[[quoteright:283:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/etextraterrestrial-henrythomas.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:283: He's afraid, he's totally alone and he's 3 million lightyears from home.]]

-->''E.T. phone home!''

'''''E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial''''' is perhaps Creator/StevenSpielberg's signature fantasy film. It was the biggest blockbuster of 1982[[note]] the same year ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', ''Film/BladeRunner'', ''Film/{{Tron}}'', ''TheSecretOfNIMH'', ''WesternAnimation/TheLastUnicorn'' and ''Film/TheDarkCrystal'' were released[[/note]] and, in fact, TheEighties as a whole. JohnWilliams' score, flying bicycles, and an UglyCute alien hero are just the tip of the iceberg here.

A group of aliens are in a forest on Earth, not far from a suburb, exploring and collecting plant samples. They are forced to leave in a hurry when alien-seeking scientists arrive on the scene, and one of them is not on the ship when it takes off...

Down in that suburb live Elliott, his older brother Michael, and his little sister [[Creator/DrewBarrymore Gertrude]], the products of a broken home with an overworked mom named Mary (the dad is absent). Over the course of a few days, lonely Elliott encounters the stranded alien and lures it to his house with Reese's Pieces, offering it shelter and naming it E.T.

E.T. learns English -- if only a few words -- through the kids and especially television, and finally is able to tell them what he wants: to "phone home." Elliott helps him rig up a telephone-like device from such things as a Speak-and-Spell to attempt to transmit a message to his planet. But as they wait for a response, E.T. gradually sickens -- as does Elliott, because the alien has developed a psychic bond with him. The government scientists catch up with E.T., and soon all seems lost for the poor little guy. It will take ThePowerOfLove and a daring escape to set things right...

For information on the infamous video game adaptation, go '''[[VideoGame/ETTheExtraTerrestrial here]]'''.
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!!''E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial'' provides examples of:

* AdultFear: Mary's is justified since at least in her point of view: her son gets sick, misbehaves in school and goes missing on Halloween. She then ends up seeing a creature, that she never thought would exist and that in her mindset may have done something to harm her child. Just as she was about to get her kids away from the house, a bunch of men in strange suits end up trapping her in her own home. Said men tell her that her son might die.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Mary fails to contain her laughter when reprimanding her son Elliott for calling Michael "penis breath".
* AlwaysWithYou
* ArmiesAreEvil: Averted. They're more like obstructive and arguably they have a point.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In the van during the ChaseScene.
-->'''Michael:''' I'm gonna crash and we're all gonna die and ''they'll never give me my license!''
* BatmanInMyBasement
* BehindTheBlack: During the HopeSpot (below) when a character says that they have lost their pursuers a large group of agent appear from ''right off camera''.
* BigBrotherBully: Michael before his CharacterDevelopment.
* TheBigDamnKiss: ParodiedTrope by Elliott, who is subliminally reenacting ''TheQuietMan''. Interspersed with actual footage (which E.T. is watching on TV) for bonus points.
* BigNo[=/=]PleaseDontLeaveMe: [[spoiler:When Michael wakes up and sees the flower that E.T. has revived begin to die again, he shouts out a Big "NO!", which is cued up in synch to Elliott's scream of "E.T., DON'T GOOOO!!!", right before E.T. flatlines.]]
* BillingDisplacement: Dee Wallace as Elliott's mother Mary.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Background dialogue from the doctors (see CastTheExpert) indicates that E.T.'s DNA uses six bases instead of four. (This could explain why he got sick: he became malnourished from eating Earth food.)
* {{Bowdlerise}}: For the 2002 GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion, the guns of the cops at the end of the film were digitally replaced by CGI walkie-talkies (Spielberg, now a father himself, felt the shotguns could have been too frightening for his children) and a line spoken by Mary commenting about Michael's Halloween costume had the word "terrorist" changed to "hippie." When the film eventually was released on DVD, the initial run saw both the 2002 release and the original theatrical cut packaged together in one set.
** Some sources say it was Creator/DrewBarrymore who asked for the guns to be edited out.
** The change was mocked mercilessly by many, but perhaps most infamously by ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' in the episode "Free Hat" (which showed us what would have happened if this change had also been applied to ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan''). After the episode aired, Spielberg himself later admitted that editing E.T. was a mistake and vowed never to do such a thing again.
** [[LewisBlack "And you know what they're saying into those walkie-talkies? 'Where the hell are our guns? We're trying to stop an alien from escaping!'"]]
** The Halloween costume has its own problems: it's rather more of a stretch that Mary would have a problem with him dressing as a hippie, and the costume looks even less like a hippie than it did a terrorist.
*** The bowdlerizing of the "terrorist" line had been prevalent since the first VHS release. In the first video copies, Mary says "You're not going out like ''that''!"
**** Years later Spielberg admitted it was a mistake and restored the shotguns along with the 1982 version in the Blu Ray release.
* ABoyAndHisX: A boy and his marooned alien botanist.
* ButNowIMustGo: "I'll be... right here."
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Walkie Talkie]]: [[spoiler:E.T. being able to make Elliot's bike fly.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: The BMX bikers using their skills to evade the Police in the movie's finale.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: Mary is reading the {{trope nam|ers}}ing section of ''Literature/PeterPan'' to daughter Gertie at one point, foreshadowing E.T.'s recovery in the climax.
** Also, that seems to be the principle behind the flying bikes, as seen when [[spoiler:Elliot and Michael's buddies all take flight on their bikes to evade the feds.]]
* CoyGirlishFlirtPose: Elliot is a deceptively good ladies' man.
* DidntSeeThatComing: In a RealLife example, when Spielberg's people from Amblin Productions tried to interest Mars - the creators of the M&M candy - in product placement, high-placed Mars executives supposedly either felt that they could not adjust their marketing budget appropriately, or believed that the desired mass audiences would not want to watch a picture about a boy befriending a frightening alien puppet, so a Mars product would not be associated with an underwhelming film. Whatever the reason, Hershey was thus approached about their new ''Reese's Pieces'' candy instead; they were interested, they could adjust their budget, [[SleeperHit and...]]
* DisappearedDad: "He's in Mexico with Sally."
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: The title character.]]
* ADogNamedDog: E.T. is an extraterrestrial.
* DramaticAlienVTOL: When E.T. finally goes home.
* DramaticDrop
* TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons: This is what the kids were playing when Elliott wanders outside and discovers E.T.
* ExposedExtraterrestrials
* EverytownAmerica: While the town Elliot live in is never mentioned, he points to Northern California on a map when showing E.T. where they live.
* TheFaceless: With the exception of Elliot's mother, the audience doesn't see the faces of any adults until the final third of the movie, playing up the film's perspective from a child's POV.
* FollowTheLeader: A few mostly-forgotten knockoffs such as ''Nukie'' and especially ''MacAndMe'', which cranks the ProductPlacement UpToEleven. More successfully, this was the likely inspiration for the {{Sitcom}} ''Series/{{ALF}}''.
** Less successfully, the [[ABoyAndHisX boy and his alien]] plot was stolen for the MST3K-fodder ''PodPeople.''
* ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself: Not quite; E.T.'s one of the rare examples who can't go as himself. He needs a [[BedsheetGhost formless ghost sheet]].
* FreeTheFrogs
* FullMoonSilhouette: The UrExample.
* GadgeteerGenius: E.T., surprisingly, considering he's a ''botanist'': He builds a wind-operated emergency beacon, transmitting in his own language, out of common household items (and a Speak and Spell). [[spoiler:What's more, his ship ''hears'' his transmission and comes back for him!]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Michael says "son of a bitch" at one point when he's driving the van. It's said so quietly that you have to have the subtitles turned on to catch it the first time around.
** Also:
--->'''Elliott''': *fed up that nobody believes him about E.T.* IT'S NOTHING LIKE THAT, PENIS BREATH!
** (Especially considering what "penis breath" is implying.)
* HealingHands: E.T.'s famous finger.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Something must have happened to Keys to get him interested in aliens, since he's been waiting for something like E.T. to appear since he was 10.
* HeartLight: E.T. is probably the TropeCodifier
* HopeSpot: After being able to elude the cop cars, one of Michael's friends cheers "We made it!" [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle only for a couple dozen FBI agents to burst back onto the scene]].
* HumansAreMorons: Averted. Not only do humans heal him and help send him home but there are many moments in which E.T. seems less intelligent than humans, despite coming from a more advanced race, such as when he becomes fascinated with a can of pencils, only to run screaming when they tip over.
* InnocentAliens: The title character.
* InnocentBlueEyes: E.T. has a huge pair of them.
* InvisibleToAdults: To keep Gertie from telling their mother about E.T., Elliot claims E.T. is this. She doesn't believe him.
* KissingUnderTheInfluence
* MeaningfulEcho: Because E.T. parrots what others say, there are a good deal of these by the end, such as "I'll be right here."
* MessianicArchetype: E.T., right down to the resurrection and the Michaelangelo touching of fingers between man and the Divine. So blatant was the parable it was spoofed on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
-->'''Rev. Lovejoy''': I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens, he came in peace and then died, only to come back to life, and his name was... E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial. ''(cries)'' I loved that little guy.
** Even more blatant in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', where the Warners are helping Michaelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. For the centerpiece, they paint E.T. and Elliot in place of God and Adam.
** Spielberg himself has said he never intended the film to be interpreted as a religious fable, and has himself joked about it. Notably, the aforementioned Animaiacs was produced by Spielberg.
* MidairMotionShot: The famous bike scene.
* MoodMotif
* NeedleInAStackOfNeedles: E.T. hides himself amongst toys to avoid detection.
* NeverTrustATrailer
* NoNameGiven / OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The scientist tracking E.T. begins the film as a nameless, faceless figure distinguished by the bunch of keys hanging from his belt; later in the film, when he becomes a more sympathetic figure, his face is shown, but his name is never revealed. In the end credits he is listed as "Keys".
* OhCrap: The scientist attempting to scramble back into the moving van, as Elliott pulls out the last peg of an attached walkway.
** "We made it!" *looks back* "Oh shit!"
* OneHeadTaller: PlayedForLaughs; Elliott has to climb on top of [[ScullyBox a fallen classmate]] to kiss the girl.
* ParentalSubstitute
* PhraseCatcher: "Shut up, Greg!"
* PlayingSick
* PlotHole: As the ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' parody asked, why couldn't E.T. heal himself with his own finger when he fell ill, or fly to escape the scientists at the beginning?
** Pretty sure one's healing powers can't heal one's own DeathByDespair. No good reason for him not flying himself, though.
** Considering that stuff he healed started dying when he did, it doesn't seem to be able to heal anything past his own health. Ergo, he'd just making himself as healthy as himself, and do nothing.
* ProductPlacement: Perhaps the definitive example of the trope in the just-introduced Reese's Pieces, which saw a successful launch in large part thanks to this film.
** While M&M/Mars kicked themselves for turning down the offer to use M&Ms. Oops.
** Speak and Spell also gained additional admiration thanks to this film.
* ReactionShot: Reaction shots of the boys' faces when they land their bikes coming down from the sky.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: The police and government agents are the [[DesignatedVillain villains]] of the film, but even then they are very reasonable, never actively trying to harm the children when they find out and even giving Elliott time to [[spoiler:grieve after ET ''dies'']]. This is particularly true of Keys, who gently talks to Elliott to try and figure out what's wrong with E.T., while telling him that E.T.'s presence on Earth is a miracle.
* TheRival: ''Film/{{The Thing|1982}}'' was this to ''E.T.'', one of the reasons it didn't get any notice until a decade later, was because many people watching ''E.T.'' didn't like the idea of an evil alien.
* RuleOfDrama: When they finally lose off the house, the government agents can't simply walk in and announce their presence via megaphone to remain calm as they enter. No, they have to silently come in the doors and stand at the windows holding out their arms menacingly.
* ShoutOut:
** Two to buddy Creator/GeorgeLucas' ''Franchise/StarWars'' franchise: Elliott shows E.T. some of his action figures, and one of the trick-or-treaters is dressed as Yoda. (Notably, E.T. appears to ''recognize'' Yoda. Perhaps he's just happy to see someone who isn't freakishly tall and smooth-skinned, but then...) John Williams even sneaks "Yoda's Theme" from ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' into the score at that moment.
*** Also, when the government agents invade Elliot's house, the astronauts get a [[VaderBreath well known breath]].
*** Came full circle when members of E.T.'s species appeared in the Galactic Senate in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace''.
*** And in the ExpandedUniverse, we have the E.T. Species senator funding an extra-galactic botanical expedition...
*** And in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', Yoda's departure from Kashyyk looks much like ET's departure from Earth.
** There's also a shout-out to [[Franchise/StarTrek that other Star-thing]]:
--->"Well, can't he just [[TeleportersAndTransporters beam up]]?"\\
"ThisIsReality, Greg!"
* ShipperOnDeck: The reason Elliot reenacted the kiss scene from TheQuietMan, was because E.T. was telepathically influencing him while watching that movie.
* SistineSteal: One that ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' hilariously brought full circle in one short: The Warner siblings help Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel and the result is that Elliott and E.T. are depicted upon it. [[spoiler:And the Pope looked just like Spielberg. He liked it too.]]
* SpheroidDropship: The alien ship.
* SpinOff[=/=]ExpandedUniverse: There was a pair of novels published which expanded upon E.T.'s race, who are master botanists and develop their technology from plants.
* StarringSpecialEffects
* StrappedToAnOperatingTable: [[spoiler:Both Elliott and E.T. get laid down on operating tables when they are sick and the house is quarantined. Unfortunately, E.T. doesn't last very long...]]
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: When Elliott goes to the forest at Halloween and his mother asks where he is. Gert: "Anyways, why would Elliott go to the forest? Why would he do such a thing?"
* {{Synchronization}}
* TastesLikeFriendship: Reese's Pieces.
* ThisIsReality
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Averted nicely unlike a lot of 80s movies. You can tell it was filmed in the 1980s due to the cars, the TV, and the family owning an Atari2600 but it doesn't stick out like other examples. Many of the pop culture references they make like ''StarWars'' or ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' are still known by today's audiences.
* UranusIsShowing:
-->'''Tyler:''' "Where's he from? Uranus? [[DontExplainTheJoke Get it? Your anus?]]"\\
'''Greg:''' He doesn't get it, Ty.\\
'''Tyler:''' "Get it, YOUR? ANUS?"
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: It's suggested E.T. sees Halloween this way.
* YouCanTalk
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