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Smug Snake / Western Animation

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  • Both Sterling and Malory Archer fall under this category.
  • Admiral Zhao from Avatar: The Last Airbender. While he was capable of great feats of firebending power and brilliant tactical decisions, his lack of self-control and anything resembling humility made him quite unlikeable. He only looked more like this in hindsight, when Azula came along.
  • Lydia, the villain of Barbie & The Diamond Castle, believes herself to be the only one worthy of being a muse, and treats everyone else accordingly.
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  • Terrorsaur from Beast Wars was essentially a Starscream wannabe. To his credit, he is able to accept that he can't beat Megatron and give up his ambitions before he was killed off at the beginning of season 2.
  • In ChalkZone, Reggie Bullnerd is very clearly stupid, but thinks he's smarter than he is anyway.
  • Endive from Chowder is a "great, big tub o' smug."
  • Seen in an RAF Cold War instructional film warning of the dangers of HISS (Hostile Intelligence ServiceS) represented by a smug cartoon snake with a Fake Russian accent. All his dupes were naturally caught by the vigilant RAF police, but the evil HISS would just go on to the next victim.
  • Corpse Bride has the suitably named Barkis Bittern, who can't seem to go two steps without leaving a trail of slime behind him and can't even concede defeat without smugly rubbing it into his late finacee Elizabeth's face that she was "always the bridesmaid—but never the bride!" before accidentally killing himself drinking a goblet of poisoned wine.
  • Disney
    • Both Prince John and his actual snake servant, Sir Hiss from Robin Hood are prime examples of this trope. The latter was even the former image on the front page.
    • Kaa from Disney's The Jungle Book (1967) is a Smug Snake. This is the complete opposite of his personality in Rudyard Kipling's original book, where he was more of an Old Master who has the respect (and fear) of the Jungle. The Smug Snake in the book is Shere Khan.
    • Gladstone Gander in the DuckTales (1987) cartoon. See the comics section.
      • Though Gladstone's Smug Snake characteristics were notably more subdued in his animated incarnation than in the original comic books. The episode "Dime Enough For Luck" even goes so far as to portray him in a fairly sympathetic light.
    • Jafar. He thinks he is very clever, and does manipulate the heroes quite a bit, but in the end his lust for power prevents him from thinking through the consequences of his actions, specifically that being a genie would force him to live in a lamp and grant wishes, which proves to be his undoing. He even has a bit of a snake theme going on. Unlike most of these smug snakes, Jafar graduated to a Magnificent Bastard in the second movie.
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    • The Lion King (1994): Scar ... one of his key traits as the writers went out of their way to give the film's pre-eminent villain less than zero positive traits. He is openly hostile to his brother, jealous of his nephew Simba, a misogynist who physically abuses the lionesses and dismissive of even his own lackeys the hyenas. He seems genuinely surprised when they expectedly all turn on him in the end, and cowers and begs the instant he thinks his life is in danger. While he is a more competent and successful schemer than the norm, Scar sinks right back into "smug" upon taking over Pride Rock, where he becomes a spoiled and incompetent ruler too arrogant to admit he's running the kingdom into the ground.
    • The Big Bad of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke, tries to pass himself off as a Magnificent Bastard, having a reputation for being crazy prepared for everything, and being patronizingly nonchalant about killing off all the Atlantians for triple the fortune, even though said fortune is substantial enough, making the entire conflict extremely unnecessary. He grossly overestimates his competence, caused his underlings to turn against him due to his callous cruelty, and severely underestimated all of his enemies. He ends up trying to kill his loyal Dragon with very little reason, which effectively ruins his own plans. Instead of gaining any sort of monetary gain, he ends up with a gruesome death.
    • Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas spends most of his screentime gloating and taunting his captives. Then Jack shows up, and he freaks out. He briefly regains his composure a few times during the ensuing battle, only to lose it every time Jack starts winning again.
  • DC Animated Universe
    • Lex Luthor starts off this way in Superman: The Animated Series. Having enough money and resources to weasel his way out of legal troubles, Luthor is a very arrogant businessman who thinks he's in control of the situation and often finds himself being bitten in the ass, whether it be Superman, the villains he hires to kill Superman, or other superheroes he dismisses as mere nuisance. It reaches to its logical conclusion in Justice League where Luthor's overuse of the Kryptonite causes him to walk into a confession trap set by the titular team (who are mostly unaffected by the Kryptonite radiation), as well as giving him a terminal illness where no amount of his money can save him. This ironically proves to be the catalyst for Luthor to wise up and become one of the greatest adversaries that the Justice League ever faced.
