Follow TV Tropes


God Is Displeased

Go To

"My patience for mortals has worn thin. If I am to protect Earthrealm, I must punish those who would threaten it."

Something evil has appeared to destroy the Earth, and in the hopes that it can be stopped, some people turn to the local priesthood to pray to their Patron Gods for continued protection. But their prayers go unanswered. Their gods have grown angry.

Their gods are displeased, and have withdrawn all favor and protection they were once granted.

Reasons for this may vary, as well as how great in scope. Maybe it was a priest who has been abusing their power, or an entire people committing some great and terrible sin in the name of their gods. Or maybe the gods knew at least one of their servants was Evil All Along and was only waiting until they finally drop the facade and reveal their true nature. Either way, the gods have decided that the person or people they once protected has committed one sin too many, and withdraw their favor and protection.

Oftentimes the offender doesn't find out until moments before their death. Nor is this restricted to the gods' mortal servants. After all, not even angels or demigods are above the laws of the gods.

This will likely result in Divine Punishment, maybe even to the level of Disproportionate Retribution. They may go out of their way to personally punish the offenders with a Bolt of Divine Retribution, or send a servant on a Mission from God to do it in their place. In extreme circumstances, the gods may punish the people with The Great Flood or some other kind of World-Wrecking Wave, and could even remake the world In Their Own Image.

May also overlap with Good is Not Nice and Good Is Not Soft, if the gods in question are usually benevolent. Jerkass Gods may frequently invoke this, especially over lesser offenses. If the evil in question was sent by the gods as punishment, then the evil could be considered the scourge of the gods. Have You Seen My God? may also come into play, if this trope has been invoked over a prolonged period of time in-universe.

Contrast with God's Hands Are Tied, where the gods can't revoke their favor and protection.

See also: All-Powerful Bystander and The Gods Must Be Lazy.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life: Arceus once cared for humans and even gave humans some of their own power in the form of the Jewel of Life, but after being betrayed, attacked, and having the person they gave it to refuse to give them back the Jewel of Life, they become displeased with humans and want to exact judgment on them.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms: Rulers are appointed by divine mandate and are granted immortality. However, both are revoked if they perform badly enough to lose Heaven's favour; in that case, they either get killed by their subjects or Abdicate the Throne and die soon after.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquila: Boudiccae achieves great successes against the Roman invaders thanks to the protection of the local gods. However, once she organizes reprisals against the Briton population she feels the gods leave her, leading to her defeat by Aquila. She asks of him that when he inevitably turns against the Roman emperor, that he should die hearing her name, a request Aquila agrees to (and does so at the end of the comic).
  • Black Moon Chronicles: After Wis destroys the Tables of the Covenant, God and the angels pull back from the world, although The Paladin managed to get his country magically teleported away. Wis manages to thwart the demonic invasion that soon follows, but unfortunately the villain's failsafe involves the inevitable destruction of the world. So Wis instead organizes a massive exodus of humans to other worlds (the elves and dwarves choose to stay).
  • Wonder Woman: Zeus tends to get displeased with humanity for their technological advancements, not worshiping him and giving him the power he lusts after, and their violence, as he is a major hypocrite and sees it as a reflection of Ares and Ares alone. His reactions tend to be genocidal, with him slaughtering huge swaths of people in his bid to subjugate them in Wonder Woman (2006) and being stopped from doing so in Wonder Woman (1987) and The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) at great cost to the Amazons.

    Fan Works 
  • Shattered Reflection opens with Rose betrayed by Chrom at the advice of Lucina, and the latter two, plus Owain, are punished by an outraged Naga with their marks removed, the blessings on their blood rescinded, and the two Falchions — plus the Fire Emblem — confiscated. The truth behind this is far more complicated.
  • The Last Firebender (sinistercinnamon):
    • Agni, the Great Spirit who is the patron of the Fire Nation, has been growing steadily more displeased over the Hundred Years War. In fact, the only reason he hasn't intervened is because Great Spirits don't perceive time in the same way as humans; waiting a few hundred years to see if they sort things out on their own seems like a good idea. That is, until the Fire Lord (who is supposed to be Agni's voice) brutally scars his own son in a ritual duel sacred to Agni while the crowd cheers, all to punish him for suggesting they not murder their own troops. Agni responds by instantly removing all firebending — except for Zuko's. Ozai blames Zuko for all of this, and Iroh barely manages to get him out of the Fire Nation before he is killed.
    • Later, on a smaller scale, Tui, the Spirit of the Moon and patron of the Water Tribe, manifests through Yue to judge Hama for her cruelty and punishes her by removing her waterbending.

    Films — Animation 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Kida muses that the titular city was sunk because of the gods' jealousy towards the Atlanteans. In truth, the Heart of Atlantis didn't appreciate being used as a weapon, and sealed both itself and a comparative handful of the city's population away while the rest perished under the flood.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Constantine (2005): Gabriel believed that in order for humanity to be worthy of God's love, it had to suffer first. So they conspired with Mammon to unleash Hell on Earth. They try to destroy Satan when he intervenes, only for Satan to stop the blow from landing, revealing that Gabriel no longer has God's favor.

  • Dragonlance: The Holy Empire of Istar was a beacon of Good in the world, enjoying the patronage of the Gods of Light, until its crusade against evil took it further and further into Knight Templar territory. The last Kingpriest's actions became so egregious that the Gods sent thirteen warnings, including revoking their own priests' holy magic; when they were ignored, the Gods followed them up with a meteorite that destroyed the Empire.
  • The Dresden Files: The Abrahamic God is one of the strongest forces of Light, Good, and Love. He normally keeps to the background, working with Contrived Coincidences as His Hands are frequently tied because of respecting Free Will. That said, if a human agent of His acts improperly when using one of the Swords of the Cross, He will, if temporarily, revoke the Blessings of the Sword. Or if one is a supernatural being who has done evil or holds certain evil within, the Sword won't allow itself to be used.
    • In Grave Peril, Michael Carpenter lends his Sword Amoracchius, the Sword of Love, to Harry Dresden. However, in a moment of weakness, Harry tries to use the Sword to stop his Fairy Godmother from claiming him after years of evading him because of their pact. As she has fully honored her side of the deal and never coerced Harry into making the pact, God refuses to help with the consequences of Harry's own choices. This in turn causes the protections on the Sword to be weakened and allows Lea to grab hold of the Holy Blade and then give it to people who would try to unmake it altogether.
    • In Death Masks, Harry makes an ally with a woman who is half-vampire. She was bitten and turned only partially. If she were to kill another person and drink the victim's blood, she would become a fully evil vampire. Despite aiding Harry and then helping one of the other Knights of the Cross rescue Harry, when Harry drops Fidelacchius and the half-vampire grabs the Sword, God does not approve. It stings her fiercely and leaves the whole arm numb for a month. Later, in Changes, when she needs to save her daughter from the vampire king, as long as she swears to not use the Sword improperly and return it when done, Amoracchius permits her to wield it.
    • In Skin Game, a woman holds a dangerous foe at the end of Fidelacchius, the Sword of Faith. The foe is an ancient, but still human, enemy. While he had surrendered to the woman and removed all his magical items, leaving him easily killable to a blade of any sort, he orders his comrade to kill Harry. This angers the woman so much she screams "Damn you" while aiming to make the final blow. This causes Fidelacchius to lose its powers and protections. The villain is able to grab the woman by the arms, twist her, and smash the Sword against the cold hard ground, shattering it. He then beats down the woman and notes that he isn't sure what could have happened if she hadn't given into anger in those final moments when she swung the Sword.
    • This is His stance against the Knights of the Blackened Denarius, persons who have in their heads thirty of the most dangerous Fallen who either served Lucifer or played both sides. When one of these people who have the Fallen in their head enters holy ground like a church, God doesn't smite them, but simply passively lets them be. Harry realizes that this is the point, like a father simply looking at a wayward child hoping he will change his path; God lets them feel Him and it causes them to remember the worth they had serving Him. This also makes them question their million plus years of certainty and pride in their choice to rebel. And maybe, just maybe, the Fallen will repent.
  • Fengshen Yanyi: King Zhou first step into bringing ruin upon his empire involves him grossly offending the Goddess Nu Wa in her own temple by commenting lustfully on her statue and writing an insolent poem on the wall of her shrine. Furious for his lack of respect, Nu Wa sees that he's destinated to be the last emperor of Shang and thus summons the Nine-Tailed Fox Sprite Daji and her sisters, commanding them to turn into human womena and distract King Zhou to make his government so bad the people will welcome the new ruling house. During the course of the novel, King Zhou's decadent lifestyle angers the Heavens and his land is cursed by droughts and destructive floods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Supernatural, one of the reasons God has chosen to withdraw and be more passive in the greater scheme of things is because in the past many of his creations turned out to be evil. He was far more proactive in the olden days, but that didn't tend to go well.
  • Kings: King Silas Benjamin ascended to the throne of Gilboa by the grace of God, as he loves to recount the story where butterflies flocked on his head in the shape of a crown as a sign from the Lord. His rule causes a rift between him and his head priest, before the same butterfly crown is bestowed on David, thus indicating to Silas that he has fallen out of favor with God and starting his rivalry with the young war hero destined to replace him.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Greek Mythology:
    • The hero Tydeus was protected by Athena until he behaved so savagely towards an enemy (by cracking his head open and eating his brains) that she immediately stopped supporting him.
    • Atalanta and Hippomenes were a couple thanks to Hippomenes' praying to Aphrodite. In one version, they started Making Love in All the Wrong Places in a temple (belonging to Zeus or Aphrodite, depending on the version) and the deity turned them both into lions (the Ancient Greeks believed lions mated with leopards, but not each other).
    • One of the many reasons why Jason was so successful was because he held the favor of the Goddess Hera. Unfortunately for him, Hera grew angry and withdrew her favor when Jason broke his oath to Medea (who sacrificed practically everything for Jason because she was in love with him) and abandoned her for the princess of Corinth. Medea punished Jason by killing the princess (and in some versions, Jason's twin sons, who Medea was the mother of) as well as burning down Corinth, which she was only able to do because Jason no longer had Hera's protection.
  • God:
    • In Islam, the religious texts (mainly The Qur'an) document cases of towns getting demolished by God because of the citizens' debauchery and/or they refuse to follow the prophet designated to them.
    • In The Bible:
      • Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because God had had enough of all the bad things that the people of both cities were doing.
      • This is why God sent the Flood, humanity having become too corrupted. So He told Noah to prepare the ark and just rebooted humanity.
      • Invasions from other nations are attributed to God withdrawing His protection after disobeying Him. In particular, the Exile comes after many, many ignored warnings that God is this close to forsaking the Israelites because of their continual idolatry and other sins.
      • In Judges, there's a recurring cycle: the people stop following God, He withdraws His protection and some enemy conquers them, they call out to God for help and He raises up a leader ("judge") to defeat the enemy and to bring the people back to Him, only for the people to stop following Him again as soon as the leader dies.
      • God was very displeased with David's sending of Uriah to his death and subsequent marriage to Bathsheba, Uriah's wife, so He punished the household with public shame and war.
      • The story of Jonah involves this almost happening to the wicked city of Ninevah, and God sends Jonah as a prophet to warn the city's inhabitants that they need to stop their evil ways or else fire and brimstone will be coming. After the incident with the giant fish, Jonah delivers God's warning... and for once, the Ninevites actually listen and start turning things around. As a result, God decides not to destroy Ninevah.

  • Bleak Expectations: At the end of series 4, the Creator appears to Pip Bin to call him out for siding with Mr. Benevolent for taking over the world, though even the Creator admits Pip is only "basically" good, before sending him back in time to undo his mistake.
  • Old Harry's Game: If He appears, God tends to be in Grumpy Old Man Mode. When Satan tries calling him to help with the problem of Hell overcrowding, God first gets distracted by complaining, suckered by a scam phone call, and then outraged by Thomas Crimp trying to call Him out for allowing someone like Thomas Crimp to exist (or have free will) in the first place. God responds by turning Thomas into a bucket of sewage. Then He makes Hell smaller out of spite. And don't even bother mentioning "Jesus" around Him...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Cleric Class is built around Religion is Magic, receiving their daily spells from a patron deity or power through prayer. If they offend their deity badly enough, it can refuse them, leaving them without magic until they make amends or find a different god.
    • Paladins also have to deal with this. While the gods may forgive bad things done while under compulsion, duress, or lack of choice, and allow for an atonement spell to be cast in order to have one's paladin status restored under such circumstances, the same cannot be said of deliberate and willful acts of evil, which will cost you your paladinhood permanently.
    • The Dragonborn children of Bahamut in 3e are given their abilities in part due to serving him, but they are forbidden to do evil in his service. The Platinum Dragon is forgiving toward his adopted children, but if they repeatedly use immoral methods against the servants of Tiamat, they can expect warnings from the Aspects of their father. If they still fail to atone, Bahamut will strip them of all his powers and blessings, causing their scales to slough off, reverting them to their original race.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • Priests with divine magic can lose access to it if they seriously violate their god's tenets. One heretical sect rationalizes this as a test of faith instead.
    • This is the backstory of Bela'Kor, the first Daemon Prince. The only Daemon Prince to be blessed by all four Chaos Gods, he grew proud, and started demanding the gods give him gifts, instead of beseeching. In retaliation, the gods reduce him to a shadowy spectre who can only manifest to mark the next Everchosen. This also convinces the gods to never make Daemon Princes from multiple gods.

  • Oedipus the King: The people of Thebes ask an Oracle for advice on a plague ravaging the city, then learn that it was sent by the gods because the murderer of their former king Laius was never caught. The new king Oedipus immediately vows to bring the murderer to justice, unaware that it's actually him.

