History Main / GodGuise

7th May '17 4:54:53 PM Theriocephalus
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* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/55143/1/trust/the-pretender Trust]], Celestia warns Trixie of falling prey to this trope. [[spoiler: Celestia herself is one, but by her own internal dialogue, apparently unwillingly, trapped by her own web of lies from long ago, but allowing the deception to continue to avert civil war and give the people hope.]]

to:

* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/55143/1/trust/the-pretender Trust]], Trust]]'', Celestia warns Trixie of falling prey to this trope. [[spoiler: Celestia herself is one, but by her own internal dialogue, apparently unwillingly, trapped by her own web of lies from long ago, but allowing the deception to continue to avert civil war and give the people hope.]]
21st Apr '17 3:04:28 PM DarkHunter
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* In ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'', several incidents lead to Yuri being considered an avatar of Ishtar, the war goddess. Though Yuri and Kail are well-aware this isn't the case, they happily take advantage of this perception when it's convenient, to the point that Yuri starts going by the name "Yuri Ishtar".
31st Mar '17 3:16:28 PM nombretomado
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* The Archai originally suffered from being inadvertently treated as gods by modosophonts, in ''OrionsArm'', as a result of their attainment of {{Sufficiently Advanced|Alien}} technology after having crossed several [[TheSingularity singularities]]. For a while the archai tried to convince people that they were not actually divine, but then later gave up and let the modosophs believe whatever they wanted. Thus, they're now often referred to as "[=AI=] Gods".
* In Machinima/RedVsBlue, Church ends up possessing a piece of ancient alien technology (a Forerunner Monitor, although it's never called that in the show) and a pack of vicious aliens start treating him as their god. Revealing that he's not actually a god but is just hijacking the technology they worship would inevitably lead to the aliens ripping the Reds and Blues apart, so Church has to keep up the disguise. It kind of goes to his head eventually.

to:

* The Archai originally suffered from being inadvertently treated as gods by modosophonts, in ''OrionsArm'', ''WebOriginal/OrionsArm'', as a result of their attainment of {{Sufficiently Advanced|Alien}} technology after having crossed several [[TheSingularity singularities]]. For a while the archai tried to convince people that they were not actually divine, but then later gave up and let the modosophs believe whatever they wanted. Thus, they're now often referred to as "[=AI=] Gods".
* In Machinima/RedVsBlue, ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Church ends up possessing a piece of ancient alien technology (a Forerunner Monitor, although it's never called that in the show) and a pack of vicious aliens start treating him as their god. Revealing that he's not actually a god but is just hijacking the technology they worship would inevitably lead to the aliens ripping the Reds and Blues apart, so Church has to keep up the disguise. It kind of goes to his head eventually.
24th Mar '17 11:36:59 AM AthenaBlue
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* In the early Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novels, the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Yuuzhan Vong]] mistook Jaina Solo for Yun-Harla, their Goddess of Deception. This gave the New Republic an advantage, as the Yuuzhan Vong were incredibly frightened and demoralized at the thought that one of their deities had turned against them. The Jedi Ganner Rhysode [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificed himself]] in an ''incredibly epic'' YouShallNotPass moment. The Yuuzhan Vong were so impressed by his bravery and strength that they '''added him to their pantheon''' as The Ganner, the warrior who guards the gate to the underworld. [[spoiler: Onimi, the true leader of the Yuuzhan Vong, reveals that he thinks every Jedi is an avatar of a god, and that if he can kill them all, [[AGodAmI he can become one himself]].]]

to:

* In the early Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'' novels, the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Yuuzhan Vong]] mistook Jaina Solo for Yun-Harla, their Goddess of Deception. This gave the New Republic an advantage, as the Yuuzhan Vong were incredibly frightened and demoralized at the thought that one of their deities had turned against them. The Jedi Ganner Rhysode [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificed himself]] in an ''incredibly epic'' YouShallNotPass moment. The Yuuzhan Vong were so impressed by his bravery and strength that they '''added him to their pantheon''' as The Ganner, the warrior who guards the gate to the underworld. [[spoiler: Onimi, the true leader of the Yuuzhan Vong, reveals that he thinks every Jedi is an avatar of a god, and that if he can kill them all, [[AGodAmI he can become one himself]].]]



* In the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode "Over the Rainbow", Cordelia is made a goddess by the people of Pylea, as the result of her visions. Unfortunately, the power behind the throne is a ReligionOfEvil; when she tries to assert her authority, it's quickly demonstrated to Cordelia that she's actually a PuppetKing.
* The Vorlons appearing [[spoiler: as angels (widely believed to be divine agents of God), or their equivalents in non-human cultures,]] in ''Series/BabylonFive''.



* This trope can be found in almost every incarnation of ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''.
*** In the episode "The Paradise Syndrome", an amnesiac Kirk is mistaken for a deity by transplanted American Indians on a distant planet.
*** In "Who Mourns for Adonais", an actual surviving [[PhysicalGod Greek God]] reveals he's just a powerful alien who had become too used to being worshiped by mortals.
*** In "The Omega Glory", Spock is mistaken for the Devil due to his resemblance to a picture of {{Satan}} in a book. That and [[BizarreAlienBiology his ability to survive a gunshot to the chest.]]
---->'''Dr. [=McCoy=]''': "Once, just once, I'd like to say, 'Behold! I am the Archangel Gabriel!'" ''(He points out ''Spock'' could never claim to be Gabriel.)'' "But say you beamed down with a pitchfork...."
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** "Who Watches The Watchers?" features a specific discussion of this trope: that is, how do you talk a race out of this without destroying them? At the climax Picard is only able to convince them that he is not a God by daring the religious zealot to shoot him with the bow and arrow he was threatening someone else with. [[spoiler: He takes the shot and is shocked to see Picard lying on the ground and bleeding.]] This only really works because this species tends to adopt mostly rational ideas. They voluntarily gave up religion in favor of pragmatism even before reaching the IndustrialRevolution.
*** The episode "Devil's Due" had the crew tangling with an alien con-woman who took advantage of a civilization's legend of a past DealWithTheDevil to pose as said "devil" (she claims to be several others as well, including Satan) and thus literally claim ownership to the entire planet.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
*** In "False Profits", a couple of Ferengi are mistaken for Gods thanks to their magical replicator.
*** The far better "Muse" has B'Elanna crashing on a planet and being mistaken for an 'eternal' (a powerful being of legend) by a local poet, who uses her logs to write a [[FanFiction play]]. There's a certain amount of give-and-take (the poet needs inspiration for his play which he hopes will turn his fickle warlord patron away from war; B'Elanna needs help repairing her shuttle) before the two gain a mutual respect, with B'Elanna even providing a literal DeusExMachina at the end.
** ''Franchise/StarTrek'' also subverts this, to a degree, with the Federation's Prime Directive -- since it's all-too-easy to get a swelled head from being called "God", the Prime Directive ''forbids'' starship captains from interfering in a lesser-developed culture, to protect both captain and alien from the effects of Pseudo-Godhood. Coincidentally, Gene Roddenberry's first-hand experience and unease with real-life {{Cargo Cult}}s is said to be one of the things that inspired the Prime Directive in the first place. But to the audience it comes off as really more of a weird LampshadeHanging, as this is ignored whenever the plot demands.\\
\\
The prime directive is handled differently by many people in the Federation. Generally, it's accepted as an underlying principle for self-determination (the Federation does NOT interfere in internal wars or politics of other civilizations, even if their own interests are at stake). But in the field and on the front-lines, it is commonly believed that, like principles such as "do not lie" and "do not kill", there are situations where morality calls upon one to violate one principle to uphold another (such as helping evacuate people from a pre-warp planet doomed by natural disaster when they call out desperately for help). The theory in the instance of people actually ASKING for help is that it's OK to provide limited assistance in a life-or-death situation, but it's not OK to make global changes in their culture that go beyond making sure they don't all die. Even then, it's best to do it in such a way that they won't realize that outsiders did it.
* Seen repeatedly in ''Series/StargateSG1'' (as well as the original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' movie) -- usually, anyone who comes through the Stargate is automatically assumed to be God. (This is perfectly in tune with the plot, however. The {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s who stole the gates have invested a ''lot'' of energy in making this happen; it's less a God Guise than somebody else's PathOfInspiration.) The Goa'uld at first used this trope to maintain their positions of power, but most of them [[AGodAmI actually came to believe their own propaganda]]. Ba'al is one of the few exceptions. Vala actually impersonated the Goa'uld (Qetesh) who once controlled her for a while, acting as a god to the people of a particular planet -- although without any of the Goa'uld terror, obviously.
** Your mileage may vary on the definition of a "god" but, as far as the PowersThatBe behind the show are concerned, the Ancients and Ori are '''NOT''' gods, so the entire Ori arc consists of [=SG1=] trying to unmask a colossal God Guise.
** Interestingly, a later episode has the team go back to a world where they left ex-Colonel Maybourne and find out that the has adopted a variation of this. Since he can read Ancient (he taught himself when he was still on Earth), he is able to make predictions based on some writings he found by a time-traveling Ancient name Janus. The villagers make him their king and he lives in luxury (the ending reveals he has multiple wives). However, when a Goa'uld threatens to take the planet, Maybourne has no choice but to try to get his people to leave by convincing them that all he told them came from the tablet. While they understand, they refuse to let him step down, as everything he did after becoming king (e.g. a crop-rotating system, a watermill) are all his accomplishments.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' serials ''The Myth Makers'', ''Underworld'', and many others.
** A variation appears in "The Face of Evil", where the Doctor is instead mistaken for The Evil One (and the resemblance is ''not'' a coincidence).

to:

* This trope can be found in almost every incarnation of ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
''Series/DoctorWho'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''.
***
In the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E6TheAztecs "The Paradise Syndrome", an amnesiac Kirk is mistaken for a deity by transplanted American Indians on a distant planet.
*** In "Who Mourns for Adonais", an actual surviving [[PhysicalGod Greek God]] reveals he's just a powerful alien who had become too used to being worshiped by mortals.
*** In "The Omega Glory", Spock
Aztecs"]], Barbara is mistaken for the Devil due to his resemblance to a picture of {{Satan}} in a book. That Aztec deity Yetaxa and [[BizarreAlienBiology his ability tries to survive a gunshot use her position to change the chest.]]
---->'''Dr. [=McCoy=]''': "Once, just once, I'd like to say, 'Behold! I am
Aztec Empire.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E3TheMythMakers "The Myth Makers"]],
the Archangel Gabriel!'" ''(He points out ''Spock'' could never claim to be Gabriel.)'' "But say you beamed down with a pitchfork...."
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** "Who Watches The Watchers?" features a specific discussion of this trope: that is, how do you talk a race out of this without destroying them? At the climax Picard
Doctor is only able to convince them that he is not a God by daring the religious zealot to shoot him with the bow and arrow he was threatening someone else with. [[spoiler: He takes the shot and is shocked to see Picard lying on the ground and bleeding.]] This only really works because this species tends to adopt mostly rational ideas. They voluntarily gave up religion in favor of pragmatism even before reaching the IndustrialRevolution.
*** The episode "Devil's Due" had the crew tangling with an alien con-woman who took advantage of a civilization's legend of a past DealWithTheDevil to pose as said "devil" (she claims to be several others as well, including Satan) and thus literally claim ownership to the entire planet.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
*** In "False Profits", a couple of Ferengi are
mistaken for Gods thanks to their magical replicator.
***
Zeus.
** Subverted in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E5TheTimeMonster "The Time Monster"]].
The far better "Muse" has B'Elanna crashing on Master materialises his TARDIS in Atlantis, convinced he'll easily dupe these primitives into thinking he's a planet God, but the wily king sees through his charlatan's tricks and laughs off an attempt to hypnotise him. To [[HumiliationConga add insult to injury]], as the Master is being mistaken for an 'eternal' (a powerful being of legend) led off by a local poet, who uses her logs to write a [[FanFiction play]]. There's a certain amount of give-and-take (the poet needs inspiration for the guards he runs right into the Doctor and Jo Grant whom he last saw in his play which he hopes will turn his fickle warlord patron away from war; B'Elanna needs help repairing her shuttle) before the two gain a mutual respect, inescapable DeathTrap. The Master is so speechless with B'Elanna even providing a literal DeusExMachina at the end.
** ''Franchise/StarTrek'' also subverts this, to a degree, with the Federation's Prime Directive -- since it's all-too-easy to get a swelled head from being called "God", the Prime Directive ''forbids'' starship captains from interfering in a lesser-developed culture, to protect both captain and alien from the effects of Pseudo-Godhood. Coincidentally, Gene Roddenberry's first-hand experience and unease with real-life {{Cargo Cult}}s is said to be one of the things
fury that inspired the Prime Directive in the first place. But to the audience it comes off as really more of a weird LampshadeHanging, as this is ignored whenever the plot demands.\\
\\
The prime directive is handled differently by many people in the Federation. Generally, it's accepted as an underlying principle for self-determination (the Federation does NOT interfere in internal wars or politics of other civilizations, even if their own interests are at stake). But in the field and on the front-lines, it is commonly believed that, like principles such as "do not lie" and "do not kill", there are situations where morality calls upon one to violate one principle to uphold another (such as helping evacuate people from a pre-warp planet doomed by natural disaster when they call out desperately for help). The theory in the instance of people actually ASKING for help is that it's OK
Jo has to provide limited assistance his retort: "How about: [[DastardlyWhiplash Curses! Foiled Again!]]"
** Subverted
in a life-or-death situation, but it's not OK to make global changes in their culture that go beyond making sure they don't all die. Even then, it's best to do it in such a way that they won't realize that outsiders did it.
* Seen repeatedly in ''Series/StargateSG1'' (as well as
[[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E4GenesisOfTheDaleks "Genesis of the original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' movie) -- usually, anyone who comes through Daleks"]]. The Daleks originally come from the Stargate is automatically assumed practical necessity of the Kaled race needing travel machines and life support systems to be God. (This is perfectly in tune cope with the plot, however. The {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s who stole the gates have invested a ''lot'' of energy in making this happen; it's less a God Guise than somebody else's PathOfInspiration.) The Goa'uld at first used this trope to maintain their positions of power, but most of them [[AGodAmI actually came to believe their own propaganda]]. Ba'al is one results of the few exceptions. Vala actually impersonated the Goa'uld (Qetesh) who once controlled her for a while, acting as a god mutations caused by an ongoing nuclear war; their creator, Davros, actively attempts to the people of a particular planet -- although without any of the Goa'uld terror, obviously.
** Your mileage may vary on the definition of a "god" but, as far as the PowersThatBe behind the show are concerned, the Ancients and Ori are '''NOT''' gods, so the entire Ori arc consists of [=SG1=] trying to unmask a colossal God Guise.
** Interestingly, a later episode has the team go back to a world where they left ex-Colonel Maybourne and find out that the has adopted a variation of this. Since he can read Ancient (he taught
set himself when he was still on Earth), he is able up as a God, leading a race of machine creatures built partly in his own image to make predictions based on some writings he found by a time-traveling Ancient name Janus. The villagers make him their king and he lives in luxury (the ending reveals he has multiple wives). However, when a Goa'uld threatens to take conquer the planet, Maybourne has no choice but universe. He neglects to try to get realise that, in practice, the genocidal racism he instills in his people to leave by convincing creatures (as a way of inspiring them that all to conquer other worlds) also extends to him and the Daleks gun him down at the first opportunity.
*** Although
he told comes back several times, he never learns from this and ends up killed or enslaved by them came from the tablet. While they understand, they refuse to let him step down, as everything he did after becoming king (e.g. a crop-rotating system, a watermill) are all his accomplishments.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' serials ''The Myth Makers'', ''Underworld'', and many others.
every time.
** A variation appears in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E4TheFaceOfEvil "The Face of Evil", Evil"]], where the Doctor is instead mistaken for The Evil One (and the resemblance is ''not'' a coincidence).



