Some days, it really sucks to be H. sapiens
There are many reasons why you might wish to kill all humans. Maybe they're all horrible cruel monsters
and one of them killed your mommy
. Maybe their status as the dominant intelligent species on the planet is preventing your own kind from taking their place
. Maybe some human colonists wronged your ancestors, and your people have generalized their rage and hate to cover the whole species. Maybe you were raised from infancy/the egg/the spawning pond to view humans as Always Chaotic Evil
. Maybe out of spite
or a peculiar sense of duty
, you just can't stand the thought of other people existing one second longer. Heck, you could just be trying to save the rest of the planet's species from extinction
. But the verdict is certain, and you're not wavering: They've all gotta die. Every... last... one....
That is, assuming you even have
a comprehensible reason. You could just be conveniently attracted to the creatures on screen most sympathetic to the audience, a Killer Robot
out to Crush. Kill. Destroy!
, or a plain old Omnicidal Maniac Eldritch Abomination
. Or, simply, mere apes
have no hope of comprehending your motives.
also seem to inevitably arrive at the conclusion that humans as a species must be killed
. Sometimes, it's a product of them being too machine-like, and concluding that if one human is observed doing something that may harm the computer, then they all are a threat that can only be reconciled by killing them all off. Otherwise, it's a case of them being too human
and flying into a blind rage triggered by jealousy, fear, or maybe even spite. Other times (such as in the film version of I, Robot
) the supercomputer may start to become homicidal in an attempt to bring order to the world and protect humanity from itself. Rarely does a supercomputer decide that it should coddle humans to get them to keep supplying it with electricity and spare parts. Only the Robot Buddy
seems to favor this tactic.
A recommendation of How to Invade an Alien Planet
, it frequently ties in with Apocalypse How
and The End of the World as We Know It
Not to be confused with the video game Destroy All Humans!
, although killing all humans is the whole point of that game.
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Anime & Manga
- Onslaught in the Marvel Universe started out as a harsher version of Magneto, but then Professor X's arguments about mutant/muggle equality led it to the same epiphany as Sweeney Todd, minus the awesome music or pie shop.
- The Sentinels occasionally fall into this trope. Originally they were programmed with two directives; 1) neutralize mutants and 2) protect human life from mutants. Occasionally some Sentinels will logically deduce that, since all organic life has the potential to mutate, the only way to fully neutralize all mutant life is to eliminate all humans.
- While at other times, Sentinels are bad for humans without actually being homicidal; they merely reason that they can best protect human life by ruling it.
- Lady Death, from the Evil Ernie comics and some sequels. She can't come back to earth until there are no more people alive on it.
- In Judge Dredd, the Dark Judges seek to annihilate the living because life is illegal on their world (and they don't acknowledge jurisdictional boundaries). Judge Death (real name Sidney) was a born sadist and psychopath, whose antics as a child include killing his dog, shooting birds with a rifle, and trying to murder his sister. Sidney's father, a disturbed Serial Killer and Depraved Dentist, felt a bond with the boy and taught him that people are inherently sinful and better off dead. He reported his father to get a career in his world's equivalent of the Judges, where his diseased brain came to the conclusion that, as only living people commit crimes, life itself should be made illegal and punished by 'cleansing'. With the aid of two cannibal demon-witches and three almost as deranged followers, he transforms into an undead abomination and sets out to exterminate all life in existence. Or, in simpler terms, the Dark Judges occupy a twisted border between Knight Templar and Omnicidal Maniac.
- Ultron, one of The Avengers' main villains, is pretty much in it to supplant humans with robots. Thor would have words with him about that...
- Ultron's second attempt at a mate (and third or so attempt at a good Dragon), Alkhema, split with Ultron because they disagreed on procedure: Ultron wants to Kill All Humans by efficient, genocidal means, while Alkhema wants to take her time and enjoy the process of killing by hand.
- Commander Blanx and Malefic in Martian Manhunter were Mars' equivalent of this, exterminating all the Martians.
- The Punisher: The End. World War III has wiped out humanity. There are only 54 people left alive. The Punisher is one of them and kills the other 53 before dying.
- The Xorda in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, mostly because the military killed and dissected their ambassador. When they came back and found Mobians in their place, they decided to do it again, deeming Mobians just the same as humans.
- In the 2007 Transformers movie, inanimate objects brought to life by the All Spark immediately set about wreaking death and destruction. This is just about excusable in the case of the mobile phone, since it was trapped, but do vending machines and X-Boxes really harbour a secret desire to Kill All Humans?
