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Pretender Diss

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"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle, 1988 US Vice-Presidential debate

Basically, the trope is about the attitudes of those who actually belong (or think they belong) in a particular category and those who actually know them, or think they do (including their enemies) towards those who pretend to be in the category. Vampires towards Vampire Vannabes, Big Bads towards Big Bad Wannabes, real heroes towards Heroic Wannabes - you get the drift. The trope also has a number of Real Life and less fantastic counterparts, not least because of the (minor) distinctions differentiating those who would admit (if reluctantly) that yes, We ARE Struggling Together.

The attitude can vary from amused to outraged, and express itself in anything from shrugging and snarking through more serious annoyance to termination with extreme prejudice. It is not, however, incompatible with using the wannabe as The Renfield, Sycophantic Servant, or treating a group of wannabes as "useful idiots", minions, or Cannon Fodder.

It can be justified (or not) according to a number of different variables, such as whether the wannabe(s) actually stand any chance (by nature or nurture) of achieving their Wannabe goals, whether it would actually make them happy (or cool) if they did (cf. Be Careful What You Wish For, I Hate You, Vampire Dad, Super Loser), and whether there is something... questionable about their reasons for wannabeing it in the first place (e.g. white middle-class suburbanite kids pretending to be gangsta rappers, or claiming to be "spiritually" Native American, or hardcore anime fans from the west who try to emulate Japanese culture).

This trope is not uncommon (depending on self-awareness) in those on the receiving end of in-universe Fan Dumb and Misaimed Fandom, let alone in-universe versions of Draco in Leather Pants delusions. Also not uncommon, conversely, by despisers of both, whether for or against the relevant misapprehensions.

Not that the disdain always goes in one direction. The wannabes might well be trying to "clean up" the genuine guys' ethos or subculture, thus declaring themselves The Moral Substitute. The real guys might also be seen by both the wannabes and the general public as elitists, jealously guarding for themselves something that is actually part of the mass culture. (See also It's Popular, Now It Sucks!.)

Bonus points if the wannabe uses phrases like "I want to be like you!" or "But I really do understand!" or "I totally am X!"

See also Never Be a Hero. Frequently made while walking past a Wannabe Line. When the reason for the diss is youth and inexperience, it's While You Were in Diapers. If the disser's reason for being the real thing are very arbitrary, see No True Scotsman. If this takes place between different works and creators, see Knocking the Knockoff.

Please keep Real Life examples light on Flame Bait.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]:
    • Shirou and Archer use copied weapons in a copied combat style fighting for borrowed ideals in a battle way out of his league. Several characters have issues with this, especially Gilgamesh, who repeatedly calls them both fakers. Shirou does score points, however, in that he has no illusions about it; he has no pride in his creations, but he knows that they aren't worthless at all. "Who says a copy can't surpass the original?"
    • Shirou also ends up doing this to Gilgamesh, calling the King of Heroes a one-trick pony like him because he uses his Gate of Babylon just as a weapon while not knowing how to use any of the huge number of weapons in it. That just pisses Gilgamesh off, since he does know how to use the two weapons within that belong solely to him and no other.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA: In both this and the Oath Under Snow movie, Angelica says Shirou's ability to copy weapons and fighting styles is nothing but a mockery of real mages like her. This may be because she was channeling Gilgamesh's powers and personality. Interestingly, the real Gilgamesh, who had been turned into a child and is much nicer as a result, compliments Shirou's abilities.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: After Siegfried sacrificed his life to save the Homunculus, the being names himself Sieg in his honor. Sieg later discovers he has inherited Siegfried's power and can temporarily transform into Siegfried. Mordred mocks Sieg as nothing but a faker and a cheap knockoff. Like Shirou, however, Sieg is under no illusions about this, though he declares it still won't stop him from fighting to pay tribute to Siegfried's memory.
  • Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Hephaestion mocks Waver Velvet and says he's so weak and average that he does not deserve to call himself one of Iskandar's followers. While Waver is very shaken up by this, he manages to retort that he never saw her when Iskandar summoned his Badass Army, Ionian Hetairoi, back in Fate/Zero, so she's not a real follower of Iskandar either.
  • Tsukihime: At the end of the first route, Roa plays Smug Snake, trying to say he's similar to Shiki since they've both died and they both see and can manipulate death. With Roa having royally pissed him off at that point, Shiki calmly asks whether Roa can see the "lines of death" on inanimate objects, and from that Shiki realizes that Roa really doesn't understand death at all. Afterwards, he calmly and quietly tears Roa apart. "I'll show you what it truly means to kill something."
  • Hellsing: Alucard absolutely disdains Millennium's "Freak" artificial vampires. He disses most vampires, including his own fledgling. He even disses himself because he really does value humanity in his own warped way.
    • His opinion is that one must earn immortality. Becoming a vampire either through submission to dark forces or artificial means including Walter seems to be more taking it than earning. As for his fledgling Seras, that was more toward her reluctance to drink blood and complete her transformation, but also fully admitted she had a point in her reasons and such. In all honesty, he does admire humanity and may find himself to be a facsimile of the man he once was.
      Alucard: Only a human can destroy a monster. Only a human can hope to.
    • A traitorous officer who became a vampire barges in on a Round Table meeting and holds a gun to Integra's head, she reminds him that he's only a mere fledgling vampire and her organization has been hunting vampires for over a century before Walter dices him to pieces.
  • Xanxus from Reborn! (2004) constantly insults Tsuna and his family about not being real mafia. Granted they are all junior high students.
  • One early episode of Vampire Princess Miyu includes a subplot where a young man suspects there's something otherworldly about her. After she's dealt with the Shinma of the Week, he demands she make him a vampire, too, gushing about how amazing her powers are. Miyu calmly but firmly refuses, calling him out for just wanting power so he can abuse it, then turns to leave. He chases after her into the fog... and runs right off the building. Splat.
    Miyu: At least you won't be bored anymore.
  • At Ramen Fighter Miki, Miki and Akihiko discover a high school student out of school drawing pathetic graffiti and ask him what is he doing:
    Victim of the Week: Isn’t that obvious? Being a Delinquent.
    Akihiko: So you call yourself a delinquent with doodles like that? Your delinquency is still lacking. These days, the popular thing would be, a drawing like this, and a curve here... Basically, something like this.
    (a screaming skull shouts: "Welcome!! To Hell")
    Victim of the Week: Senpai, you're amazing!
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Brunhild Eiktobel is one of the Valkyries. When she meets GREMLIN member Hel, who emulates the Norse Goddess Hel, Brunhild mocks her as an idiot and says she used to have that title.
  • Dragon Ball Super:
    • The first time Goku Black fights Vegeta, he wins decisively. The second time, Vegeta just whales on him while dishing out a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, declaring that Black is just a fake Saiyan who stole Goku's body and thus the power Goku worked so hard to achieve, and he could never use Goku's body as well as the real deal.
      Black: How can there be a such a huge power gap between us?!
      Vegeta: That's simple: you're an interloper, a Saiyan imposter. And I'm the real thing. THE ALMIGHTY PRINCE VEGETA!
    • During the Universe Survival Saga, Frieza does this to Frost, his Universe 6 counterpart, dismissing him as a weak amateur.
  • When Kenshin is fighting Senkaku in Rurouni Kenshin, Senkaku tries to do a Badass Boast about how dangerous he is because he's killed 99 people (quite a few of which were probably helpless civilians, incidentally) and wants to make Kenshin number 100. Saito, who is sitting on the sidelines during the fight and has done everything from fighting bloody civil wars to putting down rebellions and conspiracies against the government, responds by snorting in derision and saying something along the lines of "Only 99? And you even bother to call yourself a warrior?"
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: People like Seto Kaiba and Siegfried von Schroeder who treat Duel Monsters as Serious Business tend to mock Katsuya Jonouchi as not a real duelist because of his relative lack of skill and experience and his use of luck-based cards.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! R: Seto Kaiba mocks the Wicked God Cards and says they are nothing but cheap knockoffs of the Egyptian God Cards.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions: Seto Kaiba duels a holographic simulation of Yami Yugi. When Kaiba easily wins, he says the simulation was nothing compared to the real Yami Yugi.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Edo Phoenix constantly calls Judai Yuki's Elemental Hero monsters fakers and inferior to his Destiny Hero monsters. Edo also hates Judai for only dueling for fun and not treating the card game as Serious Business like he does, and says he doesn't deserve to use Hero monsters at all. Judai eventually manages to win Edo's respect.
  • Death Note: Light looks down on L's successors, Near and Mello, contemptuously regarding them as inferior to L and unworthy of his mantle. He's especially enraged to see Near wearing a mask of L's face.
  • One Piece:
    • On death's door, Whitebeard tells Blackbeard, whose crew just ganged up on him, that he's not the man Gold Roger was waiting for, though we have yet to fully understand the meaning behind his words.
    • Kaido does this to Kidd after easily defeating his crew by telling him to send a message to the rest of "the worst generation" that they've just been playing "little pirate games" so far. Further, after beating up Luffy, Kaido downright says "The Worst Generation. Screw 'em."
  • Implied to be the purpose of Truth in Fullmetal Alchemist. It claims to be a wide array of things, including God and the Universe, and it only appears to people who have tried to "play god" by performing human transmutation, taking something symbolic from them as punishment (but giving incredible knowledge of alchemy in return). Edward didn't think he needed anyone to help him stand, so he lost his leg. Alphonse wanted to feel their mother's warmth, so he lost his body. Edward gave up his right arm to get Alphonse, his "right-hand man", back. Mustang didn't willingly attempt to play god, but he did so nonetheless, and he lost his eyesight, so he could no longer see the great ambitions he had.
  • The Detective is Already Dead: When Nagisa says she is the deceased Siesta's successor as a detective, Charlotte mocks her as a little girl playing make-believe cops and robbers and that only Charlotte herself deserves that title. Nagisa gets pissed off and roars that Charlotte doesn't know how much she worked and sacrificed to get to where she is.
  • Rebuild World: Since Shiori and Kanae are agents of the ancient Lion Steel Mega-Corp who used to employ only Artificial Intelligence androids, when one of them, Olivia, meets them, she gives them one of these. Considering said androids are each a One-Man Army due to their Lost Technology, one can see her point.
  • Sailor Moon: Sailor Uranus and Neptune, due to underestimating the Inner Senshi, especially Sailor Moon, and thinking they are too idealistic, call them out on doing a "half-baked play war". They end up forced to eat their words, when Sailor Moon saves the world without sacrificing anyone like they were planning to do and later beats them in a 2 on 1 fight.

    Comic Books 
  • Iron Man #178: Mikey, a kid who was a member of a heroic Avengers fan club who kept the peace around their neighborhood, is impersonated by a troublemaker named Blackie Donovan, who stole his Iron Man suit. With his name dragged through the mud, and the reputation of the Avengers club in tatters, Mikey fashions a new suit of armor and confronts Blackie, telling him that he has no idea what it means to be Iron Man.
  • Cassidy from Preacher, faced with Les Enfants du Sang, a group of Vampire Wannabes: "Bunch of poncy rich kid goth wannabes." Though he isn't any nicer to the actual vampire who cultivates their fanboyism and uses them as food stock, possibly because the guy acts like every vamp cliché in the book. (That book being The Vampire Lestat, not Dracula).
  • The Sandman (1989) has a few examples:
    • In Collectors, the actual serial killers take this attitude to the fanboy who has infiltrated their "Cereal Convention". When they penetrate his cover, the fanboy's fate is...unpleasant.
    • Thessaly's disdainful attitude towards neo-pagans; she herself is an ancient and ruthless witch who would under no circumstances act like a cuddly environmentalist in harmony with all things. Perhaps unusually, this isn't meant to be a Take That! to make the audience feel superior — she's frightening (almost monstrous) in her behaviour and prickly in attitude, and Death rather definitively disagrees with her on one important point.
    • Another example: Morpheus's response to the ghost of Hector Hall calling himself "The Sandman" is — in stark contrast to his usual behaviorlaughing his head off.
    • Then there is a couple of Satanist-wannabes greeting when they went to hell.
      Skinner's ghost: We sacrificed a boy. All three of us. To the devil. We did stuff from old books. We did stuff you wouldn't believe. But when we went to Hell ... they didn't care. They hadn't even known. They—they laughed at us.
  • Vampires Dave and Jerome in Life Sucks are really just regular guys who happen to subsist on blood and be burned by sunlight, but even they manage some contempt for people like Rosa's ex-boyfriend, a melodramatic Goth who goes around in a black cape. And when Rosa, not knowing Dave is a vampire, wishes she were one, he shows some exasperation at her fantasy of what life as a vampire would be like.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac takes the "extermination with extreme prejudice" route when Jimmy the wannabe homicidal maniac shows up at his door, raving about his "work." This is a reminder to the reading audience that ours is a Villain Protagonist.
  • In one issue of Green Lantern Corps, Kyle Rayner confronts Sinestro, who tells him something along the lines of "I want the real Green Lantern". Rayner responds, "A few years ago, that would have stung, but not anymore. You want the REAL Green Lantern? You're looking at him."
  • The climax of The Flash storyline "The Return of Barry Allen."
    Professor Zoom: You can't do this to me! Not to me... I'm... I'm Barry Allen...
    Wally West: Is that so? Mister, I knew Barry Allen, and believe me... you're no Barry Allen!
    • Reverse-Flash later does this when he encounters the younger Wallace West, giving the new Kid Flash a Curb-Stomp Battle and spitefully declaring he's not the real Kid Flash or the real Wally West. This is foreshadowing the confirmation Wallace was an accident as a result of Barry and Doctor Manhattan screwing up the timeline.
  • In Star Wars: Legacy, Darth Krayt summons the spirits of the ancient Sith Lords Darth Andeddu, Darth Bane, and Darth Nihilus and tries to ask for advice. They pretty much tell him to screw himself, calling him a phony Sith Lord doomed to fail because he disobeyed the Rule of Two.
    • This is a particularly odd case, in that Andeddu and Nihilus had been dead for thousands of years when Bane instituted the Rule of Two. They just found Krayt's rather unimpressive methods unworthy of their title.
  • One Ultimate Spider-Man comic had the Hobgoblin, who in this continuity is a huge, monstrous juggernaut with fire powers (and is Harry Osborn), go on a rampage. When Nick Fury orders him to stand down he says "This is a full-trained Hulkbuster unit!! You know, for the Hulk. And you, kiddo, are no Hulk."
  • Batman: During Knightfall, Nightwing delivers one of these to Jean-Paul Valley when the two fight.
    • In Batman (vol. 2) #42, a pair of children are shown playing with action figures of the original Batman and the new James Gordon Batman. The kid playing with the original version has this to say:
      "I don't care what anyone says. This is Batman. That thing? You can pump out as many toys as you like, but uh-uh. No. I mean, come on, he doesn't even have a damn Batmobile!"
    • In Batman: Hush either Clayface pretending to be Jason Todd or Jason himself (retcons confirm Jason was active in the Hush plot, just not where he and Clayface switched out) call his successor as Robin Tim Drake "pretender".
  • In New Maps of Hell, Martian Manhunter has this to say when they discovered the "god" they were fighting (who'd ravaged Mars in the distant past) was merely a highly advanced artificial intelligence with, well, a god complex. "We're the Justice League. We've beaten up real gods and made them cry. You are nothing to us."
  • In issue #4 of Secret Wars, God-Emperor Doom descends on the survivors of Earth 616 and Earth 1610, calling out "RICHARDS!"
    The Maker (Earth 1610's Reed Richards): Is he talking to me? I don't really care for his tone.
    Maximus: No. He is most certainly not talking to you.
  • At the climax of Civil War (2006), Hercules delivers one to the Pro-Reg side's evil Thor clone.
    Hercules: How darest thou wear the flesh of the Odinson! I knew Thor...Thor was a friend of mine. And you know something, imposter? THOU ART NO THOR!
  • In their earlier issues, the Thunderbolts had to go up against a new incarnation of the Masters of Evil. Problem is, the Thunderbolts are the original Masters of Evil, disguised as heroes in order to win the population's trust. And they feel pretty insulted about another group of villains taking their name.
  • From Dark Nights: Death Metal:
    • When confronted by a version of Wally West from the Dark Multiverse, who went mad and became a bloodthirsty gun toting killer after Heroes in Crisis, Barry Allen responds by saying that he isn’t Wally, he’s "just a bad idea."
    • In the Speed Metal tie-in, after Wally West beats the Darkest Knight (A warped version of Batman drawn entirely as a featureless black void except for a glowing mouth and eyes) to the Mobius Chair, he turns to look back at the villain before calling him "Batman Who Tries Too Hard."
    • In the Multiverse’s End tie-in, Owlman's Taking You with Me moment is punctuated by him making it clear to Baby Batman and the Rainbow Batman Corps that he'll survive this because he's the true dark reflection of Batman and much too good of an idea to die.
  • Parodied in the Swedish comic book Arne Anka in an episode set in Ancient Rome, where the failed poet Arne Anka's identical Roman ancestor slags off Virgil as a "fucking dilettante" who only writes about "shepherds and sheep-shaggery" (referencing Eclogiae, the original pastoral love poems and considered to be one of the high points of Roman literature) and "keeps going on and on and ON about the huge epic about the founding of the city he's going to start working on any day now...". The artist has stated that this is largely self-referential since bad-mouthing some young buck who was hailed six months later as "the voice of his generation" was a frequent and regular occurrence in his life until he learned to keep his trap shut.
  • When Darkseid first encounters Thanos in Marvel Versus DC Darkseid calls him a "pale imitation of me."
  • Freedom Fighters: In the 2006 miniseries, Miss America contemptuously tells each Freedom Fighter that she fights that the people they are Legacy Characters of are dead and that they are pale imitations. This gets turned on her when the real Miss America shows up and reveals that the one serving Father Time is an imposter who knows nothing of true heroism.
  • In Spider-Man Beyond, Ben Reilly gets this twice:
    • In a tie-in to The Death of Doctor Strange, the Black Cat tells him that he's no Spider-Man and he has no right to be. At the end of the comic, she only gives him a begrudging "You're Spider-Man.. for now."
    • Miles Morales is utterly appalled at the fact that Ben is working with Beyond, who are trying to get him to stop him from using the Spider-Man name, and calls him an imposter.
  • In the Smallville Season 11 comics, Bart Allen is being chased by the Black Flash. Clark Kent wants to help, but since he's not fast enough, he can't keep up with them or even see the Black Flash. With the help of some scientists, they manage to transfer some of Bart's speed to Clark, allowing him to see and battle the figure. The Black Flash mocks Clark as not a real speedster.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, MaNi/Elder Brother gets this treatment from the middle and left heads of Ghidorah for vainly claiming that he's still a part of Ghidorah like them even after he's separated from their body and formed an autonomous body for himself.
  • Batman towards Spider-Man in I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC, upon learning the web-slinger wants to be more like him. That said, he never disses Spider-Man for his actual heroism, and later tells Superman that he thinks Spidey is a pretty impressive and admirable hero. You could go even further into Alternate Character Interpretation and say that Batman secretly wishes he was like Spider-Man, since both took a lot of crap in their lives but Spidey is heroic without being moody and depressing — exactly why he's annoyed that Spidey wants to be more like him.
  • In Getting Back on Your Hooves, Checker Monarch as a last-ditch effort transforms into an Alicorn. The heroes are not impressed, with Rarity remarking that they've already beaten a real Alicorn (Nightmare Moon), so beating a fake should be easy. They prove it.
  • Pony POV Series: The Blank Wolf kills an Expy of Nahmat and calls it a disgrace to wolves.
  • Fate/Harem Antics:
    • Gilgamesh tells Kirei that he is disappointed in all the Servants except Saber, saying none of them deserve to be called warriors. He concedes that Scathach may be worth his time, but so far, he is not impressed.
    • Avenger angrily calls Lancer's ability to make copies of her spear a cheap knockoff of her ability to summon burning stakes.
  • Fates Collide:
    • Similar to canon, Gilgamesh calls Archer a faker for copying weapons.
    • Amakusa disses the shape-shifting weapons of the RWBY cast. He says real weapons like his katana are for killing, while their weapons are just for showing off. Ruby Rose doesn't take kindly to his remarks and fights him while pointing out her weapon has killed countless Grimm.
  • Lost to Dust: Charlemagne declares that Ruby Rose and all other Huntsmen are not heroes, claiming that Huntsmen are selfish and only care about killing the Grimm, while real heroes like him care about protecting people. Ruby protests that she is also dedicated to protecting people, but he says she is a failure because she couldn't save Astolfo.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX / Sailor Moon crossover Clash of Heroes, Shingo Tsukino disses Judai Yuki and his Elemental Hero cards, saying they are not real heroes compared to the Sailor Senshi and his cards that emulate the Senshi. When Judai defeats him, he apologizes.
  • In Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion, turns out that Grievous and Trench despised the Dark Acolytes as fake soldiers. In particular they hated Sev'rance Tann, who, while having a military past, is too obsessed by superweapons to properly organize the Separatist military (that once the Clone Wars start get trounced at every turn until Grievous and Trench get a chance to reorganize it)-though they have some respect for Asajj Ventress, who at least recognizes she's not a soldier and tries to prepare herself for the war.
  • Worm Grand Order: Billy the Kid defeats a bunch of train robbers and learns their leader was also named Billy. He says in disgust that they were not real outlaws.
  • Charlemagne and Asia's Magnificent Journey: Lancer Artoria Alter mocks the High School D×D verse's Excalibur, calling it a fake because it broke and is much weaker than the Nasuverse Excalibur, which is indestructible and is the crystalization of mankind's wishes.
  • In The Mountain and the Wolf, Wulfrik the Wanderer says that the Chaos Gods consider Euron Greyjoy Wulfrik's counterpart in the ASoIaF's world, being a badass barbarian that has travelled, explored, seen and fought things few people of his world even believe exist. As he makes clear during their "fight", he also considers Euron inferior in every aspect.
  • In My Immortal, Enoby frequently disparages "posers" who try to be "goffik".
  • In A different weasel makes a difference, Euron dismissively says to Aegon "You boy, are no dragon" right before decapitating him. If Aegon was in fact a Blackfyre pretender, this statement is doubly true.
  • Fate Azure Destiny: While Ritsuka Fujimaru attempts to escape a Lotus-Eater Machine, it attacks him with a simulated Goetia. Ritsuka easily wards off its attacks and says it is nothing compared to the real thing.
  • Reenacting a legend:
    • Shirou Emiya and Xenovia Quarta are invited to join the Hero Faction, a group of people who claim to be descendants or reincarnations of famous mythological figures. The two denounce them as fakes, both because other than Jeanne, they don't act like true heroes (they don't care about actually helping people and only want to become famous, and are willing to resort to murder, brainwashing, and other dirty tactics to achieve this) and because they are weaker and less skilled than their mythological counterparts. Cao Cao tries to turn this around on Shirou by pointing out he is just copying the weapons and fighting styles of past heroes, but Shirou retorts that he is emulating the past heroes to truly be a hero, unlike them. Right before he kills Siegfried, Shirou declares an unheroic person like him would be unworthy of Kriemhild or Brynhildr's love.
    • Shirou is disgusted with the Excalibur fragments and calls them jokes and abominations since the Excalibur he's familiar with is supposed to be indestructible and a sword meant to protect humanity. He repeatedly calls them out on being fragile and proves it by breaking Excalibur Rapidly into shards. He has a similar reaction to Siegfried's swords Gram, Balmung, Nothung, Dáinsleif, and Tyrfing and shatters them except for Gram. He then reforges all the swords into the powerful ones he is used to.
  • Moonchild: Shirou Emiya spars with Luo Hao. He thinks that since he can copy her fighting style and countless others, he will win, but she easily beats him without taking a single hit. She points out that she has centuries of experience, so she knows all his copied styles by heart and he can't surprise her. She says he will not succeed for long just by copying people and he needs his own original fighting style. She even compares him to someone plagiarizing lines from several books.
  • Heroic Myth: Gilgamesh mocks a monstrous bull that has been possessed and enhanced by a Demi Spirit and says it is nothing compared to Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven.
  • Justice:
    • Jinbe sees Aquaman as a spoiled child compared to King Neptune and Queen Otohime who resorts to threats of violence to protect his people as opposed to the diplomacy his royalty strived for.
    • Luffy sees The Joker as no real threat, dismissing him as a lesser version of both Doflamingo and Buggy.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles has Buddy, a powerless (though talented) fanboy of Mr. Incredible. Bob brushes him off for several reasons, among them that he was just a kid, that he followed Mr. Incredible around to incessantly harass him (which put Buddy and others in very real, life-threatening danger), and that he was really, really irritating. Unfortunately, Buddy took the brush-off as Bob saying he'll Never Be a Hero because he hasn't got superpowers and grew up to massacre innocent Supers specifically to screw over Bob in revenge.
  • Turtles Forever:
    • 2003 Raph tries to suck up to the more badass Mirage Turtles by ripping on the 1987 Turtles' initialed belt buckles. This causes his Mirage counterpart to roughly twist his arm behind him before shoving him. The Mirage Turtles first comments to the others are mumblings about "colored bandanas" and "wannabes". As a kind of Brick Joke, Mirage Michaelangelo says he kinda dug the belt buckles in the ending scene.
    • 2003 Shredder is disgusted by 1987 Shredder and says he takes the Shredder's name in vain.
  • In Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Trigon, an ancient demon who most likely has met the actual gods, tells the New Gods of Apokolips that he is unimpressed.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Old Master Oogway is meant to choose the Dragon Warrior, The Chosen One who will supposedly gain some unknown and unheard-of kung fu powers. Then he seemingly by random coincidence chooses Po, a kung fu fanboy who doesn't know any kung fu and seems like an extremely unpromising student — instead of any of the highly skilled Furious Five. Obviously, the Five and their teacher Shifu are not amused. Shifu sets out to mock and torment Po until he gives up on training, and the strict and humourless Tigress makes it perfectly clear she doesn't approve. The more laid-back members of the Five vary between pity, scorn and embarrassment on Po's behalf.
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: After Simba blames Kovu for the Outsiders' attempt on his life and banishes him from the Pride Lands, Kiara urges him to give Kovu another chance. Simba defends his decision, saying that he's following in the late Mufasa's pawprints, just like Kovu is apparently following in Scar's. Kiara is furious that he'd even dare bring him into this, and yells that he'll never be the king his father was. As you can imagine, Simba, who loved and admired Mufasa so dearly, is deeply hurt that his own daughter has told him in such a heart-wrenching way to stop trying to be someone he isn't.
  • Megamind gives an awesome diss to his arch-rival Tighten as his Big Entrance before their battle over the city.
    Tighten: This town isn't big enough for two supervillains!
    Megamind: Oh, you're a villain all right — just not a super one!
    Tighten: Yeah? What's the difference?
    Megamind: PRESENTATION!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avengers: Infinity War, Loki uses his "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner to tell Thanos "You will never be a god". Thanos, for all his power, is just a man playing with powers beyond his means.
  • Blade: Big Bad Deacon Frost is dissed as a Vampire Wannabe by the elder vampires despite actually being a vampire (in this universe, some vampires are born vampires while others are born human and turned, and Frost was turned). As probably the only person on this page who didn't wilt under the repeated Pretender Diss, he proceeds to torture the head vampire to death and sacrifice the rest for his evil scheme. That'll show 'em. Bonus points for said evil scheme being to transform himself into the vampire god. Especially since said scheme worked (mostly). Ironically, Frost also says the reverse to Blade himself (who, being half-vampire as a result of having been infected by vampire blood as a fetus in his mother's womb, is arguably more of a vampire than even Frost is): "Oh, back to pretending we're human again?"
  • The Dark Knight: Batman scolds the band of vigilantes.
    Batman Wannabe: What gives you the right? What's the difference between you and me?
    Batman: I'm not wearing hockey pads!
    • Though, while it comes across this way, it's actually a very practical concern. He's wearing ridiculously advanced body armor, and these well-meaning idiots are going to get themselves killed. And they do.
  • Bane has his own taunt for Batman during their fight in The Dark Knight Rises.
    Bane: You think the darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it. Molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, and by then, it was nothing to me but blinding! The shadows betray you because they belong to me!
  • In Batman Returns the Penguin gives Batman a dose of his own medicine with, "You're just jealous because I'm a genuine freak and you have to wear a mask!" Batman admits he may have a point.
  • Galaxy Quest has a double example during the final battle. Sarris constantly reminds the Protector crew that he is a General with actual war experience, while they are merely actors. Jason (who plays Commander Taggart) throws this back in his face by pointing out how Sarris has lost his cool from the last time they fought, letting slip that he thinks they might have a chance this time.
    Jason: It doesn't take a great actor to recognize a bad one. You're sweating!
  • The Maltese Falcon: Sam Spade has venomous contempt for wannabe tough-guy and "gunsel", Wilmer.
  • The Matrix Reloaded. Neo and the rest of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar can't stand the Kid, who's always following them around and bothering them because he wants to become a member of the crew too.
  • In SLC Punk!, the movie's beginning is largely about the main character explaining who the fake punks are and why he hates them. It closes with him finally admitting that he is himself a poser, accepting it, and moving on from the lifestyle.
  • In the music documentary on No-Wave, Kill Your Idols:
    • A few of the interviewees express hatred for modern music, which they deem to be full of wannabes compared to their generation of music, which they consider to be legit. The most outspoken on this side of the scale is probably Lydia Lunch.
    • Lydia, in turn, is generally dismissed as a bad joke by performance artists.
  • William Munny's reaction to the Schofield Kid in Unforgiven. Bill Daggett has a similar reaction to English Bob. The difference between the two men is that Daggett loves to boast about how badass the real thing is and slam down pretenders. Munney has enough self-awareness to know that he and Daggett are horrible, disgusting people, and that the "pretenders" are ultimately better than the genuine article.
  • From Carlito's Way : Carlito Brigante does not like gangster wannabes. At all.
    Carlito: Who the fuck are you? I should remember you? What, you think you like me? You ain't like me motherfucker, you a punk. I've been with made people, connected people. Who've you been with? Chain snatching, jive-ass, maricon motherfuckers. Why don't you get out of here and go snatch a purse?
  • The villain bikers in Wild Hogs don't like Tim Allen's little group because they're a bunch of middle-aged men who just bike for fun instead of riding across the nation leaving terror in their wake, and call them posers. Then it gets turned around on them when their hero shows up and points out that they're a gang of fifty-someodd young men in their prime; and four middle-aged office workers, who only bike for the wind in their hair and the road beneath their wheels, are standing up to them; so who's the poser again?
  • In the wretched 80s rock/horror flick Trick or Treat, the protagonist verbally provokes the Satanic rocker's ghost to lure him into a trap. He finally succeeds in getting the reaction he wants by calling the ghost a fucking wimp poser.
  • In the original Fright Night (1985), vampire Jerry Dandridge shakes Peter Vincent's hand, telling him that he's seen all of his old vampire-hunter films and found them very amusing. He and Billy later poke fun at Peter's show dialogue.
  • In the Spawn film, The Clown gets annoyed by three moronic Satanists and asks, "How come God gets all the good followers and we get all the retards?"
  • In Drive Angry, The Accountant mocks the Satanists and says that Satan hates them too. This is because, Satan and his minions are not evil, they are merely the enforcers of Hell, and are annoyed that humans think they are evil.
  • In the final rap battle in 8 Mile, Jimmy reveals that Papa Doc is a well-off guy named Clarence from a stable family and went to a private school. Jimmy, despite being white trash, has far more in common with the poor black community in downtown Detroit because he's actually from there and went through the same things they did.
  • In Enter the Fat Dragon, Sammo Hung's character Ah Lung, a Bruce Lee fan, runs afoul of a Bruce Lee Clone who is an arrogant bully. Lung kicks the guy's ass, perfectly imitating Bruce Lee's fighting style and mannerisms and proving himself the far superior Bruce Lee Clone. Lung says, "Bruce Lee is my hero! You can't destroy my idol! Try harder if you want to imitate him!"
  • In Quigley Down Under, Quigley remarks to Marston before their Showdown at High Noon, "This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."
  • In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren tries to interrogate the scavenger Rey about the whereabouts of his former master and uncle Luke Skywalker. So he tries to probe her mind using the Force, but he mistakenly unlocks her Force potential, and Rey sees into his mind in return. This leads her to say "You're afraid that you will never be as strong as Darth Vader!", his hero and grandfather, which alarms him.
  • In The Last Jedi, Supreme Leader Snoke tells Kylo Ren that he's no Vader, just a child in a mask. Ren gets so upset that he smashes his mask to pieces.
  • In Ford v Ferrari, this overlaps with Inadequate Inheritor when Enzo Ferrari insults the head of Ford by implying that he's a weak copy pretending to be equal to his much more accomplished grandfather.
    "Tell him he's not Henry Ford. He's Henry Ford the second."

  • In Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods, Mr. Wednesday expresses hatred towards a neo-Pagan waitress who doesn't know anything about the religion she's following. His exact words were "doesn't have the faith and won't have the fun". Further, he knew all of her sins, some of which were pretty heinous; she's even shown to be a pretender there, because Wednesday made it clear he felt that, terrible though the actual acts of wrongdoing were, the worst was that once she reached the point of no return she would chicken out rather than follow through on her transgressions.
    • Another example: Shadow does a coin trick to entertain a young girl. Jackal, one of the Egyptian gods, says, "I saw Harry Houdini once, and believe me, man, you are no Harry Houdini."
  • Good Omens:
    • Demons are said to feel like this towards Satanists, whom they also treat as useful idiots.
    • There is also a later reference to how Hell's Angels feel about weekend bikers. On the other hand, literal Hell's angels (well, the Badass Bikers of the Apocalypse), tolerate the Hell's Angels they meet, finding them rather cute — though not enough to avoid leading them to their deaths, in passing and without even bothering to laugh at them. It's unclear if they even noticed. After all, killing everyone was on their to-do list for later that day.
  • A similar approach to Satanists is taken by the demons in Mike Carey's Felix Castor novels.
  • Literary vampires in general tend to take this view, combined with the "useful idiots" angle, towards human admirers, whether this is Played for Drama (Stoker) or Played for Laughs (Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore). The Renfield version of the useful idiot wannabe often features here.
  • Occurs sometimes in The Dresden Files:
    • At least one Black Court vampire was contemptuous of a crowd of LARP players in vampire get-up (ironically, one of their number really was a relatively decent White Court vampire), but for the most part, vampires don't rate their food highly enough to feel proper disdain. Vampires like Lara Raith are pretty businesslike about the whole thing (including eating their own wounded servitors), which is made all the more chilling by the fact that Lara can be quite warm and empathetic to humans she respects.
    • Done again in another short story in which Dresden is confronted by a small group of teens wearing a combination of goth and "wizard" garb (as in Slytherin scarfs). They were upset that Dresden removed a curse so weak he could barely detect it (he basically improved the feng shui of the place, which removed the "curse" as an incidental), placed by the leader (assuming there was one in the first place). Dresden laughs at them and points out that none of them have any real magical potential, then pulls a gun on them when they threaten him.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's Glory Lane, punk rock guy Seeth points out you can always tell the posers by their nice shoes.
  • In Codex Alera, Aldrick ex Gladius, regarded as one of the greatest swordsmen alive, is legendary partly because of his famed duel with Araris Valerian. At multiple points throughout the series, he crosses swords with other famed warriors, calmly informing each of them "The only man who has ever matched me in battle was Araris Valerian himself, and you aren't Araris." When it turns out that one of them actually is Araris, Aldrick practically collapses.
  • The first line in X-Wing: Rogue Squadron is Wedge Antilles knocking an overconfident rookie pilot down several pegs with "You're good, Corran, but you're no Luke Skywalker." When the squadron is officially formed Wedge makes sure to remind the next generation of pilots that they'll never be considered as good as those who fought and died before their time. Corran's mental response is "I can dream, can't I?"
  • In the Bernard Cornwell novel "Scoundrel" a group of Provisional IRA members have great contempt for their Irish-American supporters who think that simply giving money to The Cause entitles them to think of themselves as 'freedom fighters'. The IRA men like to invite these posers to visit Ireland and then have them beaten and robbed by other IRA members posing as Protestants or British police.
  • This is the theme of The Great Gatsby: The Old Money West Egg will never accept Nouveau Riche Gatsby.
  • Jack McDevitt uses this a few times, mostly regarding (xeno-) archaeology:
    • In the Alex Benedict series, real archaeologists often have this attitude toward Benedict, an antiques dealer who is basically only in it for the money. He does get occasional respect for not having messed a site up too badly, but in general, the real scientists loathe his breed, even if they grudgingly come to tolerate him personally.
    • The Priscilla Hutchins series is much the same, except that in this case, the archaeologists are the protagonists (except for Hutch, who's a pilot working for the Academy), and their scorn for the amateurs tends to be better justified.
  • Andrew Vachss's Burke was a mercenary in the past. He knows what it's really like: no glamorous work. Part of his "day job" involves scamming those fool enough to want to be mercenaries themselves.
  • In Elmore Leonard's Pronto; Nicky is a mobster wannabe who bluffed his way into a job with a small-time Miami mob boss. When he and Professional Killer Tommy Bucks go to Italy, Tommy and the Italian mafiosi quickly realize how big a poser Nicky is and insult him to his face. Since Nicky does not know Italian, it takes him days to understand that he is being insulted.
  • In God-Emperor of Dune the terraforming of Arrakis has reduced the Fremen, once the hardest warriors in the Empire, to tourist attraction staff who just go through the motions of the old rituals while hassling people for money. Duncan Idaho refuses to acknowledge them as Fremen.
  • The Wheel of Time: Mat Cauthon, Childhood friend of The Chosen One, Rand Al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, has a.... complex.... relationship with The Dragon Sworn, the ten of thousand men and women who once Rand proved himself the promised savior of mankind, flocked to him. He considers the very idea of anyone blindly following anyone else's rules and commands the very definition of idiocy... while blindly (if snarkingly) following any request Rand asks of him... since this is Rand, not The Dragon Reborn, asking, not ordering, him, his best friend since Childhood.
    I'm here because Rand needs me! I will never understand what their excuse are!
  • In The Magician's Nephew, Jadis mocks Andrew Ketterley for claiming to be a magician, but only knowing minor tricks and barely knowing what he is doing, unlike her, a real witch.
  • The ork bikers from Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest are constantly picking on their gang's only human member, albeit as much because he's a bumbling loser as because he's a non-ork. Subverted by the end, when his plucky determination (despite all his screw-ups) earns him a place in the ork afterlife.
  • Fate/strange fake:
    • In her backstory, False Assassin was a member of The Hashshashin who dreamed of becoming their leader, Hassan-i-Sabbah. In an attempt to prove herself worthy, she studied the 18 previous Hassans until she was able to perform all of their Zabaniyas. She was rejected and mocked for doing nothing but copying people. In reality, her ability to master all the Zabaniyas plus her religious fanaticism scared her colleagues, so they deliberately put her down and stopped her from advancing.
    • Alexandre Dumas has a flashback to a time he watched the play The Vampire with Charles Nodier. Nodier incessantly heckles the performance, saying these hacks don't know anything about how real vampires are like. To Dumas' confusion, Nodier claims to have met real vampires.
    • Gilgamesh mocks Saber's Excalibur when he notices it is a replica of the real one.
  • Fate/Requiem: Erice Utsumi dislikes fighting in tournaments, saying fights that are not to the death are not real fights and are nothing but a mockery. Karin scolds her and says tournament fighters still give it their all and deserve respect.
  • Lampshaded in Corpies. Most Heroes tend to look down on PEERS, corporate-sponsored Supers working as emergency responders. Unlike licensed Heroes, these "corpies" aren't allowed to engage criminal Supers unless directly threatened. At the beginning of the book, Titan (a disgraced retired Hero deciding to come back) feels the same way about "corpies", believing they're nothing but pretenders and sell-outs, even as he accepts their offer to join their team because no other team wants him. He eventually gets called out on it by both his new teammates and his agent. He quickly changes his tune when they start going out and rescuing people, realizing that they genuinely want to help and are doing it the best way they know how. Even if they don't rush into battle against criminal Supers, they're still entering burning or crumbling buildings in order to save people. Sure, they have to do photoshoots and wear corporate logos, but they see it as a necessary evil in order to be able to do their job.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Arrow Season 3, Laurel decides to become the Black Canary...and is met with hostility and derision from Team Arrow, who repeatedly tell her "You're not Sara". This (understandably) rapidly starts to piss her off. Felicity eventually takes a much gentler approach, and points out that while Laurel's desire to be the Black Canary is understandable and admirable, she is trying too hard to be like Sara. This is doomed to fail because one, she isn't Sara, and two, she has a light inside her that Sara never had. She needs to stop being like Sara, and just be herself. That's enough.
  • Being Human: Mitchell responds to a wannabe-vamp girl who wants to be fed on by sending her away and later feeding her to a friend.
  • Breaking Bad: Walter White aspires to be every bit the cunning, dignified drug lord as Gustavo Fring, not realizing that his own pride, stubbornness, and recklessness means he will never match up to Fring's legacy. Mike points this out after Walter kills Fring.
    Mike: Just because you shot Jesse James, that don't make you Jesse James.
  • A recurring issue between vamps, the Slayer, the Scoobies and Vampire Wannabes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • A specific example occurs in "Lie To Me". Angel is investigating a club full of vampire wannabes, bemoaning the fact that these teenagers don't know anything about vampires, from the way they act to the way they dress. Cue a wannabe brushing past him wearing exactly the same clothes as Angel.
    • People who like to be fed on, including Buffy's long term boyfriend Riley.
    • In "Hush", Willow dismisses most of the neo-pagans at her college (except Tara) as a "bunch of wannablessedbes", since they have no idea that magic exists and how witches are really like. For their part they blow her off as someone who's seen too many movies and isn't taking their religion seriously... just like they would in real life.
    • Similarly:
      Spike: You stay in on Halloween. Those are the rules.
      Random Vampire: Me and mine don't follow rules. We're rebels!
      Spike: No, I'm a rebel. You're an idiot.
    • Subverted in one Halloween Episode, where Willow is ranting about all of the people dressed up as stereotypical witches. In the middle of her "If I see one more—" line, a little girl dressed up as a Wicked Witch walks in and Willow immediately switches to going on about how adorable she is.
  • In Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Clark Kent of Earth-167 isn't impressed by the Lex Luthor of Earth-38.
    Clark Kent: You're not Lex.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Twin Dilemma", the Doctor gives a brilliant one to Mestor:
    "In my time, I've been threatened by experts and I don't rate you very highly at all."
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Sam and Bucky can't help their disdain for John Walker being the replacement for Captain America seep into their interactions with him. Bucky especially barely even tries.
  • In the first episode of season 4 of The Flash, Wally tries to fill Barry's shoes and be the Flash. However, even with Cisco's help, he's clearly overwhelmed. When the Samuroid threatens the city if the Flash doesn't show up, Wally puts on Barry's suit and tries to pretend to be him, only for the Samuroid to handily beat him and tell him that he's not the Flash.
  • The Jerry Springer Show: Jerry delivers a pretty epic one to a Ku Klux Klan member after the latter puts on a Nazi armband and an SS cap on the basis that the Klan hood wasn't bad enough and America needed something "stronger". This is a very personal insult for Jerry, who lost a lot of his extended family in the Holocaust.
    Jerry: You have no idea how much I wish, how much I wish that the real Nazis of the world 50 years ago were like you. We would all still be alive.
  • On Leverage, experienced combatant Elliot (who earned his experience doing deeds he now regards as morally indefensible) gets a few moments over the course of the series. Summed up nicely when he and his Non-Action Guy friend have decided to go back after escaping a group of Right-Wing Militia Fanatic types, to stop them from carrying out a terrorist attack with plenty of collateral damage to civilians:
    Militia Leader: A soldier knows there are casualties in every war -
    Elliot: See, that's the difference between a real soldier and this little Halloween act you've got going. You're willing to kill to defend your rights. A real soldier is willing to die defending somebody else's.
  • Luke Cage (2016): Zip walks into a meeting with Diamondback wearing sunglasses, in imitation of Shades, who has fallen out of favor with Diamondback. Diamondback's first reaction is "Take those off!" He still sets Zip up for a promotion.
  • The Mandalorian offers several looks into what a Mandalorian really is. Din at first declares Bo-Katan to not be a real Mandalorian for removing her helmet, and she dismisses him as a zealot for keeping his on. He also insists on retaking a set of Mandalorian armor from marshal Dune, who doesn't pretend to be Mandalorian but recognizes a good set of armor when he sees one, and then returns the armor to Boba Fett, who also doesn't profess to be a Mandalorian but wants the armor as a family heirloom; because his adoptive father was a Mandalorian foundling, Din believes Boba to be a legitimate owner of the armor, whereas because he is a clone of his adoptive father, Bo-Katan believes him to not be a Mandalorian and barely even a person. Some time later, Bo-Katan's old lieutenant Axe Woves again calls Din "a misguided zealot" and claims he has not one drop of Mandalorian blood, but Bo-Katan now defends Din, as he took the Creed and Mandalorians are a people defined by their ethos, not their race or home planet.
  • Power Rangers Ninja Steel: Tommy Oliver faces an evil duplicate of himself, derides him as a cheap copy, and proves it by kicking the fake's ass. It helped that the fake was not as powerful since he could only draw on the Black Dino Ranger powers, while Tommy had the Master Morpher that let him use all of his previous powers.
  • Implied at the end of the Scream: TV Series' second season. In this universe, the Ghostface killers of season 1 and 2 actually were copycats inspired by Brandon James, a killer who committed a murder spree a few years ago. Season 2's final episode end with a hint that he is still alive, and paying a visit to surviving Ghostface Kieran to give him a piece of his mind.
    "Hello, Kieran. Who told you you could wear my mask?"
  • The bikers of Sons of Anarchy do not like posers. However, they usually skip the dissing and go right to severe beating, especially if they feel the poser is disrespecting their colors or their motorcycle.
  • Star Trek:
    • Worf, in both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, gets this frequently because he was raised by humans and serves in Starfleet with its mission of peaceful exploration. The first time he does serve with Klingons, he doesn't fit in because he's spent his life patterning himself as what Klingon stories say: serious and honor-bound, rather than a bunch of hard-drinking Boisterous Bruisers. Expect any Klingon adversary in a given episode to tell him, at some point, that he's not a real Klingon.
    • Also from DS9 is Jadzia Dax, who used to be Curzon Dax, an Ambadassador who brokered the peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire and became a bit of an honorary Klingon himself. Most Klingons treat her with the same respect that they would Curzon, but one notable exception is Martok's wife Sirella. When Jadzia wants to marry Worf, Sirella treats her not as Curzon but as an alien interloper riding on someone else's reputation.
    • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a group of genetically enhanced humans watch Legate Damar delivering an address to Dominion-occupied Cardassia, shortly after his former boss Dukat's fall from grace. While watching him, they repeatedly call him "the pretender" and one yells at him "You don't belong on that throne and you know it!"
  • Supernatural:
    • The monster hunters dislike wannabe-hunters since they tend to derive their knowledge of monsters from popular fiction — which can get them and others killed. When Dean meets Samuel, Samuel tests him with a question about vampires that a wannabe would fail.
    • Sam and Dean are also very derisive of Vampire Wannabes and vampire fandom in general. Supernatural's vampires are, with very few exceptions, brutal killers who will use their fans for food without a second thought. And the exceptions don't act anything like Pattinson.
    • Death himself delivers one to a power-tripping Castiel in the season seven premiere.
      "I know God, and you, sir, are no God."
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look had a "Police Constable and Community Support Officer" sketch, which consisted of the PC constantly insulting the support officer for being 'pretend police' before beating him up for warning a kid off of cycling on the pavement.
  • True Blood: In the opening scene of the series, a redneck vampire threatens a frat boy and a goth clerk pretending to be a vampire.
    Frat Boy: (dismissively) Fuck you.
    Vampire: Fuck me? I'll fuck you, boy! I'll fuck ya, and then I'll eat ya. [bares his fangs]
    [The frat boy and his girlfriend run off. The vampire places a 6-pack of TruBlood on the counter and addresses the now-terrified clerk.]
    Vampire: You ever pretend to be one of us again, and I'll kill you. [smiles] You have a nice day now!

  • Pulp's "Common People" is a Take That! at rich kids playing at bohemian poverty. For some reason, it's also been the go-to song for satirists doing musical sketches about David Cameron.
  • "Captain Anarchy" by Anti-Flag; basic gist, you can't be an anarchist if you buy designer jeans.
  • Take a Frank Zappa song about hippies. Any Frank Zappa song about hippies.
    Think I'll just drop out, I'll go to Frisco, buy a wig and sleep on Owsley's floor
    I'll stay a week and get the crabs and take the bus back home
    I'm really just a phony but forgive me 'cause I'm stoned!
  • The Mindless Self Indulgence song "You'll Rebel To Anything" seems to be about this.
    Boo fucking hoo, you're not the only one whose life's a piece of shit
    And yet miraculously somehow we all seem to deal with it!
    Did anybody think that you would really seriously slit your wrists?
    In fact I think that everybody thinks you're seriously full of shit!
  • Just as the above example, So much for suicide by Tiamat ridicules wannabes:
    Animated junkies trying hard to be insane
    With only water in your veins (...)
    Momma's gonna make all of your nightmares go away
    And death can wait for another day
    So much for suicide — lots of talk but you never tried
    A few pills short of a straight line, waking up still feeling fine
  • Five Iron Frenzy's "All The Hype" is a bit of a Wannabe Diss at themselves. On that note, Reese was known to refuse to sign autographs so as not to allow the fame to go to his head.
  • David Allan Coe's song "Jimmy Buffett" is a Take That! towards Buffett calling him out for living in Malibu, California ("Jimmy Buffett doesn't live in Key West anymore") and essentially calling Buffett a poser.
  • Dave Dudley, the country performer who made truck driving songs famous (e.g., "Six Days On the Road"), recorded a harsh response to Barbara Mandrell's "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," called "I Was Country Before Barbara Mandrell," essentially calling her a poser and alleging her sound was more pop-oriented than pure country while defending his as pure honky-tonk.
  • The Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia":
    Play ethnicky jazz to parade your snazz
    On your five grand stereo
    Braggin' that you know how the n***s feel cold
    And the slums got so much soul
  • There are such things as standards, you know. Even for genres like Steampunk. You can't just glue some gears on it.
  • Manowar loves this trope. They refer to themselves as True Metal and many of their songs take jabs at wimps and posers ("LEAVE THE HALL!").
  • Phil Ochs, a hard-left socialist folk singer, had a song "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" about squishy center-left middle-class limousine liberals.
  • Nails' song “You Will Never Be One of Us”, aimed at musicians who try to live the rockstar lifestyle.
    ''No truth
    All lies
    We are not the same
    Fuck your trends, fuck your friends
    Fuck your groupies that try to pretend that you're down
    You're fucking not
    Nobody wants what you've fucking got
  • From the MilkCan album Make It Sweet!, the second half of interlude track "Radio Signal Jam" is a brief skit called "You Can Look Like You're Playing The Guitar Even Though You're Not That Good", mocking people who pretend to act like rock stars without the skill set to back that up.
  • The whole point of Mobb Deep's Diss Rap "Shook Ones". He's basically just calling out wannabe "gangstas" who don't have the courage to deliver on their boasts.
    They shook
    Cause ain't no such thing as halfway-crooks!
  • Michael Jackson's song "Bad" includes the following verse: "Your talk is cheap, you're not a man / You're throwing stones to hide your hands." The video turns the trope around, quite literally; the opening prologue features Jackson, as a street kid who bettered himself, being slapped with this by some former associates, but he uses the song to reflect the diss right back at the accuser. "You ain't bad, YOU AIN'T NOTHING!"
  • Insane Clown Posse's "How Many Times?"
    "How many times will a kid give a dirty look?
    A little punk-ass bitch tryin' to be a crook
    I Wrote the Book, I was out robbin' liquor stores
    When you were just a nut stain in your momma's drawers"
  • Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) by The Offspring
    You know it's kinda hard just to get along today
    Our subject isn't cool but he fakes it anyway
    He may not have a clue and he may not have style
    But everything he lacks, well, he makes up in denial
  • Mel Tillis once sang about a wannabe Casanova cowboy in his 1979 No. 1 hit "Coca-Cola Cowboy." Although cowboys might be laughed at if at a saloon they order a carbonated or non-alcoholic beverage, the lyrics seemingly imply that the title is metaphoric – the cowboy has "an Eastwood smile and Robert Redford hair," but when it comes to substance he falls well short of being able to romance the woman who's trying to tell him off. The song was, incidentally enough, included as part of the Every Which Way but Loose soundtrack and one of two No. 1 country hits from the movie (the title track was the other).
  • "Low Budget Horror" by RedHook:
    I'm Exorcist, you're Troll 2
    Almost embarrassed for you!
    Fingerless Freddy threadbare
    Not even good enough for my nightmares!

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Ric Flair to Shane Douglas.
    "When the World Champion walks down the aisle, referee always lifts the rope, boy. (You wouldn't know anything about that.)"
  • Eric Bischoff would refuse to let WCW's announcers know about anything that wasn't happening in the ring, so their dialog would supposedly sound more natural, like a "shoot". Bobby Heenan said Bischoff didn't know what a shoot was.
  • Pretender disses made up most of Melina's dialog with any WWE "diva" who had gotten her job through the Diva Search, posed in Playboy Magazine, hadn't worked on independent circuit or hadn't worked in a foreign promotion. Basically, she parroted every complaint thrown at the "divas" since Madusa threw the WWF Women's title belt in the garbage on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. As a former beauty queen, she also had a similar attitude toward Beth Phoenix calling herself a "Glamazon".
  • In 2011, Vendetta Pro Wrestling Commissioner Christian Cole, having disputes with Billy Blade over ownership of the company and not appreciating Blade's treatment of the Latino community, booked him in a match with Carlito Caribbean Cool. Believing that wrestling a Puerto Rican was a waste of his time, Blade tried to get out of the match by bringing in a Carlito "lookalike" who would throw the match. Cole wasn't convinced.
    "This guy's not even tall enough to spit in the face of someone who does not want to be cool!"
  • Also in Vendetta, Jimmy Wang Yang wasn't impressed with Jimi Mayhem's attempts to emulate Shonuff of The Last Dragon.
  • When Ricardo Rodriguez returned to WWC in 2015, he singled out El Illegal Chicano, who he insisted was not Chicano but a "Puerto Rican dog".
  • Niche turned on the new World Wrestling League "La Rabia" stable after Dennis, Stephano and Noel Rodriguez became Trios Champions, saying they were a disgrace to the original movement because they left him on the under card. Then he called for original "Rabiosos" Mr. Big and Blitz to join him challenging for their tercias belts.
  • Harley Race's World League Wrestling has been visited by the Roman Dynasty, Karim Brigante and Monica Passeri, since at least 2015. They don't think much of the various "Italians" in the USA (the FBI, Tommaso Ciampa, etc). They Dynasty are in their own words, "legit Italians" who "do it better".
  • In the lead up to their Wrestlemania 33 match, John Cena mocked The Miz by pointing out Miz only started winning matches again when he started copying Ric Flair and Daniel Bryan's moves, and he's a poor imitation.
  • Shannon Moore went through a period of calling himself the Prince of Punk and would cut promos telling people to "Question Authority" or similar sayings. Eventually, CM Punk called him a poser and slapped him across the face. CM Punk then easily defeated him in their later matches.
  • As a subtrope of Berserk Button: Heidi Lovelace faced "The Punk Princess" Christina Von Eerie in the semi-final of the Woman's Tournament at QPW Trouble With Angels on September 13, 2014. Christina questioned Heidi calling herself "The Punk-Rock Ragdoll" and called her a poseur. The fans picked up on it and Heidi said, "That is the worst thing that you can say to anyone", leading to Heidi Flipping the Bird to Christina.
  • Jerry Lawler constantly mocks ECW, saying they are not real wrestlers because they depend on weapons and other illegal tactics instead of skill.
  • On July 23, 2019, Shawn Michaels called Dolph Ziggler nothing but a Shawn Michaels wannabe. Ziggler responded by superkicking him.
  • In TNA, Abyss and Mick Foley were engaged in a feud in late 2009. Mick Foley started attacking Abyss, both physically and verbal, by bringing up that many of Abyss's mannerisms are a copy of himself and his multitude of characters in his wrestling career (something that the fandom has been known for doing as well). Their feud ultimately culminated at Bound For Glory with Abyss emerging victorious. It was later revealed that Mick only said those things to fire up Abyss, and wanted to see how tough he truly was after hearing stories about what Abyss has done in his time in TNA.
  • Jim Cornette really hates Garbage Wrestlers (he's called ECW "hardcore bullshit") and comedy wrestlers like Joey Ryan, Kenny Omega (he also criticizes Omega for cosplaying, like the time he cosplayed as Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, saying he is not being original), Orange Cassidy, and Chuck Taylor, saying they make a mockery of the business and are not real wrestlers. He used to feel this way about Colt Cabana, but later admitted that Cabana is a real wrestler; he just wishes he'd stop doing comedy skits in the middle of matches. He's criticized Marko Stunt and Johnny Gargano (he's acknowledged Gargano's legitimate skills, but says he doesn't belong in the ring and should just be a trainer instead) for being short and Kevin Owens and Joey Janela for being fat. He's also called The Young Bucks less talented Hardy Boyz imitators, mocking them as the "Hardly Boys". He gave a rant denouncing Lucha Underground as fake. He really hates All Elite Wrestling and derides them as nothing but cosplayers pretending to be wrestlers. He is also not a fan of wrestlers with supernatural gimmicks like Bray Wyatt and several of the Gimmick Matches. Though he hated The Undertaker's supernatural gimmick, he admitted he has real talent and was happy when Undertaker made it into the WWE Hall of Fame.
  • Paul Heyman gave a pretty epic one against Jinder Mahal, reminding the WWE Universe that Jinder was no threat to Brock Lesnar and that Jinder was not worthy of holding the WWE Championship. Perhaps fittingly, the next time Jinder defended the belt after that against AJ Styles was his last.
  • In 2008, Santino Marella announced his intention to surpass Honky Tonk Man's legendary 64 week reign as Intercontinental Champion to prove he was superior and the greatest Intercontinental Champion. At Cyber Sunday, Honky confronted him and said Santino couldn't sing or dance like him and even if he was champion for ten years, he would never be as great as him.

