Greetings, Earth Human, we have traveled millions of light years to explore new planets... and now, we seek to explore Uranus
Couldn't we, at least, abduct their political and religious leaders, instead of just any idiot in a pickup truck? Alien 2:
I'm sure the Great Leader has his reasons. Alien 1:
sure the Great Leader is just some sort of twisted ASS FREAK!
More often than not, humans taken on board a spaceship against their will are subjected to grueling tests and experiments by their Strange Captors
for intended purposes ranging from studying foreign biology, researching the prospects of interbreeding
, and monitoring for long periods of time via tracking chip implants.
Fortunately for the abductors, all three of those things can be achieved through a single method which involves inserting vaguely described alien technological instruments into the rectal cavity of the victim
. If the audience learns anything
about the probing tech itself, it's usually never much more than just what it looks like, which is typically either an insanely large torture device with pincers and needles and spinning blades mounted on a rotating head or a dildo
Naturally, the trope can be used to great effect to either showcase the sheer horror of or, more frequently, use Vulgar Humor
to explore the total absurdity of the nature of Alien Abductions
; it can also be a novel way of fitting jokes about gay sex
(abductees depicted as being subjected to this are much more frequently male) and rape
into a story or work.
Anal Probing is a Dead Unicorn Trope
. This trope is rarely, if ever, taken seriously in fiction, and even when it's supposed to be seen as something truly horrible and undesirable, there's usually enough room to interpret the trope's use as Comedic Sociopathy
. Real Life
UFO abduction communities, which would seem like the most likely place to hear straight-forward examples, don't even discuss probing as something that exclusively involves the rectal cavity (if they do at all).
The Science Fiction
equivalent to a cavity search.
Be on the lookout as well for puns
about space programs launching probes to Uranus
See Also: Ass Shove
, Vulgar Humor
; Half-Human Hybrid
and Mars Needs Women
which are both popular motivations for one kind of alien probing or another. This trope is practically synonymous with The Greys
and is often evident whenever Aliens Are Bastards
, especially if the probing doesn't appear to have any real significance apart from torturing the abductee.
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- There's an old joke where a group of aliens is having a conference about Earth. The keynote speaker gets up and informs the gathered scientists that, "We have now been performing our rectal probe study on the inhabitants of Sol 3 for 60 of their years. So far, the only information we have reliably obtained is that one in six likes it."
- Pierre from the 2000 AD strip Bec & Kawl was abducted in the prologue to "Attack Of The Cones." Explaining his experience, "Whatever their desseines impenetrable, the temple of my body was violated," showing one panel with two Greys producing increasingly larger probing apparatuses with diagrams instructing to insert them in Pierre's anus.
- Lampshaded in Maxwell Strangewell, where the Moon Man complains to a Martian, "All you Martians care about is probing people up the bum and slaughtering cattle!" The Martian's response: "Hey, it's a living."
- The Gagwallers from the "Spacehack" strip in Knights of the Dinner Table:
Captain Queaze: After all these experiments... over all these centuries, what have you learned?
Gagwaller 1: We have learned... that most of... them don't like the... probing.
Gagwaller 2: Well... most... of them.
- In Squee, when the wheelchair-bound aliens try to abduct Squee for a second time, one of the two aliens goes to his parents' room and subjects Mr. Casil to this.
- The Black Hands 2011 Special ends with the Black Hands characters being anally probed by aliens after Weird Pete decides to combine his Cattlepunk campaign with Scream of Kachoolu.
- Almost happened to Hellboy the time he was abducted by aliens. He decided he didn't like the idea and proceeded to kick all their asses.
- The trope is played horrifyingly straight in Saucer Country. As part of the abduction of the lead and her ex-husband, both are probed by aliens. Their reactions make it very clear that there was nothing funny about it.
- Aliens do this to Cherry during The X-Files parody in Cherry Comics. Cherry, naturally, enthusiastically enjoys it.
- The following exchange takes place between Paul and the alien Varx in the Prologue of With Strings Attached when Varx is trying to convince Paul to go on a “great adventure”:
Paul: Is this one of those alien abductions where you're gonna probe me, then?
Varx (snorting): Gods, you Eartians are masochists. Believe me, if we really wanted that info, which we don't, we could do a deep scan right from our own universe and you'd never know it happened.
- In Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space by Odon, the Martian TuMok explains this was due to a biological misunderstanding. It was supposed to be a Mind Probe but "we assumed from human behavior that your brains were located in your behinds."
- In the Nightside series a Grey is seen lying in the gutter with a "Will probe for food" sign.
- Communion by Whitley Strieber, the allegedly true story of the author's experience of a UFO abduction helped establish this trope and has inspired just about every joke about rectal probes, much to Strieber's dismay, ever since. It's probably the closest thing to a straight example of this trope one can find. Even the Film of the Book, starring Christopher Walken as Strieber, made light of the probing with Walken's character trying to reason, "Can we talk this over? It looks like you're going to sing 'White Christmas'..."
- Christopher Buckley's novel Little Green Men reveals alien abductions to be the work of a Government Conspiracy to manufacture evidence of alien activity. Rectal probing wasn't actually their doing but rather something that the abductees seemed to have demanded.
- "Angel Down, Sussex", a Diogenes Club story by Kim Newman, features alien visitors whose appearance and actions vary depending on the expectations of the people they encounter. That one of the characters gets his rectal cavity probed really says more about him than about the aliens.
- Earth (The Book) mentions Anal Probing in the Foreword as one thing humans who believe aliens have already visited Earth think extra-terrestrials came here to perform. It then refers to the anus as "the orifice least likely to yield useful pedagogical results." Mykonos, Greece is described as the one place that would have been the most receptive to Anal Probing.
- A pastime of the titular Ass Goblins Of Auschwitz. No reason is given why they do it; it's just apparently something that they do.
- Robert J. Sawyer’s Calculating God has a Genre Savvy alien invoke this during first contact:
: Of course, if you want, i could give you an anal probe... Sorry—just kidding. (...) Honestly, I will not hurt you—or your cattle
Live Action TV
- 3rd Rock from the Sun:
- One episode began with the main characters watching an episode of The X-Files on television, groaning over how laughably inaccurate the show is. One scene, described by Tom as an alien inserting a probe through someone's ear, is met with the derisive comment from Dick, "Everyone knows the proper place to insert an alien probe is the butt!"
- In another episode, Dick is captured by an insane alien hunter who accuses aliens like him of "probing the butt of the poor American farmer". Dick initially denies this, but after being pressed, he mentions a farmer near Akron "...but he was ASKING FOR IT!"
- Dr. Albright's brother Roy claims that this happened to him.
- In the episode "Tall Tales" in which the Trickster forges LOTS of strange happenings in a college town, one of them involves a guy who's been abducted by "aliens." The victim's experience involved being repeatedly probed (a total of eight times according to the dialogue). This ordeal apparently paled in comparison to being forced to slow-dance with one of the aliens to "Lady in Red."
- In the sixth season episode "Clap Your Hands If You Believe", when Dean informs Sam that he is fleeing from a pursuing UFO, Sam pronounces this a Close Encounter of the Third Kind and suggests that Dean keep running as he has "heard the Fourth Kind is a butt thing". Dean reminds him that he's supposed to be feigning empathy.
- An episode of House featured a young boy who believed he'd been abducted by aliens, and he had the bleeding anus to prove it. This obviously led the team to believe he'd been sexually abused, which (predictably for House) turned out not to be true.
- The Kids in the Hall have a sketch about aliens (quoted and pictured at the top of this page) that hangs a lampshade on this trope. After doing this for over fifty years, one alien argues that they haven't learned anything from probing, except that one out of every ten "doesn't seem to mind". He wonders if his Great Leader is just some kind of seriously disturbed guy.
- Referenced and Played With often on The X-Files. In "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space,'" for instance, it's Agent Scully's opinion that a young couple whom Mulder believes were abducted by aliens were only engaging in sexual activity before they're old enough to handle it. Mulder, not seeing how this could discredit the girl's interpretation of events as revealed under hypnosis (which resembles the typical Alien Abduction story), asks his partner, "So what if they had sex?" to which Scully responds, "So we know it wasn't an alien that probed her."
- When Alien Abductions were covered on Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, they covered a sex toy with silver spray paint to show people who claim to have been abducted. Upon seeing the sex toy, many claimed they were probed with a similar device. They made a game out of this where they paused the tape before one female abductee disclosed where in her body the aliens had inserted a probe and encouraged viewers at home to guess what part of the body it was. The correct answer was the abductee's nose.
- Discussed in the seventh episode of Volume One on Heroes, when Lyle discovers Claire's ability to heal herself after stumbling upon a tape that she and her friend Zach made to demonstrate her ability, this forces Claire and Zach to chase after him to retrieve the tape. A freaked out Lyle questions if they're both actually aliens to which Zach responds, "Yeah, and we're gonna anal probe you."
- A segment on The Colbert Report about an "Alien Hunter," Derrel Simms, sees Mr. Simms recount a story about him being probed by aliens in his youth. After describing the alien probe in very phallic terms, Colbert interrupts him in a voice over just before Simms was about to say where the probe was "jammed very painfully," exclaiming, "Okay, that's enough; I think we all know where the probe goes." Simms then reveals that it went into his nasal passage.
- Invoked in The Finder, episode "Little Green Men". The lead character disappears for a couple of days while researching alleged alien activities, and one of the first questions when the Finder turns up back at his home is "Was there anal probing?"
- Referenced a couple of times in the Psych episode "Not Even Close...Encounters". At one point, as they are fleeing in terror from a UFO, Shawn yells to Gus," I don't wanna get probed, Gus!"
- The quasi-improv theater group Sound and Fury used this trope in "Cyranose," while Cyranose is trying to distract De Guiche by pretending to be a lunatic:
Cyranose: They probed me-
De Guiche: Eeew!
Cyranose: For information.
De Guiche: Oh.
Cyranose: Anally. A few times. (beat) It's an acquired taste.
- The second act of In The Next Room, or the Vibrator Play introduces the Chatanooga anal vibrator.
- This is Cartman's mode in Sega's South Park pinball.
- Fallout 3 downloadable quest package "Mothership Zeta" sees the Lone Wanderer abducted on board a spaceship and probed.
- The Sims 2. The (actually light green) Greys have pollination technicians, who abduct, probe and impregnate Sim men.
- Destroy All Humans!. In the first game, the anal probe is a Charged Attack that can make the victim's head explode. It returns in the second game without the need for charging, though it now requires ammo. Alternatively, it could be employed in a less-than-lethal manner without charging it, which would simply cause the humans to run about in a panic as their bowels are violently and involuntarily evacuated.
- The Simpsons Game features this exchange between two of Kang and Kodos' mooks during the Alien Invasion level:
Alien 1: This human has tiny pieces of paper which gives him big, big savings. We must study him!
Alien 2: Study him with Anal Probing?
Alien 1: Of course with Anal Probing! What else would we do?! Talk to him?!
- Mass Effect:
- Referenced in Mass Effect 2 - you can probe the planet Uranus, and EDI is not amused when you do. The planet is even considered 'depleted' (...of minerals, although there are a few small pockets of resources to mine) on the scanner to logically discourage you to scan it aside from Just For Laughs.
EDI: Really, Commander?
EDI: Probing Uranus.
- In Mass Effect 3, Joker says he suspects Mordin planted a probe in his elbow. Shepard tells him to be glad it's just his elbow that got probed.
- In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness human Jennifer asks Laharl and co. if the demons (who basically are aliens in the Disgaea universe) anal probed them. It's a Subversion because Laharl and Etna are young demons and no demon in the series are interested in probing either them or Jennifer.
- In Super Scribblenauts, creating an alien and a probe will result in the alien making a '?' bubble and going to pick up the probe. The probe doesn't do anything.
- Saints Row IV features an alien anal probe as a weapon to be wielded by the player. The player can approach a target from behind and thrust the weapon between the victim's legs, before pulling a trigger which launches the victim into the air.
- In South Park: The Stick of Truth, the New Kid gets abducted on the first night in South Park and winds up getting probed, but his ass muscles are so powerful that he winds up breaking all the probes they pull out. The last one sucks itself further up his ass and then becomes a satellite dish that you can use as a short-ranged teleporter to alien receivers all over the town.
- South Park:
- Eric Cartman was probed by The Greys in the Pilot episode, appropriately titled "Cartman Gets An Anal Probe".
- It was later revealed in "Earth is Canceled" that Earth is actually an alien reality show, and that the device up Cartman's ass (and presumably others) is tasked with the TV transmission.
- The Simpsons:
- The Halloween Episode short "Citizen Kang" from "Treehouse Of Horror VII" saw Homer abducted by Kang and Kodos. Homer's reaction to this is to say, "I suppose you want to probe me. Well, you might as well get it over with," and immediately drop his pants and moon his alien captors. Kang and Kodos respond to this with horror, begging, "Stop! We have reached the limits of what rectal probing can teach us!"
- In another episode, whilst searching an Air Force base for Sideshow Bob, an airman opens the door to Hangar 18 before quickly closing it again after seeing a Grey with a glowstick. The airman proclaims, "Watch out! He's got his probe!"
- When Homer and Flanders marry floozies in Vegas, Homer decides they should tell their wives they were abducted by aliens, who "gang-probed" Ned.
Ned: Do we really have to tell them I was "gang probed"?
Homer: Would you rather tell them the truth?
Ned: [Sigh] What do the aliens look like?
Homer: Well, I only saw them from the back 'cause they were so busy gang probing you!
- In "The Springfield Files", Homer tells a story how he met an alien on Friday night. He says they sat him on a cold, metal table and prodded him with humiliating probes. However, he confused it with his physical at the hospital.
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Phil Ken Sebben mistakenly believes The Jetsons are Greys—not time travelers—and that they're out to give him an anal probe. "Ha HA! Third Kind."
- Life's A Zoo. When Ray believes he's been abducted by aliens he thought it was awesome, until he figured that: Alien Abduction = Anal Probe.
- In Futurama, Fry is abducted by a flying saucer whose vanity plate reads "PROBE #1."
- Robot Chicken:
- Inverted. A group of flannel-wearing, toothless rednecks in a pickup truck abduct an alien on his home planet. Then later, in a simultaneous parody of this trope and Deliverance, the hicks gleefully surround the alien, bent over and tied to a tree stump, and bluntly announce how they're going to perform "scientific experiments deep inside Uranus".
Now SQUEAL like a pig!
- Another episode had it to where Aliens were wondering how the story of them doing that got started.
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force indirectly offered an interesting theory as to why aliens anally probe. While dealing with a Puppeteer Parasite alien that was controlling Shake, Frylock said he probably recycles his waste (he didn't). Therefore, one reason for anal probing may be that aliens lack anuses and are curious as to their purpose.
- Subverted in The Tick: when the Tick is abducted, he is enthusiastic about being probed to expand interstellar knowledge, but it turns out the aliens actually want him to help defeat their enemies. The thought of probing him never crossed their minds.
- In a Family Guy Cutaway Gag, Quagmire has been abducted by aliens and is inquiring about anal probing. They reply that they don't do it anymore. After a short pause, he asks if they still have the device.
- In American Dad!, Roger's alien race can acquire a person's memories through probing.
- In the The Venture Bros. episode Tears of a Sea Cow, Hank and Dermott mistake the Monarch's cocoon for a UFO and his henchmen for aliens. Dermott shoves a lighter up his butt so that if the aliens try to probe him, they'll get a "face full of fire."
- In one episdoe of Code Monkeys Todd and Dean get abducted by aliens. Probes are inserted and a meter shows how far up their butts the probes are.
You know, this isn't a bad trope these kids have here. Statler:
Well, I think it's a real pain in the ass! Both: