Created By: nitrokitty on July 1, 2012 Last Edited By: nitrokitty on August 4, 2012
Troped

Almighty Idiot

Ultimate power with no mind controlling it.

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Trope
"Giygas cannot think rationally anymore. He isn't even aware of what he's doing now. His own mind was destroyed by his incredible power. What an almighty idiot!"
--Porky, Earthbound

For some, the temptation of god-like power becomes too great. However, this type of power was not meant for mere mortals to wield. The prospect of cramming that much power into a mortal vessel destroys the recipient's mind, leaving them an empty shell of a man with unlimited power but the mental faculties of a half-wit child, or worse, a feral animal.

Conversely, some gods or other powerful entities may grow beyond their bounds, steadily losing their sense and reason as their power grows, in the end leaving them nothing more than a creature based solely on instinct, with untold powers behind them. This sort of tale is common in a Cosmic Horror Story: a monster can be even more frightening if there's no point behind their actions, just mindless aggression, rage, or even simple curiosity.

Compare With Great Power Comes Great Insanity and Mad God. May be a result of Touched by Vorlons or Phlebotinum Overload.

Examples:

Comic Books:
  • In one Doctor Strange arc, he destroyed a primordial entity of Chaos by assuming it's power- and then killing himself. This led to him briefly becoming an all-powerful transcendent being with no ego or identity. Ironically, it was one of Strange's old enemies who dragged him back into the "illusion" of self.
  • In the Preacher comic series, Jesse Custer was the host for Genesis, a potentially all-powerful newborn spirit that had no sense of individual will.
Literature:
  • Azathoth from H.P. Lovecraft's work is known among Lovecraft fans as the Blind Idiot God. He created reality by accident, and will be equally oblivious when he destroys it.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdoms novels, the Tradition is the magical force that causes tropes to be continually reenacted, oblivious to the harm that does at the mortal level.
  • The Deathstalker books by Simon R. Green features an infant with the power to annihilate whole stars with a thought.
Video Games:
  • John DeFoe of the Chzo Mythos was formerly an abused child who became a vengeful, murderous revenant after Chzo infused him with power after his father beat him to death with a possessed wooden idol. He's nigh unkillable, completely mad, and can do nothing but lash out at everything he sees.
  • Giygas is literally described as this at the end of Earthbound - he achieved ultimate power, but went insane in the process, and what Ness and company ultimately confront is a babbling abomination in a constant-state of self-inflicted Mind Rape.
  • Deathevan, the Big Bad of Breath of Fire II, is strongly implied to be this. He's been propped up as the godhead of the Church of Eva for so long that he believes his own propaganda, appearing before the party as an old man in white robes before giving Ryu reason to attack him in a berserk rage; once wounded, his facade falls away, and his monstrous final form is a screaming lunatic that can't even comprehend why Ryu and his friends would fight so vehemently against him.
Web Comics:
  • In Stupid Snake, a textless webcomic, the titular character is a stupid... snake with omnipotent powers that randomly drives the plot that the poor main characters go through.
Web Original:

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • July 1, 2012
    dalek955
    • Azathoth from HP Lovecraft's work is known among Lovecraft fans as the Blind Idiot God. He created reality by accident, and will be equally oblivious when he destroys it.
  • July 1, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    • In one Doctor Strange arc, he destroyed a primordial entity of Chaos by assuming it's power- and then killing himself. This led to him briefly becoming an all-powerful transcendent being with no ego or identity. Ironically, it was one of Strange's old enemies who dragged him back into the "illusion" of self.
    • In Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdoms novels, the Tradition is the magical force that causes tropes to be continually reenacted, oblivious to the harm that does at the mortal level.
    • In the Preacher comic series, Jesse Custer was the host for Genesis, a potentially all-powerful newborn spirit that had no sense of individual will.

