Created By: JAF1970 on September 2, 2009
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No Intelligent Life On Earth

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When life gets you down, Mrs. Brown...

"''Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.''
-- Mr. Pink, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

A Stock Joke that usually goes something like this:

Alice: "Did you hear that scientists are looking for intelligent life on other planets?" Bob: "There's no intelligent life on THIS planet!"

Seen It a Million Times.

Examples:

Film:
  • The aforementioned "The Galaxy Song" from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
  • The beginning of Muppets In Space, as well as a trailer joke there.

Literature:
  • A chapter of Carl Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot is titled "Is There Intelligent Life On Earth?" and covers a fictional alien visitor observing things from space that cause it to ask that question.
  • Combined, oddly enough, with Crowning Moment of Heartwarming near the end of the novel George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt: "And through the portal they could see one of the most beautiful planets in the whole galaxy, where there is warmth, and light, and water. Where there is life. Some of it, possibly, intelligent."

Comic Books:
  • The comic strip Ziggy "We're looking for intelligent life. If you find any, call this number."
  • -->Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
    Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes, Scientific Progress Goes "Boink", page 29
    • Recycled by Shoe.

Live-Action TV
  • In the Frasier episode The Candidate, Frasier and Niles were both promoting a political candidate who they learn believes he was abducted by aliens. When they discuss whether they can keep supporting him in light of this there is this exchange:

    Niles: Answer me this: can you tell me with any certainty that in such a vast universe there isn't intelligent life on other planets?
    Frasier: (glares) At the moment, I'm not sure there's intelligent life in this kitchen!

Webcomics:
  • Used with alternate dimentions instead of space in the General Protection Fault / Kevin & Kell crossover, when Ki and Nick are visiting Kevin & Kell's world - filled with Talking Animals of every size and shape - but no humans. Leading to this exchange...

    Lindesfarne: So in your world, there's only ONE intelligent species?
    Ki: Yeah, Dolphins. Just kidding... but sometimes I think the jury's still out on us humans.
    Lindesfarne: But surely, with no significant differences to drive you appart, you must all live in peace and harmony!
    Ki: ...

Western Animation:
  • Johnny Bravo had this in one episode as an Expy of Kirk said that there was no intelligent life there while in the middle of a park right before the title character ended up switching places with him in a beam up on a parody of Star Trek.
  • Lilo And Stitch.
Whats Her Face:"Are they intelligent?" Pleakly:"No. But they're extremely fragile."

Other:
  • Kent Hovind used this joke in one of his "lectures."
  • On a T-shirt: "Beam me up, Scotty! There's no intelligent life down here!"

Related to Humans Are Bastards, Sufficiently Advanced Alien and You Suck. Contrast Humans Are Cthulhu.
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • August 27, 2009
    TB Tabby
    Kent Hovind used it as a joke in one of his "lectures."
  • August 27, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    This is begging to be called Bugger All Down Here On Earth:
    Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
    'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
    Monty Python's "The Galaxy Song"
  • August 27, 2009
    Kinitawowi
    Often the punchline to Humans Are Bastards.
  • August 27, 2009
    DanielLC
    Played with in a Calvin And Hobbes strip with something along the lines of "Sometimes I think the strongest evidence that intelligent life is out there is that none of it has tried to contact us." Can anyone find a link to the original comic?
  • August 27, 2009
    Sir Psycho Sexy
    On a T-shirt: "Beam me up, Scotty! There's no intelligent life down here!"
  • August 27, 2009
    Saintheart
    Related: an old Hale & Pace joke:
    "The beast had the name of Kirkdouglas! A name to inspire men with fear! His taste was for pretty young virgins ... so he'd not survive long around here, eh?"
  • August 27, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
  • August 27, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    @Daniel LC: Can anyone find a link to the original comic?

    Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
    Calvin, Calvin And Hobbes, Scientific Progress Goes "Boink", page 29
  • August 27, 2009
    Nasrudith
    Johnny Bravo had this is one episode as an Expy of Kirk said that there was no intelligent life there while in the middle of a park right before the title character ended up switching places with him in a beam up on a parody of [[The Enterprise Star Trek]],
  • August 27, 2009
    superfroggy
    Lilo And Stitch.

    Whats Her Face:"Are they intelligent?"

    Pleakly:"No. But they're extremely fragile."
  • August 28, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Used with alternate dimentions instead of space in the General Protection Fault / Kevin And Kell crossover, when Ki and Nick are visiting Kevin & Kell's world - filled with Talking Animals of every size and shape - but no humans. Leading to this exchange...

    Lindesfarne: So in your world, there's only ONE intelligent species?
    Ki: Yeah, Dolphins. Just kidding... but sometimes I think the jury's still out on us humans.
    Lindesfarne: But surely, with no significant differences to drive you appart, you must all live in peace and harmony!
    Ki: ...
  • August 28, 2009
    Arivne
    @DanielLC: Here's a link to the original comic.
  • August 28, 2009
    JAF1970
    In one episode of Frasier, Frasier and Niles were both promoting a political candidate who they learn believes he was abducted by aliens. When they discuss whether they can keep supporting him in light of this there is this exchange (paraphrased from memory):

    Niles: OK, let me ask you this. Can you say, with absolute certainty, that there is no intelligent life somewhere out there in this whole Universe?
    Frasier: I'm seriously beginning to doubt if there's intelligent life anywhere in this room.

    • * *

    Here's the actual quote

    Niles: Answer me this: can you tell me with any certainty that in such a vast universe there isn't intelligent life on other planets?
    Frasier: (glares) At the moment, I'm not sure there's intelligent life in this kitchen!
  • August 28, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Bump.
  • August 28, 2009
    Taeraresh
    Gandhi, when asked what what he thought of Western civilization. "I think it would be a good idea."
  • August 28, 2009
    DarkSasami
    Yes, but so would Flushing, New York.
  • August 29, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Bump.
  • August 29, 2009
    idledandy
    The Calvin And Hobbes version is recycled in Shoe today.
  • August 29, 2009
    JAF1970
    Suggested by the title of the film The Search For Intelligent Life In The Universe.
    • Actually, it's the name of the play by Lily Tomlin, that was later filmed.
  • August 30, 2009
    Unknown Troper
  • August 31, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Bump.
  • September 1, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Bump.
  • September 1, 2009
    JAF1970
    Fixed that Frasier quote for ya.
  • September 1, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Thank you.
  • September 2, 2009
    JAF1970
    Added page pic. Post It Already.
  • September 2, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Thank you for the picture, as I said, it's Up For Grabs.
  • September 2, 2009
    Sceptre
    I like "Bugger All Down Here on Earth".
  • September 2, 2009
    Xanderk
    Third/fourth/whateverth Bugger All Down Here on Earth.
  • September 2, 2009
    Prfnoff
    A Have A Nice Death sequence from Space Quest V, in which two aliens watch Roger go down in flames on their planet:
    Crumpella: I wish we would discover someone else out there among the stars...
    Slep: Don't be silly, Crumpella! Everyone knows there's no intelligent life out there!
  • September 4, 2009
    JAF1970
    "Bugger All Down Here on Earth" is too vague. No Intelligent Life Here is more direct.
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