  • The Bible: In the book of Acts, the apostle Paul casts demons out of the possessed. Some travelling Jewish exorcists try to do the same and invoke the name of Jesus. The evil spirit answers them "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?" and proceeds to thrash them all.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement The Cthulhu Companion, adventure "The Rescue". A werewolf despises two insane men who want to be werewolves like him. He has told them that the power of transformation lies within everyone and only the oppression of society and the lies of religion prevent people from using it. He has them perform ludicrous and humiliating "meditative rites" that he says will open their eyes to the truth (they're actually useless). He will kill either of them if they ever pose a threat to him.
  • Shadowrun has the Elf Poser and Ork Poser disadvantages. Humans look on "posers" (normal humans who alter their bodies to look like elves or orks) as either pathetic or (for extremists) race-traitors; actual elves consider posers irritating and a little insulting. Orks vary in their outlook. They hate humans who are just pretending to be orks because it's "cool", but may be willing to embrace any poser who can act orky enough.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the rivalry between the Imperial Guard and various worlds' Planetary Defense Forces, similar to the Army/National Guard divide mentioned below. When the Redshirt Army looks down on you, you know you're bad.
    • The Great Crusade in the Imperium's backstory also had this in the Imperium's attitude to other human civilizations. Anyone who styled themselves as the "true" humanity was very rapidly reminded of their place by the Legiones Astartes.
  • The gaming-humor document "The Munchkin File", about the four types of RPG player, repeatedly Lampshades alleged poser-like attitudes on the part of Munchkins ("I'm a Real Roleplayer too!").
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken: the Idigam known as Lul'Aya is a creature obsessed with becoming Father Wolf, the deceased spirit who fathered the Werewolves, to the point he fashioned his appearance after him and now seeks to convince the werewolves to join him and accept him as their new father. Basically everybody around him reacts with this trope: the Forsaken sees him as nothing but a grotesque parody of the real thing, the Pure are so outraged by him pretending to be Father Wolf they are actually willing to enter an Enemy Mine with the Forsaken for the sole sake of defeating him, and Mother Luna (the moon spirit and Father Wolf's mate) hates him so much the spirits of her court actually go in murderous rage whenever in his presence.

    Video Games 
  • OG Loc from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a black kid who tries so hard to be gangsta it hurts to watch. His rapping is just as bad.
  • The Fantastic Slur "nishum" used by the Elites to refer to humans in the Halo series originated as one. In the Sangheili language, it literally means "intestinal parasite." When the Covenant first fought human forces, they initially mistook the thick body armor the humans wore for the natural exoskeletons of tough Insectoid Aliens. Upon further inspecting human corpses, however, they found that the humans were actually rather slight and squishy underneath the armor, something that reminded the Elites of intestinal parasites. Thus, the term "nishum" is used to insult the humans as pathetic weaklings without the armor and technology that is already markedly inferior to what the Covenant have, and far weaker than the hardier races that make up the Covenant military.
  • Very minor example: In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, you can give your sword to the blacksmiths to be sharpened, they do this by beating comically large hammers onto an anvil. Using your own hammer on the anvil gets you a response of "Hey, hey, amateurs shouldn't try to do this." Of course, smithing in real life is highly skilled labor and if you don't know what you're doing, you're probably going to screw over the poor sap using that sword (and quite possibly wreck the blacksmith's tools, as well). Especially Japanese smithing, which refines the metal as the blade's being shaped due to the low-quality ore in that country.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The Reapers despise the A.I. geth who see them as their Gods — in fact, they find the worship (and the idea that the geth could ever be like them) insulting.
    • Also, Renegade Shepard's dealings with Conrad Verner. Even Paragon Shepard, to some extent, although (s)he at least tries let him down gently in telling him he doesn't have what it takes.
      • Which gets even better in the Citadel DLC — Shepard tells the villain, an evil clone of Shepard, that "Conrad Verner is better at being me than you!"
  • Shadow in Sonic Adventure 2 has one. "Faker? I think you're the fake hedgehog around here. You're comparing yourself to me? Ha! You're not even good enough to be my fake!"
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, a Vaan impersonator speaks in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe (that he and his fellow Penelo impersonator can't even keep straight!) for no obvious reason, constantly asserts that he is Vaan, and mangles his catch phrase. Luso isn't fooled for a moment and calls him out on it.
    "Vaan": Nay, 'tis I, Vaan!... 'Twere this a play, I'd be leading man!
    Luso: If this is a play, the acting's terrible.
  • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, Tiki has this initial reaction to "Marth," since she's a 3000-year-old dragon who knew "Mar-Mar" personally. But it doesn't take long for her to decide that maybe the appellation is fitting after all.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, if Claude takes part in Shamir's and Alois' paralogue battle of defending a city from Almyran pirates attempting to infiltrate, Claude will call them out on this. Confronting any of them during battle results in him telling them that if they are gonna pretend to be Almyrans, they'd better act like Almyrans. Claude actually coming from Almyra himself would know best how they act.
  • Team Fortress 2: Most of the domination lines against an enemy of the same class have shades of this:
    Scout: Hit the road, bozo. Let a real Scout get to work.
    Engineer: A real Texan woulda dodged that.
    Sniper: The bullets come out of the slim end, mate!
    Spy: You are an embarrassment to Spies everywhere!
  • Escher from Myst V: End of Ages has some very nasty things to say about the efforts of the D'ni Restoration Council - all of whom are ordinary Earth humans, not D'ni - to rebuild his people's underground city. Of course, that's the Fantastic Racism talking.
  • Resident Evil 6: Carla Radames, the Big Bad of the game, was turned into a clone of Ada Wong by Derek C. Simmons, Ada's Stalker with a Crush, and seeks revenge on him and the whole world for it. During their final battle, the real Ada openly dismisses Carla as a "cheap knockoff at best."
  • One promotional trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate featured this trope, wherein King Dedede pranked Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong into believing that their Arch-Enemy, long-requested fighter King K. Rool, was outside their house... only for the real King K. Rool to show up behind him and knock him aside - no doubt a Take That! towards the poor reception towards the Mii Fighter costume of him that featured in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
    • Many months later, a similar trailer played at the end of the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct with the same outcome, except with Dedede being replaced by that notorious Memetic Troll, Duck Hunt, who shows up wearing a costume that would look very familiar to fans of Rare prior to their purchase by Microsoft. Cue the two of them being shoved aside by another long-requested fighter, Banjo-Kazooie.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has this in the form of the Dalish elves, who see themselves as the "last true elves" and take a great degree of racial pride in this. Abelas, an ancient elf who was around at the time when Thedas was dominated by the ancient elven empire, looks upon a Dalish Inquisitor with scorn, because the tattoos that the Dalish place so much emphasis on are actually slave marks, and dismisses their claims that the Inquisitor is one of his "people."
  • In Shadow Hearts: Covenant the leader of the terrorist cult Sapentis Gladio, Rasputin, puts down the Big Bad of the first game, Albert Simon, seeing himself as far more powerful and ambitious. However, Yuri, our hero, respects the past foe a great deal, and, following the battle, Yuri disses Rasputin for even remotely comparing himself to a true Big Bad.
    "Albert was a hundred times stronger than you!"
  • DOOM Eternal: The Marauder mocks the Doom Slayer as not being a true Night Sentinel because he was a human from Earth taken in by them and not a native of Argent D'Nur. This is hypocritical because the Marauder is a traitor of the Night Sentinels who joined the demons and willingly became one of them.
  • Star Fox: Andross is typically depicted as a giant floating head and hands. In Star Fox: Assault, Andrew mimics this by transforms his warship into a head and hands. Falco is unimpressed.
    "What's this? An Andross wannabe?"
  • Cyberpunk 2077:
    • V gets this reaction from at least one old "Samurai" fan, who insists that no-one who wasn't "there, man!" in the 2020s could ever understand "Samurai". In a grand case of glorious irony V has a copy of the consciousness of Johnny Silverhand, lead singer of "Samurai" in their head, who is screaming at said fan for settling down and becoming as much a part of the establishment "Samurai" railed against as the corporations Silverhand fought in life, and in Silverhand's words, knowing all the lyrics but understanding none.
    • Old chromatic rockerboy and anti-corporate anarchist Kerry Eurodyne has a violent, visceral reaction to having one of his songs covered by corporate-owned, chart-topping lazr-pop group "Us Cracks", to the point where he decides to express his disapproval by kicking in the door to "Us Cracks"'s green room and waving a gun around. After learning that the band members are in fact independents, and, if anything, even more creative, driven and passionate about music than he is, Kerry mellows, to the point that before they split ways they are taking selfies and tentatively discussing a possible future collaboration.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake: Due to his Fake Memories, Cloud Strife thinks he is a former First Class member of SOLDIER. A few people like Reno and Professor Hojo, who know the members of SOLDIER personally, call him out and say he is no SOLDIER.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: The Big Bad, creates an Evil Knockoff of Bowser named Dark Bowser who is the Final Boss of the game. Once Bowser catches up to him, the Koopa King delivers an Eviler than Thou speech before defeating him with five consecutive charged punches. Dark Bowser is flabbergasted over his defeat, to which Bowser responds that he was only acting like him, which doesn't make Dark Bowser the real thing.
    " just ACTED like me. That doesn't mean you ARE me. You're no match for the real deal, original Bowser..."
  • SINoALICE: The Villainy, Justice and Forgery collab event has Pinocchio end up becoming a second incarnation of The Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime himself doesn't take kindly to Pinocchio's inept mimicry of him.

    Web Animations 
    • In Vegeta VS Shadow, Vegeta calls Shadow's super form a ripoff.
    Vegeta: "Wow... what a ripoff."
    • Then in Shadow VS Ryuko, Shadow proceeds to call Ryuko a faker for basically copying his Golden Super Mode.
    • Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as in Trunks VS Silver, Vegeta's son, Trunks, proceeds to call Silver's super form a ripoff.


    Western Animation 
  • Avatar:
    • A villainous example from The Last Airbender:
      Azula: I can see your whole history in your eyes. You were born with nothing. So you had to struggle, and connive, and claw your way to power. But true power, the divine right to rule, is something you're born with. The fact is they don't know which one of us is going to be sitting on that throne and which one is going to be bowing down. But I know and you know. (sits on the throne) Well?
      Long Feng:....(kneels before Azula) You've beaten me at my own game.
      Azula: Don't flatter yourself. You were never even a player.
    • In The Legend of Korra episode "The Voice in the Night", Tarrlok brings up Aang's defeat of a man named Yakone 42 years before the start of the series during his speech calling for an anti-Amon task force, resulting in Tenzin chewing him out for it. Considering that Tenzin is Aang's son, he was rightly outraged by Tarrlok's comparison. Ironically, it would turn out that Tarrlok and Amon are both sons of Yakone.
      Tenzin: This is a completely different situation, and how dare you compare yourself to Avatar Aang!
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • Harley Quinn once dressed as a sexy policewoman (light blue shirt, dark blue knee-length skirt, billed cap, baton, and whistle) while crashing a police banquet held in Commissioner Gordon's honor. Renee Montoya, who is an actual policewoman, was not amused by this.
    • Harvey Bullock is always giving Batman a hard time. He mostly seems to hold Batman in contempt for doing the police's work with his vigilantism despite the fact that Bullock, though honest, is possibly the most slovenly-behaved cop in Gotham. And, just like Batman, he's been known to rough up suspects and neglect proper procedures.
    • "Birds of a Feather" has the Penguin being mocked for trying to pass himself off as one of Gotham's cultural elite (and failing miserably). He doesn't take it well.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • In the pilot, "Rebirth", as the Jokerz, a street gang styled after The Joker, face Bruce Wayne, thinking he's just some old man.
      Jokerz Leader: Who do you think you're talking to, old man? We're the Jokerz!
      Bruce: Sure you are. (decks him with a bit of Cane Fu)
      Mr. Fixx: You're pretty strong for some clown who thinks he's Batman.
      Terry: I AM BATMAN!
    • In "The Call", Superman invites Terry to join the Justice League, but the other members say he's not the real Batman, just some punk. Terry manages to win their respect by saving the world.
    • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the Joker calls the Jokerz gang, "A disgrace to the name Joker." This also comes up during the climactic fight, and gets an Ironic Echo when Terry, the new Batman, taunts the Joker with "I thought you wanted to make Batman laugh!"
  • In a Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Deep Cover for Batman!", Dyna-Mite calls Batman on impersonating Owlman, paraphrasing Bentsen's famous diss (see page quote and Real Life section).
    Dyna-Mite: I know Owlman. Owlman is a friend of mine. You're no Owlman.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) when King Hiss fought He-Man.
    You know, He-Man, I knew King Grayskull. I fought King Grayskull. You are no King Grayskull!
  • Justice League:
    • A thug, being threatened by the Flash, in the episode "Secret Society" just before Flash drops him off a building to get some information:
      Thug: Look, buddy, I know Batman. I once ratted out a counterfeiter to Batman. And believe me, you are no Batm— AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
    • Another variation shows up in "Hereafter" when Lobo tries to invite himself into the League to replace Superman after his apparent death:
      Wonder Woman: You're no Superman.
      Lobo: The ladies say different.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Number One", Global Justice agent Will Du radiates disdain for Team Possible, insisting that world-saving should be left to the trained professionals.
  • Darius, head of the Abomination coven in The Owl House, which focuses around conjuring Golems made of purple muck, finds the Abomitons (abominations which continue to exist without a witch sustaining them and which incorporate advanced technology to empower them) created by Alador Blight to be disgusting, and outright calls Alador a hack.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Lisa receives a failing grade on a test and the rest of her class accepts her as one of them, "normal". When it turns out that her test wasn't a failing grade, they shun her as "gifted", and therefore, "fake normal".
    • Subverted in another episode, where Lisa has to do a school report on her family's ancestry. Dismissing her Anglo/French roots as too bland, she decides to pass as part-Native American and invents a fictional tribe to belong to. Her ploy backfires when some actual Native Americans in the area not only believe her, but invite her to speak at a large Native American conclave about her experiences - and, of course, Lisa doesn't have any! At the conference, she confesses that she made everything up....prompting half the attendees at the conclave to shamefully stand up and confess that they are impostor Native Americans, too! One of the genuine Indians at the meeting, however, is not offended and takes the fakery as flattery: "Who wouldn't want to be like us?!"
  • South Park played with this trope in a 2008 episode featuring the hilariously snarky "Goth Kids".
    • The Twilight movies had just become popular, and quite a few of the "cool" kids at school begun dressing like vampires (complete with fangs and capes, and drinking tomato juice while pretending it's blood). The Goth quartet already seen in earlier episodes is annoyed at this, especially since they now get mistaken for vampires themselves due to their antiquated black clothing and Looks Like Cesare face paint. They angrily tell the "little Justin and Britney wannabes" to stop pretending to be somebody they're not... but, ironically, the Goths fit this description themselves. In fact, it's revealed that the only difference between them and the "vampire" kids is that they chose to become "Goth" not as the result of a fad, but because they were social outcasts who were picked on by the other children and so decided to embrace their outsider status as dramatically as possible — that, and also the fact that they presumably made their costumes and makeup at home rather than buying them prefab from Hot Topic at the mall. They end up giving a speech before the entire school in which they pointedly explain the differences between Goths and "vampires". And burning Hot Topic to the ground so the vamp-kids can't buy their clothes anymore.
    • This is then continued in "Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" when Henrietta (the chubby Goth girl) gets send to a help camp and she comes back as an emo. Thus, the above becomes expanded in the Goths looking down on the Emo kids (With the differences being marginal, best explained as the emos hating themselves and the goths hating everyone else.) After Micheal (the tall one) is also sent to the camp, Pete (the one with bangs) and Firkle (the kindergoth) are forced to team up with the aforementioned Vamp kids (and apologizing for burning the Hot Topic) to stop the camp. All while enduring people not seeing the differences. Then it's exaggerated when they summon the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe, the original goth/vamp kid/emo, and he looks down on them all for being pretenders while they find him too much for them. We even get this immortal line from Pete after Poe (initially) refuses to save them for nihilistic reasons:
      Pete: Gawd, he is such a downer!
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: in season 3, after Norman Osborn becomes the Green Goblin, he comes to regard his predecessor, the Hobgoblin, to be nothing but a cheap knockoff, and wastes no time to attack him while calling him out for being just an imposter the moment they meet. It helps in his case that the Hobgoblin is just a normal thug with fancy gear, while the Green Goblin has genuine superpowers and more advanced equipment.note 
  • In Star Wars: Clone Wars, Asajj Ventress declares herself a Sith Lord, only for Count Dooku, a real Sith Lord, to mock and beat her down. Specifically, Dooku tells Ventress how despite her wearing Sith clothing and having a Sith fighting style, he senses fear in her, which a true Sith would lack. While fear can indeed be used to draw power from The Dark Side, a Sith is supposed to draw power instead from hatred. He later proves this when ambushing her in a room, defeating her and saying "It would not be so easy to defeat a Sith."
  • In Star Wars Rebels, surviving clone troopers from the Clone Wars are shown to be very underwhelmed by the stormtroopers who took their place in the Empire in both their shoddy equipment and their general incompetence. The clones outright laugh at the thought of stormtroopers giving them any real trouble, with the only things proving a challenge being the AT-ATs.
  • In the Transformers: Prime episode "Rebellion", Megatron mockingly tells Ultra Magnus that he's "no Optimus Prime" after brutally beating him to the ground after he leads the other Autobots against the Decepticons at a time when everyone assumed Optimus was missing and/or dead. In Megatron's eyes, only Optimus could ever hope to beat him, and anyone else was beneath notice.
    • Similarly, in Beast Wars, Ravage (a Decepticon-turned-Predacon) tells the Predacon Megatron that he's a far cry from the original Megatron, whom Ravage knew personally. Of course, the irony is that, due to a Stable Time Loop, the original Megatron named himself after the Predacon Megatron.
  • Along the same line and for much the same reasons, Beck in TRON: Uprising gets a fair amount of snark from everyone - enemies, potential allies, criminals, and even Tron's former apprentices about trying to pass himself off as the legendary hero, who most Programs believed died in the coup.
  • In The Venture Bros. Brock Sampson pulls this twice on 21 on two separate occasions: both times 21 makes a big deal about settling their score once and for all Brock coldly replies "do I know you?" The first time it ends badly for 21, but the second time around "Two-Ton 21" actually puts up a good enough fight to earn Brock's respect.

