that they are actually immortal vampires. It's later revealed that their family is something of a cult which calls themselves vampires, with hereditary anemia and other medical conditions that grant them some vampiric traits. While Ritsu enjoys the taste of blood and often feeds on his friends, Rei dislikes it, as well as the family tradition that requires him, as the next head, to feed on the blood of a 'sacrifice' (he prefers tomato juice instead).
    • Souma also acts like a Samurai, but in his case he's just from a ridiculously old-fashioned family who have been practicing kendo for generations. He brings his katana to school and often draws it to threaten people he deems immoral (usually Kaoru) and offers to commit seppuku when he makes mistakes, much to the consternation of his peers.
    • The magician Natsume is accused of this in-story—when he and Tsumugi reunite in Yumenosaki, Natsume tries to say that he's actually a powerful being capable of great magics:
      Tsumugi: You've become a chuunibyou even though you're in high school?!
      Natsume: DIE.
  • There's Jeanne d'Arc (Alter)'s Berserker self from Fate/Grand Order. Her character gimmick is that she's pretty much chuunibyou personified. Using German (despite being nominally French) because it's "cool"? Check. Using katana despite being nominally French? Check. Having three swords despite using two of them in all of one command card? Check. Fashionable Asymmetry because it's cool? Check. Extremely overdone lines upon defeat in battle and swearing to come back next time? Ooooh, check.
    • Charlemagne from Fate/Extella Link actually has this as a power. His skill "Traveling the Path of the King" makes him stronger when he does something he thinks is cool, and weaker when he does something he thinks is uncool. As for his tastes, in one scene he decided that he had to have an awesome entrance to enter a battle and chose to go with a Three-Point Landing specifically because it looked cool.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • While a more complicated example, Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII maintains a persona of being a cocky, detached hotshot former special forces operative that doesn't really fit with his actual personality or level of ability. While in the original VII (PSX) this comes off more as something Cloud does due to unresolved identity issues that started in childhood, Final Fantasy VII Remake focuses more on it being the consequence of his trauma, but has fun with it by having those around Cloud immediately clock his behaviour as a childish affectation, comparing him to local children or outright calling him on 'bullshit'. In Remake, he even spreads the syndrome to people around him, with young people in Sector 7 rushing out to buy "big-ass swords" and imitating his rude mannerisms, and the children of Sector 5 making homemade Buster Swords.
    • Downplayed in Final Fantasy XV, where Ignis's persona is based on trying to appear more 'adult' than he really is by acting exaggeratedly mature, wearing glasses he doesn't really need, and making a point of drinking a lot of black coffee despite secretly not liking coffee.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Owain displays many stereotypical chuuni traits like Calling His Attacks, geeking out over stories about legendary weapons, and pretending that his sword arm is possessed and thirsts for blood. Both his portrait and his map sprite show him standing with his hand held dramatically over his face. When he reappears in Fire Emblem Fates as "Odin", he even has a personal skill which increases his critical hit rate when wielding weapons with cool names.note 
  • Girls Frontline: Welrod likes to pretend she is a secret agent found in movies using catch phrases and one-liners. Amusingly, she is a secret agent as her namesake gun was used in espionage. She plays it up in her Twilight Menace scenario and really gets into playing as a vampire in her Halloween costume.
  • Grimnir from Granblue Fantasy often practises long, flowery monologues with dramatic poses to match, only to ruin any impressiveness by squeeing over how cool he sounds or getting embarrassed to the point of tears when nobody reacts. However, his self-proclaimed strength is entirely unexaggerated due to him being the incredibly powerful God of War.
  • Destruction Demon Minami Kaima from Gun Gun Pixies. She is NOT happy to be called on it. Misa Torii shows some minor chuuni traits as well.
  • Hikikomori No Chuunibyou is a Steam's Indie Platform Game (with touches of Puzzle and Beat 'em Up) made in 8-bit about a Hikikomori who also is a Chuunibyou and has been obligated to go outside, passing stages using parkour-like abilities and martial-arts techniques.
  • Ranko Kanzaki from THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls, who exclusively wears Elegant Gothic Lolita clothing and acts like an Evil Overlord. She is notorious among her co-idols for her long-winded and difficult-to-understand talking style. However, despite being chuunibyou, she is innocent and sweet and others find it surprising that she is really scared of horror and ghosts.
  • Ezreal, the Prodigal Explorer of League of Legends invokes this to a degree among his various other Animesque traits. An adventurous young man who stumbled across an ancient magic gauntlet that gives him teleportation powers, he actually is fairly talented and capable with magic. He falls into this, however, by vastly overestimating just how important he actually is, trying to craft a name for himself as one of the greatest in Runeterra that no one buys, in part because it's a world that's no stranger to extreme magical power anyway. He constantly uses a self-given alias "Jarro Lightfeather" while exploring Demacia, claiming to be a "Sentinel of Light" and a national hero, and yet nobody there ever acknowledges him, including the girl he repeatedly tries to hit on.
  • Mason from MapleStory 2 loves telling stories about the dark powers, evil weapons, and unfortunate curses he totally, definitely has, usually using them as excuses for why he can't perform some task he's obviously capable of. Interestingly, he is a genuinely skilled magic user with some very impressive powers, just not the dark and edgy ones he claims to have.
  • Neptunia's IF tends to be portrayed as this by the fandom.
  • Mei Kurosaki of Omega Labyrinth Life claims to be "of the blood of the High King," wears a glove over her right hand to hold back the "dark power" that resides inside of it, and mostly speaks in Purple Prose in a deep, serious tone of voice. Any time she is embarrassed, frightened, or aroused, the act immediately drops and she speaks more normally in a much squeakier, adorable voice.