- The going theory is that the newly-created robots weren't so much evil as feral.
- Agent Simmons mentions that all modern technology has been reverse engineered from Megatron/NBE-1. Since this means these objects are essentially descendant from him, it's only natural they be evil as well.
- In X2: X-Men United, Magneto tries to wipe out all humans by reversing the polarity of Stryker's mutant-killing technology.
- In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Owlman wants to destroy the cancer called humanity (and all of existence and all living beings) by destroying Earth Prime and its universe.
- Andrew in Chronicle seems to go into this trope's territory in the third act after his cousin saves his dad's life even after Andrew tried to kill him
- Agent Smith in The Matrix:
- Subverted with Godzilla. In Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster he reveals that he hates humans for "bullying" him, apparently having perceived the H-bomb tests that destroyed his home and food supply as an unprovoked attack. Eventually he becomes a hero, not out of any obligation to mankind, but to protect the earth, which Godzilla begrudgingly comes to accept the human race as being part of. Adopting a son and developing allies among the other monsters of earth provided further incentive for him to become a protector rather than a destroyer.
- Played straight by many of Godzilla's opponents, most notably King Ghidorah, an omnicidal space monster who destroys entire planets.
- In Godzilla Final Wars in which a young boy asks his grandpa why Godzilla is destroying a city. The grandfather tells the boy it's because Godzilla is angry at humanity for making the nuclear bomb in the first place.
- The film Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! takes this even further and states that Godzilla wants to wipe out everyone in Japan (and possibly the rest of the world). It turns out he's being driven by the vengeful souls of those who died in WWII who have been forgotten by the Japanese.
- Doubly Subverted in the 1991 film Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla stares down a former Japanese soldier turned businessman who had encountered him back when he was an un-mutated Godzillasaurus. At first, it seems like a rather touching scene where Godzilla seems to be reconsidering his destructive nature. And, then Godzilla simply kills the man with his Thermonuclear Breath, destroys the building, and continues his rampage.
- The Godzilla of Godzilla 2000 doesn't seem particularly interested in killing humans for the sake of it, but he also doesn't take any special effort to save them. He's more interested in getting revenge on Orga.
- In Daybreakers, humanity has been replaced by a vampire society, who have hunted the remaining humans to almost complete extinction to serve as their food source. The vamps apparently didn't think far enough ahead to realize that they set up an unsustainable food chain by killing all the prey and not allowing their numbers a chance to recover while also maintaining no population regulation of the predators.
- Oblivion (2013) : One of "Sally"'s goals is eradicating the last surviving pockets of humanity.
- Terminator: SkyNet full stop.
- In Independence Day, President Whitmore is talking to one of the aliens that are destroying earth's cities and killing humans. He tries to find out if there is a way to negotiate a peace:
Whitmore: (to alien) What do you want us to do?
Alien: Die. (Alien proceeds to kill Whitmore by telepathic overload.)
- While not particularly harmful, the insects called snow gnats from A Series of Unfortunate Events sting humans just for the fun of it. Klaus does state, though, that they are mildly poisonous and a large enough number of stings could cause severe illness.
- The Ryall from Antares believe that it is impossible for two sentient species to coexist, so they save time by attempting to exterminate the humans on contact.
- The Auditors of the Discworld want to do this. They find life messy and unpredictable (they prefer a deterministic, Newtonian universe) and humans the worst of all.
- Star Trek Greater Than the Sum: "We are the Borg. You will be annihilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness have become irrelevant. Resistance is futile...but welcome."
- While most of HP Lovecraft's deities would destroy humanity without really paying attention, Nyarlathotep seem to be bent on killing all humans (or rather, getting us kill ourselves). Why? I don't know, guess he's just being a dick.
- In Lester del Rey's "For I Am a Jealous People!", aliens arrive without warning and just start killing all humans. One man finds out why, it seems that God (yes, the Jewish, Christian, Islamic one) has decided that humans are no longer his chosen people and the aliens now are. So he ordered them to kill us all off.
- Mortal Engines gets one of these at the end:
Stalker Fang: "... humanity is a plague; a swarm of clever monkeys which the good earth cannot support. All human civilizations fall, Tom, and all for the same reason; humans are too greedy. It is time to put an end to them forever."
- This is basically the whole plot of Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski's The Killing Star. We start with planet-busting kinetic weapons hitting all human colonies throughout the solar system at 92% of the speed of light. The few survivors are then hunted to extinction. Why? Humans are dangerous. I mean, have you seen the things we do to each other on TV?
- In Thomas Disch's The Genocides, alien invaders turn the Earth into a giant monoculture for their own crops, and seek to wipe out annoying pest species such as humans. They succeed.
- This is the plan of the Neanderthals in The Extinction Gambit, the first novel of The Extraordinaires.
- This doesn't actually end up happening, but it is mentioned that some of the Galactics in the Uplift Universe wanted to do this at First Contact, on account of past ecological mismanagement. However, between humanity having tried to clean up its act and its actual patronage of two species (dolphins and chimps), the Galactics grudgingly decide that they are bound not only to let us live, but also to allow us to colonize planets (which patron species are entitled to do).
- In Veniss Underground, Evilutionary Biologist Quin has grown disgusted with humanity and plans to kill it off and replace it with a race of genetically engineered meerkats.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000. Crow and Tom sometimes veer into this territory, and the one time Mike attempted to build a robot... did not go well.
- Alien races and robots are particularly volatile. The Cylons from the original Battlestar Galactica were out to destroy all organic life; they'd wiped out the original reptilian Cylons who'd created them and then went after humans. ("War of the Gods" revealed that they were programmed to do so by an entity that was basically Satan.) The Cylons in the new series still have killing all humans as their initial goal, but the series expands on their reasons, and as they developed and began to show more individuality they wavered between this and helping the humans (with help being occupying them and ruling by force) with alarming suddenness. Frakkin' Toasters.
- The original series stated that the Colonials interfered in the Cylons' conquest of another race, sparking off a thousand yahren war.
- The Daleks in Doctor Who want to EX-TER-MI-NATE anything that isn't a Dalek.
- And the Silurians want to Kill All Humans to reclaim the Earth, which they ruled in the Eocene period. Same with their aquatic relatives, the Sea Devils.
- The robots in "The Robots of Death" get reprogrammed in this direction. Complete with chanting "kill the humans".
- The Cybermen are a slight variation, merely wanting to convert all humans into Cybermen.
- In "The Power of Three", the Shakri want to Kill All Humans to prevent the human plague from spreading throughout the galaxy.
- The Big Bad in practically every season of Buffy.
- The Judge deserves particular mention, since his only reason for existing is to burn the humanity out of humans and "corrupted" demons like vampires.
- On Lexx, His Divine Shadow, who wanted to destroy all of mankind to avenge an ancient grudge. The second season's Big Bad sought to take the concept yet further by converting all matter in the universe in its image. The series being what it was, both largely succeeded.
- British Sci-fi sitcom Hyperdrive had a hilarious song Kill The Humans which can be heard here.
- One of the major backstory elements in Babylon 5 is a disastrous war between the Humans and the Minbari. The Minbari are first introduced as a race of spiritual scholars, but those are just one of the races hats. Another major faction are Proud Warrior Race Guys who have one of the most advanced and powerful space navies in the galaxy and faught with no less than the annihilation of the entire human race as their goal. However, it's later revealed that they just fought because that's what they do. The order to exterminate humanity was in fact given by a high ranking priest when the highest religious leader was accidentally killed by humans. A mistake that she came to greatly regret and spent the next few decades working to atone for.
- Adam's goal in the second season of Heroes is to unleash the Shanti Virus and kill 99.93% of the human population because people suck.
- Helen Cutter in Primeval also decides that Humans Are the Real Monsters and goes back in time to prevent humanity's evolution altogether. It's pointed out that her actions will also erase her from existence, but apparently she doesn't care.
- Star Trek: Enterprise. As part of a Batman Gambit, the Spherebuilders convince the Xindi that humanity will destroy their homeworld in the future, so they decide to destroy Earth first. An alternate timeline shows them going to the trouble of tracking down and destroying human colonies even after Earth is destroyed. This is somewhat reasonable, as expecting humans to not want vengeance after Earth is destroyed would be the height of silliness.
- H.G. Wells in Season 2 of Warehouse 13.
- Brainiac's goal in Season's 7 & 8 of Smallville after going rogue.
- Lucifer's goal in season 5 of Supernatural.
- The song "The Humans Are Dead" by Flight of the Conchords takes place in a "distant future" wherein this has succeeded.
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "The Curse Of Millhaven" shows Loretta's philosophy falls into this category: "Lalalala, lalalalie/ All God's children have all gotta die."
- In Queensr˙che's "Nm 156", a governing supercomputer opts to annihilate humans, not because Humans Are the Real Monsters, but because it's been tasked to enforce a stable social order, and humans are unpredictable. Ergo, "Social control requires population termination."
- Virtually the entirety of Mayhem's fourth album Ordo Ad Chao consists of this.
- "Grendel" by Marillion:
Well I've had enough of all your pretty pretty speeches
Receive your punishment, Expose your throats to my righteous claws
And let the blood flow, and let the blood flow, flow, flow, flow
- Space 1889 Ground cleansers want to kill all humans on Mars. Cult of the Worm want the entire planet to die, including themselves.
- The ultimate goal of the Dark in earlier editions of Nobilis was to encourage humanity to kill itself. The justifications they gave ranged from "Earth would be better off without them" to something about suicide being the time at which you have the most control over your life, since nothing after you pull the trigger can influence you. This has been toned down somewhat.
- Warhammer 40K has pretty much everything trying to kill humans. To be fair, humans are trying to kill everything back.
- The Magic: The Gathering card Zombie Apocalypse from Dark Ascension destroys all humans as part of its effect.
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Red Talons, a savage tribe of lupus Garou with a dim view of humans. Some of the more hardline Red Talons see humans as a destructive presence and want them all dead.
- GLaDOS apparently spearheaded a Human Annihilation Studies program.
- Count Dracula, especially in the Castlevania series, has an intense hatred towards humans. Then again, given how he often seems to have a half-vampire child, maybe he doesn't hate all humans. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night establishes his human wife's execution as a witch as his Freudian Excuse for his hate.
- Presumably a vampire would want to leave some humans around, if only as dinner.
- Luca Blight from Suikoden II has a prime case of this, although really he has an insane murderous contempt for everything.
- In the backstory of Guilty Gear, the Gears wanted to obliterate humanity. They lost the war, but a few decades later one of them, Testament, decided to wake up Justice (one of the strongest Command Gears) and restart the process. Testament still isn't fond of humans in the later games; in one of his endings in Guilty Gear XX, Dizzy is killed by I-No, at which point Testament gives up on the human race, murders Johnny and any of the Jellyfish Pirates he can get his hands on, and goes right back out to trying to render humans extinct.
- In Chrono Trigger, an optional sidequest in 2300 A.D. involves an artificial intelligence with a robot army that wants to kill all the humans to "end their suffering". Given that the humans in this case are immortal and live in a foodless post-apocalyptic wasteland, it would actually be the nice thing to do.
- Towards the end of Ninja Gaiden 3, Clancy gets transformed into a super being in the subspace and tells Ryu that in order to protect the Earth, he must Kill All Humans. He tries to convince Ryu to join his side, but everyone knows the answer to that.
- Alex Mercer from Prototype while still being alive, released a super-powerful mutated virus that would consume all of humanity in a matter of months. Thankfully, the virus that consumed him managed to stop it.
- The Phoenix Group in Rainbow Six plots to wipe out humankind with a genetically engineered strain of Ebola.
- Galerians is a pretty textbook example of the 'sentient computer' version.
- This is Medusa's goal in Kid Icarus.
- Also the goal of Viridi upon her debut in the sequel. She already had problems with Mankind for the typical reasons, but it finally comes to a boiling point when Hades tricks the humans into warring with and slaughtering each other over a wish-granting item... That isn't real. To be fair, though, the humans don't know the item is fake.
- The Big Bads in Mass Effect series, the Reapers . Well, that, or turn them all into a new Reaper - that also involves killing them first, though.
- Purple Eyes's new philosophy after his initial defeat in Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs. He tried to convince the Creator of all Pokémon to go along with it, for Arceus's sake!
- In Tales of Graces, this is Lambda's goal, at least until Asbel succeeds at Talking The Monster Into A Heel-Face Turn. In the Updated Re-release, this is also the Little Queen's/Fodra Queen's goal in Lineage & Legacies. In both cases, they're doing it because Humans Are the Real Monsters. Allegedly.
- In DEFCON, a global thermonuclear war simulator, the Genocide mode gives the player a point for every million enemy civilians they kill. Your own civilian losses are irrelevant. Your only goal is to ensure that the communists/capitalists/whatever die in a nuclear fire. It's possible to win the game even while nuking your own population centers.
- In the Halo series, the Covenant, the main enemies most of the time, are on a religious crusade throughout the galaxy and their leaders, the three Prophet Hierarchs, have declared humans a heretic species when they discovered that they are called Reclaimers by a Forerunner A.I., and the revelation of this would shatter their rule.
- Star Trek Online has shown that the Iconians are of this nature. And they're willing to do this to everyone else, starting with the Romulans. What? You didn't think the destruction of Romulus and Remus by the Hobus supernova was natural, did you?
- Yurt in Demon's Souls has the goal of killing every living human in Boletaria. If you unlock his cage and don't attack him he will come to the Nexus where he continues to secretly murder the NPCs while you're away. This can result in being unable to learn any new spells, since the spell trainers are dead. It's not just combat in this game that is unforgivingly cruel.
- The Thalmor of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Their ultimate goal is to dismantle reality itself and ascend to godhood, and one of the major obstacles to this end is humanity. They don't want to just kill all humans, they want to kill the very idea of humans.
- In the Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls, Malthael and his Reapers want to exterminate humanity due to their origins as the offspring of angels and demons, the latter of whom the angels absolutely hate.
- In Sluggy Freelance the Dimension of Pain demons are bent on killing all humans, largely because they've got nothing better to do. Played for irony, since we've been shown that, if they do wipe out all humans in a dimension, they then get bored since there's no one around to torture and kill anymore.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: According to Coyote, Ysengrin is of this opinion.
Coyote: Renard loooves humans! Not like Ysengrin, who would kill the lot of them, given the chance.
- Possibly lampshaded in The Order of the Stick, in which Redcloak (a goblin) summons a Chlorine Elemental and instructs it to kill all the humans nearby. The elemental floats off mumbling, "Kill All Humans".
Tsukiko: And then he ordered his elemental to try and kill me!
Xykon: Redcloak, is this true?
Redcloak: No. Technically, I just ordered the elemental to kill all humans, and then "forgot" to make an exception for her.
- The civilized monsters of RPG World exhibit this trope whenever there's the equivalent of an international incident... other reasons too. They're pretty touchy. Good thing they stick to holding up placards and shouting and televised news reports.
- Parodied in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip. When robots gain sentience the human immediately assumes that they are going to decide to kill all humans, the robots are so shocked to learn that humans think this way that they decide to kill all humans.
- Gato in Captain SNES: The Game Masta, though to be fair, Gato was created to be beaten up by humans repeatedly.
- Parodied in this video When a hacker augments his Kinect to make it self aware.
- Subverted in Futurama, where Bender (and it seems, many robots) have a suppressed desire to kill all humans, but they don't actually do it. Unless Mom orders them to do so.
Bender: (sleep-talking) Kill all humans... kill all humans... must kill all...
Fry: Bender, wake up!
Bender: (yawns) I was having the most wonderful dream. I think you were in it.
... [falls asleep again]
Bender: Hey, sexy mama... wanna kill all humans?
- Demona on Gargoyles was often plotting this, which lead to many humans hating the Gargoyles, which makes her original hatred seem justified...it's an ironic vicious circle she finds herself trapped in. Particularly once she starts becoming a human rather than stone during the day.
- In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy's greatest fear is clowns, believing that they will one day rise up and "DESTROY US ALL!! DESTROY US ALL!! DESTROY US ALL!! DESTROY US ALL!! DESTROY US ALL!!"
- Spoofed in at least one episode of The Simpsons: A robot is brought in to show to Bart's class. When Bart spots the man operating the robot in a tree outside, he knocks him out with a rock. The robot then slumps for a second, before rising and declaring "Command link severed. Default mode: Crush. Kill. Destroy!."
- Also spoofed in South Park. Chef is trying to figure out the remote control for his spiffy new TV and activates "HEM" without knowing what it is. The TV sprouts arms, legs and lasers and goes on a bloody rampage in "Human Eradication Mode."
- Spoofed yet more in Family Guy. During the episode where Stewie becomes obsessed with Miley Cyrus, it turns out she's actually a robot created by Disney's Imagineers to be the next massive brand name to sell to teenage kids. When this is discovered Stewie is shocked, while Brian is intirgued, wanting some 'quality time' with the Cyrus-bot. Long story short, he accidentally switches her mode with a stupid-in-hindsight button that turns her default setting to killing all humans. A King Kong parody with Peter and Quagmire in a biplane follows.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Ultron takes his programming to bring "peace and order" to mean "kill every single living thing." Since living organisms tend toward violence and chaos, the only way to truly bring about peace and order is to eradicate the cause of violence and chaos.