Created By: DAPU on November 7, 2012 Last Edited By: rcmerod52 on April 21, 2013

Hilariously Backfiring Invasion

Invading aliens usually get a run for their money when their invasion plan backfires. Hilarity ensues.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

OH NO! (Insert Name Here) are invading! But wait... why aren't they... invading? Yep, in this trope the someone tries to invade, but fails epiclly with varying results.

This trope has many types:

  • The main charecter (a.k.a. the invader) becomes a loveable good guy. Sometimes they might try feebly to invade but they will fail.
  • An alien's power is greatly weakened. They will usually go into hiding or slowly revert to the above.
  • An occasional side story where a dumbass gets the idea to invade somewhere only to be stopped (usually very easily) by the protaganist.
  • The brutal invaders come into the place of invasion only to find the villagers welcome them with open arms.
  • ...or the villigers are actually evil and want to kill/rob/eat them.

Examples:

  • A Ray Bradbury story had invading aliens expecting a fight on Earth, only to be welcomed with open arms. Most of them die by getting drunk and getting run over by cars.
  • Ankh-Morpork from Discworld recieves barbarian invaders with open arms, sell them stuff, turn them into bankrupt drunks, and before they know it they've been integrated into the economy as yet another destitute minority. As for barbarians from other civilized countries, they're usually so incredibly indebted to the city that Ankh-Morpork usually owns their military supplied.
  • The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror" special parodying "The Monkey's Paw" had aliens armed with clubs and slingshots invade Earth after Lisa wished for world peace. Homer gives Ned Flanders the paw, whereupon the latter wishes to get rid of the aliens. Cue the aliens fleeing a board-with-nail-wielding Moe.
    Alien: Run! He's got a board with a nail in it!
  • One of the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy books featured a story of two alien races sitting down to tense negotiations when suddenly a stray, universe-warping comment of Arthur's reaches them and just happens to be an unforgivable slur in their tongue. They join forces and in establish that Earth was responsible for the insult, launch their apocalyptic invasion, and attack. Unfortunately for them, they didn't notice the difference in scale and their entire invasion force is accidentally swallowed by a small dog.
  • Cthulhu Saves the World has great Cthulhu rise from the sea and come to destroy the world... only to get his powers taken away from him immediately by a mysterious mage. Unfortunately the narrator gives away how Cthulhu can get his powers back and off Cthulhu goes to become a true hero of the world... then destroy it.
  • Invader Zim is built around this trope. First of all, Zim only thinks he's the first wave of an invasion, when in reality he was sent to Earth to get him out of everyone's hair. Second, his technology, while advanced by Earth standards, is second rate and glitchy, including a spastic malfunctioning robot. And thirdly, Zim himself is an obvlibious egomaniac who's not as competent as he thinks he is. The only reason he hasn't been defeated by Earth's forces yet is because nearly everyone else is so stupid.
  • The Worldwar alt-history series features a version of this. When "The Race" invades at the beginning of WW2, they actually have vastly underestimated mankind's technology (having last checked up on us in prehistory). While technically more advanced than us, their technology is only marginally so, meaning mankind is able to more than hold its own.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • November 7, 2012
    JohnDiFool
    "Run Kodos, he has a board with a nail in it!" From a Simpsons Treehouse of Horror clip involving Kang and Kodos.
  • November 7, 2012
    Speedball
    I remember some Ray Bradbury story where invading aliens expect a fight on Earth, only to be welcomed with open arms. Most of them die by getting drunk and getting run over by cars.
  • November 7, 2012
    Rotpar
    One of the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy featured a story of two alien races sitting down to tense negotiations when suddenly a stray, universe-warping comment of Arthur's reaches them and just happens to be an unforgivable slur in their tongue. They join forces and in establish that Earth was responsible for the insult, launch their apocalyptic invasion, and attack. Unfortunately for them, they didn't notice the difference in scale and their entire invasion force is accidentally swallowed by a small dog.
  • November 8, 2012
    TheHandle
    If you change it to hilariously backfiring invasion, you can add Discworld's Ankh Morpork to the mix; they recieve barbarian invaders with open arms, sell them stuff, turn them into bankrupt drunks, and before they know it they've been integrated into the economy as yet another destitute minority. As for barbarians from other civilized countries, they're usually so incredibly indebted to the city that Ankh Morpork usually owns their military supplied.
  • November 9, 2012
    dvorak
    They will usually go into h what is "h"?
  • November 9, 2012
    DracMonster
  • November 9, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Does this include examples where the invasion fails because the invaders grossly underestimated their opponents? If so The Salvation War counts because the legions of Hell expected to curbstomp humanity, having no idea that in recent centuries humans had developed this thing called "mechanized warfare".
  • November 9, 2012
    StarSword
    Western Animation
    • The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror" special parodying "The Monkeys Paw" had aliens armed with clubs and slingshots invade Earth after Lisa wished for world peace. Homer gives Ned Flanders the paw, whereupon the latter wishes to get rid of the aliens. Cue the aliens fleeing a board-with-nail-wielding Moe.
      Alien: Run! He's got a board with a nail in it!
  • November 10, 2012
    TonyG
    Invader Zim is built around this trope. First of all, Zim only thinks he's the first wave of an invasion, when in reality he was sent to Earth to get him out of everyone's hair. Second, his technology, while advanced by Earth standards, is second rate and glitchy, including a spastic malfunctioning robot. And thirdly, Zim himself is an obvlibious egomaniac who's not as competent as he thinks he is. The only reason he hasn't been defeated by Earth's forces yet is because nearly everyone else is so stupid.
  • November 10, 2012
    m8e
    Image suggestion:
  • November 21, 2012
    GameChainsaw
    Cthulhu Saves The World has great Cthulhu rise from the sea and come to destroy the world... only to get his powers taken away from him immediately by a mysterious mage. Unfortunately the narrator gives away how Cthulhu can get his powers back and off Cthulhu goes to become a true hero of the world... then destroy it.

    May not count as the invasion comes from the sea rather than space, but Cthulhu is an alien and the principle is the same; nasty things from beyond the stars invade and get their asses kicked.
  • November 21, 2012
    Shnakepup
    • The Worldwar alt-history series features a version of this. When "The Race" invades at the beginning of WW 2, they actually have vastly underestimated mankind's technology (having last checked up on us in prehistory). While technically more advanced than us, their technology is only marginally so, meaning mankind is able to more than hold it's own.
  • March 7, 2013
    arromdee
    Famous parody in Uncanny X-Men #245, probably closest to type 3. At that time DC Comics was doing the Invasion! storyline, where the alien invasion began in Australia. The X-Men happened to be in Australia at the time. Cue an alien invasion where one alien notices that they're invading a planet that drove back Galactus four times. He's killed, the others invade, and of course it's a Curb Stomp Battle.
  • March 7, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Invoked and then Subverted in The Mouse That Roared, where the invading force plans to lose to the US and then be given Marshall Plan money afterwards in order to restore their economy. But they accidentally win. (They're also mistaken for Martians at one point.)
  • March 7, 2013
    NESBoy
    Major clean up on the article for better presentation and to restore WikiWords and italics where applied.
  • March 8, 2013
    gallium
    Why is this limited to aliens?
  • March 9, 2013
    MetaFour
    • The Non Adventures Of Wonderella has one comic where aliens invade Earth, and Wonderella immediately surrenders and offers them alcohol. The aliens get so drunk that they decide to conquer the sun, and they proceed to fly their fleet right into it.
  • March 10, 2013
    Stratadrake
    *glances at title and laconic* ...what do "hills" have to do with this...?

    Also, taking the type labels out. They have a history of attracting Zero Context Example citations.
  • March 10, 2013
    JonnyB
    Mars Attacks becomes a hilarious backfire at the end when the Earthlings discover the Martians are vulnerable to Slim Whitman music.
  • March 10, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I don't think that counts, because (1) it occurs at the finale (as a parody of War Of The Worlds?) and (2) it's a comedy, so it would be hilarious anyway.
  • March 11, 2013
    LordGro
    I think we already have this as Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion.
  • April 14, 2013
    DAPU
    Lord Gro, that is limited to aliens
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