->"Some would ask, how could a perfect God create a universe filled with so much that is evil. They have missed a greater conundrum: why would a perfect God create a universe at all?"
-->-- '''Sister Miriam Godwinson''', ''Videogame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri''

A supreme being can be [[GodIsGood good]] or [[GodIsEvil evil]] (or both or neither), but in either case he ought to be... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin supreme]]. Right?

However, in some works we find a god who is prejudiced and flawed. NotSoOmniscientAfterAll, maybe even a bit of a bigot. Worshippers who try to [[ReligiousRussianRoulette blackmail God into answering prayers]] (or [[SmiteMeOhMightySmiter foolishly goad God]]) are unlikely to get an answer... at least a favorable one.

Ironically, this might make the deity easier to relate to, and thus more sympathetic.

This trope is traditionally played on polytheistic gods, but is also getting more and more common on the monotheistic God. With {{Jesus}}, this is still [[JesusWasWayCool usually avoided]]. But [[JesusWasCrazy not always]].

Compare HumansAreFlawed, GodIsInept, TheDevilIsALoser, and StopWorshippingMe, as well as KingOfAllCosmos. May be due to there being PiecesOfGod strewn all over the cosmos.

'''Oh, and beware. Here be spoilers!'''


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei'' Rakka fills out the blanks in a crumpled old book that is supposed to tell the origin of the world with a story of her own invention, where God makes mistakes every step of the way, but each mistake makes the world a more beautiful place than He could have predicted, and God sees them as good.
* In ''Manga/SaintYoungMen'', the vast majority of the humour comes from seeing two divine figures (it is notable that they are {{Jesus}} and Buddha, who are both explicitly human as well as divine) constantly making mistakes, screwing up and annoying each other, although their personality flaws are relatively minor (Jesus is prone to making impulse {{Cosplay}} purchases, and tends to be quite needing of attention, wheras Buddha is something of a CloudCuckooLander with terrible body image thanks to all the fat statues). They also suffer from PowerIncontinence under certain conditions (Buddha glows when he is virtuous or angry, Jesus's stigmata bleed whenever he feels persecuted, and both of them occasionally float without meaning to). Obviously, a perfect being would be able to control such embarrassing faux pas as accidentally turning all nearby water to wine whenever in a good mood.
** For bonus points Jesus is Hydrophobic. IE afraid of water. The reason he walked on water? Because he was too scared to swim. When he tried to force himself to submerge his head under the water in a pool he wound up parting it like the Red Sea.
* In ''Manga/FutureDiary'', the driving plot deivce in that God is dying.
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', the so-called Majin (Magic Gods) that make up the True GREMLIN are all powerful but flawed beings. One notable example is High Priest, a Majin who wears the trappings of a Buddhist monk even though he failed to achieve enlightenment.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In one issue of ''Comicbook/{{Valhalla}}'', Heimdall is in love with [[LoveGoddess Freya]]. Just as she is about to let him in, he get a counterproductive fit of jealousy and basically calls her a dirty tramp. However, he quickly realize what a {{Jerkass}} he has been, and she forgives him. This is just one example among many: most of the Norse gods were flawed even in the oldest recorded myths, and ''Valhalla'' keeps and further develops this characterization.
* When ''ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'' goes to heaven, he meets God. [[spoiler: An obese baby in wheel chair]] too exhausted from creating reality to actually give a shit.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'', it is eventually revealed that all of the world's problems are caused by being created by a guy who grew up in total solitude (because there wasn't any universe yet!) and thus developed what could be considered a narcissistic personality disorder as well as any number of related mental problems.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Lucifer}}'', all creators are very flawed.
** Lucifer himself neglects to construct a proper afterlife.
** Elaine fails to keep her humans from killing each other in her name.
** Yahweh's plan for the universe works more or less perfectly, maybe [[GoneHorriblyRight even better than he had expected]] -- pity that all the people were a bit of an afterthought and filler in his grand design.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Supergod}}'', it is argued that the concept of "God" is a flawed concept, a by-product of the biochemical systems in the human brain (namely the pleasure center). Thus, trying to create Gods would have been a very very bad idea... even if you didn't weaponize them... and base them on flawed humans.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The [[spoiler:three]] sibling gods in [[http://kleinerkiller.deviantart.com/gallery/41037509 Yognapped]]. Aside from their virtual immortality [[spoiler:that only works if one doesn't try to kill the other]] and boundless powers over creation, they have all of the flaws of their subjects: they experience jealousy, they have irrational fears, and they break their own rules every now and again. [[spoiler: In fact, it's Notch's jealousy of his sister's proposed succeeding world that causes him to murder her, kickstarting the entire conflict of the series.]]
* Played with in the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries''. While the Alicorns and Draconequi represent perfection in [[AnthropomorphicPersonification what they personify]], but in all other aspects are flawed like mortals. The fact Celestia and Luna aren't perfect is a theme in the series. They've both made their own mistakes (including Nightmare Moon) and being the Perfect Day and the Perfect Night doesn't mean they're perfect ponies. When an Alicorn becomes imperfect in their own Concept, [[SuperpoweredEvilSide they become Nightmares.]]
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'': The Almighty is depicted throughout the first three acts, as well as the first third or so of the fourth, as being strictly [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman pro-human/anti-monster]], with most angels being shown in a similar fashion. However, by Act IV chapter 16, the Almighty is moved by Rason's willingness to die for his belief that monsters can be good just like humans, and by the end of Act IV, monsters are being accepted into Heaven as well.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' fic ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/5017816?view_full_work=true The Gods of Our Times]]'', (the) Cosmic Glitch is a perpetually annoyed goddess of technology who has answered banal prayers by setting the supplicant's computer on fire.