  • Gladion from Pokémon Sun and Moon has many hallmarks of this character type. He's an angry young man obsessed with strength, who denies being friends with any human characters, to the point where he initially seems like an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. However, it soon turns out that his anger is the result of stress, and when calm he's actually a Nice Guy who just happens to like black clothes and making dramatic poses in battle. Hau even calls him out on acting mysterious just to seem cooler. His character concept art notes explicitly call him this, translated in English as "Gotta express that middle-school arrogance and being emo."
  • Krilalaris from QP Shooting and 100% Orange Juice! often behaves in this manner, acting as though she can see dark powers coming from people.
  • Smile For Me: Trevor Garbo insists that he has a werewolf alter-ego, and that he's the mortal enemy of Trencil Varnnia (who just thinks of Trevor as a minor nuisance). Given that vampires do exist, as confirmed by Trencil, there's the distinct possibility Trevor is indeed a werewolf... but we never actually see his supposed wolf form, even when he attempts to transform, so it's up in the air.
  • Touhou:
    • The one to kick off the chuuni traditions in Gensoukyou is Remilia Scarlet, who's always trying to come off as dark, sinister, mysterious and immeasurably powerful. Bit of an unusual example considering the fact that Remilia actually really is an immensly powerful, 500-year-old vampire with quite a bit of leverage in the setting... Regardless, she's still very prone to hyping herself and her vampiric abilities up to levels that not even she can ever reasonably live up to, complete with trying way too hard when naming her attacks, and the fact she's a perpetual 10-year-old child serves to further underscore her chuuni complex. This is such a big part of her character, in fact, that she even tends to slip into bragging about her vampiric powers in AU Fics where she's a regular human. Then there's also the matter of her supposed signature ability, the so-called "manipulation of fate", which seems to be a lot less potent than it sounds and than Remilia makes it out to be. According to her sister, Remilia outright made it up to make it sound like she's always in control of the situation and that any losses she takes are part of some complicated plan that does not really exist. If Flandre is right, that would make Remilia chuuni down to coming up with fake magical powers for herself even though she does have very real magical powers.
    • Sanae Kochiya is another unusual example in that she really does have supernatural powers, she's just way too enthusiastic about them (and occasionally lapses into If Jesus, Then Aliens).
    • Sekibanki from Double Dealing Character is described as giving off a chuuni vibe, in that she looks down on both humans and youkai despite her own lack of importance.
    • Sumireko Usami is a textbook example of chuunibyou, being convinced of her inherent specialness, belief in mystical phenomena and general obsession with the occult, and superiority complex towards her peers and everyone else she meets prior to the serving of humble pie she gets at the hands of Reimu and Gensokyo's youkai. Unlike many other examples of this trope, however, she actually has very potent Psychic Powers. In one of the print works, she calls herself a chuuni.
    • The story of Dateless Bar "Old Adam" focuses on chuunibyou as a general theme, in the form of the adults Maribel and Renko meet that are obsessed with the stories about Gensokyo told by the former's pseudonym, Dr. Latency.
    • Series creator ZUN concluded Dateless Bar "Old Adam" with his own analysis of chuunibyou:
    "Chuunibyou" is an easy word to toss around, but understanding that as a motif isn't so simple. I think the source of it is how people tend to think of their childhood as embarrassing, as part of how they progress from a state of innocence to adulthood.
    In becoming an adult, one becomes different from their past self, and in that same vein, different from those around them. As a result, they think for no reason that they're an utterly unique individual.
    If you consider it this way, "I have a cursed right hand~" or "I can whisper into your mind~" and so on aren't really the core essence of chuunibyou.
    The true nature of this adolescent posturing is the heat of life. It's an explosion of one's imaginative power. It's a form of resistance against a chilled society, wielding both purity and creativity.
    Lately, I've been thinking: how can I maintain that eight-grade attitude until the day I die?
    If I can do that, I can enjoy sake for my whole life.
  • This trope is deconstructed in Under Night In-Birth with Phonon. Her desire to make her fantasies reality ends up leading her to make some bone-headed decisions in becoming an In-Birth. Her attempts to look cool also make her come across as an unpleasant Jerkass towards other people, with her delusions being so strong that she'd even go as far as to attack fellow classmate Nanase to save face, even though the latter was only trying to be nice to her. And then there's her Ignored Epiphany over wanting to go back to a normal life every time she finds herself in danger. Needless to say, Hyde (who's the exact opposite of her) pretty much calls her out over this in his victory quote to her.
  • The True Final Boss of the Undertale Pacifist Route, Asriel Dreemurr, comes off as the type. Though he does have genuine power — godlike, in fact — he uses it in a way that makes it amply clear he's gunning for all the Rule of Cool stereotypes. Atrocious Alias (God of Hyperdeath)? Check. Boasting about suppressing his true power? Check. Several Impossibly Cool Weapons, such as dual swords and a giant rainbow laser? Check. An over-the-top ultimate attack, which he is shocked you withstand? Check. This is appropriate, since Asriel is literally a child (probably even younger than teenage) and is literally playing with you. In good "kid with the 'undodgeable laser gun' on the playground" fashion, he is invincible, so to defeat him, you have to convince him to stop... but not without resorting to some hax of your own.
  • Zeke from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 exhibits many traits of one, having an eyepatch that conceals his "Eye of Shining Justice" that according to him can reduce men to ash with its full power, arts with comically flashy names (Ultimate Lightning Fury Slash Max being the most ridiculous of them), and often strikes dramatic poses while talking or fighting. Downplayed, however, as he's considered the strongest Driver in his country and is a legitimately powerful individual both in story and gameplay, and some of his more over-the-top claims seem to just be him messing with people; he's actually capable of being mature and level-headed when the situation calls for it. There's also the fact that the Eye of Shining Justice is real, and implied to be related to his status as a Blade Eater.