  • July 1, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Web Comics:

    Web Original:
  • July 1, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ I don't know much about Drowtales, but that seems more Psychopathic Manchild to me. Could somebody confirm?
  • July 2, 2012
    dalek955
    HP Lovecraft should not be italicized. He's the author, not the title.
  • July 2, 2012
    Ryusui
    Dude. How can you use "Almighty Idiot" as the trope name and not actually use the example that practically coined the term?

    • Giygas is literally described as this at the end of Earthbound - he achieved ultimate power, but went insane in the process, and what Ness and company ultimately confront is a babbling abomination in a constant-state of self-inflicted Mind Rape.

    Another good example:

  • July 2, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ Heh. Actually, I named it after the phrase from Earthbound, but I was testing a theory that people are less likely to call for a rename if they think you made it up as opposed to having a Trope Namer. Guess the jig is up.
  • July 2, 2012
    AgProv
    Jesse Custer the Preacher also meets a mighty cult who are safeguarding the last living descendant of Jesus Christ - who through inbreeeding to keep the bloodline pure turns out to be not the world's saviour, but a drooling insane retarded dolt.
  • July 2, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    ^Who had no actual power.

  • July 2, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ Yeah, that one doesn't count. If he actually had divine power then it would. Genesis, however, is a perfect example.
  • July 2, 2012
    BOFH
    Literature
    • In And Eternity, God contemplates his own greatness instead of paying attention to the world, and is voted out of office as a result.
  • July 2, 2012
    LittleLizard
    AKIRA is quite a hardcore example as Tetsuo doesn't just lack in the knowledge to use his power. He fills the void of knowledge with rage and hate.
  • July 2, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^^ Does he have no real mental faculties at all, or is he just a self-absorbed narcissist? It doesn't sound like this trope to me. ^ It's been a while since I read Akira, but Tetsuo seems more like With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
  • July 3, 2012
    planswalker
    • In Stupid Snake, a textless webcomic, the titular character is a stupid... snake with omnipotent powers that randomly drives the plot that the poor main characters go through.
  • July 4, 2012
    planswalker
    • The Deathstalker books by Simon R Green features an infant with the power to annihilate whole stars with a thought.
  • July 5, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I've noticed that nobody's been offering suggestions on improvement and this YKTTW has just been collecting examples, so I'm assuming that means people think it's pretty much good as it is. If that's the case, mind adding some hats so I can move towards launch?
  • July 5, 2012
    animeg3282
    I still think there needs to be a name change. I can see people potholing this for every single time they think someone is a giant idiot, even though this trope is 'divine power destroys your mind'
  • July 5, 2012
    planswalker
    I don't think that's a major concern. That same style of argument can be made for ANY name on ANY trope. The name is not misleading, is accurate to the trope, and isn't a name that falls prey to the usual reasons for a bad trope names (snowclones, character references, in-jokes, etc).

  • July 5, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^^ In order to do that, they'd have to ignore the "Almighty" part of the name, and if they do that, then a name change won't help. You can't fix stupid.
  • July 6, 2012
    planswalker
    Especially if they're powerfully stupid.

    • In the movie Quest For Camelot, Team Hero ventures into the Forbidden Forest to find excalibur. Several Disney songs and wacky hijinks later, they find the magical sword in the hands of an ogre. Unfortunately for our poor protagonists, this is a world where ogres are 200 ft tall behemoths of stone that even dragons fear. Luckily, they're as intelligent as the rock they're made from.
  • July 21, 2012
    nitrokitty
  • August 4, 2012
    nitrokitty
    One more YKTTW Bump for more examples and that last hat.
  • August 4, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    Are you going to mention that Earth Bound is the trope namer? I mean like, this is not a bad name at all. Even for people who have not heard of Earth Bound, as obscure of a game that it is, it sums the trope up well. I vote that the name is not changed.

    Also, here's your last hat.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=zot3nkmbym6f8ae9r71ql0lk&trope=AlmightyIdiot