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When Der Fuehrer says, "We ist der master race"

We HEIL! (raspberry) HEIL! (raspberry) Right in Der Fuehrer's face

Rather than just feeling Fantastic Racism towards a particular group, these people look down on everyone who isn't them. They'll likely be The Empire or The Horde (generally led by an Evil Overlord or a charismatic President Evil), and might possibly be Always Chaotic Evil, though it's also possible most of them are simply fed on propaganda rather than seriously believing this. In any case, they'll hold to an ideology based around the idea that they and they alone deserve to rule the world/universe, and everyone else needs to fall into line or be exterminated. In extreme cases, they may simply want to exterminate everyone else without bothering to dominate them.

See also Scary Dogmatic Aliens, and there will likely be in- or out-of universe comparisons made to Those Wacky Nazis. If said comparisons are explicitly in-universe, they'll likely be Putting on the Reich. May show up as a central teaching of the Religion of Evil or Path of Inspiration. Contrast Superior Species, where the work itself presents a race as inherently better. They're almost always bad guys (as you can't play them as heroes without getting into a motherlode of Unfortunate Implications, though individual members can be sympathetic, especially if My Species Doth Protest Too Much is in force) and they'll often show up as villains in works that are preaching An Aesop against racism.

Note- does not apply to races or cultures who think they're superior but have no interest in conquering the outside world. The Master Race wants to master the rest of the world, not be apart from it. They may already be served by a Slave Race, Servant Race, or Henchmen Race, though some extreme examples are too xenophobic even for that. Compare and contrast the Absolute Xenophobe, who skips the "mastering" part and goes straight for extermination.

Examples of Master Race include:


Anime and Manga

  • The Fishmen, most notably of the Arlong Pirates, in One Piece. In a world mostly made-up of water, being able to breath on both land AND water, and also just naturally be strong, is admittedly a very positive trait. Doesn't stop the Straw Hats for too long, though.
    • However, several hundred chapters later, it was revealed that this was actually an attempt to undermine humans pulling this on them, due to the humans's superior numbers and the presence of Charles Atlas Superpower'd humans who can mop the floor with any fishman, regardless of greater natural strength.
  • Both Ghiren Zabi of Mobile Suit Gundam and Patrick Zala of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED both believe that because of who their factions are (spacenoids - humans born in space - for Zeon and Coordinators - genetically modified humans - for ZAFT), that they are already the better race and that those on Earth (Earthnoids and Naturals respectively) need to be destroyed. Those within Blue Cosmos and, by extension, the Earth Alliance who feel that Naturals, with their unmodified genetics, are the truly superior ones and that it's the Coordinators that need to be eliminated.
  • The homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist.

Comic Books

  • Some factions of Mutants believe they are a superior breed of humans and even came up with the name homo sapiens superior to describe themselves. Magneto was one of the strongest proponents of this idea, though he has moved past it after realizing his actions ultimately hurt mutantkind instead of saving it.

Card Games

  • Magic: The Gathering has a few. Mostly elves. Oddly not Proud Warrior Race types. Ironically, on the color wheel, black has Master Race attributes, in that black is more likely to not hurt other black cards. To give you an idea, white has Crusade, blue has Sunken City, but black has everything that has or grants Fear, Bad Moon, Ascendant Evincar...
    • Blue also has Invoke Prejudice, which doubles the cost of creatures your opponents play that don't share a colour with any of yours (and its art looks like black-robed KKK members with axes).

Literature

  • Deconstructed with the Dunedain in the backstory for The Lord of the Rings (adapted from the Atlantis myth)- in many ways they are superior to other races of men, which leads them to ultimately turn themselves into The Empire, as well as arrogant and corrupt. Then their king makes Sauron his chief advisor, and he plays on these factors to lead the Dunedain to ruin. By the time of Lord of the Rings there are very few pureblood Dunedain left, and their culture exists in an After the End of their own making.
    • Yet for some reason nobody has a problem with putting another one of them on the throne with no fear that the same pattern might repeat itself after a few generations...
    • Considering there are so few of them left, and the survivors give no indication of still buying into the whole Master Race thing, this seems unlikely, though Tolkien's unfinished sequel to The Lord of the Rings does indicate that in a few generations all won't be well in Gondor...
      • A key part of The Lord of the Rings is the Literary Agent Hypothesis, that it really happened about fourteen thousand years ago in Europe. Historically, most of those peoples were wiped out by an invasion out of the East by the Indo-Europeans, something a linguist like Tolkein would have been familiar with given that much of this historical knowledge was ascertained via lingual studies. Given the in-story comparative military bases of the Easterlings and the Dunedain remnants, its pretty clear that Gondor screwed up royally, probably with corruption and alienation of surrounding powers, to be able to be so completely overthrown by the Men out of the East. Pretty much all that remains of the Dunedain "master race" is the Basque peoples from France and Spain.
  • Many pureblood families of wizards from Harry Potter view themselves this way; Voldemort, whose reasons for hating muggles are much more personal in nature, plays on this to attract followers.
  • The Draka, who talk the talk and walk the walk, enslaving the rest of humanity. Things only get worse once they map the human genome.
  • The Cyrgai in David Eddings's Tamuli. For a fun question, how do you really, really piss off a Master Race? You seal them in an area so that anyone who tries to cross a line in the sand dies, no saves.
  • The Race in Harry Turtledove's Worldwar. While not racist (speciest?) in the typical sense, they believe that it is not just their right but their duty to take over other intelligent races and add them to their empire. They are horrified by Nazi Germany, however.
  • In the very first original Star Trek novel, STAR TREK Mission to Horatius by Mack Reynolds, the inhabitants of the planet Bavarya (sic!) are divided into artificially replicated people called "doppelgangers" (again, sic) and biologically engendered people called the "Herr-Elite" (sic, sic, sic) -- obvious stand-ins for Nazi Untermenschen and Herrenvolk. The "Herr-Elite" plan to invade the planets Neolithia and Mythra and enslave their inhabitants. It turns out that the dictator, "Nummer Ein," is himself a doppelganger. Does This Remind You of Anything?
  • The elves in The Halfblood Chronicles.
  • The very aptly named Masters from The Stone Dance of the Chameleon. Even within their own ranks, the weight of their votes is decided by blood purity.
  • Dracula's obsession with blood goes a lot deeper than just wanting to drink it. He tells Jonathan Harker at length about the history of Transylvania, explaining that the Szekelys are descended from both Vikings and Huns and thus his race is stronger and purer than the other noble dynasties of Europe. The second that technology provides him the ability to leave his provincial domain, he sets into motion his plan for world domination. So he's not only a Complete Monster, he's also a racist.
  • From John Carter of Mars, the Holy Therns (white Martians) and the First Born (Black Martians) both see themselves as being the Master Race (the First Born take this to the extreme of considering it beneath them to do any kind of work but fighting- lesser beings work, and the First Born take what they need from them). Needless to say, the two races hate each other's guts, though in the third book the Thern Priest King and a First Born nobleman pull a (very tense) Villain Team-Up against the eponymous hero.

Live Action TV

  • The Daleks from Doctor Who, who actually refer to themselves as "the master race" during the WWII-set Victory of the Daleks. And the Cybermen. As well as a number of less scrupulous Time Lords.
    • And the mockingly-named "Master Race" which came into being when The Master temporarily turned every human on Earth into a copy of himself.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Teenagers from Outer Space, the leader of the saucer crew likes to go on about this:

 Bombastic Alien: "We are the supreme race!"

Tom Servo: "We make the supreme pizzas!"

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • The Viscanti in Lusternia - which is particularly ironic, since they were transformed by The Corruption into a race of amoral mutants. They inbreed extensively to maintain their blood purity, and have no qualms about enslaving, murdering, and eating lesser races, though they do have a certain respect for the (markedly less intelligent) Taurian and Orclach races, who they often utilize as front-line warriors.
    • To a lesser extent, the Merian race. Their claim to being a master race is a little more justified, considering their long, illustrious history and innate intelligence, and they're much more accepting of other races (though still arrogantly self-assured about their own superiority). However, it was also the Merians who inadvertently released the aforementioned corruption. Unsurprisingly, the Merian and Viscanti hate each other.
  • The Thalmor in The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim don't just want to kill everyone who isn't an elf - they want to destroy their souls as well to make sure they effectively cease to exist.

Web Comics

  • The elves in Eight Bit Theater. Of course, they're actually every bit as stupid as everyone else.
  • Aylee's species from Sluggy Freelance. They see it as their goal to literally devour every living thing in the universe that isn't one of them (though Leon makes a possible exception for flowers).

Western Animation

 Logan: "The idea was to create super soldiers for World War Two."

Xavier: "A master race?"

Logan: "Mmmrr...these were the good guys. They didn't mean it like that."

Xavier: "Yes, they never do. At first."

Multiple media

  • The Yuuzhan Vong see all other species as scum to be forcibly converted to the Great Doctrine or exterminated.
    • One of the underlying philosophies of The Empire in the original Star Wars movies was that of High Human Culture- basically, the idea that humans were the superior species. It's unclear how much Palpatine really bought into this, and how much of it was to entice the ambitions of his subordinates.
      • This seems to be a bit of a running theme in Star Wars, the Rakata's Infinite Empire, first mentioned in KOTOR seemed to feel like this (It's hard to tell since their Empire collapsed long before the time period of that game, even), as they conquered many planets with their extensive technology and used the natives they found on many worlds as slaves.
  • Elves in many settings have a habit of seeing themselves as superior, but most would rather hide from the world rather than conquer it. There are exceptions, however, including most flavors of Dark Elf and The Death Gate Cycle's Tribus Elves.

Real Life

  • Most infamously, this was the whole basis of Nazi (Trope Namer) and white supremacist ideology, and racial supremacist ideology in general.
    • They believed that Nordic Europeans were superior to everyone else...and then claimed Ancient Greece and Rome as "Nordic".
      • The Nazis actually believed the World Ice Theory because 1) it rejects Einstein's Relativity (rejecting the Jews is good enough), 2) its originator was an Austrian, and 3) the ice could explain Aryan supremacy. Atlantis, the Hollow Earth, Lemuria, Mu...If there's a fringe idea, the Nazis hijacked it. Of course, the World Ice Theory ends with the Earth crashing into the sun, so what's the point?
      • Nazis, while the Trope Namer, did have a few peoples we don't consider "white" who they considered Aryans. These included the Iranians and Indian brahmins (natch), the Japanese (to explain the alliance), Tibetans (according to Theosophy, the Aryan homeland), and the Sioux (due to Hitler's love of Karl May novels). Only the Sioux were really hostile to the "Aryan" label, because it challenged their mythic phylogeny. A better example would be the label of "Caucasian", almost universal to imperial powers in the 19th century; oddly, that trope namer, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, was not really a racist, at least by 18th-century standards
      • The Japanese did not count as Aryan in the Nazi ideology. They were called "honorary Aryans" for the sake of their alliance, but intermarriage between the Japanese and Germans was just as strictly forbidden as marriage between Africans and Germans, and privately Hitler held the opinion that Japan could only prosper under German influence, and would fall back to feudal infighting if left to their own devices.
    • Also, the word "Aryan" existed only in Iranian and Hindu literature before the recent history. To the academia, Aryan means the languages spoken by Iranians, Kurds and North Indians. In the Vedas, "Aryan" means moral and noble. The name "Iran" is also cognate with "Aryan". Nothing to do with anything west/north of Iraq.
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