They kill us for their sport.
This trope comes into play when the supreme deity of a given setting is not just a mere jerkass — they are actively malevolent, a jealous, callous, sadistic, monstrous tyrant who created the world or universe to be such a miserable Crapsack World, preparing Disproportionate Retribution and an Easy Road to Hell for everybody else.
The classic problem of evil tends to be invoked in this trope, along with the irrationality of religious extremism. People foolish enough to try a Religious Russian Roulette to get a god like this to answer their prayers are unlikely to like the result.
In some works, this being is the supreme deity of a Fantasy Pantheon, while in others, the being is a powerful monotheistic deity, with some works casting the Big Guy himself — or his nearest fantasy analogue — in the role. Sometimes, the being calling itself a god (or the God) isn't one (often to lessen the offense that religious readers might obviously feel when this trope comes in play); its powers are just so close to omnipotentnote that it makes no difference.
Narratives about a God that is both omnipotent and malevolent, and how we puny humans can cope with its abominable existence, can result in a Cosmic Horror Story, which is based on the complete helplessness and despair of us Puny Earthlings under the powers of an alien reality-warping madness-inducing entity. But while the Eldritch Abominations of your average Cosmic Horror Story will at least leave you alone if you don't seek them out (most of the time, anyway), a malevolent supreme god can be an absolute nightmare, scrutinizing our every thought and toying with us against our will, with us having little to no hope in doing anything about it.
The video game variants of this trope, however, lean on Lovecraft Lite and Rage Against the Heavens, offering a hope of the ability to kill this "omnipotent", probably thanks to narrativium that somehow serves to negate the Omnipotent's omnipotence, or with help from a good opposite. If God Is Evil, then The Anti-God may well be the Big Good.
In settings that take the controversial stance of God being evil, it is not uncommon for his infernal opposite to be good. Or for his Son to be way cool. Other times, Satan may simply be The Starscream. This isn't strictly necessary, however, especially in darker Crapsack Worlds whose authors take a more humanistic and/or existential stance on things.
Ninety-eight times out of one hundred, where an evil supreme god is in charge of things, you will also find a Knight Templar. Whether or not that person (or group) follows this evil supreme deity is entirely dependent on the Knight's alignment.
Truth in Television: this viewpoint is Older Than Feudalism. Already some Greek philosophers considered the Olympian deities to be nothing but malevolent bullies. Lucian (2nd century AD) wrote a lengthy essay on why the Greco-Roman deities were evil, to boot. Likewise, the Norse sagas were full of description of Vikings who were goðlauss (godless)-they actively disdained the Norse deities, instead relying on themselves.
This trope can also be called dystheism, or maltheism; these are beliefs that a monotheistic god is, respectively, not wholly good or outright evil. This trope is often found in Rage Against the Heavens plots (and will likely invoke misotheism — hatred of God or the gods), and is a common belief of Nay Theists.
Compare and contrast Gnosticism and the Demiurge Archetype, note Everybody Hates Hades, God of Evilnote , God Is Inept, God Is Flawed, Order Is Not Good. The flip side is Satan Is Good. See also: God and Satan Are Both Jerks, Devil, but No God, Neglectful Precursors, Jerkass Gods for when the deities are not really evil but just neglectful, Abusive Precursors for when this so called creator is beyond just guilty. Definitely the polar opposite of God Is Good. May or may not happen with a Corrupt Church - with that, the god is not guaranteed be evil, but those who serve (or claim to serve) him are.
- Morganna from .hack. She manifests as a godlike being; a disembodied voice and psychic presence.
- Angel Sanctuary. Technically a spoiler, but between the state of Heaven and the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, it's pretty obvious.
- Go Nagai did this all the time in his works.
- The God of Demon Lord Dante was an evil space being who demanded that the humans living on Earth worship him. When they didn't, he torched their cities, inadvertently turning the entire human race into demonic beings by having God's energy merge them with various objects (the main character merges with a jet plane and dinosaurs to turn into a giant demon), and split himself up into pieces and inserted himself into apes, becoming modern man as a result. He further becomes even more of a bastard when it is revealed at the end that the entire war between God and demons was done on purpose just because it was entertaining to him.
- Devilman implies that God exterminated and sealed away the demons because he disapproved of the way his first shot at creating life turned out. And he's basically an Eldritch Abomination that turns humans into pillars of salt from merely looking upon him. Interestingly enough, however, in the original manga and the original manga alone, God wasn't really portrayed as evil in the Devilman Universe (or at least a completely and utterly irredeemable asshole yet). He originally created the world, left for a while, then found the Demons, who were not part of his plans, and considered them abominations. And in all brutal fairness, it's very easy to see why he hated them, even if he's in the wrong for hating them just because it wasn't part of the plan, but seemed content to just let the tides of fate roll out once they began to free their icy prison. In what could have been seen as a massive Pet the Dog and even Hope Spot for humanity in such a Crapsack World, God personally intervened in the story by saving the human race from a nuclear holocaust launched by a Demon possessing the president of Russia, who had launched Russia's entire nuclear payload in an attempt to destroy all of humanity, albeit at the cost of turning every last human in Russia (or the USSR in the original manga) into salt with his mere presence. He may not have been friendly, but at least it might have seemed like he actually wanted the human race to win and survive the conflict against the Demons. But then...
- In AMON: Apocalypse of Devilman, it's revealed that God has put the entire world into a time loop so all humans and demons live and die for nothing over and over, just to make Satan suffer the loss of his beloved repeatedly for all eternity. Just in case we weren't already aware of how much of a dick he is. This also makes it likely his aforementioned Pet the Dog for humanity was likely only done to prolong the end of the world as Satan had yet to lose his beloved at this point, thus prolonging his suffering.
- Dragon Ball Super introduces Zeno, who hosts a tournament between entire universes that will destroy all but the winner, and which turns out to actually be a Secret Test of Character at the end of which all universes involved are restored. That being said, he did destroy six other universes for real over an unspecified, implied-to-be-trivial cause at a much earlier point in time.
- Princess Tutu has the eccentric sadist Drosselmeyer to contend with: a dead writer whose influence, and love of tragedy, still haunt Kinkan Town.
- The last episode of You Are Being Summoned, Azazel seems to indicate that in the universe of that series, the God of the Bible rules, and he is clearly depicted as every bit as loathsome as atheists usually contend that he is — vengeful and petty, with unreasonable standards and demands on others. He also likes to subject people to really, really bad dirty jokes, but since he surrounds himself with irredeemable toadies who pretend that his jokes are funny, he isn't aware that they aren't.
- Digimon Tamers has Zhuqiaomon, a phoenix god who is one of the four Holy Beasts that rule the Digital World. He sent his servants, the Devas, to the human world, to wreak havoc and eventually kidnap one of the heroes' friends, a small Digimon with the power to trigger evolution. However, this trope is inverted once the other Holy Beasts intervene, and explain that Zhuqiaomon was only trying to use their friend's special powers to fight the D-Reaper. Of course, Zhuqiaomon really dislikes humans as it is and isn't very apologetic to the children, so while not evil per se, he's still kind of an ass.
- Another Digimon god is Yggdrasil, a master computer that, in some incarnations of the Digital World, created the world and controls it. In every media it appeared it, whether it is the X-Evolution movie or the Digimon Data Squad anime, it always ends up trying to destroy its own creation (and in the case of Data Squad, the human world as well). He has a highly variable morality though-in X-Evolution, he's an enigmatic terror who has motives no one knows, in Digimon Data Squad he's an Anti-Villain with a easily justifiable hatred of humanity, and in NEXT, he's a victim of Demonic Possession.
- Berserk: In a semi-decanonized chapter, which was removed for reasons of revealing too much, God was revealed to be behind everything that happens in Berserk's Crapsack World, and it was created out of humanity's desire for there to be an ultimate reason to blame for human suffering; which resulted in the creation of the Idea of Evil, a grimdark version of Plato's Theory of Forms, whose purpose in life was to literally be responsible for everybody suffering so much. And it's very good at it, having conspired to drive Griffith into his ascension as the fifth Godhand, Femto, through the workings of Causality, which leads to the series theme of Fighting Fate. It can be seen as an inversion though; in this case, evil is God.
- One Piece:
- In a "not quite" case, the Straw Hat crew travels to another society in the sky and is forced to battle a lightning-flinging man identifying himself as god; his subjects even have (seemingly nonfunctional) wings! Turns out in this society "God" is just the title given to their ruler...
- While the aforementioned 'god' had the power level to back it up, later on the Celestial Dragons are revealed. They see themselves as living gods with an Omniscient Morality License. Thankfully they are much more punchable, if you can avoid the consequences.
- The motivating idea behind all of the Millennium Earl's actions in D.Gray-Man. Considering that said God seemingly allows the existence of someone as monstrously malevolent as the Earl, he may have a point.
- Deus Ex Machina from Future Diary. Sure, he's about to die and is taking the world down with him, but picking his successor by forcing mostly innocent people to fight a battle royale for the lulz? Not to mention telling a 4-year-old to kill (semi)-innocent people. Later revealed to be the result of a Batman Gambit by another of the Diary Holders, John Bacchus, who told Deus to have a last conflict before he died, and hence took all the winning cards with him as a reward. Eventually Subverted in the Third Continuity, where Deus just makes Yuno Gasai the God without any bloodshed.
- Many of the various gods in Kurohime and one of its central themes. When we finally meet the creator of man (not the Big Bad Yashahime by the way, just some goddess lazing around), she abandons her creations outright to kill the titular heroine. She fails of course, which brings up ANOTHER of the manga's central themes.
- God in Cat Soup is pretty much only concerned about eating, even fucking up with time and space to do so.
- Of all places, this appears in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's in the form of Z-One, the last human of the Bad Future. He somehow got divine powers and he's worshipped by Yliaster. After losing hope and his friends, Z-One sends android copies of his friends to the past to correct the past, but some of their actions made things worse and didn't bring the results he hoped for. After several failures, he decides as his final plan to destroy the entirety of Neo-Domino City to prevent the Bad Future from happening, even at the cost of thousands of lives.
- In Legend of Galactic Heroes, while he never exhibited overt religiosity, Oskar von Reuenthal mused during the occasion where he was framed for the second time that if a Creator exists, He must be a malicious one.
- In Sword Art Online, while he's only a "god" in the sense that he created the cybernetic world of Aincrad, Akihiko Kayaba's god complex causes him to trap ten thousand people in his world, where if they die they're dead in real life as well, just so that he could rule over a world of his own creation.
- Played with a curious case with Ryuunosuke. He believes that God loves good and evil, therefore he thinks that God loves his mass-murdering. In his eyes, why else would God allow crimes and wars to keep happening and make blood and guts so pretty?
- The central conflict of the story rests around priests and magi trying to gain control of the Holy Grail, which will grant their greatest wish. It turns out towards the end that the Grail has a will of its own and may do anything from twist your wish to outright refuse it. That said, the church has their doubts that this artifact is actually the Grail (according to background materials, it is not), and other works in the Nasuverse establish that the Grail has been corrupted ever since the entity Angra Mainyu was sealed in it. So, it may be a subversion.
- Within the larger franchise, while not quite God, Gaia is the creator of the earth gods and by extension humanity, and is the manifestation of the planet itself. She is also the Overarching Villain who wants to knock humanity back to the Stone Age, if not outright obliterate them, for daring to rise above the natural order.
- A major plot point in episode 9 of Seven Mortal Sins revealed that God plans on purging both Earth and Hell and banished Lucifer after she protested against it.
- Patton Oswalt talks about an Evil God in his Christmas Shoes routine. Also one with the Jesus isn't evil variety.
God: What's this? Someone in a bad mood on my son's birthday? Bullshit! Give that kid's mom cancer! Make sure he's in front of him in line, make him seven cents short for the shoes! This guy'll buy them, then he'll be in a good mood!Jesus: I don't think we need to give the mother cancer...God: You shut the fuck up! This is gonna be the best birthday you ever had!
- Garth Ennis' The Punisher: "Sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God."
- In Preacher (also by Ennis), God is shown to be a pathetic creature who has a pathological need to be loved, and is willing to destroy anyone who turns their back on Him. As it turns out, He isn't even omnipotent; it's His throne that gives Him limitless power, and in the final issue He's tricked into leaving it and ends up reaped by His own Grim Reaper, who as it turns out Was Once a Man whom God had massively screwed over in his mortal life so that he'd replace the current Angel of Death.
"I am a Loving God, Tulip... But don't push it."
- What started the plot in the first place? God created a creature as powerful as Himself... so He could be loved by it. He actually gets a kick out of people worshipping Him despite the craptastic nature of the world, and actively makes it worse for that reason.
- In the comic book Hellblazer (which Ennis did a lot of writing for), The First of the Fallen (a leader of Hell) tells John Constantine that God is completely insane. John also works out that The First is actually God's conscience, removed at the dawn of creation because he kept nagging at Him. God himself never appears, but from what little is seen of His work through the Angels doesnt exactly paint Him in the best light. For example, the Archangel Michael himself assisted in the creation of Jesus by raping Mary, and commited genocide against the first-born of Egypt, all on God's orders. You can probably tell that Ennis isnt crazy about Christianity.
- God in The Chronicles of Wormwood (by ...you guessed it, Garth Ennis) is another example, as He's apparently insane or severely mentally deficient. Also of note: This version of God seems to really, really, really love masturbating (something of a Running Gag in Ennis' works).
- Cerebus the Aardvark crossed the line into Cerebus Syndrome when its author began proposing such theories through the mouth of his barbarian-turned-intellectual main character. To be more precise (and yet dumb down the theories), Sim's argument isn't that God is evil, it's that the YHWH of the Old Testament and God are two separate entities, and the conflict between them stems from the YHWH having a massive inferiority complex.
- In Warren Ellis's comic The Authority, the main superhero team actually fight "God," which turns out to be a gigantic pyramid-like entity which created the Earth as a "retirement home" (unfortunately, its home environment looks like Mordor crossed with a Xenomorph hive) and is bugged when it returns to find humanity has since evolved (life on Earth was a total accident caused by a random meteor strike billions of years ago) and intends to keep on living there. They end up frying its brains out, assuring the civilization of sentient intestinal parasites living in it that only the higher brain functions will be affected, letting them survive. Unusual for this trope, this alien "God" has nothing to do with humans, just with planet Earth itself.
- In Ghost Rider, and thus the Marvel Universe as a whole, the evil angel Zadkiel finally succeeded in his violent coup to seize the throne of Heaven. The horrors of a Heaven run by Zadkiel are so great that many who are in the know would sooner kill themselves and take their chances in Hell.
- The Doom Patrol once battled Red Jack, a sadistic and utterly psychotic Humanoid Abomination who claimed to be both the Supreme God and Jack the Ripper. Although as he/it/whatever was clearly batshit crazy neither of these were necessarily true.
- The premise of the post-Rapture graphic novel Therefore, Repent!.
- Eppy Thatcher from Grendel subscribes to this trope, and has "God hates me" as his Catchphrase. Then again, this is a guy who's so messed up that he believes he killed God at the end of his run as Grendel.
- Darkseid of the New Gods is the "God of Evil" and revels in it. He runs a hellish planet dedicated to this with all his lieutenants being other evil gods.
- And by Final Crisis, when he's the only New God left, he gives us this little gem (as well as ample proof of statement):
- Loki of The Mighty Thor is often called and self-titled the "god of evil." Other gods or godlike beings from the Marvel Universe are very much about evil including Seth and the elder god Chthon. However, the actual highest being of the Marvel Universe is almost certainly benevolent, and is usually referred to as The-One-Above-All, though it's debatable if he's ever actually been seen (though an entity that may or may not have been Him bore a striking similarity to Jack Kirby). His higher subordinates (whom all three of the above characters would be like dust mites to) have been known to drift into Lawful Neutral Jerkass Gods on occasion, though.
- The times when Thanos of Titan has acquired omnipotence (Heart of the Universe, Infinity Gauntlet, the Cosmic Cube) the situation is similar to this. "How can you cope with a universe where God is truly mad."
- Ironically, the Thor villain Gorr the God-Butcher both believes this, being a Hollywood Atheist with a Trauma Conga Line background, and is this, as he's empowered by an uber-divine god-killing weapon - created by an actual evil God - that he uses to take Rage Against the Heavens to the level of hunting down, torturing and murdering every god he can find.
- In Spawn, God and Satan are portrayed as, though not exactly "evil," essentially the cosmic equivalent of spoiled teenagers who enjoy breaking each other's stuff. It's the fact that this includes us that causes this to become a problem. Oh, and He's not actually the Creator.
- There was an arc of The Spectre that featured God apparently going completely insane and cannibalizing the Archangel Michael in a scene right out of a Goya painting. However, it's eventually revealed that a). God Is Good, b). Michael was in on it, and c). the entire thing was a Secret Test of Character for the Spectre.
- In the "World's End" storyline in The Sandman, one of the nested stories is a take on Prez: First Teenage President. In this version when Prez Rickard dies, Death takes him to meet the Prince of the World (although she says he didn't create the world, he just "runs the local franchise"). Prez is horrified to discover this is Boss Smiley, the corrupt politician he's been fighting against his whole career. Instead of taking his place at Smiley's right hand, he goes off to find other Americas with Morpheus.
- Clive Barker's Next Testament has Wick, the Father of Colors. He's petty, he seeps the life force out of people, levitates them and lets them plummet to their death, makes their heads explode, forces them to build monuments in his honor and ultimately decides to Kill 'Em All. Also, he fucking hates free will.
- O'ne the Creator in The Great Power of Chninkel. The Almighty Creator is willing to annihilate an entire planet and its life but not willing to just kill the three warring immortals Itself. O'ne actually does kill almost all life (save a few tawals living underground) by raining fire on the planet's surface. The reason? The heretic king N'om called It out on Its dickery and how everything was a conspiracy to make everyone worship It for all eternity. Though at the very least he kept his promise not to destroy Darr.
- Nameless by Grant Morrison: An Eldritch Abomination Made of Evil imprisoned on an asteroid is directly responsible for the very concept of God in the human psyche.
- Red Sonja - Wrath of the Gods depicts Odin from Norse Mythology at its most villainous, being a genocidal tyrant out to exterminate a pacifist tribe out of pure racism and intends to reassert Norse Pantheon dominance over Hyboria once more. Loki serves him as The Dragon and they were both responsible for slaughtering Thor's human family after hearing of a prophecy that he would one day dethrone him. And as if that wasn't bad enough, he is also a Dirty Old Man that tries to claim Sonja as his own.
- Windfall and Twister have something of a heart to heart in an issue of Suicide Squad.
Windfall: Excuse me — you're a nun, right?
Twister: Oh yes. Sister Mary Ignatius. They used to call me Twister. And you're Windfall. We're going to do God's work together.
Windfall: Do you mind if I ask you a question about God, Sister?
Twister: Of course not, child!
Windfall: Why — why does God hate me?
Twister: Oh, Windfall! God doesn't hate just you! God hates everybody.
Windfall: ... What?!
Twister: Well, look at me! Look at you! Look at the state of the world! Do you see the loving hand of a kindly God or somebody's idea of a sick joke? Don't take it personally.
- Supergod: The concept of God or gods, and especially the desire for them to exist, is described as a glitch caused by human sapience, and the creation of superhumans is a modern substitute. Even the ones that could even be remotely described as benevolent such as Krishna or Jerry Craven (J.C, get it?) are Blue-and-Orange Morality at best. Krishna was created with the purpose to "save India", which he did... by massacring 90% of it's population, then rebuilding the entire country to allow the survivors to live in a technological utopia. And that's not even touching on the ones that could be described as actively malevolent such as Gajjial who destroys the world and dooms mankind because he can see alternate timelines and Krishna and J.C's utopia would be boring.
- Wonder Woman: This has been played with over the decades, with Zeus and the other Olympians being at best Jerkass Gods.
- In The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) Zeus tries to pass himself off as the Big Good in opposition to Ares as the Big Bad but Diana is proven right in her distrust when he proudly commands that she help him massacre most of humanity and subjugate the remnants, proving that even though Ares is a jerk he's not nearly as cruel or self obsessed as Zeus.
- In the New 52's Wonder Woman (2011), Zeus is missing and presumed dead so his children fight over his throne, the callous Apollo ends up king of Olympus before being killed and overthrown by "The First Born", who is bloodthirsty and unapologetically evil.
- Titan from The Immortal Game. Imagine O'Brien from 1984 with the powers of an elder god. And his wife/daughter Terra is almost as bad.
- Notch in Yognapped is a petty Jerkass God who murdered his fellow gods — his brother and sister, no less — and covered it up from the people of Minecraftia, rubs shoulders with a constantly smiling, sociopathic demigod, and uses his holy Amazon Brigade to hunt down anyone who knows how bad he is. He has his reasons, though.
- The Games We Play: Malkuth might not actually be omnipotent or omniscient, but he's close enough to it that there's little practical difference as far as the Huntsman on the ground is concerned... and unfortunately for all, he's a massive dick. The massive dick, in fact, being the creator of the Grimm and all.
- The Lucifer (2016)/Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series "Morningstar Family Values" features a plot point where Lucifer reveals to Chloe that his mother drowned the last generation of grandchildren; with Chloe still assuming Lucifer's talk of being the Devil is a weird delusion, she interprets his words as him being part of a cult and contemplates trying to find a way to identify said cult and prosecute Lucifer's parents. When she finally receives evidence of Lucifer's true nature, Chloe is left lost about how to feel about the idea that she was contemplating trying to prosecute God Himself, but further research leads her to the conclusion that Lucifer's father has done such a bad job that He shouldn't be responsible for a lemonade stand, much less all of existence.
- While Trixie is only a child and potentially ignorant of the scale of what she's saying, at one point she is faced with being sacrificed by a cult if she doesn't reject Lucifer and Sabrina and proclaim her love for God, but Trixie counters that she won't say she loves God after he was "mean" to Lucifer and Amenadiel.
- This story, in which an Israelite soldier sees what he and his people are doing to God's enemies, and strives to put an end to it.
- The Shape of the Nightmare to Come, a Warhammer 40,000 fic, has a particularly horrifying take on the "Star Child" theory: the Astronomicon fails and the Emperor dies, causing his immensely powerful soul to go into the Warp and become the so-called Star Father, a Chaos God. Of Order. The Star Father is so ridiculously powerful that with his birth it took the combined efforts of the other four Chaos Gods just to stop him from crushing them all outright, and he has a vast army of Angyls with the ascended head of the Grey Knights, Kaldor Draigo at its head. Also, his Catchphrase: "OBEY!!"
- With This Ring: Paul already had a poor view of the Abrahamic God from his original life in our reality (where it's heavily implied He didn't even exist since Paul didn't originally have a soul), and it doesn't improve one bit once he ends up in the DC-verse where all religions are true. While The Presence never appears "in person", Christianity does NOT come off good in the series, and only gets worse when he's drawn into some of the angels trying to pull off a coup in Heaven.
- This trope is shown rather than told in The Adventures of Mark Twain through the presence of The Mysterious Stranger. Although the Stranger is explicitly Satan, he nontheless represents a malevolent God-figure as opposed to the benevolent God featured in an earlier segment. When the children meet him, he brings a civilization of clay figures to life on his planet. However, when he notices a few of the clay figures having a petty argument over property, he grows angry, and kills them all in a rage. The children are horrified, but the Mysterious Stranger doesn't show any remorse at all, since he can always make more clay people if he wishes. His musings as the children leave are especially creepy:
- The Devil's Advocate (though, as given by Satan):
"Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it: he gives man INSTINCTS. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does he do - I swear, for his own amusement, his own private cosmic gag reel - he sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all-time. Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste! Taste; don't swallow. And while you're jumping from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughing his SICK, FUCKING ASS OFF! He's a tight ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? Never!"
- Quoted from Riddick in Pitch Black when questioned about his belief in God;
"Think someone could spend half their life in a slam with a horse bit in their mouth and not believe? Think he could start out in some liquor-store trash bin with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and not believe? Got it all wrong, holy man. I absolutely believe in God... And I absolutely hate the fucker."
- In the 2010 film, Legion, God comes to the conclusion that the human race is no longer worthy of Him, and decides to end their existence. Archangel Michael fights the angelic army, and tells Archangel Gabriel that he (Michael) did what God needed, not what God wanted, thus giving humanity another chance. The weird thing about that is that the baby the pregnant woman is carrying is implied (if not outright stated) to be the second coming of Christ. Who is God. Who is trying to end the world. By stopping himself from being born and saving the world...
- The Black Comedy A Serious Man implies that God may be malicious and/or utterly incomprehensible.
- In Fight Club the narrator and Tyler Durden discuss this when Tyler tries to 'enlighten' the narrator by means of burning his hand with lye.
Tyler Durden: Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God?Narrator: No, no, I... don't...Tyler Durden: Listen to me! You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, He hates you. This is not the worst thing that can happen.Narrator: It isn't?Tyler Durden: We don't need Him!
- God on Trial: Subverted. The Jews were not discussing God's character - such banter was irrelevant to the trial, and stripped from the record. The jury ultimately decides God is in breach of contract, although whether they find him evil is not stated. The final monologue, however, features a man who is unequivocally of this position.
- The Devil's Carnival implies and The Devil's Carnival: Alleluia! outright depicts their version of God as being petty, lustful, and wrathful, and with Heaven as his seemingly-cheerful personal dictatorship. He even sings about causing one of the worst dust storms in U.S. history. The Devil and his Carnival are only little better...maybe.
- Played with in The LEGO Movie: "The Man Upstairs", who is revered as a god among the Master Builders, is actually the father of Finn, the child who played with his dad's Legos against his constant instructions to leave them be so he can keep all of his Lego sets seperate. In the story that Finn weaves, he bases the villain Lord Business on his father. Thankfully, "The Man Upstairs", and by extension Lord Business, has a change of heart and decides to let Finn build whatever he likes with his Legos.
- The Rapture: Sharon comes to believe this. The film explores this question, since not only believers but atheists get a chance to enter heaven but only if they accept God. Sharon is only left out by her own choice.
- The rather demented twist ending to Urge reveals that the "designer drug" that is causing everyone to go insane and kill each other and themselves was created and distributed by God... played by Pierce Brosnan.
- The Architect in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions: Not only is he named "The Architect" (the name that Freemasons use for God), he sits in a throne, watching everything that happens in his realm and is an old man with a white beard and a deep voice. Clearly an allusion. He's also incapable of empathy (he creates the program Oracle for that) and feels no love at all for the humans. His sole purpose is to facilitate the proper functioning of the Matrix by manipulating the Resistance indirectly. He might not be the creator of the humans or the universe outside the Matrix, but is a very similar concept of God that certain religions have like the Demiurge in Gnosticism or the role of Brahma in Buddhism (Buddhist and Gnostic themes are prevalent in the films).
- Manhunter: Lektor insists this is the case, along with A God Am I.
Lektor: Did you really feel depressed after you shot Mr. Garrett Jacob Hobbes to death? I think you probably did. But it wasn't the act that got to you. Didn't you feel so bad, because killing him felt so good? And why shouldn't it feel good? It must feel good to God. He does it all the time. God's terrific! He dropped a church roof on 34 of his worshipers in Texas last Wednesday night, just as they were groveling through a hymn to his majesty. Don't you think that felt good?Will: Why does it feel good, Dr. Lektor?Lektor: It feels good because God has power. If one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is. God's a champ. He always stays ahead. He got 140 Filipinos in one plane crash last year. Remember that earthquake in Italy last spring?
- The Voorman Problem: Voorman, a crazed prison inmate interviewed by psychiatrist Dr. Williams, turns out to actually be God. He tells Williams that wars amuse him. At the end he switches places with Williams, leaving to have sex with Williams's wife while Williams is locked in prison. Oh, and he literally wipes Belgium off the map.
- The Binding is about a minister who claims that God has ordered him to murder his infant daughter. In the end, the minister is unable to go through with it and instead commits suicide, so God appears to kick start the End of Days in a fit of rage over the minister's lack of devotion.
- Downplayed in the GDR children film "Godfather Death", retelling the fairy tale of the same name. A husband searches a godfather for his child, but he rejects God, who offers himself, on socialist grounds (dealing fate unequally), justifying the motive already present in the fairy tale. Evidently he wouldn't go as far as declaring God as straightly evil, and tells the Devil who gladly offers his service to sod off straight to hell. He agrees to the offer of Death, who he sees as an absolutely just Lawful Neutral.
- Kubo and the Two Strings: While he isn't stated to have created the universe, Raiden the Moon King is nonetheless the ruler of Heaven and is characterized as a cold, human-hating totalitarian. Angry that his daughter married a human, he tries to take their son, Kubo, to live with him in Heaven (portrayed here as cold and uncaring, especially towards humans), which requires him to tear out Kubo's eyes to make him blind to humanity. At one point, Raiden actually refers to Earth as "hell". He even looks like an Elderly Immortal, albeit without a beard. At the film's end, Raiden is magically transformed into a human, loses his memory, and is convinced by everyone else that he has always been good.
- The eponymous Zardoz promotes violence among the Brutals giving them weapons and encourage them to kill, rape and enslave other people just to keep them under control for the sake of the Secret Circle of Secrets. He is, however, in reality The Man Behind the Curtain.
- On the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, the One God not only allows its worshipers to go on genocidal rampages, but it actually appears to take actions to prompt individuals to carry out actions that will ensure the perpetual cycle of human/Cylon conflict. The Messenger beings that supposedly represent it appear to specific people to make sure certain things happen. Most notably, one of the Messengers guides Zoe Graystone in creating the software needed to create artificial intelligence, which will later make the Cylons of the Twelve Colonies sentient.
- Game of Thrones: Davos accuses the Lord of Light of being evil when he lashes out at Melisandre. Assuming that her acts (including human sacrifices) are something that the Lord approves of, he may be right. Eventually downplayed when the Lord of Light plays a pivotal part in preventing the world from ending, although Davos states they can still only speculate about what this god really wants.
- God is a cruel, capricious being who is subjecting the protagonists (not to mention the rest of the world) to pain, horror and bad writing for his own sadistic entertainment. He said so himself.
- Due to the Season 6 finale, Castiel also falls into this category, since a combination of well-intentioned extremism and phenomenal cosmic power seems to have made him more than a little prideful/nuts. Though in season 7 it turned out that this was at least partly due to The Corruption, and by the time he truly goes off the deep end he's fallen victim to a full-blown Demonic Possession.
- The season 10 finale introduces the Darkness, "a horribly destructive amoral force" that existed before God and would later act as The Corruption on Lucifer himself, possibly reducing the blame on God as it means evil was not his creation. Although, Death also reveals that, after God and the angels defeated the Darkness, it was God who sealed it with the Mark of Cain and put the Mark on Lucifer, making him complicit in Lucifer's fall.
- The Season 14 finale finally confirms all the above allegations — God treats reality as only existing for his entertainment, with the Winchesters' suffering in particular being his "favorite show". When they refuse to keep playing along, he decides to murder his own grandson Jack and tear open Hell.
- Throughout season 15, Chuck keeps looking for ways to force the Winchesters to take part in his plotline and truly starts to give in to pure evil, from toying with Becky and her family before snapping them out of existence, murdering everybody at a casino, terrorizing people into serving him, torturing Sam until he gives up all hope, and ultimately going on an omnicidal rampage to destroy the entire multiverse. It gets so bad that Billie, the new Death, decides to break her own rules on raising the dead, and decides to form an alliance with the Shadow allowing Jack to come back to life, so she can give him instructions to become strong enough to Kill God.
- Dewey in Malcolm in the Middle suggests that God is merely indifferent instead of outright evil. He even suggests that people should enjoy themselves and stop fighting over trivial things such as religion, since it hardly matters when God can simply whip out a magnifying glass at anytime?!
- On Hannibal, this is Lecter's view: "Killing must feel good to God too-he does it all the time."
- Later, he speculates whether, if God exists, his killing people could actually be called "good" or "evil".
- In "Ko No Mono" Hannibal also states that his own "modest actions" pale in comparison with God's.
- Discussed once again in "Tome-Wan", where Hannibal speculates that to God innocence is offensive, thereby explaining the suffering of innocents.
- Hand of God: Pernell rants that God is malicious and sadistic after PJ doesn't come out of his coma.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The First Evil is older than the universe as exists since before the Big Bang. This is the reason why creepy serial murderer priest Caleb considers it to be God.
- The Boys (2019): Butcher argues this to a Christian at the Believe Expo, saying if God exists he's cruel and hates humanity given how much suffering the world has.
- In Loki (2021), "He Who Remains" is the omniscient and supreme leader of the Time Variance Authority, which he leads in conducting all manner of brainwashing, executions, and slavery to make sure only his timeline can exist. The kicker, though, is that he does this to keep even more evil versions of himself from taking power.
- In "How Do You Do?" Shakira has an honest conversation with God about His cruelties. However, she forgives Him.
- This trope, when applied to the Big Guy Himself, is a main source of Religion Rant Songs of the Type 1 variety.
- Much of Gary Numan's musical catalogue from the album "Sacrifice" onward depicts God as cruel and delighting in humanity's suffering.
- Depeche Mode did not want to start any blasphemous rumours, but they think that God has a sick sense of humour (and when they die, they expect to find him... laughing).
- The song "Father, You're Not a Father" by the Death Metal band Immolation is about God being a rapist and a betrayer of men.
- God in Fireaxe's four hour epic "Food for the Gods" depicts how his influence on the world creates numerous wars and atrocities which culminates with Satan leading the demons of hell (and humans who were condemned there) to storming and destroying heaven. There Satan puts it best when Jesus proclaims how he suffered for Humanity's sins.
You may have suffered for the sins of man, but I have suffered for the sins of God.
- As might be surmised from the name, every other song by Death Metal band Deicide deals with how much they hate God. Whether or not frontman Glenn Benton actually believes in God's existence or is simply trolling Christians remains unclear.
- Alice in Chains was responsible for the song "God Am," in which lead singer Layne Staley vents about how much God has abandoned him. Staley was once reported to have said of God, "I didn't make me. I would've done a better job." There's also a line in the Alice in Chains song "Man In The Box" that says, "Jesus Christ (Deny Your Maker)." The first couple lines being "I'm the man in the box, buried in my shit, won't you come and save me". Apparently someone crying out to God and their cries are met with silence?
- The song "War is my Destiny" by rapper Ill Bill implies that the Devil (not that one — when the War in Heaven ended, the Fallen Angels dethroned Satan and crowned a new leader in his place) convinced humanity that he was God and proceeded to make their lives miserable. Whenever God sent prophets to save the people (yes, there were multiple messiahs), the fallen angels hunted them down and burned them. Eventually God unleashed the Flood and destroyed the kingdoms of the fallen. After the flood, the Devil allowed the prophets to live, only so he could twist the word of God and humanity would worship him once again, thinking they were worshipping God. Basically what it boils down to is that while God Is Good, the guy that everyone thinks is God is very, very evil.
- "Smithereens" by rapper El-P features the line "Why should I be sober when God is so clearly dusted out his mind?/With cherubs puffin' a bundle, trying to remember why he even tried"
- Sage Francis has a song called "Sun vs Moon", where he sings "God's not a woman/He's a big white guy in the sky/In the desert, saw reflections of his eyes/He doesn't cry for us/But when he does, it's cause he's drunk."
- XTC's "Dear God" from Skylarking: "Did you make disease...", "You're always letting us humans down/The wars you bring, the babes you drown..."
- IAMX's I Salute You Christopher - which is dedicated to Christopher Hitchens - "Control yourselves,/ 'cause the man in the sky is a tyrant and a lonely psychopath/ Dreamed up to steal your minds."
- "Remnant (March of the Undead IV)" by Machinae Supremacy uses a Zombie Apocalypse as a metaphor to criticize religious followers who insist that God is benevolent despite doing nothing to keep horrible things from happening. The song even implies that God enjoys watching the destruction he causes through inaction.
- "God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)" by Randy Newman has several verses sung from God's perspective which show him to be quite cruel toward humans. As is typical with Newman songs though, it's not entirely clear how serious he's being (since Newman is a "devout atheist" it's possibly serious). God in the song seemingly despises humanity ("I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee/From the squalor and the filth and the misery"), and likes that living in these conditions makes people turn to him.
I burn down your cities-how blind you must be
I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we
You all must be crazy to put your faith in me
That's why I love mankind
You really need me
That's why I love mankind
- Extremely common in Black Metal songs. Deathspell Omega in particular has basically made a career of this (though it should be noted that this does not mean they think Satan Is Good). Some black metal groups go even further - straight into Refuge in Audacity territory - by portraying God as weak and pathetic, and writing songs about humiliating Him.
- The Dragonland Chronicles storyline by power metal band Dragonland details how "The Gods" pit the Armies of the Light (Humans, Elves and Dwarves) against the Hordes of the Night (Orcs, Goblins and Trolls) in a semi-apocalyptic battle once every century for entertainment; if the Light Side wins, the Hordes of the Night are driven back to whatever unholy place they crawled out of and peace endures until the next Battle of the Ivory Plains. If the Dark Side wins, Dragonland is plunged into a century of darkness and pestilence. One century after the triumph of the Dark Side, a hero emerges to defeat the Hordes of the Night decisively, ascends to the Heavens to slay The Gods who have been driven mad with power, and proceeds to become "one with the universe", achieving apotheosis and becoming the new, benevolent God of known existence.
- A frequent theme in progressive sludge metal group The Ocean's lyrics. They even dedicated two albums to tearing down Christianity. Just look at some of their lyrics:
"A world with God would be even more disturbing than a universe without himFor if He tolerates atrocitiesIf he condones such crueltyWho would want to worship such a maker anyway?"Roots & Locusts
- In "Prayer," Religion Rant Song by Disturbed, God makes humans suffer for no good reason.
Another nightmare about to come true
Will manifest tomorrow
Another love that I've taken from you
Lost in time, on the edge of suffering
Another taste of the evil I breed
Will level you completely
Bring to life everything that you fear
Live in the dark, and the world is threatening
- The Vocaloid song "Honey I'm Home" features an evil god with an incredibly creepy appearance who literally vivisects the protagonist.
- Carl Jung's most controversial essay, Answer to Job, portrays God as Evil. In The Bible's Book of Job God sanctions the destruction of Job's life in a horrible manner. Jung describes a story where Jesus was born to make God less evil and more conscious. Jung also makes it clear that these were his own personal understandings of the text from which he worked.
- Several theological and philosophical concepts involve a belief in an evil, incompetent or indifferent God:
- Maltheism (from mal, meaning bad/sickness and theism meaning theism) is the belief that a God or Gods exist, but they are malevolent or incompetent. Few religions have a wholly maltheistic view of the world, though several include maltheistic strands - for example, gods of evil, such as Ate (the Goddess of Evil, Folly, and Destruction) in Hellenistic mythology. Abrahamic belief in the Devil can be seen as a variant - although the exact nature (or even his existence) of the devil is not universally agreed on in Abrahamic theology, he is often construed as a supernatural agency with malicious intentions for humans. A related concept is Hypothetical Maltheism, used as a criticism of religion by agnostics and atheists, which holds that, if God exists, he would be unworthy of worship due to the Problem of Evil (which asks how and why a benevolent, omnipotent God even allows evil to exist) and the Problem of Hell (which addresses Hell and questions the justice and necessity of eternal torment as punishment for the sins of a single mortal lifetime). Unsurprisingly, several religious responses exist to such a line of thought.
- Misotheism ("hatred of Gods") is a related concept to Maltheism, but is more active in its meaning — rather than mere belief in a malevolent God, misotheism is an outright hatred of said God, regardless of its actual nature (i.e. it can be that God Is Good, and yet is hated by a particular person despite or even because of said goodness). Older Than Feudalism, misotheistic positions and characters appear in Icelandic sagas and in some Hellenistic sagas. It is distinct from maltheism in the sense that, whilst maltheism is the position that God is unworthy of worship, misotheism is active hatred for God. Frequently leads to Hollywood atheism. Several Norse saga characters, e.g. Hrafnkell on Hrafnkell's saga were called goðlauss (godless) because of their disdain of the Norse deities and rather relying on themselves.
The Punisher: There are times I'd like to get my hands on God.
- Dystheism ("ungodly") is the belief that God is not wholly good, and possibly (though not necessarily) evil. It differs from maltheism in that it draws no conclusions about whether said God is worthy of worship - a maltheist is always a dystheist but a dystheist is not always a maltheist. Many ancient religions were dystheistic in nature-Hellenistic and Norse mythology, with jealous Gods who interfere in mortal affairs (and mortal bedrooms) but who still demanded respect and sacrifice being the best-known examples. Since World War II, more specifically the Holocaust, some Jewish theologians have proposed a dystheistic approach to God. Compare Deism.
- Gnosticism holds that the God of the material universe, a being that the Gnostics call the Demiurge, is a petty, self-centered tyrant who believes himself to be the absolute God, when he's in fact the creation of a greater (and more benevolent) being known as Sophia, who is herself a wayward angelic servant of the true God of the spiritual universe. Of course, opinions differ somewhat on whether the Demiurge *really* qualifies for this or The Devil Is a Loser, and whether he can be qualified as truly malicious rather than just really, really misguided and really, really, really stupid.
- Luciferianism holds very similar beliefs to Gnosticism; basically Luciferians think that Lucifer is the true God of Light, the bringer of Wisdom (Light) and pure spirituality, and superior to the evil and materialistic god Yaveh who is only another deity, or sometimes even inferior to Lucifer like the Gnostic Demiurge. In some versions both the Serpent in the Garden of Evil is Lucifer bringing knowledge to Humanity to spite Yaveh, and Jesus himself is actually Lucifer in disguise or Lucifer's son also trying to bring down the Demiurge's religion. Is essentially Gnosticism but with a more active and less abstract "God of Light".
- There is a particular branch of Satanism (which in most variants has little to nothing to do with THAT Satan despite stereotypes) known as Theistic Satanism which takes this view in regard to the Adam & Eve story. The interpretation here is that God deliberately forbade eating from the Tree of Knowledge to keep humanity blinded, ignorant, and subservient, while the serpent freed them from this and thus gave humans the capacity for knowledge, learning, science, higher thought and true sentience. Of course, the cost of humanity's higher knowledge (and morality, sentience, deeper consciousness, complex thought processes, science and technology, and all the other baggage that comes with it) may or may not have been worth it.
- Rene Descartes' conceptual Evil Genius counts, given that Descartes questioned whether he was responsible for creating the world and all its strange drudgery as an illusory plane of existence with the sole purpose of deluding people like him. He then argued that God Is Good based on first principles to dismiss this possibility, though not everyone buys his argument, naturally.
- Maybe not evil per se but clearly misguided according to some Buddhists; in Buddhist cosmology Brahma is the King of Devas and as such the most powerful being in the material Universe (Samsara) other than, of course, Boddhisatvas. Some believe that Brahma mistakenly thinks he is a Creator and is the inspiration of the monotheistic religions. Nevertheless, this may contradict certain Buddhists' scriptures that say that Brahma actually accepted Buddhas supremacy and teachings. It should be noticed that Devas in Buddhist cosmology are very powerful beings often praised as gods by many cultures but in any case not divine or eternal, just another life form like humans and animals. Buddhist philosophers were among the first who argued that no all-good, all-powerful deity exists based on the amount of evil which we find in the universe, related to this trope.
- Neopaganism, as presented by The Spiral Dance, makes the case that Abrahamic god is a jerk.
- Practically every Dungeons & Dragons setting features evil deities, though most settings primarily have those evil deities in conflict with good deities. Some settings, on the other hand, only have evil gods. Although it's unclear if they're gods or not, the Dark Powers of Ravenloft are either out-and-out evil, or so inscrutable and/or indifferent to the innocents caught up in their playground that they might as well be.
- The concept of the game Midnight is fighting hopelessly against the Evil God Izrador who rules the world. However, Izrador is not the Creator, but merely the evil member of a pantheon exiled to the mortal world. However Izrador, being a god of chaos and corruption, screwed up the seal that locked him into the world. Instead of being a world where every being except Izrador could enter and leave at will (by normal Dungeons & Dragons standards), nobody is free to enter or leave, not even the other gods of the pantheon.
- Creation is also used as a prison for evil gods in Monte Cook's d20 setting Ptolus. At least there, the Chaos Gods are also sealed away in a pocket dimension contained within our larger universe, thus making mankind not involuntary fellow inmates but instead involuntary prison guards.
- God in White Wolf's Demon: The Fallen is made out to be a psychotically ungrateful megalomaniac. Then again, the entire point of that RPG is that Lucifer is a sympathetic protagonist. What the Demons say about God in that game comes from an obviously biased source. God's actual intentions and motivations are far more ambiguous in the game as a whole; the whole Reconciler faction of Demons believes that God must have been good after all, mysterious as His ways may seem... and Lucifer himself expresses doubts about his rebellion and a desperate desire to be reconciled with God at the end of the Time of Judgment game fiction.
- Its successor game, Demon: The Descent muddies the waters a good deal with the God-Machine. The only things known for certain about it are that it possesses godlike power, creates angels to serve it, and that it's not so much malicious as apathetic; for all its power, it's still a computer, and sees everything as inputs and outputs. Yes, it might drive someone to suicide for some occult algorithm or protect a mass-murderer, but these are just side-effects for its real, inscrutable goals.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- All WH40K gods are evil. In WH40K the only really relevant gods (as in, the ones controlling the endless hordes of ravenous daemons and who have the ability to spread their "blessings" liberally upon their mortal followers as opposed to simply being a generally ineffectual focus of worship) literally embody the worst parts of sentience.
- Disturbingly, the Gods of Chaos also embody positive qualities:
- Khorne is the embodiment of rage, so both berserkers and honorable warriors fall under his purview. Trying to gain favor with him by slaughtering the defenseless is not going to get you a lot of points.
- Slaanesh is desire incarnate, and while hedonists are the most represented among his followers, artists and musicians can follow him as well.
- Nurgle is one of the few gods to be actually nice, and is a Friend to All Living Things... literally, all living things. He loves plague-causing bacteria just as much as he loves his followers, and sees infecting the latter with the former to be a good reward.
- Then there is Tzeentch, a God of Manipulative Bastards...who is the Warhammer universe's God of Hope.
- The Gods of Chaos are entities created by the Warp, which is psychically connected to the minds of sentient species throughout the universe (not all of them, but several enough). The Warhammer universe is a Crapsack World at best, outright Dystopia at worst, a place of perpetual ultraviolent warfare and every second alien race is Always Chaotic Evil- even the three "good" factions (Imperium, Eldar and Tau) are each an unhealthy mixture of Absolute Xenophobe, Manipulative Bastard, Scary Dogmatic Aliens / Humans and Moral Myopia on an intergalactic scale, all perfectly willing to eradicate entire planets and races that get in their way (or just on principle). So, essentially, this is a cosmic case of Create Your Own Villain- the reason the Gods of Chaos are evil is because they are shaped by the emotions of the peoples of the universe at large, and the universe at large is Hell. In a nicer Warhammer verse, Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh might actually be somewhat benevolent- of course, since they arent, the universe is even worse that it normally would be, making this and its consequences a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy to boot.
- There is/was also Malal/Malice who is considered too dangerous even by Chaos Gods.
- Gork and Mork, who are slightly less bad. Slightly. Since they are Gods of Orks, it by default means strong homicidal tendencies. However, in fact they don't actually do much, save for protecting the souls of Orks in the Warp and occasionally butting heads with Chaos Gods. So from the Ork point of view, even by human standards they look almost benevolent. They're more active in Fantasy, and not nearly as nice there.
- The C'Tan? They're arguably not real gods (they're just hideously powerful Energy Beings with the power of gods, to whom the laws of physics aren't even guidelines), but they're active at the moment... and make the Chaos Gods look good by comparison. The Chaos Gods at least have positive traits even if they're, at the moment, almost totally overshadowed by vile evil. The C'Tan are a bunch of self-serving, duplicitous, genocidal bastards who want to wipe out all life in the galaxy because life energy tastes better than stars. Also, they reduced their entire race of worshipers into near-mindless
cyborgundead robotic slaves. There are four of them left: the Nightbringer, the personification of death who burned his image into the psyche of virtually all life (big exception: the Orks) as such and made life be afraid of death; the Deceiver, Chessmaster par excellence; the Outsider, currently batshit bonkers and locked away in a cosmic prison; and the Void Dragon, currently napping. Information on the Void Dragon is sketchy, but he is said to be the most powerful C'Tan of them all, is believed to have total control over machines of all sorts, lightning, and may be the Machine God worshipped by the Adeptus Mechanicus — conveniently assumed to be sleeping under Mars.
- The Deceiver in particular is one of the only entities so nasty that he's evil in both Canon Warhammer 40k and the fan-made Mirror Universe Brighthammer 40k. In the latter, he's known as the Soothsayer, and specializes in telling dangerous and harmful truths, and dispelling even the most harmless or beneficial lies.
- The Eldar used to have a nice, normal, stable pantheon with many nice gods. Guess which ones survived the Fall? Khaine the Bloody-Handed and Cegorach the Laughing God.
- And Isha the god of fertility and love, who seems to be the only total aversion in the series. Of course, she's kind of busy being held prisoner and tortured by the Chaos God Nurgle, who is otherwise a rather Affably Evil god.
- What about the God-Emperor of Man? OK, he wasn't as bad as several of the above examples, but he regularly ordered Exterminantus of entire planets, including human planets that refused to join the Imperium on his terms or just weren't human enough, all in the name of reuniting the fragmented human empire and creating utopia. Not to mention that he also came up with the idea to wage wars of extermination against all aliens. And of course, the fact that half the Primarchs fell to Chaos in the first place can be directly traced to his complete ineptitude at seeing them as anything but tools in his conquest of the galaxy. Did we mention that a thousand humans are sacrificed to him every day to keep him alive on the Golden Throne?
- Funnily enough, back when the Emperor was alive/awake, he was a Flat-Earth Atheist who outlawed all worship (including worship of him). He tried to Defy this trope and tried to fight it by banning any and all forms of religion. But since the Chaos gods are made of emotion, not faith, this failed spectacularly. Thus he was put on life support on the Golden Throne, worshiped as a God against his will.
- The more powerful Daemon Princes reach Physical God levels, making them this trope to their enemies (though they depend on their patron god not changing their mind if they're killed).
- While Warhammer Fantasy has the same Chaos gods, many of its other gods are much more benevolent, if a bit more subtle. They tend to act more by creating or empowering a champion to fight back chaos, most recently Voltan.
- Though the Fantasy version of Khaine has no redeeming qualities at all.
- In WHFB, the gods are not necessarily outright evil as in WH40K; they are much more subtle. Chaos deities, however, are completely immoral. Likewise, goodness does not equate niceness - The Empire professes all the decandent, fanatic, militaristic and intolerant ingredients of the historical Holy Roman Empire, while Bretonnia is a feodalistic hellhole. Even so, the world of Warhammer is a world half empty, and its deities reflect that.
- Even the Chaos Gods could be called misunderstood on a good day. Ever since his ascension, however, Nagash has become a god of death and has not a single ounce of goodness or morality in his undead bones.
- The Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG from Schwalb Entertainment, has Warhammer Fantasy as one of its biggest influences. In this Crapsack World, Cosmic Horror Dark Fantasy RPG, the universe is under threat from the all-consuming, near omnipotent Demon Lord, the most powerful being in existence. The Demon Lord is actually God himself, but with his best bits removed by ambitious genies when he was taking a break after creation. Sure he's a lot less powerful now, but he's all spite and rage with plenty of sadism mixed in too.
- In the Gothic Horror/splatterpunk RPG KULT, the Demiurge / Creator put the curse of death on mankind, stripping away their immortality and most of their powers. Then, he disappeared, and Astaroth / Satan is looking for him, since the Demiurge is the only one who gave his life some sense. The devil is quite alone in this search - nobody else wants God to come back. It is also stated that God did NOT create the true world, and it's implied that it was a great place to live in until God came along and ruined it.
- In Exalted, all the major gods are addicted to the Games of Divinity. What the Games are is left up to the individual ST but it is known that they are incredibly addictive, with only the original makers of the world, the Primordials, immune. Thus a common Internet meme states "The Unconquered Sun is on Celestial Crack". Then again, so are Luna, the Five Maidens, several of the head divisions, many God-Blooded (children of major gods, minor Gods don't get access) and even anyone who has seen the Games of Divinity Form of the Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Style of Sidereal Martial Arts.
- In Scion, the PCs are the half-human offspring of various deities from (mostly) abandoned mythologies. While their divine parents have an aspect of all-too-human dickery about them (the game is quite faithful to how mythology originally presented them), only a couple of them are outright evil. The Abrahamic deity is not explicitly present, but the sole avatar of one of the evil Titanic Primordial Forces is a shining bearded guy who wants everything in existence to sacrifice their free will and be absolutely devoted to him. Scion Companion presents, as a possible antagonist, a group of people who are manipulating Fate to force all gods into an Abrahamic mold. It's heavily suggested that if they pulled it off, it would fit this trope.
- The Dark Eye at first glance has a "gods = good; demons = evil" divide. Apart from the Nameless God, who was a traitor to the good gods. Then you find out about some more obscure (demi)gods, particularly the bloodthirsty Kor, who is the patron of mercenaries and likes to get cut off fingers of slain foes as sacrifice. Of course the fact that some misguided people worship demons as gods doesn't mean anything. Until you get deeper into the ancient history/mythology and find out that at least some of the Archdemons that rule Hell used to be gods, and are only demons now because their number of worshippers diminished and they were supplanted by newer, more popular gods. Or they just did it For the Evulz.
- Plus, the gods really only care about the existence of creation. Mortals are only interesting for them for their effect on creation and for reaping their souls (every god gets the souls of mortals that live by his ideals) to strengthen the armies of creation in the last battle when the aforementioned Nameless God rips the outer sphere open, letting in the hordes of uncreated demons. Some of them seem to be curious about mortals that live by their ideals, like Phex (essentially god of tricksters) or Hesinde (goddess of wisdom and art), but that could be a ruse to get more souls. Others, the hard liners, were ready to nuke a region to stop a renegade from damning all mortals (signing their souls over to the demons), even if it meant reaping tens of thousands of souls prematurely. Luckily the largest army of mortals in the last age stopped the renegade before that.
- The "evil" (demi)gods are implied to be falling gods, going over to the demon side. The Nameless God didn't go over to the demons' side, he just weakened creation, letting the demons in more easily, gaining control of some of them, and taking creation for himself.
- In Magic: The Gathering, the gods that are worshipped by the people of Zendikar — Cosi, Ula, and Emeria — were actually inspired by distorted memories of Kozilek, Ulamog, and Emrakul, the three Eldrazi titans. One cleric has a crisis of faith when the truth is revealed.
- Ayli, Kamsa cleric: I believed in a beautiful god. But this is the true face of the divine.
- Franchise/Yu-Gi-Oh has a weird example based vaguely off Gnotism. In the World of Duel Terminal a being known as Sophia repeatedly resets the universe via the Vylons and until Sombre Lapis and Kerykion stopped her. But as it turns out she was actually doing this to stop Tierra from blowing up the word, so it's more or less 
- Played with in Angels in America: God isn't evil per se, but he is a serious Jerkass who abandoned Heaven a couple decades back, leaving the Angels in disarray and despair. It takes Prior, who has had a similar bad experience recently with a man walking out on him, to knock some sense into them, and say "Screw him!".
- King Lear: "As flies to wanton boys are we to th'gods/They kill us for their sport." Though by the end of the play, Gloucester's had ANOTHER HeelFaith Turn.
- The Book of Mormon has African villagers that blame God for all of their (legitimate) problems, such as AIDS, famine, and the tyrannical local Warlord. This is all detailed in the upbeat song Hasa Diga Eebowai.
Mafala: When the world is getting you down, there's nobody else to blame.Raise your middle finger to the sky, and curse His rotten name!
- The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete Millennium Musical has the parody Gospel song "Blame it on the Lord":
Blame it on the Lord,
When all of your prayers go completely ignored.
Blame it on the Lord,
When you and your family get put to the sword.
Praise the Lord for the good he can do,
But he can take the rap for the bad crap too.
- In Stickman Exodus, the Gorn-doodling teenage owner of the notebook is effectively a cruel God to the two-dimensional cast.
- In Andrew Kepple's Animutation trilogy Colin Mochrie vs. Jesus H. Christ, after saving everyone from Colin Mochrie after he gets turned into a rampaging Scotsman, Jesus takes over the world and starts persecuting characters from "fanimutations". At the end of Part 3, it turns out "Jesus" is actually Mike Brady, who starred alongside Colin in Neil Cicirega's "The Japanese Pokerap" but was jealous that Colin became a Breakout Character, and orchestrated the whole thing in order to get revenge.
- Locus: Meittron was driven to it. Nor is Sammael an Unreliable Narrator, as Word of God confirms his story.
- The titular Water Phoenix King, Yamra, and his predecessor Gurahl, though this was, and to some extent still is, a contested belief in the story. Those who benefitted under his rule consider him to have been a benevolent deity, and the opposition to be immoral for rebelling against the Natural Order of the Universe; the rebellion considered him an awful tyrant, and the order that Gurahl imposed on the universe a harmful thing — as did Lady Luck, who killed Gurahl over his binding the sun-goddess Okidesha. "Pure" Yamrans seek to restore the strict caste system, with Hadrakahn priests and knights at the top of the heap, everyone else working for them, and witches and sorcerers cast into the outer darkness...for the Good Of All, of course!
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal seems to be quite fond of this trope and frequently uses it for jokes. It varies between this, God Is Flawed and Mad God. For example, there is a strip where an atheist argues against the idea of Hell, by stating that, being omnipotent, God already knows any action a human will take in their lifetime, so it makes no sense to punish them for it. So either, Hell doesn't exist, or God is a jerk.
Satan: Struck by lightning?Atheist: Struck by lightning...
- In Wulffmorgenthaler, God and Satan agree on God being the evil one after flipping a coin.
- It's kind of hard to deny that The Brick Testament has this angle going for it; it was pretty much intended as a way of pointing out the questionable points of the Bible. The Book of Revelation in particular is stuffed to the gills with this trope, right down to sardonic titles and cutting commentary by the LEGO minifigures suffering the whole time.
- Oglaf proves the point. (SFW page on site where most pages are NSFW.)
- Also parodied with the Cult of Sithrak the Blind Gibberer, with added irony (both SFW).
- And again: "God is on their side. But I've been reading their holy book, and I think that God may be a psycho. (SFW)
- Wondermark discusses maltheism, slightly tongue-in-cheek, in a series of strips starting here.
- In A Tale of Two Rulers, this is one of Zelda's two theories on the truth regarding Hyrule's patron trio: either they're long-dead mages still profiting from the world's biggest scam... or they're evil for letting Hyrule become so crapsack on their watch.
- In Sinfest, subverted; God can seem this way to some of the characters, but is generally just obnoxious and somewhat childish, with occasional Pet the Dog moments. Even these are decreasing with the Lighter and Softer touch — most appearances now feature him playing catch with Jesus.
- Jesus, on the other hand, is an awesome guy.
- So is the Buddha. The Dragon of Eastern Religion is generally awesome also.
- One point against Sinfest's God, however, is the way the classic Problem of Evil is eventually resolved... turns out, God CREATED The Devil, and made him do what he does. Presumably just to make himself look good by comparison. When The Devil finds out, he outright quits and goes on a tropical vacation... only to then apparently forget all about it and come back, continuing where he left off. As such, all of The Devil's (unquestionably evil) deeds can be laid squarely at God's feet in this universe... or, at least, at his hand.
- In Wily's Defense features Sphere. He isn't exactly evil but he's basically a lazy, irresponsible, and petty Jerkass who is apathetic towards the actions of his destructive children. He shows more concern over a random guy calling himself the "God Of Flames" than he does over the angels of death and destruction going to war with each other.
- The Morce from Space Blood has two evil sides with its two god-like incarnations being evil. It is also a bit of an inversion as the Morce is made of Evil as a case of Evil Is God.
- The Salvation War uses this as a fundamental premise. Yahweh, the entity that presented himself as the Christian god (and apparently Allah for the Islamic faith as well) is actually an immature douchebag who became drunk on the power he held over humanity until he reached the point where he became convinced of his own lie. He eventually became fed up with those parts of humanity that questioned him, and closed the gates of Heaven to mankind sometime around 1000 A.D., thereby condemning all of humanity to Hell, even the faithful. The story gets kicked off when he decides that isn't enough, and gives Satan free rein to wipe out mankind forever so Yahweh could go to a different dimension to find some other species that might be more obedient. However, by the time this happened, humanity had become very technologically advanced, while Heaven and Hell were still at the Bronze Age. You can predict what a pissed-off humanity does next.
- Even the angels are pissed off at him! The Archangel Michael is running The Plan which basically saves the heavenly host while pointing an army of absolutely enraged humans at Yahweh, and eventually kills him himself, having killed off all of Yahweh's powerful supporters by stealth or by human. Except Jesus, really called Elhmas, who is mostly presented as a stoned out of his brains idiot, until it is revealed he faked his own death and is keeping an eye on Michael to prevent him from turning into another Yahweh.
- Michael's plot was apparently not the only one either.
- Some interpretations of Mr Deity are this. He's not so much actively evil as tremendously uncaring.
- Proven in The Nostalgia Critic's Old vs. New of The Ten Commandments vs. The Prince of Egypt, where he smites the titular character for thinking he's kind and loving.
God: You were wrong. I'm not a loving God, I'm a vengeful God. Your ass is grass.
- The Archangel from The Fear Mythos. He is the afterlife. The whole damn thing.
- The Sea Mother from The Wanderer's Library Or maybe she's just insane from feeling us moving through her skin.
- God in Starpocalypse is a deranged, perverted monster who gets sexually aroused by killing humans, making humans kill humans, watching humans have sex, and caused various social problems imposing arbitrary and insane rules on early humans for fun. It had a great time during the Inquisition.
- Played for laughs in Society of Virtue where the superhero community treats the Second Coming of Christ like a typical "Physical God trying to bring about The End of the World as We Know It" scenario.
- There is a creepypasta that combines this trope with Devil, but No God, where a soul finds himself in Hell despite a virtuous life, and is met by Satan himself who reveals that he is our creator, and spread the myth of a benevolent God for the sole purpose of creating a Hope Spot he could destroy to further our torment.
- Another creepypasta called "In Heaven" features a reverend dying and meeting God... well, in Heaven. God turns out to be a Faux Affably Evil egotist, who created humans just to worship Him, going so far as to masquerade as every other deity humanity ever worshipped. He also turns anybody who enters Heaven (which, in this story, is everybody) into mindless slaves, incapable of independent thought. He then does this to the aforementioned reverend.
- Left Beyond is a Roleplay-by-post that takes place in the Left Behind universe, where God has set the bar for Hell extremely high and bent it to yes-men; anyone who doubts or opposes God goes to Hell, and the most vicious, abusive believers in God automatically get into Heaven. Attempts to make the world a nicer place to live in before the apocalypse are constantly besieged by God's forces, and angels periodically commit mass-genocide. 'God' is actually a metaphysical belief parasite that powers its reality warping with the faith of its believers, and it has become completely deluded by its addiction to human belief.
- In Bartleby Tales, God is a megalomaniac who constantly changes His rules to ensure the maximum amount of people go to Hell. It's so easy to be damned that in a given year, out of a universe with uncountable numbers of sentient beings, six might get into Heaven. Jesus is in Hell in this setting, because God wasn't amused when He preached love and tolerance instead of unthinking obedience to divine law.
- The Canadian adult animated series Tripping the Rift actually features a few appearances by God and the Devil. Though the latter is definitely evil, the former is kind of a dick. He's depicted as wagering on the main character's soul with the Devil because he's bored and unleashing a plague of locusts on a planet because they refused to worship him (thinking he's a con artist like the ones they had dealt with earlier in the episode). However, the most blatant example of the trope is in the episode where Chode and Gus travel back to the beginning of time. Their ship accidentally collides with God and kills Him. But when they return to their own time, they discover that they've actually made things BETTER. Without God, there's no concept of good and evil, and everyone is basically decent towards each other; there's no crime or war or sexual repression. Everything is going pretty well...until Chode and Gus let the cat out of the bag and introduce the concept of sin to the universe, sending it into chaos. They travel back in time to set things right and get killed themselves, and God walks away laughing at their deaths.
- The central metaphor of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power can essentially be described as "lesbians kill God", with "God" being Horde Prime: an omniscient being who values purity and demands absolute devotion from his followers who serve him as vessels. He even uses language reminiscent of the Christian God such as when he tells Catra she is "still beloved in [his] sight" and his initiation ritual strongly resembles a baptism. Show creator Noelle Steven's Catholic upbringing certainly had an influence on the show's themes.
- South Park:
- There was the episode where Stan asked Chef about God (because Kenny was dying... again) and their conversation went like this:
Stan: Why would God let Kenny die, Chef? Why? Kenny's my friend. Why can't God take someone else's friend?
Chef: Stan, sometimes God takes those closest to us, because it makes him feel better about himself. He is a very vengeful God, Stan. He's all pissed off about something we did thousands of years ago. He just can't get over it, so he doesn't care who he takes. Children, puppies, it don't matter to him, so long as it makes us sad. Do you understand?
Stan: But then, why does God give us anything to start with?
Chef: Well, look at it this way: if you want to make a baby cry, first you give it a lollipop. Then you take it away. If you never give it a lollipop to begin with, then you would have nothin' to cry about. That's like God, who gives us life and love and help just so that he can tear it all away and make us cry, so he can drink the sweet milk of our tears. You see, it's our tears, Stan, that give God his great power.
Stan: I think I understand.
- In another episode, the local priest, during a eulogy for yet another person killed by geriatric drivers, takes the view that God just finds it funny, and leads the group in praying that God's had enough of a laugh and will stop killing people already.
- God has appeared in person a few times (for some reason, He looks like a chimpanzee with a hippo's head), and while not portrayed as outright evil, does seem rather annoyed with how whiny and needy his creations are, even Satan (who has gone from a badass rebel to a wimpy loser stuck in unhealthy relationships) and Jesus (who has completely lost his ability to inspire humanity and relies on rehashing his old teachings).
- There was the episode where Stan asked Chef about God (because Kenny was dying... again) and their conversation went like this:
- In Wonder Showzen. God appears as an evil, creepy voice. Of course, that's not surprising considering what kind of show it is...
- In Beast Machines, Megatron has pretty much become the malevolent God of Cybertron, controlling just about every aspect of existence there. Of course, the last few Maximals alive aren't going to stop until he's taken down. Towards the end, he decides to absorb all the sparks he stole, and was literally seconds away from turning Cybertron into "the perfect Technosphere" and becoming the new Primus.
- Unicron from Transformers: Prime also counts. As Optimus puts it he is, metaphorically speaking, the parent of humanity and all life on Earth. He agrees with Optimus on this, and then Unicron declares all life he created as parasites unworthy of living
- Family Guy mostly uses the idea that God Is Flawed, but on a few occasions, does show him to be a real jerk, such as the revelation that for some reason, people who are handicapped on Earth remain handicapped in Heaven (which looks like a Sandals resort). He's also been shown to be rather short and annoyed with his followers.
- This appears to be the case in the Joan of Arc segment of The Simpsons episode "Tales from the Public Domain."
God: I told this maiden to lead the French to victory.
English Soldier (Willie): Wait a minute, you two-timing spot of light. You told me to lead the English to victory!
Joan (Lisa): *gasp* Is that true, Lord?
God: Well, I never thought the two of you would be in the same room, actually. This is a little embarrassing. Goodbye now.