    • Grodd in Justice League. It's very unlikely that most villains would make a speech to an all-human crowd where he claimed "Humans are slow, ugly, immoral, and have an unpleasant body odor!" unless they were Brainwashed and under his control, like in this case, but then, that would sort of defeat the purpose of making such a speech at all. He was doing it to feed his already-inflated ego. Notably, he is frequently engaged in a power struggle with the aforementioned Lex Luthor, but Lex eventually gets bored with the game and simply shoots Grodd before taking over with ease.
  • Eddy of Ed, Edd n Eddy would fit into this category, being a slimeball schemer for the most part. However, it's revealed that this is a facade due to him being bullied by his big brother.
  • The nudist aliens from the Futurama movie Bender's Big Score. You'd think that scamming the entire Earth and forcing its population to the outskirts of the solar system would make them Magnificent Bastards, but no. Maybe if they didn't do everything, everything, in the most profoundly annoying way possible (and also if they didn't look the way they do, eeuuuugh). But that's spammers for you.
  • Lavor, The Dragon to Magmion, from Gormiti: The Lords of Nature Return. Even his Image Song denounces him as a vain, overconfident scoundrel. He's also quite a coward, and happily throws his men into battle with the heroes to get himself away from trouble and gauge his opponents' strength.
    • And just to hammer the point home, the kids even got wise his smugness. One episode had Lucas, Nick and Jessica mess up his plan by simply pointing out how painfully obvious it was, which caused him to lose his head and attack.
  • Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe was an intentional Smug Snake. Serpentor was a Smug Snake who at least seemed like he was intended to be a Magnificent Bastard. Destro and Tomax and Xamot were Smug Snakes who were almost certainly supposed to be Magnificent Bastards. Destro even comes kind of close sometimes. But it could be that they're all meant to be Smug Snakes since they're in a group called "Cobra."
  • The Almighty Tallest Red and Purple of Invader Zim. Being, well, the tallest of the Irken people, they're both very smug and full of themselves. Unfortunately for their credibility, the only reason Zim is "invading" Earth is because their attempt to get rid of him backfired.
  • Eric Raymond from Jem. If you could rate smugness on a scale from 1 to 10, Eric Raymond's smugness would test at 178.
  • Lucius Heinous VII on Jimmy Two-Shoes fancies himself a Magnificent Bastard and feared Evil Overlord, but more often than not he's outwitted by his employee Heloise and Jimmy himself while also being a gigantic Butt-Monkey. He also treats everyone around him like garbage, including his Yes-Man Samy and The Dragon Molotov. But what do you expect from someone whose job description is "Satan"?
  • Pretty the Alpha Bitch from Kaeloo is one, since she's richer and better-looking than the other characters.
  • The Sequel Series The Legend of Korra has Tarrlok. He's certainly clever, and turns out to be a formidable waterbender (even without his secret bloodbending ability), but he's too over-confident that people will do what he wants, and reacts badly when people refuse to be cowed. This is best exemplified by his reaction to Korra flatly refusing to give in to his blackmail, calling out his mismanagement of the public relations crisis, and comparing him to Amon; he attacks her, which is not only politically unwise (since attacking the Avatar will lose him a lot of support), but also allows Korra (who is an excellent fighter, hates him already, and is known to have an explosive temper) to fight back. Considering the look on Korra's face by the end of it, he could have been in a lot of trouble without his secret ability to bloodbend.
  • Looney Tunes mainstay Wile E. Coyote had a handful of cartoons where he faced off against Bugs Bunny, and not only talked but took to smugness like a fish to water. His outlook on life is best summed up by his speech to Bugs in their first outing together, "Operation: Rabbit" (the current page image).
    Wile E.::Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wile E. Coyote, genius. I am not selling anything nor am I working my way through college, so let's get down to basics: You are a rabbit and I am going to eat you for supper. Now don't try to get away, I am more muscular, more cunning, faster and larger than you are, and I am a genius, while you could hardly pass the entrance examinations to kindergarten, so I'll give you the customary two minutes to say your prayers.
    • This trope is really driven home in the final exchange of the episode, which functions as an excellent set of Book-Ends with Wile E's original speech:
    Wile E.: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mud!
    Bugs Bunny: And remember, "Mud" spelled backwards is "Dum."
    • Daffy Duck often leaned as this in his later antagonistic bouts with Bugs. While he is clever enough to deceive Elmer, to the point of making him his borderline subbordinate, he wastes all his effort trying to send him against his much more cunning rival, who always manages to send things firing back onto him. This is taken Up to Eleven in his bouts with Speedy Gonzales, where he is incensed enough by the rodent to try and do the dirty work himself. And within The Looney Tunes Show, this would pretty much be set in stone if not for his Character Development.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: It probably would be easier to count the amount of times that Hawk Moth, Chloe Bourgeois and Lila Rossi aren't smug assholes — especially Lila, because ever since she became part of the Big Bad Ensemble in Season Three has never been caught lying, not even when the truth is literally beating people up, and has made Marinette's life a living hell little by little.
  • In Robot and Monster, Robots older brother Gart who always rub it into Robots face that he is better than him, and makes sure everyone knows how good he is.
  • Samurai Jack has Da Samurai. When introduced at a bar, he comes off as a pompous Miles Gloriosus who constancy bullies other people and trying (and failing) to pick up women. He started off pestering Jack, despite witnessing the latter slice up three robots with his sword without breaking a sweat. It was only until Da Samurai stole Jack's beverage does the latter lose his patience and agrees to fight the former. Da Samurai losing to Jack in their fight was due to not only his overconfidence, but his lack of skills in martial arts and the fact that he didn't think Jack would stand a chance against him.
  • Shrek
    • Prince Charming, in Shrek the Third, manipulates the other villains telling them that if they join him, they will all get their "happily ever afters" when all he really wanted was for them to help him get what he wanted, which was the throne for himself.
    • Also Lord Farquaad in the first movie and Rumpelstiltskin in the fourth.
  • The Simpsons
    • Mr. Burns sometimes takes Smug Snake to a ridiculous extreme. For example, one episode involved a plan on Burns' part to block sunlight from reaching Springfield, and a town hall meeting was held about it. During the meeting, the town was being shown what Burns' oil drilling operation did to Bart's pet dog, who was shown needing to use wheels just to walk down the hallway. Burns walks in at exactly this moment, and, with a big smirk on his face, says this:
    Burns: Oh, those wheels are squeaking a bit. Perhaps I could sell him a little oil.
    • However he met his downfall at the fact he was too impulsive. As he later admits in the second of the two parter, nobody could touch him so he felt like he could do anything. He spots Maggie holding a lollipop and decided to act something he wanted to do earlier; steal candy from a baby. During the struggle, the gun he was holding slip out of his holster and into Maggie's hand, going off and shooting Burns.
    • Russ Cargill, the Big Bad of The Movie, is quite the Smug Snake himself.
    • Sideshow Bob. He is educated and indeed clearly a mastermind. But Bob is such a showman that more often then not, his schemes fail because he either misses a small clue or just loves to be theatrical in his work. To be fair, a lot of these small clues are easily missed. For the most part, Bob has very clever schemes; it is more often a matter of circumstance that they tend to fall apart. He does show some signs of being a Smug Snake , but is a very ambiguous example, and most definitely less of an example than Burns.
  • Eric Cartman from South Park. While he's shown to be very skilled at manipulating people and believes himself to be a Magnificent Bastard, he tends to overestimates his plan that results in almost always backfiring which leads to Cartman's frequent outbursts. Not to mention that being eight years old, his plotting is often based on very childish and petty impulses.
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • Pong Krell from Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Lex Luthor in Superman: Brainiac Attacks thinks he's Lex Luthor from some other adaptation, that is a manipulative genius, but in practice he just manages to look stupid in his attempts to look good for the press and gets totally beaten when trying to manipulate Brainiac.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: Baron, the Draco Malfoy-esque kid Lance conflicts with at the boarding school he attended as a child. Before fleeing Galaluna, the Commander the actual traitor who accuses him of murdering Galalunians is also this.
  • In the Fast Forward Season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), we get Darius Dunn, a Manipulative Bastard and a master of deception who is surprisingly so arrogant that he berates his goons whenever they fail him, and doesn't take well to the Inuwashi Gunjin no longer willing to serve him, nor does he take well to the firewall set up by Cody to keep information about his time window a secret from everybody. He even throws a hissy fit when he finally loses his control over the Gunjin themselves.
  • Slade from Teen Titans. He's a creepy guy, but his manipulations leave a lot to be desired (such as telling Robin that he enjoyed fighting his friends.) It's mostly because he can't understand or control the heroes as much as he'd like to. And the fact that he's widely perceived to be a pedophile doesn't help. He has his moments of magnificence though, especially after becoming Trigon's henchman.
    • Unlike some other Smug Snakes, Slade does learn from his mistakes. After getting his butt kicked by the whole team, he makes sure that he never winds up fighting them all at once again (at least until he gets superpowers of his own) and after his manipulations of Robin failed because they hinged only on their being Not So Different, he systematically deconstructed the mind of his next apprentice, Terra (and turns her into a person puppet without her knowledge if that fails). Unfortunately, he's never able to lose the old Villain Ball (sometimes being a sadistic sociopath is a problem), and therefore never crawls out of full Smug Snakehood, though he does get better towards the end.
      • Other Teen Titans main villains, such as Brother Blood from Season 3 and The Brain from Season 5, also count. Both are very threatening, but their inflated egos prove to be their undoing in the end.
  • Alluro in ThunderCats is so smug, he'll lounge on his enemies' tank waiting for them to return, and his actual method of combat is to attempt to psyche them out into thinking they can't possibly win against him. As he's taller, broader-shouldered, and more muscular than any other cast member, he could probably handle himself quite well in a fight, but he never actually gets physically involved, and so his psyche-out attempts always wind up backfiring.
  • Claude from ''Timothy Goes to School" was commonly seen making this expression during the earlier episodes. While he started acting more friendly around the other students of Hilltop School in the later episodes. Claude was seen treating Timothy like dirt in the first episode of the series and even pushed him to catch a ball during a game of football with Frank and Frank during recess much to the disgust of Yoko.
  • Gibbs of Titan Maximum, despite being the Only Sane Man is this due to his incredibly smug nature and the fact that his victories are invalidated by the fact that his opposition is a team of incompetent jackasses, thus mostly succeeding more out of their own failures than anything else.
    • Troy from Titan Maximum might also count. "T-R-O-Y! Why? Because I rock!"
  • Blaineley from Total Drama World Tour has a very inflated image of herself as a mastermind schemer able to exploit drama and celebrity gossip for all its worth, but she isn't in the same league as Heather or Alejandro when it comes to manipulation and ruthlessness or Chris when it comes to milking a show's drama for ratings. Similarly, she believes herself to be extremely famous and popular, but it's implied she's little more than a White-Dwarf Starlet and very few even recognize her when she introduces herself.
    • Justin from the previous season Action also qualifies. He boasts about being a great, manipulative strategist but it turns out that he's a vain and lazy Brainless Beauty whose manipulations rely solely on his good looks. When his face gets damaged, he barely poses a threat.
    • In the fourth season, there's Scott. He's great at manipulating people and clearly thinks he's a Magnificent Bastard, but his huge ego tends to lead to poor planning.
    • Pahkitew Island introduces Max, a character who plays this trope for laughs. He views himself as the most evil contestant of all time and brags that he's an Evil Genius, but in reality he's just a hammy, slow-witted Harmless Villain.
  • Starscream from Transformers is the undisputed king of this trope. Which applies to pretty much almost all of his incarnations. In G1 he fancied himself the smartest, most cunning and handsomest Decepticon. When he wasn't complaining to Megatron about how he would've defeated the Autobots eons ago, he was openly plotting ways to top the slag-maker. All of his schemes failed miserably with at least one or two nearly destroying the earth. He was far more interested in becoming the Decepticon leader than leading them effectively in the rare moments when Megatron was out of the way. His Transformers Animated incarnation behaves similarly in this regard, but is physically dangerous enough to back himself up, whilst his Movieverse and Transformers: Prime incarnations are tired of Megatron's leadership and genuinely believe they would make better leaders, but are unable to oppose him directly.
    • Megatron himself can qualify as such, especially in the G1 cartoon. While he is a much more dangerous opponent for the Autobots, a lot of Starscream's qualms with Megatron have some substance due to his Complexity Addiction and overconfidence in his own planning and invulnerability (not that Starscream is much better in that regard when given the chance).
    • Thrust from Transformers Armada practically is this trope.
  • In the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, The Wizard is cocky and arrogant in both fights against Spider-Man, but he loses his cool when Spidey turns the table on the Frightful Four, especially in the second fight, where his team loses the numbers advantage.
  • Phantom Limb from The Venture Bros.. The effect is almost certainly intentional.
    • The Monarch would be this if he wasn't actually a capable threat who merely devotes himself to annoying Venture. Frankly, every villain on The Venture Bros. fits this trope, with the possible exception of the ones who don't have enough self esteem for the "smug" part, and maybe the Sovereign, who usually appears to have enough on the ball to qualify as a Magnificent Bastard.
  • Prince Phobos and Cedric from W.I.T.C.H. Though both are certified Manipulative Bastards, their egos and tendency to fail at their evil plans make them fall short of magnificence. Oh, and in Cedric's case, Smug Snake is meant quite literally.


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