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Smug Super

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"If I was in Superman's place, I'd be totally lording my powers over all the other Superfriends. 'Hey Batman,' I'd say, 'Nice utility belt! Got anything in there that would help you lift an oil tanker? I didn't think so. Hey, Aquaman! You realize I could pretty much kick ass over any sea creature you cared to summon, don't you? Wonder Woman! Your magic lasso makes me tell the truth: You suck!'"
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Normally, Superheroes are modest, and failing that at least they're rarely vain. But then again, if you had superpowers, wouldn't you be the tiniest bit tempted to lord it over the foiled bad guys? Well, the Smug Super thinks so, and in fact, he'll tell you about it. At great length. In fact, he won't shut up about it!

The Smug Super is a superhero or villain who knows they've won the Super Power Lottery and won't hesitate to remind others, especially if they're beneath him on the Super Weight scale. This character is similar to the Smug Snake, though rather than being manipulative and sneaky, he's very upfront about his opinion of himself and is an active fighter who is at least on an equal footing with the rest of the cast. Also, unlike the Smug Snake, he can be very enjoyable to see in action for the One Liners they deliver. Likewise, he might fall over the edge into camp. These characters are more likely to experience This Cannot Be! moments than others on the off chance they lose.

In combat, he's likely to hold back, taunt his opponents, and Trash Talk with the best of them. Though he might occasionally suffer setbacks due to his Pride and underestimating opponents. Especially if they're mere mortals.

This trope can also form a mild version of Beware the Superman or being the Superheroic equivalent of the Jerk Jock — in this case, whilst the Super might not actually be malevolent and will still do the right thing, they're still a bit of a bullying, arrogant Jerkass. In more cynical universes, the Smug Super may consider himself — and may even be widely considered — to be The Cape; they very much aren't, however.

Many versions of this trope can be found on Anti-Hero. May be (in fact, quite often is) a target of Break the Haughty, and is generally a "stronger" Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. Compare with Insufferable Genius (who places their pride more in their intelligence than their strength), Super Supremacist (an even more extreme variant), A God Am I (same), and Small Name, Big Ego (who thinks they're this trope). May overlap with Super Loser when the arrogance is undeserved... either by not having much power, not knowing how to use it well, or not having an ounce of charisma. A Smug Snake is similar but relies more on brains than actual brute force like a Smug Super. Nonetheless, they are as arrogant as the latter. Contrast the Boisterous Weakling, who likes to bark but doesn't have much to bite. Also contrast with Pro-Human Transhuman, who despite their powers, isn't a prick to normal humans. In any case, in a Cape Punk story, you can bet this is likely to be a quality of those possessing superpowers (unless it is the Fantastic Racism humans who are causing the problems).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, Oluo is very proud of the skills of the Special Operations Squad. Oluo is the man with the highest solo Titan body count of the squad (after Levi). His teammates are annoyed by his behavior, but he claims that he boasts for everyone in the squad.
    • To specify the solo body count: Oluo killed 39, Eld killed 14, Petra killed 10, and Günther killed 7. However, the others killed most of the Titans with teamwork, and their individual total body counts are almost as high or even higher than Oluo's total body count. Petra has 52, Oluo has 48, Günther has 47, and Eld has 46.
  • Femto from Berserk, who is actually Griffith reborn only much more openly evil. Not only does he show no remorse for what he did to Guts during the Eclipse, but each time he is seen speaking in his alter ego form he is snide, egotistical, haughty, and just downright mean, taunting Guts at every chance he can get about how much more powerful he is compared to his mortal former friend and comrade. This is even shown during the actual Eclipse, though nonverbally, as Femto smugly smiled at Guts as he raped his lover Casca right in front of him, thwarting every attempt Guts made to save her. Makes sense since the rape was used to profess Griffith's power over Guts and Casca.
  • Black Clover:
    • Vetto's Beast Magic makes him The Juggernaut, and he's definitely let that power go to his head. He expresses scorn at the Black Bulls for even trying to put up a fight against him since he considers them to be insects in comparison. His confidence in his own strength proves to be his downfall. He spent so long buffed by his Beast Magic that he had forgotten what his actual natural physical limits really were. When he let Asta stab him with the Demon Dweller Sword, thinking it would give him the upper hand, he didn't realize until it was too late that he had just depowered himself. And without his magic, he was helpless.
    • Thanks to his Body Magic being enhanced to the point he can regenerate from any injury and not die, Dante sees himself as unbeatable. Combined with his powerful Gravity Magic that can level an entire forest and form small black orbs that destroy everything in his path, Dante believes that he'll crush everything and always win.
  • Bleach:
    • Byakuya Kuchiki is a more stoic example of this trope, coming up with mild ways of putting down his opponents, or people he doesn't like... or anyone in general.
      Byakuya: It's one thousand years too early to use my Bankai against you [Ichigo].
    • He's positively humble compared to Aizen. This is a guy who murders his own forces because he thinks he can do a better job than them...and then he does just that without much effort.
    • Yamamoto. He's the captain-commander and most powerful shinigami in Soul Society and the guy thinks he's above everyone because he's older than everyone else and a Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Luo Hao of Campione! knows exactly how powerful she is and sees nothing wrong in reminding anyone she encounters about it. She even demands the same deference as emperors in the past, such as gouging out one's eyes after looking at her.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, espers have a bad habit of this. It's most prominent with Accelerator, the most powerful esper, who is so powerful that he flat-out ignores most of his attackers since he knows they can't hurt him anyway and lets his unconscious powers deal with them by throwing all their attacks right back at them.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the tremendously powerful Upper-3 demon Akaza loves a good fight, usually smiling confidently throughout most of his battle. However, that confident smile is for when he believes to be having the upper hand when things get serious Akaza gets calm and focused; when things seem to be turning against him, he isn't above showing sincere frustration.
  • The eponymous Kanta Mizuno of Desert Punk. While he doesn't actually have any powers, he has an extraordinary amount of charisma and the ability to think on his feet, combined with having access to a ton of clever visual tricks to confuse and subdue his enemies. Of course, being the Casanova Wannabe he is, he's all too happy to gloat about his title as the top bounty hunter around, and leeches from the people who hire him whenever possible. Still, at the end of the day, he always manages to get the job done.
  • Dragon Ball has many, especially in regards to the villains:
    • In the original Dragon Ball, Demon King Piccolo believed himself to be the strongest being on Earth and that no human could ever defeat him. To be fair, he was right: no human ever beat him; too bad Goku's a Saiyan.
    • This is Vegeta's Fatal Flaw, to the extent that when fighting Cell and winning in the Android Saga of Dragon Ball Z, he actually went as far as to let Cell absorb Android 18 and become perfect for the sake of a good fight, arrogantly refusing to consider the possibility that he would lose until Cell beats him senseless. This decision ends up biting him big time and costing a good number of others their lives.
    • Frieza may very well be the poster boy for this trope. Having spent years as the strongest being in the universe, with no one else even close to matching him, Frieza is firmly convinced that no one in the universe could ever possibly defeat him... which is also his greatest fear.
    • Cell is just as bad as Frieza, if not worse. After becoming perfect, he set up a martial arts tournament solely to show off his power and lets Goku and the Z Fighters train to get stronger for ten days so he can have more fun fighting them, never once considering the possibility that they could actually defeat him. To be fair, it still looked like they wouldn't be able to, but then Goku throws Cell the Villain Ball as part of a Batman Gambit, and that's when Cell's smugness really ends up costing him big time.
    • Prior to learning the hard way via Cell that there is Always Someone Better, Android 17 was pretty much the Red Ribbon Army's version of Vegeta, going so far as to mock the Saiyan prince for his own pride (which 17 hypocritically considered foolish) while boasting that he was the ultimate android. While a shade stronger than his sister 18, and leagues stronger than the later Androids 19 and 20, 17's strength was matched by Piccolo (after fusing with Kami) and eclipsed by both 16 and Cell. Unlike the other examples here, he learned something from his defeat, coming back as a much more humble and reasonable character in Dragon Ball Super.
    • Gotenks also has this as a Fatal Flaw in the Majin Buu Saga. Throughout his fight with Super Buu, rather than just finishing him off, he was more concerned with showing off and looking cool... which has long-lasting consequences.
    • Even Goku himself is prone to this, such as after he defeated Demon King Piccolo, while fighting the Ginyu Force, and telling Vegeta point-blank that he's much stronger than him. Though, unlike the others, he's usually smart enough not to let it override his common sense.
    • Beerus when he shows up in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, he's typically bullying the puny mortals and gobbling up their food before blowing the planet up. Granted, he's a lot more benevolent than the above examples like Frieza, he's still smug about how powerful he is.
    • Like Vegeta, this is also Gohan's Fatal Flaw, as pointed out by Piccolo in Dragon Ball Super's Universal Survival Arc. Gohan gets incredibly cocky when he beats his opponents down and he drops his guard long enough for his opponents to fight back with Piccolo referencing his fight with Super Buu. As part of his training, he seeks to remove that from Gohan.
  • Agon from Eyeshield 21 is described as Japan's most talented athlete in a century and knows it. The epitome of a jerk jock, it's to the point that he can't stand those who aren't talented.
  • Sabertooth as a whole is this in Fairy Tail. Having been the number one guild for years they act like they're the best thing since sliced bread. While, as a guild, they do outrank other guilds, as individuals they aren't the top dogs in the tournament, which makes it satisfying when they happen to face off against one of the stronger members.
    • Earlier, Fairy Tail's rival guild Phantom Lord was believed to be on par with Fairy Tail. Because Master Jose, Gajeel, and other members thought their guild could destroy Fairy Tail, they started a guild war. After destroying their guild house, Phantom Lord got it back by Fairy Tail and eventually got disbanded.
    • The dark guild Grimoire Heart is very proud of being the strongest dark guild and being the superior race. However, their status as the strongest dark guild is doubtful after the introduction of the third dark guild of the Balam Alliance, Tartaros, a guild full of demons from the Book of Zeref.
    • The Spriggan Twelve are very smug about being recognized by Emperor Spriggan as the strongest mages of the Alvarez Empire. They've got the power to back up their boasts, too.
  • It's arguable, but one could claim that Major Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist is this. He doesn't go around lording his powers over everybody, exactly, but half of his dialogue is him going on about how great he is. It's still very funny, though.
  • Takamura from Hajime no Ippo is by far the best boxer in the series, his ability bordering on superhuman at some points, and he absolutely knows it. It's no surprise he's a massive Jerkass. And he's a main character.
  • Akeno Himejima from High School D×D seems to always put up a smile in battle.
  • InuYasha: Sesshomaru is so confident in his own strength and powers that, unlike nearly every other youkai in the series, he doesn't even bother hunting down the shards of the Shikon Jewel. The same goes for Menomaru, the Big Bad of the first movie.
  • In Iris Zero children with Irises treat those without Irises as outcasts.
  • The Hückebein from Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force are blessed with seemingly flawless Anti-Magic and proud of it. Their more vicious members like Cypha go straight into Beware the Superman.
  • In My Hero Academia, Bakugo has a powerful Quirk (causing explosions with his hands) and has been praised for it his whole life; as a result, he's become The Bully to Izuku, seemingly the only person in his class without powers. When he transfers to U.A., he's utterly convinced that he'll be the top of the class and become the world's most famous superhero. He's subsequently shocked to realize that not only are the other students a match for him, but nearly everybody hates him for his smug and violent attitude. Meanwhile, Izuku is incredibly popular, both for his newly-acquired Quirk and kinder personality.
    • The spinoff My Hero Academia: Vigilantes has Captain Celebrity, an American superhero whose fame-obsessed ways and casual attitude regarding collateral damage led to him being unable to find work in his country. He refuses to perform any major superhero work (including saving people from a burning building) unless there's a camera nearby, though he's willing to give credit where credit's due when it comes to other heroes. Captain Celebrity's entire character arc revolves around learning humility and becoming a true hero, and in the process, he becomes more popular than ever.
  • Naruto has the resurrected Madara Uchiha, who can't seem to shut up about how badass he and Hashirama are. Case in point: when he's revived, blind, and surrounded by the entire Allied Shinobi Forces, as well as the Tailed Beasts, he simply declares his intent to hunt down and subjugate the Tailed Beasts by himself. And then he does.
  • Evangeline of Negima! Magister Negi Magi damn well knows that she's one of the most powerful and infamous mages in the setting and doesn't let those around her forget it.
    • Don't forget Nagi, quite possibly literally the most powerful creature in existence, and definitely knows it. He once told his son "I can understand your feelings of admiration for this young, accomplished, yet super cool genius and undefeatable father who was also a hero..."
  • One Piece:
    • Most villains are this way, particularly the Logia-type Devil Fruit users — though it should be noted those who embody this trope tend to be the weaker ones, or at least less world-weary, making it somewhat of a Deconstruction. Smoker, Crocodile, and the Admirals, some of the most powerful Logia types in the series, are under no delusions that they are invincible. Eneru considered himself a god, and he was able to back it up (at least until he met Luffy), but he had never been to the Blue Seas, so he at least had an excuse. The rest, however, serve as the Deconstruction — they rely on their Nigh-Invulnerability so much that once they get to the New World, they're easily curb-stomped, and get massive blows to their egos and/or killed.
    • Some of the Straw Hats also fall into this:
      • Although Luffy isn't overly prideful and tends to know where he stands on the world stage, that doesn't stop him from letting his power go to his head at times. Because of his rubber abilities, he doesn't bother to dodge bullets, finding it amusing to bounce them back while proclaiming that bullets can't hurt him. In One Piece Film: Z this bites him when Z shoots him with a seastone bullet and mocks him by saying that such things wouldn't work on the monsters in the New World, but good for taking out cocky punks who become overly reliant on their ability.
      • Zoro knows he's one of the top swordsmen in the world and will tell people when they're outmatched against him. Before he fought Dracule "Hawk-Eye" Mihawk, he thought he was close to being the strongest in the world, only to get a rude awakening that being the best swordsman in East Blue meant crap since it is the weakest of all the seas. He promptly returned to this attitude post-Time Skip (after, ironically, getting training from Mihawk) — while he openly acknowledges he isn't the Greatest Swordsmen in the World yet, he considers everyone besides the Four Emperors and their top officers completely beneath him.
      • Franky takes great pride in all his cyborg abilities and believes that he's one of the best shipwrights in the world with the greatest ship, the Thousand Sunny. Of course, since he was taught by the former best shipwright in the world, and was one of the best in Water 7, which has a reputation for having the best in the world, such a claim is justified.
      • Nami isn't smug about her fighting ability, but she firmly believes that she is the best navigator in the world. So far, no one has been able to challenge her on that claim.
      • All of the Straw Hats became smug supers during Fishman Island. While fighting Hody and his crew, they showed off all their new techniques, even when it was complete overkill. Their smugness is even noted by the citizens.
  • Many of the more powerful heroes in One-Punch Man (and even some of the less powerful ones) have this attitude. Especially notable are Tatsumaki, Superalloy Darkshine, Sneck, Fubuki, Darkness Blade, Atomic Samurai, and Sweet Mask. Subverted by many others though, including Saitama (who is by far the most powerful character in the setting).
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Homura Akemi has good reason to be smug. Barring perhaps Madoka's omnipotence, Homura probably has the strongest magic out of all of the cast: time manipulation. While she usually cleans up witches in a quick, brutal, and pragmatic fashion she makes it a point to drive home just how powerful she is when dealing with other magical girls; flashy entrances, teleporting around them, and bragging her ass off. And of course, this is nothing compared to how arrogant she is in The Movie as a demon.
    • Homura is also called out for this behaviour by Sayaka in The Movie, who jams her clockwork shield as she tries to reverse time, then admonishes Homura's arrogance when it comes to her magic, all while Homura wears an Oh, Crap! expression.
  • Although it's more Charles Atlas Superpower, Ranma from Ranma ½ can get really smug about his level of skill. In fact, later in the series, he actually gets smug enough about it to turn his ego into the MokoTaka Bisha!
  • Rosario + Vampire: On the Tsundere example, we have Inner Moka. Inner Moka has a good reason to be pleased with herself most of the time, she really knows how to make her opponents learn their place.
  • Sailor Moon: At the start of her solo series Codename: Sailor V, Minako Aino was this, and would hunt down criminals just to show up the police. While she becomes more responsible, it never completely leaves her.
  • Saint Seiya is all over this trope like bishonen on albino.
    • Every. Single. Enemy the Bronzies face will spend about half the fight lording it over them about how, though it's "admirable you made it this far", they're doomed to fail because they are the most powerful enemy they will ever face. The Silver Saints and later Spectres have a special narcissistic knack for it.
    • Phoenix Ikki does this sometimes too, despite being a hero. By being the strongest Bronze Saint in history he does sometimes beat his opponents with ease.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: Escanor, the Lion's Sin of Pride, is a unique version of this. During the night, he is a weak and tiny human, maybe 5' tall and about as intimidating as a limp noodle. During the day, as noon approaches, he grows larger, stronger, and more prideful by the minute until he easily surpasses the main character Meliodas. He will let his enemies take shots against him just to show how inferior they are to him, all the while boasting about his superiority.
    Escanor: Apologize to me, that you were born into my world.
    Escanor: In this realm... Kings such as yourself are as numerous as grains of sand... but I am no such thing. I am an existence like no other in this world, the Lion's Sin of Pride, Escanor.
    Escanor: I am indeed human. However, I am one who stands atop all races. The Seven Deadly Sins', Lion's Sin of Pride, Escanor.
    Escanor: My mighty attacks cannot reach thee? And who decided that? My blazing sun was swallowed up by a speck of darkness? And who decided that? The only one who gets to decide such things... is me.
  • The 2001 anime of Shaman King has Hao Asakura and his disciples. Nearly every single one of them has extremely high furyoku levels, know it, and believe that the shamans beneath them (as in, every shaman that doesn't follow Hao) are weaklings and should all be destroyed with the humans in order to make Hao's Shaman-only kingdom. Thankfully, Yoh and his friends cut them down a whole lotta pegs. And Hao's case, it took the combined furyoku of both Yoh and all the shamans in the world.
  • Black☆Star from Soul Eater is utterly convinced of his own power in spite of initial evidence to the contrary. Finding a goal for himself did not change this one bit. However, he's more inclined to get involved with other people's problems — with the intention of helping them - because he sees it as part of his status as a god-like warrior. In contrast, Death the Kid is matter-of-fact about being a god but isn't at all arrogant about it.
    • EXCALIBUR!!!!note  Every time he appears he ends up annoying everybody by going on and on about how awesome he is and various other things. The one time a Filler character was actually willing to put up with him long enough to use him as a weapon they were essentially invincible together, at least until said character changed his mind at the end of the episode.

    Comic Books 
  • When the AXIS event hit some Marvel characters with morality inversion this is what Loki turned into. While he's completely heroic (as seen in Loki: Agent of Asgard), he's also a massive jerk to his friends, and an all-around self-righteous, condescending, judgmental asshole. Don't thank him for his heroism, he's just naturally that much more awesome than everybody.
  • Batman:
    • The Caped Crusader himself became one of these when Superman's powers got transferred to him. Superman eventually took his powers back because Batman was acting like a total dick and bullying the villains after they had already surrendered.
    • Averted by most of Batman's rogues, due to them mostly being unpowered Badass Normal types. Clayface and Poison Ivy are among the few Bat rogues who occasionally indulge in this behavior, though it's usually kept in check by Clayface's Power Incontinence and Ivy's love of the Heel–Face Revolving Door respectively.
  • Empowered:
    • Most of the other heroes are of this nature. Unfortunately for the titular heroine, who is their frequent target, they're also just overgrown and overpowered high school bullies for the most part as well.
    • And most of the villains tend to be even bigger jackasses about how great they (think they) are... Which makes it really satisfying to see them get shut down.
    • Thugboy went on a pretty impressive rant about this type of super.
  • The Flash: Even with his having Took a Level in Kindness after he first replaced Barry Allen, Wally West enjoys his super-speed and can be pretty cocky about it.
  • (Pre-Flashpoint) Hercules was incredibly arrogant about his abilities and liked to smugly and snidely imply or state he was better than Wonder Woman no matter how many times she proved him wrong. He also seemed to think he should be allowed to boss her and Wonder Girl around, which did not work out well for him.
  • The Incredible Hercules:
    • Amadeus Cho rarely tires of informing everyone within earshot just how smart he is. When your superpower is the ability to do math really well, you need a bit of chutzpah to go into battle against literal gods and monsters. It helps that he does math really well.
    • During the "Assault on New Olympus" storyline Quicksilver bonds with the Marvel version of Zeus over just how pathetic they find their opposition. Zeus has also been known to go into this territory when in combat, in this and other Marvel books.
  • The Inhumans, particularly the Royal Family, are prone to this, being both royalty of an isolated people and super beings, several of whom qualify for Person of Mass Destruction status. The Inhumans that popped up post Infinity who aren't from their isolated kingdom of Atillan tend to avoid this trope.
  • Irredeemable:
    • A number of the heroes fit this blend. Qubit is an Insufferable Genius who has little trouble reminding people he's the smartest guy in any room. When The Plutonian was still a hero, he played up some false modesty, but after he turned evil he promptly dropped it and had no qualms rubbing his power into everyone's faces. But the best example from the comic is The Survivor, who's entirely too pleased with himself about his abilities and uses his power to do whatever he feels like after getting it.
    • The existence of smug supers is something that the series examines in detail. At one point the heroes discover a man with superpowers on par with The Survivor, but who decides to never use them and instead became a humble monk out of fear of what such power could do to him.
  • In Johnny Satur, the Utopian is so smug that his feet rarely touch the ground, and he speaks with an arrogant tone.
  • A couple have turned up in short Judge Dredd stories, notably Fairly Hyperman, a transparent Superman clone who announced he was going to take over fighting crime in Mega-City One, with the judges reduced to traffic duty and street cleaning.
  • Justice League of America:
    • Justice League International: Guy Gardner was incredibly arrogant. Especially ironic, as he hadn't really won the Super Power Lottery; he was one of the original Green Lantern Corps and wasn't even the greatest GL on Earth (let alone the greatest hero) in anyone's mind but his own. He's gone through some Character Development since then. Guy still has his ego in spades, but he can back it up. He's about the best you can get when you've got a smug super on your hands nowadays.
    • Hal Jordan has his moments. In Justice League (2011), most of his dialogue is boasting about how awesome he is while at the same time making jabs at how useless Batman and Aquaman are in comparison. Needless to say, his over-confidence tends to get him into trouble while Batman and Aquaman, despite lacking his level of power, tend to get a handle on things more effectively. Zig-zagged with Hal in JLA Year One: he acts like a jerk, but later admits that he's just overcompensating because he's not sure how good a leader he is. The simple fact that he's not the leader is lost to him until Aquaman points it out. Quiet, unassuming Barry is the natural leader, because people actually listen to him.
    • JLA: Act of God: The main premise is that all superhumans on Earth are Brought Down to Normal as Laser-Guided Karma for being too arrogant. Ironically, Batman, who had been touted by the comic as utterly humble and modest, becomes insufferably arrogant once all of the superhumans being Brought Down to Normal and the Powered Armor heroes either having their tech stolen or being unceremoniously killed left Badass Normal heroes as the only ones left.
  • King Chimera of the Justice Society of America was such an arrogant jerk about his illusion powers that when it was revealed that there was a traitor in the Society's midst, everyone immediately assumed it was him, and he simply attempted to use his powers to walk away rather than deign to cooperate with his teammates to clear his name, even though he was innocent. He actually is almost as good as he thinks he is, but he's gotten badly injured more than once because he tends to ignore the fact that the most realistic illusion in the world can't make the human body any less fragile.
  • MAD's pioneering parody Superduperman parodied Superman by making the corresponding character just obnoxiously prideful. The same applied to Captain Marbles in the same comic, although he went even further, deciding to use his powers to take whatever he wanted, ie. steal money.
  • Played with in Miracleman but only briefly. After Miraclewoman convinces Miracleman that the best way to help the world is to take it over and force the governments of the world to accept widespread social and economic change, Miracleman has a moment like this when Margaret Thatcher tries to argue that the governments won't stand for it, only for Miracleman to give her a smug line about them really having no choice in the matter. This breaks Thatcher so badly that she has to be helped out, and Miraclewoman harshly scolds him for abusing the people he's supposed to help. This is especially notable since Miraclewoman is very open with her belief that metahumans are better than baseline ones, but also believes that there is no excuse for cruelty just because you're more powerful.
  • Alfie O'Meagan from Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja constantly alternates between casting himself as a selfless savior of humanity and gloating about being the most powerful person on Earth.
    "There is a purpose behind my ability to increase my own powers! My potential is limitless! You can't possibly conceive of the wonders I have in store for the world! Lucky that I am a pool of endless compassion!"
  • Paperinik New Adventures has Xadhoom, who, from time to time, will point out she's one of the most intelligent people in the universe and effectively a Physical Goddess. Reactions vary from Paperinik's bemusement to the Evronians realizing their latest plan to try and stop her has failed and she's about to wipe them out.
  • Quicksilver from Marvel is even smug towards other supers. It doesn't help that his Super Speed powers affect his mental acuity as well, allowing him enhanced mental capacity.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Deconstructed his very first appearance. When he obtains his powers, the bullied Peter Parker thinks about how much better they make him than other people, how he'll be able to make money with them and rub his success in his tormenters' faces. He refuses to stop a burglar because he considers it beneath him... and then his entire world is shattered when that same burglar murders his surrogate father. Spidey further subverts it with his insults and quips. He smugly mocks his enemies and lets them know how much they suck compared to him. In most cases, this is less arrogance and a way to throw them off their game so they're easier to beat. Other times, it's to deal with the stress and deal of being in constant danger, especially back as a teenager. Even then, Depending on the Writer he still shows considerable actual cockiness against weaker foes and allies.
    • Peter's short-lived new "sidekick", Alpha, played this so straight it hurt. Controlling Marvel's version of dark energy (Parker Particles), he quickly became full of himself. So much so that Peter had to drain him of his powers. (he got them back, but was much more humble due to the following events along with greater issues, like being blackmailed by the local crime boss.)
  • In Spider-Geddon, Spidey uses this trope to explain why Morlun keeps losing to him — as Morlun is much more stronger and faster than him, he should have killed Spidey in their first encounter. However, because he believes his powers and birthright make him superior, he doesn't think things through. Thus, when he loses, it catches him off-guard and he gets angry.
  • Superman:
    • Superman had quite a few moments like this in The Golden Age of Comic Books, using a LOT less restraint against criminals, and generally lording it over the Muggles, as in Action Comics #1, where he broke into the governor's mansion to stop an execution...
      Superman: It's locked!
      Servant: Yes, and made of steel! Try and tear this door down!
      [Superman tears the door off its hinges]
      Superman: [dickish grin] It was your idea!
    • This attitude returns for his early years in Action Comics (New 52), where he freely taunts the military agents and SCU officers who are dumb enough to try and stop him.
    • Superman: Grounded: The page image is an aversion: a group of kids is playing basketball, but one of them is excluded by his teammates who refuse to pass him the ball. Superman drops in, pretending to be arrogant, and challenges the kids to a match (leading to the exchange on the picture). He proceeds to crush the kids in a match, behaving like a Jerkass; that is, until the aforementioned nerdy kid manages to steal the ball from him and passes it, allowing his friends to score and earning their respect. The last panel has Superman walking away with a small, proud smile on his face.
    • The Death of Lightning Lad: As he is posing as "Marvel Lad", Lar Gand from the Legion of Super-Heroes presents himself as a big-ego show-off, boasting about being greater than Superboy and Mon-El (i.e., himself), and not hesitating to call himself a "Legionnaire" before even beginning his trial.
  • X-Men:
    • Emma Frost has always been one of these attitude-wise, in terms of her actual ability she originally had very little to be smug about. Though she was a telepath from day one, Frost was originally a minor talent compared to Xavier, being something of a one-trick telepathic pony whose specialty was the "Freaky Friday" Flip. While her smugness has not diminished any since her Heel–Face Turn, her ability (and justification for being this) took a dramatic upswing, to the point that in modern comics she is sold as Xavier's equal - though in the Krakoan Age, she is, deep down, acutely aware that as a telepath, she doesn't measure up to Jean Grey and never has (because that level of telepathy requires being willing to open up and let your guard down in a way Emma simply isn't capable of).
    • While not one of these in the regular Marvel timeline, Fabian Cortez notably becomes one of these in X-Men '92, as evidenced by this gem of a line:
      Fabian Cortez: You say you're charged with finding the next supreme mutant, well look no further! Here I am! Game over!
    • Monet St. Croix was known as the girl who had everything (including being so good-looking that some people thought it was a mutant power) and she was arrogant with it. It was especially galling during the time after House of M when so many mutants lost their powers. Monet still had her multiple powers and would go around showing off her flight. Depowered but still grotesque Dreg-level mutants in Mutant Town would yell at her to stop flaunting as it offended them, but she'd tell them off and keep on showing them up.
    • Gladiator of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard has affected this attitude in his more Jerkass moments. Being a cosmic Expy of Superman above justifies it somewhat, but he's just as often subjected to Break the Haughty scenarios. His attitude is further justified by his powers being affected by his emotional state: self-confidence makes him stronger while doubting himself can result in him temporarily losing them altogether.
    • Majestor Vulcan, The Emperor of the Shi'ar Empire and the infamous Third Summers Brother, gained omega-level gloating abilities when he won the Superpower Lottery. Being a Person of Mass Destruction capable of matching the Inhuman King Black Bolt, this attitude is not entirely unwarranted, but Vulcan's sheer power is often overshadowed by his being an Unskilled, but Strong type with little experience fighting powered combatants. This, and his omega-level arrogance, have been exploited by X-Men to facilitate his defeat on more than one occasion.

