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Insufferable Genius

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"Could these calculations be simpler?"
" calculate the chances you're getting punched."
"A shame. If you were anything akin to me, perhaps we could've become friends. Then again, you would need an IQ of more than 200 to meet the minimum criteria."
Bedman to...himself, Guilty Gear: Xrd


At first glance, Adam the Insufferable Genius appears to be exactly the type who's doomed to learn An Aesop about humility: he's very talented, he knows he's very talented, and he doesn't mind telling you repeatedly what a talented person he is. But the difference between him and your standard-issue loudmouth is that he really IS that good, and when you need someone with his skills to save the day, he always comes through. So you have to concede that at least a little of his arrogance is justified — not enough to make you forget that he's got the social skills of a chainsaw, but enough that you can tolerate his ego if that's what it takes to keep him around. Not that he can't ever be hit with An Aesop of some kind. In particular, every Insufferable Genius constantly runs the risk of humiliation if they ever make a mistake — which they are more or less bound to do eventually, by simple probability theory.


May overlap with Brilliant, but Lazy. Depending on their overall skill and/or hamminess, they may be an Awesome Ego. May join in a Battle of Wits, if anyone is in the right league. Compare Gentleman Snarker, Tall, Dark, and Snarky, Know-Nothing Know-It-All, Too Clever by Half, Bunny-Ears Lawyer, The Proud Elite. Often leads to the grudging conclusion that Jerkass Has a Point. Contrast with characters that do get their Aesop, who may fall quickly or be slowly broken. This character is often given a foil by pairing them with a less intelligent sidekick in a Smart Jerk and Nice Moron pairing. Not often, but they certainly can be an Awesome Ego if their antics are rather entertaining or amusing.

A lot of the time, in some way or another, the Insufferable Genius' inflated ego is merely a petty facade that compensates for any insecurities or shortcomings, perceived or otherwise. They could also be legitimately delusional and truly believe they're "above" everyone else. Occasionally, they might display a personable and compassionate side of them sometimes along with a deep, dark secret revealing why they're the way they are, in which case they have Big Ego, Hidden Depths. People having the right to boast about themselves doesn't automatically mean there's a reason to do so in such an overt manner, especially if their talents can indeed be backed up. Despite any justification, arrogance is usually indicative of weakness, immaturity, stupidity, poor character and the like; something an Insufferable Genius would be too proud to realize.


Also contrast with Gentleman and a Scholar (whose intelligence does not prevent him from being gracious, friendly, and polite), Small Name, Big Ego (who thinks he's an Insufferable Genius but is merely Insufferable, if not an Insufferable Imbecile) and Academic Alpha Bitch (who is the high school version of the Insufferable Genius and feels the need to order the school to her specifications). See Kindhearted Simpleton which is the opposite of this trope. Compare Rightly Self-Righteous if it's the character who is morally right despite how condescending they are. Compare also Smug Super, whose ego comes from personal strength instead of intelligence. See Tall Poppy Syndrome for how they're often reacted to.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess Skuld practically oozes this trope, and never receives anything to cut down on her massive ego. In order to balance this out, the writers had to have her fail constantly at her main goal in breaking up Keiichi and her sister Belldandy.
  • In Baccano!, Claire Stanfield is so acutely aware of his own awesomeness that he has quite literally come to the conclusion that the universe actually revolves around him. This wouldn't be so bad if he also wasn't just a tad Axe-Crazy.
  • Ranpo Edogawa from Bungo Stray Dogs is often boastful and claimed that the agency would be nothing without his "ability". Subverted before he met Fukuzawa.
  • Code Geass:
    • Lloyd, an Insufferable Genius Mad Scientist who is something of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • And Lelouch, who, when not intentionally restraining himself, has a very much "I'm better than you" outlook on life. However, the only people who really see this from him are Kallen and Suzaku.
  • Death Note:
    • L is this too, at least as far as Aizawa is concerned.
    • Near has a bit of exemplifies this as well: "Please don't make me repeat myself." Especially when he does his "Look what I got from Santa!"- face.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Bulma occasionally falls into this, especially in the first show, and in the Z days before she married Vegeta and had a son. Although she is super-intelligent, even more so than her father, she can be whiny and selfish.
    • Her husband, Vegeta, is almost as bad but in a different way. He is a fighting genius and won't hesitate to remind everyone just how good he is. After all, he is the Prince of all Saiyans. Most of the characters find his ego to be almost unbearable, but his strength and fighting talent are second only to Goku. He does get a little better by the end of Buu Arc though.
  • Eyeshield 21:
    • Agon Kongou is considered the most talented athlete of the century and never lets anyone forget it. He never trains and regularly mocks the efforts of normal people or as he calls them, "trash." It doesn't help that he's a sadist with occasional Axe-Crazy moments. "My strong point is that I'm invincible!" Sadly, that's almost true.
    • Hiruma also shows obvious signs of this. He's definitely a genius, whether it's about American Football or anything else, and apparently, that gives him the right to carry around firearms and abuse everyone. The only way he knows off to show people he cares is by kicking them. HIS strong point? "My strong point is that I win!"
    • Clifford Lewis and Mr. Don of team America are this and then some, unfortunately, they can back up their words.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward Elric, a Teen Genius with alchemy skills that are the envy of alchemists who have been doing this much longer than he has, an impressive head for deduction, and many other skills besides. He's also a Bratty Half-Pint (don't tell him that) with an ego as big as he isn't.
    • Ed may be a bit of a Deconstruction. As children, he and Al practiced alchemy and were prodigies at it, (probably because of their dad). When their mother died, they sought to do the unthinkable and try and bring her back. They paid dearly for it as Al lost his body and Ed his left leg before sacrificing his right arm to get get back Al's soul and bind it to a suit of armor. Both obtain alchemic knowledge beyond imagination, requiring no circles or seals for it (though Al initially doesn't have this as trauma blocked the memory at first.) Now seeking to return themselves to normal, they end up getting another tragic dose with the fate of Nina. Despite Ed's brash exterior, he knows that even with alchemy he is still human, and the inability to save even one little girl remains on his and Al's conscience for the rest of their lives, but help their character development.
  • Full Metal Panic! Sousuke certainly has his moments. Especially so in the novel, where more of his thoughts are shown, as well as extra dialogue displaying more aspects to his character (especially in regard to his sense of pride). Also, his pet peeve seems to be people calling him an amateur or hobbyist when it comes to Arm Slaves, as he'll very indignantly correct them that he's not an amateur - he's a "specialist." He is also more than willing to taunt his fallen enemies for being losers, as well as telling them why their tactics were inferior to his. Justified in that he really is that good, and definitely qualifies as a Teen Genius.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: Karl Lichter von Randoll. While Randoll is a legitimately talented athlete, he talks down those who aren't on his level in Cyber Formula racing and lets his talent go through his head. He got over it little by little as the series progresses.
  • Geneshaft: Dolce, the genius programmer, with the added bonus that she herself seems to be very quiet, while she lets her puppet do all the bragging. So she's one hell of a ventriloquist too.
  • Get Backers: Ban Midou is this, all the way. He's characterized and lampshaded numerous times as being a major Insufferable Genius that insults and looks down on (almost) everyone he meets, and loves to flaunt his superiority. In fact, according to his profile in the manga omake, he's described as an extremely prideful person whom most people dislike initially. In the Birth Arc (which chronicles when Ban and Ginji first became Get Backers), he's shown to be even more big headed, telling Ginji to call him "LORD Ban," and gloats about how he's a genius, demanding Ginji to praise him for figuring out a strategy to defeat Takuma Fudou. Of course, all of this is completely justified, seeing how he is the strongest and smartest character in the entire series. As a matter of fact, he actually has the power to bend things to his will if he believes it.
  • Ghost Hunt: Shibuya Kazuya AKA Naru is the epitome of this trope, bonus point that he is a certified genius and a living legend in his field. In the sequel manga adaptation, he is revealed he has a doctorate and skipped admission to university. However, he is also prone to Brutal Honesty which consist of admitting out loud he seldom met people smarter than he is.
    • This is balanced by the author, while he was an academic genius, his common knowledge outside of his research field is almost non-existent. He claims he didn't care about anything else aside from his research.
  • Hajime no Ippo. Takamura Mamoru. He has an ego of the size of a planet and believes himself to be the strongest man in the history of men. Well, it's just that this may very well be true since he is the strongest boxer in the entire manga. His daily jerkass habits contain bullying Aoki and Kimura and rubbing the fact that they're... not the best boxers... in their faces.
  • Saya Takagi from Highschool of the Dead. Her tendency to insult everyone around her, whine, and use her friends as meatshields hasn't made her very popular with fans.
  • Toru Muhyo of Muhyo and Roji is the youngest Executor in history, has an incredible amount of tempering and can use highly advanced magical laws to sentence dangerous spirits. He also frequently talks down to other MLS agents, belittles Roji, and mocks people who try to get ahead through hard work alone (which is a personal issue for him, since his best friend struggled to become an Executor to support his mother, then turned evil after he lost his mother and was passed over for the position almost simultaneously).
  • Naruto:
    • Neji Hyuga starts out as one of these before his defeat by Naruto Uzumaki.
    • Sasuke also showed some signs of this, but usually got knocked down a peg before he could get too conceited. And then, he got much, much worse.
    • Kakashi also started out like this, mainly toward Obito. He insists on taking point against an enemy ninja to try out his new jutsu, Chidori, destroying almost all the ninja's clones and almost taking down the ninja, but being limited by the jutsu's tunnel vision, and having to be saved by his teacher. Kakashi gets better by the end of Kakashi Gaiden, and by the start of the series, is a relatively modest individual who bears regret for his decisions.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Kurt Godel, who is identified as a genius, and is extremely smug about it.
  • George from Paradise Kiss is a genius fashion designer. He's also a complete jerk.
  • Ryuunosuke in The Pet Girl of Sakurasou shows streaks of this after coming out from being a reclusive Gadgeteer Genius for five months: he doesn't even bother listening to the teacher's lecture and also eats tomatoes in class, which the teacher finds irritating.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • Ryoma Echizen. At twelve, he beats high school players with ease, before revealing that he's really left-handed, and, if you watch the anime, also defeats professional players in the US Open. Frequently taunts his opponent with "Mada Mada Dane" ("You still have lots more to work on"). A prick, really. Made all the more obvious by titling the chapters as 'Genius #'.
    • Keigo Atobe is quite like that, being a mix of the Princely Young Man with Magnificent Bastard and Large Ham. And what makes it worse is that he's the biggest Draco in Leather Pants within Tenipuri fandom.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Homura initially has this personality, acting haughty and holier-than-thou and refusing to explain herself; yet she seems to have comprehensive knowledge of both magical girls and witches, allowing her to easily defeat any opponent despite her weak offensive magic. Just to emphasize the "genius" part, she also breezes through ridiculously difficult maths problems and claims to know where the Big Bad will appear through "statistics." Her knowledge and skill mainly come from experience, though, not intelligence—she's spent years stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop. That insufferable personality is a facade to help her remain detached and focused on her virtually-impossible quest to save Madoka.
  • Ranma Saotome of Ranma ½. He even has a whole move (the Moko Takibisha) that's powered by his massive overconfidence. But even most of the characters who hate him for his ego will grudgingly admit that he has the combat skill to back it up. His ability to improvise strategy is, if anything, even MORE impressive. As he himself says, "if it's got martial arts in it, I can beat it!" And he will.
  • Reborn! (2004): Lord, Kyoya Hibari is so insanely egotistical, proud, condescending, and brutally violent. Yet his sheer genius and strength in combat (along with his incredibly good looks, which win over the fangirls) manages to compensate and even justify his attitude. Oh, and he gets away with pretty much everything. His sort-of-loss in an unfair fight with Mukuro is a gigantic blow to his ego, and results in his obsessing over proving his superiority over him. Well, 10 years into the future, he apparently got over it. And he's still an Insufferable Genius.
  • Hiko from Rurouni Kenshin loves bragging and calling himself a genius, but he really is much stronger than any other character in the series.
  • Subverted in Sailor Moon. Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury is a Shy Blue-Haired Girl, but her classmates think she's an Insufferable Genius and shun her away. Played straight with Shingo Tsukino, though. He's a great student, his sister is a Book Dumb Ditz and he won't let her forget it.
  • Sgt. Frog: Sergeant Major Kururu has a mischievous streak a mile long, and seems more interested in amusing himself than completing the invasion of Earth. However, he's still a (technically senior) member of the Keroro Platoon and the group's "ideas" guy.
  • Zelgadis Graywords, a book-smart chimera from Slayers, shows signs of this in newer anime and manga adaptations; he dismisses his companions mostly because he has intellectual skills that they don't really have, such as strategizing in battle, cartography skills, a knowledge of magical lore, and in the third anime series, is good at maths. Unfortunately, this doesn't always show when he fights.
  • Soul Eater: Excalibur would like you to know that his legend began in the twelfth century. And that he had written several books: "First Excalibur," "Breakfast with Excalibur," "Lunch with Excalibur," and "'s Excalibur!"
  • Tenchi Muyo! and Tenchi Universe: Washu claims to be 'the greatest scientist in the Universe' and really is. She even invented tiny robot mascots to proclaim her greatness whenever she needs an ego-boost. Also insists on being called 'Little Washu' and being treated with all the indulgence due to a child, despite the fact that she is over 10,000 years old and virtually omnipotent, capable of suspending the laws of physics or even destroying the Universe if she so pleases. Somewhat subverted in that she is still fairly nice to the people around her and gets along with them fairly well.
  • In Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu, Karigari is a massive egomaniac, insisting that people call him things like "The Number One Genius Scientist in the World." He loves to assert his intelligence and superiority over the Mobile Rescue Police any chance he gets, and he actually has a point.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Seto Kaiba. With ego and indifference to match.
    • The anime only character, Rebecca as well.
  • Murasakiiro no Qualia. Alice makes no attempt to hide her attitude to those without special gifts, although she does act incredibly friendly to those with them.
  • Klim Nick from Gundam: Reconguista in G is known to the Amerian forces as "Genius Klim" for his tactics and piloting skill. He's also known to himself as that and often boasts of his brilliance while he's fighting. When he's outwitted or his plans otherwise go pear-shaped, he tends to flip out that his opponents have the effontry to be as smart as he is.
  • In Food Wars! the cast is largely filled with them to varying degrees. The three most obvious are probably Erina Nakiri, Subaru Mimasaka and Souma himself.
    • Erina Nakiri is probably the most obvious of them and is known as God's Tongue in the culinary world for her picky tastes and perfectionist attitude. Unfortunately, her arrogance is entirely warranted and further amplified by her just having terrible social skills in general. When tasting dishes as either part of her job or just because she can, she's able to make extremely detailed observations like noting someone cooked a single ingredient for several seconds too long, skipped a particular step in the cooking or at best noting exactly what steps someone took in cooking, what ingredients they used and most other things about the preparation.
    • Subaru Mimasaka. He is a genuinely highly skilled and innovative cook with excellent technical skills, great attention to detail, and a great theoretical grounding. All in all, he is able to match several of the series' top players within their special fields. His only flaw is his personality, which is widely considered so vile that no kitchen would hire him. He is obsessed with winning cooking contests and does so by stalking his opponents, goading them into matches, stealing their recipes and improving on them just enough to win. Then, to cap it off, he rubs their faces in the fact that he could improve recipes they've spent their life perfecting enough to wipe the floor with them in days.
    • Finally, Souma himself is generally pretty easy going, but he does start the series by taunting Erina so much that she gives him a failing grade on the exam out of irritation and wounded pride. Petty, but understandable. During his introduction to the student body, he scoffs at the lot of them, calls them a bunch of stepping stones to further his career and declares he'll never lose to mere students with no professional experience. A few chapters later he's booed as he enters his first cooking duel and hasn't the faintest idea why everyone is against him.
  • There's a reason the titular Yugami of Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai has a small social circle. His self imposed isolation and attitude pisses most people who know him off, especially when he just does his own thing regardless of opinion. But he's just so good at everything he does, from sports to academics, that no one can really call him out in a way that matters to him.
  • Zatch Bell! - Played with - Kiyo starts out despising his intellectual inferiors (read: everybody) and the feeling's mutual. On the other hand, his unpopularity actually seems to bother him a lot than he'd admit and apparently, he was pretty all right back when he was younger, implying Tall Poppy Syndrome was in play. Once Zatch enters his life and Kiyo becomes more involved, he actually becomes very popular in school (to where one of his school breaks has him surprised at how much time he agreed to spend with his fellow students.)

    Comic Books 
  • Lex Luthor might not be the smartest man in the DC Comics continuum, but he's close. And he's going to let you know it, any second now.
  • In All Fall Down, AIQ Squared is this in spades.
  • Batman can be this, especially when he does team-ups.
  • Arion, at least in the Superman story "Camelot Falls." He believes that Superman must die, leave, or otherwise stop interfering with humanity. He saw a Bad Future where mankind got complacent due to Supes helping all the time, ending with the human race getting wiped out. His problem is that he thinks his plan (destroy Supes) is the only option, instead of just cooperating with Supes to fix it. Arion also mocks and puts down anyone who tries to give him advice.
  • The female Dr. Light. During Crisis on Infinite Earths, she angrily storms out to find the Big Bad after one of her allies is seemingly crushed. Superman, worried that she'll get into trouble, flies after her. He not only finds that she's okay, but she has discovered and analyzed the Big Bad's machine of destruction. She sternly informs him that she knows what she's doing.
  • Doctor Doom: Victor Von Doom! of the Marvelverse is renowned for his villainous arrogance. His original enmity with Reed Richards came about because he refused to consider the possibility that he could make an error, then, when the machine blew up in his face (literally), he concluded that Richards had sabotaged it.
    • On several occasions, it's been plainly stated that Doom is more than smart enough to easily figure out the secret identities of every hero in the Marvel Universe. Fortunately, his arrogance means he doesn't give a crap who any of them are under their masks and isn't going to waste time on it.
  • Doom's nemesis, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, approaches this occasionally. He actually uses his genius for the betterment of mankind (sometimes).
    • In one notable example, he got into an argument with Hank Pym when he claimed that he knew more about Pym particles than Hank did. Hank called him a bitch for that insult.
    • The Ultimate version of Reed Richards is even worse in this regard, to the point where he undergoes a Face–Heel Turn because he thinks that only he can make the world a better place.
  • Hardware; see Dwayne McDuffie's run on Justice League for numerous examples. He spends most of this time snarking about how easily he was able to break into JLA headquarters and how easy it was to hack into their communicators system. This angers John Stewart who at one point angrily yells "Okay, we get it! You're smarter than us."
  • Iron Man: Tony Stark has been like this since his conception, though the actual strength of it depends on the writer.
    • The Superior Iron Man is basically Tony taking this trait Up to Eleven.
  • Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes, particularly in the current reboot and the one after the "Zero Hour" Crisis Crossover.
    • His ancestor, Vril Dox II of L.E.G.I.O.N., has a pretty big head as well.
    • Humorously, when three alternate Legions are brought together to face Superboy Prime, the three Brainiacs 5 bicker over which one of them should be the authority; None of them can stand any of the others (albeit for different reasons; One of them is distrustful of an older Brainiac 5 because he's never trusted any adults before and isn't about to get in the habit of it.)
    • During The Final Night, a Crisis Crossover, the Legion found themselves trapped in the 20th Century, and Brainiac 5 and the aforementioned Lex Luthor were forced to work together to solve the problem of the Sun-Eater. A humorous moment came when Brainiac 5 complained degradingly about how "primitive" the 20th Century tech was. Luthor loudly proclaimed to the entire room, "Young man, you're so much more advanced then we primitive cavemen, surely you must have already solved our dilemma!" Brainiac 5 promptly shut up.
    • One of the (surprisingly many) post-crisis reimaginings of the origins of Superman involves his first meeting (as Superboy) with the Legion, who have violated the laws of time and causality to meet him out of hero-worship. When he discovers this, Brainiac 5 delivers a pompous lecture about the possible effects this could have. One of the Legion 'innocently' challenges him to work out the exact odds of his disastrous predictions coming true, riling Brainiac 5 up so much that he immediately leaves to do just that — leaving Superboy to hang out with the other members of the Legion, which was, of course, the whole point.
  • Loki of The Mighty Thor usually ventures here when his plans are working (especially against Thor, since intelligence and magic are the only places he can outclass his older brother). Seeing as how he's often shown to be the Marvel Universe's resident master of the whole spectrum of The Plan, he sometimes deserves it.
    • Notably, he has tricked Tony Stark (and the rest of the Avengers), Dr. Doom, and Mephisto. That's two other people on this page and the devil. You might get to gloat a little for that.
  • Layla Miller of X-Factor is often seen doing this.
  • Sapientín from Zipi y Zape.
  • Doc Ock is particularly bad about this in Spider-Man, especially when gallivanting around as Superior Spider-Man. Notably, he scoffs at Peter's lack of scientific advancements, despite knowing he invented the advanced web shooter tech when he was fifteen and has been too busy saving the world since then (often from Ock himself) to do much research. But nope, Ock's still "superior" to all other scientists. It gets so bad that, after he is told by Spidey about his Heel Realization and Heroic Suicide at the end of the Superior saga, he comes to the conclusion that the only reason he would do such a thing is that Peter's brain couldn't handle his genius and it affected him.
  • Brainstorm of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye is incredibly self-important and narcissistic, but is tolerated nonetheless because of the never-ending stream of outlandish (and highly effective) weapons he's constantly producing.
  • Dr. Nemesis combines this with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness to insult and berate those anyone around him whom he believes less intelligent than himself. That is to say, everyone. In one case, when reimplanting X-23's claws at the beginning of Necroshanote  he insulted her "amateurish" job extracting them from her old arm. For reference, Laura is one of Marvel's top assassins and her skill with her claws has been described as surgical in precision.
  • The last DC Comics story of The Powerpuff Girls, "Smart And Smarter" (Issue #59 of Cartoon Network Block Party) had Blossom being admitted to a school for exceptionally smart children. Of course, this goes to her head as after Bubbles draws a rainbow, Blossom details what causes rainbows in a condescending manner. When she starts ragging on Buttercup and Bubbles on their battle techniques against Mojo Jojo, breaking down every movement to a science, even Mojo has had enough and challenges Blossom. Eventually at the end, Mojo outwits Blossom, with Bubbles' and Buttercup's blessings!
  • Arguably the most insufferable of insufferable geniuses, The Spider from the British comic book Lion is all the more insufferable because he's exactly as clever as he thinks he is, being both a Gadgeteer Genius and a brilliant improviser, and he's never shy about telling everyone within earshot just how magnificent he is, including himself (in his thoughts) when there's nobody else there to listen to him.
  • The first arc of the Mister Terrific series involves a supervillain named Brainstorm who is able to raise other people's intelligence at the expense of their social skills, effectively turning them into insufferable geniuses.
  • Ultimate Origins: What does Henry Pym say when he meets Franklin Storm for the first time? "What's 3,424,235,235,345 x 2,352,532?"note 
  • Damian Wayne, the fourth (or fifth, depending on the continuity) Robin, is a bonafide genius who claims to have written doctorate-level papers before he finished growing baby teeth. By the time he's thirteen, he's already a skilled surgeon, a master of hand-to-hand combat, a keen detective, among many, many other skills. However, his spoiled and amoral upbringing with the League of Assassins made him arrogant and self-entitled, bringing him to blows with his adoptive brothers on multiple occasions when he insists that he's Bruce's rightful heir. Years of Character Development have made him far more tolerable (and sometimes even cute) but he still won't hesitate to rub his skillset and intelligence in other people's faces when given the chance.
  • Wobbly-Headed Bob, one of Jhonen Vasquez' side projects. Admittedly, everyone around him really is incredibly stupid so Bob's pronouncements aren't unjustified.

    Comic Strips 
  • Marigold the unicorn from Phoebe and Her Unicorn gets insufferably smug from time to time. This has been shown to be a shared trait among most unicorns.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Lion King:
    • Scar reminds everyone how smart he is a little too often.
      Scar: Well, as far as brains go, I got the lion's share, but when it comes to brute strength... I'm afraid I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool.

      Scar: I'm surrounded by idiots.
    • He also does this throughout the song "Be Prepared".
      Scar: It's clear from your vacant expression the lights are not all on upstairs. But we're talking Kings and successions, even you can't be caught unawares.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Matt Damon's character from Good Will Hunting can be this at times, particularly when explaining to Stellan Skarsgaard's character how frustrated he is. Most of the drama of the film comes from the fact he uses his genius to drive everybody who tells him to do something, anything, better with his life than being a two-penny janitor and construction worker completely crazy.
  • I'm Not There: Jude Quinn, the Bob Dylan Expy played by Cate Blanchett, has shades of this.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Tony Stark. In Iron Man, he is an engineering genius, billionaire, and ladies' man, he's got the ego to match. He enjoys putting the boot to his rivals and opponents, but he's usually having too much fun to be a dick to anyone else. In The Avengers,he keeps it up and spends most of the non-action scenes striking a perfect balance between indispensability and insufferability. Summed up perfectly in this well-known exchange:
      Steve: Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?
      Tony: A genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
    • Loki in The Avengers. Massively intelligent even by the standards of an Asgardian, and he doesn't mind reminding people how great he is:
      Loki: Enough! You are all of you beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature!
    This backfired, because he said it to The Incredible Hulk, who proceeded to grab Loki by the ankles and slam him repeatedly onto the ground before offering up this witty rejoinder:
    Hulk: Puny god.
    • Doctor Stephen Strange is no slouch in this regard, either - he's a brilliant surgeon with an ego the size of a living planet. In fact, come Infinity War, this causes friction with Tony Stark - both are Insufferable Genius Deadpan Snarkers who are evenly matched in both regards.
    • Princess Shuri full stop, to the point that she makes Tony look humble in comparison. Her playful teasing of her brother in Black Panther (2018) aside, she never hesitates to point out how much smarter she is than other people when the opportunity comes. She has a moment in Avengers: Infinity War when she asks Bruce why he didn't find a simpler configuration for Vision's neural structure. Bruce, who is a gamma radiation physicist and not an engineer or neurologist, mentions that it didn't occur to him and Tony. Shuri sardonically says she's sure he tried his best.
  • Duncan from Mystery Team fakes the genius part, but gets the insufferable down pat. He spent his childhood memorizing bits of trivia, and assumed this was enough to make him a "Boy Genius."
  • Herbert West, Re-Animator, is a young medical genius who has discovered the secret of bringing the dead back to life, but he pisses off so many people with his condescending attitude that no one likes him. Also, the zombies probably don't make him very popular.
  • Aptly, Iron Man's actor (Robert Downey Jr.) also plays the title character of Sherlock Holmes (2009) as well, who is much the same (a genius investigator with more than his fair share of bothersome quirks).
  • Young Frankenstein. Frederick has his moments.
  • Just about everyone in Now You See Me, though Atlas and Bradley stand out.
  • Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr in The Man with Two Brains.
  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, as portrayed in The Social Network. However, it's left ambiguous whether he really is that obnoxious or if his jerkass behavior in some of the flashbacks is the result of unreliable witness testimonies.
  • In Rush (2013), Niki Lauda is madly talented, knows it and will not hesitate to let everyone else know.
  • Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady has this in spades. He is incredibly intelligent and has a near encyclopedic knowledge of linguistics. However, he's also arrogant, misogynistic, and completely selfish. Even his own mother gets annoyed with him and delights in seeing Eliza put him in his place.
  • The Imitation Game: Alan Turing is this a lot of the time, lampshaded when he's told that "in order to play the 'irascible genius', you do have to actually be a genius," and he's working with people who qualify for genius in their own right. However, even surrounded by such bright minds, he is still far enough ahead of the game that his arrogance is (by the skin of his teeth) tolerable enough to work with him. This has drawn a lot of criticism from historians, since the real Alan Turing, though certainly an eccentric loner, was, by all accounts, actually quite friendly to those he knew.
  • Victor Frankenstein: Only Igor is willing to support and tolerate Victor's radical ideas and eccentricities. Almost everyone else views the latter as an embarrassing nuisance at best, or at worst, a lunatic who will bring ruin to the natural order.
  • Mark "the Meach" Meacham in The Gamers: Hands of Fate is an Insufferable Genius of card games.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020): Dr. Robotnik is a brilliant and revolutionary scientist whose expertise in robotics makes him a very valuable ally to the government. And yet, the government and the military don't want to deal with him at all, since he is extremely pround, arrogant and narcissistic. His Establishing Character Moment has him immediately declare himself superior to Major Bennington, and then claiming that nobody cares about him since Robotnik already outdid him in everything.

  • Authors and other artists are infamous for this trait everywhere. An anecdote told (probably about more than one author) has him talk with another guy, and all the time he's just talking about his new book. Finally, even he seems to get that he spoke enough, so he turns to the other guy and says: "But enough about me. Tell me something about yourself. — How did you like my new book?"

  • Skull Skelton, an intelligence officer who pops up in several novels by Derek Robinson. He's almost always right, especially when pointing out the shortcomings of military tactics directly to the men responsible for those tactics, but no one likes him for it. A superior officer once threw a telephone at him. Or was it a bottle of rum? Probably both.
  • Both Artemis and Foaly from Artemis Fowl. They both explain things as if everyone is that smart.
    • Artemis pulls off an Evil Plan in the first book that leads to him getting a large part of a metric ton (literally) of gold, despite being up against fairies with considerable magical powers and a very vested interest in making sure he doesn't get away...
    • Foaly is so smart that he's described as the only reason that fairies have kept ahead of humans, being a combination Gadgeteer Genius and Mission Control.
    • Evil Genius Opal Koboi also counts, as well as Artemis' Distaff Counterpart Minerva Paradizo from the fifth book.
  • The Bagthorpe Saga:
    • Three of the four Bagthorpe siblings are immensely multi-talented (12-year-old "Ordinary" Jack is the exception); 16-year-old William is a maths, drums, and electronics and ham radio prodigy, 14-year-old Tess is a French, judo, piano, and oboe prodigy, and 10-year-old Rosie is a maths (again), violin, cello, painting, and photography prodigy. Unfortunately, they know it, and never miss a chance to brag about their achievements. As a result, they have almost no friends (not that they care), and their headmaster is so sick of their egotism that he leaves the comments section on their end-of-term reports blank for fear that anything even remotely complimentary will just inflate their egos further; they respond by steaming open the envelopes before their parents can get to them and forging gushing comments themselves.
    • In Bagthorpes Unlimited, we see that even William, Tess, and Rosie have standards when it comes to insufferable geniuses when we meet their cousins, Luke and Esther. Luke has a wealth of trivial knowledge that has earned him a Young Brain of Britain championship, while Esther is a published poet, and this combined with the fact that they're both dull as dishwater socially leaves their cousins absolutely detesting them.
  • Belgarath in The Belgariad is very old (as in thousands of years old), very smart and good at magic, and generally very cranky. Beldin is not quite as old, but even smarter (and considerably crankier). Both of them are definitely on the side of "good", but that doesn't mean they're pleasant to be around.
  • The Hideous Hog in the Bridge in the Menagerie series. While he is by far the best bridge player in the group, he's all too quick to puff up his own importance. Themistocles Papadopolous, a.k.a. Papa The Greek, is just as bad about proclaiming his ability, though he usually outsmarts himself.
  • Melvin Sneedly in Captain Underpants. He's the smartest student at George and Harold's school, and he's not only a dullard and a know-it-all, but also a shameless brown-noser and stool-pigeon.
  • Dedicate Crane from Circle of Magic. Although he does recognize others' potential, he won't be told that he doesn't know how to care for a thing and sounds exasperated that Briar didn't know that he's one of the two greatest plant-mages on the continent (the other is Briar's teacher Rosethorn).
    • It's even Played for Laughs in a later book, when Daja gets rid of an overbearing noblewoman by channeling Crane.
    Daja:Forgive me, Ravvi Ladradun, but we speak of things magical, which cannot be known by those without magical power.
  • Dragonlance: Raistlin Majere is another arrogant Tall, Dark, and Snarky magician who is really that good. He managed to defeat all the gods of Krynn and achieve godhood in an alternate timeline, after all... admittedly, it was the ultimate Pyrrhic Victory — he destroyed all of the gods and killed every living thing, leaving behind a barren wasteland where he would try and fail to create life to replace the old, but descend into madness when forced to confront the fact that his evilness made him suffer from a Creative Sterility that made him incapable of such a feat — but, still, he was a mortal who killed three Character Alignment pantheons of gods and destroyed all life on the planet by accident in the process. He lost in the main timeline only because he chose to surrender when Cameron told him of the Bad Future that would result if he went through with his plans.
  • The bookish Tash Arranda of Galaxy of Fear doesn't usually trend this way, but she does to some extent in The Brain Spiders, when she's trying to stand out more from her younger, more impulsive and non-homework-interested brother Zak. It's encouraged by another character, who's taking advantage of her susceptibility to flattery.
  • Michael Grant's GONE series:
    • Astrid Ellison is the absolute Queen of this trope. Many characters (most notably Howard, Quinn and on occasion even her boyfriend Sam), have called her out on being too expressive with her knowledge. Many of the Perdido Beach kids end up resenting her for it, and even the fandom has an Astrid hate club on Facebook. (On the other hand, she has many militant fans too).
      • Computer Jack also starts out being described as "condescending" and "haughty" with his borderline super-human skill in computer science. He gets better, though.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry's least favorite teacher, Severus Snape. He made improvements to his textbook and invented his own spells while at school, is one of the few wizards capable of brewing the Wolfsbane Potion, and is the only wizard other than Voldemort capable of flight. Also, in the words of his actor in the films, he is a very interesting character.
    • Hermione Granger. She's a bright, high-achieving witch who constantly tells her friends off for not studying as hard as she does. She also used to be an annoying Motor Mouth.
    • Voldemort is evil, but also brilliant. At the end of the fourth book, he delivers a speech to his minions for a whole chapter. It basically consists of, "Let me tell you in excruciating detail how awesome and brilliant I am and how you are all morons."
    • Albus Dumbledore was like this as well when he was young. After his arrogance led to certain tragic consequences, he learned to keep his ego in check, pointing out that people who don't often wind up turning into self-destructive fools. That said, he still has his moments in the series proper.
      Dumbledore: In fact, being, forgive me, rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.
    • James Potter and to a lesser extent, Sirius Black as teenagers. Teachers recall that they were the best at practically anything they tried, in classes and out, and they became Animagi at the age of fifteen (even helping their not as talented friend in doing so). However, this arrogance got on some people's nerves (or at least Snape, who was another Insufferable Genius and Lily, mainly because of Snape and James' fighting). He grows out of it.
    • Draco Malfoy is also implied to be highly intelligent, albeit not quite as smart as he makes himself out to be. He's certainly a sovereign of insufferables.
    • Percy Weasley is incredibly pompous and thinks very highly of his own achievements, but he is a very successful student, prefect, and Head Boy, and what's shown of his duelling gives the impression he didn't neglect practical studies either.
  • Hercule Poirot never gets tired of explaining his genius, but since he's only ever failed to solve one case in a thirty-year-plus career, one might consider cutting him a little slack. Even Agatha Christie thought Poirot was an insufferable know-it-all and grew tired of writing him. Perhaps this is the reason that Poirot admits to that he too finds his own arrogance obnoxious, but explains it away as part of his facade of Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • H.I.V.E. Series: Otto is one of these, completely under the impression that being snarky (and therefore appearing more intelligent) will get him out of any situation. The series overall is pretty much a nine-book-long Break the Haughty as increasingly tragic events happen around and to him.
  • Hothouse: The morel and the Sodal Ye are genuinely and by a good margin the most intelligent, imaginative and well-informed characters in the story. They are also intensely arrogant and condescending, and make little secret of their contempt for other beings.
  • In Death: Dick "Dickhead" Berenski. He has an egg-shaped head, he is considered creepy by a number of characters, he whines a lot about how every cop expects him to put his or her case at the top of the list, and he often has to be bribed with alcohol, sports tickets, and what have you to get him to put said case to the top of the list. He is also the chief lab tech, and he is a genius in his work.
  • Kirsty from the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy is a recognized genius and tends to win absolutely everything. However her constantly explaining to everyone just how stupid they are tends to drive most people away from her, which she assumes is a character flaw in everybody else.
    • Terry Pratchett later reused this basic interpretation of the trope when he created Susan Sto Helit for his Discworld series. It's most heavily present in Soul Music when she is still a teenager, and somewhat justifiable as a combination of considerable intelligence, an upbringing in cold, hard, rationalism and an innate awareness of the true nature of things due to her supernatural heritage. It still makes her be regarded as rather annoying or obnoxious by most who meet her — the primary exception are children, who take well to her view of them as basically being small adults and thus treating them as such.
    • The witch Granny Weatherwax is an unusual combination of this and Book Dumb. Her spelling (heh) and grammar are on a First Grade level at best, and she considers plenty of things most people take for granted to be stupid or unworthy of her time. She also has an ego the size of the Disc itself, names herself the best Witch in the world, and constantly proves it, being both a powerful sorceress and a genius Guile Hero / Magnificent Bitch who's knocked around tyrants, elves, vampires and her evil sister in her time. Sure, she's an arrogant Jerkass, but she really does care, is by far most insufferable to idiots and idealists, and reserves her worst punishments for the utterly vile.
  • British statesman Lord Chesterfield warned his son not to become this in the Letters to His Son: "Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one. If you are asked what o'clock it is, tell it; but do not proclaim it hourly and unasked, like the watchman." (letter 30)
  • The Wizard Saruman from Lord of the Rings is like this. But Denethor is an even better example. Both are even insufferable toward Gandalf, which in Saruman's case is somewhat justified (as he is the head of the Istari, thus outranking Gandalf, and also widely acknowledged to be the smartest of them too—it's just that Gandalf is Saruman's superior in wisdom, integrity, and basic social skills), but in Denethor's case is remarkably cheeky.
    • Gandalf, for those not familiar with Tolkien's 'verse, is basically a demi-god working for The Powers That Be.
  • The title character of the Mediochre Q Seth Series is an example. Unlike some, however, he is human enough to start being nice to people when they need it.
  • David Audley, the lead character of Anthony Price's spy thrillers, is ferociously intelligent and doesn't make much allowance for people who aren't. Nearly everybody who knows him respects him, but apart from his wife and daughter almost nobody likes him.
  • In Rainbows End, Robert Gu is considered one of the greatest living poets, and he loves using his gift of language to humiliate others and put them in their place. When she finds out his Alzheimer's is being cured, his ex-wife fakes her own death, rather than have to face him again.
  • Sherlock Holmes very seldom brags about how smart he is, but he is always ready to snarkily disparage the intellect of anyone who fails to keep up with his deductive leaps. Watson is really a paragon of self-restraint considering the verbal abuse he takes from Holmes. Resentment toward this conceited attitude is probably why it takes so long for the Scotland Yard detectives to (grudgingly, at first) admit that he really is as brilliant as he thinks he is.
    Sherlock Holmes: You mean well, Watson. Shall I demonstrate your own ignorance?
    • When we meet Mycroft (Sherlock's brother), however, Sherlock is quick to point out, matter-of-factly, that his brother is the smarter of the two. Watson suggests that Sherlock is just being modest, but Sherlock says it's just as much of a sin to have too low an opinion of your skills as too high. It is also worth noting that Holmes is just as hard on himself as on anyone else when he fails to live up to his own standards.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Wedge Antilles maneuvers around this trope depending on the book and who he's around. In the X-Wing Series, he's quietly confident about his skills around his military superiors and the Rogues and the Wraiths — he's observant, consistently lucky, highly adaptive, and much more aware of long-term ramifications and politics than most people of his rank, not to mention being the greatest pilot alive. In that series, his ego is largely an Informed Flaw; he's just better at most of what he does than anyone else, but he doesn't show off, and a certain amount of Underestimating Badassery gets directed at him. Later-set books change this, though he's still not as bad as some — in Legacy of the Force he calmly informs Jacen Solo that Jacen knows he wasn't involved at all in one operation because that op failed. Jacen grits his teeth and reminds himself that belligerent cockiness is one of the Corellian hats.
  • Star Trek:
  • T'Passe from The Acts of Caine. She's very much philosophically inspired by Caine, the series protagonist. She meets him in prison and is proud to discover Caine could hear her lecturing the other prisoners from his separate cell—until Caine explains that he was desperately waiting for someone to knife her.
  • Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, with an extra emphasis on the insufferable part.
    "I'm much smarter than you. Think of a number, any number."
    "Err... five?"
    "Wrong. You see?"
  • Lily Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries is said to be brilliant but has absolutely no people skills. Whatsoever.
  • The German Staffie Armin von Roon in The Winds of War/War and Remembrance. One cannot possibly be a Wehrmacht General Staff officer without at least the beginnings of genius. But he was most definitely insufferable.
  • Harold Lauder of The Stand, especially early on. Smarter than anyone else in the book. And he knows it. And he was bullied mercilessly and sees no reason to let go of old grudges just because the world ended and all those people are dead now. At one point, Fran mentally compares Harold to a defective oracle — balky, a little bit frightening, but incredibly useful to have around.
  • Nero Wolfe isn't exactly shy about pointing out how intelligent he is, which often leads his assistant Archie Goodwin to snark about it at length.
  • Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald of Fate/Zero is a powerful Mage and lecturer at the Clock Tower, and is so full of himself that it's coming out of his ears. However, it is his own arrogance that does him in. He's so convinced that his victory in the Holy Grail War is just a matter of time, and had it been a contest of magical strength, it would have been, but he is twice outdone by Emiya Kiritsugi's unconventional tactics, losing first his base of operations and then his own magical abilities. By the end, Kayneth just wants to get out with his life... and he doesn't even get that.
  • A Mage's Power: Dengel is famous throughout Tariatla because of his accomplishments in codifying the science of magecraft and he fills Eric's mind with bragging about his personal legend.
    Dengel: My lectures are brilliant and I never brag.
  • In the Science Fiction novel Macroscope by Piers Anthony, an experiment breeds high-IQ men and women and places the offspring into an intensely educational environment to see if it will produce super-geniuses. The adults running the experiment think it failed because the smartest kids pretend to be average For the Lulz. One boy is so off-the-charts smart that he gets bored with the whole thing by the age of five and hides by shutting down most of his intellect and reprogramming himself with a completely different persona. When a galaxy-threatening danger piques his interest enough to bring him out of hiding, he's so insufferable that his comrades wonder if it's worth it.
  • The Hunger Games: Haymitch Abernathy, back in the day. He still definitely has traces of this attitude but most of it has been beaten out of him.
  • Professor Berthold, from Daniel Pennac's Cycle of Malaussene, has an extremely high opinion of himself, calls his students "band of gnomes", and is quite prone to make disasters. However, he's an excellent surgeon, and even his "disasters" require an incredible amount of medical skill to pull them off.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle:
    • Harmodius is both one of the most powerful and one of the most skilled sorcerers of his era, and he's acutely aware of both of those facts. As a result, while a great help to the heroes, he has the mentality of "of course I'm right" and "if I can't see a solution, it doesn't exist", which infuriates other characters to no end.
    • The Red Knight is a brilliant tactician, an avid schemer and a great sorcerer to boot, but he's an insufferable Attention Whore with the need to always be the smartest person in the room. While not as infuriating as Harmodius is, he still leaves many of his allies rolling their eyes.
  • In Animal Farm, Snowball is more of a benevolent leader than the other pigs on the farm, but he does act condescending to the other animals while explaining his plans, and he doesn't always like listening to criticisms of his ideas.
  • Professor Augustus Van Dusen, Ph. D.,LL. D., F.R.S. M.D. M.D.S, etc., a.k.a. 'The Thinking Machine'. After nearly being killed in "The Problem of the Deserted House", he remarks:
    "And, gentlemen, if I had been killed one of the most valuable minds in the sciences would have been lost. It would have been nothing less than a catastrophe."
  • Harrow of The Locked Tomb series is smug and arrogant, but she really is a hugely talented necromancer, assuredly one of the most powerful of her generation. And she won't let anyone forget it.
  • Daylen in Shadow of the Conqueror, is very aware of how knowledgeable and skilled he is compared to most of the people in the world, and is not at all shy about reminding them all of what a genius he is whenever a situation arises where his smarts are needed.
  • Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection: This is Inspector Well Actually's power. He has superhuman perception powers and deductive powers, but can only use them when correcting someone else. His Catchphrase is "Well, actually..." He can't turn this off, and almost destroys the world when the Big Bad says there's no way he can defeat the heroes now. His girlfriend Kayla has the literal job of making leading statements so that he can correct her in a condescending tone; everyone else in the corporation agrees that she's a saint.

    Live-Action TV 
  • As an advanced alien, Dick Solomon of 3rd Rock from the Sun is extremely intelligent by human standards and doesn't mind constantly insisting that he's the smartest man on the planet. His only mental shortcoming is his unfamiliarity with Earth ways.
    Nina: You think you're the smartest man on the planet, don't you?
    Dick: For the thousandth time, yes!
  • Adam Ruins Everything: Adam Conover (the character, not the actual comedian) means well, and he doesn't exactly flaunt his intelligence. The problem is his compulsive need to correct people and the delight he takes in pointing out the Awful Truth behind common misconceptions to people who just don't want to listen.
  • Awkwafina is Nora from Queens has Nora's cousin Edmund, a Silicon Valley whiz kid. Every word that comes out of his mouth is delivered in such a patronizing, haughty tone.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) has Gaius Baltar. He is a genius. He has in-universe fans. He also (indirectly) caused the nuclear holocaust of the Twelve Colonies and if you say you never wanted to strangle him you're lying.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon Cooper. The general template for the characters usually involves Sheldon being an Insufferable Genius and the other three main characters, themselves extremely intelligent but comparatively more normal, acting as his foils. Often played with, as there is also an element of Know-Nothing Know-It-All to his character at times; generally, Sheldon will be shown to excel, or at least demonstrate genuine intelligence, within his particular fields of interest and expertise, but will often completely flounder outside of these areas while still refusing to acknowledge that he could possibly be wrong at anything. He was apparently just as bad as a child, although this also ties in with Freudian Excuse, as it’s also suggested that he was heavily picked on and excluded because of his intelligence. There’s also elements of Rule of Funny or Depending on the Writer since his intelligence also tends to vary depending on what will be most funny or convenient for the plot at any given moment. The following quote pretty much sums it up:
    Sheldon: (to the others, regarding overcoming his fear of public speaking) I'm smarter than you and I haven't figured it out.
    Penny: Yes, but you're not smarter than all of us put together.
    Sheldon: I'm sorry, that is what I meant.
    • Young Sheldon confirms this has always been the case with Sheldon when — even especially — he was a Child Prodigy. A constant source of friction with him and his parents is that Sheldon ping-pongs from Innocently Insensitive to outright Jerkass when it comes to his intelligence; while his parents try to impose on him that Sheldon being smarter than everyone doesn't give him the right to be disrespectful, Sheldon often disagrees, feeling that it's not disrespect, but just honest facts.
  • Avon from Blake's 7 is a prime example.
    Dayna: Don't you ever get bored of being right?
    Avon: Just with the rest of you being wrong.
  • Bones:
    • If one wished to summarize Temperance "Bones" Brennan in a single phrase, it would be: "An insufferable and very hot genius." She's one of the best forensic scientists on Earth, a skilled marksman, bestselling novelist, and wouldn't know social graces if they bit her legs off. Possibly her most abrasive habit is that she sees nothing wrong with correcting anyone who says or does anything she disagrees with — including, say, family members who say goodbye to a loved one at his funeral (since she considers the belief in an afterlife irrational).
    • "The Science in the Physicist" has a whole research institute filled with these.
      • Bones reveals she wanted to join the institute, but they rejected her because their research is focused on the future, not the past.
    • Dr. Zack Addy is a little bit of this, too, in that he's not shy about his high IQ and general intelligence. He tends to annoy the crap out of Booth, but everyone else at the Jeffersonian accepts it as 'just Zack'. Plus, he is genuinely brilliant.
      • In "The Woman in the Car" there's a particularly notable exchange:
        Booth: Alright, Zack! Zack! (Zack turns around) This guy, Decker, he's like you. He's in the whole stratosphere, IQ-wise.
        Zack: What's his IQ?
        Booth: It's 163.
        Bones: Oh, he's not where Zack is.
        Zack: If he's in the stratosphere, I'm in the ionosphere.
    • Oliver Wells loves to interrupt people and show that he is smarter than them. Only Fisher likes him (He says so in the episode The Woman In White).
  • Denny Crane from Boston Legal has a good bit of this. He's rather off-putting to the people he meets, acting infinitely superior to everyone while simultaneously behaving like either a senile old man or a mental patient. But then he steps into a courtroom and shows them all just why he's... well, Denny Crane.
  • Walter White of Breaking Bad is ridiculously smart and has an in-depth knowledge of how meth should be properly made. And he only gets more annoying from there by the time Season 3 rolls around, browbeating his partner Jesse constantly no matter how hard the kid works.
  • Breakout Kings has Lloyd, a behaviorist with No Social Skills. His ability for understanding people doesn't mean he understands why everyone gets so pissed at his conclusions about why they act the way they do. For instance, once he figures out what makes Erica tick, he blurts out his conclusions and won't shut up until she breaks his nose — at which point he won't shut up about that.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer gives us an interesting inversion with Wesley. While he does possess a genius-level IQ, his intelligence is actually the one thing he is never seen boasting about. His insufferable nature comes from his overblown sense of importance and his pride in being a Watcher.
    • And judging by what we've seen of the other Watchers, it appears this is pretty much standard fare for their lot. Giles is apparently the exception to the rule, while Wesley in his early days represents the attitudes held by the majority of the council.
  • Charite has both Professor Robert Koch and Doctor Emil Behring, both of which are busy with important medical projects — developing a remedy for tuberculosis and one for diphtheria, respectively — and constantly lord it over everyone around them. Admittedly, Koch doesn't let it on quite as much because he's already on top of his career and thus doesn't have the same frail ego. He seldom misses an opportunity to rub his success in Behring's face, though.
  • Cheers:
    • Diane Chambers, on her worse days. The thing is she is smarter than everyone else at Cheers, but a recurring thread is her having to acknowledge she's not as smart or accomplished as she'd like to think, or just Not So Above It All. And the gang often can't stand her because she's insufferable.
      Diane: I'm here for you, Carla. I want to be here for you. Please, benefit from my depth.
    • Diane's ex, Sumner Sloane, is an even more insufferable jerk, but without any of Diane's better qualities.
    • Frasier himself veers into this on occasion, though not to anywhere near the amount he does in his spin-off. While he occasionally grumbles about the gang going to him for free psychiatric advice, Carla notes he'll pout and sulk if they didn't (Frasier's response to being told this is to pout and sulk).
  • Gareth Blackstock, star of Chef!!, was a classic example of this, although he would occasionally bestow compliments as well. "Everton, let me explain things to you. In the world of cooking, I am Einstein. Lucinda is Isaac Newton. And you are a mud-dwelling unicellular bit of jelly with a predilection for consuming its own excrement."
  • Combat Hospital has Rebecca starting out as one of these, but slowly getting Character Development over the course of the first season to mature out of it.
  • Cracker. Fitz is considered to be a complete bastard by his workmates at the Manchester Police and has zero respect among his academic peers. But he is also very, very, very good at profiling.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • Both Reid and the entire cast are pretty much aversions of this trope. While all extremely smart and knowledgeable, they never act with arrogance or hostility to the local forces they are working with and never denigrate or insult others. In the second episode, Gideon refuses to brag about a genius call he made and preferred to have people work it out for themselves. Rossi is about as close as we get and that is more about him not being used to teamwork.
    • When characters who act like this trope do appear, they are usually the killer. Examples include the sniper who believed himself to be much smarter and sabotaged by his co-workers and the killer who tried to get revenge on Rossi by trying to trick the team into a trap.
    • Dr. Spencer Reid has an IQ of 187, can read over 20,000 words per minute, has an eidetic memory, three PhD's, BA's in Psychology and Sociology, can solve the Bacon Cipher longhand, and almost played through every single possible move in chess. The only reason his coworkers haven't shot him yet is that he uses his powers for good, is a source of endless amusement due to his ignorance of pop culture, and the team's protective of him as their Little Brother-type.
      • Reid only really seems to slip into the Insufferable Genius mould when he's trying to annoy his teammates on purpose — again, very much like a little brother would. He's not really arrogant, though. In fact, in the pilot, someone asks him if he is a genius and he's kind of reluctant to say yes. He's just a bit over-eager to share information with people at the most inappropriate of times.
    • Prentiss does threaten to kill him once over his genius. He solved a 3D puzzle she had been working on for days (and declared impossible) in about three seconds.
  • David Hodges on CSI has shades of this. He is rather smart and loves to say it, and sometimes he does manage to do something that gets noticed.
  • Dollhouse's Topher, who is tolerated by dint of being the only one around who knows how all the big shiny brain-scrambling devices work.
    • Also Bennett, although in her case it's less because of arrogance and more because of craziness.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor is fond of explaining how brilliant he is to his companions, but as this is usually at the point where he has just solved whatever problem they're in, he tends to get away with it. Plus, he's saved the universe several times over as well.
      Rose: [to Sarah Jane] With you, did he do that thing where he'd explain something at, like, ninety miles per hour, and you'd go "What?" and he'd look at you like you'd just dribbled on your shirt?
      • Eleven does this more humorously than some of the others:
        The Doctor: Doctor Song, you've got that face on again.
        River: What face?
        The Doctor: The "He's hot when he's clever" face.
        River: This is my normal face.
        The Doctor: Yes it is.
        River: Oh, shut up.
        The Doctor: Not a chance.
      • This trope is reason why Liz Shaw, the third Doctor's first companion who is an Omnidisciplinary Scientist herself, decided to leave. As the Brigadier noted, she often remarked all the Doctor needed "is someone to pass you your test tubes, and to tell you how brilliant you are." In short, she had enough of his ego and walked. That said, after the Doctor was granted back complete control of his TARDIS, he soon mellows into the nicest and more gentlemanly of the incarnations.
      • Twelve, like One, has No Social Skills, and his first meeting with Danny Pink as an adult is absolutely Cringe Comedy worthy. While doing his science-y Save the World thing, he nicknames Danny "P.E." and refuses to acknowledge that he's a maths teacher because, in his own words, "No, I can't retain that".
      • This is one of the Doctor's qualities that backfire on him in the episode "Midnight". The Tenth Doctor is characteristically flippant about assuming authority over the humans in his company, responding to the comment "Oh, like you're so special" with "As it happens, yes I am," and even after belatedly realizing that they aren't feeling it and trying to backtrack, he loses patience and snaps that he just knows what to do "because [he's] clever." This almost ends up being the death of him, as he becomes the focus of their Witch Hunt mentality.
    • Adric very much wanted to be one of these, but his sheer incompetence at pretty much anything outside of mathematics pretty much scuttled the character. As such, he frequently came across as being more "Insufferable" than "Genius", which went a long way towards cementing his status as the series' Scrappy.
    • River Song. She appears to know as much as the Doctor due to being his "wife" in his future and acts suitably insufferable a fair share of the time, but isn't one to sit about with her mouth open when things get hairy.
    • Romana I came across as this, sometimes, but mellowed a little later on. Romana II, while a genius, was more good-natured about it. Combined, the Doctor and Romana (and K9) were formidably brilliant, though not that insufferable (mostly).
    • Of course, loads of villains fall into this category, given the number of evil scientists and geniuses the Doctor has faced, Luke Rattigan from "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky" being a shining example. The Doctor tends to have a lot of fun letting them ramble on about how intelligent they are, then simply shutting them up by easily proving how much smarter than them he is.
      The Doctor: Terraforming, biospheres, nanotech steel construction. This is brilliant. Do you know, with equipment like this, you could — ooh, I don't know — move to another planet or something.
      Luke Rattigan: If only that was possible.
      The Doctor: If only that were possible. Conditional clause.
    • The Doctor to the Cybercontroller in "The Age of Steel":
    I'd call you a genius but I'm in the room.
  • Sherlock Holmes from Elementary starts out this way, insisting that his brilliance should exempt him from most social niceties. Over time he has mellowed considerably and started to treat those around him with more grace, largely due to Joan Watson's absolute refusal to tolerate his more insufferable behaviours.
  • Sikozu from Farscape is very intelligent, although her knowledge is mostly book smarts with little practical experience, but so annoyingly self-important that the rest of Moya's inhabitants can barely stand her.
  • One thirteen year old caller to Frasier's show (played by Elijah Wood) calls about bullies picking on him for his smarts. After Frasier advises him that he'll get the last laugh later in life, the caller immediately turns into this, picking apart Frasier's advice and outright insulting him for it. Frasier then in turn takes a certain amount of vindictive glee in pointing out that the caller had now just announced to any of his bullies who might have been listening exactly where he is.
  • Ross in Friends tends to be right on many subjects and he always has to prove that he is right whenever someone says something grammatically incorrect or state a wrong fact. His friends naturally get annoyed by this. Of course, his genius wasn't the only insufferable thing about Ross...
  • Yukawa in Galileo is this to a T, being a genius physicist and more or less a Renaissance Man. It annoys Kaoru and Misa to no end.
  • Rico of Hannah Montana skipped three grade levels, has an eidetic memory, can do complex equations in his head, and is a Jerkass who believes anyone less intelligent than he (read: everyone) is his to manipulate.
    • And yet, he still didn't figure out that Miley Stewart was Hannah Montana. He is floored that he was fooled once Miley went public, which leads him to a near mental breakdown until Jackson snaps him out of it.
      • There's also the fact that due to his aforementioned "Everyone is mine to manipulate" attitude he has no friends, many of whom are suing him.
  • The title character of House manifests his arrogance in different ways (he prefers putting others down to puff himself up), but he justifies his attitude by always being one intuitive jump ahead of the rest of the staff. It makes it very difficult to train his staff, because he'd rather cut them off at the knees than let them draw their own conclusions. (House's worst nightmare, according to "No Reason", is his subordinates solving the cases before he can.) His behavior is appropriate given the connections between House and Holmes (see Literature section above).
    • There was also an episode featuring a super-genius who couldn't deal with the pressure of the expectations everyone had in him, so he intentionally drugged himself into a permanent dumbness haze to be happy. Which is what put him in hospital. When the effect wears off, he more or less immediately becomes this. Notably, he rants that considering the IQ difference between him and his girlfriend, having sex with her might as well be bestiality.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Jun Shibaura from Kamen Rider Ryuki is a villainous example, he is in fact a genius, but his arrogance leads to him toying with people's lives simply for the thrill of it.
    • Souji Tendou from Kamen Rider Kabuto carries himself with a confidence that almost suggests that he sees himself as more than mortal. One can't exactly fault him for it, however, because in addition to being a master chef, he's as good as any given expert at pretty much anything he can be bothered to try. To the point where, in an episode where he was involved in a plan to rescue a little girl, he rejected the plan to put sleeping drugs in the guards' lunches and instead cook them meals so good they'd be too distracted to stop them. And it worked.
    • Tsukasa Kadoya of Kamen Rider Decade is essentially Diet Tendou, sharing the attitude of knowing they're great at everything, but Tsukasa doesn't show off those elite skills as often as Tendou did. (Although it can easily be assumed that the only reason for that is that Decade was twenty-odd episodes shorter and Kabuto didn't have any world-hopping shenanigans to distract him.)
    • Sento Kiryu of Kamen Rider Build is Tendou 3.0 for those who thought that the original was too insufferable. note  He is a genius physicist with love for his inventions and intellect. The opening narration starts with line The handsome and brilliant scientist, Sento Kiryu spoken by him. When you look away from the gloating, he is the sweetest, kindest Insufferable Genius possible.
  • Leverage: Hardison, Nate, and Sterling all tend in this direction, although all of them grow a little humbler as the series progresses. Chaos, Hardison's Evil Counterpart is a full-on example, respecting absolutely no one but himself, and not a few of the villains also fall into this category, especially Victor Dubenich.
  • Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle, which overlaps with his petulance and selfishness. He even Lampshades it in a couple of episodes.
    • Another episode examined it with Malcolm becoming infuriated with his family's and everyone else's comparatively low intelligence and meeting Leonard (Jason Alexander), a genius who spends all his time playing chess in the park, insulting his opponents and complaining about everything. His life is a complete mess as he could never tolerate being around anyone who doesn't share his skill and indulge his ego, blaming his poor life on everyone else. The episode ends with him leaving and Malcolm complaining about him in the same manner Leonard complained earlier.
    • Oddly (or not-so-oddly) enough, this trope was strongly inverted in the earlier seasons, where Malcolm viewed his intelligence as something that made him a freak, and was extremely self-conscious about alienating his friends and family if he demonstrated it.
  • Charles Emerson Winchester from M*A*S*H is one of the best-known examples — puffed up and pompous, but a skilled surgeon. While he does get cut down to size a bit from time to time, it is never in proportion to his ego.
    • In one episode, after Winchester has deftly saved a patient's leg from being amputated, Colonel Potter says that Winchester has "A silo full of smug", but definitely knows which end of a scalpel is up.
    • In another episode, Father Mulcahy is trying to come up with something nice to say about Winchester. He finally says "He's a VERY good doctor."
    • Compare this with Hawkeye, Trapper and BJ, who use their mad surgical skills as a Weirdness Coupon rather than boasting about them, and contrast with Frank Burns, who is just as convinced of his ability despite having none.
  • Modern Family: Alex Dunphy is a smug, arrogant kid who repeatedly antagonises both her siblings and even her parents, while acting smarter than everyone. She has no friends for a reason.
    • Her mother Claire qualifies as well. Though her IQ isn't shown, she is smug and arrogant, and a Sore Loser.
  • One of Monk's Catch Phrases is "unless I'm wrong, which I'm not," but otherwise he's not at all arrogant. Well, except when on medication.
  • Even though Mr. Brain's quirky, yet brilliant neuroscientist Tsukumo Ryusuke usually solves the crimes long before anybody else, he is still considered insufferable by many of his superiors.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: One episode (appropriately with a Sherlock Holmes Show Within a Show theme to it) had Potato Bug use a brain enhancer. She's an atypical example in that she isn't just a know-it-all, and doesn't even go out of her way to prove she knows it all, either—when other characters ask her trivia questions, she gets bored with that quickly. The problems begin when she starts enhancing equipment around the kitchen in ways only she can understand.
  • Garrett, the Sixth Ranger from The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg. He would tell anyone willing to listen of his supposedly great abilities (for example, the ability to calm animals by looking at them). But then, we learn he's actually able to do these things.
  • Never Have I Ever:
  • Charlie Eppes of NUMB3RS is usually a quite nice genius. But every so often he becomes a wee bit irritating.
    • Fellow professor and friend Larry Fleinhardt once called him "a talented theoretician with an ego problem."
  • Austin James, from the short-lived '80s sci-fi mystery show Probe, is the smartest man on the planet. And he never lets you forget it. Ever.
  • Jeffery on Project Runway is talented, but also snarky and condescending from the beginning until he wins.
  • Downplayed example with Shawn Spencer, from Psych, is an insufferable detective, disrespectful to more than few people, who makes his best friend do all non-detective work for him, brazenly lies to the police, and solves a homicide or heinous crime every week. It's gotten to the point where the real detectives know he'll probably solve the case, but try to keep him away anyhow because he's just that annoying. Though usually, Shawn is more childish than insufferable.
    • However, Shawn is genuinely kind and caring and the one he has any vitriol with is Detective Lassiter who is more insufferable than Shawn. Shawn's childish nature is more due to his own issues with his father, Henry, who is a notorious control freak and the one who honed Shawn to be the detective he is, at the cost of a normal childhood.
  • John Sessions generally gets this reaction from the QI audience, who either love or hate him for knowing rather obscure answers and explaining them at length, usually in a way that isn't all that funny, or his equally long, very dry humorous asides. His buzzer in one episode was "Sir, sir, I know the answer!"
    • Rory McGrath came off as this in his first appearance as well.
  • Sanctuary:
    • Tesla is apparently always like this. Getting superpowers doesn't help.
    • Then there's Adam Worth, who was an insufferable genius back in the day (to the point where the Five rejected him), before going batshit insane after his daughter died.
  • Saturday Night Live: Dakota Fanning, as portrayed by Amy Poehler in the Dakota Fanning Show skits. A Running Gag was her belittling the lowbrow tastes of Reggie (Kenan Thompson), her house band leader.
    Dakota: You could turn a microwave on and Reggie would watch it!
  • Dr. Cox from Scrubs is so over-the-top narcissistic that he actually enjoys being called a genius, even if the person saying it obviously does not mean it. At one time, he was named the best doctor in the city by a local magazine, and forced everyone in the hospital to line up and answer his question of who the best doctor is with "You are!" For another extreme example, watch this. There was a Lampshade Hanging in one episode where people were comparing him to House and he went through the same summation that he usually does. Scrubs fans might note that their series predates House by three years, to wrongly imply that House is some sort of rip-off of Cox. Outrageous! At one point he reminds Elliot that he has a giant ego and to get his help, she'll have to flatter him.
    • A visiting surgeon named Russell Vaughn in the episode "Our Dear Leaders" is also this. Having traveled the world and done many amazing things, Russell is a skilled surgeon and a cultured individual. He also comes off as a remarkable douche, constantly interjecting with stories of his travels and even condescendingly offering to let Turk, Sacred Hearts' Head of Surgery and a highly competent doctor in his own right, help out with a tricky surgery as 'a feather in [his] cap.'
  • The title character of Sherlock; to be expected, perhaps, given the source material.
    Sherlock: What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.
    • And again:
      Sherlock: Look at you lot: you're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.
    • And again:
      John: Why didn't I think of that?
      Sherlock: Because you're an idiot. No, no, no, don't be like that; practically everyone is.
      • Worth mentioning that all those quotes are within the same episode.
      • Viciously deconstructed in The Final Problem. Moriarty counted on this to sow doubt in Scotland Yard's mind regarding Sherlock's legitimacy.
  • In Smallville, Lex Luthor. Major Zod also likes to remind people that the Kryptonians' intelligence is highly evolved.
  • Stargate:
    • When he was introduced on Stargate SG-1, Rodney McKay — prickly, whiny, and arrogant — continually got shown that he was not always right. In Stargate Atlantis, he doesn't have to worry about being upstaged since Carter, the one person possibly smarter than him, is at least two galaxies over, so his brains, and considerable courage under pressure, have been critical in saving the day so many times that his friends and the rest of the Atlantis team is willing to accommodate him. And, of course, he's always willing to brag about how he is the smartest guy in the world at the drop of a hat. In one scene, his password consisted of three birth dates: Newton's, Einstein's and his, upon which Sheppard mused, "Never underestimate that man's ego."
      Maj. Lorne: Wow. You really must be some kind of genius.
      McKay: Well, as a matter of fact I— eh, wait. Why would you say that right now?
      Maj. Lorne: Something has to have kept Col. Sheppard from shooting you all this time.
      • Then there's this jewel from "Brain Storm":
        McKay: Hey, I'm Dr. Rodney McKay, all right? Difficult takes a few seconds; impossible, a few minutes.
    • Even Daniel Jackson could be considered that, at least in his own field. This is lampshaded by Colonel Martin Edwards in "Enemy Mine", after Daniel peacefully resolves the situation with a bunch of angry Unas.
      Martin Edwards: O'Neill was right about you. You are a pain in the ass… But well worth it.
    • Stargate Universe has its own example with Dr. Rush, although his insufferability is played much less for comedy than with McKay, and more to show that he's batshit nuts. For example, he's responsible for stranding the series' characters on the other side of the universe in the first place. (Ironically, now that they're there, he's the guy most able to help them with the Lost Technology they found there.)
      • Interestingly, Rush does admit at one point that, in some respects, Eli is smarter than him, although he immediately asks that Col. Young keep this to himself.
  • Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager, being a former Borg drone, has definite Insufferable Genius tendencies. She does back up her superior attitude by saving the crew's collective ass a little more frequently than she almost destroys them all, which is more than can be said for a surprising number of her crewmates.
    • Voyager also gave us the Doctor (not that one), who was programmed to be the ideal doctor, and knew it. His constant preening didn't stop him from becoming a much-loved character, though. In fact, it may even have helped.
    • Like Seven of Nine, the Doctor had a great deal of knowledge but little social experience. It's hardly surprising they formed an Odd Friendship.
    • And then there's one-shot character Mortimer Harren, who boasts about his theoretical knowledge and talks down to everyone—including The Captain herself.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine gives us Dr Julian Bashir. In the early seasons, he's considered unbearably smug by many of his colleagues boasting about beating Vulcans in tennis matches, curing planetary plagues, and almost being valedictorian. This is usually done humorously and often ends with him learning to temper himself. As a result, thanks to Character Development, by middle seasons of the show, he's settled down and, while still retaining a brash flair, he's much more more tolerable to both his colleagues and the audience. Then, in season 5 it's revealed he was illegally genetically engineered as a child and has, in fact, been holding back his genius all this time. After that reveal, the writers once more make him an Insufferable Genius to Ludicrous Precision, Improbable Aiming Skills, Instant Expert, New Knowledge as the Plot Demands and all-round Marty Stu levels, and without any of the aesops or humour of the earlier seasons. Even the actor hated this development.
      • DS9 also gave us, in a one-off example, Professor Gideon Seyetik, whose very first appearance involved talking very loudly about how awesome he was. Later, he turned out to be rather self-aware about his ego complex, and eventually sacrificed himself to preserve his wife's health.
        Seyetik: A great terraformer has the green thumb of a gardener, the eye of a painter, and the soul of a poet. And of course it doesn't hurt to be a raging egomaniac!
        Kira: Which makes you eminently qualified.
        Seyetik: Of course! (laughs)
    • There's also Q, who in addition to being godlike has an IQ in the quadruple digit range. At the start of the series, he's also beyond insufferable, planning on wiping out "less advanced" species and examining humans like they're simple toys. He gets less insufferable in later appearances, partly from time with Captain Picard and partly from his species (who are apparently not appreciative of his behavior) briefly stripping him of his powers. Still, he always retains this.
      Vash: It's over, Q, I want you out of my life. You're arrogant, you're overbearing and you think you know everything.
      Q: [nonplussed] But I do know everything.
      Vash: That makes it it even worse.
    • In fairness, he's hardly the only member of his species to suffer from this... witness this exchange from Star Trek: Voyager's "The Q And The Grey":
      B'Elanna Torres: You know, I have really had it with this superiority complex of yours.
      Female Q: It's not a complex, dear; it's a fact.
  • The Suite Life on Deck:
    • Cody Martin became one of these after he Took a Level in Jerkass.
    • Bailey Pickett, while not nearly to the extent as Cody, also has her moments of insufferability.
      Miss Tutweiler: Look, not everything is about school and grades and studying!
      [Bailey and Cody stare at her in disbelief]
      Cody: Exactly where did you get your teaching credentials?
      Miss Tutweiler: The University of None-Of-Your-Business!
      Bailey: I bet she barely got in. [rolls her eyes]
      Cody: Mmm. [smirks and nods]
  • Professor Karl-Friedrich Boerne, the pathologist in the Münster Tatort is not only the best there is at dissecting and analysing corpses, but also an expert on several other subjects, is fluent (though not accent-free) in English, Spanish, French and Russian, has given piano recitals and performed as a stage magician, has won prizes playing golf and showjumping, and is an expert fencer. He is also a lover and connoisseur of fine wine and classical music (which he listens to at ungodly hours and volume). And he's always ready to let you know how good he is at everything, and absolutely loves it when people have to admit that he was right all along…
    • Despite this, Boerne qualifies also as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, as his medical persona is far more ingrained as he likes to make people believe, causing moments of unexpected compassion and kindness as well as some of his Idée-Fixe-style crusades when he believes someone to be innocentnote  or something to be wrong.
  • Mocked on sketch comedy That Mitchell and Webb Look, as a neurosurgeon at a party always topped someone else by saying "Well... that isn't exactly brain surgery."
    Lionel: So, how do you earn a crust?
    Jeff: Well, I'm a scientist. I work mainly with rockets. It's, um, pretty tough work. What do you do?
    Lionel: Well, I don't mean to boast, but, uh... I'm a brain surgeon.
    Jeff: Brain surgery? [beat] Not exactly rocket science, is it?
  • This is nicely averted with Neal and Mozzie on White Collar. They're both exceptionally brilliant, and they definitely know it, but they don't feel the need to point it out to everyone around them.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • This was what Matt Striker becomes when he wrestles. As a commentator, he is much more tolerable, freely sharing his knowledge and breaking down things other people don't understand.
  • Nemesis was voted PGWA's "2010 New Comer Of The Year" despite being an obnoxious braggart. Going into 2011, Tracy Taylor granted Nemesis a title shot and agreed to defend her non-PGWA belt too, to shut her up. Then Taylor found out Nemesis had been undergone a physical transformation for the sole purpose of beating her, smugly stating she knew Tracy Taylor better than she knew herself.
  • Damien Sandow's feud with Sheamus on Monday Night Raw basically boiled down to Sandow flaunting his larger knowledge base and mocking Sheamus's lack of intellect till Sheamus kicked him.
  • La Rosa Negra had this attitude on Caged Heat Radio, to the chagrin of Jorge Alonso.
"No worries I respect all opinions, I respect whatever peoples say. So pero, I show you, you's wrong!"

  • Douglas of Cabin Pressure. When asked if there is anything he isn't "very good at", he admits: "There are things I haven't tried yet. I suppose it's possible I'm not very good at some of those. Theoretically."
  • Eugene Meltsner of Adventures in Odyssey, though he softens a bit over time.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Finn believes himself to be far above his peers- and given that he's a (literal) chessmaster who's deftly able to manipulate events behind the scenes, he's not too far off the mark.
    • Benedict's superpower boosted his already-impressive intellect to an extraordinarily high level. His ego grew to match it, as evidenced by his multiple proclamations that he's the 'smartest man in the universe'.
    • Katheryn likes to arrogantly lord her intelligence over others, which is particularly annoying because she really is just that smart.
    • Downplayed with Irene: she's very smart, likes to feel intellectually superior, and can get annoyed if other people show her up, but also tries not to rub it in other people's face.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Genius: The Transgression: Many Lemurians, and a significant number of high-ranking Peers. Many of the Inspired come across this way to Muggles, thanks to Jabir.
    • It doesn't help that the typical Genius won't even allow a Muggle to lay hands on one of their inventions or examine how it works. From the perspective of the normal person, this is the height of arrogance and condescension. From the Genius' perspective, it's justified paranoia and common sense, because their creations will almost always break (or worse) if touched by a normal human.
    • The Unmada are particularly insufferable, as they're in permanent I Reject Your Reality mode, will simply not realize the facts are against them and have the little quirk that reality nearby tends to be influenced into making them be right about their crazy/stupid ideas. Not a good recipe for a plentiful social life, that's for sure.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Niv-Mizzet combines a phenomenal magical genius that with a titanically swollen ego. Of course, he's a dragon. If you were several thousand years older and several times more brilliant than everyone around you, you'd probably have a bit of an ego problem too.
    • Also, Jace Beleren. He is a powerful mage genius with several deficiency in social skills. Bonus points for actually realizing this in one of the stories. Through telepathic shenanigans, he manages to meet a copy of himself within the recesses of his mind. He finds the experience deeply frustrating.
    [the copy taps his foot in a way Jace recognizes all too well]
    Jace: [in a melodramatic manner] I don't know if I can ever interact with another human again. I'm too annoying to be with.
  • Leonardo de Montreal in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, who even gets XP for going off on speeches about how much smarter he is than everyone... but at the same time he's a master of Nightmare Science.

  • Lancelot's "I Am" Song in Camelot brags about his prowess in battle and spiritual purity. Everyone at court finds him intolerable until the joust when he proceeds to do everything he says he can, up to and including bringing a man he (accidentally) killed back to life.
  • Freddie Trumper of Chess is a jingoistic, misogynistic, certifiably-insane Jerkass, who nobody would give the time of day if he weren't every bit as good as he thinks he is at chess.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Cyrano invokes this because his great intellect is used to humiliate everyone who is not his friend. This is not so much to show he is a genius, but to show Viscount de Valvert that Cyrano is truly Insufferable:
    Viscount De Valvert: A ballade?
    Cyrano: Belike you know not what a ballade is.
    Viscount De Valvert: But...
    Cyrano: [reciting, as if repeating a lesson] Know then that the ballade
    should contain
    Three eight-versed couplets...
    Viscount De Valvert: (stamping): Oh!
    Cyrano: [still reciting] And an envoi
    Of four lines...
  • Professor Abronsius from Tanz Der Vampire has undergone Adaptational Intelligence and sings a whole song about how smart he is and proving it later on by singing a song consisting entirely of authors whose books he read. Apart from those two songs (and his bit in the finale), he is not overly boastful, but his exceedingly inquisitive nature combined with a certain amount of tactlessness doesn't make him very popular with the villagers, who live in denial.
  • Alexander Hamilton is a sophisticated man of letters, a most talented lawyer, and successful statesman, and he will talk about this NON-STOP! During said song, Aaron Bur asks several times, "why do you assume you're smartest in the room?"

    Video Games 
  • Edwin Odesseiron from Baldur's Gate (both games). He spends most of the time calling everyone around him brainless monkeys - his 18 Intelligence, however, is the highest of any NPC you can pick up, and in addition, he has a unique and non-removable magic item that further enhances his spellcasting. His arrogance (combined with his significantly lower Wisdom stat) gets him in trouble a few times, though it hardly prevents him from becoming a Draco in Leather Pants for the fandom, who seems really into it.
    • That magic item? That was only included because they wanted him to be really really good at spellcasting, but the game code wouldn't let them apply the bonus directly to Edwin.
  • The Riddler, as part of his Inferiority Superiority Complex, acts like this all throughout the Batman: Arkham Series. "And as you lie blubbering on the floor like an ignorant child, you'll know...that the Riddler is better than you!" is actually one of his tamer quotes. To the point where even his own Mooks hate his guts.
  • Patricia Tannis of Borderlands varies between this and complete and utter insanity.
  • Special Agent Francis York Morgan in Deadly Premonition doesn't hesitate at all to point out that he's a much more experienced detective than anyone else in Greenvale, at least when the game first starts. He tones down the attitude a bit once he warms up to the rest of the town.
  • Pritchard, your Voice with an Internet Connection in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. He's a hacker, and a good one and he will never miss an opportunity to tell you so at great length with particular emphasis on how stupid you are in comparison. Adam is always willing to knock him down a peg by pointing out when he mispronounces a word, or when fixing a security hole Pritchard didn't know about.
  • Devil Survivor has Naoya, the hero's cousin and a programming genius. Only twenty-four years old, yet capable of amazing programming feats, like converting handheld gaming systems into weapons able to summon demons and let humans fight toe-to-toe with them. He doesn't brag so much as treat his incomparable genius as proven fact; if the hero proves to have a canny mind, he acts as if it's just an offshoot of his brilliance. (If you play the hero as a ditz, however...)
  • Mao, the main character of Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, is this in spades, always bragging about his 1.8 million EQ (That's right, EQ.) However, a combination of his ego and being Wrong Genre Savvy makes him prone to astonishingly bad decisions (no, actually, calling yourself a hero doesn't make you invincible) and easy to manipulate.
  • Myron of Fallout 2 is a brilliant teenager responsible for the creation of Jet, one of the most potent and addictive drugs available in the post-apocalypse. However he's more or less designed to be a Hate Sink as he's annoying, amoral, condescending, and has a Small Name, Big Ego.
  • Mr. House of Fallout: New Vegas doesn't bother to hide his condescension for... well, anybody and has a clear disdain for the other factions out to rule New Vegas. He is, however, a genius of several stripes, who not only earned his fortune before he was thirty but was also responsible for preserving what remains of Vegas through the nuclear apocalypse.
    • If you choose to betray him, either for the NCR, Legion or for yourself, he'll ask you why you did it. You can declare your allegiance to the faction of your choosing... or you could bluntly tell him, "I don't like you." After you do the deed, his obituary, entitled "A Tragedy Has Befallen All Mankind", states that he was a man of incredible vision and genius that will likely never be replaced, recognises him as the best hope for a prosperous future, possessed incalculable knowledge of several key subjects, and generally talks about him like he's a Messianic Archetype. It all sounds like a What the Hell, Player? until you realise from the note at the end that House wrote the obituary himself. Several characters mention reading the obituary and all dryly comment that whoever Mr. House really was, he was a guy who had a very high opinion of himself.
  • Shinra in Final Fantasy X-2 fits this as well, though when pushed about something he doesn't know he responds with "I'm just a kid."
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has Lute, a young mage who openly claims to be capable of memorising anything she reads, to the point of being able to quote sentences from specific pages and paragraphs of books.
    • Shinon from Tellius games. Textbook Jerkass and blatant racist. While he is not constantly reminding us that he is brilliant, he does boast about his skill with a bow in his first appearance and obviously has a pretty big ego. However, not only IS he really an incredible archer (not so much in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, but in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, he's practically a Game-Breaker) but also seems to be a very skilled person in general (exemplified by his ability to make one of, if not the best, bows in the game and his epilogue even implies him to be an Instant Expert at pretty much anything he tries). He also seems to be a pretty savvy guy, both tactically (being one of the first to realize Daein's true intentions during their first ambush) and in general life-situations, as shown in his conversations with Gatrie. No wonder he looks down on many people around him.
  • A blatant example is seen in the Gears of War series. Baird is the resident tech guy, shown to be well versed in many forms of academics beyond the expected technology (even having a scholarly interest in the Locust enemy). His jerkass behaviours, however, is the only thing keeping him from the promotion he feels he deserves.
  • The Asura in Guild Wars are a whole race of Insufferable Geniuses, who are quite certain they are the only ones who can create the Magitek weapons that can save the world from the Destroyers. Fortunately for the world, they turn out to be right.
  • Arne Magnusson from Half-Life 2: Episode Two also embodies this trope. He names a weapon after himself, and is painfully short with everyone. Even Gordon Freeman, who has up until that point, been practically showered with praise from every NPC that isn't trying to kill them.
    • The Vortigaunts have great respect for him, so either they forgive him his quirks or are still a little too alien to notice them.
    • In fairness, you did kinda blow up his casserole. Of course, if we had known Magnusson before that incident, cause and effect may have been reversed.
  • Halo:
    • 343 Guilty Spark is the embodiment of this trope. He brags about his own intellect, actually has said intellect, and never stops telling you (and himself) so. He's also a backstabbing Jerkass.
    • Though Dr. Halsey is quite nice to those dear to her, she does not suffer fools gladly. Her insufferability worsens considerably after ONI throws her under the bus; in Halo 5: Guardians, even the Arbiter has trouble standing her.
  • Polly Spark, the villain of JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain. The whole plot of the game happens because she gets a 0 on a test for giving absurd answers to all the questions. Suffers from a bit of Villain Decay in later appearances. Then again, she's more of a brat than outright evil.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories gives us Vexen. While he is insufferable to Sora, this tends to be par for the course for him when it comes to Organization members due to their cryptic Jerkass natures. Vexen truly cements his Insufferable Genius status when it comes to his fellow Organization members. He spends the group meetings constantly bragging about how much smarter he is and how he has the highest rank in Castle Oblivion (even though Organization ranks are determined only by how early they joined rather than their actual power within the group. Hence why number 7, Saix, is second-in-command ahead of numbers 2-6). This comes back to bite him when Marluxia orders Axel to kill him off, and Axel obliges despite being on Vexen’s side of the conflict. Axel probably considered Vexen an acceptable sacrifice for Marluxia’s trust due to how unbearably annoying Vexen was.
    • Kingdom Hearts III continues this with a twist. He has actually become The Atoner, and acts as The Mole to take the new Organization’s replicas for the good guys to use. While still an Insufferable Genius, he is at least a good person now.
  • Zetta, the "most badass overlord in the entire universe" of Makai Kingdom, actually is as powerful as his near constant boasting would suggest. Then we find out that he unknowingly had a bit of help in that department.
  • Durandal and Tycho of Marathon. They are very smart, they know it, and they will make sure everyone else knows it as well.
    Tycho: Don't sweat the details, little monkey. Leave the strategy to those of us with planet-sized brains.
  • Mass Effect has Joker, the Normandy's helmsman. If you chat him up, he'll brag on endlessly about his skill. However, stick around for three games and he'll show you that he has skills to back up his talk and some to spare. There's a reason Alliance brass thought he was the guy to fly their latest over-engined prototype frigate.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has both Squishy Wizard henchmen, Qara and, to a greater extent, Sand.
    • Mask of the Betrayer follows up with Gannayev, who is very confident in his status as Rasheman's best, brightest and most beautiful spirit shaman, and will helpfully remind anyone of this fact should the opportunity arise. Trying to knock him down a peg only encourages him.
  • Quake IV has Johann Strauss, Rhino Squad's technician. He constantly brags about his intelligence and his abilities (including being one of the few humans to fluently speak the language of the game's enemies, the Strogg), has a tendency to berate others for not being as intelligent as him, and is always complaining about being placed in immediate danger, as he believes himself to be highly important. Fortunately for the rest of the squad, he really is that good - amongst other things, his ability to hack into the Strogg systems to open otherwise unlockable doors is a necessity.
  • Genius Weisheit from Radiata Stories with him constantly pestering the sentries to the City of Flowers to let him in and his general pretentious attitude towards people who don't share the same amount of knowledge he does.
  • In Samurai Warriors, Mitsunari Ishida is portrayed as this, with quite a bit of Deadpan Snarker to go with his insufferableness as well (though it is said that he was like this in Real Life as well).
  • Sengoku Basara has Mori Motonari, who never seems to get tired of telling people how futile their attempts to either foil or understand his plans are, or how worthless and idiotic they are compared to him. And, while his demeanour is usually cold, he can become rather smug when proved right (as he always is).
  • Purge in Space Channel 5 Part 2 may brag about how he's a genius and amazes himself, but he really is smarter than the average villain in the series. He has a plan for everything, should you beat him here, he'll have a backup idea at the ready. That is, until the ending, when Ulala has him beat.
    • And then he shows up at the end of the credits march. Cue Kaizo Trap.
  • Leo in Super Monday Night Combat, a clone of Leonardo da Vinci. He's the smartest guy in the room and he knows it, constantly talking about his genius and his many incredible achievements while looking down on every other pro in competition.
    Leo: I invented the hang glider while waiting for some pasta to boil; I think I can handle this.
  • Jonas from The Nameless Mod, is this so much, that if you knock him out at PDX headquarters, King Kashue won't come downstairs and mop the floor with you like if you knocked anyone else out. If you kiss his ass, however, he'll give you extra goodies for missions.
  • Tales of the Abyss look no further than Jade Curtis. This is also in addition to being a Stepford Smiler, Deadpan Snarker, and Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Game Master Minamimoto from The World Ends with You is, to paraphrase the man himself, an "asshole of petametric proportions," working a liberal dosage of mathematical vocabulary into everything he says. It's guys like this dude that make some folks hate maths.
    • But only in the game itself.
      • We also have Joshua, who Neku decides isn't so bad to have around because he can decipher whatever the hell Minamimoto decides to send them for mission messages, only to correct himself five seconds later when his smug personality reappears and Neku remembers why he hates the kid.
  • A great number of them abound in Touhou Project, or at least are depicted as such typically by the fandom. Patchouli Knowledge and Alice Margatroid are among them, as is (slightly less commonly) Satori Komeiji. In canon, Eirin Yagokoro, as the Lunarians' most brilliant scientist and a Time Abyss of sorcery and knowledge, is often guilty of this as well.
  • Victor Niguel from Trauma Center is simultaneously a genius, a narcissist, and a misanthrope with little patience for anyone less intelligent than him. Which is just about everyone. And in the very, very few cases where he's wrong, he's the only one who beats himself up over it.
  • Almost all battle quotes of Lezard Valeth from Valkyrie Profile take shots at how pathetic and unworthy his opponents are, or how much superior he is over them. Then again, this is the man who survived the end of the world to travel back in time, become a god, and screw history, all to grab the attention of his beloved Lenneth.
    Lezard Valeth: I will not deny you tried, but crude efforts are no match for true ability.
  • Dota 2 gives us Invoker. Absolutely loves being as condescending and arrogant in his dialogue and responses as possible, when he's not praising himself. This is a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, as Invoker is one of the hardest characters to play effectively, so if you're doing well with him, you probably *do* have some serious skill.
    Invoker: What joy it is beholding me!
    Invoker: You die as you lived: insipid and ignorant.
  • Palom from Final Fantasy IV is an overconfident and arrogant Black Mage whose attitude doesn't improve much even after his puberty as he becomes a jerkass mentor. Nevertheless, he is still a genius in his field.
  • Wave the Swallow from the Sonic Riders series is as snarky as she is intelligent. She makes it her personal business to insult the younger and more humble genius Tails every opportunity she gets.
  • Daoming Sochua, the leader of the Pan-Asian Cooperative, in Civilization: Beyond Earth. Raised as a Child Prodigy through Chinese state-sponsored schools for gifted children and holder of four PhDs by the age of thirty, she is also a condescending and blunt Deadpan Snarker, but she does really want nothing but the best for her people and for humanity.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Consular's healing companion Tharan Cedrax certainly has his moments. Like many of the other examples, his scientific prowess and intelligence certainly do match up to his boasts. He also is a surprisingly loyal and compassionate fellow when the chips are truly down. He won Holiday's freedom from a Hutt by challenging a Bounty Hunter to the death and gave up eternal scientific glory to upgrade her to full sentience. Then, he was was willing to tell the First son of the Emperor to get lost and release his friend Syo Bakarn, despite the First Son being a powerful Force User and Tharan being a relatively squishy Muggle A good way to gain affection with him is to help others, but point out how their foolishness got them into a mess in the first place.
  • Severin Cocorico in Aviary Attorney, at least if you were to ask his "rival" Jayjay Falcon. He's a very good lawyer, The Stoic to a tragic degree, and doesn't bother hiding his disdain for the more excitable, less-polished Falcon.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC has Master Neloth, a Councilor of the Dunmeri Great House Telvanni who previously appeared in Morrowind. The rather lax rules in House Telvanni foster an environment in which Evil Sorcerer and magical Mad Scientist types flourish, and Neloth is the epitome of that. He doesn't give an iota of respect to even world-saving heroes like the Nerevarine or Dragonborn. Archmage of the College of Winterhold? Still condescending. In fact, he treats the position as if it's just barely qualified to be his apprentice. Similarly, his reasoning for refusing to train your Enchanting past level 90 is that he doesn't want you to potentially get better than him.
  • Osiris from Destiny and it’s sequel truly is a genius, one of the smartest Guardians alive. He’s also so ridiculously, insufferably arrogant that he inspired a cult who mistook his bizarre theories and self-aggrandizing as proof he was a prophet. Saint-14 eventually promoted him to the Vanguard in the hopes that it would force Osiris to grow up and get his head out of his ass... but instead, Osiris just took it as a validation of his massive ego, using the authority and resources of his new position to fund all his pet projects at the expense of the Guardians’ actual duties, which got him kicked out of the City. When you meet him yourself in the present day, he’s just as much of Smug Snake as he was back then, and even his student/surrogate daughter, Ikora Rey, complains that he never seemed to learn that being a Warlock means more than being the smartest person in the room.
  • In Quern - Undying Thoughts, Maythorn can come across as this. In his letters, he often talks about how incredible his inventions are and how only a genius would be capable of figuring out how they work.
  • There is often (but not always) a character with this disposition in the Pokémon games who function as The Rival: Green/Blue/Gary, Silver, Hugh, Gladion, and Bede fall into this category, as they are all some of the greatest trainers of their regions and are always neck-and-neck with the Player Character to the very end, but they are incredibly smug, look down on everyone around them, and won't hesitate to flaunt their superiority to whomever they feel like. Bede is a Deconstruction of sorts, as his assumption that he's always right leads to him severely damaging a national monument in Galar thinking there's something he needs hidden in it, which gets him disqualified from the Gym Challenge.
  • Jubilost Narthropple of Pathfinder: Kingmaker is an interesting example of the trope. On the one hand he is very much an insufferable genius and never stops abrasively reminding everyone around him of how much smarter he is than them, which frequently lands him in hot water. On the other hand, he does legitimately have the skills to back up his claims, and is strongly motivated to make life better for the same "simpletons" he constantly derides.
  • Deconstructed in Persona 4. Naoto Shirogane is known as "the Detective Prince", considered one of the greatest investigators the world has ever seen... and boy, Naoto will not let you hear the end of it. As it turns out, she is desperately trying to compensate for what she views as her twin weaknesses of being both a teenager in an adult's profession and a woman in a man's world. Her attitude, as well as her (justified) conviction that Mitsuo isn't the actual killer, eventually get her thrown off the Inaba murder cases entirely, forcing her to take her life into her own hands to prove the killer is still out there. She defrosts greatly after the Investigation Team rescue her.
  • No Straight Roads has DJ Subatomic Supernova, a man whose life goal is to send his music out into space to played on an endless loop and an egotistical Jerkass who treats everyone else around him as though they are insignificant. He's also a former astrophysicist and university professor, and is described in an unused briefing profile as the smartest member of NSR.

    Visual Novels 
  • Tohsaka in Fate/stay night is matter-of-fact about her superiority, combining this with being The Tease for additional help making Shirou feel like a moron. On the other hand, it's Downplayed because while she is every bit as good as she says, that's only as good as she is. Shirou is not a genius like she is, but he tends to accomplish a lot cooler and supposedly impossible things because unlike her, he pushes his limits and doesn't quit when that's not enough.
  • Yaginuma in Kara no Shoujo is a grade-A jerkass, but he does have the reputation to back it up.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, Erika's brains are certainly nothing to laugh at, but she's also prompt to rub it on everyone's face. Cue cheers from the fans when Battler infuriates her by out-cultivating her on the topic of mystery novels.
    Erika: Oh, please! Don't tell me you have to waste several seconds to solve this problem?
  • Doctor West in Demonbane loves proclaiming that he is the "ultimate genius chosen by heaven". Most of the time he's regarded as a completely insane nuisance. But when he accomplishes such feats as building a fully sapient gynoid and reconfiguring Demonbane to be used without a grimoire, the story's characters find themselves forced to admit that he really is a genius engineer.
  • SOON: Both Atlas and Fang at any point of the timeline, with baby!Atlas being the only exception. Extra points to Fang, who titled her autobiography "My life as a genius". Even for the author of the scientific research that helped to save the world from Global Warming and Nobel peace prize laureate, that's pushing it.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: Kokichi Oma brags about being an evil genius, lies to everyone constantly acts superior, making the cast despise him. He is known for taunting the rest of the cast, and creates schemes he includes people in if he wants to manipulate them. Kokichi oozes the trope in chapter four, where he condescendingly guides Shuichi along in the trial, and provides vital clues only when he gets bored or upset. However, he finds out more about the killing game than anyone else, and proves useful in detecting lies. After his death, it turns out Kokichi was hoarding ridiculous amounts of evidence from old cases, and he knew even more about the killing game than he let on. This information ends up being crucial for Shuichi to finally end the game.

    Web Animation 
  • Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation is widely viewed as one. He once wrote a sarcastic poem entitled "Where I Get My Ideas" in reaction to the countless times he'd been asked that at conventions. In reviews, he sounds genuinely mournful at how idiotic everyone else is, and employs suicide threats as a running gag.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
    • The Emperor is this trope personified. Despite being a barely-living husk of a body reduced to speaking through a text-to-speech device, he will brag endlessly about how smart he is, how perfect he is, how powerful he is, etc. The thing is, he's kind of right: he is the most powerful human psyker in existence, he conquered the entire human race (which was spread out across millions of planets, mind you), his Warp presence appears to nearly be on par with the Chaos Gods themselves (who refer to him as "The Anathema"), and his series-spanning plans, while convoluted and very odd, actually seem to be working.
    • One of the Emperor's sons, Magnus, gets some of this attitude by the episode sixteen, treating those who are under him in terms of power and warp-related knowledge (which is everyone apart from Tzeentch and the Emperor) as morons. On the other hand, he is third most powerful psyker in the universe, and the only ones above him are a Physical God and Sentient Cosmic Force, so he has every right to brag.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Robo has signs of this, such as finding it frustrating when someone rephrases his wordy explanations and sticking with the original meanings of certain words despite not being Literal-Minded.
  • Date Warp: Janet used to be one of these, and it came very close to screwing her over. In the backstory we learn at the start of the game, Janet's classmates previously bullied her because of her Genius. Because of that, Janet wouldn't join any extracurricular activities with the girls, which is understandable. The "Insufferable" part came into play because Janet ended up not joining any extracurricular activities with anyone, and she forgot that the college she was applying to strongly prefers girls with lots of social experience on their applications, so Janet almost didn't make it into college as a result.

  • The titular Frost from Dr. Frost. His Lack of Empathy, arrogant remarks and cold demeanor definitely rub people the wrong way, although there is little doubt that he is a genius.
  • Suspiria from Flipside. She's the youngest third-level mage in history and won't let anyone forget it. But her lack of practical experience paired with a consistent overestimation of her own power has led to tragedy and/or humiliation nearly every time she's tried to show "what she can really do." You'd think a "genius" would be better at learning from her mistakes.
  • Sollux Captor in Homestuck can be a bit of an iin2ufferable geniiu2 when it comes to computers.
    TA: iif you cant fiigure 2hiit out by fuckiing around you dont belong near computer2.
    TA: kiind of liike wiith regii2tered 2ex offender2 and 2chool2.
    TA: iif you move two a new town you have two go up two your neiighbor2 door and warn them about how 2tupiid you are.
    TA: and giive them a chance two hiide all theiir iinnocent technology.
    TA: and vandaliize your hou2e.
    • Doc Scratch, crossing over with Smug Super. He is legitimately close to omniscience, but he loves reminding everyone of just how smart he is in comparison to them. He compares his machinations to playing a game of chess in which you provide your opponent with a list of all the moves you are going to make beforehand, and still win regardless. Which he proceeds to do. Everything up to the end of Act 5 happened exactly as he planned it.
  • Occasionally, Tycho from Penny Arcade. The real Tycho paints himself this way, at least:
    [My mother] was made to endure much as I transitioned from absolutely insufferable teenager to an adult who had found a way to get paid for being insufferable.
  • Paige of Agents of the Realm likes to remind people that she studied very hard to get a full ride scholarship. Once she has a chance to shine, though, this is easily forgiven.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Galatea has a very high opinion of her intelligence. And she's right, too, she really is brilliant. But she's blind to how inexperienced and naive her extreme youth makes her.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Vaarsuvius is a brilliant spellcaster who has spent decades studying the craft and saved the team's bacon several times, and will never let them forget it. Although this eventually gets taken to the point of deconstruction, as it bites them in the ass big time.
    • Most wizards from the Order universe are like this, comparing sorcerers to idiot savants and proclaiming that divine magic isn't real magic. In fact, Eugene Greenhilt's contempt towards Fighters ended up souring his relationship with both his father and his son and his mentor's arrogant mocking of Xykon ended with his skull caved in.
  • And then there's Dr. Roykirk in 21st Century Fox, who is this combined with the trope Cats Are Mean.
  • Celebrity chess grandmaster Billy Thatcher in morphE is a self-described Jerkass who cares for little besides his chess career. He's also good enough to beat a Time Master who rewrote his personal history to become a chess prodigy and repeatedly cheated with Time magic — all while Billy was passing out from blood loss. Word of God also confirms that he's the most intelligent and quick-witted cast member.
  • Schtein and Langstrom in String Theory (2009).
  • Rowan in Leif & Thorn is a variation: he's friendly and laid-back a lot of the time, and regularly charms people all the way into bed, only to snap and pick fights if they get something wrong about science.
  • Sandra on the Rocks: While fashion photographer Domenico is not just a Cloudcuckoolander but vain to the point of narcissism, he is clearly very good at his job, having an international reputation in the business. Notably, his ex-wife Zoé, who finds him very annoying, still continues to work with him when she could doubtless do very well independently.
  • Arthur 'Artie' Narbon, originally from Narbonic is frequently completely insufferable, though he's portrayed a bit more positively than many of the other characters who display this trope. It helps that when it comes to their own specialties, almost every other character is also an Insufferable Genius in their own way. It plateaus in Skin Horse, though, where he comes off as almost as smug and condescending as H.T., who at least has the excuse of being a cat.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe: Quite a few, especially among the Gadgeteer and Devisor students. Plenty of the Exemplar students — especially ones from wealthy, prestigious, or in some cases, supervillainous families — also tend to be a bit too proud of their cleverness and learning, particularly those looking to become criminal masterminds.
    • Jobe Wilkins. In a school full of genius devisers and gadgeteers, plus the people smart enough to teach said inventors, he treats everyone else like they're a moron compared to him. He could be right.
    • Ayla Goodkind (Phase) often comes across this way as well, especially regarding financial matters, with an extra icing of noblesse oblige. Turning 300 million into over a billion before the age of fifteen may have something to do with this. When he and Jobe collaborated, it took all Phase's massive self-control to keep from tearing the Crown Prince(ss) to pieces.
    • While she's a bit more subtle about it, She-Beast (Jadis Diabolik)'s smug brilliance does grate on Gloriana's nerves over time.
    • Belphegor (Philip Blackadar) thinks he's a genius, and is certainly insufferable. He is extremely smart, but not nearly as smart as he thinks.
    • Stopwatch (Nigel Ridgely), the snide and self-important leader of the Masterminds clique.

    Web Videos 
  • Tom from Echo Chamber shows shades of this.
  • Chuggaaconroy is a rather mild (and likely unintentional) version of this, in regards to how to properly raise a team of Pokemon and use them in battle, if his LP of Pokemon Emerald is anything to go by. Even then, it seems to only apply to Pokémon, as he's rather humble (but still smart) the rest of the time.
  • In Noob, Bartémulius and Nostariat are the best alchemists of the Empire, remind it to players whenever they get the opportunity and are a walking incarnation of the Entitled Bastard video game Quest Giver archetype. However, the webseries and comic have shown that when they get the impression that a bad situation that is threatening to the Empire or the world can only be resolved by them, they're actually quite helpful and whatever they come up with usually works.
  • Escape the Night has Matt and DeStorm who switch between this and Know-Nothing Know-It-All. MatPat is a straight example, though.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Deconstructed by Temple Fugate, a Schedule Fanatic with No Social Skills that is in the middle of a court hearing appeal about a $20 million dollar judgment against his company and is haggard and nervous. Fugate is aware that his personality plays against him, but not of what to do to change that.
  • Tarantulas of Beast Wars, is rampantly treacherous... often to Megatron's face, but Megatron can't afford to dispose of him or even punish him too badly because he can't do without his scientific know-how.
    • Though when Tarantulas eventually gets Megatron thrown into a vat of lava, Megs finally decides enough is enough.
      • Though it's not the fact Tarantulas betrayed him yet again that Megatron was angry with, but that he failed. "I can suffer your treachery, Lieutenant, but not your INCOMPETENCE!"
      • It is expected of Predacons to attempt to depose their leaders and take their place. A leader who allows himself to be betrayed doesn't deserve to be in charge.
  • Azmuth of Ben 10: Alien Force and later Ultimate Alien is frequently stated to be the smartest being in three galaxies (arguably five), a title backed up by being the inventor of the Omnitrix and other incredibly advanced technologies. And he is also an insufferable Jerkass usually appearing before Ben with an insult, or a statement regretting how the Omnitrix wound up on him.
    • On the plus side, his attitude helps keep Ben's own egotistical tendencies in check, reminding him of the responsibilities that come with wielding the Omnitrix. Most of the time.
  • The titular Captain Star will have you know that he is the greatest hero any world is ever known and that he is simply entitled to the praise and admiration of all, and he will bluntly and matter-of-factly tell you how great he is. And he is absolutely right. It's a Running Gag in the series that the overly dramatized and actionized In-Universe tv series based on his exploits is a disservice for how over-the-top it portrays his heroism, since it reduces the calm and professional expertise he uses to save the day in real-life to lowest-common-denominator action shlock where he just runs around beating his foes up and spouting One Liners. Yes, depicting him as a One-Man Army is an understatement. This exchange with Science Officer Scarlett, where they discuss a Loony Fan / Stalker with a Crush who literally grovels at Star's feet, which he says without even a hint of humility, says it the best:
    Scarlett: Star, has it struck you that Bloater is a bit too enthusiastic about you?
    Star: Too enthusiastic? No. I think he's just about right.
  • XANA from Code Lyoko might qualify, despite the fact that he is The Voiceless most of the time. In one episode, Jeremie cries out in despair at his inability to stop the villain's plan, yelling that "XANA is a perfect machine! I'm only human..."
    • Which is interesting since Jeremie could be considered a Subversion of this trope much like Reid of Criminal Minds (see above), generally not being condescending on purpose unless he's playfully teasing one of his teammates (frequently Odd)
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: Di Lung, as part of the massively blatant "rich and spoiled Chinese asshole" stereotype caricature that he is; Courage's Computer also easily qualifies due to its British Stuffiness.
  • Edd, or Double D, from Ed, Edd n Eddy is prone to being this at times due to how his high intelligence can make him very condescending, even in front of his fellow Eds. For instance, take the episode "Dim Lit Ed" as an example for this attitude of his.
  • Professor Algernon in Exo Squad. In his first appearance, we find him painting with a VR helmet on. When asked by his Neosapien colleague why he would paint something only he could see, the prof derisively states that only he could appreciate it. If there was any doubt that he deserved his planet-sized ego, it's put to rest near the end of the series when he puts the recently obliterated planet Mars back together again!
    • "Phaeton's mistake was that he thought that the ultimate display of power was to destroy a planet!"
    • Also from Exo Squad, the Neomegas seem to have this programmed into their DNA.
      • "Modesty is a Terran weakness, like pity."
  • Ogden Wernstrom from Futurama.
    • Not as much later on, though, as he became slightly more humble, but not quite enough to break free of this trope. The best example of an Insufferable Genius on this show might be Cubert.
    • Futurama also portrays Stephen Hawking as this: an arrogant womanizing genius... which is part of the joke, of course.
    • Every resident on Leonardo Da Vinci's home planet are geniuses; he's actually the local idiot who came to Earth to be a Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond. They mock him (and Professor Farnsworth) for it. Of course, we don't see them do anything particularly brilliant (whereas Leonardo built a functional robot and a working spaceship - with Renaissance-era materials!), and when he unveils his masterpiece - aka the giant Renaissance-era deathbot intended to seek bloody revenge - they flee in terror, leaving Fry to stop it. And then immediately go back to mocking Leonardo once it's safe again.
  • Mentok the Mindtaker from Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
  • Total Drama
    • Noah is Brilliant, but Lazy, sarcastic, antisocial, condescending, and boastful about his intelligence. All these qualities meant he was eliminated first on his team in Island for getting on everyone else's nerves and refusing to help them at all. He learns his lesson in World Tour and starts to become more involved in the challenges, cooperate with his team, and make friends.
    • Harold takes immense pride in his knowledge and intelligence, often gets frustrated with those who know less than he does, and will not hesitate to correct others whether wanted or not. Not surprisingly, most of the characters find him annoying, but he's generally a decent guy despite that.
  • One episode of Kim Possible had a classmate, Justine Flanner, act in a way towards Kim.She was exceptionally gifted in her intelligence, but was such a show-off about it that it annoyed Kim to no end. However, she does mellow out when danger arises (namely Drakken & Shego's partnership with DN Amy resulting in monstrous sabertoothed dinosaurid monster wrecking town) and Kim recruits her. Namely her project that can project a wormhole. Notable that Kim did go through her notes and did read up alot to ensure Justine it worked. The experience does have them bond consideably. For more of this, she's voiced by Mayim Bialik, who would be the actress for Amy Farrah Fowler of Big Bang Theory as Sheldon's girlfried/ later wife.
  • Looney Tunes: Wile E. Coyote acts as one in the shorts where he goes after Bugs Bunny. In theory, at least. In practice, he's more of a Small Name, Big Ego.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Twilight Sparkle, the main protagonist, has some elements of this. In the pilot, she's forced to work alongside the other Mane Five because together they are the Elements of Harmony, but at first, she was rather rude towards them and her prideful attitude is one of her flaws, since she is the student of Princess Celestia and Twilight views herself as the Only Sane Man. She almost died by Nightmare Moon's hooves because of it.
    • As the series moved on she became much more humble but still sometimes acts like this unintentionally thanks to her somewhat poor social skills. For example, she flat out told Pinkie Pie that she couldn't handle babysitting on her own (and thoroughly insulted her), but was actually only trying to offer assistance rather than offend her.
  • The Brain from Pinky and the Brain.
  • Patrick becomes one of these on an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, where he becomes super smart and rejects Spongebob's childlike behavior, insults Squidward's clarinet playing, and calls Sandy an idiot. All of this is because Spongebob accidentally replaced the top of Patrick's head with brain coral.
    • Sandy was this in the early seasons. As the show progresses she became more of a Small Name, Big Ego rather than this trope.
  • Krang of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) is a genius, and he knows it, (His IQ is in the 900s), but he's not above making Shredder's life difficult whenever he can get away with it. In one episode, he forces Shredder to wait for supplies being transported from Dimension X on a garbage barge which Shredder accurately guesses is to annoy him. Shredder makes it quite clear that he only puts up with Krang for his weapons.
  • Baxter Stockman from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) borders on being and subverting this trope. It's also the reason he's been reduced to a brain and an eye.
  • Tony Stark from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! starts out as a condescending jerk to everybody, friends and foes alike. He does have some moments of mellowing out, though. Such as when he realized an aggressive business decision he made led to rival Simon Williams joining the Masters of Evil and becoming Wonder Man.
  • AJ from The Fairly OddParents. He takes pride in his brains and loves to rub it in everyone's face. One episode had him push it on Timmy so much that he wished that he knew everything, and as a result Timmy becomes one as well. When the wish gets cancelled, Timmy admits that, unlike AJ, he never even worked to earn the right to be so smug.
  • Brainiac 5 from the The Legion Of Superheroes occasionally shows signs of this trope, more in the second season. He mentions his twelfth level intelligence practically every episode. "You're good...but you don't have a twelfth level intelligence." "A twelfth level intelligence has no need for improvisation, Bouncing Boy." Gaaaah.
  • The Simpsons spoofed this in "HOMЯ", where Homer has a crayon removed from a brain and receives a dramatic surge to his intelligence, jumping up to an IQ of...105. He becomes a genius only in comparison to the rest of Springfield (minus Lisa), and insufferable only because he behaves like a somewhat normal human being. For example, he actually does his job at the nuclear power plant, reporting it to the Nuclear Safety Commission for its countless safety violations, which causes massive layoffs and gets the plant shut down until it could be brought up to code. Ironically, Homer is the safety inspector for Sector 7-G, which means that he's basically reporting all the safety violations that happened while he was on duty. Later on, he goes to a Julia Roberts movie and gets thrown out because he's the only person in the theater who recognizes that the plot is an absolute Cliché Storm (everyone else thought Roberts was going to marry the rich jerk). Eventually, he becomes so unhappy that he has Moe re-insert the crayon, returning to his normal dumb self.
    • Lisa herself often qualifies to this as well, in her worse moments. She longs to be challenged, but at times it's clear she enjoys feeling smarter than her peers.
    • All the characters who make up the Mensa group of Springfield were this. Oddly, with the exception of perhaps Comic Book Guy and Lindsey Naegle, this was a break away from their usual characterizations.
  • Transformers:
    • Sunstreaker. He's got mad skills, is very intelligent, routinely beats up Decepticons twice as strong as he is, and at the end of the fight will be more worried about his paint job than his comrades' status—some treatments of the character even hint that he's a Sociopathic Hero.
    • And then there's Sky Lynx, a skilled and powerful troop carrier/dino-bird/lynx/griffin who holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His massive size is dwarfed by his even more massive ego.
      Sky Lynx: Before you do anything, think, 'Is this what Sky Lynx would do in my position?', and you will not go far wrong.
    • And finally there's Highbrow, who's so egotistical he makes Sky Lynx look modest by comparison. Think of him as Sheldon as a robot helicopter and you're about right.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: Kowalski. Dear, sweet Newton's apple, Kowalski. He is ridiculously intelligent, constantly builds things, working inventions that no human has thought of yet (A shrink ray, an invisibility ray), but the level of arrogance he displays borders on narcissism.
  • Owl from The Animals of Farthing Wood, she constantly uses phrases or quotes famous philosophers but her 'wisdom' is nearly always unwanted or inappropriate for the situation, often resulting in the other animals telling her to simply shut up. Also, within the first season, she constantly believes that she would make the better leader rather than Fox or Badger despite both showing more competency in the position than she ever exhibited.
  • Rick from Rick and Morty is the smartest man on the planet and views everyone else as inferior because of it.
  • Gravity Falls: Stanford Pines, who was a child prodigy and the author of the 3 Journals has a whole helluva lot of pride, and definitely looks down upon his brother, Stanley, due to him costing Ford his dream college and being a con artist. When he asks Stanley to take one of his Journals and bury it so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands, he tries to simply burn it instead, but the author gets into a fight with him because the Journal contains his research and he can't bear to see it actually destroyed despite how dangerous it is. This trait nearly costs the good guys the final battle with Bill Cipher, as Ford condescendingly correcting a grammar error by Stan causes the latter to snap and attack him, interrupting the ritual they were attempting and distracting the group long enough for Bill to arrive.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Mr. Cat is really smart anyway, but when you compare him to the people around him, he seems like a super-genius. As a result of this, he considers himself to be above the rest of the cast.
    • When Stumpy is given Sudden Intelligence in one episode, he turns into a know-it-all and becomes so annoying that Mr. Cat considers killing him.
  • The titular character of Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? will occasionally anger others by gloating about how his being a robot makes him smarter than them. The one most frequently cheesed off by this behavior is his maths teacher Mr. McMcMc.
  • Gyro Gearloose has shades of this in DuckTales (2017). He's introduced in "The Great Dime Chase" barging into Scrooge's board meeting to declare "Shut up, everyone, I've done something brilliant!"
  • Albert Mouse in 'Twas the Night Before Christmas believes strongly that there is no Santa Claus and isn't shy about voicing his opinions. He also seems to know quite a bit about how clocks work— although maybe not as much as he thinks since the first time he visits the clock tower it ends in disaster. He does fix the clock later, and also learns about the importance of both humility and having faith.
  • In Timon & Pumbaa, after (Beetle) Timon sneaks into Pumbaa's brain and turns it back on in order to re-activate Pumbaa's intelligence, Pumbaa becomes a combination of an Insufferable Genius and a living embodiment of British Stuffiness, to the point where he is no longer even able to say something as utterly simple as "burp you out" without seemingly-deliberately making himself sound as "intelligent and dignified" as he possibly can while doing so; naturally enough, this ends up pissing Timon off so much that he actually turns Pumbaa's brain back off just to shut him up. Unfortunately, however, this results in Pumbaa eating Timon yet again due to no longer being smart enough to recognize him in his new beetle form.
  • The titular character of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius is definitely this. A significant portion of each episode is caused by him insisting that he has to be the smartest person in the room, which more often than not causes trouble in some way, shape, or form. He's also a jerk to pretty much everyone.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Know It All Syndrome, Sir Boastalot


Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik

The government didn't want to work with him, and the military can't stand him; within minutes of meeting the military, he immediately declares himself superior to Major Bennington and mouths off to him.

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