Follow TV Tropes


Superior Species

Go To

"I'd just like to say that if I were a member of an alien race — which I'm not — I'd have to take this opportunity to say — filthy Earth creatures! It is clear who the superior species is! Isn't it? Isn't it?! You stink!"
Zim, Invader Zim, "Lice"

If Humans Are the Real Monsters, then it follows that other races must be better than us. Even when humans are realistically portrayed, there may be a race that is stronger, smarter, and/or purer than us.

Members of the Superior Species never engage in something as stupid as warfare unless justifiably provoked, where they will wipe the floor without effort, they certainly never pollute their world, and they must definitely be just better than you, yes? They are prettier than you, more badass than you, smell better than you and probably live longer than you in their Utopia. And of course, you can't argue with them.

It seems they're not above arrogance, though — they usually feel the need to rub their any and all forms of superiority in our faces, or hold humanity on trial just for crimes committed against itself. Take solace that some of these arrogant prick species inevitably went through bloody periods in their history even if they'll never admit it to what they'd often see as but "dumb/clueless hairless apes", showing they were at some point no better. All too many others, though, didn't and don't hesitate to point out why this also makes them better than humanity.

A Superior Species doesn't have to follow all of these requirements; demonstration that the species is "superior" to humanity is enough. And no, this trope is not automatically a Sueperior species.

If such a race believes that their superiority gives them the right to exploit "lesser" races like humans do animals, then they believe in The Right of a Superior Species.

See also This Loser Is You, Ultraterrestrials and Can't Argue with Elves (for a species that thinks they're superior and likes to brag about it). Contrast Humans Are Flawed, where humans not being perfect is a good thing. Compare Born Winner, where an individual is innately better than everyone else; Designer Babies, a common method of artificially developing one of these; Super Supremacist, where Differently Powered Individuals hold themselves as superior to mundane humans; and Humans Need Aliens, for when the alien race decides to help humans. Not to be confused with Eldritch Abomination, which a species is conceived superior due to their incomprehensible nature. For a species or other groups that only think they're this, and want to force everybody else to think it too, see Master Race. If it's the humans themselves at the top of the ladder, you might be looking for Humanity Is Superior instead.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Berserk universe is filled with demons and Gods leagues above human ability; and each one outright boastful about it in the midst of battle. Yet the entire plot point is for the one human swordsman Guts to put them in their place. There is also a human witch Flora who out lived them by the hundreds of years (who did not become immortal since she was indeed dying of old age).
  • The Pillar Men from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Battle Tendency, who are light years beyond humans in both physical and intellectual ability and don't hesitate to flaunt that fact. However, sunlight turns them to stone. In addition, they're the villains, so it's rather fun to see supposedly inferior humans beat them. (And, in fact, humanity developed a martial art specifically designed to do so.)
  • Crest of the Stars: The Abh are generally considered stronger, smarter, and all perfectly attractive. This, however, has a lot to do with all Abh being Designer Babies, and they typically aren't smug about it: as far as they're concerned, they're human like anyone else, they just have certain advantages.
  • Inuyasha: In the feudal era, the Youkai are considered to be stronger, faster, and longer lived than ordinary humans; aside from a few exceptional cases (such as Kagome and Midoriko) whom have attained even more spiritual power than the that of the greatest demons.
  • The Catians in Cat Planet Cuties are an advanced and peaceful alien race with universally nonlethal weapons and no sexual taboos. They've come to Earth to bring them some advanced technology and space wisdom, sample our food, and in the first-in scout's case, mate with one of us. They avert the arrogance in most ways, replacing it with perfect courtesy (unless they're in heat or high on catnip); for example, they change the name of their home planet to avoid confusing humanity.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In the original Dragon Ball, King Piccolo firmly believes that he and his sons are superior to humans and outright states as such.
      King Piccolo: That's the problem with the human race. No respect... for the superior species.
    • Saiyans are an interesting example - they're definitely physically superior to humans, but they're not usually all that special in the cosmic scheme of things, and none of them are depicted as being superhumanly intelligent outside their incredible talent for violence (although this may simply be because there are few problems a Saiyan can't solve by punching them). The catch is that they have literally infinite potential, so they never, ever stop getting stronger and better at fighting if they set their minds to it. A properly trained and motivated Saiyan can take on absolutely anything (up to and including deities) and win.
    • Dragon Ball Super introduces Angels, celestial beings who represent each universe in the multiverse. They're older, smarter, stronger, and better than every species ever, mortal and divine alike. Of course, as the first creations and chief lieutenants of the god of the multiverse, this is to be expected.
  • Record of Lodoss War: In the OVA, there is the following exchange between a Dark Elven bodyguard to a Dark Elven noblewoman, and a drunken human soldier, both in a Mook army:
    "Pirotess would never involve herself with a human male."
    "Eh? You saying elves are better than humans?"
    "Are you saying that we are not?"
  • Inhumans in The Dark Queen and I Strike Back are both stronger and better with Techniques than humans. However, they're not shown to be superior on a moral level: the previous war was an inhuman loss partly because of some inhumans who sabotaged the war effort, and on a smaller scale, they have the same vices as humans (like indulging in pornography).

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics has plenty of them, the Skrulls, the Kree, the Shi'ar. Yet for all their superiority, they can't do a damn thing against Galactus. For added irony, the "inferior" humans have managed to keep Earth out of The Big G's menu more than once. The debut of the Shi'ar specifically addresses this by having one of their warships approach Earth, then flee in terror when they realize that this is the planet that's repelled Galactus.
  • ElfQuest
    • The elves are all beautiful, long lived, spiritual, have better senses, have a better body and elven sex is so wonderful humans can't even stand it. On the other hand, better senses are exclusive to Wolfriders due to their non-elven heritage, it's insanely hard for them to produce offspring, and elven sex might actually be flat-out painful for humans. As far as personality goes, Winnowill proves that they can be just as wicked as humans.
    • The tabletop game at least gives humans one advantage—elves are really, really bad at the sort of logical thinking required to make new inventions.
  • Superman: Kryptonians...maybe, sometimes.
    • During the silver age, Krypton is a straight Crystal Spires and Togas.
    • One of the major changes Post-Crisis (partially based on the 1978 movie) was to massively deconstruct the "rightful heir of a superior species" aspect of Superman by taking the Fridge Logic inherent in Krypton's destruction to its logical end (why exactly didn't they figure out their planet was dying, and why didn't they have the means to escape if they had the means to send Kal-El to Earth?) The result was reasoning that Kryptonians were so elitist and arrogant that they were extreme xenophobes who never did any serious space travel because they considered all other life inferior to them, and (with the exception of Jor-El) were too vain to consider the possibility that their planet might be falling apart. The result is that instead of being miserable and lonely on earth, Superman had a very low opinion of Kryptonians for many years, (not helped by the fact that both a hologram of his father and a sentient Kryptonian computer program tried to Mind Rape him to purge him of his acquired humanity) and still secretly considers himself lucky to have grown up on earth instead of Krypton.
      • Their distant cousins, the Daxamites, are not just xenophobic but outright genocidal toward other sentient species. This has come back to bite them in their asses more than once, especially when the Sinestro Corps invaded Daxam.
    • The beings of the Fifth Dimension are a race of reality warpers, which the trickster Mr. Mxysptlk is a member. Mxysptlk is considered an outcast amongst his own people because he uses his abilities to mess with the people of the third dimension, mostly Superman, which is forbidden by their society. Not out of any benevolence on their part, but because they consider themselves so superior that they don't think they should have any contact with the third dimension at all, much less screw with "lesser lifeforms" like a sadistic child. If they spare any thought at all towards other races, it's Condescending Compassion at best.
  • Invincible: Viltrumites are extremely powerful Flying Bricks that can easily punch buildings into rubble and fly faster than supersonic jets, they're Nigh-Invulnerable and live for thousands of years (and only age slower as they get older), their technology is way more advanced than ours, and pretty much lack any Kryptonite Factor bar a very specific virus. Needless to say, they're very much aware of this trope and embrace it with both arms and legs, launching a campaign of genocidal conquest on an universal scale simply based on their belief that their race is superior to all others. This backfired on them badly as it eventually drove the Resistance desperate enough to create a biological weapon that ended up wiping out nearly the entire Viltrumite race, to the point that they had token Viltrumites lead armies of enslaved alien races to hide how badly they'd been depopulated, just to keep the empire from imploding. By the end, there were maybe 100 Viltrumites left in the universe.

    Fan Works 
  • The first The Conversion Bureau story and the later stories by Chatoyance go to great lengths to describe the ponies' total moral, magical and cultural superiority to the evil humans, to the point that any human who dares complain about the ponies' genocide of their species and effective destruction of their world is viewed as evil. Some later stories follow this model; others, not so much.
  • Mass Effect's CrucibleVerse introduce the Hybrids a new species born between humans and turians as a side-effects of the Crucible. According to Word of God, although there're no species that is culturally, morally or psychologically superior to others but In-Universe, it's obvious that the Hybrids are much more powerful than any currently-known species at least in term of physical abilities. The combination between turians' strength and discipline with humans' adaptability and flexibility has created a race of, as in Garrus' words, "weapons-made flesh and built for war". As the result, most people either fear, hate or jealous of the hybrids and out to make their life a living hell.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: There are many ponies who believe their race to be superior to any non-ponies. The PVE (Pony Vegan Environmentalists) is an entire organization made up of them.
  • Chapter 3 of This Is The Life: A Tale of a Human in Equestria parodies this when the titular character and Bon Bon get into an exchange about this. Their arguments are ridiculous, ranging from humanity's ability to reach the top of the fridge to the pony's ability to wiggle their ears. It ends with Bon Bon getting a back scratch.
  • Winter Storm: Celestia believes alicorns to be superior to mortals. Unusual in that she still greatly values the lives of every creature, but she simply asserts that alicorns are the only ones who will have the agelessness and wisdom to lead nations properly, and that mortals will inevitably kill each other over “pointless” short-term goals. She’s also forgetting the times alicorns made huge blunders, including her own failures.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Na'vi from Avatar. The tie-in material outright states that they never mistreat their children, have a richer culture, a deeper spirituality, are immune to most diseases, and even their sex is a million times more pleasurable and meaningful than human sex. There was even an early draft of the script that said the Na'vi didn't even understand the concept of lying. However it is at least temporarily subverted in that Humans are way more technologically advanced to the point where in a full on fight between the Human and Na'vi forces, they are outright curb-stomped, until the Na'vi deity intervenes.
  • Ironhide voices this opinion in the 2007 Transformers movie, but Optimus is quick to disagree.
    Ironhide: Why are we fighting to save the humans? They're a primitive and violent race.
    Optimus Prime: Were we so different? They are a young species. They have much to learn... but I've seen goodness in them. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings...
  • Kryptonians in the DC Extended Universe were the most powerful and formidable race in their setting. Even in their stagnant state, their technology was so advanced that it could destroy entire planets. When bathed by yellow sun, they become even more powerful than literal gods such as Ares, Enchantress and Steppenwolf, and their weaknesses are exceedingly rare. One can only imagine what their true potential would have been when they were in their height and were billions of them.
  • According to the tie-in comics mainly, the Asgardian of the MCU were (before a Trauma Conga Line and Uniqueness Decay hit them) the officially-recognized Galactic Superpower in the universe. Since the Bifröst enables them to be anywhere at a moment's notice, fear of them is what kept punks like the Jötunns, Trolls, Badoon, and Marauders in line. As consequence, when the Bifröst went down, all the evil races came out of the bushes and start wreaking havoc. And even putting that all aside, ignoring unique cases like the Inhumans, Mutants, and Eternals (which are too individually varied for them to be worthy of real comparison), they're easily the physically strongest out of all extant sapient races in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having Super-Strength, Super-Toughness, an advanced Healing Factor, and being especially Long-Lived as just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The only beings that really dwarf them are the Celestials, who act more like Cosmic Keystones.
  • The Brothers in Perfect Creature are an all-male monastic order of vampires are considered closer to God since they are super-strong, fast, durable and long-lived. They teach humans they are their superiors, but they consider themselves as protectors and guides to humans and as such the two species live in almost perfect harmony, since humans willingly donate blood for the Brothers' sustenance and Brothers are forbidden from harming humans.
  • The Abominable Snowman portrays the yeti this way. As the lama hints at the beginning, humanity is on the verge of destroying itself, and the yeti are just waiting in the mountains for us to finally do it so they can inherit the Earth.
  • Deconstructed in Planet of the Apes (1968). Taylor's opening monologue establishes that he's looking for something better than humanity, which he sees as irreparably flawed. He finds the apes, who have no use for a filthy human like him. He quickly notices that they are capable of the same cruelties and prejudices as we are. As the movie progresses, he is forced to argue in humanity's defense, ultimately claiming that humanity was "better" after all - until the famous ending reminds him why he had such a low opinion of his fellow man in the first place.
  • In Bright, all elves are impossibly pretty, possess the same Super-Strength as orcs, and are the only race capable of wielding magical WMDs. The film quickly establishes why this is such a bad thing, as it is heavily implied that society is stratified with them at the top of the heap (a character notes that seeing an elf janitor is just as rare as seeing an orc cop); hell, elves have a dominant position within the US government, and they make up most of Beverly Hills too.

