Follow TV Tropes



Go To

"Gotta express that middle-school arrogance and being emo."
— Translated character design notes for Gladion, Pokémon Sun and Moon

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, chuunis 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.

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 Hyouya Saegami'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.
  • 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, also known as the Delusional Type due to their tenuous grasp of reality, are the most iconic form but rarely seen outside of Japanese Media. These guys are Sham Supernaturals who believe they have Magic and Powers and will try to convince others that their powers are real (stereotypically a Magical Eye under a surgical eyepatch, or an Evil Hand which they grasp in supposed pain). They often create a persona with an Awesome McCoolname or Atrocious Alias (there's almost no middle ground) to display these magical abilities. This subtype had its own Trope Codifier in the popular Boogiepop light novel series, which starts a main character with a superpowered split personality that only differentiates itself by wearing a costume and talking in a cooler way.

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.

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes Associated with Chuunibyou 


    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Uto Nakaji takes the Know-Nothing Know-It-All route by pretending to be a philosophical Wandering Minstrel. She’s a Dreadful Musician, and her attempts at philosophy only confuse the people she talks to and amount to little more than Ice Cream Koans. Nevertheless, she's completely committed to the part, spending all her time as a minstrel in public and private, even when not wearing the costume; the only time the persona drops is when she's surprised, revealing she's rather less stoic than she seems. She temporarily dips into Evil Eye territory when Playing Drunk.
  • Attack on Titan has Eren go off in speeches as well as blurting out random lines while talking to his friends and associates, which Levi deems to be this trope, even stating it out loud to the Military Council. But, Subverted as it's actually due to Eren getting confused between the multiple users of his Titans, unable to separate whose memory is whose.
  • Ako Udagawa of BanG Dream!, who serves as the drummer for Roselia. 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 suspects that her odd behavior is the result of her frequently playing online games.
  • Zig-zagged with Lotton the Wizard from Black Lagoon, who's considerably older than most examples of this trope (in his 20s at least). While he doesn't claim to have any supernatural powers, he tries to act like a hero of justice, dresses in a Badass Long Coat and Cool Shades which he even wears at night (although admittedly he's not the only character to do so), tries to Dual Wield Mauser C96s (despite never even getting to fire them) and is more concerned with making a "cool" entrance and posing dramatically while delivering bombastic speeches than actually being a proper gunman- while he technically is a hired gun rather than just pretending to be one, he's terrible at it. On the other hand, he does seem to have two special powers that make him stand out in this otherwise gritty series- firstly a surprising degree of Genre Savvy that makes him pretty much the only person in Roanapur who wears a bullet-proof vest (letting him survive his initial encounter with Revy) and in another instance a metal groin protector (that saves his balls when Roberta kicks them hard enough to dent it), and secondly he seems to have almost supernatural luck that makes him the series' most unlikely Action Survivor. He still acts like he's in a totally different series, but he's generally considered harmless, which in Roanapur is practically an achievment in itself. However, he's possibly a deconstruction of this trope if you're in the camp that thinks he's actually genuinely mentally ill.
  • In Boruto, Boruto starts acting like one when he thinks he's unlocked his Jōgan, 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 Lives of High School Boys:
    • The three protagonists are seen as chuunibyous, in various scenes playing as if they are part of a RPG.
    • Motoharu the Delinquent, despite his notoriety as a delinquent, only really looks the part, and is one of the main group's friends.
  • Aira Shiratori from Dandadan believes that since she's pretty and popular, she must be the Chosen One destined to rid the world of evil. Ayase outright calls her this when even after they saved her from Acrobatic Silky and brought her back to life, she declares her belief that Okarun and Hoshiko are both demons and Ayase is controlling them. Ironically, they're the ones who fight demons (though Okarun did get some Powers via Possession).
  • Kyōtarō Ichikawa from The Dangers in My Heart is a downplayed example and an actual middle schooler. He secretly deems himself to be a disturbed individual who's "messed up in the head", sitting 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. Episode Zero shows this trait to be a coping mechanism built up throughout his first year in middle school to deal with his isolation, low self-esteem, and Freakiness Shame towards his genuine interest in non-fiction books about murderers. While he drops the murderous fantasies early on, he's still not above the occasional make-believe. In one extra chapter, he shoots an eye beam at Yamada (To her confusion) in response to her shooting imaginary bullets at him at soccer practice. And in another, he switches waving hello with posing to greet her; putting his fingers in front of his face like he's summoning an aura (And she happily goes along with it thinking it's cool.)
  • Destroy All Humankind. They Can't Be Regenerated.: Hajime Kanou loves acting smug and melodramatic whenever the topic of Magic: The Gathering or mono-black decks is involved. The narration likes to follow up by stating that the term "chuunibyou" hadn't been coined yet.
