Earth is not the center of the universe, but nonetheless it is special - we have a precious commodity. No, not our nubile Earth women. Something better. Snacks. Turns out, our common comestible X is an Impossibly Delicious Food to aliens, who go to absurd lengths to acquire it. UFOs are smuggling candy past border checks. Alien abductions happen because humans might have Hershey bars in their pockets. Cattle mutilations? Aliens will NOT give up until they figure out how to extract chocolate milk. Chocolate is a common target, but almost any Earth snack food can be used here. Chocolate (or other snack foods) might be a Power-Up Food to the aliens, but if they need it to power their spaceships, it's What Do You Mean, It's Phlebotinum?. Related to Alien Catnip, Alien Arts Are Appreciated, No Biochemical Barriers. Compare Trademark Favorite Food, Spice of Life, I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!, One Man's Trash Is Another's Treasure, Alien Lunch. Not to be redundant, this has nothing to do with the nougat bar and the confectionery company making said nougat bar.
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Anime and Manga
- In Dragon Ball, Majin Buu, who's a highly destructive monster created by the alien wizard Bibidi, is obsessed with candy in general and chocolate in particular to the point that transforming the people of Earth into the confection is his preferred method of killing.
- In the Marvel Comics series Strikeforce: Morituri, the alien Planet Looters find chocolate to be a powerful intoxicant.
- One issue of the 1970s Shazam comic book had aliens invade Earth for its chocolate and candy—but then they learned the concept of cavities.
- The Martian Manhunter himself is deeply fond of Oreo cookies (later renamed Chochos).
- This is how SG-1 manages to open trade with the Tollan in XSGCOM. Earth doesn't really have anything that the Tollan want, until someone makes an off-hand comment about how the first global trading empires on Earth were built around spices and luxury foods. SG-1 decides to send a few crates of various spices, wines and sweets through, and distributes chocolate bars to a class of school kids as a goodwill gesture. The kids' reactions are enough to get a number of entrepreneurially minded parents to start lobbying for a trade agreement as soon as possible.
- In the Young Wizards series, chocolate has a variety of effects on different alien species: it acts as a drug for some, but others just like how it tastes. It's also the real reason UFOs visit Earth. In the eighth book, Carmela forces an entire battalion of aliens to back down by threatening them with a wrapped chocolate bar.
- In The Company Novels, chocolate (referred to as Theobromos) is the only thing that can intoxicate the time-traveling operatives. Hence one character having a "dealer" in premium chocolate.
Live Action Television
- John Crichton of Farscape has this reason to get back to Earth — although it's full of diseases: "You guys have no chocolate."
- Tennyo from the Whateley Universe pays aliens a fortune for what turns out to be a Hershey bar, smuggled from Earth at great cost.
Anime and Manga
- In Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire, it turns out that the main reason most alien species put up with humanity's presence is... popsicles.
- In a non-canonical issue of Marvel Team-Up, Peter Parker's Aunt May feeds Galactus some Grosstest Twinkles, which he finds extremely fulfilling. She rescues Earth (and the rest of the universe) by finding him a cosmic baker who makes planet-sized Twinkles.
- In Animorphs, Ax imagines that one day the other Andalites will come to Earth just to eat the cinnamon buns. Having a mouth makes him go crazy for everything, but those are his favorite.
- In I Was A Sixth Grade Alien, the aliens visiting Earth want to find a reason to establish friendly relations with us, but we don't have anything they actually particularly want. Until, that is, they discover peanut butter. Not because it's so delicious, but because it supercharges their romantic and sexual drives.
- In Roger Zelazny's This Immortal, the aliens view original-formula Coca-Cola as humanity's second-greatest contribution to galactic culture. The first being a new and interesting problem in the social sciences, namely, what to do with a species who managed to ruin their own homeworld. (They also apparently appreciate poetry).
- Hal Clement's Ice World. Aliens (who live at a much higher temperature than humans) discover that burning tobacco is an extremely powerful and addictive drug to them. They violate their civilization's laws to smuggle it off Earth.
- Fat Men from Space by Daniel Pinkwater has Earth being invaded by aliens who look like fat men and steal all the junk food on the planet. Pinkwater's plunderers are particularly partial to potato pancakes.
Live Action Television
- The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" features a Martian who has become addicted to coffee and cigarettes.
- The same gag is used in The Outer Limits (1963) episode "Controlled Experiment".
- Supernatural: Downplayed, where the Grim Reaper (who notes that he does visit alien planets) decides to ignore Lucifer's orders to wipe Chicago off the map and killing millions more during the Apocalypse. One of the reasons he gives for this is that he likes the city's pizza—this Death is a fast food junkie.
- During the brief period that they spend on Earth in Farscape, Rygel quickly becomes addicted to candy of all kinds.
- In one Calvin and Hobbes comic, Calvin disguises himself as an alien.
Calvin: Our planet is dying. We need cookies to survive. Do not interfere or you will be destroyed.Calvin's Mom: We'll see about that. Get back here.
- The Bleen conquered a quarter of the galaxy for cake, though apparently every carbon-based species (except the Lattrox) makes it.
- The Mahakalosians find that they like Oreos so much that they design a more efficient means of lifting mass into orbit for humanity just so they can ship more cookies.
- In Futurama, one of Earth's more notable creations is apparently the pizza bagel.
- Cartoon Network had a Cross Through event in which each of the network's top shows at the time had an alien invasion plot. What were the aliens after? Cheese.
- Invoked on Invader Zim — Tak wants to steal Zim's mission to prove she's the better Invader, but Earth is useless to the Irken Empire. However, since all Irkens seem to be junk food addicts, she plans to make it useful by hollowing it out and filling it with snacks. The normal version of this trope is totally Averted, however, since human food actually hurts Irkens.
- In Megas XLR, Earth is apparently renowned throughout the universe for the snacks and beverages available at convenience stores, and extraterrestrials with Earth currency frequently visit incognito to purchase them if they're passing near Earth.