  • The Arisians of the Lensman books are vastly older, more powerful, and morally better than you. The Eddorians are the first two things. Both have to hide their existence, as mere knowledge of such superior races would destroy the sanity of the species they want to guide/rule over.
  • Julian May's Saga of the Exiles and Galactic Milieu books feature this. The main Milieu races are psychic ("metapsychic"), technologically advanced, and 'coadunate', meaning they're all psychically linked in some way — not a full group mind, but they certainly wouldn't be violent or immoral. Smug and arrogant, maybe, especially when dealing with poor, violent, and imperfectly though scarily psychic Earth. Then there's the Lylmik, inspired by the Arisians, vastly older and powerful, enough so to mess with suns, and who possess a veto of the otherwise sort of democratic government — after all, one Lylmik could probably take on the whole Milieu.
  • The Wilds in A Harvest of War are a downplayed example. They're exclusively found on the heroes' side and physically superior to normal humans, but not by much. Their intellect is outright normal.
  • Animorphs
    • The yeerks feel this way towards humans to some extent, but some can empathize with them (most Yeerks liken what they do to humans to what humans do to cows or pigs, but some realize that they steal others' bodies for themselves, and some realize that this is wrong)...
    • Andalites are repeatedly characterized as arrogant, and see humans are curiosities at best and expendable inferiors at worst. (This provides an interesting twist: Jake and the others are waiting for a good part of the series for Andalites to save them, but Andalites don't give a damn about humans.) Subverted in the last book. It's revealed that it's really only the Andalite military that's like this. Andalite civilians are much more agreeable and get along with humans just fine.
  • Twilight vampires are practically immortal, really strong, and sparkly. Practically the definition of Cursed with Awesome. Also, as an exclusively predatory species, they cannot sustain nearly as high a population as humans, even in optimum conditions. Their long lifespan and inability to (usually) produce offspring of their own in a way that does not reduce the supply of food directly removes the incentive to develop new ideas and improvements for the next generation, removing the impetus for much innovation, making them less mentally productive than humans. Not only that, but according to Word of God, they don't feel physical pain as much as we do, yet sex is more pleasurable. They're smarter, and according to Edward, they feel love more strongly than humans as well. Cursed with Awesome? Not really. More like blessed with awesome.
  • Reversed in Christopher Anvil's Pandora's Legions - The aliens are actually less intelligent than humans on average, but have had a long time to build their empire. They only conquer Earth through overwhelming military force. The book ends on the reveal that a species have been discovered that is to humans as humans were to the aliens that conquered Earth.
  • The Houyhnhnms from Gulliver's Travels could be seen as a deconstruction, after kicking Gulliver out because he's too much like the Yahoos that they look down on.
  • The Neanderthals in Robert J. Sawyer's The Neanderthal Parallax seem this way at first, being portrayed as more intelligent, technologically advanced and peaceful than the homo sapiens. It is because that they achieved this through eugenics and a "Big Brother" style system of constant surveillance for every individual. The author considers the surveillance concept to be a good thing.
  • The idea of superior Neanderthals was actually deconstructed in the Man-Kzin Wars novella "Briar Patch". Turns out the Neanderthals were all empathic, able to feel the emotions of those around them, resulting in a society with no war whatsoever and a total dearth of selfish behavior. Then they encountered us, a group capable of killing them with no problem, and their social superiority proved no match for our martial crudity.
  • The Elves of the Inheritance Cycle are a race of vegetarian super-humans who can decide how they want to look and beat any other entity in war, because they have a stronger connection to magic than any other species. Still, they were driven close to extinction by a human.
  • The Dark Side of the Sun, by Terry Pratchett, has 52 sentient races, of which two others are considered equal to humanity (to the extent that "humanity" now no longer refers to just humans), most are too incomprehensibly different to compare, and one is considered "Super-human": the Creapii. From what we see of them, this blanket description seems only true of the higher-caste individuals who live on the hottest stars.
  • The Lilith's Brood trilogy spends quite a lot of time examining what it is about the Oankali that makes them better than humans. The Oankali can use their semi-telepathic abilities to participate in conversations involving thousands of them at once, with little confusion; coming to a consensus this way produces better solutions than electing someone as a leader, and without leaders, there can be no Corrupt Corporate Executives.
  • In John Varley's Gaea Trilogy, Titanides are sometimes accused of being a perfect race (among other things). They are ten times stronger than humans, twenty times faster, shoot any weapon perfectly, perform fantastically complicated music by instinct, and can mate in seventy-two different combinations. Plus they do handicrafts in their sleep, with results more beautiful than the best human art. In the third novel we find out that they are also infallible judges of character, and the protagonists explicitly trust that any human killed by a Titanide was truly evil and needed to die.
  • The Draka eventually become genetically-engineered superbeings. And they will gladly tell you how much better they are on the environment than OTL humans. Just don't mind that most people at this point have been genetically modified to crave slavery. Though it is said that Homo draknesis are not perfect due deleting their creativity, the Draka have managed to take over a good chunk of the world because the Alliance are failed to use their technological edge at critical points.
  • Storm Constantine's Wraeththu are hermaphrodites who look like bishies, are physiologically incapable of getting fat or having bad skin, almost invariably have psychic powers, are long-lived but mature quickly...and the list goes on.
  • Every species in the Cthulhu Mythos is superior to humans on a level that humanity can not even comprehend. Note, though, that in many Mythos stories, especially those by Robert E. Howard, Eldritch Abominations still get their butts kicked by humans.
  • S.L. Viehl has had to make many a saving throw to keep her Jorenians from being one.
  • The Dark Elves, otherwise known as Drow in the Forgotten Realms Icewind Dale trilogy, Dark Elf Trilogy, and any other novel with Drizzt in it. They live for centuries, are as silent as death and weave intricate webs of deceptions that humans could never hope to unravel. Every one of them carries magical adamantine weapons and the least-skilled of them can stand toe to toe with the elite warriors of other societies. They all have some magic, and many of them grow to be potent wizards. Their rulers, the most powerful of their kind, are priests commanding the powers of their dark god. On the other hand, they're only capable of cooperating with each other due to direct and repeated intervention from their deity, and then they can barely manage a functioning society. For all their power, their sheer evil keeps them from being effective—but said power still tends towards the ridiculous, if only because the weak tend not to reach adulthood. So, subverted, or played absolutely straight?
  • The Martians in Stranger in a Strange Land have such an advanced culture that merely knowing their language grants incredible psychic powers, and they're effectively immortal due to having completely open lines of communication with the afterlife.
  • The gnomes of Gnomes live in an idyllic society based on foraging, gardening, and home industry, organized into a single kingdom which prevents any political conflicts. They also have low-level psychic abilities that prevent them from keeping secrets from each other, can talk to animals and predict the weather, and are physically strong, never die of disease, and are in perfect control of their reproduction.
