"I feel like Han Solo, you're Chewie, she's Ben Kenobi, and we're all in that fucked-up bar!"What better way to establish your sci-fi setting than to show a bar full of strange alien species? Bars, night clubs and cantinas are known for their varied clientele and as a gathering of diversity in itself. This is also an opportunity to show some more Starfish Aliens and other non-humanoids as background characters, taking advantage of the fact that they most likely will be seated (making things easier for the effects crew). If it has waiters they might be Green Skinned Space Babes or a Multi-Armed Multitasking alien, or both. Also expect an alien band playing music. Also used in fantasy settings, normally with mythological creatures. It could be used to show cases of Fantastic Racism when a character is denied service because of its species. It is also very commonly a Bad-Guy Bar, and it's not uncommon to have a Bar Brawl either. Compare Bazaar of the Bizarre and Inn Between the Worlds, other places of business often visited by strange creatures.
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Anime & Manga
- Space Dandy has "BooBies", which is basically Hooters IN SPACE! Apart of having the girls as the main eye candy, it's also a common place to reunite for most of alien species and even some of the waitresses are alien too.
- In Outlaw Star there're plenty of space bars, the first one seen in "Clyde's Bar", one frequently visited by Gene Starwind before he went to travel into space (usually with humans, but in the first chapter Gene had to fight a cyborg) and later there's "Blue Heaven", an asteroid which is a little city (plenty of bars, by the way) considered as a popular place for outlaws.
- A restaurant and fantasy version of this is Isekai Shokudou ("Restaurant to Another World"), in which an apparently normal restaurant appears all Saturdays in a fantasy world (via Portal Door) where their inhabitants can go to eat and drink, including Beast Men, Horned Humanoids, Physical Gods and other creatures like faeries, elves and so on.
- An issue of Star Wars: Darth Vader has a group of criminals planning a heist in a seedy bar full of aliens.
- The "Bar with No Doors" was a bar with no doors, where the magical inhabitants of Marvel's New York liked to hang out in some Doctor Strange runs. Why is this here? Well, for starters the owner/bartender was a floating head in a jar, and patrons ranged from mortal spell-casters to freaking Man-Thing when he was in the neighbourhood. Why the past tense? Because the assholes frequenting it managed to piss off Loki, who made the whole place disappear in retaliation.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Star Wars:
- A New Hope: The Chalmun Cantina in Mos Eisley is one of the best known examples. It shows a great variety of Starfish Aliens, some of them puppets or people in costumes. It also has a band of Grey aliens playing music.
- The infamous The Star Wars Holiday Special has a musical number there expanding a little on the clientele.
- In Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Obi-Wan pursue an attempted assassin into a bar in the lower levels of Coruscant. The clientele includes Twi-leks in the background and an alien who tries to sell Obi-Wan "death-sticks".
- In The Force Awakens, there is one of these on the planet Takodana, run by the orange alien Maz Kanata, whom Rey, Finn and Han Solo seek out for help. The scene might be a deliberate Call-Back to the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars: A New Hope.
- Dungeons & Dragons has a fantasy version. The bar is full of orcs, goblins, dwarves and what seem to be gargoyles...
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has another fantasy setting: a bar run by a goblin mobster played by Ron Perlman and full of both human and non-human clients.
- Star Trek: Kirk meets Uhura in one of this multi-species bars. He even starts hitting on her to the dismay of the alien in-between the two.
- Babylon 5, episode "Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi": Citizen G'Kar is captured by the Centauri in one of these.
- The famous Tucana Bar in Battlestar Galactica (1978) with Diana Ross as the alien Tucana Sisters with multiple mouths and eyes.
- Quark's in Deep Space Nine, owned by Jerkass with a Heart of Gold Quark and a very frequent scenario on the series. It even has a recurrent silent alien character named Morn based on Norm from Cheers.
- Willy's place is a demon bar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the owner Willy himself is human but his clientele is exclusively demonic (vampires, demons and the like).
- In Angel Lorne's bar is run by and for demons living in the human world. In Lorne's violence is forbidden and demons go there to relax and sing karaoke.
- Farscape has one of this in a commerce station near the Twin Suns of Qell run by an spider-walrus bartender.
- The second season of Supergirl introduces a bar where almost all of the customers are benevolent aliens who just want to live a peaceful life on Earth, but are under the threat of CADMUS, an organisation that wants to eliminate all aliens on Earth.
- In Rebel Galaxy you'll probably be meeting a lot of people, both humans and aliens, in bars on space stations. The first NPC you talk to is actually an alien who owns one of those bars.
- There's an early Windows adventure game called The Space Bar that's one of these. The premise is that you must travel within the memories of the patrons to solve a crime.
- Ben 10:
- In Ben 10: Alien Force during "The Con of Rath", Ben's Team drops by at a space station serving as an alien restaurant due to Rath being hungry.
- Ben 10: Omniverse retroactively reveals there is an Underground City beneath Bellwood called "Undertown" which is inhabited by the city's extraterrestrial community. It largely has shops and stalls run by aliens, although humans are welcome too.
- In the Rick and Morty episode "Meeseeks and Destroy", the eponymous duo visits a fantasy world with one of these, named "The Thirsty Step", built under one of the steps of the giants' Courthouse. It is visited by all sorts of weird fantasy creatures, including Mr. Jellybean.
- In an episode of Super Friends Superman and Wonder Woman travel to future Metropolis in the year 3000 finding an alien bar with a Multi-Armed Multitasking waitress and all. One of the aliens that they interrogate looks a lot like a Jawa.
- In the Justice League episode "Comfort and Joy", Green Lantern and Hawkgirl spend their holiday at a tavern on a distant planet. Hawkgirl soon decides to start a Bar Brawl just for fun.
- In the second part of the Samurai Jack series premiere, Jack unwittingly walks into a nightclub featuring exotic alien dancers, which is also patronized by alien criminals. Jack is forced to defend himself from a group of alien gangsters, who don't want any humans in their presence.
- In 3-2-1 Penguins!, the Comet Lounge serves as this, with its variety of Humanoid Aliens and Starfish Aliens, as well as its bartender, Sol.