[[quoteright:350:[[Film/BruceAlmighty http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bruce-almighty_6439.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"[[HowManyFingers Okay God, how many fingers was I holding up?]]" "[[BodyHorror Seven.]]"]]

->''"So you are the Christ, yes the great Jesus Christ! \\
Prove to me that you're divine; change my water into wine!"''
-->-- ''Music/JesusChristSuperstar'', "Herod's Song"

[[Creator/CarlSagan Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence]]. Therefore, when an ordinary-looking character [[GodGuise claims to be]] {{God}}, {{Satan}}, [[MagiciansAreWizards a wizard]], [[MyFutureSelfAndMe time traveller]], [[ArtificialHuman robot]], or [[HumanAliens alien]], skeptics nearby will often demand a GodTest to prove those claims. This will typically be a fantastic feat of some sort, something to be done that a regular person would never be able to do. The challenged party succeeding at the test is fairly rare, but they may respond with an explanation as to why they won't or why the test isn't meaningful. Thanks to Jesus' classic example there's a fair chance in the story this means they're on the level. Coming up with a test and having the God fail it is a good way to expose an impostor.

Often expressed as "If you're , then do !"

Note that, despite the name, the test is not limited to deities; any character claiming extraordinary abilities can be challenged with such a test.

Might overlap with GiveMeASign. Contrast with SecretTest. Also see TrustPassword and IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* During Creator/PeterDavid's run on ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}},'' with the "angel" version of the character, she meets a little boy who claims to be God, come to speak to her. She asks for proof, and He asks what sort of miracle would prove anything in an age of superheroes who can fly, transmute elements, etc.; so she's just going to have to take it on faith.
* During the "ComicBook/HeroesReturn" story arc in Creator/MarvelComics, most of Marvel's heroes have had their memories of their "real" lives erased and they lived in a pocket universe for a year. They are confronted by a [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Celestial]] who demands that they return to a home they don't remember. If they don't, either the pocket universe will be destroyed, or the regular Earth will. [[Comicbook/TheMightyThor Thor]] objects, saying that he thinks all of them together could take her. In response, she snaps her fingers and turns Thor, a god in his own right, into a frog. He retracts his objection.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheRoadToElDorado'', the Doradans challenge the explorers to a ballgame... two gods against 15 mortals.
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' pulls a [[GuileHero very clever]] version of this on the Genie. He challenges him, dismissively, "[[ReversePsychology I bet you couldn't even magic us out of this cave!]]" The Genie does it, then tells Aladdin he has [[ThreeWishes two wishes left]]. "Oh, no... I never ''wished'' to be out of the cave. You did that on your own..."
* Near the end of ''WesternAnimation/HotelTransylvania'', when the monsters are at an annual Monster Festival, one of them asks them to prove that the Dracula they're with is the real deal. Dracula then hypnotizes him to smash his mug against his forehead. He casually accepts this as proof.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/OhGod'', Jerry Landers asks the [[Creator/GeorgeBurns old man]] claiming to be God to prove it by making it rain. On cue, it suddenly starts to rain... inside Jerry's moving car.
** Later, God proves His divinity in a courtroom by making a deck of cards appear and disappear in plain view. He concludes his visit by vanishing in full view of the audience, and there are no recordings (audio and written) of His testimony.
* Played with in ''Film/BruceAlmighty'', when Bruce tries to catch God ([[Creator/MorganFreeman the other one]]) with a HowManyFingers test. After God guesses correctly every single time, Bruce manages to fake him out by very quickly putting two fingers away when God says "Seven." When Bruce triumphantly holds up his one hand, it suddenly has that many fingers. Apparently, God also pulled the same stunt on Gandhi, who took it a lot harder than Bruce.
* Creator/MNightShyamalan's ''Film/TheLastAirbender'' has one of these.
-->"The Avatar would be an Airbender. Can you Airbend, boy?"
** The test goes on to show the elements reacting to Aang's presence- ie rocks moving towards him, water falling into a perfect circle, etc. The scene is infamous for making very little sense, because it doesn't explain why the elements don't do it all the time, suggesting that Aang did it on purpose, allowing himself to be captured.
* In ''[[Film/BackToTheFuture Back to the Future: Part II]]'', young Biff challenges his future self to prove that the Sports Almanac knows the results of every sporting event in the next 50 years. So old Biff turns the radio to a college football game which ends exactly as the Almanac says.
* ''[[Film/BillAndTed Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure]]'': Invoked when Bill and Ted challenge their future selves:
-->'''Ted:''' "If you guys are really us, what number are we thinking of?"
-->'''Future Bill and Ted:''' "69, dudes!"
-->'''Bill and Ted:''' "Whoa..."
-->''[quadruple air guitar]''
** Double subverted in the sequel; when the heroes' {{Evil Twin}}s arrive, Ted is suspicious, but Bill convinces him to trust them. Then Ted trusts his robot counterpart after it passes a HowManyFingers test.
* In ''Film/TheManFromEarth'', John Oldman quietly foils his friends' attempts to prove him wrong by explaining that most of his knowledge WOULD fit in with textbooks because that's what happened. Then he [[spoiler: starts explaining that he was both a student of the Buddha and the resulting inspiration for the biblical Christ]], to everyone's dismay, but he still cannot (or at least will not) give them true proof of his {{immortality}}. At the end, [[spoiler: he unwittingly exposes himself to be the father of his psychologist friend, (said friend looks to be twice John's age) giving the man a heart attack and proving, in the viewer's eyes, that his story was true]].
* ''{{Angel-A}}'' eventually proves her claims to André.
* ''Film/JustLikeHeaven'' has David convincing Jack that Elizabeth's right behind him. Jack pulls a HowManyFingers that concludes with him FlippingTheBird. And despite this, it still takes a SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay moment to convince him
* ''Film/TheManWhoWouldBeKing'', Daniel Dravot, is acclaimed a god when struck by an arrow which fails to penetrate his uniform. When he arrives at a temple, though, the priests want to see if he can duplicate the feat for them.
* In ''Film/{{Bewitched}}'', Isabel's attempts to prove she's a real witch fail because Jack assumes they're extremely clever tricks, until she propels him high in the air and pulls him back down.
* In ''Film/{{Hook}}'', Smee and Hook confirm Peter's identity as Pan, but see that he seems to have changed quite a bit. They tell him they'll give his kids back if he merely flies a little. ([[spoiler:Upon failure of such, and at Tinkerbell's urging, they extend the challenge by giving him both more tasks and more time.]])
* In {{Ghostbusters}}, Gozer performs a god test on Ray by... asking him if he's a god. Despite being the most poorly thought out god test imaginable, Ray fails anyway.
** Though for all we know, Gozer would have taken him at face value if he'd said 'Yes' and blasted him anyway (An evil god likely doesn't like competition), except probably harder because Ray'd just said he was a god...Winston, maybe your advice wasn't so good after all.
* Inverted and utterly subverted in MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian, where no evidence can disprove Brian's divinity:
--->'''Brian:''' I'm not the Messiah, now go away!
--->'''Female follower:''' Only the true Messiah would defy his divinity.
--->'''Brian:''' Oh, what sort of a chance does that give me? All right, I AM the Messiah!
--->'''Crowd:''' He is! He is the Messiah!
* ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951''. As a demonstration that he is a powerful alien, Klaatu is asked to stop traffic so a man can cross the street. He does so by cutting power ''all over the globe'' for exactly half an hour, with the exception of hospitals and airplanes in flight, which has the additional benefit of demonstrating the incredible degree of control he has over this effect.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' plays with this one memorably: a charlatan claims to be able to tell people whatever is happening anywhere in the world. After listening to various plausible tales of the doings of foreign potentates, the main character takes his turn: "Tell me what I'm doing with my hands behind my back right now."
* In ''Discworld/TheLastHero'' the Silver Horde try to sneak into Dunmanifestin by claiming to be 'new gods'. The locals know what's going on but, being [[JerkassGods who they are]], decide to have some fun by demanding Cohen prove his bonafides by rolling a seven on a six-sided die. [[CuttingTheKnot He does]].
* During the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' series, the Emperor repeatedly and vehemently denies any godhood. This trope gets inverted, however, because half the stuff he does SEEMS like it should take a god to accomplish, so no matter how much he denies it, the "true believers" just say "only a true god would deny his divinity while also demonstrating it."
* In ''Literature/WillOfHeaven'', the Guest of Canghai asks Han Xin what he has to do to make the latter believe he serves a real god. Han Xin offhandedly tells him to make a river disappear. [[spoiler: He does.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Classic}}'' (1970s) episode "War of the Gods Part 1''. Count Iblis claims to have great powers and knowledge. The Council of Twelve gives him three challenges: to deliver their greatest enemy (Baltar) to them, to lead the fleet to Earth, and one more to be named later.
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' parodies this: When the gang land in Roman Times, Pearl claims they are gods, and Brain Guy has to use his powers to demonstrate. "Behold! From nothing I produce this... [[MundaneMadeAwesome spoon]]."
* Inverted in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Who Watches the Watchers." A primitive alien tribe has come to believe that Picard is God (despite his protests), and to prove it one of them shoots him with a bow to prove that [[SpellMyNameWithAThe The Picard]] can't be killed. Fortunately for Picard the alien misses his heart, but does hit him in the shoulder, injuring him and thereby proving to the aliens that he isn't God.
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'': Sam has leaped into an illiterate murderer on the run who is holding a woman and her daughter hostage. He decides to drop TheMasquerade, telling her he's a doctor from the future in a TimeTravel experiment. She doesn't believe him. Then he notices her medical textbook, and she reveals that she's in medical school. So he has her quiz him on medical stuff to prove that he's telling the truth. At first she still doesn't believe him saying that he looked at the book already, so could have memorized the information. Sam quickly fires back: "When was the last time you met an illiterate speed-reader?"
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** In "Smith and Jones", the Doctor met companion-to-be Martha Jones. At the beginning of the episode, she was walking to work when the Doctor came up to her, took his tie off, and said, "Like so!" Later in the episode, they met and he had no memory of this. At the end, Martha asks him to prove that he's a time traveller. He takes his TARDIS and disappears, reappearing seconds later...without his tie.
** In the two-parter "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood", Martha Jones, a medical student from the future, uses her knowledge of anatomy to prove that she's not "just" a maid, which she's currently disguised as.
* ''Series/JoanOfArcadia'' has Joan ask the teenage boy claiming to be God to prove his divinity. He gestures behind himself to show... a tree.
-->'''Joan''': "...that's a tree."
-->'''God''': "Let's see ''you'' make one."
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': Lister's comments have been misinterpreted over the years as the promises of a god, leading to this hilarious exchange:
--> '''Lister''': "I am your god."
--> '''Cat''': "If you're god, turn this into a woman."
--> '''Lister''': "I'm serious."
--> '''Cat''': "So am I!"
* For a show that dealt with fake gods, ''Series/StargateSG1'' only ever used this test once, and indirectly at that. When Gerak becomes a Prior of the Ori and is asked to destroy Jaffa who refuse to believe, Teal'c asks him what makes him believe they are gods, citing various impressive miracles they could have performed[[note]]For added rhetorical punch, they're all feats that the Goa'uld regularly performed as part of ''their'' GodGuise[[/note]]. He then posits that the measure of a god is not how they display their power, but how they apply it. If they were gods, they wouldn't need Gerak to kill anyone on their behalf, or even ask such a thing of him.
* ''Series/TheBionicWoman:'' Jaime Sommers has been replaced by her evil twin, and dropped into prison in her place. After escaping, and getting cornered by the cops, who have been joined by her boss, she tells him to ''whisper'' any question he wants, across a hundred yards of open field, to prove who she really is.
