God Guise YKTTW Discussion

God Guise
(permanent link) added: 2011-02-27 18:11:22 sponsor: rjung (last reply: 2011-03-01 02:21:12)

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A God Guise is the situation where a character pretends to be God (or any other sufficiently-advanced being). This is almost always done to influence someone else's actions, using the divinity to give the instructions extra weight; after all, who would dare to refuse a directive from the Almighty?

The God Guise can be done in a variety of ways, from enigmatic clues placed with no obvious human means to a full-blown getup with costumes, special effects, and an awe-inspiring voice.

Also see Cargo Cult and Engineered Heroics. Contrast with God in Human Form and A God Am I.


Comic Books

  • In Real Genius, Chris Knight and his friends implant a radio transceiver in Kent's braces, whereupon Mitch pretends to be Jesus to learn what Hathaway plans to do with the laser.
    Mitch: "And from now on, stop playing with yourself."
    Kent: "It is God!"
  • In Back to the Future, Marty uses his radiation suit and Walkman stereo to dress up as "Darth Vader from the Planet Vulcan". He frightens George McFly and threatens to melt his brain if he doesn't take Elaine to the school dance.
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. A powerful alien trapped on a planet pretends to be God to trick the protagonists into carrying it to freedom aboard the Enterprise.
    Kirk: "What does God need with a starship?"
  • Honey We Shrunk Ourselves: Gordon, at three-quarters of an inch tall, rigs up the stereo to become a loudspeaker and chews out the Hormone Addled Teenagers hitting on his daughter, telling them "This is the voice of... GOD.", scaring them out of the house.

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars novel The Master Mind of Mars. In the Martian city of Phundahl, the idol of the god Tur has a system of controls that allow the operator inside to control the idol's eyes and speak through its mouth. The protagonists use this to their advantage by pretending to be Tur and giving the Phundahlians instructions.
  • Called the "God Gambit" in Larry Niven's Ringworld series. Played very straight in the first book by four characters; continued by one, in later books, and implied to be played elsewhere/ elsewhen by others, as well.

Live-Action TV
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Devil's Due''. A high-tech Con Artist pretends to be Ardra, Ventax II's equivalent of the Devil. She takes advantage of a contract the Ventaxians signed with Ardra a thousand years earlier to turn their planet over to her if she solved their social problems.
  • Happens frequently on Stargate SG-1.

Tabletop RPG
  • Classic Traveller Double Adventure 6 Divine Intervention. The PCs must get a device into the chambers of Orobid, the High Priest of the Church of Stellar Divinity. The device will appear to be a manifestation of Orobid's deity and give him orders that will benefit the PCs' patron.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • In the episode of The Simpsons where Apu's married, Homer tried to put a stop to the wedding by dressing as Ganesha. No one is fooled (indeed, anyone with a passing familiarity with Hindu mythology would know he got the characterisation all wrong).
    • In another episode, Bart plays with his Mr. Microphone by telling Rod and Todd next door (who were listening to the radio) that he's God, and tells Rod to walk through a wall which he will make vanish. So Rod walks into the wall.
  • Crosses over with Cargo Cult in the Jonny Quest episode "Pursuit of the Po-Ho", when the tribe takes the Quests' plane to be their Sky God after they hear an amplified voice coming from it and speaking their native tongue.
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