She was generally referred to as the Lady, and her eyes were green...
A god or messiah who doesn't want to be worshipped. The reasons for this are often not very clear; maybe the deity is a supporter of skepticism or independence, maybe they are fickle or irrational, or maybe they just want to be left alone. Maybe they just consider that accepting worship would be a sign of Pride or even Tempting Fate. In some cases, they have no issue being worshipped within the normal limits of their cult, but when they decide to materialize among mortals to take care of some other kind of business, they are annoyed by all these people kneeling in their path or slowing the conversation down with needless formalities.
Note that this trope applies only to gods who actively discourage worship, or are visibly frustrated by it. If the god doesn't care one way or the other whether people worship them, it's The Gods Must Be Lazy. If the god in question treats everyone badly, regardless of worship, it's Jerkass Gods or God Is Evil. On the other hand, Heroic Self-Deprecation can be a sign of God Is Good.
Compare and contrast Unwanted False Faith for regular mortal guys who don't want to be worshiped either. Contrast to Gods Need Prayer Badly and A God Am I. Nay Theists and Flat Earth Atheists will be a favorite of these types of characters. May overlap with A God, I Am Not when the being saying this actually is a god. It's not at all related to Stop Poking Me!.
- In the Ace Attorney manga, one of the cases ends with a cult based around Tengus being disbanded, their master's scams and frauds having been uncovered and made public. Two members of the cult eventually grew a disturbing liking to Franziska and her whip, and have even started a new "cult" based around it, much to the young prosecutor's dismay.
- Haruhi Suzumiya: This is the relationship between Sasaki and her esper, Kyoko Tachibana. Unlike the relationship between Haruhi and Koizumi (where he merely theorizes she is a god as a hypothetical scenario, and she doesn't know about any of this), Kyoko very strongly believes that Sasaki is god, and furthermore deserves to be. Sasaki, on the other hand, thinks Kyoko would be much happier if they were just friends.
- Played with by Yurie in Kamichu!. The middle school deity doesn't mind some of the new attention she's getting as long as it's casual. Once she's put into ceremonial garb or has offerings left on her desk, she gets quite flustered. She may be a god, and she doesn't mind it, but she wants her classmates to be her friends, not her subjects.
- In Saint Young Men, Jesus and Buddha are living in modern Japan. They manage to keep their identities secret from humans, but there's no fooling the local animals. People do notice that animals act strangely around them.
- Holo from Spice and Wolf dislikes being worshipped as she would rather be treated like anyone else rather than having people keep their distance and she constantly insists that she's no god (despite all the evidence to the contrary).
- The Grim god Crom from the Marvel Comics version of Conan the Barbarian, he only seems to do anything remotely benevolent when it concerns helping Conan, who is destined to be a king, or getting rid of Shuma Gorath, which he does twice.
- The creator in the Fallen Angel series wants people to stop worshiping her so she can leave humanity behind, and finally commit suicide. Unfortunately, she's now considering Armageddon to shut up the needy humans.
- Lucifer — At one point, Lucifer creates his own universe, and in his version of the Garden of Eden, the one rule he tells his Adam and Eve is that they are not to worship him. Later, when other people are invited to his Creation, this rule is extended to all inhabitants.
- In the fantasy comic strip Yamara, Yamara Tooke is temporarily elevated to a demigoddess by a magical artifact, then restored to mortal status. She then has to tell all the worshippers who've started to slavishly follow her around to go home and get on with their lives.
- In Supergirl story "Hero Worship" the titular heroines finds a cult of Supergirl has formed on her hometown. Supergirl is very uncomfortable with it and asks the faithful that stop worshipping her and focus on helping each other.
Supergirl: Please... Please, stop. I'm just a messenger. You can't worship the messenger... only the Source, which I most definitely am not. But I'm here to tell you how you can help. Instead of coming here, spending all your energies in worshipping me... I want you to channel all your zeal into helping each other. There's just one of me, but there are so many of you...
- Superman: During Reign of the Supermen, four cults spring up worshiping each of the Supermen. Steel is particular is not amused. When Superman himself returns, the cult briefly feels additional validation from his resurrection but Superman sets the record straight and charges them to do good works and help people instead of worshiping him.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: A major issue between Adam Warlock and the Church of Universal Truth. Probably because Adam's a good guy, and the Church are a "burn the unbelievers" sort of religion. That, and a reminder that they owe their origins to a convoluted case of time-travel involved an evil future version of him called The Magus. That said, Adam isn't above using them for his own ends.
- The Mighty Thor was widely worshipped as the Asgardian God of Thunder he truly is (as well as war, strength and agriculture) by the Vikings and various other Scandinavian and Germanic peoples for about a couple of thousand years. He actively encouraged said worship by personally appearing on Midgard (Earth) before the Vikings most notably, spurring them on the victory in battle in his and Asgard's name. But when Thor later discovered that many of the "battles" some Vikings engaged in were actually raids and the wholesale slaughter of religious (usually Christian) orders of holy men, Thor denounced the Vikings' actions, renounced their worship, and returned to Asgard, not returning to Midgard until Odin exiled him there under the guise of Dr. Donald Blake to learn humility.
- In the Warlord of Mars volume Lords of Mars, Carter is venerated as a deity because of his godlike strength and fighting prowess among the Martians. Having recently toppled the reign of Issus and seen the horrors perpetrated by it, he is not fond at all of being seen as a god too.
