Now that I've covered the Magnificent Bastard, I'll talk about it's counterpart trope: the Smug Snake. An easier one to cover than Magnificent Bastard or Complete Monster: a "snake" refers to a villain or antagonistic character who is slimy, sneaky, cowardly, manipulative, and petty. The "smug" means that they are very, very high-and-mighty and overconfident in themselves and their abilities. They view themselves as a Magnificent Bastard and at times might even come close to being one, but in truth they are just bastards with delusions of magnificence. A snake with a superiority complex. Or as the laconic definition states, an arrogant, unlikable manipulator whose overconfidence is his/her downfall. A key sign that a villain is a Smug Snake rather than a Magnificent Bastard is how they react to their plans going wrong. Rather than stay calm and in control, or implement a pre-prepared plan B or C that could turn things around in their favor, they break down and act in desperation. They let their ego overtake their awesome, and thus get done in by their pride. This type of villain is easy to come by.
The official Trope definition is this: The Smug Snake is a type of character (usually cast as a villain) who tends to treat friends and enemies alike with equal disdain. They almost constantly speak in a sarcastic tone and punctuate most of their sentences with a smirk. While they aspire to be a formidable and awe-inspiring adversary, they often end up just being a Big Bad Wannabe, failing in the face of more cunning villains or ending up as their servants, in which case they'll generally be The Starscream. Others that fall under this trope are simply in it to bug the good guys and take advantage of their moral insecurity.
A key character trait common to Smug Snakes is overconfidence. The Smug Snake is usually too arrogant to be rattled. Most often, they will think themselves to be the Magnificent Bastard. While they may believe that they have the situation under control (whether they do so through blackmail, coercion, or simply being in a position of authority), there will usually be a hole in that plan that they failed to consider. Perhaps they underestimated their opponents' abilities and claimed themselves unbeatable, or maybe they made a really stupid mistake along the way. Once that realization hits, expect the Snake to lose their cool right before everything starts falling apart for them. They are not necessarily entirely incompetent or ineffectual, however, and may succeed with at least part of their goals, but they are still lacking that charm and grace that the Magnificent Bastard possesses. Often a Know-Nothing Know-It-All as well, to inspire added bile, though still enough to take the 'sympathetic' out of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain (the best of them are Insufferable Geniuses heavy on the former and light on the latter). If a Smug Snake considers himself a Magnificent Bastard, then he is a villainous Small Name, Big Ego.
Most of the time, a writer will purposely introduce a Smug Snake as a target for audience hate by making them Kick the Dog or bend the rules to get their way and come out smelling like a rose. Basically, this is a villain that's made to be hated and the audience will enjoy hating. This, like all other tropes, can backfire if misused. If the writer still tries to foist the character as a Magnificent Bastard when their previous actions have proven otherwise, the audience will likely stop enjoying to hate the character, and instead genuinely hate them as much as they would The Scrappy or The Wesley. Evolving a Smug Snake into a true Magnificent Bastard could be doable, in theory, but shouldn't be attempted lightly, and has only been pulled off successfully in fiction a few times. Ever. Of course, the author might deliberately doing this, playing a villain up as a Magnificent Bastard when it comes to getting the power he craves, but proving to be so inept at wielding that power once he finally has it that he ends up as a Smug Snake instead.
The Smug Snake will rarely be a Draco in Leather Pants (though it is possible, especially if the character is physically attractive — the Trope Namer himself is an example).
So why did I put this up? Well oftentimes there have been Smug Snakes that have been mistaken for Magnificent Bastards, even though the distinction should be pretty obvious. So therefore, I shall go through fiction again and list villains who are definitely not Magnificent Bastards and are more likely Smug Snakes.
*Please note that if a villain who was on my Magnificent Bastard list also appears on this one, it's because they either started out as a Smug Snake or devolved into one overtime.* SO...
* - Indicates either villains who double as Smug Snakes or villains who had potential for magnificence that wasn't fully realized in the work.
Disney Animated: The Evil Queen, Stromboli, the Coachman, John Fowlfellow, Lampwick, Man, Ronno, the Ringmaster, Lady Tremaine, the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, Cruella Deville, Kaa, Madame Mim, Edgar, Prince John, Sir Hiss, Madame Medusa, Professor Ratigan*, Bill Sykes, Percival Mcleach, Gaston, Jafar*, Scar*, Ratcliffe, Frollo*, Clayton, Rourke, Jumba Jookiba, Scroop, Alameda Slim, Rico, Goob, Dr Facilier, King Candy/Turbo*, Prince Hans*, the Duke of Weselton, Alistair Krei, Robert Callaghan, Mayor Lionheart, Dawn Bellweather, Mr. Big, Maui, and Tamatoa
Disney Spin-off: Lobster Mobster, Forte, Abis Mal, Mirage, Mechanicles, Quint, Zaruche, Ares, Queen La, Tublat, Samuel T Philander, Dr Hamsterviel, Marina Delray. Cedric and Wormwood, etc.
Disney Live: Cutler Beckett, Davey Jones, Blackbeard, Cruella Deville, Meredith Blake, Kalabar, Trout Walker, Warden Walker, Mr. Sir, Dr. Palaski, Dr. Reinhardt, the Nome King, Princess Mombi, Val Horrigan, Shamus McTiernan, Mrs. Chesterfield, Richard Thanatos, Tiara Gold, Jesse, Miles, etc.
Pixar: Sid Phillips, Hopper, Al, Stinky Pete, Randall Boggs, Syndrome, Chick Hicks, Chef Skinner, Auto, Charles Muntz, Dr Z, Miles Axelrod, Hank the Octopus, Thunderclap, and Jackson Storm
Lord Of The Rings: Feanor, Smaug, Gollum, Saruman, Grima Wormtongue, and Laketown's Master
Star Wars: Nute Gunray, Watto, Sebulba, Pong Krell, General Grievous, Greedo, Grand Moff Tarkin*, Orson Krennic*, Agent Kallus, Maketh Tua, the Inquisitors, Boba Fett, Bib Fortuna, Jabba The Hutt, Prince Xizor*, Supreme Leader Snoke, General Hux, Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, and Unkar Plutt
Kingdom Hearts: Jafar, Ursula, Hook, Oogie Boogie, Riku, Braig/Xigbar, Xaldin, Vexen, Zexion, Saix, Scar, Sark and MCP, Lady Tremaine, Evil Queen, Jumba Jookiba, Data Roxas, and Vanitas
Harry Potter: Lord Voldemort, the Malfoys, Gilderoy Lockheart, and Dolores Umbridge
Chronicles Of Narnia: Queen Jadis, Miraz, Prince Rabadash, Shift the Ape, and Tarkan
Pokemon: Gelardan, Lance, Apollo, Vicious, Archie, Maxie, Nascour, Evice, Snattle, Ardos, Gordor, Harley, TR*, Ash, Butler, Dr. Yung, Phantom, Blake Hall, Mr. Kincaid, Charon, Hunter J*, Paul, Zero, Marcus, Grings Kodai, Leon, IO, Sird, Dr. Edward, Purple Eyes, N, Colress*, Zinzolin, and Ghetsis
New Pokemon: Lysandre (Games), Malva*, Team Flare, Archie, Maxie, Matt, Courtney, Zinnia, Alva, Guzma and Faba
Avatar: Admiral Zhao, Jet, Master Yu & Xin Fu, Hama, Fire Lord Ozai, Hiroshi Sato, Tarrlok, Yakone, Unalaq, Vaatu, Hundun, Zaheer & the Red Lotus, Aiwei, the Earth Queen, Prince Wu, and Bataar Jr.
Batman: Rupert Thorne, Roland Daggett, Carmine Falcone, Sal Maroni, John Dagget, Clayface, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy* (sometimes), the Penguin*, the Riddler*, Dr.Crane/Scarecrow, and Tony Zucco
DragonBall: Commander Red, Tao Pai Pai, Master Shen, Raditz, Zarbon, Freeza, Dr. Gero, Cell*, Babidi, Buu*, Garlic Jr, Dr. Whelo, Dr. Kochin, Turles, Lord Slug, Cooler, Paragus*, Bojack, Hoi, etc.
The Legend Of Zelda: Aghanim, Twinrova, Vaati, Zant, Bellum, Chancellor Cole, and Ghirahim
Super Mario: Bowser*, Wario, Waluigi, King Smithy, Queen Valentina, Grodus, Grubba, Cackeletta, Princess Shroob, Tatanga, Beldam, Count Bleck, Fawful, Megasparkle Goomba, Antasma, and Wart
Spider-Man: Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin (sometimes), Miles Warren/The Jackal, the Lizard,
the Chameleon, Electro, Mysterio, Eddie Brock/Venom, Jason Phillip Macendale, and Silvermane
Yu-Gi-Oh!: Shadi, Seto Kaiba, Mokuba Kaiba, Gozaburo Kaiba, Noah Kaiba, Weevil Underwood, Bandit Keith, Marik Ishtar, Ziegfried Lloyd, Priest Akhenadin, Kagemaru, Yubel, Darkness, and Sayer
Digimon: Etemon, DemiDevimon, the Dark Masters, the Digimon Emperor, Arukenimon, Yamaki, Makuramon, Impmon/Beelzemon, Zhuqiaomon, the D-Reaper, Mercurymon, Lucemon*, Gotsumon, SaberLeomon, Akihiro Kurata, Yggdrasil, the Royal Knights, Tactimon, Lillithmon, Chuchumon,
the Death Generals, Ewan Amano, Lord Bagramon*, Quartzmon*, and the Rival Xros Hunters*
Gargoyles: Demona, Jackal, Hyena, Hakon, Proteus, Tony Dracon, the Archmage, the Magus, Puck*, Oberon, Macbeth, Coldstone, Fang, Shari*, Dr. Sevarius, Margot Yale, and John Castaway*
Superman: Lex Luthor (sometimes), Zod 2, Metallo, Parasite, Toyman, Mr Myxtzptlk, and Mongul
Final Fantasy: Xande, Golbez, Zemus, Gilgamesh, Emperor Gesthal, Professor Hojo, Ultimecia, Queen Brahne, Kuja*, Seymour Guado, Kinoc, Mikka, Lady Yunalesca, Judge Ghis, and XIII villains
Sonic The Hedgehog: Dr. Robotnik *(sometimes), Ixis Naugus*, Mammoth Mogul*, Black Doom, Mephiles, Drago, Fiona & Scourge, Nac, Snively, Enerjak and Dark Legion, and the Iron Dominion
Where Is Carmen Sandiego?: Lee Jordan
Darkwing Duck: Negaduck and Steelbeak
Duck Tales: Gladstone Gander, Magica Despell, Ma Beagle, Phantom Blot, and Flintheart Glomgold
Gravity Falls: Gideon Gleeful, Benjamin Blendin, and Robbie Valentino
Gummi Bears: Duke Igthorn, Lady Bane, Sir Willoughby, and Tad Pole
Rescue Rangers: Fat Cat, Professor Norm Nimbnul, and Aldrin Klordane
Tale Spin: Don Karnage, Colonel Spigot, Dan Dawson, Doug Benson, and Thadeus Klang
Yu Yu Hakusho: Mr Akashi, Mr Iwamoto, Sakamoto, Hiei, Gouki, Rando, Gonzou Tarukane, Butajiri, Dr Ichigaki, Zeru, Rishou, Shishiwakamaru, Suzuka, Karasu, Elder Toguro, and Gatekeeper Itsuki
Jim Henson: The Skeksis Chamberlain, the Gorgs, Tex Richman, Constantine and Dominic Badguy
Teen Titans: Slade (Seasons 1-2), Brother Blood, Blackfire, Malchior*, Madame Rouge, and Trigon
The Powerpuff Girls: Sedusa, Him*, Princess Morbucks, the Gangreene Gang, and Dick Hardley
Death Note: L*, Higuchi, Mello, Near, Demegawa, Kiyomi Takada, Teru Mikami, and Light Yagami*
Hey Arnold: Any and all villains
El Hazard: Katsuhiko Jinnai and Lord Galus
Slayers: Eris, Copy Rezo, Kansel, Gaav, and Hellmaster Phibrizzo*
Looney Tunes: Wile E Coyote, Sylvester, Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck, and Bugs Bunny (sometimes)
One Piece: Alvida, Morgan, Helmeppo, Buggy the Clown*, Kuro, Don Kreig, Arlong, Mr. 3, Wapol, Eneru, Spandam, Foxy, Shiki, Vander Decken, Akainu, CP9/World Government, and many more
Haruhi Suzumiya: Computer Club President, Student Council Boss, Emiri Kimidori, Taniguchi, Sasaki, Kuyo Suoh, Kyoko Tachibana, and "The Sneering Bastard" Fujiwara
Sailor Moon: Jedite, Nephrite, Zoisite, Queen Beryl, Alan and Ann, Rubeus, Esmeraude, Safir, Prince Demando, Wiseman/Death Phantom, Kaorinite, Witches 5, Mistress Nine, Queen Nehelania, Grand Zirconia, the Amazon Trio, Sailor Iron Mouse, Sailor Tin Nyanko, and Sailor Metal Papillion
Beyblade: Any and all villains
Berserk: Minister Foss and Corkus
Black Lagoon: Chaka of Washimine
Bleach: Sosuke Aizen*, Gin, Tousen, Luppi, Nnoitra, Szayel, Aeoniero, Tsukishmia, and Gotei 13
Naruto: Mizuki, Gato, Orochimaru, Kabuto, Gaara, Neji, Pain, Sasuke Uchiha, and Obito Uchiha
Code Geass: Mao, Clovis, Jeremiah, Viletta, Suzaku, Diethard, V.V, and the Chinese Eunochs
Full Metal Alchemist: Shou Tucker, Father Cornello, Frank Archer, Dante, Envy, and Pride
Revolutionary Girl Utena: Touga, Saionji, Nanami, Ruka, and Souji Mikage
Rurouni Kenshin: Kanryu Takeda, Raijuta, and Gein
Scry-Ed: Emergy Maxfell, Kigetsuki, and Koji Mujo
Candy Candy: Eliza and Neal
Eureka 7: Truth and Naru
Monster: Half The Cast!
School Days: Makoto Itou
Trigun: Millions Knives (anime)
Mon Colle Knights: Prince Eccentro
Gankutsuou: Mondego, Danglars and Vileford
Gundam: Ghiren Zabi, Jamaican Danigan, Gady Kinsey, Jerid Mesa, Jamitov Hymem, Bask Ohm, Chronicle Asher, Fonse Kagatie, Duke Dermail, Quinze, Tsurabov, Dekim Barton, Agrippa Maintainer, Muruta Azrael, Patrick Zala, Will Sutherland, Al DaFlaga, Lord Djibril, Gilbert Durandal*, Yuna Roma, Wang Liu Mei, Abra Lindt, Ali Al Sachez, Alejandro Corner, Ribbons Almark*(truly), and Decil Gallette
Hellsing: Enrico Maxwell, Luke Valentine, Zorin Blitz, Alexander Anderson, Alucard, and Walter
Baccano: Ladd Russo*, Goose, and Huey
DNAngel: Satoshi, Krad, and Chief Hiwatari
Fruits Basket: Akito Sohma and Ren Sohma
Fate/Stay Night: Shinji Matou, Zouken Matou, and Gilgamesh*
Full Metal Panic: Gauron, Mr. Gates, and Leonard Testarossa
Fushigi Yuugi: Emperor, Tomo, Miboshi, Tenkou, and Mayo
Future Diary: Takao Hiyama, John Balks, and Kurou Amano
Elfen Lied: Professor Yu Kakuzawa, Bandou, and Dr. Nosou
Heat Guy J: Clair Leonelli, Mitchal Rubenstein, Echigo, and Shun
Inu-Yasha: Naraku*, Sesshomaru, Jakken, Koga, Kagura, and Kikyo
Rave Master: Any and all villains (except maybe Pumpkin Dohryu)
Shaman King: The Tao Clan, Ryu, Dr. Faust, and Hao Asakura
Vision Of Escaflowne: Dilandau, Folken Fanel, and Emperor Dornkirk
Voltron/Go-Lion: Prince Lotor/Sincline, King Zarkon, and Witch Haggar
Shinzo: King Daku, Kiri, Gyasa, Ryuuma, Karas, Rusephine, Devil Mushrambo, and Lanancuras
Zatch Bell: Zofis, Roberto Vile, Eshroth, Maruss, Victoream, Grisor, Zeno, Leo, and Clear Note
Tommorows Nadja: Hermann Preminger
Yami No Matsuei: Dr. Muraki *(truly)
Hannibal Series: Dr Chilton and Mason Verger
The Hunger Games: President Snow*, President Coin, Seneca Crane, and the Career Tributes
Game Of Thrones: Joffrey Baratheon, Viserys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister,
Stannis Baratheon, Renly Baratheon, Melisandre,Walder Frey, Ramsay Bolton, Theon Greyjoy,
Balon Greyjoy, Euron Greyjoy, Oberyn Martell, Doran Martell*, Darkstar, Ellaria & the Sand Snakes,
Janys Slynt, Armory Lorch, Aliser Thorne, Olly, Karl Tanner, Mance Raider, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, etc.
Shakespeare: Shylock, Don John, Tybault, Oliver, Oberon, Puck*, Lady Macbeth*, Jack Cade*, etc.
Twilight: Edward Cullen, Bella Swan, Carlisle Cullen, James, Victoria, Riley, Sam, and the Volturi
Buffy: Colin, Mr. Trick, the Mayor, Faith, Snyder, Adam, Glory, Warren, Caleb*, Eve, and Gavin Park
Once Upon A Time: Evil Queen Regina, Hook*, King George, Prince James, Felix, Greg & Tamara, Neal Cassidy, Dr. Whale, Jefferson, Walsh, Zelena, Prince Hans, Maleficent, Ursula, Cruella Deville, Isaac, Lily, Jafar*, Red Queen Anastasia*, Amora, the Sultan, the Jabberwocky, and the Caterpillar
Skies Of Arcardia: Alfonso
Radiant Historia: Queen Protea
Ace Attorney: Dahlia Hawethorne
Assassin's Creed: Cesare Borgia
Fire Emblem: Ephidel, Sonia, and Valter
Jak and Daxter: Erol and Count Vegar*
Shadow Hearts: Covenant: Nicholai
Street Fighter: Vega, Balrog, Zangif, etc.
Tales Of The Abyss: Grand Maestro Mohs
Tales Of Legendia: Vaclav, Cashel, Walter, Solon, and Schwartz
Baldur's Gate: Angelo, Isaea, Edwin, and Baron Ployer
The World Ends With You: Mistuki Konishi and Kitaniji
Warcraft: Arthas and various others
Special VG Mention: Gary Smith ("Bully")
Jem And The Holograms: Eric Raymond
DC: Grayven, Klarion, Ultra-Humanite, Alexander Luthor, Emil Hamilton, Amanda Waller*(sometimes), etc.
Marvel: The Wizard, The Leader, Justin Hammer, Baron Mordo, Surtur, Red Skull, Loki*(sometimes), etc.
Animaniacs: The Brain, Snowball, Dr. Scratchansniff, Mr. Plotz, Walt Wolf, King Salazar, Buddy, etc.
American Dragon: The Huntsman, Councilor Chang, Eli Pandarus, Hans Rotwood, and Dark Dragon
Ben 10: Vilgax, Kevin 11, Forever Knights, Highbreed, Darkstar, Albedo, Aggregor*, and Maltrunat
Captain Planet: Hog Greedley, Dr. Blight, Duke Nukem, Sly Sludge, Verminous Skumm, and Zarm
Generator Rex: Van Kleiss*, White Knight, Hunter Cain, Biowulf, and Quarry
Care Bears: Professor Coldheart, No Heart, and Daaaaark Heeeaaart!!!
Danny Phantom: Dark Danny, Nicolai Technus, and Penelope Spectra
Huntik: The Professor, Defoe, Klaus, and Wilder
Invader ZIM: The Allmighty Tallest, Dib, and ZIM*
Reboot: Herr Doctor, Hexidecimal, and Daemon
Rugrats: Angelica, Josh, Rex, Coco and Jean Claude
Samurai Jack: Aku*, Gordo the Cruel, and Demongo
Transformers: Starscream, Thrust, and G1 Megatron
Thundercats: Mumm-Ra*, Grune, Slithe, Kayner, Addicus, the Duelist, Mordax, and VultureMan
G.I. Joe: Cobra Commander*, Serpentor, Destro, Baroness, and Tomax/Xamot
He-Man: Skeletor, Hordak, Evil-Lyn, Hoarde Prime, and the Snake Men
Dragon Booster: Word Payne, Moordryd Payne, Kane, and Armageddon
Jackie Chan Adventures: Shendu, Dao Long Wong, Terkuda, and Drago
Codename: Kids Next Door: The DCFDTL, Father, Cree, Chad, Chester, Mr. Boss, Heinrich, etc.
Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command: Zurg, Torque, XL, Nos-482, Gravitina, Klerm, and Evil Buzz
Phineas And Ferb: Dr. Doofenshmirtz, Doof 2, Prof. Poofenplotz, Dr. Rodney, and Evil Carl
Spongebob Squarepants: Plankton, Mr. Krabs, Bubble Bass, Kevin, Dennis, and Squilliam
Jimmy Neutron: King Goobot, Professor Calamitus, JunkMan, Meldar, Eustace, and Cousin Eddy
Shrek: Lord Farquaad, Fairy Godmother*, Prince Charming, Rumpelstiltskin*, and Humpty Dumpty
Kung Fu Panda: Tai-Lung, Taotie, Hundun, Scorpion, Jong Sung, Fu-Shi, Fenghuang, and Ke-Pa
Scooby Doo: Sarah Ravencroft, Dr. Phibes, Crump, Mayor Fred Jones Sr, Mr. E, and Nibiru Entity
Storm Hawks: Master Cyclonis, Dark Ace, Repton, Ravess, Snipe, Mr. Moss, and Sir Carver
The Simpsons: Mr. Burns, Bart Simpson, Sideshow Bob, Frank Grimes, and Russ Cargill
Family Guy: Stewie Griffin, Peter Griffin, Bertram, Penelope, and Mr. Carter Pewterschmidt
Futurama: Zapp Brannigan, Mom, Bender, President Nixon's Head, and the Nudist Scammers
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder*, Kraang, Karai, Baxter, Lord Dregg, Rat King, and Mozar
Total Drama: Chris Mclean*, Justin, Courtney, Blainely, Josh, Cody, Duncan, Scott, and Scarlet
W.I.T.C.H: Lord Cerdic, Prince Phobos*, Princess Elyon, Vathek, the Tracker, Nerissa*, and Ari
Winx Club: The Trix, Lord Darkar, Valtor*, the Wizards, Tritannus, Selina, and Acheron
Xiaolin Showdown: Wuya, Jack Spicer, Pandabubba, Vladimir, and Hannibal Roy Bean
Non-Disney Animated: Cat R Wall, Carface*, Red, Grand Duke, Toad, Beetle, Drake, Rasputin, Preed, Ptyrano, Ramses, Tzekel Khan, Sir Ruber, Kralahome, and others (usually Dreamworks)
Literature: Count Olaf, Briar Cudgeon, Opal Kopoi, John Spiro, Minerva Pardizo, Uriah Heep, Orlick, Mrs Haveshim, Quarath, Cosmo Lavish, Mr Collins, Mr Wickham, Simon Lovelace, Vizzini, Ms Trunchbull, Cree Bega, Lord Septus, Nils Bjurman, Bill Tanner, Shere Khan, Acheron, Mag, etc.
Film: Le Chiffre, Eve Harrington, Eden Fletcher, General Koscov, Theron, Ellis, Louis Renault, Emma Temple, Colonel Zaysen, Tommy O'Shea, Gaff, Lord Coward, Eli Sunday, Nero, Rene Beloq, Walter Donovan, Lady Lucile, Monsieur Le Pieu, Howard Payne, Mr. Potter, Michael Corleone*, etc.
Most "examples" from Comedic or kiddy cartoon shows!