%% Image kept on page per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1442541252072531400
%% Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/futurama_pirate_2324.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Arrrr! Hand over yer [[SpaceX space booty]], or I'll blast ye with me space cannons!]]

->'''Fry:''' Space pirates?\\
'''Leela:''' You know, pirates, but in space!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', "Godfellas"

AsYouKnow, SpaceIsAnOcean, so it's only logical that it must have {{pirate}}s as well.

Depending how you view the future, lawlessness will ''always'' be present in society. There's ''always'' going to be a shadier, nastier way of doing business, and that will almost certainly follow humanity to the stars. Thus, sci-fi authors will include {{Exp|y}}ies of modern and historic un/organized crime, be they space mafia, gangs, or--in our case--''pirates''.

It's not as anachronistic as it might seem. After all, RuthlessModernPirates[[note]]Now referred to by many governments as maritime terrorists[[/note]] have made a RealLife comeback in Somalia and South East Asia, and it's a lucrative enough "business" that it's taken a multinational military response to fight back. Surely an established society in outer space with significant trade and commerce would suffer similar problems!

…well, maybe. The major problem with space pirates preying on space commerce is that space is '''''vast'''''. The challenge of catching commercial shipping in open space is orders of magnitudes more difficult than catching them on the open seas. On the other hand, ''detecting'' commercial shipping in open space is orders of magnitude easier, just because it is so empty and clear. Sometimes, this is cleverly worked around and justified. [[ScifiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale Most of the time, however, it isn't.]] Particularly since doing so would require working in a plausible means for the pirates to ''escape'' undetected after plundering their target.

As with Pirates in general, there are two kinds of Space Pirates in science fiction:
# The normal version are violent criminals with a spaceship, who attack other spaceships, just like [[RuthlessModernPirates present-day pirates]]--or, in fact, most pirates of any kind. Once you have shipping between different solar systems/planets, pirates preying on said shipping are bound to show. Simple as that. [[JustifiedTrope Done this way, piracy actually makes sense]], provided there's an enabling factor. That could be anything from the technology of the setting creating trade lanes (via a PortalNetwork, predictable HyperspaceLanes thanks to [[NegativeSpaceWedgie Negative Space Wedgies]], or timed space flights between planets to reduce time spent between planets, as in RealLife), to using a variant of the method employed by modern pirates (say, smaller ships striking at commercial shipping in the orbit of a planet).
# The other version does a RecycledInSPACE on [[APirate400YearsTooLate every eighteenth century pirate cliche ever]]. Reasons for including this version will typically be along the lines of "Because SpaceIsAnOcean, it has to have {{Pirate}}s" rather than making any meaningful attempt at justifying their existence. They have Cornish accents and [[TalkLikeAPirate say "Arr!" a lot]]. They have [[PirateParrot parrots]] (probably robotic or alien), and they're DressedToPlunder with [[ArtificialLimbs false limbs]] (probably cybernetic), beards, tricorn hats, and eyepatches (or cybernetic eyes). They may even have ships shaped like [[SpaceSailing boats]], and instead of making their victims WalkThePlank, they set them adrift in [[EscapePod escape pods]] waiting for the oxygen tanks to run out or just [[ThrownOutTheAirlock throw them out the airlock]] without any protective gear. Lacking ropes, they'll beam a BoardingParty over to their victim's ship, or send out a shuttle, or use a TractorBeam.

Compare SkyPirates and SalvagePirates. See also: {{Pirate}} and PirateGirl. You will [[SpaceIsAnOcean often see them fighting]] {{Space Marine}}s.


* The adverts for Nestle's "Honey Stars" often feature these.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/OutlawStar'' is full of the first type. As a rather interesting variation, they are Chinese and use Tao-magic. They seem to be modeled after the Triads.
** It's also interesting to note that the space pirates in this series were the pioneers of warp speed travel and it was their creation of grappler ships that changed the nature of space warfare.
* ''Anime/CaptainHarlock'', a LoveableRogue space pirate who has also appeared in other works of Creator/LeijiMatsumoto. The second version. His ship is a MilitaryMashupMachine with a submarine prow, a battleship body and a galleon rear. The Anime/{{Leijiverse}} also has Emeraldas, who sails the Sea of Stars in a frigate attached to a dirigible.
** It's implied that both Harlock and Emeraldas are merely rebels against the status quo, and that Harlock adopted the pirate motif as a clear sign of it, while Emeraldas did it in a strange combination of RuleOfCool (she already sported the skull and crossbones as an hairpin and on her clothes well before becoming a space pirate) and AscendedFanon (her ship ''Queen Emeraldas'' was already decorated with the skull and crossbones when she acquired her, and Emeraldas was an anti-status quo rebel with a pirate-minded dress sense).
** Type 1 space pirates had the misfortune of encountering them: in the series ''Captain Harlock SSX'' a group of space pirates calling themselves the Space Wolves attacked a small colony ship and murdered almost everyone on board only to have Harlock ''[[OneManArmy board the ship and slaughter them all alone]]'', while the ''Anime/QueenEmeraldas'' OVA features the Alfress fleet engaging in acts of piracy only to be attacked by Emeraldas because they [[FelonyMisdemeanor dared flying a red Jolly Roger (her own flag)]] (the first time she let them go with a warning and a pained butt, but the second time she unveiled [[MoreDakka the ludicrous amount of hidden weapons of her ship]], including [[NoKillLikeOverkill multiple]] [[WaveMotionGun Wave Motion Guns]] and exterminated them).
* Buichi Terasawa's ''Manga/SpaceAdventureCobra'' is also the second version. He is slightly less altruistic and noble-minded than Harlock, being mostly in it for his own interest, but he is also a hero, and has some morals and is better than an organized Guild of pirates that are his archenemies.
* Ryoko from ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' is the first type. Spinoff ''Anime/TenchiMuyoGXP'' also. With [[AxCrazy Tarant Shunk]] around, it will be for fun.
* Cleo and his crew in ''Anime/GlassFleet'' are more or less space pirates.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}''
** In the Universal Century of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', a lot of Zeon remnants became space pirates after the One Year War, including Cima, the antagonist in 0083. Instead of rationalizing them the scientific way, the stories usually tell of how the Federation tolerated or even encouraged them to exist, in order to provide a sense of risk to civilians to keep their large forces active and not decommissioned. It is also a good way to obtain info from the remnants.
** The ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' spinoff series ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray'' reveals a surprising number of pirates operating at the fringes of the SEED universe.
** The manga ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'' has the main characters from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91'' opposing the Jupiter Empire under the guise of space pirates, even going so far as to take on the name of the original antagonists, the Crossbone Vanguard. They employ all the standard pirate tropes, including spaceships that look like sailing ships (complete with broadside beam cannons) and a robot parrot (apparently for no other reason than that they can), but are actually preventing the Earth from being attacked by the Jovians.
*** It gets even crazier. The titular Gundam has X-shaped thrusters (though they're actually practical), a beam cutlass and daggers instead of the standard saber, a beam gun shaped like a flintlock pistol, a targeting lens shaped like an eye patch and an extra antenna on its head modeled after a feather. Apparently just sporting the Jolly Roger insignia on its forehead wasn't enough for Hajime Katoki.
*** This actually gets a {{Lampshade}} in the side manga ''Skull Heart'', where we're shown the Crossbone Gundam shortly after it's finished, and one of the pilots, Umon Samon, suggests adding the familiar pirate elements (like a skull and crossbones on the forehead). The Gundam's pilot Kinkaid Nau teasingly asks "Isn't that a little much?", to which the other man says "Well, if going to be space pirates, we might as well run with it!"
*** As a minor note, Umon had been inspired by a Dom pilot he fought at the Battle of Solomon in the One Year War, who used a skull and crossbones as his insignia.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE Gundam AGE]]'' also gives us a group. They're known as Bisidian, they pirate Federation vessels, and as of the Kio arc, they have their own Gundam. [[spoiler:In actuality, they're led by Asemu Asuno, and they've been attacking both Federation and Vagan forces in order to preserve the balance of power and keep large-scale battles to a minimum, in an effort to minimize casualties in the war.]]
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans Iron Blooded Orphans]]'' has the Brewers, a group of space pirates mainly operating in the route between Earth and Mars. Known to be [[RuthlessModernPirates very ruthless]], they also utilize [[ChildSoldier Child Soldiers]].
* The main characters of ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'' are female examples of this trope.
* ''Anime/SolBianca'', also the name of the ship that serves as both the home and the interstellar headquarters for an all-female band of notorious space pirates.
* ''Anime/SpacePirateMito'' has the title character and her crew, though [[spoiler:she is actually the exiled heir to the galactic throne and her ship is part of the royal regalia]].
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' -- a few appear during Enel's coverstory.
* They are seen in ''Anime/KurauPhantomMemory '' when Kurau and Christmas attempt to return to earth from the colonized moon.
* Bojack and crew from the ninth ''Manga/DragonBallZ'' movie.
** In the English dub, Krillin outright called the Saiyans space pirates who go around killing innocents so they can sell their planet to the highest bidder.
* In ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'', the Pirate King Atomsk is said to be so powerful he can [[MonumentalTheft steal entire planets]].
* ''LightNovel/BodaciousSpacePirates'' (aka ''Mōrestu Pirates''), as might be deduced from the title. The anime is definitely of the second variety, with the tons of {{Shout Out}}s to other similar shows, including ''Anime/CaptainHarlock''. Then you read the light novel, the original story, and figured it is probably one of the most, if not the most, hard sci-fi space opera in anime, manga, Japanese game, light novel history. Not surprising, it is from an author that is in the group of "Space authors group" and is involved in building a real life rocket that went to space.
** It should also be noted that their new standard M.O. is more of a performance than an attack: They hit pre-determined cruise ships, put on a scripted show with crewmembers pretending to oppose them, and the "victims" are even compensated for their losses. It's basically a staged insurance scam where the company itself is also in on it.
*** When not engaging in pretending to be Type 2 versions, they also take a variety of other jobs, such as high speed, secure cargo transport or providing space based security.
** It does have softer side sci-fi in it, with FTL travel and communication, magical artificial gravity devices and inertia storage. However, the author tries to compensate every one of these with actual reasoning and their impact in science, and all of these are with high limitations in use.(e.g. inertia storage only store a certain amount of inertia and that's it, you will need to release it or face horrible g-forces if you continue your high-g motions.) Spaceships uses tons of propellant to even go slightly faster, and propellant is costly. Solar sails go for dozen of kilometres in diameter, accelerates really slow, but also act as really good antenna for radar.
** Also technically they'd count as privateers rather than pirates, operating under Letters of Marque from their home government. They were originally issed for a war that never happened because both sides were thoroughly beaten by a much more powerful third party, but the Letters of Marque that were issued before hand are considered valid as long as certain conditions are met.
* ''{{Manga/Gintama}}'': Harusame is a type one pirate syndicate
* ''Groizer X'' is called "O Pirata do Espaço" ("The Space Pirate") in Brazil.
* [[spoiler: Luluco's mother]] in ''Anime/SpacePatrolLuluco''.

* In the Russian audioplay ''Space Opera'', the protagonist Sebastian and his alien friend Byron end up being lured into a pirate trap after receiving a distress call from a woman whose ship is under attack. Their ship is boarded, but the duo manages to disable them with knockout gas (Sebastian puts on a gas mask, and Byron is immune). They end up rescuing the woman, Mona. It turns out that Byron's mate Isolde has also been captured by pirates and put in a zoo. The knocked-out pirates are put on their ship, and Byron sets its course for the nearest Guard station, figuring the pirates are likely wanted men.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Starjammers of the ''Comicbook/XMen'' comics. Their leader ''is'' nicknamed Corsair, wears a headband, thigh boots, and a handlebar mustache, and fights [[SwordAndGun with a blaster pistol in one hand and a cutlass in the other.]] They're a huge mashup of pulp space opera and swashbuckling tropes. Corsair is from Earth, and probably decided to look like a traditional high seas pirate [[ItAmusedMe just for the hell of it]]. His alien crew also look the part, but mostly to a less extreme degree.
* The ''ComicBook/SilverSurfer'' encountered a group of space pirates while tracking down one of the Elders. Him and Nova even get dressed up as pirates to blend in among the various species that make up the group in an attempt to infiltrate it.
* During his first abortive return to the main X-titles in 2000, Chris Claremont introduced a vast number of new characters. They were given the umbrella term "the Neo", and most of them were possessed of an extremely fragile glass jaw (since they tended just to turn up, say their names and give a description of their powers in typical Claremontian fashion, and then get punched into oblivion, never to be seen again). Amongst the Neo was a faction of slave traders called the Crimson Pirates, one member of which actually had a giant comedy cannon on his shoulder. No, really.
** The Crimson Pirates reappeared in the recent Nightcrawler solo series, without the Neo baggage, although they now seem tied to old Excalibur slaver villains. Who, coincidentally, the team encountered in another dimension where they teamed up with a blue-skinned princess-cum-sky pirate and a humanoid version of Lockheed.
** Nightcrawler himself might count, given his penchant for swashbuckling swordplay and all the different places in time, space and dimension he's been too. His father Azazel recently rebranded himself as a pirate straight out of ''Hell'' and tried to invade Heaven.
* Captain Fate in the MarvelUniverse is a FlyingDutchman SpacePirate. He occasionally visits Earth and acts as a SkyPirate.
** Captain Sale ''looks'' the part, with [[DressedToPlunder an eyepatch, buccaneer space boots, and epaulets]] on her RaygunGothic outfit. Given her motley crew, she probably is, too, but since she's on the good guys' side in her sole appearance so far we don't see her do any pirating.
* Roxxas from the ''Comicbook/{{Legion Of Super-Heroes}}'' comics, which also gave us the Sklarian Raiders; an AmazonBrigade of space {{Pirate Girl}}s.
* In ''WonderWoman'', the "Silver Serpent" saga featured an [[AmazonBrigade all female cadre]] of Space Pirates who travel from planet to planet to steal that world's technology, recruit a small group of the females for membership and the remainder of the planet's people for food stock.
** Before that, a mid-90s story arc had Wonder Woman herself becoming one to topple [[TheEmpire a galactic slaving empire]]. It's as CrazyAwesome as it sounds.
* Despite the name, Star Pirate, from ''Planet Comics'', did not do much pirating. Blackbeard, from the same comic, fits the Space Pirate motif better.
* The Uralian Space Pirates, from ''Crusader from Mars''.
* Space Smith, from ''Fantastic Comics'', often fought Space Pirates.
* ''Wonder Comics'' featured many Space Pirates, including Tara the Pirate Queen.
* Rex Dexter, from ''Mystery Men Comics'', fought Space Pirates in his first appearance.
* This was basically Terra-Man's schtick in UsefulNotes/{{the Bronze Age|OfComicBooks}} ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' comics. Aliens kidnapped him as a boy from the 19th century American West. He eventually broke free and became a pirate in the aliens' own society. When he finally returned to Earth, he found that spending years traveling at relativistic speeds had let 100 years pass him by, so that his 19th century mannerisms made him a literal space cowboy. As Superman once observed, Earth wasn't really of much logical interest to a planet-hopping thief like TM, but TM took offense to an alien being called Earth's greatest hero, and so christened himself ''Terra''-Man and kept returning just to pick fights with Supes.
** In “The Wreck of the Cosmic Hound,” a 1970s ComicBook/{{Superman}} story, Superman meets a woman who dresses like a pirate, has a peg leg, an eyepatch and modified her spaceship to look like a pirate ship. She really doesn't do much pirating but she considers herself one because she used to “pirate” or, more accurately, collect extraterrestrial animals from different planets so scientists could study them. She admits that she took up the pirate persona mostly as a way of dealing with her boredom.
* Jeb and Tommy from ''ComicBook/StarRaiders'' are implied as such, though the reader never sees them actually commit any sort of piracy. [[PirateGirl Tommy]] even sports an eyepatch...
* ComicBook/{{Darkhawk}} wears armor meant for an army of space pirates.
* ''ComicBook/{{Starslayer}}'' Pirates in a SpaceOpera setting.
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': Pirate spaceships are known to plague the outer rim of the Sol solar system and beyond; fighting them is one of the Space Corps' prime objectives.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Karkat and company are kidnaped by a crew of type-one space pirates in the ''FanFic/GoldenAge'' series. This is apparently a bit of a problem in the Alternian Empire.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Disney's ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'', being ''Treasure Island'' RecycledInSPACE, naturally features this kind of character rather heavily, most centrally John Silver and his crew of mutineers. In the backstory, there's Captain Nathaniel Flint, the most feared Space Pirate to ever live InUniverse, whose vast hidden treasure provides the motivation for most of the plot. Due to the extremely open way that SpaceIsAnOcean in the setting, these are all Type 2 Space Pirates.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheIcePirates'' was a SoBadItsGood '80s sci fi adventure film where the protagonists were... you guessed it... interstellar pirates looking for water.
* ''Film/SpaceMutiny'' had pirates (recycled footage of Cylon warships) with at least one inhabitable system as claimed territory. Keep in mind this is a setting where space travel is less than light speed, necessitating multi-generational ships. Except when they forget and it isn't (it's that kind of movie, watch the ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'' version and be amazed. The Agony Booth did [[http://www.agonybooth.com/recaps/Space_Mutiny_1988.aspx a recap]] that tried and failed to make sense of the tech level).
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' references to "Corellian Pirate Ships". And Han Solo ''is'' a smuggler.
* In ''Film/TheAmericanAstronaut'' the Blueberry Pirate [[OnlyElectricSheepAreCheap steals and bootlegs fruit]] across the solar system.
* ''Film/BattleBeyondTheStars''. We're first introduced to SpaceTrucker Cowboy being attacked by jackers who are blasting his ship with laser fire in order to wear down the shields, whereupon they'll blast him and steal his cargo. Cowboy responds by [[FaceDeathWithDignity laconically calling for help]] and playing a CaptivityHarmonica.
* ''Film/SpaceTruckers'' has the protagonists go "off-road" in order to avoid being stopped by the authorities but end up getting captured by a giant pirate ship, which literally swallows them. These pirates were of the second, RecycledINSPACE type, complete with cybernetic false limbs and a skull-and-crossbones flag.
* ''Film/AlienResurrection'' has the crew of the ''Betty'', which is not unlike another Creator/JossWhedon [[Series/{{Firefly}} creation]]. The ''Betty'' crew are a band of criminals and mercenaries who were hired by amoral [[ArmiesAreEvil military]] [[MadScientist scientists]] to kidnap unconscious space travellers and deliver them to a secret science lab, where they become victims to experiments with the titular [[FaceFullOfAlienWingWong Aliens]].
* Yondu and the Ravagers from ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy.'' Although we never see them actually do any pillaging on-screen, they are described as (and act like) a group that will steal anything, and everyone else treats them as such. [[spoiler: When they deploy in force for the finale they seem to be on an even keel with the force Novacorp has protecting their capital. The sequel has the rowdier elements mutiny and kill off Yondu's loyalists; he and his first mate then wipe out the lot of them in one bloody fight with some help from Rocket. It then reveals this was only one independent faction out of a hundred, and not even the biggest one.]]
* In ''Film/TheMartian'' Mark Watney humorously describes how he is humanity's very first space pirate:
--> '''Watney:''' I've been thinking about the laws on Mars. There's an international treaty saying no country can lay claim to anything that's not on Earth. By another treaty, if you're not in any country's territory then maritime law applies. So Mars is international waters. Now, NASA is an American organization, it owns the Hab. But the second I walk outside, I'm in international waters. So here's the cool part; I'm about to leave for Schiaparelli Crater where I'm going to commandeer the Ares IV lander. No one gave me explicit permission to do this, and they can't until I'm on board Ares IV. So I'm going to be taking over a vessel in international waters, which by definition...makes me a pirate. Mark Watney: Space Pirate.
** After NASA re-establishes contact with Watney, Vincent Kapoor is informed that Watney is claiming to be a space pirate, and insisting that he be addressed as "Blondebeard". Rather than be stricken by the latest absurdity, Kapoor [[StrangeMindsThinkAlike starts to go off on a verbal tangent about maritime law...]]


* In the ''Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries'' by Creator/AlastairReynolds, pirates lurk in the remains of the Glitter Band (a vast ring of space stations). The pirates, the "Banshees", are thoroughly unromantic bastards who grapple onto freighters to kill the crew and sell anything on board. The Ultranauts, the crews of the massive slower-than-light freighters, often have elements of space piracy, as they'll just as [[SalvagePirates often loot as save a ship in trouble]].
* The impossibility of space piracy and the trick Julian Forward uses to make it work is central to the plot of Creator/LarryNiven's "Literature/TheBorderlandOfSol".
* In Creator/PoulAnderson and Creator/GordonRDickson's ''Literature/{{Hoka}}'' stories, when the Hokas set out to emulate a Space Patrol, Alex has horrified visions of their being tried for piracy. He's not even sure that hanging isn't still in effect as the approved form of punishment.
* In Creator/PiersAnthony's ''Bio of a Space Tyrant'' series, pirates of the second kind show up as a form of RefugeInAudacity, since the authorities won't believe (or don't want to admit to) ancient-looking pirates operating in space.
* Literature/LuckyStarr confronts space pirates in the juvenile novel ''Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids'' by Creator/IsaacAsimov.
* ''Literature/ConsiderPhlebas'' (the first [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] novel by Ian M. Banks). The crew of the ''Clear Air Turbulence'' are ostensibly PrivateMilitaryContractors, but are actually just a RagtagBunchOfMisfits raiding whatever they think will be vulnerable. Seeing as they're carrying out their activities amidst the chaos of an intragalactic war, that tends not to be very much.
* Averted in Terry Bisson's ''Pirates of the Universe'', despite the title, which actually refers to a theme park ride. Although the main character's coworkers might be considered Space ''Poachers''.
* The setting of ''The Rock Rats'' by Creator/BenBova involves space pirates, [[SpaceWestern space cowboys]], space corporations, and space privateers/space pirates for a cause. They're all violent, though in different ways.
* In Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga, Miles's Dendarii Mercenary Fleet gets hired to rescue hostages from hijackers. Also, in the later books, the Barrayaran Fleet is put to use as bodyguards for Komarran merchants. This is a win-win for both parts, since the Komarrans get protected by an army with a reputation for ruthlesness and the Barrayarans get to give good military training to their soldiers, without needing to declare war on anybody.
* The ''Literature/VattasWar'' series, by Creator/ElizabethMoon, features pirates as well. In this case, they are usually only a major problem if you venture off the charted and patrolled space routes. This changes when the Pirates form a large organized fleet, leading to the creation of first an ad-hoc fleet of privateers, and later [[spoiler: an alliance of different navies (including what amount to a large corporate security space force and a PrivateMilitaryContractor with its own fleet of warships). The formation of such alliances is only made possible with the development of technology for ship-to-ship faster than light communications.]]
* In Creator/CJCherryh's Literature/AllianceUnion works, the Mazianni started as the Earth Company's navy. When the Company decided that the war against Union wasn't cost-effective, Conrad Mazian and his captains felt that they'd shed too much blood to just be called back, and that they'd continue the fight on their own -- and if a merchanter ship had resources they needed for that aim, they'd hand it over if they knew what was good for them.
-->''We'll contest each star Union wants''
-->''This is war and not some bureaucrat's game''
-->''And we hear you're calling us pirates now-''
-->''Well, screw you all, we'll '''earn''' the motherless name!''
-->-- "Mazianni", lyrics by Creator/MercedesLackey
** On the other side of Earth, the [[StarfishAliens knnn]] might qualify, if they had enough concepts in common with oxygen breathers to be able to formulate the idea. They used to force their way onto stations and take what they want; after lengthy negotiations through t'ca/chi intermediaries, now they take what they want and leave something behind. Among oxy-breathers, the kif, who see every action as a bid for dominance, turn out to make excellent pirates.
* ''Islands in the Sky'', the sci-fi juvenile by Creator/ArthurCClarke. One of the apprentices on the space station thinks a suspicious spacecraft might be involved in piracy -- an idea denigrated by everyone else as large corporations can afford to maintain spacecraft, but not criminals. They think otherwise on discovering the ship's hold is full of ray guns [[spoiler:which turn out to be props for the first movie being filmed in space.]]
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington''. Among the nastiest things they do is [[ThrownOutTheAirlock throw people into space as a means of execution]], which is widely regarded as an unforgivable atrocity. Space piracy is the major raison d'etre for military power in times of peace, and plays heavily in the various works of fiction. It typically serves as a place for new characters to "start off small" in deadly, but relatively low-stakes, combat (prior to the war with Haven, anti-piracy operations in Silesia were the primary source of combat training for RMN personnel). They also tend to come up as disposable pawns in Mesa's latest EvilPlan. Space pirates are ''never'' portrayed the least bit sympathetically. Piracy is universally a capital crime, and for excellent reasons.
** It may be worth noting that many of the pirates operate under an agreement with a local polity. In Silesia, it is not uncommon to turn over a batch of recently captured pirates to the local government, and then six months later the same pirates have a new ship and are back in action. The local government is basically taking a bribe to ignore the piracy, or has funded the pirates to plunder shipping from richer nations (I.E. Manticorian shipping would carry better goods that the government can buy through normal means) and will turn a blind eye to rape and murder to gain such benefits.
** Some privateers (which, historically, were separated from pirates by rather thin margins), however, get better treatment. Like Admiral (Royal Naval Reserve) Thomas Bachfisch, one of Honor's mentors. After he was beached by ''first'' Janacek admiralty, he retired from active duty, and managed to obtain the Letter of Marque, starting, effectively, a privateer shipping line. Equipped with fast, armed, merchantmen (actually, surplus Andermani Navy transports) it operated in [[WretchedHive Silesia]], where their improved speed and protection allowed him to charge a premium and engage in a little pirate hunting of his own. Not mentioning his side work as a Manticoran intelligence resident (Admiral Givens of the RMN intelligence service being the source of the pressure to give him a Letter of Marque) in Silesia.
** Piracy is also a career of choice for military units from non-existent governments. After the Saint-Just dictatorship is defeated State Security forces go into piracy and mercenary work. Some get hired by Mesa, while at least one set of battleships finds a small planet to set up a local lords. In fact the first armed ships in the Honorverse were pirates with space navies being created to counter them.
** In fact, one of the [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny People's Republic of Haven's]] few [[EvilVirtues redeeming qualities]] was that they drew a very hard line [[EvenEvilHasStandards against pirates and slave runners]]. The Manticorans turn captured pirates over to the local authorities. The Havenites have them ThrownOutTheAirlock, though it is a customary mercy to execute the pirates by firing squad first. [[spoiler: In fact, this stance was part of what lead the Mesans to drive the Manticorans and Havenites into an extended bloody war.]]
* Creator/PeterFHamilton:
** In ''Literature/FallenDragon'' the mega-corporations on Earth which funded the establishment of interstellar colonies are beginning to decline, so they now make a profit by 'asset realization' -- [[ColonyDrop turning up in orbit and implying they'll blast the colony]] if the colonists don't hand over various manufactured goods, leaving information on the latest Earth technologies as compensation, then returning several years later to do the same thing again once the colonists have upgraded their technology and gotten back on their feet.
** In his ''Literature/TheNightsDawnTrilogy'', pirates prey on asteroid settlements, poorly-defended early-stage colonies and commercial shipping routes. The primary reason for the Navy to exist is to combat these pirates. It's a good example of this trope played relatively straight in a space-opera that balances its "hard" science fiction elements (much of the science behind the advanced technology is explained, the human societies are detailed to an ''absurd'' level) with soft (the fantastical horror of "the beyond"). Hamilton ''loves'' doing this.
*** He also shows how pirates would work in practice -- they're interstellar traders who covertly supplement their income with smuggling and piracy, rather than permanent raiders operating from a secret base. All merchant vessels are armed against pirates (and because they hire out as mercenary warships) so carrying weapons isn't unusual; therefore stopping piracy involves undercover policework more than dramatic space battles.
* The Fat Men in Creator/DanielPinkwater's ''Fat Men from Space'' act as a variation on type 1, closer to a HordeOfAlienLocusts in that they invade a planet, steal the junk food, then force the inhabitants to prepare more of it until the raw materials thereof are at dangerously low levels before they leave. They return in ''Slaves of Spiegel'', where they [[AlienAbduction abduct]] the greatest junk food chefs of the galaxy to compete in a CookingDuel.
* Pirates are major villains in the ''Literature/WarchildSeries''. One of them, Falcone, could even be considered the BigBad...as much as anyone in such an [[GreyAndGrayMorality ambiguous]] universe. Lowachee never goes into detail about how the pirates find their victims. Most of the ships they prey off of, however, are running through the notoriously hard-to-police DMZ.
** The pirates' ''modus operandi'' deserves special mention here, too. Falcone, their de facto leader, was an ex-SpaceMarine. He left because he thought the government of [=EarthHub=] was a little too civil, and saw a lot of opportunities to make his own empire out in deep space. He also believed absolute loyalty could be achieved by raising his "protégés" from early childhood. Of course, no one told him that ritualistic child abuse would maybe, possibly undermine what he was trying to do. In the end, [[spoiler: he dies at the hands of one of his ex proteges, and before this moment, spent much of his life on the run from a different protege. The man made his own enemies.]]
* The ''StarWars'' [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] has more than a few, most of them overlapping with information brokers and smugglers. Some Space Pirates are slavers. Since most interstellar travel in Star Wars has charted routes and it's considered dangerous to split away from them, and Space Pirates actually tend to strike planets and ships going to and from planets, it's basically justified. A merchant who had found a way to avoid the pirates lying in wait around a planet unfortunately bragged about this. By the way, if you're wondering why Han Solo wasn't able to use his reward for saving Leia to pay off his debt to Jabba the Hutt? A space pirate stole the money from him.
** The [[ComicBook/XWingSeries Wraiths]], aware that the BigBad was hiring pirates to harass his enemies, succeeded at TheInfiltration by posing as a pirate band called the Hawk-Bats which focused on a system in Imperial territory, doing things like breaking into a hangar to steal TIE fighters, preying on merchants, and, once, robbing a bank. They had so much fun doing so that Wedge felt it necessary to remind his men that they weren't, in fact, actual pirates.
** Some Star Wars pirates play more to the cliches than others. For example, the space pirate Raskar loves every swashbuckling trope there is, and even carries a "lightfoil" (a relatively low-quality, short-hilt lightsaber otherwise mostly popular among Sith-wannabe noblemen of the Tapani sector) despite unauthorized ownership of anything that could be seen as "Jedi paraphernalia" being a death penalty offense in the Empire.
** Ideologically motivated pirates are what led to the Trade Federation being allowed to build an army in ''Cloak of Deception'', a lead in to ''Film/ThePhantomMenace''.
** In one book of ''Literature/TheHanSoloTrilogy'' a passenger liner is attacked by pirates who placed an asteroid in the middle of a major hyperspace route and used its gravity to pull ships into real space.
** During the ''Literature/NewJediOrder'' Han and family have some fun playing pirate on some Yuuzhan Vong collaborators. Leia is not amused by the "Princess of Blood" moniker he picks for the ''Falcon''.
** ''[[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy I, Jedi]]'' has an former Imperial Moff with a [[TheBattlestar Star Destroyer]] (something far beyond the resources of most pirates in the EU) unifies several pirate gangs under her command and terrorizes New Republic shipping. The Star Destroyer gives the pirates enough firepower to raid even the largest ships and crush most opposition. This means the only potential threat is a concerted attack by the New Republican Navy itself...and she's got a group of Force-sensitive advisers who give advance warning whenever such an ambush is being planned.
* Discussed and averted in Creator/EricFrankRussell's "And Then There Were None": interstellar travel is so prohibitively expensive that a would-be pirate has to become a millionaire first.
* Creator/HBeamPiper took this trope one step further in his book ''Space Viking''. That's right. Vikings, InSpace!
* Though we never see any up close, Space Pirates are the background in the classic "[[Creator/RobertAHeinlein Heinlein juvenile]]" ''Literature/CitizenOfTheGalaxy.'' The protagonist destroys a ship full of them, and later learns that he was originally sold into slavery by pirates who killed his [[spoiler: fabulously wealthy]] parents. [[spoiler: He decides to devote his life to fighting the pirate-slaver complex, then has to decide if he will do it in the military or by using his family's money and influence.]]
* In Heinlein's ''Literature/FarmerInTheSky'', Bill Lermer meets the captain of the shuttle up from Earth, who mentions having been "captured by pirates". Bill doesn't challenge him, but thinks he's spinning a yarn. But when Bill tells his father about the encounter,
--> "Maybe you are too young to remember it. [Captain [=DeLongPre=]] let himself be sealed into one of the robot freighters used to jump thorium ore from the lunar mines—and busted up a ring of hijackers, a gang the newscasters called the 'Ore Pirates.'"\\
I didn't say anything.
* ''The Pirates Of Zan'' by Creator/MurrayLeinster. The protagonist is from a planet whose sole occupation is space piracy. He tries moving to another world and going legit, but when things go badly wrong he has to resort to the traditional methods of his kin. Serialised for ''Astounding'' in 1959 as "The Pirates of Ersatz" with its famous {{zeerust}} cover of a space pirate climbing aboard a rocket with a slide rule [[CutlassBetweenTheTeeth clasped between his teeth]]. (This cover can be seen [[http://www.ansible.co.uk/sfx/sfx129.html here.]])
* In Andrey Livadny's ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'' series, most SpacePirates come from the [[SingleBiomePlanet desert world]] of Ganio. Oh yeah, and they're all Arabs InSpace.
** One short story had a passenger ship attacked by an infamous pirate ship known to leave only debris behind and no survivors. By chance, the passenger ship is also transporting a shipment of {{Space Fighter}}s, and a few of the passengers are shown to enjoy a virtual space fighter simulator. As the gamers prepare for another round of simulated fighting, they are drugged and placed in the cockpits of the real fighters, just as the pirate destroyer is approaching. Many end up being shot down thanks to the pirates' [[PointDefenseless PD]] systems, but the protagonist ends up taking out TheBridge (exposed, of course).
* Type one shows up in the first part of ''[[Literature/{{Lensman}} Triplanetary]]'', and have no qualms with filling the ventilation system of a passenger liner with nerve gas.
** As the Literature/{{Lensman}} series goes on, however, the Pirates of Boskone start to shift more and more toward the role of Type Two. At least, until the LensmanArmsRace wipes them out with faster-than-light antimatter planets.
* The Ben Bova novel ''Privateers'' had an interesting variation on this. Set in an AlternateHistory where the Soviet Union gained a "Star Wars" anti-ballistic-missile system first and nuked Paris, effectively dominating all the world except the United States (which is thrust into a massive recession by refusing to knuckle under) the novel revolves around American cosmonauts (all space travelers were called as such because the USSR dominated space travel) trying to restore American power and liberate Europe from their communist oppressors by highjacking soviet asteroid mining facilities. Sadly Worse Than It Sounds.
