[[quoteright:226:[[ComicBook/ChickTracts http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/EasterBunny_2993.jpg]]]]

->'''Brian:''' Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't need to follow me, you don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!\\
'''The Crowd:''' (''in unison'') Yes! We're all individuals!\\
'''Brian:''' You're all different!\\
'''The Crowd:''' (''in unison'') Yes, we are all different!\\
'''Man in Crowd:''' I'm not.\\
'''Another Man:''' Shhh!
-->-- ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian''

[[AliceAndBob Bob]] is neither a true messiah nor [[GodGuise a scam artist]] wanting to make his own religion. He's just a regular good guy. And yet he is made into an object of misplaced religious faith. For added irony, this religion is likely to be one he finds repulsive or ''would'' find repulsive, in the cases where he's not even aware of having followers. Of course, if the character is of a decent sort, he will try to clear up the misunderstanding, but that might take some persuading to do so.

If this worship keeps growing out of control, it can establish itself as a ScamReligion. This can either be used to suggest that ReligionIsWrong, or it can be an illustration of the foolishness of "worshipping false idols".

Compare and Contrast StopWorshippingMe, where the guy not wanting to be worshiped actually ''is'' a god or messiah or similar: The faith is ''not'' truly false, but the deity doesn't want the worship anyway. Also contrast GodGuise, which has the character being falsely worshipped use said worship to his advantage. See also AGodIAmNot, when a powerful being rejects the label of god. Also contrast and ImNotAHeroIm: Cases of misplaced ''hero'' worship (rather then religious worship) goes into that trope.


%%If you have time, please take time to put examples in alphabetical order. This page Administrivia/HowToAlphabetizeThings should help you with that.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In one episode of ''Manga/MinamiKe'' Kanna dresses Chiaki up as a TeruTeruBozu in order to make it stop raining so they can go to the beach. Chiaki eventually manages to negotiate the rain cloud into going away. When Chiaki's friends come over, Kanna boasts of having gotten rid of the rain cloud, at which point it angrily returns, and Chiaki ends up having to calm it down again. After this display Chiaki's friends and Kanna promptly start praying to Chiaki, over her angry (and still [[UnwillingSuspension helplessly bound]]) protestations.
* In ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys'', there is God, a crotchety old homeless guy with a preoccupation with bowling and an inexplicable talent for clairvoyance. He's pretty sure he's not actually God, [[InsistentTerminology and constantly tells people to stop calling him such]], but that doesn't stop the other CrazyHomelessPeople from doing it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''{{ComicBook/Fables}}'', Boy Blue only wanted to be a regular guy. He became a war hero out of necessity, but hated the cruelty and slaughter that war entails and really preferred to simply be an office clerk. One of the main reasons he participated in the war effort was his hatred for tyranny. [[spoiler:After his death]], a cult springs up around him. His worshipers long for him to come back as a bloodsoaked tyrant slaughtering all who stand in his way and indulge in the most blatant and unfair forms of nepotism. Of course, they consider this a good thing, using rhetorics very similar to how [[BigBad the Adversary]] justified his own reign of terror.
* This happened to {{Superman}} during the ''ComicBook/ActionComics Weekly'' Sunday-strip run.
* Dr. Manhattan from ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' is powerful enough to be considered a PhysicalGod, but resents being perceived this way. As he himself puts it: "I don't think there is a god. If there is, I'm not him".
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': Dredd himself has been turned into an object of worship at least once by a Mega City One cult. He had to arrest the whole faith (prompting them to turn on their savior as an "impostor") to dissuade them of any delusions about his supposed divinity.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' fanfic, ''FanFic/MemoirsOfAMaster'', has Master Oogway learning that the Mongols consider him a god. Of course, he makes it clear that he wants none of that.
* ''Fanfic/AMightyDemonSlayerGroomsSomePonies'' has this happen to [[Franchise/MyLittlePony Megan]]; after she left Ponyland, over the millennia she'd grown into a mythical figure and eventually was elevated to the status of a MessianicArchetype. She's rather upset to hear about this, especially since she's a Christian.
* ''Fanfic/TheElementsOfHarmonyAndTheSaviorOfWorlds'', which has a similar premise to ''A Mighty Demon Slayer Grooms Some Ponies'' but significantly less GrimDark, uses something like this as well. Megan's more embarrassed than annoyed, though it helps that most of the mighty deeds for which she is now FamedInStory are NotHyperbole.
