Well, it's not a meteor...
Something mysterious falls to the earth
Maybe a blessing, maybe a curse...
An object thought to be a meteorite will come crashing down to earth leaving a large crater, usually in the middle of nowhere, but farms are a popular target as well. The event will be noticed by someone (even in the middle of nowhere) who will be the first on scene to investigate (bonus points if it's a farmer with a shotgun).
What they find at the site will, 8 cases out of 10, be alien
, and can range from fully grown adults, sometimes near death
, to easily irritated hostile
lifeforms, or just a baby. Other findings may include advanced
alien tech, capsules holding something bad
, or an actual meteorite with unearthly properties
There's also a second type to this trope, where the impact happened a long time ago and the site was only recently discovered and excavated. Afterward, everything plays out the same.
Also see Magic Meteor
, Thunderbolt Iron
and Imported Alien Phlebotinum
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Anime And Manga
- Dragon Ball: The origin story of Goku, found and adopted, and in Dragon Ball Z, how Raditz arrives on earth, complete with farmer and a shotgun.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has the second type: there was a delay of over a billion years between the crash and when Adam & Lilith were discovered and excavated since Lilith had to create terrestrial life first.
- One Piece has a unique one at the start of the Skypiea arc, a huge Galleon comes crashing down from the sky right next to the Strawhat crew nearly capsizing their ship, once they recover they immediately start investigating the wreckage and find items setting them up for their next adventure.
- Also in the third movie, the animals in the titular island believe that Chopper was their king when he seemingly came flying down from the sky. The truth was that he was simply flung off Going Merry when the ship went flying and landed in front of the animals.
- And in the G8 filler, after leaving Skypiea the Straw Hats land in a heavily guarded Marine base. When Zoro was captured and being interrogated how they managed to sneak into the base, he told them they came from the sky.
- Superman: According to his origin story, this is how he was adopted by the Kent family.
- One of Supergirl's origin stories, "The Supergirl from Krypton", had her found by Batman and Superman
- In Superman Unchained, Wraith ended up on Earth this way. Unlike Superman, however, he ended up landing at a military installation and sent for a purpose he appears to have known, thus leading to very different development.
- Green Lantern: Hal Jordan got taken to the site where he was given the Ring by a dying Abin Sur.
- When Marvel Comics wanted to bring Jean Grey back from the dead, they had hibernating in a cocoon at the Jamaica Bay crash site where Phoenix emerged.
- Creature Tech opens with a giant space eel crashing in Gold Rush-era Turlock, California. There are no survivors, not even the eel. Several generations later, the remains of the space eel become important.
Film - Animated
- Castle in the Sky starts with an unconscious Sheeta slowly descending from the sky to be caught by Pazu. Later Muska shows Sheeta a Laputian robot that came crashing down on farm.
- Lilo & Stitch: Lilo and Nani see something crash near their house. Nani doesn't seem to care but Lilo thinks it's a shooting star and makes a wish for a friend, "Maybe an angel, the nicest angel you have." Cut to a decidedly non-angelic Experiment 626 emerging from the wreckage.
- Megamind and Metro Man both crashed to Earth. The latter lands at the doorstep of a rich family, the former in a prison yard.
- Monsters vs. Aliens: A young couple on a date see the giant robot land from their car and the girl drags her reluctant date to go see it.
- Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Supergirl lands in Gotham harbor. Adapted from "The Supergirl from Krypton" Comic.
- The Iron Giant: The Giant is first seen by a fisherman lost in a storm. He first sees something fall from the sky, then runs into the Giant thinking its glowing eyes are the lighthouse.
- The Mask of Life, housing protagonist Mata Nui's soul in BIONICLE — The Legend Reborn, crashes this way on the desert planet Bara Magna. In earlier media, background info was relayed through a sort of tribal play, in which special stones representing Mata Nui, Makuta and the Toa were shown falling out of the sky.
Film - Live Action
- Lampshaded in Back to the Future: after crashing the time machine into a barn, Marty emerges to find himself face to face with a farmer with a shotgun, and the farmer's son holding a comic book depicting a crashed alien ship and a figure wearing a space suit startlingly similar to Marty's.
- Creepshow segment "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill'' starts with a meteor falling from the sky near the title character. Jordy (played by Stephen King) pours water on it, causing it to crack open, and things go downhill from there.
- Evolution was the plot set up as a meteor crashed to Earth and the bacteria inside of it evolved rapidly into alien life forms to live on Earth.
- The origin story of Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise has it crashing to Earth in a meteorite.
- Independence Day: Area 51 conceals a repaired attacker and three alien bodies recovered from Roswell in 1947. A fresh one also gets shot down.
- It Came from Outer Space begins with a meteor-like object crashing near a small town. A local scientist named John Putman and his girlfriend investigate, thinking it's a UFO.
- Jason X ends with Jasons' burning remains re-entering the atmosphere and landing in the lake, but not before being mistaken for a falling star by a couple who decide to go have closer look.
- Men In Black had "The Bug" and The Animated Series had lots of background stories.
- Slither, which was an affectionate parody of a bunch of monster movies, had the nasty arrive from space via crashing to earth.
- Star Kid: A shy seventh-grader's life changes when a meteor falls into a junkyard near him. Inside it he finds a "Cybersuit", an exo-suit with AI from another galaxy.
- The Empire Strikes Back: Imperial probe droids do this. One lands on Hoth and was mistaken for a meteorite. Luke had intended to investigate the crash site, but was attacked by a wampa, a yeti-like predator.
- The Transformers Film Series uses this to explain how they get to Earth.
- Also has the second type where Megatron is discovered frozen a good while after he got here.
- The Blob, An old man pokes it with a stick.
- Various adaptations of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds start this way.
- Similarly in the Planet of the Apes remake movie, where it's the human ship at the bottom of the crater.
- Thor's hammer in the live-action film of Thor.
- The Deadly Spawn's opening shot is of the meteorite full of aliens crashing somewhere in the woods.
- Predator starts with the title character's ship landing in South America.
- The beginning of The Thing (1982) is of the spaceship containing the Thing crash-landing in Antarctica.
- Attack the Block has the alien crash onto a car on Guy Fawkes's day, meaning people assume it to be a firework.
- A deleted scene from the first Hellboy movie has the villains finding a mysterious stone altar that they need in their ritual at the climax of the movie. The stone's origin, we're told, is that it fell out of the sky, carvings and all, causing The Tunguska Event.
- HP Lovecraft's short story The Colour Out of Space. In the Back Story, a meteor fell on the farm of Nahum Gardner. Although not the trope maker, it's probably the first story to use a meteorite, rather than a constructed spaceship.
- H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds starts this way, with the Martians' cylinders falling to Earth after being launched from some giant cannon back on their own world.
- Stardust: Due to an accident elsewhere in the story, a star gets knocked out of the sky. A young man, Tristran, who wants nothing more than to win the heart of his beloved Victoria grandly declares that he'd even give her the star that just fell, and she challenges him to do just that in return for anything he wants from her. The fallen star turns out to be a girl named Yvaine.
- In The Andromeda Strain, a plague carrying meteor crashes into a satellite, knocking it from orbit, a recovery team is dispatched to retrieve it; during a live radio communication the team members suddenly die. Aerial surveillance reveals that everyone in the town closest to where the satellite landed, is apparently dead. This has also been adapted to film twice.
- Calcifer of Howl's Moving Castle fame is a falling star. In another novel by Diana Wynne Jones, Dogsbody, the protagonist used to be the god who inhabited the star Sirius, and he's been sent to Earth to find and recover a mysterious powerful object called a "Zoi" which fell onto the planet and will probably resemble a meteorite.
- The Orb of Aldur and the Sardion both fell from the sky in The Belgariad as well as the Thunderbolt Iron used to make Garion's sword. Beldin complains about this tendency in The Malloreon; "Why does everything fall out of the sky? Why can't something rise up out of the earth for a change?"
Live Action TV
- Roswell TV series: The main characters are alien survivors of the Roswell UFO crash, who were adopted and raised by human families.
- Gilligan's Island episode "Meet the Meteor": A radioactive meteor falls onto the island.
- Happens very often in the Ultra Series franchise.
- "It Came Out of the Sky" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The central joke of the song is that we never actually find out what it is, although many suggestions are made.
Oh, it came out of the sky, landed just a little south of Moline.
Jody fell out of his tractor, couldn't b'lieve what he seen.
Laid on the ground and shook fearin' for his life.
Then he ran all the way to town screamin' it came out of the sky.
- "Look to the Skies" by Creature Feature. If you listen closely, it's a song about Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
- Champions supplement "The Circle and M.E.T.E.": A park ranger in Yellowstone National Park finds a large brownish blob in a 10-yard-wide charred circle of earth, presumably where the blob fell to earth.
- Shounen Kininden Tsumuji begins with the Big Bad seeing a meteorite from the sky crashing into the ground and as soon he goes near it, it immediately enters his body and gives him demonic powers.
- Earthbound: The game starts off with a meteorite crashing near Ness' house.
- King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride: Cheese mysteriously falls from the sky, leading to people getting hysterical because "The moon is falling!".
- Mushroom Men: The story begins when a comet crashes to the Earth, raining down a strange green dust in its wake. Scientists say the space dust is harmless to humans, but they failed to notice that flora,fauna and fungi including mushrooms, cacti, and kudzu gained sentience. A battle of not-so-epic proportions ensued.
- The Wii remake of A Boy and His Blob starts with what looks like a meteorite crashing near the boys' tree-house, he then heads to the landing site where he meets his Blob.
- Tales of Eternia starts off with Reid and Farah nearly getting hit by a crashing UFO. Farah wants to go see what nearly killed them. This leads to them finding Meredy, which kicks off the plot.
- Final Fantasy V begins with meteors crashing, and the wind stopping. These two events share a common cause.
- Halfway through Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, you learn that an object known as The Dark Star landed in the Mushroom Kingdom some time in the past and was incarcerated to prevent it causing damage. Naturally, it goes free later on in the game and ends up merging with Fawful to form the Final Boss.
- The Spore adventure titled "It Came From The Sky", which features a alien spaceship crash-landing near a research facility on an icy planet. The alien that was aboard said ship had, unknowingly, infected the entire base with a strange, mutagenic disease.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Oocco and her son come from the City in the Sky, the last dungeon level before Hyrule Castle. She fell off, and eventually gave up hope of getting back to the sky until she met Link.
- A random encounter in Dragon Age: Origins has the party arrive at the site of a meteorite strike where two farmers have found a baby and decide to adopt it. The party itself finds a piece of metal that can be turned into the best melee weapon in the original campaign.
- In Chrono Trigger, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs turns out to be the worlds-consuming alien Lavos.
- In the Gaia Online Facebook game Monster Galaxy, the player discovers their first monster when what appears to be a meteorite crashes outside of their home.
- The entire plot of MARDEK: Chapter One is Mardek and Deugan as kids trying to find a star that fell out of the sky into the nearby Canonia Woods. It turns out to be Rohoph's crashed galloper.
- The Alien Death Slug from The Visitor climbs out of a meteorite at the start of each game
- Though it was never shown, this is how Owen is stated to have arrived in Project0. Also the reason the kids decide to build a flying machine to get him home.
- Homestuck: All of the Kids, their Guardians, and Bec came down in meteorites sent through Skaian portals during the Reckoning. This happens to every session. Additionally, a lot of mysterious buildings are seeded by the Reckoning, such as the Skaianet Lab near Rose's home or the Exile bases.
- The webcomic Makeshift Miracle begins with a mysterious girl meteorically crashing down next to the protagonist.
- Hexenringe begins with a meteor crashing into the Earth while the main character is more concerned with Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Book 3, Episode 4: "Sokka's Master", Sokka makes himself a sword from a meteorite that fell at the beginning of the episode.
- This is how Ben Tennyson from the Ben10 series first got the Omnitrix.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Episode 37, "Venom Returns", in an homage to The Blob. Some guy even pokes it with a stick.
- Super Friends episode "Menace of the White Dwarf": In the Back Story, a meteor fell next to the house of hillbilly Paul Martingale. It turns out to be a piece of kryptonite, carrying spores of Kyrptonian mushrooms that can cancel out the gravity of a white dwarf star fragment. Yes, really.
- The New Adventures of Superman episode "The Iron Eater". A meteor falls outside of Metropolis. After it hits the ground, it breaks open and reveals the title monster.
- Katie And Orbie is about a little pink alien who crash-landed in Suburbia, was found by a little girl named Katie, and taken in by her family.
- In each Transformers installment, they come to Earth in various ways.
- For example, in ''Animated, this is how Sumdac found Megatron. His head, anyway.