* Creator/WoodyAllen's films. ''Film/LoveAndDeath'' says it best.
-->'''Boris:''' You know, if it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. I think the worst you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever.
* Over 90% of ''Film/TronLegacy'' takes place in a world known as The Grid, and the major conflict is built on the characters Flynn and Clu. Flynn is the creator of the world, but Clu has ruled the world since he rebelled against Flynn. Flynn is wise and benevolent, a personality that might seem a bit out of character for those who have seen the first movie and remember him as an [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold immature brat]]. [[spoiler: At the very end, it is revealed that he was still immature and shortsighted when he created the world and Clu, and that's why the world is in the sorry condition it is - Clu was simply carrying out the orders given to him by Flynn to the best of his ability, but Flynn and his world were both flawed. Thus Clu carried out flawed orders to the best of his flawed ability. This turned his quest for perfection into something vile, warping him into a TotalitarianUtilitarian leader of something that [[PuttingOnTheReich looks eerily familiar]].]] At the climax of the movie, Flynn confronts Clu and [[spoiler: spells out just how wrong he was, admitting he was arrogant and foolish, and forgiving Clu for trying to do the impossible and creating a twisted mockery of their original goals.]]
** This is an overreaching theme for {{Tron}} in general. The Master Control Program believed itself to be a deity among systems, but it was a chess program that Dillinger lost control of, and Flynn sneers at [[TheDragon Sark]] that Sark's just another program.."One that should have been erased." The renegade programs view Users, like Flynn, to be gods. Of course, Flynn splashes cold water on that notion when Tron brings it up.
--->'''Tron:''' ''If you are a User, then everything you've done so far has been according to a plan, right?''
--->'''Kevin Flynn:''' [laughs] ''Hah, you wish. Ah, you guys know what it's like, you just keep doing what it looks like you're supposed to be doing, no matter how crazy it seems.''
--->'''Tron:''' ''That's the way it is for Programs, yes.''
--->'''Kevin Flynn:''' ''I hate to disappoint you, pal, but most of the time, that's the way it is for us Users too.''
--->'''Tron:''' ''Stranger and stranger.''
* The Supreme Being in ''TimeBandits''. (post-Creator/MontyPython film by Creator/TerryGilliam)
* In ''BruceAlmighty'', God is shown to be very human, and unable to make a perfect world because he has to respect the free will of all people (though this may be a self-imposed limitation.) Having Bruce gain his powers was a way to teach him this.
* ''TheLastTemptationOfChrist'' contrasts what Jesus was born to do with what he ''wants'' to do--get married and live in peace.
* Played for light laughs in the ''OhGod'' movies. God (Creator/GeorgeBurns) readily admits His mistakes, such as the goofy design of ostriches and that avocado pits are too big.
* In ''The Acid House'' Boab meets God in a pub who just like him is a lazy apathetic loser. He simply doesn't care about what's happening with his creations thinking that he already gave them enough. Most importantly, God hates himself for his lack of will to use his overwhelming powers. [[spoiler: But because being immortal he can't punish himself he wants to vent the anger on the creation so similar to him i.e. Boab.]]

* ''Literature/TheBible'' has several instances of God admitting mistakes, maybe the most moving and meaningful in Genesis 6:5-7.
* ''Literature/TheGospelOfTheFlyingSpaghettiMonster'': The Flying Spaghetti Monster caused the great flood by accident; when making pasta, the drain of the heavenly kitchen sink emptied itself straight down to earth. Oops.
* In ''Literature/BlaTornet'', the world was created by a guy who one day had a really bad cold. In his fever he happened to give his angels some really bad orders. Thousands of years of tragedy later, these are still in effect. And no, this is ''not'' PlayedForLaughs at all. [[DrivenToSuicide Quite the contrary, actually]].
* In an interview with Creator/JRRTolkien, regarding ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' and ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', he claimed that while Eru Illúvatar [{{God}}] is infallible, the gods (Valar) set off the chain of events by making the initial mistake of inviting the elves to Valinor "in order to protect them." Before that, evil was introduced to the universe by the [[FallenAngel fall]] of Melkor, a Vala who became the god of evil [{{Satan}}]. So in this case the lowercase gods (or rather, angelic semi-divine beings) are flawed while uppercase God is not.
* ThePowersThatBe of the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' universe generally mean well, but because they exist out of time they can't always understand problems as seen by normal mortals, which is why they need mortal wizards helping them. To quote senior wizard Carl, "They know what the universe was like when it left the factory but we're the ones who know all the little noises it makes. And where to kick it to make them stop."
* The Most High in Russell Kirkpatrick's ''Literature/FireOfHeaven'' trilogy and follow-on ''Broken Man/Husk Trilogy'' -- he knows it and seeks someone to replace him. He's too tired to care any more and knows that makes for a poor God.
* In Erik Wahlström's ''Literature/{{God}}'' the title character starts out as a petulant and JerkAss teenager who slowly matures and learns to take some responsibility for His creation. In the end he ends up like an elderly corporate chairman a bit out of the loop, but he manages to settle his differences with {{Satan}}, and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming the two retire together as friends]].
* The gods on the Literature/{{Discworld}} aren't evil, but they couldn't care less about humans except that GodsNeedPrayerBadly.
** Om gets better about this after ''Discworld/SmallGods'' due to BreakTheHaughty.
** The general pantheon in ''Discworld/TheLastHero'' notes that a god who doesn't want to end up dead, one way or another, needs to offer his followers something ''more'' than a lack of thunderbolts.
** Not exactly a god, but the Creator (who appears in ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'') is notoriously absent-minded. Many of the Disc's lesser AnthropomorphicPersonifications are likewise a bit inept and/or clueless.
* In ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' the story of Tehlu initially portrays him as judgmental and unwilling to help anyone who doesn't meet his standards. Sample attitude: that man beats his wife but she's sleeping around, so they deserve each other. He's taught to be more compassionate by the mother of his human incarnation.
* In ''Literature/SoLongAndThanksForAllTheFish'', we see God's Final Message to His Creation: [[spoiler:"We apologise for the inconvenience."]] Ironically, this is something of a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for this otherwise unknown God as well, because [[spoiler:upon seeing them, ''Marvin'' feels ''good'' about it.]]
* This trope is the conclusion of the Taker culture in ''Literature/{{Ishmael}}''.
* In Strugatsky brothers novel "Overburdened with Evil" Wandering Jew depicts God this way. Every God's creation is burdened with evil and God looks for a great man that is able to cure the world from said evil. The ending implies that one such person was finally found. God is also not omnipotent in this novel. The narrator is an astronomer, who published massively incorrect theory based on miscalculation. He is recruited by promise to fix this issue. The problem was fixed by changing laws of nature and rearranging the stars to suit the theory. In the past. However it took several months and Wandering Jew mentioned that the task was rather challenging for his patron.
* Urizen, a character in Creator/WilliamBlake's poetry--his name parsed by scholars as "Your Reason"--is one God among many. In some ways he resembles the Demiurge of Gnostic belief. Such facile explanations, however, brush aside deeply-woven nuances; Blake spent a lifetime forging a personal cosmology of extraordinary complexity. Desiring order, Urizen seeks to impose it on Man and the Cosmos. He possesses power to create, but by regarding himself as The Only Creator? Urizen, ultimately, reveals himself as pathetic: mired in self-deception. His inherently-flawed works contribute to human suffering; Blake's paintings depict Urizen bound within the {{Ur Example}} of "mind-forg'd manacles," prefiguring those in which all humanity will entrap themselves.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', given that God tends to work InMysteriousWays, there is much debate in- and out-of-universe about whether GodIsGood or GodIsEvil, but it's clear that God is not perfect. The Season 5 finale supports the "good" position. God AKA [[spoiler:Chuck]] states that He wanted everyone to realize that FAMILY is what it's all about; not power, not good, not evil...family and love. Dean and Sam choosing family over everything else is supposed to be proof of that and why God did not need to directly intervene. On the other hand, God's own ParentalFavoritism and later [[ParentalAbandonment abandonment]] of His own children, the angels, forcing Michael to choose between his brother Lucifer or his father, comments by Sam and Dean about God just being another deadbeat father, and the treatment of God's earlier creations the Leviathans, and general refusal to do anything about the problems His abandonment has caused create most of the problems from Season 5 onward and point to God being a {{hypocrite}} who claims to be good and value family, but uses it and free will to justify ignoring His responsibilities and the mess His abandonment created among the angels.

