Odd Job Gods

Meet Skadi, goddess of skiing.note 

"They invaded Greece and conquered them and and stole all their gods and renamed them with Roman names. Cause the Roman gods before that were kind of crap, you know, Jeff, the god of biscuits. And Simon, the god of hairdos. And uh, you know, they had the god of war, the god of thunder, the god of running around and jumping and stuff."
Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill

It is good to be a god, isn't it? You can rule whatever you want inside your area of expertise, spend all day floating around the clouds or hang around with your followers. As long as people believe in you, everything is fine...

As cool as it is to be Patron Saint of Soldiers, the god of Thunder or the demonic representation of lust, not everyone in the Celestial Bureaucracy can be bosses. Some mythologies decide to tie up the loose ends and lump in minor responsibilities with the major, producing gods with an oddly erratic remit.

That is when the Odd Job Gods start to act.

Sometimes averted by giving your existing gods additional domains, though that way you end up with gods of, say, mountains, earthquakes, and apples. Also, while most of these domains may seem unimpressive when taken at face value (and sometimes are painted as the divine equivalent of What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?), it could be highly symbolic or more complex. Regardless of the complexities of their powers, it still would not be a good idea to tease them about it. Not to be confused with, though sometimes goes with, God Job. See also Painting the Frost on Windows and Magical Underpinnings of Reality.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Ah! My Goddess, goddesses run help-lines for the purpose of granting wishes to nice guys to whom the world has not been kind.
  • In Kamichu!, a very shinto-derived series, you even see gods for empty aluminum cans, ice cream bars, and cheap grocery store mascots.
  • In One Piece, Sanji brings up this phenomenon in order to encourage Usopp, since they're on their way to defy and confront "God Enel" of Skypeia. A rough quote:
    "Not all gods are powerful and dangerous, you know. Like the god of being poor."note 
  • In another shinto-inspired example, Spirited Away includes entities such as the alleged Stench Spirit, and the Radish Spirit.
  • The title character of Binbō-gami ga! is the goddess of poverty and misfortune.

    Comic Books 
  • Vext was a short-lived series from DC Comics about the God of Mishap and Misfortune. It included a number of other small-time godlings, including the deities of uninvited guests, relationships gone hellishly wrong, incessant nagging, and ill-timed flatulence.
  • In PS238, there's a goddess in the Rainmaker Program (where superkids whose powers don't exactly lend themselves to fighting crime learn to use them in other ways). It's the Greek Hestia, goddess of the hearth. They're thinking advice columnist, fertility clinician, marriage counselor... just don't come in uninvited.
  • In The Sandman we meet Pharamond, from the Babylonian pantheon, who is now "in charge of transportation." He appears to be more or less a travel agent for the puissant.
    • He, in fact, managed a massive transportation firm.
    • With the fringe benefit of being able to count road traffic deaths as sacrifices in his name. He was quite happy with his new place in the order of things.
  • In Lucifer we are given Mona, Angel of Hedgehogs (a job she chose in order to avoid taking on too much responsibility). The only other god in her universe is Elaine, Angel of everything except hedgehogs.
  • A Donald Duck comic featured a bored nephew of Zeus making him, at his request, the god of cars, television and rock music. At the beginning of the comic he had been rather fed up with these things and planned to go completely over the top with them, so, when the inevitable request for a reset happened, he could sneak in changing the things that were already there before into other, in his opinion, less obnoxious things (such as a radio into a banjo). He managed to botch the job so well he sent Duckburg's technical prowess back to the 17th century. The only thing he didn't count on was that tar and feathers still existed, which the rather angry Ducksburg population were more than happy to remind him of after being Brought Down to Normal again.
  • Shadrak, an alien god of the Diamond Moons of Oghogho (driven mad by being forced to witness the butchering of his pantheon) encountered The Mighty Thor. Shadrak variously claimed to be the God of Wine and Waterfalls, the God of Songs and Somersaults, the God of Baubles and Ballerinas, the God of Kittens and Coconuts, and the God of Pancackes and Tambourines. As it turns out, he was hiding his guilt in designing a god-destroying device by lying about being Shadrak, God of Bombs and Fireballs. After his sanity is (partially) restored, he takes on a new role assisting the Lord Librarian (God of Recorded Knowledge) as Shadrak, God of Daffodils and Documentation.


  • SpinalTap's David St. Hubbins' surname is derived from the patron saint of quality footwear.
    • Note that the actual saints of footwear are the duo Crispin and Crispinian. Yeah, there are patron saints for everything, see below.
  • In the short film A Case of Spring Fever, our protagonist encounters Coily the Spring Sprite, a seemingly-omnipotent being (or at least a high-powered Reality Warper) that has an odd preoccupation with springs.
    • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 sketch inspired by it goes even further, implying that not only is there a tiny sprite that governs Mike's existence and can erase him from reality if someone wishes it, but there's a different sprite just for his socks.
  • Fellow Mystery Science Theater 3000 subject Out Of This World is about a bored angel and devil who work in an office tracking the sales figures of bread salesmen.
  • In My Name Is Bruce, the town of Gold Lick is menaced by the Chinese warrior-god of bean curd. This is a real Chinese god incidentally, although he's portrayed as highly benevolent in real life.

  • Neil Gaiman's American Gods:
  • Discworld: A blink-and-you'll-miss-it explanation for why many gods end up with weird coverage areas tacked on: Old gods do new jobs. The verse has among other things:
    • Aniger, the minor goddess of squashed animals (growing in power as carts get faster and roads get smoother and more people cry out, "Oh gods, what was that I hit?!"), possibly connected to Herne The Hunted, God of things destined to live short lives ending in a crunch.
    • Anoia, minor goddess of Things That Get Stuck in Drawers formerly a volcano goddess...who is heading up; in Making Money she's said to be tapped to be the new Goddess of Lost Causes, a growth industry on a world where "Million To One Chances crop up nine times out of ten". Note that Anoia’s revival was pretty much fortuitous, derived from events she had no control over or any part in; but people believed she did, and belief is everything...
    • Bilious, the oh God of Hangovers, whose newfound existence allows the God of Wine to drink as much as he likes and never get a hangover (and incidentally allows humans with the same trait to do it too) eventually decides to do freelance godding for any gods that want to take a break.
    • Errata, the Goddess of Misunderstandings (from Discworld Noir), famous for having the largest number of followers who, by mistake, follow a different god.
    • The heroic dog who stole the Tsortian Falchion and became the god of Unnecessary Subplots In Legends.
    • Nuggan, the recently deceased God of Paperclips, Correct Things in the Right Place in Small Desk Stationery Sets, and Unnecessary Paperwork
    • The God of Evolution. Who is an atheist.
    • Bastet, god of things left on the doorstep, things half-digested under the bed, and computers that cheat at Tetris.
    • The Hogfather, the god of Hogswatch. Oh, and the sunrise (more Spring than sunrise, as he is a Winter Solstice god).
    • All of the above is just in the mainstream pantheon. There's also oddballs like P'Tang-P'Tang and Quetzovercoatl ... or even think about Djelibeybi.
    • Lampshaded in Mort, when Cutwell, trying to get the coronation done as fast as possible before reality collapses in on itself, realises to his horror that the officiating priest is going to name all 900 known gods. He gets as far as Steikhegel, God of Isolated Cow Byres before someone stops him.
    • Another Lampshading in Small Gods, where Om mentions there's a God of Cabbage. Thunder gods may come and go, but when there's an attack of caterpillars, whom does everyone turn to?
    • In Reaper Man, when we get Hughnon Ridcully's delightful summation of events in Cori Celesti...
    • Small gods are what are created when random events occur (e.g. two snails crossing paths, or someone catching a dropped pen etc) or as in Witches Abroad, when a practitioner of the voodoo style of witchcraft sets out to make a few gods to order. A little headology to get people to believe in them is all you really need to do so; heck, C.M.O.T. Dibbler may have created the Black Dragon of Unhappiness by accident when he convinced a feng shui customer it existed!
    • In a variation of this trope, Discworld also has multiple Deaths. Like a Death of Rats. (This wasn't always the case; the extra Deaths were created during the events of Reaper Man; by the end of the story, all but the Death of Rats and Death of Fleas were reabsorbed into one Death. It's strongly implied in the same work, however, that the Death we know only covers the Discworld; other Deaths exist in other places, and all are aspects of Azrael, the Death of the Universe.)
    • Unseen Academicals features Pedestriana, the Goddess of Football.
  • In Krampus: The Yule Lord, Krampus is the God of Yuletide.
  • Saint Vidicon of Cathode in the Warlock of Gramarye series by Christopher Stasheff. The patron saint of technicians and engineers. Saint Vidicon's symbol is a yellow screwdriver worn in the shirt pocket. In a later book, his history was revealed—he was martyred when he used his body to close an electrical circuit, allowing a speech by the Pope to make it to air and save the Catholic Church from obsolescence.
    "Blessed Saint Vidicon, defend us from Murphy!"
  • In The Atomic Blood Stained Bus, all the gods seen have huge remits in their portfolio (Spring, Plague, Sleep) but due to human modernisation, they have had to adopt other things alongside (Ten Pin Bowling, Post Offices, Reality TV Contestants)
  • L. Sprague de Camp's short story "The Hardwood Pile" features Aceria, the one of the Tree Nymphs of Norway Maples. After all the Norway Maples in the area are cut down she becomes the Nymph of Piles of Wooden Boards that Used to Be Norway Maples. At the end of the story she becomes the Nymph of Nightclub Dance Floors Made of Wood From Norway Maples.
  • The Bastard from the Chalion series. The only god not associated with a season, his domain is all things out of place: demons, children born out of wedlock (obviously), odd loves, disasters, and unorthodox justice. He also takes the souls of those not devoted to any of the other gods.
  • In the Forgotten Realms crossover Finder's Bane, a god residing outside the Realms (which has, or used to have, Loads And Loads Of Gods) comments that "We wouldn't be surprised to find they have a god there with dominion over the tableware and ale mugs."
  • Tortall Universe: Tamora Pierce's series of books set in universe has the big gods, like Mithros (war and justice), and the Goddess (fertility, women, agriculture), but it also has minor gods like Weiryn (god of the hunt for a small mountainous area), and rather hilariously a god of crossroads.
  • Glen Cook's Garrett, P.I., while he doesn't believe in gods until he's actually hired by some of them, is a Deadpan Snarker with a personal Running Gag about how the Butt-Monkey Odd Job godling who passes out towels in the heavenly loo has a secondary job: messing with Garrett's life.
    • He's also hypothesized that the reason so many shady people in TunFaire have really stupid nicknames is that some mentally-challenged microdeity thinks it's a hoot to slip ideas for them into people's heads while they're squatting over a chamber pot.
  • In Journey to the West, Son Wukong (who regularly trounces the gods in hand-to-hand combat) gets the job of Celestial Stable Boy to placate his ambitions, but that just ends up kicking off an even worse Rage Against the Heavens. (It does end up being a useful item in his resume later on, though, as all horses, regular and supernatural, hold him in awe as a result.)
  • The Liavek anthologies had Bree Amal, Goddess of Keepers of Disorderly Houses, and Ghologhosh, god of unmeant curses.
  • Split Heirs by Lawrence Watt-Evans give us a God of Misused Things. Which might be extremely influential nowadays.
  • In Barry Hughart's The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, Master Li has to appeal to Heaven to replace the lost patroness of prostitutes; a prostitute discusses the possibilities with him.
  • Mentioned in passing to convey Aerin's experience climbing the apparently perpetual tower to the Final Boss battle toward the end of The Hero and the Crown; she concludes she has been climbing forever, and will be climbing forever, and might become a sort of minor god, the God Who Climbs, comparable apparently to the 'God Who Isn't There,' which is the shadow god at noon.
  • Lord Dunsany's The Gods of Pegana includes many of these; indeed, nearly the entire Pegana pantheon qualifies!
    "These be the gods of the hearth: Pitsu, who stroketh the cat; Hobit who calms the dog; and Habaniah, the lord of glowing embers; and little Zumbiboo, the lord of dust; and old Gribaun, who sits in the heart of the fire to turn the wood to ash — all these be home gods, and live not in Pegana and be lesser than Roon."
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, pretty much every fairy is this. There are fairies responsible for colors and the weather, as well as princesses, parties, the days of the week, sports, and fashion, among many others.
  • The Gentleman Bastard series takes place in a world with twelve gods (thirteen if you count the heretical god of thieves) with flourished and sometimes funny titles. For example, Gandolo the god of trade is also known as the "Heavenly Father of Business Transactions", and the god of thieves (simply known as the Nameless Thirteenth) is nicknamed the "Father of Necessary Pretexts".
  • In The Thousand Names, the leaders of the Redemption rename themselves after various angels. The leader of their military idly wonders what would happen when they ran out of angels with impressive portfolios like Vengeance and Victory and have to start using the names of lesser angels like the Angel of Sisterly Affection or the Angel of Small Crafts.
  • In Jennifer Fallon's Demon Child Trilogy, the Primal gods are natural deities (War, Love, Fertility, Music, etc.) and the Incidental gods are this. They are demons that gained enough followers to become a god. There are Incidental gods of Poets, and Artists.
  • Grumble, the god of the minions in Spells, Swords, & Stealth is an Odd Job God by choice. When he ascended to godhood, rather than become a big name god he chose to watch over the lowliest of the low as he himself had once been. The protagonist Thistle the gnome is a devout follower of his instead of the more traditional gnomish god for precisely this reason and this devotion allows Thistle to become one of Grumble's paladins.
  • The main religion in the World of the Fly By Night Series has an emphasis on "odd." There are hundreds of Gods, called Beloveds, for every possible job. Some are responsible for glorious tasks, like raising the Sun, delivering messages to dead loved ones, or protecting boats from sinking. Further down the ladder are Beloveds for keeping vegetables fresh and protecting jams and butter from pesky flies.
  • Dave Barry wrote a Greek myth parody that featured Bruno, the god of gardens, Vito, the god of fabric, and Denise, the goddess of municipal water supply, all of them being Jerkass Gods.

    Live Action TV 
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: The Goddess of Fortune mentions that if word gets out about how badly she screwed up she could be made the Goddess of Dirt.
  • Perfect Strangers mentions the Mypiot god of windows cleaning.
  • In the first episode of Rome, Titus Pulio is locked up in a cell and prays to Forculus to release him. Forculus is related to Janus, the god of gates and doors, though the DVD commentary notes he should have prayed to Cardea as well, the god of hinges.
  • In one episode of Babylon 5 G'Kar asked Zack Allan if Garibaldi's painting of Daffy Duck was one of his household gods. Zack called him the "Egyptian god of Frustration."

  • In the Starbomb song "God of No More", a number of these are sent out to fight against Kratos, since he's already finished off all the major ones and they're all that's left. Included on this list are the gods of smores, baked potatoes, chairs, and twerking.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Ancient Egypt and their household gods. Given the sheer size of their pantheon, it's no wonder that the ancient Egyptians had a lot of these, including:
    • Nefertem, the god of the sunrise and the morning sun, but also perfumes and lilies. (Probably a reference to his also being a god of healing: lilies (especially the blue lily) are a narcotic and perfume in Egypt was essential oil, used as aromatherapy.)
    • Iabet, the goddess of the east.
    • Sopedu, also the god of the east.
    • Mafdet, the goddess who protects people from snakes and scorpions.
    • Tayet, the goddess of weaving and mummy bandages. (Justified, given how much attention they gave to preparation of the dead and funerals.)
    • Ihy, the god of music and beer.
    • Qadesh, the goddess of (sexual) ecstasy. (Originally a Syrian fertility goddess.)
  • Asclepius, the Greek God of Medicine, is the father of several. His kids are:
    • Iaso, Goddess of recuperating from illness
    • Aceso, Goddess of the healing process
    • Hygieia, Goddess of health, cleanliness, and sanitation
    • Panacea, Goddess of universal remedy
    • Aglaea, Goddess of beauty, glory, magnificence, splendour, and adornment
    • Telesphoros, a dwarf who has the same job as Iaso, and is often seen in the company of Hygieia
    • Machaon and Podalirius, two mortals, one of whom died during the Trojan war
    • Glycon, a minor snake god of fertility who might either be Asclepius' son or avatar who still has at least one worshipper alive today
    • Alexander of Abonutichus, a Macedonian Snake Oil Salesman who proclaimed himself to be Glycon's prophet and Asclepus' grandson
  • Ancient Rome called them lares, and most houses had a small shrine called a lararium. For ordinary Romans, they were typically the most important gods as they were most commonly involved. After all, you don't want to bother Jupiter Optimus Maximus when cooking dinner.
    • Mike Judge didn't make up the Sterculius character mentioned in Western Animation. There really was a Roman god called Sterquilinus who was God of Manure.
    • Cloacina, god of sewers; goddesses of doorways and hinges, menstruation and weeding and rust. Good story here: Cloacina was the goddess of a stream that ran through where Rome is now. Eventually, this stream was paved over and made into the sewer. As a sort of apology and thanks to her, there were lots of little shrines to Cloacina; eventually, she became the general goddess of sewers.
    • Just about every step of agricultural production had its own minor god: Sator for sowing, Messor for harvesting, Conditor for storing the harvested grain, etc.
    • There was a goddess named Trivia, who was the goddess of the place where three paths meet; she had so few followers and was considered so unimportant that "trivia" or "trivium" came to mean useless things.
  • Catholicism has a long tradition of appointing Patron Saints with job descriptions often based on what they did in real life or what happened them in their martyrdom; also you can generally expect them to be the patron saint of the place where their remains are kept. It should be pointed out that saints are not gods and are not worshipped by mainstream Catholics but in some cultures local deities have been known to assume the personality of saints, and vice versa.
    • St. Clare of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Television. Supposedly when she was too ill to attend Mass, she could see and hear the ceremonies on the wall of her bedroom.
    • St. Nicholas is the patron saint of basically everyone. (The list includes children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, prostitutes, repentant thieves, pharmacists, archers, and pawnbrokers). This is quite probably the main reason that his story was used to create Santa Claus.
    • Saint Isidore of Seville, patron saint of The Internet.
    • Ava, saint of children learning to walk
    • Saint Lawrence of Rome is, among other things, the patron saint of cooks. This attribution is due to the fact that he was martyred by being roasted alive. He's also the patron saint of comedians, as he supposedly joked during his execution, "Turn me over, I'm done on this side!"
    • A more mundane explanation of his patronage of comedians is that, while serving as a bishop in Rome, he would entertain house guests by reading from his vast collection of joke books.
    • Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first U.S. citizen to be canonized (a New Yorker, natch) is, according to this humorous site, "official" patron saint of parking spaces. However, St. Therese of Lisieux is listed as a rival there, and this site lists yet others.
    • The Catholic Church has a habit of adding to a popular saint's portfolio if they could justify the connection. Thus, you have St. Joseph (Jesus' adopted dad) being the patron saint of fathers and social justice (among others), St. Matthew (writer of the first book of the New Testament and a former tax collector) being the patron saint of tax collectors and stock brokers, St. Isidore of Seville (he wrote an encyclopedia in the seventh century) now patron saint of computers and the Internetnote  and St. Thomas Aquinas (noted Catholic theologian) standing for learning but somehow against lightning.
      • Sometimes the connection is a little laboured. For instance, the martyrdom of Saint Agatha (of Catania) involved having her breasts cut off, so somewhat unsurprisingly she is invoked against illnesses of the breast. But she is also patron saint of bronze-founders, which is said to originate in the passing resemblance between church bells and female breasts. She was also promoted to patron saint of the the fictitious island of Catan from the board game Die Siedler von Catan, but this last job was not recognized by the Catholic church.
    • St. Jude (mentioned in the bible as "the apostle called Jude who was NOT Iscariot") who is, by this sad naming coincidence, now the patron saint of hopeless causes (as people were afraid to pray to him for fear of it being interpreted as a prayer to Judas who was Iscariot).
    • St. Anthony the Hermit, also known as the Father of Monks, Anthony the Abbot and Anthony the Great, is often depicted with a pig (because the 11th century Antonite order had the right to let a so-called Antonius pig run free through a village to fend for itself). Proceeding from that pig, St. Anthony became patron saint not just of pigs and swineherds, but eventually of all domestic animals and against their diseases, of butchers and brushmakers, and also against various human diseases.
    • St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of finding lost things. Known in his lifetime for his phenomenal memory (so he's patron saint of that, too), public speaking ability (so he's patron saint of that, too) and for pretty casually doing miracles (so he's... you guessed it) along with poor people, women who can't have kids, social justice and saints on the fast track (the Pope took only six months to canonize him, saying he knew him personally).
    • St. Sebastian is the patron saint of archers, athletes, and protection against the plague. He was commonly depicted as a good-looking, half-naked young man pierced with arrowsnote , and his fit body brought in mind athletic preparation. As for the plague, he was apparently associated with Apollo, the Greek archer god who protected against epidemics too. The traditional representation of Sebastian also made him an unofficial patron saint for the homosexual community.
    • The winner of this unfortunate competition is probably St. Drogo, patron saint of bodily ills, broken bones, hernias, sick people, insane people, ugly people, orphans, shepherds and coffee shop owners. No, we're not making that one up.
    • Or perhaps it's St. Julian the Hospitaller, patron of carnies, childless people, clowns, ferrymen, fiddle players, hunters, innkeepers, knights, pilgrims, shepherds, wandering musicians, and murderers.
    • In fact, the syncretistic aspect of the Catholic Church's patron saints is what made Vodun and Santeria possible as viable religions — by equating their native pantheon with the saints of the Church, it was possible for Caribbean slaves to keep aspects of their native religions alive in the New World with minimal risk of reprisal from slaveholders.
    • Not a saint recognized by the Catholic Church, but Jesús Malverde is known as the patron saint of drug trafficking.
    • A joke has named St. Chad a patron saint of disputed elections. Another refers to Pope John Paul I as the patron saint of temps.
  • The Russian Orthodox Church has patron saints of nuclear missiles, strategic bombers and other weapons of mass destruction.
    • St. Barbara is the heavenly patron of the Strategic Missile Forces of Russia.
      • Much older tradition. St. Barbara has been recognized as the patron saint of artillery, fireworks, and other gunpowder objects since the invention of the European gunpowder, in Catholicism as well as in Orthodoxy. Indeed, she is also the heavenly patron of U.S. Army and Marine artillery as well as artillery arms of many other countries.
    • Admiral Fyodor Ushakov (an actual admiral who was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church) is the patron saint of long-range nuclear bombers.
    • And St. Seraphim of Sarov is the patron of all Russian nukes, both tactical and strategic.
  • Shinto believes that essentially all items have a spirit or god (This translates better as spirit than god).
    • Shinto deity Inari - god of fertility, industry, success, agriculture, rice and foxes. He was the patron kami of blacksmiths and warriors - currently accepted by the cosmetics company Shiseido as their patron kami. He's an all-round god.Shin Megami Tensei loves this fact. All the gods listed under their entries in Video Games? Real.
  • Aztec Mythology had a few gods like this. One quite unusual assortment included vanity, fog, and fame, ruled over by Ayauhteotl.
  • Chinese Mythology, being a Celestial Bureaucracy, has plenty of these, too, including:
    • the god of oil lamps, who nearly caused The End of the World as We Know It because he wasn't being well cared for or worshipped.
    • the god of ovens, who has the secondary job of spying on the household to report good and bad deeds (and would thus have to be bribed often with sweeties to keep his mouth shut). This is the Chinese kitchen god made well-known in the West through several literary works (such as the Amy Tan novel, Kitchen God's Wife) and other media. He is somewhat of a Santa Claus figure, as he is supposed to bring gifts for good families (or good children) on the night before Chinese New Year's Day.
    • the god(s) of doorways, occasionally said to be the spirits of ancient fearsome warriors. Specifically, the tradition started with two famous generals of the Tang Dynasty, Weichi Jingde and Qin Qiong, who served as physical gate guardians for Emperor Taizong. Supposedly, when the actual generals could not serve as the guardians for whatever reason, the emperor put up their pictures instead, which started the tradition.
    • Guan Yu, the God of War, legendary hero, protector of all of China, champion against demons, and once one of the most popular gods among all the classes. He is also the patron god of bean curd (tofu) since before he became a warrior he was a bean curd merchant. It's more important than it sounds since bean curd has traditionally been an important food in China.
      • Another interesting aspect of Guan Yu is the fact that he is the patron of both law enforcement and organised crime, since both are activities which emphasise loyalty and being a badass.
    • Wenchang, Taoist god of literature, writing, and education- and the god you pray to for help passing your exams. Given the importance of the imperial examinations- which determined who got a government job and basically were the only means of social mobility most of the time- it's not that surprising that there was a specific god for it. (In modern times, where he is invoked respecting the National Higher Education Entrance Examination—a.k.a. "the Big Test," as it decides which university, if any, you will attend—scallions seem to be a popular offering.)
    • The god of rice scoops is often cited as an example of extremely minor and extremely unimportant Chinese deities.
  • Pre-islamic Arabia had Wadd, a god of snakes, the Moon and friendship.
  • The Greeks liked to append random attributes to Apollo, which eventually made him god of "light and the sun; truth and prophecy; medicine, healing, and plague; music, poetry, and the arts; and more" according to Wikipedia.
    • Hermes was nearly as versatile, being god of messengers, travelers, merchants, thieves, sports, commerce, shepherds, and weights and measures.
    • Most of the major gods get in on the action; Zeus, for instance, besides being King of the Gods and god of the sky, was also called Zeus Xenios, the patron of Sacred Hospitality, while Hades served as a god of wealth (hence the Roman name Pluto—a Latinization of the Greek euphemism Plouton, meaning "wealthy"). It made sense because as the god of the Underworld, all the riches found underground (gemstones and precious metals) were said to belong to him.
    • There's also Dionysius, God of Wine and Parties. The wine part makes a bit more sense when you realise how much more common a drink it was back then.
    • A legend has Artemis sitting at Daddy's knee asking for three wishes, one of which was to never be outdone by her twin. Zeus was supposedly delighted by her wishes and granted them all, which might explain why she became goddess of wild animals and hunting, wilderness in general, the moon (eventually), young women, chastity, painless childbirth (due to circumstances of the twins' birth), etc.
    • Hestia, who was goddess of the hearth, ancient Greek architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, and the state. She was also firstborn of the original Titan-born gods along with Zeus, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Demeter. What's that, you never heard of her? That's probably because after the Titan war, she spent all her time tending the hearth at Olympus.
    • Koalemos is the Greek god of stupidity.
  • Norse Mythology also has a bunch:
    • Bragi, god of poetry (which isn't quite so odd, considering poets were ascribed powerful magic in many cultures.)
    • Skadi, goddess of skis (though she was also associated with hunting, and with mountains as an environment).
    • Thor himself was revered as the god of male fertility because you wear a Thor's Hammer pendant the way it's supposed to be hung (with the hammer's head pointing down), then it kind of looks like an erect peen. It is truly a mighty weapon, even if the handle is unusually short.
  • Chess people also have their own goddess named Caïssa.
  • Pagan Lithuania had Ruguczis, the god of fermentation and fermented foods.
  • Pagan Finland and Karelia had Äkräs, god of fertility, cabbages, and turnips.
  • The Innu have Matshishkapeu (whose name literally means "fart man"). The story goes that when the Caribou Master didn't give the Innu any caribou to eat, Matshishkapeu cursed him with terrible constipation until he gave in to their demands.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Dilbert
    • The Demon of Demos.
    • Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light, the ruler of Lower Heck. Instead of damning you to hell, he darns you to heck. He punishes people (usually Dilbert) for minor infractions not worthy of damnation in hell, such as using copier paper for the printer, stealing a chair from another cubicle, or taking the last cup of coffee and not making more.
    • Thor appears to Dogbert offering him a job as one of these, promising further career advancement (Thor himself claims to have started out as the God of Static Cling). Dogbert then accepts the position of "God of Velcro". And he signed Dilbert up for the God of Mayonnaise.

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • Eddie Izzard did a bit about the influence of the Greek gods on the Romans, saying that originally the Romans had rather crap gods such as Jeff the God of Biscuits, and Simon the God of Hairdos.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Nomine: In Steve Jackson Games' English language version, celestials can be assigned a Word, becoming the embodiment of a concept and in charge of encouraging its development on Earth. Demonic Words actually tend to be more logical than angelic Words, since anything that negatively influences mortals (Anorexia, Fast Food, Fine Print) is a source of demonic power. (On the other hand, Lucifer enjoys giving bizarre Words as punishments — just ask Imbap, the Demon of Stale Bong Water.) Angels are much more likely to have strange Words when they reflect personal obsessions. Some of the weirder examples on both sides:
    • Druiel, the Angel of Teenage Death
    • Fulrick, the Demon of Pencil Shavings
    • Jorek, the Demon of Goth Wannabes
    • Kizke, the Demon of Internet Comics
    • Maigonigal, the Demon of Bad Art
    • Thratch, the Demon of Snappy Comebacks You Only Think Of After It's Too Late
    • Tomas, the Angel of Catchy Tunes
    • Randolph, the Angel of Dictionaries
    • Stander, the Demon of Embalming
  • In the tabletop RPG Exalted, everything has a god. Everything. From concepts like love, taxes, and urban metropolises, to physical places and objects like crop fields and even individual rocks. Generally speaking, gods of concepts and abstracts outrank those of concrete things and places. Gods of thing smaller than say, a large building, tend to not be sentient.
    • The god Nara-O of the Hundred Veils would seem to be this since his official purview is "Secrets Known to Only One Person". However, this practically means that he's the god of all private (and often lost and forgotten) information. Nara-O is probably personally and politically one of the top ten most powerful gods in Heaven.
    • One artifact from the splatbook, Wonders of the Lost Age is a type of prayer stone called a 'Prayer Transceiver Module', each one being keyed to one specific goddess, whose entire purpose is to receive and relay messages made on that specific stone. She is immensely reliable because she's that desperate to have something to do. Not to mention that the stones have been lost since the Golden Age, making for one terminally bored goddess.
    • Heaven also contains literal odd job gods, being people who are only good for basic paperwork, filing and message carrying.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has quite a few:
  • In the Warhammer Fantasy universe, there's Necoho, the god of atheism. He gets more powerful as he loses followers.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the two Ork gods Mork (who is cunningly brutal) and Gork (who is brutally cunning). Or was it the other way around?
  • This is sort of the whole point of Nobilis, where your character is essentially one of these. Your character might literally be the Power of Friendship. On the other hand, she might also be the Power of Lipton Instant Noodles (an example from the book). The difference in power and prestige between these is less than one might think- or may not necessarily even go in the direction one might think.
  • Magic: The Gathering: In the Kamigawa block, the short version of the story is that the Gods are pissed. The set's flavor was influenced by Shinto, so there are Kami for everything, from Cleansing Fire and Infinite Rage to... Pus and Painted Roads.
  • The Primal Order, by Wizards of the Coast, is a sourcebook ideas and rules on how to handle deity-level action in fantasy games. Their two 'official' example deities? The Hawaiian goddess Pele and Joey, God of Basketweaving.
  • Since Werewolf: The Forsaken is basically built on Animism through a Religious Horror lens, it should be no surprise that it's crawling with these. So long as you accept "spirits" and "gods" as being interchangeable, which they basically are in animism.
    • For example, just in the court of wolf spirits, you have: spirits of wolves as a whole, spirits of specific breeds of wolf, spirits of wolves from a specific region, spirits of wolves of a specific pack, spirits of a specific wolf pack rank, spirits of wolf aspects (hunter, seeker, fighter, etc), spirits of wolf as metaphoric symbols...
    • The oddest of odd job gods are the Magath, borderline eldritch abominations created when two or more kinds of spirit merge that are either antithetical to one another, or just form a very, very specific and unlikely niche. For example, the two sample magath in the Predators splat are "Walkerbreaker", a vehicle/pain hybrid spirit (so, in essence, "Spirit of Agonising Death by Carcrash or Being Run Over") and Rainsliver, a swarm/glass/murder hybrid spirit that is trying to set itself up as "Spirit of Murder by Glass Shards or Defenestration".
  • Rokugan (the setting of Legend of the Five Rings) has the Fortunes, minor gods of the mythology, and anyone can be upgraded to such a position by the Emperor. However, no Emperor can overturn a decree made by a previous Emperor... which can be quite the mess if an Emperor decides to name you, for example, the Fortune of Torture or of Cockroaches (which happened under Hantei XVI).

  • Gilbert and Sullivan's very first show together, Thespis, plays Mercury (a.k.a. Hermes) this way. In fact, he does pretty much everything, with the other gods sitting around and taking the credit.

    Video Games 
  • Exceptionally powerful enemies in Realm of the Mad God have the title of Gods, even though Oryx is the only truly omnipotent being in the game. So we have Medusa, the Red Demon, the White Demon, the Ghost God, the Undead Dwarf God, the Sprite God, the Slime God, the Ent God, the Evil Chicken God, Cthulhu... the list goes on and on.
  • The Elder Gods of Lusternia were divided into seven pantheons which dictated their roles. However, some Gods were massively more important in their pantheons than others. After all, what sounds more impressive - the Seventh Circle creator who birthed the noble race of stags, or the Seventh Circle creator responsible for the genesis of fleas?
    • Well, fleas were the bringers of the Black Death...
  • The Elder Scrolls series has many deities, and quite a few cover "odd job" spheres. A large list is available on the series' Divine Beings character page. To note a few prominent examples:
    • In the old Nordic pantheon, Stuhn is the "God of Ransom" and is credited with teaching the early Nords how to take prisoners of war alive for ransom. His brother Tsun is the "God of Trials Against Adversity" and stands guard at the Hall of Valor in Sovngarde. The spirits of dead warriors must prove their worthiness to enter in a duel against him. In Skyrim, this is actually a part of the main storyline.
    • The Daedric Princes offer a fairly true to life take on the randomness of gods. For example, Peryite the Taskmaster is viewed by some as the weakest of the Princes. His sphere is pestilence, but also the ordering of the lowest orders of Oblivion. Other Daedric Princes cover odd spheres such as nightmares, decay, and pariahs.
    • Alduin, the Big Bad of Skyrim, is specifically the god of "world-eating"; a Beast of the Apocalypse who returns the world to it's primordial state so that it can be reborn into a new world. While performing his duties as the World Eater, he is said to be an invincible monster who dwarfs mountains and eats entire countries in a single bite. When he's not, he's simply a very powerful and almost-invincible dragon.
    • The old Yokudan pantheon of the Redguards has a number of these. Perhaps the most interesting is the Hoon Ding, the "make way" god. He manifests as a great warrior (or sometimes a weapon) whenever the Redguard people need to "make way" for their people to live, and is said to be able to "make way" through anything.
    • The Indy Ploy is a highly valued concept to the Khajiit people, to the point where they have a god for it, Baan Dar. He is commonly attributed with "the genius which lends itself to the creation of last-minute plans to foil the machinations of the Khajiit's foes."
    • The Magna-Ge, aka "Star Orphans", are et'Ada ("original spirits") who fled Mundus (the mortal plane) along with their "father" Magnus (God of Magic and "architect" of Mundus) during the creation of Mundus. Some of the Magna-Ge seem to govern over or are associated with some unusual, often mind-bending concepts. The commonality between them seems to be that they are all fleeting things, perhaps associated with luck or chance. Examples include synesthesia, the catching of fish, burping, the doom of new ideas, ideas that too quickly come to fruition, and "divide-the-line" wisdom.
  • Most of the gods of City of Heroes are pretty powerful, but that doesn't stop a djinn from existing solely to keep an eye on four enchanted mantles or prevent a wide array of quickly forgotten gods from running around. Trapdoor is essentially the god of running away, and the Furies are exactly what you'd expect. Lord Recluse seems to be the god of spiders, while Statesman seems to be the God of Superheroes.
  • In the Disgaea series, any item can be entered like a dungeon; (this is called an Item World.) If that item has a "legendary" trait; then this Item World is 100 levels deep. It has generals, kings, and at the end of level 100; an item god. You are encouraged to go through these and kill them all; as it powers that item up for you. So you can kill the Item God of a sword, piece of armor, used piece of chewing gum, detached horse penis...
  • Ōkami features gods of assorted elements, rejuvenation, explosions, cutting, the Sun and Moon, and Kabegami, the god of walls. The game is based on Shinto, which has rather a lot of gods. When one wishes to refer to all of the Shinto gods collectively in Japanese, one speaks of "the eight million gods".note 
  • Touhou's Gensokyo, being a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, with a sizable emphasis on Shintoism, has a number of low-power goddesses. Including Shizuha Aki, the goddess of autumn leaves. She turns them red by painting them by hand and makes them fall to the ground by kicking the trees.
  • Shin Megami Tensei games features numerous Odd Job Gods as regular encounters and occasionally boss fights. Special mention goes out to Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, with Kanbari, the god of toilets. Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon has more than a few of its own; early on, you get cursed with bad luck, and are assaulted by Binbou-gami, the god of poverty, who takes the form of a man hanging upside-down from a cloud raining coins from his shirt. Most of his attacks involve giant coins landing on top of you, too. Other strange gods include the above-mentioned Pele and fellow Hawaiian deity Kamapua'a (a hog-man), and Taoist god Neko Shogun.
    • Others include, but are not limited to: Kudan, a human-headed cow that is born to issue a single prophecy of disaster and then dies, the Hare of Inaba, who was skinned for his insolence, Mamedanuki, a sort of raccoon dog capable of transforming its scrotum into useful objects, and hell, even the friggin' Chupacabra.
  • Jade Empire features a Celestial Bureaucracy that tracks the actions of the heroes. At one point, a god appears to you and chews you out for wreaking so much destruction; his job was to tabulate your karma, and he was so ill-suited for the task he was demoted. So now he sells you trinkets.
  • In the Roguelike Dungeon Crawl, you can choose to worship one of your standard gods of magic, war, death, growth, healing, good, evil, etc. You can also worship Jiyva, god of slimesnote , and Cheibriados, god of slownessnote .
  • The procedurally generated deities of Dwarf Fortress sometimes fall into this. The game may, for instance, generate a god of salt. Sometimes these deities can get Flight, Strength, Heart as well; it's perfectly plausible to find a god of death, war, murder and... rainbows.
  • Acceleration of Suguri has QP, the goddess of pudding.
  • RuneScape has Brassica Prime, the cabbage god of cabbages.
  • The fal'Cie of Final Fantasy XIII. Sure, you had fal'Cie who did important things like producing food or acting as the sun. But some fal'Cie had less important tasks like... operating automatic doors.
  • In Dungeons of Dredmor, you can get a Side Quest to earn a random piece of magic equipment by praying to Inconsequentia, Goddess of Pointless Sidequests. You can also leave offerings of lutefisk to shrines of the Lutefisk God, who will offer a magic item if you bring him enough.
  • In any of the Neptunia games, the CPU goddesses (aka the Playable Characters) do quests, build a nation, and govern the people. There's a reason for that first one.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has a mini-boss in the Hidden Temple, the half-serpent, half-sheep deity Baa'baa'bu'ran, who according to his Monster Manuel entry is the god of doorknobs, the smell of rain, open-faced sandwiches, and the ampersand. Also, one of the Pokemon-esque gods whose altar you find in the Hidden City is Squirtlcthulli, god of water and doorknobs. There was also an event that involved a player finding the name of the Demon Lord of Fruity Girl Drinks and summoning him for the first time.
  • The citizens of Santa Destroy in No More Heroes recognize gods of each side job in the game, so you have gods of coconuts, cats, garbage, steak and scorpions, the last of which can apparently be slain by killing scorpions.
  • Nuclear Throne and Gun Godz has Y.V., the god of guns.
  • Hyper Princess Pitch has The Goddess of Explosions. Which is also the protagonist's mom.
  • Embric of Wulfhammer's Castle has deities for every occasion, including Contrivances and Misguided but Ultimately Benevolent Ideas, among others.
  • Part of The Darkside Detective takes place in a crypt where Dooley gets trapped with a gang of mafiosi; examining the statue in the crypt will produce the information that it depicts the patron saint of being trapped in a crypt with a gang of villains.

  • In Irregular Webcomic! there is a separate Death for every way anybody has ever died, including such infrequent events as Death of Choking On A Giant Frog and Death of Being Ground By A Mars Rover Rock Abrasion Tool. The less-likely Deaths are desperate for promotion.
  • In Snowflame, our protagonist worships the Goddess of Cocaine.
  • The Order of the Stick has Giggles, god of slapstick. He's worshiped exclusively by a tribe of orcs on a small island, and was made up by Elan. Who is the world's only worshiper of Banjo, god of puppets. Although they're officially brothers, so Banjo may enter the orcish pantheon as well.
    • They were actually Banjo worshippers initially, but Giggles was a better fit for their spiritual needs.
  • Uncle Time from Sluggy Freelance is in charge of governing the timestream in Timeless Space, which, as its name suggests, doesn't have a timestream. What he does all day besides knocking the occasional mini-lop rabbit through dimensions is unclear.
  • The Gods of Arr-Kelaan has Ronson, the God of Apathy and Beer, as well as Shadowscared, God of being afraid. Despite this Ronson is the head of the traveler pantheon.
  • Something*Positive has an appearance by Google Crom, who judges your every action from his throne clutching his terrible skull mace. Flame trolls and he rewards you with comely wenches; grief lower-level players and camp their corpse, and he lowers you sixty levels with a bellow of "CROM'S WILL IS DONE!!!"
  • Played with in this Partially Clips strip.
  • Mountain Time has The God of Good Posture: good at standing, and proud of it.
  • In 8-Bit Theater, Red Mage says that if they're lucky, they'll deal with what he calls "the wussy demons," meaning "The usual stuff: pain, darkness, anger..." When Black Mage asks what he thinks the "Hardcore," demons are, he replies "demons relating to urine or bad haircuts." While Black Mage is obviously skeptical, Red Mage proves him wrong.
  • Squid Fairy from Imminent Moose has the power to grant any wish... as long as it pertains to squids.
  • Nodwick featured a lot of oddball deities. In one story, a Goddess of Peeping Toms appeared. (Who was, ironically, very often the victim of them.)
  • True Villains has a god for every aspect of reality, but because Gods Need Prayer Badly, only the ones with worshipers are powerful enough to bother with. None of the odd-job gods made it into the top rank, although Lollywog the God of Silly Antics is a Running Gag.

    Web Original 
  • In this very same Wiki we have the Trope Pantheons. Where else can you find a god of pies, a goddess of cosplay, and two dueling entities of horror under one roof?
  • The Divine Census of Cedrism includes such oddities as B'Caw, God of Spicy Chicken, and Mog, God of Political Blunders. Even the relatively normal gods have bizarre sides (the god of warriors and soldiers is also the patron god of "guys with long hair")
  • In the french site of ASP explorer, in a series of short stories parodying the adventures of Conan the Barbarian, we are introduced to a newly ascended goddess :
    "Mranis actually was a rather careless deity. In front of Divine Agora, summoned to choose her divine attributes, symbols and titles, as it is the custom for the gods, she had chosen, to her peers great consternation, the Small Burin of the Patient Excavations, the Half Extincy Torch of Dark Illuminations, her red and black half skinned cat named "Touminou", and her complete name was written, as the custom wants, on the titanic porphyre steps of the Great Cenotaph: "Mranis, funny little goddess of violence, destruction, sex, scientific research and the other funny stuff ". Mesculias, god of chance and destiny, bet two major temples and twelve thousand minions against a mouldy baguette that she never would find any believers with such a manifest. Nobody among heavenly assembly raised the bet."
  • And this allows you to generate such gods.
  • I Should Write Doctor Strange features a story pitch involving the sudden and inexplicable emergence of a new pantheon. Its members include Gods of Couriers, Cowboys, Mad Beats, and Bungee.

    Western Animation 
  • A very early episode of Beavis And Butthead had the boys meet up with Sterculius, the God of Feces at a monster truck show. He was not made up for the show, either.
  • In the Earthworm Jim episode "Assault and Battery", Jim goes to the Fabled, Long-Sought Home of the Gods to receive a new battery for his supersuit. There, he meets the gods of nasal discharge and puns, and the goddess of disco, who explain that the biggies are at a party in Valhalla.
  • On Sam & Max: Freelance Police, after the titular duo get Zeus and Juno back together in the episode "Dysfunction of the Gods", they are rewarded by becoming the God of Junk Food and the God of Vulgar Novelty Items respectively.
  • One of the most powerful characters in The Tick is The Mighty Agrippa, Roman God of the Aqueduct. According to the series canon, he's the last god to join the Roman Pantheon; but when he showed up the rest had left for another planet. Despite being a low-ranking god, he's still a Physical God and one of the strongest beings in the series.
  • In one Classical Mythology-inspired episode of Animaniacs, Dot is the "Goddess of Cuteness".
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog had gods appearing in a few episodes like a goddess of storms, Sandman the god of sleep aaand... the goosey god of honking...
  • DarkMatter2525: In "God of the Paradox", Yahweh was meant to be the God of Pastries (since his major was Culinary Arts).

Alternative Title(s): Odd Job God