Sawtooth Rivergrinder: Do you think it's possible that the only reason humans exist was to create robots?
Florence Ambrose: Maybe. And maybe the only reason robots exist is to create the lifeform that comes after you.
And when that lifeform asks, "where are your creators?", what do you plan to tell it?
Sawtooth Rivergrinder: Probably something like "let's go meet the neighbors."
Florence Ambrose: Better be careful. The moment humans find out they've become grand creators, they're going to spoil your kid rotten.
The act of creating life is a central part of many works. This goes for creating life in general and for intelligent life, biological or otherwise, in particular. The act can be portrayed in many ways, such as:
Examples that fit squarely in one of these subtropes go on that page only.
genre of this trope family usually fall squarely in the Creating Life Is Bad
camp. Usually, but not always.
Note that this trope only comes into effect when creating new life in a manner other than
the old-fashioned way. For that
, see Pregnancy Tropes
Anime and Manga
Film - Live Action
- Tower of God - Two characters have the ability to create life, especially intelligent life. One is the sage and blacksmith Macseth, who created one of the three Rulers and his four sons, the other is Enryu, a legendary and rarely seen existence with in the Tower.
- A Certain Magical Index - Magicians are able to conjure living, intelligent beings (though they typically have fairly short lifespans). The act of creating a magical life form is treated as morally neutral. However, the practice has become unpopular among magicians in the modern age because, all things considered, making a nonsentient magical item to increase your own power is simpler and more convenient than creating a servant.
- In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Chancellor Palpatine makes a claim that the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis has the ability to create life.
- In the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the ur-viles and waynhim were artificial living beings created by the Demondim, who were themselves created by the Viles. Their motivations for doing so are explained in detail in the Last Chronicles- the Viles (incorporeal spirits) were manipulated into self-loathing by Lord Foul, and so determined to create the Demondim to be something totally different from themselves (undead beings). The Demondim in turn inherited their progenitors self-loathing, and decided to create creatures entirely different from themselves, with the result being ur-viles and waynhim (corporeal living beings). The two races are physically almost identical, but took radically different approaches to dealing with their artificial nature, something about themselves which they found repellant- the waynhim dedicated themselves to the service of the Land and its people, while the ur-viles teamed up with Lord Foul and dedicated themselves to sharing their misery with the rest of the world (in the hopes that if they did well enough, Foul would destroy them). However, after Foul's defeat in the First Chronicles, the ur-viles decided that this was a poor strategy, and became Wild Cards (in the Second Chronicles) and eventually allies (in the Third).
- In the novel Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus from 1818 and 1831, it is left ambiguous whether creating the creature was actually a bad thing or not. The creature suffers (and subsequently causes suffering to his creator), not because it was created but because the creator abandoned it afterwards. The story can be read in in many ways, unlike most of the (usually extremely heavy-handed) genre it spawned.
- Is Doctor Frankenstein a bad scientist (who did a bad experiment), a bad father (who abandoned the son he had created), or a bad God (who cast out his creation at first provocation... Just like the Yahveh of The Bible, but unlike the Allah of The Qur'an - who instead forgave Adam and sent him out as a prophet rather than an outcast)? Well, that's something you'll just have to decide for yourself. Most re-tellings of the story will make the choice for you, however, by simply declaring that Science Is Bad, period, and putting Always Chaotic Evil stamps all over the place.
- In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, an alien civilization created at least one sentient supercomputer, Deep Thought, for the purpose of answering philosophical questions regarding the meaning of life, the universe and everything.
- In Stephen Baxter's Titan, NASA ends up doing this. When humanity self inflected Earth with Class 6 extinction, the crew on Saturn's moon Titan, the last humans left, drop a tube of bacterium before their death. Those bacterium developed into insect-like life and escaped out of the solar system when the sun exploded-like what NASA is supposed to do. Stephen Baxter has gotten quite a lot of flare for this.
- In Alpha Centauri, your civilization will create intelligent life (unless you actively avoid those tech trees), and this is not part of the characterization of your faction. You may be awesome or horrible, honest or hypocrite, religious or unproblematically secular... In either case, you will create sentient life.
- In Luminous Arc 2 Mage Queen Elicia reason that she was cast to Arthania is because she attempt to create life to replace the children that she couldn't save as she was once the nurse who saved so many life.
- Sim Life is all about creating life. The player plays the role of Gaia herself, guiding the force of evolution from single cell organisms to various kinds of civilizations.
- In the fourth and fifth game of Quest for Glory, we have Scientists creating life, Frankenstein style. While the ones in the fifth game falls squarely in the traditional Creating Life Is Bad camp, the one in the fourth game is portrayed as morally neutral. Trying to do the right thing in ways that are sometimes misguided but not overly so.
- Mage Life, It is possible in Mage Life for someone of sufficient knowledge to create feeling, thinking life.
- Nilbog, a background villain in Worm, has this as his superpower, being capable of generating bizarre new life. He uses these to kill everyone in his hometown and take it over, where he creates an Alice in Wonderland like fantasy kingdom, which the government avoids destroying because he's created monsters that replicate when exposed to fire and they're terrified of what he could do with nuclear weaponry.
- In Adventure Time, Princess Bubblegum invokes this trope when she tries to create an heir to the kingdom. Despite her mild intentions, her son Lemongrab basically ends up as a brain-damaged stress-case with anger management issues and an inability to read social cues. Although he's not evil, she refers to him as a failed experiment because of his serious mental issues. However, she doesn't seem very willing to treat him with any sort of respect or kindness, so the direct cause of all of his problems remains ambiguous.
- Lemongrab's creation was a complete and wonderful success compared to Princess Bubblegum's next one. Goliad started off as everything Lemongrab was not- mild-mannered, calm, eloquent, intelligent, polite, respectful, sane... But she was corrupted beyond repair, and took advantage of her God-like powers, trying to mind control everyone in the name of Social Darwinism, the weak bowing to the strong.
- However, Bubblegum did have one success: Stormo. Created out of Finn's strand of hair (while Goliad was created from one of PB's baby teeth), he was a griffin-like being who inherited Finn's heroic nature. Goliad offered the chance to rule togehter, but Stormo refused and locked himself in eternal psychic battle with his sister to protect everyone.
- Throughout the show's run it has been implied a few times that nearly all of the Candy Kingdom citizens were created by Princess Bubblegum and she views them at times as her children.