Kay: At any given time, there are approximately 15,000 aliens on the planet, most of them right here in Manhattan. And most of them are decent enough. They're just trying to earn a living.
Jay: Cab drivers?
Not as many as you'd think.
Not all space aliens
in fiction are evil invaders
who terrorize our fair planet with their high-tech war machines
, and demand to be taken to our leader
. Some of them are in fact quite nice. They're not looking for any trouble, and all they want is to be left alone, make a friend, or just get by in our strange and unfamiliar Earth culture.
The Innocent Aliens
are like this. They've just arrived at our planet (though in some, rarer cases, we go to theirs, instead) and are total babes in the woods, displaying a very warped understanding of the humans' way of life. They're wide-eyed and childlike, and occasionally even need protection from hostile human beings, often trigger-happy military types
who think they're up to no good and need to be exterminated for the common good.
In some kinds of stories
, these aliens are used to prove that Humans Are the Real Monsters
, especially if they or the rest of the interplanetary community live peaceful, enlightened lives and we humans are the ones who go around shooting things and generally being destructive.
Often the "come in peace" part of We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill
. Contrast Aliens Are Bastards
. If they're played for laughs, they may also be amusing aliens
- In Gantz, during the first Onion Alien mission, the Onion Kid seems like this (complete with Kato trying to protect it from the other trigger-happy Gantzers). Of course, they have no choice over whether to continue killing once its father tries to get revenge. A few other aliens are non-aggressive before being attacked, making it murky who you're supposed to be rooting for.
- Of course, Gantz is the bastard here, for forcing humans to hunt and kill aliens.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, there was the Roswell Incident. Tony, the alien, ends up living with America, playing video games, watching movies, and other things.
- In the 2001 Cyborg 009 series, a group of these arrive during the "Little Visitors" arc. Unfortunately, they were followed by a hostile force out to subjugate the children and harness their vast Psychic Powers for evil means.
- Astral in Yu Gi Oh ZEXAL. He had amnesia and at first did not truly know why he was in our world, but he wasn't malignant, and rebukes anyone who claims that he is supposed to be. When he eventually discovered that his true purpose was actually to destroy the Barian World, not quite the noble goal he had hoped, he rejected it, and Yuma was forced to rescue him from his godlike Knight Templar master.
- The Firstcomers in ElfQuest took the forms of elves and meant to land on an Earthlike planet during a time when such spirits were respected. Due to a bit of sabotage they landed in prehistoric times surrounded by superstitious, violent cavemen, and had no idea how to deal with the planet.
- Alan Moore wrote Skizz during his time at 2000 AD, which can best be described as "ET meets Crapsack World," the Crapsack World, of course, being Birmingham, England.
- Alan Moore also had the Pogo aliens (tiny anthropomorphic cartoon animals) in Swamp Thing, looking for a planet in tune with nature, unfortunately they landed on Earth. Where one of their party, a cartoon alligator, is eaten by our alligators and the rest flee the planet after seeing how humans behave.
- Superman arrived on Earth as a baby. It doesn't get more innocent than that. Some other kryptonians...not so much.
- Martian Manhunter The Green Martians are a peaceful race of philosophers, of which the Martian Manhunter is a part of. The same cannot be said for their Evil Counterpart race, the White Martians.
- Jake, the Space Cat form The Cat From Outer Space, happened to land on earth because his ship was malfunctioning at the time.
- Klaatu from the original The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) qualifies, especially considering he is a text book example of the first variety of We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill. The Keanu Reeves remake one is more of a jerkass, apparently due to Executive Meddling trying to make the remake as little like the original as possible.
- The Man from Planet X.
- The title character from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial practically embodies this trope.
- MAC, from the infamous Mac and Me.
- The aliens from Earth Girls Are Easy.
- The titular alien in "The Brother from Another Planet", although he is pursued by two men in black who definitely are not innocent.
- Although not aliens in three dimensions, the characters in "The Navigator, a Mediaeval Odyssey" are an exact isomorphism of this trope in the time dimension, where a group of 14th century black and white British villagers flee the Black Plague by digging a tunnel that leads to Technicolor 20th century New Zealand.
- Leeloo from The Fifth Element, to a degree.
- To a degree meaning 'until she grabs your throat/ puts a gun to your head for almost kissing her/ jumps off a building into your cab/ kicks a roomful of alien warrior ass'
- The Thermians from Galaxy Quest.
- To the point that they don't realize "Galaxy Quest" was an Earth television show, simply because their race doesn't understand the entire concept of fiction, at all; at best they liken it to lying (and even that is an unfamiliar new discovery, learned at great cost from the race that was wiping them out).
- Men In Black features everything from 'the worst scum of the universe' to aliens that worship humans, as well as several aliens that more or less fit this trope.
Kay: At any given time, there are approximately 15,000 aliens on the planet, most of them right here in Manhattan. And most of them are decent enough. They're just trying to earn a living.
Jay: Cab drivers.
Kay: Not as many as you'd think.
- The aliens from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Short Circuit: Subverted when the alien turns out to be a Ridiculously Human Robot, much to Stephanie Speck's disappointment.
- The aliens from District 9 aren't exactly childlike or innocent, but they genuinely mean no harm, and in fact were in desperate need of aid when they arrived. Poor prawns.
- Then again anyone armed to the teeth with weapons that blow up anything they hit, can't be that friendly. One common fan theory is that they're an army falling back.
- Word of God says they're colonists that have gone off track. All those fantastic and powerful weapons? Their equivalent of a gun locker.
- Both astronaut Chuck Baker and the aliens he encounters in the subversive Planet 51.
- After the Phoenix makes its historic first ever warp-speed flight in Star Trek: First Contact, humanity sees the Vulcans, who basically just want to drop by and congratulate the funny-eared people on finally doing something really awesome. They even stick around for the next couple centuries and become fast friends of humanity; if highly snarky friends.
- The aliens in Cocoon have no desire to hurt anyone. They just want to retrieve their lost friends.
- In It Came from Outer Space, the aliens just want to repair their ship and go home. They only abduct and replace people because they are terrified of being discovered.
- Paul plays with this - Paul is a definite and unironic example of this trope in plot terms, but instead of the Incorruptible Pure Pureness one would associate with it he has a pretty crude personality and enjoys smoking weed.
- Ashley from the Nursery Crime series is a blue-skinned, partly-translucent tridactyl from the planet Rambosia working as a cop in Reading, England. Though not quite as naive as most Innocent Aliens, he's confused by human mannerisms and even more so by our biology. One time, he needed Jack to explain to him how human mating worked.
- Acorna from the Acorna Series.
- The piggies from the Ender series of books. That being said, they ritually sacrificed several scientists, but they didn't know that humans follow a different life-cycle than them and wouldn't turn into sentient trees. Likewise the Buggers, who didn't realize for many years that humans were individually sentient beings (rather than drones controlled by a Queen) and resolved to leave them alone after the first two invasions of Earth, but by then humanity, faced with near extinction during the second invasion, had already launched their desperate counter-attack which culminated in Ender blowing up the Bugger homeworld.
- All the aliens on Mars and Venus in the The Space Trilogy are Innocent—in a technical sense as well as mostly following this trope; they are unfallen beings, in the Christian sense, Satan being local to Earth. C. S. Lewis plays with it a little in Out of the Silent Planet; the Hrossa, Sorns, and Pfiffltriggi have reasonably sophisticated cultures and gradually come to realize that humans can be dangerous, while the Eldila (angels, really) know almost immediately that Weston and Devine are up to no good on Mars.
- Amy Thomson's The Color Of Distance plays with this using the Tendu. Tendu have no war and strive to be in harmony with each other and the environment. They hunt with an eye to local populations, and they don't murder; they also have very little in the way of technology, though they have an incredible biological-modification ability that actually allows them to clone and alter things. They have to metamorphasize twice to become intelligent and they eat their own fertilized eggs and tadpoles, and treat their tinka like slaves and allow them to be killed. The human protagonist only finds this out after she's been eating fertilized eggs and narey for a while, and is absolutely horrified. But there are countless unintelligent narey and tinka, and nothing like enough resources for all to become elders. It's presented as normal to them, and Dr. Saari eventually comes to grips with it.
