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"I think that's kind of cruel: I'm smoking and you come up coughing at me. Jesus. You go up to crippled people dancing too?"

Drugs Are Bad.

But for some people, any sort of run-in with drugs or alcohol — in some cases, extended to smoking and even prescription drugs as well — makes you instantly less of a human being.

People who feel that not only are drugs bad, but that those with the weakness to use them are inferior to those who do not. In especially extreme cases, this attitude even applies toward people who have had problems with drugs but recovered, or have only done them one time.

Direct descendant of the Dry Crusader and often shares the Dry Crusader's self-righteousness.

Not to be confused with Straight Edge Evil, although villainous straight-edge characters often fall into this. If too villainous or smug, it's not unheard of for the Smug Straight Edgers to be less than sincere in their convictions, if not an outright Straw Hypocrite.

Examples of Smug Straight Edge include:


  • PSAs can get in this territory sometimes. This mainly depends on whether or not The Aggressive Drug Dealer is present or not - if not, chances are the blame will fall on the people doing drugs.
  • Anti-tobacco "Truth" commercials are made of this.
  • These people are straight edge and they come off as pretty smug.

Comic Books

  • Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, had a very negative view of drug dealers and users, and like many other Badass Normal, thought himself better than they were for staying straight. Then his sidekick Speedy started doing Heroin. The ensuing confrontation went...badly.
    • Later a Retcon in the Green Arrow: Year One mini-series gave Oliver some motivation for this attitude, other than misdirected anger at himself for neglecting his sidekick - he had been injured while defending the enslaved population of a tropical island turned drug-farm and the only painkiller available to the woman who treated his wounds was heroin. Ollie just barely survived the withdrawal, which left him wondering how anyone could willingly subject themselves to such an experience.
  • Todd from Scott Pilgrim, who says a big part of committing to veganism is knowing that you're better than most other people. Granted, this is a world where going vegan gives you telekinesis.
  • A Bloom County Sunday page had an example crossing over with the Jerk Jock archetype, in the form of a man running up to the characters in the middle of eating assorted junk foods, arrogantly boasting about how much healthier everything in his lifestyle was, moving around and doing exercises the entire time, admitting as part of his spiel that he's actually utterly miserable, but saying that it's worth it because he'll live twice as long as them, guaranteed, and being crushed by a falling meteor.


  • In Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle gets his job as the Macy's Store Santa because the man they'd already hired had shown up drunk. Being that he was expected to entertain children, Kris is appalled at a drunk Santa and takes the job to replace him at the drop of a hat. Of course, Kris's "experience" with the role didn't hurt.
    • However showing up drunk to just about any vocation is an immediate black mark. Common sense, people.
  • One of Bob Roberts' songs is titled "Drugs Stink", and contains the lyrics "Drugs stink/They make me sick/Those that sell 'em/And those that do 'em/String 'em up/From the highest tree/Without a trace of sympathy."


  • In Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October, the Navy doctor is smug about the fact that he doesn't drink, smoke or use caffeine. It turns out that while he is indeed arrogant about this and is willing to acknowledge that fact, he does make a more nuanced argument against doing so in a hospital when a dumbass KGB agent nearly kills his patient by trying to light a cigarette in a room full of saturated oxygen.

Live Action TV

  • There's a smug Straight Edge guy at the quiet mining town in Skins, who tries to woo Effy. When the crew escape the town, they mock his crossed arms salute.

Professional Wrestling

  • Professional Wrestling's CM Punk has this as a catch phrase- "straight edge means I'm better than you" or "drug-free, alcohol-free, and better than you". When Punk plays the part of a heel, he is of this sort and takes every opportunity to gloat about his straight-edge lifestyle.
  • Cactus Jack did a few promos in ECW bragging about how hardcore he is, and did brag about never using drugs in high school or during his at the time 10-year career.
  • Daniel Bryan has become this in 2012, repeatedly bragging that being a vegan makes him better than everyone, and even mocking people and saying they're eating garbage when they try to eat meat.

Real Life

  • Mr. T is a teetotaler, and prides himself on drinking only kid-friendly milk rather than alcohol.
  • Winners Don't Use Drugs is the name of an anti-drug slogan that was included on all arcade games imported into to North America from 1989 through to the year of 2000. The message appeared during the attract modes of both video games and on some pinball machines. It was established by FBI Director William S. Sessions with an agreement with the American Amusement Machine Association. By law it had to be included on all imported arcade games and continued to appear long after Sessions left office. The quote normally appeared in gold against a blue or black background between the FBI seal and Sessions' name.
    • Hilariously parodied in the Scott Pilgrim game, with the message altered to "Winners Don't Eat Meat"
  • Penn Jillette doesn't object to alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, in fact, he advocates legalizing them. He also never misses an opportunity to remind people he's never used them. Whether comes off as some grand proclamation of philosophical fortitude or just a disclaimer from an opinionated person who's never experienced drugs first hand, Your Mileage May Vary.
  • Ted Nugent has been known to be patronizing towards alcohol and drug abuse. Then again, knowing Ted and his views and reactions towards supporters of gun control, veganism, and so on, would you expect anything less?
  • Real-world reversal: Crucial Youth were a straight-edge send-up that parodied the movement and regularly gave the audience a good clean with the Youthbrush.
  • Inversion: Quite a few of the pro drug group can be equally as smug for 'having seen and experienced things you can never even dream of, being more creative, being more philosophical and generally just being more worldly than you' cause they smoked/shot/ate something.
  • Major Dick Winters (subject of Band of Brothers) admits in the book that he thought like this - he didn't drink until the evening of D-Day, and thought that taking a single swallow of liquor would have a noticeable deadening effect on his reflexes and thinking.
  • People in Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs can veer into this.

Stand Up Comedy

  • Bill Hicks did a bit about the smugness of non-smokers, saying "I'd quit if it wasn't for the fact that I'd become one of you."


Western Animation

  • On A Pup Named Scooby Doo, often the villains got involved with drugs (Yuck! Patooie!) and that's why they are messed up. A good example is a former skateboarding champion who's "no good at all" after he tried steroids.
  • Metalocalypse featured one Rikki Kixx, who runs a rehab movement and fronts a newly clean-and-sober band - it turns out sobriety has been legally forced on him and he's determined that everyone else should be as miserable as he is.