* In David Drake's ''Literature/{{RCN}}'' novels, space piracy is a problem occasionally dealt with by Leary and his crew, and at one point Leary enlists a pirate world in order to counter a vastly superior Alliance fleet.
* Jack Crow, the first-person protagonist in ''Literature/{{Armor}}'' by Creator/JohnSteakley.
* ''Literature/ThereAndBackAgain'' by Pat Murphy has a few different versions, including a ship whose crew explicitly call themselves pirates, and whose captain takes on the pseudonym "Blackbeard". The novel is set in a galaxy with a PortalNetwork, and the pirates all tend to hang around the entrances of wormholes to avoid the scale problems mentioned in the trope description.
* E.E. Smith's Literature/{{Lensman}} series is very big on space pirates, the battle against which forms a central part of the plot. Played straight in that the pirate ships are crewed by "the dregs of space", attack merchantmen for their cargo, board through airlocks (or in armour, through holes in the hull), and slaughter their opponents hand-to-hand ([[IHaveYouNowMyPretty except the women]]). ''Subverted'' in that they are (later seen to be) more or less an integral part of the Boskonian military, and thus representative of an intergalactic spacefaring culture (albeit a highly dysfunctional one), rather than freelancers or organised criminals in the accepted sense.
* Creator/AndreNorton called them Jacks, presumably short for "hijackers." Their actual methods of operation weren't detailed, but they often had connections with the ThievesGuild. ''Literature/OrdealInOtherwhere'' features a raid by them, and ''Literature/ForerunnerForay'' ventures to their stronghold, and they travel on a Jack ship because the captain owes a man for supplies after his raid failed.
* The Skrit Na of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' are basically a whole race of them. They aren't specifically in either type, though...maybe a bit of type one without the violence and death. They go around kidnapping creatures to either add to their own collections, sell or get ransom for and whatever items they can sell or trade.
* In ''Literature/TourOfTheMerrimack: The Ninth Circle'', the titular Ninth Circle is a group of space pirates.
* As you might expect, Creator/AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/PlanetPirates'' series includes space pirates. They evade the scale problems by mainly hitting settlements and ships near planets. They also go a step further in many cases, being PlanetLooters who will enslave and/or kill the inhabitants of a colony world, then settle their own people on it. Hence the name of the trilogy.
* In Creator/CharlesStross's blog, he describes the never-going-to-happen third book in ''Literature/TheEschatonSeries'', including [[http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/09/books-i-will-not-write-4-escha.htm how space pirates work in that universe]]. Summed up by the working titles of ''Space Pirates of KPMG, or [[Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife The Crimson Permanent Assurance]] [[RecycledInSpace In Space]]''.
** He later used the idea in ''Literature/NeptunesBrood''.
* ''[[Literature/TimeMachineSeries The Rings of Saturn]]'': There's a gang of {{cyborg}} space pirates, who operate out of a secret base on the moon.
* In SA Swann's ''[[Literature/HostileTakeoverSwann Hostile Takeover]]'' series, Tjaele Mosasa was a space pirate before the pirate clan to which he belonged tried to salvage what turned out to be an active {{AI}} piloted spacecraft.
* The Affastffern Confederation in ''Literature/AllHands!'' apparently has a whole navy's worth.
* The title space pirates in ''Literature/MarkDelewenAndTheSpacePirates'' are a type two. Their [[SpaceSailing ships]] are pretty much copies of 18th century or so style sailing ships.
* The titular character of ''Literature/TheRedVixenAdventures'' is a bit of a type 2, [[spoiler: justified by her being a bored noblewoman raiding as a side business/hobby]], while her more brutal rival Bloody Margo is type 1.
* In Creator/MCAHogarth's ''Literature/{{Paradox}}'' series most pirates are slavers, with a side business in drug dealing. And in the employ of the Chatcaavan Empire, if not part of the dragons' Navy themselves.
* The Bad Guys in ''Literature/InvasionOfKzarch'' are space pirates, type 1, but it's mostly an InformedAbility, as they only once fight in space, in a brief early skirmish.
* In the ''Literature/ParadoxTrilogy'', Devi has had many clashes with them while working as a mercenary. In a ShoutOut to ''Film/StarWars: Film/ANewHope'', one notorious space pirate hideout is called Kessel.
* ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'':
** The [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot genetically-engineered badger pirates]] in the novel "The Pirate Loop", who wear gold earrings and space-suits with a skull-and-crossbones. They also speak with [[IAmVeryBritish Southampton Accents]]
** The novel ''The Resurrection Casket'' features robotic space pirates, and some extremely reminiscent, not to say [[RecycledInSpace recycled]], names and/or characters. (Let's just say it involves a young lad named "Jimm" and "Captain Glint's treasure" and leave it there...)
** Blurring the line between both types (and the line between SpacePirates and {{Sky Pirate}}s) is the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Sky Pirates!'' In the pocket dimension of The System, the difference between sky and space isn't particularly clear anyway.
** Captain Cornelius and the Pirates of the Second Aether. who are after the MacGuffin in Creator/MichaelMoorcock's Eleventh Doctor novel ''Coming of the Terraphiles or Pirates of the Second Aether''.
* In ''Literature/TheMartian'', marooned astronaut Mark Watney comes to a realization that his best option for rescue technically involves this, due to [[spoiler: a burned-out radio and]] an intersection between international treaties, maritime law, and the RuleOfCool. By international treaties, Mars is international territory governed by maritime law; by maritime law, commandeering a vessel in international waters is piracy; ergo: "That makes me a pirate! A space pirate!"
* In the ''Literature/SpiralArm'' series, the Cynthians are notorious as space pirates, living by the philosophy "the strong take what they can, the weak suffer what they must".
* In the Literature/{{Boojumverse}}, the protagonist of the story "Boojum" is Black Alice Bradley, a crew member of the pirate ship ''Lavinia Whateley''.
* In ''Literature/Babel17'' by Creator/SamuelRDelany, while they are technically privateers, the crew of ''Tarik's Mountain'' are barely a step away from being full-blown pirates. They're generally on the Alliance side, but there are suggestions that they're not above a little opportunist looting of both sides in a pinch. Fortunately, when they rescue Wong's ship, the captain turns out to be a big fan of Wong's poetry, and therefore welcomes her and her crew.
* Space piracy is a major theme within the ''Literature/BlackSun'' series, such that the main protagonists are known as the Flint Pirates. The first book alone details the hijacking of a prototype starship from her dock, followed by her being refitted into the titular ''Black Sun'', crewed and then sent back into space again, while the second opens with her engaging in a traditional pirate raid. That being said, the central plot is less a pirate story and more along the lines of ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode'' (InSpace)...
* ''Literature/DebatableSpace'' has the pirates supporting their rebellion/terror activities with piracy, as well as using it as a cover.
* James Cambias' ''Corsair'' has a hard sci-fi take on this trope: the prevalence of autonomous transports between the Moon and Earth that relies on the L1 point as transit point [[note]]Imagine today's Strait of Malacca[[/note]] means that a hacker with a small private craft can remote control their craft at L1 point to jack and send those cargo off-route to different drop zones on Earth so their employers can claim it for themselves while the hacker then uses their skills to mask their location from the authorities if a police craft tries to get close and trace their Earthborne location. The craft can only be used once, but the payoff is more than worth the craft + launch cost. It's also possible for hackers to hack into target spacecraft itself.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The first kind of space pirates appear in the serial "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E6TheSpacePirates The Space Pirates]]".
** The Captain of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS16E2ThePiratePlanet "The Pirate Planet"]] in the serial of the same name. Cybernetic eye and robot parrot (the Polyphase Aviatron). Slightly subverts the second type, as it turns out that he's deliberately trying to invoke BewareTheSillyOnes. He's an unusal type as he has an entire HollowWorld that [[TeleportersAndTransporters teleports]] around other planets to loot them. He also turns out to unwillingly be TheDragon, and is using the remains from the looting in a long-term plan to eliminate his (almost hidden) boss.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E5TheHornsOfNimon "The Horns of Nimon"]] sees the Doctor and Romana accused of this.
** Kari and Olvir in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS20E4Terminus "Terminus"]], who board what is seriously the wrong vessel to attack.
** Captain Wrack of the Eternals in the very next serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS20E5Enlightenment "Enlightenment"]] is a bored alien god impersonating a type two Space Pirate.
** The ending of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E3TheCurseOfTheBlackSpot "Curse of the Black Spot"]] has a crew of regular 17th century pirates who end up taking over an abandoned alien space ship. We are never told if they remain pirates or use their new ship for legitimate purposes.
** The mass-murdering and implied rape-loving Solomon in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E2DinosaursOnASpaceship Dinosaurs on a Spaceship]]", who murders all the Silurians on board a ship so he can take their cargo of the last dinosaurs. He is such a monster that the Doctor deliberately forces him into a small spaceship that will be used as a remote-controlled target for missiles.
* The TV show ''Series/LostInSpace'' had two episodes with space pirates: "The Sky Pirate" and "Treasures of the Lost Planet".
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'':
** The Reavers whose typical method of raiding involves raping victims to death, eating their flesh, and sewing their skins to their clothing. The luckier ones get it in ''that'' order. Reavers are just AlwaysChaoticEvil [[TheUsualAdversaries Usual Adversaries]] with space ships.
** The crew of ''Serenity'' herself are referred to as pirates on occasion. And for good reason, as they commit several acts which can definitely be defined as piracy during the course of the series.
** There are regular pirates as well, though they generally just let you come to them (with some prodding from/of an accomplice).
** "Our Mrs. Reynolds" episode had a couple of non-traditional space pirates as the MonsterOfTheWeek.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** The Raiders are of the first kind. They were a recurring threat for the first half of the first season, but bit off more than they could chew when they tried to raid the station directly and lost all their fighters before being [[KickTheSonOfABitch annihilated by the]] [[BigBad Shadows]].
** Other Raider groups are shown as a cross between minor nuisances and [[ButtMonkey comical victims of enemies much stronger than them]], like the one who attacked a lightly-defended shipment of [[{{Unobtainium}} Quantium-40]] that was actually a bait from the [[TheAlliance Army of Light]], or the Drazi-supported group that tormented a planet for years and was visited by the [[AllOfThem whole White Star Fleet]].
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** The Nausicaans.
** In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Gambit", Picard and Riker go undercover to infiltrate a pirate/mercenary crew. Supposedly this episode wouldn't have been made while Gene Roddenberry was still alive as he had always vetoed the "space pirates" idea.
** The Maquis in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' commit piracy in the course of their terrorist activities; though they mostly keep to smuggling and gunrunning they have hijacked ships more than once. The main target was their Cardassian opposite numbers, who did the same things.
** The Orions are sometimes referred to as pirates, though they straddle the line between actual SpacePirates and TheSyndicate. Of course, since they are a fairly wide-spread race with no central government that may just be different groups.
*** ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' had an episode titled ''The Pirates of Orion.''
** Early encounters with the Ferengi involved them acting like pirates, even trying to capture the ''Enterprise'' in more than one occasion.
** The ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'' itself turned to piracy late in the Xindi arc. After the Enterprise' warp drive was disabled by the Xindi, Archer attacked an innocent freighter to take a needed part. He certainly wouldn't have done it if Earth's very survival hadn't been on the line, and greatly regretted it (even beaming over some supplies to the other ship to make up for it.) To the inevitable WhatTheHellHero moment, all he could say was...
-->'''Archer:''' "[[IDidWhatIHadToDo Because we have no choice]]."
* Popular preschool kids show ''Space Pirates''. They run a [[IncrediblyLamePun pirate radio station]] from a space-travelling galleon. The captain and crew also wear pirate costumes.[[EarWorm "Naa Nana Na Na! SPACE PIRATES! Naa Nana Nana Na! SPACE PIRATES!"]]
* ''Series/TheMuppetShow''. Parodied in "Pigs in Space" when Creator/JohnCleese boards the Swinetrek as a Type 2 pirate. TheCaptain is not impressed.
-->'''Captain Hogthrob:''' This is ridiculous, this is a ''space'' ship. This is the Swinetrek, bound for the other side of the universe. You're supposed to be on an ocean someplace!
* The Barban, the main villain group of ''Series/SeijuuSentaiGingaman'' are these. The leader and the {{Mooks}} showed up in ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'' as "Captain Mutiny" and "Swabbies", but only for an arc instead of being the main villains (The rest were given no connection to Mutiny's crew).
** The heroes of ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'', the titular Gokaiger, absolutely '''run''' with this. Their suits are designed to look like jackets and their helmets have the traditional pirate hat built into them (except the SixthRanger, whose has a bandana instead). Their main weapons are cutlasses and flintlocks (and a trident for Silver), they have a robot parrot, and Red's HumongousMecha is a giant galleon which serves as their living quarters and the core of their CombiningMecha. Even their team logo is designed to look like a fancy skull and crossbones.
*** This all gets an amusing {{Lampshade}} in the episode where the Gokaigers have to find the Gingamen. Upon hearing that their enemies were space pirates, Gokai Green decides to bring some [[MythologyGag doughnuts]] as a peace offering, and at the end of the episode Ginga Red says the idea of heroic space pirates is still kinda weird for him, but he can see that the Gokaigers are good people.
** The main villain of ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'' is the space pirate queen Divatox.
* In the Tokusatsu series ''Series/ChouSeiKantaiSazerX'', Space Pirates play a very big role as the villains. In 2005 a bunch of them attacks and take over earth. In the year 2500 their descendants have established an [[TheEmpire empire]] throughout a large part of the galaxy.
* ''Series/DoubleTheFist'' presents to us the man who discovered Australia, Captain James Cook, as an egotistical Space Pirate who barely flinches at the sight of the ballistic Fist Team.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' had the Zenetan pirates, as well as the Sheyangs. The first were humanoids with well-armed, sleek little ships and an energy-draining capture net called the Flax. The Sheyangs were fireball-breathing frog-like creatures with lots of plasma cannons.
* ''Series/TheExpanse'' features references to space piracy being a problem for cargo haulers, particularly of ice, which is important as a water source for the asteroid settlements.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''.
** In "Bounty", the Liberator is seized by the Amagons, who engage in criminal activities including smuggling, bounty-hunting, slave trading and piracy. They have their own unique culture that's more like {{Qurac}} InSpace rather than the Type 2 version.
** Servalan predicts that the crew of the Liberator will end up this way after Blake's departure and she's not entirely wrong -- episodes like "The Harvest of Kairos", "Games" and "Gold" basically involve our anti-heroes attempting TheCaper under the [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized guise of stymieing Servalan or raising money for the cause]]. In "Gold" they [[WhatMeasureIsAMook kill a large number of guards from a planet that's not even part of the Federation]].

* Heavy Metal band Arcturus used to dress as pirates onstage while singing about astronomy and space travel.
* The Lord Weird Slough Feg have several songs and an entire album based on TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiHpfugCboI I'm a space pirate, you know my name.]]
* Music/TomSmith's concept album ''The Last Hero on Earth'' brings us the pirate ninjas from Dino Island. They stole their schtick pretty much in its entirety; what do you expect from pirates?
* The song "Space Pirates" by Music/AliceCooper. Yes, he does say [[TalkLikeAPirate "Arr!"]] a lot.
* The indie band The Senate created the world's first "Space Shanty" which is sung in character as, if not space pirates, space sailors in general.
* Music/DrCarmilla [[Music/DrCarmillaAndTheMechanisms &]] Music/TheMechanisms

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Giii the Space Pirate and his first mate, [[Myth/EgyptianMythology Sekhmet]], in Wrestling/KaijuBigBattel. They work for whoever pays well enough but came to Earth to steal... something[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio and Audio]]
* The Rocket Men from the ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audios "The Rocket Men", "Return of the Rocket Men" and "Requiem for the Rocket Men" are a roving gang of space pirates who use RaygunGothic {{Jetpack}}s to fly and ambush people.

* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': a fine tradition. One of the first events involved a portal summoning large numbers of these.
** And one of the first really big player summons was a massive space ship, then they died and came back as [[GhostPirate ghost pirates]]...

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Plenty of examples from ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000''.
** Type one space pirates include Eldar Corsairs who raid the lesser races' shipping and settlements to survive, Dark Eldar who raid for captives and playthings (or more specifically, [[FateWorseThanDeath souls]]), Chaos warbands including some traitorous Space Marines such as the Red Corsairs, and even perfectly average human pirates, mainly around some of the more unexplored and backwater sectors.
** As if regular orks weren't CrazyAwesome enough, Ork Freebooter bands are type two space pirates, and like hats and bandanas and fly the Jolly Ork. Examples include flash git Kaptin Badrukk, the richest ork in the galaxy with a coat of gold armor forged from the false teef of other kaptins he's defeated, while the ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar II'''s Retribution expansion gives us Kaptin Bludflagg, who cuts through scores of Imperials, Chaos cultists and aliens, culminating in a battle with a daemon prince and an inquisitor on the same day, all so he can claim said inquisitor's NiceHat (because she'd refused to give it to him as payment to kill the daemon prince in the first place). And in the end he even gets out of it with an even better ship than before.
** In Graham [=McNeill=]'s Literature/{{Ultramarines}} novel ''Nightbringer'', a Dark Eldar pirate is raiding the vessel carrying the Space Marines.
** The ''40k'' spin-off RPG ''TabletopGame/RogueTrader'' has space pirates (human or otherwise) as one of the most common enemies, and the rules let you go pirate if you wish. The Rogue Traders count to some extent as well, being {{privateer}}s able and expected to launch full-scale planetary invasions. One of the supplements to the gameline, Hostile Acquisitions, explicitly gives the players the option to become a Reaver or a Swashbuckler archetype.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'' setting for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has the Pirates of Gith, an entire ''[[PlanetOfHats race]]'' of SpacePirates, a third offshoot of the Githyanki/Githzerai. Additionally, the game also has plain ol' human SpacePirates who act pretty much identically to regular stereotypical pirates. Furthermore, the entire point of the setting is flying around in wooden sailing ships in space, and in the introduction to the setting the author mentions that they designed the setting's rules with the thought of a pirate standing on the deck of his ship--[-in space-]--as a guiding image.
* Piracy is alive and well in the ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' universe due to the relative ease of capturing most recharging [=JumpShips=], though actual independent pirate and bandit groups are seen mostly in the Periphery beyond the reach of either the Clans or the Great Houses. They don't so much attack civilian shipping as they raid poorly defended worlds directly, though. A number of particularly large pirate bands have banded up and attempted to go 'legitimate' and set themselves up as an actual nation, such as the Oberon Confederation or Circinus Federation.
** Suzie Morgraine-Ryan and her band of Periphery pirates display all the traits of the second option, as a deliberate affectation. Ryan herself dresses in Caribbean-style pirate garb, uses archaic words like "thou" and "thee," and even wears an eyepatch.
* ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'' has Captain Kraken, a space pirate who crashes on Earth. [[JustifiedTrope Thanks to his translation matrix latching onto Earth pirate culture,]] he speaks and dresses like a stereotypical pirate.
* Piracy is part of the ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' universe, and pirates vary widely. The most notable variety are the Vargr corsairs which have considerable force behind them and are considered a respectable profession by other Vargr who are willing to shelter them. This makes them kind of like Barbary Pirates in space.
** The above is a general description of piracy in Traveller, but the full version is that the degree in which piracy is a viable career and is even plausible varies to a great extent depending on the traveller version, and, of course, the GM. many Classic Traveller versions take the logical route, saying that because of the ability of System Defense boats (ships) to cover most of the immediate area around a Civilized planet, and the fact that a ship just has to get only a little distance away (relative to the scale of space) from a gravity well to be able to jump (and jumps are usually not able to be reliably traced, and impossible to intercept), pirates either must work very quickly and be lucky to find a ship in a position to be attacked, or they must attack ships shortly after leaving the dock of a smaller, outskirt planet(oid), which usually yields low value loot. This makes pirating very hard to do. Raiding a poorly defended planet is a lot more viable. Other versions usually introduce things that make pirates a lot more powerful, such as reducing system defense boat presence or the creation of trade lanes or the like. Even in CT though, already rich pirates have a better chance of establishing a sustainable operation, since they can afford high technology that makes their job easier, like EM jammers or jump drive disruptors.
* ''TabletopGame/SPANCSpacePirateAmazonNinjaCatgirls'' features space pirate {{Catgirl}}s who take part in nefarious capers to win the most loot. Some of the capers are just there for cuteness, others are space-opera specific, like the Stuck Airlock.
* The Galactic Marauders from the ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' sourcebook ''Alien Enemies''.
* ''TabletopGame/StarfleetBattles'' has the Orion Pirates, a whole race (in a game where 'race' means a playable faction) of space pirates, of the first type (although the picture in the write-up shows a humanoid with a patch-like prosthetic eye, so some apparently affect elements of the second type). They also do mercenary work (particularly when prolonged war has stretched normal militaries thin, and convoys tend to be better protected) and have even been known to run cargo for actually legitimate businesses and governments on occasion.
* Justified in ''TabletopGame/StarsWithoutNumber'': due to the relatively small capacity of civilian vessels and the loss of the jumpgate network in the Scream, most interstellar trade relies on small quantities of highly valuable resources. Combine this with the installation of a gun taking up valuable space and power on a civilian free trader, and the fragility of ships in a setting without widely available shields, and you have an environment where hanging around in the outer system waiting for a trader to turn up and then holding them hostage is actually viable. Of course, if the free trader ''did'' install a gun, it's going to be quite expensive for everyone concerned.
* ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' has the Cicilian Brotherhood, a band of pirates founded by the self proclaimed pirate king Arthur Roster, operate from a secret base on Phobos. There are also pirates in the asteroid belt loosely united under an Accord, gearing up for a civil war due to [[MegaCorp 5OX]] buying out some crews as privateers.

* [[ComicBook/NewGods Big Barda]] is re-imagined as a space pirate in the ''Toys/AmeComiGirls'' line of PVC statues from DC Direct.

[[folder:Video Games]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Brigador}}'''s Spacers are one part ruthless pirates and one part hyperelite hedonists - they raid planet colonies to fund their astronomically (sometimes literally) expensive lifestyles, make room so they can acclimate to planetside gravity (and thus not die or suffer debilitating diseases from spending too long in space), and [[FantasticRacism carry out a genocidal grudge on planetside humans, who they consider no better than animals there for amusement via torture, and find it insulting that the Spacers share ancestry with the 'soil vermin'.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Celestus}}'' has some of the second type, rum and [[TalkLikeAPirate Ahoy!]] included. They ''do'' steal your resources, though.
* ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'', one of the earliest space trading games, featured pirates who would attack you between hyperspace jump-points and your destination. Or you could become a pirate yourself. In ''Videogame/EliteDangerous'', carrying cargo will cause pirates to chase you down in supercruise, and attract pirates that hang out in Navigational beacons and resource extraction zones. Of note is that they'll go for ''anything'' in your cargo, leading to the infamous quote when carrying 30 metric tons of human biowaste:
-->'''Pirate #40325''': "I knew I'd find you eventually, all that tasty cargo!"
* ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity'' and its sequels has a lot of pirates. EV has straight up pirates, EVO has the Renegades (double plural -- there are ''several'' pirate groupings called Renegades, some of which aren't even ''aware'' of the others' existence), Nova has pirates, marauders (weak pirates hated by everyone, including [[EvenEvilHasStandards other pirates]]), the Guild (a more organized group with a semi-legal veneer), the Association (technically; they are the Pirates mentioned below as being one of the major mission strings, only they aren't so much pirates as semi-legal free traders that PayEvilUntoEvil with ''actual'' pirates and smuggle stuff because TheFederation's laws are blatantly MegaCorp-slanted) and Houseless (Auroran [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Ronin]] pirates). It's also notable that you can ''be'' a pirate in any of the EV games. EVN even made it one of the possible primary mission strings (kinda). You could also attack, disable, board, steal from, and even ''hijack'' (basically everything the pirates themselves do) [[PayEvilUntoEvil the pirate's own ships]] without getting a bad rep for it. They had some serious cash, too. ''Nova''[='s=] more advanced mechanics make the game piracy a bit more believable: the player's ship can actually be disabled, unlike in the other games, and pirates can and will board ships they disable to steal money or cargo.
* Space piracy is a viable, if risky, career choice for ''VideoGame/EveOnline'' players.
** Or that's what the creators want you to believe. In reality, most "pirates" describe piracy as rather unprofitable as the occasional loss of an expensively fitted ship is not made up by the equipment dropped by the low-level players that actually fall for pirates. These "pirates" go on to explain that they [[ForTheEvulz do it for the lulz]] and [[TerroristsWithoutACause not for the money]]. The closest thing to Moneymaking via violence in EVE may be the PsychoForHire "mercenary corporations" who demand money up front. This sort of [[AxCrazy behaviour]] is the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil expected default]] in VideoGame/EveOnline.
** The primary reason for this is the practical impossibility of capturing ships in the game. The pirates are pretty much limited to blowing their prey up and then scavenging the debris for anything of value. Most of the valuable cargo is destroyed in the process. The only reason piracy is even viable in the game is because you have no fuel, maintenance or living costs so your only expense is cheap ammo.
*** While low- or nullsec piracy is rarely if ever worth it due to not many people carrying large amounts of expensive cargo (or if they do, they're usually smart enough to take precautions to avoid hostiles), highsec suicide ganking is an actually profitable form of "piracy". Suicide gankers typically hang out in systems leading to major trade hubs that see large amounts of industrial ships and freighters pass through them, scan passing ships for valuable cargo and attack them. Since this is in high security space, they will have their ships attacked and destroyed by the NPC police forces, but if they have enough dps they will kill their target first. As long as the average value of loot and salvage is higher than the cost of the ganking ships, you make profit.
** Hilariously enough, players seem to have no problem roleplaying themselves as either of the two varieties.
** Demanding pay-outs to ''not'' blow up the valuable cargo ship is viable though, although if you wait very long doing this the reinforcements can show up...
*** Not to mention that many players will not pay pirates under any circumstances for fear that they will be blown up anyway.
** Highsec Pirates also refer to people who habitually wardec industrial corps in cheap frigates and distrupt their industry until they are paid to knock it off. In theory this can be highly profitable, but in practice all the money you make from the ransoms is often suddnely undone by the odd Industrial PvP hybrid corp kicking your ass in a war you paid to start.
* ''VideoGame/{{Freelancer}}'' has ''tons''.
** The raiding of ships is justified, however. Legitimate travelers, including merchants, use "trade lanes" to get from station to station quickly. These can be disrupted mid-route so pirates can set up an ambush.
* Showed up just ''once'' in the ''VideoGame/FreeSpace'' series. However, every user-made campaign now has ''hordes'' of ''utterly suicidal'' space pirates who will ''[[AttackAttackAttack just keep coming]]'' despite the fact that you've already killed the dozens which came before, and the cargo you're protecting ''probably wouldn't tally up'' to the cost of replacing their really expensive destroyed fighters. Also, those space fighters they were flying? Better quality than a full-fledged ''rebellion'' could afford to procure.
** Lampshaded in ''Derelict.'' The Tau Ceti pirates are able to field a Deimos-class corvette (this would be the equivalent of Somali pirates having a US Navy Destroyer) and Mackie immediately exclaims, "Where are they ''getting'' this equipment?" [[spoiler: It turns out the well-equipped pirates are actually mercenaries funded by the [[MegaCorp Morgan Mining Company]] to stir up trouble in Tau Ceti. When the Shivans start killing everyone, the ''actual'' local pirates, who have been almost entirely inactive in the wake of the mercenaries stirring things up, are recruited by the GTVA to help with the manpower shortage. The alternative makes them more than happy to go along with it.]]
* The Turanic Raiders of ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}''. Also, while they are the only pirate race, both the Kushani and Taiidani sides use pirate-like ways, namely, hijacking. In the first series, the peaceful-sounding "Salvage Corvette" is often used for hijacking ships by making them incapable of resisting, towing them back to base, and let the landing party do the job. Thanks to the brokenness of this system, in Homeworld 2, the salvage corvettes are replaced by Marine Frigates (Hiigaran race), and the Infiltrator Frigate (Vaygr side). This time, they either latch onto said hapless ship (Hiigaran's preferred method), or launch [[BoardingParty boarding]] pods (Vaygr's way of saying badass), ''in the middle of battle''. Both frigates are lightly armored and lightly armed, but very invaluable in the heat of battle. Their tendency to get targeted first could also be useful as bait, as a couple of these frigates will send any AI player to engage them even if that means turning their backs to the WaveMotionGun wielding enemies nearby.
* ''VideoGame/IndependenceWar2: Edge of Chaos'' puts you in the role of an up-and-coming space pirate following in his grandmother's footsteps, partly as a means of building up the resources to get revenge on the LoanShark / CorruptCorporateExecutive that [[YouKilledMyFather killed your father.]]
* ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace'':
** Bands of space pirates are the primary antagonists in the early chapters, and provide fodder for RandomEncounters throughout the game.
** Several independent shipowners, most notably Celina and Valantin, make their living through piracy. Valantin, however, is in an entirely different league from other pirates, being the most famous and feared Zero-G Dog in the known universe.
** Yuri himself turns pirate at one point [[spoiler: after escaping from a PenalColony in the Large Magellanic Cloud]].
* Chapter 8 in ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' has Pit boarding the ship of Space Pirates to retrieve 3 Sacred Treasures. For a bunch of pirates stealing constellations, you might think they would be more important to the plot, but this is the only chapter they appear in.
* You'll be fighting some variation of this trope and/or [[PsychoForHire private millitary companies]] whenever you aren't following the plot in ''Franchise/MassEffect''. Notably, however, Mass Effect's Space Pirates don't seem to attack ships (and various militaries have a hard time hitting their ships en masse, too) -- they attack sparely-defended colonies, then run away before the military can respond, generally taking their loot in the form of enslaved citizens.
* The main antagonists in the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series are called space pirates, but are actually an organized alien army rather than small bands of individuals out for plunder. Their motives are invariably portrayed as sinister, but it's always implied that they have some larger goal at work, even if the precise details are unclear. It mostly comes down to "breed Metroids," "mine Phazon," etc. so that they can be used for galactic conquest. Although their marauding activities are an important part of the series's backstory -- [[YouKilledMyFather Samus's parents were killed in a Pirate raid]] when she was a young girl, and the events of the original game were kicked off by the Pirates raiding a Federation ship that had Metroids on it -- they are only rarely seen performing any piracy on-screen; at the beginning of ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid,'' Samus investigates the ransacked Ceres Space Station and confronts [[ArchEnemy Ridley]] just before he makes away with the Metroid hatchling, and in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption,'' Space Pirates are seen literally using {{Boarding Pod}}s to crash into and raid a fleet of capital ships. Besides the whole [[TakeOverTheWorld Take Over The Universe]] thing, this is played close to the modern RealLife version.
* ''VideoGame/SpacePiratesAndZombies'' is a game where '''YOU''' are the space pirates. [[CaptainObvious Oh,]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin and there are]] [[ZombieApocalypse zombies.]]
* Turn up as a random event in the classic economic-simulation ''{{VideoGame/MULE}}''; they swoop in and steal minerals from all four players.
* ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureToolsOfDestruction'' has ''[[NinjaPirateZombieRobot robot]]'' space pirates of the second type. ''Quest For Booty'' has ''undead'' robot space pirates! And zombie ninja pandas are briefly referred to in ''Tools of Destruction'', presumably to complete the NinjaPirateZombieRobot requirement.
* The main antagonists of ''VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}'' -- they invaded VideoGame/{{Rayman}}'s homeworld, enslaved everyone (Rayman included), scattered the world's [[SentientPhlebotinum Lums]] everywhere, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking are all around not very nice]]. [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot They're also robots.]]
* In the 'Seasons' expansion pack for ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', space pirates [[spoiler: are the highest position on the 'Adventurer' career track]]. And yes, they wear pirate hats.
* The SpacePirates in FourX RealTimeStrategy game ''VideoGame/SinsOfASolarEmpire'' will periodically send out attacks against the players. They'll attack whichever player has the currently highest bounty on their head (which would make them more like privateers, but really, the line between them is blurred quite a bit in real life). They can, however, be disabled. The pirates are a combination of the two types. Their actions indicate that they are the former type, [[http://delta-3462.deviantart.com/art/The-Affairs-of-Corsairs-113058534 but their ships indicate the latter]] Please note the SpikesOfVillainy and holographic jolly rogers.
** The ''Rebellion'' ExpansionPack allows you to take control of enemy ships, including that of pirates. Their voice acting is that of a ''very'' stereotypical and [[LargeHam Over the Top]] pirate speech.
** In the ''Diplomacy'' ExpansionPack, you can offer missions to pirates outside of their normal "raiding schedule".
** There is a bit of a bug in the game. At the start of a raid, the pirates pick a colony belonging to a player with the highest bounty. If said colony is captured by another player while they're flying to it, they'll ''still'' attack it.
** The pirate ships are actually modified TEC frigates and cruisers (lacking special abilities and shields, but with the ability to steal money from their victims), which makes sense, given that the TEC, story-wise, is the largest and most diverse faction and the story has the war taking place entirely in their space. Luckily, they can't field capital ships.
** In Rebellion the TEC rebels can forge an alliance with them and the other independents, making them immune to raids and able to recruit mercenary pirate fleets.
* ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles: The Dark Brotherhood'' includes a sidequest involving Space Pirates, with Rouge [[LampshadeHanging mocking the guy]] for his [[TalkLikeAPirate traditional piratey speech]].
-->'''Pirate:''' Aye. A speech impediment it be.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}''. Alert: Hostile [=UFOs=] are attacking planet Nortaxesir! Alert: Pirates are stealing your spice on planet Nortaxesir! And on planet Oremastiz! Planet Quaralax too! And guess what? Your allies with a much vaster empire than you need your help killing a half-dozen animals that are carrying a deadly disease!
** Thankfully, two words can solve any planet's pirating woes: Uber Turret
* A little know (and proabaly for the best) [[FullMotionVideo FMV]] Light Gun game called... ''Space Pirates''.
* The Palm OS game ''VideoGame/SpaceTrader'' has these in droves. The player can even become one, if they want, but it comes with some side effects (like losing 10% of your profits when you can no longer sell your goods in person).
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekStarfleetCommand'' features occasional random encounters with the Orion Pirates, complete with [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic awesome]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOSuFia9K2w pirate-y theme]].
* ''VideoGame/SunDogFrozenLegacy'' includes pirates who will actually attempt to convince you to jettison cargo before attacking, and since you can sometimes catch a cargo container when you destroy one of them, presumably they can do the same if they destroy you.
* Space pirates show up in ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'', where they are the bane of your merchant fleets. Oddly enough, these pirates will use ships and technologies belonging to a random faction used in the current game -- often factions you have yet to encounter -- and will show up in situations that make no sense at all, like the [[HyperSpace nodespace]]-only using humans attacking your 'regular' FTL tarka or morrigi fleets, or having your hiver fleets (which use a planet-to-planet PortalNetwork) attacked in orbit of your own planet.
** Random nothing -- those are ''other players''. They look like random encounter ships because ([[AllThereInTheManual according to the fluff]]) raiding parties fly without colors to avoid diplomatic fallout (you can even harass AI allies and they won't figure it out, even if you're the only faction of a race in play). It also states that Humans and Zuul use regular relativity engines when trading and raiding as trade posts in a sector are guaranteed to be connected by node lines (and in the case of Zuul, a dedicated node ripper would be prohibitively expensive).
*** In addition the Zuul are more adept at capturing others ships than any other race, and they can raid for slaves from enemy colonies. It says something about their culture that the Zuul word for "pirate" is "Zuul".
** The manual also takes pains to explain the logistics of space piracy: first, trade is conducted within one of a regular grid of sectors, so raiders know roughly where to look. And only a part of the attacking fleet will ever participate in a raid, as they spread out to catch something and only some can arrive in time; on the other hand, the entire defense fleet will naturally be present. Also, the Hivers cannot raid since they lack any FTL and will never catch anything, but their traders can only be intercept in orbit as they use hyperspace gates to get instantly from colony to colony.
** The sequel properly sets them up as their own side ''de facto''. Sometimes there may be explicit pirate bases you can wipe out to curtail their activities.
* ''VideoGame/TachyonTheFringe'' has many pirate groups, most of them located in the lawless Fringe (which makes up everything outside of Sol). The most famous of these are the Blood Clan pirates, led by Redship Rory, famous for painting their ships with the blood of their enemies. The Scavs are pirates but tend to be friendly with the [[LaResistance Bora]], as they hate {{MegaCorp}}s. The Void Runners are more mercenaries than pirates and frequently work for [=GalSpan=], although they don't shy away from piracy. The Demon Pirates are pirates InNameOnly, as they are crazed religious fanatics living in the strange fog of the Twilight region, killing any passerby.
* ''VideoGame/WingCommander'':
** In ''VideoGame/WingCommanderPrivateer'' and ''VideoGame/Privateer2TheDarkening'', space pirates serve as {{mooks}} in the games. The former even has a mission series operating from a pirate base, as a drug smuggler. Although mostly just the "murderous fighter pilots" variety, some of the headshots on the communication screen show the pirates with what look like high tech eye patches, though they could be cybernetic eyes they certainly fit with the theme of the RecycledInSpace variant of space pirate.
** In ''Wing Commander IV'' the first mission set is dedicated to taking out a pirate group that's causing trouble in the area. [[spoiler:They are, per the novelization, specifically there to cause trouble as part of Tolwyn's plan.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheBabylonProject'' expands on the raiders of ''Series/BabylonFive'', allowing you to play a campaign where you're warring against them, or play a campaign where you're one of them.
* Karlina and Jayson in ''VideoGame/WarpForce'', who freeze a planet in order to store more water as ice and sell it for profit, killing most of the animals designed for warm-climate while doing so. They speak in [[TalkLikeAPirate pirate accents]].
* ''VideoGame/StarRuler 1'' has these. They pop up from nowhere and raid your poorly defended systems, blockading them in process, preventing materials from reaching your colonies. The sheer fustercluck of running end-game empires of hundreds of solar systems means that players generally disable pirate attacks because [[GoddamnBats they are a pain in the buttocks]]. ''Star Ruler 2'' has the less common but ''significantly'' more powerful Dread Pirate, a huge ship which marauds between planets in solar systems, looting and attacking civilian ships, occasionally dipping out of the system to dump their loot in a plunder station.
* ''VideoGame/VegaStrike'' has pirates as a faction. They use outdated ships and are supported mainly by [[LightspeedLeapfrog displaced would-be colonists]]. No big plunder -- their cargo is more or less the same as on equal civilian ships, and vessels like Plowshare carry things like "water, butane, pron". PlayerCharacter may do the same, but it's not worth trying, since this causes [[AllianceMeter bad relations]] with the attacked ship's faction and its friends, expanding through fights with them until shot at sight by almost everyone.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''
** The Kig-Yar[[note]]a.k.a. Jackals and Skirmishers[[/note]] have a notorious reputation for being inclined towards piracy, whether as sanctioned Covenant privateers or independent brigands; it has even been noted that being a successful pirate is the go-to dream career for most Kig-Yar children. Part of the novel ''Literature/HaloContactHarvest'' takes place aboard a Kig-Yar "missionary ship", which really is just a glorified pirate vessel. In fact, the Kig-Yar are almost literally {{Thieving Magpie}}s, being semi-avian creatures who hoard anything of value into a treasure hoard.
** As we see with some Insurrectionist elements, humans and other species aren't immune to this either.
* The pirate clans in the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' have gotten to the point (as of ''Terran Conflict'') where they've become [[NGOSuperpower N.G.O. Superpowers]], with capital ships and space stations constructed out of [[UsedFuture kitbashed derelicts]], while using AceCustom fighters with sweet flaming NoseArt. Visually, the Pirates are fully a Type 2; docking at a Pirate station has the announcer greet you with "''Ahoy matey''", and they are often depicted wearing a BadassBandolier, eye patches, and crude cybernetics. Rather than trying to exterminate them (they respawn at their home base), advanced players generally work to befriend them by selling them [[FantasticDrug spaceweed and space fuel]] . Ditto the Yaki, who are space pirates for all intents and purposes, though they use a motif of {{yakuza}} [-[[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE!]]-]. Pirates return in ''Videogame/XRebirth'', but most of the Type 2 traits are either absent or toned down; most of the pirate clans are rogue fanatics (religious, sovereign citizens, etc).
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion 2'' has pirate activity as a random event -- it interrupts freight traffic in some system and goes away if enough of military presence is brought to the place. Also, explorers discovering a new system sometimes stumble on PirateBooty.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' DLC, "Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty" deals with "Sand Pirates" who are more or less a Type 2. You ally with the titular Captain Scarlett to find the lost treasure of Captain Blade, guarded by a beast known as The Leviathan.
* In ''VideoGame/ZeroWing'', the villains are a band of space pirates; at least, this is AllThereInTheManual.
* Otter pirates are recurring {{mooks}} in ''Videogame/{{Magical| Vacation}}Starsign'', whom the space police say do not fall under their jurisdiction.
* One of the villains in ''Videogame/TheWonderful101'' is Prince Vorkken -- leader of the Guyzoch Space Pirate band.
* Pirates in ''VideoGame/FTLFasterThanLight'' fly hijacked ships painted with purple stripes and a Jolly Roger best described as an "octopus skull". Sometimes, they'll carry slaves; damaging the pirates can lead to them offering to free a slave to get you to leave them alone. Some other pirates will bribe you with goods to get you to avoid attacking them, although you can attack them and get a better offer in response, or kill them outright and steal their goods. Additionally, there are sectors that are controlled by pirates, and thus have a high pirate encounter rate compared to other sectors.
* Pirates in ''Videogame/EndlessSpace'' can seriously hamper your expansion. Their ship spawn in systems out of sensor range and are damn difficult to destroy in early stages. Luckily, you can disable them.
* Cosette and her gang of mecha-piloting space pirates in ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}''.
* The Nautilus Pirates of ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', who decide the best way to handle mankind's desperate colonization of an alien world is by taking over the seas and raiding the other factions.
* Following in the tradition of such games as ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Privateer}}'', ''VideoGame/NoMansSky'' has space pirates and gives you the option of shooting and destroying them (and earning [[GlobalCurrency Units]] for doing so) or joining them (and gaining potential allies for doing so).
* ''VideoGame/AssaultOnDarkAthena'': What the ''Athena'' and her crew has become under Revas's command. The former captain built the ship to formally operate within the law as a mercenary vessel that would [[BountyHunter capture criminals]] and function as a [[PrivateMilitaryContractors military force for hire]]. After deposing him, Revas orders every ship in sight seized, colonies raided, and their inhabitants gathered up to be sold as slaves or used as HumanResources.
* The entire premise of ''Videogames/SteamWorldHeist'', as its main gameplay is about the boarding and the pilfering. Your fist enemy is a gang of pirates that will attract the army if left unchecked.
* The Rogues faction from ''VideoGame/{{Battleborn}}'' are these being made up of criminals and various other outsiders who prey on others in the Solus system. Among them, the de facto leader of this otherwise disjointed confederation of individuals, Reyna, best exemplifies the trope. She even has her own CoolStarship called the Fortune's Favor, a massive capital ship which serves as both Reyna's home and the head of the Rogue fleet when it needs one.
* ''VideoGame/RebelGalaxy'' has multiple factions of pirates that go by such colorful names as the Red Devil Cartel and the Doublejack Thugs. They will sometimes blockade stations, and RandomEncounters include rescuing trade freighters from them. Unusually, it's also possible to improve your reputation with pirate factions to gain access to their stations and buy equipment and ships from them.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' pirates will often spawn early in the game from an empire and make an asteroid base in an unclaimed system nearby. After update 2.0 pirates will spawn multiple times in a game, with increasingly more powerful fleets each time.
** The Leviathan DLC adds Privateers, who are actually TheRemnant of a fallen {{Precursor}} civilization and a much more serious threat.
** In Apocalypse, it gets worse: now there are [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Space Mongols]] called Marauders around, who can easily rival other empires in their own right and like to rampage and pillage, but they are constantly in-fighting and can also be hired as mercenaries to keep them at bay... though, being Space ''Mongols'', a Great Khan can arise and unify the tribes, which turns them into an even more serious threat that is hard to deal with unless the player empires have been seriously stocking up on weapons. The original pirates have also been expanded to be more common, while the Privateers are unaligned to anyone else entirely.
* ''{{VideoGame/Flinthook}}'' is a proud celebration of Type 2 in every form, as a {{Roguelike}}.
* In ''Videogame/{{Starcrawlers}}'', the pirates are a hilarious take on the second type, complete with stereotypical pirate accents and jargon. However, for all their amusing dialogue, they're surprisingly dangerous and aggressive, and getting on their bad side means you will ''always'' have to risk encounters with pirate gangs hunting for your head afterward, as there's no way to improve your relations with them after hitting their ships and bases.

* The 'Pirates of the Oceans Unmoving' arc of ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''.
** That wasn't space; it was an entire [[RecycledInSPACE PARALLEL UNIVERSE!!!]] (one with very odd properties for the flow of time itself).
** Not to mention that they were kidnapping people and sticking them in their hold for ''time''. It's also made clear that there are about a million easier ways to do it, but 1) pirates are anti-social, so they don't want live in the villages necessary to survive normally, and 2) [[spoiler: they're all a bunch of nerds acting out pirate fantasies.]]
*** What's made clear is that there are ''two'' ways to do it, neither of which are necessarily easy as both have their problems. Even the ones who choose the community-building method aren't above piracy on those not with the in-group.
* The webcomic ''Webcomic/{{Starslip}}'' parodies the second form of this trope with Infra-Redbeard and his crew. They fly around in an open-decked ship with solar sails, fight with Atom Cutlasses, and otherwise fill every pirate cliche while just happening to be in space.
** Cutter Edgewise himself was a former Pirate Science officer. These man the Rum Sensors. He still retains the cutlass and eyepatch, and gets a prosthetic leg in a later arc.
* The [[http://zapinspace.com/d/20071105.html story arc]] started in November in ''Webcomic/{{Zap}}'' involves pirates that appear to be a mix of this and SkyPirate kidnapping two main characters.
* The Webcomic ''Webcomic/IWasKidnappedByLesbianPiratesFromOuterSpace'' features a girl who was... well, just that.
** Come to think of it, so does ''Webcomic/{{Vandread}}'', although it was three guys in this case.
* The webcomic ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' has the Pirates of Ipecac, who resemble giant lobsters.
* The webcomic [[http://zeera.comicgenesis.com ''Zeera The Space Pirate'']] is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
** Except for the fact [[spoiler: she never quite gets around to committing any acts of piracy.]]
* Space pirates appeared in one ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' in a print-exclusive tale providing some {{backstory}} for Sgt. Schlock, and again in the online comic itself. The comic even hung a lampshade on the economic and physical problems inherent in this type of venture. [[spoiler:Of course, they turned out not to be pirates, but guerillas fighting the current government.]]
** In the first case piracy was enabled by a PortalNetwork, in the second by system-wide interdiction of the new "Teraport" drive.
* [[Webcomic/CrimsonDark Vaegyr Ward]] hates being called a pirate. As he points out, he has letters of marque, so he's a privateer. Also, pirates tend to be meaner than him.
* In ''Webcomic/AbsurdNotions'', in a roleplaying game being played by the characters, [[http://www.absurdnotions.org/page111.html space pirates turn up]] whose mannerisms correspond to exaggerated mannerisms of ''software'' "pirates". Namely, a ship preparing to attack opens communication with "[=j0, SUXX0RZ!! xDR3Dx3DDx 0WNZ U!!! 5UR3ND0R N0W!! 4LL j00R W4R3Z R B3L0N9 2 US L0L!!1!!!=]". Lampshaded by Asimov, Isaac's character, who responds with "I think I miss the days when pirates [[ToArrIsPirate said 'Arrr']]."
* Type 1 space pirates are said to have occurred in ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}'', and is why there was an ancient CORE station orbiting Uranus at the start of the SSDF arc. But once the mineral resources of the outer system dried up piracy ceased to become profitable.
* King Hippo relates a story to ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES'' about the time he raided the space pirates who built Mother Brain... the ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'' version. They came complete with Space Booty and Space-Yarrs.
* ''ComicBook/BuckGodotZapGunForHire'' has "the [[AlliterativeName Pistol Packin' Polaris Packrat]]"; also, one cyborg ex-asteroid pirate turned SpaceMarine sergeant, who became rather unpopular for the time (brief) he lived after this discovery. Also, that guy on the starpirates.net banner who boasted before Buck -- but he was bad.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Far from Home|MightyMartianStudios}}'', they capture the heroes of the ShowWithinAShow.
* ''Webcomic/QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger'' has his first encounter with [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0005/ pirates]] whose careers [[MuggingTheMonster go messily wrong]]. And [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0013/ philosophizes about it here.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1000/fv00963.htm an aspiration.]]
* '''Kyzok''' and his crew in Episode One of ''Webcomic/{{Space Kid}}''
* Deconstructed in [[http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/iwc/?strip=16 this]] ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' strip.
* In ''Webcomic/MetroidThirdDerivative'' set after the events of ''[[VideoGame/MetroidPrime Metroid Prime 2:Echoes]]'', the Space Pirates have the same functions as from the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series. They are led by both Ridley and Mother Brain. The Space Pirates look to utilize Phazon for their operations on Planet Nemesis.
* ''Webcomic/CassiopeiaQuinn'' is one.
* In the ''Webcomic/{{Runners}}'' 'verse we've met two groups of those so far; Harmon's regular pirates out for loot and the bloodthirsty Kagaan-Vas.
* Orcelot Rex in the Creator/{{Toonami}} webcomic ''Endgame''.

[[folder: Web Originals]]
* The primary cast of "Literature/CaelumLex" are space pirates, smuggling, stealing and raiding from their rusty beat-up spaceship.
* The main characters of ''Podcast/TheEndlessNight'' are SpacePirates, and the podcast mainly focuses on their exploits as they raid and pillage across the galaxy.
* The browser game ''VideoGame/StarPirates'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, from digging through orbital debris to attacking other players and everything between.
* ''WebVideo/MightyMoshinEmoRangers'', a fan parody of ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' and emo culture, has an episode where the Emo Rangers battle the Rave Pirates from outer space, who have come to infect earth teenagers with their "New Rave"
* They've become quite the problem in ''Roleplay/NexusGate'' since space travel became a reality.
* Space piracy has been TRIED in ''Literature/TheJournalEntries'' (more than once, and even on-screen), but between any random merchant ship possibly having just about any damn kind of weaponry (including one with a combat android that boarded an attacking vessel and sabotaged its' reactors to explode), the way various space navies tend to go looking for any space pirates (mostly because they're bored and curb stomping pirates is fun), and how much it COSTS to go searching for merchants to try to plunder in the first place, they tend to die without successors.
* Pirates show up fairly often in the ''Literature/ChakonaSpace'' stories, some of them are just run of the mil pirates out for loot, others are slavers from the Non-Aligned Worlds where slavery of morphs is still allowed.
* ''VideoGame/ImperiumNova'' has a mechanic for houses to fund piracy around one or more planets, it is frequently described as being "broken".
* ''Literature/{{Starwalker}}'': Starwalker is attacked by pirates. This is one of the key events in the {{StableTimeLoop}}.
* ''WebAnimation/BeeAndPuppycat'': The space outlaw who fell in love with a princess from Puppycat's story.
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlueTheChorusTrilogy'':These guys work for Locus and [[spoiler:Felix]], they act as their personal {{Mooks}}, and have access to high tech gear that outclasses everyone else on the planet. Though they're status as pirates seems to be an InformedAttribute, as they function just as a generic group of mercenaries.
* Captain Kaliko and her oil-rig raiders in the ''Totally Doctor Who'' animation [[Recap/DoctorWho2007TDWASTheInfiniteQuest "The Infinite Quest"]]. Baltazar in the same story fits the trope to some extent, even having a robot parrot. In some respects he seems an Expy of the Captain from "The Pirate Planet" (see above), with his first scene having him try to turn Earth into diamonds, but is more villainous.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Long John Silver the 23rd in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode "Shiver Me Dodgers".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "[[Recap/FuturamaS3E20Godfellas Godfellas]]", an unnamed space pirate (with three peg legs out of four, parrots on three of his four shoulders, and eyepatches on two of his three eyes) menaced the Planet Express Ship with galleon-style spaceships and cannons, vowing to send them to "Davy Jarg's locker" if they don't electronically transfer their space-doubloons, and realizing too late that his children are his only ''real'' treasures. What made it even funnier was Leela's explanation on what SpacePirates are: "They're like Pirates... but InSpace!"
** In a slight variation, the episode "[[Recap/FuturamaS2E6TheLesserOfTwoEvils The Lesser of two Evils]]" featured Space Bandidos. They're easy to distinguish from other kinds of spaceborne brigands: if it's them, you'll hear maracas.
* Sonny Blackbones and the pirates in ''WesternAnimation/GalactikFootball''. They're really more heroic space outlaws but they do have at least one member who likes to say 'Arr!' No parrot, though they do have a football team.
* ''WesternAnimation/JayceAndTheWheeledWarriors'' had [[AmazonBrigade an all-female crew]] of the second type in one episode, but they decided to [[HeelFaceTurn go good]] at the end.
* The Pirate Clans of ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'', who operate from hidden bases in the Outer Planets. By the end of the first story arc, they remain OutOfFocus until the second season, [[spoiler: when they become allies with the Exo Fleet against the Neo Sapiens.]]
* Kanjar Ro and his crew from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' had an episode titled ''The Pirates of Orion,'' complete with pirate spaceship, as a possible forerunner to the Orion Syndicate in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine.''
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' offers a more traditional version with the Weequay pirates led by Hondo Ohnaka (complete with a monkey-lizard standing in for a parrot and an affinity for the cutlass), who is as likeable as he is cunning. He managed to take Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi all hostage, while still being friendly towards them. Even more alarming, the trio weren't and still aren't completely sure how he did it! If that's not enough, he was able to briefly duel Anakin with an electrostaff, on a moving tank pilot, no less. In later appearances, he's something of a FriendlyEnemy to Obi-Wan.
** As Obi-Wan pointed out to him, he held both Jedi and Sith hostage, and ''Jedi'' don't hold grudges, while Sith very much ''do''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'', Sala's SkyPirate AmazonBrigade from ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'' have become Space Pirates, in keeping with the general TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture ethos.
* In "The Secret Origins of WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck", [[EvilTwin Negaduck]] is said (by a very UnreliableNarrator) to be raised by space pirates and eventually becomes one himself.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' episode "Space Booty" (yes, that is the actual title) had a group of Space Pirates led by a Anime/CaptainHarlock expy. This being Megas they also had a buttload of HumongousMecha for Coop to smash.
* Cannonball of the ''Anime/TransformersCybertron'' toyline is an actual space pirate, complete with skeleton paint apps and a black swath of paint over half of the top of his face in mimicry of an eyepatch. Alas, he was not to appear in the series.
* Long John Scarechrome from ''WesternAnimation/FilmationsGhostbusters'' is a [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot ghostly cyborg space pirate]]. ''Filmation's Ghostbusters'' is that kind of a show.
* The Corsair Canards of ''ComicBook/BuckyOHareAndTheToadWars''. Deadeye is a former member.
* The first episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers'' has a group of the second type.
* ''WesternAnimation/ObanStarRacers'' has Lord Furter, a comical example most notable for his incompetence and non-threatening appearance, even though both he and his crew seem to think he's the most bad-ass thing ever. He's also self-aware. "I'm [[BoardingParty boarding]] your ship! That's what pirates do, we board ships!"
* ''WesternAnimation/DexHamiltonAlienEntomologist'': In one episode Dex and his crew are captured by space pirates who have imprisoned a giant star fly.
* ''WesternAnimation/RoliePolieOlie'' has Gloomius Maximus, a Space Pirate determined the stop everyone from having fun, [[spoiler:at least until his HeelFaceTurn.]]
* An entire skit of ''WesternAnimation/TheMrMenShow'' was devoted to this trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/LavenderCastle'' featured Short Fred Ledd, whose ship travelled on aether streams through space, which, given how much of the art design came from Creator/RodneyMatthews, unsurprisingly comes from his painting [[https://w-dog.net/wallpapers/1/88/328967406221746/rodney-matthews-the-ether-stream-river-travel-worlds-ship-world-star.jpg The Ether Stream]]. Fred even has an annoying robot parrot.
* The 2006 ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'' episode "Swimming with Sharks" had the Biker Mice deal with a group of Martian mouse space pirates led by [[EvilUncle Vinnie's maternal aunt Mago]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The ClosestThingWeGot in real life is the unauthorized use of communication satellites. Some of them are simple radio repeaters without complicated authentication mechanisms. One of those incidents happened in 2007 when Tamil rebels pirated an Intelsat satellite to transmit their radio and TV propaganda broadcasts[[http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/659ab77e-c276-11e4-ad89-00144feab7de.html]].
** Or, in other words: [[{{Pun}} Space Pirate]] [[BuccaneerBroadcaster Radio]]. One that [[MultipleReferencePun actually hijacks vessels]].