  • 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 in what he thought was essentially a highly realistic video game; when he realizes that Digimon are in fact real sentient beings, he does not take it well.
  • Kiyoshiro Higashimitarai from Digimon Ghost Game is a standard version of the Evil Eye type with a hand he bandaged himself in order to look more mysterious. He's known to be an Otaku who moved back to Japan -despite being a Teen Genius who skipped grades and graduated college in America- with the sole purpose of getting to live the Japanese school life. Despite projecting a cool image, he's very superstitious and deathly afraid of the supernatural, which makes him less than enthusiastic to answer the Call to Adventure that is investigating Hologram Ghosts and partnering with a Digimon.
  • 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. Incidentally because of this, he sees Saiki as his superpowered partner in crime while completely in the dark about his actual psychic abilities.
  • 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.
  • In GTO: The Early Years, New Transfer Student Ashura Sakaki proclaims himself as "Shogun of the North", "Demon King of the Northern Sea", and "Hero of the Land of Snow". For a short time Katsuyuki and Tamura think he actually managed to beat Eikichi, but it turned out to have just been someone with the same hairstyle. He supposedly beats Tamura in one second, but it turns out he just had stomach pains. Later, a bunch of his old classmates from Hokkaido arrive and apologize for his behavior, revealing that he's a Stone Wall with delusions of grandeur, declaring himself the winner when his opponents get bored and leave.
  • How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?: Ibuki Sakura, main character Hibiki's older, brother, is a severe case, despite being far too old for it (he's at least in his mid-twenties and a very successful business man and restaurant owner). He wears black robes with a mounted ram's skull in public, speaks in ridiculously dramatic euphemisms, and gives himself overblown titles that he wants others to use when adressing him (they don't). His friends and family are largely used to it by now, and he's so handsome that the other girls still want him, despite his weirdness.
  • 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.
  • Life with an Ordinary Guy who Reincarnated into a Total Fantasy Knockout: Schwarz von Liechtenstein Lohen-Gramm, the hero that will save this world. The obviously made up name, overly theatric mannerisms, wielding a self-proclaimed holy sword, and tendency to come up with elaborate scenarios on the fly such as when he assumes Tachibana has fallen in love with (what he believes to be) Parental Substitute Jinguuji, all paint him as a young man with a slim grasp on reality having a blast in a fantasy world. The Goddess of Night, the goddess that brought Schwarz to the other world, is even worse, to the point that Schwarz has to translate for her.
  • 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.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Played with in that Saikawa is Locked Out of the Loop regarding the supernatural being real. So whenever the real wizard Shouta starts talking about magic, she thinks he's a chuuni, often muttering in disgust that he's a weirdo.
  • Monster Musume:
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • Shihai Kuroiro is cut from the same cloth as Fumikage, right down to the fascination with the dark, the dramatic speeches and the Darkness Von Gothick Name (It roughly translates to "domination and control of the color black", fitting for someone whose Quirk allows him to merge with anything that's dark in color). During the Joint Training Arc, he immediately declares himself to be The Rival of Fumikage. This persona vanishes immediately in presence of his crush Kinoko Komori, with Shihai acting like a shy and stuttering mess incapable of making eye contact and jumping in joy internally when the mushroom girl praises him for his tactics.
  • Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary: Hitomi has hints of this, fantasizing about firing lasers from her eye. This is especially apparent when she's drunk.
  • 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 Toku 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:
  • Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle: It's a minor Running Gag that Demon Cleric went through one of these phases and is thoroughly embarrassed whenever it comes up, as by the time of the series' present day he's one of the older and kinder members of the cast. Naturally it comes as quite a shock whenever someone discovers that he used to be a delinquent who walked around shirtless everywhere while carrying a sickle. Inevitably, the cast ends up visiting his childhood home, where they discover that his old bedroom is still decorated in an over-the-top macabre fashion, with skeletons, spikes, and weapons everywhere.
  • 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 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). The twist is, with help of actual vigilantes Big Daddy and Hit Girl (Hit Girl is in fact an inversion of the trope, since she is an actual hyper-capable assassin who happens to be a ten year old girl), he takes a level in badass and becomes an actual hero, and even ends up leading a superhero team, fighting supervillains and even pulls off the dinner scene from Batman: Year One.
  • 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 Author Avatar characters 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.
  • The My Little Pony: Equestria Girls fanfiction Trixie Trismegistus Subjugates the Demon Queens of Canterlot Castle.
    Celestia: Is that a Hermetic Caduceus?
    Luna: Yes. Beatrix Lulamoon has been pointing it at students and school property for the past two days yelling ‘TRISMEGISTUS!’ and annoying people. The imagination that teenagers have these days…

    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.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors turns chuunibyou into a superpower, with the teenagers in that movie using their imaginary personas, including a punk chick (I'm beautiful...and bad!) and a D&D Wizard Master, to fight Freddy Krueger in their dreams. Unfortunately, being a Nigh-Invulnerable dream stalker, he still manages to kill off many of them in straight combat, but it does help the others survive long enough for holy water to take him down. This becomes a common tactic for the teenagers of the following movies to fight Freddy. Special mention goes to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, where the titular Dream Master is a shy, daydreaming girl who gives herself an Adrenaline Makeover to embrace her inner chuunibyou persona made up of her fallen friends, and much to Freddy's shock, succeeds in killing him.

  • Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest was originally published as a web novel under the pen name ''Chuuni Suki''. Main character Hajime used to be one in middle school and in the present day he realizes that his appearance has changed to resemble what he considered "cool" back then, having an eyepatch that covers a magic eye and an artificial arm, which briefly depresses him. One character later calls him a "chuuni bastard" to insult him.
  • Bridge to Terabithia is about two fifth-graders who invent a fantasy world in order to escape the pressures of everyday life. It doesn't turn out well for them.
  • A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun: Gunha Sogiita has genuine powers, but he fits because he is seriously out of touch with reality. He talks and behaves like a goofy, stereotypical superhero from a Sentai series or a Saturday-Morning Cartoon. He constantly makes speeches about fighting for justice and saving the world with the power of "GUTS!" and never pays attention to people trying to explain the situations he barges into. Everyone else who has powers and fights crime does it quickly and efficiently and thinks Gunha is a very strange person.
  • Chivalry of a Failed Knight: Rinna Kazamatsuri is a member of the Shinigami, and a chuunibyou, despite actually being a C-Rank Blazer, 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 .
  • 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-egos. He also possesses a form of runic magick that every other authority on the topic is pretty sure is impossible and a 100% mission success record; nobody understands how.
  • 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. The protagonist Alonso Quijano is a fifty-year-old man who has become so enamoured with Chivalric Romance novels that he comes to see himself as one of the knights of his stories, styling himself as the eponymous Don Quixote de La Mancha and claiming to be on fantastic adventures and quests, while the people around him see him as the delusional nuisance he really 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.
  • One short story from The Dresden Files, "Day Off" had Harry encounter a group of dark wizard wannabees who want revenge on him for lifting a curse their leader put on a woman who had "aroused [his] wrath." They all dress like rejects from The Craft and Harry notes that they might have some magical ability, but they're such weaklings that he doesn't think they'd be able to give him a nosebleed. He's also surprised said woman was actually cursed, telling them it was so weak that he'd just assumed the woman was having some "bad feng shui" and did the ritual more to give her peace of mind than anything else.
  • Played with in The Eminence in Shadow; main character Cid is a rather extreme case, originally being an ordinary Japanese teenager who wanted more than anything to be the leader of a secret shadowy organization to the point of letting himself get hit by a truck so he can be reincarnated in a fantasy world. It later turns out that almost all of his seeming delusions are completely true; he really does get reincarnated, and while he came up with the Diabolos Cult and the Shadow Garden out of nowhere, the Diabolos Cult is in fact real and he inadvertently becomes the head of the Shadow Garden without realizing it actually happened and it's not just roleplaying. Despite this, he still 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 and honestly believe he is The Chessmaster.
  • Haganai: Kodaka's younger sister Kobato is obsessed with the main character of her favourite anime to the point of pretending to be her; she dresses in Elegant Gothic Lolita clothing and claims to be a vampire girl who's thousands of years old, while speaking in Antiquated Linguistics and drinking tomato juice while pretending it's blood.
  • 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.
  • High School D×D: Vali 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.
  • 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 their duties in the Club very seriously, to the point of working more as a Mystery Club than a Literature Club, solving fictional cases made by themselves.
  • 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. However, unlike most examples, it's gradually made apparent that Rikka's chuunibyou behavior is mainly to cope with the death of her father rather than merely wanting to be special.
  • 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 main character Hachiman Hikigaya, whom he forms an Odd Friendship with. He's recognized as a chuunibyou by 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 anime's first season, Hachiman mentions that he went through a chuunibyou phase himself when he was younger, to the point that he even made and wore Cosplay outfits.
  • In Oreimo, "Kuroneko" is this, wearing Elegant 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).
  • In Korean webnovel The Player Hides His Past, middle-schooler Hoyeol Lee channeled his chuuni impulses by creating an incredibly chuuni character for the VR game "Chronicles of Arcana" - Granfel Claudi Arpheus Romeo, a noble-born silver-haired Pretty Boy demon hunter who swore to wipe out demons after they slaughtered his family, leaving him the Sole Survivor - and attempting to play him in real life. Twelve years later, after "Arcana" manifested in real life, Hoyeol awoke as a Player, assimilating with Granfel... and found Granfel had become the dominant persona, and everything he said and did was filtered to fit what Granfel would say and do. This is deeply, deeply, embarrassing for Hoyeol, as Granfel had long since become an Old Shame.
  • In So I'm a Spider, So What? Kumoko often observes that some of her abilities are very similar to ones a stereotypical chuuni would imagine having, like using Evil Eyes, conjuring projectiles of pure darkness, or creating razor-sharp thread.
  • A Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious is based on the premise of a middle schooler like this sent to Reincarnate in Another World, but Jerkass Gods lie to him that he'll be the protagonist, which preserves his Chunni delusions... only to face a constant Humiliation Conga for said god's amusement.
  • 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.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Los Espookys: Andrés was abandoned on the doorstep of an orphanage as a baby, then adopted by a wealthy couple who owned a chocolate empire. To deal with the boredom of his Idle Rich lifestyle, he created a backstory where his birth parents abandoned him because there was something dark and terrifying about him. As an adult, he tells everyone about this backstory the first chance he gets. His story seems to be proven true when he meets a demon called Water's Shadow living in his soul, but she's an entirely benign spiritual guide. She reveals that his adopted parents are really his birth parents who changed their minds after abandoning him, so, as she puts it, he's just some guy who still lives with his parents at 31.
  • Kamen Rider Zi-O: While Sougo Tokiwa is a polite, kind-hearted young man as opposed to the usual boastfulness or intimidation tactics that come with this trope, he's convinced that he's going to become a king, which is noted as a childish dream for a high-schooler in modern society. The catch is, time-travelers from the future reveal that he does, in fact, become king. As in Maou the Demon King.
  • La rosa de Guadalupe: Perla from the infamous episode "Cosplay, salvemos al mundo" is a teenage girl who made up the "Namiko Moon" persona to cope with the loss of her father. She wholeheartedly believes she is one of three goddesses who came down to Earth and never stops rambling about demons, villains and catastrophes.
  • Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia goes out of his way to remind everybody how masculine he is, but when push comes to shove he always disappoints. No episode highlights this better than "Mac Day" where his cousin (also called Mac) demonstrates all the badass traits Mac regularly brags about without a hint of ego. As Mac eventually transitions into a self-loathing homosexual, his overcompensation is flanderized.

  • A song from The '80s Spanish Heavy Metal band Barón Rojo is about a guy with the DQN-type. "El Malo" (The Bad Guy) is about a man who wanted to be the Big Bad instead of The Hero since he was a child. But the man is everything but a bad guy and knows that Evil Is Not a Toy, but wanted to play the bad guy for once anyway. In the end, he ended happy after being jailed for 10 days for reckless driving.
  • The titular Jesus of Suburbia (JOS) from Green Day's American Idiot. His name alone screams "unwarranted self-importance" (his real name is Jimmy). St. Jimmy is even more this, with his "I Am" Song making him out to be an immature teenage boy's fantasy of someone cool and rebellious, and JOS's girlfriend Whatsername cites his phoniness as one reason for breaking up with him. Eventually, St. Jimmy commits suicide in a grand funeral song ending with "And nobody cares." This trope especially applies if you subscribe to the common interpretation that St. Jimmy is JOS's split personality.
  • Queen: "Stone Cold Crazy" is narrated by a kid who fantasizes about being Al Capone.

    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'.
  • Cygames character Grimnir (who thanks to Reused Character Design appears in Rage of Bahamut, Granblue Fantasy, and Dragalia Lost) often practices 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.
  • 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).
  • Digimon: The X-Antibody version of Impmon is noted to wear an eyepatch for no good reason and claiming it seals his hidden powers.
  • 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.
  • Fate Series:
    • There's Jeanne d'Arc (Alter)'s Berserker self from Fate/Grand Order. Her character gimmick is that she's pretty much chuunibyou personified. She speaks German (despite being nominally French) because it's "cool", to the point of carrying around a dictionary. She also uses a katana despite being nominally French, and has three swords despite using two of them in all of one command card. Fashionable Asymmetry because it's cool, and extremely overdone lines upon defeat in battle and swearing to come back next time are also features of this.
    • 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 behavior 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.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Both The Hero and the Rival Turned Evil are examples of this, as a way to make them Foils of each other.
      • Protagonist Squall puts up an air of disaffected stoicism, which anyone who has spent any time around him sees for what it is — a teenager's desperate attempt to appear too cool for the goings-on around him. Part of Squall's Character Development is admitting that no one's buying this attitude, and learning that shutting people out is only going to make him miserable. Only once Squall stops trying to be "too cool" for everything can he prove himself to be effective as a warrior and as a leader.
      • Seifer, The Dragon and Rival Turned Evil, is a window of how dangerous this mindset can be. Seifer's an arrogant bully with delusions of grandeur because of his obsession with being a Sorceress' Knight. This obsession, along with his One-Handed Zweihänder Gangsta Style of wielding his gunblade, came from a movie he watched as a child. Once Seifer was given the chance to serve a Sorceress, regardless of whom, it spiraled out of control, leading him to develop a Tautological Templar mindset while furthering the plans of the Big Bad. Seifer fooled himself into believing that he was the heroic knight who must vanquish "the evil mercenary" Squall, and Balamb Garden was "attacking like swarms", never mind that Seifer and his Sorceress went after the Garden first. While Seifer might be Brainwashed and Crazy by the Sorceress — it's intentionally left unclear if he is or not — Seifer openly recognizes this could be the case, but he doesn't care because he gets what he wants.
    • 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 
  • Fischl of Genshin Impact is a girl who claims to be royalty from another kingdom, and much of her design and mannerisms fit the chuuni archetype. Eyepatch sealing a magical eye, dark and mysterious clothes (including Fashionable Asymmetry and black nail polish), black demon wing decorations on her boots, little wing decorations on her shoulderblades, mysterious raven companion, snazzy hand poses, and (fantasies of) slaying dragons with great powers? Her primary gimmick as a character is one extended joke on chuuni-ism and trying to live one's deepest fantasy. Even her talent descriptions are oozing with flowery language if you take a look at it. There's a degree of irony to this, of course, since she actually is a rather powerful mage-archer living in a fantasy world; despite this, she still manages to have ludicrous delusions of grandeur. Her Fischl persona is based off of the main character from her favorite book.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls:
    • Ranko Kanzaki 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. Of course, this is all just a cover for how she's really an innocent Shrinking Violet with low self-esteem, and others find it surprising that she is really scared of horror and ghosts.
    • Nana Abe is a self-proclaimed "eternal 17-year-old" who frequently pretends to be an alien Magical Girl from "Planet Usamin". Though her case is a lot more melancholy than Ranko's: rather than a mere attempt to be cool, there are very strong implications that her claims of being "eternally 17" is due to being in the middle of an early Hollywood Mid-Life Crisis, and that she's desperately clinging to her childhood fantasies to avoid thinking about it. At least, she's improved a bit after actually becoming an Idol Singer and fulfilling some of her old dreams.
  • One of Aya's potential friends/love interests in the "anti-dating" sim I Just Want To Be Single! is Nozomin, the self-proclaimed "Accursed Harbinger of Destiny's Demise" who seems to act like she's a JRPG heroine and Aya is the reincarnation of her sworn rival.
  • Jagged Alliance: Kalyna sees everything in terms of fairy tales and RPG tropes. Among other things, she refers to missions as "quests", and will talk of the necessity of shooting enemies in the head "... just in case they are cursed".
  • Shun'ei from The King of Fighters plays with this trope: while he does have the looks down (namely a Coat Cape with some Fashionable Asymmetry on the side, which is in fact Truth in Television amongst youths in his native China), his personality is a different story, being more of a Nice Guy than anything else, albeit with a rough way of talking. He also possesses actual powers in the form of two elemental fists.
  • 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.
  • Being a direct reference to the literary figure stated to be the Ur-Example of this trope, Don Quixote from Limbus Company fancies herself and the entirety of Fixers as honerable knights, seeing the world as one in a medieval knight novel. She even speaks in Antiquated Linguistics, and practically has No Indoor Voice.
  • 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.
  • One of the Magical Girls in Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, Rui Mizuki, is one on top of being a Magical Girl and believes herself to be the reincarnation of a legendary overlord from thousand of years ago. She is aware that these traits are considered embarrassing and wishes for more friends who appreciated them for what they are, or just friends in general. Despite these traits, her wish was not particularly 'Chunni', while she did consider one that was very much in that vein, her actual wish was to restore her cat's eyesight.
  • Neptunia's IF tends to get portrayed as this by the fandom. MAGES. the self-proclaimed Mad Magician is a straighter example.
  • 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.
  • OMORI:
    • Mikhael demands other people call him "The Maverick", has declared Kel to be his rival, and throws out quotes about his "true power" and "final form" as if he were a character from Dragonball Z. In reality, he's a delinquent in a mundane setting, everybody aside from the even younger Angel finds his behavior strange and embarassing, and the worst he can do in battle is inflict attack debuffs.
    • Aubrey is somewhat of a DQN type. While she is a bit of a bully and the leader of a posse of delinquents, she is obviously trying to act and appear much tougher than she really is, down to carrying a baseball bat filled with nails that she is implied to never actually use, she also gets absolutely freaked out when Sunny absentmindedly pulls a knife on her. Her harsh facade is all but stated to be a coping mechanism to deal with her traumas.
    • Omori himself is something of a darker, idealized version of Sunny that the boy assumes in his fantasies. He is everything Sunny is not: a strong leader to his friends, a powerful combatant (focused on knife combat for that extra edge bonus), quick-witted and vicious (implied by some of his moves, like Taunt, Trick and Exploit), determined ("Omori will not succumb!"), capable of simply slashing through any threat he faces, and always able to overcome his fears when it matters. Things get dicey when it becomes clear that Sunny using Omori to run away from his real-life traumas is a deeply unhealthy coping mechanism, that causes Sunny to wallow in denial and, once that's no longer an option, to seriously contemplate (and possibly commit, depending on the ending you get) suicide.
  • From Phantasy Star Online 2 Kyokuya, the trainer of the Phantom Scion class. He constantly makes grandiose poses and talks about the dark forces guiding him and so on. No one takes him remotely seriously. According to Stratos, he's been like this since they were kids, with his first nickname being "Astra Prime", though he now calls himself the "Black Wolf". He’s also a skilled fighter, as he was able to get the drop on the Guardian, and fought them to a standstill when he first met them.
  • 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.
  • River City Girls: Yamada is portrayed as a classic Evil Eye type who actually has dark magical powers. The protagonists still don't take him seriously due to his over-the-top edgelord looks and behavior and "overblown and ridiculous" Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Shadow Hearts
    • Covenant: Joachim Valentine is a vampire who moonlights as Gran Papillon, a pro-wrestler masked super hero, who is just him donning a butterfly-shaped mask. A mask he doesn't actually need to "transform". Joachim just came up with it as some sort of exploitable weakness because "a hero has to have one or two weak points, you know. Nobody loves a perfect superhero!" to which Yuri retorts: "Your brains are enough of a weak point, if you ask me."
    • From the New World: Joachim 's little sister Hilda follows her big brother's steps, albeit in a more self-aggrandizing and one would say, cynical way. In one hand, Hilda believes herself to be a super heroine Loved by All and helped Johnny and co. in saving the world because it was her duty as one. In the other hand, she has no problems in dropping the act and resorting to unbecoming violence if her short temper gets the best of her, not to mention she wants to profit out of it as well: she shortened the name of her infinity +1 wand to make it more marketable.
  • 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.
  • The Soldier from Team Fortress 2 is a western case of this. Having been wanting to take the fight to Those Wacky Nazis, Mister Jane Doe tried signing up with the United States Army only to be denied enlistment. So he took matters into his own hands to build his own weapons and purchase a ticket to Europe to go kill the Nazis on his own terms after wandering around and finally finding Poland and rewarding himself with medals that he designed. He didn't stop his Nazi-killing spree until 1949 when he learnt that WWII had already ended years ago. Though this doesn't stop the hot-blooded Eaglelander from being that much of a nuisance to the rest of his team, often getting historical figures wrong or attributing America as the greatest thing on Earth. The web comics reveal that most of this later stuff is due to Soldier being lead poisoned after spending the last decade drinking the contaminated water in 2Fort.
  • Touhou Project:
    • 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 immensely 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 concludes 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 comes off as the type. Though he does have genuine power — godlike, in fact — he uses it in a way that makes him come off as childish. He has an Atrocious Alias (God of Hyperdeath), boasts about suppressing his true power, uses several Impossibly Cool Weapons such as dual swords and a giant rainbow laser, and has an over-the-top ultimate attack which he is shocked you withstand. This is appropriate, since Asriel is literally a child, and is playing with you. In true "kid with the 'undodgeable laser gun' on the playground" fashion, he's also invincible. So to defeat Asriel, you have to convince him to stop by using a Story-Breaker Power of your own to free the souls contained within him so that he can't draw from their power anymore.
  • 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.
  • Despite being in his forties, Ichiban Kasuga of Yakuza: Like a Dragon visualizes himself as a hero on an epic quest due to his love of Dragon Quest, particularly after he manages to get a bat that was stuck to the ground (which he sees as a sword). It heavily influences both his perception of the world (him seeing enemies in various bizarre forms) as well as the JRPG combat (he believes in letting the enemies getting a hit in because he mentally processes fights as turn-based encounters).
  • 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 fearsome demonic minions, the Four Dark Devas of Destruction (read: four cute little hamsters). If you can translate his melodramatic way of speaking, it's fairly obvious that he's a kind but lonely boy who loves his mom and his pets. When he's found guilty of murder, he attempts to protect himself from his execution with his alleged "dark powers", only to fail. Also, his murder was part of a mutual Suicide Pact he made with his "victim" in order to save the other students from starvation. The spirits of his pets even carry him to heaven when he dies, showing that he was never as evil as he liked to pretend.
    • 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 and is even one of the very few survivors of the entire 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 (though she's at least grateful to finally find someone else who believes her magic is real).
    • 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.
  • The titular Grim Reaper of A Date with Death is believed to be the Evil Eye variant of this trope by the player character when they first meet. However, even as it becomes obvious that he’s the real deal, they still tease him for being an “edgelord”.
  • 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, the main character of this story, is a classic case of this. He is a self-proclaimed mad scientist and villain, fighting a mysterious organization, 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-conscious 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's gradually 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.
  • Rika from Tyrion Cuthbert: Attorney of the Arcane enjoys dramatically playing herself up as the Dark Lord of Aurinax for fun and wears a pointy wizard hat to boot. She reveals that Tyrion was a bit chunni as a child as well.

  • Black Hole (2019) has Chani, who started out as a typical example of the "evil eye" archetype. However, her belief that she had magical powers was so strong that she actually ended up manifesting her own magic, eventually leading to her becoming Diana's apprentice.
  • 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.
  • Mob Psycho 100:
    • Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama can be seen as an inversion of the stereotype. 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.
    • The series also contains a plenty of espers who are straight examples of the trope to serve as Foils to Mob, including several Claw members (such as Ishiguro, who wears a gas mask and uses a voice changer for no reason but to make himself look cooler, Yuusuke, who wears a business suit at all times and specializes in turning literal toys into lethal weapons, and Muraki, who wears a cape with Shoulders of Doom that probably make it hard to enter rooms). The fact that these people tend to be misguided at best and outright evil at worst serves to drive home the series' main moral that being stronger or cooler than other people doesn't necessarily make you better than they are.
    • Mob's mentor Reigen is a weird example. He is a mundane man pretending to be a powerful esper, and while this is not outwardly done for Rule of Cool purposes (he is a Con Man who charges for his services), the amount of dramatic flair he puts into his "special techniques", even when not trying to impress clients, makes it clear he's enjoying the job perhaps more than he should, and it's strongly implied that feeling special is the real reason a talented person like him chose the path of the Phony Psychic. He is treated more sympathetically than the hostile Claw espers since, despite not being what he claims to be, he still feels a genuine desire to help his clients, even if it's just by placebo effect, and most importantly, he doesn't feel the desire to tear other people down in order to feel better about himself.
  • Jinhui Choi from Surviving Romance is clearly meant to be that comic's interpretation of a Chuunibyou. The talented kendo fighter sees herself as so powerful that she had to "seal away" her abilities with an eyepatch. She also likes to shout out her attack names while fighting and names every weapon she sees.
  • The Swords universe gives us the Edgesmith, a craftsman who specializes in making "edgy" swords. He is a competent swordsmith, but he always insists on making swords that are tacked on with needless features (like the "sword that eats colors"), crafted in an unusual way (like the "ashforged blade"), or are flat out dangerous to the wielder (like the "sword that kills anything it touches").

    Web Original 
  • On the Internet, chuunibyou behavior is heavily associated with the "mall ninja", a term for Gun Nuts who like to present themselves as badasses with mastery over firearms despite having no actual experience in combat, with a preference for guns. The term also refers to a specific subculture of Occidental Otaku which Fedora: the Tipping parodies; overly-theatrical nerds who pose with katanas or some other impractical, over-the-top weapon — often wearing clothing such as a Badass Longcoat and Fedora of Asskicking — in an attempt to emulate a '90s Anti-Hero, usually those from anime and manga.
  • The subreddit r/iamverybadass is dedicated to DQN types.
  • 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.
  • Fire Emblem on Forums:
    • Solrise Academy: Downplayed with Isabeau. While Isabeau genuinely does have magic powers, given that she's a student at the eponymous academy, it's clear that the Tenebrous Kingdom she's talking about doesn't actually exist, she isn't really a princess and her Guardian Entity Matagot has to translate her overblown and ridiculous speech.
    • Wonderful Blessing: Subverted with Terrorslayer and Fantine, the latter being an Expy of the above mentioned Megumin. Both have very overinflated, ridiculous speech patterns characteristic of the trope, but are both competent, if goofy, adventurers.
    • Demon Soul Saga: Downplayed with Mori. While genuinely a dangerous combatant as a Kaijin, Mori's mannerisms are overblown, and his worldview (that he is the anti-heroic protagonist in a revenge plot against the dastardly Mishimas) is right out of an anime, which Akihiko and Veep call him out on.

    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 predictions 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 Brothers 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.
  • Eddie Valentine from Rocket Power, who runs around in a cloak and ghoulish hockey mask while dramatically referring to himself as "Eddie, Prince of the Netherworld" and babbling about commanding the minions of darkness. Unlike most examples, he's actually very friendly if weird and when not wearing the mask he's actually quite softspoken and a bit of a pushover.
  • Total Drama:
  • King of the Hill: In the episode "The Witches of East Arlen", Ward Rackley and his friends are all nerds in their 30s - 40s and legitimately believe that they are wizards with magic powers. Bobby, being young and impressionable, buys into it and starts hanging out with them, only to come to his senses later when he realizes how fake and pathetic their supposed "powers" are.


Video Example(s):


Hank meets Ward Rackley

Ward is in his 30s or 40s but still suffers from classic Chuunibyou symptoms

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / Chuunibyou

Media sources: