The Big Boss of the universe in monotheistic religions. The Alpha And The Omega, the Big Cheese, the Big Guy in the Sky, the Almighty, the Creator, the Capital G, the Ceiling Cat, Old Beardy.
If all of existence is one big story, He's THE Big Good, God of Good, and just generally good.
Metaphysical human concept or not, He's got a pretty large chunk of humanity as believers and followers, thanks in part to best-selling books such as The Bible and The Qur'an, which feature God as a prevalent character, if not the main character.
Using God as a character rather than simply referring to the Powers That Be or using terms without religious connotations is a dicey proposition, as it is just about the only thing you can do, other than a seriesfinaleClip Show, that is 100% guaranteed to alienate a chunk of the viewers.
Shows in which God plays a major role tend not to last very long, regardless of their various good points. This is a major reason for Have You Seen My God? and Pieces of God. Since depicting God is attempting to portray an infinite divine being in human terms and ideas, this is problematic at best. Rather than giving God an explicitly defined human shape and face, most tend towards a human-like figure with an obscured face, one or two giant hands in the sky, or even nothing more than an ALL CAPS WORD BUBBLE.
God is also not always seen as the benevolent ruler of everything, hence why tropes such as God Is Evil exist. Some of this is Alternate Character Interpretation from The Bible and similar works, but some of it is authors liking to subvert audience expectations. Works which feature Rage Against the Heavens often feature God being a jerk, if not outright malevolent to his creation, though some would say he's more concerned with perfect justice than just being nice. Taking this depiction to its furthest extent creates a variation on the Cosmic Horror Story.
In pretty much every case, though, God is shown as being very powerful, and usually all-knowing. Since God is believed by followers to be the driving force behind the entire universe, this also makes a good deal of sense. Also common is a portrayal of God as the ultimate Chessmaster, and capable of executing a eternity spanning plan. This, of course, leads people to wonder why God doesn't just solve the problem of evil with a single metaphysical finger snap, but that's a discussion best left to theologians.
He's usually portrayed as the only deity in the works He appears in, but writers have played with the premise. Some depictions create an opposing force to God equal in stature to Him, The Anti-God. Sometimes Satan is portrayed like this. Another variation is for there to be multiple lesser god-like being below Him. Both of these are actually in contrast to at least Abrahamic religious canon, but that hasn't stopped fiction.
Possibly due to the influence of works like Bruce Almighty, God has been showing up increasingly often in media recently. Subversions and parodies are also increasingly common (see King of All Cosmos), but limited to Black Comedy - once you've turned God into a joke, it's hard to do anything else.
The danger of being burned at the stake leads to many writers choosing to thinly veil God as a Crystal Dragon Jesus or "The Light". Said God may even refuse the label for personal reasons.
The Maker is often a stand-in for God, if it isn't outright Him.
For a full rundown of the way God or Gods are portrayed, see Our Gods Are Greater. For tropes about them, see God Tropes.
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Anime and Manga
In Haruhi Suzumiya, a certain overpowering Genki Girl unwittingly seems to possess godlike abilities, though Itsuki, the philosopher of the group, would not go so far as to designate them God (and later novels support him).
There's also a strong fan theory that the girl is actually not the one with powers, but instead they belong to her seemingly-normal Deadpan Snarker boyfriend, who lets everyone believe she has them because he doesn't want them.
Lain Iwakura may or may not be God. We're not quite sure. At any rate, even if she's not God, her power level makes the whole point kinda moot.
In Pani Poni Dash!, God is a cat that changes colors every episode and lives in a vending machine.
In Code Geass, God is the collective will of every person that has ever lived (and maybe ever will live, they're not too clear on it). Charles and his brother want to kill it. Instead, Lelouch geasses it, ruining their plans.
The Almighty One in Ah! My Goddess. Theorized Father of Belldandy and Skuld, as well as Urd, who was produced by a tryst with Satan the Ruler of Demonkind. It has now been confirmed that he IS their farther and that he is actually Tyr from the Norse legends.
