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"Everything in creation is flawed. Humans don't need to be mentioned. Air, intent, and even time. My eyes can see the death of things. They're special, like yours. So I can kill anything that lives. Even if that thing is God."
—Ryougi Shiki, Kara no Kyoukai
You want to brag, but you're also in the mood to do something borderline blasphemous. Well you can accomplish both at once by bragging that you've topped something a god supposedly has. So you say you have "More X Than God".
This usually involves the Abrahamic God, but not always. Also, the most common thing to top is money (especially someone in the Fiction 500). Although this sort of makes sense, as the Abrahamic god is supposed to be all powerful and all knowing, so would therefore have little use for currency. But be careful in declaring this when you declare this in a setting where Gods do exist, or you'll end up Tempting Fate. Bonus points for doing it right in front of an actual god.
Note this is not claiming "God himself couldn't." That's just Tempting Fate. Also compare to A God Am I and Smith Will Suffice, which are generally more serious statements of blasphemy or pride. Bigger Than Jesus hangs a lampshade on the Blasphemous Boast. Almost always an indication of Hubris.
- This Lynx ad. Apparently, it smells so good that angels themselves will keep not their first estate and risk being reserved in everlasting chains under darkness.
- God made man. Samuel Colt made them equal.
Anime and Manga
- Dr. Black Jack is usually said to have the hands of God when it comes to surgery. Given from what he actually does, he doesn't seem to be far off.
- Black☆Star from Soul Eater frequently refers to himself as "the man who will surpass God" or "the man who has surpassed God, although it's (probably) just his ego talking.
- The Mazinger Z is said to be so powerful that it effectively renders its pilot a Physical God. Then they had to go on and make an even more super Super Robot.
Dr. Juuzo: If you have Mazinger Z, you can be either a god or a devil... But with Mazinkaiser, you can be superior to God!
- When That Man is disposing of Pedro in Excel Saga, he remarks that "This is what happens to anyone who crosses me, even God."
- Zoro of One Piece has been described as being "more arrogant than God", due to the swordsman making several of these. Fitting that this comes up in an arc where the Big Bad is a guy who actually thinks he IS God. (Who then kicked Zoro's ass with ease.)
- Touma in A Certain Magical Index claims that his hand cancels anything, and can even cancel the divine. Index is slightly skeptical because, among other things, he happens to be an atheist and asks him to test his claim on her blessed clothing. It works.
- Also If Jesus, Then Aliens. He says that there is definitely no magic, and a bit later she says "An atheist like you?", and he doesn't mind.
- Someone in the part of the verse not (yet) adapted to anime remarks that yes, Touma really might be higher than God. Even his family name can be translated as "The person superior to God".
- The title of Fiamma of the Right translates to "The One Above God."
- The Chouginga Gurren Lagann is described as "One who matches the gods." Considering that its power is supposedly tantamount to a sub-Universe, this makes some sense.
- Naturally, it is succeeded by the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and in the movies the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which are several thousand orders of magnitude stronger than that, the latter one being a full-sized universe shaped like a mecha.
- By this point, the Gods probably lie curled up in foetal position, weeping in terror.
- Variant: In Hikaru no Go, the go-players are looking for the so-called "Divine Hand", the ultimate answering (or preemptive) move.
- Shiki makes one in Kara no Kyoukai (see quote above). May not be so blasphemous after all, considering she is connected to the Origin and is a Reality Warper.
- At the climax of the anime of Devilman Lady, the final villain claims to be the new incarnation of God. Our heroine's response? "If you're God, then I'm the Devil, and I will continue to rise from Hell to battle you!"
- In episode 11 of Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt, we discover that Garterbelt the priest was formerly a crime lord, murdered and then revived. He threatened to break God's dick with his ass and then God zapped him with a Bolt of Divine Retribution that turned his hair in his famous Funny Afro. Yes, it's that kind of show.
- In Wanted, Adam One doesn't see the point in Mr. Rictus advocating for the Fraternity to step out of the shadows, since they're "already sitting here with more money than God".
- The Ultimate Marvel version of Nick Fury, aka Samuel L. Jackson, after leading the first operation in the universe to successfully drive off Gah Lak Tus:
I tell you, Cap. All this made you think there might not be a God. You know what all this makes me wonder? I'm wondering that when I get up to them pearly gates...
- In the first few issues of Young Justice (the comic obviously) Agents Fite and Maad are introduced and claim to 'have more clearance than God'.
- In Sonic Universe, Shadow delivers a particularly epic one right to a god.
Deny me all you want, but with [a Chaos Emerald], even a god must bow before the Ultimate Life Form.
- In Time Braid, Sakura once makes reference to Naruto having 'more chakra than God' after being exposed to the various side effects (namely, he can't have sex with normal women without knocking them unconscious by overwhelming them with his aura, and there's a similar problem with his using the Yamanaka mindwalk jutsu).
- "Welcome to NERV. God's in His heaven because He's scared of our superior firepower."
Janus: What's true is that in twenty-four hours, you and I will have more money than God.
Carver: Soon I'll have reached out to and influenced more people than anybody in the history of this planet, save God Himself. And the best He ever managed was the Sermon on the Mount!
- MGM Studios used a less divine form, with the old slogan, "More stars than there are in the heavens."
- In the Godfrey Ho film Honor and Glory, the bodyguard Jake Armstrong's business card is said to read "You couldn't be safer in the hands of God." He seems to actually believe it, too.
- The Fantastic Four movie has Johnny Storm saying that Victor Von Doom has more money than God. In comparison Reed Richards is worth "less than a postage stamp." (He may have a point, considering Reed Richards Is Useless ...)
- In Speed Zone! (a.k.a. Cannonball Fever), the Strothers Brothers characters are described as "having more money than God's accountant".
- Consider this beauty from Kill Bill Volume 1: Hattori Hanzo on his latest sword, "I can say with no ego that this is the finest sword I have ever built. Should you encounter God on your quest, God will be cut".
- It's actually a callback to a similar line in a voiceover near the beginning, which in turn references a Zen Buddhist saying: "If you meet a buddha, cut him down. If you meet a demon, cut him down." The exact wording used in the movie is probably an intentional change, meant to invoke this trope for American audiences.
- In both the play and the film versions of Steel Magnolias Ouiser—pronounced 'Wheezer'--tells Shelby that "The only reason people are nice to me is because I have more money than God."
- In Life of Brian: "All I did was say to my wife, 'That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah!'"
- In Tropic Thunder, the director Damian Cockburn calls the helicopter that brought the actors to the remote part of the jungle as God, and himself as Jesus Christ, making this the ultimate Blasphemous Boast. Given the nature of the movie, it was probably inevitable. And 10 seconds later he gets blown up by a landmine.
- In Creepshow, Aunt Bedelia is said to be "older than God."
- In Clash of the Titans, Casseiopeia earns the wrath of the goddess Thetis by boasting her daughter was more beautiful than the goddess. She said this in the goddess's own temple.
- In Bride of Re-Animator, Herbert West has a pretty high opinion of his work. "'Blasphemy'? Before what, 'God'? A God repulsed by the miserable humanity he created in his own image? I will not be shackled by the failures of your God. The only 'blasphemy' is to wallow in insignificance! I have taken the refuse of your God's failures, and I have triumphed!"
- Dune (the 1984 film): "Usul, we have Worm Sign the likes of which even God has never seen."
- Five Hundred Days of Summer: a reference by the protagonist's younger sister to his ex dating a guy "with abs like Jesus".
- In Orson Scott Card's horror novel The Lost Boys (no vampires appear) a young software engineer will tell anyone who listens that he makes more money than God. If only he had actually told people the dollar amount, he might have found out sooner that his boss was cheating him royally.
- Used indirectly in CS Lewis's Till We Have Faces, where the Fox claims that Istra is "prettier than Aphrodite herself". Orual is Genre Savvy enough to be concerned about this, but the Fox dismisses her concern as foolish superstition. Turns out the gods are not amused.
- In the Warrior Cats series, Tigerstar claims that he is more powerful than StarClan because he changed the number of Clans in the forest from four to two.
- More poetically, Alexander Pope once wrote, "Yes, I am proud; I must be proud, to see/Men not afraid of God afraid of me."
- Toyed with at a few points in the Circle of Magic series. A character will compare another character to a god — Briar thinking that with Rosethorn near it's as if her Mila of the Green is standing there — and immediately dissemble, thinking to themselves that they meant no disrespect.
- The Daily Show used the money version to highlight different Middle East countries. There were the conservative, "death to America" countries, and then there were those with more money than God.
- There's a season two episode of House actually called "House Vs. God". Chase keeps a running tally on a whiteboard with House's successes on one side and God's on the other. It ends in a tie.
- Done accidentally, in the show High Tide. One guy makes loads of friends, so much that they keep asking him to be godfather to their daughters. So one of the protagonists quips that, "You have more goddaughters than... God."
- Done in the Yes Minister episode "Doing the Honours" while discussing the Order of St Michael and St George. The Order has three grades: Companion (CMG), Knight Commander (KCMG) and Knight Grand Cross (GCMG). Jim Hacker's Principle Private Secretary Bernard Woolley explains what the abbreviations mean in the Civil Service:
Woolley: ...Of course, in the Service, CMG stands for "Call Me God". And KCMG stands for "Kindly Call Me God".
- One episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had a cult leader get shot by his pregnant twelve year-old wife for pulling one of these during a three-person Mexican Standoff. He had, idiotically, told the girl to shoot the liar in the room. As Olivia tries to talk the girl down, he keeps yelling more and more fire and brimstone scare tactics at the girl until he claims that he was greater than God. She immediately shoots him because "he told a lie. No one is greater than God."
- In the 1990s The Outer Limits episode "The New Breed", the protagonist, the inventor of Nanomachines that can heal any damaged or diseased cells in the body, is accused of playing god. His response: "Let's just say God created a flawed man. I think I can do better."
- Let's just say his attempt to do better doesn't quite go according to plan.
- A small one in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Ioulus claims that the town that Herc and he saved should have built a shrine to them. A lightning bolt strikes a nearby bush. The duo speculate if it was the gods or not. So Ioulus tests the "lightning never strikes somewhere twice" concept by repeating the line right next to the bush. It happens again. Oddly enough this gives Ioulus precognitive abilities at the low, low cost of being fried with a lightning bolt.
- In The Sopranos, Jackie Aprile Jr. to his getaway driver before robbing Tony's gang:
Jackie Jr.: I don't care if God passess by, you do not move this car.
- But averted in that Jackie Aprile Jr. is in fact a Too Dumb to Live Darwin Award contender that has little claim to such authority.
- Wilhelmina in Ugly Betty episode "Betty's Baby Bump", regarding her latest scheme to regain control of MODE:
Wilhelmina: As I march up the steps of the Meade building, it will be the greatest comeback since... Jesus.
- Several episodes of Monk, such as "Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger" and "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect", include characters being described as having more money than God. In "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail", one character wrote a book entitled "Richer Than God: The Lambert Lawson Story".
- Doctor Who gives us this exchange:
Catwoman nurse: And who are you to make this decision?
- Blackadder II episode "Bells".
Lord Flashart: "Still worshiping God? Last thing I heard he started worshiping me!"
- The Babylon 5 mantra:
"Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova's recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out!"
- There is an arc in Twin Peaks where Benjamin Horne reenacts the American Civil War with models as a way of solving the personal problems that caused his nervous breakdown. However as he gets better the side he chose (the South) starts to win. As his troops are about to enter Washington D.C. he says (in an affected Southern Drawl) "Only God can stop us now; and I believe in my heart that the Almighty is a Southerner!"
- House of Pain's song "Jump Around" has a non-blasphemous version: "I've got more rhymes than The Bible's got psalms." Since it's accepted that the Bible has a finite number of psalms (150, to be exact), nobody gets offended (and the claim is still pretty impressive).
- Porcupine Tree's "Slave Called Shiver"
I may be nothing now, but I will rise
- Lil B has claimed to be God, to be the Devil, and to look like Jesus. He also claims to be "The Based God."
- Jacques Brel was notorious for his blasphemous boasts in his songs. (See the article itself)
- The song "Creation & Destruction" by Immortal Technique is a Boastful Rap taken Up to Eleven.
Devils are incompatible
- And the stinger at the end of that verse:
Cause I allow God to let you motherfuckers exist
- The song "Disasters" by the Non-Prophets
How do you expect someone to take you seriously
Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends
- In Greek Mythology, since Pride was considered to be the outmost sin and especially when directed towards the gods, the deities are quick to take offense and retaliate when they catch anybody doing this.
- Ulysses would have saved himself several years of hardships had he not bragged to Poseidon to the point of refusing him a sacrifice, or mocking his son Poliphemus after blinding him. As a man of proverbial wit, you'd expect him to know better than anger the god of seas, especially if you and home sweet home are hundreds miles of sea apart.
- Queen Niobe brags in public that she has more children than "poor" Leto (the mother of Apollo and Artemis!). The two promptly take it upon themselves to avenge their mother by killing each and every one of the queen's children and she turns to stone from grief.
- A certain seamstress and weaver Arachne claims she's better than Athena? Let's just say there's a reason we call spiders 'arachnids' today... This myth is referenced in Cryptonomicon, where the teller of the tale points out that Athena plays fair during the challenge and actually admits Arachne is as good as she thinks she is: it's not Arachne's blasphemy, but rather her hubris, that results in her being cursed. Another version has Athena get angry when Arachne matches her, and blowing her off so rudely that Arachne, unable to resist being bitched at by a Goddess, tried hanging herself; that's when Athena came to her senses and saved her by turning her into a spider. Yet another version says that Athena didn't punish Arachne for claiming to be better, but because during the contest Arachne's masterpiece entry was a giant tapestry mocking Zeus and his extensive history of infidelity. No way was Athena going to let Arachne mock her father like that.
- The reason Perseus had to save Andromeda from the sea monster was because her mother, Queen Cassiopeia, claimed Andromeda was more beautiful than Aphrodite, goddess of beauty. Aphrodite got pissy and asked Poseidon to lay waste to the kingdom; then she told Cassiopeia her wrath could be forestayed if she let Andromeda get eaten.
- In another version, Poseidon freely decided to let the monster loose and demanded for poor Andromeda to be sacrificed to it. Why? Because Cassiopeia said that Andromeda was prettier than the Nereids, alias sea nymphs who hang out with him. And one of them was Poseidon's own wife Amphytrite. Insulting a God's lady is NOT a good idea in any way.
- In one version of Medusa's story, she got turned into a monster after having an affair with Hepaestus, and then claiming that she was more beautiful than his wife... none other than Aphrodite.
- Aphrodite had to deal with this a lot, apparently, since suitors were saying that Psyche (who ended up being the one to catch flack for their boasting) was more beautiful than her.
- Journey to the West: The Monkey King Sun Wukong proclaims himself "the Great Sage, Equal of Heaven." Granted, he eventually did kick Heaven's collective asses. Heaven eventually needed to call upon the Deus Ex Machina that is Buddha.
- Some versions of the Flying Dutchman myth says that the Captain of the ship swore such an oath to round the Cape of Good Hope if he had to sail until the Last Day. When God appeared and asked him to give up his foolhardy quest, he cursed God and repeated the oath. His punishment was to sail, with a crew of ghosts and cowards, until the Last Day.
- Warhammer Fantasy Battle uses this a lot with the chaos gods. A random Chaos worshiper deems himself greater than the gods and usually finds himself cursed.
"Your foe is well equipped, well-trained, battle-hardened. He believes his gods are on his side. Let him believe what he will. We have the tanks on ours."
- From the flavor text of the Netrunner card 'Fortress Architects':
"You want us to build that? Not even God has the money to afford that!"
- Ajax rejects the gods' help and boasts that he will be the best fighter on his own merit. Ajax is primarily about how this is a bad idea, but also a noble one.
- A variant in Super Robot Wars, Sanger's Catch Phrase and Badass Boast is that "I am the sword that cleaves evil! There is nothing I cannot cut!" (Which becomes "smites evil" in the English localization.) When fighting more powerful opponents, he sometimes replaces "evil" with something more dramatic and context-appropriate, including at one point "God".
- Near the start of the life of the PlayStation, Sony released an ad campaign in the US that explicitly stated that the Playstation was "More powerful than God", attempting to prove that it wasn't for kids. Unsurprisingly, shortly afterwords, the campaign was taken down.
- At the end of Policenauts, Gates Becker goes on a Motive Rant, claiming that God made a mistake in designing humanity as naturally unfit for life in space, and justifying the extensive organ harvesting syndicate which he oversees as merely "picking up [His] slack".
- In ÞRhapsody: A Musical AdventureÞ, Marjoly claims to be mightier than God, more beautiful than Goddess, and the Devil's master.
- A guy named Glass in Fire Emblem has gained some notoriety by claiming that his swordplay is so peerless that even the gods fear it. Considering the fact that he's just the level 2 boss, this turns out to be one of the most epic cases of Suicidal Overconfidence ever.
- In the Bob and George fancomic Jailhouse Blues, one weapon that Mega Man gains after defeating "Obviously Compensating For Something Man" is "More Ammunition Than God."
Mega Man: There's got to be a catch.
- The Last Days of Foxhound: Psycho Mantis on Ocelot:
Psycho Mantis: Look, this is a man who believes that if God himself came down from the heavens, pointed a shotgun at his head and fired, God would miss.
Riff: I put more spice on those wings than God could.
- Awesome Hospital alters a dialogue standard of the Medical Drama for context, but retains the sentiment:
Nurse Punk Rock: You can't play someone's life like a Stratocaster, Sven! You're not Hendrix!
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series movie trailer, a brief scene involves Yugi getting swarmed by fans and exclaiming "I'm more popular than Jesus!".
- Darwin's Soldiers:
Subject 19: So come on! Give me a real challenge! Give me a fight against a God!
- This little gem from Time Cube:
I AM WISER THAN ANY DAMN MAN OR GOD WHO EVER EXISTED. IF THE HALF AND HALF CO-CREATED JESUS RETURNS TO EARTH, I WILL PERSONALLY KILL THE BASTARD MYSELF.
- This bash.org quote.
- The Nostalgia Critic:
- In Mario Plush Forever, Giga Bowser claims to be more powerful than Master Hand. Big mistake.
- From Super Mario Bros Z:
Axem Red: You Monster!!
"If I'm really as evil as you say I am, then let God strike me down where I stand." (ZAP!) "Ha! Nice try, jackass! Next time, give it your A-game!"
- The Simpsons:
- Homer got a perfect 300 bowling, and compared himself to God. He didn't actually say he was better than God, just equal in bowling ability. Which, if Homer always bowls 300, is simply mathematically accurate. Even God can't score more points than the maximum number possible.
- In another episode, Bart declares that the revivalist preacher/faith healer Brother Faith "dances better than Jesus himself."
- In yet another episode, Bart describes the gravy Marge and Becky made as "better than God's sweat."
- Being a parody/homage of The Beatles, "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" references John Lennon's real life boast (see under Real Life below). The Be Sharps took Lennon's quote to extreme by naming their second album "Bigger Than Jesus", complete with a cover that showed the quartet walking on water (itself a takeoff on the Abbey Road cover).
- And yet another example has Lisa convince Bart and Homer they have leprosy. Bart claims that in the Bible 'Some holy guy' cured the lepers. After remembering it was Jesus Homer quickly asserts "Wait, I know someone even Holier than Jesus! Flanders!"
- The Great and Powerful Trixie claims to be the most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria. Equestria happens to be ruled by two immortal winged unicorns, who personally raise and lower the sun and moon every day and are basically gods, so Trixie's claims could be construed as heresy.
- Technically, they're alicorns, not unicorns. Still a pretty mean thing to say, though.
- Canonically they're referred to unicorns (despite their wings and presumably also integrated earth pony traits). 'Alicorn', while popular in the fandom, hasn't really made it past Fan Nickname yet. So yes, Trixie is technically claiming to be more powerful than either Celestia or Luna—although to be fair the Princesses are so much in a league of their own that the idea of lumping them in with the "common" unicorns might well not even occur to most ponies, Trixie herself potentially included.
- Angry Beavers did a similar spoof as The Simpsons did at one point, with Daggett claiming that they were "Bigger than sliced bread", with people acting in an identical manner to John Lennon's "Bigger than Jesus" boast. Subverted, however, when Daggett clarifies that he meant that they were physically bigger than a loaf of sliced bread, placating the fans.
- John Lennon's "Bigger Than Jesus" comment wasn't really a boast. He was actually saying that it was a bad thing. Given John Lennon's later songs like God and Imagine (where he very blatantly considers it a good thing), it's not too hard to see why he was misinterpreted so easily.
- Averted by Mister T, who — back when he was a bodyguard to celebrities — advertised his service with "The best protection short of God Himself."
- Nick Lowe's debut album was named Jesus of Cool. Unsurprisingly, it was renamed for the USA market to the much-less-cool-sounding Pure Pop for Now People.
- From Long for This World, on Aubrey de Grey, "My wife borrowed my notebook and wrote to me in big block letters: He is more sure of himself than God."
- Both inverted and played straight: During the 1970s a church in Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia put up a sign saying, "What would you do if God came to Hawthorn today?", under which an Australian Rules Football fan graffiti'd, "Move Peter Hudson to centre half forward!". Upon hearing of this, Hudson jokingly complained that God had never attended a single training session.
- This entire page.
- According to legend, it was said of the Titanic that "God Himself could not sink this ship". A real sailor should know better than to sign on with a ship after that.
- It's supposed to mean that one doesn't care about good or bad and has attained release from the world, but now means that one has extreme resolve in his mission and doesn't care who needs to be sacrificed to attain it, the exact opposite of the original meaning.
- He was comparing Heston's The Ten Commandments against The Prince of Egypt and their different portrayals of God. Prince's God won and NC was informed by God Himself He was the other type before smiting the NC.
- Hawthorn Football Club's star full forward at the time