** In the serial ''The Aztecs'', Barbara is mistaken for the Aztec deity Yetaxa and tries to use her position to change the Aztec Empire.
** Used again in the new series episode "The Fires of Pompeii", wherein [[spoiler:the Doctor and Donna ''become'' the household Gods of a Roman family they rescue from the titular DoomedHometown]].
** Subverted in ''The Time Monster''. The Master materialises his TARDIS in Atlantis, convinced he'll easily dupe these primitives into thinking he's a God, but the wily king sees through his charlatan's tricks and laughs off an attempt to hypnotise him. To [[HumiliationConga add insult to injury]], as the Master is being led off by the guards he runs right into the Doctor and Jo Grant whom he last saw in his inescapable DeathTrap. The Master is so speechless with fury that Jo has to provide his retort: "How about: [[DastardlyWhiplash Curses! Foiled Again!]]"
** Subverted in ''Genesis of the Daleks''. The Daleks originally come from the practical necessity of the Kaled race needing travel machines and life support systems to cope with the results of the mutations caused by an ongoing nuclear war; their creator, Davros, actively attempts to set himself up as a God, leading a race of machine creatures built partly in his own image to conquer the universe. He neglects to realise that, in practice, the genocidal racism he instills in his creatures (as a way of inspiring them to conquer other worlds) also extends to him and the Daleks gun him down at the first opportunity.
*** Although he comes back several times, he never learns from this and ends up killed or enslaved by them every time.
** Magnus Greel posing as Weng-Chiang in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"; though he doesn't try to hide his identify from Chang, to whom it makes no difference anyway as Greel has risen him up from his humble life as a Chinese peasant to someone who performs before royalty.
-->'''Doctor:''' "You know he's not a god, don't you?"
-->'''Chang:''' "He came to me like a god, in his cabinet of fire!"
** In "The Girl Who Died", the leader of the Mire poses as Odin when he turns up to collect the Viking warriors.
* In ''Series/TheWestWing'', a reporter reveals that he was once mistaken for a deity by a primitive tribe.
** Though since he was flirting at the time, this may have been facetious.

to:

** In the serial ''The Aztecs'', Barbara is mistaken for the Aztec deity Yetaxa and tries to use her position to change the Aztec Empire.
** Used again in the new series episode "The Fires of Pompeii", wherein [[spoiler:the Doctor and Donna ''become'' the household Gods of a Roman family they rescue from the titular DoomedHometown]].
** Subverted in ''The Time Monster''. The Master materialises his TARDIS in Atlantis, convinced he'll easily dupe these primitives into thinking he's a God, but the wily king sees through his charlatan's tricks and laughs off an attempt to hypnotise him. To [[HumiliationConga add insult to injury]], as the Master is being led off by the guards he runs right into the Doctor and Jo Grant whom he last saw in his inescapable DeathTrap. The Master is so speechless with fury that Jo has to provide his retort: "How about: [[DastardlyWhiplash Curses! Foiled Again!]]"
** Subverted in ''Genesis of the Daleks''. The Daleks originally come from the practical necessity of the Kaled race needing travel machines and life support systems to cope with the results of the mutations caused by an ongoing nuclear war; their creator, Davros, actively attempts to set himself up as a God, leading a race of machine creatures built partly in his own image to conquer the universe. He neglects to realise that, in practice, the genocidal racism he instills in his creatures (as a way of inspiring them to conquer other worlds) also extends to him and the Daleks gun him down at the first opportunity.
*** Although he comes back several times, he never learns from this and ends up killed or enslaved by them every time.
** Magnus Greel posing as Weng-Chiang in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E6TheTalonsOfWengChiang "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"; Weng-Chiang"]]; though he doesn't try to hide his identify from Chang, to whom it makes no difference anyway as Greel has risen him up from his humble life as a Chinese peasant to someone who performs before royalty.
-->'''Doctor:''' "You -->'''The Doctor:''' You know he's not a god, don't you?"
-->'''Chang:''' "He
you?\\
'''Chang:''' He
came to me like a god, in his cabinet of fire!"
fire!
** Happens in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS15E5Underworld "Underworld"]].
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E2TheFiresOfPompeii "The Fires of Pompeii"]]: At the end, [[spoiler:the Doctor and Donna ''become'' the household Gods of a Roman family they rescue from the titular DoomedHometown (although they are unaware of this)]].
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E5TheGirlWhoDied "The Girl Who Died", Died"]], the leader of the Mire [[ProudWarriorRace Mire]] poses as Odin [[Myth/NorseMythology Odin]] when he turns up to collect the Viking warriors.
warriors, upstaging the Doctor, who was in the midst of attempting to do the same thing.
* In ''Series/TheWestWing'', the ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' episode "Jeremiah Crichton", John Crichton gets marooned on a reporter reveals planet which turns out to have religious iconography drawn from contact with the Rygel's race, the Hynerians. Surprisingly for the usually shallow ex-monarch, while Rygel ''expects'' to be treated like royalty, he is actually profoundly offended that his ancestors would allow themselves to be taken for ''divinity''. He's even more shocked when he was once discovers that the ancient Hynerians actually intended this: the natives of the planet were the loyal subjects of one of Rygel's ancestors, marooned on the planet with no way of escaping, advancing technologically, or even contacting other cultures -- [[MoralEventHorizon all so they could act as eternal worshippers of the Hynerian empire.]]
* In the ''[[Series/{{Highlander}} Highlander: The Series]]'' episode "Little Tin God", Duncan flashes back to a time when he visited South America and found that an Immortal named Gavriel Larca had conned a tribe into worshiping him. The tribe eventually turned on him when he couldn't heal them from a plague. In the present, Larca goes back to his old tricks and cons some people into believing he's God, then sends them to kill Duncan, claiming he's Satan. Duncan and Joe later muse that worship is a great temptation for any Immortal.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': In "The Miracle Job", Parker gets
mistaken for an angel while she is stealing a deity by a primitive tribe.
** Though since
statue of Saint Nicholas (ItMakesSenseInContext).
* ''Series/MacGyver'': In "Walking Dead", Mac pretends to be Baron Samedi (or, more accurately,
he was flirting at takes the time, this may have been facetious.place of a HollywoodVoodoo priest who is pretending to be Baron Samedi).
* ''Series/MissionImpossible'': In "Cargo Cult", a white man poses as a native god in order to use the native tribe as a slave labour force to work a gold mine.
* In an episode of ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Earl used a walkie-talkie to transmit messages through his religious cranky landlady's hearing aid to get her to do nice things for him and his friends. She later became a nun...and Earl had to tell her what he did, thus shaking up her faith.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'''s third season episode ''[[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Ariel]]'' has [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs the Evil Queen]] disguise herself as Ursula, the ancient goddess of the sea, to trick Ariel into helping her capture Snow White. The real Ursula is not happy about this: she makes herself known to Regina, threatening her that if she ever tries impersonating the goddess again, Regina will find out just how real Ursula is.
* ''Series/{{Pixelface}}'': In "High Spirits", the angry ghost of a pharaoh mistakes Rex for an Egyptian god after Romford falls out of the ceiling and gets stuck on his head. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* Subverted by ''Series/RedDwarf'': Through a twist of fate, Rimmer ends up on a world where, somehow, he spawns a new civilization from clones of himself and installs himself as their God-leader. He defines perfection in looking and acting exactly as he does (being a sniveling coward, for example). His followers are so fanatical, however, that he himself is deposed for being "imperfect" and gets thrown in a dungeon.



* Subverted by ''Series/RedDwarf'': Through a twist of fate, Rimmer ends up on a world where, somehow, he spawns a new civilisation from clones of himself and installs himself as their God-leader. He defines perfection in looking and acting exactly as he does (being a sniveling coward, for example). His followers are so fanatical, however, that he himself is deposed for being "imperfect" and gets thrown in a dungeon.
* In the ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' episode "Jeremiah Crichton", John Crichton gets marooned on a planet which turns out to have religious iconography drawn from contact with the Rygel's race, the Hynerians. Surprisingly for the usually shallow ex-monarch, while Rygel ''expects'' to be treated like royalty, he is actually profoundly offended that his ancestors would allow themselves to be taken for ''divinity''. He's even more shocked when he discovers that the ancient Hynerians actually intended this: the natives of the planet were the loyal subjects of one of Rygel's ancestors, marooned on the planet with no way of escaping, advancing technologically, or even contacting other cultures -- [[MoralEventHorizon all so they could act as eternal worshipers of the Hynerian empire.]]



* In the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode "Over the Rainbow", Cordelia is made a goddess by the people of Pylea, as the result of her visions. Unfortunately, the power behind the throne is a ReligionOfEvil; when she tries to assert her authority, it's quickly demonstrated to Cordelia that she's actually a PuppetKing.

to:

