What better way to establish your sci-fi setting than to show a bar full with strange alien species? Bars, night clubs and cantinas are known for its varied clientele and as a gathering of diversity in itself. This is also an opportunity to show some more Starfish Aliens and other non-humanoids as background characters taking advantage on the fact that they most likely will be seated. If it has waiters they might be Green Skinned Space Babes or a Multi-Armed Multitasking alien, or both. Expect also an alien band playing music. Also use in fantasy settings normally with mythological creatures. It could be use to show cases of Fantastic Racism when a character is denied service because of its species. It also very commonly a Bad-Guy Bar and is not uncommon to have a Bar Brawl either.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- Space Dandy has "BooBies", which is basically Hooters IN SPACE! Apart of having the girls as the main eye candy, it's also a common place to reunite for most of alien species and even some of the waitresses are alien too.
- In Outlaw Star there're plenty of space bars, the first one seen in "Clyde's Bar", one frequently visited by GeneStarwind before he went to travel into space (usually with humans, but in the first chapter Gene had to fight a cyborg) and later there's "Blue Heaven", an asteroid which is a little city (plenty of bars, by the way) considered as a popular place for outlaws.
- Heavy Metal 2000 has one of this bars in a space station mixed with strip-bar and Bad-Guy Bar. Some of the strippers are also bless with Multiboobage.
- Star Wars: the trope namer. The Mos Eisley Cantina is one of the best known examples. It shows a great variety of Starfish Aliens, some of them puppets or people in costumes. It also has a band of Grey aliens playing music. The infamous The Star Wars Holiday Special has a musical number there expanding a little on the clientele.
- Dungeons & Dragons has a fantasy version. The bar is full of orcs, goblins, dwarves and what seem to be gargoyles...
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has another fantasy setting: a bar run by a goblin mobster played by Ron Perlman and full of both human and non-human clients.
- Star Trek: Kirk meets Uhura in one of this multi-species bars. He even starts hitting on her to the dismay of the alien in-between the two.
- Citizen G'Kar is captured by the Centauri in one of this in Babylon 5's season four episode: Whatever Happened To Mr. Garibaldi. Although, considering the nature of the series, every bar in Babylon 5 is this trope.
- The famous Tucana Bar in Battlestar Galactica (1978) with Diana Ross as the alien Tucana Sisters with multiple mouths and eyes.
- Quark's in Deep Space Nine, owned by Jerkass with a Heart of Gold Quark and a very frequent scenario on the series. It even has a recurrent silent alien character named Morn based on Norm from Cheers.
- Willy's place is a demon bar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the owner Willy himself is human but his clientele is exclusively demonic (vampires, demons and the like). The Spin-Off show Angel has a counterpart with Lorne's bar. Whilst Willy's bar is more a case of a Bad-Guy Bar in Lorne's violence is forbidden and demons go there to relax and sing karaoke.
- In Rebel Galaxy you'll probably be meeting a lot of people, both humans and aliens, in bars on space stations. The first NPC you talk to is actually an alien who owns one of those bars.
- There's an early Windows adventure game called The Space Bar that's one of these. The premise is that you must travel within the memories of the patrons to solve a crime.
- Ben 10
- In Ben 10: Alien Force during "The Con of Rath", Ben's Team drops by at a space station serving as an alien restaurant due to Rath being hungry.
- Ben 10: Omniverse retroactively reveals there is an Underground City beneath Bellwood called "Undertown" which is inhabited by the city's extraterrestrial community. It largely has shops and stalls run by aliens, although humans are welcome too.
- In the Rick and Morty episode "Meeseeks and Destroy", the eponymous duo visits a fantasy world with one of these, named "The Thirsty Step", built under one of the steps of the giants' Courthouse. It is visited by all sorts of weird fantasy creatures, including Mr. Jellybean.
- In an episode of Super Friends Superman and Wonder Woman travel to future Metropolis in the year 3000 finding an alien bar with a Multi-Armed Multitasking waitress and all. One of the aliens that they interrogate looks a lot like a Jawa.
- In the Justice League episode "Comfort and Joy", Green Lantern and Hawkgirl spend their holiday at a tavern on a distant planet. Hawkgirl soon decides to start a Bar Brawl just for fun.
- In the second part of the Samurai Jack series premiere, Jack unwittingly walks into a nightclub featuring exotic alien dancers, which is also patronized by alien criminals. Jack is forced to defend himself from a group of alien gangsters, who don't want any humans in their presence.
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