Created By: bertrc on November 7, 2011 Last Edited By: bertrc on January 28, 2012

This God is a Loser

Going out of the way to represent God as pathetic

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The divine counterpart of the Devil is a loser.

Not to be confused with The Gods Must Be Lazy. To qualify, God must be portrayed not just as uninterested in the state of the world but as down right pathetic. Often this a result of the story-teller wishing to condemn faith or religion. God is reduced to a caricature by this trope -- something to be laughed at and/or pitied.

The novels in "His Dark Materials" exemplify this trope. The author cannot even bring himself to present God as a powerful force of evil, (that position is delegated to a malicious underling) God is represented as a decrepid, senile old man who cannot even wipe the drool from his face. The character is only revealed in order to allow him to dissipate in the wind.

The Comic book Preacher shows God as a whiny little peon who gets housed by his own creation.

The comic Series Lucifer eventualy represents God as a fat, co-dependent twit in a bowler who just wants to be more like Lucifer.

God in the On-Line comic "The Gods of Arr-Kelaan" is simply an oversized lightbulb.

Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • November 7, 2011
    bertrc
    I don't think subversions should be listed, since the subversion is the more common version, also Needs A New Title.
    • From bertrc: removed sub version phrasing.
    • From bertrc: Do you have a suggested title?
  • November 7, 2011
    bertrc
    Don't know if this goes here.

    Mythology
    • Worship of Indra, who is the king deity in Rigveda eventually fell out of favor and got replaced by Vishnu and Shiva worship. As a result, the Puranas and many of the newer epics , Ramayana and Mahabharata depict Indra with more human vices, and frequently gets one-upped by the more powerful deities.
  • November 7, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Could we please get a better name?
  • November 7, 2011
    bertrc
    Do you have a suggestion for a better name? I guess we could go with "Loser God" but that seems very uninspired.
  • November 7, 2011
    Oreochan
  • November 7, 2011
    PaulA
    bertrc, are you editing your replies into other people's comments? Please don't do that, it makes it impossible to see who made the original comment.
  • November 7, 2011
    PaulA
    I think there's a misunderstanding of "subversion" being shown here.

    A subversion would be if God is shown to be pathetic and incompetent, but then it turns out that he was really powerful all along after all. I don't think there's many (any?) examples of that, and I think they'd be worth listing.

    If God is depicted as big and powerful in the normal way, that's an aversion. I agree with the comment that those are too common to list. (And I think the Narnia "subversion" is one of those.)
  • November 7, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    I like God Is Pathetic.

    manga and anime:
  • November 7, 2011
    captainpat
  • November 7, 2011
    DameDesDouleurs
    I like Incompetent God for title and have nothing else to contribute. Yep.
  • November 7, 2011
    Wackd
    God the giant baby from Johnny The Homicidal Maniac. "Well, excuse me, I only just created the universe."
  • November 7, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Incompetent God is a much better name.I find the current title offensive, and I'm an atheist.
  • November 8, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    ^^^ No God Is Flawed can still imply that he wants to do good. This seems to make God out to be utterly worthless regardless of moral fiber.

    I pretty sure Garth Ennis is down with portraying God as Pathetic.
  • November 8, 2011
    bertrc
    Paul A, sorry, I will just refer to the poster when there are intermediate comments.

    Flawed and incompetent doesn't quite convey what the story teller is doing. This trope is for when a writer goes out of his or her way to make God pitiful and pathetic.

    fulltimeD, were you offended by the word implied by "beee-atch" or because the title is so flippant, with regards to God? The trope isn't saying that God actually is a loser; it is simply saying that within the story the teller of the tale wants to present God like that.

    I guess I could rename it to "God is Pathetic".
  • November 9, 2011
    fulltimeD
    I should rephrase that. I was exaggerating a bit to make the point that the proposed title is pure flame bait. I think God Is Pathetic is problematic for the same reason. Something like Incompetent God or Insufficiently Advanced Deity would be much better.
  • November 9, 2011
    Hadashi
    A particular Hellsing quote seems appropriate here, can't remember exactly how it goes though. It's the one they say over the tanoy where the vamps break into the Hellsing compound and trap the leaders in the meeting room.

    In any case, it does need a new name, the current one would be very difficult to pothole to and does have quite a bit of room for confusion. Good trope though.
  • November 9, 2011
    Glixinator
    This sounds like a counterpart to The Devil Is A Loser, but applied to Dieties other than Satan. Also note that it fills a niche not met by Dont Fear The Reaper as currently suggested for other non-threatening Powers That Be. However, it currently seems all too focused on the intention of the writer as apposed to the characterization of the God in question. Well the description certainly merits some mention of the likelyness of this being an author tract, such a claim does not belong in the laconic. The laconic for this trope would have to be much broader than that. If the God in question is also supposed to be the creator, this brings in some Fridge Logic as to how such a pathetic god managed to create the universe in the first place, unless of course that task is the reason for his-her-ITS current state.
  • November 9, 2011
    VioletOrange
    • Despite his firm anti Catholicism, His Dark Materials is actually a subversion of this trope : the one who present himself as a God isn't one, but is only the first sentient entity created by Dust (which is the most god-like thing in this universe).

  • November 9, 2011
    walrusbukkits
    I am also in favor of Incompetent God.
  • November 11, 2011
    Tambov333
  • November 11, 2011
    Likely
    How about Decrepit Deity? Reasonably catchy, and as a noun phrase, it would work well when linking to this trope, e.g., "In Not Wanted On The Voyage, Timothy Findley depicts Yahweh as a Decrepit Deity who floods the world out of spite and resigns himself to death."
  • November 11, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Decrepit is a bit too specific, but I do think that deity would be better, to give this a wider scope. That way we can cover goddesses as well. Also, there is no reason to make this Christianity specific. I think it would be better if it covered any real or fictional religion.
  • November 11, 2011
    ading
    How about Pathetic Deity?

    I don't think this is Christianity-specific.
  • November 11, 2011
    Oreochan
  • November 11, 2011
    Ryusui
    We have The Devil Is A Loser already; why not God Is A Loser?
  • November 12, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Incompetent God or Incompetent Deity would do just fine.
  • November 12, 2011
    bertrc
    Seeing as we have "The Devil is a Loser", "God is a Loser" seems to be an perfect name. I do not think this is Chiristian specific, but it does apply to "All Powerful Supposed Creator of the Universe" specific. ie. Shadowscared from the Gods of Arr-Kelaan wouldn't count because he is just one minor deity in a pantheon who is _supposed_ to be pathetic. It has to be the supposed head of creation (or, at least, of the Pantheon) even if he/she is just a figure head. That is why I think the Authority from His Dark Materials still counts -- He was considered by everybody to be the Ruler of the Universe, until the final reveal.

    I think
  • November 12, 2011
    Hadashi
    How about Straw God, since this is, essentially, about setting up God, or another being (normally considered good) in a position of power, as pathetic and weak, which is one of the usual purposes of straw dolls.
  • November 12, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In the Comic Book Vext Vext is the god of mishap and misfortune...and loses his godhood because nobody worships him any more. He has to move to NYC and get an apartment. He's 100% loser.
  • November 18, 2011
    bertrc
    I don't think Vext would count, since he is never considered a ruler or chief or creator god.

  • December 26, 2011
    bertrc
    So should I consider this idea DOA?
  • December 29, 2011
    JeepEep
    This Loser is God?
  • December 29, 2011
    MerlinSyndrome
    @Jeep Eep Perfect.
  • January 28, 2012
    bertrc
    I'll try "This God is a Loser". Out of curiosity, how does one give hats?
  • January 28, 2012
    Oreochan
    By clicking the ready to publish button next to the send comment button.

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