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The Gods Must Be Idiots
Gods tend to be extremely powerful. Many are said to be strong enough to create and/or destroy entire universes with a single thought.

That is...when they do think. In the world of fiction, there are just as many gods that are extremely dim-witted as there are gods that are very wise. These gods are so dense that they are either completely incompetent with their abilities or they utterly forget that they even have divine powers at all.

See also God Is Flawed for when deities are imperfect for other reasons, and Mad God for deities that are depicted as being insane. Compare God Is Inept for when deities are not good at their job regardless of how intelligent they may be.

Examples

Literature
  • Azathoth from various HP Lovecraft stories is known as the "Blind Idiot God". He's so powerful that he can destroy the universe with a single thought. Luckily for us, he's incredibly stupid and has very few, if any, thoughts.
  • Journey to the West, a classical Chinese saga about a super strong monkey-king Son Wukong. Who mysteriously is created from a mountain. The God Jade Emperior, has to ask 'what was that' as he is unseated by the Earthquake tremors that could be felt even in the cloudly heaven. If he's God, shouldn't he KNOW already? Throughout the Saga Son Wukong is harassed by mortal humans, and immortal beings. For instance he attains a weapon to protect his family of sentient monkeys who has rallied to him for protection. He attains a magical staff which the Gods used to measure the dephts of the ocean as the Sea dragon King distinctly told him "If you can carry this, then it's yours" as Son Wukong often rejected weapon after weapon citing that they were unsuitably light. The Sea Dragon King then complains and begs for the Jade Emperior's assistance portraying the Monkey King as a thief stealing his Sea kingdom's treasures. The Jade Emperior concedes to assist and apprehend the Monkey King as a renegade outlaw. If the Jade Emperor was truly omniscient. He'd know that the staff rightfully belonged to the Monkey King. Later as rehabilitation and appeasement the Monkey King is granted a heavenly post as park ranger of the groves of Immortal Peaches.. The Jade Emperor is soon over whelmed by fraudlent requests to punish the Monkey for things the Monkey King didn't do. Again typical juvninel fairytale like harrassment by bullying Gods and Goddesses who view him as a demon, and redicule his low rank.. The Monkey King is not invited to the millenial feast with his immortality peaches buns being served. That he worked hard to GROW. The Monkey King responds by stealing the feast and bringing them down to his family on Earth. This prompts a militant response from the armies of heaven. They are defeated and Monkey King trashes heaven... If the Jade Emperior the creater of the Universe and Earth was truly a god, he'd 1)Know not to ask silly questions he'd know HIS creation Earth was birthing the monkey king, 2) He'd know that humans, and super natural beings were harassing him 3) He'd know that the staff was his (which prompted his initial desire to apprenend the Monkey King, which set into motion the other things the Monkey King did).

  • The god in the first of John Brunner's The Traveller in Black stories is basically a big powerful child.
  • Thor from The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy.
  • One of the thousand Styric gods from David Eddings' Elenium/Tamuli universe is this, needing things explained to him repeatedly in words of few syllables. The Troll Gods are also not very clever, but they are cunning, ruthless and extremely powerful, and what they're asked to do never seriously tests the limits of their understanding.
    Sephrenia: Khwaj will understand your thoughts. Pray that you never understand his.
    • They are extremely specialized, however, and have a very hard time understanding things outside of their specialties (the concept of "hostage", for example).
  • Several of the gods in the Discworld. Small Gods notes the peculiar circumstance of men and women of immense strength and virtue devoting themselves to the service of completely stupid gods.

Pinball
  • Occurs in the Gilligan's Island pinball, as one of the random rewards a player can get is "Gift of Gods", which gives the other players 1 million points each.

Tabletop Games
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the members of the Triat are extremely powerful but seem to lack common sense. The Weaver decided that it would be a good idea to bind the Wyrm in the web of creation, then ignored the huge problems this created for Gaia. The Wyrm has been bound in the Weaver's web for eons but can't seem to extract himself from it, despite being a powerful Eldritch Abomination. The Wyld has been standing by while all of this has been going on, too stupid or apathetic to do anything about it. Even the Corax tribebook speculates that the Wyld was off "picking his toes" during the primordial incident with the Weaver and Wyrm.
    • Some sourcebooks imply that the Wyld lacks any consciousness, even a stupid one.

Video Games
Godly SidestepGod TropesThe Gods Must Be Lazy

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