- In X-Men (2019), the Five (comprised of Hope Summers, Proteus, Tempest, Egg and Elixer) are revered by many mutants as they are the ones who are able to revive mutants, granting them their immortality. Of the five, leader Hope doesn't like it as she finds it really creepy.
- Often seen in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction in relation to the alicorn princesses - especially Luna and Celestia.
- Under the Northern Lights: Luna and Celestia, especially Celestia, who says she outlawed the worship of herself centuries ago in Equestria. They both reluctantly accept foreigners worshipping them, though Luna gets outright livid when she hears reindeer not only worship her and Nightmare Moon as the same entity, but used to practice cervine sacrifice. Despite this, she keeps supporting the Temple of Hrimfaxi through the fic, though that seems to be for their social work in a poor nation and because of their claims that Dark Is Not Evil. And maybe because she in her youth actually encouraged the forming of the cult, and feels responsible for it.
- RealityCheck's Nyxverse: Celestia and Luna again — as they explain in Alicornundrum, they originally tried to avoid worship when they were younger, but ponies insisted on it. Eventually they got so fed up with it that they fled into the Everfree, sealed themselves in the Tree of Harmony cave, and put themselves in a magical sleep, hoping that when they woke up everyone would have forgotten about them. Instead, they woke to found that their followers had found them, dug them up, and built a castle on top of them (according to Celestia, Luna invented half of the curses existing today when they saw this). They use this as justification for making Twilight a Princess against her will; she's going to be worshipped anyway, they might as well make it official.
- The MLP Loops: Celestia politely asks Twilight and company to stop swearing by her since they're effectively equal. They swear by trees instead, and it's not just the Looping version who feels this way — in one loop, an unAwake version of her learns about a Loop where her and Luna's Awake selves were angels, and also frequent and passionate speakers in support of atheism. The unAwake Celestia, writing back, promptly asks Twilight if they could start an atheist movement in Equestria.
- Triptych Continuum: In Blessing, Celestia tries to convince a stallion whose daughter is dying that she is not a deity and thus cannot save his daughter no matter how much he prays to her. When his daughter dies anyway, the stallion merely blames himself for not having enough faith.
- Pony POV Series: Celestia, while she is an actual deity, isn't comfortable with the adoration and the separation it puts between her and her little ponies...on the other hoof, Luna is perfectly fine with it.
- Oversaturated World: Upon her ascension, Sunset Shimmer finds that an entire religion is developing around her, complete with holy images and competing sects. At first she tries to stop it, but eventually grows resigned and just throws up a Ewetube channel to direct their worship. (This eventually starts crossing with Parody Religion in that while most of her worshippers are genuinely devout, there's also an element of self-aware silliness which creeps in; her worshippers acting as if they can't see how bizarre and embarrassing they're being is an ongoing source of joke material. Lemon Zest at one point actually explains that part of the courtesy involved in worshipping a deity who doesn't want worship is being elaborate and ludicrous enough to let said deity dismiss the real faith behind the ritual.)
- The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds: Due to the Narnia Time in effect between Equestria and Earth after the Rainbow Bridge closed, Megan finds that tales of all of her exploits in Ponyland have since evolved into presenting her as a quasi-divine figure known as the "Mag'ne". She's somewhat disturbed by the adoration she gets from the ponies as a result, as is her husband Mike, who gets worshipped by association.
- TD is extremely uncomfortable over being worshiped in TD the Alicorn Princess, but eventually goes along with it in order to use the religion that's been based around him as a force for good.
- Zigzagged in The Negotiations-verse. Celestia had no problem with any ponies that worshiped her as a goddess as she saw it as something that helped bring the ponies closer together and she essentially exploited this near Blind Obedience while launching an Assimilation Plot against humanity. How Luna felt about being treated as a goddess is unknown, but Spike does note that Twilight and Cadance were annoyed with it due to them both being atheists.
- A Diplomatic Visit: Discussed in chapter 6, when Twilight learns why Swift-Pad is referring to her as "Your Grace" and learns that the wolves worship the alicorns, especially Luna. She explains, as politely as she can, that Celestia "personally dislikes that notion as it drives a wedge between her and every other pony" and that she agrees - she doesn't oppose the idea of worship in general, but personally being the subject of it makes her feel uncomfortable. Later, in chapter 11, Luna herself shows that she also finds it annoying, informing Swift-Pad that "Neither my sister or I are divine creatures nor did we ever make the claim that we were."
- Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: After Celestia and Luna first appeared, some ponies started treating them as deities. They stomped that out pretty quickly, to the point that their discouragment has led to Equestria lacking any kind of central religious belief system. Applejack even had some trouble comprehending the idea that seaponies worshipped Domare as a goddess.
- Karkat in Hivefled is displeased by the Sufferist cult's obsession with him, particularly when it crosses the line into not believing him when he says he doesn't have any magical protective powers.
- The same premise can be used to sum up the entirety of Cultstuck. But the Cult in this fic are much more sympathetic. As while some members are blindly devoted Sycophantic Servant's, other's such as The Grand Elder are more reasonable and many cultists take action to help those on Alternia. Karkat would still rather not be a figure of worship.
- In the TRON: Endgame Scenario universe (a TRON 2.0/TRON: Legacy Patchwork Fic), Jet Bradley is very upset by the Programs' worship of human Users, to the point where he makes Mercury promise never to worship him. His aversion partly comes from watching Thorne and F-Con exploit User-worship to enslave and corrupt Programs. Sam Flynn's aversion is a little less pronounced, but his fear is that it will leave him open to the same kind of mistakes that doomed his father.