* The Christ-figure in the ITV (UK) drama ''Series/TheSecondComing'' written by ''Series/DoctorWho'' writer Russell T Davies and starring Christopher Eccleston proves who he is by creating daylight around Manchester City's football stadium during the middle of the night - he is not explicitly asked to show his powers, but decides the only way to prove it is to do something on a significant enough scale to be believed from the outset.
* Subverted in the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' extra when the angel Castiel meets the Ghostfacers. To prove his divinity, Castiel breaks a piece of glass, and states that it is made whole again...except that it is not.
--> '''Castiel''': "Oh, come on!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* Literature/TheBible features many examples and [[OlderThanFeudalism some of them very old.]] In general, the Old Testament is much more okay with God Tests than the New Testament. Old Testament God was very active, with his miracles ranging from the subtle, such as ensuring Isrealite victory in battle, to the obviously supernatural, such as raining down fire. In the New Testament, God was much more subtle, his only direct miracles being the impregnation of Mary and the resurrection. Jesus was generally willing to perform miracles, but he often asked that word of his miracles not be spread around, particularly his miraculous healings, and only engaged in one 'large scale' ritual, the feeding of crowds with only a few loaves of bread and fish.
** God provided Moses with some evidence of Who sent him, starting with giving Moses temporary leprosy and turning his staff into a snake and back (with enough time for it to eat the Egyptian priests' staff-snakes), followed up by the Ten Plagues.
** Gideon has a inversion; He was unsure that he (Gideon) was really TheChosenOne and wanted to make sure before he went off starting a war. He leaves a fleece on the floor overnight; once, having the fleece be wet with dew while the floor is dry, and once vice versa. Both are performed without objection.
** {{Satan}} tries to invoke this by suggesting Jesus prove he was the son of God by turning stones into bread. Jesus refused, saying "[[AsTheGoodBookSays It is written]]; Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Godʼs mouth." Not to be put off, Satan told him to jump from the roof of the temple, saying "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." [[DefiedTrope Jesus refuses again]], saying "[[KirkSummation Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.]]'"
** Also invoked in the New Testament letters. The Apostles instruct Christians to test any spirit claiming to be from Heaven, by verifying that the spirit in question confesses Jesus is Lord and that He came in the flesh, because demons will masquerade as angels of light to try to deceive people, but will never confess Jesus' Lordship or Incarnation before mortals, because doing so would defeat the point of the deception.
** When Jesus is on the cross the authorities challenge him, "If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross."
** Played straight by Jesus and Thomas. When Thomas hears of the resurrection, he refuses to believe the story, thinking it incredible. It is not until Jesus shows Thomas his crucifixion wounds that Thomas believes. Jesus then says that it would have been better for Thomas to have believed without seeing his wounds.
* According to [[Literature/TheQuran the Koran]], Mohammed refused to perform any God Tests to prove that he's a prophet, since there are several such stories in Literature/TheBible and in every one of them the prophets passed the tests but the crowds still didn't believe them. Since it never works, God wouldn't perform any more miracles only for the entertainment of disbelivers.
* As the tales where this trope does pop up can tell you, it's generally ''very'' dangerous to ask TheFairFolk to prove themselves to you. Partially because, if they are of the kind that CannotTellALie, they are likely to get insulted by the fact that their word is not good enough for you; cue DisproportionateRetribution, and partially because, well, [[BlueAndOrangeMorality they are]] TheFairFolk: [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor If the only thing you wish for is to know]] if they really are the beings they claim to be, don't blame them if [[LiteralGenie the knowledge that they really were]] [[JerkassGenie the beings they claimed to be]] is the ''[[ExactWords only thing]]'' you're left with.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/NineChickweedLane'': Monty (who may or may not be GodInHumanForm) asks CloudCuckooLander Thorax for advice on how to deal with his God Complex ("It started around the time I created the universe"). Thorax's recommendation? "Try prayer, and see if you get a busy signal."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* ''Music/JesusChristSuperstar''. Quoth Herod to Jesus, "Prove to me that you're no fool/Walk upon my swimming pool." Of course, Jesus in the Gospels also comes up against demands for miracles to prove his status, and refuses to play along with them.
* In Creator/{{Aristophanes}}' ''The Frogs'', The god Dionysos and his servant both claim to be the real Dionysos, and the gatekeeper of Hades decides to tell them apart by flogging them. Supposedly, a real deity can't feel and won't react to pain. This being a parody, they ''both'' fail.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'': Guybrush asks his future counterpart to guess what number he's thinking of. Since you 'remember' what future-Guybrush said to past-Guybrush, you can answer him.
* Repeatedly in ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'', since [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly faith in the gods is at a low ebb]] and gaining "praise spheres" plays a vital role in the gameplay's RPGElements. Amaterasu sometimes displays a wicked sense of humor in answering them.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the Lyrium-addled Templar, Carroll, repeatedly refuses to believe that the protagonist is a Grey Warden;
--> '''Templar''': Go on then, kill some Darkspawn! Lets see some righteous Grey-Wardening!
--> '''Warden''': *''Irritated''* There ''aren't'' any Darkspawn here!
* The ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' fan module ''The Maimed God's Saga'' has a cleric of Tyr as the PlayerCharacter. At one point a mob assembles in the town square demanding that you prove you're really a cleric. You can blow them off without consequence, or if you have the spell ''remove disease'' prepared, you can cure a sick woman in the crowd.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}: The Game'', Leela ends up encountering the Sun God, who was lauding his powers over the local underdeveloped civilization living on the Sun. Leela asks that he prove that he is a God, but this angers him and causes a boss fight. After defeating him, he admits the truth.
-->"You found me out... [[AGodIAmNot I'm not really a god]]... I'm *cough* *cough* just an ordinary... eternal, omniscient, superintelligent being."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Something of a variant in [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1584#comic this]] ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' comic strip.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In episode 55 of ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'', Yami asks Noah to prove that he's a god.
* [[spoiler: Tennyo]] of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse was forced to prove she was The Captain [[spoiler: (i.e. The Star Stalker)]]. The test involved opening a box but to open that box, a hand must be sacrificed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead''. The duo meet a cult leader claiming to be God, and try to do the test. The problem is that the guys asking the questions are, well, Beavis and Butt-head.
-->'''Butt-head''': Like, If you're God, then like, what's the name of that guy who built that ark?
-->'''"God"''': Noah!
-->'''Butt-head''': Whoa!
-->'''Beavis''': Yeah!
* In ''WesternAnimation/GodTheDevilAndBob'', after several attempts God makes to prove his divinity, Bob ''still'' brushes him off causing God to play ''hardball''. Cue the entire bar split apart, growing to fifty feet, bathed in heavenly light and surrounded by doves... with a bear in a fez riding a tricycle with the banner; "It's really Him!!!"
--> '''Bob''': [[OhCrap Uh]], so, ''God''... what are you drinking?
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', when the Griffins have {{Jesus}} over for dinner, Brian asks him to prove that he is Jesus. So Jesus instantly turns everyone's dinner into ice cream.
** And, at the request of Peter after the above incident, enlarged Lois' breasts.
* It doesn't come up all that often, but in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Aang has had to prove he is the Avatar on one or two occasions. For him, it's rather easy; just do a little [[BlowYouAway Airbending]], as the Avatar is the Last Airbender. He did this once on purpose on Kyoshi Island, and then [[CrazyAwesome King Bumi]] tricked him into doing it again by throwing a chicken leg at him the first time they visited Omashu.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* As with many Native American peoples, the Tainos of Puerto Rico were told that the Spaniards invading their land were gods. To make sure, they caught one and tried to drown him... and succeeded. Even then they had no chance against the invaders.
* As shown above, Carl Sagan's famous quote, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," is an excellent summary of skeptics' treatment of claims of this magnitude.
[[/folder]]

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