Insufferable Genius

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"Don't you think that if I were wrong, I'd know it?"

Dick: I made the front page of The Daily Badgerian again.
Tommy: What's it say?

Sally: [reading headline] "Physics professor calls Einstein idiot; proclaims self much smarter."
3rd Rock from the Sun, "Proud Dick"

At first glance, the Insufferable Genius appears to be exactly the type who's doomed to learn An Aesop: he's very talented, knows he's very talented, and doesn't mind telling you repeatedly what a talented person he is. But the difference between him and your standard loudmouth is that he really is that good, and when placed in a difficult situation he can actually work his way out of it—so maybe he does have a right to brag.

Quite a bit of Truth in Television, many people with advanced degrees/specialized knowledge have ego problems, and physicists in particular have a reputation as being contemptuous of all other scientific disciplines.

May overlap with Brilliant but Lazy. May join in a Battle of Wits, if anyone is in the right league. Compare Tall, Dark and Snarky, Know-Nothing Know-It-All, Too Clever by Half, Upper Class Wit, Bunny Ears Lawyer, The Proud Elite. Contrast with characters that do get their Aesop, who may fall quickly or be slowly broken. Also contrast with a Gentleman and a Scholar, whose intelligence does not prevent him being gracious, friendly, and polite. And contrast Small Name, Big Ego, who thinks they're this trope, but is just plain insufferable.

No real life examples, please; Calling real-life people "insufferable" is a bad idea.

Examples of Insufferable Genius include:


Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Washu from Tenchi Muyo and Tenchi Universe. Claims to be 'the greatest scientist in the Universe' and really is. She even invented tiny robot mascots to proclaim her greatness whenever she needs an ego-boost. Also insists on being called 'Little Washu' ("Washuu-chan" in the original Japanese) and being treated with all the indulgence due to a child, despite the fact that she is over 10,000 years old and virtually omnipotent, capable of suspending the laws of physics or even destroying the Universe if she so pleases.
  • Ryoma Echizen from The Prince of Tennis. At twelve, he beats high school players with ease, before revealing that he's really left-handed, and, if you watch the anime, also defeats professional players in the US Open. Frequently taunts his opponent with "Mada Mada Dane" ("You still have lots more to work on"). A prick, really. Made all the more obvious by titling the chapters as 'Genius #'.
  • Saya Takagi from Highschool of the Dead. Her tendancy to insult everyone around her, whine, and use her friends as meatshields hasn't made her very popular with fans.
  • Sergeant Major Kururu from Keroro Gunsou has a mischievous streak a mile long, and seems more interested in amusing himself than completing the invasion of Earth. However, he's still a (technically senior) member of the Keroro Platoon, and the group's "ideas" guy.
  • Skuld from Ah! My Goddess practically oozes this trope, and never receives anything to cut down on her massive ego. In order to balance this out, the writers had to have her fail constantly at her main goal in breaking up Keiichi and her sister Belldandy.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note when he's at his most All According To Plan-ness.
    • Though this is only from the audience's perspective. Light would never let another human being know he felt that way - though it leaks out more and more towards the end.
    • L is this too, at least as far as Aizawa is concerned.
    • Near has a bit of exemplifies this as well: "please don't make me repeat myself."
    • Near is really good at this trope. Especially when he does his "Look what i got from santa!"- face.
  • Dolce, the genius programmer from Geneshaft, with the added bonus that she herself seems to be very quiet, while she lets her puppet do all the bragging. So she's one hell of a ventriloquist too.
  • Excalibur from Soul Eater would like you to know that his legend began in the twelfth century.
  • George from Paradise Kiss is a genius fashion designer. He's also a complete jerk.
  • Gash Bell - Played with - Kiyo starts out despising his intellectual inferiors (read: everybody) and the feeling's mutual. On the other hand, his unpopularity actually seems to bother him a lot and it might be a chicken-and-the-egg situation because people were jealous.
  • Evangeline of Mahou Sensei Negima damn well knows that she's one of the most powerful and infamous mages in the setting and doesn't let those around her forget it.
    • More recently introduced is Kurt Godel, who is identified as a genius, and is extremely smug about it.
    • Don't forget Nagi, quite possibly literally the most powerful creature in existence, and definitely knows it. He once told his son "I can understand your feelings of admiration for this young, accomplished, yet super cool genius and undefeatable father who was also a hero..."
  • Lord, Kyoya Hibari from Katekyo Hitman Reborn. The guy is so insanely egoistical, proud, condescending, and brutally violent. Yet his sheer genius and strength in combat (along with his incredibly good looks, which win over the fangirls) manages to compensate and even justify his attitude. Oh, and he gets away with pretty much everything.
    • As a matter of fact, to prove exactly how spoiled and proud he is, his sort-of-loss in an unfair fight with Mukuro is a gigantic blow to his ego, and results in his obsessing over proving his superiority over him. Well, 10 years into the future, he apparently got over it. And he's still an Insufferable Genius.
  • Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh!. With ego and indifference to match.
    • The anime only character, Rebecca as well.
  • Takamura Mamoru from Hajime no Ippo. He has an ego of the size of a planet and believes himself to be strongest man in the history of men. Well, it's just that this may very well be true, since he is the strongest boxer in the entire manga. His daily Jerkass habits contain bullying Aoki and Kimura and rubbing the fact that they're... not the best boxers... in their faces.
  • Edward Elric. A Teen Genius with alchemy skills that are the envy of alchemists who have been doing this much longer than he has, an impressive head for deduction, and many other skills besides. He's also a Bratty Half-Pint (don't tell him that) with an ego as big as he isn't.
    • WHO DID YOU JUST CALL A TINY BRAT WHO'S SO SMALL YOU NEED A MICROSCOPE TO SEE HIM!?!
  • Code Geass gave us Lloyd, an Insufferable Genius Mad Scientist who is something of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • And Lelouch, who, when not intentionally restraining himself, has a very much "I'm better than you" outlook on life. However, the only people who really see this from him are Kallen and Suzaku.
  • Ranma Saotome of Ranma ½. He even has a whole move (the Moko Takibisha) that's powered by his massive overconfidence. But even most of the characters who hate him for his ego will grudgingly admit that he has the combat skill to back it up. His ability to improvise strategy is, if anything, even MORE impressive. As he himself says, "if it's got martial arts in it, I can beat it!" And he will.
  • Subverted in Sailor Moon. Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury is a Shy Blue-Haired Girl, but her classmates think she's an Insufferable Genius and shun her away.
  • Ban Midou from GetBackers is this, all the way. He's characterized and Lampshaded numerous times as being a major Insufferable Genius that insults and looks down on (almost) everyone he meets, and loves to flaunt his superiority. In fact, according to his profile in the manga omake, he's described as an extremely prideful person whom most people dislike initially. In the Birth Arc (which chronicles when Ban and Ginji first became Get Backers), he's shown to be even more big headed, telling Ginji to call him "LORD Ban," and gloats about how he's a genius, demanding Ginji to praise him for figuring out a strategy to defeat Takuma Fudou. Of course, all of this is completely justified, seeing how he is the strongest and smartest character in the entire series. As a matter of fact, he actually has the power to bend things to his will if he believes it.
  • Bulma from the Dragon Ball series occasionally falls into this, especially in the first show, and in the Z days before she married Vegeta and had a son. Although she IS super-intelligent, even more so than her father, she's also unbearably whiny and smug sometimes. The worst moment comes in Dragonball GT when she backpedals to absolve herself of all guilt pertaining to the creation of the evil dragons AND convinces Goku that it's really all his fault, despite the fact that he never would have gone with her if she hadn't pulled him along for the ride as a "bodyguard."
    • Of course GT isn't canon, and in the latter parts of the canon series she has shown signs of unbelievable maturity, so this is most likely an egregious case of an Out-of-Character Moment for her character at the time.
  • Sousuke from Full Metal Panic! certainly has his moments. Especially so in the novel, where more of his thoughts are shown, as well as extra dialogue displaying more aspects to his character (especially in regard to his sense of pride). Also, his pet peeve seems to be people calling him an amateur or hobbyist when it comes to Arm Slaves, as he'll very indignantly correct them that he's not an amateur - he's a "specialist." He is also more than willing to taunt his fallen enemies for being losers, as well as telling them why their tactics were inferior to his. Justified in that he really is that good, and definitely qualifies as a Teen Genius.
  • In Baccano!, Claire Stanfield is so acutely aware of his own awesomeness that he has quite literally come to the conclusion that the universe actually revolves around him. This wouldn't be so bad if he also wasn't just a tad Axe Crazy...
  • Agon Kongou from Eyeshield 21 is considered the most talented athlete of the century and never lets anyone forget it. He never trains and regularly mocks the efforts of normal people or as he calls them, "trash." It doesn't help that he's a sadist with occasional Axe Crazy moments.
    • "My strong point is that I'm invincible!" Sadly, that's almost true.
    • For that matter, Hiruma also shows obvious signs of this. He's definitely a genius, whether it's about American Football or anything else, and apparently that gives him the right to carry around firearms and abuse everyone. The only way he knows off to show people he cares is by kicking them. HIS strong point? "My strong point is that I win!"
      • Clifford Lewis and Mr. Don of team America are this and then some, unfortunately they can back up their words.
  • Naru from Ghost Hunt.
  • Neji Hyuuga from Naruto starts out as one of these before his defeat by Naruto Uzumaki.
    • Sasuke also showed some signs of this, but usually got knocked down a peg before he could get too conceited. And then, he got much, much worse...
  • Karl Lichter von Randoll in Future GPX Cyber Formula. While Randoll is a legitimately talented athlete, he talks down those who aren't on his level in Cyber Formula racing and lets his talent go through his head. He got over it little by little as the series progresses.
  • Hiko from Rurouni Kenshin loves bragging and calling himself a genius, but he really is much stronger than any other character in the series.
  • Toru Muhyo of Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation is the youngest Executor in history, has an incredible amount of tempering and can use highly advanced magical laws to sentence dangerous spirits. He also frequently talks down to other MLS agents, belittles Roji, and mocks people who try to get ahead through hard work alone (which is a personal issue for him, since his best friend struggled to become an Executor to support his mother, then turned evil after he lost his mother and was passed over for the position almost simultaneously).