- I, Warrior: As the Jedi Who Was Shaped, Tahiri is worshipped by the Shamed Ones. She is very uncomfortable with this.
- The Heterodyne bloodline in The Stanford Adventure Club descends from the goddess Dynamis, and their village faithfully serves them. It's so ingrained in them that Vanamonde immediately kneels in front of Gil when he realizes his friend became consort to a Heterodyne, and Gil outright threatens to kill him if Van doesn't treat Gil himself or his wife as human beings.
- In Project Delta, there is a sizable cult considering Jane a batarian goddess. They do prove useful, but their sycophancy when communicating is quite repulsive both for Jane and the reader.
- The Supernatural/Bones crossover fic The Dead Man in the Lab does this with Booth and Castiel. Once Booth is convinced that Castiel is a bona fide angel, he starts praying to Cas respectfully on a regular basis. Castiel is initially pleased by Booth's regard, but quickly comes to find the frequent prayers annoying, especially since they're distracting him while he's trying to help with the case. Eventually Dean tells Booth to can it.
- Children of an Elder God: Near the end of the story, it's revealed that a cult has come to worship the EVA pilots as angels/gods come to save the world. This unnerves them, especially Asuka, who is a devout Christian and incensed by the whole situation.
- The Weaver Option: After becoming an Imperial Saint, Taylor wishes she could just get everyone to stop worshipping her, but between her genuine feats, her aura and her general attitude, it's pretty much impossible to avoid it.
- Bruce Almighty — Before Bruce gets going with his new Powers, God gives him two rules. The first is he isn't to tell people he's God, he wouldn't want that kind of attention. The second is he cannot mess with Free Will. After being given the powers and some responsibilities of God, Bruce is frustrated with the amount of prayers he receives.
- In Conan the Barbarian (1982), Crom, the chief deity in the pantheon of Conan's people, is like this. He doesn't care for those weak enough to need his help, and those strong enough to earn his favor would never lower themselves to asking for divine aid. Conan offers him prayer once in the course of the film, and it's implied that he showed just the right combination of respect and disdain to actually get a minor miracle right when he needed it.
"Crom. I've never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, would remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. No, all that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important. Battle pleases you, Crom, so grant me one request: grant me revenge. And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!"
- Neo in The Matrix Reloaded finds himself idolized by crowds of new followers in the last human city of Zion. Uncertain himself as to his purpose in his last return there, it's an awkward problem for him as he is (for the most part) empowered only within the realm of the Matrix. Yet he and his lover, Trinity, make time for the followers, often at the expense of their own time alone together.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail — God gets annoyed by people constantly averting their gaze and insisting that they're not worthy when He's trying to tell them what he wants them to do for Him.
- In another Monty Python example, Life of Brian sees the title character continually trying to get people to stop calling him the Messiah.
Brian: I'm not the messiah! Honestly I'm not!
Female follower: Only the true messiah denies his divinity
Brian: Well what kind of a chance does that give me? All right, I AM the messiah!
Multitude: HE IS! HE IS THE MESSIAH!
BRIAN: NOW.... FUCK OFF!
Male follower: How should we fuck off, O Lord?
- Ray in Absolutely Anything gets this in the form of a Be Careful What You Wish For moment, when he realises that having his crush worship him isn't perhaps the best thing ever.
- In The Acts of Caine, the titular Caine eventually inspires the creation of a Chaotic Neutral philosophy, who tell him that it's not about him, just his ideals. Eventually, he performs so many badass acts that the philosophy evolves into a full-blown religion worshipping him (which, considering the way divinity works in this universe, might actually elevate him to godhood at some point). Caine tells the founder to shut it down, and she calmly tells him to his face that she doesn't care what he thinks.
- The Rifter: John, the incarnation of the Rifter, is shy and humble by personality, and very much dislikes being called "my most holy lord". He doesnt think worshipping him is a good idea, and is even a bit of a skeptic about the value of religion. He knows he has a lot of responsibility and doesnt think hes worthy of it.
- In the Branion series, sovereigns double as avatars of a fire god, the Living Flame. In one book, the royal family has converted to a different faith that regards the Flame as a demon, and is supremely uncomfortable with the fact that half their citizens still consider them divine.
- Conan the Barbarian — The god Crom doesn't really care to be worshipped. At birth, he gives his people strength and will and leaves it at that. From "Queen of the Black Coast":
"What of your own gods? I have never heard you call on them."
"Their chief is Crom. He dwells on a great mountain. What use to call on him? Little he cares if men live or die. Better to be silent than to call his attention to you; he will send you dooms, not fortune! He is grim and loveless, but at birth he breathes power to strive and slay into a man's soul. What else shall men ask of the gods?"
- A recurring theme in David Eddings's works:
- In the Elenium, the god of the Atan is not worshiped and doesn't desire it. The Atan tend to handle anything that happens on their own pretty well and don't really see much need for gods. Their relationship with their god is intimate, yet formal: it will lend its power to them in the form of magic, but they only call on it on very special occasions as they do not believe they should bother their god with things they can do themselves.
- The Belgariad:
- The god Aldur has no worshipers, although he does have disciples. In Belgarath the Sorcerer, it's shown that when Belzedar, the second disciple of Aldur, first came to the Vale of Aldur, he attempted to worship Aldur with a burnt sacrifice. Belgarath made it very clear this would only manage to offend Aldur.
- Because there were seven peoples created for seven gods, and Aldur chose to live alone, one of the peoples went godless and separated into several factions. The leader of one of these factions went to the top of a mountain to speak to UL, the father of the seven gods, and ask for a god to lead his people. UL refused, having no interest in followers, but the man won UL's admiration and acceptance through sheer charisma and patience.
- The Lady, the personification of luck, abandons all people who call on her by name. The only known temple built for her was destroyed by a lightning strike... several times. The Lady is an especially interesting example, because she may be the only example of this type of god in a world where Gods Need Prayer Badly. Presumably, she survives because everyone believes in luck, despite no one actively worshiping it. According to the description of how Gods of Evil work in the setting, people railing against her perfidy should work just as well as active worship.
- Monstrous Regiment — The Duchess isn't actually a deity, but due to the nature of belief on the Disc, the fact that people pray to her has sort of turned her into one. Even though she should have died from a painful disease long ago, and is being kept alive by their worship. She's not very happy about this.
- There is a God of Evolution, who actively hides his existence so that nobody worships him anymore. He used to have worshipers, but they were all killed. Even he acknowledges his continued existence should be impossible in this setting.
- Bilious Oh God of Hangovers, who is worshiped by default whenever some miserably hungover wretch whimpers "oh god", is strongly in favor of temperance. This is because while the God of Wine symbolically drinks every alcoholic beverage consumed on the Disc, Bilious symbolically feels the side effects of drinking every alcoholic beverage consumed on the Disc.
- In multiple books, it is mentioned that members of a certain group of Ramtop monks keep turning up at the home of one Mrs. Marietta Cosmopolite, a seamstress of Ankh-Morpork, who has been known to threaten "If I see one more of you little orange devils peering in at me he'll feel the edge of my hand, all right?". This was caused by the monk Lu-Tze renting one of Mrs. Cosmopolite's rooms, writing down her various sayings, and quoting her to explain his feats. The monks have developed martial arts based on these interactions that apparently consist of shouting gibberish at their opponent before giving them a good wallop with a broom.
- The problem Om has in Small Gods is that people have built up such a theocratic government around him that instead of worshiping him, people just do what priests say because they're priests. He has to say Change How You Worship Me.
- According to the Discworld Roleplaying Game, the Disc's nature gods aren't particularly in favor of the various nature cults, like the druids and shamans. They get plenty of belief from rural superstitions, whereas worshippers tend to want something in return. They don't feel strongly enough about it to do anything about it, though.
- At the end of Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East, Ardneh's last command is that humanity must not worship him or any other finite being ever again. Of course, humanity disobeys.
- This is how Raamo D'ok acts in the Green-Sky Trilogy. He's had a couple of foretelling visions and some equivocal experiences which the people accept as mystical revelations. Through it all, he is firm in his belief that he is an ordinary Kindar and begs people not to hail him as a prophet, seer, or anything else.
- Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein reveals, near its end, that the occupants of all other universes are not encouraged to worship their Creators.
- Dangerous Visions Judas — Karimov tries to tell this to A-46's disciples.
- Lord of Light — Sam is not really passionate about this trope, though it applies:
"His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god, but then he never claimed not to be a god."
- In one of the Magic: The Gathering novels, a planeswalker (immortal and powerful but not really god) sets himself up as a god just for the laughs. When he returns to the area centuries later for some rest, he's hounded by worshipers who want him to be god again and fix all their problems. He actually tells them to stop worshipping him or he will kill them. He kills a few but it doesn't stop the worship.
- The Lost Fleet: Recently-defrosted Human Popsicle Captain John Geary is somewhat disturbed, to put it mildly, to realise he's become a legendary hero in his absence. When people start claiming his return and subsequent successes are the product of divine guidance he becomes even more uncomfortable, not least because he takes his own religious beliefs quite seriously, and he spends much of the series struggling to balance the need to walk a fine line between continuing to be an inspiring leader to the titular fleet and the danger of starting to believe his own hype. That the narrative drops several hints that the people claiming divine guidance might be right (though never explicitly ruling out a rational explanation) doesn't make him feel better.
- John Taylor from the Nightside series really doesn't want to be worshipped, even before he finds out who his mother is. His friends usually perform scorched-earth practice for him, whenever they find a cult or church acting in his name. This being the Nightside, such acts being performed are generally icky and distressing. John is increasingly depressed that all of his potential worshippers tend to be nasty.
- Mistborn: The Original Trilogy:
- A newly sprung-up religion starts worshipping Vin as "The Heir of the Survivor." This makes her extremely uncomfortable for a number of reasons (not the least of which is her social awkwardness), and she avoids them as much as possible, even when it means sneaking out the back of a store and Roof Hopping away.
- Gets very weird when, in the middle of the second book, her husband joins the aforementioned religion for various complex reasons. He promises that it won't change anything between them, and for the most part it doesn't, but the theological awkwardness is lampshaded multiple times. Elend's poor soldiers have it worst: They don't know whether to respect her as the Emperor's assassin, obey her as the Emperor's wife, or revere her as the Heir of the Survivor.
- In the third book, Vin has an epiphany and decides that she's nothing like the Survivor, who brought hope and always encouraged people to smile even at the worst of times. With her dour personality and habit of solving problems by killing everyone who disagrees with her, she has much more in common with the man she helped overthrow. Quite a few of his remaining servants come to agree with her.
Vin: I'm not the Survivor's heir. I'm the Lord Ruler's.
