Arrogance is a common theme in the Naruto series. However, it is the worst attribute to have as a shinobi, especially in combat.
Shinobi are constantly engaged in life-or-death combat. They have to suppress their emotions in battle to avoid making fatal mistakes. Throughout the series, we have seen many characters fail to control their feelings during a fight.
Let's take a look at 10 characters in Naruto who were arrogant in a fight but ended up being humbled by their opponents.
Note: This article reflects the opinions of the writer
10 Naruto characters who were humbled in battle (in chronological order)
1) Neji > Naruto
During the final round of the Chunin exams, Naruto found himself facing the talented Hyuga Neji. The Byakugan user scoffed at his notoriously brash opponent and hindered his chakra network with a series of carefully placed strikes.
Assuming that Naruto was down for the count, Neji stood over him, ready to claim his victory. To his surprise, his opponent had feigned defeat with a shadow clone while burrowing underground.
Naruto burst out from the earth and nailed the arrogant Neji with a punch, knocking him out.
2) Kankuro > Shino
Following Operation: Konoha Crush, Shino engaged Kankuro to allow Sasuke to continue his pursuit of Gaara.
Up to this point in Naruto, this was one of the most interesting matchups of jutsu styles. Many times throughout the fight, Kankuro assumed that he had gotten the better of Shino. However, he underestimated the Aburame clan member.
Shino was playing chess, not checkers. His calculated approach allowed him to subdue Kankuro just before he was immobilized by his opponent's poison.
3) Orochimaru > Hiruzen
Orochimaru was highly confident in his plan to destroy his home village. He planned an attack against the Third Hokage, trapping him within a barrier.
Orochimaru unleashed a formidable jutsu and revived the First and Second Hokage to fight for him in battle. As the fight reached its climax, Hiruzen resigned himself to death in order to stop his former pupil.
Using the double-edged Reaper Death Seal jutsu, the Third Hokage managed to seal Orochimaru's arms in exchange for his life. The Konoha traitor was shocked and distraught by this development.
4) Kidōmaru > Neji
During the Sasuke Recovery Mission, Shikamaru led a team consisting of Kiba, Neji, Naruto, and Choji. A member of the Sound Four awaited the team at every turn.
In order to allow the rest of the team to push forward, Neji took on Kidōmaru. Recognizing his opponent's skill, the Sound ninja decided to fall back to a safe distance and use ranged attacks.
Confident that he had Neji cornered, Kidōmaru arrogantly fired arrow after arrow at the young Hyuga. Counting his opponent out was a big mistake.
Neji deliberately allowed one of Kidōmaru's arrows to hit him in order to sniff out his location. Putting his body on the line is what allowed him to defeat his snarky enemy.
5) Kabuto > Naruto
The search for Tsunade led Naruto and Jiraiya into a showdown against Orochimaru and Kabuto. The "Pervy Sage" had his hands full fighting his former teammate, while Tsunade was immobilized after seeing blood.
Once Kabuto neutralized Shizune, it was up to Naruto to protect the Slug Princess. The fight was clearly one-sided, but the protagonist never gave up.
Kabuto mocked his opponent, but his underestimation of the future 7th Hokage led to an epic turnaround.
6) Hidan > Shikamaru
"The Immortal Duo" of Hidan and Kakuzu were both quite confident in their individual abilities.
Following Asuma's death, Team 10 hatched a plan to avenge their fallen sensei. Hidan was self-assured during the fight that ensued, up until he fell right into Shikamaru's trap.
7) Deidara > Sasuke
Like some of his fellow Akatsuki members, Deidara has always been braggadocious.
The bombastic criminal continuously assumed that he had the upper hand in his fight against Sasuke. His arrogance worked against him, and Deidara was eventually forced to use his ultimate move against the Uchiha.
8) Sasuke > The Kage
For some strange reason, Sasuke thought that he was powerful enough to infiltrate the Kage summit. He boldly faced the village leaders head-on, starting with the Raikage.
Although we were provided with incredible fight scenes, perhaps Sasuke wasn't quite as prepared as he thought.
9) Danzo > Sasuke
In a quick turnaround following his infiltration of the Kage summit, Naruto's best frenemy took on Danzo.
The leader of Root (The Foundation) was wrong to assume that his jutsu and stolen Uchiha Sharingan would be enough to take down Sasuke.
Danzo was confident in his arsenal of techniques. However, he suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the young man considered to be Konoha's public enemy number one.
10) Sasuke > Itachi
Sasuke was shocked by the course of his fight with Itachi, even though he watched his brother fall. In an awesome sequence, both Uchiha clan members used multiple genjutsu attacks at the beginning of their encounter.
Sasuke approached Itachi, confident that he had finally attained the level of power necessary to take down his brother. He quickly learned that without the Mangeyko Sharingan, his older brother was still out of his reach.
If Itachi had not planned to let his younger brother kill him as retribution for his sins, this fight would likely have ended much differently.