The supreme deity of a given setting is not just a mere jerkass—he is actively malevolent, a callous, sadistic, tyrannical monster who created the world or universe to be a miserable sack of crap.
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 ... isn't. Its powers are just so close to omnipotent that it makes no difference.
In settings that take the controversial stance of God being evil, it is not uncommon for his opposite to be good. This isn't strictly necessary, however, especially in darker Crapsack Worlds whose authors take a more humanistic 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.
This trope can also be called dystheism, or maltheism. These are beliefs that a monotheistic god is (respectively) lazy or 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 with Gnosticism, Everybody Hates Hades, God of Evil, God Is Inept and God Is Flawed. The flip side is Satan Is Good. See Also: Devil but No God, Neglectful Precursors, Jerkass Gods for when the deities are not really evil but just neglectful. Definitely the polar opposite of God Is Good.
- 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.
- Demon Lord Dante had God be 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 demons because he disapproved of the way his first shot at creating life turned out. And he's basically an Eldritch Abomination who the mere sight of turns humans into salt pillars.
- It Gets Worse in AMON, where it's revealed that God has put entire world on 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. What a dick.
- Princess Tutu has the eccentric sadist Drosselmeyer to contend with: a dead writer whose influence, and love of tragedy, still haunt Kinkan Town.
- The manga of Fullmetal Alchemist has The Truth, who, despite being very enigmatic, describes itself as God. It is a sadistic jerk, viciously mocking and laughing sadistically at the poor saps it forces to trade away bits of themselves for knowledge. It's a little better in the final chapter, though that's in part because the target of his mockery and sadism more than deserves it.
- 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 Savers anime, it always ends up trying to destroy its own creation (and in the case of Digimon Savers, the human world as well).
- He has a highly variable morality though-in X-Evolution, he's an enigmatic Cosmic Horror who has motives no one knows, in Digimon Savers he's an Anti-Villain with a easily justifiable hatred of humanity, and in the next media he appears in (can't remember the name, sorry), 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 World Half Empty, as he was created due to humanity's desire for there to be reasons for human suffering; which resulted in the creation of the Idea of Evil, the man-made God, whose purpose in life was to literally be responsible for everybody suffering so much. He's very good at it, having conspired to create Griffith, which leads to the series theme of Fighting Fate. It can be seen as an inversion; in this case, evil is God.
- In a "not quite" case, the One Piece 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...
- 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 Mirai Nikki. 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.
- 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 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 ZONE.
- Garth Ennis' The Punisher: "Sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God."
- In Preacher, 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. He dies at the hands of the Saint Of Killers.
- In the comic book Hellblazer, 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.
- Cerebus the Aardvark crossed the line into First and Ten 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" and is bugged when it returns to find humanity living there.
- 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 battle a man who claims to be God as well as Jack the Ripper.
- God in Chronicles Of Wormwood is another example, as He's apparently insane or severely mentally deficient. Also of note: this version of God also seems to really, really, really love masturbating.
- 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 Catch Phrase. 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 the Seth and the elder god Chthon.
- 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.
"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 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?
- God on Trial features a group of prisoners at Auschwitz putting God on trial for a breach of covenant. While several of the Jews defend God until literally their end, at least some of the prisoners come to the conclusion that God is evil. The final monologue features one prisoner listing out the crimes God has committed, and forcing the Jews to think of the victims of Gods wrath as people rather than just characters in a story, by comparing their slaughter to what is happening to them. Surprisingly the movie was written by a Catholic, in a very impressive case of Devils Advocate.
- Author Philip K. Dick used this at least twice, in the short story "Faith of Our Fathers" and the novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.
- In Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, the Authority is a feeble, senile old man who has been usurped by a more malevolent foe, and he's not even really the creator of the universe anyway.
- The novel The Jehovah Contract portray both God and Satan as bratty, spoiled sibling rivals, while the Mother Goddess is portrayed as the real Creator who now has to win Her own creation back.
- Steven Brust's novel To Reign in Hell doesn't have God as being necessarily evil as much as a bit thick and egotistical. Of course, that same novel has Satan as an indecisive schlep until it's too late.
- In Dean Koontz's earlier works, God Is Evil or at least God is Insane, as seen in Fear That Man and A Darkness in My Soul. In Dragon Tears, the villain seeks to become the New God and his plans for the world is as horrific as this trope can imagine.
- The Harlan Ellison short story "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" features the computer AM with a severe God complex. Originally named the Allied Mastercomputer, subsequently renamed Aggressive Menace when it developed intelligence, it went all Skynet and killed almost the entire population of Earth. It then used its near omnipotence and omniscience to give the five surviving humans immortality, so that it may continue to physically and psychologically torture them indefinitely.
- Harlan Ellison plays with this trope (again) in his short story "Hitler Painted Roses." Another of Ellison's short stories, "The Death Bird" portrays the "Satan" character as a misunderstood savior and "God" as a malevolent alien bent on control. The main character, a reincarnation of Adam, is revived and sent to defeat "God" in order to bring Earth to an end and achieve rest for himself and humanity.
- Lester Del Rey's short story For I am a Jealous People has God's Chosen Aliens doing unto Earth what God's Chosen People used to do to other humans.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's novel Job: A Comedy of Justice (inspired by the Biblical book of the same name, see below), both God and Satan are revealed to be equal players in a much greater game, several ranks below the true Supreme Being, and God is the jerk of the two, who insists on worship and relies upon inconsistent and unkind rules to rein in his creations.
- The stageplay J.B., based on Job, takes it a little further: Satan's last attempt to corrupt Job is to paint the bit at the end—where J.B. gets all his fortunes back—as actually the cruelest torment of all; that God could ruin his life, and then just put it all back together again because the whole "Take away your fortunes, kill your children and cover you in boils" thing was just a bit of a lark. When J.B. points out that his children are dead, Satan dismissively says, "You'll have better ones!", mocking the notion that everything could really be put right just like that.
- The Bartleby Tales series (NSFW) has this as its main trope: God is actually everything the most stereotypical religious zealots preach him to be, sending otherwise-good people to Hell for minor "sins" (like homosexuality) and even tossing his own Son in there for preaching the complete opposite of what he intended. Likewise, Satan's a lot more altruistic, using a loophole in his contract as Lord of Hell to change the first two circles into the closest he could come to what Heaven should be (though appropriately twisted; this is Hell, after all). Eventually, it starts its own Rage Against the Heavens subplot, though it's yet to actually delve into it.
- Part of the backstory of Clive Barker's novel Imajica is that ages ago, the one, singular male god named "Hapexamendios" defeated all the various separate minor female goddesses and became the God of all realms. Hapexamendios has been trying to bring about "The Reconciliation" which will reconnect Earth to the other four "Dominions" which will then allow him to destroy them all.
- In the Clive Barker short story The Midnight Meat Train, it's implied that the Eldritch Abomination that leads the race of immortal cannibals who secretly rule New York from hidden tunnels underneath it, or others of its kind, are the original inspiration for all myths of Gods throughout human history.
- William Blake, beginning with his The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell and elaborated in his poem about Milton, turned the tables to posit that mistakes are innocent and perfection is villainous. C.S.Lewis actually wrote a response to Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell called The Great Divorce, in which denizens of Hell actually always have the chance to go to Heaven, but very few of them want to stay there—the nature of an evil person is such that the damned, each for a different reason of his own, find the perfection of Heaven repugnant. Those who do decide to stay find in retrospect that Hell, for them, was merely Purgatory.
- In Charles Stross's Singularity Sky series, there is a God-like entity called the Eschaton, which spread humanity over three thousand years of space and responds to any attempts at Time Travel by almost completely destroying the offending planet. Slightly subverted, however, because the Eschaton specifically states that it is not God. Also, the Eschaton is not evil - it acts only from self-preservation (ensuring that the timeline leading to its own creation takes place correctly), not from sadism. This doesn't stop some people in-Universe from seeing it as evil, but they tend to the villains in-story.
- In Nick Perumov's Keeper of the Swords series of books, the local Crystal Dragon Jesus, called "The Saviour", is evil. And, he is depicted very similar to the actual Jesus. Creepy.
- In Alan Campbell's Deepgate Codex, the local god, Ulcis, is raising a zombie army made out of the corpses of his worshipers to take over the world, so he can (personally) eat everyone.
- Stephen King's:
"You said 'God is cruel' the way a person who's lived his whole life on Tahiti might say 'Snow is cold.' You knew, but you didn't understand. Do you know how cruel your God can be, David? How fantastically cruel? Sometimes he makes us live."
- The Stand also has some elements of this near the end, with many protagonists' deaths being likened to sacrifices to God so He'll personally interfere with Randall Flagg's plans (in a way that kills virtually all his "followers", including children whose only fault was being with adults who went to Flagg's side).
- God himself doesn't put in an appearance in the Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett collaboration Good Omens, but the forces of heaven do. They aren't evil, precisely, but rather indifferent to human suffering in the face of carrying out the Divine Plan. One of the cases where God Is Evil does not necessitate Satan Is Good; the demons mostly aren't terribly sympathetic either.
- In Karen Miller's Godspeaker Trilogy, the God of the Mijaki is portrayed in this way. Except it's actually a dark power that they believe to be a god.
- Old Testament God is the Big Bad in Jericho Moon, with an invulnerable, yet rather harried Joshua as The Dragon.
- Uniquely subverted by Larry Niven with the Kzinti, in that radical heretics among them had come to believe that God is exactly what the human race believes Him to be ... and hence, is on our side, rather than theirs, in the Man/Kzin Wars. Their "religion" consists of wearing masks of human skin and aping human prayers, in hopes that the Kzin-hating Deity will mistake them for humans and hence show them mercy.
- Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, one of the great classics of science fiction, paints a portrait of God, or as he's referred to in the book the "Star Maker," who creates universes more out of a sense of aesthetics than anything else. Once he's done with one, he'll discard it and move on to another (no Heaven here, folks). The book gives fleeting descriptions of the final, perfect universe that will perfectly fulfill the Star Maker; even (or especially) in this universe, there will be beings who exist in a perfect state of eternal suffering and horror, without which the universe as a whole could not be perfect. Ugh.
- God in Anne Rice's Memnoch The Devil. Maybe. We only have what Memnoch showed Lestat to go on.
- In Unseen Academicals, Lord Vetinari subscribes to this school of thought.
Lord Vetinari: If there is any kind of supreme being, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.
- K.J Parker:
- Scavenger Trilogy If you have to pray, pray the god Poldarn isn't real. You don't want his special salvation.
- This is a staple of many of weird fiction author Thomas Ligotti's short stories, especially "Nethescurial", "The Tsalal" and "The Shadow, The Darkness".
- "The Sect of the Idiot" actually opens with a quote regarding Azathoth (see above).
- In Catch-22, Yossarian's rant against God starts out as God Is Inept and goes to God Is Evil:
"And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways," Yossarian continued. ..."There's nothing mysterious about it, He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?"
- Mark Twain:
- The Mysterious Stranger features Satan, the sinless nephew of that Satan, delivering a speech stating that reality is a dream, because a world where God does such evil things and is still worshiped as good is clearly the nonsensical creation of an unconscious mind. Part of this speech can be found in the Quotes section of this very page.
- Letters From The Earth, which depicts God as a megalomaniacal hypocrite who, among other things, not only punishes sinners for minor offenses, but also innocents simply because they were part of the same civilization as the sinners. All of this is narrated by Satan, who was thrown out of Heaven for asking too many questions about the contradictions of God's law.
- There are two Gods in Letters From the Earth. God - Real God - is mostly unconcerned with humanity and thinks of them all as an amusing experiment. He is short with Satan for Satan mouthing off and has a temper. However, Real God is not evil. Satan writes about the Biblical God as a totem invented by small tribe of men - and describes Him as one depraved monster.
- In Matthew Stover's Jericho Moon, the Hebrews are portrayed as having made a Deal with the Devil with Yahweh. In fact Joshua tells one of his followers that his job, and Moses' before him, is to protect their people from the wrath of Yahweh and that's the only reason they enforce obedience to Him. However if God Is Evil, Goddess is apparently Good.
- The perceived viewpoint of Jesus and God within The Other Light faction in the Left Behind book Kingdom Come, who believes that God Is Evil because He won't let "naturals" in the Millennial Kingdom live past 100 years of age as unbelievers, and end up passing their teachings to the next generation of converts so that the generations that does get to confront God and Jesus at the end of the Millennium will be "assured victory" when Satan is released. Unfortunately for them, it didn't go as they hoped.
- H.P. Lovecraft's mythos draws most of its horror from this trope. There is no benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient God shepherding humanity. Instead, humanity exists on a bubble of foam in an endless cosmic ocean of darkness, surrounded by predators so horrific, that their appearance alone drives their prey insane. The gods who rule this cold, hostile universe are omniscient and omnipotent. But their scale and their knowledge make them utterly alien and impersonal. The greatest of them barely notices humanity at all. As for the ones who do take an interest...
- Eloat in Storm Constantine's Burying the Shadow is an alternate-world interpretation of God that has gone power mad and refuses to give up power to his heir Sammael.
- 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.
- Subverted when God reveals himself. Although he could have stepped in at any time, it wouldn't have let the Winchesters, humanity, Castiel, and all their allies stand on their own two feet against Lucifer.
- Due to the Season 6 finale, Castiel might also fall 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.
- Dewey in Malcolm in the Middle holds this view, and he uses the comparisons to god as humans killing ants for the fun of it.
- This trope, when applied to the Big Guy Himself, is a main source of Religion Rant Songs of the Type 1 variety.
- Pretty much the entirety of Gary Numan's musical catalogue from the album "Sacrifice" onwards (1994-) has dealt with his own image of God's cruelty, His servants' horrid actions and the barren, dead wasteland that is heaven.
- 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. It is somewhat unclear whether they believe God exists or not.
- 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 worshiping 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: "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 a bit of a Jerkass. As is typical with Newman songs though, it's not entirely clear how serious he's being. It's also worth pointing out that the God in the song criticises humanity pretty severely ("I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee/From the squalor and the filth and the misery"), but his not intervening to prevent these things could still be regarded as Jerkass behaviour.
I burn down your cities-how blind you must be
- Extremely common in Black Metal songs. Deathspell Omega in particular has basically made a career of this.
Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends
- 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 (see Richard Dawkins quotation below), which holds that, if God exists, he would be unworthy of worship due to the Problem of Evil and Problem of Hell. 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. Older Than Feudalism, maltheistic 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.
- 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 women) but who still demanded respect and sacrifice being the best-known examples. Since World War Two, more specifically the Holocaust, some Jewish theologians have proposed a dystheistic approach to God.
Walter Savage Landor: Men in all age and nations have displayed more zeal in pulling the Gods down towards their own level than raising themselves up to the level of God.
- Gnosticism holds that the God of the material universe 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.
- There is a particular branch of Satanism (which in most variants has little to nothing to do with THAT Satan despite stereotypes) known as Luciferianism 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 higher thought and true sentience. Of course, the cost of humanity's higher knowledge (and morality, sentience, deeper consciousness, complex thought processes, and all the other baggage that comes with it) may or may not have been worth it.
- Richard Dawkins described the Abrahamic God in no uncertain terms:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving Control Freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
- Some modern Jews believe that God is, while not evil per se, at least not wholly good, with the reasoning that a benevolent God would never have allowed the holocaust to happen.
- The film God on Trial portrays a group of Jews at Auschwitz debating this very subject. The trial is not about whether or not God is evil, but whether he is guilty of a breach of contract with regards to his covenant with the Jewish people.
- There's a certain tribe in Africa who believe that their supreme god created humanity because he was bored and wanted something to torture. There's good news, though: you can rebel against him, and in fact it is the right and duty of every human to do so.
- 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!
- The late, great George Carlin also had some choice words concerning the Big Guy Upstairs.
Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of 10 things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these 10 things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! . . . But He loves you! He loves you! He loves you and he needs money.
- 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.
- On top of this, the supplementary D&D book "Lords of Madness" takes this even further. Drawing heavily from the Lovecraftian mythos, the book heavily implies that the evil aberrations known as Aboleths predate the existence of the universe and the D&D deities themselves. Not only is the world born of this primal evil, but the book takes it a step further and goes on to explain that Mindflayers, Cthulhu-looking psychic humanoids that teleport between dimensions at will, see in complete darkness, paralyze opponents with sound, eat the brains of their victims, and procreate by enslaving other
humanoidsorganisms and infecting them with a parasitic larvae that takes control over an augment of the body, are the ultimate stage of evolution at the end of the universe. In fact, their existence in the medieval-like D&D era is explained as occurring simply because they utilized all of the resources by the end of the universe and reduced it to a cold barren wasteland. Afterwards, they decide to go back in time so they can fuck the universe over all over again. One of their goals is to destroy the sun, partially to fuck over the other species that rely on it but also because they just like it better that way.
- 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. The rest of his pantheon are definitely jerks for choosing the mortal world as Izrador's prison and locking everyone else in with him with no help, though.
- It was never intended that mortals be locked up the way they are with Izrador. 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. Maybe the other gods should have seen something like that coming, but it's otherwise a bit harsh to call them jerks when they're actively prevented from doing anything in the world.
- 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 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 Reconciliationist faction of Demons believes that God must have been good after all, mysterious as Her 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.
- Taken to the extreme in 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. The Gods of Chaos also embody positive qualities though: the disease ridden Nurgle loves all life equally; a bacterium is loved as much as a veteran of fifty years. Then there is Tzeentch, a God of Manipulative Bastards...who is the Warhammer universe's God of Hope.
- Gork, Mork, and the Emperor of Mankind, who are slightly less bad. Slightly. To be fair, Gork and Mork are mostly better because they don't actually do anything except be an object of worship by Orks in the 40K setting. They're more active in Fantasy, and not nearly as nice there. The Emperor was a good guy while he was alive, the intolerance and all that were the actions of his followers. If he were to come back in all his glory, odds are he would flip out at how far his Imperium has strayed from what he set out for.
- 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 God of Dirty Tricks.
- And Isha the god of fertility and love. 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.
- AND The Laughing God, the Eldar trickster god, patron of the Harlequins, and possibly the last hope for the universe. That is, unless Tzeench turns out to be on our side. You never know with him.
- While Warhammer Fantasy Battle 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.
- 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. 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 has seen the Games of Divinity Form of the Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Style of Sidereal Martial Arts.
- In Scion, the PCs are half-human offsprings 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 interresting 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 (goddes 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.
- 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!".
- "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 Heel Faith Turn.
- Shin Megami Tensei I and 'II both use this trope faithfully, although how good Lucifer is by comparison varies between the games. But Lucifer can never seem to keep up in terms of absolute evil. Mostly because he swore never to abandon humanity. He does this, however, by guiding them into his vision of perfection...
- By the end of Shin Megami Tensei II, everyone basically wants God dead, from Lucifer to the angel Gabriel. The player takes care of this.
- The boss theme of Nocturne has the demons praying to Him for help. Lucifer also implies that God has been destroying and recreating the world multiple times over, with each new iteration meaning the deaths of everyone in the old world that is replaced, and it's implied the events of Shin Megami Tensei II didn't take and the protagonist got a Fate Worse Than Death for his part in it.
- This however is becoming less featured or much more subtle in the later SMT games as opposed to the earlier ones. In Devil Survivor, God is portrayed as more good. However Word of God again points out that this has less to do with the game verse itself and more to do with the increasing popularity of SMT in the western countries and Atlus not wanting to alienate their new found fanbase. That said, although God Himself doesn't appear in Strange Journey, those acting in His name are no better than He ever was (and while it's hinted they may not be acting on His orders, that's never confirmed). 'Sides, angels very rarely ever enter that path in SMT.
- Many fans have taken this as the idea that the "something terribly wrong" is the menaces in the Persona games, which have been sorted, making God good again in time for Devil Survivor.
- In Strange Journey, however, the Demiurge sidequest very heavily implies the Demiurge is, in fact, YHVH, and that the Demiurge fella is still very much this. While it's implied he becomes somewhat more reasonable after you defeat him and allow Metatron (actually another piece of YHVH) to merge with him, he's still more or less an Ax Crazy Knight Templar who has you take him to Mem Aleph so he can participate in killing her in the Law Path and warns you very severely there will be consequences for not choosing his way in the other paths. He's also flat-out mentioned to have forgotten his love for humans and trampled the Goddess-worshipping world, implying he's still an attention-hungry bastard. The name is a bit of a giveaway.
- The Updated Rerelease of Devil Survivor again throws doubt upon God's motivations, by revealing he deliberately set up the Abel and Cain scenario in order to create the first martyr and the first murderer.
- In Adventure Quest, The Stranger/Seth Cay Dhows was revealed to be a man made god known by the name Epsilon. Also, Falerin is actually an (Affably) Evil God.
- In the Crapsack World of Demon's Souls, Magic is explained as power that comes from the human (Or demon) will, and Faith is explained as a power that comes from God. For this reason, Faith-users are usually pretty rude toward ungodly mages. This is all well and good, but in multiple places in the game you can discover that The "god" that faith users actually get their power from is the world-destroying Big Bad Demon Overlord, the Old One, and that faith users are not aware of this. Whether the religion is completely wrong, or whether (even worse) the Old One actually IS god is not revealed. However, faith coming from the Old One is implied by Sage Freke in an optional conversation, and confirmed by the item description of the Talisman of Beasts.
- Zeus from God of War 2 is particularly paranoid and vengeful, attacking Kratos for the possibility that Kratos might kill and usurp him in the future. To be fair, though, Zeus was pretty much the same way in classic Greek myth, and Kratos would probably do it.
- In III, it's revealed that Kratos corrupted Zeus when he opened Pandora's Box in the first game to defeat Ares.
- God is the Big Bad in Makai Toushi SaGa (Final Fantasy Legend in the west). And he's a little Amish man.
- In Alundra Melzas is actually the god who is worshipped by the citizens of Inoa, which makes him more powerful. And then he starts killing them off. What a jerk.
- A disproportionate number of Breath of Fire games use the world's leading god as their Final Boss, mostly because the Sorting Algorithm of Evil says not much else should be powerful enough to faze them by the end of the game. In some cases, like the third installment, they portray the realisation that you are going to have to fight and kill God with the weight such a goal would bring.
- Myria and Deathevan are actually more like cases of Gods of Evil because they are not the world's only deities. Ladon, the dragon god who appears throughout the game, is actually a pretty cool guy, especially in the third game where he can actually teach you some of his abilities by acting as a Master.
- Xenogears. Sort of. Deus isn't actually a "God", though it did create the branch of humanity on the planet in question. It's really just a genetically engineered planet-destroying bioweapon that's somehow become even more powerful than its job description would imply. There's also the Wave Existence/Zohar, which seems to be the "true" God of Xenogears, and late in the game it empowers the main character to become even more superhuman than he already was. This is actually a Gnostic allegory, with Deus playing the false god Demiurge and the Wave Existence playing the Source -- the distant, unknowable true creator whose role Demiurge unwittingly usurped.
- Xenosaga has a subversion. While Dimitri Yuriev believes the Dimension Lord Energy Being U-DO is evil, and it does have a tendency to cause people to go insane when it touches their minds, it isn't evil, just alien.
- And finally, we have Xenoblade, which is the one that plays the Trope totally straight. Zanza, the god of Bionis, is among the most evil characters imaginable.
- In Shadow Hearts, "God" is a world-destroying alien monster which doesn't have any dialogue.
- Although, it's explained by the real Roger Bacon that it isn't truly a god, but rather something that's as far above humans as humans are above ants (or further).
- In Dragon Quest VII, when you resurrect God, he immediately begins an evil tyranical regime that confuses and subjugates the newly reunited world. However, this turns into a subversion as "God" is actually the thought-to-be-defeated Demon Lord in disguise. You eventually do fight God, but it's as a Bonus Boss outside of anything resembling the plot.
- In Dragon Quest IX, it turns out The Almighty is kind of a royal prick who tried to destroy humanity just 'cuz. Thankfully his daughter's pretty cool.
- The Elder Gods in Mortal Kombat can certainly qualify; while hiding behind a Obstructive Code of Conduct of non-interference with their own creation, they've either downright ignored imminent threats to the Realms and breaking of sacred laws (like they did with Shao Kahn's invasion of Earth in MK 3), or manipulated proxies into doing their dirty work through elaborate Gambit Roulettes that have as much of a chance of succeeding as a snowball surviving in the burning heart of Hell, with wonderful non-rewards for doing a "good job" (have pity for Scorpion and his family and clan, or Taven and his family and friends). And when one of their own does decide to interfere, they're punished violently, regardless of whether their intent was malefic or innocent. Makes you wonder why no one's gone up there to kick their deific asses, yet...
- Raiden could also qualify, depending on the game. In his Armageddon ending, he became increasingly aggressive in his protection of Earth, going as far as to destroy all other realms (both threatening and non-threatening ones) to prevent them from being a danger to Earth. And in his ending in the original game, Raiden wins the Mortal Kombat tournament, but soon becomes bored with human competition and invites other gods to participate in the tournament, which ends up destroying the planet.
- Odin in Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria is ready to destroy the entire mortal world rather than face the possibility that humans will stop serving the gods unquestioningly. Lezard doesn´t seem that bad all of the sudden.
- He is somewhat Lawful Evil in the first Valkyrie Profile, too. After all he is fine destroying the order of the mortal world by stealing it´s sacred treasure just to have a mighty artifact for himself and to help Lenneth to recruit more Einherjar.
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time has Our Heroes daring to enter the Time Gate into the 4th dimension, to thwart God's plans to eradicate the Milky Way and establish independence. In the climax, it turns out that the fourth dimension is full of super-advanced apathetic humans, who created our universe as a combination of reality TV and role-playing games (Earth's mythical heroes were player characters). "God" is a corporate suit who's reformatting parts of the program, seeing humanity's attempts to practice "symbology" (programming code) as some kind of bug in the system.
- And what truly makes this "god" evil is that when he finds out that humans have been practicing Symbology, rather than painlessly deleting them, he sends the "angelic" hordes to wipe out humanity. Maybe he thought it would boost the ratings...
- In Drakengard, The World Is Always Doomed because God Is Evil. The gods that the hierarchs in the Crystal Dragon Jesus religion pray to for salvation are in fact the ones trying to destroy the world. When they show up towards the game's finale, they appear as giant, man-eating babies. Yeah. As far as who created the world, the debate is out whether the gods did or the dragons did.
- Well, to be technical, The giant babies are only said to be the gods in the sequel. In the original game, it instead appears to be what happens if the gods die -- they may be evil, but keeping them around is preferable to the alternative. Given that the portion of the original game where the babies appear didn't happen as far as the sequel is concerned, it's quite possible that both versions are correct within the context of their own games.
- Final Fantasy X had the church of Yevon, who were blinded by lies and persecuted with a giant, indestructible Space Whale capable of leveling cities over the course of a thousand years. Yevon turns out to not be a benevolent god, but a deranged summoner who refused to die and used the souls of the last survivors of his civilization to summon a recreation of their city for them to live in forever - the same "dream Zanarkand" that Tidus and Jecht came from - via the use of Instrumentality. The Space Whale actually was a hull for Yevon's spirit, created to basically demolish any civilization that became advanced enough to potentially disrupt the "dream" Zanarkand. Still, the true purpose of the church of Yevon (as founded by his daughter) was to appease him without letting him destroy the rest of the world for revenge. Suffice to say, this knowledge never made it past the church's leaders...until a certain Badass Longcoat who learned the truth refused to stay dead.
- This is touched upon in The World Ends With You, as whether or not the Composer of The Game is simply just giving a reasonable chance to everyone for their lives again or is rather a complete Jerkass sadist who likes pitting people against each other with the risk of losing their existence. At any rate, it's a rare case where the Jesus-figure is undeniably an asshole.
- Final Fantasy XII has the Occuria, a pantheon of very powerful godlike spirits who have manipulated the development of mortal life on Ivalice for centuries in an ongoing Gambit Roulette, selecting and manipulating various humans as their champions, including the player characters. Ironically, they are opposed by one of their own, a rogue Occuria who has allied with the Evil Overlord in an attempt to break the Occuria's domination over humanity in a Gambit Roulette of their own, unfortunately causing tremendous misery and destruction in their attempts to do so.
- The DS Tactical RPG Luminous Arc has this, as well as a Corrupt Church. Oddly enough, they actually oppose each other in the end.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics, the final boss is a thinly disguised Expy of Jesus.
- Granted, the entire thing was essentially expanding on the Pharisee argument found in the Bible - Is Jesus' power really divine in origin, or is he meant to tempt people from the true path/faith? Pretty damn serious subject-matter for a T-rated video game, and one that could be completely missed by anyone not familiar with the subject matter.
- The above is the result of poor translation (something the PS 1 version was well known for). The plot of the PSP version has the final boss as a false prophet type plotting to use Lucavi to rule the world. The Beoluve family are blood descendants of the person who stopped him the last time.
- The dominant in-universe religion, however, holds that the final boss really is a Jesus-like figure. Thus, their equivalent of the Bible is a lie, and the "god" they worship is actually a demon. Whether a true God exists in the FFT world is never specified.
- The Elder Scrolls gods come in two varieties, the Aedra and the Daedra, namely: those who took part in the creation of Mundus and those who did not.
- The Aedra rarely affect mortal life directly, but tend to be worshiped by mortals for their contribution and are mostly believed to be benign.
- The Big Bad of the Skyrim is apparently an aspect of the leader of the Aedra Akatosh, whose goal is nothing less than to devour the world.
- The Daedra - specifically the Daedric Princes - were disinterested in assisting in the creation of Mundus and merely leech on its existence to host their own realms of existence (seen to those on Nirn as other planets); likewise, their dealings with humans are typically less than ethical, save for Azura, who is considered the most compassionate Prince. It's a value dissonance. Of special note: Sheogorath, until recently, has a flair for unlocking the inner madness of his worshipers - "a bitter mercy" - and Mehrunes Dagon has been trying to conquer/destroy Tamriel for many thousands of its years because that's what he does.
- In the first expansion for Morrowind, Tribunal, the main quest ends with you (the hero) having to kill one of the Tribunal gods, Almalexia. It turns out she has gone mad and killed another god, Sotha Sil, and wants you to die as a martyr.
- In the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion you find out that Jyggalag, the daedric prince of order, became so powerful he threatened the other daedric princes, and thus was cursed with madness, transforming him into Sheogorath. You then free Jyggalag and take the mantle of Sheogorath.
- Viking: Battle for Asgard: You know Freya? Yeah, she's kinda evil. The kind of evil that brings you back to life with the promise that she'll give you a chance to enter Valhalla if you kill someone for her and then realizes the benefits of having a personal assassin and promptly stabs you in the back. Skarin was not pleased and suffice it to say, it did not end well if you happened to be a God.
- In Scribblenauts, you can turn God evil. You can also give him a shotgun and a skateboard and have him fight Cthulhu.
- Although this will come as a surprise to no one, behold! The Tetris God!
- Although, he's not so much evil as a complete and total DICK.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Archdemons that lead Darkspawn hordes are Old Gods of the Tevinter corrupted by the Blight. The Maker is kind of an asshole of a god, instead of just killing the Tevinter mages that attempted to breach the Golden City, he cursed them to spread devastation in their wake and sent them to destroy the mortal world.
- The Legacy DLC for Dragon Age II reveals that according to the Darkspawn Emissary Corypheus, who was once a Tevinter magister, the Golden City was already the Black City when he and his fellow magisters entered it....implying that it corrupted them rather than the other way around. Which, if the Golden City/Black City is the home of the Maker, likely implies that the Maker is evil too. Considering what a Crapsack World Dragon Age is set in, that makes a disturbing amount of sense...
- The Last Resurrection features Jesus as its Big Bad and God as its Bigger Bad.
- The Creator in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years turns out to be an Evilutionary Biologist who doesn't give a damn about his creations beyond their role as planetary experiments. Vaguely hinted to be the same as the creator from Final Fantasy XIII, although, since he doesn't appear in person there, it isn't very clear in the latter how much was God being evil and how much was God not programming his biological crystal robots very well.
- In the Rance universe, the creator god is a giant whale who created all of existence just to watch people fight and kill each other in wars. So Humans Are the Real Monsters because it is Inherent in the System. And entertaining, apparently.
- Bayonetta's Jubileus is a goddess who intends to destroy the earth upon resurrection so that she can remake it into a perfect world.
- Xenoblade Chronicles has Zanza, Big Bad, God of Bionis and a complete and utter bastard, who destroyed the entire universe as well as the world multiple times so that the humans he relies on to exist don't leave the world and expand to the stars.
- Meyneth, on the other hand, is a kind and caring deity who only wants to stop the above from happening again. She even performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save the heroes from Zanza.
- Asura's Wrath has The Golden Spider/Chakratarvin. The omnipotent ruler of gaea, he makes every one in the world to suffer just to find his next heir. He thinks this is saintly of him, but Asura calls him out on this while punching him in the face repeatedly.
- The Seven Deities are a less powerful example of this. Of them, only Yasha, Deus and Augus are not outright sadistic, violent, arrogant beings who look down upon mortals and use them as they see fit, and Augus only because he cares not for domination but simply a good fight. And even Yasha and Deus was willing to be Necessarily Evil.
- In Stickman Exodus, the Gorn-doodling teenage owner of the notebook is effectively a cruel God to the two-dimensional cast.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Wondermark discusses maltheism, slightly tongue-in-cheek, in a series of strips starting here.
- 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.
- The Canadian animated series Tripping the Rift (which is definitely not for kids) 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.
- Mostly averted by South Park: the few times God has appeared in show, he's been portrayed as a decent guy. A hippo-monkey-cat who's a practicing Buddhist for some reason, but a nice guy. Mostly averted because of his long-time practice of only letting Mormons into Heaven... which meant everyone else went to Hell. Including Buddhists. Even though God himself is a Buddhist. South Park is weird.
- Remember that in South Park, Hell is a pretty decent place for most people (only serious evildoers get actually tortured), while Heaven is so dull that only the Mormons can enjoy it.
- Though 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?
- 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.
- 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
- God is a subversion in Newgrounds, though Tom Fulp warns the audience not to underestimate God. At first glance, having Darnell (a child) die by having a flaming airplane fall on him is evil. But Darnell was an arsonist who decided to terrorize an entire city. So yes, he was asking for it, regardless of his age.
- From the Necronomicon, no less!