  • The transhumans that appear in Greg Egan's works are these: in several stories it is mentioned that none of them kill, or even hurt, anybody else, because one of their modifications was apparently perfect empathy, while at the same time being advanced enough technologically to protect themselves from any aggressive species still out there. (Any aliens that are at their same level have also gone this route, making self-defense almost a moot point, though aliens only rarely appear in his works to begin with). Another effect of this is that almost everybody is perfectly rational without being a Straw Vulcan — the rare exceptions usually see the error of their ways by the end. Combined with the empathy, this means that racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice, as well as poverty and other social injustices, have become completely eradicated. If that weren't enough, they're all functionally immortal because of Mind Uploading, which also means that disease is not an issue as they can just transfer their consciousness to another body. It's Played With, though, in that (at least in the stories set after The Singularity) there aren't any baseline humans, or fleshers, left to compare them to, as it is implied that once the technology to create transhumans was invented, they all became Pro Human Transhumans who brought the rest of humanity up to their level,meaning that, no matter how far into the future the stories are set, there are a couple of characters who were born as ordinary humans and became superior through technology.
  • In The House of Night, vampyres are all ethereally beautiful, and live away from humanity in peaceful enclaves. Many famous historical figures (and celebrities) are retconned into being vampyres. They are matriarchal, but never sexist. They are incredibly wealthy, but never spoiled. They are stronger and faster than any human, but they never use this strength to do anything bad. They are deeply religious, but never bigoted. They are very long-lived, and look youthful even after centuries have passed. They can be identified by the exotic, intricate tattoos that grow over their bodies, and the "glossy, inhumanly attractive light that [radiates]" from each of them.
  • This trope is the reason why the Beowulf Code in Honor Harrington is so adamant about not altering humanity beyond the limits of nature. Ordinary human racism is bad enough, and (as Beowulf had just seen), things get a hundred times worse when one specific race actually is measurably and quantifiably superior to the rest of mankind.
  • Black Dogs: The elves consider themselves to be better, whether or not this is true, and act snooty and xenophobic as a result.
  • Dragonlance: The Sea Elves, who live in the ruins of Istar — they combine all the sueness of normal elves with merfolk! And they can turn into dolphins, too. Sueness all around.
  • Fighting Fantasy: Titan, a book that functions as an background on the world most of the gamebooks are set in, indulges this trope when discussing the elves, but in practice it emerges more as an Informed Ability considering that most of the world's great heroes and wizards tend to be human, and most of the world-shaking events are orchestrated or thwarted by humans. Statistically, most elves are decent fighters, although certainly nothing that most human adventurers can't handle. A possible justification occurs when Titan mentions that the elves have been suffering a long, slow decline since the Götterdämmerung and Apocalypse Hows that have struck the world of Titan over the centuries. As a further subversion, while the flavor text in Titan treats the elves this way, most of the elves you actually meet in the gamebooks are generally pretty nice, if occasionally suspicious of human strangers who pass through their territory.
  • Occult Crimes Investigation Unit: The fairies are an extremely beautiful race that can teleport at will to Fairyland and can fly with their butterfly wings.
  • Tomb of Horrors: Played with in the adventure novelization (an old D&D adventure known for frequent fatalities), where a former paladin and his partner, an elf swordsman, are contracted to help plunder the tomb. A magically-sealed door requires the sacrifice of a magic ring to open the door, and the elf passes over one that keeps the wearer comfortable in all temperatures, in lieu of someone sacrificing something more useful. The ex-paladin goes into a hilarious rant about how he'd thought all along that the elf would never sweat in the heat nor shiver in the cold because it was just another way elves are "so much better" than humans, and couldn't believe his misconception was all due to a simple trinket like that.
  • Will Power: Subverted. The Fair Folk turn out to have stolen all the best parts of their culture from the goblins.
  • The Kingston Cycle by C.L. Polk: The "Amaranthine" are ageless, vastly more magically powerful than humans, and beautiful enough to drive humans insane. Moreover, the Land of Faerie is the human afterlife and the Amaranthine are directly endowed with divine authority, so their Grand Duchess outranks every human monarch.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
    • Vulcans, or at least they think they are. Vulcans do have a rather serious drawback in the form of powerful and dangerous emotions they need to suppress in order to remain sane, which is sort a bummer for them. In Star Trek, it'd probably be easier to count the number of alien races who don't consider themselves superior to humans, but having races that consider themselves superior to others isn't Superior Species but Cultural Posturing, and quite believable in context.
    • Also from Star Trek, the Q are clearly much more powerful and arguably smarter than humans. They are also convinced that they are socially and morally more advanced (though this claim breaks down as time goes on).
      Picard: What gives you the right to judge us?
      Q: Superior morality.
    • Similarly, the Borg consider themselves this to such an extent that they don't seem to understand that other races do not want to join the Collective. Even the Borg who do understand this believe that the benefits of joining inherently outweigh any objections.
  • Comes close to an aversion in Stargate SG-1:
    • When first seen, the Ancients seemed to be this trope, being the most advanced race ever, inventors of the stargate and having ascended to a higher plane of existence. Later in the show and in the spinoff Stargate Atlantis, they were thoroughly nerfed, having made a lot of silly mistakes and being gigantic jerkasses.
    • There are also the Asgard, who later are technologically at least as advanced as the Ancients, are friendly, wise and noble. However, physically they are a Dying Race with deteriorating bodies.
    • Most other advanced species just think they are superior while actually just being arrogant morons. Humanity itself managed to do amazing feats, however, the SGC isn't all of humanity and most of their feats were only accomplished by scooping up technology from other races.
    • Somewhat averted in the early battles against the Replicators: the more technologically advanced races' weapons didn't work against the Replicators, but ours did. Why? Because all the 'superior races' use energy weapons while we're still using bullets.
    • Played straight with the Nox whose technology is so advanced that it's almost like magic.
  • Babylon 5:
    • The Vorlons are a prime example: an early episode in season 1 the crew of the titular space station come across a Mad Scientist guilty of genocidal war-crimes who has invented an immortality potion. What ensues is a conglomeration of all the major species as they fight and nearly go to war over who gets the potion (and the Mad Scientist) (all except the Vorlon ambassador who is busy playing mindgames with the resident telepath). Eventually the Terrans win out and it's decided the potion will be researched on Earth. All the ambassadors of all these very powerful competing races gather in the observation room to watch as the potion and its creator depart on a heavily armed ship on their way to Earth. Cue the Vorlon ship jumping out of hyperspace, and destroying the ship with one blast. Then it leaves. The ambassador walks in, says, "You Are Not Ready for immortality", then goes back to whatever he was doing before. There is a very good reason why every single one of these proud and warring species immediately shuts up.
    • Then there are the Lumati, who never shut up about everyone else's inferiority.
  • Doctor Who:
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "To Serve Man", the Kanamits are far more advanced than humans. Michael Chambers estimates that they are 500 times more intelligent than humans and 1,000 times more complex.

  • The narrator of Queen's song, Princes of the Universe. Immortal supermen who battle an Eldritch Abomination that is the only thing that can kill them. And apparently, they need earth. Bonus points for the abomination being a walking talking money grubbing decapod. Yep, that's it... given that the song describes the upside of being an immortal from the "Highlander" universe. Who Wants to Live Forever?, the song, describes the flipside and why being an immortal is NOT superior.

  • Our Gods Are Different is essentially a special case of this; the idea of "superior" lifeforms that more or less invisibly live in the same world as we "mere mortals" do and that may sometimes feel inclined to help us out a little as long as we pay our proper respects and don't tick them off is a basic building block of just about every religion ever.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the titular dragons of its various settings and editions. Dragons, even Good-aligned ones, consider themselves superior to everything else that lives and breathes, except maybe the gods themselves. It's not hard to see why: a dragon is typically stronger, faster, tougher, and smarter than every other mortal species that they meet. Many dragons have abilities which let them shapeshift, cast spells, and manipulate the environment around them with just their mere presence. Many of them also live long enough to see entire civilizations rise and fall. The difference is that Good-aligned metallic dragons consider humanoids to be inferior but worth protecting, like how the average human would consider a puppy or a kitten (albeit to the point of Condescending Compassion). Evil-aligned chromatic dragons think of humanoids as annoyances at best; many chromatic dragons think of humanoids as another type of food or a blight upon the world to be exterminated.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The Eldar and Old Ones filling this role, and the Tau like to think they're in the role, too. Humanity has been engaged in a xenocidal war with the Eldar for about ten thousand years and counting, and for around five hundred years or so with the Tau, whilst the Old Ones have been MIA since the Enslaver Plague nearly wiped out all life in the galaxy several million years ago.
    • The Eldar as a species have a hard time behaving in a manner other than ultra-regimented anal douche or completely irresponsible sociopathic hedonist. They're superior to humans in terms of mind and body but they've definitely got some issues of the soul to work out. The Craftworld Eldar have actually managed to tune it down a notch since the fall of their race. The Dark Eldar are far worse about this, and are closer to what the combined race was like at it's height.
    • The Tau on the other hand are just insufferably arrogant and naive because they were hunter-gatherers just a couple millennia ago and now have more advanced shinier technology (mostly, as they have no teleporters or real warp drive) than a species that has expanding across the galaxy for at least 30,000 years.
    • While not a species as such, Adeptus Astartes are physically, mentally and spiritually superior to everyone else to the point it would take over a hundred men to match a single marine. They are, however, dicks about it. The best example is the Marines Malevolent, who not only consider ordinary humans as cannon fodder, but they consider themselves to be more important than other Space Marines.
    • The Imperium propagates a dogmatic belief that humans are a Superior Species. They're wrong. Dead wrong.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Elves have the highest ability score total of all the races, a Movement speed of 5 (about as fast as a horse), they don't need to pay tuition fees if they want to become wizards, and their career options lack many of the sucky ones that plague the human list, like the Peasant. They still get shafted in terms of Fate Points and Wounds, but not quite as much as Halflings in this regard. Of course, this is balanced by the fact that you're playing in a corner of the world where the majority of people who live outside major trade cities are superstitious racists who take Screw You, Elves! as wholesome advice that should be acted out with the nearest sharp object or burning torch. 4th Edition adds another balancing factor: Elves have to spend one of their Endeavours on contacting their people, leaving them with less things they are able to do in the downtime between adventures.
  • AT-43: The Therians are a race of cybernetic hyper lifeforms, they boast that even if they lose a few times, they will outlast and outlive their enemies in millions of years. And the twist is, the Therains are the original humanity.
  • Exalted: The Fair Folk are this compared to humanity. It's enforced by actual game mechanics: every other character (including Exalted) start with a minimum of one dot in each Attribute, before character creation begins. Fair Folk nobles, however, start with a minimum of three dots in each Attribute, so even in their worst area of physical, mental, or social ability, they will be better than is average for humans. Plus, they receive enough dots during character creation that they will begin play with multiple Attribute ratings of six dots or more, which is both superhuman and better than even Exalted can start with. And just to rub it in, they have a special Charm, "Imposition of Law," which allows them to become so expert at any one skill that they receive an automatic success on every roll with it (which only fails to apply when they go up against another being with Charms or attempt to do something that is actually physically impossible). The Fair Folk are better than you. It's the rules.
  • Greyhawk: Very deliberately subverted in an article dealing with the elves. The author, who hated both the perfectionist depiction of elves and the vicious backlash against them which often depicts elves as the Butt-Monkey of any given setting, instead depicts the elves of Greyhawk as being truly gifted and exceptional in a variety of areas... but they've never managed to parlay these talents into widespread power or even unity. When it comes to magic and nature, elves are rightly known for their amazing skills, but they've always been extremely fractured and divided, due largely to infighting among the elven gods when they were first created, which prompted the newly born elven race to split into several factions.

    Video Games 
  • StarCraft:
    • The protoss have better technology, live for several hundred years (on rare occasions more than a thousand), possess psychic abilities ranging from telepathy to levels in soulknife, and can survive more or less indefinitely on moonlight and dewdrops. Plus, their warriors are often equipped with teleporters that teleport them away when hit with extreme damage. Of course, Individuality Is Illegal in their theocratic society based on a religion of Assimilation. This might be considered a significant drawback, at least from a human perspective. It does not apply to the Dark Templar, who severed their connection to the Instrumentality and were branded heretics for it.
    • The Protoss were actually created by the Xel'naga to create a purity of form, so their alleged superiority is mildly justified; it turns out that they were created by none other than Amon who violated the Alien Non-Interference Clause by designing them artifically as a super species to his own likings. However, the few mistakes they actually do make tend to be far more epic than their human counterparts. Witness the loss of their homeworld to a Horde of Alien Locusts, one of them trying to kill a political leader without informing anybody that she was Brainwashed and Crazy, exiling the only warriors who eons later would prove to be able to destroy their worst foe yet, setting a planet on fire regardless of who lives there to burn out a potential threat... The list goes on and on, and that's only in the game!
    • By the time of "Legacy of the Void" the Protoss are easily enslaved by Amon, who was the architect of the Protoss and broke Xel'naga law by interveening in their genesis. He takes over the Khala and turns them into mindless pawns for his grand plan of galactic genocide. Fortunately Artanis is able to escape Amon's grasp and is dead set in destroying him by reuniting the Protoss. Artanis seeks to bring the Khali, Nerazim and Purifiers (sentient robots) into a new era, recognizing the mistakes they made in the past from seeing themselves as superiors.
  • Halo deconstructs this with the Forerunners: On one hand, not only were they the most powerful and advanced race in the galaxy during their heyday, but they believed that they had a duty to set an example and care for the other species of galaxy, living up to it by sacrificing themselves in order to stop the Flood. On the other, their superiority ended up distancing them from the galaxy's other races, most of whom became weak and subservient, and they grew to view anyone who opposed them as barbarous ingrates, punishing them by dismantling their societies back to the stone age (with ancient humanity being one of their most notable victims). When the Flood came knocking after the Forerunners' main rivals had finally been defeated, the Forerunners were forced to effectively stand alone. Additionally, their own creators never viewed them as superior, and had in fact planned to favor humanity instead; the Forerunners ended up becoming "superior" only by force.
  • Mass Effect
    • The Asari seem like this at first glance. They are very long lived, and seem to have the most advanced culture of the known races. They are wise and have the most skilled warriors, though they lack the raw power and numbers of other races. They are also not warlike, preferring "trade and understanding" with others. They are also all female and sexually liberal to an extreme degree. However, you'll be gunning down plenty of asari villains and mooks. In Mass Effect 2, conversations on the asari planet of Illium (a Wretched Hive painted over with Crystal Spires and Togas), both overheard and with a disgruntled asari Matriarch Aethyta forced to work as a bartender, bring up several things that are wrong with asari society, such as:
      • Asari spend their maiden years (up to the age of 300) stripping or being mercs;
      • A major war breaks out at least once every asari lifetime (the Rachni Wars, the Krogan Rebellions, the Eden Prime War). Wisdom and culture does nothing to stop or end it, and another race has to turn up to save them;
      • They are technologically stagnant to an enormous degree. The suggestion that they try to build new Mass Relays led to Aethyta being laughed halfway across the galaxy. For the last two thousand years their technology has barely progressed at all, to the point where Carriers are considered an innovation.
      • The institutional racism asari have against the offspring of asari-asari unions ("purebloods"). On Illium you speak with a pureblood asari whose mate was killed in the geth uprising, and whose daughters were killed on the Citadel in the geth attack. A dozen metres away a pair of asari are loudly proclaiming how purebloods need to be "purged" and that they "should be prevented from breeding!" The asari in question is devastated by her loss, and those assholes, within earshot, are screaming that they they don't give a shit, because they're purebloods. The main reason for the prejudice is that such unions are possibly more likely to produce their equivalents of Succubi, though it's an incredibly rare genetic disorder by itself. Another minor reason is that since Asaris can breed with any other race, breeding within the Asari race means that "nothing is gained", though again, any benefit or detriment of breeding outside the Asari specie or inside is marginal at best.
    • This all leads back to the asari's true hat: every organic race thinks they're hot. That's their sole contribution to galactic society: they're a race of bisexual fanservice. But hey, At least they use it for the constructive purpose of acting as diplomats and mediators for the rest of the galaxy. This gets deconstructed in Mass Effect 3: Their technological progress? They keep secret that they have the last intact Prothean beacon. Their inherent virtues and biotic abilities? Product of extensive genetic engineering by the Protheans Their diplomatic abilities? The result of more uplift efforts by the Protheans. And if Javik is in the party, he will reveal that this trope was actually invoked by the Protheans, who intended asari to lead the next cycle's races to defend against the Reapers, should the Protheans themselves fail. A chance that the asari merrily squandered away on playing high and mighty. Though he might have been lying to make Liara feel better.
    • The Reapers also qualify for this trope, albeit to a lesser extent as they look down on all organic life, not just humanity, and they aren't exactly pacifists
    • The yahg are also close to this; from the perspective of the next cycle, should Shepard fail, they'd probably be in charge: they're larger than krogan and probably stronger, as smart as the salarians but live significantly longer, they fall in with the most competent leaders even if they're from a different tribe (and are thus potentially as organized as the turians), their tribal culture bred into them a very keen sense of perception (they're nearly impossible to lie to) so they're probably as good with politics as the asari, and since one of them was able to infiltrate, take over and manage the single largest intelligence organization in the known galaxy for decades without anyone even knowing what species he is, it would be safe to say they're as adaptable as humans. They'd be pretty much a perfect species if not for their rampant savagery and comparably primitive technology. That said, the intelligence and adaptability may not necessarily be a species-wide trait but rather something specific to the Shadow-Broker, as Mordin mentions outliers and we never encounter another yahg in a context where such qualities come into play. It is also mentioned in the Shadow Broker dossiers that they had to kill several before finding one who wanted to leave, giving the outliers theory credence.
  • The people of the moon in Touhou (often translated Lunarian, for whatever reason). Long lived, powerful yet peaceful, the whole works. It is implied that they're very bored though, and they seem to abuse their (sentient) rabbit-servants without a second thought.
  • World of Warcraft
    • The draenei are sometimes accused of being a perfect race, but they are a weird case. On the one hand, they are long-lived or maybe even immortal. They have magitek that makes them able to construct inter-dimensional floating castles/spaceships, complete with teleporters, holograms, hard-light floors and escape pods (making them one of the most technologically advanced race in the setting). They are the first (and only when they were introduced) race to master elemental magic, arcanic magic (they were so good at it that Sargeras, who wants to destroy all life, tried to make them his lieutenants) and light magic (they had paladins millenia before humans supposedly invented them, and talk directly to beings who are one with the Light). They are as tall and muscled as taurens, who were previously the tallest and most muscled race. They were introduced as the pure, original version of a previously established race. Even their weapons are made from pretty crystals. Finally, they are the closest thing the franchise has to a Lawful Good race. However, their society isn't really romanticized by any character in the games (in fact they barely are mentioned), they lost every single battle where they stood on their own, and their overwhelming goodness is more-or-less justified as they're the faction of their species who refused to follow Sargeras and The Legions of Hell.
    • Mists of Pandaria's portrayal of the previously well liked Pandaren have also been accused of this. They have virtually no evil individuals, every race that opposes them is portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil, and their morals are always depicted as correct. It didn't help that entire races such as the Orcs were demonized to help facilitate their aesops and that the narrative doesn't admit that the Pandaren exhibit the same merciless attitude towards their enemies that the "inferior" species show.
  • Subverted in the Suikoden series. The elves' elitist attitude earns them nothing but a horrible reputation to outsiders. In some cases, it leads to their outright destruction.
  • Subverted in Jeanne d'Arc. Players see very little about the elves, except that in one mission they refuse to open their doors to any outsiders until after you prevent the bad guys from kicking down said doors and butchering everyone inside, and that they have no little institutionalized racism - the one elf you get was banished from her people because she agreed to marry a non-elf. Their leader comes to realize that the elves can't afford to act like they're so above it all anymore.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Each race of Mer (Elves) in Tamriel believes this about themselves, but the Altmer (High Elves) really play it up. They see themselves as the closest in blood and culture to the Aldmer, Precursors to all of the races of Mer and supposed direct descendants of the Aedra/Ehlnofey, the divine "original spirits" who created and first populated the mortal world. While the other races are loathe to admit it, Tamriel does owe much of its art, science, philosophy, language and religion to the Altmer who are also the most magically-gifted of all races. The Altmer believe that the other races of Mer are a result of "degeneration" over the ages (and don't even get them started on the races of Men...), while the Altmer actively try to breed themselves back to their ancestral ideal (which includes, according to some potentially biased sources, killing off any undesirable offspring). Come the 4th Era reformation of the Aldmeri Dominion under the leadership of the extremist Thalmor, the Altmer have kicked this belief into overdrive, subjugating the Bosmer (Wood Elves) and Khajiit while waging war against the remnants of the Septim Empire.
    • The Dwemer certainly considered themselves as such, with every other race (Men, Mer, or otherwise) being beneath them. A big part of their Naytheism came from their belief that even the supposed "gods" were not truly superior to them. Arguably Justified, as their advancements (technological, metaphysical, and more) were (and still are) far, far beyond what any other race in Tamriel is capable of.
  • The Drakken from the 4X Strategy Game Endless Legend are a Draconic Humanoid race who narratively are shown to be this as the wise and old race, keepers of old knowledge and the respected middle-man in diplomatic negotiations. Gameplay-wise their superiority is shown through their racial ability to force treaties on other nations without their agreement, for increased cost of influence resource.
  • The Assassin's Creed series has the Isu, also known as Those Who Came Before, The First Civilization, and Homo sapiens divinus. They are the advanced, ancient race who created humanity as their slaves. They left behind a large number of secret areas and devices that they used to control their human slaves, which the Assassins and Templars have been fighting over for most of human history.
  • Fate/Grand Order: The Deinos, a race of Living Dinosaurs introduced in Lostbelt 7, fit this on multiple levels, being Long-Lived, naturally strong, durable, intelligent, and due to having the ability to photosynthesize, don't even need to eat. It's made clear that they would completely trounce humans at anything... if they bothered to try. Progressing through the Lostbelt shows why being a Superior Species isn't always a good thing - if you don't want for anything, you might not desire anything, which has resulted in the Deinos stagnating since they first appeared sixty five million years ago. In that time, they have produced zero legends or tales to their names, with the now extinct humans of the Lostbelt managing to achieve more despite only exisitng for a hundred thousand years. It's plainly stated that the Deinos would never have won the Lostbelt competition because they lack any ability to progress due to having essentially peaked when they first evolved.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Adam Taurus declares the Faunus to be this to humans, boasting that they have "all that humans have, and more". Whereas many Faunus harbor deep resentment towards humans for suffering Fantastic Racism, Adam outright preaches Faunus supremacism and seeks to Take Over the World and have humanity serve the Faunus, with him on top.

  • The drow races of Drowtales view the extremely short lived, technologically inferior and non-mana bearing races in their worlds as inferior to them, lumping all races like humans and orcs together in one term, "goblins". They view these races at best as cannon fodder and at worst, a food source. They also view their fellow elven species, the Dark and Light elves from which their race is descended as inferior and almost all members of these species that live within their cities do so as slaves and are just as subjected to being invited for dinner in times of famine.

    Web Original 
  • Orion's Arm
    • It's actually canon that transapients are better than any human could hope to be, although its still possible to become a transapient yourself.
    • There's also a terragen species called Homo superior, who are essentially humans with several generations of germline genetic engineering making them superior, mentally and physically, to 'baseline' humans.
  • Chakona Space: Chakats and stellar foxtaurs are out-and-out stated to have been designed as such, although the sheer quantity of fanservice in their design makes them an odd, though not unexpected, addition to this page.
  • The Last Angel: The master races of the Compact wholeheartedly believe themselves to be this. Their Client Races are not truly sentient barbarians. Any group who can even marginally stand up to them are certainly not Worthy Opponents, and are referred to only with the most insulting terms.
  • Whateley Universe: From what little is known of them, the Sidhe may well have been embodiments of this before their version of The End of the World as We Know It happened. The modern-day reincarnation of one of their most powerful queens is already considered one of both the most powerful and the most beautiful students on campus before the end of her first semester, and it's been strongly hinted at that her ancient original (whose personality lives on in her head for the time being) was easily a hundred times more awesome and at some point ruled not only over her own people, but the humans living in the area as well — to say nothing of dealing with a variety of supernatural movers and shakers on at least an equal basis. (We haven't yet learned much about the "common" Sidhe, but there have been a hint or two that the humans were second-class citizens at best back in that day. This is apparently the past of this universe's Earth.)

    Western Animation 
  • The Irkens, announced frequently by Invader Zim. Which, given the context of the series, doesn't say much.
  • Transformers
    • Cybertronians are almost always described as superior, at least physically and technologically, to humans when the two species are compared (mostly by Decepticons, who tend to refer to us as "insects"). They are a species of Mechanical Life Form that all have the ability to change their form into almost anything of their choice, have far superior weaponry and travel capabilities and can individually live for thousands or even millions of years, so they probably wouldn't be wrong in thinking along those lines.
    • This has been subverted on a few occasions in which humans have been shown to utterly thrash transformers. One example of this was a battle in IDW comics between Colonel Witwicky and Scrapper, which resulted in Scrapper's head being blown off by his own gun.
    • Also it's outright stated in Beast Wars that one of the reasons the Autobots would beat the Decepticons was because humans were helping them.
    • It's also been commented on that Humanity does at least stop having wars for extended periods of time, while Cybertron and its peoples have been in a constant state of civil war for longer than humanity has existed. Also humanity has the ability to adapt and change real fast, compared to the Cybertronians who barely have done anything new for millions of years.
  • In Ben 10: Alien Force the High Breed like to boast how they are superior to every other alien race. Except they're a Dying Race thanks to their frequent inbreeding. The entire reason the Highbreed began their campaign to purge other species is because they will soon go extinct, and they can't stand the idea of their "inferiors" outliving them.
  • Like the Cybertronians above, the Gems of Steven Universe are all Born as an Adult, and are physically The Ageless and The Needless even before taking into account their ability to perform a Fusion Dance on top of any other superpowers they might have (like Voluntary Shapeshifting). Also like the Cybertronians, however, the Gems are also shown as being, at best, horrible at personal growth. Even the Crystal Gems, La Résistance to Homeworld, barely change despite their many, many, mental issues in more than 5000 years. It takes the help of the main character, Half-Human Hybrid Steven, as well as the passing of their former leader, for them to change for the better and move forwards. On Homeworld, it's literally expected for all loyal gems to be a Static Character, and their society, in said 5000 years, has grown more advanced, and also not changed save to become more tyrannical.
  • Invincible (2021): Viltrumites are extremely powerful Flying Bricks that can easily punch buildings into rubble and fly faster than supersonic jets, they're Nigh-Invulnerable and live for thousands of years (and they only age slower as they get older), and their technology is way more advanced than ours. They're very much aware of this trope and believe that they race is superior to all others.