    Real Life 
  • One of the most famous examples: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Context for this example since it is cited so many times in this article: just before the debate, the Democrats were making an issue of Dan Quayle's young age, and whether he was old enough to be President. He pointed out that John F. Kennedy had been not much older when he became president. It seems plausible that much of Senator Bentsen's outrage at Quayle daring to compare himself to Kennedy was feigned, since mentioning Kennedy was an obvious counterargument to the age argument. The age issue quickly disappeared from the campaign; the "no Jack Kennedy" meme was more effective anyway. "More effective" being a relative term, since the Bush/Quayle ticket defeated Dukakis/Bentsen by a large margin. Also, Bentsen was in private business during much of Kennedy's political career (they did in fact serve together in the House from 1948 — when Bentsen took his seat — to 1953 — when Kennedy was elected to the Senate) and never was a friend of John Kennedy, as annoyed Kennedy people pointed out.
  • La Vey Satanists towards Satan worshippers. (Well, the ones that look up to them anyway.) It also goes the other way around.
  • Professional soldiers often feel this way towards any reservist which isn't proper military (the exact details of which depend on the country). And, of course, Interservice Rivalry is a trope for similar reasons.
    • For example, in the United States, Army National Guardsmen and Army Reservists are often referred to as "weekend warriors" by the Regular Army, which views them as incompetent liabilities. That said, this attitude has diminished a fair amount, given the National Guard and Reserves have been deployed almost as long as the active-duty Army.
    • Similar to Soldiers/National Guard: Police towards security guards, though this is fewer cops adopting the "rent-a-cop" meme as spillover annoyance at a vocal minority of security guards (especially armed security) claiming they are "legitimate" law enforcement officers.
    • Also, professional soldiers towards "militarized" police departments, with many an op-ed piece being written by military veterans arguing that many police officers lack the actual military discipline and training of actual soldiers, despite their adoption of body armor, assault rifles, camo fatigues, and armored vehicles. Expect the comparison to also come up whenever a shoot-out occurs and the police officers fail to demonstrate proper marksmanship. Or manage to follow rules of engagement, even ones much less strict than those enforced in war zones.
  • The disdain that "Old Money" families stereotypically have towards the Nouveau Riche. Assuming the upstarts stay around for more than a generation or two, this becomes their attitude towards the even newer money. And the cycle continues...
  • The Bourgeois Bohemian gets this a lot, and from both ends of the U.S. political spectrum (liberals in Case "A", conservatives in Case "B").
  • The standard phrase for any "serious actor" who hasn't got talent — or, at least, nearly as much talent as they think they do? "X, you're no Meryl Streep."
  • People who read pre-Twilight era vampire books feel this towards Twilight and its Follow the Leader style books. Of course, some of them can get just as vehement about what vampires are and are not ("scary!" "romantic!" "nocturnal only!" "sparkles during the day!" etc.) that they're almost as bad.
  • Common complaints among EMT personnel are aimed at well-meaning but clueless good Samaritans who engage in Hollywood-style healing and end up making the situation worse for the afflicted person.
  • Those who consider Renaissance faires or SCA events Serious Business sometimes react this way to others who show up wearing a costume-shop tunic over jeans and sneakers. Such events often have to provide explicit declarations about whether or not "garb" needs to be period-appropriate to avert conflict between the two. Same for historical-reenactment buffs.
  • Legitimate hippies against poser-hippies who just want to get high and get laid. Of course, considering this latter group is what the general public thinks of when they think of hippies, this may be a valid complaint.
  • Similarly, stoners who co-opt the trappings of Rastafarianism as an excuse to smoke weed are seldom appreciated by actual Rastafari who take their religion very seriously, the same way a devout Catholic wouldn't take kindly to an alcoholic joining the Church for free wine.
  • Some people from other countries (mainly, the USA) who have Irish ancestry proudly proclaim themselves as Irish, though there are people who look down on this, mainly people who are from Ireland, claiming that these "plastic Paddys" know very little about real Irish culture beyond leprechauns, pots o' gold, the color green, and only care about their "heritage" when St. Patrick's Day rolls around.
    • This belief also extends to other cultures where natives or purists feel "If you're not 100% X and/or aren't from X, then you're not a true X."
    • It could also extend to any who play up a national heritage during an appropriate holiday and go back to ignoring it for the rest of the year.
    • Also when such non-natives only ever deign to celebrate the upper-class traditions of a culture they profess to be part of while avoiding any mention of customs from its working-class majority.
    • Granted, if said culture is that of a marginalized demographic's, then they might as well have every right.
    • The whole issue got very heated during The Troubles when people who had never been to Ireland (or Northern Ireland) vocally voiced their opinion on account of "being Irish".
  • Similarly, Mexicans and non-assimilated Mexican-Americans take a dim view of gringo attempts to copy or co-opt their culture. When Taco Bell opened its first restaurant in Mexico in the early 2000s, they had to promote themselves as an American restaurant; if they had called themselves a purveyor of Mexican food, they would have faced widespread ridicule.
  • Again similarly, black people often have faced ridicule from other black people for a variety of things, such as marrying a non-black person, trying to get an education and good job (which some black people see as "acting white"), or other such things.
  • After the collapse of the Soviet Union, lots of people "suddenly saw the light!" or "always felt that way, honest!" all across the ex-USSR regarding Communism. They tend to be seen as weasels by everyone else, but no-one despises them deeper than the real dissidents, especially a few exiled from the USSRnote . These invented several new vitriolic terms like "almost shot ones".
  • On the opposite side, Stalin's successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin and his "cult of personality" in a secret speech after he took power, on the basis of how it violated core Marxist principles. When someone in the crowd he was addressing demanded to know why he hadn't said this when Stalin was alive, Khrushchev angrily barked, "Who said that?!" — frightening the speaker into silence. "Now you know," Khrushchev then explained.
  • Some American neoconservatives (who, significantly, are most often not Jewish, or at least not practicing Jews) praise the pious warrior ethos of the nation of Israel while describing the "wimpy", secular, and more often than not liberal Jews of North America and Europe as "false Jews", as though they have betrayed their heritage. Even leaving aside the fact that many of the first settlers in Israel when it was founded in 1948 were American or European Jews, there's something... off about a Gentile trying to tell a Jew about what makes a "real Jew". And actually saying something like that to a non-Israeli Jew's face — especially if he or she is a descendant of Holocaust survivors — will not get one a very sympathetic reaction.
  • This was the reaction of the National Football League to its upstart 1960s rival American Football League. The NFL and its partners in the media did everything they could to paint the AFL (which they frequently referred to as "That Mickey Mouse league," among others), as second-rate and full of castoffs and wannabes. Although while the latter part was true, many of those "castoffs" went on to Hall of Fame careers, ironically. The documentary Full Color Football shows many examples of this. While this didn't work with the AFL (they would eventually be lucrative enough to merge with the NFL), such tactics did work with other upstarts like the World Football League, the USFL, and the XFL.
  • During a 2015 game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews heckled San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick after tackling him by saying he was "No Russell Wilson" (Wilson being Seattle's quarterback, and Seattle being a tough rival to both teams. Kaepernick and Wilson were also known for having somewhat similar playing styles and were often compared to each other early in their careers).
  • Eastern Roman Emperor Nicephorus Phocas had this reaction when visiting with an ambassador from the Holy Roman Empire. Annoyed that they claimed the title of "Roman," which he saw as rightfully and uniquely his, he made a speech at dinner one night with the ambassador insulting the Holy Roman military before exclaiming: "You are not Romans but Lombards!"
  • Similar to Dan Quayle's experience, some supporters of Sarah Palin's selection for Vice President in 2008 attempted to deflect criticisms of her lack of experience by comparing her to another forty-something Republican governor and noted outdoors enthusiast, Theodore Roosevelt. That only fueled further criticism by those pointing out the similarities ended right there, and that Roosevelt was not only governor of New York, rather than Alaska, by the time he became Vice President, he had also been New York City Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and a Colonel in the United States Army, while Palin's previous experience had been as mayor of a small town.
  • This happens quite often with cities that attract a lot of newcomers. In Berlin, for example, you will have people complaining about "Swabians" not being "real Berliners" and those same Swabians in turn complaining about people that arrived more recently. One of the Vice Presidents of German's parliament (who only went to East-Berlin to study and was born in present-day Wroclaw) complained about "Berlin not being Berlin anymore" with all those non-Berliners and based his argument on the word used for bread role (Semmel instead of Schrippe). Of course in a city that has attracted immigrants from near and far since its founding, such a thing as a "real Berliner" may simply not exist.
  • Many LGBT people feel this way towards metrosexuals.
  • In a Documentary about F. Scott Fitzgerald they told that after his wife Zelda died and when his reputation as a writer faded, he was in a May–December Romance with a young Englishwoman literature critic and he showed her The Great Gatsby and asked her opinion. The Documentary showed us the now grow up woman remembering saying: “At that time of my life I was very direct and plainly told him: “Well, Dickens it’s not”.
  • Criminologists vehemently hold this sentiment towards "true crime bloggers," who are more often than not self-proclaimed "fandoms" of serial killers. Considering the emotional and psychological baggage that tends to come with studying criminals, they have every reason to.
  • Naturalized citizens in the United States tend to take a dim view on illegal immigration (especially coming from the same nation the naturalized citizen came from). This mostly stems from the fact that they did it the legal way, which can take years and a good amount of money to do.
  • White people appropriating non-white culture has become a notable source of contention in modern America from wearing Native American costumes to speaking in Black gangster slang. Most notably, some African-American musicians feel irritated how their white counterparts sing about racial injustice without having experience the racism that they've endured. For several minorities, they see White Americans as cashing in on their culture or turning it into a stereotypical joke.
  • In a similar fashion, there have been many homeless people and anti-homelessness activists who have criticized van-life culture (which, as its name suggests, involves people choosing to live in renovated vehicles such as vans and recreational vehicles) as essentially "gentrified homelessness". Namely, many homeless people feel that van-lifers - many of whom are middle- to upper-class suburbanites - are essentially appropriating and glamorizing a lifestyle that many homeless people have been forced to adopt, and taking all of the perks of living in a van (e.g., freedom of movement and avoiding to pay rents or mortgage on traditional housing), without the socioeconomic stigma or drawbacks of genuine homelessness.
  • Members of the geek community can get annoyed with non-nerdy people who just like geek culture, such as science fiction, video games, tabletop games, comics, etc., seeing them as poseurs. The gatekeeping can get pretty vehement (and obnoxious) with attempts to weed out the 'unworthy' with trivia quizzes and the like, note  as geek culture has become more mainstream in the past decade, with new female fans claiming they get the brunt of "fake fan" accusations. note  Newbies (especially female newcomers) are accused of "doing it for attention" and thus they're not a "true geek".
  • Hunter S. Thompson noted that during the 1960s "Hell's Angels Fan Club" T-shirts became briefly popular, until the Hell's Angels announced they would tear them off of anybody they saw wearing one. Likewise, "2% bikers" (those who are in lifestyle clubs like the Hells Angels, Banditos, etc.) are disdainful towards "weekends warriors" who ride fancier, later model bikes or co-opt the fashion without understanding the rules of the road.
  • Gatekeeping and elitism gets parodied with a meme: "Oh, you like [artist]? Name three of their albums." The meme can be modified to mock other elitist fanbases by switching the second line to "name every [obscure detail]."
  • Ryan Sohmer, the author of several webcomics, once tried to enlist his fans to petition Marvel Comics and demand that they hire him to write comics for Deadpool. During a panel at a convention, some of his fans started asking Joe Quesada, then the editor-in-chief of Marvel, "Why isn't Ryan Sohmer writing Deadpool?" Quesada's deadpan response was to say "Never heard of him."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Poser Hating, Wannabe Diss


"You're Not Special"

Adam Cole tears into NXT Champion Karrion Kross in a promo, telling him to his face that he's all smoke and mirrors.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / PretenderDiss

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