Humans Are Special
. That's why many nonhuman superpowered people want either to destroy us or protect us. Humans are also completely screwed unless there is a nonhuman being protecting us.
Humans are almost always Muggles
and very rarely BadAss Normals
that very rarely stand a chance against all the evil that is out there. Evil aliens? Interdimensional BigBads
? Intergalactic Empires? Eldritch Abominations
?, Evil Wizards
? Other humans?
You name it.
Humans are simply outmatched to all the dangers that are out there and need the help of superpowered or otherwise superior species to help them to protect themselves from evil; no matter how much they train or how much technology they have, they simply don't stand a chance against their enemies.
Thankfully there are special/superpowered not human beings out there willing to defend humanity from threats that they wouldn't otherwise stand a chance at fighting. Usually these heroic aliens are the Last Of Their Kind
or agents of an Intergalactic Federation
and are the only ones willing/able to protect humanity. Aliens may also protect humans from themselves if Humans Are Warriors
or to invoke a Green Aesop
This trope can raise Fridge Logic
issues if the defenders of humanity are depicted as having just recently begun to take on this responsibility, as it begs the question of how we'd managed to survive prior to that.
Contrast Humanity Is Superior
. Compare Muggles Do It Better
where Humans can do everything superpowered aliens can do, but with science and technology instead.
Anime and Manga
- In Dragon Ball Z, Earth would have been doomed very soon if the Saiyan Goku hadn't come from space.
- Scrapped Princess: This is the justification Cz uses, when she explains to Shanon why it was necessary for the Peacemakers to keep their world locked in Medieval Stasis. Later, during the final episode, Mauser goes into greater detail, when she explains the reasoning for this to Pacifica.
- Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water: During the time he holds Nadia captive, Gargoyle lauds this as the Neo Atlantians' "right" to rule humanity. Needless to say, she didn't buy into his bullshit.
- Superman is the classic example. Think of all the times Superman has saved the day, a lot of those times he saved humanity from extinction. Humanity would have been long gone without him.
- Made more apparent when he defeated Doomsday as he was the only hero capable/willing to defeat the monster. Without him humanity would have perished at this monster's hands.
- Deconstructed in a Bronze Age Superman storyline where Superman finds himself Brought Down to Normal in his Clark Kent identity and decides to experiment with living a week as just one identity. As Clark, he sees a subway being flooded, and realises he could do nothing to stop it now that he's powerless. Fortunately, the fire department arrives to take care of the crisis, and Clark realises that the world always got along fine before there was a Superman.
- In the Phil Foglio graphic novel The Gallimaufry, it's revealed that humanity has been under the protection of an uber-powerful Elder Race alien since joining the galactic community.
- In Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, humanity Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence via the help of a Benevolent Alien Invasion.
- In the Uplift series, this is what most aliens believe--and given how much more advanced most alien species are, and how many are hostile to the "wolfling" human species, it is essentially true, now that they're aware of our existence. Without allies like the Tymbrimi, humanity wouldn't stand a chance.
- There is no indication that humanity needs aliens for anything other than defense against aliens who think we should be their "clients" or exterminated for blasphemy. Between the present day and first contact humanity ended war, repaired the environmental damage to earth, uplifted chimps and dolphins, colonized five solar systems, and developed an automated empathy test that eliminated government corruption entirely (apparently most politicians are psychopaths, who knew?) In fact one might say that humanity is more "mature" than many species that are millions of years older because we had the opportunity to make mistakes and suffer the full consequences, unlike most of the galactics who were all uplifted by other species and in many cases designed to be soldiers.
- In case you couldn't figure it out, David Brin is very strongly inclined towards Enlightenment.
- Inverted in Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars, where the native Martian races admit that without the Earthling John Carter, they would never be able to unite against their enemies and defeat them so quickly.
- Played with and horribly deconstructed in Animorphs, where the human kids spend the first arc of the series optimistic that the Andalites will come to Earth and take over the fight with the Yeerks for them. It turns out that the Andalites believe that humans aren't worth much overall, and decide that the best course of action would be to wipe out the entire human race so the Yeerks can't use them as hosts. The kids quickly up the ante in their missions after they hear that bit of news.
- Also Zigzagged when Tobias led the free Hork Bajir to the valley, but was only able to because he was getting the directions from the Ellimist.
- In The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, without alien hunters like Daniel, the world would've been destroyed very long ago.
- In Expedition by Wayne Barlowe, the aliens called Yma are there to protect humanity from itself. We'd destroyed the environment almost beyond repair before they showed up, and they're helping us put the world back together.
- Sholan Alliance: The human colonists on Kiess found themselves under the heel of the overpoweringly aggressive etc etc Valtegans. Without the help of the Sholans, they would have continued to be in that situation even with the arrival of the second wave colony ship, still enroute during the first book.
- In Doctor Who, as much as the Doctor thinks that Humans Are Special, humanity (and reality itself for that matter) would have have perished without his intervention long ago. Lampshaded in Turn Left when the world starts to decay and even reality itself ceases to exist without the doctor's intervention.
- The Aegis (Gary Seven's alien overlords) in Star Trek routinely protect civilizations from destroying themselves. Fridge Logic issues arises, as they are only ever seen in one episode, in which they operate in the past (20th century).
- In Babylon 5, the Shadows and Vorlons both saw themselves as guardians of the younger races (including humans), guiding their development and evolution. They had conflicting philosophies as to how these younger races should develop, and ended up fighting periodic wars over this using younger races they've manipulated (often secretly) as proxies, to supposedly prove the superiority of their respective philosophies. This pattern is finally exposed to the younger races through the maneuverings of Sheridan, who then shames them into leaving the galaxy to allow the younger races room to determine their own ways.
- Stargate implies that the Ancients and the Asgard have protected us for a lot of our history in the hopes we would one day become the badass fifth race we have. Tragically we only earn that title when the Asgard are on their deathbeds, and so we have to take up their mantle as the intergalatic gaurdians of less developed peoples and planets. An exchange between Thor and Carter:
Sam: "There must be something more you can do."
Thor: "I assure you, we are providing you with all the latest Asgard technology, as well as a knowledge base, including our entire recorded history."
Sam: "That's not what I was talking about."
Thor: "Everything that can be done, has been done. The final attempt to solve our physiological degeneration has left each of us with a rapidly progressing disease."
- Halo: Humanity can only guarantee pyrrhic victories at best against the Covenant, until circumstances cause the Elites to secede and ally with humanity. With their union the Covenant is defeated, but humanity rushes to rebuild itself quickly, because there is little guarantee that the Elites can protect them forever, especially since not all agreed with allying with humans in the first place.
- Starcraft II: Jim Raynor is shown a vision of a possible future where the Terrans and Protoss are killed to extinction by the zerg/protoss hybrids in a timeline where Kerrigan dies, and can't lead the Zerg swarm.
- Humans in the series are considered flawed, weak, violent, and greedy by the Protoss and Zerg. Outside of Raynor's alliances with the Protoss, the humans are prone to civil wars and in-fighting even as they flee/fight the Zerg and Protoss. The climax of Wings of Liberty, when Raynor and the Dominion invade Char and de-infest Kerrigan is pretty much the only heroic thing the race has done in the grand scheme of things.
- In Final Fantasy XIII, Barthandelus invokes this, telling the party that humans are foolish, cowardly and easily deceived, and "without [our] help, death is all of which you're capable". Delving into the backstory reveals that it is largely due to fal'Cie influence that humans have thrived.
- In Gargoyles without Goliath's clan intervention humanity would have been long gone extinct, Specially from Demona's genocide tendencies.
- Futurama: Although Nibbler acts as a cute little pet most of the time, he in fact belongs to a powerful alien race and saves Earth and humanity more than once.