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Little Green Men

A formerly common depiction of aliens, now a Discredited Trope. They're green, they pilot Flying Saucers, and they're smaller than a human. The degree of "little" varies widely; they may be only a head or so shorter than people, or they may be small enough to pick up in one hand. They commonly have antennae.

Typically, they are either hostile or mysterious. If hostile, they will wield ray guns, speak English, and will ask anyone they find to take them to their leader. If mysterious, they will probably not speak, or speak only in weird beeping noises, possibly abduct people, and then disappear quickly and mysteriously, leaving little trace.

Since the Mariner and Viking probes of The Sixties, they've been slowly replaced by The Greys in serious works. Basically done for comedy now.

See also Green-Skinned Space Babe and The Reptilians. For the Christopher Buckley novel, see Little Green Men.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • Roswell Little Green Man.
  • The Skrulls in Marvel Comics started out as almost completely stereotypical little green men in the second issue of Fantastic Four. They even arrived in a literal flying saucer, which Reed stored in the Baxter Building for years afterward. Decades of stories since then have fleshed them out a lot (and they're generally portrayed to be of human height these days, although one could argue that height is arbitrary for a race of shapeshifters), but when all's said and done, they're still invading alien green guys with "bug eyes" and ray guns.
    • In particular, the original version of the Skrulls look a lot like the "space goblins" from the famous 1955 Sutton family farm UFO case in Kentucky.
  • Superman's enemy Brainiac started out as one of these. Later stories made him taller and revealed him to be an android, but he was still a green guy in a flying saucer for many years.
  • Martian Manhunter isn't little, but he's certainly green, as well as being a literal Martian.
  • The Captain, from Nextwave, got his powers as a gift from a pair of little green men. He then proceeded to murder them both and express dismay that he didn't get a pot of gold as a reward, having mistaken them for leprechauns. In his defense, he was exceptionally drunk at the time.
    • That's always his defence.
  • The Aldebarans, from Fantastic Worlds #6, are small, green and invade planets using small planetoids that they transformed into space fortresses.
  • The Blyntzyns, from Amazing Adventures #4, are small, green aliens that use androids to find the weaknesses of a civilization.
  • The Galaxians from Franco-Belgian Comics series Le Scrameustache, who are pretty much all friendly and helpful neighbours.
  • Pat Mallet's Petits hommes vertsnote  are small, green, male, horny and quite charming towards the ladies. Whether or not they came in peace depends on if you're a woman or her husband.
  • Dan Dare's arch-enemy, The Mekon.

Film
  • Mars Attacks!
  • The Arquillians from Men In Black. Also a couple other races, in all likelihood.
  • Spaced Invaders
  • Arguably, ET is a cute cross between this and The Greys.
  • Yoda from Star Wars.
    • Rodians also qualify, as they have green skin, and their face resembles an insect. They even have antennae.
  • In all three Toy Story films, there have been Pizza Planet toys who are short compared to most other toys. They also have three eyes and worship "the CLAAAWWWW!!!!"
  • Feeders and it's sequel feature paper-maché Little Green Men who occasional venture to Earth for a feeding frenzy.
  • In Contact, when she's introduced to her new co-workers at Aricebo, Dr. Arroway jokes that she's looking for little green men.
  • Most of the aliens from Planet 51. General Grawl is the notable exception - being roughly the same height as Chuck (a human male), he towers over the rest of his species. Then again, we have no idea how tall Chuck is among humans.

Literature
  • Frederic Brown's novel Martians Go Home! features an invasion of little green men who attack Earth not with saucers or rayguns, but with an ability to appear anywhere, immunity to all harm, and absolutely no tact. They refer to all male humans as "Mac", and all female humans as "Toots". In one (obvious) scene, a Martian pops in on a pair of newlyweds, and refuses to leave until he observes human mating practices.
  • The Evil Gollarks in Murderous Maths. Notice we said evil.

Live-Action TV
  • Parodied in Diane Duane's Star Trek novel, Spock's World—a tabloid newspaper reports that Spock's mother, Amanda, has married a little green man. (As a Vulcan, Sarek has green blood and a slightly green complexion.) Amanda tells reporters at a press conference, "There is nothing little about my husband." Even Sarek cracks up once the context is fully explained.
    • Canon Star Trek has them, actually: they're not smaller than humans, but the Andorians are blue-green and have antennae, apparently as a nod to this trope.
    • An episode of Deep Space Nine was named "Little Green Men" and featured Ferengi (who are not green, but smaller than humans) crashing in Roswell.
    • Referenced in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday", when a 1960s pilot is accidentally transported onto the Enterprise:
      Captain Christopher: I never have believed in little green men.
      Spock: (deadpan) Neither have I.
  • In the 1970's sci-fi TV series UFO, the aliens' green look is shown to be from the oxygenated-fluid used to cushion their bodies during months of faster-than-light travel.
  • Throughout the first two seasons of The Greatest American Hero, Bill Maxell refers to the aliens who gave Ralph Hinkley the super-suit as "the green guys." When we finally meet the alien, lo and behold, he really is green. And his spaceship is even circular, though not exactly saucer-shaped.

Pinball

Tabletop Games
  • The grots deserves a mention here, they are small, green and hostile, and they are aliens. It should be noted, however, that they also happen to be Goblins IN SPACE so it is kinda justified, even if they are technically part of the same species as da Orkz. Really played for laughs in every sense, since they are the ButtMonkeys of the orks. Also worth noting that the universe has both this trope and The Greys (The Tau), which really shows a great deal of contrast between the two.

Toys

Video Games
  • The Ariloulaleelay in Star Control games are green humanoids with ships shaped like saucers. In the background it is mentioned that they have visited Earth before and are responsible of UFO sightings and abductions.
  • Fallout 3 has a crashed flying saucer in which one of the best weapons in the game can be found near the corpse of a very small pilot. Only the head is visible, but yup — he's green.
  • The point of the Kerbal Space Program is to get three of these into space or spiral into the ground.
  • The Sims 2. If you spend too much time looking through a telescope, you get abducted by these. If the sim is a male, they'll later have a Half-Human Hybrid. Only the males have a kid, females just waste time in space.
    • You can also put them in your neighborhoods. They're really just like any other Sims, except green. (They are, however, also the same size as "normal" Sims. Unless you use a mod or cheat to make them shorter.)
    • They're really more green Greys than little green men.
  • Referred to in Destroy All Humans!!
    Farmer wife: AAAAAAAEEEIIII!! LITTLE GREEN SPACEMAN! AAAAAAAEEEIIII!!!
    Cryptosporidium-137: I. Am. Not. Green!
  • The title character of Alien Hominid, though, he is actually Yellow.
  • The Cor-Dems of AdventureQuest.
  • The alien family in Banjo-Tooie.
  • Pokémon Black and White has Elgyem (pronounced as "L-G-M", little green man), a little green psychic alien. Fun with Acronyms, indeed.
    • Despite that, the mon itself is actually just as close in color to gray.
  • Martians in Scribblenauts.

Webcomics

Web Original
  • In the Deep Fried Live episode "Fleeb Cooks A Cow", Chef Tako is kidnapped by an LGM who wants to learn... how to cook a cow. He's not hostile or mysterious, instead being rather friendly if a bit too fond of probing.
    • The cook turns out to be less than friendly near the end, when he tries to make Tako into a sidedish.

Western Animation
  • The Irkens from Invader Zim, the race which the title character belongs to.
  • Great Gazoo from The Flintstones
  • In the Toy Story Spin-Off Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the three-eyed toy aliens are even referred to as "LGMs"—Grammar Nazis notwithstanding. In the first episode it's revealed that they share a psychic link that they call "Unimind", and their homeworld's name is a string of unpronounceable gibberish.
    • I believe that was Retconned into "Martians."
    • Aliens that look much more like the traditional little green men did show up later. They find the humanoid body of a small head and large torso to be "grotesque".
  • The Looney Tunes character "Marvin the Martian" probably qualifies.
    • While he is little, he's also completely black. It's his helmet that's green.
  • Morbo from Futurama certainly isn't little (he's about the size of a well built human), he has green skin and hates humanity.
    • Kiff fits the bill for being small and green. However neither he, nor his species, has hostility towards humanity.
  • Billy from Martin Mystery is a green alien the size of a small child or at least he looks like one. His true form is that of a much larger, Hulk-sized monster.
  • Zula Patrol: Bula.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky", Frink has a brief encounter with such an alien. There is also Ozmodiar, a parody of the Great Gazoo from The Flintstones. And the Martians whom the Stonecutters "keep under wraps".
  • The Skrulls from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, just like their comic counterparts. When they try to interrogate Captain America, they demand to know why he doesn't break. His response is to laugh at them for being Little Green Men.
  • There was actually once a British children's cartoon series about an alien that was called The Little Green Man.
  • Parodied in Rocky and Bullwinkle with Gidney and Cloyd, the moon men.

Real Life
  • When pulsars were first discovered in The Sixties, astronomers had no idea what they were. Some suggested that they represented intelligent life. The first few to be discovered were named LGM 1, LGM 2, etc. Eventually, they were discovered to be spinning neutron stars.
  • A famous 1955 UFO close encounter case on the Sutton family farm in Kentucky helped establish this image in the public's mind. (In particular, the Skrulls look like they were based on the big-eared Sutton aliens).

Green-Skinned Space BabeFantastic Sapient Species TropesMechanical Lifeforms
The ReptiliansSliding Scale of AnthropomorphismThe Greys
Cat FolkAlien TropesThe Greys
Rubber-Forehead AliensBizarre Alien BiologyAlien Animals

alternative title(s): Little Green Man
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