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The light is alive, and malicious, and vast, and encroaching. It buzzes and shines, and everything about it hurts those that are close to it, and destroys those who are within it . . . It is a Smiling God of terrible power and ceaseless appetite.

The Smiling God is a being of terrible power and ceaseless appetite.[1] It is promoted and worshipped by StrexCorp Synernists Incorporated, whose slogan includes the line "believe in a smiling god,"[2] and whose employees pray regularly to its "great warmth."[3] It is frequently described as "the unraveling of all things" and "the great glowing coils of the Universe unwinding."[4][5][6]

In Desert Bluffs, Night Vale, the surrounding desert, and the other desert that seems to exist in an alternate dimension, the Smiling God takes the form of a living light,[1] brighter than the sun, whose rays seem to turn everything translucent.[7] According to Cecil, it spreads "not always as light at all," but with the same malicious intent - implying that StrexCorp itself is a facet of the entity.[1]

Kevin describes Desert Bluffs' first encounter with the Smiling God as a wonderful experience, though he implies that he and other residents resisted at first.[7]

It is not certain when exactly the Smiling God arrived in the Bluffs. It was either during Kevin's employment as radio host[7] or before he was born[8] or both. Probably both.

Invasion and Temporary Defeat[]

When StrexCorp came to Night Vale, it brought the threat of the Smiling God with it. By the time the rebellion against StrexCorp was underway, several Old Oak Doors had been opened throughout the town, allowing the light of the Smiling God to pour through into Night Vale and turning objects and people transparent. Carlos the Scientist invented a simple device resembling an umbrella that helped keep the light out. He later devised a plan to close the doors for good by moving the masked warriors from the alternate desert reality back to where they originated from.[7]

Cecil acknowledges that, despite this triumph, they "did not stop the unraveling of the universe," but that, in at least staving it off for a brief moment, they "won the day."[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Episode 45 "A Story About Them"
  2. Episode 19B "The Sandstorm (Part B)"
  3. Episode 42 "Numbers"
  4. Live show "Condos"
  5. Episode 41 "WALK"
  6. Episode 49A "Old Oak Doors Part A"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Episode 49B "Old Oak Doors Part B"
  8. Episode 120 "All Smiles' Eve"