Created By: PancticeSquadCutterback on March 30, 2013 Last Edited By: Agares on February 4, 2014

Jesus Wasn't All Good

Jesus is a lot different from his usual portrayal

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Trope
In most media Jesus is portrayed as having been a serious, godly figure or in the very least having been way cool. A divine guy with awesome powers, the way most media tells it Jesus had a moral compass that could not be tainted, to the point of almost being a Purity Sue. This is not that trope.

[[Insert Agreed Upon Trope Name Here]] is when Jesus's personality is given at tweak or two and the do-gooder Son of God undergoes some Alternate Character Interpretation. Instead of being an uncurrputable force for goodness, Jesus is portrayed as being more in touch with his human side, and the human fallings that entails. Perhaps he's not as okay with his status of fame as usually portrayed, perhaps he even experimented with some illegal, mind altering substances. When this trope is in play, Jesus is not perfect and completely capable taking part in less than savory behavior.

A Sister Trope to God Is Evil

Compare Jesus Was Crazy wherein Jesus's vice was that he was bat shit insane, Kung-Fu Jesus, wherein Jesus becomes an Action Hero, and Historical Villain Upgrade.

Contrast Jesus Was Way Cool wherein Jesus is portrayed a chill (occasionally Totally Radical) dude.

Given the nature of this trope please remember to follow Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment when adding examples.

Examples

Comics

Film

Live-Action TV
  • This is seen in an X-Play skit The Passion of the Christ 2: Judgement Day. Jesus is portrayed as an action hero who slaps around the Apostle Peter, tries to seduce a young woman and cold-bloodedly murders several people. Watch it here.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode Lemons, the crew meet Jesus on a time traveling escapade. He is a small-time con-man who becomes horrified when he finds out about all the killing that will happen in his name. Eventually averted when it turns out to be not the same Jesus.

Newspaper Comics
  • Sean Delonas, a regular cartoonist for The Daily News often depicts Jesus at a seedy bar, smoking cigarettes and muttering morosely. Because this is a New York bar, nobody cares.

Video Games

Religion and Mythology
  • Technically most Alternate Character Interpretations of Jesus's portrayal in The Bible would fall here.
  • In the Madean religion, Jesus is one of the nicer false prophets, but he is still a false prophet who corrupted religion in his efforts to make it easier.
  • According to Islamic teaching, Jesus denied that he is god, but people kept on thinking he is. Islam also teaches that he ascended to heaven before he could die on the cross.

Theatre
  • In Mac Wellman's play Sincerity Forever, Jesus H. Christ is a black woman with a heavy suitcase. Her monologues are basically castigating the other characters, and are profanity-laced paraphrases of the Sermon On The Mount.
  • In Jesus Christ Superstar, Jesus suffers from self doubt and feels overwhelmed by his responsibilities.

Western Animation
  • Family Guy:
    • In Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Future Stewie comments that Jesus' powers were exaggerated a bit. Cut to Jesus doing a silly dance.
    • When Peter discovers Jesus working at a record shop, he's all excited that the Second Coming is here. Jesus downplays the whole thing, but allows Peter to build up his confidence so that he would be ready for the world to accept him. He becomes a celebrity, and eventually gets so caught up in the fame that he spends most of his time partying and playing Call of Duty. It isn't until he finds himself spending a night in jail that he finally sobers up and realizes that neither him or the world is ready for him to return.
    • Another Family guy joke; a Cutaway Gag involving "Black" Jesus.
    Black Jesus: I just rode into town on an ass. (Camera zooms close to his face) Yo momma's ass!
    Chorus: BLACK! JESUS!
  • South Park has a love affair with this trope:
    • In the episode. The Mexican Starring Frog of Sri Lanka Jesus has a call in television show. When he is outdone in ratings by a violent show he listens to his producers and lies for a ratings. And then he sees the error of his way and sends his producers to hell.
    • Another episode has Jesus worried that he'll get crucified in the new millennium, and thus tries getting God to come to Earth and organizing a Rod Stewart come back concert in order to make himself cool. In the end he has to learn that God can't solve his problems for him.
    • Yet another episode had the world disown him and rip off their What Would Jesus Do arm bands because of a drug scandal. The end of the episode shows their was truth in the scandal as Jesus costumes HGH and becomes a hulk-like version of himself. He was also unable to do anything about Belarusian farmers Stan was trying to rally behind being slaughtered by their government, and was implied to not care about the farmers, just what helping them would do for his tarnished image.
Community Feedback Replies: 62
  • March 30, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Newspaper Comics
    • Sean Delonas, a regular cartoonist for The Daily News often depicts Jesus at a seedy bar, smoking cigarettes and muttering morosely. Because this is a New York bar, nobody cares.
  • March 30, 2013
    littlemissmuffet
  • March 30, 2013
    WackyMeetsPractical
    A sister trope to God Is Evil. Contrast Jesus Was Way Cool and compare with Jesus Was Crazy.
  • March 31, 2013
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
    • X-Play skit The Passion of the Christ 2: Judgement Day. Jesus is portrayed as an action hero who slaps around the Apostle Peter, tries to seduce a young woman and cold-bloodedly murders several people. Watch it here.
  • May 29, 2013
    Synchronicity
    Technically related to Historical Villain Upgrade.
  • May 29, 2013
    glisglis
    How about as a name: 'Jesus Has a Complex.' It plays on the term 'Jesus complex.'
  • May 29, 2013
    Synchronicity
    ^People might associate it with Oedipus Complex or Electra Complex or even The Messiah, although I guess a line in the description negating such comparisons would do.
  • May 29, 2013
    arromdee
    Combining this with the other Jesus tropes means that any portrayal of Jesus at all would fall into at least one trope.
  • May 29, 2013
    MorganWick
    Hoo boy, something tells me we'll need to keep a close eye on this one.
  • June 24, 2013
    Duncan
    In Mac Wellman's play Sincerity Forever, Jesus H. Christ is a black woman with a heavy suitcase. Her monologues are basically castigating the other characters, but in an aversion are profanity-laced paraphrases of the Sermon On The Mount.
  • June 24, 2013
    DRCEQ
    Another Family Guy example:

    • When Peter discovers Jesus working at a record shop, he's all excited that the Second Coming is here. Jesus downplays the whole thing, but allows Peter to build up his confidence so that he would be ready for the world to accept him. He becomes a celebrity, and eventually gets so caught up in the fame that he spends most of his time partying and playing Call Of Duty. It isn't until he finds himself spending a night in jail that he finally sobers up and realizes that neither him or the world is ready for him to return.
  • June 25, 2013
    StarSword
    I recall seeing a movie once (probably direct- to-video) where Jesus does a Rage Against The Heavens after Joseph has a heart attack and dies. Can't remember the name though
  • October 4, 2013
    DAN004
    Compare God Is Evil.
  • October 4, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Jesus But Not As You Know Him? obvious snowclone though.
  • October 4, 2013
    robinjohnson
    • In the Red Dwarf episode Lemons, the crew meet Jesus on a time travelling escapade. He is a small-time con-man who becomes horrified when he finds out about all the killing that will happen in his name. Eventually averted when it turns out to be not the same Jesus.
  • October 4, 2013
    kjnoren
    Non Standard Jesus? Of course, that's very general.
  • October 4, 2013
    Sackett
    Evil Jesus?

    Certainly exists as a trope.
  • October 4, 2013
    AgProv
    Jesus doing the silly dance thing in Family Guy - this is a direct Shout Out to David Brent trying to impress at the works' party in The Office where he embarrasses himself and everyone else with the dance that does not work. Does this suggest that after the Second Coming, Jesus will rule the world as well and capably as David Brent (or his American equivalent) runs an office?
  • October 4, 2013
    m8e
    Compare Kung Fu Jesus.
  • October 4, 2013
    KarjamP
    This page might need to be protected by the wrath of Moral Guardian Christians. :P
  • October 8, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    ^^^Actually it's an even more direct Shout Out to Art Metrano; Metrano even sued Family Guy for stealing his act.
  • October 8, 2013
    DRCEQ
    Another Family guy joke; a Cutaway Gag involving "Black" Jesus.
    Black Jesus: I just rode into town on an ass. (Camera zooms close to his face) Yo momma's ass!
    Chorus: BLACK! JESUS!
  • October 8, 2013
    DAN004
  • October 8, 2013
    Chabal2
    According to many works including The Da Vinci Code and Preacher, Jesus had a family. Since the latter was written by an atheist, it goes even further, stating that his bloodline has remained pure via terrifying levels of sibling inbreeding. And then there's all the modern interpretations of "the disciple Jesus loved"...
  • October 8, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^^ Jesus doesn't have to be evil in order to be an example of this trope.

    This trope's about Jesus being portrayed differently from what Christians commonly believed Jesus was like.

    • According to the Muslims, Jesus denied that he is god, but people kept on thinking he is. They also say that he ascended to heaven before he could die on the cross.

    (This proves that I respect other people's beliefs despite being a Christian myself. :P ).

    EDIT: On second thought, No Real Life Examples Please should be applied to this trope (meaning, my entry on what Muslims might not be ideal for the page).
  • October 9, 2013
    kjnoren
    On the other hand, we have all those fun early Christian groups with different views on just about everything that ran around between 100AD to 700AD, and I think it's good to show that the current view on Jesus isn't the only one that exists.

    But Cautious Editing Judgement should apply in spades.
  • October 9, 2013
    m8e
    ^^Can't we wait with the NRLEP until there's an actually problem?

    Anyway, I think that example can be rewritten into a myth/religion example instead of real life. Something like "According to [some Muslim text/teaching], jesus...". That way the religious text(or whatever) is the example and not the (real life) muslims believing it.
  • October 9, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ Then again, practically all people who believe that Jesus exists but either aren't Christians or don't believe that Jesus is the son of Godnote  believes Jesus's nature to be entirely different to what Christians believe.

    IE, there may be too many real life examples to count, and either has to be a subpage or not listed at all.
  • October 9, 2013
    TheHandle
    "All Christians know who Jesus was and what he did." I beg to differ. Most of them didn't read the whole story, and are more informed by Popcultural Osmosis and films such as The Greatest Story Ever Told or The Passion.
  • October 9, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^You've ninja'd me while I was editing.

    I've read the entire story, BTW.

    I guess it depends on how mature one is in the Christian faith.

    But you DO have a point, as many Christians don't know that much about Christ (they only know the basics. IE, what they've heard about from others).

    That doesn't mean they aren't Christians.
  • October 9, 2013
    m8e
    ^^^"There may be"? That's not really an argument for making this NRLEP right from the start. If we get a problem with "too many" examples, or bad example we can fix it then.

    If/when we get "to many" examples we can make a subpage. No Trope Is Too Common. If/when we get to many bad examples, we can clean it up and/or consider making it NRLEP.
  • October 9, 2013
    TheHandle
    ^^ Also, one must allow for the Alternate Character Interpretation that canon Jesus was kind of a Jerk Ass, let alone the presumable historical figure the character we see in the books may be based on.
  • October 9, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^Said Alternate Character Interpretation counts as an example of this trope.

    And I was only arguing for no real life arguments. I wasn't saying that this trope shouldn't exist, nor that it shouldn't have in-universe examples.

    Many tropes with too common examples only forgoes either listing straight examples or all examples altogether (Example of a trope too universal for examples: Plot).

    That's why I was going for NRLEP at the start. There's too many differing beliefs from others about who Jesus is and what was his nature.
  • October 9, 2013
    kjnoren
    Besides, one can claim that there is only one Real Life example of Jesus, but we can't ask him.
  • October 9, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    South Park has a love affair with this trope:
    • In the episode. The Mexican Starring Frog of Sri Lanka Jesus has a call in television show. When he is outdone in ratings by a violent show he listens to his producers and lies for a ratings. And then he sees the error of his way and sends his producers to hell.
    • Another episode has Jesus worried that he'll get crucified in the new millennium, and thus tries getting God to come to Earth and organizing a Rod Stewart come back concert in order to make himself cool. In the end he has to learn that God can't solve his problems for him.
    • Yet another episode had the world disown him and rip off their What Would Jesus Do arm bands because of a drug scandal. The end of the episode shows their was truth in the scandal as Jesus costumes HGH and becomes a hulk-like version of himself. He was also unable to do anything about Belarusian farmers Stan was trying to rally behind being slaughtered by their government, and was implied to not care about the farmers, just what helping them would do for his tarnished image.
  • October 9, 2013
    Cider
    In the Madean religion, Jesus is one of the nicer false prophets, but he is still a false prophet who corrupted religion in his efforts to make it easier.
  • October 9, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Revamped description draft (feel free to add more to this, I'm just drafting up more of a skeleton):

    In most media Jesus is portrayed as having been a serious, godly figure or in the very least having been way cool. A divine guy with awesome powers, the way most media tells it Jesus had a moral compass that could not be tainted, to the point of almost being a Purity Sue. This is not that trope.

    [[Insert Agreed Upon Trope Name Here]] is when Jesus's personality is given at tweak or two and the do-gooder Son of God undergoes some Alternate Character Interpretation. Instead of being an uncurrputable force for goodness, Jesus is portrayed as being more in touch with his human side, and the human fallings that entails. Perhaps he's not as okay with his status of fame as usually portrayed, perhaps he even experimented with some illegal, mind altering substances. When this trope is in play, Jesus is not perfect and completely capable taking part in less than savory behavior.

    Compare Jesus Was Crazy wherein Jesus's falling is that he was bat shit insane.
  • October 10, 2013
    DAN004
  • October 10, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    ^ Yeah Jesus Wasnt All Good seems to be Flame Bait based on the above conversations. I like Alternate Jesus Interpretation or if we need a name that's more specific, Jesus Made Mistakes or Jesus Wasnt Perfect.
  • October 10, 2013
    paycheckgurl
  • October 10, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ Possible Flame Bait.

    I guess we don't feature an image at all due to possibility to offend Christians (like with that South Park picture).
  • October 10, 2013
    m8e
    Jesus Was Crazy, Jesus Was Way Cool, Kung Fu Jesus have pictures, not seeing why this one would need to be offensive.
  • October 10, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^I have what I call a "Sentative Spirit".

    IE, I find stuff against God more offensive than what the general public might.

    Like, for example, The Binding Of Isaac. I find it offencive for twisting the story, even though Abraham and the biblical Isaac aren't the same characters as the Mother and the game's Isaac. (That, and I find it gross).

    Incidentally, I find the picture on Kung Fu Jesus offensive because Jesus isn't portrayed seriously (but not the other two; the one on Jesus Was Crazy shows him angry, which is what he felt when he cleared the temple of merchants a couple of times, and Jesus Was Way Cool, who says Jesus isn't a lovable guy when he became man?).
  • October 10, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    ^ Your argument is just a tad invalid because you said it's you personally. If we have other silly Jesus pictures on this wiki, this trope should probably have an image as well. If South Park Jesus is too intense than do you have any other ideas that could demonstrate the trope?
  • October 10, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^I wasn't trying to argue.

    I was giving the reason to why I was offended. :P

    (Sometimes, it doesn't occur to me to add details, to the point where I can seem to invoke Exact Words by accident with what I say).

    And I'd better not suggest any pictures.
  • October 11, 2013
    DAN004
    If page image would do more harm than good then I suggest against it.

    Upping Alternate Jesus Interpretation again. :P

    BTW, can we add about what the other religions think about Jesus? In Islam, for example (some guy above had done it)
  • October 11, 2013
    m8e
    We could at least try to find a image that's not as offensive as that southpark one.

    Maybe Have you seen this wizard? or Black jesus painting from Good Times?

    These have a layer of in-universe interpretation (someone thinking that jesus was a wizard/black) instead of having a 'real' jesus being different in some way.
  • October 11, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ The only way we can tell that's black Jesus is the artstyle and the pose, but even then, the fact that the design's hugely different than the paining it's based upon (not just race. :P ) means it's difficult to tell that's supposed to be Jesus.

    I'll go with the "Have you seen this wizard" picture.

    @DAN 004: To be precise, it was me who did that Islam example. :P
  • October 12, 2013
    AgProv
    Depending on how you look at it, this one belongs to [1], [2], or [[Religion]].

    • In the Bible, the Gospels relate how Jesus had two moments of fear and doubt and almost ducked out of his mission out of purely human fears. firstly in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prays for the burden to be taken away and to be reprieved of having to die, and secondly on the Cross, where at the darkest moment he laments that God has forsaken and forgotten him.
  • October 12, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^Are you sure that's an example?

    To me, that's Not An Example because, being from a Christian holy book, it doesn't stray away from Christian beliefs (Jesus became fully man so that he can sacrifice himself on the cross. "Fully Man" means he will get feelings like this when the time approaches {Who says Jesus didn't have feelings, especially as a man?} ).
  • October 12, 2013
    Cider
    Furthermore, the line about being forsaken was just quoting psalm 22. The point there was on his dying breath he was still insisting that David and the old prophets were speaking about him.
  • October 12, 2013
    KarjamP
    You're right, Cider.
  • October 15, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Jesus Erred Too? and re-suggesting Jesus But Not As You Know Him. slso adding The Many Faces Of Jesus.

    image suggestion (source) caption, <insert Doctor Who reference here>.

    EDIT: more jesus faces
  • October 15, 2013
    DAN004
    Title crowner plz.
  • October 15, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^^ Not only might the first image be flagged as an Image Macro (forbidden here), but how good is it at wiki size?

    And the second one, only this image has a chance to resemble this trope, but even then, the image is demonstrating the "God" part of him, thus, might not be an example.

    The others are either ambiguous on whenever it was Jesus, not examples or, in the case of one of those pictures, would result in a duplicate with Jesus Was Way Cool.
  • October 15, 2013
    PhillyDom
    Does Behold the Man (1969) by Michael Moorcock fit here? In the book, a man travels from the year 1970 in a time machine to 28 AD, where he hopes to meet the historical Jesus of Nazareth. The time traveler, who has his own problems, learns that Jesus is a profoundly retarded hunchback who only knows one word (his name). The traveler is so committed to the idea of a historical Christ ( and stuck in 28 AD because his time machine is irreparably broken) that he begins to take on the role, repeating the words he recalls, using psychological tricks to simulate miracles, and eventually ordering Judas to betray him to the Romans and dying on the cross.

    In this case, the "real" Jesus is barely human, let alone a god, and the substitute Jesus is merely playing a part.
  • October 15, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ just use four/six of nine and suddenly the images are clearer. also, it was more the idea of having an image which shows "the many faces of jesus" rather than the image itself. anyone can whip up a similar image with clearer depictions of the lamb.

    on the second image, i'm gonna have to disagree.

    as blackface as this one is. there is an interpetation of jesus called "black nazarene".
  • October 15, 2013
    TBTabby
    Darkmatter2525's cartoons depict Jesus with the personality of a spoiled teenager in most of his cartoons, with the exception of If Jesus Was A Conservative, which is Exactly What It Says On The Tin.
  • October 16, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^^ Yeah, but the first image may be decrieded as an Image Macro, which isn't allowed here.

    And the Black Nazarene only works if it's obvious if that's Jesus.

    And that "blackface" one is.

    However, coming to think about it, that wouldn't work that much due to the fact that even if Jesus was black, that doesn't mean Jesus isn't portrayed differently than in the bible (other than the fact that he's black instead of a Jewish, and thus, would most likely be Semitic in real life), meaning he'd still be under the Christian's beliefs of Jesus.
  • February 4, 2014
    robinjohnson
    • Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ: Jesus is actually twins, Jesus and Christ. Jesus is generally a good sort who goes around telling people to be nice to each other; Christ lives off Jesus' reputation and uses it to get his own way. People's confusion between the two brothers explains many of the miracles, including one of them being alive after the other is killed.
  • February 4, 2014
    SonofRojBlake
    Ironically, averted hard in Monty Python's Life of Brian. Portrays the real Jesus just twice, at his birth, and at the sermon on the mount. In both cases, he is portrayed exactly as you would expect Jesus to be portrayed in a respectful bio-pic.

  • February 4, 2014
    StarSword
    TV:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=5ugh6jfwwxcvbt1de2gbcmd7