* All of the Princesses get this in the [[FanFic/TriptychContinuum Triptych Continuum]]. Not only do ponies swear on and by them in daily life, a significant part of the population perceives divinity in the alicorns and actively ''prays'' to them -- something which makes them heartsick, as they have no means of hearing those pleas, and their ability to answer any direct requests is limited to the magic they know. [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/198011/blessing Blessing]] shows Celestia's struggles with such beliefs, and Twilight is [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/101769/triptych just beginning]] to recognize that consequence of her ascension. Basically, if you want to emotionally wound a Princess, ask her to bless you, and then stand by your ''faith'' when she insists she can't...
* In ''Fanfic/{{Domovoi}}'', the Precursors are disgusted by the Kaiju Cult's worship of their kind and of the Kaiju, calling it "barbaric superstition." In a more humorous example, [[spoiler:Striker Eureka]] is not amused by being turned into a shrine by a Jaeger-worshiping sect and takes every opportunity to chew his devotees out, which the non-English-speaking worshipers completely misconstrue.
* Empath of ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' dislikes worship and has even destroyed the statue Papa Smurf had erected as a memorial to him when the Smurfs started using it as an object of worship when he was elevated to MessianicArchetype status.
* The ''Franchise/{{Naruto}}'' fan fiction ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3568608/1/The-Book-of-Naruto The Book Of Naruto]]'' is an example of the "unknown" variety: on this fanfic, Naruto has honest-to-goodness near-god-like powers and the capacity to create miracles, but he remains the goofball IdiotHero that he always is (the 'fic happening when he's a kid boosts on the "goofball" part, as well). A number of random good deeds he does for people on his travels and his actions on the Wave arc soon boom into the creation of a cult that worships him, makes other Konoha ninja nervous, and Naruto remains unaware of for most of the fic.

* The titular Brian from ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' has some difficulty convincing his "followers" that he's not The Messiah, given that they think [[MistakenForProfound every word he says has hidden meaning]]. See page quote.
* In ''Film/TheInventionOfLying'', Mark lives on an Earth where lying didn't exist until he came up with the idea one day. When his mother is about to die, he tries to comfort her by telling her rather than just not-existing, she'll go to a happy place ruled over by "[[PhysicalGod The Man in the Sky]]." Unfortunately, the people nearby hear, and make him tell more about it until he ends up inventing Christianity, with to the point that he has to crash his true love's wedding in a chapel devoted to The Man in the Sky.
* This is part of TheReveal in ''Film/TheManFromEarth''. Professor John [[PunnyName Oldman]] is on the verge of suddenly moving away when he tells his friends and colleagues that he is [[Really700YearsOld actually a 14,000]] [[TimeAbyss year old immortal]]. Intrigued, his fellow professors try to prove his story false. Eventually they get around to asking John if he was ever anyone famous. [[spoiler:It turns out John was once a student of [[UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} The Buddha]], and decided to do some preaching of his own. Through a combination of people misinterpreting his words and their shock when he didn't die, he wound up becoming Jesus. Despite John's frantic efforts to explain, the religion got started, and he's been privately mortified ever since.]]
* [=C-3PO=], in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'': The Ewoks mistake him for a deity, much to his embarrassment. And also because it's somehow ''against his programming'' to impersonate a deity. Presumably Anakin thought it was funny.
* ''Film/BubbleBoy'' has Jimmy be mistaken for the messiah (in search of "The Round One") that would take a cult to Heaven, rather than mutate and burn in Hell on planet PX-41 (or planet PX-42 if there wasn't enough room).

* According to legend, King Canute of England was often flattered by his nobles, who told him he was so powerful he could even order the tide to go back. The pious King was quite annoyed, as this was basically saying he had God-like powers--so he decided to actually give the sea orders and prove them wrong. As the tide came in, he ordered it back and a wave promptly soaked him from head to toe. He then told his nobles that the power of earthly kings was empty and that nobody was worthy of the title King but God Himself. According to the legend, he never wore his crown again.

* In Creator/LinneaSinclair's ''An Accidental Goddess'', the heroine wakes up and discovers that (a) [[RipVanWinkle she's lost a few centuries somewhere]] and (b) she's been branded a major deity. Awwwkward....
* In a Simon R. Green novel, ''Beyond The Blue Moon'', many peasants assume that the Shaman must be a prophet because he's an old hermit who lives in the woods. The Shaman dissuades their attempts to win his blessing by screaming and throwing RoadApples at them until they leave him the hell alone.
* Literature/CiaphasCain has a small sect that worships him as a manifestation of the Emperor, complete with holy book, founded when some very religious soldiers saw him face down a Daemon. According to the novels he never found out and probably would have been horrified.
* Paul Atreides of the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' series fits this well, being a supposed messiah to the Fremen (even though he knows their myth about a saviour is implanted by external influence and is only set up to look like a naturally created legend). Though this may be more of a case of StopWorshippingMe, since Paul ''does'' have the ability to see the future.
** Paul is kind of a special case. He doesn't really ''want'' people worshipping him (possibly because he's prescient and can see where that path leads), but at least at the start he deliberately encourages it anyway because he can't see any way to accomplish his goals, which ultimately include saving the entire human race from destroying itself, without it. Once he gets past the stage where he's actively needed as a figurehead, he [[spoiler:leaves it all behind and wanders the world as a mysterious prophet instead of the God-Emperor everyone is trying to make him into.]]
** Paul's son Leto II (technically it should be Leto I, as the grandfather he's named after wasn't Emperor) is forced by his own prescience to fully embrace the God-Emperor role. He also doesn't really like it, but again ... turns out that in the Herbertverse prescience is a harsh mistress.
* The ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' Novels include the book ''Running From The Deity'', where Flinx lands on a primitive planet (they're a Steampunk society without gunpowder, so they have steam-driven catapults as their most advanced weapons) and is mistaken as a god after he uses some of the basic medical equipment on his ship to heal a native he accidentally injures. Naturally, several local leaders try to exploit him to their advantage.
* ''The Nagasaki Vector'', by L. Neil Smith, has a [[TimeTravel timeship pilot]] inadvertently guide an entire alien race towards sapience through the use of some coffee and some mazes he made in the sand to pass the time while escorting a team of scientists on a research expedition to a planet that had been wiped out in a supernova. Realizing what he has done, his superiors arrange for the evacuation of the newly-discovered sapient species before their planet was destroyed, and they decide the most fitting punishment would be to force the pilot to fulfill his responsibility as their appointed god. Naturally, the little guys he has following him around through the entire book are annoying as all get-out, or else it wouldn't be a good punishment.
* In ''Literature/WiseBlood'', while Hazel Motes is standing on a street corner preaching against God, [[TheBarnum Hoover Shoats]] cashes in by starting the [[ScamReligion Holy Church of Christ without Christ]], which anyone can join for 1 dollar. When Hazel fails to make people understand that he's preaching ''against'' God, he leaves in disgust. This leads to Shoats hiring [[TheOtherDarrin a random homeless man to impersonate Hazel and be his new preacher]].
* In ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'', Lightsong The Bold believes himself to be neither a god nor worthy of worship for most of the series.
* ''Jimmy Goggles the God'', a short story by Creator/HGWells. The title character, through a complicated accident, becomes stranded on an island of savages while wearing an old-fashioned copper helmet type diving suit. The savages take him to be a god, build him a temple and worship him. While this does have significant advantages in terms of ensuring his survival, he soon becomes heartily sick of constantly wearing a heavy waterproof suit with copper helmet and lead boots in a tropical climate...
* In ''Literature/TheLostFleet'', John Geary fights a total of one battle in his entire SpaceNavy career, before his ship is destroyed, and he is forced to become a HumanPopsicle. A century later, his pod is discovered, and he wakes up to find TheAlliance engaged in a century-long war with the [[OneNationUnderCopyright Syndicate Worlds]] (the battle he fought was the opening shots of that war). The brutal conflict with a massive casualty rate has resulted in fleet tactics being all but forgotten, and the new generations of captains are ingrained with an AttackAttackAttack mentality, claiming that "fighting spirit" alone decides the outcome of any battle. Even worse, the Alliance officials have elevated "Black Jack" Geary to a legendary status, using his DelayingAction to paint him as an ideal to be striven for. So, when Geary returns just as the Alliance fleet is in peril, many take it as a sign from the Ancestors that he has been sent to save the Alliance in its hour of need. Geary honestly tries to put his skills (meager that they are) to use, while also fighting off resentful captains who resist any attempts to change what they believe is the only true way to fight.
