Woman: ...Only a true Messiah would deny his divinity!
Brian: What?! Alright then, I am the Messiah!
Crowd: He is the Messiah!
-- Monty Python's Life of Brian
A character has no divine status, yet others claim that they are a god on Earth. They may well have no intention or belief that A God Am I
, but other people thrust the title on them instead. Perhaps it's just a huge misunderstanding. Perhaps they 'caused a miracle' that was just a random act of nature. Perhaps they unknowingly fit the description of The Messiah
that people were looking for. Who knows. Some characters simply make such a display of great power that witnesses believe they are stronger than any mortal man.
Some characters abuse their new position of power over whatever followers they may have (this may prompt a Bolt of Divine Retribution
if there are any real gods around in the story that are unhappy about this). If they have somehow wound up as part of a Religion of Evil
or similar they may try and subdue the actions of the group and reduce damage done by them. Most will simply try and go back to their normal life and make it clear that A God I Am Not
May lead to Stop Worshipping Me
- Monty Python's Life of Brian, from which the page quote comes, is an example of this trope being Played for Laughs as Brian is mistaken for being The Messiah.
- In Acts 12 of The Bible King Herod sets himself up on his throne and makes a speech to the people, to which they respond 'This isn't a man speaking, but a god!' At which point:
- In Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked, Kitana confesses at the end that her friend Doran was praying to Argeddion earlier in the story.
- Warhammer 40K has the Immortal God Emperor of Mankind, who quite blatantly denied being a god, but instead just a very powerful, if not the most powerful human alive. This denial came from the (eventually disproven) belief that faith powered the Chaos Gods, and thus denying faith would starve the Gods. It doesn't help, then, that after the Horus Heresy and his internment in the Golden Throne, his empire converted itself from the secular atheism the Emperor himself supported to a faith that revered their Emperor as a divine being who protected man from the various forces of Chaos and Xenos that assaulted their Imperium, with anyone who believes in the former (Aside from the Space Marines he personally created in his labs, but even that doesn't stop some folks) being declared heretics.
- The Dalek Emperor from Doctor Who is described as 'the God of Daleks' and the lower Daleks worship him as such.
- Oni from Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition claims A God Am I, and other characters seem to follow this in their win quotes:
Gen: The time has come to face a deity...
Dhalsim: And thus a malicious god appeared, only to be felled by the flames of Agni.
Cammy: Impossible... You truly are no longer human...
- However, some characters like T. Hawk are having none of it:
- Ogre from the Tekken series is described as the 'God of Fighting' due to his immense combat prowess.
- In Red vs Blue an alien civilisation that worships technology regard Church as their new god after he is reborn as Epsilon.