* In Seen repeatedly in ''Series/StargateSG1'' (as well as the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode "Over original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' movie) -- usually, anyone who comes through the Rainbow", Cordelia Stargate is made automatically assumed to be God. (This is perfectly in tune with the plot, however. The {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s who stole the gates have invested a goddess by ''lot'' of energy in making this happen; it's less a God Guise than somebody else's PathOfInspiration.) The Goa'uld at first used this trope to maintain their positions of power, but most of them [[AGodAmI actually came to believe their own propaganda]]. Ba'al is one of the few exceptions. Vala actually impersonated the Goa'uld (Qetesh) who once controlled her for a while, acting as a god to the people of Pylea, a particular planet -- although without any of the Goa'uld terror, obviously.
** Your mileage may vary on the definition of a "god" but, as far
as the result of her visions. Unfortunately, the power PowersThatBe behind the throne is show are concerned, the Ancients and Ori are '''NOT''' gods, so the entire Ori arc consists of [=SG1=] trying to unmask a ReligionOfEvil; colossal God Guise.
** Interestingly, a later episode has the team go back to a world where they left ex-Colonel Maybourne and find out that the has adopted a variation of this. Since he can read Ancient (he taught himself
when she tries he was still on Earth), he is able to assert make predictions based on some writings he found by a time-traveling Ancient name Janus. The villagers make him their king and he lives in luxury (the ending reveals he has multiple wives). However, when a Goa'uld threatens to take the planet, Maybourne has no choice but to try to get his people to leave by convincing them that all he told them came from the tablet. While they understand, they refuse to let him step down, as everything he did after becoming king (e.g. a crop-rotating system, a watermill) are all his accomplishments.
* This trope can be found in almost every incarnation of ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''.
*** In the episode "The Paradise Syndrome", an amnesiac Kirk is mistaken for a deity by transplanted American Indians on a distant planet.
*** In "Who Mourns for Adonais", an actual surviving [[PhysicalGod Greek God]] reveals he's just a powerful alien who had become too used to being worshiped by mortals.
*** In "The Omega Glory", Spock is mistaken for the Devil due to his resemblance to a picture of {{Satan}} in a book. That and [[BizarreAlienBiology his ability to survive a gunshot to the chest.]]
---->'''Dr. [=McCoy=]''': "Once, just once, I'd like to say, 'Behold! I am the Archangel Gabriel!'" ''(He points out ''Spock'' could never claim to be Gabriel.)'' "But say you beamed down with a pitchfork...."
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** "Who Watches The Watchers?" features a specific discussion of this trope: that is, how do you talk a race out of this without destroying them? At the climax Picard is only able to convince them that he is not a God by daring the religious zealot to shoot him with the bow and arrow he was threatening someone else with. [[spoiler: He takes the shot and is shocked to see Picard lying on the ground and bleeding.]] This only really works because this species tends to adopt mostly rational ideas. They voluntarily gave up religion in favor of pragmatism even before reaching the IndustrialRevolution.
*** The episode "Devil's Due" had the crew tangling with an alien con-woman who took advantage of a civilization's legend of a past DealWithTheDevil to pose as said "devil" (she claims to be several others as well, including Satan) and thus literally claim ownership to the entire planet.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
*** In "False Profits", a couple of Ferengi are mistaken for Gods thanks to their magical replicator.
*** The far better "Muse" has B'Elanna crashing on a planet and being mistaken for an 'eternal' (a powerful being of legend) by a local poet, who uses
her authority, logs to write a [[FanFiction play]]. There's a certain amount of give-and-take (the poet needs inspiration for his play which he hopes will turn his fickle warlord patron away from war; B'Elanna needs help repairing her shuttle) before the two gain a mutual respect, with B'Elanna even providing a literal DeusExMachina at the end.
** ''Franchise/StarTrek'' also subverts this, to a degree, with the Federation's Prime Directive -- since
it's quickly demonstrated all-too-easy to Cordelia get a swelled head from being called "God", the Prime Directive ''forbids'' starship captains from interfering in a lesser-developed culture, to protect both captain and alien from the effects of Pseudo-Godhood. Coincidentally, Gene Roddenberry's first-hand experience and unease with real-life {{Cargo Cult}}s is said to be one of the things that she's inspired the Prime Directive in the first place. But to the audience it comes off as really more of a weird LampshadeHanging, as this is ignored whenever the plot demands.\\
\\
The prime directive is handled differently by many people in the Federation. Generally, it's accepted as an underlying principle for self-determination (the Federation does NOT interfere in internal wars or politics of other civilizations, even if their own interests are at stake). But in the field and on the front-lines, it is commonly believed that, like principles such as "do not lie" and "do not kill", there are situations where morality calls upon one to violate one principle to uphold another (such as helping evacuate people from a pre-warp planet doomed by natural disaster when they call out desperately for help). The theory in the instance of people
actually ASKING for help is that it's OK to provide limited assistance in a PuppetKing.life-or-death situation, but it's not OK to make global changes in their culture that go beyond making sure they don't all die. Even then, it's best to do it in such a way that they won't realize that outsiders did it.



* In an episode of ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Earl used a walkie-talkie to transmit messages through his religious cranky landlady's hearing aid to get her to do nice things for him and his friends. She later became a nun...and Earl had to tell her what he did, thus shaking up her faith.
* In the ''[[Series/{{Highlander}} Highlander: The Series]]'' episode "Little Tin God", Duncan flashes back to a time when he visited South America and found that an Immortal named Gavriel Larca had conned a tribe into worshiping him. The tribe eventually turned on him when he couldn't heal them from a plague. In the present, Larca goes back to his old tricks and cons some people into believing he's God, then sends them to kill Duncan, claiming he's Satan. Duncan and Joe later muse that worship is a great temptation for any Immortal.
* ''Series/{{Pixelface}}'': In "High Spirits", the angry ghost of a pharaoh mistakes Rex for an Egyptian god after Romford falls out of the ceiling and gets stuck on his head. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* The Vorlons appearing [[spoiler: as angels (widely believed to be divine agents of God), or their equivalents in non-human cultures,]] in ''Series/BabylonFive''.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'''s third season episode ''[[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Ariel]]'' has [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs the Evil Queen]] disguise herself as Ursula, the ancient goddess of the sea, to trick Ariel into helping her capture Snow White. The real Ursula is not happy about this: she makes herself known to Regina, threatening her that if she ever tries impersonating the goddess again, Regina will find out just how real Ursula is.
* ''Series/MacGyver'': In "Walking Dead", Mac pretends to be Baron Samedi (or, more accurately, he takes the place of a HollywoodVoodoo priest who is pretending to be Baron Samedi).
* ''Series/MissionImpossible'': In "Cargo Cult", a white man poses as a native god in order to use the native tribe as a slave labour force to work a gold mine.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': In "The Miracle Job", Parker gets mistaken for an angel while she is stealing a statue of Saint Nicholas (ItMakesSenseInContext).

to:

* In an episode of ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Earl used ''Series/TheWestWing'', a walkie-talkie to transmit messages through his religious cranky landlady's hearing aid to get her to do nice things for him and his friends. She later became a nun...and Earl had to tell her what he did, thus shaking up her faith.
* In the ''[[Series/{{Highlander}} Highlander: The Series]]'' episode "Little Tin God", Duncan flashes back to a time when he visited South America and found
reporter reveals that an Immortal named Gavriel Larca had conned a tribe into worshiping him. The tribe eventually turned on him when he couldn't heal them from a plague. In the present, Larca goes back to his old tricks and cons some people into believing he's God, then sends them to kill Duncan, claiming he's Satan. Duncan and Joe later muse that worship is a great temptation for any Immortal.
* ''Series/{{Pixelface}}'': In "High Spirits", the angry ghost of a pharaoh mistakes Rex for an Egyptian god after Romford falls out of the ceiling and gets stuck on his head. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* The Vorlons appearing [[spoiler: as angels (widely believed to be divine agents of God), or their equivalents in non-human cultures,]] in ''Series/BabylonFive''.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'''s third season episode ''[[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Ariel]]'' has [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs the Evil Queen]] disguise herself as Ursula, the ancient goddess of the sea, to trick Ariel into helping her capture Snow White. The real Ursula is not happy about this: she makes herself known to Regina, threatening her that if she ever tries impersonating the goddess again, Regina will find out just how real Ursula is.
* ''Series/MacGyver'': In "Walking Dead", Mac pretends to be Baron Samedi (or, more accurately, he takes the place of a HollywoodVoodoo priest who is pretending to be Baron Samedi).
* ''Series/MissionImpossible'': In "Cargo Cult", a white man poses as a native god in order to use the native tribe as a slave labour force to work a gold mine.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': In "The Miracle Job", Parker gets
was once mistaken for an angel while she is stealing a statue of Saint Nicholas (ItMakesSenseInContext).deity by a primitive tribe.
** Though since he was flirting at the time, this may have been facetious.
16th Mar '17 10:10:21 PM ultimomant
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* In ''Fanfic/GodSlayingBladeWorks'', because Illya is so powerful, a few characters speculate that she has divine ancestry (she doesn't).
1st Mar '17 6:47:58 AM CartoonQueen99
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** Throughout the film, several characters begin to doubt their claims, but let it continue, as the two Spaniards are pretty harmless. Then the head priest sees one of the bleed after a heated ball game. Gods aren't supposed to bleed, right?

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** Throughout the film, several characters begin to doubt their claims, but let it continue, as the two Spaniards are pretty harmless. Then the head priest sees one of the them bleed after a heated ball game. Gods aren't supposed to bleed, right?
25th Feb '17 2:50:43 PM Monsund
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* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem''
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar'': Loptyr, a dragon, creates a EvilEmpire/cult which worships him and the human he possesses as gods. It helps that Loptyr introduced magic to the continent.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'': Grima, [[MeetTheNewBoss another evil dragon]], creates a evil cult, which worships him and the human he possesses as gods.
20th Feb '17 10:37:22 PM Anddrix
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* The backstory of the ''Franchise/{{Micronauts}}'' says that before their ancestors settled the Microverse, they made a pit stop on ancient Earth, where some of them were mistaken for the Hindu Gods.

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* The backstory of the ''Franchise/{{Micronauts}}'' ''ComicBook/{{Micronauts}}'' says that before their ancestors settled the Microverse, they made a pit stop on ancient Earth, where some of them were mistaken for the Hindu Gods.
4th Feb '17 11:39:22 PM DarkHunter
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* According to [[Literature/TheBible the Book of Revelation]], during the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt "End Times"]], there will be many people who will claim to be Jesus on his Second Coming. On top of that, the AntiChrist will also claim to be a god. These people will all be false deities of one kind or another.

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* ''Literature/TheBible'':
** In the Book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas were mistaken for avatars of Zeus and Hermes when performing some miracles in a Greek city. It was a [[UnwantedFalseFaith little difficult for the two]] to convince the people that this was not the case... and it didn't end well when some others capitalized on the misunderstanding to have Paul and Barnabas punished for their "deception".
**
According to [[Literature/TheBible the Book of Revelation]], during the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt "End Times"]], there will be many people who will claim to be Jesus on his Second Coming. On top of that, the AntiChrist will also claim to be a god. These people will all be false deities of one kind or another.
28th Jan '17 4:26:13 PM ZootyCutie94
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* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Mixels}}'' episode "A Quest for the Lost Mixamajig", [[BigBad King Nixel]], with the help of puppetry and holograms, pretends to be the Maximum Mixel, god of the Mixels, to give the "chosen one" key to Snoof and kickstart his plan.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.GodGuise