- Domingo Santos' story The First Day of Eternity (published in Analog) features an alien species, "rollers", which respond to human colonists with curiosity and cautious friendship.
- Thomas Jerome Newton in The Man Who Fell to Earth makes his journey to our world to acqure the means to bring the rest of his people (numbering a few hundred) here before they die of thirst back home; they would then be able to blend in with humanity and become a positive influence upon it. Tragically, he gradually loses his innocence as he lives amongst humans...
- Zenna Henderson's The People are this when they first come to Earth and almost immediately run afoul of the Soulsaving Crusader and his followers who give them A Taste of the Lash and then Burn the Witch! She initially wrote of the after-effects on the People's earth settlement a century later in "Pottage", which was used as the Film of the Book.
- A few different species from Animorphs:
- The Hork Bajir were peaceful, none-too-bright herbivores before the Yeerks arrived. They had absolutely no concept of fighting, to the point that even a genius Seer like Dak Hamee needed several minutes to figure out what was happening when a Hork-Bajir Controller hurt him.
- The Pemalites were total pacifists who did not even bother trying to fight back as they were killed off by the Howlers. The Chee, a race of androids they created, are at least capable of understanding violence, but their programming makes them incapable of committing it.
- The Mercorans, who settled on Earth in the Cretaceous period, were also nonviolent, to the point that they committed ritual mutilation in mourning when some of them were killed the only time they were forced to fight against another sentient being.
- Also, the Howlers, who are, from a certain standpoint, the most innocent species that the kids meet. Unfortunately, the Howlers are a species of genetically engineered killing machines. It's just that they don't know that killing is wrong, and Crayak preserves their naivete by altering their collective memory.
- And the mind-reading giant frogs, the Leerans.
- Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth has a lot of alien races, so it stands to reason that some would be peaceful. However, this is taken to an extreme with the Ulru-Ujurrians, giant ursinoids who are nevertheless utterly innocent and devoid of malice. They eat, sleep, mate, and play games. Until Flinx shows up and starts teaching them the "game of civilization", at which point they turn out to be exponentially intelligent and rapidly assimilate all knowledge that the Commonwealth and AAnn societies have to offer. However, they remain utterly nonaggressive except when they or Flinx are threatened — which is a good thing as by the end of the series their capabilities approach Reality Warper levels.
- The Venette Convention from the Star Trek novel Brinkmanship. The Venetans are almost completely unable to handle the shifty politics and misdirection of the major galactic powers, with their leading citizen becoming literally ill from stress when confronted with realities like espionage.
- Leó Szilárd, the famous nuclear physicist also wrote some short stories. In one called "Report on 'Grand Central Terminal'", alien scientists arrive to Earth after a nuclear war wiped out all life. They completely fail to understand things like the monetary system and think that war between the members of one species is impossible. The only alien who figures it out is dismissed by his superiors.
- Somewhat averted in Roadside Picnic in the way that the alien visitors don't even take notice of the human population, and leave all manner of artifacts strewn about. What the human populace does with, and for, these artifacts, though. . .
- Ruthlessly subverted in All You Need Is Kill. The aliens decide to ecoform the Earth without checking to see if it's inhabited by intelligent life, because sending a radio signal and waiting 80 years for a reply would take too long. Worse, even if the Earth is inhabited by intelligent life, the aliens decide that they should ecoform the planet anyway, reasoning that civilization is always built on the sacrifice of the natural world, so xenocide is no big deal.
- The Dukes of Hazzard: The Visitor, in the episode "Strange Visitor to Hazzard," an episode clearly meant to mimick and play off the popularity of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
- The alien, Josh Exley, in The X-Files episode "The Unnatural" just wants to play baseball.
- We learn later in the series that the Greys used to be this, but were corrupted into warmongers by the Black Oil.
- Occasionally present on Doctor Who, in the form of the Doctor's (usually human) companions meeting aliens on their homeworld before they save them from other, less well-intentioned aliens.
- The Thals in The Daleks. Subverted in that the Doctor's companion, Ian, deliberately dismantles their innocence so that they can stand up to the Daleks.
- The nameless aliens (implied to come from Mars) from The Ambassadors of Death.
- The Doctor's Human Alien companion Nyssa.
- The Kinda in Kinda.
- The Doctor himself, at times, during his Fourth and Eleventh incarnations. Though the Doctor's people, the Time Lords, in general, and for that matter, the Doctor himself, has generally not displayed this trope.
- Eight, in the Made-for-TV Movie, in which he's got amnesia and is therefore particularly innocent. It's especially apparent in the morgue scene, in which he's almost as scared of the morgue attendant as the morgue attendant is scared of him. And he's generally strange, overly friendly, and totally harmless. Grace has to babysit him a little because of it.
- The Ood, who got enslaved by humanity because of it.
- Cole, from Tracker. Averted with most other aliens, who are escaped prisoners. On the other hand, one reveals that she was jailed for something that isn't even a misdemeanor on Earth.
- They're pretty much all Human Aliens, but this applies to many encounters in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Usually, the natives of any given planet are perfectly harmless and need the heroes help to survive the Big Bad.
- The pak'ma'ra from Babylon 5. They may be unpleasant to be around, being scavangers and carrion eaters, and they are commonly described as "lazy, greedy and obnoxious", but they are pretty much the only race in the setting who were not once involved in some shady or immoral activity or acts of unprovoked violence, and the driving force of their species is curiosity and thirst for exploration. The pak'ma'ra were among the first to join the Interstellar Alliance and the Rangers, and helped other races in times of need. Also, they reportedly have angelic singing voices.
- In one episode of Married... with Children a bunch of aliens started coming into the house and stealing Al's socks; Al was afraid of them at first, but they turned out to be pretty friendly.
- The Mr. Saturns from Earthbound and Mother 3, while not explicitly stated to be extraterrestrial, fit this trope to a "T". Shigesato Itoi deliberately portrayed them as "symbols of innocence".
- Elvis, the Maian from Perfect Dark more or less fits this trope, as opposed to the malevolent Skedar race of aliens.
- The Lumas from Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, who not only serve as allies to Mario, but also turn into either Launch Stars, planets, mushrooms, and even sacrifice themselves to stop the black hole created when Bowser's galaxy exploded.
- Sonic Colors: The Lumas' counterparts, the Wisps also fit this trope as well, helping Sonic by allowing him to use their unique powers to free other Wisps from Eggman's grasp and they rescue Sonic from an inescapable black hole.
- In The Sims 2, the aliens that abduct Sims (and impregnate males) are not known as particularly friendly. If, however, you've put aliens in your neighborhoods and didn't set them as "grouchy," they will be this trope; they're just like any other Sims except green.
- The Wraith in Escape Velocity Nova, mostly their youngsters. The reason they're at war with the Polaris is simply because some Wraith children out playing buzzed some Polaran border patrol ships. The Polaris thought said Wraith were attacking and killed them. The rest of the Wraith launched reprisals and things went downhill from there.
- Xananab from DK Jungle Climber is a perfectly pleasant banana-shaped alien who only wants to get his stolen crystal bananas back from King K. Rool.
- One Starship Regulars (an Affectionate Parody of sci-fi shows, mostly Star Trek) had a Koraeg kid. Their race was devoid of vices and was in a war with The Federation. The protagonists managed to capture one of them, and while The Captain contemplated whether he should inject him with a lethal virus to wipe out their race, the less-than-perfect regulars get him drunk and laid.
Captain: You created the ultimate biological weapon for their society! A lazy profligate boozer!
Wilson: Don't forget gambler and whore-manger!
Tycho: We were thoroughgoing.