* In Ebba Grön's song "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z59eZ3yAC4 Häng Gud]]" (Hang God), God is accused of racism, misogyny and forgetting about his loyal worshipers.
* The Lily Allen song "Him" seems to portray God this way. Most of it is just speculation about what God ''might'' be like, but the chorus says "He's lost the will, he can't decide / He doesn't know what's right or wrong" and implies that while he doesn't like it when people kill each other in his name, there's not much he can really do about it.
* BadReligion deconstruct this trope (as well as the problem of evil) in their song "Better Off Dead". The lyrics are about God apologizing for creating the world so badly, but it comes across as the humans being ungrateful whiny bastards who fail to appreciate what they got.
* The song "One of Us" by Joan Osborne (with covers by Alanis Morissette and others) portrays God as simultaneously flawed and sympathetic. (The chorus happens to think nobody "[calls him] on the phone", i.e., prays to him, except for maybe the Pope.)
** In its spoof, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O21St4SMs68 What If God Smoked Cannabis]]'', it is implied that the world is such a silly place because God was high when he made it.
* In Music/{{Blutengel}}'s song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUf0tiM9ThA "No God"]], God's biggest flaw is that he doesn't exist: "''There's a god in your life, / But he is not what you need. / He can't hear you when you call. / He can't help you when you cry. / [...] / Wake up and face reality, realize there is no god. / Wake up open your eyes, / No paradise on the other side!''"
** One of the classic philosophical arguments for why God exists is that God is perfect. If God doesn't exist, then he wouldn't be perfect. Thus, God exists. This song turns this argument upside down.
* "[[Music/TomWaits Don't you know there ain't no devil/There's just God when He's drunk]]" from the title track of Waits' ''Music/HeartAttackAndVine''.

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* This trope has a fair amount of historical precedent. It's been theorized that much of the JerkAss behavior exhibited by the [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek Gods]] was intended partially as a rationalization for the less-than-noble traits exhibited by humans. It makes sense that if we're made in the gods' images, and we're obviously not perfect, that the gods themselves possess human flaws.
* Myth/NorseMythology stands out in that the very actions the gods take to save themselves tend to be those that doom everything.
* Early portrayals of the Abrahamic God appear show Him to have quite the temper, and there exists at least one point where Moses wins an argument with God, calming Him down after the Jews disobeyed Him. The implications would be that righteous anger is ''not'' a flaw, that God wants His children to speak openly with him, etc. Jesus Christ would later call self-righteous religious leaders out for how flawed their concepts of flaws and perfections were, reminding them that the Lord, not they, sets the standards for perfect and flawed.
* According to UsefulNotes/{{Gnosticism}}, the "god" of the Torah[=/=]Old Testament is alternatively an arrogant, malevolent {{Jerkass}} or simply a blundering, ignorant fool who [[AGodAmI believes himself to be the one true god]] due to his lack of knowledge of the ''real'' true God who is ultimately unknowable but manifests himself through a "divine spark" that Yahweh (or the Demiurge) unwittingly imbued his creation with, and also through certain divine messengers (Sophia, Jesus and/or [[SatanIsGood Lucifer]], depending on the sect of Gnosticism).

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', the three member of the Triat are supposed to be working together to keep the forces of the cosmos in balance. Unfortunately, they're either too busy struggling against each other or too indifferent to perform their tasks properly. For example, the Weaver imprisoned the Wyrm in the web of creation, the Wyrm is slowly killing Gaia in his attempt to break free, and the Wyld could care less.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'':
** The Unconquered Sun in theory loves humanity and wants the best for them, but he's too busy playing/addicted to the Games of Divinity to care about what happens in Creation -- if he let himself pay attention he'd suffer a(nother) nervous breakdown seeing all the suffering and problems. Luna and the Five Maidens aren't paying that much more attention, either.
** Many little gods are so petty and selfish that sometimes humans would be better off without them. With the seven Incarnae paying them no attention, the Celestial and Terrestrial Bureaucracies are corrupt and inefficient, and the Elemental Courts are out to lunch -- gods who do care and try to do their jobs right are still numerous, but they're hampered and sometimes persecuted by all the ones who don't. The only place where the divine Courts still more-or-less function is where they're forced to by the agents of a despotic human theocracy led by an objectively wrong religion.
** Then there are the Primordials, who built all this in the first place ... they started out as inhuman, incomprehensible things somewhere between Titans and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, and after being imprisoned by the gods most of them have devolved into MadGod territory. The reason the war ended is because one suffered a ''psychotic break'' to understand that other sapient creatures might have opinions. Meanwhile the two free Primordials who sided with the gods have wandered off somewhere else, and let Creation rot. The main reason Creation worked when the Primordials ran things is because they drove the gods and humans as slaves.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Both of the goddesses from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]'' are flawed. One is known for having an unpredictable temper and the other is half-insane from isolation and sees mankind as a blemish on her definition of "order". [[spoiler:They're two halves of a whole deity that was ''also'' flawed, with a notable "[[DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength does not know her own strength]]" incident that wiped out most of the continents]].
* ''MortalKombat's'' Raiden fluctuates between being a cruel and petty god who cares little for humans to one who is well-intentioned but constantly screws things up on a monumental scale.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': [[ThePowersThatBe The three goddesses]]. Despite being basically [[TheMaker omnipotent]], many of the problems in Hyrule (and [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask other]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess worlds]]) boil down to them tossing the IdiotBall around, [[OrcusOnHisThrone when they bother to do anything at all]]. If [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Zelda is to be believed]], they created the Triforce as a symbol of humanity's limitless potential... despite it being [[AGodAmI god complex waiting to happen]]. They also don't seem to have much influence over [[TheChosenMany those lucky few]] who get a piece, for good or bad, though that's possibly because there are [[GodOfEvil other forces at work]]. Their smartest idea by far was to let someone else do [[DivineDelegation the Goddess-ing]] and [[TheChosenOne Hero-ing]]. (Then there's[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker that one time]] where they tried [[TheGreatFlood an especially costly strategy]] to [[FinalSolution wipe out Ganon's forces once and for all]]... [[WhatASenselessWasteOfHumanLife and failed]].)
* All of the [[PowersThatBe Elder Powers]] from ''[[NexusWar Nexus Clash]]'' have this in spades. The Evil Powers are easy to explain because EvilWillFail, but every last one of the pantheon - even the angels - have flaws in their ideologies that eventually cause the worlds they shape to fall apart, forcing another cycle of the EternalRecurrence that drives the series. The most recent example was a world shaped by [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Baraas]], angelic god of Cooperation and quite possibly the sanest being in the pantheon, which exploded spectacularly when his ideals eventually got turned UpToEleven via world-spanning authoritarianism.

* In [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2073#comic this]] ''SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' strip, HumansAreFlawed because God Is Flawed...with [[FreudWasRight amusing implications]].
** It's kind of a theme for the author. In [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2616#comic this one]], God was hoping we'd have some answers for him.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Several episodes of ''MrDeity'' involve him being called out for allowing bad things that he could easily have stopped, using needlessly overcomplicated schemes for no good reason, or not thinking his plans through. He generally has some kind of non-sequitur reason why this is for the best, but none of the other characters believe him.
* TheOnion: [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/god-diagnosed-with-bipolar-disorder,348/ God Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder.]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGiCuFQM2Vo One episode of Zinnia Jones]] portray God as a victim of peer pressure, with horrible consequences such as going along with barbaric cultural patterns until Jesus came along.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': Makes frequent references to God being a flawed Being, and at times outright DirtyOldMan. For instance, in the former example, he once was accused of "making Rosie wrong" (a reference to Creator/RosieODonnell's recent announcement that she was gay). In the latter example, he's depicted as lusting after women and wanting them for sex.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': The ''Godfellas'' episode:
** The nebula that Bender believes is God is powerful and rational, but doesn't seem to remember its own possibly artificial origins and is highly suggestible on the matter. Also, it's initially uncertain where the Earth is in the universe. Its possible he was simply pretending to prevent unnecessary effects occurring. He explained just how difficult it is to be God-do too much and the people become dependent on you, do top little and they stop believing you. He explains the only way to do things right is make it so no one can be sure if you did anything. As he set up the ending so that they would go back and save the monks, its implied his seeming faults were merely another part of his act.
** In that same episode Bender had a colony of tiny people living on his body. Even when he tried to be a benevolent god he screwed up so badly that they all died in the end.
* ''WesternAnimation/GodTheDevilAndBob'' shows God as omnipotent but still physically and psychologically human. He generally wants what's best for the world, but he's not afraid to take extreme measures to get what he wants. Like the time he crushed someone under a tree in order to get on a baseball team, or the several times he's considered destroying humanity if Bob doesn't complete whatever mission he's been given. He also has a few fears and doesn't seem to have any power over the Devil.