"Something mysterious falls to the earthAn 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.
Maybe a blessing, maybe a curse..."
Maybe a blessing, maybe a curse..."
— Creature Feature, "Look To The Skies"
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Anime & 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.
- In the Marineford arc, Luffy and the escaped Impel Down inmates suddenly appear at the war falling from the sky. This was due to their ship getting caught in a wave caused by Whitebeard's earthquake powers then the sea being frozen by Aokiji's ice power when they were on top of it. They had tried to slide the ship down, but the piece of ice they were on broke and sent them plummeting downward.
- According to his origin story, this is how he was adopted by the Kent family.
- 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.
- Red Son has a very simple premise: arriving with a few hours' difference means Kal-El lands in the Soviet Union, becoming the other Man of Steel.
- In Action Comics #252, Clark Kent found Kara Zor-El when he saw a rocket crashing down to Earth and flew to the landing site to investigate. Inside the rocket he found a teenager girl who was dressed like him and happened to be his cousin.
- Post-Crisis Kara's origin story, "The Supergirl from Krypton", had her found by Batman and Superman.
- In the Post-Flashpoint universe her space pod landed in Kansas, cut through the mantle and emerged in Siberia. When Kara left her pod, she was surrounded by a corporate-owned black cops team who wanted to capture her to examine her. They didn't count on their target being a super-powerful Kryptonian and Superman arriving at the site during the melee.
- Supergirl Being Super begins with Kara's space rocket crash-landing on Earth and being found.
- Young Love starts out with Kara reminiscing her arrival on Earth and her meeting with Superman.
- 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 her 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.
- Vandal Savage was once an ordinary caveman, the only one of his tribe who dared to approach the giant green rock that fell from the sky, sleeping next to it for warmth. The next day, he was immortal and super-intelligent.
- Last Child of Krypton: Details change between both versions, but a Kryptonian rocket crashed down on Antarctica, and Yui Ikari found it.
- Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Kal-El's ship crash-landed in Germany, killing the baby, and his remains were found and taken to STAR Labs for analysis. Eventually his DNA was used to fertilize the ova that would be Asuka.
Films — Animation
- 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. Not to mention the meteor at the very start that, beyond all probability, lands on the heroine-to-be.
- 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.
Films — 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 (1958), 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 (2001) remake movie, where it's the human ship at the bottom of the crater.
- Thor's hammer in the live-action film of Thor.
- Also shown after the credits of Iron Man 2.
- 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.
- The Gods Must Be Crazy: A careless pilot drops a glass Coke bottle out of his plane's window. It survives the landing and is found by a tribe of bushmen, who use it in their everyday tasks. Before long, the fact that there's only one causes dissension, and Xi is sent to drop it off the Earth.
- H.P. 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?"
- The Bible has a falling star poison a third of the planet in Revelations, as a sign of the Apocalypse.
- "Inca Roads" by Frank Zappa from One Size Fits All
Did a vehicle come from somewhere, out thereJust to land in the AndesTo find a place to park itself?Or was it something different?
- "It Came Out of the Sky" from Willy and the Poor Boys 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.
- "Zopilotes" by Mexican band Cafe Tacuba is about a group of the titular "Vultures" seeing a ball of metal and flames crash onto the desert. The vultures then approach it and are puzzled by the non-human looking beings among the wreckage.
- "Venus Ambassador" by Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears quotes this line almost word for word.
''Venus Ambassador's alright
From out of the sky to the capital of the state"
- 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.
- Warhammer 40K: How the Primarchs ended up on their adoptive planets, before being found by the locals.
- 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 Bartz and Lenna (exploring and finding out why the wind stopped, respectively) being discommoded by a nearby meteorite crash. When they investigate more closely, they find an amnesiac old man named Galuf who joins them. Three more meteorites crash throughout the story, each containing someone Galuf knows. The third has his granddaughter, who restores his memories of being from another planet entirely.
- 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.
- The Eaters from Chimera Beast enter the planet via meteorites crashing into the sea. They start out microscopic, but they begin to grow over time, including the player's Eater...
- Golden Sun: The town of Lalivero holds Sheba to be their sacred child, because she fell from the sky without harm. The second game features a ginormous crater, which we're told used to contain the city of Anemos before it lifted off into the sky to become the moon. Hmmm...
- 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.
- 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 (1958). 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 the backyard of 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.
- Wanda and the Alien: As depicted in the credits, Wanda finds Alien's spacecraft after it crash-lands near by their rabbit hole.
- This was shockingly common throughout most of the cold war, starting at first with downed spy plane pilot Gary Powers. Yuri Gagarin wasn't much better, he parachuted into a farm independently of his space craft. A few of the early Venera craft failed and reentered and landed in both America and the Soviet Union. The probes were meant to operate on Venus and survived reentry, much to the shock of locals.