Follow TV Tropes


Smug Snake / Webcomics

Go To

  • Flaky Pastry gives us the goblin vizier Reptilis. He finally gets brought to heel, but is more-or-less left in his position of authority because, despite his being an example of this trope, he's still the most qualified candidate available.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Daimyo Kubota is an always plotting, Genre Savvy aristocrat. Almost everything he does to try to usurp Hinjo's position is just plain hateful, culminating in him ordering the assassination of a pair of former commoners who were promoted to nobility. The wife is pregnant. When the plan fails, he murders his own number two with poison just to give himself time to escape. When he's captured, he plans to use his good publicity to avoid justice and humiliate Hinjo. Fortunately, right after he outlines the above plan, Vaarsuvius, not wanting any more distractions from the main plot, disintegrates him. His status as a Smug Snake is cemented by the fact that he just doesn't stack up against Big Bad Xykon and his long-term planning henchman Redcloak. He's also horribly naive, and thinks taking the city back from Xykon will be a trivial matter.
    • Advertisement:
    • Likewise, Nale, leader of the Linear Guild and Elan's Evil Twin, isn't nearly the Magnificent Bastard and evil mastermind he likes to think he is; Vaarsuvius points out that most of his plans, which he likes to think of as works of genius, are in fact rather trite and cliched (if nevertheless somewhat effective), and he has the tendency to come off as being rather smug rather than magnificent. Elan and Nale's father, General Tarquin, a genuine Magnificent Bastard, more or less confirms this when he is insulted by being compared to Nale:
    "Your brother was a disorganized buffoon who cared more about satisfying his own ego than any realistic plan for world domination. All he ever cared about was that everyone knew HE was the victor, even when the situation called for keeping a low profile."
    • General Tarquin himself also qualifies, despite presenting himself as a Genre Savvy Magnificent Bastard (and convincing a fair few readers that this is the case). While he is a lot smarter and more successful than Nale, he really isn't all that different at heart, ultimately being an egotist with a massively inflated sense of his own importance and role in the story, and thus having a tendency to fly into a murderous rage when things don't go exactly the way he wants them to.
    • Advertisement:
    • Tsukiko is an incredibly vain sorceress who believes she's the heroine of some Twilight-esque novel with Xykon as the dashing undead love interest. Worst, she actually believes she can treat Redcloak like dirt and constantly get away with it, up to the point of replacing him as Xykon's Dragon. Redcloak ultimately demonstrates that she's very, very mistaken on every count, and way over her head.
  • The slimy, manipulative businessman Serk Brakkis in Dominic Deegan: Oracle For Hire is a walking embodiment of this trope. He uses his power to utterly ruin people's lives, takes their money and then hides behind Byzantine laws. In the end, however, he is trampled under a Humiliation Conga, beginning with a fencer flicking his wig off ("Toupee!"). Much later, when it looks like he's going to beat the rap after another foiled scheme, Celesto shows up and turns him inside out.
  • Faz in Shortpacked! is a toadying, nakedly ambitious sycophant with a permanent smug expression and a tendency to openly plot against and undermine the people he works with. Absolutely no one in the store, including his boss, particularly gives a damn about his continuing existence or welfare.
    Faz: Your thoracic diaphragm heaving in anger is not unlike how I picture your anatomy during our inevitable lovemaking.
    • If you need even more evidence of his Smug Snake status, just read his entry on the cast page: "Shortpacked!'s most annoying recruit has an infuriatingly smug grin you'd love to remove with a grenade launcher."
      • It doesn't help that he also comes off as a slimier Casanova Wannabe when trying to convince Amber to sleep with him, including pulling out the Kinsey Graph when Amber said she was a lesbian (Long story)
      • He's obliviousness over the fact that Amber was really his half-sister isn't helping his case either.
  • Vriska Serket of Homestuck. She's a spiteful, conniving, BLUH BLUH HUGE BITCH with a serious case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. She also would like to think that she's the best Troll, but really isn't capable of manipulating anyone without resorting to Mind Control, and usually ends up being manipulated herself by other characters' Batman Gambits.
    • Oddly enough, she may actually know this; her munchkin-ry and Glory Hounding are implied to be an attempt to match her warped idea of what will make people respect her, and part of her falling-out with Terezi was due to jealousy that Terezi could do more with no special abilities than Vriska could with Psychic Powers.
    • She's later one-upped in her smugness by her ancestor Aranea, who puts on a show of being nice and courteous, but is actually a Glory Hound Knight Templar who thinks that she's the only one who can stop Lord English because she's smarter than everyone else. Naturally, she's wrong, and her plans fail miserably and doom an entire timeline. Ironically, seeing what a horrible sociopath Aranea is (and how horrified everyone else is by it) causes Vriska to realize how awful she's been to her own friends.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Ralfoy Malfoy note . He takes the smug-snakeness to the extreme by acting smug even though his "enemy" is the adult but childish Torg who will inevitably just do something like give him a wedgie (or even tell him to do it himself) and send him scuttling away. Only in the 3rd parody did he actually manage to rise to the status of a real adversary for a while... and that was at the expense of getting a video put up on YouTube of him saying he thought a ferret was sexy-cute.
  • Umbria/Zaedalkaah from Our Little Adventure. She believes herself to be a skilled liar and cunning calculator, but most of what was actually going in her favor is simply luck. She used to be a skilled half-demon assassin, but has been reborn into something considerably less powerful. It doesn't make her act any less entitled however...
  • Rayne Summers became a rare non-villainous example when an arc was written of him bashing webcomic artists for ScheduleSlip while subtly praising his own comic's creators for not doing so. His niece's smug expression as he's going on his high horse doesn't help in the least, either.
  • Kubera has a few examples wandering about. But the one of greatest note is Riche. The woman is one of the simple Muggles in a world of the mages who isn't even one of the major antagonists, yet manages to out-smug even the Smug Super/Smug Snake Snake People present and has so few morals, you'd be better off trying to list the ones you can find than those you cannot. And, she thinks she's the best thing since sliced bread because she can buy/ bribe/ blackmail her troubles away or hire specialists to do whatever her whims dictate. Needless to say... guess who gets the blame when things go wrong?
  • Sparkle from Sidekick Girl. She quite fancies herself as The Vamp and a Classy Cat-Burglar, but in reality, she's nothing more than a nuisance and is quickly curbstomped by anyone who bothers to fight her straight on. She's quite smug when she meets Illumina because Illumina can't take her in (despite Sparkle having betrayed Illumina and left her to die) because she's not doing anything wrong at the moment, only for Illumina to one punch Sparkle out (and get away with it because she learned the rules the Heroes Association has about returning nemeses). She hasn't learned anything by the time she meets the Vigilante, and despite her power and pepper spray only mildly annoying him, she's smug because he can't take her in, since he's not a member of the Heroes Association. He then reveals that he just planned to set her up to get captured by cops, which would utterly ruin her reputation as an effective villain.
  • Tarvek of Girl Genius. Most Sparks only think that they're surrounded by idiots: Tarvek actually tells the idiots so.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: