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Avatar: The Last Airbender

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • Lestat in Xendra thinks of himself as a badass master vampire to be feared by all. In reality, he's an overweight fledgling that's only a few months old, which puts him at the bottom of the vampire hierarchy. Only his still human friends following his orders convinces other vampires he's an ancient master vampire to hold so many humans in his thrall.
    • Kennedy believes herself far superior to Buffy due to both her wealth and martial arts training. However, Buffy's been a Slayer for three years and fought horrors Kennedy could barely imagine. Furthermore, vampires sired on the Hellmouth are shown to be far more dangerous than in other placesnote .

Calvin and Hobbes

  • Aside from Calvin himself, this is downplayed with Hobbes in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:
    "Hello, my name's Hobbes. I'm a tiger."
    "Yes, I know, You're just dazzled that the legendary tiger is actually speaking to you."

Code Geass

  • OC Tetsuya in Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion is basically Tamaki with all his negative attributes turned Up to Eleven. Besides being a total slob and rather useless in combat both in a knightmare and on foot, he's also shown to be a Refrain dealer. Despite all that, he thinks of himself as the biggest badass ever and challenges Zero to a fight for "stealing his glory" by defeating Cornelia in Saitama. Particularly noteworthy is that Tetsuya isn't even a high ranking member in his resistance cell, but a grunt stuck on guard duty.


  • Child of the Storm:
    • Cornelius Fudge doesn't seem to realise that he's a pawn of smarter and more powerful players in the great Gambit Pile Up until he's forcibly confronted by it. Dumbledore, Lucius Malfoy, Nick Fury, Loki, and Peter Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus Black inwardly or openly consider him to be nothing more than a useful/irritating idiot. By the sequel, it's made clear that the only reason he's still Minister is because no one else in the crippled Ministry wants to deal with Wisdom - who, for his part, regards terrorising Fudge as one of his few forms of entertainment.
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    • Chapter 6 of the sequel, Ghosts of the Past, introduces Mr Danvers, Standard '50s Father to Carol Danvers, who is blissfully unaware of the fact that he's not the master of all he surveys in respect to his family. Until, like Fudge, he's forcibly confronted by reality. He tries, among other things, to force his brash, tomboyish Action Girl daughter into a more traditionally feminine mould, and when this fails, tries to get Harry to use his Psychic Powers to 'make her take the right path', which predictably causes Harry to erupt with rage. He really strays into this, though, when he tries to intimidate an infuriated Harry into backing down. Harry is, by this point, a Person of Mass Destruction, with grand scale Psychic Powers that Danvers knows about, and who's faced down Demons, Dark Lords, and Dark Gods without blinking. For a middle aged man who doesn't even have the skills to qualify as a Badass Normal to think that he can scare someone like that into backing down takes world class levels of self-delusion.
      • And when his mother-in-law, Alison Carter, the original Agent 13, the formerly retired Deputy Director of SHIELD, and the daughter of Steve Rogers by Peggy Carter with the associated Super Soldier abilities and decades of espionage and combat experience, finds out about what he asked Harry to do in chapter 20, she confronts him. After finding out just what she used to do for a living, and being put in an effortless wrist-lock, he still tries to bluster his way out. It fails miserably.
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  • Fates Collide: Edmond Dantes is legitimately powerful and skilled, but acts more important than he really is and makes up titles for himself that he did not earn. As a result, hardly anyone takes him seriously.
  • Ultimate Video Rumble: Thanks to previously having only each other for comparison, the fighters of certain universes (e.g. World Heroes, War Gods) tend to think they're hot stuff. Then they face someone from Street Fighter, The King of Fighters, or Marvel Super Heroes... Once they're done peeling themselves off the mat, some leave humbler; others continue to insist they're the best and accuse their opponent of being lucky or cheating.
  • The Initiative in Dragon Knight likes to boast about their effectiveness compared to the Scoobies, citing that their best operative has seventeen kills to his name. Giles and Buffy both laugh at it as not only has Giles killed more than that each year, despite being a support fighter, the entire Initiative together has killed less than Buffy did in her first year of Slaying, back when she was actively avoiding her calling. Even Xander did better in his first year slaying and he was an untrained high schooler with no powers.
  • In The Story To End All Stories, Chuck Cunningham feels ignored by the people who created him and other characters so he decides to take revenge by destroying all of fiction.
  • Calder the Cockless in A Discordant Note calls himself a sorcerer and thinks he can stand against Harry the Sorcerer of Dol Guldur. In reality, the man's insanity makes it easier for him to listen to the minor nudges sent by the Old Gods, giving him an uncanny ability to find food and shelter. Beyond that, he has no magical ability.

Harry Potter

  • Draco Malfoy in the Princess of the Blacks series makes his opinion of himself quite clear when he declares that Jen defeating ten students at once doesn't make her a match for him. Though he later undergoes Character Development and becomes a rather skilled schemer, enough to capture Danny Potter and make Voldemort rethink his judgement of the boy.
    • Several members of the Order of the Phoenix not only think they could take the DMLE if it came down to it, despite being outnumbered five to one, but think they're the ones doing all the work in the war. In reality, they get in the way of the DMLE's investigations more often than they truly help and most are completely untrained in combat.
  • Draco again in For Love Of Magic is noted by Harry as having "an ego completely disproportionate to his mediocre abilities and an inability to accept any facts that contradicted said ego".
  • Amusingly, in A Year Too Soon, Draco believes that being "Heir to the Malfoy fortune" means he can't be given detention, even after being warned that the word mudblood would no longer be tolerated.

How to Train Your Dragon

  • Snotlout in Lost Boy has a particularly large ego being Stoick's heir, believing he has the right to anyone and anything on such grounds alone. The only people who have any real faith in him is his own parents, who go out of their way to bully the rest of the tribe into vilify their son's non-existent prowess. This is even believed to be one of the reasons why Spitelout made a deal with Ivar Hofferson to marry his daughter to Snotlout. Because they all know that Astrid is the superior warrior, they try to force her to be his housewife so he would be the next contender for their generation's champion for Berk.


  • Maya Hansen in Your Mental Health Matters is quite put-out to be labelled a botanist and complains as such to Pepper Potts, citing that she's a biological DNA coder running a team of forty out of a privately funded think-tank. Pepper fires back that Maya is someone Tony Stark had a one night stand with twelve years ago; she should be happy Tony remembered her full name and that she was working with plants.
  • The rogue Avengers in Balance believe they could have taken Thanos's five generals when the other Avengers couldn't, ignoring that not only does the current team have more than twice as many members as the roguesnote , anything the rogues can do, they can do better and in greater numbers (more flyers, more size shifters, etc).
    • Steve is later rather upset that he's not being shown "the respect he deserves", especially from Carol Danvers, blissfully ignoring that not only is he a convicted terrorist but that as a colonel, Carol Danvers outranks Steve from a military standpoint.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • The Clockwork Consequence has Rarity. She's just a seamstress, (albeit Nightmare Moon's personal one) but she acts like she's just as if not more important as Nightmare Moon's Co-Dragons. That said, she seems to show signs of being an Almighty Janitor.
  • In the essay-fic, Equestria: A History Revealed, the Lemony Narrator sees herself as a better historian than any other pony, despite still being a student at the University of Canterlot. Although apparently she has sold some of her previous essays as books, but they're obviously not doing too well, given she has to blatantly advertise them in-essay. (Or she went with Vanity Publishing - it's not absolutely clear.)


  • If a story has in its summary that its bashing then 90% of the time Sasuke fall under this trope in a Naruto fic.
    "I'm an UCHIHA Elite, no ONE is better than ME!"
    "How can a clanless loser, Naruto, beat me, an ELITE UCHIHA!"
  • In God of War, Naruto mentions how pretty much everyone he fights thinks they're "worth the axe". Not only is Naruto literally superhuman even before chakra is taken into account (having basically become a physical clone of Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters), but his training for the last three years was fighting on the frontlines of a war. So when he fights the other rookies again after he returns, they get frustrated that he doesn't take them seriously, not realizing how much he has to hold back to avoid killing them.
  • The Fourth Apprentice portrays and has Sakura call out Neji in his introduction on actually being this. In his eyes, he's an elite ninja who's head and shoulders above everyone else in The Chunin Exams. To everyone else, he's just an easily replaceable member of The Branch Family with an overinflated opinion of himself and asks him what has he ever done or accomplished that makes him believe he can look down upon others.
  • Ino in Black Flames Dance in the Wind: Rise of Naruto is certain she's completely superior to the other female genin (especially Sakura) and boasts to Sakura how her team has almost qualified for a B Rank mission and has completed more missions than Sakura's team. Not only has Team 7 completed an A Rank mission, but they just completed an S Rank one as well. Furthermore Sakura is hailed as a village hero and, unlike Ino, actually takes her training very seriously these days. It shows when they spar and Sakura not only easily blocks or dodges every attack, her single attack knocks Ino out and fractures several bones.
    • Earlier Sasuke had an over-inflated ego as well but it was beaten out of him by his trainer Genma, who headbutted Sasuke every time he got uppity.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Advice and Trust: Chihiro Tanaka believes she is the smartest and most beautiful girl in the school, ergo she will win Shinji's affection, and will not lose to Asuka or Rei -whom she looks down on and frequently puts down-. In reality she is not the best at anything and there is no chance that she will take Shinji away Asuka or he would choose her rather Rei.


  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines discusses this trope in the Clair Interlude sidestory. The titular Gym Leader believes that you shouldn't have an ego bigger than you can back up, and she's very fond of knocking this kind of people down a peg or two when they come to challenge her for a badge.
  • Ash's Golduck in Traveler is both a Jerkass and has a remarkably overinflated opinion of it's power. While it is very powerful when it's caught in the Seafoam Caverns, that's because the nearby slumbering Articuno passively empowers all the water and ice types within. Away from Seafoam, it possesses middling power at best.

Real-Person Fic


  • Roman Torchwick during the first half of Roman's Empire. Roman wasn't always an infamous criminal. He started as a low-level mob enforcer and even then had a huge ego. In his narration, he boasted about how he was going to become the biggest mob boss in Vale. However, even when he tried to tell some other workers that he was important to the current top-boss, Kincaid, the guard didn't even give him the time of day until Kincaid could come out and vouch for him. Later, when he tries to start up his business after Kincaid moves her main business out of Vale, he continually got hassled by the other bosses every time he tried to step into their business. However, he maintained the belief that he was going to make it big — so much so that he decided to marry a woman to be a queen for his (at the time) non-existent criminal empire. Justified since the writer said that Roman was written with narcissistic personality disorder in mind. Obviously, his ego would be indomitable against all odds.
  • The Crimson Devils in Service With A Smile certainly think they're hot shit, but they're low level thugs at best. Miltia and Melanie even laugh at their name, comparing it to something an edgy teenager would come up with while crying in his room. Worse (for them) is that they not only tried to pick up the Malachite Twins, Junior's top enforcers, like they were hookers, they robbed and beat Jaune, who has the protection of Junior, Roman Torchwick, and Cinder Fall.


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