  • The students in Yandere Simulator show some degree of this. The occult club seem to think they can summon demons (and YOU can please one to get powers), and the delinquents show a lot of DNQ (Especially the newer model, older models are based on The '80s.), through backstory, we learn that they are like this because one of the (unimplemented) rivals showed them that Evil Is Cool and they want to copy her.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa
    • Celestia Ludenberg, Ultimate Gambler in the first game. Decked out in Elegant Gothic Lolita attire and adamant that Celestia Ludenberg is her real name despite her being as Japanese as the rest of the cast. Her Free Time Events have her "backstory" as a series of references to gambling anime, she's said to give people letter rankings based on her opinions of them (the top two ranks have zero people in them), and her greatest desire is to live in a castle waited on hand and foot by hundreds of Pretty Boy butlers dressed up like vampires. Her quickly-turned manservant, Hifumi Yamada, also counts as one, as a Large Ham obsessed with his waifu to the point where in his Free Time Events he confesses to genuinely believing she's real, not to mention that he's a bit of a white knight for real women despite his insistence that he has no interest in pig-disgusting 3D. Might be why they're the closest thing to friends in the class one another have. Celestia manipulates him into committing murder thanks to the latter's delusion before killing him herself, and her real, somewhat hickish name Taeko Yasuhiro is a plot point in that case. Her obsession with this delusion ties both into her Villainous Breakdown and her subsequent execution.
    • Gundham Tanaka, the Ultimate Animal Breeder from Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. A Card-Carrying Villain who dresses and acts like he just stepped out of a shonen anime, claiming to be a peerless dark sorcerer who will one day Take Over the World with his loyal followers, the Four Dark Devas of Destruction (read: four cute little hamsters). When he's found guilty of murder, he attempts to protect himself from his execution with his alleged "dark powers", only to fail. Also, he's really not as evil as he'd like to think he is, as his murder was part of a mutual Suicide Pact he made with his "victim" in order to save the other students from starvation.
    • Himiko Yumeno, the Ultimate Magician of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony appears to be carrying on the trend. She demands to be called the Ultimate Mage instead of Magician, wears a witch hat, and takes great offense to the notion that she does mere "tricks" and not real magic. Though her "real magic" is what the second case is centered around, making her its prime suspect thanks to the body turning up at her show, she's cleared of any charges and, bucking the trend of the previous games, never kills anybody before going on to be one of very few survivors of the game. However, she still has standards. In a non-canon bonus mode she can interact with Gundham... and has absolutely no idea what the hell he's saying.
    • Also in V3, the mastermind herself counts as this, again crossed with Otaku. Obsessed with Danganronpa to a fault, she spends much of the trial post-unveiling insisting that she is Junko Enoshima and cosplaying as various other characters from the previous two games. She seems to have no identity whatsoever outside of this, despite being the only one out of the cast Not Brainwashed into thinking they are a Danganronpa character.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has Anghel Higure, a bleeding-heart dove who wears cross accessories and bandages in his human portrait and proclaims himself to be the reincarnation of a Fallen Angel. He emits hallucinogenic pheromones which he lacks immunity to himself, causing him to see the world as a fantasy RPG.
  • Mika Hashimoto of Shining Song Starnova is a mix of the Subcultural and Evil Eye types, being a shut-in otaku who dresses like an Elegant Gothic Lolita, acts like she’s the main character of a dark fantasy videogame, and decided to become an Idol Singer because the main character of her favourite anime happened to be one. Her behaviour leads the other members of Starnova to derisively nickname her "Chuuni-chan".
  • Steins;Gate:
    • Rintarou Okabe is the main character. He is a self-proclaimed mad scientist and villain, fighting some mysterious organisation, and will often partake in strange mannerisms such as talking to himself via cell phone and laughing maniacally in order to keep up this persona. He is more self-concious about that most though, as in his internal monologue he occasionally admits to himself that he knows its that it is all fake, but he is having a blast, so he sees no reason to stop. However, it is graudually revealed that he doesn't really keep the charade up for his own sake, but rather developed it in order to entertain his childhood friend Mayuri Shiina and distract her from the death of her beloved grandmother.
    • 4℃ is a Rainet player who is like an even more pathetic version of Okabe who takes the game way too seriously and tries to remove Faris out of the tournament.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck:
    • uranianUmbra, a.k.a. Calliope, is initially presented as a Sixth Ranger to the trolls, and claims to be of a previously unestablished lime-blood caste that is near-extinct due to culling. This isn't the case. In fact, Calliope isn't a troll at all, but a different kind of alien called a Cherub. She wears troll cosplay and presents herself as a troll because she feels that her true form is unappealing. She's also shown to draw fanart and fic of the cast after admiring them for so long. This aspect of hers highlights her low self-esteem, caused in large part by loneliness and being abused by her brother/Split Personality.
    • undyingUmbrage, a.k.a. Caliborn, Calliope's brother, also shows symptoms of the edgelord variety. He's noted to be a major Munchkin who's only playing SBURB to win, enjoys drawing poor fanart that he claims is top-notch, and generally has a bratty, egotistical attitude. This ultimately gets played for horror. Because he kills Calliope, his other half, instead of undergoing a Split-Personality Merge like what's supposed to be healthy for their species, his emotional development gets stunted. It's revealed that the actions Lord English, his older future self, is known for is really him just acting out childish power fantasies that he's now capable of on account of being a Physical God.

    Web Original 
  • Ede Valley has Gil Trenton, a student at St. Adelaide's who insists that he's a powerful warlock wielding the forces of darkness. He might be right.

    Web Videos 
  • Deagle Nation: Jace Connors would be the military equivalent who deluded himself into thinking he was a Marine who would go on "missions".

    Western Animation 
  • Daron Nefcy's original concept for Star Butterfly was a normal girl with the Evil Eye variant of this, but Disney executives convinced her to age up the character and let her have actual magic powers when they made Star vs. the Forces of Evil.
  • As part of its many anime influences, Steven Universe has a mild Evil Eye variant in the form of Ronaldo Fryman, a massive otaku and self-proclaimed Paranormal Investigator. He is so wrapped up in his own delusions, he'll attribute the phenomena caused by the Crystal Gems to whatever made up threats and creatures he feels like talking about (though he manages to make some shockingly accurate premonitions in the process). After he recognizes the Gems as the real source of magic in Beach City, he even attempts to join their ranks with an edgy Gemsona name and a toy katana. Due to his self-centered behavior, and his lack of understanding of what exactly the Crystal Gems do and where his limitations lie (even staying awake for days because actual Gems don't need to sleep and he refuses to acknowledge that he's still human), it doesn't work out.
  • Dermott from The Venture Bros. is a classic western example - he pretends to be a gangster and claims to be an expert in Ninjitsu and military tactics. Truth is, he's a dimwit living in a trailer with his mom and sister, and his father, far from the black-ops government agent, is Doctor Venture — due to the president of his fan club lying about her age and her mother threatening to have him arrested for rape if he ever contacted her again.

 
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Lala in stereo

Just a friendly Chuunibyou duel between girls with actual supernatural powers.

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Main / Chuunibyou

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