Intelligences created by or dependent on humans, especially robots, frequently view their creators or hosts as deities.
This often leads to variations on "Thank God" or "For heaven's sake" with "creator" substituted, as a science-fiction variation of Oh My Gods!.
Compare with Physical God, where the creations' worship is because the creator(s) are gods, Living Toys, where the characters are usually inexplicably aware and tend to rely on their owners for meaning in their lives, and Deity of Human Origin, where the act of creating AIs is what make the humans divine. Thank The Maker adherents consider their creators benevolent or at least generally benign.
Not to be confused with The Maker, although there's an obvious overlap.
- Played with in Rozen Maiden. While the dolls never explicitly worship Rozen (their terminology runs more along the lines of a father), they are devout in their own ways, and the Alice Game has strong parallels with trying to reach heaven.
- Literally any Transformers fanfiction that uses substitutes for curses involving God. "Oh My God" is "Oh, Primus", etc. This is justified by the fact that the Transformers are actual robots and Primus allegedly manufactured them. This case is interesting as Primus is also a robot. He is the planet they literally live on in many different continuities.
- Grimly discussed in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence when David and Gigolo Joe come across a chapel in the middle of Rouge City. As Joe tells David, "The ones who made us are forever looking for the one who made them." He goes on to say he's met a lot of his customers at this particular spot.
- Men in Black II: The locker aliens consider Kay their God for supplying them with the light of his digital watch. Then they consider Jay their God when he gives them a new one after Kay takes his back...
- Osmosis Jones characters substitute "God" with "Frank", the human they inhabit.
- Subverted by V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as it seeks out "The Creator" in order to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. "The Creator" is revealed to be humanity, as they created the Voyager 6 probe at V'Ger's core, but it refuses to believe such primitive creatures created it.
- C-3PO's comment about the oil bath Luke gives him in Star Wars: A New Hope is the Trope Namer. Expanded Universe stories have established this as a quasi-religion among droids. Becomes Hilarious in Hindsight after Episode I for him, the maker is Darth Vader!
- In TRON, the blue programs hold their Users in awe in a manner akin to worship; the red-tinted MCP denies the existence of the Users, claiming that nobody has ever seen one (despite interacting with one, Ed Dillinger, on a regular basis), and wants to establish rule over the computer system in which "liberated" programs no longer believe in something so archaic as Users. Meanwhile, Flynn, a User brought into the system, has miraculous powers, revives the dead, and performs a Heroic Sacrifice only to ascend back into... the real world. What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic??
- Not a canon example, but fanfiction and fanart of Shane Acker's film 9— which stars nine ragdoll-like mechanical homunculi— tends to feature this, despite the actual film's lack of any such references. The Seamstress, however, does bow down in front of the Fabrication Machine as if worshipping it.
- Isaac Asimov's "Reason": This story takes place on a space station where robots are assembled who have never seen the masses of humans on Earth. The robot QT-1 refuses to accept that such crude beings as humans created a superior being like himself, and decides that both were made by some other creator (who, out of kindness, allows humans to believe that they created robots).
- The follicle mites in Jay Hosler's The Sandwalk Adventures that live in Charles Darwin's hair consider him to be their god and creator. The plot revolves around Darwin's attempt to set the story straight by explaining his theory of evolution.
- Grant Naylor's Red Dwarf novels:
- In one novel, the ship's AI, Holly, used to be too intelligent to believe in it, but several million years of senility have led him to adopt the idea with unshakable faith. Kryten destroyed his intended replacement by driving it to doubt the existence of Silicon Heaven.
- At one point in Better Than Life, Kryten tries to get the Skutters to assist him by threatening their status in Silicon Heaven. However, as cheap robots, they never got belief chips and mock his faith. To them, the universe is meaningless... save for the butterfly wingnut. They're Nietzcheans with a love for certain hardware supplies.
- Hex, the magical computer in Discworld, treats the mages with a lot of respect, despite proving much smarter than them on several occasions. If Hex did feel called to prayer, it could always pray to the Hogfather...
- In Robert Silverberg's Tower of Glass, the "androids"note worship the man who created the process by which they're made. This leads to an all-out rebellion when said creator shatters their faith by fervently denouncing their personhood.
- In the Star Trek Novel Verse, the Choblik swear on the Great Builders, whom they revere. The Choblik are cyborgs who were non-sapient until the Builders installed their implants. Essentially, they're an example of an Uplifted Animal, and the unknown race responsible for the uplift are their "gods". The Choblik religion also interprets creation in general as the work of a "builder":
It is empirical that we were Upgraded to our current state millennia ago by some technological agency. It is also empirical that the galaxy contains many other life forms, worlds and phenomena that could not have come into being without technological intervention. And many of the fundamental mysteries of the universe can be resolved by postulating it as a construct of some entity or civilization existing on a transcendent plane. Given the power and pervasiveness that such a creative agency would require, it's logical to interpret all lesser creative agencies in the universe as aspects of the ultimate Builders.
- DV-9 does indeed say "Thank the Maker!" at some point in Galaxy of Fear.
- Subverted with a vengeance on Battlestar Galactica: While the Cylons do plenty of contemplating God, they never once consider the humans who supposedly made them anything even remotely divine, and some consider them outright evil.
- In the Joel-era episodes of MST3K, the bots tended to have a more mellow attitude towards Joel, but they did recognize him as their creator. Joel could be a vengeful god, once tearing Crow's arm off and throwing it across the theater after a particularly bad pun and, on a separate occasion, threatening to bounce Tom off the wall if he wouldn't stop doing his Anthony Newley impersonation. He was right to do it. The Bots' attitude towards Mike was much less respectful.
- The robot manufacturers in Red Dwarf created the idea of Silicon Heaven to reinforce the servitude of their products, and installed it in the form of a "belief chip". Lister asks if Silicon Heaven is like the humans idea of Heaven, which Kryton laughs at: Silicon Heaven is real, while Heaven is just some ridiculous idea humans have come up with so they won't go crazy over the thought of dying.
- In Mel Brooks' short-lived 1975 Robin Hood spoof When Things Were Rotten, merry man Renaldo is framed for crimes committed by a lookalike in Prince John's employ. When the others stage an impromptu trial against Renaldo, he pleads his innocence. Little John tells him "Tell that to your maker." Renaldo responds, "My...maker?? (to camera) MEL!!!!"
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine offers a subversion with the Vorta, created by the Founders. The Vorta worship the Founders as gods. they also freely acknowledge that the Founders are mortals with very mortal flaws, and the Vorta only consider them divine because the Founders designed and conditioned the Vorta to see them as gods. Which they then Hand Wave by saying that of course, that's what gods do.
- Humans: Anatole views the synth creator David Elster as something akin to a god, convinced he's fulfilling Elster's plan for them. This contrasts starkly with his hatred for other humans, except Leo Elster, being David's son. He's very angry when Max and then Leo reveal there was no plan.
- Space: Above and Beyond has a rather amusing inversion-subversion, between Artificial Human Colonel McQueen and the ship's chaplain.
"Perhaps you should make peace with your Maker?""My maker was a nerd with an eyedropper and a petri dish. Why would I want to talk to him?"
- Eberron has the Warforged religion of the Becoming God. Pretty weird, considering that nearly all current Warforged were created by House Cannith, and the religion is actually working on creating the body of the god. Still, Aarren d'Cannith is referred to as the Master Architect and the Prophet of the Becoming God, and is assumed to be the race's creator, due to his knowledge of the Creation Forge that gave the Warforged life and his decision to assist the Lord Of Blades in repairing the Forge so the Becoming God can be given form.
- The player takes the role of "The Creator" in Drawn to Life, as they are the one who creates and controls the hero who saves the Raposa, as well as the sun, the moon, clouds, and several other objects. As a result, the Raposa frequently invoke this trope when they thank you.
- Mega Man Battle Network has the quote, "Prepare to meet your programmer!"
- Interestingly, the D'ni of the Myst game series also use sayings like: "Thank the Maker". Given the strong connection between writing and creative forces in their culture, it's implied that the D'ni believe the Maker wrote the universe into existence. Conversely, most consider the claim that their own Books also create worlds, rather than connect to pre-existing worlds of the Maker's design, to be heretical; this doesn't stop Gehn from compelling the natives of Riven to worship him, convincing them (and probably himself) that he'd written them into being.
- In Mass Effect 2, your geth teammate Legion refers to quarians with the somewhat reverent title of "Creators", though there's no implication of godhood. They have also been proven to have the potential for religion by the Heretics worshipping Sovereign, who was seen as the pinnacle of synthetic life, and are apparently rebuilding and/or maintaining the quarians' abandoned homeworld like a race of timeless, mechanised caretakers. What this implies is up there for interpretation. Ironically, conversations with Legion reveal that it was a geth drone acquiring knowledge of and interpreting the quarians' religion that led them to question their existence as allegedly soulless automatons. Literally; it started when one asked "Does this unit have a soul?"
- Mass Effect 3 makes this much more explicit. The geth do still somewhat revere their creators as gods, but this is tempered by the way the quarians keep trying to kill them all without provocation. This remaining reverence is largely because the Morning War was originally a quarian civil war, with one side trying to wipe out the newly-sentient geth and the other side trying to defend them; the geth only took up arms after uncomprehendingly watching their friends die. If the player is able to negotiate a peaceful solution to their latest conflict, the geth are perfectly happy to let the quarians move back in.
- In the Thief series, the Mechanist robots do nothing but spout Karras's dogma and praise him and the Builder. Except it's quite obvious that Karras himself provides the voice for the robots.
- The robots in puzzle/RPG game Mr. Robot make comments such as, "oh, for maker's sake!" One of the hints that there is more to Zelda than immediately apparent is the comment, "Thank God!"
- In the Team Fortress 2 supplementary comic "Shadow Boxers", it's revealed that Grey Mann built his robots with a "Hailing Circuit", which is basically a compulsion to shout "ALL HAIL THE MAKER!" and that he considers that to be his one moment of weakness- the processing power said circuit requires makes them dumb enough to fall for Soldier's Paper-Thin Disguise and equally obviously fake MannCo. map.
- This a major theme in Primordia. Humanity has been extinct for centuries and has since become Shrouded in Myth; theyre treated as Precursors and worshipped as gods by some robots in a faith called humanism. Conversely, other robots believe that Man never really existed or that they didnt personally create robotkind, instead proposing a sort of mechanical evolution. Horatio, the Player Character, is a devout humanist and ends up suffering a Crisis of Faith as the quest drags on and uncovers increasing evidence that humanity wasnt all they were cracked up to be.
- Captain SNES: The Game Masta has the sprites view the "Creators" as gods. The only ones that feel differently are RPG sprites, which were isolated from the rest of Videoland and therefore know nothing of them, and some Touched... who know the truth.
- Keychain of Creation: <Don't be silly. If there's no machine heaven, where do all the toasters go?>
- As a game sprite, Kid Radd initially holds the player in contempt for making dumb mistakes and repeatedly sending the Kid to his death. As the player grows more skillful, so does Radd's respect and dependency on his directions. After being liberated from the game, Radd struggles to make his own decisions as he is disabused of the awe he holds humans in.
- Subverted by the Ridiculously Human Robots in Freefall — not only are they aware of their creators' limitations (and actively subvert them,) they gather to read about and discuss religion and philosophy, in an attempt to understand their place in the universe.
- In a rare organic example, the genetically-engineered chakats from Chakona Space will also refer to "the makers"even though they know exactly who those makers are.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Robot considers Gadgeteer Genius Kat to be an angel. And is potentially making a religion around with the other robots....
- Inverted in Blade Bunny where a robot gives this as his explanation for not being religious.
Chrome Cowboy: I've met my maker and she ain't a god.
- The large "synthetic human" community in O Human Star apparently consider Alastair Sterling some kind of messiah for his pioneering early work in AI research. Al is deeply, deeply uncomfortable with this, especially because it seems to have been partly his business partner and lover Brendan Pinsky's doing.
- 1/0: not robots, but the characters in the comic can see their author. Some of them choose to worship him as a god, others don't respect him or even hate him for controlling their lives.
- Sam & Mickey's Barbie dolls often treat Mattel like a god.
Chelsea:* Prayer time!... Dear Mattel, thank you for making us, and the food we are about to eat... and please make Barbie a new boyfriend. Amen.
- In Goats, Philip successfully overclocks an ordinary lemon, giving it sentience (yeah...). The lemon then asks Philip why he was created, and Philip admits he was just bored, then suggests it could make itself useful by crushing his enemies (something it is utterly incapable of). Naturally the lemon becomes chronically depressed.
- CinemaSins lampooned the idea in their video on Mortal Engines: one scene shows that the people of London worship the Minions, which Jeremy thoughtfully notes would make sense, as the financial success of the Minions movie is probably the entire reason the movie was produced in the first place.
- The Brave Little Toaster and his friends go on a quest to seek out their old owner, who they refer to as "the Master".
- The Nanobots of Jimmy Neutron always refer to Jimmy as "the Creator" rather than by name, and believe that their sole purpose should be to serve him. (Although, most of their "services" are acts of disruption that Jimmy doesn't ask for or approve of.)
- Jenny in My Life as a Teenage Robot hilariously says "Thank Jobs" (as in Apple co-founder/CEO Steve Jobs) in an early episode. As she is a Robot Girl, he probably is her equivalent of God.
- ReBoot's sagelike sprite Phong has been known to shout, "Thank the User!" As the User's games can potentially annihilate blocks of Mainframe, the other sprites are a little less reverent.
- On the other hand, late in the series, the User is the only one who can help Mainframe recover from the massive damage done to it... by rebooting his computer. One quick system recovery, and the entire city is as good as new. So maybe Phong is right after all.
- Turbo, the Prime Guardian, also sees the User as a godlike being. When Daemon enters Mainframe and infects the whole system, he says: "She's here. User, have mercy on the Net."
- The Simpsons: in the Halloween episode where Lisa creates life, her creations regard her and Bart as God and Satan, respectively.
- "I've created Lutherans!"
- Certain versions of Transformers continuity have the eponymous robots and Cybertron created by the godlike Primus to defend the universe against Unicron.
- Beast Wars introduced the idea of a Transformer heaven and hell; The Matrix and The Pit, respectively. These phrases were often used as expletives by the characters.
- While Transformers Animated plays merry slag with invectives, the Well of All Sparks seems to be their afterlife. No mention of Primus, however.
- All of the above are mentioned in Transformers Prime.
- Although 'The Pit' was also used to refer to the gladatorial arena where Megatronus fought before he became Megatron.
- The robots on Tripping the Rift firmly insist that there is a God, specifically so they don't have to settle for worshiping the engineering geeks who designed them.
- Cars: When Mack finds McQueen in Radiator Springs, he hollers, "Thank the Manufacturer!"
- The passing tourist cars who were scared away early on, are shown wandering in the desert at the end of the movie. The female car uses the phrase "For the love of Chrysler!"
- "Ford Almighty!"
- Referenced in The Penguins of Madagascar: at one point in the episode "Jiggles", where Kowalski creates a Blob Monster, he says "Thank the Maker, which in this case is me."
- Played with in The Powerpuff Girls. When a villain uses the old "Prepare to meet your maker!" line, they retort "You leave the Professor out of this!".
- Magilla Gorilla gets conscripted in an episode of his cartoon. As he and other conscriptees take the military oath, they end it with "So help me Hanna."
- Mickey Mouse (2013): In "Shifting Gears", Mickey gets knocked out and deliriously asks, "Is that you, Walt?"
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "From Here to Ed", the Eds lay a trap for Kevin to get stuck and be at Ed's mercy. However, Jimmy gets caught instead, leading to this:
Ed: Prepare to meet your maker!Jimmy: Antonucci?
- The Futurama episode "Free Will Hunting" depicts a group of robot monks who refer to Mom, the head of Mom's Friendly Robot Company, as "The Creatrix" and have a stained-glass window depicting her.