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"I noticed that... your eyes are like mirrors, which makes them doubly pleasing to me. It allows me to admire my reflection without need for a looking glass."
—Gann, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
Basically, one who has an abnormal fascination with oneself. A self-centered nature taken a bit too far. Often thinks of self as one of the Beautiful People, and to others often comes across as a Jerkass.
These people expect to be treated like a God in your life, which would fall apart if they weren't in it despite the fact they don't really do anything and possibly make things worse. Be very careful when calling these people out on it though. They've been known to use emotional manipulation to boost their enormous ego. Extreme versions believe that this world only exists to serve them and when praise isn't being given they can only view the world as a toy that isn't working properly instead of being filled with people who are simply acting in their own interests.
Narcissism is a personality trait theorized to be nature's defense against stress, anxiety, and depression, especially the kinds that are most likely to be suffered by people with Dependent and Avoidant personality disorders. Which it does by telling us to ignore the consequences of our actions. People who display constant, excessive narcissism are said to have narcissistic personality disorder.
Because stress, anxiety, and depression bring productivity down small amounts of narcissism help in the business world but too much narcissism causes people to procrastinate, become lazy, refuse to admit they made a mistake, become incapable of putting themselves in other people's shoes, turn into a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, or become a victim of Pride.
There is some controversy as to what type of childhood narcissists had. Some researches believe that narcissists were overvalued by their parents, while others think that they had a rather dismal childhood.
Some forms of narcissism employ black and white thinking called splitting as a central defense mechanism to stabilize their sense of self—viewing themselves as wholly good and those that would criticize or humiliate them as purely wicked or contemptible.
Premodern concepts include the ancient Greek Hubris which meant excessive Pride leading to or simply occuring before a fall. The contemporary view of narcissists is they're annoyingly unable to see this dynamic repeating itself in their lives, causing disorder on their own personality and others.
The Trope Namer is Narcissus of Greek Mythology. His story was first told by Ovid, which makes this Older Than Feudalism. The myth states that, after coldly turning down a beautiful woman named Echo (who was cursed to only repeat what was said around her, hence the name "Echo"), she prayed to the gods for Narcissus to experience unrequited love. Aphrodite answered this, making Narcissus fall in love with his own reflection in a lake. Due to never moving from the spot, Narcissus started to starve but fortunately a sympathetic God turned him into a flower(specifically a Narcissus flower which grows near lake beds), thus giving the story a Happy ending.
A common quality of an Alpha Bitch, My Beloved Smother, The Fighting Narcissist (duh) or a Stepford Smiler, though in the Smiler's case this trait functions more to protect the image of wholesomeness that is trying to be projected.
More likely to be into Selfcest than most others.
Compare Small Name, Big Ego, The Prima Donna, Spoiled Brat, Inferiority Superiority Complex, Black and White Insanity, Manipulative Bastard, and It's All About Me. Compare and contrast The Sociopath who combines the narcissist's self-centredness with impulsive behaviour and a total Lack of Empathy. See also Hollywood Personality Disorders.
Anime & Manga
- Sesshomaru from Inuyasha.
- Light Yagami of Death Note is a genius, handsome, popular and knows it. Word of God says he thinks he's above most people. After gaining powers over life and death it takes him less than a week to develop a god complex.
- Naru from Ghost Hunt. He has a name besides Naru (which is a nickname), but nobody else in the cast uses it.
- Asuka Langley Sohryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Her personality could very well have been modeled after the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.
- Leonard Tesstarossa of Full Metal Panic, which makes for an interesting contrast with his sociopathic predecessors, Gates and Gauron. Unlike them, Leonard can care about other people--it's just that he finds himself infinitely more interesting.
- Jessie and James of Pokémon live for style, which only makes them that much more lovable. Jessie's Berserk Button is any injury done to her hair or her beautiful face; James carries around photos of himself to look at in his spare time. They dress up (stylishly) for no particular reason, silhouette themselves against the light, wave roses around and in general steal every scene they walk into. When they're about to die their priorities are clear:
Jessie: I'll always remember what a wonderful dresser you were.
- Paptimus Scirocco of Zeta Gundam a Dark Messiah who manipulates and discards his followers like pawns on a chessboard. While he does care about them on some level, Scirocco largely views his minions in terms of what they can do for or to him, and uses constant emotional manipulation to keep them in line (especially the women). He has a typically narcissistic appreciation for those most like himself--it's worth noting that the only woman (indeed the only person) he has any respect for is fellow Magnificent Bastard Haman Kahn, and that the measuring stick he uses for her greatness is his own inability to manipulate her.
- Al Da Flaga of Gundam Seed is a narcissistic parent, who raised his son (Mu La Flaga) with the intent of making him nothing more than an extension of his own ego. When Mu insisted on being his own person, Al locked him away in a Big Fancy House and had himself cloned. He then raised the clone to believe that it had no identity of its own, and existed only so that Al's legacy could live on; effectively trying to turn the clone child into a perfect duplicate of himself. He succeeded instead in creating a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds and Misanthrope Supreme who sought the annihilation of the entire human race and had to wear a mask in order to give himself a sense of identity.
- (The real) Madara Uchiha from Naruto.
- Lelouch of Code Geass has been frequently compared to the above-mentioned Light Yagami, and though he doesn't move into full A God Am I territory, he comes pretty close. He repeatedly states his intention to "destroy the world and make it anew" and that he is "the man who performs miracles". However, he might not completely fall into this trope because his main motivation for everything he does is his little sister Nunnally rather than himself, and for all his extreme arrogance, he is very self-sacrificing whenever she is involved in a situation, and extends some of this protectiveness to a small number of close friends.
- Suneo Honekawa on Doraemon.
- Depending on the Writer, The Riddler can fit this trope.
- As mentioned below Tony Stark / Iron Man.
- Doctor Doom. RIIIIIICHARDS became his nemesis because he blamed him for the accident which scarred his perfect face.
- Lex Luthor hate Superman for holding humanity back...from worshipping him instead.
- In the Silver Age Luthor's hatred for Superman began when the latter as Superboy saved his life from a chemical fire after Luthor's experiment to create life went awry. Luthor not only blamed him for intentionally sabotaging his experiment, he also blamed him for turning bald as well. Now if that's not vanity, I don't know what is.
- Depending on the Writer, Eddie Brock, the original Venom / Anti-Venom is sometimes referred to as a Narcissist when he's not being referred to as a Socopath. He doesn't totally lack Empathy like a Sociopath but it's certainly "Never His Fault." (It's Spider-man's!)
- Brock probably better fit a Borderline Personality Disorder than either of those (albeit an extremly dangerous one).
- Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations Vol. 3: Fates Intertwined:
- Goro Izumi, the original generation protagonist of the story is a Tony Stark-type of a narcissist. Let's see, he's wealthy, intelligent, charismatic, is popular with the ladies at work, loves to back it up and is proud of it.
- Shingetsu, being his rival and Evil Counterpart at the same time, takes it Up to Eleven to a malignant degree. He's a One-Man Galactic Conqueror who has no problem bulldozing those he see as weaklings, combined with delusions of godhood to boot.
- Kaguya Kozuki is just the worst than the two, which is also her Fatal Flaw. A malignant example with no redeeming qualities to her ego. She has little to no concern for anyone other than herself, to the point she saw her husband and daughter as hindrances to her goals, along with the desire to create a world where free will is an alien concept where all of humanity is hers to control. Aside from her overly-inflated opinion of herself, she has no qualms going in petty lengths on reveling at the misery of others for refusing to comprehend to her greatness and enjoyed making those people suffer. That said, her megalomania does a lot more harm than benefit her - not only she got her ass handed by Taki's Super Mode, and would go so far to reject an offer to redeem herself; she lost all support from the masses when her history of abuse she has done to her family was made public, and after being defeated in the final battle, Evolto would take the chance to break Kaguya's mind in an agonizing fashion in retribution, and ironically forces her to shoot herself to death against her will.
- Patrick Bateman from American Psycho is more narcissistic than two clones of Narcissus screwing in a room full of mirrors. At one point he actually admires his reflection in a mirror while having sex.
- Waldo Lydecker from 1944's Laura is definitely in love with the main character but his love for her is eclipsed by the blinding rays of his own self-love.
- Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood.
- Tony Stark in the Iron Man films. "Textbook narcissism... agreed."
- Pavi Largo from Repo! The Genetic Opera is so in love with himself that he has a mirror with him at all times.
- Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire, who is cited by the author himself to be a narcissist. She has a sexual relationship with her identical twin brother brother, and values the majority of her own family, including her children by Jaime Lannister as extensions of herself.
- Morgoth from The Silmarillion, being as he is, based on Satan, the original narcissist.
- Gilderoy Lockhart, from Harry Potter. He's so ridiculously stuck-up, it's Played for Laughs. But then he gets what he deserves when Harry and Ron pwn him and force him to accompany them to the Chamber of Secrets. Then, he accidentally loses his memory, which conveniently erases all his smug self-importance and turns him into a cheerful Adult Child.
- Also clearly the inspiration behind Narcissa Malfoy. But then, she is subject to major Character Development when it is shown that all she really wants is to be with her family, to the point that she spares Harry out of gratitude for reassuring her that her son is alive.
- Cormac McLaggen.
- They're all overshadowed by Voldemort in this department!
- Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is modeled after the Greek character of Narcissus and even painted dressed as him at one point.
- Redwall's Emperor Ublaz Mad Eyes is self-obsessed to the point that he thinks it's perfectly reasonable to put all his manpower (or beastpower) into attacking a small and unimportant tribe several thousand miles away so he can have their family heirloom of six pink pearls. Just because he thinks they'd make a pretty crown for him, not because they're magical or anything.
- In Death: A number of characters in the series can be put in this category. Then again, they tend to be in the classes of Complete Monster, The Sociopath, Serial Killer, and so on. Clearly, characters in those categories probably would love no one but themselves.
- The depiction of Albrecht von Wallenstein in Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein trilogy.
- The mentioned-but-never-seen Professor of Applied Anthropics of the Unseen University has put forth the Very Strong Anthropic Principle, which holds that the entire point of the universe is to give rise to the Unseen University so that it may house a Professor of Applied Anthropics (Footnotes comment that virtually everyone secretly believes this, with minor variations of a fill-in-name-here nature). Later in the book in which this is mentioned, one of the wizards mentions the principle, and comments that it's jolly decent of the Professor to share the universe with everyone else.
- Bruce Anderson from 44 Scotland Street. He's referred to as this by multiple characters over the course of the book and its sequels.
Live Action TV
- Gaius Baltar from Battlestar Galactica.
- Played for Laughs by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.
- Also Played for Laughs by Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney on "'~30 Rock~. Her Freudian Excuse is a miserable childhood with her Stage Mom, Verna.
- Tracy Jordan on the same show also appears narcissistic at times, but this is just one of a whole host of psychological problems that render him more of a Cloudcuckoolander.
- The title character of House has shown narcissistic tendencies, which has not escaped the notice of any of the main cast.
- Cat from Red Dwarf.
- Shawn from Psych.
- Michael from The Office
- The Master from Doctor Who.
- The Master is more of a sociopath.
- The two aren't mutually exclusive.
- The Master is more of a sociopath.
- Dr. Cox from Scrubs is the greatest doctor of them all, a diagnosing machine, this fabulous thing. Too bad his personal life is in shambles. The show has also delivered An Aesop when showing how a little bit of confidence is not necessarily a bad thing and goes a long way towards making their patients feeling at ease.
- Lex and Lionel Luthor from Smallville. Lionel's an Archnemesis Dad and Corrupt Corporate Executive who has trouble seeing his company and his son as anything more than extensions of himself, and is willing to break almost every law imaginable in order to stay on top. Possession by Jor-El eventually rids him of the worst of these traits, though he remains manipulative and grandiose long after his Heel Face Turn. Lex starts out as a "Well Done, Son" Guy who tends to bring up his own problems in almost every conversation he has. This problem only gets worse as time goes by, and his delusions of heroism and need for adulation become more and more extreme; by the end of the show he's moved well past narcissism and into fullblown psychopathy as his need for control and someone to blame take over his life.
- Angel: Angel has strong tendencies towards narcissim that crop up on a very regular basis. On the DVD Commentary for "Billy" the writers admit that scripting scenes for Angel's narcissism is one of their favourite things to do. Angel can become distracted in the middle of interrogations or other serious situations by his narcissism. It's particularly highlighted during the series 2 finale arc where he finds himself in an alternate dimension where he doesn't need to avoid sunlight and he has a reflection. In one scene, while the gang talk in the foreground, Angel can be seen in the background standing in front of a mirror utterly self-absorbed (it's also the scene where they all realise he can see his reflection). They keep having to fight to grab his attention and even have to block his access to the mirror. Eventually, Lorne has to drag him away.
Lorne: "Come on, Gorgeous, you can stare at yourself in my grandmother's glass eye."
- Though in complete fairness, Angel hasn't seen himself in over 200 years. He'd logically want to see his reflection again.
- Angelus on the other hand has an ego the size of a planet! He really cannot shut up, at all, ever, and is easily one of the cockiest bastards in the series.
Religion and Mythology
- The Trope Namer Narcissus, was a boyish (aka Bishonen) Greek Hunter who was punished by the gods to fall in love with his own reflection. Why that is depends on which version of the story you hear, the most famous being Ovid's version where he rejected Echo and didn't realize the reflection was his own. Another has Narcissus falling in love with his twin sister, and after her death, pretending his reflection is her. What happens after also varies, from a slow death due to starvation and thirst because he would not look away to drowning in an attempt to kiss his reflection, to stabbing himself when he realizes that his reflection is just a reflection and will never love him back. Regardless of cause of death, or a sympathetic God transforming Narcissus so he could stare at his reflection forever, regardless a flower either grew in the place where he died or he was transformed into one: the Narcissus plant, more commonly known as the daffodil.
- Satan in the versions where he becomes jealous of God and rebels against him.
- Vyers of Disgaea both thinks and speaks very highly of himself, but he is actually a very nice guy.
- Vega from Street Fighter also combines this with The Fighting Narcissist.
- Bass from the Mega Man series.
- Inverted with Karkat (aka carcinoGeneticist) of Homestuck. Troll romance is complex and includes kismesissitude, which is a sort of attraction based on hatred and personal rivarly. Karkat's closest thing to a kismesis is himself due to unshakable belief in whatever his current mindset is a searing hatred of his past and future behavior. The other trolls find this hilarious.
- Karkat actually seems rather chagrined when he realizes this fact; possibly because kismesissitude is actually related to breeding and it may not be possible to provide the proper genetic material when you're your own kismesis (and being unable to provide genetic material from either of the breeding relationships is grounds for execution in Karkat's culture).
- Eridan also shows Narcissistic tendencies- for example, his feelings of superiority over the trolls of lower blood and entitlement to a romantic relationship. Also a result of his egotism and general obnoxiousness.
- Gemini Man in Ls Empire is so obsessed with his appearance, that he applies a new coat of paint every 4 hours and shines his armor every 6. Calling him ugly is a good way to get a face-full of laser.
- Narcissa Richmond of Grandmaster of Theft.
- Rick from Superego
- The Nostalgia Chick.
- Ask That Guy With The Glasses.
- Simon from Captain N: The Game Master.
- Narcissus is promoted to God status in Disney's Hercules, where he is shown briefly smooching at a hand mirror.
- This is popular with Disney villains:
- Gaston from Beauty and The Beast has an entire song dedicated to how awesome he is.
- Ratcliffe from Pocahontas loves himself almost as much as he loves gold.
- The Evil Queen of Snow White, who had a magic mirror specifically to tell her that she's the most beautiful in the land.
- Scar of The Lion King is this trope turned Up to Eleven. "Meticulous planning, tenacity spanning decades of denial is simply why I'll be king undisputed, respected, saluted and seen for the wonder I am, yes my teeth and ambitions are bared, be prepared!" The Sond is called "Be Prepared" and can be listened to on here Youtube (The impatient click here and go directly to the moment, where he sings these words.).
- The Italian version of the last part translates as: "I'll be a king admired, feared and loved, nobody is better than me!"
- And in the French version we have "Le seul dieu vivant qu'on acclaime!", which means "The only living god to be acclaimed!".
- And one Disney hero: Kuzco.
- Zapp Brannigan from Futurama
- Lucius on Jimmy Two-Shoes. His response to seeing an image of himself is "Hello, handsome."
- Mok from Rock and Rule. One of his villain songs consists only of the lyrics "triumph in the power and the glory that is me".
- King Julien from The Penguins of Madagascar. "That is not very interesting to me, because it is not about me. See how that works?"
- Johnny Bravo is obsessed with exactly two things: Himself, and using that first thing to mack on as many ladies as possible.
- Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender and her father, Ozai.
- Total Drama:
- Chris McLean. His favorite thing is himself, to the point that he puts his image on many items that go along with the challenges.
- Justin as well. You almost always see him admiring his physique and face.
- Alejandro, though to a much lesser extent than the others. It's no wonder, considering he is heavily based off of Justin.
- Two words: Kanye West.
- Paris Hilton/Trivia, who has her own fragrance named "Heiress" with her picture on the bottle and whose lavish mansion is decorated with pictures of herself.
- Kurt Cobain apparently viewed himself as this, stating "I must be one of those narcissists who only appreciates things when they're gone."
- Christian Weston Chandler in real life used be this for most of his years and make him worst by trolls until his father dead and halted his "Fan webcomic" for next five years (When he decide to finsh Comic 11 from this Esty account) due of trolls unintended cause Christian to stop making them, This cause Chris start realized that he did all this was his fault, He restart mostly incuding his Narcissism to tone down and try to move on from his older self. Put however some his ego still appear on and off due his High Functioning Autism to prevent any refer personality change by believe "he/she pre-teen girl trapped inside of man body" and still think he/she important to sonic fandom by attacking Gamestop employee for creating Sonic Boom one of worst games of 2014, worst than Sonic 06 and worstest games all time.
Oh yes, sure, go on, kiss the water!