    Video Games 
  • In Bastion, it's heavily implied that the Gods turned on Caelondia. Trying to invoke them from their idols makes things harder (essentially serving as a challenge mode) by doing things like making enemies regenerate health or deal more damage. It's implied this is because Caelondia (unlike the Ura) had stopped treating them respectfully. Whether they're also pissed off that the Caelondians blew themselves up with a Doomsday Device, or they had a hand in making it backfire in the first place is left ambiguous. Downplayed in that the harder settings also give the player more experience and fragments, implying that they might simply be demanding penance rather than abandoning The Kid completely.
  • The Chantry of Dragon Age teaches that their god, the Maker, turned His back on humanity after they started worshipping the Old Gods instead of him, which caused Him to refuse to answer their prayers and bar their souls from entering his realm, the Golden City, after death. His opinion of them only got worse when 1. arrogant Tevinter magisters tried to breach the Golden City with Blood Magic, accidentally corrupting it into a place of darkness and nightmares in the process, and 2. His mortal wife and prophet Andraste was betrayed and killed. It is said that He will only come back permanently once the entire world converts to the Chantry's teachings, although until then He supposedly occasionally comes back to give humanity a helpful nudge in its hours of need, only to leave again out of disappointment in His creations.
  • In Shining Force II, Volcanon claims that he is forsaking the humans in their war against the devils. This isn't entirely true, however, as he left the Jewel of Light in Bowie's possession and is implied to have subtly assisted in other ways as well.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • In the Dawnguard DLC, there are some subtle indications that Auri-El knew that Arch-Curate Vrythur would betray him and did not protect him from becoming a vampire in the first place as a result.
    • At some point prior to the events of the main game, the Daedric Prince Nocturnal cursed the Thieves Guild with a long string of bad luck, having withdrawn her protection and influence as its unknown (to all non-Nightingale members of the Guild) patron deity, because of Mercer Frey's theft of the Skeleton Key and murder of Gallus, the previous Guildmaster.
  • Implied in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It's never stated exactly how Ganondorf came into possession of the Triforce of Power, but the sages suggest that it was a "divine prank" suggesting that the goddess Din was responsible. In the end of the game, he loses the Triforce piece after Link stabs him through the chest (again, the exact reason why isn't stated). Stripped of its divine protection, he succumbs to his wounds and Dies Standing Up.
  • In Mortal Kombat, Raiden, known as the God of Thunder, is the Guardian of the Earthrealm, standing against Shao Kahn and other realm menaces and recruiting Earth warriors to fight with him.
    • In the original timeline, Raiden died at the hands of Onaga in Mortal Kombat: Deception. Reviving later with desire of vengeance and seeing Earthlings don't learn from their mistakes, the god goes by himself in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge leaving Earthrealm to its own luck and reviving Liu Kang as a Revenant Zombie for his own goals.
    • In the rebooted timeline, Mortal Kombat X sees Shinnok corrupt the Jinsei for ultimate power to destroy; to purge the corruption, Raiden has to take it into himself, which he does knowing it will corrupt him in turn, drawing out his darker impulses for the rest of his days as the god of thunder. Afterwards is Raiden delivering a dire warning to revenants and now rulers of Netherrealm Liu Kang and Kitana not to fuck with Earthrealm lest he take his pound of flesh from them one way or another.
  • Age of Mythology has Arkantos believing that Poseidon was displeased with Atlantis, given his lack of protection from and support towards their enemies. Subverted, as Poseidon has allied with Kronos and his minions in a bid for power, his absent protection having nothing to do with specific displeasure against Atlantis itself.
  • During the "Planes of Power" expansion pack for EverQuest, the mortals of Norrath invaded the planar realms and homes of the gods of influence. While they unintentionally thwarted an evil plot by the God of War and other evil gods to plunge Norrath into war through a convoluted scheme that involved the Plane of Time's control over time itself, the end result was the gods collectively sending the mortals of Norrath an ultimatum. Their defilement of their planar realms resulted in unanimous decision to withdraw their influence, intervention, and favors to the races of Norrath who were involved. This even played into the backstory of Everquest II, where the lack of the gods' presence resulted in Norrath being torn asunder by hundreds of years of natural disasters known as the Rendering. It wasn't until after 500 years that they returned to Norrath and allowed mortals to worship them properly again.
  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, a player character can piss off their deity by defiling their altars, killing creatures they like, sacrificing stuff they don't approve of, or by asking for too many favors. You can become so hated by your god by asking for favors that they just stop talking to you.
  • In the City-Building Series:
    • Pharaoh and Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom have gods that need to be honored with occasional festivals and offerings. They'll curse your cities if they feel overly neglected, but offer powerful blessings if you're generous enough in your devotions.
    • Zeus: Master of Olympus: When a city constructs a sanctuary for a patron deity, it founds a Physical Religion where the deity walks the streets and offers blessings. However, it also sets certain expectations for ongoing worship and sacrifice, and the god's blessings turn to curses if the city fails to deliver.


    Western Animation 
  • In The Boondocks, Uncle Ruckus is preaching the idea of "white heaven" to a group of black people after having a near-death experience where he saw himself becoming white while approaching the pearly gates. After a particularly nasty (even for him) racist tirade about how just existing while being black is a sin, he ends his sermon with "And if I'm wrong may God strike me down!" God does, decisively, which makes all the people listening to him bail after seeing an honest-to-God act of divine retribution at using His name to promote such awful ideals.
  • Castlevania (2017): During the attack on the town by Dracula's forces, the bishop comes to find out that in response to his abuse of power and the burning of Dracula's wife, God withdrew His protection — the demons can go straight into the town's chapel and devour him. On the other hand, holy water still works so long as it's consecrated by an ordained priest—even that very same bishop('s zombified corpse).
  • Family Guy: In "If I'm Dyin' I'm Lyin'", a series of lies leads to Peter being worshiped as a God. The real God is not happy and sends the Biblical Plagues upon the Griffin family. Naturally, Peter doesn't get it until Brian knocks some sense into him.
    Peter: There's gotta be an explanation for all this!
    Brian: You want an explanation?! [Grabs Peter and smacks him repeatedly] GOD... IS...PISSED!
  • In the VeggieTales episode "King George and the Ducky," Melvin the conveniently-appearing wise man has this to say to the king:
    Melvin: What you have done has made God very unhappy.


Video Example(s):


Bel'akor's Fall From Grace

Bel'akor arrogantly demands more power from the Chaos Gods, who punish him for his arrogance.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / SmiteMeOMightySmiter

Media sources: