[[quoteright:320:[[Film/EarthVsTheFlyingSaucers http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/saucers-over-irs_765.jpg]]]]

So, you've got your villain, and his evil army. You've assured they're [[MoralEventHorizon evil]], but you're not sure whether the audience finds him [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain threatening]]. Or, you're trying to reverse years of VillainDecay. One way or another, you need to give your baddie some serious villain cred. So what do you do?

Invade UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC, of course!

It seems that every villain, whether they be [[VideoGame/ModernWarfare2 Russkies with a grudge]] or [[ComicBook/AmazonsAttack a nutty supervillainess]], has their crosshairs aimed firmly at the center of American political power. While this is often justified, just as often (or possibly more often) the villain has no reason to attack Washington more than [[BigApplesauce any]] [[TokyoFireball other]] [[BritainIsOnlyLondon city]], and may often be setting his evil plan back a step by attempting to kill off the only people who can surrender to him.

This is a SubTrope of CreatorProvincialism and InvadedStatesOfAmerica. Related to MonumentalDamage. See also the trope image for DirtyCommunists. Contrast with AliensInCardiff.

In RealLife DC traffic is so bad that any invasion would be quickly stalled by the circles and roundabouts, which was their original intended purpose. Also note that no such fictional invasion ever took place under the term of [[MemeticBadass Theodore Roosevelt]]. Coincidence? ''We think not!''


* Not exactly aliens, but in ''Anime/AuraBattlerDunbine'' Drake Luft, the expansionist BigBad from Byston Well, the fantasy world with unicorns, fairies and [[HumongousMecha giant robots]], sets base in Washington as one of his first actions upon arriving at our Upper Earth, holding the entire United States as his hostage.
* In ''[[Manga/GetterRobo Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo]]'', Texas Mack's introductory fight is set in [[EagleLand his homeland's]] capital, defending [[MonumentalDamage the White House, what was left of the Washington Monument and all the other well-known landmarks]].


* ''ComicBook/AmazonsAttack'' primarily took place in DC, although the Amazons invaded other parts of the US as well.
* ''ComicBook/{{Supreme}}'': Prior to his escape, Korgo the Space Tyrant appeared in front of TheWhiteHouse, challenged UsefulNotes/BillClinton for a duel (aghast at the poor combat capabilities of "William Clint's Son" compared to those of his father, the High Plains Drifter), defeated him and [[KlingonPromotion declared himself next president of USA]] and Hillary Clinton his wife. Don't worry, Hillary scared him off.
* The climax of ''ComicBook/SupermanRedSon'' has Franchise/{{Superman}} lead the invasion into Washington personally.
* ''Comicbook/CaptainCarrotAndHisAmazingZooCrew'' saw Waspington, DC (Washington's Earth-C counterpart) attacked on several occasions by villains.
* In the sequel to ''ComicBook/FreddyVsJasonVsAsh'', the US government gives us possibly the most suicidal example of the "we can exploit this dangerous creature's powers" trope in all fiction - resurrecting Freddy and Jason. The result? Freddy declares himself PresidentEvil, with a Deadite army (that they'd ''also'' had on hand) led by Jason storming Washington.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Like its canon namesake, ''Fanfic/TiberiumWars'' features a Nod invasion of GDI-held DC, centered around the (unsuccessful) attack on the Pentagon. Unlike in canon, the fic stretches this into a fifteen-chapter epic involving massive-scale urban warfare, thousands of tanks, and super-commandos on each side -- including ''Renegade'''s Havoc.
** Of course, "super-commando" fails to measure up to Havoc's level of awesome when he [[spoiler: ''retakes the occupied White House'' with nothing but a few GDI soldiers he picked up in the chaos and a couple of stolen Nod vehicles. [[StuffBlowingUp And a large quantity of explosives.]]]]
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', [=ProtoMan=] plans this in episode 9, but it doesn't happen due to Wily's interference. Wily then steals his idea to use in episode 11.
* ''Fanfic/CorelineOperationEndgame'': The second act of the story follows the heroes as they try their best to stem a ''massive'' invasion of DC by CHIMERA (an epic VillainTeamUp army composed of groups like COBRA, SPECTRE, the Decepticons and the Legion Of Doom. Think the GreatOffscreenWar of ''ComicBook/OldManLogan''). Even with multiple reinforcements requested and several of the heroes being a veritable OneManArmy, the best they can do is HoldTheLine long enough for the President to be safely evacuated (and deny CHIMERA one of its biggest targets).
* In ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauTheOtherSideOfTheSpectrum'', [[LesCollaborateurs the PER]] working in collusion with the [[TheEmpire Solar Empire]] launched an all-out assault on Washington DC to take out the heads of America's military (as the USA was one of the few countries that hasn't been too seriously affected by the barrier and provides much of the backbone of earth's military response to the empire's xenocidal campaign). The end result has the American president take the NuclearOption.

* ''Film/EarthVsTheFlyingSaucers'': The final battle takes place in Washington D.C.
* Inverted in ''Film/{{The War Of The Worlds|1953}}'' (1953), where Washington is the only major capital not to be attacked by the Martians.
* The most famous scene in ''Film/IndependenceDay'' has the aliens destroying the White House, though they were simultaneously attacking many other cities as well.
* The original ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951'' starts with a spaceship landing on the National Mall. Not an invasion, but no one told the Army. [[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill2008 The remake]] moves the film to [[BigApplesauce New York]].
* ''Film/InvasionUSA1952'' has "[[HammerAndSickleRemovedForYourProtection The Enemy]]" raid D.C. near the end to try to decapitate the United States' leadership; they're driven back, but not before killing the Senator character in the film.
* In ''Film/MarsAttacks'', Washington DC suffers MonumentalDamage, including the classic "tipping the Monument over" gag. Hilariously, they filmed what appears to be an actual tenement whose front wall had been demolished in one of the less salubrious parts of town, making the residents appear to be living in a dollhouse when the invasion ends.
* DC is hit in ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'', and there are a few nods given to the last time a Transformers series showed the Decepticons attacking the capital of the USA
* The 2013 film ''Film/OlympusHasFallen'' features an invading terrorist force overthrowing the White House and kidnapping the president.

* Shows up in Creator/HarryTurtledove's AlternateHistory works a few times.
** In ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', Robert E. Lee captures Washington DC to effectively end the "Second American Revolution" (this timeline's American Civil War).
** In ''Literature/Timeline191'', Washington DC is surrounded and threatened by Confederates in the "War of Secession" (''this'' timeline's American Civil War), then shelled in the Second Mexican War in 1881, and shelled and captured ''again'' during the Great War. Unsurprisingly, the Union government has long since decamped to Philadelphia out of artillery range, and Washington is described as a cold city of monuments only kept in place to prove a point.
** The Race in ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' don't bother invading Washington DC--they just ''nuke'' it. This is considered a MoralEventHorizon for many who had previously collaborated with the Race (whose only other nuking to this point was an attack on Nazi Germany's capital Berlin). The Race themselves didn't see how it was any different. Propaganda films made much of a horror-inducing scene of the city turned to glass and panning to reveal the melted stub of the Washington Monument.
** The Nazis of ''In the Presence of Mine Enemies'' likewise nuke Washington DC during World War III, after the U.S. stayed neutral through World War II.
* Creator/DaveBarry's review of ''Film/IndependenceDay'' notes that the aliens' first mistake is attacking DC, as they seem to think attacking political centers will somehow make [[VastBureaucracy the government]] less effective. Similarly, millions of Americans take to the streets to celebrate that there are no more income taxes to pay.
* As in the RealLife UsefulNotes/WarOf1812, the British forces in ''[[Literature/TrailOfGlory The Rivers of War]]''[[note]]hardback title; the paperback was titled ''1812: The Rivers of War''[[/note]] attack Washington, DC in a punitive raid. However, in this AlternateHistory Sam Houston was present to help rally the troops to defend the Capitol Building, effectively turning the British attack from a major propaganda victory to petty arson when they settle for torching other buildings after being bloodied badly and driven away in their attempt to assault the Capitol Building.

* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2'' plays with this trope. The Russian invasion encompasses ''all'' of the East Coast states (starting with Northeastern Virginia), and Washington is only assaulted relatively late into the invasion, persumably after the Russians managed to break through the other states in their way. Fittingly, the final battle of it is you storming the White House. America winning it was the turning point in the invasion, but prior to it things so were bad the the military was going to level the entire city.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'':
** In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'', the first Soviet mission has you destroying the Pentagon. This contradicts the Allied (canon) side, where you actually have to defend and attack with a lot more than just basic grunts. Naturally, ''[=RA2=]'' was when the series started to get {{camp}}y and {{Troperiffic}}, so the triteness of the premise can be excused. The eighth Soviet mission involves attacking [[CivilWarcraft General Vladimir's base]] near and capturing the White House.
** Utterly bizarre version in the ''VideoGame/RedAlert3Paradox'' mod, where the ''Americans'' are invading the city, held by the Allied Nations.
** In a fairly early mission briefing for the first ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianDawn'''s NOD campaign, Kane's right-hand man sends your forces to Washington DC to attack the Pentagon, against Kane's wishes. He doesn't get enough time to regret this, and the attack is called off.
** In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars'', the first act of the Nod campaign is a multi-stage invasion of DC and the environs, with special attention paid to the White House and Langley AFB. The first act of the ''GDI'' campaign is kicking the aforesaid invasion back ''out'' of the city, starting with the Siege of the Pentagon.
* The first missions of ''Jungle Strike'' are set in Washington DC, and the bad guys send tanks and missile trucks to destroy the famous landmarks and invade the White House. [[ItsUpToYou You are the only person doing anything at all about it]].
* ''Creator/TomClancy'':
** VideoGame/{{HAWX}}'' features a PMC [[NGOSuperpower launching a multi-pronged attack on the USA]]. One of their main goals is to kidnap/kill the President, so of course, they invade Washington DC. Good thing the HAWX Squadron are there to repel them!
*** They actually do manage to blow up the White House, but the First Family was currently on Air Force One. Which Artemis quickly tries to shoot down, and whom the HAWX have to defend.
** In ''VideoGame/EndWar'', since it's the American capital, Washington DC can be invaded.
* ''VideoGame/TheConduit'' takes place almost entirely in Washington D.C. at the start of such an invasion. The sequel, ''VideoGame/{{Conduit 2}}'', has a level where you return to the city at the peak of the invasion.
* ''VideoGame/MetalWolfChaos'': In the first mission, [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent President Michael Wilson]] fights his way out of TheWhiteHouse and through a secret bunker to launch UsefulNotes/AirForceOne [[RuleOfCool through the Washington Monument's moon pool]] as [[EvilChancellor Vice President RICHAAARD! Hawk]] invades the city, though Washington D.C. is one of the last major cities Michael retakes.
* In the {{backstory}} of ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', Nemesis attacked Washington DC near the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, and even managed to stage a ceremony where he was sworn in as Emperor of the Americas before heroes drove him out.
* D.C. is one of the cities you can attack in ''VideoGame/CrushCrumbleAndChomp!''
* While the whole USA was pounded pretty hard in the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' universe, D.C. was deliberately invaded. And indeed still ''is'', the Wanderer can discover a ghoulified unit of Chinese soldiers still awaiting orders from home. And, of course, [[spoiler:the Enclave return en masse shortly after you find the Purifier.]] While you may have encountered the odd soldier or Eye-Bot, this is when you'll be ducking for cover.
* Pulling off one of these is the ultimate goal of the Confederate player in the ''VideoGame/CivilWarGenerals'' series.
* ''VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizon'' culminates in DC, where the BigBad tries to nuke the White House.
* The intro of ''VideoGame/ShatteredUnion'' shows DC suffering a terrorist nuclear attack.
** The (remains of) the city itself can be invaded, as it is held at the start of the campaign by the EU.
* An invasion of Washington is the best possible ending of ''VideoGame/PanzerGeneral''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the teaser for the episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' "The Siege of Starro" (part one) we see a the [[TakeOverTheWorld would-be conqueror]] Per Degaton and his army of robots attacking Washington. They are defeated by the ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica.
* Dr. Wily tries this in one episode of the [[WesternAnimation/MegaMan Ruby-Spears Megaman cartoon]].
* The WesternAnimation/DCUniverseAnimatedOriginalMovies film ''WesternAnimation/WonderWoman'' has [[BigBad Ares]] invading Washington DC with an army of monsters and [[spoiler: zombie Amazons]]. When the army can't beat them, an army of Amazons arrive to defend the city. Notable for coming out shortly after the controversial ''ComicBook/AmazonsAttack'', where the Amazons are the ones ''invading'' DC.
* The episode "Atlantis, Arise!" from ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers''. Featuring highlights such as the Autobots having to melt the masonry of the Washington Monument back together (somehow), and Megatron ripping the Abe Lincoln part of the Lincoln Memorial off the chair so that he can use the chair as a throne.
* Similarly, the episode "Arise, Serpentor, Arise" from ''GIJoe'', which featured Cobra seizing the capitol, and Serpentor using the Lincoln Memorial as a throne room. (He brought in a gold throne, and sat it in the statue of Lincoln's ''lap.'')

[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/WarOf1812. The British famously burned down the White House, the Capitol, and Treasury among other public buildings as part of the Chesapeake campaign. The overall campaign was a failure, however, due to the British failure to take Baltimore's Fort [=McHenry=] (later memorialized in song with [[EarWorm/NationalAnthems The Star Spangled Banner]].)
* In UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, the Confederacy ''wanted'' to do this, but the closest they got was [[GeneralFailure General Jubal Early]], whose army reached the outskirts of Washington before being repelled at the Battle of Fort Stevens, where UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln watched the fighting with his top-hat on and was famously told ''"Get down, you fool!"'' by [[YoungFutureFamousPeople future Supreme Court Justice]] Oliver Wendell Holmes, no less!