- In the sequel series Wax and Wayne, Sazed, as Harmony, acknowledges he is a god, but discourages people from actively worshiping him. He even provided details on hundreds of extinct religions to give them something else to think about. He did create the Path, a very simple religion that asks followers to spend a short time mediating each day and to do more good than harm. They should not to waste time worshiping; doing good is worship.
- Mistborn: The Original Trilogy:
- Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson has the character Lightsong. He is a Returned, an individual who died and came back with the body of a greek god and a number of other powers, although it's largely unclear if they are actually gods or not. He thinks the whole business of worshiping the Returned is idiotic. Interestingly enough, it turns out that Lightsong treats his followers with more respect than most of the other Returned; he feels that since people insist on putting their trust in him, he has to try to help them, and ends up being one of the best arguments that the Returned do have some sort of Divine purpose as he personally stops a massive war.
- When the narrator of Wind and Sparks meets the Dancer, who created his world, the Dancer keeps insisting he isn't a god and keeps referring him to other gods of their world, like nominally chief Melot. Not that Melot interferes much either, he considers free will too important. And doesn't really care about prayers or other rituals.
- Donald Shimoda, the main character of Illusions by Richard Bach. The subtitle "The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" says it all really.
- In Veniss Underground, Evilutionary Biologist originally set himself up as a god to his creations. Later, however, he came to believe that their worship of him was holding back their development, and began killing those who preached on his behalf. While travelling to Quin's underground lair, Shadrach comes across a large number of meerkats who were crucified for this reason.
Crucified meerkat: I am a priest of the Church of Quin. Quin no longer wants priests for his church.
- In Nevil Shute's novel Round the Bend, both Connie Shaklin and the narrator repeatedly deny that Connie should be worshipped as a divine manifestation. Connie states that he is just a hard-working aircraft mechanic doing what any good mechanic should do. The narrator in the end states that this is true, but that he is not really sure anymore that this friend since his youth isn't also God. Shute's finest novel.
- Malazan Book of the Fallen: It's played straight and inverted. Anomander Rake does not want to be worshipped and denies any cults that spring up, which - considering the way worship works in this world - is possibly the only thing keeping him from becoming a god. Dessembrae, God of Tragedy, certainly isn't happy about this having happened to him. Fiddler also has to constantly remind people to stop worshipping him as a living legend of sappers... On the other hand, some established Elder Gods actively want to be worshipped again, as they, especially the Errant, want their power and influence back, which they need worshippers for.
- Journey to Chaos: Some trickster gods are against anyone worshipping them, but their reasons for doing so, and how strongly they feel about it, varies among them.
- Tasio strongly dislike it because he advocates free will and self-determination. As such, he discourages people from praying to him for a Divine Intervention by pranking them whenever they so much as say his name.
- Zaticana a downplayed case; she's fine with the temple and clergy but she doesn't like the formality. She'd rather have friends than supplicants.
- Remho doesn't mind at all, because his followers are typically actors and playwrights and he is a director with a corps of muses.
- Althea Tower from The Prophet of Yonwood, who insists upon waking up that she is not any kind of prophet, but just an ordinary woman.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: in the episode "Who Watches the Watchers", an away mission goes horribly awry when the people of a pre-warp civilization mistakenly believe Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a god after one of them is beamed aboard the Enterprise after an unfortunate accident while the away team was carrying out a mission. An attempt to dissuade the people by sending Commander Riker and Counselor Troi undercover also fails, and with Troi's life in danger, Picard beams one of the people onto the ship to explain to her that he is no god that needs appeasing, but a normal flesh-and-blood being whose "miracles" are actually the result of advanced technology, and even then, they are hardly all-powerful.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko is the "Emissary of The Prophets" to the Bajoran people, because he "met the prophets and was healed by them" by discovering the Bajoran Wormhole (the Prophets' home, the Bajorans' "Celestial Temple") and teaching them about linear spacetime, and them helping him get over the death of his wife at Wolf-359. He was always reluctant about the role, and was put off by the reverence many Bajorans had for him. He got over that when another claimant to the title of "Emissary", a Bajoran from the past, pushed Bajoran society to return to the D'jarra, which Sisko saw as a regression and a damper on Bajoran/Federation relations. Determined to thwart it, Sisko reasserted his claim after facing the Prophets themselves again (which was a test by them all along to remind him of his title), and he more fully embraced his role in Bajoran culture.
- Babylon 5: The Narns—who are unusual in TV science fiction for having many religions, each based on the "Book" of the founder—find a new religion during the course of the series, founded by followers of the Book of G'Kar. Specifically, his prison memoirs. G'Kar is rather annoyed by this, as he is personally a devotee of the Book of G'Quan. It was was also published in an unfinished state without his consent, and the early parts contain ideas he had since grown past (which forced him to argue against his own words). He is also annoyed—but also amused—by the circumstances of the book; every copy of the book has a brown ring on a certain page. Why? Because in the Narn tradition, the "Book" of a religion must be reproduced exactly from the manuscript—and at one point during G'Kar's imprisonment, Garibaldi set his coffee mug down on one of the pages, leaving a coffee stain.
- In Watchmen (2019), this is the reason why Dr. Manhattan left the original Phillips and Crookshanks behind on Europa. They wanted to worship him rather than love him, which is one of the reasons he sought out Angela.
- The song "Divine Disappointment" by Alias is from the viewpoint of "God" angrily telling the world that not only does he not want people to worship him, but that he didn't even intend for us to exist in the first place. The lyrics imply in places that the universe is the result of some kind of experiment and God is just the guy who started it.
So carry on if you wish, unknowing, thinking breath is wind blowingMagnified light bulb is the sun, and tears are rivers flowingThink that every bad thing that happens to you is at my will?Like bankruptcy, adultery, and the reason why others kill?Go on and be misled, as you have your entire lifeTo think that I'll somehow reward you for all your pain and strife
- Caparezza's song "Messa in moto", which is about God getting bored of His worshippers and all the people using His name to justify everything, only wanting to go around as a biker.
- The Bible plays with this trope, in that followers of God are the ones to invoke this rather than God Himself (except in those cases when He would rather have obedience instead of sacrifice, or people try to worship Him in ways involving pagan practices, or they have a totally indifferent and careless attitude when it comes to worship).
- Angels invoke the trope a few times, partly because they are only messengers for the real thing, partly because one of their brothers already got in trouble for averting the trope, and partly because God himself averts the trope and REALLY DOES want to be worshiped, and gets REALLY ANGRY when he isn't, or even worse, isn't worshipped properly. (See Isaiah quote on the Quotes tab.)
- In Amos 5:21-24, God actually tells this to the people Israel, but this is because they were too deep in sin and were offering up empty rituals rather than genuine worship.
"I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream."
- Two sequences in the Acts of the Apostles feature apostles telling people not to worship them. The first is more of an example of Unwanted False Faith but the second in chapter 14 is more borderline, when, having healed a lame man, people became convinced that Barnabas was Zeus and Paul was Hermes. They only barely manage to prevent the people from making sacrifices to them...
- In Acts, Herod Agrippa was struck down and eaten by maggots for not trying to tell people to stop worshipping him.
- This trope is sometimes brought up as a counterpoint to the idea of Pascal's Wager,i.e, what if God exists but doesn't want people to worship Him, or worse, will actively punish people who do so? If that's the case, the only safe option is not to worship Him.
- The Islamic take on Jesus has him doing this, insisting that he's just a prophet and not God (likely meant as a Take That! against Christianity.)
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Planescape: The Lady of Pain's response to worship is either to banish the offender to a nearly inescapable maze, or to simply kill them. It's mainly because her city, Sigil, is a god-free Truce Zone, and due to the setting's laws she will actually become a goddess if enough people believe she is one. Of course, the reason Sigil is a god-free zone in the first place is because she says so and horribly kills any that try to enter. It wouldn't be enough normally, but, according to Pages of Pain, she's a daughter of gods and thus is ready to become one herself. However, should this happen, she couldn't have her absolute blockade against deities in place and hide in Sigil at once. This is likely to end as "half of the Multiverse's gods vs. the Lady and each other" war would begin the next minute or so. It should be noted that this explanation is as canon as any other explanation about the Lady, i.e. not at all. The official stance of TSR (and subsequently Wizards of the Coast) is that nobody knows exactly who or what she is. But either way, she is not fond of worship.
- Boccob, god of magic, has as his official title "the Uncaring". Apparently he passed from the "Stop bothering me with your prayers" stage to the "Fine, worship me if you like, but I'm not listening" stage centuries ago. "Oh, Great Boccob, who is up there, rightly not giving a crap..."
- Forgotten Realms: The god above the other gods and probable creator of the universe is Ao. Who literally did nothing whatsoever until some lesser gods tried to nick his power. His response caused him to become known to mortals at large for the first time and his power caused a fair few to worship him. No magical powers reached his clerics, he made no further appearances and those paying attention noticed that many of those worshipping him had a tendency to suffer misfortunes until they knocked it off.
- The classic adventure "Against the Giants" introduces an Eldritch Abomination known as the Elder Elemental God. Ignoring the usual divinity/mortal relationship, this entity rewards the occasional human sacrifice by granting wishes, but has a grumpy tendency to strike mortals who pester it too regularly with blindness, insanity, or death.
- Pathfinder: Arazni actively despises the majority of her worshippers. Many still revere her in her aspect as the lich-queen of Geb, a role she was magically forced into and which she perceives as a profound and obscene violation. The rest, who took to worshipping her after she broke free from this role, she hates chiefly out of resentment at only coming to her now that she's powerful once more, and because she despises the idea that what she has become is worthy of veneration. The very few followers she grudgingly accepts are others who were themselves betrayed, broken or otherwise stripped of their agency in the world, and who view her less as a figure to revere and more as someone whose ugly fate they share.
- Pendragon: Each character has personality traits that measures the character's attitude and actions. Each religion in the game has a set of personality traits measure how close you are to your god(s). For the Wotanic faith of the Saxons, one of the traits is Worldly, which measures how little you care about being religious. This is less Insane Troll Logic than it sounds like, it merely means that Wotan and his kin want to be emulated, not worshipped. Who needs prayer and sacrifice when you have mortals splitting skulls and giving their followers golden rings in your name?
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The God-Emperor of Mankind explicitly denied his supposed divinity throughout his life and preached atheism, despite knowing that Gods do, in fact, exist. His plan was to convince all of human that gods don't exist, and thus starve the very malevolent Chaos Gods. It was only after the Horus Heresy, and being put on life support, that he could no longer prevent the various cults based around him gaining acceptance. Of note, it was worship specifically that annoyed him. Mere awestruck reverence was okay, and probably praiseworthy. He expected you to give up everything and do exactly what he wanted because he wanted it. He just didn't want your prayers when you could be killing his enemies or supplying his armies. He notably had no problem with you ritualistically calling him "the Emperor, beloved by all" every single time you had cause to mention him. The catalyst of the Primarch Lorgar's fall to Chaos was the Emperor ordering the Ultramarines to destroy the city Lorgar and his Word Bearers built that was centered around worshiping the Emperor as a god. Ironically, the Imperial Cult that venerates the Emperor is based on Lorgar's teachings. Averted by the time of Roboute Guilliman's return, however. The pragmatic Primarch chooses to work with the Ecclesiarchy that worships his father (and him) rather than attempting to stamp it out, despite his own distaste for such religious veneration.
- Khorne is a variation — he gains his strength from bloodshed, either his followers' or their enemies. Stopping to build grand temples and religious rituals in his honor is actually insulting to him, as that is time not spent killing and slaughtering.
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Necoho the Doubter is the Chaos god of atheism, and he gets weaker the more worshipers he has.
- Asura of Asura's Wrath comes across as this upon entering a human village and finding its people bowing before him, in stark contrast to his fellow demigods who have, over 12,000 years, brainwashed the mortal populace of the earth into being willing sacrifices to power their mantra.
Asura: I pray to no one! Nor will I be prayed to!!
- Says it himself near the end of his fight with the Supreme Being who created the Universe:
- Elden Ring: The demigoddess Malenia is worshipped as the goddess of the Scarlet Rot, which has afflicted her since birth. As the Scarlet Rot usually manifests as a particularly nasty disease that has rotted away her eyesight, right arm, and both legs, and Malenia has struggled to contain it for her whole life, she's not particularly happy with her worshippers.
- The God Roark Libertas of Lusternia adopts this attitude, due to his extreme belief in objectivism, social Darwinism and individuality. He views mortals that feel compelled to worship Gods as weak, trapped in a servant mentality. Instead, he encourages those that would be his 'followers' to pretend to worship whichever God will serve their needs best, and abandon them when prudent. The book of Roark states, "were I to have an order, there would be no followers. There would be only leaders".
- In Mass Effect, this is the Reapers' general reaction to the (heretic) geth who view them as Gods. They tolerate the worship since they have need for geth assistance for now, but don't do much to hide their contempt for it. Their disgust is partly due to the superstitious nature of such worship and the fact these geth also believe they can become more like them. Considering the massive ego of the Reapers, the latter is perhaps the most insulting aspect of all.
Saren: But the reaction of their deity is most telling — it is insulted. Sovereign does not desire the pitiful devotions the geth hurl at it. They are just tools, and no amount of belief on their part will change that.
- Although it was already serious, this gets an explanation that's even more dire in Mass Effect 3. The Reapers were created in response to the "cycle" of species creating AIs which warred against them (like the geth). They are imbued with the "essence" of a particular species, as seen in Mass Effect 2, and see themselves as the true descendants of that species — therefore they think of themselves as a sort of organic life, not synthetic (it is this twisted logic that makes them see their "harvest" as not an AI warring against organic life). Not only are the geth the very thing they were created to fight, the very idea of the geth becoming "like" the Reapers is both dire, dire heresy and an uncomfortable truth.
- In Planescape: Torment, the Lady of Pain is widely considered to be the undisputed protector of Sigil, the City of Doors. If you cause too much trouble in her city, she will banish you to another dimension, or kill you outright. If you WORSHIP her, she does the same thing. It's never fully explained why she detests being worshipped, when most beings of her power would gladly accept it. (more info in the Tabletop Games folder)
- It may have something to do with the fact that Planescape runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe and Your Mind Makes It Real. Thus, if enough people believe in her with certain attributes, including weaknesses, she might just change to match that. Maybe.
- Another possibility relates to the fact that Sigil is a no-go zone for gods, for various reasons, and the Lady is charged with both maintaining the city and keeping gods out. If she were to become a god, she would vanish in a Puff of Logic, and possibly take the entire Planescape-setting with her.
- It may have something to do with the fact that Planescape runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe and Your Mind Makes It Real. Thus, if enough people believe in her with certain attributes, including weaknesses, she might just change to match that. Maybe.
- RuneScape — Guthix. Guthix was a... it's complicated actually. Think Nay-Theist who acknowledges the existence of gods. He wound up ascending to godhood after slaying a god with an Elder God Artifact (The Elder Sword) as revenge for the gods basically wrecking his world, and then left his world to walk the cosmos. Found Gielinor, the game's core setting, and decided to turn it into a world with no gods, or at least no worshiping of anything as a god. Unfortunately, due to his sticking around to help mortals adjust to Gielinor, not to mention welcoming all of the original humans (and elves, and gnomes, and fairies) to come to Gielinor in person, lead them to worshiping HIM. He was not amused, and decided to go take a nap for a few thousand years so everyone could forget him. Then the God Wars happened, and everything got screwed up.
- That isn't even considering his allowing Seren to stick around with her elves. Then again, Seren is one of TWO Gods that still whole-heartedly care about their worshipers (Armadyl is the other).
- Note that despite being permitted, Seren did not in fact stick around; she broke herself into crystals. She'd accidentally tethered the elves' lives to herself with a magic experiment, so exile wasn't an option, but she also agreed with Guthix that gods were just too dangerous to have around, herself included.
- In The Settlers III, the godly pantheons of Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, and China are all subservient to an overgod, referred to only as "Him". "He" is annoyed by the prospect of mortals developing monotheistic religions aimed directly at him, partly because it means Jupiter, Horus and Chi Yu are neglecting the duties "He" gave them, and because there aren't enough hours in the day for "Him" to answer all their prayers and keep the universe running smoothly.
- In Arcanum, it's well known that the hero Nasrudin became revered as a Messiah figure and protector of the world by the Panarii religion, after defeating the legendary evil known as "Arronax". What's less well known is that after the battle, Nasrudin retreated to the Isle of Thanatos to recuperate and regain his strength, then returned to the mainland. When he discovered the Panarii and they way they worshipped him, he was so disgusted that he turned around and headed back to Thanatos.
- Downplayed in Dragon Age II. Merill and the other Dalish elves have no idea what Flemeth is (nor does anyone else, really), but they know that she is not someone you should piss off. While Flemeth does appreciate the respect, she feels they go a little too far. Dragon Age: Inquisition reveals that Flemeth is actually Mythal, one of the deities of the Elven pantheon, making her distaste for worship even more poignant.
Merill: [bowing low] I bring you greetings and fair tidings, Asha'bellanar.
Flemeth: One of the People...I see. By all means, stand, child. The People bend their knee too quickly.
- Aloy of Horizon Zero Dawn is furious when the Nora begin worshipping her as their "Anointed", the prophet of their goddess. After spending eighteen years shunning her as an outcast, she is enraged by their attempts to co-opt her as a figure in their religion when it suits them.
- Destiny: In the years leading up to his exile, Osiris attracted a Cult of Personality called the Followers of Osiris, who zealously followed his teachings in an attempt to understand the true nature of Light. Osiris himself found the Followers more annoying than anything, seeing himself as a scientist, not a prophet, and dismissing them as a bunch of lunatics. Unfortunately for him, his open scorn wasn't enough to dissuade the Followers, and their attempts to advertise his beliefs was one of the big contributors to Osiris getting exiled, making him hate his worshippers even more. In the present day, the Followers are still around and still fanboying over Osiris, who seems to be doing everything in his physical power to keep them away from him.
- In this Dresden Codak strip, God is shown to accept only those who don't believe in him into heaven.
- Ronson, god of alcohol and apathy, and the protagonist; from The Gods of Arr-Kelaan.
- Oglaf: Sithrak reveals to one of his cultists that his manifesto of universal, unconditional torment was the equivalent of an angsty teen's poetry and he's since moved out of that phase. Not that his worshipers believe it.
- Of course, Sithrak's worshipers have no particular reason to listen to him, or in fact to worship him in the traditional sense, as according to their belief system he'll torture them forever no matter what they do, so attempting to please him is pointless. As a result, they're highly motivated to avoid dying as long as possible, and avoid killing anyone else.
- Jue Viole Grace of Tower of God is a candidate to become a slayer, who are often referred to as gods. He is not pleased when a few thugs claim to worship him in order to advance themselves in a tournament, and responds by personally eliminating each of them.
Viole: Am I still your god?
- Mr Deity is generally needy and self-absorbed, and loves worship. However, there are a few jokes made (particularly in the first season) about his annoyance at the level of attention and responsibility he is given. In one short, he only listens to about 3 prayers before deleting his whole inbox (half of them are just people shouting "Oh god!" during sex). In another short, he gets a call from a bigoted fundamentalist preacher, and is clearly only putting up with listening to him, and ends by trying to punk him.
- Whateley Universe: Tennyo (who is bound to the humanoid weapon construct known variously as The Star Stalker, the Scourge, the Lady Avenger, and, on Medhas, The Captain) is shocked to learn that the people of the planet Medhas have been worshipping her for millennia during the time when the Star Stalker was sealed in a pocket dimension. After passing their God Test, she immediately disabuses them of her divinity, while leaving them an unpleasant surprise in the form of a sentient master computer.
- The SCP Foundation has SCP-2662. He is some form of Eldritch Abomination who keeps unconsciously causing insane cults to pop up and begin worshipping him, except that he just wants to be left alone and finds the rituals they insist on performing during said worship to be highly disgusting. He willingly got picked up by the Foundation so that they could keep these insane cultists away from him. Later incidents revealed that he's just going through his people's equivalent of puberty, and for the time being isn't good at mentally directing his cults' behavior, control which will come along with full maturity. The Foundation has authorized lethal force if he ever tries to willfully escape containment.
And they saw the Lord Bright approach them; and a great commotion arose through the crowd, for they thought Him dead. And the Lord spoke with a great voice, and He said; "Shut the fuck up for ten seconds and I'll tell you."
- One tale is set in a Bad Future where the Foundation has been corrupted into a church, and Dr. Bright is not only still around but seen as a Christ-like figure, much to his displeasure.
- DarkMatter2525: "The Greater Insult" portrays God (a more human-esq version of God divorced of the Jerkass Yahweh in most of his other videos) as someone who would much rather talk to mankind as an equal rather than be constantly praised and worshipped. He tells Samuel (an atheist) that he likes him and lets him go at peace because Samuel wanted an actual dialogue devoid of groveling, while God gives a particularly savage "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Sabrina and Marcus (a Muslim and a Christian) for thinking that God enforced prejudice and blind obedience while being willfully oblivious of how toxic that kind of thinking was.
- In the backstory of Steven Universe, this was how Rose Quartz sometimes felt about Pearl and the other gems under her command; she found the constant praise and worship to be more tiring than anything else, and constantly encouraged them to think for themselves and not bend over backwards to please her. Notably, shes the only Diamond weve seen so far to feel this way. In contrast, Yellow and Blue outright demand and expect worship from other Gems, though Yellow does tend to get annoyed when her underlings waste time sucking up to her when theres work to be done.