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Lex Luthor might not be the smartest man in the DC Comics continuua, but he's close. And he's going to let you know it, any second now.
  • Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes, particularly in the current reboot and the one after the "Zero Hour" Crisis Crossover. The version in the Legion cartoon occasionally shows signs of this trope, moreso in the second season.
    • His ancestor, Vril Dox II of L.E.G.I.O.N., has a pretty big head as well.
    • Humorously, when three alternate Legions are brought together to face Superboy Prime, the three Brainiacs 5 bicker over which one of them should be the authority; None of them can stand any of the others (albeit for different reasons; One of them is distrustful of an older Brainiac 5 because he's never trusted any adults before and isn't about to get in the habit of it.)
    • During The Final Night, a Crisis Crossover, the Leigon found themselves trapped in the 20th Century, and Brainiac 5 and the aforementioned Lex Luthor were forced to work together to solve the problem of the Sun-Eater. A humorous moment came when Brainiac 5 complained degradingly about how "primitive" the 20th Century tech was, Luthor loudly proclaimed to the entire room, "Young man, you're so much more advanced then we primitive cavemen, surely you must have already solved our dilemma!" Brainiac 5 promptly shut up.
    • One of the (surprisingly many) post-crisis reimaginings of the origins of Superman involves his first meeting (as Superboy) with the Legion, who have violated the laws of time and causality to meet him out of hero-worship. When he discovers this, Brainiac 5 delivers a pompous lecture about the possible effects this could have. One of the Legion 'innocently' challenges him to work out the exact odds of his disastrous predictions coming true, riling Brainiac 5 up so much that he immediately leaves to do just that—leaving Superboy to hang out with the other members of the Legion, which was of course the whole point.
  • The female Dr. Light. During Crisis on Infinite Earths, she angrily storms out to find the Big Bad after one of her allies is seemingly crushed. Superman, worried that she'll get into trouble, flies after her. He not only finds that she's okay, but she has discovered and analyzed the Big Bad's machine of destruction. She sternly informs him that she knows what she's doing.
  • Batman can be this, especially when he does team ups.
  • Arion, at least in the Superman story "Camelot Falls." He believes that Superman must die, leave, or otherwise stop interfering with humanity. He saw a Bad Future where mankind got complacent due to Supes helping all the time, ending with the human race getting wiped out. His problem is that he thinks his plan (destroy Supes) is the only option, instead of just cooperating with Supes to fix it. Arion also mocks and puts down anyone who tries to give him advice.
  • Victor Von Doom!
  • Doom's nemesis, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four approaches this occasionally.He actually uses his genius for the betterment of mankind(sometimes).
    • In one notable example, he got into an argument with Hank Pym when he claimed that he knew more about Pym particles than Hank did. Hank called him a bitch for that insult.
  • Hardware; see Dwayne McDuffie's run on Justice League of America for numerous examples. He spends most of this time snarking about how easily he was able to break into JLA headquarters and how easy it was to hack into their communicators system. This angers John Stewart who at one point angrily yells "Okay, we get it! You're smarter than us."
  • Iron Man: How did Tony Stark escape being put on this list for so long?
    • Charm!
  • Loki of The Mighty Thor ususally ventures here when his plans are working (especially against Thor, since intelligence and magic are the only places he can outclass his older brother). Seeing as how he's often shown to be the Marvel Universe's resident master of thw whole spectrum of The Plan, he sometimes deserves it.
    • Notably, he has tricked Tony Stark (and the rest of the Avengers), Dr. Doom, and Mephisto. That's two other people on this page and the devil. You might get to gloat a little for that.
  • In All Fall Down, AIQ Squared is this in spades.
  • An early plot turned Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog into one temporarily. Sadly, he shows occasional traces of it now in his regular "good" persona.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Young Frankenstein. Frederick has his moments.
  • Matt Damon's character from Good Will Hunting can be this at times, particularly when explaining to Stellan Skarsgaard's character how frustrated he is.
  • Herbert West, Re-Animator is a young medical genius who has discovered the secret of bringing the dead back to life, but he pisses off so many people with his condescending attitude that no one likes him. Also the zombies probably don't make him very popular.
  • Tony Stark in Iron Man. An engineering genius, billionaire, and ladies' man, he's got the ego to match. He enjoys putting the boot to his rivals and opponents, but he's usually having too much fun to be a dick to anyone else.
  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, as portrayed in The Social Network.
  • Jude Quinn, the Bob Dylan Expy played by Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There, has shades of this.
  • Duncan from Mystery Team fakes the genius part, but gets the insufferable down pat. He spent his childhood memorizing bits of trivia, and assumed this was enough to make him a "Boy Genius."


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Lily Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries is said to be brilliant but has absolutely no people skills. Whatsoever.
  • Hercule Poirot never gets tired of explaining his genius, but since he's only ever failed to solve one case in a thirty-year-plus career, one might consider giving him a little slack. Even Agatha Christie thought Poirot was an insufferable know-it-all and grew tired of writing him. Perhaps this is the reason that Poirot admits to that he too finds his own arrogance obnoxious, but explains it away as part of his facade of Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Kirsty from Johnny Maxwell Trilogy is a recognized genius and tends to win absolutely everything. However her constantly explaining to everyone just how stupid they are tends to drive most people away from her, which she assumes is a character flaw in everybody else.
    • Terry Pratchett later reused this basic interpretation of the trope when he created Susan Sto Helit for his Discworld series. It's most heavily present in Soul Music, when she is still a teenager, and somewhat justifiable as a combination of considerable intelligence, an upbringing in cold, hard, rationalism and an innate awareness of the true nature of things due to her supernatural heritage. It still makes her be regarded as rather annoying or obnoxious by most who meet her—the primary exception are children, who take well to her view of them as basically being small adults and thusly treating them as such.
  • Sherlock Holmes very seldom brags about how smart he is, but he is always ready to snarkily disparage the intellect of anyone who fails to keep up with his deductive leaps. Watson is really a paragon of self-restraint considering the verbal abuse he takes from Holmes. Resentment toward this conceited attitude is probably why it takes so long for the Scotland Yard detectives to (grudgingly, at first) admit that he really is as brilliant as he thinks he is.

Sherlock Holmes: You mean well, Watson. Shall I demonstrate your own ignorance?

    • When we meet Mycroft (Sherlock's brother), however, Sherlock is quick to point out, matter-of-factly, that his brother is the smarter of the two. Watson suggests that Sherlock is just being modest, but Sherlock says it's just as much of a sin to have too low an opinion of your skills as too high. It is also worth noting that Holmes is just as hard on himself as on anyone else when he fails to live up to his own standards.
  • Both Artemis and Foaly from Artemis Fowl. Artemis pulls off a Evil Plan in the first book that leads to him getting a large part of a metric ton (literally) of gold. Foaly is so smart that he's described as the only reason that fairies have kept ahead of humans, being a combination Gadgeteer Genius and Mission Control. And they both explain things as if everyone is that smart.
  • Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with an extra emphasis on the insufferable part.

"I'm much smarter than you. Think of a number, any number."
"Err... five?"
"Wrong. You see?"

  • Melvin Sneedly in Captain Underpants
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry's least favourite teacher Severus Snape. He made improvements to his textbook and invented his own spells while at school, one of the few wizards capable of brewing the Wolfsbane Potion, and the only wizard other than Voldemort capable of flight. Also, in the words of his actor in the films, a very interesting character.
    • One can't mention Harry Potter without mentioning Hermione Granger. She's a bright, high-achieving witch who constantly tells her friends off for not being a devoted studier like she is. She also used to be an annoying Motor Mouth.
    • Voldemort definitely counts as well. Since he's, you know, evil, but also brilliant. At the end of the fourth book, he delivers a speech to his minions for a whole chapter. It basically consists of, "Let me tell you in excruciating detail how awesome and brilliant I am and how you are all morons."
    • When Albus Dumbledore was young, he was like this as well. When his arrogance led to certain tragic consequences, he attempted to keep his ego in check, pointing out that people who don't just wind up turning into self-destructive fools.
    • James Potter and Sirius Black as teenagers - teachers mention that they were the best at practically anything they tried, in classes and out, and they became Animagi at the age of fifteen, but they were also arrogant Jerk Jocks (especially to Snape), though they grew out of it.
  • Raistlin Majere is another arrogant Tall, Dark and Snarky magician who is really that good. He managed to defeat all the gods of Krynn and achieve godhood in an alternate time line, after all.
    • From memory he was only beaten with his own assistance, too...
  • The Wizard Saruman from Lord of the Rings is like this. But Denethor is an even better example. Both are even insufferable toward Gandalf, which in Saruman's case is hardly justified, and in Denethor's case is remarkably cheeky.
    • Gandalf, for those not familiar with Tolkien's 'verse, is basically a demi-god working for The Powers That Be.
  • T'Passe from The Acts of Caine. She's very much philosophically inspired by Caine, the series' protagonist. She meets him in prison, and is proud to discover Caine could hear her lecturing the other prisoners from his separate cell - until Caine explains that he was desperately waiting for someone to knife her.
  • Skull Skelton, an intelligence officer who pops up in several novels by Derek Robinson. He's almost always right, especially when pointing out the shortcomings of military tactics directly to the men responsible for those tactics, but no one likes him for it. A superior officer once threw a telephone at him. Or was it a bottle of rum? Probably both.
  • The German Staffie Armin Von Roon in Winds of War/War and Remembrance. One cannot possibly be a Wehrmacht General Staff officer without at least the beginnings of genius. But he was most definitely insufferable.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Wedge Antilles maneuvers around this trope depending on the book and who he's around. In the X Wing Series he's quietly confident about his skills around his military superiors and the Rogues and the Wraiths - he's observant, consistently lucky, highly adaptive, and much more aware of long-term ramifications and politics than most people of his rank, not to mention being the greatest pilot alive. In that series, his ego is largely an Informed Flaw; he's just better at most of what he does than anyone else, but he doesn't show off, and a certain amount of Underestimating Badassery gets directed at him. Later-set books change this, though he's still not as bad as some - in Legacy of the Force he calmly informs Jacen Solo that Jacen knows he wasn't involved at all in one operation because that op failed. Jacen grits his teeth and reminds himself that belligerent cockiness is one of the Corellian hats.
  • Harold Lauder of The Stand, especially early on. Smarter than anyone else in the book. And he knows it. And he was bullied mercilessly and sees no reason to let go of old grudges just because the world ended and all those people are dead now. At one point, Fran mentally compares Harold to a defective oracle—balky, a little bit frightening, but incredibly useful to have around.
  • In Death: Dick "Dickhead" Berenski. He has an egg-shaped head, he is considered creepy by a number of characters, he whines a lot about how every cop expects him to put his or her case at the top of the list, and he often has to be bribed with alcohol, sports tickets, and what have you to get him to put said case to the top of the list. He is also the chief lab tech, and he is a genius in his work.
  • Mor glasch Tev from the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, who generally gives the impression that, as far as he's concerned, the rest of the team is simply holding him back. His engineering skills are incredible, but his social skills need a lot of work.
  • The Hideous Hog in the Bridge in The Menagerie series. While he is by far the best bridge player in the group, he's all too quick to puff up his own importance. Themistocles Papadopolous, a.k.a. Papa The Greek, is just as bad about proclaiming his ability, though he usually outsmarts himself.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

Dayna: Don't you ever get bored of being right?
Avon: Just with the rest of you being wrong.

  • Charles Emerson Winchester from M* A* S* H is one of the best-known examples—puffed up and pompous, but a skilled surgeon. While he does get cut down to size a bit from time to time, it is never in proportion to his ego.
    • In one episode, after Winchester has deftly saved a patient's leg from being amputated, Colonel Potter says that Winchester has "A silo full of smug", but definitely knows which end of a scalpel is up.
    • In another episode, Father Mulcahy is trying to come up with something nice to say about Winchester. He finally says "He's a VERY good doctor."
    • Compare this with Hawkeye, Trapper and BJ, who use their mad surgical skills as a Weirdness Coupon rather than boasting about them, and contrast with Frank Burns, who is just as convinced of his ability despite having none.
  • When he was introduced on Stargate SG-1, Rodney McKay—prickly, whiny, and arrogant—continually got shown that he was not always right. In Stargate Atlantis, he doesn't have to worry about being upstaged since Carter, the one person possibly smarter than him, is at least two galaxies over, so his brains, and considerable courage under pressure, have been critical in saving the day so many times that his friends and the rest of the Atlantis team is willing to accommodate him. And, of course, he's always willing to brag about how he is the smartest guy in the world at the drop of a hat. In on scene, his password consisted of 3 birth dates: Newton's, Einstein's and his, to which Sheppard mused "Never underestimate that man's ego."
    • Then there's this jewel from "Brain Storm":

McKay: Hey, I'm Dr. Rodney McKay, all right? Difficult takes a few seconds; impossible, a few minutes.

    • Even Daniel Jackson could be considered that, at least in his own field. This is lampshaded by Colonel Martin Edwards in "Enemy Mine", after Daniel peacefully resolves the situation with a bunch of angry Unas.

Martin Edwards: O'Neill was right about you. You are a pain in the ass… But well worth it.

  • Stargate Universe has its own example with Dr. Rush, although his insufferability is played much less for comedy than with McKay, and more to show that he's batshit nuts. For example, he's responsible for stranding the series' characters on the other side of the universe in the first place. (Ironically, now that they're there, he's the guy most able to help them with the Lost Technology they found there.)
  • The title character of House manifests his arrogance in different ways (he prefers putting others down to puff himself up), but he justifies his attitude by always being one intuitive jump ahead of the rest of the staff. It's appropriate given the connections between House and Holmes (see Literature section above).
    • There was also an episode featuring a super-genius who couldn't deal with the pressure of the expectations everyone had in him, so he intentionally drugged himself into a permanent dumbness haze to be happy. Which is what put him in hospital. Guess he wasn't so smart, huh ?. When the effect wears off, he more or less immediately becomes this. Notably, he rants that considering the IQ difference between him and his girlfriend, having sex with her might as well be bestiality.
  • Dr. Cox from Scrubs is so over-the-top narcissistic that he actually enjoys being called a genius, even if the person saying it does not mean it. At one time, he was named the best doctor in the city by a local magazine, and forced everyone in the hospital to line up and answer his question of who the best doctor is with "You are!" For another extreme example, watch this. There was a Lampshade Hanging in one episode where people were comparing him to House and he went through the same summation that he usually does. Scrubs fans might note that their series predates House by three years, to wrongly imply that House is some sort of rip-off of Cox. Outrageous! At one point he reminds Elliot that he has a giant ego and to get his help, she'll have to flatter him.
    • A visiting surgeon named Russell Vaughn in the episode "Our Dear Leaders" is also this. Having traveled the world and done many amazing things, Russell is a skilled surgeon and a cultured individual. He also comes off as a remarkable douche, constantly interjecting with stories of his travels and even condescendingly offering to let Turk, Sacred Hearts' Head of Surgery and a highly competent doctor in his own right, help out with a tricky surgery as 'a feather in [his] cap.'
  • Gareth Blackstock, star of Chef!, was a classic example of this, although he would occasionally bestow compliments as well. "Everton, let me explain things to you. In the world of cooking, I am Einstein. Lucinda is Isaac Newton. And you are a mud-dwelling unicellular bit of jelly with a predilection for consuming its own excrement."
  • The Doctor from Doctor Who is fond of explaining how brilliant he is to his companions, but as this is usually at the point where he has just solved whatever problem they're in, he tends to get away with it. Plus, he's saved the universe several times over as well.

Rose (to Sarah Jane): With you, did he do that thing where he'd explain something at, like, ninety miles per hour, and you'd go "What?" and he'd look at you like you'd just dribbled on your shirt?

    • Eleven does this more humorously than some of the others:

The Doctor: Doctor Song, you've got that face on again.
River: What face?
The Doctor: The "He's hot when he's clever" face.
River: This is my normal face.
The Doctor: Yes it is.
River: Oh, shut up.
The Doctor: Not a chance

    • While the Doctor is usually rather nicer than your usual Insufferable Genius, One and Six pretty much live this trope. Especially Six. Three and Four weren't exactly shy about telling people how clever they were in the most abrasive way possible either.
    • This is one of the Doctor's qualities that backfire on him in the episode "Midnight." Ten (an arrogant Doctor in several ways) is characteristically flippant about assuming authority over the humans in his company, responding to the comment "Oh, like you're so special" with "As it happens, yes I am," and even after belatedly realizing that they aren't feeling it and trying to backtrack, he loses patience and snaps that he just knows what to do "because [he's] clever." This almost ends up being the death of him, as he becomes the focus of their Witch Hunt mentality.
    • Adric very much wanted to be one of these, but his sheer incompetence at pretty much anything outside of mathematics pretty much scuttled the character. As such, he frequently came across as being more 'Insufferable' than 'Genius', which went a long way towards cementing his status as Doctor Who's Scrappy.
    • River Song. She appears to know as much as the Doctor due to being his wife in his future and acts suitably insufferable a fair share of the time, but isn't one to sit about with her mouth open when things get hairy.
    • Of course, loads of villains fall into this category, given the number of evil scientists and geniuses the Doctor has faced, Luke Rattigan from "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky" being a shining example. The Doctor tends to have a lot of fun letting them ramble on about how intelligent they are, then simply shutting them up by easily proving how much smarter than them he is.

The Doctor: Terraforming, biospheres, nanotech steel construction. This is brilliant. Do you know, with equipment like this, you could -- ooh, I don't know -- move to another planet or something.
Luke Rattigan: If only that was possible.
The Doctor: If only that were possible. Conditional clause.

  • Garrett, the Sixth Ranger from The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog. He would tell anyone willing to listen of his supposedly great abilities (for example, the ability to calm animals by looking at them). But then, we learn he's actually able to do these things...
  • As an advanced alien, Dick Solomon of 3rd Rock from the Sun is extremely intelligent by human standards and doesn't mind constantly insisting that he's the smartest man on the planet. His only mental shortcoming is his unfamiliarity with Earth ways.

Nina: You think you're the smartest man on the planet, don't you?
Dick: For the thousandth time, yes!

  • The entire formula of The Big Bang Theory seems to be Sheldon (our cover boy for this page) being an Insufferable Genius and the other three (extremely intelligent but comparatively more normal) main characters acting as his foils. During one episode they openly question why any of them are still friends with him.

Sheldon: (to the others, regarding overcoming his fear of public speaking) I'm smarter than you and I haven't figured it out.
Penny: Yes, but you're not smarter than all of us put together.
Sheldon: I'm sorry, that is what I meant.

  • Denny Crane from Boston Legal has a good bit of this. He's rather off-putting to the people he meets, acting infinitely superior to everyone while simultaneous behaving like either a senile old man or a mental patient. But then he steps into a courtroom and shows them all just why he's... well, Denny Crane.
  • Shawn Spencer from Psych is an insufferable Jerkass vastly disrespectful of everyone and everything who makes his best friend do all non-detective work for him, brazenly lies to the police, and solves a homicide every week. It's gotten to the point where the real detectives know he'll probably solve the case, but try to keep him away anyway because he's just that annoying.
    • In fact, the female detective finds him so annoying that she asked him out (in other words, not very). The male detective finds him annoying because he is, in fact, the Jerkass.
      • Every main character on the show finds him annoying. Every single one, including his best friend. Juliet is possibly an exception, but he seems to get on her nerves sometimes as well.
      • Though Shawn is more childish then insufferable.
  • Souji Tendou from Kamen Rider Kabuto, who was an attempt to make a heroic Magnificent Bastard but ended up more annoying than anything else, considering that he could effortlessly predict everything that was going to happen and overcome any obstacle with ease, often while humiliating audience surrogate Kagami.
    • Tsukasa Kadoya from Kamen Rider Decade is a milder Expy of Tendou, his Jerk with a Heart of Gold tendencies appearing earlier and more obviously. This even gets a lampshade in the Kabuto story arc where Tsukasa easily befriends the alternate Souji's sister and her grandmother complains about his bad attitude, saying that Souji was like that before he grew up.
  • Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager, being a former Borg drone, has definite Insufferable Genius tendencies. She does back up her superior attitude by saving the crew's collective ass a little more frequently than she almost destroys them all, which is more than can be said for a surprising number of her crew mates.
    • Voyager also gave us the Doctor (not that one), who was programmed to be the ideal medic, and knew it. His constant preening didn't stop him from becoming a much-loved character, though. In fact, it may even have helped.
    • There is also Julian Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, with many of his fellow crew finding him unbearably smug in early seasons: boasting about beating Vulcans in tennis matches, curing planetary plagues, and almost being valedictorian, though this is usually done humorously. In a later season, this is not quite as hilarious, when it is discovered he is illegally genetically engineered and has in fact been holding back.
    • There's also Q, who in addition to being Godlike has an IQ in the quadruple digit range. At the start of the series, he's also beyond insufferable, planning on wiping out "Less advanced" species and examining humans like they're simple toys. He gets less insufferable in later appearences though, partly from time with Captain Picard and partly from his species (who are apparently not appreciative of his behavior) briefly stripping him of his powers.
  • Dollhouse's Topher, who is tolerated by dint of being the only one around who knows how all the big shiny brain-scrambling devices work.
    • Also Bennett, although in her case it's less because of arrogance and more because of craziness.
  • Austin James from the short lived 80s sci fi mystery show Probe was the smartest man on the planet. And he never let you forget it. Ever.
  • Cracker. Fitz is considered to be a complete bastard by his workmates at the Manchester Police, and has zero respect among his academic peers. But he is also very, very, very good at profiling.
  • One of Monk's Catch Phrases is "unless I'm wrong, which I'm not," but otherwise he's not at all arrogant. Well, except when on medication.
  • Jeffery on Project Runway, who was talented but also snarky and condescending from the beginning until he won.
  • If one wished to summarize Temperance "Bones" Brennan in a single sentence it would be: "An insufferable and very hot genius." She's one of the best forensic scientists on Earth, a skilled marksman, bestselling novelist, and wouldn't know social graces if they bit her legs off. Possibly her most abrasive habit is that she sees nothing wrong with correcting anyone who says or does anything she disagrees with - including, say, family members who say goodbye to a loved one at his funeral (since she considers the belief in an afterlife irrational).
    • "The Science in the Physicist" has a whole research institute filled with these.
      • Bones reveals she wanted to join the institute, but they rejected her because their research is focused on the future not the past.
    • Dr. Zack Addy is a little bit of this, too, in that he's not shy about his high IQ and general intelligence. He tends to annoy the crap out of Booth, but everyone else at the Jeffersonian accepts it as 'just Zack'. Plus, he is genuinely brilliant.
      • In "The Woman in the Car" there's a particularly notable exchange:

Booth: Alright Zack! Zack! (Zack turns around) This guy Decker he’s like you. He’s in the whole stratosphere IQ wise.
Zack: What’s his IQ?
Booth: It’s 163.
Bones: Oh, he’s not where Zack is.
Zack: If he’s in the stratosphere, I’m in the ionosphere.

  • Rico of Hannah Montana skipped three grade levels, has an eidetic memory, can do complex equations in his head, and is a Jerkass who believes anyone less intelligent than he (read: everyone) is his to manipulate.
  • Criminal Minds' Dr. Spencer Reid has an IQ of 187, can read over 20,000 words per minute, has an eidetic memory, three PhD's, BA's in Psychology and Sociology, can solve the Bacon Cipher longhand, and almost played through every single possible move in chess. The only reason his coworkers haven't shot him yet is because he uses his powers for good, is a source of endless amusement due to his ignorance of pop culture, and the team's protective of him as their Little Brother-type.
    • I wouldn't call him arrogant, though. In fact, in the pilot, someone asks him if he is a genius and he's kind of reluctant to say yes. He's just a bit over-eager to share information with people at the most inappropriate of times.
    • Prentiss does threaten to kill him once over his genius. He solved a 3D puzzle she had been working on for days (and declared impossible) in about three seconds.
    • Both Reid and the entire cast are pretty much aversions of this trope. While all extremely smart and knowledgeable, they never act with arrogance or hostility to the local forces they are working with and never denegrate or insult others. In the second episode, Gideon refuses to brag about a genius call he made and preferred to have people work it out for themselves. Rossi is about as close as we get and that is more about him not being used to teamwork.
    • When characters who act like this trope do appear, they are usually the killer. Examples include the sniper who believed himself to be much smarter and sabotaged by his co-workers and the killer who tried to get revenge on Rossi by trying to trick the team into a trap.
  • John Sessions generally gets this reaction from the QI audience, who either love or hate him for knowing rather obscure answers and explaining them at length, usually in a way that isn't all that funny, or his equally long, very dry humorous asides. His buzzer in one episode was "sir, sir, I know the answer!"
    • Rory McGrath came off as this in his first appearance as well.
  • Sikozu from Farscape doesn't use translator microbes. She just learns your language after you've been speaking it for 5 minutes.
  • Charlie Eppes of Numb3rs is usually a quite nice genius. But every so often he becomes a wee bit irritating.
    • Fellow professor and friend Larry Fleinhardt once called him "a talented theoretician with an ego problem."
  • Cody Martin of The Suite Life On Deck became one of these after he Took a Level in Jerkass.
  • Tesla in Sanctuary was apparently always like this, getting superpowers didn't help.
    • Then there's Adam Worth, who was an insufferable genius back in the day (to the point where the Five rejected him), before going batshit insane after his daughter died.
  • The title character of Sherlock- to be expected, perhaps, given the source material.

Sherlock (to cops and John, after they fail to immediately grasp his implication): What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.

    • And again:

Sherlock: Look at you, you're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.

Dakota: You could turn a microwave on and Reggie would watch it!

  • Breakout Kings has Lloyd, a behaviorist with No Social Skills. His ability for understanding people doesn't mean he understands why everyone gets so pissed at his conclusions about why they act the way they do. For instance, once he figures out what makes Erica tick, he blurts out his conclusions and won't shut up until she breaks his nose—at which point he won't shut up about that.
  • Even though Mr. Brain's quirky, yet brilliant neuroscientist Tsukumo Ryusuke usually solves the crimes long before anybody else, he is still considered insufferable by many of his superiors.
  • Combat Hospital has Rebecca starting out as one of these, but slowly getting Character Development over the course of the first season to mature out of it.
  • Crusade had the Insufferable Genius archeologist/linguist.
  • Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle, which overlaps with his petulance and selfishness. He even Lampshades it in a couple of episodes.
  • Leverage: Hardison, Nate, and Sterling all have traits of this. Chaos, Hardison's Evil Counterpart is a full-on example, respecting absolutely no one but himself.


Radio[edit | hide]

  • Douglas of Cabin Pressure. When asked if there is anything he isn't "very good at", he admits: "There are things I haven't tried yet. I suppose it's possible I'm not very good at some of those. Theoretically."
  • Eugene Meltsner of Adventures in Odyssey, though he softens a bit over time.


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Lancelot's "I Am" Song in Camelot brags about his prowess in battle and spiritual purity. Everyone at court finds him intolerable until the joust when he proceeds to do everything he says he can, up to and including bringing a man he (accidentally) killed back to life.
  • Cyrano De Bergerac: Cyrano invokes this, because his great intellect is used to humilliate everyone who is not his friend. This is not so much to show he is a genius, but to show Viscount De Valvert that Cyrano is truly Insufferable:

Viscount De Valvert: A ballade?
Cyrano: Belike you know not what a ballade is.
Viscount De Valvert: But...
Cyrano: (reciting, as if repeating a lesson): Know then that the ballade
should contain
Three eight-versed couplets...
Viscount De Valvert: (stamping): Oh!
Cyrano: (still reciting): And an envoi
Of four lines...


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Jonas from The Nameless Mod, is this so much, that if you knock him out at PDX headquarters, King Kashue won't come downstairs and mop the floor with you like if you knocked anyone else out. If you kiss his ass however, he'll give you extra goodies for missions.
  • The Asura in Guild Wars are a whole race of Insufferable Geniuses, who are quite certain they are the only ones who can create the Magitek weapons that can save the world from the Destroyers. Fortunately for the world, they turn out to be right.
  • Game Master Minamimoto from The World Ends With You is, to paraphrase the man himself, an "asshole of petametric proportions," working a liberal dosage of mathematical vocabulary into everything he says. It's guys like this dude that make some folks hate math.
    • But only in the game itself.
      • We also have Joshua, who Neku decides isn't so bad to have around because he can decipher whatever the hell Minamimoto decides to send them for mission messages, only to correct himself five seconds later when his smug personality reappears and Neku remembers why he hates the kid.
  • Dr. Magnusson from Half-life 2: Episode 2 also embodies this trope. He names a weapon after himself, and is painfully short with everyone. Even the Player, who has up until that point, been practically showered with praise from every NPC that isn't trying to kill them.
    • The Vortigaunts have a great respect for him, so either they forgive him his quirks or are still a little too alien to notice them.
    • In fairness, you did kinda blow up his casserole. Of course, if we had known Magnusson before that incident, cause and effect may have been reversed.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has both Squishy Wizard henchmen, Qara and to a greater extent Sand.
  • Mass Effect has Joker, the Normandy's helmsman. If you chat him up, he'll brag on endlessly about his skill. Then again, he later proves that he really is an Ace Pilot and then again, and again.
    • Hey, there is a reason he's the one flying the most advanced ship in the galaxy (discounting sentient super weapons).
  • The Riddler in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City: "And as you lie blubbering on the floor like an ignorant child, you'll know...that the Riddler is better than you!"
    • To the point where his own Mooks swear that they next time they see him, they'll kill him.
  • Quake 4 has Johann Strauss, Rhino Squad's technician. He constantly brags about his intelligence and his abilities (including being one of the few humans to fluently speak the language of the game's enemies, the Strogg), has a tendency to berate others for not being as intelligent as him, and is always complaining about being placed in immediate danger, as he believes himself to be highly important. Fortunately for the rest of the squad, he really is that good - amongst other things, his ability to hack into the Strogg systems to open otherwise unlockable doors is a necessity.
  • Edwin Odesseiron from Baldur's Gate (both games). He spends most of the time calling everyone around him brainless monkeys - his 18 Intelligence, however, is the highest of any NPC you can pick up, and in addition he has a unique and non-removable magic item that further enhances his spellcasting. His arrogance (combined with his significantly lower Wisdom stat) gets him in trouble a few times, though it hardly prevents him from becoming a Draco in Leather Pants for the fandom, who seem really into it.
    • That magic item? That was only included because they wanted him to be really really good at spellcasting, but the game code wouldn't let them apply the bonus directly to Edwin.
  • Victor Niguel from Trauma Center is simultaneously a genius, a narcissist, and a misanthrope with little patience for anyone less intelligent than him. Which is just about everyone. And in the very, very few cases where he's wrong, he's the only one who beats himself up over it.
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has Lute, a young mage who openly claims to be capable of memorising anything she reads, to the point of being able to quote sentences from specific pages and paragraphs of books.
    • Also, arguably, Shinon from the 9th and 10th game. Textbook Jerkass and blatant racist. While he is not constantly reminding us that he is brilliant, he does boast about his skill with a bow in his first appearance and obviously has a pretty big ego. However, not only IS he really an incredible archer (not so much in the 9th game, but in Radiant Dawn, he's practically a Game Breaker) but also seems to be a very skilled person in general (exemplified by his ability to make one of, if not the best, bows in the game, and his epilogue even implies him to be an Instant Expert at pretty much anything he tries). He also seems to be a pretty sawy guy, both tactically (being one of the first to realize Daein's true intentions during their first ambush) and in general life-situations, as shown in his conversations with Gatrie. No wonder he looks down on many people around him.
  • Devil Survivor has Naoya, the hero's cousin and a programming genius. Only twenty-four years old, yet capable of amazing programming feats, like converting handheld gaming systems into weapons able to summon demons and let humans fight toe-to-toe with them. He doesn't brag so much as treat his incomparable genius as proven fact; if the hero proves to have a canny mind, he acts as if it's just an offshoot of his brilliance. (If you play the hero as a ditz, however...)
  • In Samurai Warriors, Mitsunari Ishida is portrayed as this, with quite a bit of Deadpan Snarker to go with his insufferableness as well (though it is said that he was like this in Real Life as well).
  • Sengoku Basara has Mouri Motonari, who never seems to get tired of telling everyone else how futile their attempts to either foil or understand his plans are, or how worthless and idiotic they are in comparison to him, and while his demeanour is usually cold, he can become rather smug when proved right (as he always is).
  • Zetta, the "most badass overlord in the entire universe" of Makai Kingdom, actually is as powerful as his near constant boasting would suggest. Then we find out that he unknowingly had a bit of help in that department
  • Shinra in Final Fantasy X-2 fits this as well, though when pushed about something he doesn't know he responds with "I'm just a kid."
  • Purge in Space Channel 5 Part 2 may brag about how he's a genius and amazes himself, but he really is smarter than the average villain in the series. He has a plan for everything, should you beat him here, he'll have a backup idea at the ready. That is, until the ending, when Ulala has him beat.
    • And then he shows up at the end of the credits march. Cue Kaizo Trap.
  • Polly Spark, the villain of Jump Start Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain. The whole plot of the game happens because she gets a 0 on a test for giving absurd answers to all the questions. Suffers from a bit of Villain Decay in later appearances. Then again, she's more of a brat than outright evil.
  • A blatant example is seen in the Gears of War series. Baird is the resident tech guy, shown to be well versed in many forms of academics beyond the expected technology (even having scholary interst in the Locust enemy). His Jerkass behaviours, however, is the only thing keeping him from the promotion he feels he deserves.
  • Patricia Tannis of Borderlands varies between this and complete and utter insanity.
  • Special Agent Francis York Morgan in Deadly Premonition doesn't hesitate at all to point out that he's a much more experienced detective than anyone else in Greenvale, at least when the game first starts. He tones down the attitude a bit once he warms up to the rest of the town.
  • Mao, the main character of Disgaea 3: Absence Of Justice, is this in spades, always bragging about his 1.8 million EQ (That's right, EQ.) However, a combination of his ego and being Wrong Genre Savvy causes him to make some rather boneheaded decisions (No, calling yourself a hero doesn't make you a Boring Invincible Hero), as well as making him easy to manipulate.
  • Pritchard, your Voice with an Internet Connection in Deus Ex Human Revolution. He's a hacker, and a good one, and he will never miss an opportunity to tell you so at great length with particular emphasis on how stupid you are in comparison. This gets to Adam so much that Adam will gladly point out when he mispronounces a word, or when Adam is forced to fix a security hole.
  • A great number of them abound in Touhou Project, or at least are depicted as such typically by the fandom. Patchouli Knowledge and Alice Margatroid are among them, as is (slightly less commonly) Satori Komeji.
  • In Halo, 343 Guilty Spark is the embodiment of this trope. He brags about his own intellect, actually has said intellect, and never stops telling you (and himself) so. He's also a backstabbing Jerkass.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • Tohsaka in Fate Stay Night coupled with being The Tease for additional help making Shirou feel like a moron. Partially subverted because while she is every bit as good as she says, that's only as good as she is. Shirou is not a genius like she is, but he tends to accomplish a lot more cool and supposedly impossible things because unlike her, he pushes his limits and doesn't quit when that's not enough.
  • Yaginuma in Kara no Shoujo is a grade A jerkass, but he does have the reputation to back it up.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Vaarsuvius from The Order of the Stick is a brilliant spellcaster who has spent decades studying the craft and saved the team's bacon several times, and will never let them forget it.
    • Although this eventually gets taken to the point of deconstruction, as it bites him/her in the ass big time.
    • Most wizards from the Order universe are like this, comparing sorcerers to idiot savants and proclaiming that divine magic isn't real magic. In fact, Eugene Greenhilt's contempt towards Fighters ended up souring his relationship with both his father and his son and his mentor's arrogant mocking of Xykon ended with his skull caved in.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, Galatea has a very high opinion of her intelligence. And she's right, too, she really is brilliant. But she's blind to how inexperienced and naive her extreme youth makes her.
  • Similar to the above, Suspiria from Flipside. She's the youngest third-level mage in history and won't let anyone forget it. But her lack of practical experience paired with a consistent overestimation of her own power has led to tragedy and/or humiliation nearly every time she's tried to show "what she can really do." (You'd think a "genius" would be better at learning from her mistakes.)
  • Occasionally, Tycho from Penny Arcade. The real Tycho paints himself this way, at least:

[My mother] was made to endure much as I transitioned from absolutely insufferable teenager to an adult who had found a way to get paid for being insufferable.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Tom from Echo Chamber shows shades of this.
  • Cassidy Cain in Grandmaster of Theft. Among her friends, her insufferable qualities are kept to a minimum aside from teasing and general genius used to help others. However, against her enemies, she goes all out.
  • Jobe Wilkins of the Whateley Universe. In a school full of genius devisers and gadgeteers, plus the people smart enough to teach said inventors, he treats everyone else like they're a moron compared to him. He could be right.
  • Chuggaaconroy is a rather mild (and likely unintentional) version of this, in regards to how to properly raise a team of Pokemon and use them in battle, if his LP of Pokemon Emerald is anything to go by.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Mentok the Mindtaker from Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law.
  • Ogden Wernstrom from Futurama.
    • Not as much in later, though, as he became slightly more humble, but not quite enough to break free of this trope. The best example of an Insufferable Genius on this show might be Cubert.
    • Futurama also portrays Stephen Hawking as this: an arrogant womanizing genius...which is part of the joke, of course.
  • The Brain from Pinky and The Brain.
  • Baxter Stockman from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 borders on being and subverting this trope. It's also the reason he's been reduced to a brain and an eye.
  • Professor Algernon in Exo Squad. In his first appearance, we find him painting with a VR helmet on. When asked by his Neosapien colleague why he would paint something only he could see, the prof derisively states that only he could appreciate it. If there was any doubt that he deserved his planet-sized ego, it's put to rest near the end of the series when he puts the recently obliterated planet Mars back together again!
    • "Phaeton's mistake was that he thought that the ultimate display of power was to destroy a planet!"
    • Also from Exo Squad, the Neomegas seem to have this programmed into their DNA.
      • "Modesty is a Terran weakness, like pity."
  • Sunstreaker of Transformers. He's got mad skills, is very intelligent, routinely beats up Decepticons twice as strong as he is, and at the end of the fight will be more worried about his paint job than his comrades' status—some treatments of the character even hint that he's a Sociopathic Hero.
    • And then there's Sky Lynx, a skilled and powerful troop carrier/dino-bird/lynx/griffin who holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His massive size is dwarfed by his even more massive ego.

Sky Lynx: Before you do anything, think, 'Is this what Sky Lynx would do in my position?', and you will not go far wrong.

  • Tarantulas of Beast Wars, is rampantly treacherous... often to Megatron's face, but Megatron can't afford to dispose of him or even punish him too badly because he can't do without his scientific know-how.
    • Though when Tarantulas eventually gets Megatron thrown into a vat of lava, Megs finally decides enough is enough.
      • Though it's not the fact Tarantulas betrayed him yet again that Megatron was angry with, but that he failed. "I can suffer your treachery, Lieutenant, BUT NOT YOUR INCOMPETENCE!"
      • It is expected of Predacons to attempt to depose their leaders and take their place. A leader who allows himself to be betrayed doesn't deserve to be in charge.
  • Homer Simpson of The Simpsons, after getting a crayon removed from his brain, experiences a dramatic surge in intelligence: his IQ skyrockets to 105, making him markedly more intelligent than everyone except Lisa. He quickly becomes resented and isolated due to this, eventually opting to have the crayon re-inserted.
    • Lisa herself often qualifies to this as well.
    • All the characters who make up the Mensa group of Springfield were this. Oddly, with the exception of perhaps Comic Book Guy, this was a break away from their usual characterizations.
  • AJ from The Fairly OddParents.
  • Braniac 5 from the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon. He mentions his twelth level intelligence practically every episode. "You're good...but you don't have a twelth level intelligence." "A twelth level intelligence has no need for improvisation, Bouncing Boy." Gaaaah.
  • Rainbow Dash of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. Her introduction boils down to:

Rainbow Dash: I could clear this sky in ten seconds flat!
Twilight Sparkle: (smirks) Prove it.
Rainbow Dash: ZOOM
Twilight: (Jaw Drop)

    • Twilight Sparkle has some elements of this herself.
  • Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes, to the point where she's often in better control than Lucius.
  • Patrick becomes one of these on an episode of SpongeBob, where he becomes super smart and rejects Spongebob's childlike behavior, insults Squiward's clarinet playing, and calls Sandy an idiot. All of this is because Spongebob accidently replaced the top of Patrick's head with Brain Coral.
    • Sandy was this in the early seasons. As the show progresses she became more of a Ted Baxter rather than this trope.
  • Azmuth Of Ben 10 Alien Force and later Ultimate Alien is one of, if not the smartest being in the galaxy. And he is also an insufferable Jerkass usually appearing before Ben with an insult, or a statement regretting how the omnitrix wound up on him.
  • Wile E. Coyote is one in the shorts where he goes after Bugs Bunny.
  • Tony Stark from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes starts out as a condescending jerk to everybody, friends and foes alike. He does have some moments of mellowing out, though. Such as when he realized an aggressive business decision he made led to rival Simon Williams becoming Wonder Man, a mentally and physically unstable being of ionic energy.