Angel Sanctuary. Features God Is Evil in a really, really nasty way. God not only forced an Original Sin down on his angels ( when growing in their tubes they live from their own Mother, Adam Kadamon; during her captivity in Eden Alexiel also is made to Eat fruits from the Tree of Enlightenment. Which grows from Adam Kadamon's eye. Yuck. That the fruits look like baby heads doesn't make it any better. ) - nope, he also considers all of his angels failed experiments and wants to end the world. Oh, and he's a computer program. Neat one, Kaori Yuki - neat one.
Shaman King's Great Spirit is "God" and is every spirit manifested into a giant pillar of light.
The Truth of Fullmetal Alchemist starts his speech to anyone who dares cross into his domain (i.e. through Human Transmutation), by stating that "I am the World. I am the Universe. I am God. I am Truth. I am One. I am All. And I am also you!"
Deus ex Machina from Mirai Nikki. The story happens because Deus is dying and needs to choose a successor to become the new god. Interestingly, there appear to be a couple of limits on his powers: it has been conclusively stated that he cannot resurrect the dead, as apparently he is unable to bring back the souls of the deceased. That, and he's dying himself.
The Juubi from Naruto is revealed to be the progenitor of all living things.
Not just all living things. It is the beginning of all chakra and the literal progenitor of all that exists in the world.
The Lucifer comics depict God as sympathetic towards humans, but ultimately rather alien and willing to do terrible things in pursuit of greater goals. Indeed, at one point He is willing to destroy the entire universe, as He wasn't sure if it was really a successful experiment or not. Eventually, He was convinced to do nothing and let the inhabitants of his universe solve the entropy of the universe by themselves, an idea He didn't seem to have even considered and thus found rather amusing.
God is shown, face and all, in the Preacher comics. Definitely not one of the kinder depictions of his power or personality.
Marvel Comics have an interesting relationship with God. The highest being in the setting and creator of the universe is The One Above All, best known as the being who gives the Living Tribunal his marching orders. However, there is also Yahweh, the God of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, who may or may not be distinct from the One Above All and who is a peer of Odin and Zeus. They're both really nice guys, by the way.
The DCU has The Presence,also known as The Voice, The Hand, and The Source who plays essentially the same role. His most directly visible role is being the source of power behind the Spectre's abilities, since the Spectre is, technically speaking, a Fallen Angel who repented, and as such gets micromanaged a fair bit more than usual just in case. As The Source, meanwhile, it shows up as a giant burning hand in the New Gods stories, and as witnessed by Krona created the Universe in that form (the "Big Hand" theory).
The DC/Marvel crossover that led to Amalgam Comics portrayed the respective masters of The Living Tribunal and the Spectre as universe-sized robotic-looking humanoids. So... comic book universes are created by Spiral-powered ultra-mecha?
Conan the Barbarian has Mitra, who's essentially the Judeo-Christian God under a different name. His followers are strict monotheists (the only ones in Hyboria!), believe in Heaven and Hell and are sworn enemies of Set, the setting's serpentine Satan analogue.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail goes all-out subversion of the usual delicacy about the Almighty with a Terry Gilliam-animated God who peers out of the clouds and issues orders to Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, while complaining about people being deferential to Him and how depressing the Psalms are. And all of this back in 1975.
In Dogma, God appears in two incarnations. First, He's a rather shabby and gentle old man who unfortunately gets the crap kicked out of Him by demonic underage murderers on rollerblades; second, she is Alanis Morissette in a silver tutu, and is fond of doing handstands. It's also mentioned that God is a Skee-Ball addict. Although it's implied that God's appearance as Alanis is because that was the form the protagonist needed to see most. It is also implied that God was once as vengeful and wrathful as He/She was portrayed as in the Old Testament (Sodom and Gommorah, the ten plagues, etc), but became less so as time passed. He/She no longer keeps an angel employed to fulfill His/Her wrath and gives His/Her Skee-Ball tickets to neighborhood children.
Monotheism seems fairly rare in the Star Wars Galaxy, but there is one notable exception, the Sunesi species, a devoutly religious race that believes in the Maker, an all-powerful deity who made the universe and all its inhabitants. The Force might be God or like God. The one Sunesi Jedi in the Expanded Universe believes that his ability to use the Force is "a gift from the Maker."
In one of the earliest Behind-the-Scenes for Star Wars, George Lucas stated that the Force was basically "boiling down all religions, in that there is some being, condition, or Force involved in all of them."
Humorously, the Narrator in George of the Jungle apparently is God (in the straight-to-video sequel, he drags away a villain who told him to shut up into Heaven - complete with heavenly music, cartoon cherubs, and screams of terror), and generally screws around with the villains who often get tired of his narrating.
God is referenced as the Hand that stopped the bullets from killing Jules and Vincent in Pulp Fiction. Vincent is less than convinced, Jules decides to change his life over it. The audience is left to decide for themselves.
References to "the Creator" as the antithesis of the Dark One are everywhere in the Wheel of Time series through phrases like "the light of the Creator", but, Inquisition aside, there doesn't seem to be much religion involved, and the Creator itself never directly appears in the series. The lack of religion has been explained by the fact that in-universe Creator and Dark One are very much real, and everyone knows that (for example, saying the Dark One's true name aloud will have dire(ct) consenquences). The Creator seems to be a very hands-off kind of deity. In one of the books, it's implied that he created all worlds, but doesn't particularly care if one of them dies in the way that a gardener plants all the flowers in a garden, but doesn't care if one of them wilts. The characters seem to acknowledge and accept this. That doesn't explain why prayers and catechisms are addressed to him, though.
The Creator in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is rather unusual in that while He is undoubtedly the creator of the Land (the setting for most of the novels), it is not so clear whether He is also the guy who made the "real world" where Thomas comes from. He seems benevolent, and unusually humble as gods go, frequently dressing as a hobo (with really bad breath). He's certainly not omnipotent: he can't defeat his enemy, Lord Foul (the Devil), without also destroying the world he created.
Agents of God are present in The Dresden Files, and the Man Himself is referred to as the "White God" by various supernatural entities. Other gods exist as well, though it's implied that most of them aren't very active any more. Odin seems to be doing well for himself, though.
Monotheistic religious texts, listed below. Some readings treat Him as the protagonist. Some treat Him as the author; Author Avatar may apply.
His Dark Materials is about killing God. Yeah. Though in the third book it's revealed that God isn't actually "evil", just senile, and that he isn't the creator, just the first angel to be born. And when Lyra and Will free him from his protective cage, he's so fragile and old that he's killed by a brush of the wind.However, it's also implied that the idea of "God" as we know it, as an omnipotent, omniscient creator of everything, doesn't have a physical or tangible form in the first place, instead existing in Dust, the fabric of The Multiverse and the substance of conscious human thought and knowledge. In other words, God is everything.Wow.
Though Heaven, Hell, and a living personification of all evil exist in the Buffyverse, God is almost conspicuous in His absence. Buffy herself comments that there's "nothing solid" on the matter. However, there are The Powers That Be. They may be gods, but they're not God. It's implied that a divine miracle occurred in Season 3 when it snowed to prevent Angel from committing "Suicide by Sunrise." However, it's left ambiguous enough that it could also have been Santa Claus looking out for vampires with souls. The whole "White Christmas" thing being his entire shtick and all.
Or Jasmine. Could be Jasmine, saving her future grandfather. Which would explain a lot of stuff behind Angels motivation in season five.
Cited as the prime mover behind Sam's inability to get home in Quantum Leap. (Or, more accurately, as the force which caused the Quantum Leap Project to go awry in the particular way that it did; the series finale heavily implies that Sam is subconsciously keeping himself from getting home.)
God appears inside Herman's Head once, taking the form of Leslie Nielsen to better meet Herman's expectations.
In season 1 finale of The Sarah Silverman Program, the titular character meets, is saved by, sleeps with, and then dumps the Morgan Freemanesque entity which she refers to as "Black God." When God makes his first appearance, she asks him, consistent with her character's casual racism, "Are you God's black friend?" A later episode has them reconciling and briefly dating, and God is portrayed as clingy, emotionally insecure, and prone to coming on too strong.
Season 4 of Supernatural brought us Judeo-Christian mythology (with some amount of Islamic mythology added in regards to Lucifer's history), with the appearance of Castiel (an angel), who insisted that God did exist. At the beginning of season 5, Sam and Dean were mysteriously transported onto an airplane, and Castiel was brought back from the dead, both of which he attributed to an act of God.
Castiel: There is someone besides Michael strong enough to take on Lucifer. Strong enough to stop the apocalypse.
Sam: Who's that?
Castiel: The one who resurrected me and put you on that airplane. The one who began everything. God. (pause) I'm gonna find God.
Dean: Try New Mexico. I hear he's on a tortilla.
As the fifth season went on, various characters, including Raphael and Michael, told them that God was dead and/or gone.
In 5x18, "Dark Side of the Moon," Sam and Dean are told by the angel Joshua, who is supposedly the only one to speak directly to God at the moment, that God is alive and well and doesn't particularly care about stopping the apocalypse.
A mysterious disappearance in 5x22, "Swan Song," led many viewers to speculate that Chuck is God. According to Word Of God, he is.
In St. Elsewhere, Howie Mandell met God in an out-of-body experience. God was also played by Howie Mandell. As he explained, "I made you in my own image, didn't I?"
Dragon Lance has the Highgod, who created the lesser deities but has only intervened in Krynn's history to prevent its destruction. Chaos is the entity that opposes the High God, and it is from Chaos that the universe was created.
In Forgotten Realms, the Overgod Ao (who created the universe Faerun inhabits) is visited by his "boss" in the Avatar Trilogy. He is described as a "being of pure light" and is strongly implied to be the Judeao-Christian God.
In Shin Megami Tensei I he makes no direct appearance, but everyone on his side is working to build a kingdom on Earth where all men and demons shall fall prostrate before him for eternity, even completing a massive Cathedral that will serve as his Terrestrial Throne, and from all appearances, even though he doesn't show up, God approves of the above. We also learn that he long ago sealed away all the other demons and deprived them of the right to meddle in Man's affairs, but now they are back and aren't leaving without a fight.
In Shin Megami Tensei II, He is specifically named as YHVH and is a vain dictator who has created the universe in such a way that it will be subjugated under him forever. He essentially states that He exists because people believe in Him, making humanity the real source of all evil.
In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey it is implied that the evil God from the other games has been broken into pieces in the games backstory and that his pieces have got a life of its own. The game also reveals, albeit subtly that God forgot his love for humans.
In the first Devil Survivor, he's not seen, but implied to be, as opposed to his other appearances, very reasonable, and though his angels wanted to subjugate the Earth as soon as demons came back, he was the one who decided humanity should have one last chance to save themselves and decide their fate. However, the Updated Re-release soon revealed the big guy pushed the Abel And Cain scenario in order to create the first martyr and the first murderer, the latter of which has been punished nonstop since bibilical times. All of this, of course, makes it clear he has severe issues with free will.
God is one of the many, many, many things that will show up in Scribblenauts if you type him into the game. He's strong enough to beat up the Kraken and Cthulhu (at least with the aid of a shotgun and skateboard), but not strong enough to kill Death.
Arceus can be seen as this according to how you view its status as creator of the Pokemon universe, which is helped by its descriptions in the games as well as in other parts of the franchise.
Final Fantasy XIII. The whole trigger of the plot is that the fal'Cie want to summon God by creating a mass sacrifice/slaughter of humans, hoping that the violence is enough to attract His attention. Even the fal'Cie Orphan, who's the one supporting all of Cocoon in the first place, has a death wish for that reason. The fal'Cie can't do it on their own though.
Xenosaga has U-DO, God in the very Gnostic sense, a sort of manifestation of the collective unconscious in a single rather malevolentalien consciousness.
Similarly, Xenogears has U-DO's more-or-less equivalent, the Wave-Existence.
Dragon Age calls him The Maker. But there's no doubt that it's Him, with his church being modeled heavily after the Catholic and the Eastern Church, and the story of his Prophetess being an amalgam of Jesus, Mary, Mohammed, and Joan of Arc.
Also a case of Have You Seen My Maker? as He got fed up with humanity's sins and left them to rot after they executed His Prophetess. Or so His Chantry says.
Bayonetta surprisingly has something like this. Her, yeah, her, name is Jubileus, and in order to reawaken her, the Left Eye and Right Eyes of the world need to unleash their power and go inside her eye sockets. If one is removed she will go berserk and destroy everything not because she can recreate the universe, but because she is unbalanced... but she is not the hardest boss. That title goes to Rodin.
Random soldiers in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker will occasionally claim they had a vision of God in the back of a truck. If you choose to investigate, you can find God and recruit him to MSF. He has the highest Intel stat in the game, but apparently E-rank cooking skill. He's actually Hideo Kojima himself, foreshadowed somewhat by a minor character being named Cosima Caminandes (written in kana as 'kojima kaminandesu', or "Kojima is god").
God (or some form thereof) also appears infrequently the Tales series.
In Abyss, we have Lorelei, the aggregate sentience of the Seventh Fonon which has a Christianity-like religion centred around it (complete with a Jesus parallel, although it's a little different in that she's female). The game is a little unsure on whether or not it's actually the God equivalent of the Abyss world or a Crystal Dragon Jesus.
Arc Rise Fantasia features three gods although two of them are effectively magic rocks... it's complicated, but only one of them is a true "God" parallel. She is also a massivewoobie, to the extent that if you aren't close to tears in the ending there is something seriously wrong with you. L'Arc, You Bastard.Very well.
In The Simpsons Game, God is the final boss. As if that wasn't crazy enough, you get to fight him in a DDR parody, complete with a remix of the Scorpions' "Rock You Like A Hurricane" as the final boss theme !
In The Binding of Isaac, God calls to Isaac's mother to make a sacrifice using her son, thus starting the game's events. God later saves Isaac's life at the last second, either out of a Heel Face Turn, to parallel the original story in that is was all a test, though unlike Abraham, it drove Mom insane...or maybe Mom was just insane all along and imagined she heard God's voice, and God went to stop her.
The Golden Spider from Asura's Wrath, is a Big Bad example that spins the threads of all of existence, allowed the Deities of the game to use Mantra and made the gohma attack to test the Deities' resolve.
His real name is Chakravartin, which means Ideal Universal Ruler in Hindu Mythology. Unfortunately, He's evil, and doesn't really fit the Benevolent part that being an Ideal Universal Ruler comes with being.
In the Mr Deity series of on YouTube shorts, God is interpreted as Mr. Deity, a Hollywood Executive type who, although essentially well-meaning, is a bit vague, thoughtless and temperamental, with a slightly alarming tolerance for various evils and unpleasantness. He also bears a startling resemblance to George Lucas.
On That Guy with the Glasses, a God-like stand-in called Santa Christ makes occasional appearances, usually doing something incredibly awesome and helpful (like erasing a reviewer's memories of a horrible movie) and then doing something else very nice for the reviewer (such as curing their diabetes or giving them a present). Everyone is always very happy to see him. In the second year anniversary video, he is shot, but rises from the grave in three days. When the Chick asks why it took a full three days, he points out that she never rose from the grave and thus has no point of reference.
The Creator in the Whateley Universe is said to be the only entity more powerful than the Lovecraftian Outer Gods.
God in Messed Up Bible Stories on YouTube (see here) , which is portrayed by a speaking, glowing ball of light.
God and Jesus make frequent appearances in Overcompensating. God is depicted in the typical old man with long hair and a long beard wearing a robe. However the robe is clearly a bathrobe and he dwells in a trailer park for some reason.
God talks to Jesus off panel in a Penny Arcade comic. Jesus makes frequent appearances.
Like almost everybody else in the strip, God is portrayed as a Jerk Ass who especially hates Davan and Mike and ignores prayers to Him in lieu of watching shit happen to them.
He also made up the whole "Homosexuality angers God" business so that He could watch lesbian couples having sex with each other to spite Him. It's not made clear if the spite is needed in order to invoke His name so that He is allowed to watch, if invoking His name merely alerts him to the location the act is taking place, or if the spite is just part of His kink.
Although he doesn't appear directly, God is an indirect presence behind the scenes in Misfile, depicted as an all-knowing entity that lets his angelic bureaucracy handle the actual work… or does he?
Lord Cyrios, the creator of the Daily Grind universe, has never appeared directly in the comic, but the Fae claim to be will-less bodies inhabited by his spirit, and several dead characters—like Tharka's sister Benjamina and Jolene's Mentor Stenni Eelstad—have shown up saying they work for him now.
"He did not realized what you have known for years.
"Which is what, just to refresh my memory?
"There is more than one being in the universe who desires souls. I am not Satan. I AM THAT I AM!"
In Jack, God is a more-or-less constant presence behind the scenes, since the comic is essentially about the morality of the afterlife, and how to deal with it. When Sie finally showed up in the flesh, so to speak, Sie manifested as a sheep.
Sluggy Freelance had one (just off-screen) appearance by God, though this was a near-death experience hallucination and part of unreliable narration. Also, He urinated on Kiki's head. One reader on the forums was offended.
Shortpacked! has God appear every once in a while, usually trying to get people to bring back Enterprise. Jesus has also shown up (though the one he appeared before had just had a nasty knock on the head), eating a chocolate Easter cross.
Robin: ...why are you eating a chocolate Easter cross? Jesus: Did you know they sell these at the grocery store? What the fuck dude?
God in Planescape Survival Guideis more freqently called "Eldest" or "Aoskar," and appears in the form of a large red-bearded man. He is not the only god, however, and the betrayal of his wife thousands of years ago split his soul amongst 3 sacred artifacts and left his body without memory. He has since been put back together, but is now held captive and being drained of his essence by the Nothing.
In Sinfest, God appears as hands popping out of clouds holding signs or wearing hand puppets. He has a snarky sense of humor, enjoys poking fun at the main characters, and loves to make the Devil his Butt Monkey. He hasn't shown up as much in the last few years' worth of strips, although his influence shows up in more subtle ways.
God is mentioned off-handedly in Narbonic. Apparently Mel kicked him in the nuts.
In their usual style, South Park depicts God as a bizarre-looking and somewhat surly mandrill/hippo creature in "Are You There, God? It's Me, Jesus". And he's a Buddhist who only lets Mormons into Heaven.
God shows up in the Drawn Together episode "Gay Bash" to declare that, despite what Princess Clara says, he doesn't hate homosexuals, and he thinks fundamentalists are assholes (and homosexuals are adorable).
God and Jesus both show up from time to time on Family Guy, with God being depicted as a bit of a wannabe ladies man with a thing for sniper rifles, who is embarrassed when someone reads from the book of Job. Unlike in The Simpsons, God is shown full-body with, naturally, Seth Mac Farlane's voice instead of the traditional deep bass.
God is also depicted as every other stereotypical male; drunk, hits on the women, and loves to party.
In American Dad!, also by MacFarlane, God is depicted as... Angelina Jolie. Though this was just a form taken to keep Steve's (limited) attention. Looking into the "rack of infinite wisdom" turned Steve into a prophet, who had a solution to all conflict in the Middle East. In a later episode God is depicted as... well, he looks a bit more like Sean Connery.note Probably the most believable portrayal of God in all of fiction
In the Futurama episode "Godfellas", Bender has an encounter with a galaxy-sized being that appears to be God (though, in a Shout Out to Star Trek, Bender theorizes that it's the remains of a satellite that collided with God). It seems to care about living creatures, but espouses a "light touch" philosophy to keep them from dependency. God also has a cameo in The MovieBender's Big Score, wherein he makes a sound of surprise and coughs up a Timey-Wimey Ball in response to the speaking of the universal time code.
He has also shown up as a beam of light that chased Homer who was riding away on a motorcycle. Homer jumped over train tracks just as a train passed and the beam of light representing God was stopped by the passing train.
God: I am too old and too rich for this.
God doesn't actually show up, but in an episode of Justice League Unlimited, Hawkgirl and Diana are fighting monsters/demons in Tartarus/Hell and all of a sudden the demons back off and Hawkgirl realizes why.
Hawkgirl: That's right, I'm an angel. You can mess with me if you want to, but I don't think you want to mess with the Boss. *Points up*