    Fan Works 
  • Seanbaby's take on the Superfriends incarnation of Superman.
    Superman: Superman to dipshits: Got it.
    Aquaman: Got what?
    Superman: I took care of Black Manta, geek. Did you want me to pick you up some diapers while I was out?
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Ghidorah is as powerful here as it was shown to be in MonsterVerse canon and then some, and it knows how powerful it is. Ghidorah is so powerful that it at one point held out in a fight against Godzilla and seven other Titans while in a weakened state, plus Ghidorah's Healing Factor is so powerful that death is only an inconvenience before Ghidorah regenerates. Ghidorah's heads aren't above boasting that they're "deathless", "eternal", and more powerful on their own than any of the Earth Titans, nor are the heads above viciously doling out Trash Talk or Breaking Speeches; although their high opinion of themselves can still veer into a superiority complex when Ghidorah is faced with the idea that it might be defeated for good one day or that others might take Ghidorah's heads for themselves.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: Fleur Des Lis, Captain Platinum, and Captain Blueblood are this in spades, looking down at Sunset and the girls for their inexperience as if they were little kids playing at real power. Considering they're all three are extremely powerful and experienced fighters (a Sternritter of the Vandenreich and Captains of the Gotei 13 respectively), they do have a point, though Fleur takes a few blows to the ego once Sunset goes Shikai and it's noted that Blueblood's ego (along with lack of experience) keeps him from fully developing his powers.
  • Alucard in Hellsing Ultimate Abridged:
    Alucard: (while arguing with Integra): What are you going to do? Grab the guy who can stop me? What was his name... Michael McDoesn'tExist?
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race:
    • Proto Man at least until his Heel–Face Turn. He openly brags about being Wily's strongest robot and the big number two. He's openly hostile towards Bass for thinking that he's better than him.
    • Enker and Punk, who are constantly boasting about their powers and bullying other robots.
    • Centaur Man was disguised as a wrestling champion, The Centaur, for quite a while. He still retains that attitude.
    • Bass is the strongest robot in the series next to the Stardroids and Mega Man merged with Rush. He knows he is powerful and will not stop talking about it.
    • Terra is so arrogant he doesn't see anyone as a threat, and the Stardroids have the power to back up his words.
  • Andro and Spectrem of the Guardians in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. And Quill Blayde of the Circle to some degree, though he stops being smug when he realizes how well George and Ringo have done on Tipaan in the course of their investigations.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, K.E.L.E.X. loves to rub in his technological superiority over Earth tech, commenting on how primitive it is compared to Krypton's at every possible opportunity. Izuku is an inversion. Despite outstripping the vast majority of his peers in power, he's never boastful about his abilities, insists that anyone with his powers would be as heroic as he is, and is extremely hesitant to ever use more power than necessary out of fear of hurting others.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Book of Life, Joaquin's achievements that he made with the Medal of Everlasting Life inflated his ego over the years.
  • In the DC Animated Movie Universe, Superman is this in the first movie, Justice League: War, where he takes great pride and ego in showing off his powers. Later movies slowly shed this image, and he's more of the traditional Nice Guy that he is in other media.
  • The Incredibles:
    • Dash shows signs of becoming one — he's already pretty smug.
    • Syndrome seems to think that all superheroes are this. Therefore, if he can prove himself superior to supers using his inventions instead of actual powers, it gives him an excuse to be a bigger dick than they are.
    • The DVD set had in-world commentaries of different superheroes who were killed by Syndrome's evolving robots. One of them was Gamma Jack, who believed superhumans like himself and the Incredible Family to be a superior race and often preferred saving beautiful or attractive women before anyone else. Before being offed by Syndrome, he was also mentioned to have "tyrannical/megalomaniac tendencies", prompting close monitoring from the National Supers Agency.
  • Kai from Kung Fu Panda 3. He's the most powerful villain in the series by a long shot, and boy does he know it. He's incredibly over-the-top, constantly boasts about his power, and has a tendency to taunt and troll his opponents just to make their defeat as humiliating as possible.
  • Metro Man from Megamind does the hero's job perfectly well until he grows tired of it, anyway. However, he's the opposite of modest. He's had everything handed to him on a silver platter, and it shows — and the people worship him, and he loves it and plays along and shows off his powers. If he'd been sensitive rather than insensitive in this manner back when he was at school, Megamind might have become his friend instead of deciding he was only good enough to be a Diabolical Mastermind and Metro Man's Arch-Nemesis.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The interpretation of Peter Parker from The Amazing Spider-Man explores what Peter might be like if he started his superhero career without quite grasping the "Comes Great Responsibility" concept. He's vicious, arrogant, and pretty angry at the world for not thinking of him as a hero without actually proving it (just beating up thugs and possibly hindering the police instead of helping them). He comes off as someone who thinks by having superpowers, The Call is theirs to answer as they see fit and not taking into consideration how they can use their powers to better the world. Justified to a degree, since he was on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the one who shot Uncle Ben, but he's still a fairly self-centered hero until he finally has a chance to prove it against The Lizard.
  • Avengers: Infinity War: Ebony Maw clearly thinks that his telekinetic powers make him unbeatable, as he can effortlessly block or repel any attack directed at him, and he mocks the powers of Stephen Strange and Tony Stark as being “quaint” and “inconsequential” compared to his own, respectively. As such, he’s completely blindsided when the heroes attack him indirectly, leading to his death.
    Maw: [to Doctor Strange] Your powers are quaint. You must be popular with children.
  • Played for Laughs in Deadpool 2 with Shatter Star, an alien who matter-of-factly describes his powers as "basically being better than you at everything". He's unceremoniously killed off in the botched skydiving scene before he gets to do anything at all, and Deadpool callously remarks "well I guess we found something you're not better at."
  • John Hancock in Hancock is, as many people in the movie put it, "an asshole". His hobbies include: drinking, taunting bad guys (including a 10-year-old bully) by throwing them in the air and barely catching them, drinking, causing more damage to the town than the bad guys ever do, drinking, and generally just doing whatever he wants without giving a shit. He manages to piss off almost all of the town at one point, and when they threaten to arrest him for all the crap he's done, his response is "Bitches can try". Anyone who taunts him can expect to have their head shoved up another man's ass.
  • Iron Man: Tony Stark can't resist telling the world that he's Iron Man at the end of the first film. In the sequel, he brags that he's "successfully privatized world peace" and tells Senator Stern — who clearly isn't a fan of his — that he's "welcome" for the "big favor". Far from being a humble hero, he accepts the verdict of SHIELD, which is that he "displays textbook narcissism".
  • Captain Amazing from Mystery Men would have been an annoying White-Dwarf Starlet even if he hadn't deliberately sprung the villain from prison in order to help his own career.
  • Darryl Revok of Scanners is genuinely evil, and thinks that his psychic powers mean he should Take Over the World. However, he does have a significant Freudian Excuse and has largely become what he is because of his abusive father — Dr. Paul Ruth.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness has John Harrison aka, this universe's version of Khan.
    Harrison: Because I am... Better.
    Kirk: At what?
    Harrison: Everything.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Magneto is this. Since he is played by the awesome Sir Ian McKellen, it's a lot of fun to watch him chew the scenery.
      Magneto: [to Pyro] You are a god among insects. Never let anyone tell you different.
    • Pyro loves having powers and being "better" than humans.
    • Multiple-Man from X-Men: The Last Stand is always cool and unfettered.

  • The Inspector from Animorphs is a Fragile Speedster alien who can literally run circles around the heroes and boasts often of it. Turns out he's not faster than a cobra.
  • In "Clubland Heroes", most of the Splendid Six were from privileged backgrounds, one way or another, even before they developed or acquired their abilities, and the disregard they show for the less gifted is a major theme of the story.
  • Smaug is this in both the book and movies of The Hobbit. He's extremely powerful and extremely arrogant as a result.
  • In Soon I Will Be Invincible, some of the Champions accuse Corefire (the local Superman Captain Ersatz) of being this, as does his Archenemy, Dr. Impossible. When he actually shows up, however, he turns out to be a subversion; he's just very socially awkward and oblivious, a side effect of his hectic life as The Cape that others misinterpret as him being self-righteous.
  • The superhumans in Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars are superior to normal humanity and aren't afraid to show it. Khan, however, takes the cake.
  • In Super Powereds, some Supers feel that they are simply better than regular humans. In the class the primary example is Rich. Subverted with Chad, who only initially comes off as smug. In fact, he is simply blunt and socially inept due to focusing all his efforts on training and suppressing his emotions. Michael also fits early on. He gets better by Book 4. Generally averted among actual Heroes since there are strict physical and ethical requirements in order to graduate the four-year Training from Hell as a licensed Hero. Most smug ones end up weeded out by the professors and the dean.
  • The Traveler's Gate: Alin spent his entire life acting like a hero from a storybook, and then he got incredible powers to back up that belief. It doesn't take him long to get a swelled head, dismissing other Travelers as weaklings trying their best and always assuming he has the right to do anything. It takes him a while to get a clearer view of the world.
  • In Worm, Glory Girl, real name Victoria Dallon, behaves this way, though more in the Jerk Jock sense; taunting villains and talking down to criminals but still mostly being heroic. At least, she does for the first half of the serial or so; then a series of defeats, injuries, and personal tragedies take her down quite a few notches. By the time of the sequel Ward, she is much closer in attitude and behavior to the ideal of The Cape.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Boys, The Seven are the world's most beloved Superheroes, and everyone looks up to them because of the flair of humility they give off as they save the day, though in reality, they are as petty and superficial as anyone with a god complex can be. It's also revealed that Supes kill more people than anyone realizes because the company that employs them pays off their victims' families, and are also not above using their abilities to get what they want.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy herself has shades of this at times, usually in her more Jerkass moments.
      • In "When She Was Bad", when Willow tries to defend Giles on the revivification matter regarding the Master, Buffy snaps that she'd like to "have a little less from the civilians."
      • Zigzagged in "Conversations with Dead People." Buffy admits that being the Slayer, she feels herself superior to those she protects (which is pretty much everyone), but feels guilty over it. Holden Webster sums her attitude up as an Inferiority Superiority Complex.
      • Then there's "Get It Done," where after Chloe's suicide, Buffy gives everyone a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that amounts to this, making it clear that they do what she says and she's done carrying them all; Anya even lampshades it, regarding it as Buffy basically saying "Everyone sucks but me."
        Buffy: I'm the Slayer. The one with the power. And the First has me using that power to dig our graves. I've been carrying you — all of you — too far, too long. Ride's over.
    • Faith personified this after her Face–Heel Turn in Season 3, believing she was better than normal humans because she was the Slayer and having Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers! as her personal philosophy.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor. His dismissal and disdain for any individual or civilization he decides is beneath him is legendary and one of the only constant facets of his personality (though it is decreased when the writers want him to be more sympathetic), and he ensures that everyone from allies to villains to background characters is aware of how massively inferior they are compared to his big sexy brain. The Tenth Doctor was especially fond of this, frequently attempting to cut off arguments by glibly stating, "I'm clever."

    This tendency has been used against him on multiple occasions, especially in "Midnight", where the humans all turn against him because of his glib smugness; and in "Tooth and Claw", where Torchwood is created because Queen Victoria thought he and Rose were too smug and having a bit too much fun when everybody's life was in peril. In "The Waters of Mars", this tendency is taken up to scary levels during his Time Lord Victorious speech, where, without realizing it, he actually starts paraphrasing the Master. He has nothing on the rest of his race, though.

    And of course, that's when he's not busy telling every human he meets how magnificent they are and calling all his companions and everyone he meets who makes a passing effort to think before they act "brilliant". Which isn't even to say that the original point is wrong, just that the Doctor is... complex. Whether you see him as a blowhard who treats humans like children or a guy who makes no apologies for the fact that he legitimately IS the smartest guy in the room while truly appreciating what everyone else has to offer is up to you.
  • Ser Gregor Clegane in Game of Thrones is a superhumanly strong giant, and loves flaunting his physical power and using it to slaughter anyone in his path.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Both Soji Tendo of Kamen Rider Kabuto and Tsukasa Kadoya of Kamen Rider Decade are pretty pleased with themselves most of the time. In Tsukasa's case, it serves the plot purpose of "Is he actually a hero or a villain?", whereas with Soji it's just because he's Soji.
    • Kaito Kumon of Kamen Rider Gaim also qualifies. He's a Social Darwinist Byronic Hero who makes filibusters of erasing the strong who exploit the weak, he never boasts about his own power, and more than anything he believes that it's human nature to seek power. The team at Aesir subs has noted that this makes Kaito's dialogue very difficult to translate. For added bonus, he's also an Expy of Seto Kaiba, so it's not surprising.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost has Adel. After usurping his father and ascending to the throne as the Ganma Emperor and ousted his brother from the Ganma world, he'll never shut up that he's the perfect being who will plan to create a perfect world into fruition. When he is introduced to the Ganmaizers, he dishes out a Curb-Stomp Battle against the main Rider and fuses with the remaining 11 Ganmaizers to become the Perfect Ganmaizer. In the end, it became his Fatal Flaw.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid provides us two Dr Jerks in the forms of Hiiro Kagami (Kamen Rider Brave) and Taiga Hanaya (Kamen Rider Snipe). Both are super skilled and super arrogant humans who are rather similar in some unexpected ways, seeing Emu as a nuisance and showing little regard for the feelings of their patients. Hiiro is the self-professed "surgeon who never fails", and gives a "no thank you" to anyone he sees as a nuisance. Taiga, on the other hand, as admitted by Kuroto Dan, has undeniable skills as a Rider. What makes this even better, is that both hate each other and will fight every time they meet.
  • Morgana on Merlin fits this like a glove. She considers herself the most powerful magic user in the world (and except for Merlin, she's right, but no one knows about him), and she won't hesitate to lord her magic over Muggles. Exaggerated in Series 5 via Deconstruction; she was imprisoned for two years in a hole away from the light, powerless to use her magic without risking harm to the dragon she was imprisoned with. Now that she's out she's grown obsessed with making sure she's the one on top, leading to her tendencies to demonstrate her power over others whenever she can.
  • Excelsior from No Heroics has every cool superpower you care to name, always saves the day and the public loves him. He is also an enormous dick and takes every opportunity to bully Alex, mocking his powers and referring to him as "Hotpants", "Hotpocket" and "The Gayness".
  • Power Rangers Jungle Fury's Grizzaka is a villainous example of a Smug Super. He's so arrogant about his immense power that he likes lording on to others about his belief that no one can possibly be stronger than him or that he will never be defeated.
    Grizzaka: That was nothing! I won't let it happen again! I'm the strongest fighter there will ever be! [grows to giant size]
    Grizzaka: It's your turn to learn the same lesson all my enemies have. There is no one as powerful as Grizzaka, and never will be!
  • The epitome would have to be Q, from Star Trek. It helps that he is literally omnipotent and what he can do is limited only by his imagination, how malicious he's feeling at any given moment, and whether or not the rest of his similarly godlike species are inclined to trouble themselves to rein him in. He is quite fond of reminding people of just how powerful he really is, often right before he does something to mess with them. His son learned this habit from his dear eternal dad, which counted as Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Supernatural:
    • Lucifer. The only things he sees as further beneath him than humans are actual gods. He can back it up, too.
    • Death one-ups Lucifer in his first appearance in "Two Minutes To Midnight". When Dean asks if Death is going to kill him, Death tells Dean that the latter has an overinflated sense of his own importance and boasts that in his view the entire Milky Way galaxy is barely out of his diapers. He then goes further by informing Dean that not only is he as old as God if not older, but at the end of time, he will kill God personally. Finally, he gives Dean his ring, the final piece needed to defeat Lucifer, because he considers it an insult to be bound by someone as far beneath him as Lucifer. Unlike most of the other examples, he's generally a benevolent force.
    • Archangel Raphael goes a step further in "The Man Who Would Be King":
      Raphael: It's what God wants.
      Castiel: How do you know?
      Raphael: Because it's what I want.
    • Zachariah is a rare combination of this trope and Smug Snake. He's a Seraph of the Lord and boasts that he's the last person the Winchesters want on their bad side, even worse than Lucifer. A few episodes later, Dean kills him without breaking a sweat.
    • Castiel is generally relatively modest but becomes the epitome of this at the end of S6 when he absorbs the souls of Purgatory.
    • Dick Roman, and Leviathans in general, regard everyone else as beneath them, human, monster, angel, and demon alike.
  • The Tick (2001): The episode “The Big Leagues” has a "League of Superheroes" made up entirely of smug, misogynistic supers. In fact, almost every super throughout the show is a smug jerk, except for the 4 main characters.


  • We Are Our Avatars:
    • Max really IS a powerful Necromancer and later a Greek god, as he assures everybody he meets. This feat just pales in comparison to all the Reality Warpers and other powerful beings around him. This does not stop him from thinking that he is still the hottest thing in the Multiverse, though.
    • Shao Kahn (in this game). Most of the time, anyway.

    Tabletop Games 
  • More than a few novas in Aberrant certainly fit the bill. There are novas who constantly brag about being unstoppable badasses in the media to novas with messiah-like powers and amazing understanding of the universe who still think they're superior to normal humans and want to flaunt it a lot. While they're deservedly called on it a lot, they're also not exactly wrong; novas don't just have vastly superior potential for just about anything, they have truly godlike potential. They can also go horribly wrong, they can become physically twisted monsters, lose control of their energies to the point of being a danger to everyone and themselves, or go absolutely mad with incredibly crippling mental illnesses.
  • The Clans of BattleTech look down on everyone in the Inner Sphere as uncivilized barbarians. Hell, even the Trueborn warriors in the upper echelons look down upon the naturally conceived Freeborn in their own Clans. They also think very little of older warriors(past 30) and consider them nothing but cannon fodder.
  • Dragons in Dungeons & Dragons tend to be like this even if they are good-aligned.
  • Exalted have marked tendency towards this, especially Celestials (Solars and Lunars). Partly, this is because they know their place on the Super Weight Scale (the Top); partly, it's because of the Great Curse.
  • Many of the Space Marine Chapters in Warhammer 40,000 are proud, arrogant jerks who view themselves as being above the normal humans they are sworn to protect. Those who don't think they should go out of their way to fight for inferior humans are usually Chaos Space Marines.
    • The most prominent of them are the Marines Malevolent, who view themselves as superior to all others, even other Space Marine chapters. They consider everyone else as Cannon Fodder and that one of them is worth a thousand normal humans.
    • If you go back to the Horus Heresy, you learn that the Primarchs could be even smugger, especially the traitor ones. Mid-to-late-corruption Fulgrim in particular degenerated into the smuggest asshole in the universe, no mean feat given the existence of the Eldar, long-lived aliens who view all humans as stupid apes and are not shy about saying so.
  • This is actually a core part of the ethos of the Court of Mirrors in Princess: The Hopeful. Mirrors philosophy teaches that, by virtue of being chosen by the Light, Princesses are naturally superior to everyone else, and that as such it is a Princess's duty to take charge and save the day and everyone else's duty to shut up and follow the Princess's lead.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the ancient Garou viewed humans as inferior creatures to be bullied, ruled over, and culled when their population grew too large. The Veil forces modern Garou to hide their identities from normal humans, but some still see humans as inferior and expendable.
    • In the spiritual successor, Werewolf: The Forsaken, this is flipped around as part of the effort to bring werewolves away from the superhero archetypes and back toward monsterdom. Werewolves are actually genetically/magically programmed to protect and serve humanity like supernatural cops and actually favor relative humility in human terms (making the whole "random killing rage" thing kind of unfortunate...) but they tend to be supercilious dicks to other _spirits_ instead, because of the whole "top of the food chain" thing.

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta is a witch who is defined by her limitless confidence and complete lack of reverence no matter what situation she finds herself in. Like her spiritual predecessor, she is more than powerful and skilled enough to back up every inch of her cocky attitude.
  • Hakumen from BlazBlue is the leader of the Six Heroes, who saved the world from the Black Beast. This seems to have gone to his head a bit (or it could be that he's monstrously powerful, and is fully aware of it). He uses a derisive tone of voice when speaking to most other characters, and many of his in-battle lines seem dedicated to mocking his opponent's inadequacy.
    Hakumen: A fight? No. This will be a massacre!
    Hakumen: Give everything, and you might live a little longer!
    Hakumen: What was that?! Don't tell me you call that fighting...!
  • City of Heroes has quite a few of these for the sake of accommodating its players but the stand-out example among the signature cast of Paragon City is the psychic super-heroine, Sister Psyche'. Many stories abound about how she makes people talk backward or cluck like chickens for thinking snide/lewd thoughts about her. Apparently it's how she deals with having to read everyone's minds 24/7.
  • Captain Smiley, Anti-Hero of Comic Jumper.
  • In The Council of Hanwell, the Doctor is this by the end, arrogant in the extreme. He uses powers very much like the Witch near the end.
  • Devil May Cry:
  • Michael from Drakengard 3 often boasts that he's the strongest Dragon, especially in Zero's DLC. Though it's heavily implied that much of it is actually just an act to cover up his loneliness. His reincarnation Mikhail eventually becomes just as powerful if not stronger but remains humble.
  • Duke Nukem 3D: Duke knows full well how powerful and skilled he is and isn't shy about saying so, even spontaneously saying things like "Damn. I'm Good".
  • Gilgamesh is the most powerful Heroic Spirit in Fate/stay night and he knows it. Ironically, he always loses anyway because he's too arrogant to unleash his full strength against anyone until it's already too late.
  • NPC gossip and the encyclopedia entries in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn strongly indicate this to have been a cultural trait of the ancestral Adepts of the distant past.
    The term "Fori" itself seems to have been an insult, meaning "worthless".
  • Minogame can become this in Hellsinker. If he gets the chance he will show off his massive power despite those power limiters.
  • League of Legends:
    • Aurelion Sol is an unbelievably powerful, as well as ancient being (a gigantic star dragon that can create and destroy stars at a whim) and he has a massive ego to boot. While he's not actively malicious, he looks down upon mortals with mass indifference and has an almost rock-star style of effortless beauty and dismissive arrogance. Not even the Ascended or Aspects are exempt, as they were once mortals or are possessing mortals.
      Aurelion Sol: I made the stars to illuminate the perpetual nothing, and mortals use them for... relationship advice.
    • Qiyana is the most powerful mage in Ixtal, in addition to being royalty. Not surprisingly, she has an ego the size of a planet and looks down on anyone who isn't her.
      Qiyana: There will always be someone who is better... and that person is me.
  • Grunt from Mass Effect 2. Since he was created and genetically engineered to be the most powerful Krogan ever, it obviously meant he wouldn't have been complete without a matching ego.
    Grunt: I don't get sick!
    Grunt: I am pure Krogan, you should be in awe.
    • To a greater extent, Miranda Lawson. She's quite smug about her status as a genetically enhanced Canon Sue as well as being The Dragon of Cerberus. While she does admit that she's not completely perfect, she still believes she's as close as you can get. Then deconstructed as she realises despite all her gifts, she'll never have what Shepard has, the determination to continue even with the world against them, and the drive to achieve every impossible task set before them.
    • They both pale in comparison to Harbinger, whose quotes consist entirely of Badass Boasts about how inferior the characters are, how their efforts are futile, and how superior Harbinger and his kind are.
    • Harbinger and his kind apparently inherited this trait from the Leviathans, the race that created the Catalyst. The Leviathans consider themselves the greatest species to ever exist in the entire universe. Being driven to the edge of extinction and forced into hiding in a deep dark ocean hasn't diminished their egos one bit.
  • Bass.EXE in Mega Man Battle Network is every bit as arrogant as his Mega Man (Classic) counterpart is, but this one has every right to be arrogant.
  • Metroid:
    • Most of the Space Pirates are this. But, special mention goes to Ridley. The beginning of Super Metroid shows Ridley giving Samus a Curb-Stomp Battle before escaping with the baby Metroid shows he can best the bounty hunter.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption gave us an odd example in the form of Rundas. Rundas considers himself to be one of the unrivaled bounty hunters and has the balls to prove it. Gandrayda also qualifies, she has an obvious reason to see Samus as her rival and enjoys her profession as a bounty hunter nothing more than just a hobby.
    • Metroid Dread gives us Raven Beak, who has a mural of himself in Ferenia celebrating the execution of a bunch of dissenters, is shown in the Chozo Memories as inspiring a fascistic propaganda outburst and generally peppers his impersonation of ADAM with self-aggrandizing statements. However, given he broke an E.M.M.I. single-handedly (whereas Samus requires the Omega Stream just to break off its face plate), wrangled back an X infestation of his own troops (if what Quiet Robe said is correct), and was only stopped from killing Samus twice over by her Metroid DNA acting up in the process, he has every right to brag.
  • RosenkreuzStilette:
    • Iris Sepperin is very confident that they can't be compared to the likes of everyone else, calling them worthless run-of-the-mill insects and lording over them about being one of the strongest Magi in existence.
    • Grolla also shows signs of this when she, as a boss, defeats Tia in the main game when Tia herself is on her last life.
      Grolla: ... Pathetic.
      Grolla: Is that all you've got?
    • Also, in her own side-game, Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, when she fights the Cross Wall, she calls to it to show her its worst after it attempts to run her down and says that there's nothing her blade can't cut. Later, when she confronts the Count, who believes her to be a spy hired by the Church to kill his daughter Iris, she pities him for being deceived by his own flesh and blood, and in the Final Stage, when Iris finally reveals herself to be a reincarnation of Rosenkreuz and boasts her claims to be a child of God himself, Grolla doesn't care whether she's a god, a human, or even an insect since she's still willing to rip her apart just the same.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
  • Undertale has Sans the Skeleton who first appears as a lazy prankster who nonetheless is good-natured and fun-loving. But push his button one too many and he will fight you head-on, and that's when he starts showing off his power and rubbing it in your face. Multiple times. It's even part of his plan: he knows you can just keep reloading your save, effectively making you immortal, and that his only way to "defeat" you is to frustrate you to the point you give up and stop trying.
    "Heya. You look frustrated about something. Guess I'm pretty good at my job, huh?
    That's the expression of someone who's died twice in a row. All right. How about we make it a third?
    That's the expression of someone who's died thrice in a row. ...Hey, what comes after thrice anyway? Wanna help me find out?
    That's the expression of someone who's died five times in a row. That's one for each finger. But soon, you're gonna need a cool mutant hand to count all of your deaths.
    That's the expression of someone who's died eleven times in a row. Well, give or take. Don't think I'll be able to count very well from here. Count for me, ok? We'll start from 12.
  • Wario Deluxe in Warioware Gold is this when he has the golden pot on his head. His only powers are disabling the control prompts that pop up before each microgame and screwing with the player with various dirty tricks to mess up the screen. He'll sound rather bored if you clear a game ("Eh, good enough.") and he'll taunt you if you lose a game with quips like "Aw, too bad!" and "Couldn't, huh?").
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Mythra is pretty shameless about being the most powerful Blade. She's especially proud of her Foresight ability, which lets her see a few seconds into the future and counter anything her opponent does. She can also be sensitive/competitive if her abilities are questioned. Notably, she is adamant that the one time Brighid beat her in a sparring match (Brighid lost every other time) didn't count, as Mythra had been worn out from sparring with Haze.
    • Prequel DLC Torna: The Golden County reveals she inherited this from her initial Driver, Addam. And then it's Deconstructed. The attitude also blows up in her face spectacularly when it allows her to be goaded into the most destructive excesses of the Aegis War. Pyra was created to be kind, timid, and conflict-averse entirely on purpose, as Mythra hated herself for what her cockiness had wrought.
    • She seems to retain this trait in her introduction alongside Pyra as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
      Mythra: Oh, hey, were these guys planning on winning? Gee, I feel kinda bad, now.

    Web Animation 
  • In How It Should Have Ended, Superman constantly lords his powers over everyone. Batman even calls him out on his Twitter updates all being variations of "Just Saved the World", which the other heroes find arrogant.
  • RWBY has Cinder Fall. It's not enough that she's the Fall Maiden, she has to flaunt her powers every chance she gets. Her meetings with Roman Torchwick typically involve waving a handful of fire in front of his face, a not-so-subtle reminder that if he doesn't comply, he's ash. When they meet, Raven Branwen guesses that Cinder clearly has a problem with egomania. However, this also shows just how fragile her ego is. When Jaune Arc barely grazes her face in battle, she kicks him to the ground and rants at his audacity. For all of her poise and strength, Cinder is little more than a bully who lives to kick the "little people" and keep them down.


    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • AP from Atomic Puppet has an incredibly enormous ego and really likes to make it loud and clear that he is Mega City's greatest superhero. Being turned into a sock puppet certainly did not change anything for Captain Atomic.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Toph note  and Azula.
  • Ben Tennyson, though he has the excuse of being a ten years old kid. He grew out of it by the time of Ben 10: Alien Force... only to go back to being smug starting with Season 3 due to having saved the Universe at this point, and he only got worse from here.
  • Terrific Guy of Dan Vs. has an annoying habit of reminding anyone in his vicinity that they don't have his powers. When Chris claims to be his fan, he replies "That's because I'm better than you!"
  • Darkwing Duck parodies this concept in the episode "Mutancy on the Bouncy". The various mutants that Gosalyn and the Rubber Chicken gather to fight the Big Bad act like this toward Darkwing, even though their powers are so utterly pathetic they make Heart look badass.
  • Zatanna in DC Super Hero Girls definitely takes great pride in showing off her powers and does not hesitate to let others know.
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Superdoo", after becoming empowered, Doofus begins acting "like he's better than the rest of [the campers.]"
  • Kim Possible: Shego is better than you. Shego wants you to know that. Shego doesn't care if you are her boss, her brother, her coworker, her minion, or her enemy's sidekick. Her nemesis, Kim Possible, on the other hand...
    • Her brother Mego is an example too. You can tell that he's full of himself because his name is MEgo, and he seems to think that being a Super Hero includes talking like a Large Ham all the time.
    • Warhok from the Grand Finale called himself 'the most fierce warrior in the galaxy', indicating that he feels this full force. In fact, when he and Warmonga smirked at each other before he fought Ron, it seemed to give the impression they thought Ron would be someone who could give Warhok a real challenge. They got more than they bargained for.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Korra, who's inclined to brag and gloat, both when declaring herself Avatar in toddlerhood and as a teenager battling gangsters. It became more apparent at the start of Book 2, which takes place after she both unlocks airbending and has full control of the Avatar State. Because of that, she's basically the most powerful person on the planet and knows it. She learned a lesson in humility later on.
    • Legend of Korra also shows that old age and experience have done nothing to mellow Toph out. If anything, she's become even more smug.
      Korra: You were tossing me around like a ragdoll...
      Toph: I know! And I'm an old lady! Imagine me in my prime... I would have DESTROYED you!
  • Nothing can destroy the invincible REGIS Mk-5, which is invincible.
  • Mighty Mouse: "Here I come to save the day!"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
  • Blossom of The Powerpuff Girls.
    • Buttercup even more so. While Blossom is at least rather tactical and rational-minded for the large part, Buttercup is an egotistical Leeroy Jenkins that sometimes escalates defeating a villain into borderline sadistic mugging.
  • Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty. A time-travelling, dimension-crossing hyper genius. Sadly being smug is the least of the flaws this self-destructive super dick possesses.
  • Maxum Man from Sidekick who treats his own sidekick Golly Gee Kid like dental floss.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog as depicted in Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) exaggerates it: incredibly narcissistic and overconfident, his tendency to overestimate his abilities and undermine his teammates' advise tends to get him into problems that his more cautious Badass Normal ally Sally often has to bail him out of.
  • Steven Universe: Rose Quartz was this in the past. While not in a mean or dismissive way, "We Need to Talk" shows her love of humans as being less respect and more thinking they're cute animals, though in "Story for Steven" it's clear she does believe that humans should prioritize their dreams and aspirations over playing with her. This stems from her upbringing as Pink Diamond, who as a Diamond counts as a Physical God among Gemkind and whose family (White Diamond, Blue Diamond, and Yellow Diamond) sees themselves as superior to all living beings. Greg eventually takes her to task over her Condescending Compassion towards humans — him included — and by the time she has Steven, it's safe to assume she got better.
  • While not prone to this, the DC Animated Universe version of Superman once indulged in a little smugness when pretending to be Batman while working on a case to find the missing caped crusader. He even smiled as one of Batman's rogues tried to run away from him, and he used just a little Super Speed to stop him cold. Leaving the poor man dumbstruck. There's also a few times he covertly uses his superpowers while being Clark Kent to make his life/job easier, usually smiling to himself as he does it.
    • He's also shown in a flashback to his high school years smugly dominating a normal student at basketball, and throwing him around in the process.
  • Super Noobs: The show has a few examples:
    • Rovu is an alien virus warrior who appears to be the most successful and is apparently the same species as Memnock and Zenblock. Unfortunately, Rove turns out to be a huge bully towards Memnock and Zenblock in his début, bringing his seven recruiter of the year awards to the new virus warriors convention just to run his wins in Mem and Zen's faces and mocks them for their mediocre success and accidental recruitment of the Noobs. Mem and Zen do get to prove to Rovu that they are great recruiters when they win the recruiter of the year award instead of him and breaking Rovu's winning streak in the process.
    • The Incredibly Amazing Man is worse than Rovu in terms of ego and personality and his status as this trope is blatantly shown through his name. The Incredibly Amazing Man is more competent than the Noobs in virus monster-fighting but he is an arrogant narcissist who only cares about fame and money and he frequently makes condescending comments towards the Noobs. To make matters worse, he is also very destructive, tearing up buildings and public places in virus fights and his overinflated ego blinds him from actually seeing the damage he has caused. His decision to create his "Fortress Of Awesomeness" in the middle of city traffic just proves how arrogant he is.
  • An episode of Sushi Pack featured a handful of these as contestants on a Reality Show, The World's Mightiest Heroes. They were all so smug that they didn't think anything of bragging about their weaknesses.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) gives us another villainous example in the form of the Shredder, who is not only one of the most brutal fighters and most cruel villains in the show but also likes telling others how inferior they are to him and claiming that no one can defeat him. Especially poignant once you find out that the Shredder is actually an Utrom wearing a robot suit, and none of his skill or power is actually his own. Outside the suit, he can barely move
  • Teen Titans (2003)' Big Bad Trigon:
    "Insignificant insects."
    "Fighting you is beneath me."
    "You fail to comprehend the depth of my power."
  • The Transformers has Autobot Lieutenant Commander Sky Lynx, who is very arrogant and constantly brags about how magnificent and powerful he is... and he actually got skills and victories to back up his words.
  • While Underdog was usually a Humble Hero, he had moments of smugness, most notably that whenever people complained about the property damage he caused, he would answer with "I am the hero who never fails, I can't be bothered with such details"


Video Example(s):


Iron Man 2 Intro

Tony Stark is a hero, and he wants the whole world to know it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / SmugSuper

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