* Somber Kitty from ''Literature/MayBird'' is mistaken for a deity by a group of Egyptian ghosts simply by virtue of being a cat. Being a cat he doesn't understand the worse aspects of this, such as their plan to sacrifice him to Ra, but he still escapes because he wants to find his master, the titular May Bird.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* G'Kar from ''Series/BabylonFive'' is treated like a prophet by the Narn during the final season due to the book he had been writing about his experiences accidentally being published without his consent and spreading like wildfire (it even outsells the Book of G'Quan, a previous example of this trope). Crowds of followers followed him everywhere he went asking for his wisdom on all sorts of deep questions. He grows increasingly disillusioned by this treatment for a few reasons: he doesn't want to hold that much power among his people (he had turned down the position of president earlier in the show), he doesn't have the answers they're looking for, and he sees that everyone is projecting their ideals of a perfect person onto him, creating this idealized person that's not actually him. Eventually he decides to leave civilized space for several years to get away from it all.
-->'''G'kar:''' I worry, Ta'Lon, that my shadow may become greater than the message.\\
'''Ta'Lon:''' If that happens, I give you my word that I will personally kill you.\\
'''G'Kar:''' And this is supposed to put my mind at ease?
* On ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', Gaius Baltar never really asked for the cult of attractive young women who dedicated themselves to him, but his massive ego led him to accept them, until Apollo made him reject them in the end.
* On ''Series/DeadLikeMe'' Roxy accidentally inspires a religion centered on her as a manifestation of God. She doesn't mind, but her boss is pissed and makes her go back and smash the fledgling religion.
* The last we see of Damien in ''Series/DropTheDeadDonkey'' is as a captive of a primitive rainforest tribe, an object of worship in a cage. The penultimate shots are filmed from his point of view, but then they destroy his camera and build effigies of it instead. For the first few scenes he is happy enough with his new-found status, but once they destroy the camera, he realises there is no likelihood that they will release him...
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In early classic series, the [[Creator/WilliamHartnell First Doctor]] castigates [[{{pun}} short-lived]] companion Katarina for calling him a god. The First Doctor was also mistaken for Zeus by Achilles, much to his indignation.
--->'''Achilles:''' It is well known that when you come amongst us you adopt many different shapes. To Europa, you appeared as a bull, to Leda, as a swan; to me, you come in the guise of an old beggar....\\
'''The Doctor:''' ''[offended]'' I beg your pardon, I do nothing of the sort!
** Subverted in the modern series where not only he is frequently referred to as a god (or rather, the "lonely god", being the last of his SufficientlyAdvancedAlien species) by some oracles, psychics and others who have a rough idea of what he really is, he seems to embrace the idea, generally in the Wrath department when it comes to evildoers. He seems to regard his status as the Last of the Time Lords (not to mention the ''destroyer'' of the Time Lords) as meaning he is one of the last real authorities left in the universe, and dares anyone to test that. It's gotten to the point where he is sometimes afraid of himself.
** That was a very specific and controversial character facet of the [[{{Narcissist}} Tenth]] [[TheNthDoctor Doctor]], though. The [[TheAtoner Ninth]] Doctor was very much [[StopWorshippingMe uncomfortable with being thought of as a god]]. And when he absorbed the power of the [[PhysicalGod Bad Wolf]], he let it all go without even a hint of temptation to do something with it. Unlike, say, Ten a short time later in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E3SchoolReunion "School Reunion"]], when offered the chance to solve the "[[RealityWarper God Equation]]". And the Eleventh Doctor was very explicit about not wanting to be seen as anything other than "a madman with a box", and once tried to erase the whole universe's memory of him as an expression of this trope.
--->'''Margaret the Slitheen:''' I almost feel better about being defeated. We never stood a chance. This is the technology of the gods.\\
'''9th Doctor:''' Don't worship me, I'd make a very bad god. You wouldn't get a day off, for starters.
* In the TV version of ''Literature/TheMartianChronicles'', a telepathic, shapeshifting Martian encounters a priest who's undergoing a crisis of faith. Since the priest longs to meet Jesus, his thoughts force the Martian to take on UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}}' appearance. The Martian begs the priest not to see him as the Messiah because he can't bear the responsibility, and fears he'll be trapped in Jesus' image forever. The priest asks the martian to go whenever he pleases and come back as Jesus only personally for him and only on Easter.
* One episode of ''Series/RedDwarf'' was centered on Lister's discovery that the cat civilization had formed a religion vaguely based around Lister and his pet cat from 3 million years ago. He is rather horrified when he realizes that they fought a holy war over what color the hats for his planned doughnut stand should be. In the novels, it was over whether his name was "Clister" or "Cloister", referencing a real-life religious dispute over the Nicaean Creed, which was based on a one-letter difference in spelling -- which is also, incidentally, the origin of the English meaning of "iota" as "a small or insignificant amount."
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': Clark has to deal with this from [[WellIntentionedExtremist Tess Mercer]], who thinks he'll solve all the world's problems, and help her put her [[BrokenBird incredibly screwed up life back together]]. He manages to dissuade her of the former, largely by helping her with the latter.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', the SG-1 team are frequently mistaken for gods in the first five or so seasons, as the villains who pose as gods are the primary users of the gate. Then there was the the time they were mistaken for ''demons''. This is mostly due to the fact that the Stargates on many worlds are left unexplained, and the people there are primitive.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** In the early seasons, Sisko is uncomfortable with being the Bajorans' "emissary", although he gradually comes to accept it. Since Sisko is portrayed as a regular human and the "Prophets" as enigmatic aliens rather then deities, this is UnwantedFalseFaith. However, as the series progress, the "Prophets" become less and less of "aliens mistaken for deities" and more and more of [[CrystalDragonJesus actual deities]], with Sisko becoming more and more of the Messiah - so the example is only true for the first few seasons.
** In the later seasons, Odo resents being revered as a "Founder" by Weyoun and the other Dominion grunts.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Who Watches the Watchers?", Picard inadvertently becomes a deity to a group of proto-civilization Vulcanoids. He beams their tribe's leader on board the Enterprise to try to explain to her that what he has is merely a more advance form of technology, but she isn't convinced until she sees a patient die in sickbay and realizes that his people are just as mortal as hers. Picard ends up having to let himself get shot with an arrow by a more fanatical believer so the whole tribe can see him bleed. He's then able to convince them otherwise by referencing the idea of SufficientlyAdvancedAliens (minimizing the damage to their "natural development") and asking them to consider how their own ancient ancestors might view ''them'' if they were to witness some of the things they could do with even their medieval technology. It helps that the people in question are so-called "Vulcanoids", who have abandoned superstition generations ago, so it wasn't so hard for them to accept a logical explanation of events.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' Rygel finds a technologically regressed colony where one of his ancestors set up a CargoCult. He tries to tell them that he's not a god or savior, just their [[TheEmperor Dominar]].
* ''Series/YouMeAndTheApocalypse'': Many of the "messiahs" that Father Jude and Sister Celine investigate are examples of this, including Frankie, [[spoiler:Jamie and Layla's daughter]].

* Music/ElvisPresley ''hated'' his nickname of "The King" because he felt being exalted that way was unchristian.
* Music/{{Scar Symmetry}}'s [[http:/m.youtube.com/watch?v=XX0p7Y3gND4 The Illusionist]] is from the perspective of the central figure of one of these.


[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Played with in a ''ComicStrip/BrewsterRockitSpaceGuy'' strip in which [[TheMenInBlack Agent X]] explains an ancient drawing as the story of an alien visitor who was worshipped as a god, tried to explain to the primitive humans that he was ''not'' a god, and found himself pelted with stones for espousing this heresy.
* One Creator/GahanWilson cartoon has a psychiatrist down on his knees kissing his patient's hand, as the patient growls "This is ''not'' going to help my Messianic complex, doctor!"

[[folder: Religion & Mythology]]
* In Literature/TheBible: Two examples in the Literature/ActsOfTheApostles.
** The first is when [[https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2010:22-26&version=MSG when Cornelius meets Simon-Peter,]] he bows and worships him because of a vision he had earlier. The disciple quickly tells him to stop and explains he is only God's messenger.
** [[https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+14:8-20&version=MSG Acts 14,]] Paul of Tarsus and Barnabas are witnessing in a Greek city and performing some miracles while they were at it. The citizens of the city were convinced that they were the Gods, Hermes and Zeus, respectively, and set up a whole procession to sacrificing to them as such. The apostles had to go to considerable lengths trying to make them to stop. This, in turn, made it easier for troublemakers to convince the very same citizens to attempt stoning Paul and Barnabas to death.
** Several times people in the Bible are so overwhelmed upon being visited by an angel that they start worshipping the angel. The angels tend to immediately tell them to stop that: angels are mere messengers of God, and any worship should be directed towards God Himself, not them.
* [[UsefulNotes/{{Islam}} Muslims]] accept most of the story of UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} as told in the [[Literature/TheFourGospels Gospels]] as essentially true: the Virgin Birth, his status as the Biblical [[MessianicArchetype Messiah]], his ministry and miracles, his status as [[JesusWasWayCool a great prophet, moral teacher, healer, and one of the top-five greatest, purest human beings ever]], etc., etc. Muslims even accept a variant of the Crucifixion story (in this version, he never died; God took him up to Heaven bodily while still alive and fooled the Romans into executing a criminal lookalike in his place) and many believe in the Second Coming (where Jesus will either be the Mahdi or assist him... or perhaps the Mahdi will assist Jesus...it's all hazy, as eschatology usually is). However, Muslims do not accept that Jesus is God Himself; a prophet of God, yes, and a messenger of God, yes, and even a ''great'' prophet and messenger of God... but not God. This causes a conflict with Christianity: how can a true prophet of God claim to be God himself, when (according to Muslim theology) God would never do such a thing? The Islamic answer is that he did not want to be worshiped, [[note]]Several times, Jesus refers to "not me, but him who sent me"; he also says that when you welcome him, you welcome "him who sent me".[[/note]] clearly stated that he was just a prophet and should not be worshiped, but people worshiped him anyway, especially after the crucifixion. Thus, according to Islam, UsefulNotes/{{Christianity}} is an UnwantedFalseFaith--which has caused some friction between the religions.
** Even in UsefulNotes/{{Christianity}}, one does not worship Jesus per se; one does not pray to him directly. (Per his example of a proper prayer aka The Lord's Prayer)
** Its worth noting that not all Christians believe that Jesus is God; while this is certainly the largest Christian theology, many traditions, both extinct and extant, considered Jesus to be anywhere from a mortal prophet to something approaching an angel sent to earth as a prophet (which is the most accurate explanation that can be given of such theology without several thousand words of explanation).
* It is widely believed that Haile Selassie I had this attitude toward the Rastafari movement, which views him as God incarnate, as this belief contradicts the doctrine of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church that he was affiliated with. However, he never specifically denied his divinity, saying "Who am I to disturb their belief?" [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement Whether this faith is false or not is best discussed elsewhere]].
* Philosopher [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiddu_Krishnamurti Jiddu Krishnamurti]] was born a Hindu, adopted at 14 and groomed ([[http://leadbeater.org/tillettcwlchap18.htm using that word advisedly]]) by C.W. Leadbeater to become Theosophy's predicted World-Teacher, and twenty years later repudiated the whole thing and denounced religion, saying "Truth is a pathless land." He gave lectures on self-understanding and caring for others, and in doing so he had a serious Unwanted False Faith problem. In film after film he can be heard exhorting his starry-eyed listeners "Please, don't ''accept'' this!"

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' has pulled this one a couple of times.
** Most notably, we have Jerome Blake. A man who simply wanted to save as much as he could from the inevitable wars between the Great Houses, he set up Earth (and the interstellar phone company based there) to be completely neutral and untouchable, the (secular) guardians of advanced technology, so that civilisation in the Inner Sphere could be rebuilt once the fires of war burned themselves out. One set of 'deathbed revelations' to his 'chosen disciple' later, we have the foundations of the [[CargoCult pseudo-church known as ComStar]], and after a couple of centuries of piled-on dogma and trappings, the [[ChurchMilitant Word of Blake]] and their Jihad.
** Aleksandr Kerensky would probably classify his post-mortem treatment this way, too. A military man who simply wanted to limit the damage the Inner Sphere could do to itself by denying them large amounts of weapons and soldiers, he would ''not'' have wanted to be remembered as "The Great Father" by the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy warrior]] [[BloodKnight society]] his son founded. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Especially once the Clans tried to invade the Inner Sphere, starting yet another war.]]
* Most of the ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' respond to developing a cult of their own with something along the lines of "awesome, free motes," but Alchemicals are tasked with suppressing any unauthorised cults that spring up - including ones worshipping ''them'', many of which end up taken down by the very being they revere. (The exception is Nurad, a nation which is so screwed that Alchemical worship is actually ''mandatory'' so that the nation's remaining Champions can keep it safe from the oncoming blight zone, but most of them are not comfortable with the situation.)
* In ''TabletopGame/TranshumanSpace'', Adam Stein, the unofficial leader of a group of transhumanists who believed in TheSingularity, despite the growing evidence it wasn't going to happen, responded to 2070s criticism that "singularitanism" was a cult by sarcastically applying to register it as a religion. He was very surprised when his application was accepted, and even more surprised when he started getting new followers who seemed to take the religious aspects seriously. As of 2100, half of the Singularitists are true believers, and Stein is still trying to explain to them that it was a joke.
* An unusual example from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': The Emperor insisted that the Imperium be devoutly atheistic and banned his followers from worshipping him despite knowing full well that gods exist; his intention was to [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly starve them]] by removing worship. Indeed, the entire reason the Word Bearers fell to Chaos was because they were hurt when the Emperor rebuked Lorgar for worshiping him. Since the Literature/HorusHeresy, however, the Emperor has been powerless to prevent the people of the Imperium from venerating him, and with ''500 trillion'' worshippers all in a universe operating on ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve he's almost certainly a god now if he wasn't before. And unfortunately for the Emperor, the Chaos Gods were not powered by worship. They are powered by emotion, and existence itself. For extra irony points, the Imperial Cult that worships the Emperor is based on Lorgar's teachings.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', Original Vault Hunter, Lilith, is disturbed (and flattered) when she finds out a cult is worshipping her as a fire goddess. She sends the new Vault Hunters on a mission to see if the cultists are too dangerous to let live. For a while, it seems that they just want to be burned to death, and seem happy enough to limit their attention to each other, [[spoiler:but when it turns out they have kidnapped "heretics" from Sanctuary to be burned as sacrifice, she steps in to rescue the would-be sacrifices while the Vault Hunters finish off the cult. [[HereWeGoAgain This, in turn, creates a new cult that worships the Vault Hunters]]. Player reactions may vary.]]
* Michael Altman from ''Franchise/DeadSpace'' supposedly founded the [[ChurchOfHappyology Church of Unitology]]. However, he was actually simply a geophysicist who found [[ArtifactOfDoom the Black Marker]], and people started worshiping it and called him their Messiah. In an interesting twist at the end of ''Literature/DeadSpaceMartyr'', he [[spoiler:was killed by government agents to make him appear as a Martyr, [[ScamReligion fueling the flames and allowing them to get rich off donations]]. [[DownerEnding They succeeded]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', Harold is being worshipped by a cult, much to his annoyance.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', the courier Ulysses relays a tale of how he taught a tribe, named the White Legs, to use modern weaponry. In gratitude, they started tying their hair up in dreadlocks to imitate and honor Ulysses' hairstyle. But Ulysses didn't feel honored by this gesture; in fact it outright angered him. Partly because his dreadlocks was a symbol of his own tribe, the Twisted Hairs, and to him the White Legs' appropriation of it was a childish, ignorant and, above all, empty gesture as they didn't knew the story and meaning of it. And partly because it reminded him of the sad fate the Twisted Hairs had suffered. Ulysses never told them this though, he just quietly walked out on the tribe.
* Jolee Bindo of ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' has this happen to him during his long stay on Kashyyyk. His tendency to help young Wookiees in trouble led them to believe he was a benevolent forest spirit and leave him offerings; allowing their leader to clobber him dispelled these notions.
* Javik in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''. After being released from stasis, not only does he have to deal with being the last member of the Prothean race, he's also now 50,000 years out of the loop, got an archaeologist and fellow team-mate, Liara, desperate to learn ''everything'' about him... and also learnt that the entire Hanar race revere him as a ''God''. One of the variants for his last conversation has him mention a plan to retire to the Hanar homeworld and play it up for all it's worth, though.
* Father Sakura from ''VideoGame/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaPortable'' was a priest, but due to some use of brain-washing magic (whose existence he was not aware of), he did not realize that the worshipers attending his church are not putting their faith on God he is preaching, but rather on ''him''. Which he really did not want, as shown by [[spoiler:his breaking-down after he found out the existence of the magic.]] This was originally a bit of backstory from [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica the anime]] on which the game was based, but was [[AdaptationExpansion expanded on in the game]].
* The history of the [[TheKingdom Boron]] in the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' series features an amusing incident on the [[SapientCetaceans Wenendra]] homeworld. During FirstContact the Wenendra thought the Boron were at least affiliated with their creator deity, due largely to the Boron being {{sufficiently advanced|aliens}} compared to the primitive Wenendra. The Boron had some trouble convincing them this wasn't the case.
* The Inquisitor in ''Videogame/DragonAgeInquisition'' can feel this way about being worshipped as the "Herald of Andraste" depending on dialogue choices. Understandable, since not only can they come from a non-human background (with the elven Inquisitor explicitly stated to be Dalish) [[spoiler:they only survived the destruction of the Conclave and gained the power to seal the Rifts through sheer dumb luck.]] The Inquisitor can confide in Mother Giselle about how unnerving it is to be placed in the same standing as Andraste herself. On the other hand, a devout Andrasten Inquisitor can end up embracing the role as a divine weapon against evil.
* Most of the Suul'ka in ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars II'' are a bit annoyed with the Zuul for their fawning adoration, with the possible exception of the Bloodweaver, who created them. Though they'll play along so long as they're [[HumanSacrifice fed.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'', Atrus sometimes visited Ages where he was immediately treated like a god upon arrival, an example being the Tree-Dweellers of the Channelwood Age. He reputedly disliked this treatment, preferring being simple friends to the natives. Given how his egocentric father, Gehn, [[AGodAmI wanted Atrus to see things his way]], this is understandable.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Quain'tana of ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' hates how her followers and the common folk of [[UndergroundCity Chel'el'Sussoloth]] have begun to idolize her as some kind of mythical warrior queen for fighting against the current ruling class, especially since said ruling clan idolized Sharess, a former queen, and used her cult as a means to control the populace back at the beginning of the city's history.
* Feral animals worship Zach from ''Webcomic/{{Housepets}}'' as the Opener of Ways, much to his annoyance. They even steal his diary to copy into a sacred text.
** Said faith is not entirely false. Pete the gryphon, who is an actual demigod has confirmed that Zach really is a prophet, or he was before the U&U game ended.
* Suras from ''Webcomic/WaywardSons'' tries to get [[Myth/GreekMythology the ancient Greeks]] to stop calling [[AncientAstronauts him and his crew]] gods, but causes a brief lightning storm in his frustration (which was counterproductive to his efforts).
* In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', Kat is able to activate (and de-activate) some of the old Court robots. To the modern robots, it looks as though she has the power to [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=898 grant life and then take it away.]]
** However, it has been has been strongly implied that the robots' belief that Kat is [[spoiler:an angel]] might not be so false after all. [[spoiler:Kat looks like a [[OurAngelsAreDifferent vaguely angelic]] EldritchAbomination made of metal through Zimmy's eyes.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Sara Waite (Carmilla) of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, who is worshipped by about The Church Of The Kellith, roughly a hundred thousand people worldwide. Only problem? This is exactly what she doesn't want to be. The Kellith is an EldritchAbomination foretold to wipe humankind off the planet with her spawn.
* In ''LetsPlay/TwitchPlaysPokemonRed'', Pidgey (later Pidgeot) became [[CrutchCharacter so powerful]] he was referred to in canon as "Bird Jesus" and attracted his share of worship. Cue the mob catching a different Pidgey in ''LetsPlay/TwitchPlaysPokemonCrystal''. Many latched onto it as the reincarnation of Bird Jesus, others... [[http://imgur.com/bX1qiww had a different opinion.]] This has actually become a theme of the second one: [[FanNickname Brian]] (yes, the second Pidgey, [[Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian for exactly those reasons]]) is now held as not wanting to be seen as Bird Jesus 2.0 but himself, while Lasergator is in RageAgainstTheHeavens mode (the previous game's Helix Fossil and later Omastar is considered a god).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim,'' [[VillainAntagonist Zim]] is "captured" by a group of UFO nuts who believe that aliens want to bring peace and prosperity to mankind. Somehow, despite being an insane {{Narcissist}} on a mission to TakeOverTheWorld, he fails to see the possibilities of this and instead gets [[MinionWithAnFInEvil GIR]] to help him escape.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' backstory, the previous incarnations of Hawkgirl and Hawkman were Thanagarian police officers stranded on Earth before human civilization arose. They founded the first human state (in AncientEgypt) and, despite their sincerest efforts to avoid it, were worshiped as gods in return.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'' -- In one episode, Jenny is mistaken for the Comet Goddess by a group of {{Adorkable}} aliens, and while the worship is nice at first, she eventually gets sick of it.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Trapped in the Closet", Stan is mistaken by the Church of Scientology for the reincarnation of Creator/LRonHubbard, the church's founder. [[spoiler:Though it turns out that L. Ron Hubbard was a fraud, and the Church's current president is simply using Stan as a way to bilk more money out of their followers.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' episode "The God Gambit" a few Autobots and Decepticons stumble across a primitive humanoid race living on Titan. The primitives (understandably) mistake the enormously powerful metal giants from the sky for gods. The Autobots try to clear up the misunderstanding, while the Decepticons play it up for all it's worth. Jazz spent